-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Play it again Sam?

The childhood of the azure morning grows into the adolescence of the perfect noon like a lady in her ballroom dress, embroidered in the cotton of the white clouds. The bright capacious light, that dances, wagging all through the distance of the baggies of green woods and over the sparkling waters and cascades through the valleys they call parking-spaces and plunges into the crevices of the routines.
Shadows formed on the warm pavement are darker and distinct, the dry air lies motionless with the mutual smiles of faces glistening heavily in the weight of the consolidate warmth.
Once a while a rare breeze gathered conveys the sweet of the lillies that it had gently stroked on the way. The women lovely in their cuts of bright pinks and parrot greens walk their voluptuous sways silently enjoying the admiring eyes of the bare-chested young men. Hordes of children engage in their own pleasant reverie unmindful of the grime, howling and laughing . Sweet invisible chirps are heard more than often from beyond the rickety yawning street.

As if this be just a fine tuning it rains from nowhere a few tiny droplets for a very brief moment and then the masterly rendition is repeated with the rainbow as the violin.

In such afternoons, what else could one taste but the bitter froths of the pint: many a pints and many a barrels.
Play it again Sam?

Will ya? This is as near as we could get to the sun.

PS: On the absolutely lovely day of 21 June, 2005 : The longest day of the calendar.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fifty Five Fiction....

Extempore of the evestigio has passed me on one other of those virtual batons. I gather this is about writing anything fictional in fifty five words while indulging in the sentiments of instantaneous word gratification against the backdrop of diminishing attention span.

Whoever behind this idea should be rewarded by forced to read all the volumes of Remembrance of Things Past without any break!

Anyways here goes my flash effort written in the songtime of that lovely- The lonely shepherd by Georghe Zamfir from the Kill Bill OST:

Through the hustle she scrambled into the eastbound Piccadilly train. Finding herself a seat, she opened Brothers Karamazov and started midway through a long passage. The tall guy opposite was snatching a quarter-smile. It was then she noticed an old Brothers Karamazov tucked between his hands.

She smiled back.

That is how Lizzie met Charlie.


On the way back home, Gods accorded a spark of muse. So here is another version:

No, ! ‘Not sea shells seeshells by the seashore’, he repeated again,
‘It’s She sells seashells by the seashore’.

Okay, I’ll try again ‘See shells seecells by the sheeshore’.

No dear, ‘S-h-e s-e-l-l-s s-e-a-s-h-e-l-l-s by the s-e-a-s-h-o-r-e’.

Right, 'See shells sheesells by the seashore'.

Come-on now, ... 'Its See shells seasells by the sheesore'.

She laughed wildy!


And, in here, the baton lies buried .
Dig if you wish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005



Friday, September 16, 2005

Transit Thoughts...

College is like a summer holiday that haunts the later winters of the life.

So with the autumn term lectures on, you could see again those eager unsure eyes focussed on you, trying to religiously devour everything that you hurl.Strange feeling.
Just by looking at them, you could say who had spent time looking for meaning in the lyrics of rock anthems, who's gonna become the environmentalist, who would go on into politics and who would be the reputed art critic. The enthusiasm in the air brought back memories from my life, when I was doing my forensics.

I had gobbled up a whole manual of homicide n ballistics- the calibre, the spin of the bullet the type entry wounds, etc, with the intent to vomit out in the viva which, I nevertheless did, in the sadistic spectacle of that cruel questioning until that last question by the stout professor who asked,
‘Could you tell us what is the cause of death in the decapitation’? Being sure it wasn’t in the book, first I panicked and later tried holding hands of lady luck, ‘Bleeding secondary to severing of main vessels’, I pushed with a smile. So you mean ‘All the blood would flow out...’?

I shamelessly mumbled something about cardiac shock, very well aware that I was the focus of the Kodak moment. Then the bugger made me think for one whole embarrassing silent minute, right there in front of all, until I could think for myself and answer vagal hyperstimulation.

‘Good’ he retorted, and finally consoling ‘Don’t worry its not the junior-term question, actually you did well’.

That was some frigging learning. And now you see it from the other side, you realise how originality and spontaneity is so precious.

Speaking of original unprejudiced view on life, this gentleman- in the picture here on a hardback that I received today, stands like a pillar; precise and content, he ought to be recognised at least by one particular reader here.

Between Uni and such expectant pastime, the winter should be interesting to say the least.

Life, unclassified!

For now friday alcohol beckons !

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Troika Reviews

One of the age old norms in the college was-When bestowed the luxury of being in the bed; ill and convalescing, one must indulge in as many books, movies and music as possible to review them later for the greater health and prosperity of the brethren.

And as old habits die hard (why else you think they are called old habits?), here go a obscure few....


Portrait of an artist, as an old man: a novel

Joseph Heller 2000
Scribner fiction in UK £12.99

Joseph Heller needs no introduction. Though the title carries a rare emphasis of being a novel, it becomes clear as we sail past impeccable narration of the initial few chapters, that the book is a far from being a novel. It is put together as a clever collage of autobiographical insights that finds its way as fictionalised accounts glued by inimitable wit with his twisted semi efforts to write one final reputable novel.

In this last book published after his death, Heller speaks through his alter-ego protagonist Eugene Pota (Portrait Of The Artist), a previously successful novelist walking into the sunset of his literary winter, with too much idyllic time at hands and pride to wear, with a faithful publisher by his side trying to put forth one final piece before his farewell.

At the crux, the book deals with writer’s block and his jovial struggles to come up with an idea worthy of a marketable novel and through such pursuits he half heartedly tries to explore, Greek mythology, biblical themes and also several of his favourite fictions/lines twisting them into parodies that are often shuffled about before being abandoned. The result is a combination chronicle of his brilliant false starts interspersed with his personal takes on several things in life.

Personally he traces the uninspired writer’s world, reclusive and dull often trying to find muses in inanely imaginative things from his wife’s possible sexual biography to reflections of women in his life, The idea of Gods wife, to a consultation with his doctor and often at times tries his hand at weaving some fiction out of them. Needless to add there is a distinct sexual undertone in many such chapters.

As we move on, it is obvious his false starts are bound to loose steam ending up as paragraphs, chapters and at times just headings. However some of themes like Hera speaking of Zeus’ wives and the chapter on Isaac have brilliant sparks that bring back memories of what a gut twistingly hilarious talent he is.

But the more insightful segments of the book are when he tries on some of his favourite lines from fiction like - A beautiful woman has trouble living up to her looks for very long: Kurt Vonnegut, Last night my lord returned from the wars and pleasured me twice/thrice? with his boots on: Duchess of Marlborough or at times manages to exploit in satire some familiar chapters(or parts at least) from Tom sawyer, Metamorphosis and Moby Dick to get across his point of what a great torture writing can be?

The best theme is undoubtedly in the chapter Tom sawyer, The novelist which deals with, what Heller calls the literature of despair where Tom sawyer is re-fictionalised as a keen young american novelist trying to trace the final days of various eminent writers all over America (Mark Twain, Jack London, Flaubert, Melville, Poe, Fitzgerald etc) and across the pond (James, Dickens, Conrad, et al) only to learn about the various states of their pathological melancholia , breakdown and hopeless end. This manages to convince Sawyer to abandon his ambition of writing and to wish to become a railroad engineer instead.

Further, in the following chapter he goes on to examine the illnesses and idiosyncrasies of many writers as part of his talk to young college students only to conclude in a subtle warning veiled in humour:It is almost enough to chill the heart of the parent whose child declares the wish to seek a career as an author.

The narration when discreetly autobiographical is learnt and graceful and while experimenting with his numerous ideas is clever with flashes of his reputedly dangerous satire. This is indeed a unique book in a special genre. And for people who seek plots, mystery, meaning or perhaps even laughter, it should hold little interest for it is just a pastiche account about writing or the lack of it.

In the end, one gets a feeling that beneath all there is a unmistakable wry and the sardonic laugh at the evolution of meaninglessness into life, though perhaps not as satirical (twenty two teethed laugh) at the absurdity of war, a laugh definitely wise and subtle enough to escape a post modern conscience, a laugh perhaps enriched only by the meaning of life.

Flaky or otherwise, he has succeeded in hiding whatever he intended to hide!



Girl With a Pearl Earring
Beauty inspires obsession

Production: Lionsgate films, Pathé distribution 2003
Director: Peter Webber
Runtime: 100 mins
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Essie Davis, Cillian Murphy, Judy Parfitt.
DVD: £ 5.97
Country: United Kingdom/Luxembourg

Based on a novel by Tracy Chevalier this movie is a story of Griet a beautiful peasant who starts to work as a maid in the wealthy home of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and how she with her innocence and curiosity inspires the talented Vermeer, initially by assisting him and eventually by modelling one of his natural masterpieces. On an abstract plane there is a parallel and subtle exploration of the meaning and the boundaries of love {?} within and out of society in the uncertain backdrop of art.

The story is just a lovely fiction by Tracy Chevalier adding imagination to the making of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. Young Griet begins to work as a maid in the patrician family of Vermeer to support her financially struggling parents. Although illiterate she exhibits an innate understanding of subtleties of colour and light often unnoticed by Vermeer’s own lavish family mainly made of wife and mother in law. As she spends more time amongst the paintings, the studio turns into an imaginative respite and she finds herself slowly drawn into his world which in turn, offers him a natural way out from the bauble of his kitschy family before ultimately inspiring him to paint her as the model. And all through this, Vermeer finds himself torn between a dull family and his love for true art, while she conscious of the futility of their intrigue and the class distinctions finds herself in the affections of a native butcher boy. That a wealthy patron of Vermeer’s art also starts to develop more than a wild interest in Griet doesn’t help the quagmire any bit. Sailing through such testing waters, the story moves along to capture how, held by their conviction and bound by love for art they manage to be immortalised in one of the most genuinely captivating paintings ever. Beauty as it is aptly said inspires obsession.

Scarlett Johansson as griet is refined and breathtakingly luminous at times, Colin Firth(Vermeer) although just about manages to convince himself off the lover boy image, one tends to get a feeling that a more gifted actor would have justified the silent and intriguing chemistry between them better. The familial characters manage to fulfil the demands of their role quite unremarkably. Essie Davis as Vermeer's wife is just about tailor- made for the role. For veterans Tom Wilkinson(MasterVan Ruijven), Judy Parfitt( Maria Thins/Mother in law)and Joanna Scanlan(Tanneke) it is just another day in the office. Cillian Murphy(Pieter), as the love interest of griet shows promise.

It is the art direction that is quite outstanding to recreate the feel of 17th century Netherlands, in fact I can’t remember of any better reconstructed renaissance films amongst that I’ve seen. Since Olivia Hetreed has done a decent job in screenwriting, director Peter Webber’s role is reduced to unimaginative supervision with very little room to improvise.

The music, crowned by an alluring soundtrack aptly compliments the ambience of the movie. Eduardo Serra’s exquisite cinematography is a treat that justifies the motif of the movie as the different scenes are brilliantly captured in the artistic interplay of shadows and light.

To conclude, the story line is no where near exciting neither is anything sensational in the movie; this film is about and in images, and that is exactly what makes it a memorable viewing more than anything else, especially for viewers like me who think in images.So if you are the types who cherish computer aided imagistic memories, you are advised to give yourself an easier choice.



Push Barman to Open Old Wounds--CD compilation
Artist: Belle and Sebastian

Jeepster Recordings May 2005
UK price: £ 10.97

Convalescing from an arduous delirium is hardly a state preferred to write about the melody of Belle and Sebastian, so let me just keep the background brief.

Belle and Sebastian formed in 1997, is an enigmatic Glasgow based indie band named after French television show from the sixties.
I accidentally discovered them via a friend a while back and since then have been a huge admirer of the type of modern pop-chamber music they are renowned to craft. First for the sheer genius of their expansive experimentation and two for the subtle melancholic narrative in their lyrics which personally, I find so easy to identify with.
In a sense, they have come to mean what music means to me, - unique, evocative and evolving. Their core music is best described as a version of a cross between Simon Garfunkel and Dylan, and if you like either of them, I suggest you should give Belle and Sebastian a try, if you haven’t already.

As you listen, It’s not hard to see why you can’t recall of any active bands that sound as versatile as they sound. The unique feature, which lends identity (hence value) to the band is undoubtedly the wistful lyrics, written by front man Stuart Murdoch (mostly on Glasgow buses). It is backed by softish easy to fall in love with vocals, and a wide range of innovative music; the combination of all often reflecting a dreamy state of purposeless anomie in the suburban life.

And when I speak of lyrics, how many bands can come up with such words in their songs like this-?
ou are in two minds tossing a coin to decide whether you should tell your folks
about a dose of thrush you got while you were licking railings
and more importantly gotten away with them in perfect harmony?

The two CD compilation of twenty five songs , is a must have collector’s item, as it not only forms a decent introduction for a newbie but also has a good package of their more obscure tracks to an avowed fan.
The first CD is an assort of alluringly precious tracks of their folksy earlier songs, epitomised by their pensive lyrics. The variety of musical instruments complement the words and vocals to perfection.
It kicks off with the clever and whimsical dog on wheels that grows on you the more you listen, the second number, the state I am in is genius of a song-story told in clever fragmented tune followed by the gorgeously written simonseque string bean jean.
As you are still recovering from those haunting melodies, you are offered to savour Belle and Sebastian, a summery, suave number.
The next song is the crux of the CD, Lazy Line Painter Jane, a duet with guest vocalist Monica Queen the best of the compilation is flirtatiously evocative and undeniable of its brilliance in concept and execution. The experimental a century of Elvis sounds bit of Mike Skinneresque. le pastie de la bourgeoisie is an amazingly written and sung retro-treat A few other songs like Photo Jenny, Put the book back on shelf are in the magical league of their own making the CD as delicious as any CD can ever become. To say that this CD carries some of the most impressive music of our times is an understatement and an injustice.

The second CD formed mostly of their later songs, is patchy. It begins with the lengthy and ethereal this is just a modern rock song and goes on further to build up into other crisp melodies like I know where the summer goes and slow graffiti. The legal man, an amorphous tappy piece by Isobel is the undoubted star of the second CD .The later songs become extremely ordinary and characterless like in the instrumental Judy is a dick slap where you wonder whether you are just listening to any other chart pop band. The rest of the songs are unabashedly conscious only evoking at times the memory of the wistful charm so rich in the first CD but they fairly manage to carve their own pop identities as in Jonathan David, and The loneliness of a middle distance runner.

All in all it’s definitely a worthy compilation both on the pocket and ears, however my favourite Dear catastrophe waitress (Isn’t that friggin worthy to kill title?) is in another album of the same title!
If you haven’t listened to Belle and Sebastian you have definitely missed out on some sincere and soulful music of our generation, irrespective of whether you end up liking them or not.

So long,

Monday, September 05, 2005

Snowball da macao


ps: a random oulipo spark ends a long blue monday !

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Enroute and atop Aguada....

Although the uphill distance between the Resort de Aguada and the Aguada fort is said to be not more than a couple of miles, if you look around as you drive along the zigzagged road, it is bound to extend into one eventful voyage.

As you begin to climb, first you find a narrow channel of rivulet beside to your left; a type of makeshift quay enveloped in the lush of the greens cradling a few colourful ferries. Romeo, Meena, Dono Paula, Samrat, Miramar – these are some of the names anchored home for the time being. And even as you wish to savour it a bit more, the rivulet graduates into a fading estuary and vanishes deep into a mist of grey and eventually into a marine memory.

Drive further up and the air turns lighter and the alongside trees sparser, gently ushering you out in the open, naked to the burning sun overhead.

Along with your mumbles about the heat you slowly ascend the steeping road to be accosted by the growing horizon all around. You are due to struggle here with a feel of vaulting somewhere in the hollow provinces of this mid air handshake between the spotless chromed sky above and the scorched earth beneath.

Higher up, as the road levels; an odd moocow grazing lazily, a couple of electric poles, a remnant of a signpost and your moving shadow are all that you can expect to keep your company until you reach the fort atop the hill.

The fort, as you discover is but a segment of oddly shaped serpentine sepia wall groping out from within, mute in its mighty abandon. The main passage stoops down south only to rise again to the right arching initially into a tarmac and then into the ruins of erstwhile ramparts.

It is here you might find of interest to engage with a grey bearded elder squatting in the shade of a lonely bramble; who would, subject to his mood obviously, recount how the aging bricks of the fort are witness to the stories of birth, grandeur and bereavement. And true to his words you notice how like a grand old lady she ceaselessly swallows a retreating past overlooking an arabesque future of the liquid, solid and sky.

As the view claims a pinch of belief to register, you spare an odd thought to the fortune of all those sentries of the past who would have stood guard here everyday laying a vigilant gaze over the horizons, for even the last one of them would have died a poet for sure.

Perched atop on the far end of this summit, the distant face of the sea, dressed in shades of emerald, turquoise, indigo, taupe, grey, and at places smudged by the shadows of slow moving clouds and at places bristling in silver, stroked by the long hands of the sun is exceptionally serene in its silence and expanse. The floating freckles of petite islands in between are best described as sporadic, and so are the multi-ethnic vessels that float about in so painful a torpid that you are forced to give up on their activity after a while of close anticipation.

Your left horizon is taken by the strip of the city, mainly put together by the varied colours of concrete kiosks, draped by the berets and baggies of greens and quite often but not always- interrupted, protected and invaded by both the silent and foamy white arms of the ocean. A few metal spires intended for wireless communications stand atall here and there in the distant haze. You could surely imagine how in the night, the wind would haul ripples along the black waters distorting the pockets of orange reflects in the mist of city lights.

Unbiased, the sky hovers lazily over both the city and the ocean alike as if just in an eager wait to slide behind the veil that the murk of the night draws.

Once you have absorbed an eyeful of the all these , it is here, in the surrounds of this sentinel, you wish to come during those winter evenings when the breeze is just about pleasant to study some Neruda and perhaps Brodsky too[?], reminiscing over life among other such things.

For that, is unbearably beautiful, even to imagine.

~Aguada, Goa, India.

June 2005 draft very edited later.

PS: For FSB, thanks for the interruption

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

One moment you saunter tirelessly wading through the labyrinths of rows and columns in the library looking for your book only to give up finally in a sigh of grand futility but then you find the book being returned at the desk by a stranger wearing a smile.

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

And the next moment you find yourself discussing heartily with the same stranger (wearing the smile) everything under, within and beyond the sun in the nearest restaurant calling each other by the first names.

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

Then past such a lovely time, you both insist vehemently to pay for the memories and the pride ; only to realize that both of you have forgotten your wallets. (One of course invariably, suspects theft)

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

Then it hurts to realize that your mobile is out of charge and the other doesn’t carry one.

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

Then, as you pause , picturing your cheeks painted in the shades of embarrassed scarlet wondering how best to explain , you see your old mate walk in with his typical heavy strides and a charming smile!!

It's freaking strange isn’t it?

Now t-h-a-t is freaking strange !

she utters without taking the eye off her muffin.

Search Blog