06 November, 2005

camera capers

I was always skeptical of a cell phone with a camera. 'Why on earth would I want to take 1 MP pictures when I have a 5 MP camera' is what the innervoice would say. But then, any half decent phone now-a-days comes with a camera, like it or not. As the ole' faithful Nokia 3315 was on its last legs, the family decided to give it to the driver and get me a new phone. (I can never thank the driver enough ;)) Anyway, as things turned out, the innervoice was soon to be proved wrong. The following are the kind of pictures that get taken only with a mobile phone. Suddenly, taking random pictures is so much fun!

08 October, 2005


It has been more than a month since I last posted. I can't think of anything to write about. Been getting up at 5:30 in the morning to study. By the time its midnight I'm way beyond sleepy. So 'midnight musings' don't happen anymore. But since we have finally put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard in this case), we might as well write something.

Once every year (sometimes twice), a very exciting event occurs in Mumbai city, i.e. the great Sony/Emi music sale, where cds are sold for Rs. 99. Can you imagine?? Ninety nine bucks! Unfortunately, like every year, this year too I missed the first day, which is when the best albums can briefly be seen before music buffs lay their hands on them. But still, expecting the worst, we made our way at 11 a.m. on the second day to the venue. After standing in the line for about 15 mins, we enter this big hall where there are hundreds of people with just one intention: to get the rare cd's before they run out. And by the rare cds we don't mean your great granny's Rabindra Sangeeet cd or Britney Spears Greatest Hits cd. A rare cd is that all elusive cd your have been looking for (or maybe you were never even looking for it and you chance upon it) but were too afraid to buy. Understandably enough, Pink Floyd cds are the first one to run out. Take out the people wanting to buy Rock music (no, that again does not include those buying Britney Spears Greatest Hits), and you get an empty hall filled with the occasional auntie-type looking to get bhajans to play in the morning. CDs of Pearl Jam, Megadeth, ACDC, Black Sabbath, Beatles and other such artists are what the majority people come looking for.
So we have the rockers coming to get their brand of music, the 40 somethings mainly go for vintage rock/country stuff (Steely Dan, CSNY, CCR, Beatles...), the kiddos come with their mommas to get cheap computer games, and yes the above mentioned auntie-types.

Anyway, you get the picture. I just wanted to say that I got the following stuff:
1. AC/DC - Back In Black
2. Beatles- Let It Be... Naked
3. Eric Clapton - Chronicles- the best of Eric Clapton
4. Doobie Brothers - Listen To The Music- the very best of the Doobie Brothers
5. Jeff Beck - Jeff
6. Led Zeppelin - II
7. Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Love And Hate
8. Rage Against The Machine - Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium
9. Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits
11. Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

I haven't opened a single cd yet. The entire stack is just sitting on my desk and I'm looking lovingly at it. I love buying cds. It's so cathartic. The joy in playing an original cd can never be equalled by playing a copied cd or playing an mp3 track from a computer. I wish I could have bought more cds. There were others I wanted, but they would be coming a little later in the day. I might go looking for more again. But we have already stretched our budget to the max. One has to draw the line somewhere.

22 August, 2005

Window Dressing

This started off as a comment on Khyati's post, but as the words were flying out from the keyboard, I decided to publish it as a post instead.
Read on...

As I look outside my window, I can just about touch the leaves of a coconut tree. At the fag end of this leaf, sits a crow pecking at the remains of what was once probably a fish. At the base of another leaf by its side, there is a half eaten chappati. On the third leaf there is some idli and on the fourth, some other meat. The crow hops from one leaf to the other, alternating between the wide spread of culinary delights it has managed to pilfer.

Meanwhile, the aroma of mutton biryani from the second floor, combined with that of fried fish from the floor below finds its way into my nostrils and sends the salivary glands into a tizzy. Before I know it, I find myself heading for the kitchen, asking mother dear ,"What's for lunch?" "Dal and alu methi." Brilliant. I shall go back to watching the crow eat its fill. Atleast someone has a choice over their afternoon meal.

So exult O shores and ring O bells
but I with mournful tread,
walk the deck my mutton lies
fallen cold and dead.

Existential angst?? Naah... not from my window.

18 August, 2005

Normal events in an abnormal house

The following is an unabridged, 'blow by blow' account of what transpired on the night of 15 May, 2004. But before that, just a little background so as to enable you to get a clearer picture.

People present - Abeer Garg, Saurav Palit & Akshay Kawale, fondly referred to as The Crow, for obvious reasons. (The fourth roomie, Saurabh Lall, was regretably absconding, ensconced in Lovely Home.)
Time - About 9 P.M., with just about two weeks left to finish engineering (supposedly). The excitement is hence palpable.
GUPTA sandwich - Staple food of all engineers, north of the gap of Mankhurd.
The gap of Mankhurd - Distant suburb of Mumbai, the last bastion, separating the have and the have nots.

Here we go. Brace yourself. For those of you who have a special attachment to rodents of extremely humongous proportions, now is the time to stop reading.

Abeer goes into the kitchen to top his 'GUPTA ©' sandwich with salami, when the vermin runs out from behind the cylinder towards the kitchen window, trying to jump out of it. Finding it shut, it (later we found out the ‘it’ was a ‘him’) jumps on to the masala rack and hides behind some containers (Pearlpet ©). Abeer frantically calls Palit and asks him to get his ass down, albeit silently, lest he scare the vermin. He comes down in a trice, and marvels at the size of the young ’un. This he follows by giving him The Ozzy Scare (hands above the head, fingers splayed, tongue out). Vermin promptly lets loose some few of his droppings. In the meantime, The Crow (Mr.) joins in the fiesta making the kitchen quite crowded (three’s always a crowd). It is then mutually decided that the best way to kill ‘vermin’ is by shooting paper pellets at it. So AK is given the job of making pellets, while the duo sets about letting them loose (the pellets, ignoramus). But soon it is realized that paper pellets are not too exciting. So the weaponry is upgraded, and now the duo shift to using matches (Mango brand ). A couple of flaming missiles, and vermin has his hair standing on his back, and lotsa shit on the rack. Now Abeer is of the opinion that its now or never, and the matter should be put to rest, and vermin through the test. “Let block the main door, trap him in the mosquito net, and then bash him up.” Palit agrees whole-heartedly, but then the loss of a beloved mosquito net forces him to think otherwise. He opines to let vermin be, since nothing that has not happened can happen in two more weeks. Crow is also of the same opinion. But Abeer still disagrees. A couple of minutes of deep pondering by the trio ensue. The idea of flaming it is being discussed, when Palit gets two sticks form the loft (’neath the staircase) and keeps one to himself and hands over the other to Abeer. “Lets just bash it up. Kawale you block the door.” Game plan in mind, they now set about achieving their goal. The main door is blocked. Kawale stands on the staircase, to block vermin’s upward route, with his WMD, the humble jhaadu. Abeer goes in the hall. Palit takes up the daunting task of dislodging it from its perch on the rack. Vermin runs out of the kitchen. Finding the main gate blocked, it takes a U-turn and enters the hall, narrowly missing the blow of Palit’s stick. It runs behind the speakers, trying to stick close to the walls, but finds itself at the wrong end of Abeer’s stick. Dead-end, time to turn back towards the main door. At this point, Crow remarks, “I am like the goal-keeper”, and proceeds to demonstrate the same with a flourish of his jhaadu. Swept aside (pun intended) by the confusion all around, vermin does the hall and back to main door routine three four times, during which he gets a few back-breaking shots. Now suitably weakened, he cowers between the speakers and the desk. Sensing his opportunity, Abeer pushes the stick into his snout, and delivers the fatal blow. Vermin reels back and promptly flips over to his side. There is much joy and celebration. Palit rolls vermin out in the open using his stick, while remarking “its so cute”. (Note: - It was at this time that we realized that vermin was a ‘he’ ). Soon the need for a photo session is felt, and a frantic hunt for batteries ensues. Crow is duly criticized for not having his digicam handy. Batteries being old, the camera doesn’t function and a historic event is not photographed for future generations. The discussion now veers to how vermin should be disposed off with. Palit says that it should be burnt in the pit in the courtyard, while Crow roots for drowning him. In the end, indecision prevails and vermin is then rolled into a bag, which is then carried at the ends of two sticks, and tossed into the garbage dump. Everyone comes home happy, and they proceed to have a hearty meal, content with the knowledge that the vermin menace is over at last… Well, at least for the next day or two

28 July, 2005

Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop...

'Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop'... thus went the lyric of a song by the dear departed Cobain, Kurt. Such poignant words in such a time. Also brings to mind another song by some bollywood director... 'rain is falling chama cham cham.. ladki ne aankh maari gir gaye hum'

As you may infer, I am bored. Have been sitting cooped up in my house since the past three days, due to the heavens opening up. OK, I am thankful for not being one of those who had to suffer huge losses, but I am still a tad peeved. There is only so much you can do with no television, and no computer. Power grid failure it seems, eh? Just made me realise how dependent we are on these two devices.

There is too much depression around, but as always, it is the spirit of the mumbaikar which lives on... Will end now with a positive song...
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet, yeah
Make you wanna move your dancing feet now
To the rescue, here I amWant you to know, y’all, can you understand?
When the mornin’ gather the rainbow, yeah, yeah
Want you to know, I’m a rainbow too now
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, y’all, can you, can you, can you understand?

16 July, 2005

olfactory overdose

I love the smell of a fresh new car, with leather seats and all,
love the smell of freshly photocopied pages,
love the smell of new books (thanks to a certain Saurav Palit for re-introducing me to this one, although he took it to an entirely new plane)
love the smell of acetone (recently finished sniffing an entire bottle of nail polish remover.. aaaaah! Folks were a bit worried at home, but dad settled the matter by saying "Its OK as long as he's not getting a new bottle". Oh, how I am fighting the urge!)
love the smell emenating from Pizzeria at Marine Drive. It's almost impossible not to pop in there for a bit when walking by with a loaded wallet.
love the smell of unlit cigarettes. (OK, I know I'm weird)
love the smell of firecrackers
love the smell of freshly baked cookies, mmmmm....
love the smell of a fresh coat of varnish
love the smell of a nice heady wine
love the smell of petrol
love the smell of fevicol
love the smell of... oh balderdash, I've turned into an addict!
And all this smelly business has made me extremely hungry. Off for a bite then mateys, keem smelling!

04 July, 2005

The following is my post to a certain e-group, of which I am a member. This was in response to a general discussion about some people sending forwards, and how that ticks other people off (me included). Here goes:

"I know for a fact that we can't stop people from sending forwards. Sooner or later there will be someone who thinks that forwarding a mail to 50 ppl in the next 10 minutes will prevent him from getting aids the next time he decides to copulate with the nearest simian around him. Or someone who thinks that by forwarding some random mail some random child living in Lesser Mongolia will not get herpes. Or that Bill Gates himself will gift you $5 for every mail that you forward. The point here, is not to not send forwards, but to edit the mails you do decide to forward.

Case in point: The International Consumer Rights Protection Council mail. While I do agree that there are many amongst us who have a pressing need to register complaints against people who sell us defective refrigerators, you dont need to provide the link to read the so called 'solved cases', and then provide us with the same 42 'solved cases'. The "link" happens to do that job for us.

The moral of the story is thus but one word, EDIT. Send forwards, but remove the yahoo/homtmail taglines before you do so. Remove the senders' list before you click the send button. We are not interested in knowing that the message originated from the above mentioned person who copulated with an ape, went through the above mentioned kid in Lesser Mongolia who ended up getting herpes anywhichway, through to the spam filters of Bill Gate's Hotmail, untill someone decided that hey, SPAM IS GOOD FOR YOU! Also, amongst the plethora of jokes sent, I am sure that there are atleast 2 or 3 that are low even by your standards. Delete them. Quality not quantity, is what works, right?

Baaki sab kushal mangal hai. Likhte rehna ;-)
saadar pranam
tumhara mitr

P.S.: It just occured to me, but can we register a complaint in the above mentioned 'International Consumer Rights Protection Council', for mental distress caused due to forwards? Naaah, just kidding!

03 July, 2005

Think Floyd

Yeah, thats all I've been doing since the past couple of days, think Floyd, that is. The LIVE8 concert was on, and the best band in the planet reunited. Watching them perform together after all these years was enough to give one the goosebumps. If only I could have been there to see them, in flesh and blood! Would have been worth going to London just to be there for 12 hours, see the concert and come back.

Meanwhile, in faraway Philadelphia, the camera scanned the crowd as I caught a glimpse of the Indian Flag. Made me think of Kapil. I wouldn't be too surprised it that was him waving the flag. Hope that atleast my friends if not me, were able to be a part of LIVE8. But in the same vein, I hope no one I know was in London seeing Pink Floyd perform. I would never be able to look at them in the eye again. Yes I am jealous, goddamnit.

07 June, 2005

'bout simians and butts.

Its been more than a month since I have last posted, and withdrawl symptoms have never hit me harder. Now, even with just two days left for the cursed bi-annuals to get over, I can't hold back. No no, don't stop me. So here I am, back with my glass of pomegranate juice, tapping away on the keys. Nothing to say really, just wanted to loosen them rusty fingers a bit.

Ripley's belieu it or not:
If a sufficient number of monkeys were placed in front of a set of type-writers and left alone long enough, they would eventually produce all the works of shakespeare!

Random thought #356
Ever wondered how you'd look in a thong but didn't have the courage to go out and buy one? Fear not! Presenting, the do-it-yourself thong. But first, drop your pants! Now, that being done, roll up your underwears and stuff them in the crack of your butt. Stand in front of the mirror and admire your gluteus maximus.
P.S. I would strongly recommend you get rid of them follicles before trying out the above mentioned lunacy. Nobody ever wore thongs with a hairy derriere, you know.

03 May, 2005

this is the end...

When you're close to tears remember
Some day, it'll all be over
One day we're gonna get, so high...
-Lighthouse Family

Truer words were ne'er spoken. *Cheersh*
Amongst other news, Green Day has started making 9 minute songs. Now I've seen it all!

01 May, 2005

mumbai matinee

"Yeh Mumbai shahar hai, Mumbai, idhar koi kisi ke liye rukta nahin hai", said person 'x' seated in front of me in Best bus no. 505, Bandra to CBD Belapur, on being questioned by person 'y' as to why he (person 'x') foxily grabbed his (person y's) seat. Needless to say, a seat once taken in the aforesaid Mumbai shahar, will not be easily given up, be it in a bath-room or a bus. Person 'y' ofcourse, muttered something about the royal ways of 'x', upon which 'x' gave a kingly smile to his fellow passengers, and promptly let loose a spit-ball on the road below, thus marking his territory for all who dared to encroach upon it. Meanwhile 'y' went on ahead, hoping to find some place else to park his derriere.

Every now and then you come across certain people who impart the knowledge of the world to you, as though you were born just yesterday (or considering the said city we are talking about, as if you are from Alibag)? They will promptly inform you of the various ways of their city, in a sentence or two, leaving you to figure out the deep hidden meaning for yourself.

Another example: Linking Road, 5 p.m. Woman is busy bargaining for a pair of sandals, when the vendor shouts out to her "yeh Linking Road hai, koi chor bazaar nahin". Oh-kay... and what if haven't heard of this market of thieves? What then? If I'd have known of it I'd have gone there, no really, I would have. But the point is I don't, and thats why I'm coming here.

Now, these people are the ones who have seen it all happen before their very eyes, who have lived in this city ever since they can remember, who are the very essence of the city as much as the city is an essence of their very existence. (Vanilla though, I never like any other. ) Its kind of a symbiotic relationship. In other words, they make the city as the city makes them. Love it or hate it, you can't get far without meeting any such characters on any given day. Yes, it is irritating when you yourself are at the receiving end of such wisdom . But hear it being forced down someone else's throat, and its the funniest thing you've heard in a while.

I now leave you with another classic from the good old local train. 'X' and 'Y' (yeah those two again) are having a tiff at the entrance of their compartment, since 'X' claims that 'Y' is getting a bit too close for his (X's) comfort . 'Y' retaliates, and before you know it both are in the middle of a verbal volley. 15-0, 15-15, 30-15, 30-30, 40-30, DEUCE!!!, ADV 'X'. At this point, 'Y', becoming desperate to score, shouts "Tu kya kar lega?" A cardinal sin. Sensing his opportunity, 'X' moves in for the kill, and replies, "Karega kuch nahin, jab karega to pata chalega." Game, Set, Match 'X'.

P.S. - I have personally never understood the implications of that cracker of a retort, but, if you do, then might I say you are on the verge of becoming the quintessential Mumbaikar. Jai Maharashtra.

23 April, 2005

the power of four!

Every once in a while these four words pop into my mind, namely; 'It's not worth it!'
Needless to say, I am profoundly moved by the power in these words, and the effect it has on people. So go ahead, and make the world a better place to live in! Let no one toil labouriously at their work. Tell them these four words, and they shall forget all their worries and they shall come after you like no one's ever come after you. Still reading this, eh?? Well, guess what? It's not worth it!

21 April, 2005

Reality & mustard

The more I think about it, the more it seems that the only worthwhile thing to do now days is to become part of some reality show: have a couple of bugs, some roaches if you please (with a dash of mustard)*, get your brains knocked out by some 15 others, walk phantom-like about the house shouting 'Shaaaaaaaaron' at random intervals, etc etc... But the one show that stands out amongst the plethora of these reality shows is The Most Amazing Race. Sheer brilliance. Oh, what I would give to be on that show! I don't suppose anyone knows how one can apply to be on it. Even Google came up with no answer (other than some race for the Kentucky Kindergarten Kids, dubbed as The Most Amazing Race!)

*=Scientific test have proved that there is nothing in this world that cannot be made edible instantly with a dash of mustard. Removing the double negation, it quite simply means 'have mustard, will eat'.