Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bountiful blabber beckons bums

For unavoidable circumstances, this blog will remain dormant for many months to come. Regular service will resume if I get back my sanity from the continuous onslaught of information, arguments and opinions scattered all over the world of weblogs.

Till then, goodbye to the blogosphere. Thank you so much for your indulgence.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Nothing comes

This room has plastered white walls,
books, machines, pencils and erasers,
light from the windows, even darkness in the corners.

In the morning, the sun comes in an orange-yellow,
which is different from the yellow-orange of evening.

Sometimes, two pigeons come looking for food,
phone calls come, dhobi comes with the clean clothes.

Why don't you come in these lonely evenings?
Sometimes, I wish you too had come by mistake.
Don't you know, when nothing comes, what comes is pain?


Yes, nothing comes. Iron Maiden is going to Bangalore. And we are sucking thumb in this village of ours.

In our college days, we had grown up listening to IM, and cheering Chintu, Jose, Chandhok, RR Singh and Srini to their renditions of Where Eagles Dare, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. IM was different from the other noise-generating, body-building type heavy metal bands (e.g. Megadeth; British heavy metal bands are anyday better than American ones). Their lyrics was engrossing - Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Icarus from Greek Mythology, Fear of the Dark and Wasted Years - and they had those mesmerizing twin lead guitar riffs by Dave Murray and Adrian Smith.

Here's a video of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Do listen to the melody of the twin lead at 2:35 and 2:07.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


-- Donald Justice (1925 - 2004)

This poem is not addressed to you.
You may come into it briefly,
But no one will find you here, no one.
You will have changed before the poem will.

Even while you sit there, unmovable,
You have begun to vanish. And it does not matter.
This poem will go on without you.
It has the spurious glamour of certain voids.

It is not sad, really, only empty.
Once perhaps it was sad, no one knows why.
It prefers to remember nothing.
Nostalgias were peeled from it long ago.

Your type of beauty has no place here.
Night is the sky over this poem.
It is too black for stars.
And do not look for any illumination.

You neither can nor should understand what it means.
Listen, it comes without guitar,
Neither in rags nor any purple fashion.
And there is nothing in it to comfort you.

Close your eyes, yawn. It will be over soon.
You will forget the poem, but not before
It has forgotten you. And it does not matter.
It has been most beautiful in its erasures.

O bleached mirrors! Oceans of the drowned!
Nor is one silence equal to another.
And it does not matter what you think.
This poem is not addressed to you.

(Chandrabindoo's Tāke Khoob Kāchhe Jei Pāi)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Unvanquished

Thursday, March 8, 2007


i thank you God for most this amazing...
-- E. E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

What moves you?

Thimakka has single-handedly planted more than 284 banyan trees... “For 25 years I could not conceive so we thought why not grow and nurture trees like our own children instead and thus started our campaign to grow trees. I used to work as a daily wage labourer and used the money from there to grow these trees. I would work in the morning and plant trees in the afternoon. Now they are all well grown,” says Thimakka. [Link]
Video here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A day at IIMA*

The day starts at night. Almost everyday. I mean every night, that is. It started when Sneaky came one full minute late (as usual) for the marketing case of the Spam model and the shredded tuna fish. We are done with the fish case. But Sneaky is at sea. Still the OB reading needs to be done. And it's only two o' clock. The night is young.

In the next room, Guddi Singh is playing the same Dylan number for the nth time. “How many times must the same song play?” Sneaky wonders for the (n-1)th time. The frequency of dbabble notices is thinning out. Sneaky puts a stop to his fight and the learning experience.

Its morning. The snooze button is surely one of the greatest inventions by mankind. It gives Sneaky an option. Sneaky denies. Like a faithful friend the clock rings again. Sneaky keeps on denying till the time there’s no hope for the breakfast, puts a tener in the pocket and runs for class. To unlearn.

The attachment is not opening. And the whole class is waiting for his presentation on the Tuna Fish. The professor gives Sneaky an unnerving stare. Sneaky gathers enough courage to say that it was working fine in his room. Believe me, it was just working fine. Today is not his day.

At the last leg of the OB class Sneaky makes up his mind and raises his hand for a grand CP. But there are so many hands. And standing on the chair is not allowed. It is the fag end of the course and Sneaky has not made a single CP. There is emotional water in his eye.

But the worst was yet to come. In the OM class, Sneaky went to … to sleep. He was doing fine till the time the professor came and stood in front of him. The laughter woke Sneaky up. And the class had gone to the stage of thumping the tables. To top it all, a small piece of paper on the notice board, brought with it the option of skipping lunch. Today there’s a quiz. Sneaky will be tested. But he is not alone. From nooks and corners prospective I-schols are heading towards their dorms to learn OM, all skipping lunch. Sneaky is not alone.

The quiz is over. These are the times when Sneaky gets philosophical and thinks of writing poems and stuff. But the quiz performance has made him wordless. Words cling to the tip of his pen, refusing to drop down.
The canner can can
Anything others can can …
But couldn’t do kanban …

Sneaky keeps his words to himself. They are not obeying him today. Three o' clock, Sneaky goes to sleep, so that he can study ‘later’. Chaitime is at five at Rambhai’s. The tea is like ... like God. But what interests Sneaky is Rambhai’s working capital management. Sneaky gloats over the prospect of an IP on the subject.

The sun has gone down over the tower lawns. Clouds are covering clouds and there is darkness everywhere. At C.G. Road lovers are holding hands. At IIMA people are putting web CP on the Web-board. Sneaky puts in some words with a generous sprinkling of CRM, SCM and ERP. Nearby some dorm shouts le-lis, at an inviting tone. Sneaky knows his dorm is the target segment. What’s mankind without understanding? Event-management starts and with a baritone unheard of before, Sneaky leads the dorm to glory. The tenors are zigzagged.

In the mess, Harvard dinner is nearing the self-actualization stage. Today Sneaky had fruits, fruits and fruits.

Guddi Singh is playing “How many times...” for the (n+1)th time. And Sneaky wonders for the nth time.

Concentration came after lot of coaxing, after much trying. Almost immediately on the TV, the hero starts gyrating with his consort to the tune of a raunchy number and finance goes for a toss.

Its time for birthday bumps to Zaphod Beeblebrox. November isn’t that cold at Vastrapur. The Big Dipper hangs like a question mark in the anthracite sky. Sneaky stops for a while to figure out Betelgeuse. It is already one past midnight. As usual, Sneaky is late. And suddenly tomorrow has become today.

* Footnotes are nests for pedants. Thus spake McCloskey. I made you look down, but this piece needs you to have a campus glossary. That's all. Written many moons ago.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The popular and the subaltern

Conceptual clarity is essential to demarcate the popular and the subaltern. In her signature lucidity, Gayatri Spivak mentions in this symposium at UCSB that the popular and the subaltern do not inhabit a continuous space. I disagree. They might, in the mind of a person who does not know anything about the current state of affairs (Bhojpuri music, for example). I am that dork. Not only conceptual clarity, but contextual familiarity is essential too. Postmodern theorists/ literary critics/ armchair text-weavers, please take note. Chomsky said similar things too. And if you haven't, take a look at the mesmerizing postmodern generator. (scroll down to read the first line after the references)

On a different note, many problems, in my opinion, can be solved if we know how to break free from logical text into other forms of expression. That's why we have poems, alliterations, words that resemble sound, rhythms, rhymes, and limericks. And of course there's seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling -- all different ways to exit from text.

In that spirit, for wholesome entertainment, I present to you Rasia Tailor. Don't ask me whether it is popular or subaltern. I don't care anymore.

Please to note Rasia's move at 3:10 - 3:14.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Get (Assaf's) Rhythm