Trepidation and Inspiration

April 28, 2007

Despite much pleading and negotiation, Mint informed me today that no way are they going to agree to a proposal before I actually write the pieces. In other words, my plan of financing a trip to the Philippines by selling multiple travel writing pieces to them has come a cropper.

Not a complete cropper. They haven’t refused to take stories, they’ve just refused to confirm. So I’m faced with a decision: do I blow up my entire bonus (which, by the way, I don’t even get for another couple of months) on a vacation, with no guarantee that I’ll ever recover the money?

Then, I discover this post in my blog feeds, and suddenly the decision is much less difficult.

I’m going to go, have a blast, write up the vacation, and sell it. It’ll take audacity. But then audacity is a virtue worth cultivating.

Is an S4 Coming?

April 28, 2007

Does anybody know if Canon has plans to launch a successor to the PowerShot S3 IS anytime soon?

I’m hugely tempted to upgrade from my Coolpix 7100, but don’t want to find two months after upgrading that my camera’s obsolete.

Being Indian Sucks Ass

April 27, 2007

If you’re from faaking Nicaragua or Chad you can enter the Philippines without a visa. Even if you’re from Saudi Arabia. Even Bhutan. But if you’re Indian it’s the application process with documents and visa fees for you.


Harry Potter and the Sequential Art

April 22, 2007

This is bloody annoying. Up until now, I’ve never had to actually buy a Harry Potter book. There was always some kind soul I could borrow it from. My neighbours uptil Goblet of Fire, my grandma for Order of the Phoenix, and Swami the HT Commie for Half-Blood Prince. Which is all well and good, because although they’re worth reading once, they’re not worth owning. Especially hardcover versions when the money could be better spent on Pratchett or Gaiman or Marukami. Still, I’m susceptible to hype and reading it within the first week of release is desirable. Which is why life is painful- there is absolutely nobody in Bangalore I can borrow it from when it comes out.

But it’s not all bad. Even without reading the book, I can figure out how it’s going to end.

As I’ve pointed out on my earlier blog, Harry Potter is pretty much mainstream comics in the guise of children’s literature. There are so many parallels. Look at them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Attention Dear Readers

April 21, 2007

Please note that I am giving up Punjabi self-loathing. I am taking up Punjabi victimhood instead.

The reasons for this will become clear over the next three or four months (since that is how long it takes me to write a series of posts).

Published Writer Are There!

April 21, 2007

My travel writing piece has appeared in Mint.

Hopefully, more will follow.

Social Skills

April 21, 2007

Social skills are not about being polite. They’re about knowing when to be polite and when to be rude.

A Good Reason to be an I-banker

April 20, 2007

You can afford to eat regularly at Olive Bar and Grill.

I, of course, am a mere commercial banker. So despite being a grossly overpaid MBA I cannot afford to eat at Olive Beach Bangalore. Unfortunately the fates decreed otherwise.

I foolishly did not carry an umbrella yesterday. Thus, on my way back from the gym,  I got caught in the rain. I dashed to the nearest place of shelter, which just happened to be Olive Beach.

Now I had heard of Olive Beach and had wanted to try it out. I knew that it was pricey, but had no actual clue of how pricey it was. And I had no idea that it was a part of the Olive Bar and Grill chain. So I marched in, dripping hair and all, and asked for a table for one.


Yes, I was out of the rain, I was in a nice candlelit restaurant with high ceilings, and there was very good jazz playing, and the food was fabulous, but there was still the matter of the bill, which came to a kilorupee for salad, risotto and mousse. The situation was analogous to the one faced by the young prince who manages to find a lavish palace in the middle of the harsh and unforgiving forest, and happily rests there for a while, only to be saddled later on with a quest involving dragons and other nasty things by the princess living there.

Anyway. I have to decide a couple of years down the line whether to pursue the rat race with vigour, whether to put prodigal son and join the family business, or whether to do a PhD. The fact that some of these options will make it easier than others to go and eat at Olive will definitely be an important variable in the decision process.

This Close to Being Semi-Mainstream

April 20, 2007

Pentagram asked fans to make a music video for their single Voice. They finally went with a montage of 26 different videos. One of the videos that they liked but didn’t use was Varun Agarwal’s anti-reservations video. Why is this important? Check out the video. Specifically, check out the frame 2 minutes and 32 seconds into the video.

Woah. I took that slightly blurry picture of Lady Hardinge Medical College students back in April, when I went and photographed one of the first reservations protest marches. Check it out.

LHMC shows up

Damn. I was this close to being in a Pentagram video. Well, not exactly being in a Pentagram video, but having my intellectual property in one. Oh well. Such is life.

Melancholia in Mumbai

April 20, 2007

There’s something about Mumbai. The skyscrapers block out natural light. The people block out landscape views. Still, out of all my really awesome photographs, about half were taken in Mumbai. Sample these two:

Monday Morning Blues

I used to see this dog everyday when I was working in Fort. He used to live at the Flora Fountain intersection. So naturally I called him Faunus. He always used to look this miserable.

When I went to Bombay a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph an equally forlorn looking little girl in Bandra:


Very cliched shot, but I still think it’s one of the best I’ve ever done.

Why they are so melancholy is still a mystery. All I can posit is the funda I proposed long ago on my old blog- they’re melancholy because they’re in Bombay. If they were in Bangalore they would be merrily gallivanting up and down Residency Road, and if they were in Calcutta, they wouldn’t just be melancholy, they’d be lying drunk and sobbing in the gutter.