Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Did you know?

Did you know Wodehouse worked in HSBC for two years?! :)

His father found him a position with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (now known as HSBC), where, after two years' training in London, he would have been posted to an overseas branch. However, Wodehouse was never interested in banking as a career and "never learned a thing about banking". (Some of his experiences in the bank were recounted in Psmith in the City.) He wrote part-time while working in the bank, and in 1902 became a journalist with The Globe (a now defunct newspaper), taking over the comic column from a friend who had resigned. (From Wiki pedia)

The Mark Zuckerberg bug

I use facebook. I like facebook as it helps me keep in touch. However, I really think the society has been bit by the Mark Zuckerberg(/Steve Jobs/Larry page) bug. There are many who look at the success of these youth icons and are inspired to start things on their own. What i guess most people fail to realise is that for every Mark, there are at least thousands of Toms who have failed miserably. Hope, is a good thing. Hope, it doesnt poison many a life.

Dog's death?!

I belong to the group of (un)fortunate few who get to read bangalore mirror everyday. Yesterday's article was about a dog's death to a rabid dog that went about biting people. It was beaten to death by a group of righteously indignant citizens and its body dragged about in a two wheeler before being thrown into a garbage dump. I was shocked and upset to say the least upon reading such an act of cruelty performed by supposedly sane, civilized (?) human beings.

If a dog bites you, I am not Christ (even in Christmas season) to ask you to let it bite your other leg. Go ahead, hit it and make it run. But why do you have to kill it in such a gory fashion?! How can these people boast to be human if they do such psycho acts? What irritated me all the more was the fact that the journalist did not seem to find this act crass. I thought what set us apart as human beings was the fact that we had something called a sixth sense and some compassion for the rest of the world. (looking at how we waste things, i am not sure it is out of the world). How can we justify our right to live if we consider the life of another creature worthless?

The courts and the justice system is spending millions in safe guarding the life of terrorists who killed human beings and permanently maimed many. How is it right to show all the anger and hatred we harbor in our hearts on a dog that only temporarily maimed individuals? Where was blue cross? Why wasn't the dog killed in a less painful manner? Where is the justice in this world?!

Classic

I am not a huge fan of classics. I have read quite a lot of them but at times, i just get put off by the ideas propagated by most of them. I am not a feminist per se, but it does irk me to see women portrayed as dumb commodities in some of the classics and yeah, another reason for my not reading them is that i am quite impatient. :)

Anyways, I had gotten a copy of the complete Short stories of Oscar Wilde and set about reading the same. The more i read it, the more i liked it. :) He has made fun of the victorian era, the hypocrisy of  the people who are rich and have nothing better to do in life and somehow brought out the contrast between the haves and have nots. True, it is a wee bit melodramatic at times, but I have to give him some credit as it was one amazing read.

I got to know that the picture of Dorian was met with a lot of negative reviews and now i know why. I had read it as a kid/very young adult and now when i reread it, i had to marvel at his mockery and his sense of justified anger which i thought was prelevant throughout the pages.

I guess now i have to add him to my  list of favorites once again after blacklisting him a few years ago for multiple reasons.

Hail Oscar Wilde!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Everybody's free to wear Sunscreen

Thanks to Sagnik for forwarding this. :)

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1997 [Adapted to song by Baz Luhrmann]

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ‘97,

Wear sunscreen.  If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.  The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis or reliable then my own meandering experience.  I will dispense this advice... now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.  Oh, never mind, you won’t understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.  You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind: the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.  The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults.  (If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.)

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.  The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of Calcium.  Be kind to your knees – you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t.  Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t.  Maybe you’ll divorce at 40; maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either.  Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body: use it every way you can.  Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions (even if you don’t follow them).

Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings: they’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but what a precious few should hold on.  Work hard to bridge the gaps and geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.  Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old; and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.  Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you are 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.  Advice is a form of nostalgia; dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal--wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Omens

Yeah, I know I said I am over Pratchett. Reality, however had a surprise for me. I was looking at my cupboard when i found this one which i had not yet finished. Good omens is a combined effort by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is not set in discworld so i did miss my favorite characters in the book.

The story revolves around the coming of the apocalypse and the struggle of 2 angels (one from Heaven and the other from Hell) to prevent the same. Satan's son is exchanged with that of a Russian diplomat. But like all great things go, there is a goof up here as well and the kid is brought up in a small place completely in the middle of nowhere. He uses his powers unintentionally and creates an ideal world for himself. ( i envied him in this bit)

In the meanwhile, a witch aided by the book written by one of her ancestors starts hunting for Satan's son and reaches Tadfield. She loses her book of prophecies and what happens when the devil and the angel get their hands on it forms the rest of the story.

It was initially an enjoyable read, however, it got a wee bit boring towards the later half. I would still recommend this book for its amazing language and brilliant sense of satire. I loved it because I hate horror and this book made horror movies seem damn funny. :D

Corruption begins at home

Yeah, when virtues can begin at home, why can't vices? Consider this scenario. There is a kid who is writing his examination. He has not prepared well. There is a lot of focus on him to finish it and come out in flying colors, or at least to pass the exam. He simply copies from another student. There could be a scenario where he feels guilty for what he did and starts turning over into a new leaf and takes his studies seriously. But then, if that had been the case, we wouldn't have had to be stuck with just a single mahatma. In most cases, the thrill of cheating and the ease with which the job can be accomplished compared to the hard work required in the other case enthralls people all the more and they become so addicted to this supposed art of cheating in exam halls.

What starts in the exam hall continues in life for when he cannot face the challenges in life, he somehow finds a shorter route out. I am not going to preach a moral lesson saying such people dont get great jobs or they suffer in life. There is no iota of truth in such a statement for i have not seen the proof. On the contrary, I do see people who have taken short cuts out prospering and I am seriously tempted at times. (I never said I am mahatma did I? ) Thankfully every time, i have had an alternative straight route that I was able to take. Anyways, since this post is not about me, let me go back to where it all began.

Why do people not realise that this is wrong? Is it because the right and the wrong is so subjective? We are able to cheat in exams then graduate to bribe during our learning licence test then further promote ourselves throughout our career by not being completely frank about the various things we do, labeling it as corporate behaviour, finding multiple excuses to not be straight and to take the shorter way out. We dont shoot our politicians who swindle millions and trillions through their short cuts. In a way i guess we identify with them and should i say wish it was us instead swindling the money? How can I wish for a change in the society when there are so many people out there who are convinced that taking the short cut is not wrong? When they have the guts to laugh at those who do  not take the short cut and hide behind their inadequacies and mock at the rest of the world?

I am no saint nor am I a reformer. But as time goes by, I wonder why is it that people mock at few decisions I take. Not that I am going to take them differently. I just wish that things can change for the better and that we can stand up to be who we are the way we are and not hide behind the masks we paint for the society, which again is another figment of an overactive imagination and breed corruption and let it mass produce like the HIV virus we have no means of controlling. Like HIV, for now in my case at least, prevention is better than cure. I refuse to bow down. I refuse to change (unless something really unbearable happens when i dont think ill be able to face my self again. )Hope, I guess is just the good thing i can have for now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Decisions

Why is it always so easy to settle for something mediocre or be satisfied with something below your levels? I see a lot of people do that with jobs, husbands, wives and of course with every other choice in their life. Is it easier to make that choice and not worry about what you are really worth? Is it simply because people dont have high expectations for themselves? I can only wonder because frankly I have always aspired for greater things in life and somehow tried very hard to get it. I guess hard work and aspiration is not everyone's cup of tea.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Going Postal

I guess with that, i complete the list of Pratchett books I wanted to read. I hate to admit it but it was a slight letdown. True, it was funny and there were some really cynical instances, but i guess I would rank it close to the lowest among his books.

The plot revolves around the attempts of a condemned man saved from certain death by hanging and given the duty of running a post office in Ankh Morpork. Somehow, I couldnt connect too much to Moist Von Lipwig like i did to say Carrot or Esme Weatherwax from the other books. Another one of life's lessons that the best does not always churn out the best.

 I have finally overcome my obsession with Pratchett (or so i think ) and i am now wondering whom to start reading now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Resolutions?!

I had made 10 in 10. Now that the year is almost done, I have to track myself and admit how badly I have failed/passed. I really dont have the guts to do it tonight. But i hope i get to in a few days. :)

2010 was an amazing year for me and I hope the lucky part of it continues in 2011 as well. Man! Time does fly real fast doesn't it?!

Reliving the past

Just a tribute to 2009. :) 2010 tribute is yet to come. :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fast now furious

Have you seen the calendars that have the date and a message for each day in them? I happen to have one on my desk (given to me by one of my good friends when he left the country) and today it reads "After a point in time, people will not remember how fast you did something, but they will remember how well you did it"

I just want to ask the person who wrote it if he ever worked in a job that had tight deadlines. Then he might know the importance of doing something fast. I agree doing something well is very important but in a lot of occasions, doing something fast is also translated as doing something well. I sometimes get real mad at people who do things well very slowly as i really think your speed to a certain extent reflects your expertise.

I guess it is all about morphing according to the needs of time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another amazing song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvovjf-x3-Y

A song which made me want to watch what ended up being a crappy movie. Still i happen to like it for more reasons than one. :)

5 things that foosball thought me

Somehow everything in life seems to teach me a lesson. I am not sure how much of it i end up following, but at least, some part of it, finds a way.

1. An aggressive attack works when the defense is weak. However, in an attempt to imitate the aggression, you can also end up shooting goals for your opponent, helping him in ways you never thought you would.
2. Sometimes, not doing anything also bags you the game. Provided, you have somehow placed the right players at the right time in the right place in the field. Luck can be a friend too.
3. Even if you are bad at attacking, make sure your defense is strong. That way you don't let the others score either. Somehow it evens out.
4. Everyone has a place somewhere. The problem is not identifying what you want do but what you are meant to do or figure out a way of becoming good at what you want to do. :)
5. A single goal can help change the attitude and change the direction of the game. You never know when it is going to come but you should always be ready for it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love this song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ52IJjbNg4
There is this thing about cross roads. If you are sure about your route, you would never notice a cross road even if there is one. It is only when you are not happy with the route or dont want to continue in the same that you notice that it exists. The moment you notice, no matter what you choose, just make sure you know why you noticed it in the first place. Gen gyan as usual. :D

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Stuck

Somehow I am in a situation where I have shut myself out of the virtual world. I have not run out of ideas to talk about. I have not given up on life and become a female version of Devdas, but I have somehow lost the desire to write. 

I guess it is the fear of me rejecting what i write, is what has lead to this. I hope this stage passes over soon. I hope I start writing a beautiful  masterpiece and not just lose this one thing that kept me going for a long time when all else failed. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Land of blind men

So they told me,
in a land of blind men,
the one eyed one is a king.

So I believed with all my heart,
on setting forth on an arduous journey,
into this difficult land.

With eyesight quite good,
and wonderful faculties,
Confident I was
That rule i would
or atleast come on top,
in the blind blind land.

Life, however, had plans
difficult, different and unrelated,
Shunned for the talent
Ignored out of fear
of being overthrown

Prosecution becoming the only friend I had
from the instance, realisation of my sight set in
the minds of those powerful.

Surprised I stand,
Alone and confused
wondering why a man
with sight can never rule
I like, emulate and adore change. However, at times i wonder if too much of change can throw your life off the track it is supposed to go in. Is the new track the one that is yours? Was the old one supposed to end or were you the one that bought about a sudden demise to a part of the story that was to go on for much longer? I wonder and I am left without an answer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I have not been blogging too much lately. It is not because I dont have ideas or thoughts. In fact, they are as high and as intense and irritating as ever. I do not switch on my lovely laptop too often I agree, but earlier I would switch it on and try writing. Now, I dont know why I have lost the capability to throw words together and express the ideas I have. I wish I get out of this soon and start getting back to where i was couple of months ago.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes in life you are faced with a very tough choice. Tough not because of what you have to do to  make it but tough because of the fear you have in you as to what you might miss because you choose something over another. I have made a few tough choices in the recent past and I am hoping the one i am contemplating right now and this indecisive feeling is worth the trouble. Needless to say, this has been one of the toughest choices in my life. For usually i knew exactly who/what i wanted. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back to Pavilion

I am not used to Monday Morning blues. Infact, i like going to office and spending time there. So much so that I dont mind staying longer even if i have something to do at home. However, yesterday, for the first time i had this feeling of doom when i had to leave for office. I wish I can have 365 days off but i know ill get bored after say 20. I guess ill get used to the routine soon. Till then ill at least crib.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Customer service

I have used this blog as a medium of cribbing about a lot of crappy things that happen to me. Today, for a change, i am going to praise a particular organisation. I have written enough about being sick for the last 2 weeks. I recovered thankfully in time for my engagement. However, i did goof up a lot because of being sick and having a lot of work to finish.

The best part was, i goofed up on my engagement shopping. In the ceremony for the engagement, the bride is supposed to wear two sarees. The first one her parents get for her and the second one that her in-laws to be get. Since i never wear a saree, I had bargained for a salwar and a saree for the ceremony.

What i had not expected was that i would be sick and silly the week before and of the engagement. I went and got a dress two sizes smaller. I had taken it home to show my mom and then we realise it is way too small for me to wear. To top in the dress i had got for diwali, the dye from the dupatta leaked when i got wet in the rain and there were green spots all over my white dress.

I took the smaller dress to shoppers stop with the intention of exchanging it and also mentioned to the representative that the other one had stains all over. Without thinking too much about it, he asked me to get that one as well and gave me a credit note. I was delighted. I am so grateful to shoppers stop and I have decided to continue shopping there as they not only exchanged my clothes but were also really polite and courteous about the whole thing. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A thank you note

Needless to say, for more reasons than one, I am very happy. Sometimes in life, you go astray and wander around for a long time before you find your way. Sometimes, it so happens that you wander only because that can help you find your way. In the interconnected jigsaw puzzle, some shapeless pieces make sure the overall shape is perfect. I am at peace with the world for i have found the pieces that make me complete. I am in love with life and of course with that special person whom  i dedicate this post to.

I am engaged and I am now getting ready to get into something a little different or maybe, not too different. I just hope and thank him up above for all that he has blessed me with. Thank you!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I have finally come to see what they mean when they say, "The best way to destroy a man is to kill his self respect and blast his self confidence". I am only surprised that most civilized people find new methods to do the same. It is a little sad to observe such things in real life. However, man kind survives and am i glad that it does.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What is 3G life to me

I am just another of those nameless masses, a part of the increasing population of young adults far away from home. While working for an MNC, most of us take westernized breaks.It is mainly during the US holidays that we get a day off. There are only a handful of the innumerable Indian festivals which we can actually celebrate from home. A lot of festivals are spent all alone in an empty apartment or on a late night office call. On such days, I really hope i had Tata Docomo's 3G connection with which i can do a video conference with my family and watch them enjoy the festival in all its glory.

Like any other human being, I need people around me. Unfortunately, with each of us living in different corners of the world, relatives and friends become mere parts of an elaborate address book. Weddings, births, deaths; most of this is just a facebook update. To go along with the passing tide of time, I wish I had a 3G connection that would help me to be present at least virtually, for those that matter, all the time and not wait to go home to login to the net. For we do live in a virtual world. The Tata Docomo 3G launch can make my life simpler and keep me more connected to those that matter.

Apart from just helping me keep in touch with the outside world, the 3G services can help enrich me from within by providing me entertainment in those lonely times when I need something to keep my morale going. Bangalore is a city with a lot of power cuts and there have been many a time when I have had to keep staring at my slow cell phone internet and hope for a faster download and pray for the music or video to stream faster and stop me from thinking. Tata Docomo's 3G services according to me is the answer to the prayers of the many like me. We know that we cannot hope for everything in life to happen immediately. But we know that there are somethings which when they do, give us an instant gratification and in a way makes our lives fulfilled and soon become an important part of it. This 3G launch is definitely going to become something like that.

I am delighted with the new services and wish Tata Docomo all the very best.

Happy Diwali

It is the time of the year again. The time when everything is in extremes. Or should i rephrase it as the time when prosperity is show cased for the rest of the world and there are celebrations all around. I like Diwali a lot. Like most indians i can call it my favorite festival. I have had a lovely time the last week despite being really sick. That is only because of the spirit this season brings in. I woke up sick, swallowed tablets, shopped for a dress, came back home slept, woke up again and went for some more rounds.

Seriously, i have never been so sick and never enjoyed myself so much this season. Today was awesome fun as all four of us were home together and we burst loads of crackers. This diwali is special for multiple reasons and I hope that with the crackers I burst, all the negative energy and anger that was busy occupying my mind disappears.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fear

It does happen, more often than required that the sanest of human beings let their minds and emotions be controlled by fear. Fear, something that ideally should be non existent in a perfect world, where you need not fear why you talk what you talk to who you talk and where the mind is respected the way it is for what it is. I wonder, if there is ever going to be a case where the world would be an ideal place to live in. The practical me is confident that it would never happen unless everything ceases to exist for the only thing that is perfect is the presence of imperfections. The idea me, hopes and dreams of a slightly better tomorrow where the mind is, literally without fear.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A new beginning




Beginnings are always nice. When you stand right there, you never think of what is going to happen later. YOu never accept that things can go crashing headlong. You only see what is beautiful and stand mesmerized as you take your baby steps. :)

All this fundae because i got the whole collection of asterix. Not I per se. But with someone else, whom i shall soon talk about in detail. A good buy and i am enjoying looking at it. I know that a few years later it might get a little worse for wear, but still, it is worth it. For right now, this instant, I am happy and peaceful.
Sometimes life throws surprises your way. When it does that, you wonder, what it is that is so charming about things that are so obviously superfluous and irritating. Do human beings like putting on an act because it gives them a purpose in life? I wonder. What is it that all these surprises want from you? What is it that you want from life? I know I sound drunk, though i very much am not. I am just stunned

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maeri

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERwrlgN6S38


Awesome song. Reminds me of the days gone by from a faraway universe called Pilani and of a girl who somehow grew up. :D

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vacation

It is Pooja/Navrathri time. I see a lot of people up to a lot of things. At home, we have never had a golu. I frankly thought it was a huge waste of time, setting up dolls for people to come, see, comment and cook food for all those that came home. Now, When i am living on my own away from most people who matter, i realise that golu is a beautiful way of socialising. In a time and place where women had no place to go to work and nothing to do at home, a golu would have kept them occupied and kept the culture alive, transferred from one generation to another in the form of stories.

I dont think i will ever be in a state where i dont work in my life. i am not sure if i will have time to keep and invite people for, a golu. However, I wonder if having a golu is an interesting way of collecting information about my rich culture. Maybe next year. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The numb traveller

A dark dreary night. There is nothing to see but the darkness and nothing to do but hope that the numbed senses lead me home. Stay put i cannot for around me are monsters that prey anything still. Move faster i cannot for i am ignorant and blind. I move as fast as I can, praying to my guardian angel, hoping for a respite.

Suddenly, i can feel the cobblestones. They are so similar to the ones in the path i tread as a kid. I see a slight thin ray of light showing up. The distance seems not too far. I wonder how i see the light all of a sudden. Did its existence begin only now? With hope, love and joy i start moving ahead faster.

Then as fast as it came in, i see the light disappear. My legs are numb again and I wonder if this is a dream i can wake up from and happily say, you know what, i had a scary dream. But know I do, that life sometimes is worse than a nightmare for you cannot wake up from it. You can only end it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

From into to



There is no escaping what was
It doesnt always stop you
from what you want to be
It doesnt always push you back
But it does make you ponder
and think twice and wonder
If the truth is that
History just bloody repeats
If only with different characters.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Hogfather

Yes, another Pratchett. This one involving DEATH and his grand daughter Susan. Susan, being the self reliant young woman that she is, has become the governess to two children and her hobbies there include beating and chasing monsters away and fighting bears with a poker. Its Hogswatch time and DEATH has taken over the reins from Hogfather as something has happened to him. The whole story revolves around susan trying to solve the mystery and DEATH trying a different role of being a giver than a receiver.

The auditors of reality show up once again in this book after Reaper Man and are as realistic and practical as ever. The book is again a must read and I am not able to decide what it is about Pratchett that i like best. Is it his character sketch, is it his dealing very carefully with real issues in a fantastic realm, is it the amount of research that has gone into each book (refer to lspace.org, it has a lot of annotations from all his books), or is it his amazing sense of humour or is it his beautiful plot construction? I am unable to decide. I only want to get to Jingo now and finish the book quickly.

Pratchett has opened a new world for me, one i dont want to leave so easily.

Maskerade

The more i read of Pratchett, the more I want to read. :) Somehow he has weaved a wonderful world with his words, a world i want to be a part of and a world whose characters I have come to love, admire, hate and loath. This book is about the witches. It has the temperamental, cunning and crafty Granny Weatherwax, the very knowledgeable and compassionate Nanny Ogg and a girl in search of her identity, Agnes, who does not want her life lived for her. Agnes, assumes a stage name of Perdita and joins an opera. The concept of beauty and stardom is dealt with very beautifully. Agnes, who has very nice hair and a heart as huge as her body also has a lovely voice. However, all that she can do is lend voice to the lean and gorgeous Christine who doesnt know a do from a re. :)
Like any other opera, this one too has a lot of drama, only more so because there is a very peculiar phantom haunting it. On one hand it sends the propreitor notes asking Christine to lead a specific opera and on the other hand goes around happily killing people.
The book has a lot of hilarious instances involving Greebo, Nanny's cat and the travel from the Ramptops to Ankh Morpork, Agnes trying to Morph into Perdita and Granny's attempts at trying to solve the mystery. Overall a gripping read - funny, scary at places and at times, quite thought provoking.

Of straight roads and sudden surprises

Life has this strange habit. When you are walking down a road after dealing with things you think you had to, you suddenly realise that something is coming towards you in full speed. Something very big and quite powerful. The air is split apart by its sheer velocity and the molecules enter your ear and scream inside it. However, there is nothing much you can do as you are too scared and you simply duck. Only to realise that what has been sent is in fact a boomerang and that you would have been better off if you had stood up and caught it with your hands and hurled it back.
I only hope that what i see approaching is a boomerang and not a cannon ball. For as much as i trust my confidence, i know for a fact that i cannot catch a cannon ball with my bare hands. Or can I?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Unusually usual

Just another road in just another city.One so much like another in this country. It is like they have been made to fit in any bit of the subcontinent. A cool guy wearing sun glasses in teh night with his hand resting on the shoulder of another similarly clad moron right next to him. Two hormonally active girls aware and glad of the attention of the random strangers.

A three wheeler struggling to leave its mark on a crowded road. Two buses caught at the cross roads, both wanting to move ahead and both being obstructed by the other. A lot of lives simply interconnected because of where and how they are.

A small drop comes down and disappears completely unnoticed. Quickly followed by another and soon what was by size so insignificant makes up for it in volume and you have a torrential downpour. A downpour, attempting to cleanse the scorched souls and treat their wounds. It does succeed with those with skin deep wounds. But not all scars can be taken care of overnight. Some people do relish revisiting what was for in their contorted vision, that and only that is their identity. The rain leaves, unable to decide whether it was a success or a failure, unable to accept that those are not the only two states of being.

I simply watch the rain, fully aware that what goes around, has to come around and that every wound does heal, even if not immediately and that special summer rains are much more important for they remind people of something more than the tedium of their existence.

You know its not meant to be when

  1. You have not been sleeping though you have had 2 holidays in a week
  2. Your friend drops in when you are about to sleep and you cant sleep anymore
  3. You have to travel overnight and your driver stops the bus every one hour and you wake up even if there is a slight disturbance
  4. The icing on the cake is the lady next to you who has to snore all night
  5. You come home only to have to go out as soon as you come in
A post dedicated to sleep (or the lack of it). Hope I am able to get a peaceful rest soon.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

I stand at cross roads
Unfortunately blinded by the powerful light
Right from the future

I remember a past of a girl
a little confused, a little sad
somehow always trying to be more
than what could have been
than what was

I remember the lessons
about the light at the end of a long tunnel
A promised light
that would give a new direction
even if not forever

even if not for long
for time enough to garner sufficient strength
to reach and complete the next tunnel
The light on which the hope of all mankind
rested
The light simply created
by all the suppressed hope

I also remember the experiences
from my own memory
which somehow pose
as figments of a imaginative mind
The fire
that could destroy easily
as bright as the light
as dangerous
and potent enough to drain
the soul remaining in the body

What is it that would greet me at the end
of this long lonely tunnel?
What is it into which i am plummeting?

I can only guess and hope.

Soul Music

Yet another masterpiece from the man of the hour in my life - Pratchett! I am not a huge fan of rock n roll. I enjoy a few bands, rather songs and listen to anything under the sound as long as it has some soul in it. Soul Music is a parody on the world of Rock n Roll.

No one can escape from the charm of Music and this time around, it has come all the way to Ankh Morpork, coinciding with the time DEATH is disillusioned with his life and his Grand Daughter Susan is in charge convinced to do her job by Binky (DEATH's Horse) and The DEATH OF RATS. Enter Imp d Celyn whose stint on stage creates a music that does more to people than just make them want to nod their heads. With thousands of fans following his band(they make the music with Rocks in it), he is driven by something much more powerful than all magicians. As powerful as life itself for this music has the power to give life.

A lovely book filled with parodies, idealistic girls on white horses, a being(man doesn't sound accurate. He is after all DEATH) with a perfect memory trying to forget what was, what is and what will be, Music making normal people with their humdrum lives want to be something more, want to rebel. A book about all this and much more. One that i would not forget easily and one i kept quoting (or misquoting) in today's lounge piranha concert. :)

Truth is somehow much stranger than fiction.

Of a gloomy hope

Yesterday, contrary to a few expectations was very peaceful. A wonderful day at home. Cooking, eating, reading. It was such a wonderful day. So not what could have been if someone had decided that peace was not worth the trouble. i am so glad nobody decided so. I am so glad that we are finally not fighting for a lost cause.

Or is it that the many politicians in India decided they would not fuel a fight as the honour of the country was at stake? I dont know. Every time i am faced with a situation, I see the hope, bask in it and also immediately see the gloom and hope it is not the gloom that is going to come.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Secular

That is the word on the top of my mind today. Especially after a lot of places have taken precautions over the verdict expected tomorrow. Why are we fighting still? I am sure both Ram and Allah wont mind what we do with that land. I hope they construct a school there and come up with a secular solution sometime real soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Men at arms

There comes a point in life when characters in a book become the friends you have always wanted. You laugh with them, you fear for them and you seriously hope you run into someone like them. Pratchett, somehow makes me want to get into the discworld. I have successfully finished 17 of the discworld books and be it the books about DEATH or the Night Watch or the Witches, I have loved them all. Some of course more than the rest, but overall, had a lovely time reading, laughing and overall living. 

Men at Arms had one of my favorite characters, Carrot. "People often mistake simple to be stupid." Carrot, an almost dwarf who believes in the inherent niceness of people (and dwarves and trolls and werewolves and even Golems) somehow ends up saving the day. There are numerous comical instances involving him, Angua (the werewolf), Gaspode (the talking dog), Detritus (the troll who once tried his stint in the moving pictures) and of course Vimes and the Patrician. The book tries to explore the concept of belonging, oneness, truth, deception and man's addiction to weapons. The "Gonne" commands those that command it and the novel chronicles the adventures of the watch in trying to apprehend the hand that holds the "Gonne" . Another track in the book explores the search to identify the right heir to the throne.

Overall a very good read. Definitely much better than my so called review. I would heartily recommend Pratchett any day for a good laugh. I am waiting to finish Soul Music. Another awesome read with DEATH. :)

Verdict

A case that has been pending for decades together. Finally, we would get to hear something about it. A verdict.
To tell us what to do and hopefully would be something sensible. Either way, the effects of this ruling would be a verdict on the emotional maturity of our fellow country men. How much have we grown as a nation? How ready are we to lay aside our differences and accept our short comings gracefully and work towards making it better? We have so little trust on our fellow beings.This is obvious with the way institutions have been declaring holidays and government has been banning Bulk SMS. In a lot of ways, it is justified if you just pause and look at history. Recent history.
Our country which was once the seat of civilization is now long lost in the glory of the past and not concentrating enough on a better present let alone a future.We are caught under the shackles of money hungry animals (Man is an animal) and we dont care two hoots about what is happening. I just pray that we grow up real soon and try to make this a better place to live in and recreate the glory that was once ours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chowka

I love food. So much so that the best way people cheer me up is by offering me a sweet or a chocolate or promising me a culinary delight. When Prateek told me about Chowka, I decided i just had to visit the place.The unlimited Rajasthani thali for Rs.120 in a city where a normal meal for two without mocktails or desserts, in a decent restaurant would come up to Rs.300. The place is truly value for money.


I loved the dal bhati and Churma and the basan ka curry took me back to my Pilani days when we used to have the same for lunch on wednesdays. The malpua was very well made and the courteous staff made me feel like royalty in a small, well lit cramped restaurant. I would heartily recommend this place to anyone who loves food. Indian food, really is the best.

Chowka is located in the Tippasandra main road and the management has made good use of the little space available. The service is prompt and quick and the food worth atleast a single visit.

Discovery at Talacauvery

A lot of times in life, one things leads to another in a way you never thought it would. A chance trip led to loads of introspection and also a little bit of gratitude to the world in general.  Today, we went to Talacauvery. I am not too much of a water person. I dont like getting wet when a towel and a changing room is not in the vicinity. However, I love looking at the waves and the puddles and the forms in the same. It is difficult to believe that hardly 30 km from Bangalore, the city where everybody is busy heading somewhere all the time lies an idyllic town with women walking on the roads in 'fashionable' nighties. Some of them, covering it with a dupatta. I dont think these are a bunch of people bothered about not being appreciated by those that dont matter (or do they? Would it be the husband's appreciation they seek?) and not bothered about being seen in the same dress two days in a row. (I wonder how many different dresses their wardrobe has. Materialistic of me, I am sure. But still, I cant help but wonder). Kanakapura, was so different from the Karanataka (Bangalore) I am so used to seeing everyday. We headed to Talacauvery through Kanakapura and Malavalli. 




After a few detours, we finally ended up in our destination. The place was beautiful. THe water all around with people,young and old alike,  playing in it, some with the balls bought from the enterprising salesmen who were showcasing their wares and selling the same.  The small groups screaming and singing songs. One wannabe adventurer,swimming underwater and coming up on the other side of his friends.A father with a fat big gold chain holding the hands of his kids and posing while his wife captured a kodak moment, with a poor kid looking at him from behind a coffee shop where he worked.There were a couple of newly weds, with the girls shyly stepping into the water and wading chest deep into it, a bunch of very conscious college kids with an arrogant attitude that they were trying on to hide their lack of confidence, and finally a group of ready to be drunk teenage guys drying themselves in front of the above mentioned gang of girls while talking loudly about their phones and their adventurous trip back. How can i forget the few beggars and the plastic covers that dotted the scenery?  It was an interesting watch. Much better in fact than the many movies i watch and rewatch. Much better because this was as real as real can get. The best reality check was the old man with bunched up veins in his knees who took us on the coracle ride. I wonder if anyone ever asked him if he was happy with his rewards. Even if they had, whether they could have done anything other than maybe slip him an extra fifty. The lines on his face told a bigger story than the words he never spoke.








This, is India at her best in a lot of ways. While the whole world is laughing or looking at us with disgust over the actions of few men at the top and their inability to honour their promise of hosting a world class event, I look at these people and see the diversity in a beautiful place. The poverty and the prosperity. Youth and old age. Beauty and the beast that man has created to destroy it. Family and the search for it. Literates and illiterates. A very young boy trying to communicate in English with a strong Kannada accent. The desire to be. The desire to live. The desire to desire. Today, i realised,for the nth time that I have been a lot luckier than most people in the world. I did not have to think about my next meal (should i say worry about where it would come from?) I did not have to work barefoot in the hot sun for a few hundreds a week. I did not have to suffer the real suffering. I know i would go back to the complain mode in sometime. I am afterall human. But I am grateful for what I have and I am grateful for again having had the chance to glimpse at my motherland in some of her splendour. All I can do is to bow down to her, proud and hoping that someday, what i see will be rosier, who i am will be chirpier and what the world sees would be the whole picture and not just a bright ugly piece broken off a jigsaw puzzle. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sadly satisfied

Is it always about the returns for everything in life? Is there nothing but that? I wonder. I am not able to see a quantifiable return for a lot of things I do.I am satisfied but a dissatisfaction sets in when i start looking at the lack of return. I wonder what is the term I should coin for this state. Sadly Satisfied. I hope it does not last too long.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dead and not buried

I have something old. I had some lovely memories with it and some bitter. Like anything else in the world, it was also to me a mixed bag. One that i do not revisit often or rather at all unless it cannot be avoided at all costs. I tried to destroy the remnants with a single match. I wonder if it was correct. Maybe, i could have found some place for it in my life. Or is it the case of a lost pet that is never gonna come back? Is destruction any day better than a state of wistful contemplation? I can only wonder now. I know it is not too late. But sometimes in life, the past is better left alone. If you cannot take a stake, pierce through its heart and bury it deep underground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dreams

When the road is long
and respite is too far away
When the days are nothing but
hours leading on to hours
When life is a mere shadow play
with few scenes on constant replay,
All i can do is close my eyes
and revisit my dreams

The dreams of a better tomorrow
The dreams made of memories from a distant past
A past, also partly pleasant
The dreams reminding me
what today's hardship
is all for
why today is the way it is.

Failure was no option ever.
Rather try dying than give up all hope,
I trudge along
A lonely long road
wondering if the prize
is worth all this.
Wondering if that,
a worthy thought is

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rajdhani

This place is special to me for a lot of reasons. But right now, let us restrict the discussion to just food and food. :) I venture out quite often hunting for nice places to eat. Rajdhani is one of the few restaurants I go often to. (I have gone around 5 times in the last one year) The food and the prompt service remind me of eating in a wedding. Only this time sitting in a comfortable seat. The menu is usually quite elaborate and unlimited.

In bangalore, I have been to three branches of Rajdhani. The one in UB City is the best of the lot. The ones in Forum Value Mall and the BTM central are good, but fade in comparison with the original. In a city of VAT and BAT and what not, the restaurant putting up a price inclusive of everything only increases my respect for them. Their team work seriously would put a lot of so called teams to shame. They have this elaborate signals by which they communicate what dish a customer wants and in less than two mins, it is on your plate.

For some people who come from places with cheaper food, the price might not be an attraction, but for someone who spends loads in service tax and eats in places with crappy service, Rajdhani would be a welcome visit. I really love this place and would recommend it to anyone who wants simple plain food and lots of it real fast.

Big Banyan Tree - Off Mysore road



I had a lovely day today. There were numerous plans for this long weekend of mine. They varied from Jog falls to Innovative film city to sleeping. (The last one being the most important as i have not had time to sleep in sometime now. :) ) However, being the impulsive people we are, we finally decided to go to some nice place for breakfast (do i have to mention that it did not happen as well for most of the places were too far away and by the time we decided to head out, we were too hungry and the nearest restaurant was decided to be the best?). After a heavy breakfast, we ventured into the city. The plan was to see the much famed big banyan tree. On the way, we waltzed on the electronic city fly-over, ventured to the lesser explored parts in that area(which is most of it as i have only been in the main road in that place) and finally after going to areas like Begur, which i have not even seen in the Bangalore map, finally hit the NECE road. (ya, it is NECE. Not NICE).

I drove a car after a long time and I was quite happy to fly in fourth gear. :) After some more searching, we finally landed on the big banyan tree. I would say, it was worth the few hours in the sun. It was so cool and beautiful there. True, it was only a bunch of trees, but for someone surrounded by concrete jungles and noisy, witty monsters ( I am referring to all electronic devices around me), it was a much needed respite. I felt at peace with the world (for the time i was there. Come on, if i became a saint, lot of people would starve for want of entertainment)

We headed back to the city and had a lovely lunch at Rajdhani (the one restaurant i LOVE). I was a little sad that to see a few trees and monkeys, human beings had to travel so far. We have removed whatever possible greenery from around us and seriously live in pathetic concrete jungles. I wish things change someday and we are more responsible about what we surround ourselves with.




Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hatred

I wonder, how much joy can hatred give. Hating someone/something is the easiest thing in the world to do. Atleast for me, it comes without even me having to try. However, today, the only question i have is, is it really worth the trouble? What is all this hatred even going to change?It does give me something to do when i have nothing else to do. But at the end of the day, does this not just reflect my inability to find something to do with my time? Like everything else in life, all I can do is wonder and try to forgive known devils.

Simplified

I simply lose, whatever little
of sanity that was left

I simply wish that things
come to an end, one way or the other

I simply hope that losing something
is one way of getting something else.

Torn between - the known devil
and the unknown angel I stand
in a lot of ways, alone and confused
in a lot of ways determined and supported.
Attempting to simplify
Things that cannot be
emotions that can never be.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I choose

Today, I made a resolution. To be proactive and take my life in my hands. I love cribbing. I guess anyone who has been reading my blog knows that. I try to remain positive but at times with life throwing wonderfully curved balls aimed at my head, it becomes damn difficult. I have to somehow continue. Keeping my head above the water. I was not made to sink. (not that my size would allow it) I was made to stay afloat. Maybe, I cant always swin against the current. I have to get a life jacket. I have to go ahead with my journey. For no matter what it is that life has in store for me, there are some things i want too. I might not even get it, but i dont want to give up without trying. Even if it means overcoming prejudices. Even if it means fighting a losing and a painful battle. Even if it means difficulty. I have to do what has to be done.

I choose

To live
To follow my heart and try to be who i want to be
To learn from the past but not let my mistakes bog me down
To accept that I am human and that I make a lot of mistakes
To search for the rainbow that has to come out after every downpour
To create some sun shine for making my own rainbow even if it is not already there
To be independent and free no matter what happens around me
To not compromise to be accepted by a society which is but created by me
To fly without wings for the sky is all i have above me. It is my base. It is my limit.
To fall in love with life and everything about it. No matter how difficult the process might be.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Kyon Hawa

One of the many lovely songs in Veer Zaara.


Ek din jab savere savere, surmayi se andher ki chaadar hata ke
Ek parbat ke takiye se, sooraj ne sar jo uthaaya, toh dekha
Dil ki vaadi mein chaahat ka mausam hai
Aur yaadon ki daaliyon par
Anginat beete lamhon ki kaliyaan mahekne lagi hain
Ankahi ansuni aarzoo, aadhi soyi huwi aadhi jaagi huwi
Aankhein malte huwe dekhti hai, laher dar laher
Mauj dar mauj, behti huwi zindagi
Jaise har ek pal nayi hai, aur phir bhi wahi, haan, wahi zindagi
Jiske daaman mein ek mohabbat bhi hai, koyi hasrat bhi hai
Paas aana bhi hai, door jaana bhi hai, aur ye ehsaas hai
Waqt jharne sa behta huwa, jaa raha hai, ye kehta huwa
Dil ki waadi mein chaahat ka mausam hai
Aur yaadon ki daaliyon par
Anginat beete lamhon ki kaliyaan mahekne lagi hain

Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Kyun fiza, rang chhalka rahi hai
Mere dil bata aaj hona hai kya
Chaandni, din mein kyun, chhaa rahi hai
Zindagi, kis taraf jaa rahi hai
Mere dil bata kya hai ye silsila
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Jahaan tak bhi jaayein nigaahein, baraste hain jaise ujaale
Saji aaj kyun hain ye raahein, khile phool kyun hain niraale
Khushbuwein, kaisi ye beh rahi hain
Dhadkanein jaane kya keh rahi hai
Mere dil bata ye kahaani hai kya
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Ye kiska hai chehra jisse main, har ek phool mein dekhta hoon
Ye kiski hai awaaz jisko, na sun ke bhi main sun raha hoon
Kaisi ye aahatein aa rahi hain, kaise ye khwaab dikhla rahi hain
Mere dil bata kaun hai aa raha
Kyun hawa, aaj yun gaa rahi hai
Gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai

Sahib Singh Sultan

I feel like the art director trying his hand at commercial movies. Not that I know any one like that personally whose feedback and emotions i have captured vividly. I just wanted to make use of words that were there on the top of my head. I noticed that the blog content has changed a lot last month and has more food and book reviews than before. This is not an effort to break from the same. For want of anything better to do, i am trying to have a artistic way of writing a food review.

What better place to choose than Sahib Singh Sultan where the art and the ambience is everything. Another concept restaurant from the BJN group which has given us Bombay Post, Samarkhand, Indijoes and other fine dining restaurants. The concept of a train with funky names like Chalti ka Naam gaadi and waiters dressed as Ticket Collectors and the like. The food is quite heavy on the tummy and ensures that there is a dent in the bank account too.

The service is quite quick and they anticipate your every need. The food tastes heavenly. Every dish is well crafted and is a treat to behold and consume. An ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon when you have some money to spare and best suited for special occasions. :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Packaging

Today, when listening to an mp3 i got from a random shop in the road, the We are family movie had a song from My name is Khan. I had to recheck the folder i was in as i was hunting for the songs from that movie unsuccessfully just in the morning. I started wondering then, if everything in my life is intent on giving me gyan.

This incident reminded me of the many things i thought i did not have and found in an unusual place. Maybe, all the things I am seeking in life are what I already have but have been mislabelled or packaged in the wrong box by this genius called experience which somehow makes things look different. Maybe, i do need a fresh perspective and a fresh mind with a solution.

Any body interested in doing a psycho analysis?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time

Time they say
changes everything
Time they claim,
makes you forget
or plainly reinforces a memory
Maybe, lets you morph
into an all new being

All the time in the world
my own minute universe
is what I have today
All the time in the world

I really wonder if that can erase
what was
for every fragment
of a common past
lies there - bottled up
waiting for me
to revisit
waiting for me
to rekindle the spark
that initiated all this

Yet another traveler
I bid adieu to
on a journey to carve
a new path of life
and to reshape
what will be

All the will be's
can never replace
what was
It was but a lifetime
a beginning without an end
for me the writer,
this aint a short story
but an epic saga

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Change and Hope

I am so bugged with change hitting me from almost every possible angle in my life. It is almost like when someone tells me this has happened, i can only give them a been there done that line. I hope things stabilise soon. I hope I can find the stability and peace I think I so badly need. Or should I simply wish that I understand what I need and see if i already have it?

Being a believer in fate, I wonder if what is happening is his way of making me, who has never faced too many major issues in life, to see what it is like to have some.

I wonder if all i need is a little more patience and absolute hope and trust in a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Humility

I realised today for the nth time that humility is a virtue of the strong and completely self confident individuals. It is only those that are insecure who find a constant need to put down what the others have and to exaggerate whatever little things they do.
Human beings are probably the funniest and the most irritating creatures. The more i observe my fellow species, the more i marvel about how similar deceptively different people are and how different seemingly similar ones are.

Toscano

Yet another italian food joint. I happened to visit the branch they have in the forum value mall. It was quite good! I loved the ambience and the food. Only issue was that they were a little under staffed. Think ill go there with a bigger group and taste variety.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Radha Hometel

It was a completely unplanned dinner and a lovely one too. I have never been to this place before and a friend of mine told me it was really good. So friday night I head out there, unfortunately towards closing time. Still, they accomodate us and we fill our plates up and sit down to a lovely meal.
Every dish was well crafted and my taste buds had a lovely time. I loved their keera kootu and Kovakkai. The chinese dishes were not as good as the south indian and north indian ones. Dessert was amazing and really yummy though I was too full to have too much and nibbled of my friend's plate much to his dismay. Sigh. Wish i can go to whitefield more often. I have to explore more places there. A good place to go to. A little on the expensive side, but quite peaceful and has good food, service and the right atmosphere for a nice conversation. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Once upon a time in mumbai

I watched this movie almost a week ago and well, let me say, i did not like it as much as i thought i would. Loved Ajay Devgan and Kangana Ranaut. This is probably the first time i have liked the actress though i have seen other movies of hers and not thought too much about her performance.
The director has tried to give a movie with the right mix of various ingredients and I think he has succeeded in that to a large extent. However, the last 30 mins were a little slow compared to the rest of the movie.

I loved the songs "Pee loon" and "Tum jo aaye". There are a few flaws in the movie mainly where Imran's love story is concerned. It was left unfinished and i guess the director left it to the audience to complete it.The movie tries to depict the human in a smuggler. I just hope they soon stop making heroes out of such anti social elements and concentrate on few unsung heroes who live among us. All those who struggle one way or the other to simply live and not choose the easier way out. Cant their lives be made into movies?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adios Amigo

I hate good byes. I guess I have mentioned that time and again. Once again, it is time for me to say another good bye to someone quite close to my heart. I wonder - what is this life full of so many things and yet so devoid of a few others? Is this how it was meant to be? Is this what they call growing up? I wish I never had to. But my reality gently reminds me that adapt i must for in the long run, whatever happens, happens for a reason.

I can only silently bid adieu and wish good luck to an awesome human being perhaps one of the best there was. Have a good life! You know I am writing this about you. :D

Monday, August 16, 2010

Independence

We celebrated our 64th Independence day yesterday. It was a day like any other to me. I did not know how I could celebrate the day. I was no longer in school or college to attend flag hoistings and sing the national anthem. THe last time i stood up for a national anthem was when i had gone to watch a movie and they were playing a modern version of it with loads of stars crooning (I did not like it. I like the old version better). In my apartment, there was a flag hoisting ceremony right outside my window, but i preferred standing in attention inside my house when the flag was rised. Somehow I was not too comfortable joining a group of strangers in my night pants.

Later in the day when I was attempting to swim in the pool, the flag caught my eye. I began to wonder and realised that in my own way, i was celebrating the spirit of independence almost every day of my life. I am free of worrying about where my next meal is going to come from. I dont have to care about sustaining my family and yes, I can live my life in my own terms without compromising on my principles too often. (I do have to do it once in a while, but those aint principles which matter)

When i get to think of the struggle for independence, nowadays, i think of the youngsters who were of my age then. Most of them are unsung heros/heroines, who in their own way tried to fight against oppression. All i can do is mutter a silent thanks to them and move ahead with my life which is possible in the way it is because of their sacrifice. I wonder if i deserve it. I wonder what i have to do to feel like i deserve it. In my own small way, i try to do things to make this world a better place. But not all of them make a big impact, most of them are unnoticed. However, the peace of mind they give me is amazing. It is because of my independence that I am able to do such things. I salute to all those who made this possible. I salute to life and everything about it.

Fear

I have mixed emotions when i hear that word. When you get down to it, it is supposed to be the one thing that puts human beings off. Your fear of what the system might do to you for disobeying rules, helps maintain law and order. Your fear of living makes you live a life where you do what you are supposed to do but not what you want to do. I dont know if i hate the word. It has led to majority of the wrong decisions i made in my life. I was not able to stand up and say no for fear of hurting someone i thought i cared about.

After three days of introspection I have realised that when it is only fear that guides your decisions, after a point of time, you fail to live. I woke up a little too late and refused to be afraid. But I feel, that you do need the fear for without it, you tend to make mistakes that might affect you in the longer run. I am trying to find a point where i can balance the fear with a little courage and acceptance and learn to live my life.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

They seem to crowd all around me. Mocking at me in a very strange way. When you get down to it, the word mocking has to have strangeness associated with it. For though, mocking as such is not strange(it is the most usual thing in the world), the way people seem to do it is. I was kinda squeezed from all directions and I was suffocating. Gasping for breath. My life dint flash in front of me. But then, i havent lived so long. Was this how the end was? I woke up and realised, all those fears are but demons i awaken within myself. The demons from a past i dont want to revisit. However, they will never let go, unless i let them go.

Today, i decide to atleast try, to let them go. Not fight them, but to just face them and tell them, they are but part of a dead past. I hope it works.

I weep

I weep
Not because you are leaving
But because i know
With time,
You will but a memory be
A sweet one nonetheless
But a memory
Not so much a part
of my life

I weep because i know
with time, change i would completely embrace
and forget the present
for then, it would be a memorable past
I weep because i would grow
I just hope it is not too far away from you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Obituary

You see it flow
all around you
enveloping whatever is left
of the bits of integrity
in a half dead soul
You see it conquer
all the dreams
all those could have been's
which you know
never would have been
You see it take away
everything you hold dear

For to succeed quickly
you need to let the darkness in
you need to accept that
hard work is simply over rated
that life is never ever going to be good
and the worst you have
is as good as it is ever going to get

I simply sit down to write
a heartfelt obituary
to whatever little hope
I ever have left

I just simply give up
For it is a lot easier
to await a gloomy death
than to look ahead
to a non existent success tomorrow

Losing all possible hope
I hope to attain freedom

Equal Rites

I guess I am turning my blog into a regular review portal. The thing is, I have become obsessed with Pratchett. I have to read atleast a chapter of what he has written in a day. I have finished some 9 books in the last one and a half months. Now that i am done with showing off my reading speed, Ill try to write about the book.

I loved Pratchett in Monstrous Regiment. This book also deals with the same topic and it is quite different and similar to Monstrous Regiment. While the characters in Monstrous Regiment disguise themselves as men, Esk in Equal Rites tries very hard to get into the Unseen University to become a wizard. Her wish stems of a very curious incident that occured during her birth. Everyone knows that when a wizard is about to die, he knows it beforehand. Drum Billet,the wizard, in his last few hours on earth, entrusts the care of his magical staff to the new born eighth son of an eighth son. Only, the baby is a daughter. The wizard realises his blunder too late and is unable to rectify it.

The story then deals with Esk's growing up,how she learns of her powers and the way she starts using them. A female wizard is unheard of in the disc and she struggles to become one. The humor is amazing as usual and the writer portrays the characters beautifully. My favorite is of course Granny Weatherwax, with her wry humour, accurate understanding of human psycology(headology as she calls it) and her intelligent manipulations. :) Pratchett's heros are human and make mistakes. Esk and Simon form an awesome twosome and you learn along with them. Another book which is a lesson on life and everything about it. Well written and witty.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dreams, Thoughts, desires

I seek an answer
for all the questions in my mind
I search for a string of words
to best represent the thought that questions
I ponder if what i seek
is something I already have
I dream about days to come
without a form, a structure
Days which are but hazy dreams
Days which I know nothing about
Even their existence.

For all that life is,
it is but transient
For all that I might want,
I am but yet another human
One born to think
One born to seek
One born to simply want
without knowing what
it is that I need.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Valuable junk

We attach value - to things. Or that is what we would like to think. Most of the time, the value attached is to the idea behind the thing. I lost something today and was quite hysterical for sometime. (I scared quite a few people in the ten minutes after i discovered the loss) However, soon sense, my eternal dormant friend woke up, whacked me in the head and asked me to stop my tantrums. What was really irreplaceable was the idea behind me getting those things and not the things by themselves. The memories were right there, waiting for me to revisit them.

I remember a few things i lost. By sheer carelessness or by some elaborate plot of fate. But each time, i recovered quite too soon. Be it a friend who was once my only confidante or the awesome purse i had in college. Everything in life, is replaceable at the end of the day. (When you get down to it, so are you. But then, dont start thinking about it. Takes away all the glory i tell you) What perhaps isnt are the memories i have locked away. Somewhere in the depths of my heart, waiting for a rainy day when all I would have is them for company. Looking at my action packed weeks, I doubt if they will resurface anytime soon before I create newer, maybe (rather definitely) more beautiful memories.

A post to you dear froggy. Adios! Wherever you are, know that you were once close to my heart. You were well loved. Now its time for me to move on and find another soft toy. :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Electrified

Na, This is not a book review. I am just irritated with the absolute lack of civic sense in Bangalore. Well, everyone knows i dont need a specific reason to complain. I am after all your typical 'next door love to complain about every damn thing in the world' person. However, for a change, today was a day of righteous anger. I had decided to go on a walk to forum around 7.30 pm.

The pavements in the main road were pitch dark except when an occasional motorist in the wrong side of the road decided to bless us with light. I seriously was thinking about the bible and the place where god said 'Let there be light'. For if it hadnt been for these benevolent souls, i would have tripped over more pot holes! I was literally bugged and fuming with rage when i decided to blame it on a power cut and be a little nicer to the world in general. Imagine my surprise when i walk a few metres ahead and see shops ablaze (with bright lights). And i thought we only wasted power at weddings! I really wish this nonsense stops soon. There is a limit to 'visual' merchandising!

Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett

I don't think men are better than women. OR that women are better than men. It is individual. Some women are smarter, some men are. Now that i have tried to establish myself as a balanced individual and not a feminist, lets get down to making this post a review it was supposed to be.

I started this Pratchett after all the gyan in Small Gods and once again, he has done an awesome job. He has handled issues of gender equality,religion and war with such finesse that i have to call him my favorite author now! The plot is simple. Polly Perks has to get her brother back. He has not come back home from the army and without a male heir, the duchess (her father's bar) would be given to a distant cousin if she is not married. As her getting married does not seem possible, she decides to go ahead and find her brother by enlisting in the army. Considering the fact that her God considers women in war an abomination, she disguises herself as a man by cutting her hair short and with a few other minor adjustments. :D What happens to her and her fellow comrades forms the rest of the story.

The book has a lot of funny instances and the best are those involving her trying to act like a man. She does this by 'belching loudly, public nose picking and scratching'. I couldn't help laughing at a man making fun of another. The meaninglessness of war is dealt with subtly but quite powerfully. It is a matter of survival whether it means having horse stew or using dead soldiers boots or plundering dead civilians. It is not just about honor or glory for at the end of the day, it is plain survival. I was lost in thought and in admiration for one of the most brilliant writers I have read. Funny, philosophical, witty and yes, so real - thats monstrous regiment for you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Small Gods - Terry Pratchett

I have read Pratchett before, laughed at his mockery and thought a bit about the ideas behind the satire. In this book, i was spell bound by the truth in the fantasy. Small Gods- they are powerful as long as they have believers. Otherwise, their state becomes quite pitiful. Om is one such God. He has a whole city full of his followers and just one believer, a very innocent and naive novice who refuses to initially accept that his God is actually a one eyed tortoise. Brutha's belief gets to you. You cheer him on as he refuses to let evil get to him. His belief gets him through enemy camps, crazy philosophers and a desert. He tries his best to do the right thing all the time. His simple matter of fact questions throw us off track as we realize that the truth is seldom so simple.

Here is one hero whose belief i wish i had. Rather, whose belief i want to cultivate. I want to believe that evil doesn't vanquish evil. It only spreads it to more hearts. I want to believe that no matter how gloomy the situation looks, at the end of the tunnel, there is the light of the truth. I choose to believe.

This book mocks at all those who worship the structure created to protect the idea rather than the idea by itself. I really hope that deep down our ideas live on unhindered by the shape taken by the form to please the world. Once the idea becomes unrecognizable, so will we. I hope the day aint near. All of us are stuck in our cocoons believing the mirages we see. I want to wake up from the comfort of the sleep. I want to believe.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Living the dream

You live the dream. If you are not, it means you are not awake long enough to work towards the dream. Sometimes the end objective takes a longer time in getting a shape and form, but then, in the intermediate period from when the dream comes into your mind to the final day when it is true and standing, there are a lot of stages in the middle. At each point you have to ponder about this - if you plot a graph from (0,0) to the (x,y) and see where you are and where you are supposed to be, and if you are not close, it just means that you are not working hard enough and spending all your time dreaming.

If you are somewhere in the vicinity- awesome! You are living the dream. The dream is but an idea. The dream is but a thought that has taken a form and shape. You are the creator, you are the protector and yes, you got it right, only you can destroy it. Some say i sound like I am cut off from reality, but the fact is, I believe that nothing that is yours can be taken away from you. I believe in happy endings. They might take a long time in coming, but they do come sometime. You might see a lot of endings which are not ends but meagre means for you to attain your actual ends. I now look back at my many so called endings which were but starting points for longer painful journeys and now i see, I am living the dream moving closer to what i think I want to be now. But knowing life and its strange way of giving me lessons at the most unexpected moments, i wonder if this is but an other mirage and if what i am meant for is something else completely.

Emotional Atyachar

It happens to all of us. At sometime or the other. Sometimes sooner than later. However, hardly a few of us admit to it. Some I know even relish relationships that prevent them from growing. There are some who take it to another extreme and disregard everything because it could lead to Emotional Atyachar and end up committing it upon themselves.

It happens with the parents who say their kids should not be selfish and marry someone they find unsuitable or the husband who asks the woman to not work as it is her higher duty to take care of her helpless kid, or the mother who does not let her kid play as it could get hurt, everywhere where the power balance is disturbed by all those who thrust their views upon an unsuspecting soul. The ones that completely rework your personality when you are not even aware of it happening.

The worst possible scenario is when you know it is happening but cannot get out of it. When you are helpless. As you dont want to lose what you have. Something that defines you. It could be in a job you hate with a boss you detest but a pay you love. It could be a mother in law you hate but a husband you love. Somewhere, somehow.

The ones that change who you are, your definitions of right and wrong and ultimately, affect the very core of your being. What do we do when we know we are being manipulated? Just go with the flow. Like the goat that is led on by the butcher. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a human being. For after you die, you are not going to know what is happening around you. But this emotional atyachar is going to kill you in the worst possible way. Slowly remove traces of your personality and simply kill who you are.

How do you combat it? Rather, how do you identify when it is a case of atyachar and when it is a case of genuine concern? There is but a thin line between a bear hug and a deathly embrace. How do you distinguish?How do you know if it is the rework of a skilled hand on a piece of gold or if it is the deathly blow of an anvil to break a work of art into pieces?

I have thought about it long and hard (Like all questions in life) and I have come to the conclusion that, you cant fight fate. You cant have a perfect life. Someone would manipulate you. Someone would try to give you their idea of happiness and expect you live their dream which you detest. But then, whether you like it or not, you are the master of your fate. Unless you stand up for yourself, nothing is going to help you. There are no knights in shining armors. Those armors are rusting in a castle in your mind waiting for you to clean them up and wear them.

Waiting, for the right hand that can recreate and not destroy. You have the power and the responsibility that comes with it. To defend. To not maim or destroy. To identify it is the idea that your fight is against and not the human being. To accept that it takes all of them to make the world. To let live and learn - to survive without falling for the ploy to be accepted as someone you are not but should ideally be. To be who you are without slowly turning into a monster of self defense. For sometimes in defense, you end up offending more than you initially intended to, without realizing it.

Run

There is a haze in the distance. Towards which i am running with all my might.
I see all that I am running away from. I cant see that which i am running towards. I just know that i have to run. Away from all that defines me. Away from the identity i have somehow ended up with. Away from the dreams that I know I created so carefully. Away from everything that is.
I dont have to pause. I know I would ponder. I know I would stop. But this running is now the new me. This running defines. This running defies. This running lets me live.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My first love

Well, the post title is technically incorrect for I still am not sure whether it was books or music. But I remember a childhood full of both. As an adult i was temporarily disconnected from the former. However, now, it is not the case and my growing collection of exotic titles proves it beyond a doubt.

I used to practice music quite actively (read whenever my mother made me do it) till my 12th standard. After that, i have taken up the role of an active listener. There have been many instances when i wondered if i should go back to practicing the songs i loved. Each time, something or the other came up (like the easy availability of tomatoes and eggs in my old neighborhood) and i never got down to it. Today, was a little different as i have been searching for and listening to songs i loved as a kid. I guess I have to get over my inhibitions(yes, i do have some) and get back and yes, start singing more often.

Dreamer

I see the horizon from afar
I move towards it
captivated to conquer
what seems impossible

I see the stars up above
and set out to reach them
for something so wonderful
has to be commanded

I ignore the happiness i have
in pursuit of a non existent euphoria
Some call me a fool
But I just know the difference
between my dreams
and my reality

For some dreams can just be dreams
In my imagination i attain
oneness with my virtual world
not stopping to live my life
I am only a dreamer
with too many dreams
some close to my reality
some just too far away

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Witches Abroad

I am reading an amazing work of art. That is what i felt with each page of this amazing novel. Terry Pratchett made me fall in love with words and thoughts all over again. For fantasy lovers, I guess it is no secret that he is amazing and can weave magic with his words.

The story here is as simple as it is complex. A fairy god mother, upon her death (come on, she is a fairy god mother, she knows when she is going to die) bequeaths her wand to a very untraditional witch who is in the process of finding herself. Magrat (no spelling mistake here) and two cranky witches set out to prevent the god daughter from marrying the prince. (yes, you read it right again. Prevent) Throughout the book, the author brings in numerous fairy tales, but not in the way you would want them to be.

The grandmother in little red riding hood is saved, Sleeping beauty is woken up much ahead of time etc etc, all by 3 witches who unwittingly step into numerous fairy tales. Oh, how can i forget about the witches wand which turns everything into pumpkins? As arbitrary as all of it might seem, the way they are cast together is spell binding. Terry Pratchett is amazing!

Another author to add to my list of favorites. I somehow feel he will soon top the same.