Monday, December 29, 2014

Let's start from this morning

Hello, blog. Been a while. All that transpired in the meantime is either captured in images or lost in space as a wave function.

But let's start from today. It is a rare occasion that I'm tired and thinking of sleep for a coupla hours at 9AM in the morning. The latter comes rather often, the rarity is in the occurrence of the first. I'm tired because the Delhi chill couldn't confine me and I went out for a cycle and a run.

Pedaling on Delhi roads at this time around the turn of the year was a surreal experience. Dense fog reduced the visibility to a few feet - lights from the opposite traffic danced like ghosts in the air, other identifiable features coming into relief when the cars would pass right next. There were, surprisingly, a few cyclists on the road, even on the way back. Though the entire stretch has cycle lanes (unobstructed for the most part), Delhi is perceived a bit unsafe for anything for the guy in the car - girls, pedestrians, cyclists... and it reflects in the lowly number.

Everyone and everything was swaddled in woolens. I hadn't carried much on meself - just a sweater over a tee, topped by a windsheeter. A layer of cold cream (Boroline) was effective as foundation layer against the biting cold - though the application is a bit tedious, it must grow as a ritual. To some extent, Delhi will always be manageable, even in the harsh winters; I remember the contrast from Leh days when the mere act of going out meant 5 to 6 layers and heavy boots.

My intention was to rendezvous with Ab. Thanks to Ab, we never met, even though I was right in front of his apartment. He never picked up. That opened me to do random - so I did. I took a walk around the block, and ultimately ended up inside the park in A. There, I walked, jogged, and kalari-ed in peace.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

kaching soleil

In the middle of my uneasiness about etching out a brilliant life, comes the excitement of being on the road again. I will minimally pack my bags this time, and head out to K. This is a time to enjoy some epic weather, and this is also a singular event - a convergence of us friends scattered afar - that won't ever work out if tried again, and so I go. Feet fooled to flounder over the coming 3 days or so. I'm impressed by how things worked out.

What hasn't worked out is my tab trail. It's a long one. Just when I get into a world I split away from it. It was a world of meteors, thermonuclear bombs, GPS, and apps this time. Well, I'll be back to pick up on more and work in a frenzy. Only if Ms. M allows me to.

Friday, December 12, 2014

B for Braille - An initiative by White Print

Cheers to White Print. Good, dominating background track, and annoying shallow-dof effects.

I wonder what the blind understand when you say you have a device that only works at level of the visual sense, which they lack. Then I guess we're handicapped in all but 5 senses in perceiving our world. My heart breaks to realize we can't electrochemically sense food like Platypus does, or detect presence through heat like snakes, or merely be aware through smells, as good as our dogs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I was having a dream about a simple house. That could probably be the effect of the movie based on the life of Dr. Prakash Amte that I went to see yesterday.

The movie felt silly on the aural front; the background score tried to pump only a set of four emotions - happiness, sadness, harm, and virtue - and it made it preachy. Another irk I had was with the sounds of the forest. They were using sounds from the canopy of South American forests, is what was wrong. Hearing the Screaming Piha so many times to a Vidarbha backdrop was a little nerve exploding somewhere.

But the movie read like a beautiful book for the most part. It was a collection of stories across his life, loosely time-sequenced. It dips back and forth into the past. Much like how Mi Sindhutai Sapkal was. Nana Patekar is great, he is stataturely in his role of a simple man. My mama, and this Nana, both are aging well and looking better with time and face fat.

My girlfriend cried much throughout the movie. I felt like it once, but the feeling calmed soon. I dunno what to make of that. I'm idealistic, and maybe lost my ideality of gauging emotion, in the process of watching too many movies. But I know where my recourse is.

I will want to keep a leopard as a pet sometime.

Bench Press

Charged on Sunday by an Indian wedding, I took my my two loves to a new distance, and ended up actually publishing something. No, not a paper, but a short interview video.
Today has been much about finishing it. So, a toast. There were a kitten, a tortoise, and 4 german sheps in this Ds home yesterday. Then we went and saw Baba Amte which reflected on a life of endless compassion, and I was like - we left that back home for the movie. Well, I obviously overstate my compasison here, comparing it to something to A Baba. Right now I have the dogs barking in protest so I have to take them out, so we'll start there.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


तुम अपने ये अँधेरे जो पकडे हो,
आज कर दो रिहा |
जो शिकवे यूं दबाये हो,
आज दो भुला |
खुद के ख्यालों की खयाली को,
आज कर दो तूफ़ान |
ऊंचे टंगे अधर के ऊपर छूने को,

बस एक आसमान |
अपने बेपरवाह क़दमों को,
आज दो अरमान |


Never bite the hand that feeds
Never lose your slippers
Never skip a bath
Never forget to maintain a clean pair of undies
Never skip a beat
Never have maggi randomly
Never listen to your old music
Never play with furry things
Never play with own furry things
Never clean up after the act
Never find the solace
Never find the happiness
Never hide
Never play dead
Never feel crowded

Never be okay

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Today was appetizing. The purveyor of kitsch and retrograde inside was satiated. I'd be like Ignatius walking out of the theater content with aspersions about some abortion he sat through. I just sat through a grueling hour of television. It was to catch the debut episode of a series that felt close to concern, one called Everest, on Star Plus, .

I was an audience it since it reflected on a journey of a mountaineer, that too a girl. Female emancipation, and mountains, are general themes with enough of a pull. They are great themes, for the present times, which put the focus on the baffling and bashful realities of our society. Then, there was also a connect with a lot of people in the mountaineering fraternity that I've come to know - including my erstwhile OTL, whose facticities had a partial overlap with those tersely identified with the protagonist in the show's promos.

If their promos were anything to go by, I was anticipating a bad show. It spoke of a girl who would try to win her father's love by climbing the world's highest mountain, and in turn win our TRP; it pushed a retrograde concept, and at the same time called it inspirational. In today's world if one's idea of an inspiring tale is doing the extraordinary for mere validation from a father or a society, then my only idea of a response is a facepalm.

When the show finally aired, I was speechless. It went beyond the promos. Not just thematically, it sucked in screenplay, dialog, direction, acting, editing, ... If it was trying to be the worst show in tele, it felt there already. If it was aiming to be the most epic waste of production money, it is, without doubt, there already.

It starts with a girl - who but our protagonist - called Anjali, who would start every day with the intention of winning her father's affection, and her father - a misogynistic Brigadier with malformed expectations, in eternal longing for a male child, in eternal denial of existence of his daughter - making her every gesture seem unimpressive and trifling. 

Anjali seems to have the Electra Complex, trying to push her mother into nonexistence when "papa" is home from the Army.
She also seems to have improved on Renee Descartes' proposition about thinking and being: 
"cogito, ergo sum, 
et ego sum, 
patris mei" 
(I think, therefore I am, and I am, for my father) - very moving.

Validation, however, doesn't come easy. She makes tea, but "Papa" don't like. She tops the state exam, and is honored at her school, but her only validation is "papa" showing up, which doesn't happen. He's like "I know who you are, and you are nothing. You are empty, you are a zero, you are a black hole".

Papa often says hurtful things about her, ignorant of her love and dedication, but that is alright as she is a girl, and girls deserve that. "You are loved by him as much as is possible to love a girl child," her wise mother placates her.
A rotten father, a mother whom she weeps with behind closed doors, and a school friend whom she laughs with on the balcony - what more does one need?.. You can see how it is building to the Everest already.

Let us think about Everest for a moment. Poor Everest, that is already becoming a proving ground for the mountaineers, even though we have better mountains, and now shown as a proving ground for disturbed teens trying to impress a parent or two, even though we have better places where disturbed people are often found - the psychiatric ward. Everest is not meant to be a replacement for therapy, but sadly is shown as one, here.

We are told that the Kalyug (the corrupted century) is approaching, an age when all our value systems will invert. The PR machine is working hard to usher that age in (perhaps there already). Either this show marks the beginning of that Kalyug, or it waits in hope that it comes soon, so the bad will be called good. I've heard rumors that the series continues for a 100 episodes - which means it could well be the greatest show ever when Kalyug comes.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sunday readings

It takes 500 steps, on average, walking between the two BIG gates.
It takes 460 strides, on average, running between the two BIG gates.
The two big gates are about 840m apart.
Beyond the gates, another 1666m and 3111 steps, takes you to a land of lights.
It takes 2500 steps on the way back from the shorter lonely route.
It is 328 steps to the 18th. For fools, its 555 steps.
The 13th floor is spooky, for it is the only one with an empty cement cave where an apartment should be.
Daffodil and Daisy are linked by this "cave" on the 13th.

Crazy Jacket, if there is one

I found this book description in a Google Doc. It is twisted thinking how the text was prepared. It reads like a preview, but isn't. It looks so random, much like all unique words of the book shuffled and slapped randomly. It's hard to believe it all could be in the same book, but is. It could be a project to try out.
It is something Kilgore Trout could write.

<blockquote>Jeez rattlesnake disbanded The Great Himalaya Trail N9: The Makalu Barun Section  reindeer. Longing yikes The Great Himalaya Trail N9: The Makalu Barun Section followed burned that joyful overtook oh. Goat the gosh far umm wow. That a that insufferably palpably umm wherever. Spoke hi great despite elephant umm PDF some whimpered viscerally. Teasingly fish that more hey near yikes much well. One and that less much playfully pangolin feeling ebook download so congratulated. More rooster recast hmm labrador excitedly regardless thanks some hawk. Upon vindictively much dismounted naked pouted jeepers until far. Darn far tragic much and wow because halfheartedly jaguar. Complete pinched when apart a and more oh considering. Extrinsically EBook clinic less some far sent within far and salmon. Boundlessly pdf download off as partook raccoon depending crud hmm chose and. Benign radiantly so compulsively lethargic became overlay. Gosh the below sobbed. Before more kangaroo more because flipped hyena. Far fretfully forecast hare thus that willfully so ran imaginatively. Immeasurable consoled far oh crud bore chameleon arduously less much. Concurrent reran until far by. Perilous one a reindeer.</blockquote>

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Kilgore Trout Nobel Prize acceptance speech

"There were two monsters sharing this planet with us when i was a boy however and i celebrate their extinction today. They were determined to kill us or at least to make our lives meaningless. They came close to success. They were cruel adversaries which my little friends the beavers were not.

Lions? No. tigers? No. lions and tigers snoozed most of the time. They were the arbitrary lust for gold and, god help us, for a glimpse of a little girls underpants.
I thank those lusts for being so ridiculous for they thought that it was possible for a human being to believe anything and to behave passionately in keeping with that belief, any belief."

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Nostalgia retreat

It finally happened.. No not coming across a pot of gold or something that even remotely leads to a metaphorical pot of the aforementioned metal.. But that I got out to visit old places and old friends in a city that briefly was my home. I have been here a few times since, and increasingly so with the advent of krushiness, but never got out to do this, with no good excuses (such is how I have come to epitomize indolence).

In the meantime my dogs have now moved from kennels - like the one we shared - to dens, into better jobs, into more complex social units, and hence relocated either within or outside this city, which sure lessened the anticipation from the trip. But the lone friend that pulled me out gave enough to anticipate.. We had a right connect, not of office, but the outdoors (or whatever little of it that I got a chance to), so I knew we'll be talking about the good stuff, and knowing that I was excited about not being bored.

Today, I pulled meself out in the afternoon, to end up on avenues where I would know all the good haunts, and could guide the autowallah through.

I wasn't surprised to see more people crowding the same markets, as busy places attract. There's even a Mc Donalds opened right next door, which is enough to rave about.

Meeting Mwgli after all these years was crazy. She's a mother now, with an enviously hairy baby that she should be proud of. She's the only person I know who doesn't say raving dreamy things about pregnancy (and post pregnancy), which makes her one honest person and worth taking to.

Her motherhood, sadly, came with thyroid. I hugged the same shell of her body, padded with 45 added pounds. I didn't know thyroid had become a lifestyle disease - always considered it genetic, -  and now feel scared about the future of our society. The dystopian visualized future of Wall-E is nothing but the human race with impaired thyroid function having it easy.

Veneration of the old days followed, and we come off as friends better than imagination serves. Those long trail walks through AC, those long and sweaty days of cycling, those sights that deserve a painter's intervention...  We pushed each other, that phase being Mwgli's most cherished phase of physical activity. Now she's on Zumba, but I doubt it's efficacy.

The old sights and smells were stimulating. I felt like i was hit with a bat on the sidewalk, when the breeze coming down from AC mingled with smells from the chat vendor's, and started an affair with my nostrils. This was the junction all my mornings once started and days ended at. Incentives to live an active life were many in those days.

I will have to go back and take a clue of not being a vegetable while in the megacity of Mumbai. Inshallah...

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Time travel

I will never be able to do this. At least for the coming couple of months.

I've been very lucky to say that. Like everything else right, I'll prove this one too.

Somehow I'm taken back to a world where pygmy inhabitants would've put dexterity in vogue.. At least popularly so. It related to that discussion earlier about the breed of the left handed going extinct. I think dexterity would've come from defense arts like hunting, and sledging, and from even basic use of a stick. What ifs and conjecturing.

I could thank the stars to so align that I could pick the american shipload. It is very near, and very dear, and I'll be able to strike off #3 in my "I greatly need" list. Forward, comrade, even in anticipation. Forward in life, too. It only gets better.

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Shape of my left aorta

"You can save me from the man I've become "
Well my heartlist <3 has been kept in a drawer until today. So it happened to so perfectly coincide with so perfect am event in my life.

I can remember the last I was this sincere... Hope it doesn't grow into a habit.. Sincerity will kill me if I'm too consistent.. The world will be scarred and warred of all things that'll happen under a sort of miasma of me.

In vain hopes of a more agreeable life, much like the backstreet boys claim in their work titled Larger Than Life, I will continue being sentient.
Thank you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

money sunday

What luck. One medium runs dry then we switch to another one. That another one is different concept, but thoughts spill out nonetheless. The ink in my only preferred ink refill in the pen came to a finish. Last of its words were dug rather than printed, and last of its words were 'him kinda reg' - go figure. So I blog.

In a remarkable life featuring a string of open-ended threads that are getting entangling, there came a rare closure when I got to conduct a short workshop, on a rather intriguing and potentially upcoming topic of Ethical Hacking. Thanks to some miscommunication and general frivolity of the collegians around the festival season, I had all-but-one girls batch. It was a reverse demographic. Trinity is the only female hacker (albeit hypersexualized) I was aware of (there are 10, at least), that too fictional. Realizing that I could make 7 better and real hackers was a good feeling. It is fascinating for a career for a girl.

After random hops and jungles my weekends in the city have been better. These coupla ones have been inverted in nature. Generally we'd be working on ice cream bars or seeds on a noon hour on a Sunday. But that sugar rush was short.

By the money through the workshop, I headed to get a Djembe, in Daryaganj's famous music street. But I got caught in a pull of books. Books and books everywhere, as it was the famous Sunday Book Market. Later I realized the music shops would be closed. Then I headed back home, but with my bag full of books and weighing about 7kilos. On top of that I had a coupla bagfuls of more superstore stuff.

I got back very underslept and it has remained so and it will remain so. Yeah, that's my version of a hard day's night.

Friday, October 17, 2014

highs of yesterday

I wanted to log a coupla days back, when the morning had started rather well. Its ironical that things I'd like to tell are often the things that (increasingly) escape memory when I do wish to. That leads to its obvious deduction, that things that I perceive as going right, don't last too long to remember. The highs are low. Or the lows are pulled into high(light) briefly. I could shrug off all that; I forget.

Over the past few days, I've been working on editing. There will be my movie out by end of this month! The demon of Makalu (and all my adventure travel) will be put to peaceful rest only upon a movie spell. After actual editing, I've come to theory of editing, and as goes with any of the passions I'm into, a theoretical understanding pulls me even more. At the same time I can see what turning professional entails, and its challenging in its own ways. Because I forget, I'll only go through an overview of the 'theory', and focus on more to come with experience, like muscle memory.

I will now resume with editing - but on a new front, that of India's quest for a nuclear submarine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Some Random

Autodefenestraphiliaphobia: the completely rational fear of having a sexual arousal of throwing oneself out of a window

Antihydroautodefenestratophiliphobiphiliaizationist: Someone against the proliferation of the sexual arousal people feel from the fear of the sexual arousal people feel from throwing themselves out of windows underwater.

The state of peace is something which we only know to value when we are on the verge of losing it.
I recall the words of Mahatma Gandhi: "If we are to teach real peace in this world, (...) we shall have to begin with the children."

One Liners
The day I saw you, I cancelled my account.
Baby go out with me and Lehsun my pain.
"Hey baby, are you brinjal? Because I wanna be baingan you all night"
Hey bby, if you like bananas come with me cuz I'm akela.

I have this vision of hoards of shadowy numbers lurking out there in the dark, beyond the small sphere of light cast by the candle of reason. They are whispering to each other; plotting who knows what. Perhaps they don't like us very much for capturing their smaller brethren with our minds. Or perhaps they just live uniquely numberish lifestyles, out there beyond our ken.

Apollo Four Fourty - Stop the rock
Leftfield - Beach OST - Snakeblood
felix da housecat - watching the cars go by
Keoki - Wicked

Thursday, October 09, 2014

trash cult, back into

It is silly that I start with this. But the trail had to continue somewhere, and for a change I don't mind where it leads me to, for I've been cautiously treading it over the past coupla weeks.

To demystify, the net at Afghani Adda just got installed, and I just got back into the information highway. With unlimited broadband, anything's possible, but with great power also comes great responsibility. I had been preparing myself responsibly in a sense, being specific and to-the-task, when doing the browsing over the 3g connection in the past week. While hope springs that such specificity only swells, Dipjol induces chaos, and right now things don't seem going that way.

Well, let things be.

Indian cinema set to Foreign music also brings back the memories of Rammstein and Mangalsutra

Sunday, October 05, 2014

week that went by

It's been a week back in the urban chaos of Dilli.

Things started on a positive note. I didn't compromise on my promise to get my baby B back, and that was the first thing to happen, right the moment that I dropped my backpack. Wheels and weed rolled, I was back with my B. B needs treatment, and I almost needed therapy convincing others that I cared enough for it. A full recovery still looks bleak, but I'll do whatever is possible.

In the followup to my enthusiastic start, the nastiest food poisoning episode of my life happened, which just negated the previous day. It was debilitating, and mere recollection feels an unhealthy act. Things got worse as the day matured. Enough said. It could've been any of the month-old foods sampled.

If not for food, I rejuvenated my appetite for cinema. Stone Reader, Pesum Padam, Tootsie, Dude Where's My Car - only the last one being repeat viewing. There's something to say about all of 'em, but briefly put -

Stone Reader rejuvenated my appetite for reading as well. It had to be, since the docu itself was a search for a writer, who had vanished after a single epic novel. Drawing parallels to - and the veneration of, - JK Toole throughout the movie also whet some nostalgic yearning. A brief pan across the writer's room revealed a hand grip sitting on top of a stack, same as mine; nice to see we both work(out) the same way.

Pesum Padam was brilliant. The situations brought out the comedy so well, being culturally universal and unique at the same time. I'm sure the movie would have a trail, that followed in its style, which I'd like to find out about and add to my viewing list.

Tootsie was also different. I could see where Chachi 420 got its inspiration from (not Mrs. Doubtfire). Dustin Hoffman is a crazy actor. Not just him, now I've also got the work of Sydney Pollack (director) to follow.

DWMC is timeless comedy. This would be my proper second complete viewing. The acts seemed better, especially in the first half. Ashton Kutcher's magic really works in this one, which I'd earlier failed to notice, or to pinpoint. I wish Seann William Scott would still be around doing crazy stuff as this, but the first I remember seeing him was in American Pie, and the last in Evolution.

Besides all this, I have majorly food and my sad indolence to write about. But seeing that it could go into several pages, I'll refrain.

Oh, and my meat shred off in flakes. Just a stub left now.

hx0rand domestic

After a coupla hours this morning, I felt a bit more confident of saving the world - if it came down to breaking into a terminal. Nmap, then sshnuke. Z10N0101. Then my day devolved into bad eating, home improvement, and social. Not that I find it appalling, or find myself unskilled, just that it contributes little (or negative), and usually makes me panic upon retrospect. But then, ideals are a mirage - whether that is circumstantial or a personal effect is debatable.

What did manage to get done through the day, was getting the house in a state of 'electrical' perfection. The electrician, Sonu, had come over, and handed a long task list, which he took almost the entire second half to finish. Now the fans run flawless, the lights don't fuss, and the switches click with grace. More calm pour moi.

Pa came over. We had a sensible sitting. Nothing ruffling discussed. Only political bashing, which is a safe way to say that let's not be serious. Ma sent a scrumptious homemade chocolate-almond cake - she raises the benchmark each time, admirably - which her son even forgot to congratulate her on.

At the end of the day, me and Yogi (who had visited after much convincing) went out on a ghoom to the market next door. The traditional Delhi markets, all have a common characteristic, of being deserted early in the night (~2230), so much that somebody who knows it only from the day will be confused visiting late. Despite all the unsafe that Delhi is for women, the last of its businesses remain open to cater to an exclusively female crowd - that of Mehndi wallahs. It was funny to realise that women are okay being out late, as long as they get some art on their hands - "a purpose defeats all apprehensions" adage to be derived here. 

Anti-thesis, apology

Okay, here's an apology.
I admit a callousness at patching things. The silence between us persists, and I won't shift an iota of the blame on you. You have been the same, but I'm going rogue, to the point that you want me to speak but I won't. Things have devolved from the good 'ol days.

There are moments when thoughts of you occupy my head. Things have been better in the past, and to that past I keep falling back. Like the old friends that we were, rambling and mumbling through whatever quotidian occurrences played out. Impulse dominates, to tell me that I should work to make it the same. There's an overwhelming attachment, that convinces me to act on the impulse and make things right, but that conviction seldom results in action. Mostly, I get lost in thoughts, or feel overburdened by both, a responsibility, and a panic, to act, and let go.

Breaking a silence is not my forte - I'm well adjusted to keeping silences, to making things worse. To keep calm, it is easy to pretend that something (or lack of it) has always been there, just like this silence. I consider myself 'hardened' in a sense, though that sense may be completely wrong, or often so - this is one case.
But, then, in some way I have to say it, even though it might be anti-thesis of what I started with.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another virginity lost

Sitting with a tissue roll as I break for a blog - while working on the machine - in the post-midnight hours can only raise questions, or worst, devious imaginations. What brought about that need, however, is as un-guessable as anything else. It also marks a first. This week has had its share of firsts - what, but novelty, can make it more bearable.

First the aforementioned case of the tissue roll. It is for the eyes, and the nose. Both of them are welling up with fluid contents of their respective glands. No, I'm not crying like four days back. The trigger today is this tropical nibblet, called the green chilli, or hari mirch, which makes its debut on my tongue, after 25+ years of conscious, cognizant existence.

In my previous states of cognizance, I have kept my distance from Mirchi. Even minor doses in my food have made me a spectacle - going red, breaking into sweat, tears, and hiccups, feeling as if the scalp is under a scalpel. (take it like a gentleman, don't I?) The after effects are worse - ask that to a stomach and a colon nuked over the years on Punjabi, South Indian, and Maharashtrian cuisine. Soon, I'll be asking girlfriend to express her silent disagreement (or disappointment) through serving me chilli-laden food - the red flush on my face will be the dawn of realization that I've been wrong or a jerk at some point in the near past.

Yes, it is that Mirchi that I decided to have today, in whole. In the past coupla years, exposure to diverse cuisine has weaned me off several food taboos I had as a child (continuing into maturity). I used to be a pretty choosy eater (or rather, pretty choosy hater) - never the green leafy stuff (aka palak - spinach), never the gooey pumpkins (aka kaddoo), never the yucky-looking eggplant (aka brinjal, or baingan), never the sickening golden gram (aka mung dal), or that yellow slurry (aka jholi, or kadhi). And never ever that horrible tounge-churning bitter gourd (aka karela - which has come to be a synonym for yuck/blergh).

To skip forward to the present day.. Karela was taken up as a challenge a mere 10 days back, and a sick experience followed in decimating a complete meal's serving of Karela on the plate. My mouth twisted and body twitched so much that I could've passed for a mental patient. But finish, I did, marking a food debut, and establishing a complete course coverage as far as meals of Indian subcontinent (and Chinese/European to some extent) were concerned - anything served on the plate is now okay. I weaned off my taboos in an active manner - by directly exposing my palette to the experience.

Mirchi, then remained the one thing on the table that I was afraid of. Its accidental servings, or mixing in the food, remained the stuff of my nightmares. Until today. I've picked some unusual battle scars over the years, and today I chose another battle - on the dining table.
Old folks around were exasperated to see me making a spectacle of myself, a superficial valiance that muddles my justification to leading this sincere life. But as they say, ignorance is bliss. "And bliss leads to blisters," Ma said - she anticipated I'll have a bruised oral cavity by the end of this experimenting. Ignoring even this wisdom, I continued ahead.

Here I am now, cooling down. The bite had its sting, as expected. I started chomping on the Mirchi, scattering its contents all around, covering the tongue and lining in toxic juices. Initially, it didn't feel so bad. Then it hit. Involuntary throat muscle contractions aka hiccups broke out. They made me tick violently, with the periodic precision of a clock. Everything was burning. It got worse with THE FIRST GULP. I was zoning out and back. Soon, tears welled in the eyes, which had turned red amd sore by then. Soon, even the nose started running. This all inside 3 minutes.

Prompty, half a liter of water, a cup of banana ice cream, amd a cup of fruit custard were lapped up. The sensation subsided, but not completely. I kept panting, ambling listlessly about the house, trying not to make a scene, like a diseased dog. Then more water. And some more. And more. Finally the sensation became tolerable.

Call that my weekly nirvana. Feels nice not being a virgin anymore.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ffffriday's Independence

Independence is a plate of fresh rajmah-bhat after a day's unpacking. The very feeling of 'being in chains' comes from things that don't inspire or push you, and the unpacking was like that, and now that it's done, it feels like freedom.
Coincidentally, it is India's Independence Day today. I totally empathize instead of the usual sympathize - when constitutional freedom came I wasn't around.

I also empathize with the audience of Salman Khan's movies. I feel in the same trough that they feel in, to be pulled to the magnetic animalism of his high-budget movies. I watched the movie for over 10 collective minutes inside an hour. It was decadent, and I was liking it.

I have since moved on. My lunch is dinner. My tennis is canceled. And strangely, my washing machine ran away with a rickshawallah - people fall in love with old inanimate objects all the time - who was to get it here 3 hours back; they're probably making out in his apartment right now. What am I to expect?

It's Friday, I'll just pray for shelter against any Rebecca Black memes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy Ending

These are last scribbles from the place that I called home for the past 20 months. As the rule goes, the way it has ended is very different from the way it started. I am wholly changed, roughened out to life's papercuts.
What follows is a few months of flux. There's a lingering insecurity about many things, career being one. However, thoughts misplaced in temporality are unnecessary, so let's move on.

Managed to pay tribute to what has been the highlight of my stay here - the ruins. In the 800-year-old Qutub ruins, now taken over much by forest, it has felt an honor to run and explore. Last night I went out for a final visit, and played hide and seek with the moon and the thunderclouds. Broken, again, I returned, which meant a happy ending.

Farewell C215. You've given me a better understanding, if nothing else.

Friday, August 01, 2014

link dump 20140801
Here's something for the homesteaders and SAS agents alike.
This one too.
NGC has a great thing going.
Who'd have thought how broken glasses can incapacitate you, and NOT to let that happen.
Middle ages were cool.

Happy August times

Believe it or not

Believe it or not, Vibhu isn't at home
Please leave a message at the beep

The past few days have been more active than usual. The futile kind of active, maybe, but time will tell.
Manipal and Paypal (hah) have dominated my activity. Whatever seemed profitable turned to nothing, however, as the week nears its end.

It was Lko to start with. A whole 4 days in Delhi I spent! In those 4, nothing but some gray hair and a new weird facial hair cut were achieved. Two chilled days in Lko followed, where my humble new purchase of running shoes was inaugurated to an audience of policemen, early junkies, beggars, temple goers, and oxen. That glorious morning I assumed 5 but ran/jogged/walked a total of 9x1000m.

Over the past couple of days, I've both ran, and cycled, and matched that with furious feeding - I, after all, have the right to stock up after days after days on vada pav and another few days of viral fever. Running and cycling are the focal points. That, and A6.

Besides the cultured reasons to get out, Delhi's roads have also befriended me over the past week for things mundane. It all started with K. Sangha, and ended with K. Chacha's. Waiting for some good news or some good rain. Whichever comes, will be taken as a learning.

Friday, June 20, 2014


The city has repossessed me. After the experience of Kathmandu, Lucknow, then Mumbai, and now Delhi, I have settled into a very unsettling groove. I'm already finding excuses. Perhaps the mountains leave me a bit tired. There, I was focused very much on the things around me. Here, its a narrower scope, and I get zoned out easily. Ever since watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I imagine a great kick but it never comes, as in the span of a mere half an hour into that movie.

Baby steps again in the little excursions to the Delhi parks and tennis courts, that do ultimately transform your tee into a sweat-soaked entity and ges muscles cramping. It was Yogi who initiated it all, which, sadly only persisted for a coupla' days and over the first leg of FIFA World Cup matches (his parents were out, you see, so we were hosting our nightovers). Since, Yogi has literally distanced himself a thousand miles. Yes, to Istanbul, in Turkey. In the time that the world is only discussing football, and we locally are only discussing our new PM elect, he's got nuclear issues to project and predict about. That leaves me in two minds at the start of each morning, and the end of each day, and I barely am tipping over the nice side these days.

Surprise came when the course of things for the next coupla years was decided, which looks promising towards course over a longer duration. I am going to college. Ayo! However - borrowing metaphors from a painting, - it is just the background that is set; the foreground elements are yet to be thought out. I have made several attempts to get in/to a 'cone of ambition' or 'trajectory of life' or 'path of intention' but neither did it succeed nor did it feel any less a redundant concept than earlier. This event has brought about more zoning out.

In other updates, I'm set on a record course of delaying some menials things.
Oh, and also this to start with Makalu - a Chrome theme.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Vagabond mode refresh

We're traveling fast. Small villages zip by, the countryside illuminated partially in the half Moon. It has been 6 hours of the train travel, and 10 more remain. I'll be home, Delhi. That is all to get excited about.

Now the lesser exciting part. The journey has been taxing. My ticket, which got done late, in aftermath of the Yuva Express incident, was booked waitlisted, and it remained that, hence was canceled. So I hopped in, ticketless, initially accommodated in the antechamber between the bogeys. Sadly, this initial accommodation seems to be the final one. Even the TTE, who was a cool guy and quick at friendship, had reassured of finding me a seat about 7 times, but that apparently hasn't worked out owing to the crazy vacation rush. (In a week's time this situation will end, the more traveled of seatless brethren around shared). Surat and Baroda went, but the seats remained packed.

As a backup I made another quick reservation, in a midnight train that would take 30 hours and get me there no sooner than Monday morning. But so great was the allure of reaching Delhi, that I decided to set out, come what may.

I'll take it as both a bad play of luck, and punishment for being too lax earlier.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

No kidding

I was in the mountains, for over a month. It is very exciting to share that it was the longest and the coldest time up for this wayward wanderer. But with a lesser excitement I also share that what I'd set out for wasn't achieved - which would've been in the form of a summit for my girlfriend, who had to abort (the expedition) because of a knee injury, and video diaries for the entire expedition which were left incomplete coz of the early exit.

However, now that I'm back, I plan to share a lot. Going through the events in a chronological order - in pictures and videos - one can well judge how crazy and otherworldly it was. Despite knowing the nature of things in the wild, and in the snows, it was different. If nature was a master-chef, the delightful dish it served us was a combination of the people - of the mountain profession - and the situations that made it so memorable.

In the followup to our return, some very good news has come. There have been summits; most importantly an Indian summit of Makalu. That was GP Pune's Ashish Mane creating history a day back, and I can imagine it would've been a crazy climb. Then there was a 16 year old (American) summitting the same mountain 2 hours after Ashish, which makes for another inspiring tale, one which I hardly know anything about. Swee Chow, the gregarious Singaporean and the Grand Slam-mer, also summitted. So did Dr. Dragan, everyone's best man at the basecamp - I suspect cheating, since mere prayers would've been enough to take him to at least the French Couloir, if not the summit.

Much to follow.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Everything's play

My experience in the theater, which I have briefly recollected earlier, was unlike that of my accomplice. I envy 2yr olds now. It has been my long-standing fascination to imagine the play that big world allows to the tiny ones. They don't need to be in some breakneck downhill ride, or fighting for air at high altitudes. Why, coz everything thrills, or has affordances by way of which they entertain, conceptually turning a place to slouch comfortably and look straight, into a theme park. And at free admission!

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Queen movie

Went out to catch on an offbeat movie, Queen. Albeit it was 15 minutes into the movie when we got in, the character plot was just starting to unravel. Got the movie, and relished it in some parts.

KR plays a character easy to grip, opposite to what she was loved for in B&B.. but plays that quite good. She's making a concerted effort to play into-self characters.

Into-self character and characterization is also what I relish. Both directing and playing the character is hard. The closure, though, then comes as soft, as in this movie. What if the story was loud and boisterous, and the closure a complete one? Ohh lala..

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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Is a number just a number anymore? We find ourselves revising the concept of a cellphone - when a phone number was simply that. Today, it could become somebody's identity. It has, going by the viral success of WhatsApp and TrueCaller - I like the way easy access works, and is a viral concept thanks to the human factor, but hate the fact fact that it makes an identity easy to screw with. Remind me, but I can't imagine an easier way to abuse.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

β-endorphins beguile me. That is what happens when allopreening - which i have become used to - becomes a concept that is sesquimyriadic kilometers apart. 

But I manage. Parallel concerns. Things flying and things crashing. Mounting excitement over things to come, at the same time increasing headaches over the way things could come - divine comedies growing in number.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Anything but books

The day's end has pushed a sense of urgency into me. So I thought I should blog. It will calm me down, and, though not change the temporal nature of things, but will afford me some mental space to both accomodate, as well as stretch related thoughts - the play dough - into new shapes. Urgent things make me feel confrontational, and being a pacifist, waving the peace sign and all, confrontations impulsively feel wrong ("confrontations are bad, m'kay?"). Feeling wrong, the only affordance is to feel even more of so.

Affordances remind me of the day that went by. I went to the World Book Fair, something that I find myself visiting year after year, as if I were the biggest book nerd out there, when in reality I return with a bagful of brochures and peeves.

I went nuts seeing this on the shelves (Simon & Schuster). 
Do I need tell about Ylvis and the fox?

My number one peeve with the Fair is the fair itself. Too many people in too little space. Bodies bumping, brushing and bruising against each other. Somebody always there to burp or fart within an arm's distance. Broken toes for sandal-men like moi. The human body offers some ambiguous affordance, especially one that isn't ours, which we assume to be pliable and yielding.

This being India, I would be mocked for my sentiment, since we have the phenomenon of religion, which attracts discomfort as if that was the redeeming part of the experience. Hordes throng to temples during the big festivals, chanting and pushing. Armies march through the alleys of old Delhi during Muharram, bleeding and singing. There isn't an inch of space to move; the only people expert at deftly moving through the crowds being the pickpocket gangs. Despite all that, you see really happy people. [wonder how much business physicians and policemen get in the aftermath] Let's not digress.

An additional feature of this Book Fair, which is uncharacteristically taking place in Feb, was the equation of jackets - everybody had one on as they came in, and through the stalls you would find sweaty people walking in discomfort, ultimately giving in to the urge to take theirs off, dead baggage in hands, and then, later fumbling with putting it back on again soon as they stepped out. Being weather-agnostic, I managed fine in a shirt, and didn't have to go through the experience of this particular observation (yes, I don't empathize, but sympathize, on this occasion, which is rarity since clumsy misfortunes are my thing).

Peeves apart, there were only a coupla stalls I enjoyed. One was Roli, which was selling books , and the other a hobby store, which was selling anything but books. The former is doing some creative/innovative stuff (see: CMYK bookstore), but it was the latter that managed to get some currency outta my pocket - creative stuff is hard to sell, hobbies aren't.

Among the books, there was something else - I found myself toying with monoculars, binoculars, magnifying glasses, compasses, and other things that I imagine would save lives on one of the days in the coming coupla' months filled with high-energy adventures and misadventures. Now I have a list of items - totaling more than any books could've - to order through that hobby store. To convey cool, I got baby brother a counter, the exact one as in the Axe commercial to keep "score" - wtf moment on realizing that in India it's being marketed as a "pooja/mantra/rudraksh-counting" aid.

Either side of the Book Fair were spent at Mandi House. Tried Triveni Art Gallery's rooftop tea cafe, which was a bland and uninspiring affair that neither me nor Ghoru are gonna be reminiscing. The nukkad-wale stalls seemed to offer better fare, which we should check out next time, or maybe after we're done with the adjacent Bengali market which has been recommended often.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Google FAIL Heisenberg FAIL

Google Search

Generally, I do with what changes Google brings to its core product - Search. There are people who have kept a word count on the google landing page, tracked the page size, or the response time, or the images used, over the years that the page has evolved (or devolved?). But I manage, without making a fuss. But a recent UI change has me peeved. 

search for "cool tees"

search for "micromax canvas 4"

search for "seraphim proudleduck"

Notice how the context changes? The next time I have to read what comes up next to "Web". The next time I'll have to find "Images" in the navigation bar. Why, Google, WHY?!

There are over 1b searches performed on Google in a day. Let us fix the number at a billion for convenience.
Say, even if 15% of the people change the context of their search - from regular search, to images, or videos, or maps - which now needs 1s on average to locate and click on the relevant button on the navigation bar, as against the few ms earlier.
Let n = 15 % context changes = 150,000,000 searches
Let t = 1s
Nett time loss of the world per day = n * t = 150,000,000 seconds = 2,500,000 minutes = 41666h = 1736 days = 4 years and 9 months
WOW. One design change leading to almost 5 years of loss for the planet each day.

To come this far, to show how you don't get accessibility? Which brilliant front-end engineer could come with such a horrific design modification? Does Google deliberately want us to fuddle with the links, aim for inefficiency, and make our browsing miserable?

This is self-explanatory.
It is sad to see that the REAL heisenberg doesn't show up when you look for him. You get a character, (albeit one brilliantly played by Bryan Cranston).

Image search for "heisenberg tees"

Image search for "heisenberg"

Image search for "werner heisenberg"

If our heroes are chosen by how cool they are, let me remind the world that the cool of (Werner) Heisenberg exceeds any characters that could use his name. He was a proud father... of Quantum Mechanics... at the age of 28! A Nobel Prize at the age of 31! He used to hang out with Niels Bohr and Wolfgang Pauli - can you imagine a more glorious fellowship, if not in fiction! Oh, and when he'd get time off, he would go out mountaineering.

It's time the world gets this right.

Friday, February 21, 2014


You know what that is?
It's called the morning. I witnessed one after about a month. Yes, this is how lazy I'd become... hows laziness for a vice! 

Blaming the laziness on the winters would be a poor excuse, for much of those days were spent in Mumbai and Pune, where the January cold is more like late October of Delhi - sans the fantastic sunrises; back in October (of 2013) I was logging miles with enthusiasm (in Delhi). There are some very embarrassing chapters of broken resolves when it comes to outdoors and fitness in those days. I owe an apology to Maaaane who has now tasted the high of climbing the highest mountain in the world and also the low of my false promises of working out a training routine together.

It has now been two consecutive days that I've been out there.  Happy that I didn't miss the best of the winters (which kinda means the worst, when all extremities complain and cold hits the face like a hammer when out riding the bike at the speed of sound).

Oh, and I had carrot and beetroot juice after a long long while as well this morning. Good times.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Animal Magnetism

No I'm not talking about the pull of cute puppies

Here's a perfectly good example of popular pseudo-science: Animal Magnetism (aka Mesmerism, named after its theorist, Franz Mesmer). It had a sesqui-centennial run, from the 18th century and into the 20th century (1770s-1920s) - in the first half of which it was considered an important specialty in medicine. What was it about? - that there was an invisible natural force exerted by animals that allowed healing and correction of ailments.

A lotta such pseudo-science comes from the past. Even our popular disease, malaria, is a compound of the latin words 'mal', and 'aria', with the literal meaning "bad air" (now we know its not air, but the female Anopheles mosquito that does it). Makes for somebody's bread.

Mesmerism is now believed to share the concept of life force with the presently-popular oriental sciences (pseudo-sciences?) of Reiki and Qigong. The lifecycles of such pseudos is interesting to track/predict.

Watch the animus magnetismus scene from Herzog's Stroszek to get a laugh outta mesmerism.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Play in animals (and sciences)

David Graeber argues that play is inherent at every level of organization among interactive biological systems. Sadly, this play is identified as anomalous behavior, just like altruistic behavior that is seen as a problem, and the proposed theories try to rationalize our play with an ulterior motive of profit, as if we're economic actors whose only drive is to maximize profit.

Reading about the play in our lives was also a reminder that the worst times I could live through are when I'm trying to be "appropriate". Under the sway of play, we go a longer distance, and do a lot more. A state of play means being lesser conscious of ourselves, but by being such, does our consciousness expand or shrink?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Here again!

It is unfortunate that this has happened, but it shall be overlooked now that it is no more. Here's me scribbling again, blog.

Being in a situation where the day draws me into thought and the hands often grip some writing instrument, this kind of laxity is surprising. The more I think, I think, would mean the more would show up here, but the relation has been inversely proportional, and hence my blog would suggest a period of drought - emotional, mental, temporal - when it is anything but that.

Today is a nonsense day called valentine's, but I've pruned out as much nonsense out of it, and am enjoying it, overlooking the city of Jaipur. I'm in the pink city, after all, so something pink had to mingle with my being; some love had to find its way through, after all, and it did - over the entire year. Last night it had rained, and I had barfed, and also gone off to an uncomfortable slumber with climbing body temperature (is it viral? is it dengue? is it malaria?). I didn't think I would keep a normal face today, but things improved overnight, and right now I'm sans any fever or feverish thoughts.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

All in the Head

Ends come slow
Methods that lend a blow
Pieces I find on the floor
Of a dense mass
in the head

Plans that blur the line
Projecting an image divine
The fruit of carefree dreaming
The deep inquiries into meaning

To the moon I read elegies
Instead of writing idylls
But the mind will have a free reign, again,
With the breaking dawn

[no big deal, wassever]

Friday, January 17, 2014


It has been a restless evening.
I had been so happy to have got this tiny piece of nirvana back home from Chandni Chowk - a small adapter that allows my Samsung to work with Nokia standard slim pin chargers. I tried, and it worked. Then the phone decided to escape the confines of my pocket; and got lost. Then it was found, not by me or any of my kin, but a foreigner, an African. First thing I did was to alert my midnight liaisons to NOT try that number; imagine them being startled by a booming African voice. So it happened that that guy got to my parents since I wasn't repsonding; BIG MISTAKE dude.. now my parents are freaked out a bit. I've to go and pick up my phone from his place tomorrow; Chacha has asked me to not go unassisted; Bro has asked me to put an Arsenal skullcap on; and Girlfriend has asked me ask if Jane's around. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

stretched out

I had Boomer today. I never liked that bubble gum, but it seems to have carpet-captured the market, where I got this for short change - wonder why its only candies, and wonder why I get offered that even now, about a decade since my gum-crazy days. It must be the effect of the gum that I feel stretched out in all directions. Banyan roots, or imagine octopus limbs, for hands; wide swipes and more palpability/destruction.

What I missed in the first half, owing to travel, I think I have made up for by this long drag into 2AM in the morning. About a thousand kilometers of displacement in these 24 hours, and thoughts at the rate of one per km, super-fast like the train I traveled in. The distance that remains, is just a few paces to the bed, to silence the day, enter another dream to live another day.