By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

And the world rejoiced....

31 Dec 2005. 2340 hrs.
I am logged onto the net (on my extremely trustworthy, yet damn slow dialup). Dad & Mom sleeping. Brother tried to stay awake, but then couldnt stay awake! Leaving me alone to sit back and look at the world rejoicing at the dawn of the new year. Sadly, I feel no joy. Just a wavering tinge of respite from the brutal year that was. Loads of wishes from all aroud the world in my inbox and I promptly sit and reply to each of them. Then comes my turn to wish the world. I do that as well

1 Jan 2006. 0030 hrs.
I still am on the net. Gangs of crazy youth on their motorcycles revving up their engines and shouting with joy (or whatever) whizz past the road next to my house. Cars and bikes returning from the new year revelry in the city honk past the circle. Somewhere inside, I feel the cumulative effect of one torturous year. And, then, being the hopeless realist(!) that I am - I feel the joy!

The joy of stepping into something new leaving the past behind. The joy of seeing the slate wiped clean. The joy of the acceleration that one feels at the start of a race. The joy of the hope that this fresh start will bring out the best in me.

The joy of entering 2006.

The word for the year 2006

No more resolutions that end up being just resolutions.

I've got just one word for 2006....just one word.


One word that captures everything that I want in 2006.

Nocturnal Productivity

The Winter of Mysooru (More about Mysore to Mysooru reserved for a later post).
The Calm Dead Streets of Mysooru at 11 PM.
A Computer with a net connection. (Dialup, but will suffice)
Parents sleeping in an adjoining room.
The neighbours dog howling at regular intervals.
A sleepless guy dying to do something.

Ideal for a solid night-out on the internet. And that's what I have been doing for the past 10 days at home. Browsing, chatting and downloading pdfs(!) all night.

A couple of leads from some fellow-geeks across the world and I have been tracking loads of recent tech trends in security. Has been an absolutely fantastic time. Rummaging thorugh some research group's findings, tracking records of some geeky awesome researchers (My latest guru: Phil Zimmermann). Makes me want to quit undergrad and plunge myself into doing some sort of productive research! I've heard of fellow mates downloading movies, songs, videos, but I have grown this crazy habit of downloading pdfs of research papers, white papers, case studies - and take a cursory glance at it - and marvel at its depth!

Apart from that late-night chatting with fellow BITSians and some internship application stuff have kept me up all night. Beats me why I cant get back to a normal(as considered by my parents) bio-clock!

2005 draws to a close

And yet another year whizzes past. Nowadays, I even forget what year's coming next! Time's flying and I have been trying to run (but of course, to no avail). And time is the winner again.

Looking back at 2005 - Well, personally it has been a fairly disastrous year for me. No prizes for guessing why. This blog stands a silent spectator to all that I have been through this year. The most profound self-realiztion that I feel after this year:

This is the lowest that I can go to. This is rock-bottom. Any lower and I am practically useless.

Late-realization? Maybe, but not too late.

Dickens said it best -
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

For me it was more of the latter. Thank Heavens. I am done with 2005.

Creed no bar

I was surprised to know that Creed, one of my favorite bands broke up a year ago! Living in this isolated village surrounded by sand dunes, I am not to blame for my ignorance on this issue. (Assume that internet does not work in the middle of a desert).

Scott Stapp, the lead singer of Creed was one of my favorite vocalists. He is on a solo career now I heard. And I was surprised to know about his strong Christian beliefs as well.

And then there's Tremonti, the guitar genius from Creed, he alongwith Creed's drummer and bassist formed a new band - Alter Bridge after recruiting Myles Kennedy as the vocalist. Not bad, eh! I was just listening to their hit single - 'Open our eyes'. Myles seems to be doing a good job. The music sounds very Creed-ish. Though it is more of modern(and heavy) rock than Creed's post-grunge style.

Here's what moved me in the lyrics of the song I am talking about -

I love the way I feel today
But how I know the sun will fade
Darker days seem to be
What will always live in me
But still I run

It's hard to walk this path alone
Hard to know which way to go
Will I ever save this day
Will it ever change

Whatever. As long as they all keep churning good music, who cares!

That's just about girls

I am blowing my brains off cramming for this cursed exam tomorrow - and yet when I read this quote on Wikipedia, I knew it that I just had to blog about this. In recent times, this is the most candid of quotes I have ever read, and proabably one of the quotes which I totally relate to.

This quote is by Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay about one of their hit singles 'The Scientist'.

"That's just about girls. It's weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it's the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone."

Listen to 'The Scientist', watch the video, sing along.... and I presume, you will agree with Chris and me.

Humped in the desert

One look at the notice boards proudly displaying the marks of all students doing the same cursed courses as I am - and there I was standing on tonnes of concrete, and yet feeling the ground sink beneath my feet. It was just as if the world is collapsing, and I am falling with it - into the realms of Hades.

Wonder what happened to me this semester - wonder what killed me! It now is too late to react - too late to even think what went wrong. I am just clueless as ever. Can't continue typing.

May my soul rest in peace.


Looks like the spokes in the cycle called life have jammed - thanks to work being piled higher and deeper. End sem exams approaching and me being least bothered adds to the pain.

One more thing that strikes my mind is my latest obsession with Pearl Jam. I am on the process of drowning myself to death in Grunge. Here are some excellent lyric clips from some of their songs that I absolutely dig -

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star
In somebody else's sky, but why
Why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine

Oh, dear dad, can you see me now
I am myself, like you somehow
I'll ride the wave where it takes me
I'll hold the pain...Release me...

Apart from all the jamming, life has been absolutely fantastic in the last few days. Surely rank among the best days in all these 19 years. And me being my usual selfish self(!), am thinking whether this happiness can be brought out of its non-temporal mode. Damn, I should have been enjoying this, instead of putting my thought into the future.

The Salvador Dali inspiration continues!

Nerd Alert!

I am nerdier than 88% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

The Perfect Example

I remember the days in Bangalore during my stay there during late summer, when I read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. I blogged about it and I even remember picking the best lines I loved in the book. Last night, I was chatting with one of my friends in the numbing cold here - when it somehow struck me that somewhere in the sands of time, I have lost myself.

I remember claiming that mediocrity is the one thing I just can't stand. I remember Ellsworth Toohey in the 'Fountainhead' saying

No man likes to be beaten. But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the side of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he'd give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped....well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?

It struck me that I have finally traced him - the perfect example of medicority in my eyes - myself !

I wake up

Reading about Salvador Dali on Wikipedia, I came across this wonderful quote by him -

"Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy - the joy of being Salvador Dalí - and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things this Salvador Dalí is going to accomplish today?" - Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí

There could be many interpretations of this quote - Ego, Joy, Postivism blah blah blah...
But, I just tell myself this -

I've got to feel what Dali felt when he woke up!


Treating your girlfriend for dinner at C'not: Rs.100
Getting her a gift for Valentine's Day: Rs 250
Understanding that she is never meant to be yours: Priceless

Sandwiches and shakes with your girlfriend at Sky: Rs 70
Late-night call for two hours chatting endlessly: Rs 120
Understanding the futility of your efforts: Priceless

I can happily be misconstrued as someone who has been recently ditched in love and cribbing about it. But then, I have realized that life throws invaluable lessons at the most unexpected of times. People with a free mind and the ones who happen to be at the right place at the right time are the ones who are at the receiving end of the heavenly gospels. And me being the free-mind guy, just happened to be lucky!

The priceless thing that I have learnt, and must keep reminding myself (so that I never forget!):

Always trust your intuition. Always.
People come and go. Listen to them if you want to, but trust them not. Trust your inner self

I have always taken pride in my intuition. Somehow, it has been that I have this considerably powerful intuitive power, that with an astounding accuracy has put probablistic theories to shame. And yet another rare quality of mine, which I claim I have inherited strongly from my mother is this weird psychological analytical power. I wonder how I can somehow feel what the other person is thinking, and later discover that I was right. All these days I haven't trusted my inner self. When others came and spoke to me, I believed that I was blinded and that they are right, I believed that my mind was playing games on me - now I realize that I was always damn right.

Realization of the truth - priceless, right !

Stimulus and Response

Something that I remember cramming in my Science textbook in Class 5. Till last month, it was just another issue lying somewhere in the darkest corners of my cephalon covered with cobwebs. And then it was woken up - by me.

At CEL, we were contemplating about a business simulation game, and we were thinking about a name over a cup of coffee, when the name 'Stimulus' struck me. And then was born - 'Stimulus' the game. It been a rollercoaster ride for me over the past two months as I tried to put together a highly talented team and make them work towards realising my vision of 'Stimulus'. The team, like any other highly talented team, was made of extremely capable individuals, fun-loving, and at times no-work-gen-enthu mindset. Being the big man out there, it was my job to cut the crap and get things going. And me being my usual no-nonsense self, it wasn't hard for me in the beginning.

But, with time, the stimulus evoked a response within me. It all began with three people J, S and C coming together to create the essence of the game. All three extremely capable but then totally incompatible as well! I had to have umpteen conversations with J - the team leader to tell him how difficult managing such people cohesively in a team would be. I built the bigger team by adding R, OJ, N, A and a few others. Little did I realize that the lets-have-fun mindset was growing in the team. S, being his usual 'over-grown kid' self, C being the 'Martian', R with her characteristic laughs, OJ with her charm, N with his headphones, left J and me to stare at ourselves. But then work was great. Loads of fun coupled with constructive work here and there. Somewhere in the sands of time, I was sucked into it.

Sucked into the lets-have-more-n-more-fun mindset, I was having the time of my life. Little did I realize that I was metamorphizing from my nihilistic self to a happy-go-lucky chap. Not that I resent the change, but when yesterday R pointed out that I have changed, I felt a lump in my throat. Was I blinded by darkness? I have no answer.

Now that Stimulus is almost nearing its end, I sit back and think what was the RoI (!) of Stimulus. To me, it was the best of times and the worst of times. I shall forever treasure many moments:

  • The early morning meetings in IC
  • Tea with the Turkey
  • 3210 reloaded
  • Library books
  • Phase 1
  • The 'Gum' bet
  • Chai at Nutan
  • Pahadi trip

S would have urged me to put up some other things that he loved about being part of the Stimulus Team, but then I won't! Whatever! Stimulus' response in me has been beyond comprehension. I wonder how I melted, why I melted into this person that I am now... Hope time has an answer.

Ultimately, Stimulus proved true to its catch-line
"And you thought it was only a game..."

A reason for change

Hoobastank sing:

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I am back at the blogosphere after a pretty long break, and like usual, I am in no mood to list down the reasons for the break! Probably the best explanation was alreaddy posted by me on some post which I don't happen to remember - "I blog when I am very happy or very gloomy".

Right now, I am in no state of mind to judge whether I am happy or gloomy - Ouch! How sadder can it get. But, with a fair amount of conviction, I can say that the last couple of weeks have been a really great time. Somewhere in the chaos of the bubbling world, I found a means to retreat, sit back and enjoy - looking, staring, laughing, crying, yelling, howling, cheering at the people around me, at the things around me. And, yes, somewhere in the midst of all these, I found purity, happiness and contentment. I found them, but I havent been able to make them mine!

Realization - I am waiting for it...

This is all I see

I just realized: The world is desperately seeking avenues to tell me just one thing:

Find your true calling

Everywhere I see, I see a sign from the skies, urging me to follow my heart. Ranging from the sites I surf, to the mails I get, to the talks I hear, to the people I meet, to the thoughts that these spawn - all I see is this. Why? I dont know!

PS. This post is from a new tool I just downloaded called w.bloggar. Cool one!

I don't control my life

I am listening to Coldplay's 'What if' from their new album X & Y.

What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

This essentially means, I don't control my life (atleast a part of it).
If you decide that I shouldn't be there by your side, I cannot. That is the futility of my effort. Why should I even try?

The confluence that faded away

One year ago: Oasis 2004 - The Annual Cultural Fest of BITS Pilani was a couple of days due. I was running around the whole of the institute building, meeting scores of people, thinking of insane stuff in the name of creativity, working on Flash presentations, updating process status docs, getting things in place for an event, and in my free time (which was reduced to a blimp in the space of time) thinking about Z. It was Prayag - a first date with entrepreneurship, an event organized by CEL here. I was the Logistics Co-ordinator and I was a damn busy man.

Today: A couple of days to go for Oasis 2005. Its crossed 4 AM in the morning. I am sitting in front of my computer, shamelessly browsing, GTalking, flicking through pages of Dilbert - I am alone. Out there, I see a whole group of people running around in fervent ardor to make yet another Oasis a success. To me, it has been a case of 'been-there-done-that'. Yet, I miss those days. The work I had kept me busy and made me happy. Not that I have work now (I can list down names of atleast a dozen books that I need to cram), but it isn't what I would want to do now. I just read Anand's post on his last Oasis, and those visions just crossed my mind. I don't know what this Oasis holds for me (as I sit here hopelessly and shamelessly jobless), but all that I can say with conviction is that I will certainly miss -

  • 3201 whacko sessions - carefully masked as 'creative sessions'
  • Sleepless nights conceptualizing 'Entretainment'
  • Harsha's ramblings after his cough-syrup overdose
  • Srevats - the legend and his trademark enthusiasm
  • Anand and his confessions
  • That eerie walk with Anand, Uzma and UdKi
  • The laptop breakdown during 'Entretainment' and Anand's mental breakdown
  • 'Do you want to sit here?'
  • The dancefloor and the mood-swings
  • Anil and the girl in Blue
  • Vox Populi with Uzma, and the block-and-tackle round
  • Dance at the Dhaba
  • On stage at OQ
  • 'Darkness' and how I was ditched by everybody
  • Srevats' spooky stories
  • Rock show and Uzma, Anand dozing off

Yes, Prayag was a confluence in its entirety. A confluence of great people, great minds and loads of fun and memories. And true, it has faded away, only to remain as a memory in our hearts. Sometimes, I do wonder, whether I took the right decision in calling off Prayag, but then, it was simply not possible this time to take Prayag to greater heights, and I hate to do an event again - at the same level as the last time.

Burn a thinkpad ...

The first thing I decided, I would do after I save some money during my internship in my final year - was to buy myself a laptop. Far-fetched plans, but it feels good to think of the day when I can buy myself something from greenbacks that I earn. But, just after I was following up on the IIPM issue that I blogged about, I came across this really insane threat on a posting on Gaurav's blog.

Well, to cut things short, Gaurav (an IBM employee) is the blogger who first placed links on to Jammag's article regarding IIPM, and questioned Arindham Chaudhuri's credentials. So, IIPM threatens to slap a Rs.125-crore lawsuit against Gaurav if he did not withdraw his posts and make fellow-bloggers do the same. Obviosuly, Gaurav didn't give a damn, until his IBM manager called him up saying that the IIPM Dean threatened that IIPM students would burn Thinkpads in front of IBM's office if they did not take action against Gaurav. So, Garurav out of respect to IBM (and of no pressure from IBM) resigns from his job. And upholds 'Free Speech'.

IIPM has lost all the remaining grains of respect that I had for it. If such is the case with institutions that churn out so-called MBAs, then may I pray for the future of corporate India.

IIPM busted

Gaurav Sabnis writes in Vantage point: The fraud that is IIPM about the IIPM issue that is haunting the blogosphere these days. Earlier in the day, Dilip called me up about his upcoming visit to BITS, and he spoke to me abou this. Though I had vaguely heard of Rashmi Bansal of JAM being involved in some trouble with IIPM, I just got to know of the huge mess that has surfaced.

So, finally, it does not make much of a difference to my opinion. I always felt that the IIPMs were just barking dogs and were no way what they claimed. I met some IIPM students last year in BITS, and they were decent - not bad. Pretty good I must say, because they were good at debating, quizzing to a certain extent as well. Maybe they were the best of the lot. I also remember during my first year, there was a mock CAT test and an orientation session which followed it - during which some student asked the guest speaker whether IIPM must be on his wish-list of Univs. Pat had come the reply -

It would be a sin for a BITSian to aim as low as IIPM
That really showed what the industry and the academic circles viewed IIPM as.

Then comes the pony-tailed hero (is he still one?) - Arindham Chaudhary. Hadn't really observed - but his credentials haven't been made public at all. But who gives a damn - his book is pretty much decent (certainly not as good as it has been hyped). Who knows whether it was him who actually wrote the book !! Btw How is Planman Consulting doing? As far as I heard - its following a weird path. If I am not wrong they are getting into the movie biz (or probably they are already in!). Insanity prevails!

The best thing about all this hulla-bullah:
No more full-page ads in the newspapers titled 'Dare to think beyond the IIMs' !

And the questioning resurfaces ...

I remember my musings on a diesel locomotive, that I blogged about some time back about my train journey from Bangalore to Mysore on a rusty weeekend. It was Deja Vu last Friday. The questioning resurfaced.

Why on Sweet Lord's Earth am I racking my head on cryptography and field programmable gate arrays and silicon wafers? Why am I cribbing that I will score less than 10% in my mid-term tests? Why am I slooging with the dream to pack off for grad studies to some foreign Univ? Why......When all I did after coming back from Garinda was weep within myself.

Yes. My heart still skips a beat when those images of that girl with brown teeth flashes in front of my inner eye. If only I had a cam then, could I have taken a snap and shared it with all of you. Last Friday, I accompanied some of my friends (most of them part of the Rural Entrepreneurship Division of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, here at BITS Pilani). As I boarded the chug-chug auto (or phat-phati as it is better known as), little did I think of what I would see there. As we slowly made our way through the dry fields of one of the most backward districts of Rajasthan, all I could feel is heat, and a certain emptiness. We were headed there to resurrect a Vocational training centre for women at this village called Garinda. This was part of the activities of CEL, BITS-Pilani. And, as we reached the place, about a dozen kilometres away from BITS, we were led to a room which was just cleaned, as we were expected there. And, then the women started pouring in to register for vocational training. We conducted a socio-econommic survey of the women. I administered the survey on 5 women of them 3 were girls (below 18), and one was 60+. Despite the language barrier, I went on, and with every reply from them, the urge in me grew - the urge to run outside, kneel down, and yell at the top of my voice at the sky, and cry my heart out. For the first time in my life, I saw right in front of my eyes, the true grim face of poverty, of suffering. Especially the young girls, I wept within myself at the gross disparity in our country which isolated them from the rest of the world. They were all being consumed by a life of slow decay.

We were treated like messiahs. We were showered by buttermilk, rotis, curries, fruits, grains, and what not. I still remember the words of Savitri -

Aap bhi mere bachche hi hey na (After all, you are also my children)

when she was serving us food. That morsel struggled to make it down my throat.

And now, that I sit in the comfort of my room with DreamTheater's 'Change of Seasons' playing in my neighbor's room,
  • I marvel at the change in myself
  • I weep at my apathy to my society
  • I mould that urge to give back to my country
  • I nurse the hope of seeing that girl who said she was forced to drop out of school as the school was far off - as a proud mother of two well-educated children
  • I presume my education will help me bring about a 10X change in the heart of poverty.

I rest my post.

PS - One thing that surely has to be up here is what happened after the whole day. I sat and put a night-out preparing a paper that I had just conceptualized. It's amazing how my mind can make that transition from chaos to serenity and vice versa.

It made life so beautiful

It made life so beautiful, originally uploaded by The Ali3n.

Now that we have moved on,
Now that I believe I have been liberated,
Now that I claim happiness,
I think of you.

As I sit and drink a cup of tea alone,
As I listen to the music in my room.
As I walk alone on the dim-lit roads,
I think of you.

I always had something for you,
I always dreamt of getting closer,
I always wanted us to stay apart,
I still think of you.

Yes, I think of you.
Yes, I still remember those words.
Yes, I am still haunted by the music.
Yes, I relive those moments in the cold.
Yes, I dream of long walks.
Yes, I wanted to utter those hallowed words.
Yes, I longed to be different.
>Yes, I see you right now.


No, I don't miss you.
No, I don't want to change myself.
No, I don't want to see what I used to see.
No, I don't want to lose myself.

And I don't regret what's happened
And I enjoyed those days of joy and anxiety

And I know - it was just a passing phase which made

Life so beautiful


Sometimes, I wonder whether I make life look too complicated. Do I unnecessarily complicate things too much? I have no answer. All that I can say affirmatively is that I think on a much higher plane than many others - I mean my thinking is more on philosophical lines and 'the-bigger-picure' types. And, for decisions I know will affect my career, I am extra careful, and the time I put into making that decision is surely a gross excess deviation from the mean time anybody else would take. And going by the 90-10 rule, 90% of the times I reaalize that I think too much and it wouldn't have much of a difference. But, the sole reason why I still ignore that rule and keep pondering and pondering is because I believe that all that thinking is making me a better individual - making my thinking more logical and objective.

Listening to: 'Complicated' - Avril Lavigne
(Incidentally, Avril Lavigne is my fav female singer. Man, her attitude is so punk rock! And her sweet voice is awesome)

Running from where to where

I realized recently that many of my antics here have resulted me in running away from a lot of people out here. The worst thing is most of them are professors! Everywhere I see them, I just make the quickest exit possible - Phew! Yesterday was one close call, when I saw one such professor in C'not and then I just walked so swiftly out of there, that I didn't even give him time to realize that I was there. Hmmm...Whom all do I run away from?

  • Prof. N - One from my state itself. He pours some unwanted work on my shoulders every time I see him.
  • Prof. B - The Group Leader of my Dept!! I absconded after preparing the Group Website.
  • Prof. R - In-charge of the LUG here. I have long stopped using Linux. Not that I have accepted defeat to the Redmond Demon, but just that I have become lazy to fiddle around in Linux. I am a dormant LUG co-ordinator, and hence I have to run away from him.
  • Prof. A - In-Charge of my Center. Not that I run away from him daily - but just that sometimes he just craps a lot to bear.
  • V - This chap is bugging me to join my Center. But I have no vacancies, and I don't want him in it as well.
  • AB - This guy is a pure jackass. Keeps bugging me about accounts of some never-existed account etc. Acts as if I am some fraud!

Oh my! That's pathetic. How sadder can it get? I am on the verge of getting an Interpol notice issued in my name soon, I guess.

As I run away from these people, I am running towards something as well. (Yeah, Right!) Its almost time for Mid-Sems to begin. GPA nightmares. Project tensions. Things are getting out of control. Loads of things to handle right now. Yet so, much to plan for the future. I read this in Jack Welch's "Winning":

Thinking about the long-term is like sitting on a chair and dreaming.
Thinking about the short-term is all about squeezing the lemon out of all its juice.
Everybody enjoys doing one of them. Somebody, made you the leader because they thought that you could do both.

True. I just hope that 'somebody' was right. Planning for the long-term and sailing through the present seems close to impossible, as of now. But, the eternal realist in me, sees things happening as they want to.

The Best of Me ?!

This song by Foo Fighters - "The Best of You" is one of the best songs I have heard in the latest onslaught of rock albums. What inspires me to ponder about this song is the awesome lyrics - which go on something like this :

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

I sit back on my cranky wooden easy-chair, look at those little green insects (or LGMFs as they are better known) which are hovering around my tubelight and ponder...

Ponder whether I am giving my best at anything that I am upto these days. The answer comes trotting to my cephalon. I expected three letters, but ended with just two - NO.

Just wondering as to what I have been doing for the past one year, I realize that I have lost my religion (not literally!). I have changed from a passionate stud to a pseudo-passionate "I-am-filled-with-passion" blabbering hypocrite. I have been uttering all such funky sentences, but, a reality check reveals that I have screwed around with time and myself. I have never given anything that I ventured into in the last year, my best. Sometimes, I ponder whether I am storing it for the right time. EEE CDCs would be a good time to spend the stacked up passion - but I am not. My other extra-curricular activities, I am damn passionate about, but I am firm that none of them have got the best of me.

I also ponder - "Have I lost the best of me?". No answer. Hope, the answer is still a NO. I am seraching for Vistas to release the best of me. If I dont do it soon, then probably I might just forget to bring out the best in me forever!

Hmmm.....Let me see, Right now, I just see one vista to bring out the best in me. Treacherous, Unchartered, Challenging, Rewarding - But is it worth it ?

Somebody get it out of here

Right now, I am sitting in my room with a pigeon stuck in my room. 45 non-stop minutes of unprecedented effort to throw it out of my room has gone in vain. Its just shuttling between my ventilator and my attic. I have chucked all sorts of things that I can find in my room and afford to chuck. I have attacked it from all angles that I can possibly attack from. Yet, it sticks around. What do I do?

I came back to my room tired after a fun-day out with a bunch of friends at a nearby resort. I just wanted to crash but now I can't even do that because I am scared of the pigeon pooping on me when I am asleep! Probably it is either drugged or it is blind not to see a huge window in front if it that is open, as well as a huge door craving its exit. Help!

On a different note, it is so absorbing to note that once I change the way I look at a person, I speak (or for that matter, communicate) in an entirely different way. The interest that I show in the other person's speech, the way I reply to mails from that person, the way I talk on a phone with that person - everything seems to have a new way; a new meaning. Makes me sad...

Time after time

Time after time, I wonder, why the world runs the way it is running. The obvious answer, one that I know, is that it is heading towards a purpose. Now, with my newfound Vedic thoughts, I wonder - If the whole world is but just a manifestation of the Brahman, and we are all but just heads and limbs of the Brahman itself, why are we playing around in this world? Agreed, it's for a purpose. But, for the achievement of that purpose, is it required for us to cheer two teams playing basketball, to drink loads of coffee, to sit in front of a flickering screen and blog ! I mean, why are all these mundane activities (with reference to the Brahman). That leads me to a thought that the Brahman is but just a chill dude, who wants to have fun - so he has people on earth commit rapes, murders, suicides as well as play the greatest of sports and vie for glory as well as make the most cutting-edge of research in science. Man! That guy sures know how to waste his free-time!

Ah! I cant say, 'that' guy, for I am the Brahman as well. So, I sure know how to waste my free time. Wow! That feels good. Let me go back to sleep now.

The giant mesh and Sensitivity

I heard this somewhere recently that the whole world is just like a giant electrical mesh and we are all but mere nodes in it. The core uniqueness of this mesh being that here, every node is connected to every other node by an electric component. So, here I bring in my knowledge of electrical systems and propound that Sensitivity of our node voltage to those component parameters plays the most vital role in human life.

Just imagine that I am connected to my dad/mom thorugh an inductor(say). Any reaction by my dad/mom is passed on to me through an inductive effect. So, the effect on me (change in node voltage) is brought about by the inductor (the relation I share with them). So, my sensitivity to that relation judges the extent of any effect that can possibly be inflicted upon me. And that component(relation) differs extensively for different people.

Now, I sit back and think how one person can so grossly affect my life if I share a strong component with her/him. Now, that such a person has shaken off my bliss - its time for me to fight back to regain that bliss. I can't sit and wait for some other day to regain what I have lost.

On a different note, I feel that somewhere yet another piece in the jigsaw puzzle called life, another piece has been fitted, and there are no lookbacks. I silently hum -

It's probably easy, or so damn easy,
For you to wield your power, your aura,
To push it off in all skewed probability,
To a day that shall never arrive,
To a day which you think I shall wait for,
Wait for eternity - but you are mistaken,
For I beleive that this is all an illusion,
An illusion of grandeur and deceit,
One that has been subdued by me finally,
To rest in peace, or rather
To rust in peace.

My Girl

I have been wanting to blog about this since the beginning of this semester, but never found time. A couple of cups of coffee down the throat now, and it seems the 'muhurtam' (the right time) has arrived.

Just to keep all you readers (if there are any...Hello...anybody there ?) guessing, I shall not tell you whether I have a girl or not , and if yes, whats her name till the end of this post ! Bear with me, oh anon!

This semester, due to coincidence or rather evident reality I found lots of my friends out here (and many whom I just know by name) roaming around with some girlfriend of theirs. Myself and a bunch of friends (with no girlfriends, of course!) sat for hours and brooded over the root of this social phenomenon. And, there was no solid conclusion that came out of the dozen late night meetings we had, except for case studies that spawned our own case study. The rest are censored here, due to not so obvious reasons.

But then, one fine day, I questioned myself, why can't I get a girlfriend? Though I know girls out here whom I really admire, why haven't I been going out with someone? Not that I didn't want to - I would love to! I decided to list down the top 3 things that are barring me from going out with a girl. The moment I hit the first reason - I stopped! That's because I realised that's huge enough a reason, for me to not get a girl out here. The reason -

I am lazy!

I am too lazy to pursue a girl and woo her. And, if I know the girl, I am lazy to ask her out. (Though, in some case, i would, i am sure, it wont work). So, I realized I would have to remain like this for the rest of my undergrad - unless and until some serious change in me, makes me hyperactive. Then would come the more serious problem of finding the right match. Based on all the girls I know here, that would be close to impossible. (Actually, I can say - It IS impossible).

So, now that I have resigned to my existing lifestyle, I began to think on a new track. Thanks to an amazing discussion I had with one of the few people I admire on campus, I began to see things around me in a new light. Now, when I see a couple moving around together, I see the happiness in both of them, and I feel happier! Crazy - but true! But the most important realization is that what they are doing is worthless! And, poor souls, they are so happy in doing that - Good for them.

Why is it worthless? Simple. The truth lies in the Vedanta - "Aham Brahmasmi". I am one with the Brahman. If I am one with the Brahman and so are you, both of us are mere manifestations of the Brahman. We are one and the same! Coming back to the situation that I see the girl whom I love(read, I want to go out with), why am I attracted towards her(or why do I want to go out with her)? That's because I see something different in her than all other girls I know. I would want to know her better. I would want to talk to her infinitely. That's because I percieve a chasm between me and her, and I wish to bridge that, by goin out with her. Reality: There is no chasm! Both myself and her, are one and the same. We are the Brahman itself. So, what is the point in pursuing a girl - when in reality, you are pursuing yourself ?! At the same time, there is nothing wrong in looking at a lovely girl and exclaiming 'Wow!'. It's just that I am appreciating the beauty of the Brahman.

So, that brings me to the point, where I look back at the foolish thoughts I had over the last year of missing someone. I just look back and laugh in silent contempt at myself, and then I drown myself in 'ananda' looking at the world outside and appreciating the beauty that is so glaring, yet not obvious enough to be seen by everyone.

Anandam Brahma

I sat wondering why I am feeling so happy these days for no particular reason. And, bingo - I had a revelation last evening, as I was wandering aimlessly in the corridor.

Why does one feel happy? When he/she gets something that he/she has been craving for. It could be a material posession or an achievement yearned for etc. Well, I didn't get what I wanted(?) , and I also didn't achieve something phenomenally great (except that for the first time I could answer the whole tute paper on Synchronous DC machines). Yet, there I was feeling ecstatic. And then it struck me, the feeling was not something that can be termed 'happiness' - the right term is in Sanskrit - 'ananda' (roughly translates to bliss). 'Ananda' is unconditional happiness. Back in High School, I remembered a story that we were taught in Sanskrit. A story from the Taittriya Upanisad. It's about how Varuna (a sage) uses 'tapas' (meditation) to teach his son Brigu to understand the true nature of 'brahman' ( can i explain 'brahman' - it roughly means the whole reality itself). Brigu discovers the Brahman stage-by-stage (as he meditated more, he delved deeper towards the real truth). It is said the stages were - annam (matter), pranam (the ethereal connection), mano (the cosmos controlling the ether), vijnanam (the intellect) and finally anandam (eternal bliss).

I now realize how immature we were to understand the true meaning of that back then - and how it makes amazing sense now. What do we all want in life? Yes, all of them are material possessions which give us happiness. So, why not pursue that happiness instead of crying and cribbing over not getting what one wanted? This doesn't mean that one quits from the process of pursuing ones dreams. That can always be done parallelly, without bothering about the results. Its damn tough (close to impossible), but surely worth a try.

Till then, I shalll rest in 'ananda'. Man! this is so damn good. I am not doped - but still feeling as if I am floating in the sky. I just wish I knew why I am feeling so blissful & how I can spread this blissfulness to others.

Heaven & Hell

Heaven & Hell, originally uploaded by The Ali3n.

One of the best artistic impressions, I have seen on Heaven & Hell.

Long time no see

My Obeisances - Oh! Holy Wall on the Web. I am back on the blogosphere after a long long long time. The reasons being many. The most important being the totally erratic and highly dysfunctional network connection out here these days. How can doubling the bandwidth reduce the speed of net in our rooms ?!

Anyways, I would have to blog pages if I were to recap the days that have passed since I blogged. Again, it reminds me of the first line of "The Tale of two cities" -

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Yeah, had my fair share of crests and troughs here. But, life is beautiful, mate! Its kinda amazing, its kinda surprising, its kinda mind-boggling - But I am feeling 'happy' throughout the day for no particular reason since the past two days. Why this sudden outburst of 'ananda' from within? Have I been enlightened? Have I woken up to my true inner self? Lots of questions, all of them leading to the Source. Yes, I have freed my mind. Hope, things remain the same. (At the same time, the thought runs across my mind - Hope is delusion). But these days, negative thoughts dont seem to be having an effect on me. Interesting!

So, I guess, I shall be frequenting this space more often to scribble thoughts sourced from an alien clan on my own wall on the web. After all, life is an OB(Open Book)!

The search for light

In the dim corridor I squat,
Staring at the moonlit trees.
The darkness fascinates me,
For I feel the presence of a light.

For the good of everything,
It is an unsaid story of the light.
The illumination that we all seek,
Ain't satisifed by the sun or the moon.

As I extinguish the cigar in my hand,
I know, its light was not enough either.
The spark needed to ignite my mind,
Does not fall from the stars I stare at.

I talk, to people and more people,
And I begin to see a new light.
I laugh at the chauvinism, at the dumbness,
At the lack of passion in them.

One thing doesn't amuse me at all,
All it does is make my blood boil.
The pathetic wait for somebody,
For somebody to guide, inspire, spoon-feed.

I frown, I shout filth, I spit,
At the world that encourages mediocrity.
A system, which I dare to beat,
that worships the ordinary, should not exist.

As my nerves cool down with the breeze,
I grin in silent contempt.
For I have found the spark, the light,
Where else do I go...when I am the light.

Life stuns you at times....

The truth dawns in myriad ways,
Almost never at the first go,
Bursts of realisation occur in random.

I sit back and think in isolation,
Why didn't I think like this before,
It could have spared me the heart-break.

Feels like I am flying above reality,
Seems like I am dying, dying,
Unable to digest what I am feeling.

The forces collude to bring me down,
I think, the forces are here to drown me,
Now I know, they bring me back to the ground.

The means justify the ends, I heard,
I know, I can squabble over this,
And crap over this for a whole lifetime.

It sinks in soon that it is justified,
In my case, it is the truth I sought,
Ah! What a fine way to understand.

I realise that I ran all these days,
Behind a rosy dream to reach that place,
Which I know now as the horizon.

I sit back and puff in the air,
As if they are the bursts of truth in life,
Coz Life stuns you at times....

Actually very ordinary

Have you ever felt

  • that you overrated yourself more times than necessary?
  • a sense of emptiness and defeat throughout the day?
  • loss of control over everything you dreamed of changing?
  • the pain of losing out to your example of mediocrity?
  • you are not born to be a leader, even when leadership is thrust on you?
  • that you are alone in this world, and everyone else uses you?
  • your only source of joy drifting away?
  • that you were not meant to be big one day - you just dreamt of it?

That's when you know that you are actually very ordinary.

Listening to: When everybody hurts(REM)

Burning winds

As the coconut leaves swayed with the breeze,
he gazed at them, waiting for time to freeze,
with memories of her hair flying to the tunes,
of that very wind across the sand dunes.

After sleepless nights, the call had been taken,
that it was time to move on unshaken,
to come back to life, killing the past,
that pat on her back, would be the last.

A handful of the pains of love and hate,
were too much to bear, searching for a soulmate,
with shattered dreams of a celebration cake,
he left her with true love for her own sake.

While he clung on to his heart rot,
dying to believe in what he just thought,
he stared straight into the shining sun,
wishing that his head was not against his own gun.

The power of lyrics

The other day, over a cup of elaichi tea, my friend asks me why I post lyrics of songs on my blog. The instantaneous answer was 'Why not?!'. He went on to say that, anyways people know lyrics, they are written by somebody else and they are found all over the net - so what is the point in blogging about music lyrics.

To me, lyrics are not words found by Googling the band's name with the song's name. I am a connoisseur of good lyrics. The essence of a song is in its ability to evoke the same emotions in the listener which the band felt when playing that song. The rythm and the lyrics feed this ability.

Its elementary. Music controls one's emotions if it is 'really' music. Here's a list of my favorite songs for different moods of mine:

  • Enthu/Jubilation: Headstrong(Trapt), Hero(Chad Kroeger)
  • Frustration: Judgement(Anathema), What's this life for(Creed)
  • Inspiration: Shine on you crazy diamond(Pink Floyd), I just want you(Ozzy Osbourne)
  • Sorrow: One last goodbye(Anathema), Everbody hurts(REM)
  • Romantic: If tomorrow never comes(Ronan Keating), Iris(Goo Goo Dolls), Tu Hi Re(Bombay)
  • Anytime: With arms wide open(Creed), The Scientist(Coldplay), Dont Panic(Coldplay)

There are loads of songs for each mood, but these rule the charts in alienland. So, the next time "I'm not gonna stand here and wait" (Hero, Chad Kroeger).

The two roads - one a mirage

I have maintained for long that Choice is an illusion. And today after hearing something so damn interesting, disturbing, surprising and frustrating, I sit back and think in mixed emotions as to how right I have been. Right now, I see amplifiers floating all over my eyes, but they tend to be amplifying my ponderings, rather than just getting into my head.

It is more than often that one feels he has a choice. To take the road on the right or on the left. And he ponders for hours, for days, and maybe months, or maybe even years to decide which road to take. Little does he know/think that it is already predestined that he is taking a certain road. The other is just a mirage - so exciting and attractive, but no - it doesn't exist. This is the playground of Destiny, and we are just kicking the ball around.

I just sit with Floyd soothening the atmosphere and think what if I was not in Bangalore this summer, what if I did not screw up my acads last year (not that I am dejected, actually I dont give a damn), what if .... and mixed feeling crop up. I would have been totally different, if I wasn't. Probably I would be like some of my friends who have changed after internship - in many ways, some obvious and some not so. The other day I was talking to one of them, I realised I had missed out something as Destiny had other plans for me. Not that I am cribbing that things went wrong for me, but it is just that emptiness when you feel when you come so close,and realise that you are still so far. Probably, I was not just meant to take the road that was a mirage - even if it lay on solid ground. How unlucky!

The choices that I saw, the road that I was forced to take, the other road I saw, the pains of love and hate, the inequality of fate, the zeitergeist, the emptiness, the tears when someone loses confidence in you, the insolent cry when someone doesnt talk to you, the heart and the mind fighting it out within you, the guilt of not being responsible, the utter feeling of hopelessness - I have had too much.


Back on the burner (or is it backburner ?)

Finally, after a week in this burning desert, I get to return back to my "Wall on the Net" - to speak out as loud as I can, and still not hear it echo. Feels good to be back.

Sure does feel bad to be on the burner. See a damn hectic time ahead, but also myself with my undivided attention to my Ponderings.

Right now, as Pink Floyd play in black boxes in front of me, I see the amazing coincidence of the lyrics, with what I am telling myself these days. It goes something like this -

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Food 4 Pondering (F4P): (hopefully I will be including this feature in most posts now)
What's better - Crib that the world's screwed (blaming the non-ideality) or being practical and show apathy(coz theres no way the worls gonna change)?

Listening to: Pink Floyd - Wish you were here

How I see the world

You scored as Idealist. Idealism centers around the belief that we are moving towards something greater. An odd mix of evolutionist and spiritualist, you see the divine within ourselves, waiting to emerge over time. Many religious traditions express how the divine spirit lost its identity, thus creating our world of turmoil, but in time it will find itself and all things will again become one.













Cultural Creative




What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

I Oneder why ?

The other day when I was scavenging the pile of dust-laden, termite-infested, countless-sneeze-inducing pile of antique books belonging to the times of my grandfather's youth, I stumbled upon a book which was sub-titled "The one thing she couldn't stand". About the contents of that yellow-paged, half-gobbled-by-roaches book, your guess is as good as mine.

I wondered or rather Onedered (Well, if you have seen the Tom Hanks movie "That thing you do", you know why I spelt it that way - if you haven't - well, its about a band who initially called themselves the 'Oneders', but whom people called 'oh-nee-ders')...Phew, what was I talking about. Oh, well, I onedered

What is the one thing I can't stand ?

My answer was 'Mediocrity' but closely contested by 'Hypocrisy'.

What's the one thing you cant stand ?

Who is John Galt?

I need atleast a week's time.

A rainbow in the dark

About the title:
Two things - One, probably, the title of my next short story and two the lyrics of a song by Dio - the best lines of which are reproduced below

You're a picture - just an image caught in time
We're a lie - you and I
We're words without a rhyme

There's no sign of the morning coming
You've been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark

It fascinates me, this concept of individualism and the morality of rational self-interest in contrast with collectivism and the typical selflessness. Guess, I have been Objectivised by Ayn Rand. For, it is anytime much more interesting and inspiring than Harry Potter.

How does it feel like to be a Rainbow in the Dark ? Have you ever

  • ever done things with humility and a tinge of pride - that pride you seek to earn?
  • wanted to meet a friend or adversary who has a sharper mind than yours?
  • felt a sense of incompleteness within yourself, coupled with self-betrayal?
  • wished to chat with friends late night over a cup of coffee on ideas and visions rathter than chat over the chics/hunks in college?
  • felt like crying out to the world, rebuking its insolence?
  • felt utter contempt for mediocrity?
  • slapped the incompetent bastard? (atleast felt the urge to)
  • felt sympathetic about that friend of yours who laughs when you talk about philosophy with your girl/boy friend? (for he is such a loser in life)
  • craved for cut-throat competition, but had to settle for snails behind you?

If the answer was an 'affirmative' for any of the above, then you are a classic case of a 'Rainbow in the Dark'. I hope to write a short story on the same soon. Provided my Mom keeps making more of those 'Gharccino's (the new kinda Coffee she is brewing these days).

2 cappucinos and Sarkar

What an end to close to 7 weeks of interning in a VLSI firm - UISDL here in India's own Silicon Valley.

Started off with a project, I had absolutely no clue of. Read voraciously the first week, and slept through the next two (for reasons, I dont want to make explicit), finally woke up to reality...I saw potential, I saw light at the end of the tunnel. Slogged for almost a month, with that faint hope of seeing that light - hoping that it is not the light of an incoming train. And finally it took 2 cappcucinos and Sarkar to call it a day.

Our project was down in the drains in the last week. The whole architecture we had developed was working fine until the big day, when all major test cases failed. Just the previous day, I had spoken to my PL and he was excited that we are completing it in time. And now, the dark clouds had descended from the heavens. The light had faded, and all I could say to my project-mate was

"At times in life, you've got to accept defeat and quit."

But, then I realised, how pathetic a hypocrite could get by uttering those words. I proclaim that 'defeat aint a word in my dictionary' out here, and out there I preach about accepting defeat. Exactly one and a half days to go, I stumble upon a new architecture, one that would take a week to implement, but if done, then probably could solve all the glitches. And then we made the plunge. For 2 days, we did nothing but sit in front of a anti-glare screen coding or grab a cappucino and discuss the intricacies of the new architecture. The desgin names we tried had the names of all movie names/characters or fictional characters we admired. Started off with Anniyan, on to Morpheus to Neo to Aragon to Legolas to Godfather to DonCorleone to AgentSmith. And finally the one name of the design that worked - flawlessly - was 'Sarkar'. 13 Jul - it works flawlessly and then the bad news on 15th that it isnt as fast we designed it to be. Heartbroken, but then analyse it with a couple of design engineers, get some tips on how to improve its speed, and finally say a big goodbye to U&I.

An experience I shall treasure for years to come. I must say, it was -
A tribute - a tribute to 'individualism'.
A reassurance - of the fact that 'Its all about passion and hunger'
A spanking - to all those 'yet-another-trainee's
A directon - to the 'rainbow in the dark'

Ecstasy to Agony

As Dexter says "What a fine day for Science !", I remarked after yesterday's Silverstone GP - "What a fine day for F1 !". I am being over-supportive of my favorite driver on the Formula One circuit, but then I was in sheer ecstasy at the end of the race for after a long time, a really long time, Juan Pablo Montoya in his McLaren Mercedes saw the checkered flag before the rest of the drivers on the circuit. The McLarens cruised as if they were unbeatable. Kimi Raikonnen was, AMHO, the best driver on the circuit, but not certainly the luckiest. Here's to Montoya's victory !

And in that same ecstatic frame of mind, I returned to my cubicle on the second floor of a 4-storey building somewhere in Bangalore to work on the project that has been going totally awry since a week. And this is how I felt

Snakes crawled on the screen,
Biting my nails, I stared at them.
They wriggled around, up and down,
In reality, a 1 or a 0.

I was praying for Montoya yesterday,
and now for that snake named 'digest'.
With every lap I had grown happier,
Today wasn't different, except for irony.

In milliseconds, the gap widened
between Montoya and Alonso.
In nanoseconds and picoseconds,
my fate slided into a deep dark hole.

At the end of the day, I remarked
"What a fine day for Formula One! ".
Now, looking back at today, I remark,
"What a black day for Simulation! "

PS This poem was coughed out by the author in an extremely insolent state of mind, after he slogged in his cubilcle for 9 hours to get a series of 128 ones and zeroes.

Stop the blabbering

Being born in a religious Brahmin family in Karnataka, I too was threaded with the sacred thread around 7 years ago. And being the not-religious-but-spiritual guy I have always been, I did not do the SandyaVandana for more than 3 years, because of one sole reason - I didnt understand what it is ? Maybe, the mistake lies in me for not putting in enough efforts to pursue its meaning. Nevertheless, at all religious functions held/or attended by my family I am witness to 4 purohits(priests) chanting mantras around a fire. I am always excited at this sight, because it invokes in me a feeling of spirituality - a feeling of going closer to the Gods. But then I sit back and think about the mindless balbbering of mantras and slokas by the priests - Do they really understand what they are chanting ?

A continuous flow of Sanskrit mantras from a priest and 8 out of 10 times I am sure he does not know the true meaning of what he is chanting. Some cousin of mine at a young age chants dozens of mantras which I have only heard of, but never listened to. He is adored by most in our family because he knows so many mantras at such a young age. One fine day I asked him what is the meaning of the Gayatri Mantra - the most sacred mantra in Hinduism, which essentially every brahmin is supposed to learn during the threading ceremony. And he said with a indiffernt grin - "Who knows ?!". Later I told this to my parents while making my case on this issue. What is the use if one doesn not understand what he/she is saying ? Worthless. A pointless waste of time. My parents argued that chanting the Almighty's name without consciousness too is divine. Yeah...right. Then, what is the point in having 4 vedas, so many vedantas, 2 great epics, millions of slokas.

I believe in one thing - the true meaning of the Gayatri Mantra - which I believe is truly a univeral mantra. I especially admire its ending -

Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

which translated means - "Enlighten our minds". I have come across hundreds of mantras which end with a 'Bless me', 'Protect me', 'Enlighten me' - and only one mantra - The Gayatri Mantra which says 'Enlightnen us'.

I read this on Orkut

Gayatri mantra is not to be chanted a 108 times, or a 1008 times. What one should really do is chant it once, and absorb the meaning of the mantra, and meditate upon the meaning. The real effect of Gayatri can be achieved if, and only if, one meditates on the meaning of Gayatri. One has to understand its meaning, and one has to feel from the heart what one is saying. And go into meditation. Repeating like a parrot serves no purpose. What happens when we chant it many times, is that the entire process becomes mechanical. The only way to not make it mechanical is not chant it that many number of times. Because, if one's heart has to get involved in the meaning of the Gayatri the first time you utter it, it is important that you do not recite it again, as the successive recitation diverts one's mind to the process of uttering the mantra rather than getting absorbed into it. Uttering it again and again endows tremendous powers, and intelligence, but cannot give spiritual progress. It may give only to an extent, but meditation will give more.

I shall be forwarding this to many of my family members. I hope people bring an end to this blabbering, and instead concentrate on the meaning and absorb it.


Given my earlier post, I might appear as a flagrant hypocrite. Nay. Read on.

I was just browsing through some communities on Orkut and landed at one such community called 'Brahmins'. I was intrigued by the posts on that community and inspired to deal with a issue not mentioned there.

I was born a Brahmin. In the ancient times, Brahmins have been the upper strata of the society - the intellectuals and the worshippers of God. And, now that is long gone. We ought to be grateful to the rulers of India who slowly abolished the system as it makes absolutely no sense to regard a certain bunch of people as intellectuals just because of their birth in a certain family. It is the thought process that make a individual and not birth.

It is popular belief that Brahmins were the propogators of discrimination by caste and they are responsible for the pathetic state of Dalits/SC/ST/Harijans now. I do not intend to contend that belief in this post, for I have not been a witness to that and I am just a student of History. I also believe that History is written by winners and it is never the complete picture. All that i can say on this issue is that if it was actually a fault by my(our) ancestors then so be it. They have committed a sin against humanity. But am I to pay for it? That would be equivalent to saying that jsut because Hitler was a German, all Germans now are liable for the spate of Jews worldwide. How preposterosus ! Now, everywhere Brahmins are considered as pot-bellied proud peacocks who just know how to eat and disregard others. I am disgusted at this viewpoint for that age is long gone and Brahmins are now found in all strata of the society. They are no longer the elite. The world has woken up. Religionism, casteism are on the downturn, but why still the hatred for something that has happened way back in the past. After all the reservations given to the SC/ST people for 50 long years, we have forgotten meritocracy in this nation (More on this reserved for a future post), and now Brahmins in Rajasthan are demanding to be included in the backward classes. They have a logical premise saying that most Brahmins now in Rajasthan are now economically backward - for they have been totally negelected for 50 years. But it is totally stupid on their behalf to claim reservations (which are actually totally absurd) and that too vie to be called 'backward'. Guess self-esteem is going for a toss in this country as well !

On what the Gita says on a Brahmin

Arjuna asked: Who is a Brahmin? What is Self-knowledge? What is action, O Purushottama?

Krishna said: Brahman is the Imperishable, the Supreme; His essential nature is called self-knowledge; the offering to Gods which causes the origin, existence and manifestation of beings and also sustains them is called action.

As is said by Lord Krishna, one becomes a brahmin by his thoughts and not by his birth. It only depends how matured one's mindset is. How understanding one is about an issue. How efficiently one can deal with people around - with love and care.That determines one's brahminism and not birth.

So, the bigger picture is to grow out of one's caste and become a universal soul - indifferent to all such petty indignant issues - and that in Hinduism is what is described as a Brahmin

To hell with the divide

Religions, castes, creeds and races - I believe are the quintessential delusions that man himself has created - They are the source of his greatest hopes and his greatest downfalls.

I have decried all discriminations based on any of these. Recently, one such incident really broke my heart and I was filled with deep shame and anger. A relative of mine has a 2 year old kid whom I really adore. The other day, when I was playing with her in the courtyard of their house and her grandmother was sitting behind her. Just outside the gate were 2 men standing and conversing who were starkly identifiable as of a certain religion because of their wear. I just turned back to take a sip of my cup of coffee when I heard her grandmother tell her - "Look, dangerous people" .She was holding her hand over her mouth to teach the young, innocent child how to show that they are dangerous people. I felt utter contempt and disgust at that realtive of mine. And deep shame that I am related to such a mindless creep. How on Earth could she poison such a young, innocent mind? Given her age and our far relation, I could not protest against it openly. All I did was divert the child's attention and take her inside the house.

I am pained at how insensitive people can be even at the age of 60+. I dream of waking up in an India where people dont look with deep mistrust at people because of a mark on their forehead or a headgear. But, if young minds are ignited with such hate, then my dreams shall just remain a dream.


I am on a blogging spree today
And that too with 3-liners
Seems like an addiction
That i break with a 4-liner!

Life's getting terrible at work
A project that was so exciting
We are so near yet so far
Reminds me of a part of my favorite song:

And they say that a hero can save us.
I'm not gonna stand here and wait.
I'll hold on to the wings of the eagles.
Watch as we all fly away.

The paranoia of losing the battle
Of leaving it uncompleted.
I cant sustain the angst
Of being 'yet-another-trainee'.

I cant wait for a miracle
I'm not gonna sit here and crib.
I'll become yet another trainee
Watch as I become a cipher among ciphers.

A planet named X

Daylight was slowly fading away.
As if he was exposing himself
the sun draped himself in white clouds.

We rode across the gravel road
4 of us on bikes, 6 in rickshaws.
"600 metres to take off".

The minute dial in my watch
barely managed to move itself.
"Welcome to the Planet".

The big "X" at the entrance
felt like Foley's mark in Mysore.
We parked our bikes and strolled in.

From the far end of the road
we could hear the beats.
But the eyes were on what was to the right.

Small frameworks of metal and plastic
mounted with a motor-boat engine
zipped across a cement track.

"Go-Karting Rs.100/-"
And there we were huddled at the counter
with two Gandhi-backs in my hand.

I broke my own record of 39:66
on that track with a 38:21
still a long way to 33:71.

M and U set the screen on fire
as they zipped past the virtual road
on their racing bikes.

P and A were men possessed
hitting the puck across the table
with small cups as if they were sticks.

And then came the 10-pin game
Two alleys in the corner
And time stood watching.

3 centurions and a couple missers
The rest blaming 'lack of form'
We moved to catch a whiff of fresh air.

Across a stone table, on stone benches
we sat, looking at structures
of the karts and other fairer humans.

Sipping Pepsis, piping coffees
and drinks from bottles bearing animals,
the rains drove us in again.

I and V sank ourselves in a pool
This time with colored balls around us
And a long stick in our hands.

And so did the rest in separate pools.
V looked like a pro, and me
A super-quick learning apprentice.

H was going nuts over his cues,
I and J calm as ever
R still testing his breath.

It was dark, and it was time
to take off from the planet.
A planet named X.

This post is a tribute to the great time I had at Planet X in Mysore with my gang of pals this weekend. We rock, mates!


Daikens created the breeze
Eminem rapped in the air
Neon lights shone on them.

Ten soldiers stood across the alley
She with a 8-pound cannon ball
bore no fear nor anxiety.

The crackling sound resounded
But was lost in the din
of 12 such alleys.

None of the ten still stood
She had done a 180deg spin
Pumping her small fist in the air.

He looked at her sparkling face
oozing with ecstacy
He kept looking as time froze.

Her mouth wide open
Just about to yell
"Yeah, I did it! A strike!".

Her hair hung in space
Still recovering from the spin
The brown streaks shining under the neon.

He felt a surge of power
A wave of unbridled joy
A gush of adrenaline through his veins.

"I'm damn lucky
For so long I have known her
I have lived life with her".


"Get up, bro! Two days
Just 2 days for your marriage
And you, sleeping like a log"

It struck him like a bolt
He had to go to the mall
To get gifts for his would-be wife.

His face was passive
It had been 2 months since they had met
He still felt lucky.


For an avid Ayn Rand reader, probably this word whizzes past the eyes once every two minutes. And thats how I fell in love with the wide gamut of usages of this word. The dictionaries scattered over the net yield many search results for its meaning, but I would define contempt in this post as "lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike". Many incidents in the recent past remind of me the famous idiom that Chaucer first used in 'The Tale of Melibee' - "Familiarity breeds contempt".

Everybody knows that long experience of something or someone can make one aware of all its/his/her faults that it makes one fume with scorn over it/him/her. Seldom does one feel it so hard that it makes one feel utter contempt at his companion(s). Over time I have known so many people from so many different regions and have been amazed at the breadth of the kinds of people they are. Many of them, I have beleived for long to be geniuses, great minds, cool dudes, nice friends, good pals and what not, and I have held this view for the times that I have met them once a day with just a small chit-chat. In the rarest of rare times, I would have sneaked inside their false exterior and seen their real character. And until then, I would have regarded them as people whose qualities are noteworthy. I found out that faimiliarity strips a person of however thick a false exterior he/she may sport. And eventually breeds contempt.

This brings me to the point wherein I sit back and think about marriage. How was this edifice constructed when our ancestral philosophers and great thinkers knew that familiarity breeds contempt and familiarity is the basic premise of marriage. Ergo it is deducted that those great philosphers based the concept of marriage on the premise that the two souls would not have false exteriors and they can agree to compromise on mutual arguments and live happily. Living together for a year or so can strip each other down to such a level that it would be virtually impossible to conceal a character or a behaviour or a mode of thinking. And from all this it is mandatory to be the person who you are once you marry and it makes zilch sense to change one's way of life to woo a mate.

Returning back to the contempt I feel, well, I am happy I am in Bangalore for a number of reasons and probably this is one more.

Listening to : Background score of "Sarkar" - Govinda Govinda....

Sarkar -
Just watched the movie. Having read "The Godfather" and having seen Marlon Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone, I had very high expectations on this movie for two main reasons - Ram Gopal Varma and Amitabh Bachchan. And to cut a long story short - It truly lived up to my high expectations. After all there are no rights and wrongs - only Power.

My idol

It had struck me many a times in the past to blog on this topic, mainly because I have been asked this question a considerable number of times - "Who is your role model/idol ?". I have always scoffed at such questions, but this pleasantly refreshing scoff was triggered when I came across a post on one of my friend's blogs( which I reproduce in full here, for lazy mortals like me ):

"The desire of bettering your condition,
a desire that comes with you from the womb
and never leaves you....
till you have reached the grave. "
Every living being in this world desires to better its condition ....
every person, for instance, has his own idea of what success is, which is, in most cases, some worldly thing ...
but, not all people are enlightened to look inwards ( or rather they don't care to look inwards ) and find the path to "that thing" which would make them successful. So, they look up to their so-called idols ( people who have achieved "that" worldly thing ) for inspiration.
Since our birth, our minds are conditioned to look outwards for solutions and even peace. so, it is quite justifiable that people look up to some inspirational leader. But, what many people fail to understand is that different people have been conditioned in different ways in their lives, their experiences have been different and so, their ideology of success is bound to be different, which in turn imples that diffent people (of course, those who are less enlightened ) look upto to different leaders for inspirations. people who fail to understand this often end up making rigid ( and sometimes unpleasing ) comments about others..
How often we talk about looking at onself from others' eyes.
Oh God ! If only You could give Your people another eye ...... an eye to look at people from "their own" perspective......

Though the author of the post confesses that he wrote this article in a fit of frustration, there is a fair amount of logic in it the post whereas it has been medically proven as well as universally accepted that strong emotions drive out reasoning from one's head. Medical Science, here is a guy who has proved you wrong..........but just partially......... here's why:

This is what I posted as a comment to that post:

The concept of one's definition of success and successful people as idols is a complex web. Let us assume that I want to become successful. My definition of success is - " Success to me is me becoming a Mr.X and me having U,V,W " . Now, I am at a crossroad - I can be a person who can look inwards or look at people who are now Mr.Xs and have U,V,W to achieve my definition of success. As lesser mortals, most of us would chose the latter as it is less effort-demanding. This seems to be a consented argument.

This is the point at which I have very strong opinions about 'idols'. Well, success is very elusive - more elusive than the Philosopher's Stone for many. And when one feels that a person has achieved that success, it is human tendency to look upto that person as an 'idol' and seek inspiration from him. Percieving that successful person as a tribute to the fact that "Success is achievable. Probably alchemy works! (in the sense quoted above)" is perfectly acceptable. But when the human crosses that thin line between looking upto him as an inspiration and believing that whatever that person did is right , he is doomed to catastrophe. When logic and reasoning take a blind seat and blind ideology creeps in, then fatal mistakes are bound to happen. Just to illustrate this better - continuing with my old example - Maybe I have a found a Mr.M who is now a Mr. X and has U,V,W and I am inspired by him to achieve success. If the values that M had, the decisions made by him en route to his current position were corrupt then I must have "DOLT" stamped on my forehead to try to emulate him. If he were to have reached success by immoral/unfair means then I dont even have the right to consider him as an example of success. If he were to have reached their by fair means but he was a man whose ideologies were debatable, whose actions were controversial then maybe I can consider him as an example of success but not as an example to the path to success. In short, it is preposterous to have an idol.

There also arises one more argument that different people have been conditioned in different ways in their lives, their experiences have been different, ergo their ideology of success is bound to be different. Absoultely right. But that doesnt imply that the values they have been taught, the morals they have been preached are so drastically different that they can have diametrically contradicting views on whats fair or unfair. (Though in recent times, man has rotten away so much that filth looks like gold for every other person). Ergo, when somebody blasts me for trying to emulate Mr.M or even lookupto Mr.M as an 'idol' for inspiration or whatever, he has a very valid point because he knows that Mr.M is not worthy of emulation - which even I would have agreed to , if it were not for the blind prejudice that I live in - that he is a 'great, successful person - my idol'.

To sum it up, it is dumb to have an 'idol' simply because it drives out logic & reasoning , and sets in a prejudiced mask on the eyes.

Musings on a diesel locomotive

As I travelled alone yesterday from Bangalore to Mysore, I was missing something - a book to read - which I always carry on my frequent train journeys between these two cities. I just had Jack Welch's 'Winning' in my bag and I had just a couple of chapters to finish, which I devoured in less than 20 minutes. So, there I was stranded on the railway platform - 1 hour ahead of schedule - just staring at people who looked more lost than I was.

  • I saw one familiar face, a man who had travelled in the same coach on my last journey. A grumpy young man. We exchanged silent grins.
  • And then, I needed a capuccino, but had to compromise for an ordinary coffee due to the non-availability of the former.
  • As I boarded the diesel locomotive, I managed to get a seat next to a chirpy Malayali Kannadiga. And then came in one more friendly old guy to the vacant seat on my right.

This seems so natural a journey, but for me it was different because I am used to either chat the whole journey with someone or read a book throughout. Here I could do nothing. So, I just sat back and let out the philosopher, the thinker, the psychologist, the scientist, the engineer, the entrepreneur in me. (Whoah! Am I a mixture of all that ?)

  • The usual scuffle for seats - reserved by a mucus-laden handkerhief. There was a woman travelling with two of her children and one cousin of theirs. Unable to find a seat in that extremely overcrowded train, she somehow managed to snug in her two little kids in some vacant space and she stood through half the journey. I remembered one incident - Rewind 6 years - A teacher of mine had remarked, "What is the driving force for the progress of the society ?" - "The unstinted wish of every parent that his/her child should lead a much better life and all that they do towards making that wish come true"
  • Outside the window marked by 3 iron grill rods, I could smell the stink as we just left Bangalore - Vrishabhavati. The river(if you can call any form of flowing liquid - a river) formed by all the drainage exits across the city. And next to it was an endless sea of huts and slums. A herd of ragpickers fighting over a pile of polythene covers. A line of naked children waving at us. A young boy being sent by his mother to defecate in front of their own hut. I felt a strong sense of emptiness. Here I am talking of VHDL and its likes when I see people who are suffering at the very rise of civilisation that I shall be abetting by devising faster chips, faster machines, bigger buildings. What can I do that can improve thier lives? Isn't seeing a smile on their faces much satisfying than getting a promotion for implementing a new design on a chip? I thought about the rural housing idea that I had, which after hours of discussion with a civil engineer, none other than my Dad, was rendered infeasible. And about Prahalad, who also rebutted the concept of providing basic necessities to such people in his book on the BOP and emphasised the issue of giving them a 'luxurious' life they always crave for. And about the endless raving about charity when people know that its not sustainable. If only I could do something.......
  • As the train chugged along, shouts of 'tea-coffee-maddur vada' rose in unison and faded into obscurity alternately. I heard cries of 'Peanuts' . Easily recognisable as a old lady's cry. She walked into our compartment. A basket on her head - It couldn't have weighed more than 5 kgs but her frail body looked as if it would almost collapse under its weight. The kids I talked abou earlier bought peanuts worth 3 bucks. I made some crude calculations. On a single train, she would sell around 15 such packets - thats 45 bucks. Probably a profit of 40 bucks. With the energy that I saw in her, the maximum that she could cover per day, aorund 10 trains. Thats around 400 bucks. Thats pretty close to 250 bucks that she could have made by just begging. I saw in her 'dignity' - She chose to earn bread when she could beg. That is a spirit I salute.
Well, I could make a day-long documentary on my thoughts on that journey, but I am feeling sleepy and I better end at this.

Reading: Soon to begin 'Blink' - Malcom Gladwell

Listening to: Kishore Kumar: Chalte Chalte yeh mere geet yaad rakna

The Fountainhead of all Achievements

I am carrying this title over from my last post. Most of you might have guessed the origin of this phrase. Yes, Ayn Rand - 'The Fountainhead'.

The first time I heard about this book and its author was in somebody's Orkut profile, but it didnt strike me where it had to. I remember the second time, something more memorable was when we were playing Hangman sometime in BITS, and I just survived the gallows by guessing this book's name. But the most memorable incident was when my wingmate bought her other book - Atlas Shrugged. The rave reviews I read about both the books on the back cover page of that book hit me. And then, as Destiny had it, I again bought a pirated version of this book on the streets of Bangalore for 60 bucks, when the original costs around 250. (PS: In no way am I encouraging piracy through this measly little blog of mine, nor am I recommending pirated books for your 'i-have-no-work' eyes (coz ur reading this post). I am after all a non-earning 'gotta-save-some-money' student with an insatiable thirst for books and the incongruable society leaves me no choice !)

Primarily introduced to the philosophy of 'Objectivism', one feels the urge to read more. She defines her philosophy as

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

There's loads of philosophy embedded in her writing, and that makes it the best read I have ever had. Chunks of her writing are so deep and intellectual that it takes atleast a couple of readings to grasp the true meaning and the hidden wisdom. One of the best chunks I came across in the book -
Let's take two parallel lines. I'm inclined to agree with Euclid, I don't think these two parallels will ever meet....No man likes to be beaten. But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the side of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he'd give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped....well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?"

And then comes the legendary duel between individualsim and collectivism. The best part of the book is that it shakes every definition you have assumed of words like integrity, individualism, courage...everything that seemed so obvious to you..think again.

Disclaimer: This book is meant only for 'serious' people. In simpler terms, read this only if you have an inclination towards philosohpy and human psychology. If you are more of a thrill-seaking reader, please do stay away from this book. Its more for slow, intellectual reading.

After all, man has to aim to be the Fountainhead of all achievements.

Me reloaded

Its been exactly one month since I landed up in the Silicon Capital of India (or whatever) with a bubbling enthusiasm to do things never concieved, with stringent determination to scale heights never scaled, with lively hopes of going places neer seen. And after a month I ponder.....

What did I do in Bangalore over the month. I have been - for the lack of a better euphemism - frozen. I stood still when I had to run. It is said these days, you have to run to stay where you are. But the sadder story is that the world went behind, so me standing there frozen didnt matter. But then, the real competition is as Agent Smith puts it "Me, me and only me". I failed miserably. I had so many plans of blogging, surfing, mailing, conceptualising, dreaming ..... but then I did nothing but wake up, eat idly (argh!), sit in the bus, go to office, switch on comp, browse thorugh some pdfs, go for lunch, come back and sleep, wake up, board bus again, go back home, sleep again, wake up and flip 5 pages of a novel, go have dinner, come back and watch a movie, crash. Life was damn monotonous. And my entrepreneurial spirit couldnt stand long.

So, finally here I am.......reloaded.....
Charged with charge enough to catapult myself through a seemingly hopefully productive summer. I have made it a point to sit in front of the net for atleast an hour daily. The problem is that i get atleast 15 mails a day, and an hour is spent replying to them! Anyways, lots queued up this summer (or rather, autumn here in Blr).

After all, man should aim to be the fountainhead of all achievements (Hail Ayn Rand!)
And, I got Jack Welch's "Winning" in the black market at 120 bucks. Excellent deal, considering that the original is around 650 bucks. (Hail piracy! ;) )

Probably, "Winning" was one of the main reasons for the turnaround of myself from a lousy sloth bear to a roadrunner. Hail Jack Welch. I strongly accept what Warren Buffet had to say about the book -

No other management book would ever be needed

So many hails in the air, let me add one more.... Hail myself !

Currently listening to:
Back home: Piya bole - Parineeta (Nice movie)
Now: FM 91 in the net cafe

Days have come and days have gone

Yet here I am unable to vent my thoughts......

Not a day goes by here in Bangalore without me making a mental note that I have to blog about an event or a thought...but then the zeitgeist has other plans. Every day I come back from work at around 7 in the evening and I am too zonked to sit and blog at the net cafe as I spent atleast an hour answering my mails. I pity myself at this horrendous and pathetic state of mine. Once upon a time, this soul called Abhilash Ravishankar used to caress the blogosphere almost daily and now that very soul is cribbing about the bitter truth that it cant do so once a week. But at this very moment, in the holy presence of my keyboard, mouse and the flickering monitor I solemnly swear that I shall try to blog more often. (Vague to the tee, isn't it?)

Anyways, here's a brief recap about a lot of events that I missed out to blog about:

  • I was there at the BITSAA Bangalore Summer Bash. Made a presentation on CEL activities, and got to meet a lot of other cool BITSians
  • Met up with Naina at her office and had a wonderful long chat. Ah! So, miss people like her in Pilani. Though she reminds me of someone out in Pilani.
  • Met up with my uncles, aunts and cousins from Uncle Sam's country. Had a great time talking with them.
  • Had a damn hectic week at work doing some stupid meaningless reports and some seminars which are judged not by the purpose of the presentation but by the quantity of pure physics concepts in it!
  • Bunked a day of PS coz I was up late night reading Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. Almost done with it !!
  • Got to know that Indira Nooyi is actually my aunt's first cousin !! Whoah ! I am related to Indira Nooyi !!
  • Professional networking - man! I got to schmooze with a lot of bigwigs and it has undoubtedly been a great week here.

Listening to:
Ah! Nothing but the wroom sounds of bikes and scooters passing the road at this time of the night

What has happened to me?

I am trying to figure out that myself. I have become so damn busy I just cant even blog. Anyways' here's to keep my blog floating.

Cattell's 16 Factor Test Results
Emotional Stability50%
Social Assertiveness62%

Post from office

Finally ..... Finally .....
I am blogging from the comfy confines of my cubicle here in U & I System Design Bangalore. The joy of blogging from office....ah...its so good.
Anyways, shall post a longer post soon. Gotta scram to meet my PL.

After Week1

Here's what I have learnt about life and myself after 1 week in Bangalore and in the workplace (the company I am interning in):

  • I am a workaholic
  • Books make more sense than senseless gossip
  • Mocha Moksha rocks!
  • I have a big weakness - a vacillating mind
  • I hate shirking work at the workplace
  • I keep the home clean more than any of my housemates (Mom, u heard that !)
  • I just so miss some people out here
  • I miss 24x7 net access
  • I am damn unlucky
  • Never ever cross the road while stuffing money into your wallet (Coz thou shall get hit by a Honda Activa)
  • Always carry enough money
  • Whatever I am missing, I see it everywhere around me. So near yet so far
  • I would rather lose a million bucks over a game of UNO rather than being given a combo offer of * + * + * + *
  • I love challenging projects
  • I have begun to lose interest in the web!
  • C K Prahalad, Mario Puzo, Ayn Rand are studs!

Shall get back soon after Week2


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