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Diaries from Half-a-year Ago

A couple of diary-like entries I wrote about six months ago.

25th August 2005

Written on the night train to Coimbatore

And so it begins.

A journey speeding into the night. A familiar route, an unfamiliar journey.

I look out of the window and see a swathe of stars. A bit of sky is visible through the window, and of it, only a small swathe is cloudless. The stars shine brightly, seemingly mocking me, for it is such an unfamiliar sky. I cannot name one single object in the bit of sky I can see. Normally, I would be able to point out a planet, or a constellation, or even the odd star. But this time, I’m stumped. I am very disconcerted by the unfamiliar sky. It all adds up, lending more and more to the atmosphere around me.

The past few weeks have been woolly. Very woolly. I have written nothing – not even a two line blog post, and feel both stifled as well as blocked. I seem to have a lot of things to say, yet, nothing to say. I have been talking to others, but myself mostly, about this, and trying to break this drought. I have been unable to do so, and this rambling is perhaps the first concrete step towards breaking free.

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Not So Bubbly

I’ve been meaning to write about the Pepsi bubbly tv ad for quite a few days. The different things that sing the bubbly song seem to have been ripped off from other ads / celebrities. The singing guitar is obviously Saif Ali Khan – the Asian paints ad where he is seen with a guitar, and his unmistakable voice; the singing floodlights and the Elvis hanging from the car rear view mirror sing in Amitabh’s voice; Shah Rukh Khan’s pocket is, of course, Sehwag, the Sirji ripped off from the Boost ad[Link from Amit at India Uncut]. The singing navels – I haven’t figured that out yet – are they a rip off of the voices from the Seven Up jingle? And the singing burger – yet to figure it out. read more

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Sushmita Sen – A thousand times better than Fiver… err… Pfeiffer?

Bhawna Satsangi writes in The Hindu, in the imaginatively titled article, Making SENse:

Suhmita is also excited about her latest release, Harry Baweja’s Main Aisa Hi Hoon, based on I Am Sam.


Adds the actress, “Ajay Devgan is impressive in the film. I play the character of Michelle Fiver. The Indian version is a thousand times better than the Hollywood original.”

Well, Sean Penn’s performance in I Am Sam got him an Oscar nomination. Does Sushmita Sen seriously believe that she and Ajay Devgan have outperformed Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer? Or, is the writer misquoting her. The latter seems more likely, seeing how she calls Pfeiffer Fiver! read more

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The Hunt is on…

Hunting barbary sheep, blackbuck, wild hog and a variety of other animals just got easier. It does not matter which part of the world you are in, and whether hunting is legal or not where you are. All you need to do is log on to and sign up. Then, you hunt with your mouse, and what you shoot, gets sent to you, both meat as well as trophies.

Strange thing is, I really do not know how I feel about this. Is it okay because this is happening in a culture where hunting is (or used to be) an integral part of life? Or is it inhuman and cruel to hunt animals for ‘sport’ where the odds are stacked totally in the hunters favour? read more

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Life and Death

On Sunday, I attended the interment of the ashes of one of my grand-uncles. It was at the St. George’s Cathedral Cemetry, and there was a small group of family members present.

As I stood in the cemetry, I could hear the squirrels squeaking and chattering as they scampered about the branches of the big trees. Parakeets squeaked loudly as they streaked between the treetops and noisily settled down into their cubbyholes. Everywhere, life was highly visible, noisily, gaily and in blazing, vivid colour. I couldn’t but help wonder about what impression I got when I visited a hospital, that place where most human life originates. The feeling of death hovers, ever visible in its lesser manifestations; lurking just below the surface, waiting to happen, to take away the vacillating. read more

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Emerson to Elck

Elck’s beautifully simple poem reminded me for some reason of one of my personal favourites:

Emerson’s Brahma

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
I am the hymn the Brahmin sings. read more

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BSNL Dataone

If you thought the BSNL Dataone offers sounded too good to be true, you are probably right! Just like everyone else, I too was excited at the plans and convinced my boss that we should shift from our existing Airtel 512 broadband line to a BSNL Dataone connection. As the published tariff was exactly half of what we were paying, it also seemed a wise decision from a budget point of view.

So, we filled out the form and submitted it at our local exchange, and were told that “someone would come to our premises and do the installation.” read more

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