Good Reads, Lazy Post

Came across a well-written article on the standoff at the Lal Masjid and its aftermath, written from a refreshingly original perspective.

A few links later, stumbled upon a lovely piece, that drips critic acid, about what one can buy for NRI dollars today.



What Happened To That Guy?

Picture a 20 something guy,
duffel bag slung on his shoulder,
walking through customs.

Clear of eye. Fit as a fiddle.
To borrow a phrase from Pratchett,
the world, is his mollusc.

He figures he'll work, for a while.
He figures he'll save, for a while.
And then, he figures, he'll give it a shot.

He'll learn to sail. He'll learn to fish.
Then take a loan, buy a boat.
And float a deep-sea charter fishing business,
somewhere off the West Coast of India.

He'll cater to the rich and shameless, the fat cats,
while the work ensures he stays thin and sun baked.

He doesn't plan on being rich.
He just plans on being happy.

What happened to that guy?

And who is this slob, balancing a laptop on the beginnings of a belly, keying in stories of faded glory that never were?


Ode to Friday, the 13th of July, 2007


My, oh my,
it was a fucked up day.

Profane. But so painstakingly accurate.

Some days you fee like you shouldn't have gotten out of bed.
This one, raised existential questions about beds in general.

Now, since I'm not going to crib about what happened, this is all going to seem quite cryptic. And pointless. It is, however, actually quite cathartic, and much more acceptable than my original plan - heading to the terrace with a drink and a smoke, and berating whatever powers may be, with all the lung power at my disposal.

(The neighbours - though ignorant of Plan A - will, I'm sure, enjoy a moment of profound, sub-conscious gratitude.)


Worth Watching

The Fountain (2006)

The History Boys (2006)

Crime Spree (2003)


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Author

Some people compare well written books, to fine wine.

They sputter on about vintage and bouquet and a lot of other stuff that, if personified, would be wrapped in a turtleneck, with a 4 figure haircut, loads of sensitivity and the sort of lisp that the word "fetching" was invented to describe.

I know nothing about wine. I know even less about fetching lisps.

I do know that I've read and re-read the George Smiley novels by John le Carré a number of times. And I'd like to think I've enjoyed them every single time, more due to my geo-political view maturing, than the accumulation of oxidisation on these valued, but aged paperbacks.

For me, it was in le Carré's novels, that Fleming's theatrics died. Quickly. Painlessly. A demise that had nothing to do with better guns, girls and gadgets. A death wrought solely by the magnificent interplay of words and the creation of eerily human characters.

Something that remains, to this day, le Carré's genius. Borne out by The Constant Gardener, amongst others.

But whenever I'm in between bouts of bookstore induced bankruptcy, and feel the need for a good, light read of the le Carré stamp, it's to the world of 'The Circus' and Smiley & Co., that I turn.

Where knot, upon twisted knot, is undone by Smiley himself, whilst wiping his glasses upon the fat end of his tie. Where the brief, but vivid introductions to those who populate this world, keep one coming back for more.

The cameos by assorted, derelict East Europeans. The evergreen references to crass American materialism. The constant stench of decaying British imperialism. The nepotism of the "Old Boy" network - that ever present affliction of so many of the former possessions of Perfidious Albion. And, of course, the unfaithful Ann. The tasteful, murmurred allusions to her numerous infidelitites and indiscretions.

Most of all though, le Carré writes so very well about the disillusioned man, that it makes me rather comfortble about retaining the few I have left.