Saturday, September 03, 2005

Notes on the news

Exactly one year ago, far away in Russia, in a town named Beslan, agitating for the right to self-determination for their province, against repression and injustice, a handful of men took hostage a school-full of children, strapping bombs all over the place and around the kids. Somewhere amidst the stridency of the demands, the self-righteousness of the government, the edginess of the negotiators, patience ran out. Commandos invaded the fortified school, the men opened fire, the faces of children splattered in blood, a cruel dance of death lay waste victims, martyrs, monsters. The death of a few hundred children caught the world’s attention, yielded incredible images for the news bulletins. A little child faint in a commando’s arms, teachers rushing into the rain of bullets to pull away any of the frantic children, parents beating to death one of the hostage-takers who had rushed out of the building now erupting in flames. If you saw it, you would gasp, wince, choke.

Yesterday morning, BBC radio news had a piece on Beslan. After telling us of the new school building with all modern facilities like an up-to-date computer centre, the reporter speaks to one of the children who survived, one who survived the fear, the pain and the memories:

‘What do you feel when you think about that day?’

‘If my pain were to be measured in volts, it would be,’ she chokes, ‘nine-hundred-million-volts.’

Two months ago, the pogroms and bloodbaths that accompanied the re-drawing of maps of the Balkans, were far from forgotten. But a television station refused to let old perpetrators feign their peace. It audaciously broadcast at prime time a tape it had found – a recording of the cold-blooded killing of a few men: men in army-fatigues unload these men, their arms cuffed behind their backs, march them to a convenient spot, and shoot them one by one. The cameraman is walking amongst the killers – he is not hiding. What is remarkable is that none of the victims struggle; months of war have rubbed the futility of panic or pleading into them.

As the tape was broadcast, an old woman was settling down to her evening’s lonely gaze into the television. She couldn’t follow what was going on. The camera panned to a face, a bullet would pierce into the head, just above the ear, then a dull thud. Then to another face. Suddenly she sits up. The photograph on top of the TV is that of the face in the TV. At the precise moment she realizes that it is her son, missing for so many years, on the TV, the face winces, another thud.

Man turning on man. The victims of passion, and let us not forget, of ideas. Freedom, religion, communism, and so many more. Who was responsible for more human deaths than anyone else in history? The answer, I read today, is Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao of China. A monster? An idealist. The passion of ideas may cloud men’s minds so dangerously, that they lose all perspective. Is that idea worth this cost? Some never stop to consider. Hitler thought himself an idealist, Pol Pot attempted to create a rural Utopia.

That is why your idea is as good as mine. If what I say refutes what you say solely because it is what I say, and not because of its soundness, then there’s a problem.

Religion, philosophy, art, indeed civilization, are just modes of communication. I think this, you think that, they say this, she wrote that: now what are we to do? To stick to your own idea as gospel truth is to deny civilization itself. Humanity’s attempt at understanding Truth comes closest to success through a communion of minds. Together we work at this jigsaw puzzle of the human predicament, try to stay alive, find some fun. What more do we want? And who wants to send 900,000,000 volts through a child’s heart?

Postscript (source: Time magazine):

Emperor Hirohito was the titular head of Japan during World War II. Interrupting the conference that decided to wage war on the US, this reluctant warmonger recited a poem that his grandfather Meiji had once written in similar circumstances:
Though I consider the surrounding seas as my brothers
Why is it that the waves should rise so high?

It was an oblique call for restraint.

Three years later, after atomic bombs and fire-bombings, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender with these words:
‘We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.’

Monday, August 29, 2005

Whew. That was frantic. Just handed over to the courier a few reports that were already too late last week. Had thought to complete them during that much-anticipated three-day weekend. But immersed myself in books – and drowned. Woke up with a hangover today morning.

Sophocles’ Ajax, Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, Milton’s Samson Agonistes: O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon… – Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him / Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves…(Just two lines from Milton’s play: either has inspired the title of well known books – Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, Aldous Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza.)

Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw is one of the most gripping things I ever remember reading – a rich, suggestive, puzzle of a book – Poe and poetry…. It has been called the greatest ghost story ever penned; it is said to have inspired more commentary and discussion than Joyce’s Ulysses!

Sunday I spent with a collection of 20th century short stories edited by Clifton Fadiman. A treasure inspiring fascinating discoveries. Stunners like Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Babylon Revisited’, my first piece by Jorge Luis Borges – a tantalizing ‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’. The same collection had earlier offered me Kafka’s unforgettable ‘In the Penal Colony’. And I’m through only a quarter of this almost 900-page volume.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Went shopping for books last week – used books. The bounty:

1. The Complete Plays of Sophocles
2. Parallel Lives (Selections) (2 vol), Plutarch
3. The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha
4. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
5. The Ethics and Selected Letters, Baruch Spinoza
6. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
7. The Turn of the Screw & Daisy Miller, Henry James
8. Eight Great Comedies
9. Swann’s Way (Part 1 of 7 of Remembrance of Things Past), Marcel Proust
10. Ulysses, James Joyce
11. ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound
12. The Waning of the Middle Ages, J Huizinga
13. A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
14. Catch 22, Joseph Heller
15. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

All for Rs 620. Bargain. [Understatement.]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Came across this during my last visit to Eloor lending library. Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

In 1634 Urbain Grandier, a handsome and successful seducer of women and priest of the parish of Loudun, was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake. He had been found guilty of being in league with the devil and seducing an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Huxley’s vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

‘When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical may be madness. To surrender dreams, this may be madness. To seek treasures where there is only trash… Too much sanity may be madness, and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.’
- Miguel De Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha

In 2002, around 100 well-known authors from 54 countries voted for the ‘most meaningful book of all time’ in a poll organised by editors at the Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo. Miguel de Cervantes’ tale of misguided heroism gained 50% more votes than any other book. ‘If there is one novel you should read before you die, it is Don Quixote,’ the Nigerian author Ben Okri said.

Here’s the full list of the 100 best works of fiction, as selected by them, alphabetically by author.
slq sll

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Still Life 2005
software: AliasWavefront Maya

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Landescape 2003

Softwares:AliasWavefront Maya


Landscape 2003
Softwares:AliasWavefront Maya, Photoshop

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I was just going through my old works, and this was one of my favourite stilllife.

apples and pots 2003:
Software: Alias Wavefront Maya

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The pimp pressed a switch on the wall and an irritating ring like that ofa fire alarm is heard. Beyond the violet and dirty chinese silk curtainsome movements could be sensed.The pimp slipped his head into the curtain and said something in marathi,then came back with a reassuring smile.Slowly the girlsstarted to come,one by one,and stood against the wall. The pimp pressed anotherswitch on the wall and a harsh thousand watt bulb came into life, making the girls squint, which made them look vulnerable even in their gaudy makeup.Few of them tried to look attractive, so they smiled with their bright redlips.Rest of them look bored, and they looked elsewhere. The pimp now came to each customer and asked them to point out the ones they want. One of them pointed out a girl, other two mentioned the colour of the cloth the girls of their choice were wearing. Once the selection is over the pimp told the girls to go and follows them behind the curtain. Now the room is empty except for a dirty fish tank in the corner of the room.Inside its green murkiness a large fish could be seen swimming in a circle. Almost like chasing its own tail.Then a beautiful bangled hand comes out of the curtain and switch of the hot bulb.Blue light prevails.


A young wealthy looking man is buying cigarretes from a rickey old shop.
A street dog sniff at his feet. he looks at the dog lovingly and buys a
packet of biscuit, tear open the pack and drop the biscuits on the curb and
walks off. The dog sniff at the biscuits. Suddenly a wrinkled up old woman
climbs out of the shop and shove the dog away, picks up all the biscuits and
climb back into the shop.The dog look puzzled at the shop and then at me, the

One day, when I was in class seven our young Maths teacher was talking about logic.
To illustrate his point he said
God is love
Love is blind
God is blind.
Even though I was a hardboiled Catholic at that time, I was impressed by the power of logic to prove god is blind. Later in my late teens I met philosophy and found logic in its finest form there. So, if I go back to the exercise of making the god blind now, I have to face the impossible task of defining god and love. So it is not only logic but but also words and statements with concrete meaning that philosophy wants. Philosophy stays away from ambiguity. It demands clarity and exactness. Over the years philosophy has been considered dry and unpoetic. On the contrary, philosophy is the poetry of unshakable truth, as beautiful and as unbreakable as a Diamond.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

For those of us who enjoy this kind of thing:


(November 2003)


Saturday, July 23, 2005

… … …

Yup, you were right, […]. I’m stuck with work. And thankfully far from ‘blackmoodseason’. Can’t say I’m enjoying it, though. Still, it pays the bills—and so I can’t file for divorce just yet.

Prior to last week, the modem at home was out of order for a long time, and so I was hardly on the net. Before that, and last week, I signed into Blogger quite frequently, but only for some techie fiddling. That’s something I enjoy, strangely, and what with all the frequent changes on Blogger, there’s a lot to engage me. That’s me alright—bothering about style and technique with no content whatsoever to show for it.

Anyway the agenda has a website for my brother and another one I have offered to provide for the Association of Former Students of Sociology of the Sacred Heart College, alma mater. A couple of months back, I uncharacteristically accepted an invitation to a get-together, and ended up as a member of the ‘executive committee’. My contribution at the brain-storming session was this website. I have a lot of ideas for the site, but resources of all kinds are suspect….

Apart from work, I have also applied for the entrance exams to the IIMs, and also a couple of competitive exams—Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner, and Administrative Officer at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Been a while since I have attempted any exams, but of late I’ve been gaining in confidence on that count…. November-December is exam season.

A few weeks back, the first ‘Cochin International Film Festival’ was arranged by the Cochin Film Society. A couple of months back I, along with […], had met Varghese Mathew, the secretary, to discuss the arrangements, and Mr Varghese had been insistent that I should attend. I told him to tempt me with the fare. I had felt he would succeed when I read early reports that mentioned a retrospective of Robert Bresson’s films. However, the schedule publicised on the eve of the festival did not have this item, and nothing else was tempting enough…. Last month saw another festival at Thrissur, and though I am not sure if all the presentations were theatrical, the list of classics shown there was lip-smacking stuff. But work….

… … …


… … …


Work is going on as usual. I’ve transformed into a serious manager, and been reading the Manual with a vengeance. Trying to implement correct procedure as laid down, and been facing opposition from the staff on some counts. Though our relationship is not as cosy as it used to be, it’s still not bad. But I’m gaining in confidence everyday. Still, new puzzles crop up everyday. […] None of the new instructions can be found in my office. Nevertheless, office-work has become more interesting. But the trip home may take away some of the momentum.


Hello […].

Chanced upon your email address in the drift of mundane sensations and thought I’d drop you a line, if only because the name […] caught my warped attention for reasons I suspect I may be wrong about. […]

Drop by at the Salon weblog, for questionable ramblings on the colour of the present as remembered.


Anyway, pardon the audacity of a total stranger. It may only be due to the intoxication of a quixotic disposition that may be ephemeral. If this intrusion is disagreeable, silent indifference is suggested as a remedy.

Regards from this end of the wire,

~ Clement

… … …

The time is 7.10 pm. It’s getting dark outside.
Somebody is smoking in the café here and it is irritating me. Somebody’s chatting away interminably and that is getting on my nerves.
I woke up yesterday night at 1.20 am and fell back asleep only at around 3.30. Maybe I’m sick. No; I AM sick. Only, I don’t run a temperature.
I wish I could type faster.
[…] I’m spending money faster than I’ve ever done in my life.
I have so many things to do, I don’t know where to start.
My cassette player stopped working, and I got it back only yesterday, after a week.
I’m wearing my last pair of washed clothes.
My bills of three months back are not yet settled (that’s office talk).
I hate my work, but I wish I could concentrate better on it.
I hope I fall asleep as soon as I lie down at 10 pm tonight.
I want to take a couple of days’ leave but I want to save it for coming home.
The lady here asks me when I’ll finish. I say I’ll get up when I get up.

[…] If you see me waving, it’s because I’m drowning, not because I’m jumping with joy. You can't ask a drowning man to whistle.


How’s your life doing? (And never mind the Mayamohinis. You can do without them and they can do without you… well, at least for the time being.) Hope you are happy. Hope you’re doing better than me.

Tell […] I’m fighting the good fight here.

All the best to you.

Love, prayers, etc,


(I feel like I haven’t said enough. But I can’t think of anything right now. Ever get the feeling that your mind is suffocating?)


Just arrived back from the Wilderness. No email, no telephone there. Fought many demons; danced with many witches. Won a few battles; ran away from many. Still nursing my wounds and jumping away from shadows. Thought I’d mail you before I’m dragged back again.


Bye for now. Do mail—I promise to reply, once I get a break from these Shadows.




As for Valentine’s Day, I was reminded of it this year when my 55 year old colleague said, ‘Here, have some sweets. I’ve completed 30 years of service […] today. I joined on Valentine’s Day, 1972.’ As you can see things are quite normal here, just the way they used to be.



As for myself, I’m a cinephile. By day, I’m a government servant. Working in Pune at present, but trying to get transferred home to Kochi. Then I may renew my attempt to become a lecturer in English literature, or maybe write the Civil Services exam, or try film-scripting with my film society chums, or maybe lock myself up in my room with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, or go away to Varanasi to meditate and reflect…. You get the point, right?

What films have excited you recently? The Lord of the Rings was something of a disappointment for me. Technically dazzling, of course, but it didn’t seem to me to have much of plot. Seemed to me, like someone said, one swordfight after another… and as if to underline the absence of a plot, it lacked an ending too. Yes, I do realize that it is because the story is to be continued in the next two instalments in the series. So I suppose we can only really evaluate it after the final instalment is released.

One recent film I enjoyed was John Dahl’s Joy Ride. What a ride that was! Reminded me of John Carpenter’s studies in directorial virtuosity. More than being a drawback, the implausible plot seems a deliberate ploy on Dahl’s part in order to prove how good a director he is. His only message in the film seems to be that film is a director’s medium. He masterfully builds suspense that works up to a terrific climax. The good acting by the youthful cast is a pleasant surprise for those of us jaded by memories of the amateurism that is almost de rigueur for this genre of films. Of course, this is only the cinematic equivalent of pulp fiction; but the enlightened realize the value of that derided thing too. There’s no pleasure you need feel guilty about!


Hi there!
Boy, was that a surprise! You know, I had sent you a mail I guess more than a year ago. I had begun to wonder if you had kicked the bucket or something. Then I thought it was the bloody pessimist in me—maybe you had just lost your email password. Anyway, really, really nice to know you’re alive and kicking and mailing.

So? How’s life treating you? Where are you? What are you up to? What have been the highlights of the last one year?


Me and a friend have started a weblog, which has been online for about a month now. […]

[…] Congrats on your entry into Motherhood! Oh dear, have you grown up now! […]


Kind of Blue, isn’t Vincent? Pain, ecstasy and insomnia too maybe.

[…] it’s getting better all the time. Or else I’ve deluded myself into believing that.

[…] Domestic bliss. Sort of scares me.

Hope you ride the new year well. All the best.

Fevered gibberish and slapstick musings laced with delirium and frequent incomprehensibility can be found at the not-so-celebrated Salon weblog, at the address:

See you there. Keep your eyes on the road—the lamp-post’s not going to move out of your way.



… … …

[…] As they say, you can kick a friend in the arse and still expect a kiss in return…

[…] Trying to make life more interesting—thinking about learning music; taking the IAS exams, and/or the lectureship test; maybe write a book, or a script; maybe get into amateur astronomy, ornithology seems even more promising; learn kung fu, or cooking; grow a beard or go to the moon.

As you may have realized, I’m not feeling quite all right now. So until next time…bye.


Dear […],

It’s me again. Long, long time, eh? Just putting pen to paper. No idea what I want to say. Let’s see what I end up saying.

Time is 2102 hrs. Date: 14/3/01. Song going on is ‘So Much Things To Say’—‘I will forget no way/ the crucified Jesus Christ,’ sings Bob Marley. No kidding, really. The album is called Exodus. Time Magazine called it the best popular music album of the 20th century.

[Writer’s block.] Or maybe I’m just fed up being stupid.

All right, […], how’s life? I suppose the Sun has set by now in […]. Does darkness make your heart heavy? Hope not.

Maybe I should put off Marley and play something instrumental. His words poke their noses into my mind.

All right, I’ll just reduce the volume: ‘Jammin’ in the name of the Lord…’—this is another Bob I admire: Bob Dylan, Bob de Niro,….

Okay, so do you think my letters are usually pointless? Nevermind. But Kurt Cobain suicided, didn’t he? ‘Enough faking,’ his note said. I heard an album by his wife’s rock group Hole, called Live Through This. But the poor chap didn’t take the advice.

Side A has finished. I put off the tape. Last thing Bob said was, ‘Don’t worry about a thing.’ Song was named ‘Three Little Birds’. Next Vladimir Ashkenazy plays Frederic Chopin, the ‘poet of the piano’. Quiet and melodious. Okay.

I had gone home for three weeks. Returned only 2 days back. Was fun back home. I love home.

I haven’t checked my email for a long time now. I wonder if you’ve mailed me in the meantime. I don’t think you have. I’ll see when I go to the net café to mail this letter. Maybe tomorrow.

Had been to Mumbai for training. 2 weeks early last month. In Colaba. Could see the Gateway of India from our balcony. Nice place—Colaba. Old buildings, old trees. But the Gateway’s nothing special. Saw Mumbai, the city, in all its glory, its filth—saw flashy cars and gaudy prostitutes. Saw Ratan Tata driving by in a Honda City. He looked like a chauffeur.

Bought many music tapes from Mumbai—Bob Marley, Massive Attack, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Hole, P J Harvey, Dr Dre (disgusting), Bjork, Wynton Marsalis, Cream, Lou Reed….

Saw four films there—Men of Honor, with de Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr, Red Planet, Run, Lola, Run (German) and Remember the Titans, with Denzel Washington. The German film was the most interesting. It began with a quote from T S Eliot’s Four Quartets….

Ashkenazy is playing furiously. How many fingers can a man have? There is a film called Fingers, in which Harvey Keitel plays a wannabe pianist whose father is a gangster who forces him to ‘recover’ money from people. […] I also want to learn to play the piano. May join for classes. I may also write the lectureship test, maybe the IAS exams too. Or maybe I should work on the script my friend in Kochi wants me to complete. There is also a lot of abandoned ‘poetry’ in bits of paper strewn all through two boxes kept in my room. If I could complete one story, maybe I could send it to that Asian Age short story competition. But I just don’t know how to get my ‘hero’ to jump from the bridge into the water. He’s been waiting at the Venduruthy bridge for almost two years now….

16/3/01 0930 hrs

My only companion in this room right now is […], a man with the Holy Spirit inside him. A man of god who looks like old Lucifer himself. Like Mephistopheles showing Faust the road to damnation, he is coaxing me on to the road to salvation. I haven’t yet made before him my statement of faith. Wonder how he’d react if I did. He keeps saying funny things and overinterprets the Bible wildly. He says the End is nigh—the ‘digital age’ he says is the gateway to the rule of 666, the Devil’s own number. He has also made many original discoveries—like that man has XX chromosomes because he is wholly made from God, while women have XY chromosomes because she is half of God (X) and half of man (Y). Do you remember your Biology classes […]?

[…] looks up from today’s Times of India and tells me that a 45-year-old Malayali in Mumbai suicided after killing his two minor daughters. Unemployment. […] shakes his head in pity.

Today’s paper told me that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has released. It had received rave reviews. Time Mag’s ‘best film of 2000’. (Chicken Run was runner-up.) So today at 7 pm I’ll be in my seat at Vijay, a cinema theatre I like because it shows films without an interval. I saw Unbreakable there, which I thought was a wonderful film—better than Shyamalan’s earlier The Sixth Sense, which I felt was over-rated.

And by the way […], on my way back from home, in the train, I did something that surprised me. I walked up to two girls who were in the same compartment, introduced myself and chatted away for hours on end. Two nice girls—Anu and Rose Mary—studying BSc Nursing at Gulbarga. Rose Mary was a lovely Anglo-Indian; while Anu was the intelligent type (M T Vasudevan Nair is her favourite writer). Rose likes Salman Khan; Anu looked plain. Between the two, a difficult choice. Same old dilemma for me. Rose said it was like talking to her grandfather. Nice compliment, eh?

1318 hrs
So what have you been up to? Finished Durant? I wept when I read of Nietzsche losing his mind. Madness is so terrible, yet so right. And old Schopenhauer. Philosophy is a disease. Man has not been made to think. He has been made to have sex. Really. Thinking is an aberration, at least thinking about the ‘ultimate’ things. And philosophy does not seem to aid so much in living life. Like John Lennon said, ‘Life is what happens to you when you are thinking about what you should be doing with life.’ I wonder how much really is in our own hands. How free is our ‘free will’? Blah, blah, blah….

Outside this room, I can hear doors creaking open. They really should oil those hinges. Women, men speaking. A cryptic Marathi tongue. Outside this window is a new hospital that has been waiting for its inauguration for the last two years.


‘So much things to say…’

Somebody said a work of art is never completed, it is only abandoned at a certain point. I think the same is true of a letter, a conversation, a philosophy…. So…the end.

But after the end comes the postscript, right? Really, we human beings have some very bad habits.


I feel like a marooned man sending out a message in a bottle.



As for me, my life is not as exciting as yours. Valentine’s day? Didn’t even notice it. Only realized it took place when I read about the Hindutva brigade’s antics in the next day’s newspaper. Hey, by the way, met any of my type of girls there? She should read Shakespeare, watch Kurosawa’s films and of course be very pretty and nice and sweet and lovely and irresistible and gentle and…. You may relax a few of the above conditions—but you would know my type I suppose eh?


Dear […],

I seem to begin every letter I mail with an apology. ‘Sorry for replying so late’, ‘Sorry for never writing’, etc. But bad habits die hard, and I’m not too keen on killing, be it a habit or whatever. Anyway, struggling to change. Anyway, sorry. It’s like Bob Dylan sang on ‘Restless Farewell’: ‘…to remain as friends/ one needs the time to make amends; / but because my feet are now fast/ and point away from the past….’ Still, to forgive is divine….

I was in Kolhapur when I turned 25. It’s been almost two months now since then. So many things have happened. Every day changes one so much, doesn’t it? I’m all charged up now. It’s like I’ve already lived one third of my life. And I’m still a child. I’ve been looking around for so long. It’s now my time to make my choices and go out into the world to live. I’ve always felt that it’s best to live a student’s life—keeping an open mind. A student should always have a scientific temper, ie, he should be willing at any point of time whatsoever to change his beliefs, his outlook, his Weltanschauung, if he comes across an idea that is more convincing than the one he holds now. The problem with keeping an open mind is that one is never fully sure of anything. A closed mind is very sure; but it runs the risk of being wrong. How can one live without being sure? You can never make up your mind about anything. I’ve lived that life for years now. But now I feel that it’s beginning to wear me out. I mean that kind of a temper is difficult in practical life. And I’m beginning to feel more and more that life is a practical thing. I feel that today I’m changing into something I’d have looked at with contempt a few years back. To dislike the man in the mirror is a terrible thing. Even if the whole world disapproves of you, but the man living in your skin is your brother and best friend, you’re not unfortunate.

I’m fighting it though. ‘God and the Devil are fighting a furious war and the battleground is the heart of man.’ I think this one year is going to be the time that will decide it all for me. Let’s wait and see.

That much about the life of my soul. […]

Been writing a bit, but nothing finished yet. May take the UGC test in December, but I’ll decide only after I get back from home. Don’t think I’m taking it easy. You know what? I’ve even stopped going to films so that I can sort out a lot of the things I have to. I can’t change more than that. For almost the last ten years, that has been my strongest identity—that of a cineaste, a lover of the art of films. So, as you probably realize, this is the real thing—just me, myself and the mirror now—a face-off. Only time will tell in what shape I’ll get out of this.


Dear […],

Got your mail. Glad to know you are as crazy as always. Hold on to it brother.

I’ve not been checkng my mails for the last week because I was on tour in Chalisgaon, Dhule and Jalgaon. Got back today morning. Travel helps you realize it’s not just your neighbours—people are the same disgusting creatures wherever they live. Or maybe I’m not in a good frame of mind today. If truth changes with time, we, her lovers, are in trouble, aren’t we?

By the way, let me know your postal address (so that I can know your address and still not write?).

So how’s your world turning these days? As for me, well, I’m ok, I guess.

The only film I’ve seen after returning from Kochi is The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson. A good film about promises, obsession, truth and madness, based on a book by Friedrich Durrenmatt.

My mind I think is doing pretty good these days. I feel my character is changing. I’m becoming harder and tougher, I think. I don’t know if it has anything to do with my work […].

[The music in this café is atrocious. Disgusting and loud. It seems to be the kind of music only some twisted pervert would listen to, yet this is probably the most popular music in India today. Kids will learn to think they enjoy it by hearing grown-ups praise this kind of stuff. If the lyric was in a language I couldn’t understand, I would have thought the song was about the sex life of zombies or something. In the background there is the theme from Tim Burton’s Batman, though.]

Nowadays I exercise regularly, I brush my teeth twice a day, and I no longer have a moustache. Can you see where my life is going?

I’m still too busy for girls. What about you? Rose, Jasmine and Lilac?

‘A woman is like an elephant. Kind of interesting to look at, but I wouldn’t like to own one.’ – W C Fields (?).



As for me I’m still here in Pune. Bought some music for myself today. Saw Monsoon Wedding yesterday. A wonderful film—funny, touching, perceptive. I’ve cut down on my movie diet drastically though during the previous few months. Trying to row the boat of my life, rather than just to flow with the current. Trying to be diligent. Visited a library today after many days and browsed through the literature section. It was like meeting an old girlfriend after a long while and realizing why you were so deeply in love back then. Let me see if I can set that flame alight again. I want to badly, but there is so much to fight. Like Wordsworth said:
The world is too much with us:
Getting and spending we lay waste our lives…


Right then. Keep mailing. And keep smiling.



Fragments of Conversations: An Oblique Autobiography
Rummaging through the ‘Sent’ folder of my inbox
… … …
Dear […],

I wanted to write something longer than simply ‘hi’ or ‘hello’. That is why I did not reply sooner. Even now I do not have the time to sit down, think, and write something of any worth. One of my basic traits (lover of literature that I am) is that I value words more than most people do. Hence my reticence in throwing them away. Another thing to note would be the old saying, ‘A friend is someone you can be silent with’. Because words are used when there is some tension, some trouble. Because when everything is alright there is no need for any comforting, consoling, cajoling, complaining or carping. Because when you are at peace, all you need do is to wonder in silence at the beauty of it all…

Yesterday, I connected with something I had thought I had lost. At about half past ten at night I went up to the terrace and watched the sky. Gigantic clouds were hurrying south and in the spaces where the sky was not clouded I could see the beautiful stars arranged in mystic patterns smiling and winking at me. I smiled even though my heart ached to think how these same stars have beguiled men even thousands of years ago – how Socrates and Archimedes and the others (Did I ever tell you about my weakness for everything Greek?) have watched these very same constellations in this very same dance just like me tonight but are now farther away from me than those stars…

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.

– A song of the 1960’s.

[…] I was just beginning on a lyrical flight of incomprehensibility…

I’m closing this now with a prayer that even if you never get the meaning of the mystic astral dance may you learn to feel its beauty in the depth of your heart, because therein lies the essence of this throbbing life… Keats: ‘All Beauty is Truth, and Truth Beauty’. The greatest gift is the art of wonder…

The floor is coming closer and closer to me, and I’ve got to run. Ergo, no time to stop and think….
I’ve got a book of Hawthorne’s short stories, three plays by Shakespeare, an anthology of American literature and a collection of English poetry too, but I don’t feel like reading any of it. If this isn’t a disease, tell me what is.
The clock says 8:07 pm and I can hear the bloody thing’s heartbeat. And I know his heart will go on even after mine has stopped….
Wonder what you are doing now…. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know…you are reading this, right?

Have you heard the song ‘Dear Prudence’ by the Beatles? I don’t think you have. You should, you know, you really should listen to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and…who else – I forget.
My music system’s gone for repairs – aha, that explains my looniness.
Yes, partly….

So how you doing, kid?
Still having nightmares about work?
Say your prayers before you go to sleep, you hear?
Be a good girl, and them nightmares will fly away – Mama always said so.
Yesterday night I dreamed up a motorcycle chase and as my bike touched 120 kph the alarm rang, and I had to go for the brakes….

I stare at the computer screen and see myself spreading black cyber ink on this milk-white screen and feel like a sinner. Sin – yes, once a Catholic, always a sinner. And though we stuck up some poor guy on the cross two millenniums ago, Eve had eaten the apple and even God can’t change the past and we can only argue about what is right and what is wrong and the world still keeps going round and round, just like my head….

You still there, […]…?
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me [that’s from a Pink Floyd song].

Seen any film lately?
Read any book?
I fear you are becoming a bloody Philistine.
[Forgive the bloody’s I keep throwing around. It’s becoming a habit nowadays…]
I hate habits – I don’t drink tea; no coffee neither; no tobacco; nor alcohol…
But then what about books and films and etc and etc….

My my, hey, hey,
Rock and roll is here to stay,
It’s better to burn out
Than it is to fade away…

[for your info, Neil Young wrote that]
You know Neil Young? – interesting sort of punk…

How’s your world doing?
Spinning healthy?


Yesterday I saw a girl with no legs, at Kaloor bus stop – one of God’s little mischiefs, as they say…. A Tamilian girl begging, – she was pretty, her hair in pigtails and red ribbons which defied her condition – and almost everyone she asked for money gave something. Being too slow, she did not reach me or else I too would have had to calculate how many coins would bribe my soul to a cheeky peace…, counting the number of tears I can wipe today – the rest I’ll tomorrow, Sister…

Sister, Mother, Wife, Girl, Woman,
the answer to all questions, the beginning of all questions...

I can see no stars from this window, because of the clouds… In a while it’ll rain; Mother Nature’s caught a pretty bad cold…

Time for dinner –
And then to sleep:
Sleep, sweet sleep,
The balm of life –

To forget all in the embrace of Mother Night –
Night, night, tell me tale of weal or woe...

[…], tell me, don’t you think eternal ecstasy would get boring? Then here goes a prayer for those wallowing in Heaven…


Don’t be like me; I mean, do reply…

Truly, madly, deeply,

Yours higgledypiggledilylylylly


[…] here are a few lines I scribbled over the last week… Bye.


the neon happiness of the city streets
cannot free my spirit from the bondage of dejection’s chains

my soul batters its wings
like a butterfly wallowing in blood on a marble floor

my tongue is voiceless, my limbs are still
my marrow black and dry

laughter dies in my throat
the blood in my veins is cold

maimed and impotent
yet I yearn for the stars!

in the neon lights of the city
I search for the candle that will
light up the darkness in my soul

and too late I find pepsi cola
cannot wash the stains of sin
off my spotted heart

‘apocalypse metro’

when the drains of the city choke with blood
and carrion reeks on the roads

when vultures perch with hungry eyes
on the glass ceilings of shopping malls

when maggots wriggle out of the eyeballs
of carcasses dressed in Armani

and the rouge on the cheeks of scrubbed dames
turns green in the heat of the sun

then the bells in the metro’s churches
will toll for these days of neon and steel

from the rot of the cities will rise
the verdant foliage of a new forest

have you ever wondered why black is black
not white
but just black?
have you?
and why haven’t you?
because you think you are sane?
or are you?
but really?
think again

is every rainbow of the same colour?
all rainbows are of many colours, right?
see what i’m getting at?
don’t you?
but why?

lock yourself up in a room with five walls for company
if you have nothing there but the whiteness of these 5 walls
and just one tiny mirror to see yourself in
how much time would your sanity survive, my friend?

sanity is just a fly on the wall
it flies away for no reason at all
because black is just white with the lights off
and all you can do about it is to stare
and maybe even laugh sometimes
because it makes no difference: black or white

are you smiling my friend?
are you sure you are sane?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Back from mumbai...It was monsoon all the way. Write about that later.
Back home in kerala, monsoon honeymoon is over, people started singing 'rain rain go away"

Friday, July 15, 2005

At last Clement spoke and I am delighted.
Remember this is our dialogue. Dont make me feel like the voice in the wilderness.

I am leaving for mumbai and will be back on monday evening. My train is at 10 am. it is almost time for me to leave. I get almost 3 1\2 days for solid thinking and reading, during the to and fro journey. Moving train and dynamics of mind mmmmmmm...

A Reader’s Report

Since Fobsie’s posts have knocked my last one off the front page; since Fobsie’s always on asking what the heck I’m about, not turning up at Salon for so long; since the pale shadow of insomnia is lurking in the corner; since I feel too lazy to say anything for myself, here are a few excerpts from my reading over the last couple of months:

[Describing Leonardo’s ‘La Giaconda’, or ‘Mona Lisa’:] ‘All the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and moulded there, in that which they have of power to refine and make expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the mysticism of the Middle Age with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the Borgias. She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her as but the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.’
- Walter Pater, Studies in the History of the Renaissance

‘Who […] cares whether Mr Pater has put into the portrait of Mona Lisa something that Leonardo never dreamed of? The painter may have been merely the slave of an archaic smile, as some have fancied, but whenever I pass into the cool galleries of the Palace of the Louvre, and stand before that strange figure “set in its marble chair in that cirque of fantastic rocks, as in some faint light under sea,” I murmur to myself, “She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her as but the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.” And I say to my friend, “The presence that thus so strangely rose beside the waters is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years man had come to desire”; and he answers me, “Hers is the head upon which all ‘the ends of the world are come,’ and the eyelids are a little weary.”’
- excerpt of dialogue from Oscar Wilde’s The Critic as Artist

‘One walks the streets [of Paris] knowing that he is mad, possessed, because it is only too obvious that these cold, indifferent faces are the visages of one’s keepers. Here all boundaries fade away and the world reveals itself for the mad slaughterhouse that it is. The treadmill stretches away to infinitude, the hatches are closed down tight, logic runs rampant, with bloody cleaver flashing. The air is chill and stagnant, the language apocalyptic. Not an exit sign anywhere; no issue save death. A blind alley at the end of which is a scaffold. … The cradles of civilization are the putrid sinks of the world, the charnel house to which the stinking wombs confide their bloody packages of flesh and bone.’
- Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

‘As [the would-be knight errant Don Quixote] fails, again and again, on a progressively grander scale, each defeat is a greater indictment of what defeats him. … Even Sancho Panza, the solid peasant of the all-but-closed mind, discovers that to lift one’s eyes once to the vision is to spoil forever contentment with the mediocre. Don Quixote, who refused to see the world as nothing more than the dust and rags of its surface, is forced to recant, finally, and, as Menendez-Pidal puts it, “dies of the sadness of life on discovering that reality is inferior to him,” but only after he has become, for all time, the charismatic image of the human will to achieve.’
- Basil Busacca, on Cervantes’ Don Quixote

‘And may God deny you peace, but give you glory!’
- last line of Miguel de Unamuno’s The Tragic Sense of Life, which has been characterized as ‘the deification of Don Quixote’

‘Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times….’
- Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents

‘If the intellectuals in the plays of Chekhov who spent all their time guessing what would happen in twenty, thirty, or forty years had been told that in forty years interrogation by torture would be practiced in Russia; that prisoners would have their skulls squeezed by iron rings; that a human being would be lowered into an acid bath; that they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs; that a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the “secret brand”); that a man’s genitals would be slowly crushed under the toe of a jackboot; and that, in the luckiest possible circumstances, prisoners would be tortured by being kept from sleeping for a week, by thirst, and by being beaten to a bloody pulp, not one of Chekhov’s plays would have gotten to its end because all the heroes would have gone off to insane asylums.’
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Part I, Chapter 3: ‘The Interrogation’

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Matter cleaved and released enregy.Energy cleaved the matter.Matter cleaved and released enregy..............Chicken and egg situation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pierced my left ear. A wish cherished for the last fifteen years. Now my body's center of gravity is my left year.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Nearly a month in the new factory.Toonz. Its in technopark, trivandrum. beautiful place. the promoters of technopark claims that it is one of the greenest in the world. and it is true.
And I am thankful to the following people and things for making my life beautiful and comfortable during the last month.
My parents tomy and jesintha for making a good family
tomy for instilling in me the will to live and perpetuate
jesintha for morals and beauty
my sisters femin and fima
femin who told me to kill my enemies and go to jail like a proud man, instead of whining
fima the child i raised, now a mother, for her innocence and sweet advices
my wife sindhu for silently enduring this brute named fobsie,for her beauty and passionate love.
my daughters anna 3 for the giggles and anupama 1 for her toothless aggression
Rajesh nair for being my soul changathi in mumbai
Agastya kapoor alias Auggie for inspiration and attitude
my blogmate and a modest owner of a finest mind i have ever seen - Clement Antony. Its a joy to watch the way his mind works
sanju for saving me from destitution
sanju rajan who put me in a straight jacket and forced me to watch Vikrams Anniyan
tenny thomas for saving me from faceless aggressers
Geo jacob for power advices like... "We are here because of our sheer talent and hardwork, wereas these jackasses are there, thanks to their Degree certificate. Tell them to fuck off."
Ranjith menon for always saving me from bankruptsy
Ramesh K for his beautiful mural paintings and drawings.
Immanuel Kant for clearing my mind
Schopenhauer for clearing my doubts on my existence
Periyar (choorni) the river that sustains my land and my creativity.
pirates of the carrebian
Chaplin in modern times
will durrants story of philosophy
my moms fish curry meals
fimas cakes
sindhus fingers running thru my hair
sweetest mangoes i ever eaten from the tree that i planted
poet balachandran chullikad
Journey between ernakulam and thiruvananthapuram in KSRTC super fast bus
meterless autorickshaws
Autorickshaw drivers so eager to show you the best bars in Tvm
beautiful makeup-less mallu girls
Chattuli kannukal ( Harpoon eyes- phrase taken from mal film songs)
Kallum kappakkariyum from the toddyshops in allappey changanessery route.

thank you all

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Conscience, however, is not innate, but acquired; and varies with geography. It is the deposit, in the mind of the growing individual, of moral traditions of the group; through it society creates for itself an ally in the heart of its enemy- the naturally individualistic soul.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Thank you Sanju

Last three weeks I was with Sanju. We lived in the same Mansion back in Chennai 1999-2000.
Now he is in Thiruvananthapuram, working in a software company at Technopark. He invited me to stay with him till I get a house. Like all transition periods, last one month for me was like hell, closer to lifes realities, which are pure absurdities. My stay with Sanju was a calming experience. We had long talks about books, Stephen Hawkins, Malgudi Days, Johny Depp, Nevernever Land... We watched clippings of comedies in Malayalam films and laughed till we choked. Sanju looks matured and serious, but he still carries a childs qualities.
He made my life comfortable.
He is a very good man. The kind of people who are lesser in number now a days.
Girls if you are looking for a perfect match, I present to you Mr Sanju Nayar.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"Art is greater than science because the latter proceeds by laborious accumulation and cautious reasoning, while the former reaches its goal at once by intuition and presentation; science can get along with talent, but art requires genius."

"Of ten things that annoy us, nine would not be able to do so if we understood them thoroughly in their causes, and therefore knew their necessity and true nature."


our history

I mean the history of a piece of sand, locked by land and the sea, not so green belt of hills in the east and a mighty sea in the west. we call it Keralam. Kera = coconut, alam = land. Recently there has been a sudden awakening of a sense of history and belonging amoung the mallus, especially the ulakam chuttum (on the road) young ones like me. So what is our history is like.
Is it that 5000 years old blah blah blah harappa...mohanjadharo..mahabharahta... ram janmabhoomi....etc. How close are we to these things. did these things ever happened in our small 'pidi' ( pidi is a kerala shaped sweet made in my home on ash wednesday along with kozhukkatta) shaped land. I dont think so. How much of these have shaped the way we live, the way we build our homes, the way we do business, the we go about our jobs, the way we think. Kerala history is the story of assimilation. Studies have shown that we have been trading with different parts of the world even during the time of harappa and mohanjadaro.
Assyrians the pioneers in written word frequented our shores. mesopotomians, egyptions, may be jews at the time of moses, greeks and romans, every one with a business card came here.
They didnt just came and went. They were welcomed and were given land to establish there communities here. they mixed with our race. Made our blood impure, Ha Ha. we had christians even before rome became christian. When Pope tried to pull the Kerala christians into his papal province, and sent a ambassador on a ship to Kochi, our Kerala christians went to Mattanchery and made an oath over a cross, which proclaimed that they, nor the generations that come from them, will never recognize or respect papacy.It is called the koonan kurisu sathyam.
Our islam is one of the oldest in the world.The first mosque in india is in kerala.Muslims in kerala have one of the most unique islamic culture. Then we had jains and buddhist coming. they loved this place, because of its green calmness, which suited their way of thinking and living. They made their viharams on the hills, forests and where ever they were received. for a certain period of time buddism was our major religion. then there came sankaran from kalady, who thought this atheistic religion called buddism is going to throw us all into barabarian times. he believed, in a thought system and a ritualised way of living based on Vedas, that it should be the real religion of Keralam as well as the whole of bharatham. This man travelled all over india preaching his thought and established mats at key places. His call for old gods and rituals found many ears. Buddisms was replaced by a ritualistic religion. this was the time when mallus started to suffer the burden of that 5000 year old enterprise.
Chinese influence in our culture is the most obvious but the most negleted. Remember 'cheena vala', all the kerala tourism brochures have them. Cheena chatti for our Karimeen fry, cheena bharani for our mango pickle. Our hot selling Kathakalili is said have influences from chinese opera in its costume and style. All the major circus companies in India have its roots in Kerala especially north Kerala. It was the chinese who introduced circus in kerala thru the ports of north kerala. Then there was dutch, portugees and finally the brits.
After budduism left our land we converted their viharams into temples. we practised castism. No,we perfected it. Social reformers like Narayana guru and whole generation of people influenced by him, helped to reduce castism. The spread of education by christian missionaries made knowledge accessable all who was interested. Narayana guru's call to refuse all sorts of caste based thinking lead to the growth of communism in kerala. even though in a bad shape now, communist thought had altered the malayali psyche like no other.
All the above thing have shaped us, it made us into what we are. Not the cultural monolith the Vishva hindu parishat and likes, want us to believe.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I believe that my life has reached a point were I have to choose a different path, in order to move forward in life.I am planning to take up a job in kerala, with less salary than what I get now in mumbai. My reason for moving back is that,I dont feel like I belong to mumbai. I am totally outside its culture, which, for me is slow death. I realized that Kerala is were I belong. If there is anything I have to accomblish in this life , it is from Kerala. Only time will show the consequences of this decision.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I can hear the sounds of a river. I can feel the sand under my feet at Sivarathri ManaPuram.
If I close my eyes I can see the big Banyan hissing after swallowing the wind. There, in the middle of sand, sits Sivan, lonesome and eyes closed. Thousand cows graze at the edge of the river. The big river (Periyar) is green and is flowing seawards, throws a flirty glance at the silent one. No response. With a sigh she moves on.

I will be there soon. Swim in her green coolness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" : Oscar Wilde.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

one of my earliest poems. Almost eight years now.

Amoung the first written lines
were a viper coiled in anger
Its blunt head wounded
In place of faded words
silk glowed
in a snails track
words thrown out
hung strangled in the cobwebs
growing in the courtyard.
In the dark while I was humbled
over the crumbling paper
Inside the corroding pen
with vengence
the black scorpion of the ink.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Ridley Scott’s latest opus is on at Shenoys. That reminds me of the films I’ve watched over the last few months but didn’t find time to mention here.

The best of the lot has to be Martin Scorsese’s bio of Howard Hughes: The Aviator. Obsession, creativity, genius, madness, money and power are the big themes in this big film. The master director delivers a polished work. Scorsese is one the American filmmakers who takes pride in the grand filmmaking tradition of Hollywood, making no secret of his fascination for the glory days of Hollywood – the grand starry days of MGM and the other mega studios. Though his early oeuvre which established him as the most talented of the new generation of filmmakers in the seventies was marked by a rawness in radical contrast to the genteelness purveyed by the traditional Hollywood studios, Scorsese has now become an establishment figure in American cinema. In some ways, it appears that the rebel of yesteryears has come to be the fatherfigure of today. Thus, The Aviator exudes the characteristic qualities of a Hollywood product. Only, the master has shown how the system can still be used to produce films that has all the sparkle and magic of its earlier classic products – how an artist of integrity can produce a work of art not just in spite of the millions of dollars pumped in, but, does one dare say it, because of it.

This paradox enriches the experience of the film itself in that it is reflected in the narrative of how one man – whose motivations are fascinatingly complex – throws away money like garbage in order to realize his dreams, one of which is, again paradoxically, to make more money. Leonardo DiCaprio etches a surprisingly powerful portrait of the driven, eccentric Hughes. However, the standout performance among many splendid ones is that of Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn – effortless and charming, an inspired performance. It was also a pleasure watching old pro Alan Alda; and Kate Beckinsale is glowingly beautiful, all dolled-up and made-up old Hollywood style, as Ava Gardner.

Fobbin’s asked for comments to be enabled on Salon. That would be a momentous change for this li’l blog. Salon means a room. And that was what this place very much was for this long. Now it’s like we, who’ve been sitting in conversation by ourselves in the room, get up and throw open the windows, if not the door. New voices shall make themselves heard; perhaps new friends shall be discovered. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A booem that popped up today....

Jailbird's song

Three walls that bleeds
and an iron gate with long shadows
Keeps me here
amoung the rats and urea fumes.
you jingle the keys and say
your freedom is here.

I dont want your fucking freedom
freedom to run along the traffic
freedom to move from cubicle to cubicle
I ve renounced freedom
I would rather sit in this knotted bed
in the unmoving black steam
and perfect myself
my art
sharp my claws and my fangs
brew the black poison of my heart.
Every night before I go to rest
I see what I've made of myself
and say everything is fine.

I 'll be out to desrupt your freedom
derail your candy train dreams
shake your plastic trees.
I'll steal your gold , soil your women
My claws will bruise
the perfumed breasts of your trophies
Run, shit scared morons to your homes
and lock up the cunts you own.

I will kill your cronies and buddies

only the jingling keys around your neck

make you stand naked and alone
in the maddening eddies of my roar.
Then, shred by shred
I'll rip the skin of your goodness
till your black bones of sin are bare
I will expose you to the sun, moon
and the stars
They will cover their face in shame
seeing your real self
the child they raised from dirt.

Then I'll be back to were I belong
to the walls that bleeds from heaven
to the iron's careful shadows.

Hey Dottor

wha dis matter wid dis bloggah.
I writam one way an di bloggah shoam in di oddar way.
Plees make you do sumthin fo dis one, I beg.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

As a painter and a boooet I use my Intellect sparsely when I deal with art.

Ive always looked at art through my senses.
As I experience more art, my senses get educated( thats a bad word to use here)
and keen. So after some time I started to see that certain works of art dont impress my
senses. I started calling them bad art and the artist who make them bad artist. Some
cunning artists will look at good art of others and pick up some common styles and looks,
and imitate in their work. I call them pretenders. That is the worst you can become.

My art comes from my heart, from my guts and from my tissues. But what ever comes from
the heart, gut or tissue cannot be called art. It should be anointed and filled with the blood of truth. It should have the backbone of my life experiences as well as the experience accumulated by my senses which are processed and refined by the Intellect. Yes 'the intellect'. He is the
good friend of mine who helps me out to make good art.

some poeple have said that my art is ugly. These poeple will look at a gnarled tree trunk and say it is ugly. They will go to southern India and cry 'ugly!' when they see a coffee black, shirtless, sweating farmer. They will call their parents ugly when they are old and crumbled.

As always fobsie blooms in the scorching summer.
Booems are flowing. Scrap books are full of wannabe masterpieces. Like always, Picasso is my only guide. (My search for the last 16 years tells me without doubt, that in the last couple of centuries he is the one artist who could be addressed a master.)
I am saving to buy a scanner so that I can put some of my work in salon.

Absence of woman is killing me. It is affecting my art too. when working on a painting or a booem I become black. My words are black. Figures I draw turns black and they squirm inside my head in great suffering.

Yesterday I tried to draw a female nude from memory, but failed. I wanted to cry. I ran down to the nearest bar and drowned my sorrow in whisky , and slept. In sleep I Had several dreams
of women. Women who were in my life. women I never seen. When I woke up I was tired as if
I ran a marathon. But my heart was floating in the memories of sweet voices and warm lips.
Today I will draw again from my memory.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I must confess that I was drunk when I watched Page 3.

And may be like you said , I was ready for some entertainment,
Irrespective of its quality.

And about the quality of your language and the image of the writer it projects - It is good and It sounds scholarly. But it has a touch of dryness which is unlike the Clement in person. May be that is how you want it to be.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

It’s just that when some of us cineastes enter a cinema we have sometimes just about made up our minds to enjoy the experience – our antennas a bit weakened, just to delight the sensory system with that stream or burst of audiovisual. We are satisfied after that fix, no matter what it was we were fed. An appetite has been satiated.

This kind of experience is that of the child in the cinema. It is the sensory system that is delighted, not the intellect or the emotional self. We thrill to use our senses because we are programmed by evolution to use them – thus any sensation that does not induce flight from it is delightful.

In this state of semi-somnolence, the intellect can but take its cue from the felt delight and conclude as to the desirability of the total experience. Thus it is that every visit of the child to the cinema is one that he would cherish. Alas, however, it is not so with his adult fellows. The adult, if he deserves to be termed such, would have learnt to discern subtler pleasures in sources other that sensory gratification: contemplation and conversation.

Art aids the former, but is the latter. In his eagerness for experience, the adult seeks the more stimulating conversation – seeks for an intellect of keener comprehension, a mind of deeper emotion. This seeking is what we call criticism. In that this is an endeavour of assaying keenness, it calls for the reciprocation of the same quality in the effort, and therefore is not suited to those grudging of exertion.

Accidents in the history of human civilization have resulted in the substitution of Religion in place of Art for most of us. The pervasiveness of this phenomenon is perhaps attributable to the universality of laziness. Religion, to our relief, answers questions before they are asked; Art keeps beating about the bush. We refuse to accept the inscrutability of our being, preferring instead to cling on to phantom certainties.

…We got lost, didn’t we? What was the question again? Why do we think we enjoyed a bad flick? Oh, just the heat of the afternoon getting to us, or perhaps we find the cool darkness of the cinema a relief from the dross of the daily grind. When our selves are habituated to being smothered by the will of others, the lustre of our souls is dulled. In that gloom the seeker begins to forget….

So there you have it. A simple question, and I beat around the bush. Hey, you asked for it…

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Your observations are absolutely right.
Still Dont kill em like that Clement.

But I liked it. Is there any thing wrong with me doctor?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


All the hoopla about Madhur Bhandarkar’s Page 3 reveals the bankruptcy of film criticism in our country. Else it would have been pointed out much earlier for what it actually is—an intolerably hypocritical look at the morally bankrupt world of the socialites who people the parties of glitzy Mumbai. Posing as an exposé, it teases the audience with anecdotes from the seamier side of their lives.

I was reminded of the work of filmmakers like Ed Wood whose intention in making films on ‘serious issues’ like crime, perversion, et al is to revel in the portrayal of those very things. In such films there is a kind of complicity between the filmmaker and his audience in that both the production and consumption of the ‘social tract’ is assumed a worthy enterprise. All this may sound like a puritanical rant, but it’s just that I can’t stand the pretence. Pornography pretending to be nothing else—I have no quarrel against that. Just don’t call it art.

So the substance of the film is irretrievably compromised by the filmmaker’s dubious intentions (aided by the fact that the subject is a matter of too easy ridicule and satire). What can you say about a film in which the best, or most interesting, parts are the clichés—eg, the dilemmas of an honest police officer? What about the style? This could have been one of those films that is all style and no substance. But the filmmaking is amateurish and lacks polish. Just see how badly the look of the film compares with its own publicity posters.

Nevertheless, a lot of people seem to think that any Hindi film without the usual song and dance routines is a masterpiece. Ajit Duara wrote in The Hindu that we may be proud that a film like this can be made in our country. Admittedly, he called it a flawed work and was referring to the filmmaker’s courage in tackling the issues he did. What courage? To miss a few parties? He must have thrown one to celebrate the success of his new film.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

iman: how many women have you slept with so far in your life ?
uman:you mean fucked?
iman:yeah,How many have you slept with?
uman:I cant fuck when I sleep.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I saw three films recently.
1.Page three
2.Little terrorist
3.Udayananu Tharam

Page three is good.
Little terrorist is a Gem.
Udayananu tharam is sloppy.

The first thing I notice in any film is its casting.
Page three and Little Terrorist Have almost perfect casting.
Udayan is sloppy here too.
There is nothing special from Mohanlal and sreenivasan.
Meena gives an unexpected good performance.
Jagathy as always gives a good performance and as always overdid it at times. This happens with new or inexperienced directors. They dont
know where to put the boundary lines for the actors. They just explain the outline and let the act do the rest. The only actor who restrain himself and still gives the best , is the one and the only Thilakan.

In the last issue of Mathrubhoomi weekly there was an interview of Thilakan. Its seems he dont have any film after his trouble with
Actors organisation called Amma. There is a large lobby within the film field playing foul against him. This is pretty sad. We have with us one of the best actors in the world and we are playind dirty politics and deny films to him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Listomania continues….

From Robert McCrum and the gang at The Observer: The 100 greatest novels of all time! The centre of the world may be in La Mancha, España.

(I have read just 18 of the lot.)

And from the other critics

The alternative press’s choice of the year’s films, from Village Voice’s Take Six. Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset, Michel Gondry’s (and Charlie Kaufman’s) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lars von Trier’s Dogville are the top three.

Films from Taiwan, Iran and Senegal feature in the top ten, none from India anywhere in the list of 142 films.

Hi there. Been a while. As is becoming usual, eh? An eventful absence it was too.

Meanwhile, last year ended in a slam-bang tsunami that ensured that the vocabulary of a large part of the world’s population is enriched with at least one more word – albeit Japanese.

In celebration of the past year, here’s Time’s best and worst of the year. Zhang Yimou, Scorsese and Eastwood. There’s even Michael Mann’s Collateral, which, at a screening at Little Shenoys for a sparse audience, belied my enthusiasm for this American film maker. I found it stylish, obvious, clichéd and hollow.