Existential crisis

July 7, 2013 § 3 Comments

8 am, Saturday morning is probably the best time to have an existential crisis, mostly because who gets up at 8 am on a Sunday?  8 am works because, a lot of humanity is already up and running and in a country like India with 6-day work weeks, someone has to ensure the cows are fed, the eggs collected, the elephants washed and a couple random people hacked to death.

Anyway,

One can always dial students of philosophy, and they will tell you that some random guy in Italy or China or England said something about existential crisis. There is that cool guy who lived in a bucket or sack or something, and that other cool guy who is quoted in a lot movies. You can ask your mom, and she’ll tell you to help with the laundry. But what’s really obvious is that though this has been a state of mind, a burning issue which has possessed people since people became people, there isn’t a way out really.

I’m no fancy scientist to propose it is all in our genes. While I can easily google and find a million, trillion, Larry knows how many articles on this, it doesn’t help. However well written, funny an article is, it cannot make me less lonely. It cannot stop me from feeling that there is no point to life.

There are some who say, too much luxury and time does this to you. I am not too sure that is how it works. Education, time and luxury, make you realize what it is- they help you separate this from thousands of other things which go through you. You probably aren’t going to wake up, mistake this loneliness for something else and choose to invade a country or break a mirror. But you are going to wake up knowing how many hours are left till you go back to sleep and you hope that they day will be filled by nice things so that you can forget about it all for a while.

Will being mindless help? Will not thinking too much help? I do not know, because I haven’t tried that. How does one freeze your brain and not think? After all, I was thought to think and critically at that from a very early age.

Is this being too indulgent? Maybe. But is something wrong with indulgence? How does luxury abate one from the general throes of existence? If anything, it magnifies things. It makes you wake up on a hundred-hundred and fifty year old bed on a cool morning and makes you wonder why you still feel lonely. It makes you think about people, and makes you think about them more, and you do not want to get out of bed and face the world.

There is nothing wrong with people in my life. In fact, if anything I should call myself luck to have many nice friends. But then who do you call when you really need to talk to someone? That’s when you realize that being hyper connected is bad. We have all learnt to ignore calls, messages etc. because we can’t really stand this level of connectivity. The phone ringing at midnight no more means just that someone might need your help, it could also be your friend to talk about some football match. And we might do it once, or twice, but it hits you- you start to wonder about friends and relationships and realize how alone you are, really. Can I blame them? That wouldn’t be fair. After all I’m guilty of the same, such are the ways of our time.

Maybe my loneliness stems from my disbelief in God and all that almighty stuff. I used to be a believer as a kid, mostly because every one around me was, but the reasons for my disbelief also stem from exactly the people. There was no point of reconciliation and frankly preaching one thing and doing another doesn’t inspire confidence. Maybe they were wrong to not instill fear in me, just ‘love’ or whatever but it gave me a chance to think otherwise. While it is convenient for me to hold complex views on the whole god thing, I know deep within that I probably can never believe in him or her or it or whatever.

In a world of believers that hurts, especially when you are confronted time and again with religion and its hullabaloo. There are only so many times you want to confront and fight. But when it comes up again and again it hurts, because your sense of belonging and identity start to shake- you aren’t sure if you want to fight again and again but most importantly as an individual you are made to look into the mirror again and again, questioning your life, your existence and what it means. And constantly having to define and redefine your boundaries and your need to live in a collective world gets you. You need the people and you can’t handle them at the same time.

Should you give up yourself and go on? But when one is expected to employee ones senses and use it to judge, how do you do that? Maybe I am self-centered, but then this is about me and my world, not your world and me.

If you are reading this and cannot understand what I’m saying, well you aren’t alone. There are plenty out there who are of a similar view.  Maybe you all are right. But I miss my teens, a time when I wouldn’t listen to you. When I still could not wake up and remain in bed. But there is a need to belong, to feel part of something bigger, even though I hate it, because there is always hope that people can help you out of it. There is that fear of course, of getting too close and being hurt, but some how you do it.

Should I be rational and look at it from a different PoV, should I try to correlate, understand? Well can you do that with what you believe in? Would you be able to throw out your views and hold another person’s and see the world? You can’t, can you?

If I sound bitter, well I’m not really.There is no point. It is better to smile and try to be funny or mad or something which helps you interact and get by in the world. It is about masquerading yourself as just another person, to blur your identity and be part of the world. It is about not thinking about war, violence, rape, theft and how your best friend might tell you he has a dinner to go to and can’t take you to the hospital.

I don’t want pity or sympathy or even empathy. But I do not know what I want instead. There are people out there who are nice, who are wonderful and I love meeting them. But I’m afraid to get close, to be a part of their lives, because I’m not sure what that entails.

So is 8am, Saturday the perfect time to have an identity crisis? Maybe.

In fact that level of rationalism is probably one of the reasons to make life an even bigger drudgery.

How I ended up with a S5

July 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Badly written post ahead.

As many of you might already know, I am going through quite a torrid time emotionally. But then, all that is just a joke away from disappearing. Or so I believe life should be such.

Anyway, in between all that happened, my phone decided to retire from active service, claim its pension and relax in a phony heaven. Since it has now been replaced, it will be called the old one, and the new phone will be called the phone, since nothing is new in this world anyway(insert Oogway voice.)

This isn’t a review of the phone. Not because I don’t know how to write a review, rather I don’t want to review it. You see this phone is a gamble, where without much thought I put my money into something which I have no clue about( no this is not an investment.)

Here’s the low down on how I landed up with the phone which also acts as a portable pancake maker.

It all started a few months ago…

Like any tech-savvy, twenty one year old, I researched online so much about the phone I covet, that I was waiting for howlers from the ecom. sites or maybe have some random government agency from some random country(It is the Americans! always!!!) take me in, fearing some sort of weird cool cyber attack which will immediately strengthen the rupee so much that the markets will crash anyway. And by acquiring wisdom through engadget and techcrunch and couple of other websites which deserve a mention but I cannot remember, I arrived at a couple of phones which were worthy of my consideration.

The next step involved tweeting about those phones which caught my fancy and some of them being summarily dismissed by experts on music, dance, politics and what not like a bail petition by whichever 420 the media currently fancies. There were a few additions as well, which were put through the rigors of step 1.

As any sane person knows, no one can hold more than seven choices in their head at the same time, but the number is much closer to zero if you have to compare the billion zillion things that make up a phone. Most sites allow you to compare four phones at a time, which is fine if you have already narrowed it down to four things. Ask any stockbroker and they will advice you against having just four choices- DIVERSIFY! Hence, in effect I was lost somewhere thanks to apple maps, while trying to find a way out using Nokia maps.

Being terribly confused anyway even after all the research, over the period of whatever months, I visited enough stores to recognize a store keeper at the local bank. Still not convinced, steps 1,2 and 3 continued, every now and then a step 4 propped its head up- calling friends to find out about specific devices which they or someone they know(like their dog) happened to own.

And this continued till on the day before a roadtrip, I finally made my mind up and decided to ask an astrologer.Instead I decided to go for a Nokia. (edited out about a 1000 words, to cut a super boring story short, I didn’t buy the Nokia.)

A lot of things happened after that(read the previous posts) and while I was in genuine grief and contemplating spending a couple of days at home having an existential crisis , my phone decided that it had had enough of being dropped, crushed, bullied and what not.

Now my choice of phone had not changed, but there was a lot of doubt in my head. I’m one of those who is extremely fond of google, because they have all my data, my entire search history and stalking records, which they read and use to show me ads, but more so because they seem to be the only sensible people left in the world. Hence I wanted to stick to android.

I can gladly say that in all the 40-50 shops I visited in the city, not one store guy knew how to sell a phone. They couldn’t sell a 50 paise chocolate if they tried. And none of them knew enough about what they were selling. To me this is important- I buy laptops only from a guy who knows how to fix them, phones from a guy who knows what’s tethering etc. In a sense, I look for a shopping experience, else there are the websites to buy anyway.

The experience is important to me, because it gives a comfort level. In a market where there are similar things at different prices and different things at similar prices, I still want the shop guy to show me choices, talk to me and come up with his own recommendation. This is because, I trust them to have sold enough and provided service to enough people to be able to see what fits my requirement. And the good ones invariably do bring out a couple of options which you never thought about.

This works at this stage, because you already know about the other options and offers, and have already chosen from them. Now it is about choosing one from the three(if you will) and going with it. This isn’t with respect to a particular buy, as far as my memory goes, this is how I have always bought all my gadgets(except my camera.)

So there is this one store, where I finally managed to find a guy who not only offered a decent price for my (almost) dead mobile but also fulfill by need for a shopping experience.

He laid out my choices and convinced me to not go for the phone I had decided, even though I had already decided to live with its vices(arrange marriages  work.)

After many stupid jokes on Indian brands and weird ads by them, I decided to gamble and go for something he recommended. What was impressive was the way he pushed his choice- he didn’t rattle out a long list of features, rather he talked other customers’ experience, after sale service and such which made it seem like a more compulsive buy.

I am a proud owner of Karbonn S5, trolling Samsung users since 20 June 2013.

 

Staring at the ceiling

May 21, 2013 § 1 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.”

Possibly a review of Kindle Paperwhite

April 2, 2013 § 7 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!

Chaos all around

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.

The Customer is an asshole

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.

Newspapers

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*

Early mornings and dreams

October 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

The thing about mornings is that you either hate them or love them- unless you sleep through them, which considering how much of humanity is up and screaming and honking away, seems the best way to deal with early mornings.

I love early mornings to begin with peace and quiet and internet. Don’t get me wrong- I would love not to have mornings, but as things stand I love my mornings to be quiet. A good morning is one when where no one attempts to talk to me. Not because people always have annoying things to say or yell about, but because I love to savour dreams.

You see the dreams are more important than coffee. You can savour the latter at any point of the day, provided you like coffee, but dreams- well the morning ones are special. Day dreams are cool- but they aren’t as well planned, laid and thought out as a dream which has run all night long.

Of course, for this to happen, one needs to remember the dream first. A sizable task, considering that dreams don’t make enough sense and the natural tendency is to forget them. But what’s important is to have at least a small known bit to which one can  add  bits of conscious, thoughtful paragraph or a  stanza to, as you go.

It is like completing a story. It just got to be finished. You might not like it all that much, but it is still that wonderful feeling when the last word is typed out in your computer at One-AM in the morning. Because, a story is a story and has to be completed. The devil may not dip you in hot oil and fry you like potatoes, but somebody is not going to feel good about it- you.

So now I have this dream which has to be completed, and the moments after I see the light fall through the window making weird patterns on the floor is dedicated to this. I get out of a bed which surely is at least a 150 years old, rosewood no less with intricate carvings and all that and switch of the alarm. I stumble into the bathroom and pick up that little thing whose purpose has been misunderstood for long- the toothbrush.

The toothbrush is the most magical of devices. It is like a pen in some ways, it helps this dream which has got to be completed. As the standard tasks section of the brain carries out the mundane task of getting your mouth in a presentable state, hopefully, the toothbrush swirls and turns writing out the last bits of this dream.

As the brush goes between gaps, the nitty-gritty of the latest fantasy get fitted out. It is toning down those stark images to make a wonderful balanced sense- like turning the Veyron into a Ferrari or Hemingway’s landscape into that creepy house at the street corner into which everyone throws garbage- in essence it is adding that bit of alive day-to-day to get that right sort of flavor.

Dreams are apparently a mish-mash of what we want, really want. And that’s the coolest thing about them- they show how cool you actually are, how awesome the way you think is- they are a customized story which you have built with your own damned sense!

The toothbrush completes these dreams, but to start out, you need to be inspired- I do not mean watching videos of your favorite actor before going to bed, but you know, build out these awesome thoughts, think awesome stuff- of the impossible, of nothing mundane- at least turning everyday things in the world sentient and preferable not as something out of someone else’s science fiction.

All those guys with big beards and spectacles(not Dumbledore) , they keep telling you to be inspired and do yoga and whatever, but what you do need to do is, stay inspired with new ideas. You know, you could have the most boring life, like working in the inspections department but never the less learn from the security guards- they could whine and sit in one place all day, but they joke about, learn about others lives and build out these awesome stories for themselves(or so I think).

Always remember to go to bed feeling all positive, read Calvin and Hobbes if nothing because you do not want to be writing your own death over and over again. It is fun for a couple of times but after a while, you just get bored, start killing your dreams and the horror- you might start snoring!

Happy dreaming!

A country of communities and not individuals

August 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Our country lost the plot when it stopped being made of individuals but of communities.

As a country, as a people, we have lost the plot. Because we no longer are a people, we have become various peoples. It is no more a disturbing trend, but a reality- wherever one goes, your communal identity is more important than your individual identity- people are comfortable judging you based on your religion, your caste, your language etc than what you are as an individual.

Not that it doesn’t exist everywhere, but we are taking this too seriously. You do not have a choice of what you represent. One needs to fall into the stereotype, if for nothing else but simply to feel secure. You aren’t an individual any more but a community. A person who has a group to back him, a person who is entitled to certain rights and denied certain things because she’s from a particular group. You are a mascot whether you choose to be or not.

A key marker for a good society is that law should treat a person as an individual. The second this fails we are fast heading to anarchy, rules set by different groups of different interests trying to survive over one another. The governments over the years have yielded to sectarian needs and in it lies over looking many individuals who have caused much social harm. By not bringing to justice but worse still prodding them on the role of national leaders and making them parliamentarians, we have  created a line of reason prompting people to seek security by belonging to sectarian groups.

Might has become right because we no longer believe our governments,  legal systems or the people – every issue has a communal tone to it, everyone is a potential rapist or an exploiter at best. Is there a way back?

A Tableau

July 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

The dreary hot days of  summer afternoons, with nothing much to remember by, except the tales of a great grandfather whose photo hung unnoticed on top of the kitchen door. The days where you drew cars racing through colourful hills and sunsets, coniferous trees  and exotic lakes, wishing for those vistas of freedom, blocked by grill doors of civilized fear.

The memory is a lamp made of frail glass, like that sold on a pushcart during the days of habitual powercuts. Games of hide and seek with people who no longer are around; charades which linger around in the recesses of your mind like the candle lit shadows which seemed ever present.

Of a swing, which has hung where it has for generations. The wild days of dauntless fury it has seen, holding your ambition, propelled by hands of love, and words of encouragement which turned you into what you are today. The simmering patterns of sunlight, dutifully falling everyday, till an apartment grew out of an old house.

A landscape festooned; A swing, which tends to the present, yearning for that story; Replaying all those tears, laughter and diffidence like the song your mother sang to put you to sleep.

A precious grasp of knowledge, half hidden in ignorance and half in childish hubris, now stares at you, frail and old, like those hands which carried you to look at the trains. As if the roads, lined with cars are a noir, for they remind you of some days which were better, some which were worse but all equally hazy, all mixed with elation and rebellion.

The duress of an archaic system pressed itself all around you, yet innocent you built ships and castles and planes, crossing seas and bombing nations with your imagination,  bridges arranged with marble lights, hoping to find the meaning of distance in a map.

Your dreams, let loose; You see a chance in everything, yet opportunities were as biased as the coin in your magic kit. Those glasses, which you wore as you raced to school on a fifty cc two-wheeler, are now nowhere to be seen; much like the suppressed dreams lost in reality; much like the paper boat sinking in the rain; much like the paper planes flying across the class room and landing on a despotic girl’s head; much like your favorite green and maroon pencil sharpener gifted by an aunt abroad being taken away by a heartless teacher, hoping to reprimand you for a mistake of another, whom you cannot remember.

Prayers told with half opened eyes, confused veneration- in fear, untamed by rote, by repetition into belief. The smell of coffee and the rain, folded together like the supplement into the newspaper. Chagrined balls of despair, turning to bowl you over and you remind yourself that you have a long way to turn fifteen.

Like a piece of paper with a word slipping out of a dictionary. The wonderful days, rush back to you, like your neighbour’s pet dog. And like the dog which was greeted with chains, you pick it up and shove it back into the page.

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