Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

Looking back at the year that 2007 has been, I see that I have had a very mixed year. I had some tough times, some tough decisions and some bad times too. The beginning of 2007, I hardly remember. and I do not even want to recollect some bad days that I had then. A big relief was getting through college, getting a degree!! though I do not think I deserved it. hardly feel like an engineer :-( I made some wrong moves, I lost some things. But I learnt new things, I discovered things for myself and in myself. I found a person inside me that I never knew existed. I spent time for myself, by myself - this came as a blessing because I "unleashed" some energy that I never knew existed. I re-discovered my family. I met some wonderful people, I got back some wonderful friends. It just got better and better towards the end. And I know that 2007 will be a great memory to look back at in some years. I know that I will remember some lovely times spent with lovely people, some brilliant times spent without any people :P
This new year is very important for me, have a very important exam coming up in a month and have a great deal of new things in the pipeline. Lots of fun to look forward to and a lot more of hard work to do. So welcome 2008 and Goodbye 2007. I might look back and sigh at what you brought but I wont miss you at all.
Happy New Year all of you. Hope all your dreams come true!
Best of Luck 2008. Hope everyone grows to love you and remember you as a wonderful year!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Running away

"Ma, may I go out to play?", "Ma, I am hungry", "Ma, may I jump off this table"... She tried in vain to catch her busy mother's attention. She tried to please her, to catch her attention, to shock her. But her mother didn't seem to care any more.
A year ago, this ugly, pink and pimply kid had come home and she became number two. She was no more the centre of attention and no more the princess. Almost as though she had disappeared, no one doted on her, no one cared.
She looked on as her mother rocked the new kid to sleep and tried to catch her eye as soon as the creature went off to sleep, only to be ticked off by a sharp remark. Her very own mother who would have carried out her every whim and fancy, scolded her now. It was all because of this new creature.
In spite of the fact that its arrival had caused her to fall off her pedestal, she couldn't help liking the new creature. It was cute in a weird sort of way. The way it stared at her through its huge eyes that made it look slightly cross-eyed, and the toothless grin and the way it cried when it was pinched... a little adorable no doubt. But she still wished it had not taken away all her importance in her parents' eyes.
This went on for a long time. Her mother never wanted to listen to her any more. On a particularly bad day, after being shushed and shooed and scolded a little too much, she made up her mind to tell her father and mother that she meant business. She marched up to her mother who was trying to coax the little kid to eat some lunch. She declared in her loudest voice that she had decided to run away from home. There was some silence. She began to feel a little happy that she was being heard finally. Her mother turned around and looked at her. Just when she thought that good days were back again, the kid threw the cup of rice on the floor and with the loud crash that followed, our little heroine's hopes of being heard and loved and cared for were gone again.
Running away was not a really good idea. Her six years of experience told her that she wouldn't last a few hours out there. Where would she go, what would she eat, what would she play with... She surely couldn't carry all her toys with her. She wondered what her parents would do. Would they miss her, would they even search for her...
Then suddenly the idea seemed great to her and she took some toys and an apple and put them into a bag and walked away in a hurry.
Some time later, the little heroine's tired and harassed mother was free of her younger child who finally decided to go to sleep. She had some time to herself now, she decided to go and check on her older daughter who had been very tiresome lately. The mother knew that this was because she needed attention. She never meant to ignore her, but couldn't help it either. The poor child must be so confused, she thought. Maybe she would talk to her over dinner and explain why the young one needed more attention. With these and a hundred other thoughts in her mind, the mother went around searching for her child. A few minutes later, all alone in the huge house, our heroine's mother realised that her daughter was not anywhere there.
A half hour had gone by and the mother was positively scared. She was scurrying around the house and had called out to her darling a thousand times. The younger one had woken up because of the noise and was bawling away. The mother picked up the baby and sped to the terrace for the third time to see if she had missed seeing the child somewhere. She then checked the kitchen and the bedrooms again.
She sank to the floor in sheer exhaustion and worry and racked her brains as to where the little one could have gone. She couldn't be sleeping for so long... She let the baby climb out of her arms and put her head in her hands. Did she really mean it when she said she would run away? The tiny imp had held her attention and so she really couldn't take care of her really well. Her eyes were filling and she cursed herself for being such a bad mother. What would she do now. What if her dear child, wearing a polka dotted dress and an adorably chubby smile, had actually run away?
Just when a million bizarre doubts and fears started cropping up in her mind, she heard her younger daughter giggle. It was a loud giggle and was followed by a strange hissing noise. She looked around the wall to see the baby bending over to look under the cot. She went over to see what the source of amusement was and looked under it. It took a while for her eyes to get accustomed to the dark. What she saw there filled her with a sense of immense relief at first and then fury and then amusement and then finally a lot of sadness. She dragged our audacious little heroine from her hiding place and hugged her close though she had a good mind to spank her...
That evening she sat with her two daughters as they ate dinner. They had learnt some lessons that day that they would never forget. The mother had learnt that both her daughters needed her love and time. She learnt that her daughter could teach her a lesson in a very bitter way(it put her on guard for the rest of her life). The young heroine learnt that the imp was here to stay, that she would continue to foil all her plans for the rest of her life...but more importantly, that her mother actually did love her.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Message You sent

A blooming bud
The call of a bird
The shrill cry of a vendor
A child running with all his might
so he doesn't miss his school bus.

The light grows
Last night's quiet goes
The world wakes up
The insects hurry back
into their dark, hidden homes

With the sun
a new day is born
A fresh hope is kindled
The entire land wakes up,
breathes, smiles, celebrates. Unlearns.

I watch amazed
This thought inside me blazes
that I cannot ever count
the number of magical mornings
that I have wasted

These precious, pristine moments
spent inside walls of indifference and cement
Snoring, slumbering, spent away
But not anymore.
I received the Message You sent.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Motionless for a long time, my foot was numb. I looked down from the screen at my foot. I tried to move it a little fearing the sudden throb of feeling that the rush of blood would bring. And when it did come I winced and hurriedly took my foot in my hands and rubbed it. The icy cold floor and my icier hands - my feet felt like hell.
Resting is good. But too much of it can hurt, just like it did now to me. Move on. Don't stop. This winter has a zillion more things for you to go through. Rest if you must, but don't stop.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The evil magician

I walked past him in a hurry every time I had to. I literally ran. I kept telling myself that I would not look up. I could not risk it. I reminded myself of the last time this happened. I shuddered and hurried away. The voice beckoned. I was one room away and yet I could feel the pull. I had to go back there yet again. I had to sit in the same room where he had his throne and his magnetic pull and the voice resonating between the walls. Reluctantly, I sat down. I wished I wasn't so weak. I wished I had a good, engrossing magazine to leaf through. I fished out the newspaper from under a dozen books and held it up between us. Not once did I look up again. Then it happened. I forgot to tell myself repeatedly not to look up. I let my guard slip for just a moment. I weakened my resolve just for a moment. A sudden flurry of activity and that voice again ( "Is that a voice or is it music?") I looked up. My eyes met his. And I was lost. Image after image formed in my mind. I stopped thinking. I stopped feeling. The world came to a standstill. My broken resolve lay there on the floor. I stepped over it to get closer to him, see him more clearly, hear him better. There I was hypnotized. The black magic spun around me. It minced my brain. Listening to every word, believing the endless web of lies, swallowing all the nonsense that spluttered out. I smiled, I sighed, I groaned, I cried with him...On and on. Forever and ever. Lies, lies and more lies...

This could have gone on for a good number of hours if the power had not gone off. I am so relieved that the TV wont get switched on for a few more hours now. Till then I will remain myself - unzombified, un-hypnotized. *Phew! That was close*

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What was she thinking about...

She watched as her little one
played his innocent games
Passive, tired and faraway.
I wonder what went on
behind those shallow eyes
and that emotionless face.
Maybe she was just sick
of the shows on TV or
of her dull, small town place.
Maybe she thought
of her long lost dreams,
of promises made yesterday.
Probably waiting for nightfall
to end the drab day
Maybe she just wanted to run away.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Free rice!

I found this great game on the net -
If you can simply go over to this website to play the game in spite of knowing that it does someone some good, good for you, go ahead and play it...

Why am I being so bitter?? Because it is the truth. No one really wants to do anything for anybody else. We live in a closed world that is so much about ourselves and our needs and wants and miseries. Do we really care that there millions dying?Ha! And that is what is making me so sulky and irritable. Ha! Why do you care...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't ask me what this is about.

I have been feeling pretty disillusioned about everything for some time now. The extra effort to change everything does not seem to work at all. I don't see people who share my passion and interest to do the things that I want to do. Is it me? or is it the rest of the world. Whatever it is, I feel pretty miserable about all this. I wish I could really have some way of finding out whether or not what I am doing will really have some meaningful results. I am not being very optimistic and believing that I will have good results. I just want something meaningful, not the feeling of being let down having to take some wild goose chase or something. I don't see what makes me do the things that I really want to do. Or maybe I am the only nut-case in the world who really has these thoughts. I just wish these few months get over and the middle of March comes soon so all this uncertainty comes to a stop. I am getting desperate and feeling out of my mind and I hate myself for not being able to talk about fears. I go about acting like a super-intelligent something and no one even knows that I am grinding these thoughts in my mind about how I am going to get through. And I have no guts to talk about it. Just scared about my faults being pointed out. Scared that people will tell me the truth that I don't want to hear aloud - that I am not working hard enough, that I am not good enough, that I am so overly optimistic to go about wasting an entire year on something that is so very demanding and that involves loads more of dedication that I am putting into it right now. I do hate my guts for getting into this. Now it is too late to turn around. And I don't have any place to turn around to anyway.
I don't care what you think about all this. Don't even ask me about it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The rain and you.

Still. Icy. Dark. Beautiful - green against grey
Breeze. Flutter. First drops.
The smell of earth.

Volatile. Ups. Downs. Deep brown eyes.
Smiles. Laughter. Tears and fears.
The feeling of being loved.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rhymed. Not reasoned.

Judge me, categorize me
Don't love me, just analyze me
Hex me, traumatize me
Check me, penalize me

Fool me, make me do what you say
Maroon me, if I dare go astray
Chain me, so I don't get away
Debrain me, so I don't talk back some day

Lie to me, don't ever tell me the truth
Hide it from me, so I have the brains of a boot
Begrime me, cover me with soot
Undermine me, dont care two hoots

Beat me, when I ask you why
Don't teach me, make me shut my eyes
Hate me, don't even pretend to try
to educate me, just leave me dry

I end up like you. Lettered.
Yes I can write my name.
But I still am fettered
It's such a crying shame.
Tomorrow, someone else is sure
To sing these lines back to me.
Then should I say it is your
fault that I am what I be?

Monday, October 8, 2007

What will you do then...

So here you go again
trying too hard
to play the bard?
to please? to dazzle?
to hold the world in awe?

They remain unwritten
The words that fill you
the ones that are true
because you fear
they make a poor show.

Obsessed with rhyming
Using every battered cliche'
learnt till today
Rhyme after rhyme of trash
to the can they must go.

Yet people listen
"Oohs" and "aahs" break out.
They cheer, they scream, they shout
They keep you unprepared
for what is to come tomorrow.

When the day finally
comes when you just can't
write another chant
That's when people will cheer
at this horrible blow.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The unspoken

Filled to the brim,
Gleaming in the dark
Unspoken words
Lingered in the air
For me to hear.

The urge to write this
Springs from within me
Quite meaningless
When compared
To what they said.

Emotions conveyed
Through these deep lakes
So simple
Yet so profound
Can I ever respond?

Can I ever say
In a million words
What was said
When your eyes spoke.
It still keeps me awake.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


(My first attempt at poetry or rhyming - whatever you choose to call it. Sorry for inflicting this on you.)

to fly
to soar
to be myself and something more

to change
to learn
and to inspire in turn

to think
to breathe
and stand up on my feet

to rhyme
to write
and to turn on that light

For this I thank you...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free Burma!

Well, I don't pretend to be an expert. I do not know anything about politics. I do not know how the system works or is supposed to work. But one thing I do know is that force, violence and tyranny don't lead to anything good. They lead to death, poverty, disease, destruction, sorrow and gloom.
I voted for a free Burma today at and so can you. Click here
Just remember that the entire world is affected by people's actions. Someday we will be affected because of the cruelty and violence there in Burma or anywhere else in the world. You may call it "Karma" or "economics" or "history repeats" or whatever. But it will keep coming back to remind us that we are not lords or great beings. We need to respect people around us and honour their ideals, needs and their existence. Imposing strength on the weak and powerless (and unarmed) makes us cowards and miserable wretches.
If you would like to learn more about Burma and the struggle of the people there for basic rights is outlined here. And if you want to learn about the art of lying - here. Absolutely frustrating.

And the most pathetic part of it is India's stance on the issue. I understand that India exports arms to Burma. And the honourable foreign minister of India called the conflict in Burma "their internal issues" that we had no business to interfere there. Pathetic. These arms are being used against unarmed and agitating but peaceful monks.

Just hope and pray that people wake up to these issues and Burma sees hope in the form of a good government and freedom. Join in this online effort if you truly care(or don't care. It just takes a few seconds believe me. )

Free Burma!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


A hundred hues and shades coloured the sky and lit up my world. There were colours and shades that I could not name. The clouds that partly hid the sun had borrowed its brilliance. They had their own idea of decorating the sky. The sun was so ashamed and jealous of them that it just sank in its own place, lower and lower till it could be seen no more. The clouds were not worried. They were in fact overjoyed to have the sky to themselves. Who ever thought of comparing dark clouds and sorrow! The stars too strained to have their place in the sky, but they did not stand a chance. The clouds were gathering their kin together – it was party time.

I stood on the terrace and watched as the clouds got really excited and roared out hellos to friends, slapped each other’s backs in a boisterous way. So much enthusiasm and so much joy. It got louder and the atmosphere was electric. A lot like when a crowd gathers for a rock show. A few moments of silence – and then music. Big drops fell, first slowly and then fast. In a few seconds the entire land was soaked in this celebration. Celebration of life and the power of giving.

Feeble mortals scattered from their gossip-joints and ran to get away from the downpour. The few who couldn't squeeze into the shops and shelters around scurried like rodents down the street to get into other holes. Centuries of efforts to conquer the earth and establish his supremacy, centuries of taking, plundering and never giving back has only resulted in creating people with less and less power of imagination and appreciation and understanding. When will he understand that the clouds and the land and the sky are woven together. When will he understand that no matter what he does he can never win over anything. Powerless and feeble, he is, and will remain.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Love. Really.

Love. The most misunderstood and distorted emotions of all. Though it has inspired so many people into making brilliant pieces of art, music and poetry, it has also caused so much of sorrow and heartburn. It is not so much in the people who are receiving and giving this wonderful feeling as in the way this feeling is expressed and understood. It is the most basic of all emotions and so it comes from the depths of the heart or soul or mind or brain or whatever the organ. It comes from the energy with which a person lives. It is associated with that very force that keeps a person alive. And it lasts as long as the person lives. There is no such thing as less love or more love. There is no such thing as bad love and good love. There is no such thing as love that you give in return for something else. It is the purest form of energy that flows in the veins of every person. Love is stronger than anything in the world. Even stronger than the forces of life and death that are so mysterious and huge to us. Then why is it misunderstood.. because it is distorted and corrupted and misunderstood by only things that cloud the mind and disallow it from seeing reality in its true form. It isn't love that lets us see dear ones work miseries on themselves and then rush to them with words of kindness and sweetness, when it would have been a better thing to shield them and guard them from their miseries in the first place. The kind that offers nothing but sweet words and passive emotion is as untrue as these words themselves. It is not a handy device that we use to make a person aware that we are trying to "help" them. That love that is shown to gain the other person's attention or affection is no love at all. Nor is it that love that is shown with the hope that someday it will be returned in a bigger, better package. It is giving and never expecting anything in return. It is giving till the last ounce of strength is left in the body and the last sign of life in the heart. It is giving when everything that was owned is lost or spent. It is never asking for anything except true happiness for the other person. It is suffering with loved ones when they suffer and rejoicing when they rejoice. It is loving the thought that the mind is filled with love for this person. It is the most selfless as well as the most selfish emotion. Selfish because the pleasure of having someone to love is a completely personal happiness. Though love can be spread and given away, the pleasure of love is truly personal. It is something that the giver alone can experience and enjoy. Love that has to be continually expressed through words rather than deeds and gestures is no love at all. Words are feeble means that man has made to make up for his inability to express things. Love is beyond these feeble attempts at communication. Deeds are the only way love can be shared. It is only through giving that it can be spread. Giving, as in helping to nurture a better state of mind and a better life to look forward to. Never material. Love is an emotion that flows out with nothing and no one to stop it. Love that flows out in this uncontrolled way is misunderstood to be obsession and crudeness. It is even taken to be hatred. There is nothing as pure as this love that is inspired by the need to grow together and flower, to experience things together and protect each other from anything that may cause harm. And such emotion that helps this growth - that is love. Really.

Complex thoughts

He had been at this thing for more than a week. Nothing seemed to be working out. He had tried every trick in the book and more. His little contraption just did not want to move its powder-coated, laser-finished backside to his commands.
He looked numbly at his nails. They were too long. It had been so long since he had gone out of the facility. Homesickness was not very helpful either. Not that he enjoyed being at home. He at least felt like he belonged somewhere when he thought of it.
"Snap out of it. Get back to work." He obeyed that shrill voice. Obediently bent his head over the uncooperative board. OK. This connection was a tad too weak. Maybe a little more solder. Maybe one more of these dumb things could fit in here. Make this value larger. Fit the changes in the code. Muttering suggestions to himself, technical gibberish. Maybe quitting the whole thing and going back home would be a better idea. He cursed himself for believing that life here would be great and full of all that he had seemed to want 5 years back. Five years. Things had grown so much more complex.
He had wanted to be here, doing this very thing. He had pictured this very scene - of a very sticky problem that would let him dive deep into the exciting world of discovering and finding things. Things that would make him... famous? Or feel good about achievement? Or was it the money. He had wanted to be here all his life. But the reason that had held him then didn't seem so real and simple any more. Things had grown so much more complex.
Like that voice of his brain that kept nagging him into working. It had kept him churning out results and had kept making him perform beyond heights he had set for himself. The feeling of pride had slowly faded into what it was today - confusion...
Finally his contraption was listening to his commands. He felt a mere fraction of that feeling of achievement that he had felt while starting out. Then he had simply grazed the surface. Today he had touched great depths. Yet the feeling just did not excite him...
Walking home in the dead of the night he let his thoughts run. His brain had solved every problem that he put it to work at, all his life. But he had wanted that to work only with his inventions and his robots that had made him extremely famous and rich. He had never wanted his brain to work at all life's issues like they were mathematical, electronic or mechanical glitches. But his brain had gone all out. It ruled every aspect of his life. He had stopped enjoying life. He only worked out equations and cleared bugs. Analyzing like he was so used to. In the beginning, talking and expressing his emotions had been natural. Analysis had got him so deep into things that life got too complex. He was still churning out complex papers and analyses. But life had just stopped making sense.
Insight. His forays into human psychology books as a young man had told him that insight was the ability to see himself and analyze his behavior. Or something like that. Insight was his brain analyzing his own brain. He used to do that frequently. Sometime later one part of his brain kept questioning the functioning of the other part. Kept criticizing and putting him down. Kept nagging him after a while. Now it reigned completely. While he worked endlessly, his nagging brain would keep goading him into making his work perfect. More perfect than ever. Always a little more than before.
But this had taken him away from himself and life. He longed to go back home to his country to meet his parents. Heck. He wanted to go out to meet his wife and children who lived in the house so close by. But he could not. He had to finish the day's work. He always had to.
He turned back to the facility to work on perfecting the contraption. It had to be done. The analyses were getting worse. Maybe the thing had not been working so well...


My name is Richard Sheffield. I worked at __ Technology Research Center till two years back. It was here that I came to know of Ben Ruffley. He was a young man of just 33 then. He was the most brilliant and most famous of all the people who worked in the facility. I remember thinking that he was the kind of person that would fit the stereotypical-scientist description. Unkempt looks, terrible at making light conversation, absent-minded, always preoccupied, talked to himself aloud, always mild-mannered.
I never worked with him or close to him. I was just a student with a part time job of writing about scientists and their jobs. But I had a friend who worked with him. It is through this friend that I got these pages. Let me make this clear. These pages were not stolen from anywhere. He had found them kept with some of his own papers. He had not known what to make of these sheets and had given it to me because I had shown interest. The complex thoughts were interesting. It looked like an effort of writing some fiction to me. After the happenings of these few days, however, I realized that these papers are very important means to getting to understand some things about Ben Ruffley. Today as I watch the news on TV and re-read these sheets of paper that I have kept well preserved, I am shocked. Can what I am thinking really be true?
Everyone who knows him would agree that he overworked. He almost lived in his lab. I wonder if he ever spent any time with his children at all. He kept going deeper into his research and all the gadgets that he had made were soon available all around the world, they were all widely successful. I believe he earned a great sum of money for all his work, but the man did not seem to slow down and enjoy life. He just kept working. He never even stopped to have a small happy moment once, during all those celebrations that the scientists in the facility held for him. There was nothing to life except work for him it seemed.
It never occurred to anybody around him that he was suffering any strain because of this constant work in his lab. Or rather, that he had been working constantly because of the strain in his mind. People just assumed that he was happiest doing his job. No one knew that while he was working this way he had a part of him that wanted to enjoy family and friends. That he was forcing himself to work like this had never occurred to anyone. Since he had quit all contact with other people, except for brief discussions about work, no one knew his state of mind. Who would have suspected that such a brilliant mind had been diseased.
I believe this is what had happened. He had started his career with the aim of making his thinking and working disciplined. He kept checking himself and controlling himself from taking breaks and wandering away in thought. This had been the cause for his perfect work. People just marveled at the finesse and cleverness of his inventions. But sometime later that part that kept checking his working and pushing him into making things better went out of control. He had realized that there was something wrong which is why he has written out these “diary entries”. I am sure he had written about himself but the third person narration of his own life had become a way with him, I believe. This I say because though there were many things that he had crossed out and changed in an effort to make the writing sound more accurate to what he was feeling, the pronouns never slipped into "I" or "me". In the 30 or so sheets that are with me, nowhere does he write in first person. The first few entries are coherent. The later entries are very jumbled and contain more crossed out sentences than complete ones. But the narrative style never changed. This style was just like his way of working. He had strived to make the writing perfect. This is an indication that his brain had begun slipping into obsession over perfection. This journal entry that I have put up for you to see describes his state of mind when I had been working in the facility. In the two years that followed what went on in that brilliant and diseased brain is not known.
Ruffley had been on the verge of making an extremely important invention. All his papers suggest that his work, if completed would have changed the way scientists and technologists thought of and worked with artificial intelligence. I am not well informed about these things but it is said that it would have been groundbreaking if completed. It would have brought laurels and riches to him and he would have been hailed as the greatest inventor that mankind had known since Phoebe Nelson.
He had walked out of the lab that Friday in the dead of the night. People at the facility had found it extremely strange that he had not turned up for work two whole days after he went missing. Not finding him at his residence they launched a statewide search for him. Ben Ruffley remains missing till today.
I wish I could get the rest of the journal so that I can contribute to unraveling the mysteries of what happened to Ben Ruffley. I feel that bringing these sheets of paper to light could have helped in finding the scientist’s ailment early on and could have somehow prevented this sudden fate that has befallen him. But as you would understand, I had no inkling that these sheets were the scientist’s innermost thoughts and troubles. I hope this troubled mind finds its way back home. The world really needs him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Optimism and Pessimism

I had two accidents today. One was truly not any body's fault. An electronic component caught fire. The other was completely my fault - I left milk on the stove and absentmindedly went off to the terrace. I watered plants and brought in all the clothes that had been drying there only to find the vessel on the stove smoking and the house filling with a horrible stink.

What had kept me preoccupied was, a piece of news I heard that people belonging to a particular religion were creating havoc in Agra. Thousands of tourists come to Agra to see the Taj Mahal everyday. Their lives are still in danger as mobs killed one person and injured a few policemen. The reason - that four people who had been taking part in a religious procession had been killed by a speeding lorry.

Now anyone who lives in this part of the world would know that hit-and-run accidents happen all the time. We have famous actors, sons of multi-millionaires and popular politicians involved in these accidents. Drunken driving is a way of life for the notorious lorry drivers here and accidents on the highway happen every hour, in fact.

Accidents happen to people all the time. Time, location and especially the religious beliefs of people do not play a role in deciding who is hurt when and where and how. I still do not believe that people can actually go out and vent their frustration on other innocent people. I completely understand the grief that they must be experiencing for the dead loved ones. But riots for what? Against whom? Why are they doing this?

While people celebrate 60 years of Independence and economic growth, we remain so backward in our ways of thinking, in expression of emotion. We want to tell women what to wear and what not to and where to go and where not. We ill-treat children. We exhibit our worst behaviour to anyone who seems inferior to us. And worse, we go and take out our anger on people in these violent ways. How can the lives lost be got back or can it ever be avenged?

People have told me that I am very pessimistic about everything. I disagree. I am actually optimistic to the extent of being impractical. I see all these things happening everyday and still I go back to believing that the world can be changed and made better... Even though I hear of these dreadful things...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Where was I then. Where am I now.

18 July 2004:
Around two years ago, my brain functioned in a way that made me believe entirely that I was invincible. I held on so tight to my opinions and beliefs that I felt no one and nothing can make me change them. I was great and my world was simply superb. Nothing forced me into taking decisions I did not want to make. I was my king. If I listened to and obeyed someone it was my own wish to do so. No force. I never had to do anything that I did not want to. Sometime later I thought that my life wasn't my own. But considering my situation now, my life was definitely mine till now. I am living my life for somebody else. My choices are not my own. Where is that confidence and independence that I thought would come with adulthood. When I was young and hated school and homework, I used to dream about responsibility and respect from others. I dreamt about the rights I would get. I waited impatiently when I was 16 to be 18. Now two days from that mark in my life, I wonder what I was so impatient about. What made me think that I would be powerful and great when I become 18 I don't know....

27 August 2006
I cannot believe this...I was so eager to grow old. I was so eager to be thought of as an adult - respected, not sidelined and ignored and insulted. But now I am one and I don't think I really enjoy it. I am still insulted, I am still pushed to a corner. I am still treated like an idiot.
I never wanted to grow up in a world that has these kind of people. No one seems to think straight, no one seems to want to behave responsibly. No love, no care. Only "I". Self-centred and selfish people who manipulate others...

I really wonder as to what those incidents were that sparked off these angry words. I honestly do not know who I was calling self-centred etc. But I am still disappointed. I still remember being a child in school, hating the thought of going there. Dreaming about adulthood.
Now here I am, thinking about childhood and those sunny, fun days. Games, life, friends, hops and jumps - not measured steps.
I guess I will always be dissatisfied with what I have. I used to dream then about the future, now I think about the past. That alone has not changed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The feared and revered monarch

I am typing this thing offline waiting expectantly that my broadband connection will suddenly spring back to life. The cute little green little flickers violently for two seconds and then goes out again. Reminds me of a fish jumping around when taken out of water.
We have begun treating the modem with awe and respect these days. Never touching it, carefully removing anything that may have been placed near it by mistake so as not to disturb it at its royal location on the table. We have tried observing it so as to find out what exactly angers it enough for it to take time off from so kindly helping us connect to the world outside.
Once we noticed that it went off every time there was some loud noise. So we turned the speaker down, shut all the doors and windows. We even started whispering to each other out of fear of offending Modem Maharajah. It worked some times. He was pleased enough to grant us a few minutes of uninterrupted service.
We realized once that he does not like it hot. We could not open the windows that bring in all that noise through. So we had to turn the fan on. It is pretty cold down here for humans with the fan on. So we sat huddled in blankets looking up at MM to change his mood.
Sometimes I take to staring at the box trying to will it to start working. Sort of try to hypnotise or work magic on it. But maybe I could succeed in bending metal spoons with all that staring but not MM. He is beyond that.
Once somebody was audacious enough to place a book carelessly on MM. We saw the book and removed it. But MM was so angered that he decided that we had to be taught a lesson. He decided that he would severe our connection exactly when we were in the middle of doing something really important, like mailing a 5 page long mail that had not been saved. He decided that he would never disconnect when we wasted our time wilfing through the net. And so it is till today. I still am waiting for MM to cool down and look down at me with kindness. So if this writing ever finds itself on the net, you know that it is because of the kindness and magnanimity of Modem Maharajah!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I am settling down in this comfy chair to write about one person I adore, admire in my mind and absolutely put down outside... Amma.
She has to be the most amazing person I have ever known. I know everyone says this about their mothers. But, when I distance myself from what and who I am, as I usually do, and look at this lady... I am filled with wonder. I am curious sometimes as to what she is really made of, what is there in that mind of hers. What does she really think. What does she think of me. I am totally clueless as to where she gets that energy, enthusiasm and pure love for everyone who comes by.
I have never ever seen her jealous or filled with hatred for anyone. Never any negative emotion. Never grumbling or complaining about anything. She can live on just air and tea and still work like a slave, always cheerful and energetic. She grins all the time like a Cheshire cat, even if you are making endless fun of her, like we do often. I feel ashamed when I say something very damaging, sarcastic and about her and still get a hearty laugh from her at the dark humour (if you can call it that) in what ever I say.
She has many interests ( some obsessive interests) like sudoku, card games, sudoku, and adventures into orkut and blogger, sudoku and ... some sudoku. :D She just loves that game. She can sit for hours on end peering at the screen with her glasses to play the game on the computer till someone very rudely reminds her that she has a hungry family to feed. It is amazing how she learns things. She has to be the most computer and Internet-savvy person of her age that I know. When she gets time on the computer, which she rarely gets these days with 3 strong competitors for this seat, and when she makes up her mind that sudoku is not the thing to do now, she goes out and takes several worlds by storm. You can see her on orkut, you can see her on "tagged" and many other sites. She loves exploring!
She has been a major influence in my life, in spite of the fact that she has never imposed anything on us. She has to be the most liberal and understanding parent. She is always a friend and more often a sort of child to us! And she has immense belief in us. In spite of the fact that I am acting like an extremely selfish being these days, she has kept up her trust in me. I am more than thankful. She is always the perfect fan. It struck me from the blue to see a comment on this blog from her when I had never told her that I blog or my blog address or that there is such a thing as a blog. At the drop of a hat she can actually start telling us about blogs and vlogs. The latter I had never heard of, till she told me. Strange role reversals.
If there is one person I look at as a role model - it has to be you amma!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The wonder that is childhood

I recently saw this kid on a bus journey. A very pretty, active child, around 6 years old. She was jumping up and down on the seats, singing some very popular movie song loudly - chanting the same line over and over again actually. She was proving to be too much to handle for her parents. They obviously did not want her yelling and jumping to disturb the other people in the bus. They were even embarrassed maybe. But there was no holding this kid down. She was in high spirits and no one could stop her from having a good time. After a while of trying to quiet her, the parents gave up and dosed off.
Travelling alone is a blessing, but it also means you have to be at your creative best to keep from getting bored to death. The weather was stifling and so my brain felt duller than ever. After a while of looking out the window, I started looking at the bright antics of this cute kid. She was so full of life and I was happy that she was there. After a while of being ignored by her parents - she turned around and looked at me.
There I was - quite an evil-looking stranger, what with my heavy eyelids and ugly hair-do. She looked at me for a while. Now, I had been used to being this unnoticed, admiring watcher. It so happens with adults, that if they for some reason have been looking at somebody and are caught in the act by the object of their attention, their immediate reaction would be to look embarrassed and turn away. But here I was looking at an innocent kid. I was embarrassed nevertheless because of her deep, penetrating(so it seemed) look. I wanted to turn away, but couldn't. Then, suddenly she smiled at me.
Here I was, locked up in my own world of silly worries. I had just forgotten to look at the best things of life. Stupidly thinking that I was the centre of the universe. I had stopped enjoying things that had made my childhood that extremely wonderful part of my life - the reason that I am what I am today. Laughter, wonder, curiosity, innocence, openness, unconditional love, courage to ask and learn. The simple smile.
I slowly returned the smile. I was shocked at how difficult it had been for me to return this simple gesture. How closed my world was becoming. How absorbed I was with myself. Worrying every second about what somebody would think of my actions. "Everything you do in your life is to get attention." How true. And how disheartening. There is definitely more to life than some body's attention. Like that smile.
I promised myself that was not going to lose my brain to the mundane world of adults - the so-called practical thoughts of how to make more money, how to save it, how to make a great career and what-not, living like a vegetable in short.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I have written my thoughts (about problems faced by India, focusing mainly on treatment of children and their education) in this blog. This has been creating some resentment among people. Since it is creating uneasiness I would like to apologise for any ambiguity in my posts and clarify.
This is going to be a lot about "ME", "MY thoughts", "MY ideals", "MY ..." whatever. So kindly forgive me for boring you.
I am, have been and will always be a great patriot at heart. I support Indian cricket team madly...any Indian team for that matter. I love singing patriotic songs. I love a lot of things about India. I love the weather, the natural beauty, the diversity in each and everything. I love the fact that I get to say anything I like and get away with it. I don't have people snooping on me and jailing me or torturing me for voicing my opinion. I love the fact that I am free to go anywhere and do whatever here. I rejoice that I live comfortably, I dress well, eat splendid things, am able to and allowed to think. I am secure wherever I go. I get everything that I need or want.
For all this I am tremendously grateful to my country and its people. I am grateful to all those people who died fighting for this country's freedom. I am proud that I belong to the same country as them. There can be no one as courageous and strong as people who sacrificed their happiness, their families, their friends and their lives for the sake of something as abstract as 'a country' keeping in mind that the idea must have been so crude in their minds. They had spent their entire lives under foreign rule, they could not have had a good idea about what self-governance and freedom would actually feel like. I hope I make myself plain there. I am extremely proud of my country, its heritage and its history.
I am a very strong critic of anything that is dear to me. I believe I have a hand in making changes to anything that I belong to. My family has always been the target of a whole lot of my criticism. I criticise my mother for being naive and gullible. I hate to see that people around her are fooling her and taking advantage of her. I criticise my father for being blunt, it hurts people around him. I would like to see him as a diplomat with all that honesty. I criticise myself for a whole lot of things. I criticise my sister for not using her abilities to the full. I criticise because, I know of the possibilities if changes are made. I want to see these changes and realise possibilities.
My criticism allows me to analyse things. I have come out with a lot of theories based on these criticisms. Recording them here... I hope it will help as notes. I just want to make a record of the thoughts that I have so that I will be able to see it a few years later to continue carrying on the work that I plan to do.
This is the reason why I criticise India's citizens. I see that when they shed their inhibitions and their desire to ape other cultures, when they shed their selfishness and when they begin to be more open-minded, ours will be a country - better and more secure and happy. We have love, hope, courage and strength in our blood, in our genes. It is this terrible contamination of ignorance and narrow-thinking that is causing us to be trodden upon and helpless. It is because I think that my country is dear to me that I criticise.
I shudder to think of how life would be if India had been anything other than what she is now. Hearing of stories about famine, starvation and wars in countries around the world, places where women are slaves and children are beggars, still other places where children are gun-totting, swearing miniature "dons"... we are blessed here. India is almost a safe haven...almost.

Dealing with poverty, sickness, unemployment etc. is a smaller job when you think of dealing with the roots of the problem - ignorance, closed minds and badly implemented education system, among several other things. These things are not visible at first look, they are hidden and deeply embedded. Education here is not able to create awareness, it does not open people's minds. That is why I am convinced that it is a failure. I see a logical connection between this faulty education system and all of India's problems (all of the world's problems infact).
It has been brought to my notice that empty words are worth nothing. I am grateful, actually thrilled, to know that people believe that one person working for change can make a difference. I am determined to make my dreams and ideas take shape. These dreams and ideas have everything to do with reforming the education system and making the lives of children - the next generation that is going to actually see the colours of India flying high - better. I am talking about children from all possible environments and backgrounds.

I stress again, my opinions are not and will not be forced on anyone. It is against my principles to force my thoughts on others, even as I expect people to respect my right to voice my opinion. This blog is my way of keeping myself focused and on the right track - that of reform and cleansing. If I sound very pompous and self-important it is because I don't want to be taken lightly. I strongly believe that my methods are going to work, they might need some refinement though.

Thanks for taking time to read my babble on myself. I am not that important. But this country definitely is.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A writer

I was drinking some coffee today morning. I hate coffee and I cannot imagine why or how people put themselves through that torture and believe that they actually like it!
I had sat down before drinking. So I did not realise that I had not put my big helping of sugar into it(it usually covers its ugly taste). It was worse than usual. But I was too lazy to go back into the kitchen to take sugar. Why drink it if you don't like it you may ask... well, maybe because
  1. I like torturing myself!!!!(I am just joking.That is totally not true!)
  2. I made some extra coffee and just hate wasting stuff(the goodie goodie me)
  3. I wanted to write about it in my blog that off late is getting a lot of traffic!!!!!!You know... spread some more wisdom in the world (The saintly me)
  4. I was just giving my dad some company(which as you may guess is the right answer!)


To more serious stuff:

I tried to imagine how I would describe the experience in words. This is what popped into my head..
"The steam rises into my face and it feels good in this cold weather. I smell it and remember trips to the market as a child, passing through the lane where the coffee vendor ground his coffee. I was intrigued by what coffee would be like especially because it was banned for me then! I slowly sip it. It is hot. The flavour is there. It is strong, milky coffee. The taste spreads in my mouth. It tastes bitter and slightly ... umm err umm"
Stop of thought flow. I don't know what to call this taste. Is it... salty? It is strong. It is bitter. It has no sugar at all. The taste registers. I still remember its taste. But I simply cannot explain it in words. My inefficiency? Or the lack of words in the language.I tried to think of words in other languages that could be substituted here.

Search Returned "Nil" results.

This is a real life experience that I still remember clearly and I am unable to describe it properly. I wonder how writers are able to convey things that almost completely exist in their imaginations. It must be pure talent and a command over the language that is really good. Is that it?
I don't think so.
Being a writer requires:
  1. Imagination and creativity
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Skill
  4. Dedication
  5. Perseverance
  6. Patience (especially when writing or typing are both such inefficient ways of recording thought)
  7. A great memory
  8. Experience
  9. A sharp eye
  10. A sharp mind to process information fast, analyse it and record it
  11. Concentration
  12. Coherent thought flow

To my mind, even describing a real event requires imagination. So this list applies to all kinds of writing work. As to describing things or events, what about the aroma and flavour of ghee in sambar rice... (for a change something that I truly enjoy. You know I maybe was not able to talk about the horrid taste of coffee, because it was horrid!) Think... so do I get the right words... nope!

New thoughts:
"Maybe, our language has not evolved enough to contain words for all the tastes and sounds and smells and sights that nature has. We are quite an inefficient lot compared to nature and its marvels (or horrors when it comes to coffee) We don't think in words. We just resort to language to express thought. "

I still wonder if there is a word for it... maybe I should ask somebody else if they can describe it...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Spiralling through to the depths of Hell

Call it a burning thought or what you will. But I just cant stop thinking of how we are allowing the children of this land famous for Aryabhata and Sushruta to become apes of cultures that are alien to us and trained machines that do as they are told.

It is no mystery why we have been reduced to doing jobs that are too menial for the "cultured and intellectual" people of the west. We have stopped allowing the individual to think. It is large scale death, plague that is eating to the centres of our brains.

My brain tells me that we are doing wrong. That we are allowing ourselves to be trapped in this abyss. Will the people in this country ever wake up? Whatever happened to morals and values. What happened to thinking, functioning brains. What has happened to us? Why are we so blindly walking into this trap? How are we going to guide the next generation. Is this the legacy we want to leave for our children? That we were a stupid lot who ended up making our lives as well as everyone else's lives miserable?

The reason why English has become so widely spoken? : Because it picked words from every other language and adopted them, made them a part of it.

The reason why USA is making rules for the rest of the world: Because it accepts things that are new with greater ease. (No, I am not in favour of US or its policy. Just stating a fact)

The reason why India is still "developing", still filled with ignorance, still a slave of the west, still stationary and still groping for its right place on this planet : because we take what is easiest to take - immoral behaviour, we run away from anything that is difficult, we look at something new with suspicion and try to trample over those around us who may try to prove our convictions wrong.

I keep asking, what stops this country from going ahead. I never can answer this question with any other answer. The answer is always the same: our children are not taught the right way, the right things.

I desire deeply that someday a magic wand is waved over this entire world and everyone suddenly realises how important children and childhood are and treat them right. It is such a mystery to me, how people can turn a blind eye to the needs of children, how they can remain unconcerned about their plight. This country is making grave mistakes especially in how it cares for its children. We are diving deeper into hell this way.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Close down Zombies Inc. We need people

My hatred for the education system in this country is "legendary". I have ranted and raved about it ever since I began thinking independently. Maybe the system by itself is fine( since it is so widely accepted. I am not very educated about it.) But its implementation is absolutely abysmal.

Have we not heard the greats of the world talking about how education must encourage an individual to think and understand and use knowledge effectively. We instead are encouraged to remember that the speed of light is 3 lakh km/s. What is a person going to do with that "great" bit of knowledge?( I probably got that number wrong. It could be 3 lakh m/s for all you know.) But is it really necessary to remember various numbers and equations when we don't understand. Wouldn't it be more useful to tell a child that light travels faster than anything and that its not possible to reach that particular speed because of its relation to energy and mass. Why remember the number? Why don't we give a child the idea that is to be grasped and allow it to take the value from a reference text book. Why are we making a child's life revolve around something as dead and uninspiring as an exam.

Exams are meant to test the thinking and analysing capacities of a child and not its capacity to remember. The system is making zombies out of us. Miraculously a lot of us escape from zombification. But that's because of the intelligence that we were born with. (Like that popular t-shirt says ... I was born intelligent but education ruined me. I agree!)
So everyone talks about it... abolish heavy school bags for kids, abolish as many exams as you can... etc. But is it really making things better. I don't think so.
I believe people with true understanding of a child's psychology should be allowed to shape a child's innate abilities, without trying to make it fit into the crowd. Children are not bricks in the wall and should not be. I don't mean to say that we must try to make a child unique and so try to make it bizarre and weird. Just let the child be. Let it find its way. Guide it. Don't try to make it do everything you want it to do. Don't try to live its life for it.

I have more to talk about this. I probably will keep talking about it to anyone who is ready to listen (or anyone who isn't ready. It does not matter to me. Read my first blog :) )

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Me and my big mouth

If you know me well enough you must know that if there is one thing in the world that I love doing, it is to talk. Now that does not mean indulging in conversation. It means just what it is to TALK. I can talk non-stop expressing my so-called opinion that is mostly not called for actually. Without worrying about what the other person feels. Whether or not the other person is interested at all. I speak as fast as I think because I am scared that the thought may just fleet past and I wont remember it. The other person might be denied this potential pearl of wisdom right?
Now the problem actually is that I don't have people enough around to bore with my talk. I am not as happy about chatting on the internet or on the phone. I guess, deep inside me I have a sadist who loves watching people getting bored to death with my talk. This purpose is not solved through the net or the phone. I still get pretty chatty on both of them...
This blog thingy is going to be another miserable disappointment because I wont be able to see the reaction of the reader. But it sure will satisfy my goal of boring people...
If you are reading this and have proceeded so far, it must be because
  1. you are already bored to death
  2. you were given this blog address by me and want to be nice to me by giving feed back
  3. you hate me and want to reinforce the reasons for your hatred
  4. you are curious about the max extent of stupidity that is prevalent on Planet Earth (that is exemplified effectively in this blog)

BUT, I have a very good excuse. When there are so many stupid people on this globe, who think they are worth many MBs of space, just why not ME?