Monday, July 28, 2008

Reading, reading and more reading. It is always a pleasure to discover how one pleasure does not desert me

In the face of all that is fleeting, ambiguous and wispy, as if a book is all there really is...and the world outside, à la Pessoa, only the symphony of a restless night...as if...

For your viewing pleasure, Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Via 3quarksdaily

We Should Talk About This Problem
- Hafiz

There is a Beautiful Creature
Living in a hole you have dug.

So at night
I set fruit and grains
And little pots of wine and milk
Beside your soft earthen mounds,

And I often sing.

But still, my dear,
You do not come out.

I have fallen in love with Someone
Who hides inside you.

We should talk about this problem---

Otherwise,
I will never leave you alone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

There will be an answer, let it be...

Monday, July 14, 2008

As I fumble through my keyhole and glance to the patch of grass outside, I see a small ounce of light peeping out of the corner of my living room window. The grass and the concrete and the shrub and the skyline stand illuminated.

All in an ounce of light.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My reasons for anxiety are manifold. Every little bit of a new day (a day anew?) hits me like a torpedo would a rotten pier. It chips away what is essentially falling apart anyway. Nothing holds. Until I can get used to the idea of being blown apart into little bits each of which will find its own little bit of sea, I will not be able to sleep.

Life will have to be re-invented. Insomniac-ally. Slowly.

Monday, July 07, 2008

When I was in India this past year, I was randomly surfing TV channels when my mother made me stop at this performance. My mother loves Hindi film music; I have inherited this love from her. When I was a kid, Radio Ceylon [yes Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia] would always play in the background of her morning and as a result, mine. Even today, I know the lyrics of songs far pre-dating my youth of music. As a result, I straddle a few different eras of Hindi film music. But I digress. My mother loves this program, but more importantly, the performance that she serendipitously made me hear had my stupefied.

Ladies and gentlemen, Amir Hafeez.

The song is lovely, but it is the quality of his voice. Listen for the slight nasality, the incredible power and the anomalous reach.

Remember when the phenomenon of train travel was ubiquitous? When we were internal expatriates? When air was out of reach and twenty four hours was the time duration one had to reckon with before getting to the nether regions of the ‘native place’? On such yearly (more often than not summer) journeys, one would stare out of the window and watch arid Deccan interiors whiz by. And singing beggars would pass through. And every once in a while, one would hear a voice so strong, so unwavering and so expansive that time would stand still and the heat, the smells and the colors coalesce in a moment of soaring wonder.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Why I am a PhD student and what happens when you become one:

a. My parents have no idea what it is that I do, neither will yours
b. Your cynicism will increase at the same rate as your poverty
c. If Keynes says that in the long term we are all dead, you will most certainly have to ignore him
d. You will talk to more books than people
e. You will be socially awkward and conversationally inept
f. You will be overqualified and underpaid
g. "I'm doing a PhD" is not a good pick up line for anyone; you women in PhD programs will additionally intimidate merely mortal men. You will all end up with other PhDs or other deranged souls (the difference is minimal!)