Sunday, 31 December 2006

Another one bites the dust.

Another year goes spiraling the drain. More people I've met and then lost touch with. More people I knew have gotten married, moved houses/cities/countries, passed away. Saddam Hussain has finally been executed for things he did a quarter of a century ago. And I am one year older. Feels like a good half dozen :-<. I'm beginning to get a hang of this though. More on that another time.

Was pleasantly surprised this morning to see curry for breakfast :). It was terrible by proper curry standards :P. But still the best thing around! Not that the rest of the food was bad though, it's just that... Well, let's put it this way, no wonder Indian food is popular. It's just better :D. While the Sun rose for the last time this year, it dawned on me that somehow I've ended up spending most of this year in Australia and even managed to get rather attached to it by the end of it. I've been on three continents this year as against two last year and one the year before that :P. (At this rate it'll take me just another 4 years to get done with at least one of my 'things to do before I die'!) Even got the see the Norwegian fjords again, this time not completely shrouded in snow :). It's been a good year. A busy year. I still don't know where my life's headed, but at least I'm not too worried about most of it :).

In the course of a discussion today, I realised that given a time machine, and given the choice, I'd much rather land up in the past rather than the future! Why, I am yet to figure out completely, but I'd rather not be burdened with the knowledge of where I'll end up (much less where humanity will!!). That's like reading the last page of the book before the rest of it, spoils all the fun. Digging up the past, now that's a much better adventure :). I guess I'm one of those people who get caught up things 'n stuff. Interestingly enough, did this vague thing called the train and railroad quiz today on some random site linked on a random blog. Turns out, I'm the London Underground :)). Something to do with the past. Then of course it totally takes off at a tangent, and goes on about difficult experiences and people spending less time with you and what not! I mean c'mon, how many people have had bombs going off in their guts?!! Yet roughly one in 64 people taking the quiz get told this :P.

The only time I have ever been kinda close to a bomb actually going off anywhere also happened to be this year though. And that was very very far from funny.

Ah well, one could end up with a very long post going on in this vein I suppose. So to cut to the chase and the last day of the year, I spent a better part of it religiously downloading the hourly infra-red satellite images that the Australian Governtment's Bureau of Meteorology provide. In this case paying special attention to the remarkable buildup of a possible cyclone to the North West, that will see us bring in this new year by high-tailing it out of the prospect area :).Hope the new year brings many joys to you. Enough at least to outnumber, outshine and outweigh any sorrows. And that you get to look back upon it with more of contentment than regret :). Happy New Year!

Feeling: content enough :)
Listening to: Jon Brion - Strings that tie to you (OST - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Saturday, 30 December 2006

A little something. . .

After aborted attempts over the last few days, I finally managed a peek at a sunrise today!! (Sunrises seen from the back-deck no longer count :|.) It's all the WA Government's fault! They went and got this stupid daylight saving thing done, moving an hour ahead!! So sunrise these days is around 7 instead of around 6, i.e. outside my breakfast hour. It took me a while to finally narrow it down to just before quarter to 7 :P.
Life's getting all exciting on board :D. We have just about gotten into the rather long and active cyclone season around these parts. And today we had our first proper tropical storm warning in the season!! Looks like there's this huge low building up a little south of Bali, Indonesia, and is supposed to gather up a bit of the vaporised ocean around itself and come spinning down towards Exmouth, WA. To the not so geographycally inclined, (and if you don't know where the vessel is, which would probably be everyone :P), this scheme of things puts us smack in the path of a growing cyclone :D. So today I saw a 'Cyclone Meeting' for the first time onboard! Not that that was much by itself, but there's stuff like 'evasive action' and 'tracking the cyclone' on everyone's lips now :D.

I am obviously completely trusting these people to make sure that we are absolutely nowhere near the centre of the cyclone! Or even around the outskirts of it for that matter!! I've heard too many horror stories about last year when the other swing got too close to one /:).

X-( And now Blogger won't let me upload a pic!!!

Currently: frustrated!!!!! X-(((
Listening to: Pearl Jam - I am mine
Looks like that's been fixed :).

Wednesday, 27 December 2006


What I am about to describe is not a vortex :). See, when a boat with a pointed bow and keel (that is a front end that actually cuts through the water instead of skimming over it) is travelling at speed, there are these sheets of water furling out on either side, curving up out of the sea and sailing by someone sitting by the boat's side, curling back into the sea. To such a person the water would seem impeccably smooth, blue-white, and speckled with fine sparkling gold dust. It is very very tempting to stretch out your fingers and dabble in it. So I did.

There is a rather fragile boundary between the clear blue and the foaming white. As the fingers touch the blue, the flow erupts! White spray spurting through in between. The blinding sun overhead dissolves in the tiny droplets. It makes me forget for a while, but not for long enough. The sinking feeling. Inexorably drawn down to my knees. The moment when I lost... There were other things, a combination of factors. But small boat trips will never be the same again :-<.

Currently: thoughtful
Listening to: Third Eye Blind - Semi-charmed life

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

A little green top spinning on my palm. . .

This Christmas wasn't so bad after all :). Thanks mainly to the best spread I've ever seen on the boat :D. The galley folk had totally outdone themselves. In fact, my cam lay forgotten as I figured I'd much rather be eating the food than waste time taking pictures of it :P.

Small joys and a big smile, that's the way to live life! Finally managed to get back to reading Eldest, first time since coming onboard and I was so glad to let myself get completely immersed in the magic and fantasy. There's too little by way of magic in our reality :(. And the only thing that is, more often than not ends up in disaster....

Oh and I just found the entire four seasons of Coupling onboard!!! This is going to be so much fun :D.

Currently: not feeling drop dead tired anymore, finally!
Listening to: Graham Massey - Moonlight sonata

Sunday, 24 December 2006

It's Christmas Eve, for Christ's sake!!!

Oh God!!! How is it that every time I end up so completely stunned by exactly how much work there is when we end up out on the back deck?!! It's depressing!! It's like realising that your answer to the question "what have you learnt from past experiences" is basically absolutely nothing!!! :( Thankfully it usually gets over just about when I'm stretched to the limit. Or maybe it's the expectation of it all getting over that stretches me to the limit :). But really, just when we are done with an excrutiating week on the back deck, the worst system f***-up I have ever seen has to happen. On my shift :-<. So while people all over the place enjoy their Christmas Eve in whatever way they will, I'll be fast asleep, lucky if I can actually wake up at 11:30... or maybe I can get away with 50.... :P.

So Merry Christmas to everyone who's celebrating, or not :).

Feeling: dead :-<
Listening to: Annie Lennox - Don't let it bring you down

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Pros and cons. . .

... of wearing my cap to the helideck. You don't have the massive overflow of brightness turning you completely blind all the time! But given the 15-20 knot wind, I was really worried about losing it! And it's not like I can just go fetch it afterwards /:).

It's uncanny. I was trying to explain to some friends of mine over the break how I almost never, seem to get enough sleep on the boat. (And not just because I keep having to wake up at the latest possible moment to still be able to get to work on time, well, sort of :P.) It's just that I always have something or other I'd rather be doing than sleep. It's probably a good thing. It would be so sad no, to try and sleep 'cos you have nothing else to do!!! The uncanny bit is that this trip I have been seriously sleep deprived for every single day yet :|.

Feeling: sleeeeeeeepy!!!!!
Listening to: Radiohead - Planet Telex

Monday, 18 December 2006

Hop, skip and splash! (I wish :-<)

I almost had my bag lost by the airline, but the rest of crew change went awesomely well :D. Despite the hour and fifteen minute delay, I still had a good hour to catch up with Udit. Not enough after a year and a half one might say, but I'm happy under the circumstances :).Watched Miami Vice on the flight to Perth. For all the hype, the only high point in the movie for me was when I discovered One of These Mornings (Moby) was part of the soundtrack :P. The the rather early Christmas dinner wasn't too bad, except that it left me with too little time to catch up with my crazy Perth flatmate (:P) :(. (And also ditch impromptu Casino Royale late-night show plan :|.)

And of course, it was off to the back deck pretty much as soon as we stepped off the choppers. I was looking forward to getting back to the ship, and some peace and quiet. What on earth was I thinking?!!!!!!!

Feeling: tired, bruised etc.. you know the routine :-<
Listening to: Everclear - Santa Monica

Friday, 15 December 2006

Oh dear!

Flying through Mumbai as usual, and this time I'd once again planned to meet people. I should just stop doing that. My flight has been delayed. It still leaves me enough time to slip in a quick chat, but I'm wondering if this is all :|. At least I'm sure that my flight out of Singapore has been confirmed (yes I was almost flying out with a chance of getting stranded in Changi :P).

Feeling: apprehensive :-S
Listning to: Moby - In my heart

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

After the storm. . .

I should quit complaining about things piling up. It's about to get a whole lot worse :). Barely a week at home is hardly a lot. Add to that nagging illnesses and a massive amount of driving in Kolkata traffic. Hardly makes for the most relaxed of times /:). So now I'm left with a day and a half of relative peace and quiet before I'm off again. As if to emphasise the fact, there's a state-wide bandh tomorrow :D.Short as it was, the memories I carry of this trip back are heavily loaded with joy from my few days in campus :). It's probably not a good sign that I'm beginning to reminisce about my measly couple of weeks off the way I used to think about my time on the ship about a year back, as a break from the regular scheme of things. I think I actually told someone the other day that I was looking forward to getting back to the ship, and some peace and quiet =)). In my defence, I had a bad cold and a headache at the time :P.

...the dust is beginning to settle finally. He looks on, one eyelid tipped half open. The last passing gusts make the faint brown clouds swirl. A pretty girl pirouetting in a sandy frock... He twitches his nose as a fly buzzes too close. He's getting old. Why does everyone think they have to keep the whole world's secrets locked down in their little minds, he wonders. Not like they can. Everything slips out eventually, like grains of sand from a tight fist.

Feeling: tired, mostly...
Listening to: Suzanne Vega - Bad wisdom

Monday, 11 December 2006

Moving on

I seem to be running into a lot of people these days who are troubled, scared and confused. On the phone, via emails, through instant messaging... and ocassionally in person. The idea that the world all around is not quite as it had seemed in the not too distant past, seems to be gaining popularity. In the midst of all this, I find myself troubled as well. Not by confusion, but rather, by the ominous lack of it. It's not like everything is crystal clear in a 10 year radius around me, or even one. But, finding myself (suprisingly) unperturbed by the now usual uncertainty staring me in the face, I'm wondering if I should be looking out for something worse. Maybe something sneaking up beind my back? As it seems to have on others...

Finished reading Eragon today, in record time almost! Just goes to show what a little change of scenery can achieve! After starving over the enforced diet of conspiracies and Cabbalists and Rosicrucians and Templars and the Pendulum, even the slightly childishly written Inheritance books come as a huge respite!! It's got all the makings of a fun read: the Map (:D I love maps), the hero, the evil guys (who are suitably menacing and fear invoking et cetera), the pretty lady (in this case, elf), lots of travelling and fighting, magic!! And of course the dragon. Good thing I have the second book with me! Otherwise I'd have agonised over what-happens-next for the entire upcoming trip :P.

Currently: wondering...
Listening to: Thom Yorke - Atoms for peace

Saturday, 9 December 2006

And they lived. . .

... happily ever after!!! So the first of my batchmates has finally gone and gotten married!! Took me a long twelve hours to actually get to Ajmer from Mumbai, and it was just in time for the evening's festivities. And it was quite an experience, being the first Marwari wedding I've attended. It helped of course that a whole bunch of people I hadn't seen in over a year and a half had landed up in Ajmer for the wedding!!
With some time at hand the next day, we went out to do some sight-seeing :). Ended up going to Pushkar. It wasn't quite time for the famous fair, but we saw the lake, the temple, and were quite frankly shocked to see signs all over the place advertising a "Pink Floyd Cafe & Hotel"!! Following a maze of narrow lanes and dusty roads we finally ended up at this dark doorway at the end of a narrow alley :|. Inside however, it was quite... interesting :). The music was right, as was the decor, only the chai we ordered wasn't quite like anything I'd ever tasted (or want to taste again for that matter :-&).On the way back we were supposed to visit the 'beginning of the Thar Desert'. Unfortunately that turned out to be a single mound of sand :(. But soon after we saw a group of camels, and thanks to one particularly over-enthusiastic member of our party, all of us were soon having a blast!! All except one :D. Ghora was living a nightmare!! =)) It was completely priceless!!! I guess it did not help that this other camel kept nosing him :D.
PJ, Ghora and the camel :D
The second evening saw the beginning of the wedding festivities with the baraat. I must say the groom handled the whole thing rather well, even when the mare started trotting around in circles, much to his alarm!! :DIt was rather late in the night when the actual marriage ceremony began, and barely halfway through it we had to leave, with an 8 am flight to catch from Jaipur :(.It was quite an awesome trip in the end, my first to Rajasthan. I hope it's not my last :).

Currently: home again \:D/
Listening to: Massive Attack - Teardrop

More Pushkar pics here.

Sunday, 3 December 2006


So I've realised I should not be left in a book shop all by myself for too long :|. I'd been given Eragon by a friend who was sure she'd 'never ever read it again' and given the sucker that I am for fantasy, I had no trouble taking it off her :D. However, there was that other pain that goes by the name of a book, Foucault's Pendulum, that I have finally given up on ever finishing :(. And this was precipitated by the cool trailer for Eragon that I saw on tv the other day. I figured I'd finish reading the book before seeing the movie for once, and I must say I'm glad I did, such a relief after plodding through four fifths of Foucault!!!

And today I landed up at a Crossword with a friend and couldn't resist buying the second in that series, Eldest :D. That was the beginning. Later on, I was supposed to meet some friends to buy wedding presents for day after, and I ended up getting there an hour early :(. Me, alone in a Shopper's Stop outlet :-S. Thankfully, I found a little Crossword store tucked into a corner! There I found this really cool looking hard bound with short stories by this chap called Stephen Leacock! The name struck a chord somewhere, and flipping through I came across this amazing short story we'd read in some English literature class in school called My Financial Career! Ended up buying it :|. And while I was at it ended up buying the first Game World book as well. I have the second one, and am planning to read it all again in time for the next and final release :).

And somehow or other I also managed to end up with a pearl in my pocket, but that's a long story. But I am very proud of myself for having managed to get very pretty looking presents for my first batchmates' wedding :D.

It has been such a totally whirlwind trip to campus!! In the three days that I have been here, the two remaining wingmates that I care about have landed jobs! I've met more people than I could ever have imagined! And tomorrow I'm off to meet tons more!

Oh, and it's actually warmer here in Mumbai in 'winter' than it was in Perth in summer!!!

Feeling: still in heaven :)
Listening to: Moby - Summer

Saturday, 2 December 2006


It is so good to be back!!!!!! :) After a fair while I'm back in campus, and I'm absolutely loving it!!
The flights were long as usual, and a wee bit tiring, but the view of Serangoon Harbour just before dipping into Singapore was quite a treat!

Since I've been back here though, it's been such a flurry of news - old news, breaking news, scandalous revelations, sad breakups... plain old gossip :D. And people of course! Friends landing up out of nowhere, instant plans, a visit down to VT, a walk down the waterfront to the Gateway, Mondy's lunch, Churchill's desserts.... aaah!!! I had almost forgotten how much fun this used to be!!!! Only, there are so many to miss. :-<

Currently: loving it!!
Listening to: Alanis Morissette - Crazy