Monthly Archives: July 2007

Bloc again

Have been unable to write or think of anything for a long time.

Attempt # 4 at writing that book might start again!

College is on. Amity is… strange! It’s a good college at heart, but is stuck with some pretty dumb-ass students and terrible management.

Have moved in with Akhil and Ashwin at sector-49, Noida. Our landlord is a BITS-Pilani Gold Medalist, the family’s son-in-law is working at the Infinite Loop, but their son apparently made a mistake and joined a certain school which leaves you materialistic and with ambitions of being a supermodel as opposed to other schools that leave you cynical, disillusioned and with ambitions of not being poor.

Yeah, well… probably won’t be able to write for sometime. Blame the room-mates.

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Harry Potter

My first encounter with Harry Potter occurred in 1999. I found a solitary copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ in the shelves of a bookshop in Hyderabad. I flipped through it, reading bits about Hogwarts and Quidditch. I was intrigued, but didn’t exactly “fall in love” with it. I managed to read the same book properly when my friend Sohan bought it on that ill-fated visit to Delhi (and Noida!) back in December 2000 for the ESPN School Quiz. Since then, I, like probably a billion over the world, have become a Harry Potter fan. And like others, I feel sad and yet satisfied with the ending provided.


There are a few things that I need to state:

  • The first four books sold simply because they were brilliant pieces of children’s fiction. Rowling was amazing in her description, the way the plot was intricately weaved and she bore the distinguishing mark of a great author: She created a world. Maybe not as artistically beautful but surprisingly more realistic than that of PG Wodehouse, not as filled with history and minutely detailed as Tolkein, but in the span of four books she told great stories, intoduced us to unforgettable characters who have become almost as good as real people to us and created a parallel universe that every kid wished to inhabit.
  • The movies have ruined it. Period. They may be decent popcorn entertainment, but they have diluted the magic of the books. The reason is quite simple: All they wanted was to make money. Unlike Coppola’s adaptation of ‘The Godfather‘ or Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy, where the aim was to stay as true as possible to and reveal the beauty of the books, the Harry Potter movies were clearly studio produced pieces of cotton candy with the intention of making hundreds of millions of guarenteed dollars every couple of summers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I know why you Californian filth did it, but Hermione Granger is “plain-looking. Neither beautiful nor ugly” Making her look like a fucking model just ruined the character. Note: Rowling’s original choice to direct the films was Terry Gilliam, but Warner Bros. said no. Hence Proved.
  • The next three books showed signs of greedy commercialisation too. Editors slacked off, too scared to cut anything and basically passing off any Rowling work that came by. This is why the 900-page omnibus epics that are ‘The Order of the Phoenix’, ‘The Half-Blood Prince’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows’ are good and bear Rowling’s signature style with beautifully crafted chapters, but are on the whole not in the same league as the first four.
  • ‘The Deathly Hallows’ is excellent. A fitting ending and one that leaves as you should be when a book series and characers that you’ve quite literally grown up with leave you (and die in places). The last chapter was classic! Good touch, that. No spoilers here, except for… Albus Severus… no Sirius? AND Hugo and Rose? Hugo from the award perhaps, but Rose?

I recieve a lot of bullshit for being a Harry Potter fan, and I must say, it was better in the “good ‘ol days” when I was part of a small bunch of people who knew this magical other place and made these references which few others understood. The crass over-commercialization and the hollywood takeover and consequent F.U.B.A.R-ing of the books is something I wouldn’t have stood for as the author.

Though she’s made enough cash for her grandkids to not work, something tells me that unlike DNA, she actually likes to write. I hope she does a Cristie/King and releases a book under a pseudonym.

Till then,

“So Long And Thanks For All The Fun”

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This is perhaps one of my “freak-weeks”. Here’s some stuff I’ve been thinking about:

  • The last time this happened, I tried writing a book. In 3 days, I wrote 17 pages. Over the next 4, I edited it down to a paragraph. Got bored, lazy and writer’s bloc (sic, you bastards, sic.) then.
  • People all over India (have met very few “foreigners”) give me this strange look. Completely blank and one that betrays that everything I say, do or act out is utterly and completely incomprehensible to them. I’m getting MORE of that here. The excrement hits the overhead rotatory cooling device over the simple matter of telling an auto/rickshaw guy to turn. I first tried the good ‘ol All-India method. “<local language> Please </local language> <english> turn left/right </english> <local language> here </local language>”. Usually works everytime and everywhere. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Noida. Not Lucknow, however. I tried asking him in pure hindi and he still didn’t get it. Now, I resort to a pat on his shoulder, a finger in the required direction and a grunt for good measure.
  • Was watching TV the other day. There was some hip-hop video on Vh1. And something occured to me right there! It was a revelation! Two things, in fact.   1: That hip-hop star (whoever the hell he was) looks a LOT like Chiranjeevi!(Telugu cinema’s quote SUPERSTAR unquote), which led me to 2: Hip-hop is the US equivalent of a Rajnikanth movie! The similarities are striking! They both cater to low intellectual denominations, requiring absolutely NO brains to appreciate. Women, though an integral part, are objectified and treated as merely props in both. They’re both ostentatious, filled with weird tricks using fashion accessories (Rajnikanth’s robe tricks is somewhat like a hip-hop star waving around his chains and rings), both treat the protagonist as living gods etc. It put everything into perfect perspective. Perspective, speaking of which… 
  • The lights went just as I got this realization. Boredom struck. Nobody at home, I’ve read every book in the house. So what did I do? Pulled out me calculator and began calculating how long each satellite in the LISA has to be from each other (despite the book with the answer was 8 feet away from me). This eventually led me to what I call the ‘Carl Sagan Total Perspective Calculation‘. It’s like being put into the Total Perspective Vortex, but just mathematically. Here is the calculation of how important I am:

Statement: I am 1 in 6 billion homo sapiens sapiens (Of course, I’m a Mensan, that reduces my importance on Earth from 1 in 6 billion to 1 in 120 million people in the top 2 percentile) in one in 9 planets (Pluto STILL counts!) that orbit one in “billions and billions” stars in one in “billions and billions” galaxies which is one in “millions and billions” galaxy clusters which is located in one in “billions and billions” of universes at this point of time and is one in “billions and billions” of universes that have existed throughout time.

Therefore, my level of importance is 1/(.12 x 10^9 x 9 x 10^9 x 10^9 x 10^9 x 10^9 x 10^8 x 10^9 x 10^9 x 10 ^9 x 10^9 x 10^9) = 1 in 1.08 x 10^98



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What the not so hairy weirdo is upto…

Getting ready to leave Lucknow… but something has redeemed this city yet. My Dad’s TV, with Tata Sky and an India tour of England.

Also had a weird dream which can only be described as a mix of ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘The Wonder Years’ and CS. I can’t possibly tell any more.

Saw some South Park on youtube to cool off.


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Booooring… maybe not?

That line describes my current existence in a nutshell.

I should’ve spent more time in Bangalore, I really should’ve.

Lucknow… it has exactly 3 landmarks and I saw all of them.

In a day.

In the span of half-an-hour.

landmark #1: La Martiniere College (it’s a school, actually. In early years, schools were called “college” and colleges were university. The Americans fucked up this terminology as they’ve done with everything else). Dad was transported into some other era on seeing this place again. He says it hasn’t changed in the thirty years since he last saw it. I think it hasn’t changed in the last hundred and sixty seven years since it was founded.

landmark#2: Imam Bara. Didn’t see it in detail because of the weather and stuff. Looks nice, your typical Muslim/Awadh architecture. UP is filled with places like this. 400-years old with 400-second old betel nut and urine stains all over it.

landmark#3: The controversial Ambedkar memorial. As I’ve maybe said before, politicians have as much a sense of what they’re doing as Zaphod did in the Secondary Phase. It’s a huge sprawling complex. A memorial to a freedom fighter? No! It’s to Ambedkar, the Dalit leader! Churchill was right, I guess. It’s also eating up a popular sports complex (that’s been named after him, but that won’t do will it?)

To anyone who doesn’t understand the last part… don’t bother. Scatology lessons will be more useful.

Oh, wait! WAIT! There’s some exciting news after all!

According to the Times of India, Lucknow:

“One of the proposed sites for the F-1 track in India is the Greater Noida Expressway (also known as the Taj Expressway), along with Manesar and Tughlaqabad”

That’s nice! The straight, the grandstand finish, on the road in front of my “college”! Maybe I’ll be able to make a quick buck as a something? (no, not a groupie)

Seriously, I find the first premise, i.e. India will host an F-1 Grand Prix by 2009 a bit too much. F-1 races are heavy on investment and in order to reap appropriate rewards, ticket prices will be so high that any self-respecting Indian who argues with an auto driver over the fare will decide, “Screw you guys, I’m watching this from home!”

Kalmadi’s making another blunder here. I just hope that this plus the 2010 Commonwealth Games (also in Delhi) plus the 2011 Cricket World Cup don’t end up becoming white elephants for the taxpayer.

Till then… off to sleep!

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There you are…

This should cause quite a stir… but it hasn’t! Not outside India, at least. Surprising, I think.

It’s not because I’m a “Hindu”. I would’ve been equally appalled and shocked had any other religion been treated this way. And it’s not freedom of religion that’s bugging me either.

It’s the rise of the American Taliban

Here are a few quotes:

“If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality…. Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare? The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering…. It’s the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice.”
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
“God’s pattern is for men to be the leaders, both in the church and in the family… Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them.”

    These are quotes from Pat Robertson. Not some taliban cleric. The guy who said all this ran unsuccessfully (thank SATAN!) for being the Republican party’s Presidential candidate in 1988. He advocated the abolishing of the Department of Energy and Education, among other things.

    It’s no longer funny, but a serious problem. As the US fights islamic Fundamentalism, Christian Fundamentalism is growing to dangerous proportions. How long is it before “The Base” of Christ launches a suicide attack on Mecca or tries to blow up Tirupati? I don’t know.

    Pro-Christian groups in America might result in the country reducing itself into a new-age Afganistan. the same shit that’s happening with Islam will repeat with Christianity. Then an ex-comic turned politik asshole and his ‘Army of Shiva” will start Hindu Terrorism. We atheists and peaceful folk will be stuck in the crossfire among three different hallucinations.


    I’m seriously reconsidering my “Go to the US for Master’s and Ph.D plan”. But where can I escape this onslaught of religious madness?


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    Not so random favoritism

    My Favorite Led Zeppelin songs in order:

    1. Achilles Last Stand
    2. Kashmir
    3. Stairway To Heaven
    4. Dazed And Confused
    5. Immigrant Song
    6. Rock ’n’ Roll (Been A Long Time)
    7. Whole Lotta Love
    8. Communication Breakdown
    9. Moby Dick
    10. The Battle for Evermore
    11. In The Evening
    12. Going To California
    13. Black Dog
    14. D’yer Maker

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