Monday, December 19, 2011

MICA Dreaming

MICA Campus (taken off their website)

I am currently aspiring for a place in one of India's most prestigious universities for studies in communication, and one of India's most prestigious universities period.

It's almost lunacy- in a country with a population like this one, what chance do I have? Mathematically, at least?

But lo and behold, I, yes I, have been called for an interview for a lovely certificate course at said university. I am at the same time humbled and very pleased with myself. I leave tomorrow for a day long excursion at MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad for those of you who don't know).

So I've been touching base with fellow aspirants and some alumni and current enviables (read MICA students), and one of them said I should write about "what MICA means to me."

I don't know who said it, and I mean no disrespect, but that very notion kind of makes me laugh. Write about what it means to me? As if it is some girlfriend in some far away city? I'm not even in the college yet, it would be unfair of me to qualify how it makes me feel and what it means to me. I'm still chuckling as I write this. It's like one of those jokes that only you get and no one else does, know what I mean?

Ok, let me do this my way.

I had a dream, nay, a vision of what college was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a time of great freedom and self discovery. It was supposed to be an awakening, a time of hunger, a time of learning. I did have hunger. Around lunch time. That was it. You see, I did engineering (not my idea, and I won't get into that). There is nothing worse in this world than doing something you don't want to do. And my college... wow. The people*? My God. Every day my soul would be crushed. I felt the creativity and spark slowly being smashed out of me. It was enough for me to find the inspiration just to get up in the morning. I tried to find some comfort, derive some power from certain song like this one. "Believe and you will find your way..." Alas, on the days when I did believe and start off with a powerful attitude to take the day my spirit would promptly be crushed by 10 AM.

Then it ended. No tears, no final laugh and acceptance. I did not look back at the place like Tom Hanks looked back at his island when he finally escaped in Cast Away. I had left my Mordor.

My Mordor
Don't be fooled by the seemingly pretty campus! That was what trapped me!
But I missed all that "college fun." And partially, well, mostly, it was my fault. By distancing myself and refusing to participate, I missed out on a lot of things- late night hostel raids, college trips, singing in the bus, studying with friends, taking part in college events- things I would never have wanted to do in that college, yet still regret not doing. Now I see the error of my ways.

And now I get another chance... First and foremost, to do what I've always wanted to do. I was not born a scientist (even if I was born to one). I have a creative bent of mind, and I wanted to use it in such a field which combines that with some scientific thinking- advertising. I didn't get my chance out of school (for whatever reason). But now I have that. The Crafting Creative Communications certification course (whoa! Say that 5 times fast!) from MICA is one of the best in the country, as is their PG degree course. A "creative bootcamp" to drill me to do what I want. My mouth is salivating at the prospect of it.

I want to get my hands dirty. I want my old vision of people sitting under a tree, sharing ideas. I want to hear about extra classes that I would be interested in. I want to look forward to the next lecture, I want to want to hear what teacher is telling me. For too long I roamed around engineering college, wondering how could people be interested in that stuff (because I completely was not). No more! I've always been hungry for an education. Over those 4 years however, I forgot what that meant. There is more than just surviving the next exam!

And second, I will be able to live that college life that I missed. I will take part in everything. I will participate with unbridled enthusiasm and desire. No more fear stopping me- nuts to it! If there ever was a time to do something, now is it. Hostel, friends, late night dinners, study groups, singing along to someone's guitaring, practical jokes, college trips... I want it all, goddamnit! And now here is my chance to take it. All that and more.

Believe and I will find my way? I hope that leads here.

Sooooooo.... yeah. I guess that's what MICA means to me (I'm still chuckling as I write that). But seriously, MICA can provide me more than it's stellar education (and this is not an attempt to suck up, just go through their courses offered!). It can give me that college experience that I so sorely missed out on. It can match that high ideal of learning that I longed for. It can be a balm for heart and mind. A constructive force for my brain as well as my soul, all the while grooming me for a career in creativity... where FINALLY, work will become play, where finally I may be able to find happiness.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Not A Christmas Miracle :(

The strange heaven-sent lights are not a Christmas miracle. They have been put up for someone-who-lives-in-the-building's wedding.


A Christmas Miracle?

I came home today and found mysterious lights hanging outside my window. Gasp! What sorcery is this? Could it be... could they be... Christmas lights? :D

Oh joy! I've never had such nice lights outside my window (in more than a decade at least)! From whence came thee, o strange glowing bulbs? Wherefore doth thou hang in front of my window?

It must be a Christmas miracle! It's not what I expected, but I'll fucking take it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December? Christmas? Already? Fark!

What the fuck. This can't be.

It's already December. In fucking 2011. Over a year after I started this blog. I cannot believe it. I just turned around, and bam- it's December. "My December." Pffft. Stupid song.

It's jarring. Shocking. Especially after this year got off to such a promising start. A lot of new things were had. It was going slow and steady. Where did the time go? Where did the promise go?

And one of the more startling realizations that come with this time of the year is that Christmas is almost here. How? For me it was just that December was here, another month, another day closer to the next thing that I was supposed to do. It's supposed to be festive. But I need more time to get in the festive mood! Where's my bloody festive cheer, god damn it?

This can't be right. I don't have a drop of festivity in me at all. I need to load my iPod with the Christmas songs that are stored away the whole year in a folder, kept especially for this month. I need to get some Christmas movies. Bloody hell, I need to see something resembling Christmas soon, or else it's going to be the last week of the year, and IT WILL BE TOO FUCKING LATE. Christmas is meant to be enjoyed, and I need to do it now!

Damn my lethargic spirit! What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I not getting into this? No, I was always the one to carry on the torch of Christmas, to have that spirit burning inside me even though no one else around me gave half a bleeding damn about the holiday or it's fucking spirit. Damn it all to hell! This is the fucking subcontinent! No Christmas for you! Ha, I defy the naysayers. I wear my candycane heart on my sleeve. I shall celebrate Christmas to the maximum that I can.

Who cares if there is nothing Christmas around me? Who cares if no one seems to realize that the season is upon us and if we don't look now it'll pass us by? Who cares if it's the fucking 6th of December and I haven't heard a single carol, eaten a single cookie, seen a hint of tinsel or garland, even the traces of plastic needles from a fake Christmas tree? Usually, I'm able to do without... why not now? I need SOMETHING. Fine, I'm resigned to not having snow. But I'm ready to go to the mall and look at the soulless Christmas tree that they have callously put up merely to imitate their Western counterparts and cater to the rich-wannabe crowd, that of which I spoke so derisively of last year. I'll take it. I'll take anything if it can assuage this fear that the spirit of Christmas is dying inside of me. Anything.

I'm panicking.

But is it my fault? How much longer must I continue to carry on like this by myself? Where's my fucking Christmas miracle? It's about frickin' time! Where's my white Christmas? Is it too much to ask for to have a few semi-interested souls around me just to help carry the season's cheer? Something more than an empty piece of fruit cake or a fake Christmas card? No overly commercialized wannabe Christmas special on TV, but something real for a change? Or will I be forced to take the burden all on myself for so that when I finally do get the white Christmas there'll be nothing inside of me to even be moved to care, my biggest fear?

I don't think it's too much to ask for. No man is an island. Or, every man is an island. Whatever. But if the latter, then he's in a fucking archipelago. No one can do it on his own for too damn long.

I really need a Christmas miracle this year. Or hell... I'll settle for a Christmas happenstance. <Play "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year">.

I'll sign off with a Christmas rage (courtesy Google):

Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Rant-5 : The Shoulder Block Part 2- Boxed Out

The morning commute is such a hassle. Millions of bees all bludgeoning their way through traffic to the hive to churn out the honey. Everyone's already pissed off, you shouldn't try to do anything that would piss someone off any more.

Well, on my commute to through the bottleneck that is Hinjewadi (through which a hundred thousand vehicles must squeeze through on their way to Rajiv Gandhi Biotech Park, which is actually not a park at all, but a large industrial and commercial zone), I have to cross the highway.

It's often the best part of my journey... open road, bright sun... but sometimes it becomes an arduous task. Like if some fool goes and kills himself, it backs up traffic for ages. Or it may simply be a case of many vehicles accumulating at the same time at the "end" of the highway under Wakad Flyover, at which point I must take a turn.

Anyway, there are two lanes on the road, and to the far left there will be a guard rail and a line marking off the legally navigable road (the guard rail need not necessarily be there, I have included it to represent the total extremity of the road). Now there is a certain unwritten rule that bike-wallahs will form a single line and go along this thin strip of road, while the car-wallahs and other big vehicles will go along the main road (see diagram below). This is highly beneficial to bike-wallahs like myself, and no really minds it.

Line of bikes moving along smoothly,
all is well in Middle Earth.

However, in a move indicative of the epidemic of stupidity prevalent in this nation, sometimes some extremely bright and enterprising car-wallah will endeavor to occupy that thin gap thereby blocking me entirely.

Stupid troll car does the unthinkable. Normal
traffic moves along steady but slow, while I
am fucked.

Behenchod. Madharchod. Fucking chutiya. Asshole. Haramkor. You stupid babboon, You fucking inbred neanderthal. 

My blood is boiling. The stream of abuses forming in my head is limited only by my range of language (which is 1 proper and I can only curse in like 3 or 4). I nearly break my thumb off honking the horn.

Why? Why why why? Why would you do something like that? Does it serve any purpose at all? Is your car going to change shape and slither through this small gap? Are you even going to give another car on your other side space to move? No. What the MUTHERFUCK are you going to accomplish by this astoundingly brilliant feat? What Einsteinian stroke of genius led you to attempt such a monstrosity of idiocy? I am literally humbled and baffled in the face of such high level moronity.

And you know that it is 99% of the time one of those fucking white taxis with the red "T" on the back, which for some reason I call "touristers." I can only assume they don't own the cars they drive, which gives them license to drive like F1 drivers on crack. They are the ones that are always speeding and swerving in a fashion to put Jason Bourne to shame. They are the ones that come behind you and honk like the fucking Devil was behind them, and then when they do overtake you, they don't go away- they are dodging and weaving in front of you, hogging the whole bleeding road because they can't go in front on account of the very traffic that was blocking you in the first place! They have no respect or regard for life! I hate you fucking illiterate* scum!

So I am now boxed out by super intelligent troll car in slow moving traffic. All because I am surrounded by apes that refused to evolve. I shout obscenities and the sound reverberates in my helmet rendering my temporarily deaf. God, help me.

*by "illiterate," I don't mean the literal meaning. I have nothing against illiterates. Only idiots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Rant-4 : The Shoulder Block

So here's the situation: I'm riding my motorbike on the highway, and I need to take the exit so I can get off and get home. In essence, this could be any road, and any turn that you need to take. The exit off a highway is usually marked by a shoulder (if you don't know what that is, you can check here). This is generally a very easy operation.

So here's the problem: there's a big fucking truck in the middle.

Now, navigating around trucks is a part and parcel of taking to the road, I can't complain about that. But Murphy's Law has a way of augmenting the situation.

Inevitably, it so happens (in my case, several times) that there will be a truck trudging along in the vicinity of this very important exit, which in itself is not a horrible scenario, BUT it does so at a frustrating pace. The frustration arises not from the fact that it is slow or fast. The truck, or other heavy vehicle steamrolls along the road on the very side of the exit you need to take just in range of your exit and its speed is such that
1. You cannot overtake it in time to make your exit.
2. You cannot choose to go alongside it, for obvious reasons. Also, the gap on the near side of the truck is too small for you to fit into.
3. It is going far to slow for you to be able to stay behind without losing your temper.

Too slow                            Too fast                       Ah, just right

Clearly, neither of the above mentioned scenarios is navigable with much panache, lest you wish
to risk ending up as road kill, which you most likely will.

How it can be all these things at once, only Murphy can tell.

However, after a long, annoying day at the crap factory, why must I have to deal with this? Stupid troll truck at the point of the last exit blocking me off the shoulder? How is it that in the all the infinite permutations of traffic, and considering the arbitrary and highly variable nature of the moment I left my destination and the moment the truck left its destination, that the two of us would cross paths in that very 100 meter stretch of the universe... it seems highly unlikely, yes? It would seem I had a better chance of getting struck by lightning while getting attacked by a shark, yes? Maybe even a higher probability of getting a girlfriend, yes? But then how does this keep on happening? Murphy's Law be damned, and the truck driver be damned!

And you can't even do anything about it! Because goddamn if the driver is going to pay any attention to you. No matter how many pointless visions of using Magneto's powers to angrily fling said truck into the horizon, you have to ride it out, or risk death. The choice is yours.

Of course, death may be a better option than trying to overtake evil troll truck and pulling out at the last moment. For if you miss the exit (at least in my case) you have to face the humiliation of riding out the rest of the highway- because the next turn is 10km ahead.

Invariably, the situation results in the precipitation of pure rage. Road rage. Fffffuuuuuu!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bell The CAT

CATastrophe. CATaclysm.

There are problem half a dozen more such puns I could make. Mercifully, these are the only two I can think of.

The point is, hopefully, clear. The CAT (Common Admission Test, for the uninitiated. One of the many entrance exams in India for MBA programmes) is a fighting animal, a dangerous one, and quite intimidating. And much like the lolcat pictured above, it means BUSINESS.

I've always wondered what in tarnation does "bell the CAT" mean. Every year, around this time, I would see articles in the paper with the same stupid headline: "Belling the CAT" (or something to that effect). And then I would laugh at the morons that would be tripping over themselves to give this very competitive and difficult exam. And then, a few years later, here I am, giving it. Well, just gave it. Anyway, "bell the CAT" brought to my mind an image of hitting a cat in the head with a cricket bat (not a baseball bat, mind you. I'm losing touch with my roots. Hmm. That's a private joke, please carry on) after which the cat vibrates with a loud gong sound, much like in a Looney Tunes cartoon. But apparently, it is an actual phrase derived from a fable, with a pretty interesting history, which you can read here. Oh, what a wonderful mix curiosity, the Internet, and Wikipedia make. One learns so much these days!

Right, so the CAT is in itself a pretty difficult exam. Added to that is the competitiveness. In a year, no less than 200,000 give this exam, and the number of seats in the "good colleges" are, predictably, quite less. The scores they require are stratospheric, and the spread in that rarefied region is razor thin. People miss a seat by a matter of a fraction of marks. One could do an MBA at one of the many spore colleges that have popped up on this rock, but every wants the Main Mushroom.

My point being, of course, that this is the reason that people make such a big deal out of giving CAT. If you are going to give CAT, you might as well do it right. And if you are going to do it right, you DO NOT want to fuck it up. Yes, the previous paragraph flows properly into this one and from the one before. Mon dieu, I'm treating my blog like a Reading Comprehension... which pretty much sums up my state. I have been attending weekend classes for the past few months, and have taken all of last month off from work to prepare for this exam. I wake up thinking that the ratio of time left to sleep is inversely proportional to speed, so I need to sleep faster, at which point I jerk awake wondering what the hell I'm thinking. I'm finding remainders of ungodly division (like 3 raised to 2011 divided by 7, which is actually quite easy once you know how) in my dreams. I'm beginning to doubt my English- my first, and only, language.

Yes, I've prepared as best I can. I would give practice tests and do miserably, and almost throw my new laptop against the wall. Such has been my state. But it's over. I've burned through all my official leaves, gone through several notebooks practicing sums, gone mad trying to understand and then remember a hundred concepts in math, while leaving English largely to an instinct which I found out is not as developed or refined as I once thought it was. And the test got over in a flash. But that's the funny thing about tests, isn't it? You spend countless hours that add up to days and weeks preparing for it, losing sleep, losing hair, losing your mind, and all the while the grains of sand are falling, counting down to the inevitable. SO MUCH TIME has gone by... and yet the damn thing is over in under 3 hours. All the work you've done in a week, in a month, in a semester, in twelve years of school, in four years of college: it all comes down to those three hours. That's pretty fucked up, and a concept that has always amused me.

I always envisioned studying as arming myself with weapons, and the final act of giving the test is personified by myself and the test in corporal forms going at it in an epic Jason Bourne-esqe battle. In the vision, I always come out on top, albeit battered and bruised. In reality, it hasn't always been so. Hopefully this time, it will be. Perhaps I should have thought of working with the CAT, treating the CAT as a friend, as someone whom I must go through this journey with together, instead of something that needs to be attacked and conquered (blame the male ego, or whatever Freud-esqe psychological or Darwin-esqe evolutionary theory it is). Maybe I've been giving exams wrong all along...

Whatever. The whole reason behind giving the CAT in the first place is that I've been failing in the exam that counts the most, the one that begins as soon as you pop out of yo' mama's womb. And that's something I mean to amend.

And hello, Blogger. I'm back.

Answer the following question on the basis of what you have read in the passage:

1. The author earlier despised CAT aspirants because:
A. They're a bunch of wankers.
B. They are way smarter than him, and hence prove a threat to his fragile ego.
C. Because coaching classes and geeks are making more difficult an already difficult situation. Just because you can crack and exam (be it CAT or JEE) doesn't mean you deserve to be or are ready to be in IIM or IIT. The whole system is corrupted by what may have once been a high ideal, but is reduced to something resembling a joke.
D. He has no idea what he's talking about.

2. What is the purpose of the author referring to the "Main Mushroom"?
A. Because all these tiny little colleges are wank, and it's pointless to go to them.
B. Isn't it obvious?? He's a fucking hippie!! Mushrooms indeed, I bet the fucker's high!
C. College students like pizza and you can put mushrooms on pizza.
D. Isn't the picture of the lolcat funny?

3. The author is:
A. A wanker
B. A delusional, egoistic moron
C. Pissed off (and a closet Glee fan)
D. All of the above

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time Dilation

I am currently witnessing a time dilation. It's extremely odd. Period so of time seem longer than they are. The weekend seems like more time than it is. It seems like days since I've been to office. When I sign in for a locker in the gym, it seems like a week since I last did it, even though its only been a couple of days. Earlier it seemed like time flew by, especially on weekends... and it still does... yet, now, it feels so drawn out.

It's raining outside. God, it feels like its been raining forever. It must be this weather that's having this effect on me. Or is it something else?

I'm listening to this song ("What I've Done") again. And the words are more true than they have ever been. A song from several monsoons ago and it makes more sense than ever now.

I made my mistakes, that is true. But I paid my debts. And now that's over. I can't keep accepting punishment for things I did long ago. I've done my time. Now its done. I get to start over. A clean slate. Tabula rasa.

How much longer can I chastise myself? How much longer should I carry this cross? How much longer must I sail Purgatory alone? My time is up. I have earned my release.

So I'm learning to let go. And one day I'll be over you. And that will be it. No more sorrow, just a new chit and a second chance. And then the clouds will clear and I'll be able to see again.

It's weird though, this stretching of time. It's not something that bothers me though. I'm feeling kind of numbed to it. It's almost kind of pleasant. Like I've almost re-found that old magic of the monsoons.

I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
Forgiving what I've done...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Rant-3 : Tangled Earphone Wires

I want to listen to music. NOW. The iPod is in the bag, which I extricate with ease. The earphones are somewhere in there too, let me just... yeah, I think I got it... nope, that's it there... eureka, and here we go... WHAT THE FUCK.

It is a veritable mesh of rubber casing, and somewhere in the jungle I can see a 3.5mm jack poking out, struggling for breath, imploring me to save it. And thus begins the epic (quite literally) quest of untangling the friggin' mess.

And it's never easy, no. You can see one end of the wire entering an abomination that would put a seaman's knot to shame, but you cannot for the life of you find where it comes out from the other side. Okay, so finally you do and manage to squeeze it through only to land yourself in the same predicament again. And rubber does not slide easily on rubber (especially with iPod earphones, what the fuck is up with that?), so you can't pull it out easy. Repeat this procedure about 12 times till you finally get it untangled.

I'm so angry that I just want to rip it apart, that fucking wad of irritating tangled bullshit, but I can't, because they are so fucking delicate. And decent replacements will cost, what, 800 bucks? Fuck that!

And it's not only earphone wires. All wires. We all carry a lot of gadgets these days, with a lot of accessories. Chargers for mobiles and laptops, mice (or mouses?), lan cables, etc. etc. And yeah, sure, they are bound to get tangled, I get that. But then how the fuck do they end up in this apocalyptic knot to end all knots? It's like, you bound them up properly and put them carefully in your bag, but how THE FUCK did it manage to get like this, how was it even physically possible for it to get so intricately intertwined, as though a thousand tiny fingers were working overtime to get it done? Because if you sat down to actually do that, you would never get it done. It would take you hours, maybe days even to complete such a work of art.

Pardon me for being knotty, but Murphy's Law can only hold so many times. This is fucking Chaos Theory. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Random Rant-2 : The Public Stereo

The Fresh Prince is not amused.

It's happened to all of us. And it can happen anywhere, at any time. We all have seen someone like that.

Say you're enjoying a nice game of pool with your buddies. Hey, you're even playing pretty good for a change. Or you're in a really slow line to buy movie tickets for that summer blockbuster you've been waiting ages for. Maybe trying to have a snack in the cafeteria. Any public place.

That's when some cool dude, who's far cooler than you are, whips out his iPod, iPhone, or otherwise musically enabled electronic device, selects the most bombastic track he can find, and presses play. On speaker. So that everyone in the room is treated to his most refined and excellent taste in music.

Himesh Reshamia. Soundtracks from Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani or Dabaang. Hip gyrating item numbers or Anu Malik's latest. Justin Beiber or that old Backstreet Boys album.

You look over at him and are all like, "'the fuck?"

As time passes, your anger bubbles more and more.

Why? Why do people do this? Why the fuck do they think we want to listen to their music? I just don't understand this. It's like they think they are doing everyone a favor bu playing music very much at their own expense. Trust me, assholes, its more at our expense.

It's as if every one of them believes he is a great aficionado of music. That their taste is unparalleled and ground breaking. Everyone must hear my awesome playlist, says they. Not only am I providing myself this pleasure, but I am trying to infuse culture into these flea bitten mongrels that call themselves "people". Do you really want everyone to know you listen to that retarded club thumping drivel?

Seriously? Akon? He's the Himesh of the west. Lil' Wayne? Yeah nigga, you's from the ghetto. Pull your pants the fuck up and turn it down. Rap is bullshit (god bless, Mr. Smith, you are a far better actor). Don't even get me started on Beliebers. Oh, and metal heads. The cocks who think that no one else knows what real music is, and if you listen to anything else, you are simply of subpar intelligence. It's 10 minutes of growling and disoriented guitars, jackass, don't cleanse humanity of us lesser mortals just yet.

I suppose you could ask him to turn it off. But, you know, life could be so much more simple. If you want to listen to music, well, there is this nifty little invention called earphones that will spare the rest of us your music that is really, in all honesty, way to cool for the rest of us that are just trying to have a good time. Try them.

Random Rant-1 : The Elevator Tango

So its Monday morning (or really, it can be any day and any time, but somehow Monday morning has a lot of scope for pissing people off). You reach the lift (say, in my case at office, but again it can be anywhere). There is no one in sight. There's no way in hell you're taking the stairs (because you woke up at 6:30 to go for a jog and want a break, or you're just a lazy bastard).

You press the button and the machinery makes that annoying bing-bong sound. Down comes the lift, nice and empty, not a soul in sight. You're quite pleased, it's never so easy. Well, of course it's not.

You enter the lift and the door closes... but just as its about to shut- bing-bong - some prick just reaches outside and presses the call button, requiring the door to reopen.

You take a moment to curse under your breath because it's not that hot girl you would kill for a moment alone with, but rather some fat, out of breath guy with a week's worth of beard growth. Prick can't even shave properly and come on Monday fucking morning. You glare at him. The elevator music is starting to piss you off.

The doors close and you regain your composure when suddenly - bing-bong - and enter two giggly, airheaded girls talking animatedly about the latest airhead Bollywood movie they saw. They see your scowl in the reflective doors and smile knowingly at each other, trying and failing miserably not to laugh. Oh yes, its a fucking riot. Ha ha. I can hardly control myself.

Which is fine, except as the door closes- bing-bong - and in walks in a hefty Punjabi, jovial and spirited, all smiles and sunshine, all on a Monday morning. I love the ol' Punjabi energy. But on a Monday fucking morning? Do I really need to face such a chipper attitude from anyone? Which would be fine, except he holds open the lift and shouts, yes shouts, "Oi, jaldi aa jao!" You roll your eyes. Sometimes I think they know one language and one volume. Of course, whoever he was shouting to does not come jaldi, they come at their own damn pace. In waltz in a handful of colorfully dressed happy-go-lucky crowd, all of them very expressively excited that they made it in time. You grind your teeth.

And so it continues. Person after person suddenly appears out of nowhere. They don't come together, oh Lord no, that would be too easy. But as though it was practiced, they all come exactly on cue just as the lift doors are about to close completely. Your back is pressed against the wall, and you are assaulted with the scent of breakfasts from around the country: poha, aloo parantha, idli sambar, chicken roll, coffee and croissant, and what seems to be an entire tandoori chicken. You look at the Punjabi again.

A minimum of 6-7 minutes later you disembark on your floor, shoulder pushing everyone you come in contact with, lips pursed into a fine smile, all the while grumbling to yourself, WHY DIDN'T I TAKE THE FUCKING STAIRS???

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Masochist

You are the great educator. As soon as you entered you began teaching me and I started to believe in things I hadn't before. You are the destroyer. It's like everything I had fell to the ground and I was back at square one.

You are something special, something different... words fail. I can't put my finger on it. Words used to describe you come off as shoddy euphemisms. You would require a new language. For your beauty is something else. Your beauty is such that I don't have to go looking for beauty anywhere else anymore, I just have to find you. Your beauty is such that it humbled me. It changed me. And you didn't even have to say a word.

Just over the hill is where you live, and I come over to see you, hopefully to talk to you. Million of ideas of science and creation whirl through my head, but when I talk the words are infantile. In front of you, I speak the words of a child. It's as if I'm in some joyous daze. When the moment is over, I can believe it's already passed.

It's enough for me just to gaze on you once. To see your smile once (a smile that's enough to move a man to tears). To hear your voice once (and I can carry it the rest of the day). And I have to come and see you. For the day is a wasted one, only half completed when I don't see you. It's a grayer day, the one when I don't talk to you.

Yet I know the harsh truth. I can never have you. You will never be mine. No matter that you entertain me when I come on one of my visits. Do you how much I look forward to them? But you couldn't. You float on a cloud where nothing mundane can touch you. But it doesn't matter to me, the moments are golden.

And I know the only way to cure myself. To cut you out. Out of sight and out of mind. If I can't see, then I can't hurt. Wouldn't that be worth it? I promise myself that today, I stop this. I won't come to see you. I won't speak to you. And then I'll be proper again.

But I'm a liar. I know I'll make that journey. And I know when we've said goodbye, it'll hurt again, and I'll just wait for the next time I get to see you.

But I don't care. I'll take all of it. And swallow it down. It's all worth it anyway, just to see you. Yes, I would do that, and you'll never know of my immense sacrifice, but that's alright. I don't even know if you'd care, but it's alright. I'd risk all that just to see your smile. I'm happily resigned to it. This is what you've done to me.

So I guess I love my own pain. I'm a masochist, among others things, for you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Pacifist

'Twas not even a drop of noble blood in him. Nay, the boy was but a child of a farmer. A peasant. No more than a lowly serf, suited but for the servitude others. Yet foolish and headstrong as he were, he tooketh to arms as though he were of noble blood, and went forth searching through the land for fortune.

With a few victories under his belt and a head full of airs, he tooketh to the road in search of greater treasures. What creatures in what lairs would he find? He was confident he was sufficiently fit to faceth them all.

But alas! He faced many battles in his quest to build a kingdom and fell many a time. Defeat hung at him like a plague. His worth was made known to him. He traveled alone and long under moon and sun to no avail. Thinking he were one of burly stature and wit, he withered now with remorse.

Still he fought on! For see!, he would thinkst, See they, of all shapes and sizes, from all lands, they come and build such might castles! Oh, if only I were to have such a castle. what a just rule I would hold over my kingdom! Yet none would hear him.

And so finally he retreated, weary and beaten, into the forest. 'Twas there that he saw many beautiful things, things he had not seen before on the road. Deep in the forest, there he found a peace which he had not known before, could not know. He layeth down his arms. The peace consumeth him. He is calm. All memories of lost battles and grievous defeats fadeth away.

It chanced that one day a traveler met him. He asked, "What doth thou expect to accomplish here? How wouldst thou build a kingdom living in this wilderness?"

The peaceful warrior replied, "I am a pacifist, sire. Fight? I cannot. I do not care if I win or lose, so long as I can live in peace."

The Benchwarmer

Alright, so I've been out of the game for a while. I got sent off a long time ago for some stupid play on my part, I agree (especially after reviewing the game footage). But since, I've found it difficult to find a place on the pitch again. Perhaps The Manager has lost faith in me. Or perhaps the game has just changed and I just can't keep up with it. This is highly possible, I've always been a little old fashioned. Whatever that means.

But truly the game has changed. India has always been a tough pitch, but the times, boy are they a-changing. I blame this on the internet, MTV, Bollywood, and the extremely skewed and ever dropping sex ratio of this nation. It's making it more and more difficult for out of favor chaps like myself.

It's high time for some serious introspection. I'm going to look at this objectively as possible. What are my strengths, what are my weaknesses. And what is wrong with me? Let's start with the obvious. Now I guess I look pretty ok. I mean, I look ok for your average Maharashtrian male from one of the "village-cities". Which places me at about the 5.9 billion mark worldwide, in a ranking system where, say, Cristiano Ronaldo would be first. Incidentally, I share a birthday with Cristiano. However, that is where the similarities end. Look-wise, I'm more comparable to his Portuguese national team compatriot, Luis Nani.

Ok fine, I've had several injuries and there has been a debatable loss of form (the damn media seems to think so, and as you know, whatever the media says is right). But one learns from their mistakes. I've been training really hard since then, and it shows. And I know all the tactics. Playing it defensive, or all out attack, or even sitting deep and hitting them on the counter. I have studied the theory thoroughly. Oh my god, I have so studied the theory. I'm quite proficient with it now and just need a chance to put it in practice and prove myself. I just need that chance, and its all up to The Boss to put me in.

Yet week after week, I find myself on the bench. Just there, but not quite. I'm on the sidelines. And no one questions The Gaffer. Every time I ask him to put me in, he just looks at me like this:

No one argues with The Gaffer, bitch.
You try arguing with that.

Its hard sometimes, watching from the sidelines. I just wonder, why is The Gaffer always passing me over? I mean I see much less capable players out there making a name for themselves and scoring some real beauties. My teammates often tell me its not about build, or beauty of play, or other such technicalities. Well what then?

Come on Gaffer, put me in. Its obvious I'm not your favorite player, but that's ok. You don't want me to start, well that's quite clear, and that's fine. But go ahead and put me in as a sub! I don't mind, really I don't. A late sub if it pleases you! Just to go out and stretch my legs if nothing else! My only aim is to please. But I can't do that from the sidelines, now can I?

I know I complain about being on the bench. But don't worry, I'm not going to do a Carlos Tevez and go play for the other team. Of course I've thought of it. But, er, let's just say that I could never adapt to their style of play. I just wouldn't fit into their setup. No, I ain't switching sides. So it seems I better be quite content with the bench.

Who am I kidding. If I go out there I'll probably make some rash tackle. Then some Cristiano like figure will come over and goad me into getting sent off and then run to wink at the bench. Where I will be next week.

And then I lose my place on the team again.
Oh, this is all bollocks. Imagine what it does to the morale of a player? In my time on the bench, I've seen people get stretchered off, sent off with multiple match bans, score goals, be subbed, and even a lot of unfit players make it out there. It's a shame. And in the midst of all this, my butt has been firmly on the bench. Now I know how Owen Hargreaves feels.

Oi, Gaffer, I'm ready! Put me in the game!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Facebook Era

Technology. The great equalizer.

And so it came to be that the world was covered by a great web. Isn't technology amazing? Now, no matter what- and i mean no matter what... time of day, distance, availability, weather, geography, socio-political situation- we are all connected. Oh baby, are we connected.

You know that picture on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with the two fingers touching? I can imagine the same thing only with two people extending computer cables (and 3 billion people "like" this).

The new generation is spoiled. They were born into it. They don't even know what "post" is. Unless its "post something on Facebook" (oh, I've clicked photos of trip to the grocery store! Let's upload them so people can post their comments! And then 923 people "like" this. Really?). They don't understand the gravity and the brilliance of it. They take it for granted.

I was no exception till a few years ago. I was in class in college, depressed and bored (no other way to be in my college), and I was texting a friend back home. And suddenly I realized, "holy crap... I'm here in college and she's 500km away in Goa, and we are talking as though we are right next to each other. Wow...".

Enter the Digital Age. Possibilities are endless. Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya. From darkness, light. Well, I don't think that's quite what they had in mind when whoever said that said it.

We can now stay in touch so easily with anyone and everyone... regardless of whether either party wants to keep in touch with the other. Old school friends, college buddies, long lost pals of childhood days long gone, relatives, colleagues, accquaintences... we can know their life, and they can know ours, at the click of a button. We can interact.

Yet the closer we get, somehow, the more far removed I feel. The more connected I am, the more and more I feel disconnected.

I have a colleague as a friend on Facebook. She works on my floor. 5 days a week, we are no more than 20 feet apart for most of the day. I have her picture on Facebook. But I haven't actually seen her in weeks.

I know that some airhead little girl "thinks her friends are awesome and loves them", but I don't know the name of the guy in the next cubicle.

Facebook can be a dangerous thing too. I like to break balls on the SNS. I once said something that I thought was innocent on a friend's profile. That friend took it really bad, blocked me, and hasn't spoken to me since. Hmmm. I guess we weren't that good friends. But then, what is the demarcation to know the difference? She was in my "Friends List". They are not divided into "good friends", "so-so friends", "can't-take-a-joke friends", etc. Bloody hell.

And how many people that I should really interact with do I actually do so with? My parents. My sister, my grandmother. My good ol' gang of friends (whom I think are friends for life). I see them once in a month, day, and week, respectively. [Footnote: Adding that girl that you like is not going to improve your chances with her either]. Not to mention there are college friends, office mates, and fringe relatives. (<insert number> people "don't like" this. I "don't like" this).

No, its a bit too much. Often there are 50 people online in my Facebook chat. And often I don't feel like talking to any one of them. Sms packs are a dangerous thing. You're on the phone half the time. And you hardly even actually talk. If you don't get a message or a call, you feel depressed. No one loves you. If I don't get an email for half an hour, I feel annoyed. No one cares. Why didn't so-and-so comment on my status or my pic? I am alone.

Look at those people's pics. Why haven't I been there? Why aren't I doing this like that person? I'm falling so far behind. I'm doing nothing with my life. I'm going to die unaccomplished. You don't have to admit to me, but be honest with yourself: you ever felt like that?

Just 8 years ago I was in school, and it was nowhere near this bad. Sure, we had internet, we had the telephone, we had all that jazz. But now, to not be connected is to not exist. Now, I am connected to everyone and everything. Yet sometimes, these days, I feel lonelier than I've ever felt.

Click here if you "like" this. Or I will be very sad.

Friday, March 4, 2011

83rd Oscars Review- 4 trophies and Inception was "snubbed"

The 83rd Oscars have come and gone in a flurry. After much anticipation, I am left with mixed emotions now that the thing is over.

Now it was pretty obvious to me that there would not be such thing as a “sweep” this year. It was a very open year for the Oscar contenders this year, with strong claims from all the candidates. And while it is true that it did not exactly sweep the Awards, it is still not a stretch of the imagination to say that The King’s Speech owned. It bagged 4 top awards, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Inception tied the ultimate “winner” with 4 out of its 8 nominations, which were the 2 sound awards, visual effects, and Best Cinematography, work I hope Wally Pfister continues to do with Nolan. And ah, yes, Nolan the perennial underdog sat demurely watching the proceedings, the epitome of calm, though even he looked a tad surprised when they didn’t call his name for Best Original Screenplay. In fact, I’m pretty happy with the way the Oscars turned out, except for two contentious thorns that are bothering me.

Best Score went to the fantastic work of Trevor Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network (which also got Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing). While the score suited the movie beautifully and is a great listen, none of the nominated scores can match up in epic grandeur to Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception. Admittedly I’ve not listened to the other scores much, whereas I have listened to the entireInception album many times. Whether it was the music from the action scenes, or the haunting score that captured the drama and mystery of the more deep scenes, this really was the best score. The track Mombasa is pure adrenaline in the most grand form, and my favorite track Time that was played in the finishing scene, one of the best scenes of the movie, is one of redemption (they also played it every timeInception got an award J). Zimmer was robbed.

Best Original Screenplay went to Tom Hooper’s film. Now while it would be unjust to say that Nolan was robbed, Inception had a great plot and story. However, I can’t really fault any of the other nominees because they were all simply fantastic. Nolan has been shafted too many times, first with The Dark Knight, and now with Inception. Every person who got an award for the movie thanked Nolan effusively, calling him “the master” and what not, and he just sat there with a Cheshire cat smile. Nolan, you will always be the man.

Speaking of the Cheshire Cat, Alice In Wonderland picked up Art Direction and Costumes award. While the other nominees gave stiff competition, they all kind of had something to draw on, whereas with Alice the only limit was the designers’ imagination. So its probably appropriately given (I say probably because I haven’t seen the movie).

Colin Firth picked up his trophy for Best Actor to much applause and had to control his urge to dance on stage. It was a special award considering his competition. Natalie Portman was gorgeous on the night as she picked up her well deserved trophy for Black Swan, the only award for the movie on the night. She’s come a long way since playing the little assassin in Leon at the tender age of 11 :o. I’ve had a mad crush on her since Episode I, so it’s special for me too. However, her fellow nominee Jennifer Lawrence has proved that she has a bright future. Best Supp Actor and Actress were the only 2 trophies for The Fighter, and I don’t think there are any arguments there. Only my heart goes out to the ever so charming Hailee Steinfield. And props to my man Christian Bale, and man who takes his job oh so seriously (you try losing 60 pounds and then putting on 100 again). Way to go, Batman. An emotional Melissa Leo dropped the f-bomb for her speech, she could hardly contain herself. A few of the other winners had a bit of fun with this. Best Director was one of the most open categories of all, and I would have been happy with anything. Congrats, Tom Hooper.

Toy Story 3 was pretty good, but not when you compare it with its predecessors. Meh, call me sentimental. I preferred How To Train Your Dragon this year, but the Academy didn’t.

127 Hours and True Grit didn't walk away with anything, and they would have to have been something pretty special what with their fellow nominees. Except that I thought Franco was brilliant in his movie and thoroughly deserved his Best Actor nomination. I would not have been displeased at all had he won, in fact I would have been quite happy. But more people on the jury thought Firth was the better man.

Anne Hathaway and James Franco were great hosts, filling the show with plenty of humor. Anne brought the energy, while Franco was the anti-thesis, playing it calm and composed. Or so I thought initially... but after some reflection, I came to realize that they didn't really click, thanks largely in part to Franco's cold stance. Nonetheless Hathaway is quite a singer as she put on a nice musical dissing Hugh Jackman (all in the name of good fun). She was a bucket of energy and fun, and I'm not just saying that because I like her.

So, finally, now that its all said and done, with The King’s Speech taking the big part of the pie and many other movies making their mark in history, this is a satisfied movie fan and a disappointed fanboi signing off.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Death Of A Weekend

I'm so depressed.

So very depressed.

And yet another weekend passes by. Bah. To what end, I ask?

I live from weekend to weekend. Waiting as the week drains by, burns to nothingness. Looking forward with such anticipation for that release from boredom, for that salvation, for that energy. And at no time is that wait longer and more desperate than Monday morning. I want... I need that weekend, that Friday evening. And finally the weekend does come and its going to be awesome! And then, inevitably, it too fizzles out and dies, and is gone in a flash. Doing the same things I've been doing. To no end.

And I've been doing this for a year.

Yes its been a year since I've come back to Pune, marked, incidentally, by Valentine's Day. Back from training in Infosys Mysore. That was a joyous day for me. As always, when I am on the brink of change, I was full of a hope, a new hope, for a new life. A year later, its all the same.

What am I doing? I'm drinking away the days. I have no direction. What is my job? I don't know. It's just some money. Really, do I deserve it? Do I earn it? I'm so bored of everything.

I can't do this. I can't get depressed. Not now. Its too soon. Every year I get depressed from a few times to several times. I mean actually clinically depressed. Just no one knows about it. The recent trend (the last few years, ok, since after highschool) is that I generally go through one depression in the month of April. What is up with that? What is it with that end of March and start of April time? It used to be so happy. It used to mean the end of exams, it used to mean freedom and joy and abandon. I went through one of the worst depressions till date in April 2009. Man, I thought my life lacked direction then. Sigh. Yes, I have a depressing life.

But it's just February. I can't be depressed so soon. Not in the new year. Especially when I started the year with such positive changes. Meh. I can't fucking do this.

One whole year I've just been mucking around. And now all I keep wondering is, what is it all for? What is there at the end of it all?

Jesus fucking Christ. I'm serious. I'm on the verge of tears I'm so depressed.

Oh, loathful Monday.

And the best part is the weekend no longer provides that respite it once did.

I can't keep doing this. I need something. Something new. Anything. Why can't my life be like in those movies where the protagonist starts out as a highly mediocre, depressed chap grinding out a 9 to 5 and who is extremely unhappy, but then this life altering thing happens to him? Like say in Fight Club or Wanted? That would awesome. How come I'm never a "chosen one"? And invariably there will be some insanely hot chick somehow involved, and the protagonist gets to screw her. Granted that Angelina Jolie probably didn't want to screw James McAvoy, but like in Eragon the guy gets a hot Elven chick.

But no, that shit just never happens to me. Just once, I'd like to find a dragon egg. It's getting bad. No, its already bad. It's getting worse. You know you're in a sad state when the thing that used to save you no longer does. Weekends just don't do it anymore. Not that same shit all the time.

I need something. Some direction. Some guidance. Anything. From anywhere. From up above. From down below. From fucking anywhere. Just save me from this... rut that I've created for myself. And the worst part is, I know I really can't complain. I've got it good. And that just makes it suck even more. I don't know what's missing or how to get it. I'm a ship without sails.

And fucking Valentines Day is here again. What a day for me to write this post. One year. I thought I hated this day before. God, and I have to go to gym tomorrow. Lame. I'm so bored of that. And what has it ever got me? Now I can't fit in that nice Homer shirt I bought myself.

It's the death of another weekend. And I fear it may be the death of the idea of the weekend. And that is thought that scares and depresses me all the more. And it's just February.

Fuckin' hell.


God damn, its the new year, and this is my first blog. What the hell happened to January? It all went by in a blur, and admittedly, I didn't accomplish anything noteworthy in that time, so there's no excuse for my prolonged absence.

Well there's still shit to talk about from December and I'm going to get right to the point: Sunburn. One of the biggest music festivals in the world. DJs from all corners of the earth converge at Candolim beach in Goa and the party is on for three whole days. People from all over the world come to Goa for this event. It's beautiful. If you think this blog is actually about Sunburn, however, you should probably navigate your browser elsewhere.

Now one of the things I like most about this festival is all the hot girls in bikinis. Like... oh... my... god. I'm not even kidding. Babes and bikinis.

And it's not even just the foreign girls. The Indian girls are hot. And I'm not saying that with surprise, obviously Indian girls are hot, but JFC, there were so many and they were so hot and awesome. Where the hell are all these girls once Sunburn is over?

A cheeky bastard in the back shouts: "They went back to north India!"

Hey, asshole! Fuck you.

But no, seriously, north Indian girls have it going on. That's not to say that I don't like girls from south India or for that matter other parts of India (or indeed, the world), I'm just saying I happened to see a lot of hot north Indian girls there. In bikinis. Looking bloody awesome. For the sake of brevity and also to not sound like a perv (which I'm not. No, really) I will leave the rest to your imagination. Especially this one girl that was there, who was short and perfectly proportioned and I just wanted to DIE...

Anyway, there were just so many of them. Are all of them taken? But of course. Which then brings me to the hordes of north Indian guys I saw.

Now I'm sure that the staggering majority of them are absolutely normal, good people. But what I can't stand is just the generic north Indian guy, which is pretty much all I saw there. Tall. Well built(ish). Fair. And good hair. All the same. Every one of them. So boring. What do girls see in them? Besides all the stuff I just mentioned? Pfftt...

What is with them? Why are they all so high on themselves? They think they can do whatever they want and they own everything. They have a lot of money and all drive around in Honda Citys or ride around on BMW bikes or whatever, and wear those tight fighting shirts and shades and gel up their hair. I reiterate: Pfftt...

Now I don't know what great hopes I had there. But it just so happened that I wound up next to this "couple", with this guy who had his arms around a girl. She seemed to be an NRI, and he was one of the above mentioned generic north Indians. It soon became apparent that they had just met. So unfair! God, does personality have no bearing in this world? Is it all about raw looks and power? And as they were bumping and grinding to the beats (hahaha, that phrase always cracks me up) and I watched on in :facepalm: mode, I could catch snippets of their conversation. Finally, in attempts to impress her further I guess, he said "Do you want me to speak in Hindi for you? I could speak in Hindi for you..." at which point I had to get the hell out of there and burst out laughing. That really made my day. What a retard. I can speak Hindi for you? Is that not just fucking lame? And its as if its such a romantic language or something! Sure, fine, he got the girl, which is the most important thing, but I will never forget that line.

Sunburn is always fucking crazy. Only this year there was no smoking/drugs at the venue. And also the host, Nikhil Chinapa, got drunk and made us all bored with his "Sunburn family" speech every three minutes. But the amalgam of people, from every corner of the world... so many beautiful faces. and a sea of hands before a beautiful laser lit stage... its fantastic in itself man. Totally worth the 5k I spent. Oh, and did I mention a lot of hot girls in their summer clothes were there?

Those who know Sean from Blackpool knew that he couldn't make it this year, because I met a lot of English people, and I couldn't blow my cover. So I was just Sean from Texas. Meh. But as a good friend pointed out to me after I related to him the above story, maybe next time I should just get drunk and pretend I'm from north India. Hmmm. Changing your accent can only do so much, it can't perform miracles.

Oh, and I'm not racist; I hate everyone equally.