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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

RIP

It was Time back in May which first let out the whispers of Benazir Bhutto’s possible power sharing alliance with Pervez Musharraf and their secret meetings in Abu Dhabi.
Right then we knew.

We knew , each and every one of us, that she was walking back not to her country but to her grave. And deep down, I suppose she had known as well, yet one cant be sure whether it was patriotism or power or a combination of both that compelled her to go back. But whatever it might be, no one can take away that she was brave. Something her killers arent.

Now, Pakistan would be in shards, and soon in splinters when Musharraf would be a victim of his inevitable fate. If things don’t resolve quickly ie if Pakistan doesnt accept it as an inevitable event without much bloodshed, as they have done before we might be looking at the first UN troops deployment there in the future. The year's not over yet. Not in Pakistan. It must be feeling like being in a videogame there.

Reminded me this extract from Micromegas by Voltaire ; this is a conversation between a Man, a gigantic inhabitant of planet Sirius who is visiting the earth and a tellurian philosopher. Although it does apply in many contexts, it has never been more apt.


“O ye intelligent atoms, in whom the supreme being has been pleased to manifest his omniscience and power, without doubt your joys on this earth must be pure and exquisite; for being unencumbered with matter, and--to all appearance-- little else than soul, you must spend your lives in the delights of pleasure and reflection, which are the true enjoyments of a perfect spirit. True happiness I have nowhere found; but certainly here it dwells.”

“We have matter enough,” answered one of the philosophers, “to do abundance of mischief…. You must know, for example, that at this very moment, while I am speaking, there are hundred thousand animals of our own species covered with hats, slaying an equal number of their fellow-creatures, who wear turbans; at least they are either slaying or being slain; and this has usually been the case all the earth from time immemorial.”

“Miscreants!” cried the indignant Sirian; “I have a good mind to take two or three steps, and trample the whole nest of such ridiculous assassins under my feet.”

“Don’t give yourself the trouble,” replied the philosopher; “they are industrious enough In securing their own destruction. At the end of ten years the hundredth part of these wretches were not survive…. Besides, the punishment should not be inflicted upon them, but upon those sedentary and slothful barbarians who, from their palaces, give orders for murdering one million of men and then solemnly thank God for their success.”

~ Micromegas, Voltaire

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Taare Zameen Par- Shaandaar

Between meals, gifts and other festive things somehow managed to watch Taare Zameen Par.
In terms of art per se it isn’t as good as it is extolled to be but given the context, the subject of the movie, the endemic attitude where in it was made, it is exceptional. The sincerity of the effort is evident in every frame. Acting is superlative and can hold on its own on any level. The music works well with the story but during the first half I thought it was used a bit liberally, esp. the background scores, when silence would have been more powerful. Overall could have done with a bit of polishing but thats just a cringe by someone who has watched too many movies for his age. More importantly the bar has been raised high from the screens of bollywood and high enough to be a flagship of cinema for an international projector .

The movie reached its glorious peak, to me, when aamir and ishaan exchange their paintings and nod at each other, both of them moved from their depths to reach a sense of mutual regard and understanding which I am sure even the greatest of the cinema reviewers cant be able to reflect on paper. And that dear friends is what makes cinema, well at least to me. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most powerful scenes in world cinema I have seen for a while.



And finally, in terms of child or child centred cinema, probably, Taare Zameen Par might not sweep the world into a hanky as Cinema Paradiso did in late 80s but the story is not just of any typical child or childhood, it is a special story of a special boy. And for that effort all credit should go to the man who deserves every molecule of it.

Ladies and gentleman, please take off your hats for Mr Aamir Khan.
May be there are better cinema-men in India , but I have not seen one.


PS :

  • I might have troubled a few of you for the Urdu word for splendid-- it is ali-shaan or more popularly shaandaar.
  • Sometime back I had put up the post Cinema Child, this would the newer, edited version.


    Cinema Children

Byproduct of a movie conversation….

8 must watch movies on childhood, in this particular order…

~Les quatre cents coups, (400 blows)
François Truffaut, France


~Nuovo cinema Paradiso
Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy

~Pather Panchali (The song of the road)
Satyajit ray, India

~Zamani barayé masti asbha (The time for the Drunken horses)
Bahman Ghobadi, Iran

~Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth)
Aamir Khan, India

~Mitt liv som hund (My life as a dog)
Lasse Hallström, Sweden


~Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander)
Ingmar Bergman, Sweden


~Ivanovo detstvo (Ivan’s childhood)
Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia

The latter two are not exclusively childhood movies, but still make for child centred cinema.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

TZP

Quite long back, we had returned from the premier of Lagaan , one of the only three bollywood movies I have watched in a cinema. A casual conversation in the campus made me jot down how we are witness to a monumental change in the history of bollywood thought. The scrap of paper found its way onto the canteen wall and subsequently, thanks to a friend into a magazine, earning me quite a sum. All I said in essence was to watch this Man.

After almost decade the time has arrived . Never have I hoped for the success of any movie like today. Good luck My Man!

PS- The intial responses have been promising. One of them, from someone valued being an easy academy nomination?

Dame Helen Mirren Joke

Its the hot joke now on every christmas meal. That Helen Mirren was made to turn around like a slave in a market, which traumatised her. That she felt like a piece of meat to remember it after forty long years, and sometime just about when her book was released in the market.

The Joke is a generation old. Im sure Dad and Uncle would have laughed at this while watching Age of Consent. That: Young Helens were saggy but very kind on us all.



And Here's Falstaff sharing his esteemed thoughts and making our day.

Meme Machine...

Here is the new meme. It is simple, easy and gives no room for whining one usually associates with a meme. All you have to do is select and upload one photo that you have clicked this year that is special to you. Could be anything...aesthetic, technical or personal. Also, put in a short note why it is special.

Here’s mine:

This one is special because it opened worlds for me this year. We were driving towards Lucerne in summer. I was reading on the famous Lion of Lucerne (Löwendenkmal) when J asked me: If I knew who described the monument as the most moving piece of stone he has ever seen.

Robert Byron? Eric Newby? Oscar Wilde?
It was Mark Twain.






Later , when I stood before the monument, I was mesmerised. It was exactly as Twain had described it. Before this, I have never believed that a stone could be made to express such a primary human emotion of despair.

The lion is stabbed in the back and lies dying in dolour and with deep anguish of betrayal amongst the broken sovereigns and symbols of the French royalty.

The monument is dedicated to the six hundred Swiss Gaurds who lost their lives guarding the Tuilleries and Versailles palaces and their royal inhabitants during the French revolution. It was designed by the talented Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. The Latin means: dedicated to the loyalty and courage of Swiss.


I observed how concise Twain was with his eyes and ink, hence dug up all his great travelogues, much to the shock of J who could never bring herself to believe that I hadn’t read them.

The Tramp’s Abroad
The Innocent’s Abroad

And the wonderful...Following the Equator (reading)

It has been a great find. Paul Theroux, Tony Hawks, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Chatwin, Bill Bryson, Stuart Maconie , Michael Palin I have read them a few adventurous travellers this year but No one has enriched me as much Twain has.


Here are the next, Thanks.
Mridula
Amit
Lavanya
Parikrama
Madhuri

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Six Degrees of Joyce to Bourne

James Joyce wrote a splendid short story called The Dead which was made into a movie by John Huston in 1987, who also made Moby Dick the famous 19th century novel by Herman Melville, who was the great grand father or great grand uncle ( different sources cite differently) of Richard Melville Hall fondly called Moby, who sang the title song Extreme ways for the Bourne movies whose amnesiac protagonist is Jason Bourne.

James Joyce

The Dead
John Huston
Moby Dick
Herman Melville
Moby

Jason Bourne

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Schneemann and My neck is thinner than a hair

At Tate, DLA Piper, 20th century art:



Carolee Schneemann


We walked through regarding everything as if we were watching the back of our palms. For that, all credit should go to this fruitful venture and the two souls, Elle and Kay.
It was great to finally catch up with some Bonnard's original nudes, merci. Also, caught up with Mike Nelson's work which I had missed earlier due to travel.
My neck is thinner than a hair (below) is an interesting history of the car bombs of Lebanon between 1975-1991.


Addendum:
We came back to see the car clamped. Bloody ticket machine it seems had given a two hour token instead of three for which I thought I had originally paid. Ended up paying a fine of sweet sixty quid. Plus the one the machine had gobbled. Wondered that meant a offseason airticket to Austria, (Ah! Innsbruck) , not to mention a dozen books I could have bought. Damn!
Well anyway, for the cost of sixty one quid, I am writing a letter explaining my helpless situation, not that I think anything positive would happen but just to try out all the new words/phrases I have been learning lately.
for instance, The machine, it appears likes to be a frondeur at times. At least the use of French should make who ever that reads to check it isnt an abuse.

Yellow Journalism...

Well, this is such a shame! The only soul in India who is striving to expand consciousness being interviewed by a haughty, useless journalist.


I think this is a journalistic reference of how not to conduct an interview.

Basics:

do not emphasise( You mussst knnnnow that!)
do not interrupt
do not attempt to disregard
do not announce you are a moron (take your time)
do not gesture your hand into the personal space of the interviewee
do not crack cheap jokes
and
laugh yourself like a cretin
do not talk in between
do not utter a bye while shaking hands
and finally
please, do not forget to thank the interviewee.

in short do not make a fool of yourself


as i said, these are the basics i picked up on one viewing. Im not at all getting into quality, coherence, flow, social-sense, intellectual regard and other miscellaneous trivia (Christie is outsold only by Bible and Shakespeare).

Thank God the man had the patience to bear with her, if it was someone else (imagine Galloway), Im sure she would have been traumatised for her life. If it was me, I would have slapped her after the second minute and politely told her what i thought of her, that she is not only an imbecile with a room temperature IQ but also a hopelessly ugly creature with an unforgivable dress sense.

Can someone put her on pension and relieve her burden.

PS Notice the transcript of th interview which has been sanitised on the website, and would give a totally diferent impression of the interview which is not remote from my experience of bloggers good on paper turning out to be first rate morons.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Joyce 2 Bourne?

The last Six Degrees I devised was perhaps in 17th century. But stuck in crawling traffic had an Arthur Koestler moment and, out of the blue, came this connection.

Leaving it open here for a few days for anyone to connect:

Six degrees between James Joyce and Jason Bourne ?

I shall post my answer next week.
I think my answer is easy, lets see if there are any other ways to do this?



James Joyce
....
....
....
....
....
Jason Bourne

Monday, December 10, 2007

Death by laughter and American Gangster

I was reading Alok‘s posts when I came across those comments there. It has been a while that I had read such indianish comments and now ended up choking on my ceaseless laughters. We dont grow up, do we?

Also, caught up the much awaited American Gangster. As expected, it is classy. The acting department especially, is perhaps the best for this year to come out from Hollywood. Check out the talent oozing out in the scene during the conversation between Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington , easily the two gifted actors around.

Btw, taht reminded me to get on with the post of favourite actors to watch for.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fornication Under the Consent of King

Late week surge, a 55er:

Having sex with words...

What do most humans tend to do when they are pushed to a corner, made indignant, disconcerted and helpless? It is invariably found that they resort to eloquence. Fuck you is the most commonly used, and probably because it manages to convey the profundity of the love than other phrases of wisdom, like Fuck-off or Motherfucker.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mammaries of the Welfare State



~Mammaries of the Welfare State

Monday, December 03, 2007

Types of Women...



glance
stare
ogle
talk
kiss
fuck
love
marry

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Golconda








These chaps challenged me I cant climb the Golconda Fort in 30 minutes. Therefore, it was done.


~Golconda, Hyderabad

Monday, November 26, 2007

St Mary's Island...



Off Mangalore, Arabian sea

In search of...




~ All for 24 quid.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Brainstorm: towards active concrete universal...


Have nicked this from will; in it i see a near depiction of the mental activity, as i know it.
Thanks.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado .... and The Dead

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two has been released today; had reserved it and expecting it soon. Having been a member of wordsmith I can say for sure that a story a day from the book would make the day more interesting. Evening teas would be tastier than ever.

Speaking of books, it is very annoying to see every Tom Dick and Harry who is a chef or telly presenter or beautician or wrestler or one of those who had carved a career out of their cleavage taking up space and time for their book-signing sessions at the book stores. I had to put up with all the drama in many a bookshops across many a cities lately. In fact countries. The pain entails putting up with hordes of pop-ulations who cant maintain any decorum and generally make a Leicester square at the ground floor. Moreover they drift off here and there with their cameras cramping up space, getting in way of the regulars demanding to be trampled. It would be immense relief to all the parties if a bus is parked in one of the adjacent side alleys with the writer or their ghost-writer inside ready with a pen and make all the admirers walk into the bus with their book copies and cameras. As a bonus they would all get a cctv footage with the author. It would be still more wonderful if the bus drives away with all of them and their idol aboard. They can claim for rest of their lives that they had been on a bus with so and so . Eejits.
If not for the pleasure of slowly wading through racks and racks of books, Amazon would have done the job.


Amongst other things, this article made me recollect my thoughts on the short story. With all my conviction I believe that short story is the real tangible unit of writing as against a novel where the content might easily overrule the craft of writing. Also, a novel as an art form is less restrictive and has more room for one ’s self expression thereby limiting the art per se. By this I mean, with some direction and commitment, one can search a material in one’s experience and convert it into decent novel. A short story on the other hand is more demanding on the imagination as well on the technicalities of writing.

Coming to the list , I haven’t read three in there, but I see it’s a decent list. Still there are gross overlookings- No Borges, No Dahl, No Calvino No Nabokov et al
But to be fair it’s a personal list -- but It would have felt better if The Dead had moved up to the top. Nose is a brilliant satire but like any satire, is limited in its depth. Just like a good animation. But The Dead is multi layered and deeply universal. It is my personal favourite; the ending is agreeably the most tender that literature has known. I remember reading it for the first time in a public library when I was young - a dogeared Dubliners in a bit of a state; no cover and no healthy spine.
I still recall the feeling; it is very hard to put into words. I didn’t know the author and the book at that time and moreover was devouring relentlessly everything so gradually I forgot about it. But the second time , a few years later , as I started reading it I instantly knew I had read it. It all came back in one instant. As I said before, tender. See even after all these years and after so many readings that's all I can bring myself to say.
The latter half of the story is a reflection of the delicate sharpness of Joyce’s mind. In the last paragraphs, if you can, you can find, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Stendhal and even Henry James.
Pure Bliss!!


PS- Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to pen such great prose ?

But we know the answer for that dont we? It would simply feel like writing the greatest prose starting somewhat stately and ending in a yes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cellini's Revenge

Writes Eric Newby introducing Benvenuto Cellini* as a Florentine of violent and homicidal predisposition who was the most skilful metal worker of his day.

Cellini’s autobiography which he has tastefully named Autobiography is a must read; Wikipedia regards it as one of the most important autobiographies of the renaissance era. Without a doubt. To say the man is fascinating is to put it mildly. Perhaps it is for their confident eccentricities that I associate him with Herbert Spencer.
Here is an extract where he plots revenge against an innkeeper.

A few days afterwards we set out on our return to Florence. We lay one night at a place on this side Chioggia, on the left hand as you go toward Ferrara. Here the host insisted upon being paid before we went to bed, in his own way; and when I observed that it was the custom everywhere else to pay in the morning, he answered: 'I insist on being paid overnight, and in my own way.' I retorted that men who wanted everything their own way ought to make a world after their own fashion, since things were differently managed here. Our host told me not to go on bothering his brains, because he was determined to do as he had said. Tribolo stood trembling with fear, and nudged me to keep quiet, lest they should do something worse to us; so we paid them in the way they wanted, and afterwards we retired to rest. We had, I must admit, the most capital beds, new in every particular, and as clean as they could be. Nevertheless I did not get one wink of sleep, because I kept on thinking I could revenge myself.


He goes on further musing about plans of arson or how he can manage to sever the throats of four fine horses in the stable that he had noticed earlier. But eventually he abandons his tall plans and settles for shredding into ribbons the four fine beds (most capital) and after the deed is pleased with himself for having caused a damage of at least fifty crowns. The escape is quite cinematic.

The book is full of such adorable pulp.

*I gather from Italian friends that though is pronounced as Chellini not to be mistaken with Giovanni Chellini at V&A.

Three...

Elle , picked it from the ether like she usually does.
So they are bothered if its three times a day or thrice.

To improvise Mr. Henry Ford, you can have whichever you want as long as it is sex.
Im a thrice man myself, whiskey whiskey whiskey.
Just like Talaaq Talaaq Talaaq!
I find three times a day bit, hmmm, well, rural. Hell with the teachers. If at all have to use three times a day It sounds better in Latin Ter in Di TID

Amen.

This reminds the trivia that Pythogoras believed number three embodied the universe. Or was it four?

Post-modern pregnancy

Well. What is the goddamn term for the space and time in your consciousness when you carefully weigh in whatever you wish to say when you enter a post-modern party; Yeah like the ipod or Bluetooth what is this exclusive moment of our times - one is from Fiji and someone is from some town in Netherlands with so many js and so many ks , all together or in a queue that you cant even think of pronouncing it properly even when you are most sober; then someone is a blonde, so no blonde jokes, someone’s dad is an accountant ; and then someone could be a Tory or a Jew ; someone is always a Malayali; someone just broke up, someone is going out with Greek girl, someone who pronounces schedule as the Americans do, someone in a loss, gorgeous looking Muslim women who always make you wonder if they drink or not and there is always someone who has seen a documentary on channel four and believes people would be killed in India if they don’t agree for arranged marriage; yes, there is always an ex addict, and people with disagreeing views on charity or American foreign policy, there is always the covert communist of course, and a feminist with whom you end up arguing after a few drinks because you asked her if the feminists get the headache too? and a geek boy who knows by rote all the frames of all the David Lean Movie; there are left-handers invariably - so you don’t wanna offend their sensibilities too.
Between walking in and knowing the composition of the revellers, the post-modern mind has to register and process so much global information and make sure it comes across as politically correct and sensible for everyone in the motley crew. So its about time we had a term ?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Turner 2007



Response wall at the Turner Prize Exhibit; Tate Liverpool.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chinese Whispers

The measure of your worth is your judgement, not information.

~extracted from an im convo. context: It aint cool to know a lot when you dont know what the heck you're talkin about.

Yes, Hell is the other blogger.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mcguffin

Ha! How wonderful! The Hitchcock collection has come down to 30 quid from 99 quid. This was at Meadowhall Leeds. So remember dear reader good things happen to those who wait.

Btw whatever happened to that Coppola laptop with rushes of latest Matt Damon movie? Any joy?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blend

One of the most relatable Post-modern poems Ive come across recently, From Michael O'Siadhail's Globe.

Blend

Beyond each heartland over millennia
exodus, migration, scattering,
eternal Jew, Chinese sojourner
Or wherever green is worn.

Remember how many thrived in Babylon,
exile and rover making good
Or darker musics of belonging
Blues, calypso, reggae.

As both before Europe's lines and maps
And in gaps and interstices then,
Even more so now that all
Our frontiers shift and leak.

Every homeland falls short of our desire.
...che retro la memoria non pio ire--
memory can't backtrack-
Dante dreams onward.

Uprootedness, estrangement, our starting again.
As in the beginning and maybe always
blends of memory, story, myth ;
cross oceans of longing.

~Michael o’ Siadhail

Ficcione -1

For T

Someone suggested we move to the upper deck; we stood near the railings open to the grey sea and watched the gulls fly home. Through the distance we could make out the hazy cliffs of Dover. We stood there and conversed about something I wasn’t particularly interested in. As the night fell, I kept on gazing into the growing darkness.
A young man sat at the far end of the deck and was strumming a guitar. People listened, gently clapping around him. It reminded me of something which I couldn’t remember anyway.
I was so occupied with myself I had forgotten she was still beside me.

I realised only when a pleasant breeze gathered momentum and swept her untasselled hair over my face. After all these days, after all what had happened I still found my heart swelling like a night sea in front of me. It was unbearable.


~ Dublin

Saturday, October 20, 2007

iwinter...

Yes , summer’s officially over.

And this one’s been not too bad.
Enter winter.Through the ajar arms of autumn.
All the sought after books , movies and other essentials have been collected and hoarded.
Do what we have to now.
Escape.
To somewhere below the equator.
Godspeed.
Sri Lanka and India.
Christmas back in Netherlands.

Levi
Bellow
Saidhail
And
Spinoza.
Bit of Upanishads if time permits.
And Orson Welles of course.


Somewhere over Ireland.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Find

Meaning to write about this for a while, but couldn’t get around to. Of all the writing in Indian blogs I have checked this one is a damn neat find . When I say writing I mean writing , not feminist gimmicks, not desperate attempt at humour , not projecting images of poet-scholar, not pathetic attempts of eastern European movie reviews . The lady’s writing is uniquely charming as what the critics would call the voice. Well. Whatever. If you overlook some general inexperience and rites of passages there is quite definite flair for sure. Especially the earlier blogs.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

By the way


Red army, Royal Mile , Edinburgh

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Radiohead In Rainbows.. Its really up to you

Well Well. Radiohead have gone ahead and done it. What was begging to be done since ipod revolutionised the concept and melody of music.

Radiohead’s aversion to the music industry is as well known as their innovation and creative talent. Now as we all learnt over the last few days, they are selling their albums directly from their website from today for a price that you are willing to pay. As they see its really up to you.This could range from free to up to hundred quid for downloading their latest ten tracks.Whatever that you want to pay. I am told that the site doesn’t accept more than one hundred pounds.

And I am still mulling over and discussing this idea just like anyone on the island. At the moment I find it wonderful and I have neither thought for myself nor have been presented with any argument to disfavour the idea. The only concern is with music lobby going contract happy creating a hierarchy of useless music. But hey it cant get any worse than it is now. And then there is a also a risk of decadence of music in general, making it hard to discover your kind of music amongst loads of substandard garage bands. But it’s all speculative, got to wait and see. I have a feeling this is just a first throw of stone. Things would take a different course as we go along.
Anyway talking of the music as such, I paid a fiver ( which I believe is a reasonable price considering that all of it directly goes to the band) and downloaded the ten tracks.

Its good mostly and brilliant at parts. Typical Radiohead but not complexly fragmented as Kid A(I don’t dislike it). But to my taste I did not find it extraordinary. But we ought to bear in mind we almost subconsciously compare any of their album to OK Computer which perhaps is the best album of the last century. Except perhaps one. Well Never mind.

Download Website

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yellow

And it was all yellow....



~Somewhere abouts Yorkshire

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quarantine Deux..

Fundamentally it is our own basic thoughts that possess truth and life, for only these do we really understand through and through. The thoughts that we have read are crumbs from another's table, the cast-off clothes of an unfamiliar guest.

~Arthur Schopenhauer, On thinking for yourself, Essays and Aphorisms

Come September, as before, we go on exile to check the hypotheses. Ofcourse, as you all know, I am a sick man ...I am a spiteful man.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Skip James' gem...

1966 version of Devil got my woman. Unfortunately, not the 1931 version.
Anyway, Music, without such, life is a mistake.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

20 consonant poetry..

my zen lovers,
we go to dhaka quay

boxpay

joycafe.



Here for more.

Urban Moods


~Dublin, between inebriation and romance

Monday, September 17, 2007

William Shatner's Dog..

Boy next door Stephen Fretwell has released Man on the Roof last week which is a nice cross between dylanesque and damien ricey music. You could visit him here, watch videos, listen to featured songs and also sign up for a free download of the song What, which you would find very strummable if you are a guitar player.

Btw: William Shatner's dog is a title of a song.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mclaren Fine...

And this is how sports should be run. A punishment married to a warning.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Paradigm...

Thinking of you Alex,
this noon, I let the world
pass between
my sips of cappuccino;

How,
you would have disapproved
drinking cappuccino
later in the day.

Perhaps this is

Exactly at the moment when
you are composing a mail

about how
wonderfully free it feels
to hang by the Bandra fast local.



There is a woman next table
with a man; perhaps early days of
courtship or
an affair. I cant be sure.

she says to him: 8800
isn’t
as user friendly as 8820.

Blackberry obviously.



Perhaps

This is what it is.

Living.

A single template folded
into different unique shapes and
forms.

Infinitely.

You see. He was right.


Bloody Borges.

Inkyfeet..


All the travel journals that need to be edited, bawdlerized and electonicized.

8 Randoms

Well, Long overdue.Eight random things about yours truly, I'm sure the greeks had a word for them.

1. If I am doing something that I like, I can go sleepless and foodless for days together. The last time I did it was when watching Truffaut collection for 2 nights non stop in a movie club. The longest I have done is 15 days at a stretch. Was young then. But I still can do incorrigible tasks, ergo my popularity during crises.


2. Like most of my friends I hated technology for a long long time. We resisted buying our own mobiles quite late in our lives. But it seems technology had the last laugh. Now I am surrounded by gadgets on all sides. Apart from endless dozens of gadgets I have four laptops and three mobile phones(work n personal). Ridiculous.


3. For all the talk I am quite valueless. Which makes me unbelievably adaptable and flexible. I think mom identified it long back. I had laughed it off when she had told me I could survive any place or premise as far back as 12. But I have come to realise that is true.

4. I am easily attracted to older women because they are more intelligent and expend the inanity. I like the innocence and believability of younger women. But sadly I cant come to associate myself with them. As a principle I rule out anyone less than 22, and it is the women over 35 who tend to be really, women.

5. I can read people reasonably quick. Strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t.
Since there is always something on my mind, it would take about six continuous months for people to say that they have known me.

6. I have a sharp, crookedly dry sense of humour. Grating almost. God save me, no you.

7. I got the perfect long stroke handwriting taught by my mom and a teacher polished it further. It so became a part of my identity that I was fed up of it. Now I have 27 versions of handwriting.

8. I can understand perspectives effortlessly, so it is easy for me not to hate anyone, but I get easily angry when people pretend to talk about something as if they know everything about it. When all they know is gammon and free cocktails. Classical examples would be Indian journalists/copy editors writing movie reviews when they cant even look someone in the eye for a few seconds while talking(close up/deep focus real time shots) or when they haven’t even held a DV camera in their hands. Talk Talk. I hate that. Probably that's the only thing I hate.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cinema children...

Byproduct of a movie conversation….

7 must watch movies on childhood, in this particular order…

~Les quatre cents coups, (400 blows)
François Truffaut, France


~Nuovo cinema Paradiso
Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy

~Pather Panchali (The song of the road)
Satyajit ray, India

~Zamani barayé masti asbha (The time for the Drunken horses)
Bahman Ghobadi, Iran


~Mitt liv som hund (My life as a dog)
Lasse Hallström, Sweden


~Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander)
Ingmar Bergman, Sweden


~Ivanovo detstvo (Ivan’s childhood)
Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia

The latter two are not exclusively childhood movies, but still make for child centred cinema.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blimey and Bollocks

1. How to feel up a feminist...?




All characters , events, based on real persons.

Buffalo Soldier..


Friday, August 24, 2007

On long lost truths..

There are some truths that are eternal, they dont change in shape or form. One of very first such ones that I remember is the one I picked up at school.
It was written and hung up on the class room ; we sat before it day after day not knowing what it really meant. And it was only long after completing school that the eternity of its value dawned on me.
Most of the readers who went to school with me might remember;

There is no substitute for hard work.
After all these years it still awes me how applicable it is all across regardless of anything and everything.

And I was reminded of this now because I found another favourite on youtube recently. When I had first come across it long back , I had marked the page in the book and went back to it many times over a period of time to chart how I was changing myself.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ghost world...crazy diamonds

I had to check this video out after the song was featured on the Ghost World soundtrack. Absolutely crazy, but, frigging brilliant. Why is that all the good things have to be dug up always?



Ps-I think the term crazy doesnt even remotely justify her ecstasy. Since the clock runs anticlockwise, check the lady from 54 to 44 seconds. The Australians have a term for such enviably rapturous and incorrigible madness. Its as crazy as a cut snake derived from how a cut snake prances all over the place. Thats the term wanted.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bourne FAQs

Things that you always wanted to know about Jason Bourne but didnt know where to ask.
When is the Bourne computer game scheduled to be released?
Most of the Bourneseries computer game is now complete and should be available for entertainment in a few months.

Is Bourne ambidextrous?
Bourne is a natural right hander, however he is trained to use both his hands on a reflex level.

My girlfriend doesn’t like Bourne, what should I do?
Buy her a card and Harry potter book and say good bye.

Is Bourne gay?
Ha Ha you wish, asshole.

I have motion sickness. Should I take Dramamine before watching the movie?
Unfortunately we cant answer that question without being a snob. You can take your brain to the cinema instead. If you have one.

I don’t like Bourne at all but my son adores him. What should I do?
You should get a DNA test.

I love the story of Bourne ultimatum but I found the editing too pacy ? What do you think?
I think your cinematic sense is zero. You should stick to help movies like Titanic
make millions, where they take three hours to sink a ship. Or go and find the Holy grail or something.


I see no artistic value in constantly shaking the camera. Isn’t it abusive towards the audience?
Not exactly. Perhaps a lesser audience yes. Let us restate the premises once again and forever.

Bourne is not your typical action movie which is often a pot pourri of this, that and everything possible like card games or drinking orange juices or cheap dialogues. Bourne is action from the word go, to such an extent that it is futile even to discuss the theory of action.


Any real cinema enthusiast would pick up that the director makes it clear in the Moscow prologue shots what’s it all about.

Bourne is being pursued to be killed.
Bourne is traumatised by his past.
Bourne has to fight.
Bourne doesn’t want to kill.(my argument is not with you)

That’s the template. There is no further plot or story. Its only the form which takes precedence over content. People who often complain of unwatchable shaky camerawork overlook the fact that Bourne lives only in present. Unlike other action heroes who choose to fight consciously, Bourne performs on a subliminal reflex level. Things happen even before they happen and as we see they happen constantly throughout the movie. Moreover, Bourne doesnt represent anything; as he says, he is just fighting for himself, no glorious cause or secret mission. So when you are telling a story of such a man, you would have to be really naïve to use deep focus photography, linear perspective or long shots to make sure that the audience comprehend the plot. Lets leave the Tom Cruises and Steven Spielbergs to that.

Bourne is basically about two unique attributes, pace and motion. Any such story with involves such dynamism is justified only by singular narrative. And since Bourne himself doesnt know the whole story, the camera has to narrate only bits and pieces of his perspective as the events progress in the movie. That’s what makes Bourne special. Why do you think the music is so tick?

Let me illustrate what I have said above with a few scenes I remember:

Consider the scene where he is assaulted by agents at the Waterloo station. The action is so fast that you cant see all the agents in one single shot. Camera, often alternating between Bourne's field of vision, and the approximate field of action, narrates how quickly the fight takes place - an arm being swung here and a limb being kicked there. Motion, space and pace. It is only because of this you feel the energy in the movie, which is what Bourne is all about. Fast decisions, quick thinking, classical ground espionage. It would be unpardonable crime if you put three medium range cameras and edit the action for the viewing comfort of the audience. Then, the visual information would simply be processed as in any other action movie: the hero fought bravely to disable few chaps. The very essence of Bourne would end up being stymied.

The only alternate to depict such intense fast action would be to have multiple cameras at different angles and fast edit it so that perspective expedites the illusion. This has been used in some movies. The one I can remember from the top off my head is Hannibal. The first market action sequence by Julianne Moore has no less than six cameras. If you watch the scene you would see. Although such a technique would definitely increase the pace of action, It would in no way justify Bourne's lightning reflexes. In case of Bourne where the action itself is the story, the pacing has to be far more innovative. Hence the haste. The camerawork is not novel; as mentioned earlier the technique has been used before fleetingly - classical example being Saving Private Ryan. In Bourne its used throughout, because it needs to be used. Also if you notice, in other parts of the movie, the editing and camera are used as tools to set the pace, often slowing down and often building up the speed of the movie.

Consider one another scene; the first CIA meeting at Langley: the shots are edited with quickly varying subjects of focus not lasting than a few seconds. It is a tool purely to narrate the heat in the room and as a build up for further action. That’s what is the art of cinema all about, isn’t it?
And if you look back, whenever directors have tried innovation in narrating a story like Memento, Pulp Fiction, The Blair Witch Project etc people have complained that their head aches or knee hurts or that they feel sick. It is only sensible to suggest they see a good doctor.

Anyway, the bottom-line is this. If the camera was not uni-narrative , Bourne wouldn’t be half the Bourne he is . And for thinking through this, and creating a great series the credit should go to Greengrass and Damon.

I am, in this context reminded of Jules et Jim where Truffaut blazes through the movie with jet engine narration. And what about Eisenstein's earlier ones where the viewer's attention is commanded mercilessly ? It's only because of these unique creative expressions, they are what they are now.

And, ladies and gentlemen, let this be heard, we are witness to one such unique creative narrations here. Rest assured, I am convinced, this is going to kick off something big , as if it hasnt already. (Remember Makers of Casion Royale admitting of going through miles of earlier Bournes clippings?)


All the talk apart, look who was Bourne today?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fonejackers inc..

The faulting, dear Brutus, is not in our starrings,
but in ourselves, that we are underlingtinngdings.
—From Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)




For those of you who havent yet known about the Fonejacker, check out this ribshaking real comedy.







For Racial correctness, here are the other equally hilarious picks:









Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bourne memo..

Woah!! There’s lot of noise made about the editing and camerawork used in Bourne ultimatum, especially from our friends across the pond. Also, some of my friends here have said that they find the camerawork too free and compromising the action. For now, I’m saying that I shall give my defence in detail laters.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Future is history...



This is it. We’ve just returned from the Ultimatum and I can easily say it is the best action movie we’ve had for a while. Damon has carved a niche for himself, believe me I cant see anyone else as Bourne. He has come to portray the perfect emotional and professional core of the man chasing his past.



Greengrass is superb; he breaks every single rule of action filming* thus almost innovating a genre that can only be termed as dactionmentary. The chase sequences are right at the top , on par, and at times even better than Ronin. John Powell, holds onto his standards of earlier Bournes. What more, there are no unwanted women who walk before the camera just playing women.

As Greengrass himself put it so wonderfully: Its not about looking at woman in a bikini coming out of the sea.

Can I just add to that, neither at a man. Nor passing 20 minute sequences of playing card games for action movie. This is pure business. Smashing in every sense of the word.

* almost no angle lasts more than a moment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Les Lauriers sont coupes..

Opening segment of Dujardin's Les Lauriers sont coupes, one of the loveliest openings for any book and more significantly the paragraph that inspired James Joyce to get into Stream of consciousness.

Evening light of sunset, air far away, deep skies; a ferment of crowds, noises, shadows; spaces stretched out endlessly; a listless evening.
And, from the chaos of appearance, in this time of all times, this place of places, amid the illusions of things self-begotten and self-conceived, one among others, one like the others yet distinct from them, the same and yet one more, from the infinity of possible lives, I arise.
So time and place come to a point; it is the now and here, this hour that is striking, and all around me life; the time and place, an April evening, Paris; an evening of bright sunset, a monotone of sound, white houses, foliage of shadows; a soft evening growing softer, and the joy of being oneself, of going one's way; streets, crowds and, in air far aloft, outstretched, the sky; Paris is singing all around me, and languorously composes in the mist of ended shapes a setting for my thought.

~ Edouard Dujardin, Les lauriers sont coupes , Translation: Stuart Gilbert


Its Paris, but not April though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post Traumatic Post Modernism...

Oulipians are Rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape.
~Raymond Queneau



The message was handwritten. Cursive feminine letters. As known - It was a healthy girl. The mother was fine, a bit exhausted. His secretary earnestly congratulated. And there were many handshakes . He cut short the meeting and cancelled the day’s schedule.

He has seen this many times. Yet he cannot remember . Or forget. It is neither prose nor poetry, it is like a critique. A complete stranger reserving the power to hurt you. Again and again.

The dark torsos of trees were trailing rapidly beside the road. The leaves rustled in the wind. Autumn is a wretched season. Full of remembering , forgetting and longing he thought as he drove on.

They all had agreed to call her Susan after her late aunt. All the requisite shopping had been completed a week before the expected day. Grandma had even knitted a pair of tiny woollen socks. Pink coloured.


He continues in this state. Of speculations. Ifs and If nots. And If onlys. A world opens inside his head, drawing him away from everything , mostly himself. It doesn’t hurt after a while. He just gasps when he wakes.

On the way he thought of buying a champagne and a box of Thornton’s . He decided to take a right at the next intersection. It felt so ethereal for a minute. Almost. To be a dad.

When he wakes up at night, he finds himself shivering and drenched in sweat. He silently watches the arcs of light from the passing traffic climb onto the room walls. He tries to remember. But nothing comes to his mind. His despair is married to the fact. That he has to live with it. He weeps.

The autumn sun sunk slowly in the greying sky, casting long sombre shadows. The traffic was light. He hummed along with Cohen on the radio as he turned right. He wasn’t driving too fast. But as it often happens, he just couldn’t stop when he wanted. It was too late.

The girl wore a pink skirt. She had turned seven a week before.
It was later in the hospital mortuary he learnt she was called Susan.



PS- I have exercised my chosen constraints. The consciousness has been cut into four slices each. Present and Past alternates in successive paragraphs. Admixed tenses are symbolic of this. The last two lines is a specific attempt aimed towards a reader who requests an easier understanding.


The motif is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dealt in present, while the event is a memory of the past. The write-up is a depiction of a nightmare in the ailment.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sort of rant.

Between downloading songs and making birthday calls, I have spent the last thirty minutes of my life, reading blogs from the Indian blogosphere I notice a lot of people writing absolutely mindless stuff , like hey its wrong to be judgemental or hey that’s a generalization etc.

I want to say just this. Consider it as learning or if worst prejudice.

I am because I judge people. If I am not judgemental what am I supposed to do-- Breathe in and breathe out? Even a potato can do that. It is our judgement which makes us what we are, the point however is, to borrow a unique phrase from a certain unshaved gentleman, to change it.

And to change it , you should be open to reason.

Next, -- try placing your tender palm over a burning candle, even before you realise you would have withdrawn it into safety. Now do it again. And again. Well, if you have done it thrice as I had asked you, there is something wrong with you. Because even a two day old lab rat knows better.

And that’s the basic tenet of functioning of consciousness, first to associate the various stimuli and subsequent responses into wholes which are then generalised by learning. We learn because we associate and generalise. The point as usual is how rational would you be with your generalisation.

Over and out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

oNe TwO ThRee...

bLuE gRey BLaCk
bLacK.

dRiViNg bIkINg WalKiNg
BiKInG.

GoDaRd TrUfFauT FeLLiNi
TRuffAut.

IzZaRd ClEEsE SellErS
SEllERs.

JAsOn BoUrNe JaMeS bONd AUsTin POwErs
JASOn BoUrNe.

PAraDisE LoSt MaHabHAraTa ODysSeUs
MaHaBHarAta.

KUNdeRa MArqUez MuRakAmi
KuNdERa.

LoNdOn EdinBuRgH DuBlIn
EDInbUrGh.

PotATo pEPper BroCColLi
pEppEr.

KAtIE MeluA JoSs sToNe NiNa SiMoNe
KaTie meLuA.

LaGeR BeeR GUinNeSs
GuInNesS.

scaRlEt joHaNsSon mOnIca bEllUcI cATheRine ZeTa JoNEs
ScaRlet JohAnSsoN.

BEacH MoUnTaiNs CitY BreAk
MouNtaInS.

BaCh MoZarT BeEthoVen
BeEthOveN.

TreAclE TiRaMisU BlAck FOreSt
TiraMiSu.

Amis BaNVille McCarThY
BaNvILLe.

MaN U CheLseA LiVerPooL
LiVeRpOoL.

JOhN GalT LeoPOLd bLooM AttIcUs FinCh
LEopOLd BloOm.

GIlChrisT KAlliS FLiNToFF
GiLChriSt.

BMw AUdi vW
vW.

BoB dyLAn MaRvIn GaYe LeoNARd CoHeN
DyLAn.

PAniNi FiSh n cHiPs, SuShi
FiSh n ChiPs.

Toni MoRriSon JeAnEtTe WiNtERsOn MaRgareT aTWooD
AtWOoD.

BoNNard CeZzaNne MoNet
BoNnArD.

EMaIl TeXt SNaIl MaIl
SNAiL mAil....

Monday, August 06, 2007

On Her Majesty's Secret Service


Cat got your tongue?
Knowsley, Liverpool.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Jason is Bourne again...

Jason is no spiderman or no James Bond. He is professional yet vulnerable; he fears and is feared by, he fights everything and everyone including himself. And thats why we love him. Jason is Bourne again tonight. Have been told that it is slick and stunning as it can ever get; I cant wait to watch it. I have fond memories of the series, it represents one of the great reading time during my teens. And unlike other movies that have let down their parent books, Bournes have been remarkable. And there is John Powell, of course.



Take anything- Action, editing, cinematography, script etc; one of the rare instances where 21st century technological entertainment has faithfully reflected the imagination of the 20th century.

PS- Soundtrack was released last week, anyone know why its not on itunes?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Engelburg


Town of Engelburg, as seen from Mt. Titlis
Switzerland.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Walking in Circles.....

The satisfying feature of this time’s Circle line walk was that it was totally unplanned, on the spur of the moment decision. Also, It is more significant because except for my first attempt, my two other casual attempts were aborted, or rather incomplete. The day was perfect, and the company committed. We were just hanging about the Tour de france fever and suddenly decided around noon to try ambulating the circle line. A lazy friend who had woken up to a Sunday brunch joined in. We started quite late from Tower hill station, around 2 in the noon and took our own sweet time during the walk; discovering places, clicking snaps, sharing stories etc. We even found time for a big meal in between and a large burpy drink.






It was all going great until we discovered that we were still at Paddington quite late in the day. What followed was most memorable- a very strong exhibition of resolve and will to complete it at any cost.
Since it wasnt planned we had just come in our casual shoes, which made our tired feet ache unbearably. Though the walker I am, I have never experienced such miserable pain ever. The walk between Pancras and Farringdon was excruciating, with fleeting thoughts of abandoning the venture. But we pulled through, pepping one other with all the stories, anecdotes, histories, we never knew we had within us. By the time we reached Lime street, we were dead knackered. But the sheer madness and pride was such we insisted on completing it inspite of all the moaning and cringing. Thankfully from now on we were aided by a friend who amidst enjoying our miseries from his cosy comfort, guided us all the way over the phone through the darkest but shortest avenues of London. By the time we had circled off back into Tower Hill it was just past midnight. And an air of rare accomplishment filled our beings, escaping out as a huge Hurrah that alarmed a few Spanish tourists hanging around the station. Very few circumambulations have been as satisfying as this. And I have done a few.
Next day we pushed on to France pursuing the Tour de France racers; It was only in Calais that I noticed my feet were full of blisters. And I tell you it was worth each one of them.

PS-Next is the C2C, it cant be any impulsive, needs meticulous planning; but shall be done.


Snap: London Eye, South Bank London.

Marksburg....



Day after day I had woken up to this view on a calendar featuring the castles of Europe. And one day when I saw the same view not on a calendar but off my window, It wasn’t all surprising that I felt quite at home.
~ Marksburg, off the besotting Rhine Valley , Koblenz
Germany.

Monday, July 23, 2007

We'll always have Paris...

Doesn’t matter what you have read or heard about Champs-Élysées , you have to stand on that stretch of bikilometre between Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe to appreciate how grand and elegant it is. At night, it transforms into a beauty as much a beauty any city can afford. The flowing traffic, the impeccable lighting with its sea of revelling humanity, adds an air of sophisticated charm that is not paralleled anywhere else.



Dearer, yes. But worth every cent of it. Comparison is a crime but just to weigh in the scales- even Dublin, with its fabled Temple Bar locale seems puny. All credit should of course go to the French, for their enviable sense of beauty and for taking elaborate pains in not turning it into a Piccadilly circus or Times square. Though it is the heart of fashion empire there is not a single halogen light flashing a product. When I enquired about it I was glad to find out that it is illegal to put on any flashy advert on the avenue. By-lanes yes, but not the main street. In fact it is a rule that all the names of the shops on the historical avenue should be in white. Here’s a story-

When McDonald’s with their business eye opened an outlet on the Champs-Élysées, they put on their gaudy yellow big m logo. The French being French explained the rules governing the street advertisement and received a typical American taste for a reply stating it was their logo and therefore they had the right to put it up in front of their franchise. Etcetera.

To this, The French served them their best wine and how only the French can do asked them sweetly to fuck off elsewhere. Of course not in as many words. Well now, If you happen take a look at the McDonalds on Champs-Élysées you would find it in a decent white without any sunrise yellow logo.

But hey its not all bullying , the outlet puts forth the most profit for any McDonalds outlet outside United States. So both are la happy .

Had it been any other part of the world where a sense of aesthetics is buyable, the grand avenue would be a neon nightmare by now but not here. Champs-Élysées is acclaimed as the most beautiful street in the world- La plus belle avenue du monde and it shows how much it takes to hold on to it.




1. At 2 am on a saturday morning
2. On a lazy very very hung over Paris sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

On the art of innocence.....

It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely --and why?

We're still reminded--: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.

And became as lonely as a sheperd
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us.


~Rainer Maria Rilke, Childhood.





Undoubtedly one of the most adorable photos I have snapped.
~ Somewhere opposite Lake Léman, Geneva.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Musée du Louvre

as seen from atop the Eiffel:



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ash Wednesday,

On days like these
When the sky hangs heavy
And the rains do not
Cease,
I have my lunch
thinking
How it would be
to have a lunch
Without
thinking of you.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In progress

In the miasma that is my consciousness, I did not want to let this slip by. A recent im conversation with an old friend led to a discussion about the actors we like / promisng actors we ought to watch out for. Didnt want to miss writing a few lines about them here so just putting up the list we made as a reminder. shall write once time permits.


Benicio del toro
Billy crudrup
Edward Norton
Mark ruffalo
Jacqueline phoenix
Tobey macguire
Robert Carlyle
Philip Hoffman
Jack black
Cillian Murphy
James spader

Friday, June 29, 2007

Stare....





When you look at her, she looks back at you.
~ Knowsley, Liverpool.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Night Windows and Testy Dates...

I cant put into words how amused I am by people who so high-handedly review books, movie and other pieces of art as if they owned the item. They simply forget that they do it for a living.In my experience most of them are boring talentless pseud-wankers. And chances are you cant find an iota of original creativity inside even if you squeeze them out upside down. And they shamelessly spill their shenanigans all when they havent even seen anything similar to life.

The last blog reminded me of a friend who always made it a point to take his date on a cinema and ask her what she thought. The catch was a) No references to actors, directors etc ( pseudo-clichéd sentences like I think Mullick’s shot are meditative or Tarantino’s scripts are evolving etc) b) No criticism. Which meant the movie had to be explained from her perspective alone, then and there. Of course it was all done subtly without putting her in a spot. His theory was that the little exercise saves money, time and chances of having a heart attack in later life. And I wholeheartedly agree.


Anyway, Here's a marvellous painting and equally wonderful words by Edward Hopper. And I don’t have to tell you; the words come from someone who knows about life.





In every artist's development the germ of the later work is always found in the earlier. T'he nucleus around which the artist's intellect builds his work is himself; the central ego, personality, or whatever it may be called, and this changes little from birth to death. What he was once, he always is, with slight modification. Changing fashion in methods or subject matter alters him little or not at all.



~Edward Hopper.

Painting- Night Windows, Edward Hopper 1928, Museum of Modern Art, New York.



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Think Again. Tagblog.

I have been tagged to write about a few bloggers who I regard as thinking. Right, I must start off by saying I really don’t know the definitive boundaries of who would make a thinking blogger. Besides, everyone thinks.

I suppose most people consider someone who can articulate well as a thinking blogger. To me far from it really. I cant be bothered about conjunctions or grammar. If the blog suffices to convey an unique perspective, I would be more than glad to hang around. To me its better than paining oneself through a heap of correctly used syntaxes, punctuation etc to arrive at nothing that you didn’t know before. Well, call it impatience.

Personally , since starting this blog I have seen the change within myself reflected here. Now I find myself lacking in inclination and more importantly in time to wade through a stack of useless pastimes and pseudo-rational self beliefs to find some needle that's useful and feel good about it. I am certainly more happier to hang around a couple of blogs which seem to be consistently independent, unique and secure. So I would just have to write about a few bloggers whom I have been following, seen evolve or have established a rapport through their blogs. With or without thinking.

So now that we have adequately complicated matters lets get down to the write-up.

Hmmm, as I have said I value independence and observational perspectives generated by personal experiences highly. With these, even though she cant give directions properly , I would have to mention
Finny . However unsettled or discontent she might sound at times I can assure the blog is unique both in form and content and more importantly it isn’t afraid of making a mistake. I think her Roy Derrida blog is a gem of an original argument. I would easily take it any day instead of some myopic drivel.

Next would have to be
Rajesh. Though his blog in a traditional sense is limited in its range, it makes up in quality. Quite easily one of the decent non-pompous Indian blog by miles. I’m hoping that after taking care of his other priorities he starts writing more regularly for the blog.

One of the other blogger who has held my interest of late is
Will. Some of the arguments are compelling and worth mulling over. I have to dive into the archives whenever I have time.

When
Maurice contacted me early this year asking for entries for his assort blog Concelebratory Shoe Horn , I thought it was just another keen now soon to turn banal effort. But must say concelebratory has turned out wonderfully. It features one of the most diverse and most creative assemblages that I have seen online. Goes spendidly with a tea.

And then there is the wonderfully dadaistic
Brim blog that always sheds light from a different corner of the tunnel.

Speaking of assort blogs I cant leave out the Pigmentium . Last year when I realised that most of the online time goes unaccounted for , I thought of mixing online time with some structured learning. I was looking to find some strict commitment within bloggers who are motivated to learn. And I found Elle and Kay (who wishes to be anonymous). And they are simply great; they are instrumental in translating the brainchild into some real worth. If I can easily say a Corot from a Constable from about 25 metres, without any doubt they deserve the credit.

That’s it I think.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Holyrood..

The Scottish parliament or the Holyrood as it is popularly referred to is perhaps the most excitingly imaginative building I've seen recently. There is not a single piece of predictability in the entire structure. Although at first it might appear that the exterior is unconventional, Im told that it is based on a theme. Most of the unique raw materials are derived to depict the scottishness of it; also here's what very few know - that the unseeable aerial view is built in the form of a harbour with the boats moving in to the dock; a tribute to the history of Edinburgh. The interior, meanwhile is a marvellous epitome of modern imagination unlike most of current architecthought which seems to believe that all beauty must be defined solely by glass and space.

It's not a surprise that the building has been controversial for popular taste, but , I think it complements Edinburgh splendidly.

Here's a aerial view of the structure. Much thanks to
The trouser rollers for letting me use it here.






More where else?
Cheers

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Departure before Arrival.....

Even an unconditioned retard rat in a lab would pick The Departed as the worst of the movies directed by Scorsese. I had a good hunch about its theatricality after reading an interview with the cast on the Time around its release. Yet watched it for the sake of it. Post-modern conversations, ailment I know. And the movie is like one of those American crime soaps, which has lost its steam somewhere in mid nineties.
The characters are hazy, shallow and full of lets-get-this-over-type of confusion. And the screenplay, yes the screenplay is amusing even by American standards. Halfway I had to check if in fact it was the right movie. While Jack Nicholson was playing batman joker with a hangover, Matt Damon was busy changing his Sim faster than Jason Bourne to call his dad right in the Massachusetts Police engine room. Leonardo meanwhile was angry at the world and just weeping to have more valium. A few other aging stars thrown in to complete the tragedy that would have made even Shakespeare proud. And Hold your breath, to think that Scorsese had to win the Apologetic Oscar for this. Oh, mother universe, aint you such a paradox?

Consider some of the hilarious segments of the script that I remember-

Leo looking at Nicholson:
Hey look, I am not a rat okay?
I am not a rat okay?
OK. Valium withdrawal?

The sassy police shrink to Leo:
Your vulnerability is freaking me out? Is it real?
Hmm, er, well what do you think?

Alec Baldwin to Matt Damon:
You are like my son. You are in charge.
Wow great, do I get a new mobile too?



Comical is the word. Disgrace.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bloomsday..



Bloomsday Readings, James Joyce centre, Dublin.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sixty Two Years

Sixty two
Years! How can they
do it?

To be married
that long, in fact a lifetime

like those

paired body parts that
work with each other,


Flexors extensors; Right
and left.

Together, all through

those

Wonders , winters

even
World Wars.




Ask them that

and
they shake in delight

holding hands proudly ,


frail on their own but perfect
together,

Not two separate
lives, but
two insepa-
rable

Dreams tugged

unto eachother

like a Sweden

embraced in a Norway.

For ever

for memory.


For


a

lifetime.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Chef-d'oeuvre

What
a
gobsmacking gay shite with
pinkly puked bright shallots
gently
covered
by circle
line.

Paris, go laugh your red wine laugh- sneery-

la flexiblue

la die now meeek

la maad erne

Don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.


Oui.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Trivia info needed, bloody comrades..

Not that I am meaning to read it, but a conversation has led to pursuing some related trivia. Google seems inconsistent and incomplete. Could someone please tell me with a credible reference where exactly was the first papers/ draft of The Communist Manifesto written?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Travel List, Ahoy !

People who know me, know how easily I can waver between states of unbelievable organization and hopeless chaos. And when I say unbelievable organization, it is, believe me, unbelievable. And that is exactly what one of my friends remarked when she first noticed my travel list and its versions. Well, all right not just exactly. Unbelievable was the third word uttered after oh funny and brilliant!

Her response finally ended with a prod- why shouldn’t I put it up here? because according to her, it reflects me in many ways. So here we are - some of you know about this already. Some of you might have their own. In any case, these lists were prepared over intense miseries and travel fiascos both personal and borrowed from over a period of time. Imagine how it would be like to hold a camera with a dead battery in front of a wonder of the world. If you can relate to that feeling, then the following isn’t that unimaginable.

Also, if there is anything you could add or alter to improve the list, kindly do not hesitate to let me know.

Well to start off, I have three versions of travel lists which I call A B and C -

A is a day journey version, or at the most for a day and a night journey. B for maximum of 3 days 2 Nights, while C would be anywhere between 4 days to a fortnight and further.

Attire:
Shirts
T shirts
Trousers
Jeans
Overcoat/ Jacket
Boxers
Pajamas
A good Towel (the vital)

All subject to length and nature of the stay.

Electronics:
Mobile phone+ charger (B, C)
Digital camera with spare batteries (B, C), Comes in handy during extreme weather, altitudes.etc, where Li batteries die earlier.
Spare memory cards (B)
Connector, card reader (C)
Camera charger (C)
Lenses


I pod shuffle charged please.
I pod (B,C), cable connector(B), Apple Adapter(C)

Laptop: if at all carrying one, nothing beats an apple 12” ibook (A)
For B, C I usually use my larger Vaio, as it has most of the compatible software I use. Make sure wifi functionality / airport card.

Spare Laptop battery esp. in countries where you cant charge on board
Pen drive
Seiko electronic dictionary (C)
C pen scanner (B, C)
Sony digital voice recorder (for B, C, else you mobile would be a good recorder for A)


Toiletries:
If staying overnight a handy 3x4 pouch by lynx is perfect. I remember picking up it in Brighton, or was it Worthing? Comes with everything: a foldable toothbrush, mini showering gel, small tube of paste, deodorant, and a razor. Add a mini bar of soap or face scrub (A, B). I am looking for hoarding this great travel kit but have been unable to find it anywhere now. May be they have stopped making it.

For B,C FCUK mini kit is the best.

And do not forget:
An AAA operated handy electronic shaver would compliment them all perfectly (esp. for A).
Other personal needs, dear boys and girls, you know what they are.

Miscellaneous:

A.Writing needs:
Books-Paperback with Franklin bookmark dictionary (A, B)
Multiple books (B,C)
A5 Notepad
Pens
Booklight
Blank CDs

B. Pot Pourri
Credit Cards, Identity, Bookings, Reservations, et al
Currency converter/ calculator
Contacts/ Addresses
Emergencies / Numbers
Travel guide/ Map/ for Europe the Euromate is the handiest. Lonely planet Guides are useful for longer stays.
Multipin adapter , Locks
Umbrella
Spare contact lens n preservatives.
And the most important: a big strong bag to swallow them all (for all A,B, and C) because the bag also helps you carry a day's load during longer stays. Do any of you remember seeing me without my great bag anytime?

Most of these is subject to the nature and the duration of the visit. So consider other items especially the attire like which is ruled by weather: Suit, Ties, Socks, and other usuals like Kleenex, Hanky, Cap, Hat, Swiss knife, Gloves, Swimming trunks, and Sandals.

C. Medication: if any.
Else Painkillers, Vitamins and such likes; make your own personal First-aid kit, like Dramamine, antidotes etc.

Note the list is made only for an average visit; further tasklists for camping, biking, skiing or other interests should have separate lists. Make sure you have separate lists for the different versions of visits, because though it may be boring to write things down thrice or more, it helps you to pack in lightning time when in a hurry.

Remember the best list is the list you make.

Cheers

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