Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'm in love

Or, rather, 'ien louwe'.

This lady has long been the object of my adoration. Now her talents have made me smile even as I prepare to be tarred and feathered by the end of the week.

Ah, Leol-leh, leighd uv mei laive, loire uv mei foins!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

To lighten the gloom

In the middle of a Working Weekend, my spirits are lightened by a URL - sent to me by a Kind Person (Who thus Proves that Some Bosses can Be Nice and thus Gives Me Hope).

How many of you knew that BJ Thomas and Leo Sayer were actually on the charts apart from the One Song Each that We All Know About? Well, OK, stop showing off, I didn’t.

Besides, it’s nice to go back through the years and haul out people like Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor. Not to mention the “Oh-was-THAT-the-year-they-did-Hotel-California” kind of murmur.

But no Eric Clapton ANY year? Have to go back and look for Those Numbers, folks. See you after the 31st. “If I be alive, and your mind hold, and your Dinner worth the eating”. (Act I, Scene II, if I recall aright, and God bless Mr. Vijayan Bala for drumming the possibilities of blank verse into our thick heads.)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007


Life is bleak and much is wrong with my world. Here is one attempt to look at both sides of a nasty reality. The comments are a little more one-sided, though.

And thanks to the Griff, I now know more about another lasting shame. Are we going to ignore it for another two decades?

Life is very long.

O you who turn the wheel and look to windward / Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you ...

I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs / Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest ...

O Lord Thou pluckest burning ...

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alap esskooj maadi ..

Some people like the rain.

Some are ambivalent ...

Hnothon par se sarak gaya hawa ka libaas
bheeg gayee yaadein, bheegi aankhein.
Kahin utree naa namee aur thodi door tak.
In baarishon ke mausam mein
bas dil hee sookha rah gaya.

Not (I hasten to add) that it rained in Calcutta last night.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Perfick. Quite perfick.

A morning stroll past the paddock, down the tree-lined avenue with dead leaves and dewy grass underfoot. Three polash trees in bloom, posing in a row at the edge of the 16th green, like dark Santhal girls in their red-bordered ­saris and red bangles. Afterwards, a time-warp - buttered toast and marmalade in the 19th Hole. And The Statesman. I’d no idea people still read that paper! But somehow it fits in with the shaded peace and the tang of the marmalade. And the breeze from the fans, that first day of spring when it’s just a little chilly with the fan on but just a little too stuffy to leave it off. The kind of morning when I feel about 12 years old again and a Sunday is a vast expanse of Possibilities.

If only they still had morning shows at Metro or New Empire and I could go watch Mel Fahrer and Stewart Granger in Scaramouche.

A series of very minor Nice Things. Like Lay Down, Sally coming to life as I start the car. Or putting it in neutral at the top of the Gariahat flyover and coasting all the way to the traffic lights at Ballygunge Phnari. The perfect cup of coffee with the morning papers, sitting on the balcony and feeling the day stir to life with bird-song and the scent of green things.

Caught up with T* for breakfast. Udipi Home on Jatin Das Road. A small glow sign outside thanks APJ Abdul Kalam and Viren Shah for the opportunity to serve them breakfast AND lunch at Raj Bhavan on 21st January 2003. A blackboard proclaims the prices and announces the availability of pickles and savouries. And beds for a hundred rupees a night. Inside, a verandah has been converted into a dining room. The place oozes atmosphere. Stupid me – I’ve passed this place a few thousand times but never ventured in before. The food is outstanding. – dosai with amazing chutneys, onion vadas, followed by strong sweet ‘dancing coffee’. The TF or Tripti (Contentment) Factor is very high, tending towards 1. Bliss.

The whole morning is very Pop Larkin. Perfick. What have I done to deserve this?

It strikes me when I log on. This Simple Desultory Philippic is two years old today. How appropriate. Food. Calcutta. A little nostalgia. Leisure. A few moments of peace, even. Which (alas!) is all that this space seems to be good for. No issues of great import, not enough energy for strong opinions. A sort of Emsworthian potter down the Yew Avenue of life, with the occasional pause to contemplate the floppiness (or otherwise) of hollyhocks, or a detour to give the Empress a comradely scratch along the spine. Faff of the first water, all of it.

And yet, and yet … Thanks to my meanderings here, I’ve got to know Interesting People. I rate ‘Interesting’ far above ‘Nice’, but as a bonus, they’ve been Nice too. Well, mostly. (Stern look at certain Obstreperous Children with No Respect for the Elderly – you know who you are!) I’ve spent huge amounts of time reading their (your?) blogs and following their lives and opinions, but it’s all been worth it. The satisfaction of some give and take in the comments section, the unique pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger for the first time in some unexpected corner of the world. Sadly, no revenue from ads (even though readership is well into double figures by now, thank you very much), not even a nomination for an Indibloggie (cue discreet wiping of single tear) but, after nearly two years, offers to Pander to the Public for Pelf. (I love pelf!).

So, all in all, it’s been rather nice. Very nice, in fact. Oh what the hell - as of now, it’s perfick. Quite perfick. Before I get entirely maudlin - thanks, all of you.

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Friday, March 09, 2007


(Well, actually reminded by this pic posting)

Port Blair, some weeks ago

The standard "island paradise" shots. Been there, done that. Except that these were from the verandah of my room, over my morning coffee.

Do they paint
the ocean floor for that effect? Naah, not in the Andamans.

Below - Ross Island, which used to be the Brits' home-away-from-home.

The Andaman & Nicobar chain is made up of 572 islands, atolls and reefs . And sometimes just clumps of rocks. This one is called Snake Island.

Then there's the dark side. The Cellular Jail.

And there's the utterly unspeakable.

WHY?! O ye Gods and little fishes!

A couple of random "nice shots" (do NOT contradict me here!) to sign off with.

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The Blank Noise Project is not always moving. Sometimes it's just ... bleah.

Then I read something like this and it feels a little dirty to be a man.

In my defence, I've never groped, assaulted, accosted or solicited[1] a woman.
OK, that's mainly because nobody's ever asked me to, but surely it should count for something.

Or wait - am I missing the point here?


[1] - I can't truthfully say I've never harassed a woman. Mainly by being myself. But that has never been gender-specific. Men of my acquaintance have complained of it too. Though the men have been less violent in their complaints.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Midnight shakes the memory

12:43 a.m.
Dole Poornima.
And a sudden chill wind.

Blair Witch Project, anybody?

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sadly shameless and petulant again. And pointless.

Those of you who've recently read my other blog (yes, this is a shameless plug) will have guessed that I'm intimidated by erudite intellectuals such as this gentleman. So I was much reassured when I met Vivek online and he said that this video is a close parallel. As the Great One has taught us to say, fun comes. Muchly. [1].

Related thought - say what you will about the USA, they have Letterman, Leno, Conan, Colbert. What do we have? Raju Srivastava and Cyrus Broacha. And (perhaps in unintended fashion) K-K-K-KBC.

But we do have a thriving industry in sex-publishing. Check out the ToI-late Paper supplements. Any day of the week and twice on Saturdays. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

Saturday morning leavened by a set of puns from a Dignified Friend. The pick of the bunch being -
"Banning the bra was a big flop"
"A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy"
"Without geometry, life is pointless"
and rather more profoundly,
Electricity comes from electrons. Does morality comes from morons?"

And a question - why do the Floggy Ladies suggest that my blog should be shut down? I am mystified. And further intimidated. Not least by the possibility of Bole, iskey saath kya Sallu kiya jaaye? (I know, very ouch, but whattodo, Saturday and all that.)

Just in case you thought I could only do links, this proves I can do footnotes too. Relevance is an optional extra.

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