Bulla kee jaana main kaun...

Last night, while attending what promised to be a tedious social gathering, I had one of the best times in recent memory. Performing yesterday was Qadir Niazi along with his band. For those who haven't heard this sufi marvel, I urge you to do so the first chance you get. They perform at the Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi when they're not touring the globe. The songs made more sense than I could imagine, and the sheer raw energy the band had just transformed the mood at Siri Fort Audi. A friend once told me if the frame of mind is conducive, and the songs are right, you're able to connect to them, feel them inside you.
True words.
The second performance of the night was what I now consider one of the best kept secrets of the Indian Fusion music scene since... well since a long time. Rabi Singh, a self professed 'Sardaar with a guitar', sang Gurmukhi fables and sufi folk songs from Punjab, ones we've heard since kids, with such rare earnest and musical honesty, while at the same time creating his own sounds, that the whole auditorium was floored (no pun intended). This is what Punjabi music should have been... move over Jazzy B. He said something about an album in March, and I can hardly wait. The most profound experience of the night was listening to
him play 'Bulla kee jaana main kaun' in his own tune, a blend of new age rock and country.The song was sung by Bulley Shah when he had his moment of realization, his epiphany. It literally means,
Bulla, what do I know who I am?
I'm not a Hindu,
I'm nut a Turkish/dweller of Peshawar,
I'm not a Muslim.
I haven't killed my brother,
I didn't drink the blood of an infant,
I never beheaded an animal.
I never saw a God who told me
To do all these things in his name.
Bulla, what do I know who I am?

There's more too, but I'll let you buy the guy's music (or download mp3s :P) for the rest.

posted by sam | 1/29/2004 09:22:00 PM


Its been a long time since I came to these here waters, and a lot has been changing in life, apparently. I have no idea how to sum it up except use other people's words:

Society has traditionally always tried to find scapegoats for its problems. Well here I am.
--Marylin Manson

Now that the world isnt ending, its love that I'm sending to you.
It isnt the love of a hero, and thats why I fear it wont do.

And they say that a hero can save us.
I'm not gonna stand here and wait.
--Chad Kroeger, Hero

Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, I say drink the beer and be done with it.
--Samrat Sharma

A true friend does not bail you out, he's sitting right there beside you saying, "Damn, we messed up."
--No Idea

...I wonder if they even know that far, far from Vice City, past even the Vice suburbs, the same machine can allow a father and son - separated by three hundred miles and thirty years - the chance to play a round of golf together, for no good reason other than its being Tuesday.
--Jerry Holkins

I love deadlines. I especially love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
--Douglas Adams

God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny.
-- Garrison Keillor

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer.
-- Douglas Adams

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein

They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.
-- Ernest Hemingway

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
-- Somerset Maugham

Be back soon.

posted by sam | 1/20/2004 12:54:00 AM


I was bored...

...and wrote this:

What purpose does a deteriorating building, nay, an unhappy meeting of wood, stone, cement and mortar; serve being on the dockside of a busy seafaring town? One purpose at least was apparent from the uproarious sounds coming from within. The more investigative might notice the stench of ale, the fighting noises, and the sailors entering quickly, and departing even more so, seeing as they were mostly thrown out, and they might conclude that it was a bar of much ill-repute and favored by sailors who laid anchor here. The observant, however might reach the same conclusion by looking at a battered, worn-down sign on the place that said, "Happy Sailor Bar and Inn".

In its present delapidated state it actually said "Hap y S lor Bar n In ", but that is neither here nor there. It existed in a symbiotic relationship with the whore house next door, whose sign, unfortunately, had long since been used as firewood. The resident occupants of said neighboring building made sure that the rooms above the Inn saw more activity than is usual for a place meant to rest the sea-wearied bones of sailors.

The bar itself was a purulent place full of raucous sea hardened rapscallions, who by the sound and looks of it, had no room for remorse or decency. It wasn't a clean place either; the never cleaned floor and tables were home to life forms grown exclusively on old ale, and food gone bad. It was the kind of place no decent person in his right state of mind would even contemplate to enter. But it served the best damn ale in the entire quad-island region, and the whores were by far the least swindling. These facts, of course invited all sorts of bandits, pirates, and your general variety of ne'er-do-gooders.

A lone venturer entered through the smelly doorway, straight into the putrid stench that seemed strangely at home in this place. He sidestepped over people lying on the floor. Some inebriated, some wounded badly, most were both. Empty bottles, clearly thrown as a strong point in an argument, whizzed by as he ducked them. Slurs and insults involving his ancestors and livestock followed suit as he ignored them too. Strange and greedy looks followed the small parcel he hung with his sword on his waist, as he made his way to the bar.

The bartender, who was also the innkeeper, approached. He was balding man of short stature, his small deep-set eyes weary from all the years of tending to misfits. You could tell the maleficence of the place somehow had an adverse affect on him, despite his round, fat torso. He gave a humorless, unwelcome smile, exposing the shiny golden color of his teeth, and said, "What’s it gonna be?”

The man stared directly through the thick air into the barkeep's eyes and slowly said, "Surprise me". The bartender gave a smirk that told the man he knew this was his first time here. He moved briskly behind the counter, and started commixing a beverage. He returned in less than two minutes and set the dirtiest mug ever seen all of quad -island region, filled with a frothing, bubbling orange liquid, in front of him.

The man muttered a tiny "Thanks", and set about drinking his drink quickly. No sooner had the liquid touched his tongue and the roof of his mouth, all the nerves, all the senses in his body started throbbing and screaming to his brain that this was not fit for human consumption. His tongue longed for the sweet taste of rat-poison as the vile liquid violated the synapses in mouth and...


The man spewed whatever it was he had drunk all over the bar. He turned to the bartender and screamed, "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?”

A disconcerting quiet descended over the bar as the bartender looked up. His voice or face showed no sign of humor as he replied, "A Surprise".

I intend to do something more with this, though.

posted by sam | 1/04/2004 11:31:00 PM


Geek Zen

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a single answer to all of Life's little questions.

More RAM.

posted by sam | 1/01/2004 10:04:00 PM

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