No rest for the wicked

Fore-inserted afterthought: While I was simply planning to write about the odd hours that I’ve been subject to in my B-school experience, the flow of writing led to me to rant continuously and make this whole post into a B-school rant as such.

Hah. Gotcha! I made that preamble before I even started writing the post. But enough trolling. Let me start my awesome discourse.

B-schools suck. There is no other easy way to put it. There is also no better way to put it. Although, I have been exposed to more cultural difference here than I have been anywhere in my entire life, I really don’t care much for it. Also, it has given me even greater insight into how stupid Amits really are and how people perceive the south. I wouldn’t say they are wrong as much as they are utterly, totally, completely ignorant of anything south of MP. But that’s them and it’s better not to change it or Twitter may become boring again (KRK, nee thala da).

There is a stark contrast when you come from engineering into MBA. Unless of course, you’ve studied in one of those unheard of colleges spread all over the north like the vultures that feast on a carcass till the bones are the only things left. That was actually a very clever analogy. I’m sure you appreciated it. Anyway, back to the point. I observe things a lot. And then I note it down in my blog. I don’t know why. Writing is a neurosis. I’ve been exposed to too much Tolkien and Vyasa. Also, I digress.

Anyway, my experience has been more unique than most MBA students. I have moved from a 10 day stint in one of the top 10 colleges in India to an year outside the country in a (literal) desert. Of course, I’m sitting in an AC with very fast internet but unless you give me a chance to travel back in time and take a photo with Schrodinger, I’d prefer being home. Home is where the filter coffee is, after all. All this, of course (again), is besides the point. I should really edit my thoughts when I write them down.

So, I’ve moved on. Back in India, the college was filled with these over enthusiastic bundles of energy. Any question in class, any comment from a teacher, any group activity had like a 1000 people to volunteer for it. It was so different from engineering where anyone hardly ever volunteered to work on something. I mean, there was enough brain damage just attending college in those days. My surprise of course, was short lived. I found a like minded group that partied hard, didn’t volunteer to take on more work and was, generally, my type. Except they talked. A lot.

The phrase “Man is a social animal” cannot be applied to Amits. Why? Because Aristotle definitely set reasonable bounds to how much talking a human needed to do in a day to satisfy his .. er, needs (for want of a better word). Amits transcend that limit .. and then they transcend it a little more .. and a little more. You get the point. They talk a lot.

In one of my crazier thought experiments, I tried surmising how it would be to let two Amits in the same room and leave them there for a fortnight. According to my back of the envelope calculations, the energy required for them to talk as much as they usually do would completely sap them of energy and leave them skeletons .. that will still keep talking. So I put in a few more variables. What if they had food supply and water and oxygen etc? Then I realised the room would become a nuclear reactor with the amount of energy they expel while talking. So I extended the thought experiment a little more .. What if we could somehow harness this energy? Would it satisfy the power requirements of India? Then … my download finished. I’d have been a very successful academician if this stupid internet didn’t exist.

But back to the point. The like minded Amits I found here are pretty awesome and I’m slowly growing to like their company. Although their ignorance of computers seems almost too bad to be true, I’ve found that there does exist such a thing. Even the cleverest Amit here couldn’t understand my point when I told him why Windows is better than Mac is almost every which way. So I’ve come to regard them as Indian version of Americans – they talk, eat and burp. And they use macs. They also party hard. So yes, there is something in common.

The worst part about MBA though, is the insane workload. I took the time to draw a graph and show how it progresses.

But I’d just make calluses on my finger tips if I started talking about it. Suffice it to say that in my entire 4 years of engineering, including the penultimate disaster of a semester, I did not have HALF as much work as I have in one week over here. Of course, if I was in EEE, that’d be a different thing entirely.

As the workload and the environment have taught me, living in AC really makes you forget the time .. even though you have windows. I have now done every single possible combination of routines that even a junkie would find mildly disturbing. Wake up at night and stay up till morning? Done. Stay awake for almost 48 hours continuously and then sleep for only 6? Done. Start hallucinating due to lack of sleep and still keep on working to meet deadlines? Done. The one thing that helped though was the AC. I could not have done even half this much work if I was back in India trudging around in that soul sucking heat.

I’m also fighting a personal war with my net administrator here who has taken it upon himself to block every single site of use inside the Academic block and torrents inside the hostel. Thankfully, oppressing authority is not a new thing and I have found quite a few workarounds of my own in a few minutes of web searching. Suffice it to say, as long as connection to the internet exists, freedom will as well.

There you have it. I’m far far away from home, I’m working my ass off in some course I do not foresee myself liking any time in the near future and I haven’t had thayir saadam with aavakai urgaa or filter coffee in 4 months. Oh well. Since I’ve joined the course, I might as well see it to its (bitter?) end. As a wise man once said, “Life is too short for regrets”.

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An Ode to the Heat

Titular disclaimer: This is NOT an ode! I just put that there to make at least the title look poetic. Yes, I’m very insecure about being incorrect.

I remember learning way back in 6th standard about longitudes and latitudes and how the sun’s rays make sure that most of India remains hot through the millennia. Of course, heat is a relative thing. A guy from Russia would find the Delhi winter relatively warm, if you get my drift. Of course, a Russian living in India only means that their spambot has been perfected and is safely tucked away and they can enjoy the money it generates.

I’ve lived for nearly 12 years in Chennai and I can honestly say I hate the weather. My excessive sweating is compounded by the almost 100% humidity near the beach. But many people have waxed lyrical (and quite eloquently) on the subject of the perennial heat in Chennai. Everyone now takes the heat to be commonplace and doesn’t bother either deriding the city or wasting their time worrying about such petty things as sweating excessively while there is hot filter coffee to be had *slurp*

All this, of course, is 20 days past in my case. I got admission into a college in Ghaziabad, near Delhi. Since my dad lives here, I thought I might as well come a little early. I was warned about the raw heat here but being a fellow from one of the most scorched cities in India, I threw caution to the wind. How much worse can it get? Now, to get a true gauge of my utter and complete stupidity, consider this – I lived in Delhi from 93-98. Even though I was a kid, my parents had a fair idea of what the Delhi summer was like and gave me fair warning. Heeding such advice, of course, is hardly worthy of a true buffoon like myself so I went ahead and opted to stay with my dad for a few days before I went to college. In retrospect, that was the worst part of my plan.

Now, the minute I arrived here, I understood the true meaning of what heat meant. Chennai, being near the beach does not have such extreme temperatures as Delhi does. This place is an absolute furnace, I assure you. The newspapers are shouting that this is the worst summer yet. You’d better believe it. Like any sensible person, I went ahead and sat in the AC for the 5 days before my college was supposed to start giving no heed to such psychological concepts as acclimatization and all that.

I’ll now describe how hot Ghaziabad is, metaphorically. Imagine taking a lake filled with lava and surrounded by brimstone. Now, further imagine you are in the middle of the lake on a small island with the lava licking at your feet and you holding a ring with some strange inscriptions on it while you get visions of an eye staring at you. Oh wait, cut that last part. Visual stimulus done? Now, imagine the effing heat where you’re standing. Yeah, you’re close to what I was feeling. For 10 whole days, I was mucking about in that insane heat with only a spare cooler for any comfort. Yes, I made friends and all that shit but seriously, the heat here is more of a deterrent to the entire cognitive process of a normal human being.

Of course, I’m back in the AC now. Cooling off all the heat and all yo *bling jewellery and nigga hand signs* . But most important of all, I’m home. Why is that important? Because now I can get my daily dose of filter coffee. All is well that ends well.

Anatomy of a Review

Some events get me angry. Some get me frustrated. There are rarely ones that get me both and more. At that point, I put my emotions down in writing and slander one and all concerned with nary a fuck given to such things as “consequences” and related stuff.

Today was our final internal review. My love for writing a lot would now make you realise that I am going to give a background, a prologue and may be an index page before I start off. Don’t ask me why I do that. To give a good analogy, it is akin to revving up a modern superbike so that you have a flying start when you release the brake.

When I say review, I implicitly refer to a review of my project work. Since more than half the Indian population is studying engineering, there is never any need to be explicit about exactly what kind of a review I am attending. Every review is *meant* to measure how much you have progressed in your project. What it becomes is a playground for the review panel to simply fuck around with you, laugh it off with each other and then say in that oh-so-silent-whisper-that-can-clearly-be-heard-across-the-whole-fucking-classroom that the group presenting their project has not done anything novel and that we’re somehow trying to “cheat” them. But more details on that later. Also, here is a meme I created for the occasion of us getting screwed:

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No review goes as planned. You create a powerpoint file and instruct your project mates on what to do and who should read from which slide. Once you go inside the review hall, however, the panel is standing there just waiting to tear you up. There are many pictures online that illustrate my point but IMO, these are the best.

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Obviously, the crocodiles and the shooting squad are compared to the panel.

Contrary to how generic the title of the post is, I am just going to discuss the reviews I have been a participant in victim of.

In any internal review, judging the panel is easy. You know most of the faculty and have a fair idea of who wants to screw you, who wants to screw with you, who is bored sitting there and can’t wait to get out and who is genuinely interested in what you have done. The problem is, none of this matters one whit in the greater picture.

I shall now broadly outline each generic member of the review panel. Or at least the types I have come across.

The One who is Bored:

He has no idea why he is in the panel. He is hardly interested in judging you and would just as soon get out of the place but has no choice. The best way to deal with this member is to concentrate on him only if you don’t know the subject at all. Best comparison? This guy:

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If you genuinely know much about your project, there is no use concentrating on him since he will neither understand what you’re saying nor support you when the other jurors panel members pick on you.

The One who wants to screw with you:

This guy is the easiest to find out. He will ask you irrelevant questions in an accusing manner and more often than not, he is going to mark you well even though you answer like an idiot. He enjoys what he is doing and will sometimes give you nuggets of wisdom on how you can make improvements. Obviously, you must keep him on your side, listen to what he says and nod like he has a point (which he mostly does). An analogous meme would be this one:

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The One who Nitpicks:

This is the most useless member of the panel. He has no significant contribution to make to your review so, to save face, he will nitpick on the most inconsequential stuff. For instance, spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, not wearing the ID card, alignment problems in your report … and so on and so forth. I couldn’t find the perfect nitpicking meme but my friend suggested this and I guess it works.

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The best strategy to take with this guy is to let him say what he wants and agree with it. There is no use trying to tell him that such inconsequential things do not matter outside of his own frame of reference since he has no other frame of reference. Although, analogously,  if you can convince a hungry monkey that trying to solve math is more important than going for that delicious banana, you can take a shot with this guy. It will be worth it since you will take up the entire review session simply convincing him that your ID card photo faded because the intensity of the RFID tag reader in your library is always set too high.

The Clueless Interested Guy:

This is the best of all the members of the panel. He knows nothing but he will nod at whatever you say and give you the feeling that Confucius had never said something more wise. If you have some sort of fear in facing a panel or are intimidated by most people on the panel, this is the guy you must turn to. Say whatever you want to him, make it sound complicated, make sure he keeps nodding and appears interested and you’re golden. The others may ask you questions on what you say but for the time and effort you give him, this guy will mark you just because you kept eye contact with him when you spoke rather than with the more experienced panel members.

The One who is Genuinely Interested:

You have to tread careful with this guy. He knows everything about the subject and will more likely screw you than not if you’ve done something stupid. It is better to simply acquiesce to all the problems in your project when he points them out. He is sometimes the benchmark for all the other clueless members of the project panel. If he believes a project is good, you will score good marks with every person in the panel. If he thinks, it’s shit, accept it and try telling him why you *thought* it was good and how you were obviously wrong. If he has a heart, you’ll still make it through.

The One who wants to Screw You:

He is the worst of them all. The most dangerous of the panel members. He knows what you’re talking about and is looking for a fault. He acts as an amplifier and brings your faults to the fore for all the members to see. He starts seeing faults the minute you open your presentation. Rather than limiting them to the essentials in your project, he will influence the nitpicking guy by finding grammatical and spelling mistakes as well. If you’ve done something novel and done it perfectly, he will let it slide as though it is inconsequential. He is also the most dangerous to play with. Of course, the best meme is Scumbag Steve.

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You have to consider the whole panel and see how much they will be swayed by his opinions.

a) They are highly influenced by his opinions. You are officially screwed. TRY not to mention anything you have only a passing idea about. This guys knows all and sundry and he will try to screw you at a moment’s notice. So if whatever you are explaining is not your strong point, simply don’t bother. He will screw you in every which way and all you can hope is there isn’t much you’ll lose. If you are sure about what you’re saying, fight with all your might. Shout, rage, talk to him like he is a kid. Any strategy will work as long as you can convince him that he shouldn’t mess around with you in this subject. The other panel members will also be impressed if you’re able to keep your own against him. It all counts in your favour.

b) They are not all that influenced by his opinions. This is helpful. Simply listen to his question and maintain contact with each panel member when you answer. If he interferes, tell him you want to complete what you’re saying. Don’t be a complete idiot and say something so out of context that all the panel members get irritated and give you low marks. Maintain your cool and focus on impressing the others rather than this fellow.

Anatomy of my review

A little personal experience shall now follow.

It was a hot, sweltering day. They were waiting outside, preparing themselves for the inevitable doom. Today was D-day. The final review. The last night had been spent in perfecting the report and creating compellingly authentic fake codes whose sheer complexity, they hoped, would stun the panel into silence. There was little else to do but prepare themselves as well as they could. Reading and re-reading the report with an eye on the door of the conference room, they waited to see who’d be called next. One group had already gone in. The time allotted had been 30 minutes but it was well beyond that and they hadn’t come out.

Finally, they came out and told them they were the next group in. They all fist punched. It was time to rock the stage. They trooped inside and opened up the slide show. None of them was really sure *when* exactly the world came crashing down but at some point, it just did.

They had taken a good measure of every member of the panel. They knew most of them in person and all of them by face. There were 7 of them:

1) The useless fool. He never knew much about the subject but acted the true savant. A complete idiot, if there ever was one. He was notoriously infamous for how he could make you soporific and start doubting your existence with his sheer stupidity when taking classes. He’d want you to have an ID card with a tag. He would ask the most nutty questions but giving a calm answer would usually soothe him enough to mark you well.

2) The nut case. You could never impress him, try as you might. Unless his pre-conceived notion of you – based on warped real life standards like GPA and other such nonsense – was good, you might as well win the Nobel but you’ll never get good remarks from him.

3) The egg head. He was the real danger. He knew everything about your subject and was waiting to screw you. He also influenced the head of the panel and was going to pose the greatest problem since the panel head himself was quite clueless.

4) The panel head. Absolute sadistic moron. All he could do was laugh in your face while giving you the lowest marks. He was notorious for failing entire classes just because it pleased him. Sauron would have found an ally in this one. Unfortunately, he was heavily influenced by (3)’s opinions and (3) was all set upon impressing him in order to make his own agenda move forward. This was gonna be a tough one.

5) Unknown dude. They’d only heard of him once. Some genius in an unrelated field. Hopefully shouldn’t cause much problems for the other groups.

6) Another useless fool. Why was this guy even on the panel? Oh well. At least he will just stop with the laughing and not actually screw them. Besides, he hardly knew anything. What will he even screw them with?

7) Random lady. She’ll probably check the grammar and all that. It’s fine. Appease her with a few yes and no’s and you should be fine.

It all started with (3). That much they could remember. They had prepared an order for the slide presentation and all that. It was thrown out the window and things went haywire.

(3) and (4) were bent on screwing them. There was neither logic nor reason in what they argued.

You’ve used a high end tool .. Why didn’t you start from the scratch? You started from the scratch .. Why didn’t you use an already existing high end tool? This project is rubbish. You are cheating us. This is a term assignment, not a FYP. You took 6 months to do THIS?!? There should be a mathematical basis for your model .. How did you progress without one? nntool must NOT be used in projects!

Accusations flew left, right and center.

They were mind-numbed. They knew there would be opposition but this was an all out predator drone attack. Oh well. Nothing to do. Stand there and wait till they finish firing. Once they did, the panel head told them he was marking them for zero. Goddamn it. They should’ve argued. They shouldn’t have given in that easily. But what’s done was done.

They came out looking bedraggled. They were screwed and they knew it.

“Let’s go to canteen macha!”, said one of them and they pushed their ragging session into the darker recesses of their mind and moved on. As they always had.

What’s in a name?–The origin of Satti

Preamble

There are numerous people who ask me “Dude, why are you called Satti?” This is an answer to all those people. If you believe there are others whom I know and who will benefit from this knowledge, feel free to share. I loathe giving links to my blog to people other than the ones I want but this one time, I would like this post to spread if possible. Also, if you feel this is tl;dr, simply scroll to the bottom slightly above the first edit. The whole post has been summarised there.

Nicknames are very common. People need some way to identify someone other than the formal christening your parents did when you were born. Nicknames are not the same as pet names, in my opinion.

Pet names are given in the spirit of love. Your parents or family gives you pet names so that all their love for you finds an outlet when simply seeking you. Pet names are *invariably* cute sounding. They may make the victim gag every time he is called but your parents and family love it. They believe it symbolises your entire personality in one word. Another alternative is that they simply call you that because it got stuck. For instance, my pet name is madhu. Not many people know that. I don’t care divulging the fact because there is no way in all the seven, nine or odd numbered hells that someone will use my pet name over my all encompassing nickname (which I shall get to eventually). Also, it does not symbolise my personality much. Madhu literally means sweet. It also means liquor. I am neither obliging enough to be called sweet nor euphoria-inducing enough to be (metaphorically) called liquor.

Nicknames, on the other hand, start out in weird ways. They also propagate in weirder ways. Mostly, it is given in the spirit of demoralisation. For instance, there may be a bully who feels that whatever your parents christened you is not good enough for you, does not roll easily off his tongue because of retarded muscle motor control or does not suit his taste. The name sticks because other people feel the same way or do not want to be targets of said bully. Hence, what starts out as the result of a retarded inferior intellect trying to brawn his way through the world of oral eloquence changes your life forever. It propagates when people tend to call you the same name in front of friends from other circles.

But nicknames are simply that – nicknames. They stick for a small time and then they are forgotten and you remember it when you go to some high school reunion and someone calls you by the retarded christening you received in your adolescence (possibly the same bully) and it brings back memories. You go through college and work as though the name never existed.

In my special case though, it is an E-N-T-I-R-E-L-Y different story. To start off, my nickname is Satti. I shall get to its etymology eventually. What started off as a nickname has become so ubiquitous, people have no idea what my real name is. It’s Anirudh. Anirudh Ramesh. Or R.Anirudh, as I am otherwise known. NOT satti. I am not kidding you when I tell you that the generic situations I am about to confess happens on a weekly basis.

Situation 1

I am talking to someone and they start relating a story which involved telling my name. They tell me how they forgot my name entirely and just told the other person “Satti <this>” or “Satti <that>” and the other person instantly understood I was being referred to. Then, the person relating this story to me has the absolute <insert decent vernacular for 2 globules of courage every man is said to possess> to ask me what my real name actually is. To say that it pisses me off is an understatement. Dear <dude-who-will-do-this-to-me-in-the-future>, my real name is Anirudh. Put that through your head. I will give it to you in writing. I am highly adept at technology and will save it on your phone if you want. Even your Google contact list. Just don’t ask me that question as though you can never remember it when I tell you the first time.

Situation 2

I am talking in a group where similar story is being related. The storyteller drops my name as Anirudh either by mistake or for obsessiveness in getting the details right about the event. Dude number 1 interrupts and asks who Anirudh is. Dude number 2 asks the same question. Now, in this case, dude number 1 is actually naive about my real name. Dude number 2 simply wants to salt my wound, stoke my fire-of-rage, add butter to my cauldron of anger .. call it what you want, he just wants to piss me off. Dear dude number 2, please stfu. Dude number 1, there are other elements in the story. Far more important characters who are the essence of the story. Yet, you unfailingly focus on that one part which is trivial and yet enough to piss me off.

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Pliss to be listening to all of story next time. Ok va?

Situation 3

I am talking to one dude when talk of Facebook or Twitter pops up.

One dude: “Macha, add me on Twitter/Facebook da. I just created an account … blah blah”

Me: “Yeah cool.” *whips out smartphone*

Dude: *whips out better smartphone* “Oh yeah, dude. I sent your a friend request already man. You were in the suggested list and I was like … Who the hell is Anirudh Ramesh? Lol. Then I saw your photo and sent the request. Just change the name to Satti man. Lulzzzz”

Me: *fake polite laughter*

Dear “One dude”, that is so not funny. If you were trying to make an impression on someone based on the factor of mirth alone, I’d give you a 1.5/10 along with a reverse handed bitch slap for insolence. Moron.

Anyhoo, each of these situations serves to remind me that I am hardly known by my official name anywhere. And now, as promised, I shall discuss its etymology.

I keep getting asked this question – “Dude, why are you called Satti, man?”. So I took it upon myself to go back in time, find the guy who gave me the nickname and then request Chuck Norris to roundhouse kick him to oblivion. I was only partly successful. Although I found the origin, it wasn’t of the name Satti, but of the first nickname Chatti. But I defer chronos if I don’t sequence the events. So here we go:

1) I joined a new school in 11th and since my physical appearance is no small matter (quite literally), I was more than ready for verbal assaults. The first few days were fine. Then it started. The first of them was given by this dude. I was called “Ammikallu” which is Tamil for the “Wet grinder stone” which looks like this:

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Now, I’ll be honest here. I knew I was rotund but cylindrical? It puzzled me no end but only for a day. Not dwelling on insults is one of my better virtues. For a long time, I was simply called “ammi”.

2) A few months later (I was still in eleventh), this dude felt (with a precise notion of the third dimension) that I looked like a chatti – a kind of pot used for cooking sambar which looks like this:

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Frankly, even I believed this suited me better. Not that I could have refuted a nickname in any case. Why? Murphy’s Law for nicknames – the more you deny it, the more it spreads. Ok, I made that up but you know it’s true.

3) The chatti nickname never caught on much actually. But that was the origin for Satti. My memory fails me in trying to pinpoint who it was who first anglicised chatti to satti. But by the middle of twelfth, it had spread so fast, people from other schools knew me only as satti. Hell, they thought that was my real name :/ .. But fact is that by this time, I had forgotten who started it all. I was flummoxed that I couldn’t remember the person who gave me the nickname.

4) Now, the guy who gave me the nickname did not know how pervasive it had become. So one random day, some girl in class calls me by Satti. By this time, I had totally given up trying to tell people to call me by my real name and I started responding to the nickname (with a hint of pride for the uniqueness of it, I might add). But the guy next to me was in splits for 5 minutes. After he got his breath back, I asked him what was so funny. Then he reminded me how he had given me the nickname and how funny it was that it had spread so fast.

When I came to college, I thought I was rid of the nickname once and for all. But it was not to be. Not only were some of my friends from school over here (whom I could have convinced to call me by my real name) but there was this guy as well. There was no convincing him and since I hanged out with him a lot in the first few months, the nickname spread like wildfire leading to above said situations.

I am not complaining though. Far from being derogative (as it was no doubt, originally meant to be), it has become highly unique. The name Satti – although it does not open closed doors or provide access to classified government files – does command a sort of recognition, no doubt compounded by my own unique physical features.

However unique though, I am not going to make it my official name. I’m not kidding when I say this but sometimes, I get so irritated by the situations such as I’ve shown above that I consider the name changing proposal just to make my life easier. So, here are the salient points you must take from reading this post:

1) My real (read – official) name is R. Anirudh.

2) My nickname is Satti.

3) There is no meaning as such to Satti but it originated from chatti which is a kind of cooking pot.

4) You have just wasted a few minutes of your life filling your head with absolutely useless information 😛

I don’t know how many changes this nickname will undergo. There are a few people who call me with many variants – slutty, jeddi, sattu, sats, sato etc. But I do sincerely thank the guy who came up with the nickname (satti, not chatti). Whoever you are, mate, you’ve given me some sort of alternate identity. I could create passports with this name and people wouldn’t even think twice about it.

PS: I know I address people I’m pissed off with in first person. Don’t point it out to me.

Edit: I also have a full nickname – Sattinathan Ramamoorthy. The origin to that is a very short story. On my twelfth excursion, we were made to play this extremely gay game where we had to remember the name of the guy next to us. This fellow was standing next to me. When asked my name, he instantly replied “Satti”. The game organiser didn’t believe that. So he instantly created a full nickname for me … and that’s that.

You are Geththu, macha!

Yes, this is another rant.

I have lived and grown up in India. The farthest I have gone from my country is into Nepal for about 20 minutes (I’m not kidding). There are many queer things you see in this country. They have become a part of my life. The only reason I call them queer is because of the heavy influence of western civilisation which makes me realise that there are places on this planet where these things are not normal.

I would list all of them in one single place. I have a penchant for writing extremely long sentences (a la Charles Dickens) and conversely, I can be concise when the need arises. Also, I write a lot. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. I could list all these oddities in a single post but I thought I might as well make a separate post for this particular oddity.

I call it the Singular Hubris Induction Theory – S.H.I.T (obviously, I chose my acronym with care … or it may be that it just happened to shorten to this). Every Indian who has ever been a student has seen this. Every Indian who has studied in Chennai would have seen this. Every Indian who has had a tambrahm for a classmate would have seen this. In short, every effing Indian would have seen this.

But first, the choice of the name. As you can see, S.H.I.T can be broken into four parts – S, H, I and T (see what I did there?).

S – Singular – I use this in reference to the Sherlock Holmes series. Conan Doyle tends to use the word “singular” a lot to ascribe queerness to an event. I use it here to signify that this particular trait is queer to India since I have never seen it in any novel, film, cartoon or other western media. Either they deliberately keep it out or it just does not happen there.

H – Hubris – Superiority complex. All of us have it in one form or the other. I needn’t elaborate much.

I – Induction – As in the present perfect form of inducing (if I’m wrong about this, just correct me). Pretty straightforward.

T – Theory – As in that thing you study all your life but never understand. A theory is different from a law, as one teacher used to remind me. I call this a theory because I have concluded the existence of S.H.I.T purely through experience and I have no physical proof that this is a genetic trait.

Now, to finally get down to what I actually mean by S.H.I.T. Also, one final digression – I’m really starting to love using the acronym 😀

I have written exams all my life. Since my Lower Kindergarten until now. Every “academic” year is filled with exams. Class tests, mid terms, terminals, finals, periodicals, end semesters .. From what I can see, there has never been a stretch of even 6 months in my life wherein I have not written an exam. Every single exam, there will be this one dude – I call him Srinivasan. Before you start creating all types of theories, I assure you this is no reference to anyone. The reason I selected a name like that is many fold. I will digress on that (yes, I like digressing a lot).

1) Why do people like naming these perfunctory common type characters as Jack, John Doe or whatever? I find it more intuitive to use Indian names.

2) I chose a tambrahm name because the person I am going to describe is almost always a tambrahm. I may be statistically wrong but in my experience, it has been so.

3) Srinivasan is actually an extremely common Indian name. Every Iyengar family has a Srinivasan embedded in the names of male progeny. Sometimes, it’s almost implicit. Also, it’s so common that no one is ever called Srinivasan and everyone has a pet name – ambi, suresh, chari etc etc. which can either be a surname or just a pet name. If you went to a crowded tambrahm household and called out Srinivasan, you will probably get around 4 or 5 acquiesces.

Srinivasan is a very clever fellow. He has a top order brain which can become an equation solver and a vegetarian food connoisseur at the drop of a hat. He is also extremely child like – jealous, egotist, secretive etc. Before every exam, Srinivasan would have made sure of at least one revision. During his school days, four or five revisions would be the order of study for every exam. He will not let anyone copy from him. Not even in a class test. Not even on the feedback form for teachers. He follows many tactics for his own amusement and to make sure he does not lose his topper status in class.

Tactic 1 – Before every exam, he will make sure he comes to school with this one question which he has found. It will be a tricky question. He would not gave been able to solve it. It will not come for the test fo shoo’. But that is no reason not to let the others panic a little over nothing – a proverb about cry wolf comes to mind. When he shows the problem the first few times, everyone starts panicking and forgets what little they learnt hence ensuring his continued dominance in the top ranks of the class. After some exams, everyone is wise to his game and won’t give 2 hoots.

Tactic 2 – He will lament about how he does not know anything and how he hasn’t studied a word. At this point, you should have a pair of nunchucks in the vicinity. Your next step is to take said pair of nunchucks, load a program for fatal usage of nunchucks into your brain (a la The Matrix) and beat the holy hell out of Srinivasan. Once he has been KO’d, you pick up his unconscious body by his collar and spout some awesome rhetorical dialogue which is to the tune of “You want me to believe that you, a class topper, somehow did not come prepared for an exam, however unimportant it may have been, but somehow had the time to brush, take a bath, comb your hair, polish your shoes and come to the exam hall well before time? You deserve this just for the mistake of thinking that I’d be so stupid as to believe that” … Now cut that down to like 10 words and add good phonetic-al emphasis on the requisite consonants or whatever.

Tactic 3 – He will come to the exam hall and ask you – “Did you study, macha?”. At this point, you repeat all the actions described above and replace the rhetorical dialogue with something suitable.

Clearly, if you have not been able to correlate the character Srinivasan with anyone in your life at any point of time, you have not lived in India very long or you come from a very decent, completely un-competitive (not incompetent) society.

But the reason for this post and that particular title is some experience I had recently. Extrapolating the behaviour of Srinivasan from before exams to after exams, we see that he starts spouting sentences like “You are geththu, macha!” and things to that effect and tries to convince us that we are better than him and he will score lower than us no matter how well he studied. He tries to induce in us a superiority complex (hubris) through highly singular behaviour – Singular Hubris Induction Theory.

Dear Srinivasan, I would like to address you in first person, wherever you are and inform you of a certain few things. You know you’ve given your heart and mind into the exam. I know that. We both also know that I have not done all that well. Why, in the name of all that is holy, would you want to convince yourself of otherwise? Do you get off on this in some perverse way? Or is it that your mind is just too hyper and you cannot waste this one opportunity to make it hell for the guy who dreads his very results in the first place? I find your behaviour utterly despicable. I have been a victim and I can tell you what you do is not pleasant to the psyche. At least not the first few times. Please to be stopping such activities and giving a shit exclusively about your own damn life. I have enough to take care of besides your insistent chiding and veiled deriding. Ok va?

Also, stop asking people if they have studied before an exam. Unless you think I am some sort of born loser who has been orphaned in the streets, you can be sure that even if I did not personally want to, my parents will make sure that I have studied. Just as yours would have made sure you have revised. Capisce?

I have lived with Srinivasans  around me my whole life. It is not pleasant at first. Then you learn not to care. After that, you learn to give some back by exhibiting similar behaviour. At this point, you realise you have become a bigger loser and simply stop caring about these things. But sometimes, you feel that hatred again and you get pissed off. At these times, you rant on your blog to let the whole world know.

PS: I’m serious. The name Srinivasan was a completely random thing. I have known and still do know many people with this name (not to mention my own grandfather) and I assure you that I am talking about no one in particular who happens to be named Srinivasan and is one of these people.

The Wheel

When we were little, it was taught that there were 2 inventions in the history of mankind that are the absolute base of all civilisation – the Fire (which is merely a discovery in the first place) and the Wheel. The former, is ubiquitous for all purposes in most industries. The latter, I would like to focus upon.

You think the wheel is round, rotates on an axis and moves along with every revolution thanks to friction, right? Wrong. That is the only type of wheel *you* know. There is one other type. This type of wheel does not have any physical shape. It has no physical laws either. It is never called the “wheel” but rather affixed with a number which is of the form (2n+1), n=1,2,3,…

Most people would have no clue what I’m talking about. Let’s get that out of the way before I start ranting. Have you ever heard of the Third Wheel? Or the Fifth Wheel? Or the Seventh Wheel? No? Then, let me explain. A third wheel is a guy/girl who tags along with a couple. A fifth wheel tags along with 2 couples. So on and so forth.

I have been every single value of n up and until 5. How do I feel? Like a tub of lard.

I have been open about my absolute loathing of moving around with couples. They take it lightly. I couldn’t care less. But somehow, I end up being a wheel (which shall henceforth be a reference to any 2n+1 wheel) to one or more couples. There are many advantages to being single. This is not one of them. Not by a long shot.

I know men and women are supposed to be inherently attracted to each other. I’m not saying I’m above all that. Hell, I’d be lying through my teeth if I did. I just prefer not being committed. I have no animosity against couples either. I know quite a few people who are actually a perfect match for each other. But that is besides the point.

Committed people think they have a license to be free about their commitment in front of others. I believe they have every right to be. But there are certain areas where they cross the line between being friendly and couple-like to getting downright indecent in front of friends. I found this out the hard way.

For the last 2 years, there has been this flurry of relationships cropping up all over my batch. Again, to be clear, I’m not against it. Unfortunately, most of these guys and girls are my own friends. When I moved around with them in the past, I blissfully ignored any signs (even the most obvious ones) of flirtation, attraction etc etc. When they became couples, I still ignored most of it. I have, although, reached my breaking point. So, I will directly address any of my committed friends who read this (for reasons of ease of pronoun usage, I think first person is a bit easier to use than third person).

I know you guys like each other. You know you guys like each other. For some reason, you want the whole world to know that you like each other. I can understand holding hands and all that. But talking absolute lewd bullshit when your mutual friend is sitting right in front of you? Come on. Give the guy a break. I don’t want to know what you want to do to each other. Keep that load of absolutely crappy imagery inside your own stupid head. I have enough to deal with in a normal life.

I am not avoiding conversation. I really do like my Android phone. I am not texting some secret girl (as you always love to think, for some reason) but rather updating myself with world news through this decentralized set of data banks or servers which the world colloquially calls the Internet. Also, I use it as my only worthy distraction when the two of you are hitting at each other with lines of such increasing intensity, it would make some busy beaver numbers ashamed of themselves. I like zoning out around both of you. Remember, I am not there by choice but rather, by circumstance or by force.

Please get it into your collective hive consciousness (assuming the existence of such a thing since individuality in your subset of human interactions seems to be rather minimal) that I am single by choice. Respect me for it and stop asking me to get committed. Who the hell are you? My mom? Hell, even my mom will start forcing marriage upon me only after a decade or so. No, I have no idea if I can “pick up” a girl or not. I don’t even know what the hell that physically means.

Stop asking me to interact with you. I loathe being in that situation in the first place. I am there because I could not avoid it. I would really love to be left alone to my iPod or my phone or both. No, I cannot let you play the game I’m playing. As you do not seem to have noticed, I’m trying really hard to distract myself and I want to succeed in that particular venture more than anything in life up until that point.

Guys, one last thing. When I came here 3 years ago, I was a loner. So were most of you. Each of us kept to ourselves. We became friends over the course of 3 years having shared living space for the majority of that time. The next time you walk out to take a phone call when we are playing a game or passing time in each other’s company, think about it. I have cut calls from my mother when I’m playing with you people. I’m not being emo on this issue. I’m just pissed that you either initiate or join a conversation where we are passing time and simply walk out to talk hours on end with your significant other. Sometimes, I’m physically pulled out of my room to play something or talk about something. Yes, I can still live without constant human interaction but getting cut off when I’m really starting to enjoy the conversation or game … That *really* pisses me off.

Why did I blow steam today and here? I dunno why today but I ranted here because there is very little chance any of my batch mates will see this. If you do guys, seriously, think a little before you go all cuddly in public the next time.

Punch you ate !@#$%^&*

The internet is a vast virtual space. Everyone knows that. More people join the virtual world every day. Everyone knows that too. What people DON’T know is that not everyone who joins is a normal person. Yes, I speak of the most dreaded kind of netizen – The Troll.

The trolls intrigue me. They are rude, argue for arguments sake and basically do undesirable things. They are irritating to a fault. When you are a person who loves correct punctuation, they can be your WORST nightmare.

But is that it? Are they just wasted souls who don’t give a damn about what others think of them and simply spam or irritate others? We can bear with that. Hell, every social networking site has a feature to block them. You need never hear from them again. But trolls, being trolls, will create another profile and come after you. This, on the other hand, cannot be resolved. Not unless websites start taking biometric data for each account from every user. But I digress. Our question was – is that all trolls are? A minor nuisance to the society who can be ignored if we so choose? Frankly, I believe not.

Why? I will take a long winded scenic tour through the world of what is and what-nots and then reach the point. No, you can’t skip to the section where I start making sense. Yes, it is my wont.

Anyway, let us start. I made a post on storage media recently. As we all know, the digital data in the whole world is now in zeta bytes (according to Cisco, anyway). There are server farms for every major company out there which store all the data it can find about any of us. Though it can be misused, they are only aimed at bombarding us with ads. The amount of data stored is almost incomprehensible. Those companies which do not have these server farms can avail one from web based companies like Amazon etc. My point? There is a flow of information like never before seen on Earth (unless Atlantis existed).

This information is transported through wired and wireless connections to your mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, iPod, any other damn device you can think of. Now, consider this. You have the official Facebook app for Android installed on your phone and your tablet. You have the iOS version on your iPod. You can access Facebook from your browser in your desktop and laptop. With me so far? Good.

Now, consider (heart patients and easily excitable people, please skip) a troll being on your friend list. Let’s say the said troll has a tendency to type “……….” instead of a simple period. As the more observant of you may have counted, you have 5 devices in your possession. Each device updates it’s application independently. Imagine (again, excitable people, careful) that the troll spams your post with one of his signature 10 period punctuation. Replicating this information on every device implies you have to send 10 times as much data to each device (10 full stops instead of just 1). 5 devices => 50 full stops instead of just 5. You get my point, right?

Let us assume you have 500 friends (a safe assumption) to whom this post is visible. Assume each friend has each of these 5 devices. If you do the math (correctly), you will see that 25,000 full stops are sent on the whole instead of just 2,500 which would have been enough to get the meaning  across. Now, considering Facebook, we set your privacy to public on all your posts (don’t freak out, just consider it). Let’s say you use some very common word in your post (like spoon?). Let us say there are a meager 1000 people searching for “spoon” on Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other major search engines. I will consider only Google and Bing for this example. Let us say you are a famous web 2.0 journalist whose technorati, Page Rank and whatever ratings are through the roof (or way underground depending on which is better). Your results will definitely rank higher. Let’s say each of these 1000 people click through to see your post in it’s entirety (with the comment from the troll). Again, doing the math (correctly), we see that 20,000 full stops are sent instead of just 2000.

Does all this data seem farcical to you? Maybe you are not convinced? Ok, check this out. Each troll makes more than one comment every day. Each comment contains more than one unwanted punctuation (!!!!!!!!! is a good example). Even if your compression rate reduces ALL of these punctuation blocks to a single byte, at the rate of 25,000 possible bytes for every person, you have 25 KB of wasted data. Seems small doesn’t it? Ok, here is some *more* math for you. On an average (from my experience), every one in 50 friends for every person is a troll. At that rate, from your imaginary 500 friends, 10 will be trolls. Each troll may/may not post troll-ish comments every day. Let’s assume they do. This means 250 KB of data is sent for just punctuation. Agreed? Now, there are 700 million users on Facebook. At the rate we previously assumed, we have 14 million trolls. Since this number seems too small to be true, we shall consider that all 14 million trolls post the signature 10 period punctuation every day. That is 14 MB of data wasted. Now, since this data is viewed by, let’s say, all 700 million members (it’s a safe assumption that every member will have ONLY 1 troll on their friend list), we have 7 GB of data (10 x 700 million).

Of course, most of this data is just numbers I pulled out of thin air. But, that is not the point. What I’m trying to put across is that trolls are not just harmless, irritating online avatars whom you can ignore and be done with. They are a true menace to the developed world since their idiocy leads to wastage of data, bandwidth and ultimately, more pollution (data centers generate a LOT of CO2 apparently). How do we rid the world of this problem? Do we need to form a convention for dealing with trolls? Just as we have for dealing with climate, nuclear wastage and terrorism?

My brainwave? Simple. Make them use Twitter. Limit their idiocy to 140 characters. If there exists a fool who will actually waste 10 characters from 140 for punctuation and then continue his tweet to the next one, people will hate him. They will not follow him. Hence, his data will not be distributed onto their various devices. Unlike Facebook or G+ where a comment on a post from a famous personality will be visible to one and all who view the post, Twitter posts are visible to those who wish to see them. There are no comment forums. It is the bare backbone of intellectual communication. Trolls will be weeded out with efficiency. Their data will not be distributed among the unwise netizens. The world shall be a better place.

Yeah, I’m still pro-Twitter 😛

Requiem for Better Storage

Disclaimer: This post is a musing. You may/may not like it but the title will give you a fair idea of what I want to say.

The world has completely turned digital. All my memories (parts of it which my brain can no longer store) are in the form of 1’s and 0’s spread out over the vast cloud of the Internet and in the 2.5 inches of space my external Hard Disk takes in one of it’s dimensions. As all things that change, it is for the better and for the worse.

How it is for the better is quite obvious. Reason enough that almost all the world now talks to each other in 1’s and 0’s when not face to face.

How it is for the worse is something only those with the experience and the means can tell you. You have all heard of hard disk crashes. Happens all the time. People around you lose loads of data – Movies, TV Shows etc. But they’re all bright and sprightly the next day. In a hostel with 600 guys, there are no movies, games, TV shows, unwanted videos, music videos etc which cannot be found. It is when you lose something very precious that you know how fickle life in the digital world can be. I found this out … the hard way.

I recently bought an external HD. After debating with my parents, friends, my conscience and with people online, I decided to settle with a 1 TB itself. I bought the HD on the last day of the vacations and immediately backed up almost 465 GB of data on to it. I felt liberated. No longer was I constantly running out of space. No longer will I have to think before installing a new OS when I have so much free space to spare. No longer will computer crashes worry me because all my data is outside. No, I wasn’t stupid. I’ve seen people lose data. I backed up all my files and songs onto my computer hard disk because although the chances of the external HD getting corrupted are almost as minimal as an internal HD getting corrupted, there was still the possibility. What I did not think about was backing up other stuff which was just as important to me.

I connected 2 Seagate HDs (mine and my friends) to the laptop at the same time. Result? Both crashed. My friend’s HD got its headers corrupted (at least that’s what I think) while mine got totally screwed. I tried everything I possibly could. My first priority was my own HD. I had to recover truck loads of data and it was gonna be corrupted – I knew that the minute I realised the HD had crashed.

I first removed both HDs and then plugged mine back into my linux OS. No use. I unplugged and went to friends comp and plugged it into HIS linux OS. No use. Plugged it into his Windows. No use. Took it out and gave it a day to cool off (you know, one of those age old things .. hitting an electronic device may make it work, giving a computer time may magically make it boot even though it’s BIOS is totally screwed). No use. Then, I got really techy and downloaded a Hex Editor (took me a whole day) so I could dabble around with the headers and make them right (hey, who knows, right?). The next day (after the Hex Editor had been downloaded), I realised the HD wasn’t even getting detected. Forget the fact that the partitions table had been corrupted, the computer was now recognising it as an un-allocated 931 GB of space (which also made me realise that we’re cheated out of 97 GB of space on every 1 TB hard disk).

So, I finally resorted to recovery software. It took the software 6-7 hours to scan and make a list of files that could be retrieved and another 13 hours to retrieve them. Yep, almost a day. I was very happy though. The recovery had been done. All my folders were back in place. All my files seemed to be there and except for some 3 files, everything had been recovered (according to the software). I didn’t care what those 3 files were since I couldn’t see them in the important places.

It was then that I realised that all my movies had been corrupted. I didn’t care though. Movies could always be re-acquired. I felt a little unease and started going through the folders one by one to see what else had been corrupted. Then, I realised it. All my pictures, videos and books were gone. Kaput. Like they were never there. 45 GB of data, or more importantly, 6 years worth of memories went away in a second all because a small sequence of 1’s and 0’s couldn’t set themselves right and so told their digital master (my computer) that the rest of the 1’s and 0’s didn’t exist. Their digital master then told me that I had been fubar’d 😦

I am mostly a very hyper guy. I can move my considerable weight around and act goofy, not because I want people to notice me, but because it’s the way I am. That day, when I realised what had happened, I moped around in the room without going out. People thought I was sick. I didn’t talk much because my mind was buzzing with possibilites as to how I could ever recover my data. I have lived through disheartening board marks, seeing an accident, getting operated on, getting rejected by most top institutes but this … this hurt me where it mattered.

I have always been a strong proponent of technology. Everyone around me knows that. I have fought long and hard with my parents to digitise their photos, which they still stolidly refuse to do. I have taken the time to acquaint myself with shortcuts, softwares and general knowledge in things most people around me don’t know exist. My friends think I’m some sort of genius when I fix their computers. Truth is, if they took some time to google it out, they’d be just as savvy. Witness to the fact is how woefully uninformed I am about most things that are concerned with art and extra curricular activities. But this .. This made me feel like an agnostic. I started doubting what I’d put all my faith into. If the world of 1’s and 0’s was so fickle that a little shizz of electricity could make it delete almost everything I have of value, I have to believe that there is something better out there. Some medium of storage that would unfailingly make sure my data does not corrupt itself.

In the aftermath of the moping, I started taking random trains of thought to see where they lead (my favourite time pass). Unwanted crap put aside, I realised that most of my data is now digital. Movies, books, photos, videos .. anything and everything is in the form of binary data. My personal journal is now on the computer. My public journal is on WordPress. Thanks to the world shifting completely to digital cameras, I now have 40 GB of personal pictures and videos which got deleted entirely. My text books and fictional book collection is now in PDFs, which have also been deleted. There is nothing left on my hard disk. I still retain the pictures, videos and books in hopes that SOME recovery software will be able to get it back (it makes no difference whether I keep them or not, I know, but it’s just me being a little humane).

I have almost NO record of any conversation with my school friends. I keep track with messages, emails, chats. All digital streams of data which have every chance of getting corrupted one day or the other. I have never written a real letter in my entire life. I have never seen a telegram ever. Any record of my very existence has chances of getting erased within seconds. Is our existence so fickle? Is there a possibility that the minute we are ushered into an era with totalitarian rule, the ruling power will have all the infrastructure in place to assert themselves on us? Is there no way in which our memories could be stored more permanently? Is the world of digital data here to stay? Because if it is, I must start creating strategies to save all my data if the inevitable armageddon or loss of privacy does happen.

All of mankind has reduced to a bunch of binary data. Implying that if we somehow die out and someone releases several EMPs just before the apocalypse, all data of our existence would be wiped out. No time capsule would be saved considering we’re getting our life so much into the digital sphere, time capsules will probably have pen drives in them. That said, I’ve always believe any remaining copies of Lord of the Rings (which was written long before the digital age was even considered a possibility) would become gospel. What clue would future civilisations have that the world was any different that what Tolkien had written? Maybe Sauron really existed. Maybe the Ainür still existed in this unknowable land the book called the West. I’ve always had the feeling the Bible was some epic work of fiction from a previous civilisation that just happened to be found and made the gospel for all Christianity and Jews.

Yes, I know .. Random rants and digression. But this is my blog and this is where I let loose. Anyway, I shall return to the bunch of recovery software I’ve downloaded and give everything a try. What I’ve lost is not something that can let me sleep in peace. Adios, world. I shall now drift off into forced subconsciousness and take other trains of thought to follow (seriously brilliant exercise, I assure you).

Morning Blues?

This is gonna be a long post. There is nothing interesting here. It’s just an outlet to my sudden urge to write.

There are times in everyone’s life when you get a feeling that too much is going on. Your work never seems to end. You long for those days of lazing in the afternoon sun and watching tv in an AC room while having something cold like rooh-afza simultaneously. Somehow, most of my friends seem to have forgotten that there was a time in their lives when they actually had no worries and could peacefully sleep at night without caring about homework tomorrow. I guess that is good in a way. You can’t miss what you can’t remember you ever had.

I, on the other hand, can remember all of it. When we used to start playing hide and seek early in the morning, get called back in the afternoon, have lunch, come back and simply talk while sitting on stairs. It was fun. I miss those days with Akshata, Venkatesh and all the others who came and went in the flat. I guess, for a long time, akshata was the only constant friend in my life.

Do not take me to be a sucker for the past. I hate reliving old memories. Why? Because they’re the best I have and remind me how much simpler life could’ve been had I not grown up and conquered the aging mechanism.

We just confirmed a project guide for ourselves in college. It made me realise I’m an adult now. I can no longer attribute my mistakes to immaturity because according to the likes of Dr phil, I shouldn’t have any. I can no longer relax and let my parents take care of stuff. And there is no way on earth I can dream about “when I grow up”. The ads on tv which I thought were meant for me when I was a child mean nothing any more. They look senseless and feel senseless. I see school vans going about when I go out in the evening at home and I search if my old vans is one of them. Then I realise I don’t go to school anymore. The vans don’t mean anything to me. What little sense of belonging I had to that mode of transport has been lost on me and probably transferred to another child who will get just as disillusioned as I was. One day, he too will grow up and discard this delusion. All signs of my childhood ever having existed are getting erased. Amar Chitra Katha may continue but uncle pai will no longer be behind it. Children no longer run about in my old flat. Akshata tells me the same people have lived there and grown older. No longer is there the shouting of children which used to be delightful to my senses a long time ago since it meant I had company. A few days ago, when I came back home, there were a bunch of kids playing around and I found the noise intolerable. I told this to my mom and she started laughing telling me, “you do remember that, not more than 5 years ago, that was you down there?” .. I brushed it off but then I realise, she was right.

Somehow the bright sunny days when we used to have fun and frolic without a care in the world have turned into days of constant worry day and night about what the Next day would bring. The realization that you can no longer rely on your parents to make plans for you tomorrow. They aren’t there to do your laundry, cook your food, feed you at regular intervals and Call you back if you stay in the sun for too long. I get a strange feeling when I go home these days. I feel like I’m intruding in the life of my parents. My hostel, which until two years ago, I would have misspelt as hostile and not given it a second thought, seems safe. It feels like home or as close as it gets to home.

I dunno if I’m as emo as this post will make me sound but I can tell you this – if something could make me a child again and let me live the absolutely contented life I led before all world around me tore apart, I would kill for it. Yes, I think I really would.

Pissed!

I will start this philosophically. I don’t care what anyone says about my mental health. It’s just that sometimes, I NEED to let things out. And I hate doing so to other people. I’d rather that an unknown server somewhere stored this information and some random viewer see it and pass on. Yes, my social skills are that bad. So sue me 😐

In a person’s life, there are good times. Then there are bad times. Then there is the phase I’m going through today. It’s called “Oh crap”. It’s like I’m Arthur Dent. That the universe felt that it should maintain the (good luck : bad luck) ratio and came up with the brilliant idea of dumping all the bad luck on one guy to balance the rest of the world. Guess who the guy was 😐

I usually don’t bother putting effort. I know that unless I go all out on something in particular, it never works out. I found out today that if I don’t go all out on something, it turns out f**ked up as well. So, what do I resort to? I resort, with all my conscience and contemptuous attitude, to show the finger to the universe. Take all you want, you bitch. I will definitely not respond to any societal pressure from now on. Nope. None of it.

There are some rules of the society I absolutely do NOT understand.

#1 : You’re hitting puberty. You should gawk at girls your age.

_|_ … I don’t give a damn. I know I’m not gay. Also, I don’t have the slightest interest in gawking at girls. Save me some time. And STOP poking fun at me for it.

#2 : You should keep in touch with friends and family.

I’m definitely not a great fan of social networking. I quit Facebook (No stupid comments) for a reason. I don’t make calls for a reason. I text, rarely. Unless you’re as close to me as to know what’s going on in most aspects of my life, I don’t WANT to talk to you. Yes, I’m a social misfit, I’m a recluse, I’m an asshole. So WHAT? What are you gonna do about it? You wanna know? You can’t do SHIT! Yep, that’s right.

#3 : You should score marks.

My greatest bane. My biggest nightmare. And my most IRRITATING conformation rule. I will show the finger to the society. The rest of the world may care about marks. I DO NOT! I don’t give a damn. Do marks define you? No. What those articles say are true. People will tell you that those articles are for making the losers feel better. I’ll tell you .. They’re for making the people who score in subjects they have ZERO interest in to feel the intensity of their stupidity. I hate those kinds of people. They’re not nerds. They’re not geeks. They’re what we call in India, as padips. They have no reason to study a particular subject but to get marks. Their existence has no meaning. But, for the world out there, they define the above average intellect people. They are the ones who work like workhorses and put in 60 hour weeks. If you classify yourself into this category, I’m not going to say sorry. But PLEASE! GET A LIFE!!

#4 : No Vices.

I have nothing against this particular rule. I mean, it’s all for your own good. But when I’m 20, I know how harmful any vice is. If I STILL opt to go ahead and say I’m not addicted, it does NOT mean that I’m in denial. It means I can handle it. I’m not a bloody child for the love of god!

#5 : No “bad words”

Oh yes. Civilised society does not entitle you to have the freedom of expression to speak out your mind. Expletives are frowned upon. People look at it as a mindset of an individual rather than just a way of taking out all your frustration. Have you ever noticed how most expletives are bi or tri-syllabled? Also, if you observe, repeating them continuously makes you take out all your frustration by simply emphasising on particular syllables. For example, fu-kkk is the best way to take out most of your frustration.

Yes, I hate civilised society except for one aspect – “Survival of the fittest” is no longer a lifestyle for homo sapiens. If it was, I wouldn’t have made it to 20 years of existence.

yes, I hate life right now. Like I said before .. So sue me 😐