Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Hay Festival

Have you ever heard of stars descending from the heavens into earth. This is exactly what happened in Thiruvananthapuram when Hay Festival happened.
The international festival was announced only 2-3 days prior to the event. So we were caught up by surprise.It was a pretty busy week for me with an impending exam. But I was so enamored by the glitteratti that I packed my camera and went for the event hoping to infiltrate without a pass.
The festival was organised by the super-MP, Shashi Tharoor. Although I am very much against him and his principles, this time I would(grudgingly). give him the credit for doing a good job The event was sponsored by The Week(the best porn magazine you can lay your hands on)
The celebrity list was awesome with William Dalrymple, Vikram Seth, Bob Geldof, Simon Schama, Jaishree MIshra etc .

I guess the TVM-ites were vary of what's happening. So there was no huge rush or stampede and the people who eventually assembled got a chance to walk through in peace without any major mishap.

So I got a chance to see William Dalrymple. He turned out into one of my favorite writers list after I read 'The Last Mughal'.I was astounded and at the same time ashamed(of myself) on his knowledge of India and its nuances.
I grabbed a book to get his autograph. Although it cost me a cool 400 bucks, it will beone of my invaluable earthly possession.
Then there was Bob Geldoff in talk with Tharoor. He gave the audience a brief view on the Africa, its challenges and his efforts through BandAid.He frequent use of 'F' word amused the normally conservative TVM-ites.

I also got a chance to attend the animated discussions of Simon Schama.

The audience was very elegant, attentive and since our people are invariably left minded most of the questions were of Anti-imperialistic in nature.The organisers did a brisk business in the book stalls, as people were too happy to grab a book to get the autographs.

Bob Geldff concluded the 3-day fest with his concert. There was music, smoke and merry all around.
I got a chance too see Sting from close quarters. It would be unimaginable for a guy far away from the western civilization to catch a glimpse of multiple Grammy award winner.
It was very difficult to photograph, since I was catching hold of the camera after a long tome. But here are a few tolerable pics.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Writing

The one thing I like about Chetan Bhagath is despite being a best seller he hasn’t sold himself over to the international publishers. This spares the common man ignominy of running over to the pirate publishers.

Thanks to the international publishers, book writing became a well paid, respected if not elite profession. Our writers were spared from writing out of abject poverty. Every second day you see an IIT/IIM getting enlightened and giving up their career for writing.

But this art has become so myopic & over-marketed. We have clearly lost legends in this profession. If your books are able to make into headlines, then you are a great writer. To make matters worse we have got nothing other than temperamental relationships as subjects in our books.

There has been a shift of writers from the rural background to the cities. So the literary works is done keeping the metro-sexuals in mind. The cover binding would be good. The price sticker would be a horror. But the internal content would be rotten.

Have you heard of ‘Shobha De’? She is termed as one of the biggest writers ever. I have gone through a couple of book of hers. The quality could beat a sleaze story. Only added attraction is irrespective of sex ,age everyone will have sex with everyone else in her novels.

In medieval era only the elite could own books as it was costly. Judging from the price stickers of the new releases I believe, history is going to repeat itself. I happened to go for a book exhibition and got myself shocked on the prices. I happen to spot a ‘Penthouse’ section and ran towards it. The bastards wouldn’t even allow us to have cheap pleasure. I could get it at 1/4th price from a pirate.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obama Da Gama

My eyes popped out when I read the headlines- Obama announces 44000 crore rupee deal. Finally the Santa Claus had arrived. I eagerly browsed through The BusinessLine. My surprise turned to amusement. It seems we are going to buy stuffs worth the above mentioned amount from US companies. I remembered a sailor who landed in India long ago Vasco Da Gama. This time it’s a different person with different colour. Just like the old times it’s the doyens of Indian industry, in the place of local rulers, who eagerly welcome the rich foreigner.

I can’t blame him though. He came into power proclaiming lots of change and I guess it’s his senate that has changed in the mid-term election. And Obama is desperate to get a claim of something of his own for the re-election. But he doesn’t have to worry even if he lose his re-election. He has already sold many books and t-shirts.

Till the moment I write this post, India hasn’t got anything significant out of his visit. But the channels are eagerly lapping up every move, words and dance steps of the King of the World. His best friend Manmohanji & Co. is eagerly waiting for him in Delhi.

One thing I like about him is he hasn’t given us any false hopes. The people who did so were the fat beauracrats of Delhi. Even after all these years I wonder when will India get an independent foreign policy. I respect the leaders of smaller countries who live with a solid spine.

I just happened to watch bits and parts of his show down at St.Xaviers. The future entrepreneurs of India were given an opportunity to question him. The young guns came up with questions like his take on spirituality. God, you have a multitude of questions to ask the president of US and this is what you manage to come up with? If this is what we get out of the Youngistan, there is seriously a problem somewhere.

Monday, November 1, 2010


After the gym I cycled my way to the election booth. The excitement witnessed in the last elections were missing.

The last elections were over marketed with the help of a few film and sports personalities. They cajoled and coaxed the youth to take part in the election process. Voting was the hip phenomenon of the season. The young guns came into power. But we soon found out it was still the old wine in the new bottle. People became all the more disillusioned.

As this was the local elections the candidates had the freedom to concentrate on smaller areas. They were lined up on the way to the booth. Today they were destined to stand under the baking sun with a smile plastered to their faces.(They were bound to be silent as canvassing was strictly prohibited for the day)
Despite all these years of enlightment, ‘Caste’ is something that determined the candidate. Normally in our area it’s the war between ‘Nairs’. The caste name would be written and highlighted in bold across the walls and posters. In local elections the population is little more diversified and hence caste can’t assure victory.

I have been an eternal believer of the Indian mode of governance. But judging from what we have been seeing around for some time our system sides with the majority. And these majority are so corrupted that their opinions can be brought even without their knowledge. This system that sucks the life blood out of few cannot last long and we are doomed to anarchy.
The reason why I cast my vote is, to slow down our destruction. As I look around I don’t see many people I saw the last time. Today just the 10% of votes are going to be enough for victory. I heave a sigh as I press the red button.

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.