Sunday, 28 September 2014

Amblingindian at the Bangalorelitfest...

The Bangalore Lit fest arrived. And caught me by surprise. Sure wasn't prepared for it, so I just landed up, a bit foolishly, sans the magnum opus- the "Amblingindian Manuscript". Obviously, had there been even an iota of preparation, I should have been ready not just with the Manuscript, but also with a powerful powerpoint presentation and pitch to the publishers in attendance, as were many hopefuls.Guess an extempore was not really welcome, so came back a bit disappointed. But not completely.

For, there were so many delightful conversations about writings in Urdu, Hindi and the regional languages, some so beautiful, they just beget translation. And, to pay reverence to one of the oldest poets and saints - Kabir, a couplet that comes to mind instantly and lends much needed solace to the manuscript:

"Dheere Dheere re mana, dheere se sab kuch hoy,
Maali seeche sow ghada, ritu aaye fal hoy".

"Go slow, dear mind, everything in life happens slowly. Even if a gardener waters the plant a hundred times, the plant will fruit only when season comes."

To be fair, I did meet a lot of interesting people there, even starting with birds, the complete spectrum of birds fluttering around Velankanni tech part, in the middle of electronic city taking one by complete surprise. Had passed by the place many a time, always to think that e-city was nothing but a mass of concrete structures with blue facades, each one indistinguishable from the other, interspersed with some shops. So, in a way, it was the Bangalore Lit fest that opened my eyes to the fact that something completely different exists, right in the middle of Bangalore. A tech and real park so beautiful, it needs to be seen. And discovered.  And in the middle of that discovery, I also discovered many more people, authors, readers and mere mortals like me, and a couple of interesting reads too. At the bookshop that is. One being the Adventures in a megacity " Delhi- by Sam Miller" and another " God Save the Dork- About office life by Sidin Vadukut" , two titles picked up from a large mass of others, all beckoning for attention, all inviting too. But cities and work, being a major chunk of life today, and fascinating subjects that they anyways are, seemed the obvious choice.
And so, here i am, back from the Bangalore Lit fest, with two titles in tow, hoping to do them some justice, for the pace at which I read nowadays is worse than that of a snail, and hopefully, have something interesting to report, by the time the next one comes around. In precisely 365 days, that is.

Aina Rao,
The amblingindian.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lift off to Mars!

The mission to Mars, a moment of glory, a very proud amblingindian!
( This is a refresh of the post that was published when the space mission was launched - just before the elections. Very proud to say today that India has raced ahead with the mission, and achieved its first goal.. entering the Martian orbit!)

Out of the blue, a new trick is pulled out of the hat of India’s space mission. The sleepy giant awakens..Earthlings and Martians watch out! Undoubtably, Indians are jumping with pride and glee, as the mission to Mars takes off and enters the Martian orbit. A lot of Indians, at least… Equally, lots of criticisms pour in from across the globe. As some of the neighbours look askance, or watch with fear or envy and some others threaten to pull the plug on what they call “ unjustified aid “ to India, one thinks again. It is certainly not anything to cringe about, this mission to land on the moon, or Mars maybe. “ Mangal Karya” as they say, in the Hindu ancient books, an "auspicious piece of work", which will also launch India into its own “Starworld”, to be part of a select Celebrity list of countries . The “US, Russia, EU” and now “India” racing ahead.
Predictably, twitter (with its own moment of glory- the IPO), facebook, and other social media are abuzz with messages of pride and good luck pouring in. Time to show the world that India is , indeed , a superpower. Is that what is fuelling the mission? Or is it a political statement, coming before the elections? A precursor of the trajectory that the country is supposed to take, when the expensive elections get over and the new Government launches off? Or is just an expensive diversion from all the expense issues that keep cropping up , ‘the onion crisis”, “ the coal ghotala” and so on. Or is it even a new piece of entertainment for the channel viewers, who for sure must be sick of the same soaps ”saas bahu” or “scams” hitting them every day through the LCD screens. The scams being so frequent, they are now bordering on the verge of boring, forcing people to switch channels. And poverty, rapes, natural disasters, too mundane a fare, so commonplace, a daily matter, almost.

And so the Mars mission- its new, its fun, its zing, it adds a lot more cheer and frenzied excitement to the humdrum existence of the average Indian navigating potholed roads every day. Such is the frenzied atmosphere today that a potential gold mine, dreamt of by a BABA , leads to furious excavations by the Archeological Survey of India, another Govt body, and almost religious fervor among the public, praying and chanting, invoking pujas and the Gods for good luck. ”Good luck India, go for it !”
 Now, if any of that religious fervor could be channeled towards some of the more commonplace issues of India, who knows where she could reach ?

Regards , Aina Rao
A very proud Amblingindian.

Read amblingindian tweets - @amblingindian.

Tweet from NASA:

We congratulate @ISRO for its Mars arrival! @MarsOrbiter joins the missions studying the Red Planet. )

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Scotch on the Rocks!

Scotland's vote against division

'Tis the season of celebrations. Starting with  Ganesha* and  Onam*, with Navaratri* and Diwali* on their way. But a welcome twist to the tale too, with the Scottish referendum. The vote for unity has been cast. The Scottish flag, coming up with a resounding " NO". People world over, celebrate! Its time for joy, as the people have decided to vote for being "One " . The one country, the one nation. The United Kingdom. United it stands again!

Image result for scottish castles
The castles of Scotland
I raise a toast this time, a toast to goodwill, and good sense that prevailed. Diverse we may be, with our castles, bagpipes, whisky et. all, but together we will stay. May it prevail here too, in the  land of India. Even with her diverse landscape stretching from the desolate, snow clad peaks of the Himalayas and the barren plains of Rajasthan, to the lush green backwaters of Kerala and the calm Arabian Sea on the periphery,and her many cultures, languages and ways -may we all stay and celebrate together as one with her, forever.

Time to raise a Toast to oneness.. a Toast to joy ..Viva Scotland! Time for celebrating the spirit of togetherness with "Scotch on the Rocks "!


Aina Rao,
The amblingindian.

* Ganesha, Onam, Diwali, Navratri - Indian festivals celebrated by different regions across India.