Blog makes it to the new edition of the OED!
This March blog,n made it as a 'real' word to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) along with the derivatives like blogging, blogger. etc. I am posting the entry since the OED is not available for free (how stingy can you get?).

= WEBLOG n. 2.
[Shortened < WEBLOG n.
1999 TBTF for 1999-08-30: Aibo Rampant in cistron.lists (Usenet newsgroup) 30 Aug., Blog., a Web log... First spotted on the Eatonweb blog, er, Web log on 1999-08-25, though Eatonweb's proprietor Brigitte says the coinage is due to our very own TBTF Irregular Peter Merholz.]

[1999 (weblog diary) 23 May, Cam points out and PeterMe decides the proper way to say ‘weblog’ is ‘wee'- blog’ (Tee-hee!).] 1999 P. MERHOLZ in (weblog diary) 28 May, For those keeping score on blog commentary from outside the blog community. 1999 Scotsman (Nexis) 30 Aug., Many of the early 'blogs link to one another and have built quite a community of webloggersthe authors who maintain them. 2002 Salina Jrnl. 21 Apr. B6/3 Blogs..contain daily musings about news, dating, marriage, divorce, children, politics in the Middle East..or millions of other things or nothing at all.

Movie Fest
"One of the gifts one movie lover can give another is the title of a wonderful film they have not yet discovered. In university, I had a Shakespeare professor who was the world's leading expert in ``Romeo and Juliet,'' and who used to say he would give anything for the ability to read the play again for the first time. When I meet someone who has never seen ``The Third Man'' or ``Singin' in the Rain,'' I envy them the experience they are about to have.
Robert Ebert
Chicago Sun Times

Since I got back I have more movies in three days than I have in the past 8 months. Today I shall start the Apu Trilogy. Back home I never had a TV. Why didn't I is a topic for another blog. Till then though, the reason is not what you think.
I finally saw the The Manchurian Candidate. Not as chilling as yesterday's The Silence of the Lambs. Axelrod the screenplay writer said that the movie ""The poor thing, you know, went from failure to classic without ever passing through success. It would be nice for it to have some success.". Not surprising that the off beat thriller was not re-released till 1988 since the Kennedy assasination. American politics is still a political circus.

42° 16' N
83 ° 43' W

That's where I am currently. I have been cribbing a lot about the weather, but I am now at peace with it. I have shaken off the remnants of the circadian rhythm stress and am ready to carpe diem and also seize whatever is being offered for free.

Class Struggle
"The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle."
Karl Marx

"The history of all hitherto existing airline passengers is the history of class struggle from economy to business."
Hirak Parikh
Thanks to overbooking and my willingness to act as a martyr ( by agreeing to fly on the next flight) I was promoted to business class..actually World Business Class. While the Economy class have-nots are stowed as galley slaves with barely enough breathing room (forget leg room) the privileged few roll in the lap of luxury. I played the part of a regular really well. While there were riots in the queue for the bathroom way back in the plane, I was up front freshing up with the wonderful softening lotion and squirting some perfume. I was really in seventh heaven for the first time in all these years that I have flown. Casually flicking the buttons on my personal TV screen, even more casually asking for my glass of Champagne(it does not taste like horse piss like i was told ( more so I am intrigued how did he ever taste horse piss?)). More casually noting that some of my fellow passengers fumbling with the buttons to get the foot rest up..Ach these bourgeois! I was also told that the air hostesses are better in the Business Class. Much to my disappointment there were two excellent stewards. Better to have one good looking air hostess than two efficient stewards. How casual can NWA get?

Last Tango
This is my last night home.The vacation has come to an end. It feels like that I just got here and now its time to go. I have very few regrets though about the trip. I did almost all the things that I wanted to do. I have not yet gone to Marz-o-Rin despite the 'impression' that it gave to readers (Javed :( ). It has been a long and dangerous summer. I passed Laxmi road twice today. Once in the searing heat of the afternoon and once again in the evening. This is the first time in my entire life I actually made an effort to look at the buildings properly. A looked around when stopped at the great red lights while the traffic snarled around me.
The Dagdusheth Chowk is full of neon signs that coexist with black brick structures, old wooden windows, broken glass-panes, dust over the ages that no one bothers to clean, old signboards with peeling paint. New buildings with ceramic tiles and old ones with the rough granite stones. Business is still conducted on first floor offices with rickety wooden stairs with carved banisters. A mix of old and new. Few steps forward and a few back. Pune with aspirations of a slick metro with wide roads and fly-overs. The narrow streets of city and the crowded gallis still remain.
It was my last tango, my last ride through the streets, zipping through as I did all these years. Its great to be on one of the bridges in the evening and feel the cool breeze. Soon these stinks, smells and scents will become memories. Good-night!

The traditional crushed ice gola has reached cult status these days. The humble gola has been revived from oblivion. Unfortunately the prices too have skyrocketed along. The 21st century is a savvy purveyor. With a menu card and some special golas like the Jamnagar special more expensive than some ice creams!
Arundhati Roy and her Harlem Renaissance
The latest issue of Outlook has another essay of Ms. Controversy Roy. A lecture that she delivered at the Riverside church. A place for many famous anti-war speeches. Its a typical Roy piece. Link to radio speech
Replete with satirical similies, statistics and heartless bashing. Her style is 'written with all heart trying to appeal to the rational mind'. I find it hard to believe her statistics which she uses to support her most important points. I wish I can get hold of the complete text and check some of her statistics. 'Empire' is now synonymous with USA. ( I recommend reading Rafique Zakaria's piece in Newsweek last April - The arrogant empire ).
Of course being a story teller it makes excellent reading for her pungent sarcasm. Also her renaming of things. Her talent for prose that's verse is undimished.
She has not made any original points.The essay can be termed as saying nothing much of consequence though. I was looking more for her unique insights into the matter. There are none that we have not heard before. Her solution to the problem is ridiculous. I wish I can share her hope that we as citizens of the world can wrest our democracy back. Of course the last lines will always be quotable.
"..You are not a great nation but can be a great people. This is the time. Seize it."

Catching up
I have not posted for a long time.I have lots to write about the 'trip' back home. I have not. It's flattering that people are hitting this blog and leaving comments. Keep 'em coming guys!
I am thinking of good reasons for not posting.
A slow internet dial-up courtesy the great VSNL
The heat of the past few weeks just put me to sleep
Laziness(yes I am admitting this!)

In the Meantime..
9th May
I conducted a quiz on the Boat Club where I attended the quiz club on a H-1 visa many Saturdays. It's a ghost of its former self with four people taking part. The pedigree of the contestants was of course not at all under question. Not that the tag that they were all on BBC Mastermind last year adds or subtracts their ability. (One is Mastermind India, the other a semi-finalist and the third another who made it to the TV rounds). It something that would be nice to crow about among tyros somewhere else. Hah! The quiz was fun despite the protests about the amount of stage questions.The great kanda bhaji was unavailble though. Life's not perfect.
19th May
I turned 23. Which does not seem to be any great numerological signifincance for me to really shout from the rooftops.It was an interesting day though. After a really long time that I went to Sinhagad with my parents. We left at about 5:00 am so we escaped the heat. The view from above halfway point is great. What appalled me is the amount of rubbish that people throw. I was about to yell loud abuses (no one was around) to there barbarians who litter.I paused there for a couple of seconds.
Maybe it being my 'Happy Birthday', I was looking at things differently. I picked up one of the plastic bags and started collecting the rubbish.

Among the rubbish was Goa/Manikchand Gutkha packets (do these guys survive to get to the top or does cancer kill them first?), someones left-foot slipper( my sympathies), chocolate wrappers. My efforts were noticed by a couple who asked me if I was from an organisation. Can individuals make a difference? Not alone. I know that. I hoped that atleast if the hillsides were not 100% clean after I finished. I felt I contributed in a way.
I felt a little guilty that I had not what I could have done much before. Personally its time to stop simply pointing fingers. I hope I can do that the rest of the year. Happy Birthday!

Back Home
Nothing changes and yet everything does. Its great fun to be back,even if its 40 C in the afternoon. Ann Arbor has its attractions but then Pune has its distractions!
Marz-O-Rin has a brand new top floor. This will make it even more popular. A balcony is a great vantage point for ogling. Wish they had done this years ago in the days of my youth. Hah!
The traffic is still as chaotic but thankfully my Puneri driving instincts have not at all diminished. Doing 120 kmph on I-94 is no challenge compared to 30 kmph on Laxmi Road on Saturday night. Yeah on Saturday night on my 'rusty but trusty' M-80. I was already taking the free lefts and doing the 'orange gamble' quite effortlessly.
Last night I met up with friends in 'Vaish' (where else?) and had an SPDP (what else?). Great meals start at less than 80 cents! Old jokes with old friends. Priceless.