Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Friends on Top

Sometimes you need to pay public respect to folks who inspire / motivate / enthrall and/or are just friends one feels good to have.

HFT - High Fuckin' Time - is a band of friends I'm pretty proud to claim. Arjun Sen on guitar and Lew Hilt on bass (in pix above) along with Sam Shullai on drums are a trio who refuse to label or slot the music they play. With almost a combined century of experience shared between these three outstanding musicians, you know for a fact that they have paid their dues and more! If you want to hear some of their music go to their MySpace page and listen. Listen, do you hear? Not hear, listen!

By the way, here's what Jeff Beck has to say about HFT: "I love that sound you’ve got going there, real good quality tunes pleased to see some people staying faithful to music. Keep it up." And if you're asking who Jeff Beck is, where have you been getting your music from anyway? MTV?

The other good friend who I need to shout out about here is Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Thak as many of us call him. He is a senior journalist, an astute political and economic commentator, and a best-selling co-author (with Shankar Raghuraman), with years in print, radio and television. He has recently produced and directed a documentary film in 5 parts of half an hour each on the Jharia coal mines of Dhanbad - Hot As Hell - in partnership with PSBT - Public Service Broadcasting Trust, which had its premiere on May 31st at New Delhi's India Habitat Centre. You would do well to pick up a copy of the DVD. Write to Paranjoy at: paranjoy@gmail.com or paranjoy@yahoo.com

Here's an extract from the synopsis of the film:

The documentary film series seeks to explain why underground fires – literally and metaphorically – are raging for so many years in and around the township of Jharia in Dhanbad district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. At a literal level, tens of thousands of residents of the town are living on top of a veritable inferno. At a metaphorical level, there are powerful mafia organizations that rule over this region and exploit the underprivileged – by mining illegally, supervising organized pilferage, running extortion rackets and bagging lucrative contracts.

Jharia, is one of India’s oldest coal mining areas and a major dot on the global map for fossil fuels. The area produces the most valuable coal available in India, known as coking coal or metallurgical coal that is used for making steel. Till 1971, coal mining operations in the region were privately controlled. Thereafter, coal mining was nationalized. Despite nationalization, the economic conditions of those living in the area have not improved significantly. Jharia is one of the most polluted parts of India, if not the world. Coal mining itself results in environmental degradation; underground fires have compounded the damage."


Ricercar said...

saw your pictures! nice
been missing Calcutta ... so much :)

p@tr!(k said...

so when are you back? and you write latin do you? :D