Saturday, December 23, 2006
The land of the red swimsuits, India-weather, Silicon valley and Hollywood...
I am half my way there already....having gone past the very choppy and bumpy air pockets atop Denver where so many thousands of people are stranded at the airports due to terrible weather. Had an awe-inspiring flight atop the Rockies because the weather above the clouds was too scary. My neck hurts from craning to the right all the time (it was a gruelling 5 hour flight).
They didnt serve lunch (only snacks) and I had stowed my bag with the books and my lunch too deep to continually inconvenience the nice couple I sat with (who gave me the aisle seat). There was no on-flight entertainment (other than the rough flying, of course)
Am right now at Phoenix, Arizona. This state has overtaken Nevada as the fastest growing in the United States, I can see why, this place crawls with our junta :)
Its gorgeous as seen from the bird's eye view, great possibilities to take up mountaineering and hiking.
there is an announcement to give up a ticket to sacramento (to Bhooma) for $200 in travel voucher and tickets to a later flight. I would have gone in ordinarily but i am already travel weary.
The point of bringing the laptop was to give continual updates to my sibling (who is forever bemoaning my lack of correspondance) and my friends at Pittsburgh. So guys...So far, So good (So what?)
Warm weather, here I come :)
Monday, November 13, 2006
Over the next two hours, the same thing happened in an infinite loop – I would try to slide, appear like I got the hang of it, lose my balance when I least expected it and fall spectacularly!
The variation in the theme was the way I fell, which was aimed at hurting every inch of the body uniformly (and one section of the posterior in regularity) and also exploring all the possible ways to fall and land.
There were two notable points of my humpty-dumpty mode. Once I fell on my back with such resounding force that I knocked the back of my head, which I was trying hard not to damage in vain hopes of preventing further mental deterioration. The sheer pain pierced through the shield of my insensitive thick skin and I reacted like any other person from a cultured, sophisticated upbringing – a sustained and very loud expletive referring to the process that leads to conception. That in itself is no big deal, except that incredulous gasp of the blonde, blue-eyed 5 year old in pigtails and a pink tutu of a professional figure skater, who wagged her chubby finger at me while telling her mother (a senior version of the same physical traits, minus the pink tutu), “She used the EFF word!”
It was as if I had wantonly brought on world war III, the little one truly believed that her progenitor was going to roast me alive. Ha Ha! The benefit of adulthood includes swearing at will without worrying about repercussions!
The lady quickly shepherded the child away from me but not before giving me a scathing glance that screamed the question – You came from some distant place only to teach my child this word?
Needless to say I enjoyed this incident a lot and it made me feel a great deal better considering my injuries and aches. [Evil Rain rises and subsides]
Nothing is scarier than you sliding off with no control over your speed and direction and finding another person, as much a free agent of fate/destiny as you, coming in for an imminent collision, which is rarely (don’t go by the movies) pleasant to either party.
But the feather on that violently horrible cap would be the dash happening between you (in this case me – a heavy adult. Understated) and a small, saucer eyed child of 3.
For a moment there, I thought I was going to be an unwitting child murderer but someone up there loved the little boy who fell in my path because I slowed down and halted just millimeters away from him, swayed and leaned forward over his fallen form in my efforts to brake without doing either of the following actions which I thought were impossible to avoid:
- Knocking him down
- Falling on him in all my heavy weight glory.
Before I could gasp out a “Are you Okay?”, he scampered up and slid away as fast as he could. I hope that the trauma of falling and having my bloodcurdling visage loom in front of him in his state of daze, doesn’t affect the poor thing, although logic rules against that. All I can do is pray that the child is plucky and possibly a fan of horror.
Its not often that one gets a chance to star in the nightmares of toddlers. A truly red letter day, wouldn’t you say?
On the whole Gautam said I did really good for a novice. For now I am willing to suspend my cynical disbelief and think a contender for the 2012 Olympics for figure skating from
Don’t worry; it’s not a list. Just a realization that even a high-spirited, enthusiastic and lively person can turn into a numb, jaded, unfeeling clod of mud for no reason at all, except maybe as an automatic result of the passage of time.
There was a time when my getting up with a slight crick in the neck would have been a 5 page [in very tiny font] post, but now, as my sibling heart-brokenly stated in the impersonal confines of a IM window a couple of days back – she has to request me to blog so that she’d know what is happening in my life.
Not that life in itself is not providing enough material to write on or that I have suddenly lost my ability to communicate in English…I simply haven’t even looked at my own blog and I have no excuses.
This is my effort to make up for my numbness.
I went ice-skating and attended my first ever rock concert!
Normally one of these would be enough to send me into raptures…but let me start chronologically.
Consider this post as a foreword for the next two posts.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
back here, in my current place of existence, these nine days and nights are like any other. No doll display, no proteinatious food, no invitations, no singing [thankfully].
So I was determined to have atleast a slice of the Navaratri experience even if I am seven waterbodies away from my land. So I shelled out an unearthly sum (in USD) and got dressed and ready for Dandiya...
After a reasonable delay of about an hour and a half we started off, went in and picked up a couple of people at my place of work and one bunch of the gang went the wrong way and got lost, while the bunch I went with came to this place in the middle of miles of deserted and dark lonely roads; Like it was out of some typical c grade teenage slasher movie.
We went in to see that everyone else in the hall knew each other and were from the same club and we were the only bunch of strangers. It was as comfortable as unintendingly crashing someone's personal and small wedding. But I wasnt about to let my hard earned dollars go to waste, so I ate the food they served even if the theme was "ambiguous things floating in huge volume of oil". Then I was the last person to finish dinner and was one step away from being shooed out as the table had to be cleared to make the dance floor.
Then we danced for an hour. Exactly one hour only. Then we were asked to go away.
This was the great experience :((
Now I am still all dressed and ready to dance but have to settle for venting my enthusiasm and the adrenaline at 12.30 into my lappie's keypad.
disappointed dandiya dancer,
Saturday, September 09, 2006
And I was tired enough to try it and it sort of works.
Its very zen to be mindless of the connections we make with other people. Its like a vacation. I saw this movie called Garden State which I really liked. I recommend it to everyone.
The song from its Soundtrack has been on my playlist for a week now and it speaks to me and my current state of mind.
Presenting, the lyrics of Let Go, which also I recommend as a really fabulous and addictive song:
Drink up baby down
Are you in or are you out?
Leave your things behind
'Cause it's all going off without you
Excuse me too busy you're writing a tragedy
When you've no idea what you're like
So, let go
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
It gains the more it gives
And then advances with the form
So, honey, back for more
Can't you see that all the stuff's essential?
Such boundless pleasure
We've no time for later
Now you can wait
You roll your eyes
We've twenty seconds to comply
So, let go
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's al right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
Friday, September 01, 2006
But quite frankly, I am neither depressed or jilted. Sadness is more meaningful to me than the temporary and baseless elation (a high, if you will) that accompanies love (or consumption of large quantities of choclate or/and icecream). With that out of the way, I love comedy.
Being funny is a huge challenge that takes a big mix of intelligence, instinct, mind reading and a whole lot of black matter (which is a placeholder for something no one can name).
Orkut makes you categorise your sense of humor, although I am against categorization of anything, this one I think brings order enough to help one analyse it. And as I have once discussed with my mail-buddy, sarcasm and parody is rated at the bottom of all types of humor. Its supposed to be too mean and nasty a thing to be given any official encouragement - so quite obviously, I am for it.
Saturday Night Live is the institution that serves as the temple of this form of humor. Improv is a test of wits and skill and this show has the right mix to make it a reality show that is the grandmother of survivor and amazing race. Those who have made their presence felt in SNL have gone on to be the biggest in Hollywood and rightfully so. I just finished watching an Anthology of the first 5 years of this NBC fixture and I recommend it to anyone who likes smart humor.
Teal, my evil twin (if minus of minus is a plus, doesnt that make you the good twin?), you have to watch this. We have known, loved and hated ourselves for loving the Night at the Roxbury so I know you will definitely be up for this DVD. Too bad, you live in the other side of the planet...
Its 3.38 AM of friday morning of the 1st of september and I love my life.
Having said that, let me substantiate the above statement's validity by declaring that I have not partaken drugs and alcohol or whiffed glue. Also, I am of sound mind (and this is not my last will and testimony) ; or was sane the last time I checked anyway. Laughing makes you feel good; appreciation of another's intelligence is also a factor. SNL gives you that. Watch it!
I have stopped caring about being deliberately funny in the blog. [A shockingly unexpected observation ? then you havent been paying any attention to the posts now, have you?]
I simply consider myself too stupid to manage it. There was once a time when I was SNL cast member material - I was writing skits, doing improv and performing. Maybe that phase will reoccur...until then, you will only get what you see.
PS: I havent packed for my travel tomorrow, I cant find vitally important documents, there is a good chance that my house could plunge into darkness next week and I have office tomorrow. I am typing stuff at 4.a.m, regardless. isnt that funny?
Monday, August 21, 2006
But I am so far beyond stupid that I fall into the same trap time and again. History apparently has taught me nothing. I no longer feel I can even learn what a mouse in a science experiment would learn to associate with danger, some bad effect of an activity/situation.
Inherent and insolvable problem in being three is the number of relationships that exist are 6. Lets name the 3 people as A,B and C.
The more the number of relationships, the more the misunderstandings, the jealousies, the rivalries for the affections, the unfair comparisons...you get the drift. Also any person with the working brain cell can identify that there is not one single positive outcome documented in the previous sentence.
Also from my listing of the relationships between A, B and C, it should be obvious that A->B is not equal to B->A. That in itself is not a problem [maybe it is, but not at all significant in direct comparison with the kind of trouble the author is talking about] if the equation only consists of 2 variables.
But consider this,
A->B = K [some value]
and B->A = L [another value]
but B->C = M [you know what is coming...]
of which K>L and M>L.
So the result = A is a pathetic, miserable, codependent loser who is not going to be given any importance from B, who prefers C instead.
Now you are beginning to understand the scope for the trouble. But it gets worse...
consider if all the 3 components of the equation feel that they are in the position of A in the previous illustration...
That they like a person more than the other but that person they like prefers the third more.
Whether it is a fact or not is entirely unimportant. Just that thought can lead to a lot of emotional turmoil.
God! to be emotionless... Would make the world such an efficient place.
People wouldn't be typing laments in form of blog posts, to be unleashed to the unsuspecting couple of people loyal enough to still come here and read it, at midnight when the next day is back-to-office-for- a-new-work-week day. [At this point the author takes a break to remember Rani ma'am who would say - “Short sentences make better impact, Remya! Why are you meandering...what is it, that you want to convey?”]
No one came keeping the another person's support as the basis. Which means that one can live without another person. Only funda is learning how to -
Not NAG [Cos that is right only a wife has and the person doing the nagging is not one...]
Not have expectations [Cos that leads to disappointment which sets off all the nagging...]
Stay less entangled with the other 2 people [that way no expectations, no disappointments, no nagging]
As the wise sage Alanis sang-You live, You learn,
Monday, August 14, 2006
My third roommate, the mediator, the one who cared a damn about me, a person we shall call L [since I have as yet to ask her permission to reveal her details out here...], has moved out to another bigger/better apartment.
she is thrilled. I am happy for her but not for myself...
How much I depend on that person's mail [yes, he hasnt stopped them yet], how much I need to discuss every little stupid, insignificant detail with my cube neighbour/friend/idol/lead, who we can not even give a nick, since I respect her so much. How thrilled I get when Brinda calls [which she does make with unerring regularity :) ]
How Divya has become my entire support infrastructure...
How Vinoo understands my emotional crisis [crisis in plural is still crisis, right?] even if I dont need to elaborate...
And my other friends, co workers and neighbours too [there is practically no line of separation between these three things anymore]
which makes me really wonder; living away from family, seems to make people more vulnerable, clingy and dependant...
Am getting a very bad taste in my mouth even contemplating the use of these adjectives to describe me. But facts are facts.
Here is what I need to do to get a life:
1. Develop new hobbies - Revive tarot, take up sketching
2. Maintain the standard ones - Reading, Newspapers, Journals, blog more often
3. Survival actions - cook, clean, mend
4. Diagnostic - Finance Accounts, analyse spending, avoid unnecessary expenditure
5. Physical Exercise - Walk [with or without Matt], Tennis [Need matt for this one], Yoga [this one has to start...HAS TO]
Gaahhh with so many things to do...why am I being such a parasite on these people [mentioned directly and indirectly in the para above]
Tuesday is Independance Day [Hopefully, I should have started my path to independant living by then]
Wednesday is Janmashtami :) Will I get to go to the temple?
Monday, July 03, 2006
Then why have I played hookey with the blog?
I simply found another way to replace my need to blog.
There is this person I have known from the mid of last year, who I was interacting with on a strictly, only a little more than, a Hi-Bye basis.
Suddenly, I started mailing him...these really long mails full of my politically incorrect and frequently incoherent and extremely unrequired statements. They started off formally, with polite status updates and questions on what each other was doing. Then I got free and extensive while the he is still being polite and formal.
Sometimes I wonder if I should take hints and stop mailing since the other person is not so thrilled or eloquent in his responses. Other times I ponder over the fact that, if my mails were unwelcome then the chain wouldnt still be alive. Pity can only give you very little tolerance. Believe me, I know; I have tried to tolerate many people many times and understand the limits of tolerance.
Letters used to be the substitutes for essays and books even. There are so many "Collected letters of..." type of books, because more than some sycophantic biographer or egotistical autobiography, its the way we communicate with some other person, that shows us about ourselves.
I am never going to actually distribute "The Collected emails between Rain and this guy" out to the reading public or even in this blog. It wasnt personal and there was nothing shocking in the content, the only reason I dont want to is that there is another person involved and he might not like his conversations made public.
What makes mailing this guy as satisfying as writing a blog post is that he is neutral and un-prejudiced. He lets me talk about what I have to say without saying whether its right or wrong...When he says something I do not take it as an arguement against my ideas (even when they differ entirely) and just listen to another point of view (that is a big thing for me)
He is not close to me at all for me to do any of the following -
take him for granted, read too much into his words, second-guess him at every turn, get nasty (take things personal) when we disagree.
Also, there is no restriction on the topic. He is intelligent, well-read, funny, mature and wise so discussion on any topic under the sun makes me come out more well-informed than the time we went into it. Lucky Me!
So its convenient for me, enriching even, that we are exchanging mails. His sitch might not be so hunky-dory. I am a little hard to take even if you're the most patient and tolerant person in the world. I dont see how he gets anything good out of this anyway...
As all things come to an end...its the time for the natural demise of this mail exchange, our electronic text conversation. Nothing dramatic, just that he is going to be moving on to other things work-wise and otherwise and cannot be expected to spend 5 minutes a day, writing to me.
To me its like watching something good die. I mourn for it mildly, even though its not really over because I know its going to go away. Fade until it comes to nothing. Those mails were sometimes the only good thing I had to look forward to, since I came here. Now that I have access to my blog; I hereby replace the mails with the blog again.All-Natural me, no substitutes,
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I did nothing to put it out of action and did nothing else other than publishing a new post to put it back together again (unlike Dumpty, Humpty who is predictably gone pieces although not because of this)
I am spending my days in an untiring effort to finish reading as many books as I possibly can and watch as many movies as well. Not an enriching exercise for my brain (or what is left of it) but I am at peace with the world. Numbness is worth the killing of neurons sometimes.
I unbroke my blog.
Now I go to read some more books and watch some more movies.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I have named him SriKrishna after my favorite representative of God on earth :)
Juvenile as it is, I name the non-living things if they are important to me.
My cycle had a name, remember Chetak? and the two wheeler's name is Rampyari.
Anyway me and Krishna are going to share a long, healthy and rewarding friendship.
I am back!!
First post with Krishna,
Saturday, June 10, 2006
This will be my attempt to condense 3 months of my life and present it to those who care.
A quarter is not significant in itself. I have spent almost all my quarters in life doing next to nothing...
But these 3 months have been very special.
For one, I am in a different continent now. I always thought I could not be who I am without my motherland for she is a vital part of my identity. Now that I have survived (even flourished) away from India I cannot help but repeat the cliche - "You can take an Indian out of India, but you cannot take India out of an Indian"
I visit temple, once a week, without fail here. I go to every Indian concert I can possibly attend and I speak my native language far more here than I did back home. In short, I am more Indian here :)
Second comes the point of independance. This doesnt mean I was under someone's control before (that has never happened in my entire life). What I want to convey is that I am responsible for myself now. I take care of my own house, my bank balance, my social life and my health. Most girls just get transferred from being the responsibility of parents to being the responsibility of their husbands. Thankfully, I have the best way out. I am living my own life, in my terms and am answerable only to myself.
THird and more related issue is that of 'fitting in'. Now that you have established your independance, you have to be strong enough in every way to be able to find a place for yourself in an alien environment. Our world here is very small. Everyone knows everyone else. Its like being in a very beautiful and well-equipped commune. So you are the new guy and rest of them have solid bonds between themselves already. THankfully for me, its been a breeze with everyone welcoming me with open arms.
Its not all roses though, I am hitting rough patches with 'certain' people and god knows, I am not a very easy person to handle, not everyone's cup of tea myself; so its a mutual kind of fitting in problem.
Fourth is just how much I am learning and experiencing!!!
Feel really grown up suddenly :)
I have gone from the person who used to hesitate from going to Adayar from mylapore to being the one who jets to Frankfurt, DC, New York, Cleveland...list should keep growing (God Willing).
My work has shifted from just coding a narrow part of a mute system to the one who talks to the client, understands their needs, understands the business and the part I am supposed to play to get the things done. Job Satisfaction is pretty high [touch wood]
Money is a concern, most definitely. Hope to make more, always planning to budget and save more... Going to learn to actually achieve that soon.
Although I read extensively, I am able to understand that my thinking has not been wide in any sense of the word. Here I am forced to contend with the thinking of complete strangers who have been thrown in with me in this crazy life. People from varied backgrounds who live, play and work with me and I see just how different we can be in thought, speech and action. I am a fan of non-conformance and I appreciate the variety I see in them. Sometimes I see light in trains of thought that I would consider bizarre.
I have a new sense of the importance of my family, my country and my culture. Beginning to understand that I would do anything for them is a jolt for me, because I am thinking more like an induvidual than a collective organism that consists of my family and friends.
Suddenly when it seems that Rain has achieved ultimate understanding and you expect me to preach peace & love in a toga with flowers in my open hair, let me bring you to reality. I am still me.
I still cant sleep at nights, addicted to TV, movies and books, very opposite of Ms.Congeniality, argue with anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat...none of that has changed.
More detailed catchup posts will follow. This was just an overview :)
Still looking for 'nirvana',
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I promise my thoughts (in form of Blog posts) will be unleashed soon and shall continue on a regular basis thereon...
1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn on a random page and find random line.
“God is DEAD!” Roman thundered “God is dead and Satan lives! The year is One, the first year of our Lord! The year is One, God is done!”
From “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin
2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
”Kung Fu Hustle”
4.Without looking, guess what time it is?
5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
”Faint” by Linkin Park in my iPod
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Today morning. Was on my way to office
8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
My stupid sister’s silly blog.
9.What are you wearing?
Blue shirt and black pants
10. Did you dream last night?
11. When did you last laugh?
In the morning.
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Picture of Yashoda with Krishna on her lap, a painting of Ganesha, 2006 Mellon Calendar, Phone numbers of my collegues.
13. Seen anything weird lately?
NYC. And its very weird in everyway.
14. What do u think of this quiz?
Huge waste of time.
15. What is the Last film u saw?
”Kung Fu Hustle”
16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Anything I want.
17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.
I wear tinkly anklets with western formal wear.
18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Remove the capacity for mindless violence from human mind.
19. Do you like to dance?
Depends on the song.
20. George Bush
21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
I am doing that, knuckleHead!!
24.What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
25. People who may do this memo in their journal.
I am a humanitarian. No one will be tagged.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Oh, and if it wasnt obvious already, I am terrified. Thought of leaving makes me sick to my stomach [literally].
Still, I have to go. Dont know when I will be able to continue blogging again [depends on very many factors] but hope to be back in full force ASAP [which should also be banned from usage along with EOD and .etc.]
PS: Nope. Still not talking about marriage.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
I have just broken the cardinal rule of blogging. A new post when most will not have had enough time to read the previous one, thus ensuring that it will not be focus of the casual visitors' attention and therefore will be ignored.
But the frequency of my posts does more with my wanting to say something than with anything else.
On Friday while on my way to Chepauk, I happened to spot a march by about 30-40 people on the opposite side of the road. All of them carried this flag and placards bearing the legend "Free Tibet":
It also made me very curious to watch the news item that
Coincidentally, I discovered that the only movie in my personal collection that I hadnt already watched already was "7 years in Tibet". So I spent roughly 2 hours last evening watching that movie and found that it was by no means a waste of time.
Here are the basic facts of the movie [in accordance with Akshaya's suggestion], Source:IMDB
Heinrich Harrer (book)
Becky Johnston (screenplay)
Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk
Dalai Lama, 14 Years Old
The story is the account of the Austrian Climber Heinrich Harrer,( the all round Alpha Male) who seeks to conquer the
Harrer does the survey of the Lhasa city and also get to build a movie house for the young Dalai Lama, who he comes to look on as a son-substitute [his own son, who he has never seen, refuses to accept him as the father].
His Holiness is a vivacious young man, so full of curiosity about everything micro and macro that Harrer once exclaims- "Do you know of other sentence constructs, besides Questions?"
China begins its relentless attack on the peace-loving, non-violent and entirely non-militaristic Tibet and the 14 yr old accepts command of his country and people, who have intense and simplistic faith in their religion helping them overcome the onslaught of the enemy [they revere enemies in Tibet and consider them teachers of patience and faith].
Chamao, the gateway to Tibet, falls after a unevenly matched slaughter of the poorly equipped Tibetian army, and the young, ambitious Governor Ngawang Jigme gives into the politics of the matter and signs a surrender. Thus heralding the occupation of Tibet that has lasted on to this day.
The present Dalai Lama, is a consummate Media man. He is able to make followers of everyone he meets all around the world, so much so that many of the glitterati of Hollywood have turned Buddhist and are taking up the cause of Tibet. The ordinary people of Tibet are also wonderful in their innate ability to mesh with the locals wherever they settle, while still raising their voices to the liberation of their Homeland- Tibet [or paradise].
Nevertheless, China is still the Big Brother of this part of the world. India, despite its emerging strength is unable to effectively oppose it for the sake of the Tibetians, for whom it has maximum empathy and support. If Arunchal Pradesh were to cede to China, we would be doing the same thing that Ngawang Jigme did in case of Chamao. Soon there will come a time when the Chinese will also swallow the vastness that is India, in its entirely; right down to the safe Tamilnadu. Then we will ask the same question that the Lama asked Harrer - "Will people come look at the movies of us and wonder what happened to our country, one day?"
If the Japanese were cruel to the Chinese in Nanjing[for example], the Chinese have also shown their utter lack of mercy for the Tibetians and the Indians (remember our BSF, so many regiments who died right down to the last man, in their efforts to keep away the vast chinese army). When it comes to war, violence and accession - it is always the fight between the Powerful and the Peaceful; the nationalities never matter.
We are peaceful people. We revere our non-violence and our respect for all life. But we should never yield; otherwise we may one day face the same fate as our other peaceful brethren - the lovely people of Tibet.
Free Tibet from Chinese oppression,
PS: I think I have just been marked by the People’s Republic for my pro-Tibet stance. These guys apparently block content with the help of Google [Et Tu, Brutus?!]
Saturday, March 11, 2006
A concept not accepted by many because that would mean that man is not in control of what is to happen to him. It would mean we have to accept that there are many random forces acting on you in many ways that make you steer in the directions, not necessarily of your choice...like a leaf in the wind.
I believe that I choose everything with respect to me.
Although, I admit, that of late, that belief is getting shakier. I ranted and raved in this very blog of inertia and time being ripe for changes that would take me to the next level.
What I didnt see coming, in my expectation for a staircase, was hundred floor elevator that moves at the speed of light. Now, although rising high is a good thing, the ingrained paranoia wonders "is this too much of a good thing?"
While still battling that, the next surprise rolls in, hardly giving me enough time to even take it all in. Oh and this one is a good thing too. And yeah, they are mutually exclusive.
pro-cons analysis, SWOT listings...all that funda still falls short when its time to take a step in any of the 2 ways.
Then you realize what you knew all along; there was never any choice. Ever.
You only go the way that is for the greater good, a popular choice of the ones you care about.
This cannot be termed sacrifice, for you cannot say for sure if you'd have struck gold if you had gone the other way. Also, there is a good chance that the path that your people are urging you to tread in may be the one path that leads to your personal destination.
This is the point where I lament, and todays theme is : "Why do good things come in mutually exclusive pairs" or "Why can't I have the cake and eat it too?" [what is the point of the cake other than eating it?]
A new phase is starting, the one I chose with the illusion of my free will. I accept the consequences. It will literally be a new world removed of anything I find familiar.
I am brave or I hope I am. I will face things the best way I can.
If I am a pawn of destiny then I will act with the thought that I am destined to be the best I possibly can be. Still human enough to be scared of new things, but not enough to be deterred by them.
Fighting for control of my life,
PS: No, I am not getting married.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Having seen the fight club, you know what is coming when Ivan (the guy who does not exist) comes into the life of Trevor who is -
a) suffering from insomnia for over a year,
b) rapidly losing weight,
c) Having very fixed movements in a lonely existence,
d) Writing notes to himself.
But still we need to appreciate the effort put in by Christian Bale to get into the skin and bones (for there is nothing else) of his character.
There are 2 women in his life- a lover (Stevie) and a mother(Maria), her little boy Nicholas, the cheerful psychopath Ivan and the men in his factory, But lots of suspects that will fill the hangman puzzle of _ _ _ _ ER (Tucker, Miller, Mother... ??).
Ultimately, Trevor finds redemption and sleep when he embraces his guilt (that has caused all this trouble all along) and turns himself in.
Although 'guilt trips' are discussed so much, it does not do justice to the impact it has in the life of a person. How much of the guilt is shaped from nurture, from nature, morality and societal effects and just how much is plainly voice of the invisible component called a conscience?
All these questions raised themselves when I saw this movie.
Plus it creeped me the slighest little bit because I find it hard to sleep sometimes and I dont know why...
Time to take a trip,
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Japan has held an air of mystique very successfully and is known to be a very closed and rigid society. The exotic women with stark white painted faces with heavily lined eyes and the pouted red mouth are so the antithesis of everything one is used to, that they greatly inspire curiosity and interest.
But having read the book, the story seems very familiar and unfortunately too real. A young girl from a small fishing village, Chiyo Sakamoto, is sold to a Okiya, a house of the Geishas, for training to be its principal source of income in the future. This is her story, of her trials and tribulations, her falling in love with the Chairman, her apperenticeship, her debut as a Geisha and how she eventually gets her man.
The part of the book that got me sore was her mizuage (look it up if you need to know) being sold off to the highest bidder.A story that in some concentrated or diluted version lies behind every exploited woman in the world.
Also the point all throughout the book that Sayuri (Chiyo's Geisha Name) gamely accepts what she has to do like someone who has to do like it were a humdrum yet necessary household chore. She'd rather sleep with someone she doesnt care for rather than a man who loves her (and saved her life a couple of times), because she does not want to screw up her chances of getting together with his bosom buddy.
At that point, I really felt she was doing the exploitation.
Of late, I'm getting to read a lot of Japan based books like- Crichton's "The Rising Sun" and "Angel Eyes". Crichton's book is basically based on a whole lot of research on the part of a paranoid United States, who believe that Japan will financially take over them someday and that day may not be in the far too distant future.
"Angel Eyes" gives a lot of insight about the seedy underground of Tokyo, the Yakuza and how there is a nexus between them and the corporations.
The more titbits of info emerge about this very fascinating country, the more it seems unreal and unknown.
The point that was consistent across all the 3 books was the very strong emphasis on the way people to people contact happens in a typical Japanese society. Gestures are so vital there, body language is so full of meaning that actual talk seems clipped in comparison. And just how painfully polite the people are how remarkably high their threshold of patience is.
There is a whole lot to look up to Japanese for apart from electronics, cars, Pokemon and Bey Blade franchise, for example how as a nation they bounced back from the devastation of the WWII. True Grit and determination seems to be into woven into everyone there.
All this said, when I look at the cartoons in Animax, I see that most of the stories feature this really young teenager, with a whole lot more endownments than is usual for a Japanese girl, very short swishy skirt and lots of getting dressed or bathing scenes. Some dark, disturbing obsession with young girls, in some level, continues to exist, even if there are no more 15 yr old Geishas around to bid for anymore.
But who are we to talk when so very many young girls are sold into prostitution for paltry sums in almost every major city or town in India? Atleast Sayuri's story has a happy enough ending.
Definitely worth reading, if atleast to get a sneek peek into Japanese culture.
PS: Now in posish to watch the movie and Comment on that. [Yaaay, me!! I Heart Ken Watanabe and I like Michelle Yeoh(who's malaysian not japanese)]
Thursday, February 23, 2006
He brings class and contained violence at the same time, to this wonderfully sketched character of Hannibal Lecter. Must be pretty obvious, but I hated Merchant & Ivory and all of England when I saw him in "Howard's End" and "Remains of the day". But sequential processing is hardwired to the very genetics of Indian junta, so let me not jump randomly at topics.
"Silence of the Lambs" is a great book, so is "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal". Thomas Harris is one very twisted yet brilliant man, to have come up with these three gems. Alas, he sold them off to Hollywood and they filtered out the very soul of the books.
"Silence..." by its very name is essentially the story of Clarice Starling. The psycho who kills women in a seemingly random manner and the kidnapped daughter of the senator .etc. are just circumstances added to the main thread. Its all about Clarice and her inner demons, loss of her father and her distinct sensory memory of the lambs in the night at her aunt's house.
About her finding an understanding soul in a convicted, vicious, cannibalistic, brilliant psychologist. Of course she's drawn to him. But why is he also drawn to her, when he openly states his disdain for her 'white trash' background?
"Hannibal" provides those answers. Details of who Dr.Lecter essentially is, his background story, the loss of his sister, his witnessnessing the soldiers' cannibalism and the understatement of the kind of trauma that would make a clever brooding boy into "Hannibal the Cannibal" .etc. are found aplenty in this last installment of the trilogy.
Indirectly, we also get the implication that Hannibal sees something of the sister he lost in Starling and hence the extreme feelings with regard to her seem to wash over him. He himself is never ever sure if he wants to love her, kill her, save her or eat her.
But it ends with the finale so open to interpretation that its very exciting.
Hannibal and clarice sitting in a tree...
The movie version of "Silence of the lambs" was good. Very good.
"Hannibal" seems like a partial rendering. Ok, so the man is creepy and souless, he is also pulled towards this dame who's getting the worst of the FBI's inner politics. Why no scenes for "Just why is that?" Also "Hannibal" is showing off Mason's loss of face, quite literally, than is required by the script-just to increase the gore value. And the botched ending where the heroine emerges unscathed and away from the anti-hero who is flying away, minus a hand - absolutely opposite to the harmonious ending of Mr.Thomas Harris [why are u not suing?]
Ray Liotta, still rocks :). Julianne Moore is no Jodie Foster.
But Anthony Hopkins...is another matter altogether. This guy is old. Very very ancient. Yet, when he kills, moves swiftly and is physically dangerous- You believe it.
He also turns on the charm, so very well. There is simply no dimension to this complex and difficult character that Mr.Hopkins missed in his portrayal.
So full points to Thomas Harris and ANthony Hopkins, Boo to the rest.
Read the novel, Dont watch the movie.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
See the damn thing. It is very gross and bloody, not to mention extremely twisted. But it is still compelling (or is it just me?)
Funda is about choices. A whole set of situations where the supposed farce of a choice exists- sounds like a definition for Life I think (or is it just me?)
Some random (that is what one thinks initially anyway) junta are put together just like the junta in your family are put in with you. Everyone starts off with “Where am I ?” and few other typical questions which can also stand for the deep introspective and metaphysical questions that everyone has at one point or the other…example “How did I get here?”
Then you are made aware that you are given some things read latent assets – intelligence, looks, money (A Tape, photos and the saw -in the movie); but that you also have some limitations and constraints that prevent you from operating freely read debts, disabilities, skeletons in the coffin, guilty secrets, liabilities in general (in the case of the film - chains that bind to the pipe at one end and the ankle at the other) and that you are put here to do certain things which you might not want to do if you really had a choice about it – here we think of the careers we picked so it would mean better things for your family rather than what made you happy, about the things we do every day that you would so give everything to just stop doing (in the movie its – kill the other guy, or just cut your own foot off). Motivation for picking the painful job is some invisible carrot dangling in the air (The promise that his wife and little girl will not be killed)
And orchestrating all of this, is some methodical, efficient and oh so very cold creature, with its own compulsions and motivations, that also keeps a constant watch over you all the time read God or the entity that humans believe in. The trapped duo even scream out to that master puppeteer, pulling their strings, at many places, but receive no response…rings a bell?
Think about all those times you cried out starting with “Oh God, Please…” and then nothing.
The most torturous part is figuring out - Why? Why is this happening? Why Me? Don’t we ask ourselves the very same questions all throughout our lives? Only in this movie’s case, at least at the end, one comes to know just why these things happened and why these guys were picked. Sadly, we may not ever get the answers to our questions, only some consolation terms like ‘Karma’.
And finally when all the twisted choices have been forced on the victims, they have been taken for a full ride and made to believe in a trail of wrong assumptions, they desert each other and it is revealed that the key to the shackles were with you at the very beginning but you let it gush down the drain.
The craziest part is that all of this sadistic torture teaches one to appreciate life more, teaches life lessons, actually helps. Just like we are told our hardships help in building our character.
I like this movie. Some, who watched it with me, felt only mental and psychopathic people will like it. I definitely don’t think so. I think the trick here to understand what it is supposed to convey, its underlying parody of life, rather than just take it as a psycho movie with thrills – its face value.
I thank the guy that lent me the DVD. What I don’t thank him for is for his having given me the psycho’s whereabouts even before I could physically take the DVD from him…and ruining the last great surprise that the viewer is supposed to get.
An unexpected gift but with a pang of regret – a rose with a thorn- also a metaphor for life…(or is it just me? )
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Someone wanted more reality in my posts, and I had promised to supply the same. The intention was to probably write up a ball-by-ball account of the Ladies Cricket Finals which, we lost, by the way. Something unexpected came up though, by way of free tickets to "Rang De Basanti" for all us Cricketers!
Bit of background though; I studied in the Arya Samaj school. To me the memory of the great Revolutionaries and their mentors, is sacred. Rang De spoke to that inner girl who bristled with pride and grief when she first came to know about a certain young man called Bhagat.
Coming back to the movie, I am certain that you do not want a synopsis.So I offer instead, my feelings about it. Firstly, any movie on nationalistic fervor, which is not made to appear contrieved is most welcome. And if one were to comment on relevance of the fervor that the revolutionaries had in youth of contemporary India, I would say that there are many ways to ponder about that. One such contemplation has apparently led to "Rang De".
Secondly, the point that is distinctly not in our favor is the fact that we only look at the good that is inherent in us, when some foreigner were to admire it; in this case it takes a Sue from London for DJ and gang to discover the sacrifices that Indian youth had made, without any hesitation, just 6 decades ago.
Third comes the mention of the performances.
Atul Kulkarni shines like a beacon of a lighthouse in the darkest
stormiest night. His emotion-choked recital of Ram Prasad Bismi's "Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna..." made my hair stand on its end. That is easily the best moment of the movie.
Soha was wooden, Aamir-a wrinkly antique and Madhavan- too plump. The rest meshed in the movie so well, they seemed real. Then, a note on characterization. The character of DJ, the student who passed out years ago, but lingers in the campus still where he is the big man, afraid of real world is in theory-very good. Lakshman Pandey, proud of India and its culture, who sweats it out for a Right-wing party (they have taken no pains to hide that the party being referred to here is Shiv Sena) out of idealism and backs the motley crew in filming and subsequently becomes one of the gang is a good foil for the lone Muslim boy, who considers himself Indian first and does not want to hate the Hindu majority. Sukhi as the gang's clown, who worships DJ is also very identifiable. Sonia as the lone gal and darling of the gang seems full of good possibilities but that hope is destroyed when at the end, she orders the men to kill and own up, while continuing with her life and not taking up any responsibility on her own.
Sue is the not-so passive observer and scribe.
On the whole, I loved most of the movie, but not especially the almost silly ending. The climax and the last parts of the movie fail to measure up to the lovely first half.
Akshaya is the one, who's the pro about writing on movies and interpreting them also. No doubt, he'd have had something to write about Rang De. Now that I have said most of what I wanted to, I will see what he has to say on his own and about this post.
Before Fin, here is the poem by Ram Prasad Bismi, only people without any knowledge of hindi (Sorry, any attempt on my part to translate this would be blasphemy) and the heartless will not be moved by these passionate sentiments:
Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar
khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
dil mein tuufaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aa
duur reh paaye jo humse dam kahaan manzil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
Sunday, January 22, 2006
WARNING: Only for grown-ups and non-hypocritical people, for I have called a spade, 'a spade' here.
When I began the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, I was happy in a very liberated small woman way. Here is a hero (to call her heroine, would be to say that she was merely meant to have romance scenes with the hero) who was only 5' 3" and could inspire terror in the heart or equivalent component of vampires, zombies, were-animals and your common garden variety man (yawn).
You also had these delicious guys who are dangerous on their own, yet moony when it comes to our no-nonsense Anita, who wears her devil may care attitude like a constant pair of Nikes.
Here I digress a little, by casting actors to each of these parts (yeah we are talking multiple guys here) just to illustrate the point I will make later on:
- Jean-Claude - Smooth Talking Master Vampire - Brad Pitt (very smoldery)
- Jason - Jean-Claude's pet werewolf - Hayden Christenson (naughty/dimples)
- Richard Zeeman - King of the werewolves - matt Damon on steroids (major nice guy)
- Asher - Jean-Claude's ex-boyfriend, also Vampire - Jude Law (mysterious and beautiful)
- Micah - King of the were leopards, shortie - Tom Cruise (likeable)
Yep, so one can infer the "Yawza!!" factor here...
To have one of these around would be romance-novel fodder, but here we have all of them and just our little heroine (now she starts to be one).
Before long, our lady is embroiled in various affairs in all possible combinations with the men/monsters mentioned above and my liberated spirit retched heavily, and I stopped reading.
I have the same complaint of Ayn 'Bloody'
Why can't the modern woman be represented in a more decent way?
Belonging to the afore mentioned category I can confidently state the common profile of the members: (Refer the cartoon)
- Well Educated
- Earning salary
- Decision making ability
- Career minded
- More of brains rather than beauty
From my perusal of literature and movies on central woman character, I have jotted down points "Top ten things about the heroine of a trashy script..."
1] The attractive new entrant into our Girl's [that is how the heroine will be referred to] life moves, smells, behaves like utter trouble.
(international terrorist, stealth assassin, vampire, werewolf, amnesiac...)
2] There is more than one major wonderful guy around, who is out to get our Girl; a sitch we know will give rise to moral dilemmas resulting in the most grossly outrageous solution.
(A vampire and his buddies, two mortal best friends, one mortal and his enemy/boss, Her childhood sweetie+highschool boyfriend+cute boss+fiancee, The guy who hates [but secretly pines for] her + her dependable boyfriend...commonly Husband vs. Ex)
3] our Girl has this best friend who has a wonderful and steady guy who just happens to be the buddy of one pouty Greek god of a male character. So, each central characters will run into the other while in the turf of the common friends.
When she has misunderstood him, the common friends enlighten her about to his "mother Teresa" side.
4] And each time our Girl "runs into" the Boy (one of the boys, atleast) she thinks "oh how my heart beats to be around this guy...I should avoid seeing him" but never gets around to doing just that.
5] When he meets our Girl, the boy has been doing one of the following activities:
- flexing muscles while lifting heavy things (helping old people is a plus),
- firing some reptilian individual who we know is coming back to bite buddy boy,
- making nasty or sarcastic quips about/to her,
- reading to the blind/taking care of children/any social service work,
- Working out in the gym or fighting a giant in the dojo.
So he is mostly angry, sweaty, busy (and or) dripping in blood.
4] There is one arch nemesis girl:
- who hates our Girl from high school
- is the competitor in office/Boss
- The pouty Greek god's ex...Etc.
Who is never given a good makeup person or/and wardrobe selector. This person is always in the throes of PMS and is obviously slutty (although by the end of the script the line between her sluttiness and our Girl's "giving in to her emotions" blurs considerably)
5] our Girl is never actually seen working. Only seen going to or coming from office, or the usual running into good-looking men at office.
6] Everyone loves her at office/in the neighborhood/in the family.
Our Girl has co-worker friends, neighbor friends and family that will lie down in front of traffic for her. Yet she is alone and longs for the Boy.
7] Our Girl never:
- throws tantrums (only has arguments with the hero(es) ending in sparks)
- is wrong
- dresses shabbily (looks sharp even while sleeping/after getting up)
- hits people (except the nemesis-which is an all out cat-fight)
8] No matter how little she makes, or in which crampy apartment she lives, our Girl never repeats an outfit at all and all her clothes are named after illustrious people-Gucci, Versace .etc.
9] Girl is surprised to find out that the stinky rich pouty Greek god is nuts about her. [I say, when you and he are the only super-good looking people among everyone you know, it’s quite obvious that he will secretly pine away for you.]
10] She cries when he proposes. He is only slightly less emotional. Our Girl pulls out all stops from then on.
This ladies and germs, is everything pop-culture has to offer as facets of the modern woman Pray, don't be fooled into accepting these as being based on facts.
Truth is out there,
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
There is a really cute petite lady who meets with me everyday by way of work. She is not very verbose, in fact she is what you call “strong and silent” if you could ignore the “strong” part. She smiles very often but it’s her rare laugh that made me write this post.
I have only read of tinkling laughter, hers actually reminds you of silvery bells and an utter joy without strings, akin to that of a baby’s, when it finds some fuzzy yet brightly colored object at its span.
Also, it is such a feminine sound, that the air suddenly charges up with the auras of all the alpha males in the vicinity, who turn around to what their instinct says is a girl they can potentially protect in the warmth of their caves.
Yes, all that can be packaged in a laugh. I see the effects. I report.
There is this air of cordiality and innate genial conversation sparks off or continues after the amiable sound is emitted.
I laugh too. It may seem like fiction, considering the trend of my posts, but I assure you. I do laugh. But my laughter is as similar to my colleagues as day is to night. And of the appeal I shall refrain from speaking about, but will let you guess by referring the statement made by a certain boy in 2004, when he said, “My God, you laugh like the Devil”.
The true context to understand the gravity of this comment can be set, when I tell you that this boy spent his extra time looking up the “Apocalypse” and “End of the world”etc. in Google. Also, he had quite a bit of extra time.
So it would be safe to say, I barely escaped being doused in Holy Water for exercising my laughter muscles.
There is a dish of a boy (Yes, women objectify men too) who once told me that laughter should come from the heart and not from the throat. See what you can get away with when you are buff and trim enough to steal focus from your words? Had a normal dude even tried that very quotable quote, he definitely would have had to deal with my “Devil” laughter ringing in his ears for what we’ll call an extended period of time.
But we will try to not digress from the topic too much. Yeah, so my laughter is not the gentle sound that one would associate from a tender vocal cord situated in a suitably appealing throat. I have more of the “Belly” laugh, even deeper than the “Heart” suggested by the Softie-with-muscles. If I find anything funny, which seemed more frequent in the past, I laugh without restraint, without poise, grace and good manners.
And almost all of the time, there is someone to “Shush” me immediately. That pisses me to no end.
From experience, let me tell you this; listening to a person’s genuine laugh is probably the most positively therapeutic experience next to you laughing genuinely yourself. And if you feel that you cannot bear to hear another’s joy or amusement, then maybe you have gone a little too much into the dark side.
You know who is worse than a laugher-stifler a.k.a Shusher? A Fake laugher.
There is something horribly evil about people who act their laugh out.
Those are the people who are likely to rent a couple of cherubic children and an elderly grandmother to accompany them during “Family Day” at office. Nothing they say or do can be considered original.
My having become a grownup, a point of intense disagreement from my mother’s perspective, is illustrated by the fact that I smile “coldly” now. Apparently I have learnt the art of varying the degree of warmth in my smile like a good cook can control his oven temperature…and I am told that of late, the cook is dishing out sub-zero meals. A cold smile is much worse than a no smile, it seems. And it is usually the precursor to a “harsh” laugh- a sound that is a remote cousin of our nearly extinct genuine laugh. A harsh laugh is to show anger or contempt. A more evolved version of a low growl and a bite in the jugular. Needless to say I am pretty good at that too.
Finally there is the point of why the laugh? Is the laugh “with” or “at” the audience?
I am told, by the same experts who’s opinions I have been generously sprinkling all over this post, that it is quite rude to laugh at someone, especially under the circumstance where that someone is in a laughable state. Hmmm….so all those thousands of years of slapstick comedy- when a guy (preferably rotound and not attractive) lands on his backside with the maximum pain inflicted on his person as a result of his unfortunate encounter with the strategically placed banana peel, is actually indicative of mankind’s very malevolent nature.
As far as I am concerned, it is only indicative of a less than evolved instinct of amusement. War and violence is evil.
Laughing with people, most often than not, is a white lie way of saying a that you are laughing at some unfortunate but you have the company of your equally dastardly mates.
So no amount of spit and polish will make that phrase shine.
They say it takes more muscles to frown than to smile and laughter clubs propagate the rabidly hysterical version of a belly laugh (which makes it quite creepy) to keep the heart and mind young (here we go again).
So just laugh when you can and while you can.
There is enough in the world to put you down and when a laugh is sounded, it is the defiant call that one may be down but not out. It is very simply the sound of life.
Your funny valentine,
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
In fact, I refuse to believe in anything good and am going for a doctorate in Professional Skepticism, majoring in Pessimism.
2006 is a crappy new year and its hardly begun… :)
Keep visiting folks, to know the latest on what has gone horribly wrong as usual and all the gruesome details.
If anyone wants me, I will be right here, even after 20 odd years, doing the same things. No forward motion for me, looks like. A trilogy of consecutive failure- that is right up my alley though. :)
Anyone know the address of the nearest Satanic Cult?