Category Archives: Blogroll

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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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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Filed under An Atheist's Gods, Anything Seriously Anything, Art, Blogroll

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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Filed under Anything Seriously Anything, Art, Blah Blah Blah, Blogroll, Cinema, Clarifications, I Don't Have The Patience To Scroll Down The Whole Lot!, Ideas --> Words --> ???, Random, Rants

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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The presence of an absence

I’m bad at pretty much everything, but I’m exceptionally bad at social activities. I have always been under the impression that people prefer the presence of my absence. It’s not dissimilar to the sequence from Black Adder the Third, where Baldrick explains why he thinks his first name is “sod off“.

When I was a child and playing in the gutter, I used to say to the other snipes “Hello, my name’s Baldrick,” and they would reply, “Yes, we know. Sod off, Baldrick!”

This is usually okay with me. But the strange bit is when I start receiving evidence to the contrary. So, the idea that the reaction (not exactly prevalent everywhere, but prevalent nevertheless) to the presence of my absence is not indifference but rather a very slight amount of sadness is… surprising, gratifying and also frustrating.

Surprising because… Hell, I never expected people to miss me! It’s such new and unusual territory!

Gratifying. That’s obvious isn’t it?

Frustrating… Because it is not only one-sided. And more importantly, WHY THE FUCK AM I ALWAYS SHORT ON CASH?!

This is new. I miss someone pretty badly. And I’m doing nothing to alleviate the situation. Yeah, ain’t I just great? Goddam it, I feel so inadequate right now. It’s pathetic, pitiful and also true. What I need is a vacation! Ankur’s not enjoying Himachal, so I guess I better keep away. Question is, where do I go? A lot of places come to mind: Leh, Agra, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam et cetera. 

This weekend is perhaps the best one I’ve had since the end of May! Today was a great afternoon spent in the company (cum panis heh heh heh) of friends, rum, butter chicken and a joke involving a girl mispronouncing the last word in the sentence “I want a Large Coke”; whereas tomorrow is some free Pizza and Beer at Gurgaon. After that, it’s back to the old charade of summer training. Sec-37 to sec-125 and back.

As for the bloc and this thing here… I guess I’m going to stick around and try to beat it. The problem is that I do not truly understand why I blog.

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Weird, ainnit?

Depression and melodrama seem to be a collective group thing. You see one person down in the dumps and next thing you know BOOM! everyone’s feeling miserable. I was feeling low some time back. Am not fully recovered, but I am better, which is what being depressed is all about.

The reasons behind my mood swinging and the bitterness and stuff are something that never change:

  • Career, or lack thereof.
  • Paranoia.
  • Academics.
  • Finances.
  • Self-doubt.

Somehow, I have trained myself to refuse to acknowledge anything to do with emotions. I don’t know why I do it, I just do. And in the process, I have trouble figuring out what it is that I feel. I don’t understand a damn thing.

Do you ever have this feeling where the person you really want to see at some moment in time is also the one person you do not want to see at that moment?

But that’s behind me now. At least I hope it is. My 3rd sem results are coming soon. Fuck.

 It’s gonna be… A Glooooooorius Day! I feel my luck could change…

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Filed under Blah Blah Blah, Blogroll, College, Crap Rating- *****, Et Cetera Et Cetera, Ideas --> Words --> ???, Pointless rambling, Rants, Same as above, Something or the other, What. The. Hell?, Whathafuck?

THE BIG “G”.

Ladies and Gentlemen: This is an official announcement which I have tried my very best to avoid, but circumstances are such that I am left with no option but to speak out. There’s a big rumor doing the rounds and it’s about time I put an end to it. Not just because it isn’t true, but mostly because I get bugged by the looks of incredible surprise, shock, horror, awe and downright bewilderment I get from people who believe it. Mostly.

I am not really “committed”. I do not have “a girl” (or “a boy”, for that matter). I’m as single as they come, if not more. The committed status, along with the rest of my orkut profile, is a big old (except for the profile bit) joke. I will no longer entertain questions that go like, “Hey, how’s your girl?” et cetera.

For those not in the loop, the correct rumor is that there exists out there, a female homo sapiens sapiens who is romantically infatuated with me. Ha! Ha!! Ha!!!

Since we quantum-geeks work with probability, I better factor in for the one in a three hundred million chance that the rumor is true.

So, I give you a list that deserves its place amongst the hallowed pages of Cosmopolitan magazine! I present to you, ladies and ladies alone…

Statutory warnings to anyone who wants to be “my girl”:

Warning! Harish Alagappa is…

  • Prone to mood swings.
  • A disgusting sight to look at.
  • A bad singer
  • A bad poet (“if you think my poetry’s bad, my prose is verse”)
  • A bad dancer
  • A man who doesn’t like clubbing/disco-type parties, with the loud music and flashy lights and people crowding the dance floor swinging sweaty filled arms, stinking up the air and polluting the atmosphere which weakens the ozone layer, allowing a greater amount of harmful ultra-violet radiation to enter giving everybody skin cancer with the spores and the itching and burning and miserable pain!
  • Prone to droning on and on about matters that have no relevance to the topic at hand.
  • BOOOOORINGG!!!!
  • Atheist
  • Anarchist
  • Deficient on moral fiber
  • Poor (Middle-Class, actually)
  • Incapable of playing any musical instrument
  • A forgetter of birthdays, anniversaries, names, faces, clothes you wore, hairstyles and all that jazz
  • An anti-social, reclusive, introvert nutcase.
  • A bad judge of fashion
  • A man who despises shopping for anything except books.
  • A nobody. If fame is an aphrodisiac… I’m an impotency drug.
  • An uncivilized brute who lacks table and other manners.
  • As opposed to being a suave, sophisticated toast of society… (should I hyperlink you?) an unsophisticated, un-suave cold turkey of society.
  • A pedantic hyper-intellectual who simultaneously criticizes and arrogantly justifies his own nature.
  • Trying to be Zaphod Beeblebrox, but ending up like Marvin.

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