Wednesday, November 30, 2005

running out of ammo

Some people run out of luck, some out of money. Supplies run out. Inzamam run out. Some people run out of burning buildings to save themselves. The same goes for people who run out of Alanis Morrisette concerts. Ah! But the people who run out of adjectives......pity them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

a small road in the pothole

We inherited the road rules of the brits. What that means is that in India, we drive on the left of the road. But in Bangalore, we drive on what’s left of the road.
Go here,
know more about Bangalore potholes. Adopt one if you will. Many thanks to Pun-dit Steelefoot for bringing this to my notice.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Requiem for a dream

This is one dream that will never be fulfilled. The dream of meeting Gopal Vinayak Godse, the only one among the people involved in hastening Gandhi’s end, who made it into the times I was brought up in. Now here’s gone – the last eyewitness to the bullet shots that reverberated across a partitioned India. Gopal Godse. He passed away yesterday. A hero to some, a villain to many. He is survived by his scores of admirers, and an equal number of people who loathed him. After a brief illness, he left. Leaving within me a hole filled with infinite regret for not having gone and met him. I wanted to. I should have. Now I never can.

Gopal Godseji, finally you get meet your brother. Maybe someday his last wish will be fulfilled. Maybe your dreams will come true. You did your best. If nothing, you told us your reasons – for which you and your brother will stay in our hearts forever. As an object of hate and contempt to some, as an epitome of ideology-inspired action to many. You were more than just Nathuram’s brother, no matter what some people might say. You did your bit. You tried. For that, I thank you. If there is a heaven, there is a place for you in it. All the other heroes await. Go and take your rightful place. Dream on, we shall.

PS: It was Ben Kingsley, not Gandhi who said “Hey Ram”. Read about it, and other things, from the Man himself.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

One man's dhaaba is another man's adventure

There’s a quaint little dhaaba on the Bangalore-Hosur highway. Closer to Hosur than Bangalore. Very close. So very close to Hosur that if you tie a 100-wala cracker to a dog’s tail and light the pataki, the dog will reach Hosur much before next Diwali. It’s a trucker joint-turned-open house. It’s where we go to celebrate the sobriety of a weekend. It’s more than a dhaaba. It’s a culinary adventure. Egg chilly? You got it! Ever heard of egg kheema? Well, now you have, and it’s available here. If we’re lucky, we might get bitter gourd manchuri next time. This dhaaba. Where the waiters don’t like it when you ask for egg burji, because they have to cut the onions themselves. But the, they’ll still take the repeat order, stoic patience maybe. The only tears they shed are over the onion-requiring dishes. This is where patrons order beer in 300ml cans, and then drink it from a glass. Where people go to forget the drudgery of life and wife. Over a slice of seer fish. This is a melting pot. From silver cup and super jack to white mischief and vat69, it has them all. Step right up. Credit cards not accepted. Here is where the roof garden has been tiled over, and you’re not allowed inside. Here real charpoys mingle with plastic tables and broken glasses to the beat of multi-lingual curses, drunken revelry and malayali/ kannada/ telugu/ tamil/ hindi drinking songs. With the occasional music blaring from whichever guest has a car stereo. Ah! This quaint dhaaba. Where the old and wise Nepali gurkha guides trucks, cars and tempos in and out 364 days a year. The one day he takes leave is during Diwali. And he always recognises you, and always asks where your other friends are, whether you have them or not is not his concern. Safely hidden behind a tree, this dhaaba goes about its business. Come hell, high water or excise officials. Whenever you are ready, it is there, ready for you. To embrace you with its ambience. It has everything you need, including its own open air urination area and a paan ki dukaan. And, a dog that’s waiting for crackers to be tied to its tail. A little speck on the Bangalore-Hosur highway. But a big landmark on my memory lane.

the cow has mooved

the new grazing ground of the communal cow is this

Friday, November 18, 2005

F1 Speaks on The Bekku

Everybody, please welcome Dinesh, ad man extraordinaire. He’s the person who got me into advertising. Despite that, he’s still a very good friend of mine. The Man, under his chosen nom de plume F1 Speak is the first guest writer on the Bekku. Keep checking back for revelations, ramblings, and thoughts on life, the universe and whatever else he wants us to know. And knowing him, it’ll be worth every comma. And do check out Dinesh’s F1 Advertising. So you'll at least have a nebulous idea of things to come.

Khooni Dracula - a review or Ol' rubber face strikes again!

This movie is strictly for connoisseurs of Bollywood horror of the d-grade variety. Aficionados of the kabrastan-ka-chowkidar type movie rejoice! While this movie is not as good as Gumnam Qatil or Purani Haveli, it stands its own ground, and manages hard not to get it right. Not with the highly talented Harinam Singh at the helm. Sceen play by Harinam Singh. Story by Harinam Singh. Direction by Harinam Singh. AND starring Harinam Singh ‘in and as a’ Khooni Dracula!! Perfect. Right from the intro credits you know this movie is going to be worth it.

You know they can’t act. They know they can’t act. So that settled, it’s on with the fun. Plot?? What’s that? If you go to watch these kinds of movies with arty-farty concepts like plot, production values, method acting and real make-up, you are not worthy of this movie. Ok fine. Here’s the basic story: Evil uncle rapes and murders his maid one dark night. Blood from maid’s wound flows into the Dracula buried beneath, waking up Khooni Dracula. Khooni Dracula in his majestic Rubber Mask is then sent by evil uncle to do odd-jobs. After that, it’s basically a potpourri of set pieces that are the staple diet of this genre of movies – ugly fat women bathing with their clothes on, Khooni Dracula plunging his rubber teeth into their leathery skin, cellulite-ridden skin with stretch marks, the to-be-expected police officer who’s usually the one who actually tries to act and fails miserably, and such like. And do not miss the regulation quick cuts (smacks of actual editing) of palm trees during a storm, lightning during a dark & stormy night, etc. etc. And as usual, a deus ex machina ensures things end happily, and before the budget runs out.

Ah! But the best part is Khooni Dracula himself. How he carries the film along – prowling and growling around, trying to frighten people (who do get frightened, mind you) in his rubber mask and the long black robe that emanates from his person and a rather distinguished and propah black top hat. See! Bela Lugosi did not get it right. So all said and done, the sheer stupidity of this movie. Ah! To what depths Bollywood horror has fallen. It’s bad, to be eminently avoided and highly recommended. I enjoyed it! Try Shaitan Tantrik next time.
Before i forget, the title track is half-decent. Thoughtful lyrics and lilting music. Check out the clip here(you can also see the Dracula himself; don't miss the majestic top hat)

Save rainwater, avoid AIDS.

Me thinks this is one of the best pics of me. Courtesy my friend Prashanth. Location: Munzarabad Fort, Sakleshpur. And this is Prashanth up to some monkey tricks. Location: Somewhere near Shimoga.

Nice trip that was. Left at the drop of a hat…through the western ghats, a quick dip in the river, through to Maravanthe, stay at Turtle Bay..onwards to Kollur, and back again through Shimoga. Yes, two good days spent on the road. And yes, one of the trucks we passed had the ‘Save rainwater, avoid AIDS’ message painted on it, punctuation and all. If you figure it out, do share the revelation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An ignoramus’ lament

There’s nothing wrong with the world. Maybe it’s just me who cannot come to grasp some of the more advanced machinations at work in the world today. Some concepts are beyond me. Here are some of the things that have left me saddened as I have not been able to understand them. If you can, then you are obviously a lot more intelligent than I am. So could you please take some time out and give me some answers regarding the following:
  • How a bunch of (I’m assuming, beautiful) women, wearing traditional Indian attire tastefully fused with contemporary western outfits, walking down the ramp led by the current Miss Universe, in front of a couple of hundred high fliers and big pyjamas at a by-invitation-only soiree will help control HIV infection and fight aids?
  • What the assorted aphorisms those appear above the masthead of the Times of India everyday mean, in the context of a newspaper? For those who didn’t pay any attention, here some gems: The world thrusts responsibilities. We would like to relieve you of them. (Nov 15) Relax! Forget your duties for a while (Nov 16). Your guided tour of the cosmos (Nov 14).
  • They’re dressed up, made up and looking good (or so they say). They’re walking down the ramp, pouting their lips and sashaying with grace, oozing oomph and glamour. And the crowd is going wild. They’re also (at least some of them) wearing skimpy, skin-showing clothes. And, they’re only 10 years of age and the participants of the Miss Baby Khoobsurat 2005 beauty pageant (or competition as they say). So what now? People are tired of ogling at barely-adults and they’re looking for variety? Maybe it has something to do with world peace. Or poverty. Or aids. Maybe I’m just missing some crucial point here. Somebody explain.
  • If justice is for the oppressed and the victims of crime, then why is clemency sought for the perpetrators of the crime? And for terrorists and serial killers? Why does the Human Rights Commission not say anything when somebody (say, Veerappan) kills law enforcement officials and common people, but raises its voice when a criminal (say, Veerappan again) is killed in an encounter, saying that it was inhuman and demands justice on his behalf? Is there some definition of justice I don’t know about? Do tell.
  • Why I can’t just call up people to say hi. They always assume there’s else, some ulterior motive for the call. Why can’t I call just up somebody, a friend, an ex-colleague, whoever, only because I felt like it? Should I always have something to gossip about, some information to give, some invitation for me to call you? Is the fact that I just want to know how you’re doing and how you are, enough? Hmmm…
These are but some of the things that make me feel like I’ve lost touch with the world, and what it means nowadays. Obviously there is more of the same, but I shall reserve them for a later date. This is enough for now. Because my puny intelligence and half-baked knowledge has to help me understand all the answers that will surely be coming my way. But one request, do not use the words juxtapose, solipsism and/or the phrase ‘post-modern context’ in your answers and explanations.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

posting the unposted

Long absences and general ennui punctuated by a flurry of activity, mostly meaningless. Kind of describes my second phase of blogging. Almost everyday, I have these ideas for nice posts, but never get around to them. Most of them are still-born, some fall victim to my infinite capacity for procrastination or become just plain prey to my lazy streak.

Maybe it’s the job that I do. But when I think about a post, I usually top it up with a nice little title that will (I hope) draw the hapless reader into reading it. So having elucidated my reasons for not putting up posts, I think I will instead list out all the posts that almost made it, and someday might just. I’m just leaving the titles on here, so you’ll know what I’ve been thinking about writing and as a reminder to myself, with elaborated keys in the parenthesis.
1. The chopsuey that ate my plate
2. Sleeping Beauty wakes up (On how Deve Gowda stumbles on some truths)
3. I see dead people (every time I go to Pecos)
4. The gospel of Judas (Simon Mawer turns a short story into an overlong novel)
5. The mystery of the floating head (as evidenced by the locals of the western ghats)
6. Back to the days of cassettes and hanging out with friends (the pre-google talk era)
7. The self-professed cultural slave (An Indian guitarist speaks his mind)
8. Gratitude is a burden (ask the people who you did favours to)
9. Don’t you just hate it when something you love turns into a status symbol?
10. I’m in college again (how I spent an hour in Praphulla madam’s Sanskrit class)
11. Raymond Bernard’s “Hollow Earth” (How I dug my grave and found a world beneath)
12. I listen to music. I have the MP3s! (Stop downloading, start listening)
13. Secular = Anti-hindu (green and white and saffron and everything in between)
14. The Communal Cow goes to Rajasthan
15. The stupid, drunk ITf***er who gor f***ed at the railway station (and how us poor kannadigas got caught in between)

Hey! This is fun. I could go on. But. I. Will. Stop.