November 06, 2006

Some S***

Found some crap in my notes folder. Here's one. All I remember is that I wrote it in a single stretch. It's part fact, part fiction. Don't really know the why or what of this crap. Doesn't make no sense to me. If you find any sense in it talk to me.

Most nights I lay awake pretending to sleep. Playing pretend can be a really engaging activity. Playing pretend has got to work. No matter what you pretend, it’s got to work. I mean, what’s the whole idea of pretending when it’s not logical.

With the click comes darkness. The sub-conscious projector starts rolling the nightmare film. The film is perfect but the soundtrack always comes with an auditorium-echo. It’s like the sub-conscious is trying to up the spook factor with the echo. Most of the times, I am viewing the nightmare in sweeping wide angle shots. I rarely get close-ups, so I can’t figure who’s who.

I lay awake pretending to sleep. In my sleep, I am dreaming. I am dreaming that I am sleeping. I love making those dreams surreal. And what’s more surreal than sleeping in your dreams that you see while pretending to sleep.

Most nights I lay awake pretending to sleep. I don’t sleep because of the nightmares. Those dreadful nightmares. They come right when the sub-conscious starts playing the dreams. In my dreams I am always sleeping. Maybe my dreams are trying to fulfill things I can’t make happen.

The nightmares always begin when someone switches off the lights in my dream where I am asleep. I want to know who puts them off. I want to know if it is deliberate. I fall asleep, in the dream, and there’s this sound, the click of the light switch. Oh, I hear it every time. You know, like you hear sounds yet you know that you’re asleep. These things happen to me, I don’t know if this is an isolated incident.

Click. The light goes off. The nightmare switches on.

November 05, 2006

Remember, Remember.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see of no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!


PS. Thanks to ado for reminding me.

November 03, 2006

Retrospection: One

Welcome Back.

I’ve been gone long. 3 months, near about. 3 months of slack acknowledgment of life’s suckiness. I am hoping for that to change.

A lot of changes took place, yet somehow I am still as indolent as ever. Rains gave into Fall, which gave into Winter. The music playing changed with seasons – Jazz for the rains, Slowcore for the fall, Johnny Hollow (listen on it) and a whole lotta Gothic ambiance for the winters. The lack of good books to read was apparent in much scarce thoughts on the blog. However, I pulled myself up to read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and I find myself completely blown away. I haven’t read a more complex novel. The writing style, I presume, is part reason for the complexity. I also watched Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and it is an amazing adaptation of Heart of Darkness. If you aren’t much into reading books you much watch this classic of a war movie. I am currently trying Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

A lot of pending DVDs found their way to the screen. Apocalypse Now, Chinatown, Dead Poet’s Society, The Dreamers, El Topo, Everything is Illuminated, Fargo, Silent Hill, and some more. Many old DVDs went into a lot of heavy rotation too – Casablanca, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Godfather I & II, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Good Will Hunting, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, To Kill A Mockingbird, Vanilla Sky and a lot more.

So, all-in-all, I haven’t done much again. It is high time I do something worthwhile.

There’s lot to write about but words aren’t flowing the way they used to. I feel more and more like Winston Smith starting his diary in Nineteen Eighty-Four, wanting to write, afraid to write, but when he writes it seems more like babble than a meaningful discourse yet the babble makes complete sense.

So I’ll leave you guys here hoping that at least one or two of the old readers would return. While I club my notes and thoughts for a serious introspection of the last 3 months, you keep reading and talkback on this routinely mundane post.

PS. Took quite a part of these three months to redesign this blog. Wait and Watch. Work In Progress.

July 29, 2006

A Rush Of Blood To The Head

I am working. Working over ideas. Working on my skills as a designer, developer and a writer. I am working on giving a name, an identity to the work I do. All I need to do is try not to lose attention, it’s the only thing I am good at losing. Things are now in motion that might make some changes. Changes that might be good, hopefully great.

Do Stay.

July 23, 2006


Just turned 24. Happy Birthday.

July 15, 2006

Gone. Will Be Back.

Gone: travelling.

Be Back: July 20th.

Until then, Check out the archives. Starting from the last post. And Comment!

July 07, 2006

Getting Wasted on Frankies

It’s hard to keep up with your attendance at college when you have more important things to attend. Like attending the local fast-food joint/café “Fifth Avenue”, for some quick chicken frankies. Or hatching ingenious plans to destroy the day for Badruka and his cronies (snobs all of them). It’s hard to keep up with classes when you are needed at the college parking lot to carry smoked out Javed to safety. Or when you have to listen to Savage Garden and Mission Impossible 2 OST back-to-back because Rahil won’t lend the CDs to you.

I attended the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB) for a whole year. By attended, I mean that I was a student of Bhavan’s for a year before dropping it for an under-grad in computer applications. My real attendance at college was 23%. I am still surprised at how I got past our screaming principal, Kakade.

We spent most of our day in the college parking lot or the cafeteria. In case of excessive monetary funds we would be chilling out at FAVs (local acronym for Fifth Avenue) munching through Frankies and sandwiches and gulping down cold/hot beverages. I must say I have never eaten anything as HOT as a Frankie at FAVs.

When we somehow happened upon a class it would be either QT (Quantitative Techniques) or Eco (Economics) or a language class (English/Hindi).

The QT professor was a newbie, this job being his first-ever gig. This was about the time when that movie Mohabbatein was out. Suddenly being a Professor became cooler than those frigid tins of coke at FAVs. So the QT professor, the young chap that he was, started acting all RAJ A. MALHOTRA on our collective asses. He would come to class, a sweater thrown over his shoulders like Shahrukh Khan, and a pair of plain glasses on his eyes. He also wore those pleat less pants. Those vanilla-palette shirts. The poor fellow even acted as nothing was out of place with that sweater on his shoulders, keeping his back warm. Even when we tried to bring out the sweater-issue he would deviate us with some deviations questions. The weirdest part was his name: RAJ.

Half the Eco class was ruined most of the time because it came right after recess. And we attended recess rigorously. This caused us to return to our classes a bit late, 10-15 minutes usually. Plus, there was Rakesh’s awfully distracting entrance in the class every once in a while. He used enter the class last, wearing his helmet and then would sit half-way through the lecture without taking it off. The professor who had already witnessed/annoyed/threatened over this regular masquerade wouldn’t say a word and carry on with her lecture.

The only professors I would ever like were the English ones. Right from school, through junior college and the under-grads I had some great English professors. It is only now that I’ve realized the amount of interest I paid during those monotonous sessions of Keats and Wordsworth. I didn’t like poetry as much as the next guy sitting beside me, which would be Javed most of the time. But it would have been worth the attention that I never gave. At least I would have had a grammatically correct blog.

It is funny how we waste our college days over these moments. These moments of convenience food and parking-lot-adventures. These moments with peculiar professors and their prejudiced remarks. These moments, they become surreal, almost dreamlike after you leave college. But they persist. Funny how these wasted days are perhaps the best days of our lives.

July 04, 2006


I picked this up from Shoe Fiend, whose Other Shoes are Manolos (Great Blog. Must Read). Since no one would tag me a meme I started a fuckin’ meme meself. This meme is all about books. I love reading. Just give me something that catches my interest and I’ll devour it once and again. It so happens that writing this meme has allowed me to look upon and review my book choices and the hidden meaning behind it. Yea, this is becoming very mysterious and not much interesting. So we’ll skip the mysteries.

01. What is the total number of books you've owned?
  • 150-200
02. What are the last books you bought?
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Simple and Beautiful. I’ve been looking for it since I saw the movie. I searched everywhere, found just one last copy.

  • Lost World by Michael Crichton
    A better sequel to Jurassic Park plus it came real cheap for a Hardback, Rs.50.
03. What is the last book you've read?
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
    Some people ought to accept that Harry Potter is not just for kids. Half Blood Prince is perhaps the best written Harry Potter book till date.

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    What can I say; I am inarticulate in describing the beauty of this book.
04. What are you currently reading?
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
    Tyler Durden. Anarchy. Insomnia. Support Groups. IKEA-Nesting Instinct. BLISS!
05. What are the 5 books that have meant a lot to you or that you particularly enjoyed?
  • Faraway Places by Tom Spanbauer
    A taut and brutally told Rites of Passage story. Growing up in 1950s Idaho. Surreal. The writing is beautiful, wound tight.

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    See the same in #03.

  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The most rich and most beautiful adventure/fantasy ever written.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    Magic and Fantasy as never before.

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

  • Awaydays by Kevin Sampson
    Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch on Steroids. Yes, I need an extra.
06. What are the 5 book characters that have meant a lot to you or that you particularly enjoyed or relate to?
  • Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird)
    I want to be Atticus Finch when I grow up. :D

  • Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
    The one from the Dark side.

  • Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
    My favorite Sicilian.

  • Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)
    The hobbit who became an elf.

  • Jake Weber (Faraway Places)
    I want to perceive life like Jake Weber. Everything is an Illusion. Haji Baba and Geronimo. Read the book to know what I am talking about.

  • Hari and Ryan (Five Point Someone)
    I am kind of like Hari. I want to be Ryan.
07. What book(s) caught your attention but you never had a chance to read?
  • All by Chuck Palahniuk, Tom Spanbauer, Amy Hempel, Hunter S. Thompson (Gonzo)

  • Some by William Shakespeare, Somerset Maugham

  • Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Elder days. Morgoth. Beren and Luthien. Beautiful.

  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
    Even a great movie can't justify a book.

  • A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
    The book most personal and close to the author. Weird story, drug abuse - I love that in a book.
08. What book(s) that you've owned for so long but never read?
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    I just can't read lenghty sentences. Give me some clipped sentences and choruses.

  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
    Pinkie, ahem! No can do.

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
    Blade Runner. Got it for Rs.20. Surreal. Trying.
09. Favorite Reading Spots?
  • Bed/Lying down anywhere
  • Café (Black coffee and books, just perfect)
10. 5 favorite authors?
  • Tom Spanbauer
  • Chuck Palahniuk
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Harper Lee
  • George Orwell
So there it is. Passion is in the details, people. Pushing this meme to Arshiya. Write some, sista.

July 01, 2006

Bed-Ridden Ranting

You do a lot when you are bed-ridden with a viral. You get up earlier than usual. You read a lot than usual because you are nowhere near the PC. You think. You think when you are eating. You eat consciously. You come up with new ideas, new conclusions about things that doesn’t matter. You abruptly become more thankful than your average. You are thankful to Steve Jobs for the iPod, for letting you indulge in R.E.M.’s Sweetness Follows repeatedly. These songs change with your mood, seriously. You are thankful to Jo Rowling for writing a much-needed dark tale; at least some kids would read, including this 23-year old “boy”. You are also thankful to Chuck Palahniuk and Harper Lee for bringing gore and beauty during this (hopefully) short outing on the bed. This also brings to your mind that some people really think that reading books is uncool and only geeks do that. You digress, since that’s not the case. You are thankful to the ONE EVERYWHERE for bestowing people around you who don’t implicitly worry about your slackness. “I always wonder why did we bother” is gratefully not your case, although “distance from one” did work out few years ago.

Your medication includes 4 different drugs, two of which are anti-histamine and moderately sedative, which is bad since you are not able to indulge. The sedatives start to rock you to sleep in a quarter or so of an hour. The only downside is the fuckin’ weakness. You hate being weak even as you are all raving about Superman Returns and have already got the tickets for a Sunday afternoon show – IMAX 3D. Catch you there, hopefully, F-13. This is the second movie where you got the seat #13, M:I:3 rocked, hoping the same from Bryan Singer.

June 26, 2006

The Not-Yet Last Stand

I made it through X-Men: The Last Stand. It was supposed to be the last X-Men movie, the trilogy. X-Men, for me is the greatest superheroes’ movie ever, apart from The Incredibles – which was the greatest animated experience ever. (Thanks-rant: I thank Brad Bird. I thank Steve Jobs for buying out Pixar from George Lucas. I thank Javed Jaffery for an excellent dub making it the best-ever Hindi dubbed movie.)

But back to The Last Stand.

I am calling it The Last Stand, just like everyone at JoBlo’s does. Why? Because this is not an X-Men movie. Not for me. Not for the many movie and comic geeks out there. Hollywood is filled with movie makers who make the movies as in produce. They are part of a bigger creature called THE STUDIO. Now, a studio has the power to make or break a movie. It can bet huge and come out with a surprise – New Line Cinema’s greatest gamble called THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It can bet small and come out with a success - CRASH. It can also bet HUGE and fall head-first – TROY (In this case heel-first). All these amounts to a single most important part of movie business – creativity. Creativity in Hollywood is second only to probability of success. When quick-buck stands against a possible-bucks-in-future, the former wins hands down.

FOX could have waited for Bryan Singer. Apparently Singer was busy in the greatest re-incarnation in Cinema History. But they were looking for some quick bucks. When they got Matthew Vaughn on board for X-Men 3 I was all ready to forgive their urgency in pushing the movie. I love Vaughn. He just directed one movie and I love it. It’s called LAYER CAKE, See it. But as luck should have it Vaughn moved out. Instead of waiting for Singer or Vaughn, FOX goes ahead and assigns BRETT RATNER. I only saw Ratner’s Rush Hour and I can say without any reproach that it was very bad. More so, because a mumbling Black actor and an accented-asian actor hitting out on some gang isn’t my type of movie. I saw part of AFTER THE SUNSET. It didn’t interest me much even though anything with Salma Hayek would.

I am indignant. The Last Stand depends more on the mutants’ powers rather than the character itself. Most footage was wasted on CGI sequences and more on the various entries of characters – Wolverine jumping from the jet and using his claws to make an easy landing (Crap!). Storm changing weather because she was sad (Crap!), didn’t she felt bad/sad/angry in the last two movies. The movie was like, “Alright we don’t have much to tell, so we’ll put in whatever mutants we can think of”. But it wouldn’t have been that. The story was awesome. In the hands of Singer or even Vaughn the plot would have culminated to the greatest X-Men movie ever. I didn’t want to see half-assed mutants. I never want to see Storm acting up like a main character. I hate Storm. She would have been great if she died or just disappeared or whatever. I just can’t stop raving about how BAD this movie is. Not a shred of reason. No story telling at all. I don’t know how some great online reviewers found this movie good. My man, Joblo gave this sucker 5/10, which is bad but not bad enough. I can’t think of a number higher than 3.

The best part of The Last Stand was that it was very short. Clocking a little over 90 minutes, I was happy for the movie to end. The end was a bit like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and woman). (Sidenote: I saw LXG in the theaters, first day. Crappier than X3, I was laughing even before the intermission.) With an Indian POV I can say this movie is gonna make money that it didn’t make back in the west, LXG did. We are going to have various language versions – Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and all. And everyone will rush to see YEX-MEN in their preferred language. I can’t believe VAN HELSING (in Telugu) is still running in some theaters here. The current craze is Underworld 2 (again, in Telugu). They even change the titles of the movies sometimes. Right now, Superman Returns’ Spots are coming on the TV and the Hindi version has conveniently bumped off Returns - It’s now just Superman. But whatever the name Superman is going to Rock and I’ll be there to witness the amalgamation of an iconic hero and the best Superhero director there is, Bryan Singer.

June 20, 2006

I'm Black

I am Black.

take the which pearl jam song are you? quiz, a product of the pearljammers community.

I fuckin' love these lines:
I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, i know you'll be a star
in somebody else's sky, but why
why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine?

Courtesy: Nouman Mohammed Khan.

Random Thoughts Vol.2

Reasons are the same as before. Hence: Random Thoughts Vol.2

  • Mission Impossible 3 finally arrived in Hyderabad. Saw it releasing day - Friday. Awesome action. J.J. Abrams has made it to my list of great action directors. Tom Cruise, always brilliant. Hoffman came out as a great villain. The slight suspense was no surprise, already knew who was behind it before the intermission. Maggie Q - HOT. I was looking forward to see Billy 'Russel Hammond' Crudup after quite a long time in a huge movie. He was great too. A great movie. No bad things to say except the lack of THE THEME in the movie most of the time. But still, the music was good. The Vatican and Shanghai sequences were brilliantly shot. Will watch again this week.

  • Been reading Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird. A geniune story of innocence and human dignity. Looks like I finally found the life-changing-book after all. Will write all about it in a post quite soon. Started reading it for the second time. This stuff should be in primary education curriculum.

  • Kal El will return on June 30th in IMAX 3D. Book your tickets, I'm booking mine as soon as advance starts. There will be 20 minutes of 3D Supes. Can't wait. The reviews are good not excellent though. Some say it is more of a Chick movie. Some say Spacey wasn't used much. I say fuck off! I say, "I HEART SUPERMAN".

  • Listening to James Blunt's Back to Bedlam. Listen. Wallow in the beautiful melancholy. Also playing all live performances by Pearl Jam. Also in the loop are the Verve, Soundgarden, Fort Minor, Lynyrd fuckin' Skynyrd, Helen Stellar, My Morning Jacket.

  • Also playing Counter Strike and Condition Zero. Trying to throw a LAN party at Copy Junction, Banjara Hills. Need more friends/players.

June 04, 2006

Till Death Do Us Part

Ever read Chuck Palahniuk?

I guess not.

Read this.

June 02, 2006

Random Thoughts

Don't have anything to write about, hence: random thoughts.

  • People are always asking me, "what are you doing?" This is what I am doing these days. Go ahead and click, its an improvisation of a blogger template. It is Work-In-Progress and there's more where this came from. So whenever you need a different looking blog, catch me on Yahoo! IM.

  • Joblo gave it 9/10 and Arrow would butcher his family to see this again. And they saw it at the Cannes. It's my most awaited movie this year. Much awaited than Superman Returns. And I know it won't be released in India/Hyderabad. It's mucho-gloomy and uber-creepy. It's Guillermo del Toro's "El Laberinto del Fauno" (Pan's Labyrinth). Download the creepy trailer, already.

  • Next in line is Richard Linklater's live-action, rotoscopic-animated sci-fi, A Scanner Darkly. Three Words: PHILIP K. DICK (shame on you, ignoramus). It stars some of my favorite actors, Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., and Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson. I believe I don't have to repeat the trailer line from above.

  • Year's biggest disappointment, Southland Tales, courtesy, Richard Kelly. I had hopes. Damn you, Richard. Please give me a Darko, again.

  • I am back on to music real hard, courtesy: iPod Nano. It's:

    • The Who's Baba O'Riley

    • Elton John's Tiny Dancer and My Father's Gun

    • Helen Stellar's Io (This time around)

    • Fleetwood Mac's Big Love (Acoustic)

    • Pearl Jam doing the Who's Baba O'Riley (live)

    • Wheat's Don't I Hold You

    • Lindsey Buckingham's Shut Us Down

    • Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird

    • D-Mode's remix of Starsailor's Four to the Floor

    • Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker

    • Beck's Guero

    and more movie soundtracks and scores. I DIG MUSIC. (whoever got it, comment. hint: tiny dancer)

  • Got nothing to read. Going for book-shopping tomorrow. Looking for Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird, David Vise and Mark Malseed's Google Story and anything minimal (spanbauer, hempel, palahniuk, coupland, camus, lee). Meanwhile, enjoying The Lord of the Rings for the don't-rememberth time.

  • I am also going back to my web devlopment basics. Learning CSS again. Learning Modularization in XHTML 1.1. Trying to learn JavaScript for the nth time. I even have a CSS Reference on my iPod. Thanks, Westciv.

That's all folks! Will return with more thoughts in the near future.

May 29, 2006

Apple Sweeeeetness!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Spankin' new Apple iPod Nano.

This happens to be my first ever Apple product and I am hooked for more. The finesse, the eye for details, and Steve Jobs is evident in the iPod Nano. And the interface is sooooo smooth.

My brand new iPod, in all its sleek-black goodness, holds upto 240 songs. That's near-about 1 gig. I also get a USB cable for downloading music from my PC. A soft leather-like case. A CD with iTunes 6 + Quicktime 7. And it is a gift from a great friend. Thanks man. You are making my day, every day.

iPod Flickr Set

May 28, 2006

A Different Beat

Music is books for the ears. Just like any book I read, my music takes me places. Places I have been, places I want to be, places I haven’t been, places I never want to be in. It acts as the same portal that books are.

And as with books, my music choices are a bit slicker than your average. Not just slicker, they are everything from rustic to fresh to all-out industrial. I am Rock. I am Pop. I am Jazz. I am Electronic. Heck, I am even Country. If there’s one genre that I am not all into, it should be hip-hop. I listen hip-hop, but it sticks to Eminem and Shaggy. People are always asking me, why don’t you listen to hip-hop? I can only say, it’s not my kinda music. They ask have I listened to 50 cent, D12, Jamelia, Kevin Lyttle. I say, no. And they consider this to be so uncool.

Well, being uncool is no-problems with me. That’s part nature for a geek. What’s bad is that people presume stuff about you. They presume you want to act as if you don’t listen to what everyone listens to. You act like you are different. And what have I to say? For starters, Yea, I am fuckin’ different.

HELEN STELLaR is a great Chicago band doing some great music in L.A. I love their music. And when you go over to their official website and read their bio. This is what they have to say.
In an age where style is rewarded over content, cynicism inevitably becomes second nature. Passion and originality have given way to cut-and-paste songwriting and carbon-copy imagery churned out for commercial mass consumption. All is not lost. There is a light that still shines. This is HELEN STELLaR.
This is exactly why I do not like Hip-Hop. There is no originality in hip-hop. Their sound, their style, even their videos are same.

A Car comes the singer gets out singing. He hits a party. Hot Chicks. Ok-looking singer. Huge shirts. Huger Pants. Black-Culture-Gone-Wrong. Gasgsta Rap. Discotheques. Dancing.

This is surely not my kinda music. But then you would say, Ok, you are a fuckin’ Racist. Racist, I am not. If you really want to listen to Black music, listen to Jazz – the original and classy black cultural contribution to Music. I listen to Jazz. To Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Dianne Reeves.

To know what’s behind all this shit-talk, you need to know that International music isn’t easy to find in Hyderabad city. You could get the newer stuff, all those boy bands and hip-hop rappers. What you don’t get is the older music. You get Bryan Adams, you get Michael Jackson, and you get Nirvana, but not everything from them. So when I talk about Duran Duran’s Ordinary Life or the oh-so-lovely Moon River, I get a “huh!" People do not listen to this stuff. People don’t want to. And when they don’t listen that, they reflexive-ly do not listen to great music like Tom Petty, Elton John, Sting, John Mayer, Coldplay, James Blunt and many more great musicians and bands who are available in every record store in the city. Instead, they listen to what’s playing on Top 10. They listen to whateva-lyric­-ed hip-hop. They hear what they see.

It’s like they are acting sheep. One jumps the stick, all the others follow.

This, however, is not a critical analysis of music choices. This little write-up is not in anyway offending the hip-hop genre or the true hip-hop lover, the one who’d listen to both Kanye West and MC Hammer. It’s not about people who jump on the latest bandwagon hitting the block. This is about people who jump on the bandwagon and get off. People who listen to hip-hop because it’s cool and would not listen to it when its off-trend.

People don’t want to experiment. They want what is served, meaning, they don’t have a choice in the first place. I’ll talk about myself, I am no hypocrite. Most of my choices are borrowed, acquired taste it’s called. But I guess, everyone’s choices are acquired one way or the other.

I’d never heard the Dark Side of the Moon or Heathen Chemistry or Led Zeppelin I or II or III. I’d never known Mark Knopfler, Sting, Duran Duran or Jim Morrison. I’d never heard tiny dancer or Free Falling or Free Bird. It was other people who made me listen to these records, these bands, these artists.

Other people who might be my friends, people who put these great music into their collection, into their movies, into their car stereo and at the back of their notebooks. People I knew as friends - Rahil, Shakeel and Moid. People I know online but haven’t talked to - Nouman Mohammed Khan, Paul Ranix, and Joe Hesketh. People who are famous like the film makers - Quentin Tarantino, Cameron Crowe, Sofia Coppola, and Robert Rodriguez. Like authors whose books I read with music playing – Tom Spanbauer, Stephen Graham Jones, Christopher Baer, Alex Garland and Douglas Coupland. I don’t know what they listen to but their work inspire me some music.

Yes! I jump on these bandwagons, each and every one of them. But I never get off. I am a geek. And geeks by nature are fanboys. We are loyal to stuff we like, fiercely loyal. Books, Movies, Technology, Theories, Music, whatever it is we remain with them. We remain because whatever our choice is, we know, it is US.

Music isn’t about choices it’s about feelings, emotions, ideology, perspective. Music is about you. Just like the books you read, music defines/instigates/improves your emotions. And just like books it means different to every person. It’s never the same, the music. It’s complex yet simple. It’s just like us.

P.S. Check out Helen Stellar’s io (This time around) on the Soundtrack of Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown. Also check out some other music on the official website of Helen Stellar.

May 10, 2006


|| This is a pause.

I've been busy lately. I've been writing. Two Tests. Will return, pretty soon.


May 02, 2006

Intelligent Suffering

Oh, is it not but intelligent suffering when you read Edgar Allan Poe with despair and melancholia? Is it not love, when you suffer at the words of Maupassant or Kafka, out of willingness and anxiety?

I have, in my early reading years, read through many an insomniac nights the works of Poe and Maupassant. These are two great authors who share more than their genres – the art of weaving a tale of morbid fear, gloom and hopelessness around everyday life. Edgar Allan Poe, I would later find was sort of an inspiration for Guy De Maupassant.

There is a kind of an enigma that surrounds tales of a darker nature. For me it is one “genus” that is most close to our hearts, most human. But dark for one is not exactly dark for others. Simply saying, dark is not a genre in itself. It is evident, not by saying, but by reading something that would seem dark to you. I’ve read those fat plot-driven novels, stories taken from the pages of the daily newspapers. I read the Da Vinci Code, I was ecstatic (until I read other books by Dan Brown). I read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, I was clueless. And these are best sellers by best selling authors. Not one of the many books I’ve read had any effect on me. Alternatively, I read a short story by Maupassant. A story which has neither a plot nor a shred of reason. A story about a well-to-do French man who wanders around Paris one night and ends up starved to death. By the end I felt as if I had gone through that deadly ordeal myself. It was so powerful that I kept reading it again and again, till I lost the book, and lost the name of the story in my memory. I still don’t remember the title, yet I consider it as my favorite Maupassant story ever.

The thing about dark tales is they are, in essence, sad and emotional. Because in the end you aren’t afraid, you are just sad. But people don’t want to feel that emotion. I look around book stores; I look at people buying books. Everyone wants a book that makes them feel happy. Ah! They so love their happy endings. Even when people go “over the edge” they buy a sappy book, books loosely written to induce emotions that are not true to the soul of both the writer and reader. People are “afraid” to read books that feel true. So, they indulge in best sellers. I do too. If I ever get to lay my hands on the darkest of tales, I would never read the best sellers. But alas, is all I can say.

Books these days are full of cheesy plots and character-less characters that do not dwell in my after-thoughts. I mean, when was the last time I thought why Robert Langdon did what he did or why were there so many goddamn characters in State of Fear. The characters of these best sellers are just characters. What they lack is the humanness, the soul that exists in every character of a dark tale, be it French men, Princes, Hobbits, Wizards or humanoid mask-wearing villain who makes breathing sounds. And each of these characters, no matter how far from being human, is truly human.

When you read The Masque of Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe you can’t help but feel the movement of the story. The description, which goes from flamboyant to the darkest red, is simple and stark. The story is roughly a narrative description of a Prince’s party while the outside world rages through a plague. By the end of the short story you are as horrified as the Prince himself. Only Poe can make horror out of a series of rooms.

I love it when it ends like this. I am no sadist or pessimist. I am just more human than human. More sensitive to emotions those are rare and sad. And I suffer out of my will, out of my intelligence. I enjoy this suffering, this feeling of despair and eventual sadness. I enjoy them in my books, in movies, music, games, and in writing. I wish every passing day, I wish I could write such tales but I digress or am afraid. Of suffering what these men have suffered to flow words that are an intelligent suffering to the rest of us.

Franz Kafka once wrote, in a letter to his friend, Oskar Pollak
I believe one should read only the books that bite and sting. If a book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a punch on the head, what are we reading it for? … We need the books which affect us like a disaster, which pain us deeply, like the death of someone dearer to us than ourselves, like being lost in the woods, far from everyone, like a suicide…

April 30, 2006

Two Years Down

So this is becoming more of a writing pad than just a diary. I have been writing about everything except me, although you can argue that it's all me, in the end.

This May it will be two years since I had been a Blogger. Books, Movies, Design, Web Standards and the Open Source Revolution. I have written about them and not, but anyhow I have written. It started with an ambitious little blog, The Signs of Being. It was online in the May of 2004. I posted two short posts on it in June, maybe July. And I found out: I wasn't any good at writing, No one would read my blog, and I am no-good-lazy-ass. And so Signs of Being eventually got deleted from the Blogger server.

Then near about a year later I came up with I Want Doesn't Get. I thought it was a great idea putting out your wishlist blog-style. On April 20, 2005 at 11:56 PM I wrote my first post on IWDG. Not a great write-up, not particularly interesting, but I wrote. Another post came by six days later. And then, Period.

It took 10 months for me to start writing again. In February of o-six I published Anonymous Content. It was a new blog, a new beginning. I wrote my first ever nicely-written post - Nineteen Eighty-Four. Since then I haven't stopped writing. I resurrected IWDG with some serious posting and here I am two years down, a little mature, more geek-ier than ever.

Now I write with much fervor. My writing reflects what I read. I read a lot now, more mature books, more stylized writing. A few good souls do come over to read my wannabe-mature posts. Some go a step further and comment and I'd like to thank them for their interest - Arsh, Thotster, Sunfever, all my friends, and some more.

I hope to continue this writing expedition indefinitely. I also hope for more readership - I will hit the 500-mark by the end of this week, It's not flattering but at least I got the facts right.

Update: News is, I didn't have to wait for a week for that 500-mark. I hit 518 while I was writing and posting this piece. Cheers!!

April 27, 2006

Man's Greatest Invention

It is “language” indeed.

I know it’s a Cultural Invention, but an invention nonetheless. It is one invention that is used by every human being. Even the mute communicates with a language. Language breaks barriers. It breaks borders. How? I like to think it’s the human entity that drives languages. The primal need to communicate, to exchange thoughts and to emote, else there’s nothing more to humans. We are what we are because we communicate. What would be fire if the ancient men didn’t know to convey its uses? What would be the wheel?

The magic of language is that it can be so different yet so familiar. Through language we emote. Emote happiness, emote sadness, anger, fear, joy, criticism, appreciation, we emote hate and we emote love.

The words some times become more than just alphabets stuck together to sense. The greatest woman on earth is a mother. And mother in any language means the same. “Mother” in English is “Mutter” in German, “Madre” in Spanish, “Mère” in French, and “Mãe” in Portuguese. The semblance is just love and nothing more. You call her “Mummy” or “Mom”; we call her “Ammi” in the Urdu language or “Maa” in Hindi. Different languages, familiar sounds. These words are not influenced by English since it was used long before English came to India. I don’t know how such things happen. It seems neither co-incidental nor an influential effect.

Very few people regard language as important. I myself believe that languages are beautiful. I love languages. The pronunciations, the exclamations. I love Persian a language that seems ancient and beautiful. I love Arabic, it’s more of an art than a language. I love Japanese, seems to me the most emotive language. The Chinese and Japanese pronunciation accords to their emotion/feeling. Urdu is my own language; it is one of the few languages that have love, respect and richness in it. It is, after all, an amalgamation of three great tongues, Arabic, Persian and Hindi.

Language defines cultures, peoples, and societies. Everyone knows French is a very romantic speech and the French are quite so too. The language defines the people. With Urdu, it is the regard, respect, and esteem.

The inspiration behind my love for languages is my greatest teacher. He himself was quite fluent in as many as 4 speeches, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and English.

He is and ever will be.

I haven’t learned any languages myself nor will I learn in the foreseeable future. It is a task too huge for me. Withal, I would love to learn a new language – Persian, Arabic, and Japanese makes my list.

Language still remains the greatest invention ever. It permits me to learn about everything around me. The realities, the fiction, the comedies, the tragedies and the essence of being human, all of them reason enough to stuff my rack with more books. More words. More language.

P.S.: Today I am going, yet another time, to my personal little used-book store, Frankfurt. Hoping to buy some more book, hoping to get some more language onto my rack.

April 24, 2006

FP Biking

First Ever Video Post!

Here it is some nice First Person Biking experience. I took this with my cousin. There's one more like this, a bit more aggresive. Will post later.

P.S. You'll need some Flash power for this video.

April 15, 2006

The Milk of Human Unkindness

The editorial of today’s Deccan Chronicle Newspaper has quiet a nice little column by renowned author, Paulo Coelho. The Op-Ed page always has a Coelho column at least twice a week. The small column is only rivaled by the excellent Kushwant Singh write up, With Malice towards one and all, which is a Sunday exclusive.

Now, Coelho usually writes some homo-evangelic prose with a poetic twinge, today it was same but with a different perspective. Titled, The Milk of Human Unkindness, the write-up had something that reminded me of, once again, George Orwell’s 1984.

Coelho writes how this Norwegian company sent him three liters of their product that substitutes milk. The company says that scientists have found that “cow milk contains 59 active hormones, lots of fat, cholesterol, dioxins, bacterias and viruses”. The company’s product has its base in plants (cows get their calcium from plants), so you don’t have to use milk for Calcium. “Milk is condemned based on an endless number of studies carried out in a variety of institutes all over the world” says the product literature. All this points out that milk is not good for health. Coelho says that he tried a sip of this product that substitutes the killer milk and it was the foulest thing he ever tasted. As he writes about this he goes into how science and technology has changed us. How people who are now in their 50s used to drive in cars without seat belts or airbags, how children played on the back seat with no cradles or belts to bind them and how their cradles used to be colored bright that are now considered harmful because they contain lead or some chemical. Coelho says that maybe in the future scientists might convince us of the killer milk and ban it and contemplates will we have to get our milk from drug dealers?

The last single line of the column reminded me of the Proles from 1984. For the ignoramus, in the novel, 1984 by George Orwell, Proles are a community who are considered illiterate and live in the slummy part of the city. They live a life of ignorance and indulge in businesses like theft, prostitution and selling illegal items like shaving blades, pens, antiques and such. The milk and the drug dealer can be the perfect metaphor for the Proles. It reminds me of a future where a mere thing like buying milk will be treated as a drug deal.

Why is it that most scientific advances have more disadvantages? Every other product born out of scientific research has much to offer – faster, easier and eventually cheaper. It also offers us a lot of free time which we end up using other scientific products. The ease is great but it is making us, it is making me lazier than ever. A very few machines/technologies come to mind when we think “no side affects”. I’d like you to name some in your comments.

The future does seem bleak when you look through this perspective. Fifty years from now we may live up to be hundred. Fifty years from now we may have forgot the taste of a mere thing say, milk. I love technology. I crave all those gadgets I see over at engadget and hiptechblog. I am a man. It’s built into my DNA, to love gadgets. But I’d never want to see a future where I wouldn’t be able to drink my tea with milk. I’d never ever want to eat something that has come from a lab rather than a sprawling field. Hate is a very strong word. And I hate Organic food. It tastes like dust, and I’ve tasted dust on more than one occasion.

The future is bright. It will be. When you use a radiating nuclear powered light bulb it will be damn bright.

Why the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

April 07, 2006

Hapless in Hyderabad
or How I Stopped Worrying and Started to Write

The days were rocking slowly and the nights were short. The crappy speakers on the sideboards of the huge computer table were squeaking tinny sounds that heard something like Pearl Jam’s I am Mine. Some days are meant to be wretched. The daily weather ticker on a local website announced the temperature. 38 freaking Celsius. It also proclaimed Hyderabad was the hottest frying pan in the whole country on that day.

The 1984 vintage air cooler was blowing arid waves of torture in my direction. It was the year that I did nothing. And I perfectly know that the previous statement is crap because it is impossible to point out the year being pointed out. I push next on my playlist. Sting’s Fragile. This one at least complemented the weather, as in didn’t make you feel more humid. I put the song on repeat.

I have been hitting the return key for the past 10 minutes to register the results of a boring little program I wrote in PHP. I peered over the book in my lap. At this pace I would develop my dream project in about 10-12 years. I slammed the book shut and opened another. It was Kevin Sampson’s Awaydays, an excellent debut novel which would later encourage me to see Green Street Hooligans and read Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch.

Deeply immersed in good Scouse accent, football matches and gore I was thinking about the one thing I always think about when reading a book. I wish I could write. I wanted to write something. It could be anything, the only prerequisite was readers. It was a no-brainer that who would read my crap, no one. So there it was, always in my mind yet it never happened.

Rewind << I have written before.

My first real writing was a collaborative piece of work with my younger sister, Arshiya. I was 9 or maybe 10. It was a short story about this guy called Massey and how he meets this ghost who shows up every now and then. Just like today the story reflected a lot of what I’ve been reading or watching. Those were the days of sci-fi and space adventures. Massey, the protagonist of our story was actually a hero of another sci-fi book we were reading. Anyway, the joy of writing a full story was great, but it was read by only two people, me and Arshiya. We both happened to be the only creative minds in the house.

I close Awaydays.

I think again, of writing about my life. In thinking I come up with the idea of writing about “years” past. I also come up with the format - Yearly or half-yearly set of events written under the title of a song much heard in that part of the year. And so I keep this idea in my mind and so it came to be.


I write them now as I have thought it out. I have stopped worrying who would read. I still am the only creative mind in my friend circle, the only one holding creativity in high esteem. At home everything remains the same too. Still I am going to write. I will write as unbiased and as truthful an account as I can or want to. I will also take the pain of offline-ing my friends who are now spread around the world, and tell them to read at least a single entry.

It is but hope that keeps the world running and the writers writing.

About the day described above, it was a summery day in March 2004 and today it is yet another summer day and the city has recorded the highest temperature in the country. I have just finished reading Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch and I am listening to Sting as I end this little write-up. And yes he is still on repeat.

P.S.: The 7 songs series is coming soon to this weblog or a feed reader near you.

P.P.S: Apart from the title and this Post-postscript the whole article is exactly 666 words. Coincidence or demonic intervention.

April 06, 2006

Is Design Political?

Last night while surfing for SXSWi 2006 I came over a link to CORE77. The content over at this website is quite interesting for designers in general. In the article archives I came across an article by Jennie Winhall, a Senior Design Strategist for RED. The article was titled “Is design political?

It is quite co-incidental that I am being quite political these days, with movies like Good night, and Good Luck and V for Vendetta and books like Orwell’s 1984 and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, taking a good part of my time. I’ve actually been thinking of writing something about politics in context with movies or art in the main. The reason is largely the inspiring Ed Murrow talk I’ve been getting into lately.

But before I get into my small talk I’d prefer to previse that I personally do not have any political ideologies or preferences. I can’t have one. Basically every ideology sucks as much as the other, because there is no gauge to measure up or standardize political systems since the diversity is so varied. Everyone believes their ideology to be the best. So, can’t help. And moreover it’s all about perception. Perception is, I believe, the key to every philosophy and belief, political or not. And my perception is as good as yours.

But enough of my political-crap, the question remains is design political? We, as designers and artists, prepossess a singular ideology that design is a hell lot of expression. And with expression comes the idea of freedom of thought. And we designers believe that politics is way too different from the freedom-of-thought thing. We have this pre-conception that politics stand for everything uncreative or rather destructive. But as I read into what Jennie Winhall had to say I have come upon the other side of the answer.

Design is political. What comes to my mind to justify this sentence is a design/symbol.

The Swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bend at right angles. For ages it has been used as holy symbol by the Hindus and Buddhists. It had no political outlook until it was adopted as the emblem of the Nazi Party in the twentieth century. The symbol came to be known in the western world during the Second World War. And all of a sudden a peaceful symbol had changed into a symbol that still invokes all kinds of emotions in various races. Swastika today symbolizes racism and fascism around the western world. Design here becomes political because it has become a symbol for a particular ideology, and a very ugly one at that.

When you are in India you’ll see the Swastika every so often. Hindus interpret it to a holy sign. As you move westward you’d rarely see a Swastika. Wearing or exhibiting a Swastika makes you stand out and gives out a wrong impression because it is interpreted in totally different manner. Design depends on a lot of interpretation. How you interpret design is totally your outlook. Calling design “political” works in the same way. It works just as political ideologies work all over the world. For a communist communalism works best. An American feels proud of its democracy, although the world knows how dumb their leader is right now. And an Indian is content with any politician who delivers.

April 05, 2006

Quaking on 10240 x 3072

Surfing around on the Hip Tech Blog I came over this awesome article about these guys at Virginia Tech’s GigaPixel Facility. They linked up 24 LCD monitors each running at 1280 x 1024. Now that's truly huge. Go ahead and check it out.

Quoting Authors Vol. 2

April 03, 2006

Worn Out Moll

Beautiful. Awesome. Inspiring. Cameron Moll has redesigned his portfolio in all its worn out glory. I can't say anything. I can't think of anything. I have been staring at the design for hours. Checking and re-checking every now and then. Why the f*** can't I do this?

The color works out so beautifully and perfectly accentuates small details. The sidebar is awesome-ly done. The signature worn is excellent. The best part is that the design is not a bit hard on the eyes, even with so much dark color. Great work.

P.S: Those Self-Promo Business Cards are so worth having. Shame on you Cameron, you disgusting self promoter.

Quoting Authors Vol. 1

“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.” - Chuck Palahniuk

March 31, 2006

Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. There is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof. -v

My cousin, shoeb and I raced to the theater on his friend's bike. The show would start at 2:45. At 2:38 pm we were filling up the bike's tank. And at exactly 2:40 pm we were skidding, literally. The bike skid for approximately 10 seconds. Now that's a really long time in skidding-time. But none of us got hurt, inclusive of the bike. We even got complimented for the control over the bike. We arrived bang on 2:45. I ran over to the ticket counter, got two tickets (nice seats). And we ran to the IMAX screen. The show had not yet started.

The movie begins with the capture and hanging of Guy Fawkes, with the Guy Fawkes Rhyme going in the background. Then we see Vendetta wearing his mask and Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) doing her makeup. And then I switched off my cell and watched a Classic.

The mov
ie is great. I don't see why gave it an 8/10. I'd give it 9. The screenplay is tight. All V dialogues and quotes are memorable. The scene where V introduces himself to Evey is excellent. Great intro. It feels weird at first watching V. Words coming out of a mask. And all his movements that compliments those words. Really weird.

The movie was inspiring not strong though, but just. And every word spoken by V makes the movie worth seeing for the second and even third time. The movie wasn't boring for a second. The only part which took the 1 out of 10 is the capture of Evey. You gotta see the movie to understand what I am saying. The cinematography is awesome. The falling blocks sequence (which you can see in the super bowl clip) is excellent. And yes there is a whole lotta wachowski in the movie. Bullet-time. Some scenes look very matrix-ish. But McTeigue does stand out on his own as a director.

The soundtrack is damn good. Specially the songs playing on V's jukebox, including Julie London's cry me a river. The count of monte cristo footage was excellent. And the Shadow Gallery was great too.

Overall a Classic if not Cult. Hugo Weaving as V was perfect, there isn't a better actor for this role. Natalie Portman outdoes herself. Specially in the jail part. Stephen Rea is good too. This is a must-see for anyone who loves a good movie. Not exactly an action movie, more of a political thriller. And yes it is truly Orwell-ish.

And you should see this movie.

No. Never download it. That's piracy. lol. No, seriously go and see Vendetta in a theater. You can wait for the DVD but I'd still see it in a theater. See it with a clear head and you'll have a much different movie experience than the rest of the audience. It will be like nothing you have ever seen. And remember A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having. Well, that line was actually irrelevant but you can't help but quote V.

P.S.: The RED Vs are courtesy of

March 30, 2006

Freedom! Forever!

V for Vendetta is now playing on the IMAX screen at Prasad's. I have already booked my tickets for the 2:45 show and am damn sure we are gonna rock, my cousin and I. Will give a huge review when I return.

In other news, has just reviewed the Good Night, and Good Luck DVD. Very enlightening review. Makes me wanna buy the DVD right now. But who knows maybe there's a SE or Collector's Edition in the making. So will wait and see.

Until then Good night, and Good luck.

P.S: Check out these artwork from Vendetta.

Animal Farm

And I discovered George Orwell. I read 1984. I read it like, 1984 times. And I looked up Amazon for his complete bibliography and I decided to buy anything "Orwell" the next time I go to a bookstore.

And whoosh!

The George Orwell books I used to see in every bookstore and every roadside stall vanished. It's like when I want a book all people want that book. It always happens. Always with my current favorite. So as I boarded my train to Chennai, and Lo Behold. Higginbotham's! Official bookseller on the Indian railway stations. I left my compartment and went over to the mobile stall. And right there among magazines, Indian comics, Telugu novels, cheap erotic thrillers, newspapers and other English novels.

Animal Farm.

The book is pure Orwell-ish satire. The whole animalism metaphor is so perfectly done that you can't help but see the whole communist idealism behind it. I read the short yet powerful fairy story all the way to Chennai. After reading 1984 again and again I've already got a nice idea of how Orwell's satires work. Animal Farm showed a lot of similarity with 1984. From its base of Socialism/Communism to its characters.

Animal Farm seemed to me like a prequel to 1984. Its basic ideology was similar to 1984 that is Socialism/Communism. The characters of the Manor Farm have much akin to those of 1984. To begin the pigs, I felt, changed to the PARTY in 1984. The pig, Snowball, turned into Goldstein the traitor. The pig, Napoleon turned into Big Brother.

The best part of the book was the last. At half-past the book I knew what the end would be. But still the part where all the farm animals see the pigs walking on two legs was really apprehensive. And the end was even better.

George Orwell has described Animal Farm as a Fairy Story. And certainly it is like a fairy story, but the mixed metaphor is hard to leave out of your mind. The representation of the revolution of the workers against their master is not a part of fiction. It is but true that the origins of a similar revolution always were and will always be the same as in this satirical writing. Yea sure this is a fairy story. But this little fairy tale has turned on to truth once before and will do so indefinitely.

March 29, 2006

Not-So-Live and Exclusive From SXSE

Un viaggiatore prudente non disprezza mai il suo paese
A wise traveler never despises his own country)

One thing I always do when I travel out of my city is comparing the destination city to my own. And this comparison leads to one conclusion. My city is the best. I haven't travelled like Marco Polo or some. In all of 23 years I've been to just 4 cities. Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, and Chennai. I've also been out of India but that was when I was too young to even spell out the place I've been to. So that doesn't count. And out of all the 4 great cities I've been to only Bangalore came close to Hyderabad. But that's a different story, so enough of that. Now to Chennai.

Chennai is one of the biggest Metropolitan cities in India. It is also the capital city of the state of Tamilnadu, which is just below my home-state, Andhra Pradesh. Throughout the train-travel I did what I do best, clicking pictures and reading. The pictures came out nice. And the reading came out nicer. The book - Animal Farm by George Orwell (Read my views here).

I arrived on the Chennai Central Station on 24th March at 7:30 AM. Arriving, I got myself to some work that I had in Chennai. Chennai happens to be the city of my ancestors, that is my Great-Grandfather and many before him. So I was bound to camp at one of my relative's. Anyway, after-work I slept off half the day. Had lunch. Had dinner. Slept.

Next day. Hit the beach. 6:00 AM. Don't know swimming. So just stood in the waves. :D

Took some great pics at the Beach. And that's it.

Yea. That's what all enjoyed about Chennai. Other than enjoying the beaches of Chennai I spent my whole week visiting relations in and around Chennai. What a waste of time. I got to eat a lot. Actually much more than home. The people there literally fill you up till your necks with food. And then they fill some more.

I ate a lot of sea food. I never ate that in Hyderabad. I gobbled up prawns and fishes. I wiped out boxes of famous Chennai sweets, Dum ka Rote (or something like that).

I never got to see all those gadget-shops people talked about here. I also roamed around the city and also went to the Chennai Citi Centre (its still under construction) and the Spencer's Plaza. Some malls. I went to Landmark to find a nice book (was looking for v for vendetta graphic novel), but I found none. I checked out the DVDs but none of the collections impressed me.

Overall, Chennai was a great place but should visit in winter-end. And avoid relatives who plan to feed till you burst.

That's All Folks! Gotta lose some weight.

P.S.: Will be posting links to Flickr! sets soon.

March 21, 2006

SXSE: South by Southeast

No. It's not about SXSW. I ain't that lucky to go SXSW. It's about going South by SouthEast. Chennai.

Tomorrow I'll be leaving for Chennai. Will be there for a week or so. Most probably I will be back by 29th, hopefully. Apart from the Beach (read: crowded place surrounded by water on one side) I'll be hitting the China Market over there, maybe will buy me some CF cards, a good 1GB card will work gr8 with my Canon Powershot A80. 1GB = 700 pics approx. (1024 x 768 that is).

While I'm gone, do check out: My Amazon Wishlist, My Other Blog, My Flickr (Chennai pics will be there). Also check out V For Vendetta in the nearest IMAX/Cinema. We are not lucky over here. It's not yet released in India.

Do come back to this page again, will be posting photos and videos from Chennai, ASAP. By ASAP I mean as soon as I can get a PC hooked up to the net. Till then its Adios.

P.S. And PLEASE do not forget to COMMENT.

Kal El Returns ... 06.30.06

Even though you've been raised as a human being you're not one of them.
They can be a great people Kal-El if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason, above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son.
Just listening to these words on the backdrop of the first ever trailer for Superman Returns makes me think of how iconic Superman really is. The understructure for my iconic image of Superman is definitely the excellent final conversation of Bill (A.K.A. Snake Charmer) and Beatrix Kiddo (A.K.A The Bride, A.K.A. Black Mamba). Yea, the one about Superheroes and Superman metaphor. For those of you who weren't nice enough to check it out or probably too stupid to ignore the excellent convo in the movie Kill Bill Vol.2, here's some basic recollection.

The conversation is about superheroes and their Alter Egos. About how Superman is unlike any other Superhero. How?

This is how.

Superman is Superman. He isn't a by-product of some scientific research like Spiderman or some rich guy hitting it for revenge like Batman. He is Kal El, Son of Jor El, from the Planet Krypton. He is Superman. Unlike Peter Parker/Bruce Wayne etc., his alter ego isn't some super-powerful hero. His alter ego is a bumbling reporter, Clark Kent, who's weak and afraid like any human. And that's why Superman seems so iconic to me.

He isn't just about Justice and the American Way. He is more. His weakness and his fear tells more about us humans and his real-self tells us even more of how much we humans can rise up to.

So rise up. Fly to the nearest Cinema near you and get those tickets before they are taken. Kal El Returns. 06.30.06

March 15, 2006

Of Theme-ing and Scheme-ing

Busy theming out Wordpress. The idea, is to get this blog from Blogger to Wordpress and from blogspot servers to my own server. For all Blogger-fans. This flip has nothing to do with Blogger. Blogger is a damn great service and my other blog will stay on Blogger ever. The flip comes in with the need for a content management system for the whole website. Although I can do manage content on blogger but I have come to understand Wordpress a lot. And Wordpress seems a lot more better choice for a CMS. The reasons are apparent enough.
  1. Great Interface.
  2. Theme-ing, Piece of Cake.
  3. New webpage creation, damn easy. (Click-Write-Publish)
  4. Editing is fantastic, with timestamp editing I can write today for day before yesterday.
  5. And a lot more reasons that I've not yet come to pass...
As i write this entry I have completed the theme and am tweaking the code for IE/Windows. I am trying to use every design technique I know/like on this theme.

I got a wooden background for this one. Writing up the theme was so nice, I have decided to skim up a few more themes for the Wordpress Codex. Back to design, I got the same old (read: trusty) centered, two-column, fixed-width layout. Dark Brown + White. With Automatic Lab's Image Rotator spewing out random header images you will get ... random header images. Also trying for the first time, sIFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement), Mike Davidson's open source Text-Flash Replacement technique based on Shaun Inman's IFR. Until now, it's all in good times. Although the sIFR is giving some trouble, I'll make do without it for few days.

The code, hopefully, will be valid and accessible and will try not to eat up bandwidth. And I lack a .com and am living on excellent free hosting services provided by AddYour. Cos being here in India, domains and web hosting are quite an investment for a budding freelancer like me. With domains starting at 495 of our Indian currency and hosting hitting hard at 1500 rupees, dollars seems so low for the first time. Dollars happen to work great with domains because I can get 2 years of domain registered for the amount of one. With iPower giving out domains at $2.95 an annum, i.e. approx. 130 Indian Rupees, I can get meself a domain too.

But the problem is my Credit Card which doesn't work internationally. But through the power of the web I got myself a Paypal account. So all you good people shell out something for this guy, and who knows you might get a website redesign all free of cost. Or, maybe, at a low cost. So click the little donation button down under as fast as you can spell I.