Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rain! Lashing, intent rain, hard hitting and manic-primeval. That late the roads that dissect the colony are magically empty, even the stray dogs have crawled away someplace; and its just you and the rain and gushing wind, and you take a deep breath,draw your rainwear closer, focus on the next step, the lamp lights in the dark looking like distant halos past the driving water that gets into your eyes and seeps deep into your shoes.
And it is good to be alive.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last night I watched Brick Lane, a story about immigrants from Bangladesh in London.

Perhaps not reading the book helped?
Perhaps the gritty authenticity of the storyline helped.
I liked this. A lot.
Some of the photography is beautiful. Specially the scenes with Karim.
And the sound is spot on, with all those neighborhood sounds in the background.

Inflation continues to raze
Okra @50/kg.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kid, last night I sang along as they showed song after song, songs we had grown up with, songs we hummed along to, not quite knowing the words, songs we'd heard from a ancient "borrowed" tape upon an ancient walkman. Always on that swing on the back porch, reaching high and back.
" Billie Jean's not my love.." and "Pretty lady with the high heels on".
MJ, your MJ is now a year gone, and this was a tribute on primetime.
I exulted at every woo and riff, amazed I still remember, oh yeah, I know that one...
And can't help thinking someplace in the ether, you'll be dancing that moonwalk, and someplace in the ether teaching the man how to step nifty to a step and half dodhiyu.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So how often do you correct, re-correct, strikeout, fashion a phrase? Rework that which seems already mirror-finish?
Don’t miss the John Updike manuscript here:

So how do you reach a point called “Enough”? Is it abrupt, that move—here today, gone tomorrow; or is it by inches, slow and gradual, a mishmash of compromises, let-it-be’s, whittling away, making allowances till you don’t recognize your face in the mirror anymore, you don’t like what you see?
Just curious. I know how I get there. Do you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rain and taxes, what more could I ask for?
Wild, mad, energy-on-high rain. Rain that is just- well, Mumbai rain.
A sheet of water. Any resistance is futile.
Of course there is water logging, AND the possibility, always the possibility, of flooding.
You might as well sing a song. And carry on. Quick march. Find a way.
Specially if there is a transport strike, the way it was y'day.

DTC-R. That's the direct tax code, revised.
Still trying to come to grips with it.
Good, bad or ugly? Don't know.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My tolerance for bs is DEFINED by what we live with day in and day out, Bhopal or the many Bhopals-in-the-making, bus-train-air blasts/mishaps, crumbling civil utilities and infrastructure, political and media shenanigans that conveniently milk an episode for what it is worth before maxing out the next disaster. I guess this is what third world or politely put, emerging market reality is all about. Our senses benumbed by real life, so much that the tolerances shift, our scale is different. So yes, blogger impertinence noted, fumed against, and one will continue to prod--but brazen,shameless, live on. AND yet look for a sliver of hope, of something fine amidst this chaos.

The seasons have changed. There is a freshness in the air most mornings.

Sometimes a line of succinct prose leaves you envious, worthless and unsure of your own capability in ever being able to capture a mood:
“In my credulous years—he thought—they told me that evil was a sort of dirty hue, just as definite as a soiled collar, but it seems to me that evil is only a manner of hard lucky, or heredity-and-environment, or ‘being found out.’ “
-- from Dalyrimple Goes Wrong by F. Scott Fitzgerald. from http://www.everywritersresource.com/shortstories/
A story a day mailed to your inbox- go subscribe!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ok, so the hullabaloo is about the spam bots. Or Spam blogs now.
And Google’s dysfunctional, tizzy-as-a-dowager-with-a-knot-in-her tights response.
Which swept functional blogs and bloggers out with the spam.
Husha, hoosha, you all come down. Boom!
Ham handed.
Eyebrow raised—they could still have asked, right?
This is still so very WRONG, my dear Google.

STOP PRESS: Leni's missing comment copied below:
Leni Qinan has left a new comment on your post "Dear Google, You are not my mother. Even my mothe...":


I hope Blogger doesn't remove this comment too, as it did with all my comments -all gone-.

I know you from Mago, who recommended me to visit and read your defence of freedom of speech.

Thank you very much for your support.


Today I learned an original lesson, one about decimal points.
If I can save on tax by merely using 7 decimal places instead of 2… .
So what did I learn? One: Look at the detail.
Two: learn to look at the obvious from another angle.
Strange where we get our insights.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dear Google,

You are not my mother. Even my mother would not throw half baked advice at me, or tell me what to do. You tread on thin ice.

Are you familiar with the term, friends of friends?

Well, you-- or your silly censorship system- hurt my fruends. mago- whom I follow- and Leni and MJ, whom I don't. You pulled blogs and blocked gmail, for the record.

Hurt mago, whom as you'd know, is a historian, fluent in five languages, and writes posts that offer content- meat. Is this the kind of person you want access to, or not?

When people are over 18, why would you tell them what to do? Why would you disable access to gmail? You think people are soliciting, selling pot or guns? On a blog?

Who gave you the moral authority to censor blogs? Just because you host them?

Get a life, go see a shrink.



Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Ind Express ran this story (again) this morn.
What a shot of pure energy!
Intent. Clean focus.
I walked taller. I'd whistle if I could.
Go, Pruthvi Shaw, GO!

Technology as a change agent.
Tons has been written about that.
But how technology can change lives. Incremental technology, nothing pathbreaking, mind it.
Except that the application, the USE-- is pathbreaking.
Women aloud videoblogging for empowerment. WAVE.
Quite a mouthful.
A 2 member initiative.Sapna Shahani and Angana Jhaveri.
They train women from semi-urban, mostly lower income groups from across the country,
to make short video clips based on what is happening around them.
Open your eyes and you can see.
Train them as in every aspect- story boarding, scripting, shooting.
AND they pay them for their work.
The videoblogs exhibited ran the gamut from documentary type, art and craft and culture, to breaking news, citizen journalism.
Pretty interesting.
More so because of what it can do, in terms of change. And open up new worlds.
"Weaving Dreams -- Padma, a lady of the Bodo community in Assam, changes her community for the better when she started a weaving society, turning away from their previous occupations of liquor-making. Created by Usha Dewani (4 minutes)."
The audience was mostly NGO types or arty types.
But possibly the best saturday evening I've spent in a long time, watching these clips.
There is so much one can do.
Starting with not too much.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The dichotomy of my life. Our lives.
The deep carpets and hushed voices. Esoteric flowers. Luxury on the tap. Views to die for.
Work, and the numbers that the suits talk of are in millions and billions-- the zeros confound me.
But that's not reality, is it?
The autofella is coughing badly as we turn the corner to work.I'm surprised he took on a short fare.
I ask him how he is, and he weeps.
A grown bear of a man, clearly sixty plus, and he weeps.
His daughter is getting married month end. No dowry, but he has to think of the groom's social status. Hence a 1.5 lac debt.
Yes, a boy from the village in UP--one from Mumbai would be too expensive.
His son is useless, nalayak, hence the need for him to earn. Jimmevari.
I'm shaken.
This is life, too.

As is a Bhopal suddenly come to life after 25 years.
What are you going to do now? And how many more Bhopals are waiting to happen?
And bus-plane-train crashes, explosions we must not forget. Never forget. Where are those answers?
Past the media deluge on the new news.

The dissonance and the dichotomy, and a quiet space within,that perhaps is life.
I put my head down and work.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Phew! Marking the end of another very busy work season.
I think.