(When there can be B-Schools, why not T-Schools? There’s more of a demand for them in India anyway. And it sounds way cooler than ‘Engineering College’. My lame attempt at introducing a new word into everyone’s vocabulary. Like bitchcakes.)
There’s this urban legend about Lewis Carroll. Apparently once the Queen liked Alice in Wonderland so much that she asked for a copy of his next book. Carroll duly obliged, sending her a copy of his loyally inscribed An Elementary Treatise on Determinants.
But then that’s urban legend.
Now for some cold, hard fact.
First floor of NITK Library. Most books in order, a few thrown about here and there and stuffed into the wrong locations. A man hard at work putting books back in their correct place.
Category 500 in the Dewey Decimal System. Books on Mathematics. A bunch on Number Theory. Then some on Linear Algebra. Quite a lot, actually, on Linear Algebra. You sift through the books looking for one particular author.
Then a volume slimmer than those around it catches your eye. It looks very unlike the others. You look at the author’s name and wonder what that book is doing in Category 500. Then you look at the title and understand.
Author: Arundhati Roy. The book: The Algebra of Infinite Justice.
You never realize what you have until…. sounds too cliched, doesn’t it?
Do unto others as…. nah, this too.
Absence is to love what wind is to fire…. mush-ick-y.
Give ‘im an enema and ‘e’ll fit into a matchbox... there.. that’s a better status message.
For close to eight years now, I have been mistaken for a metalhead, so much that people once dropped by to check if I’m fine when they heard strains of Roxette’s It must have been love from my room. [I am not exaggerating... my friend felt my forehead, peered into my eyes, and gave me the mental third-degree about whether I had fallen in or out of love or what. And no, it was neither.]. I suppose that phase is ending… retro Hindi is taking over my playlist.
Talking of which, I read somewhere that Kishore Kumar once had a “Beware of Kishore” board put up on his gate. And once when a colleague came home and offered to shake hands as he was leaving, the maestro bit his hand, and laughingly asked the visitor whether he had seen the board on the gate.
And another bit of trivia… apparently Nana Patekar is a police artist – the sort to which you describe what your assailant looks like and based on that get a sketch of what (s)he probably looks like.
Watching Kamal Haasan’s Kurudhipunal, which is a remake of Govind Nihalani’s Drohkaal, I wonder what the difference between a “good” person and a “bad” one is… is an good armyman still good when he makes tiny, seemingly careless transgressions that anyone could make by mistake, at the behest of a terrorist organization that’s holding his family hostage? And that, along with a few events I came across at college makes me wonder… is a niceguy still a niceguy overall if he doesn’t remain a niceguy when faced with a nattily-dressed Natalie?
It’s amazing how little things can be such a turn-off. Like the way Sagarika Ghose says “Mmhmm”, and the finality of her tone when she says “Okay” to cut off someone she is speaking to. Or when someone swipes the kitchen counter with a dishcloth in a way which doesn’t ensure gleaming surfaces. Or uses ‘besides’ where they should actually use ‘beside’… as in “She lives besides my house”. Or simply bad grammar, zero punctuation and improper capitalization on blogs.
Talking of Ms. Ghose cutting people off, I’ve begun to watch Lok Sabha TV, and it makes such a refreshing change where you have panel discussions with not more than four panelists, where none of them cut the others off, and best of all, the moderator really moderates, and it does sound like a chat than a charged-up game of one-upmanship with the stress and time constraints showing on the reporter’s face as you so often see on 24-hour news channels. The interviews aren’t designed to provoke, but to gather insight about issues rather than people. And unlike other TRP-oriented channels, the interviewer openly says “I disagree with you on this” rather than let that show in the way he biases the discussion, and very less attempt, if at all, is made at being politically correct.
I wonder what has happened to the concept of gathering around for the purpose of idle chatter. You don’t anymore see people gathered around a park bench talking politics or cricket or national policy, or even plain gossiping… no, not even the ajjas and ajjis in panche or cotton sarees and imported sports shoes… they are too busy looking inward, closing their eyes and meditating, when they are not walking at marathon-ish speeds.
So much hoo-haa is being made about the shortage of teachers… why don’t they simply hype teaching as a career on par with one in the IT field or medicine, like it has been done in Southeast Asia and Finland, with really painful entrance exams and coursework (though I’d say the coursework in a decently good college in India is no joke either), apart from absurdly high pay?
I’m not able to understand the correlation between a good education and being a good leader. It’s the sort of thing that is taught in schools, but it seems absurd to me that Shashi Tharoor writes a column asking why when the US has its presidents from Harvard and Yale that we don’t. More than education it has to be a willingness to learn, and knowledgeability. And education, while it opens up new insights and possibly newer ways to solve problems, is no band-aid remedy for corruption; if anything, it enables you to loot the nation in a more suave way. India doesn’t have any dearth of educated politicians… Narendra Modi is a postgraduate in Political Science, Praveen Togadia is an oncologist, Manohar Parrikar and Jairam Ramesh are from IITB…. and, on the other hand, Madam Sonia didn’t even quite finish a spoken-English course at Cambridge, and after Nehru, the only graduate in the Family has been Varun Gandhi and he is not with the Congress…. well, there you go.. that resolves the doubt I put forward in the first line. But heck, what has a stint at School of Architecture given Arundathi Roy other than one of her husbands, and material for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones?
I’ve started to see ads for this proposed successor to IPL… it’s called ICL. If you, the cricket fan haven’t yet heard of it, despair not and you can stop looking for more feeds and sites to keep you updated on the latest in the Gentleman’s Game… it’s the Indian Comedy League. It’s on Star Vijay and the humour doesn’t seem much different from the other standup comedy shows… the same imitations of Vinu Chakravarthy, Chinni Jayanth, Janagaraj and Bhagyaraj.. but the team names sound cool this time – Chennai Kings, Trichy Terrors, Kovai Killadies, Pondy DeFulls, Katpadi Cutbodies, Nellai Notties, Salem Siddhars, Madurai Mannars. And for some weird reason, I have the lines in the ad going round and round my head – “Tiruchi da, kokka!”, “Ellam rendu-renda theriyudhu”, “Haiyyo.. vekka-vekkama varudhu”, “Maga, soukyama?”… Going by these, it should be called the TNCL… we didn’t see as much as a Bangalore Bandha-parties or a Kolkata Koothaadies.
After hearing about Love Story 2050, I’m wondering why coloured hair is seen as a sign of rebellion… I’ve always wanted to have my hair colored bubblegum pink or a garish violet, or electric blue streaks like Kylie of Extreme Ghostbusters, and I’m the worst sort of conformist and conservative you can find. Oh, and the reason I haven’t yet done it is the risk of follicular damage, wispiness and split-ends, all of which I can’t take for granted considering the long time it takes to recover from the effects of hard water. Oh and if you want to advise me to try burgundy or hazelnut, please don’t waste time… IMO, if you’re coloring your hair, it should look like you’ve coloured it, not like you’re trying to cover up a few greys.
And… the other debutante flick… Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na… from what I’ve heard of the storyline, it’s a remake of the Prashant-Shalini starrer, Piriyaadha Varam Vendum, Shalini’s last flick before she succumbed to the pressures of matrimony, which itself was a remake of a Malayalam flick called Niram. While it is refreshing to *not* hear the line “But… we’re friends!”, or variations thereof, it gets onto your nerves to hear yet again that Ladka-Ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte. I can’t help but give an ironic laugh at that.
Look at the ease with which I declared a movie I hadn’t even seen to be a remake of a Tam flick… for some reason I seem to worship Tamil cinema, atleast more than Bollywood or even Hollywood, as I discovered on a long, long discussion with yet another fanatic.
There’s this old, old friend of mine who I’ve long lost touch with, who I had almost forgotten about. Recently, I was reminded of a story idea suggested by this friend – a murder mystery set in the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. Of course, he called it the Indus Valley Civilization, and staunch Congressman, secularist and Anglophile that he was, he called the river as Indus, or if we got into specifics, the Ghaggar-Hakra, instead of the Sarasvati. Gives me an indication of how much I seem to have changed in idealogy since then, but still, that’s one heck of a story idea… anyone any more ideas, anyone?
And in case you’re wondering what Minestrone is… here.