Nice Weather for Ducks – Live at Lodhi Garden Restaurant

So I recently went to a gig by a friend’s band – Jester – where the opening act was a college band called ‘Nice Weather for Ducks‘, though they really could have fooled me. For a college outfit they have a really tight sound and their vocalist has some pretty decent chops. So I didn’t miss the chance to catch them again at Lodhi Garden Restaurant on Saturday, the 26th of August.

Though their set was short, it was entertaining. They played well and, all-in-all, the crowd, a majority of which was not there to listen to any live music, self-composed or otherwise, gave them a pretty decent ovation. In my opinion, if this was a TC gig, they would have walked off to a pretty decent roar.

The band bills themselves as ‘experimental’ and I suppose to some extent they are – they have elements of fusion, a little punk-ishness and some old school alternative vibes – though they wouldn’t match what most of us, or I at least, would think of when envisioning experimental rock. But this is not a bad thing.

If you haven’t heard them yet I suggest you check them out – Nice Weather for Ducks – I hear their EP is dropping soon!

More of the Delhi Zoo

It’s no surprise that I found myself once again wanting to visit the Delhi Zoo (having not that long ago been to the London Sea Life Aquarium). I simply love watching animals – their beautiful gaits, their fantastic plumage and coats, their seeming don’t-give-a-rat’s-behind attitude towards life – it’s simply a joy for me to watch. Even in a fairly small Zoo like the National Zoological Park I can easily while away several hours just clicking away and talking to myself (which is why its a good thing my friend decided to tag along with me today – or the other tourists would have had another strange creature to gawk at today). I really enjoy just watching the animals roam about their enclosures or even just loll about, basking in the sun.

What I cannot stand is people who do not treat these beautiful creatures with the respect they deserve. I mean, I understand that people pay the gate to come and see animals and take a break from their troubles, but I have no patience for people who treat the place like a circus! It was sad and frustrating to watch how much people disrespected the facilities – littering away; or the animals – with their shrieking and hollering. So what if the Tiger isn’t waking up and entertaining you – that’s not its job! And when the hooting turned into some dumb fool throwing a small stone at the Bengal Tiger (I kid you not it missed the animal by a foot and a half) I simply snapped and gave some people a piece of my mind. I had half a mind to spend the rest of the day following him around and chucking small pebbles at him. It was appalling. And there was no one around to even report him to.

That one negative experience aside, I loved my day out at the Zoo. From the big cats to a couple sparring Macaques and one really loopy acting Elephant, it was entertaining and truly fun. Maybe it’s just because of the kid in me, but I still see such magic and majesty in these animals. Bars or no bars. Those of you out there who haven’t visited because “it’s so lame” or “its  a waste of time” please believe me, you’re wrong. While I admit that some of the enclosures are more scantily inhabited than one would wish and it’s not the wonderful place you may remember as a child, it is still worth a half-day of walking about with a good friend.

I hope these pictures help persuade you to go support your local Zoological Park and maybe reclaim some of your own lost wonder : )

The Delhi Zoo

A few days ago I put up pictures form my visit to the London Zoo, which made me realize that I hadn’t shared my shots from my visit to the Delhi Zoo a couple of years back, so I looked through my archives and picked out some old shots to share.

Sadly I didn’t get nearly as many shots as I wanted because it was so hot that half the animals were inside their draped cages with air coolers on ; p

What struck me comparing the pictures from the two visits was that while the London Zoo is far better maintained, the Delhi Zoo isn’t all that far off. Delhi definitely had a larger collection of exotic animals, especially the big cats!

NaPoWriMo – Day VIII – Dreams of Summer

The days are getting longer
The nights thus shorter so
The seasons at last is changing
It’s that Spring we’ve been waiting fo’
The cold winds still are a blowin’
Even though the sun does show
I’m afraid it is mine to say
That blest Summer is still far away

I long for the warm embrace
Of a sun and sky left far behind
Memories of lazy Sundays
Planted firmly in my mind
And once I am done searching
What is that I will find?
The warmth of home and hearth and heart
From which I have been too long apart

Till then I must focus energies
T’wards most enlightened labour
Make this quill upon my hand
Mightier than any saber
And hope the gods will grant me
This one desired favor
Give laurels to take make the waiting proud
And feel victorious when homeward bound

But even in happiness long-awaited
Cruel fate inserts a sadness
To say farewell to friends dear made
Who were there through all the madness
Time it seems flows too fast
Leaving brief interludes of gladness
Once I’ve finally returned to my home
I fear I’ll miss the cold, the wind, the snow

NaPoWriMo – Day V – It’s Not Just A Game

IPL is back
Time to catch the fever
My team lost their first match
But I’m still a believer

No live matches this year
Since I’m far away from Delhi
But when I watch Mahela and Warner
There’s still butterflies in my belly

I miss my match buddy
Texting during matches
Cheering fours and sixers
And lamenting dropped catches

The thrill when we win
The pain when we lose
Either way be prepared
Make sure there’s lots of booze

Hopes are still high
There’s desire though there’s fear
Will we make it this time?
Will we be champions this year?

There’s a long road ahead
Lets match ’em on every level
I’m pulling for you Delhi
Lets go Daredevils!

I’m ‘Fast’ Losing My Patience

I have bitten my tongue again and again as one man pretty much turns the Indian political scene into a joke (and that’s saying a lot considering how messed up things are in that particular area already). Arvind Kejriwal, the “activist turned politician” (as the media loves to dub him – I beg to differ, in part) has announced that he is going to fast in order to drum up support for his latest “cause”. He is asking people not to pay their water and power bills, saying they are illegal and unnecessary hiked up.

Mr. Kejriwal has promised that his supporters should not fear any legal action in not paying their bills, because all such actions will be withdrawn once his party comes to power in the city. Wow. I really have to say, that I would actually be impressed by this man’s confidence, if I didn’t think he was rather full of hot air. What burns me up even more than the fact that he is basically telling people to break the law, is that he is using the words of Mahatma Gandhi to justify it. He states that Mahatma Gandhi said that people should not obey a Government/law that is against them and be prepared to face the consequences. Right, well, Mr. Kejriwal I would but point out two things. First, Gandhi spoke of rising up against a tyrannical alien government where people had no voice over the law that imposed upon them. I don’t think he had in mind protesting against any, and in your case, every, government action that upsets the public. Secondly, it’s hardly asking people to be steadfast and face the consequences if you’re offering them what amounts to a get out of jail free card, as long as they support you. While some people will hear a proposition like that and dismiss it as ludicrous, many will presume that this is a promise that will be fulfilled. Let us be realistic here, do you actually think that dozens (if not scores or hundreds) of actions will magically disappear the day Mr. Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party takes power (IF they take power)?

Does anyone remember when all this started by the way? When the name Anna Hazaare was on the tip of every tongue in Delhi? Does anyone remember the promise “our movement will NEVER enter politics”? Does anyone know where Mr. Hazaare is today?

I have no doubt that Mr. Kejriwal has many ardent supporters who will defend his actions and take offense to my words here. They have that right. It’s a free country right? And to many extents I am absolutely pro the message Mr. Kejriwal says he stands for, as I was in support of the message of the movement that launched his new career. But I fear my support for them stops there. Using fasts and dharnas to try to hold the government hostage; taking advantage of disillusioned people who feel like no one is looking out for them and making promises like his latest one to dismiss all actions against people who don’t pay their bills; I’m sorry, but it’s just not kosher in my mind. I’m not saying that the Congress or BJP or any other party doesn’t do the same thing. Its politics right? People make promises. Some they live up to, some they don’t. But painting yourself as above all that, while at the same time making even grander promises, that’s just hypocritical. Mr. Kejriwal, you have already entered the political arena, something you said you would never do. If you insist on flinging mud, kindly get off your high horse.

I will also openly admit that I have some personal animosity towards Mr. Kejriwal. But I have done my best not to let that influence anything I have said here. If anyone feels bias has clouded my judgment, I am open to listening to your opinions, as long as they are expressed in a calm manner and make no personal attacks. Please keep in mind, everything I have said here is a judgement of Mr. Kejriwal’s politics, and not his humanity. I’ll leave that to someone more familiarly acquianted with Mr. Kejriwal, something I do not wish to be.

Lane Driving? Insane Driving!

I was driving back from college the other day after giving the fourth in a series of exams that just feel like they’re never going to end (okay I’m exaggerating just a tad, the last one is day after) when I got stuck, for what felt like the hundredth time, behind some idiot who just couldn’t seem to pick a lane. His car was half in the right lane, through which I was attempting to proceed, and partly in the middle lane. Now, even though I have my moments of road (well I wouldn’t go as far as to call it Rage, let’s use the word Ticked-Off-ness) I decided to be patient and give the man a light honk to let him know that I would like to get by. There was, ofcourse, no response. I mean this idiot is merrily moving in between the two lanes, denying me the chance to go by on his right, it being insanely rash and dangerous to try and swerve around his left due to other cars. What the heck goes through there minds, people like these? No indicator, no real indication whatsoever that he was actually switching lanes, just a general air of oh I think I’ll drive as bloody selfishly as possible.

I thought to myself, we really should have driving schools where annoying drivers like these should be forced to go if its evident that such complete morons. But then it occurred to me, that won’t really solve anything will it? The guy knows how to drive, he just doesn’t have the basic road conscience, which is missing in most drivers in Delhi actually. I mean please! Have some respect and consideration for other people on the road. Okay I understand if you don’t want to drive in a hurry or necessarily go fast, but don’t refuse to move and hold up people behind you. I f you’re changing lanes, use the damn turn signal. And for the love of god, pick a lane!

What these people really need isn’t driving instruction, they need to made to go to mandatory driving simulations where someone drives in front of them putting them through all the bullshit they subject other drivers to. Maybe that will teach them a lesson.

– Zafar Khurshid (C)