Friday, March 13, 2009

Bangali bajey boka

I think the reputation Bangalis have of being lazy at work is closely linked to the other reputation they have of having an infinite capacity of what can be only described as 'bajey boka' and an unquenchable thirst for legendary and, now much commercialized, adda. After dinner, I went to this grocer's shop to get cold-drinks. At the end of the day, at the end of a week for that matter, there was our dear grocer Raju, a philosopher of the first water, all chatty. Someone had come to purchase posta. He was saying that posta does not have its origin in India, but hails from Afghanistan. Customer B said that posta is good for the health, especially in summer, because it apparently keeps you cool. Customer A: That is precisely why it originated in Afghanistan. Raju interjected that he had heard tell that some people even eat posta-baata. Customer B: Why posta-baata? Not here, but o-desh-e they even eat posta-r khichuri. Imagine how much posta they consume! Customer A: It cools the blood, that is why it comes from Afghanistan. Everything has a geographical explanation. Customer B: (and there's no way I'm writing this in English) Shotyi baba, oder desh-e ja gorom podey! Raju: Gorom podey boley posta khaye, sheta edik-e eshechhe. Oder desh-e bomb-o podey. Asha kori sheta edikey ashbe na.
After what is a hard day's work for us Bangalis he comes up with that. (I am, by no means, suggesting that all Bangalis are lazy at work. It's just that I am. Raju, for the record, is a fairly hard working man.) That was when the little helper returned to the counter with my bottle of Thums Up and I left the store. What a line to end an otherwise eventful day. I simply love these conversations Raju hosts every morn and every night.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Years of watching football has convinced me that the football commentators are some of the most interesting people in the world. Most of them, I find heavily biased in favour of British teams, but they are a funny race. They also come up with some of the most inspiring lines you'll ever hear.

After an exceptional day at the defence, Bolton Wanderers conceded a goal off a sparkling bicycle kick from some big-team player.
"We said it'd take something special to beat this Bolton Wanderers defence tonight. Well, you've just seen something special."

One of the funniest. Some bigger team conceded due to lack of proper marking. Something to the effect said the commentator:
I don't understand why they prefer areal marking and not man-marking. Have you ever seen an area score a goal?

The one I love best. 1986 World Cup.
Maradona, Maradona: The man they can't contain.

There are many more. I can't remember any more right now. Will add.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I was on a bus, going home. Next to me sat this gentleman in an orange-white striped t-shirt. I was feeling unusually chatty today . It's good fun chatting with random people. I turned around and saw that he had a mobile headset on and was happily nodding away to the music. The bus was rather crowded and I found no one with whom I could strike up a conversation.
The bus stopped at the next traffic signal. An advertisement across the street caught my eye. It was a Nokia ad. It said "Connecting people". I reached home eventually. And went out in the evening to attend this wedding, where there was excellent food. Some sort of Dahi vada and Biryani and some other chicken preparation. I'm always too busy eating to notice names. :) Someone had finally understood me and not left options in the menu. Thank you, whoever it was who decided the menu.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.
-Vincent Van Gogh

I could have told you Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Unusual Score-line

Hleb is not playing well on the right flank, he's hindering Dani Alves. Xavi and Iniesta are combining, but like last season, Barcelona seems to lack quality in the final third. Valdes looks tired; the defenders shaky. Iniesta is the only one who's shown some class going forward. First half's about to end...Iniesta wins a penalty! Eto to take it I suppose...Hold your breath. 30 seconds into stoppage time. Could be Eto's 100th for Barcelona...Another substitution for Real Betis. Poor Lima's going off, after having come off the bench in the first place. Eto shoots. Ricardo saves. Ball bounces back, Eto is first to react, picks up the rebound, scores. Barcelona 1 - 2 Real Betis. Half-time. Bring Messi on, Guardiola. He can work fairytales.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Funny incident :)

Not that it should interest anyone. Yesterday in class, Dr Lal, who was doing Karnad's Hayavadana with us, asked why during Yakshagana performances (or for that matter in most traditional stage performances) children are made to sit in the first rows. The answer came later: being more expressive than grownups, they allow the actors or performers to play off their reactions. One of the first answers came from...
Arijit Sett: Because they'
Dr Lal: Yes, they're kids, but why in front?
Arijit Sett: Because they're kinda short.
I found it hilarious. You might not. Don't worry.

Random Photographs

Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand

We saw it on a trip to Kumartuli before the Pujas this year. A suicidal potato. About the only thing slow enough to be run over by a tram.

Spot the creator

The colours we wear

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On a high

For the last few weeks, I've been mostly spending my nights reading things like the Iliad or Aeneid. They are a part of the course, and so I have to read; not that they are not enjoyable. But sometimes I decide that I've had enough and turn to Wodehouse or Tintin. They help. (Now that I come to think of it, I realize that I do read the latter much more than course material.) Anyway, today in class I saw this cat drawn on the black-board. I decided to rub off the right forelimb and turned it into the mota shota, laal toktok-e Hojoborolo cat. We wrote lines from Sukumar Ray around the drawing; things like (and I may be misquoting here): Gorom lagey? toh Tibbot gelei paaro and Chhilo ekta dim, hoye gelo dibyi ekta pyankpyanke haansh. E-toh hameshai hochchhe. Much to our dismay, this was subsequently rubbed off by our teacher, who needed the board to write down for us certain terms related to Greek tragedy.

So, tonight, instead of Wodehouse or Tintin, I turned to Sukumar Ray, and realized that no matter how brilliant and sublime Wodehouse's comic genius is, there's a different kind of comfort in total nonsense, which nothing else can provide. Take for example:
"Kon kaatth-e koto rosh jano nako totwo -
Ekadoshi raat-e keno kaatth-e hoy gorto?"
'Chenchiye boley, "Phaandh petechho? Jogai ki tai podey?
Shaath German, Jogai eka, tobuo Jogai lodey!"
Utshahete gorom hoye, tidingbiding naachey,
Kokhono jaye shamne tedey, kokhon jaye pachhe.'

I've often felt that I came much too late in the line of history, missed the Beatles and lots and lots of other stuff which I really shouldn't get started on! but now I just feel happy to have come after Sukumar Ray and his works. I know I could have been there during the Beatles era and still not missed Sukumar Ray, but for now, that doesn't
matter so much. Nonsense rhyme is the most comforting thing in the world.


I do not think I'll write much or frequently.