Sunday, December 31, 2006

Zidane, Un Portrait du 21e Siecle


Perhaps enough has been said about this film and even more has been said about Zidane over the past year. Still, I find it worth writing about, for the sake of this new wave of 'art cinema' that makes attempts at cinematic cubism.

Note: If you hate soccer stop reading.

When Douglas Gordon and Phillipe Parreno approached Zidane with their idea he asked them rather unassumingly , 'why me?'. The idea was, to dissect an 'enigma' by capturing him in his element. Zidane is undoubtedly in his element in this film. We see him playing football and collecting a red card, quite reminescent of the 2006 world cup final, but all attempts at unearthing the man behind the enigma remain nascent and experimental. When one watches a David Lynch film for the first time, it makes no sense. When one watches a David Lynch film for the second time, it starts to make some sense. The same cannot be said about this one.

'Zidane, Un Portrait du 21e Siecle' (Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait) unfolds during a Primera Liga match between Real Madrid and Villareal, on the 23rd of April 2005. Seventeen high definition cameras were employed to focus on the subject of the film, Zinedine Zidane. Zidane is as much a spectator to the game as he is a player. He stands aside, studying the game, stalking his opponents and shouting 'aiee' to his teammates when he wants them to pass him the ball. The perpetual frown on his face deepens with frustration. The slow decline of team play in Real Madrid is evident, it's written all over Zidane's face. He mutters to himself, to the refree, to the opponents and sometimes to Raul and Roberto Carlos. He picks up dibbits from the ground and pushes them back in. He shakes his head disdainfully when the other team is awarded a free kick. The only reward from all of this is Zidane's unflincing brilliance, his sublime footwork and his concentration. The film also contains snapshots of events taking place in the world on the same day. The most eerie being that of violence in Iraq, and of a little boy ,in the midst of the carnage, wearing a 'Zidane' jersey. Somewhere towards the end, we get to see Zidane smile when Roberto Carlos seems to say something hilarious. Almost moments later we see a cloud descending over him as he charges with clenched fists at an opponent. He is then given a red card. He trudges towards the dressing room, head down, removing his wrist band with slow, measured movements(I believe this sounds familiar.) and getting quite an ovation from the crowd and the other players.The film couldn't have been released at a better time.

The film engages, mesmerises and intimidates. It rises and falls like a James Joyce novel. The soundtrack by Mogwai is hypnotic and unarguably one of the film's hallmarks. The film fails, however, to unravel Zidane. Zidane is still the enigma, the laconic genius with a brewing temper and the 'grimace of a serial killer'. Maybe it's all for the best. If we knew him better, he would be the same as everybody else.

ps: If you have skipped the review and landed here, it's really a lot like a wildlife film.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Fools Think Alike!

I remember watching the 'Miss India' contest a few years ago. The crucial question posed to the finalists was , 'There are two quotations, one says that great minds think alike and another saying that fools seldom differ. Which one do you believe and why?'

The girls in all their pseudo-haute designer finery were given a minute to come up with an answer. Sadly, all of them came up with faux, studied and semi-articulate reasons (also read as 'typical beauty contest answer') for why 'Great men think alike'. Not one of them looked the judges cynically in the eye to aver that fools seldom differ. Not one! What had the world come to?

I'll tell you what the world has come to, at least from where I see it. Great minds are in short supply, especially this century, they definitely are. Given that no two minds can ever think alike (redundancy is not a flattering thing) it is quite improbable that great minds do think alike.

In defence of those hapless beauty contestants ,out for a free ticket to Bollywood, had any of them actually deviated from the structure, the stringent optimism and the bleached smiles that remain set at the jaw; an experiment with vercity would be like committing hara-kiri. You simply don't use the word 'fool' on national television! Not when you're a potential role model to delusional young girls who have misplaced the gift of thought.

We all think alike, therefore we must all, in some way, be fools!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cerebration in Blogosphere

Is it just me or does google 'Ad-sense' have the worst sense of humour? Take a look at some of the advertisements that come up from time to time.

The folks at blogger claim that 'blogger beta is dead'. How do people (especially the assumed patrons of blogosphere) intend to change the world with minute semantic changes? (They now call it 'new blogger'.)

Ever since Time magazine named 'You' (also read as insignificant creatures in cyberspace) as the person of the year, 'egosphere' was resurrected from a brief hiatus to oblivion.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Person of the Year

It's the time of the year we all wait for, with bated breath and uncontained anticipation. No, it's got nothing to do with resolutions, turning over new leaves, fresh epicurean adventures or societal upliftment. December is the month when 'Time' magazine reveals 'The Person of the Year' aka the individual whose exploits (worthy or uncharitable) have shaped the course of the year that was. The person of the year is - (drum roll) 'YOU'! Yes, 'Time' has given in to the power of insignificance and,in sheer resignation, has placed a mirror on the cover of this particular issue. It took all the whining on blogosphere,the dirty laundry on social networks and the many videos on Youtube for 'Time' to yield to 'the individual'. Hail narcissism, self-obsession, machavilleanism (if you think I shouldn't hail this 'ism' you need a reality check) and above all fast internet access!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Literary Bans

I discovered D.H. Lawrence when I was in school. Tucked away in a shelf of the school library was the book 'Sons and Lovers'. I was struck by the title, as any school kid would be. I wanted to take it home to read. So, in a very matter of fact way, I took it to the librarian for issue. She told me promptly, 'it is not meant for you'. Her tone seemed collected and indifferent, but her eyes screamed 'discomfort'. I asked my mother about Lawrence, she said that I would understand when I was older. I left it at that, I never attempted to borrow the book when I was 'old enough' to read it. For consolation, I read about Lawrence in the encyclopaedia and the pieces fell together. Lawrence was and is still well known for the explicit content in his work. It only added fuel to the fire, and I vowed ,after reading his poem titled 'The Snake', that I would read his work some day.

The day wasn't that far off. Two years ago,I picked up a collection of three of his novels at a book fair for a trifling amount. I set about reading 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' ; a story about Constance Chatterley, a woman unhappily married to a man who has lost both his legs and more in World War I , and her illicit affair with the gamekeeper. As Wikipedia put it, 'he was working class while she was bourgeois'. I was quite taken by Lawrence's lyrical cynicism. It is said that Lawrence edited the original version to make it more 'palatable' to readers. Lawrence's style is not tongue in cheek, it is brazen, laden with four lettered f-words and euphemisms that are utterly useless. (Every aspiring writer should read Lawrence. If euphemisms are futile, it's better to avoid them.) Somewhere in the middle of all this stands an empathetic writer , whose love life was rather unfortunate so to speak, with a crystal clear understanding of human society and its hypocrisy.

A few months ago I read about 'The Chatterley Ban'. The book was banned in Britain till 1960. When 'Penguin' first published 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' it was sued under the 'Obscenity Act'. The ban was lifted after the publishers proved in court that the book had 'literary and artistic value'. I was intrigued to note that Vladimir Nabokov wrote 'Lolita' , a novel on the rants of a paedophile, in 1955. The book was published in 1955 and I haven't come across anything like 'The Lolita Ban'. I don't quite understand this lapse in judgement on the part of the moral police. Interestingly enough, 'Lolita' was turned into a major motion picture in 1962. Perhaps Lawrence was unlucky enough to belong to the post Victorian era.

Nevertheless,when something cursed with a ban becomes antiquated it turns to art. So it all ends happily after all! (At least for the reader.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Diva Says..

People who live by the book voluntarily surrender their fate to the hands of potential pathological liars (aka the authors).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Instant Poem

I am tired of writing draft versions of my poems, editing them and putting them up. So I decided to give 'instant art' a try. Hence the 'instant poem' or the poem written without any forethought.

Dear Emily,
Baroness of verse.
Why did you hide
In furtive style
From wandering human gaze?
Your odes to death
Spill over centuries of sleep
So does your reclusive stealth.
'I am nobody', you say
To your pocket book
And partner in heinous crime.
Even the psychic sometimes overlook
The way insignificance penetrates through time.

ps: This is a silly little ode to Emily Dickenson, the reclusive American poet.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Vertigo

Amateurs don't discuss Hitchcock in their blogs. It is simply the wisest thing one can do. Given that the only other Hitchcock film they have seen is 'Psycho'. I am an amateur (in the most virginal sense) when it comes to Hitchcock; and I am about to risk all credibility so I can write about the Hitchcock classic 'Vertigo'.



'Vertigo' stars James Stewart and Kim Novak, it runs for an hour and a half. The background score ,though seemingly innocuous, sounds almost eerie. Prior to this I had only seen James Stewart and heard his famous drawl in the romantic comedy genre, in fims like 'Philadelphia'. Stewart still plays the romantic hero with a drawl, except that he is an acrophobic detective madly obsessed with the suicidal wife of a friend. Kim Novak plays the Hitchcock archetype of 'the beautiful,classy, blonde and independant heroine with an uncomfortable secret'.

The dialogue is insipid yet loaded. The camera pans, slowly stalking the characters. The attention to detail is impressive, so is the cinematography. Hitchcock didn't need invisible, artillery laden luxury cars to make one sit and the edge of one's seat; a few furtive moves in vintage mobiles could do that. He didn't need cellphones to suggest an innuendo, circumstance was riveting enough. Hitchcock's gift for narration remains unparalleled, unsurpassed and invincible. This film stands testimony to the fact that not all low budget adaptations are prone to damnation. The hallmark of his craft lies in the way he brings an intensity to the cast, the set and the theme with the eye of a compulsive perfectionist. To dismiss the film after a single viewing is the most blatant and heinous crime that can be committed against cinema.

My only regret is that I wasn't able to spot Hitchcock's guest appearance (it is said that he makes one in every movie).

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Embellished Memoir

I have been reading 'Living to Tell the Tale', the memoir of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. At each syllable I am filled with a sense of awe, wonder and trepidation. Marquez is and will always be a celebrated writer. His books tell stories of enchantment and wonder, narrated with an uncanny tenderness. Never have I felt deprived for not having learnt Spanish. Hence the awe and wonder.

As for trepidation ; I am intimidated and almost anguished by the fact that neither I nor anyone from my generation will leave a legacy worth writing about. I don't mean to sound apocalyptic but here's the hard hitting truth, I grew up in a mangled mass of concrete. My life involved drifting (and sometimes pirouetting) from one state of isolation to another. Concrete structures make no sense. They have enough power to engulf the consciousness of an entire city and at the same time, stand vulnerable to the isolation of their inhabitants. I cannot write of colours, hues and other natural phenomena. I cannot recount strange conversations with enigmatic folks with self-proclaimed psychic powers. An entire manuscript on the silent afflictions of the narcissistic seems so overly redundant, especially for the subject of a memoir.

My sole weapon seems to be that of embellishment, the new age mantra of the new age writer. Despite that, how does an embellished memoir measure up to one that is veracious, truthful and profoundly compelling? As well as banal, stereotypical fiction does, I suppose!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Idiot


It seems to take about a year to grapple with a Dostoyevsky novel. It took me a year to read 'Crime and Punishment' and today after a year and several gaps, I finished reading 'The Idiot'. It's probably an unavoidable part of destiny that I decide to read Dostoyevsky during the busiest and most unpredictable periods of my life. Therefore,I choose to blame circumstance and Dostoyevsky's over analysis for the long chronological periods I spend in reading his books.

I started reading 'The Idiot' last November. It starts off pensively, engulfing the consciousness of the reader, invoking every bit of guilt laden empathy that is humanly permissable. We are introduced to our protagonist Myshkin (the idiot), an epilleptic prince with a perceptive mind and a heart of gold. The story unfolds gradually and uncomfortably. Myshkin's gengerosity is almost nauseatingly beautiful, as he gives every other person the benefit of the doubt. The book lilts between the dubious schemes and innuendos of Russian society and Myshkin's simplicity. It is said that Dostoyevsky modelled Myshkin on the 'christian ideals' of goodness and 'his own afflictions'. Dostoyevsky , himself an epilleptic and a fugitive of some sorts, writes tenderly of this young prince and his trysts with a world that couldn't provide him enough room to breathe. The plot is deliriously complex. After about a hundred pages, one tends to lose count of the characters; all except Myshkin and a few others. The story twists around the flimsy yet controlled structure of the human condition, sprinkled here and there with Dostoyevsky's wisdom, and culminates in tragedy (much to the horror and discomfort of this particular reader).

On a personal note, I almost started to love Myshkin untill I realized he didn't exist. The dismissal of a simple man as a simpleton is unbearably excruciating, so is Dostoyevsky's evident genius. Dostoyevsky wasn't merely ahead of his time, he was and is timeless.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Out in the Cold

The cold war has probably left a bitter taste in everyone's mouth (at least it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth when I read about it in history). I was born in the 1980s; to a generation that didn't understand the implications of the Berlin wall being torn down, or of the USSR disintegrating. In the late 1980s and early 1990s all we cared about were school,games and cartoons. India theoretically maintained what was called 'a non-alignment policy', but it was known and understood that there was a mintue tilt in favour of the Russians.

My memories of the final days of the cold war didn't involve Gorbachev, East Germany, the 'black box with the red button' or political rhetoric. I recall eagerly waiting every week for a glossy childrens' magazine called 'Misha'. I would check the 'snail-mail box' almost everyday and jump with glee when I saw the familiar package that came all the way from the USSR. We paid a meagre INR 4.00 as subscription fee. I remember the touch of the smooth, thick,childproof pages of the magazine. I remember the vivid illustrations, the predominantly Russian theme, the pictures of Russian children, gymnasts, ballerinas, circus artists and plenty of stuff on art and craft. Misha magazine apart, I remember going to a Russian bookstore in Calcutta and buying an adorable book called 'Ragitty and the Cloud'. I remember turning to Ukranian folklore when I decided I had enough of Hans Christen Andersen and The Grimm Brothers.

Then one fine day, it stopped, abruptly. I didn't understand a thing when my parents told me that the USSR had disintegrated. I understood when I reached high school and read the almost 'sugar-coated' account of the cold war in history text books. The images of Misha and Ragitti came flooding back. I couldn't help wondering what happened to all those children whose pictures appeared in the magazine. Most of the countries that once formed the USSR are now impoverished, their people are literally left out in the cold. The cold war did leave a bitter taste; in the form of a faded yet vivid and intense memory.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Diva Likes : Part I

How on earth am I supposed to be a Diva without making unreasonable demands? In view of the impending dilemma I decided to compile a list of all the things I like.

I like it when footballers celebrate after making offside goals. A goal is a goal irrespective of whether there is someone to defend it.

I like blogs about Paris, especially the ones written by expats. They are honest and sometimes seem genuinely bemused.

I love to work, especially with my hands. I feel tremendous guilt if my hands are sitting idle (except when I've applied three coats of nail polish).

I love the way magazines conduct surveys on the education system; they are informative(duh?) and inconclusive.

I love the way the census board attempts to conduct a head count of the demographic.

I also love the way the population scales upward, exponentially, after the census board declares the outcome of the 'headcount'.

I love pseudo-intellectuals who put so much thought into the whole 'high-brow' attire (and so little into what they're actually saying). With the cigarettes, the coffee, the napkins to scribble on, the perennial 'bad hair day', loosely fitted clothes (draped around like hand-me-downs), the works and the quirks.


I love the way everyone on Oprah's show suddenly turns 'philosopher' and the audience starts to applaud (it's a pity we don't get to see that little board that spells 'a-p-p-l-a-u-s-e').

I personally enjoyed Tom Cruise's antics on Oprah. He's in great shape for someone who's 44.

I like the way certain catch phrases are attributed to people who never said them in the first place.(Like Sherlock Holmes never said, "Elementary dear Watson".)

I like the way I can go on writing till I sense that the human attention span doesn't extend beyond 20 minutes (I presume that 99% of my readers are human).

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Diva Defines....

Dictatorship: When a system of government aims to please an individual who embodies the state.

Communism: When a system of government aims to please a group of individuals who claim to 'represent the state'.

Democracy: When a system of government aims to please the majority of individuals that are a part of the state.

Anarchy: When a system of government aims to please every individual, irrespective of the logistics.

PrimaDonnaCracy : A system of government where the first lady/mistress gets more primping than the 'head of state' himself. (Remember Imelda Marcos and Marie Antoinette?)

ps: 1.What do you get from a system where no one is pleased? Neo-pseudo-political-waste-of-time.

2. I am yet to come across a system where the husband of a woman 'head of state' is more primped than his wife.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Legacy of Narcissus

It is accepted (as a fallout of popular conception/misconception) that bloggers must be closet narcissists. To stare, almost amourously, at the screen and type on endlessly without purpose must take either an undying love for digital technology or simply narcissism.

Come to think of it, narcissism is probably an underrated offence(the kind that lands folks in hell if overly done). Not severe enough to make it to the elite clique of 'deadly sins' and yet not charming enough to qualify in the list of 'quirks'. Narcissism reminds me of the story of Narcissus and Echo. The poor Greek lad who didn't understand why he was pursued till he came upon his own reflection and became obsessed with it. He would speak to his own reflection and hapless Echo would repeat whatever he said. (I adore any kind of Greek tragedy. Firstly, because it is tragic and secondly because it comes from the Mediterranean.)

If bloggers are indeed closet narcissists, then anonymous bloggers are 'encrypted closet narcissists' given the single level of encryption offered by a psuedonym. It's fascinating how several bloggers (including Yours Truly) love to shred the 'narcissist' tag to pieces so they might escape being mistaken as narcissists.

In defence of Narcissus and his condemned legacy I will say this much; you can't expect creatures that are intrinsicly narcissistic to stop gawking at their reflections like delusional fools. Stop blaming Narcissus, his actions were grossly misinterpreted. Reflections can be confusing at times....

A New Season of Faith

I came home in the rain, mud dripping from the ends of my clothes and shoes. It's supposed to be winter, but it rains incessantly. My steps fumbled, a truck whizzed past nearly running me over. A lone stray dog tried to climb on me, and moved away dejectedly, as though loathing the unusual anti-social streak I seemed to have developed. I came home to my pet dogs, who fled at the sight of the dripping umbrella. I look at this blog and see the advertisements blending with the rest. I see the counter, the statistics and all the other senseless numbers (they have never made sense and they never will). Nothing has changed, but it still seems novel and fresh; then I realize, it's a new season of faith (not particularly different from the old ones but nonetheless, chronologically different).

ps: An attempt at the 'stream of consciousness' style of writing. Not an attempt to emulate Britney Spears' blog.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Poem Without a Name

My life saunters from shadow to shadow
Stopping briefly at each sequence of existence.
My spirit sags; drooping, pale and sallow
Deviating from touch,feeling and sense.

My thoughts move like rays lacking direction
My gaze fails to see; it droops, as though with age.
My steps lack flight as they lack friction.
I'm like an actor lost on an empty stage.

I can't catch time; instead it catches me,
In the throes of youth thinning away.
I am entwined, I know not what entwines me,
So I might gauge the death of a new day.

ps: I should start a versioning system for all my 'nameless' poems.

The Four Fold Path to Linguistic Bliss

There are four simple steps to achieving linguistic nirvana. Everytime you learn a new language, follow these steps in strict order:

1. Start with the insults.
2. Move on to the cliches
3. Learn the script(if any) and sentence constructs
4. Get creative with what you have learnt

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Alpha Male

Never judge an entry by its title! Sorry girls, there's no drool quotient to this entry. The entry was prompted by some 'light reading' I did the other day. My source of brain fodder- magazines of the likes of 'Cosmopolitan'. A typical 'Cosmo' entry claims to have the ultimate ten Steps to :
-Snag a Man
-Dump a Man
and do practically everything else with the magic number 10! I started to wonder if women are really delusional enough to believe such stuff.(At least they are delusional enough to pour over such stuff in open defiance of rationality.)

I once mentioned that human beings have the innate ability to categorize. Historically, women have been quick enough to classify men into archetypes that have stood the test of time.(Ladies, please read on. Gentlemen, don't trouble yourselves unless you want to.)

Some of my favourite male archetypes, particularly from fiction and classical literature are :

The strong silent suffering type: To be found in the 'Mills and Boon' genre. This guy is ruggedly handsome(actually this is the default for most of the archetypes), walks slowly and deliberately, has one or several dark secrets and fights his demons as he tries to deny his affection for the heroine. At the end, he's the one on his knees, begging the heroine to be his wife.

The strong, not so silent, probably violent, suffering type: To be found in novels by the Bronte sisters. Read 'Wuthering Heights' or 'Jane Eyre'. I like to call this the 'Heathcliff archetype' after the male protagonist in 'Wuthering Heights'. This kind of guy is volatile yet placid(given the company of the heroine). He is tormented, boorish and lacks any trace of class. Still, as one little arrow from cupid conquers all, he ends up getting the girl (either in the present life or the next).

The stuffy Brit: To be found in any Jane Austen novel. This guy is an intellectual snob, with a dash of principle, prejudice and presentability. He wears long stuffy collars and speaks impeccably and almost affectedly. Thankfully, there's no love at first sight, but he gets the girl anyway.

The Boor/Jungle Boy: A rather generic archetype found in lone ranches and jungles. Probably raised by wolves or by a bunch of domestic cows. His instincts are impressive, so are his skills (all except the social ones). The girl teaches him a few social graces and they get hitched (after landing a lump sum of money of course).

The Knight in Shining Armour: Sir Lancelot and the likes; that run to save screeching damsels and their honour. Remember, the girl chose Lancelot over Arthur.

The Romantic : To be found in any Shakespeare play with the word 'love' in it. This guy wears tights, carries a sword, has a nice hairdo, a benefactor and he is the smoothest talker. He bursts into verse at the drop of a hat, a feather or an eyelash. He has the girls heart from the time they meet. He gets the girl (again, either in the present life or the next).

No wonder women are delusional! How objectivity pales in comparison to centuries of delusional eyewash! Till we let it sink in, let's just stay as we are and read 'Cosmo'. It's not our fault, literature is solely to blame!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Am....

I am therefore I'm not.
I exist so I must cease.
I am the ground and the end
Of my own fated need;
The solitude in the din
Of my faithless creed.
I feel therefore I'm numb;
To the rotting seed
That nourishes the earth
On which I feed.
I seek therefore I'm lost;
In the oblivious comfort
Of unchecked disease.
I dream so I'm not real;
In the eyes that meet my reflection
Through a mirror's broken piece.
I stand only to fall;
Through hapless crumbs of caprice.
I am therefore I'm not.
I exist so I must cease.


ps: Amen!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nitty Gritty Details

After a month of serious consideration, I have decided to enable Ad-Sense (Look to the bottom right hand corner.) It simply means that I have given blogger the instruction to retain my blog even if I don't update the blog till blogger shuts down.

I also set the font style to the layout default. I desperately want to write my own template, but I'm too much of a diva to do that (also read as 'too lazy'). The blog looks a little compact but I'm not complaining (yet). I thought of reverting back to the 'minima' template that the blog had in its nascency, but it makes the pictures look overly blinding, while the content appears inexistent. So untill I find a new template or decide to write one myself, I will have to make do with this one.

On a different note, I resent people who think that 'pink girlie blogs with poetry' add unnecessary clutter to blogosphere; as opposed to 'non-girlie blogs with pictures of girls in them' that give blogosphere a run for its unicode!

I also resent blogs that have a lot of pictures and videos(and nothing else), as if with the intent of forcing Webshots and Youtube into bankruptcy.

I did a survey of blogosphere, only to find it crawling with divas like 'yours truly'. So, don't hate divas, get used to them!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

'Art' Where art Thou?

When I think about Italian art. I imagine Michealangelo, Da Vinci, Rapheal, the Rosettis, Picasso and most recently the latest instance of 'Toilet artwork'! Before the high brow reader starts to imagine a restroom with impeccable design laden with Italian artistry, I will proclaim that 'art' is dead!

Fortunately for the sake of journalistic integrity, sensationalism and attention seeking aren't. I presume the much debated piece of 'art' shown at the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art intended to prove my point. It features a toilet that flushes to the strains of the Italian national anthem! The hapless 'loo' now finds itself at the centre of a quasi-political patriotic storm. A lot of people don't get that kind of attention in a century of existence.

As far as the death of art is concerned, it isn't too late to give art a befitting funeral. If art embodies originality and creativity, I'm afraid the 'Toilet' can boast of neither. From the picture, it looks like any other specimen of it's kind, therefore I can only scoff at anyone who wants to suggest that it was a patented original. The Italian national anthem was composed eons before the 'artist' came up with this display, so nothing original there either. As for creativity; to flush to the national anthem is as creative as an average Joe singing in the restroom. It reminds me of other things that folks have done in the name of 'modern art'. There was someone who stashed a mob of dead cockroaches on a tray and called it 'art'. I would have gladly obliged the 'artist's ' sense of humour, its lack thereof etc. if she had cared to arrange the dead insects in a morbid pattern. I can safely assume that she neither created the tray nor the cockroaches. Given the present state of affairs, I'm almost tempted to put one of my pets in a basket and call my exhibit, 'Dog Lost in Parallel realm'.

As a poignant rememberance of the paradoxical nature of art(its futility and its ability to inspire) I will quote Wilde, "All art is quite useless". Touche!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Evolve!

A speculative article on the future of human evolution states that in the year 3000, the disparity among human beings can widen enough to cause them to evolve into two distinct sub-species - dwarves and giants. It makes one ponder over two things. First, for the sake of technical accuracy, the subtlety of evolution is such that visible changes don't appear in one millenium. Unless the process of such diversification began well in advance, and we were blisfully oblivious to it. Second, and speaking metaphysically in contradiction to the first statement, we are disparate enough already. Evolution would only make it seem acceptable.

The article wasn't sufficient enough to specify further instances of diversity. People who know the story of 'The Time Machine' by H.G Wells, will remember the clear line between the folk that lived like early man, and the folk that made machines and ate the 'early folk' for lunch.In all fairness,existence as we know it is no different. Disparity starts at birth, the moment two people set eyes on each other. Disparity propagates through every stage in a life cycle. Humans are said to possess the innate ability to classify in order to learn. Apart from the science of taxonomy, we humans can boast endlessly of our adeptness at classifying fellow humans as well. How else could people have come up with concepts like religion,race,nationality etc. so as to say conceitedly to the creator 'you created, we updated'. Perhaps creation is at the failing end of its patience, and has decided to yield to the insatiable need of every human being to belong to a different species.

The only thing stopping us from climbing the evolution ladder this millenium is our unavoidable sense of political correctness. Political correctness can make one shy away from possessing an opinion, lest the others feel offended. It crushes the kind of individuality required to evolve, almost drastically, into another organism. Perhaps, the year 3000 is too soon for such alteration, or maybe I'm just being naive. Yet, on the other hand, is a thousand years enough to break the shackles of political correctness? Or is it just enough to make humans big headed, three fingered freaks? Who knows! Evolution was and is still the biggest accident ever.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hello World!

'Hello World', the most overused cliche in the parlance of computer literature. Messers Kernighan and Ritchie (the guys who developed C language) unassumingly made printing 'hello world' to the screen, the first C program for everyone who ever read their book. Little did they know or expect, way back in the 1960s, that every other programming author would incorporate the catch phrase into instructional manuals time and again. In the past four years, I have acquired some insight into the constructs of several programming languages...but I'm still reeling from 'hello world'.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quantify!!!

I generally take a neutral stand on the age old 'quality vs quantity' debate. This is one issue that has no right answer or opinion. When blogosphere was in its nascency in the good old days when one had to pay precious cash to host a blog; there was nothing to quantify and analyze statistically. Perhaps, only the number of hits per blog and the daily traffic to a blog, like in the case of any other website.

Over the years(imagine a couple of centuries cramped within less than a decade) blogosphere grew to a magnitude that is practically intangible. So a couple of nerds at Technoarti decided to represent blogosphere as a an abstract yet somehow tangible entity. At first the numbers seem overwhleming, especially to the novice blogger. (The first time I saw some of those numbers, I almost died of an inferiority complex.) So, I did a little calculation myself. I find that this blog gets an average of 10 hits per day. So that would amount to about 3650 hits in a year(Forgive the accuracy, I'm just your average Virgoan.). In order to get 100,000 hits I would need to preserve this blog for a tad more than a good 30 years!

I felt a surge in my self esteem; at least I possess some computational ability irrespective of the numerous complexes that possess me.

ps: Schools in the UK will allow kids to construct sentences the SMS way. 2 loathe or not 2 loath ? Change is always 2 good a thing 2 compromise.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happiness

Happiness has nothing to do with a life of class; it has very little to do with self-actualization. It simply has everything to do with the few extra minutes of siesta that one can catch every morning after the alarm clock goes ballistic.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It Happens Only in India: Part II

Ever heard of high voltage transformers being desecrated by public transport vehicles? Neither had I! At least not untill I witnessed such a spectacle.

It happened yesterday. I had a test at 9 in the morning, so I was at my wits end, desperately trying to preserve every last bit of my carefully crafted calm and placid facade. I tried not to look at the watch every five seconds, and I tried even harder not to grimmace when the driver of that fatal bus decided to take a detour from the regular route. The bus entered a narrow street somewhere in the middle of the highway. There were tiny houses lining either side of the claustrophobic lane that appeared to take a sharp bend at the drop of a hat. To make matters worse, there were parked vehicles lining the street. Nevertheless, the driver (probably thinking it was the Grand Prix circuit of Monte Carlo) manouvered almost effortlessly past each swerve and bend. There were fifteen minutes left, I was sure I would make it on time, at least till we reached a level crossing and had to wait for a goods train to trudge along.

I noticed that the bus was in a precarious position. To the right there were other vehicles and pedestrians and to the left was the wretched high voltage transformer. The bus was at an angle, its rear end alarmingly close to the transformer. Seconds later there was an enormous thud that confirmed my worst nightmare. The bus had collided with the insulation rod of the transformer. (Almost instantly my mind conjured up stories of how thousands of people die of electrocution in India.) The flimsy rod swayed to and fro, the passengers stared in horror and several passers by just stared ! In his futile attempts to extricate the bus, the driver reversed, only to hit the damn rod again. People had started muttering about how they were already late for work and how the dangerous the whole thing was.

To make matters worse, there was an accumulation of traffic at the junction. A few other bus drivers stopped to give the bus driver some kind of advice. Our driver was standing outside, fidgeting bemusedly with his hair, while I nearly haemorraged with despair. Some of my classmates who were on the same bus, decided they had enough. We took an autorickshaw, a form of public transport more vile than the bus. The driver proclaimed (like Marie Antoinette) that he wouldn't go for anything less than double the cost. We grudgingly obliged and reached college a good five minutes before the test.

So tell me children does the story have a moral?
Sure does! Always get your priorities straight. Choose life over punctuality, its the fashionable thing to do.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Separation Anxiety

After two days devoid of blogging and after much consideration and reflection, I have come to the following conclusions:

I am not really a diva, but I want to be remembered as one.

I thought I would make a tongue in cheek entry about the Electra complex, after having read about it in Wiki. I thought I would joke about the obsession of early psychologists with things of a particularly explicit nature. My Achilles heel turns out to be my obsession with the hidden 'artistic' value of things thus leading to the inability to make tongue in cheek jokes.

I am amazed by Hieronymus Bosch. A diletantte might mistake the cursed medival obsession with sin for 20th century Surrealism. Yet, despite what I may think rationally, I have a morbid fear of this piece by Bosch.



The Hell Part from 'The Garden of Earthly Delights'

According to one of the laws of thermodynamics (I barely remember high school physics, so how am I supposed to remember the exact numbering of the laws?), a system does no work if it returns to its initial state. If religious scripture is to be believed, we come into the world from one source and leave at the other end into the same source. Therefore, existence is futile! (This is why I chose to be agnostic. At least I can enjoy living in denial.)

I think the previous statement is the aftermath of too much Hieronymus Bosch.

When I have nothing to blog about, I put pictures of works of art in my blog.

If this attack of veracity persists, I will put an end to the self-proclaimed theory that 'Lying is a habit and no longer an art'.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It Happens Only in India

I was outside this supermarket, the kind that give all kinds of stuff for free. Interestingly, humans aren't the only ones getting stuff for free. There was a troupe of rhesus monkeys (our blessed ancestors at the nicer end of the evolution chain) crossing the road. For a moment I was afraid that one of the little ones would be turned to pulp by the speeding traffic. Fortunately for the monkeys and bored spectators alike, there were no accidents. Like most supermarket chains this store sells fruit and vegetables; all the stuff that is too old to be stocked is dumped outside the shop in cartons. The troupe of apes wasted no time in rummaging through the contents of the cartons, there were a couple of minor spats but moments later, each monkey was gnawing on his/her favourite fruit/vegetable. They scaled the neighbouring walls, walking nimbly between the pieces of glass strewn on the walls (the pieces of glass are intended as a deterrent to monkeys, cats and thievs). Some of them climbed onto a high voltage transformer and a few of the bolder ones made their way into the store. The bewildered store employees stood seemingly oblivious to the impending danger. Some of the employees made half hearted attempts to chase them away; the monkeys obliged (they seemed a little tired of their descendants, the ones that snatch their habitat from them).

To quote Shakespeare 'All's well that ends well', at least the monkeys got a treat! As for the folks that work at the store; they don't have to worry about karma points for a long time.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ad Sense

I've been toying with the idea of allowing advertisements on this blog. Blogger claims that I might be able to make a few extra bucks(Pieces of paper with pictures of dead heads of state. In India they come with a picture of Mahatma Gandhi.) if I upgrade to adsense. I read blogger's minimized thesis on ad-sense. The navigational glitches are turning out to be a serious deterrent to making this blog spam-full (as opposed to spam-free). I am also disturbed at the prospect of receiving 'sponsor communication' in my gmail account (an alias for internet snail mail). Blogger has gone to great lengths to woo skeptics such as 'Yours Truly'. Apparently, they're not as autocratic as I had imagined. I can blend the ads with my template, I can make them appear in the sidebar(with the help of my new friend HTML version 4.01). Still,as a diva I'm a tad offended by the conjunction of the words 'Ad' and 'Sense' into one word 'Ad-Sense'. Are they trying to hint that a blog devoid of ads is simultaneously devoid of sense? I can't help but wonder....

ps: I'm still reeling from the aftermath of having added the 'Creative Commons License'(I guess it's like having a GPL for one's blog) and the 'Hits Counter' to my sidebar.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Forget the Code and Skip to the End

I was browsing through my bookshelf and my eyes fell on a copy of 'The Da Vinci Code'. The only Dan Brown endorsed piece of 'words and sentences' that I own. I don't intend to extend my collection of material written by Dan Brown any further. I write this entry almost grudgingly, with a copy of the thesaurus so that I may not appear tongue-tied in my blog.

I am always skeptical of books that are overly hyped and get a little more than the average 15 minutes of fame. The skepticism turns to caution when I come to know that it is endorsed by page-3 celebrities and members of the British parliament. Still,I read this one as it was given to me. I am always appreciative and overwhelmed when people give me books. I am a puzzle junkie; so I devoured every word of the beginning. The ciphers, the codes, the morbid innuendos and the plot that had neither strength nor character. The book flies from one scene to the next like an endless chase in a Hollywood blockbuster. The car chases, the swiss bank account, the streets of Paris , and cryptography are all rolled into one;interspaced with historical references, a discourse on the the magic number phi (anyone into algorithms will know this), recollections of past events by the protagonists and a fanatical albino from the Opus Dei.

Somewhere in the middle, Brown decides to bring in the catholic church, Mary Magdelene and a conspiracy theory by the Vatican. I assume that the reader is already familiar with the controversy surrounding this book, along with the charges of plagarism pressed against the author. According to a documentary on the National Geographic Channel and another one on the History Channel: Brown's source of information is local myth and word of mouth. Personally, I have no issues with courting controversy and absurd theories involving organized religious groups. My sole bone of contention is the blatant way in which the book lacks structure and depth. The ending is reminiscent of a Bollywood tear-jerker( for the benefit of folks who don't watch Bollywood films, it is a lot like your average day time soap opera). Did Brown really think that he could fill in the blanks with the use of technical details as a substitute for creativity?

I will not deny that the book had potential. As a woman, I find it comforting to know that Jesus may have had female apostles. I was personally flattered by all the talk of the sacred feminine and I found all the rituals quite fascinating. Unfortunately, despite whatever effort Brown may have made, the book falls flat. No amount of controversy can redeem its position.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Observations Gone Haywire!

A few days ago, I was reflecting on Freud's theories and I coudn't help thinking about the 'Oedipus Complex'; the one where boys have an unnatural craving for their mothers and as a result are hostile and resentful towards their fathers. (The corresponding complex for girls is the Electra complex.)

The 'Oedipus Complex' was named after Oedipus Rex, the ill-fated mythical lad who was prophesised to kill his biological father and marry his biological mother. He eventually did so, unknowingly and unintentionally(there is a long story on how he was to be killed but ended up getting adopted and how it all lead to the catastropic sequence of events).In all fairness, he was nothing like the little(and grown up) boys who are condescendingly labelled 'Oedipus' by the supposedly well-intentioned shrink.

I generally appreciate Freud's efforts as the forerunner of modern psychlogy. I find his theories interesting, even though I genuinely think some are obsolete. Unfortunately, I am a tad distressed by the fact that he would name a complex after a mythical figure. It just makes the rest of us, non-mythical non-entities, treacherously prone to having complexes named after us! Imagine ending up like this : a statistical case study in a woebegone psychology journal, with all your maladies spelled out explicitly, much to your embarrasment and to the damning shame of your descendants. It doesn't end there; Oedipus was the subject of several plays, musicals and other forms of entertainment alike. Ever since then,the world of entertainment seems to have taken a rather keen and disturbing interest in incest...

Call me neurotic, but don't tell me I didn't warn you!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Art Findings : Part I

As I promised in a previous post, I would find art that speaks for itself, and needs very little elucidation from the artist. My search for art, although redundant, was not futile. These pieces may have been discovered by others before me, but to me they make a first.

I saw the first piece when I read 'The Prophet' by Khalil Gibran. The book is a petite reminder of how spiritual literature can be concise,poetic and enthralling at the same time. The many illustrations by Gibran only add to its mystical quality, and make it a masterpiece nearly as profound as any sacred text. I was deeply moved by its content, despite my stubborn agnosticism. The picture here is from the illustration on the last page. If one carefully observes the outer margins, one can see figures intertwined with each other, sort of as a reminder that we come from and are cast into the same mould.



I set out in search of the abstract and found the mediveal instead! Hieronymus Bosch was a mediveal artist whose subject matter centered around hell, sin and other aspects of morality (the kind that I generally find tedious). The piece here, 'The Creation of the World',appears to have a lighter sense of damnation and a greater sense of possibility. It conforms to the Biblical interpretation of creation.I had to put it up here as Bosch, although strictly late Gothic, is regarded as one of the forerunners of surrealism. I intend to explore Bosch further,despite my abysmal leaning towards anything even remotely religious.



In all certainty, there will be a sequel to this entry sometime in the near or distant future. If anything, all fascinating art comes from the least fascinating source.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Diva Returns

After a small hiatus away from this blog and my regular state of mind in general, I'm back. My apologies to the subset of readers who felt offended by the antics of my unfortunate twin. I bring back tidings of beauty and culture that have been lacking in the entries made by my twin. (She had the nerve to misconstrue that she and I are actaully different.)
I have been searching for new forms of art; surreal, regular and irregular. I still haven't found a piece that speaks for itself without unnecessary elucidation from the artist. I am still to find art, both literary and graphic, that speaks of its own possibilites without further human intervention. As for culture; I don't think it is possible for human beings to swear allegiance to one single culture. It never was, but statements like the previous one would be regarded as blasphemous apostacy in the past.(I'm not as regressive as I make myself out to be.)
I will try to add a couple of lines here and there about bizzare cultural practices that I wish to experiment with. Along with new art movements that don't seem to gain any impetus in this century.
Instant gratification, hence instant art? Who knows! A movement exists in thought, it merely needs fruition. Hold on to that thought till the next entry. Au Revoir!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Muse for the Unemployed

Unemployment isn't a curse, it's my current situation. I don't even get paid to write a blog!(Irrespective of the multitude that don't read it and irrespective of it being susceptible to copyright and copyleft infringement.) For those living in nations a tad more affluent than the third world (diplomatically read as the developing world), the prospect of child labour might seem appaling. The sheer apathy of a nation of a billion to such an abject debaucle must seem unimaginable. Yet for some of us living to see such a spectacle it really isn't.
The Indian constitution has stated very clearly that employment of children below the age of 14 is illegal. The government actually woke up to the tidings of its conscience (I didn't know it had one) and decided to implement it. There are informercials flying all over the news media. People who hire children will be imprisoned for a year. Yes, all this in a country where one-time hitmen walk free and serial killers run for office!
Besides, for many of these children who work, it is their sole livelihood. If they don't take home something of a wage, they risk being mortally wounded by the people they call their parents. Not all of them are lucky enough to have empowerment knocking on their door. Most of them cannot afford an education; education is only fictitous luxury. The kind that one gets to see on TV (the same parents that make them work give higher priority to a flat screen TV than they do to education). Apparently legislators underestimate the logistics when they legislate! Besides, what the government provides in the name of education (and at the cost of the 2% education cess) can be summed up as follows: a crumbling one-room hut with one teacher and 300 kids between the ages of 6 and 15. I believe abysmal isn't the word!
I may be unemployed, but thankfully, I was never one of those kids. (I wonder, does the law make a loophole for child actors, models and reality show stars? Are they less susceptible to exploitation because the make more money?) I never really understood legislation, to me it always seemed like a waste of time.

ps: The diva is still out and the twin is still in.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Diva Knows Her Grammar..And So Does Her Twin!







What is your grammar aptitude?




You are the grammar Fuhrer. All bow to your authority. You will crush all the inferior people under the soles of your jackboots, and any who question your motives will be eliminated. Your punishment is being the bane of every other person's existence, because you're constantly contradicting stupidity. Everyone will be gunning for you. Your dreams of a master race of spellers and grammarians frighten the masses. You must always watch your back. If only your power could be used for good instead of evil.
Take this quiz!








Quizilla |
Join

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

For the Love of Chaos

Ever felt at peace with the clanging sound throbbing against your head? The music fades away to senseless, monotonous pandemonium. You risk going deaf, but you only live this life once despite having just a single pair of ears. You decide to allow a few more minutes of this mayhem and then you decide to surrender. Inspiration suddenly seems more important than preserving sanctity or sanity. Rationalization flies into dead oblivion as you are born again; in the same body, but with a different mind.

They called rock 'the music of the devil', little realizing that all humans are inherently Satanic as they are divine. The same people that loved wars, manipulation and all that jazz! Maybe they were right; but in being right they neglected their deep yearning for chaos. The kind that appears to be premeditated and synchronized and is still beyond control. The love for chaos is a necessity. Without chaos, we tend to undermine the need for its less-conceited better half - peace. Yet chaos remains the evil twin, the neglected sheep(I have issues with the term 'black sheep'), like Cain, the cursed one. Again, Cain existed so that Able would be favoured.

I don't love chaos. I merely respect it.

ps: The diva is currently on vacation. Whenever that happens the diva's semi-misanthropic twin takes over.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reading Dostoyevsky

When I mention Dostoyevsky to people who ask me about my taste in books, I sense a feeling of unease coming from them. It's probably due to the almost unpronouncable Russian name, and also because most people haven't heard of him. "What books did he write?" , they ask with trepidation, after I've told them that he's Russian and they start to grapple with how his name is pronounced. I generally mention 'Crime and Punishment' (one that I've read before) and 'The Idiot' (the one I'm reading now). Soon, an expression of familiarity comes across most faces along with early signs of relief. "Have you read any others?", they ask taking some interest. I tell them that I haven't. "So what does he write about?", is the final question, the one that has me reeling with discomfort.

I must honestly admit that Dostoyevsky's books are difficult to define. One doesn't know where to start. A safe way would be to mention that he writes about all classes of pre-revolution Russian society. His books discuss the human condition through the unspoken words and unconscious deeds of their characters.One would like to finish the book in a jiffy and come up with a conclusion almost instantly, but it is impossible. If one were to ignore Dostoyevsky's own torment etched on each page, it would only be cruelty. Paradoxically still, Dostoyevsky's books are not depressing, nor do they promt any thought of self-destruction. It is said that people who read 'Crime and Punishment' often feel cheated when they read 'The Idiot'. Yet the stark disparity that exists between the two only highlights the quiet brilliance of the epilleptic writer, who was a compulsive gambler and was always on the run.

It took me more than a year to finish 'Crime and Punishment'; to absorb it completely and to make it a part of what has become my thought process. I can safely assume the same about 'The Idiot'.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Mototcycle Diaries


I had the immense pleasure of watching 'The Motorcycle Diaries', alone in the room that I call 'my thinking space'. First, I will admit that I am not a communist and don't ever intend to be one. I'm not even remotely political and I intend to remain that way for at least the next 15 years. Yet, in a strange way the film had an effect on me, more powerful than when inspiration flashes in front of one's eyes.

The film lacks the typical fanfare of an epic Hollywood blockbuster. It is unlike 'A Beautiful Mind' and many other biopics that dramatize to get an emotional response from the viewer. 'The Motorcycle Diaries' simply unfolds as a sequence of events on a road trip that could have been as uneventful as this one was profound. The film does not idolize Che Guevera, contrary to what some critics have suggested. The simplicity of the film is moving, the cast fits together brilliantly and the cinematography is simply marvellous. This film offers an unforgettable insight to Latin America, its breathtaking landscape , its history and its people. It is like reading a Marquez novel.

I didn't discuss the plot, the summary and the other details of the film on purpose. I think it is silently effective enough to arouse the viewer's curiosity in its subject. It is a testimony to the fact that low-budget and artistic films can still survive the curse of the blockbuster.

ps: To the friend who gave me the CD of 'The Motorcycle Diaries' : You know who you are, thank you. I'm sorry I didn't blog about this earlier.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shhhhh...

The diva is tied down, her hands behind her back. Her mouth is gagged so she may not mumble(she never speaks anything of significance, she mumbles it). Her fingers are bound tightly so that she may not flex them rigourously and reach for the keyboard that hangs temptingly over her head. Her feet are taped together so she may not attempt to use the pen and paper that lie on the floor, two inches away from her right toe.(The diva is primarily right handed but likes to think of herself as being ambidextrous.)The diva's thoughts are racing. She then decides to give the excessive use of metaphors a rest and see what best she can do without the use of double meanings, oxymorons and euphemisms.

In this paragraph, the reader finds the diva relaxed after the she has renounced literary abuse for the rest of the entry. The diva is compelled to use 'pictures' instead of words in order to gain sympathy. The anonymity is unfortunate but necessary. The diva does not want to get 'dooecd' on account of her blog. (Divas need money and a job to sustain themselves!) The diva is simply known as 'El-Diva'. She is represented by the unicode characters she types onto the screen. Even if she chooses to have an opinion, she would rather be vain than post it on her blog. However she might write a whimsical set of jumbled words and hope that her readers get all sides of the 'unfair' coin.

Till the next entry, keep it down. You might just miss the point.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Another Dumb Quiz for the Diva

You Are Surrealism
Dreamy and idealistic, you've created a world that is all your own.It's very likely that you've either dabbled in drugs or are naturally trippy.You are always trying to push beyond the boundaries of your culture and society.You believe that art, love, and freedom can change the world.


ps: I resent the part that says 'It's very likely that you've either dabbled in drugs or are naturally trippy'.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Le blog de président

El Diva is amused! With my French skills tending abysmally towards zero, I used google's language tools to come up with the French title. I am still amazed at how the French love to blog. I read somewhere that France has the highest number of bloggers. I came across the blog of Jacques Chirac. It's in French and I don't understand a word of it. Still, I find it noteworthy that as an 'elderly' man, he still bothers to maintain (or let someone else maintain) a blog. A far cry from Indian politicians who block blogs after a terror attack has occured( the way they block blogs is far more hilarious than the assumptions they make about blogs).
So here is the link. http://www.jacqueschirac.org

ps: To all the citizens of France, you may or may not think highly of your president but at least he has a blog!!!

Some Divas Just Want to be Alone...

I will spare my readers the redundancy of the previous entry on Garbo, but it is true, some divas just need to be alone. How else would they be divas then?
I am aware of divas that seek the spotlight, the attention, the entourages, the limousine rides and other things. Yet, there are several others (such as yours truly)who would rather be locked away in a cellar in a medevial castle. Let's face it, we divas need time to think so we can be saved the trouble of ending up as misanthropes. If there is one thing divas hate, it is damage control. So as 'El diva' avers, 'why opt for damage control when damage itself can be obviated'.
Of course, when 'El diva' wants to be locked in the cellar, she needs the basic necessities (a good book, art supplies and a computer with wi-fi access) in order to have some semblance of a minimalistic and temporarily-reclusive existence.
The time-out doesn't necessarily contribute to the enigmatic status of the diva, but one can't help but wonder what a diva locked in a cellar is good for....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Brush that Needs no Paint

Keeping with the recurring theme of 'arty' posts that have flooded this blog for the last two months, I thought I'd experiment with this one. A brush with no paint is a lot like an individual who draws pictures in the air. These pictures are only visible to the 'artist', the others can only follow the movement of his/her intangible 'brush'. The same can be attributed to a process of thought. An idea arises out of what seems like nowhere. It only takes shape when put into practise. However, can an abstract idea really take shape? Like the artist who paints in the air given the lack of a suitable medium of expression, the proponent of an abstract idea is also hindered by the lack of resources that he/she might need to give it suitable form. Still, it is unfair to dismiss an idea because it can't take shape given the present set of circumstances. Besides, an idea that seems overwhelming, can be dissected and can be executed without the fragmentation of its purpose. Therefore a great idea is a lot like a brush that needs no paint, it can create art as long as it is understood.

Monday, October 02, 2006

If Looks Could Kill.....

If looks could kill...overpopulation would be history.

If art could predict the future...all of us would be blind.

If bloggers could edit...writers would be unemployed and publishers bankrupt.

Finally, if I had a social life...I wouldn't occupy CIA-scrutinized server space on blogger!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

If Oscar Lived in Our Time


Allow me this one indulgence. It has often been suggested that Oscar Wilde was ahead of his time. His outrageous unconventionality, his homosexuality and other similar exploits made him nothing short of the 19th century equivalent of a gossip column headliner. What if he lived in the 21st century, here's my take.

I brought up this topic on a discussion board in Orkut. The majority said that he would have married 'Bosie' his lover. Yes, I think he would have, and they would have divorced even sooner, given the generation gap. 'All art is quite useless' ,he once said. Since this is the 21st century, he would have said, 'all existence is quite useless'. (Sadly, that's what art is now reduced to, existence!) He would have been a whimsical, chain smoking, 'controversial', and narrowly misanthropic writer ; with a column in a leading newspaper, a public and rather capricious blog and several anonymous ones. He would be quite a regular at places like Studio54 and at the sidelines of the gay pride parade.

I can only imagine him smoking illegally smuggled cuban cigars with the same panache with which he would parody members of the G8. He would sue the compilers of popular dictionaries because he groused their definitions of 'aesthete' and 'renaissance'. He would probably not have a distinct political ideology, and would politely decline the Nobel Prize for literature. He would live in New York city and write scripts for films and plays. A regular at the 'Oscars', he would win after being nominated several times, and commend the voting members of the academy for their astute judgement(all pun intended). He would make it to either one of Mr. Blackwell's lists (I can't tell if it will be the best or the worst dressed, Mr. Blackwell has a tendency to have favourites on both lists except that they keep fluctuating from one list to the other.)

At the end of it all, he would be an entertainer. Not the type that needs a 'Page-3' profile, or the type that makes appearances on 'Oprah' (that would be sheer entertainment though) , but simply the type that observes the paparazzi and writes to incur their wrath. 'We are all in the gutter but some of us our looking at the stars' , he would say, unflinchingly, as he did more than a century ago.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Divas and Enigmas

I've always admired the enigmatic, no matter how dark or imperfect . To be like the sphinx that speaks in obstruse tongues and belies all semblance of sanity is only a divine gift. The esoteric set of human beings that can safely be labelled 'enigmatic' also include divas. My favourite among them is Garbo(Greta Garbo, the classic actress).
Contrary to popular belief, Garbo never said 'I wont to be alone'. She said, 'I want to be left alone'. The engimatic shield attributed words to the core! Unlike other actresses of the silent era, Garbo's craft was bereft of the histronics that were the norm of the day. She spoke of epic suffering with a single frown and quiet suspicion with the raise of an eyebrow. Ironically, the enigma spilled over to the screen and mingled, almost freely, with the character. The enigma lives on beyond her death. She may have left behind letters, and possibly an unpublished autobiography, but the world still doesn't know who she is.
Another favourite enigma that I cannot get over is the one who said, "When I retire I shall miss the green of the field". I leave it to my readers to figure out whom I'm referring to. I don't think the enigmatic don't choose to be 'mysterious'. The mystery is simply attributed, sometimes in the most mythical sense, by those around them. El Diva here, would love to be an enigma for selfish reasons, but that's another story left to the confines of a future entry.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reincarnition : New Name, Same Blog

For the lack of activity on this blog ,and keeping with the spirit of cheap publicity gimmicks that seem so popular this century, I decided to change the name of the blog. A blog is like a portrait, as long as it is not political or scientific or scathing with propaganda. Since this one has a wonderful editor ,who doesn't buy popular mass media concepts such as 'embedded journalism' , 'censorship for adults' and other things alike, the readers of the blog risk being subject to dramatic attacks of nomenclature that the blogger/editor deems appropriate at the given period of time.
Hence, the name change. The inconvenience is regretted yet again, but change is inevitable.

ps: If you don't like the name, go ahead and make your point. Also, maybe I should turn this into a propaganda blog.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Life in the 'Developing' World

I live in India, the only place of such paradoxical existence. I do not have the heart to call my existence 'third world' even though for most of the demographic, life in India is 'third world' .

For instance, most Indians don't know the concept of social security. We simply don't have it! At the same time, we have affordable domestic help. Apparently India was ranked 7th in the list of the world's most corrupt nations , yet we take pride in referring to ourselves as 'virtuous human beings living by Gandhian principles'. We claim that racism doesn't exist, but we want our spouses to be 'fair and gorgeous' (there is now a fairness cream for men as well). We are truly democratic; every rule can be twisted, perverted, broken and elongated to suit the peeves of more than a billion individuals. It makes one wonder what such contradiction exacts from the human spirit.

Nothing apparently! It only blesses us with a sense of humour and one hell of an immune system. Where else, on this earth, can one annoy his/her neighbours with his/her sheer presence and still be dead on record? Only in the developing world. It's better than 'the simple life' !

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Happened to Good Writing?

Call me old fashioned if you must, but seriously, what happened to good writing? I'm not talking of Elizabethian verse or Victorian verbosity or political prolixity from the likes of Churchill. I mean elegant prose that flows naturally straight from the writer's mind. The kind reminescent of Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Morrison and Buck. What happened to writers who could paint pictures , more enthralling than a digitally enhanced cinematic masterpiece, with words as commonplace as 'bread and butter' ?
In earlier entries I mentioned something about saying less through words and more through images. Apparently, Steinbeck had no need for anything more tangible than his imagination, memories and a few inputs from historical sources when he wrote 'East of Eden'. The California valley breathes with life , deeper and deeper as the pages turn. Marquez's Macondo in 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' belies the hard hitting fact that it is indeed a fictitious town.
The haunting picture of a ghetto in Toni Morrison's 'Love' and the moving preface are a far cry from the expletive ridden 'masterpieces' of more 'progressive' writers. The more recent event of the plagarism of chick-lit, has brought to light the sheer derth of good writing.
The lack of good writing is, in my opinion, has nothing to do with living in the world of instant noodles. It only reflects the degradation of human beings into machines. If you still think I'm old fashioned chew on this : in probably a decade or two, the most torrid 'Mills and Boon' novel (with and without euphemisms) will be laden with the romanticism of an instructional manual for a home security system. When that happens, call me, we might just get along !

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Moon Woman


Another exhibit for the shrine of the abstract. This one is by Jackson Pollock. I became interested in Pollock's work after I saw the biopic titled 'Pollock' starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden. Ed Harris held his own throughout the entire film, and he wasn't upstaged by the larger than life character of the artist.

I was quite taken by the lack of convention in Pollock's approach to art. Especially the fact that he rarely kept the canvas upright. He prefered to keep it on the floor. After some time, he stopped using brushes and started pouring paint all over the canvas. He never seemed to start with a particular subject in mind. Towards the end, the work would look like a tormented mess of colour and shapes that seemed to lack meaning. Yet, paradoxically, his work speaks of the silent subconscious and has some kind of pattern that eventually lends it structure.

The picture I've put here, appears less torrential than the other works. It's called 'The Moon Woman'. It is said that Pollock was influenced by native American art and that this piece symbolizes the sacred feminine. I've always wondered if art imitates life or if it's the other way round. For Pollock, art came from within, from the life he wasn't aware of. I'm still amazed! What if all the people of the world painted with their eyes closed? Morbid things would come to life, I suppose.

Monday, September 11, 2006

La La Language Tools

I adore google! It is my shrine, my meditation space and much more. It gave me the fastest search engine, the slowest email software and one quirky social network(orkut). Of late, I've become obsessed with being multilingual. (I suppose the plethora of Portugese posts in Orkut has something to do with it.) I have been picking up bits and pieces of French on the internet. My teacher? The innovative language translation tools created , so aptly, by the ever considerate folks at Google.
I had a vague idea on how French greetings were supposed to sound. I also knew how to count upto 10 in French, and also how to tell people my name. I left the rest to the language tools. However, and I say this with an unrealistic swelling pride, the first 'meaningful' French sentence I learnt was , 'Je pense donc je suis'. ( 'I think therefore I am' - Rene Descartes ) The language tools very diligently interpreted the sentence word by word to 'I think thus I am'. Unfortunately, for folks who don't take software with buckets of salt, language tools may be rather inappropriate.
Let's assume that I want to translate a sentence originally in English to French. I don't anticipate any trouble there, as the user interface is friendly enough. The translated sentence appears in the little box, and the user can read it out loud (assuming that the user has an idea of the phonetics of each language) . Next, let's assume that the user wants to translate the new sentence back to its original form (ie. in the language it was written in to start with). Surprise! The sentence you start with needn't be the one you end with. La La Language tools have goofed (or maybe I should say gaffed, some of the translations are rather embarrassing).
I am glad I didn't make my acquaintance with the shortcomings of language tools the hard way. Some perceptive individuals made it known in orkut. In an attempt to be less critical, the language tools are not meant to replace human interpreters. They are meant to give linguistically challenged folks a broad idea of the possible meaning of words written in an alien language. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Touche? You decide.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Le Apologie

The title may be in French, but the rest of the blog is still in English . I admit that despite being 'well known' for my patience, prudence and a whole lot of other things, I don't have the time to actually edit my blog entries. I make each entry hurriedly, without looking at the keys. I merely watch the screen to check if what I'm thinking is the same as what goes up there. I am only human; therefore I am prone to error. The perceptive reader shall find numerous typos, grammatical flaws and several instances of apostrophe abuse in the blog. The errors are neither intentional nor an outcome of ignorance. English is my first language and I mostly think, write and converse in English. So, if you are a teacher of English grammar, please forgive the minor(and not so minor) bloopers in my blog. The inconvenience is deeply regretted.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The World Outside the Blog

Keeping with the spirit of saying more through pictures instead of words, I will give you a peek into what lies outside my window. I sit cooped up in an intimate little room with windows on both sides. When my eyes don't feast on the words that come flying out of minute keystrokes, they look outside to check if the world still looks the same. It all depends on what I choose to see. The window on my right has nothing worth looking at except for the sun caressed leaves of coconut trees. The view on the left is more inviting though. When I'm at my lethargic best, I just have to raise my head for the view of the apartment building up front. It looks like almost any typical apartment building in India, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, with clothes hanging on lines and doors closed. The building is fairly new but almost dilapidated in appearance. Still, there is a charm that comes from wondering what it is like to live someone else's life for a day. I find myself spending precious time looking out and trying to figure out the inhabitants of that building.

If I take a little more trouble to actually walk over to the window and gaze down, I can see my mother's garden. It is in all fairness a labour of love. The plants are an interesting assortment of tropical specimens and hybrids. They were mostly picked up at flower shows, some others at parks and the hybrids came in packets. The hues look richer and more vivid after the rain. It's almost as though they are reincarnated.

The world that maketh the blog is as minscule as the one outside my window. It sits still as a microcosm, unaltered , unflinching and untouched. Somewhere in the distance, I can hear music playing. If I am fortunate I might evesdrop on the strains of a neigbourly spat. The world that is the microcosm of my blog, stands still as it has all this time. I am still waiting for it to move....

Friday, September 08, 2006

Alone All The Way? An Attempt at Reinvention.

I took a couple of pictures and thought that since I don't have enough matter in my brain to fill this space. I will use pictures instead. Feel free to rave about my photography skills!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Rant....

Lie still in the wake of day,
Don't bother to stare.
Your life is like a mound of clay,
Delicate like a thinning strand of hair.
Stop, breathe, feel
Till the lines disappear.
All that is left is surreal
Twisting out of shape in the open clear.
Your life is too distant, too vague..
It needs no words, no deed.
Stop before your thougts plague
The beginning of life's humble need.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Will Become of This?

Yesterday I came across an 'award winning blog' , apparently it gets 3000 hits each day, the blogger was fired from work and even made a T.V. appearance about it. The blog was impressive. She makes the most trivial and banal issues sound like a page out of a coffee table book titled 'The Good Life'.
I look through my profile on blogger and I see a meagre 154 profile views to date! Forget the numbers for now. A blog that gets a whopping total of 154 profile views since the day of its conception will probably not be sorely missed following its demise. Yes, it is the hard hitting truth. The world won't change if a blog closes down, and I have to accept that truth now. Still there is an undeniable streak of narcissism that won't allow me to delete this blog (it will remain on the server for the CIA to read even if I don't intentionally target bored CIA employees). 'How can you delete your blog?' The words keep ringing in my head each time I contemplate deleting one of them . Maybe I am a young, attention seeking, naivette with a misplaced alter ego but I can't get myself to touch the delete button. I simply can't do it! I can give the blog a slow death and allow blogger to get rid of it without considerable fanfare, but I can't bring myself to exterminate anything right now!
So, what becomes of all this? I think I knew the answer all along, I just wanted to fill up some of that empty space on the blog.

Friday, September 01, 2006

What Maketh A Blog?

What makes a great blog? (I have been thinking about this a great deal irrespective of my mother's remarks on bloggers and their existential needs.) I have been doing a lot of reading. I have been skimming the internet to find what I would call a blog with real class.
I wish I could ignore the aspect of presentation. (Never judge a blog by it's presentation?) Nevertheless, blogs lacking presentation can be painful to read. I look for blogs that have are articulate and witty. On the other hand, a brilliant photographic blog wouldn't need verbosity would it? I love blogs that are either utterly veracious or those that are connivingly deceptive. (I still haven't found one of the latter type.)
To me, a great blog is one that holds the reader in conversation with the person behind the bits and nibbles strewn across the screen, coming together to make sense.It doesn't necessarily have to make it to the list of bloggers 'blogs of note'. All that really matters is intent.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Haven of the 'Lonely' ?

I recall someone saying 'The internet is for lonely people'. If that is true, then about half the world is 'lonely'. I can vouch with utmost honesty that, more often than not, I come online to write in my blog or to talk to my friends or to read others' blogs. My mother says that 'bloggers are people who are either unemployed or have enough free time to seek attention on the internet'. I didn't agree with her, maybe it's simply the generation gap. (It is no secret that she is computer illiterate.) Everyone seems to have a blog, including Dmitry Tursunov! When I confronted my mother with the fact that everyone has the right to express themselves (assuming that they think democratically) she curtly said, "I have no intention of leaving anything behind, it's why I don't even write a diary". My mother doesn't realize that I have just immortalized her in my blog! (At least till blogger ceases to exist!) So is being on the internet a pathetic attempt by human beings at immortality? Are we not able to accept our insignificance? Do we really think that a sequence of bits can actually make us immortal (At least they remain cached in servers for ages. Besides, if one is suspected by the CIA, then they remain immortalized in print on record.)
Alright, maybe I got a little carried away. Maybe it's just the right of every human being to have his or her 15 minutes of fame. Hence I ask the parental and grandparental generation; is that such a bad thing? It's easy for the older generation to scoff at new-age methods to do the same old thing. (They're the proponents of heirlooms, inheritances and legacies to start with.) The entry might not make sense now, but I think it will make sense sometime in the future when prose-style blogs will be an obscurity. As for loneliness, the lack of internet access is not a measure of the degree of lonliness.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

To Read a Book As it Was Meant to Be...

This is my third entry in a day, but I couldn't resist making this one. Everytime I read a book, particularly a translation, I can't help wonder what the original work was like. I am always a little skeptical of the lyrical quality of the reinterpretation in a language foreign to the author. I accept translations as they are because it is easier to read a translation than to learn a new language from scratch. I've read books of Russian authors like Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekov. I've also read Franz Kafka (he wrote in German), Guy De Maupassant (French) and most recently Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbian who writes in Spanish). These are maestros who can trancend the barriers of translation. The translations probably render justice to the original work. For instance, 'The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam' translated by Edward Fitzgerald seems like a genuine labour of love. Still, if one were to read 'Salome' by Oscar Wilde, written originally in French, the English translation doesn't capture the intended poetic elegance (at least that's how I felt when I first read it).
Another stunt, pulled off with so much panache by publishers, is editing. With all due respect to editors, some works simply must be left as they are. I realize that editing is challenging, it can give structure and meaning to a manuscript lacking both. On the other hand, editing attempts to make a book politically correct. In a studied attepmt to make the book 'acceptable and marketable', the raw quality to its content is often lost. Earlier, I never understood why some bibliophiles had a fetish for first editions of books. Now I know only too well. A book untainted by the sense of propriety of an editor gives insight into the author's mind. Reading an unedited manuscript is like having a one sided conversation with a person not physically present. The effect of that is beyond measure. It is priceless. Editing, if done irresponsibly, can mar the intended sentiment, and can amount to adulteration.
Unfortunately, first editions come at a price; they are almost never available. I have skimmed bookshelves and have never seen a book that says 'first edition'. It may be a misnomer, but it is definitely worth a try.

Nothing!

I am therfore I'm not
I exist therefore I must cease.
I am the earth, I am the dust
I am the core and the broken crust.
I stand, oblivious of my origin and my end
So I will stay
Sliding from dawn to dusk.

The Hand that Rocks the Boat

The hand that rocks the boat is the hand that guides it's course, not the one that built the boat in the first place. In other words, we don't choose to be born (my favourite bone of contention against creation) but we can choose how we live and die. Another short entry for the desperate blogger such as yours truly!

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Art of Contentment

I never knew contentment untill a few days ago. To me it was a form of emotional ambivalence (a very pretentious form) that didn't allow people to decide if they were truly at peace or just too tortured to feel pain. I have a new lease on the way I percieve life, existence and other things alike, and I see that contentment is really a matter of choice, nothing more. It is not a compulsion or an obligation bound by the mores of societal demands. It really is as simple as choosing coffee with milk instead of 'as black as it gets' (I still prefer the latter though). If life is like art, then we can interpret its nuances as we would do with a masterpiece, or censure it as 'worthless crap'. Think about it.

Ps: I assure my readers, I am not under the influence of any questionable substances. I am genuinely at peace!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Persistence of Memory and other Things

If you were to view my profile, you will see that I have uploaded Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory' as my user pic. People who have come here from orkut, will see that I have Edvard Munch's 'The Cry' as my user pic. Now, don't ask me what that means. I haven't been a great abstract art enthusiast to start with. When I was a teenager, I thought that abstract art was pretentious. I preferred classical art, the impressionists, the romantics. My favourite artist at that point of time was Vincent Van Gogh. I was quite taken by the idea of the tormented artist who gains posthumous fame. I still like Van Gogh, he's still my favourite. I love the way his work reflects his deteriorating mental state that culminated in his death.
After I entered my twenties, I started to like Picasso, Dali and Munch. I couldn't get over 'The Persistence of Memory'. My favourite would have to be 'The Cry' by Munch. Apparently Munch saw his mother dying of TB as a child. The sunset reminded him of how she had a haemorrage. Munch had a cruel father and a stormy love life. Hence, most of his paintings have women strangling men with their long hair.(That is morbidly fantastic!)
I still don't understand my sudden inclination towards morbidly fascinating abstract art. I guess it is an occupational hazard that comes with growing up. Or who knows, it could be a permanent fixture in the maze that I like to call my brain. Cheers anyway! It never hurt to sign off !

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Detachment

Broken pieces lie on the floor,
I don't want to pick them up
A false glimmer in each reflection
What it means I don't know.
I am in each piece,
The shattered wreck of my humble cup.
I don't want to look, I don't want to feel
I simply want to turn to the unreal....

ps: Trying to sound detatched. I don't care if I'm effective enough.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Life!

Here's the smallest entry. Life is a joke, but we lack the humour to laugh at it.
(If the source of creaton can be personified, then its quite possible that he/she/whatever is laughing real hard!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Redundancy

In a half hearted effort to make this blog sound less pessimistic,retrospective, cynical, deluded, utopian (and a whole lot of other unnecessary adjectives), I thought I'd bring in some humour. My attempts at humour generally prove to be redundant. I find something new in the same old things. Videos on youtube.com seem to be my latest fetish. I use the word 'fetish' because I can't seem to start my day without watching a few.
So speaking of redundancy, it happens to be my favourite occupational hazzard (writer's block being my favourite form of comic relief). I'm a little tired of orkut. I've decided to replace the substance of that addiction with youtube. I used to think I'd gain some semblance of maturity once I turned 20. Apparently I was shrouded in denial. I'm as juvenile as I was at 12. Time doesn't necessarily alter things, redundancy will never cease. I guess it helps us differentiate between what's commonplace and what's unparalleled.
I think the only person more bored than the one reading this is the one writing this. So I will spare all of us the agony and stop right here.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Epiphany

All people are equal in darkness. The hues merge, the colours get concealed, and they have nothing left but themselves. Their eyes are expressionless, and their form invisible. What floats on thin air is only character or it's lack thereof. People that are united in darkness are simply linked by the threads that bind them. There is no more to a person than character. The rest only exists to make character seem tangible. Why didn't I think of this before?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Departure from the Usual: The World Needs a New Obsession

When the average person turns on the news, they get to see disturbing pictures of the trouble in Lebanon. There are people homeless, displaced, clueless and trying to escape so that they can save whatever sanity they have. Another event still continues to compete for air time. 'Head butting'! Just when I start to think that the world is sick and tired of it,I am proved wrong. An English jockey headbutted his poor horse on the nose. I saw the footage on one of the news channels. The guy was riding this horse that seemed to have a mind of its own. He then gets down disgustedly, looks the animal in the face and butts it's nose with his helmet protected head! The poor animal just stared back in bewilderment. I find it a little difficult to buy the possibility of the horse having insulted the rider!
A small French recording company has come out with a song called 'Le Coup de Boule' (The headbutt ). One nice blogger has posted the French lyrics along with her translation of the lyrics to English, right here : http://etiennemarcel.blogspot.com . The video( or rather a whole collection of 'Coup de Boule' videos can be viewed at the undisputedly popular www.youtube.com ). An Irish travel company has come up with a slogan ,'Use your head like Zidane'.
Clearly, the world needs a new obsession! For a while George W. Bush giving the German Chancellor a condescending back massage took some of the attention away from 'le coup de boule'. On the Indian front we have stories of 'Moles in the Prime Minister's Office', 'Let Men in the Air Force' , 'The Office of Profit Bill' which the President refuses to sign and several others. Apparently 'le coup de boule' is still important enough to get air time even after FIFA announced it's decision on the matter, and Zidane and Materrazzi are on holiday with their respective families.
So what do we obsess about now? Do we need to introspect and obsess with ourselves? I'd rather not, it can make one self-delusional ! It's quite apparent that the universe is urging us, almost begging us, to move on with our lives and find something purposeful to do. I can imagine the sculpture of 'The Thinker'(located, very aptly, in France) shaking his head dismally. I can also hear William Shakespear shouting from his grave, 'What fools these mortals be'

Saturday, July 22, 2006

When Public Opinion is Right!

It looks like our government finally succumbed to public outrage on the blockin of blogs. Now, the blog can be accessed through the regular link. No more attempts at furtive routing methods. At least some people in this country have the guts to think!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Censored and Still Blogging!

I don't know how many of you in India will get to see this entry, but I hope that by now you too have found a stealthy way to access your pet peeve. For the information of those not in India, the government has decided to curb the freedom of expression by 'blacking out a few popular blogsites like blogspot'. Their reasons are incomprhensible to the average habitual blogger such as your's truly. I call this a half hearted effort at blocking! Several popular blogsites are still up and running. In fact you can still access my blogs at livejournal and msn spaces. I thought I would lose this blog forever, but now I've found a way.(Thanks to the news channels.)
Of course, I believe this phase will pass.Especially after bloggers start to take legal action and after the government forgets why it blocked blogs in the first place. As they said on the news, sooner or later, ignorant, technologically challenged politicians and public servants will start blogging. It's only a matter of time.

I don't need censorship, I don't need to be goaded with a stick. I blog because it is my right. No one owns the internet!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Alive and Not Numb

I think the perils of the education system had adverse effects on my otherwise 'childlike-pink-loving' psyche. Now, I'm not 'Comfortably Numb' anymore. I'm alive, and a human being with feeling and with real blood running in my veins.(For a moment I wondered what had been going through my veins when I made some of my previous entries.) Someone in Orkut asked me ,"Are you never happy?" Well, my answer to that, I am generally happy, but my life would be incomplete if I were happy all the time. I don't know what brought about the surge of blood throughout my being, but for the time being, things remain as they are. Cheers!