Monday, May 23, 2011

Bob Dylan, Badal Sarkar, Google Music and Avakaya

Phew!  Talk about global warming!  Strauss-Kahn got bail, Kanimozhi didn't.  Mamata Bannerji paints the Writer's Building green and no superinjunction keeps the mess in Greece, Portugal and Ireland away from the headlines.  David Headley (ex-heroin smuggler and, later, DEA agent) sings almost like he were tutored in a coal mine, and the IMF, the IPL, volcanos and tornados vie for eyeballs on news channels.

On with the Curious Hat.  Today is Bob Dylan's birthday.  While there are a lot of reservations in many quarters about the integrity of this man, I quite love his southern hemisphere madness.  His mastery over the written word aside, his fantasies about himself are bitter-sweetly endearing.  It is sad that in a country that prides itself on the freedom of expression, his tortuous tales about his past are the subject of, let us say, gossip.  The richness of his body of work and the relevance of his contribution to the pacifist movement will be hard to discount by even the most hardened of Bylan baiters.  Happy Birthday, Tambourine Man.  Read my post on the Original Mono Recordings released earlier this year.
Another giant of people's movement died this month.  Though often tagged to street theater, what Badal Sarkar did in his lifetime was to demolish all conventions of dramatics, from structure to presentation, and from sets and props to revenue models.  There has been a lot written about his work, especially after his death, and I too added my 92 paise worth to it over at the The Story of Parth blog.

Hyderabad has been stoic about summer this year, given the heat generated elsewhere, be it the Kadapa elections, the 2G scams, or the Ongole bull sperm getting Brazilian cows pregnant.  However, that has not stopped anyone from indulging in the ritual of making drool inducing avakaya or mango pickle, an Andhra (for me that means, Telengana, Rayalseema and Andhra) delicacy.  If you want to know more about this madness, or are searching for a fail-proof recipe to work out of, read this post at Sita Ki Rasoi.

The war for the future of devices and apps has been getting noisier, Windows 8 or no Windows 8, but two things that set the alarm bells ringing for the future of working out of the cloud for people like me.  The first was the blogger outage, which saw a good number migrate to other blogging platforms.  Just imagine if you came to work on a Friday morning and found that all that you worked on in the last 24 hours was not available to you, and imagine not getting access to it till well into next week.  While Blogger was quick to roll back to an earlier version, and also managed to get a lot of interval posts up across the weekend, a lot of standalone page edits or additions appear to have been lost for ever.  The other development, though not as catastrophic, was the launch of Google Music.  Though officially and ethically not available to users in India, this cloud based storage, sharing and streaming application does significantly change the way the entire music industry (artists, labels and customers) transacts.  Read more about this game-changing music service from Google in this post from The Operative Note.

Before I sign out, on a personal note, I have tried to respond individually to each and every comment and email over the last couple of months, but since I have not published the comments pertaining to my personal life on my blog, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for all the support I have received as I set out seeking my destiny.  I also request all my wellwishers to have patience as I gather the 5-year-old shreds of my life together before I put out my motivations for my recent decisions and share with all of you my dreams and plans.

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