Friday, December 23, 2011

My day with Kawai... Totoro... and life

How often is it that we realize that what really matters in life isn't something that can be bought with money. And yet... it can be? Confused? Well, I'm talking of those instances when we lost ourselves as children in the frolics of Tom and Jerry, cheered Popeye when he gave Bluto a beating and laughed merrily when Charlie Chaplin tripped the bad guy non-chalantly! Those moments are stuff that cannot be bought no matter how much money you brandish. But one can get close! And if you're like me, you can get asymptotically close! You can get the DVDs or the Blue Rays of these cartoon series and atleast for a while, lose all inhibitions and become the child you once were.

I had the wonderful opportunity of doing just that a few days ago. I'd gone over to my cousin's place and she has the cutest and the naughtiest boy on the face of the planet! And he has one weakness - a weakness he shares with me! He loves watching "Tonari no Totoro". If this name means nothing to you and you were born in the eighties or later, I pity you... Your childhood has been depraved! But if you know what I'm alluding to, good for you!

I watched the DVD version of the movie and for the amount of time that it ran, everything was perfect with the world. I envy Satsuki and Mei from the movie! Their innocence is something that children these days seem to lose so fast! And Totoro... my darling Totoro! How I'd love to cuddle up to that huge mountain spirit and sleep like a baby!

And then there's the Catbus! That's hands down the best way to travel wherever one wants to go! And to think that Appa from Avatar was inspired by the Catbus! Excuse me while I have a moment of pride here! :P Seriously though, if we really did have something like the Catbus, wouldn't it be the AWESOMEST thing EVER?!!!!! Why can't it exist, god?! WHYYYYYYYYYY????!!!!!!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's Catbus!!!!

As expected from Hayao Miyazaki, Tonari no Totoro is such an enjoyable watch! The lessons one takes home from the movie are simple but to the heart. And in an age where fairy tales are misconstrued left right and center, one needs to go back to movies like these to remember what fairy tales were really like! This movie literally put Miyazaki into the spot light and he in turn shared that attention with the Japanese animation industry. And the rest... as they say... is history!

And speaking of Anime, I have another source of inspiration to share with you, my darling readers! If you've heard of Kenji Kawai and the kind of music he makes for Japanese animation series and films and numerous other movies and video games, you'll know what's coming up next! If not, don't worry... you don't know what's coming up next but you'll enjoy it none the less!

Kenji Kawai is the maestro who composed music for the Ghost in the Shell series and he infused traditional Japanese Shinto music to Western musical arrangements and the result is spellbinding! I find that the more I listen to his music, the more I am at peace with the world and the more I mourn for those around me... the more selfless I become!

Do give it a listen and you'll know what I mean!

Life's more or less like a see-saw right about now. But hope, I have! Bucketful of Hope! Do you want some? :D

Monday, December 5, 2011

JLPT N4 is finally over!

Yes.... I've done my JLPT N4 exams to the very best of my abilities and as though the gods were happy with my earnestness, I was the first number in the hall, I got to sit close to the tape recorder and there were no graph related questions in the listening section! But still... I'm feeling really tired!

All in all, it was a moderately easy exam. I keep hearing my friends go on that they found it difficult and this is beginning to scare me! Have I really done well or am I missing something here?! And furthermore... are they being honest when they say they found it hard? I know quite a lot of people who just downplay their well written exams because they fear the "evil eye"! That's ridiculously stupid!

Ah... to wait till March... it's agony! (T-T)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You'll always be my family!

My best friend of twelve years got married today. And as can be expected, it was a glorious day! And this post, I dedicate to her,
My dearest friend,
We've been through so much and we've stood strong in the end. We've been silent and we've seen friendships fall to dust. And we've still smiled at each other with a knowing look that not all the gold in the world could compensate for. I know I haven't always called you... I haven't always texted you... we've never had sleepovers and we surely never baked cookies together. But I also know that even when we haven't been in touch for months together, the very sight or the very sigh in our voices manage to convey all that we want to and not all the texts and phone calls and sleepovers can ever manage to recreate the same magic that innate understanding invokes in us.
You have been a pillar of support in every trouble I've faced. I don't know if I've ever been that perfect friend that quotes are written about. I can only hope that I've been at least half the person that you truly deserve for a friend!
And my dear, I know it is unfair of me to cling on to you when you take flight with the one who'll be the closest to you henceforth. I cannot be jealous! He has truly done good deeds to deserve a wife as beautiful as you. And I also know that it is only natural that the birds take flight to distant corners so that the nest is left behind as a reminder of the good times that were spent there. And those good times, I shall enshrine... always remember that we've been best friends and shall continue to do so. Even if your new family requires your attention more than anything else... even if newer additions come into the family... I'll always keep you in a special place - one that cannot be compared to anything or anyone else!
My dearest friend,today when you sat there, the very image of the resplendent bride,  I can say that there were none other who were more beautiful and divine than you! And for a moment, I felt so proud! Knowing that someone so beautiful had graced me with the honour of friendship, how can I not feel so?!
I can only say this... I know we shall remain just as close as we ever were even if we're divided by oceans... by worlds in between us.
I love you!
Ah... it's such an bittersweet experience when your best friend gets married... you know they're there. But you also know that it's not the same thing. And it's totally unfair expecting it to be so, either! I cried... yep! Bawled like a baby once I reached home, thinking of all the wonderful times we had! And knowing her, she knows how I feel... We're special... that way!

Anyway, I wish her all the very best of everything that is humanly possible! And if she ever needs a ear to rant to or whisper fears in, all she needs to do is turn my way.

What else are friends for? :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Studying... burning out.... but studying! :D

For everyone out there who's been wondering where I'd vanished off to, worry not... I haven't found a secret way to Khonan nor have I managed to entice the fourth emperor of Khonan; neither have I managed to forge an alliance between Khutou and Khonan. And I have most definitely not managed to break the icy barrier around Nakago's aching heart! *le sigh* what wouldn't I do for an adventure as that! ;)

Anyway, this post is just to let everybody out there know that I'm pretty busy preparing for my JLPT exams and believe me... I suddenly realize that this is actually tougher than what people claim it is! ARGH... So much to study... so little time! And to make matters worse, I keep forgetting most of it... but I remember it at the same time! Am I even making sense, I wonder!

Anyway, people, wish me luck ne! I most definitely NEED to get through if it's the last thing I do! To fail in this would be like tearing my beating heart out of my chest and presenting it to Huitzilppochtli! (Cute name...barbaric fellow!)

P.S. For anyone wondering if I'm actually complaining about learning for JLPT, you've got it wrong! I've never enjoyed anything more than learning Japanese! So, if you were concerned, here's a hug from me for your sweet thoughts!

P.P.S. I'm wondering if I should make a headband like the ones they wear before exams! You know... the ones that help you concentrate more? LOL

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A hug for you!

I was just going through my blog stats when i noticed that one person had stumbled upon my site because they googled for "pregnant and my friends abandoned me".

I sincerely hope that person is feeling better. And here's a hug from me!
I have no idea who you are...or where you are. But this post is just to let you know that you're not alone and that there's always something better out there in the world. I hope you find the courage to face the world in the situation you're in right now. And if you always need a hug (even if it's just an e-hug!), you can count on me!

I hope you're feeling better there! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I has a sad.... Please to help?

Okay... It's kinda blue here...very blue... You know what blue reminds me of? I'll tell you.
Blue reminds me of water...water reminds me of lakes...lakes remind me of the particular awesome scene I'm writing for a fanfic...and that reminds me of the fact that I posted a chapter two days ago and can't seem to get any reviews for it...and that reminds me of the fact that I've not updated in the longest time and have only myself to blame...and that makes me feel so blue!

Ah! It's that endless cycle of blue-ness and it never ends!

WHY WON'T THEY SAY SOMETHING?!!!!!ANYTHINGS?!!!!!!!! I has a sad...naturally...

To everybody out there who's a fan of Yuu Watase's Fushigi Yuugi, head over to and read my story! Ne? I'm in the middle of reconstructing the whole thing into something that makes better sense, ne? Ah... that calls for legal action, you say? Ahahahahahaa....I've no idea what you're referring to here, sir! Have a nice day! And don't forget to declare all baby aliens when you come visiting!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


How often is it that you follow instructions to the T and then have all hell break loose around you?

Well, if you're wondering what I'm blabbering on about, I'll have you know that I narrowly escaped a very painful death (or dis-figuration at least!) today.

It all started with Mom and Dad leaving to check on our land that's in the middle of nowhere. And I, being the person left behind to cook for everybody, decided that I'd follow everything that my mother said about using the pressure cooker to the dot! And I'm mortally scared of messing up the kitchen (explains my lack interest to learn too complicated dishes).

As luck would have it, mom had fixed everything and all I had to do was light the stove and wait for six toots from the cooker and then switch the bloody thing off. Ah... if only things were this simple! I did light the stove and after three minutes, there wasn't a sound when normally the cooker goes "toot..toot...tootgetmyassoffthestovebitchtoot!!!"
As can be expected, I went to investigate and found that the lid didn't lock properly. And so, getting the thing off the flame, I fixed that and placed it on the stove once more. Now, at this opportune moment, Mom decided to call me and so, I told her about how the cooker seemed depressed and if I should just kill the flame. She told me to do just that and that she was getting back and would be there soon. Gleefully, I placed the receiver down and turned around only to hear a moderately loud THUNK and then complete silence.

Fearing the worst possible case, I walked towards the kitchen to find the cooker off the stove, the chimney above it in shambles, uncooked rice all over the walls, ceiling and refrigerator and sharp pieces of wood from the chopping board that was near the stove! I freaked out, my darling reader. I freaked out like it was nobody's business. Of course it was all silent. A silent cry of desperation like that of Gintoki and Shinpachi!

It was only when I saw the bloody shrapnel that was my chopping board that I realized the clear and present danger I'd narrowly escaped from. If my mother had cut the phone line a mere fifteen seconds earlier, I'd probably look like Yamcha from DragonBallZ!

Now before people start tut-tutting about my lack of culinary finesse to tackle a situation as this, we had the bloody cooker checked and it turns out that the thing was akin to a Chernobyle waiting to happen. There was a clogged valve and that was the reason why a rule abiding tennyo like me barely escaped having my face rearranged in the OR!

Moral of the story: Check your cookers periodically for faults. A messed up cooker is worse than Otae Shimura on PMS!

P.S. For anyone interested enough, bakuhatsu in japanese means "Explosion"... you know the whole KABLAM....DOOM....BOOM.... the works!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Does it really matter?!

I've been bombarded with news from every possible channel that there are heavy speculations about a certain actress and the time she might go into labour! And there are also rumours doing the rounds that her labour will be telecasted on TV. And I hope I'm not the only one who finds this entire debacle distasteful!

Seriously though, it's because these channels telecast these kind of irritating and useless pieces of unwanted information that we see so much of what really matters go unnoticed. An actress and her unborn babe have managed to generate crores in betting pools while the case of a person who's been fasting for the past eleven years is just a side story! This is what makes me abhor TV channels so much! For once, I wish some of them would have the balls to show what really matters. And I'm sure that when actresses give birth just isn't as important as a person who's fighting for human rights.

Seriously, how star-crazy are we? We construct temples for celebrities, faint when they even deign to smile at us and fight among ourselves comparing two actors or actresses and make points why one is better than the other. And all this leads to nothing but a few minutes of distraction and possibly a whole lot of dissension among us. It is a general ruse that the channels provide only those things that we wish to see. Does that mean they take us for imbeciles who cannot think beyond the mundane news of some random celebrity giving birth or the orchestrated drama of a silly reality show? If it is so, I swear to God, they underestimate us grossly. Yes, there are people who don't give a rat's ass what made that famous actor have diarrhea or wonder when that actress is going to give birth and NO, I've not the slightest intention of gushing over some celebrity's desperate cry for attention. Stupidity is not a handicap; park it elsewhere, people! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apple is so evil!

My sincerest condolences to the family of Steve Jobs. But seriously, I must say that Apple on the whole is evil!
My iPod seems to have taken a mind of its own and shows the quintessential "White screen of Death!" and nothing I do can change the gosh-darned display! I hear the clickity clickity when I use the buttons but since I didn't memorize the menus and am not even sure if things play, I'm stuck here... with a 3rd generation device that Apple has long given up on. And for anyone who says it's time for a new swankier device, I shall gladly accept the same or the monetary assistance required to procure one from the said person.
Seriously... eeeeeeeeevil I tell you! Eeeeeeeevil!
And I definitely don't need this silliness right about now! I have a test to prepare for! Does the world and the fates know no mercy?!

Edit: Finally, I seem to have found the solution. And strangely, it just worked on its own. On the nineteenth attempt to reset, it just automatically worked! I shall never understand iPods!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

7aum Arivu - a detailed review

It's raining here in Chennai. And as can be expected, the monsoon is worse than the summer seasons here. After washing two full loads of laundry, we had absolutely nothing to do at home yesterday evening. And so, we decided to go see a movie. Mom suggested 7aum Arivu and that settled it. We drove on; the three of us.

To be honest, I was anticipating the release of this movie but mom suggested we wait for the reviews to surface before plunging in. And strangely, they appear to be mixed. That was when I decided that I would form my own conclusions on the movie and now, having seen it, I call tell you what it is.

The review is long. Proceed if you wish to read on...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recipes in Japanese! And why does Indesign cost so much! T-T

As is the case with most of the women who're readied for marriage, it has become my lot to learn the culinary arts of feeding people without killing them. And so, I've been asked to learn as many of the basic dishes as possible before I'm shipped off for good. It's a boring task, let me assure you! I've as much interest in cooking sambar and rasam as Tolkien had in GoGo dancing!

And so, in a bid to inculcate more interest than I was genuinely feeling for the art of cooking, I decided to do something that would challenge me as much as teach me the right proportions of spices and vegetables! I decided to take the recipes down in Japanese! Now that, my friends is a sure shot way for me to take up just about anything! Imagine... learning cooking while at the same time getting to know so many new verbs and adjective and not to mention.... KANJI!!!!!!!!!!

And sooooo.... I've managed to translate the recipe for the staple sambar completely into Japanese complete with pictures and stuff! If it actually is even half as good as I want, I'll make sure to post it online. Who knows? There might be a few Japanese folks out there who're looking for the recipe for Sambar in Japanese! :D
I'm writing them all using Adobe Indesign CS5. I should say.... it's awesome!  I get to make really pretty PDFs without having to turn to MS Word! Ah.... but this is a trial version ne.... I'll need to get the original thingy ne.... but that's so expensive ne.... Ofcourse not many I know in real life would see the difference it makes to document preparation ne.... these are just my silly ramblings that are lost like the 'blub-blub'blub's of a drowning person ne... it sucks being poor ne.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Musings on comic sans and the philosophical ramblings underneath it all!

Imagine being brought into the world with so much expectations; with hopes that maybe you'll change the way the world sees things! With a million dreams shining in your eyes, you set your goals on that summit yonder! You see the population before you adore you and worship the very ground that you tread upon! Nothing could ever go wrong in this paradise of yours... in this Utopia of pure awesomeness! And then... the lightning strikes! Chasms open! There is darkness everywhere! It dawns upon you that unfortunately, things aren't as wonderful as you supposed them to be and people are getting too fed up with your way of doing things. You are that failed legacy that everybody 'tut-tut's over. Nobody wants to be seen with you. Oh the agony! Oh the pain!

If you can relate with the paragraph above, you know how the font Comic Sans must feel. Yes, I am talking of the very same font that has been used and abused for two decades and counting! It was initially designed to emulate the feel of comic books. But too bad things got out of hand and soon, the comic book makers moved away from it and the rest of the populace decided to take things into their own hands. This led to that and Comic sans was seen everywhere! And I mean, everywhere! From University exam papers to flyers for Day care centers, almost everybody wanted a piece of the poor font.

As the saying goes that Familiarity breeds contempt, people started hating the very sight of the font. It was labeled juvenile, frivolous, immature, puerile and silly. The people who still used the font were deigned to the lowest echeleon of taste and elegance. They were and still are viewed as those who considered themselves a child but in reality appeared every bit like a 40 year old man with a bib and a diaper.

While all these poo-slinging was happening, not one of these pro- and anti-comic sans factions thought it necessary to think of what the font had to say! I wonder what Comic sans would say in light of the humongous hatred and revilement it seems to garner.

All I can say is, poor comic sans... I wonder if it is right to hate a font for the stupidity of the people who use it. But then again, is it better to be ill-used than to be not used at all?

Wow... that's a very heavy philosophical topic there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My first student and an infernal itch!

I had my first student today! And that too in Japanese! (Well... technically it's only for Japanese phrases. But whatthehellI'mnotlisteningtoyouplz!)

And it's really nice when someone actually trusts me enough to come learn from me! :D My student is to go to Japan in a few months for a few days and I'm going to make her the best there is! I'm being overenthusiastic now! LOL Don't mind me flailing here!

Aaanyway, I'm sending her the day's phrases all tabled up and highlighted. It's so wonderful planning the day's classes and sending out resources! It's the best thing ever! :3

Well, thanks to the fact that I have a cold and have not washed my hair in three days, I feel like I'm having weird lifeforms in my head! I sincerely hope that's just my imagination playing with my senses. I have had cousins almost smother me with affection and I cannot exactly vouch for their scalp hygiene! I swear if I find even a single *unmentionable* or white flake, I shall seriously lose all hold over my sanity! But gods... how it itches! I've worn my scalp red with the scratching! It's not fair... seriously not fair! I don't care if I contract the flu because there's not a chance in Angband that I'm leaving things be! Hah! Let's see how these infernal things like the good 'ol shampoo and good scrubbing!

P.S. I love Lucky Star! It's the funniest anime ever... Oh wait... that's Gintama! Well, it's the second funniest anime ever! On second thought, there could be funnier anime out there - AUGHHHH!!!! AN ITCHY SCALP MAKES ME THINK WEIRD STUFF!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm back!

For those of you who have been wondering where I've been these past few days, I am happy to report that I've been having the time of my life down at Kerala. We had a very important family get-together and as I am not sure when I shall be able to attend the next reunion, I made it a point to be present for the current one.
We burst crackers, shouted at silly drivers, sat on for long journey in car, suffered horrible cramps, experienced toilet deficiencies like never before and more!

I am dead tired thanks to a long car journey back to Chennai and am going to rest my butt till sensation returns there! :) The trip and all its quirks shall be elucidated further in the subsequent posts!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I had a roadrage! And boy, do I feel good and bad!

Today, I indulged in a bit of road rage! :) And I cannot lie... it was liberating!

Dad and I were getting back from my uncle's place when we encountered a road-block in the form of some sort of construction going on. Since my country is known for the idiots that are let loose on the roads, Dad is ever the cautious driver and he kept to one lane, unmindful of the dunderheads who zipped this way and that. Suddenly, we hear incessant honking from behind us and we realize that the jerk behind us seems to think we're out on the singular mission of hindering his path. The truth was that if we were to move to another lane, we would probably knock a dozen motorists and probably create a car pile in the process. But since he, like the million other cerebrum-deficient dodos on the road, never bothered to imagine a situation where we didn't have the liberty to move away to give him the way like he thought he deserved, the honking never stopped.

Now, I am a person who believes that the vehicle's horn is only for correcting another driver's error or maybe to alert other pedestrians and cars if there is a possibility that they might not be paying attention. And when stuck in traffic, Dad and I tend to refrain from honking the horn the moment the lights turn green. We know that no car can immediately just take off! But too bad for the jerk behind us, he probably never had the brain function capacity to process such complicated thoughts and he overtook us the minute he could only to stop for a red signal. He lowered his window and started shouting at us, telling us that we've spoilt his day and that we should've just moved away to let him pass. This got me mad... so mad, I wanted to get out of my car, slam his face into his steering wheel and slit his throat! But, I merely let out a few shielded expletives that weren't exactly profane but according to my dad, were a shocker! I'm happy to convey that he didn't see it coming and drove off, seething. The way he was driving, I'm wondering if he ever reached home safely. If he keeps up this attitude, I doubt if it will be too long before he either loses his vehicle or his life or even better, both!

Well, I'm not justifying the fact that I shouted at a person. But I'm pretty happy with myself that I didn't take it lying down. And furthermore, I remained within bounds as far as profanity was concerned; I used none. But I still feel bad that I had to get involved in a fight.

My sincerest plea to any person who drives a car or a two wheeler or any other thing that's on a shared road -

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kurosawa's High and Low

Today, we had the screening of Akira Kurosawa's High and Low.

I should say, after watching Ozu and Naruse, coming back to Kurosawa feels akin to hopping onto a speeding train from a stationary platform. The way the camera moves is slick and as expected from Kurosawa.

The movie starts out slow and in the most natural way, gains momentum until the end is nigh. There are times when we reacted verbally to what was happening onscreen. And by principle, I tend to not do that. But this movie was one of the few that managed to get an opinion of the story's happenings while I was watching the movie. Toshiro Mifune is one actor who has always managed to bring in an inexplicable energy into the scene with his mere presence. Whether is it just him standing there, gazing at the scenery before him or speaking animatedly to an extortionist who demands his entire life's savings for the life of his chauffeur's son, Mifune manages to do it with elan.

But in this movie, the most endearing character (or characters, rather!) happen to be the bunch of police officers who go through such extreme situations just to nab their man. It was one of those times when I laughed while at the edge of my seat! Little tidbits of humor that never offsets the pace of the story are things that are a rarity in movies that are made where I come from!

Many of us felt the ending was a little abrupt. Just envy could drive a man to such measures was something many of us could not comprehend. But I feel the ending is perfect. The way the kidnapper seems to try in maintaining a facade of arrogance and nonchalance in front of the man he hoped to destroy was probably the only way one could've ended this movie.

P.S. Sensei was really happy that we were trying our best in reading the kanji credits that was displayed before the movie! Too bad we did a really horrid job at that! :P

Saturday, October 22, 2011

N4 test... tanoshikatta yo!

The test today was a riot! We ended up mooting our answers and points and surprisingly, I learnt so much and I'm sure most of my friends from class are feeling the same way. It was such fun. It was so different from the usual "Gosh, I have to get better scores than him or her! I need to show I'm the best!" nonsense.

And I'm really grateful for the wonderful sensei that I have. Both Ramesh-sensei and Shimizu-sensei are such nice people! It really is a blessing that I can attend classes with teachers who are as passionate about what they do and can convey their passion for the language and the people in such beautiful ways! My sensei inspire me to be a good teacher myself. (This is true if I ever get the honour of teaching people Japanese, when I get better!)

Anyway, N4 Kikitori is challenging and tiresome. But at the same time, it's intriguing. I hope I get better at this before I give my actual exam! :D Ah, tomorrow is movie day and conversation. Now that, is what I call, a double bingo!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Of preparations, distractions and inspirations

I have a test tomorrow and for the love of all things Japanese and kawaii, I am unable to concentrate. It is almost like someone is willing me to flunk this test as though they hold a long held grudge against the few things I've been doing well! (Okay.... that sounded a lot crappier outside than in my head! ^_^;;)

And I was wondering if I would ever get the will to study again when, lo behold! I chanced upon a few pencil cases on the interwebs! These wonderous creations of humanity were accompanied by many a writing instrument. Pencils, pens, liquid correctors, rulers, sticky notes - the list is endless! As I saw these beautiful things, my attention turned unbridled towards my Japanese notes and I saw the various seemingly illegible pointers I'd scribbled in class! Clever one liners... references to manga and Anime... proclamations of undying love to nonexistent characters who are at times the only people I have around! It was all that was needed to rekindle my love for the language and I've been working diligently for quite some time now. I'm merely taking a breather before I dive right back into verbs and adjectives and whatnots. And I wanted to let everyone know of one surefire way to beat boredom in studying. Rather than concentrate on the study aspect of it, I find myself more equipped with concentration when I bend my thoughts a little away from the subject and towards something that's connected with it but in a rather tangential way. In my case, it's stationery.

Now if only I could convince my dad to take me to the department store where they stack Staedtlar and Tombow pencils! Okay... I promise to treat myself to a brilliant box of pencils if I get the best mark ever in the test to come! :D Now that, my friends, is inspiration good enough to earn me a PhD!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A new banner on its way. And which is the shiniest key?

I've managed to design a banner for my blog's header. And truth be told, I seem to have a love-hate relationship with it! I might tweak it a little bit so that whatever little bits that bother me now will look and feel much better. I'm seriously envious of all those other blogs that seem to have everything in place and looking so adorable. But then again... with me, I never think the same thing two weeks in a row and paying for that kind of an upgrade would mean I'll go bankrupt in a month.

Oh well... I've been trying a bit of CSS and the works. So, I might not have a spanking new site or anything! But I'm sure there will be changes for the better in the future (distant or near, I cannot answer!).

And I noticed that the 'I' key is the shiniest in my keyboard! It could be that I use that particular alphabet the most! The other shiny keys are C, A, T and O. But none are as shiny as I! It practically sparkles! And it feels so good... so smooth and squeaky!

So, what's the shiniest key in your keyboard? ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life is a female canine in ways you can never imagine!

Imagine this... you dream a singular dream... you know you ought to do something to make it a reality you could enjoy in the tactile sense. But it seems as though the entire world is against you. And then, you see someone who didn't even wish for your paradise, get exactly that and smile benignly at you as you slog harder than ever before, wiping the fecal unmentionables that the world in general has thrown your way. Oh, fey fate! Why would you tempt me so only to push me deeper into the mire of endless desolation? And why, pray tell, must I see what I wish the most in life flicker in front of me and then die? Like a moth that singes its wings trying to reach the one bright spot in the whole damned world?!

Truly... there must be an end to this madness! I am caught in that place where I never imagined myself to be... even in my harshest nightmares. And yet... now, it seems as though the whole world closes its claws around me, suffocating me and smothering my dreams and hopes and I can only sigh... that precious wisp of air is also taken until my lungs turn blue and I'm left in death.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lost in Austen: A Review

In my recent expeditions to have as much Jane Austen related things around me, I've been viewing most of her novels made into movies. The ones adapted from Pride and Prejudice hold a particular place of importance as usual. And so, the other day, as I sat there, twiddling my thumbs, wondering what to view next when the TV series Lost in Austen caught my attention.

For those who're wondering what it's all about, let me explain. The story portrays a 21st century bank employee who's an avid Austen fanatic. She dreams of the world of the Regency era and yearns for an escape from the mundane things in her life. And as predictable as it gets, her prayers are answered. One day, she finds none other than Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom and discovers that here's a hidden portal behind the plumbing that connects her world with that of Elizabeth's. And they decide to swap places. Up until this point, I was all in anticipation. But I should say... the moment she went into the other world, things started going a bit downhill for me.

For starters, she most decidedly wants to maintain the flow of the story but takes really drastic measures with no consideration for the times she's in to achieve what she desires. For a fanatic of Austen as the character is claimed to be, one would expect her to be aware of the ways in which things were dealt with in the time period of Austen's heroines. But nay! She acts brash and spunky and in her decided fashion of doing things, ends up complicating things more than they ought to be complicated.

For starters, why would she snog Bingley when she so righteously has taken it upon herself to actually bring him and Jane together? And then claim to be a lesbian to get away from him! I am sure there must have been another simpler way in which she could have achieved that and not alienate herself from half the population of the book. Any person with a grain of common sense would realize that the very act of being in a place where you aren't supposed to be alters that time and space. Ah... I guess I'm nit picking too much into the play now!

But there were good points as well. The characters of Austen's world for example. I am impressed with the way the story explores the unsaid assumptions that Austen left to her readers to ponder over. Wickham was one such character that I'm impressed with. Oh, and Mr. Collins. If I'd disliked him in the books, I positively loathe the one Lost in Austen portrays. Ugh... spending a lifetime in a monastery would be infinitely better than being married to that specimen! And it broke my heart to see his presence in the plot for more than what he merited in the books! And Darcy! Darling wonderful silly Darcy! I believe Elliot Cowan has done a wonderful job of usurping Collin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen to covet the title of my favorite portrayal of Darcy. Sigh... Too bad Amanda Price ends up looking like a swooning fan-girl everytime Darcy does something romantic. Yes, I understand resisting that man is futile. But, girl! One need not wear their hearts on their sleeves!

But all that said and done, I should say I enjoyed watching Lost in Austen for most of its duration and if you're a die hard Austen fan, you'd do well to pick this one up on rental. And for those who're hopeless romantics (or closet romantics like me), you could invest in a purchase as Mr.Darcy's passionate proclamations of love could melt frozen chocolate half a mile away!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jane in love... In love with Jane!

As my previous post illustrated, right now, I am immersing myself in the world of Jane Austen. I've been doing almost nothing (other than Japanese classes and other household chores) but reading about this wonderful lady and the world as she must've perceived it. My mother is reading Pride and Prejudice right now and I am only hoping that she finds the book as magical as I did. In the midst of my queries regarding the lady, I managed to stumble upon a really interesting article about speculations about Ms. Austen's love life. For a lady who wrote such enchanting and believable romances that never bordered on the perverse but rather charmed the populace with the fluid gentleness and chastity that's lost on the world these days, one is made to wonder as to where her inspirations must have come from.

Picture © The Republic of Pemberly
And I believe I have something very interesting to share! Apparently the lady did have a gentleman at heart. Now, before people go jumping at me saying that they've known of it all along and there's even a movie made to that effect - Becoming Jane, let me clarify myself. The movie seems to take a few things for granted like the fact that Tom and Jane never eloped and maybe Tom wasn't as flirtatious as Mr. McAvoy portrayed it to perfection! (I somehow wish everyone gets someone like the Thomas Lefroy that James McAvoy played!)

But that aside, the article gives an insight into how Austen must have dealt with the romance that never could happen. This article also shows insights into what might have happened. I should say, my respect for the lady has gone up in multitudes when I realize that she was a person who seemed to have a subtle wit even when her world was unraveling around her. And it also takes away some of the "joy" I must feel when I read her works because, well... she probably was living her wishes through her characters and that is such a sad thing to happen to anyone!

It makes me wonder if we would have these wonderful creations had her lot been a happier one. But then again, would I prefer her happy? Can I, without an ounce of selfishness, declare that I would rather see her married to the man she loved than become the immortal legend that she became in reality? I don't know.

Ah... Sadness.... such a beautiful emotion. I wonder if life would be half as beautiful without this feeling of a huge lump in our throats!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pride... Prejudice... and Sensibilities!

I have finally managed to read the Complete and Unabridged version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And I should say, I've been floored! Absolutely overcome! I've read Austen's "abridged" versions but to read the original version was such an eye opener. It gave me an insight into the customs of those times... of the sensibilities that were most appreciated when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (or people like them) must've walked the earth. And it also - I don't know - kept me enraptured in ways the abridged versions couldn't.
Le Siiiiiiiiiigh!
Ah... I must say I've rekindled the fondness I had for Mr.Darcy after reading the book. No wonder the entire feminine populace goes GAGA over him! Hmmm.... It's such a close competition between him and Colonel Brandon! As for me... well, I cannot choose either of them for none would choose me! Thank goodness for arranged marriages!

Depressing thoughts aside, if you can, do try the unabridged versions of Jane Austen's masterpieces. I'm sure you will not be disappointed! I'm off to get the unabridged version of Sense and Sensibility next! Too bad they didn't have Persuasion!

P.S. Every single time that I tried to type Jane Austen, I inadvertently typed Jap and then corrected myself! (T-T) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I'm sure most of us have had that feeling of anxiety and utter desperation as we search for something that eludes our grasp the more we try reaching for it! (Gosh... this sentence sounded awesome in Japanese! T-T)

The other day, I was watching some arbit news channel when the commercials kicked in and voila! They were playing the new (comparatively) advert for the Japanese tourism board. It had a song for background and for lack of another adjective, it sounded divine! I've been hunting that particular song ever since then! It has been months and it feels longer than that since I'd first heard that song. But with only the tune in head and a warbled sense of the words, I couldn't ask my sensei what that song was or of its origins. And so, yesterday, having conveniently forgotten about that song or the sleepless nights it had given me, I was at my grandpa's house, watching anime and practicing kanji when in the anime that I was watching, the same song started to sound! It was almost like someone had opened the floodgates of my memories and I just positively HAD to find out the name of the song.

And so, I launched my search with the name of the anime - Shangri La. I knew the episode number and searched in vain to spot some forum thread that spoke of this particularly interesting piece of music interwoven into the story. But not many were interested in that minor detail and almost everyone wanted to express their approval on how good the anime was progressing! But then, there was one entry where the person asked if anyone knew what the music that played from the very scene I was interested in, was! They also gave out the info that the traffic signals in Fukuoka play this one when the pedestrians have the green light to cross! That was quite the lead I was hoping to find! Another search on traffic lights in Japan showed me pages upon pages with info on how the Japanese played music so that visually challenged pedestrians could safely cross the roads knowing that it was green when the music was played! And without a doubt, the most favoured music was the one I was searching for!

It's called "Tō ryan se" (Please let me pass)  and is apparently a very famous rhyme from antiquated times in Japan. For the full song, click here!

Apparently, in ancient times, there was a lot of poverty and people had a lot of children. Sometimes parents found it extremely difficult to rear all of their progeny at one go and would choose to abandon their children at Shinto shrines where they hoped that the shrine would take them in and give them a living. But since children are thought to be the children of the Kami (Gods) until the age of seven, they couldn't be abandoned until then... doing so was a very heinous crime! Now, mothers found a way around this whereby they would take their children to the Shrines and would lie to the Public officers that they wish to go into the shrine to buy an amulet (ofuda) for her child who has completed seven years of age. They did this because the officer would not let her pass otherwise. But once inside, she leaves the child there and returns alone.

Moral of the story: To go somewhere without problems does not mean one can get back just as easily!

There's another legend that says that due to high infant mortality rates in Ancient Japan, this song celebrates a child having crossed seven years of life without problems! This song is also fashioned into a childrens' game. And it has become quite famous as a Warabe uta which literally means "young child song".

To listen to the song, click here!

Aaaaaah.... it feels so good when one finds what one searches for!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I got to help!!!!

Today, there was a test at the Japanese center and listening practice! N4 Kikitori is so much tougher than what we had for N5. The people who speak in those clips just keep going and going! Most of us had to say "Mou ichi dou!" which means "One more time!" to Shimizu-sensei and she, being the epitome of patience and goodness indulged us by playing a few of the clips for three or more number of times! Seriously... she must be one of those really nice people who're actually undercover angels! :D

And I also got to help sensei with a few Malayalam translation works. Not much, actually... but I felt so good being helpful to her for once! :)

And I'll be more than happy helping her again and more so in the future! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I am Azu-nyan! :3

I was getting a little bogged up with the preparations for my Japanese test what with random Kanji popping up and me conjugating verbs in the middle of my dreams, I think I truly deserve a slight distraction! And so, just for the heck of it, I took the "Which character in K-On! are you?" quiz! I was secretly hoping I'd get Yui or Ritsu because I'm more like them! But... surprise! After answering all the questions honestly, I got..... *cue drumrolls*

What K-ON! Band Character Are You?
I got Azu-nyan! :3
That was unexpected! But I guess it does make sense in a way... And I think she has the cutest name ever! Azu-nyaaaaaaaaaan! :3

So, do you guys watch K-On!? Who's your favorite character?

Friday, October 7, 2011

For the love of all things holy!

What does one do with people who say they're going to give you some really important information that you don't want to begin with and insist you check your mail, putting emphasis on your need to go through whatever they give you and then suddenly, you realize they're not that very interested in the whole thing themselves.... especially after you make time for their pursuits and then turn around to see them standing there... a few miles behind, yelling "IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE! I JUST CHUCKED THE IDEA!"

Let me tell you, that's the single most irritating thing ever! First, they go on and on about how what they have in mind will make it big for everyone around and then weedle you into agreeing to whatever it is that they want you do when you would like nothing better than to run for your life and sanity! And then, when you actually convince yourself mentally that maybe it wouldn't be that bad helping them out, they just leave you there... hanging on... without a word of explanation as to why they're backing out.

Why do they do that? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!!!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Memories of a happy day!

Today, we had a blast at the Japanese school! Shimizu-sensei had invited me and a couple of other students for the Vijayadashami Celebrations. There was a lot of press and not to mention photos! We had the Consul from the Consulate General of Japan, Kayako Furukawa. We also had Tetsuo Suzuki from Kubota Agricultural Machinery and Noboru Kato accompanying her.

By the time the new class was inaugurated, we were ready for the webconference with Japanese students and Professors from Iwate Prefectural University! It was unlike anything I'd ever done before! I got to talk to them in Japanese and they got to talk in English! It was funny... I kept answering their questions in Japanese while they answered ours in English. And they were all such wonderful people! :)

And Sensei has promised to lend me more movies and I'm really looking forward to seeing more Ozu and naruse movies in the year to come! :) Awwww... now I wish I didn't have to move out of Chennai! I'm gonna miss this city so much! And the wonderful people here... So... very.... much! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Swarna-saaaaaaaaan! Arigatou!

I've an all important test coming up in my Japanese class and though I've been studiously preparing for it, I'm that type of person who tends to forget everything at the right moment and end up staring in despair at the crack in the wall at the exam hall! And so, for the sake of not embarrassing myself in front of the people who think that I am really interested in Japanese (and that's a fact!), I'm putting in extra effort this time! And for every single person out there who's ever doubted my resolve in Japanese or has thought of this vocation as something bereft of monetary advantage, this would be a wonderful chance to get back at them and show them that I'm truly happy doing this!

But... as though the fates were testing me, I was sitting with the mails that my sensei gave us when I had an idea to clear the sent folder. Now, the tech savvy amidst you might already be having the "LOL" face but for the sake of the others, I'll describe what happened next! I didn't think that when I deleted messages that were my replies to emails, it would send the entire conversation with the original mail into the bellies of a horrid Black hole where it's shredded into indecipherable 1s and 0s! And the moment I saw those messages vanish from my Japanese folder in Gmail, I felt like the entire world was coming to an end. There are other resources out there and I'm sure my sensei must've sourced it from somewhere out there in the Interwebs himself. But still... I cannot bring myself to ask him again! It was my own fault for not saving them beforehand. And so, when I'd lost all hope of ever seeing those precise and condensed resources with pearls of knowledge scattered for me to partake, I have my darling friend Swarna-san call me!

It was almost like the gods were feeling sorry for me and had sent me a saviour! And after hear me incoherently blabber and rant about the missing resources, she has promised to mail me her copies! Isn't she the best?! :)


Monday, October 3, 2011

Dilly Dally Shilly Shally

There's more to life than just those serious thoughts of a career. There's more to a smile than the next salary on its way. There's definitely more to an act of learning than to just trying to make money out of it.

I guess we've lost true meaning to all of what really matters for the few grimy bills and coins that the ones above throw for whatever we do. We've slowly become the true harlots that we warn our children about.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Late Spring and me

I'm one happy camper today! Absolutely happy. Today, in Japanese class, we watched Yasujiro Ozu's (晩春Banshun or Late Spring. And to be honest, I'm moved... I'm more than moved... I'm happy... sad... invigorated... and a plethora of other emotions that I can't begin to express.
I'd heard of the ethereal beauty of Setsuko Hara. But it wasn't until I'd seen her in the movie that I realized what they actually meant. She's the sort of woman for whom the world could yearn and yet never hope to attain. She smiled as she expressed her disdain... in a way that made one feel as though she were teasing. And when she's sad, her face changes like a full moon behind the clouds. If we could have one actress like her, I swear cinema would take on an entirely new meaning!
Ah... I wish I could explain poignantly what transpired between the story and I! It was almost like for three hours, I was a silent spectator in the middle of the lives of a doting daughter and her kindly father... the little quirks... the tears that flowed... the friends that came and left... it all seemed so real! And sometimes, I wished I'd remained in that world forever!

Even after class was over, I still could not bring myself out of the movie. And I cannot thank my sensei enough for what he's done for us today. By showing us this movie, he has given us something to cherish for the rest of our lives. And hopefully, I'll get to see Banshun somewhere else at another time... And for everybody who hasn't seen the movie, please do go see it. You will not be disappointed!

And in other news, after Japanese class, Mom took me for some impromptu shopping where I got a few tops and a pair of jeans aaaaaaand.... the most beautiful wallet ever! It's purple and has Sakura blossoms printed on it. And it's sooooooo roooomy! It has a gazillion compartments but everything folds right away to form the cutest wallet in the world. Right now, I'm googling wallets and scoffing at everything I see because my wallet is so much cuter and prettier! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Of copycats and.... copycats!

My mom had gone out for a movie with her office friends yesterday and it was some Tamil movie that had released on that day. First day... not quite the first show! My mother had wanted to see this particular movie for quite some time. As a matter of fact, it had two of her favorite artists in it. Since I was battling a butt ugly stye in my eye and dad had some really pressing matters to attend to, she decided to go on her own. And when she got home after the movie, I automatically assumed the movie wasn't that great. Because, if something impresses my mother, she gushes about it to me the moment we meet and well, she was just being normal.

So, when I asked her about the movie, she shrugged... "It's inspired by Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train." She deadpanned.

And that was all that took to have comprehension dawn on me. There it was... another over-hyped movie that's so heavily inspired by some other older one. My sensei the other day had promised that he would treat us to some really awesome Japanese movies by stalwarts like Ozu Yasujiro, Kurosawa Akira and Naruse Mikio. And when we asked him where he got these movies, he smiled and told us of his source who happened to be a guy from Bangalore who in turn sourced it from Taiwan. Apparently, that man's primary clientele happened to be really famous movie directors of the south. We all laughed though deep down in our hearts, we knew it.
To tell the truth;I feel insulted in a way. Sometimes the fact that it was taken, plot for plot from somewhere else is so blatant that it makes me wonder if the film maker is making fun of our intelligence... as though they're of the thought that unless the original was tempered to suit the Indian palette, it shall not see. Hello! Sure, there are folks who might find watching an English or foreign movie to be quite taxing. There are more people out there than those willing to accept that sometimes, they find even accented English hard to follow. And though I find it disconcerting to have these copies being marketed as something that's really wonderful, I've no problem with directors and writers trying their hands on adapting a foreign movie... see... I said adapting...not copying! And for anything to be adapted for something else, it is only right that the person give credit to the original idea.

And to all those idiots and jerk faces who are still in denial, worshiping their respective artists on a pedestal, GET A LIFE! Your hero or director is famous mostly because he decided to spend two hundred rupees on a CD that he thought would look good when it's improvised. And he's still making money, taking somebody's work, mutilating it in all probability and then regurgitating that mutilation with a heady number of songs and fights (something I just don't get!). While he gets richer and more rotund with all the joys money brings him, it is cinema that suffers.

And don't even get me started about the music industry! The day some d***ead decides to steal some composition by Yuki Kajiura, there'll be blood, I swear!

Friday, September 30, 2011

On how the gold makes me see RED!

The other day, I was on Facebook when I saw some random mallu lady bedecked with an overload of jewellery in traditional Malyalee attire.

She was wearing so many necklaces that upon closer inspection, seemed stitched on. I've heard of affluent families having their bride wear as many jewels as humanly possible and have the other sets sewed onto the saree and have her look like she raided some elephant's hideout and wore the gaudy thingy mahouts put over their elephant's forehead to make them look grand.Refer to the piccie for further illustrations!

Looks good on the Pachyderm ,not on a human.
So, really...they have it and they flaunt it. What's the big friggin' problem, you ask? Seriously? I've no issues if people want to flaunt their entire bank lockers on their big day. I mean, come on! It's your day. You're getting hitched and you've all the right to look like an idiot if that's what you want! But just because someone sent their daughter away with enough gold that could be used to feed the whole of the starving children in Africa, does not mean I have to wear that when I get married.

HURR... DERP!!!!!111RAGE1
And I'm on the verge of losing my sanity when I hear the n-th dickhead ask how much gold I'll be given away with. Suck on this, asshole! I am a person. And as a person, I don't think my evaluation should be done based on how much Au my parents can provide for me. I mean, suuuure... I can almost hear those people bristle up in defence as they say the Gold's for my security when things get rocky. Really now! So, are you saying that the guy I'm marrying is actually a jerk who's not good at earning a living for his wife? Or that the family I'm getting married into will treat me so badly that I'll have to go my separate way, selling my gold to fill my stomach? Or are you inherently a douchebag?

I'm a person who's of the belief that wealth is not to be flaunted. Sure, your opinions are yours and mine are mine. But since this blog is mine, deal with it! Not all the gold in the world can equal to a single loving person . And if you're obtuse enough to know that and live by it, you deserve to be anally raped by a rabid Grizzly Bear.

P.S. I'm aware my recent post have a little on the brazen side. But whatever!

*The author is fuming right now. Please insert custom title here!*

There's been quite a lot of activity around these days. Most of those folks around seem to think that I'm learning Japanese for the LULZ and nothing more.

When will people be kind enough to actually stop opinionating about things they've no idea about?

I mean, sure. I've not an inkling of what some of you do with your lives but to just randomly go about and demean something that I really know is dear to you would make me a Douchebag of sorts, wouldn't it?

It's weird how people take offense really easily when someone demeans their hobbies, career, hair style, choice of deoderant and whathaveyou! But the very same people don't think for a moment before they shoot their mouths about other people's interests and passions.

And like they say,

(Wazawai wa kuchi yori kitaru) - The words that leave our mouths cause great harm.

And seriously though... for everybody that I know who seems to think that I'm wasting my time with Japanese, I've just two words -

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ugh... the dumb.... it hurts!

Dad and I are having quite the argument right now! Before people think we're not in talking terms, let me get this straight. We're as conversational as ever and aren't angry at each other but there's been an issue that requires immediate attention and somehow, the way he is planning on going about it is unfortunately..well... dumb!

Imagine that you have a video file that is 3GB in size. And you're required to transfer it to a relative of yours who lives on the other side of the world. Now, my dad seems to think it's best if we were to divide the files into chunks of data that are 25 MB in size and then send it as individual mails. And what about the fact that the person receiving it might not actually enjoy getting the file in so many chunks? Well, he wants me to number them all up so that the when the person there receives all the files, they can join 'em back together and view what one can only hope is the original video without any sort of mishap that might've occurred during the splitting or the transferring part.

I understand Dad is trying to be helpful. But he just doesn't seem to understand that what he's asking me to do is probably the most impractical way of transferring a file. If I had my way, I'd probably fed-ex the darned DVD to the person and if that's not viable, probably store it in Rapidshare or Megaupload and mail them the link! But Dad doesn't seem too privy to that idea for the reason that he doesn't know of these sites. Oy vey!

Men in general seem so dumb these days! Why oh God?! WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


It's not everyday that when you wake up, you feel sick enough to find a shotgun and end the suffering with just a pull of the trigger! I was feeling that way this morning. Thanks to a late night movie and the unpredictable weather, I suspect I might have caught a cold or worse... a throat infection. This is horrible. Now, I cannot comment on the stupidity I see around me and can't sing along with Keiko Kubota when she croons Houseki in my iPod!

Ugh... and just for the record, my Dad is a hypocrite. When we were heading out to the movie, he complained about how people did not have the patience to wait for the lights to turn green. And then, when we were heading back, he shot a red light just because it was late and nobody was coming in the other roads! Seriously... does it matter? A rule is a rule and breaking it whether anybody is watching it or not does not make a difference! I've lost hope on Humanity in general today. Indian roads will be infested with idiots and surprisingly, my dad is one of them... ashamed to admit it... but that's the truth.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gossamer keepsakes of yesterday

Today, I slept... I slept like a baby! And as I did, I left all my worries behind... wrapped in gossamer bundles, embellished with pretty ribbons with the hues of the rainbows. And yet, a few, I carry with myself. A keepsake from yesterday. Have they not warned us enough of forgetting our past? And in those treasured bundles of the figments of bygone times, I hold all those moments that were almost perfect. As I grow old, maybe these bundles shall be the treasures that might hold me together.

Keepsakes from yesterday...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Exorcist... and my views on Evil.

Disclaimer: This post does not condone to any sort of religion in particular and are based entirely on my views. I express my deepest apologies in advance if this post hurts anyone reading it.

I saw The Exorcist yesterday. It's touted to be one of the scariest movies of all times! And well, since I've always been game for a scary movie, I decided to watch it alone. Unfortunately, I found that the movie did not scare me as much as I'd expected it to. It all comes down to the person watching it, I suppose. As an Advaitin, I follow the principles that there is no absolute Good or Evil and that if something exists, it's because we perceive it. I've has so many friends who've tried to get me to fear the Evil One and have also gone as far as saying I'm an idolater. I have no issues with people having their own version of Good and Evil. But when someone decides to push their views onto me, that's when I really get wild.

Abrahmic religions have such a wealth of wisdom that there are times when I find no wonder in believing that the world's most practiced religion happens to be one derived from the same source. But then, there are times when I wonder why people of a particular religion would have to torment followers of another just for the sake of proving them wrong? I'm talking about centuries of torment, stigma and hatred that people of the Church had for anyone who did not follow them. I really doubt if the Inquisitors of the Dark Ages are really in Heaven at this moment. But then again, according to me, there is no Heaven and Hell... just complete realization of the Truth. Maybe this is why I find it extremely difficult to have Horror movies affect me too much. Sure, I get the inital chills and then I have my spiritual Guru (Swami Vivekanada) kick me in the rear and warn me that there is no absolute evil and all of it is subjective, and then I smile.

The second thing that got to me is the fact that how the Church had taken it upon themselves to demonize almost any deity that stood as an opposition to their progress! Coming to think of it, Ishtal, Baal, Ra, Kali and numerous other gods who were portrayed as deceivers. But to give the early church it's due, the Christians were also pretty much persecuted by the Jews and the Roman Empire, so it could all have been done in the mode of revenge. Though I understand their emotions of wanting others to see how wrong they are, it would've helped them to actually try seeing things from the other's point of view. Oh well, that's water under the bridge now, isn't it?

Anyway, if one were to ask me, I'd say people were a lot close minded in the Dark ages and it's sad that their lack of understanding (or their blatant refusal to try) has painted many philosophies with the dark taint of Evil. If only they could've understood that everything leads to the same destination and that everyone was getting there in their own way...

P.S. I found the demon's name Pazuzu from the Exorcist too funny to be scared... poor dude, if he were in India, he'd be teased like there's no tomorrow. For, you see, pazuzu rhymes with kakkoozu. And Kakkoozu means... well... google it out, why don't you? :) Oh, and Pazuzu was once again an Assyrian deity who was later "demonized".

Power Plants and Protests

There's been a lot of hullabaloo about a proposed Nuclear Power Plant in Koodamkulam. The project has been under construction for quite some time now (more than a decade ago!). But recently, thanks to the Fukushima incident in Japan and the erstwhile Chernobyl. I cannot deny the fact that a Nuclear disaster is a really horrible thing to happen and if one were to happen, it could do a lot of damage!

But this particular protest smells very fishy. For one, the protesters did not protest when the project was initiated a decade ago. And contrary to popular belief, an investment of these proportions (U.S.$ 3.5 billion) is not just carried out on a whim. The people who protest are citing Chernobyl and Fukushima. Sure, they are horrible reminders of what happens when Human negligence happens or when Nature decides to take the upper hand. But that's hardly a reason to stop work there. The fishermen around the area claim that the effluents from the power plant would contaminate fishes and the ilk and reduce their livelihood in the area. Fair enough... only that they knew the power plant was coming up so long ago. And if they had a problem with it, they should've brought it up way earlier. And saying that a Nuclear Power Plant is a disaster waiting to happen is almost similar to saying "Putting on a light switch would kill you!" There are adversities everywhere and when one sees the advantage of greener energy and better power distribution, it almost seems silly to think of stopping Nuclear power plants for some person's unfounded stigma about it. Do they think that a project of these proportions would be implemented without proper research and safety precautions?

I suspect that this entire protest has a political tinge to it. And if that is true, it's sad. Being a science student, I know how much of an advantage having a Nuclear Power Plant would be. Then again, there were folks who thought switching on the LHC would bring about the end of the world! Oy vey, it's a sad time for science, folks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Someday... you just wait!

Condescension... that's one of the worst things a person could throw at another person. And right now, I'm having this ugly little critter thrown at me left right and center!

Right now, I'm being condescended by people who I'd hoped would never in my wildest dreams would and so, it's a little disconcerting. But I'm holding my ground! Oh yeah! They can be all high and mighty and treat me like I'm nothing! They can just assume that I have it easy. They can do whatever the goddamned hell they want and I just am not bothered about it.

So... if I'm not bothered about it, why the post, you wonder? Good question.

Because, in the heart of hearts, I am a little. I find condescension something that's extremely insulting and demeaning. And so, cannot stand it at all. But rather than feel little or depressed, I tend to scoff at the condesender and give them the symbolic "finger".

P.S. I can't cook well and all that's fine! But if anybody is expecting a "kitchen slave", they're going to be in for a nasty surprise, aren't they? >=)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

JLPT N4! Here I coooooooome!!

Today is the day! Oh yeah.... Today is the day! Today I'll have my way. Oh yeah! Today is the daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!

Ahem...As most of us on this side of the planet struggle to get our peepers open so early on a Sunday morn, I'm full of beaming energy! Today, I submit my JLPT N4 application form! There's another reason why I'm so super-cali-fragalistic so early in the morning! Yesterday in class, I was actually able to understand the Kanji and the context of the story more easily than most in class. It could be because I knew the story of Urashima Tarou beforehand but still... I feel elated that maybe I am not as hopeless in this new class as I had feared! And, I also  realized that the few who were really good (one guy who seems really nice but is a little "show-off"y at times) actually was taking this class for the second time! And yesterday, Swarna-san and I managed to garner some attention towards ourselves in the positive sense! There were enquiries of where we did our N5 (though we mentioned it at the first class itself!) and how long ago we'd started learning! Swarna-san was able to crack N5 with just two months of preparation! Hah! Take that, you people who think we're not good enough in what we learn!

Hmmm.... Shimizu-sensei was so happy for Swarna-san that I still grin like an idiot when I think back at how her eyes shone with pride when she gave her the mark scores! And I seriously cannot let her down! So, henceforth, I am going to become the bushi of Japanese and shall take down anything that stands in my way of complete Japanese mastery! :D

On a completely disconnected note, the folks who're staying as tenants at our place seem to be intent on breaking the doors before they leave! There's this really old man with them and by the gods above! If he weren't old... I swear I would've given him quite the lashing for all the garbage he spews around the house! *sigh* I shalln't spoil the good mood I'm in right now and shall reserve these issues for another post.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Japanese classes and my random ramblings

Today in Japanese class, for the first time that I can remember, we dealt with an actual story rather than the usual "dialogue" format of sentences. Does this mean we're actually being gauged as capable of handling more than three sentences at one go and not have our head explode? That's a daunting realization to say the least. For I don't believe I'm quite as good as they hope I am.
Anyway, today, we dealt with the story of Urashima Taro and Otohime of Ryuugu castle. For those who're unaware of the story, you can read all about it here! (Though they refer Ryugu as Rin Gin there!)

Now, when Sensei was explaining what Ryugu was, he told us that almost every kid in Japan would catch the drift the moment the name Ryugu was mentioned and that kids in India aren't so when someone tells them of some mythical place from Indian folklore. And it got me thinking... is it because we don't value our traditions and the folklore that comes as a part of it as much as the Japanese do or is it just because there are so many religions around and every religion has a set of folktales and everyone knowing one thing is quite... impossible! Aanyway, it was interesting and I should say that the story caught my fascination so very much! :) And to finally be able to understand the nuances of the language in the form of a story... it's amazing! So very different from the usual fare!

And the strangest thing happened today in class! On my way there, I was wondering what the Japanese word for crow was and I'd made up my mind to look it up once class was over. And then strangely, out of the blue, sensei remarked that the Japanese word for crow was karasu (). I might be wrong but it almost seemed like the one thing I was searching for had come up to me. Clearly something beyond human comprehension was at work there... the quantum universe perhaps heard my call for information and supplied it to me? Or maybe there are kami out there who listen to mortals and aid them in ways both little and big. I would never know!

La Tomatina in India? Oy vey to Oh yay!

Remember when I told you guys they were planning on having the La Tomatina festival in Bangalore?

Well, thank God the government had the sense to ban this atrocity in the name of revelry! The Deccan Herald carries a detailed report on how it happened.

Strangely though, no news of this ban seems to figure in the official webpage of the event and somehow, I feel they might be thinking of going along with it in spite of the ban. I know I hate stereotypes but has the Yuppie culture really gotten to us as well? I sure hope not!

Image Courtesy: Wiki Commons

Friday, September 16, 2011

Major rehaul ahead!

As a few of you must've noticed, my blog's down to the basics once more. I'm thinking of rehauling the whole thing once more and as with any rehaul, I'm finding more kinks wherever I turn! So, until then, please bear with the ugliness, if any! :D

Thursday, September 15, 2011

La Tomatina in Bangalore...what were they thinking?!

If anybody has even heard of the name "tomatina" before, I'm sure they'll have visions of people drenched in Tomato pulp, throwing the crushed tomatoes at each other by the cartload!

Yes... it's fun. But when you have a festival like that happening in India, where there are so many people out there who die of starvation and a majority of those hapless victims being children, I wonder if anyone can actually throw those vegetables with the same grin as from the brochures they're supplying.

The supporters claim that they're helping farmers when they buy the tomatoes. But if their intentions were to help them, they could do it in another way where the produce that the farmer takes pride in actually satiates some child's hunger than lie discarded on the roads! I understand that watching recent Bollywood flicks has people going gaga over foreign customs but they need to realize that there's a limit to how much one can emulate of what one sees on celluloid!

What's next? Strapping wailing children on ostriches? Having a homeless man fight a beast for the goddamned crowd to jeer? Does an increased earning mean one can do as one pleases? People... when did we lose sanity to the Devil?

If you're one of those who believes this is an atrocious waste of money and not to mention good tomatoes, please spread the message. Sure... it might not be "cool" to dislike this sort of fun but there would be some starving kid out there who'd thank you for your abstinence. 

Of Viral posts and the beehives they stir,

It all started when a friend of mine decided to share a link to a rant about some random person thrashing another person verbally. Well... it was a funny read. But then, I found that the post has gone viral and suddenly, that post alone has comments that've crossed one thousand. There are a few of my friends who seem to think that the post is offensive. Well, there were a lot of stereotype bashing. And I've always been a person who never believed in stereotypes. So, I found the post funny but not exactly the type to have me wetting myself with excitement (I've never had anything that garnered that sort of reaction...ever!).

I'm sure the person who posted the rant probably had someone who fit the stereotype be rude to her and this is probably her way of reacting to it. Well, good for her! But to take that post as a blatant standard for how everybody in a place would behave... that's taking things too far. And that reminds me of my post on why I hate the French language. I should say, that was just my way of reacting to how french was introduced to me. For the record, French might be the best thing after Toasted Bread. So, I'd rather not go there. And thank you to every single person who did not take that rant out of context! :)

Coming back to this issue, sure... I hate a few people. If I had my way, I'd have them commit Seppuku every day! But that does not mean I hate everyone who has a cultural or academic background similar to them. If that's the case, I'd probably have to hate three quarter of the world's population! And that's a lot of hate.

Now, what am I getting to? Well, I'd just like to say that the blogger of that particular rant is probably wondering whatever made that post go viral. And if people found it interesting enough to share, power to them. But one cannot say that it was silly of people to have done so. If that was the case, everything that went viral wouldn't have gone so. Let's take these things with a pinch of salt and a tumbler of good old filter kaapi and let things be!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ah Lord, Take me... NOW!!!!

I've been observing a lot lately.... A LOT!

Isn't it weird that mostly on Indian roads, the folks with the really expensive cars sometimes behave like they have not an ounce of dura mater up their heads?! I mean, seriously! Here are folks who're rich enough to own a Porche or an Audi. But fey fate! They weren't exactly blessed with a matching common sense to drive these cars on the roads! It's almost like they have an inner voice telling them that if they were "smart" enough to get some really awesome cars, they're smart enough to flout rules and do as they please on roads. When I see people with that sort of mentality, I have this picture in my head!

When will people ever learn?

On another note, if you're getting a weird font for some inexplicable reason when you view certain websites, you might find this discussion useful!

Serif font appears weird!