May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
If I was one of those wild willed, feet running, ye-ywah-ywapadido sort of guy, I might be hungover right now. But as it stands, the fish named Fish, is surely having a better time of it. Calling a fish, a Fish is odd eh? But then, I’m sure nobody called the first fish, Bob, Marley, Dylan, Wolmer or for that matter Kartick.
The first fish, was surely a boring little thing, which did not have a name given it to by humans. And the reason why it didn’t have a fancy human name was, there were no humans around to do so. And for that matter, there wasn’t a he-who-must-not-be-named around as well. When the sun rose, there was light. When the big fish ate the smaller fish, when the smaller fish had already eaten the remains of another big fish, courtesy a bigger fish being a messy eater like a toddler, the cycle of life wasn’t manufactured by men with fat bellies and set to tunes. It was just generally how things happened, or at least must have happened.
One cannot be sure, you see. How do you know what actually happened? Through books, through others, through google? Or did someone post a Facebook meme about it? If you had been there and done that, the proof of the event is the headache that follows. If you hadn’t been there, the proof of the volcano are those beautiful jaw dropping sunsets. But apart from such silly logical links that can be harried and wedded into a neat little, on the rocks, waves crashing long exposure, there isn’t much to tell something actually happened.
There’s plenty of scope to exploit this. A suggestive nod about how a truck might bump into you, or the fact that XYZ slept with ZYX, and ABC was very upset because ABC was something of XYZ and HIJ was something to ZYX, gets us. If I had added names, you would read on, curiously, for hints, anything to tell you more about the morals which were summarily quartered and pickled after being left out to dry in the sun for a few days. But not using names, gives you nothing of it, because you don’t have a point of reference, something to link you to the plot. A clever story teller uses a few common names, if they want to be snappy or sets of characters who have something similar to you or people you know and then goes on to throw them on a bear skinned or tiger skinned carpet, and generally engaging in very interesting hanky-panky.
One has (or since I have conveniently chosen to act like the all knowing whatsitsname here, you have) no clue what’s happening or what happened or what will happen. In the world of finance, they call this uncertainty, which in the world of Noddy would just mean make way for Noddy because he’s bringing in Big Ears, to solve the whole hungama. The only reason you do know something is because there was a boy named something who told you that bad bad word, which all the adults used, but wouldn’t appreciate you using it.
Those words, that little knowledge of a few sounds strung together, puts a link to the whole adult world. The fact that you need to be an adult, makes it more special, because you do want to be an adult. Not a teenager, not a big kid, but an adult.
Why not all those big fat books, which we read to become doctors and scientists, why is it that they don’t tell us as much as that wonderful four letter word? The only reason you remember how the heart functions is not because you had large beautiful diagrams but because someone explained it to you as a process. The only reason you remember mythology is because your grandpa told you those stories with a personalized narrative. It doesn’t matter if you believed in it or not, it was special, something told specially to you.
There are times when one reads, where we are lost for a voice, a point of reference. Take a moment and imagine a HUGE ocean, an endless ocean. Can you see your brain scanning for a reference point? Or do you see it throwing known imagines of an endless ocean acquired through films or NatGeo in there?
Well, let’s try that again; there was a fish, in a vast endless ocean. What do you see now? In a vast endless ocean, there was a fish. Did you zoom into our friendly fish with a single horn, on which a rope can be thrown? Now all you have is a vast endless ocean, where does the fish steer you? Not to the super market or Mcdonald’s for a burger, it steers you to safety, we are told. And safety is the lack of bodily harm and not a bowl of fries and a big glass of your favorite soft drink. No one thinks about the mental agony of having to watch water, water everywhere(unless you are held up by an Ancient Mariner.) Just think about how you felt the first time you heard the story of Matsya or Noah.
Not much of a connect is there, right? Because you never knew a vast endless ocean and neither did you know the variously bodily harms that the fish steered the world in a big boat away from. To you, safety was something else and not as generally defined by the world. You just didn’t get it. So over a period of time, you find your way through, are told various things and slowly being the wild-eyed super clever race we are, you get to know a lot of things.
Think of the tiniest thing you know. Now cut that into half. Cut that into half. Cut that into half, as well. You couldn’t do that right? Anyway, moving on, send those two things running around a tunnel of about 27 kms or so in diameter and then BANG! What did you see?
Not much? Now if I showed you a video of the big bang and how Earth and its life, miraculously was just there created by he-who-should-not-be-named, and then if I were to tell you that that happened after these two tinier than the tiniest of tiniest things crashed, whether you got it or not, you will construct an image out of it. A lovely movie, moving slowly, showing the tiniest things spinning, curling, like a baseball pitch or a cricket ball or a marble and then, bang! And suddenly, your brain zooms out and the whole big bang is there. And a second later, you on Earth with no more dodos. What if I someone told you the entire thing took a few billion years and there probably isn’t that he-who-should-not-be-named? It seems possible if you lived in a city where a pile of rubbish is removed after He-who-must-not-be-named-knows-how-long. What if I told you it happened in a matter of two thousand years?
Still possible, because you are in a world Buggati Veyrons and Little Boys. Who the hell is right?
Your accountant tells you to invest in a house or in certain funds or do such and such a thing and you do it. Your doctor tells you to take a few pills for something and you do. Your lawyer tells you to bring cash, you do it. The reason why you trust these people is because there is a basis, an understanding, a point of reference, created by a very complicated process. No one chooses a professional without a reference, if we can help it and when we haven’t chosen them, we don’t trust them entirely. The problem is that though every lawyer knows the law and has read the same thing, each one presupposes and has a very different understanding. The successful ones not only have the recipe, they also instinctively know when to add what.
What sets apart your uncle who cracks jokes and Douglas Adams is that Adams knew how to set out a point of reference and take it from there. To me, Adams is funnier than Wodehouse, because the idea of a street smart butler with common sense to go in tow is not as exciting as Bebblebrox or rats running the show. We all have our own little Babel fish, translating the world into whatever goes into our tiny heads. There is no need for a complex alien language, there is no need for detailed settings; you will believe it, if something happens to something you already know.
Harry was a boy living under the cupboard and he receives a letter. Moon face lived close to the clouds. Above the clouds was topsy-turvy land. In each case, there was no need for you to know where the devil was the wall or who was Jon Snow. You jump into a world through the cupboard and you are a king.
Chick lit sells. Pulp fiction sells. They rake in more money and are more widely read than literary fiction or poetry. Literary fiction tend to be filled with details, emotions, what not, this and that, and not simple people who worry if XYZ is sleeping with ZYX. It doesn’t take much of an effort to relate to that sort of thing. You might not have a vocabulary as fancy and varied as Milton. But you do know, what’s the internet, what’s a television, what’s a watch and such everyday objects. Chick lit can be good too. If you are into that sort of thing. Like how mathematics is fun, if you knew the language.
Right, so we have established that the way you think and what you know is completely different from what Marvin the paranoid android knows and that married couples start looking like each other. If you have read the entire post till now, you know where this is going- two paras from now, a guy with a funny mustache shall meet a man carrying a stick, who will tell him to peace out. A man with a big beard shall tell a boy with a stick in his hand about how he can kill the world’s biggest problem by uttering a few silly words.
Or should it go like that? Should every toast be buttered and jammed and for that matter be toasted?
A guy named James jumped high and slammed the ball into the basket and did not protect his son from the evil guy. A certain Maria did not run around borders teaching music to kids, rather she whacked the ball with a big grunt and what followed was an applause, accolades and titles, not a song of farewell.
When we can reconcile those facts, why is that we cannot put together a world of big bird and people or say, theists and atheists? To me, sitting in a city that is boiling hot, cold reason seems such a nice idea, while for the native speakers of this language, cold is everything that is wrong. Ice came to this city through ships from the U.S. While that’s a fact which is not of any use to most people, (unless you are a history student or an avid quizzer) there are other things which do matter. As time moves on, we forget the history, the origin of all that. Partly because that isn’t real and/or relevant to you.
The stars were always there. And we know much more now than we did when that ray of light started, all those light years ago. In fact we didn’t exist when that light ray started from the quasars. But to someone who doesn’t know about quasars or hasn’t learnt about light years and space and milkyway, the sky is still fascinating in a different way. The narrative that follows from there is unique which is worth hearing as well. Like listening to music in a language you do not understand.
It is quite tempting to fall into traditional metaphors and say life is a mumbo-jumbo and say life’s all about cutting off your thumb for your teacher. But to pull out a certain sample from this great big melange and use it to summarize fiction and reality, culture and what not, is a coping mechanism. While that is fine in itself and much needed to get through drinking tea out of paper cups while staring at computer screens, there is a point where a conscious thought should be one where things just flow without a judgement. Maybe like how Murakami puts a moon next to the one that is already there. Maybe like how everything that’s happening over so many eras is just a Brahma day; but the need for concrete and taming, never allows it.
(Un)Fortunately we don’t live in Neverland and we act based on our needs and will. The complex webs we spin ourselves into is furious enough to keep us on your heels for many life times to come(if that’s what you prefer; more Monday mornings, anyone?) We try to wrap and to an extent do wrap a couple of rounds of the sticky stuff around everything that comes into our world. Every now and then some oil spills and a light shines through it, making our jaws drop, but most often than not, the sunrise just happened, and the concrete doesn’t breathe but just holds all those lives within.
Maybe it would be worth breaking the shackles of our conditioned world and staring right at all that which we ever refused to stare at. That way, the ceiling might move away leaving a whole wide world to stare at, a whole UNIVERSE.
And As Shelley says,
“look upon ye mighty and despair.”
April 2, 2013 § 6 Comments
The following post has not been spell checked or grammar checked, much like this sentence. The author suggests you do not read on but if you do, do not, DO NOT bug him about it. He sincerely wishes to convey a few section numbers which he is currently trying to remember for his exams as a form of apologizing.
One of the bane of modern living is…well not Monday mornings, it is quite clearly the damn battery.
The joke is on every one of us. Extra battery packs(much like people with low sugar and their chocolates) or just the charger- they are as ubiquitous as the phones themselves. No more is it, can I have some water please and no, we don’t go around asking for wifi passwords(Jerkdontaskforfreepayupororderacoffee) at coffee shops(we demand it, you know), but all of us have that awkward moment when we have asked for plug points. Just watch the competition on Indian trains for one of those and you would know- forget selling properties on Mars, you could become a Kajingillionaire by selling power to charge batteries.
Enter Kindle Paperwhite stage right.
And then I got this. Yes, it isn’t a phone or a laptop, but it has this awesome battery life. Damn it, nothing has made me more happy than this in a while. The thing actually lasts for days! The only charge it has got till now is when I plugged it into my comp. to load books. I smile a lot when I see the battery on top…it feels like having removed my braces. Ha! The bliss.
The next best thing about the kindle is that it doesn’t have those praise-the-boson twitter apps. Or any apps for that matter. It is such a relief to actually not have those updates all around you. It takes humongous effort to keep the data switched off on my suicidal phone( Because the phone is basically meant to be spoken into and mine says that’s exactly all that it would do. In fact any conversation over 5 minutes, dear 4-inch i9003 becomes a stupid black hole) and it is refreshing when someone acknowledges that you are a guy who hasn’t had military training and doesn’t leave (self)control to you. Btw,I have checked twitter about 42*10^100 times since I began writing this post.
There is this experimental browser thing, which anyone who has ever tried to get golden rings or ribbons or whatever fancy thing in a chemistry lab knows are better left to their own devices safely in the beakers. For the record, it isn’t too bad. Actually, I haven’t tried it much(both the chemistry thing evidently and the browser, now evident.)
So with no twitter and a battery life that should make the game of thrones series seem like an abridged version of twinkle twinkle little star, this device is the right one to buy if you want to read.
But then since the internet allows you to ask silly questions(limited offer in India, sale ends pretty soon), here goes how it to read on a six inch screen that doesn’t smell like old paper.
At the outset old paper smells awesome and I live in it. My room currently looks like that exotic looking paper filled, book filled room you saw in your dreams or 9gag. So the smell is with me. Amazon should just come up a perfume to help you there, if your room isn’t as messed up as mine. The screen isn’t as fancy as nexus 7 or worth half a kidney like in an ipad(because that thing costs two kidneys to buy) but it is awesome to read. It is old people friendly because it can show DON’T PANIC in large friendly letters, not small little print which the omnibus which I have does. The dodos went away too fast- they should have taken this with them.
How do you read? With your eyes? Duh, kids. Most of us roll on the bed, diwan or something. People who watch television are couch potatoes, people who read can be any vegetable with two eyes draw on it. And the most uncomfortable thing to when when one is reading horizontal is checking the time, if you don’t have a clock hanging around somewhere. The kindle displays the time right at the top next to the battery. How clever of them to do that!
The second most annoying thing to do when reading in your bed moments from comatose, is getting enough light on to the page. How awesome it would be if you could have your own Dobby with a flashlight, Bellatrix? Well, surely we muggles have come a long way! The Paperwhite which is very light(that rhymes, right? Again!?) is that it has this backlight. It also has very useful comments next to the light settings which tells you at what levels to set it, making it the most idiot friendly touchable device. For the record, I almost tried to peel out the screen when I opened the packing, mistook the words on the screen for some sticker, especially since it told me to switch it on(the genie now speaks from within!)
E ink is epic! Not the passed on orally till no one knows the story kind, but the kind when something doesn’t start with an i. The screen or pixels or the ink rearranges when you flip a page and my-grandmom-would-shout-bingo-if-she-ever-gambled you are on to the next page with a tap. This is actually bad for everything else except reading, as your tech. savvy SOS is pointing out. And so what? the device is actually a big slab on which the little Houdini within writes and sits mum, there by making nokia 1100 seem like a…actually it is still sorely missed- a minute’s silence please.
Thank you. Now where was I? Yes, so, if all that wasn’t enough to make you get the kindle paperwhite, nothing else will. I suggest you either buy a nexus 7 or start looking for people who want to buy kidneys, but be warned the second you get hold of one of those ipad thingys the next one would be released and you would look like a fashionable obsolescent idiot instead of just a fashionable idiot(okay I hate apple, please feel free to swear in the comment section(actually that is exactly what I want, since this blog is almost dead))
Now if you are still reading, I might as well tell you that it has…just buy it will you? Psst, there are so many free ebooks out there
P.S:- It works out quite cheap if you have tons of ebooks and I suggest you go about acquiring them while thinking about poor authors like…well are there any poor authors still left? The publishing houses don’t look at you unless you are wearing a Tissot!
December 17, 2012 § 2 Comments
As December 21, 2012, the day the world is supposed to end approaches, hell is getting prepared to welcome humans. “We expect at least a million percent increase,” says a source who is in-charge of attendance. “At present we have 10 gates for issuing id. cards to the inmates when they enter, but come twenty-first we will be opening at least a couple of million more. The photo of the inmate is taken and using an infernal-red tech. which scans the inmate continuously throughout their stay, we track changes in physical appearance. This is much like a Job card only much more simpler.”
“Yes, people do change. And hell inspires changes. The big boss wanted this to reform people, before putting them on the belt.” says a whipper, who to keep his identity secret, wears a horse mask. “The humans relate to it. That makes our job so much easier. It started out as a prank really, but it works awesome. Once we whip them, we send them over to the pre-heat.”
The CTO and executive Vice-President of hell, Angel McGreedy, says that the challenge was in expanding. “Heaven is expanding as well. And the land prices have gone through the roof. The government had to interfere and acquire the land and give it to us. Landowners have been issued bonds which they can redeem in cash or kind at six months from now. We expect to generate enough cash flow by then, given the number of inmates coming in. The government has also promised us extra subsidiary against sales, especially exports.”
Hell currently has a manufacturing cycle of three months. But a real issue would be the excess of humans coming in. “Look we have no control over the input. At times it is low, at times it is high- the main difference is in storage and maintenance which would increase drastically. But with the end of the world, the demand will also increase many folds. Also, we will be coming out with a new premium product, much more sophisticated, much more to the gods tastes. In fact, even customization is possible. This should increase the revenue as well. We have built special warehouses to house the extra input. “
“The additional plant near Vykunt began operating a year ago. We acquired Softpoke and with their technology, it is now possible to reduce the time to produce these premium products.” During the previous end of the world, or pralaya, hell had major power shortage, leading to only two premium products being available at the time of recreation. “That was hell. We had to face a lot of legal cases as well. In the end we settled it out of court, with special offers during the next recreation(now).”
“We were small, very small in fact. Our labourers went on strike asking for retirement benefits. Admittedly we didn’t handle it well either. But the power shortage didn’t help. Our kilns couldn’t function properly. It is necessary to keep the inferno at the right temperature. Humans are a delicate and expensive material. It takes skill and craft to make them properly.”
Another major worry that the input will be of a very low standard. Currently, Humans who don’t meet hell’s standards are discarded and sold as scrap. “Yes, that is a major worry. We hope a part of the increase will be met by higher demand for the scrap. In fact, we wouldn’t even call it scrap, we could call it a by-product. The Rats Hell Inc especially wants more humans. Another opportunity we are looking at is soul-merger technology. It is still in its infancy, but it could be worth a shot. It would increase the quality of our products.”
One major change this time around would be that there will be no Rebirth Humans Inc around. The company had to shutdown its factories as the demand for their product fell. But Humans Hell Inc is looking at the possibility of acquiring them. “Yes, that is something we are looking at. That technology would help us a lot. At present our reformation process takes over a month long. But with the rebirth technology it would help us bring down the time to about a couple of days.”
As Earth prepares for impending doom, Humans Hell Inc. looks to out perform all competitors. “We already have a few orders coming in- both from home and abroad. We expect orders to pick up after end of the world. Currently, buyers are cautious, keeping their options open. But we are confident. Things look bright and the future looks great. Happy end of the world.”
December 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
You see India is supposed to be very good at cricket and writing long boring laws based on Brits or Americans (but mostly the former.) The country got its freedom with so much effort that it is a stuff of legends- a few years from now, the leaders who went to jail, rebelled, broke salt laws, bombed magistrates, got shot, kicked, burnt could be akin to mythological characters- colorfully exaggerated by history textbooks, over which students fall asleep because the teacher is an underpaid, bullied person, who really doesn’t know or care about the students and making future leaders. As for the cricket, it has a team with spinners who seem to be better at selling spin-a-yarn-esque ads than spinning the stupid little red thing.
Our bonds could soon be rated as junk, our forex reserves are like the bank account of literature students and our hockey team might as well be from an uninhabited island and oh! the Indian Olympic Committee just got suspended. Add to this our “religious” sentiments being hurt by teenagers on facebook (a clear sign of identity crisis- the country has a whole needs to see a shrink soon) and no wonder our politicians are always shouting about something. What would happen if they were to hear themselves? What would happen if for one moment a doubt creeps in and they discover that the country is not made of communities but of individuals, much like them, except that unlike them they could be swat like mosquitoes with an electric bat? (the fact that we don’t enough electricity to keep charging these bats is another issue altogether)
If only our future could be traded in some market- like commodity futures, imagine the thrill, the spills…and the Foreign Investments. Imagine Indian kids being bought by Norway, surely they would take care of them better than us? All this is pure chaos like the parliament and we live it and it becomes practical- just like torrents seem much more practical than buying books and then being told you hold it conditionally( like the uncle next door who wants to sell his house but only if the buyer would keep it as it is.)
All this seems so complicated doesn’t it? What’s wrong if one was just to drink whiskey in some fancy private island in some weird ocean? Or if you are one of those unfortunate people like me, you could make do with going to sleep or reading about other people’s lives elsewhere. Doesn’t matter if it is Betelgeuse or Mocondo or IIT, as long as you have a reprieve, that lovely pillow, you are fine.
November 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
The customer is an asshole because he demands you to deliver what you promised. Surely, the customer should know that all promises are empty? Well of course, the promise on the currency note , “I promise to pay…” is not empty, because the customer owes us. As a company which employs thousands of people, it is natural that there are salaries which might be paid and bonus which might be given if the employees are obedient enough to work all those unsaid, unwritten hours.
The customer is an asshole, because he takes away all those goods that took hours to produce, a fine product of human evolution- the amount of effort, time and capital put into it and still he finds something wrong, and shouldn’t he just shut up and admire evolution of humanity and admit that mistakes do happen, especially when so many people are involved? Doesn’t he have kids who shout aloud in trains?(not in planes because when employees wear short skirts they can kick out anyone they want)
How can he ask the market leader to waste precious capital(human and otherwise) on solving the problems of the tiny insignificant tittle twerp that he is? What will happen to the bigger picture, shouldn’t he just pay the bills whatever happens and understand that sometimes companies have to cheat and take that extra ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand? What about those big shareholders who get tax-free dividends and owners who have multi-storey houses, how will they pay for that extra private jet?
The customer is an asshole, because he demands too much. How can you expect to have websites which actually work? How can they expect a business to not store personal information and bombard them with a million spam? How can a customer ask for a refund if a card is swiped twice? How can he demand that he tip for the service and not be forced to tip them anyway, even if the waiters are rude?
How can the customer ask for what he paid for to be provided when we don’t have it? Doesn’t he know all ads are misleading? Just see the newspapers, they know it and add a tiny disclaimer in some insignificant corner. The customer is an asshole because he can’t read the fine print and understand all those unsaid things- much like the labourers, what do these people know about economies anyway? What about share prices? What about bank loans? And all those other things which actually matter?
The customer is an asshole. Because that is what is the truth. Caveat Emptor. This is a fucking capitalist world and no that Ayn’t some Rand-om concept.
October 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
Once upon a time newspapers were used to swat flies, but now the art of swatting flies with newspapers is dying, restricted to a few, especially since many seem to read papers online. The irony of course is that, papers of old actually had news in them, whereas papers today are either advertisement catalogues or are made of toilet paper or both.
Somewhere along the way these newspaper companies figured that as people who are stupid enough to pay to find out stuff from a piece of paper hours after something has actually happened must be really stupid, it is not worth providing them with stuff which they anyway do not use but instead they should be bombarded with advertisements where everyone claims to be selling the cheapest mobile phone or the sexiest underwear.
Newspapers also want to be old people friendly because surely with all that honking and noise, they have enough to put up with, so no more headlines which would make you pop- they replaced it with more advertisements. There is an ad everywhere, so much so that find the news might turn into a game at old age homes(hmm…more specifically the parliament).
There is this newspaper which apparently is supposed to make you clever, smart and ready for your pre-marriage interview with your future Father-in-law, but I hear it is now riddled with grammatical mistakes much like Chennai roads were riddled with cows a few years back. It has these wonderful tabloids as well, made of tissue paper and nothing less trying to appeal to the next gen. with paid write ups and not paid but with love articles, sometimes definite but mostly indefinite.
Then there are these other papers, which one sees in waiting rooms and in some people’s houses(I will not name you, don’t worry). For-owing-the-damned-brains-sake, what the hell do they think? Their philosophy seems to be what can’t be made stupider cannot be made stupidest. Freaking-humanity’s-sake can you people actually writing something sensible already?
You see papers were supposed to be proactive. They took on governments, companies and government companies and politicians and people with gold teeth because they believed in themselves and something else which they thought was worth it. Now, they seem to have retired and taken a back seat to these weirdo channels which dear-oh-dear live telecast bomb attacks!
So where the hell does one get news from? The internet. The irony is that it still is the newspaper and TV people who mostly share this news. They tweet because they all own smartphones and they pretend to be clever. What wrong can you go in hundred and forty characters anyway? In between apparently asking questions and apparently being all radical by having pony tails, they try to say a couple of smart things a day but end up saying stupider things. What follows is…
P.S:- Why would any paper carry an advertisement as cover? Or should we just pay a minute’s silence as the paper might be the last ever? *sips filter coffee*