After a really, really long time I introduced some colour into my drab, corporate-corrupt life. I was contemplating exit routes in my soporific yet stay-put-till-it-is-time-to-go-home environment and fleeting through random sites when suddenly I hit the Incredible India website. Pause.

The site is attractive to say the least. There is colour of every possible hue and tone, all co-existing in a riot of contrast. And it makes such a difference to note that, our country with all its diversity is represented and packaged in a manner completely befitting.

What is certified genius though, is the concept of Microsites. We have entire portals dedicated to such offerings as Indian Heritage, Crafts of India, Come to Paradise…We are routed to striking interfaces complete with extensive facts, figures, fairs and festivals.

Incredible India is a very guided site. The home page itself offers you a composite view of pretty much all that the site has to offer. The photography is exquisite, the colours are vivid and rich, navigation is simple and a pleasure! I therefore recommend – traverse then travel. Incredible India will leave you yearning for more.


No, but I love Bollywood. And recently I have been gorging on 'em so a post on. Yes.

First I must, must talk about Johnny Gaddar. Two factors drove me to watch a movie on a hot, weekday morning.
1. Neil Nitin Mukesh (Very good, very good guess. One golden star.)
2. A close family friend who looks god-o-god-o-why steaming hot in the item number Dhoka. (Can I have my golden star back please??)
A 'suspense thriller' say most critics. But I beg to differ. The movie was slow really, I was eating my popcorn (buttered yes, which is why I am NOT in Dhoka. Hmph.) faster then the story was advancing. And our praaji Dharmendra ji was tightening every muscle in his jaded body and struggling to deliver. Poor man. Not that he is a mediocre actor ordinarily, but his golden days are past. And his diction? Goodness! Disappointing choice. Really.
But have I given you the impression that I did not enjoy the movie? Oh, but I did I did! It deserved every star part of the 3 and a half rating that TOI awarded it. The casting (barring our bigamous praaji) was great, almost comparable to Chak De's actually. The performances were energetic, never once over the top. Yes, that includes Neil Nitin Mukesh. So what if I am being a tad generous, it's his first movie (and must I mention the weak-knee-me-be pink shirt and grey sweater combination? Yes? Fiiiine.)
More than being a thriller, the movie was all about how somewhere, sometimes things just don't work out the way you envisioned. It could have paced up, included some ambient OST to set your pulse racing, brought out the flashy cars, flashier women, showcased some tightballed fists and slick arms, oozed some blood and lots of tension. It could have tried to be plain, boring racy. But slow and steady sure does win the race, especially when you stick to some good ol' Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase inspirations. I must mention Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's awesome soundtrack. A-W-E-some. There :)
Worth a watch for a pleasant surprise. I vote!

I also caught Laaga Chunari Mein Daag recently. I am a sorry sucker for colour and some impressive cinematography (I looooove Sanjay Leela Bhansali movies. Sigh.) So I trotted along to catch the movie. But there was sooooooooooo much potential!! A Banarasi setting could have exploded the big, bad screen into a riot of clashing colours. But why were there jazzy, fake-y sets most of the time? Huh? Why? Too much light, too less capturing of true colour.
But what I loved about the movie?

1. Choosing two of the tallest, cockiest men in Bollywood to play the parts of blood-brothers? Perfect.
(Doesn't hurt that they are yummy-dummy-delicious too. When Kunal Kapoor kisses Konkona Sen, I swear my heart let out an inadvertent banshee wail. Woe please be me. )
2. Jaya Bachchan. Perfecter.
She is positively brilliant! After watching Dharmendra's exhausted act, Jaya Bachchan's indefatigable and near-perfect performance was wow! An established actress she is, part of the Bachchan we-are-perfect-actors-now-that-aishwarya-also-joined-us too. But watching her efforts translate into a natural ease on the screen was refreshing.
Especially when compared with Rani Mukherjee's performance. Whatever has happened to her? Brilliant often, but I cannot fathom how her effortless acting just did not rear it's pretty little head in this movie? Oh well I still have faith in her.
Konkona Sen wsn't bad. Acting wise. Her whole dancing-around-the-trees routine? The less said the better.
On the whole, the movie was a disappointment. It tries hard but just crosses the line over into too-melodramatic-to-digest land. The title OST was the clincher. The song, the picturisation, the trying portrayal of newfound pain - awful. And a pity too, because it really did have so much potential.

Well at least the buttered popcorn never lets me down :)


Came across this. Actually long, long ago but decided quite suddenly to let you know. Stunning and sublime really, Christa Kieffer's oil on canvas captures a world of rich, glittering colours and a golden glow of the quaint streetlights in the pinkish hue the retreating sun leaves behind. She does it deliberately too, 'To me, the transition of light is espeically appealing.' Christa Kieffer does it with a rare finesse. Even to my untrained eye, her work assaults with such a stark longing, that I immediately want to click my golden shoes together and find myself back in 'The Beautiful Era'.
The beautiful era - La Belle Époque. An era before the world was ravaged by the great wars and went on to achieve the distant dream of Socialism to kill all traces of privilege by birth. The more profound reflections apart, I think what suffered the most was the style of dressing.

Edwardian wide-brimmed hats and Victorian waist-squeezing corsets, donned with Etonian jackets to complement that hour glass figure - a thing of the past. Kieffer's work although captures the earlier dressing styles of this era. The mega sleeves, the rich gowns - a true indicator of your social standing and pedigree. And now pedigree determines only the price of the next dog I wish to own. And righ gowns are donned by anyone and everyone on their wedding day. Socialism retaliates with free and fair personal identity.

Not much of a post, but some of vicarious nostalgia.


There are times when you encounter art, artisans, arti-ness and a subjugating feeling of acute dwarfness overpowers you?
Like when you are sitting a bloating, gloating Indian for all purposes on paper, and along comes a William Dalrymple, a Scottish enamoured by the great city of Delhi (he compares the history, the culture and the aura with that of Constantinople and Cairo) and more so, by the little remembered (No, the Taj Mahal doesn't count as Mughal-only memory) House of Timur and it's descendants.

The Last Mughal who Suraj thought was Aurangzeb, who you might not remember either, who my grandmum remembered as 'The Great Bahadur Shah'. Bahadur Shah Zafar - The Last Mughal. Great? As the ripe and feeble octagenerian, greatness of strategy and strenght of conviction and mind was the last thing that could be attributed to the old and fragile man. He remains buried with a less-than-monumental architectural excuse remembering his death and inhaling his forgotten, decaying life in Burma.

Of the greatness of the 1857 Mutiny that many remember as the first armed assault against the East India Company for freedom from colonisation and an implicit incarceration. But which for all its misconstrued greatness remained a religious revolt. An initial pre-dominant Hindu army making its way to the great city of Delhi, seeking the hollow blessings of a puppet Mohameddan king (Bahadur Shah Zafar), and rising in revolt to protest against the cartridges rubbed with cow and pig fat. The revolution that killed every British man, woman and child in sight, that resisted the British army for 4 months, that starved and strived and put up a worthy fight, that plundered the city of its riches and its dignity, that disrespected the very idea of a great Mughal king. The revolution that started swaying dangerously towards becoming an out-and-out Jihadi revolution.

But the one thing that was great about the Last Mughal was his ability to recognise and regard the Hindu-Muslim unity, and to persevere to retain that very unity to stand up against the kafirs - the British. An eighty year old man lost in the chaos about him, increasingly aware of the dying line of Timur, seeking solace in his poetry, his beautiful verse, struggling but only so feebly to restore the dynasty that ruled Hindoostan for more than three centuries.

But he failed. He could not stem the depradation, the plundering, the carnage about him. Great then? Broken and weak when the British finally conquered the city and reversed the tables. The depradation, plundering and carnage continued. But under a different army, a different colour. No, there was nothing great about the Last Mughal, the 1857 Mutiny or its rapacious and rambunctious armies.

The only greatness is displayed by Dalrymple himself. For falling in love with the city of Delhi, the story of the Mughals and their white counterparts. For investing time and effort, blood and sweat to go through dying accounts of the 1857 Mutiny and to reconstruct the horrors, the helplessness and the history. For being not an Indian and feeling like one, for being but a Scottish and proud as one, for being a true Sufi artist and only loving. Greatness? That is William Dalrymple.


Joy says I can considered myself tagged. So here goes.

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.

Scar on my right leg. Interesting shape, mottled with fairness and positively ghastly! Got it from the scalding silencer of someone's bike. No, I don't remember.

2. What is on the walls in your room?

Oh, Buddha inspired figures on dark blue, within golden frames. I wish I had the Renoirs. I do too. Sibling beat me to it. Hmph. I bet she can't even pronounce Renoir. Of course, they are impressions. Of course :)
Mother Martinet does not allow posters and such atrocities on the pristine walls. Sheesh.

3. What does your phone look like?

May I answer this question in a year? You know, when I actually possess a contraption that can be termed a real, live, functional phone.

4. What music do you listen to?

Oh rock, retro, jazz....a lot actually. A LOT. Right now I am listening to The Dandy Warhols, The Shins, Rare Earth, Link Wray and Howard Shore.

5. What is your current desktop picture?

A black lab. I share computer with sibling and parent.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

To move down south where my entire social fraternity resides. Preferably with a cushy job. Jesus Saves?

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?

Hmmm...I suppose so. Haven't dedicated much though to it since, you know, it isn't exactly pertinent *cough cough*.

8. Are your parents still together?

Yes. Still. How?

9. What are you listening to?

Refer 4 up and above.

10. Do you get scared of the dark?

Oooh yes. I sometimes sleep with the lights glaring down on my face (and yes the aliens will kill me!)
The aliens are vanquished by light. Duh.

11. The last person to make you cry?

Scotch, my adorable cocker spaniel. He has assumed the family name so yes, he is a person.

12. What kind of hair/eye type do you like on the opposite sex?

Oh there are more important things. Like a broad chest and nice legs. No, I am NOT gay (refer 7).

13. Do you like pain killers?


14. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

No. But I shall hope that neither are they :)

15. Favourite pizza topping?

Meat and cheese. No wait. Cheese and meat.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

Porridge. And fruity-tooty cakes.

**Oh and I tag Suraj (yes do it on your poetry blog, yes?) and anyone else I might not know as well as I want to. That means YOU.


It's been long time post coming. And all relevance of movie-reviewing (refer last post) having been lost, I shall continue with opinionating (yes, yes I invent words) on the plethora of books I have read of late.

First I finished Cat and Mouse by Gunter Grass. He is an artist of detail, with something as seemingly inconsequential as a vulgar Adam's apple being likened to a sly, stealthy game of....Cat and Mouse! Unfocussed on the story-telling, Grass recounts events. And whether or not one is supposed to read between the lines can be removed to discretion because reading this work is all about translating. From powerful words to vivid pictures.

Then I started and finished not one, but two Harry Potters (I remain an unabashed fan). Yes, The Deathly Hallows and The Half-Blood Prince (again). In fact I have read those two so many times over the past month that my sibling and I have been reduced to discussing the loopholes (oh and they are a few!!) in the plot in excruciating detail. For one, why do the ruddy wizards mess up when donning muggle clothes when clearly that's what you are wearing often enough throughout your school life in Hogwarts? Or maybe I have succumbed to the bad habit of mixing books with movies. Maybe.
For two (SPOILER ALERT) why o why does Narcissa Malfoy lie to Voldemort that Harry is dead. I mean if it was the victory celebration that would have taken her to the Hogwarts grounds, that would have happened anyway had she betrayed his thumping heartbeat. Voldemort wouldn't have waited long to kill poor, defenseless Harry. Unless Narcissa knew the curse would rebound. Did she?

Ramblings apart, I continued with Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Before this I had read My Name is Red by the same author and the deviation from the ornate style that he adopts in that is strikingly obvious. But I liked Snow very, very much. They geometry the protagonist discovers in every unique snowflake is confirmed almost immediately to an emotion, a phase he himself is experiencing with a sensitive (yet often aggressive) description. And the story telling is convincing; based in Kars, Turkey inhabited by the much glamourised religious fanatics, the staunch liberals who disavow all such impulses, and the ones stuck in between.

Then the following week I completed The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan and The Squabble by Nikolai Gogol. The Bonesetter's Daughter was a decent read. Compelling and swift. I found the descriptions weak, yet the story of Chinese immigrants in The U.S. was again, cogent.

However, my favourite was Gogol. He is an indiscriminate artist of description. Vivid detailing that infuses electric life into the most inanimate objects. Lovely. Although I was detached from my enthusiastic attraction for a moment when Gogol (like Kundera and Pamuk) insisted on connecting the story to his self , by introducing networks with the characters or some such (Kundera does it in The Unbearable Lightness of Being and justifies it (most implicitly) by announcing kitsch as the foundation of any and every art.) But I grew to understand the cardinal nature of story-telling. Oh well, I suppose I will live.

But seriously, Gogol comes with a golden star and three smiley faces.


...especially when I click on that fear-inducing, minatory monster of a button ['Click this and you CANNOT cancel your score'], inhale-exhale in quick, efficient burts and peer through my narrowed eyes trying desperately NOT to see...
But, wait...hang on...noooo...I did well?? Eeeep. [My latest Calvin inspired ejaculation]


And its true. I managed to whip some pretty ass. And I tell you this, it feels mighty good :)
Life looks good. Beloved friend is flying up north to induce some frolic into my post-GRE life. And beloved parents are flying me up norther [and mostly wester] to lovely, lovely exotic lands. Beloved hair from the hirsute-y body has been removed amidst much cringing. And beloved dresses can be donned again!
And the Osian film festival comes to Delhi on the 20th! Last year I sat beside pretty-miss-perfect Raima Sen and watched The Bong Connection [yes! An entire year before it was commercially released]. It was great fun, as I sat there in the dim auditorium ensconsed most comfortably in a palpable environment of bongness. Not as much from the movie [no, it was not as bong as expected...what a pity], as from the excited Bongs all around me. Talkative maashis (aunties), somber kakus (uncles) and big-eyed baccha log (youth junta). I remember myself smiling a lot.

I have been a regular at the Osian film festival for the past two years. I have watched all kinds of movies; Iranian, Chinese, Indian; silent, colourful, vulgar; and I am so glad it comes now into my wonderfully free life. There is a God.

So I shall be posting my reviews soon. But never judge a book by its cover, or a movie by missquoted's blog entry. Maybe I will see you at the film festival then :)


My GRE date is looming large and without much largess unfortunately, and therefore I have little time and inclination to blog comprehensively.
Oh but something very interesting happened yesterday. I heard some mutual funds advertisement over the radio. And co-incidentally watched a mutual funds advertisement on the television the same day. Has anyone noticed the crazed speed at which the guy is speaking at the end of the advertisement, relating the perfunctory precautions? No, seriously. That speed is worth a blog entry!
And then I settled down in bed with some sumptuous viand (yessss!!! Actually a synonym for food. Help!) to get my diurnal (don't ask) dose of Seinfeld. And master Jerry speaks at the same loony speed to tell his mom off over the phone because he is expecting an important call! Talented guys these...
And here I thought I was a fast speaker. So much for divine delusions.

Oh and just as an afterthought, I stumbled upon Christophe Beck recently. The songs have been on repeat ever since. Remembering Jenny and Drink me I strongly recommend. I have not been able to listen to a very versatile collection. For that matter, I am not even sure if Beck is versatile, but it's lovely nonetheless; mellow, mellifluous instrumental (mostly piano) and I quote 'it makes you feel like you are in Europe'. Very OST-ish, the piano has a habit of doing that. Start searching :)

Also discovered The Dandy Warhols. Woo hoo hoo! Fast, frivolous and funnnnnn. I recommend the overplayed Bohemian like you, the Good Will Hunting OST track 12 Boys better and the funky We used to be friends. Thank you Suraj.

And that's all folks! Wish me luck!


Managed to squueze in 'Following' by Christopher Nolan recently. That brings my Nolan grand total to 3 - Memento, The Prestige and yus yus, the afore mentioned. So I have assumed the role of a despairing dilettante and proceed to spew forth my observations.

Nolan has a signature style. Obsessed protagonists who are battling their demons, and all the while Chritopher Nolan is exultantly disregarding chronology. Oh, chronology! Nolan paces back and forth in time, builds up a crescendo of confused events and conflicting appearances, only to end with those precious moments of clarity (although I DID have to watch Memento twice. Erm.)

Nolan's movies have to be watched and regarded with concentration. Else you will miss a beautiful line here, an ostensibly insignificant glance there that will strike you later once the jigsaw pieces fit.

Take for instance, The Prestige ( spoiler beckons so proceed ONLY at your own risk). When Hugh Jackman is reading Christian Bale's journal he cannot for the life of him understand why Bale does not claim responsibilty for his wife's death. Only when Jackman realises that Bale had had him the entire time, are you transported back to that seemingly inconspicuous line. Lovely lovely.

For the record I liked The Prestige the most. It was racy. The concluding minutes were fanatstic with the characters and the audience alike revelling in sudden realisation. And the moment of 'abracadabra' was phenomenal. No, seriously.

Following was interesting. The beginning of the movie very discreetly gives away the apparent similarities of the protagonists, revealing its significance in the conclusion. And then onwards begins the story of obsessive stalking. I would have enjoyed it more thoroughly though had I not already watched a cheap Bollywood imitation starring Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur and Fardeen Khan (but the scene of the bullet knocking off Kareena Kapoor's hair bun was killer!! Every pun intended :))

And there you have it. My Nolanisms.


A casual caveat if you bothered to read the previous post: DO NOT BOTHER!

Bother however about this:

1. Proclivity
2. Propensity
3. Predilection
4. Penchant

All mean more or less the same. GRE pandora's pox anyone?


With moments to collect and preserve...
and insipid goodbyes to deflect before the bus crawls along grudgingly...
the lachrymals will reinstate my faith in the interminable, solitary hours that succeed...
so will my dull and heavy memory...

I want to write...
about The Great Big Donor Show...
and Garden State...
and how I am not quite sure if I enjoyed cheeni kum...

...And the reflections not quite adequate...
....And the words hanging lifeless between you and me...
.....stun the epicurean I pretend, stifle the ostentation I project...

Oh oh oh. Vacuous, vain, verily dispensing horse-excreta?? Give me some time. I am leaving forever and ever and ever for god's sake!


Just when I was settling down into a comfortable relationship with the great Impressionist movement; declaring my favourites, recognising the Renoir reproductions at my place, differentiating a Monet from a Manet, a Vang Gogh from a Duncan, understanding how the sun shimmers in the painting that started it all, and staring down from the elongated sides of my olfactory nemesis at anything vaguely Dali [although Escher sits pretty on my blog].....I discovered the Pre-Raphaelites. And so lord, bless us all.
Love at first sight happened when I picked up a copy of Pre-Raphaelite reproductions for my ol' man. I liked the reproductions and 'twas inexpensive to procure it [as is the case with most of 'em men hooking up with 'em ladies. Hmph.] and if truth be told, I did not give it much thought. But then I was destined to return to the bookstore in my usual I-have-the-time-but-little-money-to-spare-to-buy-books mode and I was browsing through a catalogue of Pre-Raphaelite art. And I discovered this [please do click on it for a mind-numbing moment of raw helplessness].

Ophelia! Ophelia! Sweet, frail, glorious Opehlia! I rushed to pick up a copy of Hamlet [actually I picked up ALL of the four great tragedies] and returned home to devote my new I-have-the-time-but-NO-MONEY-to-spare-whatoever mode to Googl-ing. And I present you with this.
Turns out the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were a group of seven English painters, poets and crtitcs who sought fit to reject the affectations of the Mannerists [Raphael and Michaelangelo followers] and 'reproduced on canvas what they saw in nature'.
This was their only discriminating feature. Albeit the principles of the brotherhood were laid down in four declarations:

  1. To have genuine ideas to express;
  2. To study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them;
  3. To sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parading and learned by rote;
  4. And, most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues.
These declarations however, were far from stringent, as the Pre-Raphaelites were generous to the individual idea and flair. And although the 'study of nature' lent a very real element to their work, the brotherhood was to eventually split into two; the Realists and the Medievalists who incorporated a spritual perspective in their work. The split, it is claimed, was never absolute but the difference in the work is glaringly obvious.

So, right now I am also hooked onto Hamlet. The moon is the 'moist star' since it governs the tidal waves. Loverlieeeeeeeeeee.

Double whammy did I hear you say??


I managed to edge in two movies last weekend into my raucously busy schedule of imbibing, imploring and immaculate lethargy.

First I caught The Namesake in Bangalore. I did not like it in the least. The book was authored with a slower pace that unravels the story of Gogol Ganguly over the years with certain details stretched thin to leave behind that indelible impression; for instance his first trip to India was important in the sense that it made for academic comparisons to the next trip on the death of his father. But the movie progressed at breakneck speed leaving little room for me to grasp and understand. It disappointed albeit the Bongness put a smile on my face. Annaprashun, and the traditional Bong wedding with the odd white makeup on the bride's and groom's faces made me yearn for papta maach, goopi gayan and erm....Oh! Calcutta.

Didn't do the book justice. Although Irfan Khan was tremendous, Tabu was fine, Kal Penn cute ;-). And was that Moshumi chick steaming hotttttttt, killer legs! Ahem.

I followed it up with 12 Angry Men. And boy, was that some watch. A movie that starts in the courtroom, continues in the jury room and ends on the steps of the courthouse. With 12 (yes angry!) men who divulge not names, not occupations, not any other details that begin to define us as who we are. Nothing except stark and strident reactions. The camera focuses on an individual from time to time for 5-7 seconds, which is absolutely fatal in theatre (focussing the audience's attention on one actor that is), but which just beautifully describes the jury. And we feel an intimate connection with each, trying to understand and defend their actions.
And Joseph Sweeney was much the adorable ol' fella with a piercing glare and larger than life countenance. Provided with some (un)intentional comic relief. Me liked very , very much.
The movie incidentally is adapted from a play and was nominated for 3 Oscars. And it depicts that how often we see just the grime on the glass, and forget to wipe it and see through. Comes highly recommended.

And speaking of recommendations Yann Tiersen has captured my imagination. Google for more details. Watch Amelie for further. And succumb to melodious sin. Sigh.

GREase and GREat expectations

Circa not so long ago, I had just returned from an exhausting and exhilarating Bombay trip to chaos and confusion over a GRE date which I just did not seem to be getting in either Delhi or Bangalore. Thus, began a self-destructive hours long wait before the desktop, labouring over the eternally confusing ETS website, being admonished at regular and increasing decibel levels by my poor ol' man who just could not comprehend why I had waited so long to get myself a date.

Shine on you crazy diamond me hummed. A trifle chipped chip of the ol' block.

The only date in months before the pattern was to be overhauled was in less than a fortnight in Bangalore. I almost took it.
But after much deliberation I finally convinced me distraught daddy to let me take the test in (hold your breath) TRIVANDRUM in May! I breathed a sigh of relief.

And today Bhopu calls me up to laugh hysterically over the phone. Amid the vociferous ejaculations of suspicious mirth, I was finally informed that ETS had decided to scrap the new pattern. And dates were available again.

So now I have rescheduled my test for the 17th of July in Delhi at a reasonable cost of $40. Cheaper than my Trivandrum trip anyhoo.
And to think I almost gave my test with less than a fortnight's preparation.


I managed to find time to sit through a movie after long. And I chose Robert Redford’s ‘A river runs through it’ more out of compulsion actually but oh well it inspired this post.

The movie was nominated for 3 Oscars and picked one up, for its excellent excellent cinematography. But I did not quite like the movie. Primarily because it relied too heavily on the narrator’s recounting, accompanied by still photographs to construct the story of a family of fly-fishers. I am unfortunately prejudiced. A movie should flow and move and unravel through the emotions, the words, the language of the actors.

But one line stuck on in my head.

When Craig Sheffer remarked without missing a beat about the perfection of form and of style of Brad Pitt’s fly-fishing endeavours. He affected an affectionate definition. Art.

And really what is art? Grace in language, refinement in advance, poise in stance, colour in view. And sometimes you can find it all around you if you just look a little harder.

When she eats with a rare gratification every meal, and every morsel on the plate.

When he describes with a singular passion and a personal erudition.

When she writes in her calligraphy and tilts back a tad to appreciate.

When he narrates with energy and seamless analogies.

When she sweeps vivid strokes and bright hues and tells not one.

‘Art stares back at itself in the mirror, but truly shines in other’s eyes’*

Yes, art craves the attention of an audience to truly thrive and flourish. To become a means of windfall and thus, complete satisfaction. So we search for art in galleries and auditoriums and museums. When sometimes it stares us in the face. If we only shed our insecurities of a collective approval, the next time he pulls on the cigarette with a pleasant effort to expel it in a streamlined form, maybe art will assume newer definitions.

And I leave you with this:

’This idea of a talking stick (Pinocchio) becoming a boy, it’s like a metaphor for art, and it’s the ultimate alchemical transformation.’


*a mischievous manipulation of one of Tarun Tejpal’s many aphorisms. Apologies.


I walked into ‘the boys’ house and proceeded to aim some carefully oriented blows at Suri boy’s posterior. ‘Wake him up with a KI-ss not a KI-ck!’ exclaimed Suri boy’s roommate. Minutes later Suri boy groggily theorized that as long as I did not wake him up with a KI-ll, he would live to tell the story [that punster boy him!]

I was anticipating an adventurous day in Bangalore. I was scheduled to meet my external project guide at Mindtree Consultancy, the company I am currently interning in. The office was in Global Village, some 25 km from ‘the boys’ house. After semi-frantic calls to my guide and my project partner, a hurried ablutions conduct, repossessing Suri boy’s ATM and [very expensive] cell phone, dropping him off at his workplace and a forty five minute solitary wait [which included going through ALL 800 of Suri boy’s messages without the imperative imprimatur of course, a random foray into a city-village and vociferous whining to Ara and the group] I was on the bus headed to Global Village. I also managed to sneak in a call to Suri boy wondering [with apparent concern] about his state minus the money and the telecommunication. “Naked.” pat came the repartee. I grinned.

The meeting with my guide was uneventful, save one minor scare where my guide insisted I give a demonstration as to what I understood about my project. I deftly [if I say so myself] digressed to more earthly [and non-academic] concerns of long hours of travel, three year old babies and the beautiful, beautiful Mindtree office. It really was. Colourful and wildly original.
The journey back [this time after an hour long wait during which I had no more messages to read :-(] was tiring, yet I felt a little proud. I have been in Delhi all my life and public transport was deemed unsafe by my parents, which means I either drove or was driven to everywhere. [and no, I ain’t some spoilt brat] I have never really traveled by public transport all by myself, and this was a first. Do NOT take away my lil’ pleasures. Hmph.
On my way back I stopped by Landmark [I incidentally hold a record of ALWAYS coming out with at least one book from there], and picked up Knut Hamsun’s Victoria and a collection of short stories by Wilde which is a happy parrot green colour. Happiness.
Headed back to ‘the boys’ house where I [finally] met B boy’s girl. I liked her instantly and persevered to impress upon B boy that he was tremendously lucky. He balked.
The next two days [yes, it IS becoming an incredibly long post] were spent in gay marathons around the city [and on its very dangerous roads]; a couple of hours in Purple Haze with some Audioslave, David Gilmour, Fool’s Garden and Draught beer; lots of cheese; meeting the respective girls of the respective boys [yes there were more] and swift swoons on being gifted The Last Mughal [by Dalrymple]. It is the most gorgeous book I have laid eyes on in a while.
And of course lending a patient ear to Suri boy’s girlfriend woes. I might have even made things better! Ha! You owe me Suri boy.

Now I am back. Blah.


‘And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand.’

-Oscar Wilde

Of the beauty of words, and the sensation blithe that pervades et al; I finally convinced my prejudiced and provincial self to concede to listening to some instrumental music [italics reflect big nose scrunches and cheeky cheeks acrobatics]. That was some months ago. I began with the tried and tested [and inherited] classical paraphernalia and gradually progressed to Satriani and the likes. And every time I heard a piece which engaged in an ‘irreconcilable differences’ attitude with its nomenclature, I would be terribly disappointed.
I was listening to girl in a blue dress* today and I love it! Except it sounds like a woman with short, tidy hair in a grey suit. Walking in an unsullied metallic environment with a determined glint in her intense eyes. Terribly disappointed #1.
But then there is whale and wasp by Alice in chains. Which sounds exactly like what the name suggests.
[but the wasp is a fairy in my head…*grins*]
And of course butterfly etude by Chopin, and it is so fast yet contained…you know how a pretty, colourful butterfly will flit from pretty, colourful flower to pretty, colourful flower.
The funeral march by Chopin again…get it, listen to it, my over-elaborate lexicon shall not help. Terrific.
Traveler [Szerelem pay heed] by Satriani is too furious. Whatever happened to the placid tales of travel, the walk on the sand, the inhaling of the sharp mountain air?? Satriani sounds like he is in on his Hayabusa forging onwards to rape some pretty, colourful Japanese chickitas [but I likeeeeeee Satriani, in spite of his naming transgressions]. Terribly disappointed #2.
Saying goodbye aint half bad…redemption rocks! Starry, starry night is perfecto!

I could go on. But a gossip session awaits with some pretty colourful chicks. Do comment.

*yes I do NOT know who it is by. Any help will be appreciated and NOT remunerated.


He began with shine on you crazy diamond [and that has to be my favourite, after high hopes maybe]. And some of the other songs I recongnised were wish you were here, the final cut, comfortably numb, the dark side of the moon...songs pretty much anyone would recognise...
And everyone was swaying from side to side in the floyd-bubble which began from where Mister Waters was sitting and cooing [a trifle far from us...ahem...but well worth it!], and its periphery stretched to include us lesser mortals [minus the Oxford Phds in architecture is it??].
And those Phds certainly made their presence felt. We were in a floyd concert and a graphic novel. Especially this song called leaving Beirut, where Mister Waters made his apparent hate for Bush and his kin very obvious, with super animations on the screen behind. To quote a certain Mister Mittal [incidentally our free-pass provider, mentioned in an earlier post] 'feel aa gayeee!'
It was a brilliant concert, there was no sound distinction in any of the ticket denomination demarcations, the graphics were impressive, and although I have been off Floyd lately [have been listening to a lot of Gilmour though] I enjoyed every bit of it.
I was hoping fervently though that he would play the great gig in the sky. It just seemed like that song would fit the occasion...
And the pink, flying pig [trademark Waters apparently] with its loud calligraphy of Kafka rules!, Habeas Corpus, Free at last et al was soooo intentional. I am thinking Animal Farm. More than Animals. Forgive.

And that was that. Super.


Currently I am revelling in an inconveniently blah mood. I am busting my ass over the software requirement specifications of a tracerouter [project bluuuuuuuues], and it is entirely disconcerting to imagine the degree of blahness at this early a stage.
The reason I must do this by myself is because my project partner is headed out of town tomorrow for the Surathkal fest. And by the time she gets back, I will be en-route to Bombay. Yeah baby!
I am adequately excited. I will be travelling with my Roger Waters-free-pass-provider friend [yeah yippeee yeah!] who is also striving to get us free entry into some of the city's hot nightclubs. Aaaaaaaaah happiness.

Ok fine. I lied. I do not care so much about the partying. I do care about the Waters concert though. I have grown up on Floyd, which is why it was sufficiently easy to convince my Floyd-philic folks to finance my Bombay trip. And I will be meeting up with some old friends in a city that I have always enjoyed visiting. Yes, yes. I AM adequately excited.

Now that my project beckons, I must take your leave. But once the blah-o-meter gets red hot, I shall return. Oh yes, I shall.
Maybe the Satriani in the background will help....NOT.
[heeeeeeeeeee........Borat influences.]


I am a happy child[a tad overgrown but heeeeeeeeee haw anyway]. I have come into a gold mine of movies which I intend to watch over the next couple of weeks.

I had heard so much about Pan's labyrinth that I felt it deserved the inaugural watch. And I must say I was a trifle disappointed. It is an intense mixed genre drama that finds parallels in the worlds of the real and the fantasy. And thus, the insect transmorgifies into a fairy[sadly sounding like a mating cricket], and the wall opens up into a monster's chamber, and death transports you to the higher kingdom of justice[with highly cool seating arrangments I might add]. But there is never a moment of fluidity. The two worlds remain isolated and detached. The only very very obvious link is the crumbling of courage yet its eventual triumph in the face of tyranny.

Now if the insect had remained an insect, but Ofelia saw a fairy. If the monster was not an inhuman carcass with hands for eyes, but a big human hirsute that evoked fear in little Ofelia. And if Ofelia died as she did, but died happy....
That would have been a beautiful merging of the real and that fantasy. Finding magic in the doggedly real lives we live and die. Now that would have been some movie.....

But some great acting, and as always a lovely soundtrack.

I also feel compelled to write about Guru that I watched some days back. I absolutely loved it. It was a goodlooking movie[always a winner!] with some brilliant acting. And it so convincingly mitigated the bureaucratic crimes of a man born of the middle class with its stagnant content and lesser dreams. And the soundtrack was niiiiiiiice. But the clincher was Abhishek Bachchan's lopsided smile, shining white in its honesty and happiness *swoooooons*.

Truly worth a watch.
Next in line - The Prestige, Amores Perros and Borat.
Will keep you posted.


16 hours of 24 have been borne with fortitude and fortune. And things are happening. I have started listening to CCR while being attacked by a green, gay frog. Right now it is hiding behind the mirror and I am hiding behind the computer. I would return the poor, frightened thing back to the home it comes from, I really would. But you see strong-legged amphibians are really not the easiest to negotiate with.
I was reading this article today about how ‘tinkering with nature is a bad idea’. More than fifty years ago around a hundred cane toads from Central and South America were released in Australia to check cane crop pests. The toads quickly proliferated to reach mammoth numbers (around 200 million) and is deemed today as one of Australia’s worst environmental debacles, having become unpleasant pests themselves. This ‘assisted migration’ has far-reaching effects on territorial integrity and the food chain argued the author, while the counter view stressed strongly upon massive environmental changes, due to deforestation and global warming, that render species shelter-less and without adequate nutritional sources.
I personally feel no problem can be solved completely unless it is nipped in the bud. And the solution here seems to be to concentrate on reversing, else preventing the damaging after-effects of global warming. And deforestation can easily be checked. Or maybe I am talking out of my hat. Whatever it is, the thousands of species on the endangered list need fast theoretical and faster practical attention.
And right now that tiny frog crouching behind the mirror needs to be helped back before it starves (or attacks me again! Whichever comes first…*praying praying*).
Here froggie, froggie….here froggie…


Has anyone acknowledged the smart economics behind series such as Lost, Heroes or 24??
A most heady cocktail of attractive people, intense acting, stunning visuals, strong scripts, better screenplays and the culmination of every episode at exactly the point where you are chewing the nail of your little finger after the nails of the other more unfortunate fingers have been consumed over forty fast minutes. So you keep watching, and you keep watching.

And you keep watching.

I should know. I have been addicted to all three at various points of time over the past couple of months. Currently Sujatha and I am at our nail-biting best with season 4 of 24. We have been sprawled across the bed, ordering in, taking 5 minutes breaks every 5 hours to take a breather. One of the reasons why I haven't been blogging too much.

But I shall be back. After another 18 episodes. And 24 hours of recuperation.


In the middle of a particularly passionate conversation with a friend, he suddenly assumed a momentary garb of amnesia, forgot we were in the midst of an intense argument and asked me what I felt about Saddam Hussein’s execution. I mumbled something unintelligible to which he reacted with an, ‘I think Bush should be hanged till death next.’
Truth is I have been mildly disturbed about the execution, its timeline, its nature, and its highly obvious aftermath. I have been hungrily reading any news item, editorial, internet pop-up that only continues to corroborate my own understanding. Which again depends on what my source is.

When I was reading from the CNN website, a particular link interested me. Labelled ‘Protests and Celebrations’ it displayed nine photographs which expressed precisely ONE ‘Protest’ photograph and EIGHT ‘celebration’ photographs. However, there was one link which stated the Taliban’s reaction to the execution, which of course was unfavourable. The fact that Saddam was hanged on the day of the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival which should ideally be ‘a day of forgiveness and not revenge’ angered Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, who was described as ‘a former Taliban defense minister and top insurgent commander’. Very interesting that Taliban is recognized as a ‘military outfit’ by the U.S. and has complete and explicit intentions of overthrowing Hamid Karzai’s government, who incidentally was the U.S. appointed interim president. Thereafter of course he won in a landslide ‘the democratic way’, but not without violent complaints of irregularities [read this]. Taliban’s reaction used ‘infidels’ and ‘jihad’ in plentitude. Purposeful, yet quite ineffective. I smiled to myself.
The BBC site was better. It recorded ‘mixed reactions’ to Saddam’s execution in far more comforting proportions. It also had an interesting yet very political study of the future of Iraq. ‘Things might get better. But things can certainly become worse.’

Bush has shown a serious lack of foresight. By choosing a Special Iraqi Tribunal that was trained by American, British and Australian experts, which went on to execute Saddam on Eid al-Adha, much too early in the 30 days permission since the verdict is announced, he has managed to anger a small but strong number. Plenty of Muslims the world over have expressed their dissatisfaction about the same and subsequently minor imperfections such as Bush’s deep slumber during the execution and his jolly gloating over possessing Saddam’s personal revolver are steadily fuelling the raging inferno of anti-Bushism.
I was watching a reporter on T.V. question a young, Indian girl as to why Bakr-id celebrations had been low-key this year. She replied with a diffident ‘Saddam has been executed.’ The reporter proceeded to ask her if she knew who Saddam Hussein is. She said no, she did not.

Bush does not realize it perhaps, but Saddam-the martyr has been born. And he can only grow.
I am therefore, midly disturbed about the bloody aftermath that awaits us.

Also the person who made the video of Saddam’s execution has been arrested. Although his video quickly contradicted the dignity and rectitude of the hanging in the official video released, I am only glad. Videotaping someone’s last moments is nothing but pitiless and insensitive.

A highly morbid first post of the new year. But such is the world we live in.
Oh well…Happy New Year folks!