startling banals

31 July 2007

Great German biker

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29 July 2007

Wong Kar-Wai

He is a film director from Hong Kong (a friend of Tarantino) - people were crazy for his movies which were popular on ftp servers in iitb. 2046 and Chunking Express are two of his very good movies. I haven't seen In The Mood For Love which I am going to watch on youtube right now! Tony Leung (the undercover cop in Infernal Affairs acts in all these 3 movies)

'Siboney' - supposedly a sensual classic song in Spanish has been used in 2046. Someone has made a mock video on youtube. The lyrics and approximate English translation. I really like this song.
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25 July 2007

Julie Delpy's new movie

The star of 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset' has written directed and played the lead role in 'Two days in Paris' that releases August 10.
First day first show!
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24 July 2007

Disciplined Minds

"Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives" by Jeff Schmidt

All of us can relate to the theme of the individual in an overbearing system that demands conformity. There is a website about the book.

I had read a book 'Of Men and Galaxies' by Fred Hoyle that my friend Girish had suggested. It is a collection of 3 of his lectures given in 1964. These are very brilliant thoughts of a great scientist but the first lecture is most interesting. It is a brief appraisal of scientific research and its culture over the years and the way it has changed and become a game of cornering the most funds and wearing an attitude of 'professionalism'. He warns scientists of such tendencies and suggest an alternate fresh outlook towards research.

Prof Yashpal in his lecture at Techfest 2004 in IITB had said that the best ideas in research do not come up so much in labs and offices as in university canteens and cafetarias and joked that spending time in canteens should be made compulsory. He was appealing for an open-minded approach to studies and research, reminding us that learning and discovery is supposed to be fun.
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22 July 2007

Deseo mirar dos peliculas por el director de Amelie

The City of Lost Children
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18 July 2007

Monty Python Madness

Crazy stuff. Best fun under the sun. The British know how to laugh at themselves. Watch the best episodes of this TV show on youtube.
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14 July 2007


A friend Bijoy had read this poem at his home during a mehfil many many years back. It was a quiet dark night in the rainy season with dim lights and people happy and light tipsy with some nice wine. Such times are fond memories now.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
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11 July 2007

Isak Dinesen - Life of a storyteller

From the book:
Kamante was "the kind of stuff from which, in the olden days, they made court jesters." He was "aware of this separateness of his, himself, with the arrogant greatness of soul of the real dwarf, who, when he finds himself at a difference with the whole world, holds the world to be crooked." This is a quality found in many of Dinesen's heroes, and one she cultivated in herself. It is the heroism of the dreamer, the eccentric, and the pervert: all those who have been planted in life with their taproots bent and who never thrive, or bear fruit, but who seem to flower "more richly than the others."
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11 July 2006

Bomb blasts in local trains killed 187 people in Bombay - tired people returning home in the evening. Blown up for no fault of their own. Followed by Malegaon blasts on 8 Sept 2006. More people killed. Survivors left to face the horrors of the day's memory. Does life have to be so miserable?
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10 July 2007


Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate... but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.
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09 July 2007

Wish list

Trek in Kumaon, live in Kausani for a few months.
Live in Goa and learn Goan, eat tons of fish.
Cover my backlog of books to be read.
Visit Mombasa and go to safari, Mt Kenya, Embu-Meru, Malindi and the Rift Valley again.
Visit Denis Finch-Hatton's grave on the Ngong Hills and Karen's home.
Do some worthwhile research
Go bicycle trekking with Youth Hostels in Ladakh.
Visit Coorg and verify its beauty.
Taste all the fruits in the world.
Sketch beautifully.
Live in Prague for a while.
Compose less cliche poems.
Extend my attention span to more than a few dozen seconds.
Be good to good people.
Respect differences in peoples' lifestyle, attitude, outlook.
Offer criticism without being judgmental.
Be inclusive without giving up my own views in spite of my confusions.
Live on a ship for a few weeks.
Visit Machu Picchu.
to be cont'd..
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Timi-Maach watching

My Bong vocab vastly improved yesterday as TD and I went whale watching with Machu and Rehman. We got to see a lot of Timi-Maach surfacing every 10 minutes to breathe and diving tail up.. leaving a glassy disc marking the place they dived in. Also came to know that these humpback whales come to the North Atlantic to feed on the fish that are abundant due to lots of phytoplankton (that make the sea look green). They grow tremendously fat and migrate to the Caribbean in winter to mate and eat almost nothing in their stay there. The sea there is blue because there is not much phytoplankton. It was great fun to ride in a speedy boat and go deep in the sea leaving everything behind. Got a slight taste of how a sailor's life must be. Machu explained why sailors walk with their legs apart even on land... as they are used to walking that way on swaying boats in rough seas. How different life seems with the sea around you. The city looks insignificant as we approach land.. a faint hint of buildings.
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03 July 2007

P Sainath - Globalizing Inequality

I got a link to P Sainath's eye-opener of a talk about real economics from my friend Ameet's links. Sainath tells us what we don't hear from any 24 hours news channel - his talk is the news in perspective. 58 min of non-preachy reporting from this truly 'down to earth' journalist. He's got real style and wit. A must see!
Synopisis of his talk - 'An evening with P Sainath'.

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