Thursday, December 20, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Thursday, December 06, 2012
The Absolute Rot in Indian Olympic Association -- A Foreign Body Had to Point Out Our "Chalta Hai" Attitude
|My writing desk, where I am now!|
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Diwali is gone and the wedding fever grips Bombay. Yesterday a newspaper – don’t remember which – reported that there will be three thousand weddings this season. I have attended two weddings and am going for a third one today. It is also getting cold in Bombay as never before. Then there will be “I am dreaming of a White Christmas,” and Santa Claus.
Read my latest short story The Roads of Artist Village. It’s about bureaucratic apathy and its attendants. The way we care about our roads show how much concerned we are about the people and their welfare. Well, the protagonist is a person similar to me, but not quite. There should be a personal space between character and creator. I am reading Nikolay Gogol’s Deal Souls and realize what a great talent he has been.
The road outside my house is dug up. What can I do about it? I have given up trying to correct things. Now I let things flow. The machines came in wheezing and snorting as usual and I said, “There goes the neighbourhood.”
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Ronnie. I am wearing a traditional Indian dress while she is wearing a
traditional Kerala dress. My wife is the principal of a school in New
Bombay. We had just returned from our friend Ganga's son's (Akash's) wedding
reception in Chembur, Bombay. It was a happy occasion where many of our
classmates were present.
At the same wedding reception the other photo in this post was taken, which
shows us, classmates in the class of 1973 of Adarsha Vidyalaya, Chembur.
Almost 40 years have passed and the changes in us are manifest. I am also
appending a photo that was taken 40 year earlier (in those halcyon days of
innocence and ingenuity) in the compound of Adarsha Vidyalaya. Notices the
Yes, we are older, wiser, richer and more affluent but at the same time we
are afflicted and troubled by what the future holds for us. Have the choices
taken been right? Have done the right things? Where will all this take us?
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
What we have been writing on this blog and talking about till we have been told to shut up. Yes, now we have proof that slowly the world is becoming a market society where everything is for sale. (So, maybe, a newspaper that we know that sells editorial space need not worry, but that’s a worrying thought.)
This was said by not a less worthy personage than Anne T. and Robert M. Bass professor of Government at Harvard University Michael J. Sandel. His book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets is out. What he says in an interview in DNA to Vivek Kaul is that today we have migrated from being a society governed by market economy to a market society. Money has the power to buy and sell services such as direct check-ins for first class passengers, queue-less entry into amusement parks, and preferred waiting lounges for a certain category of people. In India we call it influence but in the West it is a kind of industry in itself. So if you want to be at a hearing of the Congress at Washington DC you can get a “queue standing company” to send a person who will camp overnight at the relevant place so that you can get in when the door opens.
Rather nice, no?
You might dismiss it as “we know it, it happens in India.” Now that’s a reaction from a man in the street. But the ethical implications of this transition are rather grievous. Today money can buy everything and one can buy ones way into power, and, also, more money. To purist it might seems like the ultimate Armageddon. Yes, it is. In India we put a price on everything even relationships are based on what monetary value it can bring in the long run. So, is the selling of editorial space as alluded above wrong? It seems Indian newspapers these days are surviving on that source of revenue, while all over the world news establishments are closing down.
Alas, this process isn’t reversible. So more and more people are being pushed down into the category of the poor dependents of the rich ones. This is particularly noticeable in the corporate sector. We have seen managers and directors enjoying vacations, foreign jaunts while poor sloggers (like us) work all day to complete their jobs. And the very prospect of giving a day off on Saturdays sends them into a tizzy. Actually it’s so very unfair, but what can we do about it? Today our youngsters know this fact and that’s what’s giving rise to most crimes.
So the mantra is “Get into the big league and stay there by hook or by crook.” So be prepared to deal with crooks.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Being a writer of poems, performance poetry is close to my heart. However, my performances have been restricted to singing the songs I have composed. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I went to Martin Kiszko’s program “Green Poems for a Blue Planet” at Bombay Literature Fest. (I think the organizers have to decide whether it is Litfest, Literature fest, Litlive, or, Literature Live, because all these names cropped up in a muddle in all announcements and programs.)
The show had already begun and there was this poet on stage who recited his poems from memory appropriately demonstrating each with masterly dramatic ease using props and background projections. All his poems were based on the environment and its protection. In the UK he is also known as “UK’s Green Poet” which is a name given him by a member of the audience. In fact, he was so dramatic that the audience was taken up with his style and was engrossed. Same here. Here are some samplers, which I noted, though I was busy taking pictures.
“Ode to Broccoli”
“Though you are Italian Da Vinci never painted you.”
“Recycle me into a super plastic hero who would swallow all the garbage around.”
“A great Hoover that vacuums all the gunk.”
“When I go to bed I say, perhaps I have been overgreen.”
These are only vignettes from his performance, and by no means exhaustive. His book, published recently, has over 56 such poems. He gives performances at schools, colleges, and even at parties. Later in the foyer I meet him again and he was very charming and personable explaining some of the techniques he uses. I think I will adopt those techniques to do performance poetry, when, I don’t know. As UK’s only green poet, I guess this poet is going places with his socially relevant message.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
It’s day three of the Bombay Litfest and I am there to meet super agent David Godwin. I am excited. David Godwin is God for all aspiring writers (pun intended). After all, the man who discovered Arundhati Roy must be no ornery chap. I notice him almost immediately. He is tall, has a ruddy complexion, has a head full of blonde hair, and something very youthful in him though he claims to be sixty. He is here to launch his book Breaking 80 which according to him is his first and only book and is mostly about golf. I don’t golf, no, I don’t know a put from a caddy. I would think a caddy is something you put in those small holes on the patch of grass called greens. As for handicaps, I don’t have any except a bulging beer belly, a reminder of the beery days of yore.
So what do I talk to him about, I wonder, as I inch towards the God animatedly talking to his circle of female admirers. How do I tear him away? I guess, seeing me waiting to talk to him, he does the tearing away himself (no wonder, having handled umpteen such circumstances), turning away from all the “shawashwashaw” of the feigned upper class lisp of the “growing-old-baby-log” to face me. I introduce myself as a writer and his Facebook friend. I ask him about Bombay and how he likes it. “Well, it’s a fascinating city.” I say I am working on a novel and he says, “You mean you have submitted a novel to me?” I say, no, I am editing my novel. “Then send it to me, also mention that you met me here.” It’s too brief. But I have connected with God. Then the army of female admirers takes over and I make a dignified retreat and, now, I can go home content.
Inside, Anil Dharkar does the book launch. David in his preamble before he reads from his book says that he finds his job interesting, “You get the privilege of seeing the book in its purest form.” The man likes what he is doing. Why don’t I also say I love writing a novel and finish the editing soon, eh?
He also say, “I like helping writers on the journey to get their book to the audience.” Which is what he did to Arundhati Roy’s book. “I had heard of her and she sent me the novel in a neat package. I read it and I was fascinated.” The man has described his entire work in so few words. He takes a manuscript to the ultimate consumer, the audience. And here I am stuck with merely not being able to get my manuscript in shape, leave along taking it to the audience. Bah!
And what does he look for in the writing? “I look for the tone, the voice of the writer. Then something clicks.”
And to sum up, “It’s an immensely rewarding experience, discovering new people, voices, cultures, which is what all literature is about.”
During question hour a gentleman sitting beside me asks him what sort of haggling he does for advances to his authors. “I haggle. Yes, I haggle for around three-and-half million.”
Another gentleman mentions that he has been rejected by God himself. The God just smiles to this. Guess, to be rejected is also a privilege as far as God is concerned. For hadn’t God rejected the Israelis many times in the Negev desert?
Friday, November 02, 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
The stitches and surgical dressing came off today. I am relieved. My profound sympathies for those suffering from surgical and post-surgical trauma. God bless you all. Thanks for your words of comfort which really helped in my recovery. Now I am back with greater resolve.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Right now it is a straggling beard. Hope to make it a luxuriant one like that of Amitabh's. Hope he doesn't trademark his beard. It was earlier called Bulganin after the Russian revolutionary. Speaking of which, I detest the term Goatee. What me goat? No, forget it buddy!
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Monday, October 08, 2012
Went for a walk today. Could feel the muscular tendons creaking after the long hiatus of inactivity. But now I am more reconciled to my slowness, deliberately, I must say. Got to increase my place slowly so that recovery is complete. As i often say, not a problem.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Recovery is a slow process, the tissues have to build muscles have to join, blood has to flow. Read yesterday that Vitamin D is present in light sunlight of early morning. So, I sunned myself and it felt good. That a man who takes every precaution to be healthy is also vulnerable points to the stridency of modern life. I used to walk 3 kms, stretch, yoga, and lift weights didn't deter illness. Thanks for all your good wishes, it really matters that you care. Mua... mua....
Friday, October 05, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
We have been using gmail to post our blogposts to blogger so far. This has been made imperative by several factors, especial among which is a lack of time. As my rich friend Dhansukhbhai Jethalal Shah (who owns a building with a private helipad in Malabar Hill) would say, what to do? We have to worship our stomachs, no? Now that we have a faster and better computer courtesy of good friend (thanks friend!) we are posting this as a test post. If this works, nothing like it, you will be able to read more of our ruminations on subjects of esoteric interest. Till then keeping our fingers crossed.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Keep going when it's not working. It won't start working on its own, you have to make.
Keep going when it's not coming out right. It may be right, you may not be able to see it.
Keep going when you're feeling low. That's when Dylan Thomas did his best work.
Keep going when you're blazing like a comet. That's when Alan Ginsberg did his best work.
Keep going when you're rejected. J K Rowling was rejected too.
Keep writing. But don't be in a hurry to publish. That should happen organically and too many writers are mainlining steroids. Wait. It will happen. Naturally.