Fireflies Festival of Sacred Music – 2011: Photoblog

Away from the city that shuts down at 11pm, away from all the hustle and bustle of the chaotic urban life and most importantly away from annoying smoky traffic to the outskirts, keeping awake for 12 hours of soul-stirring music is quite an experience! This was my 1st visit and 9th edition for Fireflies.

The last I was awake all night, till dawn was in my 1st project in my current company.

Well, I am talking about the Fireflies Festival of Sacred Music that is held annually at Fireflies Ashram, off Kanakpura Road, at Dinnepalya. The festival starts at 7 pm and continues unabated until the sun rises. The stage is set under the hood of a huge banyan tree, in an open amphitheatre, adjacent to a lake where thousands of music lovers irrespective of their region or religion, throng in to celebrate the spirit of music and discover the oneness between them and mother earth. The theme for this years’ festival is Indian Food Sovereignty.

12 hours non-stop (7pm – 7am); 12 bands; 12 genres of music & passionately inebriated crowd – Fireflies Music Festival shows you the spirituality in Music.

Each band were unique in their own way. And the sole credit goes to the organisers of the festival who have made this increasingly popular for choosing from a gamut of music genres ranging from Western fusion to Classical fusion. The most popular genres played at the festival are mostly Folk Rock, Soul Fusion, Carnatic, nuances of Sufi, Qawali, Kannada folk, Reggae and Rap, Percussion, Jazz, Blues, Soul stirring Veena, Indian violin and drums all performed by maestros.

This year’s line up where the following:

1.   Thermal and a Quarter
2.   Swarathma
3.   Something Relevant
4.   Moon Arra
5.   Spinifex with Dr Mysore Manjunath
6.   The Bicycle Days
7.   Esperanto
8.   Dollu Kunitha
9.   Parvaaz
10.  Sandesh lays UK
11.  Vedanth and Bindu
12.  Faiyaz Khan
13.  Yodhakaa

 

Although I felt few bands were replaced by few others (who couldn’t possibly make it) but not even a single band was below expectation or unentertaining. Here’s what I could possibly capture from my lens and the bands that I was really fond of. Since I was at the edge of the amphitheater, for by 7:30pm the seats were occupied with people resting over mats, so the subjects are quite distant.

Spinifex with Dr Mysore Manjunath (Contemporary jazz, impro, metal, world)

This band was the best enthralling band that simply got the crowd standing to them and shouting “Once More” twice. So they performed twice after their scheduled end of show.

 

Swarathma (Folk Rock, Fusion)

This was my 2nd best and the crowd’s most awaited band.

 

The Bicycle Days (Alternative rock)

Simply amused with the energy of these guys. And yes the guitar strings.

 

Moon Arra (World Music)

One of crowd’s yesteryear’s favorite.

 

Esperanto (Indie, Carnatic, Western Classical)

Geetha Navale’s Esperanto project was full of panache.


Thermal and a Quarter (Indie Rock)

Entralled the crowd with their “Hey Jude” note.

 

Faiyaz Khan (Sufi, Ghazal)

Had a tinge of humor when uttered his words on ‘Sharab’

 

Dollu Kunitha (Classical Drummers)

These guys simply got into the crowd beating their drums and made everyone dance like they do at Indian Weddings.

 

Yodhakaa (Blend of contemporary and traditional)

The mix of Sanskrit slokas with contemporary music was noticeable.

One more band I actually missed taking a snap that the female community almost got grooving was Something Relevant (Indie/Jazz).

Last but not the least, the amazingly passionate music lovers of which I was a part too. With over 5k people it felt as if the whole city’s night-clubs, discos and pubs are empty. 🙂



Had I not been in Bangalore, and if this wasn’t just what it is every year, I would just think my life has been deprived of music, of the many forms of music  that actually exists in India along with the talent that carry it so well.

Bangalore, for me is the Mecca of Music. I am loving it.

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My blog’s “2010 in review” by WordPress

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2010. That’s about 26 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 85 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 22nd with 856 views. The most popular post that day was An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, indiblogger.in, networkedblogs.com, and greatbong.net.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for how to recall a friend request on facebookhow to publish your profile picture on facebook, and indian cricket team.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg November 2010
38 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

How to publish your profile picture on Facebook wall February 2010
14 comments

3

How to recall a Friend Request on Facebook April 2010
12 comments

4

After watching Inception – Movie Review. July 2010
14 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

10 reasons why I love Football, FIFA vs Cricket June 2010
44 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

After watching Inception – Movie Review.

Click to enlarge

I do not think I am good enough I could write a review on this brainstorming movie – Inception that keeps the waves of your brain surging high every now and then, don’t think I am at par with the professional dedicated movie-buff bloggers. But then, I could not resist dedicating a post to this brilliant piece of mind-work by a sorcerer named Christopher Nolan.

With a 1000+ solid review of this film floating in the world of Internet n Social Networking, it seems like the most common movie-defining words like mind-bending…masterpiece…et al would fall into the category of royal plagiarism. But there’s no go. You have to use them for a mind-bending masterpiece like this one!

Since finding the plot and story wouldn’t be difficult for this most awaited/hyped movie so far this year, I ain’t repeating the same again. I do not prefer narrating the story. Rather, would allow my brain to instruct my fingers to scribble what I felt when I got up from that seat in the theatre.

It so happens whichever movie I watch in solitude, tends to be a masterpiece & one of its own kind. 🙂 Then Love, Sex aur Dhokha (LSD review here), now Inception. I despise watching movies alone in the theatres but I can’t really wait for others to have their schedule coincide with mine.

After Memento, The Prestige and The Dark Knight, this is yet another full-of-depth movie offered by Nolan mid 2010. The fascinating thing as per me is, all the above mentioned movies are ranked well within IMDb top 100 movies of all time. And he definitely joins the league of one of the most charismatic and enigmatic film-makers on ‘film noir’ genre in present times.

After seeing this movie, I could somehow relate it to Fight Club, Avatar and Shutter Island. Fight Club and Shutter Island because of the thought-provocation they provide towards the end and Avatar because of the high dosage of Sci-Fi and wilderness of imaginations.

If James Cameron showed us the beautiful world of Pandora, then Christopher Nolan shows us how to get lost in a world of 3-layered subconsciousness and come back from it, to your conscious self.

But nonetheless, for me personally, this movie outpaces the other three. Such was the pace that it failed to keep me glued to the seat for I was pushed to the edges time & again, with my brain working so fast & harsh that I’d never allowed it to exercise like this during high school days, figuring out substitutions for Integral Calculus problems!!

Talking about the protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way in his journey of stardom right from being a mushy chocolate boy – Jack Dawson in Titanic to the genius Espionage – Dobb in Inception whose job is to ‘extract’ ideas and confidential information from people’s mind when they are in dreams. Dreams are nothing but a state of the subconscious mind. And whatever you see or build in dreams are your projections!

Unfortunately, he hasn’t bagged an Oscar even after two nominations in Best Actor category for Blood Diamond and The Aviator. Hope this year turns out to be a jinx-breaker akin to Martin Scorsese via The Departed– his yet another fave partner/director. If not for Inception, then for Shutter Island or vice-versa! He deserves it. And for now, he has all rights to flatter himself with his acting novelties.

Good to see Michael Caine again who’s undoubtedly Nolan’s chosen star. I liked Caine since childhood when I saw “Blame It on Rio” on Star Movies and had a huge crush on the gorgeously bubbly Michelle Johnson.

One more character – Yusuf is played by Dileep Rao, who I noticed in “Drag Me to Hell” and “Avatar”. So far, Jimi Mistry was the most noticeable Indian/NRI artist. This is really nice to find Indians doing well in the mainstream cinema, at Hollywood.

As a Sci-Fi, the twisted roads, one chunk of earth with buildings turning upside down over another chunk, people walking and vehicles plying on them by defying gravity etc. as perceived by the architect played by Ellen Page as ‘Adriane’ –  this movie has much better graphics than the mundane 2012’s where you could make out the artificiality.

Last but not the least, with so much cerebral food to offer, if you miss a chunk of it, you might end up having cerebral dysfunction trying to understand the complexities. Good to see this movie has lived up to the hype and the expectations.

Inception is cerebral interception. It’s like a maze. To solve it, you got to see it at least twice – a MUST at the theatres!

Movie Review of Love Sex aur Dhokha (LSD)!

Folks,

I ain’t telling you the plot or the story here, rather my admiration for the movie and all about it on a very high-level. So, you could still go ahead and enjoy without a sense of déjà vu!

LSD/LSD-25 is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug per se! And I thought firmly, that the movie is going to be all about drugs and sex! Then I thought may be something like Kalyug. But, No….NO!!! Fortunately it ain’t the run-of-the-mill stuff. It’s simply more to LSD.

Now, I feel I should be given the “Corporate Employee of the Quarter” award for having bunked the first half of my office-day, just to catch First-Day-First-Show of LSD…….Love, Sex aur director ne diya Dhokha….Naay!! NOT AT ALL! It’s Love, Sex aur Wow, Kya movie maine Dekha….! Watching a movie in solitude at the theater was never my cup of tea  + gives a sombre experience for me, (only once before) but thanks to Dibakar, I was glued to my seat.

This is the movie ‘Love, Sex aur Dhokha’, acronymed as LSD by the talented Dibakar Banerjee, with the type that is one of its own kind or say, first of its own kind. At the outset, if you just went to this movie expecting to satiate your sleaze balls or get a whip of titillation on the big screen, or just apprehending a good starcast, then this movie is definitely a big NO for you.

This ain’t a single setting movie but opens up in 3 different subplots, with each story beautifully hyperlinked that eventually intersects with the other which is what got me fascinated with this pattern of story-telling. Not sure if I could call this a “Dark” or “Thriller” or a  …and definitely isn’t a “Drama” but may be a potpourri  of all genres.

The entire ‘runtime’ of the movie happens to be on multiple video footage shot by a handheld camera akin to Paranormal Activity but then this has more to offer than just horror or docu-drama! Moreover, it is so very well justified that I could not find a single chink in the armor wrt the video footage shoot as compared to other masala bollywood movies where you can find something unrealistic or well-nigh unthinkable!!! Pretty well justified by the director and hats off to him.

Btw, I personally admire DB/Ekta Kapoor for being gutsy enough to have got this movie out in an IPL season when most of the viewership would have gone into the regional team leagues than multiplex hits. Sure, this movie will give Madhur Bhandarkar’s movies a run for money.

This movie is definitely hilarious with all the mundane northy slangs, as well as the lingo. One more good aspect is, the movie has a bunch of novices who, either are theater-stars or just freshers, have meted out their characters so well, is certainly praise-worthy.

Overall, I loved the movie and don’t give a damn on the TOI ratings or what-so-ever but I would rate it a ★ ★ ★ ★ .5/ 5.

Being actively involved in the #LSDKnockOffs league since last evening on Twitter attempting knock-offs of the movie title, here are some of the funny knock-offs:

  • Love, Sex &  Jhadoo Poccha – Shiney Ahuja’s expectations from his maid
  • Love, Sex aur Sloka – The rise and fall of Nithyananda
  • Love, No Sex, Viewer ka Dhoka – The Tale of the Indian Censor Board & its puritan nonsense
  • Love, Sex aur Mocha – A lot can happen over coffee
  • Love, Sex aur Mocha – A Caffeine kick
  • 0-6 Aur Dhoka – What we can expect from Sania Mirza
  • Love, Sex aur Poda – The Mallu Playboy Philosophy
  • Gov, Sex & Dhoka – The story of ND Tiwari.
  • Love, Sex aur Oprah – Because women really want to talk.

Last but not the least…if ever my Boss stumbles upon this blog post in the near future, then I would like to say, “Boss, I am crazy with my whims. Please catch LSD asap!!!”.  😀

Snort it OR Watch it….Enjoy LSD!!!  😉