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Monday, March 31, 2014

So, you are disappointed, heh?


haan haan, baba. I get it. You are disappointed with the Aam Aadmi Party.  Rather, you are disappointed again.  What is your concern this time?

Kejriwal/AAP Delhi govt resigned after 49 days and failed to deliver on its promises.

Kejriwal is back to shaming everyone else, this time the paid media.

Kejriwal is hungry for news coverage and wants to be seen as Bhagat Singh of this century.

AAP is giving tickets to celebrity/celebrities.

AAP is growing too fast.  What are they thinking contesting so many seats?

What is all this drama that Kejriwal is fighting in Varanasi against Modi?


I do share some of your disappointments. But I am glad that you are disappointed. Infact I am delighted. Your disappointments prove two things to me - (a) You had/have expectations out of this party. There would be no disappointments without expectations. So atleast AAP did something good there. (b) You care about AAP. You are not a cynic. You have not given up. You want it to be a party that you idealize. Just like behind a joke there lies a tragedy, behind every disappointment, there lies hope.  You see hope here.


But tell me one thing - Is your disappointment with AAP big enough that you will vote for BJP or Congress or any other regional party? Is it enough to ignore the disproportionate number of candidates with serious criminal cases against them fielded by other political parties? And can you get over the lack of local work done by the current representative to vote for him/her again?  If your answer is yes, and you truly believe that BJP/Congress is a better alternative, then my dear friend, lets agree to disagree and leave it at that.

In my case, yes, i am also disappointed too. In some cases, i am disappointed when AAP has failed to take the moral high ground when i expected them to (like the Somnath Bharti case where IMHO they should have issued an unconditional apology in case anybody's sentiments were hurt) and in other cases when indeed they have taken the moral high ground  and i was not expecting that (like resigning on principles after 49 days).  But when i count all my disappointments, they are significantly small when compared to the things that AAP has done right. The right things sometimes just blow me off, like i feel proud, i cry that it is happening in my lifetime, in front of me, amidst all the hopelessness that i am was filled with. Let me share some of these -

- Candidates for Lok Sabha:  I am so proud of AAP for giving these people a chance to be elected as people's representatives -
Soni Sori from Bastar. If you do not know her story, just google it.  For someone who has faced so much in her life, i am just glad for her. If i have to pick just one seat for AAP, i would wish it for Soni Sori.
Ashish Khetan from New Delhi. I have read about Ashish's work on Tehelka and i know how good of a journalist he is.
H S Phoolka - The advocate who fought hard for justice for 1984 riot victims.
Tiliya Devi from Jharkhand - A nobel peace prize nominee.
Bhagwant Maan from Sangrur - Just watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyu6KCi9s-Q

And there are many more like Medha Patkar, Nina Nayak from my LS constituency, Prof Anand Kumar, Kanchan Chaudhary -  the first women DGP, and not to mention AK taking on Modi knowing in full realistic consciousness that he will loose this race but atleast he will talk about issues in the process.

- Paid media. Media is biased. A lot of is paid. We all know it and yet we all accept it. Why? Just as "This is politics" is an answer to all things bad in politics, "This is how it is" is the only answer that used to be until AK questioned it.  If things are broken, lets fix it rather than just accept it.  We follow it all the time in our work life, why not in real life.

-Clean money. I would have voted AAP for this reason alone. Transparent, clean fundraising. On top of that -  no paid volunteers.


I agree with AK that it is a miracle that AAP exists. Our difference comes when he uses this to explain the existence of God and i am not ready to do that, yet.  So as you see my disappointments with AAP are nothing when compared to my appreciation for this small party.  And I write this only by looking at AAP. The moment i get into a comparative mode and i compare AAP with BJP (or even Congress), there is no choice. Mere thought of BJP or Congress led govt. fills me up with despair, the same hopelessness that i am trying to fight.

I have an idea of India. I have a vision of the kind of country i want to live in and the kind of person i want to grow old into. The only political party that helps me get there is AAP.








US 2014

There are mixed emotions behind every US trip. On one hand, i do enjoy the long plane ride with back to back movies/dedicated time to read book, enjoy different cuisines, see vast empty lands, run on awesome trails, visit national parks and ofcourse there is work in between. On the other hand, it just disrupts my routine in Bangalore, all my discipline goes for a toss and i have to plan everything around this trip. This time, thankfully it was between RH seasons so i was fine running wise but my AAP contribution was impacted. And there is EB to think of as well.

This US trip was as exciting as others, a little different though. I decided to not go for a long trek but instead visit my relatives in Atlanta and NY. In between, I also got to run the Little Rock Half marathon and as part of my plan, visited the Hot Springs National Park.



Hot Springs National Park is not one of the usual national parks in US. It is one of those "other" parks. Because National parks are not only designed to protect natural resources, then they would be called natural parks. National parks also protect sites of national interest. Hot Springs was added to this list because of its historical significance when it became a favorite tourism/medical destination owing to the therapeutic nature of the natural springs found here.

After getting a tour of the visitor center which is also a Bathhouse, we went for a casual hike just behind it. We went up to a tower and got a good views of surrounding Hot Springs. The trail was ok. Once back, we took a private bath at one of the still operational Bathhouse followed by a small massage. The bath was an experience to remember. There are five stages starting with sitting in a bath tub followed by sitting in a cermaic pot with hot water. The hot water heats up the ceramic and it provides a nice warm feeling to our bare back. Next comes a 5 min sitting in a Sauna followed by a shower and then they just ask you to relax. The whole time we are wrapped under a white bedsheet and we walk like old greeks. During relaxation time, they wrapped me inside that white bedsheet like an Egyptian mummy and i slept. It was inevitable, everybody sleeps. After the massage, it felt like a lump of tiredness has gone away.


 The small town of Hot Springs still has some elegance of its old self. Like any US small town, it is just fascinating to walk. There are still old architecture based buildings around along with shops selling all kinds of stuff related to baths.  I would have liked a longer hike but we had only a day. Two days is good enough to cover this park in its entirety.


Next day was my half marathon, a report of which i had already blogged. There was a snow storm warning in the evening but it was shifted to afternoon. Right after the mid point it started snowing and we were not at all equipped to drive on snow. Ankur did a great job in driving slowly and getting us back safe to our hotel. Next day, it was all covered under snow and practically the whole town had shut down.  This was my first time seeing so much snow. I had seen snowfall both in Atlanta once and once in Seattle but never a six inch snow. It was cold outside, really cold.



During my Bentonville visit, i once went for a run near Bella Vista lake. There is a quite nice trail around the lake and it is definitely worth running again. I attended two performances at Walton Arts Center. One was a circus like performance by Cirque Ziva and it was ok. The other one was a Gospel choir concert by a South African band called Soweto Gospel Choir. It was amazing. They had the whole auditorium dancing and singing by the end of the show. Blend of folk music, folk dance, praise to lord all done with amazing energy and enthu.


Atlanta trip was just for a day and it was great meeting all relatives there. During afternoon, Tayaji took me to a nearby river and it was great to see a nice clean natural body flowing so close by.  During my three day at NY/NJ, I spent one day at Manhattan and in particular at MOMA. I had always wanted to visit NY MOMA and one wish fulfilled. I saw Van Gogh's Starry Night and it is as good in real as it is in pictures. I attended a tour called Picasso's women in which they explained some of the key constructs of Picasso's cubism and why he did what he did. Other exhibitions were interesting, some were above my head and some were just intriguing.


Amit Bhaiya's house is indeed amazing and playing with my nieces is always fun. Annika, out of the blue, asked me a question - Why there is so much pollution in India. Despite having read so much, I could not come with an answer that i could share with her. There lies the art of breaking down complex problems to explain to 8 year olds, literally in some cases :) . Someday I will write a response to this.  As I was heading to airport, the sunset view was breathtaking. Most likely this will be my last trip to US, it felt that the sky was saying good bye.





Sunday, March 30, 2014

Abu Dhabi 2014


For my official trip to Bentonville, our office travel agent told me that the cheapest airline that i can use is Etihad airways. I had not tried Etihad before and as always I was open to try it out. A quick check at its website showed that they are sponsoring a free 96 hr visa. I immediately signed up for a quick two day visit during my return journey.

To begin with, the free 96 hr thing was a trap as they only had couple of hotel options to book and both were incredibly expensive. Nevertheless, i was in this now and i went ahead. I picked the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Abu Dhabi which boasts of an 18 degree incline. See pic -

The question that comes to my mind is Why? Because We can- Is this answer good enough? As I was to discover, this was a recurring question during my stay at Abu Dhabi. Since i had not planned my stay, i utilized my jet lag to research on things to do here. 

My day began by walking on the Promenade. It is a nice 6 km long board walk, next to a greenish blue bay and white sand, along with neatly trimmed trees, and a sky blue trail. UAE, all said and done, is an Islamic nation and it is indeed striking to see how they have blended their traditions with modernity. UAE has borrowed criminal law from United States but their civil law is the Sharia law. Their beaches are clean, roads broad and well planned. There is a rule of law and citizens respect it. Most of my cab drivers were Keralites and a huge Kerala population is visible. Their malls have all the brand outlets including Starbucks and a Victoria Secret store. As expected, i did not see any woman in Burkha in the mall but it was filled with tourists/westerners. They must be the intended audience.

Marina mall boasts of an ice skating rink inside it. An ice skating arena in a desert. Opulence is the operative word. Nobody who walks into the mall can be termed poor or even middle class. These guys have money and they are not afraid to throw it on things that they want to do. As I roamed the mall, i was hoping to get an autehntic Arabic cuisine for lunch but all i saw was pastas, stylish cafes and even Indian stalls. Finally, i found a persian restaurant on the top most floor and it was worth the effort.


Like a typical tourist, I signed up for the Desert Safari. Our first stop was a camel farm which is basically a 'tabela' where camels are kept. My co-tourists took out their cameras and started shooting these docile creatures from all angles as if they are about to be chosen for Miss Camel Universe competition. The next thing in the list was Dune Bashing, a fancy term where they drive Toyota Land Cruisers,  with deflated tires to increase friction, on the dunes of desert. Why o why? The desert is a beautiful landscape. Wind is always blowing and the landscape changes every day as winds rearrange the design of its living room. Dune bashing felt like an assault. Adventure ride it was for my co-passengers but to me, it was just driving on a road-less road. Hey, I have lived in Chattisgarh and have seen similar potholes in my life time for an adventure ride. Apparently, it is a spectacle that is enjoyed by many.

On the way to this Dune bashing event, some 85 kms outside the city limits, we saw a belt of green trees towards our right. The belt remained with us for about 50kms. On closer examination revealed big black hoses running parallel to us with an end point at every tree. This was an artificial forest where water was sent from Abu Dhabi. A colossal expenditure to see greenery. Sheikh has a lot of money. 

Our dinner was at a resort in the middle of a desert. I rejected quad biking, camel riding etc to climb the tallest dune in the vicinity. Climbing on sand is an interesting experience and it is not so easy either. Dinner was ok and was followed by a belly dancing performance. The weather that day was extraordinarily delightful. It even poured few drops of rain and cool mist winds were hitting our face. Belly dancing was cool. After the dance performance, the organizers switched off all the lights and asked us to experience the stillness of desert. This will remain as the most interesting highlight of this trip. With such cool winds, desert all around, pitch dark and silence, it was a meditative experience.


My next day was on a hop on hop off bus. Since it was a Friday, most of the shops were closed in the morning. I was also tired of traveling and hence went for a film instead. Crappy film. Hop op hop off bus showed me a lot of Abu Dhabi. Well maintained, money well spent, or atleast much better when compared to other Islamic nations. The heritage village with its ancient tents and artifacts was a nice way to end this visit. Grand Mosque was something that i had to miss because it was closed on Friday.

Overall, i may not visit this city again. Even with so much open spaces, proper town planning, law and order ,cafes, book shopes etc, I do not see myself living in this city. Something i learnt about myself. It is a city that asks you to be rich. Unfortunately, I do not have any such ambition, atleast not deliberate. 

Life in Feb 3 - Mar 30 2014

If January 2014 was the month when i was at Bangalore for one whole month, Feb and March decided to settle my travel accounts. Although every period brings in a different set of activities, this period saw something much more diverse than what is the norm. Here are big updates -


Travel:
~ Two day trip to Auroville and Pondicherry.  Travel report

~ Office trip to Bentonville for two weeks. Return via Atlanta and NY.

~ Two day trip to Little Rock.

~ Two day trip to Abu Dhabi.

Reports for last three travels to be written soon.

Books:
- 10 Judgements that changed India by Zia Mody. Review
- Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar. Review

Movies:
A lot of movies were seen while in flight from India-US and back.
Frozen (3/5) - Decent animation.
Inside Llewyn Davis (3/5). Confession: I do not understand how this won the Grand Prix at Cannes. It is interesting, nice and decent to watch but not outstanding IMHO.
Thor 2 (2/5) - Avoid it.
All is Lost (4/5) -  Very nice. Loved the no dialogue, no monologue. Robert Redford is amazing.
12 years a slave(3.5/5) -  Good film.  Difficult subject yet still watchable.
Two Lives (Zwei Liben) (3/5) - Taut thriller with great performance.
Die Hard 2. (3.5/5). Fundoo masala film. Has all the elements of a good action movie. Still mindless but worth it.



TV Series:
The Wire. Cult
Agents of Shield: Watched 10 or so episodes. Pathetically bad.
Person Of Interest, Season 3. Excellent.



~ Attended Concert by Soweto Gospel Choir, a South African group, at Bentonville. Loved the band. So much energy. Must Listen. Must attend.  http://www.sowetogospelchoir.com/

~ Attended Cirque Ziva performance at Walton Arts Center.  Decent but not that great either.

~Finalized buying ND HSR apartment without paying a single Rupee in bribe. Very proud of this :)

~ Vaswani Tulip is in the pipeline.

~Moved to HSR. Got painting, plumber, carpenter, electrician and internet work done, all in a week's time.

~D2D campaign for Nina Nayak, AAP candidate for Bangalore South. Good experience. Met a diverse range of people.

~Went for my first protest (shall we say Dharna :) ) . Protested against the upcoming SEZ next to Agara lake. Slogans, banners, enthu people all for a cause that is shared by everyone. Again a good experience.

~ Tried Ebony Restaurant on MG Road with Parul and Nandini. Decent food, good ambience.

~ Went to NY Moma and spent 4 hrs there. Saw Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night in person. Surreal.  Also attended a tour which explained Picasso's cubism. Very enlightening.

~ Started RH summer season. Signed up for TCS 10K.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book review: Cuckold


Everyone knows about Mirabai. You read the word Mirabai and automatically mind conjures this image - a lady wearing white sari, holding a tanpura in one hand, and singing devotional love songs all day, all night in praise of her lover - Lord Krishna. Mira's bhajans are widely popular, i think even my parents owned a cassette back in the days. The thing about Mirabai is that she is not a mythical character from some mythological story, she really existed sometime in sixteenth century. But did you know that she was married and that her husband was none other than the prince of Mewar, first in line to get throne when the king retired. Kiran Nagarkar's Cuckold is a historical fiction book that describes life and times from this prince's perspective.

In terms of genre, historical fiction enjoys the same tingling feeling as is typical in magical realism. As in magical realism, it is difficult to distinguish the boundaries of magic and reality, likewise, Cuckold keeps us guessing between what really happened and where all the author has taken the liberty to make things up. The book opens up as the prince, Maharaj Kumar, is discussing town planning initiatives such as sewers, and sanitation facilities. Did the royal line in sixteenth century was indeed worrying about how shit flows? At one end i am glad that they did, but in the other end, is it fictional or is it real. George R R Martin in his yet to be finished epic series - A song of ice and fire wrote how royal servants talked about town planning including sewers. The fact that Kiran Nagarkar had also written about it, not only fascinated me, but made me proud.

Cuckold keeps us very close to this thin line of historical accuracy. Pages flip one after another. With such a raunchy title, the book is bold but it never stoops down to Fifty shades of grey level. Rather, Nagarkar is in complete control over its characters and for those like me, who are unfamiliar with out historical past, every bit comes off as believable.  Meerabai's character gets a human treatment which is a refreshing change from her saintly reputation. Cuckold shines in its depth of analysis of war tactics, information gathering networks using spies and political strategies.

Amidst all the battles and political stratagems, there lies the social conflict of what is a king supposed to do with his wife who herself acknowledges to have a lover and her lover is none other than God himself. When seen from a distance, it is a social farce of Shakesperian proportions. Nagarkar bends this to his advantage by discussing its political and social ramifications.  Later, Nagarkar adds more flavors as he imagines relationship between Meerabai and Maharaj Kumar's second wife.

Cuckold won the Sahitya Akademi award in its year of publication and deservedly so. It is one of the finest books that i have read by an Indian who is still living in India. (The last clause was added to rule out Rushdie ) . However, having read GRRM and having briefly touched upon Hillary Mantel's works, it does seem that one book may not be an enough. India is so ripe for historical fiction, or even historical non-ficiton for that matter. Even after the book ends, we are still left with a longing of what happened in the Babur era and what preceded the Maharaja Sangha era. Maybe Baburnama has some answers.






EPIC: Little Rock Half Marathon report


One of the earliest things that i did when i got to know that i will be traveling to US was to check are there any half marathons near me. And Lo and Behold, just three hrs away, on a convenient Sunday, in a town neither too big nor too small, named Little Rock, there is Little Rock marathon with motto of this year titled 'EPIC'. I instantly signed up.

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas state in USA. It is the home town of former president Bill Clinton. Every year it organizes a marathon race.  About fifteen thousand people participated in full and half marathon this year.

Predictions
Two days before the race, i got to know that there is a snowstorm warning in the area. The race was at 8 am in the morning and it was predicted that there will be showers after noon with snow falling in the evening or night time. At 8 am, the temperature prediction was about 6deg C with chance of precipitation pegged at 20%. I was not bothered but it was cold outside. So, i decided to wear two shirts, one over the another on the race day.

Toenails are overrated
I was there at the start point at 7 am with the race to start at 8 am.  The enthusiasm of runners was overwhelming. So many people were wearing costumes. And there were more with capes on. I do not know if this is true for other running events in US but the build up before the race was quite interesting here. First, they had a priest at the start point who read a small sermon, asking God to wish luck to the runners, and may god keep us strong, brave and happy, and thanked volunteers for such an incredible effort. This may be the due to the fact that Arkansas is a little conservative state but standing in the cold there, it did feel good to hear those kind words said with such warmth. This was followed by American national anthem. Few minutes before the run, they also brought in those big beach balls and people were throwing them at each other. It was fun.

The sky was dark with thick clouds hovering above. I was feeling the cold but manageable. At 7:40 am it started drizzling and by 8 am it was a proper shower. Even though i knew that there was going to be rain, i did not intentionally got my poncho thinking that it is fun to run in rain. Running in rain may be fun but running in cold rain - not so much. The race had a staggered start and i was down in the end waiting for my turn.  I was getting wet and cold. And then comes one of the event organizer angels distributing those long garbage bags. I quickly grab one and convert it into a make shift poncho.  Life is suddenly much better! At the start line, they had written in big words - "Toenails are overrated!!!"


At about 3 miles or so, the rain had slowed down to a drizzle, i was much comfortable with the coldness.  I decided  to throw out the poncho as i was getting bothered by the constant rustling of plastic as i was running. There was a lot of cheer along the way. People were standing even in rain, playing music, distributing water. We passed couple of churches and they have their own aid stations set up.  People were also holding all kinds of interesting signs. Some of them read as -

Run as if you are in Hunger Games.

You think you are tired, try holding this sign for three hrs.

(Another variation)
You think you are tired, this sign weighs 26.2 grams.

Run faster, Justin Timberlake just went ahead.

The E in EPIC
The first half of race included crossing a river over a bridge. Rain had persisted throughout the course changing its mood from drizzle to slow downpour.I thought the first half would be colder and it would get easy as we run near the downtown. But, in downtown, with tall buildings on both sides, it created a wind tunnel effect causing cold winds.  Boy, it was really cold. I was all wet and cold as i crossed the finish line.  They were distributing large cold blanket sheets at the finish line. Good bless whosoever came up with that idea!  It took 2:26:03 for me to finish the race.

Overall, I think the crowd support was phenomenal and energy level of participants was superb. The event route was modified at the last minute due to bad weather yet event was organized pretty smoothly. Full marathoners also started at 8 am and i can only imagine how they had the strength to persist in that cold.  For me, it is a 'been there done that moment' to run a half marathon in rain :) . As the official T shirt of this marathon said - "I put the E in EPIC" :D








Saturday, March 1, 2014

TV Series Review: The Wire


I would have never read To the Lighthouse beyond 30 pages or Catcher in the Rye beyond 20. I would have not sat through Goddard's films or American History X beyond its opening sequence. Along the same lines, I would have never finished Homer's Odyssey or Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali,.  There are some things you do because people tell that it is worth doing so. People vouch their sanity, sometimes even their existence to such works. The Wire is one such instance. In the medium of TV series, it stands  at the peak.


It takes time to warm up to the Wire. The first three minutes of the very first episode did not made any sense to me. But I went back to it after finishing the first season and  realized how it was just a cog in one giant wheel.  It even gets time to get used to various subtle accents. I preferred watching with subtitles on. But once you get the hang of the show, understand what it is trying to say, then what comes off is a magic. The same feeling that you get after reading through the first 40 pages of To The Lighthouse.  The writing flows. Stream of consciousness flows through you. You are eager to learn the next train of thought or imagination. You dig it. With The Wire, it is about 4-5 episodes. Interestingly, when The Wire asked critics to review episodes, it did not sent then one episode at a time, as it was the norm, they sent the entire season.

Once in a dinner conversation, a friend of a friend remarked that The Wire is discussed as a Homerian Odyssey work. Having read Odyssey, I had wondered how it would compare. I would still agree that the comparison is still a stretch but The Wire, with its grandiose scale and imagination,  has come the closest to its goal.


What is The Wire?
The Wire is a realistic portrayal of dysfunctional life in the city of Baltimore. It is a nuanced analysis of a system gone wrong and how it effects different people. It highlights the majestic design built into the system that hides its ills under a carpet and how all of us are fooled by it. The first season focusses largely focusses on the interplay of cops and drug sellers. It shows hierarchy in both the systems and it takes time to realize that the drug lords are much more organized than Police Commissioners and Majors. It is not that cops are good and drug sellers are bad. Cops beat people unnecessarily, they lie, sometimes steal and for the most part are not willing to do their jobs. And how can you hate drug sellers who are mostly small early teenagers, hope to be doctors, pilots or whatever will make them rich and are kind to their own people. There is no right or wrong in The Wire. There is only fact. This is what happens. Judging characters in Wire is akin to judging ourselves, our society and it is highly disconcerting.

The second season expands its scope by going one step up on the ladder of drug distribution, aka drug sourcing. We now look at life of people in shipping docks who are involved in smuggling trade in to Baltimore. The docks are dying, running off technology that is decades old and realizing that their skills  are not required in the new world. The next generation of dock children are lost looking for a future for themselves. We go more into the personal lives of our cops, or the lack of it.

The beauty of Wire is that it keeps on introducing new characters and yet each one fits the system. Season 3 goes back to the streets where there is a new attempt to legalize drugs in order to keep streets crime free. This season of The Wire starts going more into the political angles of the city, how police is controlled by corrupt mayors and how political players manipulate the system for their own good.

Many call the fourth season of The Wire as its greatest. One reason is that by third season, we are totally invested into this world,  we are comfortable being in it. We want to know what happens to our friends and what's new in store. The Wire does not disappoint. In the fourth season, The Wire takes on the education system by focussing on how our schools are failing. Reality is grim. It drains you all your energy by mere thinking about it. The system is fucked up that it is beyond anyone to set it straight. No one knows how to set is straight. And the worst part is that no one even wants to talk about it. Not David Simon. It is in this season that it hits us that this is the greatest strength of the wire. To take the ugly ,the broken, the untouchable and the untalkable and bring it into our living rooms, make it palatable although with huge gulps, to start conversations, to make us understand that the cocoon in which we live in is not the only world that is out there. Fourth season can be enjoyed on its own but to see it as a continuation of first, second and third season is something else. The paining which started on a handkerchief sized canvas is now covering the entire Berlin wall.

Fifth season extends on the fourth one by going into the dying print journalism industry. It has been called a very weak season but a David Simon blog post justifies the season. He writes that it is equally important to see what is not being said as it is to see what is been told. The meta takes a whole new meaning.


The Rage
The Wire is an outcome of a rage. The rage of David Simon. On perhaps the greatest country in this Earth, the system is so screwed up that it is beyond repair. If our civilization has to be collapse and thousands of years later if one has to study what led to its collapse, Wire will be one of the best sources to study. The channeling of this rage is evident in several characters. Several shades of rage come out sometimes in rants and sometimes in silences. Every episode starts with a line on an epigraph and each episode does feel like visiting yet another graveyard. With lines like "Maybe we won" and "Don't matter how many times you get burnt, you just keep doin' the same", there are shades of resignation and comedy.