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Artist’s Impression

These words have always held a certain fascination for me – the first I remember seeing this was in an encyclopedia for children at my maternal grandparents’ home. It was something like “An Artist’s Impression of a Space City” or some such. Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few examples – from celestial events to futuristic dreams to historical happenings. What has always struck me in all these is the kind of freedom enjoyed by an artist, and the kind of strait-jacket imposed by her (or his) ‘impression’. The two present a complex interplay, the manifestation of which is wide-ranging in its aesthetics as well as its representation of something. However, the final result is always fascinating when viewed in terms of the process that brought it forth.

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This is what happens when I take a lazy stroll through my blogroll and stumble across Vijay’s posts – he seems to have a predeliction for taking all kinds of tests and putting up the results on his blog!

Well, not that I am any more resistant to the idea of having a Peculiar Aristocratic Title! Here is what I got:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lord Navin the Philomath of Old Throcking in the Hole
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I looked up what philomath means, and was rather pleased to find out that apart from a city in Oregon, it also means “a lover of learning; a scholar” or “a seeker of knowledge and facts” depending on which source you want to trust. read more

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Forty Books!

Last Sunday found us on the pavements of Abids, accompanied by the adventurous Haritha, hunting for books among the hundreds of impromptou bookstalls that had sprung up everywhere. After about five hours, we found ourselves richer by forty books, for which we had paid a total of about four hundred rupees.

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Summer Wedding

Last weekend took us on a whirlwind visit to Mumbai and Pune. Sriram, long-time friend, sharer in many an adventure (and misadventure!), sleeper at ten thirty, and a lot of other things, finally got hitched, and Vidya and I got a chance to see a Tam Brahm wedding from up close.

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The Unknown Drummer

Last weekend, Ramesh, Durai, Joshua and a few others were at the Marina beach. There they came across a funeral drummer – one of those chaps who plays the parai at a blistering tempo in funeral processions. After giving him some money, they got him to play for a while, and recorded bits of it.

Here are two clips – the supporting whistling is by Joshua!

Clip 1

Clip 2

There is only one drum, even if it sounds like a lot more!

Unfortunately, none of them remembered the drummer’s name. Ramesh says that he will go again this Sunday to the Marina and see if he can track down the drummer – but then, Ramesh is always saying things like this and never doing them. read more

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Dabbawalas Go Online

After watching inspector Ghote run into a couple of dabbawalas, I was reminded of an article I read on the BBC a few days ago. Apparently, the dabbawalas have gone online. Now, if you need your food delivered in Mumbai, all you need to do is go online to their web site at and sign up!

Here’s what the web site says about their operations:

5000 semi-literate Dabbawalas transport 1,75,000-boxes in a 3-hours period, through a 25-Km of public transportation involving multiple transfer points at six sigma level of quality! read more

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Observations on a Shaven Head

Summer has truly arrived in Chennai, and an appropriate revision of hairstyle was called for. Last evening, finding myself with some time in which I had nothing else to do, I went to the barber. After thinking of various alternatives, I did something I have never done before – had my head shaved!
The New Look!
Having never had a shorn head before, here are a few observations I have been making:

The first thing you notice when you have a shaven head is how airy it is. The joy of feeling the breezes playing about your shaven head has to be felt to be believed! read more

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