Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Spectacular Now

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Usually, I watch a film before I’m fed with even the slightest vestige of a pre-conception through media or people around me; However, James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now” was sold to me by quite a few, of whom some were vociferous in their raving of it’s apparently “genre-defying” qualities. I was initially skeptical. Very skeptical. I’ve had more than my fair share of coming-of-age dramas, comedies, dramedies, tragedies and so on in the past few years. They’ve ranged from trite, to half hearted, decent sometimes even verging on brilliant: There was the one with the girls who were very particular about their trousers, one with hot-headed curmudgeons of teens living in the middle of nowhere and indeed many more that i struggle to recollect the names of. Then , there is the all too familiar and over-crowded setting of the American high school; I catch myself silently sighing every time one of these comes out. The clawing cliches, the hypertrophic late 20s male lead (supposed to be 17), the spray tanned and ditzy female lead…well you get the idea; the whole thing is so done, dusted and rusted that one wonders why they even bother milking any more from these genres.

Considering all this, I wasn’t really jumping to watch the film in question when it came out. I didn’t even bother watching it online. I had become sort of a high school comedy/coming-of-age drama cynic. Nevertheless, constant haranguing on the part of my lady love and overwhelmingly good reviews by several established critics/websites, claiming that the film was pathbreaking and so unlike any other movie of it’s class, made me watch it.

The film was one that I liked. It is a very likeable film; very easy on the eyes, charming leads (who thankfully do look like they are in their late teens), a screenplay that doesn’t meaninglessly meander,some amazingly memorable moments and a strong emotional quotient. The film manages to do everything it sets out to,although to me,it was a minor disappointment. I am inclined to attribute this to the very thing I mentioned in the beginning: the expectations that I was ready-fed to have before watching it. In my opinion, there wasn’t much about the film that could be characterised as either pathbreaking or un-stereotypical of it’s genre. In fact it’s remarkable how diligently the film sticks to it’s genre’s template. The film could, in fact, be described as a thorough effort to check the boxes that constitute it’s kind, though what is remarkable is that the boxes have been checked with great aplomb and impeccable attention to detail: When Sutter feels embarrassed to make public his liaison with Aimee, it doesn’t feel forced or due to some inexplicable pecking-order-standing bullshit: you get it. You get why one would have to grow to like this girl. And she isn’t a feisty mean bitch who compensates for looks with a “killer-atti” either. She is shy, gluttonous for attention and lacking in self respect (just like you would expect a real-life socially awkward/romantically inexperienced teenager to be) .The mandatory “meeting-the-estranged-father” scene is so realistically scripted and so brilliantly acted out that the awkwardness almost permeates through .The scene best exemplifies the film’s triumphs.

The trajectory of the plot’s progression is and well structured and almost  every scene is the subsequent logical aftermath of the former. The background score is perfectly adequate albeit largely forgettable.

It’s a film that gets most things right, though the fact that countless films have tried and tried again to do the same,seems to negate it’s achievement just a bit, in my eyes.

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Her

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After watching both “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation”, I was left with a feeling of awe for Spike Jonze’s flair for the meta. He dabbles in such ingenious ideas and  that too with remarkable compactness and adherence to internal logic. The films rank high in my lists of brilliant original screenplays and cerebrally engaging cinema. “Her”, the director’s latest feature, perches itself comfortably alongside his previous works and in many departments, manages to outshine them. I have to mention, before delving any deeper, that “Her” , to me, is one of the best films of 2013.

The film is set in the future (year unmentioned). The treatment of this particular premise is the film’s first selling point. It paints a very understated and un-HG Wells-esque picture of life in the future. No flying cars, audaciously unnecessary props ,frippery CGI and all such gimmicks that have come to become Sci-fi staples. The film paints a wonderfully detailed picture of life in it’s time and setting  whilst also being healthily nondescript. This is no mere feat and warrants commending in plenty. It makes you very aware of the fact that it’s a different time with very subtle and understated touches: like the lead character (along with many others) preferring (futuristic) sweatpants with plaids rather than jeans or khakis even for work, Video games featuring more interactivity and taxis that give out all but silent purrs. Never do these become anything more than mere props/tools. It successfully manages to wedge itself between the territories of drama and (black,understated) comedy. You don’t feel like you are watching the work of an overgrown  kid playing around with CGI that his producers got him; It’s the work of an auteur through and through. It is a film that takes itself seriously, expects you to as well and has the credentials to warrant that and more.

Hollywood abounds in films that find their roots in extremely original and clever ideas but make a mess of the execution; Many a film has left me lingering with a feeling of “what-could-have-been”. This is not one of those. Indeed the crux of the film’s plot, which is that of a man falling in love with an AI was sold as such and upfront. What it does with this idea and how it probes into the many tangents that the subject matter offers is remarkable and , for me, what makes it a great film. This is a film that manages to strikes the right balance on a multitude of factors. It’s paced languidly and it invests ample time in developing it’s characters to warrant emotions on the viewer’s part but it seldom ceases to engage (both superficially and viscerally); It offers chuckles and smiles on tap and also a few laugh out loud moments.  It is also never quite completely dystopian or utopian (notwithstanding the fact that this film is likely to leave one incredibly melancholic). It just presents a society, much like any modern one, without imposing on the viewer a prism to view things through .

The visual finesse of the movie is par excellence. With it’s constantly ambling  movements, the camera makes it’s presence felt but never quite for it’s own sake. The mood that the film creates, owing in no small part to the background score and colour palette, is addictive and stays with you long after the credits roll.

The casting is spot-on. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a career best performance and Scarlett Johansson delivers an uncharacteristically well emoted performance (though only in voice). Rooney Mara stands out although she only appears in one scene and a few montage clips

Her is a bittersweet tale of love and urban angst which is easy on the eye and unabashedly piercing. A must watch.

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2 lazy days in Aleppey

I spent the last 2 days in Aleppey, Kerala. This was my first trip to this popular tourist-magnet in Southern India. I had a rudimentary idea of the place, prior to the trip, from movies and pictures. I imagined ample coconut trees, vast expanses of water and and all that picturesque stuff. Before anything else, I need to mention that this trip was intended as a means to unwind/relax for a bit before what seems to be a strenuous and demanding few weeks ahead; Therefore, extensive coverage of sightseeing spots or basically lot of activity wasn’t on the agenda.

I spent the first half of my first day watching cricket in my room. It’s nice to do that. I realised then that there was something about making a 7 hour train journey, paying for a hotel room and then watching TV there (as opposed to doing the same at home) that really agreed with me. It’s quite something, being in an alien environment and then introducing a semblance of normalcy/mundaneness in it: quite the heady holiday recipe for me. I did make short excursions for lunch and drinks.

After India lost, I lamented over a lost few hours and took a nap: Again, most people wouldn’t do that when they are somewhere for just two days but I guess that’s how I roll on holidays. Sleep feels better; Food feels better; Just everything that I always do has a nice and refreshing dimension and possesses a gratifying potential of a higher order, when Im travelling.

I spent the evening at Aleppey Beach. It’s rather clean and not very crowded (by Indian standards). The find of the night was “Mandala’s”. A cosy hotel/pub on the beach almost exclusively patronised by western backpackers. Nice music, a cosy treehouse and fun staff make this a nice place to spend a social (albeit relaxed) evening. the expensive beer is a drag though.

This morning, I explored the backwaters on a canoe. The backwaters are by and far the biggest draw in Aleppey. They are well known for their scenic nature and are frequented by tourists aplenty. It was good fun though I kept wishing I had some weed with me. Situations like these seldom spare you the craving for inebriation. On afterthought, I should have settled and bought a beer beforehand but foresight has never been my strong suit. .

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Musings – India vs New Zealand , 1st ODI, Napier

  • Corey Anderson is the find of the year. The boy bats and fields like he’s on coke and can bowl decently in addition. Brilliant performance.
  • I know many will disagree, But, Rohit Sharma is a flat track Bully. Plain and Simple. He needs to up his game massively (in the off season) if he wishes to contend for a place on overseas tours. With the World Cup right round the corner, India still struggles to find an established opening pair. Gambhir and Vijay seem like possible options to try out. I’m still divided on Dhawan (especially his weakness against the short ball ) Let’s see how things go in the rest of the series. I would also permit myself to think that Raina has been given too long a rope.
  • Virat Kohli is making even the staunchest of cynics have a second thought. Definitely India’s best batsman and indeed one of the very best on the planet. Consistency and flair sans parallel. Centuries in the sub-continent, South Africa, Australia, West Indies, England and now, New Zealand, (he’s 25 for fuck’s sake) say something about his approach to the game in addition to his precocious talent. And boy oh boy what finesse!! Such pomp in his strokes. Brilliant innings today!!
  • Dhoni’s innings was appreciable too. He wasn’t seeing the ball very well in the beginning and there was some awkward stuff outside off-stump.Nevertheless, he displayed grit. He took his time, constructed a solid base and let Kohli do the merry making. Later, he chimed in with his own fireworks to get his strike rate to 95+,but in the end, fell prey to the same caught-behind dismissal that has taken his wicket on so many away games. India were cruising when he and Kohli were at the crease.
  • I especially wanted to make note of India’s performance on the field today but couldn’t do so because the first innings was at like 6.30, my time, and I was fucking half-asleep. But, considering the kiwi’s spirited efforts (notwithstanding the dropped catches) on the field (especially, ground fielding) makes me think that India wouldn’t hurt by upping their fielding a little bit.
  • Ravindra Jadeja can’t bat. Yes he’s hit a couple of  ODI half-centuries on dead tracks. Since when is that all that it takes for somebody to be labelled an “All-rounder”. Oh the gall!! He’s a decent bowler but that’s it. I beg all those responsible to stop perpetrating the illusion that this guy is the answer to India’s need for batting depth.
  • I have watched Ashwin for about 3-4 years now and I have always been a fan. Nevertheless, him being under the radar ATM is completely justified and he really needs to pull up his socks and be more patient, testing and accurate (especially on tracks like these).
  • I really think Cheteshwar Pujara should be in the ODI squad. Haters can fuck off. The man can bat! In my opinion, there is no such thing as a test-exclusive batsman who can’t play LOC. Well maybe that’s true for T20s but for the 50 over game, you would do well to have, at least, one solid, consistent batsman like Pujara. Especially looking at the recent ODI debacle in SA and now, the clusters of wickets today, I really feel the team lacks any anchors spare Dhoni and Kohli. If Pujara is given a look in and asked to play his natural game in crisis scenarios, it could well mean the difference between a  win/loss . On days when the top order gets rollicking, he could play a little lower down. Didn’t they learn anything from the last 15 years or so? At first, Dravid was touted a test specialist unsuitable for the LOI format, but he is India’s 3rd highest run getter in the format and has spared us the blushes on INNUMERABLE occasions. The Indian ODI side, though on a great peak, really needs that sort of a rock-solid batsman who can steady a sinking ship.
  • Mohamed Shami is a revelation! I see a brilliant 2015 WC prospect here.I’ve been observing him since the home series against Australia and he’s impressed me with every turn. Especially in the SRT farewell tests, he was brilliant. Likewise, was spot-on in his line and length today (well for most part. I mean he’s 22!) and was relentlessly posing threats to the kiwi batsmen. Though he turned out a tad expensive, he did a sterling job of picking up 4 wickets. I am incredibly curious to see what a bit more game-experience and conditioning is going to do for this guy. In the same vein, Mitch McClenaghan is also a promising starlet to watch out for. Searing pace and decent accuracy make him a real threat in these conditions.
  • Brendan McCullum’s aggressive captaincy (albeit with a few gambles and blunders) deserves a mention. Also, the NZ side need to be commended for not giving up hope when the show really seemed to be going the Indian way.
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Havelock Island (published editorial)

Juxtaposing itself in magnificent contrast to the tawdry and worn-out (lack of) charm of popular tourist destinations that heap themselves with a progressively increasing set of cliche’s that don’t help, is the truly exotic paradise that is Havelock island. Situated in the Andamans, off the shore of India, the island is one of the most visited in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 Still untouched by the manic craze that is known to engulf popular island destinations, Havelock’s low-profile and it’s lazy quaintness prove it’s trump cards. The sheer slowness of pace that is on display here is a delivering change from the rigours of panic-stricken urban hullabaloo. This, probably serving to ward off the luxury lovers, manifests as lodges that meet no requisite standard of maintenance and prove to be quite far from the “resorts” that they claim themselves to be. In all honesty though, this is still far from a hindrance as it’s quite integrated to the rest of the island’s laidback attributes.

 Getting to havelock might be quite a pricey affair. Owing to it’s seclusion and the the general high price of commodities, Havelock is not the lightest on one’s pocket. A ferry from Port Blair (capital of the Andamans and preferred means of getting to Havelock) can set one back from anywhere between Rs.300 for a government operated one, which incidentally, happens to be really difficult to obtain a last minute reservation for and upto Rs.1300 for a private boat. The exorbitant prices don’t quite end there. Most foods, save the locally obtained seafood, is imported from the mainland. And so are other commodities such as petroleum and textiles. Therefore, as a thumb rule, one is to know that anything in Havelock costs at least 75% more than the mainland.

 Radhanagar Beach is by and far the most popular draw of the island. Voted by TIME, in 2004, as the best beach in Asia, the white sand of the beach adjacent to the lushness of the towering greenery and the corals which are found in plenty, make this a visit of a lifetime. It is quite a common habit among tourists to watch the gorgeous sunset from here. Numbered 7 on the Beach Numbering System, this lovely strip of white sand and clear turquoise waters redeems Havelock, by itself.

,  Other popular beaches include the Elephant Beach ,known as a major snorkelling venue) and the kalapathar beach, known for it’s tranquility and undisturbed peace.

While avenues to amuse/occupy oneself are plenty such as Trekking, Scuba Diving and Snorkelling, one may also choose the more lethargic pursuit of cozily settling down on the shore and get some sun while reading that 500-page block that one could never dedicate enough time for.

 While the local cuisine does boast of a few specialties (mostly seafood), it must be known that the cuisine of the area is largely based on filling voids of inadequacies (of ingredients and skill) and may prove to be quite a nightmare for those with less flexible dietary preferences/tastes.

A trip to Havelock, in my opinion, energizes, engages and recharges

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Life after Roger Ebert; The mantle passes

`I would like to begin this post by stating that I staunchly believe that critiquing is quite veritably, an art in itself. It takes,among other rare and demanding virtues, uncommon levels of objectivity, a keen sense of observation and an encyclopaediac knowledge base in the concerned area.

Roger Ebert, my all time favourite movie critic, passed away earlier this year. The film aficionado in me suppressed many a silent tear. His loss to me was profound in an extremely selfish way and was sorely personal.

I discovered him when I first started realising that Rotten Tomatoes’ tomatometer, in itself, was not a reliable indicator of a movie’s watchability/merits by my standards. I started reading individual reviews of films and over a period of time, one critic’s tastes, reviews and accuracy (again by my standards) definitely stood out. The rest is a long history of my torrent download list being a product of constant deferral to his judgement.

Why did I like his reviews so much? Firstly, his piranha grip over the English language and his effortlessly eloquent writing style resonated with me. Secondly, his overall set of cinematic ideals, in terms of aesthetics, technicalities and pretty much everything else conformed to (and sometimes, shaped) my own. In addition, his acute objectivity helped transcend philosophical and idealogical differences (he was a theistic socialist; I’m a raging libertarian atheist) that could have possibly led to a difference in perception and patronisation of certain loaded subjects. Lastly, what made him stand apart was the method of rating films as products of their relative genres, which he pioneered.

Naturally, my film-life suffered due to the existence of a palpable black hole when he died and going was tough for a few weeks. Then, in a fashion decidedly congruent with the whole “when a door closes, a window opens” school of bullshit, I stumbled upon my next favourite critic through a Roger Ebert obituary that he had published in an Indian daily; The co-incidence is definitely gasp-worthy. The new holder of the coveted mantle is Baradwaj Rangan, who writes reviews for The Hindu and also publishes his stuff on baradwajrangan.wordpress.com. With to-die-for witticisms, uncannily overlapping personal tastes/beliefs (to an extent  unimaginable with even Ebert) and a thorough disdain for the nonsense, Rangan had me scouring his blog for reviews of my all time favourites and choking with teared joy on having found the perfect patch for the hole. It was also poetically fitting that he was tam brahm.

I believe I have started admiring him as a proper writer and not just a tool to ease my filtration process for films. Sadly, his job’s dictates mean that he reviews a lot of films that don’t usually feature in my to-watch list. I end up reading reviews for a lot of films that I know I would never watch, if only to entertain myself with his writing.

I strongly recommend his blog.

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The AAP Effect

the knight in plain white

the knight in plain white

I would like to preface this by saying that I have extremely anti-statist views when it comes to governance. I like my governments small and unobtrusive (possibly even non existent).

However, talking from more of an India-exclusive standpoint, I have always maintained that it isn’t going to be one political ideology, be it this end or the other, that is suddenly going to change the traditionally murky Indian political setup for the better. For me, the reason behind the pitfalls was hardly a function of a flawed stance/misplaced beliefs. It was a function of the maleficence and apathy that characterised the reign of many a party ,each claiming to hold dear another set of ideals. In the spectrum of political beliefs/stances, the AAP hasn’t even bothered defining itself. The propaganda had a healthy dose of the Indian political staple of populism and promise of state-handouts. Nevertheless, it isn’t political ideology, at least of the right-left-centre persuasion, that defines AAP.They have defined themselves, or seek to, in terms simple, clear and resonating: anti-corruption. While to the outsider, this may seem like a glaring redundancy, since it’s obvious no party would make corruption their motto, it is tragically common knowledge in India that the two major Central Parties that have enjoyed power for more than 5 decades are ones where corruption runs rampant and unchecked all the way down to the rotting foundations. Established on the aftermath of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement that caused quite the nation-wide stir, by an active participant in the struggle no less, the party had a clear cut brand positioning, so to speak. Aided by doggedly determined and often clever propaganda that went on for the better half of a year, the party set up quite a good base for itself. This in tandem with the Delhi denizens’ disillusionment with the mostly ineffective Congress government headed by Sheila  Dixit for a decade, secured the fledgling party a historic first-poll haul.

To me, before the AAP wave swept over, there was a fair bit of skepticism. I was not convinced that honest intentions,even if they could be taken as such in the first place, are enough in themselves to run a successful government. Such misgivings were mitigated firstly by the knowledge that the AAP is headed by a person who can a. read b. write and has a degree from a premier institute to boot. That’s comedically (?) rare stuff in India. Sadly, this is a country where high school dropouts unabashedly spearhead top education portfolios and the general bulk of the key legislative bodies are often woefully undereducated. Therefore, for obvious reasons, the AAP is a welcome change in this respect. Although, a point to the counter turned out to be the sad reality of  the party on a number-rising spree, indiscriminately adding potential Lok Sabha candidates into it’s fold, with no apparent considerations of merit (some of these guys have a proven track record for misappropriating large amounts of public money.)

This brings us to the question: is the AAP really going to change things drastically? As I write this, the AAP has been in power for 9 days and I already see progress. The move is being reflected in small changes being made at the grassroots level. It seems unlikely that they have any clarity of stance on the crucial questions that divide politicians and the the science, all over the world; However, they (from the leader’s speeches) seem really keen to usher in a brand of governance that, is self-describedly anti polar to one that has prevailed in this country. They have made good on most of their short-term assurances from their manifesto and that in itself deserves some if not heaps of credit.
Nevertheless, unlike bigoted zealots who are running amok in plenty, overjoyed at having found a new idol to  blindly celebrate and worship, I insist that one can’t, at this moment, make any predictions for the party’s long term viability, steadfastness to it’s resolves or even it’s fate in the Lok Sabha which are almost upon us. These remain to be seen.

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Am I going to get raped in India?

Many a curious and adventure seeking soul ventures to think of making the trip to India  and indeed many do; But, in my own experience, the level of disparity in people’s perceptions of this country is something that astounds me in it’s polarity and incongruity. One may naively extend a weak argument that this could probably be attributed to cultural/linguistic diversity and all that. Not completely unfounded, but I’ve noticed something else; Beyond the confines of linguistic, economic, socio-political and provincial divides, there exists a larger Indian divide: one that I neither claim to understand the basis of, nor seek to define in crisp and clear terms (if “crisp and clear” is your motto, twitter, in my humble opinion, would be more to your liking). This divide stems, I feel, from one factor too many. The fact that the country in discussion has 1.4 billion (the last time i checked) combinations of the previously mentioned factors in addition to factors such as predispositions/natural inclinations, belief systems, moral codes, influences (external stimuli) and many more which my myopic haste doesn’t allow me to consider, is in itself a very convincing probable reason for this phenomenon.

Many a foreigner has asked me questions about india , the answers to which, would involve me making at least a conservative generalisation. I have expressly refrained (not that I completely disagree with the whole idea of generalising/categorisation of people; It’s convenient and accurate to a large part in a lot of cases). It’s because, despite having spent the first 17 years of my life here and intermittent periods in the next three, I still find it difficult to generalise Indians in most terms: be it behaviour, beliefs, what’s appropriate/acceptable, what’s not and so forth. I, being mildly pedantic, also resent it when others don’t accept this diversity of massive proportions, as such and try inaccurately to pigeon-hole people into vague categories like “western”, “orthodox”, “hip” and so on. But, i really think that sort of thing gravely underestimates the inaccuracy of it’s placements; And I don’t even say this from a philosophical POV. I say this in pragmatic terms, on the basis of first hand experience. So , if you are a prospective traveller, with a question in your mind like “what are indians like..?” or even “what are the bulk of them like”, well the answer I would give you is that, even by the most lenient of standards, I wouldn’t be able to say.

In the light of all the rape/molestation cases that have been under the media scanner lately, it is but obvious that apprehensions are running wild amongst those who once fantasised about getting to India someday. I am not going to be the guy who dismisses these fears as baseless and Im definitely not going to be the guy who delineates the entire country as unsuitable to travel to either. It is a sad truth that a substantial number of Indian men, thanks to a social setup, that, for most part is sexually repressed, have resorted to forcibly violating women (foreign and Indian alike). the argument that “rape happens elsewhere too” is a crappy one. It does happen a lot more here. It is what it is. Coupled with a rusty legal setup and a largely obsolete, apathetic and inefficient police force, the threat is definitely a viable one. But honestly, I severely doubt that it is as likely to happen as most western media/people claim. yes, you are likely to be harangued and even borderline harassed by many a local (that applies to male tourists too). But, I really don’t think the chances of getting raped, provided one takes the most minimum of precautionary measures, amounts to anything of significance. Again, you’ve got to bear the huge population in mind.  I really do believe that if one does a probable cost-tangible benefits analysis and vows to be about one’s wits, a trip to India still is, by my standards, worth it.

I read a blog entry a few weeks ago which was written by a British woman married to an Indian man. She tried to elucidate on the many archetypal indian men whose generalised attitudes/actions go unreported/unnoticed. She said, and i paraphrase (for i tried to find the blog but to no avail…maybe i’ll put up a link on a later date if i’m successful), “Everybody is talking about the Indian man that rapes; What about the Indian man that offers me seats on buses/trains? the Indian man that cares for his family to an extent unimaginable by westerners. The man that drives his sister/daughter to school in the pouring rain and patiently waits while his wife shops” and so on. I liked it despite it’s slightly flawed premise. Especially because, these examples that she mentioned, aren’t minorities but are stereotypical of the average Indian man. That, these people seldom will feature in a tourist’s interactions whilst in the country, is a different thing altogether

scooter

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India and me

After many forays into the arena of blogging: with polarised returns/successes, I came upon the idea of writing a blog about my travels through the subcontinent (pedants to be warned: I might just write something about one of my foreign travels   too). Much as there is to be proud of the vast piece of geographical significance that I inhabit, I never subscribed to any false claims of supremacy or greatness ascribed to this land by it’s fair share of jingoists. The country, and I do not compare, has it’s lion’s share of inequities, appalling evils and cringe-worthy idiosyncrasies. Nevertheless, I do feel that the chaos and the diversity (oh the cliche!) contribute towards it being a country of immense potential in terms teaching one a thing or two about the human condition. The mind boggling multitudes of people can be cited as a primordial reason. That these multitudes don’t inhabit the same cultural framework, economic stratum (oh by a long shot) or any semblance of a collective zeitgeist only adds to the aforementioned chaos; Throw in the scores of (might I add, mutually unintelligible) languages, about half a dozen religions and about a million self imposed demarcations, and you begin to get somewhere, in understanding the scheme of things that drive this nation.

I seek to perpetrate no illusion that I have a clear idea of what divine task I set out to accomplish through this spider-web journal. The idea took it’s birth solely as a collection of pieces I wrote every now and then, in the course of my myriad escapades through the country. As I got through the logistical axioms of setting up a WordPress account and instituting this blog, the wretched mind of mine had already started seeing tangential overtures to the pre-determined purpose of this endeavour. And now, as I write this historic first piece, I still (dare I say, unabashedly?), maintain that I would like this to run it’s course. But, what I do know is that I want this to be about India, being Indian or well you get the idea. I believe this is the closest I have (also possibly, will) come to a paean to the land that bore me (i’ll really try to avoid the cliches hence. honest!)

P.S: The address Indian travel junkie was already taken, much to the chagrin of my very individualistic self. So I had to swallow my intransigent pride at the behest of WordPress and accept the present address despite it’s pluralistic connotations.

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