Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Awesome is how I feel

I've never felt so absolutely amazing as I do now. Not only have United progressed to the CL final, but my very own dear Scholesey scored one of his trademark 25-yarders into the top right hand corner to secure the game for us. I cannot even begin to tell you what a huge fan I am of his, and he is by far my fav. united player of all time. Awesomeness is coming, and rapidly.

Anyway - this would be a good moment to introduce you to Saket and his online blogging self. Happy blogging mate!

PS: Please leave comments about how the cocked-up the Ten Sports commentary was. Expletives in Hindi welcome. I will not even deign to curse their total lack of appreciation of genius at the Scholes goal.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Advice to people new to this part of the Blogosphere

Read the George Thomas blog regularly.Or even better, subscribe to it.

For those who came in late (for whom this post is intended anyway) GT blogs mostly about Hindi Cinema. I'm always left amazed at how closely he manages to follow the bloody mess that is the Hindi film industry sitting that far away in Amrika. You could use a thousand cliches about "the internet brings us closer", but the fact of the matter is that we, as in the Indian Film Industry are not as well represented as we should be on the internet. Sure, we have cretin reporters from Rediff and the like, but we need more of this kind of stuff.

Anyway, to introduce you to George's writing, firstly don't shy away from it because its "hindi films". Even if you have no interest in them (something which I can understand) you still would be missing out on smashing alliteration like "LipLock Lallu" and the whole smorgasbord of exotic vocabulary that the man uses. And when I say exotic, I mean exotic - these are a few words from his latest post. cheiloproclitic1, exosculation2, crinigerous (in the quite wonderful alliteration crinigerous cretin) and dipping further into the 'invent'ory with kissee and smoocheroo.

All this in an article about Eemram #me, and his latest kissing exploits in the movie Jannat.

1 : cheiloproclitic as this source tells me means "Characterized by an erotic attraction to women's lips." Wow, I say to these people, now THAT's an useful word. Note how I had to refer to a specialised dictionary to find out what that meant. define: on google are unlikely to be of any use as far as GT is concerned.

2 I've asked the man himself what that means, since the great goblin was of no help. Hopefully will hear from him soon.

PS: I shall also use this opportunity to spread some linklove to the quite recent "The Movies and Moves of Vishal Bharadwaj". GT and JR are partners in crime.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Out of the Quote-idien

"The only way not to do silly things in one’s early 20s is to die at 19, .. "

Amit from this otherwise typical post.

Reservation Please!

This post is for all those who keep asking me about my IIM results. No - I would like to say - they're not out yet.

And to tell you the truth, I'm kind-of relieved that they're delayed. Though this issue of reservation makes us wait-listed passengers, it is a little surprising that most of us are unconcerned. Or at least the "most of us" that I know. And a few like me are perhaps even gleeful. And its not because I'm afraid in some way, or "unable to face the future".

They'd told me about self-doubt and uncertainty and all that kind of stuff via stories and anecdotes. I listened to them as faraway emotions that I would never have to face. A bit like you reading "What to do if you come face to face with a Tiger". You listen, attentively even, but knowing that stuff like this is never going to happen to you.

But I'm afraid - I think - that it has. And at a moment like this, I'm glad that there is still that element of "luck". For I'm trusting random chance, which is how I see luck, to make my decision for me. I know this idea of leaving it up to a celestial (pseduo?) random number generator is crazy to say the least. But, that is one thing I'm sure I want to do now. Something crazy. In a safe sort of way.

A position someone I know would call a "weak-ass way of thinking". Again, what can I say but quote Metallica - Sad, but true.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When I pay tribute to words

I knew about the word "amanuensis" - and like Shah Rukh Khan the race driver and Kajol, the spoilt brat in Baazigar - I fell in love with it. Instantanement. It just felt wonderful to say - that latin feel, just rolling off the tongue. I sensed the root "man-" which pertains to the hand, and guessed it involved some sort of manual work. Princeton Wordnet obliged me with this :

"stenographer: someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation)" -

Ok. I said to myself. I get that.

But like most love, there was a problem. I didn't really GET it. I would never for example have enough courage to use it in a sentence. It was there lurking, like a shy peacock. I knew it was male, colourful and potentially beautiful. But, only potentially.

But age and experience they say solves most of these tiny knots that dot the timeline of personal experiences. And today - I grasped what an amanuensis truly meant. Not meant - implied.

The point d'inflexion? The quite wonderful, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly". Directed by Julian Schnabel and based on the best selling french book of the same name by Jean-Dominique Bauby, the movie is in three words, quite excellent indeed.

For those who came in late, it is the story of a man who has "locked-in syndrome", i.e he is paralysed completely except for his eyes - but that does not affect his mental capabilities of simple thought, and more importantly wild imagination. He decides to fulfill a past contract for a book with his publisher - only he has to write by blinking.

Enter the quite wonderful ladies. Marie-Josée Croze as the Speech Therapist (the french word orthophoniste is quite wonderful indeed) and Anne Consigny as the amanuensis are quite wonderful. What could've been a dull, dreary dark story is suddenly a vivid trip through a man's imagination which unfettered by his corporal shackles flies higher and farther than ever. Any review of the film would be incomplete without a mention for Janusz Kaminski's awesome cinematography. I would've loved to watch this one on the large screen - I felt awkward, inadequate and repulsed just on a 14incher. I wonder what the real experience would've been.

Anyway, definitely a movie worth watching, if not for anything else - but for a really different story in a long time - and some awesome cinematic treatment.

PS: I remember my second rencontre with the word amanuensis while "studying" for my GRE vocab. I found the entire process richly rewarding, even though the expansion in my vocabulary might not've been as large over time as I would've desired. Its an exercise I urge everyone to undergo - and I wonder if there is a way I could repeat such an exercise for Hindi or Marathi. If anyone knows of such "wordlists" in these languages, please do comment and tell. I end with reprimanding these two boys for making hard work of the entire process. Avnish for example dares to suggest that the word "lexeme" is pointless and wastage of dictionary page in general. I wonder what a few people from a certain profession feel about that.

UPDATE: PPS: In a somewhat unexpected move JR actually replies. Here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Master Patient?

Update: Jeev finished joint 25th at +4. Immelman won.

I distinctly remember that when I first heard the word, I actually misheard it as "master patient". This misunderstanding was compounded when one of my other good friends distinctly said 'Master Patient'. I remember being extremely confused as to this particular nomenclature and it was not until I looked, and looked hard into my dictionary that I came to realise (much to my relief) that it was NOT master patient after all. My belief in the english language was restored.

Anyway, that term could and should have a new meaning. Of course, going my general level of inanity at making these comments - most of you would have sussed out that I'm talking about the one and only "The Masters". Yes the one with the "green jacket and golf" thing, for those who came in late.

Now most Indians have never played golf. I'm one of them. In fact I've never even come close to a golf green - but then that is true about a lot of other playing surfaces too. But the average Indian middle class biological machine of the genus Homo Sapien Sapien would've played cricket, football of course - but also very probably touched a basketball, fondled a volleyball (both playing dodgeball), swum in chlorine infested waters and maybe even swung a racket or two. But Golf - which if you believe the story is meant to be Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden - should probably somewhere there read Ladies (and Indians) Forbidded. Or at least till now.

When in a few hours from now Jeev Milkha Singh walks out for his second round on the Augusta Greens he would be placed joint 11th. He's one shot under, 3 behind the leaders(Rose and Immelman) while everyone's favourite Tiger, languishes (by his high standards) BEHIND him, on a par round one. JM Singh as the Master's website refers to him, in a machinely sort of way that only machines can - is one of India's brightest ever sporting stars. And what's more awesome is that by paying absolutely no attention to him whatsoever, we let him stay that way.

He finished 2nd on the Asian Order of Merit last year (behind the quite fabulous KJ Choi) - and 37th at the Masters last year. Of course, he could totally screw up the next few rounds - but I would be very surprised if he did. With more experience and certainly more pedigree than ever before - lets hope and pray for a top 10 finish. Many people would be shocked if I say this, but a top 10 at the Masters is equivalent to at least an Olympic Bronze if not more. It simply is that big.

Of course, India as a nation needs an Indian to win a major. Then even Aaj Tak could not ignore that piece of news. Till then, we wait for these little flashes of joy across the tele (very rarely) and other electronic news flashes. Headlines Today had a story on TWO Indians playing at the Masters. They said "Daniel Chopra and ..." - That was when I flipped the channel. Sad, but true.