there’s a new air conditioner in my room.

while this may not sound too exciting, perhaps you are not aware of the rules governing our household. they are as follows:

1. the youngest son may not own anything that has been produced in the last decade.
2. the youngest son may not own anything that was produced in the decade in which he was born.
3. in case the youngest son requires some infrastructure, he will receive items that were produced over a decade before he was born.

this would explain why, until recently, i had a bookshelf from 1954, a desk from 1962 and a wardrobe from what, according to my best estimates, is from 1941. the old air conditioner itself was made in 1967, and i believe was one of the first 10 of these machines to be exported to bangladesh.

in response to this embargo on new furniture and fittings, i decided late last year that i would start purchasing new (i.e. produced in the 21st century) fittings for my room. hence, thanks to the wonder of mass-produced cheap furniture, i was able to replace the desk, wardrobe and bookshelf. however, my meager income did not stretch far enough to enable me to purchase a new air conditioner, so both myself and the ac struggled to keep my room cool every night.

that is, until about a week ago, when it decided to spontaneously stop working. not only that, it decided to take out the electrical infrastructure of the entire neighborhood, on what turned out to be the hottest night of the year. since it was 11 pm at night, the electric authority felt no urgency to repair it, and so the entire neighborhood spent the night sweating profusely.

anyway, being the eternal optimist/sadist/glutton for punishment that i am, i decided to try and make it work three nights in a row after this, with pretty much the same result. as a result, my entire neighborhood spent four days in a row sweltering in extreme heat, with no electricity to run their cooling equipment.

now you know why i don’t post my real name on this site. i’d probably be dead by now, if people figured out i was the cause for the electrical failure.

after four days of this, the paternal unit finally acceded to my request, and sent for a mechanic, who promptly informed me that there was no hope of the machine ever working again. mercifully, the ancient ac was removed and laid to eternal rest.

in its place was placed yet another ac. however, in keeping with the rules of the household, the replacement itself was from 1986. i actually remember when it was bought, and this in itself is quite amazing, since i barely remember much else from the same period.

this ac, however, while not exactly 40 years old, has its own set of problems. for instance, it makes the same noise as a mating female cricket, and since it is now spring, this means that the machine attracts almost all the horny male crickets in the country. i discovered this last night when i stepped outside on to the verandah for a cigarette and was immediately engulfed in a cloud of extremely excited and horny male crickets. and that, boys and girls, is why smoking is bad for the health.

if that wasn’t bad enough, the ac has nine temperature settings, from 1-9, where 9 is supposed to be the coolest. however, having experimented with all 9 settings, i’ve realized that the temperature settings are as follows:

1: really fucking hot
2: kinda hot
3: lukewarm
4: fucking freezing
5: fucking freezing
6: fucking freezing
7: fucking freezing
8: fucking freezing
9: fucking freezing

since complaining about this to the parental unit would probably result in the ac being replaced by a hulking, menacing creature from the 1970s, i’ve decided to knuckle up and try to live with it. hence, every night finds me wrapped up tight in 2 sweaters, 3 blankets and the thickest comforter i can lay my hands on.

guess who’s back?

yes, it’s true. i’m back, once again, after an extremely long hiatus.

this hiatus was born out of necessity, not out of a conscious choice on my part. i’ve been extremely busy these past two months, through no fault of my own. well, no conscious fault.

but seriously, i’ve been extremely busy. what with working for two organizations, starting up my own firm, doing university classes, studying arabic and chinese on the side, jamming with my new band, and keeping up with my own rigorous personal fitness schedule, i’ve had little time for anything else, especially to maintain a blog. and besides, it’s not like anybody reads this anymore. i get about 10 visits a day from spammers, but that’s about it. however, since prufrock has expressed his dissatisfaction with my updating frequency, or lack thereof, i felt obligated to let you all know i’m still alive.

however, i feel it only fair to let you know how my schedule turned from simple corporate whore into involving all the crap above. so here goes.

personal fitness: in the interval between december 1 and february 1, i gained an approximate 32 pounds. now, i used to be a fat kid. and i hated it. hence i’ve started jogging and weight training in earnest. it’s been quite amusing – mainly how out of shape i am. i used to have to take up to three different breaks while jogging around a part of the arc of the dhanmondi lake. now, through some miracle, or perhaps because god grew bored of laughing at my lumbering around, i am able to jog all the way around the lake, which i presume is about 2-3 miles. which, given the couch potato i was slowly morphing into, is a big achievement. so stop laughing, damn it.

academia: after one year worth of corporate whoredom, i decided to make a partial return to academia. of course, as usual, given my luck, today, after one month of pointless classes on crap i learned 11 years ago, i’m offered a two-year young professional associate position with the world bank group. which would mean that i would have to forego classes, and work full-time for two years. damn you all. i spend one year working for peanuts for you, but you didn’t bother to offer me the position then, now did you? oh well. i have also begun taking classes in chinese and arabic. this of course brings up the very justified questions:

1. why?
2. why chinese?
3. why arabic?
4. why chinese and arabic?

to which i really have no answer, really. just thought it would be fun. and besides, these two will be the languages of the world soon. so i’m hoping it’s going to be useful in the future. if nothing else, it just inflates my already bloated resume even further.

the band: yes, that’s right. i now have a band. i realize it’s very impromptu, but then so was the formation of this band. about six months ago, i did some recording work for a friend of mine, and he brought along a friend who wanted to be a vocalist, and who claimed to be in to coldplay, u2 and the like. now, if you’ve ever met the youth of bangladesh, you’ll realize how rare this is. most young people who listen to english music (i’m leaving out the billions who don’t) generally turn their snotty little noses at the prospect of singing coldplay or u2. instead, they can sing you any verse or two from any hard rock/metal band that has ever walked this earth. i auditioned the guy, and he turned out to be quite good.

so anyway, being the proactive person i was back then, i did absolutely nothing about forming a band with him for several months. back in late december, this guy calls me, out of the blue, and tells me that he wants to form a band with another friend of his, who’s a rhythm guitarist, and would like me to be the lead guitarist. so anyway, i invite the two of them over for a sampling of their music. the rhythm guitarist, while quite talented, plays and sings the most happy, sunny, joyous pop song you have ever heard. and that pretty much ensured that i had no interest whatsoever in continuing with this new band.

but then, over the next two weeks, the vocalist and i sat down, and started putting words to my own compositions (all of which are on the music page, to which there is a link on the right). and pretty soon, we became quite productive, and started finalizing and recording demos of our own songs (some of which you can also find on the music page). right now, we have about seven or eight of our own songs done. i will post more demos of these songs here over the next few weeks, or whenever i can actually get several hours of internet connection free from the scourge of the power outages.

if you’re thinking of listening to the songs, be warned: they are all in bangla. and you may not like them. our fastest number (which i finished mixing a few nights ago) recorded so far blends punk rock guitar rhythm, funk basslines, pop guitar riffs, and metal vocals. our slowest number (which we still have to record the vocals of) blends a hard rock riff, a metal tapping, a funk bass line, a soft beat and a hindi movie-esque lead guitar into the sweetest, most emotion-dripping piece of music i have ever composed.

oh, and by the way, the band’s name is violet smoke. yes, i know. we’re really cool and shit.

anyway, that’s the update.

i was going to post something funny about bangladesh. but then i ran into two different quandaries:

1. what should i post about? the power situation, the increasingly maniac drivers, the traffic? so many choices…
2. actually, none of this shit is funny any more. it’s grown quite desperately pathetic. i can’t find humor in any of it anymore.

but anyway. i guess it’s time to do away with the funny, anyway. after all, quality blogs aren’t all based on humor. and if you really want something funny, check out some of the blogs on the bar on the right. i recommend gawker and blog ho.

so what new direction will electrikblues take? we’re going to have to see. with the upcoming elections, i might have to take some much deserved potshots at the wonderful politicians. or i might go into my allmighty reviewer mode, and start posting reviews of shit that you have to agree with me on. or it might become full time funny. or i might start writing stories again (yes, you can stop shuddering with fear at that prospect now). i’ll probably rip off the styles of quite a few of my frequent reads (e.g. prufrock, gawker, rezwan etc.) but remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

but i guess we’ll have to see, now won’t we?

and as for reviews, listen to ben harper. now. specifically the song amen omen. i’ve heard this song somewhere before but i can’t recall. anyway, this song is amazing. awesome. simple greatness. download it now. or be a good boy and buy it or something.



that’s it. i quit. i utterly give up now.

i come back home early this evening – new year’s eve for those of you who’ve spent the last millennium hibernating in a hole – because a) my father is sick and b) it’s not the time for me to be away all night partying, just so that he doesn’t have to be alone. i know. i’m such an awesome son.

one hour later, he informs me that he’s going to go drinking with his buddies. and he has the balls to say he’s going out to “dinner”. at 10 pm. to the trendiest party spot in the country. right.

what the fuck?

oh, and happy new year, fuckers.