Monday, December 24, 2007

Why I love reading .

There are probably a million reasons. Here's one.

At times I read something and feel that the words have touched a chord somewhere. They've spelt out a piece of life as I've lived it, described a thing I'd never been able to put into words.

A feeling/emotion/idea/outlook/something lives somewhere deep inside you, beyond the realm of language. Perhaps in some remote atavistic corner of the soul. Something felt , never defined.

And then you read a book, perhaps a story of someone generations apart, continents apart. But the author has described that little thing, just as if they had dug into the recesses of your being, and captured that ineffable feeling with both hands.

The realisation can be even more startling with poetry - the feeling of - hey wait, that's me! that's my state of mind! How did someone else write it out so well?

Its an amazing feeling, at once both exhilarating, and reassuring. To be able to understand yourself better, and also to feel one with this world.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

awaz

kuch awaz si lagi thi
samajh nahi aya , khilkhilahat thi,
ya kisi ki cheekh

abadi bahut door hai
shayad unsuni hi reh gayi
pata nahi cheekh thi ki khilkhilahat

Valhalla Rising - Clive Cussler

Potboiler and very forgettable one at that. The Dirk Pitt guy is unrealistic and not even likeable. Too much of detailed description about seafaring stuff, and not all that grippingly written.

I mean sure most potboilers are not realistic, but I expect either fast paced action, not reams of boring description, or wry humour, or likable characters.

Yawn. off to Manto next.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Countdown

10, 9, 8, 7, 6.....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Procrastination.

has been perfected by me :)

the whole weekend has flown by, and here I am on sunday night at 10, long past my bedtime, wondering why I don't feel like finishing that work, which was due long back and which I MUST finish before arriving in office tomorrow.

But then lots of things are more important than that piece of work:
1) Testing the remote's channel increment and decrement functions
2) Cooking for the first time in months
3) Grocery shopping in advance for things I might need in the next few years.
4) Washing clothes by hand, the washing machine should be given rest occassionally
5) Cleaning out the balcony, why overload the domestic help
6) Finding new blogs and tracing out whats happening in the lives of these people
7) Staring aimlessly into space.
8) Blogging about my non- happening weekend.

Oh no its 10:30!!!!!

Aaaargh!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eat Drink Man Woman

A delightful little movie!

Its filled with little surprises all through. The kind of movie you could watch first for the sheer joy of its story, and then another time, and ponder over the surprises life throws up. And think about how much goes on behind the seemingly simple "eat-drink, man-woman"!

Of Biases

Something that offended me a great deal the other day - The cover of the latest issue of the outlook mag.

IT ruining Bangalore's culture or some such shit. And guess what the accompanying pic shows? A woman smoking a cigarette. To start with of course, a cig smoking woman is hardly representative of the IT industry in Bangalore. The women are a small minority, cigarette smoking ones a fraction of that minority.

But thats not the point.The point is that as a cover pic, a jeans clad woman smoking a cig seemed the best way for the morons who designed the mag, to show a threat to this city's culture.

As of course are sundry things that women can and cannot do, which make all the difference to this city's, country's and this world's fragile cultural heritage. Whether its cultural biases, religious biases, regional biases, its women who have to work hardest to preserve, women who do the most to offend, and women who are given the least rewards from the old systems.

I don't know what kind of prejudiced stone age bastards control the mass media, but I can tell you this, they make my blood boil and offend me mightily. Of course our sense of outrage is not worth much, we aren't a vote bank, and we aren't the high and mighty.

Its funny, some little known authors old , little read autobiography's handful of pages, makes front page headlines on the Hindu for a full week. There are repeated references to the offence caused, although god knows who is offended and by what. Chance references to cobblers and goldsmiths in songs, cause furore all over. So many people with such tender sensitivties , protected not so much by laws as by brute power. They are safe, they won't be offended any longer.

And in the meanwhile, the mass brain washing and chauvinistic propaganda continues unabated in the mass media. The hypocrisy and double standards. Women smoking OMIngosh! women drinking - serious threat! Woman raped? ah thats caused by loose moral character. Ever notice how that phrase has common currency everywhere - every newspaper, every article. Ever heard of a man of loose moral character? Does moral character even have anything at all to do with your sexual promiscuity or otherwise?

And there's hardly a murmur about how offensive and pervasive the whole attitude is. A few voices here and there, an occasional publication of short stories by Katha, some spleen on blogs and the occasional animated conversation over coffee once every few years, and thats about it.

Where are our voices ? When did I stop shouting from the rooftops that I am a feminist? That all I ask in the name of feminism is the same respect and freedom of choices that are given to other human beings, the ones with the XY chromosomes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Read it in the past week, and I really liked it. The first person narration of a person coming to terms with the his mistakes is very very effective and is really gut wrenching at times.

Somehow, I could identify with him. Not his situations, his locations or his urge to please his dad, or the story as such, but just him as a frail, flawed human being. It can pull at you even though the story viewed in isolation sounds almost predictable, and the characters are so far removed from our lives and settings.

I can't read another heavy book for a while though. I've cried enough in the Kite Runner and the Tamil short story from Katha. ( Will write about it if I can lay my hands on it, I lost the copy I bought)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Whine whine whine

I'm sick and tired of this constant whining. Yeh nahi ata, woh nahi ata, i won't do this , this is shitty work, i don't know this, i am perfect and its the system which is killing me.

I don't understand what we software engineers are paid for? I mean people used to starve and work the skin off their backs for a square meal a day, and here we are sitting in luxury having big fat cheques dropped into our accounts and not even TRYING.

For gods sake, surely we can try and think? Is that too much to ask for?

All we want is more salary, more promotions, more this more that, and in return what we want to do in office the whole day long is to sit and watch whether our stock prices are rising or falling.

bloody hell, I think we shouldn't be given any permanent jobs at all, money will only be given when you fix a problem, and no sir, you won't have someone else in the team fixing your problems for you.

I've had enough of this soft industry, I think we need to be shouted at a little more, and learn to get off our asses a whole lot more.

Grrrrr

Counting backwards and drinking water..

Monday, December 10, 2007

Calcutta trip

was nice on the whole. Another one of the college gang bites the dust :) It was nice seeing a bong wedding, the conch shells, and womens' cries. The fish shaguns with paan in the mouth. The rather different way of taking the first phera. The interesting headgears of the bride and the groom.

Some things of course I could have done without, but then thats life. Among other things, it reminded me that first instincts are very useful things and should always be trusted.

Also did a bit of bhraman of the city and quite liked it. Seems like a rather nice city with friendly people. The cats are fearless. The crows numerous. Some houses pretty old, with trees growing right out of the walls. The language sounds rather sweet. And things are really cheap, gol gappas, clothes, leather, even property people tell me. Although service levels are no good, much like Bangalore , whether its restaurants or shops, there is no such concept as customer delight. The shopkeeper is king :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thought for the day.

मिल ही जायेगी मुझे
मेरे हिस्से की रौशनी

Mil hi jaayegi mujhko
Mere hisse ki roshni
Laut ke phir aajayegi
Muskurati hui zindagi

Subah hone wali hai
Shamma jalaye rakhna
Lautoonga mein zaroor
Mehfil sajaye rakhna

Aasman se bhi aage hein
Mere khwabon ki bastiyan
Khwabon pe hi mit jaati hein
Aksar kitni hastyan

Poore honge khwab bhi
Dil se lagaye rakhna
Lautoonga mein zaroor
Mehfil sajaye rakhna


- Rohit Suppal (The poet laureate of ICE 97 ! )

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Glass Palace - Amitav Ghosh

Completed the novel yesterday at long last. Can't say I loved it. It had promised much in the beginning , but somehow I found it didn't live up to the promise.

I just felt that too much happens too suddenly, in a single line, and at times I'm left wondering - what happened in between? How did that character evolve? How is this situation relevant ? I guess taking up the three generations, numerous characters across too many places was just a bit too much for me to chew.

Cooled off with an Agatha Christie after that. Guess I'll pick up a pot boiler next.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Skandagiri Trek

Last week we climbed up the little hill in moonlight, and that was a great fun.

Headed out from Bangalore around 11-12 ish at night, started off on the trek about 1:30. It was almost full moon, the weather was perfect and the view beautiful! The trek itself wasn't hard at all, and we reached up in about two and a half hours.

After reaching the top, we did the "complain about the cold" routine as we realised that it was freezing, terribly windy and we had precious little in the way of warm clothing, shelter or heating. Bags were put to ingenious uses as headcaps and extra jackets.

There was also the fiasco of trying to dish up something warm. The small stove for making tea wasn't really a great idea and it didn't help that we managed to forget both the milk and sugar in the car. Strong back tea was prepared with lot of effort and rapidly found to be undrinkable and discarded.

The sun rise was absolutely fabulous. Made the freezing 2 hour wait worth it.

The return down was rapid and uneventful. After partaking the lunch which one of the office gang generously offered, I got back and crashed straight into bed. Woke up only the next morning after 16 hours, thus making sure that I got my full beauty sleep for both Sat and Sun!