Thursday 31 December 2009

May you always have dreams to chase
Enough to eat, weather that's fine
May your year enthrall and amaze
Just don't make it too much better than mine

All the best for 2010, y'all.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

I'm a Bhopali

We Are All Bhopalis

On September 12th, 2001, Jean-Marie Colombani wrote in Le Monde:
“In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin. Indeed, just as in the gravest moments of our own history, how can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity?”

The previous day, 2,974 had people died in New York, Washington and Shanksville. And we all felt as Colombani did, our hearts going out to those innocent victims of terrorism and their bereaved families.


On December 3rd, 1984, in Bhopal, India, a leak from a methyl isocyanate gas tank in a Union Carbide plant sent out a dense poisonous cloud that killed 23,000 people — many of them that night, others soon after. Another 30,000 people have been affected since, by chemicals leaking from the abandoned factory, poisoning the water supply.

It has been described as the world’s worst industrial disaster. ( has many descriptions and recollections of the disaster and its aftermath.)

25 years later, the survivors still do not have justice. Such compensation as has been offered has been paltry. And, of course, chemicals continue to leak, continue to poison Bhopalis, continue to result in disease, birth defects, and more suffering.

We would like you help in bringing the world’s attention back to Bhopal. We would like to invite you to declare, loud and strong, that you are a Bhopali too.

(We do not want any financial support; this WordPress sub-domain is free, and if we do move to our own website, we’re happy to pay for the domain and the hosting. If you want to help financially, please use the ‘donate’ buttons on the site or any other organisations that will use your money to help the survivors in Bhopal.)

Monday 9 November 2009

So we should all stop linking to Newscorp stuff?

"There's a doctrine called fair use, which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether... but we'll take that slowly."
Rupert Murdoch, in The Guardian.

The (Twitter) Gospel according to St Peter

Remember Follow Fridays and keep them holy.

As ye tweet, thus shall ye be retweeted.

Thou shalt not stalk thy neighbour's followers in the hope that they follow ye.

Thou shalt not plug thy status updates into Facebook, that barren land of nonbelievers & quiz-takers.

Thou shalt not bear false witness. That includes tweeting stuff you only actually saw on TV.

Honour thy father and thy mother. What happens at home shalt not be tweeted.
(Unless, of course, thy parents tweeted first)
(You *really* shouldn't have got them on to Twitter, y'know.)

Thou shalt not sledge @stephenfry. He has earned his moods.
@shashitharoor is, however, fair game.

Thou shalt get back to work, hm?

#Thou #shalt #use #hashtags #judiciously.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's ass. Well, okay, maybe if s/he's really callipygous.

If ye seek to be retweeted, ye shall ensure that thy tweets have enough characters left over to permit it.

Thou shalt casually mention @gulpanag in thy tweets, as if you're, like, friends and all.

Thou shalt quit while thou art ahead.

Thou shalt not relentlessly pimp thy blog. (These tweets archived at

RT @zigzackly Thou shalt not relentlessly pimp thy blog. (These tweets archived at

Retweeting yourself - or RTing what others tweet to you - is bad form. Only SEOs do that.

RT @zigzackly The Gospel according to St Peter: Retweeting yourself - or RTing what others tweet to you - is bad form. Only SEOs do that.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Celebrate Bandra Festival Souvenir - Call for Submissions

(Original post here.)

The Celebrate Bandra Festival happens once every two years in Bandra. This year, the festival will be in November. I'm helping curate the literature section. More about past festivals at (the site won't be updated with this year's schedule for a little while yet).

Here's the brief.

"You're My Home": you live in Bandra, so what makes it home? (If you don't live in Bandra, imagine it). The trees, the birds, the air, your nosy neighbours, your generous and helpful neighbours, their culture and yours, the sea, the waves, the aromas, the convenience, the excitement. It's home, so like every home, it has ups, it has downs. But what is it about the environment of Bandra, seen as broadly as you can, that makes it home for you?

You can submit anything that can appear in print (without spending enormous amounts of money): essays, short fiction, poetry, play scripts, illustrations, photographs.

Please email your submissions to

Last date for submissions: September 30th, 11:59p.m.

You can make more than one stand-alone submission, but please do so in separate emails, to help the selection process.

For text submissions
• Your submission must be close to, but not over, the 1000 word mark.
• Please paste your text into the body of the email. No attachments, please.
• Please use one of these subject lines: Souvenir Submission - short story, Souvenir Submission - poem, Souvenir Submission - essay, or Souvenir Submission - script.

For photographs, scanned illustrations or computer-generated art
• Please submit only one piece. (A picture being worth a thousand words and all that.)
• You can include a short (not more than 100 words) descriptor or caption in the body of your email.
• If your image is a very large file, please upload it online somewhere* and mail in a link.
• If you think you must submit more than one image as part of the same entry, then please mail in only one, but add a description of what the rest of the series will be like, or upload the additional material elsewhere and send in a link. If we want to see the rest, we'll mail you.
• Please use one of these subject lines: Souvenir Submission - photograph, Souvenir Submission - illustration, or Souvenir Submission - digital art

In one paragraph at the end of your email, please include your name, postal address, email address and a phone number, land or cellular, where you can be reached during the day and in the evenings.

By submitting, you declare that the work is your own, or that you have collaborated in its creation and are authorised to submit on behalf of the collective. Please remember India's laws on libel and obscenity. And for visual art submissions that depict people, especially photographs, please make sure you have your subject's permission. For any form of 'found art,' text or visual, please ensure that you are not infringing India's copyright laws.

Entries will be short-listed by Rahul Goswami. Rahul is an intermittent Bandra resident, and otherwise a researcher working on the links between economic growth, livelihoods and agriculture.

The short-list will then be judged by Dilip D'Souza, writer and journalist, who is the editor of the souvenir, and Joe Campana, and the selected submissions will appear in print. Updates on the lists will be posted to the Caferati blog, and, if it's ready by then, the updated Celebrate Bandra website.

Rewards: the joy of seeing your work in print, and contributing towards the Celebrate Bandra effort. We are trying to get some small prizes for the best entries, but this is very unlikely, so don't count on it. UpdateThe top five entries, across categories, will be marked as such in the souvenir, and, yes, will get small prizes.

Do please pass this on to friends and well-wishers, from Bandra or elsewhere. Feel free to copy this text to your website or blog, and to online forums where you know it will be welcome.

* Possible sites where you can upload your work: Flickr, Photobucket, OurMedia, Picassa.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - 4

One has been most remiss
One whole day one has missed
A godawful host am I, alas
To let a godawful fortnight day pass
Without finding a moment in time
To add to the feast of mediocre rhyme

Friday 21 August 2009

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - 3

The side-effects of the H1N1 influenza

You know what the worst
Side-effect of this burst
Of this oh so very
Named flu is?

It's the amateur wags,
And their lame borrowed gags
Littering the statusphere
Wherever you peer.

It's even worse, you will agree
Than godawful poetry.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - 2

I write for you.
You write for me?
We both write?

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - Guest Post 1

My humble contribution to this fantastic, much-looked-forward to annual event:


They dragged me with brute force to the door,
Callously kicked me down the stairs below-
And screeched like the oft quoted Raven, “Nevermore!”

I staggered to my feet and limped my way across the street,
With fumbling fingers groped for my pack of woe,
And struck a match- Ah, even in adversity life can be sweet.

So now I wander lonely spewing dark, belligerent clouds,
That lurk on high o’er the stained cityscape,
And insidiously creep into the lungs of the teeming crowds.

All I ask for is Keats' Grecian urn to tip the ash,
While contributing generously to the city's smog,
It wouldn’t hurt would it, that dead sexy touch of dash?

By Rupa Gulab who, incidentally is not blushing furiously, but rolling on the floor with mirth. Shameless!

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - 1

In a Godawful Mood,
Just not a Godawful Poetry mood.
But as the host, I can't be rude,
So here's my pseud-
o poem.

Sunday 16 August 2009

Son of Godawful Poetry Fortnight - 19th - 31st August

We launched the first Godawful Poetry Fortnight here last year. (You can read all our contributions here, and this was a brief article in the TOI about the Fortnight.)

Cut to the chase: it's that time of the year again!

The essentials:

• Godawful Poetry Fortnight runs from the 19th to the 31st August.

• Our Patron Saint is William Wordsworth.
And he gets this signal honour for saying that poetry "is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings." Way too many aspiring poets have rallied behind that banner, too few going so far as recollecting those emotions in tranquillity, let alone reading the rest of the preface to Lyrical Ballads (which can be found on Bartleby, for those interested).

• To join in, all you have to do is post on your blog* a godawful poem you have written, with—all totally optional—a brief note about GPF, a bit about what godawful poetry means to you, and a link to this post.

• Post godawful poems as often as you like during the Fortnight. (The True Believers Challenge: post thirteen godawful poems, one on each day of the Fortnight.) Squeeze your muse like a boil. Get it all out. Pester your friends to post too. Once GPF is done, you will write good poetry for the rest of the year, yes?

• Please use this Technorati tag on your post: . Here's the HTML for the tag: <a href="" rel="tag">Godawful Poetry Fortnight</a>

• To those who feel the need to point out this Fortnight lasts only thirteen days, we draw our cape around us, and say, in a marked manner, "Poetic license."

* I'd be happy to link to you if you tell me where your poem is.
If you don't have a blog, you're welcome to either use the comment space here or the Godawful Poetry Fortnight thread over at Caferati.

Wednesday 12 August 2009


Sunday evening, driving from St Xavier's to the office.

Peddar Road, Kemps Corner flyover, light traffic.

Car in front of me brakes suddenly.

Pretty much have to stand on my brakes to avoid a prang.

Mutter under breath. Traffic continues to move. Car in front sets off again. I nudge the accelerator. Coast down the flyover. Come to the the bit where the road rises again. See light ahead is orange. Start braking and gearing down..

Except that the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor without any reaction from the car.

Luckily for me, the light turns red and the cars around me stop. Luckily for me I wasn't going to fast, and neither were the cars around me. I cut through the red light, at the tail end of that bit of traffic flow. I continue to slow down. Turn on the hazard lights. Gently prod the accelerator just enough to keep the car moving up the slope until it crests. Simultaneously gently turning the wheel to bring the car next to the pavement. Pull up the handbrake and turn off the engine. Lean back. Shudder. Sweat flows.

Friday 7 August 2009

The Chhattisgarh government has banned Charandas Chor

(Background: The story in the Hindustan Times and the Times of India

This came to us from actor Denzil Smith.

Press Release condemning ban on Charandas Chor

We are shocked to learn from press reports that the BJP government of Chhattisgarh has banned Charandas Chor, a classic of the modern Indian theatre, written and produced by Habib Tanvir. The play was first done in the 1970s, and is originally based on an oral folk tale from Rajasthan. Habib Tanvir worked on this tale, introducing into it elements of the art and beliefs of the Satnami community. Satnami singers and dancers have performed in this play, and it has been seen by members of the community several times. In Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, there are several rural troupes who are today performing some version of this play.

The play itself is the story of a thief who, under the influence of a guru, pledges never to tell a lie. He sticks to his pledge, even at the cost of his life. This superb tragic-comedy, in a thoroughly entertaining and artistic manner, brings into focus the moral and ethical degeneration of our society, in which, paradoxically, it is a thief who ends up being more honest than those who supposed to be the custodians of our morality.

Charandas Chor remains Habib Tanvir’s best-known play, and has been performed literally hundreds of times by his world-renowned Naya Theatre troupe all over India and in several countries across the world. It was made into a film by Shyam Benegal, with Smita Patil in the lead, in 1975, and was the first Indian play to win the prestigious Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 1982. It then did a successful run on the London stage.

We demand that the Chhattisgarh government immediately revoke this absurd ban.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

me pomes they are of no import
they aren't the deep, reflective sort
but give them this: they're very short

Monday 3 August 2009

Ev'ry dogg'rel must have its day
Alas, your bard's mere mortal clay
Rhyme-a-day plans gang aft agley
Ah well.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Whatcha been up to? How you is?
Whatcha been doing weekends? How's biz?
No, this isn't a Facebook Quiz
Hell no!
It's kaiku time! It's been a while.
We all have walked many a mile,
Six-abreast or in single file.
Wha's up?

Sunday 26 July 2009

Spot the differences

1: How Bill Gates Blew $258 million in India's HIV Corridor (Forbes India -- where I work -- 19th June issue)

2: Exiting All Windows... (Outlook, June 27th issue)

Saturday 25 July 2009

Help needed at Geeta Nagar, Bombay

The high tidal waves on 24th July destructed several homes at Geeta Nagar, the largest slum in Navy Nagar and washed away roofs and huts of more than a hundred poor people.

Please contribute rice, atta, sugar, tea leaves, pulses and also bedsheets, and clothes for men, women, children.

Any help is welcome.

This came to me via Lily Ahluwalia on Facebook, with a request to pass it on.

The person to contact is Shridhar Naik, of Helping Hands in Service. You can find their Karmayog page here (couldn't find any other website), and Mr Naik's Ryze page is here.

Contact details: +91 22 22876031, +91 98211 48796,


Monday 20 July 2009

It's not fair that on the day your back
has one of its spasm attacks
that a bug should bug your stomaach

Monday 6 July 2009

Bandra Worli Pee Link

(This came to us in a forward. The person who sent it doesn't know its provenance. It was supposed to have been taken on the day the bridge opened.)

Thursday 2 July 2009

R.I.P., 377 farce
The law's now slightly less an arse
Next: it's time to legalise grass!
Bum Bole!

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Steve Martin does MJ

From The New Yorker's News Desk blog:

As a dancer, Michael Jackson was great. He was like Fred Astaire. This video, a parody of the “Billie Jean” video, was done for “The New Show,” which was a prime-time NBC program that Lorne Michaels did in 1983-1984, when he wasn’t producing “Saturday Night Live.” This was the opening—it was the first piece on the first episode of the show. Michael Jackson had recently done what I consider to be his life-changing performance on the Grammy Awards, where he did the Moonwalk and threw his hat offstage. He was just brilliant. Then the “Billie Jean” video came out. And this was a parody of that.

I’m not sure whose idea it was; it might have been Lorne’s. Pat Birch choreographed it. The hard move was that little leg twist that he did. You really have to throw your leg. I did it a thousand times in about three days. And a couple of weeks later I noticed—er, I have a pain here. The pain lasted about two years, then it went away on its own.

Monday 22 June 2009

Been waiting—longing—for the day
Did everything short of pray
Now it's here at last, yeehah! yay!
First rain!

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Pot-bellied clouds flirt with the sun
"The monsoon's here!" we say, "What fun!"
Then, to the east, the bastards run
No rain

Monday 8 June 2009

See here, I ate my fruit and all
Ignoring eggs and bacon's call
Dinner was clean: sprouts and dal*
St Pete!

*You must say 'dal' the Anglo-Indian way, to sound like "doll."
Breakfast at two? You lazy sod!
You're no go-getter, you're a fraud!
Your parents must have spared the rod!
Another day I live to tango
Pomegranate, muesli, mango
Breakfast is done, now go man go
To work
No more worries about inflation,
discrimination, state of the nation
No more depression or elation
Now that I'm just an eructation

This was in response to Amit Varma, who in response to my Facebook status message (which was "Peter Griffin can feel some nonsense rhyme coming on."), commented:
Monster called up Mommy Dear
'Mommy, Mommy, hunger's here
But since you haven't sent my tiffin
I think I'll just eat Peter Griffin.'

More from Facebook, where, in addition to Mr Varma, Mr Basu chips in, as does Anupama Bijur:

Samit Basu
who is fighting air pollution?
who's the ozone layer solution?
who makes regal eagles chirp?
Peter Griffin, sentient burp.
Samit Basu
Samit Basu
who is stirring stormclouds rowdy?
who meets angels and says howdy?
who makes squiffy skuas squelch?
Peter Griffin, zen-like belch
Sudeep Chakravarti
Sudeep Chakravarti
bless you, peter und samit.
Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin
Amit's monster would've been a cow
And we all know, from science class, how
These ruminants regurgitate their chow
Ozone b 'ware! I'm the "me" in "methane" now
Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin
Sure, a burp's a noxious gas
But worse things could have come to pass
One could have been mere bio-mass
Expelled with force from the cow's, um, other end.
Samit Basu
Samit Basu
Peter G, most kind and gracious
Now turned into products gaseous!
Amit Varma! Blackguard! Thief!
With your pets we have a beef.
Anupama Bijur
Anupama Bijur
Griffin, Basu and Varma on Facebook
Together a bio-patent took,
Gobar, biomass or hot air,
Further verses will share.
Amit Varma
Amit Varma
Samit, Peter, do not jump
To conclusions with a bump
The Monster in question is not bovine
And yes, Samit, Peter's quite divine.
Amit Varma
Amit Varma
Ok, I'll tell you another fable
Monster sat down at the table
Shouted, "Mommy, just for Amit
I think I'll also consume Samit."
Anupama Bijur
Anupama Bijur
The Monster did not cherry pick
Consumed Pete, Amit and Samit
And down in his intestine,
They continued to talk in rhyme.
Samit Basu
Samit Basu
Alas! This monster du jour
Observes the rhyming Ms Bijur,
Consigns her to chambers gastric
And then sights the Duck Fantastic
I say, 'hey, you, monster, look,... Read more
Want to star in my next book?'
While the monster grimly ponders,
I strike! With the Beak of Wonders!
Spotting, on the corpse's paunch-o
The inscription 'I am Sancho'
I realize, as I suspected,
That fiend Varma stands detected!
Soon as I, now Case Inspector,
Construct my Zig Ressurector,
Spend all monies in my wallet
To turn Zig from gas to solid,
We'll be back, a duo most deadly
Fight this Varma/Monster medley,
And then say, 'Hey! Ma Monster! Dammit!
We fed your son your friend Amit.'
Amit Varma
Amit Varma
Samit, I like your imagination
I'm sure it'll help my friend's digestion
The Monster really liked young Peter
(Especially his sense of meter)
But still, the lad caused him some heartburn... Read more
All night it was turn, and twist, and turn
But now he'll have you with cold milk
And other poets of your ilk
Such as Ms Bijur (pleased to meet you)
Yes, sweet lady, you'll be eaten too.
Anupama Bijur
Anupama Bijur
The beast stirred awake on Sunday
Bloated from his feast yesterday
And seriously pondered Samit’s offer
To star in his next book on Monsters.
... Read more
Thought he, `Three-poets-and-the-lady mix,
Not as good as my own iambic.
Besides the courses came in the wrong order
Where was the hors d’oeuvre?’

`Next time, come one at a time,
Take a token, stand in line
We’ll have to pair you with a wine,
I stand on ceremony when I dine.’

`Amit would’ve worked with guacamole
Samit would’ve done instead of poulet
Peter is as good a sorbet
You see, I’m quite the gourmet.’

So Samit, I wish to decline
The offer to star in your set of rhymes
I’m ready for a food show, I am,
With none other than Anthony Bourdain.
Anupama Bijur
Anupama Bijur
`Heston may have his molecular gastronomy,
I have secret recipes from my Mommy
And with Peter Griffin,
Who needs liquid nitrogen? '

Thursday 4 June 2009

Now that this issue is done (done!)
We thought we would have some fun (fun!)
But at our head is a gun (gun!):
Next issue!

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Our kaikus we had no time to do
Scrabble suffered grievously too
And books we bought are still enqueued

Friday 29 May 2009

Parrots, the Universe and Everything

Almost 90 minutes. One man on stage. No props. No fancy slideshow or snazzy film. No music. Just talking to the audience, and a bit of reading from one of his books. Can't think of very many people who could pull that off.

The talk is about his travels while writing Last Chance to See, which he expresses great affection for. "The runt of the litter," he calls it.

Saturday 16 May 2009

Mr Singh, you're quite a charmer
Looks like India has good karma*
This is better than Obama
What say?

* You have to say 'karma' with an American accent
Can't thank all you voters enough
You did your job, you got the stuff
You've shown em who is really tough
Yay you!
Coffee's drunk, and I've cleared my head
To office now, the old tin shed
The magazine's almost in bed
What joy!
At last the elections are done
*sigh* Now what will we do for fun
Since IPL games we do shun?
Yay books!
What shall we write poems about?
Is there anything worth a shout?
Ah yes, the defeat of the louts!
Yay voters!

Sunday 10 May 2009

Witty friends and conversation:
Cabbages, kings, and inflation
The better writers in the nation
Like that
Dinner after the launch was had
Though the muzak was rather sad
The food and booze were not half-bad
Got my copy signed, bought lots more
Enough to read for weeks and more
But me bank balance is sure
Amit read, with much impact
A well-chosen short extract
In which the protagonist climaxed
I swear
Saturday, the evening we took
Ourselves to Juhu for a look
At the Varma launching his book
Nice day!
Friday was one long meeting
Free moments few, very fleeting
Our Scrabble time took a beating
Thursday noon, and back in action
Attempting to give satisfaction
Admittedly with little traction
Ah well
Must have been something we ate
First the tum bug cleaned our slate
Then Fever, chills; one stayed prostrate
Ah, fate!
Honesty compels us to say
We were only ill from Tuesday
Running (literally) through Thursday
No nonsense poems for one week
Spirit willing but body was weak
Coz we were ill, but now we're theek
We're back

Sunday 3 May 2009

Been topping up on sleep today
Woke late, breakfasted, and then, hey,
I found some more sleep debt to pay

Saturday 2 May 2009

When your whole body genuflects
to medication's side effects
[This doesn't rhyme - delete this text]
Being ill on a long weekend
Not much fun, I tell you, my friend
But *sigh* at least there's time to mend

Thursday 30 April 2009

This page, you'll be relieved to find
Has way too much on its wee mind
That's why it is so far behind
On kaiku

Sunday 26 April 2009

Should take the car to the garage
Or maybe get a good massage
But next week is looming large
So, sleep
Saturday went by really fast
Barely here, and now it's the past
I just can't make the weekend last
*poof* gone

Friday 24 April 2009

One more we think we can bake up
Partly, to, um, kinda make up
And a bit of slack to take up
One more to go and we are done
Then we must—really—have to run
Into that bloody awful sun
To work
So why is it that we did shirk?
It wasn't just some arbit quirk
Our back was out, and we had work
Three poems behind! Alas! Alack!
Get this monkey offa my back
At least give it a bloody whack

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Music may soothe a savage breast
But for the demons in our chest
Silly rhyme, bad puns and low jests
Work best
Grouchy, tired and headachey
Shall quaff a cup of Munnar tea
And write some lousy poetry
There. Better.

Sunday 19 April 2009

If, perchance, you don't like cricket
Boy, you're on a sticky wicket
Get a bucket, lad, and kick it
You're dead
If rhyme was all it took
I'd be in my wee nook
Working on my tenth book

Friday 17 April 2009

Friday blues are a-kicking in
Naught to do, not a fricking thing
'cept watch my arteries thick'ning

Thursday 16 April 2009

Early to bed, early to rise
That was my day, surprise, surprise
Me, not someone else in disguise
Ye who twitter, hear our plea:
We ♥ you but, dude, really
Could you not put your tweets on FB?

Tuesday 14 April 2009

lipid profile: done, thyroid test: check.
also did the eye test; I need specs.
middle age is a pain in the neck.

Monday 13 April 2009

Social Media Climber

Someone who assiduously builds himself (it's usually a him) up as a social media expert with copious blog posts, tweets, et cetera that cite what the genuine innovators have done, and adds on a layer of jargon and marketing speak in the hope that clueless brand manager types will hire him as a consultant, and similarly ignorant media will think of him as an expert. (The latter is likely, because media types tend to have take the 're' out of 'research' and hit Google, and the SMC will have ensured high rankings by linking to — and being linked back to reciprocally by — other SMCs.) If either of these things happen at least once, he will then post/tweet/status-message it to all and sundry. Over time, he starts to believe it himself.
The only people more boring than SMCs are SEOs.
Summer brings me to my knees, hear me wheeze:
Could we have some breeze, pretty please?
I don't want to freeze, just some ease..
Some rain?

Sunday 12 April 2009

Now that our rep is doggy poo
Shubh Easter to all of you
Easter Mubarak, that works too
Actually it wasn't late
In GMT, it's the right date
And for our friends in the U States
It's early
Saturday's kaiku is so late
Wasn't because I had a date
No, wasn't too much on my plate
Just lazy

Friday 10 April 2009

Didja see it? "Tee Gee Eye Gee Eff!" *
Sacrilege! Double-Yoo Tee Eff!
Stone that pagan bloody Griff!
Crucify him!

* Our Facebook status message, from Thursday night up to the time we changed it to this one on Friday, was "TGIGF." Our chances of salvation are now even further down the toilet than before.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Neighbour's getting new window grills
Hammers, cutters, bloody loud drills
Makes me want to head for the hills

Wednesday 8 April 2009

This loyal soldier never shirks
In blazing heat he's off to work
The office has a winning perk:
It's ACed

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Recessionary times are rough
But finding rhymes is just as tough
Even harder to make you lough

Monday 6 April 2009

It's hot outside
I'm gonna get fried
But I gotta ride


The inimitable Mr Al Jarreau. 8 minutes and 25 seconds of magic.

Via Harini's Facebook news feed.

Sunday 5 April 2009

Working steadily down list of chores
That's how my weekend goes
So tell me, how was yours?
(in Kaiku)

Saturday 4 April 2009

Read all night with a clean conscience;
Breakfast at 3 - ah, the insouciance;
nothing to write but more nonsense!
The weekend!

Friday 3 April 2009

This verse form, we think, should have a name
It's terse, it's strict, it's fun and games
And so we dub thee, without shame
The Kaiku

Thursday 2 April 2009

Namaste from Bombay city
Land of two seasons: rainy & sweaty
plus two cool days in January
i.e.: "winter."

Wednesday 1 April 2009

All Fool's Day! What could be better?
Suits this poet to the letter
We're revved up, in fine fetter
Your turn!

Tuesday 31 March 2009

No status messages with nothing to say
A nonsense rhyme instead, a bit of play
One guaranteed grin (for me) every day
(And you?)

Monday 30 March 2009

Said the happy katydid:
"A week of poetry we did"
"Er, weak (kof) poetry, you did"
Sigh. True.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Sunday is a day of rest
but not for this poet pest
ever hopeful in his quest
for rhyme

Saturday 28 March 2009

bed to verse retires

Saturday, there won't be many
Joining in the cacophony
But we must (giddyap pony!)
Charge on!

Friday 27 March 2009

bed to verse strikes back

But Ugadi is another day
That's Gudi Padwa in Maharastre
If you won't write, I will, yea
The horror!

bed to verse sinks lower

Yesterday's verse got little traction
the status message poetry faction
was completely out of action
woe is me

Speaking of TED..

..have you seen the cost of registering for the TEDIndia conference?


That's Rs 120,984.80.*

For four days.

It includes housing (they don't say where), food and an airport pick-up-and-drop. It's happening at the Infosys campus, so we guess that's where attendees will be staying. But even if not, and let's assume that they don't have sponsors (they do), a top-end hotel room in Mysore costs in the neighbourhood of Rs 4000, if memory serves us right. You'd be hard-put to spend more than 2k on khana-peena a day. So, stretch that a bit—a massage, a guided tour—and it's like 8k a day. Add in a couple of grand to get in from Bangalore airport in luxury. That's like 35k. What on god's green earth is the rest of that dosh for?

Sure, they're going to have a rocking line-up of speakers, if their record is anything to go by. And sure, they're financing fellowships and suchlike, and chances are that a TED Fellow is likely to change the world and all that. And sure, there's a great agenda:
* Which local innovations are destined for global impact?
* Who are the young thinkers and doers capable of shaping the future?
* Can there be economic advancement without environmental destruction?
* Can a pluralistic democracy survive in the face of rising fundamentalism?
* Can we make money and be good? Really?
* What should we learn – or fear? -- from China’s investment in Africa?
* Do we have enough water for everyone?
* How do we keep our youth challenged and our aged healthy?
* How can anti-poverty solutions be brought to scale?
* Is there wisdom to be found in traditional medicine??
* Which other ancient traditions can illuminate modern life?



A lakh twenty one.

Are they effing insane?

There's a recession going on. This is the developing world. The bit they called the Third World before they got all PC, like. You can live off that much money for several months, including house rent, in most cities in India. Heck, you could become a local aristocrat with that much money in some parts of the country.

Who's going to be able to pay to get in? Loaded westerners who will probably go off, pre- or post-TED to do a bit of palace tourism and maybe some Slumdogging in Dharavi for colour. Malodourously plutocratic Indians who will happily pay up to be seen there.

And most of the folks who are actually doing their bit towards making a better future, people who would benefit from the atmosphere, the contacts and the experience; for them, it could just as well have stayed in Monterey.

Yes, we know that a lot of the people who will be invited to present will benefit, and they deserve it. Yes, we'll get to see the presentations on the TED site eventually.

But we have to say that the pedestal we had TED on is looking kinda clayey.

Yes, we're bitter.

* As per today's exchange rate on XE Universal Currency Converter.

Thursday 26 March 2009

The Sixth Sense device

bed to verse goes to seed

'Tis Thursday, and the pressure mounts
The buzz goes 'round the po'try founts:
"Will he? Gawd, I hope he won't!"
Too late!

Wednesday 25 March 2009

what bed to verse did next

It's Wednesday, the pressure builds
Words must flow from the dogg'rel mills
I think I'd better take my pills
for stress

Tuesday 24 March 2009

son of bed to verse

Tuesday's here, and I'm feeling better
Caffeinated, in fine fetter
Still not quite your bright go-getter
Maybe I should write a letter
to you?

Monday 23 March 2009

bed to verse

It's Monday and the joints are creaking
Strong, hot coffee one is seeking
Until one gets it one is not speaking
To you.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Defense overtures

Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy.

Competition for "If you come today" at last!

"[Israeli arms maker] Rafael produced a sitar-heavy twist on Rick Astley's love letter to Satan, "Together Forever," complete with a new chorus." (Wired's Danger Room blog.)

Saturday 14 March 2009

Lily the Pink

Ah, the memories.

How many songs do you know that use the word "efficacious" without missing a beat?

[Via Ratna Rajaiah's Facebook feed]

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work

Friday 13 March 2009

Nostradam R us

We are feeling all seerish today.

So we predict that Google will soon have an attempted Twitter-killer out.

It will run with Gtalk. People already use Gtalk status messages to communicate with friends. Makes sense to piggy-back on that, yes? So, you will be able to separately subscribe to my status messages without seeing my online status or being able to chat with me.

They'll call it G-spot.

Well, okay, maybe not.

But for the rest, remember, you read it here first. And anyone from Google who sees this, we'd like some shares, please. Thank you.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

The appeal the BBC refused to broadcast

The Disasters Emergency Committee's appeal for Gaza. Please circulate as widely as possible We grieve with our Palestinian friends, and thank our Jewish friends, both inside and outside Israel, who have supported this call for aid. May good hearts on both sides prevail and come together to end sixty years of injustice, cruelty and hatred.

Via Indra Sinha

Friday 23 January 2009

TTMMG :) - 8

Bitter chocolate. Mm. One is dissolving in our mouth as we type.

TTMMG :) - 7

Sunsets. That does it every time.

TTMMG :) - 6

We have naturally curly hair. :D

TTMMG :) - 5

And speaking of friends, they make us smile too. We are, as we never tire of saying, extremely fortunate in our friends. Any time, night or day, there are people we can talk too, text, chat with online, be with. Any time, night or day, there are people who will rally around and scrape us off the ground. That they choose to do this turns that smile into, well, we're not gonna get all sniffly here. We're lucky, is all we're saying.

TTMMG :) - 4

Hearing about old friends getting married. To each other. Whoda thunk? Good luck, Y & M!

TTMMG :) - 3

Enough work to keep the mind growing, but not too much to prevent a little stop-and-stare time.

TTMMG :) - 2

A good cup of coffee, and a thick-cut slices of multi-grain bread, with a little fruit preserve.

Thursday 8 January 2009

Things that make me go :)

Having people who actually choose to read this space.

(This the first of an occasional series. A sort of counting of blessings. I'm going to try and find something to smile about every day.)

Forensic Journalism

Closely related to investigative journalism, but happens only after the event. When there is, unquestionably, a body, so to speak.


All the surface characteristics of a real Udipi restaurant, but it isn't really.

Tell-tale signs: chillies in everything; they serve pau bhaji; they serve a paper masala dosa without blushing.