Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year, folks!

Off to Pune to welcome the New Year. Time to uncork the bubbly and party! Wish you all a very, very happy and prosperous New Year!!

The year that was

Things sometimes have to get worse before they can get better. I can say the same about 2005. I thought 2004 was the worst year I've ever had, and started 2005 with a lot of hope. And yes, things did get worse before they got better. The monster inside got too big to handle and its was quite a tussle before it could be tamed. But tame it I did, and things just got so much better after that. Better heart, better mind, better outlook, better attitude, better house, better job, better everything... Touch wood! Looking forward to an even better 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Far away, so close

I am listening to one of the best U2 songs ever - Stay (far away, so close). Bono rocks. He was so much better before he became Saint Bono.

I hope I die before I get old

I saw an old man this morning, frail and bent with age, struggling with every step he had to take and shuddered at the thought of being in his place. How long before I get there? 30 years? 40? Sometimes I think that youth is wasted on the young - most of us are stuck with 9-11 jobs that leave little time for anything else. And we seem to forget that we are wasting away our best years in our office cubicles. By 'best' I mean 'physically most able'. The mind may stay young, but the body wont! So wake up folks, get out of your offices at least once in a while to do things that you can do only when you are young. Youth wont last forever. Carpe diem, baby!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Whiskey Robber

The Whiskey Robber of Hungary, who robbed as many as 29 banks, handed roses to the bank tellers, sent wine to the police chief, inspired a cabaret theatre show, a hit rap number,and was pursued by the Mound of Asshead, is a result for our hunger for Robin Hoods. Even if he didn't rob the rich to give to the poor. And good looks do help, I guess.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A random thought

Time may not be able to erase everything, but it does wipe most of it away.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hot buttered apple tea

I've walked past Tea Centre at Churchgate so many times, but got a pleasant surprise and great tea when I finally went in yesterday. The selection of teas is just amazing. And the place is quiet,cozy and charming. Just the place to spend hours at with a good book and yummy tea.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The tooth fairy comes calling...

It was the moment I had been dreading - the dentist tapped my tooth and said "It'll have to go!". I felt like my legs had turned into jelly and fought an impulse to run. Now I have an appointment for extracting my wisdom tooth on Friday. God help me!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Of Human Bondage

If you are a book lover, you'd know that pang that one feels upon finishing a good book. And if it is a particularly effective one, its almost a physical pain to put it down. Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham was an exception, I felt so good when I finished it, and putting it down was like saying goodbye to a dear friend you know you're going to meet again very soon. An old friend told me that this was the one book that 'calmed him down'. No wonder.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Old men need to earn their living

These days, I try not to visit The The ads for the remixes put me in a real bad mood. Snoop Dogg on the official website of The Doors? Disgusting! And now Bob Dylan becomes a DJ. But I guess that's better than starring in a Victoria's Secret commercial.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I was in Bangalore yesterday, on my quarterly pilgrimage to Infosys, Wipro etc. Got off the plane to really beautiful weather, open sky and a cool breeze. Bangalore has its own charm, for all its recent troubles - where else can you find roads lined with trees covered in lavender blossoms, and a pub named "The legends of rock" ? Bangalore makes me feel warm inside. If only something could be done about the traffic...

A great day for freedom

Now life devalues day by day
As friends and neighbors turn away
And there's a change that, even with regret, cannot be undone...

Been reading Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage". Floyd goes well with reading.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Working women

After analysing my workout schedule and giving me tips to improve it, fitness expert at my office gym asked me if I sat at the reception. Fortunately for him, I am usually in a good mood while I am working out, so I grimaced and replied that I was into equity research. The guy came pretty close to getting his head bitten off. I mean, C'mon, women are not just secretaries and receptionists anymore. I hope he is one of a dying species that believes so.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I simply cant get along without music everyday. At work, at home, at a party, at a restaurant...I NEED music. And I fail to understand how music is just something to fill spare time for some people.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

8 December

Come December 8, it will be 25 years since a crazed fan killed everybody's favourite Beatle. But December 8 also happens to be the birthday of someone who has contributed equally, if not more to music - Jim Morrison. Don't get me wrong, I like Lennon, but I happen to love Morrison. Jim was Dionysus to Lennon's Apollo, dark against light. The light dazzled and burned, while the darkness brought peace and madness.

I might have thrown away my old posters because I don't want to spoil my new wall, but Morrison will always be inside my head. On December 8, while the world is missing John, I'll light a candle for Jim.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hindi movies

Watched not one but two Hindi movies over the weekend, much to the surprise of the people I know. The first was the utterly stupid Mr. ya Miss. The only thing that cracked me up was the sight of Parvati. Should have given it a miss. Apaharan, was on the other hand, was worth the effort - tightly scripted, fast paced and hard hitting. Ajay Devgan is fabulous. Worth a watch.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I ate the Lotos

One of those days when you have to drag yourself out of bed, the boss calls you when you are a minute away from office,and work just seems to keep piling up. But all you can think of is being elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I signed up on Orkut after hearing a lot of good things about it and all I got were messages from weird people wanting to date women. So I took my picture out, my email id off, and stopped checking my scrap book. Till I got a scrap from a former colleague a few days back, and another. I was surprised, to say the least. Orkut has its uses after all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Everybody and his aunt seem to be getting married. Wow!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is by far the best Harry Potter film adaptation of the Potter series. Kudos to the scriptwriter for distilling the essence of the book into a really thrilling, tight paced movie. Its been lovely to watch Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up. Neville, Fred and George have shaped up pretty well too. Viktor Krum was great eye candy. Missed seeing Sirius, though. Can't wait to see it again!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday Morning

How presumptuous would it be for someone to call himself an alpha male? Does pointing out that the opposite side has faults negate yours? Or mine? Why don't things matter the way they used to? Why is Kurt Cobain still such a good friend?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Song in my head

What are you running from?
Taking pills to get along
Creating walls to call your own
So no one catches you drifting off and
Doing all the things that we all do

Let them wash away
All those yesterdays
All those yesterdays
All those paper plates

You've got time, you've got time to escape
There's still time, it's no crime to escape
It's no crime to escape, it's no crime to escape
There's still time, so escape
It's no crime, crime..

- All those yesterdays, Pearl Jam

Friday, November 04, 2005


Over the years, the number of weird guys (i.e. guys you'd never even heard of before. Stalkers?!) who sent emails and smses, called to see if I'd be interested had dwindled down to zero,and I was quite pleased that growing older did have a few perks. But now, it has started again and its so frustrating. I mean, what do these guys think? I'd just jump at the offer because I am 26 and single. And the worst part is that they pretend to be these really decent guys - I am sorry if I caused you mental agony - what crap! And they have the freaking nerve to get my number from wherever they do and call me up! Aaargh! I feel like slapping them around and handing them over to some torturers. Freaks!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Imagine 2 kids, cousins, more like brother and sister. Born a couple of years and a couple of days apart. A lot like each other. Fast forward a few years - one has become a rigid conservative, while the other has stopped a few yards short of being a free spirit. And can't find a common spot to meet on.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Don't you ever get tired of running to stay in the same spot?

An eventful weekend

The weekend kicked off to a promising start with the Legend of Zorro on Friday night. Clean fun, tempered to suit family audiences. Nice action, great chemistry between the leads, cute kid. The only dampener was a rather lame second half. Lazy day on Saturday - re-read The Lighting Thief, night out with friends. Terror on Sunday morning with the Delhi blasts, calls to friends to make sure they're alright, thoughts for the one I cannot reach, movie in the evening. Into the Blue was a good way to kill time. Jessica Alba, Paul Walker - what bodies! Got back itching to read my new SFF.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rocking on Saturday night

Prerna, the annual fest hosted by NITIE, Powai organised a rock show on Saturday night. The anchor performance that night was by a band named Orange Street. Their music is what would be best termed as progressive, fusion rock. Great show. The band made up for a poor sound system by playing real good stuff, including Nirvana and Pink Floyd. But the highlight of the show was one of their own numbers "Naash". Try it on their website. Cool guys. Anirban, the frontman, was a real treat to watch, incredible energy. And the rather cute guitar player, Donny. A real treat after a mad, mad week at work.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I'm so lonely, but that's okay, I shaved my head ...
And I'm not sad
And just maybe I'm to blame for all I've heard ...
But I'm not sure
I'm so excited, I can't wait to meet you there ...
But I don't care
I'm so horny, but that's okay ...
My will is good

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack...

God bless Kurt Cobain!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Right now

A weekend of languor never fails to recompense for a week of toil. But languor also bring thoughts, rushing through the head like a herd of stampeding bisons. Memory, touch, taste, something precious shattered to smithereens, blood, fear, something trampled upon, crumbled to dust. The past is sad, the future scary. Right now is blessed.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The new bond

Its official, Daniel Craig will be the new 007. Haven't seen any of his movie yet, but really wanted to see 'Mother' and 'Layer Cake' when the reviews came out. Bookmakers have been quick to write him off. Apparently he isn't cool enough,and people feel he's going to be a big flop. I say, give him a chance.

On marriage

Met a friend who is getting married in November to this guy her family has found for her. We spent some time discussing what it is like to move into a new family, with a man who is just short of a stranger. I am 26, an age where all my friends have either settled down, or are getting married soon. Earlier, it used to be just family that pestered me with questions like 'When are you going to get married?', but now even friends, colleagues and just about everybody else is doing the same. And a simple explanation like 'I don't feel like it' doesn't not suffice. A long winded explanation that includes my dislike for an arranged marriage, not having a boy friend etc doesn't satisfy people either. 'You better get married before you get too old, else you will have very little choice left' is the normal reaction. Well, I am enjoying being single right now, and I am prepared for the repercussions of choosing at do so at 'my age'. This definitely gets people to shut up. For a while.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

How appalling!

The JAMMAG article not withstanding, IIPM has made sure that it gets enough negative publicity by threatening to sue (I wasn't aware that B-schools needed a "head of the legal and compliance counsel"!!) Gaurav Sabnis, who linked the post of an anonymous blogger claiming to be an ex-IIPM student, and causing his subsequent resignation from IBM. Perhaps its time that some authorised body was set up to validate B-schools and their claims in order to protect the interests of aspiring MBAs who end up spending a fortune on nothing at all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Real dolls

'Aside from Sidore, Davecat has never officially dated anyone. He compares his interaction with women to a bodily reaction, something over which he has no control, much as he wishes that he could meet a woman who breathes. "People who are allergic to roses can enjoy artificial roses," he says. "In the same way, artificial women serve the same purpose for men who are, in whatever way, allergic to real women".' This is as weird as it gets. Not to mention scary!

Monday, October 10, 2005

A tough choice

Recently, a friend had to choose knocking her career into shape over having a baby. Needless to say, it was a very tough decision, not to mention the guilt and pain associated with it. When she told me about her decision to terminate her pregnancy, my first reaction was shock, but then I realised that it must have been quite a difficult decision to make. After all, she has worked hard to get where she is, and made enough comprises to accommodate marriage and a husband, and she needs more time before she is ready to have a baby. While some people might question the ethics, morals, and everything else of an abortion, at the end of the day, it is the woman's choice, something she'll have to live with, and not anybody else's concern. Its all well to express outrage and shock over 'killing a new life', 'couldn't you have been more careful' and all that jazz, but one should not presume that it was easy for the woman to do what she did.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Just one of those days

Ever had one of those day when nothing is apparently wrong, the boss is not yelling at you, your parents are proud of you, your friends are all around, and yet there is this nagging feeling that you aren't as happy as you should be, something does feel right? Then you tell yourself that you're just being absurd and things are really hunky dory, but that feeling wont go away.

God bless Tim Foreman

While record companies are trying to prevent fans from "ripping" off their CDs through Digital Rights Management (DRM), some musicians are actually telling their fans how to beat the system. "It is heartbreaking to see our blood, sweat and tears over the past two years blurred by the confusion and frustration surrounding new technology." said Tim Foreman of Switchfoot, who actually posted a link to CDEX, a software that disables DRM protection. Good to know that atleast a few musicians are worried about their fans.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don't read trash!

The sight of someone reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist never fails to make me wince! Paulo Coelho is supposedly "one of the most widely read, influential authors" today. I consider The Alchemist to be one of the most trashy books I've read. Pop philosophy makes good bestsellers, but what about gullible kids (and adults!) who get carried away by such absurdity? I do what I can by telling people I know not to read authors like Coelho and Richard Bach. So, if you are reading this blog, let me tell you this - If you want to read something good, read Dostoyevsky or Sartre instead. Or if you want something newer, try Ishiguro. But stay away from books like The Alchemist!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Poor Kate!

Let me make this clear - I am not trying to justify Kate Moss' use of drugs and or anybody else's for that matter. Drug abuse is bad and it should be discouraged. What I do want to protest is the attitude of the fashion industry which has suddenly taken the high ground, sacking Kate from ad campaigns. Drug abuse by celebrities in no news and the fashion industry is no stranger to coke snorting models. Kate has been the brand ambassador for many of these companies for a long time now. I am sure everybody knew that she snorted coke, but now that it is out in the open, everybody wants to disassociate themselves as fast as they can.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Way to go, Jobs

Steve Jobs has refused to raise prices at the iTunes store, stating that record labels are getting a little greedy. No news this. Record companies have been looting music lovers for ages now. IMO, prices could be even lower and the music honchos would still make truckloads of money. Music online should be free, and artists should perform live if they want to make money!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Down with Mush!

If the Mukhtar Mai incident was shocking, Pak dictator Musharraf remarks about rape and riches are even more so. Is this a reflection of what many men seem to think - that women enjoy rape, if a woman gets raped, she probably deserved it and all such crap? Men may protest that it isn’t the case, but the fact remains that deep down inside men fail to realise the horror and trauma that is rape. What kind of justice orders a woman to be gang raped? Or sentences a woman to life long torture by asking the rapist to marry her? Humankind will have to set right a lot of insanity before it can claim to be civilised.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What have we become?

Reading an old friend's web page brought back memories of how we used to be back when we were young and thought we could change the world. Of times spent discussing Morrison and Dostoyevsky, quarrelling over Ayn Rand, reading Eliot in the temple's courtyard, walking down the streets in the hot midday sun... Of times when minds met to ignite thoughts that exploded into vague experiments with the self. Why must everything pass?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The champion

I was in school when I celebrated Andre Agassi's win against Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon. Years later, I rejoiced as I saw him struggle against much younger and swifter players to reach the US open final. Federer might have won the championship, but Agassi most certainly won hearts all over again.


Oh, the indignity of travel in these local trains!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Rainy days and Mondays

Its been raining heavily since Friday, and the roads are flooded and the trains are slow. Reached office minimally dry and grossly late. But that is in no way comparable to the plight of the poor man near the station, shivering in the rain and trying to huddle under a miserably wet piece of cloth that passed for a blanket. Sometimes I wonder if the only way to live life is to be blind to all misery except your own. Not that most of us (self included) aren't, but sometimes it just hits you deep down in the gut and makes you feel so guilty to be as privileged as you are.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The iPod nano

Just when you thought that things couldn't get any better, Apple launched the iPod nano.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina and the killers

The local media was quick to point out how effectively the US was handling Katrina and how badly the local authorities handled the Mumbai cloudburst. Now, with rape and looting in New Orleans and thousands dead, mum's the word. I am not saying that Vilasrao should puff his chest up and say he's done a better job, but the fact remains that Mumbaikars did not have to go through the nightmare that is New Orleans. And thank Heavens for that.

Back to Nariman Point

Changed jobs, and am back to my favourite part of the city. Makes up for the increase in commuting time. And unlike my previous jobs, there are no butterflies in my stomach today.

Watched "Iqbal" on Sunday. Saccharine sweet, but worth a watch. Shreyas Talpade is amazing. Hate cricket, but loved the movie.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Up and down, round and round

After 3 blissful days with friends at Pune, getting back to work, putting in papers, getting your way with people - phew! Too much for a poor little soul like me. When will the weekend arrive?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The rollercoaster

This whole mess is a really big roller coaster. And I want to get off.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Beauty in the morning

You wake up late, jump out of bed and into the bath, get dressed in a jiffy, miss your train, make it to work just in time, tackle boorish colleagues, slump in your seat and switch on some music wondering what the rest of the day is going to bring... and you hear "A long December, and there's reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last" ... and all the stress just melts away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


After INXS with Rockstar, its Tommy Lee's turn to join the growing list of sellouts. Tommy is going to college at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Who's next?

A lot happened last week

Went to Hyderabad to meet a few companies and more importantly, to attend the Infosys Analyst Meet. An impressive full day event that saw the entire investment fraternity flock to the Gachibowli campus at Hyderabad, it was a good opportunity to hear the heads of various business units talk about the state of affairs, and to rub shoulders with the Infosys top brass, including Mr. Narayan Murthy and Nandan Nilekani. Mr. Murthy introduced us to Hafeez Contractor, who is designing a set of pretty futuristic campuses for Infosys. If they turn out to be anything like the proposed design, Bangalore will have yet another tourist spot.

Got back to Mumbai late Friday night, and slept away through most of Saturday. Sunday morning brought horror, with the murder of a young Manipuri girl in broad daylight at the Gateway of India. 58 years of independence and yet there is no place where you can feel safe.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Back to the gym

I've joined a gym again(yeah, I was lazy the last time around), and I must say that I've never enjoyed a workout more. Stretched muscles I never knew existed. May the Powers grant me the will to continue!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mumbai in trouble

I'm back home for a holiday, and its been really terrible watching Mumbai on TV. While I am glad that I wasn't among those stuck in the rain, it was really sad to watch the great city paralyzed and helpless. While the resilient Mumbaikar spirit will ensure that everything will be up and running as early as possible, its high time the government did something to equip the city to avoid catastrophes such as this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Twists and turns

Its been a weird week so far, a mountain of work, shopping for relatives, running around pushing red tape, coming home late with every body part groaning for some relief. The domestic help went missing, and then one morning a chit of a girl, all of 14 years, came knocking, clearing the pile of dirty garments away at breakneck speed, and recoiling at the suggestion of having a coffee at her employer's house. Can't do much about child labour in the country, but I'm not having it under my roof. Told her that it just wouldn't do, and her mum had better show up instead. And its only Wednesday!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Its Friday again

The weeks has just slipped past, just like the months and years gone by. While the world outside has been shaken by the London blasts, my own week has been uneventful (thank heavens!), except for a few good things at work. Wishing that the rains would come back- the humidity is oppressing.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Yay! Manga has finally found its way to bookshelves here. Bought a couple yesterday. Must say they're fantastic. The right-to-left reading takes a little getting used to, though. Can't wait to lay my hands on more.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The weekend

Saw "War of the worlds". Verdict: Dull and boring. Miss it. Missed the Live 8 concert :(. Need to get a TV soon. Saw a play - a slapstick comedy cum murder mystery. Now back to work and irritated like hell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The written word

I've lost count of the number of books I have devoured over the past few weeks. Picked up "I am Red" by Orhan Pamuk last week. When a gilder and a master miniaturist in Istanbul are brutally murdered while working on a supposedly blasphemous book for the sultan, panic strikes the miniaturists, who are struggling to keep their art alive. Translated from the Turkish, the book is set in the last days of the miniaturist school of painting in the Ottoman empire. Crisply written, the book offers a glimpse into a totally different world, where religion is deeply ingrained into and governs all aspects of life, including creativity and artistic expression. On a another note, the book is also about change, when a glorious era is coming to an end and everything as it stands will never be the same, when new is poised to leap over the old. Good read.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Go Billy!

"I want my music to be something people can hold on to" said Billy Corgan when he formed Zwan after the sad demise of the Smashing Pumpkins. The Pumpkins were trendsetters in their own way, giving us music that was rich and true. Zwan did pretty decent work too. Now, Billy is trying to bring the Pumpkins together again. "I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams" - he said in an advertisement for his new solo album. A guy who really cares about music. Bless you, Billy!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Batman begins

After a dismal Batman and Robin, Batman begins with Christopher Nolan at the helm and Christian Bale as the new Batman. The result is pretty good - Nolan has tried to liberate the movie from the trappings of its genre, though that has taken away a little bit of the excitement associated with it. Christian Bale is good, makes a convincing Bruce Wayne. Ken Watanabe is wasted in a bit role. Katie Holmes as Batman's love interest is disappointing - I mean, remember Nicole Kidman? Michael Caine as Alfred is great. Love the man. Who else can pull off cliches like "Why do we fall, Master Bruce? So that we can pick ourselves up again." Liam Neeson is a real cool baddie - "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to destroy". Man, what a guy! Cillian Murphy with those baby blues is creepy as Dr. Crane. Why are the villains always more sexy than the hero? Gary Oldman as Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox are great.

The movie tries to explore the fears that haunt Bruce Wayne, the guilt that drives him to fight crime in Gotham. But somehow, it never gets quite convincing, and we cant wait for Wayne to stop with the half-hearted efforts at exploring the dark side and get into Bat gear. The characters are sadly uni-dimensional and dull.

Verdict: Good, could have been more exciting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Pink Floyd reunion

Roger Waters will join the band at London's Hyde Park on July 2nd as part of the Live 8 concerts. I wanna be there!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

My new place

I've finally settled into my new place - which means that I am done with house hunting, packing, unpacking, and cleaning. Phew! I'd forgotten how relaxing a long, lazy Sunday in a house that actually has space can be. Dare say I deserved it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The clock is ticking

A song that I love, even though it scares the hell out of me sometimes:

Time - Pink Floyd

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in a quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Laugh riot

Watched "Kung Fu Hustle" last night. Irreverent, brilliant, brash, absurd... the movie is all that and more. Starring Stephen Chow along with some well-known faces from old Honk Kong movies, the movie is one goofy ride. Haven't laughed so much in a long time.
Verdict: Don't miss it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Vader rules

Watched "Revenge of the Sith" on Friday night. What a ride! And Yoda's fights were a scream. Call me a kid, but I love those light sabers. Why was Anakin having such a bad hair day? I mean, Lucas has made Hayden Christensen look positively dowdy. Loved the return of Chewbecca, while Jimmy Smits as Senator Organa was great eye candy. Man, what eyebrows!

Verdict: Not the best star wars ever. C'mon, without Han Solo? But it is definitely much better than Episodes I & II. Great action, quite an adrenalin rush!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Shattered Glass

Life is a house of cards that is blown away in the wind. Plans come to naught. Hope withers and fades. I am homeless in Mumbai.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Over the weekend

Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never let me go" touched me in a way I cannot describe. I suppose its normal to feel odd once you are through with a book - feel a vague sense of loss- but this left me pensive and morose. That isn't to say that I didn't like the book. Its lovely, and I think Ishiguro is one of the truly original writers of our times.

(Warning: spoiler ahead)

Growing up in what appears to be Malory Towers of sorts, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy slowly realise that something isn't quite right, that they are different. They are part of a cloning programme, and their sole purpose is to donate their vital organs once they come of age. Life then becomes a mute acceptance of their fates, a bleak existence until the inevitable end. And yet, there are moments, relationships, memories...Maybe that's how all life should be, accepting whatever comes your way would be the best way to live. The path of least resistance is perhaps the wisest.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Boy saves toons

Thomas Adam's campaign to save the much loved Bugs, Daffy and friends from being converted into "futuristic, dark action figures" has worked. WB has agreed to "soften" the characters. Testimony to the power of the Internet. And the efforts of a most unusual 11-year old.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Twists and turns

What do I say about a day like yesterday? A visit to a doc, quiet moments at the only spot in Mumbai where I can feel a sense of peace, tossing and turning in bed, trying to get some sleep, a movie to cheer me up, and finally, men bearing away an unfortunate soul hit by a train.

The movie was good, though. Loved Violet the inventor, Klaus the reader and Sonny the biter. Loved the ending too. I am so glad that they didn't make it icky sweet or anything.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Music is your only friend...Until the end

There are times when things aren't as hunky dory as they should be. People cannot seem to find anything wrong, yet there is something gnawing away at your soul. This is when you need a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold. No questions asked, no explanations sought, just a presence to comfort and soothe. But when that's too much to ask for, and you find yourself all alone in the dark, there comes a voice... singing to you from a distant time, taking you to places warm and tender, soaking up your troubles like a sponge. And then you realise - with joy and pain - that Jim Morrison has been a better friend than those you were willing to die for.

The wheel of Karma is spinning

"What you give is what you get", "As you sow, so shall you reap", "You always get what you deserve"... Different words, same meaning. You are fully responsible for what happens to you. A good deed begets good Karma, while an evil deed adds to bad Karma, ensuring prolonged suffering. And sooner or later, your Karma will catch up with you, wherever you are. So says the Dhammapada, which draws from ancient vedic texts, amongst other things. Can you find salvation in a book, or in any form of organised religion for that matter? Can you buy Nirvana off a book shelf? Is there any hope for those born into the endless night?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Movies and musings

Watched Sin City (Yes!!)! The movie is all about style. My fav- a heavily prosthesized Mickey Rourke as Marv - the best character in the movie IMO. Also watched Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (finally!). Loved it. Proof that Jim Carrey can do some good stuff if he tries. Topped this up with "Lock, stock and two smoking barrels", my first Guy Ritchie movie. You gotta love the accents. Great fun, great style, great background score.

Spent the last few hours of the weekend thinking about how people who I thought I couldn't live without now matter next to nothing. What is it about humans that lets us take things in our stride? What makes us forget? What gives us the courage to face the darkness alone? Will we ever find answers to such questions? Is it absurd to even think about it?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Duck tales

That mallard couldn't have chosen a better spot to incubate her eggs. Now she is a "security matter" for White House officials. Even a duck has its 15 minutes of fame. What a wonderful life!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Have you ever washed a brightly coloured cloth and watched the colour run? Ever think that life is similar? Bright and rosy with promise to start with, then the years go by and it starts to fade to various shades of grey. It’s surprising how most people don't even notice; don't even offer a whimper of protest. Life for most, is a mute acceptance of whatever comes in the way, a futile exercise in absurdity. Of course, it is peppered with many goodies - money, family, kids, and everything else that makes life so overrated; tools that create illusions of happiness, prosperity, success. Mere existence is so tough that it takes up most of our lives. And leaves little time for living.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A year in Mumbai

Starting life all over in Mumbai isn't too easy. Mumbai bedazzles and confounds the newcomer, frightens the bravest into loneliness. And if you have a heavy heart to begin with, Mumbai creeps over you like some old monster with its impersonal crowds. But then it grows on you, wraps you up in its embrace, entangles you in its complex network... becomes amchi Mumbai. And you begin to wonder if you'll ever want to leave this loveable beast.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Give me the Lotos

The Lotos blooms below the barren peak,
The Lotos blows by every winding creek;
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone;
Thro’ every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
Roll’d to starboard, roll’d to larboard, when the surge was seething free,
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl’d
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl’d
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world;
Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands,
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
Like a tale of little meaning tho’ the words are strong;
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
Till they perish and they suffer—some, ’tis whisper’d—down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
- The Lotos-Eaters, Lord Tennyson.

Monday, April 04, 2005

To Delhi and back

Visiting Delhi after a more than a decade was quite an experience. The city looks more like a national capital now. For someone used to Mumbai's crowds, narrow roads and towering buildings, Delhi seems like a vast, empty place connected by highways. And yet, there is a sense of grandeur about the place - the Red Fort, Raj Ghat, the army barracks - and the ever present scent of heavy duty politics. My host proudly informed me that in 5 years, it would get even better, thanks to the Commonwealth games. Maybe then the rest of the world will stop talking about the cows.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What's going on?

A lot has happened since my last post. A few of the things that touched me.

Euthanasia, or whatever one calls it, is a topic I have never been able to make my mind up on. I suppose that Schiavo shouldn't be just starved to death, but what right does anyone have to keep her alive when her mind and body seem to have given up long ago. It is indeed sad that a court of law has the power to decide if a human being should live or die (I am against capital punishment, but that's an easier issue to decide on, isn't it?).

Another teenager went on a rampage and killed his 9 people including 7 fellow students before killing himself. What's happening to you, America? May all their souls rest in peace.

On another note, the competition is hotting up in the web mail space. Yahoo is all set to increase mailbox space to 1G. IMHO, Gmail is still better, and way more functional.

Friday, March 18, 2005

X Vs. Y

Women are indeed more complex than men, says a recent study.

Home, Bangalore and back

Went home for a weekend after nearly a year. Found that people out there say the same things, do the same stuff that they used to, and feel pretty much the same way about me as they have since I was born :). Had to travel to Bangalore after that. Bangalore has become congested, but still feels wonderful. Went to Styx, my favourite pub, after nearly 2 years, to find that it continues to be the only place where one can hear really great music. Some sense of permanency in my world.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On maturity, or lack thereof

A couple of years ago, a friend who was fast approaching his 25th birthday told me, "Life will never be the same on the wrong side of 25". I had no idea what he meant till I crossed 25 a few months ago. Gone are the glorious days when I could get away with murder with the excuse of being an adolescent. The days of good behaviour are here to stay. Time and again, I have to remind myself that I have no right to behave the way I do because I am more than a quarter of a century old. I need to display maturity,even if I really don't have that beast inside my head. I have to smile and say "How nice" when I feel like raising an eyebrow as if to say "What shit!". I must act nice with the stranger on the train who knows more about a lost love than I do whilst my heart is getting torn into shreds. I have to smile at someone I'd really like to slap. Worse still, I can't be myself with anyone anymore, not even my parents. Was I 21 just yesterday, stepping out into the world like a frisky little lamb? Why does it feel like this one year has aged me much more than the 24 before?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

On remixes

When I heard a remixed Pink Floyd, I consoled myself with the thought that The Wall was pretty much abused anyway. But yesterday, my blood boiled when I heard a dance mix of Lithium! It is a song that's quite close to my heart, one that has been a source of comfort on more than one occasion, and I take great exception when a timeless number such as this is mindlessly remixed. Curse the moron who did it! Cobain must be turning in his grave.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

God bless Internet radio!

Do you remember the last time when you heard a song so beautiful that you had tears in your eyes before you knew it? Or the time when you ran to switch the radio off because you didn't want it to open a Pandora's box of memories? Or the time you wished for wings on your feet so that you could soar like an eagle with that tune on your lips?... Sometimes I wish I'd been around in the 70s when the fathers of rock 'n roll made music so beautiful and true, worshipped Jim on stage, felt the psychedelia seep through me at a Floyd concert, watched Eddie sing Jeremy like the lion he used to be. But good music is not dead yet - there is one Green Day for every one thousand 'N Syncs, one Radiohead for every million Britneys. Pity that these guys aren't pretty enough for their albums to be sold in India. I am very grateful to the Internet, for without Internet radio, I would drown in the muck that people call music these days.

Sir Bill

The queen has conferred an honorary knighthood on Bill Gates for his efforts at improving healthcare in third world nations. No, you can’t call him Sir Bill, but for once, he is in the news for something he won’t be scoffed at. Atta boy!

Monday, February 28, 2005


Warning: This is not likely to be a very fair review.

A take on the Hellblazer comics, the plot is not earth shattering; we've seen the devil or someone like him trying to take over the world before. Keanu moving between worlds, trying to save people - we've seen that before too, haven't we? That said, Constantine was thoroughly enjoyable a movie - for various reasons.

Reason #1: Mr. Reeves.
Keanu , ah well, he is such a treat to look at, so I really wouldn't care a damn about how convincing an actor he is. He is an action star, and a good one at that. But he is not quite the sour, wise-cracking John Constantine who is hoping to buy himself some space in Heaven. Like I said, he is good eye-candy, so I am not complaining.

Reason #2: An androgynous Gabriel, a really wicked Lucifer
Tilda Swinton as Gabriel is a scream - she should have had some more screen time. How tall is the lady, by the way? Peter Stormare as Lucifer is deliciously wicked. IMHO, the best appearance in the movie. I really liked the way these characters have been fleshed out. (BTW, more than half the people in the theatre had no clue who these two were. Alarming!)

Reason #3: Gavin Rossdale
I nearly fell out of my seat when I glimpsed Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar in a pin-striped suit. Yummilicious! Another one who should have got more screen time. Great eye-candy.

Reason #4: Execution
The execution is slick and the fast paced; the first exorcism is simply superb. The action scenes are well done, the insect-demon that attacks Constantine is great. But the second half gets a little tedious, and the special effects in hell are sadly unimaginative. Could have done with some better work on the demons. Loved the angel wings.

Verdict: Must watch. Unhook your brains and enjoy the ride.
(Warned you it wouldn't be fair!)

Friday, February 25, 2005


Sometimes the hype raises expectations to unmanageable levels. However, this was not the case when I went to see Black last night. I expected a clunky, weepy, saccharine sweet Bollywood movie and Black did not disappoint, atleast not in the first half. The second half is better, with Rani turning in her best performance to date. The Big B is getting very tiresome these days, the man needs to look at something different. For a movie about a deaf-blind girl, the movie is way too noisy. The background score swells at the appropriate moments, warning the viewers of the emotions to come before the actors get a chance to actually show it to them. However, Bhansali does deserve credit for touching on topics that are taboo in Indian cinema - the flowering of the girl into a woman and the consequences it has on the relationship between teacher and student have been handled quite well. Verdict - Worth a watch.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

On reptiles

A new species of crocodile has been found in Australia. Now, I'm sure that a sizeable number of the population would hardly find this bit of news interesting. I happen to like almost all species of reptiles - snakes, frogs, and crocs. I still remember my first encounter with the great salt water croc in a south Indian zoo when I was barely 10. My first reaction was - Awesome!!

Probably the greatest predator on earth, the croc has always evoked negative reactions in the general population. People think that crocs are mean, vicious, and sluggish. Why? Because they don't look like tigers or lions? And its not just crocs, all reptiles are discriminated against. In fact, the word "reptilian" is used to describe someone despicable or treacherous. People should take some time off, watch some National Geographic or read some books, learn about reptiles. Maybe then they'll be able to overcome prejudice and start respecting these magnificent creatures.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Most abused poem ever

Can you count on your fingers the number of times you have heard someone quote "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening"? Know where I saw it last? In the annual report of a software services company! "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep". The next time I see something like this, I solemnly swear that I shall scream. The next most abused is yet another one by Frost - "The Road Not Taken". Seems that everyone out there is on the road less travelled. I suppose that means both roads are pretty well travelled by now. So will people please stop now?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Lost love

Nice article on Salon. Memories. Wonderful aren't they?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Finding Neverland

Finally managed to catch Finding Neverland this Monday. Johnny Depp stars as JM Barrie, the man who is inspired by four boys and their widowed mother to create one of the most loved children's epics- Peter Pan. Depp and Winslet are good, and the children are amazing. The movie gets off to a good start (loved the dancing-with-the bear scene), but quickly descends into being an almost typical Hollywood tear jerker. Neverland will probably give Depp the Oscar that has been due for quite some time now. With Pirates II and a probable Oscar under his belt, Depp has finally turned into what I suppose he never wanted to be - a mainstream Hollywood star. No complaints, so long as he keeps doing work like Ed Wood and Dead Man once in a while.

Coming of age in a dry place

A trip down memory lane yesterday threw up some interesting observations. The human mind is such an amazing place, twisting and turning things around so that you can survive, go on. Memories are sweetened with the passage of time to dim the pain of loss. Lessons learnt are kept intact, filed away for future use. Till one day, the switch is thrown and then you realize that your head has been a real good friend, trying to keep you from harm, protecting you from hurt till the time you can see things for what they really are. And then you try not to feel so stupid about how you could have made such dumb mistakes. But the only resolution to the past is to accept the mistake and remind yourself that to err is human.

Monday, February 14, 2005

On love

Valentine's Day. A day of brisk business for florists and greeting card manufacturers. Love is in the air, as is the stench of helium from a hundred red heart-shaped balloons at the office. I'm sure we all have, at some point of time or the other, stopped to wonder why we fall in love. Now, a new psychological theory called implicit egotism promises to change the way we think about love. It seems that we choose our lovers in exactly the same way we choose our dogs. Well, I keep thinking that I'll get myself a black Labrador retriever. I wonder what that is supposed to reveal about my preferences in men.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Fall from grace

The most common reaction to Carly Fiorina's exit from HP has been "It was long overdue". Once the most admired woman on top, Carly has had a long and not-too-graceful fall from the heady heights of near stardom. Personally, I wouldn't write her off yet.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind

Even Marilyn Manson on a Monday morning cannot shut out the sight of solemn, sad faces looking up at you in the morning train. Eyes old before time, whispers for voices, shoulders drooping with the weight of the morning, no sweet dreams to bring a smile to pursed lips. Childhood stained by the juices of life, begging to be set free.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The whole mad season has come around

I first heard Matchbox Twenty(20) way back at college, when the band promised to be a cut above the muck that was clogging up the music channels. "Yourself, or Someone like you" was fresh and true. However, it did not rule the air like "Smooth", which made a star out of Rob Thomas, and effectively marked the beginning of decline for the band. "Mad Season", which rode the Smooth wave, showed dangerous signs of conversion to full-blown bubblegum. "More than you think you are" tried to make up for lost ground with tracks like "Unwell", but the music was beyond repair. And now Rob Thomas is going solo. Another one bites the dust.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The time is gone, the song is over...

One day you turn your head around and find that its been a year already. Its funny how the days can disappear without a trace. People are lost, memories fade, new lines appear on your face, while the scars continue to prickle. Some of us handle it admirably well- adapt, adjust, while the rest continue to hang on in quiet desperation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Teach our kids some science

Overheard this conversation on the train:
Teen 1: Brrr, it sure is cold today!
Teen 2: Ya, and on top of it, you're wearing something so soft (!?)
Teen 1: Its wool.
Teen 2: But wool has so many holes in it. How will it keep you warm?

Somebody needs to teach these kids how wool keeps people, and sheep, warm. Don't they teach physics at school any more? Or are today's kids too busy playing with their mobile phones to pay attention?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

On changing jobs

A new job is like a new love - exciting, tempting, full of promises, but you have this strange feeling inside the stomach- nervousness, confusion. Will it work, or wont it? Will it make me happy, or throw me down into the dumps? And just like love, only time can tell.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Flirting sessions

Lonely heart bankers in Frankfurt are now attending classes to master the arts of flirting and seduction. When is Mumbai going to catch up?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'm in love!

The new iPod Shuffle is simply amazing. As small as a stick of chewing gum, as light as a car key, says the site.

More movies

Took a day off from work to watch some more movies at the film festival. The first was "French Men", which was about 4 friends and their lives. Nice, but nothing extraordinary. The surprise package was "I am jumping over all the puddles", which was played instead of "The Quiet American". It is the story of little Adam, who wants to grow up to be a great horse trainer and rider, just like his father. His dreams are abruptly halted when he contracts polio, but the boy persists, and with the help of some loveable little friends, learns to ride the General. The film is beautiful and Adam is just superb. Worth taking a day off to watch.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Baby boy reunited with parents

The little boy who was found in Thailand has been reunited with his parents. Miracles do happen.

Movies, music and haircuts

Alexander turned out to be a singularly bad movie. What's with Hollywood and the clunky epics? And the background score gets cheesier by the day. Mr. Stone, if you want to show Hephaistion and Alexander in love, then show them in love, for God's sake. Why be a prude? Colin Farrell showed promise in Phone Booth, but he is simply pathetic as Alexander. Just before I entered the auditorium, I realised that I'd barely missed the screening of "Swimming Pool". Too bad.

Made up on Sunday by watching Paul Cox's "The Human Touch". I don't really think I have the capability to review the movie here. All I can say is that I've never seen anything like it. A journey of self-discovery and more, its simple and touching. Jacqueline McKenzie as Anna has the kind of beauty that mainstream movies heroines will never have. The film festival is on till Thursday, will take a couple of days off from work to watch as many films as I can.

Spent the rest of the Sunday wondering if the new age bands would ever make good music. Got a much needed haircut in the evening. If you have been suffering from bad hair days for months, then you'd probably realise the significance of a good hair cut. Makes you feel like a new person, doesn't it?

Friday, January 07, 2005

His head is just floating in the breeze, man

Someone at the office sent me an email about a baby boy who has lost his parents in Thailand. He must be about 2 years old, or less. The look of desolation in his eyes is... I have no words to describe it. No child is supposed to suffer like this. At the risk of sounding dramatic- this is enough proof that if there is indeed a God, then He doesn't care a damn!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Led Zeppelin finally gets a Grammy

Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin will get Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys this year. Long due? Definitely. But, does it matter? Considering the kind of music that gets people on the award list, and the number of really good musicians ignored over the years, I don't think so.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Starting the New Year at Goa

Took a last minute decision to go to Goa for the New Year's Eve. Got to have great fun, to say the least.

Day 1 - Dec 31
Reached Vasco at around 10, got dropped at the Naval base where I was to stay. Quick bath, breakfast, then went to the sailing club, where I had a great 2 hours sailing what they call an Enterprise boat. To glide across the water, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, water splashing all over the boat, soaking you to the bone... AMAZING! The New Year party after seemed an anti-climax after that.

Day 2 - Jan 1
Started off at 11 by local bus towards Old Goa to see the church of St. Francis Xavier, where the centuries old saint's body is on display to the public. And boy, it was the longest queue I've ever seen, stretching to almost 2 kilometres or so. Waited for over an hour to get in, and got to spend exactly a minute inside! The surprise package, however, was a beautiful church right next door, St. Cajetan's. Built in Corinthian style with massive pillars, and filled with beautiful paintings depicting the life of St. Cajetan, the place was simply breathtaking, and very peaceful.

3 p.m. - reached Miramar beach, 5 km off Panjim, only to pick up the next bus to Calangute - travellers would do well to skip Miramar. Calangute was better, a huge beach, good waves, lovely shacks that served a mix of Goan, Chinese and Continental cuisine. More than made up for the crowd on the beach. Stuffed my face with Goan fish curry and rice, sat and watched the waves and decided to head back. Window shopping at the handicraft stalls outside the beach was an interesting experience, with hawkers selling everything from Kashmiri carpets to Tibetan caps. Got a henna tattoo from a pair of women sitting by the road, who had to keep shooing away the unwanted male population that kept stopping by to watch. Said one of the women, " When a furrner is getting a tattoo done, its even worse. These Indian men are so bad. Only 50 out every 100 Indian males are good", and after a moment of thought added, "Nah, only 10 of every 100 are good. Even the older ones are lecherous these days". Ahem.

Got back to Vasco at 8 p.m., and started back to Calangute for dinner along with my cousin and another officer from the base. Gave the extra spicy Vindaloo a miss, and settled for King fish sautéed with butter and flavoured with garlic. Sat there enjoying the breeze and the sound of the waves. Calangute sans the tourist crowd is much more pleasant.

At midnight, we hit Ingo's Saturday night market, a really wild flea market where you can find a mix of Indian and foreign shopkeepers selling exotically carved chillums, hookahs, handicrafts, clothes, tattoos, photos of gods and goddesses, and everything else under the sun. The officer who took us there told us about an old white man who reads palms in a dark little tent, but we couldn't find him that night. At the centre of the market, a DJ played thumping music, while a live band broke in from time to time. And the crowd has to be seen to be believed. The spirit of Goa is right there.

Day 3 - Jan 3

Last day in Goa. Left early to hit the beach at Bogmallo, a 30-minute ride on a bus from Vasco. Heard some lovely Konkani music on the buses at Goa. Sadly, the shacks on the beaches only play the usual junk. Reached Bogmallo to be surprised by a small but beautiful beach, with almost no people around. Splashed about in the water, soaked up the sun on the clean sand, found my moment of peace. Made about a hundred resolutions for the New Year :). And when it was time to leave, I simply didn't want to. But all good things must come to an end, so went back and took the train back to Mumbai from Margao.

A trip to remember.