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.
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!
For days on end the sky wasn't exactly cloudy yet the horizon looked gray. The coastline was
‘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.
Agog in the brilliance of the sun
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
The negatives far outweigh the good things about the movie...
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.
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:
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
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!