Illest – Gillette

The latest collection of illest has something faintly familiar. Intentional? Accidental mistake? You decide.


Goa – the Off season

A furnished 2bhk for Rs.300 per day.

A glitter stones and squiggles bindi on the right corner of the mirror.

A half used pack of condoms beneath the bed.

Red hued spots on the wall reminiscent of explosively opened wine bottles.

Of long barefoot walks on the beach. In and out of the loopy arcs of the waves.

Smooth flat pebbles and blue-velvety remains of a sea creature waiting to be made into a pair of ear rings.

Of smooth round flat seeds floated in from god knows where, painted on, sitting in the hot humid afternoon, shirtless and in a lungi.

5 liter water bottles and sand which gets into every nook and cranny. Waiting to be discovered a few months later when you are back home.

Old 1940s hollywood fare with headphones on in the evenings.

Mid aged aunties becoming kids again, soaking in the surf.

Gang of drunk marathi boys trying to make a human pyramid in the safety of the crashing waves.

Guys who will ask a white girl for a picture with her. Or use their long zoom lens to take voyeur shots, all day long.

Kids from Mumbai having there bacchanalian break.

The early morning beach cleaners picking up the empty bottles and the half eaten corn on the cobs. The green tea made in the room with a Rs 50 immersion heater named Deepak. And then the hot porridge at the shack for breakfast.

The tattooed and pierced waiters from Himachal, who can speak in 10 languages and who can put on their charm at a moment notice on well heeled white women. And men.

The thin old white man in a g string doing tai chi in the evening in front of the setting sun. The indian families who pretend he is not there.

The barking dogs on the way back from dinner. Who always end up wagging their tails, when they sense an absence of fear.

Goa is good. Always.


Clouds on the horizon

Hello I am Mr. Selvamani, and this is a normal hot, humid, filter coffee scented morning, reporting to you live from Madras. I work in the meteorology department. Not he one who deal with meteors, aah no no. We deal with temperature both in celsius and in fahrenheit. Also with rain and the absence of it. I was the one who pressed the button for the sirens when the tsunami hit last to last year. I could also be asked to present the weather section of the evening news bulletin, if Lord Subramanium answers my prays.

The intro aside I would like to get into the main issue here. Today morning when I came into office and was reading my emails, peon Thambi came and announced that two people urgently want to meet me. I asked them to come in. They entered. One of them was middle aged, whereing a white joobaah, what you call a kurti in hindi. And a white gold edged dhoti. He was also wearing a pretty heavy gold chain on his meaty neck. The slight smile on his face made my apprehension disappear. The other guy was young and thickly muscled, and was wearing a maroon lungi with multicolored flowers. His shirt was open halfway down showing lush hairy vegetation.

“Ghung goon ghoon”, said the young man.

Why tell me, I said.

“Ghung goon ghoon goon”, said the young man, looking at the elder man, who nodded wisely.

This morning would be hard, I thought. How can I explain these simple folk of the vagaries of global warming. Of what harm their brothers and sisters had done to mother nature through the centuries.

Nowadays it is easier to forecast the winner of IPL, than to predict the rains, I thought. Sometimes we pick a card from a deck we have. That deck has various combinations ranging from humid, slightly sunny to extremely wet with knee deep rains. But how can I tell that to these men, who have such faith in my oracular powers.

“Ghung goo goo goo” this time the elder man said. To which I woke up and found myself staring out the window at a city pigeon.



Selvan dropped in today, with the April newspaper bill. While he was doing the calculation for my trip ridden month, I offered him the besan ke laddoos, mom had sent. He refused, embarrassed, at his own behavior.
‘I don’t have sugar’, he said.
‘Not even in tea – coffee. Started doing this since around 40 years, and I am 50 now. I work as much as a 20 year old.’
‘I just have sookha roti with sabji with no oil, and 4 idlis in the morning.’
I was a little dumbfounded to reply, soaking it all in.
‘Why so sweaty?’, he asked.
‘Just cycled from Jayamahal.’ I said.
‘I have seen you many times, in Neelasandra, Austin town.. It is good..very good.’
‘I was also cycling to Hosur till 10 years back. 80 kms a day. I was then in the courier service. Also dropped newspapers on my cycle. Got this moped 5 years back, as it was getting difficult, more because of the growing urgency. Zyaada paper daalna toh zyada zaldi daalna.’
‘165 Rupees sir’.
Leejiye sir 165.
‘Kuch zaroorat pade toh call kariye sir’

P.S. Selvan is around 5’6, weighs around 80kgs, and I am pretty sure can dhobhi pachad all you facebooking ppl.


Fictional Book Covers

I have always wanted to design book covers. One way to go about it is to create an alternate cover for an already existing book. A famous book which many people have read. So it is easier to determine whether that cover captures the exact emotions of the entire book. On the other hand is to dream up a title to a fictional book, and then design its cover. I will be doing this project at least once every week, and will always keep the publisher as Baby Sloth Publishers. The image used in this cover has been taken by me, and will try to use my own pictures in the future as well.

Feedback is very welcome, and other designers are welcome to join in.


Movie Posters – 1

You would have to look at the two posters beneath carefully, for the discussion ahead.

Do you see a marked similarity in the two visual styles? Do you find this style very different from the normal bollywood style? I find both the fonts reminiscent of hand painted ‘special signage’. Now hand painted signage has almost vanished from the major cities and metros. Due to cheap printing technology which have reached this places, you can get digital control over the final output, rather than depending on the whims and fancies of the sign painter. And being cheap is not a small deal.  But small towns where these printing has just begun to sprung, hand painted signs are still widely seen.Also apart from the hand painted signs, the bling everywhere, with lights and the wannabe glitz. As I have seen subtlety is not a forte of the small emerging towns. Globalization has brought its affects even to these towns with every alternate house having a son or a daughter working for a big IT company in Bangalore. Uncles chat around the milking gwala at the local dairy about how their son has just sent 10 lacs from US. Definitely bling is in.

Another similarity between the two films seem to be newly launched Hero/Heroine. If both these assumptions are correct that would lead to the conclusion that this was intentionally done; so that the producers wanted to target small towners. These small towners might be residing in big cities earning their livelyhoods, but that doesn’t change much.

Does anyone know how to find how much a movie made at the box office in different areas? If these movies (one of them yet to be released) made more money in the smaller towns, then these assumptions will stand true. What do you think about these thoughts pulled out of my non existent hat.

If you are interested in movie posters, check out these posters – Agneepath, Singham and the minimal bollywood posters movement going on here.


Ayurveda through Painting

Got this pic and the following info from . The yellow pigment in the painting has been created using the urine of mango fed cows. Though it says just mango, I am pretty sure it is ripe mangoes. Ripe mangoes are high in pitta. The fire element. Yellow in color. And since cow urine is considered sattvic, it can still be used in painting which is considered a sacred art. This is an example of a non-health application of ayurveda.


Royal Victory

It took me 5 mins to figure what the cubicles where for, what the numbers meant in the TV. 10 mins more to make an approximation of the probable winner, based on the past data from a pink pamphlet. Had purchased the pamphlet from an old man just outside the gate for Rs 10. Got into the wrong queue meant for the high rollers. It would be Royal Victory numbered 2, with an odds of 21/10 for me.

A few minutes later all eyes turned towards the TV screen. Number 2 was leading. A few seconds later, I had won 310 on by bet of Rs 100 (+15 for tax).

On my way back to my bike I was chased and stopped by a plump middle aged guy. “Could you give me 20 bucks for my bus fare home?” I smiled and said, “Please No”.
“But I lost all my money in the race.”

I smiled and kept walking. Walk home and learn the lesson, I thought.


A one pot Warming Recipe for the Winters

The suggested amount is sufficient for two people with decent appetites :).I had it all myself.

  1. 3 Green chillies sliced lengthwise
  2. a Thumbnail sized piece of ginger finely diced
  3. One onion diced
  4. 5 black pepper (use more if you like it spicier. In fact black peppers act more like landmines, compared to red chilli, which is more of a poison gas)
  5. One cup broken wheat (daliya)
  6. One cup dal (I used Toor/Tuvar/Arhar Dal, feel free to use any)
  7. Half Teaspoon of Jeera (cumin)
  8. Half a teaspoon of turmeric (haldi)
  9. A little bit of heeng
  10. Half a teaspoon of salt (or according to taste)


Heat a small amount of oil in a vessel (I used a pressure cooker, so all the cooking is in that). Use oil according to your habits. With too less oil there would be chances of the ingredients getting singed.
When the oil is hot, add the jeera. Then the black peppers and heeng. A moment later add the green chillies and the diced ginger. After you see that the oil has all these flavors (typically a few minutes), add in the diced onion.

Fry this for a while. When the onion pieces are no longer crunchy add half a teaspoon of haldi and the heeng. Fry all this for a while, till the onions get brown. Then add in the dalia and the dal.

Fry all this for a while. Keep stirring, till you feel enough is enough. Then add water. How much water depends on how  you want the final consistency and the vessel you are using to cook. Here is the decision point in your path. Do you want it to be like a biryani, or, a khichdi meant for a convalescing prince. I used a pressure cooker and added 5 cups (use the same cups for the main stuff and the water, till you can eyeball
it). I kept the flame at high till one whistle then brought the flame to medium. Next whistle, I shut the flame. It gave me a consitency of toothpaste when mashed.

What do you think of the name Daldalia for this dish, as the final consistency is very similar to a slimy Daldal (swamp).

I added some boiled eggs on top of the Daldaliya, for added measure. This is a high protein, fibre dish which is great for heating you up in the winters.

And tell me how it tasted, if you decide to cook it.


Travellin in d train

This is what happens when you hear Gangsta rap in a train. If you are offended by dirty four letter words, kindly avoid reading.