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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Moving...

After months of deliberations, laziness, and arcane interventions of the postmodern universe finally moving here. A million thanks to all those who lent a helpful hand despite pulled everywhere by commitments, esp. V. Still a lot has to be built, but the basics has been done, and, as I wanted.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where the Mountains meet the Sea...

One of the most significant things about Barrow-in-Furness is that only the most hapless, dazed orienteer could possibly visit by accident- you have to have a purpose to get there. I had just such a purpose. The purpose was Barrow.

~Pies and Prejudice, Stuart Maconie

Barrow and Piel at the far tip on your left.

Ever since I read that book last year I have been yearning to visit this dreamy intrigue of a place at the far tip of the Cumbrian Coast. But somehow, as in the times we live in, it didnt happen. Only until now.

They said no one goes to Barrow. Well, I did.

Here's the shot of the legendary Piel Castle.

And the story .

And the Aerial view of the Island by Simon Ledingham.



PS Next would be Robin Hood's Bay , but that has to go with the Coast-to-Coast, I suppose.

Friday, July 11, 2008

But, Ladies and Gentlemen

dah di-dit dah-dah dit

Di-dit di-di-dit

Dah-dah dah-dah-dah dah-dit dit dah-di-dah-dah

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Best in Business






Mysore Palace (click for larger view), Perhaps the best palace in the world.
Mysore, South India.

First Picture: Courtesy Amith, Thanks.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Truths and Gods

To become a writer, that noble thing, I had thought it necessary to leave. Actually to write. It was necessary to go back. It was the beginning of self knowledge.


VS Naipaul

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Indian Colours


It is impossible to express India's particular beauty in black-and-white. Black-and-white might be a good medium to convey Europe's fear and alienation, but colour is natural for an Indian, and more appropriate for the extraordinary diversity of India. Unlike European art, Indian art did not have the tradition of independent black-and-white sketches and drawing. If any line drawings were made, they were for being filled out in colour. Colour is the fountain of India. Colour is the basis of the entire rasa theory, that governs Indian painting, dance, music, and literature.

~Raghubir Singh

Snap: Women section at the Flag Lowering Ceremony, Wagah, India-Pakistan Border, 2006

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Foibles





Mylapore Kaapi and heavenly heavenly pongal

Monday, June 30, 2008

Trying a Terrence



Crocodile Bank, enroute Mahabalipuram, Northern Tamil Nadu, India

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Appraisal

During a time when I was so hopelessly disillusioned and alienated by mentalities, attitudes and thoughts, I found enormous support and faith in these words which articulated the depths of my being to an extent that I could not sleep for three nights.

I see now how people who are/were afraid have become so closed that it would be hard to say that they are alive.

So here, at this moment of my life, I pause to reaffirm again, for I know that - I and I alone shall be responsible for me.

I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.

~ James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Indian Journeys

Just left Hampi. Currently jaunting across reading The Penguin book of Indian Journeys,  eclectic and brilliant, couldnt be better put than the HT missive on the book - `A wonderful synecdoche for India: heterogeneous, contrary, suddenly seductive' — Hindustan Times.
 
Among other things: I cannot imagine the level of functioning of a mind which derives soem sort of pleasure by peeking into a moving autorick to see if there is some gorgeous woman travelling in. But far worse, I cant bring myself to forgive those minds which think such a heinous mind can be fought by writing blog after blog after blog. Such pedestrian minds have to be dealt with one and only one thing. Sheer. Brute. Power. Any other online effort is sadmitting your inabilities in public.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Bloomsday


May be you couldnt find a gorgonzola sandwich in Bangalore but still reading out a section of Ulysses to your mates in a resturant on Bloomsday was as much tastier. Happy Bloomsday all. Love loves to love love to you all.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Gobbledigook

Sigur Rós is like opera, you listen to without understanding a word of the lyrics. Fans,( I know there are a few here and there in Blore, Bombay) can download the song gobbledigook from the album With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly which is due to release later this month. Also check out the video of the song available here. Quite of a kind , to say the least. Jesus Alanis Morrissette Christ.

And one another favourite scene of mine for all time. From the classic noir humour Man bites Dog. This is what annoying people should get.



Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ricochets 0506

Nothing special to write about.

I suppose the Obama nomination rejuvenates Americans a bit . But one cant trust Americans. Historically, if there isn’t money involved they have always found faith in the conservative or traditional. Not that Obama is expected to work wonders in the capital recession. He is just a symbol of part credibility and part integration for history books. Anyway some change in America means more change in the world. So good. But the bad bit is the end of all Hillary feminist jokes. Ah, ll miss em.

+++

Have started another Simenon and the omnibus Naipaul biography by Patrick French. But given all the other commitments over next couple of months , I expect to hang round with these folks for a while.

+++

One of my habits to conserve time is that I tear off interesting articles from my subscriptions/ newspapers and read them at traffic signals. Sounds weird I know, but isnt time money? It takes a bit of practice but you would be surprised to find how much you would be able to cover. Especially during peak hour morning because the mind is at its freshest and you wouldn’t want to waste it looking at the cars lined as caterpillars.

So, yes, last week I found an old article on Martin Amis lying on the back seat. He makes an interesting point about decadence of masculine psyche in old age as against the feminine. This is something I have often thought about. I think the masculine psyche is at its agile best during middle years when the societal expectation is to provide and support with the self desire to achieve, while the similar period of life in woman is often used only to strive and consolidate ( nowadays, shop and write idiotic blogs).
But the roles are reversed in the later stages of life when men often turn introspective and seek company and assurance while women seem to carry themselves wonderfully with minimal or no support. It is interesting. Amis even cites the example of his close friend Saul Bellow who, apparently asked most of the visitors to his hospital bed that how they reckon the society would remember him? This, after the Nobel, mind you.

As I write this , other noted examples that cross my mind are that of Orhan Pamuk and VS Naipaul, two wonderful writers, who started their careers with the weight of their own expectations and well acknowledged fathers’ influence. But they seem to deteriorate ( at least as I see it) after their prized accomplishments ie Stockholm. And some other men like Walcott are singing in the streets about being bitten by tropical mosquitos or mongooses.

But women on the other hand seem to enter a golden age later in the life. Doris Lessing and Wislawa Szymborska would be relevant examples for the Nobel. Even in many other spheres like women tend to be more self assured and confident as they pass their fifty.

I need more time to think and write about it.

+++
India second or third week, havent confirmed yet, which means I have to cop put a fortune for the flight ticket. Well.

Happy Bloomsday in advance.



Video from last year, Bloomsday reading by Joyceans from all over the world at James Joyce Convention , Dublin. Last year's celebrations were special with all the ambassadors to Ireland participating in the readings. Hha ! will surely miss it this year.





Hmm nothing more. You can try this old interesting one if you have nothing to do.

1. As you are sitting in front of your computer, lift your left foot off the floor and make circles in clockwise directions.
2. Now as you are doing the above try drawing a number six in the air with your right hand.

You will see that beyond your control the foot changes its directions to anticlockwise.

There is a neurological explanation for this. If you are nice to me I’ll tell you someday. Ok drop the nice bit, five quid each.

so long.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Civilization

and its discantents


Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

PBF vs XKCD



Perry Bible vs XKCD?
Perry Bible always.
XKCD is linear
limited
and
boring.



Bibiliothèque

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stain on the Snow

Absolutely brilliant; Simenon is a combination of Dostoevsky, Herzog with shades of Joyce. It makes you feel so good to pause reading a book in between and mull over the psyche of the character. Hadnt happened for a while. Now I gotto finish up all his eighty four novels. Allotted time twenty four months, so lad organise, organise.



PS- If things go well, in India for a week or so in June.

Das Auto


Germany, with its heterogeneous pockets of urbanity amongst diverse divides of rural folk reminds me of a bit of India in late eighties ; In the post cold war time, it seems there is a undercurrent of mild confusion amongst Germans with its first generation out of the apologies of WW2 but yet unable identify a personal affect or meaning with their own nation and culture in the wake of seeping in capitalization.

Quite Hegelian all.

For instance, at this moment they are not totally comfortable with the 3 million odd Turkish immigrants in Germany but yet an average german seems it difficult to maintain a neutral position after a few drinks. And still I must say there isn’t a distinct negative undertone, and even if there is one, it is being let go of slowly. A confluence of post modern confusion, akin Britain in the sixties- seventies.

All aside, Germans are the most organised of the lot. They would make my mom proud. Cruising through the autobahn with its no speed limit is an experience of a kind, lanes all around you would be swarming in its speeding efficiency of German auto industry- the BMWS, VWs, Audis, Mercs driven by people in total control of a their car - cars zigging zagging the lanes with such a smooth ease, is almost like an animation sequence. I dont remember a single driver who appeared burdened or was struggling with the buzzing engines. It is a culture than a skill.

My German baby found its fast furious mode, drinking up fuel like a case of Heineken. Ja!

The font situation:

Anyone know howcome there is a verdana option in the font button on Firefox, but not on Internet explorer?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vaudeville women


Basically pissed off.

The only thing I don’t tolerate apart from stupids not accepting their stupidity is stupids being unprofessional.

Over the last ten days much of my resources have been devoted to troubleshooting problems brought about by, well, though hate to point out but simply cant ignore - ahem - women.

Before some silly feminist unhooks her bra crying she-wolf, I would like to put up my hands and say that some women I have come across in my professional life have been brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. But only some mind you. Most are not ; they get by doing religiously what has been delegated to them. It is when they try to play something that they are not that the ecosystem gets disturbed.

The point is that we all as species are defined by our strengths and limitations.The entire idea of coming to adulthood is to be prepared to accept and work with it. Like - it would be absolutely hilarious to imagine me beating the 9 ½ seconds mark for hundred metres.

Ditto the charecters unique to men and women.. Some things are forte of women whilst some others are the domain of men. Accept and move on. But some don’t. And having used all the resources, and all the structure of the set-up a round them , all they can produce is this



A load of shit. Before eventually being theatrical, womanly and begging others to clean it all up.

As much as I hate to use my power, I was compelled to use it many a times over the last week - including once to coldly point out the absolute stupidity with which a particular plan was being pursued in a meeting at 2 am in the morning. As it happens often under such circumstances the lady colleague had no corner to cover herself with. Only people who can look at themselves objectively can work in horizontal professional relationships, most others would be asking to be a part of hierarchical work set up where they would want others to tell them off. Go become a software engineer or something where you chase a deadline from your cosy-cubicle, why take up jobs where you should be thinking on your toes?

In the context check this link that S sent me following discussions on Indian women bloggers.

To make up for all the negativity, here's an interesting poem called Mal in a brilliant format by Kevin Oberlin.



Situation Automatic

Thought
Physical Response Emotional Response Cognitive Distortion Changed Thought
back on Shadow, but that was before the war no longer my world press my forehead to the margins, fly low silence where survival’s concerned and faith in ownership lots of rocks look like home
a sack of money for a crate of goods, an exchange of containers where we keep our bodies and what it felt like to inhabit them I would most certainly like you to touch me maybe with nostalgia the package travels because we carry it exchange is not change, but constant motion
what you break down, what you build a family your own quarters, your own bunk, your own cut except when I conjure otherwise a thing with roots can’t be moved, that’s the point and I am in constant motion
fog and fuck sound mighty similar to my ear maybe you should see what it feels like I’ve kept some of your things in a trunk not knowing you’re in love, a stronger thing by far but why admit it? skin, only a middle layer
shot in the shoulder again take a bullet, you take someone’s burden off also, it hurts if I recover, expect me to get a few things off my chest the tight pants improve my range of motion, asshole don’t make me turn this ship around
bar fight careful what you say next a brown shirt, a brown coat patience isn’t a virtue, she’s a bitch fighting keeps the dust down with my shoulder blades I know if I’ve got help behind me
in the black, what don’t matter comes clear we’ll stop for supplies and make what repairs we can afford to keep flying like a crate buoyed by its cargo life makes its own self interesting, bullet by burning bullet you take the battle with you


PS - I see The Class was a last minute surpirse at festival de cannes , have been told Paris has been rejoicing in streets - félicitations, buggerers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ricochets 2.0

Been awfully busy the whole week, which made me lust after the Sunday. Not only the day but also its concept. Spent the whole day staying in, lazing around and catching up on some reading. The glorious summer day that it was, refreshed my memories of being totally devoted to sloth and anomie during my youth.

Speaking of reading, have finished the Quirke series by Benjamin Black aka John Banville. Quite alright. Lately I am noticing a lot of reviewers make a mountain of a molehill of a book review. Being the Muhammad that I am, allow me to break the mountains into molehills.

Christine Falls is a wonderful piece of work in noir-crime. Very few books written on this side of the cold war have been as masterly both in its narration and its plot as this one. I particularly liked the protagonist Quirke - a desolate, brooding, alcoholic, a hapless intense widower who simply can't help not pursuing trouble. Though the plot lacks in any great surprise or suspense it makes up in the complex layers of its characters - each of them. They all seem so unbearably, painfully realistic for a crime novel. In the case of Quirke, starting from very trivial - like no one knowing his second name to the very central - his extremely complex way of relating to others esp. with his layered family, it is all quite rare in popular literature. There is no sense of grand heroism or an undercurrent of righteousness; It just is the story of a few dysfunctional people living around a crime.

The follow-up The Silver Swan is comme ci comme ca. I found it less delicate and more linear than Christine Falls, as if Banville had penned it down forcefully under a spell of obligation. Somehow it felt terribly incomplete. I paid £16.99 for the book and thought wasn't definitely worth a penny more than £ 3.99. [ L and K, If you folks are in no hurry to get to it, I can lend it to you ]

The only new thing I learnt from the story was that the household refrigeration was in use in 1950s when I earlier believed it was introduced only in the 60s.

However, regardless of all that I suggest you read both the books:

1. If you are a fan of beautifully constructed English sentence ( though it is too sophisticated for a crime novel)
2. If you love Dear Dirty Dublin. (In which both the books are set)


Prompted by Banville, who reportedly was inspired to become Benjamin Black by reading Georges Simenon I took up Stain on the Snow which I am presently enjoying reading. Stripped off all the unnecessary decorations of pretentious language, typical of a shallow writing mind the narration makes me feel quite at home. I gather Simenon was a kick-writer who churned out a novel in an average time of ten days. That's amazing. Also I went through his biography , which makes me envy him. His experience and insight of life is first hand, as evident in that interview in Paris Review.

The other current read is the hilarious riot by John O' Farrell - An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots In Charge. The title is self- explanatory. It is quite an entertaining read.

Here are few picks from the book in the timeline of Great Moments in British History:

60 AD Boudicaa burns down Colchester, St Albans, London. Roman Governor regrets asking her if it's her 'funny week'.
1191 AD Richard I joins Third crusade, convinced Saladin has weapons of mass destruction
1944 AD D-Day Only time in history the Brits get to the beach before the Germans.

+++

This is rather embarrassing. Had wished mom on Mother's day a couple of months back when she thanked me and called me a couple of days later and gently told me it was only Women's day and NOT Mother's day and it was the thought that mattered. Blimey! That's four ands in a sentence.
At that time I made a point to look up the Mother's day and put it on the reminder list but to add to further shame had called a day later than the actual Mother's day. Well what can I say, some days are just not your days. Mother's days especially.Interesting content of the further conversation with Mom was the acceptable difference of age between the groom and the bride. She kept on insisting that anything lesser than five years was appropriate whilst I said the rule of the thumb was to half the man's age and add seven. Concluded in amicable disagreement. Not that either of us believe in what we argued for.

+++

Ah yes, more on the Apprentice: readers might remember sometime time back I had written about benevolent geeks. Here is another wonderful example. A feller named wahwah has most graciously uploaded all the episodes of the first two seasons of the UK Apprentice, along with the ongoing season four on YouTube. Further He has also promised to upload season three. God Bless his soul. Acts like these reaffirms your faith in humanity. The moral of the story is that there are many ways to reach both heaven and the handsome target of seventy two virgins without the need to blow yourself to pieces.

Anyway, virgin-suicides apart (quite a shit movie that was), check out all the videos at leisure. Yes I Know, it is a reality show, but it reflects a fair deal of ethos and rationale of UK Business structure. Also gives you a flavour of variety of personalities in the world. Which I think is lot more useful than many other things, say, for instance watching Indiana Jones and the arcane tribe of golden testes or whatever the recent one is called.

Speaking of business and infrastructure, it's gladdening to see that cricket has been finally given the much deserved league shape and form. I haven't been able to watch any match yet, and unfortunately not likely to catch any this season but I reckon it is going to be a huge success, especially in the next couple of years when there would be, hopefully more international players representing the teams a la football. Already the competition is being well covered in the media in different parts of the world. Also, if backed with a sound strategy by the dormant ICC this version might help to push the game to the heart of America and who knows may be even China? so that in around ten years time we can satisfy ourselves on a Sunday evening by watching the Chinese Cricket Team comprehensively smash a motley team of vegetarian, overweight, so called spinners, asians.

+++

Shameless feral woman, aka greenmamba aka atonement butter naaan.


This year's Cannes shall go down for offering one of the most cringing moments in history. If you haven't known yet, day before this anonymous feral woman who looked like having jumped out of a Russian circus in an ancient Tarkovsky movie,
was noticed to be walking around confusedly by the Cannes red carpet. It is yet to be confirmed if she was actually begging. But seriously. Just because you once upon a time acted in a movie called Munni or Guddi or whatever the right nickname was, it doesn't mean you actually ought to turn up dressed like THAT. Did no one- her husband, son, daughter in law tell her before she left the hotel? All the bleeding four of those waste-of-oxygen Bacchans should be banned from Cannes for the rest of their lives. Such a absolute disgrace.

+++

Photography is a domain which I am yet to make peace with as an art form. I have shared some thoughts on this before. Thinking further, the main drawback with Photography I suppose is the lack of active and dynamic role of the imagination in the creative process. Often it is overridden by aesthetics of the subject or the technical aspect of the camera or at times a complex interaction between the two. Because of these reasons the degree of control of imagination is rendered minimal - reducing the process to no more than a skill. People might disagree about this but those who do often lack a reasonable explanation why it can be regarded as art.


Schels' sample

That regardless, I still find the whole idea and the process of photography quite an interesting exercise. All said, the minimum amount of imagination accessible in the procedure can be used to expand the possibilities beyond the technical and the aesthetic significance. Two wonderful examples of such an endeavour that I have come across are Walter Schels and Cindy Sherman bus riders. Schels explores the meaning of death through the eyes of time and Sherman examines individual identity in society. The former is a series of photographs of faces of terminally ill patients before and after their death while latter is a series of photographs of people posing in postures whilst they are travelling in a bus.






Sherman's Bus riders

Watched Days of Heaven after I have come to acquaint myself with the works of Edward hopper. Mallick meditates on the Americana so tantalisingly captured in hopper’s paintings. See below one of Hopperian painting House by a Rail Road and the Mugshot of Days of heaven.






This reminds me of this Edward Hirsh poem

House by the Railroad

Out here in the exact middle of the day,
This strange, gawky house has the expression
Of someone being stared at, someone holding
His breath underwater, hushed and expectant;

This house is ashamed of itself, ashamed
Of its fantastic mansard rooftop
And its pseudo-Gothic porch, ashamed
of its shoulders and large, awkward hands.

But the man behind the easel is relentless.
He is as brutal as sunlight, and believes
The house must have done something horrible
To the people who once lived here

Because now it is so desperately empty,
It must have done something to the sky
Because the sky, too, is utterly vacant
And devoid of meaning. There are no

Trees or shrubs anywhere--the house
Must have done something against the earth.
All that is present is a single pair of tracks
Straightening into the distance. No trains pass.

Now the stranger returns to this place daily
Until the house begins to suspect
That the man, too, is desolate, desolate
And even ashamed. Soon the house starts

To stare frankly at the man. And somehow
The empty white canvas slowly takes on
The expression of someone who is unnerved,
Someone holding his breath underwater.

And then one day the man simply disappears.
He is a last afternoon shadow moving
Across the tracks, making its way
Through the vast, darkening fields.

This man will paint other abandoned mansions,
And faded cafeteria windows, and poorly lettered
Storefronts on the edges of small towns.
Always they will have this same expression,

The utterly naked look of someone
Being stared at, someone American and gawky.
Someone who is about to be left alone
Again, and can no longer stand it.


~Edward Hirsh

+++

Have to go now, anyway, bear in mind these useful things:

Culture is no substitute for sex though people wish to tell you so.

And

If you want to shoot, shoot the message. Don't laugh. But make sure you fuck the messenger. Always.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Memories of Capital Wedding



There are certain gifts that have their name written all over a particular ceremony. A digital photo-frame for instance. It is the perfect gift for a wedding, especially when you would say you know the couple not all that well. (which in my book is defined as seeing less than 12 times /year). So the digital photo-frame, the seven inch version has become sort of an instant gift that one can buy without much thought going into it yet please the couple. Who surely shall be more pleased when they are visited by guests.

Over the last six months have dispensed 5 pieces . Have to stop now, the conversations around them are growing painfully monotonous. But its no fault of the digital photo-frame, which is a decent invention but marriage itself which renders brilliant people boring in no time. Truly, marriages ought to be banned, because inside a marriage there isnt anything exciting save the possibility of an affair.Which the linguists exclude from the marriage itself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to basics, boys.

Cheesy but brilliant, the daily sport advert.

Congratulations on your Marriage...

Perhaps this is one of the brilliant poems I have read in a while. It’s penned by Finny for Y, congratulating on her marriage. I fucking wish I had written it. Here are some of the terms of trade for putting it up here, negotiations are still on.

a year's subscription to TLS
a certain maths book from Waterstones/a selection of books frm your collection?
a bag of new de wolf decor i left behind in my room in bruss
a packet of queen fabiola bulbs (for planting) i left behind
a rosemary plant in a pot
a thyme plant in a pot


Some typos you may find are purely incidental, I am afraid you have to bear them. And, Yes, the poem’s copyrighted. Don’t get yourself into trouble.

© Poet.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

To Light An Answer

Dear Diary,

Driving back home on this absolute gorgeous day I remembered Keith Althaus; for writing such a gorgeous line. May be poetry is the memory of the universe, how it wants to remember itself.

I am crossing years tonight
to light an answer.

~Keith Althaus, POEM

Monday, May 05, 2008

Know thy People, Tehelka

One of the most valued skills of the twenty first century is to manage people. And to manage people, with all the variety of temperaments and attitudes available, one can never emphasise enough the need to understand them before actually going about managing them.

In the world that is flat, even a slight lack of clarity of purpose or goal would end up making you look like a fool. Like Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka. It is such a pity to see Tehelka continue to run their campaign against Gujarat in their whimpering sidebar almost begging someone , as a matter of fact anyone to see the injustice that has been meted out against Tehelka (not Gujurat mind you) by the world which so disrespectfully ignored their socialist pinhole cameras.

Any other media-corporate in the world would have sacked the entire editorial team in no time for having single-handedly cocked up the unbelievable evidence - a killer confessing to the killing - caught on movable film like never ever before in the history of the criminal world, which, in my view deserved nothing short of a Pulitzer.

The middle-aged editorial team, who imaginably would have eaten so much samosas around their university campuses in the sixties, now with their dangerous cholesterol levels clogging the blood to their brains couldn’t simply know what stance to take as regards the evidence. The press conference was almost like an in-house antakshari competition with every editor snatching the microphone to answer questions randomly, where in the incessant and perpetually repetitive Tarun Tejpal said that being the media he wouldn’t want to be associated with politics(check the video below) but eventually ended up contradicting himself and spilling so much red ink on the website, blaming the congress for inaction that one felt sorry for him. Really.



The moral is the imperative of clarity of thought and purpose in the times we live in. Media is an important axle to judge information , not a browser that passes through all information. But naturally he simply is too old to learn. Last week he ran a cover story about the rise of new generation Tibetans who are hyper-articulate [sic], modern etc. and how they are going to save Tibet , when in reality the last one of them are scattering far away into the world as soon as they can afford.


Never in recent times have we seen so blatant a misjudgement of people as this. You can accuse Bennett and Coleman of sensationalism but never of misjudgement. I am glad that Tejpal and his menopausal-minded friends actually own their publication, else, for the profundity of understanding they reflect of their people they couldn’t even be employed for a substandard Men’s magazine.

Know your people gentlemen, not your ideals. At least you could get the exit-poll right.

Wisdom


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Haunting Book Covers


Some book covers haunt you like anything. A few months back when Finny put up Lempicka’s The Telephone, I was left with that so very familiar feeling of I’ve seen it somewhere before. I even subconsciously associated the soft cubist painting style with The Great Gatsby. I was almost sure I had seen it on the cover of one its editions. But even after a quick 10 minute search-affair with google going through various covers of the Gatsby book I wasn’t much lucky. I eventually gave up. But almost unexpectedly today I came across the original painting that was haunting me. Google kindly pointed out that the mentally elusive Young Girl in Green was indeed the cover of The Great Gatsby of the Oxford world Classics Edition. Green after all. So there. Sorted.




But my favourite Gatsby cover is the Divers (below) , photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene for the Swimwear by Izod of London ( 1930). I think it captures both complex relationship with Jay and Daisy from a quite hypontic distance.





May be the covers of Ulysses sometime?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ricochets - Apprentice thoughts:

The Swedes as usual with their utterly all-in-the-world-leisurely- time have proved what was well known for a long time. That drummers are brains. Now I suspect the Prof is going to play his favourite symphony and go and kill himself.

Among other things this season's Apprentice is quite unusual because it is so blatant. Almost bordering on the US of Amreeka attitude. During discussion with B, she told me that how she finds it all revolting. Of course she is French , but I suppose most of the Brits here watch it to judge the candidates. I know, half the women on the island rave about Alex, but I reckon he is one cunning smartfox. I think it would be an injustice if he wins eventually, which is very very likely at this stage of the competition( but that said I dont think Sir yaaaalan you aaaare faaaayaad likes him a lot, and also that Marks and Spencer girl Margaret scolded Alex like she was his aunt in the boardroom. Alexxxxx, I was there.

Alex not only openly declined to take responsibility delegated to him after having accepted Simon's leadership, but also, sensing a kill in the boardroom leapt up against Claire, who as obnoxious ugly fat Rembrandt painting that she is , didnt deserve to go for this task. As Margaret said Alex is playing a game.
Come Now Margaret, finally someone. Otherwise it would have been a Nickelodeon show.

Like everyone else on the isles we've been talking quite a lot about the Apprentice aspirees. Thought I'll just jot down my first impressions of them. People outside the UK interested in show can find the four episodes of season four that have been broadcast so far on youtube. Make sure you dont mistake it with the US version featuring Donald Trump which I am told is a waste of time.

Raef Bjyou nicknamed Lawrence of Araefia already , made an impressive leader in the laundry task. Good head on the shoulders but carries a buff of hair on the head. Can do well initially but very suspect against stronger contenders, would love him pitted against Claire or Jenny in the boardroom.

Jenny Celerier infamously called the lady Macbeth serpent, Pan-chinned, wears an hideous scarf all the times. Feisty, articulate and brutal. Has already had a few women for breakfast. I know most of the country hates her but I want her to stay as long as possible for the entertainment.

Nicholas de lacy Brown. Fired. Twat in plain english. A fool spoilt by easy money. Anyone who defends himself with class and culture superiority deserves to be fired.

Sara Dada To me she is the Superfit amongst all the girls. A natural born follower, but ambitious. Can do well in easily comprehensible tasks but weak in asserting control during uncertainties especially against a more dominating member like Claire or Jenny. Can make a good apprentice material for Sugar’s moulding though, provided she can see through some backstabbing due in the show over next few episodes.

Lucinda Ledgerwood a creature waiting to be fired. Anyone can see it as clear as daylight. How dare I say that eh Lucinda? Also, I don’t like her gaudy dressing sense.

Lee Mcqueen quite macho looking and easily women’s favourite. But has remained in the shadows so far. Doesn’t come across as very shrewd, but we haven’t seen much of him yet. Have we?

Lindi Mngaza the brain behind idea of the century ie to run a 24 hr hotline for the laundry service. Obviously shall go soon. I thought she should have been fired for pitching to do the laundry for £ 5000. Thats easily one of the stupidest ideas Ive ever heard.

Kevin Shaw Hmm. Looks quite a character doesnt he? but was quite impressive with that janus faced idea of pep talking the team which he used as an armour in the boardroom. I thought thatw as quite clever. I don’t reckon he would be the winner but may be able to last a few episodes.

Simon Smith Fired. The lovely simple bloke. Very good in taking orders. Obviously army life has destroyed him. Was sorry to see him go but obviously he was at tethers. Nice feller though, wouldn’t mind buying him a drink.

Michael Sophocles soft, looks very gay? and tactfully clever or so he projects himself. But I don’t think he can handle high pressure tasks and wire edge boardroom meetings. We have already seen him making fool out of himself with the pizza episode. He has to overturn some negative impressions he has made already to actually go on to win the show. Already infamous for the most ridiculous dance ever. Check here :





Helene Speight looks solid. Reminds me a bit of Christina from last season. I would like to see more of her, so far she has been impressive both in values and business acumen. Should keep an eye on her. Negative : too old to be changed, hence to be employed?

Jennifer Maguire hot colleen, but definitely not an exceptionally impressive mind. Shamelessly called herself the best sales person in Europe and ended up embarrassing herself by pitching the insane £5000 Laundry works along with Lindi. Have to be ruthlessly competitive to really win the competition.

Ian Stringer Fired very unremarkable. Failed to defend himself soundly. I thought Kevin ate him in the boardroom. There is no way he could have stay after he lied about the peptalk.

Shazia Wahab Fired. Poor girl. Undeservedly fired, had done okay till then. Her only mistake was being tongue tied in the Boardroom before the meany meany motor mouth Jenny.Big lesson for people who are easily undermined, are try to be nice to people even when they aren’t wrong.

Alex Wotherspoon: Ha ! resembles my uncle when he was in his twenties. Apparently the heartthrob of the nation for the moment. Very shrewd. Adaptable and very cunning as he showed in the fourth episode. Has to really screw it up if he gets fired in very next few episodes.

Claire Young over confident , big mouth, clever but lacks tact. But otherwise quite solid. Can defend herself to her last bone; Already has rubbed sugar the wrong way. I suppose she would go far in the programme but surely wouldn’t win.


Lateral: But my all time favourite is the one and only Tre from last season. Great sense of humour, open swearer, dedicated, talented glib tongue with ridiculously unbearable clarity of thought . Did the man knew his mind or what? Check this video from last year where he gives a piece of his mind about the women.


Monday, April 14, 2008

BBC Basics :

Nietzsche Primer: Check out all six, if you havent before.

Double Take:

Check out the observer article on my most respected film reviewer Philip French listing his favourite movies and also the sight and sound article about one of my most respected directors Mike Leigh talking about his works, mostly focussed on his latest Happy-go-Lucky at the recent Berlinale.


I subscribe, so am not sure if the full articles are available online.


Among other things have shamelessly lost my favourite pair of spectacles on a windy English west coast. Totally my fault , took out while using the binoculars and have carelessly lost it, hence I deserve the pain. Have notified the dealer to look for a replica , but not very positive.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Which one?

I am always amused by people who ask which book to start with about a particular writer.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Boom boody Boom boody

The master Peter Sellers and hot Sophia Loren, not the best video but hey its Boom boody.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

On Beijing Olympics

Lately a lot of noise has been made about the Beijing Olympics and how the event gives an opportunity to voice your protest against China. Not very surprising for a shallow mind that is out of perspective of human history.

I thought this through last year after coming across one such early protest last summer in Dublin. Now after hearing all the hues and cries from all over the heres, theres and everywheres of the suddenly conscientious world , it is almost funny see insane attempts to extinguish the Olympic torch.

Near St Stephen's Green Shopping complex, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, 2007

Such protests are only self serving and if the case is against china self defeating. Firstly what are the protests against exactly? There is not a consensus in any city. While Spielberg and Mia Farrow are whining about one thing, Clooney is busy clamouring with another. For some it is Burma while for others it is Tibet. And for few other’s it is environment or the human rights in general. So far the Chinese have dealt with all such dissents like they deal with any of stupid barking dogs. Which is to cook them and eat with boiled rice and carry on with business.

Attributing issues like Darfur to China alone is an international joke and amnesia for the events of the world in the last couple of decades. It would be a gross overlooking of the involvement of about half a dozen of nations that brought about the crisis. And also bear in mind the UN arms treaty is not signed by USA and is only abstained by China along with twenty three other countries. And of course Kyoto is yet to be ratified by the US. Imagine if the Olympics was to be held in Washington , surely there would have not been a single noise anywhere about environment or arms deal etc.
Why ? Because US is a democracy while China isn’t? If at all anything that world ought to have learnt in the post cold war era is that how overrated democracy is both in its functioning and as a concept. In the times of numbers and economies, it has failed to elect responsible governments in established democracies whose functioning have not been largely any different from sensible regimes in the world, China inclusive. A truth Napoleon and Nietzsche spelt out long back. At the end of the day many people have to be governed by some people. Whatever works for you and keeps your country happy should be fine and as we are seeing China is by no means displaying any signs of civil unrest.

That brings us to issues like Tibet and Burma. If Tibetans are fighting for their freedom, I wonder how running away from their home country and winning awards for peace and divinity make them earn freedom. It is clear that they are anything but fighting; more like squeaking to bring attention and aid. The old rules apply: take a leaf out of Gandhi, if you believe you are fighting for a just cause, you fight for what you believe or you die. And when you fight, you do relentlessly, concertedly and expose the injustice than to hurt or punish. Running away and making noises on the streets once in a blue moon is invalidating your own fight. Any struggle has to earn its worth.

Highlighting issues like human rights and other such issues is to make a pretext of your own case, while implying such issues does not exist elsewhere. A study of history of CIA would be more surprising.

Further, all the issues have no relevance to Olympics, and, in fact it only taints the case. Olympics is not a Chinese property; to make an issue of it is to acknowledge that there is no means to fight any of the above issues against China. If that is true, then there is no point fighting. And if it had to be fought, then the fundamental question is why is China hosting the Olympics? A question that has to be answered from outside China. But all you hear is an international political silence. Even countries like India have smartened up. So making schoolboy noises and interrupting the torch run would at the most amount to good willed but mindless theatrics and only strengthen China's resolve. If China has to be homogenised with the ethos and abstract notions of the west then the world has to be willing to pay for it and more importantly it should be worth it. Even if it is, which I supsect in this apolitical economic globe, then it has to be done in a systematised way and over a period of time- like how the influence of the church was dismantled over the period of twentieth century.

Ignoring that and clamouring for incentives from China is disrespecting Olympics as well as trivializing the worth of the issues. China may not be the perfect country to host the Olympics but , as we need in these times, it is stable and prosperous and though slow, progressive, which is what all countries aspire for. They might not have had either the renaissance or the democracy, but man, while the rest of the world is brandishing its material goodies, only they seem to have the infrastructure to make the cuckoo clocks these days.

Vayu


1. BEAUTIFUL Vayu, come, for thee these Soma drops have been prepared:
Drink of them, hearken to our call.
2. Knowing the days, with Soma juice poured forth, the singers glorify
Thee, Vayu, with their hymns of praise.
3. Vayu, thy penetrating stream goes forth unto the worshipper,
Far-spreading for the Soma draught.
4. These, Indra-Vayu, have been shed; come for our offered dainties' sake:
The drops are yearning for you both.
5. Well do ye mark libations, ye Vayu and Indra, rich in spoil
So come ye swiftly hitherward.
6. Vayu and Indra, come to what the Soma. presser hath prepared:
Soon, Heroes, thus I make my prayer.
7. Mitra, of holy strength, I call, and foe-destroying Varuna,
Who make the oil-fed rite complete.
8. Mitra and Varuna, through Law, lovers and cherishers of Law,
Have ye obtained your might power.
9. Our Sages, Mitra-Varuna, wide dominion, strong by birth,
Vouchsafe us strength that worketh well.


The Rig Veda, Mandala1, Hymn 2,
The Hymn to Vayu, the Hindu God of Air


Sea wind displacing the sand, into its famous ever changing dunes at Anthony Gormley‘s Another Place, Crosby, Merseyside.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

TP Kailasam

TP Kailasam is a sort of South Indian Spike Milligan if you like. Apparently, like all great souls, he ran away from home sometime during his childhood just for the fun of it. Upon return , the father who was a strict south Indian Brahmin ( and therefore naturally would have wanted his son to become a doctor or a engineer ) note: not an engineer, scorned upon his son and asked what exactly did he learn by running away?

The son answered , “ Well Dad , even if there is a storm on the beach, I can manage to light a cigarette with just one match.’’

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Token


Back in business: Summer

Properties of Rational Soul

These are the properties of the rational soul: it sees itself, analyses itself, and makes itself such as it chooses; the fruit which it bears itself enjoys- for the fruits of plants and that in animals which corresponds to fruits others enjoy- it obtains its own end, wherever the limit of life may be fixed. Not as in a dance and in a play and in such like things, where the whole action is incomplete, if anything cuts it short; but in every part and wherever it may be stopped, it makes what has been set before it full and complete, so that it can say, I have what is my own. And further it traverses the whole universe, and the surrounding vacuum, and surveys its form, and it extends itself into the infinity of time, and embraces and comprehends the periodical renovation of all things, and it comprehends that those who come after us will see nothing new, nor have those before us seen anything more, but in a manner he who is forty years old, if he has any understanding at all, has seen by virtue of the uniformity that prevails all things which have been and all that will be. This too is a property of the rational soul, love of one's neighbour, and truth and modesty, and to value nothing more more than itself, which is also the property of Law. Thus then right reason differs not at all from the reason of justice.

~ Marcus Aurelius , Meditations, Book Eleven
Tr. George Long. I would recommend Martin Hammond though.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A380

Beauty. Im just imagining how it would feel while bringing the big baby down to hit the tarmac. Aww.



Peace - Dina Rabinovitch

Last year when Guardian Writer, Dina Rabinovtich succumbed to her cancer, I had asked Prat of the Purple Breeze to do a fictional writing exercise about her. It is only my fault that I had half-forgotten the piece she had wrote. My sincere apologies for the shameless delay but now with no further ado I am posting her piece as a guest-post on this blog.

But before moving onto the post, I suggest it would very helpful, especially for those who dont know Dina, to check how a brave woman she was here. Onto Prat:




She had liked him the minute she walked into his office. He was dressed in crisp black suit and smiled like a child. She’d just turned forty that week, and decided that it was time she got that small little lump in her breast examined. She’d neglected it for a while, thinking it was a bite and then a rash and then a reaction to the cold.

Just a routine check up and then work through the afternoon- coffee maybe with some friends. Now his face was solemn yet caring- he told her to erase the ifs and if nots of the past. Her mind raced through the craziness of the last few weeks, when she finally realised that time was catching up with her. The little lump led to some tests, a monogram, and before she knew it she was in the hospital bed. She saw the nurse walk towards her with the famed cold cap- so her hair wouldn’t fall off immediately. While she felt like giant mammoth being frozen to death, that’s when the tear drops began.


+++

The record hummed slowly in the background, with those little barely noticeable screeches thrown in. She’d dug the record a few days ago- on one of those rare balmy afternoons when the air is nostalgic and makes you look for old melodies. Rare, yes, not because it was balmy, but because her legs could stand her weight while she rummaged through forgotten boxes in the basement.

She is lying on her side now, on the cream coloured sofa facing the large French windows covered in a cashmere shawl. Her sister was in the other room taking a nap, having left a bell a few centimetres from her.

You see, all this felt just like a bad nightmare. Through the strength she had left to bat her eyelids, she sometimes thought that another wink and it will all be over. Even a mere twitch would give her a dimension of the wastage her body has had to take post chemo. Two more weeks of radiation and will be as good a new, she remembered Dr. Morrision saying that morning with his gentle father-like smile.

+++

She begged her body that morning. I am tired today and I finally have to admit that I am. I do not have the strength to fight on. Death of an only child, a bitter divorce, loss of a parent- isn’t that enough pain for me?

She was tired that day, she really was. Not with just what chemo does. But she was tired from the inside, she felt tired in her head. She felt as if even a bat of an eyelid, that most precious system with which she measured time between anything- meals, trip to the loo, sips of water- even that seemed so futile.

For what really is the point of such a battle? Once the generous showers of grey begin to appear in your hair, and your bones seem to creak more at the gym, what is it that you truly look forward to? Once the tumult of adolescence and the turmoil of teenage are over, once you’ve had all your phases including that time when you dressed in black, all Goth, and loaded your arm with a tonne of bracelets- what?


+++

The sun filtered through the windows, and shone on her hands. She moved a finger to feel some life, and a tear drop accompanied. The battle has gone on long enough. She’s been fighting for two years now, using all her strength and prayers of the staff at the hospital. They were trying some experimental medication on her to decide what the best combination of chemo and radiation. How much before, how much after?

But she could feel it today. Very distinct. Almost like a colour floating by itself in a room. For the first time in a very long time, she was afraid.

Despite the love we gather, and the humility battles such as these seem to put into us, we are still afraid to ask for the smallest things that really matter. All she wanted that morning was to look at the kind face of someone she loved. She wanted someone to hold her wasted body. She wanted to feel the warmth of another person- where do you go looking for that, and how do you ask?

I am afraid to fall asleep tonight. The fear of an unending tomorrow keeps me up. I am just plain afraid. Will you come and hold me? But then it didn’t matter, she let go of all that she ever had and she had ever known and that was it. Unbelievably simple.

Peace.

The Witt -Welsh Situation

One of my all time favourite scenes in cinema. Sean Penn so absofuckinglutely expanding the definition of acting under the able lead of Terrence Malick. I might have watched The Thin Red Line about 25 times, yet every time this one scene unfailingly moves me, perhaps because it is so so true for what I know it.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

To see the world...


Ole painting i did when i was 20 i suppose, dug it after S asked for my early paintings. bottom right is the blake poem.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moonlighting

Too much information floating about on my mind. Even a seven hour sleep session, the longest of the year so far hasnt helped much to drown the weariness. So, basically nothing significant to write about. Hmm except may be couple of things I enjoy whilst being online.

Goodreads is a well structured online cataloguing which allows a variety of options for interface with friends and fellow readers. Apart from the user-friendly structure , the most it has helped me is to jot these quick snippets of reviews of the books recently read. Im finding myself jotting down things - more than before and in many a perspectives as I read the book and pulling all the thoughts together at the end. Thanks.

The second is indispensible. I think some of you might know my love for the Perry Bible Fellowship, which fits like a glove to the humour I appreciate and adore. It manages to achieve the delicate balance of dark gore and novelty of hilarity in it. From sex, history, underworld, plant-life, to space exploration, school, family it deals with a huge passell of subjects, wrapping the huge underbelly of the dark and seemingly socially unacceptable in a subtle air of dismissiveness.- Here is an example:



I suppose thats a fairly average instance, here's something that drifts in dangerously close to favourite territory. It says nothing more than the misery of the poor turtle. Yet you are compelled to see the wickedness in it.



PS- I know i ought write back to some of you. Soon people, soon.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Random Richochets

Been busy and going to be as well. So random ricochets:

Yes, So many winters have been passed idly in the promise of the summers. Well now, spring is here, almost - which means more travelling, more sports and less online time.Personally speaking it's marvellous because this winter has been an enlightenment of sorts: Buddha under the bandwidth tree.

We were told that information is a commodity of our times and hence an invaluable tool of transaction/interaction rendering the internet a priceless infinity. But the more time one spends on the internet the more one realises the grand futility of it all. While I shall put up my hand first and say internet has most definitely made information more accessible, I suppose it is but only in terms of the means and the ease of finding it than anything else. What needed a bit of digging and jouly smiles and take cares to the grumpy librarians before has been transformed into just typing into sacred search space of Google. Good. And that’s about it. Nothing more.

Coming to the much hyped user generated content - I must say it is almost terrifying. As we speak millions of snaps are uploaded on the flickr and garage video uploaded on youtube with a million comments that follow representing the culture of our times. Fine, but it makes you wonder if all these are really a substitute for the real? What it has achieved is only to make pockets of populations reinforcing extant attitudes and mentalities, the danger of which I think is that it would hardly let you come to realise your own position in the real holistic world.

The same applies to blogging. We were told it would herald a generation of new democracy. That the culture would grow exponentially subsequent to the blogging interaction. All such prophecies much as I had predicted have been unfounded. Real journalism continues to be as strong as ever. Blogging has settled into a hackney of a dynamic: you post something which means a penny more to you than other trivia and it would be admired or discussed by a group of select bloggers who are or become your group. And such groups exchange banalities endlessly.
Any differences of opinion from outside is scorned upon and fiercely crushed down. So where exactly is the democracy? It has brought forth easy access to other’s stupidities. As I mentioned before, the lack of meaningful exchange makes you firmer in your beliefs depriving you of your knowledge in the realistic world. Feminists just seek out feminists blogs and bloggers, while the technology enthusiasts continue to be engrossed in their technology discussions. Status Quo.

Plus there are some insecure noises made about saving your identity while blogging. That’s a whine from a person too much in love with his/her opinion. Anonymity is going to be history soon. And Handles would be frowned upon in less than ten years. Hmmm.

On the positive side here are some interesting status messages I found on gtalk:

..wants to grow up and become Bill Murray.
..happened, he cant be reduced to a set of influences.
..MTV presents Stephen Hawking unplugged.
..Haat baaais enge?
..Love is never having to say sorry. Bitch.
..making pills for poverty.
..busy fuck off.



+++

Among other things, a quick peek at the Daily mail yesterday ( No I don’t read just picked up at the lounge) showed that, included in the £25 Million-McCartney-Mills divorce settlement was £30000 for flowers and chocolates. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot bitch? Not a single frigging tongue of a Feminist would want to speak about it.

+++

And picture this: You worked hard all your life and saved a bit of money for your old age. Gave a good bit of your young life to fight a big war so your future generation might enjoy a free life. And when you are old you happened to have Alzheimer’s Dementia and your savings exceeded £ 22000 then the UK government would pay for your care in a desolate nursing or care home and confiscate all your belongings inc. the savings. That’s a negative about socialist medicine. But I’m not against it, works for most of the folks. Contrast that against a famous writer, diagnosed with a rare variant of Alzheimer's at an early stage because he couldnt type the word -else and being able to not only pay for his treatment but also donate a chunk to charity. But what itches me about people like Terry Pratchett who made a fortune by telling fantasy tales is not being able to just shut up and face the reality, keep their private affairs private. Why shouldn’t I talk? is the rhetoric he uses. Because Mr Pratchett,
1. If your next book sales hit a high we wouldn’t know if it is sympathy?
2. You got to have a look around to see how common people with real Alzheimer’s cope ( not the mild type in early stage)?
3. It is terribly terribly unforgivably unbritish.

+++


And we knew about this financial roll down to come as far as in october, the Americans though seem to be in denial. I still wonder how raising money for a huge election, funding a war outside, and cutting interest rates in response to Market having a panic attack everytime going to solve this?
God bless 2008.

+++

Does anyone know who was the genius of the babu who has handled the Taslima Nasreen send off, its a smooth stroke of genius.

+++

Lastly, A380 finally made the Heathrow call amidst much fan-fare reminiscent of glorious kingdoms. Its as much as a marvel of a machine as the ipod, but, only at the other end. I saw it last year and it is humungous. But hang on even after 100 odd years of flying we still cant have sex on air? Shame really.

Cheers

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Graysweet Mother


Formby Beach, Liverpool

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reel 12

Michael Clayton is a wrongly told joke that you had heard before. Seriously.





Die Fälscher: Best Foreign Language Oscar, was okay. Can we just ban Holocaust art for about 10 years? and after that forever?


The Counterfeiters.

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