Friday, December 08, 2006

On existential wit and profundity

1. "Illingo. Idhu bigilu, idhu biskothu." - Kamal Haasan in Pammal K. Sambandham. No words for this. Just awesome.

2. "Chappathi chappathi thaan, rotti rotti thaan." - Nagesh in Nawab Naarkali. What sublime wit!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A ‘Ha!’ moment

My life takes a 360-degree turn every goddamn day. And, hell, it takes me along with it.
-0- on 07/06/2006 7:00:18 p.m.

Yours truly, more on this, at Chenthil’s.
[T]here's definitely something about going all around on what seems like a circular path and coming back to what seems like the same point, but still feeling that you must definitely be standing at a different point.[link]

This is the profound truth that I’ve been trying to express all along in this blog, and by far the profoundest thing I’ve said in it, staying true to the character.

Thank-you Note: Mukund and Chenthil.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Political Post

No, no, I don't have a political viewpoint now. Not yet.

But, despite all my own self-proclaimed inanity, which I duly keep to myself, some things, which are at times political, infuriates me quite a bit and drops a pebble in my tranquil mind. And, of all such things, Mr. Anbumani Ramadoss is of the highest order. So, here's [via] Karan Thapar pillorying him just like I'd have liked to. I'd like to say something, though. The man isn't arrogant and stuff. He can't be. He's just silly and immature.
Not that there's anything wrong in being so, of course, but only if you keep one's ideas, children of one's very inventive imagination, and one's mindless servility to one's parent, to oneself and private gatherings of the likeminded.

Actually, I really wanted to catch this on television when I got to know that it was to be telecasted on Sunday, but somehow missed it.

Okay, my prime source of infuriation was his call for banning smoking in films. I mean, to waste the precious time of many a soul on something as silly as that!

I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And, while we’re at God’s grace

Check out Manoj's new Pre-1985 Ilaiyaraja Radio. Just awesome. (Yeah, yeah, the overwhelmed self wrote many a comment over there thanking him profusely.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Radha! Radha, Nee Enge?

Just awesome, this one. Oh-so-beautifully sung! And, the violin! Just awesome.

Usually, one’s deaf to lyrics, but the lyrics of this song (Kannadasan) is superb too.

And, of course, this is from the same film that has one of one’s all-time favourites, an absolute masterpiece, sung by Yesu himself.

And, what do you possibly want one to add about Raaja? Is there a temple of Him somewhere? I mean, for God’s sake!

A plug

It’s not often I get to plug. So, here’s one.

Ranga, an ardent cinephlie who can quote from many a Tamil film at will, and a cousin of yours truly [1], has started a blog on, well, what else but Tamil Cinema.

டங்கன் முதல் மிஷ்கின் வரை

The fellow dabbles in bloody so many things that I can’t possibly list them. Apart from films, he is a big fan of Sujatha, Cho, Crazy (not to forget that yours truly also is, oh so absolutely!) and S. Ve. Shekhar.

Now, I don’t mince words much when it comes to acquaintances, but, this man is pretty much the funniest man I’ve personally known.

In short, one points the readers towards much better reading. If the posts keep coming from there, that is.

[1] - Is this blog becoming a “family type” blog by the day? Time for some Lynch-esque posts to take over, eh?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A let-me-call-it-long interlude of absurdist hedonism

So, I, along with a bunch of jobless folks, went to Goa the last long weekend, basked in the beaches, laid down sodden in water for long, rode along the mountainous roads in bikes, reached places, and basked there, in turn.

In short, immensely enjoyed every moment of it, including the ones when I walked along the beach almost fully wet (and a bit Rum-ed too) for a couple of kilometers and came back past midnight. (And, yeah, the plain sit-and-stare-at-the-wall ones too.)

Like, for instance, here I'm examining a bottle of Smirnoff to see if that's where it lies.

And, a Leone-esque shot, albeit in a contrastingly picturesque spot.

A moment of clarity, is that?

And, this, I thought, was nice. No?

Umm, how about this?

And, here's the signature shot.

A lot of such priceless pics were taken. Some for the readers' discerning eyes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dining Philosophers

Author’s note: Like anything else in this world, there’s no pre-requisite per se for this post too. But, read this previous edition anyway, it’s life-affirming.

“Now, we all agree that you’ve become nihilistic, don’t we?” asked Vels addressing a grand audience of one person in one of those vegetarian restaurants where Sambar tastes, well, like it does in Tamilnadu and Vada (not Vadaa) doesn’t have coconut pieces ingrained in it.

Ashok is not a man who’d concentrate on his Sambar Vada (not Vadaa), much as he loves it, when posed with a question of such proportions, especially when he isn’t quite sure about the answer himself, like this one. In fact, that’s when he comes out flourishing with obscure drivel, dishing theories one after another. But, in this particular case, he chose silence and Sambar Vada (not Vadaa) over sublime nonsense for a few precious moments.

Then, very assuredly, he mumbled, “Huh? I am not nihilistic.”

Vels, a little perplexed, continued, “Damn you bastard! So, now, do you claim you believe in something? One of those times you even said you staunchly believed in bullshit and blah, trying to sound very cool and Woody Allen.”

“‘Positively, no,’ I should say.”

“Then, you are one.”

“But, I don’t believe in Nihilism either.”

“Another one of your failed attempt at quirky witty and whatnot one-liners. Now, I can’t bother too much to point out the absurdity in your logic, can I?”

“Don’t. I’ll do that myself.”


“See, I know it’s absurd. That’s exactly why I am not nihilistic.”

“You are just fooling yourself.”

“Right, that too.”


“Yes, I am fooling myself, admirably well” – Vels started at this moment – Ashok snapped and continued, “I know, you are going to point out that how the hell would it work when I am aware of it.” Vels just nodded in anxious agreement.

Ashok continued, “It would work exactly because of that. I fool myself and I am so well aware of it, and when one’s so well aware of fooling himself” – Vels interrupted and finished, “He can’t fool himself anymore. That is all.” in a heavily M*A*S*H-influenced tone.

Just as Vels thought he had concluded the topic in an unexceptionable fashion, the hot Pongal Ashok had ordered arrived. As if to assert his winning, Vels dragged the plate by his side and gazed satisfyingly at the Pongal.

With a degree of composure that he had not feigned in months altogether, Ashok continued unperturbedly, “No. I fool myself – not to mention that I do that admirably well - and am so well aware of it, and because I am so well aware of fooling myself, I fool myself, um, very correctly. Yes, I know to fool myself very correctly, precisely, exactly. The perfection has come over the years.”

“Why do I feel that you never knew this darn crazy logic yourself just a few seconds before when I snatched your Pongal?”

“Right ho! If my reasoning was that spontaneous, it should be all the more appropriate.” Ashok closed the case, dignifiedly leaving the Pongal for his companion and deciding to have a nice Masaal Dosa (not Dosaa) for himself.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thoughts on self-deprecation and suchlike

Self-deprecation is often quite misconstrued as a desirable quality that comes entirely out of unreserved humility. But, some discerning souls do see through it.

Chenthil, while talking about his very commendable attempt to write like this blogger (who incidentally can’t write for nuts) to showcase his ghost-blogging skills, had told me this:
Chenthil: I had to try hard to get that self deprecation (a superior form of snobbery)
: hmmm.. [1]
Over Google Talk. Underlining the key content and adding pointer(s) to footnote(s) by yours truly.

Indeed! That was quite a neat, insightful, little take on a writing style usually left behind for flippant remarks. That got me thinking on what makes one bring in self-deprecation in one’s writing.

Yes, it’s certainly snobbery, a show of soft arrogance, soft enough to conceal it lest somebody see through it. In short, an act of sneering.

But, one sneers at self. And, that, one does, because one genuinely doubts oneself. And, when one doubts oneself, and very genuinely at that, it’s a sheer dilemma - or even worse, a totally tilted I-see-through-this-crap feeling - that makes one express one’s apprehension about the quality, or rather the lack of it, in what one’s writing.

It’s pretentious, of course. But, like in any other case of pretense, it’s not entirely that. And, nobody, including the sneerer himself, knows whether the sneer was befitting or overdone or plain boring patronization over oneself.

Taking a specific example, albeit quite a bad one, let me see why I bother to crack an arbitrary (bad) joke about my non-existent writing skills, time and again. Because, like Kierkegaard would have put when in deep slumber or deeper inebriation, I doubt myself!

To cut the long story short, snobs are basically very nice people, I tell you, especially if their EQ ranges from 5.7 to 5.9.

[1] - What else could one do at such moments but just “hmmm”?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A pointless clarification

Apparently, I was the “Bombay reader” of this blog.

On any day, I’d have been tempted to think it was only me [1]. But, as life would have it, my Site Meter stats thought those visits were from Bombay and I believed it. It was a nice joke on me, I thought. A proper “Thanniya Kudi” moment.

[1] - Though I had configured the tracker to ignore the IP where I blog from, and I don’t read my blog as often; or keep one of its pages open for a frightfully long time.

Oru konjam-chinna update (on 04th Oct, 01:45 p.m.): Oh dear! This post was to enlighten the readers about the “Bombay reader” if the previous revelation was a little murky. And, about the total bulb moment of my discovery that it was indeed me. And, look what some dear commenters have turned that into! Serious'aa, Onnume puriyala!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This long weekend will be spent in Goa. An orgy of sorts, drinking all day long, is in the offing. But, one's already in really high spirits. Mabbu glass'la'ya irukku? Mansula irukku!

Heard that the Bombay reader will be there too. Hmmm.
Dear other readers, as I found out on further stalking, the reader from Bombay is not actually in Bombay. He is, in fact, from Bangalore and has never been to Bombay. And, he is male.

Just a while ago, the reader from Bombay reluctantly confessed to have been reading my blog for a while, but vehemently pleaded innocence claiming that he always closed the browser window much too quickly. The Bombay reader also claimed, more vehemently, that he stays in Bangalore.

And, the bastard has a lot of coffee. (I always guessed that it was coffee, didn't I?)

Thus, I saw all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and him typing this post.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dear reader from Bombay, I know you very reluctantly open my weblog in your browser and quite immediately step out for some hot coffee, or even to take a neat little nap wondering why would somebody write such stuff.

If that's indeed the case, and God forbid otherwise, please close the browser before you go, if it's not much work. Probably, doing that will close your session at my Site Meter tracker installed in my blog, rather than inadvertently let it make utterly false notes that you spend horrifyingly long time reading my blog.

SQoSSD #7 (or) From the Things I’ve been telling people dept.

Art is pretty unfair, I tell you, unlike software.
The beauty that lies in the eyes of this much pokerfaced beholder is apparently not all that charming. Life has transmogrified into a series of conversations, musings, soliloquys, sound sleeps, hot shower baths, coffee-drinking and plain sit-and-stare-at-the-wall.

Damn the visuals, Woody Allen is God.
Just changed the tagline to this. I am contemplating staying awake all night.
A couple of weeks back, I had been to Thailand on a 4-day fun trip organized by the company I work with. We were told that we could take a guest along with us. In saner circumstances, it'd have meant a spouse, a girlfriend, or even a sibling. But what I apparently did was one of the weirdest things I ever pulled off.

In what seemed like a chapter straight out of Fellini's La Dolce Vita, I took my appa along with me. Yes, I and my dad travelled around with my colleagues and others, visited places, parasailed, walked under the sea, ate passable Indian food, slept soundly in the hotel rooms, shopped in huge malls, and came back home.

If one skims a little through this blog, one can figure out the level of excitement I'd have towards such touring and travelling. But, my father, a man of a different generation and certainly different sensiblities enjoyed every bit of it. My appa just oozes out frenetic enthusiasm during such trips. He makes note of the places he visits (along with the date and time, no less), wakes up early and gets ready for the next place of visit, takes part in organizing the proceedings and so on. As a matter of fact, during this trip, I kept him in check, not letting him be his usual self. I did realise soon that, it was utterly preposterous of me to impose my "modern detachment" on him, but most of the men around, I was afraid, were "modern" themselves, but probably not as "detached" as I was. But, I couldn't inhibit him from being his usual self and, apparently, he won more friends than I did during the trip. And, he really enjoyed parasailing and the undersea walk (which I was supposed to not to let him do), and recalled his doing the same (against much opposition) during his long holiday in Mauritius.

Personally, I fairly enjoyed the Battaya beach and Bangkok. On the whole, it was actually nice, this stranding together a boy and his father, starkly different in their sensibilities - the son steeped in stoic cynicism and the father, zealous and with strong middle-class ethos - and yet uncannily similar, not to mention the look-alike noses.


I wasn't sure if I should have asked him if he'd like to have a drink or not, during the dinner on one of those days, but as stern stoicism prevailed, I just sat still and waded through for most part of it. And, I had quite quit drinking too. But, he'd have enjoyed a drink if somebody forced it a bit on him, I know. Now, I wonder if I should have, and what his reaction would have been.


Of the words that I repeately use in conversations and in writing, and even tend to consciously keep it in check, the topmost is probably 'bland'. That is the word. That is real. That is my drama. And, my melodrama.



Saturday, September 09, 2006

You don't make up for your nobody-knows-what in a blog. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. All the rest is bullshit and you know it.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Last Sunday, I went back to Lawrence & Mayo and took my new pair of glasses that I had ordered. Yes, it was a full week after I had ordered for them. It felt good.


This week, I, along with some folks from the company I work with, was supposed to go to my alma mater for recruitment. We'll be starting on Tuesday noon, I thought. My friend calmly corrected me on Monday morning that we were supposed to start on that very day. So, I hurried up, bought a couple of new shirts, I don't know why, and reached my office just about noon, all set.

The two gentlemen whom I accompanied were both managers which brought in an obvious generation rift. But, the drives (we went on road), to and fro, were very pleasant. Both gentlemen were quintessential Tamilians. They listened fervently to 80s Ilaiyaraaja and were sort of movie buffs. Much as it sounds condescending, I was very impressed with their knowledge of Tamil cinema. We talked about many things; Tamil film songs, Ilaiyaraaja, Tamil movies, Mahanadhi, an obscure movie called Gramathu Athiyayam, yesteryear actress Jayashree, entrance exams, engineering, counselling etc. They nostalgically recalled their college days and the beginning years of their career time and again, and in lieu of their current affairs, kept talking about their kids. Such times are when I realise how much I enjoy a Tamilian company. I have never been a great enthusiast of Tamil, the language, so to say. I mostly deride my friends when they get all worked upon the Tamilian spirit or suchlike, or prove that Tamil is the one of the oldest languages in the world, and even worse, point out that Sanskrit derived a bit or more from Tamil. But, all that history and justification of it being a great "classic language" or otherwise is immaterial.

I am, for all practical reasons, a Tamilian myself, and that pretty much explains my natural affinity towards Tamilian things. Just like any ordinary Tamilian, I love Tamilian things, but not much the language itself.

And, yeah, one of them is technically not a Tamilian. Even, I am not. Whatever.


At the college, it was quite odd to see students going head over heels addressing us sir and all that. Yes, of course, I know that's how it was; and, back then, I too addressed such people as sir. But, much as I must have had used it to address certain people, I guess I didn't go to the levels that some students did the other day. (Had I overheard some of my batchmates attending interviews back then, perhaps, I'd have been more ready for this.) The way some candidates bludgeoned me with their sirs as they answered my questions really made me a bit uncomfortable, but I started taking it as a fact at its face value soon.

The recruitment itself was a low-key affair. About 30 candidates took the test (back then, I used to complain that the junta refers to it as 'giving the test' instead of 'taking the test'), a little less than half of them got short-listed for the interviews, I grilled some of them in data structures, algorithms blah blah blah (though I was well aware that I had to brush myself off on these subjects), and we finally zeroed in on two candidates and short-listed them for a job offer.


We left in the early morning, the day after, i.e. Sep 6th. The very day I first stepped in on my alma mater six years ago. I actually felt I should roam around the entire campus (esp. my room), but hardly had the time to. All I was able to visit was our beloved Octagon (it was some time between 9 and 10 in the night, so it was almost full), after a hectic session of interviews and dinner, the day before.
It was more than two years since I left the place. I am not able to figure out how nostalgic I feel about those times. Those days are the most unforgettable ones of my life and were great fun. But, I am not able to relate to many a thing out there anymore.


I am not even a bit sure about what I should do with my life. Enakku enna pannen, enna panren, enna pannalaam, edhuvume puriyala. I should start cooking. I'll get to peel onions, you know.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Being Periyar

Vidya’s comments here enlightened me on the controversy about Kushboo starring in a movie on/about Periyar.

She asks,
And what abt the Kushboo-staring-in-Periyaar movie controvery?, makes no sense to me. As far as I know Periyaar had *different* views on *Karpu*. Now PMK is protesting that Kushboo not star in this movie only because her opinions on *it* vilified the sanctity of women in TN.

No, Vidya. You are wrong.

Just because Periyar “had *different* views on *Karpu*,” it doesn’t mean she can star in something as sacrosanct as a movie on/about Periyar.

It only means that Periyar can’t star in a movie on/about Periyar.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hair Loss - II

Chapter 2: The Barber

He cuts my hair diligently, day and night. Mathematics is close to divinity, I used to think. And, now, I know, I was right. The precision with which He maintains the symmetry is amazing.
y2 = 4ax is for the mortals. He sees it in a glance. Like, how those theorems came to Ramanujan off-the-cuff.

Today, He said stoically, “Ah, there, dear Zero, is one left on the right, which makes it, um, less symmetric, you know…”
I feigned ignorance, and timidly asked, “What is it that is, um, less symmetric?”
“Your face,” He said and plucked.

Yes, God cuts my hair.

As part of the ambitious “Hair Loss” series. Previous post on “Hair Loss”.

Note: Since I have reprised what I had said here, this also turns out to be an unqualified entry to the haircut blogathon. Predecessors elsewhere: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Yesterday, I ordered for a new pair of glasses, deciding to change the ones I am wearing now which I bought more than two years ago (I forget if I went for a new frame too, or only changed my lens, back then), when I had not even stepped into my first job.
It felt good.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Meta-life

The coffee had come a long while ago and I hadn’t picked it from my table. I was just thinking about my life, like any other day. A meta-life of sorts, I have.

Love is not even conspicuous by its absence. There is such a disconnection between me and the world around me that I have started failing in many an aspect of my daily life. This sort of alienation, I find, is puzzling by its lack of complexity. I have long become a person, who looks at one’s own life as a specimen and expresses things about, not oneself, but one’s life, and universe, if one fancies.

This looming sense of emptiness has been there for a long while, but, as one can apparently see, it hardly matters, as far as one holds up to something; with the help of which he can wade through life.

But in this state, I am afraid if I have lost that too. The only thing that excites me is films, listening to music, etcetera. All I am left with is just some pseudo-artistic inclinations to quench myself in vain. Honestly, someone whose bread-and-butter issue is settled, and is hard pressed to spend time in a “quality” way, is the perfect recipe for an aspiring artist. But, I don’t aspire to be anything because I am scared of aspirations. And, I think I am right doing that.

And, now, I am sipping my coffee that has gone cold, and planning to go to Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu tonight.

P.S.:- As I resumed writing this, even the coffee was taken away without my noticing it. So I will stop here and get my fresh cup of coffee.

SQoTD #6

Why thank God it’s Friday when He’s going to give it anyway?

Ah, well, one may still thank Him because He’s indeed giving it anyway.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Is she hot?

Some questions which this blogger has been meaning to ask people for a long time now.

1. Who is Ayn Rand?
2. Why is everybody after her?
3. How did every soul in this sweet little world of this blogger, except himself, happen to read her?
4. While this blogger understands the teenagers’ adoration to works like The Catcher in the Rye, which address their youthful angst, this unconditional universal admiration among the youth for Ayn Rand is not really as obvious to him. (And, yeah, he is old.)

Some disclaimers that should have rather gone without saying.
1. This blogger hasn’t read The Catcher in the Rye as well.
2. He hardly reads books.
3. He might know the answer for all the questions above.

The blogger’s note: Though I was meaning to write this for quite sometime, it was this comment I wrote on a post at this much likeable blog (on which I first stumbled upon, I believe, during a discussion on God, no less, but didn’t read much then), that pushed the publish button.

I am the sort of reader (who can hardly be called so) who saw an Ayn Rand books[sic] at every house/place/room/blog he bumped on to, and never bothered to pick one up.
I can quote two reasons.
One, the word 'objectivism' to which she is associated to (and perhaps attributed to, as well) was very uncomfortable (and close to nauseating) for my taste, or the lack of it.
Two (and the truer reason), I hardly read.

Now, those were some really lousy loose words that were written in jest.
Neither am I very uncomfortable or baffled with an objectivistic outlook, nor do I find it remotely nauseating. Just that I don’t feel like it; leave aside, reading a book on it.

In fact, objectivism, when it makes sense talking about “selfishness” et al., seems too obvious; and hence becomes, um, trivial.

Rand fans, pardon my ignorance and do tell me what I have been missing all along.

1. Not to mention that I find nothing uncomfortable or nauseating.
2. When I say ‘objectivism’, I mean whatever I could make out of it on hearsay.

Last modified (reframed the lines and added a little more) this post at 6:29 p.m. to induce a bit of objectivity to the post, much ironically.

Friday, August 18, 2006

From The Nocturnal Notes

I am like an art film.
I am an art film.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

An IM Conversation on ‘The Meaning of Life’

Following is an all-important IM conversation I had with a friend of mine a while ago.
(Please note: It reeks of bad sentence structures, awful spellings, and has avoidable content in general.)

X (8/10/2006 6:27:12 PM): dude u have stopped putting status msg
Z (8/10/2006 6:27:28 PM): probably indicates i am stateless
X (8/10/2006 6:27:48 PM): how does it feel to be stateless
Z (8/10/2006 6:28:03 PM): it feels like being, um, stateless
X (8/10/2006 6:28:32 PM): k n apart frm taht it does not feel anything
Z (8/10/2006 6:28:52 PM): it does feel like nothing.
Z (8/10/2006 6:29:03 PM): so i can't say it doesn't feel like anything.
X (8/10/2006 6:30:24 PM): k nice u have come to terms with that, i m still struggling with that
Z (8/10/2006 6:30:40 PM): i have come to terms for a long time now.
Z (8/10/2006 6:31:01 PM): it doesn't feel any better actually. again something which i have come to terms with
X (8/10/2006 6:32:23 PM): kkk, yeah un know its like socialism , gud in theory but actually fcuked up in practice...u can think there is utopia, but it actaully there isnt .
Z (8/10/2006 6:33:37 PM): any theoretical representation can't reflect in one's pratice in entirety.
X (8/10/2006 6:35:10 PM): n plus theritical representations were invented to pacify the over zealous minds, to create an illusion of paralle universe...
Z (8/10/2006 6:36:33 PM): the game is for 90 minutes. and i am not sure if it's all fun.
X (8/10/2006 6:37:51 PM): nope it is not..its a wastefule expenditure of energy. but then agin it manages to create an illusion of fun..
Z (8/10/2006 6:38:29 PM): if fun is illusory, so is despair.
X (8/10/2006 6:40:03 PM): yeah its all v clinical,,certain hormones released, whihc fire some neuro transmitters n so on...
X (8/10/2006 6:40:18 PM): its more clinical then illusory
X (8/10/2006 6:40:21 PM): our emotions
Z (8/10/2006 6:40:54 PM): who cares if it's clinical or illusory? are they really that different?
X (8/10/2006 6:41:22 PM): hmm i guess illusion is an euphemism for clinical
X (8/10/2006 6:41:32 PM): after all everything is clinical
Z (8/10/2006 6:43:19 PM): so it ceases to hold any importance.
X (8/10/2006 6:43:39 PM): it ceases to be fantastic
Z (8/10/2006 6:44:28 PM): I meant, if every goddamn thing is biological or clinical, it ceases to be important.
X (8/10/2006 6:45:59 PM): no why unimportant. dont underestimate matter..take atoms for instance ..they make up X, without even realizing that they r making X...isint amazing
X (8/10/2006 6:46:24 PM): i mean the smallest structure inside ur body is lefeless
X (8/10/2006 6:46:30 PM): n u r aliove
Z (8/10/2006 6:47:05 PM): well, so? as far as you don't need any more help from it, how is it important for you?
Z (8/10/2006 6:47:16 PM): from the cell or atom, i mean
Z (8/10/2006 6:48:10 PM): more importantly, u can't have any more help from them.
X (8/10/2006 6:49:44 PM): i was thinking may be then can help me unlock the key to true happiness.. i mean the first thing which happens after ur body dgenerates is that all the constituent atoms fly away, wearing off ur body..all rite its their nature to be free, not bonded...but still then how n for wot reason they decide to come together n form complex strutures lie sun, earth , life ,emotoins
Z (8/10/2006 6:50:49 PM): why should there be any reason?
Z (8/10/2006 6:51:05 PM): we are probably here because God sneezed.
X (8/10/2006 6:52:14 PM): i mean why shoudlnt ther be one
Z (8/10/2006 6:53:08 PM): it's not that there shouldn't be. there could be. but why is it a must that it's tuned to our desires and needs
Z (8/10/2006 6:53:37 PM): again it's not that it shouldn't be
X (8/10/2006 6:53:57 PM): yes i ll tell ui why becoz its so depressing to know (n even though it si clinical) tath there isnt a reason
Z (8/10/2006 6:54:55 PM): then cook up a reason and believe it.
X (8/10/2006 6:55:31 PM): thats the hardest thing ...cuz i can always reason against sthing i reasoned for
Z (8/10/2006 6:56:50 PM): then that's what you are. Aren't you disillusioned with looking for meaning?
X (8/10/2006 6:57:30 PM): i think i m solving a puzzle
Z (8/10/2006 6:57:40 PM): i am disillusioned with disillusionments. i have run out of them.
X (8/10/2006 6:57:42 PM): i have the pieces but can get the bigger picture
Z (8/10/2006 6:57:49 PM): so i don't feel "cheated" at all.
X (8/10/2006 6:58:17 PM): hmm k for u have attained stoicism
X (8/10/2006 6:59:02 PM): but tell me b4 u ran out disillusionments, how did u feel
X (8/10/2006 6:59:20 PM): abt this whoel conspircay theory or wotever is ur explaination
Z (8/10/2006 6:59:45 PM): i had better things to do. i ran out of disillusionments just when i started feeling disillusioned. all in one go, i did batch processing.
Z (8/10/2006 6:59:58 PM): i had a big checklist of meanings and struck them all at once.
Z (8/10/2006 7:00:30 PM): checklist of meanings of life.

Ah, right.
I had a big checklist of the potential meanings of life and struck them all at once!
It was that easy, and such fun too; and, consequently, of least importance.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Random Unqualified Nihilistic Balderdash

Today something happened, which I very much expected and even wanted to happen. But, when it did happen, it closed the doors of what could have been an option for spending the next couple of years of my life a little differently.

Like I said elsewhere, I am terribly unsure of what I should do for the rest of my life. I have reached a stage in which I am assuredly aimless for all practical purposes and I am not sure how far I can go on like this with a smile, or a sneer for that matter, on my face intact.

Currently listening to “New York nagaram uRangum neram” (“நியூயார்க் நகரம் உறங்கும் நேரம்”) from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (nicely sung by ARR).

Needless to say, I don’t connect to such melancholy as that is expressed in the song. I never, or mostly don’t, feel lonely. But, I am lonely. Love, it seems, is as much an alien concept as hatred. That probably explains why I just keep cracking bad jokes; and dine fervently at Adyar Ananda Bhavan.

Monday, August 07, 2006

On “identifying genius”

Sincere apologies to the man from Australia, who landed up here, looking for some help to “identify genius”.
This blogger is no authority on such stuff. Though, Google, way too I should say, thinks otherwise.
This is just a little stupid blog that, on an average, gets 4 hits a day, and, as fate had it (and rued later), featured an unspeakably inconsequential post on “genius”.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hair Loss - I

You are not your hair.
You are not even yourself.
Your hair isn't yours.
Your hair loss is yours, though.

Chapter 1: The Parabola

He closely examined his broad forehead in the mirror. He didn’t mind it being quite broad, at least, he didn’t use to, but the small inroads the barren space, passing itself as the forehead, has made diagonally beyond the temples on both sides of his forehead, thus forming an acute parabola of sorts, was bothering. He held his hair tight towards the rear side of his head. The signs were telling, even if it didn’t mean anything. He wondered if Nietzsche also had these inroads early in his life, and if it influenced his outlook of life.

“How did it all go? And more importantly, when the heck did it all go?” He wondered. It was quite depressing to know, a man could go bald just like that even before he realizes it. Just like that. Not that he has already gone bald, but the forehead sure has grown by a centimeter or so, in less than two years.

He wished he was warned, warned enough, by somebody. Somebody - his mom, his girlfriend, and here it has to be mentioned that he had none, his roommates during his college days, or the goddamn mirror – should have told him, at some point earlier.

But too late, it was. No “fortifying” shampoo or hair oil outwitted the parabola. He was reminded of the numerous marriages he attended in which the groom combed, or rather bristled, his hair letting it fall free over his forehead. And also about the really bad jokes he cracked, when he was in his college, at the Professor who taught Computer Networks. He reinstated, quite honestly, that the jokes were about the Prof’s startlingly juvenile idea about computers, leave aside computer networks, and never in anyway related to his gracefully dark pitch-bald head, hair adorning it only on the down end from one ear to another.

He was still looking at the mirror, carefully searched for any strands of hair left in and around those two singular regions.
Ah, there! There was one, a rather long one. He was stretching it straight so as to check its length, and, inadvertently plucked it. It slipped away from his hand.
And was lost.

As they say, and now he knew why (or knew he will never know why), “Mayira Pochu!”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

தந்து விட்டேன் என்னை...!

Wow! M.S.V., I bow to thee.
muththukkaloa kangal thiththippadhoa kannam
sandhiththa vaelaiyil sindhikkavae illai
thandhuvittaen ennai
muththukkalae pengal thiththippadhae kannam
sandhiththa vaelaiyil sindhikkavae illai
thandhuvittaen ennai [Muthukkalo Kangal]
(In want of a better source of the lyrics. This will be duly updated if a kind soul provides one.)

Endless loop, for more than a week now.

Update at 10:24 p.m.: An update note was added on updating the post
with the lyrics of the song, but without an update note, a few minutes ago.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mourning the Death of Good Old Anonymity and Portending the Ensuing Tragedy

This blog isn’t as anonymous as I would have liked it to be, and I am already fretting over that fact. Heck, it’s not anonymous at all. Can you call it so, if your uncles and aunts know about its existence (and banteringly refer to its title and suchlike)? Certainly not! And, though it’s highly unlikely, what if they, God forbid, actually read it? Will some justice prevail?

That’s where I stand. Lynch-esque posts will not pop up and flourish in all their glory as often. The well-well-why-not-be-a-“good-boy” philosophy of mine will take the front seat. Contents of this blog will become saccharine; I will hug people online, thank them profusely. I will write favourable reviews of “Thavamai Thavamirunthu” and the like. And what not!

But, all is not lost. With all due humility, a little bit of whatever this blog used to be [1], will be retained.

And, as is my wont, I will end this post, by adding my bit to the readers’ woes, make them cry “Why O why? Why at all?” and sneer at this blog, its author and the Creator Himself.

This blog will soon host, God forbid not this time, some fiction – dark, gloomy, morbid, sinister, moody, searing (and life-affirming, if time permits) tales about human existence from time immemorial and other things.

[1] – “And what was that?” I wonder.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Anyone who looks at this blog for the very first time would easily sense its overwhelming insensibility along with an almost surreal revelation that it’s, after all, written by a fellow human being.
But, I don’t claim to be weird. In fact, I am not weird. I think claiming insanity is a bit too pompous. Insane people don’t happen just like that on an ordinary day. Just some irrelevant inconsequential writings do not a lunatic make.

“Why are you boring us to death with all this?” you ask. Well, just when I was about to leave for a 2-weeks long vacation to Chennai, I pompously made a statement that more “inanity is in the offing,” in my previous post. Sheer over-confidence.

Anyway, it’s time to eat some humble pie. I am put to shame. I confess that, I can’t be perennially insensible. And, I am not insane.

No posts (or I might sneak in one or two) for a month or so, much to the relief of young optimistic readers looking forward to a bright colorful future.

Off to a big vacation!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The best smoke of my life

Just an hour ago, I had the best smoke of my life. Actually speaking, it was the first true smoke in which I actually inhaled it and all that jazz. It felt good; in fact, great!

My admiration for smoking as an act of doing something still remains. Just that it went up by a couple of notches after this event.

Note: Insensible posts will follow soon. Not that there has been any break or something. This is just an assurance to the non-existent readers that more inanity is in the offing.

Updated (that it wasnt all that great after all) on May 18, 2006 at 11:18 a.m. after 4 full days of arbitration.

Friday, May 05, 2006

“Number ‘Theory’”

All numbers are equal, but some numbers are more equal than the others.

Here’s my take if asked (and even if not asked) to enlist such numbers.

0 and ∞
are (not to mention that they are one and the same) zero and infinity, and hence qualify by default.

1 represents unity; that is, the commonness, symmetry et al in the universe. And most importantly, it signifies the symmetry between 0 and ∞. Just for that, it qualifies.

2. Two. To be, or not to be: is that *the* question? Or, is that just a question? Now, that’s something I have been thinking about for a long time. Is ‘2’ special? Is binary natural, by design? Or, is it just an ‘implementation detail?’
The world in binary mode seems too simplistic. But, at the same time, ‘2’ definitely seems much more special than the rest of the numbers.
“Is this problem indecidable by nature?” I keep asking myself, much as I am convinced that, how much ever I try, I will never get the moment of clarity. (Since, there isn’t any!)
The question is whether ‘2’ is special. There are 2 answers that seem equally good.
Oru Korvaiyaa varla?
So, it qualifies in its own way, even as it fails.
Moreover, it represents two sides of the symmetry between 0 and ∞, which however are one and the same.
Haiyyo! Bayangara Korvaiyaa varuthu!

Well, the rest are mere numbers, each of them just as mere as the rest.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


There are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who are already dead and those who will be soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Human Tragedy

The human tragedy isn’t much of a tragedy in itself.

Actually speaking, it’s a comedy; dark, black, bitingly sarcastic, slapstick, humane, feel-good or just plain funny. In fact, it’s more comedic than any other single genre of comedy.

As one often realizes, when absolutely delighted and excited after accidentally bumping onto a really good movie, or when immersed in total bliss listening to superb stuff, unconditionally embracing his triviality. Even, when one is excited just after deciding to have a “Rude” under the “Martini Madness” menu in a cool pub, or when pleased at the hot rasam served in a nearby restaurant. Worse even, when one gets ridiculously happy that somebody nodded in agreement on an obscure point that he made.

And so does one, how much ever he tries to dismiss it as a “mere event, part of the great web, that has befallen him,” when clearly stumped by a really cool salary hike after an average [1] appraisal.

Life is delightful. More so, if your EQ ranges from 5.7 to 5.9.

[1] - I am really not sure if it was bad or average.

Last modified on Apr 20, 2006 at 1:11 p.m. to infuse some clarity in the post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jokes and Beliefs

A joke. That’s what it is. That’s exactly what it is.

My life is a big joke and probably a good one. I often wonder if it was one single joke or an array of jokes.

May be, it is a single joke and the audience (“God” and I, that is) is laughing waveringly at the hilarity of that single joke. At times, laughing hard rolling on the floor, at times slowly recovering from fits of laughter and clutching the handles of the chair to sit back on it, at times smiling gently and reclining comfortably into the chair, and at times bored of the joke and repeatedly repositioning oneself in the chair; all these fleeting moments constituting the fine units of the overall timeline of the joke, that is being cracked.

Or may be, it is indeed an array of jokes and the audience laughs hard or less, smiles, smirks or jeers at one joke at a time.

I believe in jokes. I mean, I actually *believe* in jokes; “believe”, as in my set of belief(s). In fact, thats the only thing I believe in. May be, this realisation had not dawned upon me, a couple of years ago. But now, it definitely has.

Coffee. Strong caffeine. Now, that’s another thing that I have started to staunchly believe in, of late.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Of or related to problems and solutions

I am trying to get rid off some drafts that I had saved in the past and push them as posts, on general principle. This was drafted originally on 13th February, 2006 at around 6:48 p.m, and modified now to look palatable.
Further update: Contents last modified on 11
th April at around 1:25 p.m. to suit the author's mood and taste.

Feb 13th, 2006

Problems, in general, can’t have solutions. If there was one, there wouldn’t have been a problem at first place. {So, problems are nothing but facts; facts that are a little annoying, but facts nevertheless.}

Somebody might come up with examples to refute this claim, like this:
Q: how much is 17 times 18?
A: Hmmm, the conventional wisdom has it as 306.
Well, this kind of example is a special case and rejected outright because of the sheer number of living beings that know the answer.

I know there is an alternate version which goes like this:
Problems are meant to have solutions. If there weren’t any, nobody would have tried to pose it as a problem. {So, problems generally have solutions, and they would have been accepted as facts, otherwise.}

Again, some frustrated reader, might come up with examples to refute this claim, like this:
Q: how do I get a girlfriend?
A: Now, I can’t have an answer for this, when you yourself don’t. Can I?
Well, may be, this is a special case as well and need not be considered in this discussion. {So, we will assume
that there is an impending solution in this case, much to the reader’s delight; and that, it will take some finite time to find the solution.}

Now, I pose a problem - to find out which of the above theories are right.
The discerning reader would have realised that theory #1 is deftly done and hardly makes any claim about problems having solutions. Where as, according to theory #2, there will always have to be a solution, now that I have specified a problem.

My dear reader, here the supporters of theory #2 are caught off guard unless they offer a convincing solution to this problem. Else, the winners by default,
the supporters of theory #1, will go on to make more claims.
1. Contradiction is the only tautology.
2. Incompleteness is the most complete.
3. Cynicism is beautiful.

Now, this write-up was just restating what every kid knows once it steps into this world and sighs. The
indecidability, on whether there is a solution or not, for a problem, is just a constraint. And, the solution, or the lack of it, is just an “implementation detail”.

Final note:
There are no problems. There are only facts. On second thoughts, there are no facts either.

A token visit to the local temple (a.k.a.) The silly joys of irreverence

These are some notes that I had written originally on February 27th of this year, after a pleasant visit to my hometown, and intended to publish it. Not very unreasonably, I never finished it. Now, I am publishing it here, after some bare editing to make it palatable to the reader, in lieu of the general principle that this blog should be the only place where all my written pieces of you-know-what should remain.

Feb 27th, 2006

I went home this weekend that just went past over us. Among the eventful things that happened were the meetings I had with lot of long-lost reduced-to-hi friends. The one who studied till 5th standard with me and then diverged his path from the rut and went on to do more manly things, one who quit the school past his 10th standard and joined a polytechnic course, and so on. It was nostalgic, to say the least.

Not visiting the temple in the past dozen visits back home meant one thing; that I’d have to visit it this time. Also, it happened to be Sivarathiri. Exhibiting absolute pretence, my amma asked me to come to the temple because it was Sivarathiri. The actual reason wasn’t that. It was that my last visit to the temple is already past the expiry date and will no more be valid; even if not with God Himself, at least with amma. So, we walked over to the Ayyappan temple (the Ayyappan temple had a Shiva deity as well) nearby the sea shore.

I, sometimes [1], wonder how irreverence comes to me very naturally. For e.g., the first thing that struck my mind when I heard that my Computer Networks professor was *actually* a professor (with a Ph. D and all) is that how dumb the one who gave it to him should have been. The possibility that the dear pitch bald (this is expressed with utmost empathy as there are flourishing signs of the same showing up with yours truly as well) professor was capable of doing something that is confounding to the rest of us never struck me. As a matter of fact, during my final year project work, I myself have confounded him with such unpalatable balderdash (conceptualized during an ‘insightful’ grape juice session) passing it off as new ideas (since he really insisted upon new ideas and publishing them on journals and such stuff) and made him listen to it for some good amount of time.

This time around in the temple Lord Shiva was having his day; or night as a matter of fact. There were a host of aunties and housewives each of them equipped with an unbound book white-covered thin book full of slokas in Tamil/Sanskrit, most of them written in Tamil though. My appa was on the mike reciting Rudhram and Chamakam, the couplet in the Vedas/Upanishads on Lord Shiva. There was one more person, much younger, accompanying my father who just couldn’t recite it as loud as my father did. (Angry with himself and this world, he came out and repeatedly checked if the mike was working right and tried really hard to bring its volume down so that his voice could also be heard.)

Greeting everybody you know on your way with a token “Hi! How are you doing?” is perhaps the most difficult task in this world. Worse it is, when you are from a nutshell of a place where everybody knows everybody else. So, as you smile and try evading one aunty, you would have already missed another one. That’s good, you may think. But, as you round about the temple [2], she will catch you again and you’ll have to explain the possibility of you actually missing such a huge figure. And you rue to yourself, what Subhash Nagare says in Sarkar, “Kitni baar samjhaya hai tumhe Zero! paas ke phaide dekhne se pehle, door ke nuksaan ke baar mein sochna chahiye.

So, it’s better to catch as many of them while they were reciting the slokas so that they pardon you with a portending smile and miss those slokas (which somehow gives you a great pleasure). My sister who was pretending as though she was really interested in the proceedings was only managing to doze away. I had already started thinking about the post that I am making right now and more specifically this line that I am typing now.

[1] - which means that, I really don’t wonder, but claim that I do, so that I could pass something off as a new post.
[2] - this, perhaps, could be the reason why this tradition of going around the deities must have originated; so that one can meet people and talk to each other on the way and spend some quality time.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Rude Shock

Yesterday, I was in for a rude shock, when I realised that, in one’s mind, melancholy could creep in like that. Just like that, in a moment.

Now, this came in as a rude shock because, after all these years of propounding theories, one after another, I was somehow of the idea that I had learned to perfectly dodge melancholy.

I have had learned to laugh at myself. There was this moment of clarity somewhere in these 20-odd years which made me think so. May be, it was not a single moment, but a vast passage of time that metamorphosed me. (As I have already confessed somewhere in this blog, I feel I have already lived for a very long time; so long that it’s virtually impossible to categorize myself as a young man, though saner minds would do so.) So, often I laugh at myself when I spout theories about life; when I fret over a taxing day at the office; when a the CD/DVD cover a favourite movie cracks a bit; when I wonder if I had a disturbed childhood, on an idle day; when I live my life. Thus, the idea that maintaining absolute frivolousness could evade melancholy.

The day in itself (yesterday), if it’s not obvious, was as bland as it could get. I was quite tired of loitering here and there on the web and finally decided to go home. But, I had to book my tickets for the next weekend (which I didn’t get eventually) and have dinner in between. After failing to get the tickets, I hopped over to the legendary Sri Krishna Café for my dinner and met an ex-roommate of mine.

Now this friend of mine often sports a sorry face and gets pissed off with life on a daily basis. But that has never been a matter of concern for others (yours truly included) and only makes him the butt of our jokes often. Yesterday, he had a certain unexplainable pensiveness in his face, or so I felt. That got me thinking. Now, something that makes one think is potentially dangerous; unconditionally so, when you actually connect to somebody like that friend of mine.
All things, that are fodder enough for bringing in a contemplative mood, came into one’s mind in a flash – 5.7 to 5.9 EQ, “After all, one does need to do Something in life”, oblivion, senility, “The universe is expanding” - stuff which my dear friend himself, wouldn’t have thought (as only he can, should, must and need to) of.

I sent out an incomprehensible message (as often I do) to confound some friends, who challenge themselves on not getting confounded on the sort of messages that I send, and reply challenging me back with their musings, wisecracks and self-proclaimed brainchildren. And thus, it was already a joke.

Needless to say, I was amused!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The art of the righteous man...

... is beset on all sides by the geographical inequities of the Creator and the tyranny of evil yesteryear imperialists.

A fellow eastern philosopher

Blessed is he, who in the name of the supreme art and insuperable intellect, shepherds his camera lens through the valley of darkness, for he is truly the art's keeper and the finder of its lost nuances.

My left foot.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to belittle and destroy these pieces of art.

Poetic imagery a.k.a. the personal fave

And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay those pieces of art, that he captured in the Occident, on this blog.

Paying due respect to the occident a.k.a. the artist's signature shot

Note:- This is issued in response to public demand.

Friday, March 10, 2006

An Introvert's Version

Amit points us to this brilliant article by Jonathan Rauch, a complete WOW-WOW-WOW material (as I had put it here in a fellow-introvert's post on the same :P) that left me with a very strong connection, absolute delight, and an immediate thrust to read it all over again and muse over it. Do read; and read over again. Also, read this interview. Oh, thanks so much Amit.
I know. My name is Zero, and I am an introvert; irrefutably so. I guess everybody I acquainted all my life would vouch[1] for that. Though, eventually for some of them, the perception blurs out (perhaps, they were misled by the “more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined and more sensitive” persona) and they seem to think otherwise. But, I digress.
I was telling you that I was very much that thing, an introvert. Couple this with the extreme cynicism[2] that sits on my head and you will get a fair picture of how I stood holding[3] the much-coveted shield that we won during the all-important inter-departmental cultural festival back during my college days. Well if you weren’t imaginative enough (or couldn’t just connect to the introvert-in-a-party situation), I was holding it like how one would hold a bag stuffed with the day’s shopping (a little exaggerated actually, but you get the idea). Of course, I was much delighted. But, my idea of celebration wasn't doing gung-ho jumps or making loud victory gestures.
Here’s another extrovert-introvert write-up that I had read sometime back, which observed, among other things, that I won’t be a popular blogger; something which I knew pretty much myself. {Comrades alert: it does have some unsavory things to say about us like that we are “incapable of making [our] point and [we] would be at a disadvantage passing on the revolutionary new idea that [we] had” and things like that. (Note to self: From when did you start getting revolutionary ideas anyway?)}

[1] - I didn’t conduct any survey asking if I was an introvert or extrovert. (We will leave that to the “people persons”, shall we?) It’s a thing that you can easily know.
[2] - While Jonathan Rauch in his excellent piece decouples a lot of qualities from introversion, I want to know how well introversion and cynicism couple with each other.
[3] - It just so happened that I was the department team coordinator (by default and by default only; but still beats me how I did that!) as all others interested folks had something worthy to do, like actually participating in the events; and I did a little bit of participation too, but that was well-spaced between the moments of deep personal reflection.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sappily remembering those slaps, albeit a little louder..

This blogger, though pretends to be completely lacking in exhibiting emotions (claiming stuff like his EQ ranges from 5.7 to 5.9), can occasionally go to much-dreaded extremes (which are better left to be explored and examined only by people like Miss Universe title winners, the Chopras, the Johars and our very own Cheran), but will invariably screw it up. This is one such disastrous act that reinstated the fact that, the most embarrassingly funny incidents often happen in real life rather than in fiction (unless written by someone of the order of Wodehouse).

It happened before one could take a little breath and verify the sanity of the proceedings. It all crumbled down in a moment - the pride that you sported on being an awfully good student, the token congratulations you received from many on topping one of those exams, the intimately cherished moments of admiration-meets-envy in the eyes of a girl deeply disturbed because of her exam results (you got to go back to the times when you were still wearing half-trousers to understand this), all of these and much more... - right in front of your eyes.

All was fine until today morning, when my sister happened to stumble on an old classmate of mine. About whom all I remember is that she tried awful hard to beat me in the acads back then and absolutely made no bones of it. In fact, back then, that’s the only thing we all did; envy the opposite sex and try to beat them at the academic levels. (Much later, when I stepped into the college, nobody had to try that awful hard to beat me, though; except for the ones who managed to get consistently less than 3 in one Ms. Thilagavathi’s papers in the cycle tests; I also realized that the fairer sex was left with a lot more interest, at least more than most of their mean counterparts, on the academic arena. Of course, I shrugged it off, as is my wont.)
Back to yesterday's story. My sister talked to her about some nice things which only women can think of; like where they can find the nearest library (to Tidel Park) to get a dignifying cookbook (influential characters: no offence meant; how about, say, Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time?). Then, they wound up with a token bye and stuff (got to ask if they even managed to hug each other and all). Not to forget that, in between this, she had also asked about me; about the American university in which I am cracking up all the semesters and giving nocturnal headaches to algorithmically challenged professors. Hmm, held in such esteem!
Through Google talk, the first thing my sister told me was of this chance meet; and in the true tradition of Cheran's film repertoire, I happened to reminisce all that happened during my entire school life (assuring myself that I didn't have a disturbed childhood after all) in a moment of flash. My sister is of the enthu-type when it comes to organizing group events like get-together etc. and perhaps, some fractional shades of it must have got stuck to me. I wistfully observed that we never had anything of the sort of a class get-together, and took it upon myself to indirectly instigate such an event.
All buckled up, I dug out a recent “big hi and how I miss you all” mail from a long-lost gossipy friend (one with a high aarva kolaru quotient, a reason why I wanted to contact him) sent to an incipient alumni group (consisting of pass-outs from all the batches) much to the chagrin of those touchy balding folks who hardly knew him. I intended to reply back to the mail (so that his mail id comes up directly in the to-address text box rather than I typing it) and ask about where and what the rest of our classmates are doing and perhaps suggest a get-together. I so-very-carefully pressed the “Reply to Sender” (having committed such grave mistakes before) button and wrote to him asking about the latest happenings. I off-handedly added a line after my name before signing off - a passing mention on a special treatment I got from my Physics sir during my higher secondary school education, an incident which this gossipy guy sadistically recalled every time we entered the physics lab.

yeah, the same one whom Saravanan Sir, quite infamously, slapped twice during his higher-secondary

Perhaps, I should reveal some key details in my defence - that though I was of 16-17 years old, I looked much younger and timid, gaunt and exceptionally intelligent (the man must have envied me for that), all of which must have given the man a curious lead. I had nursed this incident as a top secret all along. [1]
Back to present, I clicked on the send button and as the request was being sent to Yahoo, I noticed the goof-up in the to-bar and pressed the Esc key roughly 1237 times. No positive effect; if you wouldn’t count sending the mail twice as one, that is.
Now, not only my sister (which was quite a cause of concern), but the whole alumni junta, including the prettiest of the girls in my school - who though never ever drooled over me (Girish, updated so that you don't gasp on utter false interpretations), at least thought I was a nice (if not great) student who came out with flying colours in his life and all that - would have come to know of this unfortunate incident (through not one, but two back-to-back mails); that as much as I was cracking those maths papers on one end, I was being slapped tight and clear by that malicious man on the other end; hell, during the phase of ripe adolescence.
Whom should I blame? That jealous classmate, my sister, Google talk, the mushy-trip-down-the-memory-lane films that indirectly influence even the hardcore fans of David Lynch, or that bunch of idiotic folks who wrote Yahoo mail's javascript code in such a way that the group mail-id gets stuck to the to-address text-box how much ever hard the unsuspecting user so-very-carefully presses the “Reply to Sender” button?? Damn!

[1] - But, I should mention that I was stupefied once when a college friend, winking at me, asked about the slaps after having got to know about it in some crooked way, thanks to another sadistic school friend of mine, as I started wondering how many of them were involved in this conspiracy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Are men words worth? and vice-versa.

The very fact that there are words like ‘true’ and ‘false’ shows that there are alternate truths in this world.
- written long ago, probably after analyzing Rashomon for the umpteenth time.

The network is down; which suggested I should perhaps run ‘winword’ and type some trash. I read somewhere in the blogosphere where the blogger was telling that ‘it’s okay to write crap’. So, I took my inspiration from those words and have started writing this.
In fact, it’s not only okay to write crap. It’s very good to write crap; esp. when you don’t have good stuff to write. like when the network in your office is down (which means you can’t pass off as working for company’s prospects, even if you try or pretend to), and yet you are thoughtless on what to write.
One can smartly suggest that I can write precisely on the state of thoughtlessness (which, of course, is a dreadful cliché). But, this blog is so full of it that it is more of a futile exercise to indulge further into the same.
[The network comes up now, but as per the general principle that should not stop this post from being published.]
If I say that I have been writing crap in this blog all along, some readers out of sympathy or empathy, would {say/ (knowingly/unknowingly) lie} that it is not so, or that I am being humble etc. So to prevent an embarassment of that order, I would not say that. Instead, let me put it this way – much of what I write has happened to be crap; perhaps, like this post. The truth is that, I can't always say myself if what I have churned out is good or not.
[I realize I am still not able to connect to the Internet which means I cannot do what I wanted to - hop through the Indian blogosphere. So, am back to this post.]
Of late, I have been severely criticized among some of my friends for being virtually aimless and further completely glorify it. Discussing on why the state of aimlessness is a “right” thing to do is, again, beaten to death in this blog. But, I also want to concede (as if that puts me in shame!) that am not exactly aimless to the core. In fact, nobody can be. There is, at least a little bit of, incorrigible optimism lurking beneath every human creature.
This brings me to yet another topic that is already covered in this blog. On how words (especially if it is ‘one word’) can’t completely describe any man or his life. That may make somebody question the validity of whole process of writing to express oneself; if it can’t be exactly correct, true or valid. But, the same would apply for every act a human being puts himself through. The validity quotient of any statement is definitely statistical; and that statistics differs with any physical parameter one can think of.

There are words. And there are men. No man is a word. And no word is a man. Both of them are much more than the other.

Contradiction being one of my pet concepts and an area of considerable expertise, I should also state that this post itself isn’t exactly correct. (In general, no write-up can be; but what I mean is, this has not expressed my perception 100% correctly. But, for knowing that, you got to be me.) But, I 'll express them any way; because it, somehow, is a great pleasure; even if you writing is really bad.

End Note: Now that the sole reason why this post has come into existence doesn’t hold anymore, I had two options - to flush it down, or publish it in my blog. But somehow, I seem to have chosen both of them.

Monday, February 20, 2006

On emotions, nostalghia and suchlike

I am not able to clearly distinguish if it started yesterday, or today morning. But, it’s been quite an emotional time (not that I managed to express any) for me; which has become a rarity nowadays as I had mused in my previous post.
Much of what I term as ‘emotional’ and which I claim I went through yesterday were inexplicable (and duly flushed down the toilet). The light state in which I don't understand why I am in a pensive mood soaked in nostalgia. For example, the inexplicability of why I, while trying to recall my childhood, very oddly reminisce, time and again, a rather nondescript day ages ago when I (studying in kindergarten) came along with my amma to my sister's school (who was in her I std.) during her lunch hour and how I cut that big piece of potato using a sharp spoon while having my lunch (or rather my sister's lunch onto which I was barging in; which I am not able to recall now). {Though, on second thoughts, I am able to rationalize it by claiming that this potato-cutting incident has had the privilege of being recalled (as part of recalling-one's-childhood ceremony) every other year and has taken the position of a significant event (by mathematical induction or some shit like that) resulting in this strange sense of nostalgia w.r.t. a nondescript day.}

Or perhaps, this whole thing is not as inexplicable as I make it out to be. May be, it was two days of watching Tarkovsky, thanks to Collective Chaos. But, then it was the 2 days before yesterday and I actually had to miss the best pieces - Nostalghia and The Sacrifice - screened yesterday (Sunday). Or more probably, it was because I spent the whole of yesterday with my elder brother and reconnected to somewhere down the memory lane.
Cutting the story short, it was personally quite an emotional ride (mind you, there was no idle time spent which invoked this wistfulness; we visited a couple of acquaintances and it was late in the night when we came back home) very heavy on the contemplation quotient in which I strived hard to get a moment of clarity. But nevertheless, I did maintain a nonplussed/deadpan countenance all throughout, and gave it all up when sleep and common sense prevailed over.

Life is simple; and it's design, for sure, is impeccable. Here, I am back to normalcy. Mundanity is slyly looking at me. She knows I am incomplete without it, and I understand and accept her inevitability and even the urgency to plunge into her. (Not that I am completely smitten by her. Our relationship, as any other relationship, is bitter-sweet.) I smile at her back, with a tinge of eroticism. You call it a lesser pleasure (now that I have equated it with sex), impure and all such crap. But, I know how well we (I and she) bond with each other.

Life is sad; and that is funny, especially when your EQ ranges from 5.7 to 5.9.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Looking for Comedy in The Real World. (or)
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the... Well, forget it!

{Note to self: This blog is not any more as anonymous as you thought it would be. Presumably, some influential characters may also be reading these posts and you may get some flak elsewhere. So, be nice.}
Note to readers (inlivenout, you there?):
1. This blog was supposed to be half-topical on mundanity of day-to-day life, which was unfairly ignored as the blogger started musing more and more on obscenely abstract topics like,
a. why cigarettes originally must have been circular in shape;
b. why there lies a considerable amount of vodka in all human beings somewhere down their stomach, in the pancreas or somewhere; and so on.
2. This could also be seen as a sequel to this post, which quite self-indulgently explained the possibility of absence of love in one's life.

In this mundane (now that I haven't used it much till now, the reader will have to bear my using the word time and again from now) existence of ours, it's hard to find and do something exciting on a daily basis. As I was musing on these lines while walking down to my office which is more than 1.5 km from my home, I fancied myself dancing down the roadside, jump up and touch those boisterous tree leaves (who themselves were dancing hard to touch the ground) and sing Idhu Oru PonmAlai Pozhuthu... Loving nature's beauty and all that jazz! But, it was hardly a ponmAlai (for non-tamilians: golden evening). Firstly, it was a morning; and more importantly, it was not remotely close to being golden.
So how else could I pep up this whole thing? I tried something really humane. I thought of smiling at everybody on the road and wishing them good morning (here I must add the indirect inspiration was solely from my visit to U.S. some months ago; my friend used to get all excited as every damn soul wished him a good morning as we start hurriedly from the hotel, everyday to the office). Plan B, I told myself and made a mental note of it so that I could reuse these ideas on some other equally bland day. But the task was hugely difficult considering the number of human specimen I had to handle. It becomes further difficult if I count the huge population of dogs (in and around the Airport Road) in for this monumental mush fest. Moreover, there was this guy curiously watching me, as he walked along (there are a host of human species walking on both directions in the much-dreaded Airport Road), since I half-heartedly tried to touch those leaves with a feeble blink-and-you-better-miss jump as part of Plan A. As I was hoping for a Plan C to introduce itself to me, I arrived at my office. Now that the quest for some morning masala to spice it all up failed miserably, my face got a little grimmer and an aura of seriousness crept in. I am God's own lonely man, I tried real hard to sound philosophical and get a little too heavy on this issue of extreme blandness (possibly an oxymoron), write a film script out of it and become the next Scorsese. Well, at least, Paul Schrader.

When I was a kid, it wasn't like this. I had various exciting stuff (albeit forced) to do on many days I woke up. Like those special days when I actually brushed my teeth. Parents follow curious techniques to regulate their children brushing their teeth. While some kids used to mop up a lot of paste down their mouth, I was never really too keen (not that I hated it; but I forgot usually) on doing this as a daily task. So, my dad used to place some tooth paste on my brush before he buckles up for the task of the morning, that is to wake us (agreed, I was the worst; but it always feels better to include your siblings) up from our deep (and in my case, heavily philosophical) sleep. There were two reasons. One, I should not put his shaving cream and brush my teeth and let some hair grow on my teeth. Two, he wanted to make sure I actually brush. But now, the magic is completely lost because of an everyday-familiarity that I have struck with my toothbrush, for long time now.

In the current state of affairs, it's indeed hard for one to do something exciting on a daily basis. No rip-roaringly funny incidents, No divine interventions, No thrills of somebody secretly following you (and even if so, he/she never carries a gun), no profusely mushy romance. So, there you go. No Wodehouse, No Tarantino, No Hitchcock, not even a Karan Johar, and one usually doesn’t want a David Lynch. For all practical cases, there has been no need for us to be equipped with this thing called EQ, which means people like yours truly have half-lost it. (In fact, I would go a step further and deem the word as ‘unparliamentary’.) Some accept this as a fact, as a mere event. Some, again like yours truly, even romanticize the deadpan quality of the whole thing, and write self-indulgent posts like this.

And quite understandably, the rest of the people, are peeved at this issue to no end. What is surprising is that, in all such cases, the quintessential solution offered is to go get a girl! {That they are not available in the market yet is a very big fact(or).} So, the indomitably spirited rest, like a friend of mine (let's call him Mr. K with a reason), try hard for the various little possibilities on those lines; which brings us to the romantic life of Mr. K.
A very complicated one, actually. He has totally met 7 girls (the exact number changed, that is increased, so as to protect his identity; and also to salvage some pride for the dear friend) in his life; and most of them, at some point or the other, meant a lot (so much that he actually made the greeting cards himself, that he would hand over to them on a host of random occasions ranging from Friendship day to Pillion-riders day) to him.
But yet, Mr. K is an eternal romantic. Each time he boards a bus to his hometown, he contemplates the possibility of some girl sitting next to him; and on some wild days, he even hopes that she will ask for the magazine that he will be going through; in which case, he goes and buys magazines on topics as boring as say, automobiles. (Here the reader should also appreciate his sense of understanding girl-things.) But then, blame it on the Indian society (easiest thing to do, I tell you). An event that is supposed to be of probability 0.5 (being very fair irrespective of various prospects) is pushed down to as low as 0.01 or worse. Incidentally (or due to some divine conspiracy), yours truly has made more than a hundred travels between his hometown and the city where he lives and haven't had the privilege yet. But I digress.
Let's get back to Mr. K. Of course, the one who sits next to him never happens to be a girl. Even if such a thing happens, the girl always manages to find somebody else, another bleeding male, who is more than ready to shift his place next to poor Mr. K. That chivalrous man has his small milestone for the day and is terribly content with it; but Mr. K is not even allowed to exhibit his already diminishing-beyond-recognition flirtatious skills. (After one such incident, the other man sat, made himself comfortable and gleed at Mr. K, happy that his event of the day has finally happened. Mr. K gave back the shortest and rudest of acknowledgements possible.)
Then one fine day, Mr. K gets to read a preview on Chetan Bhagat's new book, One night @ The Call Center. So, the next thing he does is to book his return tickets in a train. (His engineering mind also makes a calculation that probability of a girl sitting among those 6 seats is higher, inspite of all the social conspiracies.) Train journeys are always comfortable and better!, he exclaims to himself with a gleam in his eyes, staring at a bright future. But then, as he found later, trains worked much worse for him. Actually, it was fine to start with; and he thought that Chetan Bhagat was indeed a genius. There was one girl sitting just opposite to him. He silently observed her, praying to his favourite God Hanuman, that she would come and ask him to wake her up when the train reaches her destination. Or something like that. That gave him a bright idea. Voila, he can do the same! He kept back the magazine (which was his Brahmastra) back in his bag and asked her if she can wake him up when the train reaches Bangalore. Alas, it so happened that Bangalore was actually the train's final destination. She just gave him a real odd look for a moment, and told him the same. At this crucial juncture, Mr. K laughed out loud, pretending to have cracked one hell of a joke. But by then, the girl had already drowned herself into a magazine; an automobile magazine at that!
Well, Murphy was staring pretty hard at the poor chap. But not being one who gets dispirited easily, he took out his Brahmastra intending to try the same with a prettier lady who was sitting 2 seats next to him. But blame it on the Indian society again; her father was sitting in between the two. That this father guy took the magazine from him, read the whole of it for a couple of hours, then snored all through the night, and never returned it back, made this story a bigger tragedy.
That was Mr. K, hoping to redeem himself from the blandness of his life, for you. At least he did what the majority of the population ends up doing, albeit adding his own touch to it. But, I have seen other friends doing crazier things, which might server as a follow-up to this already obscenely long post.

End note: Well, I think this post wasn't funny at all (and the readers will agree for sure). But, that's the whole point!

1. Though the author has avoided to mention that Mr. K is a Tamilian in the
fear of repeating a fact, now relegated to a cliché, the essence of that word could be associated with terribly exact precision to Mr. K.
2. Day before yesterday (Feb. 14), the author (not wanting to fret over the specific bland quality the day posessed) was at his equanimous best; and planned to go and watch a movie, “Mixed Doubles”. But the tickets were sold out, for obvious reasons. (As a tangential observation, the author also wonders how dangerously that film could work for a couple, giving them new ideas. But that's for another post.) So, he sits back and writes an unfinished piece which he completes much later, that is today.