Wednesday, October 31, 2007

absolut blissssss!

o completely forgot about the one biiig highpoint on the otherwise dull sweden shoot - an evening at the absolut icebar in stockholm!!! maintained at -5deg, made from the purest clearest waters of the river kurna in the north of sweden, this bar is all ice! absolut dream. most unusual mixes combined with exotic berries, extracts or flavourings...served by this cutie in a hoodie ;) in a glass made out of ice! even her tip bowl was carved out of ice! i decided to go bare hands n had my fingers glued on to the glass!! 3 swigs down n i wasn't ready to leave!! shoot? what shoot?!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

pirates of the subcontinent!

this was one introduction i'd been forgetting to make...naman rs! my old pal from my tv18life...a walking talking encyclopedia on what if he couldn't sing, he knew all the lyrics! n dialogues, the year the film was made, which film it was a copy of, etc!! back then, in bangalore he had a wall to wall collection of vhs tapes arduously copied in real time. now in london, his apartment is stashed with dvds, cds n old hand-painted film posters. i wasn't there for long this time round...but long enough for this... two dvd burners n a macbook didn't get a moments break that day!...25 dvds n 25 audio cds!!! :) back in bombay, i get a boxful of slim dvd covers, download film covers from print them out and voila! i have a film collection going!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

but why?

you can add links, you can add photos n video...but why can't you add audio clips??! :(

untitled 3.1

Daddy's flown across the ocean
Leaving just a memory
Snapshot in the family album
Daddy what else did you leave for me?

Friday, October 26, 2007

johnny g!

i just about caught the last day last show of johnny gadaar last night...and boy wasn't i glad i didn't miss it. unreal it was, i had to keep reminding myself that this was a bollywood flick i was watching that too from the yashraj stable!...slick pacy n relentless, all without emotion! incredible performances matched a totally hatkey script n plot. the unclimatic end didn't matter after the roller coaster you've been put thru. three cheers, thumbs up n whatever else!! but sadly, not many takers... :(


wenders on nothingness...

" There is no name on ozu's gravestone, only an ancient chinese character, mu, meaning "nothingness".

nothingness. i'd often tried to imagine it as a child. the idea terrified me. nothingness couldn't exist, i kept saying to myself. only what was there could exist, reality.

"reality". everyone knows what the perception of reality means. everyone sees reality with his own eyes. you see others, esp people dear to you, the things around you, the cities and landscapes you live in, you see death, the mortality of man and the transience of things, you see and experience love, loneliness, happiness, sorrow, fear: everyone sees "life" for himself.

(can you feel nothing?)

wenders extravagance!

my one biiig purchase on my europe trip was on my second last day in london...there it sat on the hmv dvd shelf - a box set of 10 wim wenders films...promptly grabbed it without hesitation. until now, i had resisted the temptation to buy n own dvds...room666, lightning over water, wrong move, scarlet letter, a trick of light, notebook on cities n clothes, tokyo-ga, wings of desire, paris texas, american friend.

was most excited about trick of light n that was the one i saw first...just brilliant! made in collaboration with the munich film school students, the film is a celebration of the lesser-known film pioneers - the skladanowsky brothers. these 3 german brothers perfected their bioscope projector around the time that the lumiere brothers broke thru with the cinematographe. a fabulous mix of verite, dramatised b/w sequences and original footage told in a simple story firmly reclaims their place in cinema history.

this afternoon, i watched tokyo-ga, wenders' tribute to ozu!...i just love his spirit of inquiry. almost childlike...which is why i love his films so much. i haven't seen much of ozu...the great japanese master of the simple static 50mm lens story-telling. tokyo-ga plunges you headlong into present-day tokyo with some mind numbing contemporary japanese images, before getting sentimental about ozu, his actors n his cameraman for life!...most moving!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

searching but not finding

One day Mullah Nasruddin lost his ring down in the basement of his house, where it was very dark. There being no chance of his finding it in that darkness, he went out on the street and started looking for it there. Somebody passing by stopped and enquire:
- What are you looking for, Mullah Nasruddin ? Have you lost something?

- Yes, I've lost my ring down in the basement.

- But Mullah Nasruddin , why don't you look for it down in the basement where you have lost it? asked the man in surprise.

- Don't be silly, man! How do you expect me to find anything in that darkness!


...eludes me tonight-

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

form re-form

went into town last evening after ages...correctly timed to walk down marine drive as the foggy orangy winter sun was setting. destination: piramal photo gallery for what turned out to a really arresting exhibition by delhi-based jogi singh. an architect by training and a photographer by choice...he was exploring the play of light n shade on monuments...and the jantar mantar in particular. repetitive at times, but some gems that had me captivated.
go see! on only until 28th.

Monday, October 22, 2007

so close, faraway

i doff my hat to i make some random offerings...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

bijli comes to our quiet lil hamlet!

a sudden trip down to goa!..."they're putting up electricity poles"! by the time i got there, they had already strung up the wire!...thus changing forever the uninterrupted view of the lush verdant valley. it kinda changed the way we looked out at our patch of land...bisected now...the best part is that the birds on the wire will be a lot more visible ;) you win some n lose some, i guess!

but ya, slowly but surely, it is taking shape...cheers!

Friday, October 12, 2007

mekaal hasan band live in bombay!

the best part about having friends in the media is passes to unannounced music concerts. so the mekaal hassan band was performing in bombay n not a word about it anywhere...thanks to nandini,i landed up at st andrew's auditorium...whiskey on the house was a suprise bonus! the concert itself started a good hour late (we suspect due to chief guest bandra-boy leslie lewis' late arrival!). the whiskey wasn't good so the wait got a bit impatient n hot.

from across the border, without much fuss, the band was announced on stage n they dived straight into their brand of music. east meets west, we've heard this before rock meets jazz meets sufiana lyrics n soul. the drums n guitars drowned out poor javedbhai who had to shout to be my next janam, i'm gonna be a live sound engineer! they just hadn't got the balance right n covered their ass by pumping up the volume...i actually had my fingers plug my ears for the drum solo!

pappu on flute, was my fav seguing seamlessly between the guitar whine n vocals. the young drummer hit the skin n cymbals so hard, i wished he'd leave for an acoustic ballad. but no, they're young, new n trying hard to prove themselves...a pretty limited palette they played with, save the finale "ya ali" which kinda brought the evening together. enough variation n depth though short on duration.

it's the kind of urgency you wish they didn't have n allow themselves the time n their immense talent to improvise esp in a live concert. not suprisingly, there were some walkouts n no vociferous encores at the end. o n the lighting was jus so pathetic, making me vow to do the next gig for free! but watch out for them, they're a good tight band who're gonna only get better!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

view from my window

istanbul, turkey (overlooking the shehezade cami)
cappadocia,turkey (nothing prepared us for what we were to see a mere 15 min away!)helsinki, finland (when there's not much to look out at, here's a peek inside!)turku, finland (very boring! tho tull was performing the evening we left :(stockholm,sweden (wet, grey n cold ruined my much awaited trip to bergmanland)brugges, belgium (just so happy to be back!)brussels, belgium (brought back all those horrible memories of the big theft last year same time :(edinburgh, scotland (very cold, very wet, very brief our stay here) manchester, england (great st john hotel - a 17th century victorian school turned boutique hotel. this my duplex suite with open bath! aaaah!)

mazzy star

a landscape is often defined for me by the music i am listening to while traversing it. esp if it is new music. this trip belonged to mazzy star...until before i left i had heard just one of her songs - fade into you. but "blue light" just did it for me.

There's a blue light
In my best friend's room
There's a blue light
In his eye
There's a blue light, yeah
I want to see it
There's a ship
That sails by my window
There's a ship that sails on by
There's a world under it
I think I see it
Sailing away
I think it's sailing
Miles crashing me by
Crashing me by
Crashing me by

whether we were driving through the moors in the midlands or crossing the baltic sea in a huge ferry or hurtling under the english channel at 230kmph or soaring 33000ft over the caucasus mountains, she was there...shining!

Monday, October 01, 2007

hunting of the snark - take two 1.9

(turku cathedral, finland)

"The Baker is shouting!" the Bellman said.
"He is shouting like mad, only hark!
He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,
He has certainly found a Snark!"

Erect and sublime, for one moment in time,
In the next the wild figure they saw
(As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm
While they waited, and listened in awe.

"It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And it seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers;
Then the ominous words: `It's a Boo-'

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away-
For the Snark was a Boojum you see.

hunting of the snark - take two 1.8

Some people search for people, and some people search for freedom,
And some search for nothing but the thrill of the chase;
Well you know sometimes you search for things just to find that you don't need them,
Or you search for the right things in the wrong kind of place.

hunting of the snark - take two 1.7

(with almost zilch production support, we relied on maps to get around. but when even that failed, magan got gps onto his communicator n off we zoomed to the national park 45km outside helsinki)

But the valley grew narrow and narrower still,
And the evening grew darker and colder,
Till (merely from nervousness, not from goodwill)
They marched along shoulder to shoulder.

Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tale,
And even the Butcher felt queer.

"'Tis the voice of the Jubjub!' he suddenly cried.
(This man, that they used to call "Dunce.")
"As the Bellman would tell you," he added with pride,
"I have uttered that sentiment once."

"'Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat.
You will find I have told it you twice.
'Tis the song of the Jubjub! The proof is complete,
If only I've stated it thrice."

The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.

hunting of the snark - take two 1.6

(every now n then, we'd find ourselves lost in the middle of some street, while puneet was 'figuring out ab kya kartey yaar".

"'Tis a pitiful tale," said the Bellman, whose face
Had grown longer at every word;
"But, now that you've stated the whole of your case,
More debate would be simply absurd."

"The rest of my speech" (he explained to his men)
"You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it.
But the snark is at hand, let me tell you again!
'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!"

"To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
To pursue it with forks and hope;
To threaten its life with a railway-share;
To charm it with smiles and soap!"

"For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
Be caught in a commonplace way.
Do all that you know, and try all that you don't;
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!"

hunting of the snark - take two 1.5

He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
When the ship had been sailing a week;
He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
And was almost too freightened to speak.
"I engage with the Snark - every night after dark -
In a dream delirious fight:
I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes,
And I use it for striking a light.

"But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day,
In a moment (of this I am sure),
I shall softly and suddenly vanish away -
And the notion I cannot endure!

hunting of the snark - take two 1.4

(magan has his coffee dregs read in istanbul)

They roused him with muffins - they roused him with ice -
They roused him with mustard and cress -
They roused him with jam and judicous advice -
They set him conundrums to guess.

When at length he sat up and was able to speak
His sad story he offered to tell;
And the Bellman cried "Silence! Not even a shriek!"
And excitedly tingled his bell.

"I skip forty years," said the Baker, in tears,
"And proceed without further remark
To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
To help you in hunting the Snark.

"A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named)
Remarked, when I bade him farewell -"
"Ok, skip your dear uncle!" the Bellman exclaimed,
As he angrily tingled his bell.

"He remarked to me then," said that mildest of men,
"If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
Fetch it home by all means - you may serve it with greens,
And it's handy for striking a light.

"But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!"

hunting of the snark - take two 1.3

He came as a Baker; but owned, when too late -
And it drove the poor Bellman half mad -
He could only bake Bridecake - for which I may state,
No materials were to be had. (magan aka meatball magan! a sommelier from delhi who knew his wines better than his meats. we hit it out at the outset n endlessly pulled his leg about his descriptions of the food he'd just tried)
He served out some grog with a liberal hand,
And bade them sit down on the beach:
And they could not but own that their Captain looked grand,
As he stood and delivered his speech.
(this one is for all you guys who desperately wanted to come along as my asst to carry tripod, etc! often, we'd shoot well past lunch time n find no restaurant open, so we'd walk into a convenience store pick up a sandwich n coke n sit right outside on the road!! much to the amusement of the locals. this is in helsinki)
Friends, Romans and countrymen!
Please lend me your ears,
And I will carefully impart what you may have thought
for years,
But were too scared to ask,
By day or after dark;
In the Hunting of the Snark!

hunting of the snark - take two 1.2

But the danger was past - they had landed at last,
With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
Which consisted of chasms and crags.
There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and ring,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
(that's akshay - the asst director/prodn ass/shooter...the 'ung dude from delhi. he'd forget batteries around the place, lose equipment, trip over get the drift;)

the hunting of the snark - take two 1.1

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies -
Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face!
(puneet, a dear ol friend's husband. the producer director of this travel food show who asked me to come along!)