Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Song

The song was blue
About young lovers
Living in delusions of reality
Where the moon always shines

The cloudy rhythm changes its colour
The snare rolls up to a crescendo
A wail breaks into a long solo
Weeping in pain

Silence interrupts the words
There’s only background noise
The music is gone
It ends without an end

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Visa row: Time to clean up this mess, says Lalit Modi

A day after Lalit Modi posted a large amount of Enforcement Directorate (ED) documents on his website,, related to the charges leveled against him by the government agency, the former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman on Tuesday evening launched a frontal attack on some leading politicians and bureaucrats.

In a series of tweets, Modi said: "My Q to @arunjaitley - how come you allowed one owner to have two teams. How come PSU are key sponsors of hockey league which u are owner and director of. How come Mrs Jaitley is lawyer to the hockey league. India wants to know" Modi also asked the media to investigate the role of the finance minister and his daughter in the Indian Hockey League.

Modi earlier alleged that Jaitley had controlled the BCCI for decades and had continued to stick by his "oldest friend", former board president N. Srinivasan, even after he was found guilty. The former IPL chief had also taken a jibe at Congress leader Rajiv Shukla, who was the IPL Chairman during Modi's time. He had called Shukla, Jaitley, Anurag Thakur, Jagmohan Dalmia and N. Srinivasan as the "Gang of Five who work together."

Modi questioned some Congress leaders whether they had taken any favour and asked them to disclose it. "My Q goes out to #congress #party #satish #sharma did u at any time take any #favors from @LalitKModi - PLEASE DISCLOSE #indiawantstoknow" Modi tweeted more: Further Q to #congress #party #Ghulamnabiazad please disclose whether you have taken any favor or hospitality from #modi family" Modi continued his salvo at the Congress and asked party leader Sachin Pilot: "My Q to #sachinpilot have you or your late father ever taken any favor or #hospitality from the #modi #family incl cash"
Playing the role of an anti-corruption crusader, Modi urged his followers to mail their experiences to him on the email id The former IPL chief, who is at the centre of a storm over the help he got from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and is facing an investigation into cases of FEMA violations, warned 'corrupt babus' in the ED and Income Tax Department of a 'cleaning up' of the agencies.

In response to the ED notices, Modi said: "Investigations proved that I had no role to play in any outward remittance. Consequently, no foreign exchange violation has been done by me."
Modi also took on Vivek Nagpal, who he called the 'biggest hawala operator'. Modi had, in an earlier ocassion, named Nagpal as the man who manipulated appointments and elections to the BCCI and is reportedly associated with President Pranab Mukherjee's secretary Omita Paul. Modi said: "the biggest hawala operator is #vivek #nagpal also best known as #omita #pauls #bagman. Lots of data on him. Does anyone care to investigate him no. Why? He has friends in the highest places. Media is blind most times. Follow my lead and see. Find the bank and FM should ensure he gets them to part all info of every indian with them. Surprisingly you will find all the IT/ Govt servants / ED etc etc accounts there. But will u. I doubt it. Go after the real money launderers. Look in the right direction instead of going after someone who only gave to his country and created a life changing product called lPL and 47,600 crores."

The former IPL chief, who admitted that he lives life king-size on his own money, said there will be more 'revelations'. "Wait for daily updates. Time to clean up this mess," he quipped.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Van the Man: Songwriters Hall of Fame honours Sir Van Morrison

Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician, Sir George Ivan "Van" Morrison, was honoured with the prestigious "Johnny Mercer Award" at the 46th annual gala of the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony in New York on Thursday night.

If you are surprised by the “Sir” preceding the veteran musician’s name, news is, Van Morrison was knighted for services to music in the Birthday Honours list of Britain's Queen Elizabeth just a week earlier.

In the ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, legendary Grateful Dead guitarist and songwriter Jerry Garcia was honoured posthumously alongside the band's lyricist Robert Hunter. "Hoochie Coochie Man" songwriter Willie Dixon, Cindy Lauper and Lady Gaga were also on the honouree list, among others.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Neil Young tells Donald Trump to stop 'Rockin' in the Free World'

When multi-billionaire businessmen and Republican Donald Trump announced that he will run for president of the US in 2016 at Trump Tower on Tuesday, he did it in style. Trump launched his campaign to a track by iconic musician Neil Young from his 1989 album Freedom - "Rockin' in the Free World".

Donald Trump, who announced that he is taking his first run at the White House on the promise that he will 'bring back' the American dream, reportedly chose Young's anthemic song to kick-start this huge moment in his life and career.

"Rockin' in the Free World" seemed to be an odd choice, given the fact that the song is supposedly a criticism of George HW Bush's presidency and his free-market economic policies upon which Trump is said to have built his empire. The song also 'slams' the Republicans for their 'disregard toward the lower-class.'

Naturally, the Canadian singer-songwriter and musician was not too pleased with Trump using his tune without any authorization. Young is also said to be a supporter of Democrat Bernie Sanders for president of the US.

"Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement," a spokesperson for Young's Lookout Management told Rolling Stone.

However, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign said that the entrepreneur was a fan of Young's music, although their political views differed, and that the track was played legally. "Through a license agreement with [performance-rights organization] ASCAP, Mr. Trump's campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young's recording of 'Rockin' in the Free World' at today's event," the spokesperson told Rolling Stone. "Nevertheless, we won't be using it again - there are plenty of songs to choose from."

Incidentally, Trump and Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie reportedly stood up and sang along to another Neil Young's song "Let's Impeach the President," at a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2006.

Watch Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" video:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Visa row: Presenting Lalit Modi's 'battle-ready' tweets

Former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi made some startling remarks on Tuesday night in an exclusive interview to India Today TV's Rajdeep Sardesai about the ongoing visa controversy involving External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The former IPL chief, what one can understand from his tweets, was waiting for the interview to drop some "bombshells".

The former IPL chief is at the heart of a controversy which has engulfed Sushma Swaraj over accusations that she put diplomatic pressure on UK authorities to secure travel papers for Modi to visit Portugal, purportedly for his wife's cancer treatment. Modi had come to London in 2010 amid claims that the IPL cricket tournament was embroiled in alleged match-fixing and illegal betting. His Indian passport was later revoked, leaving him grounded in the UK.

Like any Opposition who never lose an opportunity to crucify the party in power, the Congress went after the BJP-led NDA government hammer and tongs over the issue. Accusations flew with demands for Swaraj's resignation. A resurgent Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, on Monday continued his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre: "Lalit Modi is a symbol of black money. Mr Modi is standing behind Mr Modi. Who's Sushma Swarajji? She means nothing in this government." Gandhi demanded that PM Modi should sack Sushma Swaraj from the government.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday backed Swaraj, saying the external affairs minister "acted in good faith and all charges against her are baseless." However, in the last four days since the controversy broke, Swaraj has not spoken yet on her relations with Lalit Modi or her role in helping his wife Minal Modi get treatment for cancer in Portugal.

Lalit Modi, on the other hand, told Rajdeep Sardesai before the no holds barred interview that he was "in holiday a mood and is completely oblivious to the controversy." But his tweets said otherwise. On Monday, he had declared 'war' against his critics on Twitter, and had warned: "Now finally it's my turn to get everything out. There are many bombshells." 

We trawled through his tweets to find a 'battle-ready' Lalit Modi all set to take up the challenge head on. "The battle has begun. Watch the fun now," he had said.