Monday, December 25, 2006

Religiously yours...

Calvin's at it again --


It’s almost 4 AM. Really. Although that’s how one of the Matchbox 20 songs goes… “The clock’s been stuck at 3 for days, and days…” No it hasn’t been stuck anywhere actually. Though frankly a lot of us would like it to break off somewhere. Cuz everyday they look at it, it’s the same time, but just another day.

It’s generally in the night that I sometimes think about my previous place. The location that inspired 2 and 80 and other musings about the sea. You see, in these parts, except for Bandstand, there’s not really much of the ocean that you get to live with. Perhaps that ‘s why South Mumbai still commands a significant real-estate premium (Though that is a different subject matter altogether and I won’t waste precious blog space with that for now). Neither the stretch that leads to Bandra reclaimation (separate article on that later).

You can’t sit down at Bandstand (or anywhere in Bandra, for that matter) and try listening to “You’re Beautiful”. Doesn’t work. It’s like watching oil on water. It’s there, but you can’t smell it without getting a whiff of the salt around. Nor can you experience those random memories that flash, as if your mind were a photo frame, and a stranger decided to shine some photographs through it. Figments of lost songs playing on a neighborhood radio. They are there, but you can’t sing along with them. Because there’s too much crowd in these parts. Everyone has their stories to share with the ocean. Though in Breach Candy, it were a select few who walked into that sea-facing park where they could open their heart out. And watch the crimson Sun sink in the waters.

In these parts, even the Sun must be bored putting on a similar show every evening. And so as I write this, I know I am missing those few silent words with the waves. And perhaps more than that, it’s that feeling that I used to walk away with, as I continued to listen to those songs. With the waves lapping behind me, with the stream of joggers/walkers taking their turns around the park, or in some cases, with the guards coming in to close the show, there was a faintly familiar feeling of just saying goodbye to a friend, a friend who had answers, and not questions to throw back at you…

Sunday, December 17, 2006


From amongst a few million songs, some of those choicest lines that I will probably live with.. forever.. (No Floyd/Rush songs have been mentioned here since even within rock, they belong to a genre that cannot be summarized in a few words...)

"When we woke up, one of us was crying.." - Staring at your window (Jon Bon Jovi)

"She's got a lot of pretty pretty boys, whom she calls friends..." - Hotel California (The Eagles)

"Every song I had to play, while people sat there drunk..." - Lodi (CCR)

"I never thought I'd live to read about myself in my hometown paper..." - Nothing Man (Bruce Springsteen)

"It's all a lot of oysters, with no pearls..." - A long december (Counting Crows)

"The streets you're walking on, a thousand houses long, and that's where I belong..." - Swallowed in the sea (Coldplay)

"In this world of purchase, I'm going to buy back memories..." - Run (Collective Soul)

"Whether I'm drunk or dead I really ain't too sure..." - When a blind man cries (Deep Purple)

"And we have just one world, but we live in different ones..." - Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)

"I know that you can love me, when there's no one left to blame..." - November Rain (Guns n Roses)

"And you cant fight the tears that aint coming, or the moment of truth in your lies..." - Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)

"This is all the heaven we got, right here where we are..." - Shangri-La (Mark Knopfler)

"She thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her doorway..." - 3 AM (Matchbox 20)

"If you can understand the me, then I can understand the you..." - Unforgiven II (Metallica)

"Wrapped in a polythene, tucked away safe in my mind..." - But it rained (Parikrama)

"And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there..." - Drops of Jupiter (Train)

"Although I wasn't there, He said I was his friend..." - Man who sold the world (Nirvana)

"Every whisper of every waking hour, I'm choosing my confessions..." - Losing my religion (REM)

"And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls..." - Sound of Silence (Simon&Garfunkel)

"Homesick, for the home I never had..." - Homesick (Soul Asylum)

"Cuz it's always raining in my head..." - Epiphany (Staind)

"He said he wanted heaven, but praying was too slow..." - Snowblind friend (Steppenwolf)

"Those three words, are said too much, they're not enough..." - Chasing Cars (Snowpatrol)

"And I'm a million different people, from one day to the next..." - Bittersweet symphony (The Verve)

"And I'm six feet from the edge, and I am thinking, maybe six feet ain't that far down" - One last breath (Creed)

"Wherever you have been, wherever you took cover, no arms that pulled you in could hold you like your mother..." - Babybird (The Wallflowers)

"There was a time when the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away..." - Schism (Tool)

"I can't believe the curtain has to fall..." - Persephone (Wishbone Ash)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Between absence…

Would it ever be true…

When skill becomes more than just an absence of flaws?
And virtue becomes more than just something between the vice…

When closeness becomes more than just an absence of distance?
And warmth becomes more than just something between the ice…

When faith becomes more than just an absence of disbelief?
And trust becomes more than just something between the lies…

When love becomes more than just an absence of hate?
And joy becomes more than just something between the cries…

When peace becomes more than just an absence of war?
And safety becomes more than just something between the mines…

And God becomes more than just an absence of the Devil?
When meaning becomes more than just something between the lines…

Friday, December 08, 2006

Nice guys...

...are believed to finish last.

But could it be really true that they are running an entirely different race perhaps?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday morning, 11:00 AM - II

Working from home is strange at times.

Slept at 3 in the night (nothing quite unusual about that), woke up at 10 (now that's unusual). And decided to put some freshly washed utensils to good use. Seriously, how often does one get to make omelettes on a Wednesday morning? And though there is always some confusion about the required cooking resources in this house, it's surprising how much can one achieve without knowing the location of salt and chilly within the premises.

And for a while I will even ignore the fact that the following conversation took place between my flatmate and myself before I proceeded with cooking --
Self (with a greasy bottle which has some yellow liquid in it): "Hey man, is this cooking oil?"
Flatmate: "I believe so"
Self (eyeing the bottle with suspicion): "You sure? This ain't rat poison, is it? Cuz it smells funny"
Flatmate: "But there are lots of things in this house that smell funny..."
Self (all suspicions removed, and convinced about the humor content of things in our house): "Perfect, funny or serious, cooking oil it is..."

I was making an omelette after more than two years today. And my vague memory was telling me that salt should be one of the ingredients. But that brings us back to the existential question: "Where is salt in this house?". "The kitchen" is what some would answer. Very funny. I spent the next five minutes opening every bottle which had some white powder in it (thank heavens we don't do cocaine) and actually tasting it. Couldn't come to a logical conclusion though and decided to try my luck with the eggs in their purest form - No salt, no chilly, no onions. Ever heard of unadulterated eggs? Before this morning, even I hadn't.

The ultra-pure concoction was edible. With ketch-up of course. The person who invented ketch-up definitely had similar difficulties in finding salt in his/her house. How else would one come up with such a perfect substitute?

And now, it's time to get back to work, on this uncalled "holiday" bang in the middle of the week...

Wednesday morning, 11:00 AM - I

Working from home is strange at times. Specially if it is an uncalled for "holiday" bang in the middle of the week. An entire state is shut down today. Because someone who wrote a part of our constitution was born on this day. A day that should mark more frantic activity towards a better (remember "Secular, Democratic, Republic" ?) India, is the day when there is an almost red alert in the financial capital. Some residents of Dadar area decided to evacuate their houses for a day because of the crowd coming in ( we are yet to understand that "free for all" is not quite the same as "Secular, Democratic, Republic"). It's almost surprisingly disturbing how the most active city can become the most helpless in times like these.

A statue of 6th December's birthday boy was violated in Kanpur last week, and that resulted in high drama in Mumbai. Statues taking priority over statutes. People are asked not to roam around unless absolutely essential. Not to do business unless absolutely essential. Not to be caught in the line of fire unless absolutely essential ("Secular, Democratic, Republic").

Converting a city into a fuckin' sanitarium is an art in itself. And we all are pretty talented artists.


The misty air,
You stare in disbelief,
The poisoned wine,
Or the yellowed leaf.

The final race,
You try to fight,
The prisoned life,
Or the unending night.

The stillness around,
You grasp your dreams,
The chilling peace,
Or the shadowy gleams.

The silent pain,
You force a smile,
The graying rainbow,
Or the last mile.

The weakening magic,
You wave the wands,
The losing battle,
Or the changing lands.

The laughing hyena,
You pull the trigger,
The missing shots,
Or the tired grave-digger.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Amsterdam - Winter...

I had always believed (or was made to believe) that Amsterdam offers a whole host of casinos, pubs, shops, and a few places of cultural interest such as museums, art houses etc. And of course the typical Europian style streets and settings.

But what I didn't know about Amsterdam was it's country side. Very dutch. Very beautiful. Very picturesque. The moment I alighted the train to Zaanse Schans I could get the feeling that this is perhaps the stuff that our desktop wallpapers are made of. And after I had seen the snaps from my camera, the most logical thing was to indeed make one of those snaps as the desktop background...

"Zaanse Schans" means Windmill Village, and the picture on the left gives some indication of what the village is like. Never thought electricity generating machines could seem to fit in such serene surroundings...

And now, I will just let the pictures do all the talking..