"'Truth is strange," you know, "stranger than fiction' - besides being more to the point" - Edgar Allan Poe

June 30, 2005

Mahe Admin Building

6 in the morning.
Sometimes the perfect pic is just a morning walk away.

What one can do with a litte Photoshop.

June 17, 2005

Who am I if not a who? Part II - A response to AA.

I am a new desire, everytime I open my mouth.
I am life that bursts forth from nothingness when words are spoken in response, or that which awaits it.
I am the terrible curse that plagues the curious mind.
I am safety against attack, yet shielded against the love that it could deserve.
I am want that is still hope, the need that is almost desire.
I am nobody, but yet everybody, and in this cycle I still choose not to be somebody you know.
I am interpretation that precedes reputation, love that forbids reciprocation, and hate that defends individuality.
I am anonymity. And I bring you many gifts.

June 11, 2005

Of anonymity - Who am I, if I'm not a who?

What he knows best

They say a writer must write on what he knows best. This would bring my topics down to something like this-
- beer
- electronic gadgets
- funny body noises
- irrelevant information about addictive substances
- speed reading
- edgar allan poe
- fancy beer
- fooling a lot of people at the same time (despite what people say about this not being possible)
- computers (despite what my college might say about this not being possible)
- vagrant philosopy; ie- how to justify a life of meaninglessness
- the beer of yore
- sex (this would be the fictional section)
- bad hindi movies ('khao, khujao, batti bhujao' that sort of thing)
- how to make a meal out of a bar of chocolate, yesterday's rice and half a cigarette (the answer? chuck the rice, smoke the cigarette, suck on the chocolate, and sell the family dog for another bar of chocolate.)
- graphic design
- The Matrix
- Bubbleheads (the figurines with oversized heads that wobble like they're tripping on speed)
- beer (have I written this already?)

June 10, 2005

A 'proper' song

Oh my baby, and that doesn't mean I want to make one,
I want to hold you so close, as long you smell ok,
And give you part of my life,
the part that spells l-i-e, Can't you see,
that you're the only one meant for me, because no one else wants me,
C'mon, c'mon, uh, yeah, because waiting really sucks,
you've been on my mind all day long,
because you've been nagging me to write this song,
ooh, all... day... long...
And when you're gone, i'll find other things to do,
but i'll still want to be near you,
because you're the best thing that's ever happened,
and because you pay the bills.

Be mine, girl,
Forever, or until this booze wears off.

(Fades away with guitar solo)

Hard at work, writing the novel of the century. Expect to read it any decade now! PS- The curtains weren't really my choice. The trippy bedspread is.

Yet another Father-and-Son drinkup. This time though, I think it's a breakthrough.
He smokes Kings Lights, I smoke Kings regular.
He's having a large Signature with Soda, I'm having my KingFisher beer in a tall glass.
He thinks Saira Banu was hot in her day, I'm thinking Katrina Kaif is the only good thing in her latest flick.
He's into NonVeg jokes. So am I. And we both don't know why it's called "NonVeg".
He dropped his food when he was drunk 7 years ago. I got locked, passed out in a bathroom for 6 hours.
He wishes his Mom had been better to him. Likewise.
We both share a smile when my siser puts on her accent.
He thinks I'm an idiot. I think he could have achieved a lot more.

I love the man. And I can't question the love he gives me.

Talk is cheap - II

Finally Cutangle spoke, very slowly and carefully.
"I look at it all like this," he said. "Before I heard him talk, I was like everyone else. You know what I mean? I was confused and uncertain about all the little details of life. But now," he brightened up, "while I'm still confused and uncertain it's on a much higher plane, d'you see, and at least I know I'm bewildered about the really fundamental and important facts of the universe."
Trestle nodded. "I hadn't looked at it like that," he said, "but you're absolutely right. He's really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance. There's so much about the universe we don't know."
They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were ignorant of only ordinary things.

(Terry Pratchett, Discworld 3 - Equal Rites)

June 09, 2005

"Million-to-one chances", she said, "Crop up nine times out-of-ten."

she just keeps screaming 'zaina zaina makka' and it's stuck in my head now, the angst of a woman in pain, and there's nothing we can do, and she's just screaming zainazainazaina
please god, do something!

With time to kill, designed a logo for myself. Quite proud, looks kinda cool, i think. It's the math symbol 'pi', if any of you dolts didn't figure out.

Talk is cheap

It's been something that's been bothering me for a while. The only reason I've not put it into words is because I'm worried that I'll be guilty of the same sins. Comment gently.

Ok, one main sin. Of not being true to myself. Of being a pseudo. The rest are 'sub-sins' that are derivative of this one main sin, and should be treated repectively...

ShutupShutupShutup. Ok, let's try that again.

We go through phases in our lives, right, and at every phase we keep meeting people to associate with, to avoid, to trust, to defer to, and so on. Now I agree that everyone's unique and all that, but given a cross section of a suitably large sample of people, I think I'm justified in saying that it's possible to predict a lot of their characteristics.

Consider me for example. I'm a middle class boy from a coastal town in South India, brought up in a fairly broadminded family. Was exposed to cable TV around the mid 90's, surrounded by hajaar professional college students, and made it a point to read books. So I guess it would be obvious to say that I would've entered one of the big 3 - Engineering, Law or Medicine. That I would know the difference between Pop, Rock and Metal (Snap, Crackle, Fizz?) by the time I was 15, and that exposure is all right on TV, as long as long they covered the nipple (come to think of it, I still don't understand why. Hell, all I have to do is look inside my own shirt and voila, there it is! A reasonable facsimile.) I'll cut a long story short by saying that we all go through phases, and if you belong to my generation, you'd have read s.sheldon, the archers, watched the standard chick flicks, cheered on India at the right times (and bitched about them like hell when they sucked), watched Indian TV graduate from Surabhi and Turning point to The K-series, and so on. These provide you basic levels of ken for carrying out conversation, is my point.

Which brings me to the root of this rant. I like to call it the Appropriate Response Syndrome, or the Vegetated Toohey Syndrome, with due respect to Ms. Rand (and she deserves very little of it, but that's another story altogether). It's what I think has become the way of life with a lot of us nowadays. It's what governs that single most important activity of daily life - communication. It defines all the rules of how a conversation must go before it even begins. A couple of years ago, AKA and myself conducted a little social experiment amongst our own little social circus in college (ex-college now, but I'll reminisce later). Anyhow, the idea was to collect what we considered 'useful' sentences. Take any group with more than 3 people, and sit among them without saying a word. NOT ONE WORD. Then simply observe what every one's talking about. Anytime you hear one sentence that is truly an original opinion, a statement that has been thought about before being spoken, or simply an honest expression of an idea, you award one point in favour of that person. This experiment is NOT to be done under the influence of any intoxicants. And the other obvious constraints like anything that would disprove what I'm trying to prove here (Smirk). And after two years of random sampling, checking across a wide variety of 15-25 year olds, how many points did the entire world rack up?


I'm not making this up. Paradoxically, ALL the illuminating thoughts and admissions have been between TWO people. Or when junta're stoned out of their wits. Or random one line blogs. Or an sms in the middle of a busy day (I_, where've you gone?). I've heard a justification for this called the GCD theory- that when more than two people talk, they can only talk about what's common to all of them. Thus as more people join the group, this common denominator shrinks, soon reducing all talk to juvenile flirting. A nice hack, but certainly originality is enough to spark off interest with anybody!

Surely there's something wrong here. In a world that considers 'the da vinci code' to be the symbol of 21st century literature, and supermodels are promoted to be the role models for children everywhere, where 'Indian culture' is the universal excuse to chuck anything out of the country... we've begun creating what I think is the worst turn for mankind - pseudo intellectuals (PIs for short, and I'll take the wisecracks about it being dangerously close to my own name with a pinch of salt). Worse, unlike the 60's and 70's where these types were easily recognized and taunted, now we actually provide thes PIs the tools and power to spread their beliefs (Heard about a little thing called the Internet?). Yet, I don't really think they have any beliefs of their own. Let me explain.

Now that 'friendship' is such a valued commodity, we always want to hang around the 'best' of the lot. The smartest, the most beautiful, the coolest... you get the idea. And one well-proven method of winning company (or just being mildly accepted) is to be agreeable. Exibit A- AC. My college Steve Vai lookalike, also did a lot of the GD for the Vitruvian. Now this man will agree with you on ANYTHING! Your opinion could be plain bizarre, or stupidly wrong, this man will not just agree with it being right, but will assure that he's had the same thoughts before. ("Theek bataraha hai be tu, main bhi soch raha tha ki...") Thankfully the man's a sweetheart, harworking, and a good friend, so I guess it's kinda excusable. Anyway, this is what I consider Part1 of the Appropriate Response. Part2 is aptly demonstrated by a junior of mine SS. He uses a strategy, which I must admit I've used a lot before myself. Take the most normal thing in the world, and exaggerate it with words like 'brilliant', 'amazing' and so on. The idea is to (1) show that this piece of knowledge is uncommon, therefore must be cool (2) prove that you're smarter than the rest yet (3) in the process try to be humble, by trying to be as amazed and therefore trying to elicit the same level of amazement from you. ("Did you know that this guy brushes his teeth!!!") Part3 is in many ways the easiest, but usually requires Parts 1 and 2 to be completely successful; it's the belittle-all-others strat. An excellent example - PM, too funky for me. This man dies for public acceptance and will do pretty much anything for it. In the beginning it was the SympathyVote, then short stints as the aforementioned Parts1and2 until he found a little bunch of rejects and founded the 'yoimbangy' gang. It's quite easy- change your loyalties as often as your shirt. When you're with A, bitch on and on about B, and vice versas, and make sure the material spoken never gets

exchanger, ie- that either never find out about the other. And yeah, lay it on quite thick when you're with the women. You won't get lucky, but you sure can hope. Follow this 3 step strategy and watch the friends phone numbers multiply on your phone overnight.
Variations of the ATS are the 5minute conversations when you bump into someone else of the opposite sex, which would cumulatively have about 5 seconds of worthy talk, that part which says 'goodbye'. Or the rambling blogs which go on and on without a point to it, usually trying to be justified with a last line twist (I plead guilty, milord). And on and on.

So then what is the Vegetated Toohey Syndrome? If you've read that piece of shit book, the book that was hailed as 'one of the most influential books of the 20th century' (yuck), the fountainhead, there's one character called Ellsworth Toohey, shades of whom I see in lots of people around me now. These are people who lay judgement on anything and everything. From the latest movies to the oldest albums, to paintings and russian authors, to the skirt level of the college hottie. And thanks to the confidence they exhude, people actually fall for it. In droves! There's one everywhere now. Every second blog just complains and whines and blahblahblah. These are characters who've mastered the ATS to a point that they can now THEMSELVES define the Appropriate Response, meaning they'll be accepted as leaders and visionaries, and so on. Of course, these people have never contributed to these field sthemselves, and are going to remain critics all their lifes.

Ok, I'm getting bored typing this out for my single digit audience, so I'll wind up quick. I'm pissed. The ATS means that I'm highly bored nowadays, and no, this is not my ego getting ahead of myself. Also, I'm terribly worried that I'm a slave to all the above myself. The whole point of ranting like this was to recognize what it is. Maybe now I can cure myself of such bastardness. And yeah, VTS drones can go suck an egg or something, because I still have faith in the real world. I still believe that years downthe line they're going to be emptyheaded and unfulfilled. That their mediocrity will catch up with them and render them in tears when no one's looking. If this is the faith that awaits me, so be it. I deserve it, if at all it's true.

I really should continue this sometime, but I feel the urge for a smoke. Goodnight y'all.

June 08, 2005

Something tells me he knows what he's talking about.

I_, if you don't come back fast, I swear I'm going to... going to... well, going to keep complaining, that's for sure!

The little things. That's the fuckup with human emotions. That the 'little things' screw you the most.

Saw 'I am Sam' a while ago. And this Beatles tune stood out, resung by Eddie Vedder.

You've got to hide your love away

Here I stand head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she’s gone I can’t go on
Feelin’ two-foot small

Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say

Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away

How could I even try
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I’m in

How could she say to me
Love will find a way
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say

Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away

My grandmom's dying.

We've been living together ever since the family came back from NZ about 15 years ago. I've not been too close to her, but that's a pitiable excuse. And now she's on her deathbed. Day by day her condition's worsening. And I watch silently as the whole circus of relatives near and far come everyday. Some staying on for a few days, all leaving nonetheless. I'm guessing this is the unspoken 'last respects' routine that they're doing, but I'm sorry if it just seems like a vulgar circus to me. These are junta who've never shown up, ever.

I'm not going to say too much. I'm just missing my bapamma too much already.

The strong coffee that she used to make and the saccharine dispensers that used to adorn the kitchen shelf.
The soft white sarees that always smelt of a little too much ariel.
The bifocals that I used to inevitably sit on.
The stories of RajaRamMohanRoy when I used to sleep beside her as a kid.
Watching her water the garden at 5 pm, then pulling out her cane chair to watch the sunset. Everyday.
How she used to to worship Ramanand Sagar. And subsequent ripoffs (Jai Veer Hanuman, etc)
Watching her face light up when Mandira Bedi's ass got kicked on a previous episode of Kyunki.
Her high pitched 'congratulations' whenever I did decently in my exams.

I give up. Please don't go away bapamma. You've still got to meet my wife. Hell, even I've not met her. And the new car I'm going to get for the whole family. Or the new house in the suburbs of Sydney. The stairlift made especially for you. Or sugar free chocolates from Denmark. The imported hearing aid... so that you'll finally hear what I've never told you.

That I love you.

Ladies and gentlemen... Layla!!!

The sunset in Manipal. Take me away, just for today, dear friend.

June 07, 2005

I also.

Cut to about three months ago, when I was talking to Nithin Malik on our dear old college beach.

Er, he does the vocals for Parikrama, if you didn't know.

Scene transition to about a month later, when I'm in a hotel room under an anonymous name, seriously questioning the integrity of my own morals.

In speakeasy, this would be 'scoring'. And the punchline is, yours truly turned it down.

Another month. And I’m almost thrown out of college by the university. For having not given them enough of my time. 65% of it.

Seeing friends die. In manners gruesome enough to scar a person mentally for life.

Yeah, and then I grew some more.

A few days ago, and I was watching 400 of my closest friends about to kill each other. Because each wanted to prove to the other how much like animals they could be. Except for one thing. Not one blow was exchanged. One lancard was injured during the shooting of this production. He’s feeling better now though.

And I was cooldude chief ed of the year. First ever official attempt at being in charge of a writing book. With studlevel graphics and excellent content. A little shoddy, perhaps, but overall appreciated. [Gracious bow] Thankfully the team stuck together.

Layla, my dear laptop wench, thanks for allowing to be misused so horribly. That’s right, I’m now the proud owner of a ThinkPad. A real beaut. It’s got Wifi, Intel Xtreme Chipset, a beverage cup holder, central air conditioning, Santa Claus, porn, Room service, and a certificate to a spa.

Alright, I’m kidding. I would never store porn on this comp.

Then there was meeting A_, D_ (P_?), I_, S_ and U_. And successfully making a fool of oneself each time. Ladies-and-gentlemen, he does it again and again. Someone stop it. A menace unto womankind.

Writing 10 exams. Let’s not talk about it. Or of my three suicide attempts.

Lucky men survive. Unlucky men explode. The future’s changing, and I’m dying to find out what all the fuss is about. Could be fun.