Saturday, 26 April 2008

C'est la vie

Went to sleep : 3.45 hrs
Woke up : 6.12 hrs

insomnia does not believe in weekends...

Tagged again !!

if this continues, i'll end up with an identity crisis of being airline baggage..


Total number of books I have


No clue. i have been reading ever since i can remember.i have a room full of books back home, more books crammed into cabinets forgotten by everyone except me and a constantly expanding set of books that i carry along...

Last book I read
Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami


Last book I bought

You do not buy a book. You buy books. Hence -
Sandman volume 9 and volume 10 by Neil Gaiman
Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami


Five books that mean a lot to me
Five books? its difficult to list five genres even. life ain't that simple when it comes to books or music.But here is a highly non exhaustive list in random order -

Albert Camus - Outsider
so much of what i am i owe to this book..

Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
who could not love Phaedrus?

Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
how can one survive this universe without it, i mean what if my house is destroyed by the vogons for a highway..i need the book, and a towel..

Sukumar Ray - Abol tabol and Ha ja ba ra la
for all who speak of lewis carroll, here is the indian equivalent. the first poet i ever ever liked, back in those days when poems were all about memorising and recitation

Ken Kasey - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
J.D. Salinger -
Catcher in the Rye
Joseph Heller - Catch-22

Homer - Illiad and Odyssey
Thomas Bulfinch - Mythology
mythology is always fascinating, tales that talk of times when gods walked among men always captivate..

George Orwell - Animal farm and 1984
sarcasm, cynicism, wit..

J.R.R. Tolkein - Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Silmarrilion
without elves, orcs, istaris or the nazgul...life appears so bland

Douglas Rushkoff - Cyberia
music, drugs, games...a non-judgemental view of the 20th century.

William Gibson - Neuromancer
long before the Matrix, there was the Neuromancer and Ghost in the Shell [Masamune Shirow]

Dee Brown - Bury my heart at Wounded knee
i have always hated cowboy flicks. nothing glorious in charging with blaring winchesters and colts against the man with the bow and arrow. who is the savage? go figure..

Neil Gaiman - Sandman
the graphic novel series that gives many a piece of "serious" literature a run for their worth
....
all the asterix, calvin and hobbes, batman i read and still read. and phantom, cause of lazy afternoons spent reading them when everybody would be sleeping.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Tagged

Last movie seen in a theatre:
One missed call. The Japanese original was much better.

What book are you reading?
Good omens - Pratchett and Gaiman.

Favourite board game:
scrabble

Favourite magazine:
Sandesh during its Satyajit Ray years, late 80s Reader's Digest, Car Styling..

Favourite smells:
the smell of the earth after a rain, the smell of blossoming shiuli on autumn mornings, the smell of a new book..

Favourite sound:
raindrops falling on the leaves..

Worst feeling in the world:
can be cured by an honest smile..

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
cigarette. cigarette. cigarette.

Favourite fast food place:
depends on the city

Future child’s name:
....good question. next...

Finish this statement, “If I had a lot of money I’d…”
take off on a world tour.

Do you drive fast?
these days..i only pedal or walk..

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
one tight slap!

Storms - Cool or Scary?
cool.

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
yes

If you could dye your hair any colour, what would be your choice?
hyper-intelligent shades of blue

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:
ahmedabad, delhi, pithampur, asansol, kolkata...and intermittent weeks across the himalayas

Favourite sports to watch:
football

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:

great sense of humour

What’s under your bed?
the magic carpet

Would you like to be born as yourself again?
why not ?

Morning person or night owl?
bit of both..basically insomniac.

Over easy or sunny side up?
boiled.

Favourite place to relax:
where ever there's lots of trees

Favourite pie:
apple

Favourite ice cream flavour:
chocolate

You pass this tag to –

praveen, spiderman, subhajyoti

Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
praveen

Friday, 18 April 2008

Confessions of a misfit

Day by day, I become more of a misfit.

I realized that I have become unfit for staying in a family-sort-of environment. I feel claustrophobic in it.
Bollywood blockbuster movies and its music, which seem to enthral most, fail to generate even a slight interest in me. Other than a few handful. While the nation laughs its guts out on the great Laughter Challenge, I find it boring and stale.
I am perhaps the only Indian male, living or dead or yet-to-be-born, who has zero interest in Cricket.
I am supposed to relate to my people, but I can't in most cases.



Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day

It's gettin kinda long

I could have said it was in my way

But I didn't and I wonder why

I feel like letting my freak flag fly

Cause I feel like I owe it to someone


Must be because I had the flu' for Christmas

And I'm not feeling up to par

It increases my paranoia

Like looking in my (rear-view) mirror and seeing a police car

But I'm not giving in an inch to fear

Cause I promised myself this year

I feel like I owe it to someone


When I finally get myself together

I'm going to get down in that sunny southern weather

And I find a place inside a laugh

Separate the wheat from the chaff

I feel like I owe it to someone
--CSNY

Monday, 14 April 2008

A Zen story

Sometimes I love to speak in self made parables, so here it goes,my very own zen story....

Once upon a time, there lived a very wise zen master. One day, the princess of the land heard about the very wise zen master. Intrigued, she invited the master to her court.
When the master arrived, she received him with great pomp and splendour. She arranged for a grand feast in his honour. After the feast was over, the princess asked the zen master-
"Oh wise master, what is the secret of everlasting beauty?"
The master smiled and continued munching on the Manchurian lamb.
The princess asked again,
"Oh wise master, what is the secret of everlasting youth?"
The master smiled again. Picked up a toothpick and got busy with the bones.
For the third time, the princess asked
"Oh wise master, what is the secret of everlasting beauty and youth?"
The master smiled." Break the mirrors" he said. And left.

Friday, 4 April 2008

It rained a smile

The sky had been cloudy since morning. Since last night, the temperature was also going down. Compared to the scorching 42 degrees summer a few days back, it almost felt like autumn.
All these were but preambles to the heavy downpour that descended on the city today.

Since the afternoon, the overcast sky had made way for strong winds. Soon the wind was followed by a heavy shower, quite unusual for this city. As the rain gained strength, we [me and my colleagues] looked out of our office windows and bemused. There is something about the rain which always makes you yearn...for things lost and things probable. Some of us sneaked out to have a quick cup of chai and a smoke, enjoying the breeze, flirting with the rain. Some got busy on the phone, planning a rainy evening.

As for me, I headed to our usual haunt with a couple of friends - the cafe. By the time we reached the cafe, the rain had stopped, only the breeze was flowing, carrying with it the pleasant smell of the freshly drenched earth. The usual scrabble game, which has become a daily evening routine, was cancelled. All of us were too overwhelmed by the sudden rain, falling on a city which is parched and usually in the midst of a 40 degree summer this time of the year. So we just sat there, smoking, talking, flowing with the breeze.

Suddenly, it started to rain again. And this time it was heavier than the previous shower. Soon all of us were scurrying to the interiors of the cafe, to the safety of the glass walled inside area.

While, we were sitting inside, I watched the rain from the safety of the glass walled enclosure. Watched the drops lash against the paved flooring of the outside seating area; watched the droplets from the sun shade umbrellas meandering down on the steel,wood, leather, cane of the chairs; watched the tiny rain drop rivulets trickling down the glass walls; watched the pools forming on the patio.
Suddenly, I felt a long forgotten urge. I asked one of my friends to lend me a sheet of paper. With the sheet torn from his notebook, I made a paper boat. [ it took me quite a while, and I realised that I had almost forgotten how to make one!! ]. The next moment I was outside, braving the rain to set sail to my paper boat on the vast ocean in the patio. Soon my friends joined with paper boats of their own. And we stood there, in the rain, desperately smoking on to our soaked cigarettes, as we watched our paper boats traverse the oceans.

Somehow,this spontaneous surrender to a sudden urge, made me feel very happy. As I watched the paper boat floating and twirling on the patio's ocean, I felt very alive. It rained a smile on my face and a joy into my heart.

Once again, I was the me I once was, the me that would tear pages off the school notebook and launch an armada onto the waterlogged streets of Calcutta from the window of the school bus on rainy afternoons...

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Horse latitudes

Right now, life is in its Horse latitudes.
Thankfully there is a library in these seas.
I have been reading a lot lately and whiling away my evenings through marathon runs of Scrabble at the cafe.
.
.
.
.
need to go
need to go
away from sun burnt ennui
before i run out of books
before i run out of nooks

in the hills of gods
the pagan melodies still flow
the lullaby of the tree
is calling out to me
and i must go