Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I had a dream, I stood beneath an orange sky...

There is such a thing as the Famous Last Words Phenomenon. Therefore, I am not about to mention that the first almost-two-weeks of this trip have gone by quietly and peacefully.
I imagine my mentioning that there have been sunrises is hardly likely to adversely affect future occurrences. :) I mean, I don't want to be held responsible for single-handedly causing the cessation of sunrises or anything. But even I'm not that paranoid :D.I like this place. I like the cold water. I like the sunrises. But mostly, I like the promise of a strictly-to-be-adhered-to crew change schedule! But of course, these are early days. We shall see how things turn out as the months go by. In the mean time, I'm hatching plans again. :)
Currently: nursing basky bruises :P
Listening to: Alexi Murdoch - Orange sky

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Back to bedlam

Like I said, things pretty much worked out about as perfectly as they could with the visa. More or less. And after exactly three months, I was back on the Trident. I wish I felt less instantly at home :). Dunno why.I imagine it might have something to with the completely mistaken notion of distance the long vacation had created. I suppose it could be worse :).Crew change went quite peacefully, except for the several delayed flights. I was somewhat disappointed with (500) Days of Summer. Which would be a first for a Zooey Deschanel movie! Just goes to show that you can't take the soundtrack to be entirely representative of a movie :).
Of the 5 other new movies I managed to watch on the flights, only My Sister's Keeper and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs would be worth a mention. The former being thought provoking and the latter being refreshing.
It's a cold winter here as with so many other places this time. And winter in these parts, it would seem, brings with it squalls and cold fronts and the like. So it's been a somewhat interesting couple of days, with several people looking slightly unsure of their ability to keep that last meal down, and stretches of somewhat frantic battles against the forces of nature.Now if only the other 33 days would get over as peacefully :).

Currently: back...
Listening to: Moriarty - Private Lily

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The end of a vacation.

So here's the thing, ever since I got back home, my life's been something of a mess. Created mainly by things I had not much control over. So while I was waiting for the fates and destinies that watch over us (okay, that means my visa co-ordinator, members of a certain law firm and of the US Consulate here in Kolkata) to do something to sort out said mess, I went into overdrive watching movies on the laptop and reading books.
There really wasn't that much else to do. TV's a bore. Couldn't leave the house in case that elusive email arrived the moment I set a foot outside. Couldn't be bothered with gaming (and honestly, after finishing it 5 times, even NFS MW can seem like a bit of a drag...).
The movies for the most part were the regular drivel I'd picked up in Bombay this time. Fracture, Chaos Theory, Lucky You... you get the idea. Stuff that requires not much mental effort. Okay, I quite liked K-PAX! Having been bewitched by the awesome soundtrack for a while now, I was happy to see the rest of the movie to go with it. Been a while since I'd seen Kevin Spacey being his usual stunning self. Oh and Ghost Town was quite funny! I don't think I've actually seen Ricky Gervais in a leading role before. (Had to look up the name :P.)
As for the books, didn't take me long to get through my borrowed copy of Northern Lights. Yeah, after three months of visiting the bookstore-under-the-escalator, I'd given up on actually getting a copy for myself. But then I didn't have the other two, so after a long time, had to resort to an e-book :(. That's where the trouble began.
I had started on David Brin's Startide Rising while in Bombay, but couldn't finish it, and my host, gracious as he was, wouldn't part with that particular book. I don't blame him really, I mean at every other December, maybe, I'm not one for regular visits, and hence the possibility of return would be somewhat indefinite. But it takes more patience to read a book on a computer screen, and affords much less satisfaction, I find. So I ended up splitting my time between the Pullman sequel and the Brin.Sadly though, two e-books still couldn't keep me from feeling the need for something proper, and I picked up the Asimov that's been sitting with me, unread for over 3 months now. Whoever said Pebble in the Sky wasn't worth reading is nuts! The book is totally awesome!! Okay, so it's not among the best or anything, but if this one's anything to go by, I'm definitely putting more effort to get the other two Empire novels before long!And therein lies the trouble. I'm done with the paperback, and I'm still somewhere in the first quarters of the other two. I just know I'll have to pick up another hard copy. There's a reason I don't read books simultaneously. I tend to get confused :|. Crap.
And why am I positively overflowing with such completely pointless ramblings? I guess I'm a little nervous about the interview tomorrow morning :(. It's been a miracle of sorts really, actually getting that expedited visa interview. But with about 30 hours between that and my flight out, I'm kinda cutting it mighty fine here. And that is of course, if I can convince the levitating head behind the plate glass that there's absolutely no reason to deny me a visa. Again. :-< Currently: tired of visas :(
Listening to: Edward Shearmour - Grand Central (K-PAX soundtrack)

Update - 1630, 12/1/10: It's all good! Well, I'm all set to leave anyway. Not necessarily the best thing, but hey, it could be worse :). Just got the passport back, with the visa. Flight's in a few hours. See you on the other side!

Monday, 4 January 2010


Wow! I got the feeling it was hardly any time at all, but the calendar insists it was over two weeks, my latest trip back to Bombay :D. Timed it pretty well, met a whole bunch of people! Some I'd hardly met before, and some I hadn't in ages :). And yes, despite working for the same company for the last 3 and a half years, this was the first time Bolli and I managed to meet up in, like, forever :D.It was nice to get a little quiet time on campus before the MoodI madness set in :D. This time around I got the hang of it, get to campus and try and avoid the biggest crowds, stay on the fringes, the fringes are good :D. One of the cool bits was eavesdropping on the Porcupine Tree concert the first night, of course!! Was a bit sad that I didn't catch them playing Even Less but then there was Hatesong, Blackest Eyes, Lazarus, the rather tired version of Trains and Russia on Ice (albeit truncated) to make up for it. There was also a lot of stuff from the latest album.
The coolest thing though, IMO, was the Moriarty gig! It was at a much smaller venue, but the thing was totally electric!!! (I refer to the atmo here, though several of the instruments were too, of course.) I am now definitely a fan :). It was also hilarious to see how foreign band type people keep calling the festival Indigo Mood :P. I wonder why that is.
Among the highlights of my stay would be the many, many trips down to Powai lake, mostly around sunset. And the one trip that did materialise to the top of SAMEER hill and consequently the view of the sun setting across the campus as the thumping festival music made its way up to us.Then there were the night-outs (nights-out? nightouts?)! I was genuinely surprised to see I can still pull these off, especially with absolutely no good reason :D. Then again, turning bits of your life upside down, inside out, and shaking them a little to see what falls out, how could anyone consider that no good reason, eh?! :) Or bulldozing through Ender's Game for that matter! That is one really awesome read!
And there was that very very long awaited trek!! Okay, so not all the protagonists were present, and a last minute change in destination meant that the long awaited trek is still awaited... But there was a trek, to Naneghat, a place I'd been to, years back! It was a little touch and go, what with getting lost in broad daylight and what not, but we did make it to the top and back without too much trouble. :)I suppose Avatar must get a mention here, what with the two times we managed to go see it and the bunch of other failed attempts afterwards :P. I really like that movie! Nice mushy plot and loads of action with just about the most awesome visualisation ever :). This is what movies should be like, full on entertainment :D.In between I was kept fully updated on the goings on in the cricket world, and managed to prove with reasonable accuracy that one of the requirements for India to win a match is that I do not watch :|. I was so busy with all the rest of it, however, that I totally missed out on the news of Brittany Murphy's sad and untimely demise :(. I quite liked her!
I guess I could go on and on about the trip, but that wasn't really what this was all about though. It wasn't about going around doing things, to be more specific. It was about being lazy and letting things just, you know, happen :). With that in mind, I must say it turned out to be rather hectic :D.I should do this more often! (I know, I keep saying this, and it never happens.) Even at every other year end, it makes for a pretty awesome punctuation mark :). Sort of a little time out. From the order of things. Work, home, even vacations. And a bit of a look at how things stand. With a little help from a few other eyes.
But I'm beginning to wonder, how much longer can I hold on to this one anchor? That's the shitty thing with getting older isn't it? Things changing. Then again, you wouldn't really want it the other way either, right?
Currently: freezing in Cal, go figure!
Listening to: Farhan Akhtar - Pichhle saat dinon mein