Monday, July 9
Yes yes I know, I keep promising to write and I don't. What to do? I am as busy as a bee, as a beaver, as an ant even. And talking of ants, here's what Ogden Nash has to say:
The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?
~ Ogden Nash
Anyway to be absolutely honest, I haven't been all that busy. Well, I have, but not too busy to blog, not really. And it's not like I haven't been doing anything - a week at Neral in the early monsoon was certainly worth a post, and so were several rainy days in Bombay (fortunately, no more than knee deep wading has been called for as yet. Long may it stay that way!) And most recently, a weekend at Bhopal, where two of my oldest and closest friends were tying the knot. More on that anon, perhaps.
No, the simple fact is, my muse seems to have fled. Over the last few weeks, I simply haven't had the creative urge. I guess for a while I shall have to be content with just re-posting interesting bits of literature from here and there - I can't seem to come up with anything really original.
Posted at 7/9/2007 10:23:07 pm by lakesidey
Tuesday, June 5
Another Elton John number. Just coincidence, I haven't been listening to the guy overmuch or anything. Was ruminating on fame and success and how it changes some people (though fortunately, not all!) and the song just came to mind!
Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend never did
Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe
- Elton John
When you're a success, most everyone's willing to be your friend. If you really want to know who your true friends are, fail!
Posted at 6/5/2007 12:43:29 am by lakesidey
Saturday, June 2
a nice sunset today (alas, no camera
handy!); the sun, artfully hidden behind a bank of low clouds, was dripping
molten rays to the horizon below. Later in the evening, there was also a full
moon, or near as makes no difference. Awakened some memories :o(
Am reading P G Wodehouse and Ogden Nash currently (thanks CV for the Nash!) Bliss!
Just imagine yourself seated on a shadowy
And beside you is a girl who stirs you more strangely than a heiress.
It is a summer evening at its most superb,
And the moonlight reminds you that To Love is an active verb,
And the stars are twinkling like anything,
And a distant orchestra is playing some sentimental old Vienna thing,
And your hand clasps hers, which rests there without shrinking,
And after a silence fraught with romance you ask her what she is thinking,
And she starts and returns from the moon-washed distances to the shadowy
And says, Oh, I was wondering how many bamboo shoots a day it takes to feed a
baby Giant Panda.
stand with her on a hilltop and gaze on a winter sunset
And everything is as starkly beautiful as a page from Sigrid Undset,
And your arm goes round her waist and you make an avowal which for masterfully
marshaled emotional content might have been a page of Ouida's or Thackeray's,
And after a silence fraught with romance she says, I forgot to order the limes
for the Daiquiris.
twilight drawing room you have just asked the most momentous of questions,
And after a silence fraught with romance she says, I think this little table
would look better where that little table is, but then where would that little
table go, have you any suggestions?
the way they go round hitting below our belts;
that nothing is sacred to them, it's just that at the Sacred Moment they are
always thinking of something else.
~ Ogden Nash
Posted at 6/2/2007 1:28:01 am by lakesidey
Friday, June 1
It's raining, men!
A few hours back, the smell of freshly wet earth (there's nothing quite like the smell of the first rain!)
heralded the onset of the long-awaited monsoon in Bombay. The rain sang its staccato melodies, with a full orchestra of light and sound to accompany it - and the city, crushed and wilting in the summer heat, awoke like a flower to the change in weather.
Old pal B having come down after a long spell schlumming it in Qatar, we were enjoying his hospitality in Mainland China when the showers began - sitting in an AC, shut away from the real world, our first intimation of the changed weather was when one of us got a call from an excited friend. The meal concluded (groan - I think I ate way too much!)
we emerged to see for ourselves the truth of the weather bulletin - and indeed were greeted by a dripping Andheri raat, with noisy lightning rending the black velvet of the firmament every few seconds. And that oh-so-elusive aroma (yes, even in the heart of the city one still gets that heaven-scent bouquet!)
Give it a week, and I dare say I shall be cursing the rains. A job which involves traveling the length and breadth of the city practically guarantees that the rain will be no friend of mine - I can look forward to longer lead times, messier journeys and an unwieldy umbrella added to my already ungainly backpack. Ah well, that's for the future - for tonight, I shall enjoy!.....rain is following chama cham cham...!~lakesidey
Posted at 6/1/2007 1:34:11 am by lakesidey
Thursday, May 24
....or rather, make that the Double Helix of Life.
I've just started reading Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene", an interesting and thought-provoking read (for all that the book is over thirty years old now). While the furore currently is all about his latest offering, "The God Delusion", I decided to start off with his first book, one which has been on my to-read list for almost 5 years now.
So far (and I must admit here I've only gotten three chapters into the book - it's not a book to be lightly skimmed!) I have not been disappointed. Often controversial but always cogent, the arguments make an interesting read. Especially when enjoyed over coffee in the air-conditioned environs of Crossword (If God does exist despite Dawkins' views to the contrary, may he bless Crossword for providing comfortable air-conditioned reading spaces and good stuff to read there). I need to go finish the book sometime soon - this week looks dicey but I think I can promise myself that next week onwards I shall make regular pilgrimages to the neighbourhood Cruciverb. And maybe try the rest of Dawkins as well.
Whatever one believes about creation and evolution and the whole genetic theory, though, the universe in its sheer immensity has a way of making one feel really small sometimes....
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life
- Elton John
Just back from Delhi, and tremendously sleep-deprived, so I shall go catch about eighty or so winks!
Posted at 5/24/2007 1:55:13 pm by lakesidey
Saturday, May 19
Sometimes there comes a moment when life seems to be building up to a crescendo. Up and up it soars, like a wave of dreams....and then suddenly, in mere moments, the rocks of reality tear away its foundations and the dream comes crashing down. To expend itself tamely in a quiet susurration of foam at one's feet.
Pardon the random philosophy - just couldn't think of anything else to accompany the picture ;) And at least this beats the potential options such as the nerdy "turbulent flow v/s laminar flow depending on Reynolds' number of the fluid" or the obvious joke(?) about "surf excel hai na"....
Life has been moving rather fast here - of a sudden last week I found myself landed with two assignments which changed my weekend plans drastically - today I ended up setting out early in the morning (well, at least I set out before sunrise) to Pune. Side-track-ed by a series of con-volvo-luted incidents of which Murphy would have been proud, I found myself in transit for a good 6 hours and it was a sweltering 12:30 p.m. when I finally made my rendezvous which a poor colleague who had been expecting me for over 2 hours :P. Ah well. Work accomplished, I set out for home territory and returned relatively smoothly (just got back in, in fact).
Tomorrow night, I leave for Delhi - 3 days of capital punishment to follow. On the bright side, it might offer a chance to catch up, albeit briefly, with friends new and old who frequent the old hell-hole!
The National Scrabble Championships being scheduled for the weekend after, I see little chance of rest till the end of the month. Ah, well....might as well enjoy it :)
Posted at 5/19/2007 10:48:04 pm by lakesidey
Friday, May 11
Goodbyes should be cheerful (they tell me)
Love is just a figment of the imagination.
Like unicorns, and fairies, and tax returns.
And eternal friendship? Surely you jest!
People come and people go, and
One makes new friends all the time,
The old must make way for the new -
Such is the nature of life.
In days, or maybe months (they say,
These people who do not believe in love)
You'll forget, and the wounds will heal
And life, as always, will go on
And then, of course (they
Seeing that this does not convince me)
When one bids a friend goodbye, there is always
The joy of a future meeting to anticipate.
All this may be true, but if so -
Why does my coffee taste of ashes today?
Why does my breath catch in my throat
And the sun seem lifeless and gray?
Posted at 5/11/2007 1:39:22 pm by lakesidey
Thursday, May 10
Without you, the day's filled with yearning
Without you, barren is the night
My life goes on feverishly burning
Like a lamp - but without the light
Your life, without me - my life, without you -
Is hardly life at all....
Posted at 5/10/2007 12:43:01 pm by lakesidey
Wednesday, May 9
Some people are so talented, it just isn't fair :)
On a beach in Goa, a tanned figure frowns in deep concentration over a sculpture in sand. Oblivious to the blazing sun overhead, oblivious to the dozens of gawping tourists (including me!), oblivious even to the fact that the hungry tide will shortly convert his creation to a miscellaneous colloidal silicate solution, he is caught up in the joy of creation - with a tiny piece of wood he lovingly scrapes the sand away, and reveals magic.
I wonder - how many years he must have practiced, to achieve such nonchalant expertise?~lakesidey
Posted at 5/9/2007 12:21:00 am by lakesidey
Monday, May 7
Yesterday was fun.
It all began in the early morning, when 9 bleary-eyed souls set out (after a mandatory stoppage for refuelling at Maddu mess of course!)
Hmm, 9 people on a bird-watching expedition. The Fellowship of the Wing, anyone?
An hour enjoying the hospitality of the Bombay suburban trains saw us hit Panvel, from where headed due south into the unknown. The particular unknown in this case being Karnala (a bird sanctuary place, best time to visit being from July to March or so.....yes, we are a bunch of geniuses)
Upon entering (at the princely sum of Rs 20 per head) we wended our way along the pristine trails (yeah, right - somebody had been setting fires all along the trailside - even the media coverage of her wedding didn't expose us to so much Ash!)
. Our primary destination was the old ruined fort atop the pinnacle, and we managed to get a good way towards it before the sun came out in all her glory. The view from the top was pretty much worth it though (alas, the only member of the group who had binoculars remembered them when we were back at the foot of the hill. So it goes.....)
An uneventful trip down followed, with much banter and the occasional attempt at murdering a song.
During the entire journey, we encountered several species of monkeys, lizards, spiders and crocodiles (or at least scummy mustard-coloured water which probably contained crocs. We didn't check too closely!)
. Even a very scary dragonfly. But - and this is the crucial bit - no birds. I guess they also know when it is supposed to be off-season. And I begin to suspect that the literal translation of ornitho-logical should be "bird-brained"....
The company was fantastic though, so I enjoyed immensely anyway! And lo! when we finally reached down, taking a slightly different route, we finally did encounter some birds. In cages. Peafowl and geese and the like (there was this one attention-seeking peacock who happily fluffed up his tail whenever anyone went near!)
On the way back, we stopped off at Vashi and descended upon the home of one of the "Fellowship". Poor chap's parents must have been scandalised; we got hastily introduced around, retired to two large and comfortable bedrooms, ate massive quanitities of pizza, and slept shamelessly for two hours before decamping for home. (Sorry Karthik - we hope you still love us! ;)
A mango milkshake and a sunset walk completed the day. And ended an enjoyable ten-day vacation - today I started work again. Ah, well.....all good things must come to an end.
Or must they?~lakesidey
Posted at 5/7/2007 11:07:59 pm by lakesidey