Category Archives: Et Cetera Et Cetera

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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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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A Collection of Modern-Day Pictograms…

Advice: Expectations are the worst thing you can ever inflict on yourself. Especially expecting yourself to do things that aren’t needed.

Note: Goddam it! I’m writing this and all of a sudden, my mp3 player starts playing Behind Blue Eyes.  Second level-10 freaky coincidence (sign?!) to happen in less than 24 hours.

Right-o, advice: Being a loner, and one of those “Fuck you and what you think” type loners to boot, I’ve never mastered the art of impressing people. So when I try… I end up coming across as “angry, irritated” or what is more likely, “creepy and exceptionally stupid”. So, kids… Don’t expect to do great things. Do what you have to, what comes naturally and most importantly… relax.

I’m really irritated and angry, though. At myself. Maybe I ought to… I don’t know what to do. The system. Laziness. Incompetence. Ability. Thoughts. Emotions. Love. Hatred. Freedom. The illusion. Stupid. Intelligent. Woman. Man. Dream. Reality. Dream. Dream. Dream. Day dream. Consciousness. Lack of. Evolving as a person. Untrue to your word. Hypocrisy. Diplomacy. Grammar. Spelling. Research and Planning. Lack thereof. Excess. Deficient. Over-hyped. Under-rated. GO AWAY! (Please don’t leave me! )

A horrible new day will dawn. Everything will cease. I will finally be…

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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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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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More Philsophical Muttering…

First and foremost…

A big THANK YOU to the person who inadvertently(?) led me down this path. Keep saying “Random Blah”.

Now that the end-sems are over… I may enjoy a week/month of fake pride before I see my result and wallow in self-pity. A seven-point something? An imaginative ion in a pathetic little college in Hauz Khas (you know, the one behind JNU and opposite MIS?) confused my end-sem exam syllabus with his class test syllabus. That, of course, was NMST, an easy subject. I guess our Fluid Mechanics and Solid Mechanics syllabus was up to some standard. AND we have full-fledged Aerospace Engineering next sem, not the “Elements of AE” we just finished. Aerodynamics, Propulsion Systems, Structural Analysis, Metrology and MATLAB (or is that next year?). But where was I? Ah, yes. NMST. As I said, an easy subject. However, it annoys the hell out of me. I can’t study the damn thing, because I end up getting pissed off.

Why?

Simple. Some of the formulae we have to learn are  NOT BEAUTIFUL! This lead me to In Rainbows and 15 Step.

How Come I End Up Where I Always Started… How Come I End Up Where I Went Wrong?

How come indeed.

I was an insomniac ever since… birth?. I miss sitting alone in bed and just… thinking.

I used to think that questions about the “meaning of life” and the “quest for the purpose behind reason” et cetera were just pseudo-intellectual pieces of crap. The true questions which I elevated to Valhallic (neologism inventor, am I) proportions were stuff that looked like they came from a Stephen Hawking book (one of two of them actually did!). “Why are Relativistic Gravity and Quantum Mechanics Incompatible?”, “What was the origin of the universe?”, “What is the true nature of space, time and chaos?” et cetera. That kinda changed after some time. That’s because I realized that these were castles built on infirm foundations.

Et Cetera, et cetera. Facts for whatever.

But the word Random“… that got me thinking. Science is built on firm, logical reasoning. Randomness or Chaos (Random and Chaos are after all, the same person in different forms. Chaos results from Randomness and there is no such thing as a Random Cosmos) are not ideas that remain restricted to the realm of logical reasoning, but overlap into abstract thought.

Abstract thought is something that no-one has ever understood properly. However, it’s potential has never been tapped to its full limit. What we need is to somehow incorporate the essence of abstract thought and random-chaos into logical reasoning.

I have ideas, but nothing more…

Info-scions will shout “Thief!”. Hail to me, then… MUTHAFUCKA!

And as everybody’s favorite band from Oxforshire said…

Don’t get any big ideas. They’re not gonna happen

to be continued…

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Worst Exam Prep. EVER.

The layout of my (alright! OUR) room includes two balconies. A large one in front of it, where the three of us sit, our aching arses freezing in the winter cold, at midnight and indulge in long and pointedly inane conversations. There is also a smaller balcony, where you will find a collection of Bacardi and Smirnoff bottles. Empty bottles, that is. In my cupboard, there is a diet coke bottle that has a seemingly harmless, lightish brown colored liquid in it. In reality, we are ourselves unsure of what is in it (rum+vodka+???…) and are too scared to drink it. We are also saving it for exam results day.

Analog Electronics. A joke. Wish I could’ve scored more. If ever there was a paper with 90% written all over it, where getting an A+ was merely a matter of putting pen to paper, this was it. Damn. Elements of Aerospace Engineering tomorrow. Easy enough. Three days off after that. Then four exams in a row. All tough ones. Mechanics of Solids, Applied Mathematics, Mechanics of Fluids, Applied Physics. All right, three tough ones. OK?

I’m giving Radiohead and Led Zeppelin a bit of a rest right now. Still haven’t got the guts to go back to Coldplay (there are excellent reasons for this). Listening to ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and still listening to ‘The White Stripes’. Especially their earlier works (De Stilj, White Blood Cells etc.)

Also I still haven’t found the movie I’m looking for. It’s bloody rare and yet…

More madness with roommates:

  • “Say what again! I Dare You! I Double Dare You Motherfucker!”
  • A twist competition to the song “Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry. Don’t ask who wins. We’re watching too much of this movie.
  • Lying in our respective beds, it’s 3 A.M. and there’s not a sound in the room. Eventually, one of us is going to moan in a suggestive manner. The others copy suit. It’s our tribute to Catch-22.
  • I get up from my chair and wear my jacket. Roommate#1: “So, you going to H*** ***s?” Me: “It’s cold. I want to wear my jacket.” Roommate#2: “So, you’re going to H*** ***s?” Me:NO”  Am I THAT predictable?

We have exams. What am I doing? Arrgghhhh! Study, goddam it! TIMMAH!

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