Thursday, March 31, 2005

We didn't understand your request.

What’s not to understand? I want to open old mails in my inbox, dammit!
Yahoo is misbehaving. And I’ve got tons of official correspondence that I need to refer to now :-(. Have not had sense to back up everything.
What to do, what to do...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sanjay Manjrekar cannot pronounce ‘decision’! And he’s so fond of the word too. He always talks as if his jaws are hindered by gooey toffee but this word is a particularly grating ‘dishzishn’. This morning, between one ‘Oye Bubbly’ and another, he said it thirteen times. I counted.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Flavour of the month

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that I've changed the quote in the tagline. It used to be sweet Kate from The Taming of the Shrew (found that very amusing too) saying:

Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak;
And speak I will...
My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,
Or else my heart concealing it will break,
And rather than it shall, I will be free
Even to the uttermost, as I please, in words.

I meant it when I put it up, but it hasn't quite worked out that way - "free even to the uttermost" I am not. When something deeper escapes me, I find I scramble to hit delete. So I thought, ok, let's tell it like it is.
I think I'll change this every now and then, variety being spice; a flavour that reflects mutable, multitudinous me. It’s Goethe for now... low key, boring but precise.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Comic relief

This guy, Rajneesh Kapoor, has been cracking me up first thing every morning for a while now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Have taken tweezers to eyebrows with more zeal than necessary – plucked one strategic long hair from middle of left brow. Shall have to spend next week scrunching up face in ferocious scowl. Given mood, no hardship.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Maatru bhaasha

I heard my mother use a Kannada word I hadn’t heard before. Kris Srikanth, referring to Rahul Dravid’s innings at Eden Gardens declared it had C-L-A-S-S written all over it, and Mum said, ‘Yeshtu nigarvi aagi maathadthane Srikanth!’ (‘How nigarvi Srikanth is’ or to that effect).
Ni + garvi = without pride, obviously, but I loved the nuances of the word. She meant it in the sense of generosity, of not holding back; an attitude that submerges or doesn’t bring our self or ego into play when assessing someone else. ‘Garv’ in Hindi is often used positively, and can mean pride as well as arrogance. In Kannada though, ‘garva’ usually has a negative connotation. In this word, it expanded to include the meaning of ‘absorption with oneself’.

Shweta and I have lived in Hyderabad all our lives and so, all our Kannada has been learnt mostly from Mum. Which means several things: our style and cadences are hopelessly dated, we know no slang or swear words, and we’re still surprised by the occasional phrase that Leelakka casually dredges up.

Last week she had me in peals of laughter. I was debating whether I should waste time and energy on some trivial matter and she said, ‘Ayyo bidu, adikyake gaddake bere seegekaai.’

Friday, March 18, 2005

Dick Francis Retrospective

I’ve been revisiting Dick Francis this week. It started with Bonecrack and then I moved on to Rat Race, Longshot and Break In. Now I think I’ll do the Sid Halleys, which I’ve never read in the right order.

I first discovered Dick Francis in Chennai – I remember Navin suggesting I test the waters with Nerve. I loved it and it still is among my three most-favourites. I went to Beaver’s library on Monteith Road and brought home Odds Against. Which was so stomach-churningly sadistic, I didn’t read another Francis for months.
I went back however and read the lot, although I confess, I still skip the violent confrontations that abound his pages.

Why do I like this author? He writes in the first person. All but all his heroes are the same character with different names and professions. He’s got a silly thing about being macho and stoic and never, never letting pain show. He’s got a rather dim view of human nature and seems to know some pretty horrible people. There are some pretty rotten women cast as the romantic interest. Why do I like him?
There must be something, or I wouldn’t be fretting that I don’t own a copy of Decider.


Did you see the delight on Sachin Tendulkar’s face when he got Asim Kamal run out this morning? He couldn’t have been more than twelve at that moment! When he’s batting he’s so adult, but give him fielding or even bowling, he revs into child mode.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Add a little cornflour starch

In spite of drawing up methodical plans for leading up to Half Blood Prince, I have set neither in motion. Navin, on the other hand began well and stuck with it for a week, but has since confessed that the schedule has gone horribly awry – he’s already at Book Two :-). He he.

What we need, I think is that book, The Plot Thickens. This is a set of essays and analyses by 55 fans, all chosen from Mugglenet’s forums. Some of these writers apparently have PhDs, but at the other end of the spectrum there is an eight-year-old from elementary school. The tie that binds is a yen for the Potter boy.

Some of the topics sound fascinating:
Ponderings… Does the Wand Choose the Wizard?
Occlumency and Legilimency
How is Harry Potter Like a Phoenix?
The Attack on Frank and Alice Longbottom
Neville and Harry: Children of the Prophecy
Petunia: The Woman Who Knows Too Much
Is Something Going on at St Mungo's? (Aish, this should interest you)
Snape's Patronus

Unfortunately, the book doesn’t seem to be available in Hyderabadi bookstores and I’m still iffy about ordering from websites. Besides, Rs 995! OoTP didn’t cost that much.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bits of coloured paper

These couple of days, I’ve been working on a collage. Just a tree against a blue sky - nothing fancy, but it’s turning out nice. Craft work is seriously underrated for sheer satisfaction.

We did it for the first time last summer. Pri and brood were here and it was supposed to be a project that would keep the kids occupied. Shweta, naturally was creative head, and in spite of the harum-scarum mode of operation and no fewer than five helpers, the flower turned out to be well worth wall space.

There have been others since. Sanju and Sidu made a star that I'm assuming has pride of place in their home. Shweta pored for hours over one labour of love that went to an old school friend who was getting married. (It hurt me that the friend didn’t even call to acknowledge it; Shweta, of course, brushes these things aside.)

This one, this tree is my very own. I already love it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Not by Appointment*

To think I almost didn’t see it.
Sivarathri and an unexpected holiday for Sudha called for hurried movie plans. What can we see? scour papers. Tucked quietly among large ads for Chand Bhuj Gaya, Chand Sa Roshan Chehra and Zameer (The Fire Within) was a small box announcing Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow. What’s that? Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow!? oh, ok. Consult Sudha – she’s heard it’s worth a go, so we go.

WOW! What a terrifically good looking movie this is. Made entirely on computer graphics barring the actors, this is a futuristic, comic book-inspired, save-the-world adventure. And it’s set in 1939 and wears a gorgeous, absolutely stunning retro look. Plus, an additional factor that never fails to thrill me – a debutant director in Kerry Conran. Style over substance, perhaps, but this is one of those times when it doesn’t matter.


And I came home to get caught up in an old Telugu movie on TV – Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala in Meena, a movie based on a novel by Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani. Surprisingly, it had overtones of The Grand Sophy – much more emotional, of course – but a rather good adaptation, if it was one.

That brings up accidental delights of the day to two. Lucky me.

*Not by appointment do we meet delight
Or joy; they heed not our expectancy;
But round some corner of the streets of life
They of a sudden greet us with a smile.
--Essie Summers

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner is.....

So it’s Abhijeet Sawant.

But what an unconscionable, all-out-of-proportion hoopla it was, the grand finale. The usual half hour they took to announce each elimination dragged badly enough and Sony greedily gave this one two full hours. Not only did it push its two finalists into performing endlessly for the circus, cranking them upto inhuman levels of stress and fatigue, the show didn’t even manage to entertain.

Worse, they ended with that inanest of songs, Mohabattein lutaunga (written, they said yesterday, by Sameer – should’ve guessed!). Worst of all, I found myself humming it for the next hour. Aaaaargh.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Ok, how am I going to do this?

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is out July 16 and this of course means that a revision of previous works is in order. What is needed is a little planning. Briefly then the objectives are these:

1. Jo has confessed to scattering the tomes with clues as to what will finally happen. Apparently blokes on the fansites have actually cracked IT, but I can't say I have. I have no idea if Harry and LV are two halves of the same whole or if Neville is actually the real Harry Potter. Since this is a little galling, I must go over the books with a finetoothed comb, scan for rats and herrings, ignore the trees to see the forest and emerge… with a theory.

2. Additionally, I need to be totally referenced-to-context, to have all the facts at my fingertips, remember past happenings so as to at once grasp any connections made in HBP.

3. Plus, of course, the reading needs to lead upto July 16 so precisely as to crank up my enthusiasm and then be rewarded! It will not do to finish early and torture myself with impatience.

So then, what's the plan?

Plan A

Countdown. Today is March 4, which leaves us with 133 days. Cool, because there just happen to be 132 chapters in all! What if starting tomorrow, I read one - just one - chapter a day? (Insert maniacal derisive laughter) Ok, there are serious feasibility problems there - I couldn't possibly put down the book after a measly chapter.
This is a seriously good plan on paper. Spacing out the chapters would've allowed for serious rumination and absorption. Don't see it happening, though.

Plan B

Start tomorrow and go through the lot. Pay special attention to Chamber of Secrets and Order of the Phoenix. Read last chapters devoted to battle in Ministry with care - many clues therein, something tells me. Allow week's sinkage time and oh, also allot time for incidentals such as work and deadlines. Start all over again. Repeat till July 16.

Right, it's Plan B then.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tuesday, March 01, 2005