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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bite Me

If i had 250,000 dollars to spend when I'm 35 or 40 years old, what would i buy? A diamond wreath necklace or a super car? A super car. Yes I love cars and consequently, I love driving.

India, more specifically, Indian men do not have faith in female drivers. Some how they do not buy the fact that a woman can handle the stick as well as she does a lipstick brush. Today afternoon, I was in no mood to make lunch and decided to go to a restaurant and get a take-away. Empty, pot-hole-less road, cows here and there, two rowdy looking young men on a pathetic wanna-be super-bike cruising along. I gently sound the horn 20 meters behind them. The pillion rider throws his head back (yes, 'throws') to see I, a woman, is driving the car. The information must have reached the driver because he then literally closed the door on one side while a starved cow took care of the other. The pillion rider looks back at me and grins. I smile at him. In under 20 seconds, I've left them behind me with a parting slap to my car from them; In anger, disbelief, i don't know. I resume the normal city speed of 60kmph. They don't attempt to catch up with me.

I love racing sprints on empty roads when there's no risk of running over pedestrians or homeless animals or fellow motorists. However, I have the common sense to race a moped against another, a motorbike against another and car against another. I suspect even the gits in the above anecdote possessed that sense. In ordinary circumstances, they wouldn't compete with a vehicle with at least 6 times hp/tonne. In my case, they just had to.

What I'm curious about is if this is the case in India or all over the world. To give this what seems like a common notion the benefit of the doubt, is an average man better at driving than an average woman? I remember this 'funny' picture posted by a friend on facebook. A multitude of cars are driving down a six-lane highway. A single white car is headed in the opposite direction. The picture is accompanied by a conversation on phone.
AbCd: Honey, be careful when you drive. some people drive drunk or on the wrong side.
AbCd's spouse: Some? You should look at this. The whole bunch of 'em are driving on the wrong side.
The picture then has a photoshop arrow pointing at the white car and a bubble with the text "And of course, the driver is a woman!"

I don't have a problem with the oblivious driver being a woman but what's the deal with the "of course"? I'm positively sick of it. I'm pretty sure I can drive better than most over-confident, not talented gentlemen. Don't Mess With Me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life in Constant Motion

Reality either takes an eternity or an instant to manifest. It takes about 60 years of living for one to feel aging in all its glory. At 20, one's sure he/ she will only eventually get there. Fundamentally, death is always instant. Passing from living to dead takes an infinitesimally small period of time. The many or few days leading up to it produce an illusion of it being drawn out. Relatively, life is infinitely long. Enough Bullshit.

I have a bone to pick with every person who expects writers to pack ten lifetimes' worth incidents in a single novel. Thriller trilogies sometimes make me feel sorry for the writer for having subjected himself to writing a super-fast version of life not once but three times. Mystery is about the only genre of fiction that can enamor a child so as to make him read books for life. No kid wants to read what a man stuck in a snowed-down Turkish town has to say (Snow by Pamuk). However, some times people tend to fall more in love with the concept of thrill and mystery than with the written word. One cannot expect for a million things to happen in a book which has its focus on emotion or philosophy. In my opinion, it's about the same as expecting a car to fly off the stage and onto the audience in a theater showing a musical.

Anyone who's watched more than 2 episodes of an Indian soap opera will agree that life in these serials is super-slow. As if the dialogue delivery isn't slow and labored enough, lines that the director thinks are terribly important are repeated in a loop, much like an echo. Enough digression.

One should open a book with an open mind. Some people would prefer to witness quarter of a lifetime in it and some would prefer twenty-five.It's apples and oranges. Don't shun the apple because it's not a orange.

Eddie #08 - Masculinity

Xo: Who were you talking to over the phone, honey?
Xo: Oh, it was my old friend, AbCd. He's in town and wanted to know if i was free for lunch.
Xo: Who?
Xo: Don't you remember, baby? The swimmer friend of mine .. He asked me out years ago .. He was in the nation's top 20 .. OMG what a body he had!
Xo: Hmmm .. Ok
Xo: Are you jealous? :_)
Xo: Nah .. I can down six bottles of beer in under 2 hours. Can your swimmer do that?
Xo: He hates beer.
Xo (all smug): So when are you meeting your gay swimmer friend?