White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Tale of Two Depressions

I am sure you haven't been able to sleep at night for the past few days. I have received many an email, reeking of tears and other bodily fluids, imploring me to post something, anything. I received missed calls at ungodly hours waking me up from surreal dreams. Well, I exaggerated just a little bit there, just like any sincere blogger would, but you get the drift. Comcast (ISP and Cable provider) would like to extend their apologies to you. I came home one day from work to find the W sprawled on the floor looking at the modem like it was a Rubik's cube that was winking at him with its six little lights (LED's for geeks) in random order and the 42 displaying a depressing "There is no service" or something morose like that, which was more suited on a tombstone.

The W went into depression, thus exhibiting the 21st century man's extreme reliance on the World Wide Web, much like an addict's manic craving for a hit during withdrawal. The Internet has trapped the average non-suspecting citizen of society (bespectacled and otherwise) into its Web (Ever wonder why its called Web?). While I was feeling bad about not being able to blog and thus spread yuletide and joy among my readers, as I have come to do in the past month or so, the sadistic mind wanted to see the W writhe in mental agony as he fidgeted from the couch to balcony, and then back to the couch with periodic mutterings of 'Life is so depressing'.

This reminded me of those days back in Calcutta, almost two decades back when we were hit by regular bouts of what was commonly known as "load shedding", when I got breaks from mugging up Bangla chhora (children's poems) about bullock carts in lands that existed only in my reluctant imagination to carefully make my way up to our terrace with the help of a candle to cuddle up next to Amma (my paternal grandmother) and watch the often star studded sky. She loves the sky and actually wanted to christen me Akash (and still refers to me that way in moments of extreme affection) but my parents thought the name was too common and shot the idea down, but that's a whole different family controversy.

An improvement in the economic situation meant that inverters gave us the feeling of pseudo "load sheddings" since only certain lights were allowed to be on but no fans, before we officially broke into the upper middle class with a generator which took away the whole experience altogether. Along with the summer sweat of "load sheddings", also disappeared the romantic charm of the darkness and the clear sky. Net failures are the "load sheddings" of our generation, albeit with a less cooler name. Who knows, maybe I will recite the story of the W and the lost Net to my grandchildren some day when the Internet will be replaced by something stronger, faster and more secure, unless we manage to destroy the world before that.

Came across Anurag Kashyap's blog today (Jai Google!). I have become a fan of the man after watching No Smoking recently. Reading some of the blog postings did nothing to lessen the sentiment. The postings are as honest as his films and his writing, often written after a few pegs have been downed, thus often without apparent regard for grammar. He can come across as bitter and arrogant, but I think he is just angry and frustrated more than anything else, and the reasons he spells out affected me a bit the same way, surprising me.

He talks about the sorry state of independent films in India and being a cinema enthusiast, I could only reflect how empty life would be without delightful little indigenous films like Bheja Fry, Johnny Gaddar and of course No Smoking being made; about how this discourages paranoid people like me who go to bed with film making dreams in their eyes every night to abandon their current semi-luxuriant lives to give shape to their abstract ambitions; about going through life without ever coining the words job and satisfaction in the same breath. I was so absent-minded, I even honked at a pickup that did not turn when the light to go straight turned green.

To make matters worse, right now Born Into Brothels is showing me the half-baked dreams of the unwanted children of the sex workers of Calcutta on the 42. Its showing me hope in their eyes that has a very slim chance of being converted into reality, even with the filmmaker's magnanimous attempts on a relatively small sample space of such individuals. What are striking are the matter-of-factness of some of the children when talking about their dead or socially reclusive parents and some of their artistic talents. The W laughs at my theory that some of the kids are so talented because their fathers are gifted individuals of the high strata of society we reside in. Damn! why did Comcast have to correct their mistake?

PS: Thanks to everyone who had a hand (or should I say n fingers, n being the number of fingers you use to type, assuming no one has this saved in their favorites) to play in making the Number of Visits counter in my blog hitting four figures.

4 comments:

Mala said...

It is only this Sunday I watched Johnny Gaddar - and all throughout I tried to wrack my brains on which Hollywood movie it had replicated. I came up with nothing. That was the sad part though. I find it hard to accept a good bollywood movie as original because it has happened on several occasions that it is usually a spin off of some english movie. Johnny G was however a very stylish movie and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It did feel very Quentin Tarantino-ish. I am yet to watch No Smoking - the mixed reviews will not stop me. :) Born into Brothels still tops the charts as being one of the movies that touched me most.
On another note, loadsheddings brought back bitter-sweet memories of the past. The best part was not having to study and the worst was having to miss 'chitrahaar' on Wednesdays. Invariably the lights would go off right after the first song. I still remember sitting in the veranda and watching the stars while the hurricane flickered beside us spreading its warm glow. The nights that were unbearably hot, we would end up in the terrace and watch the rickshaws whiz by. When my mejo pishi got a generator, I often ended up at their place in lightening speed whenever the power went out. Oh sweet Calcutta! :)

ArSENik said...

I thought Johnny G was a nod to a bunch of heist movies, didn't know it was inspired by any specific one. I hear Jab We Met is pretty good too, even though I wasn't expecting to watch it. Apparently, the screenplay is very refreshing. Will try to see it tonight.

The face of that Avijit kid from BIB is still haunting me the next morning like a bad hangover.

Me, myself and Sumant. said...

Dunno why. But something abt this post stirred in me the same emoticons.

ArSENik said...

C'mon now Sumant. Don't blame your depression on my post! You know it's coz of IIM-A. Lol. Go watch Andaaz Apna Apna or Golmaal. Always cheers me up.

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