Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at mizohican@gmail.com and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chp 571. Reliving the music, Part 4.


I guess my series of "Reliving the music" blog posts triggered a nostalgic nerve in some of you, based on some of the comments I'm getting. We ended up discussing not just about the good ol' days of 90s music but also some of the popular comics and magazines in Mizoram those days :)

As my friends mentioned, those were not just the days of great music but also "Year books" and Archies "lyrics books". So in this post, I'll cover the music part briefly, and talk more about the memorable comics and magazines of those days (I'm just talking about the ones we used to get in Mizoram back then, and not in the metros). Discussions like this tend to make us go round and round, like a circle in the sand. And so here you have it - the first song of this post, Belinda Carlisle's "Circle in the sand" :)



I've featured her song "Leave a light on for me" on part 1 of this series of blog post. However, I love this song just as equally. "Sundown all around, Walking through the summer's end... Waves crash baby, don't look back, I won't walk away again." Such a soothing love song to listening to, especially by the beach on a quiet moonlit night... except of course I've never done that myself... yet.

Next up - Taylor Dayne - "Tell It To My Heart". Why don't they make songs like this anymore? :( "Tell it to my heart, Tell me I'm the only one, Is this really love or just a game? Tell it to my heart, I can feel my body rock every time you call my name..."



I'll just add two more music videos on this post, and both of them revolve around the word "Poison". Yep, here you go, "Poison" by Alice Cooper, and Poison performing "Talk dirty to me". Two of my favorite glam-rock/glam-metal bands from my very large collection of 90s rock music folder.

Remember those days how some of us used to sing Alice Cooper's "Poison" as - "One look, two look, three look, four look..."? :D



And then there's the band Poison. Most of the harder heavy-metal bands of those days used to call them "hairband pop rock" band in a mocking way because of their cheesy lyrics and long shaggy hair, but trust me, their music is way better than most of the so called music of today.

Here's "Talk dirty to me", a song that my sisters would always play in the car on any of our long road trips. And the beat really went well with the bumpy poorly-maintained roads of Mizoram back then.




And so those are some of the memorable music for today. Now coming to some of the comics/magazines of those day, here are two magazines I'm sure some of you will remember!





Haha, brings back a lot of memories huh? Many of us used to call the second magazine above as just "Kiss" but the proper name is actually "Photoromance Kiss", similar to the other one being "Photoromance Darling". Both of them were published by Lancio Corporation and are no longer available in the market, but you can still find them at e-bay and other such sites if you really want them.

Yeah I remember how some of us were truly awestruck by the clear photographs and I think many of us used to copy their fashion style based on what the models in the comic trips were wearing :)

And then there was "Blue Jeans". Again a photo based comic strip, but unlike Photoromance magazines, this was in black & white. This too was targeted mainly at teenage girls, but having three elder sisters back then, it was hard for me not to pick up one and read it while sitting in the loo. Remember, there were no mobile phones to play with while taking a dump those days :P





Now some of you may know this, but I didn't until years later. Blue Jeans is actually a girl's magazine published by DC Thomson, which has a lot of pop music, fashion, reader's confessions, pin-up posters etc in color. The black & white comics that we used to get in Mizoram, were created by the same publisher and the actual name for that series is "Blue Jeans Photo Novel". But then I think a lot of us used to call the comics as just Blue Jeans, which apparently is wrong :)

Speaking of DC Thomson, some of their other famous comics for girls were published under the names of Bunty, Mandy, Judy and Debbie. I'm sure those titles ring a bell for you...



And if not, I'm definitely sure at least this one will - "STAR love stories in pictures". This is again a romance based comic strip published by DC Thomson. Hehehe how many of these were lying around in our house back then. And then my sisters would trade their STAR comics with a friend's and such comics used to rotate across the city.









DC Thomson was the same publisher who gave us the "Commando" series of war comics. Now these comics appealed to me way more than the Star comics did :P I'm sure many of you have read some of the Commando comics below -








Now the best part about this is, if you want, you can still purchase the above Star and Commando comics! Yup, I have found an e-com site selling such comics, and here it is - ComiXology. Star comics cost £ 0.69 (INR 70) each while Commando comics cost £ 1.49 (INR 150) each, though I don't know about their shipping charges.

By the way, apart from DC Thomson comics there was also the IPC Magazine publications. How many of you remember the "Girl Picture Library" and "War Picture Library" series of comic books? Very similar to Star and Commando comics, they were actually competing with those comics. And they were all published by IPC Magazines.

I'm sure many of you have read some of the comics below...

 








So those are some of the comics I'll cover for today. Maybe I'll cover some more on my next update, but for now, I guess I'll end this post. I hope I was able to bring back some of your old memories and if so, I'm glad I could take you down memory lane :)

Feel free to tag some of your old-time friends to remind them about some of the golden comics and magazines we used to read back then :D

Cheers for now y'all.



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Chp 570. Reliving the music, Part 3.


Haha, so here is my third part of a "space filler" series of post dedicated to music. Surprisingly, I’ve been getting quite a high visit rate on my previous two posts than expected! :D I guess some of you do relate to some of the music I’m mentioning here.

Most of the songs here are the ones I listened to while growing up, and I think I’ll stick to that on this post as well. Let’s talk about some more of those songs, just to take us back to the good ol' days of bell-bottom jeans and leather jackets :)

On this post, I’ll try to focus more on the pop and dance music scene of those days, you know, when Mtv was actually about good music back then. The golden days of VJ Nonie, VJ Danny, VJ Sophiya etc… Also, I'm taking the effort to embed their YouTube link, so I really hope you play them as you go through this post :) Here we go...


Tamperer featuring Maya - Feel it: This was one of the catchy dance songs of those days... I never knew what "look like with a chimney on her" meant until years later when I found out it meant giving somebody a black eye from a fight :)





Bobby Brown - Every Little Step: I really love this song, so imagine my excitement when I saw this same song as one of the soundtracks on "Step Up: All In" (2014) and they really danced well to it too.





Kris Kross - Jump Jump was popular as hell back then. "Jump, jump, The Mac Dad will make ya Jump Jump, The Daddy Mac will make ya Jump Jump, Kris Kross will make ya Jump Jump". Who could resist not jumping while this song was playing? :)




Le Click - Tonight is the night: I used to find this song so similar to La Bouche's style of music, until years later I found out the vocalist of this song was none other than La Bouche's Melanie Thornton :D Hence the "similarity" I guess :P




Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack: There's something about this song that really hits me... its... cool and rad to dance to, you know, easy steps and motion. It just makes you wanna shake that ass to its beat.




Mr. President - Coco Jambo Speaking of dance floor filler, this was it. The moment this was played, everybody used to go "whoooooo" and move to the dance floor. This is how you differentiate a 90's kid for today's kid. :D




No Mercy  - Where do you go? Ahhh No Mercy had a good run as well. They had a couple of really good slow numbers too, though most of their fast track numbers all sounded similar to each other... it's as if they just changed the lyrics but were too lazy to compose a new tune for it, lolz. But this was their most popular number.




Real McCoy - Another Night: Here's a fact - The original singer of this song was Patsy Petersen, but the producers didn't like her vocals so Karin Kasar sang the song and in the music video, Patsy Petersen was actually lip-syncing what Karin had recorded earlier :)




Steps - 5, 6, 7, 8: Hihi what 90's dance music is complete without Steps? This song was so popular and common, it almost reach the verge of irritation. Apart from this, Steps were famous for a couple of other hits as well.




Dr. Alban - Sing Halleluia: Ah one of the best tribal beats of those days. Dr. Alban went on to inspire many upcoming rap and reggae superstars.




Ini Kamoze - Hot stepper and Snow - Informer: And what would the 90's dance scene be without Hot stepper and Informer? OMG these two songs were worshipped at every house parties :D






Here are a few more to end this short post -


Red Nex - Cotton Eye Joe




Scatman john - Scatman




Diana King - Shy Guy




Maxi Priest - Close to you




And there are still a lot I'm not putting up here, like Aqua, Vengaboys, Ace of Base, Whigfield, etc. But I hope at least you got to enjoy these... Cheers for now haiiii macarena :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chp 569. Reliving the music, Part 2.


Morning folks. In today's episode of "reliving the music", I'd like to cover some of my favorite duets, more specifically, a duet performed by a male and female vocalist.

Technically, a duet means any song performed by two different singers (who are not a part of the same band). But in true musical terms, I think a duet is a duet only if both people are famous individually. If the other person is not famous enough, then the credit of that song goes to the more famous person while the lesser known person is reduced to being just a "backup vocalist". Oh comon, you know I'm right :)

Anyhoo, here are some of my favorite duets, which I really hope you like too. I'm sure there are a lot of other good duets I must have missed too because I'm in office right now juggling between work and writing this post...

"Islands in the stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is my all time favorite duet. Oh man I can still sing it to this day... Islands in the stream, That is what we are, No one in between, How can we be wrong, Sail away with me, To another world, And we rely on each other, ah-ha, From one lover to another, ah-ha! :)



Now how many of you know this next duet? :) "No more midnight rides with you, No more secret rendezvous... I'm gonna miss all the things we'll never do. I just can't believe you left me here alone, How in this world can I make it on my own?" sings the sultry siren Stephanie (Michelle Pfeiffer). And then cool rider Michael joins in, "Remember, I love you, I won't be far away. Baby, close your eyes and think of yesterday, And we'll be there together. Love will turn back the hands of time. Whoa oh, turn back...  Whoa oh, turn back the hands of time."



Those were truly the great days :) And I think I'm probably the only person in this world who enjoyed Grease 2 more than the first part.

Next would  be Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker singing  - "Up Where We Belong". Oh man I love this one, including the soundtrack movie "An Office and a Gentleman", though the particular music video compilation below had, for some strange reasons, clips from "Top Gun" in it as well :D



Maybe "love lift us up where we belong, where the eagles fly" is apt with Tom Cruise cruising thousands of feet above sea-level in his jetfighter :)

And then here's another power ballad duet I really love - Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack singing  - "Tonight I celebrate my Love". Very slow, mushy and smooth.



This is another favorite song of mine since Calcutta boarding school days at St. Thomas - Patty Smith & Don Henley singing "Sometimes love just ain't enough". They used to play this regularly on our school fete (carnival) music system during those rare times Boys school and Girls school could interact with each other, and aspiring couples used to dedicate this song to each other :D and the irony is that this song is actually a "break-up and moving on" song. Buuutttt... we were just kids back then. Everything was a mushy love song if the music was slow I guess :D



Another favorite female-male duet of mine is "Stumblin' in" by Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman of Smokie. But much as I love this song and the band Smokie, I hate it when I see people credit this song to just Smokie alone. In fact Chris Norman was the only connection Smokie had to this song, the rest were all Suzi's people.



Moving a bit forward, here is another duet I really really love - "Where the wild roses grow" performed by Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. "They call me The Wild Rose, But my name was Elisa Day, Why they call me it I do not know, For my name was Elisa Day". The song is dark and grim, based on "The Wild Rose" urban legend of Elisa Day, and Kylie's deep husky voice fits the role perfectly.



Speaking of dark and poignant... another favorite duet of mine is "Whisky Lullaby" by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley. Dayymmm, this one just brings out the feels, man. One of the saddest and most emotional stirring duet I've ever heard...



So that's it for now. Like I said, I'm sure to have missed out on a lot of my favorite duets as well, since I'm writing this post in one go from office.

Until the next post, cheers :)



Monday, September 21, 2015

Chp 568. Reliving the music, Part 1.


Since I've been so busy with my new job, new relocation and new projects, I hardly had the time to update my blog. And even though that is actually a trivial thing, the eccentric part of me is afraid I may not be able to fulfill my annual goal of "50+ blog posts a year" this time! :(

I mean, been blogging for 10+ years with an update of more than 50 posts every year is not something easy to do! Sure, 50+ posts per year is not a difficult target to reach for the first year, second year, third year or maybe even fifth year… but doing it every year for 10+ years is actually quite tough! And yeah, many of my updates may be nonsensical, but at least that kinda keeps the fire burning within me to keep writing :D I have seen so many awesome bloggers with really insightful and in-depth posts and humorous content who sadly just vanish from the face of the blogosphere within a year or two.

A lot of things can be a reason for one to stop blogging - Change in priorities, relocations, marriage, kids, loss of interest, the list goes on. Oh how I wish they could come back to blogging one of these days, I really miss many of my old blog friends :( As for me, I do plan to keep on blogging regularly for as long as I can…

So in order to fill up a couple of posts quickly in order to meet this year’s quota of 50+ posts, here is me deciding to write about some of my favorite "old time" songs. I’m talking about the 90’s. I know a lot of my visitors are in my age group (or older), don’t lie! :P I’m sure at one point of time, some of you had posters of a topless Samantha Fox or New Kids On The Block on your bedroom wall! :) :P


My aim is to blog about some of my favorite "oldies" songs now and then, songs that are not very popular today, hoping I can jog your memory and take you down memory lane. I mean, comon, we were brought up in the walkman and tape-recorder generation. Those days, a lot of "house parties" could flop because of many reasons -

(a) The  tape-recorder cord was not long enough to reach the plug point

(b) Power cut while in the middle of "forming a circle" on the "dance floor" and there’s no battery backup

(c) The batteries ran out and even after "biting" them, it could play no more than 2-3 songs

(d) The idiot in charge of bringing his latest collection of dance cassettes forgot to do so

(e) The tape-recorder "ate up" the cassette reel, ending in people carefully unwinding the tapes using a Reynolds pen…

The list is endless.

Today, things are so different. You want music? Everybody has them on their mobile phones or portable drives. And even without those, one can easily access Youtube or any cloud service to play whatever music they want. Imagine if that was possible those days! :)

For starters… remember how popular Eurodance music used to be those days? And how can one not mention E-Type or 2 Unlimited when it comes to Eurodance? :D

"Here I go again it’s time for me to fade away…" See, our dance music those days were not just about the music, they were also quite inspirational too.



E-Type singing - "You gotta move on, you better believe it, and you'll find out this is the time of your life" makes you wanna just move on if you face any obstacles or setbacks. Or for that matter 2 Unlimited singing "No Limit" - it wasn’t just a catchy beat, it was actually telling you whatever you plan to do or achieve, there are "no limits, we’ll reach for the sky, no valley too deep, no mountain too high, no no limits, won’t give up the fight, we do what we want and we do it with pride". (you just sang the song in your head as you read that, didn't cha? :D )



And then of course came the "Sweet dreams" and "Be my lover" era of La Bouche. I’m sure many of us must have heard of those songs, but how many of you have actually heard of their slow-jam number called "Do you still need me?"



Those were the days when a house party was not just about dancing to fast beat music but slow-jamming to songs such as this as well, usually played towards the end of a party. "Take my breath away", "Drive", "Waiting for a girl like you" or any song by Air Supply or Smokie was common back then. And of course me being the shy introvert, I'd always be the one sitting in a corner all alone during this moment. God I used to hate the slow jam sessions so much because of that.

What about Maria Montell? How many of you remember or know this song, the mixed version? :)



"This small town girl, needs to fly, to reach her dreams, in the sky, ai yai yai… and so the story goes, di da dee, di da di da di da di da di da di, dup dee" :)

It was a very catchy tune back then, though I guess not very popular… and speaking of catchy tunes, I guess Suzanne Vega’s "Tom Diner" would be one of my all time favorites…



"tut tut tu ru, tut tu tu ru, tut tut tu ru tut tu tu ru, tut tut tu ru, tut tu tu ru, tut tut tu ru tut tu tu ru"

Tell me that didn’t just take you back to those days? :)

Those were the days when Tifanny came out of nowhere and shook the dance circuit with her "I think we’re alone now" hit single. My eldest sis u Lapuii would teach me the entire dance steps in action, and me and my three elder sisters would enact the whole dance together, until dad or mom would barge in and furiously tell us to stop the music :)



Belinda Carlisle’s "Leave a light on for me" was also popular back then, and I still love the song to this day.



"Heaven is a place on earth" and "Circle in the sand" are also other favorite songs of mine by her, but I’ll try to cover such bands like Bangles, Carpenters, Alana Miles in another post :)

I’d like to end this post with a song called "Rush rush" by Paula Abdul. The reason why I selected this song is because lately I have seen so many posts by people of "my generation" criticizing the "current generation" of the type of music they listen to today. Sometimes we end up comparing the best of our era to the worst of this era, like the difference in lyrics composition between Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" and a Nicki Minaj song! Comon, that ain’t a fair comparison at all :) We also tend to criticize this generation, say a Miley Cyrus swinging naked on a wrecking ball as too racy, but hey, many of the popular songs of our generation weren’t very clean either. Just listen to Paula Abdul’s "Rush rush" -



She’s like, "Rush rush… hurry hurry lover come to me… I wanna see… I wanna see you get free with me… I can feel it, I can feel you all through me…" Now that’s not very innocent, isn’t it? Yet many of us danced to that song. Or songs like "Sweat" by Inner Circle singing - "Girl I wanna make you sweat, sweat like you can sweat no more, and if you cry out, I’m gonna push it, push it some more" :) The same goes for Peter Andre's "Mysterious girl", Olivia Newton John's "Physical", Boyz II Men's "I'll make love to you", Donna Summer's "Hot stuff",  not to mention Sir Mix-A-Lot’s "Baby got back". Man we sure had our fair share of naughty racy steamy lyrics too! I guess the only difference between such songs and Nicki Minaj singing - "My anaconda don't, my anaconda don't, My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns" is that our generation pop bands were able to pull the same thing off in a much more classy manner :D

So this is my music flashback update for now, hopefully I’ll be able to update a few more posts like this later. Do let me know if you remember any of these songs mentioned here. Cheers for now :)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chp 567. From one office to the other


Yesterday we moved into our new office. So to me that means being involved in seven new offices in a span of just four years! But I guess one must undergo such ordeal in order to chase one’s dream. From setting up our own start-up office to being acquired and setting up our newly formed company, it had been one helluva ride so far.

One of the toughest things about being a part of a start-up is the amount of effort we had to take in setting up an office. It’s already a big pain to relocate (the pain of looking for a new apartment, meeting hundreds of different brokers and landlords and spending the entire day at the family court signing the rental agreement), and now you’ll have to do that all over again for the office space. Not to mention the office equipments, finding the cheapest vendor possible, all the overheads necessities like stationeries, electronic items, electricity, tax and paperwork stuff, office cook, office refrigerator, even the freaking office gas cylinder, the list is endless. And of course being a start-up, it means you can’t afford an office admin or HR to take care of such problems yet so it’s up to the Co-founders and other stakeholders to handle all that.

In fact, I got my FIRST ever "high BP" attack while we were in the middle of setting up our new office (which prompted my worried colleagues and family to make me go for a full health check-up at Lilavati hospital).

Below are some memorable photos of when we first started out back in 2012. Just to be clear we (our mobile gaming start-up) wasn’t alone in this, we had our friends who also had their own start-ups (e-com, tech, logistics, content etc) and we were all a part of the same group who shared the same office floor together.










And it actually felt great at the end of the day, knowing you’re a part of a team who was responsible for creating the new office space, right from designing the seating arrangement to even matters like selecting the wallpapers! :D

Below is another such moment when we decided to decorate our office to make it more homely and comfortable…








We had our fun moments, but by no means was it always like that. Like any other start-ups, going through all that ordeal was just the calm before the storm. Once everything was set up, it was time to bleed. Most of us were literally living in our new office, sometimes working 48 straight hours without going home. That was the sacrifice one must make in order to succeed. Here are a few photos I managed to pick out from my phone camera. Man those were truly the days!






















But of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and we also had our fair share of fun. We would have this group CS (Counter-Strike 1.6) and TF2 (Team Fortress 2) sessions almost every evening for around an hour in order to lift our spirits up.














Apart from our Mumbai office, we also spent a few months setting up our branch offices at Gurgaon and Hyderabad. Though they started off well, we realized we didn't have the capability to scale so fast at such a nascent phase, especially since we were losing focus of the one thing we wanted to do - making games. And so we re-focused all our energy back to our office in Mumbai.

Soon came the acquisition, and it was time to bid farewell to the awesome family we had at Bandra and move to our new office in Powai. Again, it was back to setting up a new office, but unlike earlier, we were no longer responsible as we were back to "employee mode" and boy it felt great watching other people do all the dirty work from the sidelines! :D






















And then came the transfer as our entire team had to relocate from Mumbai to Pune for better convenience and productivity. We had a temporary office space set up, which was quite congested.








Our new office was still being constructed at this renowned business center called "Sky One", but since our team was growing every day, we could no longer operate from that temporary office so we shifted to yet another temporary office space until our new office construction was completed.

Welcome to Connaught Place :)



Imagine that, shifting from one temporary office to another temporary office... temporariception. We reviewed the place and finalized the seating arrangements and other requirements.














Finally, we moved into our new temporary office around June this year...









What I loved about having an office at Connaught Place was that it was right opposite Wadia college, so because of the college kids, there were a lot of junk for outlets around our office. Like this favorite restaurant of ours which was right next to our office...






Anyway, around August we had a conference at "The Westin" and after that we went and checked out our new office still under construction. It was just walking distance from "The Westin".















And this was me again, yesterday, on the same spot two months later, purposely wearing the same clothes I was wearing the other day. Ahhh how things have changed :)














As I said before, I can see "The Westin" right outside our floor.



And the best part was, I can see my house from the balcony too!



The bridge below connects our new office to "North Main Road", where my house lies.



And so this morning, on my second day of work, I decided to walk to our new office. It was just 10-15 minutes away from my place.













Hopefully, this new office of ours will be the place where our success story really soars to a new level. Wish us all the best :)

Cheers.