Monthly Archives: November 2006

Book hunting and jazz

Yesterday was quite hectic. The day began quite early, as I had to meet Vijay at the Strand sale. Started a little late, so found the peak 9am traffic. Still somehow managed to reach on time.

The Strand sale was again organised at the Chinnaswami cricket stadium like last year, but in a different location. Last time they only had one large hall, with books piled up one on top of the other, so it was a tough job to search. This time though, it was held in 3 halls, so there was enough space to spread out all books. I remember last time I had bought some 4-5 books, all really good deals. But it was disappointing this time, found mostly bestsellers, that too at a very nominal discount. I told them about it, and they asked me to come again in a few days as they were going to get more stock.

Vijay came about 30 mins late, by which time I had more or less scanned the first hall. Then we went through the entire collection together, looking for good bargains. But didn’t really found much to our liking. Still, I ended up buying two. A collection of short stories by Tolstoy, which I bought because I wanted to read Kreutzer Sonata, a story I left unfinished when in school. The other one was Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Then we went for more book shopping to Blossoms, our evergreen discount store, where one can always find good deals. We spent over an hour going through all the sections. I bought two books on Vijay’s recommendation. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, a good book to start on this author. The other one was My Feudal Lord, an autobiography of Tehmina Durrani, wife of one of Pakistan’s highest ranked politicians, in which she writes about the kind of abuse she had to face from her husband.

Then got back to home, where a fabulous lunch was waiting for us. Rested for sometime, while Vijay spent some time online. Then we chatted up for sometime. He invited me to a jazz event at Alliance Francaise in the evening. I thought it would be interesting, so decided to go.

Alliance as usual was buzzing with activity. I was introduced to the director of the Bangalore School of Music (the event’s organiser), who wanted to meet me for some help. We decided to meet and talk at a later time. Then the show was about to begin, so we assembled inside the amphitheatre.

Finally the show started, and the performing duo was welcomed on the stage by the director.
On guitars was well known jazz guitarist Amit Heri, and on the piano was Sharik Hassan, who’s only 22 but already famous for his talent, with performances in India and abroad. They performed several classics, and the show went on for about an hour. Finally I bid adieu to my friend, and started on my way back home, quite tired after the hectic day.

An observation

This may seem a little funny. This may also seem a little weird.
But what the heck…anything to break the monotony!

I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately, from across the world. And this particular thing struck me (Yeah yeah these things strike only weird minds like mine:D), that the local climate has a lot of influence on poets and lyricists, especially the kind who write romantic stuff.

Consider a few scenarios. India, with its warm climes (atleast in the majority of the country), people always wait for the rains. Everyone is relieved when the rains begin, signalling the end of the hot summers. So they’re generally looked upon as something ‘good’. No wonder most of the bollywood movies feature a romantic song or atleast a scene in the rain.

On the other hand, consider places with colder climes. People look forward to a sunny day. Effectively, most of the romantic lines have something to do with ‘sunshine’ or a sunny day, with rains/clouds usually figuring as spoilsport.

PS: I intended to keep this to myself, but was prodded endlessly to put it up here. So kindly address all complaints regarding this post to a certain ‘X’ (mr/miss, you’re free to decide:D).

What pseudo historic figure suits you best?

You scored as C.G. Jung. You are more of a spiritualist than would be immediately apparent. Some of your notions are questioned by the cynical, but deep down you know the human consciousness is more than the flesh and tissue can account for. You tend to take a scientific observationist look on matters the average person wouldn’t even begin to analyze. You personally are responsible for most of the ideas that are floating around in modern psychologist’s/psychic’s paltry little skulls. On the down side, you tend to be associated with that asshole Freud.

C.G. Jung


Sigmund Freud


Mother Teresa


O.J. Simpson


Dante Alighieri


Friedrich Nietzsche


Adolf Hitler


Miyamoto Musashi


Stephen Hawking


Elvis Presley


Charles Manson


Jesus Christ


Steven Morrissey


Hugh Hefner


What Pseudo Historical Figure Best Suits You?
created with

Gmail to fax

TPC Fax is a free service that lets you send text faxes by email. It doesn’t have a huge international coverage, but it works for most big cities.

To send a fax, you need to drop a mail to:
where recipient_name is the name of the person or institution you’re sending the fax (use _ instead of space).

Adrian Hristov, who sent me this tip, has an interesting idea: what if you forward all your mails from Gmail to a fax number using this service? You could also use a filter to forward only some of the mails.

An evening out

Decided to goto Shekhar’s place in the evening yesterday. Called him up and confirmed that I was coming. Got on the road…and as soon as I turned into Airport Road from ITPL Road, I realised the quantum of traffic. There were vehicles lined up till the top of the Marathahalli bridge, which was as far as I can see. Slowly made my way through gaps in the jam, dug up sidewalks and oncoming traffic. Took me over 20 minutes to cover a little less than 1km of road, even with the daredevilry on the bike. Still some traffic due to the usual shopper’s rush in the Marathahalli market, but it was atleast moving…and not stationary like that on the bridge.

Things eased out a bit once I went past the market area…with smooth driving till HAL, the next bottleneck on the Airport Road. Again…rode through sidewalks, and managed to reach HAL signal after manouvering through abt half a km of traffic. Then began the wait. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. I got pissed off real bad. The signal had been switched off, and instead there were a couple of traffic cops regulating the traffic. It was smooth moving on the other side…but it seemed that the cop forgot that it wasn’t just a single lane road…and there was a huge pile up of traffic on the other side. I saw there were vehicles piled up just after this junction, on a stretch of road which goes till the airport departure junction. I figured there must’ve been some VVIP politician, who’d chosen the peak evening traffic time for his flight (Later found it to be the actor turned MP Ambarish). Cars around me started to honk like mad. But I knew it wasn’t the traffic cop’s fault, who was just serving the people who’re actually supposed to serve us. But that of course never happens.

Kept waiting. Twenty minutes. Thirty minutes. You can imagine my height of desperation when I’m stuck right at the front, while traffic on the other lane is flowing very smoothly. Finally…I guess the cop had some mercy on us, and allowed us to take the right turn leading to HAL. It would be a circuitous route, but I’d prefer going an extra couple of kms over the seemingly endless wait. When you’re stationary for so long, just the thought of moving again excites you:p

It felt great to be able to move again. Even though it was slow as there was still traffic…but it felt much better than not moving at all. Finally made it to Shekhar’s place. A distance less than 9kms, which took me 75 minutes to cover. Choco…I’m sure you’re not too excited to read this:p Dont worry…its usually not that bad:) Unless you’re in a car ofcourse…Bangalore traffic is much better for two wheelers.

Met didi there…hadn’t seen her in a long time too. Had a short chat with her…and then Shekhar got home. Talked and talked…discussed new developments in life. Kou called up…asked to check up if there were some nice movies running. We went through the lists…but sadly no new releases this friday. So told him to just come over, and go for dinner somewhere. He came…and we chatted again. It was a nice reunion. The four of us hadn’t got together in one place since Shekhar’s bday…which was as long back asDec 2005! So just talked and talked. Finally everybody started getting a lil hungry after all the talking…so decided to go for dinner somewhere. The debate on the right destination lasted a long time…when we finally reached a conclusion to goto “Roomali with a View”, a rooftop place on 100 ft road Indiranagar. Got into the car…and drove off. Luckily no more harrowing traffic on the way!

Kou found an empty slot infront of the church opposite the restaurant…and parked there. I had just gotten out of the car, when I heard Kou utter the shit word softly. I knew something was wrong instantly…the way it was uttered. Walked up to him, and found him peeping down a cavity in the road. He apparently dropped his car keys in it. Before locking the car. He tried to see inside using his cellphone backlight…but it wasn’t enough.

The pavement, where the car had been parked, had a small section going along the road about 3-4 feet wide for the storm water drain which is used to drain off excess rainwater. This was covered with rectangular stone boulders. They ofcourse didn’t fit properly at the edges, forming cavities between them. The key had gone down one such cavity.

This cavity was quite narrow, so we weren’t quite able to make out how deep it was. On inspecting the other cavities close by, we found that the drain was about 3 feet deep, and thankfully…dry! Luckily it hadn’t rained yesterday. So we called the guard from the church, and explained the situation. He went back, and got two of his friends…along with a long metal rod, which he was going to use as a lever to lift off the boulder. So…with efforts of three men…we were able to raise the boulder about six inches off the ground. One of the guys bent down, and tried to reach for the key. But it was too deep for him. So we decided to lift the boulder completely…which took as many as four men several tries. Finally it moved, and one of the guys jumped in…and got the key out and returned it safely to the hands of its master. We rewarded the guys handsomely for their help, and finally got on to our way to where we were actually supposed to go.

Took an empty table near the edge of the roof, and debated on whether to order or try the buffet. The decision was left to me and Kou, and we went to check out the buffet items. Looked nice. The two of us decided for it, choosing variety and quantity, and what we perceived quality too…but only to be turned wrong in a short while, when we started eating. The food was a little less than lukewarm. Still…I was too hungry to complain…I just got on to eating!

Had a lot of interesting conversations over dinner, with people discussing their latest travels and other events in life. I got myself a large serving of dessert, which was ice cream…so I didn’t have to worry about it being cold:D Finished off dinner, deciding to do it again soon, and got on to our respective ways.

Wet Wet Wet!

About 7pm saturday evening. I was halfway on my way home after the meeting, when my phone rang. Kou’s call. He asked me if I was game for a movie. I ofcourse readily agreed to the offer:D I took a U turn, and got on my way to Inox. Just after 10 mins, it started drizzling. It had rained quite heavily earlier in the evening, so I expected it would not last long. It didn’t stop, but it was really light so I didn’t feel the need to stop. Then, while I was stuck at the signal at Trinity circle, it suddenly came pouring down!
I was caught like a sitting duck…lol. Vehicles packed on all sides…nowhere to go. Just prayed for rains to stop, or the signal to turn green. None happened. After what seemed like an eternity, the light turned green and I just blasted past the traffic. No respite from the rains yet. But there was no point in finding a dry spot anymore. I already looked like I had several laps in a swimming pool with clothes on. So I just got on my way to my destination without wasting any more time..
Finally got there. Parked my bike, and took out my wallet and phone. Luckily, the money was still dry and the phone working though a bit wet. I did a check on myself then. Water dripping down from my shirt. Trousers sticking to the skin. And water coming out of my leather shoes.
I took off the shoes, and squeezed the socks while they were still on. They looked like they just had a dip in a bucket full of water.
Looked around myself. A lot of people had a similar fate. One guy actually took his shirt off in full public view, and squeezed it dry. I couldn’t expect myself coming up with something like that! So took the wallet and phone in my hands, and made my way to Shopper’s Stop to meet Kousthub. Still wet enough to leave a trail of droplets behind me, and also some staring eyes:D.
Found him buying some clothes. I decided to buy a complete outfit for myself. A purchase was pending…and I couldn’t get a better excuse than this:p Got a helper to assist me. Made some quick selections, and went to the trial room. Asked the helper to get me a plastic bag to stuff my clothes…and he started looking at me suspiciously:)). Told him I wasn’t attempting a shoplifting, and looking at my condition, he believed me. Finally went in, took off all wet clothes and stuffed them a bag, and came out in a new outfit, with all price tags on…lol. They took them all off while I payed the bill. Then one guy accompanied me to the exit gate, just in case the alarms went ringing due to some tag they forgot to remove. Fortunately, I made a peaceful and uneventful exit:D
Met up with Kou again in the food court, and laughed over the day’s events. He’d bought tickets to the night show of Don. Finished dinner, chatted some more and went to see the movie.
I hadn’t seen the original Don starring Amitabh Bacchan, so had a fresh perspective on the movie. Still, I don’t get the point of making remakes. Apart from the original Don ofcourse, I found elements from several other movies, namely MI:3, Eraser, Face/Off, Swordfish and even a dialogue from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Quite a cocktail!
Reached home well past 1 am, still had the energy left to login and check mails.
Finally hit the sack around 2 am.