Coo !

A vine/creeper just outside my door. Nothing spectacular so far, eh?
A closer look.

Blogworthy? Maybe. There are three there: hairless with yellowish beaks that are always open and chirping.

Nice sewing job, eh? Unfortunately, the leaf is fragile and one will now have to be careful while opening the door. Stupid sparrow, nonetheless. Will leave extra bajra closer to the nest from now on.
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Bars, Beer and Balls

Just a few hours to go now for the World Cup to begin. I don’t know about you, but I find the hype rather stifling, and a little irritating. I quite like the previews and the info on the various teams, but going and asking just about every celebrity who they think will win is something like asking them which is their favourite book – they might not really be interested, but they choose the popular ones because they cant seem ignorant. So, like everybody says The Da Vinci Code or The Alchemist, just about everyone is rooting for Brazil.

No team has the upper hand; on their day, anybody can beat anybody. This isn’t like the EPL where Chelsea can buy a truckload of hugely talented players and dominate on the basis of sheer depth of squad and talent that sustains them over the entire season. For every Didier Drogba, they have an Hernan Crespo as backup. Sean Wright Phillips, who, for all my money would have it to Germany had he not spent most of the year in the Chelsea reserves, got just a handful of first team appearances.

Each team has its strengths, but the great thing about this game and this event is that you just can’t predict who’s going to win. A lot of people (self included) were caught off guard by Korea and Senegal last time. In the formers case, they played much above their level at home, and there were a few contentious decisions that went their way in the quarter finals. So telling someone who your favourite team is isn’t the same as telling them whom you think will win. I see weaknesses in Brazil’s centre midfield if and when they need to rest Kaka and/or Cafu, but it is likely that with a floating wingers in Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos, and strikers like Ronaldo and Adriano, they’ll.

Anyway, where are you going to watch the games? I’m probably going to watch at home, or at a cousins.

Around four years ago, during the last World Cup, my cousin, a friend of his and I walked into a five star group hotel in Lutyens Delhi. A game was being projected on a large screen in the coffee shop (or was it a restaurant doubling up as a bar?). The screen was of rather poor quality, the sound was off and the game was unwatchable. What’s more, the bar was empty, and well lit (hence badly lit). So we decided to sit closer to the screen, have a beer each, and then move on. We ordered.

The waiter walked in with beer in some oddly shaped football glasses…cups, actually. Y’know the oversized coffee mugs that curve inwards at the top? Similar to thoset. They were smaller than held a little more than a pint. After joking about the mugs for a bit, we requested that they be replaced with normal, regular beer mugs, or even beer glasses – anything but those mugs that made you feel like you were sipping khaasmadhu (a cough syrup*).

The waiter looked at us, a little embarrassed. He said that he had been given strict instructions to serve beer in only those ridiculous mugs. He apologised and informed us that this was only till the World Cup lasted, and this is the managements idea to appear more football friendly because they have a large number European patrons who would like to watch football. No wonder the bar was empty.

The one place where I’d love to watch the game is Cafe Mondegar (Mondy’s) (Photos: outside/inside) in Bombay. Last I went there was four years go. Italy were playing Croatia. I was waiting for Hum Do Harami Do, with Rohan. It’s the sort of place you wish existed in Delhi, and then shudder at the thought of ‘mummy, papa, bunty and munni’ walking in and ordering maa ki daal and naan, or even makke di roti and sarson da saag (feel free to diss me on my political incorrectness): they serve beer, not inordinately expensive, they have a large, loud jukebox which has rock songs, cane cafe chairs. There were several football fans around, mostly foreigners, and they were sitting in two separate groups that were regularly taunting each other jokingly.

Update: Just remembered another case of the minnows unexpectedly winning. Greece, some of you might remember, won the Euro 2004. If I remember correctly, they were the most tenacious of all the teams, and the least flamboyant.

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Quiztime

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.

Postmodernist

88%

Materialist

88%

Modernist

81%

Cultural Creative

69%

Existentialist

56%

Fundamentalist

25%

Idealist

19%

Romanticist

6%

What is Your World View? (updated)
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I’d have preferred ‘Rationalist’, but I got a tie-breaker question between being a Materialist and a Post-Modernist:

All that exists is matter and energy or Interpretation is an intrinsic feature of the fabric of the universe.

While I agree with the former statement, I do believe that everything is open to interpretation based on reasoning. I believe that the act of interpretation itself is energy – thoughts are waves – and both statements are true. But since this is my interpretation, I decided on the latter. Allow me to say Aaargh because I’m caught between the two choices.

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Fractured Earth

“Here be articles on poverty, environment and development. The owner of this blog, a journalist by trade, is not very sure how india is doing. He knows that the country is growing fast, but is less sure about the kind of development this growth is translating into. He tunes into the media and gets one version of the truth. He talks to greens and NGOs and gets an entirely different version. There is great merit, he thinks, in investigating these contradictions. Trace them long enough and he will arrive at the complex, nuanced truth about how this country is faring.”
Fractured Earth

Shekhar is blogging on developmental issues and trying to investigate and keep alive issues that we, in urban and e-nabled India, tend to look over or forget easily. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself almost numb to farmer suicides and failure of crops. Changes in the price of onions has been like second page news because I don’t think I can really make a difference.

Whenever we’ve discussed his blog (it took a long time for him to begin), the one thing that I’ve noticed is that Shekhar seems to really believe that by writing about these issues, he’s making a difference, though he’s never explicitly stated this.

Reading his blog, of late, has rekindled an interest in the state of Indian agriculture and farmers – something that we tend to take for granted. I’m not sure if I’m entirely comfortable reading about all the issues that I feel I can’t do anything about – I think I’d rather be blissfully ignorant. For now though, I’m reading and being forced to think. That’s not too bad.

Among other articles on Fractured Earth, do read Shekhar’s SOP and his reports on the micro finance mess in Andhra and the future of MFI’s.

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Hair Raising Issues

I’ve always had a close crop (see this and this. And this is my Alter Ego, an anti-portrait with short hair). At times, people have inquired about whether or not my hair actually grows. My half-bald homeopath in Pune once recommended (unsolicited) a medicine for hair growth, following which I recommended a barber to him. As NB once put it – there are several good doctors around, but very few good barbers. NB gets his hair restyled once a fortnight, and the only kind of doctor he ever visits is a dermatologist for a regular checkup of his scalp.

At rock concerts I usually find myself next to lots of black t-shirts with heads with long hair on them, unsuccessfully attempting to get rid of the head by bending and straightening from the waist (NOT what you’re thinking, pervert) to the tune of the bass guitar. My black t-shirt usually attempts the same, though sans the mane, and hence possibly feeling left out. Unselfishly, I decided to grow my hair.

The following are a few hair-raising facts and some comments that one is likely to receive:

Comments:

  • Some Friends: “Baal katane ke paise nahih hain kya?” Translated: You don’t have money to get a haircut? ( However, note that not one of them comes forward to offer money for a haircut. O-)
  • Dad: “The Einstein look went out of fashion long ago.”
  • Uncle: “You hair looks like that of Aishwarya Rai’s ex-boyfriend. That Oberoi chap.”
  • Dog: “Woof” Translated: I’ve got longer hair than you! MUHAHAHAHA
  • Mom: “Talk to me only after you get a haircut” (Fifteen minutes later: “What’ll you have for dinner?”)
  • Sister: “I’ll talk to you only after you get a haircut.” Then looking at the grin on my face: ” No, wait! Just go get a haircut, man.”
  • Friend with shoulder-length hair (a month into the hair-raising exercise): “Ha ha ha! You call this LONG?”
  • Random strangers: “Nice hair.”
  • Still more friends: “So, you’re a Dhoni fan?” (AM NOT! I mean, I didn’t grow my hair because he’s got long hair.)

Facts:

  • Fingers automatically switch from scratching the stubble to fiddling with longish strands of hair and the tendancy to run hands across the back of the head increases
  • Hair tickles once it reaches the top of the ears. That’s when you begin wondering whether you ought to tuck it in behind the ears, or allow it to fall over.
  • Shampoo (and type of shampoo) becomes important. You learn that there’s also a product called a conditioner that, unlike shampoo, shouldn’t be washed off as soon as it is applied
  • Audibility reduces ever so slightly once hair nears the ear lobes.
  • You’re often worried about whether your hair is in place or not, and are likely to look around for mirrors whenever possible. Friends get irritated when you ask them every few hours – “How’s my hair?”
  • People tend not to forget you, and the frequency of “I’ve seen you somewhere” increases. (Although sometimes, it’s “I’ve seen your photograph on that world-famous Jabberwock blog.” 😀
  • Strangely enough, I kinda felt that I was being taken a lot less seriously and as unprofessional, just because my hair was long.

So, after two and a half months, with a single visit to a barber shop for ‘Thinning” and a slight trim, my hair was finally ‘taking shape’: I didn’t look like I’d just emerged from a chemistry lab after an exothermic experiment mishap. Your hair is falling well now, I was told by the encouraging friend with shoulderlength hair.

Unfortunately, it’s summer and I have exams to give. With hair falling over my eyes, the tendancy to doze off while reading increased. Also, as a rule, I get a haircut before my exams. My head feels a lot lighter, and my scalp is feeling a little cold. Long hair is something that you end up belong to, and too much of a bother at times, while short hair is low on maintenance, and much more convenient since one doesn’t need to comb it. I’ll post the Oh, you got your hair cut? type comments later.

If actually read all of this, you may answer any or all of the following questions:

* What’s your take on guys keeping long hair. (Their own hair, I mean. No voodoo.)
* If six times four is forty two, what’s the question?
* If you’re a guy – ever grown your hair long? How did people react? Do you care?
* Approximately what percentage of this post is true?
* What’s with everyone insinuating that long hair is inspired by Dhoni? I mean – Becks had it long before Dhoni came into the limelight (I reiterate – I didnt copy!)
* Eh?

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All work and no play

I’ve been off blogging, mailing and going for events for the last fortnight (apart from a few ‘blips’: the META Fest and one evening at the not so Great Indian Rock where I met Shekhar, HDHD and a few of HDHD’s forgetful friends).

After a full quarter of not doing much work and just flitting from one event to another, I got the opportunity to organise one. It’s been a very useful, and at times, difficult lesson. I’ve created a logo, company profile, media package, invitation card, invitation emailer, oversaw the pre-process and printing, compiled a mailing list, handled dispatch, transportation and setup of artwork, and been involved in just about everything else that needed to be done. There was tons to do, and all of which I had never done before.

My biggest gain has been that I’ve proven to myself that I can extend the obsessive-compulsive drive for perfection that existed in college, to work. There were moments when the team that I was working with didn’t work as hard or with as much attention to detail – which is where I came in to support them. One of them, tired of the occasionally not-so-polite boss, asked me why I was working so hard. The answer was quite simple: I want the end product to be the best that I can make it… not for them: for me. Everything that I do has to seem to be mine…has to have a distinct branding that people recognise and say – this is Nikhil’s work. Brand Nikhil? That happened in college (five months and teachers are still referring to me), but it’s a much bigger world outside of college. Let’s see how things go. It was a little disconcerting, that in-spite of well defined responsibilities and targets, the one who worked hardest got more and more work given to him. It’s something that I will have to guard against in the future.

Yesterday was an immensely satisfying day- worked from 9:30am to 12:30am, on my feet most of the time and running around with hardly a moments rest. Drove barefooted for the first time because of swollen feet. Got excellent sleep. And a lot of people remembered that it was my birthday – even long lost friends from school.

All work and no play make Nikhil satisfied, it seems.

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Four…

…is the number of strangers who’ve told me in the last three days that they’ve seen me before. And my face isn’t even up on hoardings (yet :P). Do I have a look-alike?

The same had happened at Jebbit‘s book launch at The Corner Bookstore in CP, where someone from Indian Ocean had said the same thing.

Oh, and bye the bye, I tried out for some Radio Mirchi RJ competition. What irritated me most was the SMS type English written on the page, and the switching between Hindi and English. Unfortunately they didn’t allow me to write my own script. Okay, I don’t mind reading out Hindi, but at least write the English properly. Even some of the Hindi was written using the latin script.

So, script in hand, I stood behind the mic in the telephone-booth like booth and read out one of the eight scripts to choose from. My stupid friends tried putting me off by tapping on the glass pane and making faces. It was fun for all, particularly since I was quite drunk and was possibly slurring. 😀

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Snob value and reservations

Snob value was the tagline on my schools sweatshirts. I found it rather stupid and thought it lacked creativity. Because I’m a different kind of snob…

HASH(0x8bea150)
You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of
endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and
never fail to impress at a party.
What people love: You can answer almost any
question people ask, and have thus been
nicknamed Jeeves.
What people hate: You constantly correct their
grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
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Got the link to this quiz off Red‘s blog, where we’re debating ‘Reservations in the private sector’:

Consider a somewhat ideal situation: Efficient utilisation of optimal resources in an open economy means that a company earns maximum possible revenue. The government collects its dues as taxes and spends this money efficiently on welfare and education. An improvement in skills among the youth increases productivity and efficiency, thus increasing per capita income and revenue earned from taxes. This is a case of cyclic improvement/development.

Now if you’re going to incorporate reservations into such a system, you’re hampering efficiency, and consequently reducing revenue, welfare and development.

Take a situation that is not ideal, and things get only worse.

more…

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Flashpoint

In the first room that I enter, a barely perceptible smell of smoke still lingers. You can sense it, briefly, when you walk in from the breezy terrace. A few seconds later, it’s gone. The walls are a deep shade of brown, but for a few jagged lines of white that stretch downwards from the ceiling. It is dark in the room and the new tubelight on its new casing, in stark contrast with the sooted wall that it is nailed to, is off. But it is unnecessary: there is enough light filtering in through the wire-gauze; enough to move around with running into anything. In any case, there not much left here to read. The wall to wall carpeting is intact, and clean.

I hesitate before I turn right to look at the other room. A blackened air-conditioner rests next to the wall on the far side, but I immediately turn to the shards of transluscent black glass beside it, under the window. It irritates me that they haven’t been removed, but I do not ask why. I look up to see the pane that this glass fell off, and through the part that the shards on the floor would fit perfectly into, I look up at the partly cloudy skies. The walls are charred, and at places, sharp-edged pieces of paint are missing, revealing a layer of white paint on the cement, and occasionally a coarse layer of scraped cement. Other parts of the papdi, as the topmost layer of paint is called in Hindi, are cracking and their borders are outlined in grey. The room stinks of burnt wood; I was last here ten days ago, on new year’s day, heaping bucketfulls of water into the smouldering remains of my bookshelf. 55 year old shelves are…were made of stubborn wood, and while almost everything else had collapsed into ash when I opened the door to the second room, a three foot tall black and grey pile still smouldered. Stubbornly.

The rooms had been closed all night. I had unlatched the door to the first room, the part near the door-frame blackened with the soot of the smoke trying to escape, and walked in without thinking, before being slapped in the face by a wave of heat and smoke. Everything looked blurred and disfigured, and blackened – the sides of the plastic wall clock that had been kept on the metal filing cabinet were drooping; the three layered plastic file-holder had collapsed to a single layer; the fax machine had shrivelled and wrinkled, with its insides now showing. Nothing else in the first room was damaged, except that the walls were now black, and it was hot in there.

I opened the other room from the outside, and saw a layer of ash on the floor. Where’s the desk? I wondered. The chairs? My DVD player? Speaker system? I looked at the remains of the once six-foot bookshelf and thought this was all a bad dream. For a few moments, I just stared; stared, before parts of ash blew off to reveal a brilliant orange, burning interior. The PC’s were on the part-metal table, and they looked surreal: drooping and yellowed. Everything that was plastic had melted, and soot had filled the room. And yet, there was no blazing fire to be seen, even though the rooms were both hot. As someone, using a shovel, carried the ashen remnants of my books out into the terrace, a fresh, unburnt page flipped open and took fire.

“Flashpoint,” said my cousin, later that evening. “It’s very interesting.” When there isn’t enough oxygen in a room, and something catches a spark, it all smoulders slowly to conserve the oxygen. The temperature rises, the wood heats up and the plastic melts. Then, at a particular temperature, everything bursts into flames simultaneously and burns until the oxygen runs out, and then smoulders. “Wow,” he said kindly, “this must have actually happened.”

Every now and then, especially when I look at the much smaller book-shelf in my room, or chance upon something remotely literary, I lapse into reminiscing about the books that have been lost. In particular, my copy of LOTR (Bookworld, Pune); Tristram Shandy (Book Bank, Pune); my Somerset Maugham collection, most of which were picked up when HDHD and I visited Fort, and two from Deccan Bridge in Pune- compilations of stories and their adaptations into plays by Maugham; the Jack Kerouacs – Maggie Cassidy and On the Road; Without Feathers by Woody Allen; The complete works of Oscar Wilde; my grandfathers P.G. Wodehouses…ah well, there were too many of them…over two seventy of them, and too many of them were special. My collection is now down to a meager seventy three books that I had brought down to my room (Why not more? I ask myself again), and five that are with friends: three with Harneet and two with Abhinit in Pune. But bouts of reminiscing are fleeting and we must move on.

“If you believe in Indian fatalism,” said my Uncle while the wet ash was being shoveled out that fateful morning,”the rest of the year will be better.” An aunt called in to say that some blasted planet must have moved on after this.

I resolve to make it better by shopping for books with a vengeance (finances permitting, of course). On the 22nd and 29th of Jan, if you’re in Delhi, you’re invited to join me for a walk down Darya Ganj. I must warn you, though: I have a quick eye for good books; what might work in your favour is that I might be a little confused about whether I still have a particular book or not.

Tip: when you have a bonfire, and have been sitting around it on mattresses, leave the mattresses out in the open for the night. That way, if it’s picked up a spark, only the mattress will burn.

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2005: Year in review/a fear of belonging and a hiatus

I have a phobia of addictions, and like I did exactly a year ago when I was in Bombay, I’m taking a fortnight off from blogging. A review of the year gone by, before I leave.

Academics/College

Probably the most satisfying year of my life, academically. Ended with a 4.0 GPA, and straight A’s; it’s a record that can only be emulated, not beaten. And will not be emulated for at least the next three years ion my college. My degree says ‘Summa Cum Laude‘ (I had to google for what it means). Not sure if it helps.

Found out that teachers kept telling other students in other classes to be like me, which they found irritating. It felt rather strange when I switched batches for a class and everyone wanted to be in my group for group-work, and my academic prowess reached mythical proportions (no, seriously). Someone floated a rumour that teachers were coming to help. The dean spoke to me when some people had anonymously sent a suggestion that I should teach instead of the teacher. On the flip side, I was branded a bookish-nerd, which was unfair because I rarely read the text.

Had lots of run-ins with the college management because I spoke my mind. They couldn’t argue because I was right, and enjoyed a lot of student support. Also formed a core group with three MBA students to help develop a student driven community in college, and work as a bridge between the college management and the students. Not much came out of it, but we set the ball rolling and it’s helping other students now.

Learnt a lot about group dynamics and myself, and somehow feel that the authoritarian way of working suits me best. I’m authoritative but fair, but that was only because most of the people working with me weren’t as committed. I enjoyed a certain degree of expert power that became positional in nature, which allowed me to exercise control. Also learnt that I learn best by asking questions that slowly lead to the right answers.

Favourite academic/college moments of the year:
– The best teacher in college, who had until then been grilling students, said “I have no more questions, this is just too good” a few moments into our group presentation on Reliance. She then started telling everyone about how wonderful it was. I usually don’t tell about this, but the entire thing was my analysis. Got an ovation after the presentation.
– Being felicitated by the college for excellence in academics. Not bad for an engineering dropout.
– Marketing teachers (all three) applauding my unconventional marketing suggestions – Popular Fiction exam for English Hons. I wrote my own opinion on everything, and quoted mostly from out of the text. Was great fun doing that paper.

Books:

Given that three quarters of the year was spent slogging like a madman, I hardly read anything this year. The only books I remember reading are The Simoqin Prophecies and The Manticore’s Secret by Samit Basu; Foundation, Foundation and the Empire, and The Second Foundation by Isaav Asimov; Chronicle of a Death Foretold by GG Marquez; To have and have not by Ernest Hemingway; Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Read Shakespeare, Chaucer, Marlowe and other stuff for English Hons. Only liked Faustus of that.

Visited Darya Ganj five times and have added quite a few books to my collection. Notable additions are two books by Woody Allen and a nice hardbound H2G2. Also a few short story collections, my favoured genre. Most attempts to read have helped me sleep, even during the day.

I think I’m on the lookout for something drastically different.

Writing

Lots of suggestions and eggings-on by Rhymebawd have been futile. The year began terribly with three useless ideas that I rejected in the middle, though while in Bombay, Astleviz taught me a few things like plot-points. When extremely tired, wrote Release, which has been immensely satisfying, albeit obscure. Also liked my little piece on Performing Prose. Ram was very filmy, but based on a true story. The Haircut was my first attempt at placing someone I know in a situation and setting that I didn’t know anything about. So far it’s been unsuccessful. Also tried to write Dark Room, which is also incomplete.

Attended a few Caferati meets, where Anita, Dan and Annie were most helpful; also Arjun Bali at the meet at Jaipur. I like criticism. Have vowed to not attend any Caferati Read Meets until I finish writing something I like. In any case, I don’t finish writing what I don’t like. Need to majorly rethink writing. Maybe stopping would help – it takes too much time and earns me no money. There was something planned for Motif, but I lack support and don’t see it viable over the long term.

And if I do write, I think I want to write something drastically different from the norm.

Music:
Thanks to co-conspirators Harneet, Rhymebawd, HDHD and, more recently, Codey, I rediscovered my love for music. 2004 had been a dry year; I think I’ve overcompensated for that in 2005 and it’s become a rabid obsession. The following is based on what was new to me, rather than what was new in 2005:

1. Albums of the year: American Idiot by Green Day, OST The Beach, Lest We Forget by Marilyn Manson, Hypnotize and Mezmerize by System of a Down, OST Run Lola Run, Without Teeth by Nine Inch Nails
2. Rediscovered Albums of the year: Spawn OST, Blur by Blur, The Presidents of the USA by The Presidents of the USA, Alternative 4 by Anathema, Pet Your Friends by Dishwalla
3. Disappointment of the year: The Real Thing by Bo Bice
4. Most Often Heard Songs (on repeat): This is not a dream by Morphine, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips, Jesus built by hotrod by Ministry, Vicinity of Obscenity and Violent Pornography by System of a Down, Push it by Garbage, Paranoid by Megadeath, Geek Stink Breath and Hitchin a Ride by Green Day, We’re in this together by Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Vegas by INXS, Lunchbox by Marilyn Manson, Guerilla Radio and Killing in the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine, Dream On by Depeche Mode, Novocaine for the Soul by The Eels, Sometimes by Helga’s Fun Castle, December by Collective Soul (I think I’ll stop now)
5. Concert (days) attended in the year: 34 (approximately)
6. Most memorable gigs: The entire Jazz Utsav that lasted three days. Also the Remember Shakti concert on the 26th of Jan and Skinny Alley at Rocktoberfest.
7. Favourite Indian Bands: Superfuzz Bigmuff, Helga’s Fun Castle, Them Clones, Zero, Joint Family
8. Most disappointing gigs of the Year: Pentagram and Sting

This is hardly comprehensive. I also finally developed a liking for Death Metal and hardcore Industrial. HDHD had recommended Ministry to me two years ago and it’s taken me this long to realise that it’s not just noise. I think listening to Joint Family, a Delhi band, has something to do with it. Death metal has subtle variations is bass that I’ve begun to like, alongwith the changes in tempo. Anyway, there’s a nice discussion in the comments section at The Cavern, here.

Also learnt that RSJ is looking for someone to help edit the magazine and also co-ordinate with MSM reporters who usually fuck up. (Ravi doesn’t, but then he’s the best this country has, imho. Go professional, man. Seriously.)You may compare yesterday’s Delhi times (29th Dec, page 6) with my review of the gig at SRCC (It’s linked to on the column on the right). For example, Prithwish’s photograph has the tagline: Helga band rocked the students. He is the lead singer of Them Clones. U2 have been called V2, Coldplay = Cold Prayer. Helga’s Fun Castle has been referred to as “band called Helga, which rocked the campus with their number Funk Castle.” Tragi-comic, I tell you. This makes Malvika Nanda of HT City look good. She was just pushing her music preferences, and assumed that bands like Bhayanak Maut want to achieve something called ‘pure noise’, which is ludicrious. I’m tempted, but not enough money to begin with, for me.

Blogging

Shifted from the brinkster blog to this one. Spoke out against what I see as the slow corruption of a medium for free speech, as well as how one of the Delhi Bloggers groups had been allowed to become insanely stupid because of one or two people. To no avail, but I’ve said what I had to say. If disagreeing with the herd makes me disagreeable, so be it. I went through the almost-three-years of blog posts, and it seems maximum posts have been on Writing. Music is a close second. Most of the rest is madness. This blog has been a lot less personal than the last one, and as structured in its presentation as it has been unstructured in its content. Blogging about gigs was great fun, as was remembering old friends in the Lest We Forget series. The Crazitivity exercises still make me laugh. Oh, also met Jabberwock, Serendiputs, Jebbit and Aishwarya, and quite a few other bloggers.

Films
Attended the Cinefan Film Fest at Siri Fort. Met Saurav there, and also managed to tear a muscle in my arm, after which I drove 25 back with just my right arm. But I digress – House of Sands and Fog and Too Far Past were wonderful. Also saw Sin City, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I-Robot, and loads of other films. Closer and Sin City were immensely enjoyable. Also liked Black, but on hindsight, the cinematography was probably the reason. Sin City was sublime.

A fear of belonging, and a hiatus.

‘Tis been a year of more ups than downs, even though it began disappointingly in Bombay. If I took control of situations until October 2005, the last three months of the year have been without any control, and perhaps an increased emphasis on blogging. It’s become more than a just past-time and that is disconcerting.

I found it disconcerting when, at Samit’s book launch, Jabberwock introduced me to Nilanjana as a blogger. Not that think of that as an insult, and that I don’t realise that he couldn’t have introduced me as anything else at the time, but I dislike tags. The last paragraph of this post made me realise that I really don’t want to belong. I don’t want to be tagged as a rocker, a Delhi-ite, a management student, a (wannabe) writer. Maybe that is why I didn’t want to join a company (which was 35km one way from home, anyway), because ‘PR Analyst’ is so restrictive. Which is why the other job was good, until I smelt something fishy. Which is why I’m no longer in touch with any of my school friends, in touch with only two of hundreds of Pune friends and with just about fifteen of half the college in Delhi. I seem to dislike the isolation, yet find it comforting. But as the year draws to a close, albeit slowly, I need to prepare for the next. It’s time to get to work; enough mucking around.

This blog is thus declared closed for the next fifteen days because I need to get rid of my blogging and blog-reading addiction. Will be available on mail, though.

This blog is thus declared closed for the next fifteen days because I need to get rid of my blogging and blog-reading addiction. Will be available on mail, though.

Addendum: Happy New Year

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