Thursday, November 1, 2007

What is life?

But a series of questions & answers?

Healthy debates?

Heated discussions?

Unreasonable agruements?

A slew of accusations?

A horde of explanations?

Voracious denials?

Cold shoulders?

Dead silence?

Low murmurs?

Candid apologies?

Sweet nothings?

Zealous promises?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Orthopedic charges 900/- for 'telephonic consultancy'!!

Playing football on hard cement can be dangerous. A 14 year old boy, Master Ashutosh Amin, fondly known as ‘Ashu’ found out the hard way. He completely fractured his left forearm bones (the ulna and radius) on the 13th of October, 2007 at about 05: 30 pm. Surprisingly, his teenage mates rushed him to “Anup D’souza Accident Hospital” where a Compound fracture was clearly visible through an X-ray.

Mrs. Amin was handed a hefty estimate (Rs. 7000)-justified- given the gravity of the situation. The mother was distraught, so sought the advice of her family Doctor (Dr. Jain). He suggested ‘Kalpana Lifeline Hospital’. On the good Doctor’s recommendation, Little Ashu was rushed to Kalpana Lifeline by his elder brother’s friends. His elder brother, Mr. Kailash Amin is a quality analyst at 3 G Global technologies. He took an immediate leave and headed home.

Meanwhile, quite a drama unfolded at Kalpana lifeline. The Orthopedic Surgeon wasn’t around. An assistant contacted him through a mobile and explained Ashu’s medical crisis. The Doctor, a certain Mr. Sanju Patel told Mrs. Amin that by hearing what his apparently untrained assistant had to say, Ashu’s hand would have to be operated upon. The Expenditure would be Rs. 25000/- +, and he would have to be hospitalised for a week!

I have been operated twice, once for an appendectomy and a hernia. My mother had been in an ICU for 2 months due to fibrosis in her lungs. My brother has been in and out of hospitals quite a few times. My father recently had an Angiography, Angioplasty and a Cataract done. However, I have never come across an amazing and expensive phenomenon called ‘Telephonic consultancy’.

Doctors around the world are even using the internet for surgeries. There have been other medical breakthroughs and achievements which I shall marvel at some other time. But this surely takes the cake!

One can imagine the mother’s horror! “How could a doctor, without even seeing the patient personally come to the conclusion that it would cost her so much?” These thoughts were crossing her mind, and she spoke about them to the doctor. Dr. Patel told her that he would be reaching soon and advised her to admit the poor boy. Right through this charade, Ashu did not even shed a tear, merely wincing in pain.

Minutes passed by and the mother’s anxiety knew no bounds? “Where am I to get so much of money?” was the only question running through her mind. The doctor was nowhere to be seen. When the staff was contacted, Kailash’s friends were told he was at Bhayandar. When the Doctor was called again to plead for a discount, he said he was at Andheri.

The doctor’s whereabouts’ were not known, varying from Bhayandar to Andheri, from ten minutes to five. Taking into consideration the astronomical amount mentioned, and the fact that the doctor was in two places at one time, a collective decision was taken. Ashu was to be taken to Anup D’souza Accident Clinic.

No admission form had been signed, no X-ray was taken. Ashu had just been tied a crude hand-bandage, and was resting on a bed of the 2nd floor male ward. On leaving, we spoke to the doctor who was quite annoyed at our decision. We might have disturbed his party! We explained we just could not cough up that amount, and we just could not wait! We were told we could go, after paying a whopping Rs. 900 as consultancy/bed charges! I have never heard of consultancy costing so much. The bed was occupied for half an hour. The doctor concurred telephonically that Ashu would have to be operated upon. I could live with that. He said it would cost us our monthly salary. It went down too, albeit not smoothly. 900/- rupees for consulting over the phone? Super specialist’s, Cardiologist’s and Diabetologist’s don’t charge that much. More so, they are physically present then! I did not object, just asked for a bill. Why? How then, could I have written this article? How then, would have people known?

I have nothing but respect for the men in white. They have saved my life twice. But then, there are Doctors like Mr. Sanju Patel, of Kalpana Lifeline Hospital whom I wished practiced their trade somewhere far off.

Kartikeya Dwivedi

Copyright of Kartikeya Dwivedi 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I had recently received a message on my cell phone asking me to tell the sender one thing that I had never ever told her before, but had always had the desire to do so. I replied by typing that she was very attractive, confident and a role model for modern women.

I had typed those words to primarily please my friend, but I meant them too. For the majority of my adult life, I have used my gift of the gab for either striking a chord with an official or my skill in writing to melt a few hearts! But it is not until I received the reply to that message that I fully understood the difference words, be it in written form or spoken, can make!

“Thank you sweetie pie, n u r a person whom girls would want as a bf, hubby, as a brother n as a father u r 2 good 2 be compared”. Pardon the punctuation and sms lingo, she is hot as hell!! What followed was ten seconds of silence. No, not verbal silence, but mental silence. Stoppage in the flow of thoughts. My mind went completely blank for those ten seconds. It felt nice and fuzzy all over. It’s not that I haven’t received compliments before! They have been a few and far in between, of course, but compliments none-the-less. That line was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me!

We use words to communicate, to express. But she had conjured up a magical sentence that made me feel like a million bucks! They were no complex phrases in English; rather a simple set of heartfelt words.

Each person has it in them, to make this difference! One need not be a professor in English, or an authority in French to say what needs to be said or written. And sometimes, say something which may not be wholly true, but is bound to make the other person…..very, very happy. What’s stopping you?

P.S: Wise ass comments or pseudo intellectuals pouring their heart out over this one shall be highly unappreciated.

Copyright © 2007 Kartikeya Dwivedi

Monday, May 14, 2007

friends forever..

I don’t like it when my phone rings at 6 30 am on a Sunday morning, but as my brain started recognizing the user specific ring tone, I woke up instantly. I have kept a special ring tone for people belonging to my inner circle, my closest friends, my actual friends.

It was Purav Badiani, my friend for the past 15 odd years. We have had some wild times together. Trying to outrun an express train, getting into fist fights, the works. Somehow, till date, whenever his phone rings, I manage a smile as all those memories come rushing back to me!

The bugger owns a juice shop which is the best in my town, and I’m not saying this as I’m biased. He is not one to exchange pleasantries when works a waiting, and gets straight to the point. He wanted my bike for a few days, 24/7 as his had broken down, and as he had to travel all over the town to disburse orders, he would need transportation. I own a Bajaj pulsar, 180cc black motorbike. And I love it very very much. It was the first thing I have brought from my own money, and so, I may not have a home to live in, but I do own a bike! This said, one could comprehend my love affair with that mean machine, and my apprehensions in loaning it to anyone. I have had to deliberate a hundred times over a thousand issues, which was done all to quickly, some being analyzing the person asking for it, his track record, riding skills, friendship rating, usefulness to me(heh heh!!), reliability, relationship with the local police, financial potency or backing. The list goes on!
Surprisingly, when Purav asked for it, my mind was empty, and I said yes without thinking, but it still felt right! I was taken aback at this change in behaviour! That got me thinking. Why is it that when some people ask for your help, you gladly oblige as if it were your duty, and when some do, you try to run away from it?

Sub consciously; my mind had included some people in my ‘inner circle’. These fell in the tried and tested category, as they had faced the trails and tribulations faced in a relationship, and had come out with flying colours! They did not require constant review or monitoring. They had been there, done that. They were people whom I could trust implicitly, and who trusted me completely. We were not blood, but we were family. My inner circle is restricted to a few people, and I love them all a lot. I have made many friends before them, and many after. I enjoyed with some, fought with some and still keep in touch with some. But I could call them mere acquaintances, or good friends.
My inner circle? They are different.Not all are school buddies. But all of them have one thing in common. Mutual respect for one another. All the 5 are not best friends amongst themselves, they are from different walks of life, different religions, different mindsets, and different opinion on things. But somehow, strangely, I blend with them, and my frequency matches with each one of them, separately!
Life becomes easier after you have found such a bunch. I have five places to hog food at, 5 beds to sleep, and five shoulders to cry over!
Many a great people have said it, but ill repeat it. Make a few real, true friends, people you like hanging around with, who respect you and your feelings, people you can trust in time, and people who want the best for you. You will never feel lonely, and you will live a peaceful gratifying life.
No, its not easy, to choose, decide. But I was lucky enough to have finalized them at a young age. I may meet a few more people in life, and maybe, they shall be additions, but there shall never be any subtractions.
The key to it, or for that matter, any other relationship, is respect, concern and a sense of duty. I don’t expect a lot from them. I don’t want a lot of their time, money or t shirts! What I want is for them to understand, why I am the way I am, and what makes me tick. I want them to stick by my side, in a street brawl, or when im receiving an award. And I want them to know that ill always love them, come what may..

With love, Kartikeya Dwivedi.

Copyright © 2007 Kartikeya Dwivedi

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Interior secrets!

An interior designer is a person who is considered a professional . Interior design is a creative practice, which involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, and selecting finishes, monitoring the construction and installation of fixtures.

Designers have knowledge of today’s market, material and labour availability, existing trends and can do a better job than unqualified personnel. They can make you house look like an ancient temple or a set out of the latest sci fi flick!

They work with the contractor, guiding them at each step. Sometimes, they have to roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves; so as to get the satisfactory result as the whole site and its completion is their responsibility.

They have to plan the work from the beginning and supervise it till the end, keeping in mind the clients preferences, taking into consideration the overall budget, and making sure the work gets completed in the stipulated time frame.

One can easily notice the difference in the workmanship of laborers employed by only contractors, and those working in the team of a decent interior designer. They are highly skilled, very knowledgeable and quick and complete the job quickly and efficiently.

The consultancy charges incurred shall be well worth the result, as I recently found out while painting my house. As I live on the top floor of my building, I was facing leakages not only from the society walls, but also from the terrace. There were cracks all over, I did not know how to go about painting my house in a budget, and the contractors were confusing me more with their half baked theories.

Appointing an Interior designer was a very smart decision, as she knew where to get the men and material at affordable costs, and was technically equipped to handle all the problems I faced, including dearth of money!

The work was over in a fortnight, and my house never looked better! If, in the future, I need to paint the house, or just make some furniture too, I’d gladly ask for a designers help!

Copyright © 2007 Kartikeya Dwivedi

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

private affairs!!

There were times when, holding a government job was considered as prestigious, and even if one were to be a linesman for BSNL earning measly salaries; he was looked upon with awe and respect. Those were the days when we had but one satellite channel, phone connections took a decade and Dhirubhai Ambani had not thought of making Power!!

Due to intense privatization in all avenues, be it the telecom, power or banking industry, although the prices of services have gone up, the essential customer service which was the order of the day has been given much importance, leading to an end in the monopoly of our government bodies like MSEB. BSNL, etc.

After the kick on the backside to our esteemed government organizations, there has been a sea change in the attitudes of the people involved with them. I remember when a few years ago, I had to beg an Officer to depute someone when my telephone had not been working well. God is great, as I got my vendetta just a few weeks back, when the phone went haywire again, and the same officer courteously assured me that the matter would be dealt with at the earliest! I could have dialed 198, but I wanted to fight with the officer and get my connection disconnected! His docile behavior got me thinking.

There are so many banks that offer competent customer service, and more importantly, a choice for the customers, so they don’t have to be dependent on state banks, and their lazy employees! Everyone is happy with the change in the working of those govt banks.

We had to be content watching limited channels with mediocrity written all over it. The consumers of today are spoilt with choice! All the channels are competitive, albeit charging astronomical amounts, but are delivering, which has left DD metro far, far behind.

With Reliance and Tata power started the generation of electricity. The bills may be a tad higher, but the complaints have decreased.

Privatization brings in competition, which improves the quality of product, and at times, reducing cost. For example, the cost of electronics has taken a nose dive, so now everyone can buy a flat screen tv. Reliance has made sure each Indian talks over a mobile phone.

Most government bodies are undergoing losses, and they are increasing by each passing year.
One such exception is the railways, wherein Mr Lalu has shown that profit can be derived from anything ranging from ‘chara’ to trains! It should serve as a wake up call to the other departments

India is a growing economy, where people don’t mind spending money, and a small fortune at times to get the services they feel they deserve, and sadly, our government bodies, due to lack of foresight, has been playing catch up for a long time. There have been efforts, but is it too late?

Kartikeya Dwivedi

Copyright © 2007 Kartikeya Dwivedi

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Whenever I post a URL on someone’s scrapbook or community thread on orkut, they ask me to verify the contents by viewing and typing a code that is displayed on the screen. I am sure everyone is aware of that.

Here is a case in point for my madness! Whenever I hit the submit button, the server starts recognizing the URL and the need to ask for verification. It takes sometime for the code to be displayed, which, on my ancient piece of equipment, clocks to 3 seconds.hmmm... 3 seconds! It gives me enough time to attempt to GUESS what the code can be!
What are the odds of that?!A billion to one? Im starkly disappointed when the code is different from what I had thought of, and accept that it’s a futile exercise! But that does not stop me from trying do that, again and again and again! Someday I just might get lucky! Why don’t you try?!


There is this little boy named Clint who has enrolled to learn swimming at the club I coach in. He is 6 years old, full of life and very scared of water! Coaching him is a terrible pain, but I love to do so, as I have noticed that he keeps talking to someone, and its not me! I feel he has an imaginary friend!
People do talk about them existing for real, and some say that each child has one, but forgets about it as they grow older. As for me, I cant recollect my tryst with an imaginary friend, one who is mine and mine alone, one who never leaves my side, is there for me through thick and thin, invisible to one and all!

Clint, however, im sure has one. While in the pool, he keeps talking to someone, splashing water and laughing hysterically! He would rather be left alone, as he does not enjoy my company, I reckon. He is happiest when he is alone, or, as his mom says, with a girl called Jasmine. They keep talking amongst themselves, and with other people, chiding them, ridiculing them, and often trying to hit them. There is just one slight problem. There is no one around but the two!

The concerned mother recalls her visit to a doc, where she wanted to voice her concerns. The doc had this to say. All of us, till a certain age, have imaginary friends! We forget about them, as we grow older and our thoughts get muddled due to the complexities of life. It was absolutely normal, and would vanish one day.

Coming back to Clint, one day, while trying to teach him to hold his breath; he felt the need to answer natures call. I had to accompany him to the toilet, as once, when he went to the loo unsupervised; he had tried to escape from the club! While holding his hand and observing his actions, which I admit were fun to do so, he suddenly tripped! There wasn’t an object in sight, neither did he lose his balance, nor did anyone push him! Well, at least not someone I could see! He got up, brushed himself and took off behind ‘someone’ with his slippers!

That got me thinking, why is it that children trip, laugh, cry or do silly little things for no apparent reason? Ever wondered what goes through their developing head? Do imaginary people really exist?! I hope they do!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

traffic stoppers!!

It was surprising to see a female traffic police officer one day, “wo-manning” a crowded cross- road at Vasai as I have always maintained that Traffic policing is a tough, physically sapping job, completely male dominated. It was amazing to see a woman, yelling fiercely at the errant drivers, whistling as loud as her male colleagues!

For the record, Vasai is the first place in Mumbai where women traffic Inspectors were deployed, followed by Mira road and then Thane. Since the experiment worked well, they were stationed all over Mumbai. Vasai is also the ONLY place where one shall find a Lady Rickshaw driver! There is but one courageous lady, whom I have yet to meet personally, but have seen her drive past me, determined to break the gender bias that comes with certain professions.

This century belongs to women! From heading companies, to being the head honcho of our government, they have been prospering. It is a heartening sight that we have women bus conductors, ticket checkers and bar- tenders too!

I wanted to know how was it for women to hold such authoritative and responsible jobs, so went to Vasai police station where I spotted a lady in her uniform. After exchanging pleasantries, I told her I was a ‘Citizen Journalist’ wanting to ask her a few questions, which put an instant smile on her face. Her first words though, were “No photographs please!”

The first thing I noticed was that she was a sweet and respectful Maharashtrian lady, so unlike the officer I had seen eye balling drivers the other day! Her name was Mrs Rashmi T Sankhe, and she was a Mahila Police Naik. She had been working in a police station at Thane for 7 years, followed by a stint at Nala Sopara for 6 and ½ years. I was informed that a certain S.P Mrs Archana Tyagi had given impetus to the concept of women traffic Inspectors. Mrs Tyagi believed that women could do the job too. I personally feel that errant female drivers are let off by the traffic policemen, and at least a woman would do justice to the job! Mrs Sankhe was given the opportunity, and she took it. She has been managing traffic at Vasai for ten months now.
On being asked how she felt about the job, she smiled and said that although it was physically demanding, she liked it. It was difficult sometimes to explain to people that their papers were not proper, or some were missing. She said that men were non co- operative at times, bull headed, constantly arguing (Now, where have I heard THAT one?!). She has always had the support of her superiors, if things got out of hand. I don’t think many people would dare to bribe a lady officer, which would help in decreasing traffic violations, or increasing government income!
In all, she seemed satisfied with the job, and was doing her duty diligently, with pride. As it was time for her to head home, and assume the charge of home- maker, we could not chat a lot. I have promised her a copy of this article too!

Mrs Sankhe, Mrs Tyagi, and many other women like them should serve as an inspiration to one and all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

interview: Prakalp

Talented. Recklessly spontaneous, and willing to perform and entertain under any circumstance.That in short, is what prakalps all about. What goes into making a great band? Trust, talent, practice, hard work and patience. They have the perfect proportion of all the ingredients! Each one has what it takes to make it to the upper echelons of the extraordinary world of music and performance. Be it the technical or theoretical know-how, music-direction skills, perseverance, enthusiasm, a very big ear for music or faces that are easy on the eyes! PRAKALP ROCKS! Read on:

20th April, 2007
Venue: Prakalp’s Jam Room.

Having never interviewed a metal band before, I had my inhibitions. What would I ask? How would they respond? I was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of courteous kids, at least till the interview began! Their enthusiasm was infectious; answers were heartfelt and the camaraderie genuine. The song they performed at the end of the interview made me a fan!

At first, a few guys had got together to form Apocalypse. One thing lead to another and things clicked. Anant Dwivedi, Alister Fernandes, Vineet Nair & Vincent Pereira got together. Gavril Mankoo joined the party. Prakalp was formed.

Here is an honest one-on-one with them.

1. The name of your band is Prakalp. What does it mean, and why did u choose it as your band name?

Anant: Prakalp, in Hindi, has 2 meanings. It means an undertaken project, as well as the Rising. We were formerly known as Apocalypse, but the band line up was different then. And it kept on changing. Once things settled down, we thought Apocalypse didn’t suit our genre, so we wanted a name which was Indian and would perfectly suit our music. Some names we thought of were – Astitva, Abhaas, etc. Then we got Ashwin Chinchkhede to manage the band, who thought of this wonderful name. All of us loved it. Why this name? Because, we have undertaken project Hindi Metal!

2. What made you want to be a band?

Ashwin: Music was always our passion! Everybody in the band wanted to make music their profession. We had creativity, and a will to perform. Personally, I don’t call it a band. It’s a family because even when we aren’t practicing, we are together and meet each other regularly.

3. What genre do you feel Prakalp fits into best?

Anant: (rolls his eyes) we absolutely have no answer for this. We don’t keep a genre in mind when we make new songs, they just happen! We are entertainers, that’s all. We love to experiment and be versatile.

Alister: I think we are Hindi symphonic metal band with clean/snarling vocals because this is what the people have starting calling us, after Anants clean snarls!
(Gives Anant a pat on the back smilingly, Anant responds with a ‘f**k you’!

4. Your vocals are in Hindi. How did you think of this concept - making songs with Hindi lyrics and Indian classical vocals?

Ashwin: Anant has been learning Hindustani classical singing for a few years is adept at playing the Tabla too. That’s our Indian Classical connection.

Anant: When we started listening to rock music and metal, we realized that music, whether Indian classical or Heavy Death Metal revolves around those twelve notes and has the same musical expression, the only difference is that heavily distorted guitars are used instead of a sitar.
(Sings the 12 notes, crisply and melodiously, while Vineet gives him the beats.)

Anant: We also wanted to attempt something new by using Hindi lyrics in metal because Hindi is a powerful language with words that have very deep meaning, Hindi comes closest to the Sanskrit language, which has evolved from the Devnaagri script, one of the oldest scripts in the world.

Alister: Besides, it is our National language and we believe we can speak the Hindi language better than any other foreign language, or at least understand better. When we sing English songs, it’s cool. But Hindi Metal rocks! And to a great extent, this experiment of ours gave quite a satisfactory result.

Gavril If Norwegian Black Metal bands can make music in their own language, why not us?
The kid has a valid point.

5. Has the metal community in Mumbai accepted your kind of music?

Vincent: Most of them have, some of them haven’t because they think that we are a Hindi band, and they do not want us to contaminate the metal scene whereas we try to put a different essence into it. They directly link it to the Bollywood industry, which mainly consists of romantic songs, prancing around trees and wet transparent saris! Bollywood music has its own fan club, I do not deny it!

Vineet: For us, language is not a barrier, because the music remains the same. Someone introduced us to thrash, death metal, progressive, and so on! All these bands must have faced the same issues that we are facing at some point of time when their genres evolved!

Gavril: And we don’t care about a few narrow-minded opinions!

6. What are the themes associated with the lyrics of your songs? What inspires your lyrics?

Gavril: The themes are death, revenge, anger, hatred, pain, sorrow, regret, etc. in a good sense. One of our songs, Maut, impersonates death and describes how death easily claims its victim. This doesn’t mean that we want people to die! This is reality! Everyone dies!

Vineet: One of our newest songs called Aatmahatya portrays the self inflicted pain a person has to go through when one tries to commit suicide. For suicidal people death means more to them than life! Imagine the things revolving in their head! This doesn’t mean that we’re promoting suicide!
Revenge, hatred, anger, pain, sorrow, etc are emotions just like love and affection. When people can write about these emotions, then why not the darker aspects of life?

Vincent: Our society inspires us! They give us points, and we elaborate on them in our songs!

7. Your third OC, 7/11 revolves around the recent Mumbai train blasts and is a favorite among most of those who have heard Prakalp play. Your reflections.
Anant: It is sad, what happened. This song is a message to the terrorists that when unnecessary killings are done, people suffer. Stop it! It’s dedicated to those innocent people who have lost their lives. We want this song to be on the lips of everyone who is against terrorism, not because it’s our song, but because we want terrorism to stop.

Vincent: Hope it does not get us kidnapped!

Ashwin: F**k the terrorists!
(middle fingers everywhere)

8. How was it to be featuring in the Global Metal Documentary?

Anant: It was a thrilling experience! Dr. Sam Dunn and his crew members are a very professional and hard working lot. We are amazed to see ourselves being featured in the documentary alongside bands that we look up to! Demonic Resurrection & Bhayanak Maut have been our sources of inspiration!

Vincent: Sam is a great guy & has an amazing personality. He is too soft spoken to be a Metalhead! No sarcasm involved!
(Everybody asks Vincent to shut up!)
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the Indian crowd to be so passionate here.” Although what interested him the most was the Hindi metal band, Prakalp. “I’m a fan of Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, though Prakalp was quite interesting!” he signs off.

Ally: It was a dream come true, as the man has interviewed members of bands like Black Sabbath, Slayer & Iron Maiden!

Vineet: B******d, that guy is tall! Check the Pics!

9. Some people feel that you are over-rated and didn’t deserve your place in Sam Dunn’s doc. Comment.

Gavril: It was purely on talent that we were selected. Anant can play the drums WHILE singing. Vincent eats Bass, Vineet is superb and Alister kicks ass! We practice hard, and are improving day by day! We are one of a kind, with a different concept. And if some deserving band wasn’t selected, it was not our fault! It was Sam Dunn’s decision!
(Ashwin asks Gavril to calm down. I move on.)

10. How has Prakalp managed to achieve such milestones in such a short time?

Anant: I thank the other band mates who took such a bold step by doing what nobody dares, or wants to do, for that matter! In today’s scenario where people don’t get too many paid gigs one has to rely on competitions. We really worked hard on the technical part of our music .We waited a long time before entering competitions. Thanks to our supporters who always stood by us. We have amazing friends!
They are a tight bunch.

11. Any plans of an album or an EP?
Ashwin: We are already working towards it, but due to certain constraints, we have kept it on hold for some time. But, we are seriously looking forward to launch it some time from now! Currently, we are working on our originals. Watch out for them!
I could feel the excitement and anticipation.

12. Hailing from Vasai means power cuts and load-shedding may surely be hampering your practice and jam sessions. How do you guys manage?

Vincent: Yeah, power cuts suck! They are a major issue and we have to work around it as per the whims and fancies of those Electricity Board a******s!

Gavril: Apart from load-shedding issues, all the members are students, and so one has to keep a track of their daily routine. We make sure that we practice for at least an hour everyday.

Vineet: We write lyrics when there is no power, and work it out on the acoustic guitar, and set the drum patterns.

Alister: F**k electricity, we don’t give a damn! We practice ANWAY!

13. Any gigs that left a memory or two?

Ashwin: The Nagpur gig, chiefly because of two reasons. 1. EXTREME climate, for which Prakalp was not ready! 2. Financial crisis! The gig remains in my memory because we were completely stripped of cash, and we had to wait and hope for someone to win in some category to get the money required to head home. Anant won the award for the best vocals and received 1000rs which bought our tickets to come home!

Vincent: VCET! We had performed in front of an 800 strong crowd. Some guys were using Pyros in the crowd! They even waited for us even when the lights went out. VCET rocks!

Alister: Also the VCET chicks were hot! They couldn’t stop screaming our name!
Everyone seems to agree!

Gavril: SIES, Powerchords!

14. Do you feel that there is a scope for more bands to pick up Hindi Metal?

Anant: We do feel so, because we are doing something different, and we are getting a lot of appreciation for our music. Earlier, we faced a problem as to which songs we should cover, as we had no band to cover! Hopefully, the new bands shall get inspired by our choice of music. We want to pave the way for other bands that want to take up Hindi metal, but are a little hesitant to do so. We do not believe in following a trend. We want to set a trend so that other Indian music lovers can start appreciating this form of music and support original music.

15. What do you guys think of the Indian rock/metal scene?

Alister: The Indian Rock/Metal scene is growing at a very rapid pace! Indian bands are getting global recognition. People are beginning to appreciate good rock/ metal music! It’s a very healthy trend! \m/ to the people!

16. Which Indian bands, according to you, rock?

Gavril: Bands like Demonic Resurrection, Pin Drop Violence, Parikrama and Pentagram, Devoid, Bhayanak Maut, Infernal wrath… the list goes on!!

17. What exactly happened at the S.I.E.S gig?
Ashwin: It’s a long story. It was a f**kin roller coaster ride! We lost our guitar processor, played without the lead guitarist, and still managed to reach the finals! All this in our first competition! The details are on our site.

Vineet: More the pressure, the better we f**kin perform!!

18. What difference has Prakalp made in your life?

Alister: it has made me more mature. My outlook towards people has changed. And it has inspired me to grow my hair!!

Vincent: it has made me famous, a better performer, and a hit among the chicks!
Everybody laughs! Vincent eyeballs them all.

Gavril: Prakalp has changed the way I thought of music and increased my dedication to music.

Anant: It has given me confidence, and given me life long friends! My partners in crime!

Vineet: Yes, drinking partners! Seriously, helping hands in a crisis, whom I can completely rely upon.

Ashwin: It has made me a great manager of a great band! Have learnt time management, money management and resource management! Im more organized and satisfied.

19. Message to fans.

First of all, we would like to thank our friends/ fans/heroes:

Uncle (Anants dad) - for providing us with the jam room!
Bansi: for giving us a place to stay!
Gary: our tech support!
Sharma: for always motivating us.
Bhau: for being there
Mahesh: his guitar lessons and practice place!
Amin: for his constructive criticism.
Adil: for promoting our music.
Kamlesh/ Sagar: for capturing our memories.
Tejas: our booze sponsors!
The gals, Jyoti, Poornima, Avni, and Shraddha for their screams and applauds!
Our parents: for tolerating us!
Navjot, Shubha, Ashish, Homesh, Shree Vidya, Aishwarya, Amardeep, Rajesh, Harini, all the SIES volunteers, RGIT’s Kartik- thanks for all the love!
The Demonstealer, Pradeep, Shubham, Melroy, Charles & Chetan for their advice.
Sorry if we are forgetting someone!

We live to perform and entertain you. Please keep supporting us; we are where we are because of you! We hope to move forward with your best wishes, but we will never ever forget you! Please interact with us, criticize us, whatever! We are always available!

They then performed Maut. They have a bright future.

Signing off,

Kartikeya Dwivedi


Name Anant Alister Vincent Vineet Gavril
Petname Antz Ally Vincy Jadya Kiddo
Role in Band Vocalist Rhythm Guitar, backup vox. Bass Guitars Drums Keyboards
Idol Kurt Cobain Fred Durst Steve Harris Mike Portnoy Jaane Warman
Fav Band Nirvana Limp Bizkit Iron Maiden System of a Down Children of Bodom
Poison Imperial Blue Tadi White Mischief Imperial Blue Appy Fizz

Originals include:
Main Chalaa --------------(Power Metal)
Maut --------------(Symphonic Death Metal)
Inteqam --------------(Progressive Death Metal)
Aatmahatya --------------(Symphonic Death Metal)
7/11 --------------(Power Metal)

Contact Details:

Phone :+00 91 9226712144 {Ashwin}

+00 91 9823515958 { Anant}

+00 91 9226364861 {Alister}

+00 91 9823943864 {Vineet}

+00 91 9890296730 {Vincent}

+ 00 91 9323799803 {Gareth}

+ 00 91 9960238466 {Gavril}


Site :

Thursday, April 19, 2007

its a dogs life!

The bother I had to face while waking up today morning at 6 AM after a night’s revelry was amplified by my sisters constant nagging. I had promised her I would take her for a swim, and no, it could not wait for another minute. Un-willingly, I sat up, wincing due to a major headache. The drinking binge and improper amount of sleep was causing havoc in all my systems, while my sister’s constant haranguing was not helping in any way. Deciding that I had no way out of this particular predicament, I got off from bed and started getting ready to escort my 12 year sibling to the dolphins swimming club. I would like to advice all my male friends not to try and argue with a woman, in any shape and form, before, during and after a drinking session. We don’t stand a chance!

Sometimes, I wonder if buying a bike was a smart investment, as I have been reduced to nothing but a driver for my family! Cursing myself for the same, I tried to electric start the bike, but to no avail! Perfect start to a perfect day! I should have understood that today would be among my ‘not so good’ days by now, as it was akshay tritiya (whatever that means!), and somebody up there definitely does not like me! Whenever people are having great- auspicious days, im miserable due to some unforeseen circumstance or the other! This story has spread like wildfire, to an extent that my aunty is contemplating if I should be called for her sons wedding!

Swearing, which was met by a sharp rap on my medulla oblongata (fondly known as ‘chota dimaag’, made famous by the talented Nana Patekar!) by sister dear, I kick started the vehicle and drove off, picking up speed so as to muffle ria’s take on people who had drinks, all too regularly.

I was beginning to enjoy the drive when I suddenly realized that I needed to re- fuel and had forgotten to pick up my wallet from home. Grinning sheepishly, I asked RIA to loan me a hundred rupees, which she promptly did, while reminding me that rakhi was round the corner. I couldn’t help but notice her devilish smile in my rear view mirror while she spoke of the festival!

The club is around 7 kilometers from where I stay, and would take some time to reach with RIA on the pillion, as according to her, driving above 40 kmph is a sin. She has an opinion on most of things, especially on things which I feel she is too small to comment. That has never stopped her though, and I have to warily agree that it never will.
Cruising at 40 kmph, my mind went back to yesterday’s fun! Sigh! We had danced, hummed our favorites, and made merry! I was lost in my thoughts, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a stray pup had the urge to run across the road, much to our horror! I had no time to brake, and I ran over it, and barely managed to balance the bike! In my defense, yesterday’s alcohol had nothing to do with it, as I could not have done anything differently. I braked as soon as I could, trying to calm ria down all the while. I was silently grateful to RIA for restricting our bike speed, as had we been a tad faster, we would have ended up on the road too. I ran towards the poor dog. No blood. A silent prayer escaped my lips. I find it amazing, my sudden faith in god, and asking for his help and support. More amazing is the fact that I think of him only in trying times, ignoring him for the remainder of my life. I take credit for all my achievements, and blame him, or luck, or the exam moderator for all my failures!

While trying to assess the damage I had done, my eyes were making full use of the peripheral vision to keep a lookout for a cop, or the prospect of a crowd gathering. I was concerned about my sister, and a wee bit for myself, as I have been an eye witness to a few public displays of affection meted out on miscreants like me! I quickly analyzed that as he did not have a dog collar on, he was a stray for sure, and that explained why a circle hadn’t formed till now. I consoled RIA, and convinced her to wait at the pool, which was a stones throw away from the spot. I had to swear on many, many gods, my parents, and maybe half of the population of India that I would take care of the pup. She left morosely, and I was left there stranded with the little thing.

I won’t lie. It pained me to see the little fella in a considerable amount of pain. I inquired about a vet nearby, to which I was told that there was no one around. The only one that would be available at 6 30 in the morning was one, 5 kilometers from the spot. I convinced a rickshaw driver to drive me there, as nobody was ready to hang on to the pup, while I drove.

I had no money, so had to rush home, where I was subjected to a barrage of questions, which I had no time to answer. A puppy’s life was at stake! Vinod, the rick driver did a splendid job of mimicking Schumacher (braking late and playing dirty!) and we reached the doc in no time.
The moment I rang the bell, ria called me (she has her own cellular phone.) and I hastily told her the situation. The poor dog was breathing heavily, so I hurriedly rang the bell thrice. Dad called. I told him what had happened. These were his exact words.” Is it dead? Is ria ok? Where the hell are you?” I told him where I was, and assured him that she was ok. No injuries. Not even a scratch. Just then, I heard the door open and a very tall man, still half asleep stepped out. I could feel that his consultancy hours were to start much later, and he was not too pleased to see me. I explained to him what had happened as fast as I could, and was warmly surprised to see his sleep disappear in a flash. I could see the concern for the puppy in his eyes. The sight of the doc hurrying to save a life gladdened me.

I bid Vinod good bye, thanked him and he left. Not before warning me that the next time, it could be an infant. It sent a shiver down my spine. He had charged me only half the amount we had decided initially. People do have a heart. It was to be his good deed for the day. And taking into consideration his background and daily wages, I felt it was very decent of him.

Dr Bhakta was a vet extraordinaire, so I had heard. The genuineness in his voice was what struck me. He gave the pup an injection and started examining him. Thank god I did not have to register a police case, or fill some form! It took 15 minutes, but the examination was thorough. The pup was one lucky dog, as it had no broken bones, and no major ailments. The doc muttered something about the day being auspicious (Hmmph! all hail akshay tritiya)!

He wrote a prescription, and inquired if I would make sure the pup took them. It was a three day course, and I gulped recalling my father’s inhibitions when it came to dogs. He would keep the dog, im sure. But he would chuck me out! Observing how perplexed I was, the doc smirked and advised me to telephone the nagar palika animal department. He also told me to cut down on alcohol (my breath again!) and drive safely (sigh)! While leaving the clinic, he gave me a pill, which I presumed was for the pup. I was told it was for the splitting headache I had. I was skeptical about the pill, but courteously accepted it. No way was I going to take a headache pill given by a vet! It could have been for a horse, for all you know!

The pup stirred slowly as I came out on the road. I had switched of my phone as ria had been calling incessantly while the doctor was treating the pup. As soon as I switched it on, I got a call from ria, who was worried sick and very angry with me! I explained the scenario to her. She insisted on meeting the pup, who by now had started moving. She is not the person who takes no for an answer, so I silently hailed a rick. I was glad that the pup was safe.
So was ria. She played with it for at least an hour, and I had to get biscuits, half a liter of milk and a bottle of mineral water for “jimmy”! We then took jimmy to the animal dept, where it received a teary eyed farewell from ria, knowing full well that dad would not share our sentiment. I could feel a lump in my throat too, but I quickly dismissed it to being a result of getting a holiday mid week!

Kids form an instant bond, and so when ria said ‘ill miss him’, I believed her. Ill kinda miss him too..

Kartikeya Dwivedi

Friday, March 23, 2007


Excuse me for a sec; I have got to take this!” Have you heard it all too often, as if the person’s life depended on it? Cellular phones have taken over the world! In Tokyo, there are two mobile connections per person! Can you imagine that? What could be a logical explanation for this unhealthy gadget fetish? True, we live in an age of modern technology, and cell phones make work easier, communication more efficient, and distances smaller. How many people do you know, who have a cell phone, but actually, reeeeeeaaaalllly need it? Not the kind of person to NOT give credit where it’s due, I would like to congratulate the service providers and phone manufacturers for creating such ludicrous desire for this wireless piece of wonder! Everybody wants one, or should I say, everyone owns one, not many need one.
If I were to summarize the utility of a cellular phone, a few pertinent queries would arise.
I can understand that it is, to an elite few, a very helpful device as far as business is concerned. But were not businesses run before the mobile phone was created? Didn’t we have the Ambani’s and the Tata’s back then?
Also, it comes in handy at emergencies. Or does it? Take for example the Mumbai 26/7 deluge or the 11/7 train blasts. Almost all services, barring a few were defunct, chiefly due to the heavy call traffic.

It is nice to gift your mother a phone, as you may probably be the only person she will call. What will ensue? Instead of wishing her or your relative a very happy anything, you shall just send a message, and that shall be the end of it. Has the mobile been connecting people or helping in disconnecting them?

A few years back, if a person was seen with a wireless phone resembling a walkie talkie, people instantly recognized him as a very rich or well to do person. The mobile, sadly has lost its entire ‘status symbol’ quotient!

The basic function of a mobile phone is to make and receive calls. An online dictionary defines it as ‘any wireless telephone that operates over a relatively large area, as a cellular phone or PCS phone’ which is why it’s called a mobile/cellular phone. It was not an instrument to click high resolution photos with, or a radio, or even a plaything, to begin with. Thanks to all those budding geniuses and mba’s at manufacturing units, we have phones to send e-mails with, phones to keep us out of the office, and phones that double up as entertainment devices. I, for one, would not love watching football on a mobile phone, and hate it when people come to parties, but either get lost in their cellular world or start sharing data, effectively ruining any chances of human communication.

There are talks of brain damage due to excessive use of cell phones, which are not definite yet, but are a cause of concern.

Making life easier, aiding in effective and continuous dialogue, being fun, when sensibly priced are the pros of a mobile phone, one’s which I enjoy. It’s when the desire exceeds the need, do I start getting jittery. In my view, it is always better to buy a personal computer, which I feel shall be more useful than buying a 3 mega pixel, 8 gb extendable, Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, which shall be out of vogue before you can say A I K O N!

I also have a great storyline for script writers. Mobiles suddenly become intelligent and start taking over the earth, until a simple guy, who has not let mobiles rule his life, saves the world! Although, I don’t think that they have to take over the world, they already have!
Kartik ..

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Dearest Sweetheart,
The single most important fact of my life is that I love you from the bottom of my heart. So, to express my feelings for you, to show how much I can love, I thought of writing this letter. I have to admit though; I was having trouble in trying to describe my feelings towards you, to put pen on to paper. I thought, I thought & I thought. Then I thought some more. I just could not find the appropriate words with the required depth, passion and sentiment to do justice to what I felt in my heart. I had almost given up on the idea of writing the Perfect letter to you, when suddenly, while watching a movie, like a lightening bolt, it struck me.
All the years gone by, all the memories, all the phone calls, all the times spent together, all the times we shared a laugh, all the times I made you cry. It all came rushing into my head. I suddenly realized that Love is an emotion, just like so many others. Yet it is the hardest to define. It’s a feeling, a feeling almost impossible to convey in words. Nothing is impossible though, so I’ll try.
For the past few years, my life has been one long roller coaster ride, only without a stop button. I’ve had my ups, and by gosh, I’ve had my downs. Nothing was or is consistent, permanent. Except for you. Yes, you. You have always been there to back me up, to hold me when I was about to fall, to caution me whenever I was going to commit a mistake, to scold me after my every mistake, to make me realize the strength of the lord, to make me smile, to make me tear my hair out in sheer frustration, to make me a better person. All said, you are the only consistently recurring good thing happening in my life!

Whenever I look into your eyes, I can see in them the man I can be, the man I want to be. When your lovely lips curl up for that enchanting spellbinding smile, my heart, most certainly, skips a beat or two. Your mesmerizing voice sends tremors of delight through my veins, a sense of confidence in my soul and a feeling of eternal bliss in my heart. I will not illustrate how I feel when I look at your tender, delicate and sensuous body. All I will say is that I consider myself the luckiest man alive..
You are the one woman I want to be with, and the one I cannot be without. I am hooked on to you, for life. It is my solemn vow to give everything I am, to you.

Will you marry me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Off all the things that I fail to understand, and there are many, the one that takes the cake, surely, is what is it with women and their deep rooted desire to conceive? In plain –speak, why do they want to have children???
Right from the time they hit puberty, they are in for trouble. Especially in a country like India, where a woman in her ‘days’ is subjected to what I feel is degradation. They are not allowed to pray, eat with others, and do all the mundane things that they normally do everyday, all in the name of religion. And yes, it does exist in modern India too, and there are ladies who follow it even when not bound. Hopefully, that mindset is changing, and im very glad that it is. Im the kind of person who likes to hug his friends on birthdays, regardless of their ‘dates’, and I shall continue to do that, religious sentiments be damned.

Coming back to my point, at the young age of 11 or 12, girls have to go through that horrendous experience. I remember when it had happened to my sister for the first time. She was crying up a storm, and to this date, the day of my mother’s death and the day mentioned above are two instances when I had questioned not the existence, but the ethics of god himself/herself! From then on, starts this sad monthly routine. It is a pity to see young sprightly girls playing, so cheerful and full of life one day, writhing in pain, trying to hide the angst the other. It seems so unfair to me.

As soon as they just start getting used to it, on top of having a career and helping at housework, they are married off and then have to bear the pain associated with lovemaking. I would have to admit that although I am not authority on it, I have friends who would be at the top of the line for a PhD on that particular subject, and so it’s safe to say that my information is accurate.

One thing leads to another, and its time for all the nausea and vomiting. The lady’s pregnant! There is unbridled joy all around! The papa’s happy obviously, not only because he is a soon to be father, but because he CAN be a father! The mother in law is licking her lips at the prospect of watching her daughter in law go through 9 months of hell! The father in law’s happy, as the wife’s happy, and he is sure that there shall be no more fighting, at least till the daughter leaves for her paternal home! The girl’s parents are obviously happy to see their daughter, and there are festivities and rituals all around. Most importantly, what about the girl? How does she feel? Shockingly, she has never felt better. This is the part when you can go to the start of this article. This is what I DON’T UNDERSTAND. Why do they want to go through 9 months of hell, risking their life, bearing such a lot of pain, leading a restrained and cautiously monitored life? For what? To conceive her bundle of joy, the apple of her eye, who, on turning 18, won’t even remember to thank her on mother’s day? A woman’s travails don’t end here. Nappy changes, doctors, lactation, sleepless nights, the works. Men of today are supportive, and not all women lead a very cautious life, but generally speaking, women do take utmost care, and to me are gods greatest gift to mankind. They bring us onto this earth, nurturing us in their womb, take care of us, feed us, teach us, learn with us. And I may never understand why they do it, some saying I won’t as im not a woman, but it will not stop me from respecting them. Thank you mom, thank you women, everywhere.

Regs, Kartik..

Friday, March 16, 2007

i fail to understand..

I’m confused. And I’m tired. I have seen and experienced activities, many of which I fail to understand. Can someone help?

I fail to understand why there are inconsistencies in the written word and the actual load shedding schedules in and across thane, and what has to be done to bring parity to this madness.

I fail to understand which event I should find most endearing, that of my little sister fretting over how much cheese is on her bread lestshe put on weight, or just watching a beggar girl gorge on the hakka noodles I buy for her.

I fail to understand how women get these unimaginable levels of tolerance, patience and kindness.

I fail to understand the psyche of terrorists, and how, what seems to us as horrid acts, is a service to god according to them?

I fail to understand how can people be so insensate as to rape a 5 year old girl?

I fail to understand how is it that even after 60 years of division, 3 wars and innumerable deaths, there is no conclusion to it all?

I fail to understand why there are still so many suicides in the vidharbha region, when talks are on to make Mumbai the next Shanghai?

I fail to understand why and how my ‘friends’ suddenly find themselves short of money, when I need it the most?

I fail to understand that if money can’t buy happiness, why do rich people seem happier?

I fail to understand why Team India are such perennial underachievers, and will the master blaster ever get to hold the coveted trophy in his hands?

I fail to understand why Indians prefer to go to Switzerland when one can have double the fun in half the money at Uttaranchal?

I fail to understand how in the great land of America, and it’s much heralded ‘Hollywood’, one has yet to see romantic movies with a black - white couple?

I fail to understand why remakes and sequels are the flavor of the month, and why is it so hard to come up with a fresh, original and exciting script?

I fail to understand how is there a generation gap between me and my younger brother, 2 years my junior?

I fail to understand the plight of Indian Football and why is it in the doldrums?

I fail to understand why someone, anyone, better than me of course, won’t do anything significant or remarkable to make other sports as popular as cricket?

I fail to understand our fascination with cricket, where we have achieved precious little and our complete disregard to other sports?

I fail to understand why my friends will kill me for the statement written above?

I fail to understand how with so much corruption and political ill-will do people not get disillusioned with the government, and even if they do, are not ready to do anything to try and change it?

I fail to understand why I felt like writing this, knowing full well, that it won’t change a thing?