Saturday, 25 October 2008

A distant feel of Europe in Kolkata

While travelling in Europe I got reminded of Kolkata and Mumbai by just looking at the buildings. I kept telling Joy, only if keep these two cities were kept clean and our country had lesser population, these two cities would have looked as good as any European city.

Strange as it may seem, yet a reality, that we go to Europe to see a lot of what we already have in our country, just that ours is a little dirty and rather neglected! The British built these buildings for us, we failed to keep them alive!

I lived in Kolkata for a better part of my life, and I feel ashamed to realise that even I did not pay much heed to these brilliant buildings and monuments in my own city. When I went to Europe, I made sure to click photographs of everything I saw, but back in Kolkata I never ever thought of clicking a single photograph!

The pictures that follow are not taken by me, sadly! Thanks to many photographers and Google, I have gathered a few pictures and have posted them. I hope I'm not stepping into a copyright issue! At this moment, I make a promise to myself, that I'll post my own photographs on this page soon... 

Top of New Market, earlier known as Hogg Market... I didn't know it looked so beautiful...

Victoria Memorial... truly European, isn't it!

View of the Raj Bhavan.

GPO, Kolkata!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Concert Trips

In the last 7 years Joy and I have hardly travelled out of Hyderabad, besides this year of course; we made up for quite a bit! But the times when we travelled together for sure, were to watch concerts in Bangalore.

Right from taking the bus, to travelling second class on trains, to flying, we've done it all! Never planned ahead of time, but somehow managed not to miss any concert that we wanted to watch! And, friends have also been great. Not only did they let us stay with them, they also accompanied us to the concerts!

Our concert trips turn into quick vacations, though the place of visit is the same every time. What we do different is visit different pubs and restaurants each time. But, there's one thing I never miss in every trip is walking down Brigade Road and Residency Road. It may seem strange to many; however, I just love walking down these roads and shop for things I don't quite need!

One such trip was to hear (and see) Scorpions play live in Bangalore. It was at the usual destination, Palace Grounds. We reached a few hours before the show was to start, stood in the huge queue, with the tiny hope to stand at a place from where we'd atleast be able to see the big screen if not the men at play! To my huge surprise, and all of us, we found ourselves on the first line! Unbelievable! Needless to say we had a ball. The songs we sang while growing up, sometimes at local gigs or a house party or just along with cassettes and CDs, we were actually humming along live with the original band!


We went to Mojo's, a favourite food and beer drinking joint and headed for Ruby Tuesday for dinner the next evening and feasted on some really good food. While in Bangalore, especially during Christmas, how can you not once drop in at Opus?

To know about Opus visit the following link.

Our 1st concert trip together!


The times when I travelled alone (i.e, minus Joy)

To catch Sting in action at Palace Grounds in Bangalore on February 4, 2005. He was touring to promote his Sacred Love album.

Yet again to see God descend on BKC ground in Mumbai! I'm talking about Mark Knopfler. When I saw the man on stage I felt my life was worth living! Money For Nothing, Walk Of Life, Brothers In Arms... my teenage came alive!

It was May 2007, I was in Mumbai for some work. A couple of friends called to say that Aerosmith is coming to Bangalore to perform. I have never been their huge fan, but enjoyed half a dozen of their songs right from school days. Therefore, I had enough reasons to be at the show! Joy didn't want to go as he felt watching Aerosmith is like watching Vengaboys! (ugh!) So, I had no choice but go alone to the concert. The good thing in this trip was that I could catch up with a lot of friends!

(pic. google)

Catch Dream Theater perform live in Singapore!

The trip to Singapore happened only because Dream Theater was coming to perform there, the closest destination from India. For Joy, it was his dream to catch his favourite band play live, for me the travel came first and then the concert. But most importantly, it was our first international travel together!

After a lot of deliberation we worked out our travel itinerary which turned out to be a little more expensive than what we expected. Well, there was nothing in this world that could've stopped Joy from going, and definitely not the expense, so I decided to go along with the plan.

The concert was held in Fort Canning Park. I have been to quite a few open ground concerts, but this place was remarkably different. No checking/frisking at the gate, no pushing, no moshing, the fans gathered there only to experience pure music.

What was interesting to note was that I met 3 acquaintances from Hyderabad at the venue besides the 3 friends who were with us! It rained that evening, not once but twice; quite unusual in Singapore to rain at that hour. We were all drenched, but noone moved. I stood there watching these boys' undaunted spirits to enjoy every bit of the show, and listening to the sounds of music.

Sometimes people should not take rules too seriously. I figured that when I saw a few hundred people with their cameras at the venue! I don't have any photograph of the concert.