Here’s the celebrities folks at myheritage.com think I resemble
this now with different pictures to show if it brings up same results :)
Not even one match and yet it is the same me.
At last one person in common and some no-name celebrity – never heard of this Gael Bernal before
Another common hit. yaaay — and it shows Elle McPherson too often as a lookalike. I’d rather do her not look like her
I’d really like to understand how you do five different matches and each time, it comes up with a different celebrity look-alike at the top of the list
the most under-rated sitcom these days? I had not heard from any of my fellow followers of slapstick about this show, nor picked up any viral buzz about it. I’d accidentally Tivo-ed an episode and was watching it in one of those in-between moments yesterday; between dinner and settling down to a book & music. While not being in the league of must-see-TV, it was quite funny; more so, since it comes from the CBS stable that is not exactly known for doing the funnies right.
It looks like a kinda Sally-Jesse-Raphael meets dysfunctional Full-House in a wierd ‘breaking-the-fourth-wall’ self-referential style. Maybe the self-referential part is only in the one episode I saw where Charlie (played by Charlie Sheen, whose scowl belongs to the Joey-from-Friends-smelling-fart-to-act-all-intense school of acting) talks about the woman he dated that later had a sex-change operation and is currently dating his mother saying in a made-for-neons statement “My mother and I slept with the same dude”. The funniest part however is when housekeeper plonks herself at the breakfast table telling Charlie, “I will clean your house free for a week, Charlie” to which the scowlie says, “What?” and housekeeper says for letting her tell Charlie’s mom that the guy she is sleeping with used to be a woman.
This is yet another show I will track – to see if it lives up to the promise of this one that I watched or otherwise.
It has taken me a long journey of decades to re-ordain myself twice born. It took an ageing danseuse way past her grand-children’s prime to lure me, the prodigal son back into the fold of tambrams.
To go back to the beginning, my initiation into the musico-cultural cult of tambrams, who claim near total monopolistic domination of Carnatic music; both supply and demand sides did not start by my accidental birth into a twice born tambram lineage. It started when Vyjayanthimala danced to the tunes of “Krishna nee Begane”. Me, an apple-cheeked kid of two or three attending my first ever concert/recital felt I was the Krishna she was beckoning to – gently, teasingly, “come soon, come show your face” drawing me in, enveloping me in the folds of Carnatic music (though if you were to believe my mother, I was indoctrinated Abhimanyu style by the Veena player who played at her Seemantham ceremony when she was carrying me)
… and … after decades traversing received music – from Emani to Eminem, from Brindamma to YoYo Ma, from GNB to Gillespie and years of transmitting music from my Western violin, my Carnatic violin, my own larynx … the black sheep is gradually being welcomed back into it’s fold … and yet again, by the very same danseuse beckoning the very same infant. (Now I realize how my earlier review of a review of how music affects neuronal connections was totally wrong. In that I had debunked neuroscientist Lewitin claiming that the music of our teens is burned on our souls.)
… is a short way of saying I’m a philistine pleb for whom ‘art is for money’s sake’. I belong to the MGM school of thought that expresses itself by sticking a roaring lion bellowing ‘Art Gratia Artis – Art for Art’s sake’ ; all the while making enough greenbacks to fund Mr Gates’ (he from the Western Seaboard Washington; not the Eastern Seaboard one) war chest. Well, I take that entire statement back. I don’t belong to that school of thought. I am only stuck by the ‘p-envy’ that Dr. Freud never wrote about - ‘painter envy’. I know I’m delusional and am hallucinating, but I claim to belong to the guild of homme d’lettres, (just by maintaining a blog :)) and it pains me, deeply pains me that no writer’s works can command the price a painter’s does. Why is that a work of Shakespeare is not worth as much as a work of Van Gogh? It sounds like I’m comparing apples and hamburgers. However, if you were to measure selling price, not in terms of rarity, but in terms of maximum impact on a majority of the people like our friends at Google do with PageRank, Shakespeare would come up tops in comparision to Van Gogh. So shouldn’t a work by Shakespeare cost more than a work by Van Gogh?
Which is where the artists of the written word get it wrong while commercializing their work. They democratize. They do not restrict their artistic output to only one person at any given point of time. In short, they do not follow the oldest rule in commerce, “choke supply to increase demand”. It might be that my philistine thought is Shylockian(a back-handed compliment to the Bard when I use that word to evoke a dormant flood of thought in the collective conscious. Quick, can you use a stroke of a Van Gogh’s brush to evoke some dormant collective conscious among millions of people across many generations like using the word Shylockian can?) yet art is one-off, available to one person at one time to possess; which is what makes it all the more valuable than the printed word that spreads itself thinner and more often than the commonest whore.
What if a Gutenberg style revolution were to take over the art world & reproductions of Van Gogh’s works were to be available as easily as works of Shakespeare? What if, horror of horrors, there were a public arts library where people who cannot afford to buy even the cheap prints can borrow them for a while, savor the beauty of a Sunflower or Irises in the cozy environs of their home and return them after 3 weeks? Would it then become l’art pour l’art?
I pick my bags up and come out of the arrival gates expectantly scanning placards. My name does not announce itself out of any placard. “Well,” I think, “maybe I’ll look for a blank placard from the hotel.” I scan all the smart leather (faux??) with gold-letter embossed placards looking for one from the hotel. None meet my roving eye.
My cell phone has run out of juice and is refusing to power up, It can mean only one thing, I can’t call hotel to check whereabouts of promised cab. It also means, I don’t have a pen-and-paper number for the hotel outside de-juiced cell phone. I get into a cab that takes a while to sputter into life. Soon, and by which I mean a good 10 minutes later, we are on our way and cabbie turns to ask for my destination. I say, “Park Sheraton”. Immediately, he asks “saar, marriage-aa saar?” “Wow,” I think, “the fabled Tamil entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking. Cabbie probably wants to earn some extra money on the side by hitching me and some random woman together”. More out of curiosity than out of an inclination to finish the 7 steps around the fire in the 7 days I am going to be in Chennai, I ask in halting Tamil, “So, you want to show me prospective brides?” (more…)
I am beginning to think language and thought might mutually influence each other. To stretch that thought further, I am beginning to believe that language might influence thought, to replace my received wisdom, that states the contrary. Whether I was influenced by the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (SWH) or I independently started believing that is up for debate – but that is immaterial to the rest of the proceedings. Anyway, my belief is based on decades of observation (chuckle) and what I think is insight (to which I then fit my observations to show that my insight is nothing short of genius :)).
I use my observation of Tambrams (Tamil Brahmins) to support my insight, but, the obligatory disclosure before-hand. I am a card-carrying member of the Tambram sub-sub-species, sub-species South Indian Brahmin, genus Brahmin. Yup, the same Tambram club where bare minimum entry criteria mandates a monomaniacal tendency to channel entire personalities and lifestyles towards the singular goal of attaining a clerical job – be it for the British Raj of yesteryears or their new, improved shinier cousins today, the IT /ITES sweatshops. That out of the way, I am also a Tambram whose family has claimed Bangalore as home for over 3 generations; giving me what I mistakenly believe to be the objective distance to evaluate personality attributes of my clansmen through the cultural-linguistic filter of a different sub-culture. (more…)
I was reading this review http://salon.com/books/review/2006/09/05/levitin/ of a book on Salon.com today. Farhad Manjoo has written a review on neuroscientist-record producer Daniel Levitin’s “This is your brain on music”. It got me thinking along many different paths. One path led me to a post-mortem analysis of my failed marriage. Another thought got me questioning the plasticity of human brains. Yet another had me pondering on parallels between a Zen thought and quantum mechanics. I voluntarily capped myself to one last stream of thoughts about our reptilian brains.
What got me thinking about our reptilian brains was this. Levitin has utilized what the reviewer calls an advanced technique to garner evidence that music activates the cerebellum, a.k.a reptilian brain. I get that. What I do not get, however, is a wild flight of fancy that states without any evidence to back it up; that, since the cerebellum is the body’s time-keeper, it picks up rhythm in music. Not content with this one clever piece of grand folk wisdom masquerading as science, there is another wild leap of faith in linking the cerebellum to emotions by a flimsy set of extrapolations. (more…)
Bouncers refused to let me into Hypnos where I have visitation rights for eight hours every 24 hours. Hours ago, my adrenal glands stepped up production and sent thousands of tiny epinephrine packets shooting through my bloodstream. When confronted with this, my adrenaline packets egged me to fight or take flight. I did neither, fortifying bouncers with residual adrenaline in my bloodstream. I had to actively wash it all out to grab some shut-eye.
My physical pain ruled out all somatic activity. I tossed and turned that night trying to decipher and analyze the reasons why people are driven to violent crimes. I rationalized and justified my way through to an oversimplified mattress-couch hypothesis. (more…)
I check-in at Mumbai International airport. I collect my Terraces invitation card. My connecting flight from Bangalore brought me to Mumbai ten minutes after 11. It must be either the Indian propensity to check-in way-too-early or a universal inclination to wallow in the sybaritic comforts of the Terraces lounge. Any which way, three hours before boarding, almost everybody has checked in. I do not get my preferred upper-deck seating from Mumbai to Heathrow. Bloody Awful is not flying a Boeing 747 Jumbo to Newark onwards from Heathrow. I am deprived of an upper deck for the entire journey.
I repress a weary sign of resignation. I collect my embarkation form. I walk to the immigration counters. A long, snaking line has queued up. This makes me happy and weary. Happy, for I can play my favorite ‘people-watching’ game. Weary, for I have to wait for ever. An eternity and half a light-year later, the surliest immigration officer this side of the Suez stamps my passport. I am officially outside India’s borders yet again. (more…)
It was late fall in 2003. I had landed in Amsterdam around 7:00 morning. I was at work in Bangalore till about 4:00 the previous evening. Went home, took a quick shower and packed my toiletries case. Set out at 6:30 PM to check-in for a 20:50 flight to Mumbai (yeah, those prehistoric days without internet check-in). The 20:50 was the only one that the domestic airline would check me in direct from Bangalore onwards to Amsterdam. I arrived in Mumbai a little after 10:00 and my connecting flight was not till 10 to 1 in the morning. I had lots of time to while away at Mumbai ke Chhatrapati Shivaji antarrashtriya hawai adda.
I went into the Clipper Lounge near gate 5 at aforementioned adda. Fortified by spirits, I boarded ‘at my convenience.’ Turning left at plane door, I could discern flight was way short on regular accoutrements I have come to take for granted flying other airlines. Forget the flat bed; the seats did not even have a foot-rest. I had a good seat two rows ahead of the door and was settling in when stewardess came up to request if I would consider switching seats so a family could sit together. I looked at the seat number and agreed assuming the regular Boeing seat configuration. Damned DC-10s. Turned out this seat was next to galley. I was up virtually all night with all those stewardesses darting in and out of galley catering to insomniacs and people of the ‘when-it-is-free-keep-asking-for-more-and-more’ school of thought.
I was groggy from lack of sleep when I landed at Amsterdam. A quick shower at Schiphol’s platinum lounge followed by a double shot of espresso revived me to near-mint condition. Previum makes border entry such a breeze at Schiphol. I was out in no time at all having passed immigration through an iris scan. I carried only an overnighter and my laptop onboard and had no bags to claim at carousel.