Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1689 : I have been royally shafted

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



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

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


1688 : A tale of two cities

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

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

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

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

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

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

1687 : Raavan’s gaffe

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

In most audiences he woos them with his unconventional mannerisms.

Yesterday, he did the same with 2 Japanese folks.

So ???

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

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

1686 : Sandals or flips flops were meant to breathe

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

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

1685 : The grandstand erupts

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

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

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

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

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

Picture this.

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

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

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

Its just Amway is so very infradig Smile

Monday, November 21, 2011

1683 : Life is a mirror

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

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

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

1681 : A man called Veyron

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

1680 : Old fashioned

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

1679 : Older

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

1678 : Man booker

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

1677 : Who is Rajni

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

1676 : Painted by yoga and hair

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


1675 : How about issuing me a plain ticket?


1674 : Worthy of worship

From a recent edition of Bangalore Times Smile


Saturday, November 12, 2011

1673 : Gimme sum of that noise

Noise and shor-sharaba is such an essential part of modern "celebrating". I see all these parents and children drowning in the deluge of sound and cacophony.

Maybe I am really a misfit into this urban world.

1672 : 5 parts of desire

5 things that should have been part of my life:
1. Writing
2. Motorcycling
3. Photography
4. Music
5. Industrial design

1671 : Mother chord

Americans seem obsessed with the sanitisation of the tongue !! Whoa.... What does that mean.
I meant the recent incident of Eddie murphy pulling out of oscars, because he and his director referred to gays in a slant way.

This American bent of mind (it's not afflicted as much of the euros yet) seem to entrench every part of our vocabulary. You don't fuck, you screw or get don't abuse, you are differently abled not don't stutter you have a slight speech disorder, you don't kiss you peck, you don't have an accident you have a situation, you don't die, you pass don't have a drug addiction, you have a drug don't masturbate (or have oral sex) you instead don't ingratiate, you suck up.....

Get the drift. This preponderance of making every aspect of speech less harsh is permeating the world...and quite fast. You can no longer make blonde jokes, gay jokes, Sardar jokes, irish jokes...and the ilk...

You cannot say fuck in public, and you cannot even call pink a girlie color.

Why because we must respect humans and diversity. Ahem....I am as diverse as diverse can be. Some of my friends used to be gays, I totally support my spouse as a partner, I work with some of the best lady workers at my work place, but this incessant tongue sanitation is taking the entire fun out of speech.

It's not that I want to call a black a nigger, but hell I do want to espouse my biases... I do want to crack jokes on iyers (like me), I do want to make gujju jokes (lets all goto macdoland and eat burgers :-))....

Get the drift. 

It does not help Americans in their cause that they will eschew capitalism and create severe economic inequities, but when it comes to speech, all men and women are created equal and no hard talk please.

All this political corectness business does leave me in a fuck soup.

Folks who know me, will understand, that if there is any correctness I will aspire for, then that is in action and not in speech. 

For now, if you do want to convert your tongue into a cesspit latrine, try saying the "subject title" of this post, exactly how a bongoli would....:-)....if you don't get it the first time, trying reading it in bappida's tone and as a single world...ignore the space :-)

1670 : For whom the bells toll

I woke up at 535 today morning and the chanting in the temple next door had already started :-)

Ah....makes me feel so incomplete and lowly :-)

1669 : The "dinosaur with flapping wings" effect

As I am growing older, I am realising how every single choice I made in shaping up my life is coming back in multiples to either haunt me, or to beef me up.

The former s more true than the latter.

And funnily we believe that destiny is random :-)

If there is a thing as random, it's probably our decision making process :-) If only I could rewind and choose again.

1668 : He stood alone with the bone of a trophy

In recent times I have often wondered, “am I chasing a chimera”,am I committing to an ideal, to a journey, which I started years ago, but something, which could have lost relevance in recent times.

Happens with all of us, right....we head off to the market to buy a loaf of bread for breakfast, but get distracted, spend 4 hrs at a bookshop, it's 1 pm at noon...and now that you have finished with books, you continue on your quest for bread, without realising that bread is no longer's way past breakfast now. 

Sounds philosophical or vague? Well, it's meant to be neither, its a real world dilemma, and I really sit and think, am I running behind a goal driven by my principles, but which is way out of sync with the reality of my universe? Where is all this taking? Further down a lonely decrepit road? Further down the path of mental isolation? Am I throwing too much good money after the rotten?

Questions ? Yes. Answers? No.

Friday, November 11, 2011

1667 : I am going to the land down under

Contemplating moving to chennai. My wife thinks chennai blogs are so poetic and so very bloody cool :-) She thinks they are "sooouperrrr".

I am too tired and too old to fight this stupidity, but then.....its really never too late to loll in absurdity :-)

The wand of the inane looms over the land of troubled waters :-)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

1666 : Desire knows no end...

Continuing from my previous addition to a long list of glasses that I crave to satisfy my insatiable lens lust, I also crave for a medium format hasselblad. Someday I really want to take up medium format photography seriously. 
...and I want to pick up a pro range video camera with interchangeable 3d lenses.
When I do have both of these, I shall truly need to have that strong room in my home :-)
...and my plans for a second car would be sacrificed on the altar.

1665 : Whats a photograph, but a memory

I now have enough photography equipment to buy a locker and store it in :-). Jokes apart, seriously, I have a fortune invested in this and unlike the naysayers, I use most of it very regularly. In fact I think my camera and my camcorder are probably the best investment I ever made in electronics in the last 3 years. These are used almost everyday

..but that's beside the point. When I look back, I think I could (can) safely own about 15 good prosumer cameras in the equivalent price of the equipment I have. 

And yet, never once, have I regretted my decision to go amateur pro (if there is such a category).

Point of this rambling....well, goes back to my fav question - why would someone live with a compact (if you could indeed afford the real thing..and I don't mean coke in this case :-))

1664 : Looking back on life

The third time my back has completely broken down this year...and I am have not hit my mid age crisis yet, or is this it :-)

Monday, November 07, 2011

1663 : I (too) have a dream

This seems to be a season of remembering dreams. I have never, if at all, remembered any of my dreams. Like yesterday night, I dreamt that someone very special (and yet possibly estranged) was telling me that she will try and make her side of the equation work.

Now theres a great start. Albeit just a dream, at least the intent has been manifested.

Let the dream now bake its own shape. Till then.... waiting for happiness :-)

1662 : 36 is a sexy number (Travelogue–Bangalore Mysore Ooty Coonoor)

Raavan has been cribbing that its over an year in India and all we have accompanied him is a measly trip to Mysore. Knowing him…and being egged by RA.One’s threat (it was still a factor a few weeks ago), he pushed us to doing Coonoor this time. Trip details

Date : 4th Nov 2011, evening 4pm to 6th Nov 2011, evening 630pm.
Drive : 630 km across this time.
Itinerary : 4th Drive from Bangalore to Mysore. Stay at Ginger.
5th and 6th – stay at Taj Coonoor
6th – Drive from Coonoor to Bangalore.
Route : Bangalore – Mysore (Via Nice) 150km – Coonoor (via Ooty) 149km – Mysore-Bangalore
Time : Bangalore – Mysore 4th – 4pm to 730pm. Mysore Coonoor 5th – 1015am to 215pm, Coonoor Bangalore 6th – 930am to 630pm
Ratings : Ginger 8/10 – Clean homely place, has cheap food and CafĂ© Coffee Day, and small clean rooms. For 2100 a night for 3, I felt it was a good economy motel.
Taj Coonoor 8/10– its an exotic place, really beautiful, an erstwhile building connected to the church which is now converted to a hotel. Its exactly like Munnar in terms of mountains, clouds, mist, fog and beauty. Taj is at their hospitable best. For 4750 a night you get a suite. Food is very expensive by that standards, almost 450 a dish, but I would swear by the local cuisine they cook. Its unbelievably yummy. They were kind enough to take special requests for Lankan cuisines for Raavan Smile. Only catch – it gets dark, overbearing and depressing in the evening – if you and the hotel staff are the only ones around. Happened to us on Friday. Has a ghost town kind of feel for us Urban Junkies.



Key highlights (in no order):
1. The drive from Bangalore to Mysore on 4th – was one of the most difficult driving experiences ever (for me). It was torrential downpour for around 100km on the national highway with literally zero visibility, my wipers were at their fastest and yet for me the taillight ahead if any was just a blur. There were hardly any vehicles on the road. I was nervous through the journey, because I wanted Raavan to return to Lanka safe….I did not want an international homicide on my hands Smile.

2. The McDonalds 65km from Bangalore towards Mysore, was 45 minutes well spent. It eased off all our nerves and I got the strength to nurse the car to Ginger, on a highway as deserted and dangerous as the Great Plague. Finally I understood what “I am loving it” meant.

3. The drive from Mysore to Coonoor via Ooty was another riot. It was torrential – expect that this time I was driving during the day.

4. The drive via Bandipur and Mudumalai (it’s the same – in Karnataka its called Bandipur and in TN its called Mudumalai) about 40km is lovely. You actually drive through a national forest, seeing tons of squirrels, elephants, deer and the ilk. No one ever sees a Tiger, though this is a Tiger reserve. On our way in, we drove through a deserted road, us being the only car on the road.

5. After Mudumalai, the road is treacherous in its incline, and has 36 taxing hair pin bends. Google tells me that this is one of the toughest real life terrain to drive in India. We did this in pouring rain, slippery roads and zero visibility – which made it very adventurous Smile

6. On the point above, only later we realized that there is a broader and less treacherous route via Gudalur, a 22km extra drive to reach to Ooty. (We did not try that while coming back as well – the hotel folks told us – the “dangerous” route is better since it saves at least an 1 hr in commute)

7. Tea and Chocolates are good and easily available from the local market – either near the bus stop or from Bedford Circle. We bought tea from Vishal Marketing (run by a father son duo Parekh’s) near our hotel. Chocolates we bought from Tulsi Mall, which is near the Ooty Highway.

8. On our way back after KFC (70km from Bangalore), near Channa Patna (the wooden toy paradise), there was an agitation on the road by Silk Farmers (protesting against falling coocoon prices…can you believe it, you block a national highway for that!!….I mean what can I do to help their cause…but they did screw me and my car). It gave us our flat (later) and also added 2 hrs to our journey. We had to drive through an inner road for about 20 kms which was jammed all along and an complete offroader. Today in the newspaper I read the jam was 10 hrs long Smile, so the option we took was better.

9. As we parked our car back into our garage at Bangalore, we realized that we had a terrible flat….and today, on analysis realized it’s a side flat – so cant we repaired. So now one of my tyres is a Tubed tyre Smile

Would I do this again? Of course. In same conditions? Yes, why not. Should you do it? You should. Its like a drive not comparable to any I have done so far. Where else do you drive through a forest. What should I be worried about? Tyres and fuel and breakdown. You can’t have any of this on such a trip. Do a thorough check of the car on your way out and in.

Enjoy Maadi !!

1661 : …versus the Real Thing

Raavan, when he first heard about RA.One, felt a little insecure - as if the rug could slide under his feet. As the conversation developed and he realized that this was a Shah Rukh movie about a Robot, he kind of cooled off. His expression was "a megalomaniac superstar who thinks he is a  robot....bah!!, thats no match for the real biological conundrum of ten heads. RA.One sounds like a rotten child's play..Me..??I have to deal with Ram's presence all the time :-)"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

1660 : Things beyond Caterpillar ....

Faith can only move mountains, for a good rumble rush peristalsis, you definitely need a decent dose of fibre :-)

Location:Sarjapur Rd,Bengaluru,India

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

1659 : I loved this Nikon ad....superfuntabulous

1658 : Those magnificent men in their looting machines

It's kind of sad, but my dad knows very little of what I do....and being the ignoble son that I am, I have never taken the effort of educating him. (I have never had enough time for him....)

He casually told me yesterday, that “occupy wall street is good. Those bloody chors completely deserve it.”

He just summed up my life :-)

1657 : The God of false things

Its easy to keep meditating on what could have been. The truth is you are jacked and stuck with what you are and what you have. The rest is just plain wish wash - your balls playing tricks on you. 

Am reminded of lines from a pankaj udhas ghazal - “baaki khayal oh khwab hain, saach bolta hoon main “

1656 : Mumma said knock you out

I want to learn boxing, seriously I do think it will be a great unwind to a long gruelling day.
Hail pugilists :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

1655 : The soft pounder

I keep saying this, but folks think I am losing my (remaining) bearings... But, yes, I sincerely believe Microsoft will bounce back in the next 2-5 years to pre-eminence in technology.

They are bring flogged, after their faltering steps in the last few years....but yes, you can always beat a down and deflated gorilla....

My view is - they are a great buy at the current stock price. Remember they might be down and out, but they are still the 500 pound gorilla in the room :-)

1654 : Designs on life

Like all things in life, I have realised very late in my life that what moves me the most is design and visual arts.
I should have chosen that when life offered the tarts - now I am left holding the lemons :-)

1653 : The eggasaurus

I am falling in love with the iyers and Jains who think - “my son can eat eggs, but he should not eat chicks and fish”. (for the record, I myself thought years ago that killing eggs were less violent than chicks)....

But that spaciousness is long in the past.

Now I just sit and marvel at folks who rationalise why their daughter loves egg yellow but should not that mutton ghost.

As for my kid, my rule will be he shall do exactly like his parents - either eat pomfret fry or drink tea with soy milk :-)

1652 : The lone ranger and the Temple of Gold

I have been very keen to get back to motorcycling. Yesterday night I dreamt of doing the Golden Temple from bangalore - all alone on a Yamaha fz series.

I rarely if at all remember my dreams, but I recall this vividly including my blue mobike.

If life is all about dreaming, and then living it up, this surely should be construed as a sign :-)

1651 : Shock laga laga laga, shock laga

Am I the only one seeing it, but I can't help notice well to do ladies from chennai all seem to straighten their hair. I can name at least 4 such folks.

Now, the fact that they look awful not withstanding, wonder am I missing a Style 101 here ?

Maybe a cultural subtext that I would not hook onto easily ?

That sort of hair looks right out of a lab, and very few, if any can carry it off. Got that straight ?