Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is how it's going to be

It's going to be slow. There's only so much energy to go around and by the time it's the blog's turn it's all runned out.

Sorry, but I'm not going to apologise for disappearing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And now...Twittered poetry

By Ben Okri.

One line a day. (right now, line 2 is up).

Previously on Twitter, Shakespeare*, who probably doesn't know his prince is on Facebook.

And talking about Hamlet...**


*via Linkastic from some time ago
**via Feanor

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

oh, just a few things

There's nothing more creepy than a man who thinks he has found a vulnerable woman.


Somewhere, unknown to us, the airs have switched places and today belongs to another country.


A palasha flower looks exactly like a ladle with a fragile handle. It could persuade a recalcitrant god to bathe.


Morning: the temple prayers and the azaan caught in the wind like small birds.


El Cid* has a half-brother as of this morning. All momentous events seem to take place when he is at school.


*Ludwig's brilliant idea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mandarin classes and aeroplanes

Spaniard is waiting in queue to speak. She has several useful and interesting things to share. But first:

Chotu and Motu learn to say some basic things in Mandarin. I can just see how useful this will be while they search for a place to stay in Beijing. But hey - this is for me and not the bellboy in Beijing so I'm happy.

And beating Ludwig to it (who might have a different version) here is my personal escape route for everything.

Here's how it happened. Last Sunday evening, the kid wanted to give me this. I politely declined. Save it for next Sunday, I said.

The next morning, just before leaving for school he came down humming the happiest tune. It was all too Pooh-bearish but it turns out he was one of the three kings, though not the one whose gift said Frank Sent This (thank, Amruta.)

Okay, I'm just a little bit tipsy. But here's Glide Airlines:

Sunday, March 15, 2009


*Warnink. Powerful trip wire.*

Saturday, March 14, 2009

'inflated little balloons'

So you think you're not a book reviewer? Think again. If you've ever said something is 'at once' this thing and the other; if you've ripped something apart and qualified your harshness with a 'that said'; if you've used a bunch of verbs (unflinching, rollicking, compelling) you probably have tried your hand at reviewing a book, um, 'seriously'.

My one complaint is that this list does not include that extremely annoying phrase 'clear-eyed'.



On another note, I'm very upset with all of you. Why aren't y'all instantly responding by making your blogs little havens of sunshine and twittering birdsong in this dark world? Bah.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is not a tag. It is also not an origami pelican.

In fact, I am not going to name twenty-five (25!) writers whose work has influenced mine. First because I don't consider that I have enough 'work' to claim influence; second, I mean seriously - 25 fucking writers?! No way.

In any case, how to detect influence? I'm a weather vane like that and if I talk to you long enough I'll begin to sound like you and in that case everything I've ever read influences me.

Finally, what about what one sees or hears? What if the biggest influence in my writing was the films of, say, Bresson (note to self: watch again A Man Escaped) or Buñuel?

Besides, I don't think I could tag 25 people and have them remain friends.

Sorry Aditi. (But y'all should totally read Aditi's blog).


Talking about what this post is not, I was chatting with Black Mamba yesterday and the subject of submissions and rejection slips came up. From there we moved by easy stages to origami pelicans*. I admitted to being puzzled. BM reminded me of this essay by Naeem Murr in Poetry that I have blogged about. Apparently it had not only starlings and monobrows and cancer of the left ventricle (fiction has to be specific, Murr says), it also has origami pelicans.

I love origami pelicans and other paper wildlife.

And I miss the orgami pelicaniness in the blogs I read.

So here's the deal:

This is not a tag.

But it is a prompt to write the most outrageously funny, silly, weird, fun, unwistful, unangular, unagsty, chortly post ever.

Anyone, everyone who reads this blog and is weighed down by the burden of life and would like nothing more than it lay it down, here are your bootstraps:

Story, play, conversation, graphic/comic, poem, audio clip.

Write, link, I'll link back.

What? What else do you need? You have eight or nine words above. For other inspiration there's the Poet and her Amuse.

Make those paper pelicans fly, folks.


Black Mamba is writing love letters or something.

And Menaka Raman, who is drawing for a rainy day.

Falsie, in the meanwhile, is taking tentative bites. (btw, where did I say this had to be only visual? Not that I'm complaining, but I'm wondering what happened to Chotu-Motu's Mandarin classes.)

Here's Surabhi dreaming that she's painting John Abraham's face with yellow butterflies (it becomes more surreal when you realise that's it's the Amma Ariyen/ Odessa John Abraham).

If this is not a tag, what I get is not an origami camel. According to Dipali.

*You'll find it's a swan, BM.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not today

The occasional visitor here is unbelieving when I say things are unusually quiet today. Where are those famous trucks? And those wild parties next door where women pretend to be Basantis and the men twirl their mustaches? What of those choppers slicing the air and the politicians whose convoys honk at and scatter the stray dogs in their path?

They're all there. Just not on a day when these creatures were around. Just not today.

Ludwig, help out with exact taxonomies. I have a vague idea they're bee-eaters or sun birds or something.

Monday, March 02, 2009

on bitterness

Aditya Dev Sood at 3QD:

What is it about bitterness, that allows it to become a part of one’s aesthetic appetite later in life, having been the opposite of pleasure in one’s youth? From when I was a child, I'd always loved raw mango, tamarind, every kind of chat, and even those spicy-salted prunes putatively from Afghanistan. But only recently have I begun to drink Campari-soda by choice, enjoy green vegetables of all kinds, including arugula, kale, colacasia, and seek out those super-hoppy beers that can sting my senses with a burst of pure firstness, as if I were seventeen again, experiencing sushi and wasabi for the first time, learning that warm sake can fumigate the nasal cavity just as wasabi can inflame it. My taste for bitterness is, perhaps, partly founded in the search for novelty, but there is also something else, a transformation of the body's biochemistry in early-middle age, to a new and shifted harmonics of taste.

Over a couple of Christoffels at Bangalore's only Jazz bar a few days ago, I asked my friend Gabriel to help me think about bitterness.