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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Musical Fox Reviews: Music Albums (October-November 2014 Releases)

My AS boards are finally over! God almighty, it’s been such a stressful two months and I’m sure any day more and I would have officially lost my mind (well, according to my mother I already have). But now that the storm has passed and glorious, sunny days have greeted thy atmosphere (My last paper was English Literature, clearly), I’m going to relax and spend the remainder of me days. I’ve just kicked back and binge downloaded all the latest music releases off the UK & US Charts and I thought about reviewing a few of them on my blog. Mind you, I reviewed these albums putting all prejudices and personal preferences aside. And here it is:

1.   Chapter One- Ella Henderson
Ella Henderson was one of the shock exits of X Factor UK last year, even though she was built with enough talent to supply a whole town. Chapter One is undoubtedly the strongest debut album for someone who didn’t even make it to the finals of X Factor. Chapter One has Ryan Tedder stamped all over it, the metaphorical hard-hitting lyrics and that delicacy in rhythm and beat, only the OneRepublic frontman can handle with such tenacity. Ella has done great justice to the old-school british pop but there are strong rock influences that make the album solid gold. The album perfect canvases Ella’s range and gives us music that is both meaningful and easy to listen. Packed with ballads that raise the hair at the back of your neck, to songs that are revolutionary and so catchy that you just want to dance all night long.  Ryan Tedder and Ella Henderson are a winning combination, it’s a brilliant throwback to times where lyrics were poignant, music was beautifully constructed that took you elsewhere.
Singles on the charts: Ghost, Glow
Personal Favourites: Hard Work, Pieces, Give Your Heart Away, 1996
Positives: RYAN TEDDER, background score, lyrical content
Negatives: Honestly None
Verdict: 4/5

2.   FOUR- One Direction

Has time suspended where it has passed slowly like when you’re in space because I honest to god don’t know One Direction has grown up so fast and that too within a year! From their rugged rock star appearance to even their music, there is a grittiness to their voice that never existed before. Speaking of which, is there an end to Zayn Malik’s vocal range? He just keeps going up like it’s easy-peasy. FOUR is my favourite One Direction album hands down, I think that this is their best work up till now. It seems like Midnight Memories was a prequel to this intense rock-meets-alternative-but-also-has-an-affair-with-British-pop album, FOUR. Impressive lads. More than anything, I can hear their voices collectively and not just the Harry-Zayn-Liam combination. Louis Tomlinson’s distinctive vocals are finally put to some good use but the surprise of it all was Niall Horan; his vocals are stronger than ever, and if you hear him in Midnight Memories and now in FOUR you’ll see how much depth and grit he has summoned in his voice. The best part in the album (apart from the glorious harmonies) has to be the guitar work. I want an instrumental album of FOUR because I cannot get over the guitar romancing the piano. I think I’m going to cry. To all the ‘directionaters’ (if that’s still a thing) out there, whether you like it or not, One Direction is not a cluster of pretty faces, just listen to FOUR and shut up. I’m just so happy, mainstream rock is coming back! I think I’m going cry again.

Singles on the charts: Steal My Gir, Fireproof
Personal Favourites: 18, Girl Almighty, Night Changes, Spaces
Positives: Old-school Rock, background score, lyrical content
Negatives: Honestly None
Verdict: 4/5

3.   In The Lonely Hour- Sam Smith

This is British invasion all over again. Sam Smith is glorious man-diva and I’m talking about vocals here, otherwise he’s such a respectable young man which makes sense, since he is British. I first heard about him in BBC Radio One Live Lounge and I don’t remember which song he sang but my jaw dropped to the ground the moment he started singing. His vocal range is so bloody crazy, it is driving me crazy, please explain how this man has such a strong falsesetto, he’s like a male version of Mariah Carey. In The Lonely Hour is this angelic man’s debut album that is rising up on the charts due to his hit single Stay With Me (Oh honey, I definitely will). Even though I absolutely love Sam Smith for his individuality and distinct voice, I’m not happy with his album to be very honest. His vocals are consistent throughtout the album and some songs really help display his versitality but other than a few songs, most of the remainder is a bit of a drag. The album is not everyone’s cup of tea, there are power ballads and old-school singing that not everyone in this day and age will actually enjoy. Like I said, there are some songs that are absolutely phenomenal and actually uplift the overall somber mood of the album.

Singles on the charts: Stay With Me, Like I Can
Personal Favourites: Restart, La La La, Leave Your Lover
Positives: Sam Smith’s vocals.
Negatives: A little to drag.
Verdict: 3/5

4.   1989- Taylor Swift

I’m going to be honest that I am not the biggest Taylor Swift fan and I really love her country albums a lot better than her pop-infused ones, however I actually like 1989. I think the album as a whole is a stroke of genius because the production is so good and its got a very early 2000s vibe. Plus we have Imogen Heap and Ryan Tedder working on some of the tracks, so solid gold mate! Nevertheless, there are some tracks that I just don’t care about but this album proves that Taylor Swift is such a brilliant song-writer and her vocals are better than ever. I think it’s good to see her experimenting with her myusical styles and she’s done a good job. I give credit where it’s due and this album really marks Taylor’s departure from the country princess that she used to be. The voice memos in the deluxe version where she talks about her song-writing process and gives snippets of the early stages is actually my favourite part of the track. She’s really talented and so dedicated to her music that I think is something that the haters tend to overlook. This is a lot better vocally speaking as compared to RED. She should really release acoustic versions of her songs. T-Swift strikes again!

Singles on the charts: Shake It Off, Out Of the Woods, Blank Space 
Personal Favourites: Wildest Dreams, I Know Places, You Are in Love, I Wish You Would
Positives: T-Swift’s Voice Memo on the Deluxe Version
Negatives: It’s a little too much production at some places
Verdict: 3.5/5

5.   Talking Dreams- Echosmith

Is it me or did these guys just rip off Aerosmith and called themselves Echosmith? Either way, I love family bands and Echosmith is a band of siblings, aww the feels! More than that, they’re busting the mainstream scene with their runaway hit Cool Kids which is simply amazing since they are an Indie band. I personally love Indie bands because from the production to the lyrics everything is so well thought of that the track is simply phenomenal. Talking Dreams is my favourite Indie album of the month. The album is so fresh and utterly cool that it just make you dance and at the same time kick back and relax. The album is only of 12 songs and 46 minutes long and believe me that it’s time well spent. I love the atmosphere that this album creates, it transports you to the early 2000s where the drum production and electronic keyboards were at a strange high. The music too was very laid back but the beats were clever. A shout out to the clever song-writing which would appeal to all masses regardless of what your favourite genre is. This is some god stuff, so don’t miss out and definitely listen to this new and upcoming band. They’re bloody brilliant.
Singles on the charts: Cool Kids        
Personal Favourites: Let’s Love, March Into The Sun, Tell Her You Love Her, Safest Place
Positives: its Indie and rustic
Negatives: I want more tracks!
Verdict: 4.5/5

Cheers x ;)

Monday, 10 November 2014

4 Hours

What is simply so intriguing about life is that, it can come with good tidings, bring joy and happiness but on a flipside it can also bring out the worst in a person, give nothing but sorrow and the world before you know it can topple over and wipe you off the surface of the Earth. Makes you wonder what level of free will does one possess in their lives? Is everything that makes of us a deterministic, pre-planned path controlled by a higher power? Answers are yet to be found but while here we are debating on who hold the reigns of life, far away and deep in trouble was one man who was debating his chances of survival. Who was that man? He was a commoner. Nevertheless, he was noticed and then pulled out of the fringes of his boring, routine based life. The next 4 hours were life-changing, adrenaline pumping and deadly dangerous but he had to risk everything. It’s not like he had a choice in the first place.  

This story is a long one. This man’s tryst with destiny is a strange one. It all began with a single phone call, a few words exchanged followed by an empty silence and a buzzing dialer tone. The call was from a man who identified himself as Nirman Kheda who was the most sought after terrorist after the demise of Osama Bin Laden and the head of the vicious and blood-thirsty so-called vigilante group, ‘The Red Militia’.

Nirman Kheda was the son of corrupt Vatsal Roy Kheda who was a Delhi-based diamond merchant who scammed millions of innocent families into various Ponzi schemes that made the Kheda family extremely rich and eventually powerful. In 2003, Vatsal Roy Kheda funded the Indian Mujahedeen plan of over-throwing the then Indian government and establishing their ideologies on the Indian society. The Indian army managed to mobilise their troops in time and set off on a strong offensive against the terrorists. The Indian government stayed in power and the terrorist forces were pushed back. Vatsal Roy Kheda was caught and found guilty of treason in the court of law. He was hanged for his crimes against the state and his family were forced to seek asylum in China.

Nirman vowed to avenge his father’s death and at the age of 17 he orchestrated 7 mass bombings targeting metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. How Sarthak was connected to Nirman is a mystery to me as well. Sarthak was a regular college-going boy who would have been very young when the bombing occurred. Nirman was 20 years his senior and their interaction was highly unlikely. Why choose Sarthak then? Was he an unfortunate victim of a random attack? Or was he chosen for a specific purpose?

Time was temporarily suspended, every second holding longer than minutes. Sarthak held the phone tightly in his hand, his knuckles turning shock white, his bodily function engaging in a full lock-down. He was pale. Paler than a ghost, the platelets in his blood having lost their rich red colour greeting his skin with a cold dullness that only corpses were well aware of. You could see it in his eyes, in the tight corners around his lips and in the worry lines that ran short and blurry on his forehead. Shock was etched in every nook and corner of his countenance. An artist would have admired the stillness in posture and expression that Sarthak displayed. Such stillness would make it easy to sketch every infinite detail, the difficulty would arise if the artist ever attempted to canvas the raging inferno of anger that ran around in circles inside his head.

Sarthak was given specific instructions: Go to his mother’s office and bring the recordings of therapy sessions that his mother had conducted with an influential politician. Don’t go to the police. Bring the recordings to The Kala Ghoda Festival which was going on in South Mumbai. He had only 4 hours to complete the tasks, failure to do so would lead to bomb exploding at the Kala Ghoda Festival which could possibly obliterate the whole of Coloba. It was bad enough that his best-friends and his family had decided to go to the festival. He put up a fuss and decided to stay at home. He couldn’t be the cause of a massacre, he couldn’t…

Sarthak gradually made an attempt to break his paralysed stance. He carefully put the phone on the hook, his movements arduously slow. Time was watching and ticking by, slowly integrating into reality and starting to make its presence known. There were ripples of reality and the urgency in time that destroyed the stillness, realisation hit him like a truck and Sarthak found himself grabbing the keys of his motorcycle and running out of his house straight to the parking lot.

~45 minutes later~

He slid cautiously into his mother’s office and locked the door behind him. A feeling of nausea was swirling inside of him and he tried his best to ignore it. He didn’t want to steal from his mother or let alone help the state’s enemy but it had to be done. He pushed back his fear and started opening draws scanning through the case files…

~35 minutes later~

He found the recordings. His mother had stashed the DVD in a case that read ‘Shilpa’s Yoga Work Out’. Sarthak almost smiled at his mother’s ingenious way of hiding confidential data. His thoughts were interrupted by his phone ringtone suddenly demanding attention. He carefully put the case with the recordings in his bag and walked out of his mother’s office, answering the call simultaneously.


“Bring the DVD to the Kala Ghoda Festival.”

“Wait bu-”

Line dead…

Like I mentioned earlier, life is unexpected and you never know what kind of surprises it has in store for you. Sarthak was racing down the streets of Mumbai, determined to get to the festival and save his family, friends and the lives of innocent strangers. Time was ticking away way too quickly for Sarthak’s liking, a selfish brute time really is. The endless traffic jams and red signals, were eating away Sarthak’s patience and an old fear was creeping along his back. He abandoned his motorcycle halfway toward Vile Parle and ran to the train station instead. He caught a fast local that was going into the south of the city and he checked his watch obsessively throughout the train ride. He had an hour left and 5 more stations to go. Sarthak couldn’t care less if his incessant foot tapping was irritating nearby commuters, he was under immense pressure, the lives of the innocent people were in danger and terribly enough in his hands.

He tried calling his family, when he reached Marine Lines, who for some annoying reason were not answering their calls. His calls to his friends were coming off as unreachable or network error. He finally reached Churchgate the last stop and glanced at his watch again, he had about 40 minutes left. Without further ado, Sarthak stormed past, commuters ignoring the abuses most of them were hurling at him. He almost tripped but managed to catch himself before he collided with the pavement. He hailed for a cab and got in regardless of the taxi-driver saying no. Sarthak tossed 200 rupees at the taxi driver who stopped complaining and hit the gas.

~30 minutes later~

He ran out of the cab and wondered how on earth he was going to get in through massive crowd that was blocking his entrance. He cleared his mind and pushed through the crowd, not caringly about rules and regulations. He managed to get close enough to the entrance, luckily he had his mother had bought him a pass and he hastily shoved it to the ticket counter who stamped it and handed it back to him. Sarthak rushed inside and his phone started buzzing again. He picked up

“Come to the clearing, where the Pottery Contest in happening.”

Sarthak pushed his bag higher on his shoulder, and made a run for it. He stopped and asked around and got directions towards the clearing. He reached the venue and scanned intently, looking for anyone that might be overly suspicious in their behaviour. His eyes rested on a group of familiar faces and he got distracted for a minute. Those were his friends and far to the extreme right were his family. He felt someone roughly bump his shoulder and walk past him. Sarthak rubbed his shoulder and pulled his bag in front of him, his eyes widened as the bag was ripped open from the zips, he searched the whole bag but couldn’t find the DVD. He started ahead, and recognised the man who had bumped into him, he left his bag on the ground and ran ahead, he caught up to the man and swung him by the arm. The man turned around, his gun pointed straight at Sarthak heart. Suddenly a strong wind blew his hat away, giving Sarthak an unobscured view to the man’s face. Sarthak took a step back, he couldn’t believe it.

“Don’t tell me that it was you all this while, my dear-” The truth died on Sarthak’s lips. Sarthak fell to the ground, blood flowing in ribbons through his chest. People noticed the blood, the fall, the sudden cold lifeless dead body, some screamed, some hid their eyes but no one noticed the shadow of the shooter who quietly made his way through the crowd.
~Blogger's Note~
Okay readers, I have a confession to make, Sarthak is a real person but before you guys start googling him and full on stalking him, he is real but the events that have been depicted are not. Fictional yes. Well, it's his birthday today and I decided to wish him (and also save the expense of buying a gift) by writing a- I think it is sort of a fan fiction (why am I even going to such lengths? (Hell Sarthak I am giving you celebrity treatment)) story. The thing is that Sarthak had mentioned casually that he'd want me to write a story about him and well I took it seriously and wrote one. And today is also his birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARTHAK! and I hope you enjoy this unwanted attention and countless rough drafts that I have wasted on you. And also before I forget, I definitely don't want you dead, or have you go through what this character went through. Just have an amazing birthday and always be the funny man that you are.
Cheers x

Friday, 7 November 2014

5 Things Students Do to Beat Traffic (in association with Traffline Campus Ambassadors)

1.    Leave your house or workplace earlier than schedule. Best to be early than be embarrassingly late.
2.    Main roads and intersections are almost always subjected to bottle neck situations, where the traffic jam is endless. You could cheat your way out of this by taking the shortest legal route to your destination. You could use a GPS system (some cars have it built-in) or download an app like ‘Taffline’ on your mobile phones.
3.    You could also avoid leaving your house or workplace during peak hours. If you are living in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, then consider yourself very unlucky in you are out on the streets during 7-9:30 pm.
4.    Try to make use of public transports, like Trains, Buses etc than driving in your own cars.
5.    If your distance is short then you might as well walk it out than take out your car. You’ll only be wasting your time, hunting for a parking space. And it’s good exercise too to walk around, get some fresh air.
There is a unanimous hatred for traffic. There is no one is the world who has ever willingly wanted to be stuck in traffic. Well, unless you are riding in a car with Benedict Cumberbatch or Ewan McGregor then by all means, pray that the traffic jam lasts for an eternity. Chances are that once the traffic eases, you may experience extreme side-effects since you CumberSat for such a long time. Symptoms, include spells of dizziness, wedding hallucinations, hearing only Benedict’s gravel husky voice in your head, disoriented senses, audible sighing and well there’s a lot more.  However, since the latter scenario is far more unlikely to happen than you winning the lottery, I decided to take a more realistic approach. I decided to do some research and see if there were any good applications that can help faster navigation of routes etc. One application that stood out in terms of reliability, responsiveness and also was very user-friendly was ‘Traffline’.
You get real-time traffic updates from Traffline which is a social app. This app brings you accurate information about traffic jams on major roads and secondary roads in metro cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru etc. Moreover it is a free application that is available on the play store and on the apple store for download. I personally recommend this app, because it’s highly accurate, in fact it gives detailed and updated maps, roads, routes regardless of which city you are in, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, you name it. The GPS and navigation system is extremely easy to operate and they aren’t any technicality that you need to master to use it.
 If you are someone who has always been an unfortunate victim to ‘The Terrible Traffic Issue’ then you need to be spared. For more information you could check out ‘Traffline’ in the links that I have provided below.
Download the app on:
Check out their Website:
Like them on:
Follow them on:

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Going Rouge- A Radio Script

Blogger's Note:
Well... This is unlike anything that I have ever posted on this blog but then again, my content is absolutely removed from logic at times but well, I break the rules as I go. Do you follow what I am trying to say? Wow, I'm lost about my own thoughts now. Jeez, what am I even writing. Okay let's focus and I'll give you a quick bit of background. So, my English Teacher was teaching us a new concept which was introduced in our portion (AS Level Portion is already so vast -_-) and that was writing for Radios, Plays, Documentaries and Voice Overs. It's a lot of fun writing because you have to get involved in every intricate details and your settings and directions are the backbone of your plot. Also I am not a professional script-writer. I just write. My teacher told us to write an opening for a radio drama so well I wrote. Anyway, she really liked this one (which you will read once you're done reading this) and I decided that I would publish this because this has to be the most fun piece I've ever had writing. Jeeeeez, I sound like I am already famous and someone is interviewing me. Ignore me, but do read this and I mean no disrespect to anyone. I love you world even though you're weird, slightly prejudiced and still renewing seasons for Keeping up with the Kardashians but but but you are quite nice too.
So long!


FELICITY: I am dying of disease, thank you very much. Cancer is going to eat up my uterus and later consume my soul for dessert. It is terminal, I will be a dead body lying in my fully-furnished Oakwood casket which will be bought by myself. I am 36 with no family left to survive me. I a dying. I don’t need therapy. I need a miracle, a cure for my cancer.
DR. MISHRA: (CONDESCENDING TONE) Now now FELICITY; must you always be so bitter about life? Yes, you’re young and I understand your anger but holding so much resentment in your heart, not healthy.
FELICITY: Cancer is not healthy, doctor.


CONT’D DR. MISHRA: How about you DINAH? Would you like to talk today? Anything that is on your mind?
DINAH:     You live. My lungs drown in water. You have a family. I have cancer. Want me to talk more shrink? I am 48 years old and on my own. Never married, never any money. All my partners left me and stole my happiness along the way. Don’t ask me what’s on my mind, doctor you know zilch!
DR. MISHRA: Ladies, please count to ten… (SOUND OF INHALING)… (SOUND OF EXHALING). Now, take a sip of water and swallow your anger, take another sip and swallow your pain, yes… now feel your heartbeat… good. That’s much better, do you feel better?
FELICITY: KALLEN, do you have anything to say to this kind, honest and healthy- was talking about you paunch, doctor?
KALLEN:  (CLAPS HER HANDS IN A SARCASTIC MANNER) I was born to die doctor, but no worries. I’ll die happily because cancer the sweetest thing that the lord has bestowed upon me. (SARDONICALLY) Yay! Such a wonderful life!
DR. MISHRA: KALLEN, you must not be so unhappy. Live in the moments. The present can be made fruitful, you future is uncertain...
FELICITY: (ANGRILIY) and you are so optimistic about our present, that…
DINAH: (MOCKINGLY) that it’s suffocating and you are, by the grace of the lord healthy and with a family but…
KALLEN: (DRAMATICALLY) you won’t die for another twenty years. I am twenty-six, a graduate from Yale University and I will never be able to…
FELICITY:  (COLDLY) have a life, have a child, have a home! Or…
ALL THREE OF THEM TOGETHER: Catch a good night’s sleep!


DR. MISHRA:  We are done for the day ladies. I see you tomorrow at six o’clock in the evening. I have a meeting to attend, you may feel free to leave whenever you like… I wish you well.

FELICITY:  Squid, he does not understand! To think that the man has done a PHD in Psychology.
KALLEN: (HUFFS ANGRILIY) The world is full of hypocrites.
DINAH:  (KISSES HER SMALL STATUE OF JESUS CHRIST) May the lord bless him never, my statue of Jesus may protect him never.
FELICITY: There really ain’t anything in this world that truly save us, for the world we are literally dying ducks who are swimming in the shallow waters of death. They can only watch from afar and sympathise, it’s not like they want to be in our shoes.

KALLEN: (CHUCKLES) Woman that was very intellectual for um… a woman of your caliber.
FELICITY: (ANGER RISING IN TONE) excuse me, what you just say?

KALLEN: You heard me, chocolate.
FELICITY: Aren’t all Asians supposed to be smart and not racist? (CRACKING KNUCKLES MENACINGLY)
KALLEN: Oh, I am all for breaking the stereotypes. Just like you.
DINAH: (GRUNTS) forget it FELICITY, don’t waste your breath over KALLEN. She’s always been like this. Pushing her weight around, lashing out her bitterness out on other people so that she can feel better about herself.
KALLEN: (CHILDISHLY) don’t you psycho-analyse me, Freud. You don’t know me better than Chapman.
DINAH: (SIGHS IMPATIENTLY) you know FELICITY, this Asian Kid and I have been visiting DR. MISHRA for 3 months now and you’ve really been through nothing. Two weeks don’t cut the amount of psycho-babble we had to go through. Help me god, cause I don’t know why we are forced to come here.
FELICITY:  The government is actually concerned about our mental stability in heath. Its election season, so I’m sure that a mentally deranged cancerous woman is the last thing the world needs.
KALLEN: The last thing the world needs is that Canadian half-man singer Beaver.
FELICITY: You mean B-
KALLEN: (INERJECTS) I do not seem to care anymore man. Even cancer has gotten mainstream. Hell, we have a popular romantic comedy movie which- guess what? Features two sickly cancer-stocked teenagers who fall in love and one dies. That stuff don’t happen. We die and love dies along with us.
DINAH: I agree with you kid. Here we are rotting in our own flesh and world outside doesn’t give foxes’ tails about us. Turn to God kid. My Jesus, My Saviour, all I give I give unto you.
KALLEN: (MOCKINGLY) Jesus has other work man. I’m not sure that he can hear you.  Even flashing the ‘Cancer Alert’ siren won’t help.
DINAH: (OFFENDED) Have a little faith kid. Believe in something.
KALLEN: The only thing I believe in is my death, which is inevitable. I am going to die and leave this Earth and no one will ever know that I ever walked this earth.
DINAH: Jesus-
FELICITY: (FORCEFUL TONE) Can wait for now DINAH. You’re right KALLEN, we are going to face oblivion but before we do, I at least feel that we should go out with a bang. Do all the things that (SLAMS THE TABLE) we have always wanted to do.
KALLEN: What are you implying?
DINAH: Like a bucket list?
FELICITY: No that’s the crux of every adventurous life-changing filled with juicy cancer bits movie. I’m thinking of the next level, something dangerous and thrilling.
KALLEN:  What is more dangerous than cancer? I’m living right off the edge as you can see. (MURMURS SARCASTICALLY) dying of disease.
FELICITY:  You don’t understand.
KALLEN:  Oh, I have an idea! Let’s rob a bank! How’s that for thrill?
FELICITY: Perfect!
FELICITY: Think about it. I have connections, KALLEN you are the brains of the operations and DINAH… well you can be the ‘priest’ of the operations.
DINAH: Jesus Christ, you are crazy woman!
FELICITY: Think about it guys. We did what was expected of us. We played safe all these years and look where that got us. Let us rebel and alter our fate’s design to some degree.
KALLEN: Sure, I see the papers carrying the headlines already: THREE CANCER-STRICKEN WOMEN ROB A BANK. How deadly.
FELICITY: Think it through.
KALLEN: I’m leaving. DINAH let’s go before the cancer begins to eat away our logic too.