Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun Became.. Fun Came

Hold on... wait for the next post. Total fun came.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

DSL TV = 1500 Channels!

Yes. That's what my family is enjoying in a Gulf Country. This is just goes to illustrate the 'too many options' thing which I have ranted about in my previous post. Don't forget to read all my blog posts below...

India lost *wails*
After such a long time, I decide to follow a cricket match, and India loses :(
But this reminded me the value of ODIs and Tests, as opposed to IPL which made a mockery of most of the skills required to play good ol' cricket.

*yawn* Another day. Revival of old days. So much to do, so little time. 'STOP TALKING, START DOING'

Today was a little different. Instead of waking up at 9 Am, I woke up at 12 Pm (please tell me you give a shit). Had s00per cold milk with chocos, and nothing since (this time it is not because I'm lazy, to know why I'm starving read ahead). I need to go to the ATM because I don't have money to buy food (and I've run out of food).

I'm feeling like I felt a year back. A year back, I had nothing to do. I would use the internet for 10+ hours at a stretch, listening to some of my favourite music which, at that point of time was Tech/Prog Thrash, especially Annihilator, Nevermore and Savatage. I'm doing the same things now, sitting in the same room, on a new computer though. I'm listening to the same music now. Rediscovering the music you loved is probably one of the best feelings ever, this feeling of deja vu is unmatched!

Random digression #1

You may not agree with me, but I feel that blogging constitutes a good way of 'keeping in touch' with your friends. The number of friends whose blogs you can track (realistically) are obviously
lower in number than the friends you can handle on facebook or orkut. However, the beauty of blogging is that you get to know what your social circle is upto if they choose to blog about it. You don't need to send them messages/scraps/wall posts asking what they're upto. If something significant happens in their lives, they will usually post about it. You read their blogs and stay 'in touch' with them, without actually communicating with them! Obviously, they might not post secret stuff which the whole world is not supposed to know, but by and large, blogs give you a much more comprehensive answer to 'whats up' compared to a response you would receive to that query on a social networking site. And if you want that secret info, you can always ask for it :P.

Random digression #2

The enormity of the world wide web never ceases to amaze or engulf me. I have around 60 tabs open in Firefox now, and each of them is worth bookmarking. Lately, I've started exploring a lot of blogs. It's amazing how blogs cater to everything - be it music album download links, daily accounts of life by journalists in Africa (which really make you feel lucky), a stupid emo chick whining about how she is going to slit her wrists because she got too influenced by My Chemical Romance, a 40 year old woman going through a mid life crisis, tech blogs telling you how to do everything from saving wikipedia on your computer to spying on your boss to downloading entire magazines for free and so on and so forth.

NOW, just have a look at the hierarchy. There are n types of blogs. Blogs account for just a minuscule fraction of the WWW. Just like blogs, there are other there are n other aspects of the web. Then there's wikipedia, which bears testimony of the power of mass-collaboration. And a thousand such things. The internet itself is a shining example of the power of mass collaboration. It belongs to nobody. Everybody contributes to the internet, be it for personal gain or mutual benefit in the WWW. What we have is a marvel of modern civilization and the power of mass collaboration.

If you were to explore everything that was interesting to you on the internet, I'm sure this lifetime would not be enough.

Coming to think of it, the Internet is just one small aspect of our otherwise diverse lives. Think similarly about other aspects of life, and you realize how enormous the answer to what-can-a-human-do is. It belittles individual entities like you, me or any human being.

Let us take education and careers as another example - I'm sure there are a lot of people who are interested in pursuing careers in more than one field, but are constrained by the one lifetime available to them (if you discount people who change careers, I'd say they are exceptions). And there are SO many fields available.

There's so much more that we associate with making the most of life - Food, Travel, Music, Movies, Art, and so on (the list will vary depending on the person's interests)...and each of these entail a lot of subdivisions and categorization. This leads us to one conclusion - You cannot experience and learn it all. There are so many things that the world and civilization offer to us. We cannot experience and learn it all. Out of those offerings, we are interested in some. The sad part is that we cannot experience and learn everything we are interested in, too.

We owe a lot to our ancestors and civilization in general. We possibly can't experience everything life has to offer in one lifetime, or maybe in a thousand lifetimes too. Such is the enormity of what the world has to offer to us, it is belittling.

The collective progress of millions of humans around the planet in a short time span has led to this, to a point, where you begin to think - 'Is having too many options a bad thing?' I have an ambiguous answer to this - Yes and No.

No, because, atleast from my perspective, we have a lot more to do, learn and experience than our ancestors did.

Yes, because after a point you start feeling bad about missing out on so many things in life.

All this just leads me to one inevitable question : How should we live our lives? There's so much to do in such less time!

This is a perplexing question which one must logically answer. IMO, far too many people do what others like, and not what they would ideally want to do. In such a short life, can you afford to do that? NO! Identify your interests, and pursue them till death, that is the only way you can die a satisfied man (Random digression #2.1 or woman, just in case some female chauvinists are around... maybe I should replace 'mankind' with 'humankind' everywhere, but I'm sure they'd have a problem with why a term like 'huWOmankind' does not exist, anyway I'll leave my opinions of shiv sena/jihadi-esque breeds to another post. Disclaimer : I am not against gender equality)

Lets get back to the point. I'm 19 years old now, and I feel that I've wasted a lot of these 19 years in fruitless pursuits dictated by society (read : Do what parents say, study for school, Disclaimer : I am not one of those angst ridden, anti-social-anti-establishment rebels without a cause, I just put forth my opinions). Given an opportunity, I would love to be reborn again with a to-do-before-i-die list, and live life from day one like the way I want to live it now, do things which I now wish I had done back then.

I think the first part of the post should have been a random digression, not Random Digression #2. I'm too lazy to change it though.

Note to self : Stop wasting time, you're running out of time. Maybe I should really abandon laziness, pull up my socks and do as the IBM advertisement says - 'Stop talking. Start doing.'

Friday, June 13, 2008

Of relocational inflation & high calorific value of alcohol...

Inflation has driven up the prices of almost everything. However, the kind of inflation that has hit me the hardest is - Relocational Inflation - it is a misnomer because it barely has anything to do with what inflation technically is.

I had moved to Goa for a period of four years. Out of which, one has been spent. It has changed the way I live...

Incase you didn't figure it out yet - I'm talking about alcohol.

Alcohol has a very high calorific value, or so we were told. I never really gave a shit (because alcohol based fuels didn't have any effect on my life), until I moved back to Delhi for my vacation.

A bottle of beer costs 40 odd bucks in Goa. It costs 90 bucks here! Alcohol indeed has a high calorific value - it burns a huge fucking hole in my pocket. A relocational inflation of 125%.

Maybe goa's tourism department should adopt a new punchline - 'Shield yourself from relocational inflation - Go Goa!'

"Home alone for 17 days" & life since the vacation began

The first reaction triggered by my facebook status (ie "Home alone for 17 days") was on the lines of "Salla Madarchod", "Lucky bitch" and so on. Initially, I thought it would be fun. I would have the home all to myself, and most importantly the freedom to do whatever I wanted to at any point of time.

Actually, the main reason why I insisted on staying at home while my family went abroad was the possibility of *gasp* daaru parties at home :P.

Ofcourse, the drawbacks would be that I would have to watch over the maidservants (which is a pain the in the ass considering the levels of laziness I have attained) and cook (yes! i cook too! for further details, read ahead). Mommy dearest did her bit by cooking lots and lots of food which is currently lying in the freezer. 1 container contains...guess what.... BUTTER FUCKIN' CHICKEN!

It has been a few days since I've been living alone at home; If you took away the TV, the computer and the telephone, it would feel like solitary confinement. I thank the wonderful people broadcasting the Discovery/Nat Geo/History Channels, and of course, the people producing spectacular shows like 'Modern Marvels', 'Future Weapons', 'Naked Science', 'Is it real?', etc running on those channels for making my life a lot better. Apart from that, I've been downloading a lot of stuff (music and documentaries), listening to lots of \M/etchul, practicing playing guitar (very little though) and playing cricket. All in all life is a lot different from what it was back on campus. However, I'd rather be on campus. Human company is essential for life to have a meaning. (I do write profound philosophical shite at times).

Surprisingly, I've been waking up every morning at 9 am without fail, which is no mean feat considering my past track record.

Cooking involves frying 2-4 eggs in the morning, opening cans of tuna fish, toasting bread, boiling milk, mixing horlicks and putting chocos in it, cooking dal and rice from scratch (at times), heating the awesome food mom has stored in the freezer for me, cooking maggi (very rarely compared to BITS).

Why the inactivity, you would ask.
1) I am too lazy to go out.
2) When I think of going out, it starts raining. If it is not raining, too much energy from the fusion reactions in the star of our solar system prevents me from going out.
3) Autos in Delhi are too expensive for me (at least while my parents are away).
4) Taking buses to venture out to have 'fun' != fun, since procrastinating at home>>>>>having fun outside, which in turn is due to the work involved in traveling around Delhi/Neeooddda (read : Noida) Laziness prevails!
5) All my friends are not free on the same day for a daaru party. (boy there ARE people on this planet who are lazier than me)

Actually, everything boils down to my immobility, which in turn is due to lack of a vital skill - that of being able to drive confidently on NCR roads. Meri bahut phatti hai (it's hard to get out the hindi pronunciation using the English alphabet at times) Every time I travel in Delhi, I wonder how I will reach my destination alive. I wonder how Delhi drivers manage not to have accidents in each and every journey of theirs (I am not new to the city, I have been living here for 5 years now, if you do not count the 8-9 months in Goa). There has not even been ONE journey in Delhi which lacked a oh-my-fucking-god-i-am-closing-my-eyes-and-cringing-because-i-think
-my-vehicle-will-bang-into-a cow/car/truck/dog/human

Being perpetually broke does not help either!

Surprisingly, I haven't used my 500 Gb hard disk for the intended purpose yet - That of having enough TV series, movies and other assorted material (NO NOT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING :P) for the vacation. I've seen only 3 documentaries and all episodes of a really funny british sitcom - 'The IT crowd' (it has nothing to do with India or Indians) up till now (25 days). I don't know what the issue is - I thought I was indifferent to stuff like studies. Throughout my vacation, I have been indifferent to almost everything I had planned (and liked) - Practicing Guitar, Learning Music Theory, Working Out, Watching lots of movies and TV series, Going out and having fun. Err, so I'll sum it up in one line - I have wasted almost half of my vacation.

And no, learning any programming language wouldn't have changed that opinion. I fancy doing stuff I like, not what the whole world is doing, or what will help me with my 'career'. In any case, I'm not getting Comp Sci, EEE or EnI as a dual, so what's the point in learning programming languages? I'm not so hardcore about my academic interests (if something like that exists)...

I have picked up the habit of reading books. I regret not having inculcated this habit previously. Reading good books is probably the most constructive thing a lazy person can do. Almost no effort required!

I've been indulging in a lot of 'life planning' - a fancy name for long term planning. Identifying interests, pursuing them, compiling to-download/read-lists, to-do-before-you-die lists and stuff like that. I'll share some of that here.

I've always been fascinated by aviation. I want to learn how to fly aircrafts, and own one before I die. The other day, I stumbled upon a website which looked like ebay for aircrafts! You could buy 2 seater cessna's for 100-200K $. That made me happy. If I ever make that much money, I should be able to get one of those :D. Also, there are aircrafts which can be mounted onto road vehicles - they take off from the roof of your car. How metchul is that? I love being airborne.

Other positive short-term realistic outcomes of 'life planning' are - A trip to Himachal Pradesh before I get back to Goa (anybody interested in tagging along should let me know ASAP), a list of places to eat in the NCR before I get back to Goa (if any of you are treating, let me know ASAP), some adventure sports and trips to amusement parks/go karting circuits (i'm already looking at my wallet), shopping for metchul t shirts...

The only problem seems to be that very little of the 'life plan' seems to be implemented, be it academic/'intellectual' stuff or fun stuff like getting drunk.

I've also run out of money. I have 20 bucks left in my wallet, and the ATM is not working... Grr....

Ze beginning!

I've been reading (and WANTING to write) random blogs over the past 4(?) years. On many occasions, I thought to myself, "Damn, this seems good! I should try this too!". However, laziness prevailed. Today, under extreme circumstances (read : extreme joblessness), in want of something interesting, I had to resort to this.

"Senti\m/etchul" - Nice name eh? All credit goes to Shalini Lahiri, who suggested my nickname for the college magazine. I'm a bit sentimental, and I like metal, in case you were wondering what it was all about.