Friday, November 24, 2006

A Babel-y experience …

I’d seen the movie Babel around a week ago here in Warsaw. I liked the movie … but it was more fun watching it here ! So first I’d talk about the experience and then the movie.

All Hollywood movies are played with polish subtitles in Warsaw (of course .. why wouldn’t they ?). But that was a slight problem for the only English speaking audience. 10 minutes in the movie, I was looking at my friend like we’d just spent 16 zlotys on lessons in a language whose name also we didn’t know ! 20 minutes into the movie … the lessons had turned multi ethnic and multi lingual ! 30 minutes into the movie .. it was a freakin’ global village in front of us and we were missing Arthur Dent to squeeze a Babel fish into our ear ! Halfway through the movie, we’d given up on one of our senses and were focusing only on visual contemplation.

Around 70-80 % of the movie happens to be either in Moroccan or Mexican or Japanese (I think). Only the rest in English. Now if I’d watch it back in India it would obviously not be a problem coz I’d have English subtitles. Here it was another story.

But the funny thing was … actually more surprising than being funny … that we still understood the whole movie ! And we didn’t just understand it … we loved it ! Call it great direction or acting or both … but even without understanding what’s being said, you could easily feel what the characters were going through !

Ofcourse there was still one point in the movie when we got extremely frustrated when a mute girl is using sign language … and there were still Polish subtitles !!! I mean c’mon !!!

Now to the movie. The message was very clear … but my interpretation was a little different. No matter who you are, whichever part of the world you may belong to, whichever culture or language … you are human. You feel like any other human. You struggle like any other human. And it was brought out beautifully in the movie. The best part I liked was the music and the photography. The background score, especially the guitar was simply touching.

My favorite scene in the movie is towards the end when they show the helicopter flying into the village from below … and the music … it’s like angles gliding down.

Anywayz, thanks to the movie we have another word of ‘mananamanana’ (a bit cryptic) or for situations when you meet someone / some people and you don’t understand the language … Babel ! :)

Shit Happens…

One of the things common amongst all cultures (of my generation) that I noticed was the increasing clarity and therefore, humour on religion or popular ideologies. The following descriptions of various religions/ ideologies was given to me by Jack (his real polish name is beyond me) over some sheesha. Here are some of the ones I liked/ understood. If you Google on this you’d probably find more …

TAOISM : Shit Happens

CONFUCIANISM : Confucious say, “Shit Happens”

ZEN : What is the sound of shit happening ?

ISLAM : If shit happens , take a hostage.

COMMUNISM : Equal shit happens to all people.

CATHOLICISM : Shit happens because you are bad.

RIGHT – WING PROTESTANTISM : Let this shit happen to someone else.

JUDAISM : Why does shit always happen to us ?

ATHEISM : I don’t believe this shit !

EXISTENTIALISM : Shit doesn’t happen … shit IS !

BUDDISM : Shit happens, but pay no heed.

HINDUISM : This shit has happened before.

OBJECTIVISM : Our shit is good for you.

REAGANISM : Don’t move .. the shit will trickle down.

RASTAFARIANISM : Let’s smoke this shit ! :)

Disclaimer : My own view of religions, the one I was inherited in and the one I adopted later on … are also included in this list. This is merely a compilation from a bigger list. If I have missed out your religion and you feel offended by it … well shit happens ! If I have missed out your religion and you are happy about it … don’t worry … sooner or later … shit happens ! If I have included your religion and you feel offended by it … well read the subject line again ! You may think your religion may deserve more respect than others but I don’t. Besides, any religion should have a big enough heart to take some humour !!!

Back online ???

The posting activity by the author of this blog has been … well to say the least … very confused ! Random posts have appeared and then later removed for absolutely mystic reasons.
The author would not like to apologise for that … only acknowledge it. :)

The author would further like to add that normal activity and senses are returning and so would the posting. This is due to the following two reasons in order of importance:

1. The author feels much better now … happier if you must.
2. The author’s blog appears as the third link on Google when queried for the author’s name and he strongly feels he should do something about it. :)

-End of transmission-

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Budddddday post !

well it's my birthday eve ... so i was just trying to recall all the birtdays I could remember. I was ... and still am quite shocked !
Out of the 22 such apparently 'most important days' that have passed, i could just remember 2 !!!
Ok let's discount the first 2-3 buddays on the reason that I was probably too young to understand and remember them. But after that ... there is no reason that I shouldn't have !

The first one that I remember happened sometime when i was around 10 (See ... i don't even remember the date !!!). There was a kiddy birthday party at our house. There were lots of little kids. We all had them cone shaped birthday hats. We played musical chairs. Then I cut the cake and everyone sang them birthday songs. Then we all ate some cake and chips and patties and had some coke. I recieved lots of gifts ... but I don't remember any of them. Then i gave them return gifts and they all went back home by 10.

The second one was last year. It was in MDI. It's the sweetest birthday that I'll remember for the rest of my life probably.

Well this year there's nothing much to look forward to. It'll be the usual. SSDD.

I don't get it what's the big deal about birthdays anyway ! It's just any other day. I don't even remember being born ... I was just told I was born this day ! Just an excuse to party though :) But out here in Poland even that's a commodity !

Anywayz ... happy birthday to me ;)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wake me up when september ends ...

I thought I'd start embedding some videos i've been making here in Poland. To start off with it, here's a little test.

It's one of my old favorites ... just discovered it again on youtube.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Freebird ...

Recieved a mail a couple of days back ... this is what it said.

If i leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me ?
For I must be travelling on, now
'Cause there's too many places, I've gotta see

But if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn't be the same.
'Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows, I can't change.

Bye, Bye, babe it's been sweet love.
Though this feeling I can't change.
But please don't take it so badly,
'Cause lord knows I'm to blame.

But if I stayed here with you girl,
Things just couldn't be the same.
Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
and this bird you'll never change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows, I can't change.
Lord help me, I can't change.

Live version here and album version here

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vampires and Warewolves

A couple of days ago i was introduced to the Monsters Game 4 by a source I do not seem to remember right now. I seems like a really interesting online game.

You choose to be either a vampire or a warewolf. You have certain attributes such as strength, agility, defense, stamina, etc. You have to earn gold coins to do anything either by working in the graveyard or by raiding a town of innocent victims or you can loot them by attacking a warewolf.

I was introduced to strategy games by Red Alert (see previous posts) and I instantly fell in love with them. The fact that it's a battle of grey cells rather than hand-eye coordination appealed to me the most. It basically gives me more people to challenge ;).

The game's pretty appealing at first. But just like Red Alert ... it turned out to be a simple game of numbers. Once you figure out the investment in a move, it's possible payback and the variable risk, the game turns black and white. It being a browser game is much more simpler than Red Alert. So the novelty or the mystery of the game is already lost for me. All that remains is probably the ego of being on top. Which'll take no less than a year I suppose.

If anyone's interested in checking it out ... here's the link.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Carpe Diem

Was forwarded this quote by monkey today ... really liked it ...
It's from Dead Poet's Society .. I guess I need to watch that movie ;)

They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A ‘pinch’ of Brown

Till now I’d read a lot about racial discrimination. About apartheid. About the ‘blacks’. About the ‘dalits’. About the ‘untouchables’. About the great leaders who tried to fight it. About wars. About various genres of music being inspired in slave ghettos.

I’d seen movies like American History X showing a side of the white supremists. I’d read about some of them ‘punks’ here in Poland with their haircuts and swastika tattoos, etc.

But finally when I came face to face with racial discrimination … it was in the form of a sweet looking girl not much older than I am. We went to this restaurant to have dinner … 5 Indians. We sat and ordered whatever we could understand. We were just sitting and talking like any other human being in the place. Then this sweet looking girl comes up to us and asks us “Where are you from ?”.

We reply normally, “India”.
She asks “You’re a long way from home … how come ?”.

We tell her how we’re in Poland and that we’re just traveling in her city.

Then all a sudden ... the sweet smile changed into devilish grin. “Well you chose the wrong country to come !”

Puzzled, we ask, “why do you say that ?”
With contempt in her eyes she answers back, “ because you are not welcome here”

Still confused with why suddenly the world was shifting under our feet, we ask her, “why ?”
And that’s when it hits us when she says very matter of factly with a remorseless smile, “Because you’re brown”.

Whatever happened after that is not worth mentioning. To say the least after a little more conversation we just left the place … with our prides hurt.

The very next emotion that hits you after experiencing something like that is anger. Immense, uncontrollable, irrational and scorching anger. Your mind races, it replays that moment again and again in order to understand what just happened and seeks to answer why the hell … why ? I mean we had done nothing wrong. Beneath our Brown skin we were like just any other mortal sitting under that roof having a meal just like anyone else. And still we were not welcome. Still we had to gather the pieces of our shattered egos and prides and walk away. Irrational. And exactly that is the reason why we shouldn’t have. We try to fool ourselves to believe that we should’ve stayed there and ‘stood by our rights’ only to have been more brutally demeaned later on. Anger.

That night it was just so difficult to sleep. Lying in bed, the transition from a smile to those contemptuous eyes kept reappearing again and again. A big question mark kept knocking on my forehead with a hammer. Finally, somewhere in the midst of a million thoughts and feelings, I drifted away …

The next morning was much calmer. My brain more rational. I re-winded to time since we came here. I met all those nice people again. Normal people. I realized that this was just one bad incident. One in a million that I’d had so I shouldn’t be bothered. I remember reading about the little fraction of people who were like that.

And then I miss home. I remember not remembering a single incident in my country where some white or black or brown or small eyed or big nosed human being was told that he was not welcome. Sure we do harass people … probably for their money or probably some really horny Indian touches a white woman in a place where he shouldn’t have … but then they’re still all welcome. They’re still not told to leave. Sure we may have racial discrimination within our country …. But then that’s here as well ! I don’t understand for what reason the western countries call themselves great while belting out such humiliation to people on the other hand. Yes I am hurt. Still. I know it’ll get better. I know I’ll meet more people here who’ll gradually erase this bad memory. But the lesson still remains. The comparison will still stand tall with my country’s shadow on the others. My respect for my country still increases.

Of course one of my other brown friends also experienced a similar incident … but chuck it.

Thinking about it more rationally. You realize how insecure these people are. Someone’s not welcome in your house only when you consider him in some way a threat. Now whatever the reason may be … superstitious and irrational, religious, economical or whatever … these people just show their insecurity.

Anywayz … I’ve overturned this experience on its head as everything has a good side to it as well.

Moreover, as someone with a more progressive thinking I realize the kind of difference that exist and the cross cultural gaps that need bridging. One realized the kind of challenges facing the third rock from the sun from becoming a whole. One appreciates the efforts of people like Nelson Mandela and countless others in history for fighting something so arbit and irrational and yet so strong. One realizes the greatness about being brown.

Wait for me

A beautiful song by an Indian Band.

The website is a must visit and you can download their songs from there as well.

Here's a sampler ... wait for me

All around me I see light I see the darkness in full flight
All around me, when I touch your face You fly away like the butterflies

Into the night, into the light You never wait for me

Into the night of sunshine Please won't you wait for me

Surrounded in smoke and sound
In clouds of dust I go and drown
In the distance you run again
You scream out loud just turn around

And you wait for me For I couldn't see

you never wait for me
Into the night of sunshine
Please won't you wait for me

Running in the sand, like a free bird
All that you wanted
And you're coming in to land
To fly away again
Into the sand
And you're drowning in the sea
You're alive and you're free
And from the mountains
You will fall but you won't crawl
Never again never again

You my moon
You kiss the waves goodbye
You show your same face to me
Crying, yet so free
And you wait for me
For I couldn't see
you never wait for me
Into the night of sunshine
Please won't you wait for me

Friday, September 22, 2006

Flight of ecstacy

That's how my first flight was :)

not because of the service ... Turkish airlines service is really crappy and the cabin crew is pathetic. It was because of the thrill of being 10,400 m in the air and cruising at 840 km/h !!!

The take off is the best part of the whole experience. You're sitting nicely in your seat when all of a sudden there's this huge force and u start accelerating ... 50km/h ... 100 km/h ... 300 km/h ... and then just take off !! All of that just in some 10-15 seconds !!! Fast cars are a fantasy of the past now for me. It's the skies now that I wanna zoom in !

After climbing to around 10,000 meters it's just a completely different world up there. Walking around in some serene landscape with waterfalls and streams and lush greenery etc. etc. like they show in wall paintings is one thing. Zooming around in mammoth but so still as those wall sceneries is something completely different. It's a very humbling experience of sorts as well. Each cloud is a gigantic island in themselves ... yet they float so calmly over the skies.

I dunno about someone else ... but i thought they were very beautiful !

Here's some pictures as taken from my window :)

feels like you can just walk on them :)

flying into the sunset

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My new phone :)

Due to the sad demise of my previous, Nokia 1100, I have just purchased a new Motorola L6. The 1100 was washed and rinsed thoroughly in the washing machine as someone forgot to take it out of the pocket before putting the shorts in for washing.

But thanx to that .. I have this beauty now :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

T minus 16 days and counting

Counting very fast at that !

Now that I've come back home from college, I feel as clueless as Alice in Wonderland.

I have this danting feeling that I have to do a lot .. but just don't know what !

I know I'm leaving in 16 days ... But I haven't even made a single checklist till now. It wouldn't have been too much of a problem if I was just going down to Ooty. But this is Poland ! And I'm staying there for 90 days exactly ! I think I should start making atleast a rough list rather than sitting on the net and typing away arbit stuff... But then that wouldn't be even half the fun :)

I have finally decided to not travel to the schengen countries. There are a few reasons for it but money being the main one. I just don't wanna spend more than 50k travelling for just 10 days in Europe. For my mind it just doesn't make sense that I'm taking so much money from my folks just for travelling and that too just 10 days. I think I can make that trip later as well.

But that doesn't mean that I won't travel at all ! Surely I'll travel to every nook and corner that Poland has to offer. And then I'll go skiing and mountain climbing :)

I really don't know the kind of people that are coming with me to Poland. One seems spaced out, one seems too serious and one I just don't know. I'm sure they're all pretty nice people ... But I just don't know. And they're nice doesn't mean we'll gel.

All said and done, there's one reason that's really holding me back from going. I just don't feel like leaving when some people are here. (It's crappy)

But nonetheless, the countdown has begun ... :)
I think i'll start making a list now :)

End of a term – beginning of an era

I’m not trying to sound very dramatic and profound here. I’m just stating what I feel.

The fourth term ended two days ago. My second… fourth term. But it was more than just that for me. So much has happened now that it’s just impossible to put in here and merely undermine it. Beginning of an era would just be mildly putting it.

I don’t wanna count my chickens before they hatch so I won’t say anymore. But all I wanna say is that I’m glad that I did it again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

When I just couldn't sleep ...

Tonight (or last night) was the first night after coming to MDI when I just couldn't sleep !

Mainly 3 things on my mind...
1. Work
2. RA
3. (has to remain undisclosed due to the varied readership of this blog)

First I just kept planning what all I have to do over the next few days. How I have to plan my work. blah blah blah
Then I just couldn't get those tanks and those damn ore trucks out of my mind. That's the problem with playing an RTS ... there are so many possibilites that u just keep exploring ... just keep planning engineer rushes or tanya attacks or just keep building TANKS !!!
Ofcourse then there was this bit of anxiety .. uncertainity.

Anywayz the point is that I just don't like this. I love sleeping nowadays. Anything that keeps me away from that unnecassarily is simply not welcome ! But so twisted is the human mind that it just keeps on ticking even when u are screaming at it to stop.

Sometimes I seriously wish I could take my brain out of my head and keep it in the cupboard while I go to sleep ... But then I wudn't get those nice dreams ... :)
(life's always a trade off ... just like RA ;))

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lollakutti was drumming her fingers restlessly on the table. She looked around nervously for a hint but couldn't get even a wiff of what it was. A few around her were as nervous and clueless as she was. Finally after a few minutes of wait the guy behind her kicked her seat just slightly. Then with exact precision a sheet was passed on to her containing all the answers to calculating the COCOMO of the case given. This was a mid term exam. Ofcourse the invigilator didn't see a thing. But then he wasn't looking was he ?

Halfway through our mid terms we received a mail from our elected representatives saying that someone from the batch had gone and complained to tyrant that there was rampant cheating going on in the exams and they would be helpless now incase anyone got caught.

This brings a few very interesting points to light.

Firstly ... It goes on to reflect the unity in the batch. The future managers of the country ... or let's be a bit modest .... tomorrow's multinational's middle managers are definitely gonna be a backstabbing lot ! (hopefully only some :))

Secondly .... It highlights the benefits of having relative grading. I mean when you know what grade you get is largely gonna depend upon what everybody else gets (why ???), ofcourse you're gonna try to cheat and write atleast what everybody else is writing in the exam. And it is a logical conclusion that someone who's not cheating would not appreciate other people who didn't study as much getting ahead or equal to him by just making some sly efforts in the exam.

Thirdly .... This is human nature ! Unlike our tyrants, I don't quite live in a utopian society so I realize that wherever there are 40 odd students in the room writing an exam, there's bound to be some who will feel like sharing their information with someone and other's who'd gratefully accept it. There's cheating even withouh RG ... It is highly unlikely that there wouldn't be some with it !

Lastly ... it shows how tyranny justs gets worse ! Instead of realizing that the grading system is cheating-inducing, that the invigilators are sleeping and at times even allowing rampant cheating in the exam, that if 40 year old NMP students cheat in exams then it is brilliantly stupid to expect 20 somethings not to, that basically there should be better methods of evaluation ... the tyrants simply put stricter punishments and reexams.

As for me , I didn't cheat in the exams. I'm sure lolakutti got the same answer as me and would end up getting the same marks and grade as well. I think it's just about preperation. If I hadn't prepared .. then probably I would've been tempted to cheat as well. But even then I would've thought ... Is it worth it ???

"I was thrown ot of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam. I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me " - Woody Allen

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Red Alert !

I'm a sucker for computer games.

From the days of those little hand-held pixelled tetris pads came ... I've been jabbing my fingers at various game consoles for all I can remember.

Arkanoid, Pacman, bomberman ... then came prince of persia ... and then finally ... Wolfenstein !!! It was a small step for man but a giant leap for MeKind ! The thrill of shooting rockets and all kinds of out of this world weapons at other was simply too good to resist. Since then the waepons have just got more destructive. The graphics have just gone better. The blood and guts have gone more detailed. The aggression has just multiplied ... the violence has just increased.
And I love it !! :)
Multiplayer gaming brought on another realm ... killing other humans in virtual reality ! I don't know how people feel when they kill someone in reality. But killing someone in a first person shooter gives you an amazing amount of satisfaction. So there was a spate of 3D games getting closer and closer to reality like Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament and the works.

Finally came the combination of skill, graphics, tactics and everything else you could dream of ... Counter Strike !

But now ofcourse my gaming instincts have pretty much taken the back seat. Priorities have changed quite a lot.. But then came an offer which I simply couldn't refuse. Application of Game Theory to business.

I won't go into the details but the jist is simply this ... learning game theory through computer strategy games. Therefore came red alert.

I've always been averse to strategy games. I considered too slow for my taste. But after trying out red alert I can testify that this is not so. Strategy games can get pretty fast. And they require a lot more thinking that simple predictive shooting. You have to constantly analyze the situation and plan your course of action. It's all about strategy :). And best of all ... you can be extrememely creative in this.

I would say that I've pretty much fallen in love with the game. So for a while .. whenenver we can .... RedAlertenge !

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Remember when you were young ...

One of the very few guys that I've ever respected in life ...

Someone so poetic and thoughtful as his music just passed away. Probably just another statistic for some ... but death of a legend for me ...

I'll just reproduce the song that Pink Floyd (another legend) wrote for him after he was asked to leave the band due to excessive intoxication and antics.

A beautiful song ... Shine on you Crazy Diamond ...
Remember when you were young,
you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Nowthere's a look in your eyes,
like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger,
you legend, you martyr,and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon,
you cried for themoon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened byshadows at night,
and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver,
you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner,and shine!
Nobody knows where you are,
how near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
And we'll bask in the shadow
of yesterday's triumph,
and sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child,
you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion,and shine!

You'll always shine on .. syd

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Holy Wars !

Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something I don’t understand …

A high powered song by Megadeth … captures clearly my bafflement and anger.

For me … religion is the single most evil prevalent in the world today. Moreover, if I really had to point a finger at someone, I’d do that in every possible way at them goat-slaughtering prophets. Call me narrow minded, illiterate, dumb or even psychotic for committing the crime of stereotyping … I don’t care! When it comes to imagining evil I see a huge army of devils masquerading as religious crusaders and I see Islamism riding on horses and leading the pack of doom and destruction.

Probably another mumbaiker who lost a loved one in bomb blasts or a mother who lost her son in 9-11 will understand how I feel. Others, I know, will simply ridicule. I just want to highlight one point here … if anybody would do a google search on terrorism and terrorist attacks (which is a global crises now ... bigger than even global warming) … the word jehad would come written all over on the screen. If you’d search on most wanted or feared terrorists, islam would be the theme which would emerge as the most common amongst them.

Now this is not a hate-passage on islam or anything like that. It’s not like I hate them. I perfectly understand that they are humans just like me. It’s not a particular religion that I hate at all. It’s the whole concept of religion as it exists today that I detest. Jehadis , I believe, are merely the most gullible and dumb humans of all. Religion has been the tool used to disillusion, gather and move the masses for other’s vested interests ever since the dark ages. It has infact tainted god or His image atleast in my eyes (if it all …. But then that’s another story). The crusades are the earliest example I can think of where power hungry kings used to send armies of hypnotized devouts to kill each other so they could expand the lines on their maps. Even now the main motive remains the same, it’s just that the weapons have gotten more destructive and the aftermath uglier.

It’s like a drug … this religion. And a very lethal one at that. It first shows you flowers and happiness and the promised land. You get attracted towards it like moths towards a scorching bulb. Soon you are hypnotized and are willing to do anything in the name of God as presented by the man standing on the altar swinging a book. Even kill. Thankfully in most urban areas people have found enough material distractions to make them feel happy that’s why many have grown disenchanted with the religion disease (point is debatable but definitely not shun able).

I don’t want to get into the debate on God HisSelf right now. Although I’d say this much that it is a beautiful concept. The path to nirvana is actually quite true as is preached in the name of god under religion. But the name of God is being grossly misused.

I don’t know how much sense I’ve been able to make out here. That’s because emotions are mostly leading my fingers rather than structured thoughts. In the end I’d just like to say that I think that the onus is upon the more sensible islamists themselves. Today they face the danger of being stereotyped and branded overall as extremists. This could especially spell disaster for the millions of innocent islamists that live as minorities in non Islamic countries. It is upto these left brain oriented people to stop their own from this mass terror and destruction.

As for me … sometimes when I see some conspicous fellow wearing a small white cap … a thought does cross my mind … it goes … does he respect my country ? does he respect my right to live ? is he a human first and then a muslim or the other way ?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Killing in the name

Killing in the name of
Some of those that were forces … are the same that burnt crosses

Once again Mumbai was shaken by multiple – well planned blasts.
Once again the resilient Mumbai-ites came together in the name of humanity.
Once again life has returned back to normal immediately the next day.
Once again there will be another series of blasts … people will die … world leaders will condemn … families will be scarred … terrorism will be victorious !

I completely agree with, and appreciate, the resilience and spirit of Mumbai so to speak (although the same can be extended to the whole country). But somehow I don’t agree with the follow up.

It has become some sort of a cycle … there’s a terrorist attack … people die … there’s worldwide hue and cry … some people are arrested afterwards … people feel safer … and then it happens again. The only thing that changes is that the terrorist organizations become stronger and so do the intensity of the attacks.

I simply don’t understand how these disgraces on humanity can actually manage to survive and flourish in face of the whole ‘worldwide war against terrorism’ going on. Somewhere down the line get a feeling maybe it’s just propaganda. There’s state sponsored / organized terrorism (or genocide) happening everywhere in the world, it’s just that some are elevated to the status of ‘fight for democracy’ while some get the branding of terrorism.

Those who die are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites

I don’t think I need to list the atrocities people have gone through the world over in the name of democracy. Crimes are being committed against humanity the world over everyday by countries and they are not being crucified ! There’s a stone pelt here and there but jets still drop bombs on civilians. This is what I think that’s unfair. Why should one group be allowed to massacre while the other is condemned ? Why should some people who die be victims for while others, equally innocent, be called casualties ?

Point is that there’s propaganda everywhere. Either in the name of religion or in the name of democracy or in the name of territory. Humans are basically plain stupid. They fall for one while they denounce the other. What they don’t see through is the vested interests. What they fail to realize is the absurdity of the methods which are the same in all. What they don’t feel, is the pain of another human being in each of these.

Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me

I just wish people had enough power to stand up for what’s wrong and enough sense to see what’s right. I just wish they would stop being hypocritical and accusing only sheep of having a herd mentality.

I think weapons are simply useless. They’re the worst creation of mankind. They’re like mankind’s Frankenstein. I think that as soon as possible, we should do away with them one way or another. Either we just use them all on one another and finally fulfill the reason why they were created for … or we just dump them in the sea or something. I simply don’t see the point in stacking them up. All that happens is that there’s a leak and they fall in the wrong hands. (from one monkey to another).

In a closing note … Rage against the machine rocks !!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Billions of Fortresses

Sunday was a shocking day for me.

I got down from my house with my folks to leave back for college. As soon as I sat in the car I realised that the stereo wasn't there ! I had sat in the car just the previous day and over the night it had disappeared !

What was even more shocking than realizing that it had been stolen was the fact that the car was parked right in front of the place where the colony guard is supposed to sit !

Now things get stolen everyday from people so I guess it's not that big a deal for anybody. But this was the first time anything had been stolen from us (and hopefully the last time). It's a very humbling feeling of sorts in many ways.

I mean we spend our lifetimes in trying to secure ourselves. We get educated to have a secure future. We buy all kinds of locks and security alarms for our houses. We graduate from bikes to cars for a safer ride. Infact we enter social circles and make friends, etc. in order to secure our needs for belonging and ego. We basically try to build this cocoon around us and lock ourselves in it ... victims of our own insecurity
........ And then all it takes is enough will or hunger of some other individual(s) who take something away from us and make us realise just how penetrable and vulnerable we really are.

It's not just stealing. A wayward comment is sometimes all it takes to make us feel vulnerable and shatter our defence mechanisms.

What's more interesting is that once the feeling of security gets breached, we retract further into our shells and put up more and more layers around us. (we just got an automatic security alarm installed in the car). We become more aggerssive or submissive. But the detachment increases nonetheless. People become more and more suspicious of strangers and even friends and relatives. It's like visiting a posh colony in urban Delhi where people live in there well equipped palaces and are either oblivious or suspicious of anybody else.

Ofcourse we don't live in a utopian world so I can't think of any possible solution for this dichotomy. Moreover I haven't reached the echelons of spirituality where I can shun away materialism and relationships to feel blissful secuirty. I guess what is possible in such a case is to prioritise. I'm not implying a preplanned ranking of everything with worst case scenarios and the works. Real time assesment shall suffice.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hyperdrive !

That's exactly how life feels in right now. Hyperdrive.

classes ... prereads... quizzes... mid terms on the head... competitions ... phew !

I didn't concern myself with any of these last time around so it's a completely new experience ...
pleasant or unpleasant i can't decide.

But thanx to all this what's taken a backseat is my keeping in touch with important people.

Now i'm just waiting for end terms to get over so I can get mailing again ! :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

People are strange ...

People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces seem ugly when you're alone ...

And so sang Jim Morrisson. (i'm gonna take the song a bit out of context)

Sometimes I really wish I had studied psychology instead of computer science.
There are so many instances that I come across where I am simply unable or incapable of understanding the behavior of people, indicudually and in a group. That's a very frustrating feeling. Here you are ... watching someone or some people acting in some way you simply can't comprehend. My interpretation is simply of bemusement. To me it seems just ridiculous.

Just today the induction of my second junior batch got over. It was quite funny to see people behave quite differently from how I'd seen them or come to expect them to behave. Suddenly compassionate people turned cold. Indifferent people turned driven towards a cause of keeping the juniors awake endlessly. Non existent people were suddenly vying for even the smallest piece of limelight they could hog on to. The ostracised turned preachers.

It's quite funny, the whole thing. I can say that because I was quite detached from the whole phenomenon myself. But the one motivation or characteristic that stood to be the common factor among all these anomolies was attention seeking.

It's not too difficult to understand really. I mean here's a batch of 180 some people who know nothing about you as of now. You wanna break free from the cliche' you've been carved into by your peers over the last year. You wanna make an impression. You wanna impress the opposite sex. Basically pretty juvinile.

I would've probably expected a batch of to-be managers with some 2-3 years of work experience to act more maturely. Namely to be above all this. But it's not so.

I can critque this because as I've said earlier, I've been pretty detached this time. I don't remember much of how I was the last time around. Maybe I was juvinile too. Altough I do remember being detached the last time around as well, but then there are always varying perceptions.

The point I'm trying to make is ... is based pretty much upon my experience only. It's what I realize that when I try to assume myself to be behaving that way ( I can only assume as my memory fails me here ) ... I feel very stupid if I had. But then I find it very justifiable and excusable as well. Maybe Freud was right after all.

By the way while writing this i happened to read the lyrics of People are strange more contemplatively ... and I think the poet's words deserve a mention here in full.

People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces seem ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down

When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
Noone remembers your name
When you're strange

People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Wome seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down

When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
Noone remembers your name
When you're strange

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Guilt Trip ...

The induction time is here once again.
A batch of 180 seniors make their 180 some juniors go through 3-4 sleepless days of humiliation and tension. I have not been able to find a rational justification for this institute - sponsored ragging yet but like herd mentality I have been a part of it for second year in a row.

So there I was ... shouting at those 'juniors', most of whom are proably atleast 2-3 years older than me. I had imagined it would be some sort of ego cum power trip to stand on the podium and tell them not to sleep or not to cross talk or to take things seriously, etc etc. But at the end of it I felt quite numb. There was no ego trip, no pride and no overwhelming sense of power or joy. If there was anything, there was a nagging question ... Why did I do it ?

But the overwhelming sense of guilt did not come from that. It happened during the 'interviews'.

It's not very easy to put oneself in her shoes ... but i'll try anyways. She hadn't slept for more than 40 hours or so. She was utterly confused about what was happening around her. Things were moving very fast. Every once in a while some seniors came and shouted at the whole batch. A couple of hours back some foreigners had given a very arbit presentation about some colleges she's never heard of. Then they'd gotten mad and walked off and here she was giving an interview for an exchange program she had no clue about, let alone be interested in it.

For us .. she was just the last 'candidate'.

So here we are .. four of us sitting in a room at 4 in the morning. She walked in and sat down. We had decided to take a stress interview. And hence it began ... the endless row of questioning, cross questioning, ordering, embarassment ...

At that moment even I was not feeling any remorse or concern for that poor soul. We had come to a moment in the interview when all four of us were laughing at her as she sat there confused and slightly embarassed but still smiling.

And then it happend ...

In the smiling and answering back and trying to defend her very existence, she cracked and suddenly burst into tears. We were speechless. I was shocked. I was embarassed at myself. The damage, even though only temporary, had been done to her self esteem.

I mean here I was looking at her CV and admiring the things she'd done. A very sweet looking woman who comes from a smaller town than mine. Her resume speaks at leangth about her ambitions and dreams and what all she's accomplished. And I along with 2 others ( one really didn't say anything ) had virtually broken her down to the extent she had to cry in front of 4 strangers.

It's very hard to come over this kind of guilt. A guilt caused by my own stupidity.

Anyways we've decided to take her out for luch and apologise for the nth time ... It may not be enough or necassary .. but nonetheless.

I know she'll probably never read this , but VJ .. I'm really really sorry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thank you sLiPkNoT !

It's back !!!

I had been feeling very imcomplete lately.
It's like some life force was missing. Some passion.

I sincerely believe that there's one particular thing that always keeps one going. Something other than work ... ambition ... power ... blah blah. Something that you require regularly in doses. For some it's family. For some it may be painting. Hobby wouldn't be the exact way to put it. Whatever it may be termed ... I know for me it's music.

It's a perfect harmony (well created music that is). It's the symbolism for creativity, synchronization, intelligence, emotions and the works.

I had lost it for some time off late. Music had gone into the background. It had been not able to appreciate it. I had become detached.

But .... now it's back. And what brought it back ?
sLiPkNoT !!!

It was duality actually. Now it's rage against the machine, coldplay .... they're all gradually coming back . I know some people may not wanna call slipknot music ... well ... balls !!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Home Sweet Home

It's true that it's damn hot here and even a single night at home in the ac is much welcome. It is also true that I had a lot of unwashed clothes and it is much easier to haul them back home and get them washed and ironed rather than get it done here by myself.

But more than any of those reasons, I feel it was just good to be home for a day. After what's happened home may not be the same, but it's still much better than here. It's still the place you can feel loved and comfortable.

"Country roads ... take me home ..."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Victimization or Legitimate action ?

Just last night I was kidnapped by a professor. He went on lamenting about his 'those' days when he used to be young. It was irrelevant mostly. But a few times in the middle of the conversations, or the monolouge, he claimed that he admired me. Naturally I asked him why. His reason was that I had been victimized and still I was strong.

Victimized ?
Apparently the 'gods' in the upper echelons of power had decided that the mortal MBAs were taking life not so seriously. The Gods feared that the mortal MBAs had started believing (or realizing) that most of what they were doing was simply over-hyped nonsense. They feared that the kids were loosing their capabilities of respect.
They wanted to make an example out of someone. They wanted to send ripples in the community (I'm quoting him). They wanted to find a scapegoat who was very popular and very happy. To their pleasure, they found me ! To make their jobs even easier, I was an open rebel as well. So one day the gods sat in their high thrones, they decided that conformation had to be re-instated. And thus they passed this decree. To hold me back that is.

Now I choose not to believe him. It would be very easy to believe the romanticized and tragic version of the antihero and thus let the impact on me fade away. The above story would be a dangerous hypothesis for me for it would put the blame in hands other than mine.

Not that I am obsessed with claiming the blame. It's just that I would be much better off in believing that it was legitimate action enforced on a misdirected soul. That it was necassary by rule. Then I would have something to prove.

As they say
When in rome ...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Phoenix !

Well I'm back at MDI.

All the anticipation, anxiety, dread and excitement has come to an end. A very subtle one at that.

You come back and see the same hallways, the same rooms, the same chairs and tables ... but the people are not there. I guess the foundation of every memory is the people in it. It's what you cherish u did with other people rather than where you were or what you did with other people. Once the people are gone, the place haunts. I think that's it. Right now the same halls, the same rooms and the same chairs seem strange. They seem scary. But it could probably be because of the bad experience attached to it as well. I don't know the main reason, but I miss the people.

I might be too dramatic here, but this is how I feel ...

It's like going back to a battlefield. You've been there before. You've lost some friends. You've had some good times there before. You've had some shitty ones. Now you're back. You're all alone this time. You have some unfinished business to take care of. You can't turn back. It's the same place but there's something different about it this time. It's probably just the air. Or the colour of the leaves. But you can't put your finger on it. You're in a new team. There's no comarderie here. You're carrying excess baggage. You have to carry it alone. There are a lot of hopes riding on you. There's no giving up. You have to carry on. You have to rise through the ashes like a phoenix.

(well i'm just pepping myself up ;))

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The ant and the grasshopper

Got this among the FLOOD of mails that I recieve in the mail about pro and anit reservation (thanks to Orkut enabled spamming). But this was kinda better than the rest so I am putting it here.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter,the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others arec old and starving.

BBC, CNN, EURO-NEWS, NDTV, FOX NEWS show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper.

Opposition MP's stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh"in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter. The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Bush Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony voered by BBC,CNN, AAJ TAK and NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice".

Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly

Got The Answer...???

YES... You Got It Right...

Some call it RESERVATION n some call it QUOTA!

Friday, June 09, 2006

8:30s ? Nahhhhh !

Yes !!!

I have very good news (for myself).

Just recieved my Time Table for the 4th term ... and there is not even a single 8:30 AM class in my schedule !!!! (maybe there is a God up there)

What's even better is that most days my classes start from 12 !!! Just one day do I have a 10:15 class. (well ok ... most probably there is a God then :))

In fact my Time Table's so beautiful that I shall put it's picture up here !

Now i know I shouldn't get to happy and relaxed about it 'coz I have a lotta things to do .. but still ;)

Back to FIFA !!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

AAAARgghhhhhhh !!!

That's the scream out of frustration, agony and helplessness that I let out everytime my computer shuts down unexpectedly due to overheating.

This is an open declaration to the world and especially to my computer.

I am gonna beat the #@!!*%## shit out of you after a year !!!

That is probably an understatement of what'll be coming your way when I'll be done with u. I am already saving up money to buy a sledgehammer, a chainsaw, a blow torch and all the ancient chinese torture machines that I can gather.

Your end is near u damn computer ... HooHaaHaa HooHaaHaa (Dr. Evil laugh) :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Unmasking the truth !

It has been rumored for quite a while now. People claim to have seen it but no one has ever had decisive evidence to prove it.
Finally I have found conclusive evidence ... a testimony to the hideous truth !!
In a recent shot which can be found on Google, I have discovered the hidden truth … the truth behind the man …

Well ok enough of drama … just highlight the picture like you'd highlight some text and see for yourself …

And you thought all along ….

T minus 4 days …

On Board Computer ………..check
Life Support ………..check
Packing ………..check
Capcom ………..check
Third stage boosters ………..check
Morale ………..check
Navigation systems ………..check
Books ………..check
Landing gear ………..check
Gyros ………..check
Psyche ………..check
AI systems ………..check
Autopilot ………..check
Objectives ………..check

All systems Go.
Houston … we are Go for launch.

Criticism of the ‘high life’ … journalism, jealousy or just sensationalism?

The rich and famous of the country have been a lot in the news lately … but for all the wrong reasons. Fardeen khan being caught with drugs … Shakti Kapoor’s casting couch ... Salman Khan going after the wrong buck ... and now Rahul Mahajan going down on a dangerous cocktail of drugs. These incidents have lead to a national debate of ridiculous proportions on how dangerous the ‘high life’ is becoming. Fashion designers and models and made to sit in front of spiritual gurus and decaying sociologists and debate about the perks and perils of the high life.

I think the debate is perfectly just. Definitely the ell effects of drugs and so called ‘bad-company’ should be discussed and brought out in the open to prevent people from getting into them. I’ve been through such things so I agree even more. But what I don’t agree with is it’s restriction to just the ‘high lifers’. I mean it’s not like only the rich and famous do drugs or meet prostitutes or get into trouble. One should go to places like under the ISBT bridge and you’ll find scores of poverty stricken kids who don’t have money to buy food but still manage to procure some weed. I probably know more college kids and junkies who scrape off every cent of their pocket money they can manage to get another hit than there are celebrities in this country. In every department of trouble in which the celebrities end up, there are probably millions of ‘low lifers’ or ‘medium lifers’ who out do them.

That’s why I wonder. Why the debate about just the rich and famous indulging in deadly sins ? Don’t the not so privileged end up in similar fates, although just cheaper ones ? I’ve never seen a special edition prime time debate because Raju from the Begumpur slums was shot dead in a drunken brawl over a line of cocaine. Such things make one question the exact intentions behind this entire ruckus.

Is it actually the result of professional journalism ? I beg to differ.

Discussing such things allows the channels to put models and the likes on the air while they show images of page 3 parties on the split screen. (maybe they should just convert to page 3 popcorn channels).
Interviewers relentlessly question the celebrities on their moral values and try to get some gossip out of them. (can they put their hand on the Geeta or Quran or the bible and swear to have been pure all their lives ?)
Sociologists and spiritual gurus go into a trance while defending and preaching utopia while the celebrities narrate hard facts of life. (can they really be compared)

What it all ends up being is simply a copy of the tabloids … mud slinging on celebrities … privacy issues … etc etc

It would be nice if the crime and its nature was discussed rather than the perpetrator.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I didn't start the fire !

Or did I ? Or didn't I ? Or maybe i did just a bit ... Or maybe I put it out ...

When the Music’s over

When the Music's over ... sang Jim Morrison
To my distress, that’s exactly how I’m feelin nowadays. I suddenly feel musically impaired.

There used to be days when I would have headphones on all day, constantly blasting out some blood curdling riffs into my ears. I used to be crazy about the latest iron maiden or Megadeth album I could get my hands on. I used to come back home, lie down on my couch, put on some Sepultura on full volume, close my eyes and drift away. I used to spend hours on my guitar till my fingers used to hurt on even touching the air.

But now I just don’t feel it.

The guitar’s been packed away for the last three months. It’d stay that way for the next year. But strangely the music doesn’t penetrate my ears to my heart anymore.

The music would still be playing but it just drifts over my head.

Maybe it’s just a phase. Maybe I need some new music. Whatever it is … it sucks and it better get over quickly.

Gimme fuel ! Gimme Fire !

While the media goes crazy showing the plight of the quintessential ‘aam aadmi’ due to the price hikes, they fail to show the other side of the story (another example of yellow journalism). Sure it will hit the pockets of the masses … but they fail to focus on the crucial question … Whether the fuel price hike can really be avoided ? I think not. Well not until the corrupt representatives of ‘democracy’ are willing to pull their pants (or dhotis) up and get to work.

First of all, the oil shock had come already in 2005. A lot of countries, especially of the developed world, had already started the process of making adjustments and increasing prices. India on the other hand, had not. I decided to do some number crunching myself and was quite surprised. The highest prices prevailing (according to the ‘latest’ data I could find from 2005) are in Amsterdam where they pay around 78 Rupees per liter. The affluent British themselves shell out around 69 Rs. per liter. Of course oil is heavily subsidized in countries like Venezuela and the Middle East and it was pointless doing the calculations to end up with single digit prices per liter (in rupees). India, more interestingly, ranks around mid way in terms of global petrol prices. Even more interestingly, it is categorized under the “Taxation” list of countries which levy moderate excise on fuel. This first of all confirms that the data I found was already outdated despite being only 6 months old . In the current scenario, with oil prices at $ 70 a barrel, India would definitely be categorized in the “Fuel Subsidies” section. This is further validated with oil marketing companies loosing billions each quarter in order to maintain the political ambitions.

But like most things in life, the pricing of fuel is not that simple either. Concerns ranging from inflation, to inconvenience, to losses of oil companies, to growth rate, all have to be addressed. But nothing demands more attention than the chest of all fortunes – the vote banks. With the left front crying ‘genocide’ each time the petroleum ministry even whispers the words ‘price hike’ it becomes very clear whose’ interests are being kept in mind – the politicians.

Why should we, the consumers, bear the brunt of the spiraling prices when a good part of the petrol price consists of taxes and excise duties that the government levies on sale of oil and various products ? Why can’t the duties be reduced if the consumers are going to be hurt so much ? Well the answer is simple … that would mean reduction in government’s revenues. That would mean the lavish lifestyles of our ‘honest’ politicians would be dented. That would mean the Income Tax department will have to do more work … I’m sorry … that would mean the Income Tax department will have to actually work ! That would mean that tax collected from Chautala alone (his assets being 1600 Crore) each year would be able to feed hundreds of starving kids. Since the poor people don’t come in the high tax brackets and a considerable fraction of the middle class already pays the taxes, the vote banks would be intact. But this would definitely translate into work. Therefore, this scenario is obviously as ridiculous as it is impossible.

And after all, if the Oil Marketing Companies are actually state owned companies, then why should their losses be such a big concern ? Can’t they be simply written off as subsidies ? Sure they can be, but then that would mean the drop in share prices thus affecting a lot of middle class investors. That would mean no dividends. That would mean disillusionment of the middle class vote bank.

Surely the government has to perform a very tough balancing act. They may be corrupt, but they’re definitely not dumb. They start scaring the people with announcements of a Rs. 10 hike in prices being imminent. The people go mad. The media starts analyzing and over analyzing. The markets get affected further. The left (co-conspirator) cries ‘mass murder'. People wait anxiously and dread any announcements from the fuel ministry. After some teasing, the government comes out with a smaller hike of 4 and 2 Rs. The left claims a bittersweet victory and keeps its vote banks intact. The people give a sigh of relief. The media still analyzes. The government emerges as the reluctant hero. The people still unknowingly get victimized. Life goes on. SETI still looks for ETs.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

... Fallin' Down ...

And now introducing … Spiderman … in a dhoti !!!

No I haven’t been drinking. And no I’m not kidding as well. It’s true – a very Indian Spiderman wearin’ a dhoti is soon about to make his debut spinning his web from one mud-hut to another.

At first it seems kind of funny to imagine. You know, India is not exactly what one would call the skyscraper capital of the world. So we’ll probably have Spiderman swingin’ from one 2 storey building to another, trying to not hit the pedestrians ‘n dodge the occasional cows. His dhoti could probably be used as a parachute for the ‘softer landings’. He’d obviously be a very busy man in India ‘coz of the high crime rate and the larger population. Maybe he’d even start a family to keep the crime under control. He would ofcourse not hold a call center job ‘coz that’d deprive him of the prime time crime. Now I’m just foolin’ around … but once you check out the illustrations, you can see the potential.

I’m not at all surprised about who’s taken up this new (and daring) venture. Such Virgin territories can only be explored by no one else but Richard Branson. And what’s better is that he has collaborated with an Indian management and spiritual guru, Deepak Chopra and one of the most critically acclaimed film directors, Shekhar Kapur. That is quite a hell of a team. The success of Hanuman has been the final word in the decision as the project was given the go and Virgin Comics was formed.

There are atleast 4 projects lined up. The Sadhu, Ramayan Reborn, Snake Woman and Spider-dhoti-man! It’s a bit funny, but the idea’s definitely got potential. U’ve gotta adore Richard Branson for his boldness. If someone from Virgin ever reads this … pick me up !!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Free your mind ...

MML ! Matrix ishtyle

Morpheus : Unfortunately, no one can be told what the MML is. You have to see it for yourself.

T minus 8 days … and counting

No it’s not a countdown for some world cup football or rugby or some insect spitting competition. It’s the number of days left till I go back to MDI to finish off my MBA once and for all.

The kind of emotions I am feeling right now can probably be best described by a Benetton ad. Anxiety, happiness, sorrow, hope, grudges, detachment …. they’re all there ! While most of the negative emotions have been consciously overcome and put away, the process will only be considered complete once I actually go back there and start living there again. Moreover, suddenly I have discovered a whole lotta things which I should’ve done till now in preparations for goin’ back !

I’m sure, though, of this much that there’s more of a positive wait than a negative wariness.

Now we just have to wait till touchdown.

Friday, June 02, 2006

C'mon baby light my wire ...

Seriously ... I need to get back to MDI :)

Breaking News ! Breaking News !

That’s all you can see flashing across the TV screen as you flip through the zillion news channels. An almost exact copy of something that had happened just a few weeks before was played out again with the hospitalization of Pramod Mahajan’s son.

Now it’s almost evening and the same marquee is still playing on at the bottom of all news channels with slight alterations every now and then. While some channels (mostly the English news channels) have had the decency to show us with what else is happening in the world, a few (mostly the Hindi channels like Aaj Tak) are still going on analyzing, probing, cross examining, discussing what the kid did last night. An army of reporters has been deployed at his residence, at the hospital, at the party’s headquarters and probably even in front of the house of Mahajan family’s most far flung residence to get even the smallest whiff of developments. The anchor constantly goes on repeating the same old story in a hyper excited voice. The split screen constantly repeats the same old clippings of Rahul Mahajan walkin around. Then every ten minutes or so one of the reporters stationed at the crucial points starts repeating the same old thing which the anchor has been yapping about for the past 2 hours.

But some news channels are more innovative and resourceful. Some show interviews with specialists who would give their ‘expert’ opinions about the patient without having even seen the patient and simply basing their diagnosis on the various degrees of reports coming in. Some even show interviews of the family doctor making claims about depression, drug abuse, alien abductions, etc. Then you’re left to wonder … who’s gonna be next ? Maybe the driver’s wife or the servant’s dog or the neighbor’s relative living in Canada !

I have some problems with this kind of journalism and I would like to raise some questions here (ofcourse writing here is almost like thinking in my head and going to sleep .. but then what the heck ! what are blogs for !)

  1. Why is this thing so important after all ? I mean the guy isn’t even a politician ! He is simply the addicted (probably) son of a deceased politician who himself was fading into obscurity ! He may have been a big politician or the future of BJP someday but today he is not even a member of the party ! So why is it that his life should be so important to us ? I’m sure there are millions of people going through worse tragedies in life everyday but they don’t seem to be breaking news by the second ! This is probably what sensational journalism is all about. Making loud and bold declarations (may or may not be even true) about someone who is remotely famous.

  2. Why do we have to keep watching the same thing again and again and again ? It’s true that probably you have to keep informing about the events in case a viewer has just tuned in. But then what about the loyal viewers who have been watching your channel for some time ? Doesn’t this mean that they’d simply get bored of watching the same old stuff and simply click on the next channel ? What about the other things that were lined up for that day ? Do they suddenly loose their relevance just because some kid consumed / was fed too much cocaine ? It would probably be better if they’d repeat the story every hour or so if there are no new updates and then carry on with other news. The marquee is there anyways !

  3. Who are these sources who make claims such as there was a woman among the people visiting Rahul (and so what anyways ?) and that there was a conspiracy to kill him and that Sonia Gandhi is actually a Martian parading an Italian ? Isn’t objective (and professional) journalism about giving facts and not speculation and rumors?

  4. What about the important issues such as reservation and Office of profit bill or terrorism in Srinagar ? Did all the politicians and terrorists and students suddenly go on a vacation just because Rahul Mahajan consumed more booty than he was able to handle ?

  5. And finally, what’s with the whole sad orchestra playing in the back ground as visuals of the aggrieved mother or son the dog are shown in slow motion and in black and white ? Now that’s got sensationalism written all over it ! It’s sacrilege !

It’s like being a drug addict where every boost increases your body’s capacity and resistance even further. Small shots don’t have an effect anymore. You need more and more quantities every time just to get high. That’s how people are becoming nowadays. Junkies. Normal news just doesn’t ring a bell. They need sensationalism. They need big flashy graphics and compelling music to understand the issues and the plight. The evidence is right in your face. The injustice in Jessica Lall murder case was an outrage some time ago. Now it’s invisible like the murderer himself. Pramod Mahajan’s medical condition and his eventual death were all over then. Now nobody even speaks about him. Then the reservation issue was the hottest debate till day before yesterday. Today I didn’t see even a single mention of it. Even the office of profit issue rose and died away in the last two days. Today the latest rage is Rahul Mahajan taking cocaine. Who knows what’s next.

I think the media itself is to blame for this. The sensationalism created around everything attracts the attention of the viewers away from previous issues. The 24 hour focus on the same issue over and over again drills it into viewers’ minds. As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, thanks to the sensationalist media, we have become a society with a short term memory.

I think the positioning of the news channel TIMES NOW sums it up the best. It says Feel the News. That’s exactly what it is. Simply watching the news doesn’t affect people anymore. They need to be made to feel it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lightning crashes

I was tryin' to make some lightning ...
but then suddenly all these UFO's came and spoiled the shot :)

Photoshop Time : 5 mins

A for …

A for Apple
B for Ball
C for ... Can u teach me some grammar ?

It’s true ! ‘N it’s an emergency ! Suddenly I feel that I’ve lost all my grammar skills !

Just today I was confronted with the task of paying more attention to the grammar and language of some text. How difficult could it be after all , I thought to myself. That thought was soon tossed out the window. I think somewhere through those years of ‘good’ education from ‘reputed’ places like DPS, St. Stephen’s and MDI … slang got mixed with proper language. And it got mixed so well that right now I really can’t tell the difference! Just for example, I’m so used to saying ‘and things like that’ that for me this is proper English!

The other thing is updates and language development. I agree evolution of all things is necessary. But the evolution of language kind of makes me feel retarded. Just today I found out that the word ‘overweight’ was not just an adjective any more but now a noun as well. So basically the overweights need not worry about being overweight but having overweight. What’s troublesome about this is that now I need to read one more thing along with my daily newspaper and the financial daily everyday … the daily dictionary ! Considering the number of words / phrases / modifications that are introduced in the dictionary every year, if I don’t keep myself updated, soon I’ll be talkin’ cave-man-speak ‘n people won’t understand me! Now I can’t allow that.

The other thing I gotta worry about is the number and type of dictionaries. U have the Oxford’s, the Cambridge’s, the Collins’s, the Idiot’s and what nots. Then you have the British and the American. Then you have the formal and the informal. I mean is there an end to it ???

For example ... did you know there were proper listed words like Granny dumping (no it’s not about dating and dumping grannies), McJob (as if there weren’t already enough kind of ‘jobs’) and many many more !

I think I should go back to nursery.

"In my sentences I go where no man has gone before ... I am a boon to the English Language" - George W. Bush

Tick Tock Tick Tock

When you have read a couple of hundred books, watched a couple of thousand movies, read all the articles on aldaily and wired and watched all the reruns on National Geographic .... n u still get bored .... Here's what you do ...

You click on Adobe Photoshop, create a new document, N start makin a clock n watch time fly by :) here's what i ended up with

"Three o' clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do"- Jean Paul Sartre

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Crash !

Saw a truly awesome movie today … Crash. I think it deserves every bit of accolades it received along with the best movie Oscar. A riveting story of lives of many people … all strangers to each other … all belonging to different races … coinciding at some point towards the end of the movie. But it’s more than just a touching story of people. It, more importantly displays the various prejudices that are harboured and eventually govern and affect the lives of the American people.

The other thing that struck me when I was watchin’ the movie was the kind of strong arguments it provided in favour of anti-reservation anywhere. It also reminded me of the kind of argument provided in the movie American History X to Edward Norton by his father ------ Ed Norton’s father, who is a white cop, is explaining to him why he doesn’t like black people. He explains the kind of insecurity he feels when he is in the field fightin’ criminals. The insecurity stems when he’s being covered by a black man who came into the force above 6 white men who were more competent than him just because he was black. In the field, according to him, that reduction in confidence can cost an officer’s life. That is no doubt a pretty strong argument. In the movie the father dies of course … he’s shot by a black gangster. Poetic freakin justice. Crash is quite similar to American History X in many respects.

Anywayz I wouldn’t like to get into the whole pros and cons of reservation debate again. It kinda seems pointless to debate about it all civilized reasoning and debating has only fallen on deft ears. The whole issue is now lost in the labyrinth called the judicial system now and it shall only see the light when it’s too late.

All in all, Crash is a thoroughly enjoyable movie. It was even better to wash off the excitement and profundity with a dose of the good old ‘Hot Shots 2’.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Right around the corner

I was looking for G-55 C.P.
I reached the inner circle and slowed down next to a guy and asked where I could find the place. He said to take the next left and it would be just around the corner.
Ok, I thought. So I took the next left and reached towards a dead end with the address no where in sight. So I stopped to ask another guy where G-55 was. He contemplated, and then said it was just there on the left row, a few steps down. I must have had a lost look on my face when another generous fellow peered into the passenger’s side window and asked me what I was looking for. He had a shocked look on his face when I told him G-55. he pointed in the direction from where I was coming from and said it was somewhere over there. Now the first guy broke into a quarrel with him vociferously defending his directions. Finally the second guy gave up looking even more confused than me.

The great thing about the place is that it has all these shops declaring their names, owners, offerings, affiliates, blah blah but none of them mention their address. Banking my faith on the triumphant guy I finally parked my car and decided to follow his directions. He even showed me a pillar marked ‘G’ and told me to walk down a few feet and it’d be just around the corner. This lead me to the outer side of the inner circle.

Assuming his relative definition of ‘a few feet’ was a little different from mine I walked down the row of shops. After a couple of corners down I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. I crossed some small shops indicating 61 .. 62 .. 63. The increasing progression made me a bit worried. So I asked a guy selling cigarettes. He chewed on his paan for eternity and with a condescending look said, walk down, take the left on the corner and it’ll be a few shops down. Having abandoned my hope to have walked just a small distance quite a few corners back, I crawled along thankful that atleast they were all pointing in the same direction. Finally, and thankfully, that corner was the last one and I arrived.

It was then that I realized that the poor guy who had told me earlier that I was in the wrong place was actually right ! I had actually traveled almost in a semi circle around half a kilometer I might add) to where he was pointing.

Nevertheless, I did pick up a couple of valuable things on the corners.

Monday, May 29, 2006

What could've been ...

Every once in a while I am haunted by this thought
It magnifies the pain that on myself I have brought

It’s like watchin’ a fantasy on the big screen
It’s just a thought of what could’ve been

I see a group of friends … laughin', reminiscin’, havin’ fun
But wait a minute, someone’s missin’ … I am the one

It only causes heartache and sufferin’
Oh why do I think about what could’ve been ?

Just today, a thought brought a tear to my eye
It was always because of me, but still I wonder why

I know … it’s futile to regret over consequences unforseen
Still … It’s never easy to not think about what could’ve been
- by Me (I'm no freakin' poet)

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these - 'It might have been" - John Greenlead Whittier

Underworld evolution and The Last boy scout

A day full of crappy movies :)

Started off with The last boy scout .. a very typical Bruce Willis movie. Although I like the guy, the Die Hard kinda junkie cop (Ex NSA this time) was a drab. Plus the stunts were very normal. Plus the story was useless. Plus .. aah forget it.

Then with high hopes I put in Underworld Evolution. I was wrong again. Nothin new here again. The same old war between various factions of blood sucking century old idiots. And very strangely, normal bullets were a little bit effective in this movie ! Now that's the value proposition in the movie. The only saving grace was Kate Beckinsale in the tight leather suit. Period.

"My dentist said to me the other day, I've enough problems in my life, so why should i see your movies ?" - David Creonenberg

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A gentle spirit

Another First. And a very delightful one at that.

Just finished reading a short story titled ‘A gentle spirit’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky (the first I’ve ever read by him).

I was delighted and moved would probably be an understatement.

It’s a beautiful story, albeit a tragic one, of an owner of a pawn shop. He marries a girl out of pity for her as she is very poor and tortured. But somehow after the marriage, he displays very little affection towards her out of his pride for having done a favour to her. The girl, who is beautiful and is described as a gentle spirit by nature, slowly grows independent and rebellious and tries embarrassing him as a punishment for how he treats her. These plans are foiled by the man but she is forgiven for he, as he realizes gradually, truly loves her. But the silence between them has grown too huge and opaque to allow any of them to show the emotions and respect they have for each other. All the ‘coldness’ that had existed between them has estranged them from each other.

Until one day, the emotions are too much for the man and he just rushes to her and breaks the silence by confessing his love for her. While he overlooks the symptoms of irrecoverable damage, she is unable to look beyond the years of solitude she has been subjected to because of his pride. The turning point of the story is when he is at her feet begging for her love, she says to him, “I though you would let me go on like that”. She grows delirious, confused thanks to the torturous burgeoning past and sudden rush of the present. He realizes the mistakes he has made, and also realizes that irreparable damage which he is still willing to correct nevertheless. He realizes that he truly loves her. The next day, the girl prays to god for the hope she’s been shown to her by the man. She stands facing the window, smiles at the past and the prospects, and then jumps. The man is condemned to live his life in the shadow of the girl’s death. The girl he loved so much.

Obviously the synopsis I have given is a very miniscule representation of the rollercoaster of emotions and events in the book. For me the story emphasis a very special aspect about ‘love’ and I’d like to offer a few pennies for my own thoughts here. It makes the case stronger for me that ‘love’ is not a noun but a verb. Most times ‘love’ is treated as a noun, something which is acquired, possessed, and sometimes lost. I don’t think so.

While I do not refute the chemistry and bonds and attraction that are created between two people and cannot be helped, but I believe that love is something more enduring that that. For me, when you love someone that means that you take a proactive stand to appreciate them and stand by them. It is not, therefore, an involuntary action when you stop loving someone. It is a very conscious and voluntary response when you decide to not endure the various aspects that are brought upon by being in a relationship and living with someone.

That’s probably the reason why a lot of couples actually stay together for long periods (and throughout their lives even) because they choose to love rather than be in love.

"Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience"- Samuel Johnson

The good Life !

Today I have in my possession, two things that would keep me occupied and entertained at the same time. It's not like there aren't other entertaining things to do. Sure there are. There are things which can keep me occupied for the next 2 weeks as well. But what's different is that these things are new.

So first of all, I got a combo drive installed in my computer today. So I shall walk down to the DVD parlour closeby and catch up on all the movies I have missed in the last 2 months of being grounded. :)

Secondly, I just found, and downloaded the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes from the net. (I don't wanna post the link here ... who knows I might get into trouble!). I had never read much of C'nH before. Hadn't read it properly for sure. (Mostly because TOI doesn't publish it). But i had stumbled upon the strip sometime back on the net and had fallen in love with it instantly. Very funny. Very profound.

So, all in all, I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks. Also because they're the last 2 weeks at home !

"May your life be like toilet paper ... long and useful"- Unknown

Friday, May 26, 2006


Found this song on my computer .. couldn’t help but be nostalgic.. (Photograph by Nickelback)
I couldn’t find an all-inclusive picture but this is the closest. DCP as always is here, there, everywhere and nowhere

Look at this photograph
Every time I do it makes me laugh
(aah those bakar days ... nutcracker)
How did our eyes get so red?
(well that’s natural)
And what the hell is on Joey’s head?
(actually … what’s on pon singh’s head can briefly be categorized as a testicle)

And this is where I grew up
(I do account a lot of changes to it)
I think the present owner fixed it up
(someone did get fixed up .. namely me :))
I never knew we ever went without
The second floor is hard for sneakin’ out
(never felt like it as well )

And this is where I went to school
(Beeeee school)
Most of the time had better things to do
(Ceeeeee Essssssss !)
Criminal record says I broke in twice
I must’ve done it half a dozen times
(We did break a lot of things, including bottles and dustbins )

I wonder if it’s too late
Should I go back and try to graduate?
(How true )
Life’s better now than it was back then
(Only in some ways though)
If I was them, I wouldn’t let me in
Oh oh oh
Oh god I am

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Remember the old arcade
(ceesssss n the dome )
Blew every dollar that we ever made
(booze is expensive )
The cops seen us hangin' out
They say somebody went and burned it down

We used to listen to the radio
And sing along with every song we’d know
(mu me lo bhai mu me lo …. )
We said someday we’d find out how it feels
To sing to more than just the steering wheel

Kim's the first girl I kissed
(no comments )
I was so nervous that I nearly missed
(yea rite )
She’s had a couple of kids since then
(hmm )
I haven’t seen her since God knows when
Oh oh oh
Oh god I am

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on the bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

I miss that town
(second floor, theka, dome, sec 14 )
I miss their faces
(don't think I need to name 'em )
You can't erase it
You can't replace it
I miss it now
I can't believe it
So hard to stay
Too hard to leave it

If I could relive those days
I know the one thing that would never change
(I wouldn’t change almost anything )

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Look at this photograph
Every time I do it makes me laugh
Every time I do it makes me...

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necassary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends" - Richard Bach

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A dying wish

One of my favorites, Anand was coming on television today. It was towards the end when Rajesh Khanna was about to die a painful death thanks to cancer. Undoubtedly it was a touchy moment.
Just then I imagined myself dying a painful death. Infact I imagined myself dying many kinds of deaths. I checkout out various forms of it. From falling of a bridge to being in a plane crash to slipping in the bathroom and smashing my head on the sink to getting a heart attack to passing away silently in my death. I imagined them all. Admittedly, there was nothing funny or romantic in that.
Like probably everyone, I have in the past, imagined what’ll happen to the people who care about me / I care about when I die. I have imagined the pain of the loss. I have also plotted what all I’d like to achieve before I die. However, not surprisingly, I have never imagined the actual moment and experience of dying. (after all it is difficult to imagine such a thing when u can only feel it once). And let me tell you, it was definitely not a pleasant experience.
I mean to my imagination, a heart attack or a collision of one’s head with the bathtub which result in his/ her death must really be painful. It’s not like I’m afraid of pain. After all, anyone who’s ever been to a dentist can proudly proclaim to have tamed the beast. But definitely something as powerful as killing you must be painful.
On the other hand, I also somehow cannot comprehend passing out peacefully in sleep. I mean if I am sleeping, and suddenly something starts hurting, I immediately wake up! So how come when you get a heart attack or something resulting in your death you don’t wake up instead just happily pass on? This I cannot understand. Nonetheless, although less painful, it seems like a dull alternative. No drama. No last words. Boring.
Maybe it is alright not to imagine that moment. There’s no point in imagining something you absolutely cannot do anything about and don’t even know when and how it will occur. It only makes you afraid of dying. Afraid of the inevitable.
As for me, imagining such scenarios provoked overwhelmingly existential and belittling emotions. I thought it would be quite pointless to live a very nice (moral, generous, honest) life and then be eventually crushed to pieces under millions of pounds of rubble thanks to some lunatic Islamic extremist flying a plane into my building. (I hope they atleast get grounded in hell)

"It's not that I am afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens" - Woody Allen