Thursday, November 06, 2008

Being Icy Cool

There comes many a time in your life when you try to burst forth from the drabness of reality into a world of literary fantasy...
I did too... and the result was a book... an effort 2 years in writing... and another 2 years in publishing...
So without much ado... here's "Being Icy Cool" my maiden novel...
It's a worded picture of a collegian's life, his fears and aspirations, victories and failures, not held together by the glue of slapstick humor but possibly poignant contemplation of the smallest emotion in comparison to the vastness of everything around it...
Read more about it at:

Monday, October 20, 2008

The dozen that took a 100 days (almost)

Tolerance is a virtue when exercised in moderation.

Howz life? Like an electron between the 's' and 'p' shells.

Life is a one way street with a dead end!

Every great man has failed once. But it is not a sufficient condition for greatness.

Life of a corporate... tottering 1,2,3... a perfect 10 and then chapter 11!
(on Lehmann's collapse)

She found happiness in the 'e'.. guess she was the true mathematician!

The stock exchange of life rates me as a sleeper scrip...

I agree that everything science tells us is wrong. But I strongly disagree that it can be attributed to the current concept of god.

The problem with today's world is that there is too little incentive to be good and too few consequences of being bad.

God may be in the business of running the Universe. But I'm willing to bet he's not into quality control.

So... is it time to buy guns, gold, bullets, canned food and water? Maybe not... but surely go lookup the places where you can buy those in a hurry!
(on the current financial crisis)

I am involved in a big study on the effects of exercise... I am the control group!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tryst with ignominy

Three score and a year more ago we made a tryst with destiny, redeeming a pledge to will for a nation conceived on the principles of democracy and equality of men and their religion. At the stroke of the hour, when the world watches, India awakens not to freedom and life, but to its darkest hour as a test. It is a test that others have stood through and barely passed before us. A test of whether a nation, so conceived on ideals can long endure the vagaries of human vice like the greed for power. It is a test for a nation to endure thus and still stand true to its commitment of common good by a handful few. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, where we bear mute witness, the end of an age where the keepers of the bastions of the nation were dedicated to its upkeep, and watch hapless as the soul of a nation, thought to be free, finds suppression without remonstrance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to ensure that the keepers of our nation’s bastions are in their basest interests only dedicated to the service of the country and her people, free of hunger of power or money, unhindered by their prejudices and aligned without question to the only cause of our nation’s progress.

We need not meet on a battlefield of a war fought amongst us or against invaders, for this battle is to be fought in our hearts and minds. The brave men, living or dead, who struggled to achieve our nation’s freedom, have consecrated with blood and sweat this nation, far above our poor judgment of selecting the people to lead it forward. The world will little note, nor long remember what is said here, but it can never forget what they did. It is for us, the people of the nation, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to remind ourselves of the unending quest of a nation through trackless centuries to strive in face of countless odds, emerging victorious or failing, yet never losing sight of the quest or lay down the ideals of peace, equality and oneness with nature, which are her strengths.

In a global arena, we stand at the start of a period of ill fortune, wrought with problems of poverty, population, global warming, energy crisis and inflation. These problems are not the result of divine wrath upon humanity, but brought upon ourselves by our thoughtless pursuits suiting our selfish interests and behavior contrary to our ideals. This should provoke us to will the end of this era and rediscover ourselves as individuals capable of doing the right thing, to be wanting to awaken our real conscience and no longer take pride in the ability to break the rules and get away with it. And so listening to it, we strive forth not alone, willing others to fall behind, but as one state, one country, hand in hand, towards the quest laid down by the founders of this great nation. The achievement of such unity will only be a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us.

Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future? The service to India no longer means the service of the millions who suffer. It is no longer prudent to aim to wipe every tear from every eye. It is a larger effort of uplifting each one and in the process, each mind, to want to not bring a single tear to any eye. We need to labor and work hard, walk a path potholed with our own desires, asking us to shy away from sacrifice for a greater good, asking us to be morally weak just because someone else was too. And yet we may falter, succumb to our inborn weakness momentarily, we need to remind ourselves to rise above it and make amends.

Let us not give to the future generation the reason to add from our generation people to the ranks of Jaichands and Mir Jaffers and instead rejoice in the fact that we as a generation went on to rebuild the foundation of a nation aimed at becoming the most revered nation that led and not just aimed to lead the progress of humanity. Once committed to such a cause, let us remind ourselves to purge ourselves of the sins committed by putting the future of our nation into the hands of people who believe not in its progress but only their own. Let us ensure that we do not rejoice the existence of a government and its opposition who hold amongst their ranks convicted criminals. Let us not rejoice in the fact that scammers are in charge of the decisions that affect the progress of a nation. Let us not rejoice in the fact that the leaders we elect are ones who only espouse the cause of fragmentation of the nation by creed or language or caste, or those who hold dear the progress of a community instead of the whole nation. Let us for once put the ‘we’ before the ‘me’. Let us awaken to a future we would promise to the future children of this nation.

Only when we start on this arduous journey, shall we hallow our respect for the ones who gave the last full measure of devotion to this nation and thus solemnly resolve that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not only not perish from the earth, but shall be the greatest one ever conceived.

P.S. This 'speech' is totally inspired from the 'Tryst with destiny' speech by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and the 'Gettysburg Address' by Abraham Lincoln and is a result of the events that unfolded in the hallowed portals of the Parliament on and before 22nd July 2008.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wondering 2050

Ever got that feeling? The one wherein you say something and instantly know that it is going to turn out the other way? I get it all the time. The most recent one was this Friday. While leaving early, (6pm is early by my standards) I was listing the benefits of bus travel to a colleague. The fact that I get the same seat every time and I can book just days in advance flew fine. Then there was the detail about the bus completing the 486 km Mumbai-Ahmadabad journey in 9 hours. Something in my mind tingled, a mark of an ill omen, soon forgotten. So when the bus started at 11pm, 2 hours late, I gave the in-bus movie a pass in exchange for some much needed sleep. So this article is not about ‘De Taali’ (a few scenes of Ms. Takia cooking something, strangely did register in my mind, more because they seemed too unreal)

Beep! Beep! 6:00 a.m. seemed determined to break through my sleep. Just in time to see the Volvo bus hit the Ahmadabad-Baroda expressway. The Volvo bus makes short work of this 100 km stretch, so it is fun to watch. I have the ‘cockpit seat', so the only thing, that I always catch myself waiting for, is a takeoff. Sadly Boeing 747s need to get to at least 180 km/h to do that and Volvo buses don’t seem to fly. I looked out of my window to check the NHAI signboards. None were around. Instead a tiny milestone said, ‘Rajpipla 59 km’

The jet engines, waiting for take-off in my mind, ground to a painfully screeching halt. “Where the hell is Rajpipla?” 4th standard geography kicking in, (yeah, I probably am 'Panchvi Pass'that was a town 100 km due south of Baroda. Ahmadabad is 100 km due north of Baroda. The driver confirmed. Somewhere in the night, they found that there was a big traffic jam on the regular route. A traffic jam, that is 22 km long, is certainly a big jam. So here I was on an unfamiliar 2 lane road instead of the 6 lane expressway and a movie to contend with. This time it turned out to be 'Love Story 2050'

Let me be forthcoming. I am not a Hindi movie fan. After ‘Saavariya’, which I would recommend as an excellent torture device, I steer clear of Hindi movies. Still the sci-fi fan, the concept of a futuristic love-story (sic) had its attraction. I knew what the story was. Guy and girl fall in love in present day. Girl gets bumped off; guy teleports to future; finds the girl’s clone and falls in love all over. Pretty boring. I thought the sci-fi would make it interesting. So I watch on. Starting is pretty slow. Then we get to the boy meets girl. He sings a song. ‘Woo you’- ‘woo me’ sequences follow. My mind screams, “Can we get onto the sci-fi part? Hello? Ever heard of the fast-forward button?” Nope. This still continues. I get distracted. I look out. I spy a sign. ‘Rajpipla 42 km’ The movie is slow, so is my journey. Then I notice something else. The milestone also says, 'SH-64'. State Highway? You call a 1½ lane bumpy road a State highway? I cringe. Powers Ferry road in Atlanta is 3 lanes at worst and better surfaced. I don’t even start thinking about the I-285 and I-75 Interstates. These are 2050 A.D. away.

That brings me back to the movie. Still there is nothing. The song and dance sequences continue. Can the girl capitulate please? And get onto the part where she dies? Then something outside catches my attention. The road meanders into a village. There’s a cart. But this one is different. The ones I am used to seeing, in the semi-rural locality that I grew up in, are ones with neoprene truck tires. This one has wooden wheels. Then another one appears. Last I saw these, was when I went to a rural themed restaurant. I wonder if I just did a ‘Back to the Future – 3’ to be teleported back in time. But we were not doing 88 mph on that road. No way we could have gone that fast. Then we passed a group of small school children. They waved and whistled at the bus as if it was a stranger to their part of the region. Back to the movie, the girl is still alive. Is this movie about 2050 or 2008? But then Boman Irani is introduced. Wearing a ridiculously funny wig, he does a bad imitation of Doc Brown from ‘Back to the Future’. I silently run the second movie in my head, till we finally get to the point where we are almost at Rajpipla and its time for the gal to die.

It is time for a 'Physics+medical' lesson for the story writers. A bus (or dumpster if that what it was) travelling at a velocity enough to kill a person will always cause a good amount of external injuries. If I recall correctly, the gal dies an unimaginably badly acted death (sorry P.C., need to do better!) It was so bad, that the VCD player decided to strangle itself and died too. I guess there are other things than Vogon poetry that can kill a machine and I just had discovered one.

Luckily that spared the rest of us from the movie’s actual sci-fi part. Apparently, they did copy 'Back to the Future-2' to end up in the future. It is said that copying from one source is plagiarism. From multiple sources is research. So yes, the people who made this film deserve an A- for research. An F for the report though. Basing my understanding of the sci-fi from the song cuts and movie trailers that I saw, they decided to copy 'The Fifth Element' Note to the casting team. Mila Jovovich is Mila Jovovich. When she is cast as the red head Leeloo, she looks fantastic. P.C. doesn’t even come close. Also, New York 2263 A.D. is not Mumbai 2050 A.D. And we are not going to see flying cars, except if they are flying off the flyovers. But we are doing that already!

The robot friends of the latter day gal are mindlessly culled from other flicks. AI’s brown teddy looks cute. The pink one looks like a cheap Chinese imitation with lead based paints. Did that actually cause the red-head syndrome? The other robots look straight out of 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', the 1951 version. And I was talking about Gort not Klaatu. You would have seen it if you watched ‘Independence Day’ (the kid was watching the movie inside the RV). Bicentennial man was better rendered and it was Robin Williams behind the mask.

Frankly put, I have seen Indian television come up with better sci-fi way back in late 1980s. Those of you who remember ‘Space Station Sigma’, (yeah, it was a Star Trek rip-off, but a better worked out one) had way better robots. Oh also ‘Indradhanush’ had better stories of time travel than LS2050. Next time Bollywood wants to do a sci-fi flick, please take out the time to move out of the Film city and trek to IIT Mumbai across the Powai Lake. Spend a few hours in their first year hostels. They will give you better designs of robots than the clank-jobs you came up with. And yes, theirs’ will be remote operated with a full facial expressions suite.

Back to the road, a torturous journey completed, we finally head out of Baroda with signs saying, ‘Ahmedabad-Baroda Expressway 1 km’. The jet engines in my mind start rolling again. As for the movie, (since it is customary to rate it with stars), just go pick as many you want from the ones the viewers would have seen after stepping out of the movie theatre. The last thing you are going to see in Mumbai 2050 is a flying car. Fortunately there won’t be any reporters reporting that 2050 is here yet the redhead star with a stupid pink teddy isn’t. That is better left to the Orwellian 1984. Fortunately, Leeloo would be another 113 years into the future then. Else she’d have not bought into Korben Dallas’ words that ‘Love is worth saving’ Not after Love Story 2050. Or maybe she’d have just slapped P.C. and the makeup artists saying, “Senno Ekto Gamat” (“Never without my permission”)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Existing if not alive...

With time being dedicated to my next book coupled by a crappy net connection, there have been very few updates... to make it to ten... so here they are:

Hope floats. But it makes a really lousy lifejacket

I excel at perfect imperfection.

Work, to me, is like an insanely beautiful woman. No matter how much I am tired, I can still do them.

Tolerance is a virtue only when exercised in moderation.

Most of the world's problems just need a little Google

Life is, at most times, a Potemkin village.

I don't mind people telling me that something better is in store for me. What I do mind is them not telling me which store it is in!

God has something better in store for me and I can't help imagine that he's probably searching for the keys to it.

Are you sure that language is supposed to simplify communication? With 555,000 words in English and 40,000 characters in Chinese, I think the objective of languages is to confound and not to communicate.

Can a hypochondriac claim to have hypochondria?

Man, I am so hungry that if you threw a horse past me, not even its tail would make it across!

p.s. In case you noticed... yes, second book... the first one could see the light of the published day someday... maybe not today...

Monday, March 31, 2008

A quicker run upto these 10...

How's life shaping up? Like an amoeba!

Ego? I have a ton of it. But since it weighs a ton, I mostly leave it at home.

Don't mind it if this doesn't sound acerbic enough. My sarcasm cartridge is running low on toner.

What would I ask if I was face to face with God? I'd ask for a refund!

I hate the present... the past coz it has been present and the future coz it is going to be present ...

Whoever said I need chicken soup for the soul? I'll settle for chocolate!

Work is like shit. It always pays to dispose it off quickly.

What remains when one dies? With the vessel of his existence returned to the elements, the sum total of all his interactions with those around him is all that remains ingrained in multitudes of memories. Like a grain of sand in the oyster, a pained presence blessed by fortune that lingers on to become a pearl, a gem to be gazed upon and passed down the generations, each adding a veneer of myth till it no longer resembles the original self. Yet again just a grain of sand, more oft than not forgotten, amongst the innumerable grains that the crumbling rock of life gives up against relentless sea of time.

My grip on reality is tenous, more oft than not almost non-existent

It's not about who will cry when you die... but who will smile while you live.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

As if it matters...

Lotsa crap going around... that I lost track of time...

so here's the new set albiet only after nearly 3 months:

I learn from my bad experinces only. I don't expect others to make the right mistakes!

Believing in miracles is like believing that God bets on you while cheating at dice.

I'd run the Marathon... if only they were to drop the 'k' out of it.

Relativity is not about how fast time flies. It is about how fast the mind sees it fly.

I dont rely on hope... I rely on the mathematical equivalent of it... probability!

I am not entirely faithful to reality. I sleep with dreams almost every other night!

Happiness has a very very short half-life

Instincts? If I were to live by those, I'd have become extinct long ago!

The equation of life, differentiated time and again, has no constants. So my friend, lets try and integrate!

Albert Einstein came up with the famous equation: E=mc^2 while he was working as a patent office clerk. That means he was slacking off at his real job. Seems like there's a lesson to be learnt in this.

I ponder the philosophy of a single drop whilst the ocean of knowledge passes me by…