Thursday, February 28, 2008

The want doesn't diminish

I feel ache, desire, loneliness

The mixture is potent

Conflagration imminent

Making the peace is never easy

Sometimes I rail against the world for giving options that are not easy

Why should there be difficult choices?

Complex and complicated are on the same page

Complex is as complex was

Words strung together

Steel grey to a mild cherise

Colours depict our emotions

No rest for the wicked mind

Early deaths for the chosen ones

The mild winter gloom is dissipating

I feel enlivened with the rage

It dances in my mind like a pixie

The garden of life is not in bloom

She fades with the night time into nothingness

I want to feel at home

I want to sleep under the stars

I want to make my peace

I want my choices to make me

Monday, February 18, 2008

Outbursts of laughter

The pure joy of the moment

A meeting of the eyes

Shared glances

Story unfolds

Pune BarCamp

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My city

When Mumbai was burning I was eating panipuris. Sounds suitably dramatic. Well, Mumbai wasn't burning but I kept my panipuri date and my stomach came out better out of this ordeal that Mumbai was supposedly going through. I am sick of this bullshit we are being made to face. Politicians and their goonda supporters hold my city to siege and the common man suffers. As always....his plight (as an aside, why is it always common man and not woman I wonder?) is that of suffering, mute..sometimes it takes the shape of a violent outburst aimed at innocent people who are not party to anything.

What is this outsider business I ask? I am as good as Maharashtrian manoos as any..sorry bai as any..(not the servant wala bai for the udiots who walked in late) My grandparents made their lives here and some idiot turns around and tells me that I am an outsider. Go take a flying fuck is what I would say.

Dee and me did conversation about this. RT walks out of the court dressed like an American yeppie, his lawyer is a North Indian and he talks about sending North Indians back to their land. I once did a very nice conversation with a Banarasi rickshaw wala who told me that since the past 25 years Bumbai was his home. Like me and possibly thousands and dare I say millions of people, Bumbai had opened her heart to him and given him a place to stay and kept his family fed, educated and happy and giving him a living. His daughter was in school. I told him at the end of our rickshaw ride that it was important that she continue her education. I don't know if my words will have an effect or not but I would like to hope that it would.

This man made his life an open book to me. He has land back in his gaon, but the land wasn't able to sustain him and his family which is why he chose to move to Bumbai and make his life. So then Bumbai became his home. How does he become an outsider? Has he not been contributing to the city's economy? Has he not ferried people around the city? Has he not seen the city's slow deterioration from an open minded place to something that can be manipulated n used by an ever pliable and rabble rousing media?

I squarely blame the media who is 24/7 in our faces. There are stories plenty in my country but they are not sensationalist enough. Not enough sansanni! I had argued this previously with another friend when that Prince fiasco happened. While I do agree that Prince was saved that day only because of the unrelenting media attention, there were definitely more important pressing issues than Prince happening in the country at that time. But Prince, Prince - 24/7. We got the point. It was the same yesterday, the same shots of RT walking out of the court. The media allowed itself to be manipulated a limp rag doll, causing people to panic. Why should we allow ourselves to be used like this? Why show fear- bow down to the the *idea*, mind you the idea that there are people out there ready to attack us for no fault of ours.

Who decides who is an outsider? Society, laws, dumb, attention and vote seeking politicians? I wonder. Where does the line get drawn that you are one of us or the alienated other?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Harley Davidson Museum

Harley Davidson Museum...wheeee...Once I go to Ummarica I go see it of course ...Read more here

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shame shame shame

The Kolkata Museum is embroiled in a scam. Antiques must surely have been siphoned off and hopefully this will not be swept under carpets. Read more here

Reading at Xaviers, originally uploaded by KittyKaht.

Books- I have been devouring them by the dozen and this I say without any exaggeration for the past two-three weeks. I finish one and I start the other...I can't stop and there is like a force inside me saying read, read, read...Amongst the books I read so far, Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of an Orange n Blackberry Wine stand out. Read this book by Muriel Maufroy – Rumi's Daughter. V v nice. Made me v philosophical for that one nite. I read tht one start to finish. Could not stop. U read the book and you stop to think- wot is the point. Feel like there should be more. Are we already living that 'more' or wot?

I watched Musafir today – the Big T recommended it as an optimized Hindi movie to me. The back of the DVD cover read – No Justification, Only Gratification. Umm...I am nt sure I was gratified. Guys would have been gratified with the hot babes – Koena highly sucky and doing some sudsy dance with Anil Kapoor leching at her. Then it is Sunju Baba's turn to lech at her. Mahesh Manjrekar was truly creepy and disgusting and he made my skin crawl. Sameera just should nt have bothered with the clothes. Totally pointless. Action – all rubbish. Highlight was Sunju Baba's lines. jhakaas and value for money.

I have decided to do my South trip. I have some ideas abt dates. Lets see how it all goes. The road to good intentions is cobbled with stones from hell. (Poetic license I am allowed) :D

Sun kissed roads

Warm blue air

Scent of the bumble bee

Flowers strewn everywhere

The yellowed meadows

Trees lit with an incandescent light

The birds dancing with the currents

The blackberries ripe with their juice

The apple green of the new born leaf

The colour so rich it startles me

Colours everywhere..they surround us

Yet we don't see

We choose to to be indifferent

Living average Joe lives

Smell Feel Sense Touch Live

Should be the new mantra

Whispered n yelled with fervour

It would let us unfurl

Like a butterfly in the sun

Friday, February 08, 2008

The subversion of history

A friend sent me this email. I hate it absolutely when situations like these occur!

There has been a large demonstration at the Univ. of Delhi and at our dept against a text in the 2nd year, an essay on the many Ramayanas by the late AK Ramanujan. The protests continue.The main one was by the ABVP- the student wing of the BJP. One MP even claimed the writings were by one Dept. member who happens to be the PM's daughter. She is indeed in the Dept. but this is not an accurate representation of the way the course was drawn up and needless to add the essay in question was authored by a ( now deceased) scholar. We have issued a statement that has also been backed by the Univ. leadership.


IN ITS MEETING OF 04/02/2008

  1. A number of groups have organised protest and have raised objections to the inclusion of an essay by (late) A. K. Ramanujan, titled “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation”. The essay had been published in Vinay Dharwadker (ed.) The Collected Essays of A. K. Ramanujan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 131-60; [this was an expanded version of a piece that first appeared in Paula Richman (ed.) Many Ramayanas: The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991]. The said essay is one of the readings for the Delhi University concurrent course on Ancient Indian Culture in the B. A. (Honours) programme, which has been offered in several Colleges from July 2006 onwards.

  1. The sole purpose of this course is to create an awareness and understanding of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of ancient India among students, and to acquaint them with original sources. Apart from the reading mentioned in the letter, the course includes readings on Kalidasa’s poetry, Jataka stories, ancient Tamil poets and poetry, ancient iconography, and the modern history of ancient artifacts. The essay is part of a unit titled ‘The Ramayana and Mahabharata – stories, characters, versions.’ It is accompanied by an excerpt from Iravati Karve’s book, Yuganta: The end of an epoch. Supplementary readings include the Introduction of Robert P. Goldman’s The Ramayana of Valmiki: an epic of ancient India (the most recent and most authoritative English translation of the epic), which gives a detailed, scholarly introduction to the Valmiki Ramayana.

  1. The late A. K. Ramanujan (recipient of several honours, including the Padmashri) was a widely acclaimed scholar with impeccable academic credentials. His expertise in a range of languages including Sanskrit, Tamil and Kannada was perhaps without parallel. His credentials as a scholar, writer, and teacher with extensive knowledge of ancient Indian literary traditions are incontestable. It is sad to see his name and work being subjected so such ill-informed controversy. In the article in question, he illustrates and analyses the great dynamism and variety in what he describes as ‘tellings’ of the story of Rama within India and across the world.

  1. The concurrent course on Ancient Indian Culture and the readings for it went through the same procedure as all other courses in the University of Delhi pass before being adopted. The readings have not been devised or ‘compiled’ by any individual. Like all the other University courses, they are the product of a consultative process involving many members of the University community. The content and readings for this course were discussed extensively among Department members and College teachers, and were approved through the regular University procedures in statutory bodies, namely the Committee of Courses, Faculty of Social Sciences, Academic Council, and the Executive Council, which include teachers of all disciplines. The Academic Council is the highest statutory body on academic matters in the University.

    5. We would like to emphasize that there is no published compilation of the course readings by Dr. Upinder Singh or any other member of the Department of History. However, it has come to our notice that there is a spiral-bound collection of photocopies of the individual articles and excerpts related to this course at certain photocopying shops. This set of photocopies has a covering page on which Dr. Upinder Singh’s name has been typed, without any authorization whatsoever, as a ‘compiler.’ It is this collection of photocopies that is being incorrectly described as a ‘book’ compiled by her. There is in fact no book.

    6. When readings are prescribed in a course, it is not essential that the course-designers, teachers, or students should agree with or defend each and every word therein. In fact debate, dissent, and dialogue are important parts of the discipline of history. It may be pointed out that the terms that have apparently caused offence to certain individuals should in no way be construed as mischievous or slanderous. There is no question whatsoever of intending or attempting to denigrate or hurt the sentiments of any culture, religion, tradition, or community.

    7. The aim of the course in question is to teach University students (who are, after all, young adults) to be able to analyze a variety of source material academically, analytically, and without embarrassment or denigration. That is the spirit in which the course was framed and that is the spirit in which we believe it is being taught.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Weekends n more

I did loads of stuff this weekend :) Friday nite, went to dance class after 2 weeks and I died. 2 hr dance class and buddhi like me..mins total out of breath etc..At 9.20 pm I was begging instructor, please lets stop and go home. All the college kids come fresh and they r like 16 yrs oldness I felt.

Sat afternoon I went to Strand and bought 4 books. Premise sounded damn interesting for all of them. Bought When the Women Come Out to Dance, A Wild Sheep Chase, Mr Phillips, Still Life of a Woodpecker. I didn't know it was a love story - the last book that is :) Dee wanted Egypt book so bought her the book I found which was not coffee table types..

Went to Chowpatty and had Sharmajee's pani puri made Big T style..tingle tingle went my tastebuds with the chilli :) Loved it although could not handle more than 2 of those things before I had meetha pani too. Went forward march to Mondy's from there and had a brilliant time there chugging shandy. Nice end to my evening with a bike ride back home.

Sunday afternoon lunch at S's was divine. Crab curry, ate crab for the first time in my life. Had to fite with my food to get to it but was assured that end result would be good so continued on valiantly. Yummy dessert followed- chocolate mousse and fruit salad in custard (Lip smacking ensued)

Went to NCPA to watch my first Western classical music concert. Loved it. :D Was a bootiful concert. F told us when we shd clap and when we should not. Violinist was splendid too, bloddy splendid I mite add :) Went to Bachelors after this and had the most awesome ice cream - chilli wala and then fresh strawberries and cream - total yumminess incarnate! Came back home and slept like a baby and back to Monday grind again.