Thursday, October 23, 2014

We Shall Go by the Boltless Doors...

Yes he's imperialist, and racist, and jingoistic, and... Yes, yes, yes! Butbutbut...

This is from Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling. Reviews: (1), (2), (3).

Ruddy is describing his childhood in Bombay.

The garden within the School's compound where Ruddy and the sister who followed him played was afterwards remembered by both children as a lush Eden before the Fall, with flowers 'taller than chimneys' and a well 'where the green parrots lived, and where the white bullocks were always going blindfold round and round drawing up water in red waterpots to keep the roses alive, and the little grey striped squirrels nearly tame enough to eat biscuits out of his hand, used to play about in them.' Along with the cool interiors and harsh sunlight, this sense of closeness to the natural world stayed with Ruddy all his life, returning vividly to mind when he visited South Africa for the first time in 1899:

We shall go by the boltless doors,
    To the life unaltered our childhood knew -
To the naked feet on the cool, dark floors,
    And the high-ceilinged rooms that the Trade blows

To the trumpet-flowers and the moon beyond,
    And the tree-toads' chorus drowning all -
And the lip of the split banana-frond
    That talked us to sleep when we were small.

So something... Gerald Durrell, Ruskin Bond, Kipling... If you get my drift.

Friday, June 06, 2014

IDE Fever

I've spent the last day or two mucking around our codebase after what seems like ages. The peace, the peace...

IDE Fever (with apologies to John Masefield)

I must go down to the IDEs again, to the lonely Eclipse and vi, And all I ask is a version control and a scrum to steer it by; And the code's kick and the keys' song and the algorithm making, And a small class in the correct package, and a new feature baking,

I must go down to the IDEs again, for the call of the code compiled Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a quiet day with the headphone music playing, And the filter coffee and the air conditioning, and no clients/colleagues/boss braying.

I must go down to the IDEs again, to the vagrant techie life, To the slob’s way and the hackers’s way (there goes my chance of a wife); And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-coder, And quiet sleep and RESTful dreams when the release cycle’s over.

With apologies to John Masefield

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

It's Alive

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.
                                                      - from Manual of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan

I woke up to leaden skies and an unaccountable hankering for bacon. Actually that's not true. No hankering for bacon is unaccountable on account of it being brilliant. So off I went and treated myself to eggs, bacon, sausages, waffles, juice and coffee. Even got some work done in a desultory sort of way.

In the evening, a run. The aasthaana kitten sat on the driveway wall and stared incredulously at me. It rained in T. Nagar. A globular, almost malevolent sort of rain which mysteriously stayed west of Mount Road. So the run was no problem, a pell-mell huffpuff through Kotturpuram and IIT. Somewhere, a coppersmith barbet called in the prescribed manner for it. Near the hostel, 3 mongeese crossed the road with great intent, mother mongoose and a couple of mongoslings.

On the way back, T. Nagar bus stand was like Watson's London; the great cesspool into which all the idlers and loungers of the city seemed to have been irresistibly drained. A child of some sort saw the half full Gatorade bottle in my hand and started beseeching me for it saying "Juice anna, juice." It clutched at my legs, almost fell at my feet. I tried to push past, and it persisted. So I shoved it away to the side. I am not sure why I did this. Or maybe I am. The damn thing costs too much.

Meanwhile the rain had started up again, now each malevolent drop was like an uncomfortable question, all cold and remorseless. When it let up, I pushed on down Burkit Road. A pretty girl struggled with her (doubtless semi-globular) umbrella near Venkatnarayana Road. Perhaps she saw me staring.

Perhaps she didn't.

I bought chicken and came home and ate it all up along with a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad. Really, the only question of great pith and moment is: Should one's blog be like Sartre's? Or should it be like David Dhawan's?