Category Archives: Blah Blah Blah

The blog is dead, long live the blog

This blog is dead.

It’s passed on. This blog is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If it wasn’t an abstract personal journal on the World Wide Web and hence incapable of physical form, it’d be pushing up the daisies. Its creative processes are now history. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket; it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

THIS IS AN EX-BLOG!

Go here instead.

 

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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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Look who’s writing again!

Now, now honey! Don’t be mad! I know you’re angry that I haven’t been paying as much attention to you as I used to before, but that does not necessarily mean I don’t care about you anymore! It’s just that all this work! The fear of the future, the utter and complete decimation of all my hopes and every single human being I know climbing onto my case as if it was Mount fucking Everest!

And I know. 2-2 at home. At least he didn’t dance. But, hey! At least we’re better off than the Scouse brigade! Decay must be ecstatic, and keeping in mind his recent penchant for “inserting” a sexual innuendo in every second sentence of his speech, I believe he will describe his mood with one of the following words: Euphoric, Orgasmic, Elevation, Ejaculation or more.

As for n00b42, n00b42, n00b42… HIKE! He’s probably singing YNWA even now.

In any case, my parents were missing me for some strange reason. It had been around six months since I saw them last.  So, I am now in Mumbai. My writing has deteriorated more than umm… something; so I’ll not write much but rather inundate your web browsers with tiny packets of information that will be converted into pictures taken from a 1MP phone camera.

But the good news is that I have finally bought myself a copy of ‘The Black Swan’ by Nissim Nicholas Taleb. Yay!

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Resurrection

“And on the 42nd day, he shall rise again!”

Hello!

I cannot explain why I haven’t been writing. Maybe it’s because I no longer enjoy the honor and privilege of an internet connection, or maybe it’s because I’m so busy I can’t waste my time on a silly blog.

Or maybe it’s because blogging, like social networking websites, is merely a fad. And it’s time is up. It shall now be relegated to that hallowed graveyard of peculiar habits that the populace began to practice en masse, solemnly swearing to never stop; for THIS truly defines them, THIS is finally an opportunity for them to express themselves creatively; THIS is the moment they have been waiting for. However, THIS finally becomes THAT and THAT always has been and always will be… boring. (I used to fancy myself as a writer. I just tried to elucidate my views by the means of a series of sentences that hinged on demonstratives.)

The point is, it appears that blogging is now giving company to the Macarena, the Fonz’s jacket, Akshay Kumar’s blue jeans and movies with ‘Khiladi’ in the title and college basketball-playing “dewds”. It’s a pity, though. I used to like blogging. Until the pressure to write something extraordinary every single time kicked in. I guess I’ll resume this blog differently. It’s probably a fresh start.

2008 was a strange year. In the stats column, it started with Chaosverse enjoying 3,000 hits in the first month alone. In the last month of 2008, it dropped to 700. That further fell to 600 in January ’09. I guess that’s a good thing. There’s no more pressure. No more “Is Harish in form again?” I know I’ve lost my edge, but I’m going to stop trying to get it back. The best things come to you when you never expected them or even asked for them. That’s the one lesson I can say I learnt the easy way. Right, Venom?

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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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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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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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