Thursday, February 24, 2005

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

udhaar ki zindagi

i got a mouse on rent. the surprising thing is not that i got one, but that i could get one. it used to be land, house, money, and other assortments necessary to eking out an existence, that used to be available on rent. now its a mouse.

how the mighty have fallen. i think i was born at the right time to see the transition from one world to the other. the early years were spent with books, outdoor games, dunking in tubewells, bonding with family, hurling my sister around, and trying out rather impossible feats of mental ability; viz., going through school. in retrospect those were fun times. it was a simple life, with nothing more to contend with other than getting away with mischief, coming up with innovative ideas to make our parents life more miserable, teenage angst, et al. nothing that millions of other kids at that age dont go through.

and then tip toing its way out from research laboratories, the computer literally revolutionised the way we live and think. today i cant imagine a life without computers. i wouldnt go so far as to say that its an evil, or even a necessary one. but yet, it never ceases to amaze me how everything has changed. the world just flipped itself over with the flip of a switch. computer, and the associated industry, is the means of livelihood for a large chunk of the world population. there is no sphere of life left untouched by the jumble of wires, the dull grey of plastic casing and the blue glare of monitors. it has become all pervasive. reminds me of something that came up while discussing blogs with a friend. the issue at hand was blogrolling and i just could'nt help myself from thinking about our vocabulary and its usage. cliched as it may sound, i think (along with others) that blogs are going to be around for a long long time, and become a force to reckon with, in terms of communication idioms. in that respect, imagine some years into the future:

school bully to school wuss: i am going to steam roll you.
wuss to bully: oh yeah? i will blogroll you.
school bully: *shocked and suitably impressed*

but i dont want to get into the moral, social, economical or cultural issues associated with this movement. i just want you to take a step back and gape at this change. i dont think history can offer us a revolution larger in scale, speedier in taking effect, and bloodless in its entirety, than this. it is beyond admiration or loathing. reverence is a word which seems befitting.

but look where that mouse has dragged and dropped us. i dont think i have a philosophical point to make with this post. i guess i just miss that old simple way of life.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

ek choohe ki maut

yesterday it finally died. the life in it flickered and was snuffed out. unfeeling, unblinking and very dead. i peeped into its innards and it was still dead. i poked it, prodded it, and after much consternation i figured it really was very dead.

a few moments later i hit my fists hard on the desk as the enormity of the situation hit me. i exuded a loud "DAMN" to the puzzlement of my flatmates.

flatmate 1: "what happened?"
me: "the mouse died"
flatmates 1,2,3: *pale expressions on face* now what?
me: "we use the keyboard"
flatmates 1,2,3: *loud gasps*

yes people. my poor dear mouse has died and in the process has shoved me to the neo-paleo-lithic era of computing. after i had ugh-ed all my ughs and grunted all my grunts i was left with a very dead mouse and a keyboard staring me in the face. a lot went between those stares.

keyboard: "so, seems like you stuck with me"
me: "yeah seems so"
keyboard: "dont look so tough now do you"
me: "oh yeah? wait till i get my hands on you"
keyboard: "i dont think so"
me: "lets settle this right here"
keyboard: "sure. lets have a quiz"
me: "what kind of quiz?" *cautiously*
keyboard: "about keyboard shortcuts"
me: *sensing a false sense of bravado leading him on* "right! lets do it then"
keyboard: "what is the shortcut for... launching explorer?"
me: "errr..." *sob sob mouse*
keyboard: "what giving up already?"
me: "hey i got a question for you. how do you disconnect the keyboard and take it apart key by key?"
keyboard: *horrified look* "errr... master?"
me: "yeah boy. now you gettin the picture"
keyboard: "being a keyboard sucks!" *resigned to fate look*

but i digress. this is an eulogy for my dear departed mouse. the simple pure creature of convenience that rules our GUI-based existence. so much so that my dreams have windows of their own. each of them have little crosses in their upper left corners that you can click if its turning out to be a nightmare. the ubiquitous mouse has left me alone. in a world of mouse-have's, i have suddenly descended the social ladder to being a mouse-not. its the equivalent of being a leper in a world full of shiny happy people.

the smoothness of its milky surface; the only curves i will ever hold in my hands; it had balls; all the right buttons to push. it was a sad end to a great relationship. deeply philosophical, it taught me so much about life. but thats for another story.

here it rests, between the pages of my blogs.
My Mouse (2003-2005)

Friday, February 11, 2005

writers block

for weeks i have been struggling to write something meaningful. in part i have been hampered by my on-going internship. the work has been killing and yesterday was the first night in three that i slept peacefully. but personal battlefields aside, i have just felt drained (numerous water breaks notwithstanding).

the worst part has been holding onto a strain of thought that seemed interesting enough to explore. many a times i would be working on some problem in my code and suddenly a queer thread would intrude upon me and make its presence known. that is to say an atomic bomb would go off in my head. but unlike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which struggle to this day with the aftermath, mine is short lived. so i have a lot of half finished drafts lying about on my blog, unpublished, lame, mutilated with hovering thoughts, blind with unsure feelings, and senseless with blinded perception.

i like to think that i write with passion, pushed by inspiration. the sad part is that it comes but rarely. not passion, but inspiration. trembling hands, quivering fingers, tensed tendons, brows furrowed in thought, are all laid to waste with just the catalyst missing. the one that brings it together and in the darkness binds them. (evidently i have Lord of the Rings on my brain again. am reading the Book of Lost Tales and History of Middle Earth these days). so what really is inspiration? dark and mysterious, it borders on the edge of consciousness. its amazing what a few rounds of the good ole janx spirit can do for bouts of brilliant insight into the most troubling questions of life. having partaken in the aforementioned activity quite recently, i now think i have a grasp over inspiration. do i hear gasps in the back there? calm down and take a sip of water.

inspiration (in my best oratorical style) is nothing but a desperation to write. the important thing is recognising that point of desperation. of course, now everything can be explained in the light of this new idea. some people are so desperate that they can write everyday. some people are hit by such large bouts of desperation that it leads to a verbal diarrhea in their writings. let us analyse this a little further. i am motivated to write because i treat writing very cathartically. its a way to get rid of jumbled feelings and tangled thoughts that would, left to their own device, start feeding on my focus. once these reach a critical mass, out pours my hearts content. let us call this the Point of Desperation. i am sure there are as many motivations behind the Point of Desperation as there are writers. now having established a concrete theory, lets move on.

since this blog is all about me and the self-aggrandization thereof, i will talk only about myself. i feel terrible frustation at the fact that i reach my Point of Desperation only once every few days, and in some extreme cases, a few weeks. i squirm under the bubbling froth of emotions inside until they all reach the Point of Desperation. whats worse is that i instinctively know that a given day is not the day for critical mass. that knowledge is a burden of great weight. i wish it not upon my bĂȘte noir.

this post is dedicated to all those who wait patiently for new posts to appear on my blog site. now you know you suffer not alone; i suffer with you.