Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fourplay

As I watch in awe the rerun of the Sri Lanka-South Africa match, it becomes apparent that South Africa will always struggle to win the world cup. Perhaps every nation has a malady of choice that affects its teams. Pakistan has its internal troubles, India its star based system, South Africa it’s choking and Australia the winning habit. Malinga's four wickets in four balls only match the shock that his hair creates. Sri Lanka may have lost the match, but look good to go to the semis in my books. With Bangladesh and Ireland in the fray, the super 8’s have become the super 6’s. With England in the form it is, the question is: which other team will join them on the flight back home? The performance of West Indies in tomorrow’s match against New Zealand should give some inkling.

I completed reading Vikram Seth’s ‘An Equal Music’ and followed it up with Salman Rushdie’s ‘The ground beneath her feet’. I wanted to read them back to back because they were similarly themed, on music. Of course, they were set in completely different milieus, and Rushdie’s effort encompasses more than just the story of music. I’d recommend both books to be read. The painting on the cover of Seth’s book is Orpheus leading Eurydice out of the Underworld by Il Padovino. It is significant in that the Greek mythological story is the basis of the characters and their actions in both the books. Anocturne has a review posted here. Onto Obama’s ‘Audacity of Hope’ right now.

I finished watching Babel a little while back. I don’t think I was as impressed as I expected to be. Perhaps it is repetitive of this genre of movies, starting with Crash: multiple stories, multiple settings, all interwoven in some way. The settings invariably revolve around trumping up third world misery and celebrating their goodness. I liked the music and some of the shot compositions in the movie, but not much else. I started this little list on the left of the page churning out the movies I have recently watched. Does anyone have a better idea about doing that? I am currently modifying the template to list them, which is irritating. I’d like a more expansive space where I can put recommendations and short comments on the movies themselves.

The Indian store that I frequent constantly has some songs playing on the TV, mostly new work. I heard a song for the first time that stuck in my mind because of its tune and the use of the word ‘sutta’, which is the colloquial term for a smoke/cigarette. I came back and searched for the song and stumbled upon a socio-cultural phenomenon of sorts. Here goes the story. A Pakistani band (seems like one guy) called Zeest released a song called BC Sutta. I won’t expand BC for obvious reasons, the same reasons for which the song was deemed un-airable. It soon became an ‘underground’ hit, crossed the border by way of the internet and is apparently a cult classic in hostels and colleges across India. The song claims to use sutta as a metaphor for all dreams that have to be abandoned in life. The song I had heard in the store was a rip-off with a video starring Meghana Naidu and claimed to be anti-smoking in its message. Here’s the original sutta song and the copied remix that I heard . The furor is over the use of words that are commonly heard but never published. Judge for yourself.

21 comments:

aparna said...

I heard the Sutta song a while back thanks to friends, and was shocked and amused at the same time :)

Yzerfontein said...

As a South African, I was left in shock by the way South Africa won - from cruising to an emphatic win they only just just scraped through with a 4 which was a catch to second slip.

shreya said...

"BC sutta, sutta na mila
BC sutta, sutta na mila

Shaadi hui...something something something..."

yup, i love it. you should listen to the original live acoustic version...its like you're back at a chai ka kutta in bombay, when the coolest guys were those who could play the guitar... :)

Kausum said...

The other song GMD from zeest is also too good. I thought they were a group from XLRI. I heard the live acoustic version from one of XLRI cultural events.

Pallavi said...

oh so what is BC? :)

Parth said...

@Aparna: Same here :-)

@yzerfontein: I can imagine how you feel. How do you rate your team's chances? I am fairly surprised at Pollock's sudden drop in form. SA always looks like it has potential, but doesn't convince like Australia does.

@Shreya: Do you know if the original live acoustic version is posted online?

@Kausum: I thin you are confusing groups.

@Pallavi: British Columbia? :-)

frissko said...

Loved BC sutta (i have a weakness for badmouthing)!..And the tune is very catchy, it keeps playing in your head..

Chk out the link 'Parallell worlds' from my blog..it is much less painful to maintain such listings in a separate space...

Parth said...

@Frissko: I'll positively check out that blog. I like how live spaces has an option for listing your books etc. to share with others.

shreya said...

oh, btw, sutta doesn't mean cigarettes...more along the lines of a joint...

RTD2 said...

Sorry - I have no comments about the cricket; I am exactly that which you accused me of: partial to India, hence given up.
Also very partial to Seth compared to Rushdie; even though I think both are geniuses in their own right, Seth is a more accessible one.
I wasn't as impressed with Babel either. Crash to me will always be one of the best films I've seen.
Sutta was AWESOME! Thanks for the introduction.

Parth said...

@Shreya: Hmm, pretty sure its for a smoke too. Let's "jointly" agree it stands for both :-)

@RTD2: Boy, you sound majorly offended by my 'accusations' :-) What do you mean when you say Seth is more accessible? Glad you liked the Sutta song.

Vi said...

I am jealous. I never have time to read anything for pleasure because I am constantly reading for history. I just finished (with plenty of skimming) a book on the Cold War. Currently reading Edward Luce's "In Spite of the Gods" (I recommend it) and Friedman's "World is Flat." It will be followed up with a book about China, one about modern middle east, and eventually one by Barrack Obama.

I don't even know what reading-for-pleasure FEELS like anymore.

RTD2 said...

To me, Vikram Seth is a pleasure to read; Rushdie is an effort. Of the very books you referred to, for instance, I identified more easily with Seth's than Rushdie's though the latter is about the kind of music that I identify more easily with (in fact, to me the coolest parts of the book were how he indirectly made references to Elvis, some great songs, and the U2 connection I told you about...but I found the writing itself a little too descriptive, almost pretentious).
Sorry for long explanation...u see, I'm no poet by your definition :)

Mohit said...

Thought that Babel was patchily strung together.

My favorite for the discrete storylines converging award(apart from crash) would be Guy Ritchie's Lock,stock and two smoking barrels.Loved that movie :)

Currently reading Transmission by Hari Kunzru.Pretty good so far (had done 208 pages by 2am yesterday)

'Sutta' has been around for quite a while now.Was introduced to the song on a friend's Ipod who in turn had flicked it from a college going cousin.Check out GMD from this XLRI band called Bodhi Tree.Hilarious and has pretty neat guitaring.

These songs have become pretty popular just through word of mouth as getting airplay is pretty much impossible ;)

Viral marketing at its best?

Parth said...

@Vi: Do you imagine your profession will involve reading for work in the future? Mine doesn't and I think that's why reading stays a hobby. Maybe you can write code in your spare time for pleasure :-) Friedman's effort is nice, expect that I 'get' his point in the first few chapters and it tends to get a bit repititive after that.

@RTD2: I liked Rushdie's connection with Bombay in the 50's and thereafter, not as much the music. It is true that Seth's style is more simplistic, while Rushdie shows more flair. Guess its a little difficult to compare two writers, but I like the parallels Rushdie draws from history.

@Mohit: Ya, Transmission is decent. Would have helped if the character were not Indian :-) I can imagine this word of mouth publicity business. Too hot for Radio Mirchi :-)

Stone said...

Nice rhythm, classic case of good composition, bad voice.....and no comments about the lyrics :-)

Parth said...

@Stone: :-) Its country music, sub-contiental style

shreya said...

on rushdie's "thr ground...", i too loved the references to bombay. you know, bombay of nostalgia, "townie" bombay with the eccentric parsis, a younger bombay, before bollywood became oh-so-cool...

anyhow. was wondering if you, parth, or anyone else knows where i can download the krrish background score online...or even buy the cd online...i am absolutely in love with it...

Nocturne said...

man, i forwarded that sutta song left and right to people i knew, and it turned out that i was the only one who hadn't heard it when it came out last year. :( it's getting harder to keep up with these young turks, nai? well, thanks anyway for educating a back in the woods behnjee. now to tackle some rushdie.

Parth said...

@Shreya: Sorry I can't help you with that. Hindi movies don't typically release their background soundtrack even on CDs, so finding it online would be nigh impossible.

@Nocturne: The young turks are up and running and its tough to keep up :-) Especially if the thing happens in India and you don't actually live there.

sd said...

If all goes fine ... this summer I will get time to do some real reading!

Confession, I am not much impressed by the Sutta song... Sure the tune is catchy, and I have nothing against foul-mouthing ... however the "lyrics" were far too dumb I thought...not sure if I am conveying the idea.