Games in the park, Sepak.

24 03 2008

While the big-brained bretts of the world worry about global warming and the untimely rain/snow, we moan the lack of such waterworks in our parts of the globe by just bleaching our brains in the park. It was a hot sunny afternoon, clear skies, migrant geese flying about ominously (fleeing the humans parked in the green patches with their tripods, zoom lenses and picnic baskets). But we (that is, 6 of us) decided to brave the sun from noon to 6pm. It all started out as a nice little game of (something that vaguely resembled) Ultimate. But that was soon given a miss in favor of Sepak Takraw. ( Yes, only one intrepid hero in the group had grown up watching this exciting sport on TV. The rest of us had never heard of it until 2pm yesterday).

Now, even if you don’t know me, you can safely assume that my friends and I got none of the details right. Of course, we did try executing those beauteous scissor kicks (keyword: try). But to truly appreciate the comedy of the enterprise, let me elaborate on the composition of the two teams. Each team consisted of,

a. a Nordic of gigantic proportions (the tallees)
b. a Spaniard or other of a similar smallish build (shortees)
c. a woman of South Asian descent (the super-shortees).

Thus matched, we got into the game with fullest vigor. Unfortunately, kicking and headbutting of a standard issue tennis ball or volleyball is a BAD idea. I live to tell the tale, the day after. But barely. So, my suggestion to one and all. Just watch and enjoy said sport, unless you are a particularly intrepid and elastic teen. That is, it isn’t a game for someone reading this blog.

Thank you!


mazahar-e-ulfat, tashhiir-e-vafaa*

20 03 2008



The Taj Mahal. Agra. 2008


The Gory Details,



A) One more picture of the Taj never hurt no one.


B) The gateway to the Taj Mahal.


C) Could not resist the Szerelem moment here. :) One of the doors on the side of the masjid.


D) The stunning incised painting inside the masjid.



* from Sahir’s Taaj Mahal

mazahar-e-ulfat = symbol of love
tashhiir-e-vafaa = advertisement of faith/love

His path strewn with roses, not dust?

18 03 2008

What other people saw in Delhi…

karolbagh_1962.jpg priyak.jpg
The attire of a mannequin
being changed in a shop
in Karol Bagh, 1962.
India Today, Aug 2007.
The Sartorialist visits Nai Dilli. more
on his blog. March 2008.


Who is this coming towards us with the very face
of heaven, his path strewn with roses, not dust?

– from Twilight in Delhi by Ghalib

A Saturday Afternoon

17 03 2008

spent shooting birds… and well, pretty much anything that wouldn’t flee the moment we set our eyes on it.

Saturday started out calm and lazy. Waking up 10ish. Looking out the window. Yes, it is that time of the year (once) again. Spring time. The Whitery is just overwhelming. But as these things go, it will take just one day of rain before all the petals fall away and the new leaves emerge. But, for now the world is purrfect.


The sibling and I headed out for brunch early enough, around noon. The cafe is a racket. Finding a place to park your posterior there is probably the most noteworthy thing you are going to accomplish in the week. But this was to be no ordinary week. When we find two empty spots, we smugly plunk on the seats and also manage to watch another table like hawks and deftly shift to the “better view” it offered. A very heavy brunch and some book reading later we head back home. A few minutes later as she sinks comfortably into the couch she has a “brilliant brainwave” – bird photography. It isn’t a new fascination. In fact there is an old friend of hers who is pretty accomplished at this whole affair. But suddenly it was something that had to be tried out.

Needless to say, after a calm and collected discussion on the pros and cons of such a hobby, “we” decided to head out, setting all material and creature comforts aside. Two cameras and 12 miles of driving and we reach our dear old swamp area. I am the official bird-spotter and she the shooter. Except we learn that birds are never ok with two humans in their vicinity. The first one, they casually glance at and ignore. But never the second human. (Do humans always hunt in packs?) Sigh, anyway, so had to stop at shooting escargot and largish ducks. The rest of the hummingbird hunts were hers alone.

Here are some models I scouted for her.





All Time is Unredeemable

14 03 2008

With all the link love around here, why haven’t I got a single frame of xkcd ? Randall Munroe, you rock.

The original mouse over text : With reasonable assumptions about latitude and body shape, how much time might she gain them? Note: whatever the answer, sunrise always comes too soon. (Also, is it worth it if she throws up?)

Hyderabadi Sunrise

14 03 2008


A Room with a View. Hyderabad.2008

Waking up at 6am each morning for two weeks straight is my idea of hell. Waking up in a different city every two days… don’t get me started on that. But all this was surprisingly more fun than I had imagined.

Hyderabad, city # 4, was the most fun. Paradise Biryani, flirt with a MTV VJ contest (the prize was a free drink. Who would pass up something like that?), Spacebar, Ludwig, Art made to order by li’l S (who has just started his Deer phase, as he drew two for me between slurps of Chocolate Milkshake), loading up on poetry books and a lovely graphic novel, reminiscing about watershed moments in Indian culture, for instance, Channel [V] countdowns circa 2000. Jodhaa Akbar on IMAX, bad shayari (the PJ varietal), flattering comments from our driver who mistook me for one of those activist-art-filmmakers, you know, like Nandita Das *gushing*, pearl shopping (for mom), and finally, (yes, Veena) a ton of very productive meetings and visits.

Everything seems all right

13 03 2008

sleeping dogs in the park
11 Sleeping Dogs in the Park. At what was supposed to be Humayun’s Tomb*. 2008


Spring is here, a-suh-puh-ring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don’t you? ‘Course you do.
But there’s one thing that makes spring complete for me,
And makes every Sunday a treat for me.

* We were taken to what was supposed to be Humayun’s Tomb… It was a tomb alright, but I doubt it was the World Heritage Centre we had hoped to visit.