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Basil Bayliss

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All things must pass [29 Nov 2008|04:01pm]
Seven years, today. RIP, you gorgeous man.


George Harrison (February 25, 1943 - November 29, 2001)
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[23 Nov 2008|02:26am]
It snowed today!

Not much...Just enough for the streets to be covered by grey-brown slush and for old ladies to skid and skate and lose balance, as they walked.

I ate some as it fell.
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Freak accidents etc. [11 Nov 2008|05:46am]
A girl headbutted me really hard directly on my jawline, today, while sprinting to get to the tram. I've no idea how it even happened and I was too dizzy from the impact to grab hold of her by the collar and ask her what the hell she meant by running into me like a charging bull with raw garlic up its arse. She did scream a hasty "sorry!" at me as she climbed on to the tram, though, which is slightly mollifying.

Not badly hurt but still bloody sore.
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[29 Oct 2008|02:43pm]
A lot has happened in the last fortnight and so I owe this journal plenty of updates, which will come as soon as things settle down a bit. Hopefully.

I'm moving flats again on Friday because of issues with the thermostat etcetera. So, if you do plan to write to me at any point in the next year, don't do it at the address I posted earlier. I will email interested parties the current one as soon as possible. I hope the new address lasts me longer than two weeks because this is really dashed inconvenient.

Grotters - I got your card yesterday...just in time, too, because I'm moving the day-after! Thanks a lot for the little monstrosity, which completely made my evening, and I hope you have a fantastic halloween.
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[07 Oct 2008|04:12pm]
I'm flying to Amsterdam, tonight. From there, a taxi to the Hague. As soon as I reach the flat in the Hague, I have to drop my lugage, shower and take a tram to the office. URGH. Jet lag is expected to take care of itself, obviously, and not get in the way of finishing a monthly report.

Am I severely pissed at myself for accumulating vast quantities of unnecessary stuff and buying more ready-to-eat food than I can reasonably expect myself to eat? O YES.
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What, still alive at twenty-two? [03 Oct 2008|09:31pm]
I turned twenty-two, yesterday, and feel deliciously old.

As a present, I demand everyone (I mean everyone who likes language and wishes to waste valuable time in doing silly things) to assist me in saving the fubsy. Use the word as often as you can, in as many entries as you can, this October, to save it from a dark death.

Some examples -
The fubsier of the two cats, Thomas, enjoys building model aeroplanes while warming himself on our toaster.
Fubs have the advantage of surviving more winters than non-fubs but are said to find the British comic tradition oppressive.
What a fubsy tomato!

For more information, look here:
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[21 Sep 2008|10:28pm]
Apologies, f-list. I haven't been commenting on any of your journals, the past couple of weeks. I've been reading nearly everything, though.

Anyway, a few things:

1. Read Indrajit Hazra's The Bioscope Man, while I was in Delhi. It was excellent. The subject interests me hugely, so I consumed the book with great and gluttonous energy. Very well written, very entertaining. The word "feted" was overused but that is forgivable. I want to see a movie based on this book, now. If someone else doesn't write a screenplay for it in the next ten years, I will. Or maybe not. Anyway, the book ends with the actor talking about being offered (and refusing) the small but vital part of a grocer/ schoolteacher in a movie* by an art director at an advertising agency called D.J. Keymer. References make me happy.

*Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali. The part was played by Tulsi Chakraborty.

2. Watched Mamma Mia, yesterday. It was okay...moderately enjoyable. Great songs (of course), except that they are too numerous and not always necessary. It gives the impression that the story is really only going where the songs are taking it. The movie did reinforce my belief that Meryl Streep is awesomeness in strong superlatives and deserves to be loved and worshipped. I am also firmly of the opinion that Pierce Brosnan is irritating and can't act.

3. Watched Charulata again today and noticed some new things that I'd missed the first 7-8 times. Er.

4. Work is good, so far. I plan to leave for the Hague on the 7th of October.

5. Aishwarya is leaving tomorrow afternoon. Cheese, love and luck are sent to her in equal proportions.

6. Picked up Ray's "My Years With Apu" from the National Library, on P's library card. Finished it yesterday afternoon. A great read and a bit of an eye-opener. I really need to think about how important a thorough knowledge of editing is, to a director, and how it could influence the way a scene is shot. (I know I sound thoroughly pretentious here but who cares. I'm terribly curious.)

7. Went to the Mustafa centre today and decided to take a look at their ridiculously small collection of world cinema. Picked up Jacques Tati's Jour de Fete, Yasujiro Ozu's There Was A Father and De Sica's Miracolo A Milano for a very good price.

I disovered Tati sometime during my second year at university, quite by mistake, and have never regretted it. So far, I've seen some of his shorts**, including the excellent "Cours du Soir", and his films "Mon Oncle" and "Les Vacances de M. Hulot". I loved them ALL. I've never managed to get hold of a Yasujiro Ozu before this but I expect to find him interesting, especially after what I've read about his experiments in camerawork, his themes and the fact that he worked on a low budget, unlike Kurosawa. I've watched the beginning of Vittorio de Sica's Ladri di Biciclette and will finish it sometime this week.

At least I have a salary now and can afford this hobby. Not having to cut down on food consumption and live on Ovaltine, just to be able to buy and watch movies is a good feeling.

**I meant FILMS. Short FILMS.
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Yellow journalism and Satyajit Ray [17 Sep 2008|06:53pm]
Financial newspapers, though orangeish in hue, and pretty sensational (these days, especially), are no competition, in terms of yellowness of content, to most of our dailies.

What maddens me - I want facts. I don't get facts. I get dubious articles fabricated out of mass rumours. Being a nobody out of nowhere, with no access to primary sources of data, I have to rely on our masala-mongering media for information.

For example - an article that made me extremely furious, today:

A Movie on Satyajit Ray and Madhabi MukherjeeCollapse )


No one is incorruptible, it seems. It's a depressing thought...

Digging a little deeper, we find...Collapse )
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A declaration. [12 Aug 2008|06:34pm]
Soumitra Chattopadhyay is an adorable, immensely talented, old man and I love him.

...More on this later.
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[09 Aug 2008|11:01pm]
My father and I were at the dentist's (we bond over our complete lack of dental health) and the pater was leafing through a random magazine while we waited. He stopped when he came across a photo of Soumitra, to show it to me. Then we read what it said. He will be in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. SHRIEK! MINOR HEART ATTACK! ETC.

I am currently incapable of speaking in anything but a shrill treble, on account of my excitement.

He'll be reciting something at the India International Centre on Tuesday. Ye gods, I hope, hope, HOPE I get to see that old man and slobber affectionately all over his patterned kurta.
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[08 Aug 2008|11:04pm]
[ mood | ohnopolitics ]

Was in Calcutta for 3.5 days, spent a day in Santiniketan with the grandpapa sometime in between. Overall - the trip was excellent. Except I narrowly missed meeting 22by7 for which I'm kicking myself still. Why didn't I just call?

Anyway. Fun photographs were taken, the relatives were mostly civil with me/ if not with each other...the politics (ohnopolitics) nearly drove me mad, though. Marwaris in Calcutta are incapable of talking straight - FACT.

The grandfather was generally adorable. Took me to the Shipping Corporation of India offices near Millenium Park to show me a grand view of the Hooghly (he's been a freight-broker since the late 1950s), took me to his favourite chai-shop and made me stuff myself full of shingharas, sandesh and tea, went with me to Santiniketan despite the pain in his feet, etc.

Aishwarya came over today and fun was had with tinned peaches and vanilla ice-cream.

Also, I'm moving to the Netherlands in October - I have managed to land a great job (Market Analyst for BHP Billiton) and this is making life quite tolerable, overall. Because sometimes it still hurts like crap.

Not managing to keep up with the friends' page - limited access to internet, not much time etc. I hope you all are doing brilliantly well.

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[19 Jul 2008|09:57am]
Sorry I've been so out of it, latterly. Much has happened/ too much is occurring, even as I write this - mostly job-related madness. I may have to move countries in September*. This is frightening and yet, it shouldn't be. I moved countries four years ago, when I was 18, and didn't feel a thing.

I'm leaving for Delhi, finally, tomorrow. The vacation is going to be for about 3 weeks, if I don't have to rush back to Singapore for immigration/ work-permit related rot. I'm hoping to make it to Calcutta for 5-6 days. I really, REALLY hope the parents let me go...

*Nothing is confirmed, yet. I'll post when it is.
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[06 Jul 2008|10:47pm]
My mum is visiting me, here. The whole programme was a bit sudden and was decided two days ago, when I realized my graduation ceremony (which I wasn't planning to attend) is next week.

I just stuffed myself full of litchis and mangoes. 

I feel great.
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[03 Jul 2008|08:07pm]
[ mood | blank ]

I have a job. I am to be a Trader/ Market Analyst for a company called Blue Water Financials, this September.

So yes. Cream buns all around. I am no longer gainfully unemployed.

...Still interviewing with two other companies, though, so I may not end up working for them, after all. Who knows.

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[13 Jun 2008|02:42pm]
[ mood | gloomy ]

Some stills from Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka TaraCollapse )

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[13 Jun 2008|01:39pm]
Today is awful. I want it to end.

Flying cockroaches exist. Ergo, there is no benevolent God/ creator. QED.
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oh by gee by gosh by gum by jove/ oh by jingo won't you hear our love [12 Jun 2008|11:32am]
I just heard a comic song by Kishore Kumar called "Sheengh Nei Tobu Naam Tar Shingho" or something similar (from the film Luko-churi), sung to the tune of "Oh, by Jingo!*". "Muchhe Jawa Din Guli" from the same film, sung by Hemanta, is depressingly beautiful, though. Go listen to it, if you care to: http://ishare.rediff.com/filemusic-Muchhe-Jawa-Din-Guli-id-28626.php

The mater called, yesterday, to tell me that Soumitra just won a national award for Paddokhep. This amused me (the fact that my mother called me to tell me this, not the fact that SC won an award). Later in the evening, P's sister (who is in the film industry/ editing) emailed P to ask her to tell me the news about the old boy. This amused me even more.

In other news - I have a few interviews lined up. The one yesterday was a disaster, though.

In other other news - I have just velcroed a mosquito net to my window. It was a lot of effort and I nearly taped myself to the frame but it looks good now and I will be able to sit with the window open and the light on in the late evening without being bitten to death by those bloodsuckers. And I don't mean the taxmen, unless they're really vampires and can fly in through a window on the 10th storey. Who the hell knows.

*It has the most amazing lyrics ever written for a song. In the land of San Domingo, lived a girl called Oh, by Jingo/ La la lalalalalala - mm Bop mm Bop Mm Bop etc. Flamingoes and Oh, by Gollies appear at some point.
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[10 Jun 2008|10:50pm]
Finally moving into the matchbox - navigating/ lifting furniture, sweeping/ mopping the floor, chasing dustballs out of the matchbox, unpacking/ packing, rushing out to buy clothes-hangers, missing meals, craving chocolate milkshake etcetera.

My back aches, my jaw hurts (?) and I'm more tired than an 8-wheeler with a stepney.

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[08 Jun 2008|12:19am]
I have just watched Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara.

It was beautiful. The ending (or the scene where the movie should have ended, anyway) was frightening. FRIGHTENING. And the song "Je raate mor duarguli bhanglo jhore" (one of Tagore's) will run on loop in my brain for a good many days, yet.

Many, many screencaps were taken. They will be posted later.
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[03 Jun 2008|09:27pm]
[ mood | geeky ]

Things that would make the world a better place, Part One:

Reporters who research a subject thoroughly before writing an article. This one obviously DID NOT.


The author says:

"The actor, always drawn to art house cinema, made his first appearance in 1959 in Satyajit Ray's "Apur Sansar" (The World of Apu), the second part of a trilogy about a boy from rural Bengal in search of his identity.

He followed it up with "Aparajito" (The Unvanquished), "Charulata" (The Lonely Wife) and "Aranyer Din Ratri" (Days and Nights in a Forest), "Ashani Sanket", "Sonar Kella" (The Golden Fort) and "Jai Baba Felunath (Hail, Baba Felunath), which were some of his cinematic milestones."


Apur Sansar, Soumitra Chatterjee's first film, was the third and final part of the Apu trilogy, while Aparajito was the second. He did not appear in Aparajito at all (much less follow Apur Sansar up with it - it would have been temporally impossible).

Soumitra was introduced to the master when Ray was assembling the cast of Aparajito. After watching Pather Panchali, he had wanted to play the main character in the movie but was rejected, having been judged too old by Ray to play the young Apu.

If Aparajito had been made a little later, when Ray knew just what marvels Soumitra was capable of (including the ability to look 15 in Salil Dutta's Aparichita, when he was over 30), it's possible to assume that things would have turned out differently and the author of the article would be spared having such a blunder on her conscience.

The rest of the article is decent, though, and quite informative to non-Calcuttans. For example, I didn't know Soumitra's theatre group was called Mukhomukhi*. Almost definitely a tribute/ reference to Jibanananda Das and taken from the ending of the poem 'Banalata Sen' which, if I remember correctly, went "...Thake shudhu ondhokar, mukhomukhi boshibar - Banalata Sen."

Things that would make the world a better place, Part Two:

Not having to work in this country for three years, going to Calcutta, meeting Soumitra Chattopadhyay, asking Soumitra Chattopadhyay to be allowed to join Mukhomukhi, being allowed to join Mukhomukhi.

...My family would probably disown/ disembowel me but hell.

*Mukhomukhi = 'face to face'
I LIKE IT. A good name for a theatre group on account of being a not-so-obvious way of describing the comedy&tragedy masks motif, generally associated with dramatics/ theatre. Or am I overinterpreting this? I don't know.

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