Saturday, February 04, 2006

You and I

If you found that you were me
You’d be undoubtedly confused.
You wouldn’t know how to row
Against the currents that you know.
You’d want to write a book
And pen a witty tome
Or maybe be a crook
And steal an island home.
But every time your eyes
Fall on the thing you prize
A whiff of something new
Lights another fire in you.
Does all this chaos worry you?
Or does the upheaval excite you?
Would you rather this the storm?
Or have it be the norm?
Either way is fine
‘Cause it’s not you;
It’s me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Charm of Rhyme

Few professional partnerships prompt audiences to exclaim "Woah Siva Shankara!" And then there are the elite amongst these that have moulded the collective consciousness of their time - Woodward and Bernstein, Laurel and Hardy, Calvin and Hobbes, Van GauGau and Total Raja, Ebert and Roeper, Butch and Sundance etc.

Woah Siva Shankara!! Van GauGau and Total??? *

Yes, it's true, you may not be fans, you may not like their brutal honesty in the face of adversity, you may shudder and cower at the sight of them (more likely that of Van GauGau - I mean, just look at him; ugh!), you may not agree with their dark and sordid un-bubblegummy world view, you may not care for their adjectives (un-bubblegummy??), but we hope that at the very least they'll have you break out into a smile.

Without further ado, here are the few remaining saved masterworks of the delectably delinquent Van GauGau and Total Raja. **


(from gaugau’s account: during the heydays of Shakey’s love)
The following are Shakey's feelings which i am having to air ... because he's too
drunk to type ...

A Ditty for Aditi…

Whiskey, rum, gin and Sherry
What a mix; you make me merry
Khatti like mango Karry
let us take the bombay ferry
we'll together open a dairy
we r a couple, like Tom and Jerry
i am the wild crazy strawberry
u r the sweet and red hot cherry
i know u think i very scary
but i am not just some tom dick or harry

to cut it short ...
my lovely fairy...
will u me marry ?

Total and Gaugau with feelings from Shakey (7510)
and dirty lines from Toxie


(during Gaugau’s joos rampage: the first EVER juice abt Ampy)

I think you're so Vampy
You make my heart go Yippity-Dampy
In front of you other girls look so trampy
In Europe we'll meet up in the town of Bratislampy.
We can live in a Red Indian tepee
Just like my granny and my Grampy.
That's it. I'll tune in to < >'s Winampy.


p.s. < > this space for sale. RJs pls contact 7506.


(gaugau’s bongali proposal to mun^2)

Aami tumoko bhalo bhashi ...
tomi amar Roshogolla ..
Tomi amar Mishti Doi ..
u are better than CPI and CPI-ML ...
ee na cholbay... ee cholbay na ...
tumi amar hobay .. right here right naw ..

Ghau Ghau Moshai


(more crap during the gaugau rampage)

Oh my Vanashreee...
Lets run around a tree...
Lets go to FR and get pepsi free ..
u be mine, urs i'll be ...
dum de da dum de de..
On SPSS i'll plot a a scree
in ur love i make bad poetry



(the first in the series of gaugau’s pre-exchange blues)

Tigress tigress burning bringht ....
in the wimwi day and nite ..
u are perfect, u r right ..
tum pe main marunga fight ..
I am Clinton u are Albright
u r the jeans that fits me tight..
ok i sleep now goodnite.

William gaugau Blake


(the one direct from the heart)

Sonalisa Sonalia ...
I'll go to the Louvre and repaint the Monalisa ..
i'll go to Italy ... but i'll see u in Pisa ...
Your face will be there in the anchovis on the pizza....

If u say, i'll cancel my Visa...
(Bach jaye ga mere baap ka thoda paisa ;)
nahin koi tumhare jaisa ...
Sonalisa Sonalisa

Vincent Van GauGau


For Deepthi, written before Gaugau embarks on his epic exchange sojourn to Italy.

deepthi rajeshwari tatineni
you are my feni
you are my one and onli
won't you give me compani
on these days that are raini?

ditch that silly bf - ugh! popat!
with that silly little army-style crewcut
and nothing to compensate for all that
but that itsy-bitsy tight butt

auug, I mean... forget it, I'm your man
after I come back from europe
we can get together and do the can can
and this time I promise I won't screw up.


(the last one before the exchange)

I'm throwing me a farewell party. Bow wow!
First come first serve. Now now,
None of that fighting, dishum dishum pow pow!
Form a line. No pushing, shove shove.

Bet ur asking who what when where how. How-
rah Bridge, Saturday night. Bring pigs, Bring sow. So W-
e'll have ourselves a super duper luau. Luau?
Hawaian feast basically. Good chow. Ciao,

Gau Gau


(hahahhahaha. The Rap song - hot on the heels of mass listenings of LudaKrishna. From Total's account)

For Once... I am Short of Words

I walk through the forest,
i look at a tree...
i ask my maker
whatay devine mystery...

i have red many a pages of history
from Tolstoy to Dostoyevsky...
i have drowned my pains..
some times rum sometimes whisky..

i want to repent for my wonton ways...
no more horses no more gays...
no more shrieks and no more brays ..
a one woman man i shal be
no more handcuffs no more flays
no more parties or one night lays
i have emptied my fridge..
it got no more baffle trays.

getting bak to da point ..
baby here me so...
i aint got no..
saaa tiss faak shunn
lets cut the crap
this aint no time for rap ..

im so geeky im so classy,
i'll be the kid, u be my lassy,
i think u r of the best pedigree,
dont complain to pgp...
they may take away my degee
ohh i love u so vanashree

also found filigree ... fit where applicable.
Blessed are the geek
For they shall inherit the earth.

- Total 5:5


(one more from the stable of Shaky)

The mathematecian's problem

Suppose there is hairy* mathematician in D1510,
who for ever and ever has been a singleton..
let us also assume he has the bigest biceps on campus ..
and he did it 73 times on the informals stage...
we are talking about push-ups here ...

Furthur let us question his virility...
takeing the right hand limit to infinity,

Vinu: wow panky !! this problem is quite seminal !!
Dolly: Panky darling u r sensational !!

Shakey: Shut up u two minions !! the questions is....
what is the closed form solution to the Derichlet Integrel?

Chakra: Abe lekin ye juce kahan hua !!

Shakey: Abe bewakoof ....
cant u see it is all part of my strategy (the subject i love) ...
Obviously ne girl who has red thus far is the one for me
come baby spank me ...
waiting is ur panky !!


i'll be the roop ...
u be my rani ..
i just hope..
it's u vaani..
if u say no ..
i'll give up juice and drink onli paani !!


* poetic licence

(from Slippy’s account: in anger at his having made me wake up unnecessarily at the unearthly hour of 8.45 to attend a non-existent AMDA class)

Deepthi Meri Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

Tu meraaaaaa Xena
Main tera Sabrina

Chalo hum dono jaadu kar sakton
Phir is duniya mein aaa jaatoon

Tumko dekhe Angrezi bhool jaaton
Aaon yeh bakwaasi Hindi mein karen mulakaaton

Hum dono Pcom ko chod jaaton
Fine ke paisa se, aao
Diu jaaton.

Yourj truli,


(from Inja’s account: following her harrowing showdown with the HHM Prof.)

I love everyone…

But the stupid HHM prof.
I hate to scoff
But he's countrier than Anta
I hate to rant. Aaaaa!!
But he's dumber than Gobu
I hate to Sob. Ooooh
But he's hairier than Challa
I hate that fella'
He's stubborner than Lakshman
Thank God his classes are all done
He's idioticer than Tharki
And to top it all, very ugli.
He's irritatinger than Total
I hate him hate him hate HHM. So tell
Him he ain't nobody's boss.
I need to call someone... Booooooooooopooossssss.

If electricity comes from electrons does it mean morality comes from morons?


* Here's who to throw the muck at:

** Taken from the archives of the Juice NB, DBabble, IIM-A Server, 2004-05

Saturday, October 15, 2005

On Change

When the sun sets
Over flags
And anthems
And rhythms
And seasons
And spices
And lines.
Are you back at home?

You are still the same

In the rain
An umbrella was offered
And it was pouring
And well intentioned.
But refused

In the train
Empty seats were proferred
Yet you remained
Out of habit.


When the smoke clears -
The same desires,
And dreams,
Haunt you.

And when the sun rises
Over colours
Over sand
And wind
And new places
Strange faces.
Dulls the pain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Crystal Gazing

I observe him endlessly; he is the beginning and the end, search for signs, always seeing the reflections and drawing the comparisons. I look at old photos, see the semblance. I pick up the phone; "Docto…??", quickly interrupting "Umm, just a minute". We go to a concert. Amma sits between us but my eyes wander nevertheless. I see the way his hand rests on his chin. It is the way I rest my hand on my chin. I see that he searches, as I do, for patterns in the notes, tries to understand how the instrumentalist converts this purely sequential, mathematical progression of notes into this. This. THIS. This thing, indescribable, spellbinding, indecipherable, encapsulating, omniscient, it's all around us, blocks out all our other senses, and we are both caught in a rapture, slaves till the player stops. The show is billed as a duet; Mandolin Srinivas and his younger brother who also plays the mandolin. As well. Nearly. They are both brilliant. But Srinivas is something extra, a tad of genius shining through with his every pluck, every pick. I throw a dart of communion to Rajesh.

After the show, we argue about the dinner venue; but he makes it difficult, puts the onus of choice on me. I have no energy to play this game; throw up options one after another, while he shoots them down, slowly brings out his constraints, one after one after one after one, all the while getting more annoyed at my lack of understanding of him. He orders a plate of Cholle Bature. I do too, but I add a plate of Idly Vada. He lays out the table, one tumbler of water for him, by the side, pills in hand, asks if I need a tumbler as well. I do of course, who doesn't, but I say No.

The dishes arrive; I dig in, eating furiously, ravenously, none of that etiquette-workshop roll-the-noodles categorize-the-spoons for me. I love the feel of this place. I love the crowdedness, the crowd itself; mostly labourers returning from construction sites, garages, factories, workshops, housewives bringing their children home from tuition classes, dance lessons, theatres, wherever. I am one with them, one amongst them, we are all one mass of happy eaters. He is finicky if he does not find a spoon to eat with; a remnant of his days in America. He loves the place. The people. The ideology. He is far more enthused about my new job in the farawayland than I am; takes out maps, atlases, marks out streets and residential areas, scans websites, emails friends, plans out routines. He dreams up ways of repaying his alta mater, giving back to it what he feels is owed. Tries to pull me in, outlines his vision, his ideas, shows me the presentation he made to the graduate school, the spreadsheet outlining the financial outlays he intends to make from his own purse. I am impressed, both by his insight and the uniqueness of his plan. But I can't, won't, don't show it.

He tells me about the various hotels, places to stay in Boston. I am not listening, shut myself out. I am not him. He of the piercing eye is not I of the piercing eye. He of the sharp nose is not I of the sharp nose. He of the bald pate is not I of the balding pate. Earlier, I used to be NOTHIM, !HIM, deliberate, the exact opposite, a pole apart, smoke if he does not, quit if he does, Luddite to his techie, geek to his Luddite, Yes if he is No, No if he is Yes, Maybe NOT if he is Maybe. Today, I am not him. He of the engineering faith is not I of the engineering nonchalance. He of the diligence and the preparation and the forecasting and the creation of supports and fortresses and barriers and the protection is not I of the randomness, of the I-want-to-find-a-way-wherever, the laid-backness, the opening up of new vistas, the breadth of the ocean.

In the evening, we take a long walk around the park. There are clouds in the sky; the sun is covered, and there are no shadows.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On Possession

An invisible fence;
A magician's ropes,
To blind our sense
And entangle our hopes.

Maybe love is a pullover
To don on wintry nights.
Possession a means to lower
Us. From such dizzy heights.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

On Tag

Here I am, 13 days down the line, realizing that I've been tagged by Shyam. Tag - one of those unfortunate words that has inane negative associations (in this case that repellent non-character stand-in of Rachel's from Season 5(?) of Friends). Anyhow, here we are...

1. Books I own:

I generally disown more books than I care to own; so the ones I own tend to fall mainly under the category of those that I think I'll feel the need to re-read in future. Which, come to think of it, is in fact what I like to tell myself; in reality, there are scores of books I never intend to read again lying around in my house. Mostly contemporary fiction is all I can say I guess.

2 & 3. Books I recently bought and am reading now:

(Note the ingenious way in which I have used my mastery of the intricacies of the English language to condense the above two points)

In reverse chronological order of purchase:
a) The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx.

Mostly I bought this book because I love the sound of her surname. Proulx. P-R-O-U-L-X. Prowlx. Prrooooooooool. Proox (if the L were silent) or maybe Proouhx. It would be cool if both the L and the X were silent, making it Proo, which in retrospect, sounds kinda stupid.

All this is to say nothing of the book of course. The blurb on Amazon will do a better job of that. (As you can see I am a mosht humble fellow.)

b) Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow.

I'd been meaning to pick up this book - Bellow's ruminations on the meaning of death - for ages and when the fella went ahead and popped it himself, it seemed an appropriate time to reach out for this Bellow.

c) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre.

Found this when I was looking for THe Spy Who Came in From the Cold at Blossom book store on Church Street, which with its somewhat-organized rows of second-hand books has finally made the propriety of novels an affordable and practicable idea. Le Carre took the fantasy out of the spy novel, and while I love his depth of characterization and his control of plot, I still find his style tiresome and more than repetitive.

d) A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.
Awesome book. Jesht blady AWESOME! Rekindles it the interest of mine in science.

e) India After Independence by Bipin Chandra, Aditya and Mridula Mukherjea.
THis one is the second part of the trio's massive effort at tracing the history of the nation since the happenings of 1857. The first part was the prescribed text for Dilip (Prof. Veerraghavan)'s elective on the Indian Freedom Movement. More readable than the std-issue History textbooks of school, the book is excellent in putting the development of India in perspective.

4. My Favorites:

I won't attempt to name them all, but here's the partial list:

a) All About H. Hatterr by G.V. Desani.
This is, sadly, the forgotten, Lost masterpiece of Indian fiction in English. So forgotten in fact, that the book has been out of print for lenghty periods when works of much lesser radiance have found their way onto the shelves of the Crosswords and the Landmarks. It has long been argued that Salman Rushdie's gumbo-jumbo-East-West-fusion-vaunted use of language is inspired by Desani's work. This of course is a fact comfortably ignored by the commercially sharp Rushdie who, save for a solitary acknowledgement of Desani's influence on his style made sometime in the late 1990s, has preferred to ignore comparisons between the two authors at all other times. Which has all worked out quite brilliantly for him, considering that Desani, who wrote his book in 1953, and then went on to renounce material life to learn and train for seven years in a specialized form of yoga and went on to become Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s, never had the chance to press his claim. Desani and Rushdie are miles apart in terms of themes covered and Desani is the purer given the fact that the theme of the work - a farcical satire on the tradition of spirituality in India - bends, melds and generally accepts the verbal ingenuity of their style in a much more graceful manner than Rushdie's gimmicky treatment of vaster themes. All About H. Hatterr is undoubtedly the smartest, most enjoyable book I've ever read.

b) The Works of Lewis Carroll.
It's difficult to point out a favourite amongst these but Phantasmagoria, his hilarious poem on the world of sprites and other-worldly affairs is the one I find most enjoyable to read.

Quickly, before I die of exhaustion, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The english Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Free Fall by William Golding, Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, The Harry Potter series and of course Calvin. And Hobbes too.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

On the Danger of Idle Thought

From endless midnight meanders
To staid, social, prim handshake
Is the distance of a month.
Thereabouts anyway.

From the edges, corners
Of concernless presumption,
To thingsIshouldhavedone-damn-it-damndamnwhenIhadthechance thoughts
Is the river between us.

It's been a while.
Standardized days,
Rank. And some file.