Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
And I've just earned yet another reason to loathe the foul-mouthed and extremely ill-mannered autorickshaw drivers. These men can be incredibly cheap. I wonder what gives them the audacity to openly charge exorbitantly. I guess the only way to deal with them is to say that you want a ride to the police station! Choose the one closest to your original destination.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Vacations are expensive. Ironically, this is when you spend like a true spendthrift, thus necessitating your expense manager even more. But since I would have none of it, my expenditure spiraled out of control. I thought things would be back on track when I came back to Bangalore, but the very-avoidable scratching of my glasses made me realise this was to be one hell of an expensive month.
I haven't even bothered to keep tabs over my expenses after my return. So I've excused myself to buying to my heart's content for the current month. I got the ball rolling at The Forum by buying a triple CD collection of the greatest country singer ever: Jim Reeves. I ran out of cash, but I intend to buy some more collections tomorrow.
And Padmanabhan (from Mumbai) is granting me exclusive access to 1700+ classical Naxos titles! I intend to buy many!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Guwahati, May 31: Bollywood may have painted the wrong picture of Bodo society through the controversial Tango Charlie, but Guwahati-based filmmakers Mriganka Madhukaillya and Sonal Jain are using the cinematic medium to protest the mainland's distorted view of the Northeast.
Admittedly, an attempt to bridge the divide between the region and the rest of the country, Madhukaillya and Jain's experimental exhibition of video art in New Delhi received rave reviews.
The duo's style of filmmaking is a mix of the abstract and the real, and the topics are usually critical issues confronting the region. Madhukaillya's five-minute film, The End of Nature, was screened at the Chicago Filmmakers' Spring 2004.
In the video art presentation titled Alpha and Beta, the filmmakers have used footage from Tango Charlie to show how tribal society and culture are misrepresented by the mainstream media.
Tango Charlie, directed by Mani Shankar and featuring Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan, was banned in Assam after Bodo organisations opposed the distorted portrayal of their community.
"Bollywood, or for that matter anyone from outside the region, has pre-conceived notions about the Northeast. We want to dispel these myths," Madhukaillya said.
Countering the depiction of Bodos as 'blood-thirsty monsters' in Shankar's film, Alpha and Beta incorporates real footage of human rights violations such as the crackdown on students in Manipur. Madhukaillya defended the gory scenes in the video art presentation. "Violence has become omnipresent in our lives," he said.
Video art is a kaleidoscope of moving images, photographs and music, captured with a video camera and projected on screen.
"Though it is a new medium, we deliberately chose video art to put across our message because it is easily accessible and reaches out to a large section of society," said Jain, a former faculty member at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad.
Madhukaillya and Jain are now trying to organise funds for a mobile exhibition of their latest venture, which they intend to take to every part of the region. Another short film, Daily Check-up, depicts the inconvenience residents of the Northeast face because of round-the-clock surveillance. Politics of Real Time is a four-channel video piece featuring the lush sacred forests of Meghalaya, the Brahmaputra, clippings from the first Assamese film Joymoti and traditional dances of Arunachal Pradesh.
Mrig, to say that I'm envious of you would be an understatement. I'm outrightly jealous of your achievements. You've lived a charmed life...and I earnestly hope you continue this way!
And I'll do anything to keep away from starting the day with fat-rich food. Someone innocently called me a 'huggable bunny'. I think it hints at me being slightly overweight. How humiliating. Until recently, I was so lean that you could count my ribs.
I'm not too comfortable with keeping my purse in the hind pocket of my trousers. It makes pickpocketing easy and sitting awkward. I prefer my shirt pocket instead. With little space left, my glasses have to move out. They precariously perch with only one arm clinging to the inside of the pocket. Economy of space it may be, but contemptuous of the vision aid.
As I boarded the bus this morning, my spectacles slipped out and fell on the narrow aisle...and I conveniently stamped it before realising what had happened. But it was too late for a rescue mission even though the frame survived. The glasses are scratched and I'll now be forced to pay yet another visit to the ophthalmologist this weekend.
Lucky me, at least my vision can make do till then.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
So it didn't take us long to discover each other. In fact, we were just into our early days in Fergusson when we got acquainted. I guess it was our mutual likeness that brought and kept us together.
Parting ways was very tough. We had similar aspirations but chose different trajectories. We met abject failure initially but finally gained some success. Mrig slightly altered course midway and went on to study in NID, Ahmedabad. We lost track of each other soon. I got to know much later through a mutual friend that he was now part of the IIT, Guwahati faculty! I tried to access the faculty list but guess what, the Department of Design's page was defunct! So near and yet so far.
I tried my luck again today...and this time it worked! There he was, looking as droopy as ever! Sent him a mail. I just hope he replies soon.
My vacation was planned a long time back, and as it turns out, the timing couldn't have been better. I can't reveal the reasons here, but in the end everything worked just fine for me. Sure, I'm missing all the fun and revelry but that's a sacrifice I had to make.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
I hope to spill the beans (not all of them!) when I'm back in Bangalore on the 24th.
Farewell till then!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I leave for Kolkata late-night tomorrow but don't even feel like packing my luggage. My point of endurance has long been breached and I'm amazed at how much I've learned to tolerate things I absolutely despise. That's the quintessential mark of a loser.
One day, I'll erupt.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Just for you !!
4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560011
Unit Price : Rs. 10-00
Ingredients: Corn, Veg.Oil
Chilli Powder, Salt.
Spelling mistakes are common in India, even Pune University proudly flaunted a signboard with a rather glaring spelling error for years. In fact, it was still there the last time I saw it! Anyway, I'll forgive the bakery for inventing a new spelling. However, what's not so pardonable is the fact that the net weight (which is compulsory according to Indian law) is not mentioned anywhere. Yet another proof that we treat our laws like cheap whores.
I couldn't help thinking of a law in medieval England that has brought a phrase (Baker's Dozen) into common parlance. Since the world knows better, I'll quote Wikipedia instead of offering my own explanation:
The oldest known source and most probable origin for the expression "bakers dozen" dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (r. 1216-1272), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have short-changed customers could be liable to severe punishment. To guard against the crude punishment of losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12, to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was to prevent "short measure", on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original dozen.
So what would Henry III have done with Mayura Bakery? Far from offering more than is stated, it doesn't even mention the amount in the first place!! I guess we would merit ad hoc rules to deal with our unparalleled dishonesty.
Addendum: Mayura Bakery has the ingenuity to use NBC's peacock logo as its own, only it's completely pink!
Monday, September 04, 2006
The great competition that ensued was for the first position in the queue. If you can't be first, try to be second. If not second, then third and so on. Of course, no one wanted to be last. If you were, you were an outcast and a loser. Obviously, someone would have to suffer this ignominy each day. What a pain it must have been!
Cut to the present. The excitement has fizzled out. We are no longer that young or even in school for that matter. Still, the ritual of forming a queue can't always be escaped. We go through the motions each time we line up to exit the company shuttle, which happens we reach office or a major stop where many have to disembark. The narrow aisle necessitates some self-discipline, which isn't exactly as herculean a task as it used to be when we were kids. Still, the one stigma that remains is the filling up of the last slot.
As the queue gradually inches towards the door, the seated folks try to squeeze into any available space between those already in the queue. They'll try all possible means to trickle in, if only to avoid being the last one off the bus. It's incredible the way some people show great impatience in getting off.
What's the big deal, buddy? Are you scared of being left behind before the driver looses his patience and punitively drops you only at the next stop?!! Surely some restraint can be shown.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I went on to rue those moments of infantile ignorance. Sagan became my hero and I framed his photo for inspiration. Dad bought me his book by the same name. It was sheer serendipity that brought me to the doorstep of this wonder series yet again today.
Since bandwidth is a rare commodity, I've been able to watch only the first 13 mins of Episode 9. Two things came to the fore.
- Sagan inadvertently spoke about the history behind the name of a search engine that was yet to come into existence then. Ironically, it was through this search engine that I managed to rediscover the series.
- A score from Handel's Water Music was being played in the background while Sagan explained the nature of matter sitting in a banquet hall in Cambridge University. I used to listen to this score very often during my Pune days.