Tuesday, 26 September 2006

If only.

On days like this I wonder, do we make choices, or do choices make us?Oh, I quite liked the movie by that name, by the way. Not something I can say about too many Jennifer L Hewitt movies :). Saw it on an aeroplane to somewhere I think. That's another thing that's becoming like a bad habit, ending up watching movies on flights instead of theatres :-<.

Feeling: foolish
Listening to: Joni Mitchell - Both sides now

Sunday, 24 September 2006


Wasn't I saying at some point that it doesn't rain hard enough these days?! Well, the way it's been raining for the last few days, I should be feeling ecstatic. And I am, as a matter of fact! I love watching the sheets of rain pelting down in the middle of the night. When you actually have to wait for the lightning to give body to the incessant roar of the water hitting the nearby roofs. Not that I have had to wait too long between bolts.Unfortunately, not everyone's happy around these parts. It's Durga Puja time again, and the festive marketing has been dealt severe blows. Especially given that in the central marketing region around College Street the police actually had to deploy dinghies and inflatable rafts with outboard motors. On the roads. In some parts of the state of course the rain has claimed more serious casualties, Maa Gurga idols as well as pandals have been damaged, and in some cases completely washed away :(. Closer home, my cousin was stuck here 'cos trains services from Howrah were disrupted with water on the tracks. Though we did have a fun time trying to get the ticket refunded, wading through water, getting thouroughly wet etc. We had umbrellas to satisfy my mum. But seriously, umbrellas? In the near horizontal rain? :D I was actually rather disheartened neither of them turned inside out.

The weather isn't the only good thing (personally speaking that is) this time. This has to be the first time ever that I'm on my time off without having to worry about any visas!! And spectacularly surprisingly, my agents actually changed a paper ticket to an e-ticket so that I don't have to run around to collect it from some airline city office!! Is this great or what?! If only my local ISP guy wouldn't get scared and shut off the internet everytime the lightning strikes somewhere closeby. Ah well, one can't have everything :-<.

Currently: chilling at home :D
Listening to: Moby - Summer

Thursday, 21 September 2006


Finally here's the delayed post with pics from my week in Norway! Kristiansund is this, not exactly tiny, but rather sparsely populated group of four fairly large islands, along with a large number of tiny bits of rock sticking their heads above the water. The sheer number of distinct land masses separated by water means that a network of roads connecting all of them is absolutely impossible. No wonder that the only legal requirement to drive a boat is that you have to be 16 yrs old. Even that rule they break, by as much as 10 years /:).Anyway, so most of the week I woke up at 6:45 in the morning and then spent about eight hours of the day out in the fjord. It was tougher than I thought it would be, and I couldn't but wonder what it would be like to be living on an island, hemmed in by forests, a lone house on the hillside...In the end, three of us were left with one day free, so I started poring over a map :). The place that caught my attention was called Varden - an old lookout post that provides a fairly spectacular 360-degree view of the town, the shipping fairways, the nearby mountains and fjords of Nordmore.It's also almost the only point from where you can get a clear view of Grip. This happens to be a tiny bit of land 14 km out to sea. (The tiny lighthouse you can almost see out at sea in the pic below. I know, 3x optical is just not enough :(.) It used to be an old fishing community, and all the houses are intact and well maintained. This is despite the fact that the last permanent residents left way back in 1964!! Apparently the descendants of those residents use it as a summer retreat. I found the idea of an entire settlement with houses, furniture and everything intact, completely devoid of life for the better part of the year pretty fascinating :).Anyway, so I realized that maps can be fairly deceptive. Take for example the map of Perth I have. You look at places on the map and think, hey that doesn't look like it's too far away! And you end up walking for an hour and a half to get there. Then there's the map of Kristiansund, by the look of it, the walk to Varden should have taken a better part of the afternoon, instead, we were there in 20 minutes!! (Before you start sniggering and all that, city tourist maps at hotels never have a scale :|.) The 8 pm sundown left us with over 5 hours of fairly bright daylight, so off we went down some lovely looking overgrown paths.The views of the fjord and Kristiansund, laid out all around the blue in the bright sunshine was altogether too much :). But it got better!! You see, the paths we took went winding around the highlands, with little offshoots every now and then to the top of particularly steep drop, hence the views.But I was beginning to wish there'd be some way to convince the other chaps to actually go climbing to the very top!! Precisely on cue, a trail appears, heading off towards the top :D. And ends up at this house sort of thing, loose rough hewn rocks on the outside, and smooth concrete-like walls on the inside!!Eventually we headed back down and out towards the sea. There's something to be said about rocky beaches. In this case it was Klubba, a fairly popular crab fishing location. Huge boulders lay everywhere that the water came and smashed itself to a million drops on. And then it seeped back down into the sea, flowing throught the cracks, the gurgling surprisingly loud in the surrounding silence.Then we headed back up the other hill in sight. This time we were rewarded with a clear view of the stone 'building' we'd stumbled upon! In the end we figured the best thing to do would be to just head off down the hill-side instead of trying to find a proper way back :D.
There were of course other things, like the sunset through the clouds, and the abandoned campsite in the middle of nowhere, and the huge graveyard hidden away in the trees with it's black marble tombstones, and the white peacock... but this post is already too long, and I think I'll just put up the pics on my photoblog :).

Currently: watching the rain
Listening to: Moby - In my heart

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

The long way home

Even now, over a full day afterwards, I'm still trying to shake off the zombie that seems to have taken up residence inside of me. Right, so here goes. Take off from Kristiansund is perfect. The skies are clear and I get these brilliant views of the mountain tops that were totally white last time in winter and now only the highest reaches are scattered with white. Soon I was in Oslo, which wasn't too bad. Dusseldorf was nice. Quick, hassle-free, another airport distinguishable by absolutely nothing. And that's where the good ended.Eight solid hours in Dubai. Though the 'quiet lounge' was nice, especially since the previous night I hadn't had any sleep on the flight as usual. I watched at least 4 flights leave for Mumbai in that time, and then mine got delayed. I missed my connection home. There was no way I was going to stay in a hotel in Bombay!! So had to call up people, only to find my cellphone left with 1 Re. 31 p. The PCO refuses to let me call local, pointing to the long row of coin operated phones. Trouble is, all I can find on me are 2 two rupee coins :((. I could not believe what I had to go through to get change for a two rupee coin!! I mean, what's this world coming to?!!!!

Ah well, from there it was relatively okay, except that the throttle wire broke on the first rick I took. Spent the night happily cacking with some old friends from school who happen to work there now. In the process thoroughly pissing off everyone who cares at all about me in campus I'm sure :(. But I really had no time, I was off again at 5 am.

Currently: jet-lagged /:)
Listening to: Morcheeba - Big calm

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Yeah babey!!

Done with course. Passed. Wrote the longest non objective type paper since "The Study of a Major Indian Writer in English" - HS 8something. I think. And that was just 17 months ago. Feels like a lifetime. And then a bit. Going home tomorrow. Not too thrilled with the 5 flight, 30 hour ordeal that entails. But, going home. Had the best afternoon in slightly over 3 months. Details shall follow in later post(s) - need to put up pics. Also, took over 60 pics in 3 hours after a long long time. Went hill-climbing, sliding down mossy slopes looking for nonexistant paths, peering into damp dark caves, listening to water gurgling under rocks by the seaside... that kind of stuff. And took a couple of guys with me. They were nice, they said they were having fun too.
Feeling: tired, relieved, happy, sad... full (finished a large vanilla milkshake too quickly)
Listening to: Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss me (Japanese version) and the Norwegian rock concert from across the water

Thursday, 14 September 2006


Just caught the last hour (till before end credits) of what I can only assume was Before Sunset. It's got Ethan Hawke and that woman from Before Sunrise, which I haven't seen except for one scene with the two of them.. and feels completely like the sequel to a movie about a one night 'thing' as she refers to so many times in that waltz she sings him..... There's a good reason I avoided those two movies. I think. That conversation in the car after the boatride had almost convinced me I'd done the right thing. I hate (read: am scared of) movies where people splatter their hearts out all over your gaping, completely engrossed face with a kind of realistic heartbroken-ness and intensity that grabs me by the throat....
Anyway, now I have resolved to watch both movies, in the proper order, sometime. Yes, I'm the kind that turns to the last page of a book, just 'cos I couldn't take the tension any more. Well, I used to be, lately I seem to have grown a spine..
Right, wasn't planning on writing about any of the above, but instead, about my current addiction to milkshake. Nevermind. This has to be the first time since.. well, since probably the last workoat course when I've felt genuinely tired in an 'I've gotto sleep or I'll start snoring while walking' sort of way. Having woken up less that 15 hours ago that is. No nightouts or nothing involved. Oh, and it was actually hot today!! It's September, in Norway, and I'm happily walking down the quayside in shorts, a tee and my floaters. What is the world coming to /:)?
Currently: 'drop dead' tired
Listening to: Oasis - Little by little

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Drops of almost forgotten memories

The skies have been uniformly grey, been drizzling all day. It was already light at 6:30 when I woke up and it's only just getting dark at 9 in the night. And for most of the time, you couldn't possibly tell what time it was. All uniformly semi-dark, and wet.
Absolutely inexplicably, therefore, I found myself feeling totally at peace with the weather. It's nowhere near as cold as it was the last time I was here, so I wasn't shivering nearly as much out in the fjord today. Just drops seeping through my eyebrows, trickling down my nose... The slanted roofs in pastel colours scattered across the slanting hillsides look perfect through the drizzle. Like it should be. Like some elusive fragment hiding behind so many other nothings. Excrutiatingly familiar, just can't put my finger to it.
Breaks my heart to not be able to post pics. Not that I took any. Then again, why destroy the feeling with a depressing looking picture that's completely at odds with it?
Feeling: blessed
Listening to: Train - Drops of Jupiter

Monday, 11 September 2006

Out of time!!

Is what I almost was today! Twice! As I struggled to get past bungling transfer desk officials, their stupid xerox machines and a zillion queues for secirity checks and what not :(. No, I didn't miss my flights, not the first one, or the subsequent three transfers :. But it was close. Eventually 30+ hours of driving/flying/running has made for a very long day! Yes, it's called time zones.
Still, I aught to be thankful for one rather important thing. Shifting hemispheres means it's now the end of summer, instead of the middle of winter! And although it is actually colder here, the difference isn't significant enough for me to miss my jacket :).
Feeling: murderous, thanks to this stupid Norwegian keyboard X-(
Listening to: Maroon 5 - This love

Friday, 8 September 2006

Ah well...

Here goes nothing! I've been listening to this song way too often these last few days :D. The song is of course A Little Less Conversation and it is weirdly funny!! Right, not the reaction one would expect over the King's last great 'hit' I suppose. But that's what it is!

I was trying to explain to B the other day exactly why that is. Now you see, the version of the song I have is JXL's remix, that's right, the one that plays in Ocean's Eleven while Frank C (Bernie Mac) rides along the Vegas strip, smiling evilly. Yes, another movie I've seen too many times :|. Anyway, so the song's accompanied by an RJ's enthusiastic commentary. Woman sounds almost exactly like Minnie Driver! You know, from Good Will Hunting? With that distinctively thick British drawl type thing going on. And she launches into this horrendous Elvis impression, fails miserably and finishes off with "..anyone can do an Elvis impression, it's very simple..." /:). My point? I've been finding this insanely hilarious without fail for a week now :P.

As someone said, I need better means of entertainment :|. But hey, I'm allowed a little bit of pointless levity, this is my last day in office in almost 3 months!! \:D/!!!

Currently: highly amused :P
Listening to: Elvis vs JXL - A little less conversation

Thursday, 7 September 2006


The upside (?) of having the telly switched on for at least 6-7 hours a day is that you manage to catch a bit of the goings on around the country, world etc. Well, I do, thanks mainly to the absence of a dedicated movie channel. But TV or not, there is probably no way you can be anywhere in Australia and escape the news of Steve Irwin's shocking demise at the hands (or should I say tail) of a stingray in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef. For those who don't recognise the name, Steve Irwin was the famous 'Crocodile Hunter' from numerous National Geographic documentaries.

The bad thing though is the media's obsession with anything even remotely newsworthy! Why should the entire nation, thanks to SMSs, and the entire world thanks to the internet, be allowed to voice their opinion on whether the video that captured Irwin's very last moments in gruesome detail be made public?!! Especially when those close to the family firmly say it will not! And why should anyone care?!! What possible good could come out of watching a harmless wildlife video capture gone horribly wrong?!!

The good thing though, is the remarkable accuracy of the weather reports :|. The 'sunshine n rain' lady expected Perth to have a sunny Tuesday, a windy Wednesday, a cloudy Thursday and thunder showers on Friday. And we had a sunny Tuesday, a windy Wednesday, a cloudy Thursday and I'm sure there'll be thunder and rain tomorrow :(. And she'd expected all this last Sunday!

Ah well, at least I finally have my Norwegian visa! When two out of your four visa applications in the last 6 months have been rejected on completely ridiculous grounds, you tend to feel just a little paranoid :|.

Feeling: perky enough for a nice long walk
Listening to: Maroon 5 - Sunday morning

Monday, 4 September 2006


In beginning to understand my consistent pain with office rotations, I've made some breakthrough this weekend. For office rotations I always go back to places. Back to KL, back to Perth... And then I'm torn between acting like a tourist and trying to act like a resident. Totally irrelevant in almost every sane perspective one might hold I'm sure, except mine. Of course, I'm not absolutely sure if I can be considered entirely sane, but I'd like to think so.Without going into the deeper ramifications of this (somewhat confusing?) declaration, let me just stick to my primary grouse. I hate the fact that once you go back to a place, the possibilities of getting satisfying pictures get drastically limited. The ocean is a completely different domain. It looks eactly the same each day. In so far as all you can see in every possible direction is water. But the possibilities are truly quite endless. Unlike waves, however, a city skyline is somewhat less likely to change on a day to day basis :|.So I've stopped going for walks to King's Park with my camera in my pocket these days. But I still go there, it's really cool, except that I've already taken pics from almost every available angle during my last stay here /:). Thankfully, Perth's rather big :D, so this weekend I decided to go exploring some of the farther parts. In a way only possible in Aussieland, I came upon two 'natural reserves' just by aimlessly walking along the Swan river! These people simply have too much space I tell you! Even in the heart of the city. All they need to do is fence off a bit of space no one seems to be too bothered about, and put up a couple of wooden boards on either side that say "Natural Reserve - Observe, don't disturb" 8-|.
Unlike my last stay, much to my disappointment, none of the theatres around here are showing anything even faintly interesting. No, I don't think Snakes on a Plane counts as interesting in any positive sense :|. So I'm re-discovering the world of weekend movies on the telly :D. So far, with About a Boy, Spy Games, Pay it Forward, Bridget Jones's Diary and a sizeable number of European movies, long and short, in local languages with rather dubious English subtitles, whose titles I've either missed, or don't remember, I haven't done too badly.. I think :P. Some of the non-Hollywood stuff has been geniunely intriguing actually!

Right, so that's about it. Except, I did manage some nice pics over the weekend. Bought myself my first two music CDs. And had tons of ice-cream in keeping with a time honoured tradition, despite the chilly, late-winter ei brishti elo bole weather. :)

There’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
There’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt

It’s still a little hard to say what's going on

There’s still a little bit of your ghost your witness
There’s still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed

You step a little closer each day

So close that I can’t say what's going on

Stones taught me to fly

Love taught me to lie

Life, it taught me to die

So it's not hard to fall

When you float like a cannonball

There’s still a little bit of your song in my ear

There’s still a little bit of your words I long to hear

You step a little closer to me

So close that I can't see what's going on

Stones taught me to fly

Love, it taught me to lie

Life taught me to die

So it's not hard to fall

When you float like a cannon..

Stones taught me to fly

And love taught me to cry

So come on courage

Teach me to be shy

'cause it's not hard to fall

And i don't wanna scare her

It's not hard to fall

And I don't wanna lose

It's not hard to grow

When you know that you just don't know

Feeling: content enough...
Listening to: Damien Rice - Cannonball


Usually, while watching a match, any match, when I realize that the side I'm supporting will very likely lose, I switch off the TV. Now football (by which I mean football, NOT American football, or Aussie Rules :|) is an exception, 'cos this is about the only sport I follow where final second turnarounds are a very real possibility. But I digress. So I switched off the TV last night once I saw Andre Agassi lose set 3 in his 3rd round match against Benji Becker. (Who?!!!! I know!!!! :(() Thankfully, I managed to gather enough courage to eventually get out of bed and watch the match till the end, to be well rewarded by Agassi's parting speech to the crowd.
Now I haven't been a particularly good fan, as far as assiduously following tournaments and his career goes. But I do remember praying for him to win, hard, on a few ocassions. Including the '92 Wimbledon match against Becker. And the 2nd round match against Baghdatis four days back. Always liked his smile :). And will always consider him the smartest man ever for breaking up with Brooke Shields to marry Steffi Graf :D.Post match interview with Andre Agassi: US Open official site.
Agassi's career in pictures: in characteristic BBC style :).

Currently: in awe
Listening to: Norah Jones - Lonestar