Sunday, February 28, 2010



One post about my feelings for Chilean earthquake.. and I feel justified. I have done something about it. Written it in my blog. Vented my thoughts.

Vent your feelings, vent your anger, vent your frustration; so the modern society says. And I have fallen smack in that trap.

The underlying story is, vent it so you don't have to do anything about it. So you feel you atleast did something about it.


Today at 4am in the morning, my mother called me up telling me that there is a tsumani warning all across the Pacific area, which would include Christchurch too. After the earthquake in Chile which was 8.8 on the richter scale, there were some apparent movement in the ocean. My mother called to confirm that I am aware of it and you know, just in case I was planning on going to the beach today.

The next day I woke up and went to church and there was a prayer for Chile. Then we sang the songs we rehearsed. And it all went well. And then I went home, updated my facebook profile status:
"Watched the movie Knowing about earth being destroyed when there was a slight shift in the cosmology of the universe, just before I slept. Got a call at 4am from my mum telling me the Pacific area has received Tsumani warning after the Chile earthquake. Couldn't have been a more appropriate timing. PS. Did tell her Christchurch city is about 5km away from the sea."

After typing it, I was ashamed of myself.

People died in Chile. People are dying in Chile. Here was I in a different planet altogether, unbothered by it, only except that my mother called me and warned me about it and I related it to a movie I watched last night.

I was tempted to delete the post on facebook, but I didn't. If I am like that, then maybe people should also see it and think of me that way.

But the more I thought about it, I realised there is nothing I can do here. My church prayed for it, and I wish we did more. Or maybe I wish that because I know we can't do anything. Because everyday I walk across people who need help and I don't even think once of helping them.


of wardrobe

Walked back home. Stared at my room. Knowing another four/five hours will pass here as soon as I sit down on the table. Heated some take away dinner in the microwave.

Played some music. From my ipod. Took me away from here and now. Gladly I obliged. Life is beautiful, I know. But sometimes, there is nothing like escaping for a bit.

I feel Sirion awaits me. Like a patient dream waiting for me to come and undress it.

But I just can't start. I just don't know how to switch it on. The wardrobe to escape through. Where is it?

Friday, February 26, 2010


Listening to Hogwart's Hymn and Aisaan tera hoga (Muhammad Rafi), plugging my ipod into the speakers at my workplace-for-the-week. My boss has taken off for an hour for a meeting. Not that it is stifling when he is here, it really is not. He must be the epitome of freelance workers. Disciplined and takes break whenever he wants to. How great it would be if I could set up studio space in my place and just make money from here and do what I want?

Been a good experience being here at Lovelight Productions.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

About Reading

What is the secret to reading a book and finishing it? I am no expert in finishing a book from cover to cover, because I always find another book that I'd rather devote my time to reading instead, but I think the secret is urgency. Even the best books can drift away to slackness if it is read too slow.

That was how I finished Goblet of Fire in a day. About a thousand paged book in one day is my official record so far. I am still reading Midnight Children and I hope I am not taking it too slow so that I start to lose interest. It is crazily, ridiculously well written. This book set the standards for all Indian English writers after it got released. Ground shatteringly written I have to say. Another book I would have said the same of is 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy; except that I never finished the book. Blame my slow reading habit. I had to return the book back to the library and I had taken a month's time to read it. While I also was reading some other books simultaneously.

Reading is not a discipline, if I were to only enjoy doing it. But if I want to learn the art of story telling and why and how books become so important to people as they are, I need to train myself to read more efficiently and not solely for the sake of pleasure.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

At Lovelight Productions

Interning at Lovelight Productions happening very well. I get coffee here. That works!

Every hour and minute I spend working here is recorded so I cannot be writing too much here.

I just used 3 dollars worth of time to update my blog here. hahaha.

Nah just kidding. It's not that serious..
But I can't wait to get a full job though.

Check out Lovelight Productions website
While I am here I am also working on rebranding and re-designing Craig's business cards, their letterheads and their website background.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I refuse to get over Tokyo Story.

"And the loyalty of those who love [Ozu]'s work is as absolute as his own conviction."

I refuse to get over Tokyo Story. I think its the sort of movie that changes lives. In the same way that Bicycle Thieves changed Satyajit Ray's life and turned him into a film maker. And I am in no way comparing myself with Ray, but Tokyo Story is a film that caught my heart so much. I am afraid of even seeing more of Ozu's work because I am even afraid I might get used to his style and get too comfortable and familiar with them.

He is known as the master of slow cinema. Slow cinema. The same genre that my heart really has for Sirion Diaries in the graphic novel medium. The sort of stories that most people just don't get. Stories that don't balk on drama and action. But a slow paced camera work, power dialogues, subtle music..

Things like that.

I refuse to get over Tokyo Story.

Praise for Tokyo Story- the only film in my life that made me cry

"If in our century something sacred still existed... if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the director Yasujiro Ozu."

Tokyo Story is a treasure. I am speechless now. The film just ended about ten minutes ago. And I feel like I just woke from the saddest and yet the most relishing dream I ever had.

The tunes still play in my head. The mother is still smiling, telling herself that she should be happy. The father is telling himself, "so des ne.." it will all be alright. All is good. The incense still burns slowly in the room, pouring out soft steady ribbons of smoke.

THe film is about a couple who went to Tokyo to visit their children who have moved away from home after getting married and got their jobs. Tokyo, the industry town, the big city, where there are too many people, where people are always busy. 'Children change when they grow up' and the couple tell themselves 'we ought to be proud of what they have become'. But there has been a drift between them. Somehow life has made them all selfish. Somehow they have all become strangers.

I guess I saw myself in the children. I guess there was too much in the way the mother and father still trusted them even though it had become too obvious that they were taking backseats in their children's lives. The way the parents convinced themselves they have brought up fine children and done what they could. As they sit on the water's edge.

"I wonder what Kyoko is doing now," the father says dreamily (Kyoko is the youngest daughter who still lives with her parents at their hometown). He and his wife have been to Tokyo and were conveniently sent to a hot springs just so the children can have them out of the way for a while as they attend to their businesses.
"You are missing home already.." the mother says. The father laughs slowly. "I think it's time to go home. We have seen Tokyo, we have seen Atami (hot springs). Let's go home today.."

This is a film that should not be watched by too many people. It is a film that should not become too popular.

A treasure.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


You can sense the tension in the air. All the boxes are being sorted. All the printers going awry. There is a myth in D&A that printers are jinxed and ALWAYS (ALWAYS, literally) printers screw up a few days before exhibition day, when the need for printing and a dependable printer is greatest.

The same has happened today. More groans from the class. Denise hurries in and out of the room.

The tension, you can taste on the tip of your tongue. Some are shuffling at their keyboards trying to get an unfinished project out of their way.

As for me, my mind is blurred. I don't know what to do first. WHat to start with. That's bad when you know you need to be doing something already. It's not being disorganised. I have lists and priority lists that I have made again and again just to make sure. All my projects are handed in. I only got to prepare for the exhibition wall.

Anyway. I shouldn't be writing here. Keri Ann, Becks and Amber are mumbling to themselves. I can see Raj's reflection on my screen as I type, as he stuck his boards and sighing all along.

Got to go now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Harry Potter sound tracks

I always listen to sound tracks from Harry Potter, by John Williams for the Sorcerer's Stone and Prizoner of Azkaban, by Nicholas Hooper for Half Blood Prince and another composer for the Goblet of Fire (I just forgot the name of the composer). Also I listen to Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings sound track, I used to be so mad about them one time. Now I am just so engrossed in the Harry Potter sounds so that LOTR music has taken a bit of a back seat. Nothing judgmental. Just a change of tone.
Also I have Stardust music, by Ilan Iskeri. That's good too. But for now I am all Harry Potter.

And in the mean time, also reading the Deathly Hallows. Awesome!!!

My favourite tracks are:
Harry Potter Theme by John Williams
Hedwig Theme
Mischief Managed
The Black Lake
Hogwart's Hymn
Wizarding Wheezes
Slug Party
When Ginny Kissed Harry
Harry and Hermione
In Noctem
Farewell Aragog

I wish I can get my hands on the rest of the sound for all the films, from Sorcerer's Stone to Half Blood Prince. Anyone know where I can download them, for free??


What happened last night? He asks himself, grabbing on to the coffee mug as he watches through the window, sea gulls and pigeons that litter the square take off disturbed by a passing throng of Asian tourists. He welcomes the hot wave of coffee steam that floated from his cup and drifted into his nose, misting up his glasses a little, that enters his senses and caresses his aching head.
In the flurry of the moment, he hadn't thought. Drunk as though by cheap wine and lured by a bait that he winced to think of now, last night had happened so unknowingly. Like going through a dream that one thinks will not in any way affect his real life.
But now as he sits and wakes, thanks to hot coffee, he realises he can't forget it.
What sort of curse will last night's foolishness bring? What sort of ill fortune will it bear? He can almost feel the weight of darkness pregnant and ready to give birth. In the back of his consciousness.
Starbuck's Long Black isn't helping either. He stares at the writing that barista's have the habit of doing, Have a awesome day! (and a smiley).
He swears under his breath. Swearing makes him feel better. Not in a good way, but because it reminds him that he doesn't care about it. Damn it all. I don't care. Fuck off. Maybe if he says that long enough and convincing enough his remorse will go away. Maybe he will even stop caring about it. After all he is only fighting against himself.
harper collins

Monday, February 15, 2010

les paul

ok officially i am sick of hearing the song Sweet Child O Mine from the next room, whining away from that brand new Les Paul guitar. go get a life already!


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Saturday, February 13, 2010

from Penguin

Penguin New Zealand wrote back to my enquiry and said they don't publish graphic novels, sorry. Probably will hear the same from Penguin India.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Last minute gang

Last minute gang is here in class working hard, about time, on our exhibition! What fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some sayings from the book The Bazaars Of Istanbul

Take your meals together with your family, because such meals have the blessings of Allah. (an Islamic prophet)
Leave your village, but do not let your village leave you. (an Afghan proverb)

caught smoking

photographer having a good time at our graduation exhibition photoshoot:

haha a very old photo back in the days when i used to smoke and was pretty out there..


Olive Oil packaging

Denise liKEs my Olive Oil packaging design! wow.

That was boost to my idea that I am no good in packaging! Well I got to work on my typography and texts but she loves the idea of getting inspiration from colin mc cahon and rough-ish brush works!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monsieur Lambert (Jean-Jacques Sempe)

"We picked up the threads of our lives again. Lambert said little, but we knew our friendship did him good. Because with men, it's friendship that counts. Friendship matters more than anything. As everyone knows, all life's troubles are caused by women." (page 51)

"There's one thing we've always been passionate about: football. We all used to play. We thought nothing of women compared to football. And we still don't. When compared with football, women meant nothing. They still don't." (page 55)

"Footbal has always been our life. It's the team spirits that matters (women don't know nothing about team spirit). Football is eleven good mates who enjoy getting together for a game." (page 56)

From Monsieur Lambert, a graphic novel written by Jean-Jacques Sempe about what happens in a cafe bistro every day, about how a character named Lambert one day did not show up for his regular lunch one day that got his friends and table mates wondering what had happened to him.

It clearly is a story reflecting how the middle aged men begins to think of women and how they think women certainly don't match up in importance compared with their interests. There are also recollections when in their youthful days, women meant the world to them, when they were quite mad about it and spent many stories in recollecting delights about their history and their ladies.

It is a warm story about conversations over lunch about football, women and politics, the three concerns of all men, universally.

The book begins with a picture of the menu that they have at the cafe with the price list. ANd also noted through out the book is the change in specials everyday and how the men looked forward to some days while some days they just don't bother to enjoy them.

These sort of books, in my opinion, should get way more acclaim than all those stupid bullshit superhero comics (excuse the word there). It's sniffed out of real life and still entertaining (if you ask).

Monday, February 8, 2010

3 Idiots review (and a bit of Inglorious Basterds)

Last night (rather, yesterday) I watched two good films.

One of them, that I have seen already but I watched again. Inglorious Basterds. I think it's that sort of film that I will keep coming back to watch again and again. From the music to the fonts they use to the camera angles they use to the dialogues made to the movement and pace of the story to the camera movement, I love it!

Another one, 3 Idiots, an Indian movie is clearly another crowd pleasure, a coming of age film. For Indian standards I have to applaud it, and looking at it from that way I guess a film made in India need to be atleast in some way a sort of a crowd pleaser. But concept and theme of the story is nothing new. Follow your heart. Do what you want. Like no one has ever thought of such a genuis idea in the past.

You do tend to sit to the end and wonder what happened to Aamir Khan's character. That is a good story line and I like it. If there are some elements that I had to wince through, they were:

1. the scenes where the birth of a new baby happened in a flooded room where they made portable electric connections to run a vacuum cleaner to suck out the baby from between the mother's legs. Tell me how (with all the naked wires and all) the people executing this bizarre experiment as well as the mother and baby in a flooded room (water till the ankles atleast) could survive in such a situation, only Hindi films can witness to.
2. the baby kicking in the mother's tummy every time people mention the line: all is well. Rather I am quite yucked out by how Aamir Khan, such a serious critic of the society, can fall for thinking stupid ideas like this can keep the story interesting. Something a little more smarter would have done better justice.

But all negativity aside, I simply loved the scenes of Shimla (the Mall and the roads there) showing grand views of the Himalayas. It almost looked not India. But surprise surprise, viola! India is beautiful too. The flash back scenes of Aamir Khan's history was beautiful. Old school and old uniforms against the Himalayan sky.

OH! And the most beautiful part of the film! The choreography for the song 'Zoobi Doobi' is probably probably one of my favourite Bollywood song scenes. Probably even my favourite. A feast to the eye. Not overdone, like Saawariya is. Not underdone like most Salmaan Khan movies. Just beautiful. It inspired thousands of scenes for Sirion Diaries. Will they appear on paper for real? I don't know. Let's see. (hehe!)

Kareena Kapoor is surprisingly beautiful in the movie. Not pretentious. Not over styled like she always is. She's got charisma. And probably because she is intentionally understyled, maybe she suits. (and its a compliment).

Aamir Khan is good. As usual. The supporting characters (even the nerd guy) are delightful and fun. Bomani Irani is good. Even almost lovable and still scary you-don't-want-to-get-on-his-wrong-side types.

(HAHA I haven't done this for so long! Write an almost proper film review on a film, not to mention a Bollywood film.)

I hear 3 Idiots is doing very well across the earth. Australia, USA and England. That's nice.

Not the favourite student in class

The reason I opened this blog now, this morning, is because I was chatting with Denise (my tutor) for a bit, running through my portfolio (which is about done by the way!) and she liked the stuff in there. Then also remarked on how she likes my use of typography because I challenge ideas on how words are supposed to look pretty.

And also Raj hated my 'Design Anarchy' project when I displayed it right on my wall, and since he sits near me, everyday he sees and it and he told me 'it depresses me..'. I couldn't believe it. I mean I am no sadist to be happy that my design depresses him, but still then, that was exactly what I wanted people to respond to that particular design.

Design Anarchy is about the degradation of corporate design and how pretty images and feel good designs are used to compel potential customers to buy whatever products that the design is selling. It is not a happy scene. And that was what I wanted to achieve with the design.

I used yellow and black and lots of dotted graphics to show the monotony (and yellow was for bland, tasteless and machine produced creativity/designs). It was definitely one of my most strongest design I ever achieved in D&A.

Anyway, coming back to what Denise said, I am not the favourite student in class. I almost always need an extension for submission and I am one of the few people who you will see on the last few days before submission, slaving away to complete it working extra time at class. (Well I have to say I like doing it. I like living on the edge in this way.) But I am glad that I am being recognised to having my own style and being the one to do things differently to challenge and experiment designs.

But yeah, got to keep reminding myself, as I learnt from Madam Machun in my first year at college, doing Mass Media in Shillong: You need to learn the rules first to break them.

{Design Anarchy
"to purify our works of money is both hypocritical and in vain."
"the straight line is godless and immoral."
"what design needs is ten years of total turmoil and fuck it all anarchy. after that maybe it will mean something again."
all from the book 'Design Anarchy' by Kalle Lasn}

Saturday, February 6, 2010

about music taste now

I think I am tired of English songs. The poetry and the music of English songs.
I want some songs that I cannot comprehend. A language that I cannot fathom.

That's why I desperately cling to Hindi music for now. It is a relief. Listening to something I can only partially understand.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Cafe

I found a new cafe, well not new, its been there since I came to Christchurch and Belle, our first tutor gets her coffee fix from there everyday, on Hereford Street just behind my house and D&A.
Probably found my new haunt. It's called Mancini's.
Yeah, the same name as the music composer for the movie 'Breakfast At Tiffany's', which in my opinion is the culmination of classy urban lifestyle and coffee (re:breakfast).


Just two days old and Sirion Diaries facebook page has 48 members.
Not bad.
If you are reading this and haven't join. Please do. haha

Thursday, February 4, 2010

About Sirion School

Sirion School is a co-ed international school that lies on the lower reaches of the Himalayas, 5km away from a little known town, Gabalpur and 13km away from the nearest railway station at Murti Colony. It is a full day's travel from Delhi, India.

Sirion School begun in 1897, begun by a man called Kensington who used to own the whole area and used it as a holiday village for the British officials and missionaries during summer. Most of the old buildings were built before the school began (though of course they have been renovated many times).

During the 1890's, Kensington's jute factories in East Bengal were not faring very well, also thanks to the surging Indian independence movements. So he turned his holiday village into a school for boys, catering to British officials, anglo's and missionaries' children and left the country for good, after serving as a Principal for two years.

The school didn't garner much attention and produced good students consistently. It has gone through much change, physically and in its philosophy among other things. And one big change happened when the school became co-educational. But the legacy of its past and its consistency remains and is ingrained into every student that comes and goes from this institution.

The school is marked by four towers, none of them inhabitable though, named after the directions of the winds. And the school houses are also named after them. There are boys and girls dormitories on each of these four divisions.
North Tower is considered the oldest section because the tower and the rooms are least renovated. The symbol is the mountain, because it faces the Himalayas. West Tower's symbol is the pine tree. East Tower boasts of the best view, onto the valley and Lake Hira. Their symbol is the rising sun. South Tower is the most renovated section and boasts of a sparkling new sound recording studio and a mini video studio.

5km from Sirion Gate, lies Gabalpur, the town nearest the school and during weekends and several weekdays Sirion students go and spend their times there, shopping or eating or just enjoying the crowd.

Much of Sirion's population are from around the world from more than 60 countries and one notices a sense of diversity and yet one-ness among its students.

The present Principal is Mr.Baldwin who used to teach History.

Ingrid Bergman

Play it, Sam.
Play it again, for old time's sake.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

About Sirion from the facebook page

Sirion is a world away. If you take the train to Murti Colony and get off where the railway tracks end, gather your wits against the gathering storm of taxi drivers begging you to get in because 'they are just about to go (RIGHT NOW!) to Gabalpur or Sirion School Gate' you are surely on your way there.

As I was saying, you gather your wits against them and make a bargain with one sensible looking one and dump your bags and board a seat in the sumo taxi.

As soon as your sumo goes out of Murti Colony's limits, you start to feel the cool air drift in from your window and rejoice to see you are heading towards the green hills and furthermore the white peaks of Himalayas. A relief from the heat of the plains, though Murti Colony is actually a foothill town, dwindling between plain and hilly.

Gabalpur you will see first. Once you pass the oak forest and roadside tea shops. Gabalpur, on a weekend or a school holiday is overrun with Sirion school kids. It wears a certain tint of sepia. As though you were wearing sepia glasses when your car drove out from the forests into the town streets. The shops are quaint and smirks of old school kitsch. The houses are old and vintage and yet not overly classy in a way its overbearing on you. The town overlooks Lake Hira (which means diamond in Hindi) that sits like a dark jewel between towering mountains, and on a clear sunny day reflects their majesty as though it were her's.

Anyway, before I get carried away let me lead you on. From here you can decide to stay on at Gabalpur and enjoy a cup of tea by the road or coffee at Onesius Cafe or lunch at Arun Hotel or Tibetan momo's at Aunty Corner, or you can decide to go on to Sirion School, because from the Mall, Gabalpur, you can see Sirion's towers shimmering in the sun, way up ahead the mountains and closer to the clouds.

Be wary of the road that leads from here to Sirion Gate. It is only 5 kilometres but it reeks with bandits and rumours of haunted corners. Turpin Bridge, which sits halfway from Gabalpur to school, as the story goes, was the scene of a suicide of a girl from West Tower, Sirion School, more than 50 years ago, and therefore a scene of spooky hauntings. Many have claimed to have seen a girl in a white night gown (could ghost stories get anymore cliche, I have to demand) standing on Turpin Bridge when the night is lit by a full moon and when the gurgling brook below is strangely quiet.

Sirion greets you the moment you reach the pine forests. You can see it nearing as your car picks up speed upon sighting the destination. The towers gleaming in the sun. The windows picking up strands of sunlight. And the sprawling landscape of rolling mountains surrounding it. Atlast you are here. Sirion.

It is a sight. Sirion is.

But don't just stand there and look. Enter, come inside the gates.

"Some dusky afternoon beckon me again.
Warm air shaded by the pine needles beckon again.
People I knew so well call me back.
Towers and lake, gleaming in the moonlight.

They beckon me."

The Stalking Samurai

Scene One: It is a clean evening with soft breze whistling between the crevices and alleyways of a city corner. A woman realises she's been followed by a strange person.
Scene Two: She takes off down the alley towards the cafe.
Samurai looks on.
Woman looks back to see if she is still followed and sighs a relief as she steps indoors, greeted by a warm draft of coffee.
As she sips her fresh brewed coffee she is shaken to see that a shadow yet lurks at her window. A shadow of the stangest manner.
Woman bursts off from the coffee screaming, leaving the coffee to stain the table and the carpet. Outside a taxi conveniently parks under the street light. Thank God!
She gets in and as the car drives away, she watches the dark figure that stalked her stand under the street light and look at her go. She is greatly calmed by the breeze against her face and the shadows of the leaves overhead that falls on her scarved head.
Later, all troubles forgotten she emerges from the bath like a goddess in her secret lair, water dripping from her ivory skin.
And to her deepest shock the shadowy follower had found her, and there it stands on the doorway casting a deep shadow upon her.
What is it? Who is it?
"Got a lighter, ma'am?"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

got lights?

ライター持ってる??(raita- motteru??)

Town Boy and about good stories

I found a comic book called 'Town Boy' by Lat by a Malaysian guy and it is about a boy who grew up in a town called Ipoh in Malaysia, a supposedly new facility with apartments that the government started supplying for the people.

I found the comic extremely beautiful, not just in aesthetics and art but in its simplicity and clarity in showing life in Malaysia at that time. The scene where the hero of the story goes to eat Roti Chanai with the hottest girl in town is my favourite. I stopped and looked at that scene for a long time almost feeling myself there, haha. It is not the most realistic drawing you have ever seen, but it struck me hard.

I brought the comic to Agus, my friend who spent a year or two in Kuching, Malaysia, and he read it, laughing to himself and remembering little things about life then, the food, the street language, people's behaviour. In fact, he is laughing at the pages right now as I type these words.

Good stories do that. They take you away from where you are to another place, a place though imagined, is so real that you can almost smell the air there, almost feel the hero's joys and pains.

I want to do that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

a frustrated blogger

What the heck.

Why are all the friends I follow on blogger AND wordpress blog sites NEVER ever updating their blogs!??

a wall post

I got this facebook wall post from a friend from Singapore who went to Baroda. Made my day. haha

"hey, did i ever tell you?

when i was visiting some history sites around Baroda, my friends told me to pass me off as a northern indian so i could buy a local ticket (10 rs) coz the foreigner ticket was a crazy 200 rs. So er, i adopted Panmei as my family name, and said i was from Shillong for those few hours... hehehehe..

how are you?"

Nicole Khoo