Thursday, 28 June 2007

"But why is all the rum gone?"

Oh boy :). I read somewhere the other day that when they made the first Pirates movie, Cap'n Jack Sparrow was merely a side character!!! That's right, morons come is all shapes and sizes it would seem. But Johnny Depp set things right. Watched Pirates 3 last night! I'd been warned by Roswitha about the mad leaps the story takes, but I came out completely blown away :D and clutching my sides :P. It was a good thing that there were exactly 9 other people in the theatre and most of them were too busy, one way or another, to notice my guffaws during the movie.

I must say, this was a hell of a lot more fun than 2. Let me clarify, I'm not saying 2 was bad. You know those people, to whom you say anything bad about any of the Matrix movies, even the horrendous heart-pumping scene in Reloaded, and they look for ways to get to your heart? To rip it out? I'm like that when it comes to The Pirates of the Caribbean. Well almost, so be forewarned :P. But yes, there were a few times during 2 when I felt a little lost. (I blame it on the circumstances :D.) The only thing I'd ever remove from Pirates is probably Orlando Bloom. Actually, maybe not, he does the part of the bungling idiot of a pirate wannabe quite convincingly :|.

And maybe they shouldn't have reused the closing lines from the last one... Though on that quarter Black Pearl can not be bettered :). For the sea indeed is freedom. You have to see it to believe it. No, not the way I sail it :-<. But I wish I could, oh how I wish... sometimes.

Also saw Shrek the Third! Good fun it was too :). I also found out that Ocean's 13 is running for another week, so I have some more time. And Transformers releases today! Sometimes the movie season just goes into overdrive to thrill :D.

Currently: not so hot :-<
Listening to: Joshua Radin - Star mile

Monday, 25 June 2007


My joy at being able to sleep on flights was entirely premature, it would seem :-<. But I can't really tell, it might have helped if I'd not started watching the movie :). Watched two on the way here actually, Shooter on the first one. Quite liked it. The woman (Kate Mara) was entirely unnecessary though :|. At least they should have cast someone with some theatrical ability beyond frightened/ blank looks. It was also too reminiscent of a ton of other movies. And no, despite the glowing review from whatever newspaper, it doesn't even come close to the Bourne movies /:). Decent enough one time watch though.

Which is more than I can say for the one I saw on the second flight. Ghost Rider. Okay, by then it was broad daylight, so I couldn't really have slept instead :|. Nicolas Cage must really have set his skull on fire to do such a thing. I mean, you can put someone like Vin Diesel in that kind of a spot and it'll be fun. Cage? It turns into something very sad. If I were the unforgiving kind I'd probably have gone with pathetic. But anyway, the custom 'ghost'-ified cruiser was pretty cool, I thought :D. And oh! It's been shot in Melbourne! That arched bridge he rides his bike up is over the Yarra River!

But the better part of the second flight was actually spent finishing Hanif Kureishi's Gabriel's Gift. I'd never heard of the author before. But, against my better judgement, I'd decided to trust my cousin and had brought it along. (The last time I'd done that was with Foucault's Pendulum, and after struggling through it for what, half a year? I finally gave up! Something I almost never do with books. It's now happily back with its owner who still stands by his opinion though he himself hasn't read half of it :|.) Do excuse the digression, Foucault brings back strong feelings.

Anyway, this one was altogether a completely different experience. If anything, Gabriel's Gift is a fast and quite compelling read. And the story is interesting. I sometimes had difficulty thinking of Gabriel as a fifteen year old, but every time I was reminded that under the circumstances perhaps, it was an astute enough depiction. The book's not entirely dark or gloomy, but there's a fair bit of it. And I disagree with reviews that say this is a book on the light side!! Which is what a lot of them say actually :(. I mean, sure it has a happy ending, but that's not everything!

While in Perth I'm planning to go see the three new third movies, Shrek the Third, Ocean's 13 and Pirates :). They are all still running here. At least till this Wednesday, so that means a movie every night :P. Let's see when Transformers releases here, I hope it's within the next 3 weeks!

Feeling: cold!! (it's winter here)
Listening to: Moby - Flying over the dateline

Friday, 22 June 2007

One down!

That's one shiny sticker, my US Visa :D. The actual interview was yesterday, but I just got back my passport now and saw the thing for real :). Yesterday, the only hiccup had been trying to explain the fact that I live on a boat :|. It might have helped had I said ship instead of boat I suppose, but oh well. My documents eventually arrived on the interviewer's desk with a post-it note on top saying "Lives on a boat in Australia." :| He was highly amused for some reason.

I'm supposed to be applying for yet another Schengen Visa in 4 days, and I'm very nearly out of blank pages on my passport. So I'm extremely grateful to the US consulate for having spared the only pair of facing blank pages, which I can now use for the Schengen :D. Of course that's as far as it will go and I'm looking at an application for an additional booklet next :-<. Yes, this just never ends. The best thing though was the 10 year duration of the Visa! Bolli had given me a scare last night saying that he'd got one for 6 months! Which would have been disastrous, 'cos I don't see any obvious opportunities for a visit anytime soon.

On the way back from the VFS collection centre I managed to time (and place) myself exactly right, and for the first time ever, was the first one out through the turnstiles at DumDum metro! (Hey, it might not sound like a big thing, but there is only one door on the last compartment that lets you achieve this! And you have to be standing with your nose practically against that door, waiting for it to slide open, then make a run for it!) Bottom line: I was the first in line for the ricks, and got to pick my seat! Back row, on the side, and NOT on the oncoming traffic side :D.

Feeling: lucky :D
Listening to: Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Muddy water

In a little while the world around me changes. I look, sometimes bemused, sometimes distraught. And sometimes I look away. I remember everything. 'Cos nothing I have forgotten has ever come back to remind me. I am the lone fisherman.

I am the proverbial one-way street. Though the wind tries sometimes, to blow the other way. Down beyond the horizon it is strong. The wind makes the flow. Here I am stronger, and all it can do is make little ripples, skin-deep. I am the river, wide before I am lost in the sea.I am old. I wonder if those that trust in me are hoping for too much. Wrinkles and cracks. They are the ones that keep me company. Wisdom is a word. I think I like senility better. They say as long as there is life, there is hope. How can that be true when tied down and still, I have let the world pass me by. No, not even the flood can scare me now, all I want is to go home. I am the wooden boat.

It's official. I'm finally living out of a bag at home. I will unpack when I get to the hotel. :-<

Feeling: blue
Listening to: Sebastien Tellier - La Ritournelle

Friday, 15 June 2007

Killer iPod?

I was reading The Telegraph after ages the other day, and I came upon this article. Well, I was actually reading it in print, but anyway. I was quite taken by the point of view. Especially this bit.
“We are not in a very visual age. I think it’s all about sound. People plug in their ears and don’t look much, whereas for me my eyes are the biggest pleasure.

“You notice that on buses. People don’t look out of the window, they are plugged in and listening to something.”
- David Hockney
Now I don't really consider myself to be in much of a position to comment on the impact on art, but I do appreciate the point about how people no longer look, well, in a way. I'd say it's quite an addiction. I myself have gotten to the point where I absolutely need some music playing around me. All the time! Sadly enough, most of the time, it's just a relaxing background. Helps calm those frayed nerves and that temper on edge, keeps those legs pushing and those arms pulling, even when they don't really want to. Or so I tell myself.

I used to consider myself the observant type. No, not noticing the subtle undertones in a voice, of distress, or anger. I'm mostly pretty thick when it comes to things that matter, people and shit. I was talking about pointless things, like the names of every street the No. 219 bus takes from home to Howrah Station. Like the colour of the fields by the railway line. These days I usually have to shake myself out of some sort of a haze, shake off the blank gaze, to actually look. Thing is, it's so easy to just stop looking :-<. That's all you've gotto do, stop. Most of the time you won't run into anything or stuff like that 'cos you've probably walked/driven that way a million times before.

Sometimes, you really do notice something, something nice, like the little girl picking a flower off the shrub and putting it in her hair. Then you realise that she's probably homeless and the shrub's growing out of the cracks in a divider on the road that runs through the city slum and the flower's stained black with exhaust fumes from cars that have bribed their way around pollution control. And you desperately try to concentrate on the lyrics of the song playing on the car radio/iPod/discman/walkman, just to strangle the train of thought, ignore the vision. It comes to your rescue and plays your favourite track.

I've stopped looking anyway, why blame the iPod?

Feeling: bitter
Listening to: Texas - Hush

Monday, 11 June 2007

A return to Melbourne

Right, so having spent the better part of the day sleeping, I'm back in a somewhat non-zombie state :). Going back a couple of days then, crew-change was quite a blur! For the last few days on the boat we were back out on the back-deck, and it was still the case on crew-x morning! To make things worse, they actually brought the chopper times forward!! I'd barely stepped out of the shower when I heard that the first chopper was due on deck in 15 minutes!! Thankfully, I was on the 3rd chopper :D but I did arrive a little late for the MOB standby crew.The ride out in the chopper was really nice though, the clouds and rain around shrouding the vessel soon gave way to clear blue skies over lush green fields. And the Philip Island GP track!! Promptly snapped a few pics, and there was actually a race going on!!We were back in Melbourne a little before midday, and with a flight at midnight it was back into town again! And this time we took a better look around. Melbourne has quite a nice tram network, and one of the services is a free around-the-city ride on this ancient piece of machinery that rattled loudly enough to often drown out the on board commentary :P. But it did take us around to the part of the city with some really beautiful architecture. The most impressive was obviously St. Patrick's cathedral, especially with the bright red Cadillac parked right outside :D.On the way we also ran into a series of interesting 'fossils', metal casts set in stone. It's quite striking actually, how old the city feels! I think I've said that before about Melbourne :). But the buildings, the streets, the trams all add to the ambiance. And side by side there's the new. All in all it's a fairly well planned city, square blocks and streets at right angles, with the Yarra river cutting through. What I could not explain was the feeling of familiarity that only comes with a lot more time spent at a place. Or maybe, somehow, there didn't seem to be anything particularly out of the ordinary.Except maybe the number of weddings we came across :). And their respective settings! One particularly excited group we found on the steps of the museum, another at the cathedral, with the bright red Caddies in attendance, and then, probably the most interesting one, the one with the GTs pictured above, and the giant silver Mack truck!! And of course the setting was a stone by lane half hidden between two old buildings nd it's walls completely covered with rather spectacular graffiti!Eventually we headed off towards the river. We were in the danger of being led to the giant Ferris wheel you can see in the distance beyond the bridge, but the idea was dropped when no direct route seemed to be available :P. We walked much farther along the bridge this time, and waited for dusk. And guess what we found! Yet another newly-wed couple :|. By now it was way past my usual bedtime, and I was beginning to feel the effects and we headed back to the hotel. But no sleep was forthcoming till I actually boarded the flight and then I think I was out even before the doors were closed :).

Currently: tired
Listening to: Chicane - Autumn tactics

More Melbourne pics here.

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Back in Bangkok. For a mere 5 hours this time /:). Not feeling too grumpy though, slept through most of the nine hour flight from Melbourne in what is a tremendous breakthrough! It gives me hope :D. My success in dealing with fairly regular super-long train journeys between home and college was completely due to my ability to sleep away most of the travel time, whereas hitherto I've been unable to replicate that ability on flights! All that seems set to change! And with the regular 10-13 hour flights looming large over the horizon, that's a very good thing :).
Anyway, so crew-change went through without a problem! Despite some sporadic squalls every now and then shrouding the ship in swirling mist. I'll put up more on the nice chopper-ride out and the subsequent afternoon spent gallivanting around Melbourne at some future time when my head isn't feeling quite as full of lead. Right, now back to bugging airport ground staff to give me my boarding pass for the flight home!

Currently: waiting, wishing...
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Breath

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Ah joy!

:| I've just been handed a scarily and confusingly long list of flights that is supposed to cover an astounding five and a half months starting now! As if things will remain as predicted for that long anyway /:). But in the mean time, I'm supposed to be boarding 16 flights between 8 different cities operated by 8 different airlines and remain airborne for a hopelessly depressing eighty-eight and a half hours :-<. And the really scary bit is that these are in fact probably some of the most straight forward flights you could possibly get.

To think that at some point of time not too long back I used to actually quite like flying :(. Oh and if you look closely even this isn't a complete list. Not unless they want me to swim from Kolkata to Perth sometime in September :|.

Current Mood: blah
Listening to: Radiohead - High and dry

Sunday, 3 June 2007

The upside of anger a myth. There is also no such thing as an over-reaction. It is merely the full uninhibited reaction, as against a damped, contained, muted, semi-strangled one. Frustration is the ever growing remainder of all this damping, muting and strangling, growing until one feels compelled almost, to do something genuinely stupid. If one capitulates, remorse/sorrow/guilt/[insert unpleasantness of your choice] almost immediately follows. If not, the frustration simmers on, slowly but surely coming to a point when it boils over as anger. And since there is no upside to this, there are merely further additions to the stock of frustration. Vicious cycle.

However, there are remedies. A personal favourite being chocolate chip cookies. :)

Currently: pained
Listening to: U2 - The sweetest thing