Saturday, October 31, 2009

The new 10

These ones are here because someone pinged me and reminded me that I had not posted new ones for quite a while. So with a thanks to the follower, here goes:

If you want to run away from everything, then you gotta run towards nothing!

Adversity is God's way of telling you that having something is not a right but only an earned privilege.

Does someone continually pin-pricked by grief deserve it any more than someone shot point blank by it?

Evil thoughts need no welcome mats, good ones though demand a red carpet!

Give me the courage to speak up when speaking matters the most, the smartness to shut up when silence is what matters, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

If you are only as smart as the company you keep, then would it make Einstein dumber or his peers smarter?

Love is like a living velociraptor: despite your movie-fueled lifelong neurotic obsession, unlikely to be found in your environment even if you are at the Disney World's Jurassic Park ride.

There is always a great year ahead of you, just that it shifts ahead by a day everyday!

What do you do when you know that doing something is not going to make you happy and yet not doing it is also not going to make you happy.

When you think, "Am I the only one?" there are at least 1 billion people thinking just the same as you... creepily at the very same moment!

50 kilos of Life

How much does one’s soul weigh? And since without the soul, there is no life, consequently how much does one’s life weigh? If MacDougall is to be believed for his work in 1907, it is 21 grams. The airline companies have a more definitive answer. It is 50 kilos if you are traveling economy class across the Atlantic. It is more if you are traveling business or first class. Since I am not someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth, it’s the 50 kilos that matter.

For the first 20 odd years of my life, I stayed in my home town. Travel outside to other cities was limited to short trips, with a definite return date not so far into the future. Then, I started on my first job. Ever since then, I’ve practically lived out of my suitcases. So after nearly five years now, I look back and wonder at the way this has defined my life. I have been to places, lived for considerably long durations in 4 cities and seen another 40 or so. And each time I moved for good, there always has been this dilemma about what to carry on and what not to.

Moving from one city to another takes its toll on certain individuals. Especially me. There are some I’ve seen, who don’t really seem to be affected by it at all. While I would agonize in a Shakespearean ‘to or not to’ take a certain item along, these people are packed and ready in a backpack not even 10 kg in weight. These are the people I envy, and yet I have never been able to get them to divulge their secret of their life, er, packing. For them, life weighs as much as a small backpack can fit in it. They are, what I call, birds. Light, free from the baggage of life that I tend to collect so easily. But this is not about them.

For the less fortunate souls like me, the 50 kilos, so grudgingly allowed by the airlines, is not enough to hold everything that I need. And I don’t even get started on what I want to take along. In each city I’ve spent long enough, there is with someone, tied only by the fact that this someone knew me, a potted plant which once adorned the window in the room I stayed in. Then there’s this chest-drawer full of small odds and ends lying in the place I started out from. Its material value is probably nothing. But with each of those small things is a memory associated. Maybe the memory is something trivial in the grand scale of things, but profoundly touching enough to make me hold on to it for this long. And yet when I set out to travel to a new city, that chest-drawer is the last place I look for stuff. Over time, I’ve noticed that it is not just that chest-drawer back home. In each place, I’ve called home long enough; I’ve managed to collect a similar chest-drawer full of stuff. Just that when it is time to leave, that gets left behind.

The crazy part of all this is that every single thing in the bags is, more often than not, easily procurable at the destination. Neither have I been to a city which doesn’t sell toothpaste to its travelers nor one which doesn’t have clothes or utensils on offer. Yet instead of carrying along that chest-drawer full of memories, I pack in an umbrella. It is simple practicality that always wins over everything else.

50 kilos of stuff is not much. Not when it is not gold. Not when it is not something as precious as memories. Still when it is time to choose what should go along and what should be left behind, it is the not so precious that wins. We leave many of the things, which mattered, behind hoping that somewhere in our mind, we have made the space for the memory about them and the time associated with them. If all these memories are the sum total of our life and we end up leaving behind some of these memories just like the objects, how much of our life do we end up losing by the time we get to the end of the journey? And how much of it do we really carry beyond? 21 grams doesn’t seem a lot of baggage as a soul. And what do I pack? Does the place where I’ll spend eternity need an umbrella? Will there be a shop round the corner which will sell me the stuff I might need? Do I get to carry on the memories of a lifetime or is there a traveler class distinction that says 21 grams worth of memories only? I can almost hear a ghostly whisper saying, “We are sorry, but only Pharaoh-class travelers are allowed to bring along a pyramid full of stuff.”
We all need memories to remember who we are. Even if eternity or the next birth is supposed to be a clean slate, I do hope that I’ve a big chest-drawer full of memories to leave behind.

--Though it might seem odd, this blog-post is dedicated to my two suitcases, the vessels of the 50 kilos of my life over the numerous trans-Atlantic hops and other travels, holding on to their precious cargo with unwavering grit, at an occasional cost of a wheel or handle and checkered with countless baggage tags, each one as a proof of a journey successfully completed.

Friday, August 14, 2009

10 in 5 months...

Blessed are those who only see one side of the truth. It leaves them with very little to contend within.

Calling you honey is not a term of endearment. It is my way of calling you the excrement of an insect!

Just because you don't fit in doesn't mean you were meant to stand out.

My doc wants me to stay off anything sweet, even sweet dreams.

Reading a book is like getting a tattoo, even if you hate it later, it still identifies you as who you are.

Some times the best thing to do is nothing at all. Knowing those times is the only thing I need to learn.

The only advantage of bullshit is that as it matures, it becomes manure!

The only reason, why I tread an oft trodden path, is because its harder to see the trail of destruction I leave behind!

The reason why reality always wins over illusions is because it pretty much well lasts longer.

The world accepts genius with the same enthusiasm as a 110V bulb accepts being plugged into a 220V source.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Any interaction with me always involves a little bit of Google. It is when I'm doing the Googling, that I enjoy the conversation more than usual.

Because there are no happy endings, just an illusion of the ones which were and the ones which were not.

Bugs are immortal. Programmers unfortunately, arent.

Definitive proof that 136 is less than 36: A pair of 36Ds dangling in front of a IQ: 136...

God probably invented the Devil to hide the fact that life is an autocratic regime!

I reject the concept of religion because it fails to separate faith in God from fear of God.

It is amazing to see how complicated lives people live. I find it hard just to handle the lite version of life itself.

No matter how much you say you are right and I ain't, I know this is the way up and you are standing on your head.

Not all adhesives can hold up against the vagaries of nature and the vagaries of destiny alike.

The mathematics of life doesn't care about the divisor or the quotient, only the remainder

The only thing standing between me and a billion dollars is an idea!

Your manager is like a hot air balloon. Stoke him well, he'll take you to dizzying heights as an underling. But don't forget, you are ballast, the first to be cut when he starts sinking.

Are you a non-vegetarian?

It is fun to see the diversity of cultures when it comes to food. While most of my friends would give me black looks for ordering Chicken Tikka back in India, here that’s considered almost vegetable. And then again, I’ve seen so many give up their ‘errant’ ways and return to being a ‘pure’ vegetarian. So when I am asked, “What are you?” It is always hard to give a straight answer. So for the convenience of my friends spread over the spectrum of gastric tendencies, here’s a handy handle on what’s not vegetarian.
I define consumption anything of animal origin as a definite sign of non-vegetarianism. Going by this postulate, no person in this world is a vegetarian. Not anyone who has, Hindi film-istyle, “aapni maa ka doodh piya hai toh”, claim himself (ok you feminists) or herself to be a vegetarian. Milk is NOT a vegetable. Given that each one of us has in past or the present, guzzled copious amounts of milk, cannot consider one to be a ‘vegetarian’. Also, going by the research I read years ago, if you ever have had chocolate, you have ingested a minimum of 3-4 insect legs. Egregious? Not so far. So having accepted that all are not vegetarians, it’s time to segregate the boys from the men. So here goes.
Class-1 Non-vegetarians : All you whiny lot talking about how vegetables can’t feel (being fried in 400 deg C oil) and don’t bleed (ketchup isn’t red enough for you?). If all you ever lived on was honey (which is again stealing someone’s food) you might excuse yourself from ever having killed or maimed for your own sustenance. Else quietly accept the class-1 designation.
Class-2: These are the ones who think eggs are not ‘meat’ and because most of today’s eggs will never turn into a chick, the most ‘humane’ (sic) way of eating food. Good people to take along for breakfast.
Class 3: Lots of people here so we break it down, but generally, “as long as it moved and not moving now” lot. Note to the Class 1 people: The tomato is very much alive when it enters your mouth as a part of your salad. And being eaten alive is not fun, I guess.
Class 3a: These are people who are ok with the concept of meat but are restricted by religious constraints. That would be the “can’t eat pig”, “can’t eat cow” kind of people. Mildly irritating when all you want to have is steak… medium rare please!
Class 3b: These people only limit their edible species spectrum by taste or medical reasons. You might not really enjoy buffalo tongue because it is too chewy or shellfish because it might send you into an anaphylactic shock. They are fun to be with as long as you know how to plunge an epi-pen straight into the heart.
Class 3c: These are people who don’t believe in religious constraints or don’t follow restrictive religions and are not averse to stuff by taste or medical reasons. They eat anything not alive at the time it enters their mouth. Fun too especially without the epi-pen.
Class 4: The ‘even if it moves lot’: Not an easy group to deal with. But you can make silly faces as they try to gulp down a live octopus that is trying its best to come out of their mouth. The grub eaters also fall into this category. As a kid many of you have been here. Remember the shiny beetle that went into your mouth much to the horror of your momma?
Class 5a: The “I eat my own kind” lot. They are a very dangerous lot to be with. Hannibal Lecter is the most famous representative of this kind. You might get invited for lunch and you might be on the menu. So beware!
Class 5b: This is an interesting lot and a very interesting discovery. In some cultures, the placenta is eaten! It is also considered to have medicinal/nutritional properties. While it is argued that this is same as class 5a, it gets it own category. Oh! by the way, if you ever had the habit of biting your own nails or bit your own tongue hard enough to taste the blood in your mouth, you might consider yourself up here in Class 5b.
That said and done, next time, someone asks, do ensure you talk right about being a ‘vegetarian’ or not. Wear your colors proudly and correctly refer to yourself as a class x non-vegetarian.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Photographer

An eye behind the lens, that rarely takes stage on the other side. That’s what I consider myself. More often than not, this is because the lens might not capture me as myself but as someone else. And yet again, when a person happily agrees to allow me to click their picture, I sweat. For photography is not about the fanciest camera and perfect subject. It is the window of the mind. And as it opens onto a world that cares less than little for what goes on around it, it has a job to do. In the commonest chaos of life, it sees a pattern, a momentary arrangement of color and an unconscious glance, which it has to capture, untainted by the mind’s own inadequacies, present it in the simplest manner and yet have it tell a story of a thousand words. A story told in a flitting second that stops a person, walking past the picture, right in their tracks and knocking on the window of their souls with a question. A simple question which keeps them going but with a new emotion, a feeling of longing to see what others so easily missed and yet was worth having observed and captured for posterity. And as this feeling grows from person to person, mind to mind, we start to breach the boundaries of our pervasive dogmas and start to see beauty in everything. To do all this, and in the short attention span of the subject, is hard work. But hold, be still, tilt just a little to the left and say, “Cheese!” because, I’m ready to paint that story.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The new batch

The time people take to warm up to me is exceeded only by the it takes me to warm up to them.

I live life on Absolut terms. One part Absolut and three parts water!

I am ready to take life as it comes, but it seems life doesn't want to take me as I come.

You cannot get to the unimaginable technology of the future without imagining it today!

I dont know about your purpose on earth, but I guess mine is just to make up the numbers.

Addiction to substances is best prevented by addiction to the stuff that buys the substances!

Plants remove the nasty CO2 from air. Animals eat plants. Non-vegeterians eat animals. Vegeterians eat plants. Pray tell me who are the better environmentalists?

Whenever a girl says she's looking for character, I hand her a keyboard and leave her to find it herself.

I don't have the answer to every question. Guess God knows I am not Google.

The biggest lie taught by our society is that the good always triumphs. More often than not, it ends up with visitation rights to triumph.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Confession of a Mass Murderer

She looked at me with a steely stare. She knew there was nowhere to run. I had her cornered. Had I not been blinded by my staid resolution to kill her, I’d have probably noticed if it was something different. It could have been a gaze filled with a plea for mercy or a gaze of defiance. Either ways she would have found no mercy and her defiance was of little deterrence to me. As she cowered trying to shield her children, I took aim and fired. Unfortunately for her it was not a quick death. As she lay on her back, gasping for air, her children ran for cover. I didn’t expect much resistance from them. Having never been out in the world on their own, they had been taught only to do one thing in case of danger. And that would be to run to their mother. They had never been taught what to do in case their mother was dead, as she was now. I took my time, methodically, bringing down one after another. Unlike their mother, there was not much struggle for life. They went down quickly. After having killed the last one, I realized I had to cover my tracks. So I dragged each one over to the drain hole and dropped them into it. It took some time but I was done.
I thought I was done with the act, but I remembered that it was necessary to check for inadvertent witnesses to the crime. I looked around. To my horror, I saw my soon to-be wife standing some distance away. It was obvious from her position, that she had been witness to the whole heinous act. I looked at her with a guilty look as a hundred questions rose into a tumultuous blizzard of emotions. Would she accept me after having witnessed what I had just done? Would she feel safe to bear me children after what she had just seen me mercilessly slaughter the innocent infants? If not, would she turn witness against me? Did I need to silence her too?
As I stood mute, overwhelmed by the thoughts, she walked over to me and said, “Thank you honey. You know how much I hate them!” With those words, all my fears were laid to rest. I didn’t have a witness to my act I had an accomplice. And I would never be arraigned for it. As for justice for the family, I don’t think there has been any recorded instance in the history of mankind, that a man has been convicted for killing cockroaches!

P.S. : Fictional...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Betwixt a job and a book...

As long as there is land and man to walk upon it, there will be strife to possess it.

Awe and genuine surprise are essential for vitality. If nothing amazes you, you are all but dead.

Every nation can sling something at its enemy.That 'something' being muck or missiles determines the efficacy of its message and intent.

Everyone has a right to be a jerk. Its the ones, who make it their duty, I dislike

Her love for me was a benign growth easily plucked out. Too bad mine for her metastasized.

I code, therefore I am... programmer!

I've learnt nothing from life because I never learned how to learn from life.

Life so far: All gall no glory

Stressed spelled backward is desserts. When combined, they annihilate each other in a burst of
pure happiness!

The greatest human weakness is that we can be convinced too easily to kill or be killed for the flimsiest cause.

The only complaint against the computer age is that it removes the simple age old distinction of black and white, the bad and good, turning it into a 24-bit grayscale with 8 bits of transparency.

What's wrong with the world? Its spinning... How do you expect humans to think straight with all that spinning...

You are like a single malt whiskey, classy, smooth and unique. I guess God just wants to play the master blender with us here :-)

Your love is like a breeze of fresh air. Too bad, my gills can't stand it.