Saturday, December 31, 2005

You say goodbye, and I say hello

2005 was special.
Here's to an even better 2006.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Curtain

I was ten at the time. Give or take a year. It was the annual inter-class painting competition, that Holy Grail of all things artistic for pre-pubescent kids (atleast the guys, anyway) with little more than starry eyes and an inflated(parent-induced, no doubt) opinion of their own talents.

The teachers, in charge of the organisational aspects of this venture, sprang something of a surprise. 'Free topic - Anything you want', they said, setting off an excited buzz around the rather large drawing hall . 'Unheard of !', whimpered some. 'F***ing brilliant', claimed the rather more wordly wise. What scope this bold, daring step would provide for artistic innovation! What grand, hidden talent this momentous move would unearth !

The dominant subject of choice, for most, seemed to be a landscape of some sort. You know the works - a nice house, preferably with a chimney (a remnant of the Santa Claus delusion, perhaps) , garden, fence, mountains in the background, and the rising sun in the background.
Some others worked on their version of a rainy day, boats on a lake(visions of Monet's 'Impressions of Sunrise', perhaps ?), and other such mundane topics. No nudes though, sadly.

Meanwhile, I drew a curtain.

It was simply called 'The Curtain'. Of course, at the time, I wasn't to know that a title of this sort was very much in the tradition of Camus ('The Plague', 'The Outsider'), and Kafka('The Trial', 'The Castle'), not even to mention Rodin('The Thinker'), the work's quality unquestionable and its metaphysical implications immense.

Of course, I was laughed at. Mocked, even. By all the teachers, no less.

I tell you what, though. It might've been just a reddish brown, plain, frilly curtain covering the entire sheet of drawing paper. It didn't seek to blow in the wind, or anything funny like that. It didn't try to portray any showy light effects. Dammit, it may not even have covered a window.
It was, however, without a shadow of a doubt, the classic minimalist work of its time. And it was all mine.

No wonder I turned out so messed up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lady luck has a crush on me

Ok, so the grades are out. Suffices to say that today, I believe in good fortune.

The Honey-Bee has my greatest sympathies. Evidently, Lady Luck isn't a lesbian.

Monday, December 12, 2005

hush puppy

So yesterday, I attended the memorial service, or the final rites of passage, if you like, of my recently deceased grandfather. The atmosphere, expectedly, was decidedly sombre, as hushed voices and tear-streaked countenances paid their last respects to the departed soul.

It's funny how death unites families. Mingling with familiar faces were those of long lost relatives - distant uncles and aunts thought to have been swept away by the hands of time to distant, irredeemable pockets of indifference returned, and presumably, disappeared once again to their own lives, so much separated from ours.

Not before a few gems, by way of conversation(for lack of a better word), from patronising, (but i must mention, not unkindly) aunts who exclaimed, in great surprise, ' How could your features change this much ?', and without the merest hint of a snicker, 'MIT next stop, eh ?' , eliciting little more than mumbles in response.

For one so much given to verbosity in private, I'm sadly tongue-tied in any public gathering. After the perfunctory 'hello's and 'fine , thank you's, I slip easily into my now perfected role of quiet-world-watcher, slinking around on the metaphorial tip-toe, unnoticed, and possibly forgotten. And before you know it, it's time to go.

Maybe that's exactly the way some people lead their entire lives. Gone before they know it's time, after spending innumerable years unnoticed, and forgotten.

What a shame.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Is it just me, or does everyone who returns home after a long time get greeted with anguished cries of 'Oh! How could you become this thin ', followed by massive meal after massive meal ?

Going home tonight for the weekend. Promises to be much fun, especially for the tummy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the daily prophet

I've been in something of a Harry Potter mood recently. Just finished reading 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (yes, I know that I'm about half a year behind the rest of the world, so don't give me that look) ,and paid my own little daily tribute to movie piracy by watching '..Goblet of Fire' on the computer today.

A few cursory observations, then.

a)Maybe it's just me, or the fact that I already knew who the Prince was, who he kills, and how before the first page was turned, but the sixth book was definitely a disappointment. Not bad, but not quite in the same league as 'Goblet of Fire'. Rather conspicuously lacking even a semblance of a plot within the framework of the big story, it almost reminded of me 'The Matrix Reloaded ', simply trying to set the stage for the grand finale.

b)I suppose that it is a bit difficult to blame the original casting agents for not having the foresight to realize that Emma "Hermione " Watson would grow up to reach, as film critic Roger Ebert put it, the 'cusp of babehood'. It doesn't, however, make me feel very good to keep telling myself that ogling at fifteen-year old adolescents doesn't make for a particularly morally upright temperament.
FIFTEEN, for god's sake.

And don't even let me get started on Fleur Delacour.

c)The Ginny Weasley angle, in the 'The Half-Blood Prince', rather took me by surprise. I always assumed that Rowling would set up something of a love triangle between Harry, Hermione and Ron. Seemed the natural thing to do, no?

d)Oh, and they better give Ron a haircut, not to mention the twins. What is this, the Swinging Sixties ?

e)Full marks for all the bad guys, though. Ralph Fiennes looks deliciously menacing as You-Know-Who; and Mad-Eye-Moody, along with old regulars Snape and Wormtail, is in sparkling, scene-stealing form.
Definitely the best Potter movie, till the next, atleast.

Friday, December 02, 2005

from here to eternity

I had just returned to my hostel room, after ingesting the resident cook's very unique version of a special celebratory post-exam lunch, when the cell rang.

It was my mother.

'Your grandfather passed away last night. I didn't want to tell you in the morning beacuse I thought it would spoil your mood for your exam.'

What can i say? The exams are finally over now, and after a fortnight of stressing out and sleeplessness , all i can do is sit back, allow the tears to fall and wonder whose turn it is going to be next.

Thanks for everything, grand-daddy. For making my childhood wonderful, for teaching me all the right things, for the summer vacations spent loitering around discussing any matter that took my fancy, for helping me grow up in a world where i never felt deprived of anything, a place that is now just a fragmented, disjointed memory of a bygone time.

And now you are gone. Gone to join grandma.
You didn't even give me a chance to say goodbye.

Rest in Peace. I love you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

apocalypse now

Mon : Digital Signal Processing
Tue : Statistical Physics
Wed : Solid State Devices
Thur : Dynamical Systems
Fri : Operations Research

The horror, the horror.

And what's more, my tooth hurts.
Not just any old tooth. My wisdom tooth.

Maybe, a couple of days before the exams commence, i should consider that as a sign of some sort, a portentous omen foretelling my impending doom.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Only one Keano

Goodbye, captain.

Thanks for everything.
We'll miss you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

a show of hands

If there's one thing that i really don't get, it's people who eat pizza with knives and fork.

For god's sake!

A pizza is meant to be touched by searching fingers, felt up, its nether regions caressed, and after the taste-bud stimulating preliminaries, gently bitten into - thin, long noodle straps of mozzarella and dripping sauce only heightening the already unbearable pleasure of weakly submitting to the evil embrace of junk food.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Crystal ball

On nights like these, I sometimes get the nasty feeling that I will turn out like that.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Gregor Samsa ?

Somebody asked me the other day, in the midst of the sort of asinine conversation that I tend to indulge in daily, if I thought I had changed even a little bit after entering college.
Given my propensity for brushing truly thought-provoking matters under the mental carpet, I instantly replied that I hadn't , with a shake of the head and a flutter of the eyelashes.
(Incidentally, I have been informed that my eyelashes are very long. How people make such observations is beyond me, but I digress).

Though not quite all weird and wonderful, my two years here have been very eventful. Considering the wide spectrum of experiences I have had, from seeing drunken men teetering(quite literally) on the brinks of terraces for the very first time, to finding mashed cockroaches in my lunch, I wouldn't believe it entirely inappropriate if i generously borrowed from classic literature to describe the Dickensian montage of happenings that i have had the (mis?)fortune of being touched by.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way"

It is impossibe, I contend, to remain the same in such circumstances, surrounded by such individuals. Before you know it, you are a different man.

1)It seems like an eternity ago that I stepped into the campus for the first time , armed with a plastic smile, a suitcase of neatly pressed clothes, and an idealistic fervour. I only retain one of those now. One-and-a-half, perhaps.

2) I don't remember ever being really unhappy growing up. Even if I sometimes morosely observed as a young teenager that all great creative artistes seemed to have suffered deeply in some profound manner, my childhood was essentially beautiful.
Wish i could say the same of the last two years.

3)This might sound strange, but if anything, i am much more ethical than i was before joining college. I have come to dislike the careless way people here flout basic norms, from copying in exams to getting around the fairly light attendance requirements by forging signatures.

4)In school, for whatever reason, I considered myself to be some sort of genius, the promising bud just waiting to grow into the blooming flower that would be embraced by the world.
Not anymore.

5)I am now a bonafide movie-freak. From anime to neo-realism to fantasy, I've begun my journey to seeing it all. Movies were never a past-time of mine as a kid, and if there is one thing I am really thankful to my college for, it is for inculcating a love for the moving image.

One day, maybe, after a night of uneasy dreaming, I will find myself transformed into a gigantic insect.

I feel prodigiously talkative today.
It must be the eclipse.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Its been two weeks since I last updated, my longest hiatus since the inception of this blog. I have no excuses, or explanations, for such neglect , bar the fact that I seem to be drowning this semester in a tsunami (pardon the expression, will you) of academic commitments. If all the pressure of handling seven hardcore courses that come in varying degrees of inanity doesn't kill me, the mind-numbing ennui will, soon enough.

I just need to find a way to stand back, pause, take a deep breath, and not feel guilty about it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

a day in the life

The sky looks beautiful today. A very deep shade of light blue, cloudless but for a lone dark wisp meekly threatening to sprinkle a few drops of rain. The breeze quietly rustles through the leaves, blowing gently behind your back as you accelerate downhill on your way to an 8 am class on your bicycle. You roll along merrily , humming CCR's Proud Mary.
Days like these make you happy, and you thank god that the powers-that-be had the good sense to ban all powered vehicles on campus.

You take a window seat in Digital Signals Processing, periodically dropping in on the professor's drone on the regions of convergence in Z-transforms. You begin to reflect on his eccentricities, and conclude that he looks like Fido-Dido and Dilbert rolled into a cat on a hot tin roof. The hour passes, a trifle slowly, ending with his lamentations on the absence of any budding mathematicians in class, our limitations horribly exposed by the inability to prove a corollory of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.

As you walk down to Spectroscopy, you think of Will Hunting, and how you secretly think you are a bit like him. You wonder if you are capable of throwing everything away, as 'you had to see about a girl'. This quandrary still unresolved, you enter class. The professor is teaching for the first time in his life, and he looks at you with big searching eyes and bunny-teeth for a little support, maybe even some encouragement.You try to acquiesce.His daughter is sick in hospital, and he has spent the night with her. You hope she gets better soon, and you consider what it feels like to be a father. A father with a sick child.

Solid State Devices is next, and you marvel at how elegant the lady professor looks today. It confirms your theory that any woman can be made to look pretty, if not spectacular, if dressed well. Her saccharine sweet voice lulls you into a dreamy reverie, interspersed with metaphoric electric-aid-kool-acid-visions into energy band diagrams and the theory of p-n junctions.

Dynamical Systems is next, and as is becoming an irritatingly regular habit, the instructor fails to turn up. You chat with one of the few people you consider your friend, and mutually decide that Meredith Brooks' 'Bitch' is a fine song to perform at a 'Western Music' (daftly named, i know) contest, especially if you are from the girl's hostel. On a lark, you begin singing Sixpence None the Richer's 'There She Goes',and soon it's time for lunch.

You have your best lunch in weeks, and troop up to your room on the top floor of your hostel. You turn on the computer,and begin listening to Lisa Loeb's beautiful 'Stay'. You get annoyed with Blogspot, which does not allow you to make any comments on your own blog.

You decide to update. It's been more than a week now.

Soon, in thirty minutes, you will attend Statistical Physics, followed by a free hour you plan to spend staring at her. A class of Industrial Engineering, and plenty of really bad puns from the good-natured professor later, you'll be back, another day in your life washed away by the trivialities of existence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


On Sunday, as fate would have it, I found myself in the possesion of gift vouchers worth, atleast by my frugal standards, an obscene amount of money at a prominent bookstore in the city, one that makes up for its overbearing pretentiousness with a decidedly above average collection of classic literature. Any bookshop that houses multiple copies of "Raise high the roof beam, carpenters " and "The Bell Jar" wins my immediate seal of approval, let it be known.

So off I went, two other similarly fortunate souls in tow, to the heart of the city, finding myself in the decidedly unique situation of having money to splurge. I have always found looking at price tags of books a little humiliating, and though it is a habit far too deeply entrenched in my psyche for me to lose it overnight, it always stings less when the pockets are bulging.

This is what, after three hours of frenetic price-totalling and much soul-searching, i finally bought -

The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (in a dead cheap edition that made me wonder if they forgot to print another digit on the price tag)
Selected Works of Kahlil Gibran (as Kristian will testify, I have been after this for a while)
The Plays of Anton Chekov(including 'The Cherry Orchard", the play everyone has been plaguing me to read)
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (massive 1000 page tome, this one, including the original Spanish verse)

I was also sorely tempted to buy a translation of Vatsyayana's Kamasutra, but decided against it in the end, the reasons for which i am not entirely certain myself. Perhaps it was a sub-conscious thing. You never know when that book might come in useful, though.

As I opened the Dickinson collection, the lines on the very first page struck me, Emily's genius already established with the potency of these startling verses :

This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me
The simple news that Nature told
With tender majesty

Her message is committed
To hands i cannot see
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

Very appropriate for this, or indeed any blog, don't you think?

Monday, August 22, 2005


I have often been informed, by various sources, that we got along famously when I was younger. Like houses on fire, setting the neighbourhood alight with our dazzling displays of public affection for each other.

There are even pictures to prove it, of me nestling on your stomach , looking evry bit the movie-star I was never destined to be, my face ethereal in the knowledge that I would not rather be anywhere else in the world.
Incidentally, I believe these are probably the only pictures of mine in existence, apart from the group photos that seem to be such essential ingredients of high-school graduation days. Yes, that one. The one mom coerced you to attend.

You will appreciate that it is incredibly difficult for me to establish what went wrong, or do any finger-pointing in your direction. Perhaps it is all my fault, of never living up to your expectations, for being the quiet introverted son that you never wanted.

Maybe it all started to unravel that day in the fifth grade when I reported that I had stood fourth in a class of forty, and was greeted by that look of derision which haunts me to this day. Or when I overhead you telling mom how 'certain people' are born selfish, such as me, and how 'nothing can be done about it'.Or when you left home to work in another city, those long years when mom and me had only each other to seek some solace in, your periodic appearances at home becoming increasingly sporadic as I waded uncertainly through my early teens.

I always had this image in my mind of having a perfect family, the textbook kind, with dinner-table conversations and jolly picnics. All you contributed was that ferocious anger and unpardonable violence, taking out all your frustrations on us with words that stung and hit where they really hurt. Even after twenty-one years of marriage to mom, you still make her cry. You should be ashamed.

I don't want to be bitter anymore. I want to move on, and not have my disappointments with you hang like an albatross around my neck.

All I will say is that I hope my little sister doesn't turn out the way I have, self-loathing and often depressed, though it breaks my heart to say that it looks inevitable. Be nice to her, if atleast only till she's half the fine woman she still could become.

And so, happy birthday,your fifty-first, if i am not mistaken. Blow them candes( hypothetical, of course), and make those wishes, and I sincerely hope they come true.

Here's to a better future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Today is the lowest I've felt in the last ten months.
Useless, incompetent, unwanted, and alone.

Tablet time.

Friday, August 12, 2005


"Did you know that eating alone could cause kidney damage ? "

-Sean Penn, in 21 Grams

It all seems so long ago now, a veritable eternity, when I swore to myself in a typically foolhardy fit of bravado that I would never go out of campus alone again.

Oh no, I had told myself on that particularly depressing night in the town last semester, next time I shall find someone to accompany me on my (usually) forthnightly jaunts outside the
college gates, atleast for the sake of my kidneys, if nothing else.

However, being the fickle-minded weak-willed person that I am, yesterday I set off, alone , for the ocean (It's really a bay, but I prefer calling it an ocean. So much more grand, no? ) , deciding to make a quick stop at the college library, in a vain attempt to salvage some course-books , the ones not already usurped in furious early-semester raids by my studious peers.

Incidentally, I was wearing a Kurt Cobain T-Shirt, which, as you will appreciate, is as good a shirt as any when you are feeling a bit suicidal, and the librarian , with the keen eye and sharp intellect that landed him the job, asks me:

"Hey, who is this Kurt Cobain ?", in an accent generously smeared by the local tongue.

"Err, he is a singer, and a song-writer ", I reply, a little self-consciously.

"Oh, like Michael Jackson ! ", he jumps up, all excited by this piece of knowledge he has just acquired.

"Err, yes sir. Absolutely. "

The book I had asked him to register was Suzuki's "Living by Zen ".
Nirvana, at that very moment, has never seemed further away.

Thus, I made my way to the college gates, and proceeded on to my destination, the air all the time getting cooler, and soon I could smell the ocean-spray, and see the world dancing before me in those innumnerable grains of sand. No wild flowers though, heaven (or hell, for that matter) would have to wait. No new arrival today.

And there it was, in Jackson Pollock like blobs of white and moon-lit black, leading its own lonely life of quiet desperation, flowing in a mad rush to nowhere, trying to reach my sprawled self in relentless pursuit, but failing, like all the people before it who have cared to try the same. So I went closer, slowly, cautiously, and felt its soft, cool touch on my palm, stroking me , consoling me.

And you know what, it felt pretty good.
My soon to be eroded footprints on the sand below, a solitary star nestling in the quiet serenity of the crescent moon above, and infinity beyond.

A quiet dinner in a crowded restaurant , and a long walk later, I was back in my room, purged of all the negativity of the past few days. No more sadness, I would think, for a week atleast.

Only one other problem still persists.
Game for a kidney transplant, anyone?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fact of the Day

I don't mean to gloat or anything, but did you know that my maternal grandfather's first cousin, and his uncle, are both recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics?

It's little wonder then, that the rest of the family suffers from a congenital inferiority complex regarding the capabilities of their grey matter, or the lack thereof.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Play the ending again, Sam

I was watching When Harry met Sally the other day, and amidst comic capers and fake orgasms, Harry raises an issue that remains wholly contentious to me to this day - the ending of Casablanca.

Why in the world does Humphrey Bogart allow the incandescent Ingrid Bergman to leave Casablanca with the very creepy-looking Victor Lazslo character, especially when he holds all the cards ?
It's simply beyond me.

Just look at Ingrid, Humphrey, for Chrissakes . She's so bea-yoo-ti-ful, and she loves you.

And what do you do? You let her go.

Sometimes I feel I understand men even lesser than I understand women.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


I made another one of my increasingly frequent forays into a bookshop yesterday, seeking , as ever, to dissolve the ennui of a now tedious vacation in the please-grope-me smell of fresh paper.

Armed with little more than conspicuously light pockets, i stepped cautiously into the decidedly regal premises, and felt the full force of a dozen 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' hard-bound editions staring me in the face, snickering in all their over-hyped, but i must admit, not wholly undeserved glory.

After this rather inauspicious beginning, i started looking around the vast and immensely complicated labyrinth, stumbling hurriedly past sections entitled Cookery (I've never understood the motivation for buying, leave alone writing, cookbooks) , General Knowledge (whatever that may be), Erotica ( ok, so i sneaked a little peek here), and reached Literature, quietly occupying a little corner, uninhabited but for a Japanese girl feverishly haranguing a shop-attendant for a copy of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club.

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.

With a half-smile, and afore-mentioned fatalistic utterances, now on my lips, I look up and see a new edition of The Fountainhead, the redesigned cover lily-white and Communist Red,colurs i would have thought hardly appropriate.
Howard Roark, i am sure, laughed.

Jack Kerouac simply sits, in satori-induced stupor, not taking insult, in true Buddhist fashion, at the ignominy of being placed next to Jackie Collins(why are you here ?),and I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

Continuing on my merry ride, i spot other masters laid to a dusty rest, Gogol's Dead Souls probably lamenting Sophocles' Tragedies (under 'Greek', you see) , Kawabata and Murakami and Ishiguro and Oe trying manfully to catch the Japanese cutie's attention, Huxley's Doors of Perception leading to Hugo's Hunchback, and so on and on and on in a never-ending rollercoaster through the literary ages.

And after three hours or so , With the customary sigh, i prepared to troop out, Neruda's clouds waving white handkerchiefs of goodbye, my pockets still feeling the same, but my spirit well and truly uplifted, when Scott Fitzgerald, genius of the Jazz Age, chronicler of the 1920s, beckons me one last time, and who am I to refuse?

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Before I die, I want to own a book-shop.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

20 something

Twenty is such an awful age. I can't even blame my deficiencies on teenage angst anymore.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing you last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future.

From Trainspotting

So many choices, so little time.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I just wish tomorrow goes by as quickly , and as painlessly, as possible .

The sun is the same
in a relative way,
But you're older.
Shorter of breath, and
One year closer to death.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Circle of Life

You could, one day, if the notion appeals to you, find yourself an empty bench in the neighbourhood park and watch the world go by, joining me, in unspoken harmony, in observing the curious traits of an unhappy civilization.

Let us, for the sake of brevity, assume the aforesaid park is roughly circular in shape, its circumference eternally lined by teeming multides of walkers, joggers et al, performing their daily exercises oblivious, or perhaps disdainful, of nature's bounty spread out like a tiny forest across the centre.

Notice, if you will, the top software company executive, attired in designer walk-wear, striding along like a pot-bellied colossus, earplugs in one ear, cell phone kissing the other. Quietly following him, his wife (by arranged-marriage, of course) looks around sadly, discontentedly, the dissatisfaction in her eyes impossible to miss.

Groups of women chatter along excitedly,no doubt playing out their own mobile version of 'Desperate Houswives', complete with fake Nikes on pedicured feet and simulated concern in hoarse voices. A single, lonely old woman then walks by, arms swinging in true Hitlerian fashion, the determination in her eyes fiercely contesting the truth which her failing body cannot hide - the inevitability of death.

Suddenly, as you look closer, a grandfather appears on the scene, pushing a little pram having, presumably, his infantile grandson. They move anti-clockwise, unlike everybody else, and get in everyone's way. The baby, dotted on its cheek to ward off the evil eye, invites broad smiles, the grandfather receives only cold stares.

Amidst all the quiet mayhem, you , and I, half the world apart, softly whistle 'Colonel Bogey's March', and do nothing.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Memory Lane

The sun today, as is its wont at this time of year, chose to hide behind the big fluffy clouds that blanketed the sky in great black portentous wisps. The wind, not daring to disturb the delicate equanimity in the firmament, blew gently, soothingly. And I, never one to pass over as fine an oppurtunity as this, walked a few miles down memory lane, to the house of my childhood.

The roads were empty, and I strode quickly, hopping over little brown puddles of water, remnants of late night thunderstorms and poverty-stricken tears. As the roads slowly began to grow narrower, and the skyline shorter, I knew I had arrived again in the old neighbourhood, three years after I had left without as much as a goodbye.

I gazed down at my feet as I walked, studiously avoiding old acquaintances who chanced upon my path, when all of a sudden, without warning, i was engulfed in an irrepressible wave of nostalgia, and thoughts safely locked away in a never-to-be-delved-into-again reservoir exploded through the proverbial floodgates, overwhelming me with the sheer ferocity of their reminiscence.

And so, i gave in, and remembered. The memories simply came rushing back.

Memories of growing up, of spending ten years of childhood,
of living in a neighbourhood that was more ghetto than suburbia,
of the utter decrepitude of the buildings, windows broken, walls peeling, pillars threatening,
of how poverty and beauty meshed so completely that you couldn't tell the difference,
of interminably long summer vacations spent playing hide-and-seek around the infinitely complex maze of run-down sheds,
of cross-breed stray dogs we christened after reigning beauty queens,
of butchers beside temples, and mosques behind, and never was a stone thrown in anger,
of people who were there before me, and are predestined to stay there forever,
of the first pair of twins i ever knew, with rhyming names and identical clothes and everything, bless them,
of climbing trees in the neighbourhood park- the regular haunt of cosying-up couples, and as legend would have it, the occasional rapist,
of strange old men with giant-size pipes and vintage cars and foul mouths,
of the jangling sound of coins in my pocket that were never enough for what i really wanted,
of the flea-market, teeming with diseased flies and a million lies, and the vegetable vendor who never gave the discount he offered the last time around,
of the first, and only, time i have stared at a teacher for a time more than that was strictly necessary,
of prodigious imaginations that would have conjured up profound visions of apocalypse at my sudden departure,
of the best friends i ever had, and lost.

And i closed my lips in a soft 'goodbye' , turned and walked away, and closed one chapter of my life.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Experiments with truth

I spent my evening today watching Rodgers and Hammerstein's singularly influential contribution to the Austrian tourism industry ,'The Sound of Music'. Cut to a converation between the Von Trapp children.

Brigitta (observing the guests in the ballroom): "The women look so beautiful!"
Kurt: "I think they look ugly."
Louisa: "You just say that because you're scared of them."
Kurt: "Silly, only grown-up men are scared of women"

We find wisdom in the most unexpected places.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Writer's block is a cruel, cruel way to die.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Peeping Tom

I went down to the cinema for the first time in more than 18 months today. I have always felt a natural aversion to theatres; a sense of claustrophobic loneliness that suffocates slowly and leaves me gasping for a breath of fresh air.

They gave me the best seat in the house, right at the back of the balcony, and as I later realized, this turns out to be as good a vantage point as any to pursue voyeuristic endeavours, let alone mundane activities such as movie-watching.
Whenever the actor and his girl start getting it on, as if on cue, the couples in the audience cuddle up a little closer, hands tighten over shoulders, and sweet nothings begin wafting across the now infinitesimal distance between lip and ear.
It's so sickeningly sweet it makes my head swim .

The film, by the way, was 'Batman Begins', by Christopher Nolan, the same director who gave us the unforgettable 'Memento'; and despite working on a fundamentally weak premise, it does not disappoint. 'Batman Begins' continues to build on the oeuvre established by the Spiderman series of movies, of infallible yet sensitive superheroes with three-dimensional personalities, not just slam-bang-there-you-go-ma'am types.

Perhaps the only letdown is the token female interest- Katie Holmes- utterly under-utilized in a weak role. I wonder what Tom Cruise thinks about her height though; she pretty much towers over him, just like old Nicole Kidman used to.

I can almost hear the feminists screaming in my ears, and do correct me if I am wrong, but if the man is taller, it does make the couple more photogenic, no?

Monday, June 20, 2005

a la Winona

Since last week or so, everytime I walk into a mart, it has become increasingly difficult for me to resist an overwhelming temptation to pick up something from the shelves, slip it into my pocket and simply walk away.

I have even gone to great lengths in checking the positoning of the security cameras, and the vigilance of the personnel, and the only thing that prevented me from snapping up two extra-large bars of Swiss chocolate was an unexpected intervention from a hitherto unrecognised moral recess of my character that forced me to place the items on the billing desk.

Its not that I don't have the money, or that I am in need of thrills; I don't even have an urge to steal anything particularly expensive. Maybe these are early symptoms of kleptomania.
It is in moments like these that i feel great sympathy for actress Winona Ryder, who was convicted for shoplifting, and appeared in a daze throughout her trial. Interestingly, her favourite book is Franny and Zooey. When I see her, I am going to ask her to marry me. We must be made for each other.

I just saw Michael Stipe make a surprise guest appearance with his band on Boston Public( of all T.V. shows) and perform 'Losing my Religion' . R.E.M just make me so happy. The greatest living band in the world.

Monday, June 13, 2005

the hospital chronicles

Let me, at the outset, thank everyone for their kind wishes. I am truly touched, and deeply grateful. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. My mother is doing pretty good after the surgery , alive though not quite kicking , but well on the road to recovery.

All hospitals seem to have a particular smell, a sickly sweet smorgasbord of acrid vapours that waft into your olfactory receptors,smirk at the sheer helplessness of your condition, and eventally pummel you into a numb stupor.

No scholarship interview, or major college-entrance exam I have ever written, can compare with the excruciating ninety minute wait outside the operation theatre. There is just something utterly submissive about an operation, about leaving the well-being of a human being completely in the hands of another.

As I spent three sleepless nights in the ward with my mother, my only company was a beautiful, moving book called 'Norwegian Wood' by the celebrated Japanese author Haruki Murakami, and it is perhaps ironic that it is in such unhappy cirumstances, sharing the ward with a dazed lady who gave birth 2 weeks before time to a 1.67 kg waif, that i finally discovered my fictional alter ego - Toru Watanabe be his name.

By the way, it amazes me how nurses manage to keep in such good cheer amidst such disease, despair and often, death. God bless their souls.

Another thing. As i rummaged through my mother's medical files, I noticed something funny; evidently she had had three previous operations, two of which I knew were Caesareans for me and my lil sis, and discreet enquiries revealed that the third was a miscarriage.A bloody miscarriage. And I didn't even know.
Maybe that's why I feel so lonely all the time.
I miss my lost sibling.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

oh hell

They've diagnosed my mother with fibroids in her uterus. I have no idea what fibroids are, all i know is that they are serious enough for the doctors to advise an immediate hysterectomy - the surgical removal of the uterus.

Mom will be operated on this Saturday, and despite the doctor's assurance that it is a fairly uncomplicated procedure, I can't help feeling a bit nervous about this. My last memory of a hospital, and this is about two years back, is watching my grandmother having a stroke and flopping around gasping for air, and then proceeding to die on me.

This is not going to be a fun weekend at all. Please God, please let everything be all right at the end of it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The long arm of the Law

It should be made compulsory by law that all fathers-or-lawyers-to-be be given a copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Never has a book had as admirable a central character as Atticus Finch, be it in his gentle but firm style of parenting, or his silent determination as a defense attorney.

For whatever reason, lawyers have always been looked upon somewhat derisively, while the law itself, as George Bernard Shaw informed us,is but an ass, and the cornucopia of lawyer jokes doing the rounds is perhaps representative of this image.

Case in point:
Q)If you were stranded on an island with Adolf Hitler, a lawyer and the Devil himself, and you had a gun with two bullets, whom do you shoot ?
A)The lawyer twice.

I am beginning to like lawyers though. Despite my abhorrence of John Grisham's yearly forays into the bestseller lists, and his now innumerable imitators, I've always had something of a soft spot for Ally McBeal, and am now wholly in awe of James Spader's Emmy winning performance in The Practice.

Just shows how the long arm of the law has tightened its grip around the neck of pop culture.

Friday, May 27, 2005

frankly, my dear

If there's one thing that really puts me in a bad mood, it's a movie with a sad ending. Especially if it is three-and-a-half hours long, like Gone with the Wind was. Of course, not that i would mind ogling a bit more at old Vivien Leigh ,or Clark Gable for that matter ;) , but for god's sake, why can't everyone live happily ever after ?

I had read the book a few years before, and i knew what was coming, but that didn't make it easier to take. It's depressing to watch pretty four-year-old girls die in horse-riding accidents.
Sigh.I'm such a sucker for sentimentality.

And I can't understand Scarlett O'Hara.First she wants to marry Ashley, who is attracted to her but loves another, in order to make him jealous she marries Charles, who dies in the American Civil war, whilst Ashley battles on grimly; then she saves Ashley's wife from death in labour, and proceeds to slyly marry her sister's beau to pay off taxes on her family plantation, all this while Rhett wooes her with characteristic panache; when the second husband dies, she gets married to Rhett, produces the doomed afore-mentioned pretty girl, and oh if you forgot, she still 'loves' Ashley during this tumultuous period. And so, finally, when Ashley's wife dies and he is there for the taking, she decides to stay with Rhett (?!), who utterly put off by her Ashley-obsession, walks out on her with the immortal words, "Frankly my dear,I don't give a damn. "

Phew. Talk of confused women .
I can't help wondering if they are this way in real life too.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ode to a squishy stomach

I hate looking up at billboards and seeing those muscular, brawny body-building types smile their fake plastic
smiles and cavort in their Jockeys or Calvin Kleins.

I don't have a six-pack. Or a four-pack. Or a one-pack. Or any abs to speak of. If you want to know the bare truth, I have a nice squishy stomach.

And what's more, I'm proud of it. Proud of having dropped 4 inches across my waist over the last year, down to a very respectable 30. Proud of not letting my self-esteem suffer at the hands of gym-obsessed image addicts with a penchant for giving individuals less statuesque than themselves inferiority complexes.

Maybe I'm just averse to sweating it out. Big lazy bum, I can almost hear you say, grimly nodding your all-knowing head. Maybe you should try sitting around with my books and my music, with a bit of football thrown in, just for fun. And who says fat people can't play a bit of the beautiful game ? Just look at good old-Che tattooed hand-of-god junkie Diego.

I'm sure a killer body feels good. And impressive to some too. I'm just happy with my squishy stomach thankyouverymuch.
Somebody pass me that chocolate cake.

Friday, May 13, 2005


" ...her beauty is superhuman ; for in her are realized all the impossible and chimerical attributes of beauty that poets assign to their ladies; that her hair is gold; her forehead the Elysian Fields; her eyebrows rainbows; her eyes suns; her cheeks roses; her lips corals; pearls her teeth; alabaster her neck; marble her bosom; ivory her hands; and her complexion snow; and those parts that modesty has veiled from human sight are such, I think and trust, that discretion can praise them, but make no comparison. "

- Don Quixote

I wonder who old Miguel had in mind when he wrote this.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I'm back home.

And it didn't take me too long to settle down into my daily rigmarole of food, sleep, more food, television, sleep. Oh, did I mention hot-water showers?

After living in that hell-hole for four months returning home is my yearly (over?)dose of hedonism, the elixir guaranteed to exterminate all the evils that germinated over the course of one semester in college.

Admittedly, home may not offer some of the finer joys of life, such as high-speed-internet or Miguel , but it does make up for some of its shortcomings with an abundance of pampering; my wish is very much my folks' command, atleast for the first one week or so, and bad exploitative melon that I am, I intend to cash in. *evil grin*

Of course, I probably will have to look for an internship somewhere, but for now I'm content with putting my feet up, reading a good book, and leading the good life.

Currently reading -
Don Quixote , Miguel de Cervantes

I can't believe I missed this one growing up. Salman Rushdie called it 'the best novel ever written', and despite his propensity for the hyperbolic, that's a not bad recommendation to have.

Monday, April 25, 2005


I am really tired today.

tired of staring at my cell for messages that never arrive of studying endlessly for exams to make them happy of my ego of giving so much and getting so little of empty email inboxes of checking certain blogs for new posts that never come of pretending to be "all right" when i am not of broken promises of praying for somebodythingthatwillneverbemine of dying of a broken-heart disease of being lonely and wishing things would be different but knowing that they never will be because im merely a little pawn in His great game and He hates me.

somebody hug me today.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change,
the courage to change the things i can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Whenever in doubt, I turn to Epictetus.
Unlike others, he doesn't let me down.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More think than you drunk i am

This past week saw the passing of another "Hostel Night", our yearly testament to the ability of adolescents on the throes of adulthood to relinquish any semblance of self-control and willingly submit to the joys of public inebriation, in an astonishing mockery of the expectations that are believed to burden those studying in a college, which according to CBS TV's '60 Minutes' programme, is "Harvard, MIT and Princeton all rolled into one." (hehe, funny that)

This being my first such occasion in my present hostel of residence, I was a little unsure of what exactly to expect. I might even have been excused for believing it was going to be a nice put-your-feet-up-and-relax evening, especially after the rendition of a few songs by some of my co-residents in wonderful spirit, even if the original singers might have cringed in their graves at the attempt. Even the food, in all fairness, wasn't too bad. Given the kind of rubbery rot that is the norm in our mess halls, we quite appreciate any change.

As the night wore on, and the programmes on stage grew more tedious, the bottles and rolled up sheets of tobacco (and marijuana, i would think) came out, and thus began the great orgy of bacchanalia. And poor lonely teetotaller that i am, all i could do was watch as one bottle after another was emptied down some dying liver, and one man after another began lolling around and dropping off like bowling pins.

It made me sick.

Incidentally, the hostel night is the only occasion when girls are allowed inside the hostel premises.
Thats a rant for another day.

If I met you on a train going from Budapest to Paris , and was getting off a couple of stops before you , in Vienna , would you get off the train and spend one single night with me walking the streets of Vienna, talking about life, the universe and everything , until dawn breaks and our paths diverge forever?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Things I've learnt this week

1)I hate pretentious chauvinistic over-self-assured men who claim that they don't cry. I'm very much a crier.
2) Some people will always hate you no matter how nice you try to be to them.
3) Some people will always be nice to you no matter how indifferent and ignorant you are of their presence.
3) I suffer from a chronic shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-and-self-destruct syndrome.
4) I'll never get tired of watching "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset". They just keep reminding me that the possibilites are infinite.
5) Having something dedicated to you feels really good. Thanks, Sid.
6) I am destined to remain a misfit all my life, wherever i go.
7)There's absolutely nothing like a conversation on a moonlit terrace.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


i hate myself and want to die
And we die as we are born


Saturday, April 09, 2005

the Turn of the Screw

"Ah yes, Tweedledee , come come , what can i do for you. You know how much i am relying on you to smoke out the big bad Wolf, don't you? How about a few F-16 'Falcons' for you? Would that keep you happy, my favourite brother-in -arms ?

Now, now Tweedledum, don't take this so personally. Don't you know that I love you as much as I love Tweedledee ? And i can't have you take away all of my jobs , can i now ? Some nice crunchy F-18's for you perhaps? We call 'em Super Hornets, the cute darlings. "

And now lets join hands, Dee and Dum and Dub, and ignore this evil-hippie-looking lady holding up obscene posters, and do our little jig, our very own private Dance of Death, like fireflies who play wih the light till they get burnt and die. Sounds fun, what?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


When I was a kid , I was told by the all-knowing-elderly that when it rained, it was merely a display of collective indecency by the gods, relieving themselves in public like little street urchins who never understood what 'Trespissers will be Prosecuted' meant.

Well, old Dionysius must really have thrown a big party last week to leave Them with such heavy bladders. You know that he did because of the smell of the heavenly ale, which , in our eagerness to ascribe a reason for everything, we simply called the smell of wet earth.

The downpur has been torrential the past few days , and the incessant pitter-patter is a welcome relief from the deafening silence that has become the defining sound of my life these last two years.
And even if roads are filled with little muddy puddles that make your reflections look uglier, and slushy piles of mud that swallow you like quicksand, you know what? It makes me happy.
And today, I even felt like sharing an umbrella with somebody.

Ah yes, there nothing like the rain to put your life in perspective.

It has just come to my attention that there are some people who read this blog whom i am under a certain amount of pressure to impress, so hold on to your horses tight darlings, fasten that seat belt and get the bit between your teeth for henceforth this is going to be one wild rollercoaster ride, and if you're not careful you might just die die die .

Sunday, April 03, 2005

say a lil prayer

Before you get along with your all-too-exciting lives, just stop, take a deeep breath, and say a little prayer today.

for all those who are too hungry to envy the crumbs which you ,and me, for that matter, throw away without as much as a second thought,
for the differently abled, and i hate the term disabled, who deserve so much more of our encouragement and so much less of our sympathy,
for those waiting to walk the green mile, to whose judges i ask, are you without sin to throw the stone at him?
for those hopelessly vegetating individuals who have no way back, and are denied a dignified, relatively painless passing by asinine legislations and god-quoting politicians,
for those men and women who would rather prefer the company of their ilk, and are prevented to do so by a Neanderthal insularity,
for little children who are violated by smiling uncles and kings of pop, and live their lives battling a guilt that should not be not theirs to feel,
for fire and aid and health-care workers everywhere, whose lives are so much more meaningful and precious than mine,
for two countries who just cannot stop fighting, even if their people share so much more than merely a common border,
for the departed soul of an omnipresent father figure who will undoubtedly be humanity's flag-bearer at the Divine Olympics, God's Athlete that he was.

Rest in Peace, Father. You'll be missed.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Return of the king

After a protracted period of inactivity owing to assignments , quizzes, presentations and other horrors, i am back to take the blogosphere by storm , seize it by the scruff of its neck and set it afire with my dazzling displays of literary prowess.

So much for the bluster.

Even if John Lennon maintains that life is what happens when we are busy making other plans, it sometimes scares me to think of how little of my life I've planned out. Everyone around me seems to have their life all chalked out, right down to the minutest details, and here I am, nearly deciding impulsively to choose a minor in Communication because it contained a course on Rhetoric,being the same course old Robert Pirsig taught in "Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".

I was eventually put off by the excessively theoretical nature of the courses, replete with linguistics and phonetics and the like. And if there are two other things i can't stand, they are grammar and incompetence, both of which form the core of the college's English Department.

Oh and by the way, question in my English quiz:
Synonym for 'Resilience' - Fl________

All you self-anointed gods of the language, take a shot.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

the Donnie Darko experience

Gretchen : " What kind of name is Donnie Darko ? It makes you sound like some kind of Superhero ."
Donnie : "What makes you think I'm not ? "

After infinite recommendations and as many chidings ("What ? You haven't seen Donnie Darko ?"), I got down today to seeing this little gem of a movie, the sort of film that you may never have heard of earlier, but after watching it, one that you are never going to forget, especially when you consider the fact that you might have to watch it more than just once to understand its true meaning.

Essentially based on a science fiction back-bone, it runs through an entire gamut of themes, from quantum physics and wormholes (there is even a discussion on this in the movie :), yay for old Stephen Hawking), mysterious tangent universes, a budding romantic relationship which is more than just vaguely reminiscent of the one between Thora Birch and the weirdo neighbour in "American Beauty", and a fiercely critical look at the American schooling system.

And as i looked through the credits, my eyes nearly popped out when i noticed that the character of the psychiatrist was played by Katherine Ross, the same actress who was the beautiful, beautiful Elaine in "The Graduate" all those years back. Didn't recoginse her at all.

So what makes the Donnie Darko experience so magical ? A terrific performance from Jake Gyllenhall (interestingly, his real life sister Maggie plays his sister in the film), a superb soundtrack, and the verve and depth of vision that is so conspicious by its absence in big-budget productions.

Yay for indie films. :)

Donnie : "What does it feel like to have a whacko son ? "
Mother : "It feels beautiful."

*wipes tear*

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

fit the bill?

My favourite lines from one of my favourite books ,Jack Kerouac's "On the Road"

..the only ones for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn burn burn like fabulous Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centrelight pop and everybody goes 'Aww' .


Anyone fits the bill ?

Monday, March 21, 2005

right now

right now, i am

hungry, sad
missing someone
being missed
waiting watching wondering hoping
humming, listening
lyrical, prosaic
boring, bored
yacketayakking screaming vomitting whispering
quoting, plagiarising
waiting watching wondering hoping
disappointed, depressed
admired, revered
admiring, revering
reviled, hated
tolerant, trying

Thursday, March 17, 2005

there is no spoon

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

I wore a full-sleeved formal shirt for the first time in two years today. It was a compulsory requirement for an English presentation that I had to make.

It was comical to see the bewildered expressions of my classmates as I expounded sagely on the philosophy of "The Matrix"; but i guess Plato's allegory of the cave and Descartian thought and Buddhist theology is a little too much to handle for individuals who have hitherto been subjected to topics as thought-provoking as "Waste Management" and "The Kyoto Protocol".

Oh, and by the way, I never knew that the buttons on the cuffs are that difficult to fasten on your own. Just goes to show that we learn something new everyday.

I have been wondering about another little issue recently.
I don't dream anymore.
No no not those i-wanna-be-a-punk-rocker kind of dreams, but the real ones -the types which creep up on you in the throes of deep sleep and kiss you ever so slightly and leave a little imprint like faded away lipstick on a shirt's collar that refuses to go away but reminds you that it actually happened, even if only in the playground of your mind's eye.

And i don't know if i'm in a minority here, but it always seemed to me that most of my dreams were bad ones, not to the extent of being nightmarish, but simply pointless journeys into nothingness where you met people you knew and just hung around waiting for someone to pull the plug ; or perhaps it is just a manifestation of our selective memories, a self-conscious-imposed negativity that makes us look at the world with dung-tinted glasses that makes us forget all the nice ones.

And i cannot , for the life of me,recollect whether my dreams were in colur or black-and-white. It is a wonder that people remember such things....

Saturday, March 12, 2005

big toe?

Well correct me if i'm wrong, but after extensive observations, i have arrived at the conclusion that an alarming percentage of the human male population have their second toes LONGER than their big toes.

Interestingly, this appears to be far less prevalent amongst the female of the species.

I wonder why.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

the walk of life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day
And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life

I hate to be overtly melodramatic about anything, but as
i sang 'Walk of Life' along with Mark Knopfler on Monday night,i
damn near cried with joy. It simply has to be the highlight
of my life.

The man is such a legend that he even has a dinosaur
named after him, Masiakasaurus Knopfleri

Back today in college, life has got back to being what it really is,
a bitch.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


I had the weirdest journey home.
I missed one bus by 5 minutes, which meant that I had to wait for 2 hours for the next, which true to the machinations of Murphy's Law, contrived to break down along the way.

I sat on the bus next to a guy who spoke to me for less than 5 minutes, and immediately informed me that i was either a Cancer or Virgo. W E I R D . I am , incidentally, a Cancer.

All this meant that the bus reached at the unholy hour of 3 am, and with no viable means of public transport, i had to trudge my way home on foot. Now stray dogs have always scared the hell out for me. And i as i walked back, i was surrounded by some 25, TWENTY-FIVE i kid you not, strays that barked and growled and snarled and howled at my every shivering step. Its a good thing barking dogs seldom bite, else i wouldn't be around to tell the tale.

When they finally got bored of bullying me and left, who was to arrive in my path but a drunk with a broken bottle in his hand. I wouldn't like to go into the details, but we had a charming conversation, only terminated by my decision to run like a madman.

Its a wonder i'm still alive

I got tickets for Mark Knopfler's concert tomorrow. Woo hoo !

Thursday, March 03, 2005

home sweet home

But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony I need someone to comfort me.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was.
God knows how many times i've allowed that song to play itself out in my head, wishing i was on a bus rolling towards home. And, tomorrow, i will be homeward bound :-) , for a 4 - day mini-vacation with my family.

There is something beautifully comforting about a journey when you know that goodness lies on the other side; an easy melancholia that envelopes your soul like a warm quilt on a wintry day.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that i will return a million kgs heavier, what with lavish king-sized meals that are sure to punctuate each day, not to mention slothfulness of an extreme nature. But the real reason i'm going home is not the pampering, the fawning even, but the fact that the Sultan of Swing is going to be in town.

The legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist of Dire Straits Mark Knopfler is scheduled to perform coming Monday, and it cannot come soon enough! Despite the fact that tickets are obscenely over-priced (even for someone of the stature of Knopfler) ,there is nothing like the arrival of the prodigal son to warm the cockles of the heart and loosen the purse-strings of my parents, who have been soooo sweet to agree to shoulder the Sultan's ransom. I can only hope the tickets don't sell out by the time i'm there.

I've always loved Dire Straits; the brutal simplicity of ' and me, babe, how about it? ', the haunting 'So far away' , the wonderfully uplifting 'Walk of Life' and the cheekiness of 'Money for Nothing' - all replete with the wry humour and virtuoso guitar-playing of Mark Knopfler. The man is a living legend, and if i do make it to the show on Monday, it will be a privilege.......

I saw 'Amelie' again yesterday. If any one of you resembles/behaves/speaks like her, just let me know and i'll marry you in an instant.
I assure you that i compare favourably with Nino.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

send an instant message......

Its funny how so many people are so much nicer in the online world than in reality. Rude, spiteful and sometimes downright obnoxious individuals ( i guess that covers most of us, maybe i should put in selfish/unfriendly/egoistic for good measure ) metamorphose into epitomes of good manners - absolute darlings over-eager to impress with an over-abundance of pleases and thank-yous and what-not.

I am left baffled by this; because when you think about it , there is absolutely no reason why anyone has to be nice to anybody else online; in fact it is probably easier to vent your anger at someone and walk away without any guilt or fear of recrimination.

Maybe it can be explained as being an obvious manifestation of the one-dimensional nature of virtual reality- stripped of your classy clothes, pretty face and physical persona , this is the REAL you, your innards on public display, and if you aren't on your best behaviour you'll be left behind. Its also perhaps the reason why so many people are finding love online, because it serves as a throwback to the time when if you got together with somebody you bought their character and their soul, not their bank balances or big boobs.

For three months, my best friend was someone i met online. And even if she's gone now, i'll rest safe in the knowledge that if all of us just shut ourselves up in our roooms in front of our computers for a day, the world would be an altogether happier nicer so much more beautiful place to be, if only for 24 hours.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

42 things you always wanted to know


1) If i have to die young, i want to die at 27.
2)I'm in love with Kate Hudson.
3)I'm a virgin
4)Orkut depresses the hell out of me. I hate it when i see hundreds of friends and a gazillion scraps on anyone's profile.
5)I can't stand mobile phones. Especially the really trendy new ones with polyphonic ringtones or whatever.
6)I'm beautifully ugly.
7)I want to be buried wearing a Manchester United jersey.
8)I'm a sucker for young female writers.
9) I'm addicted to Yahoo and MSN messengers. MSN's nicer.
10)Holden Caulfield is my hero; a position earlier occupied by a Howard Roark.
11)The fact that I was born on July 22, which is of course 22/7 , rather marked me out for maths from birth. This one thing i will say unabashedly, i am a MATHS GOD.
12)I'm lonely
13)I scored 26% in the 'Social Assertiveness' category of the Cattel-16-factor test. I must be a wimp/anarchist/whatever
14)I'm not.
15)I would die without my music.
16)Its my life's ambition to go to Vietnam and live my own 'Apocalypse Now'.
17)I'm a good listener.
18)Very poor talker.
19)I hit my head somewhere when i was 5 years old. That incident left me with a lightning shaped scar on my forehead. Now who does that remind you of?
20)After much deliberation, i've decided that either Guy Pearce or Ed Norton will play me in a biopic of me. It'll be called "The Writer " . Heh.
21)I'm very much a momma's boy. And whats more, i'm proud of it.
22)I'm very superstitious.
23)I've never been outside my country
24)I don't know to swim. Water scares me.
25)My favourite TV show will always be 'The Wonder Years' , saw a few episodes again recently and it felt like the good old days.
26)Most people seem to take an instant dislike to me.
27)I wish i had teeth like Alanis Morissette.
28)I hate politics.Politicians are evil people who make millions at the expense of the poor.
29)But i have to admit that at heart, I'm a socialist.
30)Staying on the topic, i want to ride a motorcyle across South America, and write a diary about it, like old Che Guevara.
31)I don't do drugs.
32)Other than 'Dune', i hate all science-fiction.
33)I used to be obsessed with pornography, it disgusts me now
34)I'm getting to be a bit anorexic. Blame it on the 'metrosexual' fad.
35)I don't know why, but i think most women look better in traditional clothes.
36)Hip-hop makes me sick.
37)I have been on TV six times. None the better for it.
38)I am cold and mean to people i don't like.
39)If there is one religion i really want to follow, its Zen.
40)I'm waiting for the one moment that will change my life.
41)I'm waiting for you.
42)Your parents would approve.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

koan 1

This one simply has to be the first.

You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together. Now show me the sound of one hand.


Nice link.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

THAT scene

the best scene ever

Ricky Fitts : It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.


In my next life, i want to be a paper bag

Friday, February 18, 2005

thought for the day

Looking for faces
which return
lonely glares,
searching stares

as Emptiness
eats away inside

You pay for every happiness in life with twice its price in sorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


If i remember correctly, today exactly marks two years to the day i graduated from high school.
That evening is still crystal-clear in my memory, there we were - all blue-eyed, idealistic, stepping out into the big bad world with all the swagger of birds that had just learnt to fly.
All we could perceive was the sweet smell of freedom, and none of the surrounding muck.

And here i am today - a withering flower.

For what is freedom i ask ? It is but another form of enslavement, just another word corrupted by the abuse of language.

Just ask Tyler Durden.

" We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly waking up to that fact, people. And we're very, very pissed off. "

Monday, February 14, 2005

my bloody valentine

For everyone who deplores everything that this day stands for.

Neil Gaiman from "The Sandman : The Kindly ones"

"Have you even been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love."

Have a quiz on quantum mechanics tomorrow, else i would have had more to say....

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The genius of Stanley Kubrick

There's this famous quote which goes something like , the Americans make movies, the Italians 'films', and the French 'cinema'. And maybe you can add one more to that - Stanley Kubrick simply makes classics.

As part of an ongoing Kubrick festival in college, 'Lolita' was screened yesterday. And like all his other works, it was one helluva good ride, with all his trademark black humour and brilliant individual performances - none more so than the amazing Peter Sellers, who after his quite sensational triple-role in Dr Strangelove, puts in another career defining act. Not to forget the bewitchingly beautiful Sue Lyon , as Dolores 'Lolita' Haze, the object of the lustful attention of Humbert Humbert .

What makes the film all the more remarkable is that Vladimir Nabokov's classic book is one that greatly challenges adaptation to the big screen, with its long drawn style and lyrical nature. However, despite marked differences in movie and book, the transiton is seamless, as was the case with 'A Clockwork Orange', '2001:A Space Odyssey' and 'The Shining'.

Every Kubrick movie leaves one particular scene imprinted in the mind - i remember '2001 ' had 'Also Sprach Zarathushtra' and ' The Blue Danube' reverberating in my ears,even though the movie itself i found difficult to understand ; the scary-as-hell 'All work and no play' scene from 'The Shining' ; Alex singing 'Singin in the Rain' as he assaults the old author and his wife in '..Clockwork..' ; the training officer's monologue in 'Full Metal Jacket' ; and of course, the infamous orgy in 'Eyes Wide Shut'

It is an absolute travesty that despite 4 Best Director nominations, Kubrick does not have an Oscar, but I guess when Oscars are given out these days to just about anyone who lobbies hard enough, that is not an entirely bad thing....

Thursday, February 10, 2005

year of yiyou

Yesterday was the Chinese New Year's Day, the first day of the Year of the Rooster(Yiyou).

It is believed that the year a person is born in plays no small role in determing his traits and identity as an individual. While I've never been one for astrology and the like, I decided to have a look at my Chinese horoscope and this is what i found.....

I am , ladies and gentlemen , an Ox.

" The Ox/buffalo is the hard working, serious loner of the family whose essence is 'endurance.' The opinionated Ox is determined, strong, and conservative, with a notable gift for manual dexterity and working with their hands. Family and duty are of the utmost importance to the home-spun Ox. Souls born under this 2nd sign of the zodiac are capable of leading nations, not to mention running a most efficient household. Oxen are powerful individuals with stubborn, reliable personalities. Whether at home or at work these souls need to be captain of their ship and are dependable, honest, and stable. The quiet, yet firm Ox is easy-going, but possesses intense passion beneath their calm exterior. The industrious Ox needs a partner of substance and loyalty. Oxen gather strength during the quiet post-midnight hours they rule, between 1:00am - 3:00am. "

Hehe :)
I especially like the 'intense passion beneath the calm exterior' line.

Wanted: A partner of substance and loyalty. All those interested may comment on this blog( God i have a bad feeling about that already).

To check your Chinese horoscope, click here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Way to Go !

Horror of Horrors
Old Prof M has apparently asked the class to write a paragraph of about 150 words following all the norms of 'good writing' laid out by him. We are to read them aloud tomorrow, the first English class I'll be attending after a week.

The good news is that he has left the topic open, which allows me to make it as shocking as I like , and ensure that he never makes me read out anything again. Never Ever.

And so after much deliberation, sifting through the likes of ' Of Attendance and other Inanities ' and 'REM : Rapid English Massacre', I have settled upon ' Way to Go !' - a short compendium of bizarre celebrity suicides.

Celebrities have a unique way of capturing public imagination, be it in life or in death. As cynics would have it,a fancy suicide is the ultimate publicity stunt. Let us consider the efforts of our ladies first. Poetess Sylvia Plath, always one for the unconventional, decided to discard the tried and tested methods of slashing a wrist or shooting a temple and instead put her head into a heated oven. Peggy Entwistle, an upcoming actress, jumped off the H of the Hollywood sign, exactly one day before she would have received an offer to star in a movie about a girl who commits suicide.If this appears much too trite, reflect on the celebrated Japanese author Mishima, who took his Samurai fanaticism a bit too far and sliced upon his intestines with a sword in front of his students. Since it is unlikely that you will ever be capable of rising to these high standards, you are whole-heartedly advised to not burnt out but to fade away with grace and a little dignity.

You of course understand that I do not subscribe to this romanticization of unhappy lives, though it does appear to me that to be really creative, it is almost necessary that you take drugs or lead a wretched life.

That's just so sad.

Monday, February 07, 2005

somebody to love

There's no point in saying something what somebody else before you has already said in a manner that is more succinct than you are capable of.

When the truth is found to be lies
and the joy within you dies
don't you want somebody to love
don't you need somebody to love
wouldn't you love somebody to love
you better find somebody to love

I hate it when the V day is less than a week away and I'm singing love songs to a computer screen.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

how not to teach english

Owing to the considerable ineptitude displayed by students of my college towards anything remotely related to the English language (apart from the odd pornographic paperback), the Academic Council, in another glorious demonstration of its infinite wisdom, decided to create a compulsory course titled , ahem ,' English for Communication '.

You could almost hear all those multi-national companies, some of whose job interviews were apparently akin to listening to a noisy foreign radio channel , breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Fast Forward to the present : Prof M walks into class, bowler hat and all, the quintessential relic of colonialism. "Good Morning gentlemen", he booms, with a look around to check whether there may not be a petite young thing slinking somewhere in the background. After the traditional roll-call ( we may as well be in the goddamn army) , we settle into the usual rigmarole, ".....and today we shall see what a topic sentence is ...... "

If I write my end semester the way I've written the first three paragraphs, I'll probably fail the course. a) lack of a 'topic sentence' (he also has a special name for it , the 'umbrella' sentence , talk about metaphors) b) no concrete 'controlling ideas ' ( whatever those may be) c) sentences which more than double the 'average sentence length' (that sacrosanct constant , the English equivalent of the speed of light)

As I was sitting in class, i was repeatedly reminded of the scene in Dead Poets Society, when Robin Williams instructs his students to tear up pages which describe how the greatness of works of literature can be ascertained by plotting a graph and finding the area under the curve(and by the way, can you do that, saba ?) . Hello, Prof M, " We're not laying pipes, we're talking about poetry "

And though this course is merely meant to equip everyone with the barest essentials, it would greatly help if it is treated with a little less rigidity, because English can be fun, even without resorting to cheap imitations of British accents, or jokes of a scatological nature(oh yes, old Prof M is quite the dirty old man)

This is not meant to be some kind of polemic, and Prof M, though hardly one to inspire me to stand atop my desk and quote 'Oh Captain, My Captain' , does know his stuff. If only he was a little less phoney......

Friday, February 04, 2005

sounds of silence

I just realized that its more than a week since i actually began a conversation. A real person-to-person one , online encounters and perfunctory hello-how-are-you-i'm-so-hunky-dory dialogues not included.

It is also just dawning on me that I really don't have anything to say to anybody anymore. My interactions with others merely centre around academic discussions, rare as they may be, and I have an obscene amount of talk-time remaining on my cell.

And you know that there's something wrong when the guy who's been living next door to you in your hostel for some 4 months , informs you in the midst of your frenzied tooth-brushing routine that he would like to know your name.

Maybe I should throw away the phone and live in a forest, a modern day Seymour, and spout Hindu and Buddhist philosophy at anyone who drops in, with a wise nod and a twinkling eye. Atleast then I wouldn't have to pretend that I was having the time of my life with people whose company I don't enjoy, and wouldn't have to feel guilty about faking anything.

And of course, there is the added luxury of being able to make enigmatic statements and get away with them, as most philosophers seem to do. This i discovered, much to my dismay, when I took a course on European philosophy last semester. "..If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those in the present " being a classic example, even though i have to admit that Ludwig was one of my favourites....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

So Sweet !!

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, gives me more pleasure than watching Manchester United beat Arsenal. I would have gladly taken a scrappy 1-0, but 4-2 is just too good to be true!!!

Chelsea, you have been warned.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

the cry of the cicada

A few of my very own.
For the uninitiated, take a look at


Hands that choke
On a lonely monsoon
The thunderous ticking!


Hear church bells toll
As lonely souls await dying
The call of Jesus


Clouds whizz by
The smell of wet earth
Diverging tracks!


The sound of music
in unspoken melody
Hush, Simon


Rise dear father, see
how beautiful it is
Your name on the tombstone

Friday, January 28, 2005

the second coming

Despite my best efforts, I find it impossible to shake off the sense of desperate ennui that seems to have engulfed my life over the past few days. I just can't remember having felt so uninspired for a long time. Perhaps it has something to do my courses, some of which I looked forward to with so much anticipation, now fizzling out with little more than stifled atleast-look-at-me-once whimpers.

Over the last week or so, i have also made what i believe is an important decision. In this twentieth year of my existence, i have resolved to become a writer. Knowing fully well that this demands, as Jack Kerouac put it, the 'energy of a benny addict', besides great skill,dedication and perhaps most importantly, patience.

I've never had any great passion for engineering, and my first three semesters at the country's premier engineering college have only served to drive the point home. A talent for physics and math do not hide deficiencies in tech creativity and innovative thinking. You don't build buildings on paper, and actual problems always amount to more than just advanced mathematics.

And moreover, a brilliantly designed circuit can never do to me what a beautiful book, or a song, can. When you read a really good book, a part of it becomes part of your soul, never to be erased - a reminder of days past and of lessons unlearnt.
The first truly great book I read was 'The Catcher in the Rye' , and I just know that the conundrum of the birds in Central Park will remained etched in my memory forever.

A critic, reviewing Catcher, wrote, " It's like walking into a mirror for the first time " - but then all great works of art are like that - each revealing a new facet in your own personality, and reshaping your very identity.

Here's to the future, and happiness and all that.

Friday, January 14, 2005

welcome to wherever you are

Hello hello hello how low
And so here i am

And for one so eager to jump on the blogging bandwagon, I find myself tongue-tied.

With nothing to say.

Nothing smart or funny or witty or incisive or penetrating or briliantly illuminating or anything.

So there.

About Me

a recluse waiting for salvation

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