Sunday, November 26, 2006

High Fidelity

Nick Hornby's book has also been made into a reasonably popular movie starring John Cusack.

The movie is a celebration of a 35 yr old typical 'loser' guy starting with his latest girlfriend moving out on him.

Amongst the several delights in this 'light reading' book, there is this particular line towards the end which sums it up - "It's easier to have parents if you have a girlfriend"

The book features the protagonist Rob Fleming, his assistants at his record shop - Championship Vinyl - Dick and Barry and his girlfriend (ex or whatever) Laura. There are assorted other characters including his top 5 ex-girlfriends who dumped him/got dumped by him.

The story is ideal Sunday reading and is full of comic setpieces. For a moment, I am ignoring the substantial featuring of sex as a theme.

The best part of the book is the substantial dedication to music and the incredible list mania that runs through the book including one for Top Five Bands that will have to be shot Come the Music Revolution! (Simple Minds, Michael Bolton, U2, Bryan Adams and Genesis, in case you were interested) I disagree with U2 being on that list but the lists are brilliant fun to read.

I would strongly urge all self certified loser type professionals (SCLTPs) to read it. The last mentioned acronym is my tribute to the book which has several such...

And true to Horby's other stories - About a Boy, Fever Pitch, this one too has a happy ending.

Good Read. Now for finding my Laura...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Coupons, Coupons...

The Undercover Economist
The Toyota Way Fieldbook

join the ever growing D family of books thanks to more coupons from credit card spending...

Both Economics and Toyota are topics close to my heart, especially the latter. Must be good reading.

Welcome to them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Manju R.I.P

Its exactly a year today since Manju got murdered while doing his job.
May his soul rest in peace.

In the meanwhile we wait for some justice.

I looked back at what I wrote a day after I found out last year.

Nothing has changed.

TV channels today did mention this. CNN IBN even ran a special segment with some of my batchmates chipping in and the tireless Anjali also saying a few words.

Hope justice is served.

Also lend your support to the trust to fight Manju's case. Contribute money to fight the case. Speak up when needed.

I would think Manju is perhaps best remembered by trying our best to not compromise when we have the choice in our own lives.

May god bless his soul.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flying High?

This is not something that happens daily and I mean it quite literally. Read on…
Recently I had the opportunity to fly in a private plane - …Really?! Wow, I thought when I heard that it was happening.

So I am like all excited when I board the small 6 seater plane. Before this, there was this all smugness about getting your bags carried and you breezing through security checks, no boarding pass queues, et al….Or as a worldly wise friend said, “This is the first time, I have had a porter at an airport!”

Anyways, we are sitting in the plane. Then the pilot gets in with the co-pilot. The door hatch is closed. The plane is really tiny. The engines rev up and I notice that we are stationary. While I look at the cockpit to see why, the copilot asks ,”What does this button do? Oh it is the external power. Ok, I won’t turn it on!” I swear that this is the 1st time I have been afraid of flying. No choice. While my friends are also going through some similar emotions, we try and distract ourselves by looking around and doing some small talk…

One comments that planes like this can do only short haul flights since there is no loo around. Another notices that the seating chart says, 4 club seats, 2 pilot seats, 1 seat by the door side and 1 lavatory seat! He looks around and then counting down realizes that he must be sitting on what must be the potty! He pulls his seat cushion up and confirms the hypothesis! He consoled himself saying that atleast it was pressurized, no unpleasant sights or smells there…In the meanwhile one of our friends in the cockpit picks up the flight manual and starts thumbing thru! And in case, I was getting comfortable, he tries a few buttons and switches to which the pilot says, “No, not that one…” While our co-pilot asks, “Why is this not deflecting?” Then he starts the propulsion gear and we get some some irritating beeping noises. He switches it off and says, “There’s something wrong!” After a few such tries, my heart was saying hello to my epidermis.

Man, I was like, … Ok, I have killed some ants and mosquitoes, but that was mostly out of self defence. Bhagwan (What we call God in India…), bachale (help!)…
Anyways, to be fair to the gentlemen in the driver seats, we did takeoff and land safely…

And there was this spectacular sight of the horizon diagonally across the screen when we did this turn before coming down at our destination…And then there was the automatic countdown over the speakers when we came into land…Phew…
No pretty stewardesses, no trolleys of food – just two flasks of coffee and tea, some 2 dozen packets of biscuit (what were they thinking? … we were no out for combat) and toffees…

Also, the guy on the potty remarked that, it was the longest he had ever sat on the potty... But, then such is life. Think - the next time you fly, hope you are not close to the cockpit…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Les(s) Miserable!

Surprising how life turns out…

Y’day there was Stephen Fry (and that woman called Sharon Stone) on the show Parkinson, which I managed to catch in one of those rare instances when the TV and I met. Since Fry is a personality we like, we watched.

He was talking about this documentary on Manic Depression, that he has made, due to appear on BBC soon. It was quite revealing to hear him talk about his exploration of the world of Bipolar Disorder, as it is termed in the land of coinages… He also alluded briefly to his homosexuality and his own take on it. The guy is glorious to watch and a fine sport.

And we managed to finish our book, Saturday which is quite good, but not as great as we thought it could turn out to be when we started. So we are snubbing it with just a summary mention rather than a full post. It is essentially about a day in the life of a brilliant neurosurgeon, Henry Perowne. The writing is very McEwan – tight prose, amazing figures of speech. Sample this – “…Its like visiting a graveside. The true business is with the past…” However the denouement is closer to Black Dogs than my favourite McEwan – Amsterdam, sort of a breathe in – breathe out, kind of ending rather than the ‘gasp after a punch in the stomach’ style that I am usually partial to.

Paul Aster on the joy of reading and Monica Ali on our own Malgudi and RK Narayan

And of course, just registered for the Mumbai Marathon 2007.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

That's disgusting...

...is what I would have said if you had told me a few years ago that your work was interfering with your lifestyle.

It has eventually happened to us too... So much so, that we are yet to finish a book in the last week. Have managed to run only thrice ever since I moved to Pune...Not much time to blog even...

Have even contemplated quitting for the same reasons and others...

Had to cancel leave planned earlier for the wedding of a dear friend and instead make a flying visit to Madras.

Sample this - In the course of little over 12 hrs, I would have been in 4 different cities and only 1 out of choice.

As of now, as with most things, we wait and watch. {While doing that, fell asleep at the wheel may times incl. 4 times which could have been near fatal...Woke up just in time to see oncoming headlights...) Lesson: Never drive in the night when you are already short of sleep...

Ours is neither to do nor die...

mere yaar ki shaadi

one of my favourite people and a close friend is getting married today.

here's wishing her a happily married life.

we, in the meanwhile continue to access www.happilyunmarried.com

Filter Coffee on my mind...

(The title is a partial take off on the "Georgia on my mind..." You get the drift...

I wish Blogger also had the mood motif that LJ has for its posts. I am as depressed as can be... I moved out of my beautiful house in Madras today :( Hence the filter coffee memories. Other than the beach, filter coffee was the one thing that redeemed Madras to me. Felt really down letting go of the house which was mine for the last 9 months...

So we will hope we see our home in Santhome sometime in the future...