Sunday, December 28, 2008

When the violin sings

Yesterday my violin sang.

New strings that have had time to settle and some great musical inspiration helped. I am a very average violinist but sometimes the sounds of a contented violin are captivating. Especially when one of playing for oneself.

a great piece in Raag Paraj was the inspiration - check this out

Paraj is related to Basant, Puriyadhanashri etc and all flow from Purvi Thaat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who are my visitors?

I see that I get a few repeated anonymous visitors who do not leave comments.

You don't have to, but do write and tell me who you are. It would be nice.

Englewood CO

Oddly, a very common search that leads people to my blog is 'forensic'. :-)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Throw them into Jail for Negligence and Dereliction of Duty

While in power, they have security, power, foreign trips - all at our expense.

When there's a problem, they defer to the Italian 'High Command' and 'offer to resign'. If the High Command decides after deliberations to accept their resignations, they just ...LEAVE!!!!! Nothing happens to them! They probably get accommodated as Governors or even Presidents. Nothing happens to them. NOTHING!!! They are NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO US!

This MUST CHANGE! They cannot just resign and get away with this!

These guys should be thrown into jail for negligence and dereliction of duty! They must be held accountable and punished severely!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The great country of Israel

How I admire Israel....

A country where the people have learnt lessons from history and treat every single citizen and his or her grief with great tenderness, while making sure avenging deaths is never a lower priority.

For this poor child, the entire country stood up

"Moshe, you don't have a father and a mother to hold you in their arms... no parents to hug and kiss you," Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky said as mourners dressed in black chanted hymns with tears rolling down their eyes. "You are the child of entire Israel," Kotlarsky said adding the community would take care of the boy, whose parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 28, were among those killed when terrorists stormed the Nariman House in Mumbai.

How utterly moving, how utterly beautiful. I have no doubt that in parallel, those who killed or ordered the killing of the boy's parents will be hunted down and hopefully tortured continuously (not to death please, that's an escape) for years on end.

And now cut to India, where &^%&^%& politicians like the Chief Minister of Kerala, Achuthanandan said this about the family of Major Unnikrishnan who was killed in Mumbai

Achuthanandan, who went to offer his condolences at the Bangalore house of National Security Guard commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan on Sunday night, was turned away by his father. The chief minister reacted sharply, saying that "even a dog would not have gone to their house if he had not been a martyr".

This #$@)(*%$# dares to say this!

And where was the Defence Minister? Why did he not attend the funeral?

I forgot - he is busy figuring out who the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra is to be.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Patil, Patil & Patil

More weird stuff.
29 Nov 2008, 2134 hrs IST, IANS: When asked at a press conference whether the terror strike was an intelligence failure, Patil said in Hindi: "Aisa nahi hai. Itne bade shahar mein chhota hadsa ho jata hai. To total failure nahi hai. (It is not like that. In big cities like this, small incidents do happen. It's is not a total failure.)"

Others do notice Incompetence:

Walter Andersen, currently associate director of the South Asia Program at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, told, "I am surprised that after several terrorist incidents, the government hasn't moved faster to get something much more effectively in place."

"You have a totally incompetent home minister (Shivraj Patil), and why he isn't removed is beyond me," he said, "He really doesn't know how to get the bureaucracy organised to have some sort of coordinated planning."

Our 'President' is still holidaying in Indonesia. Others notice.

Fri Nov 28, 7:20 am ET DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) – Indian President Pratibha Patil arrived in Indonesia for a six-day visit Friday, going ahead with a Southeast Asian trip despite deadly militant attacks in Mumbai.

More pictures of house construction

Some fine Gentlemen

This is my little boy Nemo. He thinks I'm his Dad.

These guys like to hang out with me because I can be easily manipulated. Thats Jumbtle, Scotty and Nemo.

Humble Jumble, with the big heart.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weird Stuff At a time of crisis

The most astounding, weird stuff is happening now in India.

The Prime Minister has warned Pakistan for the 3462474th time. He's asked the ISI chief to visit, all expenses paid.

The Home Minister said: "Before I could reach there, the terrorists who had attacked one of the hospitals, the Cama Hospital, had left and those who attacked the railway station had also left," Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said. NOTHING bothers this man.

Our 'President' is vacationing in Vietnam and has not thought it necessary to return to India. On second thoughts, let her stay there.

Sonia Gandhi has condemned the attack. Imagine that!

Rahul Baba, heir-apparent, with no known source of income, has said "Its a terrorist attack." Now that's profound!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Allahabad and Pune

A nice trip outside Bangalore on a campus recruitment mission.

It had been quite some time since I visited UP. I went to Allahabad and enjoyed Sangam, the confluence of Yamuna and Ganga. An expensive boat ride takes you from the banks of the Yamuna to the point of confluence, where one takes a nice dip and then returns. Religious ardour is everywhere and the setting is quite nice. I also brought home a Guava sapling – Allahabad is famous for its Guavas – and I also visited the temple of the reclining Hanuman, which comes with its own interesting myth, about how he lay down to control Ganga and how she washes him once a year. Such stories are actually quite beautiful.

Then on to Pune, which I had not visited since 2002. Not too much to say except that it seemed a cleaner city (than Bangalore) and the roads were better. Now I’m back and quite exhausted.

On the subject of Literature, the only note of disappointment is that I discovered that the habit of reading anything sensible has been discarded a long time ago. No one cares.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Someone I know had this written about was quite amusing that he became the subject of some literary examination...

Almost a year ago, on another network called Shakespeare and Company, a strange person made his debut: Akira Yamashita. Akira-san claimed to be a Japanese Koto player, with an interest in writing poetry. He was received warmly by the network. A few weeks later, however, he put up this startling post:

Some of you may recall that several weeks ago, I fell a victim to Fugo fish poisoning. I was hospitalized in a Sapporo hospital and fed activated charcoal as part of the treatment. Time stood still.

It was a period of intense soul searching. I had visions. I spoke to God and several doctors and nurses. As a side effect of the poisoning, I lost the ability to converse in Japanese and now speak English with a pronounced Angolan accent. Not being able to speak Japanese in Japan despite being Japanese has certain disadvantages and I am now looking to emigrate. In any case, I discarded Koto playing and now play the Sitar, which affords a deep sense of meditative pleasure. I find I cannot tolerate Japanese food either and prefer the more charming Idli and Dosa from South India, despite having never visited India. And I never want to write a haiku again. Never. Ever.

The strange case of Akira Yamashita – a persona that continues to grow, change and became an independent narrative – is one way of dealing with the problem of personality in an impersonal space. With self-deprecation and humour, Akira-san constantly subverts and at the same time, draws attention to some aspects of our behaviour online. In this post, he has raised the issue of identity: What kind of a Japanese man wakes up to find he speaks English with an Angolan accent and wants to emigrate to south India? Which part of this narrative is real and what does that word mean anyway?

Another member of the same network, David Israel, had this to say when it became apparent that Akira-san was a fiction:

Is this, rather, a question of fictional persona-construction as lying close to the imagination-generating heart of his poetical creativity? Or if one is to essay the writing of haiku per se, does this fairly necessitate constructing a Japanese persona who may then do the writing? -- if one is to write from the vantage of a Black American, does this call for the formulation of a personality who can justify such a literary exertion?

Is [this person] radically different from any significant poet who, perforce, constructs a "self who can speak" in the very process of speaking?

Akira Yamashita is a story that magically transforms our ideas of ourselves in an online space. We are forced to question the stories we tell about ourselves, our identities as writers and our identities as speakers in the stories we tell. He is a mirror held up to us; if we are conscious of absurdity in his posturing, it is a timely reminder to us to examine our motivations and our stances online.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

P D James again

I regret that I learned about her so late. I am astonished at her elegance. Extremely subtle thoughts are expressed in a few simple words of such depth that I am blown away. Examples:

"There had been kindness, affection, tolerance and understanding, but those were the common currency of all the well intentioned. Had he, during the course of his ministry, changed a single life?"

"The light fell on a face of grave and astounding beauty and he experienced an emotion that now came rarely, a physical jolt of astonishment and affirmation."

Having a great vocabulary does not mean mastery of a language - it is the spare usage of words and their precise introduction that makes a difference.

The mystery of dogs

Rani's passing on hit us severely. Its easy to acquire a pup and make it happy, but taking in an old dog that must have been treated badly and then allaying her fears is something else. We learned a lot in the two years Rani lived with us. I learned to interpret her barks and moods. I knew when she was calling me to help her or was angry about something. I regret some moments of impatience when she wanted something and I was on the phone or busy elsewhere. Nevertheless, we have to move on.

A couple of months ago, another interesting vagrant moved in. A terrier called Scotty with a tremendous attitude. A truly attractive dog with an extraordinary personality - photos later with long white hair with a light brown saddle and bangs over his eyes. A single bark has a decibel level intended to crack open your skull. He is impervious to commands and declines to listen to remonstrations that he get off the couch. He does whatever he wants. NOTHING is acceptable to him - a dog outside, a strange voice or noise, a squirrel running about in a jungle in Madagascar. His walk is like a ballerina and he has enormous strength though he hardly eats. If he wants to be scratched, he gets it and there's nothing I can do but obey!

The dogs react to the presence of a person at the gate in an interesting way even though they cannot see the gate. A known person clanging on the gate gets no response - they continue snoozing. An unknown person opening the gate gets a loud volley of head-splitting barks. HOW DO THEY KNOW??

But less about that - the area I live is full of dog lovers. Strays abound. In the market areas, there is a shopkeeper who has kept his personal comfort aside and maintains a family of dogs who come and go as they please. He has a TV. Everyone stands and watches as the dogs lie about everywhere, including seats and occasionally ON him, when he's snoozing. Dogs KNOW. No irrational fear of diseases, 'will he bite', 'dogs are dirty!' etc.

My house under construction is full of stray dogs who are not concerned if I stroll in and out inspecting things. They may look up in a bored way "Oh its you..." and go right back to sleep. I think they are advanced creatures with a well developed sixth sense.

I think they are truly evolved. I think I'd do a dog test to evaluate interviewees - how they react will tell me what I would need time and experience to conclude upon.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rani passes on

Our beloved German Shepherd Rani passed on to final peace this morning after much suffering. I shall always owe her for her blessings. We shall never be the same. Sleep for ever, loved one.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Goa & construction

Bridge to the sea
Beachside shack

Random pictures from Goa and more of our house under construction

Mendrem Beach
Scooter ride preparation
Cabo de Rama
Bay inlet Cabo de Rama
Ferry to Cavalesimo
16th century old church
Church at Old Goa
Colva Beach

Cannon at Cabo de Rama

Saturday, September 20, 2008

House construction updates

Lambani woman at the construction site!


Laying the wooden flooring for a mezzanine room at the base of a dome

Off beat house or a Ghost House?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

House Building!

Things are zooming along now - will we move in by end October? A great architect, some great ideas - there's no question of an apartment....

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

something i read

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chamundi - Bylekuppe - Coorg

A lovely weekend trip to Chamundi/Mysore - Dubare - Bylekuppe and Madikeri(Coorg)

Great roads and the company of my son and niece.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dream House underway

Slowly but surely, our little house is getting there. Here are some photos of a rather crazy house which we hope will shelter music, books, us, dogs and more - in no particular order.