Monday, December 12, 2005

Turkish Lover


Turkish Lover by Esmeralda Santiago is the story of a Puerto Rican woman who fights all stereotypical fates to lead a decent life and finally graduate from Harvard. It is a powerful personal memoir that starts with her migration to the United States and her life with a large family headed by her single mother. She graduates from the performing arts high school, having learnt Indian Dance. She finds various secretarial jobs and pursues courses from a Community college alongside.
Unable to find her identity and space in her mothers house, she moves to Florida with her lover , Ulvi. Ulvi who is much older than her is Turkish. Her mother, needless to say is more than just upset with her.
Esmeralda portrays the contrasts between her native culture and her adopted one beautifully. For those who have grown up in any kind of a multicultural setting, this book is a must read.
While she escaped from her mother for the sole reason of finding an identity, she finds that with Ulvi too , her individuality is submerged. He only loves the person who he thinks she is and cannot accommodate her individuality. ‘You are becoming too free, Chiquita.’
Finally, she overcomes his dominance over her life and graduates from Harvard University, a far fetched dream for a Puerto Rican girl in those times.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It’s amazing how one sight you saw when you were a kid can have more impact on you than your critical years in school or whatever. When I was about five years old, a 'caged' truck came and some people caught all the dogs in my neighborhood. (Rajaji Nagar , Bangalore). They yelped like I would if my eyeballs were touched up with cigarette butts. When they were sitting comfortably in the truck’s grilled enclosure, they were silenced, peering at passersby with gleaming soulful eyes.
My brother told me they were going to be electrocuted in some place. I imagined a special place just for killing dogs. Dogs would be thrown into a machine and feel lots and lots and lots of pain and finally die. I knew even then that it was because they spread rabies and all that. BUT there had to be some other way!!!!. The solution surely was not in just killing them so brutally. This was way back in 1991 and even bear trainers would walk the roads of Bangalore, their living sources of livelihood were often bleeding while being forced to do ridiculous tricks. Their small eyes looked so helpless; parakeets, monkeys, elephants.
Which perverted mind will see an innocent adorable dog walk on the road, minding his own business, aim a stone and laugh at his pain??
I don’t know. It’s always bothered me. While my friends were on their way to becoming engineers, lawyers, doctors, I always confidently said, I want to be an environmental activist. Now in the real sense, I don’t know how but I want to find a voice in me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

What manipulated crayons, we are!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.




This is one of the most sensible of the quizzes I can't claim to have not taken. What is my world view? (I was materialist) , What were you in your past life? …and others that I was too amused to take. (What rejected crayon are you, Kissing purity test, what is your underwear type)
I mean, who gives a shit?
It's catered for the self obsessed internet users/bloggers around the world. The creators are hoping that in the one second before they hurriedly start answering the questions assigned, they’ll glance at the car insurance and dating ads, and be tempted into them. The creators of these quizzes are probably bored students who are paid a bit for it.
It's a bright idea, though horribly manipulative. This new type of advertising. If you have a gmail account, you'll know that you have links related to mail content with every mail. A mention from an unassuming friend about his arrival in Bangalore is used to market 'cheap' airfares to Bangalore, property there etc!
Behind all this is the concept of knowing what you are most interested in and using that information for advertising. I am pasting an article I wrote for the college paper below:

Will the media be history?

We the smug students of Media Studies may understandably react strongly to know that the print media may be extinct in nine years. Will we be among the unemployed begging at Brigade Road signals then? Well, we can never be sure but according to an internet forward I got recently, Google will be responsible for the extinction of our profession? Huh? That harmless little know it all thing that saves you for every psychology project the night before submission.?

According to this particular internet forward called ‘The museum of Media History.’, one day Google will compete with The New York Times and the latter will lose and ultimately become a newsletter only for the elite and the elderly. Before I begin this sort of ‘futuristic’ History I want to emphasize that I am nor plagiarizing but merely re-stating what the net forward had to say and am not claiming it ……………….. to be the epitome of accuracy. (Yes, that was a disclaimer in disguise.) It is the year 2014AD. ‘It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.’ Everyone participates in the media and it is a ‘living, breathing medium.’ It all began in 1988 when Tim B. Lee invented the World Wide Web in Switzerland. Ten years later, two scientists from Stanford would invent Google, the world’s most effective search engine. Amazon.com was soon launched and aimed to sell everything online. Google news became a news website that had news edited by computers in 2002. In 2003, Google merged with blogger, a personal publishing tool that allowed one to publish unedited content and maintain a profile of one’s interests and aims. 2004 was when it really all began. Sony launched its first electronic paper. Google launched gmail which had unlimited storage. At that time it was a privilege to never have to delete a message again. It’s something we take for granted today! Eventually all of Google's functions were combined-news, blogger, mail etc and the Google grid was created. What is the Google grid? The Google grid ensured that one had functionally limitless storage space and access to information accessible from anywhere in the world .One could conceal information or publish it for the whole world to see. Internet journalism has matured. In 2007, Microsoft launched Botser, a program that ranks and rates news upon personal taste. The Sony E-paper was cheaper than normal newspapers. In 2008, Googlezon was launched .This combined the technology of Amazon.com which provided the social recommendation information in the form of consumption patterns, demographics and tastes. This meant that if you were a subscriber to Google they’d know that you were most vulnerable to consumer brainwashing a.k.a advertising after college hours, preferred McDonald’s to Pizza Hut and so on. They would have access to your blogs and personal files. In 2010, inefficient news gatherers had no business of prancing about the place writing generalized news stories for everyone in the world. Google discovered a new algorithm that would construct a news story for every user. The real struggle for conventional journalism began in 2011 when the New York Times sued Googlezon for violation of copyrights law and for unethical journalism. The case reached the Supreme Court and needless to say googlezon won. The New York Times went offline! In 2014, googlezon launched EPIC (Evolving personalized information construct).Everybody contributed to what would be news and most were paid. This was still a tiny cut for Google’s advertising revenue. Like we do today, all our news is delivered to us the way we want it. It has what we want to read about, how we want to read it and in the order that we want to read it. We could choose a combination of editors depending on our choice. So is news now, deeper, broader and more advanced’? They know our consumption patterns, our social status, our interests, our potential interests. They view us as a potential finance source for the economy, they tell us the news that will manipulate us into making decisions on what and where to buy and how to be. In this sense, it is the worst of times. There is no place for journalistic ethics. News is a ‘collection of trivia’ that is ‘narrow, shallow and sensational.’ Ted Grasse, dean of the Stanford University journalism program said that journalism is a ‘form of public communication and not a private service aimed at individuals whose demographics, advertisers find appealing.’ Perhaps the extinction of journalism won’t happen according to the exact forecast. No, I’m not saying it in the fear of being sued by Google (!) but the concept of journalism as objective presentation of happenings around the world, its aim being primarily to create awareness is fading.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Loos at The Leela

Yesterday we went to The Leela to watch a movie at the Levis store. Sounds random enough to be sarcastic but the (wannabe) tattered pieces of denim in glass cases there were intriguing. With special lighting effects and all that , there were denims made in 1937,1944,1952 and other such randomly assigned years. To me they resembled my now shapeless 1998 ones .The decor of the shop was interesting to say the least, with chains hanging here and there. Actually I could potentially describe it much more sarcastically. I don't however know political incorrectness limits for blogs. I don't mean to be so skeptical but the life of the rich is fascinating.
I don't know why I am bothering with college and all that. I could just buy some crepe saris from Shivaji Nagar and create some minimalist embroidery(read running stitch, and lesser the better, or more expensive.)I’ll sell it for seven thousand bucks, each . Of course I'll create this brand with a rich sounding surname , have black an white pictures of doped out models wearing them, make them hazy on Photoshop.
I'll go through Bangalore Times and hand pick models from page 3 . I mean those pictures are earnestly waiting there to be seen.( Neha,Sneha and friend) whatever. I’ll later have fashion shows and have actors from Bold and the Beautiful come walk the ramp for me.
Didn't one of those dudes come recently? The Hindu’s article on it had undercurrents of mockery ; in fact all the p3p type articles it does, have such a tone. If I am imagining it, forgive me. Deccan Herald was raving and ranting about him being so hot and all.
If I am unemployed enough for unwanted media comparative analysis, I might as well aim for page 3.
I mean , after using the loos at The Leela, it might not be all that bad, really. :P

Mess of love?

The Mess of Love
D. H. Lawrence

We've made a great mess of love
Since we made an ideal of it.
The moment I swear to love a woman, a certain woman, all my life
That moment I begin to hate her.
The moment I even say to a woman: I love you! ---
My love dies down considerably.
The moment love is an understood thing between us,
we are sure of it,It's a cold egg, it isn't love any more.
Love is like a flower, it must flower and fade;
If it doesn't fade, it is not a flower,
It's either an artificial rag blossom,
or an immortelle, for the cemetery.
The moment the mind interferes with love,
or the will fixes on it,Or the personality assumes it as an attribute,
or the ego takes possession of it, It is not love any more, it's just a mess.
And we've made a great mess of love,
mind-perverted, will-perverted, ego-perverted love.
--- © 1929 D. H. Lawrence
We did this poem in Lit class;I quite like it though Lawrence is not really a favourite except Snake which is lovely.Would love to write about it but will do later.:)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

clinical vegetable?!

The Logical Song-Supertramp
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees,
well they’d be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be
sensible,Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so
dependable,Clinical, intellectual, cynical.
There are times when all the world’s asleep,

The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.
Now watch what you say
or they’ll be calling you a
radical,Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name,
we’d like to feel you’re
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!
At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd,But please tell me who I am.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the rapist,the suicide bomber,the drunken wife beater

I always try to look from the point of view of the rapist,the suicide bomber,the drunken wife beater an I begin to analyze why peole would retort to such things. And when one looks at possible childhood experiences and the evolution of a severe identity crisis,how the neurotransmitters have been conditioned to go out of control, I understand the situation better.This makes it impossible , almost, to find any solution. The world to me is a subjective mess.(Depends on how you look at it,There's no black and white,On one hand...On the other hand). Man!The shades of grey are fatally dizzying. Worse than that...is the fact that my spaced self is part of a category that someone has bothered to create.Post-Modernist. Imagine there a word for this spacedness that the air of today's world seems to have instigated. I and my spaced out buddies with whom I sometimes spend late nights typing messages about pointless issues.(Pointless coz in this relegion,there's no absolute truth anyway).. Feminist, I surely am.Won't bore you with the proof. So does that make me a Post-modernist,feminist,cynical weirdo??

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ooooops!;)


When i was at Mcleodganj, i faithfully forwarded my project to my teacher from some (excuse for a ) cyber cafe.In the mail, I said I was extremely ill and was sorry on having sent it so late.In short I posed as a conscientious student.
When I returned ,I continued the act.
Today however someone told her I was in Himachal Pradesh all the while!
oops!





1.Monk studying at the unpronouncable named nunnery
2.Entrance
3.A picture of Gandhi and the Dalai Lama at TIPA*.
4.The Dalai Lama Temple
*Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Abbsent

I am off to Delhi later an dthen Dharmshala in himachal pradesh. Before that I have 80 billion tons of work and NDTV is scaring me now with its reports of earthquakes in North India.And I hate to admit it but the overromantic ,impractical me is scared.
Sheesh I better say something extra cool to neutralize that statement.
I mean I actually get to be in the Himalayas(my favouritest area on earth aside from Rishi valley and whichever home i've made house in) .I don't need to go to yellow walled classrooms and say 'PRRRRRRREEESSENT' everytime 66 is called out suspend my mind in a cobweb farm type limbo till it's called out again.(66) ,I mean.
for one week atleast.
I think being scared is a part of growing up and becoming so practical. yuck so dowdy i feel like thsoe loose sack shaped salwar kameeezes.Besides youth is not about but the absence of fear or some cliched proverb type thing said.Man , this language usage must be getting to you..so ya good night and I hope I have an awesome safe trip.(Also saw this awesomely creative play by Pawan Kumar called 'Honey,Let's break up'

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Why Krishn Joshi Killed his daughter?

Yesterday at landmark, they thought I was a thief. For someone who has spent atleast a hundred hours over the past one and a half years in that place without EVER buying anything except , occasionally a ten buck copy of Tehelka, they are not at fault. I lost my luggage token . It would get me my torn soiled bag with notebooks full of scribbling and chatting script that prevented me from getting dipsomania in boring psychology classes and a wallet with ten bucks in it. But on describing the exact contents and nature of bag and personal carelessness, I was unthieved. However , I had to write down my address and all that. That's not the point of the blog at all but. I was reading this book called 'Countering gender violence'. It talked about the socio -cultural aspects of gender violence. A factual account that is very disturbing for me who leads such a sheltered life in comparison. Baby girls in Rajasthan are killed when born , their necks broken by the legs of the cot on which they were born. The moment the child is born, the gender revealed and the 'tragedy' confirmed, it is accepted that she will have to be killed. Why is there no space for her? OK If I am Krishn Joshi, 45 years old and her father and I am bankrupt after having married off two daughters from an earlier marriage. Everyday is a struggle. I have been suspected for tuberculosis. My first wife is dying of anemia .The doctor at the free rural health centre yells at me in anglicized Hindi to feed her greens and meat. We just have enough to buy wheat or bajra.If only my first born had been a son. He would have been strong and sturdy; earned more per hour than I. Anyway they will fire me soon because I am coughing too much , am way too weak. And Now she had to be born. Obviously, there's no space. no i am not justifying it , I am trying to contemplate what would drive someone to kill their daughters immediately after birth. Through burying alive, feeding milk weed, smashing a fragile helpless head that contains a soul , with no space. How does one walk into this mess and clean it all up? Is it India's deeply entrenched patriarchy that manipulates women from birth into fitting into their prescribed role? Is it the fact that a woman's life is insecure from birth; she is vulnerable to rape(bringing dishonour), is expected to bring a dowry and is viewed as her father's, husband's or son's property? Of course , I am referring to rural India where even this minute some female skull is mangled voluntarily, some woman is raped, someone else is beaten by her husband. Is it only about poverty? In Indian Royal families, girls were killed the moment they were born. In some families, in a hundred years, there was only one daughter.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

'And those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.'

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Child critic

Remember what you read when you were a child?Or do you remember thinking about that wonderful word of words when your sibling could read and you couldn't yet connect 'abcd' to the strings and strings of words in the world?I remember when I was four, I could just about read "tinkle' comics and I felt so proud.I had entered the domain of an older person.Ofcourse reading is not such a cool thing anymore among kids...not like I am a grandmom. Ten years ago , I was still in the peak of childhood.
My favourite stories were the 'Undir' stories in 'Gokulam' which were about a family of mice. Now the word is associated with 'plague', 'that disgusting creature we had to cut up in biology' and other such unpleasing associations.
At seven, the mice part of the 'Undir' family were a world of wonder. While they were still mice at heart, they still faced the essential Indian middle class situtaions that made it relatable and yet fantastic.

The mother(mouse) gets transferred and it's all seen through the eyes of children who are often ever excited about change.(Maybe we are born following Darwin's rules of adapations but grow up to forget them).They eat chapati , aloo , rice and dal for dinner. There is an American cousin who comes and is thinks the world has ended when there is a power cut.They go out for movies and are excited about eating pizza. Essentially , an Indian child could relate these events to her life more than what was served on 'cable tv' then . This was before the American epidemic and before McDonalds was a household name . Before dream purchasing powers .
Actually If I am supposedly reviewing these stories dug up from the recesses of childhood, I should comment on how it was written , by whom....i have no memory of the former and the latter..anuradha something. Besides I didn't then have the mercilessly critical eye that I have today. Thank God for that.

Friday, August 05, 2005

'Comfortably numb??"

How long will I go on with this aimlessness.. I miss the freshness of childhood. I miss not knowing the realities of the world and hence believing in it.Idealism is fading. I Wonder how people after knowing the nastiness, the filth that has choked up people's minds still go on living, believing and fighting. After knowing the universe's indifference to mankind, it's calculations and patterns of what is to us oscillating heart tugging emotions, fight. Fight against war, rape, cruelty. are these things supposed to happen as written in the victim's karma or cosmic chart by some randomly calculated calculations to suit the need of the universe?
What is the meaning of life?
I though all these saffron sporting Caucasians who came from far away lands to India to find out were mad. Then I was happy taking school girl trips and studying for exams.Now I know how nagging, haunting these questions are.I just sometimes feel so so uncomfortably numb.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rishi Valley


This is where I lived for 7 years.Im mighty lucky ..I know.When you went to the loo you could see the mountains;in the middle of the night you could go for a 4km trek and be lulled to sleep by the warmth of the 'slash and burn' that the farmers do on another hill.Fire on the hills on a winter night.Vehicles that are loud enough to sound a thousand miles away.wake up to the sun rising between the hills.poetry classes under trees.

Student

There is an amazing shamelessness and power that comes along with being a student.Whether it's having the privilege not to tip or making 'house' on the stairs in front of a bank for hours together being treated to the whiff of 'AC' when the door opens.
Wearing a saris for two hours and smiling will get you a thousand bucks..(not that my parents would approve) and free food..(and drinks) at these swank five star hotels. People find this mentally degrading. I think not , even with all my feminist talk and having read the first ten pages of Simone De beauvoir's 'The Second Sex'.For the uninitiated, she is a french feminist who redefined the concept of feminism.
It gives you some pocket money and is better than whiling away two hours at the college food court laughing about how Ms So and Mr SoSo are dating..honestly its better than sitting in English classes listening to a story that your seventh standard teacher taught so beautifully being m urdered.
Or creative writing classes where the teacher tells you the one and only format used for diary entries.What's so creative about that? I mean look at my blog entry..does it have a format, organization or one solid theme?
Not that it is creative but still.
Being a student also gives you an excuse to be a rebel with no cause, to steal 'saunf' from restaurants in tissue paper , eat dosas in the shack in some sewer lined alley and not worry about the details appearing on page three of the Bangalore Times. ..
I think I'll always be a student.

Friday, July 08, 2005

My mind is throbbing with words,
My world is brimming with stories,
I interview and each line that’s said,
To me (with the self importance of an intern)
throws in angles.
Human relations whirling around held together by words,
Pulsating in light and in dark,
With lasers and radars and outside lights flashing.
The lights blind us from the enormity of what’s beyond and we tread on,
Living relations ,
in a whirlpool of dynamism.
Three dimensional migraine even to a seemingly bland student and
In the electricity in her head,
Or the rapists,
Or the woman in whose head the thought of herself didn’t bother to strike,
Or the other who strayed from a loveless marriage to soothe her emptiness,
Or the student who cheated to get through ,
Or the student who didn’t cheat but was ‘caught’
The first bragged,
The second found no way,
The Tibetan woman with
the acid burns on her face ,
that a Chinese dissatisfied far away created,
won’t see her pain contorted smile.
will make a story that sells,
but to make her vomit those words that she wishes to digest,
It’ll make a good story.
It’ll make a good story but clich├ęd though it might sound,
We are all in a play that’s been planned,
The directors random
And there are no rehearsals dear.
When the air sags and the energy’s clammy,
It’s all there dear packed in a hanging bag,
It crawls away from the child’s face and is sealed up Or the clown at heart who sweeps movie halls
Or the ….
Suddenly the world falls into place.
Only the words don’t.
My mind is ablaze and the words are whirling but the sentences just don’t string themselves together and formless thoughts haunt me,
For want of shelter, a cocoon , a niche in a thick layered word,
Warm, secure and the meaning still fresh within the crevices of the word,

Monday, June 13, 2005

Post theatre low

After all my desperation to hurriedly start a blog, I forgot my password and it's taken me so long to get it back and in the process I even tried starting another blog but i thought it unfair. When I checked yamini.blogspot.com , I found one post posted centuries ago and thought it would be unfair to join the bandwagon of blog name stealers.
Cut the crap . I am sitting at the Hindu office suffering from severe writer's block(not that the symptoms are not already quite prominent) and can't come up with any story idea that is either 1.not already been done before or 2.sensational .
Why don't I have a creative mind that just churns up stories. Oh, i wrote a poem once when I was in one of those rare states. Will post it later.
The most significant thing that happened last week was my theatre group's performance.....;there really is no feeling in the world that matches up to performing when it's full house . I think if i continue , it will be an insult to the institution of grammar and punctuation..for now it's writer's block, post theatre low(nothing to fill up my evenings and after four months of theatre everyday, it's such an empty feeling), and dreading college.There is so much to say but I just can't seem to string words together today so BYe!!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2005

ZTEKY-Before you dismiss me off as some psuedo writer who is naming her blog after a (misspelt) Russian dish, I have to confess that I have no clue what that word means but my shockingly small vocabulary didn't come up with something that other blogspot users hadn't already come up with. And, Yes! I tried everything from 'schizophrenia'(It's not that Im dumb but it's just that Im too lazy to check spelling) to 'uncreative' and 'undefined'. Well, I was really desperate to just (well) have some space of my own so I needed a blog so ZTEKY it is.
I don't feel like introducing myself and all that as I should traditionally.
Will write better tommorow and check spellings too..

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?
Bob Dylan

'I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas' T.S Eliot

'Have you been born yet?Do you feel alive?' The Doors
On that note , NIGHT!