15 November, 2010

Asa ch..

May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong

(by Chief Dan George)

04 August, 2010

Raleigh - Impressions

Its been a week since I've landed in Raleigh, a townish-city in North
Carolina, USA. It a while before my college starts so I have had
plenty of time to explore and "form impressions".

The first car I saw when I landed in Raleigh was a Nissan. You can
easily catch sight of Ferraris and Fords and Volkswagons (the really
small cars). As Russel Peters says, if you see a Honda or a Toyota,
rest assured it belongs to an Asian. Cars here are just bloody
awesome. Almost no one has bikes and the ones who have them, have the
cool sport bikes. This is mostly because the speed limit is 60 mph =
90 kmph. Imagine driving an activa at that speed.

The traffic rules are very good. In India the whole traffic is in push
mode. We always try to push our vehicle before all others. Here, the
traffic is in Yeild mode. You almost always let others go. Pedestrians
are toh the king of the roads. If a pedestrian is crossing the road,
all the cars will stop to give them a passage (even on busy main
roads). Rarely does anyone break traffic rules. It kinda feels weird
at first. The first time I was crossing a road, I stopped at the
centre of the road to let a car pass by, he got pissed at me because I
wasn't moving and asked me to cross the road first.

Bus services are the most delightful. You can track buses online on
maps to see where they are. So, I leave the house only when the bus is
near enough so that I don't have to wait much. Only a couple of
minutes. The buses are free for students and the drivers are

The entire campus is wifi-connected and I have an iPod touch! yayyy! I
use it so much, I have to charge it everyday!

I went to the gymnasium today. Damn is mesmerising. There are 4 effing
weight rooms, 8 basketball courts, many many TT rooms and squash
courts. It is so huge, it took us 15 minutes to just walk through all
of it real quickly. And it is all FREE! and ofcourse, I am not going
to use any of it, but I can brag about it on blogs like this one!

And now we come to the library. Okay, the library has 21' macs
available for public use. NCSU is rich! The library is no less than a
5-star hotel! There's ample space and you can take macbooks from the
counter to use them all you want. Is there a need to mention that the
internet is blazing quick? And ofcourse, there are books too!

The people here are very friendly. They'll wish you left, right and
center ("Hey, how are you today?", "Good morning. So, where are you
headed to?", etc) and casually strike up conversations. They are very
patient and go out of their way to help you (eg. One batchmate was
asking for directions and the girl in a car was like "Ohh! you'll be
walking in such heat? Let me give you a drive" and drive she gave!).
Also, the people who work here are almost always enjoying their job.
They do it because they like it and you can feel it! It is a nice

There's so much stress on human-less work here. Anything that can be
automated is automated. ATMs accept money to deposit in your account,
vending machines for everything, self-checkout at malls, etc etc. It
is so automated that it'd take time for you to notice if all people of
the USA die tomorrow!!

I visited two beautiful places : Lake Raleigh and Lake Johnson. They
are just so so beautiful. I could become a monk and stay there in
meditation forever. There's a jungle trail which starts from Lake
Johnson. One of these weekends, I am going to explore it too.

You get used to walking around here. Everything is far away. Since
these guys have a LOT of real estate, they build complexes quite far
away. So each house has its own lawn, etc etc. But, it is a pain to
even walk down two houses away. I've never walked so much in my life
and yet it is not at all tiring.

Don't get me started on the females here. Since, it summer time, they
don't prefer to wear much, which works for me :-P.

The Indian seniors here at very very friendly. Its been only a week
here and yet I feel as if I've been living here for a year. We have
had late night cards sessions, went to Indian places for dinner,
watched serials together and cooked together! I have already made some
very awesome friends right here.

Over and all, I know I have missed a million points I had in mind and
didn't give fair treatment to many others but this is just a
brain-dump and a unavoidable subconscious comparison of US and India.
I like Raleigh, but I miss home too much! I hope the course doesn't
give me time to miss home :-)

01 June, 2010


Always the confusion,
Always the anxiety.
Always the fear
Of abnormality.

30 May, 2010


"Logic, n.: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." - Ambrose Bierce

A must-acknowledge before we go on raving about "scientific views" and "scientific proofs". You are not more intelligent than your brain permits you to be, so quit rubbishing everything supernatural as impossible. You are not being super-intelligent by saying God is only imaginary. You don't know the truth. So you are as much a victim of blind-faith as the believers are.

10 April, 2010

The Japanese wife

I am updating my blog AGAIN. This will be really short, I promise. Won't bore you much today. I value my readers after-all :-P

So, I watched this movie today. The Japanese wife. The movie is about a Bengali school teacher, Snehamoy, marrying his Japanese pen-friend, Miyagi over a series of letters and being loyal to that vow for more than seventeen years. It might and it does sound a very stupid idea. But, let us consider it from a poetic sense. An exaggeration on-purpose to convey a point.

The point is the essence of marriage. Snehamoy and Miyagi's marriage is a very unconventional and a very successful one. More successful than many, taking into consideration the fact that they have never met and all they can do is exchange letters once a week. Yet, they have such a deep bond. They don't snuggle up or any such stuff, yet they have such affection in their relationship! I am not saying the movie was nice, but I was strangely glad that I watched the movie. It left me with the best of the post-movie feelings. There is still good in the world and there can still be an unconditionally platonic bond between two people :-). Thats my takeaway from the movie.

Very hazy post this, I know. It is purposeful. It is for myself. Hardly anyone would like the movie. I didn't like it myself. But, I have the best feeling after watching this movie and I love the movie just for that!

Edit: A muchhhhhh better article about "The Japanese Wife" is here. (Marathi)

07 April, 2010

How would it feel to be one of them?

One of the Jawans of the 81-strong battalion that got ambushed and annihilated by Naxalites.

You are on your way to the base-camp after a 3-day search operation. You are mentally and physically tired after being on the alert for possible way-lays. This is the last stage of your journey and the only thing that has occupied your mind is the safety of the base-camp. A feeling of dreamy complacency overcomes you. You are wading through that deep forest with a lost mind. And then it happens. The truck in the forefront of the battalion blows away. 20 feet straight into the air. Fear, panic, apprehension spike through your nerves.

And then starts the incessant round of firings. You don't know where the firing is coming from. You are caught off-guards. Everyone is running helter-skelter. A feeling of desperation creeps in.  You think its the best to run away and survive. You start running in the opposite direction of the firing. But, some of your colleagues just got blasted. Pressure bombs. The escape path is rigged. Shit! Lets take cover behind the trees. You run towards a big tree. Another of your colleague blows up. Pressure bombs near every hiding place. What do you do? You cannot run, you cannot hide. Complete desperation and helplessness. Death is in sights. Mahesh, whom you playfully wrestled yesterday falls dead in front of you. Another one, just married, falls. Memories come gushing in. You start counting your seconds and then it happens. You feel the smearing pain. A chill runs down your spine. This is the end. Another one penetrates. You remember your mothers/wives smiling face and everything goes blind.

You open your eyes. You are in the hospital. A minister is looking down upon you. Anger is all you can feel. Still you force a smile. Scarred for life. This smile is now your life.

06 April, 2010

RIP Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain breathed last 16 years ago today.

I am a big big fan. So I thought I'd compile a list of my top 10 Nirvana tracks. Here they are (RIP Kurt Cobain):

1) Jesus don't want me for a Sunbeam 
2) Smells like teen spirit
3) The Man who sold the World
4) Come as you are
5) About a girl
6) All apologies
7) Lithium
8) Dumb
9) In bloom (Awesome video)
10) Rape me

There are others like "Aneurysm", "Heart-shaped box", "Dive", etc that couldn't figure on the list but are my all-time favourites! If only he had lived longer, there would be more awesomeness in this world! RIP!

03 April, 2010

Clash of the Titans - Really?

***** SPOILERS ******

So went for "Clash of the Titans" today. It is a movie shitty in all respects - Dialogs (the worst), script, direction, etc etc. I am starting to hate this James Cameroon style of directing - mind-numbing action and zilch sense to the movie.

It all starts with Zeus' obsession with immortality. To pander to his obsession, he creates humans. His immortality is fuelled by human prayers. So, what he should have done is, watched Matrix and learn how they cultivate humans. But, no! He gives them intelligence and shit like that so that they can rebel against him. How stupid is that? Just make them into praying robots! Job done!

Anyway, moving on. Zeus cannot control his hormones and he does a human queen. Now the king is pissed off, but he waits 9 months to execute her, so that she can give birth. Even after that, instead of just hanging them to death, he orders them stuffed in a casket and been thrown in the ocean (so that they'll be saved by chance). After this crappery, this son is now a demi-god. And demi-Gods are foolish.

This demi-God, Perseus, cannot even wield a sword and has such amount of foolish bravery as to make you cringe. He is like "Ohh! No man has ever returned from Medusa's lair. Lets go there camping and see whether I can chop off her head. But, first I must learn to hold a sword" or or "Lets kill that mountain-sized Cracken thing that is so huge that if he comes out of his lair, it causes a Tsunami. He can destroy a city with a lash of his limb. Lets go kill him". Or what about the awesomeness of the stalker demi-god who is clearly lusted by Perseus giving him the advice "Ask only what you need to" when he is going to the witches for answers. Well duhh! he IS going to ask what he needs. You think he'll ask "My name is Khan, am I a terrorist?" WTF!

So after a slew of lameassery dialogs and needless action and worthless story, we come to the climax. The war between Perseus (demi-god) and Hades (God). You think that would be an awesome war, right? Perseus fighting an ACTUAL God. How awesome! no? Lame actually. Perseus hurls a sword at him. Hades, considering he is God, cannot even dodge it and goes back undeground. How lame. The scene ends in two seconds!

Special mention to Perseus' dialog to Andromeda "I can serve you better as a man". What fantasies!! Also, after Perseus makes a show of his bravery, Zeus offers him a place in Heaven (or wherever the hell he lives). But, Perseus refuses and Zeus is like "You're my son dude". Then he makes a HOTTTT demi-god appear from thin air and leaves her with Perseus. What an awesome father he is! I would do anything to have Zeus as a father :-P

The only scene I liked was the fight in Medusa's lair. Nice action. Baki its a crap movie. Don't waste your time :-)

26 March, 2010

Stages of Learning

This post is a reminder to myself. I am sure most of you already know whatever follows, yet, I (and many of us) forget it when the time comes and I succumb to my laziness.

There are 3 stages of learning

1) 0 to 100 in 6 seconds: Assume a running example of learning the guitar. Chances are that you started learning the guitar because you were inspired watching someone play. The first few classes are the most impressive. You have so much to learn that every moment of the class is a new lesson. Your concentration is the maximum and your instincts are being trained at full speed. You learn quick and pretty much everything around the world is a rhythm. Awesome days! These days typically last a month or two where your interest waxes to a peak.

2) Stabilising: After the initial churn when getting started, things start to stabilise. Your instincts have been nicely trained to play the guitar with lesser concentration. This is the phase where the learning speed slows down and the need to perfect even smallest aspect of whatever you are learning increases. This period is marked by constant practising of the same rhythms, concentrating on speed, control and reducing the error rate to the bare minimum.
Now, The first phase had raised the expectations so much that this phase turns into a sort of disappointing one. One starts to think that he is not made for this stuff or one may even lose interest for the lack of anything new. But, then this is the most important phase of learning anything! The phase where you perfect what you have learned. The phase where you groom that genius inside you that will one day unleash. Most of the times, when I get into this phase, I quit. It has happened in the past. With the guitar. But, however long this phase is, I know that if I outlast it and put my everything into it, I am going to go into the third phase a very happy man.

Most of the dabblers quit in this phase. So, it is a good filter too.

3) Mastering: So now you are in more control of yourself. You can command your fingers and wrists and you are ready to break out of the cocoon to fly. If you reach this phase, chances are you'll never turn back. Its a smooth ride to awesomeness from here. One day, I'll reach at this phase. I am already learning something that is a candidate for reaching this phase :-)

So guys, don't quit in phase 2. It'll be boring, monotonous and frustrating. But if you really really like what you are learning, you'll appreciate even the smallest improvements in yourself. Pray for me to outlast phase 2 (Haven't reached it yet, but I am going to need reminding this post when I reach the phase) :-)

23 February, 2010


What would I do without music?

15 February, 2010

The Demon called Language

Language is a one sadist multi-headed demon.

One thing that Language has achieved, that even the Devil himself couldn't, is that Language tricked everyone into believing that it is actually a blessing. It is probably the greatest trick it ever pulled off. Much like Sauron who fooled the Men, Dawrves and the Elves and made the One Ring to rule the world. Language is playing the same game.

Now the favourite game that this demon likes to play is the trick-your-perception game. It takes reality, distorts it according to what you fear the most and then manipulates your perception to think that this is the actual reality. Much like the Boggart of Harry Potter. Just that Boggart manipulates the physical perception whereas this demon is more sinister. It hampers not just the perception, but compromises your system so badly that there is no notion of "reality" at all. If Boggart is userspace virus, Language is the rootkit.

Fighting this beast is near impossible because of the games it plays. It takes the facts from me, distorts them beyond recognition and inserts this distorted reality into the perception of the other soldier. Miscommunication. We bicker around trying to sort it out, while this demon has a nice laugh and then when everything has seemed to settle down, it plays the game again. And again. And again.
"Stab it with your steely knives but you just can't kill the beast"

This beast can be subdued, but it needs means other than Language itself. Something which transcends words or something which fixes the distorted reality and puts in the right perspective.

(Note: I wanted to write a note, but I forgot what I wanted to write here :-D)

11 February, 2010

A terrible waste of Life

Frankly speaking, I remembered my blog only because I was bored. So bored that I seriously considered fixing all the tags in my MP3 files!! I should have seen this coming when a month ago my TODO list dried up. Nothing to do!

Today, its been a week that I have nothing to do and let me tell you that it is mighty frustrating! I am not used to it. No work pressures (no objective to achieve either). Nothing new to learn (well, ofcourse there is loads of stuff to learn, but just learning them to forget is useless. I learn something only when I get a feeling that I'll need it in the near future. Currently, there's no such need. I think I know everything that I am going to need). Nothing to pursue (Its been ages since I quit sketching, skating, basketball. I am game for restarting basketball, but it needs a team and there's no one I know who plays basketball. Anyone?).

Earlier I used to pass time in movies, serials, books and following cricket, chess and a bit of tennis. But, all these passive means of entertainment do not provide any sense of satisfaction. They are just meant to kill time. I long for something active where I play a part. Something real. Something like working on a software package or basketball or table tennis. My favourite passtime used to be to get stuff working in Linux (dns servers and mail servers and dhcp servers and what not). But, even that is just passive and uninteresting now. And there's nothing new to get working ;-)

Its been 7 days I am searching for something to get involved in. Since I am posting to the blog, obviously I have had no luck and now I am just pissed off with myself. To be frank, I have had some thoughts, but, all of those were silenced by "Fakt 5-6 mahinyansathi karaycha? whats the use?".

I need rescuing :-)