Category Archives: This is not a joke!

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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Canon (and I’m not talking about cameras)

You know you love someone when not only their happiness gives you joy (cliched as it may sound, I believe it’s a litmus test to judge the emotion), but also when their pain hurts you. Of course, when you are the cause of the pain, it hurts MUCH, MUCH more. The expression “it breaks my heart” is not just a figure of speech, it actually hurts in the region around one’s chest. If you think about it, it makes sense. Your brain goes into overdrive, all kinds of chemicals are released and this calls for a sudden increase in blood flow which causes one’s heart to beat ever so fast with the result that it feels as if the internal structure of your anatomy is tearing. Well, the pain aspect is more of a neuro/psychological reaction as the heart beats very quickly during moments of happiness too; but then it feels more euphoric than painful.

The point here is canon. Thanks to a debate at KNC which is forever etched in my memory as the most profitable few hours of my life, I know it’s meaning quite thoroughly. However, the fashionable thing to do in a situation like this is give a dictionary definition andin homage to pseudo-intelligentsia chic, I shall do the same. (there were 14 definitions of the word divided by the context in which it is being used,  so I picked the ones that pertain to my point here)

can⋅on

–noun

the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art.
a fundamental principle or general rule.
a standard; criterion.

The universal, fundamental principle I am talking about here is the desire to not hurt someone whose happiness is essentially the only bright spot in a dark and dreary world. And especially to not hurt them by doing something you misguidedly thought would make an interesting experiment. To quote the almighty,

“If I ever meet myself,” said Zaphod, “I’ll hit myself so hard I won’t know what’s hit me.”

The fundamental, guiding principle that it is your duty to be the cause of someone’s happiness just as they are the cause of yours’. People who defied the canon were heretics. And as we all know, heretics were burnt in village squares as sort of a matinee entertainment show, this was , of course, before the arrival of CGI.

So gather ye wood, villagers!

And to conclude… I’m taking a page out of the canon of the Fox News Network. Their fundamental principle is misquote and misrepresent. Their approach follows the tactic: Display images and videos that are grossly out of context to justify your point.

So, the first half of an otherwise hilarious (and, needless to say, depressing) Perry Bible Fellowship comic. Dedicated to: but of course…

Though in the original comic, the chap gets depressed by looking at the decisions made by the others... I'm not. SO THERE! BOO TO YOU PBF!

Though in the original comic, the chap gets depressed by looking at the decisions made by the others... I'm not. SO THERE! BALLS TO YOU PBF!

can⋅on

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–noun

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Is it the 3rd of November?

The title may confuse you. By you, I mean the person reading this. Except unless it is me, who is the most likely person to be the one reading this at any given point of time. Thus, it is more likely that the person reading this will not be confused by the title. Yet, I endeavor to throw a little lifeline to anyone drowning in the deluge of meaningless verbosity of the above paragraph and vagueness of the title.

The title may confuse you, but I assure you it is not random. It is a reference to a book written in 1877 by a man who was born on either October 30 or November 11, 1821. 

’tis a strange world we live in. If I could summarize all my thoughts into a single word, it would be quite an achievement or would indicate the lack of depth or complexity in my thinking. But surprisingly; as I sit here, typing, listening to the Badinerie from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.2 in B-Minor for flute and strings (BWV 1067) – an ideal background theme for a madman, if you ask me – pardon my digression… But surprisingly I CAN compress the clamoring mass of thoughts in my head into a single word. And the word is: Malice. Indeed, all my thoughts are currently malicious in their nature.

Why? Why not. 

I am quite exasperated. Of fighting. Of battling. Of combating. Of fending off. If only I were nice person by nature, I could look at all the gifts nature has given me. But I am not a nice person. I am a vagrant (my father calls me that), a peripatetic thinker (which I shall prove as this rambled post continues), a loser (as many people are oft to refer to me as), a vindictive, pessimistic nitpicker of thoughts. But devoid of any actual mental facilities and more importantly devoid of any inclination to convert reserves of potential energy into work that will effectively put an end to the incessant questioning. And there is a lot of questioning going around, oh yes! I do not throw words like incessant about to exhibit my limited vocabulary. Whose limitations seem to be on an upward spiral. I have said the word “Cool” more times in the year 2008 than I did in the 15 years before that.

I can now hear the William Tell Overture by Rossini. How pleasant!

I am quite thoroughly annoyed. Of people. Individuals. Human beings. The whole lot of them can bugger off and boil their heads in hot oil, if they wish to please me, which of course they don’t. I am annoyed of my roommates. Of the people in my college. How every second I spend with them seems an opportunity lost. Of how intellectually hollow their company seems. I haven’t learned a thing in the time I have known them. I stand there, listening… words flow from their mouths like sewage into a gutter. Meaningless talk devoid of any shred of original thinking. All their “thoughts” have been subconsciously instilled. On occasion I want to start pointing out the sources of each and every statement they make. But if I interrupted them with “parents”, “movies”, “media”, “unfounded claim”, “peer circle”, “public perception”, “remnants of a phase of juvenile delinquency” and “neurons rotting” all the while; I would leave them with no recourse but to retaliate. And I do not take kindly to criticism. It is a flaw, I admit. I am quite arrogant. Extremely full of myself. I enjoy the philosophy of you-leave-me-alone and vice versa. It allows me to live in a little bubble of self-delusion and an exaggerated sense of my own importance. 

But the retaliations do disappoint. The usual attacks made against me concern my physical appearance, my atrocious academic record, my weak mind, my emotional instability, my judgmental attitude and lack of an open mind and a supposed tendency I possess whereby I degrade myself as part of a subtle ploy to garner sympathy. Everywhere I turn I see my attack on any issue, be it subjective or objective, being countered with an ad homenim derision. I am, strangely enough, not very good at attacking people. If anyone notices, I attack issues with greater ease. I call institutions, beliefs, actions and statements a multitude of names. When it comes to an individual, I find it hard to criticize. I cannot just start using what Nimish calls “my cutting wit” on anyone just sitting in one place doing nothing. It is from their actions that I draw inferences and those inferences are where I begin my attack. 

I believe it was Richard Dawkins who first succinctly explained my world view. He said, and this is one of my favorite quotes from now on: “By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.

Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Opus 23 Allegro ~ Tchaikovsky

(to be continued…)

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Not quite “Kareena”

Tatoo! I have a tatoo! No, wait! I have a tattoo! Well, sort of.

I remembered always wanting to get one made, but postponing it. In 5th standard, it was “When I’m in 10th. Definitely!” In 10th, it became “When I’m in 12th. Definitely!” In 12th, “When I’m in college. Definitely!” Well, I believe that the time has come! I was always hesitant because… well, I didn’t want to have one and then regret it later. Plus, hygiene and safety are not exactly #1 on the list of priorities at most Indian tattoo parlors. (Their #1 priority is convincing hot babes to get a tattoo done in their nether regions so that these guys can get some puerile pleasure). But the roommates hath saved me arse!

Ashwin’s getting sponsorships for the AIBS Fest. One of these sponsors includes a tattoo parlor in Nyodda. As a “contact” for this parlor, he gets free tattoos, which means I get a free tattoo! Maybe not a permanent one just yet, but at least a temporary one. “Cogito Ergo Sum” on my left forearm ought to do. I had to choose between that and “Sitio“. Everyone thought I’ll go for a “42”, but there’s a difference between being a fan and an asshole. I might excel at the latter, but I guess I better stick to the former. For the time being, at least.

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