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The old man and Goa


Happy New Year to you all! Hope this new year (despite the soothsayers and the paranoia specialists and factualists and pragmatists) brings in a lot of peace, happiness and laughter.

Back from a quiet stay in Goa, after spending interesting times with spouse and good friends. With Goa fast becoming a second workplace for the spouse, this holiday felt like being very much at home but with an additional celebratory atmosphere.  We stayed at a concept resort in Salcette that called itself the ‘Soul Vacation’.  Apart from the usual beach hopping, most of the time was spent at the shacks watching the sun set into the sea and children play. Sunsets were a spiritual experience for me each day – be it on the Mandovi River or any of the beaches, they had me addicted. The festive mood in the shacks – with Trans music playing even for breakfast – can’t help but make you feel upbeat.  I guess that’s the spirit of Goa.

Goans follow a tradition of burning effigies of ‘old men’ constructed specially for the  1st of January – symbolic of doing away with the old. You find many such old men and women made of rags standing guard around street corners, and sometimes, perched on chairs looking tired and weary, and ready to be set on fire. (2008 was definitely filled with memories many of us don’t want to relive.  But it is a time to remember the brave people and pay homage to those who didn’t make it to 2009.)

On a personal note, I celebrate the wonderful people I have in my life – friends, family and colleagues.  I made new beginnings, too, in many ways – with new people entering my life as the year ended, and new activities promising to make the year eventful. Almost like "taking a risk and giving up some of the good in one’s life for the great"!

So, here’s a celebration to the old and the new. And, to a year that maybe frugal but also wiser.

Nov. 19th, 2008


Mark Knoff singing 'lovestruck romeo' and Duran Duran with 'come undone'. one of those moments when the radio belts out your favorities one after another.

Discarded crucible art in Venice


Moving, always moving
Never standing
Sowing the reaping like a future value
I pace the tar on brown earth, curving sinuously
Along silver oaks and a hint of a horizon, longingly
Never sure but always hinting
Pleasurable and wanting
Soaking up the sunlit breeze, the dried leaves
Cruise along, friendly weaves
On a joyous ride--the effervescent bubbly
While He nods and nudges,
Violet/Purple is the most difficult color to create. Ultramarine blue and cadmium red mix like blood brothers, but the right shade of purple still eludes me. A touch of black, perhaps? Or orange?

When the sun sets and the skies perform to an entranced audience, purple tinged with gold, fluorescent orange and deep grays assault my senses, urging me to pick up that brush and get to work. Only to leave me feeling incomplete--and the painting impoverished. The cityscape below never seems to let go of its hold. Even when smudged out. Colorless.

Last week, on a lazy afternoon, i spent time walking into a persistent drizzle, by the gray beaches of North Malabar, watching the mist set in over the rough waters of the sea. The belly of a cloud carrying a thunderstorm hovered threateningly close, ready to tip its ire. The sea woke up all of a sudden and the tides moved higher and faster, almost like it had been waiting-- for a lover's first touch, trembling. Much longed for, imagined and dreamt about. The sea gulls seemed to sense the imminent ritual and settled down on the craggy rocks, silent. The red crabs scurried faster into the crevices and the frothy waters sprinkled me with a cool, fresh spray. And, then, the monsoon arrived, bringing in a slate of gray, blurring every other memory. I could almost see the waters frolicking below. I stood there as long as i could watching...

By late evening, the verdant countryside, the family of greens, the feel of velvet, the smell of freshly drenched soil--all went into creating a heady mix, leaving me a bit dizzy and, at the same time, completely alive. (What is it about a rain-drenched, freshly washed canvas? )

When the sun finally dipped into the waters, creating the most unimaginable spectrum of colors I've ever seen, I just wished that I could catch it and go down with it, too.

If parting was so sweet...

Overwhelmed. That surmises the predominant feeling this entire week. Am completely surprised by the sweetest gestures and affection I am receiving from various folks. From those who have become steadfast and supercool friends. What a wonderful 'takeaway' gift from the past five years.

Obama on the audacity of hope:


"It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs, the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores, the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta, the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds, the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too."

Mar. 19th, 2008

'Nokia nervosa' is a condition wherein you are so overwhelmed by the events that unfold that your fingers are agigatedly trying to capture the moments -- for savouring later.

It's all about the later and delayed gratification? What happened about living in the moment? :)

The Sardine Community

Whoever said that the blank page draws blood knew what she was talking about. When you are looking for a perfect write, the perfect think disappears. So, write anyways? Better than watching vacuum take shape and dictate terms to the wannabe. When you write for a profession, why does writing for a hobby walk out of the door? I sincerely miss that; is it reticence? That one is always writing for an audience. I don't want to write for an audience - just for me, this time, without worrying or analyzing the Target Audience and the style and the presentation and the content. Enuf. To be incorrect and spontaneous.
Asafa Powell - the short distance runner, a Jamaican (most of them are from Jamaica, I wonder why?) and his life, the wisdom of crowds bringing in the next generation of social networking - ecommerce plus networking, where crowds have the power to bring down prices. Some inspirational moments.
And, then the father of all moments was trying to analyze what went into 'The Great Sardine Run' off the coast of Africa. The first time I read of bait-ball tours and diving expeditions where people went to watch the sharks and the dolphins make merry while the Sardine shoal ran in kilometers…