Monday, 30 October 2006

Pretty images flitting by

So I finally did it. No, nothing radical or earth shattering. Just managed to watch two movies in their entirety and in the proper order. Yep, having watched Before Sunrise not too long back, watched Before Sunset yesterday, this time the whole thing. I shouldn't try to say anything about it :P. But I am definitely going to get them two movies for myself :).Still waiting for the final results on that photo competition :-<. Trouble is, two of mine actually made it to the final 30 :|. Otherwise it would all have been happily over a full ten days back. Well, okay not happily :P, but over!

all mixed up
Listening to: Dido - Sand in my shoes

Note to self: desperately need to get me that song from Excess Baggage... it goes, "it's all mixed up" :).

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Holier than thou

Lord of War. I'd thought Syriana was scary. I was wrong. This one shows you Bad. And then tells you that this shit's real. You and I are travelling on a one way ticket to hell, gathering speed.

Current mood: unsettled
Listening to: Jet - Cold hard bitch

Friday, 27 October 2006


The night is pitch black, the moon's in hiding, a couple of spotlight beams trying to find their targets like two roving fingers. Suddenly the light seems to spread out beyond those fingers. Only half the world is black now, till the horizon. Above, there are faint tinges of colour.

Look to the east. That's the way the ship's heading and I'm peeping out from a large 'window' in the side, right at the stern. The waves buffet the bow every now and then and in between I can see the bit of sky I know will reveal the sun. The clouds are in attendance in just the right numbers: not too many, not too few. Looks like it'll be the usual glorious sunrise, all bright and golden.

Something in the water catches my eye. Only, it's not quite in the water. The star makes a premature entrance and ruins everything. Now all the clouds are a dull grey and there's only a little cracked, drunken-eye-red disc, almost drowning in the broken slate seas. Looks more like the mother of all hangovers than a sunrise. I turn my back to it in disgust. Seems like this end of the sky's putting up a better show anyway, I see a brightly coloured crown on that nimbus.

Hold on! That didn't add up... I rush back to my vantage point! :D. The gold and the cotton candy pink, the bright cloud with the brighter edge, the infinite lances streaking out, firing up one bit of the sky after another till it's all up in flames! There you go then, that's another good morning, winks the setting moon.

Currently: tallying the day's damages
Listening to: Moby - Sunday (the day before my birthday)

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Cribbing is good for health.

On the back-deck again :). (That's a rueful smile by the way :|). Anyway, the way the weather's shaping up, it's better than working in the boats! Now don't misunderstand me, it's great weather to go out in! One must be prepared to get soaked to the skin (and have a change of clothes handy to avoid getting pneumonia working the remainder of the shift, obviously). But it's still fun. The crazy, surfing in rock infested 10 meter wave spawning beaches kind of fun. Or snowboarding in a blizzard kind of fun I guess. (Definitely the Skippy kind of fun.) But when it comes to working under those conditions, especially with barnacle infested streamers jumping around like runaway fire hoses, I must draw the line. Okay, bad example, but it's downright scary :|.
This I noticed the other day while lazing out on the helideck in the afternoon. If you look straight up so you can't see anything but the clouds in the sky, after a while you'd be tempted to believe that it's the clouds doing the jig, not the ship you're on :D.

I hate weights X-(. The gym kind. Doing supply transfers on a small-boat is no fun. When the chap handing you the small carton is suddenly heaved up on a passing wave so that the load does a good metre or two in the air before it lands on your tired complaining arms, it doesn't help at all when you hear him shout "Heavy!!" way too late :(. It also doesn't help when the next day you see them boxes in the gym with dumb-bells spilling out of them /:). (I was there for strictly row/cycle/run purposes!) I mean, c'mon!! Here we are busting our asses to deliver 'desperately needed' provisions, how would you like it if you found out that someone's afternoon excercise had sneaked in as well :|. And a giantic blue drum. No one seems to know what that's for though.

Currently: indulging in a healthy activity O:-)
Listening to: The Waifs - Nothing new

NB: to 'crib' is to complain pointlessly, loudly, continuously... basically annoyingly

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Arbit blues

I was watching this movie the other day and I loved it! I'll give the name a miss 'cos people who recognize it might start judging me :). But anyway, so I thanked the friend of mine who'd asked me to watch it in the first place. Ended up facing the question, "So who did you think you were in the movie?!!" I thought about it, and came up with probably the answer almost everyone would come up with. "Maybe it will work out like that for you too, you know", (s)he said.

What did I think? Well, what I always think :). Life isn't a movie! But oh God do I wish it were :)). Thing is, and I have actually noticed this, whatever it is that I want and however many possibilities I foresee, it always ends up happening differently from how I saw it run in my head.

Well, almost always I should say! Sometimes, not often (but not never), things run just the way I saw it run the first time: the time when everything was perfect :).(Yea yea, I'm in total pontificative mode today :P.)

Current mood: (there are a few halos doing the rounds :D)
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Sitting, waiting, wishing

Friday, 20 October 2006


I can't believe this! They are selling the moon. Piece by piece, one acre at a time.

When he was six he believed that the moon overhead followed him.
At nine he had deciphered the illusion, trading magic for fact, no tradebacks.
So this is what it's like to be an adult. If he only knew now what he knew then.

Feeling: just sad
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Breakdown

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Kaleidoscope through drops

Speak of the devil. Was out in the workboat for a solid five hours :|. The weather was maybe a teeny bit better than the last time I was out, but it was definitely a lot better than yesterday. We were still splashing around enough to have a couple of loyal mini rainbows following us around all the time. But the biggest difference today was that I was prepared! Skippy was the coxwain again, I wanted to stand on the bow. For sane human beings who value their lives, the above two do not go together. BUT, I had a rain coat today!! \:D/\:D/ :D. This had to be my most enjoyed trip ever for the simple reason that there was an almost continuous shower of spray landing on me and I wasn't getting wet, well at least part of me wasn't :D. Skippy, expectedly, was seen shaking his head now and then :P.

I listened extremely contentedly to the drops hammering down on the other side of the fabric and tried to remember when it was that I'd last worn a proper rain coat. Surprisingly enough, it's way back in school it seems. Don't remember having worn anything but rather useless jackets and wind breakers all through college :D. Even in the Mumbai rains on my rusty bicycle to class, or to Lonavla in the monsoons on bikes, or on a night trek to nowhere in particular in August... Come to think of it, I used to love getting drenched in the rain when I was a kid. Before mobile phones or wallets or cameras or the associated worries et al.I have also never before seen quite as many flying fish choose to break the surface within a couple of metres of me! Up close you see the amazing variety of colours, undersides white black grey, upper bodies bright blue, shimmering green, streaks of sudden crimson... Somehow reminds me of eye colours. I've always thought blues look the most beautiful! Always find it extremely funny how many people with brown eyes think they have black eyes :). I've never actually seen eyes completely black! Naturally black that is, not caused by contact with a (in?)conveniently located fist or something /:).

Ah well, I didn't take my camera along. I've started treating it with a little more respect these days. Sony's actually stopped making them, sadly enough. And after almost 3000 clicks, mine's beginning to look a wee bit worn :(. Then again, the loveliest snapshots on these small boat trips are the blink-and-you-miss-it kind, so no point risking it anyway.

One of these mornings
Won't be very long
You will look for me
And I'll be gone

I wish.

Feeling: jaded
Listening to: Alms For Shanti - Kho gaya hai mera sapna

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Heavy weather

I'm really surprised how I managed to take a picture like this on a day like today! Really, the nice blue sky and what looks like nice little ripples on the ocean isn't even close to the truth! Which is, that those little ripples are about four metres high. Sitting in the instrument room it doesn't feel like much, but standing out on the bow when you see the waves crash against the ship's side making it shudder, it's pretty cool :D. The water seems seriously close! Of course I knew that there was no way the water could actually splash on your face, so to speak. 40 feet, I told myself, that's a long long way :).

Then later in the day I was up on the bridge chatting with the second mate and I asked him about the weather down in Bass Strait. That's the bit between Australia and Tasmania in the south, and sometime in the not so distant future we're supposed to be heading that way. So he shows me the windscreen wipers on the full-length windows all around the bridge and says, "Those aren't there just for the rain mate!" Waves forty meters high. That's not all, we're just into the cyclone season up here, and if, God forbid, we end up in the middle of one, it'll probably be a lot worse! I just can't wait :D. Only, I wouldn't exactly be my usual enthusiastic self when it comes to small boat operations :P.

Current mood: hyper >:)
Listening to: Nickelback - How you remind me

Monday, 16 October 2006

The break up

I've been on the ship for over a week and haven't taken a single photograph :(. Totally disastrous this is. It's because of this shift! I'm now separated from the main subject of my interest, the sunset :(. And as for sunrises, I haven't made it out of the instrument room since the stint at the back-deck, when of course I was way too busy. Running shifts practically solo for 6 hrs straight can make responsibility sound like a dirty word :-<.

Must say this about this shift though, despite the inconvenience of having my life turned upside down, I feel strangely optimistic every day! It's like I'd gotten so used to getting on shift at midday, that towards the end of shift I get the awesomely gleeful feeling that I'm getting off work 12 hours too early :D. It might be that I'm still too fast asleep when I land up for work to notice the effect of midnight, which might otherwise totally negate the aforesaid feeling /:). Then there's table-tennis, and long conversations. And there's always the just-pre-dawn walk on the deck on my breakfast break. You can't not feel refreshed, and then there's just 6 more hours to go :).

In case I'd forgotten to mention this before, I'm now the very prowd owner of a pair of almost fluorescent green Sennheiser OMX sport headphones for my iPod! They're those over the ear thingies, and there's no way in hell these can fall off while I'm running, like the regular pod ones so often do \:D/. And I absolutely love them :D.

Feeling: cold :-<
Listening to: Elliott Smith - Independance Day

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Drip - drip

First shift not on the back-deck, and I'm off in the boat. I know, I know, I should be ecstatic and all that. And I was, for a while! Even managed an enthusiastic "Yep!" when I was asked if I wanted to go. Worst weather I've been out in since Sakhalin, Russia :(. Without the freezing cold, but that meant without those thick water-proof work-suits as well /:). The fact that the last time I was out in a boat it was in Kristiansund in flat calm waters didn't help. And by the time we were done and I'd spent enough time near the exhaust, for the first time ever I felt like I was about to be sick. Yep, sea-sick.

I wasn't eventually, but I figured out pretty quick that thinking about what you had for breakfast doesn't help :P. Thinking about the prospect of lunch does!! I was thinking about dessert of course, not what passes for the main course /:). It was either that, or poking my head out into the fresh air, but I was soon enjoying the ride like I usually do :D. Unfortulately we had Skippy driving, now imagine the worst speed-crazy driver you know, now double, no, triple that, in a boat, and you have Skip. As soon as I was out on the bow of the boat, he proceeded to dive straight into two metre waves and in very short order I was soaked :|. I get this strong feeling he did it on purpose :|. I'm sure I saw him grinning through the streaming window, from the dry confines of his wheelhouse.

Oh haan!! Played table tennis on the ship :D. It's awesome fun!!! I could blame all my terrible shots on the ship's rolling :P.

Anyway, so I'm finally sending off my entries for the company photo competition. I know I won't win the 2.5 grand (USD) first, but I might just make it to a consolation prize :P.

Currently: waiting for the massive attachment to load :-<
Listening to: Tommy Lee - Good times

Sunday, 8 October 2006


Banged the door on my fingers while running out for lunch :(. Yes lunch, after four straight trips of midday - midnight shifts, when I regularly woke up too close to start of shift to even think about lunch, I've finally been moved around. It's terribly disconcerting!! It's midday, the sun is about as hot as it's going to get, and I'm going off shift!!!! It's good fun to see the sunrise for a change. Though I get this feeling that I'll grow less enthusiastic about this in some time :D. Oh and the view of the sunrise was because we've been on the back-deck from the moment we've stepped onboard :(. And my now ex-boss Richie's gone off to another ship half way around the world, so I'm having to get used to things all over again.

As for my trip here, I must mention the mammoth surprise I got at Mumbai airport! They've actually gone and done sumething useful!! No, not kidding at all!! There's now this shuttle bus service for transit passengers from the domestic to the international terminal through the aiport property, instead of through the traffic congested city roads \:D/. I did have to wait like a couple of hours (not really, but felt like it) for the bus, and then again as people made their way agonisingly slowly to the bus with their luggage and as the porters took forever to stow it all away. And the bus did roll along so slowly that I was sure I could walk faster. But hey, it's a step in the right direction! In maybe another million years the service will actually become swift and reliable.
the shadow flies
Had a nice evening in Perth before heading off. Exmouth was terrible. The building looked like an oversized nursery classroom. And photography was prohibited 'cos the air force uses it to stow trashed tires or something :|.

The worst thing about this shift is how difficult going to sleep is X-(. It's afternoon! I never sleep in the afternoon! Unless I've slept through the morning before that is...

Currently: tired but can't sleep :-<
Listening to: Moby - One of these mornings

Thursday, 5 October 2006


Flinging myself off again, pulling hard, stretched taut. Aiming high. After all I must cross an ocean!

Flying via Mumbai again. No one's supposed to meet me this time, and hopefully there'll be no more surprises. Three months ago too many innocents had needlessly lost their lives in that city :(.

Currently: all packed up
Listening to: Moby - In my heart

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Before Sunrise

. . . was totally awesome!!!! It makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you wish your life could be this totally crazily wonderful. Well it did that to me anyway. And Julie Delpy's so pretty :-<.I do wish they'd gone to see the play with the cow that thought it was a dog though. And I must admit I'd never have guessed dating for a woman, or anyone, could feel like being the general of an army :D. But then it was a movie . . .

Currently: sitting on that cloud I see floating above the TV tower
Listening to: Matchbox Twenty - 3 am

Quote: "I have never been anywhere that I haven't been. . . I think that's why so many people hate themselves. Seriously, it's just that they are sick to death of being around themselves." - Jesse, Before Sunrise

Monday, 2 October 2006

Pit stop

Home for two days before shooting off again :-<. Two weeks off is short. Any shorter and I'd end up feeling like I never got any time off at all!! But I guess Durga Puja falling smack in the middle of this tiny window was pretty lucky :).This time, instead of roaming around, I chose to stay in with family. For the two days in Shantiniketan, this was pretty much enforced by the almost continuous and fairly heavy rain that left everything dripping...In Asansol, the rain didn't play spoilsport. It threatened to, but changed it's mind eventually :). So I chose to hang around the Pujo I've attended for as long as I can remember (there have been gaps in between, of course). Met up with some old school friends I hadn't seen for a good five years or more! Surprised (and on occasion scared :|) a lot of acquaintances with the beard and haircut /:). Hogged on awesome food :D. And yes, watched Schumacher win at Shanghai to finally catch up with Alonso!!
Life's getting a wee bit routine when it comes to crew changes. It's back to Perth, again :|. Oh but instead of flying via Barrow Island, we'll be flying via Exmouth!! Yay! The approximate population for the place within a 7 km radius is 37. No, there's no hundred, thousand or any other multiple involved /:).

Right, so now that I've heard a suitably large number of groups carry their Maa Durgas for the final immersion, I guess it's a good time to wish everyone Shubho Bijoya :).

Feeling: like I've been travelling forever :-<
Listening to: Matchbox Twenty - Disease