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The better Electro & Deep House remixes of songs we know

Hip-Hop artists have used samples of classic songs for years, 2 Pac, Kanye & Jay-Z doing it more successfully than others. Electro & Deep House have not been far behind, putting out some great remixes out there, some bootleg versions, others authorised. While everyone has their favourites, here are five of mine. Enjoy..

State Trooper by Bruce Springsteen remixed by Trentemøller

Pure gold from Trentemøller, remixing one of Springsteen’s earlier hits of his 1982 album ‘Nebraska’. Haunting beats that can be heard over and over, am surprised that more remixes are not out there, Springsteen’s voice lends itself well to deep cuts.

Wicked Games by Chris Issak (Adriatique & Thyladomid Edit)

More than the song I remember the video with Helena Christensen in the nude cavorting on a black and white beach. Surprisingly the video did not move the song up, however it was used in the movie Wild at Heart, which then catapulted it up all the way up the charts. The remix keeps the original melody and just added the right beats to make it here. Good way to ease in to the night.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You by Led Zeppelin(Quivver Mix ) Paul Oakenfold 

To make yourself really unpopular you take a classic from one of the biggest rock gods out there and…remix it. Except these guys took it to another level – Oakie just owned this one. Kept the original purity there and amped it to the right degree. Trippy all the way, available on the Perfecto Presents Another World – CD 1.

Everything In Its Right Place (Gigamesh Remix) by Radiohead

For every fan there’s a critic of Radiohead. Maybe its a karmic cycle. In this case its hard to find fault with a brilliant remake of their classic from the Kid A album. Certified Platinum, the album broke a host of records, and was Radiohead’s foray into a more electronic sound, which is probably why the remix works so well.

I’m On Fire (Cousin Cole’s Bad Desire Remix) by Bruce Springsteen

Another classic from the Boss, of the Born in the USA album. Not as innocent as it sounds, the lyrics point to a more sinister underage sexual abuse problem more than pure lust. Staying true to the original with just the right amount of continuity & enhancement of the guitar this lends itself well to starting the night off, or enjoying a sunset.

Will be back with some of the hip-hop samplers & remixes, enjoy the music.


Adventures with a Tattoo for the over age…

There comes a time when you do think of getting a tattoo. Sometimes that time is at 18, sometimes at 34. My time came when I was 28, but I acted on it a good number of years later. What was the reason? Boredom, angst, change? Probably a combination of all three. Historically every one of my visits to Goa would have one “Lets get a tattoo” day, which never culminated in it. And for good reason; sun, water, alcohol are all not very conducive to getting a tattoo so here’s my advice, don’t do it in Goa regardless of how cool it would sound when you narrate it to your friends. You might end up with one like this…

I chose a studio in Bangalore after considerable research. It’s a place called Skin Deep in Indira Nagar. Modern, comfortable and with a bunch of talented youngsters.

I did think quite deeply of what I wanted. No design involving the devil or anything satanic, nothing as spiritual as one of the gods, no women names for obvious reasons…just a quote from Hamlet which I felt best represented my life situation. I mulled over this for a couple of days and then spent a day thinking where, disregarding the back, arms, legs and my buttocks for various reasons, both personal, pain related & obvious! Eventually I decided on my right rib cage, research pointed to a decent amount of pain but not unbearable.

When I reached the studio I went in and gave them the script which one of the guys showed me how it would look in various fonts on the system. I liked one style, it was printed on thermal paper and then stuck on my rib and I was whisked into the “theatre”. All in all this took not more than five to eight minutes, which meant I did not have time to think or change my mind, which in hindsight was a good thing, I don’t think I would have gone through with it if I had much time to think about it.

In we go, shirt off, alone in a strange room surrounded by prints, tattoo ink, couple of people getting inked, chest, arms, back and a secondary private room where an attractive girl was being inked close to her unmentionables..hence a half ajar door! It never struck me to ask why the door was not shut completely?

My tattoo artist was this young guy from art school who had moved to Bangalore from Pune. Talked to me quite a bit about the process, nonchalantly pulled out fresh needles and got to work. Now the rib cage as per multiple web sites was an area of moderate pain. Moderate pain is now defined for me as a combination of giving birth, being knifed in the gut and hearing Pantera being played repeatedly in the back ground.

The first half hour wasn’t bad, he skirted the ribs and stuck to the periphery. Once he hit the ribs it was pure agony. Not for one hour, not for two hours but for three solid hours. To be fair to him he tried to distract me with conversation, we went through varied topics like alcohol, career, his family, girls, drugs, his future, music…that lasted about half hour. Very tough to speak through clenched teeth and perspiring lips.We took one break. I wanted to use the loo. I actually wanted to take a detour, one that wouldn’t bring me back ever, but better sense prevailed. A Shakespearean quote is always hard to decipher, half a quote is just silly.’This is Sparta’ sent goose bumps down spines, ‘This is Spa’ is the entrance to a Thai massage parlour, not quite inspiring.

By the third hour, the pain was at a constant level, the area had numbed and I was relatively ‘comfortable’. I also took solace in seeing the burly men next door crying in pain, what sissies…though to be fair there tattoo’s were infinitely bigger and more complex. Still. I was given multiple doses of chewing gum, it distracts you. The music was also quite good, rock down the ages. The studio also had a bunch of interesting memorabilia, an old style TV converted to a fish tank, skulls with ink, witty sayings, all in all a good place to feel the most pain ever felt by man.

The last hour was possibly the worst. He did something which he called ‘whitening’ which basically ensured that the ink did not spread and become patchy. My limited understanding of whitening was basically taking hot coal and running it across your fresh raw tattoo for an hour, apparently this is not the scientific definition. The scientific definition is something I still don’t know. I prefer my definition, it is a more accurate representation both scientifically and for the layman. I tried stopping at this time. However convincing a tattoo artist mid way is tougher than getting cows to move in rush hour traffic by honking. “I’m an artist”, “I would not be comfortable”, “You think Da Vinci would have stopped half way through the Mona Lisa because her neck was hurting” were muttered in different tones, this I para phased as “Shut up and sit down you sissy ass man and finish it!”

And then it was done. My tattoo was over and I had managed to not cry, weep or do anything remotely unmanly. Sweating profusely and getting the shakes doesn’t count. The relief washed over me, it literally washed over me since I was sweating so much! Post that the mandatory photo’s, the wrapping of the tattoo in cling film, getting a small brochure on after care, a bottle of neosporin powder, the even more mandatory fist bumps followed by the even more mandatory payment…cash only.

So there it was, my first tattoo. It pains like hell, but its meant too. The rib is apparently extremely painful for a first timer. The web sites that mentioned moderate pain were referring to people who had tattoo’s before and probably looked like this.. not someone like me who looked like this in tattoo years. Post care management was easy, within a couple of hours the redness vanished and within a fortnight it had scabbed over and healed completely. It’s important to remember the following things, shave the area you wish to tattoo or if you’re hairless like me no need, don’t think too much or you might not do it, don’t drink the night before or your blood thins and can ruin the design, man up and complete it, don’t cry and finally..Just Do It!


Cooking For One..A Bachelor’s Guide To Good Food – Goan Crab Xec Xec Curry

I never realised how great my cooking was till I actually tried cooking food beyond the ‘Maggi in a Mug’ & burnt attempts at a ham and cheese omelette that looked more like french toast & tasted not much better! For the uninitiated, Maggi in a Mug is a boarding school tradition. Hot water from the bathing geysers in a bathing mug in which you dump the Maggi and then wait for it to slowly dissolve…the resultant mess is the obvious namesake. However, moving to Bangalore and living alone allowed me to start experimenting in the kitchen, especially when my maid’s cooking was restricted to combinations of chilli, chicken, gravy, oil & tomatoes – 20 different types. To cut a long story short I had some friends over from out-of-town so here’s the first recipe, a Goan Crab Xec Xec Curry. Warning: This recipe is a spicy one, so be prepared!

Preparation/Cooking Time: 45 mins – 1 hour. Can I Make It Level: Yes. Medium Difficulty.

Goan Xec Xec Xurry with RIce The critical thing to note before embarking on any type of half decent culinary adventure is to make sure you have the right tools. Don’t skimp here, because size and quality does matter! While you’re not going for the Masterchef Kitchen look I would recommend the following.

  1. Two good-sized non-stick branded saucepans. I prefer the Cocoon range of cookware, they’re TEFLON coated, sturdy and wear age well.Cookware
  2. A set of sharp cutting knives, some good brands put there include Lazer. I prefer a couple of the German brands, you tend not to go wrong with the European stuff.
  3. Chopping boards – 1 large and 1 Small. Both wooden or toughened plastic? will do.
  4. Wooden spoons for stirring, no particular brand but make sure they are sturdy and sit comfortably in your hands.
  5. Assorted pans for boiling rice, cleaning meats and generally useful.
  6. A bunch of small steel bowls to keep your spices etc.
  7. Couple of medium to large steel strainers – they are especially useful for cleaning rice and sea-food.Grinder
  8. A really sturdy wet/dry grinder for spices etc. Lot of good brands out there, I prefer the Kenstar, possibly because it came free from my mother! Two things to look out for, the simpler the better and should have a powerful motor with multiple speed settings.

Since I live alone in Bangalore I am comfortable picking up my sea-food from either the Metro Cash & Carry goo.gl/maps/Jy3br near my office or the more expensive but better serviced Food Hall at the new 1MG Mall goo.gl/maps/DSosa. Alternatively, you can try Russell Market goo.gl/maps/mnMUP where most of the locals shop.


  • 2 kgs crabs
  • 1 Coconut
  • 1 Packet Kashmiri Chilli’s (Almost impossible to find in Bangalore so you can substitute that with local dried red chillies)
  • 1 Packet Coriander Seeds neé dhaniya
  • 1 bottle of Malabar Peppercorns
  • 25 gms Cloves neé laung
  • Regular Cooking Oil
  • Onions
  • Store-bought Ginger-Garlic Paste (If you wish to make it at home find the recipe at goo.gl/JWEHF)
  • 1 packet of Tumeric neé haldi powder
  • 1 packet of Kashmiri Chilli powder (Only required if you don’t have Kashmiri Chillies)
  • A bunch of green chillies
  • Raw Tamarind neé imli

What Next:

Crabs: You need to clean the crabs. Normally quite a yucky process, would suggest you use polythene gloves to handle the crabs. Unlike prawns, crabs are easy to clean. Rinse them under the kitchen tap and remove any grimy parts or debris. You might find yellow tinged meat in the underbelly. This is safe to eat and is considered a delicacy in some parts of the civilised world…I personally think its gross and scoop it out. Once you clean the crab, break it into four to six parts. Essentially the stomach area and the claws need to be separated. If the claws are too big you can break them into two parts as well.IMG_20120628_230321 Most traditional recipes don’t talk about marination, but I normally add two heaped tea-spoons of salt and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the crabs. If you like your’s spicy you may even add one teaspoon of red chilli powder to the mix. Spread it well and keep the crabs aside for a minimum of 10 minutes. Coconut: Break the coconut. A Herculean task. Don’t try it yourself, ask your South Indian maid to do it in the morning. She’s a master at this. If you wish to do itself here’s a guide on how to go about it…goo.gl/xDACk. Please don’t blame me for loss or limb, fingers or other more important male bodily parts. You need the coconut flesh now.  Boiling it for about 5-10 minutes then running it under some cold water and letting it sit for another 5-10 minutes. The softer flesh shrinks back to its original shape quicker than the harder shell and you can very easily slip in a knife or a spoon and pull the whole flesh out in one go. Again be careful, I know a friend who sliced her palm while taking out the flesh. Once you have got sufficient flesh, put it in your grinder and give it a whirl. You need about half a cup of grated coconut for the dish. Onions Onions: Slice 2 medium sized onions. Use a wet knife, it tends to keep the tears away. Use the plastic gloves if you don’t want to reek of onions and garlic! Try and ensure the slices are circular and the rings separated. Tamarind Juice: A simple way to get the juice is put a couple of pieces of tamarind in half a cup of boiling water. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then squeeze the pulp in the cup and voila, you have tamarind juice! Start Cooking: On a high flame roast the grated coconut in your cooking pan. This needs to be done dry. Once the coconut is a light brown transfer the roasted coconut to your grinder bowl and let it cool down.IMG_20120701_230939 In the same pan on a high flame roast 10 -12 Kashmiri or local red chillies, again without oil. After 1 minute add 2 tablespoons dhaniya seeds, 10-12 peppercorns and 4 cloves. Roast them for another minute and then transfer the roasted spices to the grinder where your roasted coconut is waiting. (If you like your food spicy, you can add 2 chopped green chillies to the grinder mix as well)IMG_20120625_223806 Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes and then add 1 tablespoon of water along with 1 tablespoon of the tamarind juice without the pulp in the grinder bowl. Now grind this to a fine paste. I find 45 seconds to 1 minute usually does the trick. Time to pour oil in your pan – 2 to 3 tablespoons is adequate. Any more and the oil will stay in the food and form a film on the gravy. Heat the oil on a high flame and then add the onions. Fry them for about 3 minutes, the onions will first turn translucent and then start browning. At this point stir in 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder. You need to fry this mixture for about 15 to 20 seconds, basically to let the masalas mix well with the onions. If you didn’t have the Kashmiri Chillies you can add 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri Chilli powder to give it a red colour. IMG_20120629_000004 Add the crabs to this mixture, stir it well. Pour the half cup of tamarind juice without seeds and pulp along with 1/4 cup of water. This should just about cover the crabs. If you want some more gravy add another 1/4 cup of water. Resist the temptation to add more water; you will find the curry too watery. Cover the pan and let it cook on high flame for about 10-12 minutes.IMG_20120628_234049

Use this time to pour yourself a wine. I am told a semi dry Sauvignon Blanc  is a good accompaniment.I personally prefer a beer, try one of the Indus Pride spiced variants or even a good Japanese single malt like the Nikka, not too complex with a soft maltiness and gentle on the palate.Indus Pride Nikka

Cook the preparation open for another 5 minutes, the gravy thickens and starts coating the crabs.

IMG_20120701_232836Go ahead, dig in!

4 – 5 medium sized crabs
1/2 a cup of grated coconut
10 – 12 Kashmiri Chillies or dried Local Red Chillies
2 tbsps Coriander Seeds neé dhaniya
10 – 12 Malabar peppercorns
4 cloves
2 – 3 Green Chillies
2 Medium sized Onions
1 – 2 tsps Ginger-Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Tumeric neé haldi powder
1/2 a cup of Tamarind neé imli juice
Salt to taste

Bangalore Women & The South/North divide

I never really thought of the differences between men and women were so drastic until I moved back to ‘Zouth India‘ after three years. So it’s not like a move to virgin territory, I did live in Bangalore for 5 years earlier, but things are a bit different now…for one I was not living in with a woman, and two…I am older now!
I have just shifted jobs with a beer company based out of Bangalore and like all companies based here, the marketing team is filled with, North Indians! Anyhow that’s a different story for another time.
I just finished reading another article on Delhi boys written by who else, a nice South Indian girl (http://raagshahana.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-letter-to-delhi-boy.html?spref=fb)where she proceeds to rip all North Indian boys apart, along with a couple of sweetly timed barbs at the women down there as well. While the article is funny, it’s also a summary of all the20110914-010945.jpg clichéd impressions one tends to have about us from the other side of the Vindhya’s, so I thought why not flip the coin and do unto others what they do unto us, after all it was the Bible that said ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth’!
So why do all women here think that ‘macha’ and ‘da’ are supposed to mean something to everyone? Every sentence is punctuated with one or the other from, “let’s meet for a drink…da!” to “I want to have your baby….da!” Imagine spending ‘intimate’ time with one of them and in the middle of all that, sweet nothings are liberally sprinkles of da and macha…
I have yet to meet a Southie who doesn’t think that music begins and ends with rock, that every time Pink Floyd plays there needs to be this insane air guitar strumming and when Iron Maiden plays, all the long lustrous locks (half the reason there is a global oil crisis…most of it is used for oiling the long locks every morning.) start violently moving in every conceivable direction, mostly defying gravity. Ladies, just because it doesn’t show so easily as women northwards, doesn’t mean the upper lip, legs and arms should be in full blossom…visit the parlour once a month please! Not all South Indian women look like they are about to burst in to a Bharat Natyam dance or change in to bright red and yellow clothes, run around trees following a big mustachioed man and play with big bouncing balls!
The interesting cliché of all thoughts is that the North is a state in the region of Punjab! Forget about Rajasthan, UP, Jammu, etc etc…all North Indian boys belong to The Punjab! They all have rich daddies, live in South Delhi or Chandigarh, drive BMW’s, listen only to Bhangra & Jay Sean, work in ‘papa’s bizness’, go to F Bar or a similar club to party, went to Bhagat Singh College and go to ‘Amrica’ to visit ‘vilayat uncle’ once a year! Sorry to bust the myth, but that’s as far removed from the truth as the fact that all South Indian girls come out of their mother’s stomach either holding a stethoscope or a keyboard!
The Cliched Delhi Boy!A few home truths, breakfast, lunch and dinner cannot be idli, dosa and sambhar every day. A work day does not start at 10 am…full straight means absolutely nothing in the English language while giving directions…Hoysala is a semi-abuse not the correct name for the police…banning a film actress from movies for having an affair is not progressive…all boys from Delhi are not automatically Punjabi and definitely do not look like the guy on the left…the airport is not a railway station, bedding is not required…one hour does not mean one day, it’s IST not SST…everyone living here does not automatically know Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malaylam, try English or Hindi once in while…Dubai is not in India…putting racing stickers on white Maruti Swifts does not make it a F1 car…and smoking and drinking isn’t being an “independent woman”!
Let’s give Delhi and it’s boys it’s due. It’s the capital of the country. We’ve had a women chief minister through three elections, unlike the quarterly ‘let’s make 500 crores and then move over for the next politician” CM process here. For every destination in Delhi there are a minimum of 5 four lane roads, unlike here where there are three roads…one to the airport, one to Infosys’s office and one to the house of the new CM. The Delhi Metro covers over 250km, the one in Bangalore began construction before India’s independence, I believe they may have covered 6kms till date. When the boys in Delhi party, they start drinking at a bar at 10 and then move to a club at 1, here they start drinking at 6 and wind up by 10! Oh, and when they go out, they wear this really cool invention called clothes and shoes, not vests and slippers! We don’t really care for inheritance laws, because we would give our sister whatever she wanted anyway. We went to St. Stephen or Hindu College not because we studied 20 hours a day and didn’t have a life, we went because it’s part of Delhi University!

Finally, don’t get this wrong…I love South Indian women, just not the stuck up, pseudo-intellectual, oil loving insular clichéd bunch who think that the Sun rises in the South and a mustache is the newest fad in town!