Saturday, April 30, 2005

m.i.a. : arular

i am struggling with the relationship of personal history, pop and politics in m.i.a.'s 'arular'. maya arungalpasam - sri lankan, lesbian daughter of a tamil tiger moved to london with her mother via india escaping the violence of her homeland. she makes refugee mongrel music collaging hip hop, motorcycle sounds, bleeps, grinds, whines and anything else that she can find. like a rag-picker she works on the collage as a form with impurities everywhere even more than beck, perhaps with as much humour, but with a streak of violence.

it is this violence and its sources that I find fascinating. the album art (done by herself- she is a student of art) and her own persona appropriates terrorist imagery not only of the LTTE but also other images of violence- bombs, tanks, machine guns, aeroplanes. she mangles language, words- any form of articulation in spite of claiming an 'education'. ( "education is so important. i think especially if you are the other, then it's always good for you to know what people think about you.")

the debate rages everywhere on the internet on analyzing her relationship with the LTTE. after all she did name her album after the LTTE name of her father.

how much of yourself do you use for your art? isn't all art political? what happens when the art form is pop with its urge to categorize, commodify and consume?

many listeners are disappointed that the album has no overt 'messages' in the lyrics for us to be able to place her in a clear relationship with her past. does she hate it, love it, respect it, reject it?. it is this ambiguity that i think must be the albums greatest success. her identity is inherent in it. it is as 'truthful' as we are supposed to expect from a pop music of resistance.

with its eclectic sampling, propulsive maddening rhythms, the compulsive challenging phraseology, the album art work with her defiant stare at the camera-the music is simultaneously extremely personal and therefore political- and you cant stop yourself from dancing to it.

"If I represent anything, it's what it's like to be a civilian caught up in a war."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

more juries and some tv

today technical juries in college and it was a minefield of portfolios outside the design cell.. the jury composition is changing slowly- dont know what repercussions that is going to have on the results..

also mukul came back from berlin and amsterdam last night and i met him today. he has got me a nice lamp for the office that is going to find its place in between the two beds in the beer lounge.

saw 'remember the titans' on tv - a predictable true story with denzel washington playing the coach of a mixed race american football team. inspirational melodrama with a hackneyed plot. fallen heroes, male bonding, tough talk, yawn.

and then 'american idol' which has much worse singers than 'Indian idol'. the only ones i kind of can tolerate are the rocker dudes- bo and constantine- and that too not very much. its strange watching these leather clad supposed former alternative junkies turn on the sentimental glop that it is assumed to win the competition.

speaking of sentimental glop, i hear aishwarya rai is to be on oprah- a real match made in heaven. i can almost hear ash go "in our culture..." like its some exotic abstruse phenomenon unintelligible to american eyes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

the case against michael jackson

thanks you bahaar, thank you
for bringing this to my attention- this amazing phenomenon

'the case against michael jackson'

marvelous, fantastic.
i cant believe i am that entertained by it.
it reads like a sleaze portrait of the us of a..
a riot.

where else can you get headlines like:

The Telltale 'Splotch'

Former Neverland cook turned porno "authority" to testify that he saw Michael Jackson molest Macaulay Culkin at ranch

A late night vaseline demand, an "aroused" King of Pop, and a teenage boy in the bedroom

Comedian: Father of Jackson's accuser a louse, mother a mouse

'Urine Trouble'

Nation of Islam denies involvement with Jackson

Mother: Jackson plotted family's demise in hot air balloon

and more and more.. the party does not stop.

the details, the accusations- "The private world of Michael Jackson reveals that, instead of cookies and instead of milk, you can substitute wine, vodka and bourbon", the peter pan backdrop 'incident', playboy and hustler- no teenage boys, piggy back wearing only a towel, heard two locks click, the colour of swimming trunks 'side by side on the floor'.. a samsonite suitcase full of magazines featuring "barely legal" teens and '60s-era magazines depicting children at nudist camps.. the boy was taught to seduce celebrities, the chimpanzee holds the clue...
the list goes on and gets more and more graphic, more and more sordid.

it is too much for one mere post to handle

for more grossness (if you have the stomach for it) you can go to- CourtTV or The Smoking Gun

and if you are too embarrassed by these web sites - for the pretense of unbiased, non-sensationalistic reportage there's always CNN - as usual.

jury duty

home early from jury duty at the academy of architecture- completely disappointed with the work.. a 'rural' project meant to be created in the vernacular 'flavour' like it is some kind of a formula.. case studies of other sloping roofed buildings in mumbai were supposed to help them build more huts in valsad. vernacular flavour = sloping roofs and courtyards.. awful awful buildings.

but perhaps less oppressive than the 'convention centers' at sion which was their 'urban' project.. enormous, scale less.. the only exploration there after a design brief that even went so far that it specified the colour of the internal walls (off white) was in roof and plan shapes. there was only so much one could say- no wonder me and pitkar got done early.

miles and eons worse than the experience yesterday at d y patil where i quite honestly was not expecting much. a young dynamic faculty was willing to risk the university by allowing the students to develop programs and choose sites. the projects were an art gallery in vashi with 'porosity' as a key word and the rural project was in kutch where the students through site studies decided the exact program and site for a handicraft center.

the projects were all right enough- but the students were enthusiastic and interested. vidya, my co-juror and me had very interesting discussions with the kids- especially this guy called ashish- i dont know how many of you remember the daniel libeskind lecture in college- but ashish was the guy who attacked his royal libeskindness with the accusation of being a scavenger of death. his projects, caught up in the architectonic urge to formalness could also be accused of the same- but it was good to talk to him.

i must say that neelkanth, satyajit and his co-faculty were able to inspire the kids like i think we at krvia have forgotten to do. as i mentioned earlier in the blog- we have become completely safe- all excitement has dissipated..

we have become the Man of of the 'School of Rock' - we need someone to stick it to us.

get some youthful charisma and charm back into the school.. i take back all i ever said about the danger of heroes.

at least they can inspire us when we are young as long as we remember to grow out of them when we get older.

Monday, April 25, 2005

'school of rock'

the redemptive power of rock and roll - loud, silly and ridiculous but with the undying belief that 'one great rock show can change the world'.

dead poets society meets spinal tap.

richard linklater the man who makes philosophical talk-fests (before sunrise, waking life) and jack 'chubby and sexy' black inspring us to stick it to the Man.

the blackboard- read and learn.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

characters volume 2: meet mukul

avijit mukul kishore.. the man with three first names.. close friend and great cameraman..once from delhi then a ftii, pune graduate- and now a bombayite living in a tall building in borivili east with his brother and sister in law.

a favourite with every left leaning documentary film maker and visual artist in the city.. the latest experiment in video art? a film on aids? an experimental film on mumbai? must ask mukul..

adorable guy- just ask anyone who has met him. gentle, caring, responsible and sweet. the darling of all mothers who want sons-in-law just like him.

loves his food and drink- especially.... actually especially everything edible- as evidenced by his spherical self..

he has a ridiculous sense of humour that is annoyingly punny and can be shocking with its bawdiness.. even more shocking because it is spoken by this baby faced 'good boy'. a great manipulator of the power of image.. in more ways than one.

semi-celebrity even since he was in college- when he hosted a youth program on delhi doordarshan - which he has clips of but refuses to show absolutely anybody. though i have seen photos of a bespectacled, thinner and gawky boy sitting in front of a typical blue dd backdrop.

a 'radio announcer voice' that hosted a radio program on classical music (western) and my guide through the world of symphones and concertos, which he knows better than most.

teaches photography in college and is my teacher too- black and white developing and printing. the photo in my profile is courtesy him.. the guy manages to outdo me by clicking the only great photo in a roll in which i have desperately attempted to create masterpieces.

tarkovsky fan- another phenomenon that we enjoy together- fancy foreign art films.

terrible reader- claims he is dyslexic.. i think he is just lazy..

great singer- great ear for a tune- has to hear it just once to remember it for the rest of his life. though our singing classes on sunday mornings with my mother turned out to be a complete farce.

aficionado of hindi films and their music; is able to remember lyrics of obscure songs and give you the bio-data of the film maker in a thrice.

made a beautiful documentary about his parents 'snapshots from a family album' that i recommend to everyone to watch.

we speak every single day when he is in town- and mostly even when he is not- which is very often.

he couldnt wait for the next installment of the 'characters' series... wonder what he thinks of this one..

georgina maddox on mukul and his film in the 'indian express'

Friday, April 22, 2005

basic design and other happenings of the week.

theres been a colonization by strange objects all over the college building- again.. this time it’s the first year work.. here are a few images of the many weird interventions around the building.. including- some floating boxes, false columns that sway with the wind, wind chimes, tree roots that try to trip you, steps leading to nowhere, an inverted cone of light and many others..

subodh came for the jury along with shilpa gupta.. it was good to see him in college again- i really miss his madness and his ability to turn a carefully made model up side down and insist that it is better that way. i still remember kausha's bubbles all over the nashik ghats courtesy mr dhairyavan.

why have we all become so sane so suddenly? i guess it also comes from being stuck teaching senior years.. the dreaded 'university semesters'.

speaking of which- i go as external juror on monday and tuesday to other colleges for the first time.. lets see how that turns out.

the air conditioner got to the office this week along with the new chairs.. the ac promptly blew the wires out as soon as it was connected leaving us with no eletricity. repairs have to be done tomorrow. aaji insists on buying us a fridge and i cant decided what size.

meanwhile- i went and saw 'hazaaron khwaishen aisi' again with aaji, ranjit, mom, dad and madhavi mami yesterday.. still liked the film seeing it through the eyes of those whom it presented. mom loved the second half while dad had problems with its disjointed nature- he could not decide what the film was 'about'.

what is a portrait 'about'?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

two days

the last few days have brought to bear on my mind the reason why i keep the blog.. what is the purpose for it?.. it was meant to be a log of things that have happened in my life no matter how mundane, entertaining or terrible- for myself.

however, somewhere along the way the consciousness of the ‘reader’ began to take over .. not that that was a bad thing but i began to want to entertain or inform.. i guess that too inescapable.. the blog must therefore by its very nature swerve between these two extremes and find many more in-betweens.. this post is for the record- the diary.

exam hall

sunday was a day spent in college holding entrance examinations for entry into architecture school. utterly boring and extremely tiring.. terrible question papers leading to even worse responses from the poor students. i don’t think i want the students who do well in this examination to join our college.. so much to unlearn..

jude d’souza currently doing a fellowship in college lost his father on monday. ninad, aditya, ubaid, paul, pallavi and me attended the funeral service at vakola church and the burial at kalina cemetery. jude is the youngest of three brothers and looked devastated that day. i wished there was more that i could do, besides offering condolences.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

'hazaaron khwaishen aisi'

sorry babu for yet another post about a movie- but this one i could not let go of.. went and saw sudhir mishra’s ‘hazaaron khwaishen aisi’ today and i must say that i was and am completely stunned.

a film that is set in the time that i was born, during the emergency of the 70’s- around the intertwined lives of three characters, all dealing differently with the political climate of the time. the characters being- the daughter of a civil servant in delhi (chitrangda singh - who is probably one of the most beautiful women i have seen on the hindi screen),, siddarth- the naxalite son of a marxist judge (kay kay menon) and vikram (shiny ahuja) a small town middle class man who becomes a ‘fixer’ in the circles of the powerful.

i had seen half of the film in 2003 when sonal shah had sneaked a copy of the film to college until i destroyed the vcr by walking into the cables in the darkness of the av room.. and though i had loved the bit i had seen then i was expecting much less from the film today.

in spite of my initial reservations though i cant rave enough about the film.. compelling, serious and epic in proportions- the film explored so many complicated issues vital to our selves as indians unflinchingly and intelligently.. if ever there was a film that portrayed the machinations and tribulations of the development of the indian nation it must be this one.

so far removed from the fluff that passes as alternative cinema nowadays.

and so i must say that when shekhar kapur endorses the film as undoubtedly one of the best films to come out of india in recent times- he knows what he is talking about.

highly recommended.. please go see..

Friday, April 15, 2005

characters volume 1: meet my father

this the first in a series of sketches of people in my life and who have been spoken about in this blog- for the regular readers whom i hope exist... but more merely for the fun of it.

d. sundararajan.. my father.. an rf and microwave engineer from iit, madras and iisc bangalore which he still considers his home town to distance himself from his tamilian roots (to get away from jayalalitha and the emphatic melodrama that he tried to but hasn’t been able to get out of his blood.)

once a business man dealing in a variety of different electronic things and now a teacher and hero to many young men who have walked through our doors- including many who pretended to be my friends but actually were coming only to spend time with my dad.. i used to be jealous of him until i realized that i could use his charisma to become even more popular.

fabulous self deprecating sense of humor and story teller of many "‘once when i was in iisc… "‘ stories..

terrible singer (we cant decide whether it’s the off-key notes, the off beat rhythmn or just the terrible voice that mangles lyrics beyond comprehension (‘eena meena deeka’ is ‘living la vida loca’- sung with a groan at the end that would make hema malini proud..)

conversationalist who can talk about almost anything with almost anybody that he meets anywhere.. like that chat with an auto rickshaw driver who told him that both atal bihari vajpayee and abdul kalam were definitely gay, prodded into this revelation by my father's embarassing unashamed curiosity to know what everyone in the world he meets is about.

he makes great coffee in the mornings, tires us with stories of obscure references to rf technicalities that we know nothing about.. and would like to know even lesser.. he would rather spend his entire day at home with all of us around than go out for a film or a play..

thoroughly eccentric, ebullient, extremely liberal, entertaining and perpetually energetic he succeeds completely at making the rest of the family feel guilty for the laziness we believe is our right.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

'kwaidan' and /or the ghost of the eternally japanese

since i had promised myself no blogs for a while after my blog roll over the weekend, this one to break that vow.. to note the japanese ghost story ‘kwaidan’ told through a korean artists eyes -a story involving a faceless woman, a blind artist, a haunted lake and an army of ghosts in superb drawings and water color like renderings.. an ‘adult’ comic book it is with a sex scene thrown in to underline the point. it was so much of what i expected it to be and extremely satisfying as such.

but can the imagination of japan or korea or china or the ‘oriental’ in the movies and books that i have seen (kurosawa to tarantino) ever go beyond samurais in robes, mysterious spiritual forces and archaic codes of conduct that are followed with such great rigor. can a contemporary love story set in japan ever capture our imagination without it being couched in the rhetoric of the japanese conservatism or its strangeness to an outsiders eyes?

kausik says that tadao ando is famous in the west because his work is quintessentially ‘japanese’ in the way that the west would like to imagine japan. all tatami mat austere minimalism.

i wish i could also accept it as such and not fall into the trap of wanting to see beyond but be absolutely unable to break the caricature of a people that gives me such a sense of power over them.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

batman : 'the hush'

the villains

perhaps what i speak here is sacrilege- always a sucker for the big star cast and the star vehicle, the batman comic ‘the hush’ was perfectly made for me. the star here was not the character but the artist- jim lee legendary from the x-men.

the graphic novel celebrated the newness of the vision to point where every single one of the batman’s friends and foes are roped into a convoluted conspiracy storyline where lee gets to draw the ‘dark knight’, robin, huntress, oracle, alfred, ra’s al ghul, talia, jim gordon, killer croc, lady shiva, harley quinn, nightwing, the joker, poison ivy, the riddler, the scarecrow, clayface, two-face, superman, lois lane- and especially and very lovingly the sexy catwoman.

the drawings are fabulous, the vision amazing but the somewhere the storyline and the characters don’t seem to be fully rounded. the weird eccentricities and the complicated relationships of the batman though always present as themes throughout the piece fade to the background as the narrative twists and turns suddenly introducing new characters and just as quickly removing them so that someone new can come along.

inescapable this is, I guess, when we try to squeeze every single thing out of a once in a lifetime opportunity. control, yaar!

the heroes

paradise on earth: the bikini islands

i have heard many times that american citizens do not know why the world hates them so much. my suggestion to them would be simple to watch this show that was on the ‘discovery channel’ right now on the ‘bikini islands’ in the south pacific. yet another in the never ending list of stories of american imperialism and wide eyed self righteous ignorance. the show itself has to be seen for two reasons – for the disturbing story it tells and even more for the disturbing way the story is told.

a recap of the story for all of you- as i was- unaware of the story. post the world war two devastation of hiroshima and nagasaki the usa wanted to further test the effects of nuclear bombs on entire populations- (duh- they get decimated -i could have told them that!). to check the various levels of destruction possible they emptied an entire group islands called the ‘bikini islands’ in the south pacific of its population, promising them a safe return, filled the waters around the islands with aircraft carriers and battleships and bombed them- with over two dozen nuclear bombs for around a decade. the largest bomb ever dropped anywhere was dropped on bikini on march 1, 1954. called bravo, it was a hydrogen bomb 1000 times more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on hiroshima.

they recorded these tests, filmed them, analyzed the destruction caused and left- leaving in the wake of the tests an entire portion of the land and the water of the area simmering with radioactivity. naturally the original inhabitants of the place could not go back to the land; many people died and many are still suffering the mutations and diseases caused by the tests.

the show (american made) i saw today on tv swerved between two stories- that of the original bombings and that of the fabulous relics of battleships that lie underneath the waters for divers to discover.

it was truly amazing how with the simple act of describing the blatant atrocity of the act it was assumed that forgiveness has been granted for all the violence caused. this ease by which a wrong is righted by the supposed acceptance of a ‘mistake’ was only one part of the show that angered me. the rest of the show, with lingering shots on the drowned guns and bombs, spoke about the fact that today the remains of the battleships are tourist attractions making the local economy boom- isnt that just great!

first you bomb the place, kill an entire way of life- then to make it better you say that it finally turned out all right because at least there are people coming to see what we did to you. you're making money because of our atrocities - be grateful! and of course the locals were presented in that wonderful way that ‘otherizes’ them further- wearing flower garlands and dancing- as the friendly ‘locals’ whose capacity for anger has been sucked away by the american propaganda machine convincing them of both the american regret (like a child saying sorry after he has eaten the stolen sweets); and of their own banal smiling acceptance of it all.

the show went further to say that this chain of islands is a 'paradise on earth' for all who want to see what the ravages of history can result in- if you are a junkie for the extremely surreal thrill- you cannot give the bikini island a miss! like a ride in an amusement park.

and this is a country that is now serving us more platitudes on world peace and the irresponsible leaders in the third world who would not behave 'in the best interests' with nuclear power. sometimes I almost empathize with terrorists.

the ‘bikini’- by the way- the two piece swim suit – symbol of lazy summer afternoons to help white skins get tanned on california beaches was named after the islands during the testing period by a french designer who thought that it was wonderful how his creation made women look like they would after a nuclear bomb blew all their clothes away- cute story, eh?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

three films on love

teenage romances are filled with a strange tension between the blatantly sexual and the prudishly virginal. ‘maine pyar kiya’ today on tv was a revelation for the amount of festering eroticism that exists in between bhagyashree and salman khan. the covert looks that she gives at the hair on his chest that can be seen just below his neck, the highly eroticized shin injury that is fetishized by salman khans imagination, the void of the central atrium in that plaster of paris house across which looks are exchanged in between bedrooms.. his body extremely ‘male’ and hers extremely ‘female’ wrapped in baby clothes and baby talk- frills and puffs- ‘friends’ caps- ‘i love you so much it hurts’ on a heart shaped card- the paraphernalia of post adolescence reeking with the odour of their bodies through which proxy connections are made in place of the impure physical .. she caresses his jacket, he fondles a shoe.. leaving so much more to our over active imagination..

so much more erotic than ‘tango’ this argentinean film where dance seems like a metaphor for the sexual games between men and women.. imagine the possibilities- the tango has always seemed to me to be a dance form where the players literally make love in public.. extremely posed in appearance the dance assigns clear roles to the male as the strong leader around which female skirts swirl. of course the roles are often reversed and the boundaries do get blurred- which makes the erotic content of the dance form extremely heavy- after all what is eroticism if not slightly twisted. the movie on the other hand was just plain boring with its po-mo attempts at self reflexivity and overly stylized cinematography.

and eroticism is almost non-existent in a yash chopra film- its as if sex has been effectively air brushed away into oblivion. there is and always i think should be a certain element of the ‘base’ in descriptions of love in between two people. ‘mohaabbatein’ except for a few scenes in between the young men and their lovers instead preferred to smoothen all edges and prettify the abstract idea of love into an ideal with almost no relation to the real felt emotion.

'rang birangi'

‘rang birangi’ early in the morning on gudi padwa.. hrishikesh mukherjee directing a cast of the usual suspects- amol palekar, deepti naval, utpal dutt, deven varma, farookh sheikh- basically almost all the representatives of the alternative middle class cinema set of the 70s and the 80s- with glam queen parveen babi thrown in playing the bored housewife.

i don’t know how many films i have seen by him.. ‘golmaal’, ‘khoobsurat’ –but my favourite has to be ‘chupke chupke’ with dharmendra playing a professor playing a driver, a amitabh bachchan playing dharmenra’s wife sharmila tagore’s husband.. whatever..

his films as well as those of basu chaterjee (khatta meetha) or sai paranjpe’s ‘chasmhe buddoor’- all of these films are light romantic comedies of error set in a background where polyester salwar kameez wearing heroines travel in buses, genial uncles play the part of match makers, where the bell bottomed hero cannot find the right words to express his love while his best friend eggs him on and everything goes wrong somewhere in the middle of the plot and falls into place towards the end. happily ever after.

nowadays its rare to see people and places that come right out of our everyday experience of living in the city- where things like affordability of a new house, or the trivialities of how does one travel to work, or the promotion that one is working towards are all spoken about and made represented. i still remember the film in which deepti naval meets farookh sheikh and tries to sell him ‘chamko washing powder’ – i think the film was ‘chashme buddoor’- or amol palekar pretending to have a twin for the sake of a new job (gol maal)

this genre and even its derivatives has all but disappeared from the screen. instead we have high emotional drama soaked in soft focus glamour, gritty urban stories about the underworld or the sex horror film. even the alternative film industry that is trying to break new ground in film making (or at least story telling) ‘my brother nikhil’, ‘black’, ‘page 3’, ‘white noise’- all veer away from the ‘ordinary’ preferring to root stories in fanciful dream like landscapes- i guess in the hope that the gloss will be able to make the project commercially viable.

the last time i remember being stunned by the tangibility or the ‘reality‘ of a representation on screen of a space that i know was the romance between abhishek bahchan and antara mali in the lovingly detailed best bus scene in ram gopal varma’s ‘naach’- where the conversation between strangers is interspersed with sounds and images that anyone who has lived in the city will know.

i hope i don’t sound like i am arguing for a ‘realism’ in film- i just think that it would be nice to see ‘us’ sometimes on screen.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

office photos for sonal and all the others who havent been able to make it yet

amit- actually doing some work in the office - view looking towards the waiting area.

dad playing snooker on the computer - from the waiting area looking inwards.

the window waiting niche for mini skirted secretaries- either me or amit for now- until we can afford one with better legs

mom lounging in the waiting area

the sofa set - rahuls bench press modified

the beer lounge.- note the cool stone sample floor that we inherited.

the pantry - with glass curtains that sonal bought

a photo of a photo of the fire station on the tack board

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

antony and the johnsons

there is a music that always sounds like it belongs in the middle somewhere pulled in directions where it never seems to reach. not a man yet not a woman antony of ‘antony and the johnsons’ is a new discovery. through a rufus wainwright connection i discovered this strange beautiful voice singing songs of longing and loneliness- songs that lies in the interstices of genre and gender.

in them i heard a longing to be defined- as one or the other.. or is it a longing to be recognized as complete in spite of being consciously in-between? regardless- the fact is that his is a voice that belongs to a space wider and more all encompassing than the boundaries of gender would allow. the songs seem somehow more pure as he sings saturated with the yearning to become more than what one already is through possessing another or amputating oneself.

this violence never lets the songs settle down into the campy kitsch that could very well have been the result of performing a role that ‘his kind’ is meant to perform in culture- the circus clown or the performing monkey. the longing that he feels is not a joke nor is it up for ridicule- it is real and felt as real- and deserves treatment as such.

i remember meeting the only person i know to have had a ‘gender reassignment’ and talking to him, being able to empathize but not completely understand this discomfort with ones own body that pushed him to change his very identity. ‘i am a bird now’ is flushed with this desire to be able to push past the boundaries that pull us down to the ground making us terrestrial beings- the weight of our bodies and the forces of nature- neither of these seem to be able to control or determine the spiraling arcs of our desires.

Monday, April 04, 2005

burning trees

burning trees in celebratory lights- hot pink tongues, crimson and gold framing the street, ablaze in the evening light on the middle class main market street of charkop. fantastic fire.

the old lady of the lift

this city surprises me everyday. eveyr day i find some strange phenomenon that amazes me regarding the way individuals make themselves heard, creating their own ways of expressing their opinions to whoever is willing to listen.

samira's office is in an old building near opera house on lamington road in south mumbai. the old lady of the lift is an unseen spirit for all of us. people say she lives in the building somewhere on the top floors. every morning she writes a small commentary in her clear bold lettering with a sketch pen, generally topical on some issue in the news. this is then put on the lift cage on the ground floor for everyone to read.

todays was a piece on the value added tax and the decision to make two wheeler drivers wear helmets.. a new entry on her very own tangible version of a blog.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

the dance party with some dancing

its the morning aftermath after the party.. amits birthday at my place. young men are sleeping in various forms of undress in different beds in the house. there are plates with left over biryani and glasses of alcohol everywhere.

the party divided itsef up into clear sections until after the girls left and the alcohol and darkness let the boundaries dissolve. madness happened later when hasnain and riteish tested each others skill at insulting non sequiters and amit, makrand and abhay patil invented dance forms, mishra got drunk in a minute ans slept it off on sonals bed, and we hunted for music in the piles of cd jackets lying around and found nothing but bad hip hop.

i woke early unfortunately with no photos for the blog- again.. nishesh says he will email them to me tomorrow.. we'll see..

so instead here is a photo that i clicked when mukul and me did this photo shoot for a mani kaul experimental film in the middle of the night at some studio in trombay. the boys are waiting for the girls to leave to have their turn in the spotlight.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

2 gb gmail

completely ridiculous.. gmail now gives us 2 gb of storage.. i have no idea what to do with all that space.. imagine the possibilities.. actually i cant.

anyone wants a gmail account by the way? i have 50 invites still left.

the tea party with no tea

april fools day at 6 o'clock was supposed to be the official opening of the office- to be inaugarated with a 'tea party' and the chai wallah never turned up. instead there were thums up bottles from the neighbouring dukaan, wafers, sandwiches and batata vadas from the famous mithibai pavement. and in the epilogue- kingfisher strong beer and alcazar vodka.. thanks to all who turned up and for all your wishes..

they being:
me and amit, mom and dad, ninad (promising to use only 2 syllable words), ateya (intellectual no 2) , manish (whose 'fort group' has finally managed to get their hands on the 'sewri fort project- i am so proud of them), hemant mama and madhavi mami (who gave us money to buy a wall clock- making amit very happy), prakash uncle, vijayamala aunty, ranjit (see blog to the right), meghana (existential elevators and killer samosas ???), shyam and deepa (srhiya-less), prasad and rupali (the emperor and empress of erytria), geetu my aunt, amrita (amits sister who is looking so glamorous after joining the fashion design school), nishesh and tejas (amits boys), mayuri and abhidnya (amits girls), rahul and sushma (who got us cake which we cut like a married couple posing for photographs)

thanks to all of you guys and to those who could not make it for various reasons. mukul and sonal especially; and john.. and all of you who read my blog and those who dont.. missed y'all..

i have no photos of the party to post. i think i will borrow some from ninad or ateya..
happy april fools day- by the way.. and happy birthday saurabh.

now for some work.