Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where are the women

I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging. I wonder why. I read my last post - of course I went back to the grind and those emotions are sadly long gone and forgotten. And there were a lot of trivial happiness and annoyances that continue to happen - so I do not know why the trigger to blog seem to have left me.

Anyway.. I notice a curious phenomenon these days. I predominantly see men on the streets. Whatever the time of day - morning, late night, afternoon - whatever the area - residential, construction, official buildings - I see more men, mostly below forty, more in groups. Once I made the initial observation I keep seeing it all the time. I don't have the demographic data to tell if it is just a perception or is backed by data - but my guess is due to the work opportunity we have more men migrating to Bangalore in all levels and there is a distant skew in the man-woman ratio here.

It disturbs me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I had to undergo a surgery. When I conveyed this, almost all the folks told me, somewhat wistfully, think of this as a forced break. It clearly showed me a) All my friends are overworked if that was their first reaction b) Modern medicine is so marvelous that people don't have any doubts about certain surgeries. If this were say 50 years ago, I am sure there would have been more longer faces around me

I actually packed 4-5 books and checked myself in cheerfully. I had this vision of myself, convalescing gently reading books, walking slowly, listening to music, feeling that melancholy feeling. How naive!

One week later I am just back home, barely able to sit and type this. It was like my brain went into some sort of hibernation for a while. I knew in the back of mind there was the ability to read a book or have coherent conversation, but my brain just wouldn't get past the physical discomforts. With all kinds of tubes attached for body and IV fluids, poked and pricked a hundred times, loaded up in antibiotics for the next couple of centuries, for a while I lost sense of time. It was just me and my senses. Especially the sense of smell. I feel in retrospect that was the sense that kind of overworked, keeping me nauseous all the time.

How much I wanted the ability to eat something, anything, to be able to walk to the bathroom myself, to have a shower and feel clean. KJ told me after an illness, he said grace before eating for the first time in his life. I could identify with that.

I thought I'd never ever take for granted my ability to climb up the stairs, my ability to enjoy a nice dish, my ability to read a book late into the night...Of course this too shall pass and I would probably go check my mail and do other trivial things but I wish it didn't, I didn't.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The extremes

New author for this week was Christopher Priest. To be completely factual though, it was not a random choice like the other authors I had decided to read before. A few weeks ago I saw the movie 'Prestige' and was intrigued enough to pick his book 'The Extremes'.

It is one of those book that can't be pegged and leaves you feeling extremely uneasy. There is the grief and sadness that permeates throughout the book. But, what struck me most as I stared into the rain after reading the final pages was how plausible the premise was. The concept of virtual reality and reconstruction of events in a VR environment or to borrow a trekkie word - a 'holodeck' seems shockingly reachable. A few connections to the appropriate neurons and clever programs and voila - 'extreme experiences'.

Would I want to 'use' the holodeck. I probably would. But would I know enough to realize later what was real and what was virtual. The ending was - not predictable - more inevitable and reminded of 'Vanilla skies'

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another US trip

Just back from another US trip. TV commentaries were all about the problems of obesity, drop-out rates in school and of course the election.

Law and order still seems to rule the prime time though in different flavors. I must have watched all the old episodes of law and order and star trek in those back to back run days.

I cant believe I haven't blogged in over a month. When I logged in I realized I have been blogging for more than five years now - perhaps not in great volumes but at least a post a month. I tried to see if I have changed in the past years.

I haven't learned anything new. I can not think of a single thing I could do better. Actually, my skills in most areas have deteriorated considerably. On the other hand I am fundamentally the same person. I am still unlikely to join a cult or quit my day job to write the great Indian novel. Is that a blessing?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chini kum

Was staring abstractedly out of the car window when my attention snapped. The DJ played the title song chini kum. Five seconds into the evocative composition, I exclaimed - 'Ilayaraja'. It is the same composition as the hit 'Mandram vandha thendralukku'. I thought is has been copied and I even thought that the background music was not up to the original. Apparently the song is credited to Ilayaraja in the new film as well.

I revisited http://www.s-anand.net/Classical_Ilayaraja_4.html

Went to the library. 'Feluda' books are fun to read. Ray never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rain come again

Rain always brings out the best in me. It makes me want to read good books, listen to music, write letters to my friends, quit my job...

The quitting my job feeling is compounded because of the trip to Madurai. This time I visited a farm. The man in charge, an interesting character with varied interests, offered lemon juice from a freshly picked lemon and a nice bouquet of flowers all grown there. It was so peaceful and happy. On the trip back, it rained.

Oh well, I better go check my email.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Apocalypto review

Just finished watching Apocalypto. It is a clear 'Elaine award' winner. I have constituted this award after Elaine Benes from Seinfeld. After a miserable couple of hours of watching 'The English Patient', Elaine screams at the screen, with all the anguish, at the top of her voice - "Die already". Exactly my sentiments after watching Apocalypto. Only it wasn't about the protagonist dying. There was enough people dying as it is. Enough show of hearts and guts and blood and gore. I wanted to shout "What is the bloody point?" Something about a civilization decaying from within... blah..blah...blah.

Perhaps the real point is every other civilization was just full of blood thirsty savages till salvation came in the form of the white man.

Who cares Mayans knew a bit of agriculture and a bit of astronomy? The Eclipse scene was such a cliche and such a joke. Monterroso anyone?

Though I must accede one point to Gibson compared to Spielberg. There was no Indiana Jones.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Boston trip

I was in Boston a month ago...

Ticket to Boston : Rs. 1,83,000
Cab ride to hotel : Rs. 1500
Hotel rent : Rs. 15,000

Opening the window on a jet-lagged morning to beautiful snowfall : priceless

It was utterly delightful to walk gingerly on snow filled side-walks, shoving my shivering hands deeply into my jacket pocket. It was the first time I saw a frozen river. Absolutely amazing.

Impulsive trips

Kishore sent a note titled 'Financial impact missing on vizag trip'. Clearly I want to forget that part :)

Nike ad - Cricket

Whoever thought of and directed the absolutely marvelous Nike Ad deserves a medal. Everything about the Ad is brilliant - the shots, the fast beat of the background music that suddenly picks up with konkani [I thought it was marathi] lyrics, the whole idea of cricket being played on during a traffic jam! Brilliant.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I seem to be consumed with lethargy these days. I am busy at work - but not with the 'good' stress. Sometimes when I am busy I am energized to do more. I call that good stress. Then sometimes its like this. I have a million little things to do and despite what I do I still have them. I am too lethargic to do anything interesting.

Anyway this post isn't about that. I traveled to Vizag this weekend. For a friend's wedding. It was an impulsive spur of the moment thing.

Vizag was beautiful. South India has such a beautiful coastline. The little hills breaking the monotony of the plains were a visual treat from above. I was stunned to see such good roads. Better than Bangalore. I must have commented on it multiple times.

The beach reminded me of Marina. Except here instead of the official buildings there were more sea facing apartments. I wondered if the tsunami had an impact on the cost. I walked on and stood facing the waves. The first kiss of the froth was cool. Later I walked the length of the beach, stopping from time to time to read.

Clouds spoiled my sunrise the next morning. Wedding was fun. Girls take way too much time to dress.