Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theorising.

Why does SRK wear the keffiyeh?


a. he likes wearing it.
b. he wants to experiment with table-cloths.
c. subtle advertising for his look in 'My name is Khan'
d. he's not aware that this look went out of fashion a year back.
e. his designer is not aware that this look is very last-year.
f. he wants to hide his surgery scars.
g. he wants to go back to his middle class roots with the gamcha look.
h. he secretly uses it to wipe perspiration when no-one's looking.



Ans: h

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keffiyeh.


He's ubercool. Seriously. Even if he's trying to look like a 20 year old in real life too. And even if in some, disenchanted moments, I feel that he's a pompous big-mouth.

Above, he's wearing the keffiyeh (an Arab scarf). And everywhere that Shahrukh goes, the keffiyeh is sure to go.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya- 4

"nine out of every ten people on this earth" says Carlyle, "are fools."

" how flawed democracy is as a concept because it helplessly relies on the rationality of the masses who are inherently irrational and are so deluded that they are sure of their own rationality and infallible judgment. "
(quoted out of context)


My search for an understanding of our democracy keeps pushing me into uncharted waters. :)
Sure, principally men are fools but democracy is, very simply defined, a system of governance, that has, through the trials and errors of history, been recognised as the best.Its not a debate on whether men have the capacity to choose what is best for them. Though incidentally , as Dumbledore told Harry, we do have a knack for choosing what's worst for us.
Its a question of the right to choose what we want that forms the keystone of the entire , massive , framework of a government that's by the people. They might for themselves, choose a government that throws them into the 19th century, or go back to the Harappan Civilization in a quest for self- sustenance. But if that means that they are happy at having beaten the recession ,then hey, democracy's worked. Though of course no one's going to like it without electricity, and personal computers and sales and motorcars and yada yada yada.

I remember the discussion a few of us were having the other day, where most of the people present so animatedly favoured congress.Once inside the ballot room though , they might push a thumb as easily for BJP. And that, in my eyes is the sheer beauty of our democracy.We choose freely what we want, without fear or favour.Even if its an extremist, separatist and up-in -the arms agenda that we vote for, we've got only our conscience, or the lack of it to answer to.And India has always, overwhelmingly, and completely chosen moderation over extremism. Throughout.Though its violence that catapults radical leaders. It was Godhra that made Modi.And I fear that 11/26 shall make another one.

Are we really free? I ask. I know that I am.But the rest?? The real India as i like calling them. Are they free?? Is there coercion and force and threats and bullets that, unknown to me force ballots? By all that I've come across, No.Though of course, my memory reminds me, the biryani that a party served at elections last in lieu of votes can be sufficiently called manipulative. But as I think deeper, its probably not.We vote for what's important for us, and if I think that a biryani that I have once in a red moon is incentive enough, I vote for that biryani.Period.


P.S : above quote taken from here

Friday, April 24, 2009

On A Personal Front.

Eliot knew something about my city, Eliot did. After the warmest winter I've experienced in my living memory And the cruelest April in 3 decades, I've really,truly and finally woken up to global warming. even though my neighbours are apparently unaffected. mere samne wali khidki mein They still sleep under those warm, soft fur blankets( no I'm not making this up, you can send it to Ripley's ).
So so thankfully,things have picked up from Jan and from the two exams that are over to bigger two that are coming and numerous twenty minute walks to neverland in the sweltering Kolkata midday heat to guarantee myself some bread and butter, to other stuff like espanol and reading things I had lined up for a long time and many more besides, I finally have something to do. I had experienced an absolutely horrible last half the year before, the likes of which I hadn't experienced in nearly two years preceeding that, and tis' not a fate I would wish on many. All work I had was non- stop nonconstructive activity from nine in the morning to five in the evening, often stretching to six or eight at night when I returned home, too exhausted to do any more, all building of myself gone to the dogs,and no light on the horizon. That hasn't changed by a large degree, but it has, and for now, it'll have to do.That was actually when I started this blog,sloppy as it was then, dripping with soggy, stupid posts. That too hasn't changed by a large degree but then again, it has. (:D)

One of my great, heroic ambitions in life is to stop procrastinating.Now, if you know me, you'll realise that's one tall order.But for now, I've procrastinated procrastination,and I shall take solace in that, though sadly, my experience tells me its not for long.As I see it,life is about to pick up further and id welcome that. from last April to this, it was a sea-change and not one that was particularly pleasant.But now, off I go to things that scream my (loving) attention.

On my book stand: 1. Inheritance of Loss
2. Shantaram.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hum Aise Kyun Hain??

Everyone is qualified to comment and opinionate on the great Indian democracy. The one Great, redeeming factor of the shambles that is our way of life. From rickshaw wallas to peons to the corporate honchos to the industrialist czars, all shall exercise, and all shall decide.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter.

Easter time, Easter time,
flowers bloom at Easter time.
There's a little bunny...........




Today, returning home, I saw the late spring flowers bloom. Reminded me of another day forgotten. sigh.



My ayah knows more than me about politics and as she told me the other day, she has already decided whom she'll vote for. She's voting for Mamta Bannerjee because Mamta has reduced her monthly train fare from Rs 220 to Rs 25. I'm happy for her. Considering that I've never been much of a fan of TMC, it might sound strange, but for all I care, she can even vote for Shiv Sena, Goonda sena, Mawali sena as long as they work for her upliftment. She is India in majority and I'm glad that the India in majority is changing. Becoming aware. Change, Obama wanted. Change, India needs.And we are but small agencies.

This brings me to another pertinent question: Vote for the candidate or vote for the party??I'd rather vote for a deserving candidate who'd see to it that my locality is not filthy but then looking at the bigger picture, ultimately a candidate will track on his party's ideologies. So it might make more sense to vote for what you believe in. Want.


Still Knowing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya- 2

This is in a continuing vein of my quest for political awareness. Turns out that a home upside down has its benefits after all. I found an Outlook dated last November with a cover story on Leftist Politics, which I (not unusually) devoured. Though its kind of embarrassing that I had to turn to that after 18 years of living in West Bengal. And from what I could gather,(which wasn't really much) I think that the Left is prone to dragging the economy towards the 20th century. 19th even, if only they were given half the chance. Though this is not to ignore the CPI(M)'s efforts in singur,and as they make no mistake in crowing about, they probably helped in making India reasonably crisis-proof in these worst of times.

But this might not have been such a great achievement anyways if we regard congress' socialist agendas. That certainly should have helped. Try coupling that with the red-flag waving party goondas I see round my city enforcing bandhs and placing banners and defacing my freshly painted walls, I find it a sorry picture. But in all fairness, had I lived in UP, I might have been saying the same for Congress. Never I mind. I'll just focus my attentions at what who's done and proposes to do.

On hindsight, the election tamasha dipped a scale lower, with Modi calling congress a budhiya and gudiya in turn. Methinks it was directed to Sonia and Priyanka respectively. Kudos to Congress for having always maintained the dignity of the electoral process and high offices. If anything, I can garauntee that we won't ever hear abuses being sent forth from 24, Akbar road.

They just won themselves another point.


Upcoming: An IPL post that has been brewing( like so many other posts) in my drafts for a long long time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Misconceptions.

Caught me saying that renovations take roughly a week?? Perhaps its just as well I abandoned maths. Its taken my home a conservative estimate of 20 days and still going strong. I'm no longer at the brink of insanity. I toppled over a week back. Whatever little is left is sustained by the smell of fresh paint.

I'm in love with smells- kerosene, petrol, turpentine. Wet earth after the rains. And oh, dust blowing before them. Hot, strong coffee. Unfiltered. Hot wafts of freshly baked cakes.The chilly stark smell of deep winter.........

I'm revising my earlier opinion of Meera Sanyal. Turns out she didn't quit her job at all, but has just taken a leave. That doesn't really take a He-Man courage. Though I stick to my statement that we need educated, young blood. So in a sense I'd still be rooting for this independent candidate had I lived in south Mumbai.

Well, someday......

P.S I think I finally managed to correct my blogger clock. :D ( yay me !!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hum to aise hain bhaiyya.

This is going to be the bloodiest election ever in the worlds largest and most thriving democracy.Ask me, I actually feel happy for it every time I cast my glance westwards ho(:D).An added incentive? I've just received my voters Id card. Though I still don't know if I`'ll vote and for whom.Politics in India is pretty disillusioning. Add petty and selfish to that too. Centuries after we decided we were one nation, we still have that to prove.Somehow the fact that the Indian state transcends regional identities has been an idea too difficult for our masses to fathom.And therein lies the problem. A problem so vast and so maddeningly complex, elucidating it feels completely and wholly out of my reach. I can only feel it. And bleed for it.


We don't need Shatrugan Sinha claiming that he is the "asli " bihari babu. We don't need a family of Thackerays claiming that Maharashtra is for the Maharashtrians. We dont need Varun( I find it shameful that he puts Gandhi after his name) wanting to cut hands and gouge eyes to prove his Hindu credentials.We don't need politics of hate and politics of shame. For all the seats that it may win, it only leaves us more bloodied and more scarred than before. Actually Im not even sure of that. It may win some seats at the regional level but to succed at the center we need secularism. Ask Rahul. Ask sonia. Ask priyanka. I don't think they'll be playing any kind of regional card soon. Over and above any kind of practical reason and benefits that it may entail, it is just not the legacy they've inherited. I do think that their beliefs and political ideologies have been shaped right from the pains of being a colony through the trauma of partition and the pangs of the indo-pak wars.


Though that is not the reason we should place congress in the circus at the centre.I just find it extremely heartening that the farmers are given such predominance in all its policies.If you look at the 1.1 billion population of india of which nearly 800 million is rural, I think that makes more sense than hankering after our IT industry which I think will manage to sustain itself anyways. Apparently India Rising and India shining somehow doesn't feed these stomachs and that's why we have all these farmer suicides.


Ive been pro congress since I was 8 I think, though then it was because it was the only name familiar to me. Im still very much pro congress though Id like to see and evaluate the kind of results acheived over the their past tenure before pushing the ballot button. Right now, all Im saying is that their manifesto looks far better than the Hindutva policies I see floating around. The muslims do not stay on in india at the mercy of the Hindus who were kind enough to take them in. It is as much their land as it is of them.


More than the Lalu Prasads ,we need the educated, young blood in the thrones of power. Not that I hold Lalu's lack of eductaion against him or am making a mistake of underestimating his shrewdness. A case in point is Meera Sanyal, contesting elections in south mumbai. for her I say she's got the guts. Not everyone would ditch a high profile career to descend into the murky cess pool of indian politics. ( she used to head ABN Amro) . Its taken her courage to do that without any chance of winning.She'll get what, some 10,000 odd votes from the likes of me?But she'll make herself heard. She's made a start.


And that heralds new beginings.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Klutz.

That was me, at my Spanish class today.Don't you ask me why do I have to learn it when I have trouble enough with the four I know. It was my idea of fun. Actually, that's the problem with most of my ideas- they rarely turn out the way i think they will. But that's not saying I ever regret them. It started off innocently enough( the course silly, not the class ), the fun I thought it would be, before nightmarish tests made it a big pain in the wrong place. But then again, that's not saying the incomparable joy of knowing something new and undiscovered faded. Its pretty much still there and is primarily responsible for dragging me off my bed at unearthly hours two times a week, every week.But I digress. So there we were, the very few of us ( majority being already disenchanted ) translating conversations into Spanish. I managed. Or so I thought before the check revealed gaping mistakes in my conversation.One that, for example, implied I change my name and identity from time to time. Though this is not what embarrassed me. Ive seen people do worse.
Trouble reared its ugly head in the form of my teacher asking me and another person to read out the conversation in Spanish. You might understand why I thought it would be difficult to do so. Anyways , to cut a long story short, I realized that there was no way I could have read out the part of the receptionist without making a fool of myself and so I wanted to take the part of the other character- a certain Mr Garcia. Guess what I end up saying?

Me: " May I take the part of Mr Gracias?"
( Gracias in Spanish means Thank You)
Roar of laughter.
Me: (mumbling) "uh, sorry. I didn't mean that. I meant Mr Garcia. sorry"
My Teacher : "De Nada, Miss perdón"
(perdón in spanish means sorry)
Another, bigger roar of laughter.

Fun enough for other people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool.

I spent almost the entire day trying to dream up a prank. And though I thunk and thunk, I wasn't successful . Well I could have fooled my cousin, but he is 7 yrs old and I don't think he counts. Though according to him, he makes a fool of me everyday( by doing things like telling me that my mum's calling me and when I discover that she isn't, there i am, the standing fool :D) . You'd think I would have wizened to this by now but the fact remains that if my mum's really calling me, then it'd get really difficult to explain why I didn't turn up.But I'm falling off the track.I also tried to fool N who just stared at me in the face and questioned: "April Fool??". Now that's embarrassing. It doesn't help you know. People are too aware. Perhaps the year next I'd dream up a perfect prank, the kind that seems too believeable not to believe. Something that might last as the memory of memories. Or I might just save myself all that trouble and fool people a day before or after- " advanced April Fool"; "belated April Fool."

nice??

My friends seem to think that I don't call them up or otherwise contact them for months on end. Now that's pretty strange because as far as I remember I'm the one doing all the calling.Though you wouldn't want to place your bets on someone who can't remember birthdays. But to be fair to me, thats nearly all that i've ever forgotten.And when people call up in moods its always smart not to challange them. Especially if they've got career breaking exams staring at them in the face. Not that im the one to fight on petty things but I do wish that the inherent beauty of flawless truth could have been exhibited.

Maybe another day.



Best of luck.