Wednesday, September 29, 2004


It’s beautiful.

I wish I had not checked in my camera. I’m sitting in the airport and writing this. I have landed up early and have to hang around. I settled on the restaurant at the higher level, so that I could see the runaway and possibly relax.

* * *

The clouds form different patterns; you wouldn’t see sharing the same sky usually. Today it’s pristine. Long thin dark clouds in the foreground of lighter fatter clouds. A light hue of saffron infecting the sky. The clouds tell a story. A story of inevitable rain. You can sense the rain coming soon. But not now. Now, the clouds share the same space. Thin clouds and fat clouds. White clouds and dark clouds. Sharing the same sky.

The wind creating tremors in little puddles of water on the terrace. Like a warning of the rain to come. There are no birds in the sky. Another warning?

In the distance the city buzzes. But from here it is still. Only the leaves move. And the water in the puddle. The wind buzzes. The sky sizzles. And everything is still.

Inside, a man, engrossed in his book. Another taken in by the television. Another, with his work. The waiter clearing the table, careful not to let anything fall.

The waiter has cleared the table of the man watching the television, who is sitting at the table next to the man engrossed in his work, who is sitting across from the man who is reading. On the table next to him, there is a glass. The glass is almost empty. But for a few cubes of ice, settled around a white straw, in the remains of lemon ice tea. The reflection in the glass is white, with black specks moving in the background. The black specs are these words. Beyond these words is the other glass, that separates the beauty outside from the people inside.

The shared sky, the buzzing city that is still, the words being written, the empty glass of lemon ice tea and the room with the people. Juxtaposed. Distanced but juxtaposed. A strange combination. All caught in the mirror across the room, together.

I stare at the mirror and I stare at this screen. I wish I had not checked in my camera.

It’s beautiful.

No reruns please

Heading back in some time. Another flight to catch. Hope this time the in flight entertainment system is working. I wouldn't want a repeat of the previous flights story.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Sometimes, you pace yourself and your lifestyle at a rip roaring speed, and life seems to be left in a swirl behind you, as you continue with your whirlwind journey. And then, your body catches up with you, and grabs hold of your shirt, and pulls you back. That's life's way of saying, don't you dare run ahead on me!

I guess that is why a person who doesn't take afternoon naps, suddenly needs to take them once in a while.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

In Flight Entertainment

Today I traveled after a couple of months and was looking forward to watching a good movie on my flight on route. So I settled myself into my seat and after going through the program guide decided to watch Kill Bill Vol. 2. Only the take off and the distribution of the headsets stood between me and the movie. Having missed the movie in theatres, I was quite looking forward to watching it.

A bunch of tourists excitedly took photographs of each other on the flight. One amongst them, a girl, squealing in delight with every photograph she took, at times carrying 4 cameras together, juggling them and taking the same snap again and again. Why couldn’t they just take prints and share them later? The squealing continued for quite some time. And not a single member of the crew in sight. Where are they when they need to get people like this to settle down?

The plane took off. The luggage compartment overhead opened and stuff started trickling out. The air hostess stared, with her mouth open. Everyone was glued to the overhead compartment, as if rabbits were going to start jumping out of it. The plane was at 45 degrees and I decided to do something about it. I started standing up to shut it, but my seatbelt restrained me. Now the air hostess was staring at me. As I moved my hand down to release the seat belt, the air hostess tried to tell me to stay seated. While stuff was tumbling down. I opened the belt, reached up and closed the overhead compartment, in the background of the air hostesses whimpering. Then I settled back into my seat. Everyone went back to what they were doing. And then another one behind me opened. Pop. And I sniggered.

Shortly later, I realized I was sitting next to 2 video game junkies. They hit the in flight entertainment games as soon as the safety announcements were over. Banging away on the handset and making faces you would have never imagined. Soon, the seats started shaking along with the banging of the handset and both heads bobbing up and down to the videogame. In rhythm. Obscene.

I decided to ignore them by plugging my headset in and turning the volume to full. But nothing seemed to be streaming into my right ear. So I got myself another headset. Just in time for the movie to start. Gosh, I had so been looking forward to watching this movie.

And it started. Uma Thurman. Right up to the wedding rehearsal scene and the entry of Michael Madsen. And then pop. The screen went blank. And there were voices. I thought it was one of Quentin Tarantino’s effects. But then it carried on for long. The set had moved itself to the audio section. Puzzled, I reset it and back I was. Uma approaching Michael. And then pop. I was watching Godsend. In Mandarin. I shook my head and tired to change channels. Nothing happened. Suddenly I was watching Raising Helen. Arrgh. I called the air hostess to help. She couldn’t figure it out. Mumbled something about resetting the system and disappeared. 5 such instances later and channels changing themselves again and again, I landed up with The Stepford Wives. In Mandarin. And completely ticked off with the flight and the fact that I was not going to watch the movie today.

Then I decided to take them to task. Called the head steward and complained to him. After which I asked for a written compliant form. Then these guys got into action. Offering me a new seat. A manual reset to the channel I wanted and the works. But the flight was ninety minutes through and the movie was probably reaching the point where Bill was getting killed. I didn’t want to see that without watching the journey leading to Bill. I politely declined and asked for the complaint form.

I was going to be entertained on this flight come what may.

After much heartburn, finally it was handed to me. I proceeded to write a two page long complaint on the whole incident, detailing everything, sprinkling it with my imagination to make it more interesting. Then I sealed it and handed it over to the air hostess. And finally I was smiling. Smug.

Moments passed.

Then the head steward came over and tried to explain the situation to me. How he had thoroughly investigated the matter. How the air hostess was new, this was her second flight and she did not have responsiveness of an experienced air hostess. How it slipped the other air hostesses mind because she was caught up in the food service. Then explanations on how it takes 20 minutes to reset the system. How they did it for me twice without my knowing it. How sorry they were.

And me giving short replies on how I never expected such bad service from them, how frequently I flew with them, how this was my worst experience, how disappointed I was with them. All very politely. All well rehearsed in my mind and prepared beforehand. One by one, the air hostesses who had served me, listened to my problems and done nothing about it. Profusely apologizing. Trying to explain. And I kept looking, listening, smiling and nodding. Giving understanding responses, knowing very well that the complaint form was going to screw them.

Here I was getting my own version of Kill Bill. Emotional violence via customer un-satisfaction. Satisfaction via un-satisfaction. How ironic. Now everyone was worried. Running around like headless chickens. And me getting my private show. Priceless. Even the video game junkies had stopped their games and were enjoying the show.

Ten minutes before the flight was to land, I called the head steward sternly. He looked grim and worried. I asked him to get my complaint form back. He stared at me, but couldn’t say no after what I had been through. He got it back for me. I took it from him, and slowly proceeded to tear it up. He kept looking at me. I smiled and slowly started laughing. He also broke into laughter. The air hostesses around and the video junkies too. Soon everyone around who had been witness to the whole thing were laughing.

I had entertained and been entertained.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Quick clicks

Almost ready to knock off to sleep. But had some interesting quick clicks on my ride back home tonight. All on low quality camera, which is a trade off with built-in camera phones. But I guess they come in use in times like these! I quite like the second one ... very psychedelic.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

In case I don't see ya', good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.

Who are you?

I am the creator… of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.

And who am I?

You're the star.

Was nothing real?

YOU were real. That's what made you so good to watch. Listen to me, Truman. There's no more truth out there than there is in the world I created for you. Same lies. The same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear. I know you better than you know yourself.

You never had a camera in my head!

You're afraid. That's why you can't leave. It's okay, Truman. I understand. I have been watching you your whole life. I was watching when you were born. I was watching when you took your first step. I watched you on your first day of school. heh heh. The episode when you lost your first tooth. heh heh heh. You can't leave, Truman. You belong here… With me. Talk to me. Say something. 'ell, say something, goddamnit! You're on television! You're live to the whole world!

In case I don't see ya', good afternoon, good evening and goodnight. Hahaha! Yeah!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Murphy's Laws - When it rains, it pours!

I was quite frustrated with some stuff and came to the conclusion that "If anything can go wrong, it will". Classic Murphy's Law. Then I remembered that there was more than one law. It was more like three, I thought. So I decided to search the net and have a look. And I found out there are 13 laws ...

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you think.
  3. If anything can go wrong, it will.
  4. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
  5. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  6. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  7. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
  8. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  9. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  10. Mother nature is a bitch.
  11. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
  12. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
  13. Every solution breeds new problems.

The list above consists of just the plain vanilla ones. There are Murphy's Laws on almost every subject - military, technology, love, sex, etc. If you are interested in more have a look at these 2 sites:

Murphy's laws and corollaries

Murphy's Laws Site

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Shared histories

Ever sat back and wondered what you were like 4-5 years ago? I thought about it today. Though you can easily tell yourself what are the things that have changed since then, you find it pretty hard to be able to have an overall picture about yourself. Or probably to think of what you were like to other people. The people who were around you and you met everyday. And you probably don’t meet them so often now. So, would they think that you are pretty much like what you were back then?

A lot of lifelong friendships are based on the past. On what happened in the past. On shared histories. What you went through together. The moments that you spent. The good times and the tough times. The shared hurts and the shared joys. And when separated by distance, we get involved into our own lives. We keep in touch with some more often, and others not. But every once in a while, you speak to someone that you have not spoken to for sometime, and then you think, “Exactly as it was all those years ago”. Because some things never change.

And though you feel that a lot of things have changed about you, and you have become a very different person that you used to be, you do those little things are essentially ‘you’. And you get to hear it from someone who has not seen you through your change and all that has happened to you. And you get the comment, “You are exactly the same as you used to be” or “Some things about you never change” and then it hits you. You think back and say – hey, so much has changed about me but this just stuck on. Odd.

And that is where old friends make their connections. In their pasts. In things that were there in their pasts and still exist somewhere now.

In shared histories that spill into their futures.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Blue Escapade: Isn't it sad

Came across this interesting thought when I randomly stumbled to this blog ...

"I was just thinking...if you happened to be reading somebody's blog very regularly...somebody you didn't know but chanced upon and somehow got addicted to his/her blog...and you read and read what he/she wrote until you felt like you knew the person and grew so close you wanted to know what had happened to him or her everyday...and then this somebody suddenly stopped posting any entries. Wouldn't it be worse than death? Having to have to wonder if he/she has met with an accident, has simply stopped writing, has plunged into depression...etc etc. And never knowing the answer in the end because you simply have no means to contact this person save for the blog that he/she has abandoned at least for now? For me, it would be worse than death, just like that of a mother awaiting news of a missing daughter."

Have a look - Blue Escapade

Another Beach

Another one of my favourites at Goa is Arambol Beach. These pictures are of the back side of the beach, around the rocks, where the freshwater lake is. The first one (of the main beach) is taken from near the lake (which is more like a lagoon), and the second one is taken from the rocks on the way to to the backs. As you can see, this part is not very crowded - if you come on the right day and time, the entire beach and lake are all yours. This particular day, we had it for a few hours to ourselves.

"In the recent past, Arambol, north of Chapora, was one of the back-up destinations for the free-spirited folk who found themselves banned from not wearing clothes or indulging in lack of mind control at Anjuna, when that place chose to assert a more rigid behavioural code. Ironically, it became a very popular choice because of its perceived isolation from outsiders and modern development. Today, elements of contemporary comfort have been installed here, but overall changes have been minimal and the village remains tranquil and relatively uncrowded."

"The immediate coastline lacks the palm-fringed exotic cliches of the southern Goa beaches, but it has plenty of character and is pretty in its own kind of way. The main beach has adequate bodysurfing and there are several attractive bays a short walk to the north. A hot spring near the main beach feeds into a freshwater lake, producing a silt that hippies are fond of smearing on their bodies to revitalise the skin."

Pining for Goa

I have had a pining for Goa for the past couple of days. The beaches, the sand, the air, the sun, the food, the psychedelia and more importantly the good times. It’s been sometime since I have been there. It seems to be haunting me. The other night I watched a movie which had a good part of it shot in Goa. And then someone I know is going to Goa. And lots of people have recently been talking about it. So I pulled out my old (digital) photo albums and went through my last Goa vacation. I couldn’t help but admire this sunset view from the cliff at Vagator.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Love across the salt desert

She came out of nowhere. And when I saw her, I knew my life was going to change. I didn't know why or I didn't know how, but I knew. It was innocent. It was not me. It was not for me. But I thought it was. I believed it was. I wanted to make it for me. And then she looked. The way she looks when she does. And it took me somewhere. Else.

I found her when I was not looking for her. I found her when she was not looking for me. But that didn't matter. Things that are meant to be are meant to be. She came towards me without a thought. I went towards her with so many thoughts.

And we met.

It was magical. It was ordinary. Ordinary is magical. Because sometimes it changes everything.

Her subconscious was swept away. Her subconscious melted. Her subconscious was mine.

And I was in heaven.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rain from a glass cage

It's raining and the air is misty. I am surrounded by glass and I can't hear it. But I can feel it. I can see the streaks across and around me. Dripping down and snaking its way. To be replaced by more. Further, the distance, is grey. Clouds and sky merge to become one. And the result is grey. One grey enveloping the world and merging towards you from the horizon. Fading into mist. And then fading into sight. And the sight fades into the rain, which fades into the glass. Being sprinkled with drops. And all this in silence.


And then through the glass vision bursts into the room. And now you can hear voices around. And then the room merges into my distance and the distance merges into me. And I stare into the distance. Into the grey. Into the rain. Trying to listen to the sounds outside. But only hearing the ones inside.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Writing is an escape

Sometimes writing is an escape. It can take you away. From where you are. But not always to where you want to be. Because when you are writing intensely, you let your writing carry you away to where it wants to go. And you have to follow. You submit to it. That is when I find I can write the best of my stuff. The submission is important. You have to let yourself go. And it is tough. Particularly the first time. It is not easy to let go and let your writing control you while you remain a mute spectator to it.

Going with the flow.

But where? You can't see where the road, or rather the river is going to take you. River is more accurate I think. A flowing gushing river. Where you don't have much control. But if you relax, you will do better than to resist it. Kind of like the first time you kiss someone. Or rather the first time you are kissed by someone. Hhmmm. Interesting thought. The difference between the two is quite a bit I must say. The initiator and the initiated. And that can make all the difference.

But I digress.

So now, as I write this - what comes to my mind - I have totally forgotten about all the stuff that happened today or what is supposed to happen next. I am just letting my thoughts flow on writing.

Yes, writing is an escape.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Another Diamond

Diamonds sparkle in the sky
As another day
Another weekend
Draws to a close
Another day
Another week
Starts tomorrow
And the moon fades away

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Unexpected Guests

Echoes in the background. Wind vibrating windows. The beauty of white on white. Pristine. The wind rustling the leaves, sounds like the first rainfall today. The water gushing in the drains, carrying with it stories of the neighbourhood. Washing away the sins of yesterday. The night. Last night. Everyone at the urban party, intoxicated. But for one lonesome figure. In the crowd and dissolving into it. Into her thoughts. Of a life far away. Smoke floats through the room, mixing with alcohol, clouding vision and foresight. Loneliness goes into the background, paving the way for this new night.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Rumble ...

The mind is blank. And then it rumbles.

The thoughts come slowly, breaking through. Making their way through the cracks. Over the precipice. Not the threshold. The intenseness numbs all other senses and there is only one at work now. Fingers beating away at the key board to the rhythm of thoughts. Thoughts that are running ahead and away. But they come back and pull back, urging you to move with them. The urgency of the thoughts comes through. And you move along, down a road you have never been before. And then the road reaches a river and branches out to the sea. The thoughts dissolve into a pot puree of memories of thoughts past. And as they mix, they become clearer. They become action. And action is the ultimate manifestation of a thought.

My thoughts hunger for their manifestation. My thoughts live.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Modern Day Amnesia

It's been a rough week. Lots of stuff to do. Shifting into my new place. Trying to get things in order. Running around. Life!

Relaxing now, and musing over the past week. Strangely I don't remember much of it. Actually just flashes from here and there but barely a few. My memory of the week past by seems to have disappeared from my brain, even though so much has happened in the last week. Some sort of amnesia. Probably modern day amnesia?

Memories are strange. Sometimes even the smallest of details - like the smell of a room 6 years ago won't leave you but what happened 6 days ago goes blank. Like that.

Trying to think back to some of the small details I can remember. And there are lots. Mostly from childhood.

Childhood seems to burn a lot of memories into your mind.

And they seem to come back again and again sometimes. Early memories shape future ones. Memories that are similar seem to be easier to remember. Memories that associate itself with the same place, same people too. I am sure there is a lot of study behind this and probably a science. Must remind myself to look it up. Will be fascinating I am sure.