Thursday, April 28, 2005

Farenheit 4/27

Sooner, rather than later, I'm going to be reduced to a charred stump or a pool of sweat on the hot-tyre burning roads of Chennai.
Both promise rather gruesome deaths, but if I had a choice, I'd like to be cremated as a pool of sweat. Don't ask me how.
However, I'm afraid, I'm not going to have my say, because:

God gave Noah the rainbow sign
"No more water, the fire next time!"

* * *

My cook quit.
One more day of putting up with her lack of culinary skills, and hopefully I'll never see her weild the ladle in my kitchen again! I know people can be upset when cooks vanish without much warning, but i'm now basking in the pure pleasure of not having to suffer her food anymore.
I've decided that I' ll be happy for a little while before I start worrying about finding someone else.
Just a wee bit of a while.

* * *

It would be difficult to work in an information vaccum. Hmmmm. It is.

* * *
Quite unrelatedly, I hate to be sounding like a broken record, but I still want more replies from people who have been to blogger meets in Bangalore/Hyderabad/Delhi/Mumbai, before I can sit down to write my story. So, please tell people you know in those places to drop a valuable, publication-worthy comment! :)


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Blind E in my bonnet

I have an E (read Housefly) in my bonnet. A visually impaired E at that.
Maybe not a capital E, but just an e and it has been with me for a week now. It clearly cannot see and keeps buzzing furiously around my head as I sit on my couch every morning. As I read my newspaper, and reach out for the remote to switch on the TV, this E buzzes whiningly in my ear.
And then she, I'd rather it is not a he, will swim right across my line of vision and settle on my nose. I'd have to flip her away and she'd settle on my ear... my forehead... my braid.
My mom used to call these types the 'kuruttu e" and say they keep flying around you because they cannot find their way out of a door or window. My mother's words echoing in my ears, I tried to gently show Ms.E her way out.
I'm telling you I TRIED! But she won't get out of the trajectory that passes in front of my eyes, over my forehead, my mouth and nose. I hear her now go "Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" as I glimpse her at the edge of the line of my vision. My poor blind Ms.E refuses to go away.


This doesn't mean comments are no longer welcome on the Blogger Meet post. Since I don't have enough meat to complete my story, it is indeed open still and yes, do remember to tell your blogger mates to drop by and talk about their experience, whichever part of the world they come from.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Blogger Meets: A mini-poll

God and most bloggers who come this way know I've been putting this off for too long.
I do have a deadline and I cannot push it beyond death. So, here goes...

It is not the first time I am going to write a blog/blog-related story, but it certainly is the first time I'm going pull comments off my comment box and put them in a newspaper. To be precise, The Hindu's Sunday Magazine. This is the peg:

Bloggers take their passion out of the web. As we all know, bloggers meets happen with stunning irregularity all over the world. And more specifically most of our Indian cities. So much so, it has emerged as a different, though niche, lifestyle trend. Has it? The indications are there and after our story, it just wont have a hope in hell to be otherwise! :)
Jokes apart, the success of this story depends on all of you. I'd be grateful if anyone who has attended even half a blogger's meet can respond on this site. Especially those who have been to such meets in more than one city.

These are some of the questions you could answer:

*How long have you been a blogger?
*How many Blogger Meets have you attended? In which city/cities?
*What do you expect out of a Blogger Meet? What do you get (what are the topics of discussion)
*If you have not been to one yet, why? What keeps you?
*Any particularly significant thing happen to you at the meeting? (did you eat chilli bajjis at the Marina for the first time/did you meet your spouse there/ did anyone have a heart attack etc...)
Please do anwer and you might be quoted in The (new look) Hindu. That's the carrot. No stick.

May the Force be with all those who answer. Er...and all those who dont too!


Part 1 of Part 2 :Thank you very much for all the responses. You have all been a great help, whether you've been to blogger meets or not.
Part 2 of Part 2 : I'm also seeking to establish unique habits to each city's blogging groups. For instance, the MArina or a coffee shop in Chennai. Similarly, where do people meet in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi? or even the US?
I would appreciate some information on these aspects. If some of you can get bloggers from other states to respond to this, nothing like it!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Thiruttu Malli...

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Iravu 12 manikku, pakkathu veetu malli vasam manasai thulaikkuthe- mooku vazhiyaga!


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mount Road Mahavishnu doffs the old, dons the new...

I know I promised to post about something else, but it is not time yet. Because, history intervened. Living history.
This might sound vain to some, but honestly, it did feel good to be awake to see the birth of the new look The Hindu. A wide range of comments have been coming in from various quarters, responding to the sudden change that caught up with them this Tamil New Year's day - most of it is flattering, some of it quite uncomplimentary. We take it all in our stride.
But this is about being in the throes of birth. Guys who have been in delivery rooms watching their wives give birth will know what I am talking about. It was a grand launch party at the Park Sheraton, where the who's who of Chennai turned up, their curiosity awakened by the teaser invites that The Hindu had sent out, stoked further after the presentation by our architect-designer Mario Garcia. As the young night grew old, our invitees were soon waiting for the morrow, for the new look paper that they had heard so much about.
Just as we were. We din't have to wait that long though. Being in a newspaper and hanging around the newsrooms at unholy hours will enable you to catch the newspaper as it rolls off the printing press. And grin wide. We seem to have pulled it off.
Have we? We realise only you can tell us...


For the benefit of online users of The Hindu, this is how we look now... The (new look) Hindu.
In pdf and takes a while to download, but...


Saturday, April 09, 2005

How Chandrahasan Nair stopped writing...

It is not clear when Chandrahasan Nair accquired the talent, so it is widely believed that he was born with it.
Critics have speculated about the source of the magical-genius of the writer, but the amazing fact of the case was simple: Anything Chandrahasan Nair wrote came true. In some corner of this wide world, the characters of his story played out their roles, in just the manner he fancied for them.
Chandrahasan had known this even before the world caught on. And he was clever enough to capitalise on it early. Small nasty things would happen to classmates who bullied him, disabling them temporarily. Encouraged by the astounding success over writing up an impossible punishment for Balan teacher who had failed him in mathematics, (the teacher woke up one morning to find his lips sewn together inexplicably), Chandrahasan dared to influence
matters- small and large- in his little village in Palakkad. He even willed publishers to find him. They did. And came in droves.
The world, slowly, caught on. He became an enigma, a riddle, a godman, a seer, a charlatan, a king-maker, why even, God! Devout Hindu readers even dared to equal him with the Creator, calling him "Brahmahasan." Politicians and businessmen from all parts of the country flocked to him, urging him to write their futures into power, glory and prosperity.
But the man who had made the universe's tongue wag both ways, was now pacing restlessly among the banana stems growing in the backyard of his home. With one end of his white dhoti clutched nervously between his lips, he was absent mindely shredding the green leaves of the banana shoots, as he walked.
"Eda, Monne!" The shrill cry tore into Chandrahasan muddled mind and stopped him in his tracks. As it usually did. "Have you gone mad? Why are you ruining those leaves. I was going to use them for the feast to night. Tch! Now, you just have to write up some leaves for us..."
Chandrahasan sighed! This was precisely what frustrated him. The world did not know, but he knew that he wrote only what his mother wanted him to write; that his power was inextricably linked to his mother's whims and fancies. For fifty years, he found himself being suffocated by the mind of his mother, even as he remained wound around her stub little finger.
For her, he had written wealth, banana groves, palatial bungalows, cardamom plantations, why, even the death of a few men and women who had become incovenient to the businessmen and politicians who flocked to seek his favour. As they plied him with money and urged him to write a particular tale, his mother would wait surreptitously in the shadows of the room, listening, calculating. After they left, he wrote the stories she bade him to. Making lives, giving some, and yes, taking many.
He was tired of it. Of his mother, the control she had over his life, the crimes she made him commit, the splendid isolation of both their lives. It had to end, he told himself, chewing the tip of his greying moustache.

* * *

That night at the feast, thrown in honour of a few Communist politicians, Amme sat at the tail of the table, silently listening, calculating, eating her favourite fish curry heartily. Suddenly, without warning, she clutched at her throat, choking and gagging. As she spluttered, she looked wildly for her son, for rescue. Chandrahasan Nair was sitting at the head of the table, a small smile curving up his lips, making him seem almost evil.

* * *

After the 13th day ceremony was over, Chandrahasan Nair sat down to write, again. He found he could not even will the lizard to fall off its perch on the wall. He realised that nothing he wrote would come true again.
Not that he minded, though.

My attempt at story-writing after AGES. Thanks to errors with Blogger, I had to write this nearly five times. :)


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Hyderabad Sneak Peek....

Surviving being microwaved in Hyderabad. If you liked this, check out my photoblog.

Four pillars at night

borrowing a zillion lights

stand guard for city

Charminar at night!
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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Back to the Future...

When I got back, after a really long while, to my blog, I found myself in the future. With all the attendant disorientation that it entails.
Basically, my blog has moved on without me. When I asked the 'evil' question, I scarcely imagined it would set off an Armageddon in blogosphere! An intense metaphysical debate was/is on in my last post, while I had drawn into my seldom-seen shy, Crustacean self.
I hate to be quoting myself, but I must repeat this, Life Goes On in the Blog... With, or without you.

* * *

I was away in Hyderabad for three days last week. I'm back now, with merely one interesting tale to narrate:
An information officer with the Andhra Pradesh government was recounting the problems he faces on the job. Once, on a condom promotion campaign, he found himself face-to-face with a tribal in interior AP. This guy had no clue as to what the freebie he had just been given was all about. The officer did not speak the man's native tongue, but tried his best to tell the villager about how to use a condom. Believing himself to have suceeded moderately, he decided it was time to move on. As he was walking away, he turned back to see the perplexed villager put the condom in his mouth and begin chewing it. "Apparently, he thought it was medicine of some sort and did the only thing he thought should be done with medicine," our information guy said ruefully.

There is never a dull moment in the great Indian sub-continent, is there?!

* * *

I've also called this post Back to the Future, because when I started writing it (which was a few days ago), I had just seen Michael J.Fox on TV, campaigning for awareness about Parkinson's Disease. Did we know he was diagnosed with P.D. when he was just 30? Is it going to be scary taking a time-machine to HIS future? I sure hope not, Marty McFly.

A day before, I had seen poetry in motion, in Black. Sheer poetry. I'm way past the review stage, so I'll be content saying this: Once in a long while in the history of loud cinema, there comes a pearl of sublimity, quiet class, sensitivity and yes, poetry.
Black is one such dewdrop.