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whiz

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Top on my watchlist- [20 Jun 2005|01:13am]
[ mood | awake ]
[ music | Tu Woh Nahin - Silk Route ]

Hitch
Kinsey


Does anyone have good copies of either on CD...?

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For public consumption [17 Jun 2005|01:29am]
[ mood | sleepy ]
[ music | Red, Black and Green - Roy Ayers ]

My brief internment at the hospital has left me a poorer, but wiser, person. Let me share my wisdom with you.


The good things about being in hospital-
You thought there weren't any? Aha! This is where you are wrong and I am right. Because I'm wiser- remember?

The fuss
Everyone makes a fuss over you. And I mean everyone. Not just the nurses and ward boys but also the old lady and gent who came to look-in on their son in room 413 down the corridor but popped into yours by mistake precisely because they're old and, therefore, liable to make mistakes like popping into the wrong room. Of course, you may not be the kind who likes being fussed over. In which case you should probably get yourself operated at a roadside quack's. There nobody'd make a fuss over you. Promise.

The opulence
Dig this- air conditioning, cable television, room service and an adjustable bed. All with convenient remote controls. Just like in a five-star. Only, in a hospital you also get to get better. Which is more than I can say of today's five-stars.

The sponge-baths
And genuine women nurses. Need I say more?

The races
Gaah! You weren't expecting this one, were you? I have two words for you- wheelchair and stretcher! Once in, they wheel you everywhere. From your room to radiology. From radiology to ECG. From earth to the moon. Okay, maybe not from the earth to the moon. And it doesn't matter if you walked in and admitted yourself, they still wheel you everywhere. So you can play Me Schumacher, You Raikonnen (or the other way round going by current performances) with the guy from room 413 on your way to radiology and back! Of course, the ward boys expect a small tip at the end of it but then no one said F1 fun came cheap!!


The bad things about being in hospital
Yes there are these as well. For every coin has two sides and so do hospitals.

The food
The one thing that's not five-star is the food. Doesn't matter what you've been operated for, most hospitals subscribe to the Quicker Recovery through Crappy Food theory. Odorless, tasteless, unidentifiable goop is what you get to eat. And no, you can't lump it if you don't like it.

Dry shaving
I'd almost forgotten that its mandatory to have a shaved body on the OT table, so the doctor can have a clear operating field, until a seedy looking chap came to my room and announced himself as 'barber'. And he doesn't lather you up- no sir. Not for him the namby-pamby shave gels and after shave lotions with aloe vera to keep your skin soft and glowing. He just gets right down to business. With the result that, today, 5 days after the razor did it's job my skin is still cut, dry and itchy.

The money
And they charge a bomb for all of this. You either have mediclaim or plenty of money in the bank saved up for a rainy day (or a day when you need to have surgery at an expensive hospital) or you can just forget about the hospital and take a walk down to the friendly neighbourhood quack.


Then again, I wouldn't relish the quack giving me a sponge bath.
Then again again, he probably wouldn't give me one in the first place.

There. Neatly distilled wisdom for you. Formatted, bulletted and all that. Cheerio then...

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Weekend plans [10 Jun 2005|11:50pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Get operated upon.
Hallucinate in post-op.

Oh and spend the rest of the week uncomfortably in bed.

3 comments|post comment

Shites! I've been tagged!! [09 Jun 2005|03:24pm]
Yup. I've been book tagged by thea. So here goes...


Total number of books I have

42.
Nah. Wish it were that easy... I don't know, somewhere in the region of 500... Scattered over 4 houses and 3 cities... Stacked haphazardly on shelves, tables, chairs and beds... Some packed away in corrugated boxes and black plastic garbage bags...


Last book I read

We don't read books in the singular. We either juggle a healthy number of hard and paperbacks in our leisure time or do not read at all. Therefore-

The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes by Jamyang Norbu
(Tongue in cheek, and very, very likeable)

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
(Ponders over issues that, at my age, seem largely irrelevant to me. But touchingly written and, therefore, endearing)

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
(Very forgettable)


Last book I bought

We also believe that, like reading, buying should also be done by the cartful. However we do not posess the means as yet. Therefore-

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
(No self-respecting Holmes fan could fail to recognise the title. Plus the snazzy red jacket cover. Yes, jacket covers matter you know. It turned out to be well worth the money, in the end, which is more than what I can say about a lot of other books with snazzy red jacket covers.)


Five books that mean a lot to me
Fine print: I can't count. Not if my life depended on it.

Douglas Adams' five book trilogy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
(Because I can't stop laughing! No one makes me laugh as much- not even, dare I say this, granddaddy Wodehouse. Lines like "All eyes in the room were on Ford. Some were on stalks." and "It feels a little like being drunk. / What's so bad about being drunk? / Ask a glass of water." are priceless.)

Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books
(Because they remind me of a childhood spent living those adventures; A childhood spent idolising that greatest of sleuths and his maverick methods. And a door opened to the lives of two other sleuths- Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and GK Chesterton's Father Brown, both brilliant, both mavericks and both likeable, in their own way.)

Ayn Rand's Anthem, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead
(Because beyond all the controversy and debate I saw a person who could see so much that was wrong in the world and had the courage to show it didn't have to be. Hank Rearden and Howard Roark have become characters that I can identify with in a way I can never fully explain to anyone.)

Ken Kasey's One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye
(Because you don't have to identify with a character to be able to believe in him. Randall Patrick McMurphy and Holden Caulfield, both, were rebels not-so-right-in-the-head. I explored their troubled world and believed. Implicitly- even to the point of beginning to understand.)

Homer's Illiad and Odyssey
(That came at a time when I thought that the classics were for fuddy-duddies. I stood corrected. Thankfully)

Vilas Sarang's A Fair Tree of Void
(This little known professor of English at Mumbai University and his littler known book of short stories opened up a whole new world, of Beckett, Ibsen and Kafka, for me. Without the Void there, probably, wouldn't have been Godot or Samsa either. Or maybe they would've been much, much later which would've been a pity because I spent many growing up years in the dark, troubling but perversely satisfying worlds of their books.)

St Exupery's The Little Prince and Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist
(Two little books that I treasure immensely. Why? Maybe because they tell of things so true, and tell it honestly.)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude
(Because he paints pictures with words. And these two are the best he ever painted.)

Joseph Heller's Catch-22
(Its a book full of cynical characters. But then its war time. And war time is full of cynicism. And in some ways I'm a cynic too, though I've never been to a war. Ask those who know me.)

Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila
(Because I fell in love with Phaedreus and his interminable quest. Read the books and you'll probably know why. If not, don't call me to tell me you were disappointed- it probably serves you right for listening to me anyway.)


And now its my turn to tag. The poor victims are-

mm
prachi
hemal
shuchita (Oi this should be reason enough to get your spiffy blog up and running again)
the unknown poet

And that will be all ladies and gentlemen.
5 comments|post comment

Yesterday [09 Jun 2005|03:00pm]
- I didn't go to office
- I had way too much coffee during the day
- I slept the entire afternoon
- Got pissed on 6 pints of beer and a whole pack of cigarettes
- Fell asleep on the floor

I have been a bad, bad boy.

;)
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Heh ;) [07 Jun 2005|02:37am]
[ mood | momentarily rotfl ]
[ music | Given to Fly - Pearl Jam ]

I think this is hilarious.
Actually the whole comic, but this strip especially so...

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Random nuggets...?! [07 Jun 2005|01:42am]
[ mood | contemplative ]
[ music | I Stand Alone - Godsmack ]

Burial

Cool, the earth presses down
An embrace of trees stands around
Wing no more over sunlit sky,
Gentle lie, oh Dream, mine.


The most poignant four lines I've read in a long time. Random browsing does have it's benefits. The poet blogs here. I don't know her, just these lines...

1 comment|post comment

Mercury rising [06 Jun 2005|01:03am]
[ mood | sleepy ]
[ music | Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin ]

It gets hotter by the day here in Ahmedabad. Temperatures are now nearing 50 degrees Celsius. It is almost unthinkable for most people to be out on the streets post-noon and before sundown. And yet, dotting the landscape, are numerous crews of starvation-wage labourers digging up the roadsides and laying telephone cables and water ducts before the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority starts on its plan to widen roads in the sattelite areas in earnest. And, obviously, all the digging means that's its almost unthinkable for most people to be out on the streets pre-noon and post-sundown as well.

The indomitable Mr. N called me up yesterday to tell me about a spiritual experience he'd had. Life changing and all that. Apparently he picked up a prostitute on his way back from work and then, after a long auto ride to one of the seedier sections of Bangalore chickened out when it came to actually getting down to business. He has it that if I put two and two together I'd know how that translates to being a couple of steps closer to nirvana. But then I've always been terrible at math. Knowing Mr. N he's sure to turn it all into a crisply written script or screenplay. And then who knows, maybe a feature-length film someday?

Sundays throw up unexpected surprises sometimes. Like this morning I picked up the newspaper from the porch and found a double spread interview with Prof. Noam Chomsky splashed across the sunday supplement. The war against terrorism and how he thinks its a misnomer, at best, though chances are it is much worse than that. I should read some more of him really.

~~

Then I saw her face
now I'm a believer !
Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
I'm in love
I'm a believer !
I couldn't leave her if I tried.


I know everyone and their grandmums have sung this song, but no one croons it like Neil Diamond, IMHO.

~~

And I leave you with this-

I have yet to see someone walking the streets on Pearl Harbour Day celebrating Japanese fascism.
- Noam Chomsky


And since this is obviously sans context I'll leave it to you to figure it out...

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Off to Pune [24 May 2005|02:54am]
[ mood | awake ]

Yup. Tomorrow I leave for Bombay. And from there on, to Pune.
My brother's getting married. My sidekick and his better half are making it official and all...!

Festivities, food and fun- that's the POA for the next seven days...!!

1 comment|post comment

Blogwise... [13 May 2005|04:11pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]
[ music | Barcelona - Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Cabale ]

Writing a good blog, like most everything else in life, is a matter of cultivated habit. It takes commitment, of time and mind, to post regularly; and a clarity of vision and purpose to generate enough interest to make readers want to come back for more. And that's just your run-o-the-mill, me-too blog. An engaging idiom is, always, an added bonus. If you can work in a little bit of wit and humour into your posts you might just be able to put out a really good me-too thingy. It helps, of course, if you lead a wildly adventurous life (in the bedroom, outdoors, whatever...) or are gifted with a particularly vivid imagination.

To be completely original, however, you'll need much more than just this. You'll need at least a fair few ounces of creativity and that's not exactly easy to come by. Then again, creativity alone is never enough, is it? I'm sure this guy is pretty creative but he's got something else too, hasn't he? Yup, what you also need is a feel for the pulse- what do people really want to read? Or, more importantly, can you convince them that they want to read all the drivel that you write?

Not least, of course, is the packaging- layout, navigation, indexing, commenting, RSS and all those bells and whistles that geeks and designers love to expound about. Apparently it's this bit that really brings out the inner you and bares it for all in the public domain to ogle at and be, as the case may be, suitably impressed or thoroughly disgusted. If all of this doesn't seem like work enough and you insist on being a stuck-up perfectionist you can resort to a whole gamut of interactive doodas, now readily downloadable of the web, so your blog looks, feels and behaves just so.

Sounds like a lot of work? You bet your ass it is. Which is probably why, for the last 2 odd years or so, this blog has been spewing what can only be described, even by the staunchest of loyalists, as mostly garbage.

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Just Read: [03 May 2005|11:45am]
A Farewell To Arms
Ernest Hemingway

It is a sad book. A very sad book. Or maybe I'm at the age where I find books like this one sad.
Either which way...
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The twenty second of April, two thousand and five... [22 Apr 2005|06:58pm]
An 'always on' net connection combined with a lethargic, nay- anaesthetic, pace of work is, primarily, what was responsible for the high post rate, more or less, on this blog between April 2003 and April 2005. Except for the last three months or so when a variety of seemingly vague ubt perfectly legal and justifiable (in my humble opinion) reasons have contributed, sometimes independantly, sometimes in blissfully discordant harmony and sometimes completely at odds with each other, to the relative paucity of posts...

Such is how it has been. Until now.

Now, a job switch later, I find myself up against a much more hectic interpretation of the average 8 hour work day. And quite deprived of any form of connectivity with the information ether as a result. Consequently, the once gushing flow of posts which has, of late, slowed down to but a trickle is likely to dwindle further, to a drop now and then, if sanity and life, in general, prevail.

~~

Currently reading:

Back When We Were Grown Ups
Anne Tyler

A very morbid, yet nonetheless fascinating, approach to storytelling.


Just finished:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Mark Haddon

Compulsively engrossing, unputdownable and other such superlative adjectives. No, that's my opinion not the New York Times'

~~

Current wishlist-

This
This, and
This

My birthday's coming up in 7 months time. Advance gifts anyone...? ;)
4 comments|post comment

Just two things... [05 Apr 2005|05:33pm]
[ mood | geeky ]

There's one thing to be said about debates over e-mail, the considerable time lag between responses presents an opportunity to really ruminate over the other persons point of view... I've been having a most enlightening discussion on the nature of relationships, these past two weeks, with thea... I don't think either of us have managed to completely convince the other about the validity of our arguments... Which gives us an opportunity to keep the discussion going... Over time I'm sure she'll warm up to my point of view... ;)

~~

It's funny how a prospective employer purports to be a fair remunerator and then promptly gets down to petty haggling when it comes to actually discussing money...! That's another thing I've seen plenty of, these last two weeks... Talking, pfaffing, negotiating and counter-negotiating... Desperately trying to sell myself to anyone who'll buy... Yup, working towards a job switch can become pretty sleazy business...!

Thankfully, sanity prevailed in the end...! Negotiated the tempting labyrinth of moolah spinners and emerged almost unscathed... And, the job switch happened as well... So there...!

The 8th of this month I bid adieu to NID and leave to do my own thing... No clients telling me what to do, or when, or how... Just me, my sketchpad and a fully equipped workshop to muck around and have fun in...

Beware world, loose cannon cometh...!

4 comments|post comment

A point to ponder on... [14 Mar 2005|04:50pm]
[ mood | listless ]

Even if there is only one possible unified theory of the universe it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science, of constructing a mathematical model, cannot answer the question of why there should be a universe for the model to describe in the first place. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?

~ Stephen Hawking


If them *gods* are still wondering then I, mere mortal, give it up as a lost cause...

30 comments|post comment

Maugham speaketh for me... [16 Feb 2005|12:58pm]
- Then your two years may be regarded as so much wasted time ?
- I don't know about that. I had a very jolly two years, and I learned one or two useful things.
- What ?
- I learned to look at hands, which I'd never looked at before. And instead of just houses and trees I learned to look at houses and trees against the sky. And I learned also that shadows are not black but coloured.
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Addiction Lament [10 Feb 2005|05:50pm]
Puffing away my life
in an endless cigarette-chain
and a ceaseless stream of coffee.
Each puff, the exact measure
of breath, held for you.
Each sip, tongue-scalding
like you look at me
when you're thinking
what you'd rather not say.
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Black not good enough... [08 Feb 2005|05:31pm]
Black.
Interesting. Involving. Refreshing (change-wise). Definitely a cut above the rest.
Probably SLBs magnum opus, though it would be a disappointment were it to turn out so.
Very, very good performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee and (my pick) Shernaz Patel.

But (and it's a fairly large but too) it falls just short of even an iota more than that. It's not brilliant. Or outstanding. Or even super. Why? Here's why...

The plot- The focus of the story, for me, would have to be the relationship between the master and the pupil. It's ups and downs. The blind-deaf-mute girl all at sea and at odds to understand her condition, let alone a rationale. The firm, tenacious and commited master. The underlying tenderness in him that shows through with a glimmer, on accasion. The very special bond of understanding, and dependance (mutual, of course) that grows between them. Building a film around a plot is a lot like building a photograph around a moment. Once you have the 'defining factor' you only add as much as is strictly neccesary to make it whole. Any less, and there's a chance it won't seem believable. Any more and you run the risk of diluting the compellingness of the narrative. The latter, is what I think has happened with Black.

The performances- As I said, all three principle actors have put in very good performances. But none of them are compelling enough. Anyone who's heard Amitabh's rendering of kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aataa hai would agree that he has a lot more on tap than he's ever offered so far. Rani's performance, on occasion, stoops down the awkward, the clumsy and the comical. These bits jar with the rest of the film. To give examples of character performances that were compelling- Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, Sean Penn in I Am Sam, Geoffery Rush in Shine.

And the make-up. What's with it? I couldn't get it out of my mind throughout the second half of the film...
Maybe I ask too much of a film. I don't know. But, generally speaking, there have been films that have given me what I've been looking for. So...
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Two thoughts [31 Jan 2005|01:09pm]
[ mood | happy ]
[ music | Pictures - Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow ]

Us entwined
All arms and legs
And arched back
Face to face
And skin to skin.

Who cares
Then
If two moans
Make a cry
Or not ?


~~

Baby steps towards the life that was. Not better or worse, just different. I move out of home in a week or so. Shift to a different part of the city. After two years of living amongst fellow creatures; parents and siblings and sundry relatives, it's time to go back to living on my own. Why? No particular reason. Except, that's the way I want to be.

The first incision to sever the umbilical cord that binds me to this place. A connection that's spontaneously grown over the last two odd years. Eventually I will be ready to leave NID, and that will be like a final, chopping blow to the already weakened bond that keeps me here. Why? No particular reason. Except, that's the way I want to be.

I'm preparing to fly. Again...

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New year, new things... And all that random jazz... [18 Jan 2005|12:15pm]
19th January 2005- That's twenty days since my last post... Twenty whirlwind days... Ushered in a new year and, in more ways than one, a new life... This has nothing to do with New Year's resolutions or suchlike... Probably a coincidence that one timed itself so perfectly with the other...

New things-

~ I now listen to Godsmack and Lifehouse in addition to Dire Straits and Creedence Clearwater Revival and I quite enjoy them too
~ Home-made burgers and home-made ruby wine as a dinner combo is my new discovery for the year
~ Not having to wake up alone in bed in the mornings is a feeling I'd almost forgotten, until now
~ Cargos are good; they're nice. Especially Levis Sykes
~ The chai stall outside VS Hospital is open all night long. Good tea too
~ Fypweff tweef awe my favouwitff. Go figure
~ A mini photo-essay on Uttarayan in Ahmedabad that awaits film-to-digi conversion and will be posted at Myopia soon
~ TOEFL says I'm worth 287 out of 300. Not bad
~ From design professional to full-time design student, in a short while, if everything goes to plan
~ Late night bike rides and car drives have become quite frequent these past two weeks. In freezing cold too, but I'm lovin' it

Happy New Year everyone... And it is very likely that I shall begin to post more often, yet again...
10 comments|post comment

Peachy...! [30 Dec 2004|05:46pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

There's millions of hungry people in this world.
We, the privileged, shall also go hungry today.

The Tsunami ravaged the lives of a mindbogglingly large number of people in Asia.
We, who have been largely unaffected, shall also be miserable for a week.
We shall not party. We shall not work.
We shall not earn money. We shall not feel good about being alive.
We shall be miserable. For a week.

In memoriam.

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