February 28, 2007 @ 2:25 am
Customised radio station on last.fm. Click play and enjoy.
Customised radio station on last.fm. Click play and enjoy.
Apologies for the long hiatus. I had forgotten my blogspot password and so was unable to get into this space. However, things changed for good last evening as I looked out of the window of my aircraft and the password came floating by my window and settled in my head. If you believed that, you will go far in this world.
I wasn’t aware that “idiot” is an official classification in our country. Check the National Website of the Income Tax Department of India here.
One of the questions in their FAQ section:
25. Who can apply on behalf of non-resident, minor, lunatic, idiot, and court of wards?
Section 160 of IT Act, 1961 provides that a non-resident, a minor, lunatic, idiot, and court of wards and such other persons may be represented through a Representative Assessee. In such cases, application for PAN will be made by the Representative Assessee.
See? One can officially be an idiot and our IT department has a separate clause for him/her.
In other news, I got a job. And will continue to be in this city for a time longer than I had imagined. Bangalore will have to wait for a little more time. Only drawback – I will be missing theatre since Hyderabad has zero opportunities of pursuing theatre. So my grandiose plan of staging a production in April-May falls flat on the ground. Falls flat on the Deccan plateau rather. Okay, I am running out of ink now so shall have to end the post here.
(no ink, remember?)
The band Dhvani (of Naresh Iyer) has performed an improvised version of that brilliant Malgudi Days theme music. Watch the video here. (I decided not to embed the video since it slows down the loading of my blog page).
For those who want the original version (which I must say is a masterpiece), I have uploaded the mp3 here:
This link is going to expire in 3 days from now, so download it as soon as you can
Adam Kirsch writes about the recently published The Notebooks of Robert Frost (Harvard, 688 pages, $39.95) at The New York Sun.
To see the difference, consider Frost’s lecture “On Extravagance,” which he delivered at Dartmouth in November 1962, less than two months before he died. In this talk, Frost expatiates genially on “the extravagance of the universe. What an extravagant universe it is. And the most extravagant thing in it, as far as we know, is man — the most wasteful, spending thing in it — in all his luxuriance.”
This is the terror that has always loomed behind the willful optimism of the Emersonian tradition, and which Frost, very much like Nietzsche, was able to exhume from the corpse of Emerson’s gentility. Perhaps not even Nietzsche ever captured that terror in an image as striking and bottomless as Frost’s: “We get truth like a man trying to drink at a hydrant.” At such moments, Frost’s “Notebooks,” like his best poems, remind us that there has never been a more genuinely mystical American writer.
Although I haven’t been able to appreciate poetry very much in life, I consider Frost and Burns as two of my favourite poets. Burns scores a little extra on my scale solely for the reason that one of his poems forms the basis for that epic – Catcher in the Rye.
“Indira nagar, 1 ticket”, she said to the conductor.
The bus was full and she was running 5 minutes late.
The conductor ripped a ticket with apparent belligerence from the pile in his hand and thrust the crumpled piece of paper into her hand.
She opened it, saw the “Rs. 5-50″ on it, folded it neatly and slid it under the strap of her watch. It was going to be atleast 20 minutes before she reached the mall.
With a blank mind, she saw three bus stops go by. People climbed in and some people climbed out. An eerie sort of camarederie seemed to have developed between the regular bus-travellers on that route. No one spoke. Yet, everyone seemed to know everyone else.
It had been six months since she had taken up the job at the mall. Her elder cousin had managed to get her that job as a sales girl.
Her stop arrived. The familiar people got down with her at her stop and she glanced at her watch. 10 minutes late. The staff was supposed to be at the mall half an hour before it opened.
She started walking briskly towards the other end of the main road, with her cheap leather-looking plastic hand bag hanging on her right shoulder and her high heels maintaining minimum contact with the asphalt.
Cars sped by behind her as she opened the door of the store and the air-conditioning enveloped her into this new world for the remaining part of the day. She quickly changed into the saree which was a part of the uniform and put her name badge on.
Coffee was served to all staff members in small plastic cups. She gulped it down and rushed to the women’s jeans section. The picture of a petite fashionable woman loomed large behind her.
“Goodness Jeans” screamed the banner above the woman with the punch line “For today’s woman of substance”.
She knew spoken English and had tried in vain to understand how the word substance fitted-in with the woman on that poster.
“Size 26, straight fit please”, said the girl to her while looking in the distance. The girl was in her teens, roughly the same age as her daughter. She visualised her daughter wearing jeans and a smile of happiness momentarily passed her face. Rummaging through the pile of size 26 jeans, she found one with a straight fit and handed it to the girl.
The girl had walked-in holding hands with a guy of around her age. She looked at the couple and wondered how it was to be in love. How did it feel to hold the guy’s hand whom you looked up to and felt comfortable with. She had never had the luxury to feel that all-encompassing emotion. She had got married at a young age and after years of never understanding her husband, her husband had fled leaving her and a young daughter to fetch for themselves.
Love must be wonderful, she thought to herself as she looked further in the pile of jeans to find another color. Around the same time, the guy came up with a popcorn bag for the girl and smiled and put his arm around her. A warmth engulfed both the girl and the lady.
She wanted to ask her how it felt. Although she knew she would never get to experience it, she just wanted someone to explain to her how beautiful it really is. The intimacy of the couple left her in a state of unexplainable happiness for a long time.
Her thoughts went back to her daughter. She was now of a marriage-able age. Life would now change for her, just like it had done for her mother so many years ago. She didn’t want her daughter to be deprived of being in love. But alas, she knew that people of her stature could not afford to dream of a luxury like love.
Love, for her, was defined and exemplified in this huge mall which had hundreds of couples spending a lot of money. Her exposure to this fine concept of love happened for the first time when she took up this job. Her neighbourhood did not seem to have any trace of it.
The young couple walked on, hand-in-hand. She sighed and put the pile of jeans back onto the rack. Her parents had found a suitable boy for her daughter. She had to work overtime to earn that extra money to be able to arrange for a decent wedding. Suddenly, she was grateful that her daughter had not seen this world of love. Else, it might have been difficult to convince her to get married.
The by-now-all-too-familiar words filled the thinking voids of her mind and her work for the day went into full swing.
“Size 28, regular fit, boot-cut, how much, Size 26, where to bill, excuse me, comfort fit, low-waist, black color, lighter shade, alteration, trial room”. All these words were her companions for the day.
The word love never appeared. Never would.
She was, after all, just a sales girl in a mall.
World Press Photo: Winners of 2007
I found many hard-hitting photographs in that list of winners. My personal favourites are:
General News Stories 2nd Prize – Peter van Agtmael, USA, Polaris Images – Night raids, Iraq, January-March
People in the News 3rd Prize Singles – Stephanie Sinclair, USA, NPR – Family flee Israeli bombings, Lebanon, 27 July
General News Singles 3rd Prize – Daniel Aguilar, Mexico, Reuters – Accused burglar, Oaxaca, Mexico, 18 October
People in the News 1st Prize Singles – Oded Balilty, Israel, The Associated Press – Settler woman struggles with Israeli security officer, Amona outpost, West Bank,1 February
Some pictures scream out at you. Some stay silent to let you scream.
A crash course on Web 2.0.
Video courtesy: Youtube (link sent-in via e-mail)
Colin Bower writes at the New English Review on Language, Truth … and wine.
Wine is always described as being like something else. This is appealingly post modern. If a chardonnay tastes a bit like a peach, what then does the peach taste like? A chardonnay? And if so, what does either taste like? If you must describe the Van Loveren 2001 limited edition Merlot as being “chocolately”, does it mean that chocolate tastes like the Van Loveren Merlot? And if we like the Merlot on account if its tasting like chocolate, why don’t we eat chocolate instead of drinking wine?
The article brings out our age-old dependency on metaphors and ‘other’ words to describe facts.
If I don’t understand the meaning of a word, and I look it up in the dictionary, I see it explained in other words. Those other words, in case I don’t understand them either, are explained by yet further words. There is no absolute point of reference. So where does knowledge begin? Aren’t we all just refracting meaning around from one word to another in a pleasant verbal gavotte to fill in the time as we wait for death?
Now its time to take on the challenge. Answer the question without any vocabulary crutches: “What is the taste of wine?”
Placement season around the corner, or rather cornered in the placement season.
Something, you get the drift.
I am , as I have always been, without any specific objective about where I want to work and what I want to do. All I want is a few things in life:
A decent paying job that pays for my lifestyle (which, mind you, is definitely not extravagant)
The job should be strictly a 9 to 6 with weekends free (like my earlier job, which I am very eager to get back to)
I need sufficient time to pursue theatre. I want to take on script writing and direction in addition to acting.
I need sufficient time to work for the schools.
I want to spend evenings and weekends with the gang sipping on coffee and cracking the best of jokes.
Spend enough time at home reading my long list of pending books.
If you are aware of any job posting fits my criteria, shoot me an e-mail.
Update—-This post has been edited by deleting a certain section since it was considered not in good spirit.—-End of Update