Monday, 30 March 2009

Withdrawal symptoms

It has been 5 months. Each passing day now seems a futile exercise in trying to control the hunger. The madness is rising within once more, growing stronger every day, unbearable with each sunset.

The city hunts me down, tries to seduce me with its neon promises and untimely rain. But I must..I must answer to the primal urge. Every sight, every sound, every spot of green, every bend in the road makes me want to yield to this indomitable desire.

Must steal time from the urban dream.
The Himalayas beckon and I have to answer.

" matter, the road is life."

Thursday, 26 March 2009


People who know me know quite well that I am a Japanophile. From bushido to manga to Tadao Ando to Naoto Fukasawa, the culture and cultural impact of Japan has been of special interest to me. The roots of this special love for everything Japanese maybe traced to the Kurosawa films our cable operator made us watch when I was a kid or maybe, to something much more primal.

Today, I was listening to Japanese music whole day. While a part of the playlist consisted of artists I had heard before, the other part was a new artist (for me) a friend brought to my notice a couple of days ago.

The first part deals with the age-old Japanese music form called Enka. You may have heard it as part of the Kill Bill soundtrack. This is Meiko Kaji ( Lady Snowblood, Scorpion series) singing Shura no hana or Flower of Carnage. She began her career with the Nikkatsu studio then moved on when Nikkatsu shifted to pinku eiga..

The second is a musical duo called Yoshida Kyodai who perform the traditional musical form called Tsugaru shamisen. Thanks to Sahil for bringing them to my notice.

Now as the Japanese would say :
Sugoi desu ne...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Days of being Dentimental

Ok, so finally my days of being a slave to dental experiments are over. Hopefully.

They didn't give me adamantium inserts though *sigh*. I could have been the next Wolverine, albeit a tusked version.

After two weeks of being extremely careful and surviving on food which exists only in the fourth physical state of matter, my agonies are over. I can now, provided an opportunity, chew on mastodon bones.

The apex of my traumatic dental life of the past two weeks, was the time I had gone to this expensive-as-hell hospital to get the annoying wisdom tooth treated. I spent a ludicrous amount only to learn that the belligerent tooth must be surgically removed and was asked to report two days later. I promptly called up my health insurance guy and was informed that my official health insurance did not cover dental. Well I am pretty sure even if it had been something else, like euthanasia, it would have been out of the purview of my official health insurance plan. Official health insurance plans have this knack of avoiding just the malaise that you need it to cover at any particular instance of the space time continuum.

So whatever, I decided a la John Wayne, " a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do".

Two days later, I promptly landed up at the site of the massacre. Now, at this point , I was like at the threshold of life as I knew it. From where I stood, all that lay ahead of me was days of survival sans proper food. My future meals from here on promised foreboding pictures of cerelac and such non-food. To say nothing of the emotional trauma of losing a wisdom tooth, maybe it would make me dumb,paralyse me from carrying on future voluntary motor activities.

Evidently at such delicate precipices of life, you need some moral say a nurse from Nurse Me or a doctor to whom you can smile and say "Yeah! Go right ahead Doc, remove my lower jaw bone, I do not mind at all".

But no, what I got instead was nurses who had sideburns longer than Wolverine's. As for the doctor, well she was sweet and all, but this piece of conversation that happened between her and her attendant while I was lying tranquilised and open jawed, was unsettling, especially when you are at their mercy:

Doc: The tooth is not coming out. Give me larger tools.
Att: Ah ok.
Doc: It is too firm.It's not moving. Maybe we need to cut the jaw bone. Get me the bone cutter.
Att: Bone cutter?
Doc (smiles at me): Don't worry. You've been very co-operative so far. Just raise your hand if it becomes too painful.
Att: Here's the bone cutter.
[My jaws which were already open were about to hit the floor at this point, evidently she notices the expansive effect of the bone cutter]
Doc: Ok. Lets try one more time before we cut the jaw bone.
[Oh Merciful Lord, thank you, thank you.]

Thankfully, the bone cutter was not required. However the next few days I was on a non-food food diet. As is the rule of the cosmos, all parties, happened just during this phase. So there I was feasting on porridgey stuff, while all the kebabs and tandooris taunted me.

Today I was released from my serfdom to porridgey food. Bring on the pork ribs!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

An easy guide to turning pain to pleasure

Firstly, apologies, to all of you who read the title and thought this post will be about BDSM, it will not be.

This post is not about the good things of life, it is about the bad. Very bad. So bad that it makes even the most pacifist of us contemplate on buying a double barrelled shotgun.

Yes, I am talking of forwards. E-mail kinds. The only forwards I tolerate are the football kinds, that too, those wearing the same jersey as me. E-mail forwards, on the other hand, make me very nervous, like a cat-in-the-corner nervous.

Being a fiercely carnivorous pacifist by nature, obviously dealing with forwards causes some practical problems. A genocide of forward mailers maybe too stern a measure.
( amputation?..hmm...must ponder on it)

Anyway,hence I have devised a method to deal with the problem. It is a bit inspired by the rules of football. It is like the yellow card - red card system used by referees.

When a friend forwards a mail to me for the first time, I give him a benefit of doubt, and ignore it. Second time, is yellow card. I take a mental note of the person and add a splash of displeasure. Third time baby, and it is time for the red. Out of the field you go!
The name is promptly added to a mail filter that diverts all future mails from the sender to a folder labelled " Pardon me for polluting the global gene pool, I am so stupid I need someone to help me commit suicide".
There you go, it is pure sadistic pleasure from here on. No more forwards from the life form concerned ends up in your inbox. You can just sit back, relax, check how many "red cards" you doled out this day, and press the delete with a smile of accomplishment. Three red cards, and whaddya know, life form concerned is officially in the "Hall of shame". Sharing space in the block senders list with its retarded buddies.

For best results, the delete button should be pressed, while nursing a whiskey or sipping on a steaming cup of coffee.

If you have nothing to mail about, do not mail. But do not forward mails to me. Unless of course you're a closet masochist.

A Movie to Remember

Recently, Korean movies are much talked about among the mainstream audience; thanks to Hindi movies based on Korean movies like Old Boy and My Sassy Girl ( the Korean originals are way better). But even before Korean movies were made fashionable by Sanjay Dutt or Mallika Sherawat, I remember watching a lot of Korean movies in Gangtok. The CD libraries there stock Korean movies too, other than the usual pick of Hollywood and Bollywood.

One of my favourite Korean movies I had seen, was in Gangtok. It is a movie called " A Moment to Remember". It is a heart-rending tale of two people in love. The first time I saw the movie , I shed tears during the movie. Last night, I saw it again, and I almost shed tears again.

Woo sung Jung and Ye-jin Son pull off fabulous performances in this sad sweet love story. Sung jung is as convincing as the cold and quick tempered foreman in the first half as he is as the emotionally wrecked husband in the next. Jin son looks oh-so-to die for. And her performance as the sad and bewildered wife trying to come in terms with her state breaks more than Sung jung's heart.

A fabulous movie. Brilliant and heart breaking. A must watch, but do keep your handkerchiefs handy.