Category Archives: College

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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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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Brad Pitt Is a Hrarf-Hrarf?

I have a lot of problems plauging me right now. Ranging from how my college is performing it’s “End-Sem THF Fuckover™” to my left calf (which has something called DVT or a Soft Tissue Injury or, as is normally the case vis a vis MY Luck, both) to my cellphone (which is fucked up pretty bad – I think it’s the battery -) to the non-existent prize money I have to recieve from IIFT and IIT-Kanpur to the immense amount of time that has passed since I last went to the house down the road from the juice shop at Green Park Market to my application headaches. 

And now, to titular news (and that, children, is how you fit the syllable TIT into a seemingly innocuous blog post).

Brad Pitt isn’t my favorite actor. That’s Daniel Day-Lewis.

David Fincher isn’t my favorite director. He’s close, but he’s not. That title currently belongs to Stanley Kubrick. (Saw Full Metal Jacket recently. Will try and review)

But together; the cause of more female orgasms than vibrating dildoes and the man who wiki claims is “known for his dark and stylish portraits of the human experience” have produced two of the most (tries to come up with a serious and really witty adjective to follow up the superlative. Fails) fucking amazing flicks I have ever seen.

Se7en – Yes. It is a “cops trailing a serial killer” type movie. But you have to watch to appreciate the sheer artistry.

Fight Club – Do not be misled by the name. It’s not just a movie about fighting. Well, to a certain extent it is. But not just fistcuffs and brawls. It delves into parts of the human psyche one would rather leave alone. It paints a frighteningly realistic and yet unrecognisable picture of how the life we crave can be a gulag of sorts. And, of course, it has major Calvin and Hobbes and Anarchy references. Which I will always like. 

And now… there’s ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’. It’s adapted by something written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, an author of great renown who I have never read. But to me, it sounds more like something from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Tertiary Phase. Episode I). You know you’re a DNA fanboy when you find fragments of his work almost everywhere (figuratively unless you’re in Nimish’s room where it becomes literal).

Just hope this doesn’t turn out to be another Beowulf. Please!

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Forward bloc

I can’t write. I can’t think. I can’t read. I can’t sleep. I can’t wake up.

My life is over. I’m finished. There is nothing to do. And yet, I’m busy. HOW THE FUCK CAN SOMEONE BE BUSY DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?

My performance at the Quiz and Debate at Jamia was disappointing, to say the least. Actually, it was fucking atrocious! The debate was won solely by Decay, who is ironically decaying (a broken ankle last I heard). I was out-quizzed (My blog ought to say: Here Be Neologisms) by MV Namesake and Guhahaha (… n).

My writing has been carp crap and I have lost the ability to be witty or funny or profound. I am even unable to come up with a neat little analogy or simile or metaphor to describe what I sound like, in person or through the medium or words! GOD! FUCKING! DAMN! IT!

In any case, here’s the latest from the series of disastrous ventures and mindless escapades that is my existence on this here piece of mass orbiting a giant fusion reactor:

  • Have almost given up hope on the GRE. Recent developments have led me to believe it’s a lost cause. Reader! Just give my blog a look and ask yourself this: Do I look like someone who can actually carve a career out for himself as a PhD in Theoretical Physics? Would you, if you were the admissions officer at any university, admit me and be willing to offer me a scholarship or teaching assistantship or the like?
  • Am in Bangalore right now. Came here for my sister’s convocation. She’s working with a company endorsed by Tiger Woods, who put her through this college to get an MBA in Human Capital Management. Dad was there too. He has to learn something: Vodka and Sprite is not my preferred drink!
  • Am typing this on this guy’s laptop, at his flat. The scary bit is… this is MY neighborhood. I can see my bedroom window from his bedroom window. Yet, things have changed. It’s an epidemic of over-commercialization. There were never so many people near the 100ft road gate, neither were there so many cars all over the place. And there are approximately eleven times as many high-class restaurants in a 5-km radius as they were when I left.

There’s more to say. But I can’t. Not eloquently, at least. And I have always believed that anything that cannot be written down well is not worth writing, which is why I have a mere 2 drafts. This hasn’t been fun. It pains me to think about the amount of time that has elapsed between my last good piece of writing and this.

Please… Mind… I know you’re there… Start working again!

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Engineers? Who? Where?

My summer training has supposedly been in progress for the last month. In this time, we have had to go to college 18 times. And today, we had our first lecture. Did someone say farce?

The people who gave these lectures noted the utter and complete lack of interest, dedication, motivation and attention amongst the students present, so they droned on for barely more than an hour each. The weird bit was… these were perhaps the first lectures in my two years at this here “college” where I actually felt we were learning something close to what an engineer ought to know. Did someone say charade?

The 40-minute FEM lecture was conducted by a man who claimed to have a Master’s degree from IIT-Roorkee and Fellowships from Universities in Italy and Greece. I guess he did, because his accent had equal traces of all these three places. Did someone say mockery?

Semi-knowledgeable though they were, all our guest lecturers were united in their commitment to making one, grotesque mistake. They kept referring to us as ‘Engineers’. Whathafuck? ME? An Engineer? HAH! Did someone say satire?

In a series of events that is probably related to the gist of the above-mentioned (which has been written in a manner that clearly shows my bloc hasn’t gone anywhere and now I’m wondering if I ought to write at ALL…), I’m now rekindling my interest in subjects I had speculatively wanted to make a career in of when I was young. Stuff like Anthropology, Paleontology, Ancient History, Philosophy etc. Did someone say burlesque?

Did someone say absolutely anything at all?

 

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Attempts at beating the bloc

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned why I have this habit of omitting the ‘k’ and spell the disease I am currently suffering as “Writer’s Bloc”. Die Batra Wird thought it’s a show of solidarity with the comrades at JNU or Steven’s/Stephen’s/Stefaaan’s. Actually, it’s a really bad joke. You see, my writer’s bloc is soooo bad… that I can’t even write the ‘k’ in block.

The Harish, The.

I don’t know whether I should do this… My first idea to beat the bloc was to tag myself and just fill up answers to inane questions that are somehow supposed to judge your personality (tagging –> Scientology. There is a connection). But that was just because I did not want to fuck up what I am going to try and write now. You see, I read a book a couple of days ago. It was a book I’ve been looking for the last 3 years. And it was everything I hoped it would be. There are two other books that I had been searching for a few years that I finally managed to get my hands on right now. (That sentence right there shows you how bad my bloc is. Just look at that mangled piece of crap! Yeesh!)

The books are:

  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid’ by Douglas Hofstadter
  • ‘The Future Of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology’ various authors. (Ranging from Roger Penrose to Kip Thorne to Edward Witten)
  • ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

I want to review Dune. I really do! I loved the book. I think it’s the Lord Of The Rings meets Islamic Philosophy meets Asimov. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read. The only problems I had with it were to do with contrasting visions of the future.

The future is analogous to the present. Human beings evolved in Africa and then spread to different parts of the world with each separate branch developing their own unique culture, religion and way of life. Similarly in Dune, human beings evolved on earth and then spread to different parts of the universe. Each planet developed it’s own culture etc. However, though science has progressed in leaps and bounds (evident from the amount of respect Mathematicians receive), there are a lot of medieval or rather ancient ideals still floating about and I don’t get that. For example, how can people still believe in religion? You’d think science and space-travel would eliminate all religion as religion has it’s base in uncertainty and doubt and more importantly, the belief that WE are somehow so important that an omnipotent being is looking after us. Or the role of women. It’s a space-age society where science and superstition co-exist. Muad’Dib sees visions, but these visions incorporate Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and the concept of Chaos Theory. (the thoughts going through his mind before his fight with Jamis is Chaos Theory in a nutshell).

The Islamic nature of the books is unmistakable. I don’t know much about Islamic history, but I feel that the character of Paul Atreides (Muad’Dib, Usul) is reminiscent of the Prophet Mohammad. The presence of quite a few Arabic/Urdu phrases and sometimes straightforward Islamic references add to this conjecture. Paul is trying to prevent the future he foresaw where the Fremen lead a Jihad in his name. There are references to the Hijra, the Hajj and even though the name Muad’Dib is apparently the Fremen term for a desert mouse, according to wikipedia:

In Arabic, مؤدّب mu’addib means ‘educator.’

Also, Lady Jessica’s sietch name, Sayyadina is I think part of the Prophet Mohammad’s full name.

I thought that due to this, the possibility of a Dune movie in the current socio-political climate was next to impossible, only to realize that a movie was already made in 1984. (Hey!)

Now I’m trying to get my hands on the sequels. I guess that Dune and Herbert are the perfect antithesis to CS Lewis and Narnia. It’s odd, I’m a huge fan of Tolkein and yet despise his close buddy!

Anyway, I think I’ve babbled enough. I’m supposed to be working on my summer project(s). A failure analysis of three missions (Challenger, Columbia, GSLV F-02); some MATLAB shit (we have to learn it ourselves, Hell! I don’t even know what MATLAB is! Is it a software? A language? What the fuck!) and something to do with Eddies in a continuum. (No, seriously! You guys? Seriously!)

Enough talking! Writer’s bloc is not the inability to write at all. Rather, it’s the inability to write well. And by the looks of this post, I have a long way to go before I’m cured.

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cout<<“insert title here”<<;

I can’t think up of an appropriate name for this post. It consists of a lot things I want to say which are there for all to see and some stuff that’s all subtle and “meant for YOUR eyes only” etc. Go figure.

Happy Budday!

An unusual birthday. Unusual because, well, it was a big deal. People took my birthday seriously. Shock! The world is a better place.

Happy Budday!

An ugly beginning. College boys do weird things on their friends’ birthdays. I was pelted with eggs, butter, detergent, cake, chocolate, deodorant, ketchup, shampoo and probably more crap at the stroke of midnight.

Happy Budday!

A surprising beginning. Approximately 8 people called me at midnight to wish me. As usual, however, Harita was the first to do so. But very narrowly. As soon as I picked up her call, I saw another phone call. Thank you and Thanks, everyone.

Happy Budday!

My spoils of budday include:

  • A copy of ‘Brave New World‘ by Aldous Huxley. – Ashwin
  • A new wallet and a box of motichoor laddoos – Swati, Priya and Ankur
  • A T-shirt. – Viji
  • Cash – Harita, Mom and Dad
  • A game controller – Monisha

Happy Budday!

“College” decided to celebrate my birthday by having 3 vivas on the same day. Spent all morning finishing files and looking stupid in front of “professors”. Then I learn that I’ve been debarred in 5 out of 8 theory papers. Reason: No attendance compensation for winning anything anywhere, but you get almost 2 months worth of attendance for losing in the 2nd round of the Intra-My “University” Cricket Championship (they only played 2 matches, but needed 2 months of training).

Happy Budday!

There’s a page that gives the people’s perspective on the author. Here’s the author’s perspective on some people, in recognition of the unexpected outpouring of friendship I have received.

  • Swati Srinivasan a.k.a. The Pink Panther: I may call you the “human radio” amongst other things, but college without you feels oddly empty. You’re my witty sidekick who’s as practical as I am a dreamer and as optimistic as I am a cynic. (If you can call me your 2nd most ideal pet, after a rock, I can call you my sidekick. Clear?).
  • Priyadarshini Murthy: My first impression of anyone is almost always something that gets lost in the garbage dump of my temporal lobes. However, I do remeber the first thing I ever said about her. “Who? That quiet, intelligent one?”. Never fails to surprise, right from scoring unbelievable grades to going with Ankur and me on a week-long backpack and bus trip in Himachal Pradesh. A KFC buddy.
  • Ankur Prabhat Sati: He hates it when people introduce him thus: The guy with a 9.4 GPA! He may be somewhat of an Ayn Rand fan (but not one who believes in “spreading the good word”, thankfully) but his craze for South Park (inflicted upon him by yours’ truly) makes up for it. Priya’s biggest rival and… (dot dot dot) at the same time. A fellow KFC buddy.
  • Ashwin Murali: The Shakespearen fool. The goof. The comic relief character in my life. (What did you expect from me? praise? Hah! That happens a lot dunnit?) Yet another KFC buddy.
  • Dinesh Kapur: A spirit brother of sorts and someone who I think is the next Shashi Tharoor. Even if he wants to be the next this guy. Brimming with talent, his time in the sun is a question of when rather than if.

Happy Budday!

And thank you for the best birthday gift ever. (Yes, yes. I’ve started doing the whole “You” thing as well! There’s a actually a very good reason behind it. A highly logical explanation that makes all of these actions seem perfectly rational and quite intelligent. Unfortunately,  can’t remember what it was.)

Happy Budday!

Anyway, I am being stretched to the limit of my emotional endurance. On one hand, I have reasons to be so happy I ought to be breaking into spontaneous fits of dancing all the time, as opposed to only when I listen to Idioteque. And on the other hand, my “college” is assisting in fucking me over. (I say assisting because I am partly to blame as well. But only partly!)

Happy Budday!

An interesting time in my life, this is.

Happy Budday!

Note: I hate living in Noida. And I hate living in sector unnanchaas even more.

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