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