Thursday, September 30, 2004

Ita sum placuit

Going to coory for a three day team building exercise... polaycaud- to be precise..

Polaycad is located in the Coorg hills. A river on one side and coffee estates on the other surround the property. Accommodation is in the bungalow, which was built in 1920.

What a beauty!

The initial plan was to pitch tents, gather firewood, hunt animals, and so on... would have been much more fun...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Ethics of philanthropy

Any action that a person does, s/he does it because

1. it is essential for life and /or it makes life comfortable, AND/OR
2. it boosts one's ego.

Eating, sleeping... falls wholly in the first category.
Ur work can fall completely fall in the first category, or completely in the second category, or in both, depending on the person....

I dont believe in philanthropy, not in the way the world perceives it...

Take philanthropy and blogging, for example... Everybody recognises a person blogs ONLY for reason 2. In fact one of my friends even goes on to say, blogging is masturbation of the ego... cant help but admit...

Stripping down philanthropy to its basics, it is an ego boosting too... u do it only for the "See, i made a difference" feeling, or what is infintely worse, a patronising attitude thats worse (or better ) than the ego masturbation through blogging...

What beats me completely is all the hype and adulation that surrounds philanthropy... i mean, u dont say blogging is a virtue, do u? when philanthropy does the same thing, why the hell do you deify the process?

In fact, philanthropy is even more sickening because the while person at the receiving end will be happy and end up revering you, you will be fuelling your own damned ego...

Remove all the hype, the halo and virtues that adorn philanthropy, and stop feeling self- righteous for what u do... and then, i'll accept philanthropy..

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Its not fair....

Not fair at all... am in a grumpy mood...

Was in california for two whole months... nothing happened... absolutely nothing... even tried cycling on the left side of the road after drinking... nothing...

and the moment i leave california, this happens...

boo hoo.... not fair...

Emancipating ettayapuram - the origins....

and this is the mail that started it

Dear Friends,

Myself and a few of my friends are working on effecting social and economic changes at the micro level,especially in villages. We believe that providing a push to economy in villages can have a "big postive impact" on the overall living standards and conditions in these places.

We had recently visited the village of Ettayapuram(the birth pace of MahaKavi Bharathi) in Tamil Nadu. Agriculture and Weaving were the primary occupations of the people. But the consistent failure of the monsson had brought agriculture to a stand still. Weaving too is ailing with only the loss making Co-optex as the only market. We thought we can help here by giving a push to the ailing weaving industry. There still is a huge demand and craze for handloom products amidst the younsters. We just need to show them a this market. We are targetting the students to start with. We thought the souvenirs and memorablia produced in colleges can be garments such as hand woven Kurtas. My Alma Mater, IIIT-B has come forward and placed the first order for thousand Kurtas, which is a significant number for a beginning. There are quite a few hurdles to cross here. We need to have some good designs- simple to produce(The product would be completely done by hand) and catchy. It would be great if we can get some help from fashion technology students on this front. We would greatly appreciate any help on this front. If anybody in your circle can help us on this do ask them to mail me at or

The slump in agriculture and weaving had actually resulted in a exodus.Among all the people affected, children and old people are severely affected. Some years back the macth industry was doing well. Not any more. As long as there was match industry, children would go to school (there are a couple of free scools, one started by the Raajah(Ettappan) and the other by the other community leaders) and work in the evenings! Now, many of them go to Chennai to work in shops. Old aged people are practically orphaned and they sleep in temples before dying a eventual death out of lack of food. If we can give the necessary impetus to weaving, we would be solving a much bigger problem in this region!




There is nothing more difficult to take in hand,

more perilious to conduct, or more uncertain in its success

than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.


I wish sanjeeth on his endeavour... and sanjeet,
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand,

more perilious to conduct, or more uncertain in its success

than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

this is what i meant by getting patronising

Emancipating ettayapuram

One of my friends is coming up with an initiative to give a push to the ailing weaving community in the drought-ridden ettayapuram village. When we had met in college, he explained his plan of action in detail and how everybody seems to be keen in making this work, and how this could become a self-sustaining economic model. Had he talked to me about this a few months back, i would have fallen... but not any longer....

Behind the mask of philanthropy, and behind the "eschewing selfishness and self-interest" crap, i was curious to find out what this serving the society thing was all about... turns out that its pretty simple... people simply want to assure themselves of their importance, and justify their existence to the rest of the world...

It goes like this - "See, I am this nice person and all, and am happy with life, and look at you... poor man... i pity you very much... here, take this and be happy... dont forget to thank me..." attitude outside, and inside, its like "Am i great or what! i could have used this money anywhere.. instead, i chose to give it to these poor people... and boy, i am happy that i am not one of them" - a kind of justifying one's own existence, and a silly happiness on the lines of "See, i made a difference"!

In addition, its only too easy to patronise one's services... and i've seen this happen time and again...

i wouldnt want to fall into one of these categories...

Demographic conspiracy....

Recently saw the tamil movie Aaidha ezhuthu, (Yuva in hindi) as a part of my driving insane drive... A very normal movie, slightly inspired by Memento...

One part of the movie was hilarious though... An election campaign or something to that account, and a politician is making a passionate speech... the audience are captivated by the powerful speech delivery...Paraphrasing the politician,

Why is it that the northern part of india is broad and the southern part narrow?(in tamil, he uses a word that means narrow, as well as malnourished)... Its a huge conspiracy by the northern states to weaken us, and take away our importance...


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Cut the crap

Got this link as a forward....

Point 1: Wrong history fundas
Point 2: You guys dont have the right to bask in the glory of the past...


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Sic ad nauseam

A typical morning - I am waiting restlessly at my bus stop to board the bus, silently cursing the post-cambrian life-forms for not having perished in greater numbers, which would have made petrol cheaper, thereby making biking to office affordable, and bracing myself for the quiz that will be hosted by the inimitable sunaina on radio city....

The moment the bus crosses jakkasandra, the driver religiously turns on the radio, and out comes a voice, with an enthusiasm that is perhaps more artificial than the hubble space telescope and hence more irritating than an itch in the armpit.

"Gooooooooooood morning Bangalore" she says, and i start questioning if life is worth it.. then i think of the weekend beer, and tell myself "Relax buddy... if the bihari sitting next to you can do it, so can you"...

So saying, i look at the guy.. he seems enraptured by her voice, turns towards me and gives me a contended smile that would make you swear that you were in heaven, and says "Kya haal hai yaar...",

Seeing the blank stare that he elicited from me, he then goes on to say "Kamaal karti hai yaar...Roz subah mujhe iski aawaaz sunni chhahiye... varna din bhar kaam hi nahin chalta....Mujhe isliye bangalore pasand hai.. bangalore rocks man", turns towards the window and starts humming an arbit remix... i look at him, look at the voice from the radio, and start contemplating on the seeming shallowness of other people's existence.

My thought process is interrupted as the outline of a hideous building emerges from the broken tree line, with a cut-out of some arbit hindi movie.. the movie hub of bangalore, and its name is "Innovative multiplex"... the person who named it had as much imagination as a bowl of tomato rasam.

And as the bus dips under the Marathahalli bridge, my nightmare comes back with the much awaited quiz - Bisi bele bollywood, the show where the host and the participants try their best to underwit themselves, and becoming famous in the process... and the person on air claims that she has seen Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham 36 times, and i wish i had a debilitating paralysis attack right there... and to save myself from such an attack, i refrain from writing anything more on this....

"Just a few more minutes", i tell myself " and you will be safe". As soon as the bus stops near the side gate, i scramble out, pick up a coffee and run rush to my seat....Acta est fabula

And after all this, people ask me why am i am so morbid.... i dont know what to say....

Monday, September 20, 2004

AYM GRAMD - etymology.

Nilu, as usual, is doing what he does best - overdoing....

that coolers are moving apart is a totally unremarkable fact... what would have been remarkable is if they werent/hadnt already... and i have also come to realise that at some point in life, individuals matter more than a group. behind his veil of denial, i hope he gets this fact.

Anyways, here is my version on the origin of aym-gramd. it all started in the cooling western union summit at chicago. And guru was explaining why he chose what he chose. and i was trying to explain why i've chosen not to choose what he chose, and instead chose to be labelled a misanthropist by others, rather than being called a hypocrat by my own conscience. This is the crux of what i told him...

If guru does what he says he would do, i'd be among the first people to appreciate. What pissed me off then was the condescending attitude with which he acknowledged my point. It was an "Its ok, i understand!" attitude, and not "I respect your point"...

Its ok if people dont give me recogntion for my thoughts...but please dont give me condescension...i dont need it.

And the rest is history....
more about this later...
An unbelievable fraction of my life in the last one year or so has been about one person... so much so that i suppose, subconsiously, i cared a damn about the rest of the world. am not going to weigh the consequences, and am not going to debate the reasons... whatever they are,i enjoyed it to the core and am happy...

realised this as i have to go to the hospital today to dress my stitches, and am stranded with nobody to take me to the hospital as she is busy with one of her spic macay orientations, and i dont feel like asking anybody else...

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A sincere piece of advice - dont let your mind wander when your body cant, particularly when the period of non-wandering is close to two weeks. The mind starts thinking...thoughts ranging from leptons to lesbians, from communism to comic strips, and from renaissance to raapi.

The last time i was in this state, i bought a few danish pastries from a bakery near my hotel, instantly fell in love with them and decided that this must be what the gods eat. And since the only god i believed in happened to me, i proceeded to subsist on danish pastries, gaining 8 kgs in the process. But this time, this wasnt going to be the case. Instead, i decided to spoil myself rotten, and saw the following movies

  • The day after tomorrow

  • Cat Woman

  • Aaidha ezhuthu

  • Azhagiya Theeye

Bliss... sheer bliss...
Movies in line

  • Van Helsing

Somebody save me....

Magnum opus


reminds me so much of the good old days of cooling...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What happens when gods rape a transvestite?

Hindu mythology offers answers even to such profoundly teleological questions.

There was this rishi guy living in the forest with his two wives. this rishi guy took his job seriously... too seriously... and not surprisingly, he didnt have children. so he gave his wives an egg each and told them to incubate them with care. lol.

after a period of incubation, one of the eggs hatched, and out comes garuda. the second wife, getting a little impatient breaks open the other egg, and as a result of this, the child, named arunan, emerges with a malformed leg. garuda goes on to become vishnu's vehicle and arunan becomes surya's charioteer.

arunan longs to go to kailash and pay a visit to shiva. surya warns him that its very difficult for a disabled person to go to kailash. so, arunan disguises himself as a beautiful girl and goes to kailash. on the way, he meets indra, and indra enamoured by his beauty, rapes this guy. and arunan comes back crying, and gives birth to vaali. he then goes on to narrate the story to surya, who becomes curious to see the feminine form that indra had raped. arunan changes into a woman again, and this time surya rapes him, and arunan gives birth to sugreevan.

what happens when gods rape a transvestite? we get two monkeys from madhya pradesh, kicking the shit out of each other...

looking at our mythological stories, there seem to be way too many impotent couples - parents of ram, pandavas, gauravas, jarasandhan, garuda, arunan... the list goes on... how, in the name of god, do we have 1.1 billion people? where have all the impotents gone?

Monday, September 13, 2004

Qualis artifex perio

The main reason why i didnt write a travelogue, rather one of the main reasons, for there are many, was because some ppl asked me to write one. The other inconsequential reasons being nobody is interested in reading them, and to a lesser and slightly more unbelievable degree that i was too busy working to write one.

Besides these incidental reasons, there is an epistemological reason behind this. The intent was to wait for a week and write only about those things that still have an impact. In short, i wanted to be an experience collector(thanks to j for the term), and write

about impacts, not about events;
about impressions, not about people,
about thoughts, not about about travels;
about changes, not about cheese burger.

and now u know why i didnt write one, cos i couldnt. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The personality test says i am like this guy Posted by Hello

Any takers?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

somebody give me a gun and some red wine

the media targeting middle-age tambram community is disgusting beyond belief. television and the print media have joined hands to convert the average(or collective?) IQ of the whole community to somewhere between that of a salt water gargle and clotrimazole powder.

imagine 2 hours of bhajans from 6 to 8, and an hour of puja on weekdays and three on weekends, mega serials and devotional magazines after dinner; and these ppl are 35-45 years old, not retired grannies and granddads. these ppl hardly think of anything else. when they meet other relatives, the talk is invariably on the which temple to visit next, or about the healing powers of some incarnation of lord shiva in some arbit village who specialises in injuries of the middle ear... i mean, come off it...

full credit to the media for enslaving a whole community and making money in the process.


a master-piece from Hitchhikers guide to the very true..

"I always thought that about the Garden of Eden story," said


"Garden of Eden. Tree. Apple. That bit, remember?"

"Yes of course I do."

"Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and
says do what you like guys, oh, but don't eat the apple. Surprise
surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush
shouting `Gotcha'. It wouldn't have made any difference if they
hadn't eaten it."

"Why not?"

"Because if you're dealing with somebody who has the sort of
mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks
under them you know perfectly well they won't give up. They'll
get you in the end."

Friday, September 10, 2004

dammit, there is a whole theory on this - the Anthropic principle, and i thought i had come up with one... sigh.....

things will never be the same again....

i wont say that jonny shdnt have gone for that rafting trip; i wouldnt comment on the ephemeral nature of life... i wouldnt say that ppl shd think five times before taking a shower bath because their parents' hard work might end up wasted... all i say is "we will miss you jonny".

thanks for all the great time we had with you, the "genius" incident with vaidhy in the first year, quiz clubs and dumb-cee clubs, sathaars, PEC tamil dumb-cee, the

hostel fight with muthukameshwaran, municipal colony, the boozing episodes, pult incidents, "space jim", your characteritic "thinking...."s, and just about everything...

never again can we log on to our mail accounts and expect a "send two mails" or "dont wad in your panties" in cooling.. we will miss you da...

thinking he is gone
he will always be remembered, dear john.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Whats so special....?

Why is the speed of light what it is?

The speed of light - 299 792 458 m/s is considered a very special constant in physics. It is so fundamental a constant that people sometime take its special status for granted. For instance, had the speed of light been lower by a fraction of a millimetre per second, the universe would have imploded upon itself, and had it been a fraction higher, the universe would have long since dissipated!. Such, my friends is the special nature of the value of speed of light!

Do you see any logical flaws in the argument? I do. The question should be "How is the speed of light what it is?" and not "Why", cos "Why" is such an ad-hoc question. Had the speed of light been different, we would still be asking the same question. A "how", on the other hand, is a much more scientific question, cos the question is independent of the value. It is an earnest scientific quest to find out and explain how the value couldnt have been anything else.

The "how" takes away the special status, so unjustly associated with the value, and gives it back to the rightful owner - "the concept of speed of light"!

My recent loss of belief in certain ideals like "partiotism", "my religion", "my culture" can all be traced back to this crucial argument. There is nothing special about the country in which i was born, i just happened to be born here. Had i been born in a different country, i would have been loyal to that... this takes away the special nature of the country. same is the case with my religion and culture, and my parents too.

The only truth is me, and only me. Everything and everybody else is incidental.

i am.

Friday, September 03, 2004

For the first time in my life, i practised my beliefs....

When my mom asked me wear my poonal(sacred thread), i refused, and said that i wont wear it henceforth, not as an act of defiance, but as a symbolic act of breaking my passive hypocrisy.

But the hero of the day wasnt me. it was my mom. in an unexpected, and altogether sensational act, she accepted what i said. Am proud of her.