startling banals

29 April 2007

The sweet smell of ancient wood
descending my backdoor staircase
on such rainy days
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Sparrows hopping through green grass chin high
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24 April 2007

Hindi Urdu Hindustani

Hindustani is the language we speak. Neither Sankritized Hindi nor Persianized Urdu :D

Got to Balraj Sahni's speech of 1972 through blogbharti. Very enjoyable to read.

Another article 'Language in India'
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20 April 2007

Sainath article

Growth ideology of the cancer cell
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18 April 2007


Run away to nowhere
Won't make no difference
You aren't anywhere anyhow
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17 April 2007

Prawns Curry

Got this simple recipe from my grandma today and tried it. Turned out delicious.

Clean the prawns (took me a lot of time). Wash them. If big, break into two. Apply turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt and Kokam/tamarind for sour taste. Crush some garlic and also apply to the prawns.

Crush some more garlic and chop some onion(not much) finely. Heat enough oil in a vessel, fry the garlic till brownish and then fry onion. Take care not to burn it otherwise taste ka vaat lag jaega. Pour the marinated prawns in the vessel, add some water if necessary, move everything around for some time and cover with a lid so that it cooks under steam. Cut some coriander(cilantro/dhaniya/kothimbir) and add it. Will be ready in around 20 minutes, eat preferably with rice.
Next time will add coconut milk!
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Rainy day verse

Overnight rain
lazying on dark grey roads,
reflecting dark grey clouds-
drifting away with great speeeed!
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Vinay Pathak

After their classic performances in 'Khosla ka Ghosla', I have great expectations from Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey. Watch out for 'Bheja Fry' which seems to be decent from the reviews linked on blogbharti.
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02 April 2007

Russel Crowe quote

"After The Insider (1999), I know the exact chemical compounds in a commercial cigarette, but I've been smoking since I was 10. I know it's terrible, but I am a great fan of irony."

Disclaimer: The owner of this blog does not in any way encourage smoking and the readers hold sole responsibility for their own actions.
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A memory

Karen Blixen in her book "Out of Africa" has described a scene. She is in a rowboat in Mombasa, Kenya and sees a pair of giraffes being taken to Hamburg in an old rusty ship. She thinks of their future in a cold grey city compared to their freedom on the great plains of Africa.

"In the long years before them, will the Giraffes sometimes dream of their lost country? Where are they now, where have they gone to, the grass and the thorn-trees, the rivers and water-holes and the blue mountains? The high sweet air over the plains has lifted and withdrawn. Where have the other Giraffes gone to, that were side by side with them when they set going, and cantered over the undulating land? They have left them, they have all gone, and it seems they are never coming back.
In the night where is the full moon?
The Giraffes stir, and wake up in the caravan of the Menagerie, in their narrow box that smells of rotten straw and beer.
Good-bye, good-bye, I wish for you that you may die in the journey, both of you, so that not one of the little noble heads, that are now raised, surprised, over th edge of the case, against the blue sky of Mombasa, shall be left to turn from one side to the other, all alone, in Hamburg, where no one knows of Africa.
As to us, we shall have to find someone badly transgressing against us, before we can in decency ask the Giraffes to forgive us our transgressions against them."

It reminded me of something I saw about 4 years back. I used to go home from hostel in the evenings some days and return after dinner really late. Late like after 1. Still the Pawai road is normally not as deserted as it was that night. I got down at the Main Gate bus stop and crossed the unusually quiet road. And there under the trees beside the gate, where the streetlights could not reach was an elephant sitting. Probably eating some sugarcane or grass. And absolutely no one around. Solitude embodied.

If you haven't seen the movie "Out of Africa" go and get it. If you haven't read the book I promise you will love it much more than the movie. And if you haven't been to Safari...

Karen Blixen was a spirited woman and a gifted writer. She has written with such elegance, passion and noble beauty about the people, the country, the animals and her life in them. The critic within urges me to say that sometimes her prejudices and blatant racism show up, but hers was not the age of political correctness just for the sake of it. This book written from a home in Denmark so far from her beloved Africa tells her story and you are with her as you read it.

"If I know a song of Africa,
of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back,
of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers,
does Africa know a song of me?
Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on,
or the children invent a game in which my name is,
or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me,
or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"
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