Tuesday, May 31, 2005

iPod recipie

1 wax candle
1 iPod (preferrably mini or higher)
collection of ghazals on the iPod e.g. jagjit singh, hariharan, etc. (add more as per taste)
a power failure*
a relatively good voice to sing along

on power failure, light wax candle and place at centre of the room.
switch on iPod and play ghazals by the candle light.
mix well and garnish with cool breeze in the midst of a moonlit night.
sing along with the selected artist for added taste.

Serves: 1 (serves more if those around can sustain the listener's sing along)

Note: Music afficionado can experiment with other collections like instrumental, new age and celtic genres.

* a similar scene can be recreated by switching off the lights, but such thoughts dont arise until one encounters a power failure.

puppies at my feet

many a time i wished for a quiet evening, where i could be all by myself; no one to disturb or bother me. well, considering my ability to have a decent conversation with any normal human being, i ought to be having lot many such moments!

nevertheless, last saturday did bestow me with such a privilege. it was nearly sundown when i hit the trail towards the beach. being a weekend, it was bound to be crowded, but i was alone :-) one might find most of the chennai populace at the shores of Elliot's on weekends. that day it did not matter.

waded through the crowd to a sea-side cafe coffee day and got myself a comfy cold coffee. sipping at it, made my way to the waves. cold coffee in hand and breeze blowing at my face, felt like i was gliding over the sands :-)

stepping into the water was much more surreal. waves coming in rythmically, relentlessly, religiously. the sea seemed calm that evening. the waves were being kind. the wet sand tickling the soles and the waves playing at my feet. it was like little puppies romping in between! all so playful :-) under the spell of the soothing waves i look up and see a cloudy sky, no sign of the moon. so i stand there agog, admiring the patterns of the clouds, and the waves get me unaware. yes, some puppies are the naughty kind. they tug at your feet and bite your shoes. this one simply drenched me.

the evening ebbed and the tide grew. stronger breezes and faster waves could only fill the heart with more joy. their eagerness to play with me, like they knew i would be with them. joy enough to make me sing my heart out. "Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi..." and "Aap Ki Aankhon Mein..." filled my senses and my very being! The rhythm of the waves to the flow of the songs... could heaven be elsewhere?

i wished for this to never end. but it was my own undoing. i carried my cell phone with me....

Monday, May 23, 2005

selective idealism

in more crude terms its called hypocrisy. at times i wonder if i suffer from selective idealism. conform to my own set of standards when it suits me fine or when it feeds my ego well.

was on my way back home after meeting a friend. getting a rick (auto rickshaw) in bangalore is a rather intersting fete. walmart could learn a few tricks from the ultimate logistcs arrangement quite common here. all you do is ask the auto which direction he is headed. ask him if its ok with him for you to hitch hike. he may just about like you and oblige. but that particular night i was not destined for a ride home. multiple attempts at hiring a ride left me with no option but to walk it back. i am told its a 12km stretch. have not walked that much in a long time. situations have their way of presenting themselves when you least expect them. life any other way would have been a drag.

about three-fourths of my way back, one tainted soul did agree to take me home, but not before i coughed up rs.20 - that would have been close to the fare for the whole distance). attempts at going by the meter failed. i found it against my credo to succumb to his whim. i would not have insisted on the meter had it been chennai. then why in b'lore? human endeavour is always at bringing predictability in chaos. they tried it in bangalore and installed the meters, made the drivers use them. in a place like chennai where the fare meter is treated more like a vestigial organ, existance of any sort of system calls for a kodak moment. one would not expect that in b'lore. isnt it a happening place? but here i was privy to an exception.

exception? some b'lore old timers would doubt.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


per·se·ver·ance (pûrs-vîrns) n.
Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.

this has been my picture of him from the day i've seen him. its been a year now, and my colleague has seen him for four. i call him the madhyakailash beggar. etymology will reveal that he is a destitue found near the madhyakailash temple (adyar, chennai), under a lush shadowy tree. proximity to a busy bus stop is his locational advantage. or so i presume.

never does he fail to ask for alms from a passerby. age or gender is not a point of differentiation for him. but if you are well dressed, his pleas are louder. i did catch him once in a distracted mode and tried to sneak behind him - attempting to miss getting noticed. cannot say that i was successful. spotted me from the corner of his eye and out came his cry! in hindsight i think it was my eagerness to scoot that i must have stepped heavily behind him.

but there is something that baffles me about this chap. there must be something thats kept him at that place all these years. he probably has the pavement tile too marked out as his space! not everybody donates and i am not one to add to his coffers. he is not a senseless machine programmed to sit there all day. he certainly must be making enough to help him pull the day through. in that case, why has that place not attracted more of his type? surely there are more people using the bus stop than those visiting the temple! does he have a dual clientele!? people from the temple using the bus stop!? i wonder.

big brother in your trash

Garbology is the study of refuse and trash. It is an academic discipline (a recent one for contemporary trash) ... thus proclaims wikipedia.

but can you ever imagine how much of an insight you provide the rest of the world, about yourself, with what you refuse to consume? it might provoke humour at first, but the paranoia is quite justified. read on... :-)