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Monday, August 15, 2011


Yes. Another big tick mark in my life. If it keeps going at this rate, I do not want to live beyond 50. Or so I think.

Today I saw this, The Starry Night.

A masterpiece from that most eccentric of painters, Vincent Van Gogh. A Dutchman, who had radically different ideas and executed them in a unique way. The layers of oil paint. The spirals of unguided rails. The only conventional thing about this painting, is probably and I say probably, the subject. But even that is rendered in a very radical hand.

But it was not very pleasant. I though I would have 4 orgasms every second when I see this painting. But I was rather very cross. Not with the art. Never. It was the people. Them clicking pictures. Them not staying there even 30 seconds to admire what was done. Glance at the painting, check the painters name, take a pic and immediately post it to Facebook and Google+. And then move on. Where was the desire? Where was the curiosity and the joy? Where was the outcry? No poetic justice for that genius.

I walked away. Sad about what my favourite painting of all time was reduced to. But, the happiness far outlives the gloom. Because every time I look at it, just makes me want to live to achieve. Something momentous. Someday........

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flying high.....

Jeremy Clarkson, the British auto hack, was driving his boyhood hero, the Lamborghini Countach and came to a conclusion. "Your childhood heroes are best served as posters on your bedroom wall. More often than not, they are very unruly and cumbersome in real life. You attempt to meet your heroes and they will break your heart."

Yeah, right. And I was going to meet two of mine today.

When I read about this plane, was when it was declassified as a military plane and CIA said that it was OK for the world to know about it. Its top speed is Mach 3 and it flies on the edge of the atmosphere. At 90,000ft and Mach 3, there was nothing as fast to catch it. It flew into enemy territory with reckless abandon. With no weapons on board, its only defenses were its stealth clothing and brutal top speed. And because it expanded every time it toof off, because of the heat produced by friction with air, it had gaps in its panels which would leak fuel.

It was this kind of light-year-ahead technology and out of the box thinking and of course the looks that got my goat. As a 10 year old (actually 17 year old), you cannot but be excited when you look at it. For me, what Kelly Johnson and his crack team at the Skunk Works of Lockheed Martin achieved makesthe SR-71 a legend. In service or in a museum.

(And by the way, do not smirk or laugh at the yellow thing in the picture above. That was used to spool up the Pratt and Whitney engines in the Blackbird and was made of 2 Mercury V8 engines pushing out close to 800 horsepower. Ok, now don't shit your pants.)

And like Messrs Johnsons and Co. were working their magic, around the same time, under an embargo and unable to borrow from military technology, the blokes at Aerospatiale-BAC came with an aviation icon that changed the airline game and created a whole new segment of passengers - the uber jet set. With that thin fuselage, ultra light weight body and delta wing configuration, this airline could push to Mach 2 and do a trans-atlantic flight in just above 3 hours. 9/11, among other things, spelt the end of this giant leap of mankind, but it can never erase the legacy of the Concorde. Always revered, always orgasm inducing. Always remembered.

While the Blackbird retired and much better machines came in to replace it, nothing ever matched it coin for coin. THe Concorde had no such luck. British Airways and Air France lost the spine to keep it running and others cancelled their orders. When the Concorde was retired, mankind as a race, took a step backwards in evolution. So it goes, and still they are my heroes. And today I saw them.

In metal. The touch was real. The feeling, surreal. Thank you Intrepid.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Death Bed

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water-calm, sliding green above the weir.
Water-a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird- voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer; drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.

Rain-he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.

He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leapt like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who'd stepped toward him, paused and stared.

Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He's young; he hated War; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?

But death replied: 'I choose him.' So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.

- Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967)
The Old Huntsman and Other Poems. 1918.

Friday, August 5, 2011


buzz, buzz, buzz,
Goes the screamer in my head
you have been staring too long!
you have been sitting too still!

typing, humming, chewing, talking

Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know


buzz buzz buzz
Goes the screamer in my head
you have been staring too long
you have been sitting too still

typing, humming, chewing, talking

Stability absent
In every thought
Silent chaos has this wrought
Incomplete is every action
painful relapse is the only reaction

Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know

I leave the chair
and pace around
hands twitching in anxiety
containing impatience I cannot handle
repeating steps, times a million

buzz buzz buzz
Goes the screamer in my head

The obsession to change
Need to act
fingers on a lot of open pages
More fiction that fact
Purpose vanishes and a pile of eyesore

Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know

At break of dawn
this cycle begins
every moment goes by
Without cessation,
Act, react, kill, repeat.