Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Burden of Thought

I was never argumentative. I systematically avoid getting into debates/ discussions with people who cannot imagine leaving with views different from those they brought to the table. Every time I speak my thoughts out, I put myself out there, exposed: to ridicule, to shock, to my being proven wrong. Why? So I can further my search for truth. The only perk is that, occasionally, I get to see someone begin to think about things for the first time in their life.

I'm not sure how people begin to think. Is it an intrinsic skill found in every human being that only needs to be employed or does thought need to be triggered by an external stimulus? In my opinion, 'thinking' is not the ability to eliminate irrationality and hypocrisy. It's the ability to recognize them. Once you recognize a fallacy, you either replace it with the truth if possible or carry on with awareness.

Growing up with parents who more or less were religious and who didn't foist their beliefs on me, I learnt the difference between tolerance and acceptance. I never really liked the term 'religious tolerance' -- it bugs you no end but you don't do anything about it so as to not attract trouble. Acceptance, on the other hand, need not be going as far as appreciating differences but being able to glibly say, "To each his own." 

It seems to me that if one thinks long enough about life, death, nature and god, the threads of unbiased reason should culminate in the simple truth that if Earth were to do it all over again, science would be unearthed by mankind exactly as it did the previous cycle; All the facts, laws and discoveries albeit by different people. Given the same conditions that engendered life on Earth, life would again start as infinitesimal protein chain structures. Would the Odyssey or The Da Vinci Code be written as they were? Would the same gods we have today visit humankind and be worshipped again? I'd say no to both.

There are two categories of people who do not think. To those who have never really thought, there's a chance that somewhere down the line, they may be influenced to question and seek answers. What of those who refuse to think? It would be foolish of me to deem the latter kind as dumb. For someone who has adapted a way of life and values as the absolute good, life is stable, predictable and he/ she may very well outlive me. It's a sound way to preserve life. It is what your genes want even if you don't know it.

I however must confess that before I feel pity for them, there is a very brief time period when i feel intense contempt. It's a blip in my response. I may be nearer to the truth than they are but I'm nowhere near knowing all that is true. That bothers me.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Denial and Tears.

Gathering from personal experiences and following up with weeding through the internet to find relevant information, I see how little men understand crying. If i don't understand something, I am sure to come up with a million possible explanations. It is how minds work. The sheer volume of possibilities sets the stage for confusion, judgement, minimization of the issue at hand and in later stages, denial.

I read men inherently feel the need to fix things. I have seen it to be true with those men I do know. They go to great lengths attempting to do so even when things do not need 'fixing' as much as there is a need for patience and purely existing, both in body and mind. 

It is a fact that women cry a lot more than men. I remember a conversation with my best friend where she said, "I have observed that i cry in loud sobs when i am angry or frustrated. I do not cry when I am sad."  I have found that to be true in my case too. Sometimes, I cry because I am being forced to feel rueful. I cry at the unfairness of it all but in all fairness, the world is not fair. So I move on.

One issue I dwell upon now is how people forget, very often, that reactions to a stimulus vary from one person to another. I might wince for having scraped in knee while someone might be able to walk away from a bullet wound. ( I do not know about the latter. I am speculating for the purpose of drawing a comparison.) This non-absolute axiom tends to take worse beating when the stimulus turns from being physical to emotional. I might want to cry because my shoe heel came apart. Do not judge the validity of the reaction using your index of emotional response. If you do not understand the other person's incentive to cry or not to cry, if you cannot digest it, then respect it. As a last resort, I might say, flee the scene.

There are worse things you can do:
# Minimizing the problem. Using contorted logic to say how the problem does not warrant crying because the current problem is a wild exaggeration of the tiny issue that engendered it; There by, making the person regret ever exposing themselves to you in his/ her vulnerable position.

# Complete Denial. When minimization does not work, the next step towards the annihilation of the person's integrity is to deny the existence of a problem. Of course, problems can be invented just so the person can cry because life was so good, crying needs to done over things that do not exist.  Any sensible woman i know, who has a shred of integrity, does not invent sad stories, unless it's for her livelihood. Contrary to popular belief, I look to be happy for as much and for as long as possible.

I want to believe the reason men do the things stated above is because of their futile attempts to fix things. When you go all out and try to fix something and it doesn't make anything better, you then re-asses the situation. May be there was nothing to fix in the first place. Denial. Amid someone's tears.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rather Indispensable

Ranked and categorized.

Albums (it's not often that i like all the songs in an album)
#1 Opeth - Damnation
#2 Travis - 12 Memories
#3 Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
#4 U2 - Joshua Tree
#5 Moby - Play

Tracks (Not a day goes by when i don't listen to the following)
The Beatles - Across the universe
Funkadelic - Maggot brain
U2 - With or without you 
Coldplay - Trouble
Simon and Garfunkel - For emily, whenever i may find her
Iron Maiden - Dance of death
Metallica - Unforgiven III
Paul McCartney - This never happened before
Billy Joel - Piano man
Priscilla Ahn - Dream
Aerosmith - Dream on
KK - Pyaar ke pal
Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik - Pehla nasha

Pointless post, I guess. Shrug.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


For weeks now, the world I'm regularly exposed to has been mourning the end of our stint as undergraduate students. 

I, for one, feel nothing. Back in first year, I imagined that I'd feel boundless joy when time, at last, came for me to graduate. That is how much i detested my college and alien I felt. As semesters rolled by, the active hate turned passive and later was replaced by nonchalance. I hung back and did my own thing, never cared enough to conform, mostly kept out of trouble. 

What i completely fail to understand is what is it that people are going to miss so much that it makes them inconsolably miserable. One will always stay in touch with those who matters. Yes, the hours-long chats and everyday companionship will have to be done away with but isn't moving on inevitable as one advances years? Unless one has already hit the highest possible point in their life and all that is in store is set to go only downhill. As for me, I strongly believe the best time of my life is yet to come.

Of course, there are those who cannot even for a second not pretend that they don't take life seriously; As if they're permanently euphoric on pot without ever having smelled the aromatic leaves. More than adequate sleep seems to top the "I will miss __" list. I cannot help the chuckling in my head thinking what fun it'd be if they ever develop a condition where continuous sleep exceeding a few minutes can cause their heart to stop. No, I'm not sadistic. I just like to amuse myself with the occasional reverie when all else fails to do so.

A little out of context but here's a quote from House, M.D. -- Kutner: "When your life sucks from the beginning, there's nowhere to go but up."

Friday, April 13, 2012

To Live On

All of man's efforts at a very fundamental level have been to gain more control over his life and over the environment he lives in. In present times, man can choose when to die but his choice of how long he wishes to live is restricted to a seemingly small range of numbers. Put in a position to choose, I do not believe we'd elect to live for hundreds of years but we'd like to know that we can. Countries do not include nuclear weapons in their arsenal with the intention of blowing up land that does not belong to them at the slightest provocation but they do take comfort from the fact that they can if they wanted to.

Immortality is different from life extension in that aspect. As much as man will want to be able to set the span of his life, he will want to have just as much control over his death. Immortality eliminates control over death. I haven't read enough mythology to understand the concept of immortality and many questions of practicality arise. For one, i assume there would be no suicides, homicides and genocides anymore. However, immortality means that we're not mortals anymore. Will immortal men feel pain? Will a cut on the veins cause one to bleed out to ... what? So the person may not bleed at all or he will continue to live with how much ever blood he has left. Oh, doctors will probably go from owning luxury/ super cars to living in cardboard boxes.

Seeing how the terms of immortality are totally up for speculation and taking into account man's love for control, life extension sounds much more realizable with little no confusion. With the on-going research on telomeres and such, life extension becomes less fantastic and less improbable as decades roll by.

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins presents an idea as to how the life span of the members belonging to a particular species can be increased by raising the reproductive age; meaning if all women gave birth for the first time after they've turned 40, over several centuries. we may be able to see an increase in the average life span. Genes have no foresight. The survival of any species, among other things, depends on the rate of reproduction. Life Extension now poses a threat to population balance. A very strict code of control would have to be established to control and regulate reproduction.

Extension of life brings with it greater emotional baggage. One will tow more and for a longer duration. Though one may get more opportunities at success, failures will haunt him/ her longer now. Quoting House, "
Successes only last until someone screws them up. Failures are forever"

There have been many times when i said, "I wish i had ten lifetimes to try and be good at all the things that interest me." I'm not studying engineering because it is the greatest love of my life. I picked a potential career that held promise, i was good at science and i liked science. I just as easily would have loved to be a dancer, a writer, a florist, a photographer, a fashion designer and a psychologist. These are disciplines that I truly love. Life extension would give people like me the opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of their personality and talents. Then when I have done enough, i can die. It is that simple.

If a debate on life extension should ever arise, I hope one argument no one puts on the table is "This is not natural. So it is not good." I'm royally sick of this sprouting every time someone talks of hormone replacement therapy or genetically engineering for a better fetus. It is essential to understand that the fabric protecting you from the heat and cold does not sprout from the ground; neither does pasta. Going one step backward, we are already extending life by impeding death by surgery and medication to a very good extent. In some sense, life extension is already here; We may not be able to blow life into every dying person but we are making it happen with donor hearts and livers, stem cell therapy and ventilators.

I'm not sure if I ll be around to witness life extension becoming a reality. However, if i were given a choice between exploring a new habitable planet and having my aging halted/ reversed, I'm very sure I'd be excited about the former. I'd definitely go for the latter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On Prostitution

This has been a topic I've thought and read a lot about. The entire world from a political and social stand point has pronounced prostitution disdainful and most countries deem it illegal. My post today will focus on the legal viewpoint.

Prostitution may have been sentenced as ignoble and illegal for as long as civilizations have existed but nevertheless it thrives.
The ethical and moral elements that purportedly get abused in this profession has been talked about to no end. In my opinion, there is no denigration for someone who accepts a fee in exchange of a sexual act. If the transaction takes place with the voluntary consent of both the parties, I do not see how it dilutes the laudable social framework we have managed to uphold by the sweat of our brows. India, as sexually repressed as the society here is, houses a widely-spread market; illegal as it may be.

The debate on legalization of prostitution has seen quite a few people 'for' it. Yes, legalization has it advantages. For starters, the government will be able to ensure the well-being and upkeep of the workers. The industry being as big as it is, both the institutions and employees can be taxed for their wages just like any other citizen. Regular monitoring of the workers can at last enable the government to curb the spread of STDs.

Legalization however poses a serious threat in the form of exploitation of the 'legal' status. Women can be blackmailed to stay locked in the profession. Teenagers can acquire false IDs to fend for themselves by working as prostitutes. Women who need to be liberated will no more be able to appeal to the illegality of the profession they've been forced into.


This post has remained a draft for a month now. I do not feel like finishing it. So this goes up as it is.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happiness, please.

It just hit me that I've been reading books that mimic reality. So they're not much of an escapade. I want to read a happy book. Not Ha-Ha or Mu-Ha-Ha happy but one with a happy ending. If you know any such books barring the oh-so-vanilla romance genre, kindly type their titles out in the comments.

I was thinking a while ago. All these men i know by name and not personally and who i think are terribly attractive---What if they're gay? One such person's post happened to turn up on my facebook home page. His profile picture was that of a youthful (and attractive) white man. I'm hoping it is a sportsman and not his boyfriend! Let me live in my blissful illusion.

Tests got over today. Did two wonderfully and the other two inexplicably bad. I chanced upon Bruno Mars' Just the way you are today. I'd love for someone to sing it for me. Reminds me of Eric Clapton's You look wonderful tonight.

Shrug. Whatever.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Other Edge of the Knife

Don't you agree that there are some songs which you feel very strongly about? Listening to them can only evoke a certain type of emotion and imagination irrespective of how many times you listen to it. Doesn't matter how drunk or sober you are.

I've seen that such songs can push you over the edge. Any mood that has brought to the surface some strong emotion, there is always a song which will amplify that emotion to such an extent as to throw you off balance. I like to call these songs 'monumental'.

I've listed the ones that come to my mind right now and what i associate them with. (in no particular order)

# Since I've been loving you - Led Zep (Love and Hate at the same time)
# With or without you - U2 (Serenity in the most real sense of the word)
# Lonely day - System of a Down (Liberation, Latitude)
# Sleep to dream - Fiona Apple (Strength and perseverance)
# The nomad - Iron Maiden (I always feel the song is about me. Don't know why)
# Study War - Moby (I've never been to New Orleans but makes me think of it)
# Dream - Priscilla Ahn (Nostalgia. Very tragic.)
Go ahead and list some songs that work on you.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I can say with some confidence that 3 months (almost) of inactivity have turned me into what i truly am: nocturnal. "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic playing in the background. I may have admitted to detesting funk in the past; I have my inconsistencies.

I admit it. I furious at you, my readers. I have no right to be but everyone is entitled to his/ her share of misdirected anger. Do you know why i keep a counter on my blog? To appease the timid, attention-seeking, embarrassed chihuahua (Chi) in me. For the record, I hate chihuahuas. My Chi would be dejected but peaceful if there were no people reading it at all. I know there are lots of people reading my posts because I'm certain no one is so crazy about my blog or me to reload it a dozen times every day. Nah. no one is that crazy. I am not.

I'm staring into absolute darkness and i know many pairs of eyes are trained on me, watching, observing, recording, judging. I can't assign these eyes to faces or names. Hell, i can't see the eyes to begin with. This is what blogging is like occasionally. It irritates my Chi and consequently, me.

I was brought up in a small township. The people were not bad at all when it came to leaving others alone but it was awful as far as resources, supplies and exposure were concerned. We did have everything technology had to offer as years slid by. Born a Hindu, I stopped believing in active worship when i was 6 years old. At 12, I was an atheist. Only, i didn't see the point in being vocal about it, simply because my parents let me be me.

Books were with me. The colors, fonts and sizes changed with the stories they held in them. Just like the people i let be my friends for a while; always for a while. People never stick. Books always do because they don't talk. A lot like god, if you think about it. I learned about the world. All I could read and remember, I did. I also have turned out to be one who's driven by curiosity and wants to know at least a little about everything in the world and also wants to be good at many things. I don't know which fed what, which was the egg: books or curiosity. Today they both are fully-grown hens that will die the day I do.

Why all this bullshit today? I'm only telling you why I get irritated that i don't know who my readers are and also telling you how the reason came into being one.


Ha! I didn't digress at all today. Amazing. Meanwhile, remember this: I'm addicted to lip balm. If I'm ever made to quit, I ll need to be put in a rehab center. Some place with lawns, books, music and handsome doctors.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I sincerely don't know why i'm doing this. Anyway, here it is nevertheless:

01 – Best book you read last year- Shantaram by Roberts

02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times - Wuthering Heights by Bronte

03 – Your favorite series- LOTR by Tolkien

04 – Favorite book of your favorite series- The Fellowship of the Ring

05 – A book that makes you happy - Happy?

06 – A book that makes you sad- The Winner Stands Alone by Coelho

07 – Most underrated author - If it's not so much as underrated as not having received the deserved attention, then i'd say Yann Martel

08 – Most overrated author - Dan Brown, Chetan Bhagat

09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving - (Edited on Feb 21, 2012) - The God of Small Things by Roy.

10 – Favorite classic book - Great Expectations by Dickens

11 – A book you hated - Foucault's Pendulum by Eco

12 – A book you used to like but don’t anymore - The Alchemist by Coelho

13 – Your favorite writer - Tough question. Lately, Julian Barnes

14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer: ?

15 – Favorite male character: Ka in Snow by Pamuk

16 – Favorite female character- Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged by Rand

17 – Favorite quote from a book- “And those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." - Friedrich Nietzsche

18 – A book that disappointed you - Sea of Poppies by Ghosh

19 – Favorite book turned into a movie - The Kite Runner by Hosseini

20 – Favorite romance book - Wuthering Heights. (I don't read romance at all, actually)

21 – Favorite book from your childhood - The Secret Seven by Blyton

22 – Favorite book you own - Most books I've read are my personal copies.

23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t - Gone with the Wind (I'm wary)

24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read - Vertigo by Banker

25 – A character who you can relate to the most - ?

26 – A book that changed your opinion about something - I can't recall

27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending - Snow by Pamuk

28 – Favorite title - Love in the Time of Cholera by Marquez

29 – A book everyone hated but you liked - Three Mistakes of My Life by Bhagat

30 – Your favorite book of all time - Wuthering Heights by Bronte