Growling at the Sun

gats wide cover  Introduction and Foreword (Coming soon)

1. Obituary for a Peddler

2. The Boyfriend Destroyer

3. Thieves

4. A Few Calculations

5. Blessings and Curses

6. The Alpha Male

7. Goa Magic                


An Interview with Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

I have the pleasure of talking every now and then with Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, one of the few people from the Indian metal scene that I actually like. JP is a great guy, a fantastic writer, and the bassist of Djinn & Miskatonic – the doom metal band whose upcoming album gave me this opportunity to throw a few questions at him.
Congratulations on the new album! How’s it all coming along?
Thanks! Well, the mixes are moving along at a good pace and the next stage is mastering. This time, Sandeep Kumar KH, a very talented Bangalore-based guitarist and studio engineer is doing the production. He’s been in a few bands with me and knows my aesthetics, besides being a mean guitarist who looks and sounds a bit like Kim Thayil.
The cover art is splendid. What can those who’ve enjoyed Forever In The Realm expect from Even Gods Must Die?
More variety, more songs. We had two trudging epics, one midtempo rocker and a minimalist blues dirge on Forever In The Realm. This time there’s more songs and more textures. The production is a bit different – the guitars are more vintage sounding, the kit sounds more 70s and the bass will pop out at you more. Apart from Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and the like I think this time you’ll hear traces of epic metal, NWOBHM and 70s hard rock. Raveen Panday of the Chronic Blues Circus, ex-Soulmate, plays Hammond organ on one song. The mood is just as dark and ritualistic, so don’t worry that we’ve gone prog or groovy.
The cover art is by two Bangalore artists whose work you can find on Facebook on the pages The Impostalbumart_coverartworker Of Oz and Fabled.
I’m curious to know how Djinn & Miskatonic goes about the songwriting process.
The lyrics are written by either our singer Gautham Khandige or me. Gautham usually works out the lyrics while jamming while I usually write them at home and bring them to the jamroom. Most of the music is by me. I usually noodle about on the bass at home, put together 4 or 5 parts and then demo them live to the band. I sometimes add on to the structure afterwards, or remove bits that are not working. Lately I’ve occasionally improvised riffs and melodies while jamming. Our guitarists, Sriram and Mushaf, have also started bringing riffs and melodies to the jamroom. Sriram has a few tasty riffs thrown into the mix on the second album.
Please tell me how a nice, sensible, rational, caring and generally chilled-out person like you makes enemies so effortlessly. I’ve always had to work hard for it.
Because my ideals mean more to me than scene acceptance. And this is only getting more pronounced over time. I don’t see the distinction between the ethical, political and personal dimensions in life and I don’t want to be part of this stupid metal fraternity ethos where we condone sexism and crazy right wing ideals because metal.
Weird Tales Of A Bangalorean absolutely knocked me out with the sucker punches. I read it twice over several whisky sessions with lots of boondi raita. Tell me something about your next, which I will carry everywhere and start reading only when I have in front of me a huge bowl of vegan boondi raita
Thanks for reading my weird tales. My next book should come out early next year, from the same publisher. It is called A Volume Of Sleep. This time around, I have not explored the weird bywweirdtalesofabangaloreanays of Bangalore so much as of the mind, I think. There are stories about murder victims finding eternal oblivion, nostalgia as a deadly trap and welcome pyre and, well, all sorts of other things. Dave Felton is providing a cover painting and interior illustrations, which has me excited because he is a fantastic artist who has done great work for a lot of other weird fiction writers.
I’ve been writing a lot more poetry lately. It’s a way to process the world. And the world in 2016 has given thinking human beings a lot to process. I would love to have my poetry published – people seem to respond to them well – but poetry is an even poorer prospect for publication than short fiction.
Back to Djinn & Miskatonic. I’m glad you guys are playing shows again. And you seem to be content with the new lineup.
Yes. It’s not quite a new lineup, but Mushaf Nazeer has helped round out our live sound and is quickly becoming a good addition to the songwriting team. We’ve all spent a lot of time on other projects, or just life, in the last year and I think getting back into the jamroom and feeling the energy we have together has brought home the fact that this set-up has an undeniable chemistry of its own. We’ve only done one gig this year, but it was after a huge hiatus and it was good to see we can still bring the riffs and connect with an audience.
And how do you plan on recovering all that you spent on recording this album? Not wanting to deal with the business side of it and letting go of the money invested in making music as a good spend makes even musically inferior bands think of my band as an unambitious “hobby band”. Do you have a strategy?
Not really. I’m willing to spend money on making the music I believe in. Other people buy cars, a second home, a home entertainment system, stock market shares…people spend crores on getting married, I am lucky enough to not be broke all the time and I’m happy to have my music out there as an artistic expression rather than a career. Of course, our label boss Kunal Choksi has to make up his costs, and it’s possible to break even on our recording and production costs, but all that is secondary to what my bandmates and me are in this for. When it comes to music as a paying proposition, we should be playing Bollywood music or whispy ‘indie’ if we really want to show we have business smarts. As it stands, our drummer who is the only full time musician in the band, makes his money teaching and with tribute acts while the rest of us have jobs and shit like that to keep afloat. It’s actually less intelligent to be a rock or metal musician in India and think you can be businesslike about it.
I completely understand that you have a doom metal band, but do you need to look miserable all the time? You don’t even upload food pics like the other vegans, and food is the most important thing in the world after cats! Is there anything that makes you happy? Do you smile on Sunday mornings? Or do you mope about like a goth on a picnic in Cubbon Park?
Smiling is for clowns and Batman villains. On a more serious note, I have struggled with depression much of my life and, while I am not currently in the grip of chronic depression, the long years of tussling with the black dog have probably left a mark on my body language and demeanour. In truth I am quite content with my lot and cats, dogs, heavy music, weird literature and my wife all make me happy with life. Can I have my Grammy now?
VEGAN FOOD REVIEW: Every Non-Vegan Restaurant

Bedekar Tasty Foods: The Worst Food I Ate in a Restaurant in 2016

Excited to see an eatery of the brand that is synonymous with pickles, I decided to breakfast at Bedekar’s on a Sunday. It’s a good thing I asked how the food is prepared or I might have never learned that it is far from fresh! The poha (which I had gone there for) and their upma (also something I wanted to try) and everything else is packaged and frozen, including the greasy stuff that they defreeze and deep fry in hell knows which oil. Even the khichdi is kept frozen for months and is in no way nutritional or even tasty. Perhaps the Bedekars believe that the crap they’re selling as healthy foods can be preserved like their famous pickles. Not wanting it to be a complete waste of my time, I took a selfie at Bedekar Tasty Foods before walking out, never to return again. RATING: 0/5

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Vegan Pizzas in Mumbai

Vegan Food Review: The Calcutta Club

Vegan Recipe: Tameta Nu Shaak

Vegan Food Review: Every Non-Vegan Restaurant

Vegan Food Review: Mee Marathi


Vegan Food in Mumbai: Pizza Roundup 2016

As if it isn’t shameful enough that Mumbai has zero exclusively vegan restaurants, its fancy eateries are embarrassing the city with mostly insipid fare that has been disappointing all the vegans. I’m a busy man who works six days a week, has cats to look after, bands that make music, and idiots to argue with on Facebook, so when I visit restaurants (that don’t even serve alcohol) three suburbs away for meals that aren’t cheap, it better be worth my time.


I ate my first vegan pizza at The Village Shop a year and a half after going vegan, and their Vegan Warmer (450/-) wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t make me want to eat it again. I had the best pizzas as a non-vegan at Alfredo’s, and The Village Shop‘s pizza didn’t do much for me.

However, I would go back for their Shiitake Falafel (a really good mushroom burger, 425/-) and The Nutwich (walnut pesto sandwich, 395/-).

veganpizzabirdsongThe Birdsong Cafe uses cashew cheese too, but is extremely stingy with it. Their Bird Song Marguerite (tomatoes and vegan cheese, 385/-) would have been really something had it been loaded with the cheese. Even those who’ve had the Farmer’s Pizza (it has a lot more toppings) have observed that The Birdsong Cafe is terribly miserly with the stuff that everybody wants more of on their pizzas. But the biggest disappointment was their Almond Pesto Pasta, a dish so bland that I had to leave it midway. When you’re paying five hundred rupees for a pasta, the restaurant should have some vegan cream or vegan butter or vegan whatever the fucking dish needs, yeah? I won’t be going back to The Birdsong Cafe even though their vegan cold coffee is the bomb.

rayspizzeriamenuWhen it comes to being lethargic, Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe takes the fucking shit-cake. It is fucking understood by anyone who has ever eaten a slice of pizza that a pizza without cheese is like bhelpuri without chutney, but Ray’s Pizzeria has the fucking nerve to say things like “It is said that cheese is one of the 12,733,028 pizza toppings, so try our cheese-less pizzas.” And all their vegan pizzas are cheese-less, because these lazy pieces of shit want your money and want to seem cool by having “vegan options” on the menu but don’t want to make an effort to give you vegan cheese. Would Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe have the shit in their ass to convince non-vegans that they don’t need cheese to enjoy a pizza? Because it’s easier and cheaper to steal milk from cows and buffaloes that have been tied to a spot, forcefully impregnated, injected with hormones, separated from their children, and will eventually become another topping on their fucked-up pizzas, right?

So now here’s what any restaurant that wants to offer the vegans a pizza should do:

  1. Make it cheesy. Have more than one vegan cheese on the menu. Buy local vegan cheese. Import vegan cheese. Make your own vegan cheese. Vegans don’t care how you do it – if you’re making them pay through their asses, you should be able to pull something out of your hat.
  2.  Veggie toppings are great, but have mock-meat toppings as well – most of us went vegan not because we stopped enjoying the taste or texture of meat but because we didn’t want to continue funding the meat and dairy industries. This will also make vegans drag their meat-loving friends to try your cruelty-free food and switch to healthier eating habits.
  3. Read the two points above carefully. Vegans want their pizzas and food in general to be exciting enough to make everybody else to know that they’re missing out on a lot of good food and a much better way to live. So make sure there’s enough cheese and proper toppings because the taste is not going to come from your ass.

Vegan Food Review: Every Non-Vegan Restaurant

Vegan Food Review: The Calcutta Club

Vegan Recipe: Tameta Nu Shaak


Solar Deity to perform at Ahimsa Fest 2016 – Mumbai’s First Vegan Festival


My band Solar Deity will be performing on Sunday, November 20th at Ahimsa Fest 2016 in Vile Parle West. Come for the tasty cruelty-free food, the cooking demos, movie screenings and of course an hour of Black Metal. Free entry! The event is from 10 am to 10 pm and Solar Deity will perform the unholy ritual from 1 pm to 2 pm.



Borderline Alcoholic



Solar Deity to perform at Hard Rock Cafe on Diwali 2016

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LISTEN: https://solar-deity.bandcamp.com/


Vegan Recipe: Tameta Nu Shaak (Tangy Tomato Curry)

I HAVE BEEN cooking for over a year now and am on the verge of quitting it completely because it is highly stressful for me and also a fucking waste of my time. I am to be served and fed, not to lose my jet-black hair over how much salt to add. “Add salt to taste” tells me nothing, so I’ve almost always added either too little (that was easily fixed) or too much.

What I’m sharing is a recipe of the most comforting food I’ve eaten: tameta nu shaak. My mother and grandmothers used to make this at least once a week and I’d always shown my appreciation by wolfing it down with several chapatis (rotlis in Gujarati, 13 is my record) slathered with ghee, followed by a bowl of rice with dollops of ghee on it. I would then drink several glasses of cold salted buttermilk.

Ghee is not vegan; I can’t even stand the smell of it anymore and it comes from tortured, enslaved, exploited cows and buffaloes, so don’t eat it. Ghee is also extremely unhealthy as is dairy in general, and just look around at all the “pure vegetarians” sick, fat and crippled by disease caused by their own eating habits. Buttermilk is not vegan either and is a byproduct of animal exploitation, but I still love buttermilk, so I make dairy-free buttermilk (I’ll post the recipe someday) when I’m really in the mood for it.

So here’s how to make this tangy tomato curry:

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a kadhai, add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add ¼ teaspoon hing (asafoetida) and stir for 30 seconds because you have nothing better to do, and then throw in ½ kg of diced tomatoes, add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and ½ teaspoon cumin powder. Now add a few small chunks of jaggery, exactly 1 teaspoon of salt (not “to taste”, motherfucker – exactly one teaspoon) and let this whole business simmer for a while. When the tomatoes are soft and the aroma is in the air, you’ll know this shit is ready, but stir it about for a bit if you want to feel important.

There’s no need to top it with sev because there’s no need to make things crunchy and you’re no Tarla Dalal, so shut the fuck up and keep stirring.

Now serve it hot with chapatis or rice to four people or give them the finger and eat it all yourself. Fuck them. You’re vegan and you deserve a tall glass of cold salted vegan masala chhaas with this vegan/vegetarian/Jain/halal/kosher soul food.


Vegan Food Review: Every Non-Vegan Restaurant

Vegan Food Review: The Calcutta Club

Mouthwatering Accidentally Vegan Dishes at Mee Marathi


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