Remembering Myself, Travestying Time…and Phonying towards Perfection

Quote #101

It is highly important for us to gain some notion, however imperfect, of the lapse of years. During each of these years, over the whole world, the land and the water has been peopled by hosts of living forms. What an infinite number of generations, which the mind cannot grasp, must have succeeded each other in the long roll of years! Now turn to our richest geological museums, and what a paltry display we behold!

Charles Darwin. The Origin of Species.


Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep. 6: Problems of Mathematics

Being a Rant on the Gross Pretensions of School-book Mathematics.

I dreaded mathematics in school. One of the reasons was that it was a language insufferably alien to me. Another was that there could only be a single right answer (derived along a single path) to a Maths problem atleast for the ones we got in school. Confronted by the quintessential maths problem, the one involving workers and the days they took to build a drasted wall, I would be flummoxed trying to unravel the mysterious solution to this clearly rather taciturn question.

If a worker works 6 hours per day and takes 20 days to finish a wall all by himself, how many days will it take to finish if 3 more workers join him and they work 4 hours a day?

I don’t even know if this is a real question but that’s not the point. The point is I know nothing about those workers. If that single worker was me, I’d probably do less work when in company with three others who’d possibly be yapping politics and gossip as they worked together as a solid team.

Continue reading “Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep. 6: Problems of Mathematics”

Quote #100

You will learn as you get older, just as I learned that autumn, that no father is perfect. Grown-ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets. Some have quirkier quirks and deeper secrets than others, but all of them, including one’s own parents, have two or three private habits hidden up their sleeves that would probably make you gasp if you knew about them.

Danny the Champion of the World. Roald Dahl.

Sketch – 054

Charcoal and graphite on A4 bond lined paper.

Original Source: Facebook

Quote #99

Do not do unto others as you would have they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

George Bernard Shaw. The Collected Works.

My Fave Five Anime

I have nearly no patience for sci-fi and fantasy and elaborate plots. My ideal movie is simple, appears deceptively effortless, and endearing. And that would be invariably of the ‘slice of life’ genre, a quintessential Takahata anime.

1. Isao Takahata, My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)

The experience of watching it was so calming and profound for me, I haven’t seen anything quite like it. And the sparseness of the images which initially seems strange and incomplete somehow adds to its richness and immerses you hypnotically in the everyday foibles of the Yamada family. The way sadness merges with little joys and happy surprises is both familiar and nostalgic, and the haiku intervals elevate the trivial family story to poetic, philosophical realms.

Fave Scene: Little Nonoko is inadvertently left behind by her family at a shopping mall. But she comforts a fellow ‘lost boy’ saying “My father and mother and grandma and brother all got lost” and happily helps him register a complaint at the mall because, obviously, his ‘lost mother’ is easier to find than her entire lost family.

2. Takahata, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

The length of the film and the ending are the only cons of the movie. As for the pros, the beauty of the visuals alone is enough to be a must-watch. The style is similar to The Yamadas, in figure drawing, especially, but Kaguya gives more attention to landscape and story atmosphere. Continue reading “My Fave Five Anime”

Quote #98

The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.

Henri-Frederic Amiel. Amiel’s Journal.

Veins of the Sky


The branches of a leafless tree near Namnang Chho Waterfalls, Sikkim. Yes, trees again! I just realized I don’t click photos of animate things. Only buildings and trees — a poor range of subjects, I guess. Need to branch out more…there, I did it again! branch out?

Quote #97

There is a difference between the South and the North on five points. We shall describe the practices of the South: to eat with a person not having received Brahmanical initiation; to eat with one’s wife; to eat food prepared the previous day; to marry the daughter of the maternal uncle or paternal aunt. And for the North: to sell wool; to drink spirits; to traffic in animals with two rows of teeth; to take up the profession of arms; to make sea voyages.

Baudhāyana (c. 800 BCE) on the Brahmins of northern and southern India. Qtd. in A K Ramanujan’s “Is there an Indian way of thinking?”

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