Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

lies

What is it with some professions and being a crook.
Today again, an autowallah fleeced me. after a point, u don't want to waste time arguing and you just end paying up. I had the time and inclination to take this bugger to the Police station. I was about to take his auto's key from him and do the needful to walk towards the police station. But, then something happened, something that always happens at times like these. You suddenly feel a bit of pity+fear and a sense of resignation. Pity cause you are somewhere higher in the scheme of things and hence a bit of fear cuz he has comparatively little to lose and time on street makes him ready to put up an aggressive posture. Sometimes I put on that posture myself and do not let myself get fleeced. Resignation owing to the sheer wastage of your precious time and mood behind this and knowing that most probably nothing will happen of it even if you take them to the police.
They know the equation perfectly well too. So they hold thei…

A question

How much time and effort is invested by the scientific community in reducing the clicks and key strokes of an IT worker as against reducing the loads carried, distance traveled, time spend on job by a laborer?

‘warholian’

I was reading Art India’s review about chintan upadyay’s oeuvre, where it says that his conception of an artist is ‘Warholian’. Wtf is warholian. Warhol was a great artist. He had a certain distinct vision, a distinct style. But when Chintan Upadyay can be ‘warhol like’ why should he be a ‘warholian’?
Well, my trouble is not with chintan or Warhol but with this tendency by writers, reporters to turn everything ‘ian’ to give undue depth to an argument, especially when people’s styles don’t remain styles but apparently a discipline due to the suffix ‘ian’. So we get warholian, lovecraftian, well why not pawarian? I have certain distinct traits, well none expressed to the world with any beauty or originality but in my world I am quite pawarian and this pawarian-ness is quite important to me. So to sum up my request, stop turning famous people’s traits into disciplines.

Circumventing manufactured voices

I am gravely worried for the fate of India’s cultural empire. More than the Indian army or its embassies and aid packages, it’s the movie machine of Mumbai that has helped India raise its cultural flag beyond India. From Afghanistan to Japan, from Russia to south east Asia, Bollywood has found devout followers everywhere. This cultural advocacy helps corporate bodies when they march their imperialist marches into these countries. Hey, a dancing, overtly emotional Indian is better than a Kung-fu fighting Chinese. But, Bollywood is losing its hold here at home. Its becoming a caricature of it's imagined self. The ‘desi’ moviegoer is increasingly being subjected to only Punjabi and Gujarati London/Canada dreams. The mainstream movies are rarely even shot in India at all. Since the moneyed few rules what is to be made, the available palette is primarily composed of galling stories of people falling in love in some white suburb of NY or some such world of big white people, where surpri…

outrage

Outrage is a favourite emotion with the middle class. Its an easy emotion that lends beautifully as an excuse to all the violence that our position and privilege necessitates. Its an easy veil we wear to hide all our insecurities. And its an easy weapon to annihilate any opposition to our moral hegemony.
So, an Indian colonist in Andaman would be outraged with the nakedness of the jarawa tribal and feel within his rights to annihilate their land, their culture, their person.
So, an Indian citizen would be outraged at Kalmadi's deeds that put the 'nation to shame', while feeling proud of the 70KCrore tamasha on the screen.Like a commentor on facebook commented, 'The CWG games have made India proud. the 70K Crore bill is worth it'. how screwed up is the sense of their worth? he probably earns 70K in two months. It will take many lifetimes worth of his earning to earn that money. then how did he arrive at its worth, which is clearly not within his grasp of imaginatio…

The order

Chapter 1.
The order


This is a story about a maverick government officer who was unlike any.
He was driven with passion for his pledge not pennies.

A pledge that all took, but few followed
At the feet of powerful did most find grounds hallowed.

The pledge was a looking glass that made everyone seem equal.
And justice was a given, not a mirage of ‘coming soon’ sequel.

But alas, the real world was none too congruent.
And the supposed builders of bridges of equality were playing truant.

When the majority abdicates its duties and a few uphold the ideal,

the mirror of the truth is sought to be sabotaged and its shard are used to kill.

Normality is enforced and differences are annihilated.
Opinions are agreed upon and beamed down into gullible brains emaciated.

The hero of our story was no idealistic zealot
he was just a human, and felt for his lot.
His conscience was not squeaky clean
but questioning that conscience was his daily scene.

It was just one such day, when his boss asked him to go to …

grace

Hands
Such grace
Creation chose the medium of creativity to be bestowed with such divine grace.
They flow like water, and flap like wings.
They deceive time, and deliver stillness.
They break and they fuse.
They play with air and water, and elements delight in their touch.
They move and they feel.
They are alive.
They are life.
They hold and they love.
They fly and they jump.
They nourish and they punish.
They are us and they are the world.
Our hands are sheer grace.

semiconductor

The first time I read about Semiconductor was at a blog, and it showcased their excellent art piece called brilliant noise. I was totally sucked into their gaze. It was amazing what they were doing with scientific data and observations and using sound innovatively to create one masterpiece after another. I wish to see their installation in person sometime in future.
Then came the magnetic movie. I don't have far too many grey cells and had to struggle to see if what was being projected was real or cgi. Amazing nevertheless. and then i kept going through their work. especially their work 'out of the light' . I was enamored with the idea's simplicity and its sheer beauty. In Ladakh, once I had taken a video of shadows and lights falling through leaves and how a cloud passing over us changed the shadow-light interaction, and this work reminded me of it. 
They seem to have a penchant for sound corresponding to the light's intensity on screen and time lapse magic. the r…

Direction

Watched Werner Herzog's 'white diamond' now. every time i see this man's movies, its as if a call. the movies are a beacon to me. beacon to a way i should be living my life. I have written about him here. I am in awe of him and for the first time in life, my hopes and aspirations are taking clearer shape in my mind thanks to his movies, to his lingering nimble gaze, light and studious. the perfect student. the traveler.
Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.- Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
Its about time.

Intertwinings

A friendship is of the moment. Its envelops in togetherness different souls in that one moment with the shade of joy; that anchors the individuals outside of them, to a person and to a moment. It exists in creating such moments and more importantly imagining and remembering such moments.
A friendship has no concern of the past, of the future or of the world outside of the moment of togetherness.
Love is something else.
The lovers need to anchor each other in their entirety. Their intertwined fingers probe all corners, all recesses of each other's past and their gaze is fixated on a tomorrow of forever togetherness.
Friendship has no thirst. It needs no reason.
Love has thirst. It needs every reason to exist. From the sparkle of the eye to the lover's tears of childhoods, they need to know all and feel all and hold it in the warm hug of memory.

Crutches

Coffee and Music. The crutches on which the day progresses.

Adjust Kar Lo...

The Indian auto rickshaw is made for at max carrying 3 reasonably weighing people. But often I see families haggling with the driver to let one or two more people crowd in the small backseat. The fact is that just the shopping of an average Indian family will require an auto rickshaw, let alone the big fussy family. They don't want to go separately. Its not that they can't afford to get 2 autos. But they would not even want to travel apart. Family that shops together, eats together, laughs together also travels together. A vehicle is an enabler. It could have identity connotation, but its not as personal as .. say a cell phone is. (A recent research we did found out that for people, cell phone is the most personal thing. The man shared everything with his wife, but not his cell phone.)
As against say US, where a car that can carry 4 people, is used by an individual. It's perhaps the strongest personal identity statement there. (correct me if I am wrong.)
So while for India…

The Key

The age is hierarchy-less. First names have lost suffixes. Its a glorious time to be working young. Until you notice the square footage of one's office, you can never tell if the person is CEO or one 'amongst us'. :P well, the grey hair theory mostly holds true but you never know if the chappie you were talking to jovially and sharing jokes was heading an entire division somewhere. you just thank god that you weren't your usual idiotic and made fun of your superiors.
 Hence was born 'mission big cat' whose aim was to quickly identify big people (yes.. there is no equality and you better know it. there are big people and then there are super big people, who willingly/unwillingly maintain the smallness of the little people who in-turn maintain the smallness of even smaller micro relevant people.. whose food even is not as important as the semi-big boss's daughter's big nails.)
It was squarely aimed for the purpose of being aware and not making fool of mys…

Vestiges of the day

The sun's been down for a while now. Everything in the commute is a blur except for the magnificence of the duration when a phone conversation tried to bridge the distance in-between our delicious love. Walking the steps to home introduces a buzzless calm for the first time in the day. The everydayness that troubled earlier, pacifies these days instead. The love has settled sweetly in a corner of the heart and is content (for now, until a few hours). The tired mundanity and contentedness of love cancel each other out and my face is left mostly expressionless.. its turns into a shell through which the senses operate but leave no footprint on.
A few final steps and I sit heavily on the bed. Feet have been bound in the same shoes since morning. Thoughts from work never quite enter my mind, but they don't quite completely leave me as well. (it makes for very amusing absurd dreams at times :P) No music is playing right now, no thoughts willing to raise their questioning hands. For…

Busyness is the opium of the cubicle class

Free time is like a crack in the door of life.
With the walls of education and qualifications, we build a career-led life and push out emotion-led life. We fill the life at hand with busyness. you see, busyness adds that gilt to the walls that shine off the fluorescent light onto yourself and you feel that much happier for the moment. The sun wastes away outside, and you crank up that AC and sit inside under the flickering flouroscent magnificence.
But sometimes Time plays games with you. it doesn't supply that busy dead buzz. It just hangs there steadfast and resolute. It wants some undevided attention perhaps.
Busyness is the opium of the cubicle-dwellers. Can't let go of it. try to live without your cell phone for a few days.
What you gonna do, when time stays and stares at you? Through that crack, melancholy starts sipping in. The magnificence, you realise has an un-agreeable stench of loneliness to it. To sit in that gilded chair of importance of some abstraction, you h…

Microtargetting Uncertainties and Anxieties

A colleague sent an ad that recently came out. Its for Wildstone talc and it aims for making men feel ashamed for using the normal talc which had traditionally been targeted to women.



Its very humorous and does a good work of accentuating men's anxiety about their manliness. Perhaps, a sustained effort on this front with a few more players joining in would certainly create enough anxiety amongst men not to use 'women's talc'. It has already happened in a lot of other categories.
The reportage and analysis about matters of creation of sub-segments is peppered with words such as 'progress' 'maturity of market'. They are not wrong.. creation of segments is symptomatic of growing purchasing power, increased nucleation of needs.. a movement to western style first-worldliness if you will.


But it is also symptomatic of a greater humanistic and social malaise. Sonal talks at her blog about the collective conscience that brands of yesteryears built is non existe…

Heavy Dreams

dreams and hopes.
heavy shapeless things.
high on life, we smoke up reality
and puff out dreams.
they are round and edgeless, because we want them to be likewise.
how free and light it felt while smoking it all up.
how wonderful and colorful and full of love.
and then while we were dreaming, bloody scheming silent slimy serpent of time
slithered past us without us ever letting know.
and all remained is the slime of memories, that touch of the serpent.
just the nagging alive feeling of some dead moment of past

and from time to time, the cloud of dreams clear up
and we are left staring at the brutal blandness of reality
and we are left wondering, 'where the fuck was I all this while?'
and 'what the fuck am I doing now?'

and 'why the *your favourite expletive* have i not tried flying?'
all this while, afraid and dreaming
letting the dreams add to itself weight of rust
until it gets too heavy to fly.
giving up on the fact that reality and dreams are just differe…

2010 already!

I can never fathom that its already 2010. 2010! shouldn't cars be flying, and armies of clones being produced. and where are our spaceships and aliens?
its so unreal. every time i have to write the date, it takes some thinking before accepting that what i am writing as current year is an actuality. that the world is not as fantastical, and won't be for a while.
My sense of time  has stuck at 1999 apparently. the world was to end with Y2K or WWIII or famines or floods or meteor strikes. well, the world has had tastes of all these at places, but mostly we are ok.

Anyways, so there are 2 theories we came up with to explain it all.
1. mademoiselle sonal jhuj says that this is due to the fact that our childhood was spent in 90s. in school we had to write dates in school note books every day. hence we were always aware of the time. once we got out of school, we were divorced from the practice of writing date everyday. and hence we lost the anchor that the date column was. drifting …

the unmoving bastard

what good is a cell phone?
you stare at it for long. hoping for it to ring. hoping for it to light up with that name. 
and its bloody unmoving.
and then it makes noise when you don't want anything to do with it or anything else at all.

if only it could carry a smile with it as well, instead of the dumb smiley. a real smile. the infectious one.
if only it could carry touch, the caring 'i am here' touch. a real tight hold on the silent cowering fingers.

whats the deal with fresh starts?

i am a big fan of fresh starts. why? cuz they are fresh, and as with things fresh, they smell nice and juicy.. full of ready-to-ripe promises.
start cuz thats the best part of every experience. the attack of a note, the foreplay, the buzz of a conversation... starts define. starts command.
why to follow up when starts have all the magic and the rest is only tragic hope and hopeless maintenance? no seriously, why? apart from some abstract certainty it gives us nothing. in turn it erases so many possibilities. worse, it erases even the buzz that stings pleasurably at the mere sight of a possibility on horizon. in exchange for certainty, it plants in our heads and hearts the insects of forever-n-ever doubt. doubt of things past, doubt of things could-have-beens, doubts of future.
is it grace in present or is it simply dying a slow uneventful death?
hmm... maybe certainty is that valuable.
maybe.
but until i get tired and my bones get rickety and my eyes stop gouging out with my mouth…

delicious loops

earlier i would never listen to songs on loop. i constantly needed to listen newer and newer stuff. sara tavarez, illapu, Bonobo... give me more, give me more! the thirst for excellence once discovered, is inextinguishable. the genius i was hearing to was evidence of other geniuses out there. its a never ending quest for sublime. the beauty is indefinite and never ending in many shapes and sounds.

but then grace sets in with some songs. songs that mean something to you. Songs anchor our lives to certain moments in our lives. within the first note of that song it yanks us through our throats to that time. there's no point in fighting it, its part of you now. instead, swim in it, until it lasts. whatever the memory be, its always delicious. its ok to be a bit masochistic, go ahead suck on that pain. if it weren't delicious, you wouldn't have been remembering it.

long live continuous loops.

porno

pornography makes the beauty of a being less accessible by stealing and copy-pasting the flesh without the soul, everywhere. By bringing private to public it numbs public for the private.

Photo manipulation is the pornography of photography. By numbing people with altered images, its reducing our ability to appreciate a photo for what it is.. its choice of content and way its framed. Though considerable skill and perhaps art goes into turning the image into a smacking shining clone of itself, it is educating us to reject reality in favor of an imagined one.

streets 101

1. on the way from prithvi theatre to home in an autorickshaw, we stopped at a place for a moment to buy some ice-cream. the place had families and kids thronging the area. A group of men -seemingly upper middle class young office goers - passed by, cursing jovially. The autowallah guy got furious. He started saying,
'ye bolteh hain toh ganda nahin hain. garib koi gaali de toh pakad ke peetenge, bolenge kaha se aa gaya gandagi karne..'
(If they curse then its not bad, is it? if a poor man would have cursed in public, he would have been beaten up and scolded saying that where have you come from to spread the filth.)


2.*
a cabbie had this to say about the recent case where a drunk woman mowed down a few people under her car.

"Hindustan ka niyam toh ameeron ke liye nahin hai.. jab tak mamla garam hai, andar rahenge, fir bahar nikal aayenge. 4 logo pe gaadi chadane ke baad bhi salman khan ab ghum raha hai nanga.
darna bas hum logonko chahiye."


*Source: Gaurav "…

in search of the great nothing

I have a hypothesis. which is really an extension of thought. but to present it, i must develop a context.(or trend-spotting as they call it)

1. nucleated world -> people are connected to more people far more thinly. (a lot of hi's, hello's, how are you's.. very few hugs, time-spent-together's, ILUs.)
2. people removed from cause-effect ->  most of us have no clue what their salary paying job's effect is in the world around, due to matters of scale and transferability of work. (did my work as biz develpment for a media company went into funding his accentuated war advocating rhetoric?; did my design for valve go into the bombs that shelled afghanistan's villages? is all that incessant printing in office and penchant for cleanliness causing felling of millions of trees?)

this ignorance of cause-effect also alienates us from what we consume. take that burger out of your mouth and see what's inside. can you name all that goes into it? did u know where it …

Consumer's bosoms

Coke, HUL.. are arguably amongst the biggest brands in the world. tell me how many people will buy merchandise of these brands without any push marketing (coke logo on Aamir khan's poster.. people are buying Aamir's poster, not aligning their identity to coke)
What does your brand mean to people? why should its symbol be cherished by people?
I took this picture at a stall on the way to a temple near Pune (where I was dragged to unwillingly, by parents as only parents can do. the trip was I think to alay fears of 'me getting lost' to them.)
The letters on the key chain is the name of a populist maharashtrian political outfit (with loud nasty agendas). It is populist, with its leader always portrayed with raised upright hand pointing in a vague direction. well, its not exactly vague... he is pointing to the 'others/outsiders'. The posture is allegative, on front foot.. saying 'you better do it our way, or else'. I wonder how was the revered german dictator…

lightness of words

words. they fly out of an open mouth. mostly, without the brain noticing it.
they are ever so light and free. spend all you want, there's always more where they came from. they might not always have a form, a meaning. but that does not mean, they are inconsequential. Like for falling leaves in fall (how imaginative.. to call a season by an act so obvious), there are some ardent gazers, keen and mesmerized with that act of falling... watching it accumulate. for most sane others, it does not warrant a look. the ardent gazers follow the falling, knowing fully well that the words have died the moment they were born out of utterance. the soul escapes with a sound, and the dead carcass floats bottom on to decaying heap. there are insects there. waiting. slimy, pestilent. they chew off one word, and then another bite from another and so on. all the time leaving their disgusting saliva all over. they are the rumourers. But they are the ones to create the only reality. the mulch. the mulc…

her pout

her pout is her hug
and her lips draw blood
stilled in rapture
i laugh out at my dazed-ness
and give up the moment
i had yearned for
all this while...

the pimp

i am a pimp. i hustle brands everywhere I can; on glowing rectangles you stare at, in schools that your children attend, in streets that you travel, in movies you watch, in books you read, on umbrellas of ushers, on clothes you wear; wherever your senses may take you, you will find a pimp hustling his brand. and i stop at nothing. (well, unless you go numb and in coma of some sorts. then why should my dollar and time be spent on you at all..?)

i brand cars, i brand tea
i brand you, i brand me
i brand everything.

In his book 'Identity', Milan Kundera has something interesting to say (though as a cynical provocation)about Advertising. He says 'thanks to advertising, everyday-ness has started singing.'
I follow quite a few publications, blogs etc where paeans to the joyous occasion of birth of a new brand or campaigns are sung.
Let me be the devil's advocate. i like being that. i will try here to respectfully shine on the ad world my views about advertising's effect o…

arziyan

arziyan saari mein,
chehre pe likh le laaya hun...
(delhi 6 soundtrack)

a lump forms in my throat after the first verse. and all i am left with is a sense of serene submission; of lightness; of happiness though not content. i close my eyes, and sway with it, and sing perhaps a few lines along. its not a song in grace, its in yearning. its in a world where the notion of defeat and winning is defeated itself. its a still fluid world. the song is the water with which we wash our hands, feet and face before stepping into a mandir,masjid or dargha. listening to it turns this room into a joyous open space, light playing hide and seek with the walls, waves crashing onto it.
its perhaps amongst the very few tracks which leave me incapacitated to do or think of anything else while listening to it. all i wish to do is submit to it.

Twisted

Indian middle class is many things. one of it is being insanely twisted in its logic and morality. let me give you a few examples.

1. a friend was telling me how a relative of hers questioned her staying in andheri saying 'all the girls in andheri smoke.. u want to smoke that's why you want to stay in andheri.'
:P hilarious, yes. but i cannot begin to fathom the way we micro-stereotype everything, especially about women and 'behavior'.

2. while in a group, we were discussing how Urdu had evolved in India and its rich heritage.then the discussion veered to, how urdu is not the native language of Kashmir, with ladakhis, dogris and kashmiri being the most spoken.(this was in context of compulsory education of Urdu to ladakhi kids whose mother tounge is not Urdu.) all of a sudden, a apparently well educated engineer amongst us says 'they should ban urdu'.. asked why, he said 'because this is hindustan. why advocate a muslim language' i was left speechl…