the clarion call

I’m not sure why, but for me, there are few sounds on this Earth more euphoric than the three-note call of a Black Capped Chickadee.

I am sitting next to my window right now and just heard one start up in the distance and like a Pavlovian reaction it has instantly snapped me, at least temporarily, out of my winter state of mind.

Dictionary Drawing, Day 61: Clarion

According to the dictionary I’m working with, clarion means “brilliantly clear” or a “call to action”. However clarion can also be defined as “a shrill, narrow-tubed war trumpet”. This definition brought me to think of The Trumpeter of Revelation and of the “clarion call of death”. Thus this composition was born!

I think the success of Roy’s system is less “I can find my wife in a crowd when we both make this noise” and is more “People in the crowd back away from my wife and I when we make this noise, thus making it easier to spot one another”.

DAY 2977

Jalsa, Mumbai                    May 25/26,  2016                     Wed/Thu  12:44

Birthday - EF - Rasika Shashikant  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy birthday to Rasika .. and many days and years of happiness and joy ever .. we send our greetings and we send our affections .. love Ef

And so in promotional mode the entire day after getting off the flight from Delhi, straight into the various questions that are raised for ‘TE3N’ ..

Anurag Pandey with the mike and one who runs a very popular show on his Radio channel .. a lovely human a great voice and an innovative programme ..

The other interviewers would tear me apart for his picture and not theirs .. but he asked, the others did not, so did not ..

And these be the ‘BIKING QUEENS’ .. 4 ladies from Gujarat who have decided to spread the message of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ ..Save the daughter, educate her’ .. a most noble clarion call for the nation .. some heart breaking stories that one encounters in today’s times and these ladies started this movement on motor bikes travelling on them to different parts of the world spreading this message .. and the message of giving pride of place, and honour of women empowerment to all .. most admirable ..

And while I post pictures of the Sunday meetings I write quite impromptu some lines in Hindi and I am certain many learned in the Ef shall translate for them that do not know the language ..

ये आदर है उस प्रेम का
जो मिलता हर क्षण एक सा

दिन ढलते, ढलते साल भी
ये स्नेह अटूट निष्पक्ष भी  
महिमा अपार है इनकी भी
यदि बदल सको तो बदलो भी
ये स्थान जहाँ मैं खड़ा भी
पहुंचाया उसपर तुमने भी
जब चाहो मुझे उतार देना
पग धरती से मिलवा देना
पर याद इसे रखना तुम भी
सम्मान मुझे जो मिला भी
उसे भूल न पाऊं कभी भी  

ये आदर है उस प्रेम का
जो मिलता हर क्षण एक सा   II

                                    ~ Amitabh Bachchan

Laughter and its joys are the best medicine for all .. be in it and live ..

And the moment of awards .. in style :

Legends in different walks of life honouring us .. what a day and night ..

Thank you Hindustan Times … for the recognition and the generosity of words and a delightful evening ..

Amitabh Bachchan


On July 29th in 1547 the siege of St Andrews Castle ended this followed the killing of Cardinal David Beaton at the castle the previous year.

The occupation of St Andrews Castle and the killing of the Archbishop acted as a clarion call to Protestant reformers, who flocked to St Andrews. Among the reformers who came to support the Protestant uprising was John Knox, who was allowed enter the castle under a temporary truce, and act as a preacher to the occupiers. What followed was one of the most bloody and bitter sieges in Scotland’s history. The besieging forces could not breach the defenses so they decided to dig a tunnel through the solid rock, under the gate tower, so that it would collapse.
The defenders dug a counter-tunnel, hoping to intercept the attackers’ tunnel. They were guided in their efforts solely by the sound of the attackers’ digging, so they made three false starts before they oriented their counter-tunnel correctly. You can tell a lot about the situation by the fact that the attackers’ mine if wide, well-carved, and easy to navigate, while the counter-tunnel is narrow, winding, and roughly carved. The defenders were in a desperate race against time to intercept the mine, and they knew it! Today you can walk - or waddle like a duck in low places - up the length of the counter-tunnel.
The end of the siege came when a French fleet arrived off St Andrews. The French bombarded the castle, and additional cannon were set up at St Salvator’s College and the Cathedral priory towers. Not surprisingly, the defenders were forced to surrender. Most were sent to work on French galleys as oarsmen. As for the mines, they were forgotten to history until 1879, when cellars were being dug for a nearby house.The castle passed to Archbishop John Hamilton, the illegitimate brother of the Earl of Arran. Hamilton rebuilt much of the castle before he was executed for his role in the murder of Lord Darnley, Mary, Queen of Scots second husband. From 1560, after the eventual triumph of the reformers, the castle was used as a gaol for political prisoners. At that time a political prisoner could simply mean someone who held to a different faith!

DAY 2592

Jalsa, Mumbai                May 21/22,  2015               Thu/Fri  12:38 am

Birthdays of our dear EF Lily Pitts and Sugam Dua tomorrow May 22, 2015 and may the month of May bring mayflowers and plenty into your lives ..

There is so much to do and time to do and desire to do .. but the will surrenders to the abject laziness of human bondage. This is not what is supposed to e effective in the lives of those that wish to be subjected to an occupied life, but it does creep in surreptitiously and with candour. Surreptitious is acceptable, candour not. Frankness is not a quality that one would want to associate with this element of what is generally termed as lethargy !

But ‘when the blast of war, blows in our ears’, then do we extricate ourselves from that ringer alarm on mobile and declare the day or its beginning, with a clarion call and set out to work ..

Has any one seen this ‘Jupiter Ascending’ , a film, a feat of uninhibited VFx technology, of moments that make you wonder and believe of the existence of ‘others’ around us in the hemisphere, but quite frankly, a justification of the human mind that has the capacity to think thus ! Simply incredible !!

And the problem with these visuals and effects is that, we rest our weary heads on pillows that lead us to dreamland, with the same dreams !! Of flying machines and space wonders and fantasy beholding. So see you all in outer space for the most of the night …

Applications and the net and the constant making and remaking of designs to convenience our communications has taken over the world ! There is not a single moment when I do not read of how out sourcing has become the passport and pass word of the immediate hour. I am in admiration of it, but also envious, for, those that have the capacity to keep in touch and in line with the most recent and most modern tech, make themselves in my eyes that rare commodity which at some point, years ago, rested with them that had the time to construct and make it operational. TODAY .. the technology has been the same, perhaps updated, but the manner in which the generation copes or runs along with it is simply amazing ! Each and every day comes along with a certain group of people that have invented or are willing to invent or have already invented, that method that shall make our lives a great deal more interesting, knowledged and aware. Salutations to them that think this out, and not just think, but make it into an enterprise that shall in time bring revenue, and a future.

So ‘Sooryavansham’ celebrates 16 years of its release. It was a remake of a Tamil film that ran most successfully - the Tamil film - and carried a great challenge for the artist involved and for the makers in Hindi. A double role of Father and Son, and what great moments created. The little boy that played the grandson was quite amazing. I think he was a National Award winner, a natural and a delight to be working with.

It really is a wonder how time changes the perception of a film in terms of its success and value. The film in question was not such as success as is made out for in Hindi. It was huge in Tamil, not so in Hindi. Shot in many interesting spots - Hyderabad, Gujarat, Sri Lanka .. yes in the most picturesque parts of that emerald in the Indian Ocean. The first visit of mine to the country and the warmth of the people quite something ! I would want to be in the gym each morning, but the nearest to the place where we stayed in Kandy,was an hour’s drive away. So, I would be up at 4 am drive to this public gym and return by 8 am and report for work. Later I came to know that the gym belonged to the legendary cricketer and bowler of Sri Lankan Cricket, Murlidharan !!

Time .. the most expensive commodity in the universe .. 

Time to catch time to be able to be on time for the morrow ..

Amitabh Bachchan 

The song was like a clarion call in her blood, sparking her fëa into blazing life after centuries of holding back. She could feel the notes beneath her feet, winding their way into the very earth itself, and when lightning cracked overhead she knew it too was song-fed and would soon come flying down to seek purchase in the soil and burn any foul thing in its way.

I… I haven’t heard this song in centuries, she realized, how…?

But there was no time to think. Celeborn was far from her side, commanding the other half of their forces, and across the field she could feel Elrond attempting to reach Sauron and cut down that disgusting banner. It was on her to lead her people after him in a three-pronged attack, but first she had to get them off of the low hill where they were currently pinned.

The press of orcs around her was thick, and she was forced to give a little ground so she could bring her sword up into a thudding block against a heavy mace. The impact slammed down the blade through her whole body, and she staggered back with a gasp as she fought to hold onto her weapon. Her opponent was stocky, and taller even than she was, and his next blow would surely shatter her arm if she couldn’t bring her shield up to catch it - 

- but just as he raised his arm, the orc froze, face contorting as a blade that gleamed silver in what little light remained sliced easily through his breastplate and plackart to cut him down. Behind him, sword still dripping black blood, was a grinning Findaráto.

‘Did you miss me, sister mine?’ he asked, and it was all she could to to keep from shouting for joy.


since you were all so enthusiastic about my Happy Salmon Riot/Unfinished Tales AU, here, have a teaser

(working title: Ignition)

Davros is unique among villains. He has a quality that’s possessed by no other famous villain I can think of. […]

The word, I think, is sincerity. He means it. According to dark and terrible lights, he has absolute integrity. So often when soppy old liberals like me start writing a villain, we just make them a compendium of the worst possible qualities: they are vain, treacherous, weak, petty. Fools for the Doctor to stomp over and deride. But Davros is clever, determined, eloquent, selfless, passionate, heroic in his dreadful way - and, of course, quite astonishingly evil. He, rather than the Master, is our hero’s eternal opposite. For the Doctor, survival of the fittest is a clarion call to protect the weak - for Davros it is a good reason to eliminate them. It’s horrible to contemplate which of them Mother Nature would agree with - the poet or the pragmatist. […]

It takes a hell of a bit of writing to set that up, so respect across the years to Terry Nation. […]

And if you’re interested in writing, there’s a great lesson here. And before you get cross, I’m not trying to sound clever - believe me, I’m a keen student of my own staggering array of mistakes. If you write a character who fits in a box marked Villain (or Hero, for that matter), you’re not doing your job. Start again. Because there’s an alternative to writing a villain: it’s called writing properly.

– Steven Moffat in DWM 492

Rapid Eye Movement (Chapter 8)

Read it on AO3.

Chapter 8: “Unfinished Business”

Mickey, 13.

“There he is!  Fuckin’ get him!”

Yet another shrill yell from Terry’s mouth, and just like that, Mickey and his brothers follow the clarion call.  The four sons charge at a spitting image of at least two of them, fists balled and lips peeled back over their teeth, just like father taught them.  Word on the street was that their cousin, Donnie, had a rather unique soulmate, at least by Milkovich standards.  A guy.

Terry was having none of that.

He’d told his sons earlier upon hearing the news that dream differentia didn’t mean shit – that Milkoviches were all built to be straight and not bent at the spine, like faggots.  Fuck fate.  Despite not yet having dreams himself, a thirteen year old Mickey cringed at the sound of his father’s words. 

He’d always admired his cousin and never questioned what it meant when he saw his hand linger too long on his “friend” Brad’s hand.

“I don’t understand why you’re still standin’,” Terry growls as he presses Donnie’s back into the brick wall of the alley he fled to.  One glimpse of five angry Milkoviches charging at him, and his feet didn’t need to be prompted to take off.  He ran for his life.  “But since my brother is too much of a pussy to beat you straight, we’ll do him this favor, spare him the embarrassment.”

Mickey doesn’t remember much after the brutal beating.  He figures he started blocking out the images halfway through, focusing only on fist-to-face contact, boot-to-ribs timing.  He had to be exacting.  Instruction-like.

 Punch.  Kick.  Repeat.

He doesn’t remember the words Donnie cried out, doesn’t remember how much blood stained the pavement.  But he does remember his father’s face, the anger, the resentment – the warning. 

It was as clear as day.

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