Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Often you read wonderful stuff that you never forget. Sometimes though, you read things that make you wonder if you could ever have thought writing like that was possible. The words inspire an awe in the reader and bind him in a spell....

This is one of my all-time favourites. "Invictus" in Latin, means "Unconquerable".

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley "Invictus"

If one were to read about the author (or poet, if you will), the admiration is doubled....but I would rather just allow the words to sink in,than think of what tangible event inspired them....and allow the emotions for the poet to dilute the effect of his words.....

The sad thing about this stunning piece though is that Tim McVeigh's blasphemy is responsible to a great extent for publicising it. The terrorist used these as his last words.......if ever there was a wrong use thought of for something of great depth and beauty, this was it.....sad but true.

Another stunning piece that I can't get out of my mind is by a person who is totally different from Henley. His is perhaps the most famous name in literature.....

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

- William Shakespeare "Macbeth"

These words are too beautiful and deep for me to believe that he just wrote them without feeling the words......

Friday, August 26, 2005

I For An Eye

It’s been a year since I started blogging. Yep, was in August 2004 that I started. Thanks to Falconmyst for pointing that out. I still remember my emotions then. There was something that it seemed to me was not quite right in life. Sure, I had just got into an IIM, a very troublesome person had just passed right out of my life, the worst seemed well behind me, life seemed like it was at the start of a new road almost…..and yet…..there was something that was not quite right….or perhaps there was something that was missing.

I wasn’t able to say really what it was. It was almost as if I had no real idea what it was that was missing or was wrong….and yet there was something like that. Happens to all of us from time to time I think. And yet it’s inconceivable that we don’t know what is wrong. After all, if we know something is wrong, surely it is because some part of us recognises that there is something wrong or missing. So why don’t we know it? Why do we feel so helpless? Why feel so resigned to the fact that we should just shove the thought away, consign it to the recesses of our minds where we can’t see it and proceed on our merry way?

I guess it’s because life’s easier that way…because the part of us that knows the problem is a part of us that is lost to us almost….from being our very consciousness, it is now a part of our subconscious……and it is a part that the we are taught to forget….taught to ignore, though not to bluntly….and that’s why we can’t see just what the problem is….although, since that part of is inextricably linked to our beings, we are not able to ignore it to the point that we are able to nullify the emotions that it creates…..

Try hard enough, look deep enough within and we all can find the problem…every single time….without exception……that’s why I write I guess. When I write, I just let myself go. I shut the conscious part of my brain….try to stop thinking of what I am writing and let the words flow…editing things like that is meaningless…..but read what flows and sometimes you see things that you wouldn’t normally see……each of us can do that in our own unique way…and the beauty lies in the fact that no one other than you can see it the same way…..because the answers define you…the words are you, the thoughts are real, the meaning is sublime…..and the consciousness that results is life……

Seeking the endless road to walk down,
Looking for everlasting pain,
Hope you find the will to live again,
Burning the water along your way,
Eyes dry and words form a river,
Walls stand up to the rising waves,
Kicking away a pebble so easy,
Boulders don’t crack or roll away

Clouds welcome me to a home that lies there,
Empty rooms remind me of ancient ruins,
Mist falls and blocks the lights here,
But darkness….it still never descends,
Beseeching the fresh touch of life and more,
So keen to start anew today,
Packed my bags to walk away now,
Dying is all that lies in the way

Pull the plug on the way out,
The light it continues still to shine,
A blind man never saw so clearly,
When every truth you speak is such a lie,
I know we didn’t see it coming,
Never thought you too were meant to die,
Could not allow you any closer,
Now walls show more than I can hide

Yeah, writing helps….but sometimes it just tells you more than you wanted to know…..

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Lonesome Twosome (or "You're Diplomatic, I'm Not")

It was in the first Term here that we were made to write an essay on "Who am I?" My very first sentiment when I heard the topic was one of amusement, to be honest, for this is the eternal question that every philosopher worth his salt - and many millions of common men like me besides - have thought of and endeavoured to answer and the common thread that binds all these seekers is their combined and continued failure to get any closer to the answer than the world was before their efforts.

Well, at any rate, I wrote that piece with more than just a bit of detachment as I was quite aware that when the combined effects of introspection and reading down the years had yielded nothing, a few hours of effort, and that too for an essay that is part of class work, was hardly likely to bring me anything much by way of enlightenment. I devoted myself therefore to finishing the thing as fast as possible and making it grammatically and syntactically correct, which was, I believed, a far more practical target.

It was when the sheets were handed out that I chanced once again upon a classmate with whom I had, just a few days earlier, been working on a project. We had been quite at ease with each other (abnormal when you are me) and had worked in near-perfect harmony to finish the project. We spoke but little in the hours that we worked together and once the work was done (we only took one sitting of 5 hours or so) we had not really spoken to each other again. Not by choice or anything like that. It was the simple matter of our paths not really meeting at any point during that time. Now, as I held his essay in my hand, my mind suddenly went back to our conversation…..

It was still a few months later though that we really got to know each other. ‘Got to know’ is perhaps a vague term, but it is still the only one that I can, with my limited vocabulary come up with to explain what had transpired. He left my room that day with a whimsical smile on his face and uttered a line that was loaded in meaning, “Surprising really, how no one sees the similarities.” Truly, it is something that I too have spent a lot of time thinking about. And each time I stop at the same point… one does and no one probably ever will see the similarities. Because the very nature of these causes the confusion and the veils that cover them, are perhaps too heavy to be torn off and too thick to be penetrated.

It came up again a few days ago, when someone else mentioned a total contrast in a situation where the objects or persons mentioned, were seen by me as almost identical. Identical to the point of disbelief almost. So, who’s wrong? No one in the one sense, both in another. After all, it all boils down to where you are standing and how you wish to read and define words, because in the end analysis all these are just words and the meanings we give them are our own. Our interpretations will always differ and very often even two interpretations of our own will be in stark contrast to each other. So, just how is one to pronounce judgment on these issues?

And yet one does, and does it very often at that. “Opinions are like arseholes. Everybody has one”, said a famous person, and in truth there have been very few truer statements made down the years. Is there any topic in the world on which everyone agrees? Not that I know of. From burning issues like the way that a certain foodstuff should be cooked to the mundane ones like terrorism and global warming everyone has an opinion and each person is firmly convinced that his opinion is the correct one and that if people would only see reason (the way they see it), the world would be a better place.

OK, I’m digressing and beginning to ramble, but that’s just the way thoughts go. (Another interesting thought: Ever tried tracing how your thoughts move from one topic to another until finally you realise that while you had started off discussing the mess food, you’re now discussing whether or not NASA faked the moon landing? If not, do so some time. It can be good fun.) Coming back to where I was though, everyone seems to have an opinion and as standpoints are always different as are situations, most of these opinions are based on superficialities.

I have often had interesting and long-drawn arguments on the topic of whether or not people change with time. My contention is that while superficialities change and the masks and overt reactions of a person change, not just with time but circumstances, the core of the person remains exactly the same. So, while you may instil in a person a feeling of wanting to be calm and methodical, you will never be able to remove that inner urge in him to be impetuous and impulsive. The difference being that while on the surface the person will have changed, the inner person remains very much the same. I am open to arguments on this line of thought and am willing to admit that I may very well be wrong, but inasmuch as I have seen and experienced, this holds true.

This would tend to explain to a great extent why two very similar persons are perceived as being totally different in nature by the world. What continues to astound me though, is that people have so much faith in their own judgment when it comes to people that they will not for a moment consider their fallibility even if it were pointed out to them in reasonably clear words. What doubles my amazement is that in fields where such faith would be warranted, these people exhibit more fear and self-doubt than can be removed by anything less than hypnotics or cocaine.

Ultimately therefore, the meaning and interpretation that two people impart to the same words will always result in differing results in their analyses and were these to be considered in conjunction, they are more likely to result in chaos than getting any closer to the truth. Then again, it is through chaos alone that any real truth and calm can emerge, so perhaps there again, I am mistaken in my beliefs. Until the two are married to each other or until we reach the stage of realization, they remain a lonesome twosome.....lonely in the togetherness that binds them.....a contrast in their similarities....and oblivious to the chaos that their their very oblivion causes.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Not Afraid

"He was a God-fearing man". I don't know how many times I have read this phrase used to describe people in their eulogies and epitaphs. And yet, every time without fail, it evokes laughter from me. "God-fearing". What the Hell is that supposed to mean? That he was scared of God? Apparently yes, that is what it is supposed to convey and according to the fools that most people choose to follow the teachings of, it is a good quality. A quality that makes a man great and humble. According to me, it is a joke.....and a poor one at that.

Let's look at things objectively here. Most people think I am totally wrong in my views when I say that religions and the concept of God that they preach are the biggest pile of bulls*it that was ever gifted to this world. But even a cursory glance at religion and what it has given the world reveals that it has yielded little other than bloodshed, war, hatred, riots and terrorism. In addition of course, to creating the deepest divides that you will ever see between people who for all practical purposes should not really have any reason for not co-existing.

Fear God, religion says. Well, pardon me for saying this, but if "God" was such a nice, forgiving and peace-loving guy, he'd hardly want me to fear him, would he? Even my father doesn't want me to fear him....and you want me to believe that this "God" of yours (whom I refuse to believe in) wants me to fear him? Get a life...and a brain as well, while you are at it......would do wonders for your blinkered and jaundiced vision.

God loves us all, religion says. Hmmm....interesting thought there, because this makes me want to question how it then happens that only the "true believers" of a religion will go to "Heaven", as per every religion that I have read up on. This also leads to an intriguing thought process. What if there are two people, who are both "true believers" but of different religions? As per the religion of each of these two Johnnies, he will go to Heaven for being a true believer, but the other will be condemned forever to Hell, for not being one......Hmmm......parallel Universes I have read about....but I must admit that Parallel Heavens and Hells is a new concept......perhaps the religious preachers would like to explore this one.......oh wait, they're too bigoted to do that, aren't they? Well, either way, it just makes me ask the question, "If your God loves everyone, why does he discriminate on the basis of religion? What if an atheist lives a very pure and good life and a 'believer' is a damned terrorist? Who goes to Heaven then?"

There is only one God, religion says, and all paths lead to him. Well, in that case, why proselytize? You have faith in God and in the way of life you believe in, Mr. Smith has faith in another way of life.....why must you make him believe in yours? Bullcrap, when you think of it that way, isn't it? A small example of this at work. After the tsunami, there were some Christian "relief" organisations (from the "oh-so-liberal" USA) that were caught on camera telling the victims that they had food, water, medicines and other aid with them, but they would only give it to them if they first converted to Christianity. Oh yes, we believe in your secularism and one-God concept now......

Another hilarious incident was when I was accosted by a nun who told me that she wanted to tell me about God. I love playing around with total losers like these, so I just decided to have a little fun. I already know what you want to say, I told her. I have my own faith and beliefs and do not need you to tell me about anything. "No. I am here to tell you about the true God" was her response. Huh? "There is no God. And even if there were to be one, with an attitude like yours, you are the last person that is likely to know anything about him, bi*ch".

One must respect other faiths and allow people religious freedom, is what the religious preachers say in public. One wonders then why even the silly Pope opposed the move by a particular state government to ban "forcible conversion". One also wonders why people like Osama bin Laden and co. are openly supported by religious is indeed astounding to think of the magnitude of hatred and destruction that has been wrought by this diabolic contraption called religion, which was created by the minds of power-craving sadists, but it is even more mystifying to see the supposedly educated and modern people of today blindly following the same diktats with conviction that is so horribly misplaced.

Why should I believe in your silly concept of God? People go to their places of worship and listen to some stupid priest say some crap about what "God" wants them to do. Well, who told him that anyway? He's just a stupid self-serving prick who loves the idea of the power he feels when he can stand there and address all those people from his pulpit and feel good about the number of morons that actually listen to him spew nonsense into the atmosphere around him.....who ever gave him the right to preach? And by inference, why should I believe in anything the bloody loser has to say?

There has been absolutely nothing positive that has resulted from these religious missionaries. And that is quite simply because they have nothing to offer. I too could stand up and make an impassioned speech about how "God" wants the lot of losers in front of me to be "good people" and "(make ;-) ) love to their neighbours". I too could write books about how I am the Messenger or the Son or the nephew or excreta of God and how everyone should pray, what postures they should sit in, what position to squat in how their duty is to endeavour to impose the faith I preach onto the rest of the world. I could do these quite easily and so could a lot of other fact, just about any Tom or Dick or for that matter, Harry, could quite conceivably do all these tasks and more within the space of a couple of days, without having broken a sweat.

Now let's have a short look at what religion is giving the world today.

1. Terrorism across the freaking world (Osama and co.).
2. Territorial disputes across the world...which then result in terrorism (Chechnya, Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Xinjiang etc.).
3. Gay paedophilia.
4. Motherwhore Teresa. (I have more data on this bi*ch than you will be able to digest, so please refrain from trying to defend her.)
5. The "Save an Indian Soul" campaign sponsored by the American Catholic Church and supported by the Bush family among others. (Thanks, but I really think my soul can do without being saved by you....)
6. Rioting all over the freaking place.

I could go on forever. The hypocrisy of religious organisations, the sheer hatred they spread and the lies that they try to make people believe in are despicable.

Why do people then believe in God and religion? Simple. Because most people are just too damn weak, too inept and just too stupid to accept life as it is and to accept themselves, their shortcoming and weaknesses, without having a crutch called God, on which to blame all the "misfortune" and on whom to rely for support when they see how useless they are.....and miserably they have "God" bless your souls.....Fat chance.... All said and done, I am not afraid of your "God".....and let's see what retribution he takes for this.......Bring it on!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Rape and Ruin of a Country

Often people ask me why I loathe the Communists so much. My father actually believes that I am irrational in my hatred towards them. My Leftist friends feel that I am too much of a Capitalist and too rabid in my beliefs to appreciate the “spirit of Communism” as they like to phrase it. A recent debate I had with one such friend actually made me wonder if the Communists were indeed as bad as I thought them to be. I still felt they were loathsome creatures, but was wondering if the degree to which I loathed them was perhaps a tad more than was warranted by the facts.

Two events in the past month or so have firmly convinced me though, that you can’t loathe an Indian Communist enough. Their barbarism, narrow-mindedness, sheer stupidity, hypocrisy and diabolism defy belief. And they should just be exterminated – one and all. It will really be the best thing that could ever happen to this country.

As a foundation, let me just cite a few things I really hate about the Communists in India:

  1. The very concept of Communists who say that they want a “free and fair democratic process” is contemptible as it runs totally contrary to Communism. So, this in itself is enough of a reason to ban them forever from elections.
  2. Their attempts to tamper with Indian history texts are despicable. As an example, they actually cite Lenin and Stalin as key figures in the Indian Independence struggle. Their dominance of the Academic circuits (blame the Congress for this) aids them and their friends in the Congress conveniently turn a blind eye to all this every time.
  3. During the Indo-China War, the Communists openly declared that they supported China and not India in the war. An act of treason, if there ever was one.
  4. Commies are the ones that have always tried to restrict economic freedom and reforms. Labour reforms have been the crying need for years…..Who is to blame for the non-implementation? Yep, the Left.
  5. I can’t stand the idea of seeing these supposed “Communists” feasting on the fat of the land while advocating stupid Communist philosophies to a democratic country, as part of a democratic system. They are rolling in money, something that absolves their right to call themselves Communists.

I could go on forever, but let’s look at the two events I mentioned and the thoughts that came to my mind from them.

First up, the floods in Bombay. While the thoughts of most people have been of prayers for the victims and of marvel at the powers of Nature, mine have been of sheer rage. It is preposterous that such a thing should have occurred. As a Bombayite, I know fully well about the pathetic state of the drainage system there. It has not been upgraded since the 1960s, since which time the population has grown manifold. But does one just blame the Municipal Authorities? Let’s look a little deeper. What’s caused this scenario? Why is Bombay’s infrastructure so pathetically inadequate? After all, it’s not just the drainage – it’s the roads, the trains, everything. Bombay is bursting at the seams…..

McKinsey in association with Bombay First conducted a survey in 2002. The survey revealed that the economic activity within Bombay alone yields, at a conservative estimate, slightly over 5% of India’s GDP. This is a huge amount, specially when one considers that this figure does not include the yields of activities that happen outside Bombay but are controlled by corporates with their offices in Bombay. A very, very conservative estimate of the taxes paid from Bombay for this economic activity alone yielded the result that at least 15% of all taxes the government receives come from Bombay. As per McKinsey, for 2004, a conservative estimate would be that INR 55,000 crores was paid by Bombay in the form of taxes.

The sum total of all amounts that are pumped in to Bombay stands at a woeful INR 3,000 crores. This includes, Central, State and Municipal Corporation spends. The city is cheated out of over 50,000 crores every year. Mind you, I am not asking for the entire 55,000 crores to be returned to the city. I fully realise the need to develop other areas that would otherwise die. But, the magnitude of the disparity is shocking… is the thought of Bombay having to make do with the pittance that is 3,000 crores. And what do we owe this to? The blasted Communists and Socialists and their theory of the rich subsidising the poor. And who are we Bombayites subsidising? The rich Punjabi farmer who drives around in a Mercedes and pays no water or electricity bills? Or do we subsidise the personal fortunes of the assorted Commies, the Laloos of the land and the trade unions they back?

That brings us very neatly onto the second recent event that highlights the Communists’ great contribution to Indian society. The labour unrest at the HMSI factory in Gurgaon. What was that about? That was about the Communists trying to widen their footprint in India outside WB and Kerala, with the shelter provided to them by the fact that they are the main backers of Sonia Gandhi Inc. HMSI is a factory that is doing phenomenally well, is paying well and is based in a place (Gurgaon) with no history of labour union unrests and agitations.

But the very well-being of HMSI makes it a ripe fruit in the eyes of the Commies. They started a labour union and tried to get it registered. HMSI refused. A slight digression here. For those that do not know it, the Japanese are renowned for their labour-friendliness. The enduring success of mega-corporations like Sony, Sharp, Toyota and Honda is based on the fact that these companies believe in “life-time employment” and have a “family-like” atmosphere in the company. They truly try to make their workers feel like it is one big family. So, please look at the situation in this light.

When HMSI refused to recognise the union, the labourers started their noisy WB-like, typically Communist protest, something that had never been seen in Gurgaon before. The rest is something known to all of us…..and seen by all of us in those images on TV. But, has the Government moved against the union? Nope. They move instead against the policemen involved. Why? Simple, the union represents the Left….and the Left is part of Sonia Gandhi Inc……who would touch them?

The ramifications and outcome of this unrest could be crippling for Gurgaon. It has been the only city North of Bombay that was seen as a suitable place to invest in my corporates, Indian and foreign alike. Now, in the Japanese Ambassador’s words, “firms will ask, if this is a place worth investing in. Indeed they will ask if India, and not China, is worth investing in.” If such instances are repeated and the Communists are not stopped by the powers-that-be, this would indeed be the price that we would pay for having fostered the treacherous Communists for so many years.

I do realise that although a genocide of the Communists and their supporters is the need of the hour, it is not very easy to implement. I hope though, that better sense will finally dawn on our populace and these b***ards will be booted into the dustbin of history. Then again, perhaps I should know better than to expect……

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


People are almost always scared it seems to me at times. The fear is so real, that it hits you hard as an observer if you are paying attention to what goes on around you. It manifests itself everywhere, in every small thing that they do. It manifests itself in the words that are spoken and becomes such a part of the person that even in a small and meaningless triviality, the fear dominates words and actions.

It is so real that you can't be yourself. You can't say what you want to. It is the reason for the formation of herds. The fear of standing out leads to the desire of being considered as one of the crowd. The fear of being labelled an outcast leads of the suppression of any ideas and thoughts that deviate from the accepted norm. The fear of being rejected for yourself, leads to donning the personality of someone else......someone acceptable.....someone normal....

Why can't people say what they want to? It's the fear. If you don't like someone, to my mind, the easiest thing is to stay away and make it very clear that you wish to have nothing to do with him or her. It is not a very difficult thing to do.....if you try. And that is where the crux lies. For that is what most people are too scared of doing. It's reflected so frequently that people don't even realise it's happening.....

Guy1: Hey dude! How're things going?
Guy2: Cool man. Just came from a lecture. What about you? Everything fine?
Guy1: Yeah! Anyway, got a lecture to attend man.....wish they'd scarp the attendance rules.
Guy2: Yeah man, really.....anyway, you coming for the party tonight?
Guy1: Yeah....of course. How could I miss it?
Guy2: Haha! Thought so. See ya there man.....Ciao
Guy1: Yeah man....see ya....

Guy1 to partner: That guy is such an asshole.
Meanwhile Guy2 to partner: I hate that chap man...really I just hate him....

So, essentially the conversation served no purpose other than wasting time for both parties and catering to their fears. The fear of being disliked....of not being accepted by everyone....the fear of not being cool. The entire thing stinks of hypocrisy...and yet, it is exactly what people in and day at people they hate, joke around with people they abhor.

OK, this is a part of the post that somehow seems to have got lost in that awesome problem I had with the comments as well….

This pertains to all the Paulo Coelho fans out there. He’s the biggest hypocrite I have ever come across. One just needs to read his lines to know just how big a pyopcrite he is and just how much he lacks a philosophy of his own. He had no belief of his own and just tries to pander to the tastes and preferences of his audience. Here’s a look at some of his lines:

In “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept”, he says, and I quote:

Love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to a paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us."

So, here he is arguing that one could quite possibly fall in love several times and with several different people. And that the feelings are different. There isn’t just one “love”. I had posted on this sometime earlier. I don't for a minute believe in the idea of "seeking love" though. It's not like a stone or even the proverbial needle in the haystack, that one can look for!!!! Anyway, he's hardly worth the dissection, so I'll let that rest.... Anyway, now let’s look at something else he says and what he means there.

In “The Alchemist”, his most popular work, he says, and again, I quote:

“It's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning. Maktoub."

So, here the great idiot is arguing that “someone, somewhere is made for you”. It’s that detestable fairy-tale concept of love, which I truly hate. It also runs totally against the line of thought expressed in the previous verse from “By the River…” Like I said, he’s just a big hypocrite. And there are people who think he’s a “philosopher”. There are people who “live by his lines”. Errr…..which of them do you live by, may I ask??? Humbug! Then again, when you have feet of clay, I guess so will your idols…..