Saturday, December 25, 2010

Accident

I have been driving since I was 18 years old and am 24 now... In all this time I've never met with an accident. That changed today on the day after Christmas. I pride my face value assessments so here goes...
I was at the Irla signal which opens up opposite Cooper hospital. I had stopped at the signal and when it just turned green, I started driving my car... As it was a turn, I had not accelerated much. I was in the 2nd-ish lane with two rickshaws to my right. I drove my car ahead and I saw a glimpse of a red motorbike coming towards me, right at my door. I then saw the guy getting flung from his bike against my car and then onto the ground. Quite unnerved, I took my car ahead and stopped it, hoping he was alright and marginally bracing for a fight.
The guy got up, he tried to muster some anger but went for his helmet.
Yes, it's a good thing he was wearing his helmet.
He tried to say something to me; I cut him off and asked him, "You alright boss?"; I then pointed at the light saying that his was long red. He mumbled something as he knew he was in the wrong. I then asked him, "Are you alright man?" He said, "Ya."
Those were my exact words and I am still amazed that I meant them. He seemed like someone my age and definitely someone who spoke English as his daily language.

Just 2 days ago I had told my friend, "I have it so good, I'm really lucky; I'm bound to go through some shit pretty soon.." I believe that this is just the beginning. Some sad things ought to happen to me soon enough.

Request: Please don't jump a red light, especially at too high a speed.
Request: Bikers, please wear your helmets. And just because you are riding pillion, don't excuse yourself from wearing a helmet.

Boston Legal

The first season of Boston Legal was highly brilliant; however, it began losing its shine from the second season onwards as the makers decided to make it light-hearted. The courtroom scenes and weird encounters saved and make me cherish the series.
One thing that this series has provided is the friendship that Denny Crane and Alan Shore share. "We're flamingos."
Simple 2.5 words. Love them.

One episode (I'm watching it right now) stood out.
A little background first though: At the end of (almost) every episode Denny and Alan drink scotch and smoke cigars at Denny's office balcony. It's usually night and they stare out at the city. They talk about their day and their troubles and their sexual and emotional experiences. It's all very plain - plain, in the best way possible.
This episode: "On the Ledge" Season 3... Alan is supposedly in the process of developing a friendship with Jerry (a lawyer who has Asperger syndrome). Denny sees them bonding on 2 occasions and on witnessing the second encounter, retreats to his office. This follows:


Denny: Don't talk to me.
Alan: It's not like I went fishing with him.
Denny: And don't make fun of me. I don't know whether you know this - not many men take the time every day to have a cigar, a glass of scotch, to talk to their best friend. That's not something most men have.
Alan: No, it isn't.

Denny: What I give to you, what - what I share, I do with no one else. I like to think what you give to me, you do with nobody else. Now that - that may sound silly to you. But here's what I think is silly - the idea that jealousy or fidelity is reserved for romance. I always suspected that there was a connection between you and THAT man. That you got something you didn't get from me.

Alan: I probably do. But gosh, what I get from you, Denny ... People walk around today calling everyone their "best friend". The term doesn't have any real meaning anymore. Mere acquaintances are lavished with hugs and kisses upon a second or, at most, third meeting. Birthday cards get passed around offices, so everybody can scribble a snippet of sentimentality for a colleague they've barely met. And everyone just "loves" everyone. As a result, when you tell somebody you love them today, it isn't much heard. I love you, Denny. YOU are my best friend. I can't imagine going through life without you as my best friend. Not gonna kiss you, however.
Denny: I don't want you on my balcon... on ANY balcony, alone - with THAT man.
Alan: Okay.


End. Special thanks to bostonlegal.wetpaint.com for the conversation between Alan and Denny.

It's sad that text does very little justice to the actual conversation; the same way that books are difficult to convert to movies, visual experiences are difficult to put into text.
Joey and Chandler are good. Long live Denny and Alan.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Marion Grasby

Masterchef Australia contestant - Marion Grasby.
I remember, when I first saw her in the competition I fell in love with her :) She had the most adorable smile. And then I saw how respected she became through the competition.
It's amazing to see the other contestants sing praises and literally be afraid of facing off against her. It was a shock when she was eliminated - it was a shock for me too...
All I can see is the joy, energy and enthusiasm she has when she cooks, her competition said often that the food that Marion prepares "pops in your mouth" full of flavour.

The reason I am blogging about her is that people like her deserve mention. Singers and dancers on reality shows come and go but this particular show just shows the enthusiasm, guts and creativity that some of the contestants have.

I wonder if I will ever go to Australia, and if I do, will I get to eat a preparation by Marion :)

Social Behaviour

Autonomous and habitual movement to Facebook, Gtalk. It's quite amazing.
Often, when people have nothing to do online they move to FB just to see random stuff... It's quite appalling at a certain level, particularly when we think about human behaviour.

2-3 years ago, one would wait to get to know a person, one would wait to meet a person and one would be surprised to see another person after a long duration... Now, we really don't have to bother socialising; we can just go to a person's page and see what we like or dislike, it ought to affect the way we behave with that person.
Agreed that it is a fantastic way to stay in touch - but it is quite disruptive at a certain level. Privacy is almost unwillingly given up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Soros

Soros works on a philosophy that is rather commonsensical; his books are interesting reads from time to time.
Excerpt:

"Medicine, law and journalism used to be professions."

Julian Assange

Ballsy.
Wikileaks has been influential even though much of the data which has been released remains to be dissected. He's 39 years old or so right now and yesterday he was arrested under charges of rape or molestation for the supposed crime in Sweden. It's a curious development knowing how influential his acts have been.
I wonder what will happen to this guy... The world has found a ballsy person after a very long time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Manipulation

An ancient Aztec ritual : (I wonder if the word 'ancient' is necessary)

2 teams would play a game and the winners would be sacrificed to the gods.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wikileaks

Wikileaks has been influential and might become more so with further disclosures announced, one of them relating to a big US bank.
Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing I really can't judge - is it correct for war secrets to be leaked? Because times of war do receive special treatment because subversive and coercive means would be used at those times.
However, Wikileaks is a whistle blowers delight. Big entities can and do hold the world shielded from reality at times... If China is growing concerned about NKorea, it better announce it to the world and not lie like it did some time ago.

Analogy: The way governments are chasing Wikileaks to shut it down is the same as China censoring information and punishing 'perpetrators'. Isn't it sad that people don't care about Wikileaks as much as they do about, let's say Justin Bieber or God? (Poor pair to put together I know...)

But Wikileaks stands for transparency and accountability - may be we should stand by it.

Delight

I managed to go to gym today morning at 6am despite a late night. Woohoo!!
As I was leaving gym I saw what looked like part of a wallpaper.

Sizeable, dispersed clouds with sun rays actually piercing and 'moving?' past them in a radial pattern. A silent Mumbai with that as a backdrop was a welcome change. I wonder how many people noticed that and if they did, I wonder how many people stopped for a bit.

The other day, when I reached office, I saw a kid walking behind his mother making faces and jumping along... A single thought came to me then... What happened to life?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Women

Some people need to be appreciated. Barkha Dutt.
Sadly, I have not heard her or seen her much but I'm going to let my judgement rule me today (as I allow quite often).
For some reason (refer to the Radia Tapes) Barkha has been 'pinned down' for her role by other media persons.
I saw a table conference / discussion on NDTV 24x7 where one dude was saying something against Barkha; Barkha was there and she retaliated with pain and emotion.
In those few minutes I chose to see Barkha's might, integrity and passion.
Call me sexist but it was a pleasure to see such a strong voice from a woman with an aggressive body language. I was thinking today about the clich├ęd statement : "Today, the woman walks shoulder to shoulder alongside man." I find that acceptable in a few cases, however, women, especially in India, even if educated, tend to stand back or are not allowed to progress because of societal structure.
I'm referring to family, marriage, motherhood and an odd suppression by the man. The last reference is to a man / husband / boyfriend who will frown on the woman being vain or her flirty/ playful nature or her ambitious loner nature or her need for independence or her need for a chance to prove herself.
This post is not an attempt at defending women, rather it's an attempt at hoping for a fairer tomorrow. An interesting, independent, strong woman is rare.

Caveat: A woman who chooses a house / family life ought to be respected. Please re-read the statement and put an emphasis on the word 'chooses'. Choice is rare.
Barkha, Thanks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikipedia

Recently, I made a very small donation to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an under-appreciated wickedly awesome creation - created by people who are working for barely (or no) money. The need for encyclopedias has dissolved, not because of various internet sources but because of one destination for largely trustworthy data.
I urge the millions who read my blog to make a small donation to this foundation.

Hopefully this link works some years from now...
All of should support this fantastic, free service that (I believe) has no advertisement revenues... don't tarry, send it some money right now. Please.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bottles and Corks

There is a very strong post by a guy whose blog I read quite regularly.
The reason I am saying this is that for the past few days I have been thinking of working towards something concrete.
I have an immense passion for global financial markets but I cannot find a way to dedicate a large portion of my intellect and time to it; I also hope to make this society better, be it for selfish reasons... Buildings lack planning, safety and common sense, roads are narrow and flyovers or highways take too long to take physical shape, we live in a dirty dirty city where people seem agitated at every moment and relaxation is an endeavour.
I hope to find the courage to leave this race and do something meaningful.
I would really like to join an organisation that actively does some intelligent and decisive work at tackling issues that we face.
Meaningful? "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." John Lennon said that and well, I just love travelling and meeting new people and old friends. What's stopping me from just taking in a bit of this one life that I have (Yes, I don't believe in rebirth and rebirth, if true, is quite inconsequential as a belief in this 'present' life).

Carpe Diem: Robin Williams made it popular... but what follows these 2 words in the original statement is important;
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the Day, trusting as little as possible in the future". I don't think this is a cynical statement, I take it to be a opportunistic and rude statement that hits you just once in a while.

Allow me to cite my Nick Drake here..."So I leave the ways that are making me be, what I really dont want to be."

The industrialized world coined the term 'giving back to society' - I say 'Let's give something to us, coz we barely have much.' And don't start citing poorer nations... I don't care about them as much as I do about me and us.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slavery and the Pursuit of Happiness

I bought the new iPod Nano today and it's quite brilliant. I tried my best to stay away from an Apple product but this one was simply fantastic, which brings me to my point for this post.
Human progress.

I had stepped out of my office for a bit and I saw cars on the road, and it just struck me... Billions of years of (supposed) evolution and humans have created a society wherein people fret every moment, travel, 'work', earn money, spend money - all towards a largely insignificant death. Yes, this is all dreary but I'm looking at the bigger picture where I see other creatures quietly going about their stupid lives actually building things, creating things for sustenance.
What I see is a futile exercise which we have accepted as a way for society to function... what we are right now, in terms of our daily functioning would have been inconceivable a thousand years ago and for the record, a thousand years is a very short time period in the grand scheme of things...

And once in a while we come across people like Jimmy Wales - the founder of Wikipedia; an open source information centre on almost anything. Of course, he might have his own ulterior motives but I see that as a real development.
Gerald Ford revolutionized the way we commute but not much has changed since then except for congestion, blatant consumption, a supposed easier lifestyle and most importantly - becoming a slave to the machine that we have created.

What prevents us from vacating the daily grind after we have made an adequate amount of money?
Isn't this equivalent to slavery or succumbing to societal norms and pressures?

A friend described me well when she said that a girl would hate to be in a relationship with me because one day she would wake up without me by her side; she would call me and ask for my whereabouts... I would say, O! I am travelling.. Buzz off...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

37

T: Did you know that Aishwaria is 37 years old??!!
H: Ya. So?
T: 37!!! That's 13 years away!!! That's half our age away... That's a long long time away.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thots

Short-term pleasures may cause short, medium or long-term pain.

A humble pauper is a useless sight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rumination

Europe has changed me for the better (or less worse). Today, I attended a lecture on 'superparticles' which could be a part of particle physics; may be for the first time I sat for a lecture without the compulsion to learn and remember and that made the lecture quite enjoyable...
I read about Sufjan Stevens, Casimir Pulaski, Nick Drake, Modigliani and I see the horror that this society has transformed into...
I still thank my friend for telling me about Into the Wild because it made me sincerely question materialism. Yes, yes ... I'm not a complete disaster yet (or would I be called a victor?).
We still have artists and brilliant scientists in our midst (not so much in our midst, but you get the vibe...) however, they don't seem to be as strong as earlier. They seem weak, succumbing to the lure of materialism which is understandable but deplorable for society as a whole.

Yes, a decade from now people might appreciate some artists whom we don't right now but I don't see a painter, a sculptor, a writer or a poet then... I see successful bands which will have made people happy not through their art but through their canvas.

I said that Europe has been beneficial because I saw a weird joy in people - as the french say "joie de vivre" which means "the joy of living". I see in India people who are old at 25 years of age where the only form of them being young is partying and boozing (extreme generalization).

Next week I'm going for a contemporary dance performance at the NCPA. Will I like it? I don't know but it's a brilliant mode of escapism.


I love the world of particle physics and quantum physics - particularly because it is so difficult to imagine some of the things postulated or proven.
2 galaxies colliding 4 billion light years away?
A very small amount of energy in daily life, such as 1TeV, which is difficult to 'create' or 'capture'...
Weakly Interacting Massive Particles which could hold the key to finding a 'theory of everything'. For the record, experiments are underway in a mine where supercooled Germanium crystals are used to capture the faintest of vibrations from particles such as WIMPs.

Take a step back my friend and you will see how inconsequential our lives are...
We live for 60-90 years.
We pursue money and affection.
We are heartbroken and we feel loved.
We sleep less, we sleep too much, we smile too little, we are serious and not as jovial as we ought to be...
You ask me why I loved Into the Wild?
Here's why:



"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
— Chris McCandless

"The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences."
— Chris McCandless

Monday, November 1, 2010

Age

I was listening to Elton John today morning on the radio and the RJ said something about he's 63 years old and still belting out music :)
And I - idealistic and stupid (not) - thought of how we tend to while away our time without due consideration given to our smiles and to the pursuit of something that has no real end...
I thought of my friend's friend, the dude, supposedly, just jams with his amateur band every (other?) Saturday. He's just one example.
But what I see clearly missing in India and in Indians is passion... Need to find it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The meaning of it all

Richard Feynman provokes thought. He is described as having been a passionate guy. This is a statement that is often used for other people too but rarely meant.
Branching off... When I read physics or see something on science or when I read about nature and all the simple glory that is away from human settlement, I see how futile our sojourns are (that was an amusing statement if you caught my bitchiness).
Of course, we will work our way through this society that we have created but the least we could do is give a thought to 'why?' and to possibly pursue an escape.
Circles they grow and they swallow people whole.

RRG v/s Berchtesgaden

I'm writing after a long long time :)
A friend asked me if Berchtesgaden was better than the Red River Gorge - I thought for a bit and I had the answer.
Berchtesgaden was magnificent, but it was picturesquely brilliant; RRG was like going through an old earth.
RRG was plain, raw, brilliant and an awesome place to find solitude; a place where one can pace himself and keep walking endlessly. Berchtesgaden was great for mountaineers and photographers.

Only once did I feel alone and comfortable - on my way from Stahlhaus to Lake Konigsee - I was alone, carefree and scared.
Picture this: I start when the sun is bright, 1 litre of weissbeer downed, I start my journey towards the lake. I pass through the clouds which have enveloped the valley. The sun loses its shine and the weather is pleasant. I stop and I hear me breathing and I hear a gentle stream a few metres away. I walk again and come to a proper path but now the sky is dark and when I say dark I mean... dark. I can see till only a few metres away but luckily there is some light hitting me from the town.
I reach the town - exhausted and settle at the first restaurant. There is only one server and I'm really hungry. I walk for an additional fifteen minutes and reach the restaurant by the lake. I come to it and a guy says HI!! to me - "Hey! we met while we were climbing that mountain!!" - I mumble something because I didn't remember the guy. The dude recommends Goulash which is deer with gravy :)
Then he recommends a plum cake :)
And of course, I need weissbeer :)
Semi drunk and completely satiated I walk to my bed n breakfast. I sleep for 10 hours :D

However, when I saw a picture from Red River Gorge (The auxier ridge trail) I missed it immediately. Berchtesgaden is not a place I would miss or long to go back to but RRG - that was truly gorgeous :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Commonwealth Games

I can't believe I haven't written about this fiasco :)
Horrible planning, horrible supervision, poor accountability, disgraceful public relations management and sheer contempt for responsibility and maintaining 'national' pride.
A pedestrian bridge which linked the main stadium to the car park collapsed because of a faulty support while still under construction approx 13 days before the CWG start.
The main stadium suffered from water leaks; yesterday part of the false ceiling fell, the CWG village is in a poor condition.
Does this make me happy? Very.

The fact that responsibility lay in the hands of govt. officials, this was bound to happen. Corruption and bureaucracy - blah blah blah... you know the drill. There was a good opinion the other day in Live Mint and I second that opinion.
The CWG disaster should serve as a stimulus for the government to allocate more infrastructure projects to private parties - established entities with proven track records. Not something like J Kumar Infraprojects who have a crappy website and are doing an even crappier job at completing projects in Mumbai.
I am amazed at how fantastic and practical the L&T link from the international airport looks - it was even completed without much disruption to traffic.

May be the CWG are just what India need to begin serious work towards improving public infrastructure in India.

Death and Celebrations

There was a train collision in Madhya Pradesh wherein 21 people died and many other injured - cause: human error.
Floods in Uttarakhand and the Yamuna overflowing just north of Delhi - Countless made homeless, don't know how many died.
2 people shot at near Jama Masjid in New Delhi - supposed terror attack.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated with much chutzpah in Mumbai.

Are we insensitive? Or is this normal behaviour?
Politically speaking, we like to equate all human lives and frown at untoward incidences, but frankly I don't see people caring about people who they don't really care about. Convoluted statement?

Faith is a wonderful thing. I walked near my place in the evening where the gullies were empty and the roads were filled with people dancing around the Ganpati idols. Nonchalance characterised my walk that evening as I am not a religious person, but I loved looking at people and how simply some of them were sitting patiently and how others were dancing simply merrily - I even saw one guy trying his version of a break dance :)
I see some of our religious festivals as means to unify India across caste divides - clearly seen during Ganesh Visarjan yesterday.

I might never understand what excites foreigners when the come to India and see such social behaviour :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Underground Metro Peace March at Juhu

So I went for a 'Peace March' today. It was primarily comprised of Juhu residents asking / demanding an underground metro through the suburbs instead of an overhead metro. It seems like a sensible demand but a rather useless demand.
The more immediate and painful issues are water supply, potholes and the dearth of roads and flyover through the city. However, this 'protest' did ask for accountability and answers.
Why is erection taking so long? (No pun) How much is it really costing Mumbai-ites in kind - time, energy, traffic (you know what I mean). Why have patches of road been under construction for so long a time?
I did not care too much about the metro's elevation because I really see the lack of proper road infrastructure as a pressing issue. Nonetheless, I did go for the rally because I wanted to see the show that people were capable of putting up. Moreover, only when we support protests will we have more meaningful protests.
I left 1 hour into the rally while the others kept marching on, but I would gladly be a part of such movements in the future and hopefully one day help in organising such a rally.

O yes, almost forgot to mention this. The route that the people were going to take had posters by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena ( O! How I love them from the bottom of my butt) supporting the cause. What a (poop) turnoff! Yes, yes... at least 'they' were supporting the cause... BS

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bridges of Madison County

This movie compels me to write again about infidelity.
Robert Kincaid (Clint) noted something peculiar about modern society and each person's want for something(s). When Francesca remarked - 'Things Change',

Robert said, "They always do, it's one of the things of nature. Most people are afraid of change, but if you look at it as something you can always count on, then it can be a comfort. There are not many things you can count on."

This one stands out - "I don't think obsessions have a reason, that's why they're obsessions."

Francesca: You have friends too?
Robert: I'm a loner not a monk.
Francesca: You really don't need anyone?
Robert: No, I need everybody.

Francesca: You ever regret not having a family?
Robert: Not everyone's supposed to have a family.

What he noted about society:
"There's too much of 'This is mine' or 'He or she is mine'... Too many lines being drawn; that kinda thing... you know?"
Coming to infidelity. "She is mine!".
This statement ought not to make sense, but it does. We have been tuned to securing our surroundings and possessing things around us. Inanimate object should be fine but another person of free will?
What can stop a guy from pursuing sexual or emotional pleasures with another woman? In our society... Guilt, commitment and responsibility methinks.
People are fickle-minded and can sway from time to time. At times, we need to adjust to unacceptable behaviour.
When a guy has a random one night stand, not much is said... when a girl does the same, she is labeled a slut. Guys having one night stands are more common, but that is not possible... because usually, a guy would have a one night stand with a girl, implying that guys tend to brag about their adventures whereas girls are more secretive.
Secretive because of societal pressures and because a girl usually does not need to proclaim her accomplishments as much as a guy does. Hence, the age old debate about how women are more mature than men. Men succumb easily to ego boosts and proclamation of their achievements and turfs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What lies ahead for humans...

"For the first 2 billion years or so , the rate of increase in complexity (of DNA) must have been of the order of one bit of information every hundred years. The rate of increase of DNA complexity gradually rose to about one bit a year over the last few million years.
But then, about six or eight thousand years ago, a major new development occurred. We developed written language.
This meant that information could be passed on from one generation to the next without having to wait for the very slow process of random mutations and natural selection to code it into the DNA sequence."

Stephen Hawking is trying to say that evolution - because of this development - has just become a whole lot faster.
I love the guy's candor.

"Because we claim to be intelligent, though perhaps without much ground, we tend to see intelligence as an inevitable consequence of evolution. However one can question that. It is not clear that intelligence has much survival value. Bacteria do very well without intelligence and will survive us if our so-called intelligence causes us to wipe ourselves out in a nuclear war."

He also posited that advanced life-forms have already found us but are just chilling and looking at us. But then, if they are so advanced why have they not destroyed us - for example, we don't think twice before killing a bug. :D

I had a thought. What if there were more advanced life-forms but similar to what we might do in the future, they destroyed themselves some million years ago on Earth? May be they managed to destroy themselves so well that they left no trace of themselves or their subordinate beings...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

7 minutes to write this post...

As an amateur and largely ignorant human it's quite grounding to read about the universe.
The nearest quasar, for example, is at the least 780 million light years away.
A light year is the distance that light would cover in one year which amounts to approx. 10 trillion kilometers.
A distance such as this is almost impossible to relate to.

Another thought: Everything we look at is the past. Because light takes a finite amount of time to reach the human eye, whatever we see has happened in the past.
It is insignificant in daily life but, for example, the sun we see is as it was 8 minutes ago. Similarly, when we look at the oldest quasars in the universe - approximated at 28 billion light years away - we are looking at that which existed a really long time ago, probably at the beginning of the universe (if the universe did indeed have a 'beginning').

The hypothesis behind the existence of a blackhole is quite intriguing. Earth is a small planet and therefore has a very small escape velocity - 11.2 km/s. The sun has a larger mass and therefore its escape velocity is estimated at 617.5 km/s. The hypothesis that Feynman came up with was that there could possibly be a large enough mass (or gravitational force) that would not let even light escape. Escape velocity higher than 300000 km/s.

Information from Wiki and from 'Universe in a nutshell' - Stephen Hawking. Why do these things intrigue me? Because once in a while, I like to take a step back and look at humans. Hawking said something to the effect of: We should not try to find extra-terrestrial lifeforms because the odds are that they will be more advanced than us and possibly hostile. The future for humans lies in space because the Earth will one day be too small a place for humans.

I just wrote about quasars being 780 million light years away. We can confidently say that humans have developed themselves quite rapidly in the past 2000 years. It is not plausible to discount the existence of other lifeforms even 10000 years ahead of us, let alone millions of years ahead of us.

Calling time a dimension puts a new twist to all that we worry about because in the grand scheme of things everything is quite irrelevant.
What is also questionable is that which we assume to be real and why reality should even matter to us.

With this post I can say that I have come a full circle. Questioning reality has been my most fruitless pass-time. Questioning purpose and daily illusions can also be added to the prior sentence.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Passing Thoughts

When will pleasing your boss annoy you?
When will you stop floating through life?
Why don't you go out and eat good food or try something new?
Are you really scared of the next morning because it's as mundane as yesterday's?
How much will you regret things if you were to die right now?
Do you want to push away things that make you smaller?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day once dawned...

Music is a beautiful creation. This thought (re)dawned on me when I was travelling in a rick listening to Nick Drake. Of course, there is an unusual simplicity to his creations but for a moment, his music took me away from the noise of traffic around me and from the swarm of people crowding the streets. For some unusual reason Bach and Rahul Sharma do something similar. At times, we fall into a trap with our music-listening tendencies and songs that we like are made monotonous, songs that we would pleasantly hum before are mechanically copied and then, just like that, the monotony is broken and we remember the song for what it used to be.
I still remember a school friend who once told me that she does not like music. I was and still am a person who does not get surprised by people's uncharacteristic, individualistic choices but I remember my astonishment then to something I could not comprehend. To this day I believe that she did not really mean what she said then.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A smile hidden by a mustache

My day started off with a smile. As I neared my house the sweeper outside the building opened the gate for me even though it wasn't his job. When I stepped out I went to him and said, "Boss, thank you haan." I was greeted with an odd simple smile nestled under his thick mustache followed by a gesture with his broom.
A wise man once said, "People wear clothes."
This statement is quite hilarious as soon as we juxtapose man against other species. Clothes provide protection against the elements and also serve as ornaments, possibly to attract mates :| however society has restricted mating through the creation of 'marriage'.
Let's go back a couple of thousand years and we note that man used to be simple. Hunting, farming, eating, procreation, sleeping and miscellaneous chores. It is around this time that the capitalist system or the need to earn, multiply, preserve and spend wealth was created.
What we call technology, innovation and ease of life may be termed futile by another species - which brings me to an earlier post where I mentioned :
Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley once said, "We are losing our humanness to become robots programmed to be productive through endless labour so as to earn to consume more and more without satisfaction."

Where is the simplicity to life? Is it just a farce? Or are we just doomed to follow this ritual laid out by present-day humans believing this to be the only meaningful way of passing through life?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tolerance-ism

History is precious and makes us smile ever so often.

"
I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me."
"

-Swami Vivekanand, Chicago's World Parliament of Religions in 1893.

May be we should send out this message to regional fanatics threatening violence at the rustle of a peaceful leaf.
O wait, I have something for the stupid Sainiks...

Mughal historian Khafi Khan: Shivaji "made it a rule that wherever his followers were plundering, they should do no harm to the mosques, the book of God, or to the women of any one. Whenever a copy of the sacred Quran came into his hands, he treated it with respect, and gave it to some of his Mussalman followers."


The problem with religions is that as time progresses religions, or rather, the idea of religions is metamorphosed to something that suits a particular set of people. The people who decide are the people whom other people look up to. Power is desirable and through the medium of religion people can contort a fundamental idea such as 'tolerance' to something akin to 'fighting to maintain our identity and pride'.

Special thanks to Shashi Tharoor

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Indian-ness

When I was studying in the US I found it difficult to explain India and Indian-ness. We are a queer lot and I am extremely proud about being Indian. Am I patriotic? I wouldn't say so.
But let's expand that shall we... If somebody were to blast India's external affairs decisions or talk about India being a poor country I wouldn't be a fanatic sitting to pounce on anything 'anti-Indian'.
However, if something derogatory is said against Indians and our Indian-ness - that is something derogatory against me. I am forever ready to poke fun at my Indian-ness and everything said in jest will be well accepted :)

Shashi Tharoor has done an outstanding job at capturing this Indian and has tried rather well at defining an Indian in his book: India: From midnight to the millennium.
It is a miracle that Indians co-exist together when we are, in fact, very very distinct, but I see something changing now. A large portion of urban Indians tend to be rather similar and define themselves as Indian, Mumbai-ite or Bangalore-an than as Hindu, Muslim, blah.
Asking for a person's religion or geography or mother tongue is first-nature to us because we love stereotyping and we love creating an opinion about a person without knowing the person. That is something quite Indian.

Another thing that is quite extraordinary is our history. The Babri Masjid fiasco supposedly started in the 1500s when Babar demolished an Indian temple, which makes me think - America was only just discovered in 1492.
The oldest Christian community outside Palestine is in India - Kerala. I tend to be abrupt in the way I write and my point is this...
As Indians, we have a very fruitful history behind us with the Panchayat system, Business System, Accounting System and Sciences. As Indians, we have allowed a multitude of external 'forces' to influence us: Aryans, Romans, British, Mughal, Mongolian, blah...

There is something intangible that is immensely powerful about being an Indian but when we are faced with confident white-skinned people we tend to take a step back. Some of you may frown at this comment and say, "Hey!! That is not true!!!" But I am confident that when they choose to mock us or show their superiority or enthrall us with their personality or looks we are influenced.

Be proud and stand your ground :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bhutan

A country that has decided to protect itself from probable careless tourists, especially backpackers who may litter in uninhabited places.
Mountaineering is banned and Gangkhar Puensum - the highest peak in Bhutan - remains the highest unclimbed peak in the world.

Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley once said, "We are losing our humanness to become robots programmed to be productive through endless labour so as to earn to consume more and more without satisfaction."

Beautiful article written in The Mint - Lounge, July 24th 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Changing Indians

The Indian woman / mom of yesterday used to wear Indian clothes so even when swanky restaurants and sports clubs started opening up they would wear Indian clothes while escorting their husbands / child(ren).
What I saw noticed today is the Indian woman in her late 20s / early 30s wearing 'western' outfits - an upgrade from the drab t-shirt and jeans. What I noticed next was a woman (rather hot) with great hair and well dressed, carrying a school bag and sports bag that belonged to her child.
Is this what I will see my friends as some years from now? We shall wait and see :)

Man - tall, athletic built, and pretty well groomed. Will the new 'fit' Indian metamorphose into a paunchy, tired, yucky looking man - the kind we see quite often?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

OMG!! It's soooo beautiful!!!

There is an infantile joy in travelling. Even though I have been to many places, I remember only a few. In the recent past I have seen London, Paris, Hong Kong, Chicago, Red River Gorge, Murud-Janjira and Korlai Fort (rather magnificent); may be this is more than what most people might see even in their lifetime and more than many people might have seen in their recent past but I don't want to stop.
I have friends in Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Greece, South Korea and I want to go to these places even if for a few days, but more than these places I want to go to nature. Being from Mumbai, nature is rather elusive and getting away from the city is pleasurable.

I wish to visit Patagonia, Antarctica, Hawaii, East India, North India, South India, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Germany and may be I will. May be I will find my treasures in other locations...
The structure of society is such that soon I will want to 'be' with somebody. I hope that that somebody likes travelling (at least almost) as much as I do and the odds are that she will.
What does bother me (yes, I can't sleep at night because of this thought!!) is the wresting away of my independence for I wont be able to just leave my home on a whim... Life is beautiful :)

Fear

Fear of that which is not but which may be.

Where death is, I am not; where I am, death is not. - Epicurus

We face it everyday and it shall not cease to amaze me :)
We are afraid of that which has not yet come by and that fear moulds each one of us differently.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Disgust

When we hear of ill-equipped hospitals, cramped localities, discontinuous or non-existent energy supply, atrocities committed by people with unbridled power or apathy towards a better whole who do we choose to blame?

Is India just too large a populace to be cared for properly? Are the capitalist tycoons answerable towards uplifting sections of society around them? Are the bureaucracies of various systems to be blamed?
Today, I choose to blame the untouchables.

The untouchables of the past were determined by lineage.
The untouchables of today are determined by their lineage and their decisions. They decided to act in their own interests during their ascent to their respective positions.
The IAS officer, the police inspector in a faraway village, the customs officer, the tax inspector, members of political parties - particularly those related to religious propaganda, the 'babu'.

These people are rarely 'touchable' or accountable. Of course, generalizations are evil but generalizations are based on a clear majority based on hearsay and actual experiences.

The capitalist system is such that it makes a richer man richer and in turn, more powerful. I see that, as a man becomes richer he drags or rather pulls towards him, directly and indirectly, sections of society.
What the aforementioned people do is, most of the times, beyond the scope of the system and beyond the reach of the law. A lack of transparency and the continuous focus of people towards their own lives are the root causes of such 'distance' and power.

Because I am a product of the capitalist world, it pains me to see power concentrated in the hands of people who are unwilling to share it or distribute it.
If a business tycoon has amassed a fortune it is his call, whether or not to disburse his riches because he has legally (for the most part) created his personal wealth.
If an official (the list of people I mentioned earlier) has amassed wealth, it will largely be illegally, immorally and laden with guilt (I hope).

The larger effect of the 'babu' is his domineering demeanour and conversely, the inability of a subject to voice concern or opposition. I call it helplessness... which is why even I have to succumb at times to being a part of the system. It is also because of my illiteracy regarding my rights and my selfishness pertaining to my free time which I want to be as hassle-free as possible.
I disgust me and I am a part of the people - for now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bandh

Bandh = Shut = Strike. Today, a national bandh was declared in India. Cause: Fuel Price Hike.

The government in India used to control fuel prices such that it retailed at the same price in a particular region. Some days ago the government decided to put an end to its fiscal burden by taking steps to free up the market to competition.
Short Term Effect: Run-up in prices of many goods
Long Term Effect: Good for all as a sustained fiscal burden which would normally manifest itself in continual inflation is put to an end.

Poor Man: Everything is expensive - the government isn't doing anything to alleviate our pain!!! The government sucks!!! Opposition - Attack!!!!
Intelligent Man: I want to work!!! Why is there a bandh??!! Wait, hmm.. I could use a break :) But I believe the government did the right thing for all of us, especially the next generation.
Opposition: Daym!! I've been bored for so long, finally there's some action!!

People are entitled to object to government policies and political parties are the medium to voice supposed opinions. Is India a dysfunctional democracy? Is there anything like a functional democracy?

Happiness

It's a Sunday and I was watching a movie - The Great Indian Butterfly.

"Happiness is a rare insect."

As that statement reached my ears, I smiled for I was sipping on tea and watching this movie - was calm and at ease. Life is pretty simple if we only take a deep breath.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Law of Karma

Laws are/ were created by man. Laws of Sciences are proven to a certain extent. Laws of Religion and Spiritualism or Metaphysics are heuristic in nature.

The Law of Karma - A fantastic concept to make people feel at ease and withdraw to an answer which cannot be proven. I would have liked to call it a hypothesis, but a hypothesis pertains to observable phenomena.
By creating the law of Karma, followers of the law were governed by a certain legal system. The law was created before any real justice or legal systems as we know them today, in effect it helped create order in a chaotic society.

If a man wanted to rape a woman, based on his brute strength he very well could; the law of karma instilled fear in him as the law said that if you do this today, nature has a way of coming back at you and punishing you for your foul deeds.
O and by the way, in case your quota of bad deeds has not been rewarded with similar poor fate unto you, nature is going to carry forward this quota of bad deeds and punish you in your next incarnation. Beware O wrong-doer!!

Frankly, it's a beautiful concept - one which can never be proven and one, if believed would rid humanity of many of its pains. Through this law and the fear it instills, man becomes a more peaceful and altruistic being. The other thing I like about this law is the consequence of doing something good.
The more good you do, the more good you reap :)
Awesome!! Ain't it?

This law is also used by some to believe that if something bad happens to them, something good will happen to them in the future - but wait, if something bad happens to you, shouldn't that be a culmination of a prior bad deed by you? Hmmm...

I remember that when I was first introduced to this concept in school, I decided to stand at the window sill after school and pass everybody's water bottles back to them. And everyday I would think, 'Daym!! I am a great guy - hope my good Karma is accumulating :)'
O! How I love kids and their puny, simple and honest minds :)


I thought of this once while studying Indian Management Thoughts and Practices - The Law of Karma - You do things. Period. Things happen to you. Period.
Most of everything lie beyond our locus of control - what is within our sphere is our reaction to events and our need to base our actions in anticipation of certain events. It is irresponsible to harm another being in whatever way for whatever reason but if we are harmed in any way, it is up to us to take a step back, relax and fight.

You do things. Things happen to you. There is nobody to keep a tab on what good or bad you may have done. Although it is favourable to believe in such a concept.
I wonder if there is a place in (fiction starts:) hell (fiction ends) for me...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nehru

1937:

"Men like Jawaharlal with all their capacity for great and good work, are unsafe in democracy. He calls himself a democrat and a socialist, and no doubt he does so in all earnestness, but every psychologist knows that the mind is ultimately a slave to the heart and logic can always be made to fit in with the desires and irresistible urges of a person. A little twist and Jawahar might turn a dictator sweeping aside the paraphernalia of a slow-moving democracy... His conceit is already formidable. It must be checked. We want no Caesars.

This powerful vilification was published under the pseudonym 'Chanakya', after an ancient political philosopher, and caused great outrage among Nehru's followers. What they did not realise was that 'Chanakya' was actually Jawaharlal Nehru himself. Introspection, honesty, wit and mischief: few other politicians in history could have written such a lucid essay in self-deconstruction. "

- Indian Summer by Alex Von Tunzelmann
Great work :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flaws

Guys:
Short,
Baldness,
Fat
Paunch,
Too much body hair?
Crooked teeth,
Bad breath
Greying Hair
Bad fingernails
Perceived fear of small size of 'member'
Attitude Issues
Personality Issues
Hygiene Issues



Girls:
Out of shape
Fat
Crooked teeth
Small sized 'assets'
Too short
Too tall
Bad Hair
Facial Hair
Periods!
Male Dominance



It's a sad sad species as we find flaws in people all too easily :|

Monday, June 14, 2010

Joy changes to Fear

Stephanie D'sa-Colaco wrote this,


"When did the joy of making a choice reduce itself to the fear of making another mistake?"


The rest of her note is pretty awesome too:

When did I get too old for hugs?
I remember the fragrance of my grandma’s hair.
It smelled of everything good and sacrosanct.
Being encircled in her arms without any morose thought tainting the moment.

When did relationships get so complicated?
‘I love u’ used to be a declaration, a fact.
It never made one vulnerable and I was always certain of a reply.

When did the rain become so melancholy?
I remember ‘forgetting’ my umbrella and arriving drenched but with soaring spirits.
The cool droplets coloring my vision made the world seem new and refreshing.
Now I hide, confined in my mind while those old visions disintegrate.

As the days go by and I find every decision harder than the last, I find myself looking into the mirror, engrossed in my soliloquy.




'Tis the tale of a sorry life, a life that we have withdrawn to.
People like saying 'Carpe Diem' and quoting from fascinating movies trying to show to the world they are something they are not. The Fight Club is the first movie that comes to mind.
But more often than not, the quotes are more about that which they would want to be and the hope that it carries along with it.

Extremes are difficult and rather stupid. But take a step today and find the child within.

Encounters of a Sexual kind

In a hotel, 'I have a room upstairs, if you're interested...'
This refers to the potential of having sexual intercourse + / - other things with a person who is largely a stranger. If this hint is proposed to you, would you say:

"O ! Yeah!"
Or
"I'm sorry, I am married."
Or
"I'm sorry, I am seeing someone (but damn, you're yummy!)."

Shouldn't one rather say,
"I'm sorry, I'm in love with someone, and would much rather sleep with him/ her."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rape

Sunday June 13, 2010. Times of India
Man held for raping teen daughter.
Body of raped six-year old found in nullah.
Two neighbours spike drink, rape woman.

Empowering women, improving law enforcement and bringing about a socio-cultural change whereby men realise respect for women, but more so, women understand the need to be fiercely independent. Respect for all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The free naked man

I was driving home today and I saw a semi-naked man on the highway. He seemed lost. I saw The Soloist today - the story about a gifted potentially schizophrenic man who had 'lost his way'. I saw this same man on the highway it seems. And I asked myself: "Is he free?"

Find me the spark

Great personalities and great contributions are rarely realized. Random names: Mozart, Ludwig Van, Mohandas Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan?, Elvis Presley, The Beatles!
I believe that striking personalities are difficult to find now and will be even more difficult to find in the future.
There is a lack of independent thought. There is a lack of art (in its various forms).

Do we even know of great artists, poets, composers, authors or leaders from the past 2 decades? Sure, one can say Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rushdie? - but eh...
What I see is that capitalism and prosperity have driven people into (largely) single files where everyone strives for individual 'success'. It's great that the end of the Cold War stimulated global prosperity. But has the pursuit of prosperity robbed humans of their inherent humanity?

The people who don't fall into files don't get the attention that they would have received some decades ago.
People have become part of the machine and it wouldn't be incorrect to say that things are nice, but I would say that there is an absence of human ingenuity today. Medical research, financial innovations, technological changes are largely driven by entrepreneurs - not as much due to curiosity and thrill, but more due to power and success.
The simplicity of yesteryears is lost.

On an individual level, I believe that some of the innocence can still be ploughed back, or rather, brought to life. Losing oneself and withdrawing from society is a fairly recent development and it can do some of us a lot of good methinks.

Too much time is spent on fear and obedience.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Special

I write in a diary. At the last page of my diary, I have a cut-out of an article that was published in Times Life Sunday April 12, 2009.
I kept that article because it encapsulates a lot that is dysfunctional in society as we see it evolving. I have had the luxury of studying in the US for a year and I did not see the same emotions there, but I do see them in Mumbai. In short, people believe they are special and they ought to be doing something better than what they are going towards or are currently doing.
It also tells us of how simple life ought to be and how complex we tend to make in pursuit of that which is never static - happiness.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cruel Contentment

It's quite sad that I have come back to Mumbai and I have written for long. Hope I right soon :|

Thing is, I sleep much better now and have managed to relax my head regarding current unemployment.
In other news, Mumbai rocks.
In further news, the girl who I sub-leased my apartment to found the place a complete mess and utterly disgusting. Therefore, this is a public apology (of sorts) for inconvenience that I (inadvertently) caused.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Victory

An excerpt from Ted Roosevelt's speech in Paris in 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Desires

He said to his friend, "Hey, when you get done with school, if you want, we can go away backpacking through Europe."
Some months later, he quit his job. He went backpacking through Europe for three months.
Now, he secured a job with a great firm, he bought a house by a lake and has a boat docking area. The job pays well and he now has, what seems to be, an excellent house.

Food for thought?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fined yourself

What is it about songs that makes them anchors for our memories? What I'm referring to are not visual memories, rather they are emotional or may be subconscious memories. I was listening to Eddie Vedder's creations for the OST of Into the Wild:
"They think of me and my wandering but I'm never what they thought."
"When I stand beside her, I am the better man."
Before you believe me referring to love, let me say in the words of the Joker (Heath Ledger):
I'm not. No, I'm not.

The crux of this write-up is, what I would like to call, a mixture of rumination and self-actualization. The first line I wrote above used to signify something about me, something that I understood very well and that I allowed to fit for me. When I heard the same sentence today, I was in awe simply because the physical manifestation (heavy words :| ) of that sentence was evident in my Kentucky trip, but the actual feeling of that sentence was missing.

It's time to go back to who you used to be, if only to remember how you used to be and what you stood for because there is something unique about every one of us and we fail to exercise that. We let life conquer us and we accept a different form of contentment.
Wrong? No.

It's a tough battle, and may be, it's not even a battle. May be I am thinking to much as I always do - but this is me and I believe I love me :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CQ

Pain is critical to success.
I have tried to shirk adversities, may be because it is very human to do so. But then, the greatest learning one gets is from fear, failure, or experience. Due to the way society has developed, we tend to stay on one side of the fence and remain within the realm of that which is acceptable by society.
I see nothing wrong with this, but the way I see certain things, I see that life is meant to be boring and mundane, and the way we programme ourselves, we are able to take care of ourselves through the boredom of life; my question is, why do we like to take care of ourselves?

The answer is obvious, but too often, we tend to be over-protective and hesitate to look beyond the box. Did you ever think of the fact that you could have been a writer or a dancer? Did you do anything to try and achieve that end? I believe not.
Why?
We tend to follow set patterns and we like to believe we are secure. Ask yourself this: You are 70 years old, you have earned money and you have a family; are you happy with the way you lived your life? My guess is: Yes. We tend to find solace in the way we have lived life.
Ask yourself: Would I much rather have done something else? Yes.
Most of those things (which we would have rather done) may be too far-fetched. But some of those things were very achievable. We CHOSE to stay safe and we CHOSE the normal path. Often we blame circumstances, parenting, social pressures and the like, but we CHOOSE things. We decide to ignore the freedom of choice that we possess.

This brings me to my next topic: Materialism. It has been ingrained in us since childhood; earn money, earn prestige, earn a name, be respected, own your home, own your car, provide for your family... Wrong? No.
But have you taken a step back and asked yourself why you have done the things you have done? Why you are doing the things you are doing?
And why you want to do the things you want to do?
We have an inherent understanding of success and contentment and happiness...
When was the last time you shut your eyes and took a deep breath? You are reading this right now but you are barely aware of what you are reading. Wait. Shut your eyes and take a deep breath. Pauses are necessary. Questions are fun. Learning is essential.

I have experienced pain in my life and I am by no means unique. All of us have experienced pain, and that pain has taught us things. I have spent sleepless nights hoping for certain things, I have worried about things in my past, which I now look back upon and laugh... I have left things, I have thrown away things, and things have thrown away me. It's a random continual process that helps us evolve.
I am writing from the US right now; I am scared of coming back to Mumbai and finding myself alone (I'm human after all), but I sincerely look forward to it. Why? I have accepted life as a journey and I await fun. I am waiting for myself to sit alone and cry, sit with friends and laugh and read a book at peace. It's all a learn and life is a uni-directional experience.

This ties in with what I started off with... we tend to fall into files.
We tend to believe we are special seeds and that the world is unaccepting, but we are wrong! The world has a large heart, it is we who tend to shut ourselves up out of fear and we who are afraid of going away for only a bit, even for twenty minutes and walking and talking by ourselves.
May be, just may be, humans were meant to be self sufficient (emotionally) and somewhere along the way heurism got the better of us and we began falling in line. Take a breath, take a step back and look at yourslef in the mirror. Go right now and find the colour in your eyes. Trust me when I say this: It's a brilliant colour :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Pond

Went jogging towards the south from my apartment. Reached the "Research Center" where a lot of companies have their offices (may be on U of I property - Daym its a rich university).
So I'm jogging and I pass this pond inhabited by geese. So I stop. And I sit on the grass with the geese's 'quacking' in the background. Eventually, I lie down on the grass and stare at the blue sky. No other person in sight. And I think to myself:

I may never do this again after 20 days. This moment is nice and it feels good to breathe freely and stretch my arms and see an actual pond and stare at the sky. I hope I travel even after I go back to Mumbai.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Use and Throw

Sounds like being with a prostitute, but may be that's who we are. We consume and we throw. We consume out of addiction, pleasure, hope, boredom, and need. What am I referring to? Chocolates, food, friends, lovers, feelings, dreams.
The point I am driving in is that in the long run, things tend to be for the short term, very few things remain with us or rather, very few things we choose to keep with us. By the time we are at our respective life's end, most of us will have very few things in our hearts as we did a long time ago (from then).

We tend to get saturated, we change, we get bored of them, we move our attention to a different thing and we learn to let go.
A lot of me is locked up in Champaign and a lot of me is locked in material possessions and my past and current relationships, but those things are also with me. I believe this also holds true for other people.
So tomorrow, when you realize that you use and you throw, realize that the hollow in the stomach is bound to arise but it is also a continual process that tends to tone down as we grow old.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Addic-shunned

Cigars have a lot of nicotine. Or so I hear :)
I smoked 2 good cigars over the last 10 days or so, and already I feel the craving to smoke another. Had always wanted to know what a (mild) pull of addiction was like, and now I know.
No more cigars, at least for a while.
In other news, I will be off any form of meat, chicken, etc. for a month after going back to India. From 20th May to 20th June. I want to know if there is a great difference in me.

So I leave the ways that are making me be what I really don't want to be?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Freedom

Sexual intercourse with a person without that person's consent is qualified as rape. Reads about, visuals about or talks about rape infuriate me. I was surprised at how angry I became when I watched a particular scene from Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.
What is it about helplessness that influences me? And by this I refer to rape, imprisonment, punishment, assaults, loss, etc.
The inability to fight back, to reason, to escape, to appeal and to influence, and the compulsion to succumb and accept - may be that's it.
Evolution of society has been able to drastically reduce such 'atrocities' and may be I am thankful that I belong to this generation, but, as always, a lot still needs to be done.
The simple problem is that we do not care enough about things that are not nearby.
As George Carlin once said:
"A bomb exploded!..."
"OMG!!! Where???"
"in X Country"
"Wtf do I care then!"

And no matter how much one denies it, it's true and it's, well, human.
If Maoist 'rebels' kill 75 soldiers, we care (at least a bit); but if 75 Maoist 'rebels' die - we don't care enough - may be because we chose sides.
If a woman is raped in Mizoram, there is no way one in Mumbai will hear about it; and if one does, it will be but a blip.
The reaction is obvious and understandable, but is also the reason why progress is slow and why responsibility of progress is shirked away towards social workers and the government.
This post is rather useless, as the reader knows everything that I am saying, but let me ask you this... When did you last think of valued control being snatched away from you?

Addendum:
" A friend of mine was scarred. She is a great person but she says she can never go on, and she can't think of being intimate with anybody ever. She had been raped once. I wonder when she will be able to snap back to normalcy..."

Travel

I was just flipping through my passport and apparently, I've been to the following countries:
Singapore
USA
Netherlands / Belgium
Italy
England/ UK
Thailand
Malaysia
Switzerland
France
Germany
Hong Kong
& Nepal
Fortunate son?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dogma

Was having a discussion with a friend about how India fails to create focused movies without targeting the masses; of course, things are changing, especially off late, and some fine movies are coming out of Bollywood... I made an error by stating that America has a rather intelligent audience; to this, my friend knocked me down with a hail of words, stating some of the reasons why America creates some great movies once in a while. I accepted my error and then, as ALWAYS, my brain went into overdrive.
This country used to be, and still is, the envy of a large part of the world. A lot of incidences have occurred in the past which presented America with opportunities to become a great nation - a status which is now debatable.
With envy come brickbats and therefore, a lot of people around the world hate the excesses of the US, exaggerate the stupidity of its population, ridicule the narrow mindedness and this makes for interesting gossip.
But, I have been in America for a while now and I have this to say:
The will and the ability of the people of America (at least in the past) to reinvent itself and grasp at opportunities has helped grow this nation to what it is now.
America decided to develop its infrastructure to proportions that are hard to imagine outside this land; this infrastructure has, in turn, significantly improved the quality of life.

Americans only know one language! Of course there are people who speak only English but answer me this, why should they speak other languages when most of what they need is in the US and whomsoever wants to sell to the US decides to adjust themselves to English.
Of course there are people who don't know much about what is outside the US, but you will find such people everywhere in the world - people who don't know more than what exists within their community / state / country. Again, an American rarely needs to know what is outside the US (this too is changing).

Thing is, America is a very public nation. It is a watched nation. People love stupid people and the country which speaks the most known language in the world is the US. Imagine this, I am sure one can find a rather dumb person in Mumbai who can barely speak English; do you believe India has the consumer power to demand that person filmed? Either for Youtube or for a TV channel or for a comedy show? No. US does; consequently, pockets in the world do.

America is the land of great opportunities and rightly so. Largest reason - Judicial system and its enforceability. People feel relatively secure, businesses feel incentivized.
My belief is that America has managed to create such vast global organizations - it deserves that and its people deserve that.
Apple (The company ;) ) was a blip a few years ago; innovation, marketing and an active consumer market has made it what it is today.

_________
Addendum: Courtesy - My idiotic friend.
As said by Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility."
America wielded that power for many years, especially after the second world war; Western European countries still despise the conditions that allowed America to help rebuild, and thereby benefit from, these countries. An economic angle to all of this is the Gold standard and how it was pegged to the USD, which allowed the US to become the largest holder of gold reserves in the world (a title it still holds).
But, through this power, America came out victorious after the Cold War; it helped South Korean success and independence. I shudder to think of what may have transpired if the USSR had come out victorious. However, soon enough, the power got to America and thus, has been called for a long time - a bully.
The nonsense in the Middle East has been astonishing (over the last 3 decades). What I note is that, at first, America was the messiah; saving the world from communism and promoting capitalism. Of course there must have been hidden agendas, but all in all - it was a great force that helped the world. Then, something changed. America became greedy; natural resources, religion and terrorism took centrestage. It is amusing how any atrocities in Saudi Arabia or Russia would be overlooked, simply because they wield a lot of power.
I hate to go into examples but, Iraq attacked Kuwait; and international forces - primarily, US, UK, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - attacked Iraq. Was this war in pursuit of liberty and justness or was it to protect Oil - a major consumer of which was the US.
Terrorist attacks and that was a good reason to destroy (and help rebuild) Afghanistan, destroy Iraq (finally) and somehow, aid Pakistan. Were these measures to protect Oil and to promote the the global acceptance of the USD which could have possibly lost to the EUR.
The pretenses are debatable, the consequences are debatable, but the mere fact is that America held and still holds a lot of power. It went into Iraq (in the 2000s) after the UN came out with a report that no WMDs were found; what can stop brute force?
A thought that I have worded often - Who will regulate the regulators?
_________

Going back to the discussion with my friend; it's because America has so much money that it can afford to 'waste' money in creating niche movies, risking money on adventurous ventures; in addition, there are people who have the appreciation for art, much more than people from lesser countries where people would much rather worry about money and daily life.
One amazing thing I have noticed here is how much Americans love entertainment; they are crazy about sports, and that too, a variety of sports. Again, they do not play world sports, but nobody said they need to - they have a huge market which is more than sufficient.
Americans love to eat out, a life-style that is easier to live and at times, a necessity, but one that makes the entire community richer.
Americans love playing sports, just for fun. They love the outdoors, and they love travelling. They love their movies and their music. It's amazing when one thinks of the money that is generated at different stages of the production process of movies and songs. People around the world know American movies and music that has become popular through America. Why would a band such as U2 need to come to America - it has the money and its people have the capacity to spend it. Their standard of living has allowed them many comforts - but most importantly, they grasp at it - they are living their lives (some of them :D )


The perception that people have of Americans is that they live an easy life. I agree that living conditions in America are much more superior than those in most other countries, however, I believe that Americans work very hard to do what they do. It is a much more competitive place to work in than India. Of course there are exceptions and of course there are people who live beyond their means, but people work just as hard if not much harder (quality / quantity) than people from other countries.
If Indians have the audacity to point their fingers at Americans who live beyond their means, we should look at people in the political and bureaucratic circles who, in essence, rob other Indians. If Americans have the audacity to laugh at the Indian accent or think of Indians as an IT army, I would feel sorry for them; Indians are a whole lot more and individually we are an amazing people...

This post has been poorly worded.
This post was not about pro-Americanism.
I am promoting thought and rubbishing dogma.
I am going back to India because I believe I belong there.
I am going back to India because I believe in a story back home.
I am going back to India because I will always be an Indian at heart.
I love what America has managed to create for itself and for its people.
I wait to see what India (and I) can do for itself and for its people.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Skydiving

So, once again... I could die tomorrow. Alas.
Going skydiving :)
In case they allow me to jump off alone, and in case I have the guts to do so, and in case I end - this is a note saying that:
"I have no intention of killing myself, therefore it should be considered an accident."

Addendum:
So it was awesome. Perfect health. And there is no way of describing the feeling of free-falling :)
All I can say is, there is probably nothing like it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hubris

There are times when we are confident, when there is a spring in our step, when our head is slightly raised high and an attitude creeps in... Those times are good, because it's not often that we feel that way. But once in a while, the confidence gains permanence and that gives rise to a peak; a peak from where it is easy to fall down and from where the fall is hard. The pinnacle is not an issue, getting down is.
Once we fail to look within, continually, we develop a sense of self-esteem; a sense that is, at times, baseless.
"We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world." - People utter this sentence often, trying to sound cool that they liked such a weird movie, but rarely do they realise the different connotations of this statement.
Pride is good, but it should be largely independent of external forces. Just because you are good at something, does not imply that you deserve something.
We deserve nothing. Happenstance is oft overlooked and there is very little that we have worked for. Remember, justness is a human creation; we have come to believe that life is a natural progression based on meritocracy.
"We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world." We are nothing, and what we are here for is to try and exist or to try and prove ourselves (to whom?).
Hubris shall lead to your fall; I suffer from it, and I shall fall, for I am human too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Freedom to be Independent

"My dad is a guy and so he has an ego; as a girl I understand that I have to feed his ego."
There are very few people who make me smile; this is about a friend:
We were good friends quite a few years ago, and I went away - hence we were and are no longer the same friends we used to be. She loves dancing and she loved teaching. She seemed aimless and was trying to pursue something she really didn't want to do; finally she took a step and started teaching at a school. The kids are young and she loves kids. Money is not the motive right now and that always makes decisions simpler. I asked her today whether she loves what she is doing. There was a pregnant pause and I had to interject; 'Is there something else you would prefer doing?'. She then replied, 'Not really, I really enjoy what I am doing.' She went on to say how she would love to be a dance instructor; she has the fundamental credentials to match her ambition. She has done 5 stages of salsa and had learnt through Terence Lewis's academy, etc. I wonder where she is headed, but it makes me smile each time I think of her because I know that she is near something she, largely, looks forward to each day.

It makes me sad when I think of the pressures and ancestral baggage that girls and women in India have to carry; however, the changing face of Indian society gives me hope. What is still lacking is the freedom of a woman to be independent combined with a woman's intent to fight for the freedom which is attainable...
Intent to fight for the Freedom to be independent. Food for thought.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Politically Incorrect

How would you feel if your son died? What would you do then?
What if you are inflicted with a disease that will slowly and painfully kill you?
Why do we care about our looks? Is it so that we look presentable in society and so that people are attracted to us and at the least, not repulsed by our presence?
Have we learnt about romance and companionship through the media, primarily through movies?
Does a man instinctively lean towards sex, but is weaned away from it because of societal correctness?
Why do we care about sex and physical pleasures when they are meant to be short lived? May be that is exactly why...
Looks will leave us and we will learn to be docile; we hope that we always remain outrageous even though it may be in a small way...
Some of us believe we don't belong, and we like to believe that it is only some of us who are this way...
What would it be like to be molested or raped? - and here I refer to both sexes.
What would it be like to know that someone you care about has been molested or raped?
What if you are locked away against your will?
What if you accidentally kill or injure or maim a person? - How would you live with that?
All of life's luxuries are taken away from you, against your will; what do you do?
One fine day, you lose a limb or you lose your speech and you are no longer normal and able - at least not as able as you used to be... you fear that people will slowly leave you... you fear that people will pity you and you hate the fact that you are helpless... What do you do?

Most of the aforementioned things will never happen to most of us; but when they do, we deal with them then; no use fretting over them just now. Most of life is mundane and normal; some of us like to make changes and make our respective lives interesting; and then, once in a while we stumble or are forced to stumble.

Random RRG

Random people:

On my way back I met a guy; now, this guy could have been a figment of my imagination because I was the only person to have met him, and I had been walking a long while and was really tired. He has been trekking through these hills for the last 3 years and likes going through caves. Elaboration: Underground caves, bat caves :| Odd and highly interesting.


At Miguel's Pizza, a woman starts talking to me, I still don't know why. She is sloppy and offers me a bite of her pizza - random! When I go to order my pizza, her friend comes up and says, 'Damn, one shouldn't travel with people man! I need to order a pizza before that chick goes ballistic on me."


Amanda McLaughlin - Had been to India for a long time and done stuff that I would never have done myself... Had constructive and long conversations with her. Talking to partial strangers is always enjoyable :)

Jill - Artist, mother of 3, gorgeous and travels with her husband. Husband is into homebuilding and the entire family is great at music and playing instruments :). Her favourite Indian phrase: " Khana khana hai? "

Another odd thing I realised about English was that they do not have the 'T' as in Tirath or as in 'Tareef', it's always a 'T' as in 'Tomato'.

One thing that I would say often, "You know, I could very well die and nobody would know... Hmmm... Would it matter if I were to die? Hmmm... That should be fun. Life is too boring you know... nothing interesting happens; we have to try hard to make it interesting."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Directions

Give it enough time, and the compass tends to point to the north.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Race-ism

It's such a fight, the one that we are all a part of.


What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep, or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies 1871 - 1940


The irony of this poem is that I had learnt it word for word, and I would recite it at an unusually fast pace.
What I am talking about is how we desire to chalk our lives and how we run full throttle towards that which we believe, or are made to believe, destiny. There is never an end in sight because we are forever pressurized by all that we hold dear. We never want to lose our freedom and we seek to keep those around us, happy.
We need to understand that we will choose companions and dump them.
We need to understand that we are but passing figments in this time continuum.
May be this is what Ayn taught me, or rather, I taught myself... I come first. Caveats exist, but don't be afraid of some decisions.
Sure, you are bound to cry and you are bound to writhe in pain, but that is what makes you whole.
Tread lightly, make changes, be impulsive, cry vehemently; be afraid of falling, but not afraid of walking.
When was the last time you heard your inner voice?
When was the last time you kissed yourself?
Go now, and find yourself.

Friday, March 12, 2010

O. Henry

Mammon and the Archer

"You didn't notice," said he, "anywhere in the tie-up, a kind of a fat boy without any clothes on shooting arrows around with a bow, did you?"
"Why, no," said Kelly, mystified. "I didn't. If he was like you say, may be the cops pinched him before I got there."
"I thought the little rascal wouldn't be on hand," chuckled Anthony. "Good-by, Kelly."

Background:
Guy in love with a rich girl; tells rich father that money can't get you into some social circles. Aunt gives guy his mom's gold ring as a good luck charm, may be it could help!

When the guy is dropping his 'love' off to a theatre from where she was scheduled to go to Europe, the guy's ring falls down from the horse cart (story set in the early 1900s). By the time he finds it, there is an unimaginable traffic jam in Manhattan (where the story is set). It was all because of the lucky gold ring!!! Was it?
:)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Springtime a la carte
"
It was a day in March.
Never, never begin a story this way when you write one. No opening could possibly be worse. It is unimaginative, flat, dry and likely to consist of mere wind. But in this instance it is allowable. For the following paragraph, which should have inaugurated the narrative, is too wildly extravagant and preposterous to be flaunted in the face of the reader without preparation.
"
And this is how O.Henry wrote at times :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Actors

Rumination - as my friend likes to call it. :)

Richard Branson - Plausibly the first infuence in my life. Have fun at what you are doing. And most of the times it may not have to do with the field of work but rather, the company you have with you. There is no point being business like when all that matters is happiness for all and thereby arises the multiplier effect.

Michelle - My professor in the 2nd and 3rd semester of BMS at HR College. Lively person in whom you could see a burning desire for knowledge (which may or may not be true). I remember how she rewarded correct and out of the box answers, how she made economics as non technical as possible, how she applauded cheekiness, and how she lambasted over-the-top pride. She was the one who introduced me to the multiplier effect - a simple concept which allows me, even now, to question matters perpetually.

Venkatesh, Venky - Explosive guy with a raw sense of humour and a penchant for the atrangi (strange). Hardly learnt any concepts from the subjects he taught - but what I did learn will stay with me for a long time.
Question things, Think (ya thats right - one word) - because people stop thinking after a while, Be atrangi, be brazen, be forthright, question things, question things and never stop.
He was the moron who recommended 'Fountainhead' - a book that has helped change my approach towards life. I will never forgive him for that ;)

Rajeshwari Ravi - The image of a person that I detest. Obey the norms, develop good handwriting, pay respect even though it may be blind, learn word by word and spit when need be, a foreign accent equals intelligence. Her idea of entrepreneurship - Sunglasses with video recording so when you are speaking to a person - you can record the conversation automatically.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Barney Stinson

"Dude! Ditch Tiffany and join the barnacle in a pharma-girl free-for-all. Side effects may include loss of clothing, rug burn, shortness of breath and sore abdominals the next morning; what in the WORLD is up??!!" - Barney Stinson

Slavery

"Hey, can I talk to you?"
"No."

"Hey, how are you?"
"What?!! Do you really care?!"

"You know what?"
"How the fuck am I supposed to know?"

"So, what do you do?"
"Why do you pretend as though you care, you selfish prick!"

"How do I look?"
"Disgusting."

"You think you're too smart eh?"
"No, just enough."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monologues

Often, I have heard a monologue running through my mind; especially when I am listening to something I am not interested in or when I see or experience something that just needs to be commented on. Usually, the comments inside my head refer to humans and society. It is a very entertaining voice.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quotidian Quests

Something that my friend wrote on his blog.

"Value relationships and people from the past; they are the ones you will remember and seek most in the future."

"As life goes by, we construct stories & develop perceptions; not only about who we are but also about who we were, who we were trying to be, who we though we could, should or would be and who we believed we wanted to be. Of course, the perceptions aren't restricted only to questions about our'selves', the world and a thorough understanding of it (whatever that means to you); it's as much a part of our being as the self is."
- This particular paragraph was something that I had been thinking of for a long time but could never find the ability to word it. :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Warren Buffett

Excerpt from Buffett's letter to BRK's shareholders for 2009.


" And now a painful confession: Last year your chairman closed the book on a very expensive business fiasco entirely of his own making.

For many years I had struggled to think of side products that we could offer our millions of loyal GEICO customers. Unfortunately, I finally succeeded, coming up with a brilliant insight that we should market our own credit card. I reasoned that GEICO policyholders were likely to be good credit risks and, assuming we offered an attractive card, would likely favor us with their business. We got business all right - but of the wrong type.

Our pre-tax losses from credit-card operations came to about $6.3 million before I finally woke up. We then sold our $98 million portfolio of troubled receivables for 55¢ on the dollar, losing an additional $44 million.

GEICO’s managers, it should be emphasized, were never enthusiastic about my idea. They warned me that instead of getting the cream of GEICO’s customers we would get the – – – – – well, let’s call it the non-cream. I subtly indicated that I was older and wiser.

I was just older. "

Humble and forthright, and possibly, a facade (But I choose not to see it that way!).


He ended the letter with:
" P.S. Come by rail. "

Tiru's Reviews

So, I decided to create a new blog. I will write about movies on this blog.

Reality

Reality is a belief;
Emotions, actions and reactions are derived from reality.
But beliefs are... beliefs.
Beliefs can well be unreal.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Young and Found

"I feel old and lost... but wait;
If I am old, I would have found myself and I wouldn't be lost.
And if I am lost, then I would have to be young because only young people are lost.
I can't be both at the same time!!!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sachin

So, what do I love about Sachin Tendulkar?
He holds way too many cricket records;
He can unite cricket fans across the globe;
He made me watch a cricket innings today after a long long time;
He is 5 feet 5 inches tall;
He has a very unusual (soft) voice;
He doesn't seem to talk much on the ground, but has been referred to as one of the worst sledgers ever by Glen McGrath (That's what I remember Glen saying in an interview).
Humility?
Focus.

Basicland and Sorrowland

Well, this conflicts with 'Tirukafunda', but this write-up speaks volumes about human behaviour / behavior (Bah!).

It talks of a promised land that fell astray. The possible demise of a great success.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nick Drake

Poetry is emotional.

"When the day is done
Down to earth then sinks the sun
Along with everything that was lost and won
*Just like everything that was said and done*
When the day is done....

When the part is through
Seems so very sad for you
Didn't do the things you meant to do
Now there's no time to start anew
Now the part is through." - Nick Drake




"Time has told me
You're a rare rare find
A troubled cure
For a troubled mind.

And time has told me
Not to ask for more
Someday our ocean
Will find its shore.

So I`ll leave the ways that are making me be
What I really don't want to be
Leave the ways that are making me love
What I really don't want to love." - Nick Drake


"Please give me second grace
Please give me a second face
I've fallen far down
The first time around
Now I just sit on the ground in your way

Now, if it's time for recompense for what's done
Come, come sit down on the fence in the sun
And the clouds will roll by
And we'll never deny
It's really too hard for the fly." - Nick Drake

Dealing with Pain

People always mask their pains in society. I believe that one must have come across the notion of how green the other side appears to be. It doesn't pay to disclose pain and furor, especially to unknowns. Disclosing it to knowns is even more treacherous because it takes a large amount of conviction in one's beliefs.



However, there is relief and contentment in unburdening oneself in front of one's knowns. But who are your knowns? And do they change?
This is one of the most humourous things I think of regularly; nothing will remain and all shall fade. The knowns change and you change. And no matter how much we want to grasp at things, things will never remain, unless by their own accordance.
Then again, here is a thought... How often have we thrown away those we once held dear and that we once held precious in pursuit of what seemed greener or easier? How often have we grown scared of taking steps and venturing into what seems unknown? We are the same, unless we decide to be Alexander Supertramp. The real noodle is, will we realise our follies or will we fill the gaps and find our peace? Will the ghosts of the past come to haunt us, asking us... what happened?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cliff

Rock On (Movie) : Friends lose touch and there is an associated anxiety and excitement for the meet, many years after.

This will only partially be replicated in the future. Technology.

A thought:
To go off the radar.
Away from facebook, away from chat, away from twitter, away from orkut.
Only one's mobile phone and email to function (partially) socially and for business purposes...
How would life change?
Would that be liberty?

Lust

"I love chicks who look bitchy or have too much of an attitude; I find them really hot - just feel like bringing them down from their lofty heights."

People amuse me and infuriate me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

OW

"There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution." - Oscar Wilde

"What nonsense people talk about happy marriages!... A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her." - OW

"What a fuss people make about fidelity!" exclaimed Lord Henry. "Why, even in love it is purely a question for physiology. It has nothing to do with our own will.
Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot: that is all one can say." - The Picture of Dorian Gray

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all" (Can be expanded to include all creations) - OW

"No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." - OW

"It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors." - OW

"Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed." - OW

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sex

"Yeah man, she was like the best fuck ever!"
"And when I was talking to him, he said the same thing, that 'She was his best fuck!'"
"That was the gayest moment, coz we had had sex with the same chick."
"But yeah, she was the best fuck I've had"

People amuse me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Control

People change, conditions change and people are forced to adapt; I shouldn't be writing about this but here goes:
A professor who is teaching the class I go to, has been diagnosed with an illness; he wrote a small message to all the students about this condition. He said that he might have to end lectures earlier than normal and at times might have to cancel lectures.
In class, he spoke of how he had never had such an issue before and I saw from his words that he really liked teaching.
It made me think that something such as an illness, of oneself or of someone one cares about, could alter life and how it is planned. A host of other factors keep moulding our lives. When these changes are smooth, small or conscious, they are easy to deal with; however, when they are abrupt, forced upon one or not accepted by one, life could become difficult to change.

I had written this quite a while ago; and the last sentence is of consequence. It speaks about the locus of control.

Point being: there are things that are outside the realm of your control and there are things that are inside the same. The ones outside our locus of control tend to influence us most drastically, but they should not. The ones inside our locus of control ( when not controlled well ) ought to affect us more significantly, but in a relative sense - the former exudes more influence.

With age, we tend to become more accommodating and / or numb especially related to happenstance. I believe that my professor should be dejected and annoyed at this condition. With age, we tend to grow worse at adapting but are better at accepting things. So, I believe that he will have accepted it or may be in the process of doing so.
I am driving down the same point again and again :)

How will our music, recreational or relationship tastes change over time?
How will we adapt to work life and / or family life?
How will we face sudden news of people who we care about?
When will the pursuit of finding our own place in the world end?
Will it?
Always good to think and question, even though no answers pour out.