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


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


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?

" 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..."


I was just flipping through my passport and apparently, I've been to the following countries:
Netherlands / Belgium
England/ UK
Hong Kong
& Nepal
Fortunate son?

Sunday, April 4, 2010


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


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."

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


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.