Sunday, December 29, 2019

2686 : Its a circle that never seems to open oxymoron....

Yes....its a strange title for a post.

At for the last 6 months I have been struggling. Struggling is actually an understatement. I have gasping for some silence and for some breath of focus. I have hardly finished books. I have about 3 dozen of them half finished, which means I am still reading, but I am not finishing these books.

And I have been terrible at writing. I mean real "focussed" writing.

All of these indicate a deterioration of my mental facade.

Will I recover? Yes, I believe so. Will I finish the circle? Yes. Of course.

Till then, its just another day in Paradise :-).

Saturday, December 28, 2019

2685 : What good content feels like (Anurag Kashyap + Neelesh Misra)

This is what an intelligent pair of human beings look like. This is what honestly looks like. This is what vulnerability looks like. This is what good content looks like.

I love Anurag Kashyap.....even more...after this. 
This is what a good human being looks like.

(Listen to the last minutes....and he says...I never gave time to anyone.....he says it in different ways multiple times...and then after a pause....he says with a finality....."now, today, after all these years....I just don't know how to give time..."....sounds like my voice :-( )

Friday, December 27, 2019

2684 : Poetry

I have said this many times before...shall say this entire love and understanding of poetry comes from my music. Music and songwriting has shaped me entirety and my whole life, possibly.

Its one of the real truths I know in this life.

Whether its an Abhang by Tai (Kishore Amonkar) or a Pink Floyd (to whom I owe my entire education) or Gulzar......

I learnt my love for life from songs. My epitaph should be a song. Remember that :-).

As I write this....the boombox speaker behind is starting up "Mar Jaawan from Madhur Bhandarkar's of my all-time favorites.

Soche dil ke aisa kaash ho,
Tujko ek nazar meri talaash ho
Jaise khwab hain ankhon mein base meri,
waise neendon mein silvetey padi teri

I wish that someday even this shall play out,
Wherein you shall be yearning for one glance for (me) round and about,
Just like the dreams that are dancing on my eyes,
(I hope) that (your blissful) sleep is creased (made uneven) by my cries.....

2683 : Silence and the art of alternative rock

As 2019 comes to an end, I have re-discovered my love for alternative rock. A genre that died with the 1990s and 2000s - I think. A whole generational angst came to end......

And here I am suffering a late resurgence of angst.....

As Eddie Vedder sings "Even Flow" I can feel my blood rising again.

Am I regressing? Maybe.

But tell me who can write lyrics poetry like
"Kneelin' looking through the paper though he doesn't know to read, ooh yeah
Oh, prayin', now to something that has never showed him anything
Oh, feelin', understands the weather or that winters on its way
Oh, ceilings, few and far between all the legal halls of shame, "

I can never write like that, and that shall be my epitaph....knowing that I could never write magic like that.

Why the subject (of the post) and "silence"?
I have started sometimes (one off) listening to a few of these songs with eyes closed....doing nothing, and being nothing....and when the song ends...I emerge out of a if I was in a trance....always happens....and that magic rush always leaves me the beauty of the exerpeicne essentially coming out of violent sound. 
(Try listening to Green Day singing "When I come around...." with eyes closed and a noise cancelling earbud....and I believe you shall know what I mean or try Collective Soul's singular genius of a song "Shine").

From Shine
Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

2682 : Sagar Jaise

And one final song for the night.....

Also heard an old low res recording of Saagar Jaise Ankhon Wali (from Saagar)...and had goose pimples.

Kishore Kumar, RD Burman and Javed Akhtar......if this is not magic, what is ?

Lyrical magic....and the harmony (notice the chorus) are just pure genius. Undiluted.

And as Kishore da changes the notes (he moves one octave lower (or so I believe)) in a certain section...(when he says....Dil Kehta hain....tu yahan toh.....)......what a charm!!

On a whim went out and saw a grainy video on youtube too.

And if you don't fall for Dimple all over again(if you prefer girls...that is :-)), there is something completely wrong in your wiring......

On a melancholic note.....was hurting for a love that I seem to have lost along the way. And no google maps can help you along this journey, of the heart, as the poets would call this :-(.

Jade and diamonds form part of the black rain :-)

2681 : Sofia Karlberg singing Smells Like Teen Spirit

I am a Cobain (Kurt) fan....and then I love the Sofia Karlberg cover.....Its raw and hurts.

And then I heard it on my Master and Dynamic MH40 and I was blown away. 

Hear her singing,

"Load up on guns, bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over-bored and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word" singes....

If I hear music like this on this kind of sound, I can work for 20 hrs a day......

I mean it.....

2680 : Master and Dynamic MH40

I picked up these headsets 2 years ago, and yes I love the finer sounds in life :-). 
Judge me, but I am quite a sucker for the sound.

And today I unwrapped them. Yes, I am lazy too.....:-)

And spent over 5 hrs listening to songs on this.

And then I played "Where the streets have no name"....and I mean it, it was like heaven, peace and bliss had descended into my world.

The sound is out of the world....its nothing like my bose buds I otherwise use. The range is raucous. 

Worth the top dollars these cost.

2679 : U2 - Where the streets have no name

I was just a little away from my teenage years when in 1987, I heard (saw) "Where the Streets have no name" by U2 on Doordarshan (DD as we call it in India).

For a long time I believed it was NY it was shot in. It was recently that I read it was actually LA.....wikipedia says it was " roof of a liquor store at the corner of 7th St. and S. Main St.".

I had never heard this song (before 1987) when I saw it on DD, on a 30 minute show that showcased the "Grammy Nominees"....and yet the first time I saw it, I was truly blown away.

One listen (or see) and I was completely hooked. And 32 years on....I still adore this song. And the video. I don't think I shall ever tire of this song.

As an aside And I remember the other nominees that year were (which also played on the 30 min slot - 9 to 9.30pm I believe) - they played Graceland (Paul Simon's immortal classic) and Barbara Streisand's Somewhere. Quite an eclectic list....not all of the ones were actual Grammy Nominees, as I later understood.

Also another side, I just got my daughter hooked onto this song. She loves this :-)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

2678 : Refrigerators and the sounds of silence

Urban life does not allow you more than 10 seconds of silence. I am not exaggerating. Its what I feel. Sons and daughters, family, social media, phone, door bells, random screams (and yells) from the apartment complex....and the cacophony goes on. Each yanks you from your reverie.

What would I not give to get a few hours undisturbed, with some funky BB King or Dire Straits in the background.

And then, when someone asks me why do I struggle to write....all I can do is look at them with anguish and helplessness.

Silence is such an integral part of life.

When a tree fell in the forest, no one heard it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2677 : How to win a fight

One more from NYtimes....

It was a good year to pick a fight. In his novel “Machines Like Me,” Ian McEwan had advice for winning one: “In a full-on row it was not necessary to respond to the last thing said. Generally it was best not to. In an attacking move, ignore bishop or castle. Logic and straight lines were out. Best to rely on the knight.

2676 : I am a lie

From Milan Kundera's Laughable Loves.....

"You see, Klara", I said, "you think that a lie is a lie, and it would seem that you are right. But you are not. I can invent anything, make a fool of someone, carry out hoaxes and practical jokes - and I don't feel like a liar and I don't have a bad conscience. these lies, if you want to call them that, represent me as I really am. With such lies I am not simulating anything, with such lies I am in fact speaking the truth. But there are things I cannot lie about. There are things I have penetrated, whose meaning I have grasped, that I love and take seriously. I can't joke about these things. If I did I'd humiliate myself. Its impossible, don't ask me to do it, I can't."

2675 : Who is a tyrant?

And from the same article (referred earlier), comes this other gem....

Plump new collections of Wendell Berry’s nonfiction were issued by the Library of America. In one essay, Berry described a lesson learned in military school: “Take a simpleton and give him power and confront him with intelligence — and you have a tyrant.”

2674 : Whats 29000 cigarettes worth?

From the article in NyTimes....comes this gem by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“The best writers are the ones who tend to write less and smoke more,” Márquez wrote, “and so it’s normal that they need at least two years and 29,000 cigarettes to write a book of 200 pages. What that means in good arithmetic is that just on what they smoke they spend more than what they’ll earn from the book.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

2673 : The long tail

Here is a thought experiment.

“When was the last time you sat down (or focussed), closed your eyes (or remain undistracted) and totally completely immersed yourself in a song?

No reading, cooking, walking, gymming, exercising, talking to friends.....nothing. 

Just you and the song.

My bet is most of us would struggle to remember the last time we did this. As in, it would that long in the past. In most cases years, if not more.

And I mean, “hearing” a song, not “seeing” one.

I can speak for myself. I have lost the ability to immerse myself into anything, other than a movie. But even a movie (I can be completely into it), not because of my powers of focus, but because the movie shuts off all of your senses. As in, in this case, the movie does all the hard work - I just submit.

I cant remember when I sat down and read for 1 hr+ undisturbed. Or listened to a song undisturbed by anything else.

And that state of affairs, in my own life, makes me feel “as if I have let myself down”. As if, I have sent myself to the cleaners.

The Buddha in his wisdom said - look inward. I in my life, do nothing but escape myself. And that’s all I do - for years on end. 

Something does not add up. Something will give. I will pay.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

2672: Filler

I don't understand a lot of the world around me or its rituals.

For example, take us paying a lot of money for average-to-shabby food in an expensive food joint. And we rationalize it saying - "its all about the experience".

And yet, something does not add for me at al.
The crumbleass tasteless decor (lacks complete personality), or the sad looking servers (who you all-the-time-in-the-back-of-your-head know are an extremely exploited lot), or the sadder looking food (which looks and feel industrial), the un-recognizable drone of a music playing in the background.

And this is the sample description of not a hole in the wall, but a good "upscale" five star, or even a fine dining place.

The reason I think this dichotomy exists, because that enterprise's primary goal is cost optimization and to make money - at the heart of even a very glamorous five star, is usually a stressed business.

Contrast this with your father, or your friend who cooks for you - he/she is not stressed, they are cooking with you in mind (even if they don't know enough, or cannot cook to your tastes). The point is, their goal is still to make "happy good" and "for you."

That tiny subtle difference in intent, makes all the difference. I have now grown so tired of the "food experiences", that I crave for either my own cooking or food from someone who I know and is cooking for me.

My favorite chef/cook of all time remains a neighbor of mine called "Mamta Pias", who I used to call as "Mamta aunty" who was a bengali married into a christian house.....and the mutton curry she made - was manna. I got my first taste of meat in her kitchen, and though I am off meat now (except eggs) for almost 4 years now - I would not miss a beat sampling her curry again, only if I could.

I say that "only if I could" wistfully. "Eating out" is a filler (of time and an expensive way to waste your time). "Good food" on the other hand is a filler too (but of the soul, the well-being and the eternal human desire to fly like an eagle). 

Friday, December 06, 2019

2671 : Stock up on the gold

Walking on company, swimming in froth, running away from the flurry.
Silence is golden. 

2670: I am not the man I am

Sometimes, and I don't mean it (the “sometimes”) as deprecation, but sometimes....actually no, maybe often, I feel completely out of place. As in, almost like an out of body experience.

“I dont belong here”. And I dont in those moments. I am sitting with a bunch of people, wondering, why am I here? And more so, why I am being someone I absolutely am not. Someone who does look like me, think like me, or talk like me.

I am at these points trying to be someone who I am absolutely not.

Is that often? Is it good to be a fake? Don’t feel proud of it.

I feel shabby, empty and deeply hollow when I recognise these moments.

Is there a way to improve on this?

Yes. My answer is yes. Go silent. Go inwards and in those murky depths, I shall see, “I am not who I am trying to be.”

The insincerity of my own personality, and my cognition of it, leaves me lost. No personal compass. No personal north. Just a unhinged free fall.

Monday, December 02, 2019

2669 : Dilemma of love

Picture this.

In the same block as I live, lives an older lady (say about 60...unsure, but lets assume that). She is already a grandmother and her entire immediate family lives along the block. So there are at least 4 sons/daughters/cousins and about 6 grand children.

And the family owns about 8 cars amongst themselves, employing 4 drivers as well. And they also have two dogs. One of which is quite literally adopted off the street (after an accident crushed one of his legs). So he has only 3 legs.

The key highlight, is the entire family loves dogs. So much so, that the matriarch (the lady I mentioned above) prepares about 12 boxes of food everyday (via her cook) and has her driver deliver it to junction (point)within the apartment complex, where about 20 stray dogs collect at the appointed time for this grub.

With me on this drift? She is appreciable, the intent is even more poetic, when you actually witness it yourself (like I have done innumerable times).

I love dogs, so I get it.

So yesterday I met the driver (who delivers the dog food), a muslim (that's incidental), and someone with whom I have a chatty in quite literally, we chat when we meet.

So after the niceties, I smiled and asked him, in Hindi, "Dog food?". He smiled and nodded. And I said, "Daal Chawal Roti?", as in rice-lentil soup and wheat bread.....and he said...."".

And after a pause, he continued, he said, everyday about 2 kgs of chicken meat is cooked. And he said, "I know it because I buy it.".

Now comes the interesting bit. I am wondering what's going on in the driver's head. An average driver in India makes between 15k-25k rupees. A kg of  chicken meat costs about 250-300 rupees.

The driver at best can afford 1-2 kgs per week for his three daughters, and that is if he really stretches.

And yet, he helps the matriarch, feed about 2 kgs of chicken to the dogs every night.

This whole story - brings two questions into the spotlight:
1) Is it fair that the matriarch feeds 20 dogs every night, versus her driver's children might not have access to the same quality of the food? (My answer is, its just a question of perspective - so this is a choice)
2) Is it ethically ok to kill about 1-2 chicken at night everyday (so about 500 chickens a year) to feed the 20 dogs? (That in my view, is the real ethical dilemma).

I am also wondering, what would the Buddha do?
Really...what would he do?

Sunday, December 01, 2019

2668 : Monogamy

Monogamy is quite a dastardly concept. Not only does it shackle you to something that is absurd, but it also adds layers of insecurity into the world around us.

If that is correct, which means - we think this might be plausible, then why does it exist at all?

My understanding is monogamy is a Christian construct from the 1500-1600, which was more political and plebeian (as in applied only to commoners, not to royalty). 

What started off a political gimmick, has become a monster of its own. 

Its bizarre and makes little to no sense to me - and I mean there is no driver for this drivel other than political and legal motivations.

Would I still practice monogamy? Technically I do. 

The real q - is that what I think makes the world a better place? Fk that. Will I tell my kid this is a core value to my being. I think this is not even a core value to simians, and we are more evolved. 

Its almost like asking - is "not killing" a core value? Try asking that to a samurai warrior. Living in "isolated peace" and manufactured structure allows us to chase randomly constructed values like "non violence". 

The real world is full of violence. Every single step. Every moment, large parts of this world (even just our microcosm, forget the larger universe) are violently being killed and yet are feeding newer organisms/processes, which shall help something else start anew. Take volcanoes as an example. Take earth's core as an example. We depend for everything on the sun, which is nothing but "pure undiluted violence.". 
Assignment for each of you :-). Now go figure. The real world does not understand monogamy :-).

Saturday, November 30, 2019

2667 : Arturo Sandoval

The famed cuban Jazz player is in India, and while I knew a bit about him, given my interest in Dizzy Gillespie.

And then today morning, I decided to download and listen to Arturo, given my new found love for Spanish Jazz.

And I feel as if I am love :-)

Have been listening to Arturo and his records all morning. I would strongly recommend "Ultimate Duets" as a starting album.

I am totally in love with Spanish Jazz.

Dizzy Gillespie below (from wikipedia)

Arturo Sandoval 

Ultimate duets

2666 : Una (the movie)

Una is an Irish movie, featuring Rooney Mara.

Is it a great movie? No, but it is a very sensitive and nuanced take on teenage love and possible abuse. The lead performances are real, almost so real that it seems happening now.

The story revolves around Una (Rooney) falling in love with an older man in her early teens, having sex with him, only to see him disappear and then (him) arrested for child abuse.

When she confronts him 17 years later (when she is 30), its a highly nuanced treatment.

Its easy to say he was wrong. Its easy to see him as flawed....and he probably is....but the movie reveals many layers.

A decent watch.

Ruby Stokes as the young Rooney is such a stellar performance.

Finds a mention on my overall list....

2665 : The Thrill is Gone

Yes that is one of my favourite BB King songs.

I was talking to a friend of mine and she was telling me one of her distillations in life. Here goes what I learnt (and surmised).

She feels that, "Human beings are in a constant dance of seduction. Each of us is trying to impress the others around - be it for mating, or for business, or for whatever other reasons. Every single person is trying to seduce another 'n' people around him/her. The journey of 'getting into bed', to use the phrase, usually can take time."

As an example, you might be trying to impress a manager, with your writing skills. It might take many weeks/months for your manager to notice your writing talents.

She called this journey as the "chase". As we spoke above, this chase could usually take a long time. Its an arduous climb.

Her view is, once the "chase" is over - as in once you have gotten into the other's pants (in our example, your manager now thinks you are a fab content writer), she believes then the "thrill is gone".

As in not just "gone", but it completely disappears.

In her view of the world, this is the fall we all have to ramp down from. Once the chase is over, the thrill is gone. It like the dystopian version of post coital depression.

I definitely think there is some truth in this, but in her view of the world - this is the only game in town.

I do fervently believe (and approach the world around me) that this is untrue. Because if it were true, the world would be a very depressing place. It would be a world where everyone is a would be huckster/seducer (or the one huckled to or being seduced)....each of us would be participating in the game every single waking moment.

And that transactional view of the world is very reductionist. If that were indeed true (and I believe it is not), then for me, "the thrill would indeed be gone".

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2664 : The war for self destruction

Read today morning that a few more feminists are being arrested for trying to enter Sabrimala Shrine.

Now please listen to me slowly. I am an equalist. I am also someone who is a pragmatic shrug off.

I want my daughter to be more than equal than equal. And I have a daughter. And a wife. And a mother. And three sisters.

The point being....

Why would someone who is an equalist/feminst, want to enter a temple - which fundamentally is averse/anti to some values you (as an equalist) might hold dear.

I find these feminists very defeatist. Its akin to going to the Jews and saying "Why should I not be allowed to work on Sabbath" in a conservative Jewish firm. Or telling a practicing Muslim why he does not enjoy pork chops.

Jews as an example, for right and wrong reasons (irrespective) believe that working on sabbath is antithetical to their values.

Is it rational? Maybe not? Does it sound like a fair ask? I think so.

Is farming chickens rational? Is slave trade in middle east rational? Is genocide rational? Is the way we treat refugees rational?

The point - we all hold onto our beliefs. And your beliefs are always ok, as long they don't interfere with my life.

And your belief states, "I (as in me) cannot enter this particular temple", because my surname starts with an I (making it up). So we should let that be....however cooky that sounds.

It makes little sense for me to challenge him (has to be him, right?) on his irrationality. That won't work. If someone knew he/she is irrational, then he.she wouldn't be right?

See the dichotomy?

At this point, one of you will be the smart alec and ask me....will you have made the same arguments, if they had stopped your daughter? Of course, yes. Will you be just so accepting if this was an eating place instead of a temple? Yes. Unless of course, this is the "restaurant at the end of the universe.". The point is there is no sense in fighting a collective no matter how coked up they sound. Thats how civil society is structured since the start.

We spend so much energy on this shit. Way too much flux, standing on earth that is constantly shifting.

Almost similar in certain cases to the controversy whether the knot of a piece of cloth is tied on the left or the right.
Really, and we think, we are being rational and equitable here, with me on this?

I think Michelle Obama put it best when she said - "when they go low, you go higher". Its one of the most insightful pieces of advice I have heard, and it was made for mindlessness of this order.

When the gaurdians of a temple say, you cannot enter (like Parsis say I (as me) cannot enter their temple) - at that moment, they have lost me, I sign out of even the basic desire to enter such a place.

If God exists, I am sure she will rain justice on them. And if God does not exist, then why get into such a temple? And if God exists and she is on their side, then I am anyway the Devil's child.

So many possibilities - one real answer - log out of this drain, and just let the ones left behind, happily shag themselves.

Monday, November 25, 2019

2663 : Heaven shine your light....

I must stop pontificating. I know very little. I actually know nothing. I am older, jaded and fucked up.
I am every young kid's worst outcome. 

I am a socially awkward, morally bankrupt, and hoary bastard full of insensitive flatulence.

I need to stop. I need to remember that I live in a glass house.

And the glass shattered many many moons ago. The thrill is gone.

2662 : When I come around...

I met a young girl today, who made me beam and beam and beam....
And who made me believe that no matter what, there is a tomorrow to look forward to. And that is quite a feat in this world we inhabit.

As a father figure to the girl, all I can do is wish infinite heart felt wishes and happiness to her and the world around her. I know her mother too, and in both their cases, I cannot wish them anything but good.

When a young dainty happy girl gives you a high five, it just as precious as the Dalai Lama personally blessing you.

And it helps that this girl is named after the Buddha of Compassion.

Boddhisatvas, rain your blessings on her. In turn, I am blessed. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2661 : Moral Decrepitude

I was cooking today morning, making some dosas (rice pancakes for the luddites for who still don't know what dosas are :-).

And I added a liberal dose of active yeast about 30 minutes before making the dosas. If you actually allow the yeast to settle in, you get some of the most yummy dosas, that life can conjure up. Seriously try it.

But thats for another post, and beside the point. The few tiny pellets I dropped into the batter, probably consisted of around 3-10 bn live yeast strains. As soon as they see happy grounds, (like batter for example), they begin actively working and multiplying....So in the 30-45 minutes I let them be, they must have begun multiplying to over double of what we started with.

Point is - give and take about X Bn tiny creatures.

And the larger point is - why is it ok for me to go ahead and slaughter these billions of lives for my single food sojourn, when I seem to take a moral offing to killing livestock for food? (I actually don't, but given my Buddhist roots, I easily could...which means I could demonstrate indignation very naturally....just that I am aware that is shitstock indignation and hence stay away from it).

There are moral dangers of choosing whom to kill. A bull versus a snake, a snake vs a rat, a chicken vs a dog, shark vs a dolphin. I can see how our anthropological biases lead us in some of these decisions.

But really, for all my moral posturing (or the posturing of my ilk), I killed about 20bn creatures, just during breakfast today. Three times the total human race.

What kind of karma am I piling up?

There is no easy answer in this business....but the Zen Buddhists have an answer. If you do have to kill, then kill an elephant - at least you can feed a whole village with a killing.

And meanwhile I wallow in my moral decrepitude.

2660 : The litany of grief

"Do I carry too much grief?"

I often get asked that in some form or shape. Am I missing someone dear? Whats amiss in the world around me? Is my writing a dirge or a lament?

Why? I mean, why you ask, do I get these kind of questions?

Sometimes its the writing. Sometimes its my tenor. Sometimes its just me - who is present here, but who is also waltzing with his past.

So are the questions fair? I believe so.

Are they onto something? Depends. Let me try and explain in some limited sort of way.

I moonlight as a poet. Not someone who romanticizes poems, but someone who just enjoys words and their play, and most importantly how a bunch of garbled alphabets - can lend so much power and thought over my own internal being, and more so, can convey so much to another living being. She/he can experience something that I might be trying to convey without ever having met me, or seen me or even knowing that some stranger like me exists.

As a poet, I love to express a strong emotion. Or at least I try to? I want to convey something I feel everyday, something I saw/see in that moment.

So does that mean I see a lot of grief around me? Do I see a lot of brokenness around me?

Yes and No. Yes, in the sense that I definitely and genuinely see many cracks in the world around me. I see a world which is constantly being mindlessly shredded, physically, literally and yes, figuratively too. And that impacts me, it brings me to my knees - almost praying and being defeated at the same time.

And yet, No too. (For the question, do I see a lot of grief around me?).
I don't only see cracks and leaks. I also see a magical universe around me. One in which I know I am an accidental collection of cells. I know my ego is a figmented construct built to help these cells preserve themselves. And I also know that the Buddha was fundamentally right. This is one huge continuum. We are just part of the gravy train. Water that flows along the river, imagining it is stand along water, but actually its not just intermingled with the river, but with the ocean, the earth and the universe. Just one giant continuous train wreck. One bogie ending where the other one starts.

So, the drift is....
I write about what appears to be grief or brokenness or sadness, because I distinctly see a different way of being. I clearly do visually how beautiful I would be, if I could choose something different; or how marvelous we could be, if we partnered up, instead of divi-ed up; or how there is always a better way of being. Always. Even in the worst of times and the best of times.

And that better way of being, needs to be acknowledged, understood and then tirelessly chased. If we cannot find meaning in that, then sadly in this reductionist world, I might as well, do hara kiri now, as in, NOW.

The only meaning in this world; and I mean ONLY in a capital sense; is to recognize the road ahead and move ahead. As the Buddha would say, leave the world in a better place than how you find it. That is meaning, and that is the ONLY truism in this world.

And that truism, is what drives me to write, to highlight to myself, more than others, what "good" looks like, and how "better" is the only path in this world, that is worth walking upon.

So, am I full of grief? No, "full of shit" is more likely.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

2659 : Ball and chain

I have not seen you in months, or so it feels. If I was a chalet, my walls would have missing posters with your photo plastered on it. Can you imagine that? Frayed sheets of particle paper, with your mug shot dangling at the center, hanging in just about there.

I remember you singing jazz, attempting a silken voice, but actually sounding like what I always used to call as "Goan Trash"....You used to hate me saying that (notice the past tense...., odd. is it not?)

How you would attempt "Dream a little dream of me" and fabulously fuck it up. And I would call your accent a mish-mash of Asian Chop Suey and Pad Thai....essentially a cesspool :-).

The other day I was strolling in our favorite music store, and I thought I saw someone turn a corner. And I was kind of sure, bloody awesomely sure, it was your shadow that I saw. Something in that contour had your likeness, and the corner of my eye trapped that pattern.

A brief moment to contemplate, and then I briskly chased that apparition. As I turned into that aisle, the aisle was empty. Empty, yes....not that it had another person who I had mistaken for had emptiness.

Was I hallucinating?

Probably yes. I stood there staring at the empty aisle. Studded with records and CDs of legends, some of whom I had never met, but I always felt a deep universal connect. Stand corrected, "we" felt a deep universal connect.

And as I stood there, staring at the album covers, some mugshots staring back at me...portraits of strangers....and yet....with some of those I share(d) a deep personal connect.

I felt like searching those racks, those portraits, those images staring back at me. A strange thought had enveloped me in that moment. I almost believed that in some sinister sort of way, I would inadvertently find you starting back at me from one of those records. A record where I will have probably 8-10 of your songs...akin to memories, a common trove of shared blitz.

Thats what you have become, another record in a collection that I don't own, but I immensely value. The corridors of these records are where you seemed to have been trapped. And yet, while you were the one trapped, I am the one who is your prisoner, for time eternal. 

2658 : Midnight Diner : Tokyo Stories

This is an absolute gem of a series. Very simple, and yet very addictive and haunting. Its almost simple to the point of the being plebeian. And yet absolutely lovable.

Go watch it. A set of un-connected stories, so watch from any point.

On my overall ranking comes mids.

2657 : Earthquake bird

Watched Ridley's Scott Earthquake Bird (agreed he is the producer), but still it was his name that dragged me to it.

I liked the brooding movie. Its a haunting tale about Tokyo. The visuals are stunning. Just stunning. I love Tokyo and this one is just stunning.

The movie is a little bit of dampener as compared to the book. The book is even more stunning.

The last 25 mins of the movie is really disappointing.

And yet, I would put it in my all time list. Go watch it. Its worth your time.

2656 : Black hole sun by Soundgarden

The monster is also awesomely in love with Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden.

Good taste in music, what say?

Should I be a proud friend ?

2655 : Dilemma

What do you do when your 9 year old monster falls in love with Radiohead's Creep (the explicit edition) and hums along

"I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special"

On one hand I love it, that the monster understands good music. Good genes mean good taste :-), or so I say.

On the other hand, I recoil with horror on what his school or social circle would say. 

What a fuckin' conundrum, right?

:-) :-)

2654 : When the world ends...

I am not making this up....and I really am not :-).

So I am at my regular supermarket (a small not really super) that I goto to my pick my usual stuff for cooking. So today was a exotic soup and healthy food day :-).

And as I am finishing my shopping, Astrud Gliberto kicks in. Now picture my shock. This shop usually plays some crappy pop (unidentifiable music)....thats their usual stock.

I am truly shocked. Is this the universe giving me a sign ? (For those for missed the story, I fell in love with Astrud a year ago :-)).

I believe it was "A certain sadness" playing.

2653 : A most definite read (The Jungle Prince of Delhi by Ellen Barry from New York Times)

A haunting read

The Jungle Prince by Ellen Barry from The New York Times

Highly recommended. Easily one of the reasons (illustrative) why I adore New York Times.

2652 : An exemplary portrait

Another institution (from previous message)that shapes me is and recently I was reading a book review (I almost read all their articles) and came across this girl/woman called Jane Borges and her book called 'The Exorcism of Michael Cuthino'.

The writing is plebeian, probably slightly above plebeian, but nothing that slaps you awake.

The potrait of hers is stunning though. She is pretty and graceful, no taking away from that, but the photographer and the camera have just done such an awesome job. I wish I had clicked this photo.

Brilliant. Just unequivocally brilliant.

Article here...

Images from

2651 : Biased me

I believe it was in 2004 in one my trips to the US, that I absolutely fell in love with New York Times and thats a love affair that has never ebbed. Infact over time I have just gotten more and more engaged into their stories.

My worldview is largely shaped by New York Times. Agreed its a libertine view, but its also a biased view.

Honestly though, I love NY Times not for their views, but for their sheer quality of writing. Like the phrases they use, the kind of effortless ease with which they tell a story.

Everytime I return from NY to the airport, I don't miss the huge NY Times facility close to the airport and everytime it feels like a institution I should pay obeisance to.

In recent year, I read about 10 articles a day on NYTimes.

The point being, here is a set of people that I really like. They make my world (and I hope the whole world) a much better place to live in.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

2650 : Run Lola Run

As she walked away, she gave me a grin. As if she had found a cheat sheet to carry the burden. A dark inward looking grin.

In that moment, I knew we walked on different worlds. 

2649 : Radiohead singing Creep

Magical lyrics

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special
But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
I don't belong here

If you have not heard the jazz version, by Karen give it a shout too. Awesome lyrics and awesome song.

2648 : Alternative rock

I am stuck in the 90s. Soundgarden, Greenday, Radiohead, Nirvana, Stone temple Pilots and Pearl Jam.

Creep from Stone Temple Pilots

Take time with a wounded hand 'cause it likes to heal
Take time with a wounded hand 'cause I like to steal
Take time with a wounded hand 'cause it likes to heal,
I like to steal
I'm half the man I used to be (this feeling as the dawn it fades to gray)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

2647 : My soul is all jammed up....

There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall, that's my soul up there
There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall, that's my soul up there
There's a blue whale beached by a springtide's ebb, that's my soul up there
There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web, that's my soul up there

From Sting's King of Pain....

2646 : One by Royal Philaharmonic

Listening to the Royal Philharmonic version of U2's one on a fabulously sound system (my current poison is Polk Audio), makes you almost weep. The surround sound envelops you and the sound is haunting......

Should I call this the Irish greatness?

I sometimes feel like I have lived this song. Bono gives me the goose pimples, definitely.

We are truly "one" and we all carry our wounds. And some of us will carry a lot of wounds to the grave. Some fabolous song writing, and some unbelievable singing.

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head
Well, did I ask too much, more than a lot?
You gave me nothing, now it's all I got
We're one, but we're not the same
See we hurt each other, then we do it again
You say love is a temple, love is a higher law
Love is a temple, love is a higher law
You ask me of me to enter, but then you make me crawl
And I can't keep holding on to what you got, 'cause all you got is hurt

2645 : Here and present

She said "Will you be here when I come back?"

I said, "Where the fox are you off to?"


"Really....what takes you there?"

With a twinkle she croons like Freddie and sings, "I want to break free....God knows, God knows I want to break free."

And I interrupt her....
"....and I can get used to living without you, living without you in my life....."

This gets her to break into a big beaming smile.

I ask, "How long are you off for?"

"3 months".

"What the fox?"

"Seriously. I have been invited as an artist in residence."

"Yah...the Monnet in you....I say".

"Be happy for me arsehole."

"I am.", I say.

"So are you going to here when I come back?"

"I don't know.", after a pause, "I really dont know."

Her demeanor changed and she looked contemplative. For a few moments, we both looked away from the awkward silence, and then she said "I understand, if you are still around......bring that beat back to me again."

She hugged me and then walked away. Years later, she is not back yet, and I seem to have forever lost the beat. The rhythm is irrevocably lost.

Monday, November 11, 2019

2644 : Scrutiny

Theirs was a romance that lasted a good two decades, though at the start everyone assumed it was yet another two artists and their fleeting dilettantes. The kind (of dilettantes) that artists are supposed to have. At least, in common brush strokes, artists were assumed to be fickle creatives, who were always "searching" and were (due to their art and its circles) always "finding".

And like pool table balls, they bounced off the walls, kisses other coloured balls for a fleeting second, and were free radicals the next instant again.

And yet, despite of this backdrop (of being judged) - their story lasted. Stan with his sassy tenor, and Astrud with her trebly vocals.

The intense public "glare" did take away a lot of sheen, though. They struggled to collaborate between themselves, which otherwise is common and easy between a singer and a tenor - which otherwise would almost be accepted as "normal".

Under the lens, even normal activities became taboo. In the initial years, they struggled, they faltered. Each with their marriages, and yet, each straining to find those little moments of happiness with each other.

Happiness, as Stan would always say, is a rare commodity. You glimpse it, if you do, then just appropriate it. He always philosophised, that in most lives happiness was like a shooting star. Around for a few moments, "savor those moments, you never how far away the next blimp is".

Years of public eye, and intense cynosure meant that, both Stan and Astrud felt the dark clouds that tried to wrap in their "happiness".

Eventually, Stan died, though old, but not old enough. A sad, incomplete and dejected man. Married to something, and yearning for the break away.

I met Astrud years later, and she said, "I have heard, soon one day, they are putting a huge convex lens, between the earth and the sun. You know what that means. Both the earth, and its lover, the moon, will burn, a brief inflammable moment of transigence under the rays....nothing, my dear, lasts such scrutiny under the perennial lens. Everything eventually turns to cinder. Thats what I hold in my closed fist - nothing. When I open my palms to the universe, its empty.....just like a blackhole."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

2643 : The swansong

"Nothing is what it seems, and yet it is all essentially the same.", he thought.

"We love, we fail, we fail, we love"...and the endless cycle continues. There should be nothing boisterous about the 5th time you are in love, and yet, it is a sweet cacophony within the heart.

What moves your heart, could it churn the ocean too?

"Life is supposed to have been simple.", you are born, you eat, you fuck, you die, and then you are forgotten.

And yet nothing is what it seems. You sometimes blister, then you burn, sometimes you burn, and then you blister.

The journey is the same, the scenery just feels different.

"I have realised", he said with a deep weariness, "that when the clock strikes 12, another day has to start. The dead have to buried, the living have to forgive, and the waltz must continue."

"....and yet I do deeply mourn your loss.", he murmured. "Why is it that nothing is what it seems?"

"I am old, I am fragile. I am ready to die, and yet the Lord won't send for me. He believes my time is not up yet.", he pensively ground his index finger into the other hand.

"It seems to me that the only way to live is prepare for death. But nothing really prepares us for death.  Nothing can prepare us for something that we cannot comprehend. Nothing can prepare us for something that we are taught to dread."

"I hear a dirge in the background. It sounds like a fugue from Bach. It feels like Bach. The incredulity of his genius shines through."

"I sit, I wait, I miss you. I miss what we had over 30 years ago. I yearn for a day of seeing you again. I know it will never happen."

"The end just seems like an event. The birds never stop tweeting. They are tweeting to cheer, to mate, to welcome spring. They don't know what mourning is."

"Mourning feels like yearning. And yet nothing is what it seems it is."

2642 : The real me

As he stayed awake, transfixed by the rotating blades of the his mind, the anger was seething.   Blemished by his rage, his eyes were blurring out. The opaqueness born out of not seeing, a malice much deeper than blindness.

The color of rampage is green. On the other hand, fury is virgin red - always red, the shade and hues of my blood.

2641 : Sometimes

Sometimes life is a blur.
I am in one such blur.

I am struggling to read, write and feel rested.
Too much of the world is passing me by in a blur.

I wish I could be silent and just rest.
Sometimes rest is more than an yearning, more than an epitaph.