Thursday, November 29, 2012

1883 : The cynic who burst the mimic’s bubble

Everytime you see something that is covetable, your ideal response should be to aspire for it. So as a teenager when you see your neighbor have his bike, you dream of the bike and want to somehow land up on it. Your strong aspirations and belief, definitely plummet you hurling in that direction.

Similarly when you see a hot girlfriend (someone else’s) you now want to reach that point and will do everything in your power to impress the same girl or similar ones.

Somewhere along the way, cynicism kicks in. As an example, in your thirties, as you see someone rise quite rapidly in the corporate ladder, rather than aspire for it, your “realism” is telling “you”, that “this cannot last, something’s fishy, someday the bubble will burst”.

As you have spent a few years of marriage and companionship, and then you see this hot mid-aged couple, all acting lovey dovey and teenagers, touchy feely and very much in love – your response again is “idiots, I would give them 6 months at best. These are the kind of  fools who end up getting infatuated. A good marriage is a series of agreed upon compromises.”

You get the drift. With every defeat, (has less to do with age), your mind becomes a little more cynical, under the guise of being more “realistic”.

I think I have entered this phase, where I am past a key tipping point. I am beginning to see the cynic in me, and heaven knows, I am fighting that feeling….but we all know, who shall eventually win Smile(In my version, Goliath always crushes David by his balls Smile)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1882 : On the road to hell

He woke up and found that he was floating above his own body, the carcass below looked like a grotesque representation of everything he had ever resented.

He had lived a long life,  but just like desire, which always comes in nine parts, his life had for forever been infinitesimally divided between conflicts and constraints.

As he glided and waddled around, the naked truth gleamed, and clarity occurred to him…..not one of his parts had ever achieved any meaning, not one of his commitments had ever seen any consequence, and not one of his seeds had ever germinated on fertile grounds.

It was a half life, almost like the eponymous game, and probably twice as radio active….wasted today, forgone tomorrow.

He could not marvel, that though he had been so abruptly released of his bodily confines, his mind continued to carry such a gargantuan weight….the gazillion pound lug of a thousand unfinished poems…and part by part notwithstanding, the death of a heavily fragmented truth.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

1881 : Reductionism

The current spate of uni-dimensional testosterone driven human race is kind of weirdly placed. This race believes that Facebook is social, money allows you to buy, Zen is uncool, Buddha is a statue, and the world revolves around you, your dick is the starting point of every conversation….every single interaction is an occasion to schmooze and posture.

An alien from Rama, who landed yesterday, could easily end up interpreting, that money and infantile egos, were essential to our organic survival. And she would not be all that wrong right, this brave new world is courting a new form of consumption, the monster who is trying to chew its own flashy tail.

It bothers me that my kid might never know that once long ago, when Dire Straits played Live on the Night, no one said “Like”, but a few million fans saw them live and another million bought a magnetic tape home to savor the moment again and again….or for that matter, he might never know that once long ago cricket was played by Ian Botham and Vivian Richards, both of them who brought grace and dignity to their beer-and-chiclet induced swagger.

At the start of the century, Einstein told us that if we expanded our minds, we might realise that in reality life is a 4 dimensional experience. Today the brazen new world is telling us go back to just one dimension, and thats only and only…..the size of your duck(!!).

1880 : Drying up

I have been trying to write (and I don’t mean this blog!!) for the past few days….and yes, I have made some progress, but the more I wring, the more I seem to be dry.

Words are evaporating….and telling of a tale is an effort.

Is this barrenness what they call as a drought?

1879 : Google It

I recently came across a group called Go Ogle It.

I though it was a lovely play of words.

1878 : Momentary lapse of happiness

On the busy clogged and infected streets of Bangalore, driving to work in the mornings is akin to running the decathlon. And yet…..

Picture this…..

Today, as I headed out of my home, my car streaming ahead with purpose, a few kms into my journey, I had to grind to a braking halt….with the car ahead screaming to rest, abruptly, on a seemingly empty road.

As I noticed, the cars on the other side also screeched and paused.

Straining out, I was hoping, this was not another one of those numbing accidents….and indeed it was not.

Out of the corner I could see a little tiny 5 inch puppy waddle into the center of the road. The big car ahead was being respectful, was threatening to start – in the hope that the little guy would get the message and rush into the side of the road.

This game lasted a few seconds, before one of the drivers jumped out, lifted the tiny puppy and slowly set him free on the kerb of the street, where it ran off relieved.

The onlooking crowd all cheered, and that included me. Point to note, not one vehicle which could see what was happening ahead, honked or yelled. Uncle universe just paused and gaped.

…..Good karma is not only priceless, its also the best known source of dopamine.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1877 : The i of the Apple


Was talking to my sister yesterday, and like many others, she assumed that I am a big fan of Apple Products. For the record, I own only 1 half eaten apple, the 16GB wifi only IPad2, and the old classic iPOD. 
 
I quite like both of them, that is indeed true.
 
Do I want to switch to more Apple products?
 
No, not really. I am very happy with Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, and thats hardly because I don’t like better quality or because I am a cheap schmonger.
 
Let me explain with an example. I drive a Honda City, the edition I have, is one of the few ones which has front-back disk brakes, 4 air bags, and a fairly advanced turbo charged (Petrol) engine.
 
Now in terms of "engineering near equivalence"(ENE), this four year old car will still give a run for their money to the Elantra, Civic or Superb of today.
 
I like my car, and specifically chose this older looking car, when the newer fresher models were also available, because their ENE was terrible.
 
Coming back to everyday use products, I think the Galaxy S3 far surpasses even the IPhone 5 on ENE, my extremely well designed Samsung netbook is weak on horse power, yet eschews affordability (its 8 times cheaper than a macbook air), my Nokia is good for 8 days of power, and though technically its very weak on ENE, it surpasses every other phone on one key functionality.
 
I think the Apple innovation juggernaut is slowing down. Once their DNA stood exposed, every other firm fell in line. Google, Microsoft are now into hardware, Samsung Ultrabooks are designed as if they were pieces of jewellery.....
 
Within newer areas like Televisions and Music, there are technology giants who already do what Apple does (read Bose).
 
To answer my sister, I admire Steve Jobs and the history at Apple. I have never been a fan of Apple products (I have never owned an IPhone and never will). I think in the game of ENE, they were once far ahead, but today are big time laggards.
 
Ironically, this post is being typed out on my sister's Macbook Air. Using Microsoft Word on it is a bit of a pain, everytime I type an "I" there, it auto corrects it to a "."....and I really wonder whats the big idea there?
 
My view is, short Apple, go very long on Microsoft and Google.
 
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

1876 : An atheist’s state of mind

I have been listening to Arziyan, from Dilli 6 on repeat, especially when driving the car.
Its a song which moves me, make me want to submit to a higher sublime power, who unfortunately I know, cannot exist in this world.
What a tragic dilemma.
“Toot ke bihkarna mujhko zaroor aata hain….”

Friday, November 02, 2012

1875 : Nine billion names of God by Arthur C Clarke

This is probably the only time I am compelled to add a short story (stand alone) onto this reading list. 9 billion names of God by Arthur C Clarke, is not more than 4 pages long, and is still the most intriguing story I have read.
Go read it online at 9 Billion Names of God. An interesting nerdy analysis at Tinkoo Valia.

#
Date
Author
Book
Rating
Comments
19 Oct 2012 Arthur Clarke 9 Billion Names of God 10/10 Fascinating. Very small story. Worth the 5 minutes you spend on reading – a thousand times over.
18 Oct 2012 JM Coetzee Life & Times of Michael K 8/10 Good. Stark imagery and a stunningly dark book….a signature Coetzee work.
17 Oct 2012 Lisa Genova Still Alice 9/10 Outstanding. You just connect with Alice immediately and her life becomes yours. You can see shards of her mind through the book.
16 Oct 2012 Arthur C Clarke Rendezvous with Rama 9/10 Outstanding. It hooks you on completely, and leaves with emotionally attached with Rama, quite some time after you have finished the book.
15 Oct 2012 Salman Rushdie Joseph Anton 7/10 Good Read. Strictly only for a Rushdie fan.
14 Sep 2012 Walter Issacson Steve Jobs 9/10 Excellent read. I found it inspiring and the book made Jobs a more humane person with an infantile ego
13 Aug 2012 JM Coetzee Disgrace 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read of the book. If you have not read this book…I urge you to. Minimalism combined with stark imagery. Coetzee is cross between Kundera and Rushdie, my two other fav authors
12 Aug 2012 Randy Pausch The Last Lecture 3/10 Crappy. This is my third attempt at reading this narcissist take on dying. I have learnt more from the Jobs book than this shit tale. I have never finished the book.
11 Aug 2012 Garth Stein The Art of Racing in the Rain 9/10 Fantastic. It starts of as a cute book, gets philosophical, and actually gets damn endearing and makes a bigtime emotional connect.
10 Aug 2012 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read….and 2nd in the last 2 years. What can I say? I plan to read this every year, at least once.
9 Jun 2012 Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children 8/10 Fantastic. My 4th read…..strangely I did not enjoy it as much this time around.
8 June 2011 Robert Spencer Books on Islam (set of 2) 6/10 Engaging Read. But very Islamaphobic. I am genuinely interested in religion and philosophy, so I liked this history….but others might not.
7 May 2011 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 2nd read.
6 May 2011 Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar 6/10 Read Once. Her poems are so much better.
5 Apr 2011 Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence 7/10 Read Once. Only for fans.
4 Mar 2011 Stephen King The Shining 9/10 Haunting. Must Read. The movie and the book are both one of a kind.
3 Mar 2011 Michael Ondaatje Divisadero 4/10 Pass. Very mediocre book.
2 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses 10/10 Outstanding. Controversies not withstanding. My 4th read, as a piece of fiction, this book is a masterpiece. Also, its really not disrespectful to Islam, all it does is use a bit of creative licensing while telling history.
1 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie Shalimar The Clown 10/10 Outstanding. Fall in love with Kashmir.
Dec 2006 Rohington Mistry A Fine Balance 10/10 Outstanding. My own initial review at Post 197 - Book 6 – Rohington Mistry’s A Fine Balance

1874 : The Life & Times of Michael K–J.M. Coetzee

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Just finished another book by one of my favorite authors. It did not disappoint at all. The one thing that I have learnt from Coetzee is how to create an image with economy and very little flourish….an image that will still haunt folks for years later.
#
Date
Author
Book
Rating
Comments
18 Oct 2012 JM Coetzee Life & Times of Michael K 8/10 Good. Stark imagery and a stunningly dark book….a signature Coetzee work.
17 Oct 2012 Lisa Genova Still Alice 9/10 Outstanding. You just connect with Alice immediately and her life becomes yours. You can see shards of her mind through the book.
16 Oct 2012 Arthur C Clarke Rendezvous with Rama 9/10 Outstanding. It hooks you on completely, and leaves with emotionally attached with Rama, quite some time after you have finished the book.
15 Oct 2012 Salman Rushdie Joseph Anton 7/10 Good Read. Strictly only for a Rushdie fan.
14 Sep 2012 Walter Issacson Steve Jobs 9/10 Excellent read. I found it inspiring and the book made Jobs a more humane person with an infantile ego
13 Aug 2012 JM Coetzee Disgrace 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read of the book. If you have not read this book…I urge you to. Minimalism combined with stark imagery. Coetzee is cross between Kundera and Rushdie, my two other fav authors
12 Aug 2012 Randy Pausch The Last Lecture 3/10 Crappy. This is my third attempt at reading this narcissist take on dying. I have learnt more from the Jobs book than this shit tale. I have never finished the book.
11 Aug 2012 Garth Stein The Art of Racing in the Rain 9/10 Fantastic. It starts of as a cute book, gets philosophical, and actually gets damn endearing and makes a bigtime emotional connect.
10 Aug 2012 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 3rd read….and 2nd in the last 2 years. What can I say? I plan to read this every year, at least once.
9 Jun 2012 Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children 8/10 Fantastic. My 4th read…..strangely I did not enjoy it as much this time around.
8 June 2011 Robert Spencer Books on Islam (set of 2) 6/10 Engaging Read. But very Islamaphobic. I am genuinely interested in religion and philosophy, so I liked this history….but others might not.
7 May 2011 Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being 10/10 Outstanding. My 2nd read.
6 May 2011 Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar 6/10 Read Once. Her poems are so much better.
5 Apr 2011 Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence 7/10 Read Once. Only for fans.
4 Mar 2011 Stephen King The Shining 9/10 Haunting. Must Read. The movie and the book are both one of a kind.
3 Mar 2011 Michael Ondaatje Divisadero 4/10 Pass. Very mediocre book.
2 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses 10/10 Outstanding. Controversies not withstanding. My 4th read, as a piece of fiction, this book is a masterpiece. Also, its really not disrespectful to Islam, all it does is use a bit of creative licensing while telling history.
1 Mar 2011 Salman Rushdie Shalimar The Clown 10/10 Outstanding. Fall in love with Kashmir.

1873 : When the night thaws away


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