Monday, February 20, 2012

A new home

After eight years on blogger, I'am moving to a new home for Thought Warp -
Whoever you are- the ones I know and the ones I don't, Au Revoir! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Its like a photograph

Songs are like photographs. Let me explain.

Photographs capture moments and hold it for a lifetime.
You look at them and it refreshes moments long gone by.
Although photographs tend to fade with time, both the memory and the photograph itself.

Here's the connect.

Songs you once listened to and cherished, captured the time and space in its entirety.
They speak of a lifetime and are in tune with the mood and spirit of the times gone by.
You listen to those songs and you relive those times.

I recently got down to making my songslist from various phases in life.
Each song unleashes memories. And listening to an entire playlist gives me the feeling of having flipped through an entire album- it gushes forth incidents, conversations, people, places, warmth, joy, happiness, friction, loneliness, betrayal, deep camaraderie, genuine relationships, struggle, rebellion, growth, adventure, dreams, summertime... so on and so forth.

A photograph imprints an instant, a song captures an era.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The grass is greener. Not.

Everybody has their own struggle which is so intrinsic to her/ his own world.
To think the grass is greener on the other side is a foolish thought.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1Q84- after thoughts and reading update

I just finished the 900- odd Haruki Murakami book- 1Q84.
Last week, I read the play Pygmalion by G. B. Shaw for the book club and have just placed an order for another Japanese- authored book 'Remains of the Day' by Kazuo Ishiguro.

After the long, nearly three- week 1Q84 read I can say this- only Murakami could have made this book a hit, even before it was read. The book was originally released as Book I, II & III. May be, if I read it with those intermittent breaks, I'd feel differently. Though even with the three as a bundle I couldn't put the book down.  Gripping indeed, speaks of the author's impeccable command over fiction- writing. I even lugged it along on a Pune- Chennai- Trichy trail.

The story, set in Tokya is mystery, suspence, sci-fi and a love story rolled into one. The central characters of Tengo, Aomame, Fuka- Eri are unconnected individuals within a seemingly disconnected but connected setting. More than half the way through the book, the connectedness starts to show, although it is still not completely predictable- once it has been established by the Leader on the night of his death by Aomame, their conversation draws the reader into the workings of the parallel world of 1Q84. From this point on, the read becomes murky and opaquish. Also the poetic style of Murakami starts to fade.

A great inception, that sets your imagination balloon- up to conjure the Murakami story, floats along higher and higher until it doesn't have enough fuel and so it commences its descent. Nevertheless, the book is a good read. A good tip is to judge a book by its read. Neither by its cover, nor its author.

As an aside, its quite soothing, a hot cup of cocoa in hand while you distill and process a good book when the night has set and all the sounds have receded into 'silent' mode.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wavelengths matter

I have loved radio programs from the time I started listening to them and that happened circumstantially. During summer vacations while on the road, Dad would not miss his news updates and so he would turn off whatever music we were listening to and tune into 'News at Nine' on All India Radio (AIR). Trailing past the silhouttes of trees drenched in night light along the road, at times the moon playing spotlight on the farm fields and at other times the stars shining vividly and pointedly on moonless nights. I would gaze out of the window, intently immersing the imagery running past me cocooned in a car with my family.

In college and away from the comfort of home I didn't have much of a choice while living in a hostel/ dorm (nunnery in other words) that had (on purpose) no plugpoints- read 'no music players',  than tune into a radio show. Again, AIR came to my rescue with its two- hour rock show every night. I'd eagerly wait each night. I'd tune in at 10 pm. Only now there wasn't any external imagery running past me nor was I cocooned with my family in a car, I only had with me a gazillion thoughts buzzing in my head. It was merriment when FM got a big leeway, regulations eased and Bangalore and us music- starving/ craving souls got a 24- hour English rock music channel. 

When I went back to graduate school on another continent, who would think radio would come to my rescue! Only this time, it was internet radio. Pandora saved me!

Oflate, I am enthused by community radio and its immense potential. And delightfully, there is a buzz of activity happening in this space to make way for effective and efficient community radios in India. Thanks to a ton of pursuasion from civil sector organisations to open- up airwaves to communities which are infact public property, vetted so by a Supreme Court ruling in 1995. 

And now I find myself in pursuit of Community Radio. I know my hopes won't be lost, you've never let me down!  Long live the radio!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I will slip away but never fall out of...

I have been reading a lot lately, no other way but to do so to keep up with the ever- increasing list of 'books to be read'. 

Thanks to an amazing book club I joined in early 2011 which magnetically zapped me back to intensive reading.

I am almost finishing the Surya trilogy by author Jamila Gavin- a set that hub and I picked up at the Institute of Engineers book sale. I plan on doing a review of it soon.

Big, bulky 1Q84 is a world in itself (first book I bought on takes you to another place and time and makes you almost witness a story unravel- it's not for nothing, Murakami is so celebrated.

Coming up for the next book club meet, we're reading G. B. Shaw's Pygmallion. The last I read a play was part of the Literature curriculum back in college. Eager to revisit the genre after years.

Looking through page by page, book by book,
I will skip away, but never fall out of... reading!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Written back in time, unfreezing now. 

March 3, 2010, Philadelphia 

I can’t yet connect the dots. It almost seems like the dots are getting visible, but its like that hazy, blurry vision that creates an eye itch. So hazy, and yet, almost there. Enough light, sufficient vision, but  some more fine- tuning, until clarity comes through.
A stranger, wandering, albeit with a purpose. Wandering. Discovering. The newness in everything that comes with a new terrain. Even the seasons that went by and are yet to come by. Its not the newness in itself but the newness to me.
Time clocked. Days Passed. Seasons changed/ are changing- from resplendent Fall to a blanketed snowy winter. Two more months and Spring will come by and complete this queer chapter of my life.
Walking on campus that brims with energy- where life is a canvas yet to be painted and everybody is getting ready to throw in the colors, untinged so far by setbacks and disillusionment that comes with the passage of time.
I stopped for a moment on Locust Walk today. The chilly wind waning away the winter; students rushing past me wearing so many emotions, layered like their winter attire- giggling, smiling, conversing, grave. 

And I told myself that I was thankul for all the myriad experience that came to me this last year.  

For one, absence DOES make the heart grow fonder and the deepest relationship deeper.

And for creating some new ones- wonderful friendships; uncovering and gaining so much knowing and exploring the deeper ‘crevices’ of the complicated fabric of the human mind.

For almost rising back from the ashes, with new rigour, taking charge of life and charged by it.
For the Fall, the wind, the snow, the winter that’s paving way for Spring,
For Van Pelt library, Penn’s campus and the squirrels too.
I touched the fleetingness of that moment. And the fleetingness of life itself.