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Showing posts from August, 2009

intrigue

i came across a video about the number stations, essentially a broadcast of seemingly random numbers or words being monotonously spoken.
About 7-8 years back, in the night while supposedly preparing of an exam the next day, fiddling with the radio on my stereo, (used to love listening to foreign stations on short wave. different music, different programmes.. i even got to listen to a russian elvis presley) i had stumbled on similiar gibberish. the feeling of stumbling onto something utterly incomprehensible but of some obvious consequence is awesome. i can't forget this one instance as well. this was a time when i was heavily into astro physics, Carl Sagan, marcia bartusiak, SETI, drake equation, wow signal and what not.. here i am researching in free time about life outside our planet n shit, and lo and behold you hear stream of possibly encrypted data. btw, at that time with a group of friends we were trying to build an interferometer.. so that should give you a perspective.
peopl…

morning tea

its 6: 50 AM now. its raining pet animals outside. already had a failed attempt at tea with far too much water, and nearly not enough milk. lets not talk about tea and sugar and proportions thereof. i am proportionally challenged. what to do?
what needs be done is, to take hold of the umbrella... pry it open. open the door and out of it. presently pleasantly wading through sheets of undulating water. walk through the narrow gully in my neighbourhood of slums. strategically place umbrella so that the water streaming down the plastic/vinyl or corrugated n rusted sheets don't bathe you. on the road to the left, i see a battered auto rickshaw split open. I walk ahead, buy 'the indian express' and sit down at the local tea stall in an august company of folks. two of them working at the stall. one a middle aged man with rouded eyes and round face and a rotund belly. he is preparing garam garam bhujiya! :D :D :D (hot pakoras, if u will.. ) the other a older guy in half pants si…

memories and sanitisation

are they inter-dependent?
by sanitisation, for the argument here, i mean actual physical cleanliness, though the metaphorical equivalent will hold just as good.
sanitisation essentially reduces the input to our senses. smells suffers the most. i have written about it somewhere in this blog.. essentially, we are sanitizing smells the most, while polluting sight with proliferation of glowing rectangles (TV, laptop, computer). also, suffering is the sense of touch with touch getting eroticised and societally frowned upon.
and well, memories are made of our experiences with our senses. here too, visual memory is so prevalent with photographs and videos and what not. when arundhati roy reminisces about the smell of steel railings in a bus on the conductor's hand in her book 'god of small things', it came as such a fresh insight to me, i was bowled over by the genius of the writer.
with the western onslaught, why has india managed its survival of its societal memories, whereas the m…

picketing

am watching werner herzog's 'stroszek' right now. stroszek is a down n out guy, alcoholic, in-n-out of houses. He consider's his piano to be his best friend. he is in love with eva. she often runs away only to return battered and bruised. eva is involved with some hoodlums. she prostitutes to raise money so that they may leave berlin for US.
this all triggered me to question the notion of a relationship. i mean, when u say you love someone what is it? a certain comfort level? or a 'home' that you return to (but need not necessarily stay in)? or shared trust? or simply a good long conversation that lasts for a life time (of the relationship)? priority towards someone? or lives intertwined? lack of options? desperation? convenience? what is it?
and what about now? that things seem just as important as people? in my family its a running joke that my real relatives are my books and compter and not them, because i tend to be a reserved person.
its like we are picketi…

old hindi songs

whats about them old hindi songs!? they are magical. its only old hindi songs that spring into the media player of my head for any slight emotional gear shift.
some of these songs i have never heard in original. its as if the collective memory of the world around me seeded that song in me. a big pool from which this memory draws these songs is antakshari. through numerous games of antakshari, i know so many old songs that i have never heard in original. some others i had heard as background score in movies. mostly its people around me humming those songs. my dad's singing is another source of this memory.. though he is just as bad with remembering lyrics as me, so its the tune mostly that sticks.
Speak about viral! these are bloody the best virals ever. which viral ever lasted for decades?
yesterday i was humming geeta bali's 'taqdir se bighdi hui ...' what a wonderful song. and i had never heard it myself! i googled straight away and found it on a obscure website.

woody allen

woody allen. watching his movies is like gazing at a lake. its beautiful, its easy, it needn't be turbulent, and after spending enough time with it you actually feel content with a light buzz (that a glass of shiraz wine (nasik's \m/) would lend).
the movies may not be realistic but it always portrays a certain reality. the reality of life through a narrow lense, a narrow politics. this lends a simplicity to his movies which lets it wash over you without any undue excitement. its like having a nice conversation with an old friend, comfortable in the contradictions/arguments and with a confirmation of knowing each other a little more better.

cheers! and go watch manhattan.

p.s. : i have written about conversations and movies here.

resistire

i woke up today with 'happy together' by the turtles going on n on in my head. what a song! i heard it on loop for quite a few times before i got sated.

and then while on train, another song started doing rounds. i didnt even know the song. it was something i heard a while back while watching almodovar's 'tie me up tie me down'. god bless google and imdb. the song is 'resistire' by el duo dynamico. what a wonderful song. its one of those songs which makes u roll up ur sleeves and draw in the fingers into a fist to punch the air above.
now i want to know of resistance songs from south america. south america has a dynamic history and present of resistance and its poetic legacy is unparalleled. it would be a surprise if we can't find out some kickass stuff in this sphere.. resistance songs from south america.
even better even we could lay our hands on some native music.. that would be kickass. afaik, the conquistador's have been very successful in elimina…

ease

usain bolt.
i feel happy to be alive in this era to see such great athletes as usain, phelp, Yelena Isinbayeva...
just saw usain's 100m sprint world record. its amazing. it seems as if he didnt need much effort to break that record. while gay was furious at himself, and others panting, usain seems at ease... this effortlessness, this freedom and control of oneself is amazing and a sure sign of true genius.
watch maksim play piano (his compositions are ok but his performance, spectacular! watch him play 'bumblebee'. awesome shit! wish to c him on stage). His fingers dancing passionately with the keys of the piano. its as if his fingers are part of a ritual of ecstatic celebrations.
ease. i desire ease. they tell me it only comes after immense devotion n practice. damn!

end

i have no sense of end. i start on an idea/dialogue/work/whatever with full steam and then as the brain empties its thoughts into the receptacle of words/artifact/whatever, the steam now used up, the pen stops and thats my end. like here... with three dots... done...

front row seats

chandan cinema. what charm! breath the warm smells of pop corn and whistle along the geysers of whistles blowing from all around. even amol palekar mentions it in 'golmaal'. lovely movie it was, god bless Hrishikesh Mukherjee. he perhaps has been responsible for billions of minutes of hearty laughs, content smiles and happiness throughout India.

anyways.. (unlike my other blog, here i am going to let myself drift away in the thoughts and the language they come in as i write.. 'anyways' would represent getting back to what i wanted to say in the first place :P)

and top it with front row seats. a sure fire combination for a great 3 hour ride.
i remember watching 'bheja fry' in fun cinemas in ahmedabad. we were some 14-15 of us. all front seaters. after a few minutes from start, all came down and made themselves comfortable on the carpet beneath. people were sleeping, rolling around, sitting at the front while watching the movie.. what an experience it was.

anyways.. …

La Complainte de la Butte... or 'that french song which is so good on ears'

there's this french song in 'moulin rouge' called ' La Complainte de la Butte '. i don't even fucking understand the language.. but the song's been going on in my head since a while now. its beautiful. well, the amazing vocals of rufus wainwright did help ofcourse. but the beauty of it, i believe, lies in the simplicity of it all.

the simple melody wafts about and coils around your head, feeding in ears the delight of the luxuriantly sweet notes every now and then.

a while back i got introduced to edith piaf. her 'Non, je ne regrette rien' us absolutely fabulous. i mean, firstly hearing that almost guttural and lively voice is surprising & a pleasure in itself, but the melody.. its one of those compositions which take you, lift you and and then never leaves you through the life. it alights on your soul on a certain occassion and lifts you up everytime u feel low.
other such compositions are ennio morricone's music for cinema paradiso.. go…

mad genius

the craziest man i have ever seen has to be Klaus Kinski. just the image of him. god! god is one kickass artist, to chisel out such amazing creatures.
those scavenging eyes. the unkempt hair. the mad un-contained energy. its bloody infectious. wish, i had known him, met him. it would have been something.
was watching his film fitzcarraldo yesterday. what a movie! and more so due to klaus. the mad plague of an idea starts from klaus and grips you. the sheer magnanimity of thought. its such an inspiration.
god/s, please make more people like him and werner herzog.. we need them.

we

the heart feeds off
the notion of you.
its a parasite
it pumps venomous thoughts into me.
my pride
chisels you off the heart.
flake by dead flake
i am reduced
life less alive.

the present cleaves
the past bounds.

pride can only pry off
so much...
the rotting remains,
the imagined threads
now keep us in a sickly embrace.

tangled and apart.
dark and in limbo.
we, do not make a 'we'.

a part of us buried
slimy, unhappy
its hands trying to grasp
in two different directions.

- Ajinkya Pawar

e cultures

i am a big fan of Ólafur Elíasson and his creations. absolutely brilliant stuff. even working as an account executive in tribal ddb, i try to push installation ideas like these for campaigns when i can. (well i am fresh off the campus, u c).
i have always been interested in the choice of mediums used by artists to respond to cultural shifts. digital technologies have certainly changed the way we live and also the way in which we reflect, we communicate, we perceive. no wonder then that some brilliant work is happening world over that explores the implications of digital intervention in our lives.
one such excellent project i came across was called 'fashion victims'. the reason i loved this project is because i have always advocated communication of efforts that goes into consumption. i have discussed this here and here and here ..
in fashion victims, the mobile communication has been given a tangible face. the electromagnetic radiation converted as patterns on clothes.
check out…

Regards

Regards, wtf does it mean anyways. My regard. Your regard. regard by itself, as if, stops at a few meters from the person to whom its directed. then stops, smells the person and with its snooty nose upturned, vanishes..

then a while back, a friend introduced me to 'abrazo'. its spanish for a hug in greeting. its nice, its warm, but you can't use it officially or with unknown folks. it could be perceived too intrusive.

c ya has its edges chopped off. its smooth and slides out easily. but it won't necessarily be truthful. (cuz, the reason u r writing to someone possibly is that u can't c them in person.)

cheers, with its edgy exuberance is uni-dimensional in its pathos and reeks of spilt beer and rotting pizzas (which were delicious the last night).

mahalo is cool and rotund and exotic and poetic. hmm.. too good to be acceptable.

Juley's simplicity is beautiful and heart warming. but not many would know it. you can't greet in unshared language.

while meaning no…

De-growth

Whenever someone says ‘de-growth’ with all seriousness my eyes dart to the corner of the lips of that person with the alacrity of Bruce Lee’s hands. I await a slight quiver, the curve breaking into a wave. I seek an expression of doubt, of uncertainty about one’s own utterance: The sight of which gives me immense hope and fodder for a hearty laughter. If it doesn’t come along, my laughter turns into cough, the yuck muck which must be gulped down.

So bad that it’s good..

Gunda. rick-roll. three wolves moon.
what is common in all these memes?
all went viral and reached millions. true.
all are immensely successful in creating a subculture around themselves. true.
and all were so bad, that they were classic in some respect. and here's an insight that perhaps can be exploited to create brands online.
who can forget mithun's 'do char cheh aath dus, bus'. or numerous people rickrolled online and offline. or the amazingly mediocre t-shit selling like hotcakes. (hmm.. i have never seen hotcakes sales figures really.. or a queue for buying it. where did this expression come from anyways.)

all these examples treaded on a fine balance. an exactitude of badness that necessarily has to go beyond mediocrity. i will not ponder on the measures that need to be undertaken to be exactly bad enough to get viral, but rather lets take a little time to appreciate that it pays to be bad. (hmm.. by that logic i should get an increment in my salary.. ahh.. neverthel…