My New Hobby

September 1, 2008

My offhand reference to curmudgeonly thathappas in the last post inspired me to actually search for examples of thathappesque rants. Udupendra helped out by suggesting search keyphrases, and now I have a new hobby: collecting examples of this art form, which derives its beauty from its surreal illogic. So far, this letter to the Deccan Herald is a strong contender for best thathappa-rant ever:

The Indian youth are embracing the global culture and have become more endearing to their way of customs by loosing our precious culture which is invaluable in turn getting lured by their materialistic culture of leading lives which are seen normally in western culture by throwing all values of human parameters.

But Gult thaathyas are not far behind:

The Indian youth is getting carried away by the Western culture, values and practices. This has led to a disturbing trend in which the Indian youth are more often visiting discotheques, night clubs and amusement parks. It may give them some excitement but they don’t get that much-needed peace of mind and confidence.

I’m sure Madras thathas aren’t far behind either, but I haven’t started searching just yet. I’m sure it’ll prove to be a goldmine.

On a related note, Neha Vish putted her own attempt at this art form a year and a half ago.

I Refuse to Make an ‘in a jam’ Joke

September 1, 2008

Hari the Kid has an article in Citizen Matters about how Bangalore’s musicians don’t have any dedicated place to perform where they aren’t dependent on corporate sponsors, or tickets or entry fees from listeners. But this will require the police to give them permission to perform in public spaces:

It had been smooth sailing all along until June 2008, after which the corporate sponsor decided to divest itself from the Sunday Jams, thereby raising questions over their very existence. In the absence of sponsorship on a continued basis, it would not be possible to arrange for a musical venue and a sound system (collecting a token fee for performance from the participating bands being out of question as it would go against the tenets on which this movement was founded).

In order have a place within the city where musicians could perform, without being under corporate mercy, the Sunday Jam movement staged a protest near the MG Road statue on the 13th of August. They wanted their music strip at Cubbon Park back, to make it a place where musicians could gather on a regular basis and perform, just like in the 80s.

(Citizen Matters Bangalore)

I personally feel that the Bangalore administration will be as unreliable as the corporate sponsor, if not more so. After all, this is a city where the police deals with the menace of rising crime by banning live music and dancing. Even if the Bangalore jammers get the Cubbon Park music strip, one complaint from a curmudgeonly thathappa or one protest by Vatal Nagraj types will be all it takes to get the strip yanked away again.

I know these guys don’t want to charge entry fees or tickets, but maybe they should consider doing what Manchester United did in their early history. When they went bankrupt, they held a charity bazaar to raise funds and just went about collecting chanda from their fans to pay off their debts. If the organisers, musicians, and fans got together, chipped in money and set up a formal organisation which could rent places, that could work out. Relying on corporate sponsorship isn’t as risky if the corporation (or co-operative, or trust, or partnership) is your own.