Category Archives: Gods! What Have I Done!

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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Do You…

Do you…

1. Stick to your dreams and continue playing the waiting game. Build your measly, pathetic future with every little scrap you pick up on the way. Maybe you’ve grossly overestimated yourself, maybe you haven’t but you STILL won’t make it because you lacked the right opportunity or maybe you had the right opportunity, but you didn’t stick your foot through the door.

2. Do what you know you’ll succeed at. You’ll do everything right and make it without any hassles at all. You’ll be called a “successful person”. Money, power etc… et cetera. But it’s not what you want, is it?

Can an army of sycophants, a big house, a stylish car and everything else that comes along with “success” make up for the sinking feeling you’ll get every time you’ll look in the mirror and realize you compromised on your dreams?

I’ve been going through this philosophical conundrum for nearly five years now, and I think I’m at the verge of accepting defeat. Or maybe I have enough to keep fighting. Say what you want against me, but I know that I’ve been through too much to accept defeat. Fucking up supremely but facing the consequences with your chin up and the ability to gather every last ounce of energy in one’s body to slowly, but surely raise the middle finger to life and the world in general. That’s my redeeming feature. That’s right. Life and fate fuck around with me, but I won’t give up. Not just yet, bitches.

Then again, maybe I’ve had enough of fighting. Maybe I’m willing to give up and allow my life to be less complicated. Maybe it’s better to settle for a small victory rather than risk a major failure whilst shooting for the stars.

I have too many people around me who’re doing something with their lives and yet believe that their existence sucks. It depresses me. They do not know what it means to waste their lives. To watch a deluge of mediocrity go by as you wait for the right moment to make your move.

I made a decision, not to opt out of the rat race but rather to never join. Instead of leaving me out, this decision has left me in last place. I’m in last place in a race I CAN win, but I do not want to be in it. Should I join? I can still claw my way back up to a podium finish, at least if not victory itself. But I don’t want to. I hate this damn rat race. It’s called a rat race for a fucking reason, you fools!

It all boils down to an exam I’ll be giving next year. The question is, which one will it be? Give the one which, if I get what I want out of it, will make me the happiest living creature in the solar system but which carries a high chance of failure OR the one which I know I’ll ace, but won’t make me anywhere remotely as happy.

I’ve always maintained that anyone who’s rich and complains about his/her problems in life deserves nothing more than a good kick in the seat of their trousers… but can money really buy happiness? Can it? Should I try?

It helps in situations like this to have a mentor. A guide, if you will. Yet, I’m the guy who’s called Sensei. So where’s the Sensei’s sensei?

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Night Riders…

Play the addictive (k)night rider theme

Chaosverse. It’s not just the affinity of physics geeks to use abuse the word chaos. It’s bleeding accurate, it is! Like I said guv’nor! Sorry about that. Been in a late victorian vagabond mood for some time now.

It began innocently enough. A little journey into Delhi to save money on petrol (to the uninitiated, petrol is more expensive in Noida than Delhi). Ashwin decided he wanted to drive down the DND Express Flyover (a 18-km express road that looks like an Indy track more than a city street). The problem was, we were in Sarita Vihar. So, we decided to go to Ashram and catch the flyway (as it’s known) from there. We then decided to go to IIT. Then AIIMS. Back up Aurobindo Marg to Hauz Khas (Hey there!). AIIMS again. Prithviraj Road. Aurangzeb Road. Tughlaq Road. Rashtrapathi Bhavan. The Parliament House. India Gate. A round around India Gate. Pragati Maidan. Old Fort. Indraprastha. Akshardham. Mayur Vihar. Noida. Sec-49.

Back home at 2.30 A.M. the gate’s shut and Akhil’s fast asleep. We don’t dare wake the house up. The Radisson Hotel’s 24-hr coffee shop! Is closed because it’s a tuesday (Noida’s sector-18 market is closed on tuesdays.) So is the Mosaic, the only other 24-hr coffee shop in Noida. Back on the DND. Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and to Comesum, the ONLY 24-hr restuarant in Delhi and the most happening place for homosexuals and prostitution. Stayed there till 6 A.M. and I think a guy (wearing a pink shirt, mascara and a fake blush-inducing powder all over him) was checking me out. Must be into S’n’M.

Left Comesum and drove down the DND (again!) as I enjoyed watching the sun rise over the city of Delhi while we were freezing (Winter hath arriveth). Reached home at 6.30 and hid under blankets.

We drank approximately 4-5 litres of coffee and I didn’t get to ride the bike enough.

Note: Came 2nd in Panache 2007 at DCE. We were in the lead until a buzzer+crossword round on IT and Corporate qs resulted in Double D taking an unassialable lead.  

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Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

Shahrukh Khan… Amitabh Bachchan… Abhishek Bachchan… Rani Mukherji… Priety Zinta… Karan Johar…

MUST

DIE!!!!!!!!!

And mercy to the souls of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, Phil Selway, Jack White and Meg White. Saved me in the nick of time.

Vengeance is NOT a good emotion. It just isn’t. And especially when you avenge a joke (alright, a series of jokes) made at the expense of your intellect by making a non-idiotic-beyond-all-possible-human-precedent-help person watch Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Such things aren’t done. Hitting below the belt? That’s having the whole fucking audience fight for you!!! [Basically I was made to watch it by a series of flukes or cunning devilry by my roommate, Pinky. Retribution, he called it.]

Talked to Pinky about something I last talked to him about when inebriated. He quoted a million clichéd ideas, but they helped in whatever little way to get my twisted mind to further twist around the “problem”(?) such that I could formulate a proper statistic about it.

And the results are…

A and B are mutually exclusive events

P(A) = 70% = 0.7

Therefore, P(B) = 30% = 0.3

If A is true and I choose to fight [P(F) = 0.4]…

Chance of My Victory = 20%

Chance of My Losing = 40%

Chance of Draw/NR = 40%

If A is true and I Don’t Fight [P(NF) = 0.6]

Chance of other person’s victory = 80%

Chance of NR = 20%

If B is true, I don’t have to fight

Chance of Victory = 30%

Chance of Draw/NR = 70%

Thus, my total chance of winning = 0.7*0.4*0.2 + 0.3*0.3 = 0.056+0.09 =0.146 = 14.6%

In others news, I utilized the Rs.1000 voucher I won nearly a month ago at Miranda House by buying the cheapest Manchester United item available, a T-shirt which was for Rs.1100.

 

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Events In Generalia

I am a fundamentally lazy person. I’m not made for spending hours and hours studying like a mindless drone. I need sleep. I cannot do 48-hour workdays. Hell, I doubt if I can even do an 8-hour workday! That’s why I’m so tired. In the last 3 days, I have slept for a cumulative 7 hours. That’s how much I should sleep in ONE friggin’ day!

Met Fudda yesterday. He seems to be having fun at Manipal. ‘Twas a little incident at Saket regarding vodka, chicken, the bill and a lack of required funds, but ‘twas resolved with the help of an old English saying regarding Friends in need and indeed with some IIT-Delhi thrown in.

And a bit of advice to myself, from myself. The next time you decide to visit someone… LOOK AT A BLOODY MIRROR FIRST!!! I had been taking an afternoon nap before which I was traveling in heavily over-crowded buses with gutka-chewing UP bhaiyas before which I was roaming the length and breadth of my “college”. I woke up after a half-hour rest, saw the time, uttered an abusive exclamation and left. Didn’t even wash my face.

I would like to apologize for my highly regrettable appearance yesterday. In my defense, I shall state that I was genuinely ignorant of what a pathetic piece of <insert insult here> I looked like. Any harm or damage caused was purely coincidental and completely unintentional.

It does explain the strange looks from pedestrians and perhaps a bit of conversational subject matter, though. Wait a second… quite a bit of conversational…

D’OH!

From when have I started caring about my appearance, though? Hmm…

The Batra Being and I had to go through a lot just for him to be able to listen to ‘In Rainbows’. That’s right, DK. That’s why I called you, we wanted your computer and nothing else. And the empowered and informed member of society went on a bibliographic shopping spree. I suggested ‘Alice In Wonderland’ since the poor soul has taken John Cleese’s 3 Laws of Comedy way too seriously.

A very bad post. I know.

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A Series of %@*)!)^((^ Events…

In what was one of the most eventful weekends of the pitiful waste of energy and increase of entropy that I like to call my life, there were quite a few completely mundane (to any “normal” person, whatever they are) and highly interesting (to me, can you loosen the straitjacket a little, please?) events. This has resulted in a conundrum of sorts, for that body of white and gray matter located within my cranium (what is called, again?) is unsure whether I must waste precious broadband space in many posts on each topic or one all-encompassing post on everything.

Thursday:

Decided to not attend college, out of a whim. My attendance in all subjects (except Thermodynamics feat. Bano-ki-Moon) is well above the regulatory minimum of 75%, so no risks involved.

Professor CNR Rao was in town, giving a lecture on science education in the current scenario. What was enjoyable was the fact that I could sit a few feet away from the Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India and amongst some pretty distinguished people in the fields of science and journalism without any hassles, with a question thrown in as well. This line ought to compare with some things that will occur later. Prof. Rao spoke of how science in India is being neglected to a shameful extent with everyone chasing “that stupid degree”. He elucidated (with proper statistics, mind you) how India’s scientific output has reduced considerably in the last half-century and how we countries that had only one-hundredth the number of science graduates as we did in 1947 now produce nearly five times as many research papers in almost all disciplines of science. For example, he stated that our global contribution in his field, material chemistry, has reduced from 12% to 3.8% in the span of forty years. He was also critical of how IIT’s, the IISc and TIFR have not come close to their original purpose of providing quality science education, but have merely turned into slave-labor camps for MNCs. My, “why does our education system have a vendetta against original thinking?” received an appreciative look and it was nice to see that despite the whole, “Don’t become a cynic, earn loads of money and you’ll be happy, don’t think for yourself” lectures I have to face elsewhere, one of India’s most respected scientists is a cynic, is happy and active at the age of 75 and advocates original thinking. (Even those who think that they think… check. It is really easy to kid yourself. You cannot just think… you have to Dare to Think)

 
The lecture was followed by my first visit to the place I was to waste my time over the next three days: Rendezvous ’07 @ IIT-Delhi.

There were quite a few firsts this weekend. This one was my first ever Group Dance Competition. Don’t ask what I was doing there or why I was there… let it suffice that I had no choice (no offence meant). It was… interesting? Screw it; I can’t describe stuff like that. Not my thing.

Walking exercise: IIT-Delhi to Dilli Haat (i.e. AIIMS Flyover) and back. Returned and thought that Akhil was asleep and my entry is now barred, so spent the night at Ashwin’s (a.k.a. BITCH) friend, Arjun’s place.

Friday:

Happy Disaster Day, everyone!

The Clash of the Titans! (Debate). Something must be done about this, pronto! I know! A letter that’ll never reach!

Dear Sir,

This is in regards to the Clash of the Titans, round 1 elimination process.

If you want to eliminate people based on a first round extempore… kindly refrain from distributing such unevenly skewed topics. Next time around, there will be damage and pain (in and out of the glaivin, sir… In AND out…)

Sincerely,

THF

It’s not a loser’s rant. It’s a sore loser’s rant… But imagine being asked to speak for four minutes on “Pedophiles should be electronically tagged” with a couple of minute’s preparation (I refuse to believe that I got four minutes! I didn’t, goddamit!) Therefore, in I went, with just one point… “Pedophiles should be electronically tagged”… Err… yes, they should? Complete and utter Dresden of my debating hopes. Plus only two to qualify from my pool. Didn’t stand an elk’s chance in a superno… fuck you!

Thanks to the above scatological experiment, I missed Sphinx, the quiz. The qualifiers were easy, the finals were pretty alright. B dot Hasin answered a killer question on Indian comics that earned him a standing ovation. Nothing much more.

Again, for ineffable reasons, I cannot say what or why… but I was at the Fashion Show! Again, a first! There are fewer sheer displays of the kind of shallow, mind-numbing animalistic weirdness. The theme was psychedelic… and the music was Limp Bizkit, RATM and “Shiny Disco Balls”. Need I say more?

Note: Try keeping ‘A Punchup at a Wedding’ ~ Radiohead as a song whilst walking down the ramp.

Saturday:

Zoom-In (another quiz): In a repeat of the Spectrum (DCE) debacle, we topped the prelims (glorification alert: I cracked a good one about Herge drawing himself into frames of Tintin comics). The first half went well, in the lead and a super-connect of Monty Python which B dot didn’t allow me answer earlier. Then… shock, paralysis and we stay stuck at 10 points whilst 4 others move to 17, 15, 12 and 11. 1st to 5th in the span of 4 rounds? WHAT. THE. FUCK.

After this, I was in no mood to JAM and could not afford to depress myself further by messing up my 100% record in JAMs.

Went to visit and return a rock show pass to a random person as I was in no mood to do anything. Returned to Noida, read some Calvin and Hobbes and stared at the V for Vendetta folder… why don’t I have the software to read it!!!!

Sunday:

Temporarily recovered from my depression in time for one of the most eventful and pocket-blasting days in history!

Started with Kombat, the open quiz. Arul Mani, the KQA’s favorite son and my school friend and senior, Ajay Aravind’s role model was the quizmaster. The who’s who of Delhi quizzing had assembled themselves. The quiz of a standard I had never seen before in Delhi. We were tied with the IIT-D team on 13 in the qualifier… guess how much the qualifying cut-off was? In hindsight, one can say that we have to replace our stock random answer of “Canada” with “Che Guevara”. The finals were good too. And the lesson for today, kids… never mess with my wild-ass guesses! Talked to dk regarding something I had never talked to anyone previously. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I guess that despite being wildly different people in every imaginable aspect (geography, appearance, popularity levels etc.); I can somehow connect with the same feeling of underachieving guilt and sheer frustration.

Returned to Noida. Went to rpm to watch Man U v Chelsea. The Bitch was overjoyed when he received permission to drink Breezers, at least. Akhil and I stuck to the same for financial reasons. And yes… WE WON! With or without Jose, Chelsea bashing comes next after Arsenal-bashing. The first goal was well done, but didn’t like the taste of their own medicine second goal. Went from there to Bikanervala at sec.37 for dinner.

On the way back, Ashwin and I got one of the strangest ideas imaginable. We decided to drive down to Pari Chowk in Greater Noida, 26 kms away. Tried the Dadri route first. Actually entered Greater Noida before the cops sent us back due to some blockade. I have never seen Greater Noida and wasn’t going to let an opportunity pass me by. We decided to take the expressway instead! So there we were… half-past-midnight, I’m without a helmet on Ashwin’s TVS Apache with a half-tank of petrol on the 23-km long Greater Noida Expressway. Towards the end of the journey, there were fears of an empty tank. Just as we were contemplating calling someone I know who stays at Greater Noida to spend the night there… a Bharat Petroleum station shows up! Ashwin’s refuels and we make it to Pari Chowk! Didn’t spend too much time there, Ashwin (like most other people, actually) was too scared of the cops. Somehow, I’m not. Came back to sec.49 at one-thirty A.M. Akhil was pissed off, but you can’t blame us, it was spontaneous and he would’ve vetoed it had he been there!

Those were the events that transpired this weekend in a highly summarized format.

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Line # 42/2 of Fitter Happier

I guess it is vital to do contradictory things.

I have to be subtle and get the point across loud and clear.

I have to be truthful and not say too much.

Most importantly, I must NOT confuse, confound, puzzle, boggle, blabber, beat around the bush, irritate and repeat myself.

To be as succinct as possible, I’m feeling kinda low.

The reasons:

  1. I’m in a level of emotional uncertainty that is unparalleled in my entire existence.
  2. I’m insecure and know exactly why I’m insecure (but the why is something for me to know and you to not give a damn about). I am, however, confused about why should the nameless fear make me feel insecure.
  3. As stated before, I’m a novice whilst most people got past this years ago. On the other hand, I got past issues most people will have years into the future, right now.
  4. I guess I’m acting like an Asshole.

The solution to this was found by my roommate, Akhil.

Two bottles later and I was singing songs from ‘The Bends’ out loud. Especially ‘Black Star’. Subtle, right? (Special mention: Ashwin Murali, nice bartending. Liked what you did with the apple+vodka combos)

I suddenly decided that a Indian (Native-American) Stomp Dance ought to be appropriate for the moment. With the poster of RPF as our veneered god, I began hopping in circles.

Then, the talking began. This phase mostly involved the usage of words and phrases like, ”Fuck! Man! Fuck!”, “I’m screwed!”, “you’re screwed!”, “I’m not drunk!”, “No! I’m not drunk!!”, “*evil laugh* I’m so fucking drunk!!!” etc.

It ended with a bucket of water on my face and some “Screw you! What do you know?”.

It is said that when drunk, people react in two ways:

  1. Quiet. In a corner, saying nothing.
  2. Loud. Gibberish flows.

And in the emotional category, there comes:

  1. Happy and grinning/laughing to themselves.
  2. Sad. Discontent, depressed and infuriated.

My state was quite obvious, but just to get the point across clearly… I put Marvin to shame.

And that’s that.

Before the customary derogatory comments come in, I’m stopping. For good.

I just wanted to get drunk once to see what it feels like. It merely opens you up. You say stuff you’d rather not say, and contrary to my hopes, it did nothing to any creative talents. My mind did not open up like a flower and words came, but they were terrible. So, there you go. No drinking.

Until the next time?

P.S: The article claims that the best concentration is 38%. I was swigging 45% neat.

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