Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Where Giant Mushrooms Grow!

(Written after seeing a Discovery documentary about a field in Nevada, USA, where they test the latest weapons of mass destruction)

In Nevada there is a field where giant mushrooms grow
One mile high and two miles wide, they say on the show
That’s where they test how to vaporize people and flesh
By splitting and fusing atoms and start the world afresh.

A new era, a new definition, with the nuclear shield
Dawned with huge mushrooms grown on Nevada fields
Can erase whole cities, no need for guns or battle tanks
Tomorrow’s wars, the voice says, will be fought without ranks.

They are making bullets and missiles with lasers
That can picture the enemy, see in the dark, and subdue angers
Soldiers of the future don’t have to die for their country’s glory
They use their Global Positioning bullet, that’s another story.

Agree with me, don’t dissent, fall in line futile windmill tilters
Your wars are lost before you even see victory, dissenters
No more carpet and saturation bombing and damnation ally
They have no time to negotiate it’s you or them, you have to die.

They say their soldiers are smart weapons, they see in the dark
Their bullets can pierce armor; they can blast your flimsy mark
Where were you soldiers of the mind, intellectual, I mourn
When from your ceaseless toils such Frankensteins were born?

No more carpet and saturation bombing and damnation ally
They have no time to negotiate it’s you or them, you have to die.

Monday, June 20, 2005

THE GREAT BANK ROBBERY!

"I won't break, I won't bend
Someday soon we'll sail away
To innocence...
And the simple life again."

Elton John's (my favorite singer, the greatest singer alive or dead in my jaundiced opinion) lyrics remind me. My life is getting ever more complicated.

My bank sent me a statement informing me that they are withdrawing the zero balance facility that came with my salary account. This means I will have to pay the bank the following.

1. Rs 750 per quarter if I don’t maintain minimum balance (which I never do!)
2. A charge for withdrawing my own money from the bank
3. A charge for a chequebook
4. A charge for making a draft
5. Charges if I withdraw from another ATM
5. Charges, charges charges, when they are earning interest on my money!

Someday I am going to give up all this and keep all my salary with me in bundles of notes. My grandfather used to do that. And he never had to give my grandmother Rs 750 if he didn’t maintain Rs 5000 minimum balance in the safe deposit vault.

That way neither would I need to keep my own money in the bank, nor pay them to withdraw MY OWN MONEY.

Imagine this. You can keep Rs 50,000 in the bank and can gradually lose all of it through this open theft. Whereas if I kept it as bundles of notes, I wouldn’t lose a paise!

I think that would be better than the above “Bank Robbery.” What say?

That’s why I want to follow Elton John to the simple life again.

"I won't break, I won't bend
Someday soon we'll sail away
To innocence...
And the simple life again."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I have been tagged by Peter alias The Griff alias Zigzackly and I am passing it on. All you have to do is answer the following posers on your blog so that somebody picks up the tag from you:

Total Number of Books I Own:

Lost count, really, lost count. There are books piling up on my desk, a cupboard full of books of all kinds and descriptions. Fiction, non fiction, books written by uncles and great-uncles (in pure Malayalam! Where do I have the time to read you dear uncle? So please don't turn in your grave or you will disturb great-great-great uncle).But here's a rough guesstimate. One millionzilliontrillion would be it. Sorry, joking!

Last Book I Bought:

Hmmm. Last book I bought was Da Vinci Code, from a snotty boy selling newspapers who said it was the latest beseller. I believed him. But haven't got down to read it as I am engrossed in "The Life of Pi." If you haven't read this book, beg, borrow, steal, or commandeer a copy. The story of a boy spending 200-odd days on a life boat with a man-eating Bengal tiger for company is too engrossing for words. Right now the supense is eating me though. Oh, when will I get to complete it! Confession: I am a very slow reader!

Last Book I Read:

I really don't know. But "The Razor's Edge" is on my computer table. So that must be it.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:

The Bible - The world's biggest bestseller. The stories have the veneer of fantasy, reality, tragedy, comedy, epic poetry, wisdom, etc. etc.

Lolita - Nabakov's novel was an eye opener. I try to imitate his style without success. Taste this sentence for example, "She died of typhus in corfu" or "petrified paroxysms of pleasure" a triple alliteration. All heady stuff in my teenage days in the seventies.

The Sun Also Rises - Hemmingway's oeuvre.War and Peace - Tolstoy's masterpiece. I remember falling sick reading it uninterrupted for a month.

Sadie Thompson and the Stories of the South Sea Islands - Maugham's short stories.