Hi Guys,

I've been writing 69-word, theme-based stories for the digital lifestyle magazine, The Brown Scooter, every month.

Read off and let me know what you think/feel :)


Indian Music Revolution - Website Review (Un-edited)

[Edited Version published in JAM Mag in November]

Amidst churning out ever-degrading commercial trash (Bollywood) day in and day out and fuelling the nasal onslaught of Himesh’s mass-hysterical music, Indian record companies have been consistently sidelining the musical tastes of a select few for over two centuries now – the Indian rock/metal fans. Promoting Indian rock has never EVER been on the agenda of these big shots whose single point focus in making records ONLY for money has reduced a hugely talented and untapped group of musicians (rock bands) into mere mainstream/commercial wannabes. While this marginalizing has been going for quite a long time now, off late there has been mushrooming of a lot of privately-run Indian websites (revamped old ones and couple of new ones) who have taken it upon themselves to educate, create, support and promote good Indian rock/metal music. IMR is one such messiah!

IMR or Indian Music Revolution (http://www.indianmusicrevolution.com/) is one of the many sites dedicated to ensure the constant supply of testosterone-charged music to the thirsty souls of rockers. Managed by a three-piece (rock lingo!) – band promote/co-ordinators Pravin Prajapati (aka Messiah), Mahesh Puttapaka and website owner/webmaster Ajit Bohra (aka Avatar), IMR promises to be a one-stop shop for all rock Indian. Now for the post mortem (insert evil laugh here) –

INDEX PAGE – One look at the front page and you instantly realize the professionalism and intensive thought process that might have gone into building this site. A top-to-bottom scan of this utterly user-friendly site reveals a rolling band name ticker on the left-hand side top, day/date, search box, main menu, scrolling updates on the forum, a link to the official Orkut community, a sweet little box of statistics, the ‘Infocus’ section, a live shout box, an ongoing polls box and album/audio/video update strips (Phew!!). The ‘updates’ strips could have been a bit more organized (no major changes…just a bit).

LOGO – Damn, it soo bru-tiful (*wipes tears off eyes*) I just LOVE IT! Now this is one logo I would DEFINITELY want on my tee.


Register – Well, self-explanatory I guess!! Btw, you HAVE to register to be able to even view their audio/video library (unnecessary restriction, according to me…)

Discussion Forum – Just as self-explanatory as above… The latest post is of October 17th, so the forum seems pretty active. The consistent and enthusiastic participation of Ajit and Pravin on the forums is definitely praiseworthy. Its good to see that the people involved in creating and maintaining the website are actively involved in its day-to-day activities too and are not just sleeping partners (pun not intended!) in the firm.

News articles – News and updates section… has 3 sub-sections:

1. Album updates – updates on new albums…

2. In Focus – Band info section

3. IMR Launch Pad (please don’t ask me whether Channel V came first or IMR!) – They call it the Band Launch section but I found the information to be very similar to ‘In Focus’.

Gig Attack – Calendar of upcoming gigs… You can add your own after registering… Not very comprehensive from what I saw and here is the reason - it didn’t have the listing for a 19th Oct metal gig in Bangalore. How could a site on Indian rock/metal NOT have a gig listing featuring bands like Demonic Resurrection, Kryptos & MyndSnare!!!

Media Library – Though the layout and categorization is very good, this is where IMR fails to impress. (IMR mentioned ‘Image Library’ as one of the menus in their official release sent across to us but I couldn’t find one! Is this like the Book Of Solomon or something!)

IMR Junction – I couldn’t quite figure out the relevance of this section so I’ll quote directly from the IMR release sent to us – “This place is created to keep users updated about official web presence of bands and other sites supporting / promoting Indian bands”. Hmm, from what I can figure, it is a cross between an ‘Updates’ and a ‘Links’ section.

Contact Us – umm, err… Contact Details…

Now that the autopsy is complete, here are a few of my humble observations –

  1. I like the way the way the website has been structured but there is definitely scope for some improvement.
  2. I appreciate the thoughtfulness put into each page in terms of enabling the user to save the pages/band bios/news for future reference – the ‘print to PDF/printer’ or ‘mail to’ options are nice touches.
  3. The ‘In Focus’ section needs to be a different menu altogether because it’s weird that a site on rock/metal scene doesn’t have an independent ‘Bands’ menu.
  4. Lastly, how many of us have actually heard of bands like Ziad, DE INNOVATIVES, Ichor or Paganic Souls? I seriously doubt whether there would be many… Though I appreciate the effort on the part of the IMR junta to promote new and original bands, doing ONLY that is not going to drive traffic to your site or suddenly make people sit up and take notice of fresh talent. At a time when the Indian rock/metal scene has just started opening up to original music from some older bands (DR, Kryptos) and couple of innovative newer ones (Skincold, Narsil, BM), an influx of a whole new set is only going to create confusion. Please don’t get me wrong here! If IMR has to be truly successful, they need to follow the route that was taken by Indian bands during their evolution period. i.e Start with covers, chip in with a few noteworthy originals, probably release a small EP or so and eventually metamorphasize into an all originals band! In the same context, if IMR wants to increase its user base, it needs to carry more audio/video/updates related to famous Indian bands too and then possibly get in some newer ones once in a while and when the user base warms up to them, then go full on to promote them! That would be a win-win situation for all!! Typical bollywood movie-type happy ending…

Till then, we wish IMR all the very best and as they say… Keep It Metal \m/

Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full Review

[Published in JAM in October]

At a time when most of the artists of his time are already with GOD or lazing around palatial bungalows living off their hard-earned pension, multi-instrumentalist Sir Paul McCartney still seems to be in his prime making good music, as ever! There are obvious traces of ‘The Beatles’ in some of the songs but that’s about it and this album isn’t like anything The Beatles or Wings (McCartney’s band with his wife) ever did!

The most notable factor (negative or positive is something I leave for you to decide!) of the whole album is the ultra-simplistic lyrics (sample this: Everybody gonna dance tonight, Everybody gonna feel alright…Everybody gonna jump and shout, Everybody gonna sing it out, Everybody gonna dance around tonight…). Such lyrics are strewn all over the place and it makes this album seem like a ‘birthday party celebrations’ cassette, occasionally. There are influences ranging from The Raconteurs in “Only Mama Knows”; Led Zeppelin and Scissor Sisters in the pop-rock of “Gratitude” and Pink Floyd in oddly psychedelic “The End of the End”. Though most of the instruments have been played by Sir Mccartney himself, this time around he has been ably supported by his tour band: Abe Laboreal, Jr. on drums, Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on bass, and Wix Wickens on keyboards. The songwriting is top-notch, lyrics and music are thematically diverse and vocals range from downright childish to retrospectively mature.

Inspite of all the positives, I really don’t think today’s teeny-boppers would actually be able to appreciate the kind of soft-rock/pop 70’s sound that Sir McCartney has put forth in this album. All in all, this seems to be one of the better albums of Sir Paul’s solo pop career but recommended only if you are a hardcore McCartney/The Beatles fan.

As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us Review

[Published in JAM MAG in October]

When San Diego Music Award's 2006 Artist of the Year and MTV Metal Gods 2006 Awardee As I Lay Dying (AILD) release an album (their 3rd with Metal Blade Records), you can be dead sure the album is going be a classic. Released in August this year, ”An Ocean Between Us (AOBU)” is a bar-raiser for many reasons. This album is brutally heavy, lyrically diverse and musically superior to a lot of recent albums put out by bands within the same sub-genre. It is the kind of album that you would never expect of a metalcore band whose genre is synonymous with typical breakdownladen chugga-chugga sounds.

The album starts off with an instrumental Separation which fades into a monster of a song Nothing Left. It has got to be the best track of the album with killer riffing and thunderous double-bass drumming. The next track “An Ocean Between Us is a reflection of the musical capabilities of the band and their experiments with sounds outside of their genre. Throughout the album, AILD keeps shifting with ease from pure metal songs (Comfort Betrays/Within Destruction) to emotionally-charged (I Never Wanted) and melodious ones (Forsaken/The Sound of Truth). The album ends with “Wrath Upon Ourselves and “This Is Who We Are, two tightly-knit metal tracks. Apart from solid drumming and the twin-guitar attack, the back-up vocals of Josh Gilbert (bassist) and the studio direction of Adam Dutkiewicz (guitarist, Killswitch Engage) are the highlights of this unique album.

This album has got to be one of the top 10 metal albums of 2007. Highly recommended.

PS: This album debuted on #8 on Billboard 200 Album Charts and on #2 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums list for 2007.

ESPN to go OFF-AIR!!!

Well, not actually.... it was a part of an sms i received yesterday after THIS...


Couple of SMSes/mails i received after this classic match....

"ESPN has been asked to go off air for showing a blue film... They apparently showed some men in blue f***ing pakistan, LIVE..."

"Dr. Abdul Kalam's wish fulfilled. India is a superpower in 2020!"

"Misbah thought he is sending the ball to no man's land. He forgot that there is a Malayalee in every corner of the world!"

Twenty-20 - World Cup Final Post match presentation interview
between Shastri and winning captain Dhoni

In the post-match presentation, Ravi Shastri to Dhoni "Congratulations to you and the whole Indian team for winning this world cup. You guys have produced a great nail biting show.. and deserves the cup. We welcome you to share the joy with us."

Dhoni "Thanks Ravi, the match was a pretty close encounter between two great teams and our guys held their nerve to win the game and cup."

Shastri, "Who was the main reason for this thrilling victory?"

Dhoni, "All of us played well but I would say the main reason and man behind this great victory is Ajit Agarkar"

Shocked Shastri..., "Agarkar ? ? .. how come Agarkar... he didn't play in the final"..

Dhoni, "Yeah.. that's the reason we won this low scoring match.. if he could have bowled in the final, Pakistan would have scored the winning runs from his 4 overs...."

Shastri, "ok.. fine, whom would you want to thank for winning this final..."

Dhoni, "The team doctor deserves the credit... he really helped us to prepare for the final..."

Shastri, "Is it? ?.... how did the doctor help to prepare for the final... he is not the coach or physical trainer...Dhoni.. I am getting confused"

Dhoni, "Ravi... nothing to get confused... he has failed Sehwag in the fitness test according to our game plan and we managed to pick a good playing team.. thus we weigh the doctor's contribution as very high... infact its better than our team effort in the field.. our game tactic worked well"

Shastri, "To whom do you want to dedicate this World Cup?"

Dhoni, "The entire team including myself wants to dedicate this cup to Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly..."

Shastri, "I really really appreciate you... its good that you have so much respect for the seniors....and you ...." Dhoni interrupts.... "Ravi.. let me complete... India would have exited in the Group matches if they decided to play in the series... thank god they opted out and we
managed to play cricket and won the cup.."

Shastri, "The match was a thrilling encounter and was concluded by a single mistake of Misbah.. Isn't it? "

Dhoni, "Yes you are right, after lofting the ball Misbah told me that he has send the ball to where there was no one....but he didn't know that there is a malayali in every corner of the world.... This single mistake cost them the game and we won the cup..."

Shastri faints and Dhoni receives the CUP and thats the end of the great Twenty-20 world cup...
PS: None of the above have been written by me, this is just a compilation.... secondly, my honest, heartfelt comment - Pakistan played VERY WELL, but hard luck guys....

Then and Now: A Technological Perspective!

[Published in JAM Magazine, Sept 15th-30th Issue]


Name: Arun Menon (this and future references are entirely fictitious)

Contact: 1234567 (only landline)

E-mail Id: crucifire@msn.com

Address: Dombivli (E)

Cell to cell link: GPRS/MMS


Nick name/Avatar: \m/ Crucifire \m/

Cell: 9819342534 (Hutch)
9867412367 (Airtel)
9225678896 (TATA)

Email ids:


Login IDs:

Orkut – Crucifire
MySpace – Arun
Facebook – Arun R
Hi5 – Arun
Tagged – Arun
Linkedin – Arun R
Blogger - http://crucifirex.blogspot.com
Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/crucifixjk
Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/crucifire

Cell to cell link: Bluetooth/Infrared/EDGE

….and you still feel disconnected!

Random Rants... total raanti isstyle!

Water, water everywhere,
Not a place to pee....

Well, this rant has nothing to do with the above lines...

Can someone please give me ONE good reason - y do people bring their moms /gfs/ wives/ sisters/female relatives into the gents compartment during peak hours?

Is it their way of showing their 'LOVE' that they can't stay away from their partner even for half an hour?

Or is it more a case of "I-am-man-enough-to-take-care-of-my-female co-traveler-even-during-peak hour rush time" syndrome... Me thinks the latter one is more prevalent...

Assuming that the people I am referring to are NOT first-time travelers, any guy with a decent maturity level will tell you that it is not a good idea to take your female relatives with you during peak hours (say around 8-11 in the mornings and 7-10 in the evenings). Not only will these morons bring their wife but also their kiddos, moms and god knows who all! Then comes the
most frustrating part.. they will stand in the middle of the compartment and expect the office-goers not to touch his female companion...I mean..wot the fuck!? I understand that there would be an odd pervert who would want to make good use of the helpless situation but then again, if you are soooo very concerned bout men brushing against ur wife/mom, y the hell do u bring them into the gents compartment at a time when people are standing (sometimes not even that!) in Kamasutra positions!

I can probably understand bringing one child along (advisable in extreme conditions only..) or bringing ur parents along if they are old or handicapped (the handicapped section is also an alternative, atleast during peak hours) but puuhhhhlleeessss NO FEMALES!

I am absolutely fine with people bringing in their female companions during non-peak hours or when the train is fairly empty... but please don't be such an A**hole and carry them along in an overcrowded train and expect people not to brush against them... and more importantly, start a petty fight as soon as some poor guy does so unintentionally!

PS: Am starting an informal research service for all of ya - yes YOU!... am gonna put my research skills into some good use ;) ... if any of the readers of this blog need any kind of research and I mean ANY kinda data/statistics/information on any topic at all...put in a comment and I will try and help u out with the same (depending on time and amount of data required)... Am NOT an expert on anything , just a good researcher - IF the information u require is available on the internet, then I WILL find it for you...and its completely FREE - for now!!! ;) Lets just say its in the Najayaz BETA version for now!

\m/ Comin Back To Life \m/

\m/ I Am Coming Back Soon \m/

New Topics, Free Songs, Tech Shit, Metal Massacre

\m/ Watch this space \m/

Current Mood!

Cut my life into pieces
I've reached my last resort, suffocation, no breathing
Don't give a fuck if I cut my arms bleeding
Do you even care if I die bleeding
Would it be wrong, would it be right
If I took my life tonight, chances are that I might
Mutilation out of sight and I'm contemplating suicide
Cause I'm losing my sight, losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine
Nothing's alright, nothing is fine
I'm running and I'm crying
I never realized I was spread too thin
Till it was too late and I was empty within
Hungry, feeding on chaos and living in sin
Downward spiral, where do I begin
It all started when I lost my mother
No love for myself and no love for another
Searching to find a love upon a higher level
Finding nothing but questions and devils
Cause I'm losing my sight, losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine
Nothing's alright, nothing is fine
I'm running and I'm crying
I can't go on living this way

...Thnx a million, Papa Roach!

My Contribution To U-Know-Wot

(Please DO NOT proceed if you are not comfortable with non-veg jokes/references. Am writing all of this in a half-asleep mode, so please xcuse the crude language. )

1. Kishen Dhody is a small-time tailor residing in Masjid. He also owns a small garment manufacturing unit in Karjat. His garment unit uses imported machinery (like Bapuji's Charkha) to churn out REALLY good quality clothes (last heard it was operating @ 9.5 sigma i.e 0.000000.95 defects out of a million). He is into shirts, trousers and men's innerwear.

2. Bhairavi Taraporewale is a self-employed housewife. She works for SARA-Ne-Nahi-LEE and specialises in women's undergarments (12:35 and all). Kareena kapoor, priyanka chopra, shipa shetty, kim sharma, celina jaitley, madhuri dixit, zeenat aman, tina ambani, pt usha - none of them are her clients. Her um..er... undergarments are a craze among college girls. Her creations are so famous that she herself wears them most of the time.

3. Krshna De - A rubber artist. Creates art with rubber and latex. Used to work for CEAT but lost his job when he ended up shaping some tires with dots and others with flavours. Side business - condom manufacturing under the brand name - IMAIU (I am already inside you!) Also thinking of diversifying into flavoured and dotted erasers by acquiring CAMEL-IN!!

4. Maaki Jai - Animal lover. Loves to ride horses... has around 100 of them, all on lease! Also, a very good trainer of animals in general. Teaches them about dressing right, doing various tricks and even singing. One of his most famous students goes by the name of Himesh... But his first love still remain horses - 2 of them - Sheetal and Rancho.

5. Yedi Tai - A Maharashtrian mill worker. Hobbies include Mehendi tattooing. Works for Mad-O-Wot in Bandra on weekends. She is in a lot of demand esp during weddings - grooms need to be tattooed. She is also a staunch supporter of the SHIV Ha-SENA, so most of her tattooes generally consist of lions and shivaji maharaj (in deep orange coloured paste).

6. Chu Mafatlal - Owns a ISO 2140.98 certified plastic factory in Wadala. Creates items like bags and headgear for men (read hair-bands). Used to work for Du-Point, but got kicked out due to a drinking problem - he never used to drink at company gatherings!

Wot is the connection you ask? All of them got large orders from a place in Mumbai called 'PRATEEKSHA" couple of days back...

(I HAD to write a post on this shit! As a journalism student I am a bit concerned! Wot has our media come to? Is this news? Will ANYONE respect the media anymore? I don't even wanna think about it!)

One night @ Mocha - WTF!!!

Y ON EARTH DO PEOPLE GO TO MOCHA's? Had been to Mocha's yesterday (the one @ Nirmal Lifestyle) and man am I pissed!! Shitty ambience, expensive but non-filling food and absolutely pathetic service... this is my second experience (first being the one @ Hiranandani sometime back) and yesterday's trip just confirmed my thoughts on relentless mushrooming of overpriced 'hangouts' like Mocha...

Ppl who know me know that I am NEITHER sooo poor that I can't afford the food/snacks there NOR am I someone who thinks wearing jeans is ruining Indian culture, so I hope that clears out any doubt on me being a wannabe ghati posting random rants to get my blog numbers ticking... coming back to the point, I can't seem to get over the fact that people go to such 'hangouts' in hordes and sit around on old chairs/gaddis (which look like the ones my mom threw out yesterday), surrounded by curtains (which look like they've been cut out from those marchardani nets that you get on the roadside) and smoke away 300 bucks on 'flavoured steam'!!!

So, is it that place cool u ask? Personally, I don't think so... there are 'cooler' places to hang-out and have fun than a place like Mocha where one look at the ceiling makes me feel like a plumber/electrician with all those pipes/uninsulated wires running around... Y then? India's economy is booming, the purchasing power has gone up and we have a richer middle-class?? My ***! Is the food filling? NO - @ Mocha's, exhorbitant prices is not equal to a full stomach, mind you... so, is it the 'world-class' service? HELL NO - I have been to cheaper places where the customer service is much much better that the one at Mocha's.. me thinks they recruit people only once in the entire lifetime of an outlet and don't give a shit even if the customers outnumber the staff 15:1...

So, y the hell did I goto Mocha's the second time if I wasn't happy the first time around and y am I ranting about it now? Well, for starters THIS IS MY BLOG... secondly, both the times I was almost forced to go as most of the people wanted to smoke 'hukka' and so I had to tag along... 2 reasons I think -
1. A Perceived sense of 'coolness'
2. A place where there is no one to disturb you as you slump back in the chair and endlessly keep staring at the ceiling or chatter away wid frndz without being disturbed..!

But does it have to be so over-priced? can't the place be a bit more polished? better customer service? Am I asking for too much... I dn't think so!

Random Thoughts - 6

Rumour has it that all the hospitals in Mumbai are gonna replace oxygen cylinders with bottles of Manikchand's OXYRICH mineral water...... hmmm, I wonder why?!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

A very Happy Valentine's Day to evr1 whos got a GF/BF,
A big 'Love-day' (pun intended) to the ones who don't!!!

We are the Champions..!

TATA has acquired Corus....YEAH!

This is ONE of the BEST moments in Indian biz history.... I am proud of you, Sir.Ratan Tata!

Heres the leaderboard standing after the deal....


Rank - Company Name - Capacity
1 Arcelor-Mittal (Luxembourg) 109.7 MT
2 Nippon Steel (Japan) 32.0 MT
3 Posco (South Korea) 30.5 MT
4 JFE (Japan) 29.9 MT
5 Tata-Corus (India) 23.8 MT
6 Baosteel (China) 22.7 MT
7 US Steel (USA) 19.3 MT
8 Nucor (USA) 18.4 MT
9 Riva (Italy) 17.5 MT
10 ThyssenKrupp (Germany) 16.5 MT

WE WON..... suckers!!!

As one of my close friend says, "EAT SHIT!"... rather "EAT STEEL!" (demonic laugh..)

Read More:
1. Rediff - Full Coverage
2. Reuters
3. BusinessWeek
4. Business Standard