Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Thursday, August 31, 2006


How funny it is. Most of us are professional thinkers. Get to the office, start thinking. Take a break, start thinking again. Go for lunch, and if you are unlucky think then also. Come back from lunch think some more. Discuss something with someone. Let them think a bit for you. You think a bit for them. Get back to your desk and continue with your thinking. Back home, again, if you are unlucky, think while you watch TV or have dinner. If you are really in the middle of the thinking season (I am not saying I am right now, but have been there before), think as you go to sleep. And then wake-up in the middle of the night because your thinking entered your dreams. Then while thinking prevents you from going to sleep, think! There is no taking long breaks from thinking. Because that's your full-time job.

If you try to think (he he) of the number of people who wake up in the morning, get to their desks and start thinking, its mind-boggling and kind of weird.

It was different for the people of old. After a hard day's work they probably thought casually about this and that. Or if something caught their fancy, they made a mental note of it, and after dinner as they smoked, they probably thought about it. Out of curiosity. And if they felt like it. Or after one too many at the liquour shop, perhaps the artistic ones thought about what lay beyond the moon...

Man's thought was perhaps once a refuge from the rigours of life, a retreat, a means of distraction, of relaxation, a special gift for amusement. Today it is itself the rigours of life. Hmmm. Saawan jo aag lagaaey, usey kaun bujhaaey .

Ok, I know I have written a lot of junk. Don't think too much about it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On the other side, of twenty five

In the last one month, more people have called me 'poet' than in the past twenty six years and eleven months of my existence. Though there is a charming rhyming two liner in Konkani which my parents ascribe to me as a kid (Keed maam, keed maam tu ashi kashi? Amgele ghara tu ailo kashi. The English translation, though not doing justice to the original, he he, goes like this: Insect uncle, insect uncle, you are like this, but how? You did come to our house, but came you how? ), that solitary piece of brilliance had been more or less ascribed to fluke.

So, being called a poet can quite get to your head. For instance I was tempted to write a poem, today, beginning 'Its quite lonely, on the other side, of twenty five'. Quite silly. Firstly, I have been on the other side the whole of last year. And then, its not lonely. There are a few people, among my friends, who are older than me - and I thank them for that.

I have never liked birthdays. I hate the attention. In school they made you wear colour dress and go and stand up there with the prayer-gang in front of the whole assembly - I love the anonymity of the uniform. And now, people come to my cubicle, discuss my white hair (yeah there are a few) and my singleton status. Don't get me wrong here. I really appreciate the consideration shown to me, but I would rather it were spaced out a bit. For instance, one could say in July, 'Hey Anant, your birthday is a month from now, happy birthday in advance, so when are you getting married?' and treat my actual birthday as a normal day. Someone else could say the same thing in September. The rest could use the months October through June. But spare August the 22nd please.

I wish I was born on 29th February. Though I quite like the personality traits that astrology ascribes to people belonging to the Leo-Virgo cusp.

He he.

But what the hell, happy birthday to me!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Look at this Picture !!!

Van Gough's La Sieste

...but not in the office (no, nothing offensive), and not after a good lunch. Look at that sunlight on the piled up hay. Does it not make you think that you were out doors yourself, sitting under some shady tree? Does'nt the warmth of that sunlight seep thorough your comp screen and challenge your air-conditioning?

And look at that expression on the woman's face, sleeping like a baby!

All those who say Dali is the better painter (this is for you, Sarkar ) find me a Dali that can beat this one. Let's have a contest! :-)

P.S. You might want to download the picture and view it full-screen.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Before all is said and done, Omkara does justice to Othello, as best as a movie can and without the support of Shakespeare's language. Fine acting and great drama. Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor bring out the stark colour difference between Desdemona and Othello, though it could have been starker. Saif Ali Khan is a credible Iago, though minus his monologues - his thoughts in several situations are left to the audience's imagination, and only mildly come out when he speaks - his evil is diluted a bit. Vivek Oberoi is the likable, honest Cassio; he's likeable enough though not so credible as a worthy second-in-command of Othello.

Some of Shakespeare's tricks have been adopted successfully including animal imagery in speech.

I really missed my favourite sections from Othello: Cassio's speech when he is drunk and his tirade against the evil in drinking later, when his drinking has cost him Othello's regard and he has gotten sober again. Here's a cut-paste from the latter.


What, are you hurt, lieutenant?


Ay, past all surgery.


Marry, heaven forbid!


Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
Iago, my reputation!


As I am an honest man, I thought you had received
some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than
in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false
imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without
deserving: you have lost no reputation at all,
unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man!
there are ways to recover the general again: you
are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in
policy than in malice, even so as one would beat his
offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion: sue
to him again, and he's yours.


I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so
good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so
indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot?
and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse
fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible
spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,
let us call thee devil!


What was he that you followed with your sword? What
had he done to you?


I know not.


Is't possible?


I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly;
a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God, that men
should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away
their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance
revel and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!


Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus


It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place
to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me
another, to make me frankly despise myself.


Come, you are too severe a moraler: as the time,
the place, and the condition of this country
stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen;
but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.


I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me
I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra,
such an answer would stop them all. To be now a
sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a
beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is
unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.


Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature,
if it be well used: exclaim no more against it.
And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.


I have well approved it, sir. I drunk!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bangalore's still alive!

I have always maintained that Bangaloreans are a nice lot, though occasionally strange things do happen here. And the city's much-maligned autowallas are a good lot too. I don't remember having met a nasty auto-walla in the city, though all my friends seem to keep bumping into them.

Several times I get into conversation with auto-wallas, though I am not the talkitive type. And I get fundaes from the plusses and minuses of diving Trucks vs. plying autos, to, why not to marry a girl from the city.

Yesterday, I met another zinda-dil autowall. After parking on MG road, we were trying to walk to Purple Haze. Took a wrong right turn, kept walking, and then ultimately had to catch an auto (Though I have been to the place a couple of times I still don't know exactly where it is). 'Purple Haze? Come' said the auto-walla, I had asked him hesistantly, not knowing if he would know where it was. 'Why are you going today, go Saturday evening' he advised me. 'Don't get a place to sit on Saturdays' I said. I like to sit and listen to music, especially music I don't understand. 'People who want to sit should'nt be going there' he said. I have heard that before from friends. Then he gave me further advise. He told me to go to Zero-g on Saturday nights (though I think he called it Zero-B), and he told me of some another new place just opened.


A couple of weeks back I had to catch a bus from next to a place called Giria's.

"Ee Giria's yell baratte?" I asked at a paan shop "Where does this Giria's come?"

"Ad yellu baralla saar, neeve hog beku" he said with a straight face, continuing to make a paan, "hogi, hogi." "It does'nt come anywhere sir, you only have to go. Go, go" We had a good laugh. He seemed pretty thrilled with his wit.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Though the Times of India is a bad paper overall, its comics setion beats the comics sections of most papers. Beau Peep, Calvin and Hobbes, Between Friends, Wizard of Id, Garfield, Animal Crackers, Peanuts have all been my favourites some time or the other. Dennis the Menace is fairly ok. Only Archies is down right bad.

Anyway that was one paragraph of useless information.

What I wanted to post was this Peanuts Joke I read in Yesterday's paper.

Frame 1: Snoopy is sitting on top of his dog-house typing away on his cute little typewriter in his inimitable style: "It was a dark and stormy night"

Frame 2: The dark haired little girl (I know the names of only three peanuts characters: Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodchuck the birdling, wish I knew the names of the rest) takes a look at Snoopy's literary effort and says in her own inimatable style, a look of likeable scepticism on her face, "How can you be so sure?"

Frame 3: Snoopy corrects his opening line "If I remember correctly, it was a dark and stormy night".

Ha ha. How terribly cool!