Monday, July 6, 2009

...was the last post on this blog. I've been so busy with life and work in general that I have not had the time. A lot of water has flown the bridge... Gay sex was made legal in India, Congress stayed in power, Roger Federer completed a career Grand Slam, LTTE was destroyed, GM went bankrupt, MJ died, there were riots in Iran, Honduras and China, North Korea tested many more missiles, swine flu came into existence, Pakistan won the T20 world cup... Phew. A whole flood seems to have passed under the bridge, threatening the bridge's very existence.

These days, I've been feeling terribly guilty. In some ways, I feel like Siddhartha who ventured out on his chariot, only the other way around- from seeing daily drudgery to Utopia. One would expect me to be happy- indeed I am happy at a personal level- but the question of the bigger picture in life haunts me. Maybe the only good thing, indeed, might be the fact that I'm feeling guilty. It means I'll want to do something about it. All our visions are clouded by fogs of selfishness and illusions of self-importance. I'm no exception, but I have realised I have a choice. I am not strong enough to let go of my career, a secure future and a peaceful life and dive in to an uncertainty- that haunts me. But then, it's been haunting me for the last ten odd years, and I've done little about it but continue with my whims and fancies. What will I do about it now? Maybe nothing. Maybe time will tell.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mandatory poll post

I've been reading many blogs and Facebook updates, and they are all abuzz with the millions of aspects of the greatest vote-casting exercise in human history. The tone, in most places, is pessimistic.

There simply is no choice- all of them seem equally bad. So, what's the point in voting? Is there any point in voting? Of course there is. It lets you shift the blame when things dont work out.

History has taught us that change comes to us in many and unexpected ways. Go vote. Maybe you'll find the girl/guy of your dreams in the polling line. You could then get started on a non-political discussion about the weather and the spring blooms, and live happily ever after.

Go vote- that's the only time you're treated like a king (unless someone already proxy-voted for you, of course), and you should, repeat should, make hay while the sun shines.

Go vote- Chances are that your vote no. 489563948 was the winning one!!! Please send us your personal details (don't forget your bank details, duh!) to claim the prize!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I love Vaastu. Oh yes, I'm so thrilled by learning the fact that our ancestors knew the 'magical powers' of the pyramids. I am also informed, by this masterpiece of an article, that 'pyramid' stands for:

P - Perfect (In measurement & work)
Y -
Yielding (More Yield In Agriculture & Wish Fulfillment)
R -
Rainbow colour, resonant (Pyramid Fire ­ Aghnihotra, Responding Thought)
A -
Almighty (Represents Cosmic Power)
M -
Mathematics, Mysterious (Perfect Angle & Size, Wonderful results)
I -
Intuition (To Get Inner Help Towards Upliftment)
D -
Dynamic (Full Of Power)

I'm not the right guy to tell you these things. You should read that article completely. You'll experience what Buddha felt like under the Bodhi tree. An epiphany.

But wait. There's more. Er. R. Prasad also informs us, about the sacred art of Dowsing. Dowsing, he assures us, is the study of energy field by a person with 'electromagnetic ability'. He also adds that there is very little in this world that cannot be found by Dowsing. Pendulums, and other such simple devices, are all he needs. He also adds:

The pendulum's contact with our body acts as a "witness device" - something which has been in physical contact with us. This physical contact establishes a psychometric relationship between person and object; a sympathetic attraction once created may endure for unlimited time.

It is recommended to clear your dowsing instruments from time to time to neutralize these energetic emanations; cleansing dowsing tools can be done in a number of ways including immersion in a jar of seasalt overnight.

I have no doubt that the scientific community has misunderstood Foucault and Galileo all these years. They were of course people with electromagnetic ability, and they were, in all likelihood, looking for scientific truth through this ancient and sacred art. It is also probably how the Indians found the Zero. Andrew Wiles must have found the proof for Fermat's last theorem in this way too. We are also informed that many big companies dowse for oil and precious stones, but never admit it due to concerns about their image (Can you believe that!). It is only a minor step of logic from there, to say that individuals (with electromagnetic ability) also follow this example, and simply claim that they had to work for years before they could achieve their goal. It all makes so much sense now.

Maybe, instead of spending billions of taxpayer money to look for the Higgs Boson, all they had to do was pay Er. R. Prasad his fees, Rs. 11000 a day (plus airfare, obviously) for a full day visit to CERN and give him a pendulum. I'm sure, with a long enough pendulum and enough time, he could sniff it out even if it were hidden in Michael Jackson's face.

P.S.: I have a humble question for Nameologists and Numerologists out there: My incapable mind does not comprehend the deep science of modifying the English spellings of people's names (which are originally from an Indian language) which will then go on to change their fortunes. Suneel or Sunil or Suniel, it is still सुनील in Hindi and ಸುನೀಲ್ in Kannada. How to decide what language? Or is the Roman Alphabet the King of Good Times?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

ಕನ್ನಡವೇ ಸತ್ಯ, ಕನ್ನಡವೇ ನಿತ್ಯ

For people like me, who are very protective about their own language and believe that no matter what you do, where you do it, you will always remain a true-blue *demonym* , there are few things better than seeing other people respecting your language and culture. I am a hardcore, cut-me-I'll-bleed-Kannada Kannadiga, who read Prajavani for daily news when growing up. My 'language of thought', still remains to this day, Kannada.

One of my newly discovered delights (thanks to Sha-ಸ್ತ್ರೀ for that) is the Kannada Gmail, and the amazingly clean and good language (of course, they still simply use english words transliterated to kannada for a lot of things, but hey, it would be ridiculous to expect e-mail to be called vidyut anche and so on...) which is used for describing things. I have seen many attempts at using kannada for the web, and very often, they take it to extremes, which makes it incomprehensible for most common Kannada users. Let's face it, not even a tiny fraction of people would say 'ugibandi' for 'trains'.

The joy of reading or listening to good, unadulterated and slang-free Kannada is something else. Being born to a Kannada/Sanskrit scholar and having a long history of language teachers in my family, I have been set very high standards in language ever since I was old enough to read. Therefore, it is not right to expect everyone to speak it with the same degree of comfort as I do. I have, over the years, come to terms with the fact that Kan-glish is as far as any informal communication will go, even when two Kannadigas are speaking. Maybe that's how languages evolve, surviving external influences by bending instead of buckling.

Kannadigas, however, are not the most aggressive of people you would meet. They are, to a large extent, very 'accommodating', particularly when it comes to their language and culture. There is no way you can survive in Chennai without learning Tamizh, or in Kolkata without Bengali. Karnataka, on the other hand, is slowly getting frayed at it's edges... by Telugu to the east, by Marathi to the north, by Tamil and Malayalam in the south. People in the so-called 'Hyderabad Karnataka' barely communicate in Kannada. You go to Belgaum, and speaking in Marathi would probably fetch you more brownie points with the natives than speaking Kannada. I will not say much about Bangalore (that would be a blog post by itself) - all I can say is it is suffering the same fate as Mumbai. It is the price it paid for its fame, and some would say it sold its soul to the devil. While I don't support this notion, I have to assert that Bangalore has, indeed, lost its identity (or at least, morphed itself into a completely new being, which has no resemblance to the old-age-retirement haven it once was. Although Bangalore has always had a heady brew of cosmopolitanism, being the focal point of three intersecting cultures, it has now lost the easy going, old-town feel that I associate with my childhood).

Anyway, I digress. Kannadigas, like I said, are quite docile. Over 70 folk arts in Karnataka have reportedly met their demise in recent times, due to lack of nourishment and interest It appears that Kannadigas are simply not interested in their own culture anymore. Maybe we deserve it but the language does not. We have managed to get a Classical Language status, but only time will tell what this really entails. (I just hope being a classical language is not halfway to being a dead language) As long as Kannadigas remain indifferent to their culture, things that they now take for granted will simply vanish. Our kids may not even know what Yakshagaana is.

Like an old proverb goes, ಹಿತ್ತಲ ಗಿಡ ಮದ್ದಲ್ಲ. (translating it is retarded, so let me reword it: When you try to look very far, you tend to miss what's closest to you.) I'm afraid it is only very true in this case. If our politicians tomorrow made language a political plank, it wouldn't be too far-fetched (heck, there already are a few, but not noteworthy). But then again, there are more important issues than language, and as usually happens with politicians, the way they would nurture a language would be by pouring their hatred on other languages, which is worse.

P.S.: Reader: I'm sorry if you're not a Kannadiga. Perhaps you can draw parallels with your own language, perhaps not. In any case, if you found it offensive/boring/irritating (what part, pray!), screw you. If you appreciate my concern for my culture, thank you.

P.P.S.: There are, of course, other languages in Karnataka, like Tulu, Kodava, Konkani etc.- They have their own culture, and I will not speak for them, since I'm ignorant of their problems.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Random short blog#1

If you set out a few years ago wanting to change the world, and you still want to change the world, haven't you wasted those few years of your life? You're no better off than when you started off, except in your silly little mind. Lesser expectations, perhaps, are the key to a happy, if not a successful life. How many famous and great people you know are happy anyway?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen...

I have to admit, I hadn't read Watchmen till recently. I remember the time we all pooled in and bought Bharath the graphic novel. He was very happy, to put it mildly. He's a comic freak. Now that I've read it, I can safely say it's a masterpiece. A work of art. A monumental piece of cynicism.

Make no mistake, this one is not for people seeking some philistine pleasure. Watchmen is right up there beyond the best. It is not always a pleasant read and there are times where Alan Moore's sanity is called into question. But it always oozes oodles of class. This one is for the well-read. Respect.

Oh, I haven't yet seen the movie, and I will soon. I'm very curious about how the film handles the complicated storyline. Moore has apparently always been against turning his books into movies, but that doesn't seem to stop people from doing it. Hmmm.

Friday, January 30, 2009


That title is supposed to be sung to the tune of 'Choli ke peeche kya hai' from Khalnayak. Nevermind.

So. The point of this blog post is basically to think aloud about all the nice things I've learnt to cook. My opinion and idea of cooking has changed over years. Strangely enough, I used to be a better cook when I was small (about 12 yrs, shall we say?) when I used to help my mom around in then kitchen. Back then, with my sister doing medicine and all, it was mainly to gain mileage with my mom- I could always yap that I was the better cook 'despite being a boy'. Then, of course, she got better. Much better. Then, occupied with my own tribulations in life, I gave it a miss, and became what you can safely call a dunce at cooking. Of course, things have now changed. I had to learn cooking or eat food cooked by people who thought salt was spicy (it's not bad, you know, pasta and rösti and älplermaggronnen, but like the old adage, what's life without some spice?). Bottomline: I've learnt to cook. Quite well. (Don't ask me about times of experimentation, when, many a day, I've had to consume food that would not qualify even for a best-before date.) I'm quite proud of this whole cooking thing, you know. It's experimenting at its best. I've always considered myself good at hands on experimenting (I better be, or else I'll have made a bad career choice), and cooking is, as a pop-sci program would put it, something you can find in your kitchen. I'm crazy, because I often find myself wondering what really happens to food when you put it on heat and mix and stir and all that. Of course, it's not an exact science, and that's what makes it brilliant. I wish I could produce some photo-evidence of all my cooking exploits, but I'm not just a cook, you see. I'm also a glutton. I don't really have the patience to take pictures of my food when it is lying invitingly on my plate. This weekend, I'm making Gasagase Payasa. That's poppy seed pudding. Anyone who can smell it can hop in.