About Me

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Space Odyssey: 2040

Walking with Akshay, back to the hostel post a good dinner which ended on the Vadilal offering 'Volcano', I was blessed with a brilliant star-lit night. Akshay, being ever so the bragger about knowledge (sorry for this Akhoy!), helped me see the constellation Ursa Major, better known as the Great Bear. Must have been some Indian thing I guess. Not the Indians that inhabit the eastern hemisphere of the earth, but those wild things in the Americas. The Great Bear. I'm hell sure they must have lent it the name.
I had a funny thought while looking up at the skies. And of course I let Akshay share it with me. I was wondering if The man upstairs, Our Dear Lord the God, with one sleight of the hand might make all the stars vanish from the skies and render total darkness to the horizon. Not even the electric purple that a cloudy night offers; only sheer darkness. Like its out of some horror movie you'd not see with your girl on a Saturday night. But we'd also need some incentive for God to do that. And here is what I think the incentive should be!
200 channels, Hi-definition, in natural chrome, virtual reality meets advanced 3-D projections leaving us with the most realistic theatre experience ever. Now when Gandalf rides the night sky to the Elf Lords, he'd be heard all the way from Mexico to Japan's eastern rim... and as an afterthought maybe even the satellite debris floating all over our solar system. The effect would be so real that you'd wonder if you haven't already been casted as one of the Orcs. I'll be a dwarf, no hassles! But you, yeah! You're gonna be an Orc of the lowest kind only. ;)
Smell as much as it does, of horseshit, I think its gonna be a future thought that would be taken upto its practical end by the screw-space department of NASA or maybe NTT DoCoMo would find that revenue break-even won't even be ten years on this kind of stuff.
There could be multiple stations that, using radio frequency, can project it into space or atleast the outermost layer of the atmosphere. Out there I presume the interference would be restricted to what damage UV might be able to do at best. News can be fed from all the goddam' locations on earth, real time. You'd be able to see the stuff right then and there, projected almost in reality in the skies. All you have to do is tune in your MegaHyperMetropic glasses (MHM for you), into the appropriate frequency and pronto! Ben Kingsley as Gandhi is doing the rounds where The Great Bear was to be hibernating. I'd expect this to help do away with all those televisions and save some extra space in your living room! Maybe that micro-sushi-bar you always wanted won't now be impossible. The TV is gone. All you'll have to do is carry these pair of goggles (Ray-Ban anybody!), sit down where ever you are by the time it is your favourite show on air and find the nearest box of popcorn to grind down.
Err........ my royalties!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Dancing shoes

The music in the background is set to a hot hindi number. Something to do with lamhe and yaadein. Oblivious to the music, I stepped onto the dance floor at the insistence of a friend.

Move the right leg forward,
Move the right leg back;
Move the other right leg forward;
Hide the dance ability you lack..

Just happens that everytime I proceed to the dance floor from whichever innocous place I am seated or standing at, the left leg mutates itself into another right leg. Looking at my two-right-legs syndrome, everytime I walk upto the dance floor, I wonder if I was destined to join the Travelling FreakShow along in the ranks of the turtle with two heads and the three-legged chicken. The money is not bad I heard and travel is free.
Built at a modest 80kg in a 5'9" frame, my dancing or singing abilities would provide fodder to mocking judges and audience in any talent show auditions. And hence for the past 24 years I've stayed away from dance floors and singing competitions.
Assuming some of you'll may not have had a contact within the walls of a B-school, let me venture out to tell you'll what an 'Insti party' is. If Ambrose in his Devil's dictionary was to put a lexicographic attachment to the phrase, it would go thus -
Insti Party: Warehouse or Depot generally adjoining a football field; Holds 2000 Watts, 10 bottles of Vodka and Whiskey each, 200 fruit juice tetrapeks and at any given point a max of 50 pairs of legs;
Now that the context has been set right, let me get to the brasstacks. Today was another of the insti parties. Without yielding to the pressures of the veins in my body, which were threatening to form a labour union and evangelize themselves into varicose veins, I pulled my body to the Waterloo that an insti party's dance floor to me is. I guess it was the company of the folks I was dancing in - Satish Polekar, Srikanth Kiran D and certainly the better off dancers Shiva, Rubeena and Deepali. The first two mentioned are folks I might have seen every Saturday night at the weekly meetings of 'Support group for the Dance floor suckers', if ever such a group may exist.
Having grown up in 'yenoda SivanChetty Garden' in 'Namma Bengaluru', an island of Tamil in a sea of Kannada, my dancing steps are restricted to what I've seen Vijay, Ajit and the occasional Kamal Hassan pull off - i.e. a general cross between Govinda's tadak-madaks, Urmila's jhatkas and moves of every second guy who solicits his dancing abilities in front of Lord Ganesha statues as they are moved to lakes to be submerged. Surprisingly, those moves on the dance floor came off well, what with Deepali and Shiva definitely impressed with them (Deepali, infact went onto quote that I've begun to dance well) and Rajesh coming up to me an hour later and reiterating what D and S thought of my dance.
So folks, here's the result of it this insti party. I'm left with a few calories lesser, a vodka and four Real fruit juices heavier and a few hours shorter of sleep. And most definitely one step higher on the ladder of great dance moves, with 'Bhangra' only notches higher and 'Cabaret' being left behind.
I have a question for you - Would you do a tapori dance in a crowd where everyone seems to be doing only the waltz.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Past the Magic Window - A short story

It was almost 11 years. Having returned to the city after a long break, and with plans of staying away for another decade atleast, it occured to me that I might be able to meet her today. Like the petunia plants at the onset of Autumn that adorned the library side walk, her images went out only to return every now and then - the Spring! I must have spent the more significant part of these 11 years ruminating about her. "Would she still smile with her head tilted to her left.. would the parfum on her still tantalize me the way it did almost a decade ago." The next few minutes would give me my answer.
Sitting in our favorite spot in the library, I re-played the words her friend had told me the previous eve.. "Oh! She.. Hmm.. she still sits in the same place at the library...every working day from 5 to 5 30 in the evening..". She had come to become an essential component of the library, as much as the art deco that brought subtle beauty to the walls designed to compliment the Kafkas, the Joseph Conrads and other eclectic books.
Every few minutes, a car's sound would be heard from the Greco-style window raised high above the side wall I was sitting close to. I was sure she still drove the same car, she was someone who respected values and held onto things old, like a sentimental fool. The sound of the cars would start off with a hum, indicating they had taken the final right turn into the path that ran parallel to the old wall, and then like a Shakespearan tempest, rise in pitch as they approached the window. The sound would then either disappear into the silent chaos that seemed to occupy all land beyond the wall or come to a decisive halt at the parking lot, only a few yards after the window level.
Sometimes, someone comes into your life, uninvited and give you the best moments of it. Moments that you come to cherish and moments that you enact in your mind, over and over again. Each time you relive one of the moments, some aspect of it would be lost, until at a point, only the bare necessities of the moment survive, the original having completely been over written. My thoughts drifted to the time when as someone just out of college, and during the first days of work at the nearby Metropolitan Hospital, I would hurry out at the stroke of 5. She would take a walk across the road from the shop she helped her father's friend run, and come to the library to make my day.
"Screeeeeeech!!'. That sounded like the noise I had been waiting for all the while. In the few seconds in which I sent myself back in time, the car had taken the turn and come to an abrupt halt at the parking lot. Very much the way she did years ago. At that point, looking at the dilated pupils in my eyes, a medico would have vouched for the need of a quick run-up on my heart. The hold on my keychain tightened as my sweaty palm embraced it with a venomous grip. The door turned open and in walked a lady. All nervousness vanished at that moment. It wasn't her. Instead it was the old librarian, Mrs. Kiran checking in. Mrs. Kiran, the very person we despised during our brief intimate periods of interaction, though all she did in asking us to stay quiet during those days, was her duty. Inspite of the fading years, she seemed to remember me vividly. Maybe it was the seat I had occupied that made it easy. Maybe it was because, my appearance hadn't changed significantly much during the time. Did she remember her too!
Never one to increase the length of a conversation beyond what was needed, she uttered in quick syllables, "Good evening, its been a long time! The notice outside..er...the library is closed the whole week, but if there is something special your looking for.............".

Friday, June 24, 2005

Crass media attention - Sania Mirza as a victim

Yesterday, while going through one of the mid sized papers in this part of the country, The Pioneer and another larger paper, The Indian Express, I came across a picture of Sania Mirza in each of the papers.
These pictures were of her taken during the match against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round of Wimbledon. After a brilliant fight, our girl who is on the journey to become a lady, lost to Svetlana. The photo in the first newspaper had her squatting on the ground using the inside of her ankles, in a semi-slumping way. Under the guise of showing a Mirza who is famished after the match, the newspaper was trying to display as much of skin of hers as were visible. The other photo had her upper hand in the dropping motion after one of her first serves. This photo too had her tee moved up due to the serve.
Both these photos only display the sheer commercialization of media that has happened of late. This kind of stuff was a common occurence during the early to mid nineties during women's tennis matches, on TV. Then there came a rule from one of the Grand Slams ( I don't remember which one! ) which prevented TV cameras and if I'm not mistaken, even ball boys, from placing themselves below a certain height to shoot. The ball boys were not allowed to be in a bending position during serves. (Someone correct me if this is still so! ).
The phenomenon has started to move to the print media now. And as is the case in all such crass commercializations, the esteemed Times of India stays at the top. Today they published an almost half page picture of Sania again obviously caught in a position that makes her look more like a two piece model on some sunscreen's ad campaign.
Claiming that the players are fine with clothes like that on court, is hardly an argument. Whether its for higher endorsement fees or for comfort, the media has no right in commoditizing these players. That doesn't give newspapers or other media channels to exploit them. I hope TOI and the other papers realize this sooner or later and focus more on the sport and the sportsperson and less on glam. After all, a majority of them are already heading up on the skin-display factors, what with upto 4 sheets of pictures dedicated in the form of Bombay Times, Lucknow Times, Delhi Times, Bangalore Times...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Bredherhood - Part I

Ever been to Chowpatty beach, Mumbai? No!
Hmmmmm... okie how about this..
Ever taken the third seat from the right most corner of the last row in a movie hall playing a Mithunda movie!!!!! STILL A NO!!
Well, this post is not for you and neither is this world. My best wishes to you in hanging yourself with the first piece of Silk Smitha's (May her Soul, RIP) used sarees that u may find and let a better voyeur take your place on planet earth.
Yeps, you guessed it right! What holds together the two locations mentioned at the start of this blog, is the ease with which a couple --- (one guy - briefly balding, hopeless out of luck in finding a new date apart from the one who has come with him, aged 28 and helmet-owner;
one female - holding the helmet, hair generally adorned with jasmine, staring hopeless with love/lust at the bald One) --- can be spotted. They come in all kinds and variations with my favourite pair just being described in the brackets above.
Cut the chase! 'THE BREDHERHOOD' strikes!!!! It was on one of those walks to Chowpatty along with my college mates and dear pals - Sandeep, Prashanth, Shashi and Akshay - some of whom had plans of pursuing a summer internship in Mumbai, that we came across the couple.
Minutes after we had perched our butts on the damp sands of Chowpatty, they entered into our line of sight. 10 metres away from us, and acting as our first line of defence against any raging tsunami or an octopus on 'weed', they refused to let go off the tight embrace they were in.
What appeared to be an ENT specialist's job, appeared as being executed by the guy, repeatedly on the woman's E and T. Gross as much as it was, for the lack of nothing more ambitious to do for that hour we continued our watch... with tea in hand from a hawker who had similar plans.
Our 'vision' was disturbed by a pair of punks who drove the couple out of sight by getting within hand shaking distance (i recollect seeing the female's hand shaking out of nervousness) to them.
Well, it was at that point that The Bredherhood was formed, in spirit and soul. We realized that the only way by which we could prevent society from going corrupt, without doing what the Shiv Sena or Bajrang Dal might put up as a business plan, is by becoming active voyeurs. Those young men I mistook for punks, had with their noble and intentional act sent the couple scurrying for cover. The Bredherhood, which Shashi politely refused to join, siting 'personal reasons', was formed!
Our Motto - 'Voyeurism as the means of protecting woman's chastity'. Though we have targetted only one half of the market, success in the short run, might help us upgrade to a newer motto and better tools too perhaps. The Bredherhood has also had branches opened up in two of the major metros of the country - Chennai and Bangalore in that order.
Not a group to be gender biased, (after all, both women and men are at it on the beaches, theatres and classrooms of our country), there have also been women in the Bredherhood. They go with the simple and collective code name - Shishters, just as we are Bredhers. Shishters do not have any function different from ours and the main motto of the Bredherhood; they only do it subtly :-).
So this I guess gets to be our contribution to society.. though not as notorious as the Freemasons or as one-minded as the Stockbrokers, we I'm sure will find our own path and reason for existence in this big bad world.. Do wait for the charter to be published in 'The Bredherhood - II'.
PS: The 'personal reason' for Shashi not joining our group was found out shortly by one of the Bredhers in the Bandra area - he did IT..
Venkata 'Sigona' Suri.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven in a place like Hell

'ki ki ki ki ki ki....ayiyeiieyieyieyieyie.. ur uh ur uurrrrr..urr'..
Question - Guess the situation under which these high pitch nasal sounds are emanated by sweaty living forms in large hordes..
Ahaaa.. no. .its not from the settings of 'The Last of the Mohicans'... nopes.. its not from the Zulu tribes in the African hinterlands... and nopes.. its certainly not an advanced morse code being practiced by red bottomed baboons !
This is the welcome note one is greeted every morning, irrespective of the day, though the frequency and rigor in the yells is determined by the hour, in a Mumbai local train.
Perfect material for the adage 'mass men have no minds', the urgency displayed by an average Mumbaikar in getting into a train, risking life and limb (of his fellow passengers, strictly) would put the efforts of the best investment bankers in the country to shame. If the Mumbaikar showed so much of enthusiasm in trying to help society, working out regularly, or simply in working well in his office, the chief minister's dream of making Shanghai out of this place is more than half done.
Sometimes I wonder if this is all the entertainment that a Mumbaikar can get in the city. An absolutely empty train (i.e. a museum piece .. almost, coz these are as rare as a vegetarian in cannibal-land), about 30 people outside the station waiting and all they can think of is getting into the train in one masterful movement while the train is on the move. They then proceed to not so gently nudge their fellow travellers/competitors/rivals/gnu-in-human-form out of the way to get hold of that seat.
In 30 seconds most of them are seated as comfortably as one would while watching a movie at Inox. The rest are left licking their wounds with a cross-section of Hindi film cliches ('mein tera khoon pee jaunga', 'meri ma ki kasam..', 'mard hai tho saam..', f*** it!) running through their minds and at the same time plotting on taking revenge while getting of the train. Revenge needn't strictly be taken on the same person who bruised our traveller's ego and arms in equal proportions, it could also be taken against any other fellow traveller with equal zest and the scores would be considered settled. It is thus that the chain of attacks are set off, because there is inevitably, at the end of the day, atleast a handful of those using local trains whose bruise-accounts show an entry on the debit side without a corresponding entry on the credits ( for all my financial friends who are gonna go yak-yak, i believe that 'double entry' is strictly for adult movies).
Here's one of my personal favourites that I'm sure would make an entry in 'The Losers Travelogue'. I hold this very close to my heart coz of the unwilling protagonist's role I had to play in it. A martyr I was made, and a good one at that was I!
Blessed with visionary ideas and a vision supported by opticians, I was left at the mercy of a fellow-traveller to find out if the train from Churchgate had plans of pausing at Andheri. Being late to office by an hour already (which is a regular feature with me now, so much so, I plan to redeclare the rest of my colleagues as conspirators who come early to make me look bad), I had to go by his word without further verification.
25 minutes.. whizz.. 'Andheri' proclaimed the board. 25 minutes and a few microseconds .. another whizz but this time accompanied with a blur and some sadness, Andheri goes past me.
The next station the train approaches is Goregaon. Numbers inside the train have dwindled into the early twenties or late teens. As the train slowed into a packed station, I figured out that all of a sudden, all those gentlemen who were sending out vibes of getting off at Goregaon, have turned their backs on the station (literally, I swear!). They are now showing their butts (wouldn't the aforementioned baboons take pride) to the entrance of the compartment and I could hear the gentleman right behind me (he had by then backed off to the entrance at the non-striking longer edge of the compartment) saying something that sounded like 'mrityunjaya..'!
Whizz! nopes not a station this time, but the entire horde of people in the station seemed to have decided to use me as the morning's punch bag. Well-settled into every nook and cranny, I still felt like Orlando Bloom taking on Salauddin's army (I hadn't watched the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven' as yet at that point, thereby making the analogy an anachronistic one). This myth was well-shattered by the praying gentleman (though I prefer referring to him as a mantis now), who decided to blame the impossibility of him and the other posterior oriented gentlemen not being able to get out of the trian squarely on me. He may as well have blamed me for the 1996 recalling of Mercs due to some bolt fault and I'd have felt the same amount of guilt. Alighting from the train at the wrong destination I was now told to get back in there since that was the next train to Andheri, only, this time a slow one. The only conclusion I could draw - The journey to hell is real fast, but the journey out of it, if you do have one, is supposed to be a slow one, for the same fare!
I'll put a quick end to the above para, due to the pain it causes on recollecting it. The train went onto halt at Andheri, and I, with my 85 kg frame was over-numbered and over-come, submitting finally to the fate of getting off at Bandra.
The next journey from Bandra to Andheri was a pleasant one! For once, I felt the roads were empty! Though only a feeling, I still am grateful to God for giving it to me that day.
Thanks to the absence of a swipe card of my own, my early lunch time entry into the office was not recorded, unlike my thoughts which have been through this blog.
Someone please tell me that I'm not alone on the train journeys.. and I'll get you'll a two week all expenses paid travel between Ghatkopar and Kurla, second class only though.
Suri @ Mumbai.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

who feels the way i do, 'bout u now..

the past few days of roomly comforts have been spent listening to oasis. I haven't really been someone who has heard any band to all depth. so oasis was only another experiment. somewhere in 1999 or2000 i remember seeing a song of theirs on mtv. 'twas from the album 'standing on the shoulders of giants'. the first thought that came by was that its a beautiful name for an album. needless to say, thanks to a decent education i knew that the quote was attributed to one of the 'greatest scientists' (one of the ?? )..

for more on 'standing on the shoulders of giants' and some association of the quote to two-pound Brit currency check out www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0162b.
nick gallagher saw the inscription 'standing on the shoulderS of giants' on a 2 pnd coin. but high on guinness he ended up writing it down as 'standing on the shoulder of giants' on the back of a cig. pack for future inspiration. and they stuck to the title.

but here's the point i want to make. there are only a couple of songs that i listen to of the oasis now.
the first is wonderwall. the rhythm and tempo maintained in the live version is around the best i've heard. but the video of the song, which has the slower version going is an amazing piece in its own right.
the song is perfectly appropriate for a i-just-broke-up-with-my-girl/guy times. get some good coffee (whiskey if u are allergic to coffee) and play this one in low tone. nice time to ruminate.
putting in the lyrics of the song here.


another song that has been really enchanting is 'champagne supernova'..
the term of course is absolutely senseless and has no meaning (like most other title songs of great musicians - wud u really want to be in an 'octopus' garden' !!!! - and that's a best seller by a little known band called 'the beatles' too ).
c.supernova gave me the feeling of bigness, if there ever was a word like that. for once u get to feel an escapist thought in the old shack and it makes u feel good. do check out the lyrics of both these songs.. i tried putting them in here but couldn't coz of some problem with the tabs on the keyboard.

so long, until the next blog.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

ballad of the blues

in the first place this ain't a ballad (as all the poets would squirm at and vouch for) and
secondly, this ain't the blues either.. so all that's relevant here is 'of the'...

Promises and hope in the glory of the morning sun’s rays
We’d be together in all of our different ways
And I took her for granted and wanted her to do the same
But no, things are now beyond my claim

I trusted and saw in her a white dove that always flew yonder
If nature’s rage blew we’d be together, lightning or thunder
Said she we’d be together when we were five more than thirty
And said she would take me in her arms if I were dead or dirty

Time is a deceiver; he heals all wounds and bad memories
but also wrecks the ships that go out to placid seas
was I wrong in taking too much for granted
or was I wrong in giving more than what you wanted

can I have an hour of our old times back
though we lived a 1000 miles away from each other
the silence between us is not one of comfort
but of the ghostly airs that try to heal my hurt

and I still some nights, stand by the sitting-place fire
reliving all our memories and days in the sun
when I didn’t have to hold your hand or say a word
when the music was played by our band, and my silence was heard

said the poet, time is a great leveler like death, only so,
death comes once while time kills a man many times and slow
I’ll wait for you by the fireplace, with your silken cloth in hand
And trust you to come back to me, while our music is played by the band

Sunday, January 23, 2005

sin to be unsure?? .. a poem to my mindset..

Sitting atop the wooden fence,
I can see both sides of the game
Would you care to join me
U don’t have to tell either groups your name

I’m not an undecided person
Wallowing in uncertain thoughts
The message to these people I send
I’m better off staying off from them lot

Some call me a joker
Some call me a foe
The one I admire most is another onlooker
He’s the one I’d like to know

Do u have to have an opinion all the time
Do u have to know what’s right or wrong
Can’t u just sit quiet and be fine
Listening to your own song

Give me that hand of yours, oh! Finalist thinker
I’ll pull you onto the fence
Those mortals won’t reach us here
Not being decided leaves them tense

I promise no fancy lands, I promise no pleasure
U may still want to take some side
The only thing that I offer is this treasure
Of being married to an unknown bride