Tuesday, March 27, 2007

snow flakes

Frozen crystals of all shapes and sizes float down and accumulate. The white fields resemble diamonds glittering in the sun. Wilson ‘Snowflake’ Bentley took over 6,000 photographs of individual flakes between the early 1880’s and his death in 1931. No two were alike.

No two snowflakes follow the same path of creation.

No two snowflakes fall to earth by the same course. No two snowflakes are alike.

Over the course of its life, a snowflake may go through many different stages of growth, experience a host of different influences, as the wind dances it from cloud to cloud, from drier to moister or warmer or cooler environs, all of them leaving their marks on the final flake.

A snowflake is a dance between destiny and contingency. A snowflake is a rendevous of physical law and chance. Each snowflake is individuality in crystal shape. Each snowflake is a marvel of uniqueness. Each snowflake has a distinctive beauty.

Each snow flake is like a human being,. Each one so different from the other. And they all travel through the same air they breathe. They tumble, dance and fall. Some meet , some dont. Some meet and become one. Some retain their shape, some dont. And somewhere, they all end their journeys.

But look above ! There is a fresh journey that has begun. And they are all beautiful too!

Monday, March 26, 2007

just another day..

The morning wind, too warm, is wafting in from the corniche. It comes in rudely to lift the heavy curtains as they fall down against the window in a lazy thud. The sun shouldnt be this bright at this time of the day at all..

The banket that gave me this warm-but-still-cool feeling wouldn't do any good any more. The birds that live atop the ledge, right across my window fly like darts to and fro. May be I am the only one who still is pondering; "Is it still too early to get up?"

Yesterdays newspaper still unread over the fridge, some clothes in a careless pile at the foot of the bed, a stained tea cup on the study table. Well, thank God, I am still myself on a saturday morning.

The keeper guy has started cleaning the courtyard and wasting water as usual. Doesn't he know that it is a matter of minutes before the dust invades again? And today, once again, he has forgotten to get the newspaper which is still on the ground, where it fell when the newspaper guy threw it in. He hasnt seen it as yet. The water on the floor has almost reached it. Another wet paper for the fridge top.

A toyota land cruiser comes around the corner and glints the sunlight off its glass, blinding me for a few seconds. A lone rooster jumps off the waste bin and runs for shelter. I can hear the drone of engines from the flying club.The incessant flying would start in no time. I decided against the usual morning tea. Something cold would do. Even the wardrobe has heated up from the slanting sun rays that comes in. Before I pull the curtains across, I span the area once again. I cringe my eyes. The birds are still darting. No one on the road. THe dust that arose with the arrival of the 4 x 4 has settled. The rooster is back on top of the waste bin and his wife is giving him company. My sleepiness has suddenly disappeared. Outside, the desert was a hundred degrees.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What's ina worm!

It was a student f mine who asked me this question: "How does the tequila worm taste like?"

Having no clue at that, I wanted an answer. since I consider myself as a meat eater who eats more or less anything, I still was a virgin when it came to experiencing worms!

I remember seeing that gross lil thing in a bottle brought home by a friend of mine. In that fiery liquid, the worm looked more like an freaky accident than a creative garnish. Who would want a worm in his drink?

Jacobo Lozano Paez wanted! This Mexico City entreprenuer had seen some of these worms get cooked up along with the brew that was used to make mescal (mescal is a generic term meaning any distillate of the many species of agave (or maguey) plant, tequila included) The agave worm, which is actually a butterfly larva, bores into the agave plant's pineapplelike heart. All those unfortunate critters who remain there during harvest, get cooked! So in 1950, this man realised that the worm was an essential component of the liquor's flavor and color.

He may also have figured out that mescal is about as tasty as varnish and you have to be senseless to pour this down your own throat. So why not add some drama to the whole thing, even if the actor looks like acritter!? There was also another non contested popular hear say that the worms had aphrodisiacal properties. Most men would eat/drink anything if it could do wonderful things down under, rt!?At any rate, the ploy worked and the worm in the bottle is now a firmly established tradition, though not in every bottle.(thanku for small mercies, amigo!)

The actual agave worm is a bright coral color, which fades to pink in the bottle. Some bottlers substitute a species of white worm that lives on the leaves of the agave plant. Connoisseurs complain that the white worm isn't as tasty as the red one(!!) which is like complaining that your chicken's got the wrong kind of flu!. I have had a few tequilas and my doubt is this: This drink can knock you out with a mule's kick; why would u need a worm in between!?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A scene from a mall

A mall is not just a big setting where you shop. It is a zoo. A big stage where one can watch human behaviour in all its splendour and with all its misgivings. Last week i witnessed it, the low side of it.

A rich couple with four children having food & fun at one of the outlets in the food court. In a corner was an asian guy who was busy cleaning the floor. Aged around 40. Time was around 10 pm. In my home town, most children, like the ones who were there at that moment, would have been asleep by now. But i guess in metros, things are different. I have seen toddlers awake and having fun in fast food oulets along with parents as late as 1 am.

One of the kids, must be around 5 years old; was looking at the cleaner guy for a long time. He then started to tear some paper into small pieces. Finaly he had a hand full of that stuff. By that time, the guy who was cleaning, had almost finished his job. The kid ran up to him and threw the bits of paper right on to his face. The parents watching this from their dining table couldn't help laughing. Th cleaner guy wasn't laughing anyways. He stood frozen for a few seconds,looking back and forth between the kid and his parents. He shook off the bits of paper from his body and started to clean, again. The guy still looked calm. May be it wasn't the first time he had seen this happen to him. But Iam sure, he wasn't prepared for what happened next. The small kid this time came back with a pepsi can and hurled it right at him. The aim wasn't bad. This time, the kid's mother intervened and dragged the kid back.

The cleaner guy was still calm. There was even a faint smile on his lips. He was wiping the liquid from his face. I took a step forward from my table and offered him some paper napkins. He took them, thanked me and went back to his work. Only then I noticed the tears in his eyes.

The kid's father was still laughing. I wished HIS parents had never met...

The Covariation model