Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pearls and Anj


"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel.

Polonius to Laertes, Hamlet.


I know it's a tad early but adieu, girls. I wish you positive strides in your lives ahead.

You will be missed. :)


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Snakes and Monkeys

Made a trip to the Ghatti Subramanya Temple (Bangalore Outskirts) with my folks. Infested with snakes, monkeys and pilgrims it was difficult to get in edgeways. Interpid and cheeky I got the camera out and click, click, click.







Friday, September 22, 2006

the thirst


The roar of the general resounded round the ravines, rivers and ricochet of the precipices of the valley. Galvanised into action we rushed down the hill as one man towards our prey, those hapless savages.

The lust for blood galloped through my veins like a pair of ravaging hounds. My trusty broadsword glinted in the sunlight reflecting on my enemies with a reddish tinge warning them of their fate. There was a swish of air as the perfectly tempered piece of metal crushed open a man's skull. He hadn't a chance the poor fellow.

Clouds of dust swirled around the hordes of battling warriors, intermingling with the pre-existing mist that was a permanent inhabitant of the valley. The stench of death rose above all others overwhelming and enveloping us in its claws. I felt ineffectual blows on my battle worn armour. I turned to face my adversary. He was a big man. But that was of no consequence. I used my famous "back swipe" to send his head bouncing over a host of prostrate bodies. Screams of terror pierced through the air already thick with blood curdling cries as I searched for my next trophy.

The ballistas were finally operational.

Huge balls of fire flew through the air with perfectly calculated trajectories, landing in the midst of an already defeated enemy. I sank my sword deep into his chest feeling a warm gush of blood on my face. My nerves tingled as I felt and smelt the sticky fluid. Chaos reigned supreme as the only bridge separating us from the feral heathens burst into flames.

The stench of death was now coupled with the acrid smell of burning skin. The fighting took to the river. Water was my element like all others. I felt no hindrance as I cut my path through a multitude of soldiers. Limbs and dismembered heads flew hither and thither landing in the river like gigantic drops of rain.

An orgasmic pleasure filled me as I looked down at the ruddy colour my armour and sword had acquired. I saw a man running away from the fray, a coward on the run. The chase was on. I rushed out of the river and into the forest after him. He was in my sights. He crawled through a narrow gap in the undergrowth and screamed,

"You will never catch me now!!!".

I roared out my reply,

"You cannot hide from me, in hill or in town.

For I am Mars, the God of War and I will cut you down."

Driving you up the wall



Witnessed a wall climbing competition for the first time today. Pearly, the resident wall climbing expert in our gang played guide through the proceedings, telling us about the rules and intricacies. I was feeling pretty normal about never having climbed a wall until I was introduced to Shia, a charming 8 year old girl, who had won third place in the junior event. Apparently a couple of 5 year olds had taken part as well, their lack of reach swept under the rug by some serious persistance. 5 year olds!! And I was eyeing the wall with distinct unease, thinking it wasn't for me. It's good when you have a full blooded laugh at yourself sometimes. :)

(I know this photo isn't fantastic but I somehow liked it anyway)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Devilish Ploys



"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here [crosses himself]. And it still smells of sulfur today." Spitting fire and venom, Venezuelan
President, Hugo Chavez denounced 'ol George W.

Read the full transcript of his UN speech HERE

my grandfather's riding boots


Officer, pilot, engineer, entrepreneur, horse rider, traveller, golfer, football, squash and tennis player, sitarist, audiophile, hearty drinker, roaring laugher,
my grandfather.

I wish I could know him now.



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Khalas - i - palyam



Wandering through the heart of Bangalore's transport district I learned a few things.
1. ALWAYS look down and walk.
2. No transport company is willing to take a package from Bangalore to Delhi, unless you're prepared to hire an entire truck.
3. Meat is plentiful in all varieties, preparations and decay (or freshness, as above).
4. There is a 90% chance of being run over by an errant driver (read bus or truck).
5. That's about it. It just seemed nicer to have 5 points.

Beery Beery Good


I've fallen in love with beer all over again. There was a hiatus of a few years but I've quickly realised that there are few joys than the first sip of perfectly chilled beer after a long hard day, or just anytime.

It's Oktoberfest time yet again and thousands of beer guzzlers will descend on Germany and many mugs will be downed. Not to mention all the eye candy (I can sense Recho salivating at the above photo). Sigh. A journey I must make sometime.
Check out the scenes on the official Oktoberfest 2006 website

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Sting in the Tail


Another night of drunken revelry, another night of cheer, this time at a collegues' wonderfully vibed 7th floor apartment. We ran through the vino (smack). We ran through the Jack pretty darn quick as well. Then there were the tequila shots and the usual round of herbs. By then, things were distinctly hazy but a lot of fun nonetheless. Until some poor drunk misguided soul decided to pull out a bottle of Scorpion Mescal from the liquor cabinet. It's made from the agave cactus and apparently residing in the blurry lines between alchohol and hallucinogens. We were too far gone to realise these onerous implications at the time, and happily downed a shot each of the evil tasting liquid. I mean the bottle has a scorpion fermenting in it. What were we thinking. What followed was a trip that is best left to the imagination. Let's just say the shadows were alive that night. I can't wait to try this on its own merit. Until then, sobriety seems suddenly attractive.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The paean of the lost blog


It's been a strange couple of days. One moment I was a moderately cheery blog sending out subliminal messages into the real world through my human channel, Hari Potter. The next minute I was sent into that abyss of uncertainity, that shadow of limbo - the rain drenched, raging shores of Oblivia. Here I encountered many strange, wonderous sights, some sore, some blinding, some meaning nothing at all.

A
s I trudged these morose sands, I encountered an entity, desperately fighting the surf, screaming to be heard. In his hands he clutched a cricket bat, which he gazed at lovingly, everytime his throat needed a bit of a break. I tapped him on his shoulder and he turned and looked at me quizzically through his glasses.
"Can
I help you?" I asked.
"Help me, help me, HELP ME???!!!??? The good Lord, Jagmohan
Dalmia couldn't do squat and you're going to help me? That's a laugh," and he snorted out a loud forced guffaw to illustrate.
"Who are you?" I had to ask.
"Sourav, Sourav Ganguly," he sputtered, "you don't know who I am???"
"Umm, yes, but I had to make sure."
"I'll be back," said he.
"I'll be going," said I.

And my journey continued, with no respite. The realm of time does not apply here in Oblivia, so day merges into night, as seamlessly as night merges into day. The thick shapeless clouds obliterate all other methods of judgement. I wandered on until I saw a shape crouched in the tall grass. Fearing it was some sort of animal I got down on my belly and crawled across the sand until I had a better view of my company. It was a little blue man, with a large white beard.
The usual question welled up and was asked.
"I'm 134340...." he sobbed and buried his head, once again in his tiny hands.
"That's a strange name," I offered.
"Yes, a strange name, a straaannnggge name," the poor little man wailed.

"So why are you called that?"
"I wasn't always called that you know. And I wasn't always this little."
"What??"
"Yes I was once a proud member of a club that had only 9 members, he said,
looking decidedly happier, "wasn't the biggest one around and I was a tad eccentric but I certainly fit in, ask anyone."
Suddenly, his face clouded
over,"Until those mean SOBs with the super telescopes arrived and took it all away, allll away."
"But I'll be back," said he.
"I'll be going," said I.


And I went, dragging my feet, wondering when it would all end. Through the cold, wet air I heard the gritty chug of an electric guitar. At last some music, at last some respite. I stamped my feet to get some life in them and ran, for the first time. I saw three men, in long cape coats, fluttering in the wind. Surrounding them in a triangle of sound were three amps into which were plugged their three guitars.
This time I didn't have to ask.

"We are Robbie Krieger, Ritchie Blackmore and Eddie Van Halen, the Three Axemen of Oblivia...hear us roaarrrr!!!" they snarled in unison.
"I always wondered where you guys were. I thought you were living lives of
decadence in massive mansions amidst huge tracts of greenery."
"No we came to Oblivia at different times and somehow found each other," they
cried in unison.
"Wow! So you've been jamming ever since?"
"Yes," again in unison.
"Could you guys stop doing that. It's annoying."
"Oh!" they exclaimed, "is it then?"
Blackmore stormed off, Eddie stuck his tongue
out and leapt away and Robbie just sat around moping.
"We'll be back!" they cried.
"I'll be going," said I.

As I turned a vision greeted my eyes. She was draped all in light with a look of
absolute peace, the kind that comes from within. She wasn't on the ground and instead floated a good few inches above. She glided toward me and touched my cheek. I was suddenly flooded with love and reached out my hand. She let her fingers meet mine and at that point I stopped caring about the clouds above, the indeterminate dimension of time, of space and all the waves that crashed ferociously at my feet, at the putrid stench that permeated all in Oblivia. All I knew was this energy that was taking me over. She didn't need to tell me. She was Gaia and I was her slave.
"Why are YOU here?" I impored.

"Because it is my home and I will not abandon it."
"But you...you..do not belong," I stuttered.
"I do."
"No, it cannot be. You do not belong here in Oblivia."
"There was a time when this was not Oblivia, a time when the forests thrived and
the animals roamed free. A time when man ruled over a land he was proud to survey. But they would not have that. They wanted money. They wanted power. They wanted oil. They wanted it all. And for what? I still don't know. But I still cannot leave."
"Why? Why???" I asked, the desperation growing.
"Because once, long ago, Oblivia was Earth."


At this point I felt a twisted feeling deep within and I felt a connection once
more to my human channel. I was home. I was back. Or was I?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

How Many More Times??


It's been five years, half a decade, since the most misguided terrorist plan reached fruition. A few days ago, when India was attacked for the nth time, this time at a mosque and market in Malegaon, I watched, in stunned silence for the nth time, as the sight of innocent blood visited my sitting room, for the nth time. I switched channels to BBC and CNN (not CNN-IBN) and there were lifestyle shows being aired. No breaking news, no terror warnings, not even a ticker. Malegaon is a miniscule blip on the Western radar. Why would they care? It wasn't like Delhi, where the heart of the tourist district was hit. It wasn't like Mumbai, constantly in the international eye. It wasn't even Kashmir, that mythic place that the Indians and Pakis can't seem to get over. It was just Malegaon. It isn't just a "War on Terror" now. It's a "War on Terror .... where and when it suits us".

Oh Well, here's the list. Shocked at the number of attacks in the last 13 years? I was.

1993
March 12: Mumbai car bombings in India leave 257 dead with 1,400 others injured.

1997
March 22 - Sangrampora Killings - 7 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Sangrampora village in the Budgam district.

1998
January : Wandhama Massacre - 24 Kashmiri Pandits are massacred by Pakistan-backed insurgents in the city of Wandhama in Indian-controlled Kashmir .

February 14: Coimbatore bombings -Bombings by suspected Islamic Jihadi groups on an election rally in Indian city of Coimbatore kill about 60 people.

1999

December 24: Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India is hijacked. One passenger is killed and some hostages are released. After negotiations between the Taliban and the Indian government, the last of the remaining hostages on board Flight 814 are released in exchange for release of 4 terrorists.

2001
October 1: A car bomb explodes near the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly in Srinagar, India killing 35 people and injuring 40 more.

December 13: Terrorist attack on Indian Parliament.

May 13: 12 people are killed in the Jaunpur train crash in India, caused when Islamic extremists cut the rails.

2002
September 10: A train derailment in India kills 130 people in the Rafiganj rail disaster. Naxalite terrorism is suspected.

September 25: Two terrorists belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed group raid the Akshardham temple complex in Ahmedabad, India killing 30 people and injuring many more.

December 21: Kurnool train crash, Islamic extremists derail a train and kill 20 people in India.

2003
July 13: Qasim Nagar Attack - Armed militants believed to be a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba threw hand grenades at the Qasim Nagar market in Srinagar and then fired on civilians standing nearby killing twenty-seven and injuring many more.

August 25: At least 48 people were killed and 150 injured in two blasts in south Mumbai - one near the Gateway of India at the other at the Zaveri Bazaar.

2005
July 5: Terrorist attack on Ayodhya – Six terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba storm the Ayodhya Ram Janmbhomi complex in India. Before the terrorists could reach the main disputed site, they were shot down by Indian security forces. One devotee and two policemen were injured.

July 20 Srinagar Bombing - A car bomb exploded near an armoured Indian Army vehicle in the famous Church Lane area in Srinagar killing 4 Indian Army personnel, one civilian and the suicide bomber. Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 29 Budshah Chowk attack - A militant attack at Srinigar's city centre, Budshah Chowk, killed 2 and left more than 17 people injured. Most of those injured were media journalists.

October 29: Multiple bomb blasts hit markets in Delhi, India, leaving at least 61 dead and more than 200 injured.

December 28: Two or more unidentified gunmen open fire at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, killing a retired professor of mathematics and wounding four others.

2006

March 7: Bombings in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, India kill 28 and injured more than 100.

May 3 militants massacred 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts in Jammu and Kashmir.

July 11: A series of explosions rock commuter trains in Mumbai, India, killing at least 200. Approximately 700 civilians are injured.

June 12 one person was killed and 31 were wounded when terrorists hurled three grenades on Vaishnodevi shrine-bound buses at the general bus stand here this morning.

August 16: A bomb exploded in a Hindu temple near Imphal, India, killing three and injuring more than 30.

September 8th: At least 2 bomb blasts target a Muslim cemetery in the western town of Malegaon. The blasts kill 37 people and leave 125 others wounded.

The only upside is that common folk aren't falling prey to commualism anymore. Like Malegaon. It's all easy for me to sit in the comfort and safety of my home and comment on not reacting to it. There are people out there who are putting it in practice in the face of all this senseless violence. I bow down low to them all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Moth Eaten


Show me the way to the light
Show me the path of right
Show me where I can rest my wings
Tell me about life
Tell me about strife
Tell me everything, and quick
I must be on my way
For I hear the call
The call I hear again
Let me go
And never return
For a fornight and no more, have I.
-Hp-

Sankarshan "have instrument will play" Kini


And how.

I first encountered the mostly bald, once ponytailed Shanky at a job but luckily our friendship extends way beyond. This very talented gentleman plays the guitar (6 and 12 string, acoustic, electric and classical), violin, baby sitar, tabla, mandolin, pungi, saxaphone, an assortment of percussion and other instruments that I'm quite sure I've forgotten.



His baritone bends the sonorous lower reaches of Hindustani classical, with as much ease as the rasping truth of 12-bar blues.


It's a pleasure knowing him and even bigger pleasure watching him jam on anything, capable of making even a semi-musical sound.


This time he sat in on with on some peaceful 'southern' tunes, interspersed by a Frenchman flautist and an American playing Irish folk tunes???


As the saying goes,
It only happens in India.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Bush Doctrine

How about a nice banana, Mr.Bush??


The Guardian's Jonathon Freedman dissects the Bush Doctrine and US's post 9/11 foriegn policy with the skill of an award winning brain surgeon...
Read on

Dhoni Who??


Where's Dhoni?

Here are the list of nominees for the categories ODI player and Emerging player of the year for the ICC 2006 Cricket Awards:

ODI Player
Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Michael Hussey (Aus), Ricky Ponting (Aus), Shane Bond (NZ), Irfan Pathan (Ind), Andrew Flintoff (Eng), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Muttiah Muralidaran (SL), Rahul Dravid (Ind), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Mohammed Yousuf (Pak), Herschelle Gibbs (SA), Brett Lee (Aus), Shahid Afridi (Pak), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak), Adam Gilchrist (Aus), Kumar Sangakkara (SL).
Emerging Player
Monty Panesar (Eng), Alastair Cook (Eng), Denesh Ramdin (WI), Malinga Bandara (SL), Mohammed Asif (Pak), Upul Tharanga (SL), Ian Bell (Eng), Shahriar Nafees (BD).

A quick lookie will reveal that a certain flowing-maned-bat-weilder is missing. Where is Mahendra Singh Dhoni?? Granted he has some way to go in the Test arena but he's certainly made headway in the ODI format, so much so that he found himself top of the world, according the ICC cricket ratings atleast. He now languishes in fourth place, below Gilchrist, Ponting and Sarwan, all of whom have been around for a few years now. Let's for a moment assume that Dhoni does not deserve a nomination in the ODI category, even though he most definitely deserves a nomination over Afridi (he has a batting average of around 12 for the last year), Pathan and big Freddie Flintoff who has done little to turn around England's dismal One day run.

We only realise how glaring Dhoni's omission actually is when we check out the Emerging player category. None of the names on that list have been anything close to the best in the world, other than possibly Asif, who is consistent, quick and deadly accurate, picking up a truckload of wickets at a miniscule average. In fact, other than Dhoni, none of them even feature in the any Top 10, ODI or Test, batting or bowling and haven't in the last year.

So why was Dhoni left out? Why is Allan Donald, a part of the shortlising committee for the awards so shocked at his omission? Unless the ICC has any answers, this is just going to be yet another cricket controversy swept to fine leg and beyond.

GEJ!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Paint your palette blue and grey

Don mclean- vincent

One of my all time favs. It brought me close to tears the first time I heard it and I can proudly say that I do a damn good rendition. Oh, those lyrics. sigh.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fide et Labore



Ring out the battle call of duty!
Unfurl the flag of Faith and Toil!
We deem our soul's eternal beauty.
A life-long Victor's worthy spoil.
A thousand such are proudly gone before us.
To win and spread our College's renown;
'tis ours to swell with our voices the chorus
And with our deeds enrich her crown.
Chorus: Faith and Toil! Conquerless alliance
Wherein we clasp human hands unto God's!
In His control,find we true self-reliance;
My hand and God's-What'er the odds -
My hand and God's-What'er the odds -
My hand and God's
Evil's onset hold in defiance!

It was back to the good 'ol blue and white for this year's edition of Old Boys Day.

THEN

The facade might have changed since I hurtled through these corridors but the soul remains.

NOW

I've always harboured a special place in my heart for St.Joseph's Boys High School. It's where I learned true life values, humility and imbibed oodles of school spirit,like so many generations before me. It's where I grew up. It's where I met some of my dearest friends. It's where I met myself.

And then there was this.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mela Pheri






Well, it was going to be another somnabulistic evening on my sparse but moderately expansive terrace. The usual scene, Robin posturing, Dundee sprawling, until we decided to decidedly move our collective arses.


We headed to the Dastkar Mela, a handicrafts and cottage industries fair, "more capatalistic than Leftist," says Dundee. He's right. The considerable collection of colourful collectables and knick knacks captured our dilated pupils and our cameras captured Babu Bagpiper.



He wove his spell sonorous and true,
Ethereal melodies riding earthy grooves...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow


I can't ignore it anymore.
Firstly, its ridiculous that Hair did not give Inzy any reasons for replacing the ball on field. Secondly, he got all high and mighty about it, as racist white pigs are bound to do.
Thirdly, lets not forget that he has managed tick off almost the entire roster of Asian teams at some point or the other - think poor Murali, God's gift to spin craft, Hair's arch nemesis.
Fourthly, what on earth was the big man thinking when he tried blackmailing the ICC, THE ICC, for half a million big ones. Has he finally lost it?
Lastly, ball tampering is not easily done is this day and age of cameras honing in on every breath and butt scratch not worth mentioning. Sanjay Manjrekar might think it's possible but I'd like to see him try.
So, Darrell get over it. Ironically he's been offered a job to maintain quality standards of umpiring by the England Cricket Board for County cricket. With rumours that this entire fiasco, marring the gentlemen's game, was brought about by a tattler from the ECB itself, the whole thing, to me, raises a big WHITE stink.

Cricket is cricket. Let's leave our skin colours at the pavilion.

Glad I got that off my chest. :)