The head spins, the mouth is dry.  I’m not feeling well. These are hard times, at home and at work.

Head on
An old friend and a colleague is back. He rejoins us as our managing editor. While he was still a reporter, I travelled with him, shooting some of my best work. A journalist to the core, he always struggled in this research based activist organization. His stories, reportages, easy, informative and interesting reads, where often turned into forensic pieces. The transformation possible only because my friend never lacked in research, just that he wrote for the average reader, he believed what you leave out is as important as what you write. I respect him deeply, and consider him a close friend.

The friend then left. He travelled half way across the planet and worked for a year with one of the top newspapers of the world. Now as he prepares to take charge of our magazine, his belief’s strengthened with experience, advice and working with the cream of reporters, editors, his work is cut out.

Will he be able to transform our magazine from being the activist mouthpiece of a research organisation to being an inviting read for a traveller at a railway station Wheeler.

Tough, but I’m with him

“Aap to artist ho…” my friend often says to me, in a tone tone, which borders on complement and sarcasm. An amateur photographer himself, he listens to classical music and recites poetry at will. Traits of an artist, or a  connoisseur of the arts perhaps. But the friend will vehemently deny all this, he is but a labourer, a clerk, a reporter. Nevertheless, he has always had a keen sense for the aesthetic, coupled with a strong opinion of what he likes and dislikes. Especially when it comes to how a magazine should be designed.
And which is better, Serif, or San-serif, fonts.

This being a point of debate between us. Our magazine is a good mix of the two. The body copy being in a Serif font, and headlines, highlights mostly in Sans. When I joined I found the font usage to be a bit arbitrary. I rationalized it, tried to give it a logic, without deviating from the master design.

My friend loves Serif. His foreign sojourn has, as mentioned earlier, strengthened his beliefs. Serif’s are easier to read, and they “exude a class and elegance…they don’t shout, because we don’t need to…” said the Newsweek head of design to my friend.

“Why do we use Sans-serif for our headlines? Why do we always shout?”

I have no particular leaning towards either type, a mere understanding that each has its place, an opinion not based on any theory, text books or experience but a feeling.  We use San-serif because that’s how our magazine has been designed for the last 10 years, and if we want to change it, sure lets talk. Lets find a better reason, than because he likes its better.

I have a problem when someone pushes for a fiat on font usage, which essentially is dictating design, but a ‘feeling’ is just not enough to argue with the Newsweek head, and his new devotee, my friend. The managing editor.

Come lets have a drink first.

Reclaiming our selves
Life hasn’t been the same since my wife went through a surgery last month. A major invasive procedure, it has left her scheduling life around a large number of pills of various shapes. This massive influx of foreign chemicals will continue for about a year, with added side-effects.

Health is not cheap. Expenses for treatment are high, and often unaffordable unless you are insured, or very rich. We are of the former breed. Unfortunately, being insured is not insurance either.

Last week we learnt that our claims have been rejected, for reasons inexplicable and beyond comprehension.  The news has left us a bit broken. But we’ll manage. It’s going to be difficult, but not impossible. The fight. One, to repay the debts, two, to claim what is ours.

The desire to be independent has made this world a lonelier place. I miss my father.

The head spins, the mouth is dry.  I’m not feeling well. I can feel a hard-on in the butt, and a hole in my gut…Is it the water…

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The butterfly generation

September 21, 2008

New born shoots of the Ghost bamboo tree touched by a buttefly

Shillong

September 20, 2008

2004. Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity walk through Bara bazaar

There is hope

September 18, 2008

when there is love.

We…

September 17, 2008

http://www.userfriendly.org/

The birds

September 14, 2008

Lazy Sunday afternoon. Bad taste in the mouth left by another act of incomprehensible violence. Had plans to go out, watch a movie, see an exhibition. Scrapped, my mother feels we shouldn’t as a mark of respect for those who didn’t survive. I’m sure most of Delhi scrapped there plans too…

I had a few thoughts, and was wandering the terrace when I noticed these two birds. First, the Koyal,I recognized, the second I haven’t…

…feeling is, could be a juvenile peacock. Any thoughts?

For some strange reason, they too seemed disturbed, calling at each other, calling us…

Change is good?

September 7, 2008

The Bamboo tree in front of my house has decided to go through a certain metamorphosis. I have searched the net, to figure out what exactly it is trying to do. Shedding old skin, growing a new one? a disease? Is it natural, or forced, due to human proximity? Botanist’s haven’t understood what I am asking them, so I shot these photos to show.They are in the sequence of the change that is happening:

Anyone out there knows?