"end of december"

Wow "end of december" also means new year's night; Yes, there would be music on clinton street. Ok, I understood the first line of Leonard cohen's "Famous blue rain coat" which I had glossed over all these times :-)

The Grave of Shelly - Oscar Wilde

The Grave of Shelly - Oscar Wilde
Like burnt-out torches by a sick man's bed -->
Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the sun-bleached stone; -->
Here doth the little night-owl make her throne,
And the slight lizard show his jewelled head.
And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red,
In the still chamber of yon pyramid
Surely some Old-World Sphinx lurks darkly hid,
Grim warder of this pleasaunce of the dead.

Ah! sweet indeed to rest within the womb
Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep,
But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb
In the blue cavern of an echoing deep,
Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom
Against the rocks of some wave-shattered steep.

*Gaunt-thin or bleak
*pleasaunce- secluded garden
*yon-Distance within sight
*founder-break down

I understand that he is talking about graves: one on in the land and other is ocean.

I feel proud of myself whenever I understand a poem because it is hard to get inside a one; and this is the first poem that i read, rather understood, in 2009. Infact, I did not choose this poem; usually I try to understand which ever poem comes across when I open the book.

Nietzsche on Alcohol & Church

Last week, I came across a BBC Documentary "Nietzsche on Hardship", and here I have tried to reproduce, word by word, whatever was told in that documentary. In brief, documentary says, Nietzsche was against alcohol therapy; and equated consoling oneself by going to Church to consoling by drinking Alcohol.

Comfort of alcohol
To imagine that there is a benefit in escaping our troubles, once in a while with a alcoholic drink or two, is to misunderstand Nietzscheian analysis of relation between happiness and pain. Happiness does not come from escaping trouble, it comes from cultivating them, turning them to your advantage. Nietzche did not want anyone to drown in worries, instead he said our worries are pointers to the things that need attension.

Comfort of Church
Nietzsche was rather against Church for the same reason as he was against getting drunk. In the short term, going to hear a service in a Christian church may make you feel quite good in the same way as getting very drunk may make you feel quite good. But in the long term, Church in Nietzsche's eyes dulls pain and in this way, it also dulls the energy that pain can give us to overcome problems and so reach real happiness.
There are differences between Church and Pub, but Nietzsche insisted that there are similarities in the consolation available at both the places; it seemed to him that New testament tried to make us feel better by saying that many things that we thought of as problems are not in fact problems at all but rather assets.

  • a) To anyone worried about being too timid, New testament advises blessed are the meek they will inherit the earth.

  • b) To anyone worried about not having friends, New testament says blessed are you when men hate you, they exclude you and insult you.

  • c) To anyone that worried about not having enough money and who envies that those who do, New testament has these soothing words, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to the enter the kingdom of god.

Nietzsche took such words to be catastrophic, like alcohol Church counsel might dull pain but it will also weaken the resolve to overcome the problem from which the pain has risen. Essentially, Nietzsche did not want to people in trouble to pretend that they did not need the things they could not attain.

**Note that I do not know the details of New testament; here I just wrote whatever was presented in BBC documentary.

Warm and cold green

When trying to get GREEN tint we have can look at Yellow ochre as "warm green" and Cereleum Blue as "cold green" and choose appropriately.

Fine art material retailers in Bangalore

For the first time I saw my cousin, Shalini's paintings in person and they were much better than the photographs which she had sent by e-mail. This energised me and I decided to teach her how to photograph paintings and also thought of buying a decent easel. I believe that the use of proper tools for painting would infuse sense of value, responsibility and pride in painter. Ability to photograph is aslo important because in this age, for amatures, internet is an art gallery; in addition to this, good photograph can also be used for making quality prints which can be used for display purpose,inside home, instead of original painting; i believe this is one way to protect original paintings from dust and other pollutants.

Global brands of colors
Bangalore, probably for that matter, whole country is in its infancy when it comes to fine-art materials. Except for Winsor Newton, average dealers have barely heard of international brands like Liquitex, Golden, and only two special dealers showed name familiarity.

Camlin and Crystal beverages are distributers for Liquitex paints and Golden acrylics inside India. Liquitex, Golden products are sold at MRP by retailer but are not readily available, customer has to pre-order through retailer. Retailers that I spoke to said that consumers are neither aware or seek these foriegn brands because these(especially at MRP) are way beyond typical Indian consumer, so all ones sees is sea of Camlin colors. Camlin's paint products are pathetic; screw caps of their water color tubes cracks after few months, and this shows how much importance Camlin gives to quality, so I would not trust my creative work in the hands of Camlin. After looking at how wilted Camlin colors tubes were, I feel embarassed to say that I will use Camlin paints for painting movie star cutouts for theaters.

In Bangalore, there are two retailers in Avenue road selling paints; the stores are congested, and unorganized like rice or grains selling shop. These shops do not even seem to know where an item is located; everything is some where in that pile.
And there is an another retailer in Commercial street, better organized but selling same brands as Avenue road retailers. It is frustrating that one has to go back to these stores, and all they have is Camlin, Camlin; why not call these Camlin outlets.

Artist quality papers
My cousin is not able to get thick water color papers made by branded company. All that is available is handmade paper with vast difference in thickness and without proper thickness rating(gsm/lb); and these aspects makes one suspect the reliability of these so called hand made papers.

Where can I get these brushes?
Loew-Cornell makes great quality brushes; I have used them for 2-3 years and seen their bristles hold over years and also handle do not crack under moisture. These brushes are made in Japan, SriLanka and India but are not available for consumers in India, and it is frustrating to know that quality brushes are made in India when the brands curently sold in India fall apart in no time.

Winstor Newton Canvas?
Fortunately W&N canvasses are made and sold in India.

Is this going to change ?
I do not think this situation is going to change any soon, may not be in my life time. There is not any Art economy. India has gotten macro things(like Benz car, Plasma TV) implanted but subtle things are not available. One can see easily spot lack of harmony in growth, they glare at you like bad silicon implants.

Camlin, camlin...
Every retail store is filled with cheap Camlin color products. Camlin's paint products are pathetic; screw caps of their water color tubes crack and break after few months, and that shows how much importance Camlin gives to quality, and I would not trust my creative effort in the hands of Camlin; they seem like Indian postal service: arcane, corrupt and unresponsive to consumer needs. After looking at how wilted the Camlin color tubes were; I feel embarassed to say that I would use Camlin paints for painting cinema star cutouts for theaters :-)

Bangalore airports limitations

I flew from Bangalore air port(BLR) recently, and it is new airport and they could have bettered it by just following the example of other airports.

1) Toilets' entrance have narrow doors, and these doors are totally unnecessary and is a shortcoming. And toilets should have been designed so that one does not need door at the entrance. Because of narrow door, only one passenger could pass at a time and this ridiculous design fails when serving large number of people, and also passenger carrying luggage in both hands would have to struggle to open the door. Like other international airports, toilets entrance should have been kept wide and open so that at least two passengers carrying luggage could walk unhindered. Discomfort caused by these doors are more that what it appears to be.

2) In the whole airport, there were just two public phones. The public telephone was on a table without any privacy for the speaker and there was a guy sitting there to collect money, and there was a queue of people waiting to talk, all these people could have over heard telephone conversation, and the whole setup was totally unprofessional, just like road side STD/ISD shop in a village. Also, charging money for local calls was bad, and there was not a way to pay by credit card so I had search my bag tharoughly to find Rs10 currency to pay for 2 minutes conversation.
Looks like some of the people involved in designing this international airport never travelled outside country. They just had to look at other airports.

3) Luggage carts were given free of charge, and I think there should be a fee for that so that service can be sustained.

Passport episode

1) This is the passport who's barcode could not be interpreted by the issuer, that is Indian Govt.


2) This is the quality of the picture in the passport issued to replace above passport


Passport1 was issued by Indian Consulate located in NY, in Jan 2008, and then in Nov 2008, I flew to Bangalore and the bar code on this passport could not be scanned by immigration officer at Bangalore airport.


I went to passport office in Bangalore, early in the morning(6.50 am) and the enquiry counter opened 30minutes late, that is 10.00 am. And the Govt. rep told me to apply for a new passport implying that Passport1 is a 'Damaged passport'.


After gathering all the documents, and with the filled passport application, I went to passport office early in morning(8.00am). I was carrying to Rs 4500, thinking that the fee for fast processing is Rs 2500, but I came to know that Govt. charges extra Rs 2500 for expediating process of replacing 'Damaged passport'(as if Govt. wanted to punish me for damaging passport intentionally). Then I came back to home to collect another Rs 500 and went back to passport office, paid Rs 5000 and submitted the passport application.


I went to collect my passport but found the picture on the passport had blotches similar to Passport2(as shown above). The clerk blamed the photo paper of the picture that I submitted along with passport application, and asked me to bring another picture, printed on good photo paper. This incompetence of irked me and went to speak to Deputy Passport Officer, and asked him to refund part of the fee because all along it was Govt. fault; it was Govt. that issued the passport who's bar code could not be read, and again it was Govt. that was not able to properly scan the picture. Officer got angry with me, and told that the classification of 'Damaged passport' is broad and refused to refund any money.


I went to passport office with new photograph and waited for couple of hours to collect the new passport, the one shown as Passport2, and surpraisigly picture on this passport was also not any better, it had blotches at same place as previous passport. I showed it to Deputy Passport officer and he said it is would not cause any harm.

In the end, Govt. officails did not take responsibility for issuing a passport who's barcode could nor be read by themselves, and also Govt. did not show ability to scan the photograph properly. And, out my 20days of stay in Bangalore, I had to go to passport office on 4days. When the citizens are served with such unaccountability and incompetence, how can one be proud of the country?

Bush meets his Eastern counter part

Iraq rally for Bush shoe attacker

foot-wear as assault weapon in Indian society
In India also, foot-wear is considered as an weapon of ultimate insult. We should note the difference between verbal threat of assaulting with foot-wear from the actual act of hitting with foot-wear; former is 100 or 1000 times higher than the latter, and in fact I have not seen any one doing it but heard people using it in conversation. For example this is a most popular usage, "I would have hit with foot-wear if he had....". Educated people of any generation do not use it, and also have not heard any one from my generation indulging in foot-wear assault, verbally or physically so I can confidently say that this is a thing of past.
Some times, angry mob uses festoon of foot-wear to garland the statues of political leaders, and this practice is relatively more compared to assautling a living individual with foot-wear.

Bush ducking foot-wear
Bush has a history of mis pronouncing, failing to make to construct proper sentence, and he is very bad at answering to unexpected question, but for the first time, Bush displayed a remarkable presence of mind by ducking away from the flying shoe :-) .
In Eastern world, say India, a foot-wear wielder represents a rowdy, a thug, and in this scene involving Bush, a Eastern thug took his Western counter part.