Monday, March 30, 2009

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

“Who will watch the Watchmen?” Well now i can answer my friends and me were one amongst the thousands that did. Only to come out less than happy and more than disappointed. This after going in with no expectations or fanboy attitudes.
Oh ok, so your counter will be that this is a film and it should be judged on its own merit....well, in that case whatever merit it had would disappear – because for some one who hasn’t read Watchmen the graphic novel, this movie would makes less than sense. Technically it is sound, a brilliant title sequence, the CGs nice, (almost) everything thought of, but if it ever was true that the whole is less than the sum of its parts, it is with this movie And i’m not even complaining about a certain missing cephalopod!! Full points for trying, Zack ‘visionary director’ Snyder, close but no cigarette even. For a book that was written intentionally in a way as to be un-filmable, it still is. Ha!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No help at all

There once lived a boy. The cat was red. And the river overflowed. The disco lights lit up the dawn while the dope peddlers went after stray dogs and unicorns. The water tasted sweet he said. Let there be lightness, and war. The green unripe apple stayed suspended in mid air just below the bowler hat. The arrows sped toward each other. Illumination comes so hard. Rock on. Emotionally dyslexic nurses not welcome. Making small talking about dwarves and midgets. Once upon a time was how it began. He stayed in school till the last terminal stage in the green room. And the bionic automata started bleeding. The drums sang their tune. Itinerant insects were splattered all over. The temperature kept rising. Fighting the urge to go out killing leopards. And road signs were abused.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aches old enough to be our own...

We've seen the past best times, and these
Will ne'er return ; we see the seas,
And moons to wane,
But they fill up their ebbs again;
But vanish'd man,
Like to a lily lost, ne'er can,
Ne'er can repullulate, or bring
His days to see a second spring.

But on we must,
and thither tend,
Where Anchus and rich Tullus
Their sacred seed:
Thus has infernal Jove decreed
We must be made,
Ere long a song, ere long a shade.
Why then, since life to us is short,
Let's make it full up by our sport......

In all its glory it is known as HIS AGE, DEDICATED TO HIS PECULIAR FRIEND,M. JOHN WICKES, UNDER THE NAME OF POSTHUMUS by Robert Herrick So gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Monday, March 02, 2009

speak to me

At last count i can speak gibberish, hindi, roughly about two dialects of kannada, ditto for konkani, tulu, nonsense, a smattering of tamil and jargon, and one foreign language, english. Now pray tell me, how does this make you insecure and inferior and feed your combative impulses?

Unusual Suspect(s)

All sorts of Holmes-ian deductions have been fruitless. Poirot-style moustache twirling even more so. Discrete calls and otherwise Sam Spade-style to possible suspects have been to no avail. It’s going to be almost a month now and i still have yet to figure out who sent me these:

Two great books.
Alan Moore’s Hypothetical Lizard limited edition hardcover
The Thakeray T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases.

Why in the world would anyone want to keep this great gift a secret????
Some day i will know, and on that day, Anonymous Books-Gifter, you will now too that i know, if you didn’t already know i knew or made it b known to me that you were the one....umm....who be you by the way?

what is Real?

Who do we (really) mourn for? Why do we (really) mourn?
He chose not to be God. He was just about adjusting to his new role as a god, but God? No! He was clear about that. Let others fight over it. It had taken a lot to convince him to join the pantheon and to be one of the beneficiaries of countless sacrifices, but to be God? That wasn’t as much beyond him as it was beneath. Leave me to myself, he told the bothersome deities. You’ve already set my name on the path of abuse and of obligations and prayers I cannot always meet. I will have nothing more to do. Whatever i have earned till now you can take and do whatever you want in my name, and to my name. And politely retreated into solitude next to the nearest pyre he could find. But pyres have a way of cooling down.

Spring Thunder

This man makes me want to learn Malayalam just so i can read him in the original. Agreed, he himself has translated most of his work into English, but knowing as i do the ‘lost in translation’ business that has happened with some of the books in Kannada that i have read in English also, it would be fair to assume that the same has happened with OV Vijayan’s books. As OV (do i dare call them this?) himself said, “...translation is an act of shifting eggs from one nest to another. In the process the yolk and white are separated, and what you have left with is broken shells.” And this from a man who translated his own work into some fabulous English. Who better then?

The reason for this post? After The Hanging and Other Stories by OV Vijayan. Finished it over the course of a packed weekend. From the surreal to the heartbreaking, from allegories to little seeds of thoughts, it was more than just a good read. A good read ensures you enjoy the good while you are reading it. Not after the last page has been turned. A classic like this sticks with you, much after you have finished reading it. It happened with me with Khasakkinte Itihasam, then with Dharmapuranam, and now with After the Hanging...the search is on now for Gurusagaram. If any of you reading this blog regularly (five at the last count) happen to chance upon it, let me know ASAP!

OV Vijayan. This man now firmly occupies the #2 spot in my personal list of ‘Best Indian Writers in English’. If only by virtue of having translated his books himself, and even with that he is leagues ahead of those just out to prove that their vocabulary is as good, if not better than the whites themselves (or that they have a good dictionary/thesaurus). Most are just writing about things we all know and are part of us – making the banal and the commonplace – seem exotic for the white man’s consumption, and the confused rootless generation of today. Not so Vijayan. He wrote, yes, about things here and now and of what could be....but ever in a way so as to give us from here a new perspective, a new way of looking and of thought. Not just through his novels and stories. As an acerbic and unforgiving cartoonist, OV also occupies the #2 spot in my ‘Best Indian Cartoonists’ list.

PS: The #1 spot in the list of ‘Best Indian Writers in English’ was, is and will always be RK Narayan with his ‘Common Man’ brother the #1Indian cartoonist.

PPS: A quick flash back to this, a previous post concerning OV