Sunday, January 30, 2005

And I think to Myself

What a wonderful world....

Saturday, January 29, 2005

In The End

Yesterday's farewell was best summarised by the one track we managed to headbang to before the decided to shoo us away. By some stroke of genius, they picked a song that summarized most people's life story over the last three months.
It goes something like this.

I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter.

But seriously, every line seemed to be speaking out to us, and a large motley crew dressed in Sari's Suits and Sherwanis (oh, and the odd Dhoti Kurta was well) screaming out the lyrics with feeling and credibility really makes sense. While In The End happened to be a song about jilted love, it sort of spoke to us about our last few months, probably because of the repetitive jilts we have been getting, from every possible angle. The nice chart paper board where we could write our "Final Words" had a few gems as well. Still unable to get over an Almost Famous fixation, I had to write that my last words were, well, "I am GOLDEN GOD!"
And I am, too. Oh, and some smart fellow came up with the bright idea of labelling the batch of 2006 as Munnabhai, MMS, but I'm sure he wouldn't like the recognition for that invention...

I put my trust in you, pushed as far as I can go...

Yeah, well, we did. And in the end, it doesn't really matter ,does it?
Ah, on a personal front, the nice dinner we had planned after the school's farewell sorta fell apart, for reasons that interesting as they are should not be mentioned in public. Lets just say I have a few grouses, and as much as I'd like to, I prefer to keep my private battles off a public forum.

Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings

My time at school is up, all further visits are prefunctory, or for the pure fun of it. Whatever happens, I no longer go back as a student, but as an alumni. The next two months are going to go slowly, but at the same time will fly by before I know it. Life will alternate between being busy, and being unimaginably dull, and it's going to test me good.

Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore

In some ways, you wouldn't. In some ways ,I'm struggling to retain my Elated monicker, and till now, I've still mostly won the fight. But every so often, I have to vent out a lotta frustapa on Blah!, to keep the rest of me sane.
How could I leave without offering my two bits of advice. You see, unlike many of my friends, born and bred dipsites, I've left a place before. The questions on everyone's mind is always what happens next. A lot worry, what will happen to our friendships? Will they survive the test of time? Would you still hang out with the same people after six months in college, before coming home from break?
Well, lemme tell you straight off. Three things are going to happen.
There's going to be a group, larger for some, almost nonexistent for others, that distance, time apart and fate crushing opportunity will be unable to break apart. Who are these chosen few? Ah, there's the catch. Only time will tell.
The next group is the one that stings the most. The chaps who just fade away. Often, they'll be people you considered your busom buddies, and quite often, they'll end up being the busiest.
The third and final group is the most exciting. The suprise packages. Aquintances that you thought you'd never think of again, but will end up becoming inseperable friends of yours. Well, at least till the next big hurdle comes along.

So who'll fit in who, in my life? I'd love to say I don't have a clue, but someone who's life and existence is run by his stomach generally has pretty accurate gut feelings.
Do you get to know what those are?
Fat chance.
It'll all come back to me In The End.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Reflections on a Republic

Happy Republic Day, everyone.

Every year, on the 26th of January, my country celebrates Republic Day. Most of us see it as a holiday, and an excuse for a bloated and unnesecary parade, which slows down life in Delhi, but as with many things, it started out meaning something.
In many ways it is more important than our very independance, because today marks the anniversary of the adoption of our constitution, that basically laid out what as a country we wished to do now that we were independant. In many ways, that constitution has been forgotten. In many ways, the consitution itself needs to be updated, adapted to our new world, but it's basic features are still sacrosanct, and ensure that we live on, despite our feudal politicians and corrupt beaurocracy.

The question is, and the question that must keep being asked is, do we have our fundamental freedoms intact? Do we have freedom of speech, of expression? Do we have equal opportunity? Do we even come close?
Lets take things one at a time.
Freedom of Speech
Well, yes and no. I'm writing this blog, you see, and on it I can openly abuse politicians, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Bajrang Dal, with no fear of retaliation, or censorship. Whereas the law can do little to restrict my freedom of speech, life however is not that easy. The constitution cannot change society, and a divide of generations is still struggling to figure out what is open and acceptable in our world, and what is not. Luckily, I myself don't hold too many views, or lead a lifestyle against too many of societal norms, but for everyone who does, India still poses a great risk of freedom.
The second problem to our freedom of Speech are the politicians, who see it wholly appropriate to decide for me and you what is acceptable, and what is not. It is my opinion that free market policy should reign even in society, and barriers and norms will set themselves in much the same way that demand and supply do, as per the wants of the people.
All said and done, we must be thankful that our basic freedom of speech and expression can simply not be curtailed, if we are loud and vociferous enough. What is needed thus is not a change in law or constitution, or even as I myself would so much enjoy, a mass genocide of Politicians and Religious Leaders, but a personality change amongst ourselves, from timid Indians, to sure and confident ones.

Equal Opportunity
Equal opportunity will always remain a Utopian concept. People, by nature, are not equal. A genius, no matter what his social background, is going to have more opportunity of educational success than I am, even though I may come from a better economic background. I cannot make it to IIT, I have limitations.
On the same front, I can however study abroad, which is an opportunity simply not availible to many people in this country.
I think what is important is not ensuring equal opportunity in this country, but ensuring opportunity itself. Quotas need to go, completely. They are anti-opportunity, as the only people who take advantage of them are those who have already got their breaks. Quotas still present after over fifteen years have simpy not worked, and need to be rethinked. However, all the Politicians seem to want to do is increase quotas, to increase their votes. But as I said, when there is freedom of opportunity in the country, when it's not a disadvantage to be a Hockey Player, or a Musician, or Plumber, it won't matter who goes to IIT, who goes to Medical College, and who goes to Delhi University.

Right to Say No
The right to say no, after a public interest litigation, again one of those things that proves that democracy and our freedoms are and will remain intact, is set to be passed in the country. When I become a voter, I will have the opportunity to cast a negative ballot, to put in democratic system what I put in writing, that none of the candidates brought before us are fit, that we wish none of them, no party to get our vote.
My question is this. If a situation arises in a constituency where the absolute majority lies with the negative vote, should any MLA be elected? Is it right to represent a constituency where the majority do not wish to be represented?
Allow them to rule themselves, I say, give the money grant alloted to the politicians to the people, and see what will come of it. Then our democracy will be complete. When we have the right to rule ourselves.

Well, as Gump says, That's all I've got to say about that.

PS: Bhavya's brilliant Observation for the day: If references are given by referees, who give Testimonials?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Tennis Heroes

My Preboards, corr. bless their soul, are over. It is now a month and a bit before my boards begin, which is an insanely large amount of time, and I am bored to death, sick to death, and generally have been pushed to death by studying.
So I've taken a short haitus, before revision classes start at my Tuition Center, and till then, I have found ample entertainment in the Australian Open grand slam. After the praccis got over this Saturday, I spent a wonderful Sunday morning watching two exceptional matches, exceptional for entirely different reasons.

The first was between the man to whom the blog title generally speaks of, Andre Agassi, and a young Swede named First Name I can't Pronounce of Spell Properly Johannson. The match was incredible, it was amazing, it was good enough that I have run out of adjectives to describe it. It was your classic experience versus youth, David versus Goliath type thing, and unlike what generally happens in real life, Agassi one.
The Swede had the biggest serve I have seen in a long time. It was just sheer power, harder hit than even Roddick's gunshots. He hit, in total, an incredible 51 aces, and an even higher number of straight winners, and Agassi still managed to take it in four sets, after loosing the first in the tiebreaker. There were games where Agassi could actually not get a touch on the ball, because four straight aces ensured that he had no chance. The beauty of the game was Agassi's patience, and skill. If a first serve was missed, Agassi won the point on second serve. If the first serve was anywhere within a 3 meter radius of his body, he somehow managed to return it. It was just an incredible game.
It's made even more incredible by the fact that this man is 34. He's in wonderful shape, nobody his age plays competitive tennis at the kind of intensity and level he does. I salute the man, for his skill, his perseverance, and his mental strength.
Oh, and he's funny too. His interviews are great to watch. After his fourth round victory, when asked how he felt about facing Roger Federer next, his response was quick and kurt.
"Roger Who?"
You gotta love the man.
Oh, the next match was also excellent, because it had Maria Sharapova.
You really gotta love her.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Ah, the big news for today, and it's nice to have some good news after a long time. I have been shortlisted by Singapore Management University, and my interview will be next month. This basically means they're happy with my acads, extra-curriculars and SAT Scores, and are ready to see if I'm a well rounded type of guy.
This is a lot of good news, because the way I see it, I've just cleared my weakest side.
So yes, I'm feeling happier and more secure at the moment, which I haven't felt for sometime, so basically: YAY!
Anyhow, on to less important things. I had something to write about yesterday, and I shall finish writing about it today.

Hedonism Redefined

I am a hedonist, that is, I see the purpose of my life(aside from the long term, biological purpose of creating new life) as having a whole lot of fun. I'm absolutely commited to my own happiness, and quite frankly don't care if everything else goes to bally hell to achieve it. A year and a half ago, I took a desicion (yes, I've spelled it incorrectly for the thousandth time, give me a break, I don't know how to spell words with e's, c's and s's all in combination) not to do Engineering, because, well, I'd seen my brother go through it, and I was sure that this was not something I could handle for the next six years of my life. It would have made me really unhappy, as I would have struggled and struggled my way through it, and never really done well enough. I don't enjoy that, no I don't, so I decided to drop the whole idea.
But here's the deal. Hedonism isn't only about the short run, you have to ensure your happiness over as long a period of time as you can. Thus, if I wanted to hang out with my brother while he was here, which admittedly would have been great fun, I didn't, delaying that pleasure for the pleasure of not having to fail in the Preboards.
Of course, this wasn't a great desicion, because my studying didn't seem to have any relavence to my actual result, but that's another story. The point has been made. It is important sometimes to sacrifice a moments joy for a larger moments pleasure, and it is important at other times to see if you're really sacrificing a lot of time and effort for something that's not going to make you particularly happy at the end of it.

Well, I must now sacrifice the pleasure of listening to very good music, playing freecell, and writing, to go study for my Practeecals. Lets hope that at least pays off, otherwise I might just switch to a complete Hedonist, living only for the moment.

Oh, it slipped my mind.
Sasta for the Day: What do you call the study of systematically tallying where snake bites occur on the human body?

A Poison Distrubution

And yes, I'm making these up on my own now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No Rest for the Wicked

One set of exams finishes, and the next one will begin. There really is no rest for the wicked, half a days break I shall take today, and then it will be back to the grind, with preboard practicals, and then board practicals, and then something resembling life.

But anyhow, enough of the morose nature of things. On to nicer stuff. During the preboards, right at the beggining in fact, I had thought of an idea for another short story, proving to me once and foremost that bad timing is sort of inbuilt into my subconcious. It annoyed me to no end that here I had a perfectly good story(which all of you are going to pan, because it's not like the other stuff I usually write), and I couldn't write it for another week. Well, the week got over, and I finally got the time, first before the english paper, and then after the english paper, and I finished my little story off.
Now, I wanted to segregate my stories from Blah!, inasmuch as this is my journal, and that is my creative work, and the twain had been meeting a bit too much. So I created another blog, where I don't have to force journal readers to pore over my longish shortish stories, to see whether they like em or not, but the interested one's can hit the nice little hyperlink on this little bit of text I just typed out, and go read it. It's a nice new thing called Card Player, and it's about a game called The Three Card Monte.

Today's Random Observation of Brilliance: If the Ancient Mariner (The one with the Rime) had a blog, everyone would be forced to read it! Also, he'd have his story told to a much larger audience, and he'd be all happy about it too.

I had something I wished to write about, but I've now written a lot today, so I thinks I shall save it for laters. Time is no longer of the essence.
Till then, do have a look at my story, if ya like.
I would most definitely like. I'm paranoid about comments about my writing, even if you are going to pan it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Travails of Thinking

I reread The Complete Murphy's Law recently, and let me tell you it's just about the perfect book you can read during class 12 preboards. It makes life seem a little bit more normal, there's nothing like hearing that everything is supposed to be going to go wrong anyway, to make you feel better about the fact that everything is, in fact, going wrong.
But then I refer largerly to my Maths Paper, which was, in another man's words, an Unmitigated Disaster.
Anyway, to the point.
I've talked about this before, but then, it's quite a bit to talk about, and not easily covered in a day long essay. But here's the deal. When you have nothing to do, the only thing you have left to do is Think. Thinking is basically the root cause of all Man's problems in life, because, were he not to think, he would never imagine that he had problems in the first place. But then, you cannot not think, because then you deny yourself humanity, and turn into an oyster, or potato, or any such life form. So here's what human beings did, they reached a compromise. Man say, Yea as you are my father and holy son, and other biblical and profound sounding stuff, You will proceed to think only for a limited amount of the day, and spend the rest doing seemingly important things. You will play sports, you will blog, you will watch TV, and you will chat with friends, but thinking you shall keep to a god holy minimum.
But this all goes haywire when most of the above options are denied to you, and all that is left to do is think.
Here's another associated evil. You can think about
a)The Present: This you cannot actually do most of the time, and especially cannot do when your present involves thinking. You can't technically think about thinking, because that sort of thing is liable to drive you nuts, but proof that this has already not happened is, quite frankly, flimsy.
b) The Past : I have serious mental barriers set up so that I don't think about my past, for reasons I cannot remember because I have serious mental barriers preventing me from doing so.
c) The Future : Now here's the most dangerous thing to actually think about, and in my case, the only thing I actually can. You have three kinds of thoughts, in this regard. Really Short Term Future Planning, commonly known as, "What shall I have for dinner", or ,"Oh, there's a decent movie coming tonight.
Then you have Short Term Future Planning, which is currently along the lines of "How should I party after these wretched Boards are over?" or "where the hell can I learn how to cook in the holidays" and towards the latter bit "Where on earth am I going to be going to college to, and what will it be like?"
Then you have long term future planning, which is really quite rare, and involves things like "How screwed up are my kids going to be, really?"
Here's the deal, now. The future can either not be according to your expectations, in which case you shall be deeply dissapointed, and pissed that you spent time thinking about a perfect world that panned out.
Alternatively, the future can be completely wonderful, but not according to your expectations, because what the future never is, or well, never has turned out to be, is what you expect it to be.
Now, as per the ranting, I'm going to be doing quite a bit of that for at least a month and a half more, so I'll just have to deal with it.

Sasta for the day: What do you call a Sardar who's obssesed with PN Junction Diodes?

Bia Singh.

Forgive them lord, they know not what they do.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Chemistry of Lohri

Yesterday was quite an interesting day. I spent the better part of the day preparing for chem, which ensured that I passed in today's paper, and the night was devoted to one of those yearly festival thingummies that comes around every 13th of January, namely Lohri/Lodi(No, not Behn Di, as Manav would have you believe).
Now, I would have myself believe that everyone knows about Lohri, but this is a great bout of cultural hooliganism. And yes, I really felt like using that word. Anyhow, the point is, not too many people outside of Punjab and Delhi really know what it's all about, so here's my pint sized take.
Lohri is basically a harvest festival, it has a lead up of a few days, and is finally celebrated on the 13th of January every year. It's traditionally supposed to be the time of change, when the winter makes it's last hurrah, and from now on, sunny days shine ahead. I hope this is true, and judging by the warm sun this afternoon, things are indeed looking up.
The days before Lohri are traditionally spent in what is basically the Punjabi equivalent of Carolling (for lack of a better analogy). Kids usually go around houses, collecting whatever there is to offer, and singing songs in a sort of annoying way to get what they actually want. Money.
Anyhow, such things are not very common these days in mixed society, but as Papa said, the mohal (atmosphere) was there when they lived in Daryajang, which is pretty much the textbook definition of Humble beginnings in Delhi. I'm sure there are enough Lohri singers still around in more Punjabi dominated areas of Delhi, but I lived in a pretty mixed colony.
Anyhow, we move on. On Lohri night, a bonfire is lit in the house, or as the case sensibly is, just outside the house. Obtained for stoking the fire are the essentials, good wood, and the non essentials, Gajak, Moongphali (peanuts), popcorn (admittedly, a recent addition to Lohri tradition), chikki, and other sweetened and fattening things that burn well, both inside and outside one's stomach. Then one sits around the fire, with one's family and near friends, in our case we invited our neighbours and family friends, and generally enjoy the nice fire, and good food. Then, Bua gets into a fun mood, and takes it upon herself to sing one of the afore mentioned Lohri Songs. I have, incredibly, found this on the net, and will reproduce it in entirity.

Sunder mundriye Ho
Tera kaun bachera Ho
Dhulla bhatti wala Ho
Dulle dhi vaiahi Ho
Ser Shakar Pai Ho
Kudi de boje pai Ho
Kudi da lal pataka Ho
Kudi da salu pata Ho
Salu kaun samete Ho
Chacha gal dese Ho
Chache churi kuti Ho
Jimindara luti Ho
Jimindara sado Ho
Gin gin paule lao Ho
Ik paula reh gaya
Sepai fadh kei lai gaya
Sepai ne mari it

Now, if after hearing this, your family is still not amneable to the old time money minding carollers, you are then universally shunned, and they will loudly yell infront of your house
--"Hookah hookah hookah, Ai Ghaar Pukha"
Which translates into this house is a bunch of hungry misers.
The whole thing concludes with a nice dinner, and for me, a good nights sleep before the chem paper. Well, at least this year it did.
This is one of my favourite festivals, actually, and it's a shame it's not really well known outside our little land. I'd spread it, if I had the time, but I'm afraid for the moment, I've just run out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Two down, Three to Go

I wish I had six preboards, or six subjects, or whatever the right word for this is. That way, I could loudly claim that I've reached midway through my exams, and I could have done this consistently over this year, which has seen me doing pretty much nothing but give exams.
I'm quoting Keerthi now. I have also started writing exams just so that they get over. I no longer see a point to them, an objective, a test, whatever they're supposed to be, it's not reaching me. They just have to be written, so that they get over.
So I had economics today, which went remarkably well, considering I had decided not to study at all for half the course. Even stranger is how this was the exact part of the course I did remarkably well in. This is all fitting into my great theory that studying has nothing to do with your actual marks.
I was much impressed by the tenthie sitting next to me in today's paper, which is the entire reason I'm writing, actually. It showed me that the future of my school is secure, and if you think I'm being pragmatic, I'm not.
Here's what happened. The chap had not studied much for his german paper, and his last question was a ten mark essay type thing. Now, he had come prepared with all of one essay, About my Father, or whatever that translates into german as. This one, unfortunately didn't come, something he was banking on, and instead he had to write "About my Neighbour". This chap was understandably distressed, but the quick thinking and arrogance that forms the backbone of DPS surged in his veins. He waits for Gurpreet (The German Teacher) to arrive, and then asks him, in all honesty "Sir, can my father be my neighbour?"
Flummoxed by such incredible logic, Gurpreet said, write whatever you wan't we'll see later, so the fellow happily goes about writing an essay which would have started as "My neighbour is my father", followed by the rest of the father essay. At this point I was literally laughing my head off, which is not very advisable if you're giving a paper. Following this, I shook the guys hand, and if I could, I would have congratulated him, but you really shouldn't talk during a paper.
There should be awards for creative thinking during exams, but no, this is something our society doesn't really reward. Ah, well, such is life.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Preboards and Why Modernites are Completely Useless

Preboards started today. My lack of serious caring about them has lead to a relaxed attitude, which means I don't panic when I get into the exam room.
This means that I did today's paper almost in entirity, managed a couple of questions which I thought I had forgotten how to do, and generally didn't make an ass of myself.
But then, it's Physics, and one really doesn't know how many marks this wonderful attitude is going to transform into.

Modernites, whom I have always looked down upon (this is a school that had the audacity to turn admission down to me, not once, but TWICE) really have no lives. I have always believed this, and the world does nothing but to strengthen this great view of mine. But what really gets your goat is when They try to borrow yours! Karan pointed this blog out to me (god knows how he found it) and it's really kind of disgusting. You really have to lack a life to copy from one who is giving board exams.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but it really depends on who's doing the imitating.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bhai Aaya

It's been a long time, hasn't it? Well, I've been very busy, very busy indeed, doing a lot of maths, and some physics, and here lies the problem. I'm writing right now, which is easily interpreted as "I've run out of study steam", and it's very very hard to keep a level of intensity going. Preboards are now all of three days away, and I just hope I get back into the groove this afternoon. Anyhow, a quick(could it be anything else) recap of my super exciting life since the new years.
My brother came home on the third-fourth(whatever you call the twilightzone of midnight), and in the three days that he's been here, I've actually had a very productive study time, largely due to the fact that I beat it from home, and studied at my tuition center. But then, the maths course got over, and you just can't put the same amount of time into any other subject as you can while doing maths sums.
On the distraction and "lets give the child a life" front, my brother got home CD's full of movies, songs and Music Videos. Of these the finest must be Manamadarasa.
Now, those closer, dearer and more able to tolerate me will have experienced in the past the sheer badness of Tamil Pop Music, as the last great gem my brother sent me, and continuously sang all the time was this wonderful little ditty known as "O Podu" ,which he later translated as "Give it, give it, stick it, stick it, Fuck You."
Let me assure you that the only thing worse than Tamil Pop, is Tamil Pop videos. Manamadarasa in particular, which is said to be a superhit, and what all the cool dudes at IIM B dance to(or attempt to dance to) is their champion, and I have seen it.
How do I describe this? The video opens with a very long drawn out Maaaaaaaaaaaanamaadaraaaaaasa, followed by, for some odd reason, Horses Neighing. Then the guy comes in to dance with the Not-So-Fat Tam female. The dancing is of a quality seldom seen, even in our age of remixed disasters. Imagine Govinda. Imagine Prabhudeva. Imagine they had a live in relationship relationship as life partners in Chennai, and through the marvels of genetic engineering, produced offspring. This offspring took to a career of dance, and subjected us to the Jhatkas and Pelvic Thursts of Govinda, at the speed and sheer agility of Prabhudeva. Such is the lead of Manamadarasa(Which is by the way translated into "God of Sex" or something like that). This is what comes out of erstwhile the most conservative society of India, the Tam-Brams.
Well, don't believe a word of it. These Tams are crazy.