Sunday, 31 May 2009


I despise reunions. Maybe its because I'm from a couple of reasonably reputable institutions which churn out  entrepreneurs and serial CEOs and I'm something that stayed stuck at the bottom of the barrel. So when Venky put a senti on me and extracted a promise that I would attend - a promise I made just to stop him talking - second,  third and fourth thoughts started crowding in almost immediately.
I went, mainly because I hadn't seen Boxer or LuxTina for a long time. It was scheduled to start at 7:00 pm and I went there promptly at half past - and I had my ear bitten for 500 rupees. Got chucked out of the bar because it was for residents and couples only that night. 
By the time my first drink arrived in the coffee shop, I was thinking of the most painful way I would want Venky killed. 
In the end, it wasn't too bad. Jeyamani was assigned to the function - innovatively called "Notalgia" and he made sure that my glass was never empty. Saw Lux - who played his "cloud cloud baby" record and improvised a very serviceable "Joka rap" - and Tina, Bhasker and a couple of others. Apart from a bunch of high enthu kids, there were a bunch of older guys - most of whom were happy to reminisce about intoxicants indulged in - and sing out of tune "Ye shaam mastani" loudly.
Left basking in the glow of several drinks and the feeling of a painful duty performed, but will I go next year?
No frikkin way.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Mystery of Cigars of the Pharaoh and others

Was rereading Cigars of the Pharaoh this morning on the white throne. (Comics make the best loo activity, along with crosswords). Theres a panel where this arab chieftain says that he's a huge Tintin fan and has read his adventures. Theres a flunky of his who shown holding a copy of a book. Looking at the cover - its pretty obvious that the book is Destination Moon. But then - sequentially, Destination Moon takes place way after "Cigars".  No biggie? Destination Moon must have been written before "Cigars of the Pharaoh"  - and hence the ref. That doesnt quite ring true - because its unlikely that Herge would make such a mistake when it is clear that this is a mystery where the Thompsons make their first appearance . And so it proves. Cigars was written in 1932. Destination Moon was written in 1950. So was Herge a wormhole traveller? Did he know that Tintin was going to the Moon way back in 1932? Or was it something that the publishers screwed up when publishing the English translation of the album version? That doesnt work either as Herge himself did all the recolouring and reworking of all the album versions, atleast until the 1970s. So does the fact that the album version of Cigars of the Pharaoh was published in 1955 and the album version of Destination Moon in 1950 have anything to do with it? That it was a conscious decision to capitalize on the success of the Moon titles?
 Or was it just a blooper? Maybe. But like the crumpet, these explanations are "Ingenious. Quite ingenious. But a little far fetched. No, I prefer to think the whole thing, as I say, has something to do with the fourth dimension. I am convinced that that is the true explanation, if our minds can only grasp it"

  • This is another edition of "What's the point".
  • Given the talk about blacks and crime, doesnt the number of blacks in the US Marshals' most wanted  look a bit odd?
  • Reading Kipling on America. Theres a bit near the end on American journalism - in the chapter on America's Defenceless Coasts where a journo says "There is no domestic privacy in America. If there was, what the deuce would the papers do?". Kipling is outraged by the story the journalist tells him - and tells him "It makes me regard your interesting nation with the same shuddering curiosity that I should bestow on a Pappan cannibal chewing the scalp off his mother’s skull. Does that convey any idea to your mind? It makes me regard the whole pack of you as heathens—real heathens—not the sort you send missions to—creatures of another flesh and blood. You ought to have been shot, not dead, but through the stomach, for your share in the scandalous business, and the thing you call your newspaper ought to have been sacked by the mob, and the managing proprietor hanged."
    I wonder how he would react now, to the octomoms and Real Housewives and Jon and Kate and all the rest - not just in America, but all around the world. I wonder how he would feel if he saw the "Deccan Chronicle" or the Times of India for that matter... 

Friday, 29 May 2009


There are millions of blogs out there. Some very good with established communities. Some are part of larger organizations - newspapers, magazines etc. Many of them are maintained by people whose main or secondary profession is writing. And then there are blogs maintained by people who use it like facebook - posting links, telling others what they are doing and posting frikking pet photos.
And then there are blogs like this one. With one or two entries, created in an initial rush of enthusiasm that dissipates within a couple of days. If I am lucky, this may make it beyond that - and maybe even become "precious" and "self-consciously clever" to quote a guy who knows about these things
The thing is - the excuse of self expression covers a multitude of sins. It kind of pre-supposes that your self has something to express - and that that something is of interest to others, more than any of the many other things one emits.
I took a look at some of the most popular Indian blogs.  Atleast the first result of a Google search on the term "Best Blogs". Naturally there are blogs on a number of themes - CEO blogs, probably ghostwritten, tech blogs on programming and gadgetry, hobby blogs - photography, travel, music and dance and blogs by authors.
One thing about them. Their keepers are consistent. A minimum of three to four entries a week seems to override other factors like content and style. Thats not to say some of them aren't very good. They are.  Some of them have been very good - but have degenerated to a bunch of tweets.
So whats a guy with limited writing skills, an uninteresting life, all the activity of a couch potato watching Cartoon Network and a soul destroying job for which he has complete contempt to do?
Pollute the net further with more navel lint and toe jam.