Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Life from a consumer's perspective

I woke up with a very profound thought today...

Take whatever you get from life, if you try to take more than what you want.. more than what you have.. then it will be a waste anyway. Not only will the extra stuff rot, you will have no need for it anyway..

Its like studying consumer behavior.. If you buy more than what you need, and more than what can fit in your shopping basket and shelf at home, the extra products will have no use and will hence rot. Hence it is best to understand your needs and not fake them to reach for more.

I guess this is my tribute to "The greatest Philosopher with Golden words", Ayn Rand and it is my way of asserting that the only religion or philosophy I follow is Objectivism.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

One blogger to another.. a missed chance..

The convocation was today. We (Pri and me) reached around half an hour later but of course, it had still not started. We were handed our gowns and caps. I helloed everyone and Pri air kissed and hugged everyone. While she hobnobbed with her friends, hers not mine, I stood in a distance, looking out at only a few people who I thought were worth calling friends.

After seating my parents in the Audi, I came out to the foyer again to notice a classmate walk in. Now this classmate, lets call her Sm, requires special mention. When I joined BMM, as I have mention before I used to stay as aloof as possible. I had noticed another girl who had the same attitude. She was really pretty, had the perfect figure and this twang to her speech and this o-hell look on her face. I turned up late for a lecture one day, and so did she. We had some 80 minutes to spend outside the class in the corridor. After sitting at a distance for sometime, she noticed the book I was reading, and asked me which one it was. She told me that she too loved Ayn Rand. I said
Who doesn't? Unless brainless...
She smiled and started telling me about herself. She said she wanted to live alone, in the same city but as an independent woman. She had ideas which seemed between radical and western. She spoke as if she was really confident of herself, but there was a slight hitch in her voice, like looking for acceptance. The lecture ended sooner and we went back to class. Both apart in our aloof, indifferent worlds. Both forgot about the other's existence.

We dint ever talk again. She slowly gained a group, four guys, and another girl. She was then steady with one of those guys and they all hardly attended college but were always very very chummy. Like soul friends. Another guy in that group, hated me for some reason and we had a showdown in the last semester. So all interaction after that first semester's missed lecture was either extinct or indirect.

Around the fifth semester, the class realized that I wrote a blog on msn spaces. Lots of them read it, it was the class grouch writing about her personal life which they were interested in. The blog was spotted by an interfering aunty from our class and she spread the word. I blocked the blog to the public and gave access to a very few people. Now that blog has become like my personal online diary, but anyway. By the beginning of this year, 2006, I was into blogging, totally into it. I used to read a lot of blogs and like a very few. I dint leave comments coz I dint think my comments mattered. (I know it is blasphemous to even think of that now. Comments are sacred to all bloggers)

One day I came upon a blog which was written by someone called "Color-changing Chameleon". The writer was writing for her friends to read. Her style of writing was very personal and her posts were about her life more and the rest was about her immediate life. It didn't take me long to figure out that the blog was Sm's. I read through the blog. It was a refreshingly well written blog. Without any self consciousness. I visited the blog often. After a lot of visits, I saved the address in my favorites.

I still haven't added her blog on my blog list.

When Sm walken in today and smiled a hi at me, it was with a thoroughly disinterested look. The way I was looking at everyone else too. The convocation started. At the end of the function, there was a movie made by our batch which had everyones pictures and some video clippings. Sm and me both were not present through out the film. Not a single picture, mention or video clipping in a 30 minute long film. My mom dad were flabbergasted. They never really thought I meant it when I said that I have nothing to do with college. Sm dint look like she minded terribly too.

After the ceremony got over, I kept wondering if I should go up to her and tell her I read her blog. I thought that she had a right to know it. I would have wanted to know if she or anyone else read my blog. I explained my situation to mom and she said I dint need to go, but I could if I wanted to. Pri thought that I should not be seen 10 inches near "That kind of a girl", and the battle raged within me.

I headed towards her twice and turned away. I noticed the new Thai haircut she had blogged about. I wanted to congratulate her on not granting favours for the dream job that she wanted. I wanted to congratulate her on the new job that she got and sounded so excited about in her blog. I wanted to tell her that well, guys do forget important things sometimes but hers was truly intelligent. I wanted to tell her that I too had a crushingly huge attachment to my school, but somehow felt nothing for my junior college as well BMM. I wanted to blurt out all my suppressed comments. I wanted to tell her that I know I'm not a friend. I never even wanted to be one. But her Blog makes me feel like I know some bits about her. Some bits which were important enough to write about.

I wanted to talk to her, one blogger to another. Surprisingly, I know no one in the real life who has a virtual life of a blogger. Everyday in the train, I look at a stylishly dressed woman, and try to look for signs which would point to the fact that she blogs. I would try to observe if she observes people a lot, if she thinks a lot, if she smiles those small half smiles to herself. And here I had another blogger in front of me, and I had no idea if I should approach her or not.

I left my college without talking to her. I went to her blog after I came home, and I dint leave a comment. Someday I will tell her, Sm, I read your blog, and I read it coz I think you write real well. Not the novel kind of writings, but the natural, inherent kinds, where it feels like the author is actually just talking to you, not writing something down.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Down an embittered memory lane

Times change things so fast..

I started my application process today. My first Reco is packed and done. Sealed, signed and just waiting to be delivered now. Hopefully next reco will be done by thursday and another tomorrow. Transcripts application will be done on thursday too. They will be completed next thursday.

My first finished Reco is the most unexpected one. It was written by the HOD of BMM. I remember her as a dragon lady. She was this new inductee in our department in our second year, and she hardly knew us. Being the recluse that I was in college, she just knew me by name and face because BMM has only 55 students in each year. No one knew me and I dint let anyone know me. I dint participate in any college activites (yea, it IS true) and I genuinely dint care so I was pretty happy with the status quo. I was known to a few select professors who I thought had enough sense, rest I kept away from. To sum the story up, my legacy was obviously not passed on. Hence when I seeked leave to go US, she put as many impedements as she could.
After that, when I was caught in an imbroglio, she tried her best to not rescue me out but to implicate me further to make an example out of me. Although my profs stood up for me and got me the off with the least they could manage, she saw to it that even that least was heavy enought for me.

Well, she made a few noises but after running around for more than two hours, I got the work done. To my satisfaction. After the work was done, I looked around. I was back in the place I had spent three years in. Three years wanting out. I looked aorund and felt no nostalgia. No emotions choking me. I was glad. I had never been attached to my college, and it had remained that way even after I left the college. I noticed the smallest of changes dispassionately.

There was a cooler instead of the tap we filled water from coz we were too lazy to go to the main cooler on the other side of the corridor. The first year, Second Year and Third Year rooms had new curtains. There was a colorful mike box in the Third Year room. The window of the office cabin had been done up in some intricate hand painted design. The co-ordinator had changed. The LCR had a speaker with "Jalwa" playing through.

But somethings were still the same.

The students were all dolled up. I still looked down on the BA/BCOM/BSC students. They still leered at every BMM girl. And they still ooohed over most BMM guys. Cellphones were still used stealthily. Frankie was still popular in the college canteen. Most Basketball players were still BMM guys and girls. Pramod still flashed his hundred watt smile and helped me with everything. Some Junior still found respite from her situation by bitching about another student to Pramod and calling the other student all kinds of names. Pramod stilled rightfully examined my phone and asked me, "Naya model hai kya market mein??"

I left college knowing that I would be back this thursday and Saturday. But I think this was the only time I left College with a truly happy heart.

I got a lot of pics too.. in sepia tones.. of empy class rooms.. I was absolutely delighted with them.. will post them soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Deepening the blue..

Since my GRE scores have come, my once firm mind has turned soft, un-firm, whatever. My plans were concrete earlier, study copy-writing and creative writing abroad. Now all of a sudden they have turned to mush, as mushy and un-concrete as a rainwater puddle.

This metamorphosis happened because, by the time my GRE drew close I was sure I would score a not-very-good score, since my best friend, who is super intelligent scored a 1320 that too on his second attempt. I was prepared to pack up my dreams and not go to USA. I had decided MICA's creative arts course was perfect for me, so what if it was a little too expensive. And so what if it was in that god forsaken place it was in.

Whenever anyone asked me why I seemed not so hunky-dory about the idea of studying abroad now I just shrugged it off. Somehow when someone I consider a very good friend asked me with utter and due shock about why I don't wanna go to USA, I just broke the barrier and listed my reasons..

1. I wanna study in MICA coz that seems like an easy entry.

2. I don't think I can make it into a good US university

3. I am unhappy here... how will I be happy there

4. I like routine.. I don't want to be uprooted from here and smashed in between nowhere

5. Even if I do make it into a University what if I am not competent enough for copy-writing

6. I am too scared to face the fact that the career I wanna go on, might not be the one I am go

To which he replied:

is tag heur rightly spelled?

I mean.... what is the world coming too??

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Flailing to grasp a slippery bond

You've gone and left an empty space,
a void, a scoop right in the center of my being.
Life doesn't halt
Why, its going great actually
'cept there's nothing, no one at all now anywhere
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
I dunno if you've gone or have I pushed away.

After you've given up on me as your right,
I'm more yours than I ever was then.
My last chance at joy, my last real smile,
you are the silliness and you are the beauty.
It was your presence that brought it all out
the incoherent ramblings and unspoken mumblings
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its not like it matters anymore anyway.

My eyes open to those tunes you named after me,
I heard them then, and I see them now
They play in my dreams, faraway from the grasp of wakefulness
When dreams and realities crash, its often reality that emerges victorious
But, the fallacy is of the mind,
it can't even live without the very same dreams.
Have you ever noticed that fears grow stronger when spoken or written about
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its not like you are going to notice the change.

I thought pain came only once in a lifetime
you kept saying that I was being immature.
You said you want things, its either all or nothing
I said you were not being pragmatic.
You said life always gives a second chance,
I said once, is all you get
You hoped for all
I accepted nothing.
We never realized when we both fell apart
And when we finally did, it hurt you too much.
Once you've been with the wrong person in life,
I'm sorry, but everything seems wrong after that.
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its like purgatory, only if you accept it that way.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Demeaning the Value of Education

I have a friend who is doing her Ph D. From US, University of Illinois in Bio Chemistry. She came to India this June, after finishing a year and was nearly in tears. Her roomie was harassing her, her guide was exploiting her, her work schedule was too much and she had lost more than 10 kgs in less than one year ( She had been under-weight when she had gone anyway). Valiantly for the first few weeks here, she said she was happy there, and had a lot of fun, but her body disclosed it all. When everyone came to know of her hardships, concerned, they asked her to not return. Everyone consoled her saying that no one would think less of her, and she could just get on with a plum job that she had. She did not answer. When the time to leave came, she was happily waving goodbye from the airport and was going back to her life there. My dear friend is still there, getting her Ph D. and again is not complaining at all.

Another friend, is pursuing his PhD. from Mumbai University. He says, he has to break heads with his guide day in and day out, has to put in enormous amounts of effort and time into research and basic gadha-majuri but is still raring for it.

My Head Of Department, is 40 years old, and is in the process of obtaining a PhD. from Monash University, Australia, through correspondence. He is doing so because handling the department of Communication and Journalism of Mumbai University is no small feat. But he wants a PhD., even at this later phase in life (not very late if you ask me) because there are chances that Mumbai University will plant a OBC Category PhD. in his place who is a bloody dimwit and thinks that "Philadelphia is a big country outside of USA".

All these people I know are slogging for their doctorates. Not just coz they want the decorative type in front of their name claiming them Doctors, but because they have the knowledge, passion and zest to get the degree. I want a Doctorate degree sometime in my future. And I want the toil and effort that goes with it. And the goddamn respect. Because it is no child's play to get one.

How then, can a supposedly prestigious university of India easily applaud a few people honorary PhD.'s and get away with it?? Oh to add to that, University of Jhansi had done the same deed some months ago too.

Amitabh Bachchan asked, "Do I deserve this Honour?" and the media clicked on. I will answer you Mr. Bachchan, NO, you don't deserve this honour. Give him Padam Shrees and Padam Bhushans but don't give him Doctorates for heavens sake.

I admire Amitabh Bachchan. I still do. I have always judged actors on their acting and nothing else, not even their looks, coz according to me, an actors skill lies in acting. And Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is a very dexterous actor to say the least. But he is not, definately not, an academician. And he has done nothing to warrant the honorary doctorate lauded on him.

I had always respected Delhi University. It is one of the oldest Universities of India and one of the most respected one world-wide. Not anymore. DU wanted to imitate a certain foreign University since it awarded honorary doctorates to Indian luminaries and hence it followed suit. Not done. The rest of the bandwagon who have been awarded these degrees has politicians too.

These luminaries have been given these doctorates for the outstanding performance in their respective fields. Please tell me, are these fields not their career paths?? Don't they get money out of whatever work they do?? Then what purpose does this doctorate serve to them??

If this is all that is the value of a PhD. how many people will still want to get it?? If you demean the value of education what is left of your economy?? Education is the highest judging level which is tangible, if you muddy that yardstick too, what more is left??

One more question, how come no one, absolutely no one thinks this is the stupidest thing to do?? I mean, media has come out with shining articles about how good a move this is, people are smiling and happy, and someone even wrote a letter to the editor of times and Mumbai Mirror saying that such a step is truly great and praise-worthy. Am I mad or is the world mad??

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The current love of my life..

Introducing ladies and gentlemen... the new and true love of my life.. (*wild applause follows*).

Yes yes yes yes yes.... this is my new phone. Its ultra chic, ultra sexy and again very unlike a phone. Its not as weird, well yes unique too, as my old phone but I m sure even this one will not have a wild fan following and lots of people madly clamoring to buy it.

Anyhow, this phone does not have a dial pad, does not have a alphabet pad but instead it has a stylus!! It is extremelyyyy complicated, has 2 megapixel camera, business card reader, and touchscreen with handwriting recognition.

Thankfully, as usual people are surprised when they see it, and as usual everyone doesn't like it, precisely the reason why I like it. I do miss my old love my 7600, but well I keep it in my bag all the time so its not too far from me!!

To end it all, I love it. I dont want to part with it if I have to go...