Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook, from the album "með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" which means - "with a buzz in our ears, we play endlessly"

The first time I heard this song, it had me hooked. It is in Icelandish and makes no sense to me; in addition, it is not supposed to make sense. But the english translation of the song does seem to make some sense... Getting to the point. I loved the song from the get go and before long, I was 'lalalalalaLALALALALAL"ing... I searched for the video of this song on youtube but could not find it. Finally, one dude mentioned that the video would be on
And soon, I realised why the video was not available.

It had a bunch of people (male and female) dancing, having sex, jumping around and enjoying themselves in the nude, but they wore shoes. I believe it could be termed as 'naturism'. Humans, may be, used to be this way and let's face it - humans were meant to be animals. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with being animals, just that we tend to be too sheltered, scared and comfortable in the society that we have grown up in - including me. The most that one can do (apart from forsaking society) is to go away from people, if only for a bit. But I have written about this earlier so I will not touch upon that subject.

The other thought that came to my head yesterday was, why humans get bored, why we do the things we do. As analogies, I can well say that we wear good clothes to look better and potentially more attractive - same as animals do; we care about families and society, the same way that animals do about communities; we care about money and comforts in marginally different ways though - animals eat enough for sustenance (may be they don't have the luxury of overindulgence) but animals do crave for more than they can consume, and this is what we do too.

This leads me to : Boredom, thoughts, morals, beliefs.
One can never peer into another's mind, and similarly, a being can never peer into another being's thoughts. We will never know what creatures, who are not humans, think of. Therefore, we may never know if they also get bored living their same lives day in and day out.
There is no measure of consciousness, which is why there is no certainty as to whether each day has not already been lived earlier,
Or whether each day is our consciousness as a new being and not as we suppose, which is that we live our lives each day, and our identity does not change till death. I had written about consciousness earlier.

Gobbledigook - means something akin to gibberish. May be what Sigur Ros is addressing is a realization - which is, in fact, a belief - that nothing is supposed to make sense, but we do try our best to make sense of things. Man belongs near nature and man should do odd things once in a while because that is as close to nature as one can be. I do not have the courage yet, but I greatly respect controlled insanity.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Why do we opine? It could very well be a source of identity in a world where identity is so difficult to find. I find it absurd when people have opinions about largely irrelevant matters... then again, how else is one supposed to pass time? I have often seen it in me - my desire to opine and I have fulfilled that desire; and often, I have regretted that. People who speak less, interest me; people who speak humbly or softly, impress me; people who speak incessantly, humour me. Wording one's beliefs is welcome, but more often than not - words are insignificant and therefore, it is a gift to keep shut. Aggression has amused me for a while now; sometimes it is required, but most of the times... it is just a man's ego. It's one thing to stand up for yourself, one thing to stand up for others, and one thing to stand up because you want your words heard. Solitude is precious, and we often forget that... we have forgotten that to the point that we no longer consider it. There is just so much to do and so much to achieve. There are people to answer to and there is society to be a part of. I crave to go away without telling anybody about it, without being in touch. Stay away for some time, speak little, think less, walk more, see more and withdraw.

Friday, January 29, 2010


T : Why do we struggle?

Sura: asking such questions bothers me, makes me feel like i might be missing something. but i ask them regardless. i think its about being able to achieve our potential, but i also think its a never-ending quest. is there a point to it all? i ask. and this takes me back to devdutts gymnosophist.
one more question that pops up is: what would happen if we decide to be, just be, you know? screw potential, screw what we 'could be'. and put some effort in being happy, content, and satisfied.
i think the questions that we are asking ourselves right now, and are trying to answer, wont bother us once we have something to do. like when we get jobs. its an almost empty mind, despite the stupid courses we are pursuing, that is to be blamed. and i'm also sure we will ask these again when we miss a promotion while on the job. thats how it is. we need to come to terms, and decide when we want to stop pushing.

T: When I think of an Icelandic rock band that used to perform but has been on a hiatus for some years now... I think of, well... they did something, n now they feel like chilling...
One big factor, I believe, is the standard (or ease) of life in the country where we reside. If the small things in life were simpler, people would live more and struggle less.. Then again, there is an ego to live up to, no (Ah! The Indian English!!) ?
Something that needs to be continually assessed is the end goal... what is it that we want to achieve? Is it the money, is it a cozy house & a family, is it a small vacation once in a while... is it peace and solitude... is it the arts and the books and the music and the movies? There is no point to most things... we tend to create a point to most things, which, in effect, is equivalent. One thing that we Indians are going through now is the freedom and the choice that this partially vibrant economy and culture is giving us... Our parents never had that opportunity... Freedom gives rise to sadness, because the small wants increase. May be that is why I just like quitting things once in a while... Just to go away and take a look from without. We struggle because we choose to... reminds me of the Oracle.
"You didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it. You're here to try to understand *why* you made it. I thought you'd have figured that out by now."
And this has been tied in with destiny and fate and all that jazz... Fk that shit... thing happen, things will happen, we control and we believe we control...
And this reminds me of Pippin
"All shall fade..."
And this reminds me of this impressive mind that I meet often, he looked into my eyes and said... " Dekha jaayega, phaaada jaayega"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lessons from business folk

Venture Capitalist: "Finding a company is like dating; you need to get along at first go otherwise you can't even think of marriage."

Well, it was a guest speaker session where 2 VCs had been invited. They were the 2 partners in a $15 Mn fund only operating on seed investing. Towards the end, I asked a question; originally, I wanted to ask the question with my opinion embedded inside, but then I kept it open-ended. I asked, "Why have you guys decided against expanding your fund or going into latter stages' financing?"

The guy answered, "It has to do with lifestyle choice... The 2 of us had had some experience in the corporate world, the 2 of us are committed to this company and we knew our capabilities. We figured that we could oversee 7-9 companies and we preferred being with our families in our free time. We did not think that we would like to work 80-hour weeks and our limited partners understand this level of commitment."

In effect, he had said that one needs to draw a line and say that this is how much I want to grow, not beyond this... I prefer this to that, and thus I will base my career. Now, this works especially if you are an owner or part owner of a business. May be even WB took the longest time to realize something similar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Reading my friend's blog; reminded me of this time in Paris. I was walking around alone - this was in September, the day after exhibitions were over. I kept walking, trying to find the Cathedral of Notre Dame, not realising that it was far far away.
I remember going inside and staring at things.
Cameras were not allowed, however, many people still clicked away :)
Was about to go away when I realised that I should spend money and go up to the top of the Cathedral.
Remember having a nutella crepe and dropping a bit of it over the food counter, to the disgust of the girl who served me that.
2 french ladies asked me something in French, and I said 'Desole, Je ne comprend pas...' - to which they laughed.
I remember the gargoyles,
I remember the artists / students who sat at the top, trying to draw the view
I remember seeing La Defense from that view - that's when I decided that I would definitely go there
I remember that people were in a hurry to see everything,
I remember myself sitting near a person who was trying to draw a gargoyle.

I walked down,
I was hungry,
I went across to a cafe,
I sat outside on the street,
I ordered a beer,
A girl (my age I believe) was sitting indoors (there was no partition),
I asked her for help,
I wanted to order duck, but did not know how to say 'boneless',
So she turned to the waiter and said, 'boneless!',
She said it in English :D
She was Australian :)
And OMG she was pretty :)
I ordered duck pasta,
Ate and drank,
To the amusement of passersby,
May be they found it odd to see a young brown guy eating and drinking beer in the afternoon on the street - alone.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Find your Peace

Quite a few of my friends are unhappy right now; so am I. It could very well be a phase where some of us have spent a sufficient amount of time after graduation, at work. However, when we look back at what college life used to be like, we see that it used to be a content life - could be because we felt secure in college.
At work, we face pressure from abnormal sources such as family, colleagues, personal passions and ambitions and a constant quest for something secure.
When I came here about 8 months ago, I remember that I used to be an extremist at achieving what I wanted to. That has since toned down quite a bit. Most plausibly because I now value the culture around me more or my friends more, may be I have changed because I do appreciate the finer things in life. May be.
One influence was the case competition; the incident where I came back to an empty hotel room and nobody to celebrate the victory with. Another influence could have been my trip to Mumbai, where the first night itself, it dawned on me that I needed to be near where I belonged. Of course, I could struggle and make my way through another country and therefore another culture, but there is no need to struggle as long as I get an intelligent job in India.

I should call myself lucky for having found my calling in finance, and so I hope for a lot of my friends, that they too find their true calling and are furnished with the guts, the intent and the opportunity to pursue that path.

People believe that working at a place that one loves is a key to success; however, I have a slightly different take.
It is not so much about success as it is about being content with waking up each day and looking forward to going for work. Success will follow. Peace of mind is often overlooked.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I got drunk last night, or as one of my friends put it - hammered.
This was the first time I have ever been drunk, and potentially, the last.
2 large bourbons, 1 pint blue moon, 3/4 shots tequila (cannot remember), 2/3 (horrible) vodkas; all of this on, pretty much, an empty stomach.
Coup de grâce - puked in public and have hazy images of people moving away from me as I puked. I also remember shrieks of 'ewwww'.
Life is beautiful.
It's a good thing that I decided to be irresponsible in a situation where I had friends around me. Shall not forget the fact that they got me home; although, I can't remember who it was that got rid of my pants :P
Well, I believe I did.
The other good thing about getting drunk in cold weather - you don't feel that cold.
Puking helps - rids one of the stupor or the potential headache.

I do hope that I did not say anything last night that could be regretted.

Now for the important point; why did I get drunk 1 night before my birthday?
I don't think that there is a clear reason... my friend did get a bottle of bourbon from Kentucky for me, and that made the task simple. I should add that daym that bourbon is crazy shit :D
There was a food and non-alcoholic drink event sponsored by MSF and that made it easier to be around alcohol, afterwards.

I do not think I would want to get drunk ever again. Buzzed - yes.

Addendum: So, I also had an Irish car bomb after the vodkas, but I don't remember having that. However, I do remember asking the bartender chick to describe what it was...
And this goes out to my friends who took care of me :D
Quite awesome that a platoon walked me home to make sure I was OK :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hope for perceived peace

There is a difference between 'hope' and 'expect(ations)', and people tend to use these words interchangeably. One can very well hope for something knowing very well that that particular thing will, most probably, not come to one. This implies that one does not have expectations, but hopes...

The mind is yours to create
Keep what you want in it
For nobody shall reach it
Your deepest and brightest thoughts are yours to relish
Your reality will always stand in your way
So close your eyes
And think loud
You control the images you want to see

Two of my friends just finished a leg of their respective competitive journeys. One is smarter than the other and the competition did not change that fact.
I doubt that they expect things, but am sure that they hope for things.
Independence is a relatively new concept to a few of us.
It is important to keep a stable head at all times.
It is more important to be near people who you care to have care for you.

My friends think that an important step had been completed.
Sadly, there will be times which will be more difficult and there will be choices that will have to be made.
Sadder still, they might read this post and kill me.
I hope I do not die.
I hope that they manage to break free and find, what they believe are, their respective paths.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ruin and Prosperity

People change, and by this I refer to how people, in general, change with time. Sense & Sensibility (the movie) made me think of how humans used to be. Women took to the arts and took care of the house. Manual labour demanded men to be the workers. Economics has changed; this has allowed women to equal men. People are more prosperous, but the sheer number of people has ensured that a large portion of human population lives meagerly.

Changes in lifestyle, consumption, inhabitance and capabilities has changed how people behave. I am sure that there were times when people thought not of what they aspired to do or be but thought of taking care of themselves and their dears.
Prosperity has influenced minds. Enjoying life (even though one had different forms of enjoyment in the past) is more within reach. People care a lot more about love, relationships, happiness, contentment and rest - may be more than ever before. It ought to be a good thing.

Somehow, we tend to ruin ourselves. There is too much information to analyze; the content has grown - especially over the last decade. Movies, songs and other media throw at you aspirations, ideals, concepts of love and relations and the ignition for individual thoughts.
The internet has destroyed centuries of basic human communication; communication with people who we like, people who we want to know, people who we don't care about and people who we would never have known.
People know more about the world than ever before.
And somehow, people think they know more about themselves than ever before.

I go back to thinking that we the world is just too competitive, and sometimes it should do us good to step back and understand just what we are battling and why we do the things we do. Stepping back broadens one's horizons and allows one to possibly see what one really wants.

Get rid of the noise.
Blow away the dust.
You can see then that society has converted life into a battleground.
Dream of a vacation.
A vacation without a camera and without a phone.
Go to a place where you know nobody.
Be alone.
As once humans used to be.
It is not a life choice.
It is a vacation choice.
Now if you don't mind, leave.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Indian English

This is for a friend who I find to be creatively intelligent - hope he finds his path in pursuit of intellectual, and therefore, emotional satisfaction.
We were talking about Indian English.
I started the topic by citing the fact that most of the traditional English speakers, let's say - Americans, British, Australians and New Zealanders predominantly speak one language on a daily basis. Therefore, their 'language' is English and the way it is uttered is very similar across these 4 countries.

Indians are a mess. This is because most Indians speak more than 2 languages on a daily basis, and for all practical purposes we consider English as our language as we use it daily and fluently, albeit mixed with other languages.
Indians use the word 'prepone' which is a word that makes complete logical sense, and is much easier to say than to say 'let's reschedule this meeting to an earlier time'.

But what we touched upon during that discussion is how Indians speak in English. At times, we make statements which has an opinion embedded in it, but the statement is uttered as a question.
As my friend described it - "We do not ask questions; we make statements and wait for a verification"

Situation: A person is going to class, and I know this with significant confidence.
A person from any of the above mentioned countries would usually say: 'Are you going to class?'
An Indian would say: 'You're going to class, right?'

We make statements, and at times end it with question marks. Somewhere, this stems from how some urban Indian languages are spoken. Statements are converted to questions, not be rearranging the entire word chain, but by adding a word or two at the end to mark a question.
Somewhere, this stems from what Indian culture is all about.
We do not like open ended questions.
If we partially know somethings, we prefer asking questions with a supposition or a certain emphasis or pressure. We tend to enforce our opinion in the question.

This made me think of whether Indians do, in fact, speak English. The answer is that we speak our own brand of English. Let's call it Indian English. Let's call it a different dialect. I see no reason why a word such as prepone should not be a part of the English dictionary. In fact, I see a reason why it should be a part of the dictionary. It makes complete logical sense.

People like set patterns; but let's understand that a language is a means of communication and therefore should be open to change and evolution. I hate it when people who have not heard of British English strike down words such as learnt (as opposed to learned). I hate it when people believe that the American usage of the letter 'r' is the correct way and the British or Indian usage is not.

Open your minds.
For nothing is set in stone.
Even if things are set in stone,
Know that soft water can tear it down.
Open your minds,
For evolution is key.


Mamihlapinatapai - has been described as the most succinct word. It describes "a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start." (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

A friend of mine introduced me to this word, and this initiated a chat about how people with a vernacular background are the best innovators or thinkers. Vernacular could well be described as a thorough dependence on only one language. The brain 'thinks' using a certain mechanism. Somewhere, a language is used to generate thoughts and refute or support arguments inside one's head.
My friend's contention was that people with a 'vernacular' background are more able at generating ideas and branches thereof, simply because dependence on one language only allows a smoother, efficient and more effective functioning of one's brain.

I refuted this by saying that people such as the newer generation of Indians may be lousy at presenting thoughts simply because we tend to communicate using more than 2 languages on a daily basis. Therefore, most of us do not have a tight control over one particular 'language'. However, inside one's head, I believe, we would communicate and generate thoughts using a mix of the 2,3 or 4 languages.
In essence, inside our heads, we would do a jugaad and generate ideas.
For example, even now, when I think of the thoughts in my head - they tend to be in English. But I believe that somewhere, unconsciously, I would be using certain Hindi or Gujarati words to get my thoughts to function inquisitively.

Therefore, I believe that as long as one has a good set of words or ideas, no matter what language that may be in, one can be an ideator.


What does it mean? In the context of marriage, the usual definition is simple - Physical relationship with someone other than your spouse.
However - and I believe I have thought about this a long time ago - infidelity is something that ought to be very natural to human beings. Only the institution of marriage has created this 'cage'.

When I talk about infidelity, I talk (and worry) about emotional infidelity. It is this branch that I am referring to. Emotional infidelity comes very naturally to humans; however, what a commitment does, is that it locks a person with another. In a way.
Again, I believe that this should differ from culture to culture.

Emotional infidelity implies that one is opening oneself to another person and not to one's spouse. Is that right or wrong? I believe it is right; simply because, once a couple enters a 'bondage' (don't be kinky now!) there is no knowing how those two will evolve. Somewhere along the way, there develops a need to go away. Not with the intention of 'cheating', but with the intention of getting a different mind or a different body. There is only so much that one can share with another, beyond which one knows the opinions of the other - therefore (partially) mundane.

I said that emotional infidelity is a valid choice that people make. But as we know, humans tend to be illogical and impulsive; therefore, sometimes this choice could be averted. I say that it is a valid choice. But I hate it.
I hate it, not because I believe in some holy institutional crap or commitment, but because of sincerity. Humans need to learn how to be by themselves or be with people and not talk. Somewhere, it influences a person's chain of thoughts and makes one content with oneself.
May be, what I am saying is utter bullshit.

I hate it because sometimes, people stay together out of compulsion - for example, because of their child(ren). Legitimate? I also believe that even after knowledge of a spouse's infidelity, the couple chooses to stay together. Why spoil a decent thing? Let's just accept things and numb ourselves to overlook the infidelity.
Addendum (Courtesy: Wise albeit idiotic person) : What ought to be done, when emotions drift or attraction wanes, is that a relationship should be drawn to an end. The correct path - I believe - would be to disclose and start afresh.

The human mind is a curse because it continually or rather, continuously functions. Therefore, boredom; therefore, need for excitement and change.

Is infidelity an escape?
Is infidelity a different high?
May be it's a rush.
I hate infidelity because of something that this woman implied.
I hate infidelity because I love the concept of peace. Peace that is more than peace, as implied by the Hindi word -'Shanti'.
I dislike infidelity because of a certain notion of comfort, security and joy.
Utopian all, but attainable methinks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quit Talking

Once in a while, we say or do things that shouldn't have been said or done...
Sometimes, it is because we never meant to;
At times, it is because the target, which may be a person or a situation, is not within our control and therefore, may not behave as we would have liked them to.
Sometimes, it is just something that is not socially acceptable.
Sometimes, we ride on emotions and impulse.

Words may be the most dangerous weapon around. It makes me smile when I just think of how easy it is to spoil relationships and situations.

May be this is why I hold my want to quit known society, - only for a bit - so dear.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't be Afraid

There is only so much that we can (allow ourselves to) do,
Obstacles abound and muscles grow weak from all the strain.
We want to give up at times and just succumb...
We tend to go on because of numbness
Or we tend to go through reason and fear
We are all trying to do the best that we can with what we have.

I will lose it one day
And so will you
Because there is nothing that we truly control.
And may be it is in those dark moments that we wish we could hang on to something
If only temporarily
Sorrow, fear and anger bring out our rawest selves.
It is then that we are closest to being children.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Vijay from Zanjeer
Girl: 'Let's talk'
Vijay: 'I don't know how to make conversations... I'm afraid you are going to get bored with me.'

A position that I would avoid being in; but have been in. Reminds me of this one time that I managed to do something outrageous. Case Competition evening, after the final results.

I'm talking to this guy; I am tired and quite foolish. He was trying to make small talk, so was I...
I say something to the effect of :
" You know, after this evening, you are not going to remember me and I am not going to remember you. All that all of us are trying to do is network so that we are in touch with each other such that whenever need be, we can reach out and hope that someone might be able to help us out.
Let's face it, you are doing the same and I am doing the same. "

He laughs at me and agrees - although, I still found him quite idiotic - and we continue our stupid conversation.
In the end, I am about to leave; I see some hesitation in him and I say to him.

" You know what? I believe it is best that we exchange details and stay in touch. Who knows how we might manage to be of help to the other... "

We exchanged numbers and that was the last I saw or heard of him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Questioning Reality

Lars & the real girl. Avatar. Cast Away. The Matrix.
I have been questioning reality for a while now; even now, when I look outside my window, I wonder if what I see is real or not.
However, there is a more fundamental question before that... What is reality?

Reality is a belief, as are most things. As humans that have created society, there are certain things that are called 'real'. For example, in Lars & the real girl, the mannequin was a real human to Lars but not to others. It is because we have a set belief in what constitutes a human being, we have a set belief in what constitutes reality.

We believe that dreams are not real and only when we wake up, that is what is real. However, how will one ever know if one is not living inside a dream?

In Avatar, when the dude falls asleep inside the chamber, he becomes one of the Na'vi. As the Na'vi, when he falls asleep, he awakens as the human being. So, which form is real? What physical being will he associate his mind with?

In Cast Away, Tom Hanks creates Wilson; the volleyball friend. He creates him and believes, for the longest time, that Wilson is another friendly being. We know that Wilson is a volleyball, but Tom believed that Wilson was his friend - therefore, real.

In the Matrix, humans move from one world to another. What is real?

Somewhere, I believe that these questions do not matter. I talk to myself often. I have statements running through my head at times.

I like doing and trying to do unusual things because I firmly believe that there is no rule to life.
There is no rule to how beliefs are set.
There is no certainty, simply because there is very little that one controls.
And have you ever asked yourself, whether you really control yourself?
If you decide to lift up your right arm right now - go on, do it - you can see it moving up, but did you choose that or was that meant to happen anyway?

Tie all of this to the pursuit of happiness and you realize that you should try and do the things that give you long term happiness (or at least, you believe that that is what will happen). Nothing is set in stone. Nothing is certain but belief.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Love & Peace

"The purpose of life is to be loved by as many people as possible among those you want to have love you" - WB
I believe he took a very long time to make this statement.
The emphasis has been added by me, because that captures the practicality of the Utopian part of the statement.
It tends to boil down to love; the word that has been glamorised.
How close is love to peace? - that is the question...