Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Very Shameful Day in India: M F Hussain surrenders Indian citizenship

It never made to headlines and today the news was also hidden among the euphoria in the aftermath of one of those rare budgets after which the Sensex didn't dip. Amidst the 'India Shining' rave party it seemed so insignificant that one of India greatest artistes and painters had to surrender his citizenship at an age of 95 because he never felt secured in his motherland.

Yes, I'm speaking about M F Hussain, undoubtedly the most illustrious of the modern day painters who have retained India's position in the international art scene. What is his crime? He has painted Saraswati in nude and hence has a number of cases slapped against him by a bunch of idiots. And not only that, our system has accepted all such baseless cases and wants to try a 95 year old person for being creative. It's well accepted that Indians are an argumentative lot, but that doesn't mean that Indian judiciary will entertain each and every such frivolous case when there's already a huge backlog of rape and murder cases. As long as any act doesn't cause any security threat to the nation or any loss of material and/or respect to the nation or any particular individual, how can such cases be entertained? (By the way the cyber law on pornography and obscenity has been recently changed and Savita Bhabhi is back. So I believe Indian judiciary is going in the right track). More to it, Husaain also has threat on his life, properties and creations and our government doesn't find enough reason to ensure the security of one of her most prodigal sons.

Wow, what a hypocrisy when I've been chanting "Kucha yuga shobhita muktaa haare" towards the end of the Anjali (prayer offerings) on the day of Saraswati Puja since ever. My seven year kid has been also chanting the words, may be, for the past two three years, off course without knowing the meaning. I never felt it necessary for him to know each and every word of the Saraswati Vandana (Sorry guys, the link is in Bengali).

Neither has anyone in Bengal (or elsewhere where this particular Saraswati Vandana is chanted on a Saraswati Puja day) thought it necessary for kids to know the exact meaning. For the matter of fact no one ever bothers what mantras are being read out by the priest during the marriage or the naming ceremony or any where else. Sanskrit has ceased to be the spoken language of people in India more than 2000 years back and very few people have known Sanskrit since very long. But when these mantras were first composed much more people knew Sanskrit and I'm sure they would have objected to any obscene or perverse or derogatory word used for any Indian or Hindu deity. But I'm not aware of any such objection to "Kucha yuga shobhita muktaa haare" which precisely means "boobs adorned with a garland of pearl". When worn in the neck such a garland is known as necklace - I don't know if this would be called a booblace!! Whatever be it, some one in the antiquity did find it very aesthetic and perfectly normal to worship not only the divinity, but also the extra ordinary physical beauty of the Deity of art and culture and education. I'm not sure, but I don't think the physical beauty of any other Hindu deity is adored or worshipped in this way. Perhaps the composer of the hymn or the Mantra felt it necessary to refer to the naked beauty of a woman body because we're here worshipping the Goddess of art. One of the most wonderful creations of the nature is no doubt the body of a woman with all her artistic curves cleavages. All along the ages people were always fascinated with this wonderful creation. Hence why shouldn't we worship the supreme from of art that the nature has created for us? So when we can worship the naked beauty of Saraswati then why can't it be depicted by an artiste? Where is the freedom of speech and expression? It's a matter of great pride that an Indian, Muslim by birth, has taken so much interest in a Goddess of a different religion and has depicted Her exactly in the way she used to be in the ancient times when India had made perhaps the greatest advancements in art and literature and other areas of creative sciences.

I find it so ridiculous that many people claim to dictate the guidelines of Indian culture. It's shocking that people belittle our culture which is by far the most pragmatic and the most liberal one to be found anywhere in the world. We not only worship the breasts and put pictures of woman anatomy on the walls of temples, but we also worship the very moment of joy and ecstasy when a new life is created, the moment when a man and woman has orgasm - that's exactly what the Shiva Linga symbolizes. So when women rub the linga with milk (symbolizing the semen that overflows after orgasm) there's no problem, but if anyone paints a picture of Shiva having sex with Parvati that becomes a big issue? That's really ridiculous!!

I hope these silly people better read more about India and about Indian culture before commenting on it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Autos on call

Courtesy Priyank Shukla

Now the residents of Bangalore can have some respite from 'hunting' for auto rickshaws, thanks to Easy Auto, a scheme endorsed by the city police and RTOs.

Just call 9844112233 any time you want an auto to commute and we will send it to your doorstep. Our auto rickshaws have GPS devices installed in them, and we track our vehicles using highly sophisticated servers that track the satellite data from the GPS devices that is updated every 3 minutes. Our autos are safe, our drivers are always polite and at your service

In Easy Auto the meter charges are as approved by Government, which is a minimum of Rs.14.00 and Rs.7.00 for every additional kilometer. Though Government has approved a service fee of Rs.3.00 for availing this service, it is not being charged right now

Please note that our autos will start the metering to you only at the point of boarding if the vehicle is within 0.5 km running of your point of boarding. But if the auto is beyond this, [our fencing for GPS is 5 km radius], then the agent will ask your consent before connecting this vehicle to you, and metering will start from the current location of the driver and not the point of boarding.

Budget 2010: Highlights

  • Excise on locally refined gold at Rs 280/gram
  • Basic customs duty on gold ore reduced
  • 5% duty, project import status for MSOs
  • Not to levy import tax on some equipment in road proj
  • Uniform, concessional 5% duty on all medical appliances
  • Customs duty rationalized on music, gaming, software
  • Businesses with Rs 60 lakh turnover have to audit a/c
  • Excise duty on CFL halved to 4%
  • Central excise on LED lights cut to 4%
  • Rs 50/t cess on Indian coal
  • To raise central excise on non-petro products to 10%
  • Increased excise duty on all non-smoking tobacco
  • Excise on cigars, cigarettes to go up
  • CET on petro products hiked by Re 1
  • Partial rollback of excise duty on large cars
  • Partial rollback of excise duty on cement, cement products
  • Excise duty hiked to 10% vs 8%
  • Professionals with Rs 15 lakh income need account audit
  • Weightage deduction on R&D increased to 200%: Ernst & Young
  • Weighted deduction from 150% to 200% for in-house R&D
  • Surcharge for companies reduced to 7.5% from 10%
  • MAT increased to 18%
  • 10% tax for income between Rs 1.6-5 lakh
  • Nil tax for Rs 1.6 lakh income
  • Borrowing plan to be decided in consultation with RBI
  • FY11 net market borrowing pegged at Rs 3.45 lakh crore
  • To continue with practice of oil, fert subsidy in cash
  • FY10 fiscal deficit revised to 6.9% of GDP
  • FY13 fiscal deficit pegged at 4.1%
  • FY12 fiscal deficit pegged at 4.8% of GDP
  • FY11 fiscal deficit pegged at 5.5% of GDP
  • Total expenditure this fiscal at Rs 11.87 lakh crore
  • Revised estimate for tax collection at Rs 7.47 lakh cr
  • Defence allocation at Rs 1.47 lakh cr
  • To soon finalise symbol for Indian Rupee
  • Allocated Rs 1,900 cr for UID project
  • UID authority to issue 1st set of ID's in FY11
  • To set up financial sector legislative reforms panel
  • Allocated Rs 2,600 cr for Minority Affairs ministry
  • Allocated Rs 5,000 cr to Social Justice ministry
  • Launched women farmer fund scheme with Rs 100 cr
  • Propose to launch skill development programme for textile sector
  • Village & child development outlay up 50%
  • Allocation for renewable energy at Rs 1,000 cr
  • Unorganised sector social security fund at Rs 1,000 crore
  • Health insurance extended to NREGA beneficiaries
  • National Security Fund allocated Rs 1,000 cr
  • Micro finance & equity fund doubled to Rs 400 cr
  • Allocated Rs 2,400 cr for micro, SME's
  • Allocation for slum redevelopment increased to Rs 1,270 crore
  • To extend 1% interest subsidy scheme for affordable housing to Mar 2011
  • Allocation for urban development at Rs 3,500 crore
  • Indira Aawas Yojana allocation at Rs 10,000 cr
  • Bharat Nirman FY11 plan outlay at Rs 48,000 crore
  • Rs 40,100 cr for NREGA
  • Rs 61,000 cr for rural infra development
  • Banking for all villages with population of 2,000
  • Allocation to Health Ministry at Rs 22,300 cr
  • FY11 education plan outlay at Rs 31,030 crore
  • Spending on social sector upped to Rs 1.37 lakh cr
  • Ready with draft Food Security Bill
  • One time grant of Rs 200 cr to Tamil Nadu for textile
  • Clean Ganga Mission allocated Rs 500 crore
  • Allocated Rs 200 cr to Goa to restore beaches
  • To set up 20,000 mw of solar power by 2022
  • Allocated Rs 500 cr to set up solar, small hydro power units
  • Micro power project in Ladakh at Rs 500 cr
  • To launch competitive bidding for captive coal mining
  • To set up coal regulatory authority
  • To loan Rs 16,752 cr to rail development projects
  • IIFCL to double re-finance to banks for infra
  • Road development allocation hiked to Rs 19,894 cr
  • To construct 20 km of national highway each day
  • Allocation for road transport raised by 13%
  • ECB's now available for food processing sector

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Name is Khan & I'm Not a Terrorist

Finally Karan Johar has also grown up. That's the first reaction I'd after watching MNIK - My Name Is Khan. It was very tough to accept the fact that the movie was made by the same Karan Johar, who specializes in creating the most unrealistic of scenarios with the most weird settings around. Remember the story where Rahul could marry both the girls, he loved, in series, one after another when the first one died? Wow, what a great idea. No question of divorce or alimony. The first wife dies and enters the other love!! And what about the story of 'loving your parents' where the same Rahul, a little grown up now, has to leave his step father (with a baritone voice and a Himalaya of ego) because his love interest is not accepted at home - but then again sheds a Ganga of tears on Himalaya's shoulder at the end? And not to forget the songs where 1000 girls would be dancing around frantically practically to each and every occasion!! Compared to that MNIK is just such an awesome experience. It's no doubt one of the best films made in Hindi ever.

Many films were made on the topic of division of the world in the aftermath of 9/11 and the plights of the Muslims. But very few movies touched such a sensitive chord in such a simple way. Despite some of the little absurd turn of events, still the main theme was portrayed so well just through one sentence - My Name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist. Very few films can stand on just one line. You speak that line and you tell a story. That's like telling an epic in just a moment's silence, that's like that silent stare that sparks a zillion love and that quiet romantic evening where you talk a life's talk. And so endearing was San Francisco, a city that I love so much. SFO may not be one of the MUST SEE destinations for international tourists - people go more to New York or Las Vegas or Los Angeles - but still SFO has its own charm. It's truly a city that you fall in love with when only you see it from a close distance. MNIK caresses SFO so nicely!!

I hope Karan doesn't go back to Rahul and stays with his Khan!!

First when I felt sad

Do you remember when you first felt sad? For that matter of fact do you know what's the earliest thing in your life that you still remember? How old were you then? Well, these are really debatable things and I'm sure psychologists would have done enough researches on this.

Theoretically I don't know what a human being has the earliest memories of. It never came to my mind what that memory could be. But I often have this weird thought of finding out when I first felt sad, or when I first missed something or someone in life. I still faintly remember the initial days at the primary school, called 'Children's Home' in Calcutta - I used to cry a lot everyday. I can retrieve some really grainy snaps from my memory about one or more such days. Yes, I was surely feeling bad or even sad, but that's not the sadness I'm talking about. I remember so well the last day in the boarding school after the secondary exams. We all stayed for 5-6 years together in hostel and that was the time when we're leaving each other. We knew it well that, that day could be the last time some of us saw each other in our lives. And it did happen like that. I never saw many of my friends with whom I stayed for so many days, with whom I shared such a big part of my formative years. That's the feeling which I'd say 'feeling sad'. A similar day came again when we're leaving IIT. Some six years had already passed by then. Somehow I knew that the prospect of being in touch was much better now. It's true that I was not that sad as I was when I left my school. Might be this time duration of the say in hostel was little lesser, or perhaps I knew that I'd be anyway in touch with most of the people I'd like to be in touch with. But back in school even if I wanted to be in touch I knew it won't be that easy. That feeling of sadness in the last day at school perhaps never came back in my life. That's what I'm talking about. Do you remember when you first felt that type of sadness?

I've been thinking about this for quite sometime. Finally I came to the conclusion that perhaps I felt a similar sadness for the first time in my life when we're leaving Kashmir after a trip in 1980. I was just seven years old then. Had my mother not taken the pains of taking those valuable twelve snaps in her Agfa camera, I might not have remembered anything of that trip later. The photos have also faded a lot. I can't recall much about that trip other than the fact that our Jammu Tawai Express was late by some 10-12 hours due to some accident in the train line ahead of us and we missed our connecting flight to Srinagar from Jammu. But I don't remember the hotel that we stayed, I don't remember any of the places that we visited. But I somehow still remember that when I was leaving Srinagar I was feeling sad that I won't be seeing a particular waiter in the hotel, with whom I'd become so close. Perhaps that was the first time I got attached to someone outside my family. Perhaps that was the beginning of the life long saga of getting close to someone and then leaving him/her. Perhaps that was the beginning of getting old, getting to know the realities of life, getting to know the sweet-sad, 'meetha dard' part of life. Perhaps I started growing up since then!!

My Seven Best Places in India

Red Hills, near Ooty in the only Lake district of India, is perhaps one of the best places I've ever seen. It's easily accessible from Bangalore, has wonderful natural beauty and above all has one of the best places to stay - Mr. Vijay's century old cottage overlooking the Emerald Lake. I've written extensively about this place in my blog. It's a MUST SEE for any one in Bangalore and also elsewhere.

Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh is one of the best kept secrets for Indian tourists who run to Europe for the Yash Chopratic green meadows along gentle slopes of green hills. It's barely a few hours from Dalhousie on the way to Chamba, another beautiful hamlet perched across a wonderful scenic valley. Khajjiar can be well mistaken for any place in Switzerland. The only problem is that I don't think there's any decent hotel near by. At least that was the scenario in 2001 when we visited the place. People can stay in Dalhousie and make a day trip to Khajjiar.

Wayanad, in Kerala is an awesome green experience. Very few places elsewhere can your eyes get to see more green. It's again easily accessible from Bangalore, barely few hours from Mysore. It's one of the best options for a fun filled and adventurous break from the daily grill of your life. Great food, wonderful sceneries, multiple trekking options - what else do you need? I've covered this place in multiple blogs.

Allepy, in the backwaters of Kerala is one of the exotic places to go in India. It's a grand experience to stay in an ethnic house boat with a crew of boatmen and chefs at your disposal throughout the stay and the continuous servings of mouth watering food cooked fresh in front of you. The only problem is that it's quite hot throughout the year. We went during Christmas, but still we're sweating in the middle of the night when hundreds of houseboats are anchored deep inside the backwaters. Take a houseboat with generators so that you don't sweat!! Nothing better than this to relax and spend an extremely leisurely vacation.

Goa - do I need to say anything about this place? Despite all the recent spate of criminal activities at many places in Goa it still remains one of the most cosmopolitan, fun filled and enjoying destinations of India. It has wonderful sea food and international cuisines at very reasonable rates suiting all budgets. River cruises with live carnival are very popular. You may try out the sea cruises to nearby islands in the sea. It's worth making the "Dil Chahta Hai" type of resolution that friends should come to Goa at least once a year. Go to North Goa for the fun and South Goa for the serenity!!

Auli, in Uttaranchal is one of the best ski destinations in India. Apart from that it's also one of the best places to go. Very few places will take you so close to some of the highest peaks of the world. Auli overlooks Nanda Devi and many other peaks. It provides some of the best views of the snow capped peaks. It's not easy to reach though. It's a long ride either from Hardwar or Ranikhet - the nearest places where you have good hotels. It's on the way to Badrinath. All the pain in reaching Auli is worth taking considering the views you get. It's also a good start point for multiple treks across the Himalayas. I've written extensively about Auli in my blogs.

Delhi, though a big city, has all the elements of an ideal tourist destination. It has a long and colorful history, a great deal of romanticism (Mirza Ghalib and Bahadur Shah Zafar et al), three World Heritage Sites (Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb & Qutb Minar), innumerable historical sites and monuments all sewn together with the political and financial hustle and bustle. It has the sprawling Pragati Maidan overlooking the Purana Qila. It has the Habitat Center just opposite to the Lodi Gardens. It has the IIT opposite the Hauz Khas complex. It's full of contrasts. The present and the past reside side by side in such a wonderful harmony. It has huge malls and also the huge Bahai Temple and the serene Raj Ghat. Delhi always attracts me just for the sheer diversities it has to offer. I've used it as the backdrop of one of myshort stories.

All for 'Dhan'

Finally the cat is out. Well, it's not that we never knew it. We knew it so well for ever but still we never accepted it in public. This is surely one of the heights of hypocrisy, not only in India but also in the Western countries. Indians should have been the last people to not accept this. After all we're among the first ones to appreciate it. Not only we appreciated it, but also considered it so divine that we put it up so nicely even in our temples. You take it out of the Classical Indian literature, mainly Sanskrit, and you one of the best 'alankars' or ornamentations off it. It's one of the best assets or 'dhan' that any man can think of. No doubt in a recent Hindi movie a character referred it to as 'dhan'!!

Enough of suspense. Let' come to the point. This is what came in Times of India last week:

It may appear vulgar, but a new survey has revealed that a man looks at a woman’s assets in his first glance, rather than her face.

In the survey, half of the male respondents confessed that they look at a woman’s assets even before they look at her face. And, four in 10 men have admitted they look at women’s assets at least 10 times a day.
Men from Newcastle are
the most likely to sneak a peek at a girl’s cleavage before looking them in the eye, the poll of 1,000 adults has revealed.
What’s more interesting is that the survey has found that many women have even admitted to checking out other girls’ assets up to seven times a day, the Daily Express newspaper reported. Nine in 10 women look at their rivals’ assets, with almost half admit
ting to having “breast envy” towards friends or work colleagues, the survey has found.
More than half of British women are also unhappy with their breasts with 63% wanting bigger breasts, while almost half of men think their partner’s assets are beautiful and wouldn’t want them to change them in any way, according to the survey for cosmetic surgery firm ‘Transform’. PTI

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Music of all Moods

Technology is a great catalyst in art and culture. It's not that I realized this only now. I knew it and have been a great proponent of this since long. I enter into long debates with people of the previous generation that science and technology indeed have helped to propagate and enhance music. I rediscovered the same just yesterday.

I never knew that MS Windows Media Player meticulously kept a track of the all the songs that I download and play in it. Accidentally I bumped on the history of the songs that I have heard in the past one year. I generally download or make a copy of only those songs which I like very much and want to play a number of times in my laptop. So the history of all such songs should simple mean a collection of all songs that I loved and listened innumerable times in the last one year. When I browsed through the list I was stunned to find the diversity of the styles, genres, age and languages of the songs or the music. I couldn't recall when and where I'd heard many of the English songs. But when I again heard all those today I did find out that they are indeed very unique songs and I'd like them anyway wherever I'd hear. Another important thing that showed up through this collection is the various moods that I'd have had while I listened them. I rarely listen to rock or hip-hop but still the list contains quite a few good rock numbers. Off course I've my diet of Hindi classics, Western Classical pieces, Hemanta, Salil Chowdhury, Lata, Gulzar, R D Burman, Khaiyyam, Shreya Ghoshal & Sunidhi Chauhan. I thought it's worth listing some of the songs from the collection (Most of the international albums are available in youtube and you can find about the artistes and the albums in wiki):

  • Jazz Piano number "OAM Blues" by Aaron Goldber from the 2006 album "Worlds"
  • Jazz numbers Despertar & Amanda from the album "Quiet Songs" by the Aisha Duo - some awesome percussions & cello
  • The winner of Grammy in Contemporary World Music category, the 2001 album "Djin Djin" (refers to the sound of a bell in Africa that greets each new day) by Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos
  • The number "Connections are more dangerous than lies" from the 2007 album "Welcome the Night" by the pop punk band "The Ataris"
  • "Get your head straight" from the 2007 album "Boys not Out" by the rock band of the same name
  • "Lemonade" from the 2007 album "What a Heart is beating for" by the contemporary Christian and folk musician Chris Rice
  • Beethoven's Symphony No 7, all 4 movements
  • Beethoven's Symphony no 3, all 4 movements
  • Bach's Masses in B minor
  • Mozart's Symphony No 9, all 4 movements
  • Mozart's 1st composition (K1) at the age of 4
  • Dvorak's Symphony No 9, all 4 movements
  • Few Western Classical instrumental in guitar and piano
  • "Sam's Song" from 2006 album "Talk is Cheap" by the 22 year old Dave Melillo - a mellow blend of acoustic guitar driven acoustic rock and piano accented power pop
  • Tagore's poem "Pran", adapted from the poem "Stream of Life" from Gitanjali, set to tune by American composer Garry Schyman for Matt Harding's Dancing 2008 video
  • 2 songs from the 1995 album "Muso Ko" by West African singer and musician Habib Koite & Bamada
  • "Don't Give up on me" from the 2006 chartbuster album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! by the power pop band Hellogoodbye
  • "Ava Adele" from 2007 album "This is it" by country singer Jack Ingram
  • "We Are One" from 22 year old Kelly Sweet's debut album of the same name in 2007 - classical and jazz music style
  • 2005 album "Duos II" by Brazilian jazz singer and composer Luciana Souza
  • 2007 album "Nu Monda" by the Capeverdan singer Tcheka
  • August from "Water's Edge" by the contemporary American composer Tim Janis
  • "I'm gonna change everything that holds memory of you" by Jim Reeves - my favourite English singer
  • Harry Belafonte's Jamaica Farewell - any introduction needed for this song?
  • Rehman's "Sun Ri Sakhi", "Dil Hai Chotasa" (Roja, original and my performance on violin), "Aye Hairat-eAshiqie" (Guru), "Tu Hi Re" (Bombay), "Barso Re" (Guru)
  • Hemanta's "Ferano Jabe Aar", "Poth Harabo Bolei Ebar", "Jhorer Kache Rekhe Gelam", "Shono Kono Ek Din", "Dhitang Dhitang Bole"
  • Few of Khaiyyam's all time memorable ghazals from Umrao Jaan, Baazar, Akhri Khat, Kabhi Kabhi and others
  • Few of Gulzar-RD Burman's compositions like "Aanewala Pal", "O Majhi Re", "Is Mod Se Jatein Hain", "Musafir Hoon Yaroon" and others
  • Few of Geeta Dutt's last songs ("Mera Dil Jo Mera Hota", "Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho Meri Jaan", "Koi Chupke Se Aake) - all written by Gulzar way back in early seventies, some of Gulzar's earliest lyrics - wonderful pathos in the voice that ceased to emanate music soon after the songs were made
  • Some of Shreya Ghoshal's best: Antaheen (2010 National Award winning "Pherari Mon"), Piu Bole (Parinita), Bairi Piya (Devdas), Urzu Dur Kut (Yahaan), Pal Pal (Lage Raho Munnabhai) etc
  • Some of Sunidhi Chauhan's unusual songs like "Mere Zindagi Mein Aaye Ho", "Mere Sang", "Yeh Aaj Kya Ho Gaya", "Ye Lamha" etc
  • Ajeeb Dastan: Lata's original & my performance in 2009
  • Few of my other performances like "Na Jaane Kyun", a few Rabindra Sangeet like "Fule Fule", "Sokhi Bhabona Kahare Kohe", "Amar Nishitho Rater Badol Dhara" and others
  • Few of Lopamudra and Antara Chowdhury's live recordings from their last year's performances at the Durga Puja organized by Sarathi in Bangalore
  • Few of Suman's new age Bengali songs like "Tomake Chai" & "Sohosa Ele KI", both from our (Kohal) last year's (2009) performance in Koramangala, Bangalore during Durga Puja
There were a total of around 200 songs out of which I could fit around 150 into one CD. When I was listening to the CD I was really amazed to find that though the songs were chosen at random across a year still they do reflect my choice, my moods, my emotions and many things about me. The thread that might be connecting each of these discreet pieces of music is a theme of underlying love - love for human, love for the nature, love for culture and tradition, love for everything. Most of the Hindi songs are actually some of the best love songs ever made in recent times in India. The Tagore songs are also songs of love or life - anyway both are same, isn't it? The Western Classical pieces can't evoke anything other than love and peace and tranquility and serenity. The other contemporary western music are from various parts of the world - from the Africas to Brazil to Native Americans (Dvorak's symphony is said to be inspired by the music of the native Americans). I don't see anything else than love in all these various forms of world music. If I've to present anything to anyone on the Valentine's Day I can choose most of these songs. Perhaps that's the essence of the songs that I've randomly listened to over the last one year and would listen to years to come.