Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Home Alone

All settled at home now. After the fast net connection at Kolkata, dial-up at home is a bit painful to surf the net with. The LAN connection in Delhi used to be slow enough for me to not feel much of a difference when visiting home.

During the drive home with my parents I had thought of several topics to write about, including one about how vastly different middle-class India's living standards seem to be now from when I was a kid in the 80s. Then there was one about, of all things, cricket. Probably my first ever post on sports. But, that'll come later. Am just trying this out to see if blogger can be accessed without too many hassles with this net speed.

Actually, slow net speed might be the right net speed for a place like this. If I was able to finish off all my work on the net in a few minutes, I won't be left with anything to do at all. It's difficult to imagine how my parents while away time here. 'Here' is a place in Jharkhand, where the colony is even smaller than most colonies my parents have been posted at earlier. And I have got used to being short of time perpetually, which makes all this free time slightly difficult to adjust to. I am going to get bored very soon of movies, books, and TV. Delhi visit would be much needed by the time it materialises.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Prepare for Glory!

Just returned from a late night show of 300. Had been waiting for it really eagerly, and was not disappointed at all.

Almost everyone else around me was making fun of it, and the negative publicity might cost it a few million dollars. But none of the people who were ridiculing the 'story' (or the lack of it) or the multitude of absurd creatures or the absence of logic at many situations or the lack of authenticity in terms of language and looks had probably read Frank Miller's graphic novel.

This is by no means a great movie. It can be butchered, much like those Spartans handled their enemies, on several counts. But the point is that this is supposed to be one long visual candy. Good looking people, great SFX, well-choreographed scenes, blood, blood and blood. Unlike Sin City, which could be considered a good movie on its own merit, 300 is a waste for anyone who is going into the theatre expecting anything more than thrills.

There might be flaws in it even if we look at it as a live-action version of the graphic novel only, a prime one being some really ordinary acting on occasions, but everything is overshadowed by the fact that one feels like making love to the screen while watching the movie.

That is what, I believe, Mr Snyder wanted to achieve. And he does it in great style in my book.

Friday, March 16, 2007


How do you come to love a place so badly when you started off hating it?

I don't know if any of you will ever see this, but I'll miss you guys.

As I was telling one of my seniors today, I thought of this place as a come-down from IIT Delhi. I hated almost everything - the climate, the lingo, the rituals, the people. I cribbed, and cribbed and cribbed some more. And tonight, when I bid farewell to my seniors, I feel that a part of my life is being taken away very rudely.

Thanks for everything you have done for us. I rarely write anything with as genuine a feeling as this. You are one amazing bunch of people, and I'll miss the ones I knew, and miss knowing the ones I didn't.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

TOW I detoxify myself

Placements got over today. And so did the last reason for me to stick around. A submission's left and will be home by this weekend for a two-week break.

The last three days have sort of given me a trailer of what work would be like. I hate wearing formals, and get tired and passive wearing a tie or, even worse, a coat. The good thing is that I get SO tired in a few hours' work that I fall deep asleep the moment I hit the bed. And enjoy going out with friends in the evenings a lot more. I make fun of my friends who are working, which includes almost everyone I know, for living really boring lives - getting up, leaving for work, working their ass off, returning home, sleeping. I'll probably be doing the same thing myself this summer, and then for the rest of my life starting about a year from now. And I strangely look forward to a life of pointless work.

Like the end of every academic session during my stay in Delhi, even here I am getting this feeling that there are so many people that I should have interacted with more. So many interesting people that I would never get to know at all. It's just that I prefer sitting in my room watching a movie when I have the chance to do that.

The feeling, in fact, is even stronger here because I have begun to like this place, and many people here, more than IIT Delhi. Main reason for this is the fact that I used to hate every single person who would take any remote interest in his stream of engineering there, and that left me with very few people I was interested in knowing about. I hated engineering, or at least chemical engineering, and I am sure I am going to have a life-long bias against chemical engineers. I still find it a completely pointless field, though I realize that there might be no logic to this strong opinion. And I lost the little interest I had in machines, or many aspects of science, because of it.

My father is crazy about machines, and the little conversation we have apart from general stuff very often revolves around engineering and related stuff. And I indulge him because there is absolutely no other interest that we share. Our tastes in movies, books, food, TV programs, sports, cars, electronics goods, people, everything are poles apart. We do share a love for dogs, but that's that. I still remember how painful it used to be to feign interest in cement manufacture during the several tours either he or some subordinate of his gave me of his plants while I was studying engineering.

The point of this detour was to say that I am actually enjoying almost everything I am studying after a long time. And that makes me respect the professors and the students here a lot more. I can understand when someone gets orgasmic while talking about some new derivative structure or some interesting marketing strategy. I used to be shocked when some bespectacled ugly girl at my department would go orgasmic discussing some damned process for extracting some damned hydrocarbon from some damned mixture. I still think of every single person who went on for an MS or a PhD in Chemical Engineering as an idiot with absolutely no life.

Aah, that rant felt good. Need to hit the bed now. Sweet Dreams.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Looking Ahead

Watching Tarantino's latest offering, which the director had said was going to be his last venture, he lapped up more cans of beer than he had ever thought he could in one go. Looking down from the window of his top-floor flat, the tiny people below, and their mundane lives, seemed like one endless game of chess, something that he had risen above long time back. Life had been good, despite what his friends had predicted. In fact, none of his friends could have been happier than him at that moment. He switched off the screen of his wall-height TV and changed the audio to the one song he hadn't got tired listening to since it was recommended to him by a friend 12 years back. The British band-members had parted ways by now and the lead singer had become a faded copy of his earlier self once his actress wife had died after winning a couple of more Oscars. He picked up another beer. Slid off the pane. This was perfect. Exactly what he had foreseen, and written on his now-widely-read blog, almost a decade back. By the time he hit the ground he had been already dead, for several seconds, of ruptured organs. The blunt force on hitting the ground would have ensured a faster death. Either of the options, though, would have been excruciatingly painful, if he had not been numbed to painlessness by the alcohol.

Monday, March 12, 2007

One Down. One To Go.


Was away at NIT-Durgapur for their quiz-fest. Did pretty well considering we were short of one important team member. Durgapur, the town, and the cab-trip back to Kolkata, have made my respect for the communist government go up several notches. Never again am I going to make irresponsible statements about lack of development outside Kolkata in the state. And the college is fairly nice too.

Placements have begun. Reached the campus earlier tonight just before all final offers for the first two days were released. I am not sure if too many people here, or outside, including most of my friends, agree with my views on placements, but it's still fun joining everyone in the hoopla and congratulating seniors who are getting what they want. Or at least believe that they do.

The media coverage of the whole thing has reached crazy proportions. Just take a look at Economic Times editions of 10th and 11th. Good for the campus. Great job by the people responsible for these coverages (and I have played a SMALL role too). But it's still funny.

For the next few days I'll do my part for the system, smiling and working my ass off for uptight recruiters. Hoping that the momentum continues and I am at a great party a few nights hence.

Friday, March 9, 2007

While I study for the last exam of my last 1st year...

...the thought crossed my mind that all bloggers are so bloody conceited!

Of course, you already knew that, dinchya?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

In which we try to maaro some fundas

Now that I am posting on this blog a lot more frequently, my interest in what others are up to in blogdom has also upped a bit. Have come across some very nice blogs - personal ones, as I am not a big fan of most general blogs - that talk about things that I think a lot about but never get down to writing about. And these blogs do a better job of it than I probably will anyway.

In a galaxy far far away, when I was still on my first blog, I used to write of these things. There were things that I used to feel stongly about. I used to talk to myself a lot and then put them down to typed words in a post. Then, shit happened. I started writing about movies and books as an escape from all of it. But that was still fine. There's a lot of other crazy stuff that I wrote that I feel weird reading now whenever I go back to my second blog.

My first blog is still there. The original url of my second blog, on the other hand, has been taken over by someone who seems even crazier than its previous owner.

So, today I read this entry on a blog that delineates the criteria for the author to respect people. The usual stuff like will-power and other very virtuous qualities. That got me thinking. I have this theory that you can't like/love/care about a person unless you respect him/her. And if that respect is contingent on certain qualities that you would want to possess yourself, then it's unfair to both you and that person. We, very often, don't realize that a person might not have certain qualities out of choice, and not mere chance.

I am sure I had a proper analysis of this in my mind, but it's got lost somewhere now amidst theories of India's position in the RTA regime and the effect of WTO policies on LDCs.

If you are going to be cheeky and comment that I am better off writing about movies, you don't need to. I already know that.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Dragostea Din Tei

I read somewhere recently that you are what you do in your free time. When I was in Delhi, I had loads of free time on my hands, and when I wasn't watching a movie or reading a book, I would be wading the hyperlinks of Wikipedia and IMDb.

Here, when on most days I am balking under the pressure of information overload, when I am not watching a movie or out partying, I spend time on YouTube. Post the (very boring) Oscars this year, I have been trying to look for past Oscar speeches on YouTube and elsewhere. The ones by Adrien Brody and Roberto Benigni are my favorites.

All that prologue is of course meant to introduce the link that I am going to give here. It was posted as a quiz on quiznet. Most quizzes there are really really bad these days, and the absence of some of the better quiz-makers of yore might be a case of idiots crowding out the intelligent ones. I ignore most quizzes posted on it these days, but thankfully didn't give this one a pass. It could have been a terrible quiz, but it's been redeemed thousand times over by giving all the videos mentioned in the questions on the original site of the author. I haven't seen most of these, but have heard people talk about them in the past. Hope you have a net connection fast enough for all these to load in a short enough time. And enjoy and thank me for bringing some much needed humor into your mundane lives.

Here's the link.


The true meaning of all those sayings and adages about feeling bad on not getting what you want or failing, when you really want it and work hard for it, hits you smack in the middle of your face right after an exam. I haven't failed (not yet, at least) but the 1st paper wasn't a brilliant start to the last exams of the session. And to think it is the most important course in the area I am going to specialise in (though that decision could still change given my exemplary performance)! The only grace is that it's relative marking and, barring a few outliers, every other batchmate of mine has done as nicely as I have.

That was a rare crib about marks from me. Bookmark it.

Holi went by in a daze. Woke up too late after the late-night party to play. When I was living with my parents, I used to be one of those kids, and quite uncharacteristically for my general temperament, who would lead the gang of over-enthusiastic, drenched in color, well-stocked with the strongest colors possible, 'Holi-players' and raid every single house in the colony. We would climb over walls, jump in through windows (and even a ventilator once), to drag out people who weren't as excited with the prospect of getting all wet and dirty as we were. Then by noon, after a complete round of the colony and sampling mithaais at every stop on the way, all of us would assemble at the bungalow of the plant-head for hours of more fun in the swimming pool. It used to be crazy. And an eagerly-awaited annual event.

I lost interest after I left home. Holi in college was way too violent and my involvement, on the few occasions I did spend Holi at my hostel (I would normally go back home), was limited to the confines of the hostel (unlike most other people who preferred to visit the girls' hostel), where I would play for a short while with some of my friends, get my shirt torn and then have my bath before the water ran out. The ones I spent at home were even worse because of the awkward age-group that I was in. Too old to play with the kids, too young to go out with the elders. My role would be retricted in general to serving sweets (and dahi-vadas, which no one makes better than my mom) to the guests coming to our home and preventing my dogs from attacking all the scarily colored specimens walking in through the gate.

I am not sure if I'll ever get to relive the Holis of my childhood. There's something about the way a festival is spent in a small town or in a large-ish colony that cannot be matched in the impersonal environs of a city. All my friends from school working in cities fondly remember those occasions. Most of my friends who grew up in cities can not even understand why I miss those days the way I do.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Na Koi Mangda Merian Bala

Not unlike most people I know, I find more time on my hands to admire nature, have nice chats and watch movies (and my campus gives ample opportunities for all three) at the time of an exam. I decided to make a post on two consecutive days, for a change.

I am not sure though if I really have anything to write. Have seen a few brilliant movies lately, but not in the mood for reviews. Do watch, if you have the stomach for movies with gore and twisted narratives, this Japanese flick called Tetsuo if you are able to get your hands on it. It's a scarier version of Lynch's Eraserhead, and I hadn't even heard of it till a friend recommended it to me a few days back. Absolutely mind-boggling stuff. Of course, people in Delhi, and almost everyone who occasionally turns up here happens to be from Delhi, can copy it from me during my impending visit.

Heard the soundtrack of an upcoming movie called Delhi Heights. Music and lyrics by Rabbi Shergill. I never got around to listening any other songs from his first album apart from Bulla Ki Jana. Should have listened to Tere Bin earlier. This song, which is also a part of the soundtrack, is divine. Have been playing it over and over again.

I have also discovered something on the net that I am dying to tell someone about, but can't. Because I am afraid it might die out the moment it gets known that I know about it. It's just something that I had expected for long and, in one of those crazy coincidences that define our lives, came across it today. I love the internet. I love Blogger.

Have been feeling really nostalgic about Delhi these days. My last visit was spoiled because of something dumb that I did. My next visit in transit is going to be too short for me to really surpass that, but one never knows with me. Because of that I am already having second thoughts about cutting down my planned stay and not being any longer there than I am absolutely needed to. Some things are better the way you imagine them to be than they are in reality. Anyway, Dilli door ast, as of now.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Time flies.

You've heard that one before.

But I bet you haven't heard of this before. I want to make porn movies. Well, there, I have said it.

I had once mentioned, in passing, on my previous blog that I have slightly unconventional views on pornography. I never came around to elaborate on that point.

But right now, when there's a party going on right outside my room, and I am being bombarded with 'Kudiyan te gal ban gayi', 'Gabroo' and other gems composed by our brethren from the northern parts of our country, I can't really study for my exams starting from Monday. Can't watch movies either. So, I'll make a post. A post on porn.

I've been getting several ideas, fuelled by finance and eco courses probably, of entrepreneurship these days, partly because I think I'll hate working in a formal environment with all sorts of nincompoops above me. I hope people from my internship firm don't read this, or there goes my PPO even before I start working there. Going to the office daily dressed in formals is too tiring a thought.

So, talking about entrepreneurship, one idea that I have discussed, and very seriously, with some of my friends is the immense potential in India for someone who produces quality porn. An Indian Hefner, if you please. I have been reading up on Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt, and both seem to be really intelligent men, with great business sense. I also just finished watching a short documentary on some of the stars of the porn industry and it feels like just another business that caters to the needs of its consumers.

The only constraint, and it's big enough for me to not try it out, is the social opinion against it. If I get into it, it'll end up embarrassing my family too, and that's a big price to pay for a few extra bucks.


They are playing November Rain now, which is infinitely better. And I hear sounds of dunking from outside.

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