Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year In Retrospect


Manju & Vinayak

If not for the above two names, the year which is about to pass would be a fairly uneventful, dull one for me. The 1st name shall remain a beacon and I shall remember him, anytime I feel weak in the knees. So what if NDTV chose Sonia! The 2nd brought some much needed focus and action in life. I have now taught for approximately 4 months in a government school on Saturdays.

and spent the early part of the day today with my class. Again, thanks to Siva & ASHA for the opportunity. The excited kids are now able to wish everyone a Happy New Year, write and understand what it means. We had our first session on trying to find words in the newspaper today that we could read. When I suggested that they buy a newspaper atleast once a week, if it was not possible to buy everyday (since the class consists of students whose parents are painters, masons, plumbers, drivers, etc) one of the smart kids in the class said that we could get them from the gujari guy for free anyways! Anyway, we were not trying to read the news, all we needed was a source of words from some source which was not a book, but still held some fascination for the kids. And currently, reading the newspaper holds immense value as an aspiration object.

What would you do if I sang out of tune, Would you stand up and walk out on me


The above is what runs through my mind as I think of my favourite manifestation of God aka Sachin, while I look forward to the new year. Would he perform as well as the billion wants him to… Would I still love him as much…

Where were you when we were getting high

The new year's eve parties are here and I can't even get a table at a decent restaurant. So while I have dinner at home and read my book, see my movie and sip my nth coffee, loads of junta are getting high on alcohol and doing the in thing!
As one of my sane friends suggested, why drive across half of Bangalore to get stuck in a traffic jam! We could not agree more.

I have my books and my poetry to protect me!

Lately, my mum has taken to trying nightmarish visions to get me married, which include, Who will take care of you when you are old and retired.

Will you still need me, Will you still feed me, When I am sixty four

I tell her that you don’t need to get married to have kids! And she looks at me with eyes, that could melt down all the steel in Gustav's creation. And like Robbie has sung,

And all the best women are married, All the handsome men are gay

Most of the day has been spent in calling friends, near & dear
and wishing them a happy new year.

We do not like sms. Much rather talk to our buddies.

I hear the sound of drums and a melody …

Of course, one of the big things in the new year is a shifting of base camp to Madras from baby Bangalore!
The hammer of the gods, Will drive our ships to new lands,

The quizzing is there, maybe the running can also be managed. A couple of bookshops are also there! But what are we going to do about the weather, Honey?! And Lalbagh…?!

All my memories gather round her…To the place, I belong…

The style of the post is influenced by the way our dear friend, Sweety writes, but then I have always had music running through my mind, except that I don’t usually write about it.

The lunatic is on the grass. Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Terror Attack at IISc Bangalore

In what appears to be a terrorist attack, someone shot 1 prof dead and wounded 6 other people at IIsc Bangalore!

The dead person is Prof Puri from IIT Delhi. God bless his soul.

So much for India being a peace loving nation.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bangalore Half Marathon

1 hr 48 min.
This one was called the JSW Half Marathon.
Was a great race till about 17 to 18 km when I was pacing one of my RFL runners. We had taken about 1 hr 22 min. And then my strength ran out. Had to drop pace and eat humble pie. The race was mostly a forgettable experience since the route was the same as an earlier race. Trucks, Diesel smoke, etc all of which make the experience irritating quite literally since my eyes water and turn reddish. The less said about the organizers, the better.

But running-wise was great fun, as I ran along with someone for most of the race and at around the same pace. This is a great help.

I am a little disappointed as I had planned to overhaul my Hyd timing since the weather was really cool. Race clearly showed my lack of training as my strength did not last and after a long time, weak shoulders returned to haunt me. This was a little surprising since I did not expect to be bothered by them in a half marathon. Anyways, more reason to resume training.

Mum bhai beckons!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bluffmaster & Apaharan

First, Bluffmaster is good old bollywood. Go see it!
Now, Apaharan is further proof of Indian movie making coming of age, but not fast enough. The climax is proof that we need to avoid cliche romanticized endings, if we need to be on competition with the golden palm grabbers from Mexico, etc...

Bluffmaster is pure entertainment and even Ritesh Deshmukh does provide a few good laughs. The small B is making himself felt on the Indian screen and revels in his role with new found confidence and delivers with spunk.

Apaharan has 2 intense actors... Ajay Devgan and Nana Patekar and both do rock. So what if Nana is typecast. I like him that way. Ajay needs to do something about his hair! But the movie is a good watch with a refreshingly new music director called Wayne Sharp.

But the real reason for this blog is to jump up and down over the AWESOME sound track for Rang De Basanti! Yo Rehman and Aamir!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Fragility of Life

About three years ago, I was in Nepal at the Pashupathinath temple in Kathmandu. While I was just about to enter the temple, on the steps of the temple, I saw a man with a dead child in his lap, another guy next to him and a priest. They were next to a burning ghat and were getting ready to perform the last rites for the dead child. When I came back from the temple, the child was on the pyre and had not been completely covered. And I watched the man set fire to its body. This image has stayed with me for a while now. What must have been a bright young life had met an untimely end. I was a little shaken as the sight was fairly unusual. I was suddenly made aware of the fragility of our lives. We don’t really know when we will die. And life is the most precious possession we have.

Atleast some of us live in a world in which we are afraid of something we might lose. Our pride, when we ask someone for something and they refuse, an opportunity, when someone asks for us a bribe and we refuse, our money, if we put into something we are unsure of and that may not turn out well, etc. Essentially, due to fear of the loss, we compromise. We hide our true feelings and suppress our natural instincts. We do what is politically correct, what is beneficial, what will get the job done, etc.

The point is that the most precious thing in life is life itself (This is of course not an original thought and has been articulated elsewhere and perhaps in a better manner). Once that basic thought is established in our lives, we can reevaluate a lot of decisions on a basis different from the one we usually do on. As has been well explored in the world of literature and cinema, what a guy may do, when he knows suddenly that he has only a few days or a few hours to live is very different from how he leads his daily life till that moment of awareness.

If we refuse to compromise on how we want our world to be, knowing fully well that our life is temporary and uncertain, we would perhaps make bolder decisions, rather than trying to take a shortcut in the interest of immediacy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Manjunath for Indian of the Year

NDTV is conducting an SMS Ballot to award Indian of the year 2005.

One of the nominations is for Manjunath.

Type :

SMS 6388 Type INDIA S.MANJUNATH

If not for anything else, to ensure Manju stays in public memory longer than the media will remember him, I thought I will send in my message.

Just for One Day...

I, I could be king... so sang the original bad boy David Bowie...

I came first for the first time in my life at any athletic event! The 49 mins & 11 secs of my fame (not quite 15 mins, but will do!) happened last Sunday morning on the Intermediate Ring Road between Koramangala & IndiraNagar in Bangalore in the last road race of the season for RFL, my club. It was a 10 km race and involved 4 laps of the above mentioned stretch.

The people who partook in my joy were duly treated to rava idlis, upma, filter coffee, sambar vada & masala dosa (OK, OK! I ate the dosa myself) at MTR (that lovely hallmark of Bangalore)

Yet another half marathon is happening in Bangalore on the coming weekend with a route that promises to be better than the previous one.

More after the run on Sunday

Thursday, December 08, 2005

All That You Can't Leave Behind

This is my 100th post. The discerning friend would perhaps be able to guess what the title of the blog refers to. The rest will wait till I write in detail about it. I read this fantastic Nobel Prize acceptance speech by Harold Pinter

Read it, while my life takes a whole new turn!