Monday, November 19, 2007

Faith No More







a Fad!


Friday, September 7, 2007

Troubled waters

Voice from an elven realm: I am all over his blog...(laughs)

Another embellishment. Another trophy. Another day soon enough?

And I took the long route...

I took the bus for a long route, after a long time. I remember making my way through the BEST and the EMU and then again the BEST to school. By the time I was in the 3rd grade, Ma preferred me going to the school by public transport and struck my name off the school bus list.

Yesterday I took the BEST again. I was travelling to work from Versova to Worli. I took the empty bus and found myself by an empty window with a not-so-empty mind. This mode of transport has been long since obliterated from my rules books. Apprehensive and a bit daft, I tried to find my voice when the ticket conductor threw a questioning glance at me. The empty bus rolled out of Yari Road Bus Depot and I was by now pretty pleased of my rationale which worked this way.

"Everyday I do three modes of transport to reach work, and that takes me approximately an hour's time door-to-door not ignoring the lag time in watching people pounce on my cabbie, and plunge into the local trains and yet again pounce on rickshaws. I have seen people beg and bow with hands joined in sincere earnestness towards the rickshaw driver/ cabbie to take them into the joyride to their respective dogmatick heavens. I am but a silent spectator over the sheep trying to be orderly in this chaos. I just sight the nearest traffick cop stand and speak a little local slang to impress them and that takes care of me getting a cab or a rickshaw without all the customary haggling - All this and more in one hours time, between home and office.

However with the new gameplan, I would take only a single mode of transport – BEST. Throw in half an hour more of road travel, I would be succoured of all the pains of changing vehicles and all the gymnasticks behind it. So there I was in the bus, book in hand, and the throb of the engine underneath my seat, chugging towards my place of work. (BESTs actually chug!)”

I passed the Versova fishing village, Yari road sea front, then Versova Road Seaside, then the route was pretty boring after that, not worth mentioning. I am tired of describing the route and the mechanism of a great masterminded move. Sorry to break the non-existent momentum, however when I passed through the scourges of sea facing shanties and the people around, unlike Shantaram who found them smiling and happy – for me this was the underbelly of Mumbai. Crime, murk, garbage, naked kids with rickets, gold laden fisherfolk, in general people living in their own shit and who don’t give a shit to anything. There is this place when the bus turned towards called “Khar Danda” which I had seen on signboards but had no clue of. Now this place was more evil than what I had gone through the task of a journey till now. Khar Danda had all the above mentioned iniquities coupled with more weather beaten gruesome-looking seamen laden with more gold all over their ears, and neck and hands and shanks. Even the sea here, reminded me of the abominable shoreline footage from “The Ring”. Scraggy and rugged full of rocks, the view changed into an approaching Carter Road and Jogger’s Park. There was an absolute metamorphosis of ambience within a span of a couple of meters. There were machines cleaning mud off the road, municipal sweepers trimming and hacking the ornamental hedges for the divider. ‘No speeding’ signboards further claimed that this zone is prone to the urbane vanities of super-adrenaline-driven-road-blazer. There were homes neat and lavish in view opposite to the mangrove lines and though the place still smelt of dead fish, there were adolescents and adults trying to be at their adolescent-best flaunting assets of their own layered upon with the world’s best designer labels. By now I was absolutely unconvinced by the starkness of the pictures which were a few meters back. I don’t want to get into chauvinistic talks of rich and the poor, the haves and the haven’ts.

I am just dazed by the rude contrasts of urban life.
The bus took me 3 hours to reach work, a stipulated 2 hours overboard of my masterminded move towards commuting comfort.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

A room with a view...

I have moved near to the sea.

It's good waking up to an euphoric view,
in this claustrophobic city.
Sometimes facing the surf on a squally day,
I stick my tongue out to feel the salt.

No one, but me knows what or whom am I thinking of.
No one ought to know. No one will ever know.

This space is not meant for pass-over dreams.
Now I feel like a bubble-gummed bubblehead.
And lack of the other one.

Blind Tasting Slussions!

Have been through quite a few of them, enough to write about.

In contradicktion to my earlier state-ment of mind, I would like to write something here. A feeling of performance anxiety is the last thing one has in his mind for such spaces!

Okies, every tasting session starts with a healthy sophisticated presentation of the blends tagged Blend 'A', 'B', 'C'...etc. and on a very sober note and sombre looking people performing a class act of holding, tilting and swirling glasses.

Sight is the first exercise of the drink in the glass. In India we do not compare a blend like the French or the Scots. ‘The colour of sunset', 'blossoms flowing from a maiden's hair', etc...Here we say clear, dull, muddy or brilliant. Brilliant! Next comes the nose - smell.

Take a dip into the glass. Come out with the aromas stinging the inner walls of your nostrils. Oaky/ woody, nail varnish, caramel? Fruity? Floral?....again no poetry please. Please...I want my palate to feel the concoction...lyrical regurgitation on an observation sheet is for the French. Woody and Peppery!

Good, a sip atlast! Chew the liquid, chew it…says the expert...gargle, roll the fluid, do all sorts of mime tricks till you understand what personalities the drink carries on taste. Never waste. Let the French spit it out into the bucket. We swallow the whole nip. Hmm...

Now to Sample B. Get over here baby.

7 or 8 samples later...

The air in the room has changed. The room has become noisier, boisterous to the brim! Sombre faces which were taut with apprehensions are now jolly good red with mutual bonhomie. Everyone is happy. Some are slurry. Comments on the drinks – still classified – are received with bigger laughter. Intricate observations follow.

How does this one smell? Dip Sniff Soar – I say MELONS!

The expert beams upon me. Bravo – right word…this one has a bouquet of melons!

I suddenly couldn't resist, lest for a more perfect timing. So I utter “Big Juicy Melons!”

Room resonates with spine splitting squeals.

Hostile Acquisition of Space

I haven't been here since long. I do not intend to write anymore.

I am just trying my last hand at it.

Nupe...I can't write here.

I bet mindfields are cool.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Li'l More Conversation...

One of the most frequent things you do in life is to 'miss'.

A few words I jotted down some days back. These were dotty little firebugs of thoughts whizzing past my head. As if I were travelling through the birth of a new star – cosmo-jacketed and piercing through clouds of nebula dust – swooping in with a prized catch of glowing bugs attached to my black suit.

Well, let me share those thoughts, bugs and sparks with all ye matey’s!!!

Miss, I miss you. I miss her too.
I miss the morning mist, I miss the dew.

However what's never to miss.

I miss infant joys.
I miss my childhood laughter. I miss my mother’s caring lap.
I miss my convent, I miss kiddie friends whose faces I barely remember.

I miss my bicycle, I miss the tramping track.
I miss my father’s jokes that he used to crack.

I miss the lazy chats, on reed mats in searing summers.
I miss innocent winters and dry leaves of heather.

I miss the April storms as the rain-clouds gather.
I miss watching them and enjoy being sadder.

Sometimes I miss God. I believe I miss Satan too.

I miss all that is real and above all I miss you.


A Li'l Less Conversation...

She: Shite! someone just asked "me" if "I" were a feminist and I am wondering what makes ppl "jump to conclusions" or just be pure "judgemental" as if they are born to categorise the whole world.

Me: Well lemme tell you whosoever asked that...surely wants to start up a conversation with you and that was lame...I'll tell you of that person, 'coz he/ she is trying too hard...hehehe

She: my colleague yaar... she doesn’t need reasons to strike a conversation

Me: oh well why did you ask me if I were one?

She: a common friend posted in her orkut that she's a lesbian... so we had a lil debate over that

Me: Oh I see

She: and by end of it.. she tells me.. "are u a feminist"... more tellin me rather than asking, infact and then moralist... bugger asshole

Me: well I got an interesting theory then

one who is a feminist basically is a lover of human beings

because he/ she is actually tiffing over a specie

even Hitler contradickted himself

by being a specie lover...more lover than hater!


She: hmmm

Me: so you can tell your friend that you are and you aint a feminist at the same time

human beings love to tag

they have taught the computers to do that so well

She: i wonder..

is it but natural happiness for humans to tag other ppl.

now when the IT/ cyberworld is more neat and tidy than humans as they are outclassing their conceivers...its getting difficult for humans to maintain their fastidiousness.

you see what I mean?

She: ya rite

humans tag but can’t stick to it

coz they are still humans and way superior than machines

that’s why I have another theory…

Hate machines

but forgive humans!!

She: hmmm.. to err is to human

EXACTLY my dear!

Machines were designed to behave in a particular manner

humans weren’t

She: well I think humans behave more like machines off late

and trying their best to have the best technology,

but also behave as humanist as possible!

Me: humanist!

now that’s another tag

have you heard something called as misanthropist?

and agoraphobic?

well I am a bit of the first

and a lil of the last

a lil coz if I say I AM A misanthropist then I would be talking like a fool rite?

'coz then I shouldn't be talking to you or any one else for that matter!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Reign in Wine

Working at a vintner's corporate office is really cool. Especially when people look upon you as being a part of a genteel culture which invariably evokes admiring expressions on their faces. Well, I am no big connoisseur of wine; however I have had my own moments of glory. Tasting sessions, a walk through the vineyards, looking up world-renowned quality grapes up close, wine-nosing through cellars, and getting a heady trip out of walking in the sweet aroma of the winery, getting a headier trip out throwing varietal and wine names to an unsuspecting audience – all of the French elite jazz. I mean its good pristine fun and a sense of general human evolved-ness. It feels nice to distinct a Chardonnay from a Chenin Blanc or a Cabernet Sauvignon from a Merlot just by a blind taste. Its sheer foreplay you see.

Now that the mega wine fest is finally rolling due to some real back-breaking, relentless work by Madame Anushree and Monsieur Vivek, I am really happy how the agency has added great colours and look to my invitation write-up, as well. I always felt, the girl from the agency had an aura, a magnetic one too. I remember her eyes lighting up at the mention of the wine induced hedonistic grand plans for the festival, possibly one of the biggest and the costliest in India too. The fest promises to rain wines before the monsoon does, not in little goblets but by the tumbler!

This is whence Demonos quoth...
...“Here is where Bacchus overpowers the rain gods!”

Zeus holding infant Dionysus

Jim Morrison, was often compared himself (as well as by others) to Dionysus. Similarities between Morrison and Dionysus include love of song, wine, women, and a sense of poetry. Dionysus ended up becoming one of Morrison's nicknames.



Friday, May 25, 2007

Staring at the sun: Analogy

There was a story going around in the 60's that a group of California university students were so high on LSD that they were staring at the sun while laying on a grassy hill for several hours that it didn't bother them but in fact burnt part of their retina and could not see anything closely. They also held religious conversations with god while under the influence.This story has never been proven and actual names were never given.

Bono is probably relating his own trip with the students who were sprawled out on the grass for hours. His description is almost identical to the mythical articles on the California university students. I would take the the song quite literally. "Those who can't do" are the teachers or the people who set our morals in society who create these myths to scare people out of using drugs or to be introspective and question what is accepted as truth or right. Are they afraid of what they find when they look inside of themselves? Bono says these people (government/military state) is still in town or in control. Its not so obvious as they are disguised in suits and ties. Daddy (government) won't leave you alone. "I'm nearly great but there's something missing" = Grandiosity is a symptom of such trips. "I left it in the Duty free" = [airplane] "trips" may be taken literally. Its not really him as its an effect of the drug. He's not sucking on his thumb. He's not a baby he can do what he wants and if that means destroying his retina so be it. Could this be an anti-drug message?

Plato then relates truth and the search for enlightenment to the analogy of the cave and how humans are easily deceived and persuaded to believe in what the perceive and are not open to new ideas if they are offered outright. But knowledge can be taught in degrees to gradually allow the soul to become accustomed to the "light" of truth from the Sun. Staring at the Sun captures this idea of Plato's teaching.

~don't try to hard to think dont think at all~

Humans are not willing to think to reach their conclusions, they believe only what they see.

~there's an insect in your ear/if you scratch it won't disappear~

In the cave analogy there are voices that the people hear that they can't understand where they come from. They don't go away.

~I'm not the only one Staring at the sun~

There are actually other people that are teaching this person about the truth of the Sun.

~Afraid of what you'll find, if you step back inside~

The thought of going back in the cave to teach the people about the light of truth is frightening and afraid that they will be killed if they go back inside.

~Not just deaf and dumb, staring at the sun, Not the only one who's happy to go blind~

This is happiness due to the discovery of what real truth is. The brightness of the sun is blinding at first but soon they see the good of the light (truth) and are happy to go blind, staring at the truth.
Staring at the Sun

Summer streching on the grass... summer dresses pass
in the shade of a willow tree creeps a crawling over me
over me and over you stuck together with God's glue
it's going to get stickier too...
it's been a long hot summer
let's get undercover
don't try too hard to think... don't think at all

I'm not the only one starin' at the sun
afraid of what you'd find if you took a look inside
not just deaf and dumb I'm staring at the sun
not the only one who's happy to go blind

there's an insect in your ear if you scratch it won't disappear
it's gonna itch and burn and sting
do you want to see what the scratching brings
waves that leave me out of reach
breaking on your back like a beach
will we ever live in peace?
'cause those that can't do often have to
those that can't do often have to... preach.

to the ones staring at the sun...
afraid of what you'll find if you took a look inside
not just deaf and dumb... staring at the sun
I'm not the only one who'd rather go blind.

intransigence is all around... military still in town
armour plated suits and ties... daddy just won't say goodbye
referee won't flow the whistle God is good but will HE listen
I'm nearly great
but there's something I'm missing I left in the duty free
though you never really belonged to me

you're not the only one starin' at the sun
afraid of what you'd find if you stepped back inside
I'm not sucking my thumb I'm staring at the sun
not the only one who's happy to go blind...

From the U2 Album Pop (released in 1997)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dulce Et Decorum Est

"It is sweet and right"

Life is insane, simple, chaotic, static. And it’s all good.

Or is it?

Now, this would not be one of those esoteric faff-infested explanations on life. No more pseudo-spiritual/ intellectual trips which land you down hard knocking the shit our of your bottom bags of organic waste.
Arise, Awake!!!

Can't you see what life is doing to you?
Now that your eyes are wide open,
Why don't you give something back in return, and not give-in!

The seeker trails on for answers.
Dig, collect, discover and move on.
It is so beautiful.

Don't let your skills waste.
Don't let your thoughts loom.

Patil is very subtle over his gutkha spitting habits.
Banerjee, you can save your energy over tax payments.

Big cities are the worst and the best places to live when it comes to a totally consumed mind.
Consumed by who else, but life of course! You clamour for space and also for some company. Sometimes you get both, the other times you get some. But you are never left alone.
Well on that note, villages can be very self-destructive.
However it leans a lot on the amount of strain one’s head can handle.

Death is very real. More real than life. It is the undeniable truth.
I believe one should die more often, no…not out of cowardice.
(Cowards die many deaths in a lifetime...some moral science feed, this!)

In fact one has to be brave enough to die enough, isn't it?
One should die many deaths to be alive, it is like a makeover. A makeover of the inner self. With which you gather enough strength to rule.
You see, I am trying hard not to tread on to the path of pseudo-intellectuality all over again.

This post is far from intellectual. Chuckles to himself.

Peace, Love, Idleness!

War, Strength, Elitism…\m/

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Monday, April 30, 2007


Many a times I have felt that the safest and belonged of all places is the bath. When I was a child I remember, I used to look at the huge mirror at the wall opposite to the shower, and perform many an enthralling performances from movies, or just imitate the Holy Cross High schoolbus driver or play imaginary games with imaginary elves with pointed ears. Enid Blyton fan that I was.

As time flew by, Oscar-winning performances turned into Grammy's! I was singing aloud. Now I was doing that on a professional level under the shower. Steven Tyler, Eddie Vedder, James Hetfield, Axl Rose, Sebastian Bach, titillated an imaginary audience with their great voices and air guitars. Sometimes mom used to give a stern rap at the bathroom door and warn me that I have been inside for almost more than half an hour. There used to be water all around. On the ceiling, on the mirror, on the magazine rack...everywhere! That was because of my vigourously gyrating 'stage antics'.

With passage of time, as I went deeper into real performances at colleges and pubs, and getting deeper into extreme metal, I was into 360 deg. headbanging. Meaning, the head full of hair and all, is supposed to be swirled round and round like a man possessed by the devil himself! That proved a little risky sometimes because of disorientation. The slippery soapy tiles beneath you are treacherous. I have fallen down on my butt and other places, many a times thrown to some corner, swung around by imaginary moshing fans and even bodysurfed my way to the shower faucet in order to stop the deluge. I had numerous blacks and blues on me along with crinkled skin on my fingers by the time I stepped out of the steaming bathroom.

Definitely this is not a solitary experience. I am sure many of us still have a lot of pending performances yet, maybe your best is still to come. However, I have had my share of the shower(lime)light. I mean most of my tile breaking performances are lost in the steam of the geyser. Sometimes Still when I look at me at the mirror, the reflection in retrospect questions. The face I look at is dissatisfied, not being able to perform anymore. It is weatherbeaten and old making the best of basking in some past glory. Purpose, job, relations, self, questions, posts, faces, meanings, , , ..... all whiz my head. Million thoughts passing in the mind in one millionth of a second. Like slices of melon being squashed in the blender.

Performances gone, though I yearn for those days. Nevertheless, the shower still gives me the freedom and inertness from the outside. You become one with the crystalline elemental water. As water flows from the scruff of the neck and downwards. Gone are the efforts to feel weightlessness. Breathing is more lucid. The lump in your heart and throat is gone.

It is next to the brief stay which I had in the womb. It is my own floateria, my isolation room.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Working on a script on these lines...beautiful song too.

Alone...listless...breakfast table in an otherwise empty room
Young of her own attention
The mother reads aloud, child, tries to understand it
Tries to make her proud

The shades go down, its in her head
Painted room...can't deny there's something wrong...

Don't call me daughter, not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me daughter, not fit to
The picture kept will remind me
Don't call me...

She holds the hand that holds her down
She will...rise above...

The shades go down...the shades go......

Wish me good!

Pearl Jam - Vs

Tottering sidewalks, Little pink shoes and Freewill

Real, man, real.
You know?

have to be real. Your room has to be real. Your friends have to be real.You're more important than all the silly machinery. Silly machinery?!!!

And you know it! In eleven years its going to be 2018, man.
Think about that!

I Wanna see you feed a mouse to my pet snake, Now that's real! I am only interested in what is real. Real people, real feelings, that's it, that's all I'm interested in.

Courtsey: Russell Dumond, Still Water.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Sonnet

Crazy mind sojourns a pipe dream
Crazy lil mind, bewildered thoughts beam

Crazy throbs of the heart, crazier sighs
Crazy longings prevail, crazier the nights

Crazy eyes seek a crazier gaze
Crazy mind rests in perpetual haze

Crazy cosmic loner yearns for a crazier soul
Crafty let the world be, as your hand in mine we roll

Crazy let the song, crazier the tune be
Crazy intoxicated feet let sway to a crazier melody

Crazy is the darkness, crazier the silence
Quivering flame glows in a crazier madness

Crazy veil reveals your subtle oblivious gleam
Crazy mind sojourns a pipe dream

My rendition of 'Bawra Mann' by Swanand Kirkire from the Sudhir Mishra film "Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi" 2005


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

On the advent of Sam Dunn's second film GLOBAL METAL: 7 Countries. 3 Continents. 1 Tribe, with now distintive self-styled filming of bands and fans, this repost would definitely try to arouse the mutual feeling of anticipation and and excitment for any metal fan across the world. Aptly subheaded as ONE TRIBE!

Finally the thing that I was waiting for, to take me off recipes. This movie is a tribute to metal; right from early classick roots to the genre-wise tracking of a sound growing heavier and intense each passing decade. A master documentary cut by the most original and real metal head I have ever come across - Samuel Dunn. An anthropologist by education, Dunn makes a likable companion in our journey through the metal underground, meeting some of the biggest stars of the genre on the way.

What makes things really exciting, is the fact that Dunn had chosen India amongst the countries to feature in his sophomore effort which is due. He was here to cover a few Indian metal bands as well as his old time favourites Iron Maiden headlining at Bangalore this year.

A head banger's journey starts off by examining Metal's roots with the long debate in regards to who was the first Metal band ever. Then, we are taken through an analysis of how metal sub-genres came to exist. Dunn also gives his thoughts about Metal's culture, viewpoints, religious standpoints, the fans and every other aspect of metal. Some of the veterans of the scene as well as some insightful outsiders give their interesting opinions to support the argument at hand. The film balances the serious aspects of Metal with some unintentional humor. Personalities like Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson, Alex Webster, Slipknot, Ghaal, Dee Snider, Doro, Ihsahn and many others offer their own individual thoughts in an intellectual way while bands like Mayhem make a fool out of themselves during a drunken interview.

The structure of the film follows life's most provocative subjects - Censorship, Sexuality, Death & Violence, and more. Each area is thoughtfully explored with comments from many musicians and some outside observers. From the calm commentary of Rob Zombie to the wry humour of Dio.

The most amazing moment of the film is when Dee Snider of Twisted Sister walks in the courtroom to testify; clad in hair apparent, torn jeans, ripped jacket in a room full of bureaucrats and beholders of moralistic jurisdicktion headed by Tipper Gore, wife of Al Gore, circa 1984. She had run a crusade against metal during those times. And Dee in sheer deliberation pulls out his "speech" of a testimonial reads out loud for the courtroon. It was politically neat and sent sarcastic pinches for Ms. Gore while the men in suits are visually shaken with uneasy tweaks and turns all around.

There are funny moments where Alice Cooper claims to be the first one, whose music was coined as the term Heavy Metal. Then further in the course of the film he reassures that it was shock rock!

The spine chilling and appalling moment for me was when Dunn interviews Gaahl from Gorgoroth. And this behemoth of a Black Metal frontman sips his wine, pauses and with a near statue-like gaze he says "Satan", with a deep drowning voice and goes ahead to support church burnings with stark contempt towards the church.

Dunn is a true metal head. The documentary is extremely entertaining and informative. It made me proud to be a metal head. It even made me give bands I'm not too fond of another chance. Bottom line is, if you're a Metal fan you'll enjoy this from beginning to end. If you're a curious outsider, here's your chance to understand our world better and get a more defined opinion of our music. And even if you don't, well to quote Dunn at the end: "We're doing just fine without you…"

Monday, April 16, 2007


I am back with you, my love. At one with your gentle froth and foam. You come playfully touch and go; and how you tickle me? There are pebbles at your shore. I am collecting the flat ones, because they resemble some cell phone. I'll throw some back at you. I see you rise and fall, while I stare, your warmth is in your spray, saline and loving. The sea gulls did tell you this cold morning that I would be coming to see you! You do look ecstatic. I see that your mighty arms have formed rivulets with the tide and they are streaming towards inland searching for a home maybe in some backwaters. I dare not go back lest you feel everyone betrays you. I won't. You are my dope, my stash, my ecstasy and the world enquires "what are you on these days?" Little ignorant ones. Now I see you playing your tricks again, who is she? In pristine flowing white with the wind, is she an angel, a mermaid, or just merry. Ah! you play your tricks upon me again. Your sand kisses me as I roll down the slope towards you. I promise I will take the free fall off the cliff soon someday to be in your arms forever. I know you have a wonderful bed waiting for me, as I lay my tired self to rest on your bosom. You fill my heart with joy. I don't need gills. I don't need to breathe.

You seem to be in your mood swings today, guess the moon is doing things to you. Worry not as I ride your waves alongside the dolphins. So many times I have walked towards you only to be ruthlessly thrown back. This planet knows not our worth. You are rising, the Senate knows that. I trust no one, but you. I know you will take me by the arm and entwine in a divine embrace. I marvel at your ability to be self enthused. You do not require renaissance. You shimmer like a thousand gems at me so that I don't get bored. I won't, neither would you. I can sit and gaze here as the planet goes through its customary revolutions and rotations. We all move in circles around one glowering fascination that catches our eye. I love the revolutions. They bring seasons. Cold still winters and bustling summers. But what I like the most is when you have a gloomy blue gray above with a hint of lightening at the horizon to glorify your beauty. Those are the times when I feel the vastness of your macrocosm. But here I am quoting someone else...I am just collecting pebbles by your shore. I will throw some back to you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


If anybody has come across the beautiful great little film "Big Night" then this post will make a lot of sense. This is a recipe of painstakingly devoted gastronomic perseverance. And how well has the tenacity been portrayed by Primo's character. Infact this dish casued quite a stir in the late 90s following the culinary relish filmed passionately in "Big Night". Mind you, it is a tiring and a terrifying process to make the right Timpano. However the ultimate reward is when you hear orgasmic savoury gasps from all around, after the chef-d'oeuvre has been served.

Presenting the glorious "Timpano de Maccheroni"

10" or 12" springform baking pan, preferably teflon

two sheets puff pastry, either home made or commercial

MEATBALLS: assemble ingredients into one long meat ball or loaf, which makes it easier to slice and fit in the timpano
3/4 lb ground meat, beef, veal, or pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 TBSP chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: mix together, shape into a meatloaf, and bake at 450 for 1/2 hour; slice into 1/4 or 1/2" when cool

SAUSAGE: Use at least two kinds of sausage, such as Italian sausage with fennel, pheasant sausage, etc.; need a total of eight links
Preparation: bake until cooked through at 450 for at least 1/2 hour; slice into 1/4 or 1/2" slices when cool

CHICKEN: 2 whole breasts, cut in half
Preparation: Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh herbs such as rosemery and sage; brush with olive oil; grill on both sides until done; slice into 1/4 or 1/2" slices when cool.

VEGETABLES: 1 medium eggplant, 2 large red peppers, 1 medium zucchini, 3 medium potatoes, 2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes

Preparation: slice eggplant 1/4", core and flatten the peppers, cut the zucchini 1/4" lengthwise: brush the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and grill.
Blacken peppers and peel skin.
Boil potatoes, let cool, slice into 1/4 ", and season with oil and herbs if desired.
Crush tomatoes, add 3 TBSP olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, fresh parsley and basil to taste. Important: you will not use all the sauce in the timpano, use sparingly!

PASTA: 1 lb cooked pasta, a flat pasta such as farfalle or lasagne works best.
Preparation: Cook to al dente,in plenty of water with 2 TBSP salt; drain, rinse with cool water, dress with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

CHEESE: 1/2 cup grated mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano; cheeses may be substitued with Fontina, Fontinella, parmigiana or other Italian cheeses.


All ingredients should be prepared ahead and at room temperature.
Thaw pastry crust and dust with a little flour.
Butter the inside of the springform pan.
Remove the bottom and cut the dough to fit the round; cut a second round 1/2" larger than the round for the top. Reassemble spring form pan, cover the bottom with cut dough, cut strips of remaining dough to fit side, seal side edges to bottom dough and egg wash the edges.

Arrange the ingredients in layers beginning with the pasta, leaving no spaces in each layer. Spoon a little bit of the sauce and cheese,follow with layer of meatloaf. Use your imagination when layering and vary the layers for color and texture. Make sure to include a layer of pasta half way up to help absorb the liquid and facilitate a firm internal texture. The final layer should be pasta with a little tomato sauce and cheese.

Cover with the remaining round and seal the edges inwards. Do not extend edges beyond rim of pan. Seal the top inside edges so that they do not open when the sides are removed. Cut a vent hole and decorate with leftover scraps of pastry dough.

Brush with eggwash and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes and browned. let stand for at least 30 minutes. Remove the sides, cut in generous slices, and serve the remaining tomato sauce around the timpano.

The word Timpano is actually a regional or family use of the term Timballo in Italian or Timbale in French if you wish to look for other recipes in cookbooks.

Finally this post would be incomplete without the mention of Anthony Bourdain.
He is the "industry of cool" when it comes to travelling cooks. He makes every corner of the world and its food, phenomenal...which actually is! Be it eating a throbbing cobra heart at Thailand or having ox-meat at Baluchistan, snake wine at Vietnam or seal meat in the Tundra! Ok he is not a freak, though an ex-heroin "i am outta it" gringo. However he also has sane food at sane places with suave people around. The best part of his show "No Reservations" is they actually show the host smoking a cigarette!!! He needs it definitely. Specially when the plot is thick and the pan is brimming. ;)

Inner Silence

When the silence beckons
And the day draws to a close

When the light of your life...sighs
And love dies in your eyes

Only then will I realize
What you mean to me...

Such a...Such a pristine immaculate song on death of love and a sudden arrest of faith in life's isolation by Anathema - Alternative 4 (1998)

Thus spake Demonos II...-|-...In Remembrance...-|-

I was not put here by anyone in fear, I came alone as me.
Just an idea in a long chain of discovery surrounded by the same you. Sometimes your tide pulls me out to sea and I die in a thrashing curse. So far up the beach that those who try to reach are burnt alive in the searing heat of the desert of my dispassion. So far removed, I never hear the water, but I long to. And I refuse to believe in some of the things that are said to be here. Let alone those that are not, I'm trying to change my direction and yes...Ours is pathetic in my own humble estimation.

I love the planet. The great benign she-wolf. Benefactor. Spinning gently on towards the red giant, and four aeons hence when all the rose gardens are consumed in the flash-fire of flying time.
She'll leave you alone, to you.

I thought I felt you jump out of my skin, throwing oil into my blazing memories. But when the winds blow from this direction you may sense that I'm in your reflection. You move your body and your whispers weave as the world spins. It tells me that I'll never want to leave. Gradually I think I feel you but I will never know, as the days leave and the centuries grow.

As I think of you from this dark century I will always be with 'benign' curiosity and doubt that we both may share and hope in vain that we're not just disappearing spirits. One-up-manship when it comes to intellectual competency? How futile! So the little time, that your crystal eyes gazed into mine, was what intellectual competencies cannot fathom. I behold a burning flame, forever dreaming....dreaming a lie!

I am trapped inside internal eyes and caressed by innocence is a sanctuary which I built for your mind, beneath a pale sardonic sky. One love, one sorrow and an undying affection for life. Finally I walk away from the flames. I've found a way to erase the pain - A guardian angel called escape.

I don't dwell on the forthcoming. However you will know, when I'm gone, you'll hear my cries in the wind.

Monday, April 2, 2007

^|^|^|^Soulful, Wistful, Listless ^|^|^|^

I was smitten. It was such a rollercoaster. The sea does things to me. And she was the mermaid beckoning me towards her. Her voice still rings in my ears. I have no idea when would I see her again. There is no rationale when there is love. Then the only reason for every alibi is to Be Together. It feels great when endorphins react and leave you unreasoningly fixated. And when it happens, it’s absolute, in totality. Bad hair, bad breathe, bad acts, bad food and booze, do not matter anymore. The only desire left is to BE there.

I presume that many of us have been ‘under the influence’ of endorphin and when we are no more ‘wise enough to be wise’. All that matters, is to render every possible way of bliss for the One. You surprise yourself again and again by reaching a point where there is a dearth of conditionality. You relish every moment walking hand in hand, past an unfamiliar city which succumbs to be just a backdrop. You fly from tree to tree, branch to branch, one city jaunt to the other and wish there was no tomorrow! You feel the presence of your beautiful souls floating in the ether of a shared cosiness.

When tomorrow engulfs you in its void, you either plunge in a sense of extreme loss or rise in the redemption of true love.

The more I see the less I know..
The more I like to let it go…

The present is a dream to me. These moments are precious to me more than a thousand years put together. They will leave me nurtured and cared, belonged and intoxicated. Somebody please don’t wake me ‘coz I am sleeping the sleep of angels.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

..........Space, Abundance, Isolation...

Is all I need... In remembrance of my 27th year of existance ...Here's Jimi Hendrix's infamous rendition on loneliness

Burning of the Midnight Lamp
The morning is dead
And the day is too
There's nothing left here to greet me
But the velvet moon
All my loneliness
I have felt today
It's a little more than enough
To make a man throw himself away
And I continue
To burn the midnight lamp

Now the smiling portrait of you
Is still hangin' on my frowning wall
It really doesn't really doesn't bother me too much at all
It's just the, uh, ever falling dust
That makes it so hard for me to see
That forgotten ear-ring laying on the floor
Facing coldly toward the door
And I continue
To burn the midnight lamp
All alone

Lonely lonely, yeah
Lonely lonely lonely
Loneliness is such a, drag

So here I sit to face
That same old fire place
Gettin' ready for the same old explosion
Goin' through my mind
And soon enough time will tell
About the circus and the wishing well
And someone who will buy and sell for me
Someone who will toll my bell
And i continue to burn the midnight lamp

Darlin' do you hear me callin' you
So lonely

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The night was long...

Dear ***,
I feel weary today. But it is a nice stretchy feeling. You know, a feeling of such sorts arises out of a sense of sublime satisfaction after something. Last night I just did that. No not that, OBVIOUSLY!

You know girl, I couldn't meet you on Sunday. I have my own bag of troubles which was heavier that evening. Last night however when I called you a million, zillion, gazillion times, and by this time, I even have a recorded electronic voice travelling in the back of my head, "Tamay je number sampark switched off or out of coverage area!" It went on and on and on and on. And on and on and on and on. But I am not the one to give up something so cherished on such an easy note.

The words I gathered since you landed in Mumbai, were " I am somewhere at today but not tomorrow...Lakme Fashion Show begins...launch party....Bastard....I'm on roaming!" So much for a courtsey call.

Last night I thought of 'gatecrashing' at the show as giving you a sweet surprise at NCPA. Good friends of Lakme. We start on an enthusiastic roar after an invigourating drink. Let the frenetic search begin!

NCPA was haunting at 11 o'clock in the night. I could see grand silhouettes of pink and red backdrops for the show being installed, however there was no humdrum of a ramp, neither could I see any melee of fashionistas. Duh.. I went to some people who seem to be event executives, they had no idea of a pre-launch party. I call again. Recorded voice.

Then we check Cafe Sidewok by the NCPA. Reassured by the security of rare possibility of a launch party, and dejected already, we thought of taking a walk at Marive Drive. But somewhere in my mind I knew I had to try more. So we took a cab to Cafe Mondegar. Checked the place inside out. The manager suggested to try Leopolds'. I looked out for that familiar face which I had never seen in flesh and blood. I was waiting for a glimpse of the brilliant gleam of your eyes and the wisp of your curls to hit me out from the crowd. Phew! Wasn't of any avail. Where are you ***? How stupid of you to put your only means of communication, off! How stupid of me to not meet you till now!

We head off towards Colaba, and think of all the possible places you might be on a weekday, that too at the start of the week! Privee? Khyber?, JAzz by the Bay?....Maybe Tavern! We ask our cabbie to wait outside Tavern. I walk in and walk out. They were showing the Pink Floyd anthem on the large screen and people still had the head to sway to the number played innumerous times since decades. Well Vivek had suggested to check the Terrace Bar at the Strand Hotel. I pretty much liked the place when I reached the top where I could see the glam-lit Mumbai skyline as gentle waves struck the jettied boats bobbing by the Drive. The night was humid and the air was heavy, four floors above the sea.

We thought of catching up with a refresher drink. It was way past 1 o'clock already as we talked on things like intellectual stimulus, and how intellectual spriritualism is a better way to escape rather than spiritual practice, itself. (That's a whole new spectrum altogether ...another chapter). For a moment I thought I was not calling you anymore. You might be asleep by now tucked in a cosy corner somewhere in the buildings around me. :) So I might as well let you sleep, as I did not want to disturb the recorded voice on your phone service. You got a long week ahead. I had a long night, last night. Take Good Care.

My call and my self could not reach you. By the time you read this, you would be away, already.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

............Dangling Ocean Jetty Legs

All alone not by myself

Another girl bad for my health
I've seen it all through someone else
And I (love a girl bad for my health)

Celebrated but undisturbed
And serenaded by the terror bird
It's seldom seen and its never heard
I'm (serenaded by the terror bird)

Never in the wrong time or wrong place
Desecration is the smile on my face
The love I made is the shape of my space
My face, my face

Disintegrated by the rising sun
A rolling black out of oblivion
And I'd like to think that I'm your number one
(I'm rolling black out of oblivion)

I wanna leave but I just get stuck
A broken record runnin' low on luck
There's heavy metal coming from your truck
And I'm (a broken record running low on luck)

Never in the wrong time or wrong place
Desecration is the smile on my face
The love I made is the shape of my space
My face, my face

We could all go down to Malibu and make some noise
Coca Cola doesn't do the justice she enjoys
We could all come up with something new to be destroyed
We could all go down

I love the feeling when it falls apart
I'm slow to finish but I'm quick to start and
Beneath the heather lies the meadowlark
And I'm (slow to finish but I'm quick to start)

Never in the wrong time or wrong place
Desecration is the smile on my face
The love I made is the shape of my space
My face, my face

Never in the wrong time or wrong place
Desecration is the smile on my face
The love I made is the shape of my space
My face, my face

Desecration Smile by the RHCP from their album Stadium Arcadium (2006)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saltwater and a handful of Sand

Goa has always come to me in doses. Probably so, for there is so much to fathom. And this trip was indeed long due and well earned. There were several reasons for it. The major ones being, it coincided with Vivek and Kristi’s visit to India after four years and meeting Rogger before he leaves for Sri Lanka. I too have been stretching my neurons and tendons for quite a while. Also the place has been pulling me for a while now.

Maybe it provides a fascinating setting for my “The Beach” adventure, maybe it is the allure of white sands and hours of lazing in the sun, maybe it’s the whole idea of being in a place where you can be what YOU are! Or maybe it’s just an abrupt ricochet of memories of a past life.

Whatever might be the reason, Anjuna never seemed to be unhindered or unfamiliar to me, once we reached at the tiny sleepy village. With Kristi around, people thought us to be from some other land, and they were very helpful. I wonder what the response would had been, had they known that they were talking to two long-maned Bengali lads, one Goan and a pretty Estonian lady with a doe-eyed tot, Sarah, restless to the hilt, exchanging laps at will! However Oliver had gotten ourselves a good enough bungalow on rent from his god-mother, though I wondered later about the godly bill that evolved out of our stay.

Sleepy Anjuna and Flour Mills

The breakfasts, lunches and dinners that had to follow were only too cheap, too delicious, too spicy and served by an overtly prompt and helpful guy who was over-driven by the favourite local flavour – fenni. Hence sometimes we had a few meddles in getting the menu right. But such meddles only add to the fun and at every serving we turned ravenous, at the mere sight of food dished out at us - Sorpatel – heavily spiced gravy of minced pork had with local bread (pav), Kalamari Rice – tangy flavoured neatly cut local squid mixed with fried rice or just had with potato fries, fresh prawns curry, prawn noodles, beef toast, roast beef, scrambled eggs and bacon with bread and all these coupled with tea, coffee, or beer depending on time and mood. Later I really regretted to spend on a few jazzy bars, pseudo-hippie haunts and also a famous MNC food chain which almost cost us the rent for four bikes on hire for a day.

Unleashing man and machine

Talking about bikes, driving around in Goa is the greatest experience of freedom as long as you are lucky not to be hit by a fenni-frenzied local or a nitro-fueled expat on his Enfield. Yes the classic Indian road mustang – Enfield Bullet. No other place in India has so many of these native choppers wheezing past you with that masculine roar of the engine. There were all kinds of Enfield Bullets that I found in Anjuna – modified and coloured to various tastes. Psychedelic colours played on the massive tanks and solid well built bodies and the curved handles gleamed in the sun promising a great ride. I saw so many skinny chicks riding Bullets and they were so much in control of that monstrous engine chugging underneath those frail things. WHOA! It goes without saying that we too got ourselves a Bullet 500 and a Bajaj Avenger. Both Vivek and Kristi love the machine and Oliver found the Avenger comfortable to cruise on. Bikes truly enliven your flights of freedom whereas cars are only too comfortable for the beer-heavy bellies. Ample buses and rickshaws zip by and you can even hitch-hike a jolly ride to your way.

Exhilerator Vagator

Since a few years, I have been interestingly drawn towards the yogic way of life. Considering the picturesque setting, me and Oliver jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn and set foot towards the sea at Vagator on the first day. It was an ethereal experience. Facing the chill of the sea wind, staring at the waves, feeling the mildewed sand underneath and the various asanas provided me with the perfect harmonization of man and nature. Behind me was the Chapora fort, an open air romantic set to so many Bollywood flicks, and in front was the ageless vastness of the ocean. This was solitude. Reminded me of love. We took a walk down to the turn of the cove and felt the chilly water play with our feet. Little attention was paid to the film crew assembling at the far end of Vagator cove, by locals or by Oliver or by me - a yogic nomad, an urban hippie, call me whatever. As Yoga refreshed me in thought, the swim invigorated my limbs, and the sun greeted us in readiness for a great trip ahead.

Goa's very own Cafe Del Mar

One thing why I prefer shacks more than super malls is the snugness and the one-on-one bargains that they offer. Here you don’t walk into a gigantic structure made of titanium steel alloys with more glass, steel, lights, blitz and all chiseled into magnificent perfection. How I loved being away from all those! It was fun to look at the shocked faces of the shack owners when we started bargaining in Hindi and how well. In the shopping onslaught, we were able to get some very good bargains for all of us and especially for Kristi who would’ve had a ripped purse at the end of her shopping spree, if we weren’t around. Just imagine getting a tie-died spaghetti top for 50 Indian rupees over a quote of 500. I picked up a lot of spiritual and psytrance as well as some meditative music by Prem Joshua.

Soaking up the Sun and Psychedelia

When going beach hopping, we avoided the commercial and crowded ones and stuck to Anjuna and Vagator. The afternoon swim was at Vagator and the whole ambience around the semicircular silvery cove was reminiscent of ‘The Beach’ footage.

That night we biked our way to Paradiso Anjuna, with the almost full moon over our heads, we strode the stairway down to the beach along side the much hounded pub. The beauty of the night unleashed itself upon me. The tide was high and waves were crashing on to the gentle mounds of solitary rocks jutting out of the sand. The sea shimmered like thousand gems spread beneath the canopy of a big wide blue. I could hear the slow thud of spiritual trance playing at Paradiso, at the back and the moon playing the master of this cosmic symphony. It was the music of what silence played on me. You forget where you belong to and where you have to go, at such a state. Mind you – I hadn’t done any substances! Far at the corner of the hills behind me, I could see shimmers of brilliant tiny lights luminescent from the shacks. My heart skipped a beat and reminded me of love and only love. The Tooth Fairy wasn’t in sight anywhere around.

However next day, after the morning swim, we touched Ozrant. The whole world came to a halt, apart from Sarah – of course. Man what an amazingly undiscovered place. We had a sumptuous breakfast at Goa’s very own Café Del Mar at Ozrant. The whole place spoke of palms, thatched huts, cosy places at every shade, psychedelic chairs and the awe-inspiring work of nature sprawled below. We knew at once that this is what we had come looking for. Later the trip to Baga was sunny and it was crowded with sun-hungry Caucasians, though the beach was a huge stretch of clean white sand. Candolim was exciting with an abandoned ship and a swim in the huge waves under the hull. The waves here were playful with strong under-currents. Sarah amused herself with her father and Oliver, while Kristi just would not leave the water saying “I can stay here all day!”

Crowded Shore, Barren Ship

One amusing thing about Candolim was that everyone around me was over-weight pensioners from Europe and the US, which made me feel a bit jittery because it reminded us of the time to come. “I will die young,” I said, “you’ll see, I’ll die young!” Little Sarah smiled at that. Nevertheless, the waves were beautiful and the sun was golden.

Subliminal Flows

The sunset at Ozrant, was as dramatic as one of my earlier posts “Lucid Hedonism”.

It re-established my belief of astral travel. The sights, the sounds and the feels were subliminal to my neurons. I could really feel the repairs taking place in my long-stressed brains gradually. The sea here was suddenly deep and calm waves washing at the aureate shores. A few shacks were lined way into the palms and they served ales and food to tattoos and tie-die mushroom merchandise. The shack we chose was the one playing some locally brewed psychedelic trance. The sun was on its way to kiss the sea, so Kristi, Oliver and me tried to get some good shots out of it with some beers. Children and grown ups alike, skittered around the beach carefree as they had made it their second home. A grown up version of Sarah played around in the sand with her brother while their folks swayed to the rhythm of the spiritual music. I had a few friendly exchanges with the shack owner a long-haired tattooed and pierced Nepalese who was also the one responsible for belting out the music.

A very – allow me to use this subjective term – ‘cute’ family passed us by. They were as cute as Vivek’s family. The man was tall and lean; he had weather-beaten skin with black dreadlocks stacked above and one gleeful tot running around his towering stature. He waved at what seemed to be a local fisherwoman and bowed courteously to her and had a brief bonhomie. This Rastafarian gentleman was hand-in-hand with his fair lady who in turned smiled at the little cherub-like baby in her arms. This joyful mob walked their way across us into the sunset, which had already matured into vibrant intermingling hues. Ozrant will stay with me forever. After all it was my abstract Lucid Hedonism, realized.

Disturbances in the great Slumber

That night back in our bungalow, I slept on the terrace. I swept glances with the sky through luscious palms, gazing at the stellar diamonds shining their light on me. The moon shone in glory, as I passed from one transient stage to another. I never realized the spur of the hour when I finally transcended from my reverie to neverland. The night was pleasant and I dreamt. The Tooth Fairy appeared besides me and took me in her astral embrace. It washed away all my sands of trouble and induced nectar like intoxication into the sweet-smelling springtime night. Everything was if in pristine paradise, but there was a strong pain in my heart, of some unknown sadness, still the moments were golden. Her large curious eyes looked at me with the most tender reverberation, that would melt the most inert of all hearts. And together we took off and flew to galaxies nested with civilizations who had never heard of eternal pain or longing. My heart drowned in perpetual bliss. Early morning the first rays of the sunrise, the chirping of birds and Oliver’s sun-toasted face woke me up! The Tooth Fairy was gone. It’s a pity Tooth Fairies do not last till the day. Waking up I couldn't feel anything, but the urge to recollect the real moments from the unreal...It was bittersweet.

Walking the Green Mile Home

Meeting Rogger was fun, he was in is elements and his chirpy best. My shooting him constantly made him feel like the ‘Star of Goa’ as his conscious self proclaimed. He showed us many interesting things like how to get the car to blink without touching it! It took me an emotional moment to realize that Vivek, Kristi and Rogger, would go off their ways soon, and the next point of such an assemblage would be of questionable certainty. Watching Kristi give a bucket bath to Sarah or Disney Chick as I lovingly call her is such a spectacle.With chants of “üks..kaks..kolm…suketu!” or one..two..three…dive!, the emphatic Sarah who just crossed the 10 month mark, would dive into her bucket and look around at all of us with an Archimedean expression of accomplishment. Will see her grown up next time. Hope Rogger grows up too, or maybe not, because he is best at what he is now…like Goa forever!





All fools, me cool!...
no the coolest, yes!