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I haven't planned the content of this blog. Lets just let the blog grow and after some time look at the rear-view mirror for the landscape that has emerged. It shall then have its own plan.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Checking if I am able to add anything at all.

Friday, March 21, 2008

All day long the sun remained subdued, cornered even, by the downpour from the heavens. At the first let in the rains at the day's end it must have thought - now,or never! And thus, spontaneously, it burst at the horizon, spangling the rain-drenched earth, turning everything golden, curving upwards many a lip, and setting off a chatter amongst the crows, which were as delighted as the much reticent humans. It seemed as if the sun was bent upon telling us, 'See, this is the glory I bestow on you folks...' Its warmth seemed special perhaps because it had scored one up against the rain god!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Living Dead

I know I am dying
when one by one,
bleached of hope,
my dreams turn gray.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


For days on end the sky wasn't exactly cloudy yet the horizon looked gray. The coastline was
distinguishable from the sky only because it was expected in that direction and thus was the sea's gray distinguishable from the sky's, more by the mind than by the eye. One wasn't sure though about what made a day gray and what allowed it to be blue and sunny. Perhaps it was do with the atmosphere, dense as it could have been with suspended particles - dust not let by gusty winds to settle down.

Then one day a vista, belonging to the other extreme, bewitched me: On the ground were sharply etched shadows while above a clear sky raced towards the horizon where defiantly stood the deep-blue sea - luminous, bristling, and unmerged. At that distance, the sea was no longer a fluent water body but seemed more like lapis lazuli gone liquid.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Mind's Eye

‘The Tratchenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics’ has one of the best foreword for any book: Its summary of the eventful life of Mr. Tratchenberg makes for an inspiring read. What soon turns to be difficult is the unwieldy nature of making mental calculations – be it through the Tratchenberg method or by the supposedly clunkier traditional methods. I had bought the book years ago with fond hopes of bettering my scores in the Quantitative and DI sections of my CAT. When I recently picked up the book I had forgotten what had put me off its techniques despite that brilliant foreword which had again seduced me headlong into the first chapter ‘Tables or No Tables’. As I waded through the topic ‘Multiplication by 11’ it was clear that it had been the difficulty of ‘holding’ in the mind's eye, the numbers involved in calculation.

Tratchenberg system or not, the ability to do this shall prove to be the clincher. For someone like me with such a poor memory for numbers it would require miracle or sheer practice to master Mr. Tratchenberg’s system of calculation.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Agog in the brilliance of the sun
I photograph it for keepsake.
What remained though was loneliness -
of a beauty caught in memory, not quite in words.

But what?

There upon the shimmering sand is the man. He has a gun that ain't loaded. He points it at me and I feel, correctly, no terror. What shall happen next I ask myself and find myself handing him the bullets. He pulls the trigger upon himself - with better judgment indeed - escaping where I can't follow, leaving me in living hell.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To wrap up the below post I had written something about how I met an American-Italian who sported a nose-stud like Gujarati babes usually do. And how we ended up having a conversation
which climaxed in she quizzing me about an Indian dish she had tasted a long time back
(it was, I had decided - Paneer Mutter Masala and written it down in block letters for her reference).

When I read what I had written it seemed not so funny, not so interesting. And hence I just forgot I even wrote it. All that remains is the above obituary of that post!
Shit, my life could end up being so, in someone else's obituary.

What then?

Mmm, I feel better.

p.s.: Listening to Efterklang. To my ears they are a worthy replacement for Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd et al.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Summer Showers in New World

One’s smile veiled by various tragedies. Light, such, pours past layers of clouds - sometimes upon an earth just showered, sometimes upon an earth foreshadowed. Whichever way, a face made lovelier, I summarise, imbued with life and light.

These clouds have descended upon unsuspecting folks like an immaculate conception and I am watching the sunshine upon this foreshadowed earth. Stray drops pellet me. I am by the wayside, under good shelter. My back is stuck to the glass panes of the bookstore and perhaps it is being browsed by the books stacked behind the glass. They are returning the favour. Would they find us interesting? They are after all us, set down in paper.

At a distance, the traffic is muted, the roadscape looks deserted yet simultaneously busy with the clouds getting arrayed into a massive front. On ground, busy feet scamper towards shelter with short, precise steps – a balancing act featuring safety and alacrity - as the clouds begin their shower. The first drops 'dopple' here and there as if aimless but frantically seek a groove to settle in. Soon enough, as the drizzle becomes rain, and the shower a lash, a rhythm, lush and insistent, arises. It reminds me of the initial dithering when two bodies grapple with each other’s desires, the frantic foreplay that follows, and the eventual rhythm they revel in and settle into.

If someone could strum a guitar and sing a simple melody to go along with the lush score of the rains it would have been perfect. Like how a rainbow befits perfectly a world sparkling with recent rainfall. Alas, rarely do you have all the stars aligned in one lucky line. Rarely do you have coincidences worth recounting.

I can remember of one right away. Years ago when I bid goodbye to what was then one of my serious sweethearts, on the shared terrace that was also the conduit between two hostels, the sky was unbearably clear (ok this is a bit of a Photoshop style cleaning up but what now follows is absolutely true to original detail). Upon this blue sky a pair of high-attitude jets passed by each other, as seen from the ground apart only by a centimeter, their feathery vapour trails forming a perfect pair of parallel lines that shall meet only when they dissolve into oblivion. As those pieces of metal passed by each other, their speed rendered into a cool slow-mo by their altitude, I brought her attention to their bodies glistening as they caught the sunlight at the correct angles. She nodded, looking bemused rather than amused. What a piece of memory for a parting gift, she must have felt.

Back to the rainy day in NJ. I now see fluid sunshine fractured into a million pieces and readily held captive by the raindrops that decorate the face of earth. A lady by my side lights a cigarette and that almost physical need to juxtapose contrasts, to match something hot against the chill rains envelops me. A girl of Indian origin, bespectacled and too busy on the phone to notice my presence walks by, remains under the shade for a while and then restless, goes inside the store. After the cigarette has vanished into thin air the other lady too rushes into the rain towards her car and drives away. In a few seconds I am left alone with the rains. Having had enough of them and also sensing boredom (I knew he would beckon his more portentous twin, Ms. Loneliness soon enough and I was in no hurry for her companionship.), I too go in to the books, DVDs, and coffee.

(Hope to continue...)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tragedies for Consumption.

The overwhelming moments at the WTC memorial site remind me of what vicarious emotional experiences end up being, especially upon a filled stomach and a warm body: a self-indulgent trip full of gravitas and solemnity.

I am sure, that day, Vanitha and her parents weren’t as much washed over by a sense of tragedy as I was. Yet, that the lump rises less readily up their throat doesn’t mean they would be any less constructive in amending others’ misfortune. Mooning over others’ sorrow is more often just that – feeling and mooning over, and as a rule worth precious little. The exceptions of course become revolutionaries and lose their lives.

Vicarious experiences are not the equals of our darker emotions – jealousy, depression, suspicion, hatred, loneliness, loss, and those accompanying sheer starvation. These are real troubles and cause real heartache, not the ‘ensconced-in-comfort’ wallowing in others’ tragedy. However big others’ tragedy is, it wouldn’t bother us as much as a bolt which has descended upon ourselves.

Eventually, our deepest feelings for others are noble-colored fluff. And they frequently get degraded to the level of ‘the sentimental dope of this month.’ They become yet another piece of gratification, which in a twisted sort of way makes us feel less bored. As proof I could perhaps offer media’s penchant for disasters, corruption, serial killers, ethnic cleansing, besides grotesque relief such as Bush and Indian Cricket, to go along with our morning coffee, and to act as fodder for small talk through out our day.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Empty Thumps While Kick-Starting a Habit Left Out in the Cold

Wanted to post something but had nothing to talk about. So what does one do? What does one do if there is craving but no hunger, desire but no appetite? Wait it out and let time take over?


Our sins could make us more connected to the rest of humanity than any amount of empathy! The only sure key to understanding others is to understand myself thoroughly, by being cognizant of the sea within myself, with the penchant of a pearl-diver.


Now with the act of forgetting my old password amended by resetting it to a new one, now with the block removed, let me see if I can begin to regularly publish in these pages.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (VV) Didn't Give me the Kicks

The negatives far outweigh the good things about the movie...

  1. There are too many things to remind one of Kaakha Kaakha (KK) -- the names (Ilamaran, Maya), the actors (Jyothika, Daniel Balaji, Jo's family members), the lingo (poturlaan daa...and all the swear words censored jarringly), loud acting by Daniel Balaji that seemed like a poor imitation of Jeevan's Pandya.
  2. Not enough background to let us know why they turned into serial killers - one would believe they started the whole thing as some sort of a hobby, that's how shoddy the treatment of their past is! This exploring of rationale / motivation is something Kaadhal Kondaen and Thiruttu Payale does quite well.
  3. What was it with Homosexualism!! Pointless and an injustice to gay men.
  4. The incessant killings
  5. The stock escape situation featured in the Mumbai airport
  6. The heroic opening that doesn't jel with the rest of the story
  7. Loud, mood spoiling BGM
  8. Why does the Hero have to get plain lucky in cornering the guys
  9. Raghavan instinct, my foot!!!
  10. The needless romantic angle - perhaps it was necessary because there was not enough powder in the keg.
  11. The songs - each one slows down the pace.
  12. The 'pathbreaking medical research' crap blabbered in the end
  13. The severed finger as a signature - Why should he even do it for all his avowed intelligence and then admit it was a mistake?!!
  14. How does Kamal figure out where Jyothika has been buried alive? Why is Jo spared torture and rape (apparently...) - In a nurry to wind up the story?

  1. The confrontation between Amudan and Ragavan in the former's apartment
  2. The very short introduction between Ragavan and Kayalvizhi in a marriage
  3. The locations are brilliant, but only partly, as the bgm screws up the mood
  4. Prakash Raj, kamal for their performance; Kamalini merely for her presence
  5. The sequence in which Kamal tracks down the body of Prakash Raj's daughter is brilliant: Everything stands out in this, for example the performances - Prakash Raj, the 'beggar' who gives the right leads, Kamal
  6. The molestation of Amudan and Ilamaran by the eunuchi n the prison cell
** (Interesting)

  1. The sniggers among the audience when Kamal says 'neenga homosexualsaa daa?" doesn't bode well. And technically they should have been called bi, but that might have been above our audience!
  2. The volte-face climax. The film was much better for the happy ending - Otherwise the film's very creation would have been pointless as it would have further sealed the similarity with Kaakha Kaakha
  3. I am not sure why I am making this comparison: I think Thirutu Payale was a far better movie even after taking into account its sleight of hand and information witholding game it plays with the audience.

Monday, October 09, 2006

New York Nagaram: A Liberal Translation

There is a simple joy in translation, akin to a craftsman’s. Instead of the pain of creation is the precision of re-creation, and what a recreation it turns out to be!

The terrain is familiar and safe because it has already been mapped out and for someone like me who owes no special allegiance to the source material, it can be re-imagined to various degrees to please oneself. So as long as one is not aiming at an official translation you have the best of both the worlds: you use someone else's terrain but for your own literary pleasures. Isn’t it like having an affair with another’s wife, sans the complications!

In the above said manner I had set out to translate the recent hit 'New York Nagaram...' in which AR Rahman performs the alchemy of turning a lyric of uneven quality (lyricist: Vaali) into a cool song that I am sure is the anthem for many a young onsite guy's longings, fantasized and real.

Here is the output.

“As the city recedes into sleep loneliness takes over,
Snow spreads, from the seas winds alight to stroll the shores.
Amidst glass panels am I, lonely and pointless
Having dinner in the company of candle sticks.

No more conversations that double up as lullaby
Or kisses alongside morning coffee.
No more you to taste dust in my eye
Or straighten the wrinkles of my psyche.

You over there and me here:
Blessed by the loneliness, minutes drag as years.
Blue over there and bleak sky here:
Why is it upon us to illumine this metaphor?

In my diary is your name penned myriad times.
And lo, streams of ants array behind the honeyed lines.
Though the winter has chilled earth even,
This moment scorches like an Indian summer.

Come home, oh alchemist’s magic!
Won’t you turn this red ember into ice…”

I would like to thank the following site for the lyrics:

(C) MaheshC.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just a Filler...

Yesterday I saw a surreal sight while riding in a darkness punctuated by lashing rains, headlamps, and thunders crashing down at the horizon. The steady sheet of rain was visible only when a headlamp, single or as a pair, flashed by. Otherwise it was felt streaming down my face, and tasted. In that circumstances too, workers, drenched and with improvised rubber boots, were at their work on the IT Corridor Road. A bulky equipment was
spreading steaming tar mix on the road. The steam rose upwards to meet the showers under the auspices of the orange lights.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

For my Curious Canadian Friend..!

The Statue represents an important moment in that great epic of ours, Mahabharata.The epic is about the two warring group of cousins: Pandavas and Kauravas. Yet to put it so simply is being grossly reductive. Like any great classic (think of Iliad and Odyssey) Mahabharata is not about one linear storyline and one crux. It is made up of a great array of characters and there are all their stories to contend with; besides ofcourse philosophical and religious discourses and discussions of morality. So much so that the author (or rather the compiler/anthologist of this epic), the sage Vyasa says something like, What's not in this is not found anywhere else, and if it is not found here then it is nowhere else. Such comprehensiveness!

The statue depicts a charioteer, and a warrior with his bow and arrows. The warrior Arjuna is one of the greatest heroes and archers in Indian mythology. One episode vouches for his powers of concentration and his ardent love for his craft. His guru Dronacharya asks his pupils
(Pandavas of whom Arjuna is one, and Kauravas who are a hundred in number and his led by Duryodhana) to aim at a bird perched upon a tree (I think it is a bird or it could be a fruit such as the mango) with their bows and arrows. Then he asks them one by one to describe what they are able to see. Ajuna alone says that he can't see anything else than the eye of the bird he has been aiming at. Befittingly he wins his wife Draupadi (Interestingly Draupadi is the wife of all the Pandavas-five of them in all and not just Arjuna) at an archery contest. In the epic there are only two other warriors who come close to beating Arjuna in archery. They are Karna and Ekalavya. Yet both are handicapped by others' schemings that it only serves to reduce the glory of Arjuna: It raises the classic 'If only...' questions.

The charioteer is no ordinary charioteer. He is Krishna. He is such a multifaceted personality that there are so many ways to describe him-charmer of women and one of the greatest lover in Indian mythology, cowherd, counsel for the Pandavas, philosopher, schemer of the wisest and vilest kind, charioteer, and a king in his own right..! Krishna was greatly instrumental in the victory of the Pandavas over Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war (fought somewhere near present day Delhi). Without getting overly judgemental let me just say that all that was done by Krishna to bring victory to the Pandavas wouldn't come across as being wholesome. One can put a finger on a lot of other characters in Mahabharata and finally (even though with the greatest of difficulty and vacillation) say whether the character has been good or bad. Such a judgement, in my view, is not possible to carry out on Krishna. And in a way it is only befitting. Some points of view hold that God for most parts has nothing to do with the man-made morals; that the Lord acts in mysterious ways not all of which we can be readily understand and Krishna afterall is one of the avatars (roughly incarnations) of Lord Vishnu.

Now coming back to the Statue...The Pandavas and Kauravas are all lined up as the worst of enemies. But they are cousins and hence Arjuna sees so many of his grand relations (uncles, cousins), his guru Dronacharya and so many of his acquaintances all lined up on the other side. He thinks of the lives he has to take, the bodies his arrows have to fell-they are all his relations, his dear ones. He hesitates and wonders if the success shall be worth all the dear lives he has to get past. Even though he is convinced that the Pandavas have been wronged and that Dharma (roughly translated as Justice, virtuousness, righteousness) is on their side he is now paralysed by confusion and the contemplation of immense grief and disaster. Then Krishna on the eve of the war appears in all his Godly glory and advises Arjuna, which forms the cornerstone of Indian Philosophy: The Gita, the essence of which is often paraphrased as, 'Perform your duty without expecting the results'.

In your scrap book you could probably name the statue as, 'The Sermon at the Battlefront'.