The Sanctum

Welcome, traveller. This be the realm of Jay Niner, where everything be possible, and nothing ever happens. If, perchance, thou wisheth to tarry, then find thou a page from the Grimoire and read. For we are here in eternity, and we are in medias res.

19.12.11

Jerking off to Life


What is homesickness? It's the feeling you get when you think you're satisfied swigging from a Jack Daniels on top of a local bus from Bombay to Pune, night-time, the whiskey burning a whole through your throat while the cold tries its best to freeze you up.
It's the feeling that life can't be better than that. It really can't, either. Three months of Chennai heat have just worn me down and out; even in bloody winter I couldn't feel any cold, and I kept thinking about what an idiot I was to give Chennai another chance.
On the plus side it does have its better side; the beaches, Pondi, and since it's such a big city, there's enough action going around. Speaking of which, that's the focus of this blog right now. Why wouldn't I write up on that? In Thyagaraja Nagar I ran into Vivek, a UP guy who could provide; Villivakkam's railway had several points, and best of all the Police didn't care two shits about anything. Hell, there were hookers right outside ACJ; fun times. It's one of the few places where I didn't need to go undercover for too long; just enough to get out and onto the roads.
But then again, this is still confidential information. There's stuff going on everywhere; all you need to do is look. And if you look, you'll find the best of times, and the worst of times; Chennai had both of those. And now, Pune beckons again. I already took my repast at dear old Bombay, now I have nights to go before I sleep. 


As I kiss the last of my whiskey goodbye-
And stub away my last cigar;
Thoughts errant come and go
Into that subdued, surreal sovereign state
Of semi-bliss that is narcotic,
And to that mind of chaotic patterns
Cast a soothing ripple of anarchy;
For order imposed is order forsaken-
And in order, I hearken to learn
That life's pleasures are still to earn.

And now, I think, I've earned my last swig. Cheers!

11.12.11

Stonerisms

So, another month ends, another year comes to a close.
And as I see the blogroll this night, I see so many possibilities; of what may have been. The number of blogs I've just left saved on the web, unpublished, is much more than the number I've actually seen through. Some of them are utter garbage; others, still worse.
And all that leaves me questioning one single thing; is all of this worth it?
Life is a funny thing. 
At some point you realize that you are not living for yourself. Never do you, not one moment in all your life; you are living for someone or something else. If you're on the streets, you're living to survive another day. The upper middle class- you're living because there's pressure on you to get a job, and look after your parents.
I spoke to a pair of hookers in the backmarket of my premises. What do you expect them to be?
I didn't expect much. At best you get a haunted, gaudy face, aged eyes and as you touch her, just the slightest tremor of resignation in her frame before she pastes her smile back on.
Two hundred rupees, anna, she told me. She lives somewhere in Indira Nagar, and invites a stranger to her home. No questions asked. Wasn't I free to just take what I needed and leave her to her sorry existence?
I was. 
I was also under a curfew. It meant that the line of questioning ended with asking for the rate, exchanging minor pleasantries, odd flirting and a promise to return.
And so, even walking away then, I threw my back on a future. Mine, hers, her roommate's, her landlord's, it didn't matter. Every one of our choices has adverse effects that we never think back on.
And the dumb thing about it is that all of it only comes when you're either stoned or don't actually think about anything else, 24/7.
Either way is pretty fucked, anyhow. Which is why I said life's a funny thing.
Even now, a smile comes to my face when I think back and realize just how much a person can destroy or create; people say that God is the highest power.
People also don't realize just how much power we keep inside ourselves- like how Jim Butcher explains it in Ghost Story, the twelfth- or thirteenth- book in The Dresden Files. 
Odd things stick to your imagination during the act of stoning. 
Like little blue cats with piranha teeth, walking across my table, staring at me with those obsidian eyes; silent menace. 

14.11.11

Review: Inheritance

How do I sum up this book? It's been in the works for too long. I've waited for a conclusion to the Inheritance Trilogy since I was attending tuition for my 10th. The story seemed just too outlandish that it appealed to my sense of fantasy back then- and I hadn't read Dragonriders of Pern, either- and since it was about a boy who gets a dragon, as most kids hope to, it was an appealing prospect.
But really, if you talk about writers maturing like wine, then Paolini goes a bit too far and matures too fast for his style; when the first three books were full of language you or I would use, slightly simple and easily understandable, in Inheritance we see adjective abuse. A moot point for me, because I'm simply interested in the story, but it slows you up somewhat, since Paolini's trying to impose upon your imagination his views of the scenario. Which is simply not done in a book, that happens in the film adaptations. 
The way Paolini's gone about the story, though, is amazing. He's incorporated every single element that he used in the last three books, such as Vanir, Eragon's sparring partner in Ellesmera, who returns as an ambassador to the elves, or Solembum's mysterious prophecy about the Rock of Kuthian and the Vault of Souls. Even Sloan makes a comeback.
So, what we eventually have is a round-up to the whole story, not a single loose end left, and that is an example of a well-done, a well-thought-out storyline. Very rarely do you find an author who manages that so well, to not leave anything else that could possibly continue Eragon's story.
Another brownie point goes for the way he handled Galbatorix's defeat- it's an approach you'd see in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, and by far one of the most unconventional ways to handle a villain. Paolini's attempt to weave emotion into his writing has paid off well there, but everywhere else you'd feel like he overdoes it.
Another problem is the blatant referencing; some of the most integral parts of Paolini's plot come from a lot of odd sources. True names, and the power they hold- that idea comes from Neverwinter Nights, which was released much before the first book; the Dragonriders themselves, and the bonds between the dragon and rider- Paolini himself admitted they were inspired from McCaffrey's works. Hell, Hrothgar, the king of the dwarves, comes from an old game called Mechwarrior. The whole series reads like Dungeons and Dragons, and feels like an adventure game; and it wouldn't be prejudiced to say that he's taken a lot from games and popular fantasy. 
Despite that, the whole series sums up well. And as icing to the cake, Paolini hints at future novels when Glaedr and Umaroth warn Murtagh and Thorn about other dangers in Alagaesia; an Urgal king, for one. There are mentions of powerful entities waiting for release- and I'm pretty sure that before the next two years are out, Paolini will release another book. The temptation to explore further into what may be just vague names is too great for any writer.
So, here's to Inheritance, an excellent ending to the series, a final conclusion. Paolini is still to mature as a writer, and it won't be until a few more books that we'll find him writing as well as any great fantasy author, like John Norman, or Tolkien, but for now, he's earned all the acclaim that this series has brought him.

Rating: 4/5

9.10.11

Despondency

And so I am.

THERE'S NOTHING TO BLOODY DO.

That felt good. But it didn't in any way alleviate the situation. What we're talking about, is what happens when, after your four o'clock tea, you finish your last book, your thoughts swirling with how the end could have been better, and what to do next.
The thought hits. What the hell is there to do now?
I'm not saying there isn't anything to do. The problem is, nothing comes to mind. 
I think I've had it with this blog. Epicureanism means nothing can hold attention for long.
This blog's reached its entropy limit. I shan't delete it yet, but I don't know if I'll continue. It's better to just keep posting stories mindlessly on my other blog.
Well, if I do post again, the first one will have a picture of me eating my words, literally. That should teach me. But until then, sayonara, au revior. 

26.9.11

Written while high #3


(Seriously, I'm stoned out of my wits.)

*

When it was raining in heaven,
You were going home by the nine-eleven.
The winds just ruffled your hair,
Filled with feathers from wings mortal eyes could not bear.
Our gazes swung to the mundane,
Automatically registering ourselves sane
Conforming to a society's views
Going against which leads to the noose.

Angels in heaven did battle to lose
While we of Earth think thoughts obtuse;
Ever self-serving, inward;
Nary a tendril towards that forward
Progress be damn'd, we'll wallow in the present
And never make a move without prior consent
When in the mind of a self there is but a spoon of sense
And we call lesser beings more dense
While we shackle ourselves to the chains of an age
Sprinkling our pizzas with parsley and sage.

Eidolons of misty rifts
Come marching past my usual drifts
Harken back to memory of old
Dragon-marching, strong and bold.
In formation jump the sty,
In formation march the rye.
In formation stoop to tie
And thus in our fates we die
Ever bound to that spinning wheel
While making for ourselves a celluloid reel
Of that we would leave behind.

Immortality comes at a price
When all's done, who tosses the dice?
WIsh we for wealth and power
Desire and greed, mistresses in our bower
Or leave behind our family's mark
Set a new stone with in the dark;
A descendancy foretold,
To newer times their allegiance sold.
That which was, shall never be;
If you can through the mists of time, see.

17.9.11

Droned Art #1

I used to say, whenever in times of immediate celebration or immediate reaction (such as when I was caught with my hands in someone else's... erm, cookie jar):

When in success, celebrate; when in doubt, delegate.

The thing about this philosophy is that it lets you get away with a lot of stuff. But if you're a hardcore BW person, a vanilla thinker, then this is obviously unethical. I say, it's political (which amounts to the same thing in these turbulent times). Many's the time I've foisted the responsibility of my own karnaame (n. hindi, used in a derogatory sense, "activities") unto someone else.
When in doubt, delegate. 
But what about when in success?
My celebration lies in depression.
The more I can convince myself that my life is a piece of shit, the better I can drink myself to hell and beyond. I know I'm a loser, it's just that it's easier to get drunk thataway.

But ya, coming to the dissection of my policy.
When in success, celebrate. When do you celebrate? Why do you celebrate? Why is joy so important in our lives?  If joy is so important, why do we have periods of unjoyful (if I may coin a term) moments in our lives?
Important questions all.
Which is why I tend to not question my policy but blindly follow it. Life's been good thus far.
Droning on, as someone said; drinking and stoning. 
While I look for another smoke, enjoy the work; I did it based on a design of how my version of prehistoric amoebae would look while high on acid.

16.9.11

Written while High#1


Severing bonds beyond all caring,
Thinking of you, memories a-searing;
I can call these few minutes my own;
When I am done, my mind's chilled to the bone
Fantasies wriggle through my perverted mind.
Some of them, like bone to the rind,
do go in directions unforseen,
Wherein I'm either sober, or plain mean.

Kublai Khan, welcoming his discoverer;
Ozymandiaz, remaining the usurper.
Marquis de Sade welcomes my lust-
And reduces it methodically, down to dust.
We all have our reasons nine;
All arranged in this fine line;
All's grey, what's neither white nor black.
And at the end of the day, look into the sack
And tell me, oh me, oh mine, what is that, on which we do dine
But a grey, gory, glorified sign,
Wherein the mind is not unmindfully blind
But artfully re-aligned?

Randomness is my cup of tea,
I can drown you in it, unlike the dead sea;
Scrolls there be from that place many.

No order do I need, nor chaos blatant,
Which doth on order run truely rampant
But a finely recovered artifice of old
The Ark of the Covenant, to me it's sold
Which I open, more chutiya me
The further I lift, the further it be
My goal, from centuries past,
Seemingly enough to remain half-mast
Above that endless ocean floor
An epitome of dichotomy with paradigm shifts galore.

We hop and we skip and we jump enough
When the time comes, everyone's tough
Down to the very bone of that matter-
But who, exactly, controls this batter?
I suppose he's as mad as a hatter
Only if he doesn't censor this
Neither complex nor ordered, but like a snake's hiss-
Utterly simple, and sudden to boot
Why, hell, I'd rather go to a point more moot.

14.9.11

Thinker's Lament

(Note: Too long since I waxed poetical. 'Namore shall it be.)
*


Why do we do, to that which we love-
Like open wings, we recieve their dove;
A message of ardour, of respect, of praise,
Turned sour like chocolate bouillabaisse,
Left in a swamp for a month.

The idea, dear reader, is not to confuse;
Nor to confound or to speak obtuse.
Why, I ask, do we to the self, distance
What is, in the self of the self a pittance?
Or is sadism ingrained affective?

Wronged, far away, she waits,
And memory serves her, she hates
I languish in my thorny crown;
Left in my self-disgust, pillowed with down,
Of utter confusion, and oh so mellow.

I did what I should, I severed a tie
Like husk from barley, or from rye
I left sweet memories in my wake
Was it for her, or for mine own sake?
Summer evenings bloom in my mind.

Was it so wrong, pray tell, convince;
I chopped my own feelings, did finely mince.
Was it not right, I reasoned and pleaded-
Thought that little ground returned, or ceded.
Better to lose rather than keep up appearances.

The smoke swirls, with patterns mystic;
In younger times they'd not be so cryptic.
With an elderly shaman by my side-
I'd the blasted sands of time ride.
And put an end to my old puzzle.

Every month, I remember the departed;
And my wounds itch, remembering being salted-
My heart reasons warm, but my mind reasons cold;
My turmoil insecure, my fire unbold.
Revolution, I thought, is a word misspoken.

No longer, it rebels, my mind, brazen, unjust;
Go back to your inane, everday lust.
Ponder not the mysteries of the past-
Fasten them to an unreturning ship's mast.
And let it go.

-JN.

4.9.11

Nothing but Time in my hand

Another cigarette disappears into the ashtray. It's 12 now, and sometimes I need to keep track of the time. Daylight savings doesn't give a pair of dingo's balls if you're late for morning class or not.
It's been an odd weekend.
On one hand, the good thing is that I finally got Forsaken World to work. The problem was in updating the damn thing- thanks to the wifi in my hostel, downloading more than 10 mb was a problem, and updating the damn game was a lost cause- or so I thought. In any case, happy grinding. Whoops, pun unintended, ya dirty mind.
The bad thing, though, is more permanent- I got kicked out of a Tasmac. At times like those, I can almost hear Cliff Richards going "Congratulations, jubiliations". Sarcasm is joy.
*
Ahh... my old grandmammy, she used to say: "Monu, when you have nothing to do, remember, that you have nothing but time on your hands."
It's a good way to look at being bored. It was how I used to think back when I was in disgrace or grounded- 

I've got nothing, but time in my hand. 
Time ain't nothing, but grains of sand; 
All the world's got stuff to do- 
I'm the only guy, who hasn't a clue.
And-
I've got nothing, but time in my hand.

And so on and so forth. It's a little ditty I used to sing- made it up as I went along. Years after, I forget the tune every few weeks.
It was that song, and my general tendency of getting up late in dubious places with even more dubious people that prompted me to say, to my friends back in Symbi- "Time ain't nothing but a whore, sewed shut. Thus the phrase, so little time, so little cunt." 
Explicit, I know. Obscene, sure. I try to keep the profanity to a minimum these days, past the rantblog phase of this memoir- but sometimes, why beat about the bush when a few choice words get the job done? Strangely, I feel a vicarious pleasure in the rare times when I can cuss in Hindi and someone actually understands me. I don't know.
Back in Pune, I'd cuss in malayalam, and I used to feel the same pleasure when someone wondered what I'd said. Now, I'm sure of one thing- I'm too north Indian for my own good. When I get dosas, I ask for bhel. When I get the formaldehyde that passes for coffee in my immediate vicinity, I ask for some decent ginger-spiked tea that the BPO dhabas that used to be open 24/7 back in Pune.
Someone once told me that Symbi was hell. I disagree fervently, now. Someone will tell me that ACJ is hell, and at some point in the future, I'm sure as shit going to disagree with equal fervor.
The problem is, one can't look ahead and say this sort of stuff- the art of foresight is not only wasted on this generation, but also lost. All we can do is make vague guesses. 
And until then, I'll just keep complaining. After all, hatred is just twisted love, and love is blind.
It's odd- that logic always made sense after a few shots, and now- it doesn't. Well, signing off.

31.8.11

Review: Conan the Barbarian (2011)

If you want that sword-slinging, gut-wrenching, brutal feel, then go watch this. And stay with it.
Jason Momoa should have stuck to playing Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, but I suppose his contract expired since his character dies in the first few episodes. 
So he rebounds into this, and does a Khali act from Get Smart!. Wonderful. 
On top of which we have Rose McGowan, once tipped off to be the next Red Sonja, acting as a witch. Stephen Lang pulls off his trademark villain role, as the infamous Khalar Zym; but he's a far cry from his performance in Avatar or The Hard Way, and a very far cry from James Earl Jones' Thulsa Doom in the '84 Conan the Barbarian. 
So, why am I slamming the movie? I was looking forward to it in a big way. I mean, there's only so much gut-smashing, smart-talking action you get from Duke Nukem, but Conan's in a different league- he's smarter and meaner; sort of like comparing a wolf to a jaguar. 
I've been a big fan of the whole franchise- from Howard's original stories to Marvel's adaptations, and then the current Dynamite Comics' series. There's an appeal to the character- and how the stories are told.
Although Morgan Freeman narrates well, he doesn't start with the trademark "Do you know, O prince..." and I wasn't expecting that. 
The point is, this looks and feels like a rehashed Deathstalker, for Christ's sake. The graphics are bland in places; there's a point where the camera does a dolly act past a mud city in a cliff; and although I suspect it's supposed to be abandoned, it looks like a cheap inch-high replica instead of original animation.
Odd.
And there's Conan's monosyllabic grunts... nuts. Rose McGowan? Oh dear. Stereotype bad witch. Rachel Nichols? Stereotype Damsel in Distress; again, look to the original for her counterpart. And Khalar Zym. Although the character looks great, he just doesn't have that force behind him- that evil menace that's so common on screens these days.
Altogether? Two stars out of five. Not even worth downloading. Even the erotic scenes don't match those of Howard's original descriptions- and they're comparatively mild if you look at Drive Angry or Machete.
To top it off, this year seems to have been a bad one for Comic Adaptations; from Green Hornet to Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens, or even Captain America (which I'll admit is still better than all of the abovementioned), they've all been lacking. I mean, look at Thor, or Iron Man. 
What made those two so much better? If that question could be answered, I have no doubt that we'd have an award-winning comic adaptation. Until then, they'll just teeter between being comic adaptations and plain comical.
Signing off.
Overall rating: Two Stars.
Pros: Environment, Ron Perlman's performance, music
Cons: Everything else: weak characters, weak plot.

27.8.11

That's all for today.

Self- made banner for a website generation assignment. Weird way to spend time, I know; but oddly satisfying all the same.

21.8.11

Nucking Futs

As I recline on my bed as of 9.09 in the laptop clock, I look around to see- life.
In a cubicle.
There's inactivity. There's boredom. There's melancholy. We're alive!
As the title goes, Nucking Futs, for lack of an external censor.
*
9.10.
I decided to burn my hand. It was mildly painful, as the head of a cigarette burns at a considerably high temperature. I'm sure someone will know the exact specs, but I tried it out anyway.
It left some skin burnt, but nothing too much... the masochist in me wants to slam the butt on my finger, the same one I'll write with tomorrow. 
The realist in me shut up years ago.
Nucking Futs.
*
9.15
Six minutes have passed since I finished the fifth download of a childishly imbecilic game that I decided to rack my laptop with. A 2005 model shouldn't by any measure be able to support 2009 games, and it doesn't. Sensible laptop, mindfucked owner.
Doesn't stop me from downloading the sixth part, before installing it and then wracking my brains trying to reduce its graphics and performance, and then uninstalling and deleting it when it doesn't work. Summat to do anyhow.
Nucking Futs.
*
9.20
I debated whether or not to go down and have dinner or starve. Moral issue, existential crisis.
The humanitarian part of me realized that not having dinner would 

  • no doubt affect my stomach. 
The logical part of me realized that not having dinner would 

  • keep me awake half the night and quite likely till morning as I prowled the corridors in stealthy reconnaissance looking for the unwary hostelite who would leave more than his/her share of food lying around, 
  • it also meant I would increase my performance-to-resource ratio, forcing my body to consume itself to support my brain, but giving my systems a temporary boost.
Unsurprisingly they arrived at the same conclusion together.

Nucking Futs.
*
9.25
I finally looked around for enough "chanda" to go get my junk. Granted, there are no immediate relief zones of any discernible quality to be found from where I'm sitting (or staying); but if I'm going home by September then it stands to reason that I may sample goods of excellent merchandise in familiar confines... Panvel, Kamathi, BP, ah, my sainted whores.
In other words, BP rocks, Madras blues repress.
Until then, abstinence is the foundation of virtue.
Nucking Futs.
*
9.30
Apparently a visit to the ATM is required after several glances into the musty reliquary that passes for my purse.
The adage sticks through, then; Money come, money go; mindfucked brain, remain.
Nucking Futs.
*

18.8.11

The Endless Run

I don't run, it's true, but my mind does; it's constantly churning out ideas. Like yours, or like anyone else's.
Sometimes, all my brain decides to do first thing in the morning is to take a nap- a nap which continues for most of the day, during which I conveniently go into zombie mode, and the day slips past and I finally realize that I've lost one whole day of my life that I'll never get back.
Bugger you, and your day, my brains whispers back, snuggling into its nightgown. The human brain, if nothing else, is a bitch.
*
So, my fingers keep hovering over the keyboard for minutes at a time while I try to come up with something that'll entertain both you and me. Eventually I might even delete this blog, and then I'll rue the day I did that.

What's to tell? I'd advise you to go read A. G. Gardiner, who once wrote a piece on how to do nothing. Jerome K. Jerome went further, writing about how he did absolutely nothing for a month.
Both of them agree on one point- it's bloody boring doing nothing.
*
About two months back, around this time, 2.52 pm, I was hauling my scooter back to my home.
I have this absolutely moronic habit of not filling petrol in it after I go drinking. A friend of mine back in Pune would attest to the number of times that habit has brought things to a literal standstill.
He lived near Viman Nagar, and I lived ten kilometres out of the city.
The worst part of the trip wasn't dragging that junker of a scooter on a vertical incline; it was watching people go past at speeds of seventy and above. You then realize just how much you depended on the vehicle to begin with; just how much you owe to whoever invented an internal combustion engine and vulcanized rubber.
And every time I think about how I stupid I'd been that night, I can't stop laughing my arse off. It's just typical of me to push the damn thing around instead of storing it somewhere and sleeping it off. Hell, I was asleep on the pavement halfway home for about an hour.
Nuts.
*
I was thinking of writing this story, you know?
About a journalist in the future. How do we predict what media will be used? Obviously, some advanced form of the internet that's so easily accessible no one will even want to use a monitor of any kind.
At that point, a situation which I put forth to two of my teachers may come forth- that the news industry could become one single amalgamated organization. Global, planetary, galactic, whatever you like.
On top of which, they have their own bio-engineering plants which effectively allows them to churn out fully-grown, multi-skilled reporters with all the physical capability to fight off miltary commandos, steal into high-tech security encryptions, exchange bullets and still be able to submit their copies after all that.
For a detective and crime fiction fan, it seemed like quite an idea to me at the time. The only problem was getting the stories right.
I suppose that can be solved in time.
After all, you only write what you know. If you don't know what you're writing about, you'll end up writing like Woody Allen talks.
And that's a lot harder than it looks. Only someone genuinely all over the place- and that's no compliment- can write like that.
Well, signing off. Yawn.

16.8.11

The Bilingual Argument

What in hell is up with the political scene in India?
Everyone left and right of me is writing (apne vichaar "prakat" karna jise bolaate hain) about politics and Anna Hazare. 
So I might as well as join the bandwagon.
Lots of questions on the subject, and while we're at it, let's beat around the bush for a while longer, answering daft questions.
For all intents and purposes do not crucify me if you disagree. I cannot tolerate being nailed to a cross. We shall begin this interview from the POV of two bakchoders- I mean, college students- No.  1, the interviewer and No. 2, the interviewee.
*
No 1: Tasreef rahiyen bhaijaan, sawaalon ki na koi kami hai na aapko chup karvaane ki gunjaaeish.
No 2: Talk English, dude.

No. 1: Kya aapko lagta hain ki Anna Hazare ke recent arrest me government ka haath hain?
No. 2: Dude, don't ask fuckall questions.

No. 1: Kya aapke bheje me koi shak raha hai ki yeh sab kyun ho raha hain?
No. 2: Dude, WTF. It's all to get the media attention in India, homie. When the media controls the masses, the best way to get more power is to control the media. Now Anna Hazare-

No. 1: Kya aap ek hi point pe rahenge?
No. 2: Fine. My point is that no matter what sort of communication you use, fear/righteousness/justice/injustice, the end goal is to get your point across to the people. Now, Anna Hazare can very well get a morcha done and people will now about it. On the other hand, those he is out to expose profit only from one thing; to delay his message until they have counter-measures to work against his ideas. 

No. 1: Kya aap is naye karnaame pe thoda charcha karna chayenge.
No. 2: Why not. It's pretty obvious that there was a trumped-up charge brought up at the last minute to clap him in irons. While the whole country waits for his message with bated breath... you have heard of one meeting his destiny on the way he takes to avoid it, haven't you? What do you think is happening? An assault on the corruption/etc. has given way to an assault on basic democratic rights.

No. 1: Lekin aapki kya raein hai is mudde par? Koi gyanvardhak tippani?
No. 2: No, not yet. I have really no interest in this sort of stuff. All I can say is that the Government should either take an example from China and turn completely communist, and clamp down on this sort of stuff, or else be utterly libertarian and let the people decide- but in this sort of case, it's like a Magician's trick of Forcing; no matter how many cards you hold out to an average passer-by, he's always going to pick up the one you want him to. The Government should get its thoughts in order and do a better job of playing politics.

No. 1: To aap yeh kehe rahe hai ki ek taraf pe rakhshas, us taraf pe Bhagwaan; beech me khada bandhar, jo machaye tufaan...
No. 2: Exactly. Now, the problem we are all facing is the sort that gets solved by arguing an issue to death. We could sit here and keep talking about it; or we could go out and do something. *I* have already spoken enough. Those who do have problems with the situation- since I'm far enough from that that it doesn't connect, and political scenarios are not my cup of tea- should do what they feel is right. 

No. 1: Kya desh me kranti ho payegi is muddhe ke vaaste?
No. 2: Nope. There will be a lot of shouting inside and outside parliament, a bunch of people with too much time on their hands, who will stand out in the rain with candles, yelling slogans out in the hopes of changing the world. Let them; or let them become politicians and change it through the rightful abuse of power instead. Words don't break bones. It's reach that matters, and now that Anna Hazare, a gandhian of sorts, has that sort of reach? It's possible he may incite more protests, but a full-blown revolution is too much for the average Indian; we'd be waiting till next October waiting for campaign slogans to arrive.

No. 1: Kya aap chutiye hain?
No. 2: I follow that feed on facebook and twitter; I agree with most of their stuff and WTF are you bringing it in now?

No. 1: Phir humare show pe aane ke liye humara shukriya ada ki jiye. Is romanchak aur anokha safar pe aapke raein sunkar badi hairani huyi; aasha karte hain ki desh ke vaasi is kaarname par apne bhi vichaar dalenge, aur apne apne bhaavnayon ko ve prakat karenge. Hume yakeen hai ki desh ki pragati zaroor hogi; dhanyavaad.

15.8.11

Reprisal

While this blog will focus mainly on my ranting over unavailability of certain luxuries, I also intend to examine:
  • The humanity of deprivation
  • The insanity provoked in the depths of the human mind due to the uncertainties of fate.
Alright! Let the ranting begin.

*

After nearly two weeks of holding back, I finally let go and marched all the way to Thiruvanmiyur. Bought a pack of Davidoffs and after several people waxed eloquent on the qualities of the Dunhill Red, I decided to sample that as well.
Imagine yourself running twenty kilometres with a friend.
Then afterwards, stopping and bringing up your bottle of water for a nice, long drink.
And the water gets knocked out of your hand, leaving just 10% of your throat drenched while the rest is still calling out piteously for salvation.
That, reader, is an accurate summary of what happens to me during Davidoff deprivation. Granted, a pack of cigarettes is not supposed to be worth the bother, but Davidoff is more to me than a simple pack of 20 cigarettes. I've tasted probably 50 brands of cigarettes till now, and fifteen or twenty types of cigars. It's not that I didn't like Nat Shermans or Camel or Pall Malls, didn't appreciate the taste of Gudang Garam or Charminar, or Djarum. Nope, it's just that eventually at a point in life you begin to get accustomed to something. 
I got accustomed to Davidoff, and Old Monk, two or so pints of Feni, a good bottle of Chianti, slow cars and large bikes, a country-made cot and Konkani beedis, Kerala rains, country chicken and bengali sweets, South Indian coffee and Dilli chai. 
The problem is, I could just have gone on smoking and not noticed what I was missing. You only ever learn the value of something once it's taken out of your hands. I'll learn and re-learn the value of my laptop when it conks off on me, which is too bloody frequently for my taste. Therefore, instead of incessantly walking up and down this oven of a city, I can indulge in Navy Cut while I wait for the weekends to get my relief.
That's the humanity of deprivation part covered.
As for the insanity provoked, it stems from the fact that while I was supposed to go home to pick up a carton of Davidoffs a friend bought for me, I couldn't just because my mother got suspicious at hearing that I'd be going. My whole family is scattered across India- parents in Amravati, sister in Pune, cousin in Nagpur and yours truly in Madras.
It's not a really big deal, not going. What's a big deal is that by the time I reach home in september, that carton will have been devoured to the tobacco flake.
Never mind the rest of the stuff I'd put for safekeeping. It's a bloody shame if you don't have anywhere to store weed and acid and so on and so forth, and as a result must leave them with people you only trust about as far as you throw them. We should have a bank for that sort of contraband, and the Government would be able to control it all the better.
Ah, well- smokers unite, puffing our right, another one we'll light.
And so on and so forth. 
In any case, I have near around to three times ten the number of smokes; it should keep me off those ghastly Classic Milds and the intolerable Gold Flakes. While I may have started out on that, I gradually veered toward the stronger, harsher stuff. 
Some people I know smoke weed to make sure they don't smoke. I smoke so that... okay, vice versa doesn't work out that way, since I do both. I know people who smoke weed 24/7; I know people who could sit down with a hookah and not get up for hours; I know idiots who jumped off cliffs on acid. I'll stay away from those daft highs and listen to Tex William's advice; if there's anyone who got it right, it's him.

12.8.11

Another Untitled

I've been going over the recent tenor of my blogs. They've been a depressant, haven't they? Maybe I should remedy that. 
I'm sipping from ichor; an old monk whispers into my ear, he's not really bothered about the Ferrari Robin Sharma made him sell. What he is bothered about, though, is that I enjoy myself.
Rum.
Smooth, strong, amazing. There is truly nothing like rum.
Unless it's whiskey. Or sex. Either will do... but I digress.
Today was pretty much the same as any other. I had someone called Kancha Ilaiah over to talk on about caste and the Dalit Bahujan in India- biased as hell, but an enjoyable experience all the same. It was something else to see someone who actually cared- 
No, scratch that. I do see people who actually care. The crazy thing is, I just remain in the background. Some defect in my genetics- I'm really unconcerned, apathetic. Perhaps its teenage skepticism. I hope so, or I've wasted valuable time trying to change the mould I broke. Nuts to that.
I've been reading up while the classes've been going on, though. 
G.R.R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons. One hell of a good read, although some of the characters lack in depth as compared to the others- but Martin's really delayed this one, so I shan't complain and only thank whatever's out there while I read a pirated copy. The internet's so cool, no? It allows you to read up stuff that's not been released yet. 
But for that matter, the Internet's also the cause of this generation's - mine and yours, reader- apathy. We know so much about what's going on, and whatever we don't, we google, because of which we have our opinions on just about everything. 
I never really wanted an opinion- opinions only fill your stomach if you're a politician or some high-ranker- but I did want to have a nice little house tucked away somewhere, and a fridge full of rum/beer along with it.
*
A relative of mine had once told me about the Red Indians. Apparently, they had a legend of a white man who, famously, apparently, had gone into the deep woods with nothing but a skinning knife and a bag of salt.
Twenty years later, he returned to the tribe- much after everyone thought he was dead- and all he asked for was another bag of salt, before vanishing once more. 
Sounds like Into the wild, doesn't it? Stuff like that does happen. As I am humbled, so should you be; there is always someone, somewhere, having a life we truly admire. Celebs don't have a life, so they don't count. No one would be truly happy with their life under constant scrutiny- and I know enough that while money drives the world, if you're stuck in a desert with a million rupees and a Guinness (I'm talking about the beer) then you'll go for the Irish. Life's fucked up like that. 
*
People have often said I'm socially disconnected. I suppose it's true. I don't like company, I don't often like more than three or less good friends, and I hate crowds. Call it what you will. Everyone's damaged in some way or the other. My dream, as I've often mentioned, is to own a backwaters cottage and retire out of contact of everyone, leave no trace of myself behind. I've often thought about how it would be, to have the world forget you- and to forget about the world, and I've done that- it feels great.
Until then, I'll continue to blog, until the day comes and I can quietly vanish into my own wilderness in the future. Sayonara till the next.


11.8.11

Memento Mori

There's an old saying: writers are the gods of their worlds.
They're not. Editors are the gods in writers' worlds.

I used to pull off some dumb graveyard shifts at Call Centres; half the time because it meant getting money, the other half, pushing same money off on booze and parties with chicks and dudes too sleepy to care otherwise. I was pretty much the same then... I mean, who isn't fucking sleepy at three in the morning? When all you have for entertainment is the occasional jackoff calling for a repair.
Nah, it's nuts there. 
Money come, money go; mindfucked brain, remain.

I should wash out my mouth with soap. I'm going back to my heydays, when all this blog used to see was profanity enough to make God turn the other cheek.

But where was I? Ah.
I had a particularly disheartening grammar lecture today. God in heaven knows who invented Grammar. I don't, and if I did, that sonuvabitch would be sleeping with the fishes. If a junkie can write, and write passably well; I hope I do; then why the hell do you want to force stuff on him that comes out properly when he's writing?
Let's face it- there are only two rules to life. The rule that lets us do as we fucking please, and the rule that makes us face the consequences of our actions.
If you can bargain with these two, you've got it made. And I don't mind... I've done my bargaining.
When the call centre days went on, I often had the dubious post of having to edit reports and stuff. I could just pick up the typos by the kilo and toss them into the dustbin.
I suppose that habit disappeared, of keeping track of my own typographical errors, when I started working in Print seriously. The idea of having an editor above- having anyone above you to keep track of your mistakes and rectify as needed- makes you grow complacent in your own ability to report, until you find yourself saying, 'Fuck typos! I'm paid to report, bitch!'
Ya, I did say that.

That's when the Latin phrase "Memento Mori" hits me. "Remember your mortality". 
It's a pretty good thing to keep in mind, isn't it? When things like small, dumb mistakes you don't remember making come back to bite you in the ass, they, more than world-altering mistakes, remind you that you're a human.
Side note: The inspiration for this blog comes from the fact that I sent a piece full of typos as an assignment. I've regretted it since afternoon... well, to Beelzebub with it! Shan't make the mistake of being an eager beaver again.

9.8.11

Another Untitled.

If it serves me right, then I was by all means a pompous brat in my fifth standard of my State Board school back in an Amravati no one knows anything about.
If it serves me right, then I had grammar lessons back then, too. I really don't understand what sort of perverted joy people get when they turn language head over heels with rules; I can understand that while the written word is music, grammar is the script for the musician to argue with his manager.
It's only there to make sure innocent writers are suckered into that mire of commas by over-thinking his editing with concerns over clauses, punctuation marks and all those little dingbats that go into the editing.
My own preconceptions about writing stem from my overly talented parents. One teaches English and Chemistry, the other, English Lit. And neither of them have any love towards the murkiness of English Grammar.
Nobody in their right minds would, I think, support something can render language into maths. Consider the following equation:
SUBJECT(SIMPLE) + PREDICATE = (NOUN + VERB)ADJECTIVE/ADVERB + NOUN

This is pretty much something I found a goon teaching in an English tuition class. That's what I mean by turning English into Maths, and if you consider, the sentence was actually:

"My teacher speaks some Sanskrit."

Nice way to put it, smartass. 
------
In any case, I suppose the grammar classes will continue, and I will have to grin and bear it. It beggars belief that people would teach this.. however, let's skip the topic, now that I've blown my top, it has settled back down on my head once more.
Most days I can guess that people feel like a zombie. Especially those in jobs they don't like.. get up, eat, work, get back, sleep. Life can go on with that cycle for years on end, until one day we can get up and look at our shriveled hands and realize- I'm at an old age home, I don't even know how I got there.
What is the point, exactly?
Overworking ourselves like this? I know people who're barely seventeen and have started working with papers, banks, shops, trading, real estate.. why the need to begin working so early? I have no answer to that question. I certainly wouldn't start now. I still need to down a few more thousand beers.
And I need to get a Ph.D. If there's one thing I noticed, a Doctorate is of value anywhere. And not a fake or a comparable-to-doctorate degree, but the real thing can give you a good push up any ladder. My parents are both doctors, and if not for my constantly draining their resources would have been living a fine life in some part of Italy or Europe, where they want to tour once the Black Sheep of the family stops mooching off his parents and gets a job.
But they're prepared to sponsor me till the doctorate, which is mighty good. At least five years of boozing until I can finish a five/six-kilo thesis on some archaic topic or the other, and then we'll talk business; probably rack in a few years at some paper, five more, perhaps, and start teaching.
To anyone who's listening, a teacher's job is pretty much the best job on Earth. Consider; you get three months off at any time of year, which is like a paid vacation, and you get to influence the next generation. Maybe not so much about the last part, but I want to teach in some corner of Europe.. and then come back home after arguing metaphysical writing or some aspect of theology or journalism, plop myself down in a recliner with wine in hand and a fresh page to continue whatever novel I'd be writing out at that time.
That's my fantasy.. and there's absolutely no reason why it can't come true. It doesn't even need too much effort, either... well, maybe it does, but I don't want to get into that right now.
Maybe y'all, dear readers, should figure out concrete plans as well. At the end of the day, nobody wants money- it's happiness people want. Money is just a shortcut to happiness, no debating that fact, but let's face it- you aren't going to angle your life to get the bucks, if there's your dream on the other road, are you? Gamblers will, but most people won't.

8.8.11

Review: Chaos Legion

That redhead's a guy. Just for confirmation.
Oh my dear lord in heaven and the sainted squirrel on the maple tree.
If there ever were a people who went through trial and error to get their games right it was these bastards at CAPCOM who brought out Chaos Legion.
While I can appreciate the artistry that goes into a Hack-and-Slash game, the genteel subtlety of the combat involved and the brilliance of mind that brought this creation to life..
No, I'm sorry, I can't.
What is Chaos Legion? It's a 2003 fantasy H&S for the intellectually reverted; or for the gothic-oriented romantics. While the main premise of the game is that you're a "Knight of the Dark Glyphs", Mr. "I-love-my-babyface-and-red-hair" Sieg Wahrheit who's apparently murdered secondary character Seila, your eternal friend Victor Delacroix's love, the whole thing spirals out of control before you can even get a chance.
So, Victor D. takes a downward spiral, thinking only of getting Seila back while at the same time giving Sieg (pronounced Zeke) a few pieces of his mind.
While all this is going on, Sieg (aforementioned Knight of the "Glyphs") has the power to control legions of seemingly supernatural monsters.. with names such as "Guilt" or "Blasphemy", "Hatred", "Malice", "Arrogance", "Flawed" and so on. Charming. All of them have one speciality- Guilt uses swords, Blasphemy uses Bombs, Hatred goes hand-to-hand, Malice uses crossbows, and so on. The only legion I did like out of all of them was the "Ultimate" legion, "Thanatos", which in keeping with most Jap games Sieg happens to lose early on. Handy.
So you go around collecting nine parts of that Thanatos thingy, while the whole tragedy unfolds.
And it's full of dialogues like "It's time for me to send you back into that darkness!" - No self-respecting villain should be caught saying that. And no self-respecting hero should be caught saying "It's time for me to rescue him from the darkness around him."
I had a grammar class today that I wanted to forget, and the game brought it all back- every lesson of grammar involving active voice, passive voice, clauses.. just because of this idiotic game.
It's the perfect game for you to wreck your fingers on; take out your frustration on a bunch of pixels. It works.
But if you're looking for story, good characters... go play Devil May Cry and have a few laughs, because you won't get them here.
Rating: 2.5/5
Pros: Good gameplay, pure hack-and-slash
Cons: Dumb characters, bland story, fake american accents.

6.8.11

Another untitled

There's a really good thing about being pleasantly high. I wish it wasn't vodka, which I'm still not sure I like or not, considering I really hate apples, and Romanov tends to taste like such, but then I'm not sure.
Romanov is one helluva place to begin my blog.
What is vodka?
Vodka is Russian for Water.
Please don't question that fact- I heard it from a friend, so I have no idea of its credibility. Da, si, oui, hao, hai and which ever language you prefer, "yes".
It's strange that that one word would have so many different languages. You'd think that the Tower of Babel Syndrome would have worn out by now; God can't have infinite wrath. It's too time-consuming, even by infinity's standards.
In other words, God needs to learn restraint.
All that "divine wrath" and "judgement of souls" would be pretty much farcical if not for the fact that a few billion people believe in it. Why faith? Why not believe in oneself? I remember a Father who preached that all one needed was the ability to believe in oneself, and God would help such a person all on his own. God, of course, helps those who help themselves.
Why was this Father with a capital F so.. eloquent? It went against most of the teachings of the Church, to say that if man believes in himself he could move mountains. And the Church, if anything, is based upon pure, unadulterated faith. To answer that question, one must look to the greats. None of them, from Alexander to Einstein, Gandhi and others, managed without that faith- they all believed in a higher power.
Do we need a higher power? It's doubtful. Technology is our god in this day and age. Without the wonders of technology I cannot- there is no will not and may not- blog. You cannot complain, abuse or comment on this blog if not for the internet in your hands.
And the internet these days. I can pay a thousand bucks for it and still not get the speed I need; even 2K will not give me the ability to download movies in one hour. To put it bluntly; there is no good internet speed in India, even if we want to act like attention whores with the 2G scam and the 3G revolution. I mean, who the hell would be bothered by that shit?
I know my hacker friends. All they're bothered with is the speed at which internet can go.
India is one country fulla' attention whores. I wish I knew the reason for that statement; but I don't. It's one of those thing that pops out of your mouth; such as when you say: Nobel's a cholo bastard for inventing dynamite!
Well, he was. If he didn't invent dynamite, I'm sure someone else would have, but all these inventors- they had the ideas that were a few years ahead of their time. So, if Nobel didn't invent dynamite, then someone else would have- after, say ten years past Nobel's date of invention- and we'd be talking about Nuclear weapons like they were the most recent toys in our arsenal.
As it stands, they're not. Military around the world has stuff lying around that's considerably more eco-friendly.. but that's a matter for another time.
This blog started as I was high, let me end it then;
I wanted vodka; I got it. I wanted a high; I got it. I wanted sweet release; she came not; I wanted "Absolution"; I got "Romanov".
And there endeth the tale.

4.8.11

Ya Ali

Ya Ali Madad!

I begin today's rant with a plea for help.
And I'm not asking you, dearest reader, for the same; no, thank you. The problem is that I have been raving off my head too much these days. As an old friend (passed away, no less, which is why he's both old and late.) would say- 'you're an idiot.'
He wouldn't need to say much more to get me back on track.. but if memory serves me right, there was a 'mother****ing' and a 'bastard' in there somewhere.
So, back to my plea for help.
I'm epicurean by nature, which means that I need something to do, something to ward off this spirit of boredom that seems to have taken up residence in my immediate surroundings. And there is nothing to do, truly, apart from listening to Nakkadwale Disco every few minutes.
But I have to hand it to my six-year-old laptop. More than my mom with her red-hot chimta (a red-hot pair of tongs that she'd threaten me with when I misbehaved), this piece of junk has taught me patience.
To survive anywhere, one must be patient, or extraordinarily talented. You have to work for years to perfect that sudden movement that can strike precisely at the base of your opponent's neck and find its way into your own groin.
Ouch.. yeah, that's happened.. but that I blame on whatever I was inebriated on at the time.

And none of you will teach me patience and the resilience I need to survive those drearily dank evenings when one tends to ask oneself after the tea sessions, much like the vultures in Disney's The Jungle Book- 'so, what do we do now?'
I went off to some IT park called.. Asendas? Ascendas? Dunno, but it was mighty close and had Subway in it, which to my chagrin and almighty despair did not serve more than 3 sauces on your Sub. Then why even ask us which bread we want, betichod? Just make the damn thing instead of wasting time.
That was one helluva dry sub, and on the way back I had the idea of visiting the TASMAC bar nearby.. but it kinda slipped out of my mind. Maybe something to do with the first half-decent filter coffee I've had in ages. That's the only thing I can say about the South in general and Chennai in particular- the coffee is amazing. Original filter coffee, or so they like to say, but it's not the formaldehyde they serve at most places. Maharashtra in general did not know how to make coffee- the north and west concentrate mostly on tea- but the south is all coffee, man.
You can feel it in the air, when you cross over past AP into my beloved Kerala- Ah, my beauty, past compare, your rains like a downfall of despair- when the vendors start yelling Kaapi! Chooda Kaapi! (Coffee, hot coffee instead of Chai! Garam Chai! (Tea, hot tea).
A friend informs me of the varied cuisine here.. Greek and Thai and Italian, from what she asserted. Well, I've got nine months before I must deliver, and I have yet to conceive yet.
You dirty minds.. you thought I was going to.. I can't believe you thought that. I'm shocked.
I suppose this is where I beat a hasty retreat. I suppose Ali in his infinite wisdom needs must decline on my request, but that's okay. I do not expect the powers-that-be to really give a half-decent answer.. which is why I'm an atheist in the first place, like the half the generation.
Interesting idea for another blog.
Watch this space.

3.8.11

Ghost Story: Review

I've been an avid follower of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files since I picked up a yellowing copy of Fool Moon at Landmark. It occurred to me that someone who'd name his book that should have more than a sense of humour- and I was right. 
Jim Butcher has put together one of the most wise-ass, street-smart angry young wizard characters the literary world has known. Harry Dresden simply personifies those qualities just mentioned; and that pretty much sums up why people read it; at some point sequels become less about the plot and more about character development. Not so with Codex Alera, Jim Butcher's other series (which already ended, sadly; it was his only successful attempt at sword-and-horse fantasy- his words).
However, much like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings acquires a cult following for Darth Vader or Gollum, Sauron and so on, The Dresden Files's star attraction is the smart-talking, hard-hitting Chicago Wizard. And at the end of the 12th book in the series, Changes, Harry Dresden is sent to sleep- with the fish. 
Now, you'd think that death is the final frontier, but Jim Butcher would disagree. Ghost Story, the 13th in the series, pretty much sums up in the name itself what Dresden's going through now. He's dead, and he has to find out who killed him.
Predictable plot. 
What's not predictable is the fact that for once in his life, Dresden realizes that while he could kick ass alive, in death he keeps getting his ass handed to him by ghosts older and stronger (never mind wiser) and that things are around that could re-kill him. Pretty much a climax of the story is that while Butcher explains frequently that ghosts are memories and not the persons they were, Dresden actually stumbles into the spirit world with his soul intact. 
Shouldn't be possible, according to Butcher's World Rules- but Dresden is another version of Branson who won't actually say, "Screw it, let's do it" but he'll just go on to wreak hell.
A host of colourful characters make appearances, and Dresden just realizes that what he did in Changes just about twisted the world around. Killing off a huge faction- worldwide- would have crazy consequences, and combine that with the fact that he was dead- you're talking a lot of power plays all over. Chicago has Dresden's allies to keep it safe- potential lover and ex-cop Karrin Murphy, the now-feared Molly Carpenter who, like Harry, starts training with the Leanansidhe (Harry's Fairy Godmother-and the Sidhe are one bunch of ruthless bastards in Butcher's world) and so on.
Dresden being Dresden realizes that in the end, the only one holding him back is himself- and that as usual, he makes the craziest mistakes ever possible. 
Here, I am afraid, is where things get predictable; anyone familiar with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy should know the point where Zaphod Beeblebrox realizes who the hell erased his memories. Apply the same scenario here, and it's easy to find out who killed Dresden.
All in all, though, it's a much more humane book than the last few (I mean, the first five or so were mostly Dresden being a smartass in the worst situations possible), and Jim Butcher manages to keep the storyline going, as well as leaving us waiting for yet another installment- although the preface indicates that he may soon bring Dresden's stories to an end, let's hope it isn't anytime soon. 
Like Sherlock Holmes, Dresden's an anytime read, simply for the fun of it.
---
Reviewer's opinion: 3.5/5
Pros: Changes in scenario, and character development and overall ending.
Cons: Story feels slightly bland, predictable outcome to the murder.

30.7.11

Another Untitled

Most days I just get up and go through the day like some sort of zombie. Not the kind that tries to eat your brains, but the sort that just shambles on and on and on.
IDK why, but it's happening.
OK, dumb part over, what's there to be updated? England beat South Africa in a racist contest. By that I mean I was playing FIFA 11 with my roommate and I lost and the two of us were cussing like crazy.
I had grand plans for this weekend, you know. Most of them ended with my shambling home drunk as hell.. my Pune home, that is. But they've all been wrecked by something I like to call the morning torture session. Granted that it's my own fault for sleeping late in the mornings, but what can one do when there's so much work to be done? Comics to be read? Movies to be watched? Porn to be jerked off to?
Ok, cross the last. That habit gave out after the hostel wifi caught me sixteen times or so in the last week.

It's become so bad, that I don't even have anything to bloody write. Daft and damned.
The only redeeming feature of Chennai is that unlike roaming around in Bombay for a guy who keeps over a lakh's worth of smokables, I've found places to get some good cigars.
And man, after that last one.. be it 175 or 500, I'm gonna get another.
But no Davidoff.
And TASMAC's monopolies.
Blasted fascist state.
Still, damned if don't. Booze updates later- watch this space.

27.7.11

The New Town

Yes, I know. After 3 years of Media Studies, only a moron would want to take it up almost immediately. A PG Diploma Course, nonetheless; I failed IIMC, not that I was really aiming for it, anyway. EFL I got through, but what is the bloody point of getting through when you're already a month into the damned course at ACJ?
At any rate, pigs will fly.
The most one can hope for without a decent contact set in the industry is to get lucky and find a good place to start working. Most of that remained behind in Pune and Bombay, and sometimes I wish, so did I.
But no. Why start working at 20? Fuckall, man this is not the age to work.
Work is the curse of the drinking classes, after all, and milord, by the sainted squirrel on the maple tree, I have not boozed enough to start thinking of the future seriously yet.
Next year, I know I'll be looking for summat to do; work, writing, ki gha, as my marathi contemporaries are so fond of saying.
That's another thing.

I mean, the whole nation can sit through a screening of Transformers 3 in hindi. 
But Marathi? Man, that's just plain mean. I saw Transformers 2. And that was enough to take my mind off the whole franchise. The hindi dubs are just ridiculous, but marathi... what a nightmare.
The important thing, however, is that I digress.

"There has been a subtle paradigm shift in the chronology of our everyday, mundane existence that allows for a change in thinking that one seeks naught but epicureanism at the end of the continuum."

In other words, we get bored in the evenings. There is frigging nothing to do here. No gym. No bike. No net before 5/5.30 or if the rains destroy power lines then not at all.
Those were the days when we got tired of Viman Nagar. Now, Pune in its high heaven looks a paradise to the penitent sinner that I became here.
I mean, it wasn't even this bad when I shifted to Pune from home- it's not the language problem, but I'm sure it's the hostel.
As things remain, I try to think up ideas to rock this joint. I also know myself, and my lethargy to do anything that goes past the nearest cigarette stand.
But c'est la vie.

There I sit, unattended for a time,
Finding words to write and words to rhyme.
The air, full of footfalls and chatter,
And as I thought, mad as a hatter-

Empty eyes, after monotony emerge,
Only to sleep from their lids purge.

Yes, this is boredom; to tiredness ward, and sleep stave;
Into Morpheus's hold to give into, I crave-

Salvation, something ne'er at hand;
Time slipping through my fingers as sand.


11.6.11

Review: X-Men: First Class

Yesterday night I took a dekko at X-Men First Class.
It's one helluva movie, a relief after the bloody mess they made of the X-Men series till now- the trilogy as well as Wolverine, which in my opinion was an attempted saving grace.
First Class really had it- babes, bombs, blood- all in the right amounts. Michael Fassbender does incredible acting as Magneto. He really takes the cake; James McAvoy throws around smooth moves as Charles Xavier, but even his psychologist-professor vibe doesn't come close to Magneto's intense fervor- you can almost see revenge in his eyes.
It's something I observed; a true actor will put himself in the shoes of the very character he must portray. It is something you can observe in the greats- Naseruddin Shah, Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), Sean Connery, Joe Pesci (My Cousin Vinny, Goodfellas), Jack Nicholsen- some of the best that I know.
They don't act out their parts so much as they live out the role. Michael Fassbender is one of those- he is Magneto, for all intents and purposes, not some actor playing Magneto.
Still, though- there is only one more mutant who can still steal the cake- and that is Wolverine. He makes a ten-second appearance in the film, and coolly tells Charles and Erik to fuck themselves- one of the best scenes throughout. You can tell it's him by the way the cigar is tapped against the ashtray and the slight hesitation the pair show- and the atmosphere goes- hey, maybe this guy's too much. They wisely leave him alone.
By far X-Men First Class is worth it, completely. If you haven't watched it yet, I suggest you do. The camerawork is awesome, the plot incredible (although slightly deviant from the original, but still solid), the casting is excellent. Four stars.

23.4.11

Farewells

How quickly time flies. It's been a month since my last post, and I swear, two years ago when this blog started I coulda sworn I swore every damn day, but forswear, dear reader, forsooth and forfucked that this tortured soul be; very forgetful is he.
Lately, things haven't been going that well; and there I surprise myself, as I usually rant about these things.
It's the end of my degree, see; much as I should feel about it I feel elated about leaving behind what was nothing more than a waste of time wrapped up in a pretty little bundle, much like those whores one sees dressed up like a pig's ear, but as you peel off the skirt, the price goes up with it.
No, what I'll miss are the solitary sunday afternoons, the thoughts of wandering all across the city and finally coming right back home without doing anything but spending a hundred rupees on petrol and cigarettes.
What I'll miss are the rush of the mornings, the droll afternoons, the musty little beer bars and My Holy Salvation the almighty Sarangi, that which played host to most of my cravings for Kishore Kumar, Port Wine, Kingfisher, Bacardi White and Red, Royal Stag...
I'll miss the roads at night, and my fourth home Budhwar Peth, its small, cozy curtained rooms, 90s music, cheap daru and cheaper beedis, all my girls there and all its "Bhais" and "Bhaiyas" who were both better and worse at the same time, at whose hands I was called both "Jaybhai" and "Betichod"; I'll miss the adrenaline of dodging the police after drunken brawls at suburban dhabas; the airport strip, cold as ice during the winters, hot filter coffees in their smug thermos flasks at three o'clock at night on some strip in the light of my Nova...
Friends that I made, brothers I found, and idiots I deflated, fun times there, little to be seen again..
The rounds of Street Fighter I've been taking with DK, since both he and I go in different directions; and then all the bakchodi every five minutes of being bored, who knows when or where we may meet.

Life is damn short, and it's not permanent. Not everyone's a Gandhi, destined for greatness, to be remembered. Among us are also those who, in their own small way, live out their lives as they wish, without making a song and dance about it.
So what do we do about Life? The meaning of Life is very simple. Somerset Maugham, in his book Of Human Bondage is one major inspiration for my own way of living; we are born, we enjoy life, we die.
What greater meaning should there be?
With those words, I depart, and quite likely it is that my next blog post may be either from Amravati, to where I'll retire if the future is too uncertain, or in Delhi, or in Chennai; who knows where fate may take us.


26.3.11

Infinite Night

The Night of Darkness. Sounds impressive, perhaps even a little eerie.
It's beautiful, as I'm sure you know. After a day of honking horns, irritable traffic, oddjob class, and a dozen other adjective-attached concepts humanity longs for a bit of peace and quiet. Is it so odd that some should want that peace more than others?
Maybe, maybe not. Still, all I have is a crackpot old laptop that won't play games released post-2005, a few copies of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and King of Fighters.
Amidst all the cacophony, there is something incredibly satisfying about taking out your frustrations on a bunch of sprites.
Well, as the Mortal Kombat announcer would say: "Excellent!"

15.3.11

The Week and the Weaker

The end may be in sight, but I'm sure everyone's learned by now that whenever something seems close, you need to get your popcorn ready, because there's still a lot of waiting to do. It's like the time when you stop at a signal, waiting for a green light.
And you keep waiting, amidst a mass of other idiots who have nothing better to do either. And when you get past it, you get to.. your class? Your job? Hell, your wife?
And then? The wait begins again. In my case it's waiting for the day to end. Limbo can teach patience to such a degree that you lose track even of whatever happens around ya.
A daze. You simply ignore life. All there is in the mind is a zombie-ish drive.. Monday... thursday.. saturday.. tuesday... wednesday.. friday..
One day seems so much like the other that even Pink Floyd singing "Teacher, leave those kids alone!" becomes irritating. The best of rock can't rouse, the worst of pop can't pester. There is no good, there is no evil, there is no power, there is no Force. And Yoda himself decides to smoke marijuana while waiting for Vader to kick his arse. The Endless Wait.
I am a fully qualified chutiya, mi'lord. Here is my life cycle. If you deign to change it, please do. God may have created the world in seven days. 
It only takes me six to get tired of it.
And even less to lose my individuality in it.
And perhaps a few hours to lose track of it.