Monthly Archives: July 2003

Its all about money, honey?

That was borrowed from the tagline of indiainfoline.com, i dont see it much these days, wonder if they still use it…but that also is what i am going to write on today…i am reading ‘india unbound’ by gurcharan das(see my medialist), almost finished it…and i am able to relate yesterday’s post to some of the stuff in the book…so, will continue on the path….but i believe, i will be backtracking by the time i finish the entire series..today’s generation, as compared to the ones earlier, gets a lot of money related happiness, mostly because of rising consumerism, which has almost enveloped the more developed countries and is rapidly aadvancing in india…we like to have things literally at our fingertips, and the mouse is a powerful tool.. we order books, gifts and many other things under the sun online, it definitely is convenient….the mobile is also a powerful tool, most of the restaurants here, have introduced home delivery, again the fingertips can get the job done….result of all this is a decrease in the kind of social interaction we grew up with…and whether it is online purchases or home delivery, there is definitely an extra price we pay for it……the BPOs (call centers, in regular parlance) that are spreading like a virus, not necessarily with the same dire consequences, hehe, they are either making calls or receiving calls,giving customers from far flung corners of the globe, info about a variety of products and services….so we have convenience, better economies coz these call center employees make good money, so more disposable income….but are we losing ourselves in the turn of the merry go round, why do we have waves of nostalgia? why do we turn to our blogs as outlets? a query, can our generation produce a bhagat singh or an aung san suu kyi, who would endure purely for what they believe in …..we have, but in a different mould, more on that tomorrow…. leaving you with
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‘If somebody gives you a free ticket for a tour, you cannot fight with the person because of the troubles you meet while on the journey.’….leena chandavarkar, on life

Is this evolution?

i read a post in someone’s blog yesterday, i think it was wonderbug (new entrant in bloggers park), old post but good food for thought, the subject was “Has our self-created society and its by-products ruined our personal peace and happiness?”…this is my version of the same argument…. to start with, the concept of society, as we see it, is extremely dynamic….every time we say ‘times have changed’, society is implicitly present….at the same time personal peace and happiness is a subjective issue and itself changes with time….an example materialistically, i was happy with cassettes 5 years back, now i hunt for cds….it makes me happier…in terms of other happiness, 5 years back, i could stare at stars and feel peace, now the scene would also include my wife..hehe…change again….
i will again choose social interaction as an arbitrary parameter to judge the changes in society, judge is not the appropriate word, coz the judgement is too subjective to be of any use….mobiles, the internet etc has reduced interaction as we used to know it, but it has also brought in chat and blog communities, which transcend geographical barriers, good, you say?, but it also has brought down long chats with siblings, neighbourhood friends etc… isnt that bad?..a balance, but how many of us are able to achieve it, so, is it all that good, or all that bad??joint families are almost extinct, nuclear families are in…extended families are also a minor statistic…i can go to all the entertainment spots with just my wife for company , happy ? yes….but the sense of security and the good feeling arising out of the dependancies and mutual harmony and sometimes lil disharmonies in a joint family is thrown out of the window? a balance again, sorry boss, in this case it is almost impossible….
yes, it is not possible to get everything in life, but it is also not possible to not think about opportunity costs and ‘what might have beens’…a kid born today will not miss the joy of being cuddled and pampered by grandparents, because he might not experience it at all, the grandparents will not miss pizza coz they have not experienced it at all….i will miss both :-) …..but thats not something exclusive to me or my generation…lucky kids?? because they can buy most of the stuff that gives them happiness..or lucky grandparents ?? coz they are happy with the simple pleasures in life…..whos to decide??thats life, the most undefinable, unpredictable, unfathomable thing i have come across……almost done, but not before
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got it from one of my egroups…F-aiku: A Japanese PoemI tried my hand at poetry the other day. It’s called “Happiness”. And it goes like this…Free beer,Naked women,Paid vacation,Free beer,Happiness.Some of my poet friends suggested I turn it into haiku. A haiku, basically, is a Japanese poem that contains 17 syllables. Mine had 16. And no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn’t make it a haiku. So now it reads like this…Free beer,Naked women,Paid vacation,Free beer,Happiness.Fuck haiku.:o)- vikramwww.vikramchauhan.com

A whole lot of crap

i am not flattered by the attention i seem to be getting from miscellaneous poeple on the net, who send me mails everyday, telling me to-take pills, so i can reduce 40 kilos in 5 days-again take pills, so i can increase the size of my u-know-what-gamble in online casinos-date girls(thankfully no pills for that, guess they thought my natural charm would work)-eat viagra in wholesale measuresamong a whole lot of other things.. i was generally getting irritated because they keep coming even when i have it blocked under spam, so i was generally reading about this menace, when i came across this article, wish someone did it here….i have a feeling da vinci is rolling around in his grave, you can know why if you click here.
now, a general question as food for thought, are you comfortable with the pace at which your general existence goes, would you like it slower or faster…i just want to know whether i am a majority or minority statistic….generally i fit into the former, coz whether i am checking out mutual funds or online railway reservations, i usually find a rediff article on it, in 3-4 days….kinda deflating sometimes, coz i get into it , thinking i am part of a select few…hehe.. reminds me of a phrase, “you are unique, just like everyone else”will leave you with
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“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”~ Anonymous

Bollywood and the big picture

thats the basic premise i am going to post on today, coz i caught up with a lil of my backlog in that area, saw khwaish and qayamat…so will bore you with mini reviews….khwaish is a very down to earth movie, totally unpretentious, and if it had the right hero and good promos, instead of harping on the smooches (which werent all that good), it might just have clicked… the hero dude is way too wooden to do any good, he should audition for a terminator role (he’s more deadpan that arnie), it took till the last scene to squeeze out the actor in him…the movie touched me coz of the simplicity…and i have always been a sucker for pathos…qayamat, all u have to do to make this movie work is replace arbaaz, sanjay kapoor and that chunkey pandey..(u would expect some kind of improvement when the guy has been out for years, and become a star in bangladesh, but some things never change).. oh, what the hell, qayamat is basically ‘the rock’ , the cage and connery hollywood flick….it seems ram gopal varma is doing a sequel of darna mana hai, to be titled darna zaroori hai…i think i can see the version 1 by next week.the national awards were announced, and ajay devgan is best actor for ‘the legend of bhagat singh’…u have to see it to believe it, what a performance, he really made you feel for bhagat singh and his ideologies..’mr and mrs iyer’ got 4 awards, again well deserved, another simple movie, which could have been made complicated, but thankfully was not…..hey, any budding writers out there, do check this out.
and yes michelle, the big picture, before that, i want to sidetrack, otherwise i’ll forget about it, some hindus believe that you acquire the karma of the animal you eat, so its best to be vegetarian…as regards the iranian twins, for now i can only quote malcolm muggeridge(journalist/tv host/writer)’ ” in all the larger shaping of life, there is a plan already, into which one has no choice but to fit”…..isnt death itself a part of the big picture? arent there a whole lot of people who die before 28? and maybe, just maybe, if thay had waited for some more time, we might have had a different ending??and a t-shirt for our kinda people, bloggers, here..hmm, i just might get a few “is that the first time you are seeing it” responses for that, wont i??……relax, the ranting stops with
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What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls “a butterfly” – Richard Bach

So, whats the point?

that was inspired by a calvin and hobbes cartoon, if you thought indians were fatalistic, this is one guy who will top us too, but he’s too cool…the first shot is him raising his hand in class, he then asks the teacher,”since we are all going to die one day, is it absolutely necessary to understand the concept of integers?” the next shot is him muttering, “nobody understands us ‘big picture’ people”………its ‘humour’ + ‘food for thought”…my kind of combination.

theres a nice site on reverse speech, for those of you who are into music, and who have good speakers connected to your comp, definitely check out this site….a girl in china is going to undergo surgery for six months to become a perfect beauty…the philosophy is very simple, she says she is all for inner beauty, but if she can have external beauty to go along with it, wouldnt that be great!!another review on rediff of my most awaited movie – Darna mana hai….hope i can catch it this weekend….the other good article on rediff was about shakespeare’s hand, will give you the gist of it below, “Well, this handshake goes all the way back to Shakespeare, the first poet,” he said. “You see, just as you’re shaking my hand, I shook Eliot’s hand, he shook Yeats’ hand, Yeats shook Tennyson’s hand, Tennyson shook Keats’ hand” and so it went, all the way back to Shakespeare”… dom moraes to jeet thayil

and yes, i have to do this… in case you are wondering why there are so many links back to rediff, i am ass-kissing for putting me on the front page, hehe, just kidding….and now, since everyone’s bored of tongue twisters, (its longish, but good) chew this instead in

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Faith for Dummies

“Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.”The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.”You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?”“Yes sir,” the student says.”So you believe in God?””Absolutely.””Is God good?””Sure! God’s good.””Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?””Yes.””Are you good or evil?””The Bible says I’m evil.”The professor grins knowingly. “Aha! The Bible!”He considers for a moment ‘Here’s one for you.Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?””Yes sir, I would.””So you’re good…!””I wouldn’t say that.””But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”The student does not answer, so the professor continues. “He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”The student remains silent.”No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give thestudent time to relax. “Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?””Er… Yes,” the student says.”Is Satan good?”The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. “No.””Then where does Satan come from?”The student falters. “From… God…””That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?””Yes, sir.””Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?””Yes.””So who created evil?”Again, the student has no answer.”Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness. All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”The student squirms on his feet. “Yes.””So who created them?”The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question,”Who created them? “There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.”Tell me,” he continues. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?”The student’s voice betrays him and cracks.”Yes, professor. I do.”The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?””No sir. I’ve never seen”Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?””No, sir. I have not.””Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter.”No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.””Yet you still believe in him?””Yes.””According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?””Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.””Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.”The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own.”Professor, is there such thing as heat?””Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.””And is there such a thing as cold?””Yes, son, there’s cold too.””No sir, there isn’t.”The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.”You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’.We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than -458 degrees.You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.”What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?””Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation.”What is night if it isn’t darkness?””You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light… but if you have no light constantly you havenothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it?That’s the meaning we define the word.In reality, Darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.”So what point are you making, young man?””Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must also be flawed.”The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. “Flawed? Can you explain how?””You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains.”You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing theconcept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?””If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.””Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester indeed.”Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.”To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean?” The student looks around the room.”Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?”The class breaks out into laughter.”Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain?No one appears to have done so. “So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.”I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”

Those Days

while coming to the office today, i saw a group of schoolkids, having a picnic in the park nearby, all of them looked so happy and were definitely having fun…. they r enjoying the simple pleasures in life, which i think, as they grow older , they will forget to do, like i , and i can say for a majority, like we, have forgotten…its so ironic that when we should be having the best days of our life, we dont have time for it…..and when we do have the time, we can only sit and dream about those days……when we could have done it, but didnt…today, when i dont get enough sleep, i think about my childhood, when i could have slept, hell, people even asked me to go and sleep, but i didnt coz i wanted to play more, or watch tv…now i can watch tv whenever i want, but most of the time, i have only enough time to catch up on sleep….oh the irony of it…..
enough of irony, some sweet talk now, did u know that the government has set minimum limits on the amount of cocoa content in a thing for it to be marketed as chocolate.and in case u need help in your sweet talk, check out this article, you might get a helping hand.have been hearing this for quite some time now, that sanskrit is ideal for computer applications, heres another article that says so, and in case you feel like learning sanskrit, this might help.and as part of the tongue twister series, heres
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Betty and Bob brought back blue balloons from the big bazaar. A big black bug bit a big black bear, made the big black bear bleed blood. Black bug’s blood. The blue bluebird blinks. The bootblack bought the black boot back.A box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits. Brad’s big black bath brush broke.

Death of a Saint

There were quite a number of good articles on rediff today, so am gonna have quite a few links in my post today. will start off with the title track….like julie andrews sang, “start from the very beginning, a very good place to start”…the story is about StJude, that was the name she was known by, on the net, from what i read, (interesting character) she was a champion of hacking, geek sex and did a lot to get women to embrace new technologies. my guess is, she started off at a time when the net was less crowded, and whatever crowd there was, were all men.read all about her here.also read an intro of 3 dewarein, the latest from nagesh kukunoor…have enjoyed all his fare – hyderabad blues, rockford, bollywood calling…. he set out on the trend of ‘croosover cinema’ long long before it became fashionable and we made a moniker for it.also got a link from one of my egroups, check out this site, and wear your glasses, u will certainly need them.There was also ‘will it work’ article on darna mana hain, i , for one, am eagerly waiting for this one, its sure going to be different..if you havent checked out their ‘virus’ do so on indiafm.and will leave you now with a lil
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Starting Today, The tongue twister series
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts, With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts, He thrusts his fist against the posts And still insists he sees the ghosts.
Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

Spiritual Fugitive

That is inspired by an article i read, the link for which i got from a good find i made, no, that would be credit misplaced, actually it found me… so guys, check out this blog of Deki , it makes very interesting read…..so back to the title, it refers to me at some stage of my life, actually i think, applicable even now, to some extent… the stage when i dont want to explicitly acknowledge the presence, relevance or influence of God in my life, but at the same time will not, rather, dare not denounce his existence completely…..i still experience the phase now, especially when i feel that life isnt fair..and promptly thank god, when the feeling has passed..hehe….
these phases usually also mean that i spend time staring at the sky, trying to fathom my place in the scheme of things – you know, earth out of billions of planets, india out of hundreds of countries, bangalore out of …..the purpose existence at all, and sometimes i wonder, is the purpose of life, living itself? are we trying to attribute too much to it……hmmmmm
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picked this up from the same article i mentioned earlier – ” part of a fast-growing population of global souls who exist in many cultures all at once “and so fall in the cracks between them.”

Home is where?

Got back this morning, from a trip to Cochin,Kerala, my home….i dont know whether it was the weather that did it, but my spirits are damp!! i dont know about others, but when i think ‘hometown’, the picture i get is what i saw last, and what i expect to see, i think subconsciously, is that picture plus a percentage of development added to it, i think thats where the flaw is, coz my idea of development is subjective…nyways, that got me to thinking abt the saying “home is where the heart is”… i certainly know my heart is there…., but that doesnt feel like home… yes, i am most comfortable there, but theres something missing…because home shouldnt leave you feeling melancholy…..i get reminded of the lyrics in a Lucky Ali song ” raste na badle, na badla jahan, phir kyon badalte kadam hain yahan…” and for
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Mother is the necessity of invention! – “calvin and hobbes’

There’s no place like home

isnt that what Dorothy Gail said in the wizard of oz?? well, i am going off home for an extended weekend..this week has more weekend than weekdays :-)….the snag, as always , is that when you are going back home after a long time period, theres so much work to do and so many people to see that time flies and i wont know when sunday comes and i have to be back….but then, lemme enjoy the journey, the potholes can take a hike…hehe
dont know if the net connection at home still works, so, like jim carey says in The Truman Show, in case i dont see you, good afternoon and good night… :-), and a good weekend too..its raining , the cats and dogs kind, in Kerala, which basically means that when i go out, either i wade or the vehicle wades or both wade, the last is the worst case scenario when it gets stuck in knee to waist high water…thats when the barriers between drains and roads cease to exist, and you can see all sorts of stuff floating around you, hehe, ok, enough of gross stuff!!, but thats the way it is, and i love it anyway, coz theres no place like home…
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“You think that because you understand ONE you understand TWO, because one and one makes two. But you must understand AND.”… ~ Sufi proverb