GOODBYES AND BADBYES

'and has it ever been that love has known its own depth until the hour of separation.'
- Khalil Gibran

Truer words were seldom spoken.

So much is taken for granted. Sharing cheery banter, toothy smiles. Sharing toothpaste. Exchanging ideas and colours. Chasing beautiful dreams and beautiful men. Ruffling each others feathers. Ruffling bed sheets. Imposing opinions. And imposing ‘funereal music’.

And perhaps the moment of clarity is truly a timeline of bygone moments, some so real and overwhelming. Others so banal. And so overwhelming.

Because it will never be the same again. ‘My life as I knew it, is gone.’

Yes, we will meet sometimes to grab at the diminishing moments to relive a different age and culture. And we will indulge in colourful nostalgia, rife with exaggeration to make the outsider believe in our colourful lives. Then you or I will extend a dismissive wave and a flippant ‘you should have been there.’

You really should have been there.

Here is to looking ahead. And glancing behind.

KALMAN AND ADDICTIONS


Is it not delectable?? *smirk smirk*
I am absolutely obsessed with colour these days. Colour and hasty, vivid strokes and deviation. And I'm always obsessing with big, giant, COLOSSAL words.
My stand on Nietzsche remains undeclared. I have his works at home. I have not read them yet. My dad described the 'superhuman' theory to me once. I started reading the Sin-city graphic novels consequently [and if YOU have not then please squat and lay two eggs for me].
As for the ever-controversial mustache I will reserve my opinion.
Which brings us to 'we go to paris instead'.
I wanted to edit that and make that Goa, where incidentally I should be headed tomorrow night if the stars shine bright and they shine right. Goa has been jinxed so far. But I have vowed. I WILL go. And I WILL return with some nice-goa-sand-which-probably-is-a-banned-substance-as-well to prove the same. Hah!
Oh the above painting is by Maira Kalman. Her work is happy and crazy and I just know she has danced to 'The Psycho' OST with a rose dangling from her mouth. I KNOW IT.
I will leave you with a brilliant observation by Jhelum. Look carefully at Nietzsche's arms...two strong strokes starting from the shoulders and dropping to his chest. He has crossed his arms. Aaaaaah...simple and sweeeeeeeeeet.
By the by, my current favourite word is Dichotomy. Does it not bring to mind biology?? Hahahahahaha....apologies.

BAAH BAAH BLAH-CK SHEEP

What an absolutely tremendous day. My best friend informed me that he had some bad news for me. He had some attendance issues, along the very tremendous lines of 28-30% and therefore had been most ceremoniously detained. I think that is when it struck him that it might be bad news for him as well...he did hmmmm, in his defense.

Baah. I am being tremendously unfair. I was being a complete and wholesome she-dog to him this past one month. What with mini project submissions and reports and sessionals and vivas and exams. BAAH. I was a very stressed out individual. And everytime my poor friend decided to commit the courageous feat of actually calling me up I would rave and rant and scream and pant. So he waited till the my examinations were over to inform me of his tremendous acheivement. Awww...cho chweet *blush blush*.


You might have noticed that I have developed a tremendous soft corner for tremendous.

Also I am on my way to becoming a full-fledged-half-wit-engineer. Joy. Gave my final written examination today. Feels like, well...erm...BLAH.
Downed some alcohol to get the edge off. Laughed with friends some. Worried about my pending internship viva tomorrow. Met up with Gagan and had some good ol' kulfi *giggle giggle*.

Still working on that bloody internship report [it's almost 5!!] about optimisation of databases. Well, at least I learnt what an OLE DB is. At least.


Current life saver: I am the walrus.

OF LOVE, LIFE AND LITTLE ONES.

1. An overworked Xerox machine.
2. Scattered paper, rough notebooks, blue pens, mismatched stapler and pin sizes.
3. Cigarettes.
4. Coffee.
5. Cigarette ash in coffee cups.
6. A filthy room *gasp! shudderrrr....DIE*
7. Inflicted Insomnia.
8. Expected Inflections *winkie winkie*
9. Unsolicited advice on love, life and little ones.

EXAMINATION SCHEXAMINTAION.

See you after the 6th of December.
Au-revoir!

A TRUE BLUE BRESSON-ian

'The simulataneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organisation of forms which gives that event its proper expression....In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotif.'

Henri Cartier-Bresson.



Tabish once told me that the reason photographers sometimes choose to click black and white photographs is because the subject automatically gets emphasis and stands out with a glaring clarity. I love the nostalgia it evokes. An old school charm, a hint of stories untold, a mist of exciting secrets. Lovely.

Henri Cartier-Bresson chooses a beautiful woman for his subject in this photograph. And if you notice carefully he manages to capture her so sharply and coherently. Everything and everyone else in the photograph is just blurred enough to make her an object of your affection. The shadow of the lady walking beside her falls so perfectly just beside her. I wonder if that was intentional.















This is one of my favourites. Not so much for the photographic appeal as for the significance of the story Henri Cartier-Bresson tries to weave. Stories of devastation and challenges that still give birth to a sublime mirth and joy.
The laughter of children is pure and complete.
Love this one.










Stunning. A man seeking desperate solace from his own self, and losing himself almost inadvertently in the colossus of brick and cement. I have not been able to determine the subject here quite convincingly. Any takes??









My personal favourite. Reminds me of one my favourite paintings called 'The Umbrellas'. Probably the attire.
It tells the story of so many women with similar lives but individual tales.
For me it reflects a satisfied pace and lethargy. In a land of little opportunity perhaps. A conscious capitulation.

I want to hear what you have to say about this.



Thank you. And come again.
Yours Bresson-ian.

LET THE MUSIC BE YOUR MASTER

I have oft wondered as to what I would be minus my music, my books and my movies. Terribly boring I imagine. I have a father who is a voracious reader, an avid motion picture patron and a ravenous musical connoisseur. And the genes were faithful. I have been exposed to a healthy dose of the afore mentioned, although my Dad did try very very unsuccessfully to make me appreciate F1 also. I apologise in earnest, I guess we all have our limitations.
The order of these three has befuddled me as well. And I have finally decided. I can go a day without reading [unfortunately includes the newspaper sometimes], and more than a day without a good, complete movie. But I absolutely need my daily dose of music. Absolutely, completely, wholly.
Perhaps because now when I find myself constantly short on time and wishing there were 25 and a half hours in a day [I loooooowe my thirty minute showers!] I realize it is possible to multi-task only with music. Some tunes that are running through my head these days….[earworms Gagan tells me]….
Lots and lots and lots of Radiohead. I had been listening to ‘hail to the thief’ before I progressed to ‘ok, computer’. Am in love with ‘let down’ and ‘karma police’.
Porcupine tree, which for me falls under the same genre as Radiohead. ‘A smart kid’ is really good. I especially love the way it ends. Keep away if low on cheer and/or high on alcohol. Unless you sometimes discover streaks of masochism. I often enjoy depressing music when sad….err….I did NOT tell you that.
Beatles, Beatles, Beatles! ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’ is touching, creepy and reflective all at once. Dangerous. ‘Lay lady lay’ by Dylan is gorgeously romantic. Sigh…
Progressed to some Neil Diamond. Have so far enjoyed only two songs. The much overplayed ‘play me’ and the more enjoyed ‘solitary man’.
Nancy Sinatra’s ‘these boots are made for walking’ is perky and funny, like Cameron Diaz…hahahaha! I know Auyon will love that. The song I mean dum-dum. Also ‘summer wine’ by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood is very pleasantly Bollywood-ish. Listen to it and get back to me for more on that.

The Ghosh has spoken.
And play on….

HITL(ER)IST


'Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.'

I was reading in the paper recently about the sexagenarian victims of the long muted Lebensborn programme during Hitler’s regime, who met up in the eastern German town of Wernigerode to share their stories ‘in the hope of quelling the taboos and flamboyant myths about the murky Nazi institutions.’
And I was reminded of a favourite ‘chaai-sutta’ confabulation.
‘I admire Hitler.’
This statement always, without fail, evokes only wonder mingled with forgivable traces of disgust. It reflects a vague appreciation of historical fact aggravated by a conscious abatement of a genius’ evil.
It is really an evil’s genius.
The ambitious objective of the Lebensborn programme was to produce pure-blooded offsprings of the Schutzstaffel [SS] officers and blue-eyed, blonde girls, to improve the dwindling population of the ‘great Aryan race’. This was orchestrated under the fa├žade of a welfare home that nurtured and bred ‘racially valuable’ children who, it is rumoured were kidnapped from their homes and brought to these Lebensborn units.
Anyone who could coin ‘racially valuable’ betrays a streak of dangerous bigotry.
Anyone who kidnaps children from the security and warmth of their homes is depraved.
Anyone who wreaks an unprecedented carnage on innocent people to fuel and demonstrate their anti-Semitic theories CANNOT be admired.
Period.
The debate usually starts with a sincere appeal made to my sensibilities to acknowledge Hitler’s superior oratory skills and his outstanding leadership qualities that propelled him to a station of power and made him a force to reckon with. [Ajit abridges that by claiming ‘he took what did not belong to him’ ;-)] I acknowledge it. But to capture the attention of a weakened economy and the diluted morale of a country which was suffering from the effects of a humiliating capitulation [The Treaty of Versailles] is not difficult. To insinuate an ‘internal sabotage’ and a ‘lack of patriotism’ is even easier. And to flush out all Jews from the country to create a ‘Greater Germany’ is a crook’s way out.
History will never forget Adolf Hitler, but she might overlook the nameless victims. History will create Hitler, the personality. But she might reduce thousands to a mere number. History will record the anniversaries of Hitler, but the wounded lived and died an era.
And that is why to admire him is to give him more credit than he was ever worth.

DEAR DIARY


I am petulant and irascible after sadly outlandish supplications for attendance. 75% is preposterous. No, really.
I attempted some tried and tested techniques of de-stressing.
a) Bumped into Gagan and Prashanth at the canteen who combined forces with Ara to create a sufficiently jocular atmosphere. The subject was me. I laughed. For a bit.
Grrr…
b) Tried writing about relevant topics and significant themes. You know how writing helps you unwind.
Grrrrrrrr….
c) Started listening to a lot of classical music. Can’t wait to tell my dad that I love Catch-22 and appreciate Figaro’s Wedding and The Moonlight Sonata. Maybe it will be easier to get that expensive phone now…
Grrrrrrrr….woof!

But the actual purpose of this inadequate post is to mention what I have been listening to lately.

a) Beethoven’s 5th Symphony – sunny, tiptoeing, climactic and overplayed.
b) Schubert’s Symphony 5 – twilight, the hills, the horizon, dancing in white...the sound of music…hmmmm…
c) Mozart’s Figaro’s Wedding – abandon.
d) Maria Callas’ Figaro’s Wedding – free.
e) Bach’s Brandenburg Concert no. 3 – people, pace, suspenders and top hats ;-)
f) Beethoven’s/Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata – moody. My personal favourite, comes highly recommended.
g) Ravel Bolero is excellent. Most excellent.
h) Oh and Oasis’ Don’t look back in anger is on repeat [spot the odd man out!!]

They call it association, or something esoterically technical like that. This is a ridiculous post. Too personal.
I am petulant and irascible.
You had been forewarned.
Goodbye.

....................................

I went to collect my original documents from college day before yesterday.
It was a five minute affair and culminated in generous spells of uproarious laughter, after a thorough examination of an old snap of mine and a discourse on how much I had changed since my first year. The perpetrator was this mostly amiable and harmless man whose neck I wanted to snap in two [I grew my hair…DUH!!]
My mood was poetically distant and withdrawn. Mingled with a weighty awareness of nostalgia.
And so it begins…

Sigh…


Meanwhile enjoy the new and look feel of my blog.
Yours warmly.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Something I have been meaning to do for a really long time.




Khalid Hosseini in The Kite Runner asks, ‘Is it harder to suffer the loss of a loved one than to suffer the loss of your entire universe?’ [And I do not quote verbatim here.] The question is an almost rhetoric before some thought is devoted to it, but I personally feel that the bereavement of your home, your surroundings, and your familiarity is a formidable loss. Because along with the structural domain you lose every single person, every single object of your affection contained within. Once you lose your foothold in your space, the disorientation can be overwhelming.
In Lost in Translation the protagonists Charlotte [Scarlet Johansson] and Bob [Bill Murray] have left their homes, their universe behind and have traveled halfway across the world to land in Japan. There is a scene where Bob is standing in an elevator, an entire foot higher than all the Japanese around him. And another [one of my favourites] where Charlotte watches a Japanese bride, a slight smile on her face, perhaps believing that marriages are easier in a different country. Their sense of loss and misgivings in an alien land is therefore explicable, yet is only completely understood once their personal stories are unraveled.


Theirs are not tragic stories, of an unhappy childhood or a loveless marriage. Bob is an actor with enough credibility to land up with an endorsement in Japan. While Charlotte is a Yale graduate who gets married to her sweetheart. We are exposed to no financial crises or domestic violence, no anger or fatalities. The only inkling of trouble in paradise is the explicit comfort of their respective spouses, comfort that tends to detach them from the sudden intensity of emotions that Bob and Charlotte experience in a foreign land.
That is one of the reasons I love the movie. I have friends who exclaim, “There is no story!” And they are right. It is not a conventional yarn with a beginning, a body and an ending. There is ONLY a body. Daily, prosaic events that leave in their wake indelible impressions and make a moment magical. When Bob and Charlotte are just lazing around in bed, talking about where they grew up, how difficult marriage can get, the excitement and terrible apprehension on becoming a parent…and they fall asleep with Bob’s hand resting tenderly on Charlotte’s foot. It is an ordinary gesture after an ordinary conversation, but it lends an extraordinary profundity to their relationship. Throughout the movie there is nothing remotely sexual about their relationship. Even when Bob sleeps with another woman, the jealousy that Charlotte feels is probably an outcome of her inadvertent possessiveness, she seeks solace from the fact they need each other in equal measure in a friendship that germinates from chronic insomnia and a discriminating loneliness.
The movie is “Slow!” because it is about two people who are in an alien land and nothing exciting is happening to them. I mean they are partying, getting shot at and singing with a rare abandon at the karaoke. But there is no passion, or wild sex or infidelity issues, which actually would be a forgivable sequence of events given the circumstances. Albeit the differences in their ages and lifestyles, they are brought together in a rare relationship of familiarity and comfort. The movie progresses in mellow hues and reflective undertones. Even when Charlotte is injured, it is a minor foot injury and warrants no excitement. Understated and beautiful.
My favourite scene in the movie is the last one where after the fumbling attempts to bid each other adieu, Bob spots Charlotte in a crowd and runs to her to say that final goodbye. He whispers something in her ear [I have no idea what! Believe me I have tried to listen] after hugging her close. And then he kisses her, and whatever he says to her becomes inconsequential because after days of communicating through words this is the first time he communicates through an intimate physical gesture. In that moment they both realize that ‘they have been found’ in the truest sense of the expression. And then they walk away, knowing they will never see each other again…
Real, rare and rapturous.

‘They went halfway across the world to come a full circle.’
I hope I have convinced you Pai ;-)
Oh and must note, Lost in Translation has a beautiful OST. I am guessing that’s signature Coppola.

FEMINARCISSISM

I am doing three very useful things these days. I am keeping up pretences. I am being a true Bong [and as any potential India’s child genius will inform you, lethargy is our god-gifted left…err…right. And we exploit it with god-gifted viciousness.] And I am reading a LOT of blogs.
And I chanced upon posts after posts of highly opinionated examinations of Feminism. A word that generates awe, some and ful(l).

Feminism is overrated these days.
Or maybe over-feminism is rated these days.
Pity…

I can understand an attack on the flouting of fundamental human rights. When dirty, dark secrets have to be exhumed to recognize the decay, the stench, the absolute putrefaction of human sensibility. What else could possibly explain foeticide, dowry murders, rape?? Or child labour, mistreatment of the aged, killing because you are angry??
These are atrocities which need to be addressed with immediate deliberation. And I can understand an outfit solely dedicated to the cause of atrocities committed against women. And maybe the women who constitute this outfit can be acknowledged as ‘feminists’ [I do so wish to coin ‘sexagenarianists’ or ‘anti-child-labourists’]. But when the issues start leaning towards reservation for women, or blatant male bashing I start feeling squeamish [and without consuming any Kerala Hotel delicacies thank you very much!].
These are NON-issues. Seriously. We raise a hue and cry over reservation for SC/ST across educational institutions across the country, and rightly so because admission should after all, be contingent on merit, pure merit and nothing else! And honestly, in trying to assist the unprivileged SC/ST contenders the government in fact is fleeing from the real issue. Why are these people unprivileged? Because of an ineffective distribution of resources, of a failed mechanism to mobilize the poorer sections, of a highly facetious program that was intended to provide primary education to all but ended up making some lucky insiders richer.
Reservation for women has a similar tinge. Instead of demanding for the rightful reservation for us underprivileged women, the focus should AGAIN be on merit, and to rehabilitate the provincial mindset which would subsequently accommodate educated and working women in our daily lives. And I believe with rehabilitation and regulation this is possible.
I once overheard in an obviously feministic circle, “Women here are either male haters or male adulators.” And I was greatly disturbed. The idea is to encourage looser communication between the sexes. But the stray comment indicated a great dependency or worse, a greater detachment. It indicated a limitation, a boundary wall that fenced out anatomical adversaries. It was almost as ridiculous as the Berlin Wall – East Germany Communists fencing out the West Germany Fascists [and shooting anyone who dared to crossover!] Almost. And the intensity of ‘feministic’ gestures began grating against my intellect [of what I claim of course].
Such discussions are futile and fruitless. Whether C.S. Lewis is a sexist porcine specimen because the ‘bad guy’ in his Chronicles is a ‘wicked witch’. I mean there are giants on the witch's side in the book, so lets join forces against all tall people? Whether Virginia Woolf deliberately embraces lesbian themes because ‘only a woman can truly understand another’. It could reflect genuine companionship or a communion of minds, and have little relation to the genders of the characters. Because even if the characters are symbols of the authors’ mindset, the characters can be construed as per the readers’ discretion. And such [very] subtle and [very] discreet themes will seldom instigate a revolution of women-degradation or women-emancipation. Period.

I am headed to watch the Chronicles of Narnia right now with my girlfriends. Movie, magic, masti is being anticipated with much excitement.
Yes I love girls’ nights.
And I love being a woman more.
But feminarcissists are overrated.

Goodnight.

PS - The snap was uploaded for sheer humour quotient...hyuk hyuk!!
PPS - I NEVER throw stones at boys...ROFL!

TAGONOMICS

3 books

1. The adventures of Peter Pan, unabridged and illustrated.
Auyon claims it is very rare. ~!@##$%#&_)(!!
Cobainess – ambalika quotes:
‘When there's a smile in your heart,
There's no better time to start.’

2. Catch 22 – current read, ‘Yossarian wanted to live forever or die in the attempt.’
That kills me! – Gagan, you know exactly what I mean ;-)

3. My name is Red - intended read.
A Nobel Prize can do wonders to your readership…right Jhelum??

3 albums

Someone sagacious once said ‘Patience is a virtue.’ And those two startingly scarlet horns sticking out of my BIG hair ensure that I cosciously condemn such generalisations [Aaaaah generalisations…]
Can seldom get through an entire album unless it is assorted stuff.
If it’s one of those songs that ‘will pick up’ then you better have some pretty smooth advertising because if I do not like the beginning, I will probably not get to the end.
But 3 songs?? That I can answer…

1. ‘Let me take you down coz I’m going to strawberry fields…’
Sprinting through my head at breakneck speed. With the wind in my (BIG) hair…

2. The American baby intro[Dave Matthews] – murderous!

3. ‘This is goodbye.’
Porcelain[Moby] – journeying ;-)

3 movies

1. American Beauty – remember that polythene bag that catches the light breeze and just prances about?

2. Monsoon Wedding – I miss home ;-(

3. Lost in Translation – coming soon to a blog near you.

3 thoughts

1. I love reminiscing. EVERYTHING is funny in retrospect.

2. Google is simply brilliant. And sounds uncannily like ‘googly’.

3. Being tagged [highly, higly consciously FYI] lets me pretend that I’m rich and famous and combat those rapid fires. Give me what you got you paparazzi you!!


And I tag myself ;-)

'I WANT TO DO IT ON MY OWN'

“I want to do it on my own (steam).”
This in reply to why my friend chose to stick to Bangalore when he could have run off to Hong Kong [!!] for his final semester internship. And the wheels in my brain started turning with a screech here and a squeak there, and accelerating with a resounding intent.
Superficially it all seemed very incongruous to me. In this day and age where status whispers, money talks and power screams, such idealistic impulses are lost in the clamour of “ME! ME!” But the conversation ended with me feeling a little nice and plenty warm…
And it was so simple! The very fact that idealism seems like a summit unattainable is because we, as a species, have degraded so far down in our moral make-up that distances have grown longer and any effort has waned into a lingering half-attempt. Our lives have been made so simple by our evolving capabilities that we have devolved into these pampered beings that whip out their credit cards, push some buttons or call poppy up to keep that (in)famous silver spoon balanced!
And sometimes, somewhere, someone will claim that he will do it on his own, in his own way and perhaps in his own sweet time, and you will realize that those are the only kinds who refuse to acknowledge mediocrity, who try to elevate their dreams to loftier planes all the while doing it on their own terms…
…and even if they cannot quite succeed they can still look back and exclaim, ‘I did something that was pretty mediocre once, but it felt pretty damn good to me!’
And that makes me feel a little nice and plenty warm…


**with special thanks to Adam Hummel and my friend in question ;-)

PIXIE DUST

Because when you are walking down the road lined with trees and their rich, green foliage promises a world of opulence…
And then the seasons change and the birds migrate and the clouds shed…
And you are walking down the road lined with trees, naked and stripped, and suddenly a virulent emptiness assaults you…
Why are people cynical anyway??
Why do they fail to notice the snow-white flakes descending languidly and settling on the bare branches with a meditated intention?
Or the carpet of white that invites you to dance on it with a rare abandon?
Or the sun shining lightly but gallantly, trying to spread some warmth and cheer?
Because ‘all you need is faith and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust…’
Peter sure as hell knew what he was talking about.

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY



I read The importance of being Earnest and made the fatal mistake of succumbing to stereotypes. Therefore when I picked up The picture of Dorian Gray, I was: a) not expecting a novel. b) not expecting a morbid novel. and c) not expecting to be blown away...so after I read the book, I got thinking...
Imagine a portrait which bears your conscience...which bears the consequences of every deed that warrants a judgment in your life. As long as it is relegated to the recesses of your soul, one can sleep relatively easy knowing that one does have another day to purge his soul...a temporary amnesia or abstinence even...
But a visual conscience?? When every action's reaction adds that extra wrinkle to your face, that superfluous tell-tale meandering line on your visage that screams of stolen money, or a nasty remark. I believe the impact on a person's character would be tremendous which is why the book is powerful. We feel a 'prick' in our conscience when we mentally analyse the morality of an unjust action, an unfair thought, a heretic idea. But maybe it is just that, a 'prick'. To physically feel the impact of our actions perhaps our conscience has to be removed from our self, and scrutinised with our own two eyes. In conclusion however, I do believe that very few of us actually have the strength to withstand the decay of our moral beings unfolding painfully before ourselves. which is why unfortunately, or fortunately, the book will, or should, always remain fiction.

MR. EX -> TAKE 1

When Mr. Ex first strolled by in his sedentary style into my life, I observed with mild fascination. He was tall, lean, had long, luscious locks, dimples with a sensuous depth…and pixie ears. Pixie ears that screamed for Blyton’s rightful royalty. He held a cigarette with the tips of his fingers and attacked his lungs with a deliciously slow drag that left a gaping crater at the base of his neck.
It was an exciting addiction…
I would watch his limbs flow in a graceful rhythm. His gait excited me, I would almost compensate for his lack of urgency with my pacing heartbeat. ‘The only problem with life is that it has no background music.’ And he would smile dangerously every time he caught me reading that on his T-shirt.
The day I confessed was the day Mr. Ex did 12 shots. “Can’t you see he is a bad guy!” I smiled knowingly and looked across. His long, slender fingers ran through his hair and he exhaled with some satisfaction. Our gazes locked for a second and then, he winked. “Inebriation becomes him, he disregards sobriety with such disdain!”
He was walking over, my heart was making a racket. The silver in his pixie ear caught my eye and our gazes broke for a second. By now he was standing beside my table and grinning mischievously.
“The neighbour’s daughter refuses to elope with the Nepali chauffeur. Boring girl.” Here he shook his head. “And moral discretion is exhausting. Care to join me for a session of ‘who can spot the constellation’?”
I shut my eyes, and his voice became deeper.
“It is a clear sky.”
“I am not very good with constellations.”
“You don’t have to be.”
He broke into a smile and suddenly in the dark all I could see was his personal Cheshire cat in the dazzling 32. I let him take my hand and felt his warmth seeping through my clammy palm. But in the clamour in my head I heard the genius of Wilde strike a crippling blow to morality, ‘People are not good or bad, just charming or tedious.’
Oh Mr. Ex was charming all right ;-)

120 MINUTES TO PUBLISH

This is a humble haranguing of our insufficient education system. Being a final year Engineering student directly translates my limited privileges to uninterrupted and undisputed bunking [unless it is network security which I really should NOT bunk anymore!!] for moments of luxurious rapid eye movement. Therefore when such an anticipated session is relegated most unceremoniously to the back-lanes, and is replaced by a highly disconcerting assembly of two mortals, none of who can quite comprehend the other...I have every right to vent my frustrations in this one-act writing!

Scene 1: I have recently procured the cable required to FINALLY connect to the internet. However such banalities [IP addresses, port numbers et al] are beyond my scope of registry. So I am left fiddling with my desktop trying very desperately to catch any word that might make an iota of sense to us academically-deficient individuals. And incidentally I happen to be a final year I.T. student!! I run to the matron to track down the elusive internet fellows, who with much urgency in their voice inform me that they are in the net-tracker room. Eh? 'Fourth floor!', they insist and point. 'Fourth floor?', I desist and sprint.

Scene 2: I reach the net-tracker room, which is a 30x20 feet cubicle and has this massive contraption with a voluminous mess of cables which instantly silences me into forced seriousness. i mumble something more about the inefficiency of Mission-connect-XIII-block, and less about my affected ineptitude. I am asked to enter the IP address and port number[!!] and report back with any progress.

Scene 3: I report back with no such thing.

Scene 4: I am asked to check whether or not the DHCP has been activated automatically. I stare at the fellow's face as I am transported back to 5th semester. With razor-sharp precision however, bugs bunny imposes on my reverie and I decide to trudge back to my room without making some necessary clarifications!

Scene 5: After going click-happy for a decidedly wasteful amount of time, I make some rudimentary calls to my Comp gurus. I talk at an excited pace about TCP/IP, lan settings...[when in doubt talk fast, few will bother deciphering, and fewer will realise you know S-Q-U-A-T]. I am asked to perform a ping operation. 'Destination host unreachable' flashes at a rate of twice a second, and my computer goes A-W-O-L. I start screaming ‘Virus!’ at a spanking frequency that puts any previous records to shame.

Scene 6: I enter screaming into the net-tracker room. The fellow agrees to escort me back to my room.

Scene 7: My friend is in retreated stages of undress behind the door. I warn her about the imminent arrival of our friend who for some inexplicable reason assumes an air of chaste dementia and refuses to step into the room. We communicate at a reasonable distance of 20 feet from each other, while my friend stands, fully clothed now with a vacuous expression on her face. After a five minute exchange and no headway, my friend wonders aloud at this apparent insanity and retires to watch Munna-bhai MBBS. The fellow shakes his head and assures me that he shall return in half an hour.

Scene 8: It's been two hours now and there is no sign of the fellow. But five minutes back my computer was connected to the World Wide Web.



Maybe the guy did something, maybe he did not. Maybe lady luck decided to be kind. Or maybe just maybe, what transpired in the last 3 hours was a very accurate mapping of our educational system. I study, I mug, I regurgitate, a semester down I have no idea what DHCP even is! But funnily enough it all just works out fine ;-)

THE 'I' OF THE CAPITAL

I am inclined to believe that the idea of Capitalism is subject to a provincial discourse. One succumbs to the established definitions; Socialism, Communism and Capitalism. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The concepts inadvertently associate themselves with vicarious ideologies in our minds, and we seldom acknowledge the culpability of these defining the layman.
And now I commence with my provincial discourse on Capitalism.
Capitalism has precise implications of ‘self-gain’. And there is a Capitalist that resides in each one of us. The human kingdom essentially, is made up of two kinds, the Capitalist and the Bad Capitalist (here I am resorting to gross generalisations). Personal gain is common to them. And yet personal gain provides the crucial distinction. The former in helping himself, ends up helping others (a beautiful display of Newton’s third law of motion). The latter in helping himself only facilitates the increasing disorder in society (the second law of thermodynamics??) But what remains inherent is the constant endeavour to expedite the infusion of harmony into one’s life. And to notch up a couple of more points in the individual happiness index chart. The law of nature becomes effectively, each man for himself.
A Capitalist is looking out for himself, before he can think of doing the same for others. This, far from being selfish and unproductive, can actually lead to a sound social structure. A composition of self-appreciating individuals can only mean increased productivity and integrity. This reasoning is so fundamental, that it has to be flawed! Clauses which accommodate irregularities must be appended to salvage this basic rationalization.
Imagine a social structure with uniform individuals, their uniformity resplendent in the composite, collected mindset. This is a Quixotic thought at best. Therefore, the Bad Capitalist comes into focus. There is an effective line premeditated by an individual’s scruples that challenges this fundamental reasoning. When black mitigates the cracking and coherent definition of white. When the self assumes magnified proportions and everything else recedes into ignominy. In such a scenario, fuelling selfish motives gathers a pulsating momentum. The Bad Capitalist therefore, submits to the vagaries of the human moral discretion. ‘Fraud!’, ‘Rape!’, ‘Murder!’ scream at us from the newspapers. And the ideal social structure begins to disintegrate. The cause for appreciation and depreciation becomes one and the same.
This discussion maps the economic perceptions onto the human nature because an individual is a system in himself. And very seldom does a person put another before himself. It is difficult for anyone to be a complete Socialist as opposed to being a complete Capitalist. Everyone has a selfish streak, and this does not necessarily have to be subject to acute scrutiny and consequently disregarded as a character flaw. Everyone is motivated to excel professionally and personally. As for working towards improving society and its individuals, some undertake this professionally, while others accord to it a personal touch and contribute to society in their own small way. But this patronage also portends the ever-elusive search for personal satisfaction.
Whenever I am flying, I always peruse the safety regulations’ booklet. It is mentioned there that in the eventuality of an emergency, one must always put on their oxygen masks, lifejackets etc. before helping others. It always gets me thinking…