Archive for December, 2008

The Literary Bug

December 30, 2008 Leave a comment
The idea of writing a story has been doing the rounds in my mind since quite some time – more than a year actually. It’s a fascinating concept – to actually create something out of the thoughts in your head. Last week I was just browsing the net to kill time, when I came across these two articles: 

    How To Write A Novel In 2 Months
    How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method

Now, neither am I planning to write “A Novel”, nor am I planning to write “A Novel in 2 Months”. What I do intend to do, is to write. What comes out of it – the coming months will see a novel.

Categories: Side Projects Tags: ,

Jim Morrison Speaketh

December 28, 2008 Leave a comment
As I was walking back home in the evening today, “An American Prayer” started playing in my head… It’s a lovely piece, and my most favorite part of it is “A Feast of Friends/The Severed Garden”.

However, today, my mind chose to concentrate on “The End”

    This is the end
    My only friend, the end
    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes

Was he a genius, or was he a GENIUS?

The Traveler

December 24, 2008 Leave a comment
“He should be endowed with an active, indefatigable vigor of mind and body, which can… support, with a careless smile, every hardship of the road, the weather, or the inn.”

    – Edward Gibbon (1760) on the qualifications for a traveler

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    – Mark Twain

Ash Nazg

December 17, 2008 Leave a comment

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

    – Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror

The Right Side

December 15, 2008 Leave a comment
When I passed out of college in 2000, one of my foremost goals was to buy a bike of my own. Earning money for the first time, a lot of it was spent in giving gifts to near & dear ones, and of course in enjoying the new-found financial independence. What this meant was that it was well into 2003 before I could keep aside sufficient money for the downpayment on the bike loan (My bike cost me 75k, so the downpayment was huge – at least it seemed so then).

While researching what bike to buy, I had considered the Thunderbird, but I didn’t like the silencer; I then settled on the Machismo. However, right when I decided to actually go to the showroom, Royal Enfield released a new model – the 2004 Elektra. The moment I set my eyes on it, I was hooked. The day I took delivery of my bike, I christened her “Kerrigan” (the first name’s Sarah). The best part is, the gears are on the right side – the classic Enfield design.

All too often, people speak to me of this – why did I choose a bike with gears on the “wrong” side. And I reply – hey, it’s your bike that has gears on the wrong side.

And now, that’s what happens when people speak to me of my age. “Hey, you are on the wrong side of 30 now!!” And I reply “No dude, it’s you who is on the wrong side; come and join us.”

Agreed – we wear 80’s style bootcuts & leather jackets; but hey, on the street who gets looked at in admiration? We are like our Bullets – Asphalt Hot, Retro Cool.

Identity Crisis

December 11, 2008 2 comments
A couple of years ago, me and my wife were at the InOrbit mall in Malad, Mumbai. An hour’s worth of walking had got my wife tired and me hungry, so we made our way to the food court. As my wife went scouting for a table to sit, I went up to the SubWay counter to get us Subs. While waiting for my turn, I overheard the people behind the counter speak among themselves in Marathi – my mothertongue. Naturally, when it was my turn to order, I started speaking in Marathi as well – detailing what I wanted and what I didn’t want.

To my side was a group of young people – out of college, but younger than me. From the looks of them, they were most probably Software people; yet their accented English and forced gestures made me doubt “BPO”.

The moment they heard me speaking in Marathi, their expressions changed – they were apalled, and they couldn’t hide it. Something to the tune of “how can this person NOT speak in English? Doesn’t he know how to speak English?” I could see the smirks on their faces, and sense the condenscending attitude. I just smiled to myself, paid the money and walked back to join my wife. Between bites of bread & veggies, we spoke of this incident.

It seems that the youth in India looks up to the West for everything. In my opinion, it’s not bad if you like some other culture and imbibe some if its elements in appreciation. What I dislike though, is if you feel that your own culture, your own roots are below-par. Yes, in today’s globalized world, it is extremely important to speak at least one foreign language; it is equally important to know how to mingle and deal with foreigners – but it should not be at the cost of ridiculing your identity.

My father worked in a bank, and whenever I would visit his office, I would see plaques saying

आप हिन्दी में बात करें, हमें प्रसन्नता होगी।
I am proud to speak in Marathi, Hindi or Gujarati, and converse in English only when I absolutely have to. Are you proud of your heritage too? I sincerely hope so…
Categories: Everything Else Tags: ,

The Lure of Metal

December 4, 2008 1 comment

The other day I got talking about Heavy Metal songs. Yes, there are the black sheep and the “shock therapy” acts; but the better bands’ songs have meaning to them. Don’t believe me? Well… I’m sure you have heard the following lines from Coleridge’s poem:

Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

Well, I’ve heard the same lines too, albeit in a metal song – “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”.

This was sung by my favorite metal act – Iron Maiden (though I also love Metallica, Sabbath, Children of Bodom & Motorhead). Between them, they sing about Mythology, Literature, History, Movies, Social Commentary, War & Drugs (against the last two of course). Here’s a sampling:

To Tame A Land: About Herbert Frank’s acclaimed “Dune” series

Stranger In A Strange Land: Arctic Exploration

Two Minutes To Midnight: The Doomsday Clock

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner: Allan Sillitoe’s short story by the same name

The Flight Of Icarus: Icarus’ Flight, adapted to Teenage Rebellion

Ride The Lightning: Capital Punishment

War Pigs, One: Against War

Run To The Hills: European Conquest of America

Aces High: The Battle Of Britain

My Favorites, though, are:

Harvester Of Sorrow, Master Of Puppets: Drug Abuse

“Master of Puppets I’m pulling your strings”

Out Of The Silent Planet: Forbidden Planet(1956 Sci-Fi Movie, a must watch)

“Deserted by the hand of Gods of your own creation”

    (you’ll need to see the movie to appreciate this one)

Brave New World:Orwell’s 1984 & Huxley’s Brave New World

“What you see is not real, those who know will not tell
All is lost sold your souls to this brave new world”

So, the next time you find someone violently shaking his head and playing a guitar in thin air, wipe that smirk off your face. He’s a metal-head, and this is how we worship.

Headbanging and Metal

    That’s how we were raised

Maiden and Priest

    Were the Gods we praised
Categories: Everything Else Tags: ,