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

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.


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


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


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.


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.

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