Sunday, December 11, 2011

1720 : On the Night

I love “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits…but especially a version from their album called “On The Night”. I used to own two tapes of this, when I was growing up.

Some things only become more precious as time passes us by Smile

There are so many different worlds,
so many different suns,
And we have just one world,
But we live in different ones…..

1719 : Kolaveri Virus

I was watching the video of Kolaveri Di closely. There is a reason why this song is a monster hit – its not just a great freaky song – but the video conveys fun. Shruti, Aniruddh, Aishwarya and Dhanush especially seem to be having a ball recording this song.

Just that joie de vivre should make this a viral. In these times, who does not want to live a little vicariously Smile

1718 : Meri Arzoo Kaminey

I have posted many times about this song already. This is the title song from the movie Kaminey, composed and sung by Vishal Bharadwaj, lyrics by Gulzar.

Maybe it’s the litre of alchohol, or maybe it’s the poet in me, but I cannot just get over the beauty of this this para….it’s the work of an inspired genius.

Meri Dastaan….kaminey,
Mere Raaste…..kaminey
Ek Dil Si Dosti Thein, Yeh Hazoor bhi Kaminey

(A rough semantic transalation would read…..

my destiny and the story of my past are all screwed and completely waylaid….so is the future of the path that I am currently in….alas….eventually I fell in love with a beauty, and I thought things were eventually looking up (implied!!)…guess what….that was all fucked up as well!!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1717 : Bhare Naina by Nandini Shrikar

Bhare Naina from Ra.One is an unusual song – its classical and operatic tones are quite stand out – and Nandini’s vocals are awesome.

The song does get fucked by some English gibberish in the midst.

The Hindi lyrics are fairly to the grade, though it could do with a little more Jor, its unfair to Nandini. I would love a non-remixed version.

Will post a translation soon. I liked the song Smile overall.

(Though I like Kolaveri Di more….I know its apples to papayas, but Kolaveri makes me smile Smile)

1716 : Human Inspiration

As I run circles in my complex, I pass by the tennis court – and quite often – I see this balding chap who comes along alone and is practicing his serve.

After he runs out of balls, he jumps to the other side and serves back – so he alternates sides….

But the practices alone Smile

I find him to be an inspiration.

1715 : AA invited

It’s a wild day so far. I ran 11km, and I also guzzled down over 1 litre of wine. I think I will need to sign up for AA soon Smile

1714 : The art of advertising

I have started looking at ads with a more keener eye, especially their accompanying graphics.

I must admit, half of the creative guys must be smoking coke – how else do you explain photos of appalling stupidity associated with big brands. E.g. the one from Raymond below. 


Look hard. Relevance of this image to Raymond? Where is the girl with the camera focusing?  (If I understand her Line of Sight correctly – she is focusing on none of the 3 others)? Why are the girls more prominent in a men’s clothing ad? (and not like they are in a attention grabbing bikini or something)

1713 : Tilt and shift

I have been playing around with tilt and shift (perspective shift) images, and I am so thoroughly enjoying it Smile

Not only does it evoke creative juices, some of the end products actually make you smile.

Have some fun snaps of the family in that, but I cant post that here…but here comes some landscapes Smile


1712 :Jazz and 90s

A little more searching revealed that there is also an album called Jazz and the 90s.

Listening to that as well now Smile

JAZZ AND 90s backJAZZ AND 90s front

1711 : Jazz and 80s

One of the colleagues recommended an album called "Jazz and 80s” – a 2 CD collection of 80s hits reinterpreted by Jazz artistes.

I have been listening to this since yesterday night and its addictive and mesmerizing.

1245117954_80s21245118009_80sJazz_And__80s--TraseraJAZZ AND 80s back

Thank you Nilesh bhai Smile

1710 : The Pianist 2

From the previous post….

One of the folks had a Grand Piano at his home which he had been playing for every day since he was 9. And the other one played the Fender Stratocaster (its guitar duboo!!)

Reminds me again, I should have learnt music while I could have Sad smile

1709 : The pianist

I spent yesterday evening guzzling bottles of Corona with a few of colleagues – who I had worked with for around 2 years, but hardly knew outside the office.

Somehow the conversation veered towards music, and blimey, I have never enjoyed a conversation so much (in recent memory).

They knew everything about 80s and 90s, and classical, and jazz. We spent most of the 3 hrs just reminiscing of what we grew up listening – and each of us was “going one up” on the other, by mentioning those tiny little things, which we all treasure – like someone spoke of Morrison’s An American Prayer, someone spoke of Pyromania, someone mentioned Purple Rain, someone else Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, and not to forget the infinite mentions of Dylan and Syd Barrett…… and lastly, we spoke of John Mayer too Smile

Strangely, as I always feel in these circumstances, in addition to feeling very happy, I also had a weird longing to trudge back into my journey with music.

Looks like “The Zing Thing” is back – bring on the oranges Smile

1708 : Gimme Hope

I am probably the last person on this planet to listen to “Why This Kolaveri Di” which has almost become a cultural meme in times like today.

I must admit I listened to the song with trepidation, a sense of foreboding about being disappointed.

Guess what?

The song gives me hope. Every now and then comes along a song which reminds you that music was eventually about conveying an emotion – this song does just that – and how.

Take a bow Dhanush and Aniruddh.

Creativity is back, and we must celebrate the Kolaveris Smile

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

1707 : I have seen God

And she glides on skates. ???

In my complex we have two large basketball courts. Some evenings a girl of about 18-20, wears her skates ( the type with 4 wheels), plugs in her Ipod and she glides through the turf. She actually does gravity defying bends, almost a la ballet on ice.

Its mesmerising to see her. It suddenly gives me a feeling that anything is possible in life. It makes me want to do what I like. She inspires me, and she always always brings a smile in face and heart.

Now tell me, do you know who else but God can do all of the above.

1706 : A 1000 faces

Now to illustrate my previous post, imagine this legendary National Geographic photo without the scarf. Would you focus on the face? (agreed the scarf is not black, but in my head any dark enough color would do!!)


1705 : The Black Sheep

A black scarf can so irrefutably make someone’s face stand out….its actually a brilliant fashion motif.

A face (beautiful or otherwise in the eyes of the beholder) will always stand out when shrouded in black – and thats true for Caucasians and Mongolians both.

Using a black scarf to hide one’s modesty (especially when used in a way where the face is displayed) is such a bad ploy, and it needs to be re-examined, if that is the goal of the black shroud in cultures !!

1704 : That hairy bastard

Folks who know me, know facial hair is not a style statement, its more of a social necessity in my “flintstonish” urban order.

I have always been told that babies hate facial hair.

I know a baby who not only likes my facial hair, but he plucks my beard hair one by one – almost like Chinese torture, and after each successful eviction, laughs aloud with delirium.

At othet times he just likes to play with the bristles as if it was some sort of beewax scrub that he uses to exfoliate himself.

Having said and done, I must say, I am certain without my beard, he would probably not even recognize me.

1703 : Beat that up, beat that down….beat it till it screams aloud !!

Proprietary is a funny one. Its different from judgement/opinion.

When you walk along the street, and a fatass urban junkie kicks a stray dog just for the pleasure of seeing him wimp – if that sight makes your heart and blood pound a little faster – welcome to the world of proprietary. Its a world where things are in black and white – you pretty much know that the other person has fucked up.

When you walk along the street, and you see a hairy hoary uncle wearing a sleeveless ganji, ensuring his 5 inch long underarm hair is sticking out and there for all to see – you cringe, well thats a judgement.

In both cases, ideally you want to have the advantage of the person’s context. Why is the fatass kicking the dog? Maybe because his girlfriend kicks his balls similarly to wake him up. Why is the hoary guy parading his underarm hair….maybe because he is compensating for the lack of enough hair on his bald “airstrip” head….he thinks women will swoon for his fertile hairility.

Get the drift…context is most times everything.

I am still fine with the “judger” not having context….but the man with properietary, but no context is as dangerous a lunatic. Makes me wonder what makes some of us so very puerile Smile

1702 : The city of a million deities

I have been away from Bombay for only about 2 years now, but the cracks are beginning to show. As I was driving along the city during this visit, was amazed by how this city’s underbelly is gnawing at itself.

An example of this rabid degeneration of the city’s skylines and wall-lines. All across the city is littered with political posters of every ribald color (and don’t even get me started on political flags Smile). The depressing bit  is that these posters are most tastelessly done, and the mug-shots – well someone needs to make those faces palatable. We all know most politico types are goons, but come on, don’t look like one, especially on a mug shot designed for your publicity.

And if you still don’t have a sense of how cancerous this malaise is, I suggest you walk any street on north of central mumbai and if you manage to find a 100 mt stretch without this nuisance, I shall be doggone.

And yes, we are on route to be a Shangai in 2015 Smile…I so completely believe in that.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

1701 : The black angel of death

There is this passage in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children, which goes something to this effect :

As long as you allow the battle in your life to proceed, for you to have a desired goal, your life continues. The minute, we pause, we rest and we relax – we allow the Black Angel of Death to begin to leak in.

I could not agree more Smile

1700 : Mine is bigger than yours

In Bombay, I am seeing this recurrent theme of competition.The city uses its economic architecture as a metaphor for all of life and its all shows.

Everything is dog eat dog here…and I mean every single thing. No one place does it stand out more meanly than in the case of toddlers and their parents.

Everything is measured and quantified. “My kid is 5 and he is already reading”, “Your has already learnt 2 ragas”, “your daughter has her arangetram at 8??”, “your son weighs 25 kgs at 6??”…and the list continues.

If you ask these same parents to describe their child’s individuality – they will be very hard pressed, at least most of them will be.

Somewhere in this modern race, we have forgotten that one of the key responsibilities as parents is to forge out (tarashna in hindi) his/her individuality.

I am more in awe of parents who tell me that their son at 6 has a great interest in cosmology (as someone I know actually does), than in knowing that someone’s daughter at 8 has started reading Mills and Boons.

By the time we are all 15, the kid who learnt to read faster would have normalised and his advantage thoroughly neutralised….versus the kid whose parents encouraged him to invest in his interest on cosmology – would have one strong passion in his arsenal.

And passion is what keeps us alive !!

1699 : Advice to Bombayites

I will sincerely advice those living in Bombay (currently), to go and have a a bite of a good Wada Pav daily. I promise you, once you are off this city, you will never ever find a good Bhaji Pav, Wada Pav combination.

Have a few every day, you never know when you have to leave this magical city Smile

1698 : The rip off specialists




We were housed at Fortis Hospitals for the past 9 days. I must say that modern hospitals are the most mercenary types – and are in urgent need of some soul searching.

Fortis in Mulund has a great ICU, some good doctors, but general wards, out patient and the nurses leave so much to be desired.

The nurses are in the ratio of 3 to 50 beds. If thats not appalling enough, spare a thought for the fact that most of these 50 beds are occupied and almost all of these have patients with one or the other serious ailments.

These hospitals charge for everything from spirit, handwash, gauge and even the old traditional mercury thermometer. Would these not make more sense, if they were shared. Who uses a bale of cotton or a whole wrap of gauge.

These are charged at MRP. In a day 5 doctors visit us, and each visit is charged – all he comes and asks us – “all ok?” and then runs off.

I felt as if I was in a shop where every inch of skin is on sale. And to believe these buggers all started with a Hippocrates oath Sad smile

Sad state of affairs Sad smile

1697 : Rarest of Rare


There is a rendition of Todi by Kishori Amonkar (Begun Gun Gave….allah ke samne sabhi jaaye!!), thats only available on Navras/Sony records, but is usually never in stock.

I finally found this in a casual browsing in a music store and grabbed it by its lungs.

If you are thinking what all of this fuss is about, I recommend you listen to it, there is a chance, you might just meet your God !!

(The image is from a times music album – the todi version is slightly different from the Navras/Sony music).

1696 : From the fold of your fist

For two days, we shared our ward with a raucous Sindhi mother-daughter duo. The hospital felt more like an auction house, than a place to rest and recuperate.

We sniggered and sneered at the loud garish ring tones, the intoned demands on the nurses and the always cringing kind of drone.

Then yesterday eventually we got chatting. It transpired that the daughter is 34 years old – she has a 7 year old daughter herself, and her husband who is 39 – had multiple renal failure about 6 weeks ago. Both his kidneys just went kaput.

After a short deliberation, and a protracted resistance from family, they decided that she would donate one of her kidneys to him.

The surgery happened on last Sun, about the same time when we had ours. The husband is still in the ICU.

My learning out of this, to have a big giant sized heart, couture is not a pre-requisite!!

(You can determine an approximate size of your heart by folding your fist!!)

1695 : Dear Mr. Bhatt

(If you are prude, please stop reading beyond this point. Parental advisory Smile.  Prude? You? Maheshji – not you. We know you are the film-maker who has always crossed boundaries than respected any. The warning was meant for more well intentioned folks Smile)


(In the one above, Mahesh Sir is staring hard at something unstoppable and immovable)


(In this one above, Mahesh Sir seals the deal on Big Boss 5. Mahesh Ji BTW, is the biggest boss!!)

Dear Mr. Bhatt, we now know you want to make a certain porn star called Sunny Leone star in Jism 2. For the dinosaur in the modern world, who missed this “breaking news”, it was all over googleland and lalaland.

To those who missed it, India TV also ran a story saying, “Sunny ne Mahesh se kaha, mujhe Arth 2 mein kaam karna hain…mein subtance wala role karna chahati hoon" – can you imagine Sunny in a reprise of Shabana. Really Yummy.


But those are minor distractions. My real point of this letter was to tell you, Mahesh Sir…why don’t we rope in Pamela Ji also onto the enterprise. And then instead of Jism 2, lets make a bilingual – English and Hindi….release both worldwide. Call the English one a very dickensian “Tale of Two Titties” and the Hindi one “Do Babloan ki hain yeh kahani”. (We can get either Asha to croon the title number for Hindi, and Workshop to do their Bunty and Bubli for the English one)

If you dont like the first set of titles, alternatively, we can call this enterprise, “The Titties of Angels” and “Do hoor aur aunke babloan ka guroor”.

If you need more help with titillating (oops!! I meant titling ), I will be readily fawning at your service. Who does not like Bhatt’s on his resume? I will work free for a great mind like yours. I shall change my name to Dinesh, if that helps. Together we shall form a crack tag team, something along the lines of Mahesh – Dinesh (your name should be first sir…always!!)….very soon people might forget Salim-Javed.

We can deliver the greatest tits (oops!! I mean hits) to the entertainment industry.

We can, and we will usher in social revolution. Move over Shabana, Sunny is here and she does have two big things which demand a lot of space Smile

Thursday, December 01, 2011

1694 : Object of consternation

Folks are aghast when I tell them that my Tatasky subscription is past due date, and I have not seen active television in over 2 years now.

Some of them take pity on me, and try and explain to me – what I am possibly missing.

I am sure I missing a few good movies, I am missing my fav F1 races, I am missing Travel and Living….

But I made a lifestyle choice and not a philosophical choice. Which means, when I see a TV on, I join in, in flights I do grab 2-4 movies.


I have figured that not having TV adds substantially more to my life than it takes away. Hence I plan to stick to it for some time. I don’t even feel like watching a movie or a show anymore.

Music, drives with Raavan, writing and photography keep me very busy in the little time I am out of my office cubicle Smile

What turns me off, is when people think I am making a wrong choice. I am making a choice, right or wrong, time will tell….and I don’t even want to hear what it tells.

I don’t go around giving people grief for not blogging, I expect a similar respect for my choices Smile

1693 : : Tick tock…tick tock

To be sleeping in(near) a hospital’s icu and to have a large wall clock ticking loudly above your head – is kind of surreal.

Its poetic no doubt, but it is also humbling and mildly ironic.

What better place to remind us mortals – “The clock never stops – its arrow points in one direction only – always.”

1692 : The modern cuppa

Picture this.

I am at this tea stall (a Bombayite would know what I mean), a decrepit run down excuse of a shop, and sipping tea at 630 in the morning.

A jogger comes along, and barks “Diet coke hai”.

I was for a minute aghast, diet coke and here ????

But then, I heard the shopkeeper, politely answer “Nahin sir, khatam ho gaya…sorry”.

The conversation speaks eons for mumbai and its ethos. In which other city in the world, would you get chai and diet coke served at 630 in the morning to yuppies like me, and to the day labourers….and also, where else would a person say sorry for running out of stock on a particular item.

I think its time we made “I love Bombay” tea(T) shirts soon Smile

1691 : The perfect cup

In which other city, you walk down at 630am in the morning from the ICU of a hospital (onto the streets), and perfect cup of steaming chai and hot wada pav’s are waiting for you.

I must be in the famed streets of Paradise that the seers promised Smile

1690 : Beware of duplicate(s)

All along the Bombay roadlines, I see this poster(and its equivalent in Hindi/Marathi), issued by Mumbai police :


Now I find the use of “duplicate” very uniquely Indian in this case. I would think “duplicate” means “making a copy by design” versus fake would mean “making a copy by rouge”.

This poster would make a lot of sense, if Mumbai police were itself making copies of policemen, and spreading them around to test its citizen, like some of first person action game.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1689 : I have been royally shafted

In the hospital as I was walking around, there are lots of corner pillars – covered with a wood panel, with brown mica, and in black bold letters, its written



I thought it was the hospital’s way of pepping up folks by saying something equivalent of “NO FEAR” Smile

Its only when I spoke to a security chap and asked him – what does this mean. He said that behind these pillars “computer cables” are running. Aha…network cables.


1688 : A tale of two cities

As I landed in Bombay yesterday, after another hiatus of 3 odd months – it struck me (again!!) how much of this city is lost on me.

Unlike the others who come back to find this city filthy and unlikable – infact, thats what I like about this city - street food, feeling secure and the ability to move around and merge seamlessly – the anonymity of a large city in a rush –like NY, HK or London.

What I have realised staying away though, is that this city is applying the same degree of apathy to some of its human interactions, including schools, hospitals, workplaces – which though all of them might be punctual and super-efficient, they  are essentially flawed in their machinist ways.

And thats beginning to show – especially to someone like me- who has been on the “inside outside in” – the sea of one-dimensional humans, the plight of a life thats only understood creed is the holy grail of money, the defense of this creed as if it were a cult, the inability to mentally expand….

(And by no means – Bangalore is utopian, but its a step in the right direction. To compare Bombay to Bangalore is a wrong comparison….to compare Bombay to New York – is plainly being blind sided)

Am I Bombay bashing? Yes and no. What I am saying more importantly is living away from this city for some time – and taking a bird’s eye view into it, helps me put this love of mine to the test.

1687 : Raavan’s gaffe

Raavan(due to his misplaced geographical orientation), thinks it is cool to strain his eyes or blink folks as he is greeting them, either with a smile or a loud “Hi”.

In most audiences he woos them with his unconventional mannerisms.

Yesterday, he did the same with 2 Japanese folks.

So ???

Well, if you know the Japanese, you pretty much know that they do squint their eyes a bit while talking – almost in a dignified manner of being polite and human. When Raavan pulled his act on them, I pretty much figured from their conversation (and consternation) that they almost thought Raavan was imitating them Smile

Now, given that he is Srilankan and burlesque as compared to those puny Japanese – clearly a tiny altercation had been avoided – else who knows Smile

1686 : Sandals or flips flops were meant to breathe

I think the very reason that sandals, sandaks, flip flops, crocs and the ilk were invented – it was to allow our feet to breathe, to feel semi naked.

I find the fashion statement of wearing a socks with these semi naked footwear simply appalling- a complete turn off to put it mildly.

1685 : The grandstand erupts

It was this same ICU make shift bed ward (refer to previous post), that raucously applauded when India won in in their nailbiter against Windies.

I was fast asleep by then and was woken by up a rude jolt.

For  a moment, disoriented that I was, I was unsure whether I was in the stadium or I was in the ICU of a hospital.

Cricket does seem to cross boundaries in India, even in a “dead silent” zone Smile

1684 : The world is a big pyramid, and its a race to the top

Picture this.

I am plonked outside the ICU ward of a hospital, where they have created make shift beds for us “patient companions” to sleep.

I could not help but notice that the person next to me (as in the bed next to me) – was reading a product guide to Amway as bedtime reading.

I am not here to judge or ridicule, but I would not have had an issue with this picture if he was had been browsing through Allen Stanford’s biography.

Its just Amway is so very infradig Smile

Monday, November 21, 2011

1683 : Life is a mirror

I was talking to someone the other day who spoke wistfully of a lost brother. He spoke of a difficult to fill hole, one that is at least 2 decades long.
He told me how losing him meant the loss of a clutch, one that he still sometimes feels the need for.
And a lot more.....
As I thought hard , it occurred to me, why movies appeal to such a diverse broad based set...most stories are essentially the same.

1682 : This thing called age creeps up on you :-)

My back is visibly broken. My migraine seems no better....and some other ominous signs. Start of the mid ages :-)

1681 : A man called Veyron

Raavan was telling me if he ever buys a car then it shall be an Audi. Why ? Because he thinks it sounds like his name :-)
“Really ?”. I would say, go figure :-)

1680 : Old fashioned

Picture this. I was in the parking yesterday when another car parked alongside, and emerged a young teenage son in football gear, being helped to his feet by his mother. 
As they limped to the basement elevator, I held the door open for them. They thanked me, the mom held a bunch of medical reports in her hand. It was clear that the son had had a sporting accident.
As the elevator started moving, the mother quite non-self-consciously told the kid, “I want to hug you”. The son smiled, said “thank you”, and then after a pause and a sheepish grin asked “why?”.
Meanwhile I got out of the lift, but as I did, I could not notice that I was feeling happy :-)

1679 : Older

Picture this. In the apartment complex that I live, I see this old man (around 85 maybe) walk everyday with a back brace and a walker. He takes about 10 mins to cross 100 mts....reaches a bench...sits...looks around, toothlessly smiles, looking very frail and then walks to the next bench and the cycle continues.
It occurred to me, that I will be a very lonely man, if I ever grow old. My children, if any, might share very little of my world views, just like I did not see eye on eye with my parents’ view.
Older and wiser :-(

Sunday, November 20, 2011

1678 : Man booker

Three books I most definitely want to read soon :
1 The valley of masks by Tarun Tejpal
2 As though she were sleeping by Elias Khoury (was reminded of the book and the author by Manasi S )
3 The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes

Sunday, November 13, 2011

1677 : Who is Rajni

Some visiting firang was asking me "whats special about this chap called Rajni".
Very difficult to explain it to him. It occurred to me, I should have told him one of the more popular legends about Saar....
"RAJNI saar (even) knows Victoria's secret !!"

1676 : Painted by yoga and hair

You have to see the meaning of Hairum Smile. This is completely over the top.