Friday, April 28, 2006

Guess who got an awesome new digi slr?...meeeeeeeeeee!

So I will exploit this blog now for posting all my random pictures.
And it's taking toooo long to upload them so will just post one and also coz my friends who are non netty will kill me if I post the rest. Not like everyone on the net is some psycho photo manipulator.
But lots more will be posted later.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

of cats and mishti and other work rants

Am sitting at work and contemplating how different work is from college. I mean I have spent the past seventeen years sitting in class rooms listening to teachers!
Been doing some very *rewarding* assignments.
Went to cover the karaoke night at Opus which was quite fun! I love Opus. . We(A and I ) were acting polite and well mannered and had only one drink each . Cranberry breezer. We should really have been more opportunistic, the last time I went there I spent like eight lakh bucks !

Now ,Mr. Das of the K..C Das fame has eighty five cats. We went to do a story on them.
I generally don't like cats but these were adorable. They had names like Shivaji , Dadabhai( who was one aggressive ,attitudey cat I tell ya) and Leo .
There is a terrace with lots and lots and lots of cats. Two kittens were just two days old and hadn’t opened their eyes. They were as small as the palms of my hand . It is unbelievable to think that those predator like elegant older ones began like this.
That whole wonder at Life feeling overwhelmed me.
One ginger cat was extremely curious about the camera and kept following it and yet was petrified of it at the same time. :D
Would the cats, when left alone, bitch about these garish intruders of personal space in cat language, I wondered? Now, I really did wonder so..

Oh god I am thinking I am looooooovvving animals.:)
We interviewed the vet also. When I was young, okay, a child, I was dead serious about becoming a vet.

Mr Das is a quiet, regal man, dressed in starched white. The caretaker says he himself gets bugged with the cats and ‘screams at them sometimes’ but Mr. Das loooooves his cats and they love him back.

And he fed us lots of sweets. We left and they called us back and gave us some to take back home. Wow, very nice no?
And we were of course highly excited .
I could live on bong sweets!!!!! Yummmmm ..

Now then what else do I write about?
Ya sorry ..Call…so someone from HDFC calls and I act hep and put on my disgusting pseudo professional accent and say:

'Hello ...yes. .blah news.. How can I help you? Who do you want to talk to?’

She thinks for a while and says
‘It is you madam, are you interested in loans?’

Yeah right, I need money to holiday in the Scandinavian lowlands.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sunday Mornings

Sunday morning is the short space of happiness before the dread of Monday insidiously seeps in.
Sometimes it is hung over with me downing glasses of water and lime juice in a desperate attempt to save my Sunday before the dreadful drudgeries of college draw me in. (Sorry about the attempt to be awesomely alliterative). Sunday mornings are otherwise , getting up late after the ambitions of getting up early are shattered like the batteries of the alarm clock lying outside my bedroom window. Reading The Hindu Magazine and feeling idealistic or angry at the world. Or glancing through the largely crappy stuff from TOI. Making lofty plans that are badly badly co-ordinated. In boarding school it was dosa breakfast and too many glasses of tea. Dusting, cleaning, mopping, washing with the ever present fear of the house parent. Taking obese textbooks and walking to class to study for ISC. Sometimes it was putting on an extra innocent face to act like I was actually the packed bundle left on my bed when we were far away on some hill throughout the night. We slept with the stars and woke up to the sunrise and in awe walked to the dining hall. Or in younger times, going for picnics in the hills nearby with bits of grub.(bits of choco pie, two chips, half a dosa smuggled from breakfast). When I was really a kid kid it meant that the driver wouldn't come and I was under house arrest and aunties and uncles would visit to pinch my cheeks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I am mindlessly exploiting the internet at office. I need ideas for features - the 'visual masala' type. Please Please suggest.

reality bites

I went to this 'villagelet' on the fringes of Bangalore .This was for a socio economic survey. I am not those types who thought the whole world was friendly streets with lots of trees and houses in which a switch means light.
I've seen severely anaemic women who had no money to buy greens to eat.

It was however a needed reality check . Here is a place where people of a caste live together and more often than not don't intermingle. And dead rats decorate gushing gutters in frontyards , having been there for days.
The urea factory spews a thick constant toxic smell . Nobody in the village of five hundred families has studied beyond class ten except one Tamil actor who has a B.A degree.Everyone is happy though and welcoming. Insistent that we have milky coffee that they make on a stove quickly borrowed.
They are chatty and ask if I am a 'bachelor'.
~A~ says I assume Bangalore is Brigade blah and Indira Nagar and Koramangala.
Mojos , Koshys , coffee day , barista, college ,autos ,taika , crossword , landmark ,theatre, corner house,Forum.

I sometimes think I am bored of Bangalore but there is so much I still have to discover and have been here just two years!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

it is the system man!

Read this
Thirty-three million people. Displaced by big dams alone in the last fifty years What about those that have been displaced by the thousands of other Development Projects? At a private lecture, N.C. Saxena, Secretary to the Planning Commission, said he thought the number was in the region of 50 million (of which 40 million were displaced by dams). We daren't say so, because it isn't official. It isn't official because we daren't say so. You have to murmur it for fear of being accused of hyperbole. You have to whisper it to yourself, because it really does sound unbelievable. It can't be, I've been telling myself. I must have got the zeroes muddled. It can't be true. I barely have the courage to say it aloud. To run the risk of sounding like a 'sixties hippie dropping acid ("It's the System, man!"), or a paranoid schizophrenic with a persecution complex. But it is the System, man. What else can it be?

And this in The Hindu
On March 8, 2006, the Narmada Control Authority gave permission to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to 121.92 meters. This was just one more stage in the step-by-step raising of the dam height. Yet, there is something final about it. At this level, the dam wall is complete, and only the gates remain to be fixed. So far, a part of the river has still been flowing. If this new level is reached, it will be the end of this. The senses that have been numbed with assault after assault in the last decade are suddenly overwhelmed. I myself cannot help breaking down. But these are the last tears. After all, how long can one keep crying for the dead?
more on this later.


I've been wanting to write about this interview with the politician and how the police commisioner - (the man who expects pubs to shut at 11:30 ) is quite charming in real life . :)
There are actually so many things I want to write about but the mood and the time I have to write never come together.
Life Life!
If only Bangalore Uni decides when it plans to have exams , I can run away to somewhere faraway. Though I said I will stay grounded for a change and learn to drive and renew my passport and be practical and take CAT classes and other things that I have been postponing indefinetely.
They need English teachers in Ladakh. I want to go!
Fat, you still haven't posted by the way...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

This is India . I am a Man. I will stare .

What are we hoping to do with patriarchy parading around so determinedly? And ... the blank noise intervention. And how much more confident I felt after it.

It may not change the psyche of men. According to an IIsc student ,part of the group, men are genetically more likely to 'eve tease’ or assert unwanted sexual aggression of some form .
However it still makes us more confident on the road!
Really, the simplest thing to do is to stare back at 'offenders'.
They will coyly look away!

The intervention sounds vague at first thought.
'yea dude, these chicks are gonna dress in skimpy clothes and stare back at men.'
'yea rite, you wanna go watch? '

'Was your social cause achieved '?
(condescending air above text message) .

A girl a.k.a me stands in front of Mota like it is her bathroom. For five minutes. No one comes to join her.
( And there are fellow conspirators like her all along Brigade Road) 'Yeah , dude! She's available.'
Random boy comes to ask: Umm are you waiting for someone?
me: Umm no can't I just stand here?
Random boy: umm do you want a cig?
me: no thanks. (Polite, not smiling)
Random boy: (after a while, realising no man is going to whisk this girl away to safety): Umm are u sure u don’t want a fag?
me: Yes, I told you I didn't want one.

Which goes to say that a girl can't just stand somewhere comfortably, not particularly throwing her sexuality around without seeming available.

When one of the participants protested against being stared (The difference between a glance, two long admiring glances and outright violating disgusting staring being understood by us that is) at and handed out the blank noise sticker, a group of guys gathered and argued their cause one said.

'This is India. I am a man. I will stare.’

Friday, April 14, 2006


What are deviants deviating from? How can 'society' be a scientific standard?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

How Bangalore's mobs mourn

Dr Rajkumar is dead and Bangalore is going crazy. Buses are being burnt , vehicles stoned , buildings attacked and cable operators have cut off all channels that (presumably) aren't reporting his death or giving it as much importance. I begged the editor to let me go with the crew to watch the happenings. There was excitement in the news room. I felt however that it was just another piece of ‘sensational’ news for them. Anyhow we rushed to his house and there was a huge crowd there all trying to barge in. The police were lathi charging and Devegowda and the chief minister were just coming in. There was chaos and screaming and the cameramen and reporters were squeezing through the crowd to get what they wanted. Towards Palace grounds where his body was initially supposed to be taken, police cars were being stoned and there were frenzied crowds creating ruckus. There was speculation that it was his sons who initiated all this to just reveal how much power their father still had.
It really was something to see one city quickly shut down and steal away after one man's death. A shop keeper I interviewed on MG road was nearly in tears and he was shutting shop of his own accord and not because of any orders, he said . Some IT companies made sure they had placed a garlanded picture of Rajkumar in some visible place. Cars owners too hastily took print outs of his pictures and pasted them on the windows. Whether this is because of fear or respect is debatable. Glass buildings all around town were attacked. The company driver who just assumes I am bong or North Indian for some reason bitches to me about Tamilians .How this is their chance to be accepted by the Kannadiga community ; by mourning the Kannadiga legend . According to him the Tamilians incredible drinking powers will see them creating the most trouble. I continued of course to grill him to get some perspective on this.

It is sad though. Almost as if his death and the violence are two separate unrelated things. Are these mobs actually just grabbing a chance to create anarchy? Someone says it's their chance to settle scores but somehow it seems an ugly way to mourn the death of someone they idolized.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just back from the blank noise meeting . On the way back Ratu and me took a bus from Malleshwaram to Majestic. At the majestic bus stand, we were quite lost as to which bus to take. This guy went out of his way to help us find the right bus . Ratu and I live in different parts of Jayanagar and wanted to take the same bus. On this long long bus journey we got into this animated discussion about how South Indians are looked down upon. We were discussing this obsession with fair skin and how all south Indians are perceived as short and dark (and presumably according to them ugly). ’Animated’ according to us is imitating, enacting etc on this crowded bus with just three women. This man, A, got off the bus at the same stop and told us that all South Indians are not short and dark and blah. Obviously he had heard bits of our conversation on the bus and hence had a misconception .We quickly (not rude not kind) explained to him what we were saying. His eyes lit up when we said that we too were South Indians who lived in Bangalore. Sweet of him to have actually speak to us and stand up for his ‘race’? He introduced himself as working somewhere etc in a ‘you can trust me I am not weird' tone. But we were just too scared to. Isn't it sad though that he was this nice guy who helped us find a bus etc but because we are scared of any mans intentions on a bus stop at 10:3 0 at night, we had to rudely walk off leaving this man wondering why ?

Monday, April 10, 2006

relevance of Gandhian ideology in thepostcolonial world

Free haircut got by me at the Taj yes Taj west end.
Kicked to get long hair analysis and use acting skills to act like I knew what Loreal Paris trained woman was talking about.
But I think my long split endy ignored hair betrayed my acting skills vengefully.
And because I let them do whatever I want to it( my hair ) and it ended up looking not so bad , it( my hair ) forgave me for years of neglect.
ya i was guinea pig , why else would they even touch my hair for free.

Also got tremendous insight about socialite women which will be part of my experiencing different humans knowledge. which will show in my future book.
futile fleeting superficial meaningless ungrammered blog post as usual, yes?
I promise to post about relevance of Gandhian ideology in the post-colonial world next time .

Friday, April 07, 2006

Visual masala

Today I started an internship with a news channel.
We were asked to come up with story ideas . We came up with 18 - a mixture of lifestyle , fashion and social issue related ones .
Editor applauded some ideas. They are good visual masala ,he said.
Nobody wants to watch sad beggars you know.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Management problems

In a buffet lunch, I always take a little of everything. I want to make sure that I haven’t missed out on anything, at all. (Subtract most things because I am a vegetarian.)
And in my desperation to not miss out anything I stuff myself to no end. Even if it means skipping three meals preceding the aforementioned buffet lunch.

At the end of the lunch I would have had one bit of a leaf of cabbage from the Greek salad , a nail sized drop of caramel custard , nibbled a bit of rice dumplings with a piquant coconut sauce.(Idly with chutney, if you please).

I wouldn’t hence be able to write a decent review of even one item on the menu.
Now, this is my approach to life in general. And this quote is the medicine I should feed myself each morning.

“There are too many ideas and things and people, too many directions to go. I was starting to believe the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size.”

When I finished 12th STD, I had done an oxymoronic mix of science and arts.
I was interested in chemicals and resonance structure and tried to look at the world chemically, reducing emotional states to chemistry and pathofying the crap out of life .But, it fascinated me.
I liked genetics and how one single protein in a gene sequence of millions of proteins determines whether the feathers of a parrot will be blue or red on the head.
I liked literature. I liked tearing the result of a poor poet’s moment of peace
Into a million bits. Analysing anything fascinates me. Dreams, advertisements, speech, boy language...Okay I meant body language but if you wish you can catch me for a Freudian slip there.
I’ve considered all careers ranging from biotechnology, law, environmental science, chemical engineering.

Finally I realised I want everything but I want nothing in particular.
So I thought of journalism. Where I could work on something different everyday. Where I could review a play on one and write about seahorse DNA sequencing, the next. Write about wine tasting sessions and do meaningful journalism, you know. Write about under privileged people from their perspective, not in romanticized publishing pictures of glazed eyed children way.
As if the world could be changed so easily.
Write travelogues on the south of France in a room with yellow lights that will see me typing on a laptop, sprawled comfortably on a large Victorian type bed.

I keep having stints with journalism. I interned, I freelance, and I study it in college...
But oh I am straying. How do I finally choose one path, one career.
Advertising and market research fascinates me also. I mercilessly cut up an ad and come up with my own judgements about its intentions, its target audience and secret manipulative powers. (…evil grin..)
Besides , should I just settle into a corporate job because it is safer and richer and air conditioned with five star lunches.
Forget career . I can’t even imagine belonging to and following one religion or marrying one man .
Anyhow , so how do I whittle the world into a more manageable size??

Monday, April 03, 2006

Being in Love

Being in love with you
Is to abandon the piano:
It is to take up the castanets,
The bugle,
The kettle drum.

It is to sleep naked, with all the doors and windows open,
Fearing nothing.

Being in love with you means many days I am so happy
I can barely feed myself:
I laugh or weep or both and set aside the fork.

It means I wake one morning feeling
Such warmth rising inside me
That I am suddenly confident
All snow would melt
Within my steady gaze;
And I dress quickly
To test this
On the crisp, December

Being in love with you further means the rhododendrons
Are in bloom, the mongoose
Is mating, the moon is full and the wind strong
Along the western ghats of South India.

Being in love with you sings arias
In my head, hums loudly
In my bones.
It beats the drum.

Some complain that being in love with you is merely an airtight ferocity,
Or a kind of rococo piety,
But we proclaim it
This Resplendent Helmet,
A radical and luminous sobriety.

Being in love with you is crucial.
Everything depends upon it.

In summer, being in love with you is red, raw and delicious.
In winter it is blue, lucent, and shimmers when touched.

Being in love with you is to forget
For a moment the use of fruit:
It is to stare long at the splendour
Of a green pear
On a white porcelain plate.

Being in love with you is old as Laughing Buddha,
And as fat.

Being in love with you is only now,
Cannot be remembered
Or imagined.

Being in love with you is to notice the basic radiance of all things,
And is thus a simple, unarmed, fundamental bathing.

Being in love with you is as well, a small well-kept apartment
In the middle of busy Kyoto,
Where, with great contentment,
A young couple sit
At a low table
Eating their evening meal
Of sweet hijiki
On beds of warm rice,
The silence broken only
By faint, almost musical
Clinks of chopsticks
Upon the oval bowls.

Being in love with you for even one second
Is enough. The big picture changes.
(When the honey jar is opened,the whole kitchen is instantly sticky.)

Being in love with you is a deep thirst,
An undermining hunger.
It is a desperation like that of a barn swallow caught
In a kitchen mousetrap,
Dragging itself with his wings
And one good leg
Towards the dog-door,
His only hope.

Being in love with you is ludicrous and cannot be explained.

Being in love with you sneaks up on mefrom behind.
It is a kind of ambush.
Or worse, it is an avalanche
In which I am tumbled furiously
For a time, then stopped cold
In whatever absurd position the snow
Finds me - perhaps only a hat
Or a hand
Visible to the outside world.

Being in love with you sits on my doorstep
And weeps. It calls pathetically
To be let in the house, rants
About my neglectfulness. I run
To open the door but - when I touch
The doorknob - feel a tap
On my shoulder, turn around
And it is there,
Smiling it galling
Cheshire smile.

It is the holy guardian of archways, the faithful steward of alltunnels and bridges.

It is alpine and religious, naked and fierce.
It is the kiss of candour, and the cherished cup.
It is "the low down" and "the real dope".

Being in love with you is to dream, at least once, that you live inside me
Like a mysterious Spanish town at twilight: you are the red dirt road
That winds into town;
You are the squat houses with lamps lit and drapes half-drawn;
On the horizon, you are sunset's silent fire;
You, bouncing are the green and orange swirled ball that children run after
Laughing in the street - and on the porch, the old man, head in hands,
You are the young lovers in the town square at nightfall, the moon's play of
Light and shadow on their faces, you are their lips, their kiss;
And yet you are also the several dead drunk matadors, draped
over chairs,
Spread-eagled over the hotel bed;
And you, too, are the town idiot on the tavern roof, dancing a pot bellied
Belly-dance to the slender crescent moon;
And at the farthest edge of town, you yourself are the yelled-at mule, who
Will not budge.

In spring, being in love with you is green, resilient, and sways to the rhythms of wind.
In autumn, it is pale gold and fills the sky.

Being in love with you is centripetal.

Moreover, it choreographs
And christens.
It cradles and cherishes, yet
Confiscates as much as it confers.
It clobbers and clocks, then cloisters - but only to clarify
And cleanse.
It seems to cathart then catnap, but later celebrates
And celestializes.
It cultivates and cumulates until it is continual combustion.
Or, saying the same, is a kind of ever spontaneous consecration.
It cures and cushions,
Compels and completes.
If threatened with congealing, it may creep
Aside, churn and circulate,
Conspiring to colour the cosmos.

Being in love with you is centrifugal.

It is hard to believe
Being in love with you
Was once
That tiny space
In my heart
That has since exploded
Into a vast cathedral
Of sky
Under which I stand alone,
Looking up.

It is raining cats and dogs.
I am drenched.
Being in love with you has soaked me
To the bone
And I will never again
Be dry.
Micheal Londry


isn't this so wonderful?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

“Does this darkness have a name? This cruelty, this hatred, how did it find us? Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it? What happened to us that we now send our children into the world like we send young men to war, hoping for their safe return, but knowing that some would be lost along the way. When did we lose our way? Consumed by the shadows. Swallowed whole by the darkness. Does this darkness have a name? Is it your name?”
From somewhere.