Friday, October 17, 2014

woefully unequipped

I would like to believe that most people (fortunate enough to have the luxury to dwell on these things) meet the grand passion of their lives at some point. 
Maybe at different points in their lives.

Know it very early and you may have time to grow up with it, fail and recover. It will probably feel natural and inevitable.
Meet it late enough and you might have developed the capacity to deal with it and embrace it.

But what if you are 18? Awfully sure of yourself and woefully unequipped.

Friday, July 18, 2014

reboot

Time to reboot the travel blog C and I started years ago. I think my upcoming NY trip is a good place to start.

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Finished "From the Holy Mountain" by W.D. 

Next on list :
Return of a King - W.D
The Cuckoos Calling - JK Rowling
In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson

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Amazon launches a Kindle monthly subscription service for $9/mo. Will this finally make me switch to ebooks?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quite a coincidence

that right when Iraq is embattled in sectarian conflict that has a Kurdish component to it (in addition to the Sunni-Shia one), I am in the middle of "From the Holy Mountain" by William Dalrymple.

The book traces eastern christianity through out the erstwhile Byzantine empire.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Korean wave

Quite taken with Korean movies these days. They do rom-com/rom-drama really well, must say.
April Snow
Good Morning, Mr. President
Dancing Queen
Art of Seduction

Next on watch list - movies/tv-series featuring Bae Yong-joon and Jang Dong-gun.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In depth

Long but extensive. Interesting article on RSS in Caravan.

RSS 3.0 - Caravan




really don't

I don't get it.

Vilifying Nehru and Gandhi has become the "in" thing. To be fair, it is not a new phenomenon, I have been hearing it since I was in my teens. May be I don't know my history well enough and I don't have the information they have. But I don't get it.

I don't think Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi was perfect. I don't expect them to be, not even the greatest of men. Everyone has flaws.

America's founding fathers, the people who said "All men are created equal" had slaves. Knowing that fact helps me get a holistic picture of them and the time/context, it doesn't negate all the good they did.
Nelson Mandela's corruption charges don't take away from what he did for his people.

If learning about their flaws shatters some childish vision of a perfect world, then too bad.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

no qualifiers needed

English, Hindi words for love are too generic.
I quite like Urdu in this regard. Ishq and Mohabbat don't need an adjective to convey that it means romantic love.

"Ishq waala love"... 

Monday, May 19, 2014

mixed feelings

For the past two days my FB, Twitter, Whatsapp timelines have been overflowing with jubilation and excitement. I do not share the emotion.

I am glad Congress is out. I din't vote for Congress in 2009 (because I wanted to punish them for their terrible record on security; remember the incessant bombings each month?), when it was yet to screw up everything so spectacularly, so there was no chance in hell that I would have supported them this time. The discipline, good governance side of BJP was always appealing, but it's ties to RSS/VHP a deal breaker.

I used to believe in a theory, that incentives matter. That BJP would move away from RSS and VHP when it realized that unless it does so, it could never be a real national party that could win 272 on its own. I was holding on to that hope. This election has shattered every assumption about Indian politics. And it has shattered my theory too.

If all it takes for BJP to coast through to 272, is a pathetic opposition and an effective leader, then it has no incentive to move away from it's right wing ideology (as long as it doesn't talk about it too much).
That disheartens me. Not a single one of the 272+ BJP MPs is a Muslim. That worries me.

I refuse to apologize for my liberal views. I retain my right to be skeptical and to call out a false choice (development vs secularism) for what it is. I refuse to allow others to rebrand liberal and secular as dirty words. I hope BJP finds another and stronger incentive to become more plural. A lot of people seem to have projected all their aspirations on to Modi, I hope he does well. For my country's sake.

The nation had an operation to get rid of a cancerous tumor. I am anxious about it's recovery in the hands of a doctor I don't fully trust. I am not excited or jubilant, just anxious with a little relief thrown in.

Monday, April 14, 2014

criterion...

I read a book...
- am overwhelmed by it.
- can't believe how much I liked it.
- come away convinced that it is the best book I have ever read.

When this happens not once, not twice but three times with the same author... it should be enough to call him my favorite no?!

William Dalrymple (City of Djinns, The Last Mughal, In Xanadu)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

lack of...

Feeling nostalgic about the days/years past that seemed to have been packed with so much emotion.
Emotion that simply had to flow into words.

Spent the entire day reading every post on this 8 year blog. Life is incomplete when enough time is not spent pondering and over-analyzing the random thoughts that cross one's mind. I am incomplete without this blog, I realize.

Monday, March 24, 2014

hard to wrap my head around...

So there is another report of a honor killing, this time in AP. We are genetically hardwired to do whatever we can to ensure our genes survive. Isn't it amazing then, that society is able to brainwash us with the concepts of shame/honor enough to overcome the primal instinct to protect one's own children.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

what turned on my conductance switch?

I like the head space I am in today.

After not sure how many years, two, three or may be four -
  a piece of music has moved me to tears,
  can't get a movie I saw a couple of days back out of my head.

And I saw an interview in which 3 celebrities talked of things that seem to have been lifted straight out of those late night terrace conversations one had with old friends.

This terrain is at once familiar, reassuring and disconcerting.