Saturday, 29 September 2007


I'm not well. Without going into details, let's say that this is absolutely the worst I've felt since the dental drama at the beginning of the year :(. Groaning is beginning to feel like a full time job :|. And the worst part (okay, maybe not the worst, but definitely up there with the retching and stuff) is the fact that I'm missing a whole weekend of boat trips! The weather's pretty decent for a change, and you can bet it'll be back to demonic in no time. At least definitely by the time I'm okay :|. This sucks.

But I suppose it could be worse. We could be out on the back-deck /:).
Serenity is a matter of perspective, I know. But there are certain circumstances one would expect to be of a somewhat universal appeal. A personal favourite is the foremost bit of the helideck of the Trident. Heading east, just before sunrise. It's not always that you can be there, highly subject to weather conditions in fact. But when you can, there's barely a foot of metal underneath you. Then it's a whole lot of thin air down to the water :). And there's no permanent rail, just a couple of chains strung up :D. Lends a suitably precarious character to the spot I think.

Feeling: like shit :-<
Listening to: Matchbox 20 - Unwell

Thursday, 27 September 2007


Not mine. Mine are perfectly fine, thank you very much. But there's a shark out there somewhere that isn't doing quite so well I think. I have two of its teeth. Well, the tips anyway :D. Judging by the size of the bite, it wasn't too small a specimen I think.These two were bits left in one of our streamer devices, completely buried! I wonder what it thought when it went for the bird. Ah, that looks like a nice big fish! Bright red and yellow! The thwack from the wing the next second, which is what might have caused the broken teeth, probably changed its mind :). Of course, what with shark teeth being dished out by the bucket loads on 'conveyor belts', it might not really notice the difference :D.

Currently: amused
Listening to: Radiohead - Kid A

Monday, 24 September 2007

Back already!

Yeah, shortest break I've had yet :-<. Barely felt like I was off the boat at all!! A fact that I was repeatedly and forcefully reminded of by both crews over crew change /:). But what was worse, it felt like I had barely been off the backdeck :((. Thankfully that was just one day, and now we're settling down for a hopefully uneventful trip (fingers tightly crossed :|).

Was quite an eventful weekend all in all. Firstly, night before I left home I was informed that yet another course of mine in Norway has now been cancelled. Yeah, and yet another one I had in the upcoming break has been provisionally moved. If that too gets cancelled, my super efficient packing will be rendered completely pointless, among other things. But I've decided to let go of such little things as disastrous side effects on my plans on break and meeting friends and the minor degree of control I had over my life, and just go with the flow.

There were no surprises on the flights, no delays. Watched the new Fantastic 4 movie, and found it quite entertaining. And watched Ocean's 13 (or parts thereof) on all three flights :P. The only book I have with me this time is my newly acquired personal copy of The Silmarillion, so I'm not going through it too quickly, gotto make it last more than a month at least :D.
In the meantime, I did spectacularly well in Fantasy Football! 65 points this week!! More than double what I got last week :D. Had been somewhat forced into buying Le Arse's Cesc Fabregas, and he promptly handed me 32 points :|. But more importantly, ending a long long wait, Tevez finally scored!!! So I'm now back into single digits, and although a certain disqualification related incident had something to do with that, I'm quite happy with the end result :D. Unfortunately, I'm now almost 50 points behind the league leader :-<.

It does get easier with time, the whole settling into the void thing.

Feeling: resigned
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Better together

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

In the blink of an eye

The cynical would call it self-delusion. I know it isn't just me. I've seen it on other faces :). Investing much emotion into an occasion of little consequence. Happiness of a nature so fleeting that one might wonder what is the point anyway. The one in question probably would never have had the grand fortune of feeling so completely swept off his/her feet that there didn't have to be a point...

A few little things that had me in heaven these last few days:
  • the look on the kid's face (the one that was flying that kite) when it actually took off :)
  • the newly opened express way that has finally dropped driving time from home to the Hoogly river to under 10 minutes (from anywhere between 45 minutes to 4.5 hours :|) independent of your personal standing with lady luck or her mood on the day \:D/
  • a song I hadn't heard in about eight years, when it suddenly popped up on the car FM
  • a couple of days in January '08
  • the coooooooolest funda ever!!!!
  • the fact that I actually managed to pack two sets of footwear and my snow jacket for an upcoming trip to Norway via the ship, and of course the stuff I'll have to live on for the next 8 weeks, within the 10 kilo luggage limit :D
  • watching Yuvraj Singh unleash an onslaught of unprecedented proportions on the hapless English bowler who got thrashed for 6 sixes in one over about half an hour back >:)
Would have been so much nicer if I hadn't found out that when we get back to the boat in a couple of days (I leave tomorrow morning), it's straight to the backdeck :-<.

Currently: tired
Listening to: Travis - Flowers in the window

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Gameweek 6

The disastrous week is swiftly turning into a string of disastrous weeks :(. C. Ronaldo came back out of suspension and did absolutely fuck-all, except for earning himself a yellow card that is X-(. As a result I've dropped him from my team, way too late I suppose :(. The only silver lining is that he'd gone back up in price to 12 mill, so at least I didn't lose money, well, not directly. None of my buys in the entire season have done me any good yet. Except Tevez. And him only in the form of a couple of bonus points this week. :-< I was kinda getting used to the single digit ranks :(.

Currently: fifteenth!! :((
Listening to: Norah Jones - Don't know why

Friday, 14 September 2007

Agony and ecstasy

Why does there have to be a story?! Why cant things just go like they're supposed to? Anyway, so my old passport had almost run out of its meagre 30 or so pages. And with impending Kiwi and Norwegian visa applications, I had to get an additional booklet soon. That's when I discovered that the GOI, and every Indian High Commission on the planet had discontinued that very service! The alternative? Apply for a fresh passport!! But I had a good six years of validity left on mine!!! Like anyone cared :|.

So a new passport... Trouble is, my old passport had been issued from Mumbai while I was in college. In keeping with the local tradition I had naively used my then current address. But "Room No. 206, Hostel 6" is (thankfully but also regrettably) no longer applicable. This however, would not be too big a deal, many told me. All I needed was a proof of my current residence. Umm, what proof? My driving licence was issued when I still lived in Asansol. I don't have a bank account in India. I don't pay electricity bills, phone bills (my cell's prepaid), and I don't vote. But I do have a Kolkata Ration Card!!! That's when I find out that the Regional Passport Office in Kolkata is most likely the only one in the country that does not recognise a Ration Card as valid proof of address. Apparently it's too easy to acquire one in this state. Bummer eh?

So I figured, hell with it, I'll continue living in Room 206, Hostel 6 for a few more years, just gimme a new passport! Nope, unless I changed my address to somewhere in this state, RPO Kolkata wouldn't be able to issue me anything at all. It was a fresh passport, with a change of address (and of course clearance required from the RPO Mumbai) or nothing :((. That's when I realised that a printout of my offshore bank account would work!! But a ration card wont :|. So armed with said printout, I applied for the Tatkal issue of a fresh passport, and without any further drama, was promised a brand new passport the next afternoon.

Cut to me wading through ankle deep waters to get to DumDum Metro the next day courtesy the afternoon's downpour :(. I managed to get to the RPO at the designated time, waited patiently for a good hour. (After having been shooed off a couple of times by the irate chap at the counter :|.) And then the counter was shut, and the lights promptly switched off on the other side of the glass windows!!! I still didn't have my passport!!!! And no amount of pleading, cursing, indignation got me any further.

Somehow I managed to track down one of the officials who'd assisted me in my mad run about the place the previous day. First stroke of luck, he was outraged! An applicant returning empty handed from a promised Tatkal date?!! Unthinkable! Just then the chap from the counter (yes, the irate one) was passing by, bag in hand, on his way home. My saviour pounced on him like an angry Bengal tiger! (Okay, I was like ready to worship this guy for the rest of my life at the time.) But anyway, this resulted in me trailing irate-chap-from-counter back to his desk, and him fishing out a huge pile of files from a cavernous cupboard and dumping it in front of me. As he stood tapping his foot, it took me a second to realise that I was supposed to find my file from this mess!

It was only once I was back home comparing my new passport to my old one that I realised I had been renamed. I was now Ray K. {no surname}. X-(( And these are Bengalis!! People who should know that Ray is not a popular first name, but an extremely common last name!!! I was beyond furious. But at least one thing had been achieved, the only place on the entire book where Mumbai showed up was under 'previous passport issued from:' :-<.

Back to the RPO today and to an apathetic and bored looking man behind a desk. My newly acquired passport disappeared for about an hour, and when I got it back there was an explosion of smudgy blue stamps all over the first few pages. Somewhere in there I could barely recognise my name. This time, the first name had been misspelt.

I am really not sure how I managed to not do something stupid. Like punch the guy in the face. I'm quite proud of myself actually. What I did manage to do was sit very still for another hour. Eventually it was back, my new passport whose pages were already filling up even before I got it! This time, it was all good. Spellings, order of names, address, parents' names :).

I suppose I should be thankful everything did work out in just three days... Now I'm hoping this one survives longer than 27 months of active duty.

immensely relieved
Listening to: Dido - See you when you're 40

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Life of Pi

Extraordinary, undoubtedly. But it's not just that. There's a quality to the narrative that grips you in a manner beyond mere suspense. In fact Martel appears intent to allay suspense with his previews into the future every now and then, at most significant turns. Just before you go round the corner that is.

But I am thankful for the last line to Part One.
This story has a happy ending.
And I'm still not sure if there was indeed a tiger in the boat :S. But yes, I do like the story with the animals better. The other makes the horror unbearable...

Currently: dazed
Listening to: Dido - Stoned

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Drops from afar

Why did I not notice that I'd been sitting in the room with possibly the best view on the whole floor in the office this time till the very last day? But anyway, I did notice, and started feeling all sad that I'd never get it back. (It happens to be my boss's room, but he wasn't around... so.)

It was one of those mad weather days. Bright hot sunshine one minute, the entire sky completely overcast with dark clouds the next, and of course sheets of rain pelting down on the roads, sidewalks, rooftops, cars... you get the idea. Quite lovely actually. Got caught in the rain on the way back, obviously, but managed to be exactly in the right place and the right time to catch a little fading rainbow that must have lasted less than a minute in all :D.Okay, hey, it looked prettier at the time :P.

Then it was the usual, packing up, leaving. The rain was pretty much torrential when I boarded the flight from Perth, but it stopped while we took off :-<. It does look pretty cool with all the water streaming across the windows more or less horizontally. But we got a nice look at Perth instead. The guy next to me sitting by the window went totally nuts with his cam. I looked on smugly, I already have those angles, yeah, even from the sky :|.

Watched a couple of movies on that one, In the Land of Women, and Spiderman 3. The first one, I was quite delighted with, haven't seen Meg Ryan in a new (well, anything this century) movie for a long time. It was all happily vague and all. The next one? Oh dear. I'm not a big fan of Tobey McG. Scratch that, I'm not any kind of a fan of the guy. And even my meagre expectations were thoroughly butchered! I mean come on! Watched Pirates 3 on the next flight, just to get the yucky feeling out of my system :|.

Everything was going pretty much according to plan till I boarded the second flight, in Singapore. We were informed that there would be a slight delay due to a 'minor technical glitch'. Which then transformed by stages into a 'more significant technical issue', 'a major technical problem' and finally a 'problem with one of the engines'!!! I'm just glad they figured it out before the thing took off /:).

So we were herded off the plane and asked to head for another aircraft, one that was parked as far as physically possible from this one, I swear! And when we made it, a nice little food distribution set up greeted us, paper plates, paper cups, plastic forks, and a choice of noodles or rice. Kept reminding me of a refugee camp for some reason. In the middle of Changi airport.

But that's where the surprises stopped, thankfully. Stuck with insufficient change at 2 in the morning, I managed to satisfy the cab driver in Kolkata with a combination of Indian Rupees, Singapore Dollars and a few shiny Aussie coins. The last were more like a gift for his kid or something, 'cos he kept complaining he wouldn't be able to convert coins. But he took them anyway...

Currently: deadbeat
Listening to: Moby - Sunday

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Other

It's rather scary actually. How it can sneak into your heart without leaving you any hint. And from there it acts with no purpose save one. To eventually drive you to remorse. If you are of such a disposition as to feel remorse, that is. And I suppose if you do recognise the early symptoms, if you are so vigilant, you might still wonder endlessly when and how exactly it began.

Oh, and I am so not speaking of love.

Feeling: jaded
Listening to: Craig Armstrong - Leaving Paris

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Extreme Ways

The Bourne Ultimatum: ... you know what, I'm not even going to use awesome, or brilliant.... or anything else. Except GOD. And no, that's not Norwegian!

And when it's all over and the credits roll by, there's the genius of Moby :D.

Ah, just one other thing, can there ever be movies so much better than the books? Ever?

Currently: :D
Listening to: Moby - Extreme ways

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Gameweek 5

Disaster!!! That's what it was! :(( With just 41 points, I actually did worse than the overall average! And now I've dropped way back down in the league :-<. And that's not all, my star midfielder Lampard is injured. The real irony is that under normal circumstances I'd be happy to see Lampard injured, and Chelsea at the bottom of the league table /:). Then there's my star defender, Dunne, who's gone and gotten himself a red card, so he's not playing next week. Thankfully, C Ronaldo's back out of suspension. I just hope he finally does something to justify the 12 million price tag X-(.

Currently: eleventh :(
Listening to: Air - Night sight

Sunday, 2 September 2007


Can't remember the last time I finished a book in one afternoon... When I'd started reading, there was light streaming through the curtains from the little yard. As it got darker and darker, I wasn't sure if it was just the sun. When I was finally done reading The Catcher in the Rye, I think I sat with my face in a pillow for a while :). You see, close to the end, I was suddenly sure there would be a road accident on the way to the zoo! For a second there I was genuinely terrified!!

But there were so many bits when I really laughed out loud...

Figured I'd go out for dinner last night, but turned out the restaurant I'd headed for was closed :(. That's the third food joint in three days that seems to have shut down since I was last here!!! And all my favourite ones too :(. Maybe it's a sign :-<. Did manage to catch Die Hard 4.0 on big screen afterwards! And I have to say it was quite entertaining :).

What was not so much fun was the continuous feature that Channel 9 kept running on the 10-yr death anniversary of Princess Diana all day. I remember the day ten years ago, rather well. Also remember when we heard later in the same day of Mother Teresa's death. I am ashamed to admit that one of the first thoughts that had occurred to me was 'oh but she was so old anyway' :-<. Oh well. Ten years... the proverbial, clichéd, blink of an eye. It wasn't really, but time seems to have a way of mysteriously telescoping in.

I wish it weren't quite so chilly still. As they said on TV, it's officially spring already!

Feeling: older :)
Listening to: Norah Jones - Sunrise