Category Archives: “Fluid Exchange”

Older and, hopefully, wiser

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

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

A mining analogy:

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

Now, I’m through.

If I whine again, shoot me.

It is time for action.

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

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

First, and most important:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The 22-year old kid…

Adolescence is a funny time in anyone’s life. It’s the metaphorical bridge between childhood and adulthood. Unfortunately, it’s a rickety old bridge above a deep gorge with a lot of missing bits of wood in between and a strong wind shaking it quite fiercely. Negotiating this bridge is not an easy task. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about puberty (usually experienced between the ages of 12-18) at the age of 22, you probably haven’t heard another one of my pseudo-psychological theories yet. (Actually, can you call something pseudo-psychological? Isn’t most of psychology a pseudoscience anyhow?)

Listen:

Most people start puberty at the ages of 11-14. In guys; their balls drop, their Adam’s apple starts to stick out, their voice becomes deeper, and they are kicked in their newly dropped balls by an unrelenting, all-consuming and frankly, maddening, sexual appetite. Porn replaces cartoons and girls take the place of sports heroes. Physically, it’s a tumultuous time. I was fortunate enough to suffer through this unpleasant process early and quickly. By the time I was 15; I was 6 feet tall and had a voice that boomed over the squeaks of my peers.

Unfortunately, this phase in human development has another, far more diabolical purpose. It is during this time that most people are expected to acquaint themselves with the intricacies of that most inexplicable phenomenon: Social Interaction. The rules of the game are never told to us. We are left fumbling about in the dark trying to figure them out ourselves and most people succeed – though success in this matter depends on your immediate social group, where you are, who you are and the culture you’re living in. People either become followers of mainstream culture or counter-culture or counter-mainstream counter-culture and so on. Some people became leaders in their peer group, while others became followers. But by the time you entered college; you knew the rules quite well.

By the time you were 18, you had made and lost friends many times over. You had made BFFs and Frenemies. You had “a gang,” so to speak. That gang is simply your social circle. The people you hung out with during recess and lunch and after school. Whom you met up with on Saturday mornings to indulge in whatever group activities you indulged in. On whose birthdays you bought gifts and went for parties. You had your first experiences with romantic infatuations. You had crushes. Asked girls/guys out or were asked out. Had fledgling school romances or, if you were in Bethany High, full-fledged sexual relationships with little emotional contact. (This was brought to my attention by people who would go, “You’re from Bethany? Awesome! I’ve heard the girls there are complete sluts!” and I would go, “Really? Wish I knew them!”). Basically, by 18, and definitely by 22; the rules of social interaction are known to you.

Well…

I was never a friendly kid. I was shy. Very shy. If it wasn’t for my height or unusual build or propensity to pick fights with teachers, I would’ve easily passed under most radars. Instead, I was treated with a mixture of infamy and indifference. People knew me. But no-one befriended me. And this isn’t a sad story of the lonely duckling and studly swan. This was my world and I liked it. I didn’t have a social group, but I had a few seniors from school who were my quizzing teammates with whom I’d play football in the evening and discuss politics and music and sport. But I was sort of a guest member. I never went to their homes or their birthday parties. And I didn’t feel bad about it. “You guys aren’t playing football today?” “Nah, we’re going to XYZ’s birthday party” “Right, tomorrow then.” They wouldn’t call me their friend, but they were probably the closest I ever had to friends.

Delhi was no different. 2 years in KV. Heckled, hazed and ridiculed; I didn’t make any friends in school here. I didn’t care. There were things happening at home that occupied most of my mind.

Then I came to college. I was surrounded by people whose emotional quotient far outstripped mine. And here, I finally made a friend or two. It took me time. People started calling me at home when they were bored and would talk to me for an hour or so! I ended up with my own personal team of clowns to entertain and annoy me at home (my roommates). I started talking to girls. Yes, before I was 18, I never spoke to girls. I thought it was evident.

This. These few years here, have been my puberty. I’m a child living in a world of adults. And I’m lost. I need a crash course. I need to learn the rules. Apparently I can’t go with the trial and error method you guys had the luxury of experimenting with when you were 13, because it doesn’t work with 22 year-olds. I don’t know who my friends are and who merely count as acquaintances. I don’t know anything about dealing with people. Or dealing with groups of people. I feel intimidated by them and so I plug in an mp3 player.

In conclusion, I would appreciate someone tutoring me to get my emotional age up to speed with my physical age. I’m told I’m a quick learner.

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Filed under "Fluid Exchange", *cough cough* comedy, Ideas, Life, Random, Rants, Why Life Sucks

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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Define the term “Funny” (barah number)

Try out Dinesh Kapur’s blog, ‘Epicenter’. He’s in good form right now.

And now, the post.

Why is one form of humor supposedly superior to another? I, for one, try to appreciate them all. Right from the subtle verbosity of Wodehouse, to the far-out puns of Douglas Adams and the clip I’m giving you.

Yes, ladies. Deep down inside, every Indian boy nodded his head in silent agreement when he saw this scene. We’re a one billion plus population, how do you think we got there?

Brilliant performance by Kal Penn.

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Eh, what?

No emails or orkut scraps for TWO whole days! 😮 !!!

Has everyone forgotten me, finally? YES! Woo-hoo!

Am currently fooling around on the internet whilst listening to this sample selection of  songs:

  • The Eraser ~ Thom Yorke
  • Still Waiting ~ Sum 41
  • Here Without You ~ 3 Doors Down
  • Thunderstruck ~ AC lightning bolt DC
  • Smooth Criminal ~  Alien Ant Farm
  • XL Ki Kudiyan ~ Bodhi Tree (:D If you haven’t heard this one yet… get your hands on this song ASAP!)
  • Smoke On The Water ~ Deep Purple
  • Sultans of Swing ~ Dire Straits
  • Roadhouse Blues ~ The Doors
  • Blue ~ Eiffel 65
  • Feel Good Inc. ~ The Gorillaz

Wanted to write about something I had discovered about the supposedly “gentler sex” and to be precise, the nature of their lust and sexual fantasies… maybe sometime later.

Trailer for soon-to-be-coming-post:

Why do guys like porn? Are girls a bunch of hypocrites? Do they REALLY want a guy who’s “intelligent, caring and has a great sense of humor” or is that a load of crap? Views on these sensitive topics and more! All thanks to having to share lunch tables with “specimens” from my college (no, not you Mahajan, Murthy, Srinivasan and Sati! The others…)

And to quote my friend Nikhil Menon,

“No, I’m not a cynic. You’re just too much of an optimist!”

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