Colors of the sun

We went on a trail over the weekend, the obligatory blog is here. Turns out that the further you are from a city, the sunlight takes on various hues. And oh ! by the way, we saw a nice rainbow over Mulshi, so that was a good way to begin.

Coming back, I recall having made a special vocation of noting down the color of sunlight. For example, there are a couple of days in a year when the setting sun at dusk gets this brazenly golden glow with a pinch of scarlet or, the pale butter-milk color of the light when it cuts through smog and fog to land smack on your skin. Or, the first clear rays after a shower when the air is free of dust and other suspended particles and, the rays just cut a path on to the ground. Monsoon plays plenty of tricks with the sun. If there is cloud cover enough, the sun tends to beat down upon the ground and, the light appears to be coalesced around a human height from the ground – remember having to turn your eyes away from the dazzling brightness sometimes during monsoon ? At this point in Pune, the rising sun has shards of orange that land first on any object giving this strange halo to it. Beautiful to take in. The sunlight at Mumbai has a yellow tinge to it as if it was a “wash” of yellow color – not real yellow that has a mustard tinge to it – just a pale, slapdash yellow nature which fizzles out into extensive whiteness.

The palette varies widely. Last year at Boston and Westford, there was a marked difference in the color – Boston was dominated by a drab, dull paleness while Westford had this spanking whiteness and translucence. I noticed a similar variety at Delhi and NCR. It is great fun to watch outdoor photographs at flickr and, try to make a note of the fancy colors.

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swalpa adjust maadi

With the monsoon yet to hit Pune, the water levels around the various reservoirs are running fairly low. The Pune Municipal Corporation has been unable to provide adequate supply of water and, the private tankers are unable to cope with the demand. The end result is that the society has fallen back on the bore-well to ensure that there is some water.

Since yesterday was the first day of such fall back measures, there was a scramble to ensure that buckets and what-nots are filled up. As a result, there was some irregularity in water supply from the overhead tanks. With the passage of the day, things seemed to settle down and, sooner or later, there will be an adjustment with the new system. Till rains arrive.

Swalpa adjust maadi as they used to say at Bangalore never fails.

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Songs from old

I found my stash of Shyamasangeet while I was cleaning up the hard drive. It is somewhat inevitable that each round of hard drive cleaning brings forth discoveries. Anyways, Pannalal was enjoyable as always. I missed listening to the scratchy LP that we had though. The CD rip was too crisp and clear to be wonderful.

Good that I did manage to stock up on Shyamasangeet the last time I was at Kolkata.

Don’t they have quizzes any more ?

When we were young there used to be a frenzy of quizzing stuff at schools. Well, yes, I agree that it was ages ago, but how can you forget the Maggi Quizzes, the Bournvita Quiz Book, the Siddharth Basu Quiz Book (I forget the name) and, the regular Quiz columns from the O’Brien family ? There was so much going on. I recall spending a larger amount of time browsing through obtuse facts which kept on popping up as questions and, were admired. The audience at the quizzes were awesomely cool as well. Sometimes made up of parents and, sometimes a larger section of the fraternity, there was always a sense of encouragement and accomplishment somewhere.

I do not read or hear about quizzes any more. Perhaps I have moved on, but having caught a few made-for-TV-show quizzes in recent days, I can pretty much safely say that times have changed and, the excitement seem to be missing. Have the students, the schools and, the companies found something more worthwhile to invest their time on ?

Anways, over the weekend, I decided that if there was a single piece of hardware that I should save up to purchase – it has to be an eBook reader. I have had it with procuring books in the physical form. Especially so because the Bengali publishers seem to be lazy (and, incompetent enough) not to jump on to the sites like flipkart.com etc. For example, Ananda has this horrific site that does not render on Firefox on Linux. Why should I invest in a Windows and IE combination if they do not want to have a decent cart going ? There are a number of classic books which are now available via Project Gutenberg and, I would do well to read them up via an eBook Reader. If only the morons at Sony decided to have their eBook Readers sold in India.

The afternoon skies had the promise of rain. Unfulfilled they went.

Outside the office and, not yet ready to rain

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নীল অঞ্জনঘন পুঞ্জছায়ায় সম্‌বৃত অম্বর হে গম্ভীর।
বনলক্ষীর কম্পিত কায়, চঞ্চল অন্তর —
ঝঙ্কৃত তার ঝিল্লির মঞ্জীর হে গম্ভীর ।।
বর্ষণগীত হল মুখরিত মেঘমন্দ্রিত ছন্দে,
কদম্ববন গভীর মগন আনন্দঘন গন্ধে —
নন্দিত তব উৎসবমন্দির হে গম্ভীর ।।
দহনশয়নে তপ্ত ধরণী পড়েছিল পিপাসার্তা,
পাঠালে তাহারে ইন্দ্রলোকের অমৃতবারির বার্তা।
মাটির কঠিন বাধা হল ক্ষীণ, দিকে দিকে হল দীর্ণ —
নব-অঙ্কুর-জয়পতাকায় ধরাতল সমাকীর্ণ —
ছিন্ন হয়েছে বন্ধন বন্দীর হে গম্ভীর ।।

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