Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Kuttime he/she

Arthi and myself have been referring to Kuttime as a girl on even days and as a boy on odd days. This helps us refrain from referring to him (today is an odd day) as it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Kuttime - 22 weeks

Kuttime is 22 weeks this week and as far as the doctors can see - everything is normal. We are making preparations for Arthi's trip to India on the 30th. Since Sunday, as the countown began for her trip home, Arthi has been felling dejected and sad. I have been trying to keep her spirited, but cannot say that I have been entirely succesfull.

Even though I have lived alone long enough to not mind it, I have a nagging feeling that these few months living alone will not be the same. I will certainly miss Arthi and more importantly I will miss the bulge of Arthi's stomach that is Kuttime.

As Appa says, life is all about sacrifices. I guess the important thing is making the ones that count rather than counting the ones you make.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Andejakt - The Winner

Andejakt won the best picture award at Kosmorama - Trondheim International Film Festival

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Andejakt (Duck Season)

Last night we went to watch Andejakt, a mexican movie by dicrector Fernando Eimbcke. It is also shown as part of Kosmorama. This is the director's debut movie. He has earlier directed music vidoes and short films.

The movie is shot in black and white and is full of dead pan humor. It tells us the tale of two 14 year olds alone at home for a day with a 16 year old girl and a pizza delivery guy thrown into the mix. The director uses a lot of fade outs and fade ins initially to potray trivial incidents. As the movie progresses the film take on a deeper undertone that shows loneliness of kids, effect of divorce on children, yearnings in live, complexity of teenage love - all dealt with humor. There is no scene in th emovie that makes you feel bad for the kid whoose parents are going though divorce - but he adequately conveys the torment the kid goes through. That in itself is an achievement.

Quite a good movie - I would give it 4 out of 5.

Arthi liked 5x2 more than this one - but it was the other way for me. In a seemingly inconsequential story line, the director has dealt with some complex issues.

Friday, April 15, 2005

5x2 - An addition

As Arthi and myself were discussing the film this morning, we stumbled accross an interesting aspect of the film that is so subtly dealt with that it could be easily overlooked.

Marions parents, she says, at the start of the movie (at the end of their relationship) hardly talk to each other any more. Gilles asks her if they still live together. She says that they live together under the same roof because of their marriage but do not talk with each other. All this talk after Marion and Gillian have filed their divorce papers.

A later scene shows Marion's parents shouting at each other during her child birth and a later scene shows them dancing in love with each other during her wedding.

In constast, there are hardly any scenes that show Gilles and Marion fight, though th eunderlying tension between them is potrayed. Yet this young couple file for divorce while the parents stick it through!!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fem ganger to (Five times two)

Just got back after watching the French movie 5x2 directed by Francois Ozon. It is being shown here in Trondheim at the Nova Kino as part of Kosmorama - Trondheim International Film festival.

The film shows 5 vignettes of a couple (2) in various stages of the life together - from the time they get together to their divorce and a last fling. Only, the story is told backwards - with Italian love songs interspersed between. There are huge gaps in the story that the diretor leaves unresolved and lets the viewer's imagination make it up. Watching the movie makes you feel like a voyeur prying into another's life - you want to see and know more about them, but there is something in the back of you head telling you that you already know too much. I will not go into the 5 scenes in the couple's live - the movie is all about it. Watch out for the expressions and nuances of the couple. They tell a story in themselves. The movie, I feel, is a commentary on teh fleeting nature of human relationships.

Overall the movie was good - propably a 3.5 stars out of 5. The performances of the leads Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Stephane Freiss is great.

Telling a story backwards is not new - Momento and Irreversible have done it before. Flashback is something our Indian directors have used all along to tell their story and Mani Ratnam has used it wonderfully well in Alai Payuthe and Ayutha Ezhuthu. I assume it will not be long before he experiments with this narrative style as well.

For all the innovativeness in this new narrative technique of telling a story backward - you have to let go of the rewind button and let the movie play forwards. What would be interesting is if we jumble up the sequence i.e. bring in he fast forward button in play in addition to the rewind. Would such a movie make any sense at all? Has it been done before?

Any takers??????

Are we Tamils unimaginative?

Tamil New Years wishes to all!!!!

Sending out an email to my Malayali friends wishing them on teh occasion of Vishu got me thinking.. Are we Tamilians unimaginative, or rather, were our forefathers unimginative? Most Indian states (and hence langauges) have special word for their New Year - Malayalis have their Vishu, Andhrites and Kannadigas have Ugadhi, Maharashtrians their Gudi Padwa? In Tamil it is plain - "Tamil Putthandu" that translates as Tamil New Year - nothing special or fancy!!!

I think our forefathers got it right - spot on! For them, as it must be to us (but is not), it was just another day - and all it did signify was the repetition of a counting system. The tradition of looking at the mirror first thing in the morning, eating the sweet/sour/bitter chutney are all traditions so full of symbolism that they had to be invented later - similar to the New Year's eve/day celebrations the world over celebrating the birth of a new year in the Georgian calendar.

Each year, in the Tamil calender, has a name (the year dawned is called Parthiba) and the names also follow a 60 year cycle ( or 5 Jupiter years). If you went through all year names in your life - you celebrate your Sashiabthapoorthi!!!! Thus, rather than have the year as a constant (not changing with time) or monotonic (constantly increasing), the Tamil calendar made the years cyclic. The Tamil calendar stops there - unlike the mayan calendar that has 394 year cycles. Mayans were afraid of starting over, or in other words they were afraid of zero (as starting over meant you started at nothing) and did not want to face the unkown danger of starting a new calendar cycle. The Tamils on the other hand, celebrated the starting of a new calendar cycle with their Sashiapthapoorthi!

What a difference understanding nothing makes!!!!

Happy Tamil New Year

Thursday, April 07, 2005

What is a beauty all about?

I am reading My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk - a Turkish author. The book blob says "A thrilling murder mystery, My Name is Red is also a stunning meditation on love, artistic devotion and the tensions between East and West". I have not yet finished the book and my review will appear in seperate post when I finish it. In the meanwhile here is something I found interesting in the book and thought I'd share with ye all:

...My paintings reveal what the mind, not the eye, sees. But painting, as you know quite well, is a feast for the eyes. If you combine these two thoughts, my world will emerge. That is:
ALIF: Painting brings to life what the mind sees, as a feast for the eyes.
LAM: What the eye sees in the world enters the painting to the degree that it serves the mind.
MIM: Consequently, beauty is the eye discovering in our world what the mind already knows.

I beleive one can take the thrid point (MIM), quote it out of context and it will still be valid. Whether it be a painting, a poem, an equation (at least for me) or what have you - beauty is discovering what the mind already knows. Is that why I find this beautiful??!!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

View from Place Concorde at dusk

Gargoyles of Notre dame

View from a cafe in St Germain de Pres

Tour Eiffel and Pont Alexander

The Louvre

Arc d' Triomph

Paris & Brussels Trip

Photos of our trip to Paris and Brussels are now up at

I'll upload a few where also this eve and write some blogs about our trip too.

Just that I have so much to write on and so little time to do it in. I actually have a list (somewhere) on topics to blog on. Hopefully I will get to it soon.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Kuttime - Sept 1st 2005

Arthi and myself have started calling the baby as KUTTIME - a tanglish version of Minime from the Austin Powers trilogy. Before you can even think about it, let me snuff out (or at least try to) your suspicion that we are fans of the Austin Powers trilogy.

Anyways, Arthi had her ultrasound checkup today and based on the Kuttime's measurement and the placenta, the nurse as given the tentative date of delivery to be the 1st of Sept '05.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Adhirsam or apple pie?

My cylcing took me to Ranheim - a small town 10 kms away from Trondheim. There is a football field along the road I cycle that is right on the fjord. I always stop there to watch the kids playing football. What I like about the place more is the backdrop. You have the kids playing soccer, just behing them is the fjord and further back are magnificent mountains. The scene taken as a whole inspires awe. Today it was one better as the mountains were snow capped.

I was immediately transported to the Cross maidan in Mumbai today. As you walk across the footpath there, you have kids playing cricket in all corners of the field with the elegant Victoria Terminus (or CST as it is uninspiringly called now) as the backdrop. It is a more urban setting, but nontheless, equally awe inspiring. I always made it a point to gawk for quite a while and soak in the atmoshpere when I passed there.

Which do I like better - Ranheim with the magnificent fjord setting or Cross Maidan with the elegant Raj-period urban setting? It is like choosing between a Monet and a Matisse or between an Adirsam and an Apple pie.

I'd always rather have both!!!

Cycling again

I have started cycling again after nearly 6 months and it sure does feel good. With most of the snow having melted and day temperatures between 4 and 8 ºC conditions are perfect for cycling. Today was my second day out and cycled 20 kms after doing a small warm up in the middle of the week of around 10 kms. I hope to slowly increase it to my pre winter milage of around 40 kms and propably more.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Fatherhood as a cliché

The gradual transition to fatherhood is a life changing experience. Initially nothing seems different - but slowly with the development of your wife's tummy, you start undestanding more about life - in short: what makes us humans tick. The coup-de-grace comes during the ultrasound when the transformation to a new person is complete. Seeing the child grow within the person you love brings forth strong emotions quite unlike others.

This whole life changing experience thing is a cliché used many a time before me in this context. But does this make our lives just a repetition of what others have been through?

Borges says, no story is new - it is just presented in a new way. But that is not the case with our lives. The reason why most of the written descriptions of our lives reads as clichés is that man has not perfected the art of translating feeling to spoken words. The feeling or emotion is individual/personal, whereas the written work is common/public.

The same is true of thought. We do not think or feel in a particular language. It is only when we try to communicate our thoughts or feelings that words come into the frame.

Initiation to fatherhood

Dec 30th 2004, Arthi woke me up to at 6 am to say "Rahul.. I am pregnant" Was I happy/sad/excited/scared? Or confused? Yes, confused would be the best way to describe my state of mind then. For one, it was 6 am and the best I can do at that time of the day is sitting up in bed (with much dificulty, I should add) and staring blankly into space - far from contemplating my initiation to fatherhood. The other reason I was confused is that the doctors here said that Arthi will have difficulty concieving as her prolactin levels are high. We were to visit the specialist regarding this in Feb 05 (Yes.. I know you are thinking Feb 05 was a long was off, what is worse is that we got the appointment in Nov 04. Well.. that is how the Norwegian health system works - but that is for another post).

But when what Arthi had announced finally sunk in, after penetrating the mist in my groggy head, oddly the first thought that came to me was that we would not be able to go on our vacation as we had planned (and saved for). Fortunately enough, these thoughs were quickly pushed aside (not out) by a surging feeling of elation and excitement.