Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Phone Call to Home

A routine call home every weekend;
Mama answers,
A voice full of
Anticipation, eagerness -
"How have you been?",
She asks.

Followed by asides of
purposeless news,
Of distant relatives,
Of old neighbours,
Of family gossips,
Of everyday banters.

As she speaks of these,
In her voice I hear,
A faint but distinct chant,
A yearning never spoken of,
Layered beneath that insignificant chatter-
"I miss you, I miss you".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Arab Street in Singapore

Yesterday was the first time that we went to the "Arab Street" in Singapore; and I was super-excited to eat shawarmas & hummus; see sheeshas; and hear someone call out "habibi"; sitting right here in Singapore!!!

It came as a surprise to me that there are enough Arabs in Singapore to be able to have one whole block dedicated to their food & lifestyle!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

This book had been on my wishlist for the longest time. Its not a page-turner, I admit; its a story of soul-searching & spiritual evolution... not the easiest subjects for a casual evening read. Until of course, you reach the end of this story-journey & it all seems so simple, so straight forward, and the beauty & depth of Hesse's prose takes your breath away.

While on this book, Kaya tagged me here. This is how her tag works....I'm supposed to write down 3 sentences from sentence no. 5 on pg. 123 of the book nearest to me. Which brings me to a quote from Siddhartha himself:

"Here we are in the middle of the thicket of opinions, in a battle of words. For I can not deny that my words about love stand in opposition, in apparent opposition to Gautama's words. This is precisely why I distrust words so much."

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I thought "Juno" is such a refreshingly different movie. It could easily be categorised under "feel-good" or "chick-flick" and yet its funny (hilarious, actually), very witty, very heartfelt; and its certainly a first-time-ever sort of a look at teenage pregnancy (loved the non-judgemental view of things).

A great movie. The scenes between Juno & her parents are absolute gems.

Oh, and did I mention the great sound-track?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trip to Vietnam - part II

Most places we saw in & around HCMC were high on Anti-America propaganda & pro-communism propaganda-- be it the horrifying details at the 'War Remnants Museum' about how Americans sprayed pesticides on entire villages that are coping with deformities & birth defects; or the documentary shown at the 'Cu Chi Tunnels' about how the nationalist heroes survived the unethical war tactics used by the Americans . I'm sure every Vietnamese kid learns that in his history & social sciences text-books.

And yet, you see a KFC outlet or a Pepsi machine around every street & strangely there seems to be no tragic association there with America or capitalism.

Here's another example of the strange contrasts we saw in this country stuck between communism & liberalisation... "Hard-rock cafe" t-shirts sold right next to commie t-shirts with Ho Chi Minh's face on it:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Ok I admit it; we stopped celebrating Valentine's Day a long, long time ago. But I've always loved this piece of poetry ever since I first heard it in the movie "In her shoes". It just fits so well for the day today & for the way I feel about my love (God, it didn't sound that mushy in my head :-) )

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Trip to Vietnam

We had a 4-days weekend in Singapore for the Chinese New Year; so we took off to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. And it turned out to be quite an interesting trip.

The lunar new year is also a big festival in Vietnam (its called the "Tet Festival") and the city was almost completely closed during the 4 days we were there. So we couldn't do much of the regular touristic stuff; like sail along the back-waters of the delta; or visit the local markets. But the festive mood in the city was quite something. There were parades & yellow flowers on almost every street in the city & it was abuzz. To give you an idea, this was what the city looked like from a rooftop bar we were sitting at :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Its strange, the things we miss about the past

Every time I step into the mono-rail trains of Singapore, I can't help but compare the orderliness & almost zombie-like discipline of that commute to the chaotic & fish-market-like experiences of travelling in Mumbai's "Churchgate-fast-train".

I don't know why I should miss that chaos, but I do.