Ostrich - Speak... Hell what more can i say???!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My Captain, My Captain

My Father was a military man. From the tip of his stiff, white peak cap to the toes of his cherry blossom blanched navy shoes. He demanded order, punctuality and discipline. He was very good with his hands. Our various garages were always converted into workshops while our old trusty Standard 10 stood outside in the humid coastal air. He made my very first bicycle from parts of an old Russian circus bike and then helped me learn to ride it.

Never one to show much emotion, me and my brother knew how to discern his secret pride at our youthful accomplishments. The smile that looked like a straight line when I topped first grade, that nod when my brother won the Cochin Refineries Tennis Tournament and that quiet appreciation when my mother made an especially delicious chicken a-la-Kiev. My brother and his friends used to slink around him and called him Rambo behind his back. Unfortunately, this rigid, impenetrable demeanor was often frustrating for me as a young girl. The few times when I’d seen him let go was on our many long distance drives when Abba was playing on the car stereo. He would stick his head out like a turtle and withdraw in time with the music and it made us laugh. When I was in the seventh grade he bought me a cheap Phillips walkman for doing well at my boarding school.

Four years later, he and I were on driving down to Calicut on the first leg of our journey to Goa. My Mother was taking the evening train there as she couldn’t miss that day of school. He was in a particularly cantankerous mood and had been recently diagnosed with diabetes. There was no Abba on this trip. Only a grueling drilling about the whereabouts of that ridiculous walkman. The thing had broken down, been repaired, broken, repaired again and eventually lost by my brother who took it to college. He insisted that I was careless with my things despite my strenuous defence. It was a bitter session and frustrated, I ended it by telling him to never speak to me again. The rest of the journey passed in silence and when we reached my uncle’s home in Calicut, he took off to play a game of badminton at the club. I stayed home.

After the game he thought he had acidity and sent his friend for some Gelusil while he waited in the jeep. He had a cardiac arrest and died alone. He was two months away from my parent’s 25th anniversary, four months away from my high school graduation and six months away from his fiftieth birthday.

My dad had been known to say “When your Visa comes from above, you have to go.” It was so offhand. But I was the one who crumpled my mother with the news as she got off the train, glowing from her facial and all set for our week of family fun in Goa. My brother arrived the next day from college in Madras and the rest of my relatives flocked there in no time at all. I didn’t cry. Instead that night after putting my mom to bed I made jokes to my brother about how he’d look dressed like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” and stayed numb. In the following month I helped sort out our finances, pensions and wrote scores of letters to banks and insurance companies and tried to look after my family as best as I could.

When the month was up I went back to boarding school. On the very first night I realized I had no one else to look out for there. I thought of the last conversation I’d had with him and cried so deeply and incessantly in my bed that I woke the matron down the hall and everyone in my dorm. After a couple of hours there was talk of medical sedation and as suddenly as it began, the storm ended. The idea of all that drama made me sick and I went to sleep.

Thoughts of you made me crawl out of bed at 3 Am and write. I’m sorry.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Gremlin Cabal

Newspapers collecting in the kitchen one day, strewn like chicken shit the next. A neat cupboard before a party and then suddenly, an amorphous fabric pile. The phone waits, waits, waits and rings when you’re in the bathroom… and dies when you rush out clutching your wet hair in a sodden bun and your body dripping wet. House plants die no matter how well you look after them. A newly dusted surface grimy in 24 hours. A much admired blouse, bought, ugly the very next day. A week gone by playing half life, a vacation plan on the weekend, suddenly work gushes through the cracks of your mail box. New debit card arrives promptly after five working days; the pin arrives two weeks later. The can of sugar suddenly ajar and teeming with ants. Freshly laundered sheets, stained the next morning. Long awaited album takes weeks to download, the hard drive crashes. The request show you faxed into has called you to put you on call on international TV, freak lightening blows your TV set up an hour before the show. The internet suddenly stops working the day you’re waiting for a reply on the huge deal you’ve cut.

Modern living. All this comes with the territory. All this is actual experience. If you have had these experiences, you have gremlins in your home too.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Long distance

Ostrich: Hey sam, howya doin'?
Sam: smashing
Ostrich: I hear there are 62 Mount Carmel girls going to chennai
Sam: Yippe! that's 124 flapping vulvas....

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Planet Police

Where does the violent tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colour, but where does the first blending enter into the other.
So with sanity and insanity.

-Herman Melville

“They’ve killed half the forest, the bastards”, She said, slurping her Earl Grey a little. The curtains were still now. The rain had melted away and eloped with the breeze. She was reading through the day’s newspaper and frowning over a front page article on Progresscore Pvt. Ltd’s new industrial site. There was a photograph of looming, cold iron giants spitting ropes of smoke out into what was once a thriving natural rain forest. “Stupid bastards”, she said again, “Kill the trees, kill the animals and make fucking injection moulded space parts. They’ve messed up the planet so much we might just need them after all.”

Terry is part of the Planet Police. A covert and very radical group whose manifesto outlines a return to humanity’s hunter-gatherer roots. They burn down factories and assassinate toxic waste dumping captains of industry. They believed that animals should not be raised for mass slaughter and that every grass, tree and fungus is sacrosanct. Hunting for sport is the biggest no-no. If you’re going to kill something, at least eat it. During the last fox season, there was not a soul in the woods. The previous year PP had shot several about 10 people and now no one dared to set foot there.

It had been a tiring night. Last night she had been on her first killing operation. She and three others had assassinated the president of Oleo, one Colonel Green, in his mistress’s apartment. She was out of the place of course. They had seen to that. They had drowned him in her bath tub, cut him up and stuffed him into four separate freezer compartments. “Green sacrificed for green…ironic”, they had joked after.

Terry Yawned and stretched on her chair. A small wind blew in through the curtains and she thought to herself “Ratfart”, and smiled. Earlier this morning it had rained and gusted heavily. Unpredictable, confused, ridiculous weather. Just another side effect from the massive environmental damage.

She showered and dressed and headed out to the city dump. Hidden behind the back wall was a small shed that served as PP’s OP centre. There were twenty people in her chapter and she was the last one to arrive. Soon they began drawing up their next mission involving the looting and burning of a laboratory that used Capuchin monkeys to test cosmetic products. They would use the product on its face, kill the monkey and then peel of the skins to see whether the lipstick had reacted with it. The meeting took about three hours. Only the appointed cook of the day excused himself early to prepare lunch for the group. Putting on a “kiss the cook” apron, he whistled as walked into the kitchen.

Lunch looked delicious! There were organic haricot beans, asparagus, potatoes and an assortment of table greens and especially succulent was the Pot Roast Green. They always ate what they killed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rock n' Roll Children

It had been a long day for Fred Andrews. He painstakingly unlaced his calf length Black army boots and hung them up behind the door of his bedroom. He stared at them wistfully for a while, they were his pride and joy. Cost a bomb at the surplus store despite the fact that in actuality they were standard issue because there was no war going on in the world except the one he and so many of his kind were fighting. And they couldn’t do it without militia gear. It gave them an air of organization and mystique. Besides, women love a man in uniform. And like Steven Tyler said at an award ceremony, it costs a lot of money to look cheap.

So there you have it. Women, enigma and talent. The three things that made the rock and roll star, or terrorist in Fred’s case. Tough times had befallen the world of music. Consumerism had made lazy fools of the public and they were ready to swallow anything that was packaged and familiarized. People needed to know what they were buying before they bought it. Gone are the days of the joy of trial and error. The way Fred had discovered Led Zeppelin. Music was reasonable in those days and he still remembered the shiver that ran up his spine every time he bought a new tape and put it in his player. Would it be good? If he wasn’t quite sure whether he liked it or, he’d play it 10 times over till he could decide. Nobody did that anymore. Everything had to be certified and approved before they’d even go and buy it… forget taking the trouble of re-listening to it to form your own opinion. If Music star magazine gave it 5 stars, it would sell millions on the printed word alone. Unbeknown to the milling population that flitted in to the music store to buy that album that everyone just had to own, the pimply faced, overweight critic that wrote the review was sunning his voluminous posterior on his favourite beach getaway courtesy the music company.

Fred spat hard. Because of the thought of this lazy World and it’s irresponsible media and partly because while thinking so hard he’d let the toothpaste work itself into a nice rabid foam that was precariously dribbling down his chin. "Opportunists!" he thought and spat again. It was 100% minty wrath. "Damn the bastards, they’re going down."

It had begun like every other day. Wake up at 0600 hours, work out for a half hour. Cold shower to get his body moving and then 2 long hours of grueling scales and arpeggios. He played pentatonic and Hungarian and chromatic until the hard, flaky caps of his finger tips had string grooves in them and his chest developed welts. Then he picked an album from wall, today’s was permanent waves by rush and played along with Alex Liefson through every single track on the album. If he didn’t know it, he’d learn it till he could play it tight, down to the last hammer on. Thus the morning wore on. By afternoon he had his first meal of the day with Andy, Geoff and Bug in the common room of the base. There was custard today and he loved custard…plus it was hot! Great! They spent some time on composition after lunch and then lined up for assembly.

From the air it looked like row upon row of colorful tees and Black boots. On main stage stood a flamboyant creature with colorful scarves tied around his microphone. "Greetings music militia", he began, "today, we are about to set out on some very important assignments and I trust all of you have been trained to give this mission your optimum. All of you are soldiers to the cause of war and some of you may not return. But know this…you are putting your life on the line for a belief…your belief and your religion. And therefore it becomes your duty, to your soul, to protect the integrity of the music that we treasure so dearly. The music that we have grown to love and broken our backs to master. We will not be lead into blind consumerism by company dictatorship that no longer respects their fundamental function of bringing the music to the fan. So go forth with a song in your hearts. Let it be your own and let it be a song of joy and faith. "LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!"

Amid cheers, grunts and calls the man pulled out his zippo, ignited it and swayed his arm from side to side. The assembly followed and it was to be seen that all of them had the words emblazoned on their lighters. A band of longhaired, boot-clad men then took the stage and began to play the song. A young man with a voice remarkably like Ronnie James dio was screaming the chorus, "long live rock and roll, let it live, let it live, let it live", with great feel to the frenzied mob. Fred and his unit picked up their arms at the silo and went over their plans one last time in the car on their way to the office of Sony Music ltd. Similar units were headed out to all the major record label offices and some even to certain radio stations.

"So you guys have got everything?", said Bug, "Guns"
"Check" , said Fred
"Fuse, chamber and plunger?"
"Alright then we’re ready to roll. Let’s go", said bug a drummer and like most had a need to control time. We’re going in at 1730 hours." "All set." said Andy, bassist, looking to Geoff the throat Atkins who was often given to brooding thoughts and disappearing for hours with his notepad and pencil. "Geoff, not now okay. This is important."
"Fuck you man. I’m ready", said Geoff, "and to hell with those monosyllabic illiterate fools, I hope we make them suffer like we have."
"Okay, then we’re set.", said Fred, " on the count of three we get out of the car and take position. Ready?"
"As I’ll ever be", mumbled bug under his breath.
See how they run.

Geoff and Andy took the main entrance while Fred and Bug did a quick Reiki of the compound and joined them mid-gagging the security guard.
" We’re going to let you go man, you’re just here making a living and that’s cool. As long as you’re not directly involved with this inbred, blood sucking organization", said Geoff, always ready with a speech.
" Enough chit chat. Let’s move", said Fred
"And don’t forget that no matter which fake breasted bimbo they put on the pedestal, she’s going down sooner or later and when she does Pan and Alice Cooper will dance all over her mangled, empty soul. Remember…"
"…Aww man, you’re scaring the shit out of him. You want to make a real point and get on with this job or are you going to spend all day trying to convert this dude?", said Bug
"Remember man…" said Geoff waggling his finger at the security guard as they ran toward the Elevator.

Inside, they got busy sealing it off with explosive and spray painting ‘long live rock and roll’ all over the walls. With incredible efficiency, the fuse was rolled out of the elevator and into the parking lot and over by the side of their car.

"Okay Freddie fingers, do your thing", said Andy.
"With pleasure", said Fred, pumping the plunger…

They stood for just a fraction of a second, watching 20 stories of bad Karma come crashing down in a heap of rubble and limbs. It seemed like a lifetime before they stashed their boots and hair back into the Jeep… driving double time back to base.

There was chaos on the nine o’clock news. Every major record label had been hit around 6PM that day in the most unprecedented act of terrorism since 9/11. A few popular radio Stations and Magazine head quarters had also been razed to the ground. The president was making a speech about how the government was going to get to the bottom of this… "They will be caught, and justice will prevail", he said…

At the base, loud speakers were blaring AC/DC’s ball breaker and the JD was flowing. The crowd calmed down for a while when the colorful creature took the stage.

"First of all, you guys have done an amazing job", we’ve wiped out the big fish and now it’s up to us musicians to go out there and see to it that the distribution of music does not return to the corrupt, commercial totem of inhumanity that was. It’s up to all of you now, start studios, set up clubs, go forth and spread the goodness of music in the world. It may have been at a great cost, but it was necessary to protect the integrity and spirit of our way of life. We may look like terrorists, but we’re really just victims of a colonist regime that took our lives and made us robotic slaves to their produce. When you go your separate ways today, you will not breathe a word of what went on here and what you did. I wish you and your bands all the best of luck now that there is no more a wall between you and the people. Play live gigs, connect with people and teach them to love and not be cultural zombies. LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL"

"LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!!!!" was the shout that filled the halls, illuminated only the light of so many flickering, waving Zippos…

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ten green bottles

"Come on baby, show me some I-d", he said, cross legged and perched on my shoulder.
"But I really shouldn't", I said, frowning a little
He stuck his tiny, silvery tongue in my ear and whispered sexily," but we've been having such a good time this week. Why stop now”
“I’m going to be in trouble tomorrow…again” I said “You never talk to me in the mornings. You just leave me alone in my agony”
“True darling. I just can’t stand all that moaning and groaning you know. How you look with your eye make up running…your flaky complaining nose…”
“I suppose”, I said “you just come running at the first pop of a bottle cap.”
“That’s right baybee! Here I am. Have another… For me?” Uncrossing his legs. He started to fondle my hair and using one of its layers as a rope he climbed up o the top of my head. Standing erect at the crown, he surveyed the room and looked at all his friends, on my friends. With a wink and a whistle he slid back down, this tantalizing Tom Thumb. When he started nibbling on my ear, it sent tingles up my spine and I sighed
“ Okay, lets have another”
“That’s my girl. Make it a double.” He said, “Here, I made you something”
I peered at the slim white paper roll and giggled, “Liar!!!!” and joined the circle. It passed from person to shoulder person, shoulder person to person.
Curly herby smoke mixed with a sour hop, but by now I was impervious…concentrating only on that seductive voice stroking my hammer, anvil and stirrup.
“ Mmmm, that’s so good”, he said, pulling my eyelids down a little.

I woke up. Alone again. Running kajal and flaky nose. Moaning and groaning. He was gone. But his memory remains in the tight little knot between my eyes. It’s Monday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Steven Seagal's secret understanding

In almost every action movie, during the last epic battle, the hero always gets roughed up a bit before he finally vanquishes his arch nemesis and cronies. In everything from Star Trek to mortal combat, Time cop to Terminator, there's always a struggle to the finish. The Good guy gets bloodied and battered first and then inspired by thoughts of wronged mother/ master/sister/child/partner etc, makes a brilliant comback on his last store of adrenaline/hidden inner strength.


...in Steven Seagal Movies. He dispatches the first baddy with the same ease as he does the last tier ring leader. Without a hair out of place. All his films have an anti-climax final battle. Makes you wonder if he picks his movies based on the characters indestructability.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Ides of March

Today's the day that Caesar died and today's the day my brother was born, all ancient history of course. And the look in my older sibling's eyes as I tell him it’s his turn to make tea is no doubt as lachrymose as the emperor's at his final betrayal. Poor guy. But there's something to be said for his kind of guy. The strong silent variety that talk only one on one. The kind that insist that they should scrub the floors too if their partners do. So just today, on a day he would gladly give up because he's embarrassed by too much attention, I salute him in all his dark horse glory. He really is the cream in my canole! I love having someone in the family i can talk to about all my escapades. This is rarity for people who come from my land of emotional repression and general misogyny. When i think back on the fights we'd had growing up, it amazes me that we can be so close and intact now.

My brother’s birth was seen as a little miracle because my mother has polycystic ovaries. There's so much sinewy tissue in there that it’s a big wonder any swimmers got through at all. My birth, seven years later and two miscarriages later, was even more so. Before i was born my brother made a clandestine bet with his best friend that i would be a boy and staked half a packet of boiled, hard Ravalgon sweets on it. So the first thing he said, to the shock and consternation of my mother (my father was away at sea) was "Oh no! It’s a girl!" and I just wailed the way new born babies do. That was to be our equation for many years to come.

When I was about six, he told me I had leprosy. First my fingers would fall off, then my toes and finally my nose and i would die. I howled like a banshee. Then he laughed at me saying "don't be so stupid, of course you don’t." I stopped. Then the return "Actually Sam, you DO have leprosy, I just didn't know how to tell you". More howling. "Ha Ha! Fooled you again". Crying stops. "Oh! but you do!", "Nooooooooooooo!" And so it continued for an afternoon.

And then there were times when he and his friends were off playing battleship armed with actual walkie-talkies and I was denied entry to any of this fun. One day he riled me so badly that I chipped his tooth by slamming my palm on the water bottle he was drinking from (we used to store water in washed out glass whiskey bottles). As my mother used to put it, we were “like snake and mongoose”. Mortal enemies. Except for the time he beat up this nasty neighborhood boy who ran me down with his bicycle and various small assorted Kodak moments. There was so much childish resentment between us. I was younger and more spoiled, he was older and more disciplined. He was older and got a weekly allowance (enough to buy tapes), I was young and foolish and had to make my money caddying for my dad at a buck and hour (Indian money that is! And I used to stupidly think to myself Yay! Four Fixy Foxies i.e. my favourite gum). Anyway, that’s the way things were.

Eventually, he went off to college and I went off to boarding school and in some years the age difference lessened and with the first admission of each others first sneaky cigarette/the viewing of the same porno stashed behind my dad’s book case (as if we wouldn’t find it there!), we were friends. Things have gotten better and better from there, we grew close sharing more substantial things than our exciting new vices.

It’s been such a long, strange trip. Growing up was fun with all our differences and when I think back on what he said when he first saw me, I can’t help feeling it’s kinda cool. Considering where we grew up, our religious and cultural background and how he COULD have turned out, in our root-sense he never treated me like a “girl”. Maybe it began then, maybe it didn’t. We moved apart, in opposite directions, found our paths and eventually met at the same spot. Full circle. Best friends, independent adults, brother and sister. Always, brother and sister.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Um...well...okay then

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's" Inferno Hell Test

Days later...

It’s been an ultra-exciting 3 days and I’ve taken a while to recover. I went for the Mark Knophler Concert with Boomsa. I was a lackluster Ostrich when we walked through the gates, but two songs into the show I really started grooving. By the time “Telegraph Road” came on I was BALLISTIC with happiness! All those people who said he looked like an old man just come in from the office to play a gig, I’m working up a really gigantic gob of spit for your iris. Really, it’s unbelievable that one would expect him to jump around and be overtly energetic. It’s like taking everything that’s great about him and nuking it to hell. The best thing about him is that quiet, sophisticated violence; it’s a mix that smells like soap and water…fresh, natural, just so damn Present. And no matter how advanced in years he might be, he has that incredible swagger that only certain British rock n’ rollers can carry off with élan. That elusive quality of being able to just shoot off trembling, vibrating energy while standing fairly stationary. And OH! Those thumbs! They seem even longer in…well not in person… but on the giant screen showing close-ups. Even Marks get the Blues! I’d stop and give him a lift, anytime. I jumped, I screamed, raised my arms in mass exultation and had a fabulous, almost sufi-ish spiritual experience. After the concert Boomsa and I went off in search of our good friend Beer.

At the witching hour I turned 24, on a day that greeting card companies cash in on. A belated women’s day shout out to all my lady friends…and some of my man friends who are more lady than my lady friends, Cheers!

In the spirit of growing older, we drank scotch instead of regular whisky. So much tipple, it made me topple. But not before we bayed passionately till 3 AM, courtesy my very wonderful fret-nimble friends (Prakki & Raveen) and my brand new birthday guitar. Songs sung blue and songs sung black included:-

Anarchy in the UK (Don’t ask how we managed on an acoustic guitar, but as a group we had enough spirit…pardon the pun…to carry it through)
Rooster, Would?, Man in a Box and various other Alice in Chains songs
Boomsa’s Etta James song (loverly)
Lasagna (sung to the tune of La Bamba)
An assortment of Police Songs (Yes, including a shrieky Roxanne)
Hendrix’s Angel (Had great fun with it)
Kick out the jams
Like a Rolling Stone
Several Joplin songs... of course!
A very, VERY strange version of mouth for war

I’d tell you more about the party, but I can’t remember…therefore, it must have been good

Spent the next day recovering…Hung-over but happy. Not going to do that again for a long time. There’s only so much abuse my body can take….*hic*…

Monday, March 07, 2005

Giant Thumbs

I'm off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of...well...not Oz, but England. The Professori Anglais himself, who can bring an air of sophistication to lyrics like:

"Last time I was sober, man I felt bad.
Worst hangover I ever had.
It took six hamburgers and scotch all night.
Nicotine for breakfast just to put me right”

Today’s the Mark Knophler Concert. I hope to get right up front and watch those Sissy Hankshaw-esque thumbs in full action. Glory Days! Hoping for catch material from “Rag pickers Dream”, yes, yes, I do have a soft and sissy-feminine spot for “Darling Pretty”

Finally! I get to hear “Sultans of swing” the way it’s meant to be played and not from the screeching plectrum of some semi-literate hotel band. And I presume Mark will have all the lyrics down pat and I won’t have to endure (as I have in the past) the verse “Well Harry doesn’t mind, If he doesn’t make the scene…” repeated, ad libbed and ad nauseum, in place of the correct lyrics.

When my sentences get this long, it generally means I’m over-excited. Looking forward to this evening, will report back with Mr. Big Thumb’s activities.

Ostrich, Over and Out…

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Autorickshaw Drivers- A study

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have found it. The missing link. So primal in its behavior...the Khaki Clad Autorickshawdriverus Erectus. Here are some instances of observed natural behavior:-

1. Has developed rudimentary language skills by way of grunts and an assortment of other angry noises. Also has command over certain local expletives. Uses aforementioned language after shamelessly cutting off other motorists. Always seems to imagine it is in the right despite its glaringly obvious lack of lane discipline and road etiquette.

2. Waits for female passengers, re-adjusts rearview mirrors away from traffic, trains it on mammaries, and then proceeds to drive fast over speed breakers thinking to itself “Hooray for Boobies!”

3. Certain members of this species are unable to control basic physiological urges. With caveman like Id, it sometimes whips out and flogs genitals in full view of bystanders. In a more evolved maneuver, it will perform this act while single handedly driving alongside uncomfortable looking female pedestrian.

4. Has no concept of city area beyond MG Road and its 2 KM radius. Refuses to travel anywhere except in that area. Even when given a multiple choice of destination. Highly territorial.

5. When parked in auto stand, one can observe a fine example of pack behavior. In a group they will loiter and make lewd comments. This seems to be manner of social bonding. In situations when one of the pack attempts to carry off a passenger before his turn, the rest hunt him down, whooping, and drag his rickshaw back.

6. The concept of numbers is not firmly founded. The A.Erectus seems to imagine that when change amounts to 5 bucks or less, the passenger forfeits the right to collect. If passenger objects it will use its nascent language skills, grunt angrily and drive off in a huff feeling wronged.

7. Seem to have a very strong political sense. Will vote at every election. As a pack they are constantly wooed by politicians for their strong united lobby. Candidates are elected between ‘Greedy parasite no.1’ and ‘Greedy Parasite no.2’

8. Uses one standard Phillips screwdriver for all manner of repairs to its vehicle. This does not include ornamentation i.e. painting on of local movie stars and slogans like “Like is pore poyson”

9. Uses not only its handlebars, but also its buttocks to steer and balance its vehicle. Will shift wildly from side to side like a sailor when executing sharp turns, all the while hunched Quasimodo-like with nose, mere inches from windscreen.

That concludes my study of the Autorickshawdriverus Erectus, I hope you found it insightful. If spotted, approach with caution.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Book Post

Many thanks to you Sachin Rao, for the work of your naughty little paws on the front of 'Fierce invalids home from hot climates' It makes me smile every time. It reads-

"Nothing like a jolt of unexpected boldness to make a woman's nipples stiffen"

isn't that the truth!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Tonight I’m a monster. A walking patch of black, snarling, with wiped off smiles dangling limp and lifeless in my jaws. A mass of negative energy so ferocious I will crack open your bones and fill your marrow with cold aching dread.

Frustrated insecure artists foam in the mouth, feeding off their own bad vibrations. Artists with great feedback loops are happier people. Right now there is not a single positively charged particle in my entire body and my brain is heavy and swollen with doubt. I haven’t slept in three days and my head aches… I cannot drag my carcass out of the door in the mornings and be productive. I feel distant and lonely and when I look at my relationships I can think of only two that do not exist conditionally. I have nothing to offer anyone right now, no mirth, no joy and definitely no pleasantness. My nose is bloody from allergies and prevents me from crying, despite the many, many sorrowful overfull lakes in my eyes. I want to rip off my body and be weightless. But instead I’m still here, Caliban-like, paralyzed in my fear of abandonment. If ever there was a good time for supernatural intervention, this might be it.

Yet all I can think of is Layne Staley and how he might have looked when they found him and stories of disemboweled pregnant women from the Hyderabad riots of the early 90’s. This is a downward spiral, maybe some tea, a cigarette, a book and Chick Corea and his Elektric Band to the Stars will help.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005



You go out of your way to build bridges with people of different views and beliefs and have quite a few religious friends. You believe in the essential goodness of people , which means you’re always looking for common ground even if that entails compromises. You would defend Salman Rushdie’s right to criticise Islam but you’re sorry he attacked it so viciously, just as you feel uncomfortable with some of the more outspoken and unkind views of religion in the pages of this magazine.

You prefer the inclusive approach of writers like Zadie Smith or the radical Christian values of Edward Said. Don’t fall into the same trap as super–naïve Lib Dem MP Jenny Tonge who declared it was okay for clerics like Yusuf al–Qaradawi to justify their monstrous prejudices as a legitimate interpretation of the Koran: a perfect example of how the will to understand can mean the sacrifice of fundamental principles. Sometimes, you just have to hold out for what you know is right even if it hurts someone’s feelings.
What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Spirited Away

The IMDB website says, "if you liked this movie you will probably enjoy....... 'Harry potter and the Philosopher's stone'..." I feel to weep. No offence to JK Rowling, i've read and enjoyed all her books. But Hayao Miyazaki's vision isn't something to be merely enjoyed. It is to be savoured, so delectable that it makes you yearn for more when it has been wholly swallowed.

"Spirited Away" is seamless. I watched it early 2004 right after 'Princess Mononoke' and began expecting just Manga fun. But as the story told itself i found myself hungry, happy, sad, relieved, and running through a whole host of visceral and mental tingling that are too various to list. There is no good or evil, just the duality in different balances that exists in people (ref. real life) A fantasy grounded firmly in human nature. Perfect... just perfect. Only a true master can knit actual personality into fantasy.

And the attention to detail! Chihiro puts on her shoes, taps the toes on the ground to make them snug and THEN takes off. Lin's expression of pained regret when she explains to Sen that the surliness was just a cover. Haku's elation at discovering his true identity. Just thinking about it makes my stomach race and i pinch my owns cheeks hard in supressed excitement.

I realise this is not a well thought out article, but it isn't meant to be. This is simply a gushing fan gushing. At an age when i tend to ask myself "do i feel things deeply enough?" it is liberating when something comes along that moves me beyond belief and restores all faith in emotion.

So... i'm not an android that deserves to be melted... phew...

I wish to surround myself with these things. Even the simple journey of discovering art that makes the knees of my bees weak, makes life so much more bearable and meaningful.


Note to Bill Watterson:

Thanks for the never ending chuckles. Have been reading and re-reading all my Calvin and Hobbes. Gets me everytime. How you've fused art and thought just sends tingles down my spine. Though short, your career as a cartoonist has produced a better and more intense product than most people can hope for in a lifetime. And that includes Niel Gaiman who i think would be highly overrated in comparison...is anyway if you compare Sandman to the Lucifer series and other comics in the same vein. Good luck in whatever you're attempting now. Photography is it? Until you tire of THAT, i have a feeling you will infuse you work with the same heart and technique that is so evident in your Comic work.

Now if you'll excuse me 'Revenge of the Baby-sat' awaits...

When coffee shops attack...

When i was 17 and a student at NIFT (or the National Institute for Future Tailors as we were wont to call it), there used to be a tiny eatery in the Chandrika hotel basement that served the most phenomenal Aloo Parathas. Looking back i wonder if that memory of the aforementioned parathas was based on my circumstances at the time. I was broke, spent all my money on colour pencils and was fresh out of boarding school in South india. Aloo parathas were relatively exotic for someone who had spent the last 7 years holed up in Period architechture in the Nilagiris. Anyway, i stray from the narrative. The reason i wonder about this at age 23 is that i ran into a familiar looking man in glasses and Orange t-shirt today. He walked up to me and asked me if i ever studied in NIFT and that caught me off guard. At first i thought he might have been some obscure management senior of mine, but it turns out he's the guy who used to run the paratha place.

I managed to thwart his friendly overtures with monosyllabic aswers and eventually he gave up and moved on. I was too busy at the time immersing myself in some glorious fiction ala David Mitchell's 'Number 9 Dream' interspersed with intense rounds of Sega tennis on my phone to welcome this intrusion. When he slunk off defeated, i noticed that his orange tee had the Barista logo emblazoned on it.

Barista indiranagar is where i eat lunch on most days, a place of respite where i catch up on reading between meetings etc. Recently they've changed caterers and the food has taken a turn for the worse. Alarmingly so. They seem to think patrons prefer their new line up of soggy, stale half-ass Mexican chicken wraps to the creamy chicken pastas of yestermonths. Did Mr.Orange T Glasses have some hand in this turnaround, this homogenization... this pandering to mediocrity? I think they should maybe consider serving Aloo parathas, curd and pickle instead.