Sunday, December 24, 2006

Complimentary function

While we may want to keep our feet firmly on the ground in the face of the sweetest,diabetes-inducing my lonelier times I tend to reminisce the kind things people have said to me.
These are not necessarily when I have done really well...but each one of them touched my heart.
Sometimes these people did not even know how much they touched my heart.
The people shall not be named . Some of them know me, some think they know me and some really do know me.
1) July 26th,2K5.
On the famed Matunga Z-bridge. Having walked through waist deep water and being drenched to the bone I am contemplating the task I and a classmate just achieved and how to get home with minimum damage. I am,as sportspersons would put it, 'in the zone'. And she comes up with:
" Nissim, you look like a saint...absolutely expressionless".
I think of this as a compliment...dunno about you.

2) Semester 7. Assignments flying all around. DComm assignments being finished hurriedly.
I sit there, close my eyes and focus myself. A classmate comes up with:
" You look like you don't have any problems in life." NO COMMENTS!!

3) In a chat (probably online):
" That's why your eyes are so deep...there's a part of you thats out there for the world to see. Then there is an entire you hidden from the rest of the world."
Point taken and compliment too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Still Falling over backwards

Arjun Singh has his own way after all. The BILL is passed in LS. The peoples' representatives, representing the 27% 'majority', decided to give the go ahead to the reservations.
As promised in the previous are some poignant statistics from Arun Shourie's book 'Falling over Backwards'.

KERALA Medical admissions:

General < 412
OBC < 1752,2653 for different 'grades(is it?)'
SC < 4409
ST < 14,426.
My only comment...WTF!!

Karnataka Medicine admissions:
General < 540
Reserved categories < 40,799 different categories of reservations.

A personal admissions 2001. I go to VJTI and find that general is one column and there are infinitely many reserved category columns.

SC, ST, OBC, VJ1(Vimukt Jaati), VJ2, VJ3, NT1(Nomadic tribes),NT2 and some other things also.

Jharkhand engineering admissions :
Reserved category candidate getting admission to engg...PCM score
P = 2/100, C = 1/100
Another one: 4/300.

GOVERNMENT SERVICES have had reservations for long:

In Delhi, a general category person joined in 1957. Everyone agrees he is fairly efficient and good at his work. Currently serving under a lady BORN in 1966. Promotion upon joining, superceding others on the basis of caste...leads to such gross injustice.

One final statistic: consider the people who joined the public electrical services in Karnataka in 1982-84 as Asst. Engineers.
General category engineers will not be promoted to the post of Executive Engineers till 2012-2014.
Reserved category engineers got the same in 1991-93.

Meera Kumar wants to implement reservation in private sector too.
Is this where we are going?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sabka Katega

Rediscovered this gem by bodhi tree (XLRI) recently.


What brought us together might remain unspoken,
what held us together might be worn off and broken,
even if your way was different as I felt was mine,
now i want our paths to cross waiting for my time.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Different kind of mugging...

We are all used to mugging for exams...and with the Matrix theory midsem on 31st Oct my Sunday was spent mugging for it and watching India waste an excellent start.
I left for IISc at about 7 pm...and experienced for the first time in my life...THE OTHER THING CALLED MUGGING.

As I walked to the bus stop...2 ppl accosted me and spoke in Kannada.
When I indicated that I did not know that language one of them asked me to follow him to "the Station". These ppl were obviously not I refused.
Then he grabbed my neck and started pulling me with him as I pushed him away.
He then tried to strangle me and in this confusion we both fell into the gutter by the side of the road.

He apparently wanted my cell phone...I think the other fellow was afraid people might turn up and had already run away. This guy kept up his choking and clawed away at my face with his nails. I punched him a couple of times and pulled him away with his hair.

I will not claim I bashed him up but I did not let him beat me either. He finally managed to pull my Nokia 6030 phone out of my hands but as he was getting out of the gutter people has arrived on the scene. I grabbed his leg to not allow him to get away. The people caught him and I fairly easily convinced them that he was trying to steal my phone as opposed to his claim that I was stealing his phone.

Then came the most 'satisfying' part of the whole thing...seeing the bastard getting bashed up by the public. He lay motionless on the ground not responding to all the punches and kicks flying at him.
I was told to call the police...but by the time i met my aunt and got back to the place where people were holding him down ...the people had grown tired and left and so had that bastard.

I have bruises on my face and had to have an anti-tetanus injection...but satisfied that I did not give in to him.Maybe if I was better built none of this would have happened...I think he realized that " The size of the dog in the fight does not matter...what matters is the size of the FIGHT IN THE DOG."

The Brother summed it up in one sentence as he very often does..." Worried about you,but proud of you."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Status update

This post might add an infinite amount of entropy to the Universe and I don't care...
it starts out to answer a question that a few people who 'sort of' know me have asked over the past couple of weeks.
It pertains to my status message in gmail and yahoo IMs which reads "How I wish I wish you were here".
The answer my friends is blowing in my mind.

It starts in a lab in IISc...I am doing my Digital Image Processing assignment.
Strangely,the programs I write seem to be working. The weather outside is fine...bright sunshine yet not hot or humid.
If I want I could download some of my favourite songs from the net and listen.
I am enjoying myself...I am happy I am in IISc.
Life's Good.
I am about to tell myself
" ...what a wonderful world!".
Just then a thought crosses my mind.
It triggers a chain reaction of thoughts that end up in bleary eyes and an unspeakeable,immeasureable guilt.
Only one person in the world has said it to me in so many words...only one other person I have told in so many words about it.
Neither of them is with me right now.
Maybe one day I will come to terms with this...till then whether gmail says it or not
this is my status message.

That's all people...that's all.
It all is said in this one line:
" How I I wish you were here".

Monday, October 02, 2006

I've learnt that...

Came across this blog a few months ago...and had posted it on the yahoo grp too.
It belongs to this girl called Meghana (

I loved some of the 'claims' made in that post and I think I can add a few of my own.
I've learnt that...

...most of the stuff is all in my head and how I view it is my prerogative alone.

...there is no shame in tears, but you still don’t want the world to see your vulnerability.

...sometimes being alone helps you disentangle your intricacies, but you secretly wish there was a shoulder you could lean on.

...prayers don’t guarantee miracles, but they still heal certain wounds.
(expressly disagree...prayers dont help according to me)

...every emotion doesn’t need words for expression, you can feel someone's care through their eyes.

...unless you learn to be your own emotional anchor, you cannot be one to someone else and someone else cannot be one to you. the end of the day it doesn’t do to sit and mull over what I’ve achieved coz there’s still a long long way to go. the smallest of instances achieve significance and seem magnified in light of a few conversations and experiences.

...a lesson will be repeated again, till you’ve learnt it well enough.

...the only thing worse than a to wake up and realize that real life is even worse. can have hundreds of friends on orkut and yahoo...and still feel unloved and unappreciated.
and that feeling goes away even if u talk to a friend for a min on the phone...or as in my case get a voicemail(thanks Gmail). 'trivial' mistake can scar you for cud be the difference between realizing your dreams and struggling all your life to do so. it cud be the difference between reaching Atlantis and having to remind yourself that another world,your Atlantis, exists.

...the only thing worse than failure is succeeding and not being able to share it with those to whom it would have meant so much. treats to friends and taking treats from them are gr8...but the best treats are the ones you give yourself.

...NIIT is wrong: Life begins at an IIT.
(NIIT says "Life begins at NIIT")

... Life's a chemical break old bonds and form new ones for better stability...but it invariably adds to the confusion in the Universe.

The last and the best one:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Took this test on Darn easy ...but still HAD TO SHOW OFF!!
You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Schumi...thanks for the memories

A week ago it was Andre Agassi that bid the sports world a tearful goodbye. Today it is Michael Schumacher.Another one that makes me go into a chest thumping fist pumping frenzy.
With Schumi's imminent retirement...I have 2 less guys to root for desparately.
From Agassi I learnt that the craft was often more important than winning...Schumi thinks differently I guess. No one can put in efficient lap after efficient lap on the limit quite like him.
It is almost a privilege to see him racing...without him F1 is poorer. The initial wins at benetton in 94=95 followed by 4 frustrating second place finishes from 96-99.
Nobody really remembers those I think. i think he got injured in the 99 season but came back to try and help Eddie Irvine win over Hakkinen. It was damn close...and u cannot say schumi did not try. 90 Gp wins (and I hope he makes it a nice round 93) infinite number of records. What I remember is thinking that this man does not need a Ferrari to win...put him in a McLaren or any other car that does not cost him 2 seconds a lap and he will. The unbelievable will to win is what I will remember him for.
I don't really think it is necessary to be a very gracious loser...if u lost by all means BE SORE. It showed in Steffi...and it showed in Michael. Maybe it is a German trait.
Schumi's replacement at Ferrari Kimi (rhymes huh) is my second favourite driver right now...and come next F1 season he shall rule the roost.
All in all...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Andre the Giant

Very few people in this world have the capacity to make me go into a chest thumping,fist pumping frenzy...almost all of them are sportspersons.There was no shortage of this as I watched the highlights of Andre Agassi beating Baghdatis in a 4 hr THRILLER.
For as long as I know I have been an Agassi fan...fretted about it when he was ranked 150th and playing the Satellites, been extremely saddened every time he lost to Sampras...and celebrated every time he won.
I remember my father telling me he was one of the best players in the world in 1990 French Open. Long hair,flashy purple t shirt,cycling shorts and bermudas. He did not play Wimbledon till 1992...and the first time he played he won.
At age 36...4 years after Sampras played his last match(and he beat Agassi in that too) he is still running for the drop shots.
I will miss him once he retires...the pin point ground strokes, the unbelievable returns of serve,the 'aerodynamic' head and the unmistakeable waddle between points.
For as much as I want to...I know Agassi has very little chance of winning this time.
Maybe in a couple of years he will get bored sitting at home...then he and Steffi could play the mixed doubles...WHAT A TEAM THAT WOULD BE!!
After the 2002 semifinals in the US Open at the courtside interview he had said,
"With me and Pete it's going to be special...and this is NEW YORK BABY!"
Go still is NEW YORK BABY!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Top 10 reasons for brain damage.

This is a follow-up to the last article...taken off a forward on the school Yahoo group.

10 Biggest Brain Damaging Habits

1. No Breakfast (I have breakfast every single morning…I swear)
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration

2. Overeating (Hardly a problem with me)
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking (NO CHANCE!!)
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High sugar consumption (I doubt it)
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development .

5. Air pollution (IISc is about as green as it should be)
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency

6. Sleep deprivation (8 hrs of sleep on average)
Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Head covered while sleeping (I am guilty of this)
Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects

8. Working your brain during illness (Not working my brain at all)
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts (Can hardly complain of this in IISc…by the way what is meant by “stimulating thoughts”??)
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage

10. Talking rarely.(I participate in rather intellectual conversations I guess)
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Comfortably Dumb...

I am living proof of that. It is not the anaesthesia anymore. Its been about 4 months since I used MATLAB with any real aim. In the meanwhile there have been exams,vivas,interviews,farewells, decisions...the one thing lacking is any intellectual activity for about 2 and a half months since IISc interviews.
I had an assignment to image processing assignment in MATLAB.
I found I had forgotten the basics of MATLAB programming. Even things I could have done fairly easily 6 months ago as I prepared for the GATE I find I cannot anymore.

Simple mathematics takes a while to go in...vector spaces seem unbelievably tough. At the same time,in the same class are people who are also learning it for the first time ... they can deal with these things much more easily.
It is a scary thought that at the age of 23 I am getting OLD .
Need some brain exercise.
Off I go after this rant...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Of boils and Local anaesthesia...

Last sunday I woke up with a small boil on my reason for it to appear...but also no reason for any alarm.As boils have the propensity of opened while I was taking a bath [ now u know why we shud avoid taking them ;) ].
With due neglect from me during the course of the week it took the form of a nice shiny red volcano with a white head that hurt and itched at the same time.
I went to a doctor (for a non-trivial reason I am highly inclined not to visit a doctor)...the neglect over the week meant I had to have a small surgery of sorts to drain it. This meant I wud get local anaesthesia. My aunt who had accompanied me could not bear to watch.
I watched as the nurse (nowhere as cute as I would have liked ) pricked my arm and gave me a test shot of local anaesthesia to make sure I had no allergies to it.
I also had to give a blood sample for a blood sugar test (imagine 20 kg underweight and having high sugar...WHAT ARE THE CHANCES DUDE!!??).
Then the real deal. The doc asked me if it hurt when he pressed the boil and when I said no even considered doing the whole thing without anaesthesia. But he decided against it. The needle that gave me that LA was the only one I did not was also the only one that hurt a bit but again no need for any alarms.This was followed by a 'brute force' draining of the boil which yielded a lot of pus. The doc then bandaged me and chose to make it so tight that even drinking water had become a tough job.
Had to go back to get the bandage changed coz it did bleed a little inside the bandage.
I learnt some things from the experience:
1) I am not afraid of needles or surgical procedures.
2) I can go to a doctor iff really really needed.
3) My blood sugar levels are perfect 103mg/dl when the range is 70-135 (dot in the middle).
4) Local anaesthesia does not affect any other senses off I am to try my DIP assignment number 2.
Current Mood: groggy
Current Music: Comfortably Numb

Friday, August 18, 2006

A thought...

I had seen this on TV (ESPN Star I think) right after Bangladesh had won their first test match...


It's not about the Bike

I have read and reread this most riveting (auto)biography of 6 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong...everytime I read it it moves me, it shakes me up and makes me want to achieve something.
Last October I read it in one was that rivetting.
A testament to what grit and determination can achieve.
Armstrong says it was anger that drove him atleast in the initial part of his my case I guess it is pain that drives me.
The title of the book says it all...
"IT IS NOT ABOUT THE BIKE"...(it never is) .
I went up and down with every event...from the agony of the illness to the exhilaration of the victories. I was almost in tears at a couple of places ...not when he describes the treatment
but when he describes the victories.
A book I would recommend to everyone...

Saturday, July 29, 2006


I am in a lab in IISc. The bitter truths about life alone are hitting home. Have to take care of so many things you usually take for granted.I only have a temporary I card and no login ID. So cannot surf on my own account.
The campus is beautiful ...the staff is fairly good natured. They were still smiling at us even 12 hrs into their registration duties. There seems to be a lot of space and resources are almost overflowing.
Might not post for a while as I get used to the way things work around here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Goodbye Blue Sky

I leave Mumbai is tough to leave the city you have grown so accustomed to. I am sure I will miss the local trains and the crowded BEST buses.

A year ago I walked through waist-high water it is generally sunny with cloudy spells.
This is what I feel ...and with the background of the July 11th bombings it fits too.

Goodbye Blue Sky (Waters) 2:48
"Look mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky"

Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?

Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
The flames are all gone, but the pain lingers on.
Goodbye, blue sky

Goodbye, blue sky.
"The 11:15 from Newcastle is now approaching"

"The 11:18 arrival...."
(Cud have been the 6.28 to Virar).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

About a girl...

I am not really into reading other peoples’ blogs…never unless they ask me to or have put it up to be seen easily.
One blog that I came across, that falls in the second category is

It is the blog of an 18 year old girl living in Mumbai.
I came across it on her orkut page and I shall refrain from divulging other details.
One of the first blogs of hers that I read was one on Silence and it touched me.
This was a young girl who knew what she wanted ( atleast academically) and knew how hard she would have to work for it.She was ready to make the sacrifices it needed.
Something I rarely see in people of our generation.

She has a nice collection of articles on her blog and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading intelligent writing that still ‘smells like teen spirit’

And another link I got from her blog…reproduced here for the benefit of those who will not care to try the above link:
Something called the Church of Skeptical Mysticism…but really interesting thoughts.
I hope the blogosphere (or whatever it is called!) abounds with such intelligent, mature young people.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Proud to be an Indian??

Recently received an email titled “Proud to be an Indian”…it is not that I am not a proud Indian. The reasons given for us to be proud Indians were just not convincing enough. Just that these reasons are exactly the wrong ones to put forward...I am proud to be an Indian,just that these are not the reasons why.

Here are some of them
FACTS TO MAKE EVERY Indian PROUD (could be fairly dated as well)

Q. Who is the GM of Hewlett Packard (HP) ?
A. Rajiv Gupta

Q. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today's computers run on it)?
A. Vinod Dahm

Q. Who is the third richest man on the world?
A. According to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, it is Azim Premji, who is the CEO of Wipro Industries. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6 th position now. (For a couple of weeks I guess when Wipro stock went thru the roof)

Q. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world's No.1 web based email program)?
A. Sabeer Bhatia

Q. Who is the president of AT & T-Bell Labs (AT & T-Bell Labs is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, Unix to name a few)?
A. Arun Netravalli

Q. Who is the new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000, responsible to iron out all initial problems?
A. Sanjay Tejwrika

Q. Who are the Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey & Stanchart?
A. Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, and Rana Talwar.

Q. We Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America, even faring better than the whites and the natives.
There are 3.22 millions of Indians in USA (1.5% of population). YET,
38% of doctors in USA are Indians.
12% scientists in USA are Indians.
36% of NASA scientists are Indians.
34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.
28% of IBM employees are Indians.
17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.
13% of XEROX employees are Indians.

Apart from the 3rd question answer I see no reason for India to be proud…these are its sons who have gone abroad (mostly US of A) and achieved what they have.

And Azim Premji has made a fortune by providing cheap, qualified labour to the Americans( nothing wrong in that I think).
Anywhere you read they claim the following Nobel Prize as India’s but I dispute them:

Plz correct me if I have got my facts wrong.

S Chandrashekhar : Nobel for Physics 1983.

He served on the University of Chicago faculty from 1937 until his death in 1995 at the age of 84. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1953.

Hargobind Khurana: Nobel for Medicine 1968

In 1945, he began studies at the University of Liverpool. After earning a Ph. D. in 1948, he continued his postdoctoral studies in Zürich (1948-49). Subsequently, he spent two years at Cambridge and his interests in proteins and nucleic acids took root that time. In 1952 he went to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and in 1960 moved to the University of Wisconsin. He became the Alfred Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he continues to work.

Amartya Sen: Nobel for Economics 1998

Worked all his life in England.

All those numbers about doctors in the US and NASA scientists…why should they make an Indian proud? These people have left their country to work in a foreign one.
I intend to do something similar too.

The question arises : why do these extraordinarily talented men and women leave India and work abroad?

I would like to believe it is not just the lure of the lucre.

The work conditions abroad are unfair but probably better that India even then. There is better chance of recognition…there is less red tapism. Nobody assumes a right to anything by birth.

Talent and/or hard work have a better chance of paying off in the US than India.

When these men and women choose to return to India or not go at all…that is when we should be proud to be Indian for these reasons.

A PROUD INDIAN nonetheless.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Mind Chow

One of the better parts of the Mumbai Mirror supplement...apart from its 'most read' section is a little corner on the page with the crossword called Mind Chow.
The thought for today:

Very nice.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tenet Nosce...know thyself.

Life, it seems to me, is a series of choices. Constantly we have to make choices and decisions…and the quality of our lives and often the direction it takes is decided by the quality of the decisions we make.

As Neo rightly guessed in the Matrix Reloaded, “ Choice. The problem is choice.”.
I have been faced with choices, often life-changing ones, and had to make the decisions by myself. Most people would prefer to leave the decision in someone else’s hands or postpone it until the decision matters no more or their hands are tied and they are forced to choose one over the other.

I failed to get into IIT through the JEE and even the GATE rank I got first time around was not enough to get me a direct admit. I kept studying , kept obsessing about it and attained Nirvana on the 29th of April this year when before I went in for a viva my mom informed me I had got a direct admit from IITM. I had been called gateguru, my hobbies apparently were limited to studying for the GATE. I even faced accusations that I judged people by their AIRs. It was a choice I had made…why?...I don’t know…it was almost an automatic one.
Maybe this exchange between Neo and Agent Smith at the end of Matrix Revolutions will shed some light…I think it is the most important exchange between them in the trilogy…I could identify with the dialogue personally.

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?


The last line I think is the most significant …because I choose to.
To be able to make these choices there is need for introspection, often self-appraisal…a need to ask yourself…How good am I ? What do I really want?
Once that is done…I suppose the choices become easier to make…often automatic.
This passage from the Foutainhead is one of my favourites,one between Peter Keating and Howard Roark…
"If you want my advice, Peter," he said at last, "you’ve made a mistake already.
By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don’t you
know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?"
"You see, that’s what I admire about you, Howard. You always know."
"Drop the compliments."
"But I mean it. How do you always manage to decide?"
"How can you let others decide for you?"
"But you see, I’m not sure, Howard. I’m never sure of myself. I don’t know
whether I’m as good as they all tell me I am. I wouldn’t admit that to anyone
but you. I think it’s because you’re always so sure that I..."

Friday, June 16, 2006


Ayn Rand is one author that has influenced me a lot since I have been reading her fact The Fountainhead is probably the first fiction work I have read must be December 2003. Around the time of sem 3 exam. Since then it has been a tradition to end up reading rand longer than engg textbooks in the PL.
Atlas Shrugged is a rivetting story which is similar to the conditions prevailing today as has been pointed out in a previous post. Here is a passage from this book which I always keep on my desktop tells you not to lose let go of the unjust punishments that we might be subjecting ourselves to. Studying for BE exams often seemed like self inflicted punishment and this passage often gave me hope of a better tomorrow and of finding myself in Atlantis.

"If you fail, as men have failed in their quest for a vision that should have been possible, yet has remained forever beyond their reach—if, like them, you come to think that one's highest values are not to be attained and one's greatest vision is not to be made real— don't damn this earth, as they did, don't damn existence. You have seen the Atlantis they were seeking, it is here, it exists—but one must enter it naked and alone, with no rags from the falsehoods of centuries, with the purest clarity of mind—not an innocent heart, but that which is much rarer: an intransigent mind—as one's only possession and key. You will not enter it until you learn that you do not need to convince or to conquer the world. When you learn it, you will see that through all the years of your struggle, nothing had barred you from Atlantis and there were no chains to hold you, except the chains you were willing to wear. Through all those years, that which you most wished to win was waiting for you"—he looked at her as if he were speaking to the unspoken words in her mind—"waiting as unremittingly as you were fighting, as passionately, as desperately—but with a greater certainty than yours. Go out to continue your struggle. Go on carrying unchosen burdens, taking undeserved punishment and believing that justice can be served by the offer of your own spirit to the most unjust of tortures. But in your worst and darkest moments, remember that you have seen another kind of world. Remember that you can reach it whenever you choose to see. Remember that it will be waiting and that it's real, it's possible—it's yours."
- John Galt to Dagny Taggart,Atlas Shrugged.

Consider these above words carefully...and ask yourself,"Is what I am undergoing worth the effort and the pain?". I did...and I found my answer. You find yours.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

System Restore...

I went to VJTI on 12th May to submit a form for my brother. Stood in the same serpentine queue that I stood in 5 years ago. I listened to the music being dished out on FM...and almost by coincidence, they were playing a lot of songs from 5 years ago.
DCH,Pyaar tune kya kiya and Lagaan ruled the roost.

I wondered what happened in the intervening 5 years... would I like to restore the conditions to as they were 5 years ago. System restore ,Bill Gates will have us believe,is a very useful feature in Windows XP. Maybe.
Could,or rather would, I want to restore the conditions that prevailed then? Or rather would I change the way things had shaped out in these years?

I had good PCM score,and since then my engg marks have spiralled downwards a la Fermat's method of infinite descent.
I had a tight knit group of great friends,an amazing collection of people,who in collective talent were second to no other collection of people.
I had flunked my first attempt at the JEE,but had great hopes and aspirations for my second attempt at it.
There was HOPE.

There were things I had not seen, that I have seen in these years...and experiences taken that will last a lifetime.
I lost my innocence, my photographs used to have a boyish they look world if I know the world is against me.
My smile has probably lost its freshness,though probably through overuse. I smile at everything these days(apparently)...whether I am sad or happy,enlightened or confused.
As some wise man said,"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want". Perfectly right.

These experiences, however painful, enriched me as a person. I might smile at everything but it takes a lot to make me lose my temper.
It helps as an engineering student, in the stressful moments that it causes in the lives of all of us, to remind yourself that you have been through worse.

In these 5 years, I gave up on God as an agent of the good. I don't pray except to keep someone's heart...God does not matter to me...the people I love DO. And I don’t really pray to Him…just show as if I am.

In these 5 years I spent hours upon hours questioning my ability and found that I wasn't lacking in much. I also realized that I need to prioritize my efforts. A friend had put it as "Learn to value your efforts"...are they giving you back as much as they take away from you? Is it of as much value to you as the effort it demands?
I learnt from Norbert Wiener that "If you compete with slaves, you become a slave".

In these five years I started reading fiction, Rand and Thomas Harris being the first.
I read self help books, even Christian drivel like Tough Times don't last, Tough people do. I read that and at the other end of the spectrum in the same genre I read Tuesdays with Morrie.

I found a few friends that I want to hold on to for the rest of my life. They made me realize I was only making my life worse by not letting go. I had become too much of a control freak...repressing my emotions so as not to impede my ambitions.
They let me talk to them as no one else had cared to...and I opened my heart to them as I had never cared to open to anyone else, in one case almost unknowingly.

I met people...I learnt about human behaviour. I learnt that people are not always rational ...and that only in that rarest of cases is the irrational the right way to go. My family will remember me as a hot headed, tantrum throwing friends think of me as someone who never loses his cool. Yes I have calmed down over the years...and I have also learnt to hide my emotions. So you never know how angry I am.
As a song in The MATRIX OST says I am "Calm like a Bomb".
All this happened in these 5 years.
Maybe I should start Cafe 5 years ...since A lot can happen over 5 years.

So do I want a system restore?
If one thing is allowed, absolutely...without batting an eyelid.
If that is beyond my control then I am undecided...yes life would be a lot easier (probably) but all these lessons would be lost.

So I look forward to the future, one that promises so much...happiness and undoubtedly pain as well.But then
...I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

THE WALL remixed

PINK FLOYD WORDS remixed ...

We don't need no reservations
We don't need no caste control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Leaders leave the kids alone.
Hey, leaders leave the kids alone!
All in all you're just another prick in the (Parliament) Hall

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reservations about reservations...

The UPA government is going ahead with the proposed reservations.As in a previous post...they don't really care about us ( copyright MJ). No matter how much we scream and shout it won't be of much use I guess. As I think about it,the words a friend had put up on his orkut page come to my mind. Here they are courtesy Alistair Maclean via Pratik Gupta.

Beyond anger lies fury, the heedless, ungovernable rage of the berserker, and beyond that again, a long, long step beyond the boundary of madness, lies the region of cold and utterly uncaring indifference.
When a man enters that region, as few ever do, he is no longer himself, he is a man beside himself, a man without all his normal codes and standards of feeling and thought and emotions, a man for whom words like fear and danger and suffering are words that belong to another world and whose meaning he no longer can comprehend.

Alistair MacLean.

Are we there yet...I don't know...but we surely are getting there. That is what this country and its leaders need to guard against. Youngster after disgruntled youngster,who could have done so much,should not be leaving the country for not just greener but fairer pastures.

The more I think about the current fracas the more it reminds me of the situation of Atlas Shrugged,where driven by the unfair and unjust Directive 289 John Galt and the men of the mind go on a strike. If the most promising and productive people of the country suddenly decide that they will not contribute in any way to the prosperity of that will be hell on earth. That is what this thing is doing to me.

Why should I contribute to the well being of a nation that will take the product of my work and distribute it to those who claim their right to it by their sheer inability to achieve it on their own?
Why should achieving something be made increasingly difficult for some and increasingly easier for others?
It is only when their crutches are taken away that they will know they can run too.

You cannot catch enough fish to feed them all everyday,so you might as well teach them to fish.
I am not against helping anyone to be as well equipped to face life(or exams in this case) as they can but then once you are at an examination there should be no reservations.
This is nothing fact it is the first and foremost of Nature's Laws:
And Newton's Law tells us what will happen if we do not heed this law of Nature.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wish you were here...

The night of May 19th brought with it the news that I had been selected for M Tech in Communications at IIT Bombay with Teaching Assistanship. I was elated...had I been a footballer I would have come up with some novel celebration like a toss of my graduating hat.
The question of to B or not to B was solved once and for all and it had an affirmative answer.

But there seems to be a sense of that Godel for all his skill would not be able to describe using mathematics. Only ONE person in the entire world could sense this and have the sense to talk to me about it.

I have always found it tough to express my emotions and this is why I have to take recourse to the lyrics of a little known Bangalore based fusion rock(or whatever!) band called Antaragni. They say everything I have to say about this one thing that I do not talk about(except to very few people).

Had heard them at Mood Indigo 2003 and liked their music and this song in particular.
The song itself is well made and sounds much better when heard than just reading the lyrics.

Here I present those lyrics which are so close to my heart:

Dark clouds gather in the sky
and the wind is blowing across the land
evening birds hurry back to their homes
but I bend down to tie my shoes
...because I've got to go

Words you said occur in my ears
and I try so hard to hold back my tears
but I still go on and on
across the mountains of memories
Wish you were here.

I wait with my eyes open for a sound
its down on me but then you were gone
but I still carry on
across the mountains of memories
Wish you were here

Monday, May 15, 2006

Caste away

With all this talk of reservations and the predicted and perfectly appropriate brain drain...I am left thinking that my status in this country and its state of affairs is that of a Caste-away.
As I watched in horror the future doctors of the country,people my age, getting brutally thrashed I got the distinct feeling that I and people like me did not matter anymore. We form the minority I guess, but then we are not a religious minority, are we?
I debated with myself,and later with a friend whether the President could have done something about it...he could have returned the Bill(as far as I remember Civics...he can).
Even a year ago,I was horrified to find that while my AIR 194 would not get me IITM Communication M Tech...AIR 2000 odd could...he has an extra piece of paper (called the caste certificate) you see.

The TV showed pictures of the youth in Bangalore on the streets...and just for a moment a placard caught my eye:
" WE DREAM...WE WORK...THEY GET IT BY BIRTH"...well said my friend.

I guess the machinery is already rolling...the Constitution has been amended...and there is very little we can do except buy some time...time to drive some sense into the heads of the politicos.
The IITs were called the Iyer Iyengar institutes of Technology...but then we had no choice...the reservations were already so high (especially in TN i guess) that to get decent engineering education you had to get into an IIT.
If this move goes through the IITs and IIMs,the islands of excellence in this unending sea of mediocrity, will drown Atlantis many of us will seek and never find.
The Govt suggests raising the number of seats in the IITs..but do u have the funds to do so? It spends Rs. 1.5 lakh per student per annum...imagine what the extra load will be on the economy. And who will foot the bill...people like us,who stay here and create wealth...not grab undeserved seats and then run away.

If this Bill goes through,it will cause much anguish to my brother and infinitely many others like him.And what will I do...go away from India( after an MTech that I worked my backside off for...not worked a piece of paper for) and send US dollars to my family so that my money won't fund the education of these undeserving b#$%rds.

In one line...the upper castes need 50% reservation too...after all we are

The Beginning

This appeared in the TOI on 11th May and I thought it was very pertinent to the way our lives are.
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.
- Tom Friedman.
This blog is intended to be an expression of what i am thinking on that particular day...since I am not very creative with words it will often have other people's words ...of course for intellectual integrity the source will be acknowledged wherever known.