Category: General

22 Oct 2005

My Obituary

Posted by Oblivion in General | 1:50pm

And now, good rest!

Current Mood: Happy
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22 Oct 2005

Law of Convergence

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:59am

Law of convergence.

Paraphrasing Shakespeare,

Golden moments and dreams all must
As ashes and ruin come to dust

Current Mood: Happy
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20 Oct 2005

Sanity - Commandment 1

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:01pm

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
- JK

Current Mood: Happy
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16 Oct 2005

It Happens One Day

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:39pm

There will be a day after which nothing will make sense ever again. One is unlucky if he misses such a day.

Current Mood: Happy
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6 Oct 2005

At the Lounge

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:45pm

He then looked at him
And uttered a noble truth
"Fragile is this life!"

Current Mood: Happy
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1 Oct 2005

Haiku Day

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:50pm

All alone today
Walking under the blue sky
Soulful bliss is mine!

Current Mood: Happy
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9 Sep 2005

Booker 2005 - Part II

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:03am

The shortlist is out. Coetzee hasn't made it! Rushdie hasn't either, but it didn't come as a surprise, courtesy the reviews. The list (in alphabetical order):

Banville, John
Barnes, Julian
Barry, Sebastian
Ishiguro, Kazuo 
Smith, Ali
Smith, Zadie

Now that Coetzee is out, I bet on Ali Smith. 10-10-'05 will tell.

Current Mood: Happy
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1 Sep 2005

Birthday Trivia

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:01pm

30-strong team
30 birthdays per year
1450/- - spend on each birthday
43,500/- - annual spend on birthdays

What the team-members get:
Clicks of digicam/mobilecam
Between 10 and 15 hours of socializing

What the birthday boy gets:
All of the above+a gift voucher+cake smeared on his face, with lot of giggles forming the background music

For those who like, it is:

For those who don't:
...don't know

If I am the birthday boy, it would mean (for me):

That this has been on my mind for some time suggests that I might develop birthdayphobia in six or seven years. There are takers for birthday parties, yes, but then there are takers for everything in this world. Suit oneself. So, let those who enjoy it, enjoy. Chaps suffering from birthdayphobia and prefer attention deficit better be left alone. I like this model. World may not become a better place, but everyone's priorities are respected.

(p.s. the luxury of having a blog is that one can write nonsense at times and not give a damn!) 

Current Mood: Happy
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20 Aug 2005

58 and Going...

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:22pm

Independent India is 58 years old. Time for retirement. More than anyone else, India needs it. It resembles an old man who had spent his youth in slumber and has now lost his way in a thick wood. With priorities having gone utterly wrong, he is now destitute of sanity. His only reason for pride is his glorious past.

The fuss about Independence Day, year after year after year, makes any sensible person puke. It's very predictable, so absolutely predictable like that march of soldiers. You know what movies they will show on the movie channels, you know what kind of imagery they will flash on the music channels, you know what the prime minsiter will say in his address to the nation, you know what cover stories the newsmagazines will come up with, you know what questions the half-cranky anchors will ask the three-fourth cranky teenagers on the streets, you know what symbol will be most flashed at your eyes, and you know what they will blabber in all those useless talk shows.

For kids, it's another holiday. For adults, it's entertainment day at home. For jingoists, it's a festival. For politicians, it's another day to kick on the old man's ass. For media, it's a day for big money. At the end of the day, after having watched in silence his birthday celebration, the old man is tired, beaten, abandoned and sick. But, heck, nobody cares! I have three meals a day, a nice job, good bank balance, so the old man can go to the dogs.

The old man has been rendered spineless. The whole system of politics, juidiciary, legislature, and media sucks. The specimen called politician was dead and gone with Gandhi and gang. They may not have had practicable ideals and were not sharp at anticipating the consequences of their decisions, but they at least had appreciable missions and commanded good amount of respect by virtue of their education and personality. After them, we have been ruled by goons and people don't mind it! Worse, they still go and vote, fueled by incorrect understanding of franchise and the so-called sincere citizen!

Amid all this hopeless chaos, we have these high-adrenaline, impatient, and vain youth (am also among them) - the future of the nation. Flash some skin, pierce at some places, speak in a bastard accent, use four-letter words at your will, talk of brands and places, begin or end every sentence with 'cool', 'man', 'dude' and other such non-expletives-but-expletives-actually, blame everything on Gandhi and Nehru, gyrate the hips at a pub with booze beside and loud music in the background, and flaunt everything. To complement, learn the tunes of  om jai jagdish... and aye malik tere bande... If you are a girl, also learn how to - and where to - put a bindi and how to wear a saree. That's enough, and the media finds in you the rightful mix of tradition and modernity. East meets West. Crossover. My foot!

Civil servant is extinct. We are ruled by the gun. Try to speak truth and you will be a statistic. Everybody knows what happened to a certain 'Tehelka'. The real goons are out there in the Assembly halls, while thousands of innocent people are behind bars. Media doesn't have guts to find out real stories. Government is a bunch of cranks playing football with you and me. Surprisingly, neither of us minds! As Coetzee says, "Man gets used to anything. Anything." Soldiers kill civilians to meet their 'weekly targets' and frame them as militants, and the rest of the country hails them as saviours! Human rights? Show me something 'human' and we can talk of rights. A small rumour effects a riot. And I am still sold the concept of India being a 'democratic and secular nation'!

To go one up, one always meets these chaps who come along and say, "hey buddy, don't be so cynical". Oh yeah! why should it bother anybody anyways? Why not enjoy another round of gossip at the coffee table and let the old man, as we said, go to the dogs? Come on, he is just 58 now, and he can go on for centuries. Chill!

I don't know what the old man thinks, but I feel it's time for retirement. Enough of experimenting with goonocracy. Renounce. Let go. Begin anew!

On second thoughts, it's just asking for the moon. Tagore prayed to let his country awake into the 'heaven of freedom', and nothing happened. So, what the hell would happen if some 'cynics' and idlers write useless reflections in diaries or blogs or magazines? For modern man, taking out time for reading itself is a monumental task. Anything beyond is unthinkable. So, shit happens, papers polish it and print, we read, and get on with our lives. Reminds me of the sentence in The Fall: "A single sentence would suffice for modern man - he fornicated and read the papers."

Old man, happy birthday anyways! 58th.

Current Mood: Happy
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11 Aug 2005

Booker 2005

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:29am

Coetzee makes it yet again to the longlist for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. There's still good time for the shortlist. With some more good writers in contention, this is certainly going to be exciting.

My pick for the shortlist:

1.Coetzee, J M
2.Rushdie, Salman
3.Ishiguro, Kazuo
4.Smith, Ali
5.Smith, Zadie

And I wish Coetzee wins!

Current Mood: Happy
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4 Aug 2005

The Survival Chamber

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:46pm

AD 2876. The nuclear war has exterminated almost the entire of human race. Only 400 people survive. The break-up - 100 cyborgs, 25 scientists, 65 programmers, 10 dictators, and 200 youngsters - 100 men and their sisters.

The scientists and dictators decide they must take up the cause of preventing the human race from becoming extinct. All the documentation and technology for SFC (SuperFast Cloning) has been destroyed. So, the only way left for them to have descendants is by making the young men and women mate among them and procreate. So, they put the 100 young men and their sisters - 100 in number - in the survival chamber. Everything inside the chamber is fully monitored by supercomputers so that it is always conducive to survival of all forms of life. Dictators love Chess, and scientists love Mathematics. Ergo, they decide to make this all into a game rather than a drab orgy.

The 200 subjects are not told about the purpose of the exercise until they are moved inside the chamber. Once inside, they are blindfolded and made to stand - men and women opposite each other, separated by good distance - in a random order. There are hundred rooms, designed to form a circle. The blindfolds are removed only when a person is inside either the room or the toilet. Now, the game is this - men are asked to choose their mating partners. Everybody is numbered - man 1 to man 100, woman 1 to woman 100. Each man is directed toward the place where women are standing, and the first woman whom he touches becomes his partner. Nobody is allowed to utter a word till all the pairs are formed. The dictators don't approve of incest. So, if the man happens to choose his sister for partner, both of them will be shot dead.

The entire process is monitored by cyborgs, so there's no place for tricks.

The probability of a man ending up choosing his sister for partner is 0.01. Out of all the combinations possible, there is exactly one that proves fatal for the human race - when each man chooses his sister. In such a case, all the pairs will be shot dead. So, inside the chamber, the survival of a person depends not on how fit he is, but solely on chance.

What is the best move for a man to ensure he survives?

The rooms are numbered in anticlockwise direction, and they are occupied according as men's numbers in the same order (man 1 and his partner occupy room 1, man 2 and his partner occupy room 2, and so on).

After the first round of choosing, the scientists decide that it's a better idea to enhance the gene pool. Now, the pairs need to change partners in a sequential order (clockwise in direction) and it should go on for another 49 times (after the first round, man 1 will have man 2's partner and man 100 will have man 1's, and so on). But the same rules hold - when a man ends up with his sister for partner, both of them will be shot dead. So, if a man is lucky enough that his sister is not among the next 49 men's partners, he will survive at the end and will have had 50 partners in total.

How many such combinations exist that will keep all of them survive at the end?

Current Mood: Happy
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25 Jul 2005

India in 90 Seconds

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:54pm

What are the words/symbols that come to my mind - in the first 90 seconds - when I think of India? Let me see...

Gandhi's smiling face on the currency note
Express train
Jana gana mana tune
Aishwarya Rai
Satyajit Ray
Traffic jam
Road-side brawl
Filthy toilet
Marine drive
Waiting for the train
Crowded bus-stop
Queue at the temple
Babri masjid
Assassination of Indira Gandhi
Unicef ad
Indian movie
Kamal Hassan
Mani Ratnam
Harischandra ghat, Varanasi
Bulla ki jaana... video
Outlook magazine


34 associations.

17 negative, 9 positive, 8 neutral.

I hate more than I love India.

Current Mood: Happy
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25 Jun 2005

India - Shining?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:43pm

That India is shining, and that it is all set to become indispensable for the growth of World economy has been so earnestly promoted by Media for the last few years that everybody now seems to be taking it as an absolute fact. Euphoria reigns an entire generation. Consistent growth rate of GDP, becoming the preferred choice of many MNCs for setting up their shops, new hybrid car models, proliferation of multiplexes, and remodeling of shopping habits, attitudes and accents seem to be assurances enough for people to believe that there cannot be any looking back. Everybody appears to sing, "Our time has come!"

Unfortunately, positive growth rates alone do not directly translate to welfare in Economics lingo. Even in a world where nations cannot do without interdependence, development cannot be associated with a country that has not yet achieved the state of economic independence. So, mere inflow of foreign investment does not become the benchmark for measurement of growth. Given the enticing factor of those morsels of currency, it endangers a nation to gradually forget its primary strength. If an agrarian society falls for the lure of industrialisation and, in the process, ignores agriculture, it will become more dependent on secondary income. If its trade gets affected because of War or some international calamity, it won't be left with anything to rely on. It's very important for a nation to remember the focus of its resources.

This is not to suggest that globalisation is a bane. Globalisation is definitely a sign of a healthy, properous economy. Its importance in international relations and world peace cannot be dismissed. But a country's participation in global trade should be based on its principal strength; merely acting as a channel and contributing to other countries' economy, and gaining a meagre share for the same speaks bad of its economic policies and priorities.

Let's face it - India is preferred not because of a dearth of brains in the US, as Media project, but simply because of the dearth of manpower. Barring China, there is no place else where MNCs can find thousands of nice, sincere butts willing to be glued to glittering seats to earn consultancy dollars for them. All that for a pittance when one converts the currency. It undoubtedly is a win-win situation, but it is a situation driven by the motive of exploitation and that fraught with dangerous consequences that will come to light only after a few decades. We are the exploited, dependent, and colonized populace.

If tomorrow the US decides to stop all outsourcing work, close all its shops in India, and send all Indians out of their country, what will happen to millions of us? Do we have the potential to address such a dire situation? If we admit we have, it is merely out of the confidence that such a situation will never arise. This is not the case with Japan or Korea or China. India has too many problems and too many flaws in its political system. Poverty remains a perpetual problem, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is ever widening. These are not signs of a developing economy. If Media persuades people to believe otherwise, it is because of a vested interest. Sadly, people get carried away.

A developing economy is one that is striving to devise policies that, if implemented, would ensure that the percentage of population living below the line of poverty tends to become zero. Today we have 1.2 billion people in the world living in poverty (living on less than $1 a day). So, it reflects impatience and lop-sided view to flaunt a country's economy as developing, going by just the peripheral details.

A consultancy firm devises nice-sounding phrases and sells it because it is a business deal for them. Politicians promote the phrase and make it a slogan because they have to cajole people to win another term. Advertising agencies make impressive campaigns out of the slogan because that'll make their portfolio better and attract more clients. Media sell space and promote the campaign, and assure that it is the greatest thing to happen to the country, because they cannot survive by speaking truth and turning against the political set-up. It's all business for everybody. It defies all logic that people should derive their optimism out of such a manufactured image.

No doubt, the projections, the statistics, the fat pay packets, the IT parks, are all good, and indeed are a reason for rejoicing. Yet, unless India becomes self-sufficient in the first place, I find it hard to subscribe to the optimism that many people of my generation share.

Current Mood: Happy
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24 Jun 2005

Government vs. God

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:16pm

Spotted on the entrance gate of Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore - Government Work is God's Work

Let me see the logical connection:

1.God is omnipotent, government is omnipotent. So, government is God
2.God is omnipresent, government is omnipresent. So government is God
3.God is omniscient, government is... well, omniscience does not matter to government because it very well knows that omnipotence suffices. So, the fact that it knows such supreme truth makes it omniscient too. That, in turn, implies, by logic, that government is God
4.God is an invention of man, government is an invention of man. So, government is God
5.Man blames God for problems in life, man blames government for problems in way of living. So government is God
6.God does not give a damn to man's prayers, government does not give a damn to man's prayers or demands. So, government is God
7.God was invented to ensure security after death, government was invented to ensure security while living. So, government is God
8.God maintains an account of man's karma and punishes or rewards accordingly (poor soul! For all His genius, that's the most interesting work He has!) after one's death , government keeps a track of man's deeds and punishes accordingly, so government is God. Interestingly, just as God's model for punishment or reward does not yield to logic, government's model for punishment is as illogical
9.God proposes, man disposes; government proposes, man disposes. So, government is God
10.Man is sent to Hell if he disobeys God, man is put behind bars if he disobeys government. So, government is God

Now, because government is God, government work is God's work!

Of course, I am dwelling on incorrect comparison - for, it is not meant to equate government with God, but government work with divine work. Technically, government is meant to focus on the 'welfare' of the populace, so government work implies serving people, with their well-being as the principal motive. Translate that to emotion, and we immediately recall the words compassion and forgiveness - the indispensable traits attributed to God.

Coming back to the comparison, althought it is incorrect, yet it is not illogical - work is averse to government, so there's no such thing as government work. It's all a game of power. That, ergo, leaves only government and God for comparison.

Will there ever be a day on which the authority of both government and God is dispensed with? Meanwhile, I'll continue with my own share of the Devil's work.

Current Mood: Happy
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19 Jun 2005

Movies and Symbols

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:37pm

Movies. What's out there on screen is not anything different from what's already there in the psyche - whether individual or societal. Only, the representation is more appealing because of the complementary effect of lighting and background music. When one attempts to compile a list of shots/scenes from movies that reflect the symbols - cultural, political, spiritual, whether contemporary or otherwise - he will find many. At this moment though, with better part of the mind in a state of stupor, I can think of just two:

1.Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro - the last scene where the phrase Satyamev Jayate cuts to Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani, clothed in prisoner's attire, walking among the bustling crowd while the tune Hum Honge Kaamyab plays in the background, stopping in front of the Gateway of India, gesturing the slitting of throat while looking into the camera. Helplessness of the common man, fed on unflinching hope and strong belief in ideals, pitted against a corrupt system was never shown in a better way on screen.

2.Aparajito - the stunning scene of the death of Apu's father. Nursing her husband who is just a few moments away from death, she asks the little Apu to fetch the holy water of the Ganges for his father. He runs, walks down the flight of steps to the ghat, fetches water and runs back home. His father, in eager expectation to grant salvation to his soul by drinking the holy water, puts in all effort to open his mouth to drink, and, alas!, he dies! The shot cuts to a sudden, blinding, flight of hundreds of pigeons, symbolising the liberation of the soul from the body.

Right now, at the fag end of Funday, the symbol is - Rest.

Current Mood: Happy
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