Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monsoon ragas

It's been raining heavily here. I should know, given that I actually closed the window in the bus myself. Voluntarily. And walked in the rain with something that I call an umbrella (at least, that's what it is supposed to be, and yes, it did protect the top of my head...), and got almost completely drenched.

But even today's downpour could not dampen my spirits :) I was almost singing leaning out of the window! (Before the rains started, that is.)

For starters, I've been singing this Bengali song almost non-stop since yesterday (during the weekend, I restricted myself to listening to them), leading my mother to wonder if I was becoming fond of Bengalis and Mallus (last weekend I was singing a Malayalam song).

Well, it was listening to my friend's recording that got me singing in Bengali.

His version here. (Do listen to it.) It seems to have some words in the lyrics. And it just keeps playing over and over again in my head...

My version goes : Komlo megheder ojon (from the title of the song!)-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-o-o-o-na-na-na.... The other song also seems to be slightly different in my version. It goes ta-na-na-na-na-ta-na-na-ta-na-na-na-ta-na-na.... And yeah, there's a janai somewhere in the middle of the song.

I'm still waiting to get the translation of the song, though.

Last week, thanks to Kiran, I got to listen to this song from Salt and Pepper (or is it Salt-N-Pepper?). I played it loud twice, and then thought that I shouldn't disturb my mother who was reading there. But as it was close to dinner-time, and "choru" (forgive my bad spelling - to any Mallu reading this) being the only word I could follow very clearly, I did a chorus to the song, shouting "choru" at the end of each line. But my mother still didn't take the hint :( I had to get my dinner myself. Maybe she's too used to my singing and banshee wails to notice any difference.

You too know the effects of my singing.

The next thing on my agenda is to learn some Malayalam and Bengali. And trying to force my brother to listen to the songs. He's had so much experience in this that he just runs away when he comes to know that I'm planning to unleash my musical discoveries on him.

And now, it's time to go.

(P.S. : If anyone wants to gift me a drumkit, you're welcome. Thanks in advance.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


A recent oh-I'm-so-dumb moment :

An acquaintance says, "I'm at IIM", and I ask, "Are you doing an MBA?"...

Quite the Sherlock Holmes I seem to have become!

(And it just struck me that I've seen his name in the papers plenty of times, but never realized that this was the same person!)

Another time, I remember thinking of a really witty repartee.... to a conversation that had ended an hour ago!

If only I'd been in a conversation with someone like that chap i' the tale, I don't remember his name, but he is the one who graciously starts the conversation again when this girl tells him she'd just thought of a good answer to his question.

Ah, these flashes of brilliance tire me out. It's time to rest the gray cells again!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Modern day Cinderella

"Cinderella",they cried,"sweep the floor",
but she was too busy playing MK4.
"Cinderella",they screamed,"Where are you?
There's so much work yet to be done..."
But,Cinderella,she was having too much fun,
"Do your work yourselves, and mine too!,
And hey, look here, there's to be a Royal Ball,
we're all to go, for it's the King's call"
The house suddenly buzzed with activity
Everyone wore new clothes and made themselves pretty
It finally dawned - the day of the Ball,
everyone made their way to the Hall.
The event was a success, and things went well,
the Prince danced with Cinderella &went under her spell;
but, suddenly, the clock stuck midnight
making dear Cinderella jump up in fright,
for, it was now time for her to go
or she'd be missing her TV show
And if the house was locked, there'd be a row,
and they'd be yelling at her all day tomorrow.
And so, she suddenly took flight,
but, alas, one shoe wasn't tight,
it slipped from her foot as her run began,
but she ignored it, and on and on she ran.
She managed to catch all her shows
and fell asleep mourning her lost shoes.
She dreamt of an old woman with an apple,
who addressed her as some Snow White,
and, upon seeing her face in the daylight,
said,"I'm sorry, You aren't the one I must kill".
She then dreamt of being locked up in a tower,
where someone asked her to let down her hair,
And when she did let it down,
someone said with a frown,
"Oh, where is this girl Rapunzel, now?,
I can't leave her for even a minute or two."
Cinderella then woke up to a huge furore -
across town the news had spread,
that the Prince was seeking the girl in red.
The words brought nothing to her head,
till someone mentioned a missing shoe,
how they wondered who it belonged to,
and then she realized they were seeking her.
And at last, Cinderella was identified,
the Prince then asked her to be his bride.

To be continued... stay tuned...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Down and Up

Yesterday I read something by an Indian author, after a long time. Having been really let down by some of my recent readings, what with the bad writing, worse spellings and grammar still rankling in my mind, it took a lot of effort to actually get myself started on this one.

"Keep the change" by Nirupama Subramanian proved to be a surprisingly readable book, and though I knew less than halfway through what the end was going to be, I was happy to be reading some good English. And, ignoring the little voice in my head telling me not to move on to the next book so soon, I was lulled into thinking that writing standards have improved.

The next book I happened to have was called "Have you met the Joker?", supposedly the writer's third book. It made me wonder who on Earth was crazy enough to read the first two and encourage him to write a third.

The author's introduction mentioned that he was an engineer. That in itself should have warned me. But, like a fool, I insisted on pursuing it till the end. How I wish I hadn't!

Well, my BEEPS (Bad English & Errors in Punctuation Sensors) went on Red Alert by the time I had come to the second page. I tried ignoring that and read on in the hope of finding the story. And now, the book is over, thought he'd some story to say (in Pink Floyd style). There was no plot, instead there was some note by the author, it seemed like some "philosophy" to me. And since these days, every third person is a philosopher, why not he? (or is it him? - asking this makes me feel like Emsworth!)

Hey, Mr.Author - please enlighten this poor ignorant soul - what is a "dotted child"? I though you were talking about a human child. If it were a leopard cub or a cheetah cub you were talking about, it would have been a different matter altogether. But, as I said, you were talking about a child. A human one at that. So, why was it dotted?

Ok, I'll stop questioning you about the dotted child. But tell me, do you read as a "usual habit"? And do thrillers take off at once? And please do tell me this : how can a book shiver you? I've read Angels and Demons too, but it didn't "shiver" me. Even the cold winter breeze doesn't do that to me. It makes me shiver, and I shiver. But never in all the years of my existence has a book shivered me.

And yes, what is the meaning of "What on earth do you think who I am?" ????????? I've given up trying to figure out that one.

I'll stop now, as I don't want to act as proofreader for your already published junk. Don't even get me started on your pathetic efforts at writing what I think were supposed to be scenes of passion and lovemaking!!!

And thanks for putting me off Indian authors again for a long time to come.

All this makes me wonder why is it that most of the time, only the worst junk gets published?

And to think, there is so much good writing available online :

This has some really good stuff. And the writer's a techie. Almost makes me revise my opinion of techies who can write. And incidentally, I'm getting addicted to his puns.

Chuck, as he calls himself is recommended reading for anyone who has or wants to have a sense of humour.

(And when the above two join hands, or minds, or whatever it that they join... wait, that sounds weird, what I meant was that apart from their individual blogs, this one to which they both contribute is also like a Godsend...)

Given their huge following, I don't think Sayesha, Silverine or Sunshine needs any introduction. Nor does Chutney Case.

And of course, Son of Bosey and this.
There are many more out there in the blogging world, so I still have faith in Indian writing.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"My Family and Other Animals"

First things first... The title isn't mine - it's a book by Gerard Durrell. Thanks to NM for lending it to me. I enjoyed it,and the title has just stuck to my mind...

With my family, I'm their pet. Needless to say, they pamper me a lot :) With this, I'll just move on to the rest of the Animal Kingdom, a domain so large that I can't even think of mentioning all its members...

(And who knows? Someday I might indeed write more about my family :P)

So, let me stick to a small subset of the Animal Kingdom.

Dogs as a rule have a tendency of making me imagine the worst that can happen. Maybe it's something to do with a nightmare I had featuring a dog - I still remember waking up in sweat (wow! I've just used a bookish expression!), and though I try to convince myself that it was only a nightmare, I would still prefer a live-and-let-live-but-you-live-far-away-and-don't-enter-my-territory policy when it comes to dogs. Like I said earlier, something about them affects me...

Cats, I don't have a problem with - only I sometimes wish the cat in our house didn't sit there dumbly on our doormat, even when we are opening the door... Since the cats, at least the ones I'm acquainted with seem to be satisfied in having just a nodding acquaintance with me, I'm happy and the arrangement suits me just fine. A symbiotic relationship, I think it's called. (If I'd known I'd be using some term like this in the future, I'd have actually paid attention to what the teacher was teaching in the class, instead of trying to will my friend's watch to point to lunch hour, and watching who was walking outside our classroom door.)*

On Rats, Gnats and Bats, that subject which made Veronica Wedge discover her twin soul in Tipton Plimsoll and that subject which (at least in part) made the scales fall from Gertrude's eyes, well, I must admit that I share the views of Veronica and Tipton , that is, I don't really like them! ** (Though bats seem more okay-er (is that a word?) than rats to me!)

I had a fairly tolerant attitude towards lizards, until last night when one made me scream and almost fall by getting under my feet while chasing a cockroach. The irony was that I was trying to escape the cockroach which was trying to escape the lizard, a merry-go-round situation ending with my mother startled by my sudden shout :) (I did come across a small lizard today, but we didn't fraternize :) )

I don't know how comfortable I am when it comes to other animals - I've never had the chance to get intimate with lions, tigers or even deer.

Monkeys, I still hold a grudge against... It was a monkey which made me throw down the big popcorn cone I'd just bought (I thought it was a life-or-death situation - in hindsight, I know I should have kept the pop corn and shown the courage of my forefathers ...which, incidentally reminds me of Wodehouse's words in describing Clarence) ). When I narrated the incident to my aunt, she said I should have just scattered some of the popcorn on the ground and not given the whole thing away. But how could I be expected to show presence of mind, when my usual state is absent-mindedness? I still yearn for That Particular popcorn. Oh, Monkey-who-stole-my-popcorn, you're a blot on your species. (Rant over.)

If the talk turns to Monkeys, can talk of Donkeys be far behind?

But then, I've never interacted enough with the species to form an opinion :)

If there's one thing I have against birds in general, it's that they seem think that the clothes drying out in the sun are the best places to shit in... I've had the misfortune of having to wash affected clothes, so it is with deep feeling that I speak now.

I have omitted almost 90% of species. But I'm just a speck in the universe, my mind is just a tiny part of the speck, it can do only so much.

Apologies to the species I've overlooked, for lack of mental capacity and energy - just enjoy the life your ancestors wanted you to have, when they came along with Noah, and don't bother to take time out to grieve against a poor soul like me :)

(I wanted to mention Homo Sapiens, and say m. of the s. a la PGW, but the overpowering effect of Sleep has prevented me from doing so...)

Au revoir, folks.

* I managed to sneak in some of my Reminisces :P

** References to a couple of Wodehouse works. In case you are wondering what I'm talking about, go read Wodehouse. Else, just shut up.

(P.S. I just wanted to mention that I've given credit where it's due, at least I hope so. I've been seeing too much of ingratitude recently, that it makes saying thanks all the more important)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soppy trophy

It was a great weekend, what with buying around 15 books...

And after ages, I got a novel by an author whose work I'd read earlier and found readable. Thinking that it would be a good read, at least as a dinner accompaniment (I'd just finished re-reading a Wodehouse for the nth time, and finished another novel in the morning, so needed something for dinnertime). The preface said that the book dealt with a religious community, and that was fine with me. As the story developed with pages filled with 'penance' and 'Matins and Lauds' and 'Confessions' and 'The Holy Book' (I knew by the end of the first chapter what the story was going to be), I was waiting to see how the end came about. Come about it did, with one of the soppiest dialogues I'm ever read...

Towards the end, the heroine tells the hero....

(Get ready!!!)

"I would gladly take as many babies of yours as I could"


Imagine telling this is real life... Moreover, the character who says this is a nun who has denounced (is that the verb?) her vows owing to her dissatisfaction.

And more importantly, she says this not once, but twice. TWICE!!! Imagine

And you wonder why I avoid reading these books, except at times of desperation...

(This also puts an end to my dream of writing a soppy novel - I could never have imagined any dialogue this corny :( )

Talking of desperation, what else can I expect, when I know by the end of the first chapter who did it, or what the climax is going to be. The only question left to answer is 'how'...

And what to do, even good novels don't last more than a couple of hours :(

Poor me... Please do an act of charity and send some good books my way... (I'll bless you for it - there, you got your reward!!!:P)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Multi-tasking Mishaps

I just remembered certain mishaps incidents that happened, especially at times when I was on my cycle.
Once, as I neared the gate to the parking lot, I thought that for once, I should ride my cycle till the cycle shed, instead of getting down near the gate and walking like I usually do.

I planned my strategy accordingly - I'd slow down near the gate, go slowly down and the slope, make a graceful turn and ride straight till the shed, where I'd put my cycle properly in place.

Alas... So much for my planning. What actually happened was that I ended up trying to do both at once - I held the brakes to slow myself down, and at the same time turned the handle bar. The result was that I almost became a Humpty Dumpty... It was only the presence of mind of my leg (I can see some objections being raised - how can a mind be present in a leg, what is mind etc. ... to be more correct, I think I should call it a reflex...), I remained upright while my cycle took the fall. (I think it was a more satisfactory state of affairs than both me and my cycle lying down, or worse, the cycle standing while I lay on the ground).

(Actually, there were (thankfully) no witnesses to this spectacle. But that doesn't mean that it never happened. It just means that I can report my version of what happened :) )

Another time, I was on the way to the mess to have my lunch. I was riding quite furiously, as I was nearing a slope I had to climb. As I passed the Food Court on the way, I started trying to decide whether the food would be edible (to me) or not. I even removed a hand from the handle bar to adjust my dress, and was marvelling at the control I seemed to have over my cycle.

And it was then that I went straight and rammed into a girl walking on the road. I distinctly remember thinking that I should ring the bell and go around her. Instead, I did neither and rammed straight into her. (She was still rubbing her arm where she'd been run into, when I saw her at lunch. Needless to say, it hastened my lunch, and I was out much before her...)

My usual multi-tasking efforts are limited to reading while eating, and listening to music while reading, and sometimes while walking. Sometimes, when I'm studying at home, I end up singing while studying. (I quite like my singing, though I can't say the same for others). I guess that it is because they want me to concentrate on my studies that my folks leave the room when I start singing while studying...

Once my mother and brother were playing chess, I was reading and singing... I'd finished half my playlist, and come to 'Answer lies within'. So lost was I that it took me a few minutes to realize that my brother and mother had stopped playing and were rolling with laughter. To this day, they ask me to sing that song, though they consider it more a banshee's wail, going by their expressions...

That's enough about myself and my numerous qualities (?), at least, enough for one day. So, let me call it a day. Or night, if you prefer to be exact and more literal.

And oh, did I mention that I had a vision of myself cruising along on a Harley - Davidson. And singing. I'm sure it would be a sight to reckon with, given my excellent skills in both riding and singing. So, here's wishing me good luck and hoping that my dreams come true :)

Meanwhile, you can start praying for your own safety :P


(A warning first : This was written over a period of almost 9 hours, 8&1/2 of which were spent in a state of blissful sleep :) (the weird dream doesn't count!) - so, lower your expectations and be prepared for a damp squib... Will be back to myself soon enough, and a (hopefully) better post will soon be on its way (again, hopefully! And, now that you've been warned, you may proceed.)

Every little song playing in my head
makes me think of something you said,
turning the pages of the books I read
make me wonder if you've done the same.
When I see the bikes on the roads,
it makes me remember your words.
Every little thing, every little event,
makes me think of the times we spent.
And though it has been a very long while,
the memories can still make me smile.
Sometimes I play the 'what-if?' game,
and out of the blue, I hear your name.
At times I wish we could sit and analyze,
to see when things began to go wrong,
and it's only then that I realize
it's been this way all along.

(P.S. : I'd rather be spared being hit by slippers - if you use one for the hitting, the other half might be lonely... And, no thanks, no rotten food items either... If you think this is trash, please feel free to use my comments section or mail box to have your say! Thanks!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Random thoughts

Some random reflections on my life at the moment :

- My guitar classes seem to be more expensive than I initially thought - what else can you expect, if you have chocolate tart balls, muffins and coffee after the classes?

- I'm happy my fingers are finally reaching all the strings on the guitar. I'd have said that my fingers are now at ease with G- and C- strings, but it sounds rather awkward...

- the world seems to be obsessed with beautiful girls - first, there was this friend of mine, wondering if the new academic year would bring beautiful girls to the department. Then, there's this other friend of mine, who argues with us saying that a certain girl looks like Ash... And today, a schoolfriend had a status message saying something about beautiful girls and the workplace...

I was going to say something more, but distraction in the form of a chocolate tart has broken the flow...

Some lines I liked

Just felt like sharing few lines that I liked, from a book I've been reading:

           "...There's only one thing wrong with life : people don't love enough, they don't laugh enough- and they are too damned conventional. Even their love affairs are supposed to run true to form. But this is spontaneous. You walk down where the sailors are saying good-bye to their sweethearts because you said good-bye to one once. It's been raining a little, and their is a sort of melancholy tenderness in the air. You are remembering the past, not because of him, because his face and personality have faded, but because of the romance of saying good-bye, the smell of strange odors from foreign ports, the thoughts the ocean always brings to people - romance, color,distance. A sort of vague sadness that is almost a happiness..."