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07 July 2007 @ 08:12 am

Lady driver in Times Square
Originally uploaded by nandana.
Horses are a common sight in the city. As are cops on horses.
In the roads where the teams moved, where the wheels milled the ground and the hooves of the horses beat the ground, the dirt crust broke and the dust formed. Every moving thing lifted the dust into the air: a walking man lifted a thin layer as high as his waist, and a wagon lifted the dust as high as the fence tops, and an automobile boiled a cloud behind it. The dust was long in settling back again.


The dust from the roads fluffed up and spread out and fell on the weeds beside the fields, and fell into the fields a little way. Now the wind grew strong and hard and it worked at the rain crust in the corn fields. Little by little the sky was darkened by the mixing dust, and the wind felt over the earth, loosened the dust, and carried it away. The wind grew stronger. The rain crust broke and the dust lifted up out of the fields and drove gray plumes into the air like sluggish smoke.


When the night came again it was black night, for the stars could not pierce the dust to get down, and the window lights could not even spread beyond their own yards. Now the dust was evenly mixed with the air...Houses were shut tight, and cloths wedged around doors and windows...In the morning the dust hung like fog, and the sun was as red as ripe new blood.


In the morning the dust hung like fog, and the sun was as red as ripe new blood. All day the dust sifted down from the sky, and the next day it sifted down. An even blanket covered the earth. It settled on the corn, piled up on the tops of the fence posts, piled up on the wires; it settled on roofs, blanketed the weeds and trees.


-John Steinbeck, in The Grapes of Wrath

That was about Oklahoma. This pic is from Salinas Valley, of East of Eden and others.
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04 May 2007 @ 07:25 am
Remember those old movies where someone gets hit on their head and lose their memory? And then towards the end of the movie regain it by getting hit again, just in time to identify the villain? That happened to my camera today. Well i ruined my camera a few weeks back . And got it working again by dropping it. Apparently it is a common solution for digital devices - to drop them onto a hardwood floor from a height of half a foot!

I have vowed to take proper care of my camera. I have never missed anything material in a long long time, like i missed it when it wasn't working.
So here is to a long long life.. to an abused camera...Collapse )
10 February 2007 @ 01:09 pm

Konkan rail route is beautiful. More pictures here. All train-window quality.
28 November 2006 @ 08:24 pm
Eyebrows Are Raised Over Passages in a Best Seller by Ian McEwan

McEwan has been accused of copying phrases (for none other than "Atonement"), from “No Time for Romance,” the memoir of Lucilla Andrews who was a British novelist who wrote hospital romances.

"In the article Mr. McEwan continued: “I have openly acknowledged my debt to her in the author’s note at the end of ‘Atonement,’ and ever since on public platforms, where questions on research are almost as frequent as ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ ” "

Though the article has quoted only one example of a copied paragraph there could be several more. Going by just that paragraph it does not really seem like plagiarism to me.

I found the article interesting because it mentioned Lucilla Andrews. I have read a few of her books, as a teenager. They are like all romantic novels in that the hero and heroine hate each other for the first half of the book. I remember loving those books.


I have a copy of Atonement  in Cochin. Among several other books I left unread. Here, the luxury of free access to so many books and movies has dulled my senses and reduced my attention span to that of a three year old. I need to check my impulses and resolve not to stagnate my taste. I also feel that the more I speak the less I am able to write; not that writing has ever been a thing for me. But my written vocabulary used to be different and better than my spoken one. Now I just have a small potpourri of words from different languages from which I generate insipid verbal material. Wow, that sentence sounds so fake; now that a poor vocabulary is a part of my identity itself.
22 November 2006 @ 03:45 pm
I work for two departments on campus. Two different buildings. I take classes from two other departments. The coffee shop where I sometimes spend an entire day reading and writing is on the western most part of the campus. The Chinese food truck from where these days I eat my lunch is on the east. The Grad student center, with its free coffee and comfy couches, is at roughly the center of the campus.

So I walk. Here to there, at least every 2 hours. (That is how I lost 15 lbs in a few months). I appreciate the exercise surely, when the weather is good.

I find it quite a problem in winter. The way to dress for winter is by layering. Which basically means you wear clothes in layers, suitable for the weather and maybe your style. This makes transition from the cold outdoors to warm indoors easy - just peel off a layer. But I find the whole exercise cumbersome. Most of the times, the layer I want to take off will be immersed under the layers I want to keep. Then why don't I just wear the layers in my preferred order of taking off? Well, each building is set in a different temperature, and for any given day there is no optimal order of layering that will minimize the pain of adjustments.

And so I grumble.
12 November 2006 @ 10:07 pm

Watched this today. A witty, imaginative movie which mocks too many stereotypes for me to identify all.
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02 November 2006 @ 06:45 pm
The first procrastinator probably had a document to submit.

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29 September 2006 @ 05:00 pm
I'm graduating in December.

I have booked my tickets to India.

I'm fairly certain where I will be from Feb 07 onwards. In terms of geography of course.

Sounds like I'm all set for working full time again!

I think I will go back to school. May be after 5 years. May be 10. May be part time. May be academics. May be in a field to which I am completely new. It was not in my mind when I started with my masters last September. But now I feel the ripples of a tiny urge often. A second chance at my second chance.

It is about the freedom of college life. The life and passion in it. It's about the things that you have to do/know/have for yourself before you feel you deserve happiness. The kicks. The simple pleasure of getting a mathematical proof right. The possibilities inside the microcosm of a campus.

I hope I get to do this again.
Current Location: Van Pelt
Current Mood: hyperhyper
27 September 2006 @ 12:26 pm
I want hot soup and chocolate. I want to find the pair of sneakers I lost. I want this horrible throat ache to go away. I want coffee. I want to take an allergy test. I want to work non stop all day and curl and sleep in the night.