Thursday, January 26, 2006

Short Takes

Persian Pop Plugged On: Em and I have been amusing ourselves by listening over and over to the brightest star to hit the Persian pop music firmament last year, Arash. The man's phenomenally successful not only amongst the Iranian diaspora, the largest concentration of which is to be found in LA, but also in many, many other nations across the world. His song Boro Boro was the top song in Sweden, and now he's found a Bollywood niche with a Bluffmaster version of his song, with Arash singing a line or two in Hindi.

The amusing part is, having been raised in Sweden, Arash's Persian is a bit wobbly, and to a Persian speaker, his pronunciation of the Persian lyrics of his songs at times funny. Some parts are gramatically challenged as well. However, kudos to him for getting the first real crossover hit in Persian pop, and experimenting with sounds and influences that have till now been relatively rare in the Persian music scene. Since the song has only two stanzas, here's a very rough translation (for those who've seen Bluffmaster and are wondering):

Boro Boro (Arash)

Roozi boodi ashegh-e-to boodam
(There was a day when I was in love with you)
Az dastet to kheili raazi boodam
(With you I was very happy)
Amma to bad sheituni kardi
(But you were very naughty)
nazdik-e-man na aa to
(Don't come near me)

Boro boro delam toro toro nemikhahad
(Go away, I don't want your heart)
Dige dige nemikhaham bebinamet
(I don't want to see you anymore)
Boro boro delam jaie dige dige hast
(Go away, my heart is elsewhere)
Dige dige nemikhaham bebinamet
(I don't want to see you anymore)

The Human Interest in Political Economy: Here is an excellent blog that covers the Indonesian economy using a keen socio-political lens, and is very enlightening about the archipelago. Perhaps I haven't been looking, but I've hardly come across a blog like Yosef's about the Indian business scene. It is very well informed, backed by solid data, and yet at times chatty and slightly gossipy, never forgetting the real actors behind all those financial figures.

Here's a great profile on Yosef while he was a visiting scholar at Berkeley, and I believe he's still based in the Bay Area. Of course as a working journalist with over a decade of experience Yosef raises the bar pretty high compared to the average blog post. This is of course not true of some extremely eminent Indian journalists that maintain blogs as repositories of tedious opinion pieces that were either earlier published in newspapers or intended for them. Those are rarely insightful and often pompous, even if I overlook the fact that they rarely engage with their blog readers. In Ardi's case, professional journalistic experience is a definite plus. This for instance, is his take on the presumed wishlist of US multinationals part of a delegation meeting the Indonesian president. Most interestingly though, Yosef primarily wrote in Indonesian for Bisnis Indonesia, and I presume English is a second language that he adopted fairly recently for his writings.


Blogger Urmea said...

Wow, Yosef Ardi's blog is great. I guess he gives it reliability being such a wellknown journo. Are there non-anonymous wellknown journos (non-literary, biz or otherwise) blogging in India? Sucheta Dalal would probably have a good one if she wrote, hmm?

I saw Bluffmaster by the way, good fun!

5:40 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

My oblique reference in the post was to one such blog which has the writings of MJ Akbar, though I think the blog is maintained by some assistant of Akbar's and he never ever answers comments.

K is a biz journo, and his blog is really good, but he writes mostly on the media. There's another senior biz journo who blogs, but mostly on music. Yeah, I do wish
that someone like Sucheta blogs on biz. That would be great.

But you know what, I haven't seen any Indian biz journo write with the candour that Ardi does about the relation between business and politics. Can you think of any names?

Aaaaah, I really need to find someone to see a Hindi movie with. Haven't seen one in ages!!

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

Yes, agreed. Yosef Ardi's blog is really nice. Very unbiased.

Yes, I also agree Indian journalist's blogs are very opinionated and not plain facts presented well. Thanks for making me vent that! I follow a few Indian economics blogs but they really force too many opinions. I don't understand how they force opinions not being economists or businessmen even.

Thankfully, the Economic Times is still a good paper to read, unlike TOI, of course! Let me not go there!

Btw, this is not really helping in trying to promote yourself up The List. Also, methinks, said person could be ex-IIPM! What do you think? :D

6:09 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

and I thought you only love greek music. LOL. I don't knwo if I Have heard any persian music, but yes, I love the beat of the mid east.. I had a random collection... the tune and the way the words seem to swirl in their mouth is very intersting though.

And yeah, thanx for pointing out yosef's blog. he actually writes like a blogger..very bold and real, no pretentions. It strikes you when you read that he knows his stuff. And yeah, I agree about K. You aren't bad either lol.

PS: the herbs are growing nicely :-D ...
I got me sent, some VCDs from home, and it pains me to know that the current filmmakers have ruined the legacy of Shyam... Much copying from hindi movies to be seen... Not much actin or direction... much commercialization. Movies like Emagi Ningthem, sana keithel were of a class in itself. Imagine a movie made in a place of less than 15 lakh ethnic population getting international awards..

Now, My mother place is much degraded my dear, much degraded. but the singers are promising.. they stilling in tune... much appreciated and much humed here... Go to and listen to a song called nangi meenoktara by female singer - just listen to the tunes and choose other songs by Pahari.. You will love them, his music comes second in my list after Vivaldi lol. SHould have emailed... brrrrr

2:19 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Pidus, that is probably true, but then I imagine that a blog would be the place where you can be a bit more opinionated than you can afford to be in a newspaper or magazine piece. In this respect though, I love Jai (Jabberwock)'s blog, I think he writes with a very fine sense of balance.

Hehe, I guess I should insert some lesbian fantasies to boost my rankings. I don't think there's an IIPM connection. If you look closely at Kill's blog, the needle of suspicion points to a certain Bong doctor.

Anthony, it's funny but I know more about the Persian pop scene than contemporary Greek music, except for the really big hits.

Persian pop is quite different from Arabic pop, though there is a genre of Persian pop music called Bandari that is heavily influenced by traditional Arab folk music.

How sad for Shyam, that though internationally recognized, within India he has to play second fiddle to mediocre unworthies. Seriously, if I were him, I'd refuse that PadmaShri.

Thanks for the tip. Will check out the song.

12:25 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

Shyam is a little unlike Thiyam.. He will not refuse but will give the award due respect. He only cares about his films and is very gentle. And this happens all the time, who all will we fight. This has always happened. I did a lil write up regarding the same. but more will follow.. I want to give them the due respect too. I am learning to write better lol. even got me the nuts and bolts of writing. ;-) been to busy thinking about businesses and other stuff... lol..

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

Oh I do like Jabberwock too. I think my rant was more directed towards these economics blogs, more since you pointed one really good one. I was looking at some design and economics-related blogs once hoping I will find some good stuff about what's happening on the streets back home. I thought blogs might do a better job than newspapers. Well, I got some references from some really well-known blog rolls but was pretty disappointed (you can see I have calmed down a bit :D). What really bugged me was they were being "referenced" to as good blogs for India since they are journalists.

You should definitely take long breaks. Even your blogs sound good after those :)

7:35 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

And you're doing a splendid job on your blog Anthony. By the way, do you know what kind of state awards Ratan Thiyam has been given?

Pidus, I think I know the blogs you're referring to. And definitely agree with your assessment. And I will always agree with the necessity of long breaks, especially from work :)

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....NICE…. ^_^v…..


7:50 PM  

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