Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tomorrow(Land) is coming - Does it taste as good as it looks?

Yes, my dearies, you heard right. Tomorrowland supposedly plans on making a mark on the Indian Music landscape sometime next year, and although Universal Music India (The company rumoured to be helping Tomorrowland do so) has refrained from making any sort of statements denying, or admitting, the same; their vaguely-worded press release to the media seems just short of confirmation.

Everyone is starry-eyed about Tomorrowland in our own country, and why shouldn't they be?

In the decade since the first one, Tomorrowland has grown into a mammoth, so-to-speak. It boasts a line-up of the biggest Electronic artists in the world, it attracts a global crowd, and the fantastical theme does, superlatively, its job of transporting all attendees to a dimension far removed from reality.

The announcement, since it hit social media a few days ago, has caused a happy buzz among Indian EDM artists and fans, not unlike the one from your first JD and coke.

However, the real question here seems to be whether Tomorrowland can sustain that buzz, or will it just end in headaches and hangovers?

Amidst all this excitement, at what was probably the first festival of its sort that most EDM-philes discovered, read, heard about, are some questions that nobody seems to have raised so far.

Our country has had a long history with big international names swooping in, and bulldozing the locals out of the way of their super-sized commercial success, be it The British with their eyes on everything, or Lays', who promptly killed local vendors like Uncle Chips and Crax, for the first many years of their reign.

Let's take a look at the current Indian music scene. The last few years have seen a plethora of music festivals pop up left, right and centre. Percept's Sunburn – The pioneer in the Indian EDM Festival scene, Storm Festival in Coorg, The Escape Festival of Art and Music in UP, Ziro Music Festival, NH7 Weekender, Ragasthan, Jodhpur RIFF, to name a few of the biggest.

A large number of these festivals were started, and continue, to promote local musicians, whether folk, Indie or electronic. Every single one of these festivals was built from scratch, moving on to become 'must-attends' for all so inclined.
As anyone who has attended one or more of these indigenous music festivals can tell you, each of them, offers a unique experience.
While Sunburn caters purely to the EDM fans, NH7 started primarily as a Rock festival and later diversified to Indie and Electronic artists.
Jodhpur RIFF began as an effort to promote local folk musicians, providing them with the perfect platform for performance, creation and collaboration.
Ragasthan is a destination festival, not unlike The Burning Man, held smack in the middle of the sand dunes of Jaisalmer, with naught but music and art encompassing you for those few days.

A big part of the charm of each of these festivals, lies in their exclusivity, and the separate elements they bring to the table which come together to paint a beautifully rich and diverse picture of the Indian music scene.

These festivals have, over the last few years, metamorphosed the Indian Independent music scene from a gentle breeze to the storm that is now sweeping the country, taking into its fold an entire generation.

This is where we ask what Tomorrowland (and Universal Music, by bringing it here) eventually aim to accomplish with their advent into the scene. Branding, of course, is one of the biggest agendas.

They will, for the festival, bring in the same artists that any of our festivals would; Artists who will probably play the same songs we've all been listening to for the last 5 years, if not more.

We already do it when we dance all night to Hardwell's mashup of REM's Losing my Religion, or the Trap (or Glitch Hop, or House, or Big Room) mix for Satisfaction. We've been doing it before Tomorrowland, and we will be doing it during, and long after.

The biggest complication Indian EDM Artists have been facing at local festivals over the years, has been the fact that our own event organisers are reluctant to trust an Indian as the headlining act, giving preference to an international, DJ MAG-rated, foreign DJ.

Yes, foreign is important here, because we, as a country, when given the choice between indigenous and foreign products, tend to gravitate to the foreign being better. It has been this way for decades, and although things are changing, the issue is far from resolution.

Taking this fact into consideration, one wonders how an International festival intends to treat the local talent.

Will the festival embrace the local scene and work with artists to give everyone the opportunities and exposure they deserve;
Or, like most other international conglomerates before them, come, conquer and leave with all the spoils, in the process marginalizing indigenous artists even more?

Will Tomorrowland India be the musical revolution our generation is looking for, or turn green with hostility(and greed), and Hulk-smash its way to the top, flattening everything to get there?

Hey, it's one less excuse to go to Europe, and who wants that?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bright Night

Happy faces speak in masked words 
Screams of agonizing laughter 
Dark eyes dripping with the misty past 
Every clink an echo of fire and smoke 
Every glint a festival of mourning 
Disguised slaves perform their motions to the music of the machine 
Scratching backs till there's nothing but bone 

We own nothing. 
It owns us. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Toast...

Here's a toast...

To the good times
and the bad,
To the places we went,
And the places we didn't
To the drinks we spilled,
made, and stole
To the people we lost ( Literally, and figuratively)
To games we played,
and Won.
To the ghosts we didn't see
To the pictures we clicked,
To the voice-notes we hid,
To the endless reasons we never needed to laugh
To the sneaking...
In, out and around
To the schemes that worked
To the plans that failed
To the unplanned epicness
To the spots we discovered
To the spots we forgot
To the meaningless conversations that meant the most

To the "Night-Hunters"

To my 2 favourite ladies...
Namrata Kadam and Ridhi-haha Sharma...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


And a world existed beneath that placid lake, a world nobody knew of.
Dark, as the very depths of hell.
Violence, that betrayed violence itself.
It frightened her, to venture there, close as it was to her.
Night after night she sat, desperate for a cure.
But there came none, willing to enter.
None - willing to brave the sorrow.
None - who even knew.

For there was none
Who took the trouble;

The trouble to know her at all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A (fond?) farewell...

So I sit here in my room (Funny how all my entries start that way, eh?), with only my laptop for company, and a constant chain of ponderings running through my idle mind. The surprise is that, despite the optimism that comes to me naturally, I can think of nothing, but everything I don’t have.

I’ve spent majority of the last year, getting used to my newfound freedom, and in spite of my fierce independence, I almost resent it. My first year at university is coming to an end, and I think back over the last 9 months, weighing my gains and my losses.

My losses, although minimal to the strange eye, have been magnanimous. I have no dearth of material pleasures, never have. Yet life has never seemed quite as empty as it has in this past year.

I lost friends – not literally – rather, the delusions I’d so carefully built up around the concept, and hence, gained reality, perhaps?

I gained a sense of self worth, as strong as it has ever been – yet lost my confidence in my own choices, due to a lack of nothing more than respectable validation.

I had time on my hands, as much as anyone would ever wish for – and I used most of it constructively, in a constant endeavour to improve upon who I am. Perfection, I want not, for such a thing does not exist. I only wish to be the best I can be.

In the process, I lost all sense of belonging, anywhere.

I gained the ability to survive on my own – and I lost the capability to depend, on anything, or anyone. Even the night, my sole stable companion, grows shorter day by day.

I gained the ability to think for myself – while simultaneously losing the chance to share those revelations.

I read, watched and heard things that brought me inexpressible joy – yet in the riddance of my delusions, lost the pleasure of being able to share those with someone who would appreciate them.

I gained the opportunity to live life to its fullest extent – and I lost it, for I have yet to learn how to do so alone.

Once stripped of my childish fantasies (as some would call them), I gained some perspective – and lost hope.


I sat here, imprisoned in these 4 walls, living vicariously through the grandeur of great lives – lives well spent, lives lived. And I tried, oh I tried, to find a way to walk in those huge footsteps.

I might have succeeded, I might not have. I know not, and perhaps it is for the better.

I achieved some things – they might not be great – but the momentary joy they brought me was invaluable.

I also went down paths I’m not proud of – paths that would break the hearts of those few who still care – and for that I apologise. I only hope to be given a second chance, and I promise I shall try and do better.

I watched some beautiful movies – and I revelled in the endings – happy and tragic, likewise – with a dream of attaining either.

I gained the ability to laugh, to cry, to sing, like no one is watching – for no one was – I gained the courage to be myself again.

Yet there followed the insecurity of what someone would say if they were watching.

I gained individuality – and pride at being my own person – at the cost of being incomprehensible to most around me.

I won some, and I lost some. And I learned, for myself, the essence behind these wise words – “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

A wise man (The wisest I know) has repeatedly told me – It’s lonely at the top.

And I know, all too well, what he meant.

For the fleeting moments of joy I had, I am thankful – to myself – for I can safely say they were my own doing.

For my innumerable moments of weakness and despondency – I apologise – to the person I am, to the person I aspire to be, and to my family.

To describe this last year, I could use any number of adjectives, both negative and positive, and they would all be true.

I end this piece with the very little shred of hope I have left – hope that the next year shall see a trifle more joy, a trifle less despondency.

Hope that I will be able to seek solace in the company of a human being, rather than facebook.

Hope that I won’t lose the ability to hope.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Expressing to morons is like emotional liposuction - The 'Easy' way out.
                                                                                                    - Varnika Kundu

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mon ami.....

Three past the bewitching hour,

And the time is come, for all,

That is mine.


The tender zephyr,

That dandles my hair.


The gentle cream of that distant orb –

That oldest of my loves, whose gaze is a ceaseless armour,

Upon my timid soul.


The tiny beads of white flames,

That shower upon me the hushed luminosity of their adoration –

An urgent beckoning.


That ebon veil, with folds of smoky grey -

Ushers in an eternity’s worth of camaraderie.


I step outside my house,

And into my home.


The quietude – a reprise of the womb whence I sprung -  

A sober whisper of reassurance.


Three past the bewitching hour,


Mon ami est là.










Monday, April 27, 2009

The House with Nobody in it - Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it. 

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two. 

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside. 

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free. 

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known. 

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet. 

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

Ode on Solitude

Oh the sweet irony that is life..........

How happy he, who free from care 
The rage of courts, and noise of towns; 
Contented breathes his native air, 
In his own grounds. 

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, 
Whose flocks supply him with attire, 
Whose trees in summer yield him shade, 
In winter fire. 

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find 
Hours, days, and years slide swift away, 
In health of body, peace of mind, 
Quiet by day, 

Sound sleep by night; study and ease 
Together mix'd; sweet recreation, 
And innocence, which most does please, 
With meditation. 

Thus let me live, unheard, unknown; 
Thus unlamented let me die; 
Steal from the world, and not a stone 
Tell where I lie.

Alexander Pope

Monday, April 13, 2009


“There's no reality except the one contained within us. That's why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.”
- Herman Hesse