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."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Waste Your Time Reveling in this Self Indulgent Post

There seems to be some kind of contagious tag epidemic going on in the blogs I visit and mathematical probability has caught up with me after all. Dreamy has sneezed this tag into my lungs and the only path to recuperation is to pass it onto lesser suspecting bloggers. More on that later.

Life Ten years ago

The world had still not started preparing itself for the terror of Y2K and I was steaming in to terrorize batsmen, who weren't allowed to hit too hard so as not to hurt the fielders awaiting their turn to bat, right before class. The carefree air of not bothering about sweat before the first period even as classmates had started dating (this used to mean something else when you were in class 8 in the last century by the way) one another is what I look back most fondly at. Oh, and I remember feeling this novel emptiness as I heard about that nice Lady's car crashing in a Parisian tunnel and her subsequent death. C'est la mort, I guess.

Life Five years ago

Running through the deserted wet streets of the campus and attracting weird looks from the few chapta PhD students on a cold Saturday morning amongst delirious cries from fellow demented souls, waving the tricolor, after Sehwag and Tendlya had uppercut Akhtar and co. out of the World Cup. And then a week later, depression and the morning after nap in the underground gymnasium cum lounge of a friend's dorm after Dada's minions had let the butterflies win.

Life tomorrow

As Morgan Freeman said in The Shawshank Redemption, same shit different day, but it is Friday. So, SSDD with a movie thrown in.

Five locations I would love to run away to

Words like 'run' are blasphemous to me and the laziness in me revolts with alarming activity, but if I could be airlifted from my Lazyboy, I would want to end up in
  1. Kashmir
  2. Amsterdam (not for the tulips or windmills)
  3. Those lost mountains Che goes to in The Motorcycle Diaries
  4. That place in Africa where Nick Cage breaks down all his guns in The Lord of War
  5. NYC

Five bad habits I have


It's going to be hard to choose just five. The others might feel bad, but ...
  1. Very rigid in my likes and dislikes when it comes to people. If I don't like you, it's gonna stay that way even if you save the world and if I like you, it'll be that way even if you rape and pilferage the whole of El Dorado.
  2. Too transparent.
  3. I like challenges when I am taking someone's case. If they don't like it, I find myself getting villainy and stepping it up a notch.
  4. Too laid back.
  5. Wisecracks in movie theaters, especially during sessions of extreme hamming.

Five things I will never wear
  1. VIP Frenchies
  2. Suspenders
  3. Kolapuri chappals (they look swell, but hurt the soles of my feet since childhood)
  4. Collarless shirts
  5. Shoes with strings

Five biggest joys at this moment
  1. Dhoni and Ishant
  2. My cousin who is fat and is called Joy by his Dad
  3. Obama
  4. Macbook Pro (just ordered one!)
  5. Sunshine and the impending advent of summer

Something to achieve by next year

To break out of this cocoon - comforting, yet so stifling.

Something that impacted me last year

The weaning off her and the advent of regular blogging.

What will I miss about 2007

Tina and the original members of the Boise Wela Group.

Five things I want to do before I die
  1. Give an Oscar acceptance speech for Best Foreign Film where I end up thanking no one.
  2. Spend a week in bed like John and Yoko.
  3. Teach myself to play my acoustic guitar.
  4. Smoke a joint with Papa.
  5. Hire someone to shave me regularly and drive me around.
Now to pass on the virus. Unfortunately, among the few bloggers who read this blog, two have already been tagged, one is on vacation and something tells me the others write about topics that are too serious to write a post like this. So, Puranjoy, not forcing you, but you are most welcome to jump in. Rohmen, please save my nose and accept this tag. SS, you bloomed into the blogosphere just the other day and so HAVE to comply to my bullying tag slapping.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Screening

As I pulled up to my usual parking space in the nondescript back alley of the building with unprecedented punctuality, I must say I found myself a little blue to find it conspicuously empty. I entered the building through the usual back door and walked up the endless gray steps one last time to embrace the cocktailed aroma of fresh baked cookies and Mexican diligence emanating from the little hole next to the studio that calls itself a bakery. The cinefan in me cannot help but gush about how the building is set up exactly like the one in which Somnath starts his business in Jana Aranya with its array of letter boxes signifying businesses ranging in a rich variety from Chinese clothing manufacturing businesses to Tekwondo lessons to our studio. Another similarity is the elevator, albeit minus the creaky, black oiled grills and its operator, seemingly a victim to the harshness time, both dripping with old world charm.

There was a nice little reception laid out - complete with wine and cheese - the diet of the aantels (pseudo-intellectuals) of this world that involves more chewing that eating and more sipping than drinking. I was still belching from my Mysore Masala Dosa of an hour or so ago and the near morbid thought of driving back in searing rain stood like a filter between my jittery nerves and the drink of the Gods (or is it the French?). And then they started pouring in with their unfamiliar faces and disruptive facial hair or handbags, brushing off drops of water from their waterproof jackets onto one another and rubbing their feet on the life expectancy of the huge fiber carpet, probably a product of the handicraft shop down on the second floor. I should have been happy to see all sixty or so of them, but suddenly the exuberant thudding of my heart drowned all ambient sound.

The familiar faces were far and fewer, shining like crazy diamonds, hugging me, pecking me, introducing me to names I wouldn't remember and making me shake alien hands, some firm, others not, but all of them rough to the touch. My actors had come too, discussing the Kuleshov Effect with each other and amongst their other brethren. A couple of aspiring actresses trying to flirt their way into the cast of the next film and hell, I could tell they were good at their job. I felt like that kid in school whose parents didn't come to the annual exhibitions.

Technical problems even though "we only use Macs here". I was third last in the schedule. Seems like they had bunched up all the black and white films together at the end. I would see my camera work sooner though, in that film about guns and shooting, whose name I can't remember completely. Kind avuncular introductory words. Darkness. Then they started rolling. One after the other. Some self-indulgently long, like this post, others choppy, some rip-roaringly funny and others just too beautiful for words, but all of them reeking of five weeks of passion and labor.

Audiences at film screenings tend to be polite. There was applause after every film, the only difference being in the duration of the response. The film about guns and shooting was shot differently. Hopefully, people would not term the hand held technique as utter amateurism. The ending was a shock, even to me, simply because of the sinisterly amazing editing. Applause, as always, but after three seconds of stunned silence. It was almost as if the director had jumped off his seat and slapped each and every one of us. An interval, very much in keeping with the short film theme, that lasted but a few seconds.

The moment was drawing near. Some Sci-Fi flicks whizzed by and over my head. And then, and then that all too familiar pitter patter of the rain against text I had read a million times by now it seemed. People were watching. I was watching them. A couple of 'What?!''s at the intro from behind me. The next scene and realization quietened them. What was I doing? Why was I watching the screen? I knew I would only be sniffing out faults like a constipated old bloodhound. Magnification has its demons. Then the music - sweeping everything away, but was it powerful enough? A couple of 'aww''s in female voices, not completely unexpected. Now the credits were rolling. As always applause. Female hands were petting my right leg and hugging the left part of my body. Sheepish smile in the darkness. As She said, "Thank you".

A couple of films (including my favorite film of the screening - a Black and White Spanish film, though a little too long maybe) later the lights were back on. More applause. All ten of us were standing up. I was nodding my head at different corners of the room and smiling my lopsided Steve Waugh grin, trying to look intelligent, while my palms were engaged in foreplay with one another - a Scorcese touch, I would tell myself on the drive back home. The eyes looked genuine, but hell, how should I know; most of them were actors.

More hugs. Some snaps. Some roses. Some brickbats after the demand of honest opinions, but thankfully there were more roses, or my instructors are really nice. I don't know, you decide.

PS: Compressing the digital HD format to a more manageable size for Youtube has ruined the resolution completely and this looks nothing like it does on the DVD :(

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vermilion

I am nervous as a schoolboy
Just before a significant test.
And I don't know why
A melancholic tune keeps nagging my head.
You hold me with your steady stare
And send me into fits of uncontrollable coughing
With copious passive smoke
From your guiltily lit yet necessary Marlboro Light
On a windy balcony with the backdrop of a hopeful, almost vermilion horizon.

Needless apologies follow
That only heighten the tension;
That take me back to furtive farewell hugs
In dirty San Francisco back alleys.
Suddenly you ask me my favorite color
Waking me from my reverie.
After unprecedented moments of thought
I realize it is the grayness of a cloudy sky
That touches me most.

I have made up my mind
To let the gray rain clouds shower today
After growling, contained thunder for so long.
Then you nonchalantly rest the back of your head against me
And tell me about your virtuous woman
And the sunset at your last holiday together
And how she adores bright vermilion
For the passion it brings into your lives
As we watch the sun set on my frozen gray lips.

2/18/2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

V for Vendetta

Its that time of the year again when all single people around the world use humor as a defense mechanism and appear uber-nonchalant licensed by their bachelorhood. So, let me tell you about the most eventful V-day I have ever had, next to going for a Desi Buffet with 15 other Indian males on February 14, 2004 of course. Oh, almost forgot. Ad Libber wants the single people who aren't depressed and binging on chocolate-strawberry ice cream and reality television at home - the ones that venture out, to wear black on the 14th in memory of Mr. Wodehouse. I shall comply since I can't tolerate reality television for more than four hours.

I was in first year of college. She was in the third year. As you all know, I am a super deep person and so, the detailed reasons for seeking an older woman at that point of time in my life are too complicated for even me to grasp completely, let alone the average reader of this blog. However, a simplistic Freudian explanation would be the surfacing of the Oedipus Complex as a result of being away from home for the first time in 18 years that made me reach for a more mature caress than the girls in my class could provide. Anyway, I had been seeking Her, staving off competition from men, some mustached, some not but all of them elder to me. One of my closest (read only) friends at the time was this super nerd, someone who actually made me look like an illiterate male model. Let's call him Sam. So, Sam found this e-card somewhere on the World Wide Web (or maybe his imaginary online girlfriend sent it to him). It was supposed to make women's hearts and knees go cookie doe since it had this obese little champ in pink diapers holding some sort of equally obese, bloody red obscene orb that looked like Hidimbi's heart with some sonnet that would have made Shakespeare blush. Incidentally, these have now evolved to become the display pictures of anti-feminists on Orkut. I thought it was decidedly Gothic, but apparently women couldn't seem to see beyond the pink diapers.

Not having the time to train the messenger pigeons, unlike Bhagyashree, I emailed it to Her, thus playing hard to get and not actually meeting up, unlike mustached and otherwise seniors. Then there was the waiting period, like a nervous expectant father when his wife goes into labor, or the more relatable scenario of waiting for your classmate to email you the individual project in the nerve-wracking few minutes before the submission deadline. Checking my email had become way more draining than checking my board exam results online just the previous year. My roommate was disbarred from using our land line to order a late night pizza, but much like in Antonioni's films, nothing happened.

Three days had passed. I was beginning to seriously consider gifting a razor to one of the girls in my class for her upper lip as a backup option when it arrived. Naked, unflinching, and composed in the harsh Plain Text format was Her email. It started off ominously - she said she absolutely ADORED the card. Damn, now I would have to buy Sam lunch, which was just Skittles and Coke really. Focus on the email, Clint (that's what my imaginary friend likes to call me sometimes, as in Eastwood). Experience had taught me to search for that dastardly conjunction in such mails - but. We are very impressed with your application BUT we have already filled our first year seats here at Berkley. Focus, focus! Wait what! You have got to be kiddin' me. Serves me right for listening to that technophile Sam. Incidentally, the email had been too big for our university mail server. So, the server had conveniently broken it down into 13, yes 13, attachments and sent it to Her, and then sent her the original mail anyway. Needless to say, She wasn't very happy with the spam. After than, I got student government orders to never email Her again, not even G rated Sardar jokes in plain text format.


I learned my lesson and stopped hanging out with Sam. The letter V, in my life, has now come to stand for Vendetta against all cherubic little humans holding anatomically misshaped organs. Also, I am very proud of the fact that since then, I have stopped using technology of any kind to show my love for the fairer sex and have thus gotten rejected only in person each year on February 14, sometimes even by different people on the same day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A BIG Thanku ...

to everyone who voted for my poem Incoherence on poetry.com. They tell me it is a winner and enters the next level of judging, becoming eligible for the 2007 Annual Grand Prize that will be awarded in February.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Suspicion and Rebecca

The Stanford Theater played host to me twice this weekend as I found myself there watching Hitchcock's earlier 1940's films - Suspicion and Rebecca. It's a classical theater in every sense of the word. What differentiates it from the run of the mill AMC's and Regency theaters sprouting up in suburban America everyday is its plush maroon carpet and the concept of the Balcony section, something I miss after moving here. As the guests poured in, hobnobbing with each other in the excitement preceding the watching of a Hitch flick, a pianist entertained them on a three layered piano that looked like it had been stolen from the Adams' family home.

Both films starred the delectable Joan Fontaine, in not too different roles. In Suspicion, she played the suspicious wife of the super smooth Cary Grant, who as I would imagine was intended in the script, completely stole the show, with his ability to talk himself out of any situation. In terms of appearance, Grant could make George Clooney look like a rustic transvestite. What differentiates this film from Hitchcock's other movies, is the lack of the overbearing temptation of the director to scare his audience. Instead, the efforts seemed a lot more subtle here to me with the script playing out a lot of precarious scenes rather than the camera.

Joan Fontaine plays a simple girl in Rebecca who ends up becoming the second wife of a tycoon who can't seem to give up his love for his deceased first wife. I must confess I was hugely disappointed initially seeing Lawrence Olivier, or maybe Cary Grant was still dominating my imagination of a male hero. However, gradually, as the film progressed, and Olivier delivered line after line with utter nonchalance to effortlessly produce comedy, I realized why he was so sought after in his day. The film also showcases romance in indelible form. There are these sequences when the couple go on rides where nothing much is said, but the emotion comes through appropriately. In terms of the genre of horror, this film is lot more of an insider with a smart script, packed with twists and turns and spooky looking character actors.

What was common to both films, and possibly to all films of the era, was this almost unapologetic putting down of women. For instance, Fontaine's character might well have worn this sign around her neck in both films that said "Oh where are you my man? I can't live without you" whereas the men were shown to be these cool cats with smart lines. Also, there were no funky camera angles that has come to be associated with Hitchcock. Maybe, these were films made before he found and developed his style. He didn't make his trademark brief appearance in either film. I still think the guy is overrated and don't consider him a great filmmaker, but a smart one. Maybe that's because my admiration for neorealism and directors like Bergman, Antonioni and Ray and master-craftsmen like Kurosawa leave little space for directors of the horror genre and for the most part, the theatrical acting of their cast. However, that doesn't mean I wont watch Foreign Correspondent and Spellbound next week.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hitch Fest

At the Stanford Theater for any Hitchcock fans or fans of classical cinema in the Bay Area. I am not a fan of Hitch, but I have decided to give the man another chance, especially with the big screen. Will try to catch Rebecca and Suspicion this weekend. Incidentally, I came to know of this through some spam snail mail. See, spam isn't always bad for you!
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