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Archive for February, 2008

Calvin & Hobbes

When I read the newspaper, the comics page is something that I never miss. Even my choice of a newspaper depends to a large extent on the comics that the paper carries. This is one reason I love the weekend papers because they carry more comics and cartoons. The more comics, the better. Peanuts, Garfield, B.C., Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Blondie……. the list goes on and, on top, at least for me, stands Calvin and Hobbes – I just love this kid and his wild imagination. Bill Watterson, to me, is a true genius.

Knowing my love for Calvin, my son bought me a Calvin & Hobbes book from his school last week and it was the best gift I’ve received in a long time. It was so unexpected and totally out of the blue and such a pleasant surprise that I wanted to hug him there and then. But I managed to refrain myself because he’s a big boy now, taller than me, and at an age where getting hugged by his dad would be the last thing he wanted. Had he asked me for anything that I had the means or power to give at that moment, I would have happily given it to him. But then, he didn’t and simply said that he saw it at the book sale they are having in school and just bought it for me because he knew how much I love and enjoy ‘Calvin & Hobbes’. But then there’s an electric guitar he and his sister have been eying for some time and, who knows, this was one of their ways of softening me up for the kill! 🙂

The book has a forward written by Garry Trudeau which is so good that I just have to share extracts from it:

“….Watterson is the reporter who’s gotten it right; childhood as it actually is, with its constantly shifting frames of reference. Anyone who’s done time with a small child knows that reality can be highly situational. The utterance which an adult knows to be a ‘lie’ may well reflect a child’s deepest conviction, at least at the moment it pops out. Fantasy is so accessible, and it is joined with such force and frequency, that resentful parents like Calvin’s assume that they are being manipulated, when the truth is far more frightening: they don’t even exist. The child is both king and keeper of this realm, and he can be very choosey about the company he keeps.

Of course, this exclusivity only provokes many grown-ups into trying to regain the serendipity of youth for themselves, to, in effect, retrieve the irretrievable. A desperate few do things that later land them in the Betty Ford Center.

The rest of us, more sensibly, read Calvin and Hobbes….”

Trudeau is the author of ‘Doonesbury’ another of those long-running cartoons/comics that appear daily in many newspapers especially in the West. It is also one cartoon/comics that I never read, despite my love for the genre. For some reason, I just can’t ‘get’ the whole thing and simply skip it whenever and wherever I come across it in any newspaper.

My Valentine

weddingbridebride 

the beginning ….. or the end?

We didn’t have Valentine’s Days during my ‘courting’ days and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. But we all had our ‘Valentines’ though we might have called them by different names ( ‘D’ used to be much in vogue along with its variations like ‘Di-te’ 🙂 ). Anyway, woke up this morning and on opening the newspaper realised that its Valentine’s Day and though this should be a good day to post some pictures of my very own beautiful valentine.
party pretty in blue  

…. years later, with Pu Dina, Sikpuiruoi Delhi Dec 2005

More Than Words

I’m still experimenting and learning how to upload pictures. So, here are some pictures. Hope they load better than last time. (Damn, they are all blurry and I haven’t the faintest idea how to un-blurry them 😦 But click on the pictures for a better view. Wait till I figure this thing out;) )

New Year

This is a picture I took on New Year Day 2008 during my evening walk. Its a view of the sun setting across the river Tama, signifying the end of the first day of 2008 in Tokyo. The Tama river marks the boundary between Tokyo and Kawasaki and is just 8-10 minutes walk from where we live.

my kids

That’s Esther, my beautiful daughter, typing, as Andrew, my handsome son, looks on. Am so proud of these two beautiful kids. More below.

sondaughter

Here are some more with my girls:

my galsmy girls 2

Here’s our car and our apartment on the top floor. The third pic is inside our ‘tatami’ room – that’s our wedding pic and various mementos ; Mozambican painting (left) leaning tower of Pisa, etc.:

carapartmentinside

Here are places I go jogging on weekends:

jog 1jog 2

That’s all for now folks, ‘cept for one more below. Though I’ve known her for about five months now, we have never spoken. I pass her by every morning and look at her and wonder whether she’s smiling or pining. I sometimes see her looking sad and frail and lonely. And then, some days, she seems to be smiling and about to burst our laughing……… 🙂

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Snow & Spring

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Finally figured out how to compress my photos (I think). So here are some photos I took during the last few days. Above is a photo I took from our balcony.

The first one below is a hoarding of David and Victoria (Posh) Beckham hawking whatever they are hawking at the same spot in Aoyama Dori (Avenue) which I pass by every day on my way to and from office.

The rest were taken last Sunday (3 Feb) when it snowed for the first time since we came here. I mean, REALLY snowed (it snowed a little on 28 Jan). The snow gods sure have bad timing. I had hoped and prayed for a White Christmas. Indications were good a week or so before Christmas, making me dream of my last White Christmas all those years ago. But then the snow never came. New Year came and went. No snow. And now, just when I least expect it, it starts snowing like crazy.

Anyway, woke up early as usual on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised to see everything white outside. I was due to attend the ‘setsubun’ ceremony at the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple that day. ‘Setsubun is the day before the first day of spring in the Japanese calender. On this day the Japanese have the custom of throwing beans saying “In with fortune! Out with evil!”. Sort of a purification rite – something long overdue for me! Looking at the lunar landscape outside, my first thought was “What bad timing! Tomorrow’s supposed to be the first day of spring, and we have the first day of heavy snow!” But a man’s gotta go where a man’s gotta go. And so I went.

The Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is one of the most revered and old temples in Japan, celebrating its 1070th anniversary this year. To cut a long story short (I hope to write in detail about my experience there when I have more time), the ceremony was attended by all the top Sumo wrestlers and many Japanese movie/TV stars and I got a chance to rub shoulders with some real celebrities. The only personalities I knew were the two Yokozunos Asashuryo and Hakuho. I luckily managed to get a photo with one (with some beautiful ladies) while i just about managed a photo of the other.

So without further ado, here are the photos of that day.

PS The guy on the extreme left of the picture with Hakuho, dressed in some sort of Samurai-like get-up, that’s me. 🙂

The Beckhams

hakuho.jpgYokozuno Asashuryodrivingsnow1.jpg

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