Monday, 29 June 2009

When your Friend gets a Girlfriend

Contrary to popular belief that marriage changes a man , these days , they are molded much earlier. I had never imagined during my growing up years that, it would be an issue worth writing , however, as it appears, it very much is.

Love , partly a euphemism for attraction and partly unexplained phenomenon stalks youth very indiscriminately these days. It changes the entire dimension of life for individuals and they begin to see and experience much than what they could or would have had with the bare eyes. Biologically , love is just a set of chemical reaction of hormones that makes one irrational for time being and changes the dimensions completely. I don't intend to get into debating this objective view of love , however, its the ramifications of this love that I am concerned about.

Very certainly it changes the perspective and life of individuals in love tremendously , but how much change does it bring to the friends of couples. Friends of couples have been given unfair treatment in this whole episode of love, although their role is no less important . This injustice can be observed both in day to day life and reel life. They are the catalysts of the relationship yet the are sidelined by the focus on couples.

I shall try to square this iniquity in literature at least. To whatsoever extent ,it does change the life of friends . The change however isn't overnight.It progresses in stages, starting with the guy being busy SMSing or blubbering on phone in aloof, portending an imminent expansion of group and alienation of the guy. Well , these poor souls bear this change with equanimity , but it doesn't stop there. One day it gets official and you have a new member in the group and whether you liked it or not, it has to expand. At this stage guy has to welcome the the inclusion of the new member in the group whole heartedly, and even make amends to his ways to make it comfortable for the new entrant. As days progress he gets used to the friend's ringtones and constant litany of "aur batao". It doesn't stop here,however, he is to be, from now, an advocate of his friend's girlfriend, to sort things out whenever there are signs of strains. This is an uphill task when none of them is ready to oblige and you don't know what is the fight actually for. However, even at the cost of looking foolish he tries sort it out.

And yeah, it doesn't end there as well; now things don't happen as they used to be, it changes diametrically. Plans have to accommodate the whims and fancies of new member. The plight of guy is pitiable when he has to act as the adjutant to his friend's girlfriend and her fantastic plans , for his friend's birthday celebrations and other such events . Poor soul, bears it all for the sake of his friend. And then, as the time progresses, things change irreparably, the connection between you and your friend takes a different dimension. Perhaps that's the course nature has attributed to it.

Amazingly, each of the guys in the group feels this twinge when one of the member gets a girlfriend, but all behave similarly in their own case. Its not that I wish to portray it as a nasty encumbrance, its that there are unsung heroes behind all these affairs and who have been completely neglected . Change is the only constant thing in the universe and hence people keep changing with time. So next time your affair crystallizes , don't forget to thank your friend, his sacrifices aren't less worthy than yours.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Amitabh Bacchan - A Liar?

Did Amitabh Lie? Seems to be an interesting question. Amitabh Bacchan, soul of Indian cinema in 70s and biggest Indian superstar of all time lied. He did. When and how ? Answer to former lies not on a date , but in a span of years and the very same years explain how .

Monday, 22 June 2009


Reality , an elusive yet pertinent question for any individual. What could we consider as real? The conception of world, that we have , is brought by our thoughts, which is the domain of our mind and thus points that reality lies in our head. Reality is what we think , and nothing else. Let's pause here for a moment and reconsider this suggestion.
If reality is what is in our head, then , whatever isn't in our thoughts shouldn't exist. It implies, if I don't consider an item , it doesn't exist.
Doesn't sound very true , for there are things beyond our thoughts that exist. Nevertheless, it doesn't play down the suggestion made above completely. That which exists outside of our thought's domain , is known to us as existing outside of our mind, this knowledge of existence beyond thought might as well corroborate its existence. Its very similar so as to say , "I know what I know , but I don't know what I don't know". And this gives the possibility of existence of that which is unknown to our thoughts.

From one of the books that I am reading currently, I found that there are two aspects of thought towards an object, Classical and Romantic. Under Classical thought , lies the answer to why and how. Alluding to maintaining a bike, author says, classical thought is like, being aware of the how and why of the bike, so that at any time bike is under your control. You can repair it for you know about it. Romantic thought, lies with the idea of just seeing things as it is. No questions , no altercations, no research. Just as it is. Like seeing your bike as just a mode of transport and not bothering to know whether it has a chain that needs to be greased regularly. Both variety are nonetheless thoughts and this shapes our vision.

However , the author goes on to describe that there is another important aspect that has been overlooked above. That domain which lies beyond thought. He names it as quality.
Quality is an undefined objective truth. Quality branches to classical and romantic version. Whereas classic version is concerned with reasoning, logic and definitions, romantic is concerned with uninterpreted. He says, romantic quality can be understood as that time lag which, although minute, comes up between sight and understanding. When an object is sighted, it is transmitted to mind and interpreted. There is a time lag. This implies that what we see was in the past and present is never seen. This is the romantic ideal.Thus we dont or cant define things as the romantic ideal suggests.
The classical ideal of quality branches into mind and matter. Mind , through its objective reasoning and logic identifies quality in the matter. Quality is that which exists, irrespective of the viewer's understanding, only that it is understood differently by different person.

However, a pertinent question that keeps nagging me is, whatever thought process we may apply in understanding the reality has to come form the mind itself and thus cannot visualize itself. It requires a vantage point which is beyond our minds. A lunatic isn't lunatic to himself, his world is defined in his thoughts and despite of what a "sane" person may think of him, he is still rational in his own world. If thought is that which defines our world , then one's world has to be exist in his thoughts only. There doesn't have to be an objective reality. However , mind rebels against that and points out belligerently towards the objective realities if the world. Its difficult to rise above one's own thoughts and have an opinion on this issue , however, certainly mind is not the absolute , and that which exists beyond it , which is thus not understood by the same definition, can't be detected by it. Thus, for objective reality there is always mind and matter, but for the subjective reality , I can't say. May be "quality", may be not.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Cricket - No Longer a Passionate Game.

We all foresighted this inevitable decay of the so called gentleman's game. However, in our necessity to have a venue which could act as a scapegoat for our daily mundane life, we ignored the onslaught on the cricket culture. Where did this decay begin after all? No such fine line is clearly evident , yet for Indian cricket this largely began during the late nineties when match fixing and other such crime came into limelight. That was perhaps one of the biggest blow to the passion that India had for cricket matches.

However, for a debacle its always a multitude of factors that contribute. Another such debilitating factor was increasing commercialization of the cricket, through endorsements and brand ambassadors from cricket world. When the players started earning unconscionable amount of money , it did affect the game and in particular, the passion of its supporters as well. On the same lines, number of matches played during an year too was increased substantially, which beyond a point, did affect the quality of game and dedication of players.

However, in spite of all these ,marketing prospects for cricket never dwindled in India and thus instead of reinventing its original passion, its underlying structure continually decayed. Now cricket transformed itself from a passionate game to just a game wherein huge amounts of money and advertisement flowed. With the growing pace of the world, Twenty -Twenty cricket, which was just biding its time in the background, arrived with full force. With such a high marketing prospect in India for this version of the game , Lalit Modi bragged the chance with both hands and started the Lucrative IPL. Players started to earn in billions, however, nature and quality of game decayed. Cricket matches, from being an important event into one's personal calendar earlier, became just an another reality show, with added drama and suspense.

Early exit of Indian team from ICC T20 world cup marks a seminal event in the history of Indian cricket. Too much of cricket and money had overwrought and and overwhelmed Indian players. Indian team appeared lackluster from the very beginning and their indifferent attitude worsened the matter. When India was losing against England, I saw Suresh Raina laughing at it. I don't blame him for his attitude , but his laughter appeared to me as a mockery of my passion and of all other cricket fans.

I know I am exaggerating the debacle of Indian team in world cup, and would certainly watch the game in near future. However, one thing has certainly changed for me. Cricket matches are just a thriller tele-serial , no longer a passionate game.

Saturday, 13 June 2009


As the sun fades, and darkness looms,
my cell stays the same, although pain blooms.

since how long has that calender not changed
though sun fades and moon wanes.

Time needs no clock here, time needs no time ,
time in this cell is all but time.

Why be an Atheist?

Why be an atheist? How could one be so sure of something, when everyone around us is not sure about anything, yet searching tirelessly. Why not be an agnostic and play safe? Why go to extremes? Be a jack of both the trades, just as they say,"believe in god , but tie your camel first". Following this line of thought ensures that we are no longer dependent upon that enigmatic concept of "god", yet we protect ourselves against what we don't know. Am I right?

Certainly not, I define my agnosticism as one which doesn't believe in any god and is unsure about the the truths of this world. I cont know , what I don't know, but I know what I see as the God around me is a falsity contrived by the society which has never been sure of anything but has always managed to create venues to base their "principles" on. Being an agnostic to such falsehood, is equivalent to believing in it. Biggest casualty is approach to life, you start to think of life as a planned event organized by some unknown, or believing life to be made of serendipity . Needless to say that all of us experience this contradiction , yet most of us never try to understand the nature of it , rather describe it as an aberration in planner's plan. Come to think of it and you will know that you think so because of your perspective created by people around you , who , most of them, themselves never questioned the way things were around them, and remaining few who got confused in the process opted for the conventional wisdom.

I would not like to be an atheist, I would not like to restrict myself to any fundamental creed. Nevertheless, If being an atheist means shunning the concept of God , as perpetrated by people around me, I would like to call myself an atheist to that extent, but no further.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Selling The Wheel - Review

" Selling the Wheel", is a management book cum novel , written by Jeff Cox. The central idea behind the book is the different variety of sales techniques needed at the different stages of technology evolution. He has demonstrated the different facts through a historic plot. A guy ,Max, chances to invent wheel, which was unknown during old Egyptian days. The way this technology then grows, matures and extracts different requirements is the central idea behind the book.

During the Initial stage when the technology has just born or just evolved, people are skeptic towards adopting it. This stage requires a CLOSER salesman. He is the kind of sales person who is very enthusiastic about new technologies. They are not team players and are after percentage in profits. They do not form closer ties with the customers and are not very concerned about them once the deal is done. The primary characteristic of these people is that they have the knack of closing the deal by resolving all the doubts and issues or by threatening to break the deal or so. During the crucial stage of closing the deal they pose the question to the customer and then stay silent, whosoever then speaks first loses. Generally customers brings out his nagging fears and ends up closing the deal.

However, as the technology grows, the demands of the customers change. After the technology has become somewhat popular , customers demand support for the way they could use the technology. At this stage a WIZARD salesman becomes indispensable. The qualities of s Wizard are that he is a technical person as well as a team player. He values rewards in the form of promotions , achieved through his performance. He is a team player and values his customers. He may or may not deal with the same customer twice, but he does seek to solve customers issues. He takes presentations for the large group of the customer organization and could convince all. He would write into journals and thus advertise about the technology by raising the talk about it in the technical circle. However, they tend to overlook some customer requirements and have strong inclination to technology than to exact customer needs.

As the technology matures further, customer starts demanding full support and product develops incrementally. The organizations have to be concerned that the incremental changes do not drive up the prices considerably. Also, the customer prefer to deal with the person whom they could trust and would act as their advocate. At this stage a BUILDER is required. Primary characteristic if the builder is a long term relationship with the customers and act as their advocate in their organizations. They ensure the customers demands are met and get the proper price for it as well . They are Teams players and would deal with the same customer again and again. They prefer staying in the sales itself.

In the final phase when the technology has become ubiquitous, the equations change. The organizations have to change their strategies and diversify the portfolios of their organizations. At this stage a customer doesn't require much guidance , but the best price . A CAPTAIN is required at this stage who would manage the crew of salesmen . The primary feature of his is that he is a team player. They drive out ways to enhance customer satisfaction and push up sales through advertisement and customer services.

After the technology has reached its maturity , its ready to be taken over by another technology and the cycle repeats. However, market is largest at the last stage , around 90%. while at the the first stage the market is smallest , around 1-2%. However the mrgins are much higher in latter case than former.

It was a great book which deftly projected the different type of sales methodology as well as the life cycle of technology. A must read.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Writeups - How effective?

Why do we find literary world to be so far away from reality ? Idealistic assumptions made in literary works envisions rational process for every action, but that seldom happens. Or to put more plainly, why do , whatever we write , differ so very much from the ground reality ?

Perhaps, a plausible answer lies in the question itself. Writing , assumes human being to be a rational animal , who takes rational decisions 24X7 , although, we all know , how rational we are. A person makes multitude of irrational decisions in his life, for which it has no answers.

A literary piece assumes the world to be made up of a known set of beliefs and patterns, or at least a world which is expected to run in that fashion. In doing so a write up restricts itself to its own limitation of incomplete knowledge of human life.

Nevertheless, literary media is far ahead of other forms of media in being closer to life and it has its own reasons for that. A literary piece doesn't require dependency upon others, its commercially cheaper to pursue, but the most important fact is that , our expressed thoughts, are primarily controlled by our language, and language acts as the guide of the unbridled ride which our mind is capable to take. Controlled by our language, thoughts get a direction to move on paper.

If a piece of writing is so imperfect by its own right, why is it revered highly? One plain reason, is that it provides alternatives to what we see around us. It guides our way towards alternative truths of life, and thus manifesting in itself the implausibility of a single absolute truth. Its for this very reason, I think one should write, howsoever imperfect it may seem to him or her. It always serves to clear up our thoughts and perception of life.

Monday, 8 June 2009

India - a mythical concept.

Our growth is accompanied by a set of beliefs that we nurture with time. One such belief was a universal concept of India as a nation. Imagining India to be a country formulated out of its own birthright. However, with time the building blocks of this belief eroded. What I found was ; India was a country formulated by the vested interests of middle classes of different regions located in topographical vicinity. India was just an incidental country formed out of the will of varied races to live in peace and prosperity.

And in doing so , India was no different from many other countries of the world. Why then did it hurt to realize this truth about India? Reason for that perhaps lies in the nature of freedom struggle that India undertook. India didn't exist , until revolutionaries came together and when they did come together, they provided and envisioned a uniform and single view of the country despite its vast cultural, linguistic, religious and social varieties. Considerable effort was made to drive home the point that "we" are one nation , and we should come together to face this oppressive regime suppressing our liberties. Literature played its part in enforcing this point,just as, "Jana Gana Man",took care of all the regions of the land. This redrawing of Indian political border, and uniting all of them under it , presented an illusion of a uniform India. I wasn't born in history , and thus I can't make objective remarks on the past, but it appears to me that , "India was united in adversity but is divided in prosperity".

Jingoism,parochialism, chauvinism, aren't new phenomenon to be observed. Mirage of human upliftment through education provides a mistaken belief of extinction of these terms. A non parochial India is an elusive dream, and will remain so , until the economical factors of the region balance out the inequities among different regions.

Shashi Tharoor in his masterpiece work on Indian history has aptly pointed out that India is a collection of minorities. Dividing lines are numerous, and yet it somehow manages to stay together. North and South, Hindu and Muslim, Bihari and Punjabi, Tamil and Kannadiga, the list is endless. And the truth is that it is a reality. Hence ,when those guys out there in Australia decry the attacks on Indian students as racism practiced by Australians, I would urge them to look in their own backyard and understand .Racism comes from the very notion of success and failure. Patronizing one person over another based on certain features acts as the roots of racism.

Why do I write such a wanton piece on India? Its because, its considered too sacrilegious a subject to be discussed, because its a sham to shout at the top of your voice to be an Indian , ignoring the hard facts in your backyard. I can recall what one of my friend, frustrated of racism against Northies in South India said, "India as a nation is a bogus concept. Administrative Jobs are popular because it empowers you over and above the fragile structure of Indian democracy. Common man like us will always have to bear this pain of racism." He was exaggerating for sure, but to what extent ?

Wonderful Wonder La!

A repetitive yet wonderful phenomenon en route holiday trip is the desire to peek out of the speeding vehicle, musing over the nothingness speeding in front. Sight of verdant and undulating landscapes drive the chain of thoughts. Slowly, the veneer of rationality erodes and an irrational peace sprawls over. Sight of world passing away from you, with haste, seeds a poem into the mind. All of a sudden, world seems to have grown beyond what we thought of it.

Trip to Wonder La wasn’t any exception in the way it started. And it wasn’t any different in the way it surprised me later. Surprise offered was peppered with an excellent breezy weather. Clouds hovered over the sky; however they seemed to be in no mood to come down too soon. Right after we stepped in an impulse of energy took control of us. Going ahead with the plan to go for all the high thrill rides we started with a comparatively milder ride. Our energy level had soared and we were raring to go for other rides. Every next ride that we took , exceeded our expectations and completely enthralled us. It was fun to open your eyes and watch the world go berserk around you. One of rides , which rotated and revolved and rotated and so on .. , off course, certainly drove you insane. Viewing world with all the angles affirmed my belief that world is not completely what we think of it , a lot of it is hidden and unknown to us.

After having successfully , won over most of the rides, the best or worst , as you may think, was reserved for the last one. Just after the ride started , I felt I was going to puke, and yeah, I puked at the next rotation , I saw the puke of lays and Tropicana in front of my eyes, and the next moment they sprawled over my face , and over few other unlucky ones' too. I hoped that the ride would stop, but it didn’t and I puked again. Hmm! Bad experience you may say, but I didn’t mind it much. Rather I enjoyed, of course not the taste.

After cleaning up it was time for wet rides but we were a hungry lot now. We took our lunch and I took care to have it lighter this time around, for no matter how much you enjoy puking, you don’t enjoy its taste. Wet rides appeared to be easier , but not actually. It hit you on your back, front, testicles, tummy, and what not . I guess no part of body was left unscathed. Next to come was wave pool, filled all around with couples. Riding over the wave was fun, jumping over the waves was relaxing. Once in a a while you would mistime the jump and , obviously, wave would gush into to your nose and that wasn't anything enjoyable. But if you got caught with it, you were to be ready for an another gush . There was no relenting sign from the waves. Analogies, generally run the risk of being misplaced, nevertheless , I would state it. Waves are like events in life, You take part in every event, jump with it, but sometime you may mistime it and then your are beaten out, but if you don’t get off after being hit soon enough , you are liable to be hit by another wave of life, the secret is thus to keep jumping and once beaten , getting back up to face next wave of life. Ahh!! Philosophy, thou are present all around me , and I leave no chance to take a refreshing sip of thou.

By the end of the day, paradoxically, we were more enthused, more active. After having a good time , we boarded our cab to head back home. We felt lighter and calmer while returning, as if all the burden , if there were any, has been dropped off and has gone for a ride. I peep put of the vehicle again, roads are dark now, but the world still speeds past me. Ahh! The phenomenon revisits me , and I am sure , it would visit again on my next journey.