Sunday, July 31, 2011

1592 : V for vendetta

Raavan seems to struggle with folks having names starting with V. Now that conclusion is not necessarily driven by scientific temper, but by plain inductive reasoning. 3 V's are now on his blacklist :-)

1591 : For some life is a destination

At the gym in my complex, which I sometimes frequent, there comes this long haired sardarini (no that has no relevance to what is going to follow in the post)...
She is usually very angsty and her expressions bear the grim demeanor of a soldier in an India - Pak war....serious..."why so serious lady?"

She is the one who gets pained by the kind of music playing, or she is breathing down people's neck straining her eyes to see if they are close to the "20" minutes on equipment....even when she is walking on the treadmill, she does it as if, she needed to reach the shopping mall...a focussed glassy look...while most others in the gym (and that includes yours truly) are also grunting and shunting, but they are also smiling, sweating and grooving to the music.
Most others come there as a place to have fun, have some personal meditation. I think for her the gym is like another "chore", an like all other chores in life, she is going take and make stress. Such a sad state of being :-)

1590 : Thou shalt only use your teeth, and never your hands and nose

I have posted on this before (or so think), I find it a modern day oxymoron that some folks claim they are connoisseurs of palettes, but can't get themselves into the kitchen and brew themselves a decent cup of a drink.
Can you like something from a consumption perspective only, and not be interested at all on the tale of production ?

1589 : The modern apostle(s)

I find it fascinating where in the modern world all of us seem to be in this constant endeavour to sell their point of view/ their locii standii if i might use that word.

Let me explain....these days you find folks trying to "sell" your their apartment complex, their favorite restaurant, the line of clothing that fits them best, the school their kids go to, their place of work, their teams at workplace, their love for get the drift....almost as if, they had a personal stake in that franchise (which I am assuming you don't).

...and in contrast, this kind of zealot behavior was earlier restricted to topics like "religion" and theology...topics essentially personal and yet those which can lend themselves easily to evangelizing.

For example, I keep talking to folks from my old world in Bombay...and they still keep trying to remind me - what I am "missing". For the record, I think know what I am missing, but what they completely miss, now I also know what they are missing.

I am hopefully not trying to sell though, at least I really don't want to do that...hope I am not coming across that way....but when I am asked what is great about bangalore - I do say, "large houses", expat population and of course some of the best schools the country has to offer.

The rest of bangalore is not even remotely comparable to Bombay....and yet I choose to stay here, because I see what I can make of the positives of city.

Enough said....

So why is everyone selling? Well, I am not a culture/ behavior expert....but I strongly suspect this has to do with the following
1) lack of a strong central theme - this used to be religion and extended family in the past.
2) our own diminished sense of individualism - we now no longer see our choices reflected in the greater society around us. So though everyone now slightly appears different from "the other", you do now run with the gaping black hole of a missing collective.
3) our own unidimensional personalities - our inability to see beyond the 4 walls of our home, our immediate family and our cubicle....ensures that we are now definitely in that "personal insecure" zone.

Where do I see this heading? Don't know. As a I said before I am not a behaviorial scientist...all I do is key punching at work...

But I do know that due to this new "sales" culture - we are also encouraging a culture where a "failed sale" also invariably means a "failed relationship".

Your friends are just as good as the last thing you bought, and the rules of this marketplace are bloody still evolving...for now, you may lose your own kin in pursuit of the fabled sale.

1588 : Estrangement

You would think in the modern life full of Facebook, twitter, mobiles, SMS, emails, Skype...estrangement between two loved ones should be banished.
Strangely enough...I find that these the very things that contribute to estrangement. It's a world of fickle affiliations. Count every day of being together as a blessing.
That's the only way to survive the suburban edge.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1587 : The book of life

I am thinking (in the grip of a supreme bout of narcissism) that I should probably write a long book of short essays (or assays as delhites would put it)...about my philosophy of life so far.

My philosophy is strongly influenced by Bertrand russel, Alan watts, Buddhism, hazel Andersen and the ilk....

Why would someone want to read where I have reached so far ?

Would you? Drop me a line. Really eager to hear.

1586 : On your closing away

I am definitely reached a poised biased state in my life, where what I hold as sacrosanct, I do...and whatever I dont...I don't....

I no longer seem to have a drive to change views, people and the world.

I don't usually get sucked into conversations that debate the great incorrectness of choices in life.

While I do think, I have the desire in me to "help others see my light", I no longer seem to be having the energy.

My blog seems to be the one place, I still continue to be controversial, where I speak my mind, and continue to want to bat like Tendulkar.

Spousey was talking to me yesterday and asking me why do I feel okay about debates and brickbats via blog, and not across the table.

I's like this...the blog allows asynchronous conversation, it allows you (as a reader and as a writer) to write what you wan, ignore what you don't want...and nice tiny puddles of debates get created...."debates" that I am happy to play along with, because these are topics I helped spark, and are subjects which seemingly mean a lot to me.

As I am aging, I am turning out to be more of a social recluse....and strangely, that does not seem to surprise me....I think I have seen it coming for years.

1585 : What constitutes rape ?

Is forcing someone to talk when he/she doesn't want to, tantamount to rape ?
Its a violation all the same.

1584 : Where do you draw the line ?

As I did mention a few posts ago, have been recently re-reading Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

At some point the author does point out, that once we allow a single irrationality to creep into our lives, then there is no limit to how deep you can sink.

Now I have been saying this same thing in almost as many words....and I don't remember this from my earlier readings of the book..... Unless this thought remained hidden in my consciousness, and I like Phaedrus' ghost have been mouthing them subconsciously :-) ideas seem to match that of mr. Pirsig.... that's possibly something to be a little proud of....assuming my mind is not pulling a fast one on itself.

1583 : The oxymoron called faith

I was trying to rationalize with someone about their faith and belief.
Only much later, after I had been worked up and upset enough did I realize that IT would not have worked anyways - I was essentially fighting an oxymoron.
The very fact that you have "faith" and "belief", it's because logic and reason are just not enough in that case :-))

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1582 : On losing

It's good to know you are losing in a battle you always wanted to lose. That way the other sucker wins the war, but loses the plot :-)
Not only am I losing, but the sucker is slipping off my back too.

1581 : Her raavanous misunderstanding :-)

Raavan and I met this lady yesterday. While parting, she patted one of his 20 cheeks and told him "bye, darling."
Unfortunately spousey landed there just as these words were being uttered (damned Murphy and peter..they predicted this) :-)
Now spousey thinks the lady was calling me a darling.

I am telling ya...10 headed Lankans (as a buddy) are not good for your marital bliss....bad idea :-)

1580 : What would the joker do ?

There are times when you know what is good for somebody (and not because of your infinite wisdom - ahem !! - but because you have a little more information arbitrage - you know something she does not)...and hence you want to steer her....but she is assuming that you know just as much and her decision is as good as yours....
The rules of the game don't permit you to tell her that you know something...what do you do?
Me...I am going to (possibly) watch a part of the world burn.

1579 : The long and short of it

My ability and desire to participate in normal everyday conversations seems to be on the wane. Now that's usually a sign of mental fatigue resulting in ADD or massive amounts of boredom....but am not sure
I have realized more and more than my ability to relate to everyday world is traversing the journey of a sharp dip....and thats essentially because I don't view and relate to the underlying form of the world around me.
What does it mean? Don't really know, except that I shall probably die a very lonely man.

Monday, July 25, 2011

1578 : You bloody twit

I am now on Twitter, having resisted both Tweets and FB for a long time. Almost immediately I seem to be finding Twitter is so much more friendly than Facebook - which is overwhelming.

I am no longer on Facebook, and I dont think I shall ever get back on, even if my SSN or UID depended on it.

Between Twitter, my blog, my email and Google+ my social identity shall be spread and sealed :-)

1577 : Robert Spencer

Have been reading a lot in the recent days about Islam, and that includes Karen Armstrong's Muhammed. Have also been reading a few books by Robert Spencer.

The views contained in these books could not be more polarised.

Why am I reading this?

Dont know...dont have easy answers. Three topics in have interested me immensely in recent times....Kashmir, Palestine and the point that each of these have now started feeling a little in, I do have a strong view on each of these.

Though all of these appear connected....they are not necessarily in the way you would believe they are.

The more I am reading....I must admit that I am coming to the same conclusion, "Things are never what they seem."...and the more you dig, the deeper the grave seems to be :-)

Do read Robert Spencer...just be aware that he is an Islamaphobe....I would recommend reading him because he is also a good historian.

1576 : The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is my third book by Milan Kundera, after Immortality and Identity. I think while I was reading the first two books I was still a little blindsided in my head, and did not recognize what should have been apparent.

This book is something even Rushdie would die to write. Its so outstanding that I can read this 5 times on repeat. There were parts of the book, which while I was reading, gave me goose pimples...seriously!!....I would just pause reading and wait for the emotion to sink in.

Go get this, as if it were going out of fashion. A 10/10 by a long shot....pure genius!!

(BTW, the two covers I have copied into this post and pure genius quality art!!)

1575 : The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath

For folks who dont know Slyvia Plath, she is a brilliant American Poet who killed herself by putting her head in a hot oven...serious!!

She only wrote one novel, which is considered intensely biographical - this is called The Bell Jar.

I read it about 2 months ago with interest, but must admit though I liked it, I found it hardly comparable to her poetry.

Having said that its well written and definitely worth a read. Overall 7/10

1574 : The magic of touch

For years I have stayed away from touch technology. I am still not comfortable with a touch phone (and the real reason is, I hate a phone which needs charging every other day.....for me a phone is an essential connectivity and I need it on all the time....and I like to charge it once in 12 days as I currently do :-) Seriously)


I must admit I am insanely in love with the IPAD. Have been using it for about a month, and the results show. I am back to blogging, I have been reading quite a bit, a little better on my emails...(the backlog is huge though 900 unread...ahem!!)

The IPAD's always on kind of connectivity is a killer.

Its still tough, no right key, very difficult to do blogs which involve multiple media formats....and the infinite spelling mistake and mistypes creeping in because of the darned auto correct.

But this post is not about that.....

Its simply to say .... I am hooked and hopefully hitched too :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

1573 : I come from a land down under

Most of us have lived away from home at some point or other. This is the first time I have relocated out of home for a period of more than an year.
I know a lot of Bombayites who are stuck in Bangalore just like I am...and most them yearn to go almost impossible hark back to the reclaimed land.Almost every conversation is a soliloquy into aamchi melancholy.

I am possibly not such a zealot,(not yet), but even I do seem to miss Bombay. I miss my sister, friends, mummies and papas, vada pav and the infinite familiarity that comes with years of proximity.

.....but I also enjoy bangalore. Its a great place for folks like me who do need some fresh oxygen at night (and not dust and grime), for kids who can run around as if the world belonged to them,for schools which look like mini towns (and not two shanty buildings), for some authentic dosa idli joints, for weather that is better than LA....

Get the drift...I miss Bombay, but like bangalore too....

1572 : "Woke up to the sound of pouring rain..."

Thats what Raavan told me today..he supposedly actually did that. I grinned and told him thats also the opening bar of a Skid row song called "I'll remember you".

1571 : The universal language

Just like there is a Spoken language to be learnt and understood, there is also a language of music. Just like kids hear adults speak the "spoken tongue" and mimic them similarly, kids mimic the semantics of music.
Enough said.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

1570 : Van Halen says Jump

Picture this. You are on the last edge of your target for the jog, and your muscles and mind both have given up. The only thing that seems to keep you going is this mad desire to "not give up" and to "somehow complete".
The earplugs in your ear are connected to your shuffle, the current song is ending...and then you hear the loud thump of a familiar song..."Jump" by Van Halen....
And suddenly you have your second wind...the last lap seems easy, and you end up doing 2 more.
This actually happened to me today. It amazes me the power music has over our souls.

Friday, July 22, 2011

1569 : Said ( 9 words and a story )

Misled. Ted. Shed. Lead. Red. Ned. Bled. Head. Dead.

1568 : Little birdie has flown away

I was talking with someone and he was saying, "it's strange we love and care so much for our little ones, and one day they simply find their life and walk away".

My point is, your children are not "yours". They are themselves. Let them fly, intact teach them to fly.

As for me, I am friends with a little tiger cub...her fangs are already showing and the growls are telling me one day soon enough I will be her dead meat.

1567 : If you have faith, you can move my mice

Have been evicted out of my lease. It's the first time in my life I am living in a leased apartment, and guess what the timing could not have been worse...I have more stuff in my wardrobes than walmart.
Still coming to terms with it and smarting with the pain of relocation, I was telling someone at work, "its time to buy a house....this nomadic thingy cannot work"...and he said, "apartment or independent"...I said, "can't afford independent in the locales I want"...and he said..."buy it in a cheaper place...finally apni zameen apni hoti hai".

That struck me as odd and insightful. An urbane Indian's heart still larks for bighas of land.

I am a misfit in this world. For me "apartment" it will be.

1566 : Six feet under

Have been evicted out of my lease. It's the first time in my life I am living in a leased apartment, and guess what the timing could not have been worse...I have more stuff in my wardrobes than walmart.
Still coming to terms with it and smarting with the pain of relocation, I was telling someone at work, "its time to buy a house....this nomadic thingy cannot work"...and he said, "apartment or independent"...I said, "can't afford independent in the locales I want"...and he said..."buy it in a cheaper place...finally apni zameen apni hoti hai".

That struck me as odd and insightful. An urbane Indian's heart still larks for bighas of land.

I am a misfit in this world. For me "apartment" it will be.

1565 : 1.8 is a magic number...better than pi

Have been using a Nikkor 35mm/1.8 as my stock's a mind blowing lens. The things you can do with that and a subject are just crazy. If you have a situation for potrais, buy this - you just cannot go wrong with it.

1564 : Never get too close

Raavan and I have been friends for almost a year now...and yet sometimes when I meet him in the morning and greet him...he gives a stony unrecognizing (not cold and icy though) look...almost as if he were rebuilding his face recognition cache, and I had caught him offguard.
Or maybe he knows familiarity breeds contempt...I tell you, these bloody manipulative Sri Lankans :-)

1563 : Preeti Sagar revisited

It's a lovely feeling to have a tiny little heart (via it's walnut sized stomach) go thump thump thump, like a single stroke Enfield....especially when your own achy tired heart finds resonance in this singular beat.

1562 : What's in your head ?

A line from Cranberries Zombie is stuck in my recording pin, "In your head, they are still fighting..."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1561 : Let there be night....full of light...6th day revisited

Years ago when I was growing up at thane, I remember (in what remains) my house and it's locality. At night when we used to wish each other good night and goto sleep, it used to be pitch for a lonely tube light in our compound.
Yesterday night, at 2, when I stared out...not only was it bright all over with lights, but the sky seemed glowing with ambient light as well...and not the silver light of the stars but tungsten orange from a city still burning it's midnight fire.

The night is no longer pregnant with tomorrow, instead it is miscarrying the yesterday and burying it's today.
It's hardly surprising that modern cities are full of folks suffering from sleep disorders....our bodies were never meant to deal with so much visual energy especially at night.

It took God 6 days to eventually make has taken us virtually nothing to rummage and pillage that black beauty and render it completely colored.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1560 : For whom the bells toil

I am at this dangerous stage where a ravenous mid life crisis is about to strike....and for a person who holds work as sacred and quintessential....this unwinding can be a fall from grace.
It's a strange feeling to be in the spot I am...I sit and it all going to be worth it at all ?
Why grind and grime when you can cheat and the "personal greatness" all that important.
I remember Batman telling Harvey, "the city can't afford to see you wilt" or something to that effect....
First of all I am no Harvey, and I live in a city with no caves and guess Batman.

1559 : Fury

I do have an undocumented anger problem. Worse still I know it gnaws at me, it eats my inside like a termite, and yet I can't fight it.
IT is a very strange a ME trapped within a me.
Don't know what causes it...hereditary, or is it just related to a repressed angst...
Or worse, my plain inability to alter the world around me...
Whatever it is...the beast has a number, and hell no, it's not a poltergeist yet :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1558 : The air I tasted

Was reading a music magazine and read a lyric excerpt
"Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay,
Were laid out spread out before me, as her body once did.
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn"
Black, Pearl Jam

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1557 : It's my life

Almost immediately on the back of my Reggio Emilia post, I got a few mails...mostly of brickbats.

I can't defend against these brickbats, for one, I don't think I can easily and secondly, I don't want to.

I don't think any of us and that includes you, ever need to explain to others any of our actions, as long as the remit of these actions is fairly self-contained.

Instead of defending let me quickly explain what MY life stands for.

As far as I understand the purpose of life is just one : fun, not just literally...but primarily fucking and procreating :-)

If we were to add on the intellectual dimension, then the secondary purpose of life is to find out the truth.

This the same truth which is contained with the atom, and the non locality of Bell's theorem...this truth can be gauged from the atom, or from Rodin's thinker, or from Gary kasprov's chess mind, or from Kumar gandharv's tanpura......

Encouraging yourself, your kids and your circle of influence to find their own truth (or put variously their own personal greatness) is the only other possible purpose of life.

If you understand these two in their elemental dimensions, you would understand why I think (and rationalize) the way I do.

1556 : The bank for the fit

Was reading the other day (in BusinessWeek I think) about Goldman Sach's search for a new CFO. The article mentioned that the bank puts an exemplary importance on "fitness" for it's senior employees.

I would not know if that is true (about GS), but having worked in a number of places like GS, I would vouch that the senior staff in most of these places seem very fit, balanced in their personal life, and are full of joie de vivre.

I was thinking of applying for a job at GS. There goes my eligibility to be ever considered for anything more than a junior analyst :-)

1555 : NY Times

Another reason to move to New York when you have a kid...Reggio Emilia.

1554 : What life could have been

I am a very strong proponent that we all live but once (yada yada!!, a million folks have said this before me!!), and that each of us has this potential of being Picasso, Steve Jobs, Beethoven, Kumar Gandharavor whatever we choose….to excel and reach the zenith (and hence find your own God and personal greatness…I can see no other purpose of life….other than the fucking and procreating business, of course).

I have been reading a lot about schools and child development (and adult development too…but thats for another post). One format that I have really liked is the famed Reggio Emilia mode of teaching.

To start this discussion with a decision, if I had a kid, and if I had a school nearby on this model – bingo…its a perfect match. I love schools (and organizations and people)who base themselves on “thought” and hence have an underlying philosophy.

If someone is going to convince me that studying at Regilio Emilia verus studying at DPS (Delhi Public School) makes no difference to the kid or his outlook, they can take a long walk, circle the earth and then come back and try. Also, I am not a believer in the fuckall theory that “our schools”, as in the hyper competitive cess pit that we call education – is what makes “us” Indians what we are…..I agree, but in a very different derogatory manner. What our schools do is essentially prepare us for a hare brained (I always spell it that way, never hair-brained…they mean slightly different things to meSmile) BPO job…. what they do is ensure that we forever remain the lumpen, the plebian and the conformal median types.

Lastly, the other arguement I have always heard is that – “Schools dont matter much, its the parents(and the time they spend with kids) which matter”….these are the same pea brained folks who also say that “whats in a place of work, all it does is it pays bills”. Any place where a kid (or an adult, or a dog) spend the best of their productive day cannot be “just another place”…it has to be the temple of modern day converts.

1553 : On your going away

On this day, a few years ago – was the last day at one of my employers….I still remember the employer and the team there, and the lovely gang of folks. It paid far less, was so much more less professional, but it was a lot of fun.

Au revoir.

1552 : We wish you a merry celebration….the whirling can now stop :-)

For the record we attended a child's bday party today....her 1st...and as I sat through the 15 mins there I could see anguished children struggling with the lack of space, parents and adults - with an expression "has the host seen me, can I escape now?", magicians with "here comes the abused and tortured pigeon again"....the tattoo artist with "2 more hrs and then I head back home"...

Get the drift, it was a melee of souls - none of whom who wanted to be there out of volition.
And don't get me wrong, it was not this - but almost every modern celebration is a travelogue of symbolic travesty.

Where did we humans lose the plot ?
I still have snaps of my second bday - with a monkey cap et all...- everyone which includes my nanny, my sister, my parents and brother look happy...I look grim, but then I was always a little fucked excuse that.

If I ever have a baby, we will hark (and croak) back to days like "Sheila ki jawani" angsty parties for my little one...It will only be Allah, Mohammed and (his) char yaar :-), all laughing and having a jolly good time.


1551 : My chemical angst

I find it a modern day oxymoron that parents are ready to invest over 1 to 3 lac for a year's school but won't invest a few rupees in DHA, fresh orange juice, organic cereals (pesticides impact brain dev), probiotic supplements....these and many such simple ideas can ensure that the kid grows up healthy, smart and is away from allopathic chemical overdose.
I see this classic dichotomy everyday and it never fails to perplex me :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

1550 : Chautauqua

Have started with my 3rd reading of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance....
The last time i read it (my second time), it was in 2002, now, I am liking it so much, and relating to it so differently.
Can already think of a few folks I should gift this to :-), a few folks who can use the advice contained therein.

1549 : My world just clicked shut :-)

Was reading somewhere in a photojournal that good writers are usually pretty good with the camera.
I felt gloomy bloomy after that, my world felt as if it had imploded :-) ....I guessed, by a didactic corollary, that wannabe writers (like me) will make for wannabe photo art :-)

1548 : Archanophobia

Spidey says "If I can't see you...I can't enmesh you in my web, especially since I forget faces...and I have not seen you at all in recent times....its time for the web to set you free."

1547 : To win or to just be

In the 3rd test against West indies, India needed 86 runs of the last 90 balls with 7 wickets on hand...and Dravid and Laxman at the crease....and guess what, India decided to give up....they chose not just not to press for a win, but also, they decided to call off the last 15 overs itself, an option you do have in cricket.

Enough has been said about this "safe" decision by Indians, so I won't press a dead point further...

....but worth contemplating that in modern day, a play off (sadly) is no longer is just "a play off", its instead part of a interconnected set of playoffs in which "winning" the match today is considered less important than saving your rank as #1 test playing nation.... (which were in this example on the two different sides of the stake).

This problem will not correct itself in cricket, unless one of the following happen:
1 either we push for a decision in every match we no "draw" or "backoff"
2 every win is directly linked to your overall ranking and also within the current in if you lose , you not only lose your #1 status, but also lose the world series....almost akin to professional tennis.

Changing track, a team that is not obsessed with "winning" will never be #1 for too long in my's almost as if, we have understood it all bloody was not #1 being chased up by bill gates ; the right order was microsoft, then lots of money and then #1...the obsession with "software" was key.

Friday, July 15, 2011

1546 : Expiry date

Was talking to a colleague of mine at work and she brought out a very interesting point. She felt old because the dates in contemporary quoted history were not from the same era as our history textbooks...8th august 1942 is not just the only date we talk of now....but we also speak of 26/11, 9/11 and the ilk....she felt what is considered as history now.....she is essentially witness to it.

I found this insightful. I too am growing old.

1545 : (Random thoughts) On the business of blowing it up

An unexpected bomb, as in a terrorist attack is a personal tragedy, but does it deserve the hype/over-reaction that media/civil society/establishment creates around it ?

In a game of cat and mouse, the mouse almost always seems to have the upper hand....and "personal tragedy" notwithstanding, there is no way to "really" prevent an attack....I think the 5th estate forgets that quite easily.

So does the "establishment"...both political and response to every attack, the security at airports, train stations, temples, mosques is supposedly beefed up immediately.....but that is so bloody counter-intuitive.

In my view the few days immediately post an attack, are probably the safest in that city. The terrorist have just "gone live" with a "project", they probably spent months working and planning for....they are going to have a "post go-live" party :-) in some sense of the word.

They are going to be under the radar for the next few days/months so why even bother woth the x-ray symbolism....Get the drift ?

As for me...I don't feel any safer because of the mirrors under my car, or the fact that my bags get scanned 4 times at an airport...not a hair more safer....infact in all pragmatism, I look at it as pure undiluted nuisance...the process is inane and archaic...very easy to beat....with a little practice and planning...a complete rookie like me could beat it....and we expect this harebrained process to trap the "practiced" terrorist :-)

Being a victim of a bomb is nothing but a bloody freak probability....and probability rules our life any which ways....from the very point we are conceived, to the point of the point of everyday shitting....everything is fairly and squarely out of our control....

Let's accept that life, death and the "incandescent terrorist attack in the middle"....are nothing but a set of numbers in a massive bayesian best you are 450,692,221 in a population of 6 billion.

Why bloody fight probability....why try and predict it (with scans, mirrors and hype)....

Now you know why I am a bloody floating fatalist :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1544 : Size, it does matter

When you have worked long enough in a corporate wormhole like will no longer be surprised by folks who are variously slimy, fake, pretentious a@@eholes and not to mention, shafts that involuntarily jerk :-)

Probably it's all about the evil that grown up men do :-)

Like Cole Sear who saw "dead people" all the time....I see gigantic human sized dicks all the time :-)

1543 : The tropic of cancer

I have said this before....left to their devices, two people will find enough ways of eroding their shared Bon homie, all the time steadily wasting away.... Almost alluding to the second law of thermodynamics.

Life offers you a lemon ever so often....very few of us make lemonade from it, if ever....most of us (lost soddy souls like yours truly) use it to split milk, and hence consequently hair :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1542 : You could be mine

Blogging about your wife and kids and whole 9 yards. I am unsure whether folks are necessarily interested in that, worse still it definitely brings out the larger privacy question - almost akin to a Truman show.

From my blog you probably have pieced together a picture of me, sounds fine...since this is indeed about me (less personally, more cerebrally....
Have you folks managed to figure anything at all about my wife or other loved ones (the assumption here is, I do have a wife, and I do love her :-))
If you did, then I have done a bad job of restricting access....I have mixed someone else's private with my own...which is a terrible modern cathartic tragedy.

And even "my" daughter and "my" wife are not "mine" - they are "they" think otherwise is falling into the essential trap of a world perceived without boundaries.

Get the drift ?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

1541 : Until the cows come home

Falling in love (again) is such a fatuous know fully well that a couple f years from now, you both shall be at complete loggerheads and yet.. You continue to romance the shine, enamored by a (false utopian) promise of tomorrow.
But then again, life only continues and prospers in the hope of the undamned salvation :-)

1540 : Unstuck

They both ended up asking the same question to each other, "does this kid have to grow up?, why can't he just be an year old forever ?"
They did not know the second law of thermodynamics :-)

1539 : Why my son will love Bangalore

For the record, I am still an immigrant in bangalore - you know the kind of alien who lives here but his heart is still stuck in timbaktu....a perpetual state of misplaced wanderlust!
But the city still has it's silver edges. As I was jogging today morning, saw a bunch of little kids, should be no more than 5 or 6 - all dressed up at 615 - ready to hit the cricket nets. Their bats and kits definitely looked heavier than them.
Where I live there are two large cricket academies closely, not to mention 4 tennis schools...and the ilk :-)
If I do have a kid, when he is ready, say around 5, I am going to have him go to one of these cricket academies.
Now that's a plan - that is very difficult to conceive in Bombay - Shivaji park is still 10 miles from powai :-)

1538 : The beast is in, the beauties can wait ))

The one thing that still gets me very kicked up is photography....and if you did not realize that already, well hello and welcome to my blog :-)

Yesterday 9th July 2011, I finally picked up a shiny new beast....a D7000 with 35mm/1.8 and 10.5mm/2.8 fisheye...well, you go figure the cost.

In years to come I am sure I shall come back and say this is the best money I probably spent.

I bought this from India locally from Fotocenter bangalore run by a chap called jayesh mehta. Jayesh bhai and his team provided an excellent deal and great (though a little slow :-), I am joking...) service.

Highly recommended if you want to buy good camera stuff at Bangalore or in the south.

The prices offered beat amazon, flipkart and smartshoppers :-)

Here is a toast of tea to a possible red letter day in my life.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

1537 : How to make time and motion stop

I read this update in TOI Bangalore recently and it read "such and such road will be closed for a period of the next 2 and a half years because of sewage pipeline work".
If you don't see the joke there, that's forgiven, you probably don't see as being shanghai anyways :-)

1536 : Child is the mirror provided by uncle universe

I have posted about this before....I do genuinely believe that babies come with a natural and built in protection mechanism...they can "feel" your state of mind.
So if a baby is constantly cranky in your prescence, you can always attribute it to acid reflux or colic, but chances are it is "you" that is the problem.

Babies are best managed by moms or aunts - not in the least because they are females or family - but because these are typically folks who only have positive energy for the kid and she detects that intutively.

Males on the other hand usually treat the kid as a distraction and want to hurry back to the porn on their ipad :-)

So next time you want to find a mirror into your the money, don't blow it on a shrink...instead try to babysit a toddler ;-)

1535 : Until it sleeps

I was talking to a mother yday whose 10 month old baby still sleeps around 16 hrs a day, spread across three installments of 10, 3 and 3....
She seemed genuinely unsure how this stacks up against most other babies of comparable age who are down to 12 or 14 hrs...
I did spend time talking to her on this. My views on this are very scientific and correct, but often ignored by even me :-)
First of all a kid of 10 months needs exactly 16 hrs of sleep (from an utopian standpoint). Second kids should continue to sleep for 12 hrs or so up until they are around 7 or 8. From there on it can reduce to an average of 10 till it steadily either reduces to the oft repeated 8 or remains at 10.

For years up until recently I slept around 9 hrs and given a choice will swing back there. I encounter folks at work everyday who boast that they manage on a 4 to 6 hr schedule and they say it with as much pride as males havd in "size" :-)

Am really unsure if lack of sleep is something you should be proud of.

Sleep impacts brain development, severely in babies and continues even in adults. Look at sleep as "dbcc" or re-index time for your brain. :-)

Sleep allows better collection of toxins and hence allows you to manage weight better.

And finally it's the best "calmpose" nature ever made. It not just reduces stress, it murders it :-)

Sleep is easily one of the most under-rated panacea in modern life.

Even the crappy whacky "wheat grass" gets more press time than our old proven and lovable SLEEP :-)

Next time in doubt just doze off, the "rest" will follow.

Friday, July 08, 2011

1534 : The sound of sputtering mustard

(could be the title of a best selling book...aha!!)
I find it a complete oxymoron to encounter a foodie who prides himself on the love of food but does not understand the ingriedients or the course of cooking a dish.
It's almost akin to a traveller who hates the road drive (traveling by plane is so Jane ;-), or the music lover who does not like the vanilla orchestral manevours.
I love cooking breakfast for myself and I love food the best when someone I know has cooked it...that's why I never enjoyed the Michelins :-)

1533 : Guns and hands

Read this quote in TOI and it did hit the mark, "as a culture we are ok with two men holding guns than hands."

1532 : Dreams are made of chinks

As part of a subsequent interrogation the old man was asked, "so what exactly do you dream of?".
Wrinkles which were already frayed broke into a frown, struggling to see how he could try and convert, for the sake of this answer, what he thought were essentially "nightmares" into a set of "dreams".
Should he for example tell them that he dreamt of the city, his city being gnawed and constantly rattling from within, almost akin to a victim of bipolar disorder, where the gay and the homophobic were two shades of the same color...
....or should he tell them that he imagined death to be white and colorless, bereft of all embellishment, versus the pale blue it usually seemed to be draped in.....
.....or should he reveal that he was not a human "bomb", that they were accusing him of being, at least not someone or thing that gets blown away in an instant, he was instead a connoisseur of slow atrophy and was sure that as they started hearing his deliberate and slow soliloquy, their inner souls would fester, decay and degenerate....
He started by telling them one word : "AMEN"

Thursday, July 07, 2011

1531 : What am I running away from?

After a jog in the morning and the post coital (ha ha!!) runner's high....I often sit and wonder did I survive so long without this....make a resolve to stick to this...and for some days I do and then LIFE kicks in again :-)

1530 : 70 is two times my age ))

After ages I stepped out at 530am for a jog....almost 10 months I would say. I just find it difficult to motivate myself in the it's usually evenings for me.
I started my jog and the first person I encounter is this 70+ Sikh gentleman who is running. So what's special. He is someone I used t encounter every morning when I used to jog in the morning.

It amazes me how some people can be so committed to life...versus I....who is stuck on perennial corporate tribulations, the rigmarole of the domestic rites, and the eternal jackshit of the spotted mind :-)

I felt like going and prostrating myself in front of the Sikh inspiration for times and age (s) to come.....

Need to reprioritize life

1529 : Desizens

Walking across hudson is like looking into a mirror. What I see is tons of desis, and tons of americans. The average American is cosying and cuddling upto her loved one...the average desi is having a constipated look...the average American is lolling up an ice cream....the average desi is stuck with a frumpy bottle containing something he got from home.

The average American is dressed as if it were a walk in the park : usually in 2-3 tones, which for best part it is....the desi is really dressed for nowhere with
the entire vibgyor spectrum in resplendence.

The desi never seems to have merged in...he is living in chennai but somehow has been magically teleported to Hudson bay.

As I said before, quite instructive.

1528 : The unbecoming

Life offers each of us a good chance to maximize. What we make of it is a function of our own ribald multiplicity.
My multiplicity seems out there, itching up to divide me :-)

1527 : Something about minitaurisation

What it is it about babies that make us go weak in the knees?
Is it their tiny size and the marvel that, yet somehow creation seems so perfect, no matter how fragile? Or is it their complete and total submission of themselves into our trust - almost as if we get weighed down by their(this) belief in us, and hence, subsequently, we almost fall over ourselves to try and do our best for them?
Whatever it is - I don't quite know the answer - but then again I quite don't know the reality behind houdini's "handcuff act" either, and quite frankly - I am in dumbfounded awe of both :-)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

1526 : WhoTF is Bubba Magillicutty?

I really don;t know…but now google tells me he is an established hacker and systems programmer.

How do I know him?

Well, in 1995 I started playing the first edition of Prince Of Persia, which was a version cracked by Bubba Magillicutty (remember in those days India has no access to legal software, let alone games).

I used to finish all levels legally, including the second last level, where you had a crazy guard who was almost impossible to kill unless you lost at least 2 lives in that process. Aha,that was so much fun Smile

The name stayed with me because I thought he was from Kerala Smile

(That was the era of Seirra’s Larry Lounge – an young adult game and Borland’s detective game (cant remember the name) of a guy who used to travel the world to solve crime)

1525 : Playing on ad nauseam in my cranium’s playlist

From Agha Shahid Ali’s collection of poems….

There is nothing to forgive. You won’t forgive me.
I hid my pain even from myself; I revealed my pain
only to myself.

There is everything to forgive. You can’t forgive me.
If only somehow you could have been mine,
What would not have been possible in the world?

These lines are going on and on in my head like an Orange Clockwork.

Monday, July 04, 2011

1524 : So what can I get you today ?

If "life" were one gigantic "drive through" experience and if some PYT were to ask me "so what shall it be today?"

"Tranquility, some solitude and some solid sanctum. Also while you are it can someone's prayer be part of the happy meal. That will be it."

1523 : Doing the right thing

The one thing my fingers (and muscles) itch for on the iPad is the infamous fifteen year old "right key". You really have to hand it over to MS, they did figure fairly quickly that "context is bloody everything" :-)

1522 : Whats coming or going?

She said she was glad it was coming together now. He maundered, thinking it was all gone a long time ago.

1521 : In pursuit of the perfect weapon

Was having another of my raucous discussions with someone who is an amateur movie maker and design artist. He was referring to my post about how a slr is better than a p & s... (I have gotten so many brickbats for that post that it is now getting perplexing :-)

He was telling me how it is far better to have shot an documentary with an iPhone versus not having shot it at all.

That's a difficult and stingy argument. On a puritanical level I do agree with it. What makes it fascinating is when you extend it to include the inane - "picasso would have been better off doodling than not painting at all" or "beethoven could have been better of composing cacophony than not doing his choral 9th at all."

Get the drift ?

My peeve is that unless you are a reductionist, you simply cannot separate the tools from the workmen - and yes you can always create a pseudo masterpiece on paper but creating it on canvas is (as always) timeless.

Don't get me wrong...I am not trying to conjoin the artist and his tools, but instead am trying to highlight the fact that knowing aperture, dof, shutter and iso is not just enough....getting your camera to behave as your eye does (adjusting white balance in a matter of milliseconds) is the real beauty of the art...and that possibly is the lure and muse of photography as a refined art.

Enough said...this is not a defense, but instead it is the start of a full blooded debate :-)

Just so that you know this is my first post using an IPad. And I am so bloody in love with this technology :-) (and the fact that I would not have typed this on impulse but for the fact that the iPad allows me to kill and type at the same time)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

1520 : Western Classical

I spent the best part of my flight(s) listening to Western classical. I listened to Beethoven’s 5th and 6th, Beethoven’s 9th (the choral version) and Mozart’s 40th (we all love that…thanks to Titan…that used to their brand music for a long time).

I must have heard Beethoven’s 9th some 5 times during the flight, and probably for the first time after about 9 years….and yet I could predict the next note coming along to the T. It sounded so familar and personal. (I must have heard it at least 500 times while growing up).

The joy of listening to these classics after years – especially the 9th – cannot be captured in words. Loved the experience.

Go grab the 9th if you can…will be worth the pennies you spend on it.

1519 : A Fish called Wanda

The only other movie I saw on the flight was “A Fish called Wanda” – I was seeing this after years. Had a good laugh through the movie.

Do watch it if you have not seen it yet and have an ear for Monty Phyton type comedies.

1518 : Dattak (The adopted)

I was struggling to watch movies during the flight. I did want to catch up on Hangover2, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Inception, but none of these were on the playlist.

I did eventually end up watching an old Hindi movie called Dattak starring Rajit Kapoor, Anjan Srivastav and AK Hangal. The movie engages you through some time…but towards the end the movie just veers towards the dramatic and innane.

Good movie till about 90% of its length and then it falters.

The rotten tomato review is here, and the IMDB link is here.



1517 : The child sleeper

I love getting little toddlers to sleep (getting them to sleep, and not “putting” them….sweets has admonished my “English” so many times on these matter…that I shall remember it till eternity)

But going back, I can go endlessly at even the most raucous and troublesome infants. I love the process of getting them to sleep. As they rest on your chest, snore into your shirt and snuggle into your body pits….

Its divine. The love and happiness such a process can offer is almost zen like.

If there is at all such a profession – I want to become a professional “child sleeper” Smile

If none such exists, then I am happy to sign up to being the first in line….Smile

1516 : The Doha connection

I flew over Doha, after quite many years. Growing up, I always envied the middle east –seemed so good – great infrastructure, predictable lives and great roads to drive.

Now I am not sure anymore. I would not move to middle east even if a great career opportunity came by, because of the implicit impact the “controlled society” has on art and spirit. Know of any great paintings or books or movies coming out of Saudi…..get the drift?

As I have grown older, art has become more and more important in my life….so much so that I have often rued the fact that I did not specialise and chalk a career in design.

More than me…I want my kids to see the implicit beauty contained with the stroke of a brush or a spoken word.

And good money and great roads might not buy that.

1515 : The obsession with size zero

….and I don’t mean Kareena at all. I am referring to the generational obsession with “thin being in”. Still don’t get the drift?

The IPad2, Galaxy 2, Samsung Series 9 Laptops –their prime usp is being thin.

Its strange and inexplicable….at least to me….are we as humans transferring our penchant for “zero” onto devices.

Me…I used the Nokia Communicator (fondly called the brick) for quite many years…my favourite phone and now I use another bulky Samsung Phone. As to real life, give me Vidya over Kareena any day Smile

1514 : Propah camera

I am really beginning to get seduced by images – of the still kind. I have been buying lots of books of photographs lately and I really find that those still images recite poetry to me.

I have never been such a fan of the still variety up until about 3-5 years ago. I did use two SLR’s while growing up and I did take to photography naturally, its only now though that the eye is setting in.

Brickbats notwithstanding (from who Smile…but who else Smile), I still itch for a propah camera. I missed a good camera at New York…so many times while walking along a sidewalk, my hands itched for a camera….the story and narrative was there, what was missing was the shutter.

Looking forward to my D7000.

1513 : New York city such a beautiful disease

Just finished another of my short trips in and out of NY. I am beginning to fall in love with this city. Someday I want to relocate to New York…seriously, I love running along Hudson, I love the bustle and hustle of 5th Avenue, I love the eating places, I love the hurried nature of the city, I love Jamba Juice, Starbucks and the ilk….

Of course, I do hate the rudeness….but whats a lovable lady without her attitude Smile

(Title comes from a famous track by Norah Jones)

1512 : Sputter and Stutter

My “difficult year” continues to merge with his “wonder years”….we are both enjoying this rough ride.

Life continues to shutter and butter along….all the while as I am unable to maintain regularity with this blog.