Saturday, December 16, 2006
But Man!, how things change! Now, five time zones west of India, I can claim to know more about what’s happening in the country than most guys or girls my age.
Dirty politics (almost everyday). Neat politics (a couple of days). Corrupt godmen. Angry crowds. A cricket-desperate country. Kabul Express. Dadagiri. Tainted ministries. An even more tainted opposition. Agrarian crises. Heroes being born. Heroes being convicted. Market corrections. Reservation shit. Goan Al-Qaeda. Orkut in trouble. Golden globe nominations. Tata factor. Responsible media (almost everday). Irresponsible media (a couple of days). Navjot Sidhu. Mamta Banerji. Laloo Yadav. Manmohan Singh. General Musharaff. John Abraham. Saurav Ganguly. Sania Mirza. Barkha Dutt. Srinivasan Jain. Monideepa Banerji. Arunachalam Vaidyanathan. Sunethra Chaudary. Vikram Chandra. Rahul Srivastav. Vir Sanghvi. Prannoy Roy.
So I happened to mention this to one of my friends a week ago. It’s been a while since I’d talked to him. About how news channels were making my life seem “complete and occupied”. He listened patiently. Too patiently, actually. Five minutes of my blah-blah later, he spoke for the first time:
“So, you living alone, huh?”
“Yup! Hey, how did you guess?”
“Oh, I was just asking.”
Two minutes after we hung up, I could swear I heard him say “Gotcha, sucker!”
Damn, I should get a life.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Climb a little higher
Find another reason to stay
Ashes in your hands
Mercy in your eyes
If you’re searching for a silent sky
You won’t find it here
Look another way
You won’t find it here
So die another day.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
It was a long time ago. I guess for some people memories never die. Damn how I wish it did. Time and thoughts, you can’t stop them.
Winamp and I have this deal. Couldn’t have heard a better song now:
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life.
Two different deserts. Not easy.
Life lasts four years. My friend A back in India would give me a Hi5 on that.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The world comes to life, 1130. Good morning, sunshine.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
“I don’t think so. And frankly, I don’t think I ever will. These are things you only dream about”
“I think so too.”
“It’s weird. Sometimes I think the best things happen with you around. Sometimes I think I know you more than I know most people. And it’s not like we spend every day together…”
“It’s not weird. It’s just that we relate. To each other.”
“I guess you’re right. I hope it stays this way.”
“I hope so too.”
“I know it’s true. And now I know for sure nothing can be wrong. And that nothing can go wrong. Nothing can come between us.”
“It’s true. And now it feels better knowing we both believe the same thing.”
“Things aren’t really the same, are they? What happened? What changed?”
“Does distance really make a difference? Didn’t we both believe it never could?”
“You did, too. So did I.”
“Is this the life we thought we would live? Is this how everything is supposed to end? Is this how you want it to be?”
“Is this how you want it to be?”
“Answer my question first.”
“I don’t want to.”
“I feel I hardly know you anymore. I never thought it would come to this.”
“Neither did I.”
“Is that all you have to say?”
“I don’t know.”
“I want things to be better with us.”
“So do I. So do I! What do we do about it?”
“Accept that life has changed. Accept that we have changed. That’s where we should start from.”
“We should. We will.”
“Things are better now. A lot better.”
“They have to be. We’re better than to not let it be.”
“What if things go wrong again? How will we take it?”
“The same way we’re taking it now. The same way we realized that when we get back, it means much more than if things were always perfect. We’ll be all right.”
“Even if something goes wrong?”
“Even if everything goes wrong.”
Life's a road. Keep walking.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
But then there are times.
The time when I made a fuss about the guy who thought it would be interesting to make faces when Jana Gana Mana was sung. The time when, along with the rest of the crowd, I booed the Britishers all through the cricket match of Lagaan. The time I ran out my hostel to make it in time for the Independence Day flag hoisting. The time I pitied our country in the hands of the politician who said the order of colours on the tricolour is green-white-saffron.
There are times.
But this is not about how patriotic I am. It’s about how, sometimes, a commercial film can bring about that feeling, even though you know there is nothing true about it. Swades started off for me as a normal, Shah Rukh movie in which all I would be able to do was sit through a boring (though novel) story for three hours. Now, when would those days come when Hindi movies would be worthy of the money spent!
And so these thoughts I kept repeating to myself, over and again, so that I could get everything across to the first person I met or called. This was going to be one bashing session! And then twenty minutes before the movie ended, the thoughts were no more. They just ceased to exist. All in five minutes:
Rahman magic? Art Direction? Camera work? Scene timing? I don’t know. Suddenly Mohan Bhargav was a hero. Suddenly the movie was a feeling. Suddenly India was a heartbeat.
In five minutes.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Surprisingly, what caught my attention most on entering BITS, Pilani was a yellow-white T-Shirt worn by a senior... and so much, that five years later, I'm still able to reproduce it here without getting a word wrong:
Anc Bogs Crash Duck
Enthu Fundu Ghotu Hols Interface
Junta Kela Lacha Machi Niteout
Oht Psenti Qt Rod Stud Thadi
Uppi Vetti XCom Yo Zuk
I had no idea what those words meant, of course. But well, if this was what BITS was all about, I should find out soon, I made a pact with myself.
But I didn't need to, is what I realized. Less than a month later, these had replaced words that were part of my usual English vocabulary.
Aug 15, 2001, 0330:
A: Machchan, tomorrow's Independence Day celebs at C-Lawns da!
B: Sac it, machi. One day off and no way I'm giving up my crash!
A: Vetti b*****d, where's your patriotism da?
B: Yo India! Good enough?
A: But junta's gonna be there da!
B: Abe saale, lacha karke saade theen ho gaya... kal subah tera baap udaayega kya mujhe?
BITSian lingo comes with its realzations. Certain four-letter words, you discover, fit into every aspect of everyday speech and answers to everyday questions... and they can conver anything... happiness, sorrow, anger, amusement... you name the emotion, you get it!
Feb 3, 2002:
A: How the f*** was LinAl?
B: F***in bad da. Below av for sure machi.
A:Guss da. It's a f***ed course anyways.
B: Yea, but f***in grades matter man!
A: I've better things to worry about... have a f***in practice session today... gotta go.
B: F***in good da... enjoy!
A: Sure thing. You f***in take care OK?
Regional phrases are a rage as well. Never before was the desire to learn another language so strong:
Apr 2, 2003:
A: Kemonacho macha?
B: Ommala pee re. Got screwed at my seminar.
A: Guss podu machi... think about better things!
B: Kay kartoys tonight? Movie dekhe?
A: Illa dey. Ghotting to be done.
B: Anyaaaya over da. Sac out sometime!
So also, you're responsible for the evolution of the language. No one's content with using the hundred-odd words you already have. So you bring up your own, and then it's the rage of the wing then:
Oct 26, 2004:
A: How was OASIS macha?
B: Good shit da! Psenti OASIS and we really kicked butt!
A: Prof shows, the like?
B: Para good shit again... nothing like your psenti sem to freak out!
Now, what the HELL is good shit people ask. It's nothing, just a word coined up because the common variations like "sexy!" and "ommala god level macha!" seem to have slightly lost its charm over the years. And then you make efforts to make it a used word, and so now it's just goodshit, and no more good[space]
Tough to get it unless you're a BITSian. But it would do well to keep a few words in mind... because when you're talking to one, he will invariable drop off a couple of these words. Now, this isn't thadi. It's just that he doesn't remember the actual words anymore :D
Gen: Generally. Simply. For no reason. Nothing special about it.
Da: More like a full stop. Tough to end a sentence without using this one.
Fuck: NOT an expletive. Used everywhere when you need to emphasize anything even remotely. It is understood there's no better alternative.
Sac: Chill. Relax. Don't worry about it.
Hazaar: The set of all natural numbers excluding 1. The element from the set can be identified and picked out according to the needs of the speaker. Sometimes used in conjunction with junta, which carries a somewhat similar meaning, but more often refers to a crowd of people, or also to all people.
How many people were there at the Kumbh Mela? Hazaar. [thousands]
How many people came for the RAF movie show? Hazaar. [hundreds]
How many answers can you think of to my question? Hazaar. [2 or 3]
Other variations include combining words or parts of words together so that their meanings change to suit the occasion... viz., goodshit means great or awesome, gen means nothing special... now pick out the shit from goodshit, and put it together with gen to make genshit, and now the word means hopeless/intolerable... or adding an "-ation" at the end of the word for better emphasis, viz., fuckation, sleepation, talkation and so on... but let's save further lessons for another time :D
Thursday, August 24, 2006
We're feeling young today. Like it's 1995. Twelve years old. Season 2.
My CD pack is neatly stacked and labeled with a diligence that I have shown nowhere else, and to no one else. Flipping through the rack I finally find myself... Season 2, CD #1. The episode selection is random. Both of us don't care. We never did. Everything's been enqueued on Winamp anyways.
Episode 2-06 starts. The One With the Baby on the Bus.
The outside world's gone. We're lost now.
Chandler: Please tell me you know which one is our baby.
Joey: Well, well that one has ducks on his t-shirt, and this one has clowns. And Ben was definitely wearing ducks.
Joey: Or clowns. Oh, oh wait. That one's definitely Ben. Remember, he had that cute little mole by his mouth.
Chandler: Hey, Ben, remember us? OK, the mole came off.
Chandler: What're we gonna do? What're we gonna do?
Joey: Uh, uh, we'll flip for it. Ducks or clowns.
Chandler: Oh, we're gonna flip for the baby?
Joey: You got a better idea?
Chandler: All right, call it in the air.
Chandler: Heads it is.
Joey: Yes! Whew!
Chandler: We have to assign heads to something.
Joey: Right. OK, OK, uh, ducks is heads, because ducks have heads.
Chandler: What kind of scary-ass clowns came to your birthday?
Laughter. Disastrous. Uncontrollable. Infectious. Clutching each other. Holding our stomachs. Tears in our eyes.
Cynics smirk. Like we care.
Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion. That's why when someone says "Dude, how can you watch that show, the humor is so retarded!", all we say in reply is "So are we!" The way these six characters have influenced lives and our humor sense is out there for everyone to see. Not that we disrespect these varied opinions. There're no "This is the best show EVER!" or "HOW can anyone not like it!" lines that you'll hear from us. But if we have a bunch of these CDs and a couple of hours to kill, we won't have to think twice about what to do. :)
Just caught this video on YouTube... nothing great about it, but if you've followed every season with as much devotion and emotion as we have, then the sentiment will not be out of place...
For us, it's changed life in the perfect way... made every day a little happier... kept away every sorrow a little longer.
Ten years. If it's lasted us that long, it will last us forever.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Try this with any feline that walks on four legs. But never try this with the CAT... there's no way you can get away with it. This is one kitty you can never tame. With every passing year this national test has made a habit of throwing a surprise in every test that not one of those coaching centers can think about. And these dudes (the guys who frame the paper HAVE to be called that!) are throwing the challenge wide open.
Think, junta! Think your brains out! Speculate. Take tests. Practice all you want. But on that fateful third Sunday of November, it's going to be anything but easy. We're going to give you something that will require you to keep your mind wide, WIDE open. And we're gonna make sure that's the only way you get into India's best B-Schools.
Every year the CAT has thrown in the most unexpected of surprises, ones that would make the most prepared of candidates marvel at the way these test setters never seem to be short of ways to open the gift wrapper. That's why it's still the most marvelled-at admission tests of the times.
CAT 2003: "Each question carries one mark. In distributing your time across the various sections, you are required to demonstrate your competancy across each of these sections."
Coacher line: "Whatever the case, each question carries the same marks. Scan the paper and do the ones you think are easiest..."
CAT 2004: "Questions x1-x2 carry half a mark each. Questions x3-x4 carry one mark each. Questions x5-x6 carry two marks each."
Coacher line: "Umm... Two mark questions. Best scoring. Make sure you attempt as many as possible. But the two markers are gonna be few. Make sure you get loads of them one markers, they're the ones high on the numbers! Half markers... do them in the end..."
CAT 2005: "In all there are 90 questions. Each section has 10 questions of one mark each, the remaining 20 questions are worth two marks each."
Coacher line: "Err... So, we hope you attempted all of those two markers..."
CAT 2006 bulletin: "... The test will be of 150 minutes duration..."
Coacher line: "Join us. We prepare you for anything that's in store!"
It's anyone's guess how much they can prepare you for! Everything just comes back to the same thing. The way, year after year, how the paper makes you go "Man!!"
You guys sitting there and framing the question paper, I bow to thee! :)
Monday, August 21, 2006
Well, a break of two and a half months again. And not without a reason.
Home, sweet home, could never have been more appropriate as it has been in the past ten weeks. So you have all the time in the world. So why don't you mail everyone you know, talk to everyone you would like to, and blog everyday and let the world know about what is happening in your life? Well, frankly, I couldn't care less! Who cares what you have (or don't have) to do at home! It's the best place on earth, no matter whatever you may think at any point in your life. Two months at home at a stretch, at this age... I won't say I haven't been irritated with the constant postponement of my joining dates on my job, but I keep telling myself: "When can you DREAM next of another two months like this?"
And I know the answer to that. At least not soon. Definitely.
Years later, when you get back from the places you are, things would have changed. People would have changed. Lives would have changed. But Home remains. Somehow it's the perpetual non-changing entity... something that lasts forever.
You have to leave home, but someday you'll to get back to it. That's when we all realize there's no place... like home.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
And never coming back
And I, however absolute,
May overlook your Track
Significance that each has lived
The other to detect
Discovery not God himself
Could now annihilate
The instant I perceive
That you, who were Existence
Yourself forgot to live
The "Life that is" will then have been
A thing I never knew
As Paradise fictitious
Until the Realm of you
The "Life that is to be", to me,
A Residence too plain
Unless in my Redeemer's Face
I recognize your own
Of Immortality who doubts
He may exchange with me
Curtailed by your obscuring Face
Of everything but He
If "All is possible" with Him
As he besides concedes
He will refund us finally
Our confiscated Gods.
- from Emily Dickinson's
Friday, June 02, 2006
Ever felt how a smile means so much? How much you can make every worry fade away. How much it can make you not want to care. Every felt the way it speaks everything by saying nothing? Sounds clichéd? It did, to me too. But when you experience that which you thought was repeated and told a million times only by the author of a book who had to keep it, because there was no better way to describe it, then you begin to think… hasn’t the line become clichéd because people have felt it a million times, maybe more? Because the truth has been told the same million times and now everyone’s saying it? But someday you will realize how much of a reach these seven muscles really have.
Spread your joy. Drown your sorrow. Soften your anger. Ease the pressure. Hold hands. Walk down the road. Sit. Think random. Think nothing. Think everything. Stare. Laugh. Cry. Scream. Sleep. Dream. Every emotion, so beautiful, you would like to keep it forever.
If someday you feel it, let me know. :)
Afterthought: If this post hasn’t made much sense to you, you probably haven’t seen her smile. :)
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Repeat this a coupla hundred times, and my day is made... :)
Interesting life, don't you think? :D
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Remember the time when you used to pen down in slam books “Friends Forever”?
Remember the times when you felt things would always be the same?
Remember how u thought you'd never realized that couldn't really hold?
Remember when you came to Pilani?
Remember when you thought “Soon I’ll be out of this place” and smiled?
Remember when you thought four years would make no difference to life?
Remember when things changed?
Remember how you met the people who did make a difference to your life?
Remember how the place meant more to you than any other?
Remember how the bonds with people just kept getting stronger and stronger?
Remember the precious few who you realized you’d have a tough time without?
Remember how four years passed like four weeks?
Remember when you thought “Soon I’ll be out of this place” and cried?
Remember the times when you felt things would never be the same?
Remember how you told yourself “It’ll be OK” without believing it?
Remember when you told others “It’ll be OK” wanting them to believe it?
Remember how you knew nothing would be?
Remember how you hoped everything would be?
Remember how you realized “the best days of my life” was an understatement?
Remember life as we knew it?
And then Winamp plays this for me:
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Today morning I was sitting at my desk trying (as usual) to make sense out of the hexadecimals spread across the screen. The minimum interest I show in it is due to the fact that dear faithful Winamp runs constantly in the background. Nothing better than hitting the shuffle button and letting the songs play one after the other, not caring which comes next and letting randomness rule! And this is what has made me listen to songs on my playlist which probably never hit the top of the charts, but nevertheless, ones which you can relate to so much. Three weeks ago I heard this:
All that you reason
All that you care
You've got to leave it behind
And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You can only take so much but you have to
- Walk On, U2
Maybe it was because I was in such a “phase” then, but it really struck a chord. And that made me listen to more songs of the band. First there are bands and singers who sing volumes about love and the things it has done for them. And I have also been an admirer of most of them. I’ve happily sung MLTR, Bryan Adams, Boyzone and lots more… and I still do. Definitely the softest and strongest emotion on earth demands so much attention! :) And then there is Metallica, GNR, Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd who have defined my rock music.
And then U2, who dares to experiment like no one ever has. Each song I listen to makes me realize how different all their songs are, and how much they have worked towards that difference. It hadn’t taken me long to sing along with With or Without You (thanks: Soundz@BITS, Pilani!), and I don’t suppose many could ignore that song. But now there are many more that I cannot ignore… One, The Sweetest Thing, All I Want is You, Walk On… the list has plenty. In fact, this made me listen to entire albums The Joshua Tree (’87) and Achtung Baby (’91). (For the beginners, let me suggest you listen to U2: The Best of 1980-1990) Awesome music, but what made me even more of a fan was the lyrics. Awesome, again. Over the last three weeks, Bono and U2 have become very much a part of my daily “cubed” life... time to tell Ojas, my wingie-U2-die-hard: “Now I know what you see in them!” :)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The best gift that you can be given is to get used to the changes that happen around you. From the studious and focused student up till 10th, the drastic school-hostel split personality in 11th and the 12th, the hater of tests in Pilani, to the city corporate here in Bangalore, that is where learning to live life shows itself to me as the most important thing around you.
But how easy is it to get used to changes? “Why is it even a problem?” would have been my quickfire question back three or four years ago. Now it’s not so easy to ask such a question or give a similar discarding answer. And it took me four years in a place with a temperature range of over 50 degrees to realize that. 333031 has changed me in more ways than I thought could be possible. It is now the life of yesteryear, but it stays with me today, and surely will for many a distant tomorrow.
And then the corporate started, and it was, to say the least, promising. Two months into work I lost the “fresher” feeling. Two more months later this was how life was to take its course. Come December 2005, and the change was starting to sink in again. Two weeks later everything had changed. A new job came up, and there was now a tough choice to make. Is it that life doesn’t let you settle for the easier choices? Or is it that after you’ve made them, the other seems to have been the easier choice? I try not to think too much about that. But as I see things now, change is around the corner again. One month later I will no longer be sitting in my comfortable blue-and-grey cube typing out code and verifying their outputs (didn’t I say that was extremely boring sometime earlier? I still choose not to change my mind, but heaven knows what awaits me next!), and what I will be doing is tomorrow I have no idea about.
And the people around you? How will you get used to never seeing them again, get used to the fact that you’ll be having an old beginning over and over again? But let me save that for later… :)
Getting used to change: life’s best gift.
Change: definitely not anywhere close.
Fresher: a word you'll use a million times in life.
My solitary post completes nine months of its existence tomorrow. Surely, the blogger in me is not very much of an active person! But now there’s a need to get this back up and running. Have thought of why I even need to have a blog in the first place… I don’t discuss burning issues and give my two cents on anything even if it’s an issue I personally feel strong against. It’s not that my life is exactly what can be described as “hot and happening”. And personal opinions, are, surely, meant to be just that: “personal”? The more I think, the less I think I need a blogspot. But things change and so do thoughts, is the excuse I always give for changing my mind. Now I see this space as the best to dump the madness of thoughts that I prefer not to keep within… and let me now bridge the time separated by the two hundred and seventy days, and welcome myself back! :)