I cup pudina leaves'
4medium sized green chillies (or less according to taste)
Fry these in a bit of oil until leaves start turning brown.
Add to this
1/2 cup grated cocunut
Salt according to taste
Grind to desired consistency
Take some mustard seeds, curry leaves,fry in oil and add to the ground mixture.
Chutney is done!
Take MTR Dosa mix and follow instructions :P
Book - The Age of Reason
Author - Jean Paul Sartre
Recommended by - Satya
Subject - Cannot classify
Pg 19 - 'It was intolerable to be judged and hated, away back in that room and in silence. Without the power to defend hinself, or even to hide his belly with his hands. If only, in the same second he had been able to exist for others with the same intensity...'
Pg 42 - 'Friendship doesnt exist to criticise', Brunet used to say: 'Its function is to inspire confidence'
Pg 52 - 'I never knew I was young, nor did Brunet, nor did Daniel. We were only aware of it afterwards'
Pg 53 - 'But she was out of reach with her frail figure and her fine, firm throat. She looked painted and varnished, like a Tahitian woman on a canvas by Gaugin'
Pg 56 'She regarded compliments with disgust, they made her feel as though a rather blatantly alluring image of herself were being hacked out with a hatchet and she was afraid of being deluded by it'
Pg 58 - 'to be that distracted consciousness so pervaded by its own odour.... To be Ivich and not cease to be himself'
Pg 59 - 'If I could be granted a wish, it would be that you should be compelled to think aloud'
Pg 76 - 'Those petty bourgeois who wrote a short story, or five or six poems, every year to inject a little idealism into their lives. For health reasons. Mathieu shuddered'
Pg 86 - 'Its uncanny to see too clearly' thought Daniel. It was thus that he imagined hell, a vision that penetrated everything and saw to the very end of the world - the depths of a mans self.
Pg 90 - Daniel heard himself say in mournful tones : 'When a man hasn't the courage to kill himself wholesale, he must do so in retail. He would walk down to the water and say 'Farewell to what I love most in the world'
Pg 96 - 'Well but.... thats just it' said Daniel in the same light tone, 'It must be very entertaining to do the exact opposite of what one wants to do, onee feels oneself becoming someone else.'
Pg 115 - 'Its in your company that I find myself most easily, I have a feeling I must have left myself in store with you'
Pg 129 - 'That was the most alluring, the most romantic type, those whose lightest movement revealed an unconscious coquetry, a deep and stealthy love of self'
Pg 137 - '.... also called the Christopher Columbus Egg (as being extremely simple, but yet to be discovered'
Pg 150 - 'His solitude was so complete, beneath a lovely sky as mellow and serene as a good conscience, amid that busy throng, that he was amazed at his own existence. He must be somebody else's nightmare, and whoever it was would certainly awaken soon'
Pg 163 - 'Mathieu had the impression that he had just been allowed any indulgence he fancied like a sick man who cannot recover'
Pg 165 - 'Agreeable intensification of existence'
Pg 222 - 'They walked quietly along, it was an instance of happiness... In those moments Boris had the impression that they had merged into one identity'
Author - Zadie Smith
Recommended by - Came across it in a book store, picked it up because I liked White Teeth
Subject - An Academic life of the Art history professors family
Pg187- 'They considered such employment for a man over the age of twenty six to be a humiliating symbol of human limitation' [record store guys about a 40 year old manager]
Pg203 - 'the only things that threatened to disturb her resolve were the sheer temporal layers of -.- as they presented themselves before her: -.- at twenty-two, at thirty, at forty-five, at fifty-one; the difficulty of keeping all these other -.- out of her consciousness; the importance of not being sidetracked, of responding only to this most recent -.-, the 57 year old -.-'
'Why did you fuck -.-?'
'bloody hell -.- please...'
'Sorry is that too obvious, does that offend your sensibilities -.-?
'No of course not - dont be fatuous... Its obviously painful for me to try to explain something so banal in a way....'
'Oh I'm so sorry your dick offends your intellectual sensibilities. It must be terrible. Theres your subtle, wonderful intricate brain and all the time it turns out your dick is a vulgar, stupid little prick. That must be a real bitch for you'
Pg214 - -.- often spoke in her poetry of the idea of 'fittingness'. That is, when your chosen pursuit and your ability to achieve it - no matter how small or insignificant both might be - are matched exactly, are fitting. This, -.- argued, is when we become truly human, fully ourselves, beautiful' [example given later on - when you say something you exactly want to say]
Pg242 - he was thankful for this fact without really knowing whom to be thankful for [that it snowed or something as banal, the kids of the family were brought up without a god]
Pg345 - Howard could not piss next to people he knew [so he closes his zipper and moves away]
Pg425 - the greatest lie ever told about love is that it sets you free
[will write more for 'The Autograph Man']
Article - came across in random searches.
The Superstar and I
The Superstar and I
I was watching the shooting from a distance. You must have heard of the film "Muthu" being directed by K.Balachander (he's KB to us). KB was explaining the shot to my husband, but he seemed to be shaking his head in confusion, so I decided to have a look.
"Rajni, you cannot throw up a cigarette and catch it in your mouth this scene. Your father has just died. Your eyes are blinded by tears."
"But I can do it even with my eyes closed," he protested.
I wasn't surprised. Nor was KB. We had seen him do it with his mouth closed too. But that, obviously, was not KB's point.
"This character doesn't even smoke, Rajni," explained KB.
"Nor did I until I was seven. It isn't too late for him to start now. It's never too late!"
At this point, I really had to intrude before KB slapped my husband. His temper was legendary, and I had a sneaking suspicion Rajni had been slapped more than most other artists put together. The above conversation, I suppose, explains the reason.
"Darling, if you want to smoke, you can smoke after the shot."
"No Lata, my fans love my smoking. They watch my movies to see my style of smoking. They are still trying to find out how I throw the cigarette and catch it in my mouth. If I don't do it, they will start committing suicide."
I had no real answer to that. Every fan of his was mad. Even madder than him. Some committed suicide when he decided to renounce films, some when he decided to divorce me and many when he promised not to enter politics. It took over an hour to convince him that there were other scenes in which to show his style, until he finally relented. I left him to his 'histrionics' and wandered about the sets.
That evening I found him in drawing room, with a frown on his face. I at first thought he was in deep thought, but immediately dismissed the impossibility. He was just worried.
"What's bugging you, dear?"
"On Friday I have a fight, Lata."
"Good. You like fighting scenes, so what's the trouble?"
"I don't know whom to hit first."
That really got me. He'd made many weird statements to date, including becoming disciples of liquor, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sai Baba, Raghavendra, Ayyappa and 'moola', but this one took me by surprise.
He went on. "I have to hit the villain last. I know that. But whom should I hit first? If I don't get it right the first time, KB has threatened to make me pay for every retakes. I can't pay for 60 cars per retake!"
I rapidly made some calculations to the tune of 1.5 crores, and decided that he could earn the money in a few days of politics. But nothing was going to make me mention that to him. "Why don't you explain," I said, trying to calm him.
"Vikram Dharma has made a very complicated climax. 60 cars are following my car into a wasteyard. Then I must break their cars. They get out and form a circle around me. I have to hit all of them one after another while in air. That is easy. But Dharma has insisted that that I hit every second or third person only. Every time I hit them, they will obviously fall down and die. But the villain must be the last person I fight. So whom must I start hitting so that I correctly end up with the villain last? I don't even know if I have to hit every second or third person. He will tell me only tomorrow."
I shook myself awake. Not that I had any interest, but I decided to at least follow the problem. Besides, it sounded very much like the first part of police and robbers, where we had to choose the policeman.
"There are 60 men around you....," I started.
"No, no, no! There are 60 cars. There may be many more men!" he screamed.
Not unusual. He generally goes up to a hundred in most fights. "... and you must hit all of them. You must hit every alternate person, and the last one you hit should be the villain."
"Wrong again. It may not be every alternate person. It may be every third, or every fourth, or anything. Dharma will tell me only tomorrow."
That was a rather interesting problem. And from what I knew of my hubby, he had as much chance of solving a mathematical puzzle by himself as a cat had in catching its tail. I had to throw in a lifeline. Just then I recalled that my friend had recently returned from the US, and her daughter was doing her second year at IIT Madras. She had been singing great praises of her cousin, who was also at IIT, and I thought this might be just the kind of thing for an IIT brain.
"I know somebody who may be able to help you," I cautiously put in. "He's an IIT student..."
He paused. "What is an ITT?"
I closed my eyes and slowly counted to ten. "I just think he can tell you whom to hit," I said, and walked away before he could get me angrier. Over dinner, he persisted. "You think this ITT man will tell me whom to start with? Can you fix up an appointment, then? Please Lata, it is very important. Otherwise KB will slap me again."
Well, it wasn't often he said 'please', so I relented and called Priya.
"Hello, Priya. Lata here. Could you put Anuja on the line please?"
I waited for her daughter to come on. "Hello aunty, Anuja here."
"Anu dear, do you remember you were telling me about a cousin of yours who's studying with you? You said he was brilliant and all that..."
"Yeah aunty. He's the second in his branch. Very smart. What about him?"
"Rajni uncle has a problem in mathematics, dear. We were hoping this boy could help him. Can you give us his address?"
"Certainly, aunty. He is a great fan of uncle. Just walk into his room. He will be delighted. He thinks uncle is the greatest thing on earth. I can't imagine his shock when he sees Rajni uncle face to face."
Oh no! Not another fan! Still, I took down his hostel address and passed it over to my husband. But I insisted that I accompany him. Just in case.
Taking Anuja's suggestion, we decided to walk into his room on Thursday evening at eight. (Not unlike a certain other person. Hint to crossword experts : Lord Shiva's better half is in a Jumble - Ed). The door of #219, Alakananda hostel was closed, but a light was turned on inside, so we knocked. A chubby boy in a dirty T-shirt and Bermudas opened the door.
"Are you Anand?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. And before I could put in a word, "My God! Rajnikanth! Is it really Rajnikanth or is it Bhalla's photography trick?"
"Vanakkam," my husband said, folding his hands. "Naan Manidhan, eh, Manidhan. May I come in?"
The lad was obviously too dazed to say anything, and just sat down. His room was rather messy, with clothes, papers and books strewn all over the room, and a stereo playing Baba Sehgal's latest (c)rap loudly. Strangely, there was no picture of Rajnikanth in his room, thought Agassi seemed to be an apparent favourite.
"My husband has a problem that he wants you to solve," I began. The statement served the dual purpose of my introduction. "The problem is somewhat mathematical. Anuja felt that you were the best and suggested that we contact you. Would you like to look at the problem?"
"Yes, would you?" piped in the superstar. "You have to tell me whom to hit."
Before the boy got scared, I explained the problem to him. I wasn't sure if I was getting through, though. Half the time he would look at Rajni and the rest of the time crease his forehead and eyebrows. At the end of it, he sat back in the chair while we stared at him and let Sehgal's noise permeate the room. I wished he'd switch it off before he started explaining. But no such luck.
"Could you just repeat the problem," the boy began, when his hero got into the act and roared "Indha Baasha oru tharava sonna, nooru tharava sonna mathri." If this Baasha says it once, it is as if he has said it a hundred times. Fine, but I was the one who had explained the problem. Still, the lad's eyes were filled with unadulterated devotion and admiration, so I decided to sit back and watch the show. Rajni then took out his cigarette and threw it up. Pity the ceiling fan was somewhat low. Instead of flying towards his mouth, it flashed across towards the stereo. I was full of hope, but the hero in the room darted across, dived, and landed on the other fan's belly. I must confess to his credit, however, that the cigarette did land right in his mouth. "Idhu eppadi irukku?" (How is it?)
After some of the commotion had settled down, I went through the details slowly once again while Rajni sat down on the bed to do some meditation. The boy too leaned back and closed his eyes, and I was left to stare at them. Their hairstyles were similar, mainly because neither had much. But other than that, fan had done little to resemble mentor. I appreciated that. In a while, both of them opened their eyes.
"OK, the problem can be done," he began. "Let's call the number of people you hit before one falls down as c," proposed Anand. That means you miss c-1 people for every hit."
"I don't miss them. They are just not supposed to fall down," protested the superstar. "I tried telling KB that with my image, even without me hitting them the should fall down, but KB said no. He said it was in some table."
"The error function table," declared Anand. "Such statistical process can be done only using an error function table."
"I thought he said it was in 'accep' table," Rajni mumbled. Luckily, it didn't reach his ardent admirer's ears.
"Now, let's say there are m men standing in a circle. We need to find out who will be left after eliminating m-1 of them cyclically in steps of c. If we number them starting from 0 to m-1..."
"Shouldn't we start counting from 1," I put in. "In this case it is better to start with 0, as you will see," he replied mysteriously. "Without loss of generality, we can assume that you start hitting person 0. We just have to figure out what the position of the last person will be."
"Brilliant!" said my husband. "Wonderful. That solves the whole problem. I'll just call them from zero to m-1 and start hitting zero."
"But who will you hit finally?"
"The villain, naturally."
"But what is the villain's number? What we have to do is find out whom we end with if we start from zero. Then if we give the villain that number, he will be the last one. Do you see?"
He didn't but shut up anyway.
"Let the villain have a number x."
"'x' is not a number," piped Rajni. Neither of us deigned to reply.
"When we are going forwards, at any stage, we skip c-1 people and hit the cth person. So we add c to the last person we hit, basically. If this exceeds the number of people at that stage, we just take the remainder, since they are standing in a circle. The remainder operation is called modulo, and can be represented by the '%' symbol. So a%b is the remainder of a when divided by b."
Saying this, he pulled out a sheet and started scribbling notes. I had the sense to take them back with me, and I have produced it here for completeness.
Let the number of the last person when there are people hit be f(m).
Then if there are only m-1 people, f(m-1) is the last person to be hit. If an mth person is added as number m-1, then we have m people now. But the position of the last but one person would have been effectively shifted back by m.
So f'(m-1) = f(m-1) - m
From that point onwards if we count c people, we end up with the last person as
f(m) = f(m-1) - m + c.
Since we must take the remainder for cyclicity,
f(m) = (f(m-1) - m + c) % m
f(m) = (f(m-1) + c) % m,
since m%m is 0. We know that f(1) = 0, since there is only 1 person. Hence by induction, the last person is known.
He went about explaining it, too, but neither of us could quite follow it. I therefore took it upon myself to ask "How exactly do we find out who the last is going to be?" What he said after that made sense.
"Suppose we don't know how many people there are and we want to hit every fourth person. If there's only one person, just start with 0, the first person. If there are 2, add four for the second person. But since the number 4 is invalid for just 2 people, take the remainder, which is 0. For three, again add 4 for the third person. 4 is larger than 3, and gives remainder 1. For 4 people, add 4 to 1, giving 5, which is larger than 4, giving remainder 1. This process can go on for as long as you want. For 5-10 people and a count of 4, the process is shown here."
He was in fact kind enough to prepare a rather large table for upto 200 people and counting upto every 10th person, so my husband didn't have to lose 1.5 crores by starting with the wrong person. The least he deserved under those circumstances, was in my opinion....
"Thank you very much, Anand. For your great help, I feel the least I can do is to give you my autograph."
I thought it was the least too. But the boy seemed to think the world of it, and pulled out a rose autograph book. I couldn't resist a quick look at the note.
"Yesterday I was a bus conductor. Today I am an actor. Tomorrow, who knows, I may even become a mathematician."
-- Lata Rajnikanth
Recommended by – Satya
Participating groups – Japanese for Peace, Friends for Earth.
Highlights – a protest march before the concert could begin, in which I wasn’t involved, but apparently there were a lot of flags involved, so lines were drawn and people were separated, readying for a fight. Trams got delayed, I walked up to the church where the concert was going to take place. Everybody was 'protesting' everything. Including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How can people protest a past occurrence? Call it by a different name then.
I am going to be chronologically as faithful as I can.
First it was Junko Morimoto –
who read an extract from her book – My Hiroshima. Her introduction went something like – 'her writing is simple. her books are usually relegated to the children's section, and perhaps its right, maybe that’s where the shaping needs to be done as well, but there is a lot for us to learn from them'
Rough, remembered, translated transcript – 'I was sitting in the room when I suddenly heard a boooom….. my sister covered me and we both fell to the ground…….. skins were burning and bodies were dissolving…… ' I cant remember what else she said next, but it was simple and direct and had no pretence whatsoever in assuming the problems or assigning blame. The only message in the end?
'Science is so powerful, but when used wrongly it can be lethal. The way nuclear power was used, it was weapon of mass murder'
My notes – simple as introduced, but with huge implications which need to be revisited. She mentioned humans as being untrustworthy, I wonder if it isn’t just distrusting. There are still lessons that we haven’t learnt from our pasts.
Next a song sung by Natsuko Mineghishi – supposedly a song about homesickness in chinese, composed by a Japanese composer.
My notes – I haven’t been to any opera, and though I like o
pera music, I was never confronted with the sheer force of it face to face. She was beautiful, because she was so pure, she was an instrument and was so gifted. The notes were so pure, that it automatically softened you inside like no amount of words ever can.
Next – poem recital by Anna, supported by Lee Ming Chieh on the Urhu (ancient instrument)
LET US BE MIDWIVES! "
．．．．． Written by Sadako Kurihara
Night in the basement of a concrete structure now in ruins.
Victims of the atomic bomb
jammed the room;
it was dark - not even a single candle.
The smell of fresh blood, the stench of death,
the closeness of sweaty people, the moans.
From out of all that, lo and behold, a voice:
"The baby's coming!"
In that hellish basement, at that very moment,
a young woman had gone into labor.
In the dark, without a single match, what to do?
People forgot their own pains, worried about her.
And then: "I'm a midwife. I'll help with the birth."
The speaker, seriouly injured herself,
had been moaning only moments before.
Ans so new life was born in the dark of that pit of hell.
And so the midwife died before dawn, still bathed in blood.
Let us be midwives!
Let us be midwives!
Even if we lay down our own lives to do so.
My notes – It was the way Anna said it, first in Japanese, then in English. It was that instrument which felt like a personification of pain. It soothed and made you want to cry. If I was alone, I would have sobbed till I was totally empty.
Next – A talk by Jim Green from 'Friends of Earth' on where Australia stands on nuclear issues
My notes – Australia does what it has to do, without being in a direct position of blame. The blame is on US, and Australia's stand is being justified vigorously. The argument presented by Australia for Uranium mining was compared to that of a drug dealer, if I don’t then somebody else will. It was moral escapism.
Next – a couple of songs by two song writers – Leigh Sloggett and Tom Bolton, one of the songs was very nice, about answers and questions and about finding the right ones.
Next – a percussion piece by Eugene Ughetti, the act, I didn’t understand which was with two tiny club like pieces which jingled. Extremely simplistic explanation of what for him might have been years of exploration. What shone through for me was his honesty. He was so involved and the last tranquil piece was so lovely.
Then it was David Bridie. – he was intelligent, focussed, and completely in touch. Maybe for the first time in my life, I felt movement in a person. He was doing things that I didn’t know I wanted to do. He was also extremely charismatic and had an image, I would be very interested to know if some part of him was cultivated or was he in fact like a god or close.
My notes totally - It was about healing, about learning and surviving. It wasnt about bitterness, blame or protest. It was finding our own solutions, it was being able to let go of ourselves enough to contribute, to trust ourselves a bit to make a difference. It was a mixture, it was balanced, it was the opposite of fanatical, it was about hope. and peace as well. It was lovely!
Author – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Recommended by - Satya
Subject – Part fiction Part philosophy
References to swing around –
Russia, Tsarist, socialist movements in the upswing, one man, one extreme (which hasn't been explored a lot), harsh (intentionally), explores one thing and one thing only, no digression, One of the first books of Dostoevsky. An 'underground man' who stresses the negative, revels in wrongness (as it is handed down to him, not by his own definition), starts off being emotional, but the political motives of the novel seep in at regular intervals.
Pg 6 – 'An intelligent man cannot become anything seriously and it is only the fool who becomes anything'
'To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral'
Pg 7 – 'ill natured from stupidity' [about his maid]
Pg 8 – 'I swear gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness – a real thorough going illness'
'the most theoretical and intentional town'
Pg 9 – 'people do pride themselves on their diseases'
Pg 11 – 'I am suspicious and prone to take offence as a humpback or a dwarf'
'but in despair there are the most intense enjoyments'
Pg 15 – 'the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but our of retort'
Pg 17 – 'in that hell of unsatisfied desires turned inward'
Pg 25 – 'the direct legitimate fruit of consciousness is inertia'
Pg 26 – 'to begin to act, you know, you must first have your mind completely at ease and no trace of doubt left in it'
Pg 36 – 'he is ready to deny the evidence of his sense, only to justify his logic'
Pg 37 – 'civilisation has made mankind if not more blood thirsty at least more viley, more loathsomely blood thirsty'
Pg 75 – 'I never have been a coward at heart, though I have always been a coward in action'
Author – Gita Mehta
Recommended by – Anna
Subject – Religious explorations (eastern) especially of the prophetic kind
References to swing around –
western assumption of eastern profundity (a reverse phenomenon for third world country syndrome found in the west?). Shaman, guru, tantric sex, western devotes at the feet of hindu gurus, satya sai baba so on and so forth, the good with the bad (shouldn’t it be filtered and classified?) The metaphor – we have the karma, you have the cola a metaphysical soft drink for the physical one.
Reading Notes –
Pg5 – 'This caravanserai of libertine celebrants who were wiping away the proprieties of caste, race and sex by sheer stoned incomprehension'
'The seduction lay in the chaos. They thought we were simple. We thought we were neon. They thought we were profound. We knew we were provincial. Everybody thought everybody else was ridiculously exotic and everybody got it wrong'
Pg7 – 'Into the vacuum of our unsatisfied desires'
Pg12 – 'I indulge in an orgy of sober reflection'
Pg18 – 'Indian heathens, who have in their long evolution spent a couple of thousand years cultivating the transcendence of reason'
Pg28 – 'Sacred knowledge in the hands of fools destroys – the upanishads'
Pg35 – 'The visitors do not have that profound Indian consolation of knowing that everything and every perception is a con, and worse, a self induced con, a view enshrined in the hindu concept of Maya'
'Oriental ability to see in a plethora of contradiction a literally mind blowing affirmation'
Pg36 – 'There is that difference between being kicked in the teeth and reading a description of being kicked in the teeth. Some call it existential'
(sounds terrible witty, but I don’t think I got it fully!)
Pg56 – 'The hindu believes that impotence comes in a hundred different forms, and of these, impotence brought on by sexual desire is only a malady in a minor key'
Pg71 – 'Jung testily called the eastern mind childish, a mind that didn't even ask a question, but simply perceived them.'
Pg89 – 'sense of inviolability'
Pg100 – 'Krishna a doe eyed pinup'
'Hindu pantheon is really a dance routine only meant to hold your interest until you get over being stagestruck, and does not culminate in a Zeus or a Jehovah waiting to let you have it with a lightning rod.'
Pg101 – 'The karmic law would suggest that there is no heaven, only a series of life sentences and that salvation occurs not in an after life paradise but with a successful death'
Pg103 – 'You have karma, we'll take the coca-cola, a metaphysical soft drink for physical one'
Pg152 – 'Would have been easier for them to pay for the sins of their fathers than for their fathers virtues'
Pg165 – 'Philosophy can sometimes be as lethal as cancer'
Pg187 – 'the more the buddha explained the void, the faster his disciples rushed to fill the void with the Buddha'
Pg191 – 'You get no points for good faith in a game of dirty poker'