Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Good Question

"How much of what we readily identify as 'progress' in urban-industrial society is really the undoing of evils inherited from the last round of technological innovation?"

Quoted from: "Where the Wasteland Ends", Theodore Roszak, 1972.

Friday, January 23, 2009

यह टाइटल हिन्दी मे क्यों लिखा है??

While I understand that there is a much greater emphasis on ethnicity these days, I do not know why my blogger account suddenly converts my post titles into Hindi - nor do I know how to change it. If anyone has any ideas that could help me choose when I want to change the Title language, shoot me a mail. Otherwise, just shoot me.

Anyway, the topic of today is, Inspiration Expiration. I am required by college to design a piece of headgear for my 3D class, and our teacher has been giving me the toughest time ever. She wants us to take inspiration from anything we choose, convert it into a motif (or a set thereof), and create our headgear. Now, that seems simple enough, doesn't it? Well, it's not. I can think of so many things that inspire me, but I can't create the motifs for them that are simple enough to create, nor can I blend them together. I have had a whole set of ideas that include Animals, Eyeballs, Organic Shapes, Things to do with the Head, Psychedelica, Nikki Catsouras' Car Crash (which is bloody damn gory), Gullwing Doors and the global Phoenix, but there's nothing synchronic that I can see between them.
I know that I could just pout together some 2-bit piece of junk and talk my way around it being a fantastic concept that is 2 years ahead of its time, but that's not how I want to achieve my grades. I was really looking forward to this project, armed with an armada of ideas that one-by-one got shot down during 3 sessions of discussions with my teacher. Why? Because they are all direct and projects like that have been created in the past - she wants something new, fresh, and totally eye-catching. So do I, but now I'm stuck.
Maybe it has something to do with creator's block, maybe it has to do with laziness, maybe I jsut can't think anymore. But I need to submit this thing - complete - within the next week and I don't even have an idea. Someone please help me out.

Friday, October 10, 2008

An Account of the Events after Sunday Evening

I had an awesome dream the other evening - epic, actually. It started off with me going to college and getting my attendance from this lady I don't like, so I told her that I'm late cause my mum died, and so she gave it to me (please do not let this shock you, I use excuses like this often in my dreams. It means nothing, I love my mum very much). Then something happened for an hour that I don't really remember too well.
Then, I was vacationing with dad and Mithila somewhere near some beach, and Mithila was like 9 again, and soooo cute (!) and she decided that she was going to go take a swim in the sea, so dad and I took her to the seashore (there was a fort next to the sea, and some steps leading down into the water where we let her off) and she was damn good at it! She went in a fair distance and was grinning in the water, so I sat by the shore and overlooked her safety while dad went fishing somewhere.
Next scene, and Mithila and I were walking down a parth in the forest somewhere just chatting, she was asking me all kinds of questions and I was talking to her etc etc.
Next scene, I'm at the seaside again, and dad and Mithila are sitting a bit far away along the vurve of the fort's sea-barrier watching the scenery and I decide that if Mithila can do it, so can I. So I dive into the sea and swim a niice, long way out, but I am paranoid that the sea will drag me in. The waters are a bit choppy already, and when I get a bit far out my paranoia changes the mood of the sea and makes it rough, with big, strong waves coming in and leaving, pulling me out. I swim with all my might, and I see dad and Mithila walking towards the steps near the fort, watching me every other wave to make sure that I'm safe. I swim hard, but am not making much progress and get a bit more scared, when I see a strong wave coming in and somehow it catches me in it, takes me a bt high in the air and deposits me close to the steps where I swim up and get to dryish safety next to dad and Mithila. Dad asks if I'm ok, and I tell him that I was a bit frightened as we both - nay, all 3 - observe the ever increasing roughness of the sea.
The sky goes from light blue to darker, approaching a storm grey-and-pink as the waves actually start rising fairly high and get choppier than ever before. Dad and I lock eyes, and just as this happens I see thunder storms literally streaking across the sky, above the treeline where dad and mithila were sitting earlier. I point and tell dad to look, and when i look at him he says "I know! I'm writing all this down" as he shows me a thick stack of papers in his hands. "It makes so much sense cause he was a journalist" I think to myself. Dad gets up and goes somewhere, and now the sky has gone deep grey-black, it's Thunderstorm Time. I take Mithila's hand as I see a pretty damn huge wave coming in from the sea and tell her that we have to get to the other side of the Fort's walls Now. We get up and start climbing the steps fast - Mithila's quite fit nad/or energetic, but then I pick her up (she's so light!) and carry her up to the top of the fort.
We reach the top and decide to turn around and look at the wave, which is a lot closer now and so I decide that we have to get to the bottom on the other side of the wall that we are on top of. I see a beautiful Susanne Roshan to my right, about to talk to her child (she has appeared in my dream, most probably, because before I slept I saw a very pretty picture of her in a magazine). I want to know what she tells her young one so I wait a moment, but then I hear garbled words coming out of her mouth and think to myself, how can anyone marry someone with no ability to communicate, even if they are extremely pretty (this thought is vaguely reproduced here, I cant put the feeling in the most accurate words for some reason). Anyway, we take the steps down towards the inner side of the fort, but then I see the shadow of the Giant wave upon the opposite wall, and just shield Mithila from anything that might happen as we press ourselves against our wall.
The wave comes, splashes all over the place, but we are safe and dry, and thanks to our careful positioning we have avoided any personal tragedy to ourselves. The weather is getting no better as I hear more thunderclouds and flashes of lightening - no time to wonder where Dad is right now, I'm sure he's safe, I have to take Mithila to safety. We quickly walk down to the bottom of the wall, and find a set of old rail tracks. I realize that we are at Churchgate (but it doesn't look like Churchgate, it looks like a railroad track emerging from a tunnel inside the fort, but I knew that it was the old part of Churchgate). I know that it's a really dangerous thing to do to walk into the tunnel and risk getting hit by the train, but then I think that no train will be using these old tracks. So I take Mithila's hand and we fearlessly walk deep into the tunnel. Pitch black. Then I see a light inside the tunnel, and I know this is a train. Nothing that we can do, so I tell Mithila to press herself as hard as she can against the wall we've been walking along, and I do the same. Whoooosh! and the train goes past us. When I open my eyes, Mithila's hand is in mine, and we are both very safe indeed. I see two windows on the opposite wall, and it's as if we are looking into the corridor that leads to 5, Heliopolis from outside the first floor windows. I quickly open them, and place Mithila in the safety of the tunnel first, then climb in myself. It is a sort of parallel tunnel, mainly grey marble and not-too-bright white-light. We walk for a bit, and we reach a door with a security guard. Whaaa..? He asks us just what it is we are doing, and I tell him I have no time for this, does he not see the danger that we are all in? I can feel the dream reaching some sort of epiphany, but I'm flummoxed by the guards next movement. He walks towards a door that I didn't notice earlier, with a digital label on it saying "CardRoom". Why would he go to a card room - why would there be a card-room Here? and why would anyone be playing cards right now?! But I know something is wrong with the definition I have in my head - the mystery is cleared soon enough. The door unlocks, and I see the label has the names of the occupants underneath - "Arun Katiyar, Raven". The door opens and it is confirmed! There sit dad and my friend Devika (Raven), discussing exactly how to stop this stuff - dad looks at me as he sees that I've taken care of Mithila, we all smile smiles of recognition.
The scene closes up into a small white dot, and the dream is over.

ASIDE; 20 minutes later, dreaming blackness and nothingness and the white dot suddenly expands again, and I am back in front of the teacher that took my attendance. While I'm wondering if all that really happened, she looks at me and says "I know your mum's not dead - your not getting attendance!" And I wake up.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Trip Into Space

Meg, this one's for you.
Can you imagine being able send a catalog of photos and logotypes straight into space. How cool is that?

Welcome to Project; these guys (this guy? - Arthur Stubbs) plan to send 300 'rockets'into space, and each rocket will be able to hold upto 1000 'astronauts'. Each astronaut will occupy a space of 1 square centimeter upon a sheet 25cmx40cm. According to the website, the scheduled year of launch is sometime in 2010, barring the occurrence of 'Acts of God'.
'Acts of God' are defined as war, epidemic, natural disasters, armed rising, and acts of authority.

How Chuckie.. :-)

Well yeah, so the story goes that I was talking to a friend earlier on today and was being egged on to write something new on what seems to have become a highly inactive blog these days. I told her that I'd think of something, but I just went to sleep instead. Lo and behold! when I woke up from a light snooze, I found a very interesting mail in my inbox - there it was, an invitation to be a part of this little adventure. I think its really cool to be able to send something - anything thats not garbage (i.e. trash/rubbish/human waste/stuff that goes into an incinerator/garbage dump - into the deep void that is the nothingness of space. I always liked travel, and now I can at least send something to a place that I've always wanted to visit.
The hard part here is thinking of what image it should be. It could be one of me, it could be an image of my family, of friends, or a car, or lipstick, or a wire-hand, maybe a bucket, possibly a picture of Shiva, anything. I gotta think hard about this one, but not too hard otherwise I'll never be happy with my decision.
I personally don't know who the target audience is just yet, but I hope to find out pretty soon. I don't know if that'll affect my choice of image, but even now I'm wondering what I could send that would change something, no matter how small and/or insignificant it might be. Suddenly this is turning into a long-term experiment - Mmm. Yummy.

Given the chance (and you can have that chance as well, provided you have some basic qualifications - read on), what kind of image would you send into space? What is it that you would want others in a different time or place to see? Would it matter to you, or would it be something that you wouldn't think about? Whatever it is, now I can't wait for it to happen. There are two ways that you can join this adventure;
you could a) Buy yourself a ticket ($2), or a group of tickets ($30) or a logotype ($25) or b) you could write about this project on your blog, and send the link and your image to

If your interested, do check the site out - (or click on the title of the post), and if you decide to be a part of it and read about it from this blog, please let him know that you heard the idea from here. My picture grows in size with referrals.

Peace, Shanti, Ssspaceness.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well, it has been long indeed. Back to square one, almost. But with a new city, a new country, and a new (well, almost) language, there's always some more to say.

I arrived here Saturday morning, on arguably the worst flight I've ever had. Stuck in a seat that wouldn't recline (it was 30E, the last row - directly in front of the lavatory), and that offered the aroma's of people's choice dumps in the loo. I asked for a bargain ticket and I think I got it.
Meera aunty came to pick me up (at 6:30am, local time), and took me around to Pearl's Hill. This is where it all started to go slightly off-course. We got there, and the woman at the admin office could not find my payment form. Utter chaos, carefully and expertly handled by Meera aunty, ensued. While I could barely understand a word the lady was saying, Meera aunty graciously man-handled her into finding my papers, and a promise to find out, in detail, what happened to my reservation. We were told to come back at 1 o' clock, when another lady would be here that we could talk to.
So we wandered off to the other side of the road, looking for a place to have coffee and something to eat. We walked over some bridges, with Meera aunty giving me tip after tip after tip, until I was fairly confident that I'd been in Singapore for at least a month. We hit up a 7-eleven, bought a SIM card and a NETS CashCard (this whole place is freakin' full of electronic convenience - more on that later), and decided to call it quits.
We went to her place, where I finally met Vivan and Vikram uncle, and I chilled there for a while. Vivan showed me around Dover Rise (the locality they stay in), and we had lunch - very yummy paneer (margarine) masala, rice and dal, and aloo-gobi. While there, I also mailed my friend Nishant (he worked at Microland), and told him what was going on. He agreed to try and find me accommodation until my term with Pearl Hill (Hostel) began. Next, we left again for the Hostel, where a woman called Rain (I think that I'm quite liking these names.. they have a very nice ring to them!) handled my situation. She knew exactly what had happened, and within 10 minutes,my problem had been solved. With a big thank-you to Meera aunty, a new key (and a/c!)to my room, and 2 Chinese-Korean room-mates, I felt relieved, and then hungry (for food and action). We said goodbye to each other, and I went to find Nishant.
Now, though we'd talked about Singapore and it's offerings while at Microland, Nishant really got deep, DEEP into Singapore's skin and found for us "Bird's Nest Drink" at Chinatown's MRT. This drink is made from the nest of a swallow (now I know why they're called that). The thing about this particular nest is that it is made from the saliva of the bird, which sticks it to a wall or anything else that its nest can be stuck to. The first sip was bearable, the after-taste was not. But we did it, and we have a picture to prove it, too. Ugh.
The next day was a lot less eventful, especially because I spent about 1/2 of it asleep. I like my room-mates. They're gamers, and know where to eat. Perfect!
Yesterday, I went to LaSalle (the reason I'm here, did I mention that?) and got myself registered as a student, got photo's taken, and blah, blah, blah. I met 3 new students, Hanne Eriksen (Norway) and Vy (Norway/Vietnam), and Tanay Vohra. After a quick bite of octopus (I could go on and on and on about the food here, my god!), we went our separate ways, me to my bed, Tanay to his place, and the 2 girls to a hospital for check-ups and the like.

Update: 4 Days Later..
Today was the first actual day of college. It was okay, strictly speaking. I'm gonna have to work pretty damn hard if I'm to jump the foundation year and go straight to Level 1, which is the basic plan. The more complicated plan is finding financiers for the rest of my education here. Luckily for me, I don't have classes on Fridays, so I ought to put those 24 (fine, 10) hours to good use... Today, it was boiling hot again, but then at 11:19am, the sky suddenly cooled down for a moment, and then the heavens really let rip. I thought the downpour in Bangalore was tremendous but this, this is truly a spectacle to behold. For 10 minutes it poured tsunami-style all around the building, and I could see sunlight 3 blocks away! What a sight (!). The lady that runs the place I stay in is a real bitch in disguise though. She was very nice to me the first day (ref; para 1), but this evening, after a tiring walk that lasted an hour and a half, she was hounding me for some nonsensical reason. Her name is Rain, and I think it fits her quite well too. Just as quickly as she began to bother me, after seven minutes she abruptly stopped, said 'okay', turned on her heels and scrammed.
I also went quite broke today, and things are looking like they shall remain this way for the next 2 days, until my account opens up and the moneh flows back in. Man, I feel terrible spending dad's cash, especially when i convert it back to rupees at the end of each day. But enough of the rambling - I've walked like 10km today, and it's about time that I went to bed. Gnight!

Monday, April 16, 2007



Thank You.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Account of Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of December, 2006

This is an account of what happened from Friday afternoon right up until Saturday evening when I finally touched down at the Bangalore International Airport... hope this amuses you guys. It ought to make a rather interesting story...

So, we (Hannah and I) left MUWCI on Friday, after a delay of about an hour, with Tom, Annabelle, Francis and Jerome for Pune. We were supposed to go with Zaen, but we were fortunate that we didn't as his jeep just didn't turn up, and then we'd have been completely screwed. By the time we got to Pune, it was about 5, and so we went and shopped Clover centre for Hannah's Golden Virginia (if you dont know what it is, it doesn't matter. Just know that we went to shop for it) and filters. Then, we decided that the time was right to catch a bus to Bombay. So we scuried off to the train station, where we found a busthat was supposed to leave in 5 minutes (it was 5:40 when we got there), and we promptly got onto it. The journey was scheduled to take 3 hours we were told, but after sleeping on the bus for an hour and waking up to an A/C dripping on me and blowing in my face, I was startled to realise that we were still in Pune city. By the time we got onto the highway, it was already 6:45, and so we decided to pull out my laptop and watch Madagascar on it. Soon, we paused at a local rest-stop along the expressway, and hurriedly had a cigarette and pav-bhaji, and we even managed to find a power-point to charge my laptop. Just as we finished eating, our bus decided that it wanted to leave, so we ran back to the bus. As we were heading to it, we found a Mia and a someone-else in a jeep, also presumably heading to Mumbai International Airport. We waved em off, and got back onto the bus, and continued watching the movie. As we were about 2/3rds through the movie, my laptop died a gruesome and unflattering death, and so we fell asleep (I did, at any rate...), and was awoken from my sleep just as it was getting good to the Dadar bus stop scenery. Looking at my watch, I found that it was already 11:15!
We took a cab straight from there to Colaba, as it would be pointless trying to catch a train at that hour, not to mention moderately dangerous knowing the Mumbai janta (Slang for people). We reached my place by about 11:30, greeted by Hannah's inhibitions about my cousins and relatives not liking her, as well as my cousin's dog's noisy uproar. When we arrived, only my mami (aunt)was there, and so we chilled out a bit, and washed and cleaned up. We sat around for a bit, and soon enough, my cousn Hrishikesh turned up. We sat and I talked to him for a bit, after which he decided he was going to retire for the night, and Hannah was going to smoke downstairs. So we went down for a stroll, she smoked one and we came back up, properly de-smelled. We decided that we wanted to finish watching Madagascar and so we did, after which we proceeded to watch as much South Park as our brains could possibly handle. Soon Yashodeep, my other cousin, turned up from his work, and sat down to talk with us. That got over in a bit, and we all decided to get some deserved rest.
The next morning, we got up at about 7:30 (fine, Hannah got up, and proceeded to nag me till I did too), and had a quick breakfast and proceeded to leave for the airport. We got onto a train by 8:40, and were destined to ehaed to Malad Station, in Andheri. However, by the time we got there, it was already 9:35, which meant that I could either take my baby to the airport and risk taking my flight home, or pack her into a rickshaw and head back myself. I chose the latter, much against my will, and packed her off.
Hannah: Babe, I hope that your rickshaw ride wasn't too eventful, and that things went smoothly. Hope that your not too pissed with me, and that you got home safely.
Then, I went bak to Dadar Station, and managed by some lucky chance to get a bus that left, again 5 minutes after I got there. So, I got onto this bus, and sat there. Now, the guysaid that the bus would leave at 10:05, and I got there at 10:00, so I was shitting bricks as I tried to find it amongst the vast set of Volvo's parked in the damned area. Anyways, I got there, and sat down, only to find that the whole thing was completely empty. By the time we left, I'd been grumbling about the bastards not sticking to time for over an hour. I did, however, ahve a jovial teacher that I really liked sitting next to me, so that kept me entertained throughout the journey. Looking at the time when I got into Pune, it was just 2:50. I figured that I ought to find Zaen and Co. at Mocha (DUH!!) so I headed there. I ended up there at about 3:05, and found to my horror that Zaen, Rico and Naina weren't there. However, it was all smooth sailing now - or so I thought. The stupid stoned genie (terminology couresy Zaen Alkazi 1989- ) couldn't help me out for shit, so I took a salt shaker from there as revenge. The salt shaker broke within two minutes on my left foot - a sure sign of bad luck. By the time I managed to actually get Naina to pick up - I was trying her number for 15 minutes - they were all already at MG Road, getting Nain's ear (or whatever else that it was) pierced. I also found out that my mega suitcase had been transferred to Misha, as she was on the same flight back home.So I got into a rickshaw and made my way to Mars-0-rin,where I found a content Zaen and Rico talknig about american stereotypes, and how they are actually everywhere. The time was 3:35 - a long way to cathing my 5:30 flight home. I was quite content with myself, albiet a little dissapointed knowing now that I might have had the time to take Hannah to the airport after all. We decided that a departure time of about 4:00 was good for us all, as Zaen needed to pick up some film from a place 20 minutes in the opposite direction.
At 4:35, we were still on the road, however, being driven by a sleeping (literally, Zaen and Rico can suport this statement) driver. We decided that if I didn't change direction and destination of travel that instant, I would definitely not make it home that day. So I got out, stumbled across the middle of the road, almost got runover by a bus that decided to swerve dangerously close to the sidewalk, and got into a rickshaw driver on speed. I mean it - this guy had pupils the size of the bloody moon man!! And he talked in fast-forward, in a dialect that only the french could understand. Anyways, by the time we figured out that I neede to get to the airport, it was 4:40, and things were looking very foreboding indeed. The guy finally reasied that I needed to catch a 5:30 flight (who needs to give him 10 extra minutes to relax, eh?) and he started to zip through the streets, taking smart ways around signals, buffalows, pedestrians and the like. At 5:00 we were still well within city limits, after having asked the guy how long left and how far away it was for the umpteenth time, I finally gave up all hope of getting there. I consoled myself thinking that it would be a character-biulding experience missing a flight and figuring out what to do next.
I did, magically, however, reach the airpost at 5:15, and ran in to find a very sour Misha teling me to check my bag in and get a boarding ticket for the flight. So, in a rush, I got my bag checked in, and then the lady at the counter informs me that the flight was delayed by 30 minutes. OK, so it was all smooth sailing again. Good news. So I stand in line with my oversize bag and hoody, waiting to hit security check. When I finally got there, all my stuff went through security check, but for some reason, my jacket kept beeping insanely. So did my shirt. So did my pants. So did my shoes. So did my friggin' navel. So, they strip-searched me. I was in the middle oif security getting myself stripped to my boxers, with the damned metal-detector still beeping like nobody's business. They also found a lighter and my swiss knife in my hoody - they were now convinced that I was there to blow the plane outta the skies. Anyways, after quarantining my knife and lighter, they finally let me go. Went to collect my bag and wallet and stuff, and found that my bag was in the middle of 6 security-surds. Was definitely in trouble. One of them came by and asked me if the bag was mine. When I told them it was and that my flight was in 20 minutes, they told me that they needed to scan it again. So there was another hold up. Upon scanning it, I was told that I had another lighter, another knife, 2 forks, a camera, and a bottle of water in it. So i decided that I didnt need any of them, and I started to unpack. That was when I unpacked a bottle of Vodka that I had completely forgotten about. I asked them what to do now. So they cancelled my boarding ticket, and asked me to get another one issued after checking my bag in to check-in baggage. OK. So, I go out, and the helpful geeky guy asks me what I need, so I tell him. It is now 5:45, and I am starting to get edgy again. The guy unnecessarily puts it through the big X-ray machine again, and checks it in for me, and issues me a boarding ticket. That is when another guy runs from the X-ray machine, and demands my bag. They run it in again, and then they ask my to remove the entire contents of my bag. So, here I am, with 15 minutes to go, unpacking a bag filled with all the sins of MUWCI, wondering whether today is the day that I will get busted or not, and whether I will catch that damned flight or not. Finally, the guy searches my bag, and takes a few assorted things out and hands them to me, like my laptop. Rather confused, and not sure whether to be relieved or not, I grab the laptop, and head for security check again. It is now 5:50, and my flight has started to board, says the nasal woman over the intercom. As I go through security again, I am faced with another checker guy who doesn't believe that I got checked before. So, I go though the strip search again, while the guards are going " Zabardast, puttar!!!" . Bastards. By the time I get out, I am informed that my flight has a minute left to go, and so some random dude comes and offers toescort me to my flight. He takes me running on the tarmac to a Boeng 747-600 and before I know it, I'm getting onto the aircraft home - or so I think. As I climb into the aircraft, I notice that the entire thing is empty, and looking at the card in the side-seat, it shows a flight serial different from mine. Going through this whole proscess in real time took about 10 minutes, and as I looked back despairingly at the guy I told him what had happened. Fortunately, he did have a walkie-talkie, and so before the aircraft had a chance to move - it had been sealed and ready to leave, but yeah - he radioed in and told them to wait up.
All said and done, I did finally manage to make my flight, though it was an absolutly on-the-edge weekend - one that I would not like to experience again anytime soon, but one that I am not likely to forget. Thank you two for being a part of it all. Cheers!!

(Oh, yeah, in case you want to know what happened when I came to Bangalore, I fell asleep in the car, and now it's Monday evening, and I just woke up. It's been a very tiring weekend, after-all....)

Guess this kinda stuff isn't just made for the movies, eh?