Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Madman

He was running wildly and faster than the Ram's dog. The dog gave up after some time. He tripped over the milkman's cycle and limped for a while giving the dog some hope, but Raghav picked up his pace and ran.
"She wrote to me! She wrote to me!", he shrieked in an abrading voice.
"What's this new madness?" asked Shalini raising her head from her evening sweeping chores.
"The same thing, I think. But why is he running? He usually stays put outside the post office, right?" asked her neighbour.
Raghav kept running oblivious to his undone dhoti wafting towards his past which barked, albeit unheard, at him.
"So that girl finally wrote to him!", Rajayya said, while cleaning his blades for the next hirsute customer, and shook his now balding head with a smile.
"Who did?" asked the well lathered face sitting beside him.
Rajayya turned to look at the fleeting feet chasing the virgin letter which the related hand held.
"Someone he loves", he said and turned to continue the story, for a story eases the most disgusting task of shaving a pimpled face, but his voice was drowned in the sharp screeching hoot of an approaching train. He instinctively turned around and cut his thumb.
The village madman ran no more...

My Princess

It has been but few weeks since she last visited me. This is uncommon; her visits were well spaced and well timed to raise least suspicion. I would rather she stay with me, but he would have issues with that. I don't know why she should follow his word so dearly. She is an independent soul too. But this visit makes me wonder. I hope all is well, and then again, maybe it is not. Now is my chance to replant myself in her life. How she neglected my worth, how I felt useless like a tree after spring!
I always wanted her to be happy, but not always. A little trouble was the only way she would come back to me, back to the one man who truly knows her, who truly loves her. I still don't know what she saw in him; she said he was like me. Hah! I am not so unctuous. But I am glad that something is troubling her now. I can pull her towards...
"Who's it?"
"Its me, Angie!"
He rushed to open the door.
"Sweetheart, I am so happy to see you. Been quite a while."
They kissed as dearly as a soul split by time and space.
"How are you? Hmmm. Something tells me things aren't right? What happened? He's bothering you?"
"Relax, nothing of that stuff. I just wanted to come over and surprise you."
"Surprise me? With what? Why?"
She looked at him with all the love she held for him and shook her head. With a deep sigh she said, "Happy birthday dad!"

Saturday, September 24, 2005


This post owes its existence to Janani.
I am required to compose a Love Story (ewww) in 55 words. 55 words? :-o When have you ever seen me write a short post and 55 words is not short, its ephemeral!! I read her tag last night and thought why not!! ;-) Here goes:

"Love? You can't be serious. I am a happy man. Love is not for people who are happy"
Aaah, she thought, just the right sport. Charm, seduce, lead, discard.
Aaah, he thought, baited milady. Now all I need is to keep her intrigued and on her toes.
Love followed them everyday for 50 more years.

He wasn't religious till now, ever since the priest assured him about reincarnation. It can't be true, he thought, God! it can't be true.
"Please pour the ashes into the water", the priest said.
That means my father can return? No. I will do all that you want me to, dear God.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Tagged... Untagged -1

Seven things you plan to do before you die

1. Live

2. Settle in Italy/Japan

3. Win an Oscar

4. Build a school

5. Build an artist's centre

6. Build a personal library with a study attached (yeah yeah yeah, fireplace and the works too )

7. Stop planning

Seven things you can do (I dont get this)

1. Live

2. Settle in Italy/Japan

3. Win an Oscar

4. Build a school

5. Build an artist's centre

6. Build a personal library with a study attached

7. Write

Seven things you say most

1. Yeah right!

2. Okeee

3. Lunchtime

4. Crystal

5. Perfect

6. What the hell is this?

7. Your belfry ain't for bats!! Think man, think.

Seven things you can't do

1. Fit into a keyhole (any size key)

2. Yawn and sing at the same time

3. Break a kid's heart

4. Figure what the hell is the big deal with falling in love

5. Leave dog ears in a book (leave them on the dog!)

6. Wear my trouser using one hand while typing with the other and doing a Polka while singing Yankee Doodle!! (I got till the part with the Polka, but the zipper was stuck)

7. Eat a fish that just burped!

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex (I suppose these have to be stuff that you can put up on a blog!)

1. Beautiful eyes

2. Simplicity

3. Intelligence

4. Grace

5. Poise

6. A wonderful sense of humour

7. A love for the arts

(Anyone who checked all of the above, please leave your name and contact number!! ;-)

Seven celebrity crushes (Not good at this one... Let's try)

1. Natalie Portman

2. Rachel Weisz

3. Padmini

4. Saira Banu (before she got all drunk and crazy)

5. Ashley Judd

6. Diane Kruger

7. Zhang Ziyi

Now I need to tag someone... Drat!

Prabha, Krish, Renuka, Amrita and Nurhan. Go for it guys!! :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Though travels
take me to
a different stopping place each night
the dream I dream is always
that same one of home
- Ryokan

Let the smallest lust for fame and fortune enter the mind,
and all the waters of the ocean will not wash it away.
- Ryokan

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The GEFS Game

I was recently reminded of the possibility of instant karma in which I don't believe, although I would wonder how to wriggle my way out of questioning the instant-ness of insights of Karmic nature! More recent than that incident was a simple reflection upon the most destructive elements of the human mind and life. After due pondering I realised that the following are by far most destructive to nurture a free and happy mind and life. I shant go to explaining them, as that would be wasted effort.

1. Guilt
2. Ego
3. Fear
4. Security

Writing them on a card, I placed it in front of me and let life run though my mind as I knew it. At random points I stopped the spinwheel of the cinema reel and asked myself, "So what made me do that?" or "Why did I think/react thus?" I am glad to note that the card was soon covered with tick marks!! :-)
I thought you might be interested in a similar game.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Anthropomorphic Numbers

Its been a while, I told myself, so long that I have forgotten her number. Damn, you don't forget numbers.
21st May 1990 -- First time I met her
13th Sept 1991 -- First time I spoke to her. I had told her "Shut up"
5th April 1992 -- She came back for summer as a very different girl
15th May 1993 -- She skipped her lunch in order to play a game of carrom with me
20th June 1993 -- She came with me to the temple
2nd July 1993 -- First time I didn't want to hear her say bye
13th April 1994 -- I spotted her getting out of the taxi and ran down
17th April 1994 -- She let me put my head on her lap. So soft a thigh...

25th April 1994 -- All that she wants from my trip is for me to return safely
29th June 1994 -- I make my first promise to her. Promised to wait for her return the next year
15th April 1995 -- Held hands for the first time only for 10 seconds or so... her mom was around
27th June 1995 -- I tell her I love her; she simply smiles...
29th June 1995 -- I tell her I am moving to another city. She tells me she loves me...
17th Sept 1995 -- I get her first letter
23rd Dec 1996 -- We decide to get married
17th Sept. 1998 -- We realise we cannot get married right away
4th June 2001 -- First time I kissed her; we both goofed up!
7th Sept 2004 -- She decides to forget about this
8th Sept 2004 -- I tell her I can't, she tells me she can't too...
5th Aug 2005 -- It was her birthday

I remember all of this... and today I don't remember her mobile number? Damn. What has changed? Don't I ... damn no! How could you forget it, and she is getting married tomorrow... I should start writing down numbers. Never thought that they would let me down... You can't love simply anymore.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I am in a rush, so please don't expect a long post (the kinds you simply love ;-)
I think we should consider donating something to the Katrina victims. Gosh! I loved New Orleans without ever being there. I used to tell myself, "If a city could produce such brilliant stuff (and I was talking about Jazz) then this city must be really fine." Well... Its in a bad shape now. Problem with countries with such an exchange rate is that a contribution of sizeable portion in our own country might not be/seem significant on the scene. Still, I think its worth giving it a shot. I gave what I could to Oxfam and am in the process of making my contribution to Brett Lott (Editor of Southern Review). I received a mail from AGNI with the following letter from Brett.

September 10, 2005

To the Community of Writers, Readers, Teachers, Students, Editors and Anyone Else Within the Sound of This Email--

Bret Lott here, editor of The Southern Review on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am writing to you and to everyone you can forward this email to with an opportunity to help victims of the hurricane. Forgive this rather long email, but it is important to the welfare of many hurricane evacuees in our area -- please read this all the way through.

No doubt you know the sorrow and hardship that has been visited on residents of our state because of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding caused by the breach of the levee in New Orleans. No doubt you know as well of the thousands of displaced persons who have lost everything because of the evacuation of that city.

As a result of so many New Orleans area universities and colleges closing down for who knows how long, LSU has taken on almost 2800 new students who were displaced by losing their homes and their schools; in addition, many students who were already enrolled at LSU have also suffered great losses.
These students have experienced hardships that few of us will ever know: they have lost their homes, their personal belongings, their books, their food -- everything, including, for many, the college or university at which they were enrolled. To help meet their needs -- and these are IMMEDIATE and GENUINE needs -- the LSU Foundation has set up Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Strangely and beautifully and sadly enough, the latest issue of The Southern Review -- mailed to subscribers just week before last, right as the hurricane was making way for the Gulf Coast -- has turned out to be a very special issue for the artwork on the cover and that featured inside.
The artist, Billy Solitario, lives near GULFPORT (and I trust you have seen the pictures of the devastation there); as of this writing, we have not been able to contact him. The paintings themselves are of the Gulf Coast -- one of them is even titled "Spiral Cloud over Levee," another one titled "Storm Over the Mississippi"; still others in the portfolio are of barrier islands on the Gulf Coast -- places that don't even exist anymore. The artwork was selected about a year ago, and the synchronicity of this is a little too much to think about -- the issue, which went out just two weeks ago, celebrates a coastland that is, suddenly, gone. Also, and again the synchronicity of this is too much to behold, the lead poems in this issue are by Peter Cooley, poet at now-closed Tulane University; we have heard that he is safe in Houston at the time of this writing.

Here is where the community of folks to whom this email is addressed can help (and please read the following instructions CAREFULLY as they are being written this way so as to allow all of us to help each other legally!).







Please note that these two actions -- your donation, our sending you a free copy -- are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE (does anyone out there recognize yet the legal hoops I am having to jump through in order simply to help students in dire need of help? Sheesh!). Please note as well that it just so happens that the cover price for an issue of The Southern Review is $8 (eight dollars), BUT YOU ARE FREE TO DONATE AS MUCH AS YOU WISH.

Order as many as you want -- use them as gifts with the good knowledge that because of your generosity help is going to students in need; use them in your classes as a means to help your students rally to the aid of their comrades here at LSU; give them to anyone and everyone you know. And please forward this email to as many people as you know so that they might also be able to contribute to a worthy fund, and to enjoy the issue itself.


I know that to many out there this may sound like some sort of mercenary effort to advertise our journal and somehow to make money through the loss of others. Indeed, we will in fact be losing money in all this.

But you have my word -- Bret Lott -- that we will in no way profit from these mutually exclusive actions.

I know the outpouring will be a great one, and please know that we here at The Southern Review are prepared to handle the deluge of good will you are already sending our way. Thank you for reading all the way through this email, and thank you as well for what you have already done for the hurricane relief efforts.

Sincerely, and with thanks to all --

Bret Lott
Editor and Director
The Southern Review

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lift Karaadey!!

I hate the algorithm for the lift in our office complex. It is the most stupid thing. Whoever designed should be kicked out of the business of transporting people -- think what s/he would do with our already brilliant trains!! You can wait for your train on Platform 6 while it arrives on Platform 3 which is located before Platform 1. And to make your day creamy, the train doesn't stop at Platform 3, 1, 6 or for the matter at any place you like or expect. I suppose that is why they have a complete concrete contraption to stop the train at the destination!! Oh! well, it would stop at the smelliest of canals, though, button pressed or not!! But I divert, our elevators are simply the most stupidly designed tin boxes. I shall list my pain points systematically (trust a freaked out commuter to be systematic):

1. Shut up: I hate that woman's voice which goes on announcing the floor where the lift stops or fails to! She is so annoying. She wouldn't even shut up if I told her "Yeah, yeah! I know. We are now on the 5th floor!". She just goes on "This is the 5th floor." And she never gets a sore throat too!! We really do not have the choice of what we want to hear. Wherever we go, we are forced to listen to things, even in a tin box and then they look at me with wide eyes when I say I have voices in my head!!

2. Button up: The .... what do you call them? ... keys? buttons? Well, those slightly depressing (physically and not psychologically!! Guys, get over being the understanding humans!) circular metal discs (which disc isn't circular, goofy!?) that we shall call buttons are stupid. You can't press more than 3 of them. Well you can press all of them if you are looney enough after your performance appraisal day, but don't... not here, in the hell of failed elevators. Press more than 3 buttons and they all glow yellow (yuck, yellow. Sick button with an excess bile secretion!!) and as soon as the elevator moves an inch, they all turn off. So where are we going, guys??!! Heaven knows!! Actually I am glad that they have a roof to this building, else, heaven will know.

3. Damn! Button up: The buttons on the wall (beside the elevator and not the cute red ones near the axe and fire hose!!) are equally crazy. You can press them with all your might and you can still watch those dreary metal doors close on the guys inside. Absolute no consideration. What do they want me to do? Tickle those doors into opening up? Geez! Well, I even tried that! :-D Doesn't work. If you have long nails you could get them trapped and then you would only be able to count as multiples of 9 or 8. The bright side is bit manipulation in C is no longer a mystery for you (ensure you lose only 2 fingers!). There is always bright side to the silliest things in the world. All those bright sides make the dullest dodecahedron!

4. Stop, Stop! I, not you go up: Whatever. I had to get something with an up because that the closest I get to feeling upbeat about this damned contraption!! The tin cube doesn't stop. Stupid box rattles past my floor in either direction. I even tried hiding behind a well built woman from my floor but the damn lift still seems to know its me! Newspapers and plants don't help. While we are on that subject, do not hide behind plants which are nose high. Dumb beetles consider your nose to be the natural point of progression!! Blowing them away doesn't help, because they sway back, and now more passionately to your lips!! Chomp, chomp... weyuck!!
If I am on the 4th floor and want to go down, the idle chamber on the 5th floor wouldn't budge (yeah, yeah, its been a tough day for that box!!) but the one which is in the basement (-1 level) decides to save your trouble of walking down 5 flights of stairs. And then, no... it decides to go to the 7th floor and gets itself loaded. It starts descending and you console yourself "Come on, it had to go pick up those guys first. They must have been waiting long." But by Jove!! the tin box passes you by. Why? Maybe some genius pressed too many buttons and the poor tin box got confused and decided to let gravity decide. Or a few well fed specimens of our specie decided to pile into the tin box and it decided to not have any more of people!! BTW, that is digital embarrassment. You could feel happy that morn that you have lost 2.78 kilos and then you try to get into a well packed sardine case which moves around vertically, and a digital voice goes off with an irritating beep "Please step out! Maximum capacity has exceeded" Trust those stupid pot bellied software engineers to paste a smug grin on their bitmap faces with the unsaid words "Its you, the voice called heavy, not us!! We are basically Helium balloons."
The algo is simply outrageously stupid. If I am going down, it makes sense to get an elevator from a floor above (easier, less power consumption, well, we are traveling in the same direction, goof ball!!) than get a box from the underworld! But no, a master lift-God decides to get one that is resting in the nether world and then ... maybe not.... lets get you that one which is scratching its back against the roof.... and then again, maybe it won't match your shirt.... so let's open the doors of the one which is standing idle on your floor!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargggggggggghh!!

5 Fed up: People have to eat in the elevators and leave evidence of a fine meal. What's it like?
"See? I had low fat milk coffee. Here are a few drops to make you feel bad that you didn't get any."
"Well, I don't drink coffee."
"Sour grapes"
"Yeah, I noticed them on that corner of the lift."

Basically I have had enough of them. But till I get to buy backpack rockets, I think I will have to stick to them. Stairs? :-O You're kidding right?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Little things which fly past...

Recently I read this post on my friend's blog. She has a wonderful eye for detail and well... ahem.. other things ;-) It was a very interesting post and took me back to my days when I used to cycle past Universal Bakery (Luz Church Road) with a load of paper boys going about their morning chores. She ended the post with a very smiling statement:

Calvin was right - there is treasure everywhere!

Recently I caught on camera the play of an innocent soul. There is some construction activity going on beside our house and while the men and women were busy doing the important stuff, this girl decided to add her touch to the whole affair. I was so touched to watch this that I had to capture it on camera and share it with you guys too. The girl happened to notice me come out of my house and she shied away. She kept smiling at me but stopped doing what she was. Then I hid behind my door till she was convinced I was gone and she resumed her "work". That was when I caught her. After the scene was shot she looked up and smiled so sweetly. Now she makes it a point to stop by everyday and give me a wonderfully sweet smile...

Friday, September 02, 2005

You may have it... but no!

E: Its not mine, you see.
S: What do you mean?
E: Well, I kinda wrote it, but it is not exactly mine. As in... I can't own it. Its not me, not mine.
S: Then you should be fine with my taking it away from you and taking credit for it.
E: Well, it doesn't belong to me because it belongs to nobody. It can't be yours.
S: Why not? You still wish to own it, right?
E: Its not like that. Hmmm. Let me try it this way. Its like first publishing rights, or at least what I understand about it. I can put it up first but it doesn't belong to me.
S: Huh?
E: See, its like the wind and the clouds. They don't belong to anyone and hence they cannot belong to you! The breeze is not for you to own nor is it mine although I might have turned on the fan...

(a monologue-dialogue on a quiet Friday night)

A creative noble cause

I am sure that her blog doesn't need my advertisement, but its a small way in which I could say "I appreciate what you do". Do take time to visit The ProjectWhy Competition and do participate. Contribute nevertheless...