Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas and The New Year

Hmmmm...I love this time of the year. I love Christmas and I love New Years. I think its a brilliant time. Its a time when we kind of forget a lot of our worries and troubles and look forward to having a good time. Its a time for happiness and meeting friends and having fun.
There's not much that I want to say here...no story to narrate...nothing to reveal as such. I just love this time...and wanted to proclaim it. Heh.
I wish that everyone has a great time this year and I hope that you have brilliant year ahead.

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Family

Hmmm with all thats been happening I realize how much family means to a person...how much it means to me.
Now there are two types of family as far as I'm concerned.
One that you're born with...and the second that you choose for yourself.

The one that you're born with you automatically love. There's a bond of love with an attached sense of duty or responsibility that lasts your life. There's no denying that the love you feel for your birth family is real and very profound...but then there's the other family.

The family you choose. Men and women who come into your life...and who become a permanent fixture in it because you want them to be there. You feel that there's an inexplicable bond here. Why do two completely unrelated people begin to care so deeply about each other. And I'm not just talking about the woman you'll marry or the children you'll have. I'm talking about friends, men who become the brothers you wanted to have and women who become sisters (should you be that lucky) or well if not sisters then atleast individuals who become incredibly special.
If you find friends who you choose to call family...you are truly blessed...because believe me, nothing is better than the feeling you get when you can truly be yourself, truly be open, be just who you are...and still be loved by someone else.

I have such people in my life. And I thank whatever we choose to call God, everyday for giving me these people. A lot in my life...well a lot of my life to be precise...would not be the same without these people.
Here's hoping that everyone everywhere also gets the kind of friends I have.
It's nice to have...a family.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cooking!

I love to cook!
Hot damn! I love to cook! :)
Isn't there just something perfectly awesome about cooking a meal? I love cooking pastas and new stuff. My own inventions.
I can cook a complete Indian meal too by the way. Roti, sabji, dal and rice. I can also make really good dosas. (Sometimes with my own innovations. Pasta sauce dosa, oregano dosa, paprika and chaat masala dosa etc)
But what I love to cook most is pastas.

It is totally non gay by the way...so if any guy is reading this and saying that its gay...you're totally wrong and I'll tell you why. Here's a tip from someone who knows what he's talking about.
Apart from the personal pleasure of knowing that you've made something fabulous...it totally makes your woman happy too. So :) cooking is totally good for the manly man.
Trust me...learn something nice for your lady and cook it for her. If you don't get some extra loving, you can come back here and write that I'm an idiot in the comments section below. Heh.

For more on my cooking see: musicmancooks.blogspot.com/

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Moving On...

...is a tough thing to do.
I've always wondered, how people who're in long lasting and intense relationships break up to begin with and then when they do...how exactly do they move on.
I'm trying it right now. It ain't that easy. Believe me on that.
The smallest things remind you of your past, the tiniest events make you want to have that person back in your life...the nicest and the worst dreams wake you up.
Its worse when the dreams are nice. John Mayers song "Dreaming With A Broken Heart" (I've talked about it a while ago) is the exact explanation of what I mean.
When you're dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is indeed the hardest part.

Hmmmm. Life is nice to me though. I love my work. It is really satisfying. I love my friends. They're with me in the best possible way. I have no complaints with life in general.
Yet...something is missing.

Anyway, for now, I'm good with work and friends. Its going to take a LONG time before I think about a serious relationship again...but I know that I'll be able to trust someone again...to love someone again...to give myself to someone again.
It'll take time, sure...but I know it'll happen.

(Its strange how it feels kinda nice when you just write down stuff that you've been saying to yourself over and over again. Its kinda nice seeing the thoughts in black and white, looking back at you I guess.)

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Being Nice

A funny thing happened a few days ago.
I was on my way from Alfa to Akbarallys Andheri (for those not acquainted with Mumbai...lets say I was going from one place to another...the names don't matter).
So I was walking towards this place and I saw this young girl, possibly 17-18 years of age (she may have been a little older) desperately trying to hail an auto-rickshaw. She seemed quite timid and for some reason no autos (even the empty ones were stopping for her). From her face I could see that she really needed to get to someplace. So after I walked a few metres past her I stopped and looked back at her. Seeing that she was still unsuccessful at stopping an auto I thought I'd lend a hand. I waved out and called for an auto from the other side of the road and the guy came over. I know, it sounds funny that a guy could hail an auto while a girl couldn't but I'm not kidding you, the auto came. The girl was still looking in the other direction and she hadn't seen this auto come and stop in front of me.
I then called out to her. I said "Excuse me"...I smiled and we spoke a bit with our eyes. My eyes said "hey...here's an auto for you". Hers were shocked for a minute. If I could read them right this is what they probably said. "What the f**k. Who...what?? Why is this stranger getting me an auto".
I smiled again...and gestured at the empty auto. She walked ahead and smiled at me. I was ready to walk out of there, back to where I was initially going...and just then before she entered the auto, she looked at me, smiled again and mouthed "Thank you."

I had the biggest smile on my face for a long time after that.

Being nice for the sake of being nice. Its awesome.
(For the record...I have no idea who she was, can't remember her face...and had no interest in getting to know her. It was an impulsive desire to do something nice for someone. If you ever have such a desire...act on it. Believe me...nothing feels nicer than just being nice.)

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Two Profound words and Three songs that I'm singing right now!

Shit Happens.

Those are the two most profound words in this world. Heh.
Its true. I am not kidding you.

Well when shit happens the thing you need to do is fugure out a way to make it unhappen so that your life is shitfree again. Keeping with the metaphor, you really don't want to have a shitfilled life do you?

Well, shit happened in my life...and as always the things I've talked about so far...books, friends and music have helped.

I bring this back into picture because, today I was listening to John Mayer as I was walking around in my colony(another one of them shit unhappening things I'm doing these days. I'm a total fitness freak now. Wanna lose all of the extra weight and be in the best shape I can be. Looking good is feeling good and all that thing eh?)
Well I move from the topic again...so lets get back.
I was walking listening to a man, I consider to be possibly the finest musician/singer/lyricist of this present generation. I'm talking of course about John Mayer.
I was listening to his new album, Continuum. And remember I said a while ago, that when you can't make songs of your own, take someone else's and sing them because life does have a soundtrack and sometimes you've just got to sing your own songs.

Well three songs I heard today from his new album were so much about me that I honestly thought that John and I must be kindred souls or brothers sharing a similar pain or something as mushy sounding as that. It doesn't matter what the connection between John and me is...what matters is, he has written what I was wanting to write really really bad for the last two weeks.

To understand what I mean read the lyrics of the three songs I mentioned and to really understand it, get the songs and hear em.
If you've ever go through anything like this, I wish you find your songs too.
These are mine.
They've helped me in ways that I can't even begin to explain. Especially the last song.
I feel pretty good. I'm "in repair", there's no denying that...but I do believe that I will find another person in my life and I will love again. There's way too much love in me to not give it to someone.
God ain't that cruel. So mushy as it may be...and I'm unbearably mushy at times...I'm ready to move on...for sure!

Check out the songs.

Dreaming With A Broken Heart
=====================

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for the moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?
No she's not, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The giving up is the hardest part
She takes you in with your crying eyes
Then all at once you have to say goodbye
Wondering could you stay my love?
Will you wake up by my side?
No she can't, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

Oooooooooohhhhhhhhh

Now do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Would you get them if i did?
No you won't, 'cause you're gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part


In Repair
======

Too many shadows in my room
Too many hours in this midnight
Too many corners in my mind
So much to do to set my heart right
Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, i am in repair

Stood on the corner for a while
To wait for the wind to blow down on me
Hoping it takes with it my old ways
And brings some brand new luck upon me
Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, i am in repair

And now i'm walking in a park
All of the birds they dance below me
Maybe when things turn green again
It will be good to say you know me

Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
Oh i'm never really ready, i'm never really ready
I'm in repair, i'm not together but i'm getting there
I'm in repair, i'm not together but i'm getting there


I'm Gonna Find Another You
===================

It's really over, you made your stand
You got me crying, as well as you planned
But when my loneliness is through, i'm gonna find another you

You take your sweaters
You take your time
You might have your reasons but you will never have my rhymes
I'm gonna sing my way away from blue
I'm gonna find another you

When I was your lover
No one else would do
If i'm forced to find another I hope she looks like you
Yeah and she's nicer too

So go on baby
Make your little get away
My pride will keep me company
And you just gave yours all away
Oh! Now i'm gonna dress myself for two
Once for me and once for someone new
I'm gonna do some things you wouldn't let me do
Oh I'm gonna find another you

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Singing

I knew I had to write about this. I'm writing about things I love and that mean a lot to me..and believe me. Nothing (well almost nothing) has meant more to me than singing.
I love to sing. I love to perform. I love being on a stage and singing for people...and I love singing just for me. To reiterate...I love to sing.

I don't know why I love it so much. I've not trained professionally...but I have spent hours singing with the singers and songs that have always been there for me. Singing, is my way of giving back to music all that it has given me. Also I love it for selfish reasons. It makes me incredibly happy.

I started off on Roger Whittaker. I grew up listening to him and I talked about how much that meant to me a little while ago. I grew up on soft songs...on love songs. I loved singing them. Then came on Dean Martin and Elvis. I learnt how to get my style from them both. I loved Dean's voice and Elvis's style and versatality. I love The Beatles and the songs they gave me. Learnt to play more of their songs on my old guitar than anyone else.
Then came Nat King Cole. He taught me control and how you could really make an impact without too much noise. He taught me what a voice can do...what a voice can be.
I loved Ray Charles...for everything!
Somehow I never got into Sinatra. Maybe thats for a later phase in life.
Then I discovered the standards sung by so many different people. Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly and many more singers who sang em back then and people like Michael Buble and Steve Tyrell who're doing so brilliantly now.
I fell in love with Norah Jones and John Mayer. They showed me that there's still hope for contemporary singers.

Oh and don't get me wrong. In all of this I found me a whole lotta rock too.
I love The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, ACDC, Aerosmith, Guns n Roses, Pearl Jam, Oasis, The Doors, Deep Purple (though I'm just getting into DP) and a lot more bands.
Also grew up on Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and other pop rock artists.
I've never been an angsty guy and the music I've loved has reflected that. I love happy songs...I do like sad songs a lot. They are as important as the happy ones...but I don't like depressing songs. I'm hopelessly optimistic and when I'm down...I don't like sad/depressing stuff.
I like sad songs when I'm happiest. I can relate with them better at that point of time.

And the other music that really really got to me was country music.
I loved Don Williams, George Strait, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Lee Ann Womack and so many more singers.
They taught me about telling stories and showing your feelings through songs. They taught me about the importance of simple melodies...and about simplicity in general.
I love country music...and I know that I always will.

And now I'm discovering the blues...and what a love affair that is turning out to be. Holy momma!
Dem blues, dey rock!
I will get to jazz someday too but that'll take a while I think.

So I'm an singer who likes oldies, pop, rock, a bit of jazz and the blues, country music and soul.
And I'll sing it all. I'm not a genre snob. I'll sing it all and with the same passion.
I have a band and we'll go out and rock a crowd...and I'm working with my pianist and if I can I'll go sing ballads and old standards with him.

I'm a singer. Thats what I will always be. I may not be the best...but I'll keep working at it...for life.
This is why I got into media...into radio and everything after that.

And now...I'm going back to my roots.
Ready or not:)...here I come.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Superman

Hmmm...this is something everyone asks me. No. Actually this is what I have most often been teased about. And I actually don't mind it.
Two things actually I get teased about a lot...a)So how come your underwear isn't on the outside? and b)Where's Tulsi?
(Good God people! Get over that crap!
For those who have no clue about what I'm saying, firstly...congratulations! You're one of the finer people in this world. Why? Well you don't watch hindi soaps and that makes you A-Okay in my book.
There was this crazy hindi soap opera called "Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" which was a rage and the main character was called Mihir and his wife was called Tulsi...and hence the ridiculous question "Where's Tulsi?"
The first few times that happened I was clueless till a family member, unfortunately not one of us made me wiser. I've never really hated anything in my life...hate is a horrible thing to have...but I've come quite close to it with this question.)
But I digress, the topic of this blog wasn't why I hate Mihir Virani and Saas Bhi what not. It was simply Superman.
So let me get to that.

Superman...well liking him has NOTHING to do with his cool powers and his awesome adventures.
I've got two things thanks to Superman comics.
1)I learnt to be a good person. Superman is the personification of goodness.
He taught me to always want to do the right thing. To genuinely care about people and to just be a good guy and a gentleman. I'm still trying to be all that I can be...but I can quite honestly tell you that I like how I've turned out...and Superman has helped a lot in shaping me into the guy that I am.
Also, if you've read Superman comics enough you'll know that if you raise your kids well, be good to them, teach them good stuff...they turn out quite all right. I like that thought a lot...and it makes me feel that, someday when I have kids, I'll pass on to them all that I have learnt in my life...the good and the bad, teach them simple truths and tell them that life really isn't complicated or bad. And I know that even if I can't change the whole world, I can bring in a couple more people into the world who would want to believe in being good and in the goodness of others.
That too, I got from Superman.
So yeah...I really love Superman, the human being, for these reasons.

and 2)Above everything else...Superman comics are the most incredible love story.
The love he shares with his wife...thats what I believe in. I believe in the kind of love that makes you love another person, time and distance not withstanding.
I mean think about it. They both spend so much time away from each other and they're both hot people and men and women must be throwing themselves at Lois and Superman, in that order (or well nowadays in any order) but they stay true to each other.
I believe in a love based on complete faith and trust. A love where you love the person, inside out...for everything that they are.
Lois loves Superman because he is Clark Kent, the normal guy...not Superman the superhero. But she loves and embraces that part of his life too. And Superman loves her because she is Lois the person and not because she's a superhot reporter who's got a lot of good things going on for her.
I believe in a love like that. A love where you love the person and not what they do.
A love where your trust...in the relationship is more than anything else in the world.
I got that from Superman and Lois.

So...for making me want to be a good person...and for making me believe in love (even at my lowest points)...for that I love Superman.

And no matter how much people tease me when I wear Superman stuff (and I have a lot...a tie pin, a belt buckle, a cap, a medallion and some tshirts) I shall continue wearing it and wear it with pride.
Superman is the symbol of hope and goodness. Who knows, when I wear it, and people look at it...maybe the niceness will rub off on them too :)

A final thought, start reading comics...Superman comics. Who knows how he may help you out. Honestly, I can't think of a better role model to have in your life.

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Old times and old movies.

I love old movies. Old english movies to be precise.
I love the idyllic world they portrayed. I loved the clothes and the fact that when they broke into a song and dance it seemed natural and proper. I often think that I should do that too.
I mean why not eh? If I was a super lyricist...there are so many moments in life you want to sing and dance to. I do actually use the words of singers and songwriters before me and it kinda seems appropriate even. What can I say...I'm kinda silly...but think about it...who knows maybe you'll agree with me too. Break into a song if you feel its proper. No harm...and it feels awesome :)
Trust me on that.

I loved it when men were gentlemen and women were ladies. I loved that they'd wear a hat! I'd love to wear a coat and a tie. And a tuxedo when I went to a party! And a bow tie!! Holy cow that was the best.
Like I said, its silly stuff but thats me.

It was nice...the world that they lived in.
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, the swashbuckling Errol Flynn (he was the man!) and Marilyn Monroe (she was the ultimate lady).
I loved em all...and it kinda feels nice that they're still alive in my imagination.

Wish they'd bring back TNT/TCM though. Whaddaya say?

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Friends

Strangest thing isn't it. You sometimes don't even know that you have many. And when you're at your lowest point...they just happen to saunter in and take care of you...even when you thought that they didn't even exist.
Those are the best kind of friends.
Again reminds me a few things a wise man had written:
"Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years."

I feel I'm fortunate to have friends like that. Life is too small to lead alone. Its brilliant if you've got friends to share it with.

Value your friends. This is something I've learnt...and learnt the hard way. Its important that you respect people who care about you without wanting anything for themselves in return. Its seldom that you'll meet such people. When you find them...cherish them and treasure them. Its the best thing you'll ever find.
Friends are like the family you choose, not the one that you're born with. Here's something that same wise man wrote. (Quite an influential chap to me wasn't he?)
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
If you've found such family members, make sure you don't lose them.

Losing friends...very close friends is a tough thing...I've lost one...and this is something I remembered written by the same wise old man.
"Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

About time I introduced my wise friend eh? His name is Richard Bach, and he writes books. So yes...to take a point from my last post. Books always help!


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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Books

There are two non living things I've loved most in my life. Music is obviously the first of them and the other thing was books.
I have a firm belief, that a man...a person pardon me, is shaped by the music he hears and the books he reads in his formative years. People being an influence is all fine...but a real self analysis...real self growth cannot happen without books and music.

At every point in my life, books have helped me learn life. They've taught me to love myself and be happy with who I am, even at a point where I thought that I was the only one like me. The need to conform was great, but a book told me then that if I believed that I was doing the right thing...if I was happy with who I was, then it was okay to be different. And today I am quite proud of who I am. I can't believe how different I would have been if not for that book.

I was always quite bad at making friends. I don't know why. I was always a good student, always good at other stuff too...even popular...but I rarely had real friends. Books were my best friend growing up. They gave me company and a world that was my own. Where I was accepted for what I was without judgement. (Music embraced me equally well by the way.)

I learnt some of the best lessons in my life through books.
I am optimistic...almost hopelessly and perenially optimistic. That believe me, is not a bad thing. Early in my life, a line I had read in a book helped me reinforce this belief.
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."

Brilliant yet so simple right?
Well think about it and you'll see how you can give yourselves real hope even in your worst time.

Books gave me dreams...the ability to think beyond your normal life.
They taught me about love. Real love. Not the stuff you see in movies and read in books. Yes the last line wasn't a mistake. There's fantasy love and then there's the real thing. Real love is deep. Its when all you want to do is give, for the sake of someone's happiness, without want anything in return. Its so strong that just its existense is enough to keep you happy forever...and once you figure out how to bring it in your life, nothing is ever bad after that.

Books gave me that...and a lot more.

This blog seems a lot like a "Thank you" page of sorts doesn't it. I was thinking to myself that its strange and pleasantly refreshing to be able to just write out my thoughts and send them off into the ether. Doesn't matter if anyone is reading this or if its just for me.
The thing is...when this started off, the first thing I felt I need to write about were all the things that have made me...me!

Books and Music are two things for sure.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Love...what it is.

Hmmmm.
I feel fortunate. I've loved before.
I remember these tiny comic strips that used to come out in the papers. The "Love is..." strips.
Well here's one of my observations.
Love is... wanting the person you love, to be happy, even when they don't love you back.
Love is... always wanting the best for the one you love.
Love is... fabulous.

and Love is... something I've known and something I've been in.
Lets correct that. Love is something I know...and that I will always be in.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

A tribute to Roger Whittaker

I was about 10 or 11 I think when my uncle gave me two cassettes of Roger Whittaker. As far as I can remember they were my first two cassettes and now even when I have like a million cds I would trade them all for those two old cassettes.
I'll tell you why.

Well ever since I was a kid, we've travelled a lot. The only constants in my life were my music and books. Till I was about 18-19 those two cassettes were my best friends. I've shared my joys, my sorrows, my heartaches ...well pretty much all my feelings with those songs and they've always seemed to love me back.
I learnt to love music, learnt to sing and to whistle because of the songs on these cassettes. I got the confidence to sing in public after singing songs I'd heard on these tapes.
I got to the point where music and performing became a path I wanted to choose for my life...and I did. Getting into radio is an offshoot off that path. Doing what I'm doing...everything comes from that choice. And I know that I wouldn't ever have made that choice if not for those songs on those two tapes.

Also I thank Mr.Whittaker for his kind and peaceful voice, which was always like that of my best friend to me. I am an optimistic and a happy person today, and I attribute a lot of that to those two tapes (amongst a few other things). I can only imagine, if at a time in my life, when I seemed troubled and life seemed crappy, had I discovered death metal or some other depressing music (not that I'm saying that the music in itself is bad...but it doesn't do much to uplift your spirits...or atleast not mine in any case) I know I would have turned out to be a very very different person.

So yea...I thank Roger Whittaker and Superman (and that's another story altogether, parts of which I've mentioned in my earlier post) for helping make me the kind of person I am.
And specifically Roger Whittaker...for giving me a purpose...for giving me music.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
(I so wish he could read this and know how much he's helped out another person without even knowing him. That folks, is the power of music.)

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Why "MusicMan" ?

A lot of people ask me..."Why 'Musicman'?" Here's the answer.
Since I was a kid I've loved music and books. I'm a big comics fan and I love Superman...and its not because of all his powers and adventures. It's because of the kind of person he is and the way he's inspired me to be a better person. I can't think of anyone better to try to be like. Superman stands for being a good person, doing the right thing always and being a good honest HUMAN being. That is what I love about him. Also the fact that he and his wife share the most incredible love story in the world makes me like him a lot more. What can I say...I'm a romantic that way.
So yeah...Superman and Music...two things I love a lot. Add em together and you get "Musicman".

Also...if I was to be known for something on radio or in life...I'd like to be known as the guy who loved music and played great music.
"Musicman" seems quite apt that way too wouldn't you say.
Plus I like it a lot. Thats a good enough reason what?:)

Oh just one more thing about me. I don't know if you've figured this out already...but I love to sing. Thats actually the main reason I got into the music industry.
Had a band in my engineering days. Finished that...then instead of taking a "steady" job...got into radio...and after quite a while, I've got a band again. I love performing. Gives me the biggest high in my life. (In fact thats the only high I need or get in my life. I'm a non-drinking, non-smoking rocker/singer)

So yeah..."Musicman" is not just a name...its not a catch phrase or a stupid title for myself.

Its what I am.

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