Sets For Sundays – Episode #019 – Kick Back, Hit Play and Chill

Hey folks!

I haven’t resumed the weekly music shows on this blog after the start of the year. But it’s better late than never, as the saying goes.

So I’m keeping the writing minimal this weekend and I’m posting it a day early for you guys to enjoy the weekend with these awesome sets.

Two of them are live and the other is a rare old album I don’t think you’ve heard of(but should).

Set #001 – BAD BAD NOT GOOD(Live)

Okay so this popped up on Youtube this morning and I’m a huge fan of BBNG. It’s a 30 min mini concert of their new album -IV. You can check the review of that album I wrote last year here – https://wordsforeveries.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/album-review-bad-bad-not-good-iv/

These guys are so young and so insanely talented it’s not even normal.

So here is the video!

Set #002 – TERRY REID -RIVER(1973)

This is a must listen. I don’t know how many people know about Terry Reid but I’m glad I discovered him this year.

Check out his wikipedia page-> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Reid

Here is a very very interesting quote on it. I don’t know how true this is, but it’s quite mind-blowing. So apparently.. “Jimmy Page wanted Reid to fill the vocalist spot for his proposed new group, the New Yardbirds, which was to become Led Zeppelin. Reid had already committed to go on the road for two tours with The Rolling Stones and another with Cream (as an opening act on the 1968 US Tour). Reid suggested to Page that if he compensated him for the gig fees he’d miss out on and call Keith Richards to explain why he would to pull out of the US tours for Reid to try something out with Page. It never happened and Reid told Jimmy to consider a young Birmingham based singer, Robert Plant, instead, having previously seen Plant’s Band of Joy as a support act at one of his concerts, Reid also suggested Page to check out their drummer John Bonham.”…. and the rest as they say is history

Check out his album River.

And to end the episode…

SET #003 – THIEVERY CORPORATION (LIVE @ KEXP)

I love these guys. They’re so diverse and unique that it’s just not your mainstream stuff, I guess to make your own kind of unique sound, based on your influences. That’s the way to go in music according to me. I hope I can do something like that in the future, whenever that is 😛

So here is the set. Also I was surprised to find out that the their bass player is Indian – Ashish “Hash” Vyas. And he is properly feeling it in this set. Check it !

Also as a bonus for all you Pop fans. Here is London Grammar’s song  -Rooting For You. Hannah Reid’s voice is from another planet and I’m sure this must be very difficult to sing. *Women who can sing!!* 🙂

If I ever date a woman who can sing in life.. and I hope I do.. I’m producing her album. It’ll be unreal 😉

This should keep you going for a bit.

Take care.

Until next time.

Peace

🙂

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It’s Not Too Late To Start Doing What You Love!

Hey folks!

Last week was quite eventful for me because I started something properly that I’ve been wanting to do since I was a kid but didn’t for various reasons.

There were a lot of signs and near-beginnings.

I still remember renting a drum-kit with zero experience in playing the drums, in the 7th or 8th grade to jam with my school’s House music team. There was nobody in our ‘White House’ (Gandhi – which stood for peace) – to play the drums for the inter-house music competition and I said, “Ok I’ll do it”. We jammed and practiced and I was sort of alright for the first time ever but on the day of the competition our lead-singer and main guitarist fell sick so we didn’t play. I think it was some Linkin Park song. I was sort of bummed out because we practiced a whole week before that.

Then in the 9th grade I forced my Mum to take me to a bass-guitarist’s place and we chatted for a good half hour on how I would start classes soon, which guitar to buy etc. But then my parents decided against it because it would ‘interfere with my studies for the 10th grade board exams’.

Then there was the DJ-ing phase for 3 years in college. I should have just dropped out of Engineering and joined a music school, thinking about it now. But I guess I was too knee-deep in the course and half-way through when I began to hate it. I’m glad I’m officially and Engineer though – for whatever that’s worth. 😛

So after I bought my MIDI controller last month in December I realised that I really don’t know jack shit and that to make proper music I need some solid foundation. So maybe that was a few steps ahead. Oops! 😛

So from struggling Engineering graduate to Sales to Marketing to finance(CFA studies until I said fuck examinations and taught myself all I needed to know) to a Stock Broking business and Real Estate Broking and about 20 business ideas and 10 business plans that never happened for various reasons – I thought “Okay, I’ve wasted 8 years of my life(2008-2016) doing all this stuff other people were doing and I thought I had to do too. I have a chilled out job now, I get paid for watching football and I write about it, which I love, my articles have been read by more than half a million people on the planet, I wrote a book, I have the time now…so what do I have to lose?”

So yeah it’s never too late you know. Honestly, it all just boils down to.. ‘So what do I really want out of life?’ and ‘What do I really want to do?’ Some people figure it out early, others later but it’s all a process and a journey. It’ll all come of use at some point of time in life, I guess you just have to believe that and connect the dots.

So coming back, last week I first called up a couple of tutors and asked them what instruments I should buy. They told me – one a little vaugely and the other a little specific -and then I just did my research and  I bought myself a 61-key Keyboard – The Yamaha PSR E353 and an acoustic guitar – The Ashton D20 BK Dreadnought.

Here they are:

The Keyboard is called ‘Jenny’ and the guitar is called ‘Magdalena’. Yes, I even named them for various reasons 😛

You can check out the story for the name ‘Jenny’ in the caption of this picture.

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Ladies and gentlemen presenting – Jenny- my first ever 61key keyboard. The Yamaha PSR E353 or just Jenny. To learn, to produce, to expand, to grow. She sounds really beautiful and I can't wait for my classes to start! It's gonna be quite a journey to see what lies inside me when I create… after I get good that is. But yea im extremely kicked. It's more of a personal journey more than anything else. I barely buy stuff in life, I guess things really don't appeal to me that much but for some reason music related stuff has always been a priority. Music has been in my family forever and in my blood since I was 10 and Im glad im taking this leap, finally. I've named her Jenny after this girl named Jennifer, who was the first girl I ever had a crush on in my life. I was 11, and so was she. She was Canadian with blue eyes, blonde hair and was really cute. We met on a yahoo chat room lol with those horrendous ids.. But we couldn't date even though I asked her out coz we were too young and from different continents. I would stay up late to talk to her for hours and sleep in school haha. But I wrote her a song, my first ever in life. I dunno what happened to her or where she is and what she looks like now, but that was about the time music became a huge part of my life. So that's the story behind the name. Was thinking about her after a decade I think so ive named this keyboard after her and that song – Jenny blue eyes. It's safe to say there have been a lot a women I've liked, loved, had crushes on, befriended etc. The ones that mattered though, the ones I felt something for, all of them, past and current – They're the inspiration, in a nutshell, for everything, writing, music wtv. And of course the inspiration from my own personal growth and self-experience. You know find your soul, mate. Anyway this is a huge moment! It's just the beginning. Also theres one more little addition coming and stage 1 of the studio is ready. Lets do this! 🙂 #music #keyboard #yamaha #psre353 #e353 #gear #keys #multinstrumentalist #possiblyidunno #musicproducer #musicproduction #piano #grandpiano #composition #thebeginning #life #love #peace #amusicalthing #soul

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And ‘Magdalena’ is basically because of Maynard James Keenan’s second band A Perfect Circle’s acoustic album. Wow, that one simply blows my mind every single time I listen to it. Magdalena is a song on their album Mer de Noms, I love the song and that whole album. In fact all their albums. I don’t know she just felt like ‘Magdalena’ when I saw her. What a beauty of a guitar!

AND THE RESULTS…..

This is after 1 week….

This is the intro to Radiohead – Pyramid Song

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Radiohead – Pyramid Song. I've just finished 1 class so far but I decided to mess around with more than my basic practice this week. Mainly coz I really love this song by Radiohead from Amnesiac. There were nights where I used to listen to this one song on repeat and go to sleep. It's so haunting, melodic and beautiful and will remain one of my favs. Anyway it's pretty difficult to play but I sort of could play it, almost. Maybe in 2-3 months I can play the whole thing properly. It's too peaceful just practicing and playing either instrument whenever I feel like. Cant wait to make my own compositions! #radiohead #pyramidsong #amnesiac #music #keyboard #piano #yamaha #psre353 #e353 #keys #musicislife #keepgoing

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And this is the intro to A Perfect Circle – Stranger

 

Ok I know I suck….

But It’s just been a week.

I’m understanding the theory and stuff pretty quickly though and both my instructors have said I’m a ‘quick learner’ and a ‘serious-student’.

I also went to my first gig of the year yesterday, for the music but also to see how much I suck and how much I have to work at this until I’m as good as a performing musician.

Here are a few pictures of the Jazz gig last night! This little club is bringing back Jazz culture in Bombay – it used to thrive in my city in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

The band was brilliant.

I have a long, long way to go! But I’m up for the work and the journey. Who knows I might do a Masters in music in the future!

Here is the song A Perfect Circle – Magadalena to say goodbye!

And just as an extra-incentive for you to understand how awesome instruments are… Check this out!

And hey this quote by Paulo Coelho is for you folks!

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~NOW NOW NOW~

Happy Republic Day to all you Indians out there!

And remember as the saying in India goes – You first become an Engineer and then figure out what you want to do with your life. Haha! 😛

It’s never to late to do what you love.
Peace.

The Rich Man and The Not So Rich Man – A Short Story

There were two friends who grew up together as children. They went to the same school and played the same games, they fought and laughed like every other pair of friends.

As they grew up, they both drifted apart, wanting, searching for and chasing different things.

The first wanted – monetary success, material wealth, fame, power, a luxurious life and all the things money could buy.

The second wanted – knowledge, excellence, love, peace, meaning, happiness, freedom and to enjoy the beauty of life to it’s fullest.

They both got what they wanted.

The first became rich, very rich, one of the richest out of all of friends and peers. The second became not so rich but found everything he was looking for.

The first, became wealthy after a lot of struggle, at the cost of a lot of his personal health, happiness and strained relationships with his family and the people he loved. He did not care, he was only focused on making money.

The second, did not have anywhere near as much money as the first but he was content. He had a loving family life and a lot of peace of mind.

They both got what they wanted.

The rich man in his pursuit of what he wanted, was always too busy. He gave up everything, but lost his most valuable resource – his time.

While the not so rich man had everything he wanted and did as he pleased with a lot of his most valuable resource – time.

So, who was the real rich man?

– By Gaurav Krishnan.

David Foster Wallace – This Is Water (A welcome shift of perspective)

Hey folks!

Today I want to share with all of you, what was my first facebook post of the year, so that this may in some way help you. Before you dismiss this as something stupid/random etc. I urge you to think again and listen to the whole thing.

I don’t know how many people heard the whole thing when I posted it. But, I guess it must’ve surely helped those who did.

It’s a simple graduation speech at a Liberal Arts college, Kenyon College, I believe, to the class of 2005, that David was asked to address.

In his speech, he touches on all kinds of truths about life, about society and everyday trials and subsequently, how if we just change our thinking, the world around us automatically becomes better.

The things he speaks about with a blunt, truthful and up-front perspective will definitely help you change your perspective on life and those around you.

In a nutshell it urges  you to be more empathetic, not be so self-centered and selfish although we are wired that way and choose what to think, well.

It’s an interesting and thought provoking speech and a little heavy, but I urge you to listen to the whole thing despite it’s length, very carefully and think about it.

I’ve heard it 2-3 times myself and trust me, it’ll help you a lot!

As mentioned in wikipedia about his speech – He describes the human condition of daily crises and chronic disillusionment and warns against solipsism,invoking compassion, mindfulness, and existentialism.

Check out the meanings of each of the words highlighted, if you are interested, as well.

I could analyse and interpret it myself but it’ll be better if you just listen to it for yourself.

Here it is!

David was a brilliant writer with an extraordinary and thoughtful way of expressing himself.

Here is his Wikipedia page, in case you want to read about his life:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Foster_Wallace

He’s no more sadly, he passed away at the age of 46 in 2006. Let’s just not get into his death. I just wish he had found his soul and light within earlier, instead of resorting to medicines etc. May he RIP.

So remember – ‘how you think’ or rather ‘choosing what to think about’ determines your state of mind for the better or worse and in turn has a butterfly effect on what you feel, experience, go through etc. Hence, choose thoughts wisely. Keep it positive and light.

Find joy in the simple things, admire nature, beauty and don’t let trivial, unnecessary thoughts or emotions bring you down – remember they are all just chemical reactions inside of you.

Let them go.

Or meditate more and feel that peace inside you.

I hope this helps you and opens your eyes to the fact that there is light within all of us, and the angle of how we look at things determines a lot about ourselves and our experiences in life.

Find peace.

Find good states of mind.

Find that plateau.

Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

Which is sanskrit for ‘Peace’.

It ‘s also incidentally my mother’s first name – so like I always tell my little sister, “We are literally the children of peace”

Take care.

Contrast – About ‘Nothing’

I like to think that I’m good with words(decent enough actually), but more often than not I can’t seem to describe moments and write about them as aptly and eloquently in words as I’d like to. But there’s time to improve, I guess.

I never thought I would write for a living, especially since I’ve never been trained to. I’m re-visiting what I did as a school kid, but it just sort of came out of ‘Nothing’ recently.

Which is my topic for today.. ‘Nothing’.

I made up this quote some time ago

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Ok so I don’t know why I chose a picture of a guy riding a bicycle in the background at the time, haha 😛

But all jokes aside, according to me, it’s only when you’re in that state of nothingness – When your mind is still – While everything is calm within and there are no useless, pointless and worthless rumblings inside your head that you can actually THINK.

It’s only when you’re doing nothing that you truly get to introspect, contemplate, theorize, formulate, strategize, create etc, to your best ability. It’s just from my experience but that’s why I stress that ‘Nothing is something worth doing’, which coincidentally is also the name of a song I like.

I’ve written about a 100 quotes that will be published at the end of my poetry book. It’s still achingly on the way, but I will keep you guys posted about it. But the good news is that I’ve managed to add about 8 or 9 more poems. There’s no hurry really, but I really want to see it published… it’s coming soon and I will keep you all posted.

Here is what I posted about my little walk this morning. Have a read.

Contrast

“I don’t know what it was about this morning. I stepped out for a walk with Tool playing on my headphones and I could properly feel every note and every beat of the music. But it was just different today, for some reason. I was practicing this meditation technique for quite a while all night until I decided to go for a walk. So I’m walking and there is literally nothing on my mind, absolutely nothing. Not even a hint of a thought. And I’m enjoying the music almost unadulteratedly. I was properly air drumming and air guitaring on the streets while I walked. I looked at the people’s faces as I passed them and they all looked so stressed, irritated, dejected, down etc, like they had a ton of bullshit on their minds. The majority of them, except the kids though. And by contrast I had nothing, except me observing everything around me. It was quite hilarious when they gave me looks almost as if to say ‘Wtf is making this guy so happy?’ It was nothing. That was it – Nothing was making me happy. I was just in a state of empty-completeness, if that makes sense to you. I was simply enjoying the music and my walk and the moment. No thoughts. No bullshit. Just me in the moment soaking it all in. It’s not the first time this has happened to me. I’ve written a lot of poems about feeling like this, some of which will be in my book. It’s happened quite a lot, but today was just different, I don’t know why. So I just smiled at them and went on my way. It’s such times that make me realise that more than half of the bullshit of everything you go through or feel is just caused by you and your head. In the words of Radiohead ‘You do it to yourself, you do, and that’s what really hurts, you do it to yourself, just you and no-one else’. Do as Buddha said ‘Meditate, lest you regret it later’. And the thing is you don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor and close your eyes, you can do it on the move or while you’re trying to sleep, wherever and in any situation. Just watch your breath. Thats all. It’s that simple. It’s really amazing how a sustained period of meditation can help you enjoy life or the moments of life, in a better way. Anyway it was really peaceful. Mornings like these 🙂 Empty-Completeness”

Which brings me back to a quote I wrote a while ago.

I don’t know if you agree, but again it’s from my experience. I think, in the end, the knowledge you get from your own experience is first-hand and not someone else’s perspective,  or second-hand knowledge basically. That’s what truly defines how you view life, what you learn out of living it. That is real knowledge according to me. So I encourage you to learn from yourself, by yourself, from your own experiences. Of course have the common sense to filter out the idiotic notions but yes, do think about and question everything, don’t be stupid.

And of course I’m not saying academic knowledge is useless, it’s important to learn academically too, so do read, getting perspective is great, but yeah just don’t agree with everything you read, question it. Find satisfying answers for yourself.

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Which also brings me to this very interesting concept I read in Stephen Hawking’s book – The Grand Design – about interpreting and analysing things from our current disposition on earth. So in a nutshell it says, that for a goldfish in a fishbowl(a hypothetic intelligent one) – analysing and interpreting all it’s basic laws of physics from it’s position inside the fishbowl(inside curved glass and stale water). It has different values for everything because it is measuring it from it’s frame of reference, although it firmly believes those are absolute.

To quote his book it says, “The goldfish view is not the same as our own, but goldfish could still formulate scientific laws governing the motion of the objects they observe outside their bowl. For example, due to the distortion, a freely moving object would be observed by the goldfish to move along a curved path. Nevertheless, the goldfish could formulate laws from their distorted frame of reference that would always hold true. Their laws would be more complicated than the laws in our frame.”

Then he asks what if we are similarly like the goldfish in the fishbowl, just measuring everything from our frame of reference, inside our own fishbowl- the earth. So if you get it, you will realise that we cannot be sure of our laws of physics being absolutes because they are simply from our frame of reference here on earth.

Of course I’m no physics expert, but it’s just to highlight how things are different from a particular place, time etc and for different people and that you shouldn’t blindly believe something as the absolute truth just because you read it somewhere. It was their perspective, based on their experience, their time, their knowledge etc.

We as humans learn mostly from what we are taught and what we read, but how many learn from what we experience?

Just a thought, hehe 🙂

Anyway coming back…

Peace is a very satisfying state of mind and in turn a form of happiness. As I retweeted the Dalai Lama some time back, he reckons so too.

I hope this helps you 🙂

So for some visuals, here are some pictures from a few walks this past week.

Enjoy the small things, nature, everything around you, it’s pretty majestic honestly. Look up!

And to end is a tribute to Albert Hoffman, whom I’m always indebted to. His birthday was last week! The man who was the father and technically the facilitator of so many eye-opening experiences for people through the years. A legend.

Have a great week!

Peace 🙂

Running For A Cause – Women’s Safety In India

This year started off pretty peacefully for me personally, I took a short trip to the hills surrounding Mumbai and it was quite relaxing to take a small journey there and spend time with nature.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take many pictures because my phone died on numerous occasions and the truth is I didn’t really care. It was off for a few days and it was quite nice for a change. Disconnecting(with technology and people) and re-connecting (with myself and nature).

This is the only picture I took on the way there.

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Goodbye city lights.. the hills are calling 🙂

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When I got back to Bombay and back to work, one particular incident in the news came through shortly after the new year.

In Bangalore, India while the whole world was celebrating safely and happily, a number of women were mass-molested by men after partying on New Year’s Eve. It was dubbed as ‘Bangalore’s Night Of Shame’.

Here is the full article documenting it.

http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/bengalurus-night-of-shame/articleshow/56279784.cms

These are some of the pictures.

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women-molested

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The thing is, this is not the first time such incidents have happened in the country. There is an underlying belief by men in India that they can get away with treating women however they want. Whether it’s domestic abuse or violence or eve-teasing and bullying it’s pretty nasty. While there have been a number of horrifying rapes in the past in my country, the problem is nobody takes action!

North India is bad. South India is also bad. There is no point comparing it. A lot of my female friends from Delhi would tell me about the eve-teasing prevalent there. They were not allowed to travel out alone after 9 or 10pm by their parents. They also told me about how happy they were to be able to roam around late at night(In Manipal my college in Karnataka, India) thanks to all of us being there with them.

Manipal was in Karnataka(the same state as Bangalore) and there was a rape which happened there after I left college, which was horrible once again.

This was the verdict after it.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Lifesentence-for-3-accused-in-Manipal-gang-rape-case/articleshow/49379259.cms

Luckily, no such thing happened to anyone when I attended college there.

It’s not just Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Kerala or any state in South India. It’s the whole country. It’s the thinking of men that’s the problem.

I have been robbed of my phone, wallet and other valuable items at knife point when I was travelling alone in Kerela. I let the guy threatening me just take my stuff peacefully and kept calm.

But rape and molestation is worse. It’s the worst thing.

The way the Government and police deal with such issues is equally disgusting. The home-minister of Karnataka actually had the audacity to say that it was the women who were at fault for  ‘aping the westerners’ and ‘dressing provocatively’.

But it wasn’t until I saw this video that I completely lost my cool. This video caught by a CCTV camera was possibly the worst thing I had seen in a long time.

I was just lost for words when I saw that.

What was more shocking in the video was the fact that people at the end of the road just stood and watched this unfold! Let me tell you, if it was my city of Mumbai(India’s safest) – those pathetic human beings who molested that girl would have had their brains beaten out of their skulls. I’m telling you this because in Mumbai, there is a certain brotherhood and morality pervading throughout it’s core, indigenously.

Whether it’s helping people when there are mass-floods, or terror-attacks or the general comradery and nature of Mumbaikars to help one another in any situation, which is something I have experienced myself, it’s difficult to understand how things are so different in the same country! This stuff in other cities just alarms me. I have seen myself as a kid when a thief tried to rob a woman’s purse before she got off a train when I was travelling in it, a mob of Mumbai city folk chased after him on the platform of Churchgate station and beat him almost half to death and returned the purse to the woman.

The Mumbai public will not tolerate such behaviour from anyone and I’m glad to see how many cops are out patrolling the streets everywhere these days and nights in my city.

So my question is why can’t every city in India be as safe for women as Mumbai? Isn’t it the duty of the Government to at least ensure that our country’s streets are safe for women!

Safety for women is a basic and important thing. These incidents must stop.

Another article on this incident was this, blaming Indian parents for not teaching their sons basic respect for women.

And another claiming that it’s always been like this in Bangalore.

Of course our Government is more worried about ‘black’ or ‘unaccounted for’ money, which pissed me off.

Luckily some people took notice and decided to spread some awareness for this glaring issue in my country and not surprisingly it was my city of Mumbai itself.

UACTIV powered by a number of sponsors came up with an event which was held last night – the 7th of January 2017 – to run 7 km (roughly 5 miles) and donate some money to raise awareness for the safety of women in India apart from gender equality.

I took part in it and although I had never run 7km at one go in my life before, I just decided to do it.

This was the event.

And here is one picture I took before running.

I completed the 7km distance rather quickly even though I thought I couldn’t go on at certain points, I just pushed myself saying ‘Keep Going’ and ‘It’s all in the head’.

Here was the medal and certificate I received.

Here is the music I ran to.

My question is why wasn’t this held in Bangalore? Or do people in that city just not care about those women who got molested because it wasn’t someone they knew or them. That’s the problem, people aren’t empathetic enough. Everybody is inherently self-centered and selfish. As long as it doesn’t affect them personally, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world. That’s the fucking problem right there – the thinking.

Imagine if any of those women were your sisters or girlfriends or friends. That would make you act for sure wouldn’t it?

For all the people from abroad who are reading this. India is not like this. This is not truly how we are as people. India is a great country to travel to and visit. I still encourage you to do it but always make sensible friends here and be safe while travelling alone in the night.

I used to visit Bangalore quite often a very long time ago and then stayed there for 3 months. I hated the city and the people mainly because of their closed-mindedness and general stupidity, but it was for someone, my entire point of visiting that shit-hole of a city was her. I really didn’t get treated very well by anyone(including her) while I was there, except for a few college friends. Anyway I don’t want to bring it up at all.

So I’m just ending this with this.

Take care.

Be better India.

Peace