Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Karma. Always.

1. When chased, a serpent escapes into a well, an elephant to the trunk (to which it can be tethered); a mouse to its hole............... but who can fly from karma which is quicker than all these?

Garuda Purana.


2. There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions. In a little while the servant came back, pale and shivering, and said, "Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd. When I turned I saw it was Death herself that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture! I pray you lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will flee to Samarra and Death will not find me there".
The merchant gave him his horse, and the servant mounted it. He dug his spurs in furiously and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. The merchant then went down to the market and he saw Death standing in the crowd. He came to Death and asked," Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?" "That was no threatening gesture...", Death said, " was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra".

Appointment in Samarra.
Babylonian folktale, popularised by Somerset Maugham.


Duryodhana and his vulnerable thigh.
Gandhari's one-shot Yogic power, gained through a lifetime of devotion would have made her firstborn impervious to anything the Pandavas could muster, and carried the day for the Kurus. But it took Lord Krishna's briefest taunt to sow a dragon seed of unnecessary shame in the mind of Duryodhana..... the Kuru prince signed his own death certificate that night.


The very virtuous, but doomed (by his own vanity) Emperor Pareekshith in his "secure" fortress...... vainly trying to hide from Takshak, the instrument of his Karma.


The mighty Achilles with his vulnerable heel.
The Goddess Styx herself becomes the unwtting instrument of her son's Karma.


Sinnerman where you gunna run to,
Sinnerman where you gunna run to,
Where you gunna run to,
All on that day?.....

Sinnerman, by Nina Simone


Hoichi was a blind mistrel in medieval Japan, a man so gifted in the arts of the Biwa ( Japanese Lute) that even the demons couldn't refrain from tears. He was particularly skilled at playing the Tale of the Heike, the saga of the fall of the Antoku Emperor and the Taira clan..... the Emperor being buried in the Amidaji shrine cemetery where Hoichi lived.
One night a Samurai visits him and asks Hoichi to play for his master, a powerful lord. Hoichi agrees and follows the Samurai to the palace of the nobleman, a realm of much splendour and gaiety (from the sound of things) where the assembled guests asked him to play the Tale of the Heike. The performance moved the audience to tears and amidst thunderous applause the nobleman requested Hoichi to make a follow up performance the next night. Before the retainer returned him to his temple, Hoichi was warned not to speak of the evening's events as his master was travelling incognito.

The following evening, the samurai returned to Hoichi's quarters and led him back to the nobleman..... and this continued for a few days. However, Hoichi's absences were soon discovered by his friend, the priest of the Temple. The priest grew suspicious and instructed his servants to keep an eye on Hoichi. It was not just his bouts of absence, Hoichi seemed to be turning weaker, paler and drained these days..... it seemed he was being slowly erased out of existence. When they saw him leaving the temple the servants followed and eventually found Hoichi playing his biwa in the middle of the cemetery! The servants dragged him back to the temple and Hoichi explained the previous night's events to the priest.

Realizing that Hoichi had been marked and bound by the restless Hungry Ghosts who tried to relive their mortal days and listen to their own tale.... and (perhaps unwittingly) were draining Hoichi of his life-force, the priest vowed to save his friend from further harm. He painted Hoichi's whole body with the sacred text of the Heart Sutra and instructed him to remain silent and motionless when he is called upon by his ghostly escort. But the priest forgot something.......

That evening the ghost of the samurai retainer called for Hoichi as before, and was angered when he received no response. The ghostly samurai approached Hoichi but was unable to see anything but his ears. The holy sutra had rendered the rest of Hoichi's body invisible to the retainer but the priest had forgotten Hoichi's ears! Attempting to comply with his orders, the samurai ripped Hoichi's ears off as proof that they had been the only portion of the lute player that was available.

The Legend of Hoichi the Earless,
Japanese Folklore


It always gets you, right?
In Eastern, non-semitic religions, Karma is the perhaps the greatest cosmic truth. IMO, it is the measure of what you have done if your lifetimes........ plus what's "ordained" for you. Yea, the latter is a factor too. Some cultures say karma is entirely tangible..... like the Ancient Egyptian funda where your heart is weighed against an ostrich feather by Anubis. It binds both humans and Gods, even if the intent was "noble".... from Lord Shiva himself doing intense penance for Brahmahatya to the King of Qin paying for his "tyranny" at the bitter end. It will visit you and/or your progeny...... and anyone or anything can be an insrument of this cosmic force. You might attempt to deflect it or escape it altogether, but it *always* comes around. Wise are the ways of Karma.

Notice how the religions of the world try to tackle this CORE issue? Some seek an attenuation of bad Karma through life-cycles among other paths, some promise offsetting it through various means..... sometimes even corporal mortification, some apparently "skirt" the whole issue by providing grace based relief and salvation.... with a simple leap of faith and some provide eternal, but material bounties in return for simple, unwavering assosciation and adherence.
This might sound too simplistic and somewhat reductionist, but don't they ALL boil down to Karma-Causality?

PS: Extremely tangential and spin-off thoughts after seeing (for the nth time) that scene where a dying Captain Miller says "Earn This!" to Private Ryan. In a rare philosphical mode.... damn! Don't worry, tiger...... it's nothing that can't be cured by any one of the seven sins you are so familiar with! I think I'll do some gluttony and envy today. ;)

PPS: I don't exactly remember how I reached Karmic concepts from that point.... maybe I should reconstruct it sometime later. Some train of thought, eh? Now you know why I chose the title, The Wanderer? :P

Monday, April 17, 2006

Guten Tag

Arrrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhh! I have been tagged by this vial of venom
Here goes anyway.....

1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

.... Afghans. Jayapal's army is estimated at 12000 cavalry, 30000 foot...

2. Stretch your left arm as far as you can

The girl sitting in the PC station next to mine slaps me..... Ayyo!
M'scuse, Cherie!

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

That Ashiqui Meri video from 36 Chinatown.

4.Without looking, guess what time it is?

2:40 PM?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

2: 36 PM.

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

The above mentioned girl putting a supari on my head through her mobile phone.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

Cursing the cablewallahs for not fixing my net connection and dashing off to the cafe.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

My orkut scrapbook.

9. What are you wearing?

Prem Nazir era Psychedelic pattern dark lungi and cotton shirt.

10. Did you dream last night?


11. When did you last laugh?

Outlook's year end special issue with a cartoon on our own Fraud-i-Jahan-i-Maulvi-ul-Management, "Doctor" Arindam Chaudhari. It was hilarious..... showed the Ponytail with the seat of his pants bitten off by a webpage (Refers to the major asskicking he got from desi blogosphere from gurus like Greatbong and Gaurav Sabnis. Too bad I missed it!). Exclusive expose of his pink floral undies too.....

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

The cafe walls? Lots of ads...... lots. Some interior decoator they got!

13. Seen anything weird lately?

Yea....... Comrade V.S. Achuthanandanov is going by the moniker "Vikas purush".
Yea right.... and I am Bolshoi Ballerina Anna Pavlova!

14. What do you think of this quiz?

Needs more of ze Weird Factor.

15. What is the last film you saw?

Der Untergang (Downfall)
PS: I could write poems on this piece of art....... great movie!
Bruno Ganz is amazing! I never thought I would feel even a sliver of sympathy for Hitler.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A 6000 sq ft seaside villa in Malibu county.... on a 5 acre walled grounds.
A castle in Ireland.
A Gulfstream Jet.
A 1000 acre farmhouse near Delhi.
Kawdiar Palace, Trivandrum. (They BETTER sell it when I ask them!)

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.

I am claustrophobic.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

Teleport our friendly neighbours viz Pakis, Chinese, BDs etc to a barely habitable planet
atleast 347,897,000 parsecs away and replace them with blondes from Sweden.

19. Do you like to dance?

Sunny Deol takes his dancing lessons from me. See him do my steps in Yaara O Yaara song in Jeet?

20. George Bush.

He's no village idiot. Don't fall for that old parlor trick.....
PS: You know guys, I am Republican!

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?


22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?


23. Would you ever consider living abroad?


24. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

Welcome, my son! Your 72 Houris are waiting by the poolside.

25. 4 people who must also do this meme in their journal.

Sorry. Everyone else I know has done zis!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Wanderer Tags.....


Nobody has tagged me yet....... bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah and boo-fr1ggin-hoo. Therefore, I decided to start a chain myself. This potpourri is somewhat weird, snoopy and spooky I guess..... consider this as a punishment for not tagging me yet! NJAHAHAHAHAHA.

I have chosen da following Lords of Blogistan Khanates in this initiative. The are, Jiby, MindCurry, Silverine, Quills, Deepa, Poison, and Pooja .
Kripya indulge moi and yourself. Spread my message, ye lesser mortals.

PS: You may choose to invoke the 5th Amendment (US) principle. ;)

And now, let me give MY take......


5 people who top your sh1t list..... and why:

a) Velupillai Prabhakaran: Reason, the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

b) Mallika Sherawat: For being a blot on the fair name of the vamp. Vamps have class!

c) Arundhati Roy: For being a bloviating banshee and an obfusticating, pseudo-secular, pseudo-socialist fraud.

d) Brinda Karat and Prakash Karat: A very dangerous and high-profile duo.....

e) Hafeez Mohammed Sayeed: Don't you just love these kind of critters?

Close brushes with death/danger:

a) I-15 highway, Spring Break 2005: Trip to Vegas and Grand Canyon. GC swung the Ford sharply into the bushes to avoid being fodder for that eighteen-wheel truck...... Some drunk bums who were tailing us tried to "coax" us to play Chicken in that godforsaken stretch. I swear I had an epiphany of a tall, mace-armed dark figure on a water-buffalo beckoning me...

b) Trivandrum, 1997: Hitched a ride with S, after tution classes. He sees his longtime crush coming out of a bakery and instantly forgets he's on a bike, in the busiest junction in Trivandrum..... with a valuable person like me riding pillion. He didn't change gears, he didn't slow down, no signals..... just swung into the wrong side and almost into the pavement to say Hi to her. I still dunno how we escaped that KSRTC bus........ I could almost smell the drivers chappals.

5 Preferable modes of suicide, in descending order:

You never know. In case you ever need to.....ummmmm, heh heh. Nothing.
Anyway, I remember this discussion I had with a cpl of classmates in CET. I never knew those dudes and dudettes were so warped. Cool!

a) Slitting yer veins in a hot tub:
Fave method of disgraced Roman Patricians. Painless, dreamlike and clean.... as long as you don't slice the wrist tendons instead. Gives you *some* time to reconsider what you are doing. In case you can't afford a tub, a bucket of water wud do

b) Sleeping Pills:
At least 40 barbituaries it seems.... not yet expired, pleej. Not unless you wanna die of Diarrhea instead! Use it only if someone can find you before you start to stink.

c) Gunshot:
It is said that the classic filmi shot to the temple is not very reliable as the bullet might travel on the inside edge of the thick cranium.... and leave you a vegetable. Try shooting inside your mouth, barrel directed to the spine. Or from under your chin, barrel upwards.

d) The Jump: 100% guarentee if you take atleast the 15th floor..... but causes a bad mess. You either get splattered or land on your legs, driving them into your torso or something.

e) Hanging: The upside, you can do it almost anywhere...... with anything. The downside, brown pants..... always. Moreover, a very slow, messy and painful Tyburn Jig if your neck doesn't break when the chair is kicked off.

Wicked, eh? :P

5 Guilty pleasures:

a) Blaxploitation movies..... luvvvvv Pam Grier.

b) Midnight Masala of local TV channels. A salute to my schoolboy years..... somehow it looks cheesy now.

c) 80's era Rajnikanth films.... the ones where he grabs a rocket mid-flight and directs it back to the villain saying "Ithu Unakku"! (Tams, please don't pounce on me!)

d) Mithunda's B-movies...... all except Jallad, which was a kinda OK remake of Satyaraj's Amaithi Padai, a surprisingly good movie. Cool performances by both Mithunda and especially the Lollu Mannan, Satyaraj.

e) Bollywood "action" flicks from the early 90s. Anyone remember those flicks like Mr.Bond, Suraksha and Zaalim?

5 things you never want to forget:

a) Dad, Mom, Bro and I, 1993 .......... South India pilgrimage trip. We've had so many trips, but this one is my fave. Especially the Tanjavur leg of the trip.

b) When she gave me that hilarious "love-note" ....... even though it was in jest and I had to laugh with everyone.

c) Winning my first Quiz..... 1990, Bishop's Hall, Trivandrum.

d) Loyola years, letting those sweet, creamy "jam-cakes" melt in my mouth.........

e) The first view of my university from the freeway.

5 things you wish to forget:

a) Our Pettai Rap in the school assembly...... at the farewell to our seniors function. Fr Manimala was too shocked and numbed to launch the verbal firestorm he's notorious for.

b) Trying to mix Tequila, bare bones Vodka, Gin and Pizza in ONE sitting..... and "redecorating" Bala's room and a couple of his friends. I was later told they had to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency to decontaminate the county. It was my first time you see.... and I never drank again after that. (I mean, nothing stronger than champagne).

c) That major traffic jam I caused in Pattom when I inexplicably forgot all my driving lessons in a flash...... The upside, learned a lot of imaginative Gaalis from the friendly traffic cop who came to aid me.

d) That goddamned cop costume they made we wear for GG House tableau for the Youth Festival...... gave me the worst case of rashes! I strongly suspect it was last used by some Kurd lab-rat in one of Saddam Hussein's bio-war labs.

e) OJ convincing me to sing Hotel California (Mallu-Mix Unlimited version) along with him in Deer Park venue of Sarang 2001. Think Lolakutty/Sister Stella/Ludakrishna-MC Vikram accents....... Gawd, I still remember this minx tying her duppatta to a low branch, making a noose at the other end and doing a mock suicide right in front of our "perfomance".

"Whalekome to dhee Hwottelll Kaaaaaliphorniyaaa,
Suchhyya Lowwwleeeee Playzzz...."

5 really exotic dishes you have tried:

a) Thousand Year Egg
b) Ox Lengua
c) Kimjang Kimchi
d) Murg Musallam
e) Chapli Kebab

5 crushes/loves in your life... in chronological order (even initials or nicknames wud do. Oh, no ID attempts or requests pleez):

a) Enya
b) Urmila Matondkar
c) SC
d) LS
e) Udita Goswami (Pre-skank version....... Saw her in that nun's habit in Paap? Sighhh!)

Strangest dream you ever had:

One dream a long time ago;
I'm in a rather rickety bus which is making a night trip...... can't see nothing outside, no lights, no stars, no vehicles and the road seems like an endless stretch. There seems to be no driver and there's just another passenger besides me. This passenger is a dementor like figure, only a pair of almost death-white forearms can be seen and it is sitting next to me. The voice is however rather soothing...... I think it was a female voice and quite impishly inquisitive. It was making me talk endlessly about Gulmohars, Lucky Ali songs, the apocrypha, Celtic mythos, wanderlust, ...... plus a host of other topics. Endless is the word!

The thing that makes this dream quite creepy is, I forget ALL my dreams as soon as I wake up.... but in this case I remember almost every single word exchanged, the motion of the hands, the way the spectre connected these assorted topics seamlessly..... right down to the bus stopping beside by my bed lying by the highway and it telling me "Now this is where we part.... for now". Seemed soooooo real!

Out of body experience? Acid trip? I need professional help?
Whaddya think?

5 most valued personal possessions:

My awards and certificates
Those hundreds of photos...
My diaries and logs..... and assorted mementos. Been backing up the older logs and diaries into my computer since '98.
My Laptop and External Hard Disk
My movie collection

5 favorite superheroes..... and why:

a) The Punisher: No superpowers, just demonic rage and hate. Darkest of the lot.
b) V: The true revolutionary. The one who knows "Why" and "How".
c) Spiderman: The Everyman Superhero.
d) Rorschach: Moral absolutism, his conviction, attitude..... and tragic fate.
e) Batman: The tech, the measured steps to combat crime, Christian Bale's and Michael Keaton's portrayals.

Uh Oh.
In hindsight....... shouldn't have made this crazy post. :P


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