Oct 25, 2005

Thank the Chicken-pox!

Well, the best omen in a long time. There's been a chicken pox out break in HNLU, causing the administration to shut down college for one month. That means no exams till December, and that I'll be home in Trivandrum for the whole of November, writing my novel, eating the good food Mummy makes, and going to Elloor Lending Library to get all the inspiration needed for painting my masterpiece! The whole world conspiring to help me achieve my objective. Three Cheers! I don't think I'll be blogging any during November! Pray for me! The next thing you might hear about me might be some news item about my book release!

Oct 10, 2005

NaNoWriMo Time!

The situation here at HNLU grows worse by the day. Agreed, there's only about 21/2 years left. But, then I'm only afraid I might burn out before that. To prevent that, I suppose, I'll have to complete my novel, and hide away in some cave or forest, after my first royalty cheque comes through! And guys, you know what, this is the best time to write a novel. Because NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!

NaNoWriMo is the acronym for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, when anyone who successfully writes a quantity-oriented 50,000 word novel is a winner. When first started in July 1999 by the illustrious Chris Baty(who's that), the number of participants then was just 21, of which just 6 ended up finishing their novels. In the next 6 years, the number of participants grew to a whopping 42,000 in the year 2004, with the organizers expecting an estimate of 60,000 participants this time around. A few guys, who participated even got their books published. Check here, if you need to see to believe!

So, I'd signed up last year, but my novel ended up a non-starter owing to end-semester examinations. But this time around, I'm not giving a damn to the end-semester exams. I'M WRITING MY NOVEL! Sure, all of you will get discounted copies. I promise. But why don't you guys, give it a try. I'll make it a tag even. So to anybody who reads this, this is a tag!

Here's more information for those interested...

NaNoWriMo History!
How NaNoWriMo works!

So, sign yourself up and come November, it's 30 days of pecking away at your keyboards for what could be a true turning point!
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Oct 1, 2005

Happy Birthday 'Catch-22'

Well me... I put, all of me in a blog... Catch-22!
It's now one year since I began blogging. And I'm thankful for whatever it has done for me!

Started on the particularly Catch-22 evening of 9.29.2004, inspired by Anurag and Vishnu, and a few other blogspots. Catch-22... because I was caught in one involving friends at that time and because the book itself has had tremendous influence in my life philosophy.

I had told all my friends at HNLU about my new endeavour. But it was my good friend Marcus Jose Arikupuram, who dropped me the first ever comment on my blog, on my Tribute to Friendship poem. It was something to go by.

"hi padayatty,i was really amazed when i read the poem,i never thougth that you will do such a big adventure.anyway you really done a great work,keep going...i find a great future in you ....ALL THE VERY BEST MY DEAR PADAYATTY....."

Thank you, Marcus!

I go through a phase where I'm no able to connect with the people around me, and I feel dead lost! I get an email from a stranger, who said,

"Hello Neil...
I'm Stephanie (or some may call me Nyogen), I've come across your blog... or perhaps your blog found me! I enjoy your thoughts and your writing style, I find your blog compelling, yet refreshing. Even your book list is great, I should create my own, since I love great works of writing.So that's it, I just wanted to say hello, and introduce myself

Thanks nyogen, these words of yours... I'll treasure for ever!

Now truly into blogging, I start blog-hopping, reading about the interesting things in other people's lives. At that point of time, I was bent upon increasing the number of links to my blog, just for the sake of it and so that I could get a higher ranking in one of the many blog directories. I even dropped comments asking people to give reciprocal links.

But later I realised... that was stupid. Because, when I started blogging, it was, so that I could fill a great void, so that I could find people like me, so that I could realise I was no loner in the world of thoughts. But that, then, was not to be by the same diplomacies that one does in everyday life, for that would mean connecting with all sorts of phonies and being a phonie myself. That wouldn't fill any void. In fact that would create more voids, and the me would die out beind the facades of a virtual society.

I find a like minded. Rather a like-minded finds me. The gibberish queen, profound in all that she says, graces, by giving me my first link. Angeline's adding me on her blogroll, was special because she, a stranger, connected with me based only on what my blog reflected of me, which, I'd like to believe, is the true me. Thank you Angel... What you did was most profound, in that it made me believe in the real me.

Then on, I dropped any little phoniness that I had in blogworld, and dedicated myself to blogging honestly (with a pinch of salt, that is). It has been wonderful throughout, and I find myself growing in depth and belief in myself and all that I stand for. I find there are people willing to listen to this chaps, stories, cock and bull or whatever. I thank you, Catch-22 for this!

I would thank,
Anjali, whose comments have been my greatest inspiration...
Jiby chettan, who is an honest blogger and somebody I can relate to,
Sherin K. Daniel, who has been a motivating force in everything,
Neena, my sister for her expert comments on my writing,
TVM Vikings, whose memories make me,
and also everyone who's ever posted a comment on my blog (I'll try to make a list) and other people who have by whatever actions/ommissions have made a difference in my blog. I am grateful to all, for my Catch-22.

Stephanie Lynn said this to me,

"I believe it's very important for one to express themself as thoroughly as possible. To some, the understanding and knowledge of our own thoughts is an intricate element of enlightenment or simply seeing the 'big' picture. I've found that in our society, others will tend to find you interesting, compelling, intriguing, if you find yourself interesting. Now please eliminate any element of arrogance or greed, or modern tendencies of self-proclaimed success. In the simpliest, truest form. Perhaps, I should elaborate by adding, if you have a general interests in your thoughts, their development, and possibilities of their expansion - others will be drawn to these characteristics (that they may also possess or desire to possess)."

That's what I'll say to you, fellow bloggers. Wish Catch-22, long life!

Sep 22, 2005

Seven Padayatty Things!

Anjali tagged me the Seven tag! Had trouble just collecting seven things for each heading, silverine tagged me! She suggested checking out, MatterofChoice and Jiby. Their's put me at ease. But, whatever I'm giving here is entirely mine. You got no phonie here! Well, here goes...

Seven things I plan to do before I die!!!
1. Finish writing my magnum opus about the things me and my friends did; about Loyola, about TVM-Vikings, about the best days of my life! (I've started already. Might take a long time in coming out. But, I prefer it that way. The experience is quite worth it.)
2. Make my movie, complete with story, screenplay, direction, camera, music by Padayatty. (tall order... I know! But I'll do it if its the last thing I do)
3. Fall in Love. (who me? yes, why not!)
4. Remain the way I am, because I'm convinced, that I am me!
5. Get back to and finally finish my violin lessons.
6. Well, my parents are my 'perfect fans', in that their belief in my mere mortal self's talents is unreasonably reasonless. But, the world outside might, and maybe do call them fools, for the way they've raised me. So I'll do for them, one thing that'll shut these nosy parkers forever. Give mine parents, a worldly reason to be proud of me!
7. Show this world, that the things I stood for, were never in vain!

Seven things you can do!!!
1. Write notices on the HNLU noticeboard which irk all of those establishment reps.
2. Play the violin. (a bit rusty, but sure can make a comeback)
3. Make friends happy.
4. Maintain at least, mail-once-a-month with friends and family, because though I care, I've never cared to show it.
5. Forgive, no matter what. (even phonies! They're the most easy to forgive; one understands their motivations).
6. Change some lives. (I believe I have, and will continue to do so)
7. Give everyone the respect they're entitled to. (I've got lots of it... So why not share it!)

Seven things you can't do!!!
1. Quit being the shy fellow I am.
2. Get organised.
3. Say no to a friend.
4. Talk cool with girls.
5. Forget the TVM Vikings.
6. Become first in anything.
7. Hurt Neena(my twin-sister)!

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex!!!
1. Sense of humour, but not the 'giggling-girl' kind.
2. Ability to discuss books, movies, music with me in the same sense as I take it.
3. Sensitivity, but within limits (no fainting at the sight of blood, no 'cho chweet' attitude towards everything). I hate most Bollywood heroines.
4. Independence and respect for my independence.
5. Smartness, not necesarily the way everyone understands the word.
6. Lack of 'phony' characteristics, like exaggerated self-righteousness.
7. Love dear Padayatty, despite his many shortcomings.

(Someday, I'll write a post on each one of these!)

Seven things you say most!!!
1. Eeshoye...
2. Padayatty this and that!
3. I swear a lot. Me speaks a lot of bad words. Can't help it. No malice intended, though! (3 - 7)

Seven celebrity crushes!!!
1. Nicole Kidman.
2. Meera Jasmine.
(I don't think I'll say anymore. If you're asking crushes, most celebrities fit.)

Seven people you want to take this quiz!!!
1. Achuthan.
2. Angeline.
3. Ashok.
4. Jithu.
5. Madhvi.
6. Sandeep.
7. Vishnu.

And, Catch-22 might apply to all these things I've written. As I've said elsewhere, I might eat my words. Can't help it, it's my diet!

P.S. Well, angeline had given me two tags, one of which, the book tag, I've already answered. The other one, will be after you answer this one! How 'bout that!

Sep 17, 2005

Umesh gets the Fear of God!

Varun took a turn for the spiritual, mid-way through our final year at school. Initially, we were all skeptical about the whole thing and regarded it as a mere passing fad. But, when Varun stopped coming to the movies and started delivering impromptu, unasked for sermons in between juicy gossips, we decided we’d been wrong.

Well, if Varun had left his spirituality at the prayer-hall, things would’ve been just fine. But, the dear fellow wanted the lot of us converted for good. He started inviting us to prayer-meetings and that made the rest of us run for cover. But how long can you hide from your best-friend, especially when God too is an interested party. Umesh was the first ‘victim’!

Umesh went to the prayer-meeting with Varun, on a Friday evening and…

It all started fine, I’d say. I walk into the hall, where a small crowd of people are on their feet singing a real spirited song, the keyboardist accompanying with fast-paced beats… real penetrating music. Next thing, the preacher starts clapping hands. Everybody joins in and seems to be getting rather excited. I get the general mood, and unconsciously start tapping my toe. Hey, this is actually cool! There’re even a few good-looking girls up-front! No wonder Varun...
The song died off and the preacher resumes his preacher-talk, with the mandatory Praise The Lord after every second word he says. The keyboardist starts playing a haunting (at least that’s the way I felt) background, when suddenly something happened to the preacher (at least that’s the way it seemed to me)! This man who’d been till that moment speaking, most coherent Malayalam, at an unbelievably supersonic pace, suddenly seemed to have lost his gift of gab. He started blabbering and gurgling and mumbling, in a totally incoherent manner!
I sense a change in the crowd too, and behold, the lot of them have started rocking in slow-motion, eyes pointed heavenwards… in a state of trance! I get the odd-guy blushes and start rocking myself. Then it happened!
A boy in the front row started shaking like he’d got the epilepsy or something like that. That really rattled me! I was starting to get goose-bumps all over! Then the nice old man with the French-beard followed suit. Then the lady in pink sari… then the rest of the front-row, including those good-looking girls, who I’d thought were the reason Varun had turned spiritual.
Suddenly the preacher comes and touches the boy who’d started shaking first and the boy falls senseless on the floor! By this time almost everyone has started shaking except me… I didn't know whether I should've been enjoying the funny show that was going on or not!
Varun, what about him? I turn around in slow-motion and my greatest fear came true. There was Varun… entranced, chanting in a progressive tempo, shaking like hell or heaven! I, alone in the crowd!
I gather my last ounce of courage and make for the door, away from a world apart...

Umesh came running to the mandapam in the Museum, where the rest of us were enjoying just another day of cloudspotting and relishing pointless chat. Here's how he looked after his hair-raising experience.

We had a good laugh, and made mental notes to steer clear off any invitation Varun might offer for another prayer-hall experience.

Aug 30, 2005

The Two Mrs. Nairs

Those of you, who have seen the Vanitha women's magazine, must be familiar with the last page cartoon strip about a pompous house-wife called Mrs. Nair. This post however, has nothing to do with that character. This post is my tribute to two ladies who make my 'Sun'days in an otherwise bleak Raipur.

I'm talking about Srikant's and Shrijith's mother's. They are the silver linings in clouds of home-sickness that form around me while I'm in Raipur. They are my stomach's hope when it rumbles in protest against the food served at the HNLU Mess. They are the closest I get to a mother, quite like my own, despite being in Raipur.

I am at my jolly best when I'm on a visit to any one of the Nair homes. They happen to be my favourite hangouts in Raipur. I start cracking my best jokes the moment any of these houses come into sight. A smile takes over the major part of my otherwise gloomy face. My mouth waters at the thought of the good Kerala style food that would be awaiting me at the Nair home. Cloud Nine never felt this great.

I step in there and greet the Lady of the House with a smile, enquiring whether everything's fine. They smile back and enquire the same of me, in that infinitely concerned tone which God seems to have specially given to mothers. I am hugely comforted by those smiles. It is the closest thing to Mummy that I'll experience before my paroles, once in every six months. Then I sit down to conversation with the Mr. Nair, while Mrs. Nair goes to the kitchen to finish the preparation she's made, I'd like to think, especially for me. Though she be not in the room, the absence is covered by the aroma that emanates from the kitchen.

In about 5 minutes, I am only just keeping the saliva form dripping. Then she re-enters, inviting me to the dining room and to the feast she's prepared for me. Again the motherliness of the whole thing deeply comforts me. An expectant me enters the dining room to the sight of steaming rice on plaintain leaves set on the table, frilled on the sides with the varied Pachdi's and Kichdi's, Erisseries and Pulisseries, Aviyals and Theeyals and all those sadya mandatories. I forget washing my hands and fail hopelessly in trying not to be in a hurry. But Mrs. Nair understands all this, and starts serving.

The feast begins! This could be heaven for all I know! She urges me to eat more. Motherly intuition tells her its time for more sambhar or pappadam. She asks me whether the food is good. I reply incomprehensibly, owing to the enormous amount of choru mixed with sambhar, moru and pulisseri and pappadam in my mouth. In about 15 mins, my stomach is a balloon. Mrs. Nair brings on the Payasam. Do I say no? No! I take extra helpings with renewed vigour!

I would thank Shrijith and Srikant for selflessly introducing these wonderful ladies to me. I would pay my tribute to the two Mrs. Nairs for being what they have been to me. With them around, it's Onam everyday!

Aug 25, 2005

Dirty Details

When I came back from Australia, silverine asked me to give the dirty details. Many posts hence, since I've got nothing better to talk about, I'll give you one especially dirty detail.
I would not have told it to you then... but I guess it's ok now. I won't go back there again... I'm sure the past will not catch up on me again!

That morning our rounds were scheduled in the early morning session. That meant we had to catch the CityRail at 7:10am. As luck would have it, we woke up at only around 6:40am. It was a time for sacrifices and I wholeheartedly sacrificed the cold-shower to my team-mates. My sacrifice just about did the trick and we ran into the 7:10 CityRail just as the doors were closing. Whew!

After a very good morning session, we started feeling hungry (breakfast was another sacrifice we made). We went to a nice place called Australia Square where we had the Sydney kind of breakfast. Halfway through the hamburger, my stomach reminded me that there was one another thing I sacrificed early morning... My mandatory biological waste disposal! The pressure was enormous (heavy supper the night before) and I had to do something!

Not to worry! After all this was Australia, where cleanliness is a way of life! That meant the public toilets were also bound to be clean (contrasted from Pay and Use ones in Rlwy Stations in India)! So I made my way to the sign for gents toilet (swear, didn't glance at the open ladies' door), smiling at everyone (they all seemed so accomplished) on the way.
I opened the door and lo and behold, the king among toilets I'd ever seen! Spirits rising, I opened a cubicle and sat down to bliss!
(I'll leave you guys to imagine what bliss could've been!)

Now comes the dirtiest part of the story! I finish my task and look around for water to clean myself. Horror of Horrors! Terror of Terrors! There isn't any water anywhere, except under me! The horrible truth dawned upon me! This was Australia, where people didn't like water the way we did in Kerala! They'd rather not get wet, what with the cold climate and all! Precisely for this purpose them westerners (aquaphobics) had invented the Tissue Paper!

My eyes searching desperately, fell upon a roll of this thing, Tissue Paper! No... Oh no! There has to be another way! Maybe I could just rush out and get myself some water from the basin outside! Not that... Don't wanna get caught with my pants down in Australia! Another way... another way... Give up!

I reluctantly submitted myself to the imperialists' designs and wiped myself with the tissue paper. I tidy myself and come out of the cubicle. All ok, except for the dirty, slimy, sticky, sleazy feeling in between my legs! It gives chills up my legs! It affects the way I walk! I'm all self-conscious and unsmiling as I open the door... I walk the corridor out, the guy who's got a world of trouble between his legs... an odd one out in a place where others come with troubled stomachs and leave with a sense of blissful accomplishment!

I reach the end of the corridor (jumping to avoid the open door at the ladies'), and as the noise of the crowd hit me, there in the middle of all those foreigners in Down Under, I realized i had another reason to be proud of my country... We've got water in our toilets!

And hey, my stomach wasn't troubling me anymore! That's what mattered after all! I'd achieved what my teammates could never dream of achieving! That's Padayatty! I gain the accomplished look that missed me on the corridor! I smile!

P.S. I did the same thing two more times in different places in Sydney and one time on the aeroplane! I believe I can venture to call myself an expert 'tissue culturist'!

Aug 11, 2005

'The Rising' Early Morning For 'Mangal Pandey'

Well, believe it or not, but when all my friends back home in Kerala have just made it to the queue outside whatever theatre Amir Khan's much awaited movie Mangal Pandey - The Rising is being released, Padayatty is back online to blog his review of the movie! For once Raipur was of some use to me. It so happens that, the first show on the release date of any movie is at 5:00am in the morning. What do you say to that, eh?

An Amir Khan movie coming after such a long gap, especially when his last two movies (DCH, Lagaan) had endeared us so much to him, is bound to create the kind of madness that would cause blind fans like me to get to the cinema hall at any unearthly hour, even if the chances of getting any tickets were virtually non-existent. Despite these odds, me and a few other crazy guys (Achu, Sherin, Shrijith & Tapan) decided the gamble was worth a try, and stayed awake the whole night, and found ourselves an auto (with help from Sandeep Agarwal, my dear friend and junior), only to find at the cinema hall(3:50am) a battalion of fans crazier than us, who had camped overnight and were already in queue for the tickets! Tough luck. We'd have turned back not wishing to get trampled to death so far away from home, if it had not been for Sandeep who found someone on the queue who was willing to go to any limits to make sure that we got some tickets, if, we would give him a commission for his troubles. This was a better option than the stampede!(4:15am)

Time moved slowly as all of us waited, keeping an eye on our benefactor so that he wouldn't turn traitor. Meanwhile, people were doing all sorts of things to get to the front of the queue. They were all scared away by a guy with a lathi who kept waving it viciously, ocassionaly poking the odd guy who tried climbing to the roof of the ticket counter, or the guys sitting on top of the grilled corridor on the last lap to the ticket counter( they looked like monkeys). In between, one guy with his hair styled like Amitabh Bachchan(man did he look funny?) kept waving at the crowd below, from the roof of the theatre where he had somehow got to!

In between all these funny going ons and close shaves from being beaten with the lathi, we lost our benefactor in the crowd. But, there he was returning from the counter, beaming all over after having accomplished his mission. We grabbed the tickets and get on the queue for entering the hall.(5:00am) Here too a stampede is on. We wonder what the hurry is for as the show has not started yet. It is only after we make our way into the theatre that we find the reason.

The talkies people have sold more tickets than the total seats available. We see a crowd of people spilled all over the theatre, some standing on the chairs, some standing diretly in front of the projector hole projecting obscene gestures onto the screen. Well, what the heck... we got this far from nowhere, what's to standing andwatching the movie.

And so it was that my good friends and I, stood through the whole 3 hour long movie, dedicating our pains maybe to the spirit of fanhood!


Mangal Pandey - The Rising is the story of a man who probably was India's first ever martyr and freedom-fighter. A man about whom we have heard mentions in History classes as the man who started off the First War Of Indian Independence, but unfortunately about whom we do not know any further. A man who awakened to the possibility of being free during a period of ignorance that had blanketed the country. A man deserving to be equal in stature of any of the much filmed freedom fighters, but who till 'The Rising' has not. An unknown hero in a nation that loves its heroes. Ketan Mehta with his Mangal Pandey - The Rising pays tribute to this man and martyr, in an attempt to belatedly give this great his due.

The movie tells the story of the friendship between Capt. Gordon, an officer in the British East India Company and Mangal Pandey an ordinary Indian Sepoy who saved Gordon's life while at war in Afghanistan. They wrestle each other to tide over their differences, they get drunk together to play pranks on the bad Briton(i think he's the Smith guy from Lagaan), save damsels in distress from the sati pyre's, during the course of their at odds friendship, which as Mangal says is because of their skin-colour.

Mangal takes his trusted friend's word and bites off the rumoured-to-be-greased-catridges, forcing his fellow sepoys also to use the catridges. But later they find out that the rumour was not a rumour. This coupled with earlier incidents like the time when he had to shoot at agitated Indian villagers, causes Mangal to see the true colour of the Company.

When the Company fails to give due regard to the sentiments of the sepoys, they decide not to use the greased catridges anymore. An angry Company general threatens to shoot them. Mangal marches forward and stands in front of a cannon. This does the trick and the dissent starts spreading. Soon dissent spreads to other batallions. The soldiers take over the Company arsenal. The proud generals still do not gauge the seriousness of the situation. They try attacking the rebel sepoys, but end up having to turn back.

The sepoys from this point on see that they have it in them to be free. Mangal speaks of a government of the people to the visiting kings, who want their help in a all India struggle against the Company. They plan to launch all their attacks together and end it with a capture of the Red Fort.

The Company is also not keeping low. They divert a regiment from Rangoon towards India, which arrives earlier than anticipated by the Sepoys. The Sepoys all run away frightened, leaving a determined Mangal Pandey to take his stand against the Company's vast army. After firing a few shots Mangal shoots himself, in the hope that his blood would at least spark a revolt. Though Mangal survived, he was sentenced to death despite passionate arguments by Cap. Gordon on his behalf.

Mangal Pandey is hanged to death in front of a crowd of villagers. At Mangal's death the people awake to their power and the rest is what we Indians call the First War Of Indian Independence.

The music by A. R. Rahman is nowhere near the magic he's known for. The Mangal Mangal song raised spirits in the theatre. Me Vairi Vairi was also ok. The background music was at places western style and not quite fit for the scenes.

All the actors did their job well. But Amisha Patel still has to learn to cry.

The direction is not anything superb. So's the script. The movie has nothing artistic about it either. With respect to playing to the masses, instead of concentrating on patriotic moments and spirit dialogues, lots of time is wasted on the bollywoodkind of sex. Totally unnecessary. Some of the songs felt like planted without purpose. The climax, where the emotions should have been upped, was video footage of Mahatma Gandhi leading the masses and Nehru lifting the National Flag. That's not the way Lagaan ended... That's why it felt so good after coming from the cinema hall after that one!

Despite this, I liked the scenes where he faces the Britons alone, where he stands in front of the canon fearlessly and the one where he twirls his moustache at the Court Martial.

Verdict: Not up to the hype! Watchable, but nothing great to report.
Padayatty Rating: 2/5

Aug 6, 2005

Books and Padayatty!

I am a bookaholic! My parents imbibed in me a good reading habit, which has not left me till today. Started with Grimm Brothers and folk tales, then abridged versions of the classics; Tintin, Asterix, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha in between; Enid Blyton... then the 18-till-they-die Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys (that was a race for who among frinds would complete the whole list first)... mention Three Investigators and Sherlock Holmes; then onto the Best-seller Paperbacks (John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and the list goes on...); I was into the wonderful world of books, reading at least 2 books a week till I reached the 10th class.

Then on, other masculine and teenage distractions affected my reading habit. Though I have not given up on it, the number of books I read, has been minimum in the last four or five years. But I read most of the books that I consider my favourites, during these years.

Vacations was the time for reading. After roaming all around the city with friends the whole day, I would read late into the night some book I took from the Eloor Lending Library. Now that I have mentioned it, I might as well commend Eloor for being a very good library for fiction lovers, who cannot afford to buy New York Times Best Sellers with their hefty price tags (guess most Indians belong to that list). The Loyola School library was another place where my list of 'books I read' grew long. Another factor contributing to my interest in books, was certain people around me who were as excited as I was to discuss books; my sister Neena; my best friend Faiz Ali Mohammad, who I concede, defeated me in Hardy Boys, though I suspect he only read the summary given on the cover and the last chapter!


Angeline's been bombing me with tags! Been delaying it for no reason at all (read lazy)... so here goes my book tag!

1. Total number of books owned: Well, I come from a middle-class family, which is rich when it comes to bookish wealth. I don't think I can make any sort of guess as to the number of books owned. I personally own very few books (me and my sister got no mine's, only ours!).

2. Last book bought: Don't tell this to anybody because the last book I bought was a xerox copy of the Half-Blood Prince (bourgeoise publishers down! the proles need all the fanatasy they can get!).

3. Last book read: Same as above. Was lucky to find a copy(actually) in bloody Raipur!

4. Books that mean a lot to me:

1. Catcher In The Rye - Describes a state of mind I often find myself in! I face 'em phonies everyday, and I sure have a soft-corner (not the self-righteous take-you-to-heaven-with-me kind) for 'losers' as the conventional world calls them.

2. Catch-22 - Yossarian says they're all shooting at him. Somebody corrects that to they're shooting at everybody. Yossarian asks, in all simplicity, what the difference is! That's what Catch-22 means for me. My favourite anti-hero(conventional sense) deciding to live life for himself, forgetting country and all the liars who churnout Catch-22's so that simpletons like me and Yossarian end up dead for some cause which is not there!

3. To Kill A Mockingbird - My favourite hero, who decides to make a stand for what he thinks is right, when the society at large persecutes him. He becomes a role model for his young children, revealing to them and conditioning them to live by what their heart says is right in a world so wild. If I ever be a father, I'd be modeled on my own Papa and Atticus Finch! Also probably at the back of my decision to join law school.

4. Swami And Friends - I read this one long back. The friendship and the innocence of the boys felt very Indian and close to my own. Swami is just like me. He wastes time just before the examinations drawing up elaborate lists of things he might need while preparing for the exams. He edits and re-edits them and ends up getting very few of the items in his painstakingly made list. A wannabe organised guy, who loses himself in the finer details! I too have done the same things. Preparing schedules for my study leaves, which included minor details like the paragraphs in the books I had to study, tea-breaks, stretch-breaks. By the time I had finished the first schedule, I would be late by at least ten minutes on the grand opening. This meant another list. Poor Mummy has thrown enough schedules into the waste-basket!

6. Franny and Zooey - I'll do it for fat-lady! I recognize Jesus's presence in every individual, howsoever irritating they might be. For that reason, I might even put up with them! Salinger's style of writing definitely influenced me a lot (The bracket syndrome)!

7. Animal Farm - Helps me bear HNLU Farm! Enlightens me on how the majority of the people are, how they forget the past very easily. I loved the cynic, Benjamin the donkey, whose world view is probably best!

8. A Christmas Carol - Tells me not to go the Scrooge way. It's the spirit of Christmas for me!

That's all I can think of now!

Now, as the tag must go on, here's to...

Achu, Adarsh, Anjali, Anish, Anurag, Debanshu, Jiby, Madhvi, Praveen and Vishnu.


Don't expect to borrow any books from me... I chew and digest them!

Jul 10, 2005

Padayatty on the Run!

Been two years here in Raipur; but never seen what early morning is like. Today I found out... Thank you, Sudeep and Tapan, for helping me fulfil a two-year old wish!

I've been asking Sudeep 'Military' Vijayan to call me also when he goes on his post-nocturnal runs for keeping fit. I mean he can do it without a thought; what with his Military background and all. Not poor me. All my previous attempts at this sort of thing... failures!

Back in Trivandrum, all of us guys used to get bitten by the fitness bug once in a while. Same evening, we would each get a new pair of canvas shoes (the ones with green heels with absolutely no grip). Before night's sleep, the day before 'The Day', the strategically important task of setting alarms, and asking somebody or anybody to make sure we wake up. This is a particularly unpleasant task, what with all the pessimists back home making wisecracks about my previous unsuccessful attempts at the task at hand. After making these arrangements and finalising over the phone for the umpteenth time the finer details of our mission, sleep in the face of excitement, is minimum.

I'd have set 3 alarm clocks with a gap of 30 mins between their set times. The brilliant logic (another of those masterpieces which consistently arise from my intellect) behind this is that, given the human being's inherent unwillingness to obey alarm clocks, the first two alarms would serve as means to satisfy one's ego, and one would need to wake up at the third alarm only. You see, it's a kind of best of three system. You win the first two rounds against the alarms, and lose the third one as a gesture of sportsmanship. Ultimate gain for you! Brilliant me!

'The Day' arrives the next morning, after having slept through three alarms (I guess my ego's too big to be satisfied with two alarms (mental note to increase number of clocks next time)), when Sajjad, who's the closest to being organised in our group (that's because his Umma is very strict), wakes me up with a call, enquiring angrily as to why I have not yet reached the rendezvous point. I explain with a quick lie and get on my way.

The rendezvous is at the Trivandrum Museum-Zoo Park, which is a really beautiful park right in the middle of Trivandrum city, very near to my home. It used to be my stock joke when anybody asked me where I lived to say that I have lion's instincts, because I wake up every morning to the roar of the lion at the Zoo.

Anyway, by about 6:30 all lazy-bones' would finally get to the park. Then the lot of us would start jogging the circular park, the lazier ones at a leisurely pace, taking time to look at the girls in their designer-wear. Maximum of two rounds and then its sitting at the mandapam in the middle of the park, sharing fitness info like pro's. Then disperse, after having chaaya and ullivada from the nearest thattu.

After the first day's jog, the strength of the jogging fraternity would have diminished to null, because of the body-aches consequent to having made the mistake of moving one's lazy body, after having allowed it the luxury of never using it for days at length. That would be end of the mission for the time being. Again a few months later, the bug would bite again, and we would go through the motions again and... you know what!

One time, me and Varun went for about one week at length, and finally we had to stop because I couldn't bear Varun's valippus (you know, jokes that kill you) early in the morning (come on, I bear it the whole day during school, that's enough). Another time, the whole gang decided to go together and went seriously enough for the first few days. After that, one morning everyone was feeling lazy and we decided not to jog for that day and sat chatting in the mandapam. Same thing the next day, and the next... Three days later, everyone was feeling lazy to even talk. So we decided we could all take a nap in the benches at the park. Just for the day. Same thing the next day. And the next day... my Papa who comes to walk daily, saw all of us blissfully napping away on the benches. That was the end of the story... I never got to buy anymore canvas shoes!

I mean, Papa is right and all you know. The thing is while all other people went to the park early to do honorable things... me and friends went there to sleep. That's just not what anybody should be going to parks for, unless you're an animal at the Zoo or something like that! So there.

So, today morning, Tapan came and woke me up. He clarified on my enquiry that, Kariachan who was also supposed to go with us decided not to come. That was inspiration enough not to go. I offered having no shoes as an excuse and was about to get back to sleep when Sudeep Military came back from his jog, and said hi and offered to lend me his running shoes. That blew the excuse, and suddenly some heavenly inspiration made one thing lead to another and there was Padayatty on the Run!


Wish me luck guys. I take this to be the begining of a new chapter in the life of the organised Padayatty. I'll need your prayers and wishes to keep on jogging. For tomorrow and a lifetime of Padayatty on the Run!

Statistically Me!

I just became a statistic. You can be one too...

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Jul 3, 2005


This vacation was one of the best in years. The trip's lasting images come once more to my mind...
All of us were huddled together, Indian cricket team style and going around in circles when as if by divine inspiration somebody, think it was Anish, started singing Bum Chikku Chikku Bum from the film Hum. And everybody caught on, remembering clearly the lyrics of the old song about being for each other. No well rehearsed choir could match us that night, and we sang with passion, and renewed our friendship with a memory of a lifetime. At the end, everybody embraced each other and promised what we all knew for sure. That we would be friends forever!

"Bum Chikku Chikku Bum,
Chikku Bum Bum,
Bum Chikku Chikku Bum!

Ek Doosre Se... Karte Hain Pyar Hum!
Ek Doosre Ke... Liye Bekaraar Hum!

Ek Doosre Ke Vaaste Agar Marne Bhi Ho...
Hai Thaiyyar Hum!"

Lord Thank you for my friends! I'd be lost without them guys!

The Trip!

Oh! What I would have given for it not to end! The trip to Pondicherry and Yercaud and 'Bangalore'... with friends! And the fun we had both in the run-up and during it. I mean when again, when an encore?

Four days before the trip, we started the campaign for the common funds. That meant visiting all the old acquaintances all of us had, and getting their varied contributions towards the common-good. The female ones were preferred. The boys almost never have any money with them. They're the ones with difficulties and inflation economies. But the girls... their parents load them up with enough money, which they have no way of spending. The only outlet is giving loans to poor boys who want to go on pleasure trips.

So there was the team under the leadership of expert canvassers Umesh and Anish, getting on the phone and that person who by had the bad luck of a sometime acquaitance with the lot of us. The money was borrowed on one pretext or the other, almost always with a promise, but never the intention, to give back the sum. I'm sure they'll get their dues in the Kingdom Come! For their priceless contribution to friendship, for their part in giving us more memories to treasure, of friendship. Three Cheers to all the benefactors who contributed to our trip!

Pondicherry was o.k. You see, we dont go bananas over beaches and that sort of thing because hometown Trivandrum has all the beaches we ever wanted, complete with Madammas lying on the sand in bikinis. Our search for a hotel in Pondi, turned out to be hilarious with people running over themselves to get us to a hotel with Caberet and swimming pool and more night entertainment. You wouldn't belive it, but we chose nay for the Cabaret and the rest and probably saved ourselves from being hauled off to some police station by kepieed policemen in the middle of the night. Nothing more to Pondi, because a bunch of guys dont think the Aurobindo Ashrama is interesting. So we skipped historical interest places, and all other interest places there was to see in Pondi. In fact we dint see much of Pondi, because all of us were bored at the thought of the culturally vibrant setting, and add the hot weather to it, we ended up seeing more of the channels on the TV at the Hotel than Pondicherry.

Gladly bidding Pondi goodbye, we left to the high point of the trip, which turned out to be the unplanned trip to Yercaud, a small hill-station about 20 kms from Salem. We spent two really wonderful days there, practically doing nothing other than making up ghost stories, and scaring each other, when we weren't running around the estate playing war like only small boys do. The team containing Manu, Sabari, Naveed and Umesh, beat us unfair and circular.

We went to the top point and all of us removed our shirts and started dancing semi-nude on the hill top amidst the fog and heavy wind. That coupled with the chill from the ghost stories which really scared Feroze and Ravi (me, I was not scared), made the experience truly wonderful.

I guess I'm not writing anymore beyond... it gives me the blues! Homesick, friendsick!

May 26, 2005

The Rolling Stone

"How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?"

Well, I don't know much about anything. But sometimes I feel, being the kind of irresponsible person I am, I might be better off being the Rolling Stone. Ah! The Bliss! Just the super-tramp, the musafir, who keeps going with no direction, giving nothing and taking nothing.

But then... I tend to do some giving. You know things like unsolicited advice. That don't cost me a thing. But turns out, unsolicited advise that actually turns out to be useful for the other guy, puts the musafir in trouble. That builds a bond that pulls the musafir back. Poor me never intended it to pull me back. I did it out of the pure goodness in me. But now turns out I'm the object of the undeserved gratefullness of another, to whom I told something which I wouldn't do with myself!

Go on... but beware of giving any of those damned lectures on things you can't do yourself! But then leaving without taking nothing. That becomes difficult for me. I spin a bond with the guy who offered me some grub when I was starving. I wanna do something for him. Surely, there can't be two rolling stones in the same town. Is there anything I can do? Oh don't you worry about that... I'm doing just fine. You could've asked for something brother. then I wouldn't have given it to you. But now you chose so selfishly to not take a favour in return of a favour. That puts me in trouble. I can't break this bond!

There's friendship and love and other beautiful things in this world!

Walk on! Roll On! But don't mind about gathering that bit of moss!

May 17, 2005

My Best Friend's Sister's Wedding!

Last month, two of my friends' sisters had their marriages. Now on an occassion like that the best friends are supposed to be around. Not just for eating extra-helpings of payasam or ice-cream. But for mental, physical and whatever other forms of support that can be given. And in fact, in the recent months we had been actually chitchatting about what role each one of us would be playing. About all of us wearing mundu's and running around being important. About serving the payasam and boli during the sadya. About welcoming mutual friends and showing them to their respective seats. About running to the flower-shop for that extra bouquet that was forgotten for some reason. About urging the guests to eat more "One more piece of chicken... Aw, come on... we thought you'd eat all of this!". About staying together the night before the marriage wreaking havoc when help would have been preferred. About...

So after all this idle talk, what happened was that I came back to Trivandrum just in time for Anand's sister's marriage. That meant I couldn't do any of the pre-wedding work. Chin-up Neil, you at least have the wedding day to make the best. Come wedding-day, I and Faiz, arrive late for the muhurtham. The only thing left now of course is to watch some others take the role's which we'd dreamt of playing. Anyway, I figured in a few snaps on the mandapam. That way at least somebody will think on seeing the photo's that I was doing something important.

So after that came Sabari's sister's engagement. There was Anish, Feroze, Manu and me from the gang. Once at the engagement venue at Attingal, we found that there Sabari's sister had enough chettans and chechis to do all those work we were supposed to do. That did it. Again the few snaps and the good food, with the extra-helpings and all. We scram!

Now the wedding's coming up. I promise myself that I'll be around to invite the guests and put up the pandal and serve the sadya and...

P.S. I wish the Chechi's of Anand and Sabari Happy Married lives!

May 11, 2005

Police Story

The other day me and my friends, were waiting in Anish's car in front of Umesh's flat, waiting patiently for the coming of His Umeshness to join us in that evening's wanderings. We had waited for some time when a police jeep drew up alongside our car and four hefty policemen with grave faces jumped out.

(P1 who has a Veerappan moustache peeps in and asks)
"What are you doing here?"
(Naveed closest to the window answers timidly)
(to which)
"What nothing?"
(Naveed less timidly)
"We're waiting for our friend"
(Feroze chips-in with a broken explanatory sentence)
(whew that took more time than you'd think)
(P2 who looks as meek as a lamb, barks at us)
"Get out here into the light"
(all of us get out with expressions of this-doesn't-bother-us-expressions, which didn't look anything like this-doesn't-bother-us-expressions)
(The P's do a thorough search of the car; even opens up the dickie, and lifts the trampoline with the cautious approach of a bomb-inspector;finding nothin the P's expressions change a shade towards friendly; P1 asks in patronizing tone)
"What do you guys do?"
(answers all around; tones gain in confidence though thoroughly shaken)
(Feroze picks a cue and ventures in a confidential tone)
"Was there a complaint?"
(P's consider themselves too high-placed to answer, but save us with a nod)
(the P's leave the scene without explanations, leaving four sheepishly grinning youngsters all alone except for the small crowd of onlookers who'd found the whole incident funny)
(we continue with our grins trying not to think about the onlookers, till the last of them left the show)

Well, what was that all about! Scared me to the 'silence is golden' mode. Me the great lawyer-to-be is probbaly too scared to speak about rights when it's required. I'm sure it's good I didn't venture into a rights talk. The lathi would've answered that. What's the use of any bloody compensation once you've been beaten up with a police lathi. No compensation prepares me for the pain that it might cause. Ooh, I'm scared.
After all this, once inside the, I come up with an idea for lodging a case of defamation against them P's.
The Hero arrives, but a trifle too late.
Trash it.

For the Record

Here's HNLU's campaign at Sydney, for the record:


For those who need to see to believe!

Apr 26, 2005

Me Back on Air

I'm back from the 'Down Under', where everything's cool. It's a beautiful country, with toy like houses, green lawns, colourful hoardings, big skyscrapers... I mean there's too much, that I don't know what exactly to blog about. I guess I won't do a delibrate blog. I'll relate experiences as it comes to me in between writing or thinking about something else.
My team reached the semi-finals of the competition, and in fact was the only Indian team to reach the semi-finals. That's not much, but that's kind of solace.
But I do reiterate what I've always believed... HNLU is going places. So are all HNLUites. How else do you explain the brilliance of Adarsh Abraham Varghese, who won the prize of Best Oralist (Preliminary Rounds). Proud of you my boy. And me... I'll tell my grandkids the story of the prize.

Hail Hidayatullah!

Apr 9, 2005

Me Down Under

That's the culmination of the effort. It really had to happen after all this. Thank God it did.
Me... I'm off to Sydney for the Asia-Pacific Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition 2005.
We leave today on the 7:30pm train for Mumbai. Tomorrow we catch the 6:30pm Qantas direct flight to Sydney. Morning, the 11th, we'd reach Sydney, for another Glory Quest. God help us!
We'd performed good at the Bangalore funding rounds. So I believe we have just as good a chance as any other team to Glory.

And you guys, wish us luck!

Apr 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II

He's dead!

I am no one to write pages on the Pope's doings. There are a few points perhaps where I have an inherent disagreement with him. But neverthless, his person never ceases to amaze me. He represents Chritianity in most things he does. I well appreciate his stands on family and marriage issues. In a fast liberalising world, he did a good job stepping out to stop such liberalizations which are done for the sake of liberalization. I feel strongly on the importance of the institution of family, which the Pope sought to protect. This Pope was more of a world citizen, in that he practised tolerance of all other's unlike him. His rapproachments with Protestants, Jews and such other acts were proof of this.

I remember a news item I saw which deeply moved me. The Pope, had asked forgiveness for the sins Chritians had committed against the Jews. That moves me a lot. I mean, it's not easy to accept that you have sinned, especially when you are accepting that on behalf of a billion or so, people. And asking for forgiveness, is something that shows utmost humility which is characteristic of Christ's teaching.

The Heavenly Host Receive Him!

Mar 26, 2005


Yesterday was Holi. I love the colours and all, but I don't see the fun in dragging people up and down a drain and plastering their faces with mud. You think I'm joking? I'm sorry, but I'm not. That's what they did to me and all the others yesterday.
I held out till afternoon, after which I decided to surrender myself unto the 'holi'gans. They came looking for me in my room and did not find me. How could they? I had already surrendered myself. But these fools in their excitement actually passed me shouting and singing, without even seeing me. I remember even calling out to them.
Finally after running around all the rooms, and cursing me and swearing that they would give me the harshest of all punishments when they found me, they came down to the front-yard of the hostel, only to see me eating Holi sweets, with a mischievous grin on my 'Holi'-coloured face. They all gave a victory cry, as if they had caught Boo Radley himself.
Then they all lifted me up and ran in procession to the drain that's there right in front of the hostel. That's the place where we all pee, when there ain't no room in the bathrooms.
So they drop me into the drain, and me being thin and all, I fit perfectly into the drain. Then they do the dragging towards the water tank where a few guys are bathing nude in coloured water. As I lay calm, knowing well enough that struggling would only mean more hurt to myself, they kept on pepping the slime on me with all sorts of toppings. So there were a few plastic covers, more slimy dirt (a bit of which went into my mouth and mixed with my 'Holi'sweets), and then more colours.
So by the time we reached the end of the drain, I was barely me. I mean, if I were to screen for a horror movie, I'm sure I'd scare the hell out of the director. I got back to my room, wearing only my U.W., and finished off one cake of soap before I could even get myself to look in the mirror. And finally, when I look in the mirror, Hey man! that's me there! I Love You!

Mar 24, 2005

On 'Passion of Christ'

Last Lent, Mel Gibson's 'Passion of Christ' was the talk of the town. Given the hype, I too wanted to see it before the Holy week so that I too would be prepared as never before for the Holy Week. But as it came to be, I couldn't see it until after the Holy Week. But what I saw caused disgust, rather than any redemption. A gory and violent movie concentraing on the kind of brutality that Jesus was subject to, failing to even convey in any sense the true significance of the sacrifice that makes Jesus, a different person to look up to. It seemed to me, the point of the movie was to condemn the cruelties of the olden times in particular the cruelties that the Son of God had to endure.

The point about Jesus is that, he did it all for us! Where the movie fails is that, it sort of makes you think, that if Jesus had been subjected to lesser cruelties he wouldn't have been the great man he is. That, as is obvious, is not the point of the greatest sacrifice ever made.

Jesus Christ

He tells us to be like children, and of their innocence! That's what we need to do for no more Columbines! A Return to innocence!

He washed the feet of his own disciples, elevating them! That's great! I mean, in a world where small men have big ego's and big men have even bigger ego's, here's a man,who decides to do things differently.

He died for his friends! When friendship is all about mutuality, here's somebody who'd given up his life, after undergoing harshest of tortures, for the sake of his sinful brohters.

Jesus Christ, you gave me the answers! You saved me, and keep on doing so everyday!

Mar 23, 2005

Another Columbine

It's a sad thing that incidents like Columbine keep occurring again and again. While America sets out to change the world, heal it and all, they are quite forgetting what their children are losing. What with a policy favouring gnrunners and gunmen. I offer my prayers for the dead souls and their parents, and hope for no more Columbines.
And get ready for attacking rock music, teenage counter-culture and the rest as reasons for these.

Mar 22, 2005

Watch Out! Here Comes HNLU!

Well I'm sorry I don't have the story with the happy-ending to tell you guys. But I'd say our experiences in Bangalore, told us the choices we made were by no means wrong.
My team, found glory at HNLU. We, as a member of the Moot Court Society there commented "Swung the University!", beating Delhi University and GNLU in the prelims, and then GLC-Mumbai in the Quarter-Finals.
But the Semi-Finals saw us pitted against NALSAR in an intense battle, that ended with us being eliminated from the competition. The scores for that round were, 5-4. NALSAR went on to beat NUJS in the finals, and secured the funding offerred by ISRO.
So the point here, is that, we, mere 2nd year students, from a University everyone conveniently likes to write-off, have made it big there, with quite a few judges making flattering remarks of it's two mooters.
The results of other Moot Court competitions held during the past years also show a similar trend. The Runners-Up position at Louis M. Brown National Rounds, the 3rd place at Jessups North-Zone, another 3rd place at Amity and so on.
Hello! Where's the hopeless University some people were talkin' about?
So watch out! Here comes HNLU!
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Mar 16, 2005

Off to Bangalore!

Me... I'm off to Bangalore for the Funding Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. It's to be hosted by the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Hope we win there. That way we'd be able to get comfortably to the Asia-Pacific Regional Rounds to be held in Sydney this April. Wish Adarsh, Parth and me good luck.

Here's my view on the chances of the team. I feel that Adarsh and Parth are the best mooters that could attend any competition representing HNLU. Both of them's got solid arguments to make, and do so in a convincing manner.

And me... I could claim to be the best researcher (blushes) from HNLU, given the fact that I got the highest marks for the Memorial submitted for the Intra-University Moot.

So there... given all these I beleive that we do stand a good chance, or as good a chance as any team which is participating has got.

I expect to be back in by the 23rd or so. Till then, I'd reccommend reading Adarsh's narrative of our Moot Court preparation at,

Badnera Days - 1 and
Badnera Days - 2.

Who is Holden Caulfield?

I'm sorry I didn't do a proper intro of Caulfield ol' fella. I kinda thought all ye guys would know him just the way ya know me. Anyway, he's the epitome of Teen Angst, and a favourite personal hero of mine, who had all the wrong things happening to him. He's as careless and absentminded as I am and he too can't stand phonies. So that's him Caulfield.

To get to know him better... here's some interesting reads...

Holden Caulfield's Perception Of The World.
So where do the Ducks go in the Winter?
Holden Caulfield character sketch

Man! Caulfield! You're damn famous. There's a lot about you on the net.

Mar 14, 2005

Caulfield's Phonies

Me and Holden Caulfield's got a lot in common. Just like Yossarian and me. I mean if all three of us could get together, that would most certainly, nearly kill us all.
Anyway, the thing about Caulfield that makes me and he such tight buddies, is his irritability, though not aways consistent, of phonies. And that... is what I'll talk about in this post.

Here's a race that surpasses the human race by their sheer number! Here's a race that's all over the place, but you never get used to them! Here's a race that would kill you all by their mere statements! Ladies and Gentlemen, we're talking about, YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD PHONIES! You know them, you acknowledge them, but you don't talk to them about them.

My favourite phonies include those: who gives expert comments on movies while he watches them (includes 'surrealstic', 'neo-realist', 'film-noir' and the likes), who gives opinions on things he's hearing for the first time, just so that he might appear Stephen Hawkins' big daddy, who says "The climax of the movie is simply great!", in between seeing a movie for the first time, who steals the jokes you said and bursts it out in front of girls without even acknowledging the original joker, who has all sorts of questions to ask in class (his questions are longer than the lecture), has a love-affair he's not sure of and does all sort of phonie crap to show the world, what true love is, who being an alcoholic tells little lambs not to follow his path and so on.

I mean if you just open your eyes and look around, you'll see your neigbourhood teeming with 'em phonies. There's the ones who spent a quarter of the day talking on cellphones in loud voices strutting all over the place, the lovers who are forever showing physical love around the college campus, the ones who try to appear cool in front of girls, the ones who play the hero, all those Bollywood actors and actresses when they are beign interviewed, all those politicians... every one of them. There's a lot more of them. But the task of identifying them, I'd leave it to you.

All this wouldn't be conclusive as to whether I'm a phonie or not. In fact, I too am a phonie at times. You can't help being one with all these phonies around you. But I swear I don't do it by choice.

Mar 10, 2005

A Million Hindu's

My favourite newspaper now sells a million copies daily. Read the new-item at Thanks a million, dear readers.

The Hindu has reached this milestone in its journalistic journey, not without reason. It has over the years done quality reporting, all the while holding steadfast to certain journalistic basics, which most other newspapers today have conveniently forgotten. While the other papers thrive on sensationalism, papparazi stunts, Page 3 glamour and sleaze serving, The Hindu, delivers quality, relevant news, which is unbiased, authoritative and concentrates on the news rather than on opinion formation.

I'd approve and certify this excerpt from the above-mentioned news-item:

"On its part, The Hindu has been striving ceaselessly to reach higher levels of reliability, relevance, and professional standards in offering its readers high quality and varied fare, depth and width of coverage, and enhanced local coverage. Most importantly, it has adhered steadfastly to its core journalistic values of truth telling, independence, objectivity, seriousness, and integrity."

I wish The Hindu all success!

Mar 8, 2005

More Dagwords

I'm sorry, but I think you guys have to put up with my current obsession with Dagmology*. I found a few interesting Dagwords**, that I thought I'd share with you Dagsters*** so as to enrich your personal Dagosaurus****.

Brawl Waiting - the sudden change in tone when the telephone rings in the middle of an argument between family members such that the harsh ranting becomes a melodic greeting in the blink of an eye.

Exual Tension - the feeling when you see your past lover with a gorgeous new love, and you’re wearing a tracksuit, have not brushed your hair, and are involved in some messy, sweaty task.

Siterature - a word for those particular books that seem to gravitate directly to a shelf near the toilet.

That's all for now.

*Dagmology - (dag' mol o gee) n. The study of Dagwords, their discovery and spread.
**Dagword - (dag' wurd) n. A word that fills a gap in the language.
***Dagster - (dag' stah) n. A person who creates Dagwords.
****Dagosaurus - (dag o' saw rus) n. A dictionary of Dagwords and their synonyms.

Source 1: Richard Glovers list of words that should exist - but don't
Source 2: ABCSydney.

The Dagword Challenge

If you guys have read "Words that should exist", about which my previous post was, then you must have also come across the challenge put by the columnist.

The challenge was for a dagword for a line up (or queue) that always seems to move faster than the one you are stuck in!

Here's the dagword I coined for this particular predicament, you and I have found ourselves so often in - "Iqueue" - reason being the 'i'rony of the 'queue'.

Brilliant! Isn't it? Thank you, Thank you! No mention please!

That success makes me want more and a search on Google reveals to me a Dagword Challenge held by ABC Sydney.

Challenge 93 is for a word for the experience when you hear a word not previously encountered and then, in the days following, hear it again and again and again, almost as if the word is stalking you.
They've even given a sample answer, Lexiconned. That means you won't win the challenge if that's the word that came to your mind. Better find some other word.

Email 702@your.abc.net.au with your answer and you could win a handful of Australian books, including the first edition of The Dag's Dictionary. I don't know whether it's applicable internationally. But I suggest you take up the challenge.

Mar 7, 2005


No... You got it wrong. It's no badword, this dagword thing. It's simply a word which should exist, but doesn't. Still don't get it... Oh well, I guess I should explain.

Have you ever had the feeling that you were in a situation and you didn't have the right word to describe the situation? Have you ever felt that suffocation, that uneasiness that stems from your inability to pinpoint the situation in a single word? If you didn't feel it, you're probably dumb, and if you did feel it, then here's an effort to fill the gaps in language.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting... The Dag's Dictionary!

Here, you'll find that what you've been seeking!

If you wanna know more on Dagwords, read this month's Wordspeak column on 'The Hindu', written by Anand : "Words that should exist"!

Narain Karthikeyan

Fantasy-land... I dreamt of him coming first. I guess that's too much to expect in any first race. Maybe even Schumacher had times when he didn't finish on the podium. He sure had them.
Still it's feels like... you know, the times when Sachin fails to make a century after you'd made ball-by-ball calculations of how he would reach there.
Anyway he did good. Three Cheers and Best of Luck to him.

Mar 6, 2005

We love Divorce's!

"WHEN marriages last, they go unnoticed. The tabloids blaze forth only about divorce and separation!" says, V. Gangadhar, in his article Golden Jubilee in The Hindu, Sunday Magazine.

A thought indeed. Back in Kerala, Malayala Manorama takes immense pride in blazing forth about Malayalees and divorce. For instance, when Boris Becker divorced his wife, Kerala's leading daily, proudly displayed in size 48 font the headline, "Becker Divorces his wife for Malayalee Girl!"
Bizarre, isn't it! It seems some girl who had her roots in Kerala, was the reason Becker divorced his wife and Manorama, had reason to be proud. God save this world!

Mar 3, 2005

Hello World!

Hello! How's it all out there in the real world. Is it still rotations and revolutions and all? I mean is night still dark and day's bright?
What! Oh! Thank God! It hasn't changed much. I hope it doesn't too.
Well... I always knew it wouldn't change too much. That's why I took this break. That too for good reason too. I was working on the Memorial for the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. That means hard-work. That coupled with certain other complications that cropped up, I was unable to meet you guys in BlogWorld. Anyway, that's past, and now I'm back. Happy blogging!

P.S. Tony Pierce says not to give excuses for not blogging for days. It seems nobody is interested in such things. Oh well... skip this post if you must.

Feb 5, 2005

There's a Loyolite in every success!

There aren't many from Loyola, who took to a 'law'ful career. But of those who have actually decided to go for the batty profession, there has been cent percent success. I'd cite a few examples to prove my point.

Ananth Padmanabhan (2001 ISC)of NLSIU, currently in 3rd year, was part of the team which won the prize for the best team at the prestigious Bar Council Of India Moot Court Competition. He also got the prize for Best Student Advocate of India. Three cheers to him, and glory to Loyola.

Arun Krishnadhan (2002 ISC) of NUJS, currently in 3rd year, was part of the team which won the First Prize for Best Mooting Team, in the Jessup's India-North Zone Round, 2005. He and his team would represent India at the prestigious International Round of Jessup's at Washington. Loyola and AMDG.

Arvind Vijayan (2000 SSLC) of HNLU, currently in 2nd year, was part of the team which won the prize for Best Memorial, in the CUSAT Law-Fest 2004. He did us proud.

Neil Stephen Padayatty* (2000 SSLC) of HNLU, currently in 2nd year, was part of the team which won the 2nd Best Memorial at the 4th National Human Rights Moot Court held by SILT, Kottayam. Proud to be a Loyolite.

Now if your Lordships have no further questions, I would rest my case. I don't know about any of the achievements of our other 'Law'yolites. But I'd record that Kiran Prince Chengalai(2000 SSLC), who's here at HNLU, with me, is doing good at a comfortable 4th rank in the University. Three cheers to him too.

Besides these names mentioned already, we have a few other Loyolites at Law schools, like Shankar(2002 ISC) at NUJS and Aju G. John(2001 ISC) at NLSIU. If any other Loyolite see's this post and think that they ought to get mention here, they may please drop a comment

Cheer Loyola Sons!

*Ahem... that's me. But I guess, since I'm a Loyolite and proud to be one and this list is about Loyolites, I guess I deserve mention.

Feb 4, 2005

HNLU at Jessup's

Good news for HNLU. The team consisting of Anand Shankar Jha, Ananth Kaushik and Tanuj Bhushan, brought glory to HNLU, when they bagged the prizes for 3rd Best Mooting Team and the 2nd Best Memorial at the Jessup's India North-Zone Competition. Hail Hidayatullah and congrat's to all three of them. They did us proud!

Feb 3, 2005

Indian Bloggers List

Here's a list of all the Indian's in BlogWorld. This list maintained by Anita Bora won the "Best Indiblog Directory Award" in the 'IndiBlog Awards 2003'.

Here's to India:

Indian Bloggers List

Feb 2, 2005

On the Gonds of India

I'd make use of my blogspot to promote my friends and also as a source of links to much needed information, the likes of which I had a hard time finding.

Last sem at HNLU, my classmate Janak Hidko, did his Sociology course project on the 'Gond Community'. His comprehensive work received much appreciation both from the faculty and the students. I'd recommend this very informative article to everyone who wants to find out about the Gond's. Here's the link:


Congratulations to Janak on his article's getting published online on the joharadivasi.com.

Jan 31, 2005

Padayatty in Blogworld

Since the time of the blogging revolution's early beginnings, I've read about it in local newspapers. I even came across a few blogs which didn't interest me any much to get initiated into blogging. Moreover, by the boom time of the blog's I was in some of my most serious academic phases, which meant I wouldn't have any access to the internet. So after all that, I came and joined HNLU, whereon began my blogging days.

Here are the links to two blogs that made me want to get into blogging. They're not any drop-dead great or anything, but something about these appealed to me.



The first one, belongs to somebody I knew from my Loyola days. The thing is that, though this guy was not any great friend of mine, or any swell guy by my standards, once I started reading his blog, I couldn't help coming back to his blog. That's what blogging is all about.

Catch my reviews of both these blogs, very soon.

Jan 30, 2005

On Blogging

A cool write-up on "How to Blog?". I disagree with the one on poems though.
About the rest... I'm gonna do just that. Blog-World... Here comes Neil 'Blogger' Padayatty.

Jan 29, 2005

Bloggies 2005

Here's your chance to decide which blog is the best amongst all. You could've even nominated your own. But then, the time for filing nominations is over. Next year, maybe even Catch-22 will find it's place in the nominations. But for now, lets vote for the best. Go ahead and exercise your Blogger Right:

The 2005 Bloggies

I'll recommend Tony Price's article on How to Blog for the best article or essay about weblogs category.

Jan 28, 2005

The Girlfriend Catch!

Here's one of my favourite catches:

I think of the beautiful girl who'd be the love of my life...
Of the likeness she has to some beautiful actress!

Suddenly a million dumb blonde equivalents come to my mind. The kind that go on talkin' incessantly about nothing. The kind that is over-sensitive for the wrong things. The kind who think loving is the showy kind of phony thing.
I'm scared to hell. God... I sure don't want any dumb blonde as the love of my life, who'd eat my brain out and still gain no brain.

But then, would I be satisfied with just any ordinary looker. The Higher-me says 'Beauty is only skin deep' and that I should as the rational being that I am, look beyond mere facades to the inner beauty. But the human-me looks towards Bollywood and Aishwarya Rai or Meera Jasmine or the likes. I have more emphathy to the human-me. I give-in.

But wait... Here comes my Higher-me and my guardian-angel-complete-with-harp-and-all; does a prick on my sensitive conscience and tells me, 'thou art not so handsome yourself'. So, if I treat someone as ugly, then that's how everyone will treat me. There are also these movies where people who don't see the not-so-beautiful-true-love right in front of their eyes and go after strange-foreign-beauties, and finally somewhere near the end of the film, see the real true love. That's a nice feeling. But the catch is that... mostly all these next-door-girls are also good looking actresses. The only film, which didn't end like that was 'Shallow Hal'. That was a good movie. Another was 'Shrek', where the frog-turning-into-prince routine was reversed and recast into Princess-turning-into-Ogre! Wonderful themes!

But again, I don't consider myself as an owner of an appearance as unaesthetically disposed as that of either Shrek or the guy in 'Shallow Hal'. So where does that leave me? Somewhere in the middle... or is it Catch-22!

Don't know

Flabbergasted! That's what I am... at the way things are going. They take the most unexpected twists, throwing you into disarray and disarming all your senses... Defeated! Is what I may become at the end of it all... When you think of throwing it all away, letting go, pops up here a challenge... No I'm not man enough to face it... Why not give it a try??? What for... to be more confused the day after? or to feel more bitter at your manipulators. Catch-22... I don't suppose there is any definition for it. Even the Catcher in the Rye needs food to eat. So... do I lose my soul for my stomach? And forgiveness... How many more times do I chose to forget and put up the holiest-of-all face? Fed-up... ya of the others... but not me... what about the Utopia of mine. Is it Neverland... or is it? What about being the Rolling Stone? Nah... I'm too sensitive for that. The Complete Unknown... Too ambitious for that. They never wrote a song or made a movie or wrote a book about someone like me. I could go on... Tangled up in Philosophies! Could go on... But the miles to go, calls me.

Jan 18, 2005


On my views about the Hindi Chauvinists... Read first what Ramachandra Guha has to say...

Hindi Chauvinism

Hindi Against India

Glory to the Great Nation!!!

Jan 15, 2005

Me and Catch-22

The reason I got obsessed with this Catch-22 thing is that, for the ordinary person that I am, everything seems Catch-22. Some clever guys always come up with one catch or the other and fool me. The catches always favour the clever guys. Poor unintelligent dullards like me are the one's who always are at the receiving end of the catches.

I mean... take Yossarian for example. The poor bastard was just an ordinary man, who thought going for war was going to be just another job. He ended up being tangled up in all those catches. His innocent acceptance of the brilliance of Catch-22, reflects his absolute failure to make anything out of the catch.

Same's the case with me... poor me. The funny thing is, despite this world being so full of catches, I never am able to come up with any catches to entrap these clever guys. They always deliver the final catch. They leave me speechless. Dumb me... There's a lot of catches I could talk to you about. The catches involving friends, family, studies... I'll talk about it another time.

Yossarian is a personal hero of mine. Here's my ordinary man. Here's me with all those unclear concepts and all. Saying this now... saying that then... I definitely do not understand the world in any strict sense. What I do know is that I do not have any correct-exact-to-the-point answers for anything. My philosophy is unclear. I'm a most unstable person as far as thoughts are concerned. So don't expect me not to eat my own words. That's my diet.

Here's a Catch-22 to be aware of:

Don't ever keep a strict philosophy.
There's bound to be a Catch somewhere.

Jan 11, 2005

Ro'Bin' Laden

That's what Liaquat Ali Khan has to say in the Hindu Open Page. Check this link out for more on why Osama Bin Laden is similar to Robin Hood and why Osama is a typical American heroic material:


Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting...


"Produced in Washington D.C., directed by the CIA, and filmed in Afghanistan!"

Jan 6, 2005

The CM & Me!!!

Ya... CM is indeed Chief Minister of Chattisgarh. So, I and Adarsh and Parth and the Bangladesh-Returned Debanshu and Amit, along with Prof. Shantakumar and Prof. Saha, all went to meet the CM at his sprawling bungalow at Civil Lines. God was that Chief Minister lucky! Having me to meet him and all.
Anyway we went in the Univ bus and alighted near the gate. There was a big crowd with all sorts of petitions to make to the CM, gathered there.

But since we were big-shot-lawyers-to-be, and we had the big-shot-look with the black coat and all, and more because of the genuine-big-shots that had cleared our appointment, we didn't have to wait outside like 'we the people' did. We went right through the small gate beside the big gate(I guess that one's for the CM only), to the security shed. There we were supposed to fill up our names in a register. But again, since we had our RIP(really-important-personality), the Resgistrar, G.S. Verma, with us we could get away with writing Registrar+8. That's us.

We took the road-often-taken to the CM's bungalow and there, we waited for our turn to come. So there was I and you-know-who-all standing talking amongst ourselves talking in sarcastic tones about our favourite politicians(Lalu and Jaya included). In between some guy, maybe PR, came and took notes on what we were doing there. Amit gave a detailed account of his exploits at Dhaka. You see he had place HNLU on the map by winning some really coveted prizes there. Three Cheers, Amit old boy

Jan 4, 2005

A Nair-Geertz Affair

You would remember that I had put a link to a website of my friend, Srikant Nair, which was a dedication to Prof. Clifford Geertz. Well, the good news is Srikant, today got a letter from Geertz, appreciating his endeavour. Now isn't that great. Talk about International Relations. Here's the now famous link, once agin for you:


Three cheers!!! Even our Sociology Professor is excited about this. They're thinking of something to lure him to HNLU. Something like the Cockfight at Bastar.

Jan 3, 2005

Citizen Media

On the blog being the new democratic means of serving news, as against the embedded journalism that we see more and more, nowadays. Here's what Sevanti Ninan, reputed media critic, says in his column 'Media Matters' in The Hindu Sunday Magazine:


We The Media !!!

Sport Essentially Is Fun

My reflections on the year 2004 in sports...

Well, I found this article by Rohit Brijnath in the latest issue of the Sportstar. It just about sums up all my thoughts on sports. Check out this link:


Nice cover-story.

Happy New Year!!!

Jan 2, 2005

Padayatty's Movies Round-Up 2004

I didn't see too many new movies in 2004. Reason being this stupid city called Raipur has only moth infested non-AC cinema halls. Further they don't release any English movies in English. They dub it into Hindi. Despite such concerted efforts to keep me from watching movies, I did manage to see quite a few good movies. Here's my year-end list.

Kal Ho Na Ho* - The K-Jo effect. Another superhit for King Khan. One movie that will add to my all-time list. Vibrant colours in every frame, a pure joy to look at, a truly pleasurable experience. Check up in a few days time for my full-length review of Kal ho Na Ho.
Padayatty Rating: (5/5)

Main Hoon Na - Here's a typical Bollywood potboiler; But for a change, all our favourite film critics are endorsing it as a tribute to the Bollywood Film Industry's yesteryears. Big hit. King Khan Rulez. I would say I love it for SRK's sake. I would say otherwise, a largely unmemorable film. Not even typical SRK style. Loved the song 'Chale Jaise Hawaein'.
Padayatty Rating: (2/5)

Yuva - Mani Ratnam gets back to making bilinguals and end up with a not-so-successful film. The Tamil version was more of a hit than the Hindi one. I saw the Hindi one. Style reminded me of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. The high point was the music by A.R. Rahman, and songs that could be termed youth anthems. 'Dhakka Lakka Bukka', 'Fanaa' and 'Anjaana', especially. The theme, which is about the Youth taking active part in the country's future is an appreciable one, except that the movie was more of love stories than the theme itself.
Padayatty Rating: (3/5) +1 for music

Pirates of the Carribean - Johnny Depp is simply fantastic as the pirate captain. Superb fantasy adventure movie. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Padayatty Rating: (5/5)

The Village - Manoj Night at it again. Generally everyone agrees that is is his best movie till date. But, I liked the earlier ones better. Still, a really good movie. I see a few metaphors in it, which I might discuss later on.
Padayatty Rating: (3/5)

The Day After Tomorrow - A really good movie which tells the world what the world would be like, if we continue abusing it the way we are. I see a criticism of USA somewhere in it, which really appeals to me.
Padayatty Rating: (4/5)

Dhoom - A stylish film, neatly executed with cool bikes and Matrix style slow-motions. Didn't know Bollywood could even come near this. John Abraham is one handsome devil. The songs were good, especially the Tata Young adaptation, 'Dhoom Machale'. Uday Chopra and Abhishek Bacchan were also good. Female leads were just eye-candy.
Padayatty Rating: (4/5)

Murder - Remake to the 'e' of last year's Unfaithful. But imagine that on Indian screens, that too a theme of adultery and its consequences! Mallika Sherawat oozed sex, and that too, to the liking of the masses. Sex bomb! The songs were good, especially, 'Kaho Na Kaho' and 'Bheege Honth Tere'.
Padayatty Rating: (2/5)

Girlfriend - A thoroughly distasteful movie, though I say it here, not in the Parivar sense. Nothing remeberable at all. Some people even said it was sterotyping of lesbians, which is a very bad thing to do.
Padayatty Rating: (0/5) +1 for the scenes.

Chathikkatha Chandu - Hilarious, slap-stick. Every moment enjoyable. Jayasoorya is every man's comedy hero. All the supporting cast were also great. The songs are on my favourite's list. 'Love Letter', 'Mazhameettum Shruti' - excellent.
Padayatty Rating: (5/5)

Lakshya - Farhan Akthar makes a really good movie on life in the forces. Wonderful performance Hrithik Roshan. Innovative music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. But nowhere near the class of Dil Chahta Hai and came at a time after an overkill of Kargil War films. Not for the masses.
Padayatty Rating: (4/5)

Prisoner of Azkaban - Just another kiddie movie. Where's Alfonso Curaon the talented director. Emma Watson as Hermione looks cute.
Padayatty Rating: (2/5)

4 The People - Jayaraj on militant youth power for changing the order. The fast cuts used efficiently. Excellent music. This is Jassie Gift. 'Ninte Mizhimuna', 'Loka Samastha', 'Lajjavathiye' ... all wonderful. Didn't like the theme.
Padayatty Rating: (2/5) +1 for the music.

Hulchul - Priyadarshan remakes Malayalam's longest running film Godfather. The original was definitely better. But then for the Hindi heartland, which doesn't get any standard comedy, the movie is just perfect. Vidyasagar's music is useless.
Padayatty Rating: (2/5)

I probably left out quite a few movies. That's because they don't come back to my memory that much. That won't happen this year, because this year I'm blogging.

This post is getting boring... Sorry 'bout that. So stop.

*This one was released December, 2003. But I suppose I would be justified putting it here because I didn't have a blog last year.