Thursday, December 30, 2010

Calvin :: The Philosopher

We all love the little chap Calvin, who plays with his tiger Hobbes. He entertains us with his daily exploits about life, exams and parents (we can always argue the degree of difficulty to deal with each of these!). He makes us smile with his little innocuous comments and imagined superheroes.

Once in a while, he pulls gems like these to make us realize that humour actually reaches across deeper than a lot of other feelings:

© Universal Press Syndicate
(Click on the comic strip to see a larger image)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Internet Warriors - Duty Calls

A brilliant comic from XKCD. I am sure a lot of you would agree with this. I would not ask which side you are on, but either sides for sure! :)

(Image Link:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Statue fiasco in Pune

(Alternative title: Why do we get angry when they call us a Third World country! - as said by Nik)

If you read this Hindustan times article, it seems like a gripping action scene from a thriller novel. Another article by HT explains the politics behind the statue removal. They seem to drag the untiringly debated Brahmin-Maratha angle to this political scenario.

Caste politics at its best!

AC wrote a nice post on how a citizen feels about the whole issue on his blog.

Here is a picture that shows the innocuous statue and the lovely Lal Mahal in the background.

(Image courtesy:

In the picture, starting from the left is Dadoji Konddev, little Shivaji and his mother Jijabai.

Whether it reflects accurate historical facts or not is entirely debatable. And this debate can go on and on.

But trust Indian politicians to make an issue of this and trouble the daily schedule of a commoner!

Wonder what Mayawati has to say about the Statue politics!

Books that i plan to read in 2011

On Twitter, I have been going gaga about the books i have procured. I did buy them to read them. So, 2011 seems like a year where i will try to read as much as possible. Here are some of the books that i have and intend to read in the near future:

I know that to-do lists aren't helpful for me, but hopefully i will complete these before starting the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, complete the Bartimaeus trilogy (Earlier post here) and other interesting series. :)

Update: Hopefully I can include The Kingkiller Chronicle as well.

Happy Reading.

On rat races...

AC put up an interesting POV through his post Pursuing responsibilities & man made necessities before building a permanent career. It ensued some comments from me and AC did answer the queries. P chipped in with her fresh and positive outlook.

After a long time it was good to debate about something that all of us face and will face in our daily routines.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mash Up

So i started with Questions, while i was In Translation between Parallel Tracks and Again when i was on the Giant Wheel. I was just looking for a Vacation for Another day with Music in Mumbai. But what i got was a deal with Unity in Diversity and a First One on Ironical Environmentalism. I was wondering When will we learn when Old Thoughts when Dirt Track Racers took me on a Diabolic Agenda and made me Shuffle my Dilemma.

While i considered visiting the Pune Pattern to see the Deteriorating Sahyadris and again the Pune Pattern for the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in San Jose, I had to Follow up on my Frustrations. Suddenly i was like Ahh Metallica is Back and Phew for some Lessons for Rikshawallahs, which by the way are Ironic.

I stumbled across Ode to the Horde and A prolific writer and then a A beautiful tale called Shantaram. But alas, Ayurvedic Medicine for Swine Flu - Wow took my attention away from Describing Love Of Beer Bearers. It took me 19 days between Mumbai and Zurich to understand the Smart Burglars and give them Guru Gyan. There i was asked to produce my Voter's ID and several Chaostion Marks were raised, which were solved in the Museum of Memories.

I then read the Vultures by Chinua Achebe along with some Music and Some words here n there. I as about the find the difference between A rose with any other name, when Life and Lyrics and Blinkers came along a Name with a Link and i was like, Might...Maybe and Not! But as they say, there is Light at the End of Paranoia for The Sheep Story and also for the Song Set 2 and Some Words.

In the night i saw the Golden Moon and read I love myself as much as a penguin loves an ipod. I also wondered about the Moon and the Box and the Grind it on a Pack of cards, Being a topper in the class. Dilemma hit again and A search story was unravelled Too Soon with Updates about Fear.

To write a story about My Acting Portfolio or On hating prejudiced people was the question i raised in the E-mail sent on the last day at work. I got answers in Instincts and feelings and Symbols and another question, And Why to Tweet! What do i say About Love, it is All in good faith.

Did you dream last night about the Diwali shopping scenes or about the Short Story - The Whore of Mensa? Ah, or you can see Some lovely verses that i read or the Unfairy Tale about Kid me not. There are of course Words for things incomplete and The More Loving One!

I have an Amulet of Samarkand. Is that Weird? I also work on A Song and a Sketch while i Wear Sunscreen. But then, Understanding, are we?

Well, might as well chase The Lizard King and look for Fantasy Books and the answer will still be 42! Do you want me to tell you about Some of the books that i have really loved or A Historic Love Story?

Are you with me?

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Historic Love Story

Anidin was an interesting chap. Very diverse a personality and intriguing nature. And yes he was really attracted to someone for a long time hundreds of billions of years go.

Anidin was in love with Rani Catcat.

Together, they lived in the friendly neighborhood household known as Anawdong Land. They were really close, but they shared more than just their proximity. They shared their love for the same seasons, their love for the same animals and their penchant for inertia. They were close, very close.

Then after living together for a long time, Time stole everything from them. Time is such a thief. Like every other story, the lovers estranged, they broke up. They started moving away from each other. It took a long time for them to actually move away.

Meanwhile Anidin started getting attracted to Siaa. (Yeah, even the name sounds attractive, eh?) But Rani had a lot of feelings inside her. She just couldn't let go, didn't want to let go and found it tough to survive the separation and became cold, blue and very cold. Nevertheless, she fought her personal battles herself.

Anidin on the other hand mercilessly moved away. The speed at which he got attracted to Siaa was so much that it was magical. Feelings formed mountains. Valleys of flowers bloomed. New love. Fresh love. Anidin got so attached to Siaa he didn't realise when some part of him was turning cold. He not even realise that this cold-part increased every year. Inch by Inch.

Suddenly one day, Anidin realised that the coldness was the remnants of the love he had for Rani. Rani who was now cold and blue, and it was that amazing bond of memories that was forming this new bond. A cold but time immemorial bond. A bond that no one could break.

Not even a distance of half of the earth and time of a million years.

Love. Love is strange. Love is something where reason stops.

This is the little story of Anidin, Rani Catcat from the Anawdong Land days and their breakup before Anidin met Siaa and his persistent coldness!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some of the books that I have really loved...

The list could keep changing ahead. I will try to restrict myself to say 15 of my favourite books?
  • Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (This is sheer poetry)
  • Amulet of Samarkand - Jonathan Stroud (There cannot be another Bartimaeus)
  • Radheya (In Marathi) - Ranjit Desai (Karna as a protagonist changed my outlook forever)
  • Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts (A very in depth portrayal of Mumbai)
  • The Zahir - Paulo Coelho (Struck me by its simplicity yet the reach, personal)
  • The Outsider - Albert Camus (Words shot from an AK47 about existentialism)
  • Animal Farm - George Orwell (Less said the better!)
  • Fools Die - Mario Puzo (I remember the gambling scene at the beginning, still feel the journey)
  • The Chancellor Manuscript - Robert Ludlum (Espionage and political crime thriller)
  • Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome (Humour writing at its best)
  • Life at Blanding's (Omnibus) - P. G. Wodehouse (This is the series that got me hooked!)
  • Curtain: Poirot's Last Case - Agatha Christie (Ironically, the first Christie I read)
  • Icon - Frederick Forsyth (Espionage, CIA, KGB, classic Foryth story telling)
  • The 11th Commandment - Jeffrey Archer (Just for the ending!)
  • Wyatt's Hurricane - Desmond Bagley (The first full length novel i read, and re-read a lot of times, still remember the elation!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This is post number 42 for 2010 and I thought, why not dedicate it to the answer to life the universe and everything.

No, then do a Google search.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fantasy books

So, after reading the Harry Potter a long time back, I came across the Bartimaeus Trilogy quite recently. I have so far just read the first book of the series as I have posted here. Suddenly, it struck me that there is a whole, exhaustive 'fantasy' genre. And it's a big ocean out there! There are tons of websites dedicated to this genre! For starters, check here, here and here. And yes, I have been researching since a month or so and I am totally lost!

Most of them allude to J.R.R. Tolkein as the great grandfather of fantasy (The very well known Lord of the Rings trilogy). And then there is Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time series), the revered George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire series), Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy) and so many others.

I have now started reading A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin from The Song of Ice and Fire series. Maybe, I will follow it up with the next one from the series or will go back to reading the next of the Bartimaeus Trilogy. I am also inclined to check either Robert Jordan or Robin Hobb (though different style of writing and story lines) to see which series I can dive deep into. (You can see the amount of confusion that I encounter!)

Overall, I am really amazed at the way these authors have created entire worlds and characters and added plots, battles, twists and mind-numbing dialogues. I am not much of a magic and magical creatures fan. I prefer kings and their kinsmen, women, politics, betrayal and their epic and grand battles.

Many people have written about these books that the best ones are not just the about the good winning over evil. It is the good that is filled with dark characters and the evil charachters being good at what they are known! There is no straight distinguishing line for sure. Intriguing and entrancing.

Ok, with that lets revel in what the print offers us!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Lizard King

Over a cup of chai with Manash, the topic of the artist, poet and mystic James Douglas Morrison was brought up. Just yesterday was his birthday anniversary. Had he been here, on the human earth, he would have been 67. The lizard king, old and probably still writing golden words.

For us though, he would always be young. That crazy guy who spoke art to the art. No one came in between. It was his words, his voice and his feelings. They reached the pinnacle that only Jim Morrison can reach. He opened The Doors for the majority.

There is a line that is credited to him (debatable), but it has the flavor that his art stood for:

'There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are The Doors of perception.'

Of the many names given to him, The Lizard King is very intriguing. Those of you who are Doors addicts know that the very line 'I am the Lizard King, I can do anything' is such mysterious source of undefined energy that every time you say/hear/read this line it envelopes you in a vibrant trance!

So where did this name originate from? From the poem written by him called 'The Celebration Of The Lizard'? Most likely! Here are a few lines from the poem:

Some outlaws live by the side of a lake
The minister's daughter's in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We're almost home

Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Moon, moon, moon
I will get you soon…soon…soon!

I am the Lizard King
I can do anything


For seven years I dwelt in the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games with the girls of the island
Now I have come again to the land of the fair
And the strong and the wise

Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
Children of night
Who among you will run with the hunt?

Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready

Beautiful words which are rendered even more amazing if you can think them as being narrated by one of the greatest voice of all time. Jim, the philosopher. There can be no one like him. There will be no one like him. May his soul rest in peace.

I had written a post about the song 'The End' sometime back. I was in a trance then. I am in trance even now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Understanding, are we?

How in life we expect others to understand us, while failing to understand others. Really. And not understand others from our perspective (that's judging in my opinion) but a view of what the others really are. Oh how much!

We are all just misunderstood selfish beings. Or is that an understatement?

Updates received on Buzz to this post:

SM: Understanding others basically require people you group with are of same likes, viewpoints etc. But understanding self requires much more mental depth and of course courage to think straight, right and practical. You also need to have courage to accept yourself as what you really are. Most of us have dual (multi-faceted) personalities. We never reveal our genuine nature, opinions etc. Many time opinions are situation based.

K: That is a very deep thought. And i agree that opinions are circumstantial. They change as the times / situations change. But then, i believe it changes our level of understanding too. That is why i felt that we are too judgmental at times and we falsely believe (or like to believe) that we can understand it entirely.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wear Sunscreen

By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '98: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
You can also find the audio-video here.