Monday, October 30, 2006

lesson learnt: yellow isn’t dirty

I never used to like yellow, n always say ‘dirty yellow’; I don’t say that any more. Not after my trek on Friday. Fall colors were fantastic.

Eleven of us (including guide Mohammad n his wife Arezoo) started from Tehran early in the morning. After taking breakfast break on the way, we reached Taleghan village at around 9.30 am. That was the starting point for our trek. We had to cross the pass to reach the valley which was on the other side. Climb took some 3 hrs I guess, I did reasonably well this time. Descent to the other side was easy, but the funny thing was as the climate was rainy, wet mud was sticking to our boots. It made the shoes heavy, n few girls has bit of tough time there.

Soon we reached the valley n lo!! There was a stream flowing n on both side s of the stream were trees standing tall beautifully, as if someone had painted them with diverse colors! We took snack-n-photography break, n then started walking alongside the stream, feasting our eyes with lovely fall colors.

It was drizzling, cloudy; n there was background music of thunders for this lovely drama. The pro photographers in the group were waiting to catch the lightning in their cams. There was bit of snowfall too. On the way we saw many wild cherry trees & plucked cherries. There were walnut trees too. After reaching Hasanjoon village (our destination) we headed back to Tehran.

The group was very good. There were 2 or 3 pro photographers who’d come to capture fall pictures. There were students too. There was a journalist, who had done a linguistic course in Germany. We had nice chat about lots of things while the bus was moving in snail’s pace, thanks to the heavy traffic on the highway. We spoke about languages, Iran, India, n what not.

I got reminded of the song Veni mentioned in her blog recently - ಆ ಮೇರು ಈ ಮೇರು ಆಸೆಯ ಹೂ ತೇರು… ತುಂಬೈತೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾ ಎಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಬಣ್ಣಾ!!

Because of the hide-n-seek of rain n sun, we got to see rainbow for sometime. In Farsi, rainbow is ‘rangeen kamUn’ which means ‘colorful arch’. Isn’t it similar to our ‘kaamanabillu’?

It was a good trek. And yes, I like yellow now.

Fantastic photograghs by Oshin D. Zakarian. They really are photographs, not paintings.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

ramzan experience in (so-called islamic republic of) iran

I came to Tehran on 25th of September this time (which is my third trip). I was bit apprehensive this time, as the holy (no, I mean it) month of Ramadan, or Ramzan as we call it in India, had just started. To add to that, there were mails from HR about the rules; like how we are not going to get any lunch & things in office, and we should not eat n drink in office, etc etc…

There was no coffee in the office. No lunch, no tea, nothing. We started finding alternatives. Soon the vending machine in the reception started making nice money; but we couldn’t have coffee in front of the building like we used to do earlier. So we started going to the backyard of the building where many generators, n such machines are kept. Picture a den where the climax-fight is done in a Tamil movie, the place looked something like that. That place was used as coffee area, smoking zone (oh, one can’t even smoke in public in Ramadan month), and discussion room. Discussion room because it’s a known fact that wherever there are stimulants like caffeine n nicotine, ideas are bound to flow.

Well, why all these rules? Because our respected Iranian colleagues would be fasting; and it’s not nice to eat & drink in front of them. That’s sin. But the question is ‘were they actually fasting?’ We were surprised to know that only 2% of our staff were fasting!! Younger generation of Tehran doesn’t fast at all. Only people who were seen fasting were old ladies who are pantry staff, and old drivers.

That’s about office. Our office is bit conservative type as Iran government is 51% stakeholder.

It’s the same scene outside. You can’t eat/drink/smoke in public. Restaurants, coffee shops are closed till 6 pm. But people are busy buying sandwiches, cakes, n stuff from supermarkets, and rotis from baker houses. I heard that only 10% Iran population fasts, don’t know if it’s true!!

Well, the point is ‘what you see is not what you get in Iran’. People have entirely different lives than what they seem they have. I know, Iran is pictured n shown as conservative, extreme-Islamic country. But the truth is only the government is extreme-Islamic. The people are not. The rules are imposed on them. Their religion is Islam, but their culture is Persian or Farsi. [Farsi is a religion which is extinct here now. We have quite a few Farsis in India; Tatas, Azim Premji, Boman Irani… to name a few.]

These days I often hear/read in the news that the president of Iran is becoming kattar day by day. But as I said it’s only he and his government. I am very interested in the future of social and cultural Iran.

ps: These days I was often questioned ‘do you have any fasting like this in your religion?’ I get reminded of the software engineer girls in the MNCs who fast on 'samkashti' days.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

ಓದುವ ಸುಖ, ಮತ್ತು ಬರೆಯುವ ಕಷ್ಟ

ನಾನು ಯಾವಾಗ್ಲೂ ಅಂದ್ಕೊಳ್ಳೋದು ಈ ಬರೆಯೋರೆಲ್ಲ ಹೇಗೆ ಬರೀತಾರೆ ಅಂತ!! ನಾಲ್ಕು ವರ್ಷದಿಂದ ಪ್ರತೀ ವಾರ ತಪ್ಪದೇ ವಿಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ ಬರೆಯೋ ಶ್ರೀವತ್ಸ ಜೋಶಿ, ಸಾವಿರ ಪುಟಗಳ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಬರಿಯೋ SLB.. ಇವ್ರಿಗೆಲ್ಲಾ ಬೇಜಾರು, ಸೋಮಾರಿತನ ಒಂದೂ ಇಲ್ವಾ? ನನ್ಗಂತೂ ತಿಂಗಳಿಗೊಂದು ಸಲ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಸಾಲು ಕುಟ್ಟೋದೇ ಕಷ್ಟ. ಆದ್ರೆ ನಾನು ಹೋದ ಸಲ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ update ಮಾಡಿದ್ಮೇಲೆ at least 15 ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಓದಿರ್ಬೋದು, ಲೆಕ್ಕ ಇಟ್ಕೊಂಡಿಲ್ಲ.. ಬರೆಯೋ ಕಷ್ಟ ಯಾರಿಗ್ಬೇಕು ಓದುವ ಸುಖ ಇರುವಾಗ!! ಎಲ್ರೂ ಬರೀತಾ ಇದ್ರೆ ಅದನ್ನೆಲ್ಲಾ ಓದೋರು ಬೇಕಲ್ಲ?

ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ಓದಿದ್ದು:

ಸಾರ್ಥ: ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಈ latest but one ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗೋಸ್ಕರ ಇಡೀ ಬೆಂಗ್ಳೂರು ಸುತ್ತಿದ್ರೂ no luck!! ಎಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಳಿದ್ರೂ out of print. ಆಮೇಲೆ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾದಿಂದ ಇರಾನಿಗೆ ಹಾರಿಬಂತು ಸತೀಶ್ ದಯೆಯಿಂದ.
typical SLB subject. strong female character Chandrika, ತನಗೆ ಏನು ಬೇಕು ಅಂತಾನೇ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ದೊ ಇರೋ , ಸಂನ್ಯಾಸದ ಕಡೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಆಮೇಲೆ ಕೊನಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಸಾರಿಯಾಗುವ ನಾಗಭಟ್ಟ. ಸಾರ್ಥ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಏನು ಅಂತ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಓದುವ ಮೊದ್ಲು ಗೊತ್ತಿರ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ, ಅದನ್ನ ಬದುಕಿಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಪ್ರತಿಮೆಯಾಗಿ use ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಮಂಡನಮಿಶ್ರ ಮತ್ತು ಶಂಕರಾಚಾರ್ಯರ ಸಂವಾದ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ.

ವಸುಧೇಂದ್ರರ ಕಥಾಸಂಕಲನಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳು: ವಸುಧೇಂದ್ರರ ಬರಹಗಳನ್ನು ದಟ್ಸ್ ಕನ್ನಡ.ಕಾಂನಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಿದಾಗ್ಲೇ ಇಷ್ಟ ಆಗಿತ್ತು. ಈವಾಗಂತೂ ನಾನು great fan!! ಯುಗಾದಿ, ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಸಾರ್ ಕೋತಿಗಳು, ನಮ್ಮಮ್ಮ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ನಂಗಿಷ್ಟ, ಮಿಥುನ (ತೆಲುಗು ಕತೆಗಳ ಅನುವಾದ) ಓದಿದೆ. ತುಂಬಾ touching, down-to-earth style. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲೇ ಹೇಳ್ಬೇಕಂದ್ರೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಆಪ್ತವಾಗುವ ನಿರೂಪಣೆ, ಓದ್ತಾ ಇದ್ರೆ ನಮ್ಮದೇ, ನಮ್ಮ ಊರಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದದ್ದೇ ಕತೆಯೇನೋ ಅನ್ನುವ feeling. ರಾಜ್ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಸತ್ತಾಗ ಅವ್ರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಾವಿರದೆಂಟು ಲೇಖನ ಓದಿದ್ದೆ, ಅದ್ರಲ್ಲಿ ತುಂಬ ಇಷ್ಟ ಆದದ್ದು ವಸುಧೇಂದ್ರರ ಈ ಲೀಖನ. ಈ ಲೇಖನದಲ್ಲಿರುವಷ್ಟು force, ಭಾವನಾತೀವ್ರತೆ ಬೇರೆ ಯಾರ ಬರಹದಲ್ಲೂ ಇರ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ.

'ಮನೀಷೆ', 'ಚೇಳು' are in yet-to-read list. i can't wait to read them.

ಎ ಎನ್ ಮೂರ್ತಿರಾವ್: ANMR is one my all-time favorites('ದೇವರು' ಓದಿದ ಕಾಲದಿಂದ). ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ಓದಿದ್ದು:

ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು-ಪತ್ರಗಳು - ಇದು one-of-it's kind book. ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಮೊದಲ ಭಾಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವರ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದ ಕೆಲವು important ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳ ಪರಿಚಯ. ಎರಡನೇ ಭಾಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವರು ಬರೆದ ಪತ್ರಗಳ collection - ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಅವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತ ತೀ.ನಂ.ಶ್ರೀಕಂಠಯ್ಯನವರಿಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅವರ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಬರೆದ ಪತ್ರಗಳು. ಇದ್ರಲ್ಲಿ ನನಗೆ ಇಷ್ಟ ಆದದ್ದು ANMR ತೀ.ನಂ.ಶ್ರೀಗೆ ಬರೆದ ಪತ್ರಗಳು - ಇಬ್ಬರು ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರಲ್ಲಿ ಬರಬಹುದಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ emotionಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ - ಒಬ್ಬರು ಬೇಜಾರು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು, ಅವರಿಗೆ ಬೇಸರ ಆಯ್ತಲ್ಲ ಅಂತ ಇನ್ನೊಬ್ರು ತುಂಬ ನೊಂದುಕೊಳ್ಳೋದು, ಹಾಸ್ಯ, ಕಾಲೆಳೆಯುವಿಕೆ, ಹುಸಿಸಿಟ್ಟು, ಎಲ್ಲಾ... the reader can feel the depth of their friendship.

ಅಪರವಯಸ್ಕನ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾಯಾತ್ರೆ - ಇದು ಪ್ರವಾಸಕಥನ ಅಲ್ಲ ಅಂತ ಅವರೇ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಪ್ರವಾಸವಿವರದ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ತನ್ನ ದಿನಚರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಬೇರೆ ವಿಷಯಗಳು, ಏನನ್ನೋ ನೋಡಿ-ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ ಅವರಿಗೆ ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬಂದ ಬೇರೆ ಏನೋ ಘಟನೆಗಳು, ಎಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಸಮಗ್ರ ಲಲಿತಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳು - ಇದನ್ನು ಇನ್ನೂ ಓದಿ ಮುಗ್ಸಿಲ್ಲ. so far so good.

ANMR ಶೈಲಿ ತುಂಬಾ polite. 'ದೇವರು'ದಲ್ಲಿ ದೇವರಿಲ್ಲ ಅಂತ ಬರೆದಾಗ್ಲೂ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನು ಹೇಳಿದ್ಮೇಲೆ ಮುಗೀತು, ದೇವ್ರು ಇಲ್ವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಅನ್ನುವ authority ಇಲ್ಲ, ನನ್ಗೆ ಹೀಗೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತೆ ಅನ್ನುವ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ ಅಷ್ಟೆ. AMNR ದೊಡ್ಡ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರು, Enlgish literature, Bible ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅವ್ರಷ್ಟು ಯಾರಿಗೂ ಪಾಂಡಿತ್ಯ ಇರಲಿಕ್ಕಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದ್ರೂ common person ತರ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಮತ್ತೆ ಅವರ ಬರಹಗಳು ತುಂಬ lively - ತಮ್ಮನ್ನು ತಾವು ಸೋಮಾರಿ ಅಂತ ಬೈದುಕೊಳ್ಳೋದು, ತಮಾಷೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಎಲ್ಲ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಉಂಟು.

that's all for now. :-)