Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Search

The process of searching is one of the most fascinating things I’ve experienced, though you might not infer the same, nay more, you’d infer quite the contrary, if you were beside me while I was in the midst of some such process.

I’ve been suffering from an idenity crisis for about a week now. I’ve lost my ID card. Circumstances necessitated that I search for it. I ransacked my room; but failed to find the card. Then I decided to put things in order again; and still no luck. I repeated the whole cycle in vain. And I’m sure I can do it a million more times and I would not find it. Its certain the day I pay the fine and bring my new card home, I’ll find the old one. That’s where I like the idea of stores in the U.S. One can return most products within a certain period of time after the purchase if one is not satisified. I think this particularly helpful because if I were to buy, say, a pair of socks, and lose them, the easiest way for me to find them would be to go the store and buy myself another such pair. When I get home I’m sure to find the old pair, folded and sitting neatly on the clothes shelf. Then I can go back and return the new pair.

What amazes me about the search is the wealth of memories it brings back. This present search throwed up stuff that reminded me of my intial anxieties when I came here, my pleasant outings, my horrible score-sheets, my passionate collection of library fines, mile-long grocery bills and such like. And this search in turn reminded me off past searches. Almost every vacation I’d find I can’t find something or the other of tremendous value, and often most things of such exalted status, and I’d search my treasure chests. This search brings back many memories; Old class photographs to remind me of the days of innocence; Mickey mouse and Bata(back to school) book labels which remind me of the start of school. It used to feel horrible to return from vacations and have to go to school again, and as a form of protest I never bound my books. This greatly annoyed my mom, and she would remind me everyday to bind them, but I’d persist in my stubbornness, until a fair compromise would be reached in which I’d bring her the brown paper and the scissors, and she would do all the binding. Then I’ve found some old birthday cards which remind me of the people who gave them, and some other connected instances. Almost every birthday since my 6th standard remind me of that one particular birthday when I made a dent in my skull by smashing my head against the wash-basin while bathing and had to get several stitches on my forehead. It was also special because, at our home, we don’t have birthday parties, and that was my first party, when we bought a large cake to be cut, and had the house all lit-up in fancy lighting, and invited several of our(my brother and I have our birthday just three days apart and so we decided to have a combined party) friends from the neighbourhood. Then there’s my old, and fairly large coin collection. I also collected a few stamps. I was introduced to the terms philately and numismatics in my 4th standard, and I was so fascinated by the high-sounding nature of these two words that I decided I must be able to use them in my own life, and hence began collecting coins and stamps. Its sad that they are in such a disarray now. Its actually very interesting how I got most of my coins. When I was in the U.S. for a year in my 7th, I used to keep an eye out for foreign looking people in the neighbourhood, and unabashedly approach them and ask them if I they would give me some coins from their own country! I’ve even gone to the extent of knocking on doors at random and asking for coins. As a friend rightly said, I had a cute face then, and nobody would’ve hesitated to take the effort to pull out coins from their native country to see my darling smile. Things would be different if I did the same now. Also, I’ve been a clever kid, and stored only those exam papers in which I’ve scored well, so that it would seem as if I was this bright kid who raced through all of school with the greatest ease. If it were not for the fact that my parents have cruelly saved my final report cards, which keep reminding me of the bitter truth, I would’ve safely assumed myself a born genius, and gone about declaring the same to the world of relatives and friends. There are also some forgettable memories, like a letter to some ashram or sabha, which my grandmother asked me to post some years back, and I promptly forgot. Or some toy, which I stubbornly demanded that I have, and is still lying in its original box, untouched by mankind.

Aside: Are my threads so alarming? I just got a call from the Tempe police as I was typing this post. And a sweet sounding lady asked, “Is everything alright?” I’m quite fine I assured her wondering when my posts started proving such a grave threat to society. Apparently, my phone dialed 911 of its own accord while in my pocket, and so they were calling to make sure nothing was the matter. Talk about next generation smart phones!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Some thoughts.

After today's walk i'm convinced that the political doctrine of anarchism combined with the ethical doctrine of utilitarianism would work best to reduce the suffering of mankind.

Also, i do not think imprisonment in a cell(and eventually hanging etc; depending on the nature of the crime) should be the form of punishment awarded to those deemed criminals by the existing law. I think it should rather be that they are all sent to reformation centres, the functioning of which i haven't yet figured out completely. However, depending on the practical urgency for fresh intake of criminals, older ones in the reformation centre who seem not have undergone any change(or at any rate, change insufficient to let them roam free in society) may then be relegated to suffering the rest of their punishment as they would've faced it under the present judicial system.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Since i'm presently fascinated by the implications of this:


If two names or descriptions apply to the same object, whatever is true of the one is true of the other. Now George the Fourth wished to know whether Scott was the author of Waverley; and Scott was as a matter of fact the same person as the author of Waverley. Hence, putting "Scott" in the place of "the author or Waverley," we find that George the Fourth wished to know whether Scott was Scott.

For those who are still wondering what's so puzzling:

If you were crashing in your room in the afti, and someone knocked on the door then, and you wish to find out who it was later(raghu/shamu/geeta etc) then you cannot find out because your questions will be of the nature:

Is Raghu Raghu?
Is Raghu Shamu?
Who is Raghu?


Which seems to suggest that an answer to the question who knocked on my door in the afti can never be determined! :-/

That is, everytime such questions are asked, the answer that we are looking for is only obtained because of a common error in understanding :-/

I haven't found a way around it. :-?
Can anyone throw some light?
P.S: Russell mentioned that the solution he found to this puzzle has implications on the foundations of mathematics and the relation of thought to things. He mentions to the addressee that the "answer" would be published in an article in a forthcoming journal, but he never mentioned which one in the letter! :(

Friday, December 22, 2006

To all my friends:

It was a great pleasure to hear from you again. I think letters are more important than one is apt to realize. If one doesn't write, one's doings and one's general state of mind cease to be known, and when a time comes for explaining, there are so many preliminaries that the task seems impossible in writing. So I do hope you will not be deterred by the fear of many words - it really doesn't do to wait till you are in extremis.

*Borrowed from one of Russell's letters to Lucy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Memorable night.

It was last Wednesday. At first i had decided not to record it for my own future recollection for fear that the girl with whom i spent the night would read it and be upset about it. But i think the better of her now, and i am sure she'll just dimiss it with gentle laughter. Hence i wish to record for posterity, almost one week down the line, what was certainly the most memorable evening i've spent since my arrival at ASU.

It was purely by chance that i happened to meet this girl, probably a few days prior to the day in concern, as she was lying on the couch, snug under a blanket, when i entered that apartment to see her room mate, a friend of mine. My initial response was one of slight disapproval. She was happily ensconced and staring at some program on television, and as i generally look with contempt at most of what is shown on TV, i took little notice of her, and went on with what i was doing on my laptop. She left for a movie with her friend, and a discussion had ensued between me and my friend, on various things, one of which was tackling the population problem in our country. At this time, the girl returned from the movie, and she sat down and listened to us. I paid no attention to her prescence having formed a bad impression of her intially. But when she was asked to comment by my friend, i found she spoke with remarkable insight, and complete objectivity. Taking some interest in her now, i probed further and found she shared much of the views i had, and this naturally delighted me. The conversation then flowed for the better part of two hours before we all retired for the day at around 3 a.m. A couple of days after that, i had another occassion to talk to her and we spent a few hours meandering through various subjects, happily chattering away like idle old persons without a worry in the world, and under the assumption that our thoughts were of utmost significance to the world! It was on this day that i noticed how expressive her eyes were, and how she had a way of capturing ones attention with the subtle nuances in facial expression.

My semester ended on wednesday, and she invited me over for dinner that day. By now i had begun to take some interest in her, because i was impressed by her intellectual capabilities(she likes to call herself a pseudo-intellectual, and going by her defintion, i fit into just that category too.), and i wished to observe her more. As she cooked dinner i watched her, working away with the ease and precision that comes from familiarity, where she could judge the quantity of raw material necessary and the quality of the finished products by the eye alone. I had some fun making jokes, both in general and at her expense, and was pleased to find she had a good sense of humour and took things in the right spirit. (It has always been a particular complaint of mine that there are too many serious people in this world!) During dinner, we idled away time watching some silly tv program, which, to be honest didn't impress me much. However, i endured because i wished to keep her company. As luck would have it, she wanted to go for a walk at about 10 in the night, and walking being one of my favourite hobbies, i asked her if i could accompany her, and she responded in the affirmative. She is really a rather straight-forward girl and speaks her mind almost always, so i never have to worry about what is actually meant by the words spoken(It is usually the case with women, i find, that they always intend something other than what they say, and somehow consider it the responsibility of the man to decipher what they have in mind!). The walk was filled mostly with ordinary conversation about some common friends we shared and their good and bad, but it was nice to see how, at every instance, she proved capable of objectively critical evaluation of things and people. It is also an admirable trait that she does not spare herself even. (I have no very great opinion of myself either, but i somehow don't like to declare it to other people. I would rather they earned that knowledge. ) It is when we returned at around 10:30pm that an almost surreal experience began. We spent hours talking about things like frustrated PhDs, the economic situation in India, the education system, divorce, hypocrisy, corporations, to name some of them, and by now about 2 and a half hours had raced by! Then we moved on to more taxing topics like religion, God, and Infinity(which was a topic which really drained my thinking capacities and made me feel quite small), and relationships(!). At all times, i quoted from news articles i remembered, or facts from books, and she drew illustrations from personal experience, more often than books. However, the fun part was that neither was determined to convince the other of anything, and we merely exchanged views, similar or different, and gained a better understanding of the things we discussed. At any rate, this certainly was the case with me. Also,it was nice to see how she gave thought to everything that i said and was in no hurry to defend her stance(and i should like to think the same was the case with me). Moreover, it was nice to have some serious and thoughtful discussion again, like during my years at IIT. There were times, particularly in the last semester, when i learnt a few things. And here again, after a long time, i found myself thinking hard, and taxing my brain to form structured arguments and building walls of defense. What's more, i found the walls being broken down each time, and it was great fun to play the game. The day ended perfectly. We were tired of serious discussion and of assuming an exaggerated importance of our ideas so i played her one or two of my favourite carnatic songs(she is a trained carnatic singer, and by my standards, a very good one!). Then she played me some of her favourites, and i found her taste much to my liking(though, honestly, at the moment, i find most carnatic songs pleasing to my ears). Then i played a few more songs, and she began to hum, and eventually to sing in her beautiful voice. This gave me no end of delight, because on one of the previous days, when i had learnt of her singing talent, i asked her to sing me something, and she said she mostly sings for herself and is uncomforable singing in the prescence of an audience! I realised her singing then meant that the whole evening had made her so comfortable in my presence that she was blissfully unaware that she'd overcome that inhibition! What's more, she ended up saying, "I hope you don't mind my singing?", and this nearly killed me on the inside! I let her sing to hearts content and it was delightful to hear her match skill with the great carnatic musicians. Then i saw her scribbling away on her laptop and asked her what it was. She told me it was her private blog, and natually, i asker her if she had a public one. I then started off on reading that one while she tapped away on her laptop. With all the objectivity that i'm capable off, i must say, she is a very good writer! Her imagination and attention to detail is splendid, and she has a way with words that holds one's attention. I sat there reading her posts until it was 4 a.m and then we both agreed that we had better part for the night. I thanked her for a wonderful evening and took leave. How those 5 and a half hours flitted by i still can't understand. It all seems like a pleasant dream now, and i'm indeed very grateful to this wonderful and charming woman for such a memorable evening!

And since she spent so much time with me, i only hope she enjoyed it too, though probably not in the same measure as i did.

I also hope i shall be fortunate enough to spend a few more evenings with her before she leaves ASU in a month's time.

Horribly romantic.

I'm feeling horribly romantic right now. I was just reading Bertrand Russell's letters to Alys, when they were yet unmarried, and it drove me mad. It's such a wonderful feeling to be in love(I do not at this point wish to go into the logical differences, if any, between love and limerance, and go by the stereotypical definition of the phenomenon of love). It is really wonderful to have someone who can understand you almost inside out, and who you can take completely for granted. Especially so when one is largely leading a life of isolation. At other times, when life is passing by in a frenzy of academic slavery, and superficial social interaction, I do not feel the need for love, just as i do not feel any pleasureable emotion at all. But when i have all the free time, and life is full is happy emotions, and pleasant pursuits, i become greedy and feel a longing for love! I'm sure this longing for love is not just a sublimation of lust. It is a pure yearning, and i only wish there would be this someone i could talk to and walk with in these surreal climatic conditions, oblivous to all the world! But i distract myself from this longing by immersing myself in some book or the other and am happy again! Like tennyson said,i believe it is better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all.

Anyways, for now, i live, solitary as the moon, aspiring for the love of the stars, but restrained by the gravity of this planet.

Russell's quip and some food for thought.

On one occassion, Bertrand Russell quiped to Sidney Webb that democracy had at least one merit, namely, that a Member of Parliament cannot be stupider than his constituents, for the more stupid he is, the more stupid they were to elect him.

Now, at first it seemed a brilliant quip and i was quite impressed by this observation. However, on some thought, it occurred to me that the truth might be quite the opposite. A person who votes would look for his leader to have the same desires he has for himself, but to a greater degree. Hence, a stupid man, would have stupid desires, and would look for his leader to have stupider desires, only making the leader himself a stupider person. To illustrate, if there were a zamindar demanding that the interest paid by farmers on loans should be doubled, then he would vote for a leader who might say that farmers, once they borrow money, are bonded labourers for life! Considering that the human beings, when averaged over any significant population, are stupid, their leader is only going to be stupider than his constituents in a democracy! And so far as my knowledge goes, this is indeed the case!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Would-be-famous quote.

"You can judge a guy by his books, and a cover by its looks." - Karthik Sivaramakrishnan

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fear and self-preservation.

Animals seem to have just one fear, and that is the fear of death. It is a justified fear. The danger is real and immediate when faced by a predator, and cannot be escaped unless there is such an instinctive fear. Man, if seen as an animal, is clearly far more powerful than any of these creatures. Hence even that one fear shouldn't exist, and, ideally, we should see him fearless. Yet, why is it that almost all human beings live most of their lives in morbid fear of one thing or another, and often of several things at a time? So much so that it seems to me he lives in fear of life!

And while i thought of the power of man, something occurred to me. Since he has been made to be the most powerful of all creatures, and has no other predators, it is only natural then that he must be his own predator. And hence, war is a necessity of nature. What's more, ecological balance is also a desperate necessity for mother nature. And that seems to have been greatly upset by us human beings. A victory for humans perhaps? Quite the opposite! A deiberate design of nature it seems. All that intelligence, and evolution, and civilisation of the human race seems to be but a clever scheme to bring the human race to this period, when his very intelligence has develped the instruments of his destruction, and he has thus worked as a puppet in the hands of nature to arm her with the tool she was waiting for. All that greatness of mankind seems to come to a knot as it were before a measured, foreseen, and pre-calculated move of nature, much like an experienced player would know how to wipe off the fledgling but would amuse himself a great deal, and give the fellow the impression he's actually doing something great in holding the old chap from victory, before he leads him gently into a checkmate! Fascinating! And so much for the greatness of human kind! Wonder when that day is, sad personally, when the balance is going to be restored once again? I think its quite near. During my lifetime?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I know it's been a long time since you've seen a post from me. It is perhaps when i should have written most, for my own sake, that i avoided writing all together. There is turmoil inside of me. But then, i hardly wish to discuss that with the whole world. With the world i only wish to discuss more light-hearted matters.

It is alarming how often one hears the fire engine's siren in this place. Almost everytime i step out of my apartment, i am greeted with a siren, much as the kings of yesteryears used to be greeted with a trumpet-call. I sometimes wonder that the city hasn't burnt down by now. May be it is that the Fire Services do their training in the city and these are only practice runs. May be they are just trying to make sure the motorists on the road are all well-behaved and willing to make way in case there is an actual emergency. But sometimes i think, the Fire Services has determined they need reality training, and hence send some of their men to secretly set fire to buildings, and then rush their emergency services to the rescue act. Or may be its just that the Fire services feel neglected in comparison to the police services, which is often the highlight of many a hollywood movie, and feeling a desperate need for attention, have decided to earn it by setting fire to buildings and then rescuing the people. I don't know. But it does annoy me that the fire detectors in the apartments are so sensitive. Almost as soon as i begin to fry something the alarm shrieks. Fortunately, mine doesn't directly ring in the fire services. That has been left to our discretion.

I think this a very understanding decision on their part. It is often the case that one has to set one's own house, or at least some part of it, on fire. Sometimes its for making sure one gets back what one pays to insurance companies. At other times, it might be to get rid of an annoying friend. One of the easiest ways to get rid of mosquitoes in the bedroom is to set up a fire in the centre of the bedroom and have a bonfire celebration. By the time everyone is done with the food and drink, the mosquitoes are all gone and one can happily slump on to the bed. Anyways, i'm glad the fire department has comprehended the full importance of leaving it to the people's discretion at least in our apartment.The alarm shrieks however disturb peaceful neighbours, and so i've covered the fire detector with a plastic bag.

I sometimes think there might be yet another reason for so many engine siren's every day. The kids these days are a spoilt lot and have ever increasing demands. They are not content with their barbie dolls and hot wheels cars. The girls want multi-storey doll houses which resembles britney spears' home, and the guys want remote operated racing cars and real-time video gaming and what not! So i can only imagine that the helpless parents, out of sheer pressure to get their bored kids a satisfying source of amusement, have decided to teach kids to ring in the fire services. It is fairly easy to teach and the kids can amuse themselves with the fuss they would've created. The parents can get away by requesting the kids to play the prank only in their absence. The fire engine would shriek to a halt in front of the calling kid's building and an officer would rush to the apartment of this particular kid. Due to the noise of the siren, people would've crowded on their balconies and in the corridors in the hope of watching their cursed neighbours burn. On finding no smoke from the outside, the officer would try to barge in, only to fall flat on his nose, as the kid would politely open the door just in time for the officer to crash land happily on the carpet. A little annoyed, he'd ask the kid why the fire services were called and the kid can always get away with a simple, "I'm sorry sir. I had no idea what i was doing. But i do like your suit Mister." Thus, having gently conveyed the message that the officer ought to get out,the kid himself would step out in front of the officer just to show his face to the eager audience, and relish their disappointment, and would happily step back inside the house and shut the door. The next time he felt like doing it, he'd get his little sister, or his friend to do it. It is perhaps mean of the parents to do this to fire officers. After all, they are only trying to be our gaurdians. But then, i sometimes think, the poor fellows would be too idle otherwise, and that they are actually happy running around for no reason at all, bringing traffic to a halt and earning compliments on their suits from little kids!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Football and the bath.

There was a football match in college today. American football. I can't quite place the game of American football in the rubric of the American culture. People who, like walking north poles, swerve away from each other's path with profuse apologies, no sooner than they are within sight of each other, are now seen ramming each other like bulls making love, and this confuses my simple mind. I rather think the game is somehow an escaped vestige of a barbaric past. Observe how i stated the people take recourse to the drastic measure of swerving away when merely within sight. This is because, and i can only conceive that it should be thus, with suns glasses as thick as the ones they use, they cannot see very far. I have never dared to try one of those appendages myself for fear that my bright and cheerful world would turn dark and gloomy. Besides, i also think these sun glasses make people lose identity. When the eyes are missing, the face is half-featuresless. I might just as well be seeing clones! There is so much beauty in the eyes. Have you ever seen a painter paint a face without eyes? I'm sure you haven't, unless of course the painter doesn't know how to draw eyes, and hence happily chooses to categorise his art in that most benevolent of art genres - abstract. I sometimes wonder if this desire to hide the eyes is because of an inferiority complex of sorts. After all, it is a nation without a history and an hence, an identity of its own. But i quickly dismiss the idea, for fear that i might be extracting a kilo of platinum from a grain of sand.

I've noticed that my bathing time has increased a good deal after stepping into this country and its bathtubs. As the water is soft it takes me longer to wash away my sins and i seem to be massaging my horse skin as if i were an Indian queen looking after her white, supple, silken body. Actually, i'm not quite sure i've used the right words. An Indian queen, though at first glance might seem like one with ample time for self-ornamentation, is found, on application of elementary arithmetic, to be quite hard-pressed for time. Say an Indian Princess is one of 200 others of her type married to the king in reign. Also, let us assume that the bathtub is occupied 24*7. In spite of such generous allowance, a princess would get only 1440/200, or a horribly short 7.2 minutes for bathing. Supposing, even, that we helpfully reduce this congestion by making available a half-dozen bathtubs she would still get only about three quarters of an hour. That, i must declare would barely suffice for her to disrobe, and disornament herself. I'm sure no slithering snake even would have time to steel her jewelry and slip it away in some inconspicous tree top on a bird's nest. It is for these reasons i wish to rephrase my earlier sentence. An Egyptian queen might more aptly cradle the meaning of my words. How the queen i conceive of in my mind might ever fit in an Egyptian mileu i cannot quite explain at this juncture. I thus apologise to the Egyptians for placing a foreigner as a queen in their midst. But, more importantly, i apologise to the bathing queen for transporting her to Egypt. Though this might at first seem a laughable matter, the seriousness of the situation might occur to you if you were to imagine yourself slip out of your garments, slip into the shower for a relaxing bath to steel yourself for a hectic day of work, and find yourself stepping out into the sands of Egypt. Having, hopefully appeased everyone, i shall revert to the issue i had set out to address, which is, my extended bathing hours. I blame it on the easy access to warm water at all hours. The water being too cold for my comfort on most months, had there only been water, and a separate heater i'd have to wait 20 minutes for the water to heat. This time would, i'm sure, be sufficient for me to finish dilly-dallying on the crucial matter of my bathing and declare with conviction that the activity could be postponed to another day when the weather was more inclement and the inertia in me lesser. I would thus be saved many a precious minute on more than many a precious day of my precious life. But as things stand, i find myself greatly inconvenienced by luxury. Perhaps, i must be more resolute, and so, like the holy saints of the ganga, I shall fill up my tub with water, and take a few hasty dips, and be done with the ordeal of bathing. Or may be i'll just dispense with the burden of bathing entirely. After all, I find the people of this country quite content to perfume themselves till they leave all people in a certain radius of themselves gasping for breath. Considering i would only produce the same effect in my immediate neighbourhood, it shouldn't perhaps matter what the nature of the system is that produced this effect.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


There are 5 libraries at ASU for the different streams like science, literature, medicine, law etc.

The 'Science' library is called the 'Daniel E Noble Science & Engineering library', which ironically abbreviates as 'DENSE'! (Hint: Please refer secondary meanings for the word.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Peculiar observations 2.

As you might have realised from 'Peculiar observations', i tend to look at shop names while walking. On one such walk along a certain street i saw a beauty salon called 'Grooming Humans II"

Three days into my stay at AZ i'd bought a biycle for $50. As i was parking it in a cycle stand, my eyes chanced upon the name of the cycle next to mine. It wisely preached 'MT fury'.

When i was sitting in my department graduate co-ordinator's room a chinese PhD student came along, looking rather anxious, and said, "I'm not on the wafer list!". I was bewildered and wondered which wafer he was talking about. My graduate co-ordinator, however understood him correctly and said, "Oh, your name is not on the waiver list? We can fix that."


This post is for my friends who've been enquiring curiously and concernedly about my travel. The last one week has been tiring to say the least. I was starved for most part of my flight because the quantity of food given was so small that it might've proved inadequate even for the delicately built airhostesses(there was one old air 'host'(?), who after 20 odd years of feminine politeness seemed to have morphed into a hermaphrodite) . Speaking of airhostesses, i was saddened to see that most of them would have fit into that hot-young-babe category about 20 or 30 years ago! It is then that i also realised that the whites show signs of aging faster, with people getting wrinkles around the eyes, and on the cheeks, much faster than those with more melanin in their body. I find it amusing that air hostesses should be given such a highfalutin name. They are really just waitresses in the air. Anyways, since both body and mind were thus starved of nourishment it was a rather boring journey but for Kavery's delightful novel.

Since i had no flight trip in memory when i flew this time, it was nice to see the clouds below one for a change. They looked like mountains of cotton candy at times, and at times like the ice-bergs of the antartic, and when the sun shone on them they looked like the freezers in our refridgerators. Speaking of refridgerators, i am reminded that the German airport smelt like a bakery! And speaking of the German airport i am reminded of a conversation i heard in the waiting lounge where a 38 year old divorced man was flirting with a 22 year old divorced(and extremely hot!!) woman. He'd been married for 10 years before the divorce and now has a kid. She was married for 2 weeks, and has slept with about a 100 men since then. Also, the air in the German airport was nauseatingly dense with the smell of smoke and perfumes. In the flight from Germany, a loquacious American heading to Alabama was sitting beside me, and though i don't remember the specifics of the chatter i do remember he complimented me on the excellent suit(it was bought my dad 30 yrs ago on his trip down here!). It then occured to me to advertise my shoes too. If he complimented me on those, i would tell him they cost $4 :D
It's been a little tough for me to get accustomed to the excessive use of 'hello's, 'hi's, 'excuse me's and 'sorry's. I also find it queer that two complete strangers should say 'hi' or 'how're you doing?' when they walk past each other. This superficial concern is quite unnecessary and it is annoying to have to use it all the time. Anyways, talking off superficiality, i realise that the US is full of it. Their sophistication is quite sophisticated. They are nice on the outside but they aren't genuine. To illustrate, i met a certain lady, during the registration process, three times during the day, and each time she smiled pleasantly, greeted me and asked the same set of questions she had asked me the first time. And all this, in a short span of a couple of hours. Instead, i would've felt nicer if she just remembered my face and what i'd said earlier.

Another superficial sophistication of theirs which causes much agony to many Indians is the way they unsoil themselves. In flights, one isn't supposed to put the tissue papers into the pot lest the drain get clogged because they use not water but air suction to flush. When i used them for the first time i ignorantly made this mistake , possibly much to the inconvenience of fellow passengers who would now have one less bathroom to access. I just hope they fixed the problem during flight itself. Yet another superficial sophistication i noticed is the use of carpets. We don't use soft, beautiful carpets but we keep our ordinary-looking floors clean. Here, the floors look pretty in furry ankle deep carpets that accumulate the dust of unclean footwear for months, because the americans never take off their shows, sometimes not even in bed!

I've felt a sense of loneliness for the past couple of days, because there's almost no one to talk to here, and i still don't have access to the library to get hold of books, or the computer centre for internet. The senior's with whom i am staying have however been kind enough to let me use their laptops when they don't need it. I've just had formal conversations with people at the university and haven't yet found friends since people are scattered in buildings in different streets, locked up in one senior's room or the other.

I notice that there is lots of obesity in the US. The women are either hourglass shaped bombshells, or just bombshell shaped. Also, most women use make-up, and they use it generously. Men and women have all sorts of fancy hair-dos, and fancy outfits.I regret that i didn't bring along my torn jeans from India. Little did i realise that that was the most fashionable dress i had in my array of clothing. The Americans also drink a lot of soft-drinks(soda as it is called here), and i'm sure coke and pepsi would care little about the slump in their demand in India.

Oh, almost forgot about my little adventure at Charlotte. Due to some bad weather near Charlotte the plane landed late by about 45 minutes. That gave just one and a half hours for my next flight. Since mine was one of the last seats in the flight i was nearly last in the immigration check line and i was done only after an hour and 15 minutes. There was just 15 mintues left for my flight to depart. I claimed my baggage and went to the customs check. Luckily, since many of us were late, they let us all go by without fuss. The guy at customs told me my flight was in Concourse E 20 . E is the farthest concourse and 20 is 19 vestibules(away) in that concourse. By the time i reached there it was 5:35 and i thought i'd missed my flight but luckily i saw them still taking tickets and quickly gave mine. The lady was going to tear off the counterfoil hastily when she double-checked and said, "I'm sorry your plane is not in E 20." Then i asked,"Where is it then?" She said, "Try E22' and so i went a little further and asked there. The lady there said, "I'm sorry your flight isn't in E22." Overcome with despair i pleaded her to help me find out where my flight was. She checked something on her computer and said B1." I ran, lugging my cabin baggage, past these 22 vestibules out of E concourse, past the C,D concourses towards B1, and by now it was 5:45. As i entered B1 i found the entry door closed and thought i'd missed my flight. But the man who checks the tickets in front of the door said,"Ah, there's our man at last!" , checked the ticket and sent me in without even tearing it. The flight door opened and i was let in. The airhostess took my bag and stuffed it somehere in the front. I hurried to my seat, and by the time i put my seat belt on, the plane had begun to move! Anyways, because of all this delay our flight was now number 15 in the take-off queue and had to wait one hour at the runway(i wonder how much of that delay was solely thanks to me :D). On the flight i found a chap from civil IITM who was heading to his relatives' place in phoenix. I made acquaitance with him. At phoenix, as i was waiting for baggage claim an Indian uncle walked up to me and asked if i was 'Siddarth'. I said, 'No.' Meanwhile, this civil chap and i were also waiting for our baggages to come. After nearly an hour of waiting we found our baggage never came. Some time then, i also realised this chap's name was Siddarth and introduced that uncle to him. Apparently, he was a friend of Siddarth's uncle and had come to pick him up. As nobody from the Indian Students Association had come to pick me up, in spite of their promise, i cashed in on this chance to request the uncle to drop me off at the senior's place on campus and he gladly agreed! My baggage came to me the following day. I'm sure what happened was that my baggage reached the flight late and hence came by the next flight in to Phoenix!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Peculiar observations.

My brother had noticed something interesting some time back. About a year or so ago the Osmania University, which has a thoroughfare splitting the campus into two, had put up warning signs all along the 3Km length of the road which read 'Car learning on campus strictly prohibited', because people would turn off the thoroughfare into the university roads and wiggle about the narrow lanes causing much anxiety to the already anxious students. Oppurtunistic low end shops and advertisers realised these boards were convenient and free-of-cost places to put up their advertisements posters and notices. Thus, over a period of time the boards became shabbily covered with papers and notices, sometimes covering the entire board, sometimes hiding the symbol of the car with an into mark over it. On one such board he noticed there was only one notice, and it hid nothing of the warning save the word 'Car'!

My brother and I went for a walk today evening. We noticed a tiny two storey complex with a host of shops on the ground floor. On the first floor were a lot of cloth banners advertising a school, carrying the name of the school in bold, jarring yellow letters - THE RAXFORD VALUE SCHOOL.

Before we moved to Mehdipatnam we'd come across a school in Vidyanagar which had a novel method of ensuring that there was no ambiguity about the nature of the institution. The school was named SLATE - THE SCHOOL.

As we continued our stroll my brother spotted the 'NO EXCUSES INSTITUTE FOR FASHION DESIGNING'.

Further on, we came across a board in LIC Colony which read 'No multi-storeyed buildings allowed in this colony', and right opposite that board was a newly constructed four-storeyed building! Of course, violations of this sort are a common sight i suppose. But coincidences like the one i'm about to tell you are not often seen. You might be aware that it is the trend these days to get sponsors even for the warning signs in front of houses which read 'beware of dogs', 'no parking' etc: Well, one such sign we saw read,

'Please do not park your vehicles in front of this gate.

Courtesy: Pest Control Corporation'

I hope our newspaper boy isn't a religious fundamentalist because there is a slight chance that he might have misinterpreted the three words my dad had written in big bold letters on a plain sheet of paper and pasted on the door. It read:


and our newspaper boy sure as hell didn't stop supply of the newspaper.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quotable quote.

"One of the things about conversing after a long time is that nothing is important enough to merit a mention in that conversation."


Sunday, July 30, 2006

To put it indifferently.

Here is an article i had written in my second year at IITM which i had hoped to get published in the hostel magazine for the greater benefit of all. Sadly, the words were never adorned in carbon. I do not wish to carry all these papers to the US and so i upload it here to keep a sort of online database. You may proceed further if you choose.

To put it (in)differently!

The Vedas and Upanishads introduced the concept of 'Atman' or the 'Self' which, in essence, declares that 'only the self exists'. Whatever might have been their intention at that time we have, very conveniently, interpreted it to suit our present principles, so that the ideology now subsists as a pernicious indifference to everything and everyone around us.

Our hostels stand stark testimony to this negligence. Some of us keep the very rooms in which we stay(or not) dirty. This is only a small cluster and most of us, I'm glad, care to keep the rooms spic and span. But the room is cleaned by elegantly pushing the dust out onto the corridor(read dust bin). This inspite of there being a refuse bin every 4 rooms.

The bathrooms are used to dispose of tufts of public(the 'l' is only to avoid crude language and out of concern for the prude) hair. If those aren't enough to clog the drain holes then there are always the soap and shampoo sachets. On the one hand we use showers without any scruples, and on the other, we choose to conserve water by rendering the flush redundant! The stairs are, fortunately, cleaner with just the odd cigarette butt and a juice tartpak or two.

The groundfloor serves as a repository of SAC litter. There is a 'tide' of sachets all around the washing machine making for a bad 'aerial' view. Apparently, the huge dustbin in front of the SAC room is beyond reach or sight of the machine users.

In the mess, in blatant violation of the adage that 'one man's food may be another man's poison', we use the 'same hand' (or just 'hand' in the case of people who savagely use both hands!) to eat food and serve ourselves or pass the food around. The boon of having a freezer for soft drinks is a bane to the mess workers as people callously leave the bottles outside the mess on the floor or, more precariously, on the window ledges. The monkeys then come send them crashing to the floor by deftly pushing them off the ledge.

With the excuse of being localites(or some other equally pathetic excuse) people buy powered vehicles and indulge their laziness to the hilt by parking them as close to the exit as possible - that means on the basketball court! I'm glad the administration has at last implemented the ban on power vehicles not just in word but in deed.

So in every step one takes, starting from within one's room and moving in any direction all the way till the hostel exit and beyond, one witnesses this apalling apathy. If I travel further to cover the entire institute i'm afraid i'll never have enough space to write it all. That one is indifferent to dirt is no excuse to be indifferent to one's surroundings. This is a cry to one and all, not to take responsibility to keep one's surroundings clean, nor even to show concern for the surroundings, but only to overcome this horrifying indifference and do what elementary common sense would dictate. Please! Let's be different, or at least, less indifferent.


This is what i write today. My style of writing might be a little different today but my opinion is still the same. The facts are more or less the same, ie, the negligence still persists, though the specifics of where, how etc might be different. This article was written in passionate fury but today i see it with a certain degree of indifference! I have consoled myself to the fact that things will not change. I have understood that the people are not wholly to blame for this attitude. It has deeper roots like religion, upbringing etc. Not everyone can be expected to question everything they do so that they re-evaluate the prejudices imbibed by them at a young age. So a majority of the people are bound to remain this way for yet a really long time in this country and i have made my peace with this sad state of affairs. If at all you have any regard for what i've said, then, please, try and be more aware of the little things you do and re-evaluate your actions keeping in mind the society at large. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cheque the box.

I went to the bank yesterday with my father to make arrangements for foreign currency. As my dad was sweating away in some queue i happily sauntered around the bank gazing at everything as if seeing a bank for the first time. It was then that i noticed a cheque lying in the compaints box, which was placed right next to the cheque clearance box. The cheque stood as the lone complaint in the box and i was rather surprised that such an inefficient bank must receive so few complaints. In fact, it annoyed me more to think that someone might actually have thrown in the cheque as a form of praise to the bank. Anyways, considering the proximity of the cheque clearance box i decided to inform the security of the accident. He assured me we would put the cheque in the appropriate box right away but took no initiative for some time. It might have been only because he is just another of his kind but i thought there was a more interesting reason. Perhaps he was aware that it was the administration that had put the cheque in there. And why should they have done something like that? Because they might have received a deluge of complaints which read, "Check the complaints box!!"

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Since an idea can change the world,

I have an idea for an ad which i wish to sell to some corporate which might find use for it. The ad might look something like this:

A typical middle class family is seated in the drawing room of their apartment having a chatter session at night when there is a black-out in the entire city. Then the attention of this house is drawn to a smart fellow(about my age) who stands up and hollers joyously, 'I have a bright idea', removes the nearest bulb from its socket and plugs it into his ear. The bulb glows brightly(because of the power of his idea)!

Probably some company which encourages thinking could use this.

I also have some advice.

I realised that the reverence for a person, and hence the importance and value attached to everything he does, grows with time, right from birth until old age. And again with every passing year after his death. So i would advice that the next time you read something and wish to remember it for long, assume the author of that piece of writing is long dead. Try it!

Just to avoid some smarty-pants wise-cracking in the comments - "Yes, you may assume that even in my case!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006


There was one particular instance I won’t forget for a long time. There was this stout and really old grey-bearded loon like chappie selling groundnut. Now, I don’t know why but there is some obsession that people in unreserved compartments have to groundnut. So he was doing brisk business. The guy beside me bought 10g packet of salted nuts and paid the Rs. 2 he charged for it. He put some in his mouth and then complained, “The groundnut is bitter.” The old man, perhaps swelling with happiness at the success of his business, retorted, “ I’ve poisoned it. You are going to die now,” and smiled!

Lottery was banned in Kerala for a while but they’ve now resumed the sale of lottery tickets. This is one of the most horrible practices of the otherwise civilized Keralite. In cities like Cochin, there are many roofed shops which sell these tickets and you will always see a few umbrella wielding lower-middle income people lingering about unsure which of those coloured sheets is likely to change their fortune forever. But in towns like Palakkad, every now and again you’d spot a man, sick from heavy drinking the previous night, eyes bleeding red, lingering about a bus-stop or some such place waiting to sell tickets to passers-by. This is a degrading practice both for the seller and the buyer and I really think the practice ought to be banned again.

One of the nice things about Kerala women is that almost all of them apply mascara below the eyes and that enhances the beauty of the eyes. Another is that they let their hair lose displaying its serpentine majesty.

I also realized that education is very important to make people sensible and civilized. Though palakkad is a nice place it is only a town and the people are quite barbaric making the place unsafe, particularly for women.

I’ve got better at wearing my ‘veshti’/ ‘lungi’ and I think I’m going to carry a couple to the United States.

The train journey from Ernakulam to Trivandrum is the most scenic route I’ve ever come across. Apart from miles and miles of paddy fields, and rubber, coconut and banana plantations you can see little forested islands in the sea. It’s a little trip through heaven and its almost as if even the train is aware of this because it hurtles through at tremendous speed as if afraid of trespassing in Mother Nature’s territory and upsetting the harmony.

The years seem to be going by in a frenzy. One feels this way when one sees little kids one saw as toddlers now running about talking, playing and doing things just the way you do. Its almost hard to believe that they’ve grown so much so soon. I guess their growth is more conspicuous because of growth even in the physical aspects. For us, only the mind grows(if at all!).

I also reaffirmed that people of the villages are on an average nicer and more content than the people of the cities. May be we city folks need to rethink our approach to life if our aim too is contentment and happiness.

Pleaser Trip.

I knew my two week vacation was going to flit by in a hurry what with my having to meet and please so many people. My own pleasure would take a back seat. Considering that, I had a really good time.

My paternal grandmum, mum, bro and I left for Ernakulam/Cochin on the 26th. I don’t recollect anything specific from that trip except that the plate of ‘pazham puri’ that I had eagerly bought from the pantry a few minutes after the train started was the first and last I had during the whole trip. My mum and bro got off at Cochin. But I went all the way to Trivandrum to drop my grandmum at a relative’s place.

These relatives of mine are better known to my grandma but are rather unfamiliar people to me so I stayed there for the night and took leave of them early next morning. Since my prime motive in this trip was to observe people to keep myself amused, I dare say, the old couple made a very favourable impression on me. The aunty was a cheerful and friendly sort and the uncle, a former principal of a university and later Director of Secondary Education for the state of Cochin, was a very knowledgeable man, and hence, made a good impression on me. I chose to keep his company until I was to sleep for the night and he seemed a particularly nice self-respecting individual.

The evening in Cochin was spent taking rest from this hectic ordeal of travel for the previous couple of days. The following morning we made a trip to a nearby beach called the cheraai beach(actually, in a place like Kerala every place is ‘nearby’!). This beach is so little known that the whole beach was populated by probably 20 people. The day was windy and the waves were huge so it was fun to look at them. Also, the waves were frothing incredibly and that made for a strange sight. But the fun began when I realized the sand was full of shells and started on a collecting frenzy. Initially I collected off the sand. But I found it troublesome to have to wash them in the waves every time and I started collecting fresh ones as they kept getting washed ashore by the waves. After about an hour and a half of frenetic effort I managed to collect about 100 shells. Then me and bro moved about a bit along the shoreline taking snaps from the most picturesque locations. It began to rain now and we hurried back to the car. I made a quick stop on the way to collect my shells but found they were all gone! A huge wave must have come by and taken them away for I only kept them on one of the rocks not far away from the coastline. Amusing as it may sound, I really learnt what it is like to see the fruit of great effort be destroyed in seconds. A very valuable lesson indeed! Thankfully, my uncle, who had accompanied the two of us, spotted millions of shells piled up along the road that led away from the beach. These huge shell piles are apparently used to make ‘chunaamb’ or ‘choona’ and used to paint the walls. We made a quick stop in the pelting rain, and I jumped out and grabbed two hands-full and jumped back into the car. A compensation of sorts I suppose.

We returned from the beach and had a heavy lunch. After that, it was time to spend time with my 85 year old maternal grandmum. Her plight is pitiable now to say the least. Her list of problems might exhaust a medical dictionary. But the one that makes it sadly funny is that she has a memory problem now and can only remember a few things, and that only at times. One can easily imagine then how random and disconnected her sentences will be. As a consequence she ends up saying hilarious things without her being aware. It is good, however, that she doesn’t know what she is saying and happily laughs along with everyone else if she sees people laughing.

In the evening we went to my cousin’s because she had called us for dinner. She has two kids. One is a budding musician in the 10th standard and the other a wicked prankster in the 4th. Luckily, my cousin, her husband, and my mum went to a temple and left us kids alone. Bro, me and the elder kiddo played cricket inside the house while the little devil was at his pranks and tricks the whole time. I’m sure neither my brother nor I was so clever at that age.

The following day, a Friday, was mostly spent at home keeping my uncle and grandmother company. Early next morning we left for Palakkad.

Palakkad was the best part of our trip because the weather was heavenly. This little town is surrounded by mountains on all sides and is therefore kept very cool. That same evening we went to the Malampuzha dam along with my uncle in Palakkad and his daughter, my cute cousin, who is getting started on her first year of B.Sc. The view of the cloud-covered mountains was breath-taking. Some mountains seemed ready-to-eat, appearing as if having patches of that edible foil used in sweets. This was because of the reflection of light by the rain water on the barren and rocky parts of the mountains. It was also nice to have a bird’s eye view of the place from a cable car, even as we passed right over a crow that was sitting on an electric line! I can’t curse myself enough for forgetting the camera on that occasion. The next day, a Sunday was by far the best part of the trip as I spent time for myself on the terrace of their house. As you lie down on the roof, you get a view of some cloud covered mountains and rising above a dense cover of coconut trees close to the house. My cousin and I spent a better part of the evening talking about this and that, first on the roof and later during a walk through the quiet village neighbourhood. This was the only day when I could wallow in the relaxed feel of the vacation. Monday again we went visiting temples so I don’t have much to say about it. Tuesday was spent at my mum’s elder sister’s house. Nothing particularly memorable there either. Wednesday went by in roaming around Coimbatore. After the pleasant weather of Palakkad it dampened my spirits to be roaming about the streets in the hot weather of that place. That’s about it I guess. I’m not out of things to write but I’m out of patience for the present. There are however some disconnected things I wish to say and these will come in the next post.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Next to wealth, the most desirable thing is fame for most people.

What is fame? The word-bible gives one of the definitions, and the more concise of them, as 'popular acclaim'. Now, how popular is popular? Even President Bush wouldn't be known to half of my country. So can I say Bush is popular? More importantly, can Bush say he is popular? I'm sure Bush wanted both fame and money when he started his political career. There's no doubt he's got the money. But has he got the fame? What would his honest reply to himself be? Perhaps he'd say yes because it really does not matter to him whether the village population of India knows him or not. But then, should it really matter to him whether the educated population of Lithuania knows him? Where and how does Bush draw the line? For fear of appearing to think too much on behalf of one of the more notorious persons on the planet i shall pose these same questions for the more common homosapien, the average man in the street, my next door neighbour, me. Where does man draw the line on how famous he wants to become? Since it is so difficult to draw a line, let me just address the issue of being known to people for now, irrespective of the numbers.

First of all, does man want to be famous or notorious? Or will either do? It seems to me he prefers fame but would just as well be content with notoriety over oblivion. Now, why does man want to be famous. One of the incentives of course is money. The more famous or notorious one is, the more the money one has in general. Another incentive perhaps is greed for what he enjoys. Once man sees that praise from other people gratifies his ego, he yearns for more. This greed for increase in numbers will continue until his ego wallows in what seems like a pool, but is really a quick sand, of praise What i mean is that beyond a certain point, that person is reduced to nothing but a trump card of some political, commercial or social gambler. The praise he gets is insincere and is really just a means to ulterior gains. But this greed for fame is anyways a desire of the lowlier of mankind and he is little expected to realise that he has entangled himself in such a mess. The greater man shall only value the respect of those whom he respects and will not go panting after every stranger's pat on the back. A third incentive, and this one perhaps is not just applicable to the lowlier of mankind but to all human beings in general, is immortality. Fame or notoriety is the only way for man to escape from the limitations of his bodily existence. That is the only way for him to transcend the barrier of time and linger around for an eternity. One may ask, why does a man choose to live for an eternity? Why does he seek to continue his existence? Particularly, why would a human being who believes there is no consciousness in any form after death, seek immortality? The only plausible answer i dare provide to such a thoroughly pertinent question is that the yearning for immortality may not be an act of volition but one of impulse. That right from the paramecium to the man, all living creatures have an instinct that makes them desire immortality is an argument that is indeed supported by the phenomenon of child birth, which serves no greater purpose than the propagation of the self through another body. If some one were to ask me now why a child should be considered a propagation of the self, i only ask in return, why is it that you, as you are today, should be considered the same you, as what you were yesterday? Isn’t it only a propagation of your former self with some traits missing and some other traits added?

These are the only incentives i have found to man's desire for fame. Why i have bothered to write all this is because i am still curious. I wish to know if there are any more reasons why man desires fame. Besides, i also wish that fallacies in my argument be corrected. For suddenly, i have become a student of Socrates, a proponent of truth!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I think it is called Memento-the English movie in which a guy has a loss of memory or something and then goes on some adventure to find a murderer, or something like that. English is a strange language. As a kid i always thought the word was 'Momento'. Its fortunate that as a kid you don't have to give a speech after collecting your memento. Otherwise i wonder how many embarassments i would have suffered in my thanksgiving speeches for those many 'momento's. Anyways, all this is off the point.

I have a serious problem. Its not OCD and i'm not a hypochondriac. I think i'm losing my memory. Already. I know i always had a bad memory. It has often caused me a great deal of anxiety. School exams were hell because i knew i'd forget most of what i'd learnt. Even for JEE, i'd written down an awful lot of formulae on seperate sheets because i knew i'd forget. But of late, things seem to have taken a more serious turn. I can remember very few events from my past now. Everything is one nebulous blur. Many events are wiped out. Many more are dangling precariously on the seived netting of my memory. Some events seem to have undergone selective erosion. I can remember the event but i remember it with some people missing. It occurred to me that i might reach such a stage as the guy in Memento(i haven't seen the movie). I might have memory only for an infinitely small period of time so that at any point of time i only remember events upto a few seconds before. That would make my life very hard. I can't do most of the things i normally do now. I'd have to start using notepads to scribble things down all the time. And i'd have to keep getting back to them so often. Moreover, i'd have to remember to get back to them. The only solution i can think of is a revolution in technology. May be i can have some digital storage devices implanted in my brain. The more memory i need, the more storage devices i connect. But then, i wonder how things would be if everyone could, if they should be able afford it, have digital storage devices implanted in themselves. For one, there would be no need for exams. For another, there would be no need for duplicates of anything. For yet another, contrary to the saying, public memory would be good. Hopefully that would do the world a lot of good. In fact, i expect that development would take place at an astonishing pace on all frontiers. But then, you can see where i'm going right? AI. So you know the drawbacks too. Besides, i'm sure you've all seen the matrix(I saw it for the first time a couple of weeks back) to help you out.

Anyways, i figured i may not have the memory to remember you people later so that i can apologise for my loss of memory. In fact, i may not even remember that i have to apologise at all. So I shall apologise in advance. Friends, if i reach such a stage that my memory fails me almost completely and i do not remember your existence, please forgive me and understand that it is not a deliberate act of expungement but a consequence of my falling victim to this ailment. Ladies! If you are in love with me, please tell me so now. Gentlemen! If you have any gifts you kept in store for more important occassions, don't wait. This is the time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Future plans.

I was writing this post one April evening when work called and so i'd saved it and then forgot about it. So i post it now.

My I-20 will take another month to arrive and the university won't tell me the details by email or phone. So i'm assuming i won't get a visa slot and won't be able to go abroad for my higher studies. So i have to make future plans.

I don't wish to depend on my parents still.That means i have to earn. I've rejected my Tata Motors job so i don't have a job on hand. Who says he who can wield words need become a writer or a journalist only? I intend to get my first earnings writing resignation letters for people who wish to resign. Dear readers, i need your help in publicity and advertisement. Please inform everyone you know that they need worry no more about how to word those crucial resignation letters because now they can get professional help. And then, you give them my email id for further details. I'll even personalise the resignation letter, both to the taste of the resigner and his boss! Considering i have such a comprehensive proposition on hand and such a dear lot of readers i am sure i'll get a good earning through this business. Once i become reputed i plan to expand. I'll move into leave letters. First, for adults in offices, since i would already have established a reputation through writing resignation letters! Then i'll branch into college students, and finally, the largest section, school leave letters! By then i hope to have moved into a full-fledged office with printing facility and suchlike so that i can make hard copies and deliver them to the address of the customer! I guess i'll also be doing a good deed by providing small-scale employment by hiring a few delivery men. Once i become established in this busines and my name begins to do the rounds, since i'd have more wealth on my hands, i'd be more greedy, and hence, i'd have to increase my profit margins, like a cold-hearted capitalist. For this, i plan to move into sacred territories. I plan to release professionally written love letters on bond paper with my name as a water-mark. It would be so worded that no girl can resist falling in love with the person who gives her this letter. As i respect the women of the world and don't want them falling in love with too many men at a time i shall regulate the supply of these letters and release them in limited editions. Mind you, there is no secrecy about these letters. The girl would be well aware that her would-be lover has not written the letter. It is only that she'd be helplessly bowled over by the wording. She would say, "Oh sweetheart! You are giving me Karthik's love letter. How sweet of you! Now i love you more than ever darling!" Once i enter this domain and succeed i'm sure to be a celebrity soon. Since my business would be a clear monopoly, i'd take things easy from here on and it would only be a question of picking and choosing my domains. Since i'd be largely responsible for many a marriage in the world by then, through my love letters, i feel it would be my responsibility to handle divorce petitions too! I'd use video-phone to hear out the complaints of the man/woman from inside my air-conditioned office and personalise a standard-format divorce notice and have it delivered by flight using my own private delivery service. Once such a petition as this has been filed, no judge can give a verdict except that which my letter would implicitly dictate. With so many succcessful businesses running parallely drawing green blood, i'd be filthy rich and famous and there'd be no need for me to go any further. But, if i feel like it then, i might also venture to write political speeches. This of course would make me rich beyond any man's wildest dreams. My speeches would be so worded as to instantly win over the votes of the majority of the masses. These speeches, as you might well have realised, needn't be modified depending on the consituency being addressed. In fact, it needn't even be in a language familiar to the people of the constituency. It can even be a mere sequence of numbers. But i shall send along with it a 'User's Manual' which will have critical lessons on intonations, dramatisation etc: Once the lessons in the manual have been practised the politician would even be able to say ' 1 23 47 32 4033' such as to make the people believe he is disgorging patriotic mumbo-jumbo. I have determined the particular sequence of intonations that can arouse any mob of yahoos into worshipping that politician who reads my speech. But then, i realise that once the manual has been carefully written my work is over, and the rest is the burden of the millions of my cashiers across the globe whose tillers would be titillating under the weight of political greasers competing for the limited supply of my manuals!

Ah, what a wonderful future i have lying ahead of me!

To hell with the my I-20. In fact, I think i just might bump ASU now!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Reservation bitterness.

about me: I am studying in IIT. I plan to file a petition demanding reservation by lineage. I wish that all my grandchildren have reservation to enter IIT because i've studied here. The remaining 51% seats should be allocated for this. If the other 2000 students in my batch wish the same and we have 20000 grandchildren competing for the reservation then we should increase the number of IITs. They can turn the whorehouses of the country into IITs but i won't rest until all my 50 odd grandchildren get to study in one of the 1000 prestigious IITs that will be formed.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Keep in touch. Goodbye…
I will. You too. Goodnight…
I will. Bye…
Good. G’night…

Monday, May 01, 2006

Best wishes.

I wish the pregnant women of the world a Happy Labour Day!

I wish the world's wildly vacillating weenies a Happy May Day!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Exit poll.

I am being scorned at by my disillusioned readers after my previous post so i decided to write this post before they completely give up on me. Trust me friends, it was the best way to find out how many people actually read my posts. I realised the count was far more than i had ever anticipated. Exit poll. I hope to undo the suffering caused by the previous post but i don't intend to raise my intellectual standards for the present.

I nearly died yesterday. I was in the glass capsule lift of GRT and as we came from the 4th floor to the ground floor i could view the lounge through the back side, as i fell steadily, and realised this is what commiting suicide must be like, only faster! Well, so i wasn't really going to die. It was just a near-death experience.

I nearly collapsed drunk yesterday. We were half-way through the buffet when my friend urged me to taste the complimentary beer they were giving. I decided to give it a shot and had a mouthful. Nothing happened and the thing tasted like cough syrup gone sour so I took no more. I stuffed myself like a python and was so full by the end of the buffet that i might have collapsed under my own weight. So i wasn't really going to collapse drunk. I tasted some beer and i ate a little excess. It was a near drunken collapse.

I nearly died a second time yesterday. I was thus overloaded and continued sane and jolly conversation when my friends strangely decided i had cracked too many P(est)Js and threatened to give bumps. Considering i could feel the food wobble in my stomach when i laughed, i knew i'd kick the bucket if they kicked me. We were in the auto when they made this decision and i escaped by telling them that i was actually getting 'auto bumps' and so no manual effort was required. Phew!

If i'm still alive after this post, i promise to write a nice one the next time. I promise i'll give every reader a share of my property. Let me finish my will. Then you can shoot me. Till then.....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

PITA of Pain

I, Karthik Sivaramakrishnan, propose on the 19th of April 2006, a new law called the 'PITA of Pain' which reads as follows: Every reaction must have an equal and opposite reaction.

This is not a law that helps understand nature, but a law much like the laws of a government, and is meant to be followed by the individual so that he may experience greater happiness.

Just as General Relativity wasn't understood immediately i perfectly sympathise with mortals who fail to grapple with the profundity of this law. Therefore, as a prelude to my many lectures at the meccas of learning i shall write in this post a simple elaboration of this law.

The Pain In The Ass(PITA) of Pain Law necessitates that every individual must always practise and produce the exact opposite of the reaction seen on the face of the person or persons conversing with him at any moment. For instance, if the person talking to one is smiling, one must wear a dejected look and if he is laughing out loud, one must bawl out loud and vice versa. Of what consequence is this one may ask? What this course of action does is to make sure that every emotion is experienced in a subdued manner. For instance, the happy laughter is throttled by one's wailing, the cheerful smile is made to wane by a sorrow look and so on. So neither you nor he is permitted to experience pure emotion. This is one of the greatest forms of suffering conceivable. And since, happiness and suffering are branches of the same stem, more the suffering, greater the happiness when one gets a chance to experience it. But then, if all are like this and no pure emotion is ever experienced, when does one get a chance to experience happiness? That depends on oneself. If for instance, one lives by the PITA of Pain principle from childhood until say 80 and then finds a partner, usually one's wife, and both of you consent mutually to violate the principle, then the happiness gained out of it would be so immense that it can only be said to be a Nirvana! A salvation! And hence, they can take their lives and be happy forever!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Silent protest.

I think the best means for me to express my disapproval of all those people who are perfectly indiffernt and didn't turn up for the protest today is to maintain silence. I think it beneath my contempt even to discuss them. Let me also state that i have as much respect as i always had for people who just differed in their opinion. It is those who have no opinion or oppose the reservation and didn't turn up that make me despair.

Also, i've gone over the arguments on both sides of the coin so many times today that I'll bore myself to death if i post about it. Instead, if any one cares to discuss the details i shall let them know in person. Or perhaps, i'll post about it on another day when i think lesser about it.

Since i am very grieved i only wish to relieve myself by recounting humourous anecdotes. Firstly this conversation:

Me: Half the females(?) in that picture had a crush on .e at some time or the other during these four years da.
ANiitm: But there were five females in that pic da....
Babe: Actually, one female was half behind .e so that there was effectively only 4 and a half females.
ANiitm: Four and half is also odd da.

Here are some interesting ideas i got during the protest March:

When we were all seated on the road at the end of the protest, I thought the protest seemed rather light with us just walking a disappointing 4 kilometres. I thought it would be better if this had been a week long protest instead and felt tempted to jump up in agony, scream so that the camera would turn to me, and then do the fainting act as if i had fallen down out of starvation! It stays an idea for now because I knew i'd miss my chance to gawk at the hot young journalist when i'd close my eyes at the end of the fainting act.

Then, there was this idea which provided much amusement to me and ANiitm. I thought it would be nice if the two of us should go up to one of the front rows, where the students were already choking for space and, while walking, suddenly start nudging people away on all sides of oneself saying, "Please maintain one arm distance" and stretch the arms out on either side in the fashion in which we have done it in school drills. It is prerequisite that one is to maintain a grim countenance and say it as if in earnest. The amusement obtained on seeing the sobre and perplexed faces stare at you in complete bewilderment cannot be matched by anything else!

P.S: I'm sure you've identified who ANiitm is, and i'm sure you've realised it is a payback for SKiitm. But if you are wondering what it is, please ask me in person because i know many a prude and delicate creature reads my blog and i wouldn't want to offend them.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Disabled and allowed.

I have disabled comment moderation and allowed for anyone to post a comment upon the suggestion of a friend. But i request readers not to make anonymous comments. Thanks. Also, if blogging queen starts showing interest in dating me i might have to moderate comments!


Dear fans and fanatics of my blog,

I have been getting millions of queries from across the span of the whole wide hostel as to how desperate a soul can get for blogging, after reading my nonsense on the elephants at Gajendra circle. Dear caring friends, i assure you i do not spend my whole day thinking up ideas and points for my blog! The article in question was written in one of my metallurgy classes while sitting in the second bench, right under the professors hair(becuase his porcupine like hair would project farther than his nose in the hunched position in which he used to stand while addressing the students by staring at the floor), when i had to pretend to be writing notes, but was least interested in paying attention to his drivel! Also, I was further urged to clarify because of one of my friends declaring in his status messages, " I live to blog, blog to live". I do neither and spend no more time than the average human being with an average life would spend on blogging. Also, before another barrage of questions target me I wish to state that this alarming frequeny of a blog a day is only because I am sufficiently idle as to spare about 30 minutes to 1 hour each day and involve myself in an exercise which i perform solely to see how well i am able to wield words to convey ideas and thoughts. Now that I have made all this clear I shall move on to the details of today's post.

It rained in Chennai today much to the delight of all. I climbed the 100 feet high water tank, the tallest point on campus, prior to the downpour, and was treated to a delightful blast of stormy wind. I also witnessed an intimidating spread and descent of the dreary grey clouds like in the movie Independence Day. Then, for fear of lightning, I decided to climb back down. The rain had beat me back to earth and I drenched myself in a fun little walk in the rain. It is perhaps not wise to do so when one has shaved one's head but I just wanted to indulge myself. The cloud formations were incredible thanks to the presence of bright sun lit patches amidst the thunderous dark clouds. Anyways, I walked back to the hostel, changed, set the windows and doors open, and decided to sit down and do some reading when the horrible smell of weed smoke tore at my nostrils. I didn't have to leave my room to realise the source of the smell. It sadly took away the smell of rain on dry earth and i moved around in the wing like an agitated animal trying to find a safe place. But my wing being what it is, i realised the safest place available was my room.

After the downpour, when i'd finished the book, i went back to the top of the tank! For the first time in months i witnessed a sunset and saw the sun in that molten orange-red colour. As I was treated to a sunset on the one side, on the other side a bright rainbow so huge had formed that its arc would enclose half my field of view. What's more, as i kept staring at the rainbow i noticed a spectacle which i'll probably never see again in my life: I saw a concentric rainbow. It was fainter than the first and located slightly above it. But that's not the incredible part. This rainbow had the colours in the reverse order ROYGBIV. I can only assume that it had formed as some kind of a reflection of the brighter one. The sight of two rainbows running in concentric arcs and having colours mirroring each other is ineffable. I am certain it is a spectacle to which only i was privileged at that time, anywhere in the world. In fact, i am not sure how many people in the world, right since humans came into existence, have ever seen a rainbow and its mirror! Lucky me!

There isn't much more i have to say. I would've lashed out at the behaviour of the students in the SAC during the graduands day dinner, but then, i behaved like a worse animal myself so i'd rather shut up to lessen my guilt. Oh, speaking of lashing out, one of my friends came up to me and said i just need an excuse to lash out at people. I was a bit taken aback because i couldn't quite place what context brought him to say that. But then, he is one of those few precious souls who said he reads my blog and i can only guess he read a few of my recent posts and came to the conclusion I am a goddam cynic looking to scorn at people whenever i get a chance. I don't know how many more people think this way but i, for one, would not like to think so. I thought i was only criticising because there was reason. But i have been told often that i am too fault-finding and i hate to admit but i suppose that is true. May be i expect too much of everyone. Everyone except myself. Oh, then i'm just a goddam hypocrite! Is this self-flagellation? Some form of crooked justice from my conscience? So be it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Well, my post is supposed to be pretty much the last thing I do in the day but today I am a little early. I wanted to read myself to bed. I was asked a question which i have been asked numerous times in these 4 years: Why don't you booze? The only reason I have is that few moments when i lose control of my mind when i get drunk. I know its not the end of the world. I know i will live to see the next day, but still, the thought that i'll lose control over myself for a few moments frightens me as much as Room 101 is feared by the proletarians of the world. People can't quite grasp that fear and say, 'It is surely worth the experience. The pleasure experienced then is unique, and, after all, don't you want happiness?' Very sound argument indeed. The only defence I have is that I am content as it is. I don't want to try something that will play with my mind. The other arguments like my inertia,ie, my tendency to remain in the state in which I am etc are just cement to the concrete. I could of course use the cul-de-sac mentioned in one of the earlier posts, which is, "Why should I have a reason not to drink? Just as you don't really need a reason to drink! You just need an excuse!" Besides, look at it in terms of statistics. Almost everyone starts out saying, "I just wanna try it da. Obviously i won't get hooked to it or anything."Well, most of them may be right in that they haven't turned into lone drinkers. They drink only on social occasions. But then, for some curious reason, the number of social occassions seem to increase as the years go by. Now, in this final semester, as most of us are passing out, i find that many of my wing mates have found the perfect excuse to drink and get stoned everyday: We'll be passing out da. Its our last chance to do all this. In fact, all they are doing now is getting up and 11 and smoking up and staying stoned until it is 11 the next day! Well, i might have forced myself to believe this lame argument, but, as things have turned out, the wing seniors turned up for the weekend and that only made sure the amount of booze and dope increased exponentially and shattered the 'last time' argument. Indeed, the arguments of drinkers and dopers are a handful and the same the world over. Almost no drinker will say things are getting out of control or 'Yes, my intake has been increasing by the year'! Actually, I feel silly now. Here I am, all clean and safe, and trying to give a defend myself against a bunch of boozers and dopers! To hell with all of 'em!

On to other things, I never thought i'd say this but i am having a surfeit of outside food. The mess food hasn't turned into ambrosia but I can't seem to relish hotel food any more. Oil soaked, and artificial, they seem so insipid to my tastes. I feel as if my tongue were being boiled in a pan of oil. Yuck! So i recently accepted my friend's hostel nite invite but asked him not to take any grub coupons for me. I had food in the mess and went. Sadly,however, the mess food was miserable that day.

Suddenly the campus is becoming a noisy place to live in and my ears are turning red. For two weeks now, there's been a hostel nite everyday almost. Each hostel provides competition to international airports in terms of noise levels. OAT too has been used about 5 times in the last two weeks. With people passing out, Gurunath sees tons of people flocking there to socialise. And during the nights, love birds hang about. Well, they don't make the place noisy but they make it crowded. You can see the embarassment in their faces as you catch them in dark corners and you feel a horrible disgust for these clandestine love affairs. Why don't they just goddam show their affection in the open, like in the US. I am beginning to whine too much it seems. I mean i am in a 600 acre forest and I am saying i can't find enough peace and quiet?! Something's wrong with me!

Also, i've suddenly started getting this feeling that if i socialise so much, i'll have nothing to feel nostalgic about. When a group spends a lot of time together all conversation reduces to small talk, and somehow, i've lost the capacity to enjoy small talk. So i've decided that i'll make sure i mix in right amounts. Am i turning into a goddam anthropophobe or whatever? Running away from the noise of crowds, running away from the crowds, running even from company! I don't know. There's too much tumult in my head. I don't know whom to trust whom not to. Who are the real friends? Who aren't? Who will be the faithful ones? Who won't? Who looks at you the way you look at them? Who doesn't? There's so much confusion that i sometimes feel its just better to run away from it all and be by myself. At least i know i am faithful to myself most of the time.

Elections are on in Chennai and a few other places I believe. All newspapers are detiorating in standards. Even the few ones that did maintain standards are falling prey to crass commecercialism. Politics too is turning filthy.All i see are sword wielding mongooses heading political parties and arguing with as much purpose as antelopes in an antler-fight. There as much tumult in the world as there is in my head. Suddenly i want to become the old man in the sea, or the ancient mariner on his ship.

Alone, alone, all all alone
Alone on a wide wide sea

Saturday, April 15, 2006


As per the resolve i took the day before,I was supposed to have written this post last night. One post a day i've decided. I am not so busy and I might make the world a better place to live in by my writing. I am feeling rather tempted to insert the 'tongue' smiley at the end of the previous sentence but I am making a determined effort to avoid it in writing. Chat and SMS is ruining my language. I wonder how long it is since i've used a word as long as 'language'! SMS has done relatively less damage thanks to T-9 but chat, particularly, has been disastrous to my grammar and more importantly to my ability to express myself in words. The colon Ps, Ds, brackets and what not have ensured i have not used a word of in months now! What's more, people to have become adept at interpreting the handful of smileys as per the context! Oh! Its turning into the world of 1984, just as Big Brother had wished it to be. Our vocabulary is coming down. That means a greater preciseness to our expression of thought, and consequently, lesser scope for a thought crime. But then, there is no government involved here. Its just Yahoo, a harmless search engine. Am i mistaken? Perhaps there is a government after all. Not just any government, but the Big Brother of the universe at the moment-the United States of America. Could the yahoo's emoticons be a consequence of the US governments need to prevent thought crime? Indeed, there is so much thought crime against the US the world over at the moment that i wouldn't be surprised if this were the case. So I'll be doubly careful 'bout using smileys henceforth. Instead, i'll be as verbose as I can. May be i'll even coin words like a Shakespeare. I schreem the seed(Oldspeak translation of this newspeak: I like the idea). It contris bundas sex to pregnify words(Oldspeak translation: It gives great pleasure to coin words). Well, lest i give the average reader, who is unfamiliar with the complexity of my newspeak a headache, i shall resort to using the less interesting, less expressive, less refined oldspeak. Tempted as I am to write star-sigh-star I resist. It is important for me to highlight the difficulty i undergo in making each of these efforts of will to avoid smileys not to boast about myself but to highlight to innocent readers the powerful weapon in the hands of Big Brother. Beware world! 1984 is being realised through emoticons! Please spread this message to all you know. Indulge in thought crime while you still can ye free beings for the world will soon be enslaved! I never thought i'd actually make a direct and immediate contribution to saving the world when i wrote that line earlier. Looks like I was destined to save the world. The saviour of the world. An unsung superhero. 'World! Are you listening?' Now that I know i'm a superhero let me talk about other awards i've been getting.

I collected this award on behalf of a community for the worst community on orkut. Its the BVB J'Hills 2000 community. You can see my much applauded speech there. It was a rather emotional moment and I do not wish to recall them at present. Meanwhile, i had my hair trimmed all over my head yesterday so that it is now only about 1mm all around. So this friend of mine said 'Sk shining!'. Flattering indeed! Elsewhere,apparently, my 'about me' on orkut is doing the rounds through emails and forwards. All this attention is getting to me. But then, it is also a litte stifling. I lose my freedom. The whole world knows me now it seems. Where do I hide? How do I make sure a million people don't read my post and make comments uncalled for? How do I make sure i can go safely to class without being cornered by fellow students asking for autographs? How do I make sure I am in my room without photographers and journalists coming and knocking at the door all the time? Ah, a knock on the door. Must be the journalist from the New York Times. Time to sign off folks. I promise i'll get back soon. You wouldn't understand, its tough to be a saviour of the world, a superhero, a celebrity and a student all at the same time. May be i should drop my responsibilities as a student?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Long time.

Its been a long time since i've posted a post. Or should i say lettered a post? It's also been a long time since i've posted a letter. So its been a long time since i've written anything. I've been feeling this urge to write for long now. Its turning into a sort of catharsis for me. Instead of writing a full-fledged article here i've been writing my ideas and stubborn opinions on status messages, orkut 'about me's and what not! Lot of things have been happening around the world i gather from people. I've stopped reading the newspaper. Somehow, I am happier living this sort of an ignorant and limited life. Ignorance is indeed bliss! I gather some famous Kannada actor's died and its causing much turbulence in the otherwise peaceful Karnataka. I am reminded of this dialogue of Sunil Dutt in Munna Bhai MBBS where he prevents a crowd from beating to death a pick-pocket who tries his hand on him and says something to this effect: This is the Indian janata. Each one has a ton of worries on his head. Some fellow's fought with his wife, someone with his boss......" Though i don't think all the Indians have been fighting with someone or the other, on the whole, the masses, being so innumberable, are always in surfeit;wherever;whenver; and hence, they are just waiting to release all the tensions that build up from the friction implicit to every interpersonal interaction. The slightest excuse is enough for them to break loose. This time its an actor's death. It might just as well have been the eve-teasing of some girl, some capitalist exploitation, some political comment, or just a lucky day to throw stones at people. I've stopped trying to understand them and i am more relaxed that way. But i've also stopped trying to understand most people in general. People are a wiser lot today. They are conscious of the cul-de-sacs to conversation. There can be no debate, no discussion. The moment they see that simple, concrete rational arguments are losing out they resort to these lethal weapons like, "What is good and what is bad?" "Why should anything have any purspose?" and easily lead you to a nowhere. Yair well they have a point. There is no point in asking too many questions and giving too much importance to issues. Its seems best to be indifferent. Indeed, even wise elder people seem to be advocating indifference. Half the intake of IITM might be based on reservation but none of the faculty or administration is ruffling any feathers about it. Okay, so i'll play along. I'm passing out. Why should i care? The administration has also spent several white elephants' worth on setting up a central dining facility plump in the middle of nowhere, where 3000 people should gather,some like me after half a kilometre's walk, at 4 in the 40Celsius Chennai heat just to drink a glass of evening tea. Well, don't drink your tea if you are so lazy they'll say i am sure. After all, each one in the upper rungs is bound to have got a cut in such a huge project. It never had any students' approval and it still doesn't. Isn't the facility meant for the students? Not really, its a fund for childrens' education. The profs' children. I am just being a hopeless cynic eh? Well, it isn't baseless cynicism. I have seen the red-tape and bureaucracy first hand when i had a tiff with the assistant registrar and Dean Academics over issue of transcipts at prices that would fetch me enough toilet paper to wrap the sun! Anyways, I'm passing out! I also notice that the campus is particularly unclean now. Students are as responsible as administration for this. Concrete, cement and sand for about a 100metres off the road on either side of it. Sand covering most roads. Jutting cement projections formed from layers actually meant to be at the road level covering pot-holes. Coffee cups, juice cups, biscuit wrappers, chocolate covers, plastics of all sort. Yair well, I'm passing out! The stray dog population is increasing. That's bad for the deers. And i'm passing out!

I learnt in a humanities class that it is William James who coined the phrase 'stream-of-consciousnes', the title of my blog. Well, thank you James. I haven't read of any his works but i've read his brother's famous 'The American'. Its a pretty interesting book portraying the great American dream in this stereotypical American of the 50s. I don't remember the details of the story. It was essentially a love story. I remember it had splendid dialogues.

My hostel nite got over recently. It was interesting event. It highlighted the little quirks of people and made me more aware of what i'll miss. I also realised how I am an outcast of sorts with no identity with any wing. Not that i'm saying it seeking pity. It has its own good i suppose. For instance, i may not become as emotional when i pass out,as many of the others will. I wonder how it is that booze makes people emotional. I guess it helps them loose inhibition! I have this friend who blogs just to read her own thoughts and straighten things out for herself. I greatly respect that. I'd like to sign off in the style of seven year old Helen Keller saying, "I'm tired today I did write what was on my mind I will write soon. Good-by" I respect Helen Keller.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holi crap!

Somehow the charm of throwing coloured toxic powders at each other does not appeal to me any more. So i decided to give the festival a skip and happily hopped, skipped and jumped into my relative's house, not because my relatives are fun to be with but because i have been in a generally buoyed state for the last couple of weeks. Like i had said in the earlier post, it seems to be because i have been doing so much nothing. As protection against the monster of boredom i carried with me Helen Keller's autobiography. The book only made me more acutely conscious of how blessed i am and added to my gung-ho state of mind.

Holi had its share of surprises for me. I had expected people, my wingmates, would have the decency and common sense to go and play in the quadrangle. Instead they've played in the wing itself and all the clothes i had hung in the corridor clothes line are now smeared with colour, or soaking in that pink metallic crap. So much for sensible IITians. Also, so much for my forgiving nature! Yair well, i am not looking to socialise too much anyways. I realise i've been wrong all along in trying to make friends and all. I just expect too much of everyone. Perhaps even myself. So i am being unfair in that i still am my own friend. Here's to my health!

I also got a bump today from a university. My second response from over the seas,and both have been bumps so far. This second university actually gave a fellow to a chappie who's got a CG of 0.15 above me and a paper but a bump to me! I guess a paper makes all the difference. Besides, it is true that i haven't done too much research in my UG. Enthusiastic fellas like him started off in their second year. Does it seem like i am complaining? At any rate, it does seem like i am unable to think of anything or anyone except my own self. Egotistic. So i think i should say a little something about someone or something totally disconnected with me. Just to keep a mental balance and not lose the woods for the trees(or is it the other way?).

Too many people have analysed the supposed 'greatest match ever' in their blogs and i don't want to be repetitious, though i doubt if i have any audience at all. So, what neutral topic could i possibly pick on the 15th of March, 2006? Oh, apparently yesterday was 'Consumer day'. I haven't bothered to verify it. Hell, every day has some significance somewhere in the world now and all i care is that i have something to start with. It is rather obvious that the world is becoming increasingly consumerist. But i somehow feel we are just a bunch of blind comsumers not knowing what to do with all those big pay checks we receive for the donkey work we do. Just take the simple example of the soft drinks. Two MNCs totally dominate the market. There have been allegations that they contain pesticides. It is known, for certain, that its just water and gas and a little flavouring. What, in terms of pure raw material cost, is probably worth around 10 paise. The rest is profit reducing whatever little processing cost is there. In spite of every one of us 'educated' people being well aware of this we just can't have enough of these drinks. Rather, we turn a blind eye to these facts and head straight for them. I am sure if you go to the local 'kirana' stores that have both bottled water and bottled drinks and ask them the ratio of sales its going to be 100 to 1 in favour of the drinks. The soft drinks don't even quench our thirst thanks to that horrible flavouring agent they throw in there. So, just why exactly are we buying these drinks? Just because their names sound appealing? Purely out of habit? Well, in that case, how did the habit form? What about the times before coke and pepsi? I guess if its a habit now, then it started as a desire to possess what the west possessed. It started with the usual and inane desire to ape, then it became a habit to utter those names, as if hypnotised by them, as if those soft drinks were drugs that were needed by our system for our survival. Is that it? If not, then what? How and why have these worse-than-regurgitated-matter drinks come to dominate our lives so much?

Hmm....that gives me an idea, next post, i'll choose that other set of drinks, the addictive ones, the ones responsible for so much of the regurgitated matter generated by men, to discuss. So long.