Category Archives: Art

Older and, hopefully, wiser

I’m not going to use any gimmicks in this post. No protracted sentences. No loquaciousness. No references only understandable to certain people. It will just be my attempt at simple, straight, hard facts.

I have often complained of how life throws shit in my face. Whined in wangst at fate and the tortures it puts me through. And I did nothing about it.

A mining analogy:

We are all digging for gold, diamonds and other gems (ideological and literal) to enrich our lives. And some of us happen to hit a drainage pipe and end up with a pile of shit in our beloved gold mines. I am one of these people. People try to assist you out of this (in this analogy, literal, but otherwise metaphorical) shithole. And I was no different. Except that I didn’t use them to get out. Rather, I almost pulled them in.

Now, I’m through.

If I whine again, shoot me.

It is time for action.

But first… A few words which I have to make known public.

The people I knew while I wrote this blog over the past 4 years have defined this era of my life. An era that is reaching its end. And they deserve my thanks. I will not hide any details, by the way. If anyone here would like me to; say so and I will give you my id and password for WordPress. Knock yourselves out.

First, and most important:

Monisha Vemavarapu: Venom, SuperMon and a million sobriquets. No one has influenced me as much as she. Currently in London on an exchange program, she is dating a large, oafish, somewhat paranoid, whiny, self-obsessed and neurotic nutbag. I feel that she perhaps deserves better; but she’s a wiser judge of such things than I am. No one I have ever known has ever evolved so much so quickly. When I first was re-acquainted with her, she was a wild, kranti-kari, ultra-modernist pseudo-hippie. She is now one of the most level-headed determined and pragmatically intelligent people I know. I will be frank: When I first met her, both online and in person, I felt I was the superior individual. But I must now concede this title to her. She has proven herself to be a most fascinating person and one who accepts a random destiny with an élan that I wish I possessed. Monisha is one of those people who you just know will not fade quietly into the night, and will leave a mark on the world. I find my vocabulary failing me in my attempts to describe how happy I am to have known, and know, this singularly unique individual. I sincerely hope that we will never become strangers through providence or (more likely) some ridiculous action of mine.

Nimish Batra: After working at Infosys Technologies in Bangalore, Nimish is now pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Florida. Nimish’s jesting misanthropy was what really resulted in our ever becoming friends. We shared in our fandom for Douglas Adams, I introduced him to Radiohead, and he introduced me to Monty Python. But in our protracted one-downmanship contests, (held periodically over the internet, the telephone and in person) I believe I learnt a lot. And perhaps too much. I appreciate and respect him for a lot of things, but I must say that what applies to me in a large measure applies to you too… Stop whining. Shut up and live. The thing about Nimish that few people get is that he is a genuinely warm-hearted person. Try visiting his home in South Ex, and be amazed at the hospitality shown by him and his family. One part of his brain has the capacity to make him do what’s necessary and drag him across the finish line while the other part is kicking and screaming. As long as that former part dominates the latter, he has nothing to worry about. Genuinely.

Dinesh Kapur: Decay is currently working in Gurgaon for a sustainable ventures firm whose name I can never remember, but it starts with a W. (edit: WinRock! It’s WinRock!) His George Best old-school footballing skills are no longer useful to him in the modern game much like my Karl Marx old-school thinking skills are of no use to me in the modern world. As I’ve often said; this man is a kindred spirit. We’re almost alter-egos of each other. Decay is someone who I can trust to understand my point of view on a matter, usually because he’s been there before. Like Monisha, Dinesh is someone who I feel is destined for far bigger things in life than he can possibly see now. And like Monisha, is an individual in possession of far too many talents, such that it looks unfair to the rest of us.

Anupam Guha: After a successful stint at the Georgia Institute of Technology (where he completed a 2-year Master’s course in a year with a perfect 4.0 CGPA), Guha is currently in Ahmadabad, working for a company that pays him to essentially be their poster-boy. His relationship with Anupama (who I’ve never met properly) was much joked about (my contribution was the idea for “Anupam (1+a)” wedding cards) in college. Oddly enough, it appears to be highly likely that theirs’ will be the first marriage of a friend that I will be a guest of. The conversations on every topic under and beyond the sun were, and still remain, much appreciated. Even the ones where we vehemently disagree. And his conviction to “save” me and show me that humanity is worth saving might just pay off. The path of the wannabe Bushido-ist is fraught with many perils, I joked of him. Well it appears that he intends on making these words an eerie prophecy. Much like a Katana, he has forged his tamahagane worldviews by repeatedly putting it through fire, folding it and beating the shit of it. And that’s why Guha will probably end up as that rarest species of all: A happy, intelligent man who is satisfied with his life and the world he is living in. Or we’ll embark on our plan for revolution. He’ll be Trotsky, I’ll be Stalin… Minus the backstabbing, of course.

Ashwin Murali: After half a year of working 80-90 hour weeks at Citibank, he’s now at his palatial penthouse in Nasik preparing for a second MBA. Ashwin’s greatest trait as a friend has been his ability to listen to me constantly abuse, demote, shout at, vilify and generally insult him for over 3 years with a patient nod and that irritatingly reassuring stupid smile. He set me off on a tangential path in my worldview, for which I still hate him by the way, but it might perhaps lead to a better future. You better hope it does bro.

Akhil Garg: Working at Accenture in Hyderabad, his tryst with the Alagappa family continues as my sister was his HR rep as a trainee. We have both learnt, very late, that we weren’t as bad roommates to have as we thought. Perhaps immaturity came between what could’ve been a far more rewarding friendship for us.

Swati, Priya and Ankur: Swati is working with Wipro in Bangalore while Priya is doing her Master’s at the University of Sussex, I believe. Ankur is doing his Master’s at IIT Kharagpur. I drove you guys away from me in a fit of madness and have regretted that decision since. My yet unfinished college life would have been far better if I had not done that.

Nitesh Bhasin: The entrepreneur and fellow backlogger. We really dump on you more than you deserve. The fact remains that if you hadn’t taken the effort of befriending me in IP University that day, I wouldn’t have gotten to know a lot of the people mentioned here. You’ll either end up in jail or in Forbes. Have fun in Vegas.

M.V. Harish: Another man at Georgia Tech, here’s to perpetuating the “crazy Telugu mofo” image with me. Keep it real with the brothas in the hood in Atlanta. We’ll meet up in a gun shop or seedy beer bar someday.

Many others ought to feature in this list, but I feel it has become so sappy, your monitors might have started leaking already; so wait for another epiphany and moment of emo-ness.

Seriously, I have so many epiphanies; it’s hard to tell which ones are genuine.

Oh, and I almost to mention… This post formally ends this blog. There will be no more posting on Chaosverse any longer. Frankly, I would like some order. Unpredictability and randomness are, as always, welcome; but I’ve had it with the chaos.

I would like to delete this blog, but perhaps will save it. Someday, the people mentioned in this post will look back and this and other posts and laugh at the naivety, stupidity, folly, and immaturity on display.

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The …’s of the Decade

I expect publications will be indulging in their year-end exercise in scatology with greater vigour this year.  It is, after all, the end of the first decade of the second millennium in the rears of our lord. (Anus Domini)

So, be not surprised if Rolling Stone ranks Amy Winehouse as the Artist of the Decade and if Kate Moss tops Vogue’s list of Celebrities For Whom Children Should Give Up Reading Books Or Developing Any Semblance Of Intelligence To Ape Blindly And If They Die Of Forced Starvation, Hallelujah To The Gene Pool!… of the Decade. (The benefit of that last statement is that the only people it could possibly offend wouldn’t be able to read and/or understand it. Except Nimish, perhaps.)

But… Where was I? Ah, yes. Nowhere. Excellent.

So, since every blog and magazine that follows the Christian era calendar will probably have come out with this list or will be coming out with such a list in the very, very immediate (There’s one right behind you. Seriously, take a look) future; I thought I might use this as a good place to get back into the habit of filling up this blog, and thus entertaining my Brain-esque delusions of grandeur. Therefore, I give you:

HARISH’S LIST OF TOP 10 ALBUMS OF THE DECADE!

  1. Kid A ~ Radiohead (2000)
    Yes. The decade’s best album came out in October 2000. Listen to it. 50 times. 100 times. For every day between October 2000 to December 2009. And then hear it again. You’ll still find something new you’d never heard before, you’ll find another possible meaning behind a line you heard a 100 times, or realize that in the second song Thom Yorke doesn’t say “fssshaaaaddddmmaaaaeeee“, but rather: “falling in the shadows at the end of my bed…“. I still don’t know whether he says “Take the money and run” or “Take the money, Enron” in Idioteque. Album of the Decade and perhaps the 2nd or 3rd greatest of all-time.
  2. Get Behind Me Satan ~ The White Stripes (2005)
    I first heard the White Stripes in the year 2003, as almost everybody did, thanks the song ‘Seven Nation Army’. The reason they never became really popular in India after that song can be explained very easily. It’s this album. In 2005, the Delhi Times reported that the White Strobes'(sic.) album Get Behind Satan(sic.) has been nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy. It didn’t win, proving it truly was the Best Album of that Year. The complete abandonment of Jack White’s trademark guitar-work was just the start. The songs were more… complete. I can never explain why I think this album is pure genius. But it just is.
  3. A Rush Of Blood To The Head ~ Coldplay (2002) 
    Before Nimish and I started ripping Viva La Vida a new one, we (and many others) were massive Coldplay fans and had discussions about how Radiohead and Coldplay will be our generation’s equivalent of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. This album was the reason. Every single song is amazing. Every. Last. One. The surprising thing is that the guy who wrote and sang these songs didn’t get laid till he was 23. Strange.
  4. Amnesiac ~ Radiohead (2001)
    If anyone tells you Kid A sounds sane and soothes them there can only be two reasons. They didn’t hear the album or… they’ve heard this one. A limitless source of twitter posts for your’s truly; Amnesiac takes the controlled Fuck-Rock experiment of Kid A and hands it over to Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Dr. Frankenstein. I can talk endlessly about how Pyramid Song is perhaps Radiohead’s finest hour or how You And Whose Army should be the background song to a bloody and brutal anime where Samurai Jack goes beserk, but I’ll quote Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin  Box as a precursor to potential, but unlikely, flame wars in the comments thread… “I’m a reasonable man, get off my case
  5. Elephant ~ The White Stripes (2003)
    The best guitar-driven album since… Physical Graffiti? Easily the best guitar work in the 2000s. Listening to Jack White play the guitar is like what Helena Bonham Carter’s character of Marla must’ve felt like when getting fucked by Tyler Durden. It’s brutal and yet feels amazing. Seven Nation Army, Black Math, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Ball and Biscuit, The Air Near My Fingers… The switches, the shifts in tempo, sudden riffs… Man’s a genius. And the album cover is layered and ends in a re-he-heaaally bad joke.
  6. Vampire Weekend ~ Vampire Weekend (2008)
    I feel a weird sense of superiority when I “discover” a band. Vampire Weekend was my most recent one. I first heard them cover ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’ on the OK Computer tribute album that Nimish was giving everyone on his blog. But it took songs like A-Punk, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, One and Walcott for me to realize these Ivy League guys were a find I’ll be bragging about for years.
  7. The Marshall Mathers LP ~ Eminem (2000)
    Again, an album that came out a few months into the decade is in this list because… uh… Fuck You. This is when what Eminem said and did was still THE most controversial stuff in the history of western music. But it was also hilarious and quite cleverly written. The moment you realize a song by Dido (which is used to get girls wearing fluffy pink slippers into a good mood) is sampled only to be followed by the words, “Shut up bitch! I’m trying to talk! Hey Slim, that’s my girlfriend screamin in the trunk but I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up, see I ain’t like you cause if she suffocates she’ll suffer more, and then she’ll die too” is when you realize this cracka! has some skill.
  8. Alive 2007 ~ Daft Punk (2007)
    Even I dance when I hear this. Yes, it’s dancing; not a recreation of how someone with ALS looks like when he’s having an epileptic fit. Daft Punk live sounds like such an amazing experience, I wouldn’t mind being surrounded by tens and thousands of people who just think of the duo as people playing music for them to dance to. I’m stronger than that. Or, as these French Robots say, “‘Tronga!” than that.
  9. Toxicity ~ System Of A Down (2001)
    I think the frightening thing about this album is that it released exactly a week before 9/11.  And with lyrics about toxicity in our cities and disorder, disorder, disorder… Damn! But nevertheless, the album is the best metal album of this decade by a light-year. I mean, what’re you going to compare this with? St. Anger?

    Okay, I’m feeling quite hungry and am almost out of time at the cyber place. So I might put up some more comments for 10. Or not.

  10. Gorillaz ~ Gorillaz (2001)

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Why I Don’t Have Many Friends

You’ll LOVE this one! Okay, okay… How… This is really funny, alright! How… do you confuse a stupid person?

Err… You… Give him or her some sort of logical problem that their feeble intellect is unable to comprehend?

NO! You put them in a circular room and tell them to sit in a corner! HAHAHAHAHA! GET IT?

That’s seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Just the logistics and expenditure way outnumber the potential reward. I mean, you might as well kidnap the two people with whom the stupid person shares the strongest emotional bond; tie them up in two different rooms filled with nerve gas and give the stupid guy or girl an antidote enough to help ONE person. Thus, he or she will have to quickly choose who to help and who to leave to die a slow and painful death! Equal amount of effort; greater reward.

Don’t ruin my awesome jokezzzzz!

Actually, if Nimish was the first person, my eventual answer would’ve been the punchline. Hope someone in that company founded by a bunch of people from Patni Computers with an initial investment of 10,000 rupees that has since grown to become India’s second largest ITES company reads this.

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Why I’d make a lousy dad: A webcomic

If only this worked with MY Dad. Maybe... Narendra Hirwani?

NOT trying to copy xkcd... It's just the simplest format.

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Filed under *cough cough* comedy, Art, Crap Rating- *****

A Man Of Constant Sorrow

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

An adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey set in 1930s Mississippi. A great soundtrack, brilliant screenplay and visually captivating. The Coen Brothers have yet to disappoint me. Come to think about it, we’re living in the age of David Fincher, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino (and some people I know from the quizzing circuit will want to add Anurag Kashyap to that league) who are absolutely brilliant directors whose style of movie making is not recognised until it falls into the paradigm of what an award-winning movie ought to be. Even Danny Boyle, for that matter. I’m surprised this didn’t win Best Picture at the Oscars. I guess it’s not serious enough. Which is ironical, considering the source of the title of this hyaar picture. A couple of quotes, if I may be permitted:

Ulysses: Deceitful, two-faced she-woman. Never trust a female Delmar, remember that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill spent.
Delmar O’Donnell: Ok, Everett.
Ulysses: Hit by a train! Truth means nothing to a woman, Delmar. Trying for the subjective. You ever been with a woman?
Delmar O’Donnell: Well, I… I… I gotta get the family farm back before I can start thinking about that.
Ulysses: That’s right, if then. Believe me Delmar, woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man.


Pete: Well hell, it ain’t square one! Ain’t nobody gonna pick up three filthy, unshaved hitch-hikers, and one of them a know-it-all that can’t keep his trap shut.
Ulysses: Pete, the personal rancor reflected in that remark I don’t intend to dignify with comment. But I would like to address your general attitude of hopeless negativism. Consider the lilies of the goddamn field or… hell! Take at look at Delmar here as your paradigm of hope.
Delmar O’Donnell: Yeah, look at me.

I’m not gonna wax eloquently about the movie. I’m not in the mood. But I will put up a couple of videos. Btw, who wouldn’t run towards those sirens. Hot-damn! Them syreens just make yer wanna whip yer moe-rals off and start a-fornicatin’!

Speaking of moe-rals, The Batra Being and I had an interesting conversation, replete with puns (as always) about exactly what character trait we possess that single-handedly manages to negate our chances for success. The gist is not dissimilar to this post, though the conversation was funnier. What I need is a secretary to write down things I dictate, as the words that proceed forth from my mouth tend to be far more endowed with eloquence than the crap I type on a keyboard. Or maybe I ought to work on around 10,000 hours of writing (Malcolm Gladwell, you better be right about this!)

Oh, the videos:

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Mann Role Mera…

It’s 5:02 AM and I’m typing this.

The title. Sad. It’s easily the worst title to a post ever. If the discerning reader (fuck, I’ll just name the sole reader I have!), if Dinesh has noticed, I haven’t complained about how my writing style is non-existent, or how I’ve been going through a bout of writer’s bloc (sic.) for the last one-and-a-half years et cetera. It follows from my principle of “Blog as if no-one’s reading!”, and no-one is! Except for Decay, of course.

In any case, the title is actually a reference to xkcd. I’ve been clicking on the random button at the rate of once every 6 minutes, so I’ve seen approximately 50. Also, there’s a reference to a popular song that is sung in B-grade hindi movies to charm snakes. Also, strangely enough, there was a one-hit wonder teen-pop cover of the same song sung by a girl who had attended a school in Bangalore which I subsequently attended. Can’t remember her name (I never knew it properly in the first place, to be honest).

So, there. TITular references done with.

Randall Munroe is God. Since I was born into a Hindu family (into the Brahmin caste to boot! Descendent of the ancestral priests of the Kalahasti Shrine… Now atheist and KFC fan), I can have multiple cultural and intellectual demi-gods (to monotheist cultural/intellectual demi-godders: Nyeh nyeh!)

I’m going back into AYBABTU probably. It’s psedo-retro and just forgotten enough to be funny again. Again, like in xkcd, it was my first internet meme.

Btw, if a=1, b=2, … z=26.

x + k + c + d = 24 + 11 + 3 + 4 = 42!!!! OMFG! UBER PWNAGE!!!!

But xkcd’s greatest moment has to be this line:

Ah, late night internet. The sheer wastage of time, unrivalled by any other action.

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Bob Dylan was right after all!

The parts of his songs I could actually understand that is.

There’s this one song, which like his others, goes something like this:

neeeeya, neeeeya, yeeee, anna, neeeeeya neee neee… Oh, the times, they are a-changing…

Which, as I have implied, they are.

May 11th, 2009.

The 91st birth anniversary of this guy (terrible article, as I believe all of mine are)

The 8th death (or final lift?) of this guy.

And, notably, the day South Park will premiere on Indian Television.

Yes. What the fuck just isn’t enough.

It’s strange. The moment a show hits Indian TV, it goes bad. Scrubs hit Indian TV when season 5 started elsewhere. And we all now that started the steady downward slide of an otherwise hilarious and intelligent show. Following this trend, South Park’s season 13 is a massive disappointment.

Episode 3 was alright. The whole Kyle is a Jew thing can go wrong if not done well.

Episode 1 was kinda funny in parts. “You do not.  FUCK! With Mickey Mouse! Got that? ha ha?”

Episode 2 was just… bad. The Dark Knight could’ve been parodied so much better.

Episode 4… they were tripping on acid or something, but ended up making a brilliant feminist statement. And as a guy, I was repulsed. Sorry, it’s a genetic thing probably.

Episode 5… Nice. Best episode of the season, but nothing compared to their previous work. Why is Trey Parker going after Carlos Mencia? I mean, who cares about Carlos Mencia, for DNA’s sake? The Kayne West thing was nice though.

Episodes 6 and 7… Worst. Ever.

I don’t have a TV, so no clue as to where they’re starting off from and if they’ll go in order. I’m surprised that any TV show who’s pilot episode is called “Cartman Gets An Anal Probe” is being broadcast. I don’t think it’ll last. With India’s censorship system and how regressive thought sells on the t00b, it’ll end up being one long, uninterrupted bleep. Then some nut will say killing children is un-Indian (which it isn’t, by the way… Look at our education system!) and poof! It’ll be gone before you can say Meekrab.

This is the defining sequence of South Park’s pilot episode. I tried to find the actual video, but google has betrayed us and youtube is more or less the lunatic asylum of the interweb, or whatever the damn thing is called now. Anyway, the essence is still there.

Dedicated to ye, who know South Park as only a “3-time Emmy Award winning, animated TV show”…


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