Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fame, Anyone?

Its something that i realised a long time back taht the most famous are not necessarily the best there is in their fields. No, I'm not talking abuot person B usurping the fame that was due to Person A. I'm talking about a certain quality taht needs to be there in order that a person does the way he does things and in the process attain fame. To put it in another way if somebody just keeps doing the thing he's meant to do better than anyone else in the world he need not end up becoming the best known in his field. You can call taht virtue people management but it is certainly not just that. Not all human beings are comfortable with being famous. They first need to be comfortable with it, then they need to handle it to their benefits and if you can do that then the virtue that i talk of here can be said to exist in you.
There are a certain few personalities that ive been privileged to know who attract people and some others who attract peoples attention but more than warmth create a certain awe. Who among the two is more qualified to be called famous. I'd have to say the second. The former would have a lot of friends and in that sense could be called famous. But fame in its classical definition has an element of awe of fear of detest rather than affection. I guess the former can be called popular and the latter as famous. The slight difference is what i would like to emphasize.
So then in a way fame goes hand in hand with awe but is a sure shot way to ensure that you distance yourself from your true friends. So then, does a popular person have a repository of true friends a hands distance away? Not necessarily either. Human beings are made in such a way that they cant handle extremes. Its much due to underlying egos and biases.
In a way i do sympathise with the famous or more precisely who pursue fame as a goal of life. They are those who need constant reinforcement of their own self percieved identity by a second person. They are extremely susceptible to misleadings and very easy to be conned. What is it that drives them forward. What is the precise need that gets satisfied on achieving this goal and then again can this goal can ever be achieved to full satisfaction. Each person has a self concept and often people think of themselves so much different from what the world percieves him. While some people dont care for this mismatch some others strive hard to change the global perception, because for him what he percieves is more true than what the person sitting next, as is true with each of us. And why would be want to change the world opinion is because for his the acceptance of his personality by his own self is not enough to satisy his ego, which proves low self worth.
Value yourself before you set out to value the world. Take a look at your inside before you raise your eyes to look around. See what you truly are and be proud of it because it aint ever too bad. In any case its better than the poor guy who runs after his virtual hall of fame.

Times - they are a changin!

For years India as a growing nation and its citizens were seeking its rightful place in the global scene of affairs. We say we found our place, we believe we are already there. But let us, as we prepare ourselves to sit down and take a rest lets just take a look around. We stand at a crucial period in history where a world of opportunities beckon us and we look on undecided unprepared to take on the great challenges and opportunities that lie beyond. But still we decide to go on and take that rest.

On retrospect cant we see that that’s all we’ve been doing for all the whole time so far. We rested while the tide of globalization carried us along. We were so mesmerized by the thrill of the world whizzing past as we watched out of the window that we never realized that we were just being swept away like a boat in the rapids never realizing when we actually stopped rowing and let the flow take us forward. But then as we approach a pivotal point when there are options ahead and its upto us to steer on to the right path we cant afford to be complacent and hope that the same force that brought us so far will make the decision for us again.

If there is any particular trait of a human being that we Indians have perfected over generations, it is complacency. We’ve been taught from childhood to leave everything to fate and leave every thing to his almighty’s wishes. Its given rise to a largely lethargic population who like to take what is given rather than grab what is on offer. Don’t our leaders see what a great sin they are doing at this very moment against generations that are to follow by letting these very moments slip past us. The moments that we should be grabbing to climb upto that pedestal that we as a sincere, god fearing, modest civilization deserve in the divine order of things. Well that’s not the way things work out in this world is it. Maybe the quintessential bollywood flick has led us to that misconception. Lets face the facts, no hero’s gonna come and the one we thought was the ones busy proving himself to be a dud a mere puppet. If prime minister Manmohan Singh could bring another wave of Indian uprising that we saw very much need at this move and in the process end up sacrificing his cap the very next day generations of educated well fed children of this land will venerate him to godliness and what he might end up losing he shall gain in the hearts of those million whose lives he would have helped change.

For the billions who refused to take charge of their destinies our blessed motherland gave rise to a few handful who had extremely lucid visions of the way to take us forward. They thought out plans, very well laid out and perhaps the best options at that time. And its not the minds of people that change worlds but the opportunities that the world gives them to change the world itself that create great men. And the great men we had did their jobs and then perhaps somewhere in between lost their ways. Or maybe things changed around them and they found themselves in unfamiliar waters and they panicked. Maybe things moved so much so that that black shroud of doubt over shadowed their eyes and they themselves were not so sure if this was what they intended in the first place after all. Nehru started out with a great plan, he made the nation pull itself up on its legs and latter own Mr. Singh taught it how to run. Now perhaps we need someone else to come along to give it direction coz all our visionaries seems to be such highly specific talents that they do nothing beyond that one task they set out to do. But these are tough times. We need direction and at the very same time keep it running. This means that we need a new breed of leaders who are more than single dimensional experts. We need multitasking multi dimensional visionaries who can, not only travel straight but also sideways diagonally and even upwards.

We devised our look east policy years ago, and it does make a lot of sense to look at your own background which seems to be doing so very well rather than gawking at your other side of town folks and drooling at the ripe apples in his courtyard and hoping for one to fall down and roll down to your feet. The American economy many experts feel is slowly running out of steam. We can’t afford to focus all our attentions on one direction. The dollar might lose its sheen and a lot of oriental currencies might look greener than the dollar. Its in this context that we should be looking at the free trade blocks and I don’t just mean the SAFTA. The recently proposed Japanese idea of a composite asian free trade zone comprising of japan china korea the ASEAN nations and India which would give new hopes to more than half the worlds people is something to be viewed seriously and hopefully realized at the earliest. Our naturally suspicious mentality, although we cant say that its totally unjustified, has taught us to view all our neighbors with caution and apprehension which would be the greatest roadblocks as far as we are concerned about realizing this plan. We have always lacked that ability to think huge and so far ahead that none of us might be alive to see the fruits of it. Revive the ambitious Asian monetary fund idea, start thinking of having a boundary less east asia and announce to the world that the times they are a changing.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I just finished watching Samsara. Its an off the beaten track one set in Ladakh. About a monk who goes to become a normal villager and then again decides to go back to the life of an ascetic having failed to find the purpose that he was searching in his life as a villager. At this point his wife comes before him and says that if he had just shown that much passion and love in his life as a monk he would have become a budha in this life itself. Hurt and dejected our man decides to turn back and spent the rest of his life with the family. Hearing this the wife smiles and the next instant you see that she wasnt ever there.
Our hero realises how fickle and weak he is and this shatters him on realizing that hes never going to find his place neither as a monk nor as a commoner.
Ive written somewhere below on the need to have a motive, a purpose in life. Ive never felt it, to be realistic but maybe that purpose is deep within and not very well enunciated but still defined and solid as to create a feel. The restlessness and the frustrations, the impatience and the anger, these cant be when all's going well which would have been the case if wherever life was taking me was my goal.
But then when would you realise that you are there or atleast that you are approaching it. The best option is to think of it as a dynamic ever changing target but to know that it just exists is all that matters which will drive you forward to do that thing you are doing just a little bit better.

Do you have an actor in you?

Acting is something which in due course that ive realised that id never be do with much success.
Just one among the long list of things which i once assumed i must have a talent in but life , like a spoilt child was incissent that i 'd get that right in my head. This is true with the case of singing and dancing as well.
Well I was part of the eminent college of Engineering's talented skit team that was sent for the kerala University arts festival. Well you need not ask what happend at the event, or you think the vain fool that i am wouldnt have proclaimed that somehwere in the initial paragraphs itself?
But life is funny. Because acting is not really acting. Mohanlal used to say that acting is just reacting. Acting is what you do with life. And that is not always reacting. So i would like to think that the best actors on stage need not be the best actors in life.
Life has a funny way of leading you in your thoughts in one direction and then surprise you all of a sudden by revealing another face of it which really catches you by surprise, infact thats what makes life worth all that tehre is to it. I though i could never act, and yet here i am acting in roles never imagined and in stages where i thought id be silently transparent.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

City of Joy.

The city of Joy has been pretty gloomy in all the time that ive been here. The day shuts down early as is the case with everything else in this city. I mean its almost pitch black by quarter to six, why dont they think of having a separate time zone or something like daylight savings time around here. Maybe its the sun which taught the people the culture or is it the vice versa i really dont know. Unlike any other big Indian city worth its name the city streets are virtually empty past 9. Salt Lake, where I am put up is considered the upmarket locality and still you'd have a tough time getting a pack of biscuits after 10.
The sluggishness is so ubiquitous that its almost eerie. Shops dont open in the afternoon till evening, and the shopkeepers take their own lazy time to respond or even acknowledge that youve been trying all sort of languish moves to catch their attention. Mondays are sacred days and hence you dont work. And bandh days are bad and then too you dont work. Subway needs a minimum order of 500 to do a home delivery and the crap restaurant which gave me food poisoning just the last week took 1.5 hours to make that lame food.
And Sector V of salt lake which houses half a lakh of professionals and students doesn't have a decent restaurant in the vicinity.
There are but two creatures which seem to muster out some amount of energy to venture out in their businesses after midnight - thieves and dogs. Salt Lake is a breeding factory of all species of mongrels that providence ever imagined, and by duties i dont mean that of safeguarding but of increasing their folds. I here need to talk about a friend of mine who took refuge inside an ATM while he was coming back a little late in the night and was confronted by one such pack.
And of thieves i can speak volumes. Ive had goods worth twenty thousand stolen in within three months in this city and Ive stopped traveling in the local buses for fear of parting with my beloved wallet.
But the city is not all bad i tell you. I love the traffic here after the clogs ive got used to in bangalore. The roads are much less dusty than Bangalore. The weather is much milder than Delhi or Chandigarh. And there havent been any power(as in electricity) problems, no loadsheddings or surges as is so common in Delhi and to a lesser extent in Bangalore. Well there is humidity but still better than Chennai.
There still remains a minimum of a year that binds me to this city, perhaps maybe id get used to the things i hate and find the things i love too good to even consider living without. Maybe as with everything else in this city even getting to love it also takes its own sweet time.

how hard is it to spot a phony

In a general context I am proud of India as a nation, of the sheer miracle of faith, for the triumph of justice truth and belief over the most persistent forces of hatred. I am an ardent believer of democracy and thinks of it as the best or atleast the lesser evil among all forms of governances possible.
But then i see events such as today's which really out me to shame. Today i saw a newspaper article which had a picture of the chief minister of UP Mulayam singh yadav donning a Muslim clergies attire. I can understand the dirty mind of a shallow politician. What perturbes me is the mind of the average middle class Indian who goes for these sort of narrow minded antiques which is nothing short of political debauchery. If Mulayam Singh is eyeing Muslim votes then the Muslims should be wiser than to be fooled by the wolf in sheeps clothing. And the Hindus without whose votes Yadav cant hope to get near the coveted chair should also see that here is a man who would shift views, change opinions at a moments notice in case the counter point of view assures a couple of vote more.
How long will the political class play the role of the Pig in the Orwellian animal farm and make us split along communal and regional lines for their meager benefits. The attire of a politician reeks like a pig sty that anyone with a morsel of humanity or consciousness would prefer the guillotine or die of hunger in this land of poverty and unemployment rather than walk that stinky path. Its time that the new push out the landed and lend some amount of respectability to the politicians chair because the Pig's reign is not an eternal one. But someone better has to come forward, the nation needs that today. And nothing short of an uprising of the just, the good and the true, for nothing more does evil need to triumph that the righteous to not to their task.

Preserve the child in you.

As one grows older what suffers the most in a person is the child inside. The day the child in you dies you die. The child is the one who makes you laugh at the corniest jokes, makes you look at the dog trying to bite its own tail and run into the yard to catch the first rain drops after a torterous summer.
I'm reminded of an episode in 'friends' in which Phoebe's grandmother dies and her spirit stays behind because she still hasnt seen everything. The key to eternal life is to have that quest to achieve more, do more , see more.
There is so much beauty around each one of us but you stop seeing once the child leaves you. The kitten that meows in the yard next door never catches your attention and the whistling of the wind through the trees fails to create a tune in your heart and be you warned thy day hath come.

teenie meenie men

One thing i cant stand are men who dont have identities of their own. The kind of men who needs a group to speak out anything, stand up for a cause or even raise their eyes to meet up to the opposition.
Its true that it takes a lot on a man to stand alone and walk against the tide. And history has given us just few of those. But those who have no opinions of their own that derive ideas from their neighbour are the kind of vermins that id rather not even touch with the heel of my shoes.
The worst are those who get into a group and then try to subtly sway the group from the back...very often ends up in miserable failure thats a different deal.
But these are dangerous men mind you. Humanity would be well served to make these species extinct. Often reminds me of the slithery slimy snake that persuaded poor Adam to taste the forbidden fruit.
I do realise the purpose of evil in the world even of moulds and mucus and rats and rust, but people like then should be Banned and thrown to purgatorial fires for the sake of humanities Salvation.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Ive been getting certain vibes..and not so good ones when i think about the Barca V Liverpool fixture thats gonna happen in a few weeks time.
Strangely the form the odds expert opinion is all in Barcas favour...even fortune in terms of injuries seems to be in their favour with Etoo, Messi and the likes scheduled to return from injury in time.
Im not a believer in karma, kismet or even intuitions. But a firm believer that in case you are prepared for the worst the worst wouldnt happen. Coz god knows that in case you are ready for it whats the whole point in throwing that very same ball at you..Shane warne would never tell you that hes going to go for a googly and then ball it would he.
So perhaps the best way to play warne would be to search for googlies in every delivery.
But coming back to Barca...ive been an ardant fan for years and im not used to things going so smoothly for them as it has been for the last couple of years. Undoubtedly europes best team, trophies coming their way and consistency in performance, what more does a fan need.
Well this fan for one needs that fateful two matches to be over as fast as possible. Coz the sky is innervingly too clear for my liking.

Yo amor Espanol

Well and we started with spanish in our course from last week and already im in love. Theres something amazing with learning a new language cause in a way you are not just acquiring a new medium of communication but its an open window to a new culture, new ideas and a whole lot of people. And spanish has a certain mystery a true european elagance which still retains a renaissance aura. Spain to me remains more associated with that time and age,with wine and classy women, with sun and spices and magical journeys in search of gold. And this is my first taste of tangy spicy spanish. But the way is long and the road is tough...till then

Hasta lluego!!!

Do all men see?

Do people do the things they do for a reason always?
And are the men who are successful (and i dont mean anything spiritual cause success and failure is all in this mortal world and anything beyond is rubbish) do things for a purpose and have they always known what they need to do. Or did it occur to them one fine day on their stroll down the alleyways of life that this is the turn that he needs to take from here on and everything was great from there on?
For me, every way is equally dark, or equally bright as I am an optimist. I am not saying that i feel as if im freefallin down a twisting turning spiral with no control or brake. Its not so desperate as yet. Its more as if i dont care as long as the light stays and the light for me is from within, its not shone on me from outside. So thats good isnt it?
Well I am not so sure. Coz its easier for your flame to be extinguished when you carry it around with you all the time rather than hope to do with the light offered by the world around.
But lets not be bogged down by tragic possibilities and fears of what might, coz thats not the way to live. Thats the way for the men who like to see where they keep their next foot, the likes of men who see reasons for their actions. And i certainly am of not that breed.
Take whatever is thrown at you as that is more than what is required. Whats important is to keep that light burning within. Let the flame grow into a blaze that anything that life throws at it will be consumed and grow into a towering inferno.

F1 2007

Ive been trying hard to find a motivation to watch the about to start formula1 season. Now with Schumi gone and my long standing tormentor partnering the team that i love the most, i couldnt find something to love and admire without remorse in formula1.
But now ive found a reason, not love but hate.
Im gonna watch this season to see the arrogant unsure alonso meet the end of his lucky streak.
Somewhere around the end of last season the guy proclaimed that the season has predetermined and that schumis gonna win the championship...well what happend?
Sure as hell that would have happend without any sort of external assistance if ferrari had just done their part well.
But then that would have made the puny rascal right. Or am i to believe that the season was predetermined with alonso winning the title?
well whatever, it was just the frustrated ramblings of an unsporting child.
Things are quite different from last season he doesnt have a super machine which jsut needed you to hold the steering straight and without fail it would take you to the finish line in first place.
The only thing i could have wanted more is schumi to take his place in the red ferrari and teach the pea brain a few lessons in professionalism.