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]

By-Two Kaapi (Two-point-oh!)

From the sands of Thar to the rivers of the Deccan.
To By-Two Kaapi 2.0 (pronounced two-point-oh!)

Finally, the migration is done(except labeling). Shift to the new blogger is also taken care of. Life has changed from what it was at BITS. And so have I. And so has this blog.

New life. New ideas. New dreams. New goals. New joys.
Here's Two-Point Oh!

(Snap taken at the backwaters of the Kabini River, Karnataka, India)

So you think you can tell?

Heaven from hell,
Blue skies from pain,
A green field from a cold steel rail,
A smile from a veil,
Achievement from mediocrity,
Joy from ruin,
The right choice from the wrong.

Things you can never tell.
At least till you die.

[Deng Xiaoping once said in the 1980s that it is too early to say what the implications of the French Revolution of 1804 are! That's how life is, ain't it?]

And so, I turned the page

On a long and lonesome highway, I set upon
My journey out of Pilani.
And here I am, on the road again ... Just that I have no clue about where I'm going.
Yes, turn the page.

Mama, I'm coming home

It's official. This is my last post from BITS Pilani.

In 50 hours I will be gone from this place which has changed the course of my life by a good margin. Yes, I am going to miss it. I am going to miss the people. But as Lynyrd Skynyrd put it -
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
'Cause there's too many places I've got to see.

I'm dead sure I'll return here one fine morning, and soak myself in the morning sun, walking around the place, sipping a chai. Yes, one day, I shall be back.

And till then, shine on!

The Treachery of a Blog

The painting on the left is by Varun's favorite surrealist artist René Magritte.

The painting is titled The Treachery Of Images (La trahison des images). What struck me in the painting was the words on the painting, which when translated mean - "This is not a pipe."

How apt!
It is NOT a pipe. It is the image of a pipe. (Doesn't it sound like one of those jokes the 2nd grade kid who live next door talks about?)

Look at it in a surrealist way, and you'll realize that the pipe in the painting is not real. The image just betrayed you!

The first thing that hit my head as an analogy was the whole blogosphere. People blog, become famous, attend blog conferences, make blog b-cards, and what not! And we all have an image of that favorite blogger of ours. But does it truly characterize that person? Well, the blog just betrayed you, mate!

Don't believe me (in this blog)!

Life updates:
Just finished writing my last examination in BITS. I'll never miss writing one, though!

6 and counting ...

6 more days here at BITS Pilani.

Chilly winds froze my coffee, as I walked back to my room, thinking about how life is going to change in 6 days. So, what do I feel - sorrow? happiness? anxiety? excitement? Can't really answer that question. All I know for certain is that I've got an exam tomorrow, and I better cram! I also know that this might be my last post from a BITS Pilani proxy.

Life Updates:
Starting Jan, I shall be interning in Genesis Microchip Inc. in Bengalooru.

As I move out of BITS, this blog shall move to By-Two Kaapi 2.0. Right now, I am porting it to v2.0 and nightlies will be seen on this site for another month. And to hell with all posts having snaps! (That was a sick idea!)

Au revoir!

One month from now,
On a cold foggy winter morning,
I'll be gone.
Gone from BITS.
Gone from my greatest source of joy.

Two years: Older by twenty!

Touching Heaven
Man o' man! It's been two years since I started blogging.

One look at my posts in Nov 2004 left me shocked. The language, the content, totally smeared with immaturity. Left me feeling sorry for myself!

It's just been two years, but the maturity that has come along with it, is what makes these two years seem twenty. Probably, the last one year accounts for 19 out of those 20.

Some administrivia:

  • All posts in By-Two Kaapi will now be tagged with a snap/pic.
  • By-Two Kaapi 2.0 release is scheduled for Jan 2007. ['ts gonna be fun, mate!]

Redemption: An illusion

Dali conveys it best, in one of his illustrations in Dante's Inferno. One can seek redemption, but is never awarded so. One shall seek it for the rest of his/her life.

Have you wondered: When you sinned, and later resolved that you shall never do it again - it is just you who has awarded redemption to yourself. To the whole world, you are still the sinner.

Once a sinner, always a sinner.

[The painting is an illustration of Bertran de Born, who was supposed to have spent all his time in hell, holding his head as a lantern, to seek redemption for his sins]

Grey hair

It's been 18 months. A whole year and a half since I took up a responsibility that I hardly expected to change the course of my life. And now, today, it's time to look back at those 18 months, and smile. Smile at everything that it made me do in life, everything that it got me in life.

From the greatest joys to the deepest lows, it made life a roller-coaster.
It showed me the line, beyond which I am nobody.
Providence had it, that it led me to my greatest treasure.
It dubbed me as a failure, as a non-achiever.
Patience was not in my dictionary till then.
It taught me to see joy in the success of others.
I was liberated.

Grey hair is all I see on my head. It's time to move on. Life sure has more to teach.
Standing Tall.

Life it seems, will fade away

Bye. 'Nite.
Search frantically in the music library. Pump up the speaker volume to the maximum. The music blares. The vocal chords groan in agony. The throat tries to empty the extreme heaviness. Lay beside me... The fragrance oozes out of nowhere. Memories plague the mind. The eyes swell as the head bangs to the rhythm. No, there's no sun shining through...The throat explodes. The mosh pit comes alive. The knees collapse. Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone...The fists clench and smash the metal railing on the bed. The head's tired of swaying, and collapses on the bed. 'cause I'm the one who waits, The one who waits for you...The weakness creeps in. Blood halts. Eyelids droop. Everything lies motionless. Or are you unforgiven too...The pain is gone. Vented out. Driven back to its usual place in one corner of the cephalon.

Triumphantly, select the next song...
I was me, but now he's gone.

One day you shall see...

Me talking like a diplomatic bastard on a long-distance call.
Me not blogging for months.
Me disappointing people who wanted to get in touch with me.
Me making people forget me.
Me wanting to relive one week for the rest of my life.
Me crying in silence about all that is impermanent.
Me forgetting you.
Me sliding into oblivion...

PS. This goes out to everybody who missed me all these days, and that select bunch of people whom I miss :D

My favorite axe

Day after day,
Our love turns gray,
Like the skin on a dying man.

And night after night,
We pretend its all right,
But I have grown older,
And you have grown colder,
And nothing is very much fun, anymore.

And I can feel,
One of all my turns coming on.
I feel,
Cold as a razor blade,
Tight as a tourniquet,
Dry as a funeral drum.

PS. 'The Wall' replaces 'Dark Side of the Moon' as my favorite Floyd Album


Times they are a changin'.
Oh yes, they sure are, chief!

It's hardly been a fortnight since I last posted here, and it's been a rollercoaster ride. Of pleasure. Of pain.

'Twas yet another morning. But I woke up early, and for only the second time in a fortnight decided to have breakfast. Three of us walk in dreaded silence to the notice boards. Of all the silences I have heard (hear silence ?!), I swear to God, that's the one I dread the most. And yes, we'd been called for an interview. Phone call, SMS, Formals, Shoes, Executive Folders. Interview. The paucity of sleep shows. I crash in the afternoon. A phone call in the middle of my sleep asking me whether I know that I'm in the next round flings me out of the bed. Phone call, SMS, Formals, Shoes, Executive Folders. Conference room for a Group Task. The tension gets to us, and time for coffee. Interview, once again. The hopes fade away to oblivion. Phone call, SMS. Give up. Go out for dinner. One more phone call telling me that we've been called by the Chief Recruiter. Phone Call, SMS, Formals, Shoes. Sixteen of us standing in front of the recruiters. Reminded me of these reality shows on television. Rockstar Schlumberger. I made it! Yes, I made it into Schlumberger last week.

The pain I've seen in others' faces over the last week is awfully disturbing. The pain of being dumped by a company, of not yet being assured of a career while the friend next door is partying, with booze flowing through the cracks in his doors. Sheesh! The empathetic pain in consoling a friend who lost out, sometimes to mediocrity. Unbearable!

The joy in hearing that line from Dad's mouth - "Now, I can sleep in peace without any worries!". The joy in calling your best friend and saying - "I made it!".

Will I take the job? or will I continue with my plans for grad school?
Reminds me of Roger Waters' line:

"Did you exchange a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage?"


Now I know how Juve must've felt. This is the pain of Relegation.

My last job was at Infy. 3 years. Now I'm on my own. Running a small tech startup in Bangalore. Infy was a great company. Infy built my character. The people there taught me - a shy, introvert - how to live 'life'. And among those people was my best friend. Anant. A friend who made life so beautiful. I spent one year with him. I called him my Godfather. But, to me, he was more than that. We loved each other's company. We went out on dinners, parties, and what not. And then one fine day, he had to leave to the United Fukcing States of America. What started off as a job assignment, took a U-turn. He enrolled for an MBA there. The parting was sad. He cried. I swallowed my tears, but burst out on the phone the next day. We spoke long-distance for hours. Time passed. Phone calls reduced to mails. Time passed. Mails reduced to scraps on some damn networking forum called Orkut. Time passed. Mails went unanswered. Time passed. The scraps vanished. Time passed. All his mails used to be signed - ' Love, Anant'. After a long time, I got a mail, today. A small non-descript one. 'Twas more like a mail written on compulsion. Just like the ones these damn businessmen write. I went and picked up a beer, after I read his mail. It was signed - ' Regards, Anantapadmanabha Subramaniam, MBA Class of 2007'.

(Names have been changed to conceal the identities of the lady who has written this and the people mentioned)

One Night @ The ARchitecture of Insanity

Three cups of coffee.
Adequate tar content inhaled into the lungs.
A constipated day

The head feels like it would crack like some alien abdomen and ooze out some gooey-red paste.
The eyes droop, as if the only thing that can keep them awake is some mechanical eyelids-opener.
The fingers move as if they were the only remaining bread-earners for a sick, abandoned family.

Surfing through blog archives makes me laugh in contempt and cry at fate.
That folder of music called 'Romantica' on my disc makes me puke.
It is The End, beautiful friend, The End - are the only lines that make sense.

Coffee no longer gives me a kick.
A fag can't give me a high.
Music is the only thing that still hasn't lost its potence.

That urge to lead, the hunger for fame is long gone.
And I'll never look into your eyes, again - said Jim.
I saw those eyes - a faint glitter, a remote tear remained.

Insomnia : wake up at 3 in the night to watch a movie.
Watch the sun rise as I wear the inside out and then try sleep.
Wake up as I hear the words over the cellphone in a nightmare.

I got the hint.
I learnt what I had to learn.
Didn't I know?- It was never meant to be.

Three more weeks to cram 50 wordlists.
Careers and paychecks driving into the desert.
The thought of losing out to mediocrity drains the energy.

A fucking loss.
A big fucking game ahead.
But it's the same ol' fucking me - yeah, with a couple of stab wounds.

Choose life...


Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing you last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?

I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who need reasons when you've got heroin?


So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers - all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person. But, that's gonna change - I'm going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.

About me

About me: Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer.

Wow! I simply love it! Doesn't it sound enlightening? I can think of atleast half a dozen traits that the line can convey. And yeah, "All hail the Lizard King!" [Note: You can find that line here]

I'm off the net for quite some time, and till then,

  • Thanks to those dumbasses in the DoT, bloggers seem to be on vacation.
  • The Lizard King will come alive thanks to....
  • Atta boy Wally! Now, you're talking
  • Ladies and Gentlemen...from Los Angeles, California.... The Doors!
  • And yes, I promise to elaborate upon the taste of cyanide, in case I go into a mental depression before the next post and commit suicide.
  • And as to why I'll be off, ahem!
Let it roll, baby, roll....All night long!

Why By-Two Kaapi?, asked RC yesterday. And as suggested by him, here's the reply.

Dad and me, were once travelling from Bangalore to Mysore. Midway, we'd stopped for a break at a shack. And Dad orders a 'by-two kaapi'. Suddenly, my mind was blown by a flurry of thoughts. Everytime Dad used to order a by-two kaapi, it had never struck me, but that day, was special. It suddenly occured to me that a by-two kaapi is a pure symbolic representation of brotherhood, of friendship, of love, of care.

Sharing a cup of coffee is so beautiful! And as CCD puts it 'A lot can happen over coffee'. The sad part is that nowhere else do you feel that love, not even when you are sharing a Grande Mug with your girlfriend at a CCD/Barista/wherever. It's when you hit a shack, order a by-two kaapi, sit on the wooden bench, stretch your legs, pour that coffee into the saucer-like cup, sip, and talk - that you feel the warmth of love, and yeah, the coffee too.

And I'm a self-confessed coffee junkie. And I like the desi spelling of coffee as kaapi.

Ergo, By-Two Kaapi!

Purple Haze all around

Skip this post. I urge you to skip this one.

I hate to agree with Paulo Coelho's "The-Universe-is-trying-to-tell-you-something-my-boy" philosophy, but it did just happen when the random playlist here on my computer just threw up songs, that in their lowest common denominator were the same, linked at higher abstractions, transforming into feelings of Power. of Pleasure. of Pain.

Jim Morrison said it best:

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

And yes, the scarlet rose has died.

[Didn't I tell you that this won't make sense! You dolt!]

Rape me!

Barely 48 hours ago, I was munching a pizza with Sin (sorry for the name distortion, Sin!) and talking, as usual, about everything under the sun. She was telling me about this theater guy who impressed her with his comments on feminism and male chauvinism. I've been pissed off with these feminist--anti-feminist--male-chauvinist debates in the past. And quickly after correcting her definition of a male chauvinist, we dropped the topic.

And guess what I read today morning! The SC delivers a landmark ruling that a woman cannot be prosecuted for rape, and I quote those judges:

A woman cannot be said to have an intention to commit rape.

I spit at this ruling!
Call me a anti-feminist or a male chauvinist or any other neo-word-created-by-an-irrational-bastard! I don't care!

Two hundred

20 months.
200 posts.
2 titles.
That's been the story so far.

Looking back, at what By-Two Kaapi (or Alien Ponderings, as it was known) has come to:

What's the blog for?
Just for the memory, mate! (Read answer to next question, as well)

Who's the blog for?
This blog was never intended for any other reader except myself. So, I have been at my esoteric best at times. Coming to think of it,

  • Almost every post has had a hidden meaning. A meaning that is understood by me alone (almost always).
  • Every post has been inspired by the not so obvious.
  • Every post carries a watermark of some event/incident/memory of mine.

How's the blog doing?
People do come, read, rant and go. And this blog needed an editor. My spellings & grammar, as always, has been pathetic. Someone even volunteered to be an editor! But then, this blog is meant for me, and I don't give a shit about the grammar. So, who cares!

What have I blogged about?
A piece of the underlying chaos in me. I've blogged about life, pain, love, philosophy, movies, coffee, games, books and the usual mumbo-jumbo.

Where do I see this blog in the future?
Evolving gradually, with me. And so has been the case till now.

What's my most memorable post?
Based on my earlier answers, I think, this question is tantamount to me answering the question - "Which is the most memorable moment of my life in the last 20 months?". Something that can't be answered.

Shooting Cheat

Reading this post of Amruth, I felt a sting in my head. A hard sting.

It was spring. The desert spring. Late one night, I was sipping my night dose of kaapi at ANC, and cribbing my heart out. Things weren't that smooth. Sam was at the other end of my ramble laced with profanities and sighs. And that urge to get away from the maddening crowd, from civilization, from hypocrisy, from pain, was building up. That instant, we decide to trek to Pahadi and sleep there. (Pahadi is just a small hill. Hill is an exaggeration, itself!)

An hour and a half later, we were on top, looking at the expanse in front of us, and of course, above us. The city lights blinked. The red dot on the towers stood tall. The stars shone in all their glory. And the moon floated in gay abandon.

The mattress was spread. And as we lay silently looking at the night sky, my thoughts wandered. Back to the time when I was 15 and I'd experienced the same joy on my Uncle's terrace. And then, as I stared blankly at the night sky, the space clustering into 3 dimensions, I saw it. A shooting star.

The child in me stood up. I closed my eyes. I made a silent wish. One wish that I so fervently hoped would come true. And I fell asleep with a small smile on my lips.

Two weeks ago. The wish went bust.
Tonight, I shall hunt for one more shooting star.
And cry, at it cheating me.
And laugh, at the child within me.
And smile, at life's nuances.

World Tibet Day

Today is World Tibet Day. Also the Birthday of the Dalai Lama. And why am I, suddenly blogging about Tibet? The answer traces back almost a decade ago, when I first visited Bylakuppe, a Tibetan settlement in Karnataka. I thought I would recount my memories of that place, when I read Jyotsna's entry on her visit to Bylakuppe, which is so heartening.

Pity, is one emotion that I don't feel for our Tibetan brethren. For I know, that they don't ask for it either. It is their courage that I admire. The love for their country that I admire. The reverance for their tradition that I admire.

I just can't imagine myself in a situation wherein my ancestors have lived in a certain region, and my family is driven out of that place, and I tread in to neighbouring countries as a refugee. As a man with no home. And being a helpless spectator of ruthless vandalizing of my culture. And yet, silently, through peace and whispers, dream of that sweet country of mine.

I mutter a Tibetan prayer
"For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain
Until then, may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world"

To Tibet, its people and their spirit!

Could it be worse?

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste

At times, everything looks bleak. You feel unconditionally sad. Everything seems to be going against your wish and will. Ideas go bust. Dreams crumble. People fade away. Memories of good times haunt you. The feeling of impotence creeps in. And you wonder - could it be worse?

And then, with tears in your eyes, you smile; or rather, try to smile.

Reading between the bars

Here's a graph of pageloads vs time of By-Two Kaapi (w.k.a Alien Ponderings).
Inspired by Freakonomics, here's my take on the graph.

See the two spikes during the Apr-Jul period? How do I account for that? Plausible reasons:

  1. More number of posts: Yes, I've posted more often during these times. But how can that translate to heavier traffic? Does that mean, I post more - I get more traffic? [And to clear a few things - the unique/returning visitor graphs show the same trend too!]
  2. Break: April has been a peak, and guess what BITSians have a damned Comprehensive Examination in May! And this never happens in winter (Dec). So, this can't be the reason. To a certain extent, people may browse blogs at home rather than in the hostel. But, April?
  3. Promotion: I post more, implies I do something more for people to read. Maybe, put up the link as an IM status message. Maybe, add the link in E-mail signatures. So, posting more indirectly translates to better visibility
On a much lighter note, these are other reasons that I heard
  1. Barbarian at the Gate: It's the beginning of the financial year and buoyed by heavy budgetary allocations, people spend more time browsing aimlessly and hence read By-Two Kaapi.
  2. Device Physicist: Is Kaapi good in summer? Yes. Kold Kaapi. But, By-Two Kaapi came into existence recently! Ha...probably the rise in temperature may adversely affect the resistances on silicon on the Statcounter server thereby throwing up corrupted info.
  3. Objectivist: You post more, implies you read By-Two Kaapi more, just to give a boost to your ego. Ergo, all the spikes are due to yourself hitting 'refresh' every minute.
  4. Existensialist: Dude, There is a spike. Period. It exists. Period. Why the fuck do you bother about its meaning, its purpose? Chill.
  5. Alchemist: It's a sign, my boy. The Universe is trying to tell you something. Follow the signs.
  6. Collectivist: You have been able to get so many pageloads, not becuase of your writing, but because the whole world chose to give it to you. Now, you shall rot away in their debt.
Whatever! If only I could read between the bars...

A whisper can inspire hope

There's the vent

Insomnia leading to watching Legally Blonde at 2 in the night.
Drowsiness leading to skipping breakfast.
More drowsiness leading to a heavenly nap on the bus.

And now,
What's the force that a mouse can sustain? (I meant a goddamn computer mouse!)
Can I get away by crushing this keyboard and lying that a monitor fell over it? That way, I can punch this monitor in the face too!
What about ripping apart these wires and wedgie-ing them over the switches, which run a sensitive GPS system?
How about smashing this 3000 dollar-worth hardware card and saying - 'That's it! The squirrel broke the card, and now I'm going home!'?
Can I smoke a cig here, throw the unextinguished stub on a piece of paper, set the lab on fire, and run out yelling 'Fire' at the top of my voice?
Can I mail a 'Fuck You' to every goddamn person in the world?

Ha! Penning this post, believe it or not, has brought down the frustration. Feels so much more better.

And yeah, if you have read this post, then drop in a comment, and you won't get the mail that I just mentioned.

What does By-Two Kaapi mean?

Kaapi is another word for South Indian coffee, made from dark roasted coffee beans using a filter. It is also called Filter coffee. It's particularly common in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

By-Two Kaapi means splitting a cup of coffee into two cups, each having half the amount of coffee. This is widely prevalent in most coffee shacks and small restaurants/diners in Karnataka and neighboring areas. A By-Two Kaapi is ordered for, whenever two blokes meet up and want to have a quick chat over a cup of coffee, and one whole huge cup of coffee is not required (as they just had some coffee half an hour back!).

To me, ordering a 'By-Two Kaapi' is a symbol of having an intimate conversation about anything under the sun with someone who you would love spending time with. I remember the times when my dad and myself go to a diner, order a by-two kaapi and chat about politics or real-estate; I remember the times when I catch up with some old pal of mine, order a by-two kaapi and recollect the old times.

By-Two Kaapi, this weblog of mine is the kind of chatter that I would have with people over a by-two kaapi.

Pick-up Pool

Fed up of racking my neurons to debug some damn error in my project, and thanks to Sam being here, I hit Brigade Road here last nite. Prim, Gum and Dar joined in too.

Earlier in the day, I was reading more about the PUA Society, and then stumbled on this blog entry through DesiPundit. I was ROTFLMAOed by the detail of the whole incident where this Desi-turned-Pick-Up-Artist in OC, teaches four software-engineer-geek-desis in a pub, the art of approaching chicks. So, you know what was running on the back of my head in Brigade Road.

Anyways, we were roaming around the streets there after a cup of kaapi(C'mon bro, that's how an evening oughta start! and yeah, end with beer!). After we got tired of ogling, we decided to go bowl or unwind over pool. None of us knew a pool joint over there, so me, (the alpha male of the group) decided to do some enquiring.

Two females munching corn to me:
"Probably you must ask someone over there"
(with a tone which was better off, saying "Desperate bastard!")

Two females walking down the alley:

Gang of four females just out of a shop:
Female 1: "Pool!!!???" (More of a "Wow! What's that?" and less of a "Pool! What crap!" tone)
Female 2: blink-blink
Female 3: (staring at my hairstyle. I know it's unkempt. I like it that way!)
Female 4: "I think you should try going down this road" (Felt like a "Would love to answer only if I knew where it is!")
Me: "Thanks" (Throwing a glance around them, with a "My Mistake!" look)

The best part was what happened as I walked away and my other pals caught the girls commenting about me among themselves:
Female 1: "Why is he asking 'girls' about pool?"
Female 4: "Maybe he thinks we are hep!"

I almost laughed my liver out, when I heard this from Sam.


I got bored, as usual, of my blog.
Thought of dumping it.
Thought of moving to WordPress. (That's definitely not for geeks - they don't allow you to edit HTML!)
Thought of changing template. No new one's good though.
Thought of changing URL. Might do it!

Finally ended up rechristening it. By-Two Kaapi.
A tribute to the way coffee(kaapi) is usually shared between two friends out here in S. India.
Sakkath Hot Maga!


Venice, remains a city which has always enchanted me for no specific reason. Is it becuase of the canals, the history of the city, the monuments, the bridges? I don't know. To put it plainly, it is one city that I would love to live in for a pretty long time.

I stumbled upon this amazing pic of the Ponte Dei Sospiri or the Bridge of Sighs, as it is called. The name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice out the window before being taken down to their cells. Sigh!

Passing through this bridge, I wonder what would be running in the minds of the prisoners.

Would they have felt the pain of imprisonment? The pain of seeing their last sight of the smooth flowing water in the canals? The pain of not being able to take their loved ones again on the Gondolas? The pain of not being able to take those solitary rides along the narrow lanes late in the night?
Or would it be that they felt relieved, happy and free? Relieved from the pains of love. Happy because beauty won't torture them any more. Free from the lure of bliss.

Whatever they thought, this would have been their last sight of Venice. Of Beauty. Of Love. Of Bliss.

No New Mail

The guts squeeze.
The heart aches.
The lungs collapse.
The limbs lose life.
From that wretched sight of not seeing new mail in your inbox.

That mail from

  • the University confirming your admit
  • the Program Chair saying that your Paper has been accepted
  • your love, telling you that she's doing great
  • your best pal, telling you that he won the race
  • mom, reminding you to cut your nails
  • your team-mate, announcing a break-through idea he just hit upon

That mail never came.

To My Zahir

Talking of the Zahir, I found a purely awesome piece of poetry on thw web on Ajay's blog.

Here's a slightly customized version of the same.

Its another day in another world,
A new place with a new face

So many have come and so many have gone.
How many more? How many more,
Will I see , Will I love , will I part.
How many more will walk with me,
Walk beside me in the sands of time,
As brothers , sisters , lovers.
All to fade away into my Yesterday.

Like a mirage the memory shimmers,
In the distant corners of my mind it beckons,
So alluring so seductive, It lingers
Filling my soul, my whole.

I close my eyes and am taken to it.
Living once more in a yesterday of my choice,
Colors all bright and the lights all lit.
This is life, this is eternity, says the voice.

But then I open my eyes and I see my world
This new place and this new face
And then I know that tomorrow,
You will be part of the yesterday I chose,
You will, however, remain,
My true love. My Zahir.

This goes out to my Zahir.

The Zahir

It begins with a glimpse or a passing thought.
It ends with obsession.

I hated Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist'. But then, seeing this book lying by Tony's bedside, I did ask him how he rates the book. Though he went on to say that he didn't actually like or dislike 'The Alchemist', he found that 'The Zahir' was thoroughly different and much more interesting and engrossing. And then I read the back cover and the dedication page in the book. I knew it right then. That I had to read the book. So, now that Tony has gone to Kochi, I flicked it from his bedside and started reading it.

The most mesmerizing part in the book, IMHO, is the Islamic concept of 'Zahir'. The title comes from a tale by Jorge Luis Borges, published in his book The Aleph.
In Arabic Zahir means 'visible, present and unable to go unnoticed.' It refers to something or someone that ends up being the only thing we can think of. This state of 'possession' can be understood as saintliness or insanity, with a fine line between the two.
Luis Borges goes on to say in one of his short stories titled 'El Zahir':
Others will dream that I am mad, and I [will dream] of the Zahir. When all men on earth think day and night of the Zahir, which one will be a dream and which a reality, the earth or the Zahir?
The protagonist in 'The Zahir', an accomplished writer (this novel is supposed to be extremely autobiographical) finds out that his Zahir is his lovely wife who, one day, just leaves him and vanishes. And the book is all about his quest to understand his love and obsession for his wife.

A thin line between holiness and madness. I just love standing on these thin lines!

Hmm...That's funny

Isaac Asimov once said:

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, isn't 'Eureka!' but rather 'Hmm....that's funny'.

Well, for almost a week now, I'm slogging, in vain, to get my simulation to work. Maybe, I'm at the crossroads of vaporizing the Fast Fourier Transforms. Maybe, this is the next big thing in the Transform Domain. Hmm...Very Funny!


Mindless surfing pays off through some really nice stuff that you come across once in a while, like this piece:

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away they were meant to be serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but you lock eyes with them and you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

The people you meet affect your life.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things. Make everything count. Appreciate everything you possibly can, for you may never experience it again.

Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have ever right to. Tell yourself you're a great individual and believe in yourself, no on else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

Reminds me of the legendary Fransisco d'Anconia in Atlas Shrugged when he said:

"Will I want to sleep with you? Desperately. Will I envy the man who
does? Sure. But what does it matter? It's so much-just to have you here, to love you and to be alive."

Takeaway: It's so much just to have met someone who can have an influence on you, who can teach you something. No point in expecting something in return. Because unknown-to-you that person has already given what he/she was meant to.

A Historical error corrected:

Somehow I knew...

Sitting in a 23-degrees-celsius cooled room, after hogging on an average lunch, I lean back on my reclinable chair and let my mind wander. And this is what it throws up -

Somehow I knew you would leave me this way
Somehow I knew you could never stay
And in the early morning light
After a silent peaceful night
You took my heart away
And I grieve
In my dreams I can see you
I can tell you how I feel
In my dreams I can hold you
And it feels so real
I still feel the pain
I still feel your love

Cannot figure out why, but Anathema's One Last Goodbye rings in my ear.

Somehow I knew that life had to be this way. Will be this way.
  • A cup of coffee once in a week.
  • A computer with internet in an AC room.
  • Not spreadsheets, but waveforms on the screen.
  • Check your mail every hour just to see that no one has mailed.
  • Login on an IM client, but hate to chat with people.
  • Catch the same bus every night, which takes you around the city.
  • And on that bus, remember, dream and cry.
  • Wish to talk your heart out, but no ear in sight.
  • The striking realization that you are 'truly' alone.
  • Read books, as if that's the only way you can understand life.
  • You laugh, but not at a joke; at yourself, at life.
  • Memories will just remain like a dream, and full of pride.
  • The only friend of yours is that smokin' chimney seen from the balcony.

Somehow I knew it.

The car stopped

And the car stopped.
The gushing air stopped.
The speeding lamp-posts stood still.
The engine sealed its thunder.
The wheels froze.
The speedometer died.

It was the end.

Or was it just stopping at the mechanic's for a spruce-up.

To love a woman

Lilian Rearden in Atlas Shrugged:

If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It's no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing.But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. To love a woman for her virtues is meaningless. She's earned it, it's a payment, not a gift. But to love her for her vices is a real gift, unearned and undeserved. To love her for her vices is to defile all virtue for her sake -- and that is a real tribute of love, because you sacrifice your conscience, your reason, your integrity and your invaluable self-esteem.

Abhilash in Alien Ponderings:
To love a woman is to lose everything. But, that's the real tribute I wouldn't mind giving to that woman.

The Smell of Intellect

Hah! The ultimate joy you can give to a man is to show him a mind that is better than his. And if that does not excite a man, but instead makes him green; then that man is the most depraved of all creatures on the planet.

Picture this.
A portigo, with no pillars.
4 cane chairs with maroon comfy cushions surrounding a cane table topped with glass.
Copies of the latest 'hot' research papers published in international journals/conferences on the table.
Two young men sitting on the chairs.
One holding a notepad with differential equations and a couple of diagrams scribbled on it, and explaining that to the other person.
The other person, with a hard intent in his eyes, staring at the notepad.
Staring, and listening.
To a possible breakthrough in science.
And two cups of freshly brewed coffee losing their heat on the table. As if it were paying its respect to that piece of paper on the notepad.

Now, that's the smell of intellect.

PS. A picture I shall treasure. Caught at the cafetaria of the Astrophysics Lab at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India.

One wreck of a depraved idiot

Remember when you were young,
You shone like the Sun!

He wondered why it always struck a chord. The two lines that Roger Waters wrote, always made him feel an unwarranted pain in the guts. He heard the jarring sound of the telephone ringing. He wished not to pick it up. He pulled the cord out of the socket.

...the depths of depravity that a man can sink to...

Out of nowhere Ayn Rand's words flashed in his mind. Triggering off a chain of incidents of the recent past. 'What is depravity?' he thought. 'Depravity of the body? the mind? the soul? Is it just a moral corruption? Nay. Depravity has to be a corruption of the human spirit. The spirit to conquer, to rise above everything else, everyone else.' He stared at the fire at his finger tips, marvelled at him able to control it, took a puff and resumed thinking. 'I missed the starting gun. I lost myself in the woods. Everybody else - every fucking person - ran away. And there I was marvelling at the beauty of fire. Is this the greatest depth of depravity that one can sink to? Lose the spirit to win and try to justify it?'

Everyone called him one wreck of a depraved idiot.


The chit lay somewhere on the table.
Amidst a pile of newspapers, magazines and dust.
He rummaged through them to find the chit.
Scribbled was a 10-digit number.
Frantically, he punched them in his cell phone.
The voice on the other end said a hollow 'Hello'.
It was a female voice.
'I need Acid' he said.
'Sorry, We've run out of it'.
'I've got the money. Give it to me.'
'Dude! We don't have any'
'Fuck you! I need it.I've got the fucking money'
'Fuck you too'.
And he heard the tone of a hung-up phone.
This was the only place where he could get acid.
He needed acid.
Needed it badly.
His stomach churned with pain.
His head reeled, vision blurred.
The thought of not getting it - he couldn't digest it.

Addiction is beautiful. When you get what you want, you are on an unimaginable high. Something that you dont ever want to come down from. At the darker moments, when you don't get it, the pain is equally bad. I presume though, that the pain is worse. A pain that can ruin your life so badly that you will feel like taking it off.

Addiction makes you a damned invalid. Coz at the end, you are just leading a fucking painful life. Why does one want to feel pain everyday just for those two hours of ecstasy? Maybe we lack the will - the will - to conquer the senses.

Pay no mind to the distant thunder

Wonder why we get pissed at others for reasons galore.

Getting pissed at -
The instructor for not giving 4 more marks
The chat stall owner for not extending credit
A classmate for maxing a test and increasing the class average
A friend for refusing to come to a party
Some jerk for trying to hit upon some friends

Am just pondering over the arguement that I shouldn't get pissed at these.
The reason being that

At all times, every man acts according to his priorities and for his rational self-interest. So, what is wrong in any of his actions due to which you get pissed ?!

If objectivism is the way to be, then my friend did not want to come to the party because of his/her priorities and rational self-interest. So, why on sweet Earth should I be mad at him/her? Ergo, there is no point in me being pissed at either my instructor or the chat stall owner or that jerk. It's just about accepting people the way they are and living life on your terms.

Whatever! Guess, I shall ponder over Ayn Rand's quote:
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine

Wearing the Inside Out

With a carefree look in his eyes, he shot back 'Do I Look Like I Give A Shit?' - his trademark line.
His contempt towards a mediocre world, was written all over his gait.
Many even perceived this contempt as arrogance.
And yes, he was arrogant, in his own way.
He did things he wanted to, not the ones he was supposed to.
And he dreamed.
Of Success.

It never came.

It is said there is a thin line between genius and insanity.
He dissolved the line.
And so, none could figure him out.

To this day, he still throws his trademark line at every other gathering.
Only to see people mock at him within themselves.
They say he has changed - for the worse.

But, only he knew that he was meant to be like this.
Knew that inside the hard exterior, was a man crying with pain.
The pain of defeat. Of succumbing to the burns of mediocrity.
Knew that he could hardly listen to his own voice.
Knew that he was wearing inside out.

PS. Here's to Syd Barrett. Shine on!

Every Passion is a weakness

Scott Adams got my vote of God-like genius (remember the NME awards) when he wrote:

Everything that motivates living creatures is based on some weakness or flaw. Hunger motivates animals. Lust motivates animals. Fear and pain motivate animals. A God would have none of those impulses. Humans are driven by all of our animal passions plus loftier-sounding things like self-actualization and creativity and freedom and love. But God would care nothing for those things, or if he cared would already have them in unlimited quantities. None of them would be motivating.

Just yesterday I was talking about this to one of my friends. Nice to know that there are people who think alike.

Any of your passions is a weakness in itself. Maybe you will excel at it, but it will still remain your weakness. If paranioa drives you to success, it is that same very fear that might spell your downfall. If you are in love, you've put yourself in a weak position - something that might give you loads of joy at times, but then can cause you a equally strong pain. One of the best statements, is that even the hyped stuff like self-actualization can make you do things irrationally - causing defeat.

I'm damn weak!

True Belief

Scott Adams writes in his book 'God's Debris':

If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.

Makes me wonder what rational self-interest of man should be the guiding principle of life - or should it be that 'altruism'/ a toned down version of 'communism' are better - or are atheists the most logical of all people.


Heaven & HELL

A fortnight to go for the end of my third year at this hallowed place - BITS Pilani.

I remember, exactly one year ago, I blogged about my second year - quoting Charles Dickens as

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

This time around, things haven't been much different either. But, this time I would rather quote Black Sabbath:
So it’s on and on and on, it’s heaven and hell, oh well

The title song of the album 'Heaven & Hell' from Black Sabbath is undoubtedly one of their finest pieces. Truly captures how life has been here at BITS.

Just when I thought after my transfer to EEE, that I am one step closer to the dream, Sabbath said
The closer you get to the meaning
The sooner you’ll know that you’re dreaming

Just when I thought that I have actually reached Heaven and am experiencing true joy, Sabbath said
Well if it seems to be real, it’s illusion
For every moment of truth, there’s confusion in life

Just when I thought that life is so fair, Sabbath said
They say that life’s a carousel
Spinning fast, you’ve got to ride it well
The world is full of kings and queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It’s heaven and hell, oh well
And they’ll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It’s heaven and hell, oh no!

Sabbath bloody Sabbath!! You guys kick ass!


An excerpt from Herman Hesse's Siddartha:

"Things are going downhill with you!" he said to himself, and laughed
about it . . . and he also saw the river going downhill. . .

I've been going downhill for two years now...

Secondary(?) Joys

When we achieve something ourselves, the happiness within - I term it 'Primary Joy'. And assuming liberty - I would term the joy we feel when we see somebody else achieve something great as 'Secondary Joy'.

(Mind you, these are just some asinine nomenclature I have come up with to put things across the table)

Now, the question is (over which I've been pondering for sometime)..
How do secondary joys actually make us happy? and Why?

  • Why do we feel elated when Team McLaren makes it 1-2 at a Grand Prix?
  • Why do I feel elated when my brother wins the best quiz in town?
  • Why do I feel elated when my best friend aces a exam?

The more pertinent point is why is all this elation almost equivalent (or sometimes greater) than a primary joy?. My primary assumption was that man is inherently a egotist, atleast deep within.

Pondering (obviously soaked in secondary joys)....

The agony of anticipated defeat

Today morning, I come out of my class, after writing a couple of quizzes (which for a change, I cracked!), and I see a whole bunch of first-yearites coming out of classrooms - just after finishing a Chemistry test. I spoke to one of them - it seemed as though he had tears in his eyes - who said that it went really bad.

My mind instantly ran back a couple of years. As a first yearite dying for a transfer, I could see myself in him. A test went slightly bad - and there I would have been sulking away till a week. It was plainly the agony of anticipated defeat.

Now, the fire is gone, the hunger is gone, and so is the agony.


You are one of the Directors on the board of a multi-billion dollar Semiconductor Company. The Board is contemplating chucking the CEO on accounts of him being non-commital to work. The CEO tries making his case, but gives up as he believes that he can't give any valid reason to substantiate his case. He begs for a second chance. You know that he thoroughly deserves one. But more than half the board votes against him. You know that the CEO doesn't deserve it. But, you are helpless. He is removed from the post. You are impotent.

You are a member of the Grand Jury adjudging a case of misappropriation of funds in a recent celebrity event. The Director of the Event Management firm is the man on trial. He desperately tries to prove his innocence by rubbishing the claims made by the prosecution team. The arguments he makes make sense, but the other members of the Jury don't think so. You somehow seem to buy his arguments, because you worked in an Event Management Firm before, and you know how it works. You know that he is not guilty. But the Jury convicts him 7-5. You are impotent.

At times in life, you are put in a position wherein you are almost given the power to take a decision - 'almost'. But, then the final decision would be something that you never wanted. That's when you realize your impotence.


Have you ever taken any decision in life wherein you have placed someone else higher than yourself and taken it in his/her interests, without the least bit of selfish interests?

1. An action is said to be altruistic only if totally free of selfish motives
2. A selfish motive can be found for every human action
3. Therefore no human action can be said to be altruistic.

But, I beleive that there can be instances wherein the selfish motive behind any decision can be sometimes very trivial or at least minor compared to the good impact it can have on somebody else.

It is altruism that has corrupted and perverted human benevolence by regarding the giver as an object of immolation, and the receiver as a helplessly miserable object of pity who holds a mortgage on the lives of others - a doctrine which is extremely offensive to both parties, leaving men no choice but the roles of sacrificial victim or moral cannibal...
- Ayn Rand, The Objectivist, June 1966

I agree. A true altruist cannot exist. Ha! Reminds me of these Bollywood movies wherein the hero sacrifices his girlfriend to some other guy just because he thinks that she will live better with him. Now, he is a partial altruist. As he stands to gain almost nothing - 'almost'. The only thing that he tends to gain is his personal satisfaction that his love was pure. Now, this makes him an egotist. This, makes me agree with Ayn Rand when Howard Roark said during his trial -
The egoist in the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner.

Yes, that's the idea. We are all egotists, but to reach the absolute sense - well, that's possible only in fiction.

And thats where I see myself at this point, wherein, I am forced to think whether I am right in taking a decision by keeping someone else's interests higher than mine. The reasons might be numerous.

Thinking of examples, what if your Dad always wanted you to be a doctor, whereas you wanted to be a Lawyer. Which one would you choose?
Arg 1: It's my life. My interests.
Arg 2: It's Dad who has who has fed me, taught me and made me the man I am now.


Dogbert & My academic life

4 days of sickness.
2 days of sleep and nothing but sleep.
2 tests which go to the dogs.
1 test unwritten - Makeup!
2 assignment submission deadlines missed.
3 assignments on their way.
3 practical classes missed - Have to redo them.
1 more month of hellish acads to go.

I am bored of this insanely evil academic life.
I think all my professsors have 'Dogbert' as their middle name!

PS: One bigger reason, why I am pissed is because of
2 digit cell-phone balance losing a digit.

Salvation is here

After a very very long time, I come across a song with profound lyrics!
Something, that I can totally relate to.
Amazing lyrics - equally great music - especially the vocals!

So, here's 'Dare you to move' - Switchfoot

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

PS: Google Talk almost trigerred me to put up a Google Logo in my room and start worshipping it!

And I would give myself away...

Kahlil Gibran said:

"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."

Dream. Dream. Dream. Period.

That's all I have been doing since I was a child. And yes, in the twists and turns that my life has taken since then, I have achieved some of my dreams, and many have just remained dreams. But, I believe that everything's happened for the good. A major part of my BITSian life (after I metamorphosed into who I am today), is chronicled in this blog (many of them esoteric as Aravind rightly pointed out).

And here is one more.

As I am about to kiss goodbye to being 19, and turn 20 in a couple of months, I stare at the clear summer sky in Pilani and ponder. What am I going to do in life? Out there in the quick, fast world away from the security that BITS offered, will I be the man I want to be?

I remember the days in my freshman year at BITS when I dreamt of doing a PhD in a top US University and spend the rest of my life doing research in some R&D organization. The sands of time trickled. I changed. The very first taste of the world of entrepreneurship was too lip-smacking. And I've never looked back. I'd blogged about it here.

And then came, what people here call the crux of a BITSian life (academically atleast!) - the dreaded CDC year, where one is made to writh in pain under the harshest of courses and schedules. And me being a EEE student, made matters worse (worst is the right word!). Considered a litmus test for one's academic acumen, every course in this year got the better of me. I was reduced to an average student in every course. A slight correction in grammar would incorporate the fact that I am still being reduced so. And there goes my R&D dream! I found out that I am not a EEE guy. Worse off, I fared well in most of my projects, giving me a contrasting feeling that I am actually good at what I like. As of now, I love doing technical projects which are closer to my area of interest (which is hardly EEE or pure CS), but with an excellent(!) record as mine, I am sure not to get quality admits for a MS or a PhD in a reputed US University. (Reminds me of Aravind cribbing about the same)

Then the ugly demon raises its head again - What next? My heart yearns to start-up on my own with a few pals of mine. A startup in any industry - tech, non-tech, social, whatever - I am game! But then, the issue of family responsibilities crops up. The responsibility of becoming financially independent, of being to live on bread that I earn, is pretty heavy on the shoulders. The fear of not being financially sound by the time Dad retires, and atleast till little bro begins to make his living. And I sulk. Being born in a middle-class Indian family has its own highs and lows.

Left with nowhere else to wander, I can think only of two alternatives - CAT or a job. It's been my steadfast principle that I will not do an MBA till I have about 2-3 years of work experience on my resume. And I stick by it. So, CAT goes to the dogs.

Ah! Choice is an illusion, my son. You are left with no choice but to take up a job just as any other average batchmate of yours would. And that hurts. For somebody who always dreamt to be different, for somebody whose parents wished that their son would study atleast a couple of degrees and then join a job to earn a sound salary, for somebody who hates mediocrity - the very thought of sounding mediocre for a couple of years, burns a hole in the intestines. But, there is nothing good, nothing bad, there is just life!

To summarize, for the next 10 years or so, I will be joining Tom, Dick & Harry in their daily activities and routine life. But, I know what I want to be.

Over a year, I have seen it grown in one of the corners of my heart, slowly, silently, yet strongly - the urge to give back to the society what it actually deserves - the best of me. I blogged about it once after a train journey from Banglaore to Mysore, and also once after I visited a neighbouring village. And the feeling has grown stronger ever since.

Over the past few months, I have wept at the poverty and suffering of people around me. Everytime I step outside the BITS campus, into the town of Pilani, into the rural heartland of Rajasthan, an empty feeling in my stomach greets me. Back in the room, I sit and code, I sit and cram, I sit and surf the net, I sit and devour a packet of Lays - but out there I see nothing but mountains of hope and courage amidst crushing poverty. I know that this is how the society is - there is always a gap between the rich and the poor - but am I doing anything, any goddamn thing to make the society more equitable? Would my scoring an 'A' grade in the Analog & Digital VLSI Design course help them directly? Yes, you might scorn at me for what might seem as bullshit. You might argue that you are doing the best to seek good education so that you can give back to the society. Agreed. You would one day become a top-notch Engineer at Google and earn thousands of dollars, you would set up charity funds, you would donate them to help people. But, you just end up at a higher strata of the society and try to extend your hand of help from there. Won't help as much as it would have if you could stay with these people and push them up. And that is what I want to do in life.

When I see this kid on the desktop wallpaper of my computer everyday, I shuffle in my seat, and the resolve grows much stronger. The resolve to see that kid educated to the best extent possible. IMHO, a longdrawn but safe and smooth way of reducing the inequities in the society would be to educate the present generation of kids.

One fine day, when dentures hang in my mouth, bifocals cover my eyes, a walking stick lazes around by my side, and a cup of steaming coffee waits in my hand, I want to tell my grandchildren playing in the garden in front of me, that this is the India I dreamt to live in - a country where every citizen is empowered and every citizen knows how to make the best use of it.


Then the first of an uncomfortable silence happens.

MIA: Don't you hate that?


MIA: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?

VINCENT: I don't know.

MIA: That's when you know you found somebody special. When you can just shit the fuck up for a minute,and comfortably share silence.

VINCENT: I don't think we're there yet. But don't feel bad, we just met each other.

PS: Script from Pulp Fiction. Just love the dialogues in the movie.

My Wozniak

Steve Jobs:

"He was the only person I met who knew more about electronics than me"

Steve Wozniak:
"Steve didn't know very much about electronics"

I still can't find my Wozniak.

PS: The last line wasn't mine. I saw this on the net today, and it took me 1 whole minute to understand.

Me, My Wife & Orkut

Orkut has this amazingly hilarious 'Today's Fortune' column in the homepage of its users.
Obviously, as one would have guessed it, it's just a set of preset lines that rotate/randomly appear on the homepage. But, here was one really really funny fortune that I got today.

I wonder - How can it be "Today's" fortune, when it's talking about my whole life ?


And then there was the towering figure of Howard Roark...


Phew! 6 'S's in the word! ('S's !! Double phew!)

I remember a late night chat with a pal of mine under the Pilani night sky with a bag of popcorn and a capuccino in my hand, which happened long long ago. Like a couple of hippies who had their dose of 'bhaang' (the cannabis we get here) we yapped about life, universe and everything. And sometime during that whole barrage of words (which were basically incoherent to ourselves most of the time), we talked about the word with 6 'S's mentioned in the title of the post.

"Would I be possessive of my wife?" was the first question we had to answer. It hadn't crossed the web of my thoughts so strongly till then. Then, I began to ponder. Ponder. I don't remember my answer! A faint memory tickles me reminding me that we also spoke about us being possessive about things like 'an idea', 'a pen' and 'a girlfriend'.

Memories of that conversation came calling as I was Orkutting today. For reasons best unsaid, I chose to reanswer that question we had tried to answer long back. This time, with a much more deeper sense of maturity and clarity of thought.

Inherently, by nature, I would answer 'Yes!'. But, with a tad bit of rational thinking, and placing myself in her shoes, I've begun to realize that I have to loosen up. Free my mind. Again, as I always do, I began to harp upon the meaning of being possessive. Made a crappy attempt at defining it.

On a related note, I was thinking of an incident whose analogous situation would go like this (the true incident better stay put in my cephalon; the analogy is good enough for thought):

One of the world's most heralded treasures is believed to be in the most dreaded of pyramids in a overtly huge labyrinth. Very few explorers barely even manage to cross the first door. There has been no documented evidence of anbody going beyond the second level. And there you are somewhere in the fourth level. Just one more to go, and you will be the proud owner of the treasure. And there you reach a huge huge gorge. Something that can never be crossed by a single person with any technology of the present day. You decide to give up, with a heavy heart, of course. Just, as this faint tinge of pride dawns upon you that you atleast came so far,... You see a writing engraved on the wall - "Anjan was here" with a date bearing just 7 months ago. And, worst of all, you know Anjan! And there is a mark below that which proves that it is certainly the same Anjan. So, how do you feel now? A strong feeling of envy in our blood? Or the joy of you making it to the farthest extent possible?

Mixed emotions.
The next time I see Anjan - and when both of us come to know of both of our quests. What feeling would we have for each other? A twinkle of that treasure in our eyes. A feeling of brotherhood for having been-there-done-that. A cold envy in the veins that we can no longer call ourselves 'The only man to go there'. A pale face of not having made it. And above all that the anxiety in waiting for that 'one guy' who will cross that gorge.

Reminds me of Pearl Jam's 'Black':
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

--- Update---
Was just listening to one of my favorite Papa roach songs - "Between Angels and Insects". Just struck me how related the lyrics are to this post -

There is no money
There is no possession
Only obsession
I don't need that shit

Take my money
Take my possession
Take my obsession
I don't need that shit

F*** your money
F*** your possession
F*** your obsession
I don't need that shit

Well, frankly, I don't need that shit!


Too many things squabbling in my head for a piece of its processing power. And somewhere behind the cobwebs, I hear - "She's gonna blow!". All those things just go berserk. A stampede. Death. Misery. Agony. Blank.

Well, that's how I feel.

I was just wondering what's become of me, over this year. The third year of my hallowed Undergrad Engineering Degree. And realization strikes me. A soothing light dawns. This year, I have discovered my weaknesses. The boundaries within which I can work. And it feels right this time.

All these days, there was an indomitable feeling that I could do any frigging thing on the planet IF I believed I could do so. I was an arrogant ego-maniac (Yikes! I am going overboard here). (One more reading of the two lines gives me a feeling, I am going too overboard. I wasn't that bad, mate!!). But then it comes to be....

Life shows me the fence. (Not to paint it!). People and experiences. Sums it all up. People who have now shown me my weaknesses, my vulnerabilities. People who have brought down the crazy image I had of myself, by proving its non-reality. Experiences which made me utter - "This is rock bottom. I can't go lower than this.". Experiences which made me think - "I am not the guy who I thought I was, after all.". Experiences which made me feel - "Damn! This is not going to last forever".

I am forced to mumble what everyone does when one loses a contest - "It's not victory that counts. It's the learning experience!". Yeah, right! But, whatever said, I think I know myself better than I did 6 months ago.

At the timing of the whole phase - I have just two words - "Why now?"

Listerning to: Metallica S&M's No Leaf Clover (Ardent Metallica fans could have got it from the hidden lines in the post!)

Clasped hands

Surfing on the super-quick, I stumbled upon this piece of art by Jim Lane. Somehow, something in this picture (though I agree that it is a pretty ordinary piece of art) caught me from the inside. So, here's to art that touches that soul!

Temporary Peace

Dual-edged title:
a. The song that I am listening to right now. Anathema songs - kickass!
b. The phase in my life that seems to have just ended

It's been a nice month since I last blogged. With all its ups and downs of course! A hell load of projects (Jento, BlueShip, Unification), all gone for a toss. Those starry nights in the cold Pilani winter still haunts me to bring back memories of temporary peace.Brother's upanayana - just fantastic - made me realize the true meaning of my brahminic existence. And then the revival of enthusiasm and vigor here at work, just brings a small tear rolling down my cheeks - both with joy and guilt. Joy of me being able to cause such a significant change with almost no effort, guilt for not doing it 6 months ago.

The serenades are drawing closer.
Project blockades. Test series up in arms. Relations souring.

Time is a luxury I can't afford to buy.


Hehe...Jobless little me decided to ego-surf a bit and look what I found.
To my total surprise - the top 10 results are all about yours truly alone !

Achtung: Ego-surfing in large quantities is injurious to health, wealth and peace.

Why do I move on? and damn how ?

OK. No more round-the-merry-go-round-we-go. I just don't know how I do it! I just can't understand the 'me'! Bah!I just get over things too quickly inspite of me spending loads of time into thinking how I will be able to get over with it. Good. Its friggin good. But then, how on sweet earth do I manage to do it? Something that I can't answer and I kick myself in the back for not being able to.

One hopeless semester of acads - I say: 'Forgettable, but not forgivable. Forget it'.
The relentless gaming over the LAN last year - I say: ''twas fun! But, not now, mate'
The vices - I say: 'Doesn't interest me'
Thoughts about finding a girl - I say: 'Girls are fun, but beyond a threshold they're a waste of time'. My cheeky pal says: 'Go gay!'
All the castles in the air - I say: 'Duh! They are what they were - castles in the air! Go get a life.'

This post - I say: 'Chuck...Move on to the next post'

Forever trust in who we are ....

....and nothing else matters - sung Metallica in one of their most famous singles. After 4.5 months of gruelling torture at the hands of the dreaded EEE courses here, I have matured! Not in terms of my knowledge of 3-phase induction motors, lithography, differential amplifiers - but in the understanding of the nuances of life, the universe and everything.

The last semester surely goes down as the worst academic time of my entire life. And also goes down as the most unproductive time of all times since the last couple of years.

But, then it is time again for a fresh dose of yet another 4.5 months of dreaded EEE courses. Again. Yet again. But things are a changed. Things have moved on. And so, have I.

This new year, got off to a rocking start with my first internship offer in my inbox. And that too, a big one! And I am back at BITS with an opportunity to earn around $200 a month for this semester. And, some decent chances of me getting an internship somewhere in India as well looks pretty good.

New found vistas. Of those that I would love to drown and die in.
New found hopes. Of sanity still prevailing in the world.
New found vision. For which I would die for.

And as Metallica said - it is just to 'Forever trust in who we are......and Nothing Else Matters'

PS. Will somebody help me get this irritating cough out of my throats!


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