Tuesday, February 28, 2006

March Madness is here! Bear Down Arizona!

Bear Down Wildcats!!!!

NCAA season is drawing to a close and The Wildcats have been struggling this year. They are seeded 4 at the PAC 10. Fortunately one above Stanford....those annoying creatures!! Lute Olson's Cats can still create a victory...after all...we're used to dramatic finishes.......but....if they make the Sweet Sixteen bracket....*fingers crossed* This thought has been given more fire since Arizona's VICTORY against Stanford last week...making it 3 straight wins. Well ASU was a no brainer....duh..the Sun Devils are no match for us. A wise man once said: "A true Wildcat will never let his/her child become a Sun Devil"...at a commencement ceremony. The applause and cheering lasted a good 15 minutes.

This year, the Wildcats had their task cut out as they had to make up for the loss of ex-seniors Channing Frye and Saliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim Stoudamire. Time for Hassan Adams and Ivan Radenovic to step up.

Salim: 3-pointer dunker from across the bloody court. Very moody. But Oh.So.Good.

Channing: He redefined "Tall". Now plays for the Knicks. Ha!

Hassan: God of Rebounds. He dances around the hoops....in mid-air. Fascinating creature. He's likely to receive the All American honorable mentions.

Ivan: And I thought Channing redefined "Tall". I remember cranking up my neck to look at his face once. Excellent team player.

And of course holding these gems together is the allmighty Lute Olson. I remember during the Midnight Madness in 2004 (season kickoff celebration at Arizona), all of us in the stadium broke out in a low guttaral chant of "Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute". He is the best coach Az has ever had. I rememebr meeting him at McKale center once and freezing in awe.

There are two more matches to go before the conference ends and the March Madness games begin. But as far as I'm concerned AZ has already won an important victory by defeating Stanford (which is still mourning the loss of Josh Childress..haha!...suckers) Anything to wipe the memory of the 2004 PAC-10 buzzer beater defeat against them at home court. I cant forget that day. K and I were watching the game at home....3.4 seconds to go. We were on a one point lead (79-78). Me and K were almost ready to celebrate a sweet victory. Suddenly one of the Stanford guys (I forget which)....attempts a 3 pointer from center court. And it goes in! Holy Fuck. We were shocked out of our brains. We were mouthing " I cant believe that just happend" for a good 2 hours afterwards. But all's well that ends well. We've answered back beautifully to Stanford subsequently.

Alrite...GOOD LUCK MY WILDCATS!!! Bear Down!!

-Amrita "ROOAAAARRRR" Rajagopal

P.S: I know i'm in Columbia now....but old loyalties dont die.
P.P.S: Ivy League sucks for basketball anyway.

Current mood: Racking my brain...

Disclaimer: Pop music haters stay away.

...it's coming to me....almost there...
...The chorus rythms for "Drop me in the middle" by Natasha Bedingfield....sound like a tune i've heard before....way back...when I was in school.
...Jeeez....it's annoying to be able to hear a song but not know what it is....

And yeah...grading 40 Perl assignments and 60 Java assignments over the period of 2 days is not helping the thought process.


Monday, February 27, 2006

A prayer...

Cancer: The word sends a shiver down my spine.

Wikipedia states that "In the USA and other developed countries, cancer is presently responsible for about 25% of all deaths. On a yearly basis, 0.5% of the population is diagnosed with cancer."

I lost my grandmother to this disease a decade ago. My middle-namesake. Valli. A fiery spirit. Multilingual. Intellecutal. Brilliant. Her wisdom was beyond boundaries. She had something new and wise to share with us kids everyday. I miss her...though I can barely remember her voice now.

And now the same disease is afflicting so many people around me. My best friend's dad (who's the sweetest person ever), a friend, another friend's grandad, some more friends....

So I send out a prayer....
And positivity....
And I hope for a miracle for some....
ॐ भूर्भुवस्वः ।
तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं ।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Love, life, faith and hope....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What's playing?

"Mora Saiyan" by Fuzon

Recommended by a friend. Excellent song!!! Been playing on repeat mode for a few weeks now.

Fuzon is a Pakistani band who've produced some excellent sufi/classical tunes. They have followed up the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's musical trend, aided on by fellow musicians like "Strings". Anyway...check out the lyrics..really pretty. Though the one thing I dont like about the song is that the beginning music...for the first 25-30 seconds is a copy of Ace of Base's "Angel Eyes". Considering that's from the early 90's...not many people would complain. I was a huge fan of Ace of Base through school...which is why I probably recognized the tune. But the rest of the song is a classical joy. Very bluesy too.

"saawan beeto jaye pe harwa
mann mera ghabraye

ayso gaye pardes piya tum
chaain humai nahi aaye

mora saaiyan moh sey bole na
mai laakh jatan kar haari
laakh jatan kar haar rahi

mora saaiyan moh sey bole na

tu jo nahi to aise piya hum
jaise soona aanganaa

nain tehaari rah neeharey
nain-nan ko tarsao na

mora saaiyan moh sey bole na
mai laakh jatan kar haari
laakh jatan kar haar rahi

mora saaiyan moh sey bole na

pyar tumhai kitna karte hain
tum ye samajh nahi pao gay

jab hum na honge to peharwa
bolo kya tab aao gay

mora saaiyan moh sey bole na
mai laakh jatan kar haari
laakh jatan kar haar rahi
mora saaiyan moh sey bole na
mai laakh jatan kar haari
laakh jatan kar haar rahi"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Incredible !ndia

Pointed out by the folks at Sepia Mutiny! Pretty cool video if I do so say so myself ....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The lengths we go for N.Y. Dosas!!

Frigid NYC. One little Dosa stand. 300 students. Barnard University campus.

It's 30-something degrees Farenheit outside with the wind-chill factor dropping it further, so it feels like 20 degrees. Students are huddled together in a line outside the dosa stand waiting for their turns to taste their own little share of heaven (topped with sambhar and coconut chutney).

This is my first time experiencing the immense pleasure of eating a Thiru Kumar original dosa. I have read about it and am very excited. The problem of course is that dosas take time to be made. So when the initial enthusiasm of meeting friends dies down, the background bhangra music starts sounding like noise, and my fingers and toes start burning....I ask myself...why am I doing this?

A dosa (though only my second favorite compared to idlis) is a divine blessing for us poor desis in firang land who have been bred on them through childhood. So a dosa is no longer just food...it's a Dosa...with a capital D....a boon, a thing of joy...it's my little share of heaven. So even though my body is hating me, I stand in line for 65 minutes and 40 odd seconds, with my friends and the music giving me comfort.

So now I'm face to face with the man himself. He is asking me how spicy I want my dosas. My default answer has always been Medium cos I cant handle the Hot spice level. My excuse: I'm hot enough ;-) So I say 'Medium'. Anyway, Thiru Kumar invites me to share the warmth of his grill thingy and spins out two dosas expertly like it's the most natural task in the world. Up close he is really an adorable little guy and his moustache is impressive!! He is now talking to me about how I should come down to the Village where he usuallly works everyday. So I nod, take his card, thank him for the dosa and scurry in.

While my fingers and toes are waking up, I admire Thiru Kumar's work of art. Cos that's what it is. A dosa as thin as paper and as round as ..well..the moon. Golden in color ...with the potatoes stuffed in the middle. That's the prize that I'm working towards....the reward.

After waiting a few torturous minutes for my friends to arrive...yes...i can be well mannered when I want to be...:P.....we all dig in. Not a word is uttered as we're all immersed deep in such a basic kind of joy.

So does it make sense to wait for 65 minutes and 40 odd seconds in the frigid weather to experience something that lasts about 2 minutes and 30 odd seconds?

My answer: HELL YEAH Machaaan!!!


Song of the day: "Kaasu Mele Kaasu Vandu" ...I dont remember the movie name...but it's got Kamal Haasan and Prabhu Deva.

All my love,

Here's a piccy to tide you over...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Delhi State Emporiums

I found this really cool store called Tibet over the weekend at the UWS. 80th and BWay. It was amazing! Crafts from Nepal and the region. I felt like I was back at the Delhi State Emporiums.

Almost every Indian state has an emporium in Delhi ...near Cannaught Place. Each state emporium show cases the handicrafts of the state. So it's a fantastic way to explore each state. At various times during the year, they have fairs and cultural performances in the emporiums. These are always fun....cos they're so unique.

Oh...there are also bangle makers outside the Rajasthan emporium!! They're very talented. They melt the bangle clay and mould one right there and then proceed to decorate it. It's fascinating.

Delhi also has other emporium style shopping places which make it a very good option for tourists. They dont have to visit every state...they can get everything they want in Delhi! ha! Other places I love: The Central Cottage Emporium, Dilli Haat, Khaadi Gramodyog.

So anyway, Tibet is a cool store. I picked up some stuff.....so a couple of my friends are gonna be receiving packages in the mail... :-)

Songs for the day: I'm back to U2 for a bit...."a woman needs a man...like a fish needs a bicycle"



Monday, February 20, 2006


Quick hit..

This is a very very very cool site. http://www.ning.com/

Tagging has taken on ginormous proportions now...

Alrite...back to work...


So we all know about the wonder of Unisex bathrooms (restrooms for the USians)...especially the generation that watched Ally McBeal!!! Well, it can be a weird/funny idea to have unisex bathrooms at a danceclub. Seriously!!

I went to this dance club called Duvet on Friday night and they had a unisex bathroom. So as you walk in with a drunken stupor, you see both guys and girls around you...so you can't really do the girly stuff except in the privacy of the stalls. But then, that was weird too. The whole place was covered in mirrors...including the stall doors. And.......here's the best part......the stall doors were made of one way mirrors. So from outside, you are just looking at a mirror. But from inside....you can look at everything outside. This can TOTALLY mess with your head when you're buzzed.....believe me!! Jeeeyaazus. So you're in there...and you see people (guys and girls) actually looking in...not really...but that's exactly how it appears. That was scary. And hilarious too. hehehehe.....this guy walks up to the mirror outside my stall and started pasting his hair down..then tucked his shirt in...adjusted his jeans...checked out his butt etc. Oh God....!! I could not stop laughing. ;-)

So anyway...that was a strange experience. On the other hand...Duvet is a good club....plenty of dancing room. And they have sprawling beds which I'm sure can be put to good use. But the DJ needed to balance his act...first he was all techno/disco...then all hip-hop. But the cool thing was that he played some old (2001-03) hip-hop which I totally enjoyed. Hmm...what else? Free vodka for ze ladiez! ;)

Songs for the night: Anything by Led Zeppelin (especially Darlene), Dire Straits and Simon & Garfunkel

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Last Nite, He Said....

Last nite he said
Oh baby I feel so down
When you turn me off
When I feel left out
So I, I turned round
Oh baby don't care no more
I know this for sure
I'm walking out that door

I love this song by The Strokes (And I know I bent the lyrics...for good reason). I have been listening to some of their songs recently....they're ok. But I think I shouldn't have seen the video for 'Juicebox'. That just left a sick feeling in my stomach (Ito, please dont hurt me!).

Moving on...other things on my mind....

(I'm suffering from writer's block right now....so this post is all over the place)

Frigid weather in NYC. After 50s over the week....this is a little much to handle. All the snow's gone surprisingly. Melted really fast considering we had 27 inches of it. ha!

Still no news on Rohan's mystery girl.... :( Spread the word people.

Franz Ferdinand tickets sold out in the presale!!! Fuck...need to try eBay now. Cos I REALLLLLLYYYY want to see them live. April 12th and 13th are the show dates....so if any of you tri-state area peeps wanna join me....lemme know.

Need to plan a trek for March...probably Adirondaks...

Nine West happened again! I have sinned...but I couldn't help it...those shoes were simply crying to be bought! ;-)

Quite a few of my friends have been visiting India of late...some of them are back. Hearing their tales has been so cool...especially if they visited Delhi :-)

Songs of the day
  • "Another Game" by A Sheep At The Wheel
  • "More or Less" by A Sheep At The Wheel
  • "Hung up" by Madonna
  • "Volcano" by Damien Rice
  • "I changed my mind" by Keyshia Cole
  • "Last Nite" by The Strokes
  • Oh and..."Rest In Peace" by Extreme (thanks CK for the nth time...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Please help us find this girl...

Ronniekins has found the love of his life!!! (again...yawn) Please help us identify this mysterious woman of his wet dreams. She was spotted cheering India on during the one day cricket match against Pakistan on 13th Feb 2006.

Girl to the left of the security guy.
Picture: Courtesy BBC.co.uk.

Since seeing her photograph, Rohan's life has changed...he can't think of anything except finding her....

Help our distressed friend!!

Our sincerest gratitude....

~Rohan's friends from around the world.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bits and Pieces

  • I dont get what the big deal about Arctic Monkeys is? Yet...
  • Franz Ferdinand has announced tour dates...and they are playing in New York!! You know what this means dont you? ;-)
  • Ummm.....
  • This is Disturbing!!!
  • I made some kick ass palak paneer (read: spinach with cottage cheese) last night.
  • If I see one more pink teddy bear or heart on the streets today, I'll lose it.
  • Jazz dance in not fun any more...
  • Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights is waaaaaaaayyyyy better than Dirty Dancing.
  • I used up three pairs of socks since yesterday cos of wading through the slush on the streets...YUCK!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Let it SNOW!!!!

NYC turned into Winter Wonderland overnight...making up for a humbug winter...
27 inches of snow...

I was thrilled to bitS!!!! I woke up to a beautiful view of my fire exit and the streets below...COVERED in snow. It was still coming down hard. I was dying to get out of the house though. So when it stopped snowing around 4 pm...I grabbed my camera and ran out to Riverside Park with Pranay. We had such a ball. It was beautiful beyond belief. There were throngs of people outside...sledding...skiing..!!....generally frolicking. No traffic on Riverside Drive ...which was such a rare sight.

I made snow angels in the snow...I cant explain how glorious it was to fall back into a beautiful, unspoilt bed of snow......the snow was a perfect cushion...and then you move your hands and legs to make the angel....hahaha. Pranay thought I'd gone mad...then he tried it himself and couldnt stop...haha! :) We had some snow fights when Ashish showed up....he also tried the snow angels...overall...it was awesome fun to plow through knee high snow. The Park was COVERED!!!!
Any and all hills were turned into sledding slopes....kids and adults were using make shift sleds even to have a go. We wished we had something to sled on...

Of course tomorrow is gonna be a (mess)^2. Slushy and dirty NYC streets are not exactly appealing...but oh well..the fun in the snow today will make up for it me thinks.

Happiness....Oh...and some

Song of the day: "Midnight Express" by Extreme, "Qatra Qatra" from Family OST, the Rang De Basanti OST

Your freezing Coolness

Friday, February 10, 2006

Coming of age...

Grade school...the song and dance performances....the costumes...the teachers (Maggi ma'm who taught us music...Brother Emmanuel..who used to give us treats...)...the classrooms...the brightly colored desks....a Convent education...Montfort School...the best time ever.

Secondary School...three years in hell charading like heaven....Tamil school....culture shock...I did not fit in.....turned into an introverted study bee....lost touch with music and fun...

High School....enter Delhi Public School - R.K.Puram.....deer caught in headlights....but eventually my shell broke....started to have a little fun....dealt with the pressures of entering college...left behind a sea of memories.

Leaving home....built a new life.....found myself...this time leaving Tucson with a gigantic ocean of memories. I was the center of my life...i was the sun...i was in control....

Coming of age...threw myself out there....resilience tested....friendships tested....sanity tested...this is New York City. Grow up....now! How, when I'm still running to stand still?

So many years down the road....I hear my secondary school and high school friends are getting married.....and it hits me!! Married...already? Are you kidding? Then I realize....we're all a group of "Adults" ...ranging from 23-25. Maybe it is that time in your life when you settle down....maybe you dont fight anymore...

....but maybe it's not that time for me yet. I still have some fights to win....milestones to cross....parties to rock....

Maybe I still need to "grow up".


P.S.: Anything by Jack Johnson is GOLD today....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What a haul!!!...

Gorillaz and Madonna on stage togezer!! Zis is awesome....I's has ze video on repeat mode...


Congratulations to "my boys" U2 for a 5 out of 5!! :-) I loved Edge's new tshirt...and Adam's lovely red jacket. Oh....word of advice to Grammy producers...you NEVER cut off Larry!! Oh man...you're in for "two words" now!! My brother freaked out that I knew Edge's guitar tech....when I recognized Dallas crouching on the stage corner during the NEw Orleans tribute. LOL!!

Regrets.....I would have loved to see Keane win Best New Artist.

Song of the day: "Hung Up" by Madonna, "Feel Good Inc" by Gorillaz, "Beautiful Day" by U2, "Sound Check" by Gorillaz.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Grammys are upon us...

My list of winners (from the nominations available) are as follows:

Record of the year: "Feel Good Inc" by Gorillaz
Album of the year: "How to dismantle an atomic bomb" by U2
Song of the year: "Sometimes you cant make it on your own" by U2
Best new artist: Keane
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: "It's Like That" by Mariah Carey
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" by Jack Johnson
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: "All these things that I've done" by The Killers
Best Rock Song: "City of Blinding Lights" by U2
Best Rock Album: "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" by U2
Best Alternative Music Album: "Funeral" by The Arcade Fire
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "1 Thing" by Amerie
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: "So What The Fuss" by Stevie Wonder

Let's hope the Grammys dont suck this time around....I cant watch the show as I have Kathak class...and no TV ...even though I can technically crash my bro's apt.

Happy Birthday to the prettiest little girl i know...and one of my greatest friends...aBee! :P :) (he's gonna kill me).

And a Happy Birthday to the coolest ninja and my soul sister...Ali-kat! :P :)

Ah well....cough syrup making me sleeeeeeeeepy ...zzzz.....so will go.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Need some sleep!

The coughing wont stop...so I cant really sleep....zombied......ugh! This sucks a little bit. The doc cudnt figure anything out except that I should buy a humidifier for my room....which I finally did. My nostrils are happy. ha!

BOOYAH Boston!!

Boston was superb fun! Met so many friends....it was excellent!! Ships frm high school, Tapan from Arizona, Seema n Sameer frm Boston, Keshav frm Delhi....and Ships' friends (Anila, Charlene). Partied away two nights there. Word of advice...do NOT drink Patent Pending alcohol! We had shots of this thing called After Shock.....baaaaad idea! But soooo goood!! I have no idea how I stumbled onto the Greyhound back home on Sunday morning. But ah well....much fun was had. Here are some pics.


So I also finished reading Digital Fortress. Good book. The ideas are great....and Dan Brown really messes with your mind...and the thrill is almost too much handle. The book goes into a lot of the citizen privacy issues....it was interesting to compare that to Bush's universal phone tap. Necessary evil? Or mass intrusion? I haven't been able to make up my mind about thsi yet. But I'm leaning towards the necessary evil part.

Semester heats up...

And here we go again with homeworks, tests and projects....should be interesting. Grammys this Wednesday....

Songs of the day

- "Be without you" by Mary J Blige
- "Strike" by Nikki Flores
- "Check on it" by Beyonce
- "Freek!" by George Michael
- "Feel Good Inc" by Gorillaz...for the 50 millionth time ;)
....yeah...i'm in the dancing mode.

But I havent forgotten rock/alternative...dont worry...
- "Cash Machine" by Hard-Fi
- "Haiti" by The Arcade Fire
- "Believe me Natalie" by The Killers
- "40'" by Franz Ferdinand

And i'm out...
-Your Coolness

Friday, February 03, 2006


So I'm supposed to leave town later today...and I've fallen really sick....

Not good!

I hope this gets better soon.....Cant even get sleep.....

Hmm....must continue reading Digital Fortress ;) I walked around Manhattan this evening for a couple of hours...enjoying my new iPod...and also the weather. I landed up at Borders at Columbus Circle and just couldn't resist buying Dan Brown's Digital Fortress. I almost also bought Deception Point! ....but decided to pace myself. Hmm...maybe it's the book that's causing the insomnia....or the fact that I was trying to go to sleep astonishingly early in order to wake up early.

Ah well....must try to sleep!

Good night!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

...a tear...

"Bulla, ki jaana maen kaun
Na maen bheth mazhab da paaya
Na maen aadam havva jaaya
Na maen apna naam dharaaya "

In other words:

Bulla I know not who I am…
Nor did I create the difference of faith
Nor did I create Adam and Eve
Nor did I name myself

There are some songs which bring me to the verge of tears....this is one of them. By Rabbi Shergill. "Bulle Ke Jaana" ...Punjabi never sounded as sweet. Why the tears? My heart gets filled with a longing for home....for India...and so much more....which I cant possibly articulate right now.....the damn will burst.

Yes, it's a Happy "emotional" February post.

Two happy things: Got my iPod Nano this morning....it's a sexy little thing, As of yesterday...I'm officially debt-free.....feels awesome....now I can justify future trips and concerts!!!

~Ammu Rajagopal