{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Sunday, July 31, 2005


I am listening to Beatles for some time now (thanks to my Die-hard Beatle-fan friend, he even calls his blog B-Log, Beatles Log, like one of my Proust-fanatic friends refers to Remembrance of Things Past, when he says Novel, with capital 'N'). I am enjoying the swinging 70's and a mild philosophy of their songs. After listening to some 100+ songs 5 songs have struck and the B-log guy says I am picking up well but I need to mature and move to more of Lennon, it seems I am stuck with too much of McCartney. I feel quite naive to write anything on Beatles or their songs so I will just put some of the lyrics of some my dear songs.

Coming to the songs, their is one which is I think not a very popular song like While my guitar gently weeps or Its a hard days night but has something that is really sweet and sad. Its called Piggies and its a bit allegorical in its lyrics which is always to my pleasure. Here is a sample of lyrics.

Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies,
Life is getting worse;
Always having dirt to
Play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to
Play around in.

The other song which is love-stuck and nostalgic and its called Girl. Its the first song that really stayed on.

Is there anybody going to listen to my story
All about the girl who came to stay?
She's the kind of girl you want so much
It makes you sorry
Still you don't regret a single day.
Ah girl! Girl!

The other one is called Eleanor Rigby. Its a true Beatles song with all the characteristic beatles sounds and instruments. I love this song.

Eleanor rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?

I will write more about it the songs when I sink in some more but now I will listen to Its a hard days night with my eyes closed, I think it should be made the anthem for all the software professional slogging :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Suffering !

My Favorite dialogue from one of the best movie of all time, Bergman's Winter Light.

Sexton: The passion of Christ, his suffering... Wouldn't you say the focus on his suffering is all wrong?
Pastor: What do you mean?
Sexton: This emphasis on physical pain. It couldn't have been all that bad. It may sound presumptuous of me - but in my humble way, I've suffered as much physical pain as Jesus. And his torments were rather brief. Lasting some four hours, I gather? I feel that he was tormented far worse on an other level. Maybe I've got it all wrong. But just think of Gethsemane, Vicar. Christ's disciples fell asleep. They hadn't understood the meaning of the last supper, or anything. And when the servants of the law appeared, they ran away. And Peter denied him. Christ had known his disciples for three years. They'd lived together day in and day out - but they never grasped what he meant. They abandoned him, to the last man. And he was left alone. That must have been painful. Realizing that no one understands. To be abandoned when you need someone to rely on - that must be excruciatingly painful. But the worse was yet to come. When Jesus was nailed to the cross - and hung there in torment - he cried out - "God, my God!" "Why hast thou forsaken me?" He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed everything he'd ever preached was a lie. The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God's silence.
Pastor: Yes...

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Hog Day !

Yesterday was my nth birthday, I ate all day and night. Its for all you missed the 'gluttonous-debauch' :)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Those Characters...

I have always wondered which characters would appeal people, the characters who are like them or the characters who are unlike them or some mathematical mix of both or in a cliched sense, those characters whom they are able to relate to. On a different note, when will Kafka be delighted, if someone is inspired by him or if someone will resonate with same emotions after reading a piece that Kafka felt while writing it. Kafka will better die than give any inspiration. I always remember one of my friends comment, "I hated that novel, I almost felt like I have murdered someone !", after reading Crime and Punishment. What more appreciation Dostoevski will ask for, more than his readers becoming his characters. So its a matter of resonance, these waves do require a medium to hit you, but this medium is a matter of your choice, and its what we call Art. Coming back to my chosen medium, films, and the appealing characters we started with. I have chosen three characters which I really like and resonate with feeling of the masters who created them, at least to some extent.

3. Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley, American Beauty): Ricky is a young drug-dealing boy next door who see beauty in seemingly petty things. American Beauty is one of my favorite film which to some extent explores the meanings of beauty and ugliness, tearing off the everyday farce of out lives. Ricky is rather a strong character of all in the movie, which might not have gone to my liking but as the movie progresses, we see lot of beauty through his eyes, the beauty as he sees it, the uncommon beauty in common things. He finds happiness in recording these beautiful things on his camcorder. What I always wondered about beauty are two things, its fleetingness and its unattainability. Beauty looks like a concept and it has generated lots of discomfort in me lately. May be 'my' beauty lies only in dreams and fantasies. Real world is not good enough to be beautiful. Ricky do something to seize the overwhelming beauty of real world , although a bit figuratively, he records this subjective surreal beauty on his tape.

RICKY FITTS: Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.

2. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro, Taxi driver): Travis Bickle is a character which intrigues you to the core and at the same time amazes you with its simplicity and commonness. Travis is a 26 year old, ex-marine who drives Taxi at night to fight insomnia, disillusioned by the norms of the society, is a lonely man. As I started to see Taxi Driver, Travis seemed to me shallow, naive and just like any other young guy as he gets attracted to smart-and-beautiful Betsy and stupidly takes her to a porn movie on their first date. But as the movie progresses we see Travis more clearly, we start understanding the misunderstood Travis and the intent of his actions and above all his loneliness. Robert De Niro gives a mindblowing performance as disturbed Travis result of a much more disturbed society.

Travis Bickle: Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.

1. Cabiria (Giulietta Masina, Nights of Cabiria): Cabiria is infinitely dear character to me. When I saw Nights of Cabiria, I was amazed by Masina's tragi-comic performance, her character and master Fellini. The last reels of Nights of Cabiria are the best 15 minutes you can ever see on celluloid. Cabiria is a naive prostitute, wandering on the road of Rome, in search of love, one who goes to shrine holding candles in search of some answers, one who bares her deepest desires when hypnotized. Cabiria, who trusts people easily, who is betrayed and robbed again and again, one who is afraid of what will became of her, seeking meaning to her existence, but one who is hopeful of things to come. Something happened in the final moments of Nights of Cabiria that made me feel hopeful in the honest and unassuming way. This is what we can call a true testimonial of hope that is all real and that comes from the unflinching nature of human spirit but not from some phony crap. Cabiria is such a heart-breakingly real character, Fellini's most human and fragile creation. Fellini has gone on record to say that of all his characters, he worries about Cabiria the most. I feel the same.

Cabiria : Kill me! I don't want to live any more!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ghatak on Art

Ritwik Ghatak on Art in an essay, Film and I

The word 'art' in films is much abused, both by its friends and its foes... whatever is pretentiously dull or breathtakingly spectacular is not necessarily art. Art does not consist merely of ambitious subjects or outlandish propositions or extensive use of a newly available extreme wide-angle lens. It does not consist of montage and manipulation of filmic time and de-dramatization solely. Rather, it consists of bursts of fancy. Whatever the genre, art brings with it the feeling of being in the presence of living truth, always coupled with enjoyment.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Closing the night, sweet slow lullaby, singing to myself
Finding an alibi, messing the life, talking to myself

Making sea in sink, hoisting the flag, raising to myself
Painting hands on walls, every line clear, waving to myself

Making memory of today, thinking slow, creating by myself
Keeping the silence, thinking aloud, living by myself

Making castle of mud, washing hands, all by myself
Hiding the sweat, showing the disguise, all by myself

Monday, July 04, 2005


I don't write about social, political or religious issues. Here also I will not write about it but will just draw the attention. There are basically two reasons I want to do this.

1) This incident is a classic example of victimizing the victim and brings out the horrors of religion in this so-called civilized world.
2) This incident happened in my hometown, otherwise famous for kidnaps and killings.

The question here is who raped Imrana, her father-in-law or religious heads.

Read the Hindu editorial on the issue here.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Being a Writer...

This is one of the dialogue from Chekhov's play Seagull, that I saw during my Bombay visit. The following part comes in Act 2, where an accomplished writer, Trigorin talks about being a writer when asked by our heroine, Nina about the pleasure and beauty of being a writer.

TRIGORIN. I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!