Tuesday, August 28, 2007

lost and found

Here is something I found while cleanig out old files from my comp

Dated 4th December, 2004:

"something has to end for something else to begin.
and so, this story begins where one just ended.
"just" sometimes takes on a temporal significance, but in this case I am just trying to say that they fit in together with a continuity that is so much a part of our lives.
Early on a saturday morning, i antagonize my neighbors again by opening the huge sliding (sic) gat in front of my house that screeches open on its wheels to allow the car that has just dropped me to take a turn and go out of the narrow lane that passes in front of my house. It is 3:30 in the morning, and I am not coming home after a night of partying on friday evening. on the contrary, i have just reached home from office."

The other interesting thing in life is that I have been experimenting with some computer animation. provided my interest does not wan some time soon, expect some of that to get posted pretty soon :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007


60 years of freedom – that is what my country celebrated about 2 weeks ago.
What does it mean though? For me … and for the millions that call themselves Indian.

I don’t know. Perhaps, it means the freedom to make your own rules. Maybe, it is the freedom to break any rules that you want to. It probably means nothing really other than the acceptance of living in a society which for all purposes has always been quite free.

Irrespective of whether we were ruled by Kings or the British or by our selves, at the ground level, it never really has made much of a difference to the common man. No matter who rules, we have a way of dealing with the nitty-gritty of it – the rules themselves. We have always found ways around them … bent them when it suited our purpose and championed them when that suited our purpose. We are value changers … a quality on a level that leaves the poor Boggart way behind … like a cruise missile compared to an arrow.

If you don’t believe how easily we change values, think of someone that needs to cross a road in order to get across to his or her car. The person shall invariably jaywalk across the road, cursing the drivers that come hurtling down trying to make it through the signal before it turns red showing no remorse or concern for the pedestrian that is so valiantly trying to go across the road.

As this person dances through the traffic, hurling abuses as the drivers who reciprocate in kind, all the while trying to make it to his car, he is just another of the hundreds of people much aggrieved and appalled by the conditions on the Indian road.

Finally, having made it across the road, the person pulls out his keys and boards his car. And in the blink of an eye, everything changes. As he turns on the ignition, slips into gear and honks his way out of the parking lot, he realizes that his way is blocked by mindless jaywalking pedestrians. He has no patience for these lesser creatures as they scurry about on their daily chores. He guns his engine and hurtles through the traffic hurtling abuses at everyone as he swerves across lanes and even goes over the sidewalks every once in a while to avoid a traffic jam or a traffic signal.


Freedom at midnight … perhaps it is only right that it happened at midnight … a portent for the things to come …

I could tell you about freedom and what it means to me. But, we are a democracy. A “civilized” translation of the old jungle paradigm “might is right”. The assumption being that if people with opposing views came head to head, the numerically superior group would win. That of course, as we all know very well, is not true. All the great generals - be it Babur, Alexander or whoever else you fancy - have proved it again and again.

But there you have it … for all practical purposes your thought does not count. Not when you are such a ludicrous minority that believes in such lunacy as crossing the roads at the zebra crossing when the traffic light is red, not jumping signals just because there are no cops and there are no cars coming from the other direction, not dumping vegetable waste in front of your neighbors gate in order to feed the cow, jump the queue at lunch, take your dog out to take a dump at your neighbors gate …

Well, who says freedom isn’t worth all the hype around it? At least I can crib all I want and not end up in Siberia or Guantanamo.

Ah! Freedom!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

sound of music

Been down and out for the last one week. Got back to work this week and finally feeling much better. For the most part, in the interim, I wasn't up to writing any posts. Had to delete a couple that I did start as I was interrupted in between ... and I generally don't save to drafts ... and then there is one that I am struggling with about my latest interest in life (already waning) regarding the origin of man, theory of evolution, creationism etc.

This post isn't about any of that though.

The weather here has been as bleak as my mood for most of this time. This morning however was different. The sun was out, it was bright and there was a gentle breeze blowing. As I opened the door towards the back of the house, it wafted in and made its way through the house - letting itself in through the broken window panes at the front of the house (broken by the neighborhood kids with their catapults) and out the back door - heaven.

Takes little, really, to feel good: To breathe without having to hear it bubble through the snot and then wheeze into your lungs ... only to be expelled by the lungful when you sneeze or cough ... a little bit of sun ... a little bit of wind ... and yes ... music!

Yeah. My maid decided to come in on time today to do the cleaning (a remarkably bright day in all its aspects) ... for I did not have to go into the shower dreading the door bell to ring the moment I turn it on ... so there she was breezing in bright and early, dazzling me with her bright yellow dentures in what could only have been a smile ... leaving me with no option but to wait for her to finish. As good a time as any for listening to some music.

So, I dug out my mp3 player from under the cushions, figured that it had enough juice to last a while provided I went light on the volume and didn't fiddle with the options too much ... and before I knew it, preisner was booming through the house (or so it would seem as i was wearing ear phones) ... I passed beethoven to hit some expletive laden rap by I don't know who ... it wasn't too bad actually ... then shuffled past lobo on to some jagjit singh and finally landed on our song ... yup we have "our song" :D (in case you are wondering who is "we" stay tuned for further updates)

Here is a link to "our song" inserted with permission from "her".

youTube link to our song

It was with great reluctance that I finally got out of that mode ... even after the maid had left.
There's nothing quite like it - the sound of music ...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm nobody! Who are you?

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd advertise -- you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

by Emily Dickinson

Amazing poem ... but takes some getting used to in real life.

Of late, in the mornings, on history channel, they show various battles from the second world war and in most of them, there are also some interviews with survivors. Incredibly lucky people that survived battle after battle after battle to actually see the war end and live on to a ripe old age.

I don't know how they feel or whether they consider themselves to be all that lucky. Imagine watching so many of your friends dying around you - violently. Imagine, living every moment not knowing whether it would be your last. Imagine coming back home to find half of your childhood friends haven't made it back ... scars like that don't heal.

I envy them though.

In their youth, they had a purpose. Something to live for and die for. Perhaps this is a romanticized view of the draft ... you had to fight irrespective of what you believed in ... your country is at war ... you cannot stand and question why ... yours is to but to do or die ... (misquoted).

Having lived through such times of tremendous uncertainty, and having come out alive, I am sure they are able to appreciate each and everything around them a lot more than we ever will. After seeing all that death, they must fully comprehend just how much of a blessing life really is. Eating soggy bully beef from a leaky can as the rain pours on you and drips down your trench coat to collect in puddles around your feet ... a mix of earth, ashes, cigarette stubs, gun powder, diesel, lubricating oils ... and last but not the least ... blood. I am sure someone that has had a meal like that won't crib too much about the salt in the food. They will appreciate that their hands don't smell of stale moist tobacco and the air doesn't smell of burnt flesh as they eat. The fact that the food is warm, has been served on a table, on a clean dish, under a glowing light, in a warm house and smells so wonderful.

Each day on earth must be a like a day in heaven for them... though sleep might be difficult to come across and every dream may take them back to some obscure beach at the other end of the world with tracer bullets shooting up spurts of dirt around the ankles.

I pity us. A generation that has gotten things on a platter and cannot really appreciate it for what it is. Perhaps I should speak for myself.

No place for a Vasco da Gama or a Columbus to go to ... no new straits for a Captain Cook to sail. No battles for a Nelson to fight, no valley of death for a light brigade to charge (though it might be better not to mention this particular goof up and portray it as something that it never was to begin with).

We live in times when all of gigmanity lives one common dream - how much wealth can you accumulate. Bill Gates is God. Most people appreciate Tiger Woods not so much for the golf that he plays as much as for the money that it has earned him. Perhaps, it can be said that every other example that I have taken was also driven by a lust for wealth ... explorers that wanted to make money ... be it from spices or slaves or new lands ... but somehow it all feels different.

The whole point of this post is perhaps just the inner turmoil that I have.
Here I am ... and who am I? And what have I done? And what will I do? And when will I do it?
Here is me fighting with myself. The realization dawned earlier perhaps but the acceptance is still not there ... that I am just another average guy with a 9 to 5 job who has pretty much lived a good part of his life and really doesn't have much to show for it.

Everyday life is about too many things that I never thought it would be about ... mundane ... paying bills, negotiating the traffic to office, paying taxes, buying groceries, repairing the sump, figuring out how to buy a house ...

Is this what life is all about?

So ... do I accept things the way they are and settle down to being nobody? Or do I have the guts to do something about it ... and if so what? what would really measure up to be a purpose in life?

This isn't so much about being somebody as it is about being able to look back at life and smile with satisfaction and tell god:

... tell god ... something short and crisp and quotable.