Friday, July 30, 2004

You know you need urgent rehabilitation, I meant the re-establishment of oneself in another room, Mon-Thu, 10:30 PM-11 PM (additionally I propose purchasing a new TV set for that room), when somebody says Kyunki and the first string of words that crosses your mind is Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Kindly note that the conversation in question was not about sloppy..err..soap operas.

This is also known as the power of bombardment, of being forcibly exposed to such inane stuff for the past three years. Surprisingly, what is inane to one is not inane to another. The only reason I stick around in the same room as the holier-than-thou Tulsi and the rest of the kabhi virtuous kabhi vile Viranis, is because I get to lay my hands on the remote during the infinitesimal breaks. Infitesimal here is a relative term, for what is infitesimal to me is actually an anguishing, endless interval to the rest of the audience in the room.

I exaggerate, I know.

Speaking of tele-serials, this one has been interesting off late - Ye Meri Life Hain.  A different script, no boring lectures on moral values dished out every too often, and a cast that act its age.

And where did ya say, would I get a good deal on TV sets? :D

Current Music: Kitni Baatein - Lakshya

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"Hi there, I am Punctual, Miss Punctual"

It takes quite a bit of gall to walk in at exactly 8:27 AM on the days I have my Japanese class and flash a well-rehearsed smile each time, the recipients being the Sensei (teacher) and another colleague, both of whom I presume come by at least 8:03 AM for the 8 AM class (their precise arrival time, I am afraid, I have never dared to ask).  The welcome is always rousing, to say the least, a cheerful Ohayo!,  for of the four regular students, I stand second in making it to the class before 8:35 AM.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

24/07 & 25/07 : Pune-Mumbai-Pune 

A few seconds after setting foot in Mumbai, I am assaulted, not in the physical sense of the term, but by the sheer magnitude of people scuttling about.  Soon thereafter, I am shaken out of my perpetual daydreaming mode, as I notice something red hurtling down towards me (you can imagine the crowds on the road, of varying shapes and sizes, numbers enough to mask the approaching bus) , a frantic jump onto the pavement, simultaneously with four other pedestrians, unperturbed, unlike me. I mime the people and walk rapidly towards one of the rickshaws, all the while looking extremely busy. When in tyanchi Mumbai, do as the Mumbaikars do. Now as things go,  I don't have the address of my residence in this city written on some neatly folded chit of paper or even in an obscure corner of a diary.  These seemingly inconsequential lapses whilst setting off on a journey are the very instances that cause my grandmother great pain, further compounding her belief that the "being careful, being systematic" genes have not been passed on in the right measures. The telephone number was mugged up along with the address the previous day, the third and second last lines of which I dig out from the deep recesses of the brain (the name of the housing society and locality) ; no exaggeration here, but additionally I am not too sure if its Thane(E) or Thane (W),  having chosen to alight at the latter station. All is well that ends well. Findings of the day: My memory ain't too bad.

Now, the fact that Mumbaikars are a different lot, is not exactly news. Traveling for an hour or two one-way daily is not earth-shattering for them. Sadly for some, family life is affected thus, since there is no "quality time" left to spend together. I heard comments on how faces light up on Saturdays, since the next day is a long awaited holiday. Everything and everybody is in constant motion. Mumbai is definitely not meant for somebody as laidback as me, for we are bound to drown in the resultant whirpool, but most hard-core Mumbaikars would swear by their city. You survive here, you survive anywhere in the world, and hats off to the lot who go through the grind!

Mumbai, to me, is a learning experience too, for every trip down there, I come across something new, most prominently the human ability of adjusting to circumstances, I marvel at how people can go through the most trying of times, stay in the tiniest of dwellings and still stay put.  True, Mumbai has a life of its own, swarming people at its core, like a heart throbbing frantically. It's as though, "Down, but not out", is what the city seems to say after each occasional blow (of the communal, terrorist activity kinds) that threatens to snuff it out.

-On a different note, the Pune-Mumbai expressway is best at this time of the year, miniature waterfalls on the massive yet magnificently cut rocks, the cool wind on the face, lush greenery, pretty flowers looking so radiant on the road dividers. Now, is also the right time to head off to Lonavla and its environs.

-It was another farewell that took me to Mumbai, but this time, the pensive mood was nullified by a hello, a maiden tête-á-tête  with
Shobha , a bubbly and energetic journo student, her passion for her field of study is remarkable. A Barkha Dutt in the making, Shobha ? :D.  

Whew, that was a long post!

Current Music - Kate Nahin Raat - Ustad Sultan Khan
Zoom at 70 along the x-press-way, let the chill seep into you, and tune into this indian classical.  I will be surprised if you don't enjoy the drive.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I am in awe of people who have the knack of imparting a feeling of comfort, who make strangers feel as one of their own in a short span of time. On a similar note, John Grisham accomplishes this commendable feat in his latest work, The Last Juror. The reader, as I see it, *literally* grows up with the protagonist, Willie Traynor, in Clanton, Ford County, Mississippi.

Willie is a reckless 23-yr old, (all the more reason for me to identify with the character), who buys the local flagging newspaper setup in this nondescript southern state town. However, Ford County, Grisham says, was just the right place to die in, for the obituaries were colorful and the words devoted to the cause, many.  After a couple of murders, interesting court cases, local elections, and an exclusive on one of the town's black families, Willie finally strikes gold, nearly a decade after he'd bought the unit.

The charm about the book is its simplicity, small town people, small town problems, the reluctance to allow outside influence into their microcosm, and yet, the reader, a stranger to this tale, is absorbed almost immediately, into their humdrum of daily existence.

If you are looking for at-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, then look someplace else. This one is recommended for those who have enjoyed Grisham's other warm stories, A Painted House and Skipping Christmas

(As for moi, I have returned from a near-death experience, of the blog I meant, but one never knows when one would decide to plunge off the cliff again, without the parachute this time)

Current Music : Annie's song - John Denver
(I looooveeee this song. Strong vocals, more than a dash of the guitar, touching lyrics, and voilà, the perfect song to rouse the romantic in you)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Everytime I digressed, an invisible hand led me to the markings, led me to the path.

I was always more of a wanderer.

Today I feel truly, unquestionably lost.

Surprisingly even writing offers no subside to the gale within.

Verba volant, scripta manent
(Words fly away, writings remain)

I always knew what my last post would be. The time to part has not come, not yet, but a sneak preview of the end as a cover for the inevitable lull in the few days to come.

Current Music: True Love's First Kiss - an instrumental piece from Shrek
(The best part about this piece, like most other western classicals is the periodic frenzy, the frantically stepped-up momentum after moments of slow-paced orchestration. Identifiable, today, more than ever)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue

And some days when you are the latter, the cleaner is so close, sweeping nearby, you could almost stretch your hands and grab his collar and tell him to clean up all that gooey stuff. But lo and behold, the moment your hands reach the neck, he wriggles his way out and transforms himself into a pigeon.

Some days, irony stares at you in the face, so close, you need not even stretch your hands to gouge its eyes out.

Current Music - The instrumental theme from Lakshya (more on this movie later)

Friday, July 09, 2004

For D and V, Fare Thee Well

Life has this uncanny habit of ushering Cinderellas into the ballroom and just as the party starts swingin', the clock strikes 12. Oh yes, the glass slipper shall be left behind as always, memories frozen in time, but unlike the fairytale, this keepsake shall not bring them back.

I hate these goodbyes, bidding one today, and having bid a smilar one two months ago

Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need - I need more hellos! - Snoopy

Current Music: May It Be - OST LOTR

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Anything but a [No, Nahi, Never, Nein, Non, Naah]... aargh

It all started one dull day, deep in the jungles of Africa, when two primitive men (who had just learnt how to utter words instead of the click-clack sounds that they were accustomed to) had gone hunting.

*assuming readers are leaning forward in interest*

Well, it so happened that Man 1 missed his aim and the poison-tipped arrow whizzed past Man 2's ears. That's when Man 2 said "owwww" instead of the customary "ouch". Both looked at each other in bewilderment, this word was unfamiliar, yet at the same time they had no trouble understanding what was meant to be conveyed. Needless to say, at that precise moment, the prevailing linguistic foundations were shaken, and synonyms were born.

*readers puzzled, ok, ok, who cares except a certain C. Darwin, what is she getting at anyway*

Fast-forward to the present day
Yours truly is desperately flicking through the pages of the latest bestseller "How To Say No When You Want To Say No"

Thanks to a couple of squint-eyed cave-men [$%#!@$%blistering barnacles, lily-livered bandicoots...err.. Cro-Magnon$%#!@$%], we have a 100 different ways of saying basically the same thing, the degrees of impact varying though.
Take for example the act of refusing; you could start off with "I am so sorry", and move on to "I would have loved to", or a "Yes, I understand, but", anything and everything but a plain simple "NO".

What set this post off:
Recent attempts at being diplomatic, it is after all the order of the day. If you gotta survive, you gotta be extra careful when using the "N" word.

Current Music: It iS YoU i HavE LoveD - OST Shrek (nice lyrics)

Monday, July 05, 2004


Back to square one, eh?

Well, well, some eerie coincidence in here; two posts ago, I was talking 'bout the world coming to an end, looks like the powers-that-be have been eavesdropping.

Current Music : Mora Saiyaan (Khamaj) - Fuzon
This song has been featured in Hyd Blues -II, though I can't for a second imagine how it would fit into the movie. Will watch, if only for this song, and comment again.

Friday, July 02, 2004

To Life, to everything and everyone that has made me, to the greatest teacher of all

Gurur Brahma
Gurur Vishnuh
Guru devo Maheswarah
Gurur sakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Sri Gurave namah

Every year at school, we had an essay writing competition on this day of Guru Poornima. The topic was the same each time, "Guru Poornima", and the essays had more or less the same content too, year after year. I liked best, the part, where all the kids stood up and chanted the shloka above with full gusto. I did not understand it then, and today I interpret religion in perhaps a slightly different manner, but as a kid I loved the community feeling that arose thereof.

If I were to write the essay today, it wouldn't be only about the Almighty, my parents or my teachers, it would also be about so many other people, their ideas, books I have read, movies that have influenced, so many other experiences that have been unintentionally imparting knowledge all along.

Yes, the ants on the wall, they teach a lesson too. Of determination, of side-setting obstacles, of keeping it going, come what may...

(Wow, and do I preach, this halo round my head is getting to be very uncomfortable though, I would gladly replace it with the devil's horns to feel at ease ;)

Current Music - Krishna - Colonial Cousins
(Seems the first few lines of the lyrics are from a famous Kannada song. Hariharan is excellent in this one)