Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010


20 July 2010
01:13 am
The Attic

Nolan's Inception, has made two things clear to me. Number one, that your desires drive you to create your reality,  a reality which may exist in your own rambling head. And when I find out what your desire is, I will help you create your reality. Because I want you to act a certain way. Because I want something from you. Because what I want from you will help ME create a reality I wanted for myself.

Number two - that you are, no matter how much you resist, driven and defined by your relationships. Saito is scared to die alone. Fischer craves for his father's approval. Mal wants to reconcile with her lover. Cobb wants to go home. Where is home? Home is where his kids are waiting for him.

A combination of these creates a seductively elusive tool of persuasion. If I create a reality of relationships for you, you will get me what I want. And guess what, I didn't do it. YOU did!

Inception. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Go watch. Especially if you're into people. Or dreams.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


26 June 2010
4:13 pm
The Attic

When things have to go right, they go left. 
When things have to go left, they stay to the left.

I conducted my first interview yesterday, from an expert who has a good chance of being heavily quoted in my dissertation. Before I launch into what happened at the interview, a small story behind the 'masterpiece of a thesis' will be helpful. After all, this dissertation determines my worth to obtain the Masters' degree at the end of the course. Which is what I came to Cardiff for, among other things.

Well, for my dissertation, I'm trying to explore (and sound fancy) the role of social networking sites (Facebook mainly, third largest country dude!) in promoting higher education institutes to overseas students. I chose this topic for several reasons. Firstly, it is about social media, THE media platform of the present and the near future. Having it as a part of my dissertation will help me understand the medium better. Secondly, and more importantly, it's personal. When I received an offer from Cardiff University, I was excited. And insanely curious. I was sure I was going to accept the offer, but I still needed to know a few things, that could give me further impetus to be part of the Welsh Dragon Land. I wanted to know my classmates. I wanted to know my seniors. I wanted to know what the residences were like. I wanted to know what Cardiff was like,a little bit about its culture, its people, its language. I wanted to know about the nearest grocery store, the coolest hangout zones, the cheapest cinemas, the restaurants, the closest getaways etc. Heck, I even wanted to know if the water was hard or soft! By virtue of the distance, coming to check the university before the date of joining was next to impossible. That's where Facebook played its charm. The university group for international students on Facebook almost made the uni one Big Friendly Giant. He was sweet, he was responsive, he offered information proactively, he was informal and he was friendly. And I thought, heck this is one hell of good PR!

Thus, here I am. Trying to understand how these friendly virtual spaces, much like the Garden of Eden, convince Adam to eat the Apple, in a positive way. And there I was, inside the administration office of my department, plugging in the telephone recording kit. I was to interview a high flying American lady, who has had over 30 years of experience in promoting American universities and education councils to a diverse audience, internal as well as overseas. It was my first interview, and I was, undoubtedly, slightly nervous. I called, the lady answered. A breathless, chirpy drawl said 'Hiii Suphreeyaa.' It was a smooth sail from there. She was chatty. She had just returned from a trip to India. She showed great passion for her work. She had a lot to talk about. We were talking (I was 'aahing' and she was using real words), and just when she was at the best bit of the interview, giving me quotes I could use verbatim, the great Fall happened. The Fantastic to the Fiasco. I realised my recorder had run out of battery. It stopped working. If looks could kill, the dead piece of metal would have been mashed into pieces. I had to ask her to stop, change the batteries, and repeat her statements. She was kind enough to repeat, and agreed to send her answer in email as well. But the moment was gone. She couldn't repeat the flow she had created before.

Nevertheless, it was a decently rickety start. Hopefully, things will stick to the right in future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
                                                   Lord Byron
                                                 (Childe Harold)

Noticed in Sean Penn's masterpiece, Into The Wild. Beautiful film.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coffee Break

16 June 2010
8:46 pm
The attic

I couldn't resist. Life has been far too eventful to stop blogging.
First things first. I went for an exhibition today. Not surprisingly, it was on the ongoing FIFA mania. Surprisingly enough, it was a perspective on how South Africa's position as a World Cup host nation is having a feel-good impact on the rest of the continent. It was a photo-radio exhibition of sorts. A photo journalist had put up pictures of football fans wearing their favourite Premiership t-shirts. These fans were little and big boys and girls, walking about the streets, in their favourite footballer tees, kicking the ball, looking happy. The radio in a corner narrated a documentary, with interviews of the people, recording the general excitement amongst the crowd surrounding the WorldCup. 

Steve the radio journalist and Glenn the photo journalist had traveled to over 20 countries in Africa to get their stories. And they discovered that the people constantly talked about how great the WorldCup was for AFRICA, the continent. Not a country in particular, but the whole unit of the land of many wild and beautiful things. I don't think we could ever see that happen for Europe, or Asia for that matter. Continent-pride overrules National pride in the Pridelands. Nice.

Changing the subject dramatically, I now have a brand new lair - The Attic. Well, its a room in a Student House on the top floor, but its massive compared to the matchbox I used to live in and the ceiling is graduated, quite like an attic. Hence the name, the Attic. The best bit about the room, I have ample floor space. I can lie down on the floor, relax watch films and work and write, still lying on the floor. Utter bliss:)

The worst bit, the kitchen is half the size of the matchbox I used to live in. But the housemate in the oppposite room is a sweet girl from Dehradun, the boarding-school capital of India. I like her already. Her niceness and the room's luxurious sense of space cancel out the tiny kitchen and the dingy bathroom.

Again, changing the subject, I received my first ever rejection call from one of the top PR firms in the world. I got shortlisted for the interview round, and could not clear the finish line there. Had I made it, I would have clinched a year-long internship program with a dream firm in a dream destination. Bang on in Central London, a majestic glass building, a massive floor all done up in black and white with spurts of colour jumping at you out of nowhere. The perfect balance of sophistication and funk saying : We are serious about our work, but work is fun, and we take fun very, very seriously:) But I remain upbeat. I will get there, some day, soon enough.

Till then, we keep at it.

Adios, for now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


It's dissertation time.

I have a lot of stories to tell. But it's dissertation time.

I will be back though, in due time.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poetry on the Big Screen

Saw Kites, finally. The much-awaited, overtly hyped Hrithik-Mori Spanglishindi potboiler romance was hailed and trashed in equal measure by a variety of media all over the globe. The 'Western' sensibility gave it a thumbs-up and the 'Desi' sensibility, a thumbs-down.

There is nothing much to say in the story - poor boy-poor girl want to be rich, about to marry rich and scary goons of LA, fall in love with each other instead, elope, chase-action sequences, sacrifices, sad ending.

It is the execution of the film, in my opinion, that deserves accolades. Non-linear in style, its' story keeps moving back and forth. The colours used in the film are vividly descriptive of the mood of the sequence. Blood reds and squeamish greens and downright breathtaking sandy cliffs overlooking the brilliantly blue sea - its a visual delight. The background score. (minus the songs) has an operatic feel to it. The film is silent in many parts. The bad emoting is neatly covered with the emphatic music and cinematography.It moves in a slow motion, the film, and I felt I was watching poetry unfold.

The only other film, with this kind of a larger-than-life, aesthetic, poetic appeal that comes to mind is A Single Man by Tom Ford.

I watched this one all by myself. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it more. Had I gone with a group, I would have ended up making fun of the poor acting and dialogues. Sounds superficial, but that's what's watching a film in a theatre is all about-the experience. A good experience is a mix of the quality of the film and the company (or the lack of it) you go with.

The verdict? I'd suggest you to watch it, for the sheer beauty of all the things I mentioned above.

And yes, watch it if only, you are the patient kind. The film has to grow on you, slowly. Else, stick to LSD.