Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Perceived insults to religions
I had thought that Christians were above it but the catholic protests over the film Sins or the Sikh protests against Jo Bole So Nihaal, all seem equally pointless. Bengalis protest against someone daring to show their Subhash babu as married and want the film to be withdrawn from cinemas. Shiv Sena persons are already well known for their attack at attempts to "corrupt the Bhartiya sanskriti". The saddest thing is that Government seems to cave in, in front of any such protest. I wish someone would tell all these moral police to go to hell and if they don't listen, put them in jail.
In the park, I was eating some shahtoots when Brando pulled me away. The branch in my hand slipped and went up, showering a rain of dark shatoots on my head, leaving purple marks on my shirt. It reminded me of eating jamuns at Badri Vishal pitti's house in Hyderabad. Thinking of Hydrabad made me think of Mr. Rock and his wife, our neighbours in N.Rajendra Nagar. Their twin sons, Jeremy and Stephan. Mrs. Rock's nephew had come from Secundrabad. In the evening we would sit together on the wall in front of our home and chat for hours. He was working at a car workshop in Sindhi house. After the Rocks left for Australia, he too went away. Can't remember his name or his face!
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Tourist in Rome
For such a long time, I had stopped looking at Rome through the eyes of a tourist. I looked at it as any other city where I had to go to work, so going to Rome meant rushing around in the underground, cursing for the traffic jams and hardly ever raising up the eyes to look around. And yet, it is enough to stop for a moment and look around, it is so incredibly beautiful. Look at the pictures and tell me if you don't agree.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Hindi film reviews on internet
It was completely opposite the last week when Naina came out. Indiafm went on for days and days about how good the film is, what a wonderful actress Urmila is, etc. but for Rediff.com it was a bad copy of a hollywood flick.
Wonder if these websites get contracts for publicity of films, so if they get the contract they praise it and if rivals get it they tear it down?
Sunil Dutt is dead. I remember meeting him in 1968, near Kutub Minar. They were shooting for Gauri. It was a song, Sunil Dutt and Mumtaz, walking down a small hill with a gumbaj behind them, Dil mera tumhari adayaein le gayin.. Mumtaz had started the transformation but was still not the solo heroine. Gauri had Nutan as heroine.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Doing Yoga netis at Brahmchari asharam
Eating grass to vomit reminds me of going to Dhirendra Brahmchari's ashram near Gol daak-khana in early seventies. The yoga classes started around 5 in the morning. I would go by bicycle from Rajendra Nagar. There we had to do the netis - all the different techniques for cleaning the body. The first neti to be learned was that of vomiting for cleaning the stomachs. Everyone drank a few glasses of tepid water and then cheerfully vomited in the round space delimited by a low wall. Just watching others vomiting brought a wave of nausea initially. Do proper vomiting beta, Bhramchari ji's assistants extorted. So fingers in the throat, going ga-ga-ga, till tears came out, trying to vomit. However, with practice, things got much better. Just standing near the vomiting place, a quick contraction of tummy muscles, brought out every thing inside in a generous bout of vomit.
There were other netis to learn like taking strings of clothe, putting them in one side of nose, taking out of the other, swallowing the clothe-strings, meters and meters of it, and then bring them out again (probably by mouth I think!). I never came around to those other netis, never progressing beyond the vomiting neti. Just writing about it, has brought a bit of nostalgia for healthy vomiting. Wonder if I can try it again one of these days, may be when I am alone at home with only Brando (who I am sure would approve!).
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Eating crescentine in the park
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Durga Puja
Remember watching Chotti si Mulakat in Alipur Dwar. Vyjayantimala and Ya Ya Hippi Hippi in technicolor. Upperstall says that "He produced Chhotisi Mulaqaat in 1967 starring himself and Vyjayantimala. The film was adaptated from Agniparikhsha and had music by Shankar-Jaikishen . The film however was a dismal failure at the box-office leaving him with a pile of debt and probably leading to his first heart attack. Though he recovered and returned to full time acting, thus clearing his debts, he was never to produce a film again."
The Bangladeshi DVD shop owner has so many Bengali films. The DvD with Nayak has 11 of his films, including different films with Suchitra sen.
Makes me remember the Durga Puja in the park in R-block, where they would show all those emotional films - Deep Jale Jaye, Saptpadi,...
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Nostalgia killing by fresh fruit & Vegetables
Morning Raga brought memories of Malati. Renu's friend in NPL. In our home, everyone was didi-dada, but not in Rahul's home. There Renu was just Renu. And Malati. Her voice heavy, almost like a man's. Practicing Carnatak music. Heavenly. Thinking of Malati brought in mind her sister in law, Vatsal's wife. Their twin sons. Crying desperately in the corridor at Wellingdon hospital, the blanket dirty with blood. Didn't know, how to console her. What do we men know about loss of some thing that grows inside you?
I cooked bhindi today. And some arabi. It makes me a bit sad to find all these vegetables at the Bangladeshi fruit and vegetable stalls in Bologna. Till two years ago, I would wait for months to go to Delhi, mentally tasting arhar ki daal, bhindi, karela, mooli ... Now every thing is there, very convenient but not so good for the nostalgia.
The Bangladeshi girl in the store had packed bhindi and arabi, and asked, want some fresh mangoes? Made me shudder. Nostalgia and memories killed by fresh fruit & vegetables that come every week from Bangladesh.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Live radios from Delhi
As I work, It is good to listen to Hindi music on internet but sometimes, I wish there was a live radio-station from New Delhi that I could listen to. There are other live radios with Indian music but I want a live station from Delhi.
Italy has hundreds of web-based radios. Any radio worth its salt has an internet version. Why can't the Indian radios do that? Why is website of All India radio without live broadcast for last 2 years or so? I wonder if Delhi B still has Forces' Request with old songs from 1950s and 1960s?
I would love to hear a radio talking about traffic between Maalcha marg and Moolchand or accident near ITO, or the procession blocking Patel Nagar, while I sit in my office, look out at San Luca on the top of the verdant hill and imagine that going out, I can get out at Shanker Road, walk towards J block, pass behind Manav Sthali ...
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Ramayan in the subconscious
In the park, he sometimes decides that he has had enough of following me around and refuses to move, holding on tight to the ground, looking at me defiantly. This one I call his "Angad ji" look. Today I thought about this going back to personalities from Ramayan. Of course, it is all between me and him since here no one else, including Nadia would understand what I mean by Sita maiyya or Angad ji. However, I am a bit surprised how some things can go deep inside the mind and come out suddenly like that.
Another example is the involuntary "hey Ram" when I saw a bad accident in front of me. Looking at the boy's body covered with blood, the words 'hey Ram' kept on echoing in my head for a long time. Yet, if anybody asks me if I believe in Ganesh or Ram or other Gods, Hindu or from any other religion, my answer would be an emphatic no. I don't feel that praying before a statue or saint is going to change any thing. Yet, I know, I would go on thinking of Sita maiyya and Angad ji and hey Ram.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Delhi blogs and nostalgia
Friday, May 13, 2005
Ceramic cows in Vienna
In a small Turkish kebab shop, the man asked if I was from India. From where? his eyes lighted up. For some time we chatted in Punjabi. His Jullundher dialect was so strong that I could hardly understand him. He had been around. Italy, USA, Canada, UK. Emigrant lives. He made me a big kebab with extra helping of every thing, including the hot red sauce.
In the end, while choosing a picture to represent the Vienna visit, I choose the ceramic statue of a blue cow from the garden in front of a restaurant near the jesuit house for the cover page of Kalpana. I thought of the cows sitting in the middle of road in Delhi, munching placidly, uncaring about the fumes of buses and scooters going around them. Would they look better if their owners painted them in reds and yellows? Would they be envious of these shining ceramic cows, forever in middle of a garden. Perhaps not, here they risk being served on a plate.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Tourist-guide in Bologna
Suddenly this desire to write is back. Not the crazy energy that poured out all the time. More tired energy. Wonder, how long it would last. Had a look at new blog pages at Blogger.com, where Mukul has his blog. I like the colours of Mukul's blog. But how many blogs about confused thoughts, random thoughts, wandering thoughts, fragments, confusion.. So many persons not knowing how to express themselves and to whom!
Pam left back for London yesterday. It was real fun to have her here in Bologna. I was her tourist guide, taking her around. A wonderful person. Went to meet Prof. Pampiglione with her, in his 7th floor apartment. They were together in Mozambique thirty years ago. The pictures of towers of Bologna is from his terrace.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Clouds, Triveni Kala Sangam and Farhat
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