Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.

Games People Play!

Given my usual tendencies, this could've been a discourse on Eric Berne's theories on transactional analysis, but for a while i've decided to 'play' light.. some other games.. that are as indulging.. and a lot more fun!

Thanks to the fourth term exams and project submissions, the best indulgence one could think of at such times, beyond endless mail checks and orkut scraps.. something that can keep you engaged all the time you want..

Felt nostalgic.. back to the earlier days.. with Road Fighter and Galaxia.. a friend got me all those games - contra, mario, islander and bomberman.. and well, let me assure you, this is the current rage in the premeir b school :)

For the more intellectually inclined, Scrabulous on facebook is a fabulous thing.. i'm totally in love with it! the last game.. my first one.. i won.. and the final board looked like this...

Try it sometime.. for a couch potato like me.. if osmeone asks me the favorite game.. i'm probably gonna name some of these.. (though i'm equally pathetic at these games too)


Monday, August 20, 2007

Quality, Performance, Exams, Obsessions,Carelessness and Lessons

What all could one be obsessed with respect to examinations?

Someone might be obsessed with giving it their best shot, some others with outperforming others, some others with a benchmark quality of their answers and other things!

I have a funny obsession, to leave the exam hall as early as possible! It's cost me heavy in terms of scores, and made me feel stupid after coming back, thinking all through the way how much I could've improved my answers, or rechecked a thing or two. But no. I'll finish writing in a go, get up, smile victoriously at the invigilator, feel proud at my own stupidity and get out of the exam hall.

Of course, most of these are intantaneous thoughts and soon, the transition to comfortable numbness occurs, to the state of royal abandon, with my forever claimed license to Chill! Today is just another instance and the whole thing is rather fresh, so the instantaneous response.

But I think it's high time I learnt my lessons. One the one side, I claim to profess a benchmark of quality below which I don't like to let something pass, with my name and on the other hand, should I allow my carelessness to get the better of me and let something pass, even if it is not to the best of my ability.

Perpetual giving up, they say is the ultimate truth of life. The obsession with quality, goes for a toss when you have a multitude of tasks and it's a zero sum game as you have limited time. So instead of excelling in each task, you choose to optimize and get the best 'possible' combined output. But what if this satisficing behavior ends up translating into other situations as well?

Someone would say you shouldn't revisit your answers as it'll lead to more confusion and like a shopper who keeps looking even after finding something, you might end up coming back empty handed.. like a poet.. thowing away the sheet of paper you just composed on.

But well, there's something about fine tuning, refining and editing, that happens with every round of review, which I'm so fond of doing, since I love 'editing' and look at it here. Callousness gets the better of me!

The marks/results/grades are secondary.. the annoying part is I don't give things my best shot! 'my best shot' is doing what i'm capable of. And under-playing your self despite knowing your potential, for reasons of carelessness is a sad thing to do!

Some mistakes, are just worth smiling away and moving on, but with some others.. you gotta learn your lessons and hammer them hard in your head, lest they become habits and then part of your nature itself.

And well, the consolation of a goofed up strategy paper is the lesson I'm learning to shove down my own throat!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lessons from the Mahabharat I

Humility of a Lion doesn't mean he would consider grass for food..

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shairana Mizaz..

Pagalon ki mehfil mein aaj apna bhi shumar ho gaya,
kadradan to kab se the, apni hi shayri se deedar ho gaya

Bas ek khayaal-e-dil jo umangon ki saugaat le aata tha
meri pal bhar ki muskan ko rokne waala pehredar ho gaya..

Urdu Shairis- My newfound obsession. Somehow, the language is so beautiful, it just weaves itself together in your head. Of course, I'm only an amateur and no claims about how good or bad my work is. Most people, are appreciative, but that seems to be stemming more from anything in Urdu looking good, than the composition or the meaning.

Was just writing something somewhere, in a weird state of mind, 'Feels weird to know that I don't know what I'm feeling'. Liked the line a bit and well, put it on my status message. And well, thus was born a new era of shairi!

The first step, Rohan sends me an urdu version of the same thought :

ajab ehsaas hai is begaane haal ka
ki koi hume bataein yeh illat-e-qalb ki aarzoo kya hai

Ah well, doesn't immediately become completely understood, but looks nice, and the Urdu is perfectly beautiful!

Apni izzat rakhne ke liye, I looked up the urdu dictionary on the web to find out the precise meanings of the words.. and the only complicated word here is :

Illat : fault/defect/bad habit/illness/pretext/basis

Qalb :heart/mind/soul/intellect/marrow/pith

That one landing on the urdu dictionary, and the pages are still open in front of me. And here goes a khanabadosh ilhabadi!

qisse lakh kah le ham aazaad panchhi ki udaaan ke,
qabzah to aaj bhi dil pe us qaatil ka hi hai!

For the uninitiated - A thousand claims I might make of the flight of the free bird, the heart remains caged with the adversary..

Haatim-e-mohabbat to ham bhi bane firte the,
jab talak ek haadse ne zindadili ko dafn kar diya

Being a generous lover, I'd throw my heard around till an accident buried that lightheartedness.

And well, thanks to this flow of thoughts, a friend responded, with inspiration :

ye chala zor kambakhat ishq ka ki aashiq ko shayar bana diya!

aur phir shuru hua hai ek silsila,

rohan's next status,

ke saare jahan mein razm ho rahi hai,
daawedar tazposhi ke kiska wahm-e-waali hai

razm - battle/war
wahm-e-waalee - the ruler of one's fantasies

- The world is fighting a battle of superiorities of fantasies... I don't know.. the translation into english ruins it...

Aaj is account ka original naam saamne aaya hai,


Monday, August 06, 2007

Of Public Moralities

Thinking of moral police, the first sight coming to mind would probably that be of some bhagwa clad hooligans blackening the faces of young couples on the marine lines or perhaps breaking the glass panes of gift shops on a valentine's day.

Immediate impulsive response from any modernized Gen Y youth would be sheer revulsion. We instantly revoke our fundamental right to freedom of expression, to do and behave as we please. We remind that we are mature adults and we know what's good and what's bad for us. And the self appointed burghers of social morality have no business telling us what to do and what not to do in our public and private life. Ours is a generation that was born free, having internalized our rights to freedom of all possible kinds and there’s no chance we would accept any attempts at curbing these rights.

Much of the blame for having brought the bad name and a rather negative connotation to moral influencing - to the extent of calling it a disciplinarian act of moral policing- lies with the fanatic defenders of the social morals who do not think twice before transcending all limits of decency in their own ways of protesting. Given that they have the right to freedom of expression too, they are very well allowed to voice their concerns with whatever they call as indecent. But well, let have them do it within the ambit of law and social courtesy. Becoming violent in their protests, they only display their own helplessness in saving a virtuous culture and their desperation to gain control with a whip on a free generation. They leave us with no option but to dismiss them as power mongers who’re just seeking a way to establish their identity.

Moral policing of public behavior or commercialization of feelings is not so much about the offended sensibilities than it is about some other kind of grievance at the heart of the moral cops. They can’t stand the overwhelming and allegedly negative influence of the western lifestyle and culture on our youth. This would include the MTV and Coca Cola culture and at a more general level, the consumerism and hedonism that are becoming ingrained in our traditionally austere and satvik culture. However, they forget to draw the distinction between the evolution of a fast moving society and blind copying of western life. As the global media converges, and the access to information from cultures and lifestyles across the world spreads, we have to be open to cross cultural influence that would flow both ways.

There’ll be people in America practicing Yoga and there’ll be people in India kissing on the streets. This is a cultural amalgamation process which is a natural component to the evolution of the human civilization itself. To try and put artificial barriers in this process of evolution is nothing but a folly. Another aspect of it is also the convergence of the world as a marketplace. If Archies wants to sell Valentines’ day greetings in India, and people want to buy it, what’s the problem? Indians have traditionally not objectified feelings and emotions with material gifts but if it makes someone feel good, there's no reason why someone should object. Or are they finding it difficult to digest that a foreign company is making money out of selling emotions to us? Why don’t these cops try and popularize Karwa Chouth in America. I’m sure it would sell.

A culture has its inherent strengths which sustain it in course of evolution. It’s the voice of the masses, which has consciously or unconsciously transferred it generation by generation and there is no need to be so insecure about Indian culture and tradition suffering a blow due to the juggernauts of western imperial culture. If the culture can’t stand it’s ground in its own right, it will become extinct anyway and it doesn’t need to be protected. The roots of our culture are sufficiently strong for it to take care of itself.

Another recent dimension to moral policing came about with the havoc wreck by the moral cops at an art exhibition, where a student artist, in his own dreamy eyed works had in some ways transcended limits of decency. Now obviously, going all over to destroy the place and manhandle the artist is no way of registering a protest. However, careful handling of such situations would need judgment on the part of neutral parties as to what is reasonable and what’s not. Going too far with the right to freedom of expression, might actually end up offending even some neutral sensibilities and invite trouble. A nude depiction of Bharat Mata, which by all social mores is a motherhood figure is something that ruffled more feathers than just the moral brigade.

As a civil society, we do allow our parents to guide their children when they see us going wrong somewhere and that’s the role these sainiks seem to be usurping. And well, despite the claims about being adults and knowing what's good for oneself, it's only us who have indulged in drug addiction, drunken driving, promiscuous lives that have left behind hurts and emotional baggage. On a broader level, a moralizing influence of culture could've been a welcome one, but the independence freaks that we are, any impositions and restrictions on what we want to do, is not going to be taken lightly.

It does remain to note however, that it is for us, the young people to decide whether we apply our sensibility while adopting certain western ways of dressing, behavior, music and other things. We are to be responsible for our own behavior so we don’t give a chance to the moral brigades to raise fingers at us, accusing us of irresponsible actions.

So while I would not paint nudes of Indian Godesses, be intentionally blasphemous and disrespect the sentiments of the public, If I have to give someone a rose on valentines’ day, if I have to kiss someone good night when dropping home, I will fight tooth and nail for my right to freedom.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Proactivity and Pragmatism...

My status : 'Feels weird to know that you don't know what you're feeling'

Wanderer : happy friendship day!

A Pragmatist : hey thanks! Same to u! Nice status

Wanderer : :)

Was writing my diary wrote this line instinctively and then looked back and saw it's actually nice :)

A Pragmatist : :) this sounds more like u!

Wanderer : :P totally me, unadulterated

A Pragmatist : yup grt! its kind of related to what I was thinking...in the sense...b4 I used to think I can easily predict how I would behave or react in a situation, lately I realize I don’t really know myself that well...n I have been waiting for reactions u know when something happens or whatever only to realize I don’t really react the way it is stereotyped, or even expected

Wanderer : :) I don't know... never gone by stereotypes

A Pragmatist : n I don’t really have a prob with that only exploring this dimension

Wanderer : m too much of an independence freak that way

A Pragmatist : :) great. I’m kind of the conformist but I don’t know.. its fine sticking to rules when they make sense, when its nonsense then its another thing, when the person who made them also has no clue its even worse, u get the diff? It’s not pointless only from your point of view nobody understands anything, so no point sticking to their stupidity u can as well rely on yours

Wanderer : ok, that was a tangent but yeah, I agree it's like the person who actually thought up this rule was as rational and sensible as I am right now so well. I can make a choice whether or not to follow this rule. I mean.. If it doesn’t make sense to me, I’m free to live by my own rules !

A Pragmatist : exactly that’s case 1 but what happens is bcoz of the way things r changing the person who is supposed to make the rules is also not sure what is 'right' or best if u prefer, so his/her decision is based on as much limited info as mine

Wanderer : so well, let me die of my own decisions, than someone else's. It's like.. My obsession of not sitting behind someone on a bike- if I am to die I’ll die with my own mistake


A Pragmatist : :) I would have used a diff example but BINGO. Its more like the only reason I would live by someone else's rules or whatever is if it guarantees me the destination I wanna go to, if not, I can as well live it the way I think best and hope to have as good or bad a chance of reaching where I want to

Wanderer : yeps

So well. The destiny is ultimately in your own hands and the lie... is indeed the worlds' biggest lie!


A Pragmatist : :) well the comfort of being able to blame someone else for all that goes wrong in your life is not worth screwing it all up taking some responsibility goes a long way, make your decisions, make your mistakes, face the music, live your life, don’t live life proxy!

Wanderer : but then.. We’re too happy to play 'if it weren't for you'

In so many of our life's situations

Sometimes blaming parents, sometimes other people around us, sometimes the boy/girl friend

A Pragmatist : exactly

Wanderer : just refusing to take control as if you’re just helpless- guided by an external controlling force.. Pinch yourself, wake up and smell the coffee or perhaps the roses

A Pragmatist : yup! whatever.. just feels alive

Wanderer : and in control

I wonder.. If the so called control freaks actually mean this kinda control...

A Pragmatist : ya I know what u mean..We all have a responsibility to our bit, and it does make a diff

Wanderer : so what do we do with people, who constantly say that they don't know what's going on and they can't help it?

A Pragmatist : hmm friendly advice is one thing otherwise this works best with altering our behavior action as well as reaction

Wanderer : ?

What if advice doesn't work? They listen but eventually come back to the same drama

A Pragmatist : u know the more consciously u live your life n make your choices, the greater responsibility u take for them and have the guts to face the consequences

Wanderer : or perhaps you go on living in denial, refusing to live any moment completely

You end up doing things half heartedly, you behave in ways you can't explain

A Pragmatist : I guess we all go through phases, and some take more time. After all our lives do follow different trajectories rite, n then again ppl r plain different

Wanderer : what if you see me messing up my life, just because I’m being indecisive and refusing to take control and then complaining about things not going right..

A Pragmatist : I would try to show u the root cause of the problem, if u r already aware of it and yet unable to rectify it, I’ll give u time but will also tell u to realize it is all in your hands...n would like to check if there is something u r unable to express which I may help u sort out

But u know there are levels to all relationships and there is only so far u can go

Wanderer : you've tried all you can but I still go back to ground zero when would you give up?

A Pragmatist : exasperating much as I would wish to shake u up and knock some sense into u, i'll refrain from doing so because we all have to arrive at our answers on our own, we can’t be forced to arrive at them. I would also hope to god by the time u reach there on your own it is not too late

Wanderer : time's slipping by and I might be drowning deeper into issues reacting in the moment and perhaps opening further cans of worms

A Pragmatist : yup that’s the biggest issue 'waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai' those who learn to swim with it succeed those who don’t I don’t know in addition to everything have a lot of regrets

Wanderer : what's wrong with learning your lessons the hard way?

A Pragmatist : nothing as long as there is more to the lessons than advice for the next generation if u know what I mean thru my own experience I realize how crucial time and timing are in life, zindagi ke safar mein guzar jate hain jo makam voh phir nahi aate

Wanderer : Life’s chapters can't be erased, much as you like- you can't turn back time

A Pragmatist : exactly, it’s like your CAT paper in four hrs anyone can solve it, what matters is finishing it in 2

A Pragmatist : that’s the next step but life mein at 30 u may know exactly what u shud have done at 25 but what's the point?

Wanderer : :)

Interesting, so what do you do when you realize at 25.5 what you should've done at 25 and well.. What if you never realize..

A Pragmatist : u c if what u think u shud have done u know if on that line u can alter something now...if not write it down in the advice column :) but not many listen to advice

Wanderer : coz you go on wallowing in self pity

A Pragmatist : n what wud have been rite for u may not b for the next person that last bit is most depressing coz u waste away more of your life than was wasted by your original mistake or say whatever was the coz of self pity

Wanderer : what if you the choose to exile yourself

A Pragmatist : self pity is the biggest mistake and leads to the gravest crime self torture and a wasted life

Wanderer : but how do you get out of it, when your perception only reinforces your beliefs

A Pragmatist : SNAP OUT OF IT, when u know your perception reinforces your beliefs think positive be positive and act positive

Wanderer : you think that's easy?

A Pragmatist : who said life was easy, but u go down one road u'll reach only where it takes u n the road of self pity taketh one not to success or fulfillment

Wanderer : so how do you change the road?

A Pragmatist : consciously, choose where u want to go first then take the road that takes u there..Can be thru process of elimination or direct choice

Wanderer : too objective, for someone to follow when they're not in the best state of mind

A Pragmatist : see theory needs to be applied subjectively by each of us but the principle doesn’t change. This is the core of it much as one may find it difficult

Wanderer : so assertiveness is the key.. Ok so in your last whim of assertiveness you started on a route but you realized half way through that you can't do this; then what?

A Pragmatist : see if u realize half way thru that u r wrong then u need to have the humility to make amends if u know u r rite but the road is very difficult then u hold on and ask for the strength to go on, u find it if u want it bad enough

Wanderer : you talk like motivation gurus, it’s easier said than done, you can't just suddenly step back form your life and redo the jigsaw. There are ties that would need to be broken, there are knots that would need to be untied and well.. There are broken ties which you can not join again

A Pragmatist : see..There are some things that can’t be undone..n some places there is no going back then u only try to save what u can of what remains...u cant erase what happened n rewrite it

Wanderer : happens, and well it all started with a confused status message

A Pragmatist : lol but at our age we r allowed to b confused even expected to b so

Wanderer : and well, you’re being quite a pragmatist, and well nothing wrong with being one

A Pragmatist : takes guts sometimes coz ppl accuse u of being heartless sometimes, which is far from the case

Wanderer : well, the fact that you bother about what ppl label is testimony to the presence of the heart

A Pragmatist : :) see the thing is not what everyone thinks matters but when ppl u love or think u know and know u say something it hurts esp. when u r vulnerable n doing ur best to not let that cloud u

Wanderer : whatever happened to the objectivity, that's the tough part, when people choose not to understand you, even when you make it so obvious

It’s like.. If someone’s sleeping .. You can wake them up, but if someone's pretending to be asleep, you can't wake them up

A Pragmatist : true but sometimes they are a prisoner of their prejudices and judgments or just of their insecurities…that’s what comes in the way

Wanderer : and well, the shell must break before the bird can fly

A Pragmatist : yes and u know the story of the uncle who tried 'helping' by breaking it for the bird...actually butterfly but ya same pt

Wanderer : oh yeah, I do so well, sometimes it’s just good to let things be

Let people learn their lessons.. The hard way, because that's the only way they'll grow up

To their full potential but well it hurts sometimes.. Watching them go thru the mess..

A Pragmatist : true..It’s dicey...u can’t let them kill themselves but ya u can’t live it for them either..ya..

Wanderer : and well. where do you draw the line? as to when is it appropriate to intervene

A Pragmatist : I guess that’s where our judgment comes in..of how far is too far

Wanderer : and how early is too early.. that's where the most mistakes come in

and the most regrets too..



'the fact that you bother about ppl labeling you as heartless is testimony to the presence of the heart'


Friday, August 03, 2007

The Complexities of love!

Philosopher : iska matlab kyaa hai

m feeling very bad now…….thatz y went offline….i m left with no words to explain u wat I feel for u ……I know there is some reason bcoz of which u r disturbed……I will definitely come but try n understand me……u will always b my friend…no matter what u say n think abt me …”


kyaa matlab hai iska?

Wanderer: ok, who's this, for whom?



Wanderer : Ok, so what's going on?

bologe? this can't be from a guy

Philosopher :
arey mere friend ko aaya hai yeh, ek ladki se obviously, what does it mean, does she think he is going to propose to her? or is she going to do it ???

: hang on, then lemme read it again

Philosopher : telll me, tell me, okk, very badly framed sentences

: ok she thinks he likes her

Philosopher : i obvi wont go out with a girl who frames her sentences so badly

Wanderer: but there's some mess going on

so well she thinks he's afraid of saying it

or something

Philosopher : does she like him?

Wanderer: she won't say an immediate yes to a proposal

but she does value him as a friend

so well if he does like her

Philosopher : does this happen in real life!

Wanderer: kya fart hai, what's wrong with it?

Philosopher : i have no idea thats why asking u

arey that girl was supposed to go to del...she works in bangalore

Wanderer: ok..

Philosopher : supposed to come this weekend

Wanderer: and is that guy you?

Philosopher : nahi rey idiot i am in blore only, why wud she goto del

Wanderer: you're quite likely to be using a friends' name for this

Philosopher : naah trust me, wont get into any mess like this, aur tere se kyun chupaonga bey

kuch bhi, toh she isnt going this weekend

Philosopher : and she sent this mail to him

Wanderer: ok..

Philosopher : and our man immediately booked a ticket and is flying to chennai to clear the mess up apparently... and he was asking me for advice


Wanderer: so you in turn got to me… ask him if he really likes her

Philosopher : i cudnt understand where the mess was or rather is.. no idea if he likes likes her

Wanderer: that's the key

Philosopher : he likes her thats all i know

Wanderer: they can go on being friends but well will lead into further mess if they don't clarify

Philosopher : but what s so urgent that he had to leave for chennai right away?

Wanderer: the fact that he's flying to Chennai immediately says a lot

Philosopher : whats the deal? whats transpiring?

Wanderer: something's happening they just need to catch up and clarify

lotsa emotions building up

Philosopher : i m left with no words to explain u wat I feel for u”

Wanderer: bole toh?

Philosopher : what does this mean?

Wanderer: think that someone said that to you…

if they love you, they can SAY that, if they are friends with you.. they can SAY that

but it's something different, something in between, they feel something strong

Philosopher : hahaha

Wanderer: but not really in love yet

Philosopher : soo bloody complex

Wanderer: ok, i like this chat, i wanna publish this, so find yourself a nick, the cities shall be changed to protect identities



whoever said.. yeh ishq nahin aasaan...

my salute :)