Monday, December 17, 2007

My Eloquence or Lack Thereoff

After reading this blog, one would think I had a pretty decent command over the English language (I ought to, its the only language I know). I possess a fairly good vocabulary. I may not be able to convey the real sense of a location (the way du Maurier or Tolkein manage) or express my feelings in a completely transparent and wholly accurate manner. Surely there might be glaring ambiguities and gaping holes in my entries. But I do get the meaning across somewhat. All my 'eloquence' however disappears (and I mean disappears, vanishes..poof!) when it comes to writing projects. I don't know what it is about them that stumps me, may be it is because I'm writing about subjects not close to my heart. Nevertheless, the complete and vast void that my brain becomes during project submission time could probably house several elephants and a brontosaurus as an added bonus! I look at a project topic and immediately my knowledge of the English language, being an independent entity, decides to limit itself to the bare minimum. I always wish that I could be like Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass and just assign meanings to words as I feel like. Or write my projects in 'nadsat' slang (the case deals with a malchick who with his droogs finished off some starry old ptisa, my Brother). Or Tam slang for that matter (the judge cannot chumma make a decision).

The result of this is that: 'thus' and 'hence' are used nearly 100 times, the project always seems to be 'examining' or 'looking at' something (verbs, what are they?), 'however' starts every other sentence (really, it has synonyms?), 'primarily' is the only real adjective used and every other judgement is 'landmark'. And this is just the tip of the ice-berg. Anyone who reads my projects will probably want to sit me down to a good grammar/ language session. And this reasonably articulate post has been made while I'm struggling with my CPC project (the projects seeks to no, I've used that...err...look into, no wait...ummmm...establish? But thats a different meaning altogether..sigh..I have a headache).

Oh well, I think I'll just propitiate myself by writing palaverous and periphrastic blog entries.


Star Wars Horoscope for Aquarius

You can be cruel and torment people who disagree with you.
Deep down, there is a peace-loving, friendly side to you.
You have a knack for inflicting pain on people and use your intellect during battle.

Star wars character you are most like: Darth Vader
I knew it! I always knew he was the man for me, a perfect combination of muscle and menace yet basically a softie! Man, now I'm too excited to do projects!!


Your Personality Profile

You are funky, outdoorsy, and down to earth.
While you may not be a total hippie...
You're definitely one of the most free spirited people around.

You are very impulsive - every day is a new adventure.
However, you do put some thought behind all your actions.
Still, you do tend to shock and offend people from time to time!

Yep, not a total hippie but getting there! Will probably end up like this:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Super Power Ring

This is Anwesha's (my roommate) ring for aesthetic purposes but it is my Super Power ring. I've always thought rings are the best piece of jewelery after earrings. May be its because I'm an LOTR fan. I also used to wear a lot of rings in my first year in college (I confess that had nothing to do with LOTR, I thought it was cool). So as one would think, I was pretty blown away by this ring. Now to go on to describe its Super Powers:
  1. The central red stone is my Highly Destructive Laser which gets activated when I am really angry and provoked beyond reason. Believe me, its power will shock will be the last thing you see!!
  2. The two other red stones on the side and the Supplementary Lasers which are used for cutting through things with pin-point precision. Perfect for making a clean job of things.
  3. The white stone is my Freezing Ray. It sends a blast of super-cold air that freezes anything in its wake. Good for stopping Enemies in their tracks.
  4. The yellow stone is the Fireball Shooter. It emits powerful fireballs (like duh). The most destructive weapon after the Central Lazer. Takes more Anger to activate this also.
  5. The deep blue stone is my Water Gun. It shoots out jets of water which no mortal can face, it can flood at 50 story building in a minute. Such is its Power.
  6. The two purple stones shoot out Electrically Charged Crystals. They have the same penetrating effect as bullets and have the added advantage of being extremely effective underwater, if I ever end up there.
Thus, with this ring, I am All-Powerful! I have every element at my disposal, I can conquer the world!!

One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

I am an absolute kid at heart, I plead guilty. But then, what is life without small childish pleasures? They make life much more interesting and enriching!
I think I'll change the name of this blog from 'Shine On' to 'Whine On'. Really, how can anyone be so dissatisfied in life?!

Where the weather does not weather

Weather: to discolor, disintegrate, or affect injuriously, as by the effects of weather: "These crumbling stones have been weathered by the centuries."

This is the kind of weathering I'm talking about. I've been developing a theory (tad bit shady, but most of my theories are quite shady) that the weather of a place where people stay makes them what they are. This post is not so much this theory but rather the application of this theory in a very special city called Bangalore. Think a bit about the Bangalore, calm, windy, clear skies, never extremes in temperature (except about few weeks in April - May, that too only recently), where you can use the same set of clothes the year round. It doesn't irritate or grate, it allows you to exist without bothering too much about it. Now reflect a bit on the Bangaloreans you know (if you know any). They're usually mild-mannered, even-tempered, not too opinionated about anything, casual, easy-going, chilled out people (exceptions exist in every rule, but this is their general nature). And that's what the city is as well..Laid-back and happy-go-lucky. Visitors to the city would probably be only familiar with the crowded, inefficient airport, the steel and chrome buildings of ITPL, the incessant traffic of MG Road, Brigade Road, Airport Road..oh well most of the roads, pubs and the shady unpleasant auto-drivers.
But Bangalore is not about that...It is about taking quiet walks in the tree-lined streets of Defence Colony, Malleshwaram, Sadashivnagar or Jayanagar. It is about buying makachulam (corn) or pori (puffed rice) and playing with hand-held windmills in the evenings in front of Vidhana Soudha, watching sunsets and planes taking off and landing from the Indiranagar-Koramangala Ring Road. About riding the toy-train in Cubbon Park, climbing Lalbagh's hill to reach Kempegowda's tower or boating in Lalbagh lake and ogling over the flowers display in the Lalbagh's glasshouse. It is about shopping with Mom in Commercial Street and Safina Plaza (when it was the only 'mall' around) or Mota Arcade and 5th Avenue on Brigade Road (when they were the only buildings in town with escalators) and haggling with vegetable vendors at the Thippasandra market. It is about attending Carnatic music catcheris at Ulsoor, watching plays in Chowdiah Memorial Hall, eating piping hot rava-idlis, vadas or masala dosais with sambhar and chutney at MTR or Woody's with a good cup of filter coffee while watching the rain outside, ice-creams at Corner House, continental cuisine at Casa Picola, wine and cheese and Sunday Brunches at Bangalore Club, drive in theaters on Church Street, large and elegant independent houses, cycling down desolate roads in HAL 3rd stage and watching the birds, screening the Wimbledon Finals in front of Vidhana Soudha when TVs were not a household item (Dad told me they used to do this, have never seen it but think its incredibly funky)....everything always done at one's own pace, never hurried, never unsatisfied, never worrying about having to go anywhere else. It is about Symphony, Plaza, Galaxy and Lido which have been shut down during the multiplex era, the MG Road Boulevard that was broken down for the metro, wide open spaces that now house malls and super markets....and so many other things which this little unplanned cantonment growing at an insane pace has had to sacrifice in the wake of development. Most importantly, Bangalore is its weather and the weather defines the city, it is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the city, an integral part of everyone's lives..The breeze that welcomes you with open arms and holds you close. The mellow sun that calms any perturbed spirit, the clear starry nights that inspire and elate you..and make you never want to leave...
And I, though proud of Bangalore's place on the global map now, wish at a certain level all this had never happened. That Bangalore had never become a metro because Bangalore's charm was its old-world yet cosmopolitan nature, its ability to preserve its essential South Indian-ness and yet accept everyone into its fold and care and provide equally for all of them.
I miss Bangalore as it was, I want my sleepy town back....But as they say, all things must pass, all memories must fade and because "Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken." (Frank Herbert) Blah blah. Go shoot yourself. Somethings should never change.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Of Sunsets,Twilights and Birds

A time for introspection...always evenings...usually between 5 and 6 pm when the light just starts to dim, a breeze blows and the birds fly home. Their calls fill the air as trees and bushes wave lazily and the wind kisses my cheek. A red glow in the horizon; my favourite sunsets are the ones in summer usually where a few clouds in the sky reflect the orange light of the setting sun such that a whole world is bathed with this orange glow. I sit on a bench, looking at nothing in particular (here I had to settle for second best, the first two prime introspection locations were occupied by couples)..I try to figure things out...Life's going well for me. A bad project, an excellent viva..and now the closest I've ever come to getting an O in law many times before, I resolve to work..only this time, its tinged with a true desire to make something of the opportunity that has been handed out to me. I pray people don't pass by. I don't want to talk to them. The invariable question. Why you sitting here alone? I'm not alone dear, my invisible friend Pingu is right next to me, here shall I introduce you? Really, why ask such questions...I don't mind being seen alone, I just don't want to answer to anyone for it...
I message someone I've been thinking of a reply...I wonder how that person can like me, with all my flaws and eccentricities...amazing. I think again. I've lost some people forever in the past six months, some people who I thought I could never have fought with because they seemed so simple and me. Yet, I've gained some people too, which more than makes up for everything. Life's like that, nothing is permanent get slapped in the face but you snap out of it, you recover. And you discover facets about other things which you were blind to. In my case, I certainly did....
I sit some more, I sigh...I look at the birds..I think of Daphne du Maurier's story...I dismiss it...Mug Noodles, closed eyes, silent cell phone, smile on my face, thoughts swirling in my head ultimately growing tired and fading out...not complete silence but a semi-peaceful state...Life is good.....

Friday, December 14, 2007

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
I'm not very attracted to poetry, I can't fathom it most of the time. But this particular poem by J R R Tolkein, composed supposedly by Bilbo Baggins, that indefatigable old hobbit for his friend 'Strider' otherwise know as Aragorn, really captured my imagination. The beauty of the verses and the sense of glory, endurance and noble purpose that they convey sums up the spirit of Lord of the Rings to a T.

I don't know if have locus posting this after Lord of the Bling, but who cares. I love LOTR and will always be inspired by it :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Love

Before you think this entry is about that shady song by Blue, so popular a few years back, it is not. It is about probably the most idealistic notion shared by me and a blind faith in movies like Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (by the way, this has nothing to do with Sharukh Khan). I am one of those specimens who believes (and used to also preach about, have relaxed a bit now) that in life, you meet One Man whom you fall in love with, date, marry, sleep with and spend the rest of your life with. And though I no longer actively subscribe to this belief, I think at some level, it does limit me when I consider prospective choices or evaluate the pros and cons of a possible relationship. In all fairness, there haven't been too many prospects but again thats because I have this image of the ideal man in my head, with a never ending list of attributes, which prevents me from venturing out into the big world of courting, flirting and dating. Again, you can question whether I am charming enough to attract someone if I did enter that realm, but lets not go into that right now.

Of late, I have started to introspect a lot on this aspect of my personality and wonder if it is outdated and old-fashioned (you're probably jumping up and down on your chair yelling "Yes! For God's sake!" right now). Let me first elaborate on why I feel this way. I guess I have been subjected to the traditional Tam-Bram upbringing after all, despite all my escapades, and thus have a firm, unshakable belief in marriage (being a union of two souls and such faff, am a sucker for this kind of thing). This being said, my argument is that, when you go into a relationship open to the idea of break-up, what's the point of going into one? Why not keep it at the level of friendship only, discover everything you know about that person that way and decide if you can love them for their faults and flaws. Isn't courting a big put on at times anyway? Isn't it vulnerable to misrepresentation? A close friendship will tell you everything you need to know about himself or herself person, may be even more. Is the emotional baggage that comes with going out really necessary?

Now the main question is, unless you date a person and get to know how he is in a relationship, how will you ever know what he is like truly when it comes to commitment, intimacy, accessibility and other things that come into play. Let me make it clear, I do not mean that when you start to date a man, you should marry only him. Rather, I mean that you should date a man when there is a high probability that you will marry him. So how do you know when it is the right man? Here, my argument falters a bit and climbs into abstract levels where you Know that he is the One (LOTR always influences my writing, sorry) and feel ready to spend your life with him because you know that he is everything you wanted, or to put it into that immortal phrase "He is the Someone, Somewhere who is made for you". Thus, I get caught in my idealistic trap while practically speaking, there are several great guys out there whom I'm unwilling to even consider because of my high expectations.

And yet, I'm not completely convinced that my opinion is so untenable. For doesn't getting into a relationship on the basis of a strong friendship and common interests with the knowledge that it will definitely go somewhere give you that extra incentive to work on it? Of course, breaking up isn't completely out of the picture, but it can be pushed aside as an option for as long as possible. I don't know if I'm being extremely close minded here, I've had people coming and telling me "Oh he's really serious but its obviously not going to happen, my parents want me to only marry a (community, religion caste, whatever) person." Well what's the point of going out then?

The main conclusion I can draw from all these insights is that, this point of view has effectively kept me from going out with anyone and probably will continue to do so. I do try to shake it off, but it has been deeply ingrained in me. May be the concept does exist, may be it is just a product of an over-active imagination and an over-hopeful nature, but anyway, dreams of a knight in a white shining veshti riding on a buffalo still persist :)
Someone, somewhere is made for me......

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lord of the Bling

I might get ostracised for blasphemy by fellow LOTR fans, but anyway, here goes nothing :)

"This story is not an ordinary one. It is a tale of great endurance, true spirit of womankind and the unerring quest of fashion experts to whip up that perfect combination of clothes and accessories that would send anyone even slightly fashion conscious into raptures of delight. More importantly, it is about their desperation to disown and completely destroy anything unfashionable; that piece designed while in a bad mood, or something which did not achieve that right balance or colour and class, or that incriminating item of clothing which seemed to attract nothing but laughs from the general public. And it is about how, if you have enemies in the fashion world, you really need to watch it!

Our protagonist is Prada, a young promising fashion designer. One day, after a quarrel with her boyfriend, she went home and in a fit of great anger, designed a a ring so hideously unfashionable that would have blinded people with it colour and jazz and made models want to throw even more tantrums than usual. Prada, blustery and insensible after her fight went to sleep over her design; she was the rebellious sort and had designed this nightmare in a fit of disillusionment, to prove to the fashion world that......well she wasn't sure what kind of point she was proving yet but she was sure it was a bloody good one. But little did she know that this might be her Undoing.

She was woken by a call from her boyfriend Tommy (yes, Mr Hilfiger himself, that racist freak who keeps trying to introduce pink shirts as an integral part of men's fashion). Tommy was unfortunately not a very nice chap and was super pissed about the previous day's fight. He was also a man with evil designs to take over the fashion world and make all anorexic models submit to his will. Further, he had knowledge of an ancient magic (some randomness in the story is required) which involved the forging of metals in a diabolical way that a hideous Power could be hidden in the metal and unleashed at will (talk about bad luck). The Power grew stronger when it was fed by sloth, overweight, faux pas and other such sins in the fashion world. So, when the fateful phone call was made, Tommy used his glib and oily tongue to convince Prada to turn over her latest design to him. He knew that in a fit of rage, she was prone to fashioning items that hit absolutely rock bottom as far as fashion sense was concerned and he capitalized on this knowledge of his. Prada, young and naive was glad at any attempt for reconciliation and fell under the spell of his fell words. Wooed thus, she went to his house with the design and Tommy forged that Bling; the chunkiest, loudest, gaudiest affair to have ever been seen.

But the real Danger with the Bling was the effect it had on Nine unfortunate and pitiful souls, namely, the Nine Overweight ones who dared to try modeling. The Bling sapped these unsuspecting souls of all pleasure, ambition and body mass, making them flat, anorexic beanpoles who could adequately carry off skimpy clothes. These Nine roamed the streets looking for fellow victims to add to their cult but fortunately with little success. However, their eerie Effect was felt by all those around them, who were completely stripped of any dressing sense. Thus, men took to wearing red pants and golden shirts (in other words, they turned metro-sexual) while women wore amazingly shapeless garments with abundant sequins while they insisted complemented their figures.

In the midst of all this, Prada was unaware of the consequences of her design. Tommy went back to be the loving boyfriend that he was earlier. However, there was a subtle change in his features. There was a greedy shadow in his eyes and his smile was a bit too wide and conveyed a rather sinister impression. And he wore the Bling non stop. One day, Prada's good friend and wise woman Parissienne visited her. There was a great urgency in her bearing and her whole demeanour was troubled. Prada was concerned and asked her what the matter was. "Trouble is brewing."she replied with brevity that fashion designers do not find fashionable. Prada was deeply moved and questioned her further. Parissienne opened up, "Ah well zis bleeng you ahve dezigned, eet ees hideous. No elegance, no pizzaz, no panache...verrry uninspired...I did not expect dees from you! Ah zere is no symmetry in ze creation, eet ees unsophisticated to the very extreme and wait....I am getting ze carried away. I come to tell you ze vaary bad news hmmmm....ze Nine are abroad and zey are looking for victims. Zey will claim you first, zey will make you one of zem my well proportioned princess, and your boyfriend, he eez a bad un, yes!". Prada had not understood the latter part of this rant at all and asked for clarification. Parissienne obliged and thus recounted the tale of the One Bling that has been related above. "Ze only way for you my pigeon", she concluded, "eez to undertake the perilous journey on foot to Paris..ah Paris, la magnifique....and burn ze bling in ze fires of that greatest desinger of zem all, Coco Chanel." "Why on foot?" asked Prada. "Because eet eez more perilous and weeel make for a better tale! And plus ze Nine are watching all ze Airports, Ports and Railway stations!" retorted Parissienne.

And thus, the saga of the Bling began, thwarting the forces of evil and wardrobe malfunctions (these being mainly gravitational) Prada and her companions braved several dangers and emerged victorious, thus saving Prada's career and the fashion industry from major crisis.The entire tale of the Bling is too big to be recorded in this humble blog. However, this journey of fashion has been immortalized in several manuscripts and notes made by Prada and her travelling companies, a summary of the entire trip contained most notably in "Our Story" by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I'm happy to say that at the end of it all, our heroines were able to live happily together till the end of their days."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Norwegian Wood

These two men did some weird things in life. George took up Hinduism while displaying 'relentless infidelity' to his wife and muse Patty Boyd. John did about a hundred more weird things of which 'bagism' and 'bed ins' and 'Yoko Ono' (who in my opinion is the worst thing he 'did') only scratch the surface. But John also wrote a gem called 'Norwegian Wood' to which George contributed the sitar. And together they produced a song that has probably had the most impact on me, out of all the songs I've listened to.
I can't describe the feeling the song evokes in me; a funny mixture of longing, desolation with highly psychedelic and surreal overtones. I think the longing stems from the fact that the song is so short and leaves you unsatisfied. While the theme of the song (or the most popular interpretation of the theme), seems to be a light-hearted take on extra-marital affairs, I think the interplay of the acoustic and bass guitars and the sitar gives the song a much darker tone. So I start to think of loneliness, of a desperate, insatiable man looking for someone to satisfy his appetite of love, lust, conversation and such things. The lines about them talking till two, the girl having him and him getting really upset about her not being there when he wakes up in the morning all add legitimacy to this train of thought.
But more than the lyrics, the usage of instruments is incredible and creates a sublime atmosphere, a parallel universe of sorts to which you are transported when you listen, a world where everything is rose tinted, colours are brighter than they seem and illusions jump out at you. And then, the Norwegian wood catches fire, your bubble bursts, you fall back to reality as the song ends. And I am insatiable. Norwegian Wood is not a song, it is an experience. And I seek to prolong it by playing the song over and over and over again. Not I song I have, oh truly and completely has me...We need songs like this these days.

Friday, December 7, 2007

All you need is love..Peace, joy...idealism, optimism, a brave new world! Life is about believing that something like this can exist, in my opinion. If there is no hope left, what do you live for anyway? Me, I'm almost hopelessly hopeful, I think it irritates people at times. But hell there's no harm in it, albeit it gives you a slightly shady perspective on life. Sometimes I don't understand how so many things can go wrong one after the other, it doesn't seem possible or fair. "Possible" and "fair"..weird words, wishy washy, Gandhian principles, whatever you may call it...well it works for me. By now you're probably wondering if I exist..well I don't..I'm one of those fake frandshippers from Orkut who believes in the Beauty and Fullness of Life...
Anyways, should you choose to accept my existence, this blog is for all those essentially happy people who get disappointed now and then with the stuff that happens around them..and also for any other jobless people who are ready to listen to me about nothing in particular....Me, just good times, bad times, passions, interesting bits of trivia, activities and so on.
And so I shall begin.....