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Life is a lemon...

Neurotron | 31 August 2004, 3:42pm

What about love? It's defective! - it's always breaking in half
What about sex? It's defective! - it's never built to really last
What about your family? It's defective! - all the batteries are shot
What about your friends? They're defective! - all the parts are out of stock

What about hope? It's defective! - it's corroded and decayed
What about faith? It's defective! - it's tattered and it's frayed
What about your Gods? They're defective! - They forgot the warranty
What about your town? It's defective! - it's a dead end street to me

What about your school? It's defective! - it's a pack of useless lies
What about your work? It's defective! - it's a crock and then you die
What about your childhood? It's defective! - it's dead and buried in the past
What about your future? It's defective! - and you can shove it up your ass!

Life is a lemon and I want my money back...

Current Mood: Angry
Current Music: Meatloaf

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Fathers and ESP

Neurotron | 23 August 2004, 2:11pm

“When I was your age...” must rate very highly in the sequential progression of Father-to-Son talks / arguments. In the ‘oh no, not that again!’ section. It just HAS to put in an appearance at some stage. We crib and cringe when we hear those 5 words from our parents mainly because we know what’s coming next – first lecture, then most probably an emphatic ‘NO’ to whatever it was we asked for. Or we get saddled with so much guilt that every ounce of enjoyment is squeezed out of the thing.

But there is usually a silver lining...somewhere.

When I joined college, all I wanted was a bike. To complete the whole image ‘college’ conjured up in my head. I honestly believed my dad would dig deep into his vault of magnanimity (which I could only presume actually existed) and, on my birthday, dramatically hand me the keys to a brand new bike. It would be sitting in the garage, and he would come up to me, lecture me first on safety and responsibility (but of course. I was willing to bear that even), and then dangle the keys in front of me and say, with a smile, ‘Happy Birthday, Son’.

I would give that shocked-off-my-ass smile, maybe tear up a little, maybe, just maybe hug him, take the keys and go down to the garage. Ok, so we don’t have an automatic garage door, but bear with me – it was a beautiful fantasy for frig’s sake! Anyway, the shutter would rise, and there would be my new bike – black, gleaming, and on the side stand. It has to be on the side-stand, you understand. The main stand just ain’t sexy enough. Any bike would have done.

I got a gold chain instead.

And exactly what the fuck am I supposed to do with that, eh?! Will it take me to college? Will I be able to bunk more comfortably because I have that thing around my neck? Can my girlfriend sit on it?? Well, if I was wearing it, and…ANYWAY, the point is, it was of no value to me at the time. All the plans I’d made came crashing down. My existence was now officially purposeless. I had no reason to live! I was...

Then I saw the smile on his face.

It wasn’t just any smile. It was swelling with pride, practically beaming. I had absolutely no idea why, but I’m beginning to get an inkling now. This was tradition. A father gives his son a gold chain on his birthday. Relevant or not, it is a sign in south Indian families. An unspoken acknowledgement, a rite of passage. Even with our mostly antagonistic relationship at the time, I could not bring myself to deny him his pleasure in this moment. I smiled, I thanked my parents, wore it all day, and my father was so happy. He never said a word, but I knew. Maybe this is why fathers and sons don’t talk – these crucial moments are all ESP. I never wore that chain again, but I’m sure he’s kept it safe somewhere, so he can look at it from time to time and enjoy what it means to him.

But all that bloody ESP evaporated into thin air when it came to divining what it was I really wanted. He probably knew all along, but all his old fears of girls, friends, waywardness and general ayyashi in my life resulted in no bike. But I had to get a bike! For one year I waited patiently. Next birthday. Long story. Same result.


So I did the next best thing - I blackmailed mom.

Current Mood: Feeling Better
Current Music: Random ringtones the morons around me INSIST on experimenting with.

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Two minutes to midnight.

Neurotron | 20 August 2004, 1:53pm

It’s two minutes to midnight. In two minutes, I will be dead.

What am I supposed to be thinking of? I’ve heard all about the ‘whole life flashing in front of your eyes’ thing. Let me try. But where do I begin? From earliest childhood memories? From the time I began to think of myself as an individual, probably some time in my middle teens? From first love? Maybe I should start backwards. Maybe I should start by thinking of the people who mean the most to me now. My new friends, who could be as true or as false as those I’ve had before. Or my parents, and my constantly changing dynamics with them. The girl I love, who could make tonight forever, or make it disappear by the dawn.

What about the tunnel with the white light at the end of it…do I try and experience that? Or does that only happen when you are sliding slowly towards the end, and hence not applicable in this case. But maybe that’s the best way. I mean, is there ever a ‘good’ way to die? I think so. But I also think I’d want some time to reflect on the good times, to make the passing easier. Two minutes aren’t enough.

If you knew you were going to die soon, how long would you want to live with that knowledge? Two, five, ten minutes? An hour? A day? A week? And would you have enough perspective to not allow yourself to hold on tighter during that period? If I were to be diagnosed with a fatal, incurable disease, I think about one week would do it. That would probably give me enough time to talk to most of the people I really want to talk to. I don’t know if I would or wouldn’t tell them this will be the last time we speak, but maybe I’d like it to be as normal an interaction as possible. I’d try and swallow my tendency for the melodramatic.

There will always be so much more to say, with too little time left. Always. To my father, to my mother, to the people who I think consider me a good friend, to loves past and present, to other people I respect, and to those I am grateful and indebted to. And I have a little less than a minute left. Maybe now I should say goodbye to me. It may sound strange to some, but it sounds perfectly logical to me at this time. Maybe I should make peace with the fact that there will be no more discovery, no more wonder, no more experience, no more love. The music’s over – turn out the light.

Maybe the best way to go is to be happy at the end. Reconciled. With the past, with no regrets. Maybe that’s the way we should live life in the first place, so that there isn’t so much to think of at the end, when the moment arrives. So that there aren’t any ‘I love you’s unsaid, no ‘Thank you’ s forgotten, no dues unpaid, no gratitude unexpressed.

My time is almost up. Quick and painless, please.

Maybe I ought to try and find God. I mean, just in case.

Current Music: Suicide is painless - M*A*S*H (covered by Manic Street Preachers and Marilyn Manson)

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Neurotron | 19 August 2004, 11:22am

The survival and sustenance of genius probably depends on its existence on the edge of sanity. On the border between the commonplace and the chaotic; on the thin line between the material, the mundane, and the magical and mystical. True genius is a source of infinite pleasure to the one who possesses it, for the external onlooker can only experience but a minute fraction of it. A fleeting, humbling touch.

Only the possessor of such a gift can experience its rewards to the utmost. To him, however, the experience is an everyday occurrence. The true joy probably lies in the sudden insight – of the stunning beauty in simplicity, of the order in the universe, and the indescribable feeling of the sudden understanding of how it all makes perfect sense. A discovery of the method in the madness. And this insight needs no external justification by another person, does not need to be shared to be enjoyed, does not require a concurrence from someone else. It is a world of pleasure unto its own, and the joy is inescapably obvious on his face.

The human brain is, unquestionably, the most complex structure in the known universe. The body is but an apparatus to support the genius of the mind, an appendage the requirements of which seem inconsequential when the train of thought bears an undeniable momentum. A flame, as a bundle of energy, is remarkable on its own, but it’s the occasional flicker and spark that make it interesting and worth watching. Similarly, watching a genius at work, in any field, is a joy to behold. But being a part of, or even witness to, the proverbial ‘stroke of genius’...THAT elevates the experience to a higher plane. THAT can make life worth living.

Current Mood: Cheerful
Current Music: Musica randoma

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and then...

Neurotron | 18 August 2004, 7:07pm

God talks to me
tells me what to do...
Tells me to kill some fool
So I do...

- "God Talks", Deadtime Stories.

Suddenly, I feel very dark. The Prince of Darkness hath returned...


More Goth.

Current Mood: Evil
Current Music: Angel - Massive Attack

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No. 42

Neurotron | 17 August 2004, 8:13am

And one day, you will mourn
The minutes spent in various queues
and crowded pews
filled with a glut of sin
or the lack or excess of bitter gin
The deviation from the Middle Path
and the grapes of wrath.

Did it help?
Was it all you thought it would be?

And one day, I will wonder
if I was really as hard done by you
as I thought
if I will resent all the demons I fought
As I drink the bitter wine you extracted
mercilessly from those grapes,
A quiet serenity my troubled heart drapes
and I wonder if 42
is really the solution
to our collective loneliness.

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: God Talks - Deadtime Stories

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High time, Long drive

Neurotron | 10 August 2004, 3:25am

So I decided it was high time I did the long drive. High. Long time since high drive. If I remember right, it was in Kent, on the way to the Ferrari festival and the Clapton concert.

I am seriously amazed at how quickly it got organised. G called me late Fri evening and said it was possible. I quickly called M and S, and we were set. Then I realised we would be starting at some 5.30 am, so we would need food and drink for a few hours. Especially food. The Munchies are not something to be taken lightly. Plus, I would be driving, so pretty much no alcohol for me. None for me means none for you too! So I got some chocolate, small cake type stuff, Rola Colas and Poppins (will make sense in a little while), and some other stuff. Just one thing remained.

The weed.

Now, it had been about 2 years. The only reason I wanted it was to recreate those mornings in Pradeek's house, when we would bring in the day with a small trip. I wanted to rise with the sun. This would explain the early hour and the choice of food. Anyway, G came a little late, but we picked up everyone and were rollin' by about 6.30 am. We were headed north, to Medak. I wanted a relatively short trip (100 km) because this was a pilot project. And we wanted to be back by afternoon, so we could make the Campus Rock Idol thingie at Durgam Cheruvu. So I thought the Medak Church (the largest in Asia) and the Medak Fort might be a good idea. Not too tiring. One minor concern was how G would fare in the company of 2 women.

I needn't have worried.

Of course, he's always been a really bright guy with a great sense of humor, right from childhood. And he's always had a phenomenal talent for stating the obvious. What used to be irritating was un-fuckin-believably funny this day. And I don't think we'll ever forget the classic one liners.

There was some roadwork being done at one point, so the divider wasn't there for a short stretch. We were laughing at something else when I suddenly realised I'd missed the turn-off back to our lane. All traffic was oncoming, head-on. I was a little confused...

M: ummm...I think we're on the right road.
G: (drawling) Yeaahh...only on the wrong side of it...

After getting back to our side of the road, I almost ran into the truck ahead because I was laughing so hard.
Boy was making spliffs in the back. Of course there were a few bumps in the road here and there (otherwise the road is AMAZING)...

G: Oh crap!
Me: What?
G: The seeds fell off.
Me: So? You were going to throw them away anyway, weren't you?
G: Yes, but not IN the car for Mom to find!

A little while later, we decided it was high time. So we got off the road and stopped for a while. So M and S were newbies and wanted to try it too. They tried it once or twice and were understandably having some difficulty. G thought he’d help them out.

M: So…how do I do it?
G: You just put it in your mouth...suck...and let it go into your lungs. It’s like breathing...


Oh man! And it continued for the rest of the trip. If you aren’t laughing, I guess you had to be there. Maybe it was just the way he said it. Who cares? It felt great to laugh like that again. Reminded me of our laughter marathons on the Rock. It was a great trip. Get stoned, eat, laugh. I would write about the rest of the trip, which was also great fun...

...but I’m too busy laughing.

Current Mood: Cheerful
Current Music: Everybody must get...Bob Dylan

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Paddling into the sunset. I

Neurotron | 5 August 2004, 12:13pm

This is a common way, among certain tribal cultures inhabiting islands, of accepting the inevitability of death.

And it is usually a self-made decision by the elderly. I imagine one knows when one is at the end of one rope and needs to hold onto the next. So he announces his decision, people grieve, and say their goodbyes while the person is still alive and well. Maybe it makes the transition easier on everybody. But this way sure seems way better than our ‘civilised’ methods of dealing with death.

If you live till old age, you will certainly have to face the deaths of people born years before you were. I was just thinking this morning that one day, I will wake up to hear that people who we believe to be ‘ours’ in a collective sense, like say Amitabh Bachchan, or Sachin Tendulkar, are no more. But why do we insist on believing that they have been ‘snatched’ from us, or that ‘it’s a great loss’? Did you honestly think it would never happen? Did you just assume that they would be around forever, to entertain you and justify your illusions? I have been hearing similar things on television channels about the passing of Mehmood, or Brando, or others. But such is life. The less oil you have left, the more you realize how you wasted it when the lamp was full, and the quicker you reconcile yourself to the fact that the light will go out soon. And then, you start living more happily. But as Tagore said, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.” Those left grieve, and move on in search of their own dawns.

Grief. Another side effect of evolution, of our species. I have always thought, or wanted to believe, that I am pragmatic about grief. I can look at the situation from a logical point of view, understand my emotions, and grieve. But there is an indescribable sadness at a crematorium. Inescapable. It just seeps into your being. I wonder if I would feel the same if I just walked into a crematorium one day and just sat there.

Within a year, I’ve faced 3 deaths. One was an elderly relative, soon after I returned from London. Not that we had much contact or we were especially close, but I still have the one letter she wrote to me when I was about 12. I don’t know why. I was the only person of my age at the last rites, though there were other people of my generation who could have come, but didn’t. I was told I needn’t go, but I realized I wanted to. My mother later told me she was happy I did. The lady was old, ailing and thus, in essence, it was her time. I always feel there is not as much sadness in the passing of an old person.

But it all changed at the crematorium. I have no idea why I cried. Looking at it practically, there was no overwhelming reason for me to. But I quietly walked away, found a quiet spot, and completely broke down. For a person I hardly knew. And I could almost feel the sadness just hanging about the place. It was like an unremovable stain that I knew my clothes would stink of for days afterward. But it was not one of those things you feel disgusted about.

I allowed it to sink in. There was no sense in trying to stop it. I let it gradually take control. The sobs came in spurts initially, but flowed freely soon. I let the tears wash my face, and my soul clean. Even while I cried, I was conscious of my brain trying to analyse why. It didn’t matter anyway. It was healing me inside, filling in all the wounds I accumulated since the last time I cried. No wonder it took so long.

Everybody hurts...
Everybody cries...

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: REM

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Neurotron | 3 August 2004, 2:18pm

I'm Chandler Bing from Friends!

Take the Friends Quiz here.

created by stomps.

Oh alright! So I always knew it...
Could it BE any more obvious?

Current Mood: Cheerful
Current Music: Ill be there for you - the Rembrandts (what else did you think??)

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Neurotron | 2 August 2004, 5:07pm

What did the Microbiology lecturers' cricket team call themselves?

Staff. areus.

Current Mood: Bored
Current Music: Rock concert. aka the AC above my head.

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