December has been a month of discovery – discoveries of what we thought were ‘forever lost footage’ from our family past and as the day and in turn the year comes to a close, I pulled up some old snaps and crudely scanned them with my Canon PowerShot. Not sure how clear they are, but these are memories clearly embedded in my thoughts – fond memories that I look upon in wistfulness at times as I wish for the past that was simple and fun.

Aunt and I
Me and my aunt - Favourites always... 1981?
Somewhere in Michigan
Somewhere in Michigan - Dad and I c. 1983
More of Michigan - with mom and some kids of family friends
More of Michigan at the model western railroad - with mom and some kids of family friends c. 1983
At Disney World with mom
At Disney World with mom c. 1983
Washington Memorial
Dad and sleepy me at the Washington memorial - There's Pot Belly my favourite teddy bear in Dad's hand. Still have it. Still a favourite. c.1983
Veronica mama and I
Veronica Mama - my babysitter in Nigeria. "She was the best babysitter ever," according to mom. This was taken in Ketu c. 1985
London Zoo
At London Zoo with mom, aunt, grand-aunt and cousin - 1984
London 1983
At aunt's place in London - 1984
Lamby and co.
With Uncle and cousins on the 'flashy' lambretta at paternal grandmom's place - 1987

(The photographs featured in this post are the sole property of the author of this blog)


The Gurudwara in Mannagudda

Mangalore’s only Gurudwara for the miniscule Sikh community moved to the outskirts of the city today. The community had been using a rented house as a Gurudwara in our area and it was the first symbolic representation of the community in Mangalore. An elegant and softer addition to our area, it was with a touch of sadness that we saw them move out today. When you get used to the presence of something culturally significant it always leaves a void when it moves on. Here are a few snaps from the final farewell to the Sikh community in our area. All the best to them wherever they may go…

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(The photographs featured in this post are the sole property of the author of this blog)

Trendslaughter Fest II

Following the success of the inaugural Trendslaughter Fest, here comes the next in the series of underground metal shows stalking Bangalore:

ABIGAIL (Japan), CAUCHEMAR (Canada) and DYING EMBRACE (India) have just been confirmed to headline the second TRENDSLAUGHTER FEST on January 29th 2012, in Bangalore, India. According to the organizers (Cyclopean Eye Productions/Trendslaughter crew), the festival has been created to “bring Bangalore the best of underground metal by getting both foreign acts and local bands together and thereby creating a rock solid underground movement to spearhead the Heavy metal culture in India.” The fest will also have local support from Death/Grind band Gorified, old school Deathmetallers Dwesha and Drone/Space Doom rockers Djinn and Miskatonic.Trendslaughter Fest II

Last year the TRENDSLAUGHTER FEST was headlined by Bangladeshi bestial death/thrash metallers band Orator with local bands Dying Embrace, Bevar Sea, Culminant and Gorified and saw around 200+ fans congregate at the venue at Kyra Theatre, Bangalore, India for a good 8 hours Stoner, Thrash, Brutal Death metal, Death Grind, Doom and Old school Death metal!

Headliners Information :

ABIGAIL is a Japanese black thrash metal outfit that was formed in January of 1992 by Yasuyuki (bass / vocals), Youhei (drums) and Yasunori (guitar) being inspired by early Black / Thrash Metal bands like BATHORY, VENOM, SODOM, BULLDOZER, HELLHAMMER, NME etc. From 1999, the band has heavily toured Europe, Asia, USA countless times appearing on big festivals like Hell Fest, and NWN Fest (Nuclear War Now) among others. The band has nearly 70 releases (which includes full length cds, splits, compilation and live cds/lps) and is one of the most well known bands in Japan today.

Cauchemar was founded in 2007 as a collaboration between vocalist Annick Giroux and guitarist François Patry. With the goal of producing eerie, no-frills doomy Heavy Metal, the project eventually turned into a band with the addition of Patrick Pageau (ASILE, ex-BASTARDATOR guitarist) on drums. They have released in 2010 the “La Vierge Noire” MLP on American label Nuclear War Now! Productions, toured Canada, Colombia, Chile and Peru, and are currently writing material for a new album.

About Dying Embrace:
Legendary pioneering Death/Doom act from Bangalore have been in existence for twenty years with releases on international labels (7” vinyl on Legion Of Death Records, France, compliation CD on Psychic Scream, Malaysia) and have had the title of being India’s oldest Death Metal band. This is one band that brings both old metal heads (30+ years olds into Sabbath, Maiden, Priest) and the new breed of metal heads together.

Links to all bands:

Abigail –
Dying Embrace –
Gorified –
Dwhesha –
Djinn and Miskatonic –

For further details you can contact…

Sandesh Shenoy (Cyclopean Eye Productions)

Shot in the light

I love guns. Always had a fondness for the things as a kid. Loved cowboy movies that glamorised them all. Overall, I was a destructive child.

Till date, the only actual guns I fired were from Dad’s air rifle. Didn’t do too much damage. I remember when we cousins used to spend the holidays in the estate, we used to line up Grandma’s Pond’s Cold Cream packs against the coffee drying yard walls and fire away. Papayas up on the tree used to be another favourite target with the air gun. In the end, we always ended up with curses from those at home. Fortunately none of us got shot in the foot.

I always wanted to fire the shotguns that lay around the house, just out of reach of our eager hands. We were frightened into accepting the fact that we could dislocate a shoulder or an empty case may fly out into our eyes while firing. The slight fear remained.

Dad finally allowed me to fire his shotgun on the third afternoon of my stay. The old British era shotgun is a classic and real heavy duty as it can rip through a wild boar. With Monkeys roaming around during coffee season near the bungalow and picking on the ripened coffee, we had to ply some fear into this menace.

Fed up with seeing monkeys around the place, Dad finally allowed me to load and carry the shotgun. We entered the thickly forested part of the estate where the monkeys are known to make their home. However the monkeys have learnt to identify armed individuals as they keep dodging bullets from estate to estate.

shotgun and bullets
Shotgun and bullets - My first real shot at something in life

Standing still, immediately instils fear in the monkey rather than the opposite. This pause is taken as a fact that the person is taking aim to shoot and they never tolerate a person standing still. As a shooter, if you need to stand still, then the approach should be as silent. I made two basic mistakes that a hunter should not. I moved around quite a bit and went on and on about getting the right shot and whether I was holding the gun right as I took tips from dad.

Dad must have known, nothing would come off it, but as I raised my gun against my left shoulder and had the monkey in my sights, the adrenaline kicked in. The monkeys kept moving around, but I knew I had to squeeze in a shot. Impatience too got the better of me. I did wait for a good five minutes before I thought I had a clear shot. I pressed the trigger.

The kick from the gun was not as bad as I expected. The shot was loud and almost like a splattering of gun powder that comes out of a muzzle loader. The leaves in the branches quivered and I saw a monkey falling down.

No, I did not get the monkey. It was just a temporary loss of balance that the monkey had on hearing the shot. Dad saw my crestfallen face and said, don’t worry, it was a baptism by fire. He was being polite.

There is a thrill when the shot rings out and the butt kicks in and I now understand why the gun nuts in US from the NRA love shooting. I love it too and I wish there was something like the NRA promoting the same here. Dad told me to go to the civilian defence range and fire away once I am in Bangalore. Got to get my arse over there definitely, wonder if they still take in civilians despite the name.

As I type this post, I am getting ready for my next round of hunting. I need to get a dead monkey on my back.

(The photographs featured in this post are the sole property of the author of this blog)


I was staying in our estate bungalow for the first time since the renovation. In the meantime a lot of old stuff from the old bungalow on the other side of the estate was moved here.  Dad and I began going through the various cupboards that were brought in and we came across some curious artefacts.

The following were what we discovered as we rummaged through the cupboards:

  • Grandpa’s and great-grandpa’s account books (dating back to the 1940s) meticulously maintained.
  • An album with photographs dating back to the late 1930s – this included great-grandpa Bonaventure Martis’ family photo, following him receiving the ‘Benemerente’ from the Pope for services to the Mangalore diocese. The photo includes Dad and my aunt (both looking hilarious as ever) and the entire Martis-Pinto clan with the founder of the Bethany Order, Fr. Mascarenhas (who was recently beatified by Pope Benedict XVI). This is a classic if there is any.
  • Further albums with Grandpa and family in Basra and Baghdad where Grandpa was posted with the Royal Air Force in the accounts department (now I know where the meticulousness in accounts came from).
  • A photo of me that Grandpa used to keep on his table till the day he died. (He died when I was seven months old).
  • Cameras from three different generations – ancient as hell
  • A passport of Grandpa’s sister.
  • Royal Air Force documentation of Grandpa’s.
  • More photos of Dad and his sister when they were kids (even more giggles).
  • Old Ceylon currency notes and coins.
  • Naya paise coins from just after Independence.
British Iraq photo album
British Iraq photo album
The 1940-50 era cameras
Three generations of cameras from a bygone era
A 1940-50 era camera
A 1940-50 era camera - eBay worthy
Bonaventure Manuel Martis with the whole family and the founder of the Bethany Congregation
Bonaventure Manuel Martis with the whole family and the founder of the Bethany Congregation, Fr. Mascarenhas who was beatified by Pope benedict XIV recently – Photo includes a future recipient of the Vir Chakra – Commander George Martis, Dad and Aunt are in the midst of the kids in this photo

Memories… they never cease to amaze…

(The photographs featured in this post are the sole property of the author of this blog)

Day 2 & 3 – Mallandur

Labour is a huge problem in this coffee growing area, but thanks to helpful neighbours, work somehow gets done in the midst of all the chaos. The mines in Bellary had taken away a lot of the workforce that otherwise would be begging for work at the doorsteps of every coffee planter in the region. No more… The mining may have temporarily stopped but the labour problem persists.

Coffee in bloom
Coffee in bloom

Our meagre workforce of 18 is not enough to hasten the picking, however a neighbour, who still remains grateful to my grandparents for helping them out in their time of need, calls up dad and assures that he would share some of the labour coming his way. Whew! That takes a load off us and I then realise the saying that the virtues or the sins of the parents will always be passed down. In this case it is the virtue of my grandparents, who’s goodwill in earlier times was looked upon as an act of weakness, but is now paying rich dividends in the respect they have left behind for the family.

Meeting the neighbour (an old Setty family) at his place to discuss about the labour issue, we came across a photo of Grandpa prominently placed in their living room. Grandpa’s help that was rendered to their father, and in turn their estate and family, is still remembered and hence the strong sense of goodwill has been carried forward. Thank you Abba and Mai (grandpa and Grandma in Konkani for the uninitiated).