Thursday, March 22, 2007

Home... At Last!

Hello! As the title says, I am finally back at home; literally and figuratively. I am in India, more specifically, UP and to nail it right down to the board, Meerut. Permanently. And, of course, I am back on the blog. (yay! 3 cheers!)

It has been more than two years to the date since my last post. It was a very conscious decision to let go of blogging for a while. I was pigeon-holing myself into a loop; observe->analyse->observe. I wasn't really doing anything! I was tired of being the intentional perfect observer. I ended up having more to say, and less to do, if you know what I mean. I don't know why this mutual exclusivity had to hang on with me either. I could either observe and analyse, or I could go out and live life without analysing. I guess its all a part of that great search in our lives and times, of a fine balance.

So, what have I been doing in these past two years? A LOT. When I say a LOT I really mean quite a bit. And when I say quite a bit I, of course, mean more than just quite a bit. (hehe I am still quite garrulously irritating). It really has been quite a journey. Someone might ask, where did I go, or what did I learn, what did I do, etc? And I can quite happily summarize my experiences in one word. Nothing/Nowhere. (that looks like 2 words; but not quite, technically) It is with utter glee I say that I have absolutely nothing to show for these two years of my life. Not a single thought, not a single quote, not a single penny, no advice, nothing substantial, nothing intangible, or tangible for that matter. Zilch. Zip, nada, zero! (I've wanted to use that since forever) But I had a lot of fun. It was an adventure. Kinda like one of those inane american roadtrip movies which have no point to prove but are insanely fun to watch; once. I lived the american dream, travelled all over the place, met a lot of people (some of them quite exotic), and generally just whiled away such time from my life which could have been spent in more worthy pursuits.

But it hasn't been entirely inconsequential. I have allowed life to mould me in the meanwhile. The life that I was living has induced changes in me. These changes didn't come about in any earth-shattering moment either. They crept up on me without an inkling, foreboding, or sign of visible change. But for better or for worse, I am now not what I used to be. I don't want to be the author of a novel anymore. I am more like one of those quirky characters inside of a novel.

That sums up the look over my shoulder part. For the future, who knows! And who cares! I am headed off to Bombay to work with an excellent bunch of people at Inzane Labs. It is a great place to put some crazy ideas about work and technology into practise. And Bombay definitely has its own character. It is going to be a very interesting ride.

Will keep everyone updated! Adios! Cheers! And love to all who had given up hope that this blog will ever up updated.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

have you stopped beating your wife yet?

no this post is not about domestic violence. its not a discussion on the institution of marriage either. and it is certainly not a poll on all the wife beaters out there (you know who you are). rather, this post is about a logical inadequacy in the english language in answering this question. i know, saying "i dont have a wife" is sufficient for the problem. but it is not elegant; for all those people pressed for time, and not interested in following up their answer with a detailed discussion on all the aforementioned topics. the problem can be summarized with a short draft, borrowed from

"Assuming that you have no wife or you have never beaten your wife, the answer “yes” is wrong because it implies that you used to beat your wife and then stopped, but “no” is worse because it suggests that you have one and are still beating her."

i hope you can now begin to appreciate the earnestness and enormity of this problem. how does a single, never married, guy answer it without bringing on the wrath of the femme libertine. but fear not! our anime country cousins are here to the rescue; armed with samurai swords, free hentai, and short word aphorisms for large worldly problems you dont know of and dont care about. the answer is ... *fanfare* (and no its not 42) "mu". here is what has to say about mu:

"According to various Discordians and Douglas Hofstadter the correct answer is usually “mu”, a Japanese word alleged to mean “Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions”. Hackers tend to be sensitive to logical inadequacies in language, and many have adopted this suggestion with enthusiasm. The word ‘mu’ is actually from Chinese, meaning ‘nothing’; it is used in mainstream Japanese in that sense. In Chinese it can also mean “have not” (as in “I have not done it”), or “lack of”, which may or may not be a definite, complete 'nothing'). Native speakers of Japanese do not recognize the Discordian question-denying use, which almost certainly derives from overgeneralization of the answer in the following well-known Rinzai Zen koan: A monk asked Joshu, “Does a dog have the Buddha nature?” Joshu retorted, “Mu!” "

for those with a curious bent of mind, here is an interesting article on Discordianism on Wikipedia, that source of all divine knowledge. going through it will jam your normal cognitive processes enough to be able to give your roomate a chance to call in the Men with Straightjackets. i especially liked the part where they say "atheists are people without any invisible means of support". hmmm...! to get you further interested in clicking on that link, here is one more quote by one of the founding fathers of Discordianism: "If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe. — Kerry Thornley (aka Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst) in the introduction to the 5th edition of Principia Discordia"

you still here? or have i lost you completely? ok, for the all the practical people out there. this is the perfect answer to so many questions in life. imagine your father walking up to you and asking, "what have you planned for your future?" or your sweetheart of long asking, "where is this relationship headed?". now you know the answer dont you.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

animated relief

it reminds me of those old DD style animations. "ek chidiya... anek chidiya..." anyone? its very well made. do check it out. all credit goes to Neera Kathuria, NID.

Friday, January 27, 2006


its been a long time since i wrote. there have been many thoughts that have passed through my head, worthy of a post. too many perhaps. in fact it almost seems like i am at the head of a rollercoaster ride without brakes. a jumbled mass of confusion lies inside my head. exactly like uncooked maggi looks, lying on a plate. too tightly packed to get a fork in between the strands and get a grip on them. it isnt ready for consumption. but right now i am experiencing a moment of serenity. not clarity. just calmness.

i just got up from seeing Lamhe. of course i dont need to elaborate on what a good film it is. almost everyone knows that so i will skip over the formalities of introducing it. just before that i saw the first 8 episodes of Malgudi Days. yes! i have recently come in posession of a double DVD collection of the first 13 episodes of that amazing teleserial. it has been a childhood obsession which lasted right through teenage and into adulthood. i am not going to delve into a monologue on the serial either. i must say though, it was the combination of the two which has granted me this moment of quiet thought.

after i had done watching the serial, i called up my mom to tell her about it. it reminded me of my childhood; that far far away place which i can dimly recollect from time to time. watching the serial brought it all back with a rush of blood to the head. i must have been around 8-9 years old at that time. mom would stuff me full of ghiya and tori (torayi) rolled up in parathas while i sat in front of the TV avidly watching the antics of this queer village folk unroll on celluloid.

and then i watched Lamhe. the story of unusual love. the first scene starts off with a car racing down a lone road amidst all those dunes of sand. rait. kaise rait ke ek ek katre ko ikathha kar ke zindagi tarashi hai maine. simet ke, jod ke, ek adna sa pahaad khada kiya hai un lamhon ka. a difficult childhood, 14 saket, the early days of school and college, adolescent anxiety and insecurity, the first crush, school trips to nepal and shimla, my first basketball tournament, the first pangs of unrequited love, experiments with music and photography, coming here to the US, failure and success, and so much more. its undescribable really. right now when i close my eyes i can almost feel like all of this happened yesterday. some scenes are so vividly etched in my memory. i can even feel the surge of long forgotten emotions that were associated with each of these memories. but yet, detached and impersonal. i want to write about each and every one of those memories. har ek lamha jaise ek naadaan baccha hai. mera haath pakde mujhe fir se zindagi ke us hi mod, us hi chaurahe pe le jaana chahta hai. thahre huye paani jaisa ahsas hai. sthir aur saaf.

so far and so long into my life. time isnt being counted by the days and months and years. but by memories. rait ka har ek tinnka jaise khud mein ek alag zindagi lapete huye bikhar gaya ho registaan mein. each and every memory seems so long drawn. like watching a film in slow motion. frame by frame i can watch it all go past me, and be amazed, and wonder all over again about how queer my life and its protagonist has been.

to what purpose? dont ask me for i dont have an answer to that. it has been a completely pointless, and pointlessly satisfying, trip down memory lane. i would like to finish this post with the ending lines of the film Lamhe, mouthed by anupam kher (though they belong to another film altogether).

"(magar yun hi) kabhi kabhi mere dil mein, khayal aata hai..."

Thursday, December 01, 2005


wtf! how did these latent lumps of lard latch onto the great mystery? loud noise was a prerogative of the youth last i checked. this flagrant disregard for, and blatant encroachment of, our territory will not be suffered. there ought to be a law against people like them. may they suffer ear infection for 9 years. may puss and fungus infect their auditory accessories! reverse psychology ought to be banned!

who gave them the right to take away from us the right to wasteful endeavours of doubtful veracity. darnations in carnations! they have taken away the only weapon we had against the onset of adult tyranny. the means to thwart the best laid plans, with deviously scheming minds, of incorrigible individuals (aka mum and dad). how will we find expression now, in this blasé existence surrounded by blatant banality, eternal ennui and asinine angst. life and freedom as we know it wont be the same again.

pheww! i am so glad i aint young anymore. there is hope for those of us who insist on not acting our respective ages. hehe this post seems totally out of character. i decided to take up the rant for the tender blossoms out there unaware of this fiendish plan against all juvenile delinquents. may your tribe increase.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Minutes of the Meeting

i had an important meeting today. i have been shifted internally to another project. "optimal re-allocation of in-house resources". fuck MBA in general and project managers (jargon toting man-eaters) in specific! saala aadmi se commodity bana diya!

this was an important meeting as i was to be introduced to the rest of the team members and assigned work for the rest of the week. the meeting lasted all of 1 hour. presented here are the minutes of the meeting in 15 min chunks.

1. i wrote down my name. i was supposed to tell it to everyone later on. then i heard someone mention MQ processing inside of a very long and completely meaningless sentence. so that went down too. and the rest is the result of my very fruitful imagination.

i thought a little bit of charming rusticity would help elicit a meaningful response to the useless chit chat that was going on around me.

the MQ just got stuck inside.

2. this was in response to a "bekaar hai" scribbled on the other indian colleagues notebook. the scribble beneath it just followed of its own accord.

i think its meant to depict the aimless wandering that the entire meeting, and the discussions therein, were headed off to.

i have serious misgivings about this corporate entity called Meeting from now on. its a perfect example of machiavellianism of the top order.

3. aah this is a good one. there was this lady sitting diagonally opposite to me on the left side. so this is basically a view of her right side. this left feels right!

she looked in her mid-30's. beautiful full auburn hair, high cheekbones, slanting nose, pink lips, long curly eyelashes. sigh! she sounded exactly like a gum toting husker from alabama. my dream gal :)

4. aha! last but not the least... actually definitely not the least. this is my favorite one.

at this point the meeting had almost reached a crescendo of garish voices all combed together into a fine symphony that would have put beethoven to shame. if irritation wanted a perfect pitch and frequency for a sound wave, the meeting had it.

thats when i snapped. something went "floop" inside me. notice the different expressions on these robotic faces. benign, troubled, angry and just plain naughty (from left to right). its amazing how, by varying the angle of the eyebrows and the length and distention of the arms, one can bring about a complete change in perception of emotion. we humans are solidly entrenched in evolution eh? and no way out. (ok that was completely out of context. but i thought up this line and it sounded so cool to me that i had to put it in here)

which reminds me, i am currently reading "how to survive a robot uprising" by daniel h. wilson. its an amusing faux survival guide on... you guessed it, how to survive a robot uprising. but the point where it departs from fantasy is that it uses real world scenarios to lay out its tips and tricks. it does not use any fantastical examples which are outside of current research's reach. its fun to read if you are a robotic enthusiast. How To Survive a Robot Uprising : Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion check it out!

thats it for now folks. may the forks be with you!

30th Street Station, Philadelphia

in memory of the men and women of the pennsylvania railroad who laid down their lives for our country 1941-1945
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work-ed up about this

Wilkommen zu QVC
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Interesting Pic #1

Seen at the NorthWest Terminal at the Detroit Airport. Scary?
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seen on trucks in India

for some strange reason i felt like putting down the slogans seen behind merry truckers in India. some of them are insanely funny, others inanely philosophical, and yet others utterly romantique. some are absolute trash. and the atrocious spellings are rarely hard to miss. but love em or hate em, you can't avoid noticing them.

here is a list of some that i remember. i would really appreciate if others can chip in with the ones they remember

1. main toh noo hi chaloongi.

2. buri nazar waale tera mooh kaala

3. aaj jalandhar kal phagwaade, aaja mere naal, le chaloon nadi ke kinaare

4. ok tata horan please

5. use dippar at night

6. raju ki nakhrewaali

7. chammak chhallo zara dheere chalo

8. diriver doosre kone mein baitha hai

9. dekho, magar pyaar se

10. balvinder te satender di gaddi

11. jagah milne par saide di jaayegi

12. abbe kahan bhaaga jaa raha hai

13. qismat apni, khudai uski

14. chal di ban than ke

15. gussa dikhayega, mooh ke bal paayega

16. jai mata di

17. ...

thats all i can remember for now. cant seem to remember the really long one's. these one liners have stayed with me from my countless trips shuttling between meerut-delhi in roadways buses. i would invariably end up chuckling to myself. another very useful past-time used to be creating arbitrary formula's from vehicle registration numbers. for eg. UP 15B 8421: 8/4 = 2/1
i would allow myself sin, cos, tan, log (to any base), exponent, and other standard mathematical notation. it was fun if you couldnt change the ordering of the numbers. 9363: log (base 3) 9 = 6/3
i know a simpler version exists, but i liked making it complex. but thats just me. :)

try it all you dragging-your-ass-through-public-transportation people out there. it sure was fun for me.