.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <$BlogRSDURL$>

Monday, August 30, 2004


I have been besieged by an importunate sore throat throughout my last day--although have tried my utmost in following rules --saline water gargling, Strepsils--has not helped--just my luck.
Work has expanded to fill the time available--have been in some semblance of control thanks to the masterful pinch hitting on a lonesome Sunday, toiling through a solitary night...

I sign off today from ITC--will speak from another place later.

Nice closing ceremony yesterday--pity about the marathon.


Sunday, August 29, 2004


Shifting coordinates is another name for untold woes-other than the maudlin Nirupa Roy tears I copiously and dutifully shed. The list of things to do is overpowering, overwhelming and cornucopic, which habitually seems to coincide with my most stark moments of lassitude and sloth. On the professional front, other than the mandatory ubiquitous Handing-Over note (as opposed to the Legging-it note which is more my wont) , the need to safely migrate all those gargantuan data files is matched only by the desperate desire to continue subscribing to the groups that one is accustomed to. This apart, the slovenly paper trails billowing around in my office need to be halted in their respective tracks. Obviously, the personal changes are much more dispersed and straddle media and locations—as submitted earlier, I’ve no clue about the finances, but more importantly, the magazine subscriptions and pots and pans like the Worldspace newsletters have to be redirected.
Thus, I stand and fall !
As a befitting companion, on the brink of contracting a fever too—Give me hope !

Made a way to Mocha yesterday ( after a minor mid-pitch brawl with my colleague on the pronunciation). Interesting décor, even more interesting lighting ( which means that if I was not wearing my glassed, I would have had as much chance of making my way around as a blinded Peke in Manhattan ). Seemed to remind me of the Opium Den in one of the Tintins, literally laidback folks on their chillums and hookams—looked rather inviting but my lungs are under preparation for the Beijing Olympics. The music ( Hush—NOT the noise, the music , the music, I say ) was straight out of a channel called System designed to drown out any conversation one might have contemplated. Ordered a double coffee served in a huge cauldron—my enfeebled arm could not lift the thing and so had to drink it in teaspoonfuls. The waffle was a wheatish thing served cold with honey. So my budding career as a culture vulture looks nipped for the moment…

Came to a rapturous welcome ( tis Rakhi, and the cometh the hour, cometh the band of brothers—ha ha what a clever pun ) , lingered on to late at night with the family watching some Ethiopian athletes distinguishing themselves and beam as they received their medals. All said and done, takes some beating, ineluctable pride, quivering chins a la Mack –of course my father on hand to wonder on matters such as do all anthems have words or do they adopt tunes such as mere desh ki dharti .The awareness levels of all around me seem to have escalated—the ladies at Office the other full of Lebedeva, Kluft, Jones and Anju, and was seated to a winsome couple yesterday who were at home with the order of the 4 * 400 m relay team replete with strategies …. That’s good. The festivities culminate today, “bas aaj ki raat hai zondahi, kal hum kahaan tum kahaan “.

Have to head back on this languorous Sunday, and worse, work.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Am on what will surely be the last stage of my fly-by-day visits –Bhopal it is fittingly and on the verge of making good too. The weather has been just short of magnificent—was sorely tempted to spend more time on the tarmac as gusts of wind-swept rain lent a quiver of chill through the elements. I have always wondered about the exact date when I will actually spend time outdoors to my heart’s content, rather than writing about it. I have under a week to go and just about time to start wrapping up proceedings here in Churchgate.

Have lost count of the drug cheats and what was construed to be an Eastern bloc phenomenon is now a study of the finer arts. Just ruminating over the idea of what if we ab initio legalise the whole affair—as in no tests, no garbled talk of steroids, THG and everything else. The defenders of the faith will of course scream from the rooftops on the loss of Olympic ideals, it matters not who wins but how you played the game, the unbridled joy of Eric Moussambani and what have you. Does this change anything ? Perhaps not.

My mental records of the worst players to win biggies in tennis is lengthening by the hour—Nicolas Massu, winner of two golds, wow. Chile has always done well in team competitions, though.
Just to recapitulate, the list has Thomas Johannsson, Albert(o) Costa, Malivai Washington, Medvedev, Nalbandian—maybe my abject inability to accept that the game is too open to call these days. 16-14 still takes some doing, even in doubles and a tad sad that Lee & Hesh had to settle for 4th place.
A wretchedly verbose talk show on why we fail at the Olympics on some channel the other day-what’s the point ? Almost like the Ardha Kumbha where some miserable souls die every time.

Two virtual unknowns winning the 100m—even the commentator hadn’t heard of Nesterenko ( called her Nesterkova ) and the got-Gatt Gatlin—great race. My theory of lying low and then springing seems to be working, albeit risky


Monday, August 23, 2004


Changing status quo engenders many a chore—other than the maudlin weepiness that afflicts my type. There are innumerable petty tasks to be done , which left undone can rain untold miseries on an unsuspecting job-hopper. Painstaking affairs of redirecting all mail, post, telephone calls and the ubiquitous “I have moved” kinda messages which for some reason can never be done together .
The onerous task of saying adieu to those loved ones and unloved ones is irksome and can degenerate into a chore in itself, and hence the many safeguards against this…
The monstrosities involved in making the place you shall leave behind a habitable and civilized one is again a Sissyphean ordeal.
Fiscal matters are best left alone—having long since lost track of my accounts and their locations.

Oh, woe is me


Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Been questioning the basis for jingoism, patriotic vitriol and fumes, Father/Motherland and the nation’s clarion calls more than a wee bit the last few days. Interspersed with other seemingly man-made boundaries like religion, region, language etc. Got the feeling that in order to be able to proclaim togetherness with a concept like a country, one must necessarily eschew and exclude the very existence of all the entities that do not make up the country. Almost as if to define what is by what is not.

Saw no other way of doing it. Juxtapose this with whatever little one understands ( OK, I understand ) of the North East and I am terribly confounded of the edifice of this Indianness which all of us lay siege to, unabashedly, unequivocally. ( only a coincidence that this grips us a little more at Public Holidays ).

Seven Sisters—disparate from the mainland, misunderstood, maligned. How many of us can claim to even remember the names of the States ? Yeah, I remember matching capitals to states as a kid but I’ll be perfidious if I say that I can cogently speak three sentences about any of these states, let alone coin write attractive tourist-speak epithets for them.

So what do we have here ? We have a set of educated folks who don’t set store by this notion of belonging to India for some time now. How have we decided to solve this ? Not using our minds, I’m sure. All inclusive brouhaha takes on a condescending tone, be it in appreciation of music, customs or even like the School Chalen Hum campaign which is steering clear of precluding the SS, at all costs.


Fortuitously witnessed what was touted to be the Race of 2004—the 200m freestyle ( men) , lived up to the billing with Thorpe clinically staving off Pieter v d H & Phelps. Was glad for once to switch on the right channel in time. Decent set of other races but it’s tough to see swimmers like Amanda Beard, Lenny Krayzelberg, Claudia Poll, Van Almsick lose.

Now think that the only way to win heaps of Golds is to prepare like the Devil, analyse your competition but maintain a Trappist silence, and then ..spring. All the Olympic heroes in my time have done that—Otto, Nemov, Raducan.

India missed medals by a whisker—Chanu & Kunjarani, so so near and yet…


Established contact with a long-lost pal, Chaitanya, now a Dalal Street hit man, working would you believe it, 5 minutes from where I purport to work. Als, I only have a fortnight in this locale.


Saturday, August 14, 2004


Am beginning this post with more than a tinge of trepidation-the last time I tried using the PC at my Panvel abode, the old thing wisely decided that most of what I write is garbled tripe anyway and duly proceeded to delete the entire contents. Similar to Newton & Diamond, except that the contents then were decidedly more important to the world.

Took the scenic route to Pune today, miraculously managed to get the written tests done on time, completed the legal audit and waltzed to the Boat Club. One of the more interesting seat positions for the questioner that I’ve witnessed.

The Expressway opening up vistas of loveliness and Nature at its best. Some boulders decided on their own to be closer to Mother Earth, nearly careened into unsuspecting cars and halted the merry-makers in their tracks. Still, it was a sight to behold and my latent Wordsworthian strains come gushing through. Had to do a reconnaissance visit for one of the hotels in Lonavla resorts that the big boys from Head Office will haunt during the next fortnight.

Remember someone remarking about the omnipresence of youngsters in India with weighing machines on pavements as an interesting way of earning a livelihood. Actually, it’s a wonder that in a land where relatives take umbrage at loved ones not partaking of second helpings and consequently weighing more rather than less, such an avowedly anti-customer profession can get any business at all. I mean, which otiose denizen in his/her right mind, would brave making a public spectacle of himself ?
Reminded me of the fellows on the Highway selling guavas ( only guavas, nothing else ). I know that guavas are a favourite with me but there are a great many of them with consistent regularity and seemed strange about their ability to fork out a livelihood with this specious commerce model.

Survived about an hour of Kill Bill on the telly before I let sanity prevail and shut the thing off. Teeming with profanities, mind-numbing violence, a chronology raked by Parkinson’s all effortlessly segued to overpower the elegies that I’d heard sung. Maybe I didn’t “get it”….

Find myself getting increasingly tetchy and restive these days—a bad song, a rotten book or movie have of late caught me out more than once. Perhaps I’m getting older ( but not wiser ) ….


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Been a rough ride the last few days--been buried with a legal conundrum that had spiralled way beyond expectation, and drowned most of us office-goers in its wake. Met with a fruitful culmination today topped off with a grand lunch at the Maratha ( Burp ! ) All talk of reducing weight remains just that--prattle .

Summoned the ebullience, fortitude and stamina to actually participate in a quiz on Sunday-Armageddon 04, organised by the enterprising kids at the BMS course of the eponymously named MCC, Mulund Colle(a)ge of Commerce--a jamboree that pulled in CRY and quite a few other unlikely sponsors for the event. Partnered by Vibhendu Tiwari ( an old Symbiosis friend ) . Just missed qualifying but thought we managed to answer quite a few finals questions--like D Mongia ejaculating--yes, methinks I can handle Shoaib quite well today--nice doddering stream but to no actual gain.When we were kings ....

The Olympics are upon us--how fast Father Time strides--seems only a jiffy ago that I had launched a Bhopal-wide hunt to buy a tV before the festivities began--in fact some of those TV brands have died out too. Remember thinking that I'd surely change my TV in four years--my recidivist strains impel me to admit that I'm doing nothing of the kind.

Have made my move on the professional front too--have thrown in the towel and shall change coordinates by month-end


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The men in blue ( of Pepsi p(h)uddle infame ) flattered to deceive once more-fantastic sight as they conclusively proved that the best star cast needn't engender a great film.The dazzling array of batting riches couldn't get 230 runs when it mattered--that's good news for the cricket world as this was this increasingly deluded belief that we were up there with the best, in ODIs--and Jill came tumbling after.

The Lions did themselves no favour either with Sangakkara, Chandana & Dilshan all fined --a departure from their normally well-behaved brethren--haven't heard Jayasuriya, Mahanama, Tilleratne, Ratnayekes sledge at all--reinforcing that willpower cannot be Gordon-ed.Twas a good bowling performance,undone by some unimaginative lacklustre batting--the stats are ahead of us--1 in 13 is bad man.

The rains have come in gusty torrents--water water everywhere, and not a dry eye to blink. Miss those good old days when one actually used to get school called off due to rain--causing us to get dirty, splashy and wet anyway as we were homeward-bound.Wonder what kids do in Mawsynaram..
Alas, I cannot cite rain as a reason anymore except for missed travel deadlines.Some wonderful songs on the theme yesterday on Farishta--a old Hindi film music channel on Worldspace.

Tis strange that all songs I can remember set indoors looking out into the rain are misty, introspective, lonely and lyrical/musical. And all songs picturised outdoors are gay, carefree, escapist and merry. Of course Bollywood has made singing/dancing in the rain an art form of its own.
The only sad song I recollect while getting wet in the rain was " lagi aaj saavan ki phir woh jhadi hai"--Chandni--Wadkar & the humming Anupama Deshpande--but I could be mistaken.
The non-Indians seem to take it all very cheerily--Singin' in the Rain, Raindrops keep falling on my head ( imagine crooning Hailstones keep... )

Haven't kept mentally well at all over the past week--some really pensive posers on whether I have really found my oeuvre here and all of that. Might be I need a change of setting...

Picked up The Strategic Safari and a book by Margaret Atwood--am looking forward to reading those. Am a little listless, perhaps because of the weather ( inclement weather, as the cruciverbalist will point out ). Have made a conscious choice to try and sleep before the stroke of midnight instead of watching the gripping Barney and Friends on Pogo at 1 am, and maybe this is the price for being abstemious.

No movie watched in a very long time--will try and rectify that this weekend.

Caught a song on FM that sounded right and was gratified to find that my guess for the lady singer was right--Sadhana Sargam, an underrated songstress if ever there was one. Thought to myself that it was perpexing that lady singers with much less sheer vocal prowess--Sunidhi Chauhan, Ms.Narula, Sanjeevani, Anuradha Sriram , Hema Sardesai,Alisha etc have found many more catchy songs than someone who prima facie may be more talented.
Sonu Nigam seems to be vacillating between an out-and-out entertainer and a wonderfully skilled playback--Abhijeet, Sanu, Vinod Rathod, Babul Supriyo seem to have disappeared.
We may not have the days of a chosen few dominate the scene a la Rafi Lata Kishore anymore.

I wish I could win the Tour de France --been so long since I've been on a good cycle. The corpulent kids near my abode wade by....


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?