Sunday, April 12, 2009

had someone else been first to the tomb...

Had it been men, they’d have first blamed their missing womenfolk for the apparent theft. “Weren’t they the last ones in doing what they do best, pssh…manicuring the dead?” On spotting the “gardener,” they’d have thrashed him on a mere hunch and then proceeded to ask him whether he knew what was going on.
Had it been Steve Jobs, we’d probably have an I-Tomb for the perpetually mobile-no-time-to-die. Or maybe a Funeral-App that would take care of the many logistical details associated with such events that one increasingly finds less time to attend to, for instance, thlanthut in-absentia.
Had it been a poststructuralist, the tomb would signify the lingering trace of the Other, its linguistic valence persisting as a symbolic Freudian orifice.
Had it been immediately after 9/11, we’d be told by excited news-crews covering the scene that a WMD silo had finally been found. The war machine would be primed to pulverize the area into a valley of skulls.
Had it been a realtor, she’d be at a loss to put her books together. What with the current state of the economy, even the dead are not spared the dire consequences of foreclosure.
Had it been a politician, a press conference would have been hurriedly put together. We’d be told that the body had to be re-interred elsewhere, the tomb of another only-trustworthy family member, because of a three-day rule set by the cemetery committee. Not to worry, the body would be returned after three days. Ah! Resurrection...in the next round of elections!
Had it been Lara Croft...no, she wouldn't have raided it! C'mon, raiding an empty tomb?

I for one would have missed the bus entirely as I was still recovering from a heady gig the previous night at Tone Merchants featuring Scott Henderson .
video
Sounds almost Jeff Beck-on-Extacy!


I did make it to a very packed service. Though not late but it being a well-attended service, all I got was a balcony seat that got me close enough to participate in the celebrations and yet distant enough to ruminate over the possibilities of other people in that Easter story. video

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rat Attack

Here's a quality PBS documentary on the effects of the mautam. "Rat Attack" rehashes what most of us would already know about the mautam but it also provides more information on details that, if further researched, would be helpful in preparing the next time around. Yup, there is no explicit "AHA" moment but some of the insights that Aplin (biologist/primary researcher) provides are worth a follow up. On a lighter note, Ratatouille or even Mickey Mouse does not seem so cute anymore.

The QuickTime video is split into 6 segments, and each frame comes with a transcript, links, and other informative material. Personally, rats creep the hell out of me and I wouldn't have watched the documentary had it not been set in Mizoram. Post-viewing, the overall production quality is very good and the post-production work, in particular, gives it a very tight narrative. The B-roll inserts are also breathtaking. What if "Rat Attack" were a template for more documentaries on Mizoram? Or are there some already in circulation? Any leads or links?

[ps: Dang it! I just got a message that the online viewing is only within the US. However, I'm sure a copy will be available in India. James Lalsiamliana (biologist and co-researcher) should have more details on access]