DIARY OF A JANIAC

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THE MULLAPERIYAR DAM



Over the past few days, I've read numerous reports about the Mullaperiyar Dam and I can't help but think of just one question "What exactly is the Central Government waiting for?"

For those that haven't been following the news here's a basic gist of what the issue is all about -> The Mullaperiyar Dam is located in the Idukki District in Kerala and was constructed in 1895 under the British Rule and due to an old agreement signed by the British Presidency and the Travancore Maharaja the water and all operations of the dam are controlled by Tamil Nadu for 999 years (Yes, Bata Prices!). And hence according to the agreement, Tamil Nadu don't just get all of the water they also get to take all the decisions!

A recent study by a team from IIT Rourkee shows that any earthquake above 6 on the Richter scale could lead to a major catastrophe in the area. Starting with about 30 lakh people losing their lives and most of the beauty of Kerala disappearing.

Jayalalitha, being the drama queen that she is, and numerous ill educated ministers like Vaiko believe that Kerala is just blowing the issue out of proportion and that Oommen Chandy is just looking for better press. Now though I get why they are skeptic and everything, I have just one small request -> Ladies and Gentlemen of the Tamil Nadu State Government, open your eyes and do read about what's happening before you go on record about all of this being an unnecessary waste of time.

Now, readers, please read the following pointers and decide for yourself as to whether the issue is blown out of proportion and trust me I'll try being as unbiased as i can be :-

1) There have been around 20 earth tremors since July 26th of this year, with their epicentres in the region surrounding the old dam.

2) One of these tremors measured 3.4 on Richter Scale.

3) Experts from IIT, Rourkee where called in to assess the situation by the Kerala State Government and they issued a very strong warning about the proneness of the region for earthquakes of cataclysmic magnitudes. Their report also indicated that there is a high possibility of an earthquake measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale around the Mullaperiyar dam. This will shake the very foundation of the ancient dam.

4) The dam already has numerous cracks and has shown signs of leakages in many parts.

5) The dam is 116 years old and is made of lime and surkhi(a mixture of sugar and calcium oxide). It's a miracle that it has stood for so long.

As if all of this was not enough, there were four more mild tremors reported in the Idukki area yesterday(26-11-11) with magnitudes of 2.7, 2.9, 1.4 and 1.7. Madam Jayalalitha and her associates in Tamil Nadu are yet to issue a statement regarding this.

The Kerala government, which has always been a popular one for the wrong reasons, has clearly stated that Tamil Nadu can still take all the water and that all Kerala wants is for Tamil Nadu to agree on the rebuilding project and reduce the water level so that the reconstruction can take place. To me, as a personal opinion, that seems pretty damn fair.

I agree the tremors have been of really small magnitude, but is it right to ignore ALL of these tremors and go on to call this a publicity stunt?

Isn't it always better to be safe than sorry?

How does one overlook scientific evidence and call it all a sham?

But the biggest question is - What on earth is more important than the lives of 30 Lakh Indians?

Cheers
Hari

pics courtesy : The Mullaperiyar Dam by The Hindu and The Square Cut comic by Raja Hariharan

A year ago if anyone had told me that a day would come when I would stand a few feet away from METALLICA and watch them kick ass live I would have laughed at them whilst secretly hoping that the day would eventually come.

The day did come and OH MY GOODNESS was it worth it.

Sometime in May, Metallica announced a two city tour of India and ever since then there has only been one question that every metal head asked the other, "So when are you booking your tickets?". I couldnt believe my eyes when I read reports of them coming to India and was found pinching myself checking for whether this was actually true or just another one of the oh so lovely dreams.

Months passed. Permissions sought. Money arranged and tickets were booked. Then came the scare of the century. The mess at Gurgaon left me speechless and I spent the entire night listening to every possible version of the incident on any news channel that i could find. There were some reports that said that the cops wouldnt give permission anymore and there were others that said that the gig at Bangalore was cancelled. Without a clue as to what to believe I went to bed real restless.

Woke up and went to the venue at 10 AM, to redeem my ticket. But when I reached the venue, all doubts were put to rest. There were around a 100 people standing there, all proudly wearing their metallica t-shirts. Enter Sandman and Turn the Page were heard on mobiles all around. While the atmosphere gave me goosebumps. There was one lil pain in the ass. The ticket clearly said come at 10 to redeem our tickets and the organizers just made us run from one gate to another. Not a single counter was set up for the people with e-tickets. We waited till 1 for the gates to open and were sent in along with others who already had their tickets and were waiting to go all the way in. Even after we went inside there wasn't a single queue for e-ticket redemption, with people just arbitrarily told to form queues in various places, with each organizer telling us to stand in a different place. And to make matters worse, it poured like crazy.

Bummed out and pissed and drenched, I eventually did get my tickets a little past 3 and we slowly tried to make our way into the main grounds. Never before had I been part of such a huge crowd and the atmosphere was electric. We pushed forward gradually taking just a couple of steps every ten minutes. Eventually after over an hour we made it through. We missed most of Inner Sanctums set but caught just the last song and it was evident that they had just played a real tight set. The last song, unfortunately don't know the name, saw some real amazing vocals coupled with some real tight drumming. Note to self : Must get some Inner Sanctum merchandise the next time I'm in Bangalore. [:D]




Next up on stage was Guillotine, the runners up at the Hornbill festival. And I honestly expected a lot more from them. Their set was a slightly disappointing one and made me even more restless and want Metallica to come on quicker.

They got off stage and there was a huge break. Soon, the Rain Gods got excited again. And any bespectacled man will know how big a pain it is to watch a metal concert while its raining with glasses on. Thankfully, Biffy Clyro came on soon. Three half naked men and another dude walked on stage and a couple of them looked like real hillbillies and yes maybe I was being stereotypical but I didn't expect them to be awesome. BUT as if just to prove me wrong, they were brilliant. Most men in the crowd were just there screaming for Metallica and you will hence find a lot of people out there saying Biffy Clyro sucked but trust me, they were brilliant. They played some real fun tracks and I found myself jumping like a clown in a place where I could barely stand. [:p]


They played an hour-long set and I enjoyed every bit of it. Immediately after Biffy Clyro left the stage, the stage was filled with technicians. There were men setting up microphones, and I was left in sheer awe when the men placed EIGHT microphones on stage. Three on the top platform, three on the main platform and two at the far ends of the platform. The drum kit was up and after an hour of the sound crew tweaking and turning knobs and screws, the TIME HAD COME.


The Ecstasy of Gold video played. Everyone went crazy. Me and a over 20,000 other members of what Hetfield calls, "The Metallica Family" raised our devils horns in unison and screamed out loud for Metallica. Lars popped up! And started playing the opening beat to Creeping Death and soon, Trujillo, Hetfield and Hammet burst out from the sides and all hell broke loose. METALLICA was here. METALLICA was playing LIVE in front of my eyes. There were moshpits all around and there were people screaming the words trying to drown out Hetfield.


Next up was 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' and at the epicness of the moment was yet to sink in but we were getting there. 'Fuel' was up next! And the pyrotechnics left we with my mouth wide open. I've been to the gigs with the international bands since Megadeth, but correct me if I'm wrong, Metallica were the first ones to get permission to bring pyrotechnics. The pyrotechnics went brilliant with the song and Hammet blew the place to smithereenes with his solo. Just the day before, we had covered the song. It just struck me, "How imperfect are we all"!!


Hetfield then asked us PERMISSION to play tracks from their recent album Death Magnetic, which hasn't been the most popular among their fans. They went on to play Cyanide. Followed by "The Memory Remains". The end of this song was easily the most memorable part of the concert. For around three-four minutes, the ENTIRE CROWD chanted long after Hetfield and the others stopped. All the four members were left amazed by the crowd, with each of them bearing an expression of sheer veneration. At the end of it, Hetfield was caught mumbling something along the lines of "Bangalore you are simply beautiful". That one line filled our hearts and we could go home and tell our sons and grandsons in the future that we caught Metallica live one day and hell we blew their mind!


Hammet kept us hooked with some real orgasmic solos between songs. Tracks like Sad But True, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), All Nightmare Long and One followed.

After One, Hetfield changes guitars and heads to the top platform and sang the track that first made me love Metallica. The track that I had been waiting for all night. MASTER OF PUPPETS.


During the chorus, Hetfield raised the microphones to the crowd and we did the rest. MASTER! MASTER! The crowd went crazy and so did I. The atmosphere was electric. We just never wanted them to stop. EVER! And an evil laugh and my goodness I was in a trance. Was this really happening? Did I just hear Hetfield do the evil laugh on Master of Puppets!? "Kill me now and I would die with a huge grin on my face" was one of the thoughts going through my head at that moment. No exaggeration whatsoever!


Crowd favourites like Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman followed and the fireworks at the end of Enter Sandman got the crowd to an euphoric high. The band waved goodbye but we wanted more. The band were back soon and paid tribute to the 80s band Diamond Head, playing the track "Am I Evil". Followed by Battery and the best end to any concert ever possible "Seek and Destroy". The ultimate end to the best live gig that I have witnessed till date.



There are numerous people out there that say that Metallica have lost it. They've sold themselves out and that they should've disbanded long ago. But to all these people I can safely say - They've still got it! And they can still kick some serious ass! And there are over 50,000 people that can vouch for that fact.


Metallica was one of those bands that made me listen to the genres I listen to and the songs that I play and make. And to see this band live left me with emotions I'm yet to explain. Yes I'm late to post this, but even today the images from the concert remain fresh in my head and trust me they always will. How could I forget watching all of Trujillos antics! Master of Puppets. The Laugh! Lars standing on his drum throne and playing Sad But True! The Start! Fuel! Seek and Destory! Every last bit of it! I shall recount these moments for many, and each time I remember them I will have a tear of joy in my eye! Believe you me!

I leave you with this, my friends -- HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ALIVE?!!!? \m/

Cheers
Hari

p.s. Special Thanks to Prateek Biswas, Befreshed, What's the Scene and the Official Metallica Page for the photographs

About this blog

A true Janiac to the core, this is my opinion on the beauty that surround all of us :)

A Janiac, initially was defined as fan of the Indian Rock Band MOTHERJANE. But this word, for me, can be used to describe a man that listens to his heart and is filled with passion. I describe myself as one such Janiac!

Cheers
a\m/ajaniac

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