Monday, December 22, 2008

No such philosophy to console her

From Rabindranath Tagore's 'The Postmaster' (English translation as in 'Selected short stories' by Rabindranath Tagore):

When he was on the boat and it had set sail, when the swollen flood-waters of the river started to heave like the Earth's brimming tears, the postmaster felt a huge anguish: the image of a simple young village-girl's grief-stricken face seemed to speak a great inarticulate universal sorrow. He felt sharp desire to go back: should he not fetch that orphaned girl, whom the world had abandoned? But the wind was filling the sails by then, the swollen river was flowing fiercely, the village had been left behind, the riverside burning-ground was in view. Detached by the current of the river, he reflected philosophically that in life there are many separations, many deaths. What point was there in going back? Who belonged to whom in this world?

But Ratan had no such philosophy to console her. All she could do was wander near the post office, weeping copiously. Maybe a faint hope lingered in her mind that Dadababu might return; and this was enough to tie her to the spot, prevent her from going far. O poor, unthinking human heart! Error will not go away, logic and reason are slow to penetrate. We cling with both arms to false hope, refusing to believe the weightiest proofs against it, embracing it with all our strength. In the end it escapes, ripping our veins and draining our heart's blood; until, regaining consciousness, we rush to fall into snares of delusion all over again.

Fall Term

My reason for writing this blog was 'that five years from now if I am complaining about grad life I can look at this and remember that I have had some fun too.' I had not realised that I would be so busy having fun that there would be no time to write about it!

Fall term was full of activities - yoga (happy to have Amy back after summer break), bharatanatyam, modern jazz dance, DDR, tennis, wall climbing, and Sundays with Kshipra at cafe del doge :)

Kshipra and Onkar joined Stanford - obviously a big reason for all the fun I am having :)

Pleasant surprises: I managed to convince some friends to play DDR and try yoga! I remember having a really hard time trying to convince anyone to play on the trampoline or to join me in any other such 'childish' activities, back in my freshman year. And now, in my second year of grad school I have company to play DDR and 'leg-leg' (a game that involves kicking each other) and to have pillow fights :)

Finally, the most pleasant change is that I have started working on 'discrete math' :D So much olympiadish fun lies ahead!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Tekdi :)

If you have ever been to Pune or known someone from Pune, you have most probably heard of the tekdi. I will not write much about it since I am incapable of putting in words the sentiments associated with this awesome place! (I say 'the tekdi' but of course there are a lot of tekdis in Pune. For me tekdi means the hill behind Law college.)

A Google search for 'Pune tekdi' should make it clear that the tekdi means much to a lot of Punekars:

Gaurav Sabnis writes here : "If he has moved out of Pune, then on every visit back to the city, a few evenings will be spent on the tekdi, reminiscing about the good old days."
So true :) He says a lot more on the subject, which I was unaware of.

Tekdi also has it's own webpage :)

If I say or think more about Tekdi and awesome times spent there I might get emotional and all that; not good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

School and brainwashing

I went to school this morning. For the first time I was there before fifteen minutes past the bell ring. In fact, today I was there much before that. It was just 7.30 am and yet there were some kids already walking in lazily through the school gates. There were always these kids who lived far away and were unfortunately also among the 'first batch' of kids to be picked up by the school bus; they would be at least an hour early for school. I was once again reminded of how lucky I was to be able to wake up even as late as 8 am and still make it to school not too late :)

I would say that many sweet memories came back to me and all that; but no, no such luck. School, as far as I remember, was not at all fun. Above is a picture I took at school today. On the notice board is a poster which reads "I love my school". I remember making numerous such posters with equally boring and false slogans. Maybe they thought they could brainwash us into believing that we really did like the place.
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Of new roads and dead ends

Many years ago I used to know the way to Blue Diamond hotel (thanks to Anjor's timely hinting and all that :p) That knowledge had also earned me a treat at this multi-star hotel on a Christmas Eve! But now if you ask me how to reach there I would not know. Too many changes. Too many roads (modulo the holes). Flyovers and subways! Nope, I can't tell my way around. Usually I would not give up hope. We would set off on an afternoon drive to explore the roads. Dead ends were our favorite! 'Learnt something new today' we would say :) But not this time. This time my father was driving. He knows the city too well to be excited by 'new' short cuts or dead ends.

Chittaranjan Vatika

This garden in Model colony is where many kids from the locality first learned traffic rules. The park had a really nice network of roads with plenty of intersections with small traffic lights, zebra crossings etc. We would take our bikes there and practise till our parents were convinced that we were ready for the real roads. I don't think bikes are allowed anymore inside the park. Nevertheless the garden is pretty and well maintained; very convenient for a quick jog in the morning.
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Artistic Temperament

Reggie (a Wodehouse character) on Artistic Temperament :

"It explains everything. It's like the Unwritten Law, don't you know,which you plead in America if you've done anything they want to send you to chokey for and you don't want to go. What I mean is, if you're absolutely off your rocker, but don't find it convenient to be scooped into the luny-bin, you simply explain that, when you said you were a teapot, it was just your Artistic Temperament, and they apologize and go away."



Mayawati wants a bigger statue of herself :

"She may be diminutive, but the fiery, low-caste leader of India's most populous state has no patience for short statues of herself.
Mayawati, the 5-foot (1.52-meter) tall chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, ordered officials to replace a 12-foot (3.7-meter) bronze statue of herself because it was 3 feet (a meter) shorter than other nearby statues."

Shivaji statue :

"The bronze statue would memorialize Shivaji astride a horse and brandishing a sword. It would be located on an island about 1.5 kilometres off downtown Mumbai's posh Marine Drive. And with its pedestal, it would stand 1.2 metres taller than New York's Statue of Liberty.
But such grandiosity does not come cheap - the statue, along with an adjacent museum and garden is projected to cost about $25 million."

Nice! What next?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Kshipra and Onkar

will be here in a few months :) And then we will all be together again for many a years! Yay! :)

Brothers Quay

While searching for animations and short films on IMDB the other day, I came across The films of the Brothers Quay. Immediately I googled the Quay Brothers and found this on wikipedia:

"Most of their films feature dolls, often partially disassembled, in a dark, moody atmosphere. Perhaps their best known work is Street of Crocodiles, based on the short story of the same name by the Polish author and artist Bruno Schulz. This short film was selected by director and animator Terry Gilliam as one of the ten best animated films of all time[3], and critic Jonathan Romney included it on his list of the ten best films in any medium (for Sight and Sound's 2002 critics' poll)."

I watched Street of Crocodiles this morning. (Here is the google video link to it.) Sadly I did not understand anything of the story when I watched it; I was a little distracted. I plan to watch it again with some friends now that I have read the wikipedia entry for this short movie.

P.G. Wodehouse

Watched the first season of Jeeves and Wooster over the past three days. Reminds me of school days when I regularly watched TV shows like Bewitched, I dream of Jeannie and Small wonder.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No more yoga for the next few months :(

I have been learning Iyengar yoga (known for it's use of props) for the past two terms. Our instructor prepares us for amazing poses like this, this and this. Unfortunately she won't be here for the summer :( I can't remember waiting for Fall term at the beginning of summer ever before!

Update on frozen food

Back in October I had praised Deep Inc.'s frozen food. I take that back. Their products have been pretty bad for the past few months. I continue to like food by Mirch Masala and have stopped buying Tandoor Chef or Udupi products because they are pretty expensive considering the quantity of food.

Almost the end of term

Which means I don't want to study for my exam. So I spend making plans for the holidays - read P.G.Wodehouse books, learn coding (has to be done some day), swim, watch movies, etc. This happens towards the end of every term and then once the term is over my plans are all forgotten.

But this time there is a slight difference this time. I have already started executing my plans. For example I have seen three movies in the past five days: 'Zelig', 'Hannah and her sisters' and 'The Kid'. I wanted to watch 'The Kid' since I was in high school. We had a chapter in Balbharti based on the movie along with a sketch version of this picture. Jackie Coogan does a really good job playing the role of the kid; naughty, sweet and innocent :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


An excerpt from a Times of India article titled 'Sex education put on hold in Maharashtra govt schools':

The decision to introduce sex education in Class 9 and 11 in state educational board schools was announced by Education Minister Vasant Purke in the Legislative Council on Tuesday.

Kupekar issued the directive after the decision evoked strong sentiments from ruling and Opposition members in the House, with Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam terming Purke's decision as "irrational".

"If the government is going to take such controversial decisions, then parents will have to decide whether to send their children to schools," Kadam said, speaking on an adjournment motion on the issue."

The full news article here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The science of sleep

Nice weird movie.

Roger Federer

lost :(

I became interested in tennis after I watched the 2006 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Nadal. He played like a magician! Recently he has not been playing as elegantly as before but his mental strength has been amazing; unfortunately even that did not help last night.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Very informed sources :)

"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has been admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital following an attack of asthma, where her condition is stated to be stable, very informed sources said."

Maybe the sources were really well-informed but isn't this is a funny way of putting it?

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Really nice song with a terrible video :(