In my office, the moment I get real close to somebody that person would either get a transfer or quit. I have seen this happen so many times – with Yashwanth, Ravi, Jimmy, Senior, Chaina, Gambhir, Anshul, Shruthi, Sharat, Kajal, Sajeev, Johny, Kumz, Jose, Venky…Last month the curse crossed the road…Srini, a friend who works in an office near mine quit. This post is dedicated to him (and of course, to all the friends listed above).

It was Srini who introduced me to the world of ‘inspired posters’. And posters kept me going, perhaps more than anything else, through 2009. It also took up more time than anything else in 2009 – I became am IMPA addict, downloaded 15 years worth of posters, spent hours peering at thumbnails trying to identify ‘stuff that looks like other stuff’ (that explains the glasses), man, did I have a good time…

One of Srini’s early posts was about art-inspired posters. That sent me scurrying to my art books collection. I did find a few (perhaps farfetched) similarities…


David Brinkley

William Hogarth

I also stumbled upon a painting by Degas, Spartan Girls Provoking Boys. Bingo! Doesnt that look like Goya’s famous massacre painting.

Edgar Degas. Spartan Girls Provoking Boys. c.1860-62

Francisco Goya. The Third of May. 1814. (flipped for comparison)

Googling for Goya brought me to the blind flaneur who had posted on Goya. I left a comment about the apparent similarities in composition, and the flaneur (love him) wrote on his site – “Babu has a discerning eye, and his website documents many resonances in contemporary visual rhetoric”. Wow, that sounds much better than ‘stuff looks like other stuff’.

So here goes…

Jai Shree Ram!
Adios Amigo!!


Stock Clearance Post! Have two more balposh posts in the pipeline…gonna give this a break after that. Promise!

Am not following the Srini Convention here, the order is random.

My son’s summer hols start this Friday. Madhya venal avadiyaayi…now that is a famous ‘70s song. Come end-March, all kids of my generation would be humming that tune, but never me…

One summer, many many years ago, while running around in our backyard, I tripped on something, fell face first on a concrete slab, lost four of my front teeth and conked. After the mad rush to the hospital, extraction, stitches, etc., while I was lay groggy, my mouth full of sugar, the radio blithely started up… Madhya venal avadiyaayi. From that day on whenever I hear the song, I taste blood and sugar in my mouth.

OK, now about the pics. My mom’s brother, Koshy John, a national award-winning photographer (more about him later), used to live with us and we kids were his fav subjects. (The pics appeared in Kudumba Deepam, May 1974)

Last Friday I was in B’lore, whataday – breakfast at Windsor Manor…

an afternoon to remember…

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe

Midnight, landed in Chennai, no taxis, walked a kilometer for a rik. How Pushpak!
Thanks Chittapps.

Doctor – Vaidyanathan
Dentist – Pallavan
Financier – Dhanasekaran
Cardiologist – Irudhayaraj
Paediatrician – Kuzhandaisamy
Marriage Counsellor – Kalyanasundaram
ENT Specialist – Neelakandan
Diabetes Specialist – Sakkarapani
Nutritionist – Arogyasamy
Magician – Mayandi
Builder – Sengalvarayan
Painter – Chitraguptan
Agriculturist – Pachaiyappan
Horticulturist – Pushpavanam
Landscaper – Bhuminathan
Beggar – Pichai
Bartender – Madhusudhan
Makeup Man – Singaram
Milk Man – Paul Raj
Dairy Farmer – Pasupathi
Dog Groomer – Naayagan
Snake Charmer – Nagamurthi
Mountain Climber – Yezhumalai
Javelin Thrower – Velayudam
Weight Lifter – Balaraman
Sumo Wrestler – Gundu Rao
Bowler – Balaji
Spin Bowler – Thirupathi
Driver – Sarathy
Attentive Driver – Parthasarathy

ദൈവത്തിനല്ലാതെ മറ്റാര്‍ക്കും കേരളത്തെ രക്ഷിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുമെന്ന് തോന്നുന്നില്ല.

അങ്ങേര്‍ക്ക് വേണമെങ്കില്‍ രക്ഷിക്കട്ടെ. അങ്ങേരുടെ സ്വന്തം നാടല്ലേ

Merry Christmas!!

A few days ago, Gaddam, an REC junior dropped in to my office. He runs a software company in B’lore and was in Chennai on business.

He used to stay in Anand Apartments when Chacko, Puthu and the two Bijus shared a flat there. I was in Anna hostel then, but was a near-permanent fixture at Anand. Yet, when I reconnected with Gaddam on FB, my mind was embarrassingly blank about a lot of things that he excitedly recounted.

But when I saw him, it all came back to me…

At Anand the credo was Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Anandam (that is, Happiness, not the neighbour’s VK). ‘Getting wasted and acting like an idiot’ was the main thing, and soon the news reached our landlord. He landed up to investigate on a sell-bottles-buy-beer Sunday, made some weak joke about the 100 bottles in the living room, informed us that his sister is moving in to Chennai, and asked us to vacate (Call it a coincidence, any house I stay for 6 months, the landlord’s sister would get a transfer to Chennai).

Alumni: TK stayed in Anand during his first month in Chennai and Samy, during his last month (in Chennai, that is).

OK, back to Gaddam. We had a rollicking bull session, which Gaddam, with an acute sense of history, summed up as NON-POLitically Correct.


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