Monthly Archives: April 2009

W-T-F Q Person Are You?

First there was the Farcebook hype. Then there was Farcebook, which plateaued after the initial high of having rediscovered kindergarten classmates and high-school crushes. After that came an attempt to rekindle the FB charm with an insane influx of quizzes. Ask any random question – chances are it’s likely to be a Farcebook quiz.

Farcebook certainly has been imaginative in creating random quizzes to guess your personality.  Where they lack imagination, however, is to tell you your personality based on the kind of quiz you take. For now, let’s pretend you have answered subtle questions like What is your favorite color?, and multiple-choice ones like Do you prefer to travel or watch a soap?. It’s not your answers, but the quiz you took that reveals the person that you are. At least according to the “What Type of Farcebook Quiz Person Are You? Quiz.

1. LIVID (Likes Ideal Vacations to Imaginary Destinations)

Adventurous, Exotic and Itinerant may well be your favorite words in the dictionary. Your favorite pastime happens to be browsing the dictionary. You love traveling the world, but only through the Face of Books – and you completely trust their decision on where you want to travel, since they know you better than you know yourself. The less enlightened may call you a loser, miser, or a couch potato. But that simply isn’t you. You are a content, frugal settee-spud stud. You love the idea of ogling basking on the warm Caribbean Beaches one minute, and experiencing the freezing beautiful snow-capped Bavarian Alps the next. Adventure means a lot to you. In other words, you will take a game of  Atlantis over Tetris, anyday.

#Your favorite quiz is What Is Your Ideal Vacation Destination?

2. PLOP (The Previous Life Opportunity Ponderer)

You are charmed by the arcane. You delve into the depths of your past life and ponder over opportunities lost. If you were still the Shakespeare that FB said you used to be, all your blog posts would have been books by now. Or, the jokes your friends do not laugh at would have been “Kafkaesque,” instead of just plain flat. You could have been Liszt or Chopin in your previous life, not because of your musical genius, but the sheer number of women at your fingertips today. You like to question, and you even question science with your psycho psychic noitingocerp*. Who you are today, or what you can do with your future isn’t very important. We’re all going to be dead at the end of it. But what you really look forward to is the futuristic future – the next life, where you can take a quiz and find out what you were in your previous life.

#Your favorite quiz is Who Were You In Your Past Life?

3. SCAGS (Side-kick Character in A Giggly Soap)

You are compassionate. You always identify with the unnoticed, giggling best friends of central characters in soaps. In fact, that is the very reason you would rather do justice to this obscure lame quiz (as opposed to a mainstream lame one) like What Beer Are You?, or Are you an Alfa Romeo or a Ferrari?. Given the opportunity, you will never choose to be Seinfeld in Seinfeld, nor Fraiser in Fraiser, or Raymond in Everybody loves Raymond. You identify with the fake fanciful people on screen rather than the wicked ones in the harsh world. Your personality alone is too monotonous for you. You want to give it character (no pun intended) and adorn it with numerous peripheral personas.

#Your favorite quiz is Which [N.A.M.E.O.F.S.O.A.P.] Character Are You?

4. MMCP (The Mean Machine Car Personality)

Let’s Face it. Cars often have more personality than people. Has a Corvette ever given you a dense, lost smile any time? Never. It has always looked back at you with attitude. You like to see yourself as the mean machine. Flashy. Full of gloss. Smokin’. Raving Revving. Why, with fiber like that, you could even fly! Alas, those four conspicuous tires – add to that balding with time – is what keeps you rooted to the ground.

#Your favorite quiz is What Car Are You?

5. PWNER (Paranoid of the Wicked, Nasty, Exploitive Repercussions)

You are the paradox of all Farcebook quiz personalities. If you ever took a Farcebook quiz, it would tell you you are a person who will never take Farcebook quizzes. You are paranoid about the repercussions that might entail. What if Farcebook makes it look like some “fun quiz” but is actually profiling me? What if it sells my data to some third party? If I suddenly find some brochures to exotic getaways in my mailbox, would it be because of that harmless quiz I took? What if it picks some vague answers I give just for kicks, and labels them as my personality flaws traits? And what if they sell these traits to some insurance company who will then hike my premium and co-pay? What if….?

Perhaps this is how you think. Or perhaps you have a spouse, who may or may not be reading this, thinks like this and has got you thinking on similar lines as well. You will most likely not take a quiz on Farcebook. Instead, you will turn to your whining personal web-space and blog about it.

# If you had a favorite Farcebook Quiz, it would be Why would people want to take those Farcebook Quizzes and volunteer their privacy?

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*If seeing far in the future is precognition, seeing far in the past must be noitingocerp.

Edited 110409

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Share a Tune: Inspired Music in Indian Films

Till about half a decade ago, I would think of Anu Malik as the black sheep of the Indian film music industry – for unapologetically lifting tunes off any source he could lay his hands on, and passing them off as his own. Old westerns numbers, ethnic tunes, even older numbers from our very own Bollywood films. That’s not to say I now believe he doesn’t do it anymore. But today, I’m wise to the fact that he has not been the only one in the industry guilty of imitation. What worked against him, is that he happened to achieve fame in an age where information is very easily accessible to laymen and the elite alike. People are more aware of tunes from around the world, and can easily look up information on an original composition as soon as they hear a Bollywood number even remotely resembling it.

And while I do grant Anu Malik his share of talent for original music, this post is not in his defense, nor is it about him. This post is about his forefathers in the industry. About the stalwarts of Indian film music, who, in addition to rendering brilliant originals, borrowed liberally from sources around the world. Fortunately for them, people like you and me did not have the resources to figure out who borrowed, and from what source. Moreover, the layman had limited access to music, unlike the gentry in the profession. So it was very unlikely that the common man would have heard any music from another part of the world.

One way of looking at it is, everybody stole, but only a few got caught. But before we write anyone off, let us think about this – some of the best world melodies known to us today have been introduced to us through these people. Today, I’m happy that I’m able to hum a melody so haunting as Salil Chaudhry’s Dil Tadap Tadap (Madhumati). Had he not been inspired by a Polish folk song in 1958, I would be completely oblivious to its existence. And hold your breath – even R.D. Burman’s Chura Liya. If it weren’t Tuesday, and had that not been Belgium, Indian music would be one short of a magnificent number. Wouldn’t you be willing to forgive a few inspired lines, if they promised to transcend into an ingenious original composition that would create history?

The dynamics of copyright law, technology and culture were different then than they are today. What is copyright, but a bargain between the creators and the public at large? No doubt, it would be optimal if the source were credited. But we are talking of a time when the musical archives were not readily accessible. One may have heard a tune anywhere, from a street musician abroad, to a jukebox in a coffee shop, to a concert one was fortunate to attend. Few were blessed with access to good world music, and they were kind to bring it to the masses. I, for one, am thankful that they did.

I have given below links to some of the more popular Bollywood tunes that were inspired. You will find a comprehensive list on the Itwofs (Inspired Indian Film Music) website. Be in for a surprise!

 

S.D. Burman:

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagisi (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi) – 16 Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford)

Hum The Woh Thi (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi) – The Watermelon Song (Tennessee Ernie Ford)

R.D. Burman:

Tumse Milke (Parinda) – When I need you (Leo Sayer)

Mehbooba Mehbooba (Sholay) – Say You Love Me (Demis Roussos)

Tera Mujhse Hai Pehle (Aa Gale Lag Jaa) – The Yellow Rose of Texas (made popular by Elvis)

Phir Wohi Raat Hai (Ghar) – Sing a Song (Carpenters)

Kahin Kart Hogi (Phir Kab Milogi) – The Lonely Bull (Herb Albert)

O.P. Nayyar:

Babuji Dheere (Aar Paar) – Perhaps (Doris Day – but originally a Mexican song)

Laakhon Hai Yahan Dilwaale (Kismat) – Red River Valley (Gene Autrey)

Yeh Hai Bombay (CID) – Clementine

Laxmikant-Pyarelal:

Om Shanti Om (Karz) – Om Shanti Om (Lord Shorty) Yes!

Ek Rasta Do Rahi (Ram Balram) – That’s the Way (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Shankar-Jaikishan:

Kaun Hai Jo Sapnon Mein (Jhuk Gaya Aasman) – Marguerita (Elvis Presley)

Gumnaam Hai Koi (Gumnam) – Charade Theme

Aaja Sanam (Chori Chori) – Tarantella (Italian folk)

Sayonara (Love in Tokyo) – In a Persian Market

Panchhi Banoon (Chori Chori) – Coming through the Rye (Robert Burns – the one here is by the Baysiders, though)

Edited to add: How would you like the irony of this write-up? Looks like a similar post was written a couple years ago. Of course, I had no idea about it until Shefaly mentioned it. But since neither ‘pot’ nor ‘kettle’ have a nice ring to it, I’d gladly give it a mention and continue being called ‘g’ :) !