Month: May 2014

Frank Underwood – Your Evil Alter Ego

It’s time that I talked about this because it has been there in my mind for a while now.

House Of Cards!!

It’s a TV show on the politics that take place in Washington D.C. It’s about Frank Underwood, a lowly congressman who rips and kills the obstacles just so he can achieve his goal – To have power. And to have power, the only way for him is to be the President of the greatest country in the free world.

A lot of stuff is still hanging by the threads and could fall off any second and that just makes it more interesting.

Well, that isn’t the aspect that interested me. What interested me was the monologues Frank delivers throughout the show to US, the viewers.

He just randomly looks at the camera when there’s a monologue in his mind about a situation he’s in or when he’s talking to someone and he wants to mock them or tell us how grateful he is because of them. And those monologues can make you think twice and re-evaluate your entire point of view on human nature.

If you haven’t watched the show, watch it. It’s great! Me, being an Indian enjoyed watching American politics. Well, it’s actually more about how awesome and ruthless Frank is throughout the show, so that was more amazing.

To close this off, here’s a small list of monologues that Frank delivered in House Of Cards.

#1 
There’s no way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.

#2 
What a martyr craves more than anything is a sword to fall on. So you sharpen the blade, hold it at just the right angle and then, 3….2….1………!

#3
Friends make the worst enemies.

#4
For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule – Hunt or be hunted!

#5
Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.

#6
A great man once said – Everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is about power.

#7
What you have to understand about my people is that they are a noble people. Humility is their form of pride. It is their strength; it is their weakness. And if you can humble yourself before them they will do anything you ask.

#8
Shake with your right hand but hold a rock with your left.

#9
The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties. Never regret.

#10
When you’re fresh meat, kill and throw them something fresher. 

A New Hope

It’s the first time the youth is excited about the 16th of May more than the 14th of February, in India.

The largest democracy in the world is about to change it’s leadership and install a new, better, capable one.

No, I’m not here to root for Narendra Modi. I’m just here to tell you what major changes India will see with Narendra Modi’s leadership.

And yes, the votes are still being counted. But, I shit you not, even 5 hours before the media announcement, it looks like Modi will beat the others by a mile. No! by hundred miles.

Let me tell you a little bit about Narendra Damodardas Modi and about why everyone wants this man to lead 1.2 billion people.

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He was born in a poor family who sold tea near a railway station. He had 5 other siblings. So you can imagine how hard that must have been for his family. He continued selling tea, going to school simultaneously. His teacher analysed his academic performance and believed that he never had a proper future in the academic field, but also added that he had exceptional debating skills and oratory instincts. That is clearly reflected in all of his speeches he has delivered.

After entering the Indian politics scene, he built and improvised multiple strategies for the Gujarat state elections in ’95 and ’98. He was a major contender in the last general elections ( this one is also a general election ). And like any other successful politician, he has a few ghosts following him. He is rumored to be one of the main people responsible for the genocide of muslims in Gujarat.

Again, they were just rumors which conveniently gained a voice at the right time.

Apart from that one rumor, the positive signs of him being “the one” for the country are numerous.

He was chief minister of Gujarat for over 10 years now and the changes which took place in the state can’t even be imagined. Google it!

Gujarat faced a deadly earthquake in 2001 and almost everything was in ruins. The economy especially. Modi turned that scenario and it’s one of the states which is leading in economic growth and general development.

He has proven himself for more than 20 years and that’s gotten the people’s attention. It made the people want him to lead the country because he proved to be more than just capable.

So, what changes will India see with Modi as the prime minister?

Well, even before the election results are announced, Modi’s imminent win has had a direct result on the dollar price. I won’t go into much details on how it made a difference. But the dollar dipped down to 59 rupees.

India can now hope to be a place of wide, smooth roads, electrified villages, rising incomes and brand-name foreign investment. He pledged to build bullet trains, hydroelectric power plants, manufacturing hubs and dozens of cities, enabling India to rival China, the economic powerhouse next door. A lover of technology, Modi even addressed several rallies as a holographic image. Now, that is how you remain in people’s minds!

He made similar promises when he became the chief minister of Gujarat and he delivered.

I started writing this post about 24 hours ago, hoping to gather enough information and during this time, Modi won the general elections and he is now the prime minister of India, leading the world’s largest democracy.

The Indian youth hated politics because corruption prevailed, but after Modi delivered his victory speech, everyone went gaga over him and were actually inspired.

If you could spare a while, here’s his victory speech.

 

We will not let exam results decide our fate

I have never been a fan of how the education system works. Some may disagree, but most colleges don’t function like how Harvard or MIT does.

With that thought in mind I watched this video a couple of months ago and it completely changed the way I thought about everything. It made me see that the society is based of hypocrites and we must learn to disregard them and just do what we do best, no matter what that is.

This video is for everyone. So, spare 5 minutes and give it a watch. I promise you, it’ll be worth your time.

Technology In This Generation

I watched a video on YouTube about technology and social media, two weeks ago. A week later, it became viral.

So, I rewatched the video and started thinking about the message conveyed by it.
After I did, I posted the link on one of my whatsapp groups and that sparked a debate among us.
The entire group was spilt in two –
Those who agreed with the video and those who didn’t.
I was with the people who argued FOR the video’s message because I believed that technology was being overused and social media being used for socializing was becoming lesser.

Here’s the link to the video.

Do me a favor.
Watch it. Come back here. Let’s all have a debate in the comments section.

 

UPDATE – The link which I posted was a mobile link and didn’t seem to open on desktops. if you guys figured that, then cool. Otherwise, I’ve updated the link. Check it out.

A vacation that changed everything ( PART 1 )

It was hardly three days and yet I seem to have enough memories for a lifetime. Three days of enduring pain, nausea, the chilly winds and the hot sun, my group of 18 friends plus me, came back home from places which were a little closer to heaven along with an uncanny feeling of euphoria.

It all started with planning a trip to this place called Kodachadri, which is supposed to be this magnificent place for every nature enthusiast. The trip was planned out to be for about three days and two nights. 7 girls and 12 guys, all from the same university, but half of them had never even spoken to each other before all this “planning”.

So, despite all the awkward and the egoistic “let them talk to us about it first” moments which arose between the guys and the girls, we finally agreed upon the plan. 

1st day – Kodachadri -> trek -> enjoy the sunset -> guest-house -> try to stay awake.

2nd day – Trek 2kms further up the hill -> watch the sun rise -> trek down -> kollur temple -> kundapur beach -> dinner -> home.

Simple, right?          

WRONG!!

That plan which was laid out was probably the 100th plan which was made, after making changes to it, adding new places, etc, etc., some places which were previously agreed upon suddenly seemed like the worst place to go. And so, after researching the places, the plan for the first day was finalized and guess what!! The plan for the 2nd day was actually finalized while we were enjoying the 1st day’s plan.

That was not all. Many people dropped the “I don’t think I can make it. I’m sorry” bomb in the 11th hour. After loads of torment experienced, 19 out of 21 people agreed to go on the trip.

And so, on a beautiful, cold thursday, our journey began after 3 hours of boring lectures in the college.

31ST OCTOBER, 2013,     9:00pm.

We all met at Yashaswini’s place along with a few concerned parents. All the usual “please be carerful” talks went on among the parents and us. Some of us were completely distracted during those talks ( especially me 😛 ) and some did listen. 

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After performing a traditional “have a safe trip” ritual, we all boarded the bus. Shrishti and Suhas took the responsibility of being the Chief Financial Officers throughout the trip. You know, managing money, paying bills for lunches, breakfasts, etc., with the money they’d collected from everyone before boarding the bus. 

And so, our journey began with a scream from everyone.

There’s not much to tell about that night. It was mostly travelling and we played a few games. Finally, after a few hours, everyone dozed off, except for Suhas who kept having regular conversations with the driver because he thought that the driver would fall asleep 😛

1ST NOVEMBER, 2013              

We reached this crappy hotel in the morning. We had been given two rooms. One for the boys and one for the girls. We ALL had to get ready in an hour and get back into the bus to go to this OTHER place for breakfast.( I thought we were in a hotel too ). Anyway, so, surprisingly, we all did get ready in an hour.

So, we reached this other place where we all had our breakfast. This hotel guy who was with us since two hours told us that we were supposed to reach a particular place where our bus would be loaded on to a launch to cross the water body, to get to the other side, where our trek would begin.

After a half hour’s journey, we reached the launch, only to find out that there were a dozen other cars and bikes waiting in line to get on it. The launch was Government operated and apparently, the highest priority was given to the locals. And our gang, with shades and nickers and 3/4ths on, did NOT look like the locals. So, we had to wait. We tried getting this guy to influence the launch operator into letting our bus in the launch, but it just didn’t work.

There was nothing left to do. We just ran towards the huge water body and picked up stones and started showing off our “skipping stones” skills. That was just Sanjay and me at first and then everyone joined. The place was ideal for photographs. Pavan was totally immersed in it. Suhas climbed on top of our bus to get a signal on his phone, just to try his luck by calling that “influence guy”. It still didn’t work.

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Half an hour would pass and the launch would return and we would all get hyper, so did the other people who were waiting to get on it. Before our driver could get the bus near the launch, three other cars got past it and we would lose our turn. This happened four-five times. So, thats about 2.5 hours wasted. We HAD to get on the other side as soon as possible. Otherwise, we would start the trek late and we would definitely miss the sunset. It was about 12, I guess, and it certainly looked like we wouldn’t make it in time for the sunset, because we had to finish our lunch and then trek all the way to the peak of a hill, which would take almost four hours, or probably more.

In the meantime, everyone played around with water, splashing it at everyone. Shrishti ruined my shirt by splashing muddy water at me. And I taught her how to skip stones!!! 😛   Suhas, Vaishnavi, Sanjay and a few others played stick cricket. Not the mobile game. Literally, stick cricket. Aprameya could NOT stop posing for the billionth picture. We all just assumed that it was for his girlfriend to see how cool his trip was, and him ofcourse. After we missed the launch for the third time, I started to get dizzy for it was REALLY sunny and stayed back near the bus. One of my depressing moods was triggered due to a very unfortunate event which is best left un-discussed. So I stayed back, waiting for the launch, looking at the serene waters and the green plains behind it.

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After a hundred photos taken 

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and enjoying the theppa ride ( it’s basically a small, round boat ),

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the launch returned and we. got. on. it. FINALLY. We were all relieved. We screamed and then got on the launch.

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It took us to the other side and there we met our trek guide. We had to travel a little bit via, the bus to reach this place where we would begin our trek.

We HAD to have lunch before we started trekking. So, we stopped at this small hotel in Nittur, where everyone had their lunch and were packed with energy again. After continuing the little travel to the trek’s initial point, we were all told to put all our wallets and cell phones in one bag, which one of us would carry. It was just that the trek would get really messy and all the phones and wallets would get ruined. So we put all our wallets and phones in a water-proof bag, which Suhas carried the rest of the way. He just wouldn’t let anyone else carry it for him  -_-

And so, our trek began. 

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The first three or four kilometers were boring and it was just a muddy path. Suhas and I were cursing the guide for a totally un-adventurous trek. We reached this primitive house, where we all drank fresh water which was available there. And then, after splashing the water again at each other, the guide told us that the “actual” trek would begin FROM that point and when it actually begins, we would be wishing for the boring, old muddy path.

Man-o-man, was he right. 

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We trekked and trekked. Muddy paths no more, but only the rocky, slippery and rough paths. After trekking for about 5 kms, we came across a small waterfall. it was ecstatic and we all just ran towards it. Some slipped and some helped them get on it properly. Pavan was again immersed in taking everyone’s pictures.

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 We had to go further up. Still a lot of ground to cover. From then on, it was only uphill. Literally. 

Then we found out that that waterfall was the base of the actual waterfall we were heading to. It was called Hidlumane falls. We got more excited and didn’t stop. People began to lose their balance, started slipping more, leeches latched on to a few hands and legs. Shrishti was fearlessly climbing, quicker than the guys. The heights started to scare the shit out of me. I held onto Kavya and I told her honestly that in-case I fell, I’d pull her down with me. She’s crazy anyway. The world wouldn’t lose anything 😛

On the way to this primary waterfall, Suhas sprained a leg and he was being stalled. Four other guys had to support him to get him through that uphill. And they did. We reached the waterfall and what a sight it was.

We RAN towards it, jumped into the freezing water and screamed our asses off.

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 It was certainly more than ecstatic. The cold water hitting you on the back, the spray of the water covering your face to the point where you can’t see but just laugh. It was all amazing.

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 Sanjay was crazy all this time. Jumping after his cap to save it.

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 We just couldn’t get enough of the beauty of nature’s right hand. We didn’t want to move from there.

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 But, we had to. We still had a chance to watch the sun set. So, we got going. The path got more rough and more angular, making it harder to climb. 

After a while, we got past the rough paths and came across a valley. We were on it. That was the final stage of the trek. No rough paths, just a ridiculous uphill. NOT easy. Suhas and I were on the lead. We were past everyone. We just had to cover about 2 kms to get to the peak of that hill to watch the sun set.

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 It started to get REALLY hard. I couldn’t move 2 feet further without resting twice. My legs started to give up. I wasn’t thirsty, I just wanted to rest. But I couldn’t. If I made it, this would be an actual achievement. And I’d be really proud that I did it. So, I got going. Suhas was about five-six feet further. We reached the peak, only to discover that the actual peak was about a kilometer further. Still an uphill. I couldn’t go further AT ALL. Everyone else were being stalled for the same reason. But, I kept taking regular one-minute-rest intervals and climbed further.

Suhas finally made it there. He screamed his ass off. I would reach there in about 3 minutes. He didn’t wait. He continued walking along the path. It was normal ground by then.

And then, I reached. After great difficulty, I got up there and glanced at the setting sun. It was B-E-A-UTIFUL. I was alone there. Suhas went up further. There was another point, a higher point to watch the sunset.

I stopped at the first sunset point for a while. Everything that I had done in my entire life, all the significant ones seemed so insignificant. I remembered all the times I was an ass, all the times I was a pushover, all the times i went through, uphills and downhills, EVERYTHING came before me. And all I could do was cry. I burst out crying, looking at the bright, orange sun. I apologized to my mom right there. I screamed, still looking at the sun. After those moments of tears, I smiled. Everything seemed to make sense now. Vishnu got there next. He saw me crying and was surprised.

“Why’re you getting so emotional??”

“I dunno. It doesn’t matter anymore.” I said, smiling at him and pointed at the sun.  

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“Goutaaaaaaam!!! come on up here. This is better.” Suhas yelled from the second sunset point. 

Vinay came next. Followed by Sanjay and madhu. We climbed further to the second point. That was getting harder again. After about ten minutes, we reached the peak. The final peak. And the sun couldn’t have been more beautiful.

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It was breathtaking. In a few minutes, the sun would set. Vinay came running and peed in the grass. We had to warn everyone not to walk over there because Vinay had just peed there. Very few actually made it this far. The rest were still at the first sunset point, with the guide.

We were the lucky ones who saw the sun set.

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 And what happens everyday in our daily lives, suddenly seemed so spectacular. The sun set and a deep sense of accomplishment surged through me. And the ones who made it till that point were all content.

The ones who didn’t make it, took another route and we met them after walking downhill. We drank fresh stream water. It was unbelievably fresh and incredibly pure.

We moved on, walking to get on a jeep and head to our guesthouse which was booked by us and it was a few kilometers away. On the way, Supreeth and I pulled a prank on Suhas and the other guys. We both just lay down among the tall grass. It was dark and they started looking for us, panicking. They found us and we all had a good laugh. Kavya let her hair down and switched on the torch from under her face. NOTHING COULD HAVE BEEN MORE SCARY. I wish I had that picture. But this is the closest one. Kavya is the second one from the left, wearing the blue sweater. Incredibly fair 😛

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Anyway, we got on the jeeps and headed towards the guesthouse. When we did reach it, we were confused and disappointed. It wasn’t a guesthouse. It was more of a house. An old house. An old, dirty, sickening house. We considered other places for accommodation, but we had to pay these “guesthouse” owners who had already prepared food for us anyway. So, we decided to stay there. 

We looked up at the sky and it was star-filled. The sky was actually completely filled with stars. Not something you see everyday in Bangalore. Anyway, a few of us, including me, decided not to eat anything which the guesthouse people had prepared because the place looked so unhygienic. So, Shrishti, Kavya, Suhas and I settled with baked buns and some spicy mixture.

Many of them slept. The guys, especially. A few of us were awake. And my depressed mood was triggered again. Again, it is best left un-discussed 😛  A few others noticed this and wanted to know what was wrong and I simply said “nothing” and tried to sleep, but VARUN was not letting me sleep because of his snoring, which he plainly denied and blamed Aprameya for it 😀

After playing some random game, which also included Kavya putting on her ghost-like avatar again and scaring the shit out of everyone, the ones who managed to stay awake, slept. 

The movie continues

The series of tests just got over and everyone’s finally free!
I was so excited about the movie project that I could not focus on those tests and worked on the movie plot instead.

The co-writers, including me, met up today and discussed about the movie plot and we were impressed by it.
Usually, the creators are critical with what they do and they try to change it to make it perfect, but with this, the plot was already brilliantly written. There were a few loop holes here and there and that was what the meeting was about.

We were on fire while discussing about the plot, that we were able to extend the story with more twists and turns and make it an actual film.
For that to happen, we would have to talk to local producers and pitch our idea; convince them to produce our movie, while I directed it.

But we thought, “once step at a time fella” and stuck to the short film that we planned 😀

An Egg

This is by far the best short story I’ve ever read. Probably because I like these mystery themed stories, but you will stop and wonder too.

So, do read it completely. I promise you, it’s a pretty awesome read. 

This is called An Egg.

You were on your way home when you died.
 
It was a car accident. It wasn’t anything particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off; trust me.
 
That’s when you met me.
 
“What…what happened,” You asked. “Where am I?”
 
“You died,” I replied, matter-of-factly. There was no point in mincing words.
 
“There was a…a truck and it was skidding…”
 
“Yup,” I said.
 
“I…I died?”
 
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I replied.
 
You looked around. There was nothingness, just you and me. “What is this place,” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
 
“More or less,” I stated.
 
“Are you God,” You asked.
 
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
 
“My kids…my wife,” You said.
 
“What about them?”
 
“Will they be alright?”
 
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
 
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man…or possibly a woman. I looked like some vague authority figure, maybe, or more of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
 
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
 
“Oh,” You replied. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
 
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
 
“Ah,” You said. “So the Hindus were right.”
 
“All religions are right in their own way,” I replied. “Walk with me.”
 
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
 
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
 
“So, what’s the point, then,” You asked. “When I get reborn I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all of my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
 
“Not so,” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
 
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.”
 
“You’ve been a human for the last forty-eight years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
 
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
 
“Oh, lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives,” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
 
“Wait, what,” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
 
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
 
“Where are you from,” You said.
 
“Oh, sure,” I explained. “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
 
“Oh,” You said, a little let down. “But wait, if I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
 
“Sure. It happens all the time. With both lives only aware of their own lifespan, you don’t even know it’s happening.”
 
“So what’s the point of it all?”
 
“Seriously,” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
 
“Well, it’s a reasonable question,” You persisted.
 
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
 
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
 
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life, you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
 
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
 
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
 
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on Earth…”
 
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
 
“Wait, I’m everyone?”
 
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
 
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
 
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
 
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
 
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
 
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
 
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
 
“I’m Jesus?”
 
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
 
You fell silent.
 
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said. “You were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
 
You thought for a long time.
 
“Why,” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
 
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
 
“Woah,” You said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
 
“No, not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
 
“So the whole universe,” You said. “It’s just…”
 
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
 
And I sent you on your way.

Music prevails and continues.

Bah! Screw the tests ( I have two more though ). I was just browsing facebook like any jobless teenager and found this video which my friend had shared. I clicked on “play” and there were two people with guitars. The title said “Farfetch’d” and the description of this two-man-band was that they played ambient, postrock music, which is what I was interested in.

So, I decided to sit back and watch them play their music. 

By the end of the track, I was blown away by them that I was so determined to record my band’s music as soon as possible so I could introduce Behind Closed Eyelids to the postrock scene in Bangalore.

This dude called Akash Murthy who played the guitars for Farfetch’d nailed the track on his acoustic guitar. He tapped on the guitar to get the sound of the  percussion, whilst playing the guitar and he used harmonics so perfectly. Those two DEFINED ambient music with that song.

I placed a call to my old friend Bharath and asked him if he’d help me with recording our songs.

Bharath is an experienced musician who plays guitars for Broken Membrane. He happily agreed and now, to me, that’s the milestone to cross. I will post the song here as soon as I record it. The song is going to be called, “And then, there was light.”

Why? Well, you’ll know when you listen to the track 🙂 

Ofcourse, the movie plot is to be perfected, which I’ll be working on simultaneously.