Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I'm eating Dal-Chawal topped with fruit slices. Crazy is the first word that comes to mind, though pedantic would be more applicable here. Tomato has always been a fruit. Anyways, that helps me tolerate the spicy leftovers from yesterday which I'm consuming in the lack of any other worthwhile alternatives. If you say 'eggs' again, I'm gonna kill you, since I've been living on eggs the past two meals.

Meanwhile, there was a different air today. Not the rare spell of rains that brought some relief, or the dastardly power outage that reversed its spell to inflict pain. That I didn't bat an eyelid under the possession of sleep, is what makes it feel so different. Yeah, I am generally seen drifting into sleep - to the extent that if Jane Goodall were researching on my subspecies, she'd make an observation "falls asleep randomly, no reason, subject defies deduction from my years of data". But today wasn't the same. It has been 17 straight hours, and I could care less about sleep right now. I think I know why.

Monday, July 30, 2012

creatively unstifling

Well, I did nothing on Saturday. Much like most of my days, nothing. Just some reading, some self-loathing, some housework, some coding, some outdoors. Watched the sun hold a coup against the night moon, and later the moon hold a coup against the day sun. Slept otherwise.
It was interdisciplinary in terms of outdoor sports - tennis, cycle, running, swimming - but I'm too old to be impressed by these minor highs. Feeling alive for brief chunks of time is encouraging, but equally depressing (in what comes in aftermath, when one has to mingle with 'the shit' or 'the demons' - both within and outside). Not to think that I don't see any promises in my brighter moments, but there's this undercurrent of pointlessness behind it all. [वैराग्य what they call, is it this? really, am i this easy a catch to come into the net of these existential worries? pa claims of his own phase, but i didn't imagine i'd be sinking midway my story]

Sunday was lazy as well, a brief 4hr jaunt all around Delhi with A notwithstanding (we did this route, one so creative that its URL ended being too big for g.co to handle, and for gpsvisualiser to convert into gpx. [Note: trying with goog.gl worked - shortened URL: goo.gl/5PFnr]) I feel deceived, since this Sunday was supposed to be my gateway drug into the addiction called adventure, which Ch's own matters nullified. We had a long, very very long, ride planned, on roads less explored - damn, it didn't happen.
Later was dragged out for an evening with college guys, which, though being nothing revealing, did highlight how vacant an environment we grew up in, and also the way things could've been. We'd eternalised our frequent bunks to CP with the coin toss in the fountains of central park, wishing us amatory success in short future; today we recollected how none of us is still there (except for the ones who paid for it in Thailand). I'm socially lazy, which showed.

Today has started epic fail. There's been no power since 3-ish in the morning, and sweat has been my best pal through the sleepless hours [later I learn that a grid failure left the a quarter of this vast country like that]. Travel to the office was a headache. Finally here and feeling resolved, I couldn't curse my luck more on learning that the net was out for half the day. Now I also learn of a 40-fatality train accident, due to a fire in a 3rd sleeper bogey of a Chennai - Delhi train, which sinks my heart.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gethia's Bottles

So its me who's still reeling from the effect of another Japanese warrior movie (War of the Arrows in this case), while its K who's talking the weird - he thinks the bottles (he'd been savouring great Lychee squash from in the past month) are leaking PVC into his body supply; inside his chamber was a puddle of water egested in moment of revolt induced by this weird deduction. PVC, he says, is manufactured in really small units in the villages, at this small machine with mere two moulds... this is what comes into supply through such farm-fresh-bottles.

I could laugh at K's assumption of hill villages being anywhere comparable to the festival villages of the plains (esp his Maharashtra). Industries aren't set up at a whim - the whole valley will have investigated.
Well let me pacify K's concern, that the plastic bottle in Gethia comes from Khupi where it comes from Bhowali where it comes as freight from Haldwani where it comes from Pantnagar or Udham Singh Nagar.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

मेरे हाथ तेरी ताकत

A poster I designed today. My fictional directional debut, "Mere Haath Teri Taqat"!

Cover art credits: myself. It was one of those moments of genius as I was working with the scanner.

In motion with food

Here's to today's discovery - that those MTR over-the-shelf ready-to-swallow meals are worth the kick. It's not too costly for 3 guys to gorge out on Palak Paneer, Navratan Korma, and Dal Makhni for 300ish... A string of discoveries like these are sure to keep life feel in motion. Unarguably the motion needs the perfect aural accompaniment too, and it is Third Ear Band's Ghetto Raga to do that, which freezes me with the scratching of the strings. I also nominate the company of weed, and likewise Y probably nominates the presence of a female companion, to add to the flow. [In my right mind I can't get why has to feel so vulnerable, sadly even that doesn't get him anywhere.]

I'm weak in the true sense of word, as in 'physically debilitated', as it was only now at night that I'm having anything - the entire day it was a living on water and coffee and the raga. Tomorrow I'll be up early as promised, and ride out early as promised, and make code as promised, and at evening be there to see mum dad at CP, punch Shiv, and grab my chocolate cake. Important final decision on the home situation will see things for the good.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The way "He" was obsessive over Big Chief

Losing hope. There seems no way out of the situation. My fingers, much like my mind, will soon start to atrophy. The last place left for my search has left me in disappointment. Now I don't know where to go. I failed to find the Paperkraft notebook(s) that I'd found so suitable for my thought space, and had been using since my time in Bombay. It was just right; the kinda right one would wish of a simpleton wife through arranged marriage, or the kinda right one could expect of a no-frills bike that does best what its supposed to do.

Where my loose diatribe coagulates now is open to speculation. I don't lie about anything on the blog, but the blog is known for encouraging more of the wordsmith inside, which crude/mundane facts don't need. Free expression will necessitate some compromise, as I will settle for something comparable that I find in the discount stationery store downstairs, to resurrect my engine of truth yet again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wknd Rprt

I'd deferred a lot to this Saturday and to Noida. So when I finally was there, I made it a day-long affair and attached little second thought to material and social inklings. I've already thrice mentioned the struggle finding a new writing surface, which won't find another mention; but I mention it here for the fact that I visited the GIP exclusively for the Staples bookstore, and that the search entangled me into buying other stuff.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Burn Burn

As if the Delhi weather hasn't abused me enough, I have a love spot on my wrist after yesterday's frying incident, and also managed to let an inanimate matchstick pwn a guy like me - twice this morning.

The mugging heat has left me quite down - I didn't even step out the entire day yesterday (yeah, it translates to 'screw office'). There were plans to hunt for my writing surface of choice (see: Paperkraft), or an affordable bike pump, or just a stroll down to the nearest mall, but none happened. I was, instead, taken by lethargy and sleep - the perfect drug when everything out there is a cheap imitation of what things should be.

Unlike the day before, the evening saw no action. Just a short visit to the rooftop to drill on some mathematics that I much need for starting on my cutesy coding projects. Carried some non-alcoholic concoction and my portable speakers to the rooftop in all my classiness, assuming that curbing these urges might as well help me focus. By the end of this session, I hadn't exactly achieved what I set out for, but the wall saw some strange pencil sketches, especially one with a pair of eyes drawn around sockets in the wall with my pencil jammed into one of the sockets - a gruesome sight.

I'm not humoring any half-assed travel proposals at the present, since its almost sinful to keep dormant my strong lust for adventure. Friends are vicious in that way, that they keep you held up, for not much reason. They are friends, in the first place, because they manage to influence our behavior (we hold so little connect in our trade or passions, after all - social theorists, go at it). I'm probably heading out somewhere in the next couple of weeks, regardless of any company or not. Burn myself away.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ride, Sweat, and Amelia

Sleepy, but still I can brief the day - here on my blog, as I'm presently under a crisis of having run out of pages in my notebook, and not being able to locate the same one that I'm so anal about.
The evening started very late. The advantage of my early return from the office was squandered when I set out fixing the newly-installed broadband in household, trying to reconfigure and restart the modem a million times, to ultimately infer that dear K hadn't even confirmed if our line was activated or not. Annoyed and fatigued, I dosed off just like that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to ABC

After great toil, I made my first successful ascent of the Everest.

I started late, to reach the summit late in the evening, but safely made my way back, that too in a record time. Let me clarify that this was only on paper, of me charting my way through 290 pages of Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" (which documents the fateful night of May 10, 1996 when 12 people died up there). I'd started with this book twice, only to abandon my progress midway, due to the forces of social and professional calling. Each of the previous times, I had company, with whom I could discuss this book, but things didn't work out. This time, I upped my madness, and went solo, climbing through the daunting walls of words much like ascending directly up the Hornbein Coulouir (which is - arguably - the most difficult route to the Everest summit, btw). Finishing the book in 3 days, I also set a personal best of any of the legendary 250+ pg novels I'd set out reading.

This feat comes to my rescue (or distraction?) after the angry Saturday, when I laid out my take on the expectations and 'appropriateness of the moment' that surrounded me to the point of suffocation. My intentions and directions refuse to synchronize with the world's, and it is very annoying, almost like being condemned to death. I could turn to my other heroes like Ilya Ilich or Ignatius, but at their side, life isn't the same exciting as with my new heroes Rob Hall/Scott Fischer/Anatoli Boukreev (and to some extent John Krakauer himself, Neil Beidleman, and Dr. Seaborn Beck Weathers). Ilya please don't judge me wrongly here.

I am hoping that Deepak would (re)send me The Climb soon, an account of the same Everest disaster as perceived by Anatoli Boukreev, a guide in a team parallel to Krakauer's, which Boukreev kinda set to write in the face of Krakauer's skewed version of events that put him (B) in a bad light. I had just started with this book when it was deported to Poland against my wishes. That B writes from a guide's perspective and a champion climber's experience, had me hooked as soon as I started with it. Before details from Krakauer's turn dim in my recollection, I would much like to get my hands on Boukreev's version of events, to compare the two. They say that either of the guys attack the other in their version, but reading Into Thin Air, I could only wonder where is the malicious tone that people talk of - the book was cautiously written, and sticks to being factual.

After my flirtation with existentialist/absurdist literature, I now have moved into the survival genre. "The Climb" incoming or not, I next have Nando Parrado's "Miracle in the Andes" in my wishlist. To follow is Ricky Megee's "Left for Dead in the Outback". Too bad people aren't reading me or my mind around my birthdays. Knock knock.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Wrong Side of Guwahati?

Note: if the above image catches your interest, you are a rapist.

Guwahati is in recent news for the public molestation and assault on a teenage girl outside a pub, as impotent onlookers swarm in just for a peek. Though disturbing and condemnation-worthy, it gives us reasons to celebrate. What it does is send positive signs that Guwahati is a blossoming city (or a concept of city as we know it) - now to be counted among the league of Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, all of whom have been proud to have their own string of rapes and molestations to claim. This is how the peripheral states merge with the mainstream. I can imagine the expression on many people who were always hesitant move to such a place, but who now feel relieved that they can find men of equal degeneracy, and mobs to dissolve their personal responsibility and revel in uninhibited impromptu exploration into the human anatomy. Same goes for the women who don't wish to change "the game" that they're so well versed in merely due to a change of cities. We revel in being malicious and delight in mocking our midgets - including our midgets themselves (except for that one midget). Who ever had a problem to that?

The one in the problem zone right now, is Mr. Amar Jyoti Kalita (aka "the man in the red t-shirt"). He is on the run, and purportedly presently hiding in Bhubaneshwar (Odisha). What's the best thing about the developing story is, that this guy is on Facebook. And the profile is public, which opens a Pandora's Box into his personal life.

His picture updates tells that he admires the Indian Army (in the meantime, an Army jawan in Assam is jailed for molestation, how coincidental is that), likes Pierce Brosnan (which is why he calls himself "bond"), and is quite a roadie driving around his Maruti Swift to envious locales. He uploads his childhood, and school photographs. His favorite food is Maggi ("Home made", as he's specified). He even likes Iñárritu's Babel - spelled Bable (sic) on his profile. He shares a lot of witty humour doing rounds on Facebook (example - Gandhi: "Alcohol is not the answer to all questions" Vijay Mallaya: "Alcohol is not the answer to all questions, but if you don't get the answers it helps you forget the questions"). He drinks VAT 69, classy.
Ironically, one of his status updates (from Nov, 2011) reads "Enjoy life and all the things you have at the moment because you can't have everything at once"... seems he was living his life on a hunch.

He's so much like everyone else. And now he's being hounded by everyone else. He's been labeled a "rapist" (which he technically isn't). There's even a group called "Amar Jyoti Kalita Ko Phaansi Do" (hang AJK) with 1013 likes [Note: the URL of the page says "Kill AJK", not hang, which in itself hints at an irrational mindset of this activist crowd].
Each of his recent Facebook updates have received scores of shares, by people demanding his head - especially ones in which he's wearing that same red t-shirt and with that same dirty smirk, but curiously not the ones where he's with his music band (he claims he's a vocalist), or where he's just a regular guy at some family function. He's also made the great mistake of uploading his passport scan, which has already got a mob resharing it on their pages - I wonder if those passport details are abused. In summary, his profile, though it conveys a superficial calm, has been decimated.

Says one popular campaign line: "पहचानिये इन चेहरो को ये वही है गुवाहाटी के दरिदें । ये फरार है …अगर आपको ये कही दिख जाये तो तुरत सजा दें उसके बाद मरियल हालत में पुलिस को सौप दे।
और इनमे से कुछ हैवानो की फेसबुक प्रोफाइल देखकर इनकी पहचान करे …॥
समाज के मुंह पर कालिख पोतने वाले ये दरिदे बचने नही चाहिये…"

Talk about passive activism - come see this.

Let me state that I don't sympathize with Mr. Kalita here. I'm scared - he's just as normal as everybody else, and that is the scary part. Having gone through his past year's posts on Facebook in a rush, I can only perceive him as being condemned to death for 40 minutes of deviation from the accepted normalcy (which, too, seems like under intoxication). How far are we from that? Its all credit to our mob mentality, which has even brought out the basest of behaviour among the holy men.
There's no simple solution. What are we gonna make the charge against - alcohol? bars? girls in bars? girls? men? engineering graduates? mustaches? gatherings?

To end on a lighter note, the last thing he wants is to be tracked through 4-square ("Amar Jyoti Kalita is now the Mayor of Hotel Pal Heights, Bhubaneshwar" or some update like that), or perhaps through an update like this one

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Madness Counts

Quick opinion: How to react when a policeman starts feeling your calves in the middle of the night?

I've had more curious human interactions, though - like a male prostitute in Noida pulling at my shorts, or a barber in Lucknow demonstrating how he does 'it' by gyrating against the floor of his barbershop. Humans are shy creatures, that venerate comfortable presence of their own gender to break into their unique jig. They perceive - or so I perceive them as - life as a punishment, with lots of time to wile around, and the more creative one gets, the lesser a punishment it feels. This is, however, what I refer to as the titular "madness".

The madness I'm talking about is acting upon impulse towards acts unheard of, one that makes people certain of your being of a different constitution, one that makes for memories to keep. It is this madness that saw these two guys darting away for JNU in the middle of the night - a Friday night - in funny attire, that might allude they began a day too early under some creeping senility at this young age.

What they were really under, though, was a split - on a mental plane, a grip of that powerful titular phrase, and on a physical plane, jugloads of rum punch. Whether it was their consumption in the physical plane that influenced their mental plane, or vice versa, is akin trying to solve the chicken-and-egg problem. Least said, the virtue of madness was visible in either of the planes, and rest assured, it certainly wasn't the madness of alcohol dictating them beyond the point of exit from their domestic environs. What they did, is translate their madness into a 2-hr gambol amidst sleepy nature's dominion inside the campus. It was a discovery of new by reliving the old. Brash, loud and in gay abandon.

They made for their way back nearing 2 (in the AM), equipped with some paranthas and juice (packed from 24x7) for a refuel. It was on this return leg that their tired legs were complemented by tired vocal chords from arguing with the law that stood right at their mouth of what they called (and had to prove) as their home - in simple English: they were flagged down at a police barricade at entrance of their colony. The police at night has nothing much to do, but hassle the regular joe. And hassle they did, these two guys, looking unbelievably disheveled, inappropriately dressed in sweaty attire at this hour.

It was futile for 'em trying to make the Police get these five things:
- that some people are not like all people
- that some people have curious/active lives, and hobbies
- that some people have independent existence, and under this they do a lot of stuff "when" they feel like, not "when they should" feel like
- that some people feel safe in this city (which may be an independent evaluation on their part, based on a wider range of variables than what our 'protectors' themselves consider)
- that criminals and terrorists don't come on a platter or talk with courtesy or claim ownership of things

After the routine, they were let go. It was only bullishly playful, so that was it. By the end of the convincing-the-law part, what I mentioned at starting of this post happened. The policeman apparently wanted to check my legs to see if my claims were 'solid' or not; I hope I proved myself. But I didn't mind - that's just some more strange madness to complement our night with.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pronation Pride

Before the day ends, I'm excited about one fact. That fact is not that I managed to brush my teeth or that magnificent experimental dinner I'd cooked prior to that, or the magnificent concoction - of Old Monk, peach juice, Jaljeera, Eno, and Tang - prepared prior to that. It has to do with one thing I could feel a pride (or a relief, at the least) about - that of my gait.

I bought a pair of cheap Nikes yesterday.
Reading into reviews of my new shoes, I was thrown into a world of shoe jargon. As a consequence of my curiosity, I ended with an education into the things that matter into purchase of a new running shoe - not all feet are created alike, and its the same with the shoes, which are designed with a target audience in mind. This target audience, in turn, is defined by the physical built, and more importantly, the gait of the particular person. There's a term called 'pronation' that applies here, which basically tells about the kind of muscles one's running motion is employing, which in turn affects how well the energy of the impact (and its consequent push) is distributed across the body - the better the gait, the better the distribution, and hence the more the stamina, and the lower the chances of running injuries.

To measure the gait, ideally an expert at the shoe store could help. But in a country where a salesman could fit anywhere, from a shoe store to a lingerie shop, and remain equally ignorant about the customer's needs and the associated jargon, one needs to find ways to do things themselves (अपना हाथ जगन्नाथ, as it popularly goes here). In that need did I come across the Wet Test to determine my foot type. This foot type, in turn, tells whether one's gait is "underpronated", "overpronated", or "neutral". [Hint: neutral is the desirable one] So alongside my brushing, I decided to wash my feet and try judging my pronation. What one does is soak their feet in water, then comfortably stand on a surface, where their imprint could stay long enough for inspection. For this purpose, a piece of plain paper is recommended, and so I'd kept a brown paper bag from office.

What I found was, that the shape of my imprint matched a normal arch - means the impact of my runs distributes well, and that I could wear just about any shoe (and preferably one with a normal arch). That is exactly what this new shoe offers. To couple that with its lightweight sole and my lightweight physique, it feel a perfect match. With the ADHM and HHM in a coupla' months, this is a welcome end-of-season-sale addition into my kit.
[Now only if I could do some graffiti on my shoe to make it a fairytale]

Two things to feel good about myself as the day closes - One is the neutral gait, as you can see in the pic above. The other of me being marginally above the median in some particular measurement, of which I can't post a pic.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wisdomful Young Monks

The young monks in the house settle around a bottle of the beloved Old Monk tonight - a bottle which I love, which I dread. This is the middle of the week; get my hint?

I've transformed the experience, though, by preparing a Punch, promising blissful drinking sans contorted facial expressions. I won't be divulging the formula of this delicious concoction here to you common people who merely look for ways to score with girls easier and quicker. But I must detail on the great lengths I went to get the liquor - jumping up and down the closed gates to find it out of stock, then setting off for the distant market, where I find myself with just enough for the bottle, but with none left for the coupla' Thums-Ups to mix drink with. With only the alcohol at hand, concocting a mix was necessary.

Now as we settle into offsetting an inconspicuous day with a more colorful evening, I wonder if this is all that we'll finally settle into. The culture of hanging all hopes on a blend of spirits is passe for guys like us who are too familiar to the futility of it all. It was only a few months back that a cry came from the human depths of Y to highlight the crisis and the habit we had pushed ourselves into - us supporting that argument under our voices of disagreement. And now, just like that, we're going full throttle into the same habit. Karma Police needs to keep a check on us, or our lives would only end a cheap imitation of living that passes as agreeable in this deplorable society - one of ignorance, indulgence, imperfection.

The alcohol, however, is not to be blamed anymore - no let us not even disillusion us with an assurance that getting 'rid' of some habit will make it all good. Let us not set fire to our strawmen here. The normal course of events bring us back to what we run from. What all could one run away from, after all - does one abandon their lover just because the emotion is too distracting, or abandon parents for pushing one into a social realm? If something is our tendency, then let's be okay with it.

What we should reflect on is why we are in this ambiguous territory of being ok with it, and not being ok at the same time. I might even propose a complete cleavage from our more normal habits - our sanities - to observe the emergent nature of indulging in insanity in our lives.

With Y claiming to be at the crux of a breakthrough into social psychology, the night looks interesting. I, though, feel that he's attributing too much of genius into this thought, which could readily be found on some bookshelf at the railway station or in a Anees Bazmee movie script in our Bollywood.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Was du isst

Remember the adage "You are what you eat?" Well, I've kinda taken it backwards. Right now I'm having a hot cup of coffee mixed with apple vodka. That exactly conveys how I am - full of random shit and cheap thrills. Tomorrow morning I might try an omlette stuffed with cauliflower, or lentil soup mixed with some scotch - perfect to convey my twisted morning routine (and justifying it, too). Lest the vodka gets me, I'll try being sane here.

The weekend went past in a flash. It was a pensive weekend, though. I was 'pensing' over a lot of stuff that might never even affect me in my lifetime. That's usual. But thankfully, RF's win at the Wimbledon washed the bad taste of the weekend away - the taste of both the spirits - Absolut, 100 Pipers, Teachers 50 - and of chocolate cake of questionable quality. And speaking metaphorically, the bad taste I was carrying over the weekend, of a cracked friendship, was washed away upon my return home yesterday night as well. Now only if the cracked screen on my camera could also heal itself in some way... but life never comes perfect (just like I can't get Dilli girls going topless in front of me).

Today was, in brief, wasted. I was begged to come for work. And deceive the work, I did, gracefully. That's usual. Bought this book at 50% discount to sit next to my workstation, about these witty banners that Nana Chudasama - the ex-Mayor ex-Sheriff of Mumbai - would have put up on Marine Drive; now I could at least have valid reasons to be distracted. Its silly that when I get out to find some headphones or running shoes on discount, I don't, and end up buying some book in a bookstore instead. All end of season sales are on, but I don't know where to go.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Language and Isomorphisms

We see the meaning without seeing the isomorphism. The most blatant example is human language, where people often attribute meaning to words in themselves, that imbues them with meanings. This is an easy enough error to make. It attributes all the meaning to the object (the words), rather than to the link between that object and the real world.
You might compare it to the naïve belief that noise is a necessary side effect of any collision of two objects. This is a false belief; if two objects collide in a vacuum, there will be no noise at all. Here again, the error stems from attributing the noise exclusively to the collision, and not recognizing the role of the medium, which carries it from the objects to the ear.

Dead Spaces

Am living in ancient times. When i try thinking of the stories associated with my present dwelling - of what I should call this door-equipped stack of concrete blocks - to induce some nostalgia about the lives in 'those old days', I come to the conclusion that things weren't any different. We are/I am still living the lives of 1980s. Technology is absent in the spaces we occupy.

We pull on an iron grating to make way for us to enter into a narrow hollow concrete block, then into another larger concrete hollow. These hollows are coated with cement and a layer of paint, and constitute a "room" - though the paint doesn't ruin our clothes or peel off so soon these days. There's also a standard cot to lie on, standard mattresses, standard bedsheet, standard pillows. A standard study table, complemented with a standard wooden chair, and a standard 4-level bookrack in its adjacency (the modest elegance of these wooden articles feel alien to the room, though).

We don't interact much with our spaces. We don't utilize them for anything beyond the traditional (almost primitive) use for security and shelter. How long will this continue?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Rain Camera Grizzlies

It rained today, finally. It was only this morning as I sat in the sweaty comforts of my home, watching an Iranian movie Baran (Baran means rain); so the movie was almost like an augur to the rainy evening to come.

Even though the rain brought its own share of excitement - the kings of the rooftop gathered and soaked in the fun, and later even more so in the environs at JNU - I'm more energized by a recent exchange of fuck-yous with the dearest friend (one of the kings mentioned above) who just smashed my camera (the LCD screen) in our playful excitement, effectively making my investment in a weatherproof gadget to complement my treks a mere year-long affair. In my present financial situation (and the dearth of similar cameras in the market), I can not think of an upgrade - so, there, I'll manage with some ugly tapes and screen covers.

In the aftermath of the aforementioned violence, I tried feigning a bloodlust taking over me (an expression which I think I'm 'instinctively handicapped' in), but my friend is a more experienced dealer in situations of embarrassment and aggression. Socially experienced, I meant to say, seeing the way he reversed the situation to claim himself as the victim. Taking offense is the best way to justify anything, lesson learnt, Sir. It is very hard not to see the humour in confrontations, even more so to be actively involved in one and trying to mask your snickering.

It is demeaning to leave the house under a growing intoxication of Werner Herzog's The Grizzly Man - documenting compiling the madness of an American guy Timothy Treadwell, standing to the Grizzly bears of the Americas - to return back to holding confrontation with a human.

Two major differences, however, exist
- Where even the Grizzlies failed, my friend succeeded: in smashing a camera.
- The Grizzlies wouldn't be shedding tears running off in isolation after seeing their guts challenged, whereas my friend would be doing exactly that as we speak. That twat.

Aishwarya Rai's leaked... what?

Living proof that this world has people worse than pedophiles. Leaked pictures of a 6-month old baby!?

Oh Lord, may they burn in hell. Oh wait, Jesus is himself is endorsing the link right above... talk about Him being omnipresent.

PS: These ads served by Google, on IMDB

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Boson Bokononism

Long, long, roads I travel
Searching for mysteries to unravel
But look at history, its all been done
Yet I set in hope - for the sun.

In this short life, my expectations never resonated with this world's. Look at me now gawking where the world's at, and where I stand. I could shed a tear much like Higgs at the discovery of his namesake subatomic particle, only that mine would be in a mix of confused joy, forthright frustration, lingering aspiration, questioning promise, and eternal apology. Yes, apologies, I will be writing a lot of those by the end of my life - and possibly some crude erotica, too.

In less reflective tones, Guardian's live coverage of the event last day was awesome. 126GeV was always there.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Get this TBBT fanboys

TBBT fans should watch this.

What's it, you ask? - CERN live-broadcasting their latest update in the search for the Higgs boson. THIS is actual science, people!

Today is the much-pimped day that something absurdly labeled "God" particle will be revealed to the general public. The Higgs' Boson. Right now, they have a real world Amy Farrah Fowler giving a presentation, much of which escapes my scientific discipline (so much for years of education, parents). H > γγ, with full √s = 7 ATV!

I'm a bit suspect of the findings, though - they are using Comic Sans MS to present their findinds.

Where is the friend I seek / Var är den vän (Ingmar Bergman's Smultronstället) / Johan Olof Wallin

Where is the friend I seek at break of day?
When night falls I still have not found Him.
My burning heat shows me His traces
I see His traces whenever flowers bloom
His love is mingled with every air.
His voice calls in the summer wind.

This short translation from the english subtitles to Smultronstället a.k.a. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) fluttered many hearts (and some like me, who paused the movie midway to blog about it). The poem is a beautiful thought. But replaying the lunch scene over and over, I couldn't help but wonder why the dialog (which is in Swedish) takes so long for each individual line - they just seem to be saying too much for so few words. So I decided to find out more about the poem and its origins.

The poem, Var är den vän som överallt jag söker (by Johan Olof Wallin, a Swedish archbishop and poet) is an old swedish poem, originally written as a hymn in a Swedish book of Psalms published in 1819.

The poem is 8 stanzas in total. In the movie, Bergman uses only the first two, and breaks on the third one. Here are the stanzas spoken between the three characters:

Var är den vän som överallt jag söker?
När dagen gryr, min längtan blott sig öker;
När dagen flyr, jag än ej honom finner,
Fast hjärtat brinner.
Jag ser hans spår, varhelst en kraft sig röjer,
En blomma doftar och ett ax sig böjer.
Uti den suck jag drar, den luft jag andas,
Hans kärlek blandas.
Jag hör hans röst, där sommarvinden susar,...

Here's something for improvisation on the subtitles (hat tip to this guy):
"Where is the friend I seek everywhere?
Dawn is the time of loneliness and care,
In every sign and breath of air,
I find His love is there."

Happy cinema!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Nothing's Gonna Change My World

Today, I shirked the work that I'd shirked work for. In redemption, though, I did end up with a couple of positives: after a long, long, state of dormancy, I took my lady out this evening. The last we remember going out was sometime in April, since then my other lesser and alternate pursuits have corrupted the bond we had. Things at the office haven't been as I expected, plus the summers left me finicky. Well, today, despite the unbearably humid weather (as has been in the past 3 days), we went out after my early return from the office. It was nice, she's happy, I'm happier.

Music is something I've been really specific about lately, and today was a bumper harvest for my iPod, as a long list of (selective) songs that had been at the back of my memory made it in; - Flaming Lips' cover of Madonna's Borderline, a couple tracks by Fever Ray, one by Fiona Apple (guess), that Julio Iglesias' rendering of La Mer from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, among the others. My playlist management is still crappy. Sad news is the demise of my IE2 earphones (Bose, oh Bose, the durability of your products disappointed me), coz of which my outdoor listening stands restricted (especially on the runs).

And I've been "fisting" the whole day. Sounds odd, looks odd as well. The Monkey's Fist, my signature knot, saw itself applied to the mouse in my office and the iPod cable at home. Besides the appealing look, it saves my stuff from the confusion over ownership - with earphones, cables, and generic equipment, there are always two people at some point of its life-cycle claiming of its ownership. But beware, the knot is not forgiving to short cords.

Now I shall shirk the chicken curry prepared by a third party, and eat the dal I prepared for myself - a viewing of some biker movie or documentary alongside. Ana Ivanovich lost, and I'm not happy about that.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Hindu : Committed patriot of the Indian jungle

"The identity of a country depended not so much on its mutable human culture as on its geomorphology, flora and fauna, its natural basis." - M. Krishnan

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Committed patriot of the Indian jungle

Said M.K. Gandhi: "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
Even though the above quote seems inspired from it, let us not forget guys like M. Krishnan, who were one step closer towards my personal idol.

Speaking of personal, having Krishnan's 100th anniversary coincide with the dream I woke up to is quite shaking -

... I start to set the steam, starting with venerating kisses on her thighs and leg, taking her stocking off in the process. To my amusement, her face suddenly turns pale, and her mouth open, as if she's trying to scream. I assume she's a bit mental and try consoling her. Her eyes are fixed on something, her face contorted in a look of terror that I find so alien for this moment. She limply raises a hand to point to the doorway.
I turn around, to find a black panther sitting, wide-eyed. The door he must've come in from, is now blocked, and even the animal seems confused in planning its escape. It settles to the right edge of the bed, a mere few feet from us, crouched, snarling.

I don't panic, and stand up on the bed. I'm instructing P to be calm and move to far end of the bed, but she's too scared to do anything.
I repeat myself loudly. The panther replies with a threatening growl. It then jumps onto a table at the far end in its own panic. I try shifting to a position where I could have access to the door, but the panther has some ideas of its own - trying to reach for the door, it skirts the edge of our bed, where it gets tangled in the same blanket that P is under.

Drama ensues. Shrieks and growls fill the room. I give blanket a tight shrug which not only makes the panicked feline spring itself free, and back onto the table, growling, but also gives me a chance to access the door. I carefully open the door. After anxious few seconds, the panther is driven out.
I follow the feline to the hallway, where I find a full-grown deer (बारासिंघा) startled by the sight of a predator scurrying past, and darts off opposite to the direction the panther went in ...

TOI - This Oafish India

Google News drew me to an incredulous headline: Beware of missed call to check SIM cloning

By the end of the article, I was in nervous splits. In splits, because the article is outright baseless and hilarious, but nervous upon realising the mass hysteria this is going to trigger (as already evident from its comments section). Such reportage - especially one that demonises technology - is a shame on our media.

Rushing to demonise anything alien, in fact, is a very effective - albeit skewed - psychological device to maintain any unit as a cogent mass, and we can see that in practice in our mass media sources like Times of India. When a news article bashing two things alien - technology and our (in this case) innocent neighbour Pakistan - comes their way, I can imagine the temptation for some junior editor to score double the points. Well done, Sir, well done.

Had it been the BBC publishing such an article in the UK, it'd have been accused of scaremongering and spreading paranoia, and probably there would be a public litigation to follow.

But in our great nation the general trend would go like this: 10000 media houses share this hoax as authentic news, then after a week, of those very 10000, 1000 media houses will declare this a potential hoax, then 100 media houses would actually press for factual information on this hoax, then 10 would ultimately conclusively find evidence against this elaborate hoax, then the same 10000 would declare it a hoax and deny any responsibility of its viral spread. This is where our space for reliable articles and intelligent opinion pieces vanishes.
The junta, subconsciously, seems to know the incredulity of reportage in India, which is why such news has a culture of just passing through without offending anybody.

That the comment space below the article has been reduced to noise - where such is the reader reward mechanism of ToI, that the more unquestioning-and-gregarious-and-eager-to-share one is, the more fancy badges they get - is why I'm commenting upon it on my blog. Pls take note, citizens.

Sweat and Sambhar and Ana

An hour and a half earlier, is when I had a bath, but it looks like I just walked out from one. (Yes, I know, surprising, isn't it? - me and bath...) The Indian summer wrenches the body, and once the pores open up there's no looking back - you better be prepared for a humid being, despite the air conditioned environs. [tropical ~= sweaty] Being a biker, I could feel short of the car guys; but I know from experience from many a soggy rides inside those moving greenhouses, that they don't have it perfect either - and its all the more infuriating, coz a carowner knows that they could not aspire for more. I so miss the hills, all the more today, when I'm forced to step out into a landscape I detest and forced to work in a century I loathe.

Yesterday I got a taste of my own medicine - long time back, when after a pint too many, I'd demanded Y to make me bread, only to later ignore the exclusive meal and drift into sleep - when, on a quick run to Supreme's, Y made me go out of the way to this overpopulated South Indian resto and get him stuff, me returning with an abundance of food good for a whole volleyball team, only for him to walk out on a trifling excuse. And it was as if he could further divine my embarrassment - when my sloppy ways in his absence saw a river of 'Sambhar' sprouting from its abundant polyethylene glacier and changing the geography of my kitchen - I had the Gangetic floodplains right there in my kitchen - only that to substitute water was the dal, to substitute the silt deposit were the spices, and to substitute the boulders were the vegetable chunks. It was an inconvenient affair cleaning up the mess. Well played, Sir, well played.

Now Y is also putting up pictures of my soon-to-be-fiancée Ana Ivanovic for the world to ogle at, and hence expand the competition pool (which is intimidating, not for the competition, but that it will add a temporal offset to my conquest). Well, played, Sir, again. You are really after my life.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Work in Progress

The First Move

All I wanna tell a friend of mine is, that he didn't start right.
Update: seeing that my highly intellectual friend grasped this chart wrong (or maybe he was practising what we call in Hindi - अपना उल्लू सीधा करना), I would recommend some logic books for anybody out there as stupid as him.

Dreaming Wrong

I've had two great (note: long) nights of sleep since my return to Delhi, which I consider a plus of this otherwise LCD-adjusted urban life. Cities are great as long as one is not awake.

In the hills, my routine was much more random and sleep was adjusted through the day and short-lived, on account of distractions by the captivating elements of nature (that, in the city, are either found as walled gardens, or blocked by concrete and the gassy vehicles of gassy folks), or the joyous raucous of birds, or the playful kids next door (kite flying, cricket, badminton, sea-loot distribution) - but can we really hold a grudge against that?

Anyways, whereas - in a reflection of the agrarian situation in our country where the tilled fields (still) await the monsoon rains - my mental space, tilled and expectant upon my return from the hills, received its first rains in the the very first days, as in my long hours of sleep, I dreamed in abandon. I am on a guilt-trip, though, as my recollection of these dreams has been poor. Why? - the wakeful distractions the city offers to obfuscate lucid faculties; never has the morning tea and the friendly banter felt more sinister.

On an afterthought, the city is no place to be dreaming, but a place to push the subconscious aside, and engage in the professional machinery like the cog I'm supposed to be (erm, even the "I" has to be pushed aside, to complete the process of deindividuation).