Friday, May 23, 2008


We have it, finally. I'm still getting used to it, and I'm determined, in the process, to learn more about open and free software, piracy and so on. Many thanks to George for introducing me to all this.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I've been unable to write anything for quite some time now.
I know not why.
There are scores of thoughts swimming around in my head.
Swimming, floating, skimming the surface, delving deep into the waters.
Mangoes, fractals, Grey's Anatomy, love.
Rasgullas and Mishti Doi.
Vodka and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Thunder storms and learners' licenses.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Such nasties, really. I mean, the exams themselves aren't so terrible, but the day before one is painful. And study holidays are even worse, I mean, holidays to study?! They are nicely spread out over the next three weeks or so, and it's a very decent timetable, I must say.
Otherwise, Madras is hot hot hot.
Hot and absolutely clear skies.
Water melons and clear star studded skies.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Other random, and perhaps unnecessary, updates.

Git and I found ourselves with a free period today after break. So we headed to Selayur Hall, where the English Department has its classes. Rather ambitiously, we entered KG's II MA class, where a discussion on Post Colonialism was in progress. It really was most interesting.  

In other news, my physics practical exam went rather well, and I'm done with physics practicals 
forever! Hopefully, at least.

It's been rather cloudy in Madras the last few days owing to a depression in The Bay of Bengal.

Went for a play yesterday- 'Twelve Angry Men', put up by the Loyola Theatre Society. It really was very well done.

Finally, Sam and I ate lunch with Git and Isha in Martin Hall today. I thought the food was pretty good, but I suppose one would think otherwise if they were to eat it everyday.

Explanatory Comments

Now, since I have explained the 'Mary Poppins' part of my blog url, I suppose I should proceed to
elaborate on the rest of it.
Cream buns...well, if you've eaten one you'd know what I'm talking about. What is particularly worth mentioning is the delicate balance of chocolate and vanilla cream filling in the bun. It is perfect.
Music. Ah, I offer no explanations.
The same with Stars. Do not ask why.
Pugs. Funnily, that isn't a breed of dogs I particularly like. Give me a mongrel any day. They have the most beautiful eyes! But I liked the old Hutch advertisements rather a lot, and as you will recall, they all featured a pug in them.

Mary Poppins

The Mary poppins series of books by P.L.Travers is a wonderful collection of children's books.
Moreover, they're the kind of children's books that make a most interesting read even for an adult(I like to think of myself as a 'young adult' :)).
I never did get around to watching the movie, though the songs, as far as I recall, are absolutely delightful. The chimney song, in particular.

Mary Poppins' (Poppins's?) carpet bag, in particular, had, and still has, me fascinated. All kinds of unimaginable things pour out of it, including a foldable bed and cough syrup that changes flavour. This is not to say that cough syrup flavour is bad, by itself.

The names of the chapters are most interestingly, and obviously deliberately, symmetric in two of the books- 'Mary Poppins' and 'Mary Poppins Comes Back'. 'Miss Lark's Andrew' and 'Miss Andrew's Lark', 'Bad Tuesday' and 'Bad Wednesday' and so on. And there is this delightfully mystical air about 'Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane' set in the time around Midsummer's Eve.

I seem to be writing a review of sorts for the books. But they really are quite wonderful. Go read them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Akhandam Programmes

On the 6th of March, YACM (Youth Association for Classical Music) organised a night-long programme of music at the Madhya Kailash temple in Adyar on the occasion of Shivaratri. I got to sing in the first slot of the programme from 6:25 to 6:55 pm (Well, technically it was to be 6-6:30 pm, but apart from that slight delay, the whole affair was conducted most efficiently). Forty eight young musicians (vocalists, flautists, violinists, percussionists) performed in all, in some twenty four-odd half-hour concerts.

The whole thing was rather exciting, really. For one, I stayed up all night, no mean feat for one who promptly falls asleep at eleven thirty every night. Apart from the large group of musicians present, listening to each others' concerts, there was a steady inflow of other visitors to the temple through the night. As Sam and I realised simultaneously, the most unlikely people seem to be religious and devout.

The music was, needless to say, absolutely beautiful, particularly because there were hardly any breaks, except the few minutes spent in fine-tuning the instruments. Some rare compositions were sung. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience only added to the already musically-charged atmosphere.

I must add that YACM and its activities only reflect the enthusiasm and interest of young Carnatic musicians today, quite contrary to the general opinion that only the very old enjoy Carnatic music.

Today, another 'Akhandam' programme is being conducted by the Bharatiya Sangeetha Vaibhavam Trust,
at The Music Academy Mini Hall, in honour of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar. I dropped in for the first concert
by T M Krishna. Energetic and brimming with creativity as TMK's concerts always are. Mostly rare compositions,
unearthed by TMK and R K Sriramkumar from Subbarama Dikshitar's 'Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini'. 'Sadashivamupasmahe' in Shankarabharanam was the main piece. It's an absolutely beautiful song.

I certainly hope to listen to many more concerts in the near future.

Friday, February 29, 2008


I just returned from a physics practical test, and I couldn't be more annoyed. With myself, that is.
So for once, the experiment I'd been given actually seemed to be going pretty well. The aim was to find the Young's modulus of the material of a beam by using an optic lever, scale and telescope arrangement to measure the elevation produced due to the uniform bending of the beam. Yikes.
Anyway, I actually had everything focussed, and all was well. Until I had to use a screw gauge to measure the thickness of the beam. 
Now, one would think that's a relatively simple thing to do. It is. 
Unless you forget all about least counts and so on, and decide 
that the division right after 5 on the pitch scale is 5.1, instead of 6.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have an appointment with a dentist this evening. Dentists are so...clean. It's unnerving, really.
And to make matters worse, this is a new dentist. And to him I shall have to unravel the adventures of Arundhathi's teeth. Not looking forward to it.

Otherwise, things go on as usual. There's only a month of college left now before the semester exams begin. It's funny how awfully quickly this year has passed by.

The weather is actually pretty pleasant now, by Madras standards. My mum says Bangalore is hotter, and that's suprising, seeing as this is Madras, and Bangalore is...well, Bangalore.

Double-sided tape does not seem to work well on walls in Madras. I think the humidity's the problem.

True to my word, I've eaten no chocolates these last few weeks. I have, however, compensated that by eating lots of sweets.

The watermelons are back.
Present moods: empty, still, dreading afore mentioned dentist appointment.

I think I'll go drink some tea now.

Friday, February 15, 2008


K, or Jiddu Krishnamurti, was quite a remarkable man, really. However, despite being from a KFI, (Krishnamurti Foundation India) school (The Valley School, Bangalore), I must admit that I really haven't read much of his writing. A lot of it makes for pretty interesting discussion, though.
Yesterday, Shalini and Angy, who were visiting Madras, and I read a passage from a K book called 'Choiceless Awareness'. Something about the ego and searching for the 'eternal', or the 'timeless'. K says that to understand the 'eternal', one first needs to fully understand and be aware of the self. However, self-knowledge is not the path to the 'eternal'.
It's all rather confusing. Darshan, my senior at college, tells me often that I should search for the 'truth'. It's okay to do mathematics, he says, but it's far more important to look for the 'truth'. The other thing he often stresses is that this world is 'relative'. Nothing is real. True enough, The Beatles would've agreed with that part of it.
After a point, all these just become words to me. And to explain them, we use more words.
The ego.
Random ramblings on a Friday night.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Beatles

I love The Beatles. I like to think I'm a big fan, but if truth be told, I suspect I know very little about their music, really. Krishna gave me a CD with all their albums sometime back (thanks, again :)), and I realised then that there are so many of their songs I haven't heard.

But my favourites remain-

Nowhere Man
Norwegian Wood
...alright, Rubber Soul is, evidently, my favourite album :)

Across the Universe
Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Eleanor Rigby
Alright, there are too many.


Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise


Wednesday, the 6th of February, was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Somewhat inspired by Mary, one of my classmates at college, who's decided to give up chocolates,
chips and poppadams for the forty day period before Easter, I've decided to 'give up' chocolates.
It's a bit of a fancy thing to give up, really. I suppose staying off curd, or all milk product or something more substantial is really what fasting during Lent is about. But staying off curd-the thought! I couldn't possibly manage that.

So chocolates it's going to be. Its going pretty well, actually. Except the time I forgot about it completely (I swear :)) and ate a Cadbury's eclair. But let's forget that happened.

On Easter Sunday I'm going to buy a giant chocolate Easter egg.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Okay, so I am technically inadept, but I really must figure out how to split text into different lines. Things aren't appearing the way I want it to.  It's got to be simple enough. I'll figure it out.

Having a blog is very exciting. I do hope all this enthusiasm won't wear out too soon. 
And of course, I must choose the very week my second set of internal tests begin to create a blog.

I like italics.

I bought oranges on the train today. Eight tiny, yellowish-green oranges for ten rupees.
I'm pleased.
I like oranges.

The December Music Season

It really is a 'season' in its own right. Madras in December is a transformed city.
It helps, of course, that it's probably the only pleasant month in the city, weatherwise.  

Strains of music heralding the beginning of each day...
Across the city, in music halls with perfect acoustic balancing, in school playgrounds with makeshift stages, in tiny temples in forgotten corners of the city...
A new raga, a fourteen beat tala, a long forgotten composition unearthed...
Young, awestruck music students, gazing at the performers on stage. 
And then, thunderous applause.

Next stop-the canteen in the back, before rushing off to the next concert.
For thirty one days, music reigns supreme.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In the beginning...

I've been meaning to do this for a long long time. After much deliberation and contemplation on blog titles and urls, and wondering whether I can write at all, here it is.  Yippdy doo!
Sooner or later I shall actually get down to writing. Au revoir, then.