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

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Perry Bible vs XKCD?
Perry Bible always.
XKCD is linear


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

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.


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.


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