Monthly Archives: December 2008

Download Diary

I utterly despise the practice of alliterative phrases as titles. There is something fundamentally stupid about it. I mean, when I see an alliterative title I instantly assume that what layeth b’fore mine eyes is a chick-lit novel written by some NRI about the trials and tribulations of a teenage girl with orthodox Punjabi parents living in Brixton or Chelsea or Bedford or some such place. Apparently the only decently good novel in this genre is Meera Syal’s ‘Anita and Me’, whose title, please note, is not alliterative. So, eugh! Horrible title, but I can’t copy someone, who incidentally vouched for the decently good-like nature of ‘Anita and Me’, and title my post “Bah! I hate naming ‘me posts!” So, British Punjabi chick-lit title it is.

Anyhoo, this post is an appeal. In the words of David Gilmour and Roger Waters, “Hello… (Hello, hello)? Is there anybody in there?” Or rather, OUT there. I am sick of nobody reading my blog. I don’t write for myself. I write for recognition. For criticism and extravagant praise. For comparisons to Wodehouse and Shelley and Bacon and Shakespeare and Raymond Chandler and Sidney Sheldon. (Okay, maybe not him!) Or to have my writing blown to bits by comparing it to Chetan Bhagat and Jeffrey Archer and Sidney Sheldon (that’s his rightful place!) and John Grisham and Dan Brown (please! I’m not THAT bad, am I?). Well, I shall again quote another band I partially appreciate to explain the nature of my appeal.

Maybe it’s just something I can’t admit but lately,
I feel like I don’t give a shit.
Motivation such an aggravation,
Accusations don’t know how to take them.
Inspiration’s getting hard to fake it.
Concentration’s never hard to break it.

Basically, I don’t feel like writing stuff I’d normally write about. Even that paper I was planning to write is suffering from a massive problem which can be summarized quite succinctly as: where/how the fuck do I start?

So, to kick-start my writing habit, I ask you fair readers to comment more often. Even a “Lol!” will suffice… for the moment. And now to the tit…ular.

I am in the process of downloading the following movies:

  • Brazil. Directed by Monty Python’s very own Terry Gilliam, it apparently stars fellow Python Michael Palin. A supposed dystopian science-fiction parody, it is ‘1984’ made in 1984 by someone who didn’t read ‘1984’. Download time left: Will take a day, methinks.
  • Slumdog Millionaire. I usually hate movies about India made by the good folks of Hollywoodland. They stick to stereotypes and pass that off as a “gritty and realistic portrayal of India’s…<insert what the movie deals with here>”. Left to them, all of us can’t speak in English without our heads bobbing and always do so in high-pitched nasal tones, every guy is a rag-picker, every girl is a prostitute and we all live in Dharvi. But apparently this movie doesn’t stick to that line. It’s by Danny Boyle, who made ‘Trainspotting’ – a movie I liked. And AR’s winning quite a number of prestigious awards for his score. He picked up a Golden Globe nomination; last time I heard. Too bad no-one gives a flying fuck about those awards. Downloading… 3 hours left.
  • Frost/Nixon. Now, Ron Howard scares me. It’s not just that he actually knew The Fonz… he made A Beautiful Mind. Great flick and all, but realism was slaughtered for making it more cinematically appealing. I’ve always felt his movies’ primary objective is to win Oscars. Downloading… 23 hours.
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The quiz circuit is a good place to pick up cinema recommendations. Worst place for music recommendations, though. Anyway, there were questions about this Woody Allen movie at quizzes at IIT Delhi and Kanpur. Plus, it does have pretty nifty sounding title. Let’s hope it’s not a chick flick from a pederast. What’s a… pederast, Harish? Shut the fuck up, Donny. Downloading… 14 hours.
  • There’re also some “so-bad-they’re-good” flicks I’m planning to get. Showgirls, Freddy Got Fingered, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Gunda, Jaani Dushman.

I like posts which have very little to do with the title. The title is not completely irrelevant, just very irrelevant.

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Groan

Exams concluded yesterday. Ow!
Drinking binge. Gulp!
Eating binge today. Graon!

And I’m not even in a rock band. In other news, 2 mentions in this years’ Shady Awards. Still no award!

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A Quiz and some music…

I won a quiz today. At IP(ee) College for Woe-is-men. It’s the one where my Dad once was a chief guest and delivered a lecture and is located in the highly picturesque environs of Civil Lines – a locality which looks like it’s straight out of the days of the British Raj. As usual, B dot and I caused a major ruckus prompting the organizers to exclaim “Will you please shut up?”

LSR is the only girls’ college where them thaar femmes do not despise me. Of course, Bhasin and I, but mostly Bhasin, made it considerably worse for the organizers. We topped the prelims. Can’t complain now, eh? The final was organized by Arindam of IMS. Not much competition. And the questions were re-he-heeeallly easy. An audio clip of ‘Eye In The Sky’ was played and we were asked to identify the band. All teams passed before I could answer it and claim 2 more points. But ’twas a day almost wasted. No cash prizes. Instead we received gift hampers laden with scented candles, a diary and three books all from Goodwill Publishing House:

  • The Great Writers of the World ~ Ashwani Bhardwaj (Looks suspicious. Any book that rates Shobaa De and Deepak Chopra alongside James Joyce and Shakespeare is likely to be written for 3rd graders by a 5th grader.)
  • World Famous Quotations
  • Great Men Of India

In other noose, I’m listening to 4 bands primarily at the moment:

Radiohead. As usual. After not touching them for almost a month or more, the shocking news that In Rainbows has been nominated for 5 Grammys is making me going through the album again. Searching for inconsistencies. Because Viva La Vida has been nominated for 7. They really don’t know music. (Not Coldplay, the Academy. Then again…) To reiterate: Like how Sachin Tendulkar is a better cricketer than me, it’s better than Viva La Vida. 

Vampire Weekend. Good band. Not quite “OMG! THEY R AWESOME!!! LOLZ!!!”, but pretty decent. Better than Viva La Vida.

Kaiser Chiefs. Hello! Just when Coldplay turned into a bunch of money-grubbing, pop-musician faggots a band emerges from the land of the former ruler to take their place. They’re one of those rare British bands of the late ’90s and 2000s who don’t sound like lame U2 or Radiohead wannabes. They’re more like The Beatles meet Led Zeppelin with some punk thrown in. I’d say their album “Your’s Truly, Angry Mob” is better than X&Y and is almost at par with Parachutes or Pablo Honey. Better than Viva La Vida.

Daft Punk. French House/Electronica. I know what you’re thinking, but I think they’re great! The roommates think it is ideal “sex music“. I disagree because when in the act of coitus, I wouldn’t like to hear two robotic voices going:

Work It

Harder

Make It

Better

Do It

Faster

Makes Us

Stronger

More Than

Ever

Hour After

Our Work Is

Never Over

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Is it the 3rd of November?

The title may confuse you. By you, I mean the person reading this. Except unless it is me, who is the most likely person to be the one reading this at any given point of time. Thus, it is more likely that the person reading this will not be confused by the title. Yet, I endeavor to throw a little lifeline to anyone drowning in the deluge of meaningless verbosity of the above paragraph and vagueness of the title.

The title may confuse you, but I assure you it is not random. It is a reference to a book written in 1877 by a man who was born on either October 30 or November 11, 1821. 

’tis a strange world we live in. If I could summarize all my thoughts into a single word, it would be quite an achievement or would indicate the lack of depth or complexity in my thinking. But surprisingly; as I sit here, typing, listening to the Badinerie from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.2 in B-Minor for flute and strings (BWV 1067) – an ideal background theme for a madman, if you ask me – pardon my digression… But surprisingly I CAN compress the clamoring mass of thoughts in my head into a single word. And the word is: Malice. Indeed, all my thoughts are currently malicious in their nature.

Why? Why not. 

I am quite exasperated. Of fighting. Of battling. Of combating. Of fending off. If only I were nice person by nature, I could look at all the gifts nature has given me. But I am not a nice person. I am a vagrant (my father calls me that), a peripatetic thinker (which I shall prove as this rambled post continues), a loser (as many people are oft to refer to me as), a vindictive, pessimistic nitpicker of thoughts. But devoid of any actual mental facilities and more importantly devoid of any inclination to convert reserves of potential energy into work that will effectively put an end to the incessant questioning. And there is a lot of questioning going around, oh yes! I do not throw words like incessant about to exhibit my limited vocabulary. Whose limitations seem to be on an upward spiral. I have said the word “Cool” more times in the year 2008 than I did in the 15 years before that.

I can now hear the William Tell Overture by Rossini. How pleasant!

I am quite thoroughly annoyed. Of people. Individuals. Human beings. The whole lot of them can bugger off and boil their heads in hot oil, if they wish to please me, which of course they don’t. I am annoyed of my roommates. Of the people in my college. How every second I spend with them seems an opportunity lost. Of how intellectually hollow their company seems. I haven’t learned a thing in the time I have known them. I stand there, listening… words flow from their mouths like sewage into a gutter. Meaningless talk devoid of any shred of original thinking. All their “thoughts” have been subconsciously instilled. On occasion I want to start pointing out the sources of each and every statement they make. But if I interrupted them with “parents”, “movies”, “media”, “unfounded claim”, “peer circle”, “public perception”, “remnants of a phase of juvenile delinquency” and “neurons rotting” all the while; I would leave them with no recourse but to retaliate. And I do not take kindly to criticism. It is a flaw, I admit. I am quite arrogant. Extremely full of myself. I enjoy the philosophy of you-leave-me-alone and vice versa. It allows me to live in a little bubble of self-delusion and an exaggerated sense of my own importance. 

But the retaliations do disappoint. The usual attacks made against me concern my physical appearance, my atrocious academic record, my weak mind, my emotional instability, my judgmental attitude and lack of an open mind and a supposed tendency I possess whereby I degrade myself as part of a subtle ploy to garner sympathy. Everywhere I turn I see my attack on any issue, be it subjective or objective, being countered with an ad homenim derision. I am, strangely enough, not very good at attacking people. If anyone notices, I attack issues with greater ease. I call institutions, beliefs, actions and statements a multitude of names. When it comes to an individual, I find it hard to criticize. I cannot just start using what Nimish calls “my cutting wit” on anyone just sitting in one place doing nothing. It is from their actions that I draw inferences and those inferences are where I begin my attack. 

I believe it was Richard Dawkins who first succinctly explained my world view. He said, and this is one of my favorite quotes from now on: “By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.

Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Opus 23 Allegro ~ Tchaikovsky

(to be continued…)

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I swear I didn’t do this!

At great personal risk, I’m putting up one of xkcd’s best comics ever! 

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Either I’m really stupid or…

Stupidity is the new “IN” thing. Apparently there’s a war against the very values that have made the world the wonderful place it can be. (Reason, Logic, Rational thinking, Scientific analysis). Spent some time going through wikipedia articles about various religions, cults, sects and things that claim to be none of the above but are absolutely indistinguishable.

Now, I can imagine the flak I would’ve recieved about this post if anyone actually read my goddam blog. Which is another thing that pisses me off. Why can’t I tell the Emperor that he’s naked? Look at him! He’s not wearing anything!

What pisses me off is how I am expected to treat ALL ideas at par. Which, of course, is utterly impossible. What I fear is a day when a school exam paper will be marked not on the basis of whether or not you are right (which is how it should be…) or whether or not you memeorized and repeated, without understanding, the requisite syllabus (which is how it is now…) but, and this is worse than the current state of affairs, they will marked equally. In a nutshell, you should not thrust your right answer on people as they have their right to be wrong, but should not discriminated against because they are wrong. To summarize the summary: All answers are correct, you intolerant arrogant prick!

We expected the internet and cell phones and the “communications revolution” of the past decade or so would make the world a better place. All that’s happened is we have more than a million (more like a billion) monkeys banging away at keyboards, PDAs, GPRS-enabled cellphones and screaming hysterically into webcams and yet I cannot see anything that resembles: 

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,/Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/And by opposing end them? — To die, to sleep, —

What we do have are, people who say things like “There are 7 chakras in the soul which using the power of magnetism can be aligned to combine with the earth’s magnetic field and unleash hidden power in the soul of the individual”. Gee, wow! And we are to respect their views. Respect my authoritah to tell you this:

“We believe in equality for everybody and tolerance and all that gay stuff; but dude, fuck you” ~ Stan Marsh

The best bit is that the people I know who believe in this shit the most were guys who used scored above 90% in their 10th and 12th boards. It’s us late70s, early 80s (percentage marks, not the era) bastards who acknowledge that Science Works. Science is the answer.

There’s no point, really. Me expressing not a personal view, but something that has been verified either by the process of scientific testing or by the fact that it’s happened every pico-second (0.0000000000001 seconds) for the last 15 billion years (473040000000000000 seconds) is being on different degrees: intolerant, an asshole, a smartass, judgemental (…)

This rant will continue. Right now, I have the strange ineffable feeling that someone’s standing behind my right shoulder and that very bad things are going to happen to me.

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Prufung

(No reference to the DCE Quiz. And I’m sorry I missed Panache, had far more urgent appointments that day. Sounds like ’twas this major quizzing party replete with all the geekery one would expect at these events.)

Yeah, it’s those things again! Don’t… bother… asking…

Thought quite a bit yesterday. About having opinions. About being a “fundamentalist intellectual” or “an asshole with half a brian cell”. I said a lot. Remember it, but won’t repeat it here. Let’s just put it this way:

There is truth. By its very definition, it is absolute. But the “right” thing or the “cool” thing to do is acknowledge that there can be various truths for various people. This funda can only be applied in certain areas. (I may say that the statement: “Pete Sampras is a better Tennis player than Roger Federer” is true. Some might disagree and say it is false.) These are areas where there is no actual truth. There’s a word for such areas, but as it’s quite late and Ich Haben Einen Deutsch Prufung tomorrow; I guess my mind is being vague rather than precise. So it goes. But for someone to tell me that, “So? He believes 2+2=5! What’s the big deal! Who are you to say that 2+2=4?” is… so fucked up that I can’t say it any other way except that is UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY FUCKED!

And yet, this exactly what is happening everywhere. 

It doesn’t matter. Nothing does. 

I may be paranoid, but not an android. 

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