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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Now, for some fun!!

I think we all (my 4 odd readers and myself) have had enough of me dishing out my own philoshophy. I notice that my comment rate increases at least. :) Anyway, after all the philosophy, I think I am through with that for a while... for a long, long while anyway. Though the phase was there and lasted long enough, (2-3 months) I reckon, it is time for some fun.

So, read some Calvin and Hobbes, bring on the Magadheera type movies, and some din chik din chik moves. Or Jatak Matak, whichever you prefer and sing smelly cat, smelly cat. :)

So, let us see now, Magadheera, which was a howlarious movie was all it promised, it was superb fun, of course you cannot miss the fact that it was too loud and did get boring half way through, but hey, it got me, my three (I think) hours of entertainment. While the books, not Calvin, sorry, l'il too expensive for me. Anuja Chauhan's The Zoya Factor is my fantasy, well... almost, in a book, while Chetan Bhagat's 2 States was a joke. So, overall, last week was bit of both. Started off with all the seriousness it could muster, and ended with jokes all round.

Now, for some work! Let us umm..ahh... power on? :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Change! There it is again. Why is it so hard to find? And when we find it, why don’t we like it, not very much at first? Are we too scared? Why are we so hesitant? Why is it all weird and so much done to stop it from happening?

I’ve changed in so many ways, I can’t keep count. I resisted it but it has found me, again, again and yet again. So, I gave in and I have changed. Learnt to like it…learnt to realise it, and learnt to find the many beauties of it…

I have found in the past that whatever change has brought about, it has brought about sanity, perseverance, and most importantly, and weirdly enough, self preservation. Do I like it now? Do I like its many effects and its never ending after effects? Maybe not at first…but I know for sure, I did.

Especially, when I start to realise change, I also realise the silly things change can make you do. Silly? Perhaps to everyone else but not to me, not now. Specially, because this very change has brought me here, saw me through everything, and will see me through this as well.

Change because life is never constant and life should not be, or you may be left standing in the same place, when everybody else, has gone ahead. Resist it, until you find reason enough for you to leave it behind. Trust it, because you know that it could never be wrong…however difficult it may seem at first.

As tomorrow comes we leave yesterday behind, but we have some wonderful memories of it, some happy, some sad, but wonderful all the same. So, change we must. Change. Now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Review: 'Paths of Glory' by Jeffrey Archer

Rarely comes along a book, and takes you with it, especially nowadays. But this time, I have found it. Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Paths of Glory’, is one such book that takes you along as it goes, first at a slower pace and then makes one rush along wanting to know, what happens. To climb, mind you, nothing less than the Mount Everest. And it takes us up it in minutes, considering the pace at which it lets you read the book.

Starting off at a leisurely pace, it slowly weaves an extraordinary tale of adventure and one of love, all wrapped in a subtle sense of wit. Banters, which one cannot miss between Thackeray Turner and George Leigh Mallory or even in other conversations that Mallory has with his wife and various people.

George Leigh Mallory is the ‘lead man’, perhaps in this book, followed closely by his wife, Ruth and his many friends, who are willing to risk lives to climb the Everest.

The matchless self expression presented through dialogue and the letters which Mallory and Ruth exchange with each other is truly beyond comparison. Letters, unimaginable nowadays, in which one can see the love and the respect written with such humility that can only be imagined. You could truly wish you could write them like that or not write them at all!

It slips into the real adventure describing the humorous, for lack of a better word, George Finch and his adventures. Along with sherpas, and the mules, our journey up the Chomolungma, begins then. As they skirt along the mountain, eating something I have personally never heard of, but my mouth waters every time it is mentioned now, is the Kendal Mint Cake.

You are almost as disappointed and hurt as Mallory at the prospect of not reaching the summit and a sigh of relief cannot but help escape your lips when he does, the second time round. It is almost as if you had sat with Mallory’s children, waiting and anticipating for their daddy to climb the mountain.

This book needs at least two readings, of this I am sure. If you are the kind who reads the end before you finish the book, then I urge you to continue reading it. This book is one, which would go beyond all your anticipation and imagination. Knowing the end and still wanting to read it, is a gift, Archer can create for you. Though the mystery was never solved, it does in Archer’s book and in your mind, that George Leigh Mallory did indeed conquer the summit.

Much as I have enjoyed Archer’s short stories, to his novels and even his prison diaries, this book is his best. The ease with which he moves from year to year is indeed, amazing. So, to Jeffrey Archer and his book, which is inspired by a true story, I have only this to say, ‘Hear, Hear’. 

Friday, September 04, 2009


I was looking forward to tomorrow, yesterday. Will tomorrow be any different, I asked myself. Will it be different from what I have always seen, always heard, always felt? If so, how different? What is the difference?

I woke up, not to birds chirping, not to the sun shining, not to a lovely dream. I woke up to something very different, something which would not keep me safe, something which would hurl me into space, and wait for me to hit earth.

I woke up… to reality.

Why would I want to be here? Why, when I seemed to be having a pretty wonderful time? Why would I choose this?

I had but one choice. To go back to sleep, or to wake up and face it. No, not the harsh reality, but the real reality.

The reality which would be a little different, a lot more adventurous and would require a lot more courage. So, here I am, ready to face you, my reality.

Ready to face the one thing, which has given me everything I have and everything I have not.
I have chosen the real reality. And I have but one wish.

And when this reality comes true, I will have no one to thank for it, but myself. And for that day, I will wait.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Remembering Goa…

I remember the breakfasts in Goa. Cornflakes and milk, toast and omelets, not to mention milkshakes, sausages and porridge, baked beans on buns, rounded off with a steaming cup of hot coffee. Yum yum… Why am I remembering all these?

Also the long walks, all the way to Calangute, the beach houses, the sand and the sea, not to mention the lovely sunsets we used to see, dolphins in the distance. The mehndi tattoos, the lovely shopping at the market, not to mention the half closed flea market. The long drives too. The damn rains, the crowded parties at night, the late nights.

The awesome shacks at the beach, what lovely chairs! Why in the world am I remembering these? Maybe its time I went back or at least to a place very like it. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Did I just see a Monkey?

There were two monkeys in my house. Yes, you heard right. We have always been used to monkeys. My grandpa’s house was famous for monkeys, they used to drop in for a visit and if they didn’t find the trees good enough, they always used to find something in grandma’s larder.

Grandma was once sitting on the terrace, and one actually came down to sit, just like a proper guest, I believe he was busy eating something, all the while watching grandma, who sat stiffly, not moving, just to watch it leave. The second one who dropped into her kitchen, was shocked at how loudly my grandma could actually shout. A frightened old lady she seemed so docile, the monkey must have thought. She sure could bring the house down and the scream was so loud, that scared us for sure, but the monkey was out of its wits too!

One cute little monkey, who ran off the second she came face to face with my dad. Poor child, she must’ve been scared out of her wits, and my poor dad who hadn’t done a thing was mighty pleased with himself, am sure for managing to scare it off, by not so much as lifting a finger.

Of course, will never forget the monkey who came into out kitchen when we were staying in an apartment, strolled ever so nonchalantly into the kitchen , and ran off with a bottle of pulses. He got it open, tried to eat it, found it too hard for its liking, and ran off, leaving behind the sorry bottle on the roof of our neighbours house. They had a full half a kilo of dal that morning, and the lovely smell that came from the house, must have been my favourite yellow dal. :)

Monkeys have followed us here as well, it seems. They are in almost every house, just like cats.

I saw two monkeys today, and they made off with fruit from our tree. It’s not new, they’ve been here before, but much before all the construction had begun around our house. Maybe they came back to reclaim their natural habitat. But unfortunately, we can’t offer them that, the most we could offer are fruits, which they happily helped themselves to. I saw them leave with a smile, well, at least it looked like a smile and a wave. Or maybe it was just them trying to get hold of the branches of the few trees...hmmm…

Next time, cats. ;)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

English. The ultimate language. (For me, at least. :) )

Have started Funny Side Up. Am not trying to review it or something, it does not require one, because it has been written by Ruskin Bond. I do not know or understand why this man has not gotten all the awards in the world. His books are simple, humorous, and nostalgic and many other complimentary adjectives to go with them.

He is what I would call the ultimate designer writer. If there ever was one, we have found him. His stories have all the necessary frills and lace and are as smooth as silk.

I remember as a kid, sitting in school, trying to read up collections of short stories and novels in literature class. Boy! I hated that. I feel today, when I read them, there is magic in those words, the simplicity in the language is perhaps the most exquisite. I liked reading outside of school, why then did I hate reading it for school? It was simple. I had to study then. I prefer reading to studying.

Now, after all these many years, after school that is, I find everyone of those words in those English books, which I had not found then. Shakespeare and Hardy and Austen. Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and O. Henry. John Grisham, Robin Cook and JK Rowling. The discovery never stops. Does not take a pause.

I was in a book store the other day, and my cousin, who was kind enough to get me a gift voucher, was not surprised when I exceeded it. He believes that giving me one of a higher amount would be silly, because I would still manage to exceed that as well.

I find that English cannot be taught, it has to be discovered. Then begins our voyage. Into a world, so vast and its splendour, so varied. So, let the exploration begin… and my own self discovery with it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I finally saw a movie, of which I do not know, if I have an opinion about. I do not know if I like it or hate it. New York was a decent movie, why did I get bored, then? Did I not like the actors? They were okay, I guess, considering their limited capabilities as actors. Irrfan Khan …(wait, did I get his spelling right?) was good, though.

Did I not like the story? That could be a reason. Hardly, anybody paid much attention to the conspiracy that the terrorists ran. I guess the movie was then based on friendship, which does not come across, once the first quarter of the movie is through. Love? Hardly at all, so I will not mention it.

I’m guessing the movie was a combination of criticism and praise. I did not feel good or bad for anyone. Both factors had their say, but then again, not enough. I never for one moment sat up and watched the movie, it was just going on and I continued to watch it. I guess the happy factor is that I never felt like walking out.

Oh yeah, I’m reading the Secret Seven series again. I love them just as much as before. :) But I doubt if I would go for New York again :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Far Away?

The Faraway Tree collection is a very good book, not just for children but for adults as well. I am not saying that just because, I am reading it again now, and because all kinds of people are gushing over it. ;)

I am saying that because it creates a completely perfect world, far, far away.
  • It talks of a good environment where all the kids live in clean and green surroundings.
  • It talks of a world free of pollution, no smoke, no dust and no grime and no dirt.
  • It even simply talks of innocence, which we hardly get to see from children nowadays.
So, is it a philosophical or a politically motivated book? As I read on, I am beginning to be convinced of its environmental significance, it starts off with the polluted city, going on to talk of cutting trees and also, trees dying. Enid Blyton tells us of what is to come, back in the 1930s(?), and how we can save our plants and trees.

Probably, Enid Blyton had no such intention when she wrote this book, or maybe she did, and which is why she creates a whole new world, free of all the above.
Here’s hoping that Enid Blyton’s world comes true. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

David Yates comes of age :)

Wow! This really is a Harry Potter movie. Now, we are talking.

David Yates has finally got it all right, he has made a brilliant movie, in which he has bid adieu to his own dark side. This movie has subtly delivered the message, it is supposed to deliver. Voldemort can finally be very careful.

While the earlier Chris Columbus versions were childish at most, Alfonso Cuaron did only one movie and the last David Yates flick was gloomy, this one promises a terrific climax.

While Richard Harris remains the best Dumbledore, playing the character with ease and élan, Michael Gambon has finally hit all the right notes, in this movie. Enacting Dumbledore in probably the right mode, he has brought out the character in the book to the screen. Finally.

The others all have smaller parts. Coming to the true essence of the film, Ron and Hermione have blink and miss roles here. Harry’s character has to come to the fore in this film, something which he misses out on, I felt. Malfoy was really good, specially towards the end, where he has to be the confused death eater, that he actually is in the book.

It is of course, definitely worth a watch or two perhaps for the coming together of the film, the characters and their roles. David Yates, take a bow.

PS: Did I mention the language of the movie? I have not heard such words like ‘albeit’ and ‘whilst’ in ages, it was wonderful and in a movie like this it seemed more than apt.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthdays! What the heck!?

So, anyway, I am turning a year older on August 1st. :) So usually, a day of great mourning and grief. But, now I’ve come to realise a few things.
1) I’m tired of crying each year, since 25, so this time I am going to be happy. ;)
2) Nothing is going to be different? Whatever happens, happens for the good.
3) Where the hell are my gifts? :) 15 days to go, phew.

Of course, I love birthdays, did not like them too much these past few years, but hey, time’s running out. I mean the time to not like them is running out, so well, this year we begins the time to love the happy birthday time.

I don’t care if I don’t get any gifts (I would do a U turn if someone gave me tickets to the latest Harry Potter flick. Or even if they got me of ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘Before Sunset’ CDs. I don’t care if no one got me yummy cake, if I didn’t do anything for my birthday (Hint, Hint)

From this year on, It’s all going to be good. Oh yeah, I still hate the line about age being just a number. :p
So, 15 days, power on. To me :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Reading and writing remain two of the most important things in my life. If you think about it, almost everyone has a story to tell, of their lives, even anecdote from it, an incident, or even a complete phase. This is what is and will always remain fascinating to me.

Stories of adventure, of passion, of mystery, of emotion, even of fear and comedy.
I love the funny story bit. I like it best when a story can inspire you to smile, not laugh… just smile, it could be funny, or even sad, but it should make you smile. So, I plan to achieve that. Almost ever story should make you smile. Otherwise, what is the point of movies, or books, or even life? :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who? Me?

A friend recently told me that I am such a romantic, and I took up arms at that. I said I wasn’t and that she should get her eyes checked. :) But anyway, I thought about it and well, I could see her point.

My stories always talk of nature and its beauty, most of my stories have a touch of humour and romance (I do not mean the kind of silly romance one gets to see in most movies) but well, it means a little adventure and nostalgia, fantasy and a sense of excitement. So, well , I thought, ‘I am a romantic. And why the hell not?’

Also, apparently, I am getting a tad philosophical these days. Well, I cannot help it, because I believe. I believe in everything good, I try and avoid the bad stuff if possible, books, movies and talk.

Ok. Does it have anything with the above? Am I the tomboy, I was then?

Well, yes and no. Because, I still hate to wear saris and all the girly stuff there is. I hate lipstick and make up. I still love the jeans, of course, the tops may have changed. :) Basically, I am still a pain for my mother.
So, the central point is this: I am a romantic and I am proud of it. And people do go through change and I can see it happening in me and around me. It was a little difficult to get at first and to deal with, but well, this is what it is. Now, if I am a little embarrassed at first, when I meet you, deal with it. :)

Did I make sense? Well, I don't care what you think :p 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is this English? Really?

Today, I happened to read an article on how a lot of schools do not mind the odd American spelling. Students, apparently prefer the all-American spelling because it is shorter!

I find it shocking that schools, which usually preferred the ‘old’ English, are today, ignoring what we used to treat as mistakes in the earlier day as perfectly correct. Why am I not at all surprised, by this? Shocked but not surprised.

Call me narrow-minded, but this kind of thing is what irritates me the most. ‘But hey, it is shorter. You can miss the odd use of letters just as long as they fit in.’

While we have used the British spelling for years, and the Americans have used their kind of spelling for ages, I do not understand why we have to change the way we learnt our English. While we cannot be strictly distinct about our English, we have still managed to write in with our bit of flavour. Why then should we leave it behind, and use the American spelling?

Today, we find a lot of Indian writing in English, writers are preferring the use of this ‘adopted’ language. Should we change it? Should I change my honour to honor? Or perhaps the colour of my language to the color of theirs?

While many Indians in the US and finding it difficult to write ‘colour’ , as opposed to color, we in our own country are preferring the use of color to colour? I have enough trouble changing it on MS Word, I would not want my teacher correcting me, too. It is not that I am against the use of the American spelling, use it, but use it in their country.

I guess many would disagree with me, but English is at its best the old way, the all Indian way. It always was and always will be my favourite mode of writing, not my favorite mode of writing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Literature in Language or are we asking for too much?

This blog is just me wondering, I am not trying to criticize anyone, so please try and read. :)

Yesterday, a friend asked me to read a paragraph of Paulo Coelho's. I said I do not like him but that got me thinking. If the language is good enough would I ever forget the subject? Or would I give importance to the subject over the language? Is it possible to ignore one over the other?

I have always given importance to the language, but was left wondering about the subject. How are we defining a good book? I almost always read a book depending on the subject, because I expect the language to be good. 7 out of 10 times, it is good, or well, at least I think it is good. I am not just talking of the spellings and the grammar, I am talking of the language as a whole.

Nowadays, I am not just looking at the blurb, but am actually reading it for a couple of minutes, before I buy it. Because I am looking for literature in the language. Where is it? With books adapting the so-called modern language, are we not missing out? Perhaps, yes and no… I’m not trying to deny the expression of the language as it is, today. That is the way people talk and that goes, but I still wonder.

And so, while I continue to read a Saki and a P.G Wodehouse, which thankfully have both good language and good subjects, I am also reading a John Grisham and a Mathew Reilly wherein, we have given importance to the subject over the language.

And this is because I do not want to keep wondering about all the books I would be missing, which perhaps have bad language but good content. And here’s hoping that I would never have to choose between the two. (By bad language, I do not necessarily mean bad words, it just means giving importance to one over the other.)

Language is the expression of literature. They should go hand in hand, don’t you think?

And, by the way, I did happen to read Paulo Coelho's, ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘The Warrior of Light’. Have to say, they have both good language and good subjects, but I have never gotten to like him, somehow. :) More to wonder about, perhaps, hmmm…

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Are you getting published, today?

A friend recently asked me if I don't get frustrated every time I have to see a rejection slip from the publishers. Well, of course, I do, but that's all there is to it. You get frustrated, you let it go. And then tomorrow again, it is another day. I keep feeling happy that I have not yet got as many rejection slips that some of the famous authors, today have got. And so, as time goes on, I keep on trying. Have coffee, will try. :)

And of course, it is a long drawn process, I have understood that. Of course, at times, I do get more irritated at the letter which says next to nothing, whenever they have to reject my book. I keep trying to ask them, but hey, what is the use? Is it the book, or the text in the book or the style, what? At least if I knew, I could, in the least, try. :)

Because, I do not believe that it could be my writing. Because I feel and I know that my writing is good, and it can only get better. Old-fashioned perhaps, but, we live in a funny age, where we learn so much from the book of an earlier age and yet books of today are so differently written, a whole new language.

Is it necessary that every soul has to write in the brand new manner that we read now? Is it necessary that we completely and totally forget the language we learnt and picked up? Its beauty and its charm?

Because, English to my mind is a wonderful and powerful language, where one can be naughty and serious at the same time, happy and sad, or even romantic and morbid at another. So, it has been this wonderful language that I chose to pen my words in.

So, here's looking for light at the end of this tunnel, for a tube light at the end of this power cut, because I can, definitely see some. :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

English… far far away!

When my father first built this house, I was wondering how far, far away... it was. He very smartly, built it, while I was far, far away in Bangalore, so I only found out about it much later. So, basically, they missed my entertaining cribbing.

Anyway, I have stopped cribbing about the distance I have to travel, since, well, I did not have too much choice and since I have discovered the lovely English that is written here. So, well, here are a few words for sampling:

  • Corpenter
  • Hair drassers
  • Battan center
  • Ladie’s
  • Jents
  • Bangil store

With such lively use of the language every half a minute, while I am traveling, who the hell am I to complain? I only hope my English does not go the same way as this. :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Walking from Sunrise to the Sunset...

Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) are two movies that I just got to watch on TV. I loved them, both. Especially, the second one. What makes them interesting is perhaps, not so much the romance, as it is the conversations, which really makes the movie go round. And the walking! God! How much they walk!

I loved it, almost every second of it. It’s probably the topics they picked and the smooth transition with which, every subject moved from one to the other. And also, the sense of romance which is present through out, without being obvious.

I felt like I, myself was walking all around the city, whether it was Vienna at first or Paris, in the second movie. Walking and talking is something most of us do, but I doubt any of us, would have given so much thought to it. It is something natural and in this movie it is kept both natural and aesthetic.

Especially, natural with both the lead actors, putting in their pen. Aesthetic, because whatever they talk about, one actually imagines. Imagines their beauty and their appeal.

Also, both movies came with around a ten-year long gap in between. But, somehow, you do not get the feeling that they actually did, because the conversation with which the story holds fort, is completely smooth moving from one movie to the other, with equal ease and charm.

Both movies are excellent, and can stand their own, but I did get the sense that the movie is more appealing only with the other. I reckon, I would be happy if they had more sequels, however, with 10 years in between, of course. I feel like right now, I am missing a very interesting conversation. But, that’s just me.

Does it answer questions? No. it does not. Probably the beauty of it. Well, did that make sense? I don’t care, if it didn’t. I know that I like the movie and urge you, to watch it if you can.
I have had conversations like the above, but again never given it much thought. I hope that conversation like that is not dead. And I hope, I get to have a true conversation again, some time soon. :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dream Holiday?

What would your dream holiday be like, I wonder? I know that my holiday would not be in an exotic location, like a France or a Switzerland or anywhere else. But right here, in India. There is so much to see and so much to do. But, all I would like is a tiny cottage, with a stream nearby. Boy, wouldn’t I love to sit near the rocks and just stare into space. I wouldn’t like to think of anything at all.

On the other side of the river, there would be hills and oh yeah, there would be a waterfall at the end of my river. The bright rays of the sun, would stroke the earth gently, making the dew on the grass, I’m lying down on, shine like little gems. Did I forget to mention the rainbow? Well, far into the distance, I would love to see my own little ribbon of seven colours.

I’d love to sit right there on the spot, leaning against a tree with its broad branches enough to have you swing on or even climb on. I loved climbing trees, as a kid. Wonder how I’d do that now, but hey, this is my dream holiday so in this dream, I am climbing the tree.

Just like the one, I did as a kid, climbing another branch, each year. It had the broadest branches, (none to swing on though), and it had pink flowers. And large green leaves and it had the best cubby holes in which I could hide a few tiny things. All those tiny buttons in the world found their way into the cubby hole. Going off the topic again, I see. Basically, I’d like a tree. :)

I’d also like to either read a book, or to not think. It’s just beautiful. Just the thought. It is said that anticipation is better than realization. Well, I doubt that. I have been to places, always with family or friends, where I’ve seen, well, almost seen, spots such as the one I described. I’d love to go back there. Alone though. So, I’m not telling you where. :)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Restarters :)

Reliving old times is probably the best way to start or restart this blog. I have come to a point in my life, when yesterday makes a lot of sense, and possibly shows me the path to tomorrow. As I sit here and go through photographs, letters, and notes, text books of yesterday, then tomorrow seems more clearer and funnier.

Photographs, for the obvious reasons, I specially love the ones where I am standing in front of my father’s jeep, in my pants and shirt, because it reminds me of how early in life I was a tomboy, I kinda miss those days. :)

Letters, because they have their own sense, not emails or anything but true, solid handwritten letters from friends and cousins. I wished in those days for clearer handwriting in the form of typewriters. How I hate the keyboard now.

Notes, are funny because they have so much to say of what went right and wrong, especially at holidays, far away from home. I’m reminded of my two cousin brothers and the many buffaloes they kept calling bulls. They talk of adventures and mysteries which, I had taken upon myself to solve and go through.

It reminds me, of the young man fishing at the creek. I do not know why, I remember him. Probably, because he seemed so much at peace with himself and the world. I wish I was like that, all day, everyday.

Text books, not for all the learning we picked up from it, but for all stupid lines and drawings we made in them, just to kill the time. I’m reminded especially of a poetry book with every other English poet, for whom we drew… moustaches, beards and hats, which we deemed right to draw. It still gives me the best laughs, ever.

Through memories alone, will my stories be remembered forever and though stories alone, will I always have these memories. :)