Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Technology and I don’t get along well. There are some of them who are very kind to me- Mr.Fan, his cousin Mr.A.C , Fridge granny, Tubelight aunty and so on. But there are cruel monsters lurking everywhere, so there is that teeth baring claw sharpening touchscreen thing, and that weird your-finger-is-your-mouse lappy..these are the  kind of gadgets that scare me to death.  Some rather memorable encounters are listed below.

1.B and I are walking down Elgin road, some people are taking bath on the pavements (we are slumdogs after all !). B’s mobile phone lands up in a dirty puddle. My Hygiene-freak brain’s instant reaction .. “eww eww eww here here take my bottle..wash it !! NOW!!” , B is aghast …and shoots back “THIS is my CELL” …then I realize that poor cell won’t survive the water attacks…huh!…okay go on ..enjoy your functioning bacteria soap lather stained phone ..blah !

2. I am having a rather nice evening with few school pals, a lot of madness, chit-chat and of course movies being copied-shopied on dvd’s and pen drives….one of them is particularly enthusiastic and is guarding the pc like ..well…a guard.….I go near the pc and calmly assure her that she can  let me browse the song list and I’ll start the copying process for her…she agrees. I sit on the chair in front of the pc, friend launches herself on the bed and dictates her movie choices…I click a few buttons…and PING goes the pc…paranoid friend rushes to the pc…and announces “YOUclicked on a DRIVE”…I give the perfect what-you-speak-is-greek-to-me look…and then she explains…you are trying to copy data occupying 80 GB on a DVD….yaah ..okay…mistake….sorry….but it was just a careless error ! **gasps and laughs all around**

3.Few friends have touchscreen phones which are super-sensitive and something or the other happens whenever you “touch” it…so things go like this – “hey I don’t have that song….give your phone…I’m taking that” …I take the phone and I am in the messages inbox without a clue about how to exit it..I try and woohoo I am staring at some babies…yes images folder…***resigned gasp***  … then “hey I like this pic…who is that?? Can I zoom this one?” friend – “ yaah just drag your fingers” …I give her my w-h-a-t -? Look and then she shows me how one should drag both fingers in opposite directions to zoom in !! Give me a break. 

Thanks to all this now I know what I am going to say to the salesman when I go to buy my next cell (that will not be before 2 years if thieves allow)-I’ll say  “Show me a non-qwerty…non-touch screen phone”…hate those qwerty phones….They are made for malnourished people who have bone-like fingers, they are certainly not for the well-fed chubby species like me. 

In addition to this there are softwares, os’s and what not ..Android..what on earth is that? Before you give me some stupid boring answer…pause and read what I think it has the potential to be … (why should you read that? Well, you read so far..did I ask you to ? so go on now ! )

  1. Another dreaded disease like Thyroid ?? We could have an Android gland somewhere!  The next time someone says “o you are so fat!” I’ll say “ya …could be my android..I’ll have to get it checked”..
  1. An adjective like schizoid.. …it can mean the exact opposite.. for instance if someone displays two personalities at the same time…think of a man imitating Big B’s baritone voice and in that voice saying kkkkkk…kirrraaaan….he has an android personality…!

Don’t tear out your hair….Yes, yes, I will stop.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Self Reflection - The non-mirror-but-super-vain kind.

I  Know

1.Orange flavour breezer is not much different from Tropicana orange juice. or Real . ( I'm not a brand loyalist you see)

2.I am positively , in caps lock, an introvert. Mostly.

3. I do not like people. The not-my-friend kind.

4. I am good at small-talk for a small time.

5. I am a roaring tigress with people I love ( tigress - roar wise only- don't get ideas) ..in many other situations I am quite a seekh-kabab.

I still do not know:

1. What I want to do career-wise. ( I go with the flow , although I wish I knew what exactly I am flowing along...a  river, a stream, a drain-pipe).Clueless is THE word. Though this in no way changes my belief that I am better off than smug people who have made stupid choices. Ha! Ha!

2. What the term follow-your-heart means. I wish it could be s simple thing, you know like a tiny thing , the size of my palm, suspended in air, moving in front of me, like darling Macbeth's sword..and I would just have to follow it. But it is not that simple...it is screaming out the names of hundred different things everyday.

I want 

1. All offices to commence work at 11 am and get over by 5.  ( what is the point in wishing for something that is possible in the real world)

2. A license to kill.

3. A treadmill. ( Mi padre is convinced that I shall hang towels on it after a few days so he won't buy me one..alas ..will have to wait for the paychecks...:( cruel cruel world !! )

4. Two Sundays in a week.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Last Mughal : William Dalrymple

Again this is not a typical review, I do not have the knowledge or expertise to write one.

I got this book from the library just to find out what William Dalrymple's was all about. This is the first book by Dalrymple that I have read. I remember reading an excerpt of Nine Lives in a magazine and I quite liked that. But the general review of his novels (friends, friends of friends etc) was almost always "boring" or something similar. No wonder I stayed away from them and it was just out of curiosity that I picked up this one. Now I thank my curious spirit. Yes I loved it, no suspense there.

I generally like books that have something do with history. Not boring Life-and-Ideals-of-Gandhi kind of history  but totally war-kings-drama kind of history, yes I love sensational stuff. I mean it is history and if I am reading it today then it must have been something larger than life ...it may be misery but it should be larger than life misery. If I have to read about one mundane person being killed then I can just pick up my newspaper! If your judgement is that I am an insensitive sick person then well...I do not care!

Back to the book. I admit the first few chapters were a drag. I especially found the chapter titled Believers and Infidels extremely boring. But as I progressed I realized that the chapter was important to show why what happened, happened. In the beginning I could read barely 4-5 pages in a day...But I have this peculiar kind of patience when it comes to books (not humans) ..and I am so so thankful for that.

The title is explicit , it is about "The Last Mughal" Bahadur Shah Zafar , the Sepoy mutiny of 1857 and the subsequent fall of Delhi. I liked many things about the book. Firstly the tone that Dalrymple used. It was one that allowed me to visualize and get a feel of the events narrated. Nothing puts me off than a detached mundane narration of an extraordinary set of events (example: Taslima Nasreen's narration of slaughters and rapes in the most irritating manner in the first part of Lajja..it is a huge list,which is 100 % statistics and 0% emotion.Whatever rage I felt at the system metamorphosed into irritation directed at Nasreen for writing  about it like that) ...

I also liked the way Dalrymple blends a general overview of a particular event with the narration of the fate of a single family or person. You now how it would have felt to be there and you also get a broader picture. Thumbs up !

Another aspect that I liked is the fact that Dalrymple narrates the events with a lot of emotion yet never takes sides, he is impartial and equally cruel to the faults of both parties- the British and the Sepoys. So during one phase I was enraged reading about the slaughter of innocent British women and children at Cawnpore and later I was again cursing the British soldiers for practically stripping the forts and ruining the city of Delhi. The  book  avoids a simplistic reading of the situation which either declares the Last Mughal as innocent or as a culprit. Dalrymple manages to  portray the character of the emperor beautifully.

The vulnerability of the emperor is what strikes one the most. He was an old poetry loving octogenarian forced into taking sides and making decisions that he never wanted to.   We remember all the great mughals, Babur and Akbar among them,  and the sheer contrast between that glorious history and the picture of this abject old man in the book is the real tragedy which does not fail to stir. But on the other hand there was the advent of democracy, the organization skills of the British government ....yes the reader cannot take sides either.  You know that what has ended is the story of a great dynasty which was reduced to a puppet king and decadent descendants but you cannot help but lament the loss of the thriving cultural city that Zafar had nurtured. Strewn amidst the glorious events are some great insightful sections. Ghalib's poetry and the letters that some soldiers wrote to their relatives back in England were touching to say the least.

Reading the book was like experiencing the mutiny on celluloid. The sepoy attack in May 1857 and the British attack later that year and numerous other events unfold in front of the reader's eyes. Once again the book shows just how absurd and futile war is .. death takes no sides , it ravages all. You cannot fail to be moved as you read about the last emperor of the great Mughal dynasty being buried without even the hint of any ceremony, at Rangoon, far away from the land that his forefathers conquered and ruled for years.

It took me few weeks to complete this book, but that was more due to my snail's pace reading than anything else.