Thursday, November 30, 2006

Golden Gate - Vikram Seth

A mockingbird with chacks and whistles
Liquidly aviating through
A sky of Californian blue

No wistfulness but rather laughter
Tinges their speech. Do they refer
To different beings? Even after
She says to him and he to her
That first love's best by definition
They seem to state a proposition
So distant from their lives that they
Are quite untouched by it today.

There is more but you should read..its amazing stuff :)

Movies I saw ...

So Saturday I saw Dhoom 2 and oh my lord!! I howled with laughter through that whole phillum! I went with office colleagues and we were the only ones laughing our arses off! The whole theatre watching so intensely!! Ash was terrible, so terrible wanted to give her one tite slep everytime she came and even opened her mouth! The whole phillum is epitomized rt at the end, when AB says, "Yeh sab bakwaas hai!" Bas, so true man that was!!

Bips was bekaar, Ash was bekaar, Uday toh bas bolo hi mat, AB I don't know why he was there..Hrithik perhaps does a decent job...I think although not good scene is when Hrithik and AB have a drink together and talk oh so casually about killing each other (a rip off from Heat starring Robert de Niro and Al Pacino - that scene is so sexxy here) - good that was...Aur haan the Baywatch wala scene...nice touch tht was....:)

Fucking Ash with her bloddy Krazzzzy Kiya re bullshit and nonsensical clothes..bloddy Bips with her Shonali and Monali act (wanted to do slep to her too!)

Then yest went with Puttar to see Casino Royale- wot an amazing phillum..Loved Daniel Craig...niceness that was man...amazing action, great acting by the man and well some scenes are super charged - the 2nd scene in the film where he is chasing that African dude and the cardiac arrest wala scene..awesomeness indeed it was !!! this with the crap I saw on Sat and I am almost indignant at the waste of money flying people to Rio and doing dance there and all that crap!

Now enuf said and done for today..adieu pour maintenant! Bon Jovi as someone I know would say!! Hhahahahahhahahhhahaahahahhahahahhahhha

Some more stuff

Nessie is a better-known Scot than Robert Burns or Sean Connery, according to a survey. More than 2,000 adults across the UK were asked to say who they believed to be Scotland's most famous figure. Can you believe that they voted for the Loch Ness monster over other people? The other names in the top 10 were William Wallace, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, Lorraine Kelly, Ewan McGregor and Lulu. (Who the f is Lulu man?????)

A Doncaster pub has the country's youngest bartender - Chris Hardacre, who is just 12 years old. The law now allows him to serve behind the bar - with adult supervision - but not to drink the profits.Regulars at the Star (which is the pub) said they liked the father-and-son combination, though all said Chris was better-looking than his dad.

Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny has been accused by President Laurent Gbagbo of acting seditiously for publicly criticising him.The recent United Nations resolution 1721, which is designed to drive the war-divided country to free and fair elections, attempted to give more power to the prime minister.However, President Gbagbo said the resolution would not be carried out if it clashed with the Ivorian constitution.Since then Ivory Coast has been waiting for a trial of strength between the president and prime minister. Few would have expected it to come over the emotionally charged issue of the toxic waste scandal. (Fucking hell, toxic waste is an emotionally charged issue!!!)

This stuff is so funny!

Thakkar enlightened me on this one...fundooo hai baap! I mean I do realise Indian English is like this but still some howlarious stuff man....

Some excerpts from above linked article:-

John Lawler of the University of Michigan observes the following anomalies in the grammar of Indian English:
  • The progressive tense in stative verbs: I am understanding it. She is knowing the answer.; an influence of traditional Hindi grammar, it is more common in northern states.
  • Variations in noun number and determiners: He performed many charities. She loves to pull your legs.
  • Tag questions: The use of "isn't it?" and "no?" as general question tags, as in You're going, isn't it? instead of You're going, aren't you?, and He's here, no? ('na' often replaces 'no')
In addition to Lawler's observations, other unique patterns are also standard and will frequently be encountered in Indian English:
  • Anglicisation of Indian words especially in Chennai by adding "ify" to a local Tamil word. (This is so true! I remember Anticaps asking me about this one...)
  • Use of the plural ladies for a single lady or a woman of respect, as in "There was a ladies at the phone."
  • Use of "open" and "close" instead of switch/turn on/off, as in "Open the air conditioner" instead of "Turn on the air conditioner", and "Open your shirt" for "Take off your shirt." This construction is also found in Quebec English.
  • Use of "current went" and "current came" for "The power went out" and "The power came back"
  • Creation of nonsensical, rhyming double-words to denote generality of idea or act, a 'totality' of the word's denotation, as in "No more ice-cream-fice-cream for you!", "Let's go have some chai-vai (tea, "tea and stuff")." or "There's a lot of this fighting-witing going on in the neighbourhood." (Prevalent mainly in Hindi- and Punjabi-speaking states.)
  • Use of "baazi"/"baaji" or "-giri" for the same purpose, as in "business-baazi" or "cheating-giri." (Also prevalent mainly in Hindi-speaking states.)
  • Use of word "wallah" to denote occupation or 'doing of/involvement in doing' something, as in "The taxi-wallah overcharged me.", "The grocery-wallah sells fresh fruit." or "He's a real music-wallah: his CD collection is huge."
Idioms and Popular Phrases:
  • "Out of station" to mean "out of town".
  • "Join duty" to mean "reporting to work for the first time". "Rejoin duty" is to come back to work after a vacation.
  • "Hello, What do you want?": used by some when answering a phone call, not perceived as impolite by most Indians
  • What a nonsense/silly you are!" or "Don't be doing such nonsense anymore.": occasional - idiomatic use of nonsense/silly as nouns
  • "tight slap" to mean "hard slap" (This should have been tite slep)
Anamolous Usage:
  • "Revert" used to mean "reply to." ("Why have you not reverted my letter?" meaning "Why have you not replied to my letter?")
  • The word "healthy" to refer to fat people, in North India in general and in Bihar in particular as in "His build is on the healthy side" to refer to a positively overweight person. It is used because most people who are thin often suffer from many diseases. People presume that if a person is in a financial position to get fat he musn't suffer from diseases i.e. he must be healthy
  • The expression "my dear", used as an adjective to refer a likeable person. as in "He is a my dear person." Very common in Bihar. (How the heck does he know this one?)
  • Use of "reduce" to mean "lose weight." "Have you reduced?" (So fucking true)
  • It is very common to notice Indian speakers adding "no" as a suffix at the end of a sentence to emphasize a particular point.:For example, "I told you no?!" in Indian English means "Didn't I tell you?"
Words unique to Indian English:
  • French beard to mean a moustache and goatee that wrap around the mouth. (Mins that makes it sound like a monster no??)
  • would-be (fiancĂ©/fiancĂ©e) (Howlarious and so true)
Bas khatam and I am posting some more now :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A fundoo article by Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian

Tony, jagshemash! Jagshemash, Elizabeth! President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, cordially received in London this week by Tony Blair and Her Majesty the Queen, has proved himself to be a really good sport by taking humorously the satirical portrayal of his country in Sacha Baron Cohen's film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. "This film was created by a comedian, so let's laugh at it," said the genial president at a joint press conference with Tony Blair, earning praise from the Sun. Good old Nursultan, friend of Britain, Dick Cheney, BP, Chevron and Shell.

So, in this spirit of all-round bonhomie, let's have a few more Kazakh jokes. Have you heard the one about Sergei Duvanov, a real-life Kazakh journalist imprisoned on probably trumped-up charges of child rape after publishing articles about Nazarbayev's alleged Swiss bank accounts? Or the one about the opposition leader Zamanbek Nurkadilov, found shot dead on the floor of his billiards room shortly before the presidential election, which confirmed Nazarbayev in office with a claimed majority of 91%? Or the one about Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, another opposition leader gunned to death in his car earlier this year? Great jokes, don't you think? They must have been killing themselves with laughter.

As you will not have gathered from anything said by the prime minister, Kazakhstan is a hugely corrupt dictatorship with a dismal human rights record; a supine judiciary; controlled or intimidated media; and elections that do not, to put it very mildly, come up to the standards of Europe's leading election monitors, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). President Nazarbayev, having been head of the Kazakh Communist party and the last president of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, has been the president of the newly independent country since 1991, and has now been re-elected until 2013.

According to some reports, Sultan Nursultan may now be one of the world's richest men, but he has not kept his wealth to himself; he has spread it most generously around his immediate and extended family, who control much of the media and many state-owned companies. After socialism in one country, there is capitalism in one family.

I hasten to add (lest a Kazakh joke proves to be no laughing matter) that there is, so far as I know, no evidence linking the Nazarbayev family directly to either of these mysterious deaths. What we can definitely say, however, drawing on evidence from many independent reports, is that Kazakhstan has a climate of corruption, lawlessness and lack of democratic accountability in which such things are liable to happen.

Guardian readers will not be so naive as to ask: "Why, then, the red carpet treatment at No 10 and Buckingham Palace?" But let me just put a few figures on the answer you have already arrived at. Proved reserves of oil, 26bn barrels; proved reserves of gas, 3 trillion cubic metres (both 2004 estimates, according to the current CIA World Factbook). There are also major reserves of chromium, lead, zinc, copper, coal, iron, gold, etc, across this vast, sparsely populated country, whose westernmost end is closer to Hamburg than it is to the country's easternmost tip, which borders on China.

Britain is the second biggest foreign investor in Kazakhstan, after the US. And the west is engaged in a new, triangular great game - competing with our traditional rival Russia and, increasingly, China to control these vital resources. Last year, China National Petroleum brought PetroKazakhstan for $4.2bn, and a pipeline is to be built all the way to China. Meanwhile, Britain and America are trying to persuade the genial Sultan Nursultan to link Kazakhstan's Caspian oilfields with a westward pipeline across Turkey. Need I say more? (The services Kazakhstan might render as an ally in the war on terror have also been a consideration, particularly in Washington, but are probably a secondary concern here.)

You may think I'm leading up to the conclusion that President Nazarbayev should not have been made so welcome in London. Human rights should come before oil. Certainly, all my instincts pull in that direction. If the human-rights situation gets worse, not better, in Kazakhstan, Buckingham Palace may one day remember this visit with as much embarrassment as it does - I hope - the even more splendid welcome given to President Nicolae and Madame Elena Ceausescu of Romania. Remember the wonderful Private Eye cover of the Ceausescus with the Queen and Prince Philip in full evening dress at a state banquet. In speech bubbles, the Duke says: "And does he have any hobbies?" Elena Ceausescu: "He's a mass murderer." The Queen: "How very interesting."

One can, however, argue that it's a gamble worth taking. There are significant interests at stake, both economic and geopolitical. Measured by the standards of contemporary Europe, Kazakhstan is a dictatorship; measured by those of its central Asian neighbours, such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, it's the best of a bad bunch. Regular visitors tell me there are signs that wealth is beginning to trickle down to start the formation of a more independent-minded middle class. The more involved we are, the more possibilities of influence we have - and you can be sure that China and Russia won't impose any human rights conditions. Often a policy of constructive engagement can move an authoritarian regime towards reform more effectively than one of isolation. This is what I call "offensive detente".

But there must be very clear limits and there must be plain speaking at the end of the red carpet. We should not pretend, to ourselves or anyone else, that Kazakhstan is a democracy or a free country - as we used to pretend with friendly dictators in Latin America during the cold war. At the same time as engaging with the Nazarbayev regime, we should actively support the growth of independent media, an independent judiciary, civil society, alternative political parties and so on. Offensive detente always has two tracks.

And sometimes we must just say no. Kazakhstan, which claims to be part of Europe because a fraction of its territory lies west of the Ural river, came to London seeking British support for its bid to chair the OSCE in 2009. It would be ridiculous beyond words if a country whose elections have fallen so far short of OSCE standards, as has its record on human rights and media independence, were to be given this position. Think Mel Gibson as chair of Alcoholics Anonymous, Jack the Ripper in charge of marriage counselling - or Borat being responsible for accuracy in journalism.

So what response did President Nazarbayev get from Tony Blair and the British government? I asked the Foreign Office and was given this strip of damp flannel as an official response: "Long term a Kazakh chair would be good for us all. But it is important that any prospective chair exemplifies the standards of the organisation in all dimensions. We and our EU partners will continue to discuss the matter with the Kazakh government in the lead-up to the OSCE Brussels ministerial meeting this December." How many words does it take to say no? From the Foreign Office, during an official visit, the answer is: 55.

This is a beautiful article and so well written where he does kill of all these fuckers..nice eet ees

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Close calls and some asides

Feeling like this today.....very strange day it has been indeed. This morning had to go for an appointment to Vile Parle and this is what happened...Wadala, I look at the rising sun and feel happy about life. Two minutes later, the happiness disintegrated. The train rolled to a stop and people started saying someone must have died etcetc..I had been in sitn before but no one had fucking died....well life is shitty enough I guess..

This 30 yr old dude (how the fuck did the guard know tht man??) had gone to shit and fucking died on the tracks ...two trains before ours had knocked him down...women in the train fell all over themselves to check out the body...wot morbid fascination we have with death!

Of course, it is bound to happen that the moment I get out of the train, I see the dead body being taken out. I refused to look and only saw the dead man's leg had been completely ripped off leaving behind only half a stump..the image has stayed in my head...

If this morning was not bad enough, this evening..I get the pyscho rickshaw driver. He was driving fast which was ok, I am used to that..Didnt like the way he was dng corners but said nothing..then the chut decides to take this corner and fucking shoots in front of a car...I mean I almost died...[nothing flashed in front of my eyes] and I yelled at the dude! He then proceeded to run into a 2 foot hole in the road (not a pothole but an actual hole) and I felt the rick go down and thought, boss chalo end of time has happened. We r gng to topple and my kingdom will be come hone wala hai...

He managed to right himself and I gave him such a tongue lashin. I was shit scared but after that he drove more sedately, hallelujah to that..had to sit in the contraption for a few minutes more and then we were done! Took bus and was still shaken with chamaat giri day has been...

Some asides: Read 'The Siege of Mithila' by Ashok Banker- Book Two in the series. It sounded like LOTR...I read it and thought LOTR rip off it is...he has managed to humanize the character but boss when Sita starts saying, "The Seven have started walking as One. Its a fight between the Lord of Light and Lord of Darkness until one survives" and I start thinking...henh mins sounds familiar types.....:P

I went to Hard Rock Cafe this Sat and had a blast. Awesome music, nice decor, reasonable booze and just good ole fun was had by me in the company of friends, quite the niceness it was....People asked me if it was first time there and if I had been to others. Hmm..never..and I would love to see how the others are if this one was so good...

Friday, November 17, 2006

So the man who said, "there's no such thing as a free lunch" is dead....tht is sad news...sadness indeeed eeeet b...The dude's name was Milton Friedman who died at the age of 94. God bless him!

I bought my first wine book from Crosswords. This would make it the 3rd wine book I would have read when I read it..wheee. I am so excited....wheeee...

Monday, November 13, 2006

I be back...

After a hiatus, I am back..I wanted to write..thought of things to write but did give up....

Yest nite was a super time..went to Gurujee's house, he made chikan fr us..Dee, me, Puttar and Gurujee had excellent conversation, we sang gaanas, watched the mother of all movies- Sholay! Me and Dee drank Riesling and Chenin Blanc..I am such a wine that about basically stayed awake the whole nite...and went to the evergreen IIT institution- Madumess and ate dal vada, medu vada, onion dosa and kapi at 5.30 am in the was fucking pure joyy!!

Its nice to meet with friends, have conversation, talk shit and eat good food..small pleasures of life I daresay :)

An article Anticaps showed and I thought it was interesting please do read.. and Anticaps loved these lines so I b putting them here for posterity..

"Every novel is an equal collaboration between the writer and the reader and it is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy.

I have spent my life in conversations with people I have never seen, with people I will never know and I hope to continue until the day I stop breathing."

Bootiful innit? Adieu for now

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I spoke about this to a friend sometime back and it stuck in my head..thought should blurt it out on the blog as well. I read Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh and there were lines in that book about the smells. How the female protagonist, an Indian living in America felt that the smells of her house followed her to the playground leading to other children making fun of her and those smells that lingered on.

Smells are so distinctive..I mean I go abroad, come back and the smell of Bombay hits you when you step on that airport tarmac. Such an unique smell it is redolent of slums, ammonia and other things and there is no other city which can replicate it. Each city has a smell...its like Manchester's Curry Lane, which I used to live next to, again smells so strong of spices and Indian/Bangladeshi food.

I wonder when I used to cook at home with my turmeric, garam masala powder, how would a foreign person think about those smells? Would it repel, attract, interest or disgust people? Most people I have met like the smells of Indian cooking but not everyone and Indians abroad are distinguished by the smell of curry, something I remember someone telling me. I would hate to step out of my house smelling of curry!!

Smells are about places, that chocolate you had here..the perfume someone gave you, the acidic and fried up smell of fish which I don't like very next time you step out, raise that nose in the air and smell it up....:)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Archaeological stuff...

My first love was archaeology before I discovered calling with museums and museum education!! Here's an article I found..very interesting I thought..

The earliest confirmed autopsy in North America was conducted more than 400 years ago by French colonists desperate to determine what was killing them as they endured a rugged winter on St. Croix Island, scientists concluded.

A team of forensic anthropologists from the United States and Canada confirmed that the skull of a man buried on the island over the winter of 1604-05 showed evidence of having undergone an autopsy, scientists said.

Nearly half of the 79 settlers led by explorers Pierre Dugua and Samuel Champlain died over that winter from malnutrition and the harsh weather.

The skull in question was discovered during excavations by the National Park Service in June 2003. The top of the skull had been removed to expose the brain; the skull cap was replaced before the body was buried, the scientists said.

"This is the same procedure that forensic pathologists use to conduct autopsies today," said Thomas Crist from Utica College in upstate New York, who led the team of forensic anthropologists analyzing the remains.

The conclusion, announced by the National Park Service, will be the subject of a program on the Discovery Health Channel series "Skeleton Stories" on Nov. 10.

The findings fit with the writings of Champlain, who described a dire situation in his memoirs published in 1613. He wrote that his barber-surgeon was ordered to "open several of the men to determine the cause of their illness."

Dugua, a nobleman known as Sieur de Mons, chose the small island in the St. Croix River that separates what's now Maine and New Brunswick. The settlers cleared a site, planted gardens and erected dwellings including a kitchen, storehouse, blacksmith shop and chapel.

But the winter was harsh, with the first snow falling in October, not long after Champlain returned from a historic voyage to Mount Desert Island. Thirty-five of the settlers died and were buried on the island.

Scientists using modern techniques have concluded that the French settlers died from scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C.

A ship arrived in June with supplies. Dugua then moved the settlement to Nova Scotia at a spot Champlain named Port Royal. The St. Croix settlement turned out to be short-lived but it gave the French credit for beating the English to establish a permanent presence in the New World.

The graves were originally excavated in 1969 by a team from Temple University. Decades later, the remains were re-interred by the National Park Service after consultation with the French and Canadian governments.

The excavation project, in 2003, was led by Steven Pendery from the National Park Service's Northeast Region Archaeology Program.It was during that process of reburial that the team members were at the site discussing Champlain's journal reference to autopsy, said Marcella Sorg, Maine state forensic anthropologist, who was part of the team.

Sorg said she looked down and noticed the skull with the autopsy cuts that apparently had been overlooked during previous excavations. "It was beautifully done, a very straight cut, and very accurate," she said.

There have been written references suggesting earlier autopsies as Jacques Cartier explored what's now Quebec in the 1500s, but there's no skeletal evidence, said Sorg, who works with the University of Maine's Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.