startling banals

11 May 2006

Sparrow summer home

There are two occupied sparrow nests in two rooms of my home. The respective parents are continuously shuttling to and fro from the window to the nest throughout the day. Maybe just take a quick pause during lunchtime to visit the grocer's shop for free grub. Then they again continue persistently and compulsively feeding their kids teeny weeny juicy sweet nothings & tidbits like insects, worms etc. The days are warm and the sweat keeps pouring. But there is this nice lake behind my home (to the south) over which a cool breeze generally blows in the afternoons and comes in through the windows. There is a neem, an acacia, ashok, gulmohar and few mango trees around my home and so we are spared from the direct sunshine. Around thirty five years ago there was a mango grove where the buildings are today. And so the name of the lake was 'Ambe-Ghosaale Talaav' (literally Wash Mango Lake). Two haikus dedicated to better, more human and natural living conditions in the city.
summer siesta
do not be afraid of me
sparrow mom and dad
summer afternoon
a cool breeze over the lake
the tied boats go round
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05 May 2006

India! Here I come!

Its time to pack up to go home. There is no excitement. Have I attained nirvana?
Two movies today.
Four Rooms - a comedy co-directed by Quentin Tarantino. Smart plot and enjoyable 3/5.
Ju Dou - nominated for Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1990 starring Li Gong(she is a beauty). Li Gong - does that name ring a bell? 'gong! gong!' She played the part of the tragic, scheming and stunning Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha and also starred in 2046 by Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai - a friend of Tarantino (His movie Chunking Express is really good). Chinese esp Hong Kong movies are really unmissable and it is un-parvadable not to watch them. All of us know Jackie Chan - he is great and has singlehandedly engendered his own unique genre of action. But not many of us movie maniacs from India have heard of Tony Leung. He is one great acting-actor. Because of the excellent LAN in iitb we guys could watch Infernal Affairs(I & II), A World without Thieves, The Road Home & the above mentioned movies. And there has been no looking back! Besides it was fun going nuts about Chinese actresses like Ziyi Zhang, Li Gong and Faye. Of course movies don't depict the way-of-life of common people but still its such a pity we know absolutely nothing about China and its culture. Did our politicians edit textbooks after the Indo-China War in 62? Even some war serial on DD (ParamVirChakra?) in the early 90's painted a black and white picture of Chinese soldiers shouting Hindi-Chini bhai bhai and doing a 'Muhh mein Ram, Bagal mein Choori' which reinforced our stereotypes which block even our curiousity. But I was relieved when I found a document - 'Across the Himalayan gap'. 'How to understand China' written in a very personal voice by an Indian guy who attended Beijing University in 1947 is very good I haven't read the other articles. Such a long vacation and so many things to do. Anyway let me signoff by quoting a silly dialogue by Saif Ali Khan - 'Hum bahot jaldi milenge Riya. Pata hai kyu? kyunki yeh zindagi bahot lambi hai aur hamare paas waqt bahot kam.' Catharsis over. Waiting for another jet-lag now :)
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03 May 2006

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