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]

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.


This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


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