Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where The Wild Things Are


We travelled by train and taxi to reach Tiger Haven, the home of Billy Arjun Singh, tiger conservateur extraordinaire or "Honorary Tiger" as he is sometimes known, near the Nepal border. We left on Friday 16th night and returned just this morning, Tuesday the 20th. I'll post a longer account soon, but for the moment, here's this beautiful sunset to warm your toes upon!

MEANWHILE! Please note, there is a NEW LINK on the left -- and it's right at the top coz it represents a turning point in my life (darn! What a confession to have to make right out in the open) -- the superlative Infocom DOS text game called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (yes, of COURSE it's based on the Douglas Adam trilogy of five books). This version is an update, with graphics. I've never played it -- never even seen it before -- but the text game was so life-altering that I feel I just HAVE to post this link here, if only as homage. Most of you who visit this blog are not, I suspect, gamers in any sense. So I'm assuming that only a tiny handful of you will understand what it means to me to have that link in place there. Wow. Or, to use a technical term which will be recognized only by those who played the game all the way through: YOW.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chai Noon (Hi Res)

Two Indian mothers battle it out over who has the better daughter and only one is left standing....

This has to be the funniest short video EVER! Send it to the Oscars, I say! For those who cannot follow the accent ... well ... tough!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Short Fiction Day*

More amusements from my smart friend Anvar -- and *no, there's no official day by this name! Just made it up for the purpose of avoiding mention of the "V" word.

The World's Shortest Short Stories
There is the short story. And then there is the short short story.

Like this one written by Ernest Hemingway, which he once claimed was the best thing he had ever written:" For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Or this, more recent example:"The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door. "

The short short story can be written in two words, one word … or, indeed, even less:

Death of a Duck Hunter




The Counter-Revolutionary




A Short Trip in the Woods

"What bear?"


The Virgin



The Last of the Cheyenne




A Day in the Life of a Man Who Dressed Like a Bear

"Don't shoot!"

With Stanley in Africa, Part I

"Dr Livingstone?"



The Day the World Ended



The Unhappiest Man Who Ever Lived

"Forgive? Never!"


An Answer to Prayer

"Um... no."


Joshua's Childhood




A Perfect Moment in Time


(The world's shortest short story: 0 words)


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Minor Amusments

Sean Young in "BLADE RUNNER"
I know, I know -- everyone disapproves of smokers, smoking and all things tobacconary but ... who can resist that wonderful scene in BLADE RUNNER (featured on this page) of Sean Young wreathed in sinuous coils of fume? I was reminded of that vision when I read this piece, by Nandini Mehta in the current issue of OUTLOOK. Holding her elegant hand up against the tide of today's Anti-Smoking fanatics, she makes a coolly reasoned and unapologetic case for being pro-choice(i.e., she's not championing cigarettes or smokers but the notion of being liberal in all dimensions, including this). I'm not a smoker coz I wheeze and snuffle but ... I used to smoke, a long time ago, and I enjoyed it for what it was. I never had a major habit (never bought my own ciggies!) but I still regret that it's a bad habit, bad all around -- for general health, for the environment, for social relations (viz. the food v/s tobacco debate in low-income families) -- because ASIDE from being bad ... it's soooo coooool. *sigh*

Onward, onward. Here's a tiny amusement for all those of you who play BOUNCE on your NOKIA phones -- a nifty little cheat: once you've launched the game, key-in the numbers: 787898. Your bouncer will be rendered immortal until you exit that session.

Neat, huh?

OH! -- while on the subject of SF(BLADE RUNNER, i.e.), here's an absolutely superlative list of what might be dubbed nanofiction, SF branch courtesy my friend Anvar, from WIRED mag.

6-word Sci-fi

Wired magazine asked dozens of its favorite auteurs to put their words to paper. Sure, Arthur C Clarke refused to trim his: God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist., but some of the rest were concise masterpieces. Random specimens:

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
- William Shatner

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
- Eileen Gunn

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
- Margaret Atwood

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
- Gregory Maguire

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
- Vernor Vinge

It cost too much, staying human.
- Bruce Sterling

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
- Kevin Smith

To save humankind he died again.
- Ben Bova

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
- Neal Stephenson

Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
- Steven Meretzky

Epitaph: He shouldn't have fed it.
- Brian Herbert

Nevertheless, he tried a third time.
- James P. Blaylock

Lost, then found. Too bad.
- Graeme Gibson

Cyborg seeks egg donor, object ___.
- David Brin

Death postponed. Metastasized cells got organized.
- David Brin

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned.
- Charles Stross

Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod

Salinger story: three koans in fountain.
- Howard Waldrop

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
- Orson Scott Card

Finally, he had no more words.
- Gregory Maguire

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man.
- Mark Millar

He read his obituary with confusion.
- Steven Meretzky

Time traveler's thought: "What's the password?"
- Steven Meretzk

Leia: "Baby's yours." Luke: "Bad news…"
- Steven Meretzky

Parallel universe. Bush, destitute, joins army.
- Steven Meretzky

There were only six words left.
- Gregory Maguire

Dorothy: "Fuck it, I'll stay here."
- Steven Meretzky

Saturday, February 10, 2007


This astonishing image is one of a series sent to me by Amro -- I was so fascinated by it (and the others that were part of the PP presentation) that I dug online till I arrived at CHRISTOPHE GILBERT's web-site, where there are lots more images of a similar genre/quality. Enjoi ...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Found On The Web ...

I Am Different!

The picture shows the cover of my
most recently published book -- I haven't actually seen it and don't know if it's on the market anywhere yet -- I found this image while browsing the web (that's right, I routinely Google my name, just like everyone else in the Universe). It's the German publication of a book I created last year for TULIKA in Madras. The German publication is a co-production. Its name in English is "I AM DIFFERENT!" and it's a collection of picture-puzzles, where you've got to locate the one item that's different on each page. The reason I say "created" rather than "drew" is that the images are collages, with 3D paint decorations surrounding them. So the effect is sort of interesting -- too bad it wasn't possible to print the book as a touchie-feelie item. The Indian edition will be out some time later this year.

Meanwhile: last night I watched Peter Sellers in THE PINK PANTHER -- the first movie of the series, starring David Niven, Claudia Cardinale and Capucine -- and ... ouch! I was very saddened and puzzled to find that it just didn't work for me. I can remember laughing myself sick during the final scene with the ridiculous zebra-costumed men galloping across a street in Rome. But last night I sat mostly stony-faced through the movie last night. *depression* I SO wanted to enjoy it!

Instead I found myself wondering how a turtle-faced old man like David Niven (very dashing in his youth) could have possibly hoped to romance a slinky-eyed kitten like Claudia C -- and of course I thought it was utterly bizarre that she was apparently INDIAN. Wheehoo. Capucine was gorgeous but once again, I found myself feeling tremendously sorry for poor old cuckolded Clouseau -- so blinded by love, so idiotic. All in all, I just felt sorry for everyone and not even the famous gags involving the two (actually THREE) gorilla suits and the idiotic zebra and the crossed identities worked at all. I had entirely forgotten that the plot was so involved and that Niven was supposed to have been the star and that his professional identity in the film was "The Phantom", not the Pink Panther, which was of course the name of the jewel he was trying to steal ... oy, oy, oy.

On a lighter note, however, let it be said that the feature BEFORE the Pink Panther was Steve Martin's MIXED NUTS. And, implausible and ridiculous as it is, there were many hysterical moments to be had. Maybe I should just avoid seeing it 20 years from now? Hmmm. Assuming I'm still on this plane of existence, that is ...