Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog
Monday, March 31, 2003
A B C�Dubya X Y Z
Yet another Dubya joke! My journalism professor told this in class and I am unable to remember the original source, but here goes.
The white house library is burned out and the president mourns the loss of his books. �Especially two of them, one of which I have not even finished coloring.�
The cable operator cartel in Chennai has decided to pull Rupert Murdoch�s Star Network off air. It is OK to be rid of stupid soaps but it definitely not OK to be left without the 9�o clock news.
Teenage mutant ninja mosquito
Examinations are to be conducted in the main building and so our classrooms were shifted�
�to what we discovered to be the Andamans of AU!
The science block where we are now housed, seems to have been breeding mutant creatures on chemical wastes. The mosquitoes here are bigger, whiter, more tenacious, but generally more stupid compared to the small and smart quick-draw types of AVRC.
Despite my reactionary arrogance, I do realize that there are virtues in patience, tenacity, tolerance and forgiveness. There is also a slight fear of thinking myself to be a quitter. I can also �sour grape� about things that don�t deserve me worrying about. I guess I am made like that and as long as I do myself justice, I don�t mind rationalizing my emotions on hindsight.
Is this life?
There is always the comment that accompanies any commiseration, �If you cannot face this, then what can you?� I say this now, and I might change my opinion later, but this is not what I came looking for in my life. If I�d have to put up with nonsense just because I cannot help it, I sometimes feel I deserve better.
The frustrations of being
If you think responsibility trickles down from the top, then so does irresponsibility. I have now seen one too many persons in authority being egocentric, irresponsible and plain cheap. In fact this is probably the first time in my life that I see people I cannot bring myself to respect. There have always been those who you can credit for teaching you something by facing you with the worst. Yet there are those who you wish not to credit even in that way: those not deserving any kind of recognition, positive or negative.
Over the past few months I have increasingly sounded cynical and proud, but I hate to think myself to be naturally so dispossessed. The best environments bring out the best in me; and the worst, you know what. I would indeed consider it an insult to myself, my abilities and the people I owe my confidence to, if I were to take all the blame for my own hotheaded bitterness.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
This man was solely responsible for getting a bunch of eager students to make such an event happen. Thanks kribs!
BTW, I had been to Kribs place and got to meet the family. His little girl Krithya, smart kid! We were immediately vibing pretty well, like we had known each other all the time. Plus I had a great time playing with her stuffed toys and her big green ball!
Now for some nice stuff
We really got to meet some fine people through this. Anita came in all the way from Mumbai to join in the festivities. I was expecting a hard-nosed and almost snobbish person to turn up, but as always I was wrong! I�ve never seen anybody break the ice this quick. In a matter of a few hours, we were already pulling each other�s legs. It was so nice that the entire gang was there almost all the time, spending time getting to know people besides carrying on with other duties. In fact, it was very important to have developed that camaraderie as was reflected in the success of the panel discussions.
Serious nonsense happened these few days. If the complications of organizing a national panel discussion were not enough, there was this thing with the director being changed and the resulting confusions, suspicions and insecurities. I personally did not know why students had to get into murky stuff like this, only to be used as pawns, spies, squealers, minions and buffers in stupid ego battles. Every morning there was a new bombshell thrown at us. Sometimes I went blank, but the guys were great. We stuck together, helped each other out and WE DID IT!
Insect life cycle
Organizing Blog �03 was no joke. Two days ago it felt as if there were caterpillars inside me. The tension was giving me a voracious appetite. I was hogging food and I was always hungry. Then it just stopped! A period of uneasy calm. I felt zapped and unemotional, and on the day of the panel discussion, the butterflies came out: fluttering relentlessly inside me and reminding me that this was not going to be easy. But there is something with butterflies: they flutter about, yet they give you a warm familiar feeling keeping you down on terra firma. Once the event started, they soon flew away leaving me clam and easy, but also leaving an emptiness inside me. Once it was all over, there was a sudden loss of purpose!
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Pissing it off
Can a very traumatic experience be in any way cathartic, calming even? Today was filled with revelation after revelation; shock after shock. I knew the grain from the chaff: the assholes from the true friends. I found out about the sins of the foolish and the craftiness of the smart. Plus the main thing would be the lessons I learnt in crisis management and in trusting people. The world has its share of spoilsports and infantile egomaniacs, but it sure has its share of wonderful people who know exactly what you need and are ready to help out.
On any other day of lesser troubles, I would have gone nuts, but today I just took a long piss whistling Offenbach�s Can Can.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Came back to AU to find quite a mess. Reminds me of these words by Waters
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.
Panel discussion 2
This afternoon I had a meeting with OJ and PD and decided a few things about our panel discussion. The meeting went off well, supported by a wedge of cheese pizza and a couple of cups of fizzed out Sprite.
Monday, March 24, 2003
Man I�m popular
I got three people leaving comments on my blog today
Money sure can make you an animal. Today I got into an argument over funding for the society and got wild at this guy from B.Sc. needless and stupid is how I�d put it. I did not have all the facts with me when I confronted him and I realized that I�d made a mistake by losing my temper too soon. I Apologized to the guy and went on with other work
And this was how we lost
Tendulkar was on strike, Ravi Shastri was commentating and so the TV at home was put on mute. Then Tendulkar hit a boundary and we were so pleased. Then Tendulkar got out. I went to my room, switched on some music and watched the match alone. Suddenly decided it was gonna be Animals by Floyd. First track Pigs on the wings 1: Ganguly hit sixes. Dogs: he got out. Pigs: Kaif Got out. Sheep: Sehwag was whacking the ball, so played Sheep again. Something about Gilmour�s guitar that seemed to drive Sehwag mad. Sheep for the third time and it started to rain. Pigs on the wing 2: Rain stopped. Sheep for the fourth time: Sehwag got out! Switched off the TV and the music and played solitaire until Zaheer got out. And so the wizards of Oz deservedly won the world cup
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Just give it to them
The match is not yet over, but our guys� it surely is not their day. Looking at it positively, c�mon, only one team in the whole world is better than we are.
The whole world to yourself
One thing about a cricket day is that none of the buses are crowded, none of the streets are noisily full of traffic, none of the cigarette-toting idiots in the bus stands, no traffic online, full signal on the mobile and if you are not a cricket aficionado, then no crowd in the cinemas as well.
Saturday, March 22, 2003
The Deputy Prime Minister�s motorcade kept me waiting for an hour in the bus stop today. Sardar Patel road to Raj Bhavan was blocked off. Just imagine this: one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city suddenly goes dead silent; all the traffic off the road and all the onlookers awed into silence by the security personnel. Just if you didn�t know, Sardar Patel road runs through a forest. So there are no buildings or shops or homes on either side of the roads: just the deafening silence of the woods. 7:30 PM feels like midnight. 50 people standing silently at the bus stand, the silence only broken by an occasional cough. Grim looking cops peer into the dark woods lining the road and then the far away wail and flashing lights of an approaching convoy of cars. The lights go brighter, the wail goes louder, sharper until the first jeep roads by screaming a warning, followed by a train of cars zipping past us. Small cars, big cars, cars with funny proboscis and flagellous antennae, trucks filled with armed guards, busses filled with uniformed policemen, an ambulance, a couple of luxury armored jeeps and a host of pilots, escorts and trailers signaling the end of our wait and the beginning of another ordeal in a by now crowded 5E.
Another busyness day
I�ve forgotten how Saturdays used to feel like ever since I joined AU. Today I came back home around 8:00 with good news. We�ve finally finished our edit on the Armenian Church documentary. There is some directionality to where we�re headed on the blog panel discussion. Things�re hectic yet, they�re happening. In fact yesterday we went to Doordarshan for an industrial visit. Those buggers �ave the best equipment in town and they still make such cheap shows. OK some of �em �re so much better than the nonsense that�s on satellite TV, but one thing�s certain. DD has the best engineers I�ve seen, and the worst producers.
I got this from Vipul �Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity�!
When it rains, it pours
I have not been blogging for quite some time. I had lotsof stuff to write about but could not. That�s because work has been pouring in. Blog �03�s due next week, the documentary on the Armenian Church has some post-production work left, a few assignments and tests and this whole bloody war.
Saturday, March 15, 2003
What the heck?
This is not an expression of resigned acceptance, but a manifestation of my exasperation. We have an examination tomorrow afternoon. Yeah! On a Sunday! And my hair cut�s due.
I�m trying very hard to make a very simple mint squash. Here�s how u go about doing it. Take a bunch of mint leaves, two hands full. Wash them and dry them out completely for about an hour. Put a cup of water into a bowl, mix another cup of sugar to it, add a pinch of salt and squeeze half a lemon into it. Put this into a microwave on high for six minutes. Stir it once halfway through. Now at the end of six minutes, put the dried mint leaves into the boiling thingy, close it with a lid and leave it to cool for an hour. That�s what�s happening right now. About 15 minutes later, I should strain the contents of the bowl and pour the liquid into a bottle for storage. If needed I should add some green food coloring. After refrigeration it�s good to drink� I guess! Just like any other squash, add one part of concentrate to two parts of chilled water or soda.
A full circle
I have always been a designer who used to hate the client guys commissioning the work. In fact any designer hates those dumb smart-asses who have no idea of art but believe they have the best design sense in the world. Today it was my turn to be the client commissioning work from Rohini. After a smart comment I tried to pass about her work, she gave me a nasty look and I immediately realized what I was getting into. My experience as a designer has taught me to be more considerate, yet now I really know what it means to be the commissioner of artwork.
Friday, March 14, 2003
While the Indians thrash the Kiwis�
�I�m doing some work for Blog �03. After this I got my audio premix to finish. This morning was cleaning up the recording I made of the bells. I was reasonably happy with the result. I just hope it works well. You don�t have to be a Pentium to do multitasking!
Of tarot cards and other things
Today�s a day off. So that meant that I got to watch Extraa innings on Max for the first time. Boy was it silly! They had a tarot reader making predictions to a very revealingly clad Mandira Bedi. That�s definitely not what I�ve known to be cricket.
Beautiful blue sky
For the past few days we�ve been having glorious skies over Chennai. Ever seen the books on oil painting by Walter Foster? Just watch the afternoon skies over here!
Thursday, March 13, 2003
That meant that I did not open my mouth during his class, nor did I respond to any of his (anyway rhetorical) questions.
So� what eas happeneeng?
Finally was able to get to face Ponnuchami, our not so generous script-writing professor yesterday. It turns out that his fancy single digit marks were only meant to �shake us up� and �put us in place� by �showing us our real poor standard�. This is rubbing it in. Now I don�t want condescending charity. Yet I could do so well with the pass marks he has promised us. On second thoughts even though I don�t regret having called him names, I must feel apologetic. After all he is my teacher. And if I have to take what he says by face value, he did (at least claims) that he had a purpose. I don�t buy the argument about the �standard� thing, but I sure realize that until I am a student I am at his mercy. If my defiance is only going make matters worse, then I�d better not take the effort if it couldn�t help.
Yesterday Zameer Hussain was finally able to get some time to take classes for us. Even though he�d be handling only three or four classes in computer aided imagery, compositing and special film effects concepts, we should learn quite a bit from his demos and insights
Thus Spake Jerome
Today we went to Audio World to record the voice track for our documentary. Fr. Jerome was at his baritone best. The chaps loved his voice and diction. Tomorrow being a holiday, I hopefully should be doing the premix at home.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
On a university shoot, you have to and get to do a lot more than what you intend to do. Today, besides doing the sound, I did focus pulling, some camera work, held the light, held the reflector, and did so many other things as well. Everybody worked just like this. In one sense it is good. Keeps the learning process diverse, interesting and grueling.
What�s with VSNL?
Last two days, been having a tough time getting online. Keeps saying Gateway timeout.
And while we were working
India thrashed the Lankans and we missed it. the Oz men beat the Kiwis and we missed it. Actually got glimpses on the way back to the Univ on the big screen at the beach. Should watch an India match like that. Probably the finals?
We guys were shooting the whole of Monday and today. We�re very happy with what we�ve canned. We should be doing the audio recording and finish the edit hopefully by the end of this week.
Page three celebrity
So I became a page three celebrity. Actually page two in the Hindu, when the Chennai Bloggers meet was reported about. The meet itself, to be quite frank was not what I had expected it to be; but nevertheless, there were a few good things that happened. One thing though: we made sure we got Blog �03 on the second page of the Hindu.
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Today we got the final go-aheads and completed procedural formalities for our documentary on the Armenian Church. We shoot on Monday and Tuesday. The core group would be getting together tomorrow morning for a final run through of the script.
New new new
For the first time this semester, we had a teacher teach us Audio & Video Studios. This really nice person called Appakutti from Doordarshan. He seems a techie with a heart for the finer things as well. So far so good.
Friday, March 07, 2003
Yesterday I had been to Loyola. Back home after a long time. Fr. Jerome was happy to help us out by lending his voice for our documentary.
I noticed one strange thing. The avenues were definitely warmer. Not the cool shaded places we used to stroll in as undergraduates. Is it global warming? Or is it just the fact that there are a lot less trees and a lot more buildings around. Trees and buildings apart, one thing though, there are a lot more women in Loyola. That�s probably contributing to the heat! It was after this very fine trip through Nostalgia Avenue that I returned to AU to find my scriptwriting answer paper waiting for me.
That�s what�s kept me from blogging yesterday. So what�s so bad that could ruin a whole two days? I got my scriptwriting answer paper back after evaluation. Horror of horrors I got 5 and a half on 25. That too after I thought I had done pretty well in the exam. I don�t want to sour grape. At the same time, on rationalizing, it does not make much sense. As far as I know I had not been overconfident while I wrote it. I took it seriously. And for the world I would not believe that I am bad at scriptwriting concepts with all my theories about storytelling and showmanship. No way I�m gonna let some cheap professor determine my worth. So what�s bothering me? I don�t know. Rationalizing always happens in hindsight. It is pure emotional shock when I got to know my marks in the first place. Plus this was sheer humiliation for the �erstwhile� straight-A class topper.
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
There�s a party on Sunday. But hey�all this talk about babes, bikinis, beer etc. sounds kinda odd. First thing, is it possible? Second even if it is, all this talk about it not gonna get any women to attend the meet.
I�ve been trying for the past few days to somehow find time to register my own domain and get web space, but alas. No luck! I still have kribs� cheque and 500 bucks my mom gave me.
If everything goes on well, and I sure hope they do, we should be shooting on Monday and Tuesday. Armenian Church, here we come!
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
I was also thinking of what makes a good showman. I think that beyond a point, the medium looses its relevance and only the message gets through. At other times I feel that this dichotomy of medium Vs message itself does not exist because the most poetic of messages are medium specific. Therefore all I can say about the showman is that he or she has to make sure that the technicality of grasping the medium is to be done away with. The showman has to know the use of as many different media as possible in order to not let the medium overwhelm the meaning. Plus from what I see of media people today, knowledge of other media also makes one sensitive to the travails of another.
Ok! That�s enough bullshit for one day!
You know? Voluntary self-abasement is also a trait of a showman
You thought I had only one PJ for the day, well here�s more: you are most comfortable being yourself and not being anybody else sounds stupid but come to think of. I just tried imagining today what any other person would feel being me. Not a very pleasurable thing to be me.
The media world is all about storytelling and showmanship. In fact, any media text and any media person would reflect this. In that sense, journalism, being a part of the same world, inherits these properties. The only journalism-specific trait is that no single storyteller can claim authorship for the news diegesis. Even a scoop happens only by cunning and not by default. This brings us to a familiar question about the single distinguishing factor about journalism. It is only this question of authorship and not much else. Here we have significantly left out any talk about �reality� and �happening� and �fact� being the sole distinguishing factor.
Did you hear about the web designer who went to the bank to draw some cash and he made a cheque out to �_self�?
Monday, March 03, 2003
For any fan of hectic academics, today was perfect. In fact a red letter day! All the hours from 8:30 to 4:30 were chock-full of classes for the first time in two semesters. The student coordinator seems to be taking her job seriously.
White men can�t think
If they could, would England and New Zealand find themselves in such a stupid position in the world cup having forfeited their matches against Zimbabwe and Kenya?
Three times as wise?
Believe it or not, we have three people teaching us electronic journalism. All this is because some weirdoes in the class decided that they were not getting the right stuff from the first teacher�s methods. Now what we have is three people teaching us the subject the same way and that�s the only way a subject like journalism has to be taught. So much for misplaced student activism.
Sunday, March 02, 2003
The only thing I can think of is that this man has some Faustian pact with the devil: you cannot get him out. This is despite England�s brave attempt to bring the Aussies to the brink of defeat. Now Flintoff�s been hit for a boundary.
Two mangoes with one stone
That�s a direct translation of a Tamil adage. Whole day I was working on the design and content for the department�s blog pages despite an exam scheduled for tomorrow: but nothing�s wrong as tomorrow�s test is in html programming.
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Little toe woe
Ever banged your little toe on edge of the bedpost? Hurts like hell! This time that was the first thing that happened this morning to me. Been nursing a sore toe all through the day.
Saturday night fever
Today I seem to talk only about cricket. But just one more comment before I go on to talk about other life disasters. There�s something about Saturday evening and great Indian wins. Yet another Saturday yet another victory.
Pause and feel for the other guys
Typically arrogant commiseration makes me write this. If we had lost, Indian fans would have felt bad, but somehow this arrogance makes me feel that we take defeat better than the other guys. Imagine what�s happening in the streets of Pakistan now. I felt sorry when I saw Waqar�s face when the crowd booed at him when he spoke after the match.
The chaps won. Feels great! The funny thing was that my dad watched the whole match standing. Some more quirks: we watched the whole of the India chase in the small TV in my room; my dad did not enter the room�he stood all the time in the doorway. There is this thing at home about unnerving commentating. Somehow, we feel that they affect the course of the match especially by saying stupid things when things go good. So that meant that ever since Saurav got out, the TV was on mute.
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