Wednesday, December 27, 2006

You and I ...

A pug and a kid. Momnets together captured in slightly soft focus, in slightly dark tone. The pug follows the kid like his shadow, and the soft song in the background ... the loved Hutch advertisement.
Whenever the advertisement is played on TV - in its full or abridged version, the tune of the jingle is sure to catch your ear. I don't have a TV. So I've seen the ad in some friends house and never watched the full version, at leat as far as I remember. The tune of the song playing in the background if the ad for a couple of seconds recently caught my attention and it sounded very familiar. It seemed I've heard the song somewhere else, and it must copied from some famous song. But I couldn't figure out which song! Then finally I asked few friends, they came up immediately that the song is 'You and I, in this beautiful world'. One of them sang the first two lines. It again seemed very familiar, I just couldn't place the lyrics. But nobody could say the name of the original artist. One friend said he has heard this tune playing onboard whenever he traveled by a particular airlines. Anyway I was wondering for a long time where to get the actual info on the original song. Finally I Googled and found the mysterious tune!
Now I am watching it on the link above.
Great jingle!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Again Little boxes ...

I was standing in the security chek-in queue in Pune airport. There was a TV just beside the queue. I was watching carelessly and then again the same advertisement came up - 'Little boxes on the hillside ...'.
After security chek I proceeded to the departure queue, boarded the aeroplane and then the gas turbine engine started roaring.
This was my first flight! The plane moved to one end of the runway, then took a turn, rested awhile just like a sprinter concentrating and gathering breath to start a fiery run, and then started lifting its nose towards the sky. Soon we were leaning backward as it kept on climbing. I looked through the glass. The ground below was retreating fast. The aircrafts standing on the runway looked small. The houses surrounding, the grounds, trees, everything's looked smaller and smaller. Then the western ghats came in the sight. Pune is surrounded by it. The hills from the top looked just like a geographical map! There's a contour line that passes throgh the hilltops making a vein-like picture! In between there are small houses on the valley. They look as small as matchbox. They look identical. Its like a scatterd collection of boxes. Little boxes. I wonder, was Malvina Reynolds on a aircraft when she first rhymed it?

Little boxes on the hill side, little boxes made of ticky tacky.
Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses all went to the university
Where they were put in boxes, little boxes, all the same.
And there's doctors and there's lawyers, and there's business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course and drink their martini dry
And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp and then to the university
Where they all get put in boxes and they all come out the same.

And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family
In boxes, little boxes, little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Little Boxes

Evening. I was watching TV at one of my friend's house. It was a tea break in a cricket match. I don't watch cricket, but I watch the advertisement. Then I found suddenly the famous Seeger song 'Little boxes' strted playing on TV with a visualization where people clad in boxes literaly following the lyrics. The full song was sung and then behind the boringly box clad men appeared a sparkling red car. It said its for the people who are outside the boxes.
I was awestruck by the idea.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wintery Afternoons

The winter has arrived with all its essences. I love this time, this weather - not chilly but a lazy cold sensation throughout the day, lazy mornings and quick evenings. Unfortunately Pune is not so gentle in winter. The lazyness and mild sunshine of the morning is soon broken as the day advances; and at ten o'clock it is difficult to stay in Sun. Sun is always too hot on Pune. Evenings are nice. But the niceties of winter afternoons is absent here. I remember the wintery holidays in my home - after lunch, sitting in the terrace under the mild sun with a novel... I don't have that leisure now.
Still when the morning sun peeks throgh the window to my room in the morning, I fall in love of the day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sleeping saga

I feel guilty of it, but I can't avoid it. I am talking about sleeping in lecture classes. I am taking a week-long course on CFD. It is really important. But whenever I try hard to be awake and attentive, I feel sleepy. Its not that lectures are very boring, or I am not interested, or I am sleeping less in the night ... I just can't keep my eyes open.

First hours, lecture on Numerical Methods.
Student: Madam, how will we decide which equation to use?
Madam: Depends on the situation and physics of the problem. Am I right?
Student: Is there no guidelines that for this kind of flow, we shall use this kind of equation...
Madam: It depends. OK I'll bring my notes tomorrow and discuss this issue. Am I right?

Post Tea Sessions, lectures on Fluid Mechanics.
Student: But sir, if we take case of ... then can we apply the same formula?
Sir: Oh, yes. Since this is a general...but in the case you are referring the viscosity...or no the same yes...but in that case you don't have this value...then the boundary condition...on the other hand if you take earlier formula it may become easier...

Post Lunch sessions, supposedly a problem solving session on CFD. This is the most vulnerable session. But the teacher is more interactive, as he sopmetime asks questions! We start off with a typical movement of solid in a melting fluid.
Teacher: I want make you independent, what? independent. and hence I'll not solve the problem. I'll only tell you where in this problem CFD can be used. what? where CFD can be used.
Teacher: So you see, composite is always better. What is better? composite.
And our problem solving session, where we learned that CFD can be used to model the melting fluid and composites are better in absorbing shocks thus ends.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Cryin' in the rain ...

I've been very busy in very worldly matter for last couple of weeks. My veranda was, as if, blocked. Today I came from office early to bid farewell to Subhradyuti's parents who were vacationating at Pune staying at my quarter. Then I had planned to go to Nasik to Ashwini to escape from the boring world. Uncle and aunty left at four-O'Clock. I rang up Ashwini to confirm his availability during this weekend. He fumbled, mumbled, and then told he has an appointment to keep at Mumbai ...
Tired, I relaxed on the bed. When I came to my senses it was twilight. But Pune doesn't get dark at five-thirty. I came to verandah. It was not twilight, but clouds. It was so blank. I was feeling vacant. I made a cup of liquor tea.
Sometime when you are suddenly out of your things-to-do-list, you feel empty. It seemed that I have nothing to do. I was just spending this week with the aim of going to Nashik in the weekend. Now what should I do? There are two days totally free of any pre-planned work. It felt relieving and vacant at the same!
The red Palash (flame of the forest) flowers were looking gloomy. A cat climbed through the parapate and cornice to get into the balcony of the first floor of the house opposing me. It meowed. A boy from inside opened the balcony door slightly and it went inside. And rain came. The lady in the first floor of my building started watering plants in their balcony. I came back in my room, put the following playlist in Winamp and went back. It was dark by then. It was raining steadily, and my mind was blank.

1. Rent - Seasons Of Love (2:51)
2. Annie - Maybe (2:47)
3. Annie - Tomorrow (2:07)
4. Annie - You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile (3:06)
5. Hair - Easy to be hard (3:26)
6. Oliver! - I'd Do Anything (3:46)
7. Oliver! - Who Will Buy (4:29)
8. John Denver - Take Me Home Country Roads (3:12)
9. John Denver - Annie's Song (3:00)
10. John Denver - Farewell Andromeda (4:04)
11. John Denver - Fly Like An Eagle (4:00)
12. John Denver - No One (6:22)
13. John Denver - Rocky Mountain High (4:42)
14. Don Williams - Crying In The Rain (3:04)
15. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (2:45)
16. Don Mclean - Empty Chairs (3:27)
17. Don Mclean - Streets Of London (4:08)
18. Petula Clark - Downtown (3:11)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Seasonal Cycle

The weather now-a-days have become very unpredicatble. It rains in winter, paddy fields run dry in monsoon, deserts get flooded and what not. For last couple of yeras the monsoon is very stretched in Western India and Eastern India is getting drier and drier everyday. This year Rajasthan got flooded for a week! And back in West Bengal the average rainfall is less than 50% of the usual quantity. Average temperature is rising. Winters are also not so cool.
Say for today in Pune, it was really cold in the dawn; at 11 A.M. it was too hot to get out of the house; and finally in the evening lashes of rain!

Whose fault is it anyway?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The rain in Pune drops mainly year-around!


I was stuck in a shop and the shopkeeper told looking outside, "Its June again!" Someone else replied, "Now its always June in Pune..."

You got it, it was again raining in Pune!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I've just comeback from my long sought vacation of two weeks and I'm dead tired! Vacationating has never been so tiresome, so many work had to be done back in my home and so less time!
Tomorrow again I'm off to Bangalore.
Feeling sleepy.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Oral Health of Hyderabad

Last few days I was at Hyderabad, my fourth visit to Hyderabad. First time I came here I felt the warmth and cordiality of the city. The city has wide roads, always croweded, crowded buses, always busy streets near Charminar, noisy streets, old buildings, hot weather, and warmth of flowing life underneath its skin. That's what charmed me. Neither in Bangalore, Mumbai or Pune I have felt this feeling.
Two years have past since then. The city has changed a lot. More sophisticated, more posh, cost of living is rising with the IT boom. Roads are more crowded, more in-process flyovers are narrowing down the width of the streets. It is becoming more and more formal day by day. But one thing hasn't changed a bit - number of oral and dental clinics!
Just as you'll find a theatre in every hundred yards in Bangalore, you'll pass by three dental/oral clinics in every hundred yards in Hyderabad! It is really something awkward. Is the city has a real problem with oral health? Otherwise why will there be so many of dental clinics; and most of them seems to be well-to-do. Almost all of them are traditional old dentist's shop mostly run by Muslims with their signboards written in Urdu (as it seems to me).
Hyderabad's population is majorly of Muslim community. Meat is their regular diet. Mostly mutton/lamb sometimes beef or chicken or fish. They are masters in delicious non-vegeterian Moghlai dishes and especially Biryani (ummmm). Is this oily & spicy diet is more corrosive to the teeth than usual vegetarian and occasional non-vegetarian diet in other parts of India? Or is it that Hyderabad has a legacy of traditional dentistry coming down from generations? But then also, why among all of medical science, dentistry flourished here?
There is something teethy here!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Whose Puja is it?

I was attending a Durgapuja near our colony at Pune. As usual it was a typical Bengali crowd - chatting in Bengali, shouting in Bengali... As a Bengali I was feeling homely. I was not feeling alone, though I was sitting alone in a chair in front of the idol. This ambience is what we crave for during the Durga puja. Being alone gives you a golden opportuninty to watch others. Everybody dressed in ethnic dresses, men in panjabi and payjama or dhuti, ladies in cotton shaRis. Colorful children were running all around. You can distinguish two groups of children clearly. The younger group is of below ten years. They are jubiliant, careless, undivided and playing all around. The older one consists of several groups of children of preteen and adolescents. They are not as free as the younger group. They are mostly sitting and chatting in small small groups. Growing older robs the innocence of comradeship of childhood.
I rememberd my childhood days. We had a durgapuja just in front of our house. The four days puja used to be a constant playtime! Clad in new dresses we used to roam all around with toy pistols. The puja could be reflected in our bright, glowing, astonished face itself. That glow of face is what missing in the elder group of boys and girls. The younger group certainly had that glow, but I could not find the awestruck enjoyment that we used to have to savor the grandeur of the Puja in bright new dresses. It seemed to be just like a holiday for them. I know it is difficult to relate with the emotions of a child after you grow up; and this is the common mistake we make when we try to read the mind of a child.
Then I noticed few local Maharshtrian children, most probably of the bais and the caretakers who are cleaning the mess made by the crowd and keeping the place up. These children were moving in a group in ragged clothes in front of the idol gigling and running around here and there. They don't know who is Durga or what is the emotion of a Bengali's Durga puja. But they know its a grand festival, and you can realize that they are, as if, gobbling the grandeur of the festival. A girl in her teens came in fron fo dias to take a photo of the idol. This group of children gathered at her back eagerly trying to figure out how she is taking a photo in the display of her digital camera. The girl who was closer to our teenager had a triumphant look on her face for being the one having the most comprehensive look at the digital display.

And I found the emotion of awestruck enjoyment, which I was looking for. In a moment I realized who are enjoying the most out of the festival. And I felt gratified by them for making my Durgapuja complete!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A small incident

During the Durgapuja many organisers arrange for bhog, a public lunch sometimes free, sometimes paid. Simple khichdi and a typical mixed curry with some fries and payes. Simple but delicious food. I went to a Puja in Pune as a guest of a friend of mine who is a member of the organising committee. As the lunchtime neared crowd started pouring in. And the big hall room seemed to congested. Somehow, we managed a place in the first batch as we were the guest of a member! We normally don't use spoons for eating this kind of dishes. But habit of civilized society hasbeen so deeply engraved in some people's mind. They have brought their spoons and bottles of mineral water with them. The organisers start distributing food. We were hungry, the food was delicious and steamy. The typical homely and decent atmosphere of Puja. Almost hundred people were sitting in this batch. Gradually the menu comes to an end. The sweet dish payes is being distributed, when I started spotting another row of people are taking their place behind each of ours chairs. They are booking their seat in the next batch. It feels awkward. Somebody is waiting at your back to finish your meal! But in a public lunch place this is usual.
But then the problem starts. Some volunteers say they have already booked the places and whosoever is booking by standing behind a chair is not permitted to sit there. The sits are to be alloted by the volunteers. The environment starts heating up. Nobody is ready to give up. Nobody has time to wait, its a competitive world - nobody can wait and see their peers are getting serviced before them. The quarrel starts. Young volunteers on the power of their youth starts misbehaving the the elders who were standing behind chairs. Organisers try to control the mob. Everyone becomes agitated; and as usual agitated Bengali never speaks in Bengali - exchange of English and Hindi hot words is started. The soothing homely atmosphere is completely vanished now. I manage to finish my meal and come out struggling to the open place.
So impatient we have become ...
"It makes me want to run out and tell them
They've got time.
Take a step back out and warn them
I've found out I've got time... "

Friday, September 29, 2006

missing adda

Today is the Saptami. The starting day of the Grand Festival of Durgapuja; and this is for the third time in a row I am away from home in Durgapuja. I am, well, honestly speaking, homesick.
For Bengalis Durgapuja is not a mere puja - its a yearly celebration of life, a time to get together, a time of endless adda at the pandal premises. Though I am not a very enthusiastic addabaj, I like to be there. But somehow the topic of discussions of the adda we used to have in puja gathering have shifted with time. At the end the schooldays the topics had been more on the edge of vulger legpulling and trying out the taboo things, like public smoking, boozing, teasing, smacking. This was a typical growth pattern of middleclass youth in a small town, where the effects of urbanization has started creeping in with the spread of media. We had no real icon in front of us, but we had heard/seen stories of freedom of west. This was an obvious bend the suppressed youth was supposed to take.
From this time on, I started losing contact with my classmates and addamtes for two reasons; firstly many of us parted for higher studies and secondly the larger domain of IIT culture opened a new horizon for me. The major thrust came from internet, which was easlily accessible at IIT. I have never been an active addabaj during Durgapujas after that. Then came career, the distance between us got wider and wider.
But now, today, after a three year distance from Puja adda, I feel nostalgic. I know the turbulence of our old adda has settled now, everybody has matured. The charm of old adda has might not been lost, but has taken a different point of view.
I, seating alone in fornt of my computer in the Saptami night, am longing for the usual addas in pandals...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Homesick in Pune

Early rising is always a pleasant feeling. Unfortunately, for me early rising is almost synonymous with night-out. Unless you don't sleep at night, you can't rise early in the morning!
But yesterday I had a terrible headache after returning from office and took to bed to rest for couple of hours at around six-o'clock. Afreshed, when I woke up, it was half past four in the morning! Night was still prevalent.
I made a cup of tea and came to my balcony. Only street lights are awake, along with a lonely light in a solitary room in the house just around the street. SOmeone might be a real early riser. But four-thirty, I presume, is too early for a regular early riser especially at a place like Pune where time runs almost half an hour behind the IST. It must be something else. May be the person has to catch a bus/train in the morning, so he is packing off. Or may be he/she has forgot to put the lights off!
The cool breeze and soothing night. It was feeling awsome. The first glow of light started to come in almost an hour later. And it revealed a spectacular dawn. Tow palash trees overloaded with bright red flowers greeted my vision from the two sides of the balcony. I didn't notice so much flowers have coem to them. Palash is a typical spring flower in Bengal, but here the life cycle is slightly offset. In Bengal Palash signifies the Saraswati Puja - festival of youth, one may say. These palash flowers brought back the memories of Saraswati Puja, which reminded me that Durga puja is just three days away and I am still stuck here in Pune. For last three years I have not been home in Durga Puja.
I miss those kashful, shiuli and dhaak. None of them I've found here. Though there are few places here in Pune where Bengalis celebrate Durga puja, I've never felt any attractions to them. They are more business-like than cordial!
The sky is now alighted. This reveals the cirrus clouds scattered over the sky. A typical autumn morning. I feel homesick.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

dhNeki shaak

The Puja special issues of Bengali magazines have appeared at the market. The quality has deteriorated substantially now-a-days. The obvious reason is that a writer produces ten to twelve, if not more, articles for a bunch of magazines within a couple of months. With this kind of attitude towards literature, I don't know where the Bengali Puja literature is heading!
I read a short story of Tarapado Roy in one such Puja issues. It was just like his usual style, a nostalgic story based on real charecters and incidents with an undercurrent of bleeding memories of our divided past - Deshbhaag, or the division of the country.
Author's uncle-of-village-relation, Abinash kaka is a permament resident of US for a couple of decades now with his daughter. Earlier he used to write long letters to the author, now with the advent of technology he sends occasional emails. Each of his mails bears a request to bring something exotic dug up from memories; like an old plate Abinash kaka got as a gift in his childhood, or a certain fruit that is only available in murshlands of Bengal. Tarapado Roy whenever possible carries those things overseas when he goes to visit his son settled in a town near to Abinash kaka's place.
This time Abinash kaka has requested to bring some DhNeki shaak. The author carries a bunch of it with him but the vegetable perishes on its way to Abinash kaka. But later during the trip when he meets Abinash kaka, he is surprised to have the same vegetable on his meal. Abinash kaka's daughter has found the dhNeki shaak in the market somewhere in US. This is a very insignificant issue. But considering the emotional connection of dhNeki shaak with someone who has left his motherland long ago and again the availablity of that exotic vegetabe in globalized-market produces a contrasting optimism with the underlying nostalgia.
Life is made up of small and insignificant things. Only the one who has an eye and appreciation for those insignificant things can enjoy the life to its fullest.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The oldest profession

I am coming to Bangalore almost once in a month for last one and half year. I've seen it changing; traffic getting heavier, overbridges and subways being born, crowd getting denser, city nights becoming hotter... so many changes, impercievable to a city dweller's eye.
This time I noticed another change. A dramatic rising in the number of girls standing alone in the crowded roads in the Majestic (Kempe Gowda Circle) area at around 9-o'clock in the night. Their attitude suggests clearly what profession they are in. Even sometime you'll find a man bergaining with one of them. Its very natural in a place like Majestic, which is a main entry point of the city and is the place of thousands of mid and low range hotels which are almost always full by daily visitors who come for business or official purpose. This is the oldest entertainment for the society and for these people who flock in for a day or two, it is a real cheap and pleasuring entertainment.
But the number of streetgirls have increased quite a lot in last couple of months, or their behaviorial pattern, their marketing pattern have become more aggressive. Whichever may be the case, this is certainly in indication of rise of influx of middleclass men from small organisations for business/official purpose for short visit. This is in other way is an indication of the booming of small industries and retaqil shops in Bangalore; because these are the places where these outsiders come for.

There is a lot more inferences one can draw from the observations of the traffic in a place like Majestic. I might jot down some days.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Familiar Face Across the Street

One of the most sweetest moment in a unknwon city is a familiar face across the street.
Well, Bangalore, in no sense , is an unknown city to me. But still the it is not my city. And when I meet an old friend in a sunday morning market, it feels wonderful. Exactly this is what happened today. Two times!
Almost after two years I met them and when I first saw Tarakda in the morning, I just shouted 'arrre tumi!?...' and then we started all ol'timely talks.
The second one was Bhaskar, I saw him coming a little far away and he too. When we approached near, it was no surprise, as if we knew we will meet here; and started talking just like old days.

I came into this lovely city about three weeks ago today,
and I've been trying to find someone that I can talk to, a friendly face to turn my way.
I walk these streets in silent sorrow, I walk my feet into the ground,
and all I see are cloudy, cold, suspicious faces, I swear to God it brings me down.
Is there no one with a smile for me, no one with a hello in their eyes?
Is there no one who will love me and help me through the dark and lonely night?

The park's so green and full of flowers and lovers lying on the lawn.
I wish I had a lady here that I could laugh with, sweet Jesus Christ, it hurts me so to be alone.
Is there no one with a smile for me, no one with a hello in their eyes?
Is there no one who will love me and help me through the dark and lonely night?
Singing la la la la la la, Singing la la la la la la.

This life is hard and full of trouble, it's painful just to live from day to day.
But if you're weary and afraid don't turn away now,
there's no reason why we have to feel this way.
Is there no one with a smile for me, no one with a hello in their eyes?
Is there no one who will love me and help me through the dark and lonely night?

Singing la la la la la la, Singing la la la la la la.

I just need someone to talk to. It hurts to be alone.
I just need someone to laugh with. It hurts to be alone.
I just want someone to love me. I need someone to talk to. And it hurts to be alone.

Singing la la la la la la, Singing la la la la la la.
Singing la la la la la la, Singing la la la la la la

(John Denver)

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Today morning I reached Bangalore on official duty. This is my frequent destination now. This time I am going to stay here at least for a week. And as usual the moment I get out of Pune and come to roaming zone, I remember so many phone calls to do... to friends, to relatives,etc. Is it being out from usual place reminds me these?
Is it the fact that I am too occupied in day-to-day affairs back in Pune to remember old friends?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesdays are forever

Is there a reason behind Tuesdays becoming popular with intellectuals?
Say, why did of all the days Mitch Albom chose to visit Prof Morrie Schwartz on Tuesdays ('Tuesdays with Morrie') only? Why just the Moody Blues think so much of a Tuesday ('Tuesday Afternoon')? The answer, my friend, is not blowin' in the wind!
May be after the weekend vacation we take the whole Monday to acclamatize again with the week's work and don't get any time for introspection kind of things. On Tuesday we again gather our pace of work, so at the end of the we have some time for ourselves and start musing on various issues get nostalgic for holidays, dream various things to do on spare time, blah, blah... On Wednesday onwards we get so habtuated with the work that no thought other than work comes to mind. Then again Weekend comes, we get lazy and forget the things we thought to do in weekend. After spending the weekend out of laziness and few pending housework on Monday again we try hard to cope up with work schedule. So on Tuesday again we start thinking what we should have done this weekend and what we should do in the next, start dreaming, start musing...
"Tuesday afternoon.
I'm just beginning to see,
Now I'm on my way.
It doesn't matter to me,
Chasing the clouds away.
And if the Tuesday is a holiday? A Holiday just in the middle of the week is always the most pleasant one; and today, Tuesday is a declared holiday in my office...
All the sounds of the earth are like music,
All the sounds of the earth are like music,
The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree,
And a ol' weepin' willer is laughin' at me!

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day,
I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'rything's goin' my way.
Oh, what a beautiful day."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Villain Battery

Holidays are lazy days! The day to sleep up to at least 10-o'clock in the morning. Today also I had a look at the bedroom watch before leaving the bed, it was quarter past eleven at the watch. Sleepily I did all the morning washings and grabbed a cup of tea and came to veranda. But the Sun is not at all bright like it should be at eleven, and it seems it just left the horizon. I came back to bedroom, had a close look at the watch and ... it was too late, as I am already awake. All my morning sleep has been spoilt by a stopped watch...

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Sitting in the veranda under the morning sun of Saturday I was reading a newspaper where I read an article on how human beings are becoming more and more self-centered. The article reminded me of recent movie, which I went to watch in Feb this year after almost four months' stravation of a good movie. And I am glad that I had chosen this one - CRASH by Paul Haggis. It has the weaved a storyline out of some seemingly unconnected persons and incidents. And that again reminded me of another movie seen almost one and half year back - LOVE ACTUALLY, which also had a similar style but on a different background and on a different motif. I might talk about that on some other day.
In very few words CRASH is a movie about racism and us. There are blacks, whites, Iranians, Chinese, Mexicans, Asians ... all of them making their way of life in LA. All of them are human. None of them are bad or good, just human. When one crashes with another, they find what they are, they learn what they are. The point is very simple; its a simplified view of Rashomon effect. We, the audience sympathesize with a victim of racism making the other a villain. But the next moment when perspective changes, the villain is no more a villain for his badness, its the situation that makes him so. Since everyone of us have a different perspective, our sense of good and bad are different, and we are either a victim or a villain. After all, believe it or not, we are racist not by choice.
I don't remember the exact detials of the story. Only thing is that this movie is full of situations that will crash on to each other unexpetedly. But the credit of the screenplay is that it never seems to be manipulative.
I remember the opening dialogue, 'Other places we get brushed past fellow men on the streets. But in LA nobody touches you ... you forget how it feels to touch a human. So you desperately crash on other to have that feeling of intense touch...' (or something like that!)
There is one more similarity between LOVE ACTUALLY and CRASH, despite showing our limitations, our narrowness, both of them have a positive attitude. It doesn't mean that it shows a positive optimistic ending, but it has a warmth of human touch lying beneath its neatly weaved matrix.
And I liked that.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Rose from the top

I live in the second cum top floor of an apartment. There is a small patch of land in fornt of the building. The ground floor residents normally take care of this piece of free land for gardening or something else. The ground floor residents of my building had started planting some seasonal flowers last year. Their enthusiasm has died down. Its now all full of weeds and grass, with few young trees of Mango, Papaya, etc. Nevertheless it is still all the same beautiful. A green carpet on the land. Well, my neighbourhood, or rather the colony I live in has a leisurely landscape - relaxing, spacious and green.
When I come back from office, I watch down from my balcony for a bird's eye view of this piece of land. It soothes me. In fact, when the gardening in this piece of land was in process by the ground floor residents, it was not so beautiful. half ploughed land, few saplings, patches of manure lying here and there... an untidy mess. Then the saplings started growing in rows. The green rows on brown field from looked very artificial from the top. Then came flowers. Beautiful, it looked.
By this monsoon, all the plants have died. The aboriginal grass and weeds have covered the land. There is no beautification, but it is now more beautiful than the garden. Nature knows wonders.
Today when I looked down in the evening, I discovered a single rose trying to pull itself amidst the mass of green. An off-white rose. Lonely. Beautiful. Natural.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Flowers never Bend with the Rainfall

There is something wrong! I am getting a feeling of it. All of a sudden when I left my desk at the office, the feeling crept in. I don't know what is wrong, but still something is. I don't feel like doing anything. Just laid idle on the bed for half an hour in the evening, then thought of watching a movie - something that might elevate my spirits, but ...

Through the corridors of sleep
Past shadows dark and deep
My mind dances and leaps in confusion
I don’t know what is real
I can’t touch what I feel
And I hide behind the shield of my illusion

So I’ll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall

The mirror on my wall
Cast an image dark and small
But I’m not sure at all it’s my reflection
I’m blinded by the light
Of God, and truth and right
And I wander in the night without direction

(It’s) no matter if you’re born
To play the king or pawn
For the line is thinly drawn between joy and sorrow
So my fantasy
Becomes reality
And I must be, what I must be, and face tomorrow ...
(Simon & Garfunkle)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Education - Preschool

In our office, we have a man, who has started a pre-school in a locality where most of the residents are not able to pay fees of a pre-school. It is not an amazing deed or astonishing fact, but very very commendable, though. The fact that is more straiking is that the man has a bad reputation in office for being lazy and avoiding official responsibilities and thrifty. I am not a close one with him, in fact, I hardly know him. So I don't have any opinion regarding his persona.
This evening, I met him in a common friend's house. He kept on talking about his school, his endeavor, his wife, who is the backbone of his efforts. His wife is now running the pre-school with two other employees and giving education to a lot of 33 kids. The school is runnning for just two months. He was confident, he'll be able to persue the riches of this locality to have thier kids in his school and show that good education can be given at low price.
This seems a good approach!
Education today has become a booming industry. I have read in old novels - teachers were the poor lot, may be just thirty years back. In fact almost half a century ago from earning point of view teaching was equivalent to a profession of porter or rickshaw-puller! Now, one of my friends had started a coaching class for competetive and aptitude examinations after completing his graduation in engineering. He is now earning more money than many of us. It is a lucrative profession now. The most important aspect of teaching in an institution is that one can earn good money without actually avoiding responsibility if he can tackle his conscience. You get a good salary, you teach a class, you don't bother who is learning, who is not.
The most vital point is that you cannot bypass this education industry. You have to have a stamp - a degree, or a certificate, or you are out of the race. Very few have the guts to defy the importance of formal education, sorry, rather - formality of a stamp of education. There are institutions, where you can get a degree by just paying a negotiable amount! The sad part is that without that sheet of paper stating that this fellow is educated, an education has hardly any value to an individual.
There are few noteworthy human beings, who had defied the formal education system and curved a niche in society. But in most of the cases, they avoided formal education not by choice, but by circumstances. The point I am trying to show is that formal education has a very big dominating effect on society. It is hard to avoid it. And this is the aspect the opportunists are exploiting. They've made an industry out of it. You pay money, you'll be certified as educated; don't bother what education means or what education is.

Lets hope, our colleague can keep up his spirits.

But then how much is the need of a pre-school for a kid to grow up?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ideal Idology for Idleness


Sitting in the morning sun
I'll be sitting when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
And I watch 'em roll away again

Sitting on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
I'm just sitting on the dock of the bay
Wasting time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco bay
'Cause I had nothin to live for
And look like nothing's gonna come my way

So I'm just...

Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same

Sittin here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Now, I'm just...

(by Otis Redding)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Too short a lifetime

There are so many things to do.
A lifetime sometime seems too short. So many books to read, so many movies to watch, so many things to write, so many pictures to paint...
I am not talking about all books or movies, but only those which have overcome the oblivion of time - classics or nearly-classics. I am surely not worthy for all of them, but still the small fraction of them which I may cherish are too much!
But there are something beyond them, which have been left unnoticed by a majority due to some odd rasons. Lack of publicity is one of the reasons. In today's world, where that, what is publicized, is good, for a novice reader or movie watcher like me it is a difficult job to distinguish the good from middleclass.
Someday I'll make a list of my wishlist.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sunshine on my shoulder - Rain on my back!

There should be a limit! I'm talking about the whimsical mother Nature. It started raining again. For last two months there had been almost a continuous downpour. No sunshine.
Finally last monday I was overjoyed to see the Sun peeping through the gloomy clouds; and today morning when I woke up, my veranda was bathing in cheerful sunshine. Amazing. Glittering greenery greeted me. Everything outside seemd to be rejoicing in harmony. With my cup of tea, I watched the schoolvan coming and picking up children from the neighbouring houses, the milkman coming on his noisy bicycle followed the newspaper hawkers. Everything in a rythm that was missing for last couple of months; or may be my vision was too clouded to discover the rythm.
'Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me happy ...' I never realized that sunshine was so sweet! It was a great start for the day; and morning shows the day.
Sometimes proverbs fail so miserably that we feel dejected for ourselves. The Nature changed its mood in an exponential pace! The clouds overpowerd the Orb before noon and in the evening - the usual drizzling.
Now its almost evening. My veranda is all wet from rain. I am sitting in front of the window, watching the gloomy ruthless Nature. Walls of my room are still damp. The damp smell sometime strangles me. This is where the genesis of pessimism lies.
To hell with rain ...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

on a easychair on the veranda

veranda, Noun

A porch or balcony, usually roofed and often partly enclosed, extending along the outside of a building.

[Hindi varaNdâ, from Persian bar âmadah, coming out and or from Portuguese varanda (perhaps ultimately from Vulgar Latin *barra, barrier, bar).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation. All rights reserved.


Veranda - the link between inside and outside. Let me be at the veranda and have a glimpse of this beautiful world.