The Sweet Freedom of Love

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If I inspire you to breathe, can I inspire you to see?

If I inspire you to see, can I inspire you to sing?

If I inspire you to sing, can I inspire you to dance?

If I inspire you to dance, can I inspire you to laugh?

If I inspire you to laugh, Can I inspire you to love?

If I inspire you to love, Can I inspire you to be?

If I inspire you to be, Can we be?

If we be, Can it become us?

If it becomes us, You & I will cease to exist.

By Anonymous

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2008: The year we caught up

By Saurabh Misal

“‘Twas the year the common man on the street decided that whatever the West was selling sounded good enough to be honored at the altar of the street corner speaker towers”

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Ah 2008. I remember it like it was last month: Folks were torn between newfangled touch screen phones and blocky BBM-boasting Blackberries, comic nerds were made cool overnight by our saviors Chris Nolan and Heath Ledger and Bollywood had just discovered the bottomless bag of South Indian films they could remake for big bucks and little effort.

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My exact expression in subsequent years each time I hear Bollywood is remaking a Telugu action flick

 

2008 was also a huge milestone for something that went largely unnoticed, and only ever occurred to me after nearly a decade— it was the year Indians as a people finally caught up to the international music scene, and the common man on the street decided that whatever the west was selling sounded good enough to be honored at the altar of the street corner speaker towers that pop up every time there’s literally any occasion for celebration.

India’s music scene has been largely self sufficient in a way, with the film industry being the end all,be all of mainstream Indian music. Having no qualms about picking up samples, styles, lyrics, even entire songs wholesale from the west like middle aged people at your local Big Bazaar, music directors make them a bit more palatable for Indian tastes and pass them off as their own with zero consequence. While there have been quite a few acts that slipped through unscathed like Boney M, ABBA, Michael Jackson and periodic Spanish hits like the Macarena and Asereje, by and large ‘English music’, as anything that isn’t Indian is called, had always been the domain of the upper class, limited to Parsi collections or to those that had a rare curiosity and enough access to western media.

India had always lagged behind when it came to the global predominant pop music style: rock and roll hit India almost a decade later, the 70’s Disco wave didn’t come to India till the 80’s and 90’s Bollywood has definite hints of the 80’s feel good pop hits instead of the more edgy and peppy turns that captured America’s imagination at the time.

 

Meanwhile this was what captured India’s imagination in the 90s

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While the Indian launch of MTV, Channel V and Star World did bring the west inside our homes just as consumer electronics became less of a luxury, a lot of it was restricted to late night or very small daytime segments which were eclipsed by way more accessible and inescapable film songs. Not to mention most parents thought of these ‘English channels’ as taboo good for nothing distractions where white people engaged in liberal amounts of ‘lip-to-lip’ kissing which was strictly not for the eyes of children, while they themselves sneakily caught up on Baywatch late at night.

The 2000s brought with them the final wave that culminated in making the Indian music industry a true contemporary. There was a significant increase in recording quality and equipment, from the sketchy and low quality cassette-aimed masters of the 90s to studio quality records that let you hear every instrument. VH1, the internet, and cell phone tech that let you store and play your music out loud at a time when ‘English songs’ were still considered a symbol of stature quickly caught the attention of the urban youth. International artists made a beeline for India in their tours, with the likes of Beyonce, 50 Cent and Shakira performing in much hyped and heavily attended events. The lag between when a song became a hit in the west and when people picked it up in India became ever shorter, until in 2008 it faded completely.

2008 was undoubtedly huge for western music, and not just in India. Artists who were entirely unknown became household names overnight: Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Coldplay’s breakout albums; Timbaland’s plethora of hits and vicarious efforts through Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado and a host of others, the nigh omnipotent Akon, and the debut of one Lady Gaga all happened within the span of a year. Akon in particular transcended Indian audiences and had people who struggle with English blasting ‘I Wanna Love You’, ‘Smack That’ and ‘I Wanna Make Up’ to the point of irritation. Akshay Kumar got Snoop Dogg for a track on ‘Singh is Kinng’. Teenage girls of the English medium variety couldn’t get enough of Taylor Swift, and a whole host of western grown Punjabi acts like Hard Kaur, Shamur, Bohemia and Jay Sean found a dedicated following that extended well beyond their traditional northern bastions. Accessibility had improved drastically; the internet, Bluetooth and the advent of USB drives meant music could be traded freely, which also ensured that probably 99% of music circulating in India was and likely is of the pirated kind.

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If you’re a 90s girl, don’t even pretend this song didn’t make you want to elope with your imaginary boyfriend

 

10 years later, India has a behemoth of a music industry that may not measure success in sales, but has made itself indispensable as an advertising tool for its parent, Bollywood. Indian audiences have front row access to all the latest in pop trends, with ‘Shape of You’, ‘Despacito’ and even the likes of ‘Gucci Gang’ becoming obnoxiously popular within a week of release. Artists in India now have a whole host of influences to turn to; not just to Americans but to the rest of the world and more importantly, to the rest of India itself. What’s more, between its ever improving escapist spectacle and the export of Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood has made full blown fans out of international audiences as well,  and in no small measure is it because of this underappreciated but essential music industry.

 

Some

rock-bottom

Sometimes

You just want that loud blaring noise to stop

Maybe from  outside

Maybe from inside

But sometimes

What you want to stop

is that deafening silence

Wracking your nerves

And pray for that comfortable threshold

Sometimes

You want all the surveillance to stop

Big Brother NO.

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Please don’t pay attention

It will really fetch you nothing

But sometimes

Just sometimes

You worry that if  people don’t see you enough

You slowly fade away into

The great nothingness

kite_grande_cropped

And sometimes

You  just wanna stop the countdown

and just start living up to that potential

 that everyone but you keeps talking about

Who are these everyone anyways?

Actual people

Or

Internalized social consciousness

Programmed on to us

From time immemorial?

Does it matter anyway?

Just sometimes

When the fan hits the shit

Beneath the well

In  a place called

Rock bottom.

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Mom in travel mode

Mom traversed munnar and yercaud to come up with these beauties. Munnar is a hill station in Kerala and yercaud can be found in Tamil Nadu , both of which are in the southern part of India .

Please leave your feedback. This is the first time her work is being shared anywhere 🙂

Unhappy days

By WordWomit

Hi. This is WordWomit here . I thank Devil’s Paradise for providing me a platform. I plan to share more of my work with y’all soon. This is partly inspired by ‘unhappy refrain’ in Imaginary garden with Real Toads and partly inspired by my shitty mood.

 

Fuck this shit

Writing or typing

Does it really matter

When I can nail the words

And make it shatter.

‘Content’ is a bad word

Words stripped naked of their beauty

Clinically laid out for all to see.

All this war for words

Is just misplaced anger

Like most wars are anyways.

 scrump-diy

Someone poured cement inside me

I cannot move at all

And that doesn’t stop me from shouting

And yelling and brawling and crawling.

I wanna yank myself out

One piece at a time?

The more I struggle

More I get strangled

What is this weird feeling in my stomach?

Trepidation that sits about as well as turpentine.

A sense of hopelessness building to a crescendo

And makes me punch my hand through many a walls.

This unclarity is only a given

And the reactions to it more so

Still the feeling persists

And make me sea sick.

I would puke and be done with it

But I drank no water hey.

Will this go away

Or will I fade  away

Only to awaken

When the lights don’t come again.

 

Parasomnia

Steady waves unfurl in

the oceans of unconscious

The mind twirls the soul

and the soul comes to moan

Dark waters

Black matter

Yet all I see is the Inkblot splatter

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Why is my well so toxic

I worry my Freudian wonders

Our lobes are continents

which we fail to explore

afraid what more adorns

this reservoir of repressed thoughts and emotions

Oh! Who would want to sail this darned ocean?

Thought no explorer ever.

Bedrock

By Anonymous

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She appeared on the hallways of my dream

Like the trusted friend she once was,

Outside our school auditorium she held me

All at once with her gentle yet solid embrace.

We were back once again

As ‘best friends forever’

However childish it was

I knew that she was in my corner always

She took that belief along with her

When she left me stranded

In this island of strangers

And sailed away to la la land

On her brand new friend ship.

But in that illusory moment

Conjured up in my head

Thanks to some residual memory

All that was broken is fixed

And things unsaid didn’t need to be said

She anchored me to earth again.

 

The contributor wishes to remain anonymous but she would really love honest feedback for her work! 

Aletheia

Aletheia (Ancient Greek: ἀλήθεια) is truth or disclosure in philosophy.The literal meaning of the word Aletheia is “the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident.” It also means factuality or reality.

Bitupan Das  from the ode to somnambulist blog and a famous blogger in zeading  is sharing a poem with us today. Let us sit back and enjoy – with a cuppa of coffee of course! 🙂

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Climbing the mountain hollow,

To Finding thee.

Climbing like a spider ,

But dark clouds above me .

Laughing like thunderstorm,

Climbing arachnid me.

Gravity is my best foe,

But like to play with thee.

But you give me the free fall,

To meet the dream of me.

Now I can see mountain hollow,

Black hole every dream,

Infinity is my address,

And gravity within me.

 

Author’s note : By this poem, I want to show you the other side of the truth that we probably know but we refused to accept it’s truth. Maybe only death can. Maybe this is the limit only we know about. Maybe after death furthermore journey of a soul, we will know. And more truth. Now,this is the maximum possible distance that I can travel……. in search of truth. Remember nothing is absolute.