Friday, August 29, 2014

2150 : In the living years

When I am alone I prefer the aroma of coffee to tea. I shall have to make it myself. She is now gone to college in a different city. On the other hand I have lost Her somewhere along the way. Between She and Her my life is a spoken word which is paused.

I still use a old and rusty stove top espresso machine. It does the job very fine, is much easier to clean and best of all it keeps all the freshness locked inside.

As the water begun to boil, I added the crushed beans. For some reason, I remember a day from the past vividly - when i must have been all of 9 years - my mom had given me a cup of coffee which was much less milk and less sugary than usual - strangely, the kind of coffee that I would very much adore today - but I still had milk teeth then - and I had just plain hated the coffee. It had been very bitter and the taste had an odd bite to it.

I had silently walked to the toilet and drained all of it in. 1-2-3 flush and traces of the crime had vanished. I had never told her about this ever. 

As I had walked back from her cremation - I had this strange feeling of many a incomplete conversation. I distinctly remember feeling empty like a singing bottle. As if it was I who had died and not her. I also recall wishing that I could somehow tell her that on the day She had been born, and very much from there on, I had realized multiple times how incomplete my relationship with my mother had been. 

The coffee was ready by now. I poured myself a dark brew, no milk and no sugar - and this time no toilet crimes.

As I sipped the manna, I remembered sharing a coffee with Her. This was just prior to the point we lost each other addresses. The coffee slurp was the only noise in the air. The silence was loaded. There were secret tales of grimes on both sides. I had wanted to blurt out some of my excesses. I wanted to tell her how I felt. Conversely I wanted to hear Her story.

We never ever have spoken again. I knew she did not care much for coffee, Her choice always was tea.

As for the college girl, She loves coffee, and She loves the way I make it. What She hates though is the broken mirror through which She saw Her and me. 

She calls me once a year, usually on my birthday, and she says a few sweet nothings and then she is gone. 

As I drain the last tears off the coffee cup, my mind clogs up on the bitter truth. We all had stories that we so desperately wanted the other to hear, and yet we have let the solitude quell it. When my pyre is lit, the unheard truth is going to be burning in the stake. The crackle(s) you will hear from the fire are going to be the final echoes of a whisperer trying to tell some little secret from his living years. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2149 : The paper dream has floated away

I remember sitting with him, a short notepad in one hand, and cheap ball point in the other. On a day just like today, but many moons ago, he had yammered and beseeched me to draw a car - and he had wanted it "now"- the immediacy which only a 3 year old locked in make believe temporal world of his own, can demand.

Never being good at pen art, I had still taken a shot at drawing my dream car. A car that wanted to look German, but with my jagged non-straight lines, had looked more like Andy Warhol's pop art than anything to do with motion engineering.

He had clapped, jeered, laughed and shrieked maniacally - as he had run around showing everyone how great the paper car was. He had called it his Veyron, forgetting that such a name could have only meant a French origin from the WWII and had very little German colors to it. But then, he had never cared enough for Geography. I remember thinking in that fragmented instance - would I  do a redux of this, even if the actual key fob landed in my hands? I remember a faint ironic smile pursed under my lips as I had marveled at the clarity of this tiny almost Machiavellian spirit. He seemed to be able to dance, with both the Devil and the Gods...anyone who could match his step was his able partner in crime.

Years have passed. As Floyd would say, "The child has grown, the dream is gone" and I held and meditated on the frail piece of paper today morning, I swear on my living breath, that I indeed saw the wheels moving. I distinctly heard the V6 (it was not a Veyron for me!!) growl in its naturally aspirated drone.

The car was driving away fast, oblivious to me staring at it hazily....and it was He who was in the drivers seat.  

2148 : New love

For years I have always had one dream car, almost my ideal car - something I think one day I could afford and more importantly one that I could drive myself to death :-) and that has been the 530d (Beemer for the uninitiated).

In the last few days I had added another mad car to that affordable and yet insane list. That has to be the CLA AMG 45 (by Merc). Merc and AMG are a marriage made in heaven (or Germany which is heaven in most cases)....and they produce some crazy cars like the SLK, SLS and the CLS AMG 63.....but honestly all of them are way beyond my dream lines.

AMG 45 is something I shall aspire to own and drive one day.

2147 : In the air tonight

Anyone who has ever heard Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight, can never forget the completely unexpected and manical drumming hook that comes about 90 seconds before the song ends. (Drummed by phil himself - he was the lead drummer for Genesis )

I cannot fathom why but, for some obscure reason I remember it today morning. My ipod did not have it, so I have to sync up before I can listen to it (I still dont use Rhapsody or Beats yet !!).

Another song which has similar and even maniacal burst of drumming is a song by Queensryche called "Real World" which was featured in the movie Last Action Hero. The last 30 seconds of the song is the drummer gone bonkers and yet it is a lasting hook.

2146 : A lazy stalemate

How often have you walked into a conversation knowing exactly what you want to tell the person (which is usually a derivative version of a summary phuck off)...:-) and yet you have spent time not being able to say it and articulate it well.

Life is a bunch of these "lazy stalemates". These are rarely if ever communication bloopers, because usually saying 4 letter words are not that hard, and don't require inordinate amount of planning......

What is hard is just sticking to the agenda. Saying difficult things takes a body, and snakes into its intense energy sources. It takes all your life force.

Being focussed is incredibility difficult.

Years ago, an archer and a parrot gave us a time immemorial lesson on this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2145 : The walk across an unremembered bridge

He approached the house with the familiarity of years. Apprehension of the unknown seemed to envelope the tick tock. He gobbled up the sight with one walloping whoosh, a roving eye here and a lazy one there.

A shoal of mud had formed around the door, which when pushed open, creaked open like a cranky baby who had woken up in a midsummer nightmare. The doors were rigid, no longer the greased and oiled toyfor a kid to swing upon them like a monkey.

Was it this wooden plank that he had held on, was it this that had borne the devil of his weight?

The house had a warm mushy stale air smell. The rancid breath of a corpse, one that was being exhumed. The floor felt familiar, and yet dead.

The water had run dry in the kitchen taps. The sink had years of grime and was frigid with its own dull sludge. Like a song which is humming in the head, words seemingly were unstuck - the whole place felt like a ghost had once lived here, strains of memory were trying to make the dots connect, and yet he felt a stranger's presence.

The air refused to know him, the creaky door had not been all that welcoming, the kitchen no longer wanted to feed him, the bathrooms had long forgotten his body, the porch seemed a total stranger, the windows were brown bald and broken, the bed was decaying and was suffering from dementia. The whole house seemed to be like one victim of Alzheimer's, stuck in wonder and nether land.

A few minutes later, feeling completely alien he trudged back towards the outside. As he was passing by the passage that led to the door, on the floor lay a large broken mirror, the shard similar in shape to a disfigured lightening. As he glanced in, he could see his own face in the brown recesses of the mirror - and that was the moment he realised that there was at least one familiar thing in this house.

Unable to deal with that intimacy, he scurried out to his car trying hard to forget the man in the mirror.

2144 : The real price of Amazon (and of Flipkart)

I work in the tech industry and hence have to be welcoming of any change which is disruptive, yes!! that is expected. Its cool to be weaving the next web which puts an industry into tail spin. Disruption is the in thing.

And yet....

I lament the current age of Amazon and online shopping. Dont mistake me, I buy almost all of my stuff online....and yes, I love the discounts too!!

And yet....

I miss the feeling of a neighborhood book store, where sipping on a caffe you could browse - discover and buy a random new author, just on the promise on the few pages you skimmed. Don't you miss it ?. Come on, I miss that tiny shop (not a giant B&N) where an old gent would recommend you a title. There was little shared connection, a little story of a drunken walk.

I miss that, and I miss having happy silent weekeneds.

2143 : Hey you

I think I have posted on this before, but it deserves another mention. If there is one song that never fails to move me it has to Royal Philharmonic performing with Pink Floyd the orchestral classic "Hey You".

Here is a bit of advice, listen to it loud - almost glass shattering loud and if it does not move you - I shall lose every penny on the table.

Supposedly it was Roger Waters singing this to Syd Barrett - that is folklore (as in not verified), but it has to a classic all the same.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

2142 : Just another manic monday

I work in a white collar bozoed place, which means Tie is in, stiff lips are in and the rest is passe :-)

Now given that context, picture this. I work into the work elevator on Monday. I need to goto floor 7. Two other chaps (guys) from my work place, get into the elevator. As they are entering they are talking in Hindi, and this is translated for everyone's benefit into English.

One : Bhai was born was on a Monday. That is why his movies are such a hit.
Two : Seriously? What are you saying?
One : Salman bhai was born on a monday. Everyone who is born on a Monday is a charmer. They will win the world with their charms.
Two : Wow !! I did not know that.
One : This is true. And everyone born on a Tuesday, will become rulers. They rule the world.
Two : When were you born?
One : Monday....

By then, my floor comes along, and I have this temptation to go up to their floor. By now, I do want to know what happens to the fledgelings born on a Thu - I am one of them....:-)

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2141 : A special place

I liked this from Winnie the Pooh quite a bit

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

2140 : Let the new world begin

I distinctly remember him - staring stonily  into me as, if I were terribly misplaced in mourning my loss. Me - I had known him since he was a naked child and albeit briefly had  been able to peer into his very soul. That was many moons  ago. Today he was here a grown up antagonist. The clock's hands were rancid and the mood was dull.

I could take it no more, and whistled into the vacuum to take the perpetration of the gaze away, but the eyes were fixed.

A shrill and yet foggy buzz vibrated through my cranium. Distractedly I picked up the car keys and began walking away. A few steps later, I realized that I had inadvertently picked up his keys. Old habits die hard.

I knew he obsessed over his car. Old habits die hard.

Walking apologetically, I scrambled on the table top, till I found my own familiar fob and rapidly walked away.

As I reached the car, and the fob clicked it open my breath returned in strides. A strange insight occurred to me at that point. My real grief was hinged on the loss of my little baby. My little birdy had not just flown away, it had also clipped my wings. How do I convey that in words? How do I tell the ocean that its water is now salty?  

2139 : The art of the album

Even 40 years ago both singles and albums existed. For those who ask me what does it mean?, well - a single was supposed to be a single song, and an album was supposed to be a complete story -told in a sequence of songs just the way the artist had envisaged.

Albums involved album art, sequencing (telling it like a story), and sales (folks would request shops to play the tapes and hence usually the best song of the album would be at the top of the A side or the last of the B side).

When was the last time you heard an album in sequence? Do you miss the album art and sleeves? Did you ever physically touch a paper and disc/magnetic tape album?

The album is dead, and so is a fine art of story telling. 

2138 : Pink Floyd

I have been struggling to watch movies on the flight. For one, I have also been trying to work on the laptop, and two - the movies on the play list are such sad stark vehicles of story telling - the very kind that my mother advised me to stay away from me.

And yet, as I have worked - I have been listening to Pink Floyd as they croon on A Momentary Lapse of Reason…and that whole album has the magical effect on me - the closest I can get to spiritual experience.

Syd Barrett, Gilmour, Waters (I know by then he had gone) and the whole group has me in their hypnotic clasp.

Listening to “Sorrow” - is another reminder that an era of greatness has passed by….and yet the digital mp3 gives me the goose bumps.

And just like Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams and my other heroes would say - Are we truly human, are we truly alone?

Floyd makes me want to believe in life.

2137 : Faridkot

Faridkot has to me one my most favorite rock bands in the last two years. Now this is what I call music.

They remind me that good art will look like its dying, but phoenix’s will rise.

I love most of their songs. They teach me that ashes are precious, hold them in a sacred urn :-)

2136 : 458 is just another number

There are many things that move me in my life, and I dream of driving a Ferrari 458 one day.

The materialism of that aspect is completely devoid of the fact that driving the 458 in Nurburgring, might be the closest a human being to realizing that there are everyday experiences which can completely give you the glimpse of the divine.

We can also do meth to open the “doors of perception” as Huxley would say, but I would simply prefer the 458 or 911 on Nurburgring.

One day, I shall cometh.

2135 : Haal-e-dil by Faridkot

Faridkot is my playlist, its obvious. Out of their repertoire, Haal - e - dil is not the most lyrical, but is definitely most heartfelt and vocal.

Listen to it, and you will surely listen to why melody shall never go out of fashion.

On a different note, listen to “Kya Haal Sunawan” by Shruti Pathak and Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan to realize that the art of the duet is back again. (This is from the coke studio collection)

2134 : Dedh Ishqiya

Dedh Ishqiya is a very interesting movie. But most of all, I love it because it brings the original Begum Akthar back into fashion.

I shall prefer the Begum over any other singer from today’s crop.

Manna !!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

2133 : Mac book

I have been using a Mac book in recent days and I do quite like it. Its like driving a Porsche vs driving a Kia.

Both can be fun to drive, both can be driven in a fun way, but can get you to where you want to go, and both can be the cause of butt pain....

But as the saying goes, there is nothing as "pure as a Porsche".....well the Mac has a similar purity.

Time will tell - whether this one becomes my best friend. So far I am definitely liking the Retina display.

2132 : The wide end of the calliper

I have been completely not at peace in the past 4-6 weeks. The inner equilibrium is lost. Makes me wonder, what is it that causes a mind to run amok.

And more importantly, what is it that shall end the war and call for a truce.

As in any war, I am telling myself - its most important to come out of the other end of the war alive. The one who lives shall be able to possibly write history and possibly defy it :-)

The war is on, long live the war.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

2131 : Rush

I saw the movie "Rush" again on a flight. For folks who dont know well enough, driving is in my DNA...and I am truly awe inspired by folks like James Hunt, Senna, Prost, Mansell and of course Niki Lauda.

Its not a movie thats completely true to the historical detail, but still paints a pretty good character image of both the leads.

Niki as the focussed as hell winner, and James as the jolly as beer cavalier man.

In one of the last scenes in the movie James is talking to Niki at a plane hangar. Niki tells him that its good to learn flying because "Its good for discipline. You have to stay within the rules, stick with regulations, suppress the ego. It helps with the racing."

And at some point later James admonishes him for taking the fun out of everything (in this example flying)....He says "I tend to enjoy myself first. The sum of life needs to be pleasure. What's the point of having a million of medals, cups and planes if you dont have any fun? And how is that winning?".

I have always been Niki in real life, because I if I try and be like James I shall be insincere to my own DNA.

And yet....when I heard that apocryphal last comment (which is more theatrical than real), it did make me think.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

2130 : When we danced....

My sister thinks I don't talk at all. My wife has almost the same complain :-)

And I actually think I yap a little too much for my own comfort.

Sin of silky silence ?

2129 : So far away from me

You know you have drifted very far from your Buddha nature, when all you try to do is construct a logical written sentence - and what comes out is hellish gibberish.

Time to rewind.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

2128 : where is the choice

So many folks at work and social settings told me "we are voting for rahul/modi" since we do not have a choice.

Somehow that never seems a right decision tree to me.

You don't have to exercise a choice.....just like sometimes silence is the best answer....sometimes not choosing is a better choice than making a reductionist choice.

2127 : Dylan Moran

Have been listening to Dylan Moran's stand up...and I love the Irish humour ( if that is correct).

One of the statements that stayed with me is something to the effect "Men look at breasts, as women look at babies"....

And I almost fell off the chair laughing.

2126 : Auschwitz

In the last 4 months I have been fascinated with  and whole concept of the SS NAZI troops.

Not in part because they are wrong, but more so, how could they all believe so much of what is apparently propoganda.

It amazes me that so many intelligent people also missed what seemed to be the bigger picture.

I have finished about 4 books and about a dozen videos. The whole subject continues to intrigue me.

2125 : The Armstrong Lie

I saw a documentary called "The Armstrong Lie" which focuses on Lance's game of deception.

The extent of deception was great and it does amaze you. The world in general is not forgiving of someone like Armstrong.

Here is a thought though - EPO or otherwise - how many of us can win anything after a bout of chemotherapy?

Also how many of us will not cheat if we know that we shall get an unfair leg up in a competition?

There are no easy answers especially for a fallen hero. In my eyes, a fallen hero continues to a hero - as long as he continues to be willingly want to still stand up.

2124 : Hungary in yeastern europe

I started speaking English much later than normal kids - probably at the age of 6-7.

I remember this clearly, the first time I heard the name of a country called "Hungary", I went up and asked my mom - how can we name a whole country as "hungry".

I also remember when I was around 10, my Dad come home one day and said his doctor has diagnosed his asthma to be caused by too much "east". Probably 15 mins into the conversation, I finally mustered up courage and asked him how can a direction impact someone's health. For those who did not get the joke, he meant "Yeast".

2123 : Torn

I caught this movie called Torn on the flight back home. I struggle to see normal movies and this one looked and felt different.

It is indeed a nice well told story - about being racial, having prejudices and losing in life. 

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I did think all the actors were amateurish.

Do watch it if time permits. You wont be disappointed.

I would rate it 7/10

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2122 : Broken stream

You either love your job or you don't. When I take a pause from the present vantage point, I realise that I have had the occasion and opportunity to work with some of the best, and some of the worst.

I often look back and ponder on what I now know, and what I did not know then.

There is grief in knowing. There is calamity within the cloud of mediocrity. There is joy in greatness, no matter how personally you have defined it.

My personal greatness eludes me. The hour before dawn is usually the darkest, but the Mexican drug cartel has a 400 mile long dark tunnel :-)

2121 : A child's broken game

A personal death is always a great leveller, invariably reminding you of our own frailty and the superfluousness of our daily battles.

Every time I see death up and close, it also reminds me that the clock is always in a countdown mode, even if our brains are wired to believe otherwise.

Today though, I had a strange experience. A small kid in the midst of the dying is even a greater leveller. As he forced us to all play “ball” - quite literally playing catch and watch with a huge ball of his - minutes after a funeral.....we all realised that we could still laugh....amidst the frailty you also realise, that death is essential for one key promise....that of new unblemished beginnings.

Friday, April 04, 2014

2120 : Broken winds

The world offers immense opportunities to wrongly co-relate items creating sometimes amusing (when you are the observer) and at other times frustrating (when you are at the receiving end) circumstances.

While the statistician tries to bend around this problem by either calling it positive or negative correlation, and the theorist jumps the hoops by suggesting "correlation" and "causation" are two different beasts....the real loop is the human obsession is with correlation.

Since time we have tried to link our lives with planets, gems and stones, tides, stars, direction, location, time, talismans....and the ilk. Get the drift right?

Not for a moment, do I discount that everything in Uncle Universe is interrelated, in one massive butterfly effect - but the I reduction of this to humanly observable patterns and the belief that we are correct is what is probably what is so wrong in this business.

(Versus) Sometimes it's better to be a fatalist, believe in the "causal theory of karma/ guiding theory of dharma" and just live life like "destiny" and "randomness" were two lesbians making can't time the orgasms :-)

Sometimes in the height of a climax you do break the wind :-) ha ha :-)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

2119 : What's trending

(This is not going to be a popular post...and believe me it's not me being insensitive, it's just me being pragmatic and a real world citizen. Enough caveats, let's start....)

I have been reading so much on MH370 in the last 25 days that it does occupy a significant part of my consciousness. The more I read, the more it drones like an enigma. It definitely makes for great reading.


The amount of fuss we make on airline safety is kind of irrational. We have steam liners (ships) which have issues regularly, deaths as well, we don't report them at all. Cars probably kill 239 people on just the Pune expressway every week. I don't think we even report any of that now. The radical terrorists bomb out on an average 30 people every day in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Do we hear about that ?

Get the drift ?

It seems very odd, that the world is contemplating retrofitting some expensive tracking technology (which is not just pervasive, supposedly will work all over the earth, similar since it's based on GPS...but also cannot be turned off...and like engines will have active backup on the plane).

Huh ?

Think about it. Are planes the biggest killers ?

The way I see it, if cars/ships/bombs and other man made accidents are all accounted for, an average plane will begin to look like a mother's bosom... All of us are as safe as babies within this mothers hug. Accidents do happen, but those are just blips.

So why do we get so worked up ?

My view, for one, it makes for good reading. Secondly....there is a part of me which tells me that in most parts of the world...planes still mean "elite"...the upper echelon of the world strata....and how can we be so callous about the "Creme de la Creme"......

For the record, I don't mean to disrespect any of the lives lost or the tragedy of only point is see it in the right perspective.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2118 : Dragging your feet with a bitch called hope...

(Apologies for the sexist title :-))

The more I have been introspecting I realise that in the past few months/years I am being dragged by my own dead weight. I am stuck into an anchor which is quite literally a much heavier drag coefficient than the buoyancy coefficient.

I am reminded of an old American proverb, which is stuck on the wall next to me "Let go or be dragged".

Today I just made a mindset shift....I am going to unequivocally "Let go".

Let the tide run me awash and adrift....on a vapour trail and empty air.

2117 : Pointer sister(s)

I love chatting up with my sister. She is sharp intelligent and genuinely worldly wise. As I was walking with her along the beach, I mentioned to her about my friend, who had the child with Down's and had to terminate her pregnancy.

My sis beat me up and told me that I should dunk down my idealism on such a topic, because in her view its not the challenge of bringing up a special child - but it is really who fends for the child once none of us are around - say 25 years from now.

Not to be easily put down, I gave her my dug out philosophy.....While we all like to believe that our able bodied children are going to be capable of taking care of themselves after us - the truth is never more further and elusive. There is fundamentally no co-relation between " us, our able bodied children, and how they fuck up their lives" - if they do, that is.

That co-relation (if at all) is what I call as a implied conjecture....its prevalent in modern suburban mindscape, but has no real basis in science or heuristics.

There are enough examples in our private knowledge and the public glare that kids can turn out to be off the curve, completely unrelated to us, themselves or their bodies (Rahul Gandhi, Salman Khan, Lindsay Lohan and the ilk).

While I continue to respect my sis, I did wonder on the beach how much of what she says is modern folklore and how much of the future is really a dead on the present.

A kid might have Down's but is not necessarily going to go down - at least not without a fight - as I always say even a vegetable (quite literally a carrot) is always in a race and struggle to survive....I would strongly question if any disability takes that away from us....

As I always say as a caveat on these topics, very easy for me to pontificate from my drawing room....the real battle of living which is fought in the grim shadows and no way am I undermining that real experience.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

2116 : IAWriter A good carpenter is in love with the tools

I have had the MacBook Air 13.3 in my wish list for a long time for only one simple reason, because the keyboard is great and it supports an app called IAwriter....huh? So I am willing to spend 1200 quid to get a simple hyped up word pad (which does not come free, but costs another 15 quid) if you buy the pro version.

If you have ever written on the tool, you shall begin to faintly understand why I love the tool so much. It's a writer’s delight. It's minimalistic, a feast for the eyes, great to read, and fantastic to edit on.

I am typing this post on the IAwriter as well, which btw is available only on the apple family. I am using the iPad with the apple key board to write this, which is a neat and phenomenally effective as compared to writing on either paper or on Word.

I am a big fan of IAWriter, and I sometimes believe it makes me write better. How much of that is a true reflection of the state of mind versus the tool is a difficult debate, but I do have to end this by admitting that I never believed that one day I would be saying that the tool is just as important as the carpenter.

2115 :Travelogue : 28th March 2014 to 29th march 2014 Mumbai Karshid (Murud Janjira Gulzar)and back

Travelogue : 28th March 2014 to 29th march 2014 Mumbai Karshid (Murud Janjira Gulzar)and back

My sister, her family and our little family including my dear friend Raavan decided to travel on a vacation together. Never a bad idea....especially since my sister and I have spent 4 vacations together if you include this one too..and it always has been fun.

Spousey decided that this time it should be different and she booked into one of those private bungalows, which is a now a home stay at Karshid.

The name of the bungalow was Gulzar and it was situated on a private 20 acreage property....with a self contained access to the beach.

The drive to the place was good, we started much later than planned - around 830am took over 1.30 hrs hours to get out of the city and by around 1245pm we were at the place. It's about 170 km from Bombay, but the bungalow itself is very easy to miss. We did have to drive around for about 30 minutes before we found it.

The house is lovely....has a very antique feel to it, has old mariner stuff, furniture which is over 100 years old, the living area is large, the whole foliage around the place is fascinating and rich. Its owner (Whom we called as Nisar uncle for the convenience of it )....was a very genial fatherly person. Extremely well read, well cultured and it is always a delight to know someone like that.

My own style quotient borders on antique or classic in my home, and there were items at Gulzar that I would die to have in my the mariner’s wheel, a giant 5 foot steering column from one of the older ships....

The amount of wood used in that house made it my kind of house - especially if I were to take a designer’s view.

The things that did not work - creature comforts like air conditioning - can be difficult staying next to a warm seabed in April without an ac, especially if you meant vacations to be one long dream run (remember the ocean usually cools much later than the actual time of sunset). The beds ( as in the actual mattresses) were aged, roughed up and dead....also very small and inadequate for a 6 footer like sleep was very uncomfortable. The food was an okay fare, but very uninspired. While I did cook every time I could, and my sis cooked some delightful fish - overall the experience was very insipid.

Did I like the house ? Yes. Do I want to spend more than an evening there ? Absolutely no. It will be great to have Nisar uncle as a friend, who can I catch for a coffee often.

Now comes the coup de grace .....

Raavan who is always perennially home sick due to the Lankan deprivation, became immensely home lorn (as I say the Ghalib in him came fully alive) and we had to cut short 2 days to 1 day - as in we drove out on 29th evening itself.

The drive back started at 645Pm and hence was a little late start...worrisome since the entire stretch till Panvel is a two lane non-divided pitch dark road. We made it in fine time and entered our Powai home by 1045pm.

Highlights have to be the drive, the beach, Nisar uncle, the lovely house, and Raavan’s romantic home lorn behaviour :-)

I don't have any photographs of the trip. My fingers really itch. I do want to go back to photography, but a little terrorist stops me from going clickatey clack :-)

Location:Raheja Vihar Circular Road,Mumbai,India

Monday, March 31, 2014

2114 : Stay away from that homely feeling

(Almost a continuation from the previous post).

I don't hate vacations, but I hate travelling or going to a place during vacations, especially if it is not more homely or loving than my own home. I absolutely hate living in home-stays (which are the marriage of two worsts - more terrible than business hotels or quixotic unique vacation houses....home stays are “some stranger’s home and food habits and strange world choices thrust upon you as an experience....almost like a blind fuck date....” And I am no fan of anything "blind” during my vacations.)

My ideal vacations are stay at home or travel to a new place (where I know what I want to do) rather than I want to do dharmashala, the autobahn, the wineries of California, the wine yards of sula, the laziness of a place like windflower or Orange County.....get the idea?

I definitely want great food cooked home style, by inspiration and love for the art, and not as an industrial buffet, or the cold emotionless fare at home stays....

Finally I want to nurture my soul (and very rarely if ever my body) me want to sip wine, I want to enjoy long silences, I want to have friends and family, I want to do gardening, I want to walk around aimlessly with a camera, I want to sleep for 18 short I want to be connected to the charging socket....I want to recharge.

I don't want to go to a fort, a temple, a popular eating place, a phooking nightmare of a local market, I don't want to make small talk with locals, I don't want to schmooze with hotel staff, I don't want people at my beck or call and I definitely don't want any remote sort of regiment....

Now you know why I really hate themsoles..... I need to work my ass extra hard to recover from these periodic self inflicted nightmares called vacations.

2113 : I am an illegal alien

I like to believe (like everyone else) that I am a very simple unassuming human being with not too opulent materialistic needs. But....:-)

Here is where it gets a little tragic comic. Every time I travel I miss the comfort of my home. Of the fantastic lighting (not grand, but engineered to every mood and moment), my unbelievable comfortable bed (which envelops you like a mother to a child...great for the back and the soul), my wired home with music wafting through every corridor (even if it is saree ka fall which is ravaan's current favorite) and the comfort of the kitchen with its ingredients which always help me create an inspired meal in about 30 mins.....

Get the drift....

I miss these everyday little things a little too much, and consequently every travel away from home is little less fun that is used to be.

Does it still make you gawk at me not enjoying stay-away vacations )) I am perennially home sick to be ever happy away from home.

(The only places I don't dislike while travelling are no frills business hotels like club quarters or ginger.....the anonymity of the location...and the convenience of choosing great food outside give me great comfort always.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2112 : Down and Out

Someone just found out that her yet to see the sun baby is going to have Down's syndrome. She is shattered, so is the family. It especially hurts when it's a baby after a long wait.

Just like my musings on dying, I have meditated and pondered on the Down's child. I have to caveat, it's easy to pontificate in the comfort of the air conditioned living room. (And my responses are currently theoretical....artificial and utopian. When the actuals frost bites, I might also have a ruptured vein.....)

If I ever tried to be a father, and if I did get successful....then my heart tells me that I shall own the Down's child. The way I look at it - the child with the 47th chromosome probably chose me because it thought I would really understand its difference and I would still embrace it just like any of my own flesh.

Would my partner choose to similarly own the kid? I know the answer and probably she would not. Does that view bother me? Not really, I don't judge. Given our difference in this matter, who would win? Lowest common denominator....yes we would throttle the unborn child.

Would I be proud of it? Absolutely not. I would probably hate myself forever for having done that. In my own little contrived philosophy - the purpose of life is to live....what that means is every one from the E Coli strain in your stomach to Obama to the child who lost his parents in MH370 - all of us are hard wired for only one goal...survive.

The Downer is similarly hard wired, the 47th worm notwithstanding.....would I rather help it fight that battle or would I remove life support ? Similarly.....Would I drop my partner if she tomorrow suffered a stroke and turned into a turtle of a vegetable ? Would I drop my mother, if she tomorrow is terminally dying of cancer ? Would I give up on my myself if my liver just crashed ? Would I feel my world collapsed if my child came under one of those alcohol influenced trucks ?

Is going off the script worthy of death ? Is life supposed to be only for those on the happy path ?

Another reason I probably am not wary of an anomaly - I have had to see the life of a rouge chromosome from a personal lens and I have come to learn to love the positive side of a gene run amok.

Do I judge the world for inventing the triple marker test ? Yes. Do I judge my friend who took the step to say an early goodbye ? Absolutely not. The world does not hold prisoners, and neither do I.

I sometimes wake up well past midnight, in the deathly silence of the darkness. I hear nothing for the first few moments, but for the white listless noise of the humming air conditioning.

As seconds go by and the mind awakens, and I realise that I am still very much alive....I begun to start hearing murmurs...and soon the drumming begins to give way to the meek but clear enough sound of a voice, which once foolishly hoped to inherit the earth.......Stillborn my child, she talks to me !!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2111 : A ever so slight tremble and the fine moment is ruined

I miss my photography. I really do. If there is something I truly love in this ass-shaped-lotus of a world, it has to be the art of capturing a memory.
Everytime we see an image, and it tells us an unsaid point in time story, it makes us believe that we can pause the world….and that is euphoria crystallised.
I have a lot of things I want to do when I grow up, and walking around with a camera is probably top of that bucket list.
Love. Click. Smile. Miss. Cheese. Flash. Bokeh Smile

2110 : ImPerfect vision

Here is hoping that Uncle Universe corrects my fractured vision.
This wound requires a plaster for nice and smooth red mulled wine Smile

Friday, February 28, 2014

2119 : What constitutes a bad book

I was talking to someone yesterday and I was telling him how bad “Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture” as a book is.
Of course, when you go against the grain, you get the grind, he immediately took the more popular view, that it was such a emotional tear jerker and how “touching” the book was.
Well…I spent a few minutes rambling, and when I look back, I probably came across as a phooking biased book reviewer. I did not come across as cleanly as I have loved to.
As I drove in the evening, I thought a bit, and then epiphany hit me…what I hate about the book, apart from its rambling indulgent and narcisstic view….is really one single thing. Its FAKE. The book lacks human attribute of authenticity. It comes across to me (at least) as playing to the gallery.
Case rests. None of us like ideas/books/people who come across as playing to the audience.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2118 : What is death ?

In the last few years, a strange melancholy has set itself upon me...especially when it relates to the matter of life and of death.

Let's take a step back....

Did you know that as you read this sentence, your heart beat at least 4 times?
Or a billion neurons and synapses fired in a precise military sequence, for you to make sense of what you just read? Or that I typed this use a whole host of muscle memory? Or ....

Get the drift ?

Now the body and the brain, and the immortal atoms (which make up your body and are probably here since the Big Bang), and the lovely rings of Saturn....are all so impossiblÅ· makes a bloody atheist like me make me want to believe in a God...and yet...

The magic of this universe is so phantom like....that I am humbled and awed by its signature.

If in all of this, you accept that your body is magical, do you? Let's assume you do. If you read modern neuroscience, you realise that free will and volition are such over-exaggerated myths... Your body knows exactly how to replace the skin you burnt yesterday while cooking the knows exactly how to throw out toxins in the form of knows how to rebuilt parts of your brain...

And then you combine these facts...and you realise that your body and the universe around you know what is best for you and the overall world...

And then you have lung cancer....and your body still tries to repair itself, but fails...and then it decides to end the game by giving organ at a time....

It knows precisely when it wants to die...when it needs to die...when the last breath stops...and the lungs no longer bellow....

Now...why would you want to fight this natural process with medicines and the artificial props....

I sit and's bothered me a lot in the last 15 years....I know the answer...and it's a violent one.

The atheist in me says a silent unanswered prayer.

Location:Raheja Vihar Circular Road,Mumbai,India

2117: Zabaan Jale Hain

Folks who know me well, know that I have a very unusual and eclectic taste in music. Like for example, I have always hated Sonu Nigam and KK, both because of their lustreless unreal smooth tasting voice.

By that same token, I have never been a fan of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as well.

I do like some of his songs, quit a few, but I am not an unabashed fan - like I am that of Neeraj Sreedhar.

But....a big but(t) :-)

I have to say I am totally in love with Rahat's Zabaan Jale Hain from Dedh Ishqiya. Its Gulzar-Vishal at their poetic best. This is very similar to the Kaminey title track for me....just pure magic.

I love the opening lines

Na boloon main to kaleja phoonke

Jo Bol doon to zabaan jale hain

Sulag Na jaave agar sune wo

Jo baat meri zabaan tale hain

If I dont tell her whats in my heart, then (this thing inside) is charring my insides,

If I do tell her, then (this thing) is scathing my tongue....

I hope she does not flare up, when she listens to (what I have to say),

The words which are trapped and supressed under my tongue !!

Friday, January 03, 2014

2116 : The big slur

There is a part of me that believes that inherently Indians (and I dont mean to berate us desis but unfortunately I have to generalise a bit to get my point across) are inherently slurrish. While it is necessarily not in terms of race or language (both of which we are very accepting), I do feel we are terrible in terms of economic discrimination. This fantastically screwed up feature is hard wired into the most libertine amongst us, and that includes yours truly.

Picture this.

In my office, and I work for this big fat Jewish Bank, the true top of the pops in terms of culture and civility (and I mean that with absolutely no sarcasm at all, but instead in pride and respect). And this elite place, at the point of exit, the only people who are subject to pat-down searches are blue collared workers....the "janitor" class. While this might be a pragmatic reality, I dont know if its correct in the human spirit, in the spirit of equivalence.

Why do we believe that the blue collars will steal more from the floor, than the tie and suit folks like me. I carry a huge backpack, and safely truck away a laptop or an IP phone without a question...but Mr. Blue Collars shall be apprehended for carrying a pen outside the firm.

I think it reeks of differential level of trust, fundamentally varying only on economic parameters.

Picture another example.

A colleague of ours, who we dont know well - loses his wife, and we all jump in and reach out to him - telling him, "do reach out if we can help"...and I am sure in 9/10 cases we shall actually help if he did reach out for a favor.

Your own domestic maid who helps you scrub your house spanky clean every day, loses her dad, and all we do is chase her up saying "can you come back in a week please?", all the time we are grumbling, "these types are the one who are constantly lying"...."I dont know which dad of hers has died, this is the 6th time I am listening to the same excuse...all looks like a way for her to slack off and take a vacation".

Do we offer her help? Do we offer her money? Do we offer her emotional help?

I hope you get the drift, our trust is based on economic strata and not necessarily based on human goodness. While there is possibly tons of empirical evidence that does suggest blue collars do fib more - you do have to take a step back and wonder if their choices and options force them to take that route? What option does a maid who works 365 days a year have, especially one who has no PF, not health care, no child support and absolutely zero emotional connect with her employer.

I have made my point, and I dont judge others, I judge myself everyday....I know I am accumulating bad karma by the warehouse and it bothers me a lot.

2105 : My first post of 2014 is a decade short of a century( ahead of 2015)

This is my first post in many months. Coming back to this blog has been difficult. Not because I did not have enough to say, but more because there was always so much more to say. There was always the risk of what left unsaid, the canary who was confined to silence.

In 2014 I hope to write a little more (or maybe a little less), but I do hope to write. I do hope to at least have a voice.

Welcome 2014. Happy new banged up year.