Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spilt Milk.

We that have done and thought,
That have thought and done,
Must ramble, and thin out
Like milk spilt on a stone.

                             -William Butler Yeats

Adam and Eve.

Marc Chagall
(1912, Oil on canvas)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Exams came and went. I went days without sleep, and I had to travel to a particularly godforsaken corner out on the outskirts of the city at 6 in the morning in the blistering cold everyday. It's so secluded, it's like falling off the face of Delhi. For exams. Tonnes of them. But, I live to tell. And the ordeal is over. Almost, barring one little bugger that will be dealt with on the last day of the year. And I shall know freedom. I shall taste the heady intoxication of fresh air after exactly 4 months. I will know joy. It is cold. COLD. I hate cold. If I had wings, I would definitely be flying south right about now. If I was an exotic furry animal, I would binge on chilly chicken till severe constipation kicks in, and hibernate till spring arrives. Sadly, I only screech like a bird and look like a polar bear. In fact, I have turned so white, high exposure shots fail to capture the thingamajig that is my nose. I am likely to be mistaken for the ghost of Christmas past. I hate being white. I had the best Christmas ever. Family flew in from places far and wide(with gifts that I am still stoked by), I met old friends from school. The kind of friends you feel like you "belong" to. That is something so rare, it surprises me now. I never realized how much I could crave for a sense of belonging. Strange, considering how wary I am of being tied down. Wary of feelings and words that evolve from strings to chains. Wary of people, wary of places, wary of time. Everything stagnates. I've been reading again. Heavy stuff. Makes me dream of strange things at night. I like nightmares more than dreams. I like cryptic ones more than anything. For two days, I've been strutting around in supremely fancy and equally painful pairs of shoes. And then bought another a few hours ago. I'm starting to look like those dainty delhi-brand GK-dolls I once coaxed A into running over in his snazzy car last summer, when we went out to smoke trippy shit. Retail therapy is chicken soup for a frozen-to-an-icicle soul. Adding a few books to the pile, I'm almost broke. Which is a strangely liberating feeling. I will now indulge in cheap thrills with valid reasons. Tomorrow, I will go shopping again for the third day in a row. And I will binge on chocolates with the voraciousness I remember being described in Les Miserables.

I feel numb. I feel hollow. I feel nothing.
The entire spectrum of my emotions has bifurcated into anger and apathy. Unequal parts.

There is a decision to be made. In view of my love for ultimatums and automated mechanisms, it will be made on the basis of the sequence of events leading up to midnight on New Year's Eve. I have no plans for the year end. I want to dance various parts of myself off. Including a major chunk of the brain that's giving me insomnia. The thing won't shut up and let me sleep. Opinionated little scoundrel. So... party, anyone?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Of Yearning.

There exists no room for discontent if there remains nothing to hope for. Nothing to strive for, nothing to peg your faith on to, nothing to plan your days and wrap your dreams around. One might as well live deliberately, if there is left nothing to win or lose.

But then, maybe discontent isn't a bad thing after all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Idealist Grumbles...

Choose your personal favorite cup of poison.

Guess what free will is all about. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.

(The Metamorphosis of Narcissus - Salvador Dali - 1937)

I believe that art is not that which shows us the world as it is. It is that which lets us see a fragment of it through the eyes of the artist behind it. Which is why I nurture a strong dislike for the Impressionists and works from the Renaissance period. On the other hand, Cubist, Surrealist and Expressionist art fascinates me like little else in the world. It entrances. Hits you on many levels, bit-by-bit, blow-by-blow. It challenges your perception. Case in point would be the one above.

For the few who may not know, the legend of Narcissus goes thusly: Echo and Narcissus.

On the left, there is the figure of Narcissus, hunched over and peering into the pool. On the right, we see a decaying hand made of stone. It holds an egg, from which sprouts the narcissus flower. Notice how the two silhouettes are almost congruent.

And that, right there, is art.

Monday, November 30, 2009

an aberrant coup.

for there appears to be
a velociraptor
in my soup.

and I
shall eat it.

i challenge you to make sense of the lines above the dotted one. also, this is completely justified since I have an exam tomorrow and randall munroe is my hero.

there. the cat flew right out of the bag.
it can fly, you know.

i have decided. i will write the exam sans any capitalization. i wonder if i can mess with people's heads if i keep this up long enough. again, observe the evilness that is me.

-ze rebel without socks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Express Train of Thought.

Climbing up the walls --> Wallflower --> Epistolary --> Selective illusion --> Crunching numbers --> Paradox-8 --> Discretion--> Maskirovka --> Instinct v/s Impulse --> Discordia --> Ethics of Power --> Judgment --> Social conditioning --> Perceptual distortion --> Homogeneity --> Brownian Motion --> Relativity --> Intelligent Design --> Geocentricity --> Tree of Knowledge --> A religion with human guilt as a basic tenet --> Dark Ages --> Ice-Cream Assassin --> Blitzkrieg --> The nature of the anti-thesis --> Going too far right brings you to the left.

The last line won't let me sleep tonight.

Thus went a 20 minute bus ride. It's been one of those days. The ones that feature as a red cross on your calender. With cryptic notes attached and stuff. And to think, it all started with a song. A rather addictive one, in fact.

Happy people piss me off. Majorly. You know, the sort that spout sunshine in copious amounts from every thread of their being. By the power vested in me by virtue of being a devoted cynic, I hereby decree that any person found grinning a five-inch smile on a godawful, cold Monday morning be shot down mercilessly. Seriously!
But despite myself, I admit... this makes a pretty snazzy dashboard. Yes, clicked today. Pami's gaddi.

this also featured as part of the fateful day that was. Gifted to a friend on her birthday. I think it's awesome. AWWW-SUMM. In an annoying American accent, no less.Inappropriate, did you say? I would totally wear this around town. And zoom in on random people to check if some of them are capable of not getting the pun. I have a feeling I'd be surprised. This blog is increasingly getting NSFM(Not Safe For Mom) by the day. I think I'll blare some more Manson out to the world now. I miss drag races and general nihilistic behavior. Also, I'm totally typing this to get into trouble. Behold the retired rebel that is me.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm tempted to slap a poetic license on to everything I've ever written. But that would be modesty. Good thing I don't do modesty.

*zooms in*

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Pennies and strings
and a button or two,
maybe a picture
perhaps of you.

Little lost treasures
I was carrying
in a pocket,
all these years.

Some gathered
to capture that,
which could not be
held in constancy.

A few things
to remind us,
that the past
can breathe life
into the present.

All of which
will be thrown out
with the trash tomorrow.

Except the letter.
That, would have to be burned.

On the Idiocy of Grapewine

Sometime during my much-missed goth phase, some-girl-from-college came up to me and asked me if was a witch. I said yes. She believed me.

True story.

All goes to say, I love to do this to people. Feed their skewed notions of me with steroid-charged dog-food supplements. Makes the devil in my head do a happy little tribal dance. With the pitchfork and all. (He's called Travis, by the way. Very nice to meet you.) The boring halo-ed thing that sits on my left shoulder however, has never been considered important enough to have a name. She whimpers and cowers on occasion, and dissolves into general ignominy and irrelevance. I'm kind of serious about this.

Coming back to the pre-anecdoted incident, I think it's getting to be a hobby. Might have mentioned this before, but stupidity fascinates me. On occasion, I go out of my way to encourage it. Sometimes, I think I might be pushing my luck a wee-bit too far. That might actually explain the very interesting state of my PR.

To quote MJ:
"Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth."

So, I decided to have my fun with it. I no longer deny rumors. I reaffirm them to the point of caricature. To my surprise, they still eat it all up. Looking back on all the whack-assed things I've said, it amazes me how easily one can manipulate people. Give them what they want to hear, and they'd believe ANYTHING. They'd eat the dog-food right out of your hands.

I'm told one shouldn't give fate blue balls.
Really? Well... You tell me.

Signing out
-alleged worshipper-of-Satan/promiscuous-alcoholic-homosexual/alien-from-Pluto/Batman.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sex and Candy.

Marcy Playground. Stuck in my head for way too long.
That's all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Of Earthworms and the MNS Connect.

An andolan against North Indians? A controversy out of not referring to Bombay by its colloquial(and rather crass-sounding) name?

And now, an outright disruption of a state assembly session because Azmi took the oath in THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF INDIA! What next? Work permits to work in Maharashtra? Seriously? Last I checked, Maharashtra was a state. A part of India. Not a separate country.

I find Raj Thackeray too ridiculous to pass a serious comment on. I would merely choose to sneeze in his general direction. Sons of the Soil. Yeah, right. As is evident, earthworms have far more to their credit.

(Pretty little thing spotted on college campus. Prettier than Thackeray, at any rate. It's a caterpillar, after all.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Once in an odd while...

Random acts of kindness by complete strangers leave me shaken and stirred. Such things don't fit into my view of the world.

And then, there are times when I wish I could believe them.

Your Touch, Cold As Ice.

Discovery--> Sappy metal music.
How very apt. Just what the (quack)shrink ordered. And Cheema recommended.

Also, is it just me, or is the vocalist a dead ringer for Morrison.
Dead-ringer, would be right. Looks like Morrison turned into a zombie and crawled out of his grave. Or was reborn as the spawn of Edward Scissorhands.

Also,names like His Infernal Majesty amuse me to no end. Right up there with Dark Tranquility, Within Temptation and In Flames. What is it with the Finnish-Swedish-Danish bands and moronic nomenclature? But then there's this. Pure genius.

P.S. Missing in action. Way too much going on, all at the same time. I'm tempted to rant, but then... luck should only be pushed so far. And that's what email is for.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

From the Life of the Marionettes...

"Patience is the only thing in life that calls for absolute morality."

-Smiles of a Summer Night(1955)

Ingmar Bergman is incomparable. Brilliant direction + brilliant scripts = Beautiful, beautiful movies. Right from Through a Glass Darkly, The Silence, and Wild Strawberries to the one up there, all of his works have a certain quality that I have never chanced upon anywhere else. There are layers to every story, and there's always so much more than what meets the eye.

Go watch, if you haven't already. You have no idea of what you're missing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Death to roses and all-things-pretty. (the painful and annoying kind, with various specimens of blunt cutlery.) DIE! DIE!! DIE!!!

To he, who does not read this blog(probably, hopefully) and does not have any idea that the searing blindness of pure fury is making me claw the plaster off my bedroom wall:

Go ahead. Annoy me some more. Pile on the indifference.

I need to redecorate anyway.
It's not just my room I'm talking about.

P.S. End-the-world-right-here-right-now. Let the compulsive knitting begin!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen...

I admit. I have given in to the great temptation.

Plagued by the miseries of life and time, the mortal seeming remains tormented by a multitude of evils, all at once. Each trial against decadence, appears as an insurmountable pinnacle. Each battle won against the norms of society, is a war lost to decadence. Such is the plight of the righteous man. And such is the gravity of a moral dilemma.

To quote the bard himself :
"I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire! Why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"

(Act 2, Scene 2)


Yes, my friend. Take heart, for I have now joined the ranks of the Tweeters of the world!
*dramatic interlude plays in background*

Having succumbed to the pop-culture fad that Twitter epitomizes and embodies so perfectly, I consider it my job... nay, my noble duty, to pass on the malady. Corrupting the youth of the nation, after all, shall always remain a hobby. Bwuahahaha!

So, go ahead. Join me here.

P.S. Fact of the matter: I seek partners-in-crime. We'll even work out a secret-handshake!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Confession #3

I acquire a decidedly feminine demeanor when I'm upset.

Bear with me, for this is an embarrassing confession of EPIC proportions. ME, being the person who wore pink ONCE in her life and suffered enough mental trauma and general inferiority to never be able to look at anything pink without a grimace again. It was a dark day in the life of yours truly. I still have nightmares about it.

So, for posterity (lest I grow a beard-and-other-things one fine day and become the happiest person in the world), here's a list :
  • I cook.
  • I clean.
  • I KNIT.
  • I listen to chick-music. The kind no self-respecting person would be caught dead carrying on their iPod. Not James Blunt. Think lower. Think woozier. Think Belinda Carlisle and Cyndi Lauper.
  • I watch sappy TV shows and IDENTIFY with the much-scorned and wronged protagonist.
Come to think of it, the last time I was in the end-the-world-right-here-right-now mood was in January. I knitted half a scarf and watched the first 4 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in 2 days flat.

Here's a picture, as proof :

I also started this blog.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Riding High on a Deep Depression.

I'm only happy when it rains - Garbage

Because I miss the band.
And this song, hits the bull's-eye.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There are times...

...when one feels competitive.

So one goes ahead and gets nominated for a rat-race. And despite not having much to gain out of it, one wants to win. Because no matter what the stakes, one is a sucker for victory.

Please note:

1. I am considering changing my name permanently to "one", to make the euphemisms and allusions more lucid. I might also insist on being referred to as "The One". Has this moronic sci-fi doomsday-prophecy ring to it. Thoroughly appropriate. I'll wear floor-length leather overcoats and dodge bullets even. I'm sure I can add a lightsaber in there somewhere too. (Darth Vader fascination.)

2. Aforesaid rat-race = Indiblogger of the month. Yep.

The point of this post being:

Like this blog? Show some love, and vote here.
Make use of Ctrl+F to find this blog in the painfully long list.

Thank you for your time.
Any inconvenience caused is thoroughly intended.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Diwali came and went.

And I spent it trying to negotiate with a particularly virulent throat-infection. Do you know what I did not do? I didn't magnify my carbon footprint by a million times. I didn't even aim aerial fireworks into any nosy, obnoxious neighbor's houses. Imagine the agony.

I feel decrepit.
The coughing, wheezing, doubled-over in pain kind.

And I sound like Sunny Deol. No shit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Opulence of the Absolute.

तेषामेवानुकम्पार्थमहमज्ञानजं तमः |
नाशयाम्यात्मभावस्थो ज्ञानदीपेन भास्वता ||

From The Bhagavad Gita.
(Chapter 10, Verse 11)

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Uhlmann's Razor.

When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to have recourse to any other.

I was in complete and absolute awe when I first read that. I think I still am. There are things you know, and there are things you learn. But there's nothing quite as insurmountable as plain crude logic. It's like gravity. Deny it, refuse to believe in it, wear your ignorance like a crown... and it's still going to drop coconuts on your head.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

London Undersound.

One of the better things to come out of Buddha Bar. Challe did brew up some pretty good compilations, over 11 albums and 10 years. Of course, World music does have an unparalleled charm.

Mer-curial-maiden would also feature in the credits, for having introduced me to Sawhney.

Happy Sunday, World!
*dives back into piles of books, files and assignments*

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Existential Crisis.

Disclaimer : This isn't really meant to be read. It just had to be written.

The angst wears off. It does, and then you're not sure what you're left with. Charred remains of uncertainty, perhaps. Some death-wishes, a little morphine. Torn bits of paper and cracked glass. Nothing shattered though. That would be grief. This is just an unsettling calm. Not placidity. More of the silence you're left with when something isn't there to fill up the space. It's void, it's vacuum. And it's half-silence. White noise. If you define your life in high contrast, it's the stark silhouettes that keep you sane. And now the lines fade away, and colors bleed into each other. Red for passion, green for envy, blue for melancholy, purple for all that is special. All tangled up. They've lost their identity, much like the feelings they represent. It's all a lumpy gray mass of floating debris. It's all a massive swirling vortex. Like ink-stained water down a drain. Every ripple is a meek protest. Decadence. Propriety. Providence. Words that fall into redundancy. It's like watching your world from a distance. On the outside, disconnected. Like one of those obscure art movies no one can figure out. You think to yourself that it's a tiresome storyline, poor narrative, and underpaid actors. The director seems to have quit a long time back. He just sits up there, with popcorn and beer, and sighs every now and then. One questions his existence. Or does away with questions altogether. What are they anyway? An isolated judgment call. How far does logic go? There's a yes, and there's a no. But there's also the maybe. Maybe doesn't count, you say? Doesn't fit into binary logic? Strange how most of existence is based on maybes. On possibilities. On trial and error and randomness and uncertainty and probability and permutations and combinations and odds and chaos and that which we do not know and that which we do not believe and that which we do not understand, in space that has no bounds, time that may bend and laws that we cannot define. We can actually, but we're not even close to doing it. We're not even at the tip of the iceberg. And thinking down to the level of electrons and protons renders everything so ridiculously abstract that we lose sight of what we were looking for in the first place. Because complexity becomes easier to deal with, and the bigger, magnified image is intimidating. We understand mitochondria better than people. And people change. They change and they grow apart. And they don't understand each other anymore. Friendship is traded for familiarity, and knowledge for faith. It's all a trade-off. The universe isn't based on faith. It's based on trade-offs. Society, organizations, religion, faith, relationships, self - everything being the result of an elaborate barter system, spread over cultures, people, places. Little, cataclysmic conjectures at every cornerstone. And what do we do with it? We get on with our lives. Standing with 6 billion other people in 5 different continents in one of the hundred and ninety-five countries on the third rock from the very average star near the relatively less-populated outer-edge of one of the several galaxies of an ever-expanding universe, we drag ourselves out of bed every morning, squint at the scraggly-looking thing in the mirror, and brush our teeth. And then we add another day to the story of our lives, without having any vague idea of our role in the turbulent cosmos. Of how every action really does have an often-overlooked reaction. We remain oblivious of our impact on the fate of a person living halfway across the world eating pepperoni pizza, and vice versa. Then, one happens to wake up one day and realize that sometimes the things you believe in simply run their course and fade away. And you're left with nothing to count on, nothing to call your own, nothing to define yourself in terms of. Just those lumps of indistinguishable color and morphine that you don't need. Because the numbness is almost overwhelming. Everything is measured in almosts and somewhats. The things that you would have given your life for, don't matter to you anymore. Everything seems to be a lost cause. You yearn to feel as intensely as you used to. You crave any form of completeness. You wonder if this lack of assurance could be traded for a dose of disillusionment. You wonder how the world could sell out its morality for a convenient vantage point. A struggle with integrity for some, and self-destructive tendencies. And the vacuum. The black-hole of a thing right in the middle of the cerebral cortex. You can't begin to imagine the things it could swallow into itself. Or all that it already has.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brave New World.

Tell me this doesn't remind you of Huxley.
Tell me you don't see a hint of 1984.
Tell me dystopia is a myth.

Go ahead. Tell me.

P.S. Yes, that would indeed be China's National Day parade. And yes, I know the differences between totalitarianism and communism.

I also know the one similarity. That, my friend, would be the deal breaker.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The whole world... is still on my string.

For the love of indie music.
And then we go crazy with it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amusing Pop Culture Moment of the Month.

Gay black guy(aptly titled Miss J): Go girl! You look so mean honey, that you've got what it takes to become America's Next Top Model!

Girl(bursts into tears and) babbles: I'm for Jesus Christ. Y'know he wants me... to help the world. And I... will do whatever he wants me to do! *Attempts to brush non-existent tears off without ruining makeup*
I do not watch crappy television. I don't watch television at all. But this gem of a thing was on youtube's homepage. I couldn't resist. And I ended up watching all of it. Which at one point also included a cheerleader with a broken leg, hopping down a ramp with crutches. With a STILETTO on the one surviving foot!

Considering the doses I receive on a regular basis, I was convinced that I had definitely acquired an immunity towards stupidity. But this is just overkill.

There was also this woman who claimed she could castrate a hundred cows a day. And went on to describe the procedure. With the hackneyed hilly-billy southern American accent. That, was the golden moment. She's a frikkin' messiah by those standards. It seems, the day is saved. Hallelujah!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Impropriety and Indulgence.

Pingu: There's fizz coming out. Out of my NOSE!
...and I'm trying to maintain COMPOSSSSSSSZZUUUURRRREEEEEEE...!!!

Me : *giggle* *snort* *giggle*
You think there's any way of finding out if we're talking too loud?

Pingu: And why does that guy across the room have horse-blinkers on?

We got our answer.
Wisdom is a Tamil-Brahmin best friend.
P.S. I survived the week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lets Talk About...


First, my exams clash with Journo Junction at Kamala Nehru College. Like it happens every year. Now, it's taken me an immense amount of time and effort to accept that fact, and gain some semblance of having moved on. But THIS, is just ridiculous! Just when I had Meet The Media at IP College for a much-deserved compensation, all hell breaks loose. The HOD slams a project presentation on my head. Which means I have a 120-page dissertation to write, edit, format , print and get spiral-bound, a presentation to prepare, and a viva to study for. All in 2 days flat. This, in addition to enough pending practical files and assignments to dive into and drown.

To set the record straight, KNC was my version of Narnia. I managed to grab a brief stint there in the Journalism department before fate socked me in the jaw. Pity, because now whenever I'm studying higher calculus and butting my head into a wall the night before an exams, I tend to fantasize about the "what-ifs", all winding down to the same choice I made. I still have a very prevalent soft-corner not just for KNC and journalism itself, but the acquaintances I have from that time as well. Though I spent very little time there, it's something I ruminate over enough for it to be a bit of a problem sometimes.

The choice I made was based on ground realities. They're not going to change. Logic rules the head. The heart, however, has an inclination towards reckless abandon. I don't regret anything I've done. But there are times when one knows that a time-machine would have been a convenient invention. Some amount of regression is to be expected.

My apologies to Anty and Just ME.
You have no idea how much I wanted this.

I could turn into Hulk right about now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heat and Dust.

Author : Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Genre : Historical Fiction
Rating : 5.5/10

It's the Indian Connection. I am aware of how authors of the subcontinent seem to fascinate my contemporaries. But I have always found myself drawn to books written about India, by expat novelists. It comes down to the fact that I like to sneak a glimpse of the world through someone else's eyes. Someone whose sense of perception is completely different from mine, owning to vast degrees of separation in geographical location, cultural upbringing, schools of thought and social conditioning(or the lack of it). That, as opposed to being told how I could have viewed it differently myself.

Set as a contrast palette between pre and post-colonial India, Heat and Dust is the story of two women and their discovery of India, for all that it is. Olivia, the Schumann-playing, bored wife of an English civil servant posted in Satipur and the other, her step-granddaughter, who travels to the country in search of Olivia's story. Her story of days spent in monotony, stifled by the norms of propriety imposed upon her in a segregated society, and eventual elopement with an Indian prince. With several threads of discontent sewn in between, about and around. Held together through ruins, old letters and an almost-poignant narrative, the book weaves a tale of people and places, without quite capturing the protagonist's psyche. One expects more complexity of character, and is left wanting. Which is a pity really, considering how the storyline leaves no dearth of opportunity for the same. Page through page, depth is blatantly conspicuous by it's absence.

Occasionally, Prawer's impressive capabilities peak out of their shell and surprise you. But then again, they seem to possess an unfortunate love for playing hide-and-seek. An instance of the same may be cited here, for posterity:
"Fortunately, during my first few months here, I kept a journal, so I have some record of my early impressions. If I were to try and recollect them now, I might not be able to do so. They are no longer the same because I myself am no longer the same. India always changes people, and I have been no exception."

To be fair, it does draw to a magnificent close. The climax is superbly laid out. Striking as it is, it is typical for books of the genre to have their beginnings and middles carved out flawlessly like a marble sculpture, with their ends mildly disfigured and abrupt. However, with this particular one, one is left with nothing more to say. Except, that an ending as beautiful as this, deserves a better story to precede it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Confession #2

Lady GaGa is growing on me. Like a parasitic creeper.

Over the past few days of excessive sleep-deprivation, crazy deadlines, and general hysteria, I have been found to be jiving to Poker Face. In the most unbecoming of fashions, inappropriate of places and inopportune of times.

Someone shoot me now.
Or, witness the gradual deterioration.
I've been hoping it's a temporary lapse of judgment owing to the aforementioned hysteria. I KNOW it's atrocious. I really do.

But guess what's playing in the background right now?
*goes back to the jivin'!*

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Of Exams, Spirituality, and *The Secret*.

Yet another set of annoyances coming up this Monday. Six consecutive days of books, sleep deprivation, bipolar tendencies, and the sort of study that leaves your brain feeling like a mere caricature of itself. Like the pineapple-flavored jelly that NEVER sets, and ALWAYS ends up as a gooey, yucky reminder of itself. (Which, by the way, is because of the bromelain enzyme that interferes with gelatin. I think.)

Also, it amuses me how commercialized the "Law of Attraction" mumbo-jumbo has become, all thanks to Rhonda Byrne and The Secret. This is literally the wisdom and philosophy, spread over thousands of years and across civilizations , packaged into colorful cartoon-illustrated tin-cans and dished out to people who will eat anything up for its face value. Sure, it made the concept accessible. But this is essentially the difference between learning Tai Chi on a year-long pilgrimage to Tibet, and claiming redemption and a higher plane of consciousness through a DVD of Claudia Schiffer-brand yoga.

People, to set the record straight, that's not how it goes. This is the sort of stuff that makes those perennially high-on-weed, clueless hippies sound like enlightened monks, in contrast. There's a reason why questions of existence and all that jazz, has troubled thinkers right from the days of Hipparchia(who was one spunky woman, may I add). Spiritual growth is a long, painful, but fulfilling journey. I will not be presumptuous and pretend to be an expert in the matter. But even my layman self is aware of the fact that a how-to guide will never give you what even fruitless exploration will. Because in matters such as these, the question we deal with does not lie entirely within the concluding argument. The nature of the question itself changes many times over, during the course of this journey. It is impossible for our instinct to judge right from wrong, unless it has had a taste of both. We never experience true satisfaction without having experienced the nagging discomfort of dissatisfaction. Ergo, we will never realize the perfection of the final solution, unless we have had a first-hand experience of the erroneous "almost-truths" and "semi-conclusions". The stumbles and falls, months of intellectual turmoil and shaken integrity is often what the acid test is all about. These, being concrete evidence of the underlying flaw in seemingly flawless philosophies. One needs to feel it within oneself, and experiment on his own self, to fully grasp the gravity of it. No instant formula, book or movie is ever going to do that for you. Worse, it might make you miss out on the truth, by presenting you with a diminished, disfigured view of it.

In all honesty,I did not start this post with the intention of broaching this topic. Since I have very strong opinions on the issue, I had thought of putting it up here someday, in a more gathered fashion. But I suppose sometimes thoughts just burst out of you. Through time and experience, I have found it wise to let that happen. Hence.

But, by no means am I done. I have volumes to speak, miles to go. But the promises I must keep with the likes of VHDL, DBMS, Computer Architecture, Digital Communications, Java and Organizational Behavior are rather non-negotiable. So, this stream of thought will be continued later. When more semblance of order has been gained. Meanwhile, I leave you all to ponder over the ramifications. Feel free to put in your two cents. I would love to discuss/be introduced to varying perspectives/inferences/additions.

I expect to be back in a week's time.
À bientôt.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of Obsession.

We humans are creatures of habit. Some innate, most acquired. Some out of compulsion, most out of whim. I once read somewhere that it takes 21 days to cultivate one... or let go of. But what is the difference between habit and addiction? Further, between addiction and obsession?

If A=B and B=C, then it follows naturally that A=C. (Or so says the transitive relation of mathematical logic.) Don't tell me about the thin line. I see a dozen thin lines, and glide over them everyday. Effortlessly, at that.

Addiction. Comes in all forms, flavors, shapes and sizes. But that's not what we're going to talk about. Not about nicotine, caffeine cocaine, heroin, hash, weed, food, retail therapy, blah blah.. yada yada... No, not even chocolate. I speak of being addicted to a state of mind. To a feeling. Not out of whim, but to it. When every bit of your reason, logic and faith has been put into a single direction. When you have the sum total of your resolve and belief riding on one thing and one thing alone. You can only achieve what you want if you believe that you can, and if you try hard enough. Somewhere along that road, the quest becomes not just a part of you. It becomes you. You begin to define yourself in terms of what you want, and you become what it takes to have it.

You begin to push yourself to the edge, and to enjoy it. You seek fulfillment and satisfaction in challenging odds. And ride the wave of drive that angst and anger brings with itself. Knowing fully well that living in the extremes is leading you to degeneration, not just of the physical sort. Frayed nerves bring on a kick, at least before the burn-out. That, is the essence of self-destructive behavior.

I'm told addiction can be battled. But how you you battle yourself? After you spend years knowing that you are capable of doing anything in the world, and build your whole life around that idea, how can you possibly teach yourself to give up? When do you know that it is the time to do so?

You don't. And that is the kind of addiction that consumes you all of your life. But you never learn to live with it. Ever.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

As The Timing Is Cruel.

This, right here, is good stuff.

Excuse the sappiness of it all.

Also, ignore the people in the picture. If I didn't know better, I'd say that they're definitely straight out of Monty Python.

The geek shall indeed inherit the earth.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memoirs Of An Almost-Techie (Part-3)

Webcomic courtesy xkcd.

Yes, life as an engineering student comes with more than its fair share of existential crisis. You start to apply programming paradigms to real-world scenarios. Just last week, I was trying to use an Operating Systems(ETCS-212) strategy of deadlock avoidance on a classic Catch-22 situation.

Person A needs to discuss a matter of prime importance with Person B. Sadly, for that matter to be valid, there is a certain prerequisite state-of-conditions. But if Person B is, somehow, made aware of the matter, he is sure to disturb the aforesaid state-of-conditions. Whereby, annulling the effects of the attempt and discussion.

The things to be considered here are the discussion of the matter between A and B, and the conditions for the matter to be valid must prevail.

A situation in which two probabilistic events exist, and the desirable outcome results from the confluence of these events, but there is zero probability of this happening as they are both mutually exclusive. Hence, a deadlock.

Now, Operating System Concepts by Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne(the book I refer to for this particular subject) says that there are 4 necessary conditions for a deadlock to occur :
1. Mutual Exclusion : Both processes cannot happen at the same time.
2. Hold-and-wait : The interdependence of outcomes of the two processes.
3. No-preemption condition : One process cannot force the other into terminating, or forestalling operation.
4. Circular-wait condition : Interdependence of operation.

Proposed solution? Make sure that no more than 3 of these conditions exist simultaneously. So, yours truly did, spend a hell lot of time thinking of how to eradicate one of the four conditions, complete with the permutations and combinations that come along with it. Only to come to one conclusion.

Q.E.D. Engineers, are strange people. Really.
Solutions for the problem are more than welcome. Ones with logic derived from other fields of study would be particularly delightful.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Gates Of The Forest.

Author : Elie Wiesel
Genre : Historical Fiction
Rating : 8.5/10

Once in an odd while, you happen to come across a book by sheer chance. You pick it up from a pile of unfamiliar and unpromising ones, place it in the more obscure regions of your reading list, and leave it at that. You expect absolutely nothing from it. It so happens(very rarely) that when you eventually get down to reading it, the very same book sweeps you off your feet with its beauty. With its understated brilliance and poignant narrative, "The Gates Of The Forest" was that book for me.

An old, frayed copy that I picked up in the lanes of Janpath. Partly, because I like old, musty books better than squeaky new ones. And mostly because I had nothing better to do there. Though I picked it up at random, I remembered later that Wiesel was known for his autobiographical "Night". I admit, at the end of a routine marathon-read weekend, when I had completely exhausted my entire supply of tomes, was when I finally picked it up. I couldn't put it down.

Coming from a Holocaust survivor, the book attempts to draw a balance between fact, fiction and the underlying theological manifestations of the two. It tells the story of a young man, and his journey through days of war. Abandonment, isolation, doubt. The story of his physical struggle and survival, perceptual evolution, and spiritual decay. The loss of faith, and the eventual reclamation. Winding through spells of time with such eloquence, that it leaves you wanting to stop, reread, and rethink it all time and time again.

This is probably the only book I fell in love with from reading the preface itself. Would recommend it to anyone who prefers more caffeine than sugar in their coffee, metaphorically speaking.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yet Another Disconnected Inference.

The more closely I observe people, the more it disturbs me. And I'm left to wonder how we could possibly have come this far in time, as a civilization.

The real villain isn't the thug with a gun, prowling dark alleys. It's the white glove that conceals the claws, and sugary smiles that hide venomous fangs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Of Tales That Will Never Be Told.

An unlikely congregation.

You and me,
and all of our friends.
Some old,
most found anew.

Whispers passed,
among prattle and cheers.
A twinkle caught,
by one too many.

The illusion,
of much being said.
When realities
stay much too fragile.

Perhaps a skeleton,
waiting to tumble out.
Or a secret- bound by faith,
and a forgotten promise.

Distortions, scandal,
deception, treachery.
Lost in days of inebriation,
and nights of debauchery.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This would be a bona fide dedication to who I know to be one of the greatest artists ever. Tori Amos.

I started following her music at the age of 9, and remain just as awed by it 11 years later. That says a lot considering my long-standing inclination towards the "flavor-of-the-month" approach. (Which, allow me to add, extends well beyond music.)

She plays the piano, writes about religion, sexuality, and all that jazz in between. And sings like she's sending a message across. Only, it takes a hell lot to decipher it. Therein, my friend, lies the beauty of it. This particular video you see here was the very first number I heard by her. And it took me ages to understand what it signified. That's what it is, every song of hers. A cryptic puzzle. With hidden references and visual symbology on such fascinating levels, it blows me away.

And to demonstrate :
  • The song is about miscarriage, and the ensuing denial and loss of faith. Part of which explains the reference to nicotine patches.
  • "Spark" is a reference to the unborn baby, which could not be kept alive. Hence the "6:58, are you sure where my spark is?".
  • "If the divine master plan is perfection, maybe next I'll give Judas a try." Self explanatory, isn't it?
  • "Ice-cream assassin"= God.
  • The man following her is to signify that which we run away from all our lives, towards the path to safety promised by faith.
  • The twins that abandon her in the end represent the double-edged sword that faith is.
To think that she manages to do this every single time, is just astounding.

Happy Birthday, Tori. You make art.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Them Transparent Dangling Carrots.

Good day to be listening to Alanis.

I honestly think this woman is something very significant to have happened to music. There's a certain raw, edgy quality to every single one of her works. Not something that hits you in the face and walks off. It's something that settles deep in and lingers. Disturbing, because it's so real that you know you've felt it.

She's known for working with strong themes and visuals. And often, the shock value of it. Case in point being the 2004 Juno awards gig, and the B.E.P parody. I still remember how she had made headlines worldwide, with the former.

Right from Jagged Little Pill to Flavors of Entanglement, she is to be appreciated first as a songwriter, and then for everything else. Which, in itself, is a lot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confession #1

The smileys I intersperse in any text I write, justify their existence only with the purpose of cushioning brusqueness.

I intend to stop. Right now.
(Not the brusqueness.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Independence Day, India.

January 7, 2009. India Gate, New Delhi.

Congratulations on 62 years of self-governance.

It's always better to be doing your own thing, than to have your fate decided by the whims of another. Particularly when the interests of "another" show mutual exclusion from your own. Even if the resultant mess may be somewhat harder to deal with, subterfuge is always to the rescue.

And because list-posts leave very little room for BS,

Things I love about India :

1. Diversity. A blinding, overwhelming extent of it. Geographical, cultural, linguistic, religious, communal, and economical.

2. The very prevalent amalgamation of the aforementioned diversity. It is, in effect, an explosion of colors far more than you would ever find on the world's most expansive palette.

3. Having the right to make your own choices and live by them.
India is a country that doesn't tell you to be something she wants you to be. There is no code to be followed, no stringent norms to adhere to. Society here, gives you a taste of everything you may want. From anarchy and chaos, to a communist sense of order. India, imposes no expectations.

4. One doesn't have to be filthy rich(by global standards) to have a taste of the good life. Through the practice of which, one quickly learns what it entails. Boredom.

5. The fact that when you're sitting in a cafe with a group of friends, odds are that each one of them speaks a different language at home. Yet, if you ever get them to bring it to the table, each one would be understood perfectly by all. (Try it. It happens.)

6. Opportunity. The nation makes no pretenses about the dog-eat-dog philosophy. Fight for your life, and get it. In a place where law is more about working your way around it, it's the only fair game to play. And growing up in such an environment, if you make the slightest of efforts, gives you a rock solid sense of judgment. Needless to mention, a certain degree of savoir-faire.

7. The people. Melodramatic and theatrical. Completely OTT, mostly harmless. Usually annoying, but ever-present. I doubt if the extent of inter-personal interaction we have here is paralleled anywhere else in the world. You learn to hate them with a vengeance, but once in an odd while, they surprise you. In a good way.

8. The tangible heritage. Epics, mythology, beautiful monuments (temples, dargahs, sarais, tombs, stupas, churches, etc), ancient crafts kept alive by modern artisans(regional paintings, sculptures, etc), various schools of music(Carnatic, Hindustani, Sufi, etc) , dances and martial arts. No point in extending the list. I might as well make an Indi-pedia out of it.

9. Spicy food. Praise the Lord for chillies and garlic!

Things that will eventually drive me out of here :

1. Decadence. It's like a disease. Or weeds. Penetrating every inch of existence, every aspect of being. Slowly corroding everything it touches. Till it all begins to resemble red, blood-stained scraps of metal.

2. Gender Oppression. No matter what fate you are born to, no matter what you do, it's there. Whether you choose to bend under it's weight, or fight against it, it is a crucial part of your existence. You live through life feeling either violated, or having to fight it every step along the way. But it never goes away. As a child, you're lucky to be loved and wanted. And are asked to be thankful for that fact. Thankful for what? For being loved despite being a girl? DESPITE? You grow up feeling intimidated. Scared. Inhibited. Locked up in a cage for your own safety. Because it's a big, bad world out there. As a woman, you are treated like a piece of meat dangling on a hook. With no respect, no honor, and no voice. You yell, you shout. But even a million voices shouting with you are drowned out by a roar. The deafening roar that bears down on you with the gravity that reality brings with itself.

3. The deplorable state of the education system.
With no credit given to actual learning, original thought is suppressed all over. Mug-and-regurgitate. No research involved.

4. Nepotism and the power of political influence.

5. The widespread resistance to learning. I know exactly what I mean by this, but don't want to put it in words.

6. Disregard for the value of human life and time.

7. The clearly laid out outlines of public morality, present only for the purpose of keeping up appearances.

8. An assent(and absurdly, a preference) for mediocrity.

9. An ineffectual government.

10. The need to get more out of life. Much more than what 3,287,590 km2 of land and 1/6th of the world's population has to offer.

To conclude, some things are and some things are not. That doesn't mean that they can't be better.
Thank you for your time.

Now go fly kites.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Monday, August 10, 2009

Tiny Russian Dolls.

(Because the Russian variety is harder to find.)

The oddities are not,
what they are thought to be.
Not spread over space,
but coalesced into layers.

One within the other,
another within the last.
A million different people,
intertwined through many pasts.

Like tiny Russian dolls,
that tell stories of their time.
Enclosing a million little secrets,
or an odd, unforgivable crime.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Concerning Cruelty and Clemency.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli - Chapter 17.

" [...] Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails."

Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour only to avoid hatred, as is noted."

Written during the Italian Renaissance, by an eminent political theorist of the time, for Lorenzo de' Medici( ruler of the Florentine republic) , one may wonder what relevance this famed piece of literature might have today, outside of the odd historical references and footnotes. Loads, as I have learnt. Be it philosophy, sociological theory, ethics, epistemology and morality, all of which are just as crucial aspects of human knowledge as they were a thousand years ago, and will be for those to follow.

And if nothing else, think of all the things you could do with a how-to booklet for conquering and governing kingdoms.

Muahahaha! *evil laughter, for effect*

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is just fantastic.
I will not let my words dilute the awesomeness of it.

Observations, interpretations and nonsense are welcome. Along with anything else you might like to throw at me. Cheerio!

P.S. Look out for those two eerie "things" at the end.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Giggles, Guffaws, Beer and Obama-mania.

Webcomic courtesy xkcd.

Jokes apart, I'm a big fan. I'm still completely and rapturously in awe of Obama. And considering a man who can be a talker as smooth as THIS, for the love of brilliant oratory(if nothing else), allow him the odd foot-in-mouth for once!

What's more? The president settles a scandal over jugs of ale!
I mean, this just escapes comprehension. The Harvard professor(Mr. Gates) , the cop(Mr. Crowley) and the Prez himself, bonding over beer like a bunch of college jocks, in all their post-minor-fist-fight glory. In the rose garden at the White House. That, my friends, is something truly amazing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All that glitters...

and that which glows.
trinklets, threads, beads.
and memories.
some collected, some received.

Sometimes, I Think.

That libertarians exist in power only so that anarchists and authoritarians can peacefully bludgeon each other to death.

Governance is a pitiful excuse for ordered chaos.
Yes, I know that's an oxymoron.

No wonder.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Word of the Day.

apocryphal \uh-POK-ruh-fuhl\, adjective:

1. (Bible) Pertaining to the Apocrypha.
2. Not canonical. Hence: Of doubtful authority or authenticity; equivocal; fictitious; spurious; false.

Apocryphal ultimately derives from Greek apokruphos, "hidden (hence, spurious)," from apokruptein, "to hide away," from apo-, "away, from" + kruptein, "to hide."


Days like these convince me, that daily subscriptions are far more prophetic than the horoscope.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's raining. Water falling on leaves, on soil, on the ground.. on everything that is and everything that can be. And the sound of it(and the scent) is so thrilling, it's surprising.

Nature does such wonderful things to the senses sometimes.

And this is the most beautiful thing I've come across in ages :

Amazing. In ways far more than one.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Truth Hurts?

"Parliamentarians on Wednesday demanded that TV reality show Sach Ka Saamna be banned, terming its content as against Indian values and morality."
Source : India Today

"NEW DELHI: Hours after the furor in Rajya Sabha over the reality show 'Sach Ka Saamna' broadcast by Star Plus, the government on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to the TV channel.

Source : The Times Of India

The TV show in question is an Indian spin-off of the American one "The Moment of Truth". It features participants being hooked up to a polygraph machine and asked questions about their lives, which may vary from being slightly embarrassing to highly controversial. And as long as their answers tally with the results of the lie-detector test, they move on to win greater sums of money. So yes, there have been disclosures tantamount to people admitting to peeing in a public swimming pool and cheating on their spouses. Ordinary people, that are exactly what our society is made of.

By no means do I think the show deserves applause. I personally hold the opinion that this trend of large-scale dirty-laundry washing is just plain tacky. But this is what this multi-million dollar industry of reality TV churns all the moolah out of. Voyeurism sells. Period.

And this is what society is about. People making personal choices regarding their lifestyle. And instead of cowering under a guise of dutiful adherence to what is considered "decent", if they have it in them to unapologetically speak about it, then so be it. No one has any business telling them what they should or should not do. It's a free country.

Having said that, I wonder what caused Mr. Maini to file a public interest litigation in this regard. Does he really think that a shroud of feigned sanctimony does not amount to hypocrisy? Would he rather have people pretend to be pious little heaps of virtuous jackshit, while their days and nights remain tales of culpable damnation? Or rather, what he likes to call "culpable damnation" in his view of things. Is the concept of Indian morality so vague and non-existent, that it needs pretense to support itself? Is it so fragile that they can't hold its own in the face of true-to-life fact?

The way I see it, any purported sense of values that completely excludes facts of urban existence is, in effect, nothing more than play-act. So, what character do you want to be?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

These Lives of Quiet Desperation.

My words are never found
where you like to look for them.
But in the 20 inches
of sparks and smoke in between.

Draped on bare walls,
spilled on the red carpet.
Or perhaps in your black coffee,
that tasted like Quinine.

Mute, and silent.
My words still hang in the air.
Though they would rather
be wrapped around you,
than nestle in melancholy.

You ask me why
I do not speak.
My silence is awkward,
jarring, and indiscreet.

And yet those words of mine,
will still wish upon a lost cause.
That you grasp them soon,
and stay.


Yep, right there. Neck-deep in ****.

I'm growing roots. Sitting right in front of my computer all day, I'm turning into one of those tuberous vegetables that grow neck-deep in the ground. They get food and water staying right where the are, never moving an inch. That's the life I lead these days. The only difference being that the beads of sweat that sprout on my forehead aren't quite indicative of transpiration. They are the result of having spent all night staring at source-codes and being unable to trace the single error that causes a script to crash repeatedly. Never before have I felt more like a computer-geek-moron. Fifth semester is already getting to me. Which is bad, because it hasn't even started yet.

To add to the idiocy of the situation, my gmail theme is the one that displays an animated view of the sky, depending on location. So, that is how I know whether it's bright and sunny or raining cats, dogs and cows outside. Yesterday, there was a rather formidable-looking thunderbolt sprawled across the mailbox. Trees were getting uprooted right outside my house. Today, gmail looks like tufts of white cotton candy floating in blue. I reckon, the city must be on fire. Isn't technology just awesome?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Think

There is something to be said
about the finality
of a small black dot.

And the
continuity of three...

that hope comes in shapes
of bent teardrops.
Not of beginnings
and not of ends.
Separating instances of many,
and mildly disfigured sentiments.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Try Twenty.

I turn 20 tomorrow. For someone who hit the proverbial quarter-life crisis at a ripe old age of 17, I'm quite looking forward to the event.

Because everything comes with a best-before date. Everything is stagnating.
This is going to be me starting over. New people, new places, new paradigms, new beginnings... many ends.

Tonight, at midnight, I know that I will be smiling. With the knowledge that there is one single fact that makes be über-happy.
Two decades on, still living sans regrets. And I intend to keep it that way.

Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Approximation. Not Quite.

These almosts.. I think,
have a knack for quiet.
I tell you, they are muted taciturns.
Unkind, almost.

The fault, I believe
is not their own.
Disappointment, after all
was never clamorous.
Settles in melancholy,
breeds in silence.

It rained today.
Well, it almost did.
The sky did turn gray.
Winds did blow.
Birds did crow.

But that's the thing about almosts.
Almosts and half-promises.
Uncertain. Dangling in between..
of is and isn'ts,
of have and have-nots.
And among losses,
of an entirely different sort.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Smoke-Signal or Fortune-Cookie?

You were one of those pretty little things. Ones that occur in nature only by sheer accident. Yes, you were astoundingly pretty. With bright innocuous eyes that sparkled like an onyx, glistening hair that made people stare open-mouthed. You looked like you were carved out of marble. You inspired awe.. or jealousy. Mostly both. And as is the norm de rigueur, your prettiness was your first class ticket into the charmed circle of manicures and eyelash curlers. Tomes of knowledge were replaced by Cosmo, and friends by giggle-brigades and disposable boyfriends.

I am merely an observer, and I choose to view from a distance. But I feel sorry for strayed, lost souls, even though a part of me is convinced that their own stupidity called for it. And now that I am convinced that you have acquired dysmorphia and no longer have any concept whatsoever of how you are perceived by others, there is something I think you should know. The cakes of makeup, bleached hair and mere inches of clothing make you look like a trampy transvestite. And none of the farcical dolts you surround yourself with, will ever have the heart to tell you that.

Sad. Because you really were very pretty.
Beauty is wasted in the most distasteful of manners. Sheesh!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Song For The Occasion.

Because Morrison was a great man. And because I find myself wishing I had been a part of the era, when he was still alive and kicking. (Quite literally, considering the on-stage histrionics. The man wasn't called Dionysus for nothing.) But alas! Even my mom was a young tyke of 8 when he died. And would never have heard of him, had it not been for the errant juvie daughter born about 2 decades later. And I feel sorry that there just isn't enough audio-visual media documenting him.

So, he had an IQ of 149. Sang in baritone. He wrote absurdly profound poetry, spoke like an erudite philosopher, and walked like he ruled the world. He lived to taste the heights of success, and yet adopted a self-destructive lifestyle. It fascinates me. Having been the sort to deride celeb-monomania in the most explicitly graceless of terms, I still speak of Morrison in hushed, reverential tones.

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”
-James Douglas Morrison

Yeah yeah.. I'm a borderline masochist.
But what this man achieved, my friends, is as close to immortality as it gets. Period.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Inscrutable Mind.

"Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better.. even of their blunders." -Friedrich Nietzsche

Needless to say, I love the movie.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Loves.

Owing to the daily perils that come as a part of the existence of an engineering student(to call it "life" would be most unforgivable) , I have had to sacrifice a great, torrid romance. The stuff that dreams are made of. Drama, thrill, ceaseless obsession, smiles, tears, sleepless nights.. all of it. But having known a love so complete, and having to go without it, is not easy. It's like something is missing. Something indispensable. Irreplaceable.

And now that summer is here, and what we techies get as an excuse for a vacation is on, I am going back to what still waits for me. In the face of nefarious, abominable evils such as summer training to be completed, and massive projects to be coded.. I will now have what I've yearned for, all this while.

I will read like there's no tomorrow. Like I'm a crazed lunatic. Like I'm a starved piece of trifle, and have just acquired a decade's supply of butter chicken. And I will know bliss. Amen.

P.S. The pretty things you can see in the picture, were what I brought home today. Original, pirated, second-hand, brand new. But then, I've always had a fascination for the "older" ones. *wink* Nothing beats the appeal of a slightly aged book. The musty, woody scent. The paper that gets a little darker at the edges. The delicate fraying. The tiny history it has of its own. There is much love to be found in this tiny,skewed world.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

By The Way.

There are days when you come across news that fascinates you beyond rhyme and reason. This, my friends, would be a novel instance.
"Bovine burps are the cause of 3/4th of the world's net methane emission." (Source : Reuters)

Methane, as in, the extremely potent greenhouse gas.
I am amazed. I have no words left at all. Screw the Kyoto Protocol, all we need are genetically modified cows that burp less. Yey!

The Week That Was.

Delhi is melting.
No mincing words here. With temperatures shooting to 45.3 degrees C and still rising, with no hope of respite on the horizon, things look pretty grim. It's HOT! To top it all, the city is also experiencing unprecedented levels of load shedding. And what does the BSES attribute a 25% difference in demand and supply of power? Delayed monsoons. No hydroelectricity. Burn baby burn.

So, drawing an outline here. The country that lauds itself as the next superpower, as an emerging center of economic and infrastructural development and one that is supposedly on the fast-track to absolute excellence and glory and blah blah blah.. is unable to meet one-fourth of the power requirement in its CAPITAL! Because, apparently we still depend on seasonal rainfall to keep the country up and running. That's world class technological development for you.

That's not all. Water supply is also down and out. People are getting murdered over disputes centered entirely on a bucketful of water. Rare, exotic animals in wildlife reserves are dying of dehydration, because there is just no water at all.

India. The country with such immense geographical diversity, with every possible variety of terrain, with all these rivers, a relatively significant forest cover, astounding reserves of natural resources and minerals. With a population that, with adequate planning, can be harnessed as a vast pool of cheap and efficient labor. Sheer luck and random chance has been more than favorable to the county. And yet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sawasdee Ka!

Flashback to Thailand

March 2008

I had all of two days to explore the city that blinds your senses with color and curry. Also known as "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit ". Ha! That's the full ceremonial name of the city. And here Pingu(BFF) thought her hometown of Tiruchirapalli was albatross-y. ;)

Well, this is how my checklist ran :

1. Visited the many Wats(temples) in the city, each flaunting ornate sculpturing and thoroughly unpronouncable names. Example : Wat Benchamabophit.

2. Bravely tried the local cuisine. (Which includes more types of arachnids and insects than I knew existed.) Suffice to say, I developed a passionate love for Thai food since that very day.

3. Shopped for trashy souvenirs and beautiful wooden candle stands at the Night Bazaar. (Which is so unimaginably huge and labyrinth-like, I could be lost there forever and never run out of things to gawk at.)

4. Rode a Tuk-Tuk. (Refer to picture)

5. Toured the city along the Chao Phraya river, in a boat steered by a drunk Thai.

6. Haggled about a set of handcrafted chopsticks with a woman who spoke absolutely no English, at the floating market on the river. Also, after providing for the amusement of the waiters at a posh restaurant for about half an hour, I managed to master their use. I now use them to eat Maggi noodles at home, and pooh-pooh at forks..

7. Squeezed into a traditional Thai silk dress. The pretty black thing now adorns my wardrobe to up its exotica quotient. Right next to the GAP hot pants that never got out of the same Alcatraz. ;)

8. Last, but definitely not the least, explored the highly infamous Patpong market, which, unbeknownst to me, was flanked on both sides by strip clubs. No, make that two unending parallel lines of supernumerary strip clubs, one next to the other, catering to all tastes and *cough* orientations. Crossdressers are all the rage, apparently.And yes, we landed up there as innocent wanderers, with no clue as to what we were about to see. My eyes found more reasons than one to turn into saucers every now and then. Memorable, in a hilarious sort of way.

And you've got to love a matriarchal society. Not like Thailand has much of a choice in the matter. Men hardly exist. That might be a slight exaggeration, but the sex-ratio there is majorly skewed. So essentially, it's a society dominated by women. For women. The only congregation of the male specie I saw, was a group of farmers on strike(doing nothing at all) . That's a study in contrasts for someone born and brought up in India.

Moving on, the cab driver we hired to show us around turned out to be a riot, in his own right. He was named Dow-Dow, and chuckled like a hyena at the slightest provocation. :) Nice guy, he was. Thai people, from what I observed, are extremely friendly. From the woman in the silk store who welcomed us with "Andar aaiye", and through the course of the next 15 minutes, worked at acquiring as extensive a Hindi vocabulary as we could offer her, to Mr. Dow-Dow himself, who insisted on playing a DVD of Himesh Reshammiya's songs to make us feel right at home. Heh..Little did he know!

So there we were, out on a starry starry night, in a foreign land and cruising in a luxury sedan, with that irritating nasal voice blaring out for the entertainment/horror of all and sundry. It could easily have been a truck in Bihar, with little difference. That was the moment I almost felt a certain respect for Reshammiya. Thankfully, the state of mind didn't last long.