Wednesday, December 29, 2004

This year

The one strong aspect of this year, at a personal level, has been the near maniacal urge to learn more. It became increasingly important to demand more from myself, primarily in terms of variety than deep, razor sharp skills or perspectives about a few focus areas. I bought a Nikon. I traveled a lot. I liked Hindustaani Classical. I read close to twenty books. I gave better this year.

I smoked just as much this year. I listened just as badly. As ever, I often forgot to call home or to meet my friends. I continued to dream of Jodie Foster. And I still think that combing is such a waste of time. And mountains, for me, are still more inviting.

This year I saw the most spectacular sunset sky. I nearly ate an octopus's kidney. I developed a liking for gin and tonic. I stopped reading fiction this year.

This year I decided to generalize.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The message

In whatsoever way men approach Me, even so do I bless them, for whatever the paths that men may take in worship, they come unto Me.

- Chapter IV, Sholka 11 in the Bhagvad Geeta

In my opinion, there are two important aspects of our lives that this Shloka talks about:

For one, being religious essentially means having faith in a Supreme reality, its relatively unimportant how this idea of the Supreme is perceived within the context of different religions. Secondary, too, are the associated rites and rituals of a religion. And second, extrapolating from our first point therefore, faith is an inherently secular entity.

Secular people of faith are not around though. In the news, at least.

Monday, December 20, 2004


Constricted francophile byways. The barren sea, the sodium winds of its womb, a dilapidated jetty holding on to hope. Walking within. Jaundiced bars of bonhomie - some canopied, some celestial. Apparitions, renegades, saints and the adolescent moon. Long shadows and dark skins.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sighting by the Mississippi

You'd probably want to go to Mardi Gras, if you were around in Conway, Arkansas in February. However, the lure of skin & intoxication was not quite as powerful as the dread of driving all the way to New Orleans and so, one fine weekend self and colleagues turned east on the I-40 & set sail for Memphis, Tennessee.

For those of us used to shaking it on Bannerghatta road twice a day, driving on an American freeway is stuff happinesses are made of. However, so are the hours of hibernation you could choose to slip into. So while my good friend Yesh took the wheel, I closed my eyes upon the world & apart from giving Yesh dirty looks, every once in a while, for talking too much to Vineet too loud, the journey was fairly obscure for me.

And somewhere in the fringes of West Memphis, amidst the slightly chilly open spaces cluttered with not so opulent households - the Mississippi still not in sight - & the skyscrapers lining the faraway horizon, there was this billboard with the sketch of an old gentleman clad scantily in his loincloth, his forehead wrinkled with the years gone by, his sight lost to thoughts. M. K. Gandhi stood in that relatively shoddy neighbourhood in distant Memphis with his message of simplicity, peace and non-violence.

It was, suddenly, a warm day.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Taking stock

There are 206 bones & 600 skeletal muscles in the typical human.

I can feel almost all of them....ache by ache.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

a disappearing poet of always

here's to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap
and to your (in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain

and here's to silent certainly mountains; and to
a disappearing poet of always, snow
and to morning; and to morning's beautiful friend
twilight (and a first dream called ocean) and

let must or if be damned with whomever's afraid
down with ought with because with every brain
which thinks it thinks, nor dares to feel (but up
with joy; and up with laughing and drunkenness)

here's to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of blood is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon

- e e cummings

Friday, December 03, 2004

The key

Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much... the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons.

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Very funny & deeply philosophical.

However, the one fine difference is really one of scope. The fish have no need to pray, they have no need to build a New York city, etcetera etcetera. Not needing something at the level of things with fins is not in anyway as decisive as at the level of certain things with the opposing thumb.

The dolphins have been chosen. We continue to be at crossroads.

Renunciation is one thing. Poverty quite another.