Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yeh sheher...

This city has made me so learned
That I can't make those deep dramatic statements anymore
Everything is so equally true
That picking out a holistic abstract truth
Feels like an act of naive fascism
I once read about a physicist who bought her lover roses
And chocolates
On the valentine's day
She was a learned woman who knew that the day is a manufactured holiday
Lobbied by a greeting card company to sell romantic kitsch
She knew that the deep red of her roses
Is a wavelength of 680 nm corresponding to a code in the human brain
She knew that what she was feeling
Was caused by serotonin and oxytocin in her brain
The chemical equivalent of eating a lot of chocolate
Or having an obsessive compulsive disorder
It's so much fun to keep the big picture aside
Indulge in the details
And let love, friendship and life be
This city has thrown up many essays on caves and streams
With a footnote reminder that there is nothing to break away from
Not even attachment, emotion or desire
My grandma often complains
That my grandpa had gambled all his money away when he was young
She brings it up everytime they fight
That's a pretty long held grudge I reckon
If there was only a way to know
How much gambling is just right enough for youth
This city is the world, and the village torpor simultaneously
Enlightenment is googlable if the right search keywords are entered
It's amazing how only a few thousand words can be constantly used to create new meanings
Words like elephant, colour, inside, cheeks, and vagina are very common
And yet have they ever been used in this permutation:
"Her cheeks turned the colour of the inside of an elephant's vagina"
So I guess enlightenment should be googlable
As long as the right key words are entered in the right order, inside quotes.
This city has a lot to learn from me yet,
That's why it led up to me, after all.

There ain't no cure for love...

"Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing." It's amusing how Sylvia Plath has been quoted simultaneously by a site called "Dangerous quotes" and another one called "Inspiring quotes". It was the third time in last three days that somebody alluded to the Myth of Sisyphus in a conversation with me today. A pathological awareness of existentialism as a concept is the cure to existentialism. I like the passion that Avital Ronell exudes as she advocates meaninglessness in Astra Taylor's Examined Life. The state of contended acceptance of the certainty and the absurdity of fate is not a joyless compromise. It's been fun for me. Leonard Cohen in his between songs stock quips mentions "I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies and religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through…". And meanwhile, like all villains of mythology, I find myself looking forward to the immortality drug.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's been forever since I have shared anything new, and it'll be still longer before I'll be able to put up new material from Theseus' Ship. So I am posting a work-in-progress sketch from the storyboard. Sketch by Pooja, Photograph by Pankaj.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Drunk on Cohen, again.

I keep telling myself there is a world out there to explore, while i refuse to move on from just one poet. How, I wonder sometimes, is my obsession with the existential despair of Cohen's poetry, the cynical prophecy of Dylan, or even my undying appreciation for the clever romanticism of Ghalib's and Ramesh Parekh's poetry any different from my mother's obsession with the plain sentimental poetry of Befaam (to the point that she used to fancy as a teenager that someday she'll heal Befaam's broken heart with her love). Like I was discussing with Mitesh the other day, we all have our Asharam Bapus. Well, here's a piece from one of mine: Cohen, again.

I am locked in a very expensive suit
old elegant and enduring
Only my hair has been able to get free
but someone has been leaving
their dandruff in it
Now I will tell you
all there is to know about optimism
Each day in hub cap mirror
in soup reflection
in other people's spectacles
I check my hair
for an army of alpinists
for Indian rope trick masters
for tangled aviators
for dove and albatross
for insect suicides
for abominable snowmen
I check my hair
for aerialists of every kind
Dedicated as an automatic elevator
I comb my hair for possibilities
I stick my neck out
I lean illegally from locomotive windows
and only for the barber
do I wear a hat.

An early treatment scribble

I've made a conscious choice of dialogue over action in several scenes in the script. I felt a strong urge to revert the "show, don't tell" thumbrule, to the extent that many scenes cut abruptly at their most dramatic high point, and then in the following scenes, the characters narrate, through casual conversation, their experience of the dramatic moment. I analysed this urge to distance myself from the heart of the action. I discovered that I find some human experiences too deep, intimate and emotionally stirring to try and capture on camera. Also the immediacy and the drama of the experience end up fogging the essence, which seems to come out more honestly in the objective after-experience reflection. When a character talks about a moment experienced in the previous scene, it is not intended as a guide for the audience, but rather as an experiential lens, through which the audience lives the moment twice - once through the speculation of the dramatic high point of the moment led towards by the author, which being never shown, is experienced in the imagination, and then, the moment redefined through a tinted world-view of the character...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An unfinished song.

You had a copy of the book you bought

Was to show the taste you sought

As you queued up next to me on the aisle

Was a long time ago that you thought

I was wise for the lies you wrote

I fell for them, swam into your isle.

Then it takes a while to rationalise

Learn the hands turn anti-clockwise

Seen from the other side of the dial.

So depending on where you stand,

You get clockwork or you get orange

Get tortured by Beethoven, meanwhile.

Here we go once again, play it out

Use up one more benefit of doubt

Declare love from starbirth to supernova

Don’t Freud our childhood, let us out

It’s not the past it’s been about

Wasn’t me who whispered Naro-Kunjrova.

When I say you, I don’t address you alone

We’ve all desired, for which we atone

Didn’t Cohen apologise to Eunice D’Souza?

What’s poetry but perspective, and yet

Can’t really be mature till it rhymes at

A a b b, a b a b, abc and blah-blah-bova.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pankaj's work

Here's the work of one of my closest friends and a truly amazing cinema-artist Pankaj Kumar. He has finally succumbed to the pressure from friends to share his work online, and it's dispersed all over the place. If you want the love, you'll have to work your way throuh the links:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I came across this comparison of world religions and ideologies online: it's one of those chain-mail things plastered all over the place...

Taoism: Shit happens, go with the flow.

Hare Krishna: Shit happens Rama Rama Ding Ding.

Hinduism: This shit has happened before.

Islam: Shit happening is the will of Allah.

Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?

Existentialism: Shit doesn't happen; shit is.

Buddhism: When shit happens, is it really shit?

Confucianism: Confucius says, "Shit happens".

7th day Adventist: Shit happens on Saturdays.

Protestantism: Shit won't happen if you work harder.

Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserved it.

Jehovah's Witnesses: No shit happens until Armaggedon, and it won't happen to us.

Unitarian: What is this shit?

Mormon: Shit happens again & again & again.

Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?

Pentacostalism: Praise the shit!

Atheism: There is no shit!

New Age: Shit happens and it happens to smell good if you open your heart to it.

Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit.

I couldn't help but add a few of my own:

Jainism: Let shit be.

Zoroastrianism: Keep the lavatories clean.

Nyaya: What's the proof of shit?

Yoga: Hold your breath and force it out.

Descartes: I shit therefore I am.

Darwin: The shittiest survives.

Bayes: Eat shit, twenty billion flies can't be wrong. (The ancient internet tagline fits perfectly for the statistical analogy)

Nietzsche: Shit depends on where you look at it from.

Shankara: Shit is me.

McDonaldism: I'll give you shit. You give me money. The US will never bomb you.

Bushism: I like this tit, so however is when I, well, sometime since many people think for the time I was the president.

Baudrillard: The shit exists not only as shit itself, but also as an elusive product of the need to produce shit, as we wear ourslves out eating to render shit visible, while still finding it impossible to cancel out the secret that shit cannot be produced, for each one of us holds a simulation model of shit, and tries to shit to coincide with the pre-existing model, while the need to shit itself becomes more pressing when there is nothing to shit out, just as just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning.

Please contribute...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

looʇ ʇxǝʇ pǝʇɹǝʌuı

¡ǝɹɐʍʎds puɐ snɹıʌ ʎq pǝʇɔǝɟuı sı dɯoɔ ɹǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ puǝıɹɟ ɐ pǝɔuıʌuoɔ puɐ ʇɐɥɔ uo ʇı pǝsn uǝʌǝ ¡¡ʇno ʇı ʞɔǝɥɔ ʎlǝʇnlosqɐ ¡ʇǝu ǝɥʇ uo pǝʇsıxǝ ʎpɐǝɹlɐ looʇ ʇɐǝɹƃ sıɥʇ 'ʎllnɟʞuɐɥʇ ˙ʇı ƃuıop ɟo ʎɐʍ ɐ ʇno ǝɹnƃıɟ oʇ suıɐɹq ʎɯ ƃuıʞɔǝɹʍ ǝɹoɟǝq ʇsɹıɟ ʇı ɹoɟ ƃuıʞool ʇuǝʍ ı os 'ʇxǝʇ pǝʇɹǝʌuı ƃuıʇıɹʍ ɟo ʎɐʍ ııɔsɐ uɐ ǝq oʇ sɐɥ ǝɹǝɥʇ ʇɥƃnoɥʇ ı

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cool Poster

Loved this poster by Evab Harris. It is a little reminiscent of a piece I had made a while ago on my wall. Roots and shoots have been recurring motifs in many of my designs. (Right Here Right Now title graphics and Continuum poster)

The God Himself...

After long, I'm reading a book that I am finding impossible to put down! Asimov's The Gods Themselves is his best according to him and hell, do I agree! It's so brilliant it's making me feel incompetent... I'll have to read something mediocre, or at least achievable, to feel capable of writing again! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gods_Themselves

The Man Who Flew Too Much - Part I

Here's the first part of the first draft of a video essay I am seeting out to make. It's a 90 minute performance piece. The actor goes into a fit of uncontrollable rambling and subject hopping...

All of us, at some point, share the universal feeling of feeling thirsty and wanting to pee at the same time. I wonder why the internal parts of this body mechanism can’t settle it amidst themselves. One part wants water and the other wants to flush it out. And how about feeling thirsty when chlorinated water adamantly stays stuck in your ears after having taken a dip in the pool? That itself should be proof enough that there is no God. Natural selection is still constantly learning at a fast pace of one lesson per billion years. At what point, I wonder, natural selection chose to perceive images through light-reflection over echolocation. It’s interesting to imagine that bats actually “visualise” through echolocation… they do not approximate… they “see” through sound. Colours and shapes are just codes corresponding to wave lengths of light and trajectories of reflection. A wavelength of 400 nmis seen as violet by the mind and a wavelength of 650 nm seen as red. Similarly, colours can be encoding wavelengths of sound in bats. Did the route of natural selection that eventually led to homo-sapiens ever come across the migratory birds’ ability to perceive earth’s magnetic field to stay their course during long flights. The birds perceive the earth’s magnetic fields as bands of colours. But besides natural selection, there is genetic drift to account for as well. It has been discovered that in the brains of the blind, the visual cortex has not become useless, as they once believed. When blind people use another sense -- touch or hearing, for example -- to substitute for sight, the brain's visual cortex becomes active, even though no images reach it from the optic nerve. Echolocation creates its own images. There are examples of Daniel Kish and Ben Underwood, both blind, who use echoes of sounds to navigate through the world. Kish leads other blind people on mountain biking tours and hikes in the wilderness, visualizing and describing the picturesque sights around him through echolocating. And there are people like Ingrid Carey who have a rare neurological condition called synesthesia, allowing them to actually feel colours. She tastes, hears and smells colours. Numbers and letters, sensations and emotions, days and months are all associated with colors for Carey. Number 2 for her is green and orange is her colour of pain. It is believed that the migratory birds have this neurological ability as well. The birds that look dull to us might have a plumage radiant of near ultra-violet, or a skin texture reflecting sound in a certain unique way associated to a certain radiant colour that the female of their species can get attracted to. That takes me to another fundamental question. The perception of pleasure and pain. Why are some things perceived by the brain as pleasure and some perceived otherwise? Is pleasure an in built incentive for a life form to aid survival, continuation and evolution? Common observation shows us that food and sex provide maximum pleasure for most people. Evolution doesn’t necessarily always promote or guarantee adaptation or survival. For instance, when nutrients run low, individual myxobacteria (slime bacteria) may come together to form a fruiting body to produce spores. Lab studies have shown that cheating myxobacteria that only produce spores and never help form the non-spore producing parts of the fruiting body can drive populations to extinction. Humans can choose not to reproduce and thus eliminate their genes from the gene pool. The notion that human brain is fittest for survival turns around with the emotional complexity that comes along with an evolved brain. One can argue that the human choice of not reproducing can still be aiding the survival and continuation of life on the planet, after all. This could also be one of the explanations of acts of charity where an individual puts social and collective interest over self interest. Why doesn’t evolution discourage suicide? I wonder if any animals apart from human beings commit suicide. Suicide should be defined as a premeditated anticipated act of self destruction. Dogs are known to starve themselves to death on separation from their loved ones. Scorpions are known to do anomalous action of biting itself to death in very high temperatures. Soldier sterile termites blow themselves up so the enemies get stuck in their goo. Stinger bees die of the injury from stinger amputation that happens after they sting. Are these animals aware of the ultimate effect of their actions? I think not. “There is only one true philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” That was Camus. It has inspired me to give a lot of thought to suicide, aging, death, evolution and pain. Back to my original question. Why are pink and sky blue such pleasant colours for children? Is it social conditioning or a rather “purer” physical attraction? How does a radiant plumage on the head of the male bird translate as better genetic condition and better opportunity of survival and reproduction in the brain of the female bird? In humans, the plumage is replaced by . I had once worked for an idea company. It was a company that sourced ideas from all over, patented them for the creator, pitched the ideas and profited from the commissions earned from realised ideas. My idea was software for cellphones. You fill up an exhaustive form asking you all sorts of questions about yourself when you buy the software. It’s a really long questionnaire and it would take you at least a couple of hours to fill it up. You are questioned about everything from your political inklings to your favourite authors to your tastes and ideas. This information is encoded and installed in your phone software, that is linked to the universal server. Now each time you cross somebody sharing your interests or ideas or having interests in allied disciplines, both your phones beep and the shared connections are highlighted on your phone. The software ensures that you don’t cross your potential “soulmate” at a mall or on a plane and lose the opportunity. It can act as a great ice breaker. “Oh, you like Borges? I love Marquez.” Or “Oh, you are a trolley driver? I am a philosopher. I have a problem for you.” Or “So, you are schizophrenic, eh? Sad. Have you always been a large rabbit?” What is with rabbits and schizophrenia? Look at Harvey, Alice in Wonderland… In Watership Down, rabbits can count up to four and anything more than four is too many for a rabbit. Is it true that rabbits fuck a lot?

Car honks are shrieks of frustration, it’s a demonstration of masculinity and speeding is a call for mating. Why is it that young people speed and the elderly drive slowly? The elderly don’t have much time left on their hands, so they should be speeding. Cops should have an age detector with their radars… they see a car crossing the speed limit, they should be able to go, “oh, but she is an old granny, she doesn’t have much time left now, does she?” Slowing down a granny is like giving an ambulance a speeding ticket. Zeno argues that motion unexists. He gives us the Achilles’ paradox. Achilles, ten times faster than the turtle challenges the turtle to a running race. And the turtle is like, “what’s the point dude, you are ten times faster than me… it’s obvious you are going to win, go play with an equal!” So Achilles makes him an offer he can’t refuse. He gives the turtle a head start of 100 meters in the 120 meters race. He starts running when the turtle is already at 100 meters. By the time he crosses the 100 meters, the turtle has gone ahead by 10 meters. When Achilles crosses those 10 meters, the turtle has gone further ahead by a meter. Achilles crosses the meter and the turtle is now ahead by 10 cms. Achilles 10 cms, turtle ahead by a cm, A crosses 1 cm, turtle ahead by a mm, A crosses the mm, the turtle is ahead by 0.1 mm, A crosses 0.1, T is ahead by 0.01… so on and so forth. Achilles shall never be able to overtake the turtle. Though by definition, it’s a trick paradox… Achilles should be happily overtaking the turtle at 111.11111 metres in the race… There is a modern variation of Zeno’s paradox… Thomson’s Lamp… Consider a lamp with a toggle switch. Flicking the switch once turns the lamp on. Another flick will turn the lamp off. Now suppose a being able to perform the following task: starting a timer, he turns the lamp on. At the end of one minute, he turns it off. At the end of another half minute, he turns it on again. At the end of another quarter of a minute, he turns it off. At the next eighth of a minute, he turns it on again, and he continues thus, flicking the switch each time after waiting exactly one-half the time he waited before flicking it previously. The cumulative sum of all these progressively smaller times is exactly two minutes. The following questions are then considered: Is the lamp on or off after exactly two minutes? Is the lamp switch on or off after exactly two minutes? Would it make any difference if the lamp had started out being on, instead of off? Or a more existential question like would it make any difference at all if you figured this out, if there wasn’t a switch to flick, if there wasn’t a lamp or if there wasn’t a you? It’ll be naïve to limit the theoretical paradox by a physical imposition like the speed of light or the time it takes for one to toggle the switch. One of the interesting problems of the infinite is at what point does finite become infinite. Galileo put infinity in a funny way. "Though most numbers are not squares, there are no more numbers than squares." At what point does the explicable become the absurd? The strict parameters of vagueness. The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians for centuries, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place. The ship was replaced part by part over the centuries. The logical question that arises now is whether it’s still the Theseus’ Ship or is it a new ship? John Locke (a 17th Century English writer) proposed a scenario regarding a favorite sock that develops a hole. He pondered whether the sock would still be the same after a patch was applied to the hole. If yes, then, would it still be the same sock after a second patch was applied? Indeed, would it still be the same sock many years later, even after all of the material of the original sock has been replaced with patches? There are many other variations. There is George Washinton’s axe. The blade of the axe has been replaced a few times and the handle has been replaced a few times as well. Is it still the same axe? A corollary could be… what happens if the replaced parts were used to build a second axe. Which, if either, is the original Washington’s axe? Tin Woodman is a lumberjack replaced part by part into an entirely mechanical being. His discarded limbs become a part of the composite man, Chopfyt. Jules Verne alludes to this paradox in Dr. Ox’s Experiment. In the van Tricasse's family, since 1340, each time one of the spouses died the other remarried with someone younger, who took the family name. Thus the family can be said to have been a single marriage lasting through centuries, rather than a series of generations. Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana adds another interesting dimension to this paradox. An athlete forms the third corner of a love triangle with his best friend, an intellectual and the intellectual’s plain wife. The intellectual sacrifices his head at a Mahakali temple, the athlete comes looking for him… freaks out on finding him dead, and chops his own head off in social fear.And then comes the woman… before she can chop any more heads and add to the mess, Goddess Kali comes to life and gives her a boon. She is now to place the amputated heads of the men back on their torsos. She keeps her eyes closed from fear and disgust and ends up replacing the wrong heads on the wrong bodies. So now there is one person with the athlete’s body and the intellectual’s head and the other with the athlete’s head on the intellectual’s body. Here, the writer considers this question: Which, if either, of the men, can claim fatherhood to the child in the woman’s womb?

(Musings on womb and cocoon and butterflies. Compound eyes. Moths. Transformation. Silence of the Lambs poster. Dali’s painting of the skull used in the poster. The skull itself is made of women. Optical illusions. The physics of illusion – using the patterns of perception and twisting them. Some great concepts of magic. Magical engineering. The Turk. Turing test. Our fascination with anomalies. Freaks. Dane Arbus.)

Miracles, rarities, dreams, freaks are fascinating, enthralling, riveting. Order brings a sense of security. Chaos is a show one would rather watch from a distant seat of causality. If a monkey was to smash the keys of a typewriter randomly, the chances of him ending up writing Hamlet are one in infinite. Hell, the chances of a super computer fed with all the words and rules of grammar producing even a page of Hamlet, are one in infinite. But it’s exactly the kind of thing one would love to witness. Throw a handful of grain randomly on a patch and you don’t need to be a math genius to know that the probability of the grains falling to arrange themselves in the shape of your face is one in zillions. The chance of the unique four letter DNA words that made the exact sonnet that is you? I wish all my ideas will arrange themselves and connect in a way that makes perfect sense, with a nice moral to take away – the way we arrange our memories and inferences to make sense of our present. If you were told that the magician pulling a rabbit out of the hat is not a trick, how would you believe something like that, and if you did, won’t you freak out? Why is it that we like to be told again and again that there is only one true love? I don’t know if there are any monkeys that wrote Hamlet or if there are any handful of grains that made Mona Lisas, but there are some funny absurd songs and some pretty interesting patterns out there. And there are those of us who are as excited about that unique one-in-a-million pattern that doesn’t make a recognisable design as we would be about the one that does.

(Some random ideas about patterns. The use of pattern and colour in culture. Patti Bellantoni's pop thesis "If it's purple somebody's going to die"... If it's pink somebody's going to be beaten up in the case of Rajasthan's Gulaabi Gang of women, dressed in pink, armed with rolling pins, beat up wife abusers... collective enlightenment and economy)

Yeah, so I was telling you about deficit financing. Apparently there is an international law that allows governments to print up extra currency to fill up deficits. It’s some kind of a complex economics – how will they maintain rates of exchange, and what if a government does it furtively? Etc. There was a time in the 90s when you needed a government licence to own a colour laser or colour digital printer. Not for your inkjet ones, but for the professional ones. The government was apparently quite paranoid about them. They feared that people will start printing money from their homes. Around the same time I had attended this exhibition at Jehangir. It was quite mediocre. It’s amazing how the most important gallery of the city exhibits the most mediocre of artists. Anyways, why did I bring up Jehangir? Yeah, the currency exhibition. So this artist had painted Indian currency to the minutest detail. From a foot away, it was impossible to tell that the notes were counterfeit. It was good craft, not art. The artist told me that he had cut special size brushes for the detailing. By the way, brushes made from sable and hog hair contribute majorly to the economics of slaughterhouses. Did you know that pharmacy is the prima-mover of slaughterhouses, meat is a secondary product? I hate it when people leave their meat on the plate. At least, finish your meal! Somebody died for it! Do you remember that scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe when they meet the Dish of the Day. It’s a dairy animal that is genetically engineered to want to be eaten. "I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing here inviting me to," said Arthur, "it's heartless." "Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten," said Zaphod. And then there was – "Something off the shoulder perhaps?" suggested the animal, "Braised in a white wine sauce?" "Er, your shoulder?" said Arthur in a horrified whisper. "But naturally my shoulder, sir," mooed the animal contentedly, "nobody else's is mine to offer." Such complex problems in ethic dealt with such imagination and humour. DNA was discovered a year after DNA was born and he died at the age of 41, a year short of 42. That’s the beauty of it. Dying at 41 is as inexplicable and as random as 42. A physicist friend was telling me the other day about a brainstorming session she was having with her professor and colleagues, and it’s interesting how the line between modern theoretical physics and philosophical abstraction is almost blurred. At one point the professor goes, “I guess there’s only one explanation – 42”. Even modern scientific thought can be as worryingly limiting as religious cosmology. The monotheism of big bang and singularity, for example. A more open thought, I feel, is the idea of multiple and simultaneous big bangs. I checked out the pilot episode of this sitcom called the Big Bang theory on the recommendation of a teenager. He finds the show hilarious. He reads Nietzsche, attends skiing camps inSwitzerland, listens to hard metal, writes poetry about freedom of thought, etc… One of those kids… It was such an unimaginative show! The characters are cardboard cutouts, and their jokes are as flat as dimensions of M-theory. Where do you stand on the string theory? Copying, duplication, imitation of the product is a punishable offence is replaced by "This product at a microscopic level might be made of strings. Manufacturer will prosecute to the maximum extent of the copyright law any attempt to make a supersymmetric version.” Have you heard this one? How many string theorists does it take to change the light bulb? Two – one to hold the bulb and the other to turn the universe around.

Half Blood Prince...

Bruno Delbonnel shot Amelie, Paris je t'aime, A Very Long Engagement... Stuart Craig was the production designer on The Elephant Man, Gandhi, Chaplin, The English Patient... IMDB lists 484 arists under visual effects alone led by supervisors who have worked on the most important visual effects heavy films of the last two decades... The story itself is one of the most read pieces of contemporary pop literature... what does the director do exactly in a studio film? Half Blood Prince... The trailers look amazing!

What has amazed me and pained me all these years is how the most big budgeted films of Bollywood or the most acclaimed artistic films of our country cannot compare to the art and cinematic design of an average episode of one of their average TV shows...

Thursday, July 9, 2009



From the site:
"This video installation presents the abstraction and re-organization of the top 25 grossing films of all time (as of March 2001, worldwide box office, not adjusted for inflation). Every frame of each film is subjected to a custom process that determines a grid of four colors most representative of that frame. These simplified versions are re-synched with their unaltered soundtrack and arranged by sales rank left-to-right and top-to-bottom, yielding the animated grid and accompanying chaotic audio."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Human Clock

I was here at 15.52 today. The image refreshed itself as my computer clock grew a minute.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Short reviews

Films recently seen:

Man Bites Dog A totally overrated film. With barely a few interesting ideas, the film is laziness on the part of the filmmaker, who refuses to dig any deeper into the character. There is nothing innovative in the film apart from the default innovation that the mockumentary genre offers. That said, one can understand the response the film generated in 1996. Even though, this is way after the cult mockumentaries This is Spinal Tap, Woody Allen's Zelig, and Kiarostami's film Close-up blending documentary footage with staged recreation, it's still one of the few films using the genre to follow an interesting fictitious character. Also brimming in the European pot around the same time was the Dogme 95 movement. Handheld cameras and improvisational acting were in. The director was only 26 when he made the film, and this is the only film he made before he died at 40.

Dead Man The moody poetic Kafkaesque Western by Jim Jarmusch has been growing on me since I saw it two days ago. Beautiful cinematography by Robby Müller who also later shot Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves for Lars von Trier.

The Sea that Thinks A self reflexive, self conscious experiment in writing that at times manages to engage and stimulate, at others remains outright sophomoric. The optical illusions documented and alluded to are quite basic and highly popular. Though I'll always remember the film for the optical illusion of the opening scene. The the optical illusion of the house is brilliantly produced.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cohen, Dylan and the time it takes to write a song...

"He said, 'I like this song you wrote called Hallelujah.' In fact, he started doing it in concert. He said, 'How long did that take you to write?' And I said, 'Oh, the best part of two years.' He said, 'Two years?' Kinda shocked. And then we started talking about a song of his called I And I from Infidels. I said, 'How long did you take to write that.' He said, 'Ohh, 15 minutes.' I almost fell off my chair. Bob just laughed."

"You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah"

"Took an untrodden path once, where the swift don't win the race,
It goes to the worthy, who can divide the word of truth.
Took a stranger to teach me, to look into justice's beautiful face
And to see an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
I and I

In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives.
I and I
One says to the other, no man sees my face and lives."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

और आज लिखा कुछ मानव की कविताओं जैसा...

और एक सच, शब्द या शक़्स पड़ा रहा…

कबाड़ में पड़ें सारे ऐर्यलों जैसा, जिन्होंने बहोत दुनिया खुदसे गुज़रते देखि है, पर जिनका अपना कोई एहसास नहीं, अभिमत नहीं, अभिप्राय नहीं.

उस अभिमत जैसा, जिसके बनते ही उसकी समापन तिथि निश्चित कर देना उसके बनानेवाले का फ़र्ज़ है.

उस देय तिथि जैसा, जिसके भूल से छूट जाने पर रिलायंस का गूंडा आपके दरवाज़े दस्तक देकर आपको ज़लील करने की कोशिश करता है.

उस ज़लीलियत जैसा, जिस पर एक बार आपकी माँ तक कह दे, “पर बेटा, ग़लती तो तुम्हारी ही थी”… जो अगर आप अटके रहो तो नासूर बन जाए, और आप बहते रहो तो चुटकुला.

उस चुटकुले की तरह जो कटाक्ष है, व्यंगमय है, बहोत ही हास्यास्पद है, और जो आप बीता होने के बावजूद उसे खुल्लेआम सबको सुनाना कानूनन झुर्म है.

उस झुर्म की तरह जो आप न चाहते हुए भी कर देते हो, हांफ जाते हो कोर्ट के चक्करों में, और फिर अपने मनपसंद पुस्तकालय के मेक्डोनाल्डीकरण और अपने बच्चों की तालीम के दिज़्नियावर्तन से समझौता कर लेते हो.

उस समझौते की तरह जो पहले न चाहते हुए ही सही, पर बाद में आदत और आखिर आनंद बन जाता है.

उस आदत की तरह जो विन्डोज़ के नए version को पहले कुछ महीनो तक ठुकराने के बाद उसे अपना लेने पर हो जाती है... मायक्रोसोफ्ट वर्ड की बिना पूछे ही शब्द ठीक कर डालने की बुरी आदत की तरह, जिसकी आलोचना नहीं की जा सकती क्योंकि उस आदत को बदलने का विकल्प आपके पास है, छिपा ही सही.

उस विकल्प भ्रम की तरह जो आपको टीवी पर, शौपिंग मॉल में, या किसी Café में उपलब्ध होता है... और पूछने पर कि फलानी और धिकनी काफ़ी में क्या फ़र्क है, एक नवसिखिया भोला सा बेरा आपको बता देता है "कोई नहीं".

उस फ़र्क की तरह जो काले गोरों में, हुतू तुत्सी में, अरब इज़्राएलि में, अंग्रेज़ी संविधानिक एकाधिपत्य और भारतीय लोकतंत्र में है और नहीं.

उस होने और न होने जैसा जो प्रश्न में क्रांति का है, विचार में निर्माण का, और अनुभव में मृत्यु का.

उस मृत्यु जैसा जिसका भय मानव कल्पना में भगवान् को जन्म देता है.

उस जन्म जैसा जिसके आदि में प्यार भरा संभोग नहीं पर बलात्कार की आशंका है, और अंत में वातावरण में मिल जाना नहीं, प्रलय की चेतावनी है.

बहोत हो गया इसके जैसा उसके जैसा! कविता को इतना seriously कौन बेवकुफ़ लेता है!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

You are not a person, you are a colony!

There are more bacteria in a human body than cells. Very little is yet understood about what these billions of lives are doing exactly in the human body, except of course, living off it and sometimes, helping it live. Life itself has been seen as a state of a body to avoid completely merging into its environment.

These interested me:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Handbags And Lingo

In case you are wondering...

Handbags And Lingo
is an anagram of
Anand Gandhi's Blog

"So what becomes of you my love,
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your grandad had to sweat
So you could buy..."

Sound proof

She married a man who forwards his mail
For good luck, and plays Voodoo
He’s queened the pawn while you’re still rooking

Vagueness gives a chance to move
But they have found a way to prove
That the world exists even when nobody’s looking

A motherless child taught me to
Live without the fear of loss through
The empty space, as you go Peter Brooking

I’ve lost many a sisters to distance
And I lost my thesis against a haiku
So I construe I shouldn’t have been snoozing

I’ve lost enlightenment to virtue
Well, who told you it was ever true
That somebody wins when somebody’s losing?