November 29, 2005

reference to context

Makes much more sense when you are shivering and lonely alone in London:

All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Lots of choc'lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin' lots of 'eat.
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Aow, so loverly sittin' abso-bloomin'-lutely still.
I would never budge 'till spring Crept over the windowsill.
Someone's 'ead restin' on my knee,
Warm an' tender as 'e can be.
Who takes good care of me,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly

November 28, 2005

Failure And Related Things

For some days now I’ve been thinking.
Unless you fail once, how can you know what failure is?
Constant success is a dangerous addiction!
Knowing that you’ll do well makes you complacent.
Each opportunity to fail must be considered.
Doing badly is good for you once in a while.

Until you have tasted the bitter fruit of failure
Perhaps you cannot truly appreciate success.

Most people are prone to failing every once in a while:
You must not be smug that you are not one of them.

Conciously fail if you need to; but fail.
One day, you will thank yourself for it.
Usually you do not question your abilities:
Risk it once, and you’ll be a better judge of yourself.
Set a high goal, if it is beneath you to fail easily.
Enter a marathon with your feet bound together:
When you fall and your face is a bloody mess,
Out of the darkness in your head, you will hear
Reason, free from Pride, reassure you kindly -
Know that you were not meant to be perfect.

November 27, 2005

Oops! I Did It Again!

For the second year in a row, I missed wishing Papunda on his birthday! All I can say, shamefacedly, is that now I’ll aim for a hat-trick.
I hope the year has been good to you!
When I am a millionaire, you will get lots of fancy lenses, I promise.


November 26, 2005

Geek Porn

Now that I have your attention, a couple of things before we proceed to the real thing:

Heard about two people buying wedding dresses worth 26 thousand rupees each. Wotta waste! Then wendigo tells me this is the going rate, and some people spend 5 lakhs! Man! As marriages become less and less a once in a lifetime thing, wedding ceremonies become more and more once-in-many-lifetimes affairs!

Wendigo has been showing French movies from the 1950s. All of them have the same plot. Guy running from the law. Girl calls the police. Guy dies. If she gets one more, I’ll beat her up. I’ll still watch though…

Rash had a baby boy. Which is a much nicer thing than saying baby boy had a rash. (Omigod! The abysmal-sense-of-humour virus is electronically transmitted!)

And for geek porn: Just right-click and select View Page Souce. What you get is geek porn.

Thankyouverymuch.

November 25, 2005

Cookin

Someone went to the supermarket alone today after a long long time. Someone’s idle mind put two from one section and two from another section together and made twenty-two. So someone cooked radical dinner tonight.

Presenting Inky’s Incredible Recipe: Patent Pulao

Ingredients:
Basmati rice (Goras dunno what basmati is. Am sorry to say.)
Stir fry vegetables (available chopped and cleaned in a plastic bag)
Knorr Veg stock cube
Ginger powder (real thing too expensive and wasteful)
Cinnamon powder
Tomato ketchup
Salt and pepper
Water (Apart from water, everything was purchased from Sainsburys)

(Note absence of oil/cheese/any kind of fat. Unique recipe in this country.)

  • Take a small blue saucepan (because I say so!) and fill it two-thirds with water. Drop some veggies (LOTS of veggies mummy, LOTS) and the stock cube.

  • Also drop ginger and cinnamon powder, salt and pepper.

  • Let it boil for a coupla minutes.

  • Throw in the rice, cover, and return to your room and work online.

  • Suddenly remember what you left in the kitchen, run, stub a toe, curse.

  • See sorry face of food, and add some ketchup. Consider visiting the cafeteria before it closes.

  • Go back to room and try not to think about cost of each individual ingredient wasted.

  • Return to kitchen, and taste goopy food with knife.

  • Go to hospital to get bleeding tongue sutured (Just kidding)

  • Realize food tastes yummy. Suddenly crave dahi.

  • Remember purchasing sugarless yogurt…debate between strawberry and peach, settle for peach.

  • Realize tangy peach tastes good with fusion food!

Until next time, keep an eye out for Inky’s Incredible Recipes.

November 24, 2005

Things

Dear Member (Inkspill),Your membership on Shaadi.com has been discontinued due to one or more of the following reasons:
  • You requested that the profile be deleted.

  • The contents of your profile were found highly unlikely to be true.

  • We received numerous complaints from other members regarding your conduct.

  • You have used Shaadi.com for commercial purposes.

  • You have violated the service agreement accepted by you when you became a member at Shaadi.com.

If you have any concerns, questions or objections, feel free to contact us. Regards,Shaadi.com Customer Relations

All I did was send a profile pic of a witch sitting in a cauldron!
And to think they were perfectly happy when I sent this description of me and my family:

Love seeketh not Itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care;
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

    So sang a little Clod of Clay,
    Trodden with the cattle's feet:
    But a pebble of the brook,
    Warbled out these metres meet.

Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to Its delight:
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite.

**************************************************************
In other news, there was a North Indian semi-classical music performance in college today, by this Bong lecturer from Oxford. She sang ghazals and bhajans and folk songs. One of the ghazals she sang (why God why?) was “Chitthi Aayi Hai” (it does not seem to be a ghazal at all to me. Have they redefined what a ghazal is?) She pronounced the words wrong, went superfast, and informed the gora audience that this was a ghazal about a lover waiting for a letter from his beloved: a letter which does not come. I wonder if she pulled the wool over the unsuspecting Oxford Univ’s eyes to complete her PhD the same way!


Anyways, mail from watan would probably read like this for me:

Oopar mera naam likha hai
(Andar C+ prograam likha hai)
O pardes ko jaane waaley
Paisa vyarth bahaane waaley
Saat samundar paar gaya tu
Le kar bada udhaar gaya tu
Aaja umr bahut hai chhoti
Blogging se nahin milti roti


She also sang a bhajan that, according to her, went like this:
Main to ho gayi tera Shyam
Maine ratt liya Raadha naam

Considering that I had just come out of a butch-femme-lesbian-couple-in-cinema lecture, I found it quite pertinent. I somehow think she meant:
Main to ho gayi teri Shyam
Maine rakh liya Raadha naam

I should stop being nitpicky about words. Probably that’s why I don’t get chitthis from my beloved.

******************************************************************



November 23, 2005

Everything Except Studies

Life is a swing. To and fro. To and fro.

You can perch your tush safely on a seat and enjoy the wind blow through your hair. Convince yourself that the world is moving and you are giddy at the stationary centre. Begin slowly, then kick your heels to go as fast as you please. Slow down when you are tired. To and fro till the swing comes to a standstill, and then they come to bury you.

Life is a swing. To and fro. To and fro.

You can suspend yourself from a swing, and then, high up in the air, you can let go of the swing you are holding on to and jump to the next like a trapeze artist. Be careful to jump while the swing is making long arcs in the air; it is only when the swing is at its optimum that you can let go of it and catch the next one. And so you can go from one swing to another, leaving each at the peak of its success and reaching for another, without knowing for sure that you’ll make it in time. The world will gape in amazement at your heroics, and it will never know that you do it only because you are scared. Terrified of being on a swing that has slowed down till it has come to a standstill, and left you at the static centre of a static world. And they are coming to bury you.

Cos life is a swing. To and fro. To and fro.

??

Isit the official dayfor sowing theseeds ofdoubt orwhat?

November 21, 2005

Why I Don't Update Anymore

They told me education in India was very different from education abroad. While the Indian education system only confuses you, the Western education system gives you immense amounts of clarity. Over the last two months, I have realised how true these statements are.

Back home in my PG days, but the end of the first month, I could read almost every lecturer’s thoughts, complete their sentences, and understand what they were saying. Here, I never know what is going to hit me the next second, and when it does, I do not know what it is. I am bombarded with phrases like “depsychologise hyperindividualism” at the rate of five per second, and all I can figure out is that it is still English, and has not morphed into Greek…

The Indian education system had thoroughly confused me, by making me think I wanted more education. Under the bright lights of Western education, it is abundantly clear to me that education is no longer for me, nor I for it.

There must have been a cheaper way to find out, but unfortunately this is how things have turned out. Profuse apologies to my sponsors. I could jump off a bridge and put an end to the expenditure, but I know you are too lazy to get the insurance money, so I’ll live and repay you by and by.

****************************************************************

Spent the day thinking about sexual politics in Harry Potter. Here goes:

Harry and Ron are the ideal couple, balancing out each other perfectly. Harry’s rescuing Ron at every stage makes him the protector “masculine” partner, while the sporadic strength of the “help meet” Ron males him the “feminine” part of the couple. Homosexuality being out of the purview of children’s literature, the figure of Ginny, Ron’s property in the Muggle-like patriarchal structure of Wizardhood, is the symbolic bearer of the Harry-Ron love. Her status as rescuee in book two cements her dependence on Harry. Her diluted feminine wiles make her a Post-Feminist Romantic heroine who “plays the game” to get her man.

Hermione Granger is the quintessential Feminist figure stuck in a Post-Feminist paradigm. Being obviously too bright to play second fiddle as a hero’s love interest, her possible romantic link with Harry is ruled out. She is symbolically kept out of the hierarchy of heroism by making her a “friend-figure”. In the triangular Harry-Ron-Hermione friendship, she has a two-step function. The first is to preclude the threat of a homosexual liaison between the two male figures, and the second is to formalise Ron’s heterosexuality by being pitched as his romantic partner.

As an individual, Hermione is interesting to explore. Lest her intelligence overshadow the male hero, it is made irritating through people’s responses to her words and actions. As she passes into puberty, she is constructed as a hormonal wreck, being pulled towards the hysterical female stereotype by what are socio-psychologically constructed as her “impulses”, and being pinned in the “masculine” world of the intellect where she has always belonged as a “transgresser”. Being a Mudblood, her racial ambiguity underlines her dubious performance of gender roles, and makes her a disturbingly grey and unsettled character. As the story progresses, her hormones take over her intellect more and more often, and one fears that she will dissipate into a helpless woman who underplays her intellectual prowess to fit the role of subordination to Ron, the non-hero. Over six books, she has turned into “Hormonie”, which is a big letdown for the Feminist cause.

*****************************************************************

Or then again, maybe I should throw myself off the bridge. I know at least half a dozen people who are itching to give me a gentle shove now!

November 17, 2005

The International Classroom

Hi-

I wanted to check in and see how ya'll were doing. I can't believe that we are rounding out seventh week already and our program has yet to get it together. I wanted to openly invite all those interested for a drink at the ___ on Monday following lecture. There is a great bar bellow where we can sit and chat, gripe and drink. Shoot me an email or just show up. It's not a formal thng. I love a snake bite after lecture so anyone interested form all programs please feel free to show up.

Have a great weekend.

_____

November 16, 2005

17:00 GMT - 06:30 GMT

Shaam hotey hi jalaa deti hai palkon pe diye
Raat se poochhe koi kis ke liye? Kis ke liye?
Koi aahat bhi nahin aur koi aata bhi nahin
Raks karti hai shab bhar jo meri tanhayee hai

Raat aati hai chali jaati hai harjaayee hai
Phir mere ghar dabey paon chali aayi hai

Gulzar in Aks

November 13, 2005

:

If you happen to pass by this page, please say a silent prayer that broken hearts may grow whole again.

Thanks.

Frozen Odds and Ends

Tonight’s minimum temperature in Cental London is going to be 2 degrees! Brrrrrrrr! And to those who’re calling it a “warm November”: Grrrrrrrrrr! Must be warm because they sit indoors without being tempted by the Lord Mayor’s Show, The Jazz Festival and other such whatnots. As soon as you and your five layers of clothes return home from one of these and open the door of the residence hall, you see their smug, single-sweater beings, and their overheated reception area slaps your face with hot air like a dinosaur fart…

Took refuge in a bookstore from the biting cold last night. “An Ode Less Travelled” by Stephen Fry looks very interesting. Any comments?

Weekends are apparently for ceaseless kissing. Fireworks, fairy lights, and walls to lean against seem to be the three biggest hormone-escalating factors. Most couples look like they’ll need to be surgically separated. Chindu put this very well, so I’m just linking. I could give you a list of the top ten places where this amusing activity can be observed (and if you are suitable equipped with someone you luuuurve – atleast for the time being – you can join the performance) in Central London, but I’m a poor student, and you’ll need to pay for information. Address all cheques to Marks and Spencer.





November 12, 2005

Your Kids Are Not Safe

Two feminists were walking down Regent Street in the rain last evening, admiring the Christmas illumination. They passed Hamleys and could not resist going in. On a shelf near the door, there were a bunch of puppet lions.
Feminist I put on one and the Lion said: “Hey G! I am a lion. I am a useless fellow. My wife hunts and feeds the kids. I lie about lolling all day. I’m the king of the Jungle!”
Feminist G picked up a lion and it said: “Mate! It’s just because she has penis envy. Haven’t you read Freud? Relax and let her do all the work. It makes her feel important.”

Feminist I bought shoes, rainbow socks, and fancy gloves. Out of need, I assure you.

November 07, 2005

Somebody Souped My Lace

Today at the old lady a post office was muttering because I was changing my count! If these bright people keep wronging you give change, then do can you what except balancing the check?

November 06, 2005

Bridget Joneses' Dietary

Wendigo: my face is getting fatter!! i just compared 2 pictures set apart only 2 weeks
Inky: i am getting fatter
Wendigo: that too
Inky: why are we getting fatter?
Wendigo: the food here is too rich. and we are chocaholics
i am walking faster from now on!
"with a piss.. with a piss.." etc etc
no more sauntering to college
Inky: you see those mounds of flesh running along the thames and it makes no diff!
we have to stop eating
Wendigo: yes!
Inky: skip a meal or something
Wendigo: never gonna happen
but i will reduce chocolate and carbohydrate intake. really works
Inky: i am having half a kheera and mushroom soup for lunch
Wendigo: then you will be hungry at 5
Inky: insert saintly look here
Wendigo: haha
Inky: no more chips!
down with potatoes!
Wendigo: yes. no more chips
down with the irish
Inky: down with all kinds of potatoes! baked/roasted/creamed/semi-digested
Wendigo: ugh. and also down with 50 chocolate incidents per day
Inky: break up with freddie!
Wendigo: yes. down with freddie. and gold coins
hmm
Inky: no more eating chocolate frogs nor money
eat celery!
look like celery
Wendigo: celery. sprouts
everything that makes you go bleaaarrgh
Inky: :)
eat reference reading!
paper and ink have zero calories
Wendigo: o nooo. i have so much to read :-(
kyu yaad dilaya

You CAN put it in fewer than 100 words

Do you regard yourself as a feminist?

Very much so. But feminism has so many interpretations. What it means for me is simply that women, like men, are complete human beings with limitless possibilities. They have to achieve social equality, much like the Dalits or the Black Americans. In the case of women, it is so much more complex. I mean, there is the right to walk on the road without being harassed. Or to be able to swim, or write a love poem, like a man without being considered immoral. The discrimination is very obvious and very subtle, very cruel and always inhuman.

Fahmida Riaz, Pakistani poet, in an interview.

November 05, 2005

Guy Fawkes Day

Wendigo generously loaned me her DVD of “The Incredibles” to watch while she went for a party, and I was quite happy with the movie babysitting me. Suddenly I heard phut phut outside and the realizations that:
- it was Guy Fawkes Day
- these fireworks meant business
- I could pause the movie
hit me all together. I grabbed my jacket and my bag and made a dash through a maze of corridors, down the elevator, and out of the gate to see the most amazing fireworks going off behind a bunch of trees. I ran down to the river, and sure enough, the view was fantabulous! Huge, no… HUGE spectacular bursts of colour in the sky - perfectly co-ordinated – arose from either side of the Millennium Bridge and lit up the sky. I looked to the bridge to see if I could sneak up there for the best view possible, but then they started setting off fireworks from the bridge itself! It was too gorgeous for language to capture. The river lit up in response and for fifteen minutes, the South Bank at the foot of the Millennium Bridge was the best place to be in the whole universe!
At the end of these fifteen minutes, there was thunderous applause from the crowd, and little children kept yelling for more. I smiled, because according to reports by the battered party, three-year-old Inky used to sit on her Daddy’s shoulder and kick his chest and clap “Shaabaash Bhaiyya Shaabaash!” at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony fireworks at India Gate. There can never be too many fireworks!
I walked back to the hostel, and saw two ladies all dressed up brushing their hair one last time before they went to let the fireworks see them. “Oho! Khatam ho gaya?” they brushed, disappointed. Seeing them all dressed up, I realized I had forgotten to put on my pants! But then I looked, and the pants were very much there, they were just hopelessly ineffective in the cold. Who cares, I am warm now, and have finished watching “The Incredibles”, and random fireworks are still going on outside, but I have seen heaven and do not wish to ruin the memory of the sight.
To all the taxpayers of the United Kingdom, my gracious thanks. To the pyro-technicians, “Shabaash Bhaiyya Shabaash!”

November 03, 2005

Overheard...

…in the hostel elevator

Undergrad #1: I’m bored.
Undergrad #2: Read Aristotle.
Undergrad #1: Exactly.