Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Wait

Is our world essentially made up of good people or bad people? That is a question that has plagued philosophers from a long long time. I think you will agree with me, if I were to say that being good or bad for most people is a temporary state and we are all good or bad at some point or time. Is violence of any form good? Is fighting a war good? A war for a good cause perhaps.

Due to our increased interference with environment it is apparent that we are opening windows to alternate worlds or our forces of projection are becoming so powerful so as to force reality. A couple of years back, a strange young man was suddenly seen somehwere around Bangalore. He was wearing an attire never seen in those parts before, a wrap around of some sort and heavily armored. His crown was made of pure gold and was armed to the teeth. Even from a distance it was easy to tell that this man belonged to some class of nobility, a class that does not possibly exist right now. When he was caught by the police, he was carrying a bagful of antique gold coins and had claimed to be a king. The police claimed he was an antique thief.

The picture of him was too authentic, so I went to meet him. One rarely gets to meet different people these days. The jailer told me that "king" knew that people wanted to meet him and the authorities had made long visiting hours possible. I was led through a few corridors and soon was being led to the main library. The jailer and his men had taken a liking to this "king" and had given him the largest accommodation, library. They had managed to find a bit of antique furniture and through a real antique smuggler and had arranged all of these to resemble a court for the king. One of the other jail inmates was reading something to the self-proclaimed king when I entered the court. The king welcomed me warmly and said it was important to treat travelers like me very well because we were the only history that people would refer to eventually. Written history in the same kingdom will have the bias of the winner and oral histories would be corrupted. It was important that I wrote about him. I told him that it had to be a story worth writing about.

He claimed to be Pulakesin II, the great Chalukya emperor. Taking that on face value was difficult enough, but the guy either had enormous wealth or was a sorcerer considering what he had converted the jail into. Human beings innately want to be led, they need a larger sense of purpose of living their lives. People like me provide the channel. A long time back me and my minister had concluded that the sum total of the number of people who are willing to fight and die was infinite and the sum total number of people who could lead their people into that fight was limited. So, it is easy to entice foot soldiers into dying for whatever cause they are drilled into whereas the generals need opportunities to create the events. He had found that the world now had billions of people, the concept of the world and his people was amusing to him. The current generals are doing a bad job he said, people need to believe that theirs is the only single society that had stood the test of time and there was only darkness around. It was important to propagate this so that the people remain under control. He was reading lot and this sort of control was best served through democracy, give people a semblance of choice and they will always feel contented. He held referendums at the drop of a hat and never lost any.

He would now prepare an army and attack I told him about being organized as nation states and that it would be future to attack another state (Pulakesin was reading maps and history to find out what happened to the clans he hated) and Pulakesin had a hearty laugh. I was not getting the point, going to war was an end in itself. It was in him and it was in every person that had a few followers. If an opportunity of attack persisted, he would attack. Otherwise it was important to let everyone knwow that you are ready, have an army and are ready to attack. The some total of violent people had to be constant, someone would get violent enough soon.

Last I heard Pulakesin was still waiting for the war, though he was member of parliament now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Knee Twist

The park is symbolic, it almost stands out in defiance surrounding it. The parks are gardens are symbolic of cities of which they are a part of. For large cities, they are places of recreation. For cities that are cramped for space and teeming with millions, they offer space - albeit of a different variety.

The other day I was walking in the park in the morning. The park is circular and is relatively small. It was a mix of running and walking and within a short period I had completed a significant number of laps. It was damn hot ( I am usually highly delusional, heat makes it even better) and slowly I saw the path turn on itself, sort of a mobious strip. The thing is, if you create an electro-magnetic field in the form of a mobious strip and then cut along the centre, you can get transported (not really, but I had read about this "experiement" a long time ago and this seems a suitable explanation). My own physical energy created the field and I had walking along the centre cutting the field. The more I think about it, the more details I can remember about the exact sequence of events that led to this remarkable course of action, almost as if my memory is willing to accept the reality that which fits its logic.

Unfortunately I did not seem to get transported well or to a land of naked women. I sort of seemed to be an apparition in a world which was dimensionally complicated. People and objects could move through me and I could the same myself, so I was not physically present there. The movement was almost cartoonish, the way they show some who has massive inherent speed criss crossing from one point to another. This criss crossing was happening in a three dimensional realm, so lots of people were seemingly simultaneously everywhere (that must be physically possible, if you did travel at the speed of light then the observer wouldnt know the difference of where you are, at any given point you are present everywhere). Atleast the physical features were similar to ours.

Technologically and visually, the place was a paradox. The place was a mix of our technology few thousands year back and a futuristic technology (houses that appeared and disappeared at will, made of a strange material). Given the fact that I hadnt been transported fully meant that I might not have too much time here. I was observing this particular gentleman (who looked a lot like Captain spock), who was appearing all over the place, with completely different expressions each time. Upon closer examination I realized that the clothes that I was seeing on him were but some sort of clock, his real clothes seemed to be changing everytime he appeared. It was the same with everyone there.

It was now dawning on me, I had entered the no-man s land of universes. Everyone and everything was there at the same time, but they werent.

A sharp pain bought me back to reality. Funny that it should always be pain of some form that brings reality into focus, I had twisted my knee.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I say it is not so easy anymore. No, its not a "our fathers had it easy", sort of thing. Nor is it anywhere related to the economic crisis (though I would have wanted to be invited to Silvio s parties). Well, maybe its got to do a little bit with the trauma of watching Freida Pinto as Phaedra, but to blame this entirely on Freida would be giving her way too much credit.

These days everyone is under pressure to do something cool, something unique - something that will put people in awe of you. The normal does not catch attention, it has to be something unique. "Kya Yeh Gaay Alien Hai" comes close, I am sure the editor saw it as an unique opportunity.

One of my friends who expert culinary skills include being able to maggi was talking the other day about cooking seafood and the different varieties of olive oil. "Crash, boom" - sorry even while thinking I crash into "Don't know what to do, will become a photographer" kind, gotta be banned. Someone was going bonkers in a "desi" store for clothes, turns out that to be taken seriously while talking about unknown world movies it is important to look like a culture vulture. The other day while I was taking a walk in the park, I got pulled into a group for a discussion. There was this one guy who said today's topic was "has the govt. done enough for this park" and proceeded to then talk for the next one hour. Found out later that he was training to sound like Arnab (bugger doesn't know that there can be one and only Arnab). My friend tells me that people on twitter are all into unique stuff, so unique that she shudders at the ingenuity being displayed.

I tell you that this social networking is a conspiracy to keep unsuspecting people from thinking clearly. Imagine the bygone days, you went out and saw an Akshay Kumar movie and quickly retreated home hoping that no one saw you. These days you would announce it on your favorite network and quickly wait for the race to see who has seen the worst movies (nice try, people can watch absolute crap). The Arab spring has its roots on facebook we are led to believe (and if reports are true CERN is run from facebook), so we ought to take it seriously.

I want to take these things seriously, but that wouldn't make me unique would it (must control urge to declare that I have produced something unique by writing this.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1. Whatever goes around comes around

  • Not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors

  • (of an action or its result) Showing or caused by a lack of attention

  • Not concerned or worried about

  • Showing no interest or effort; casual
  • These are the various meanings of the word careless. I like the one that says not concerned or worried about the most, but it is actually best defined by meaning no. 2: lack of attention. This lack of attention can afflict me at any given point of time, in whatever I do, irrespective of my proficiency in it. Truth be told, now that I think about it, there is no such thing as a careful person. Every person is careless at something or the other during any given day, its just about how the plot unravels - explains the seriousness of the carelessness.

    I tend to bunch up my visiting cards in my shirt pocket. So if a card that is similar to mine ends up being clubbed with my cards there is very high likelihood that I could hand over someone else s card as mine. Sometimes I end up meeting foreigners. Sometimes these foreigners are are of chinese origin. Sometimes such chinese people hardly understand who they are meeting, will not ask questions and will stick to e-mail for correspondence. Sometimes, I could hand over my card to one of them. Sometime that card could have a woman's name on it.

    And you know what the consequences could be. In India, you possibly still keep your job. But out of the various careless things that I can and do, like stepping onto a manhole while reading a book or banging onto a pole while walking, I begin to wonder which of the carelessness will eventually turn out to be harmful.

    I have a very common name with a different spelling. I have handed thousands of my cards. Sometimes my cards are with foreigners. Sometimes these foreigners are of chinese origion. Sometimes such chinese people hardly understand who they are meeting, will not ask questions and will stick to e-mail for correspondence. Sometimes, they mark me assuming it is someone else. Sometimes it ends up being the same person I gave the wrong card to.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010


    She was born this way. Of course she did like to see, but currently it was not possible. But the best she could do now was not to get swayed by feelings of sel-pity and get depressed. So what if she could not see? She knew she could feel everything better than everyone around her, she know when her mom expects something from dad but he does not notice, when seema wants to be left alone but dad does not get it, or how the room was about to erupt but stood with silence when Uncle Rakesh spoke for the first time about his divorce, she got this things instinctively. But during other times when people spoke about things around her, dresses of people, TV, internet (i cant believe all the information in the world can be made available on any gadget - a gadget itself was imaginary for her, but then she had vivid imagination) and the changing colour of seasons. That above all, the changing colours of seasons depressed her a lot, maybe because she could smell the change but couldnt see it, so at those times she usually unsuccessfully tried to change the topic.

    Dad was always supportive of her and seemed to treat her almost as if she had no problems. Luckily they were well heeled and she got the latest hearing aids and went to a good school for blind people and also had a private braille tutor at home. She was a diligent student and absorbed everything that was thrown at her. She had a soothing voice and had a lot of friends in
    the blind school. She loved school, everybody was like her and they spent long hours together what each other felt as people in the normal world (she did not understand it, but she always thought she was abnormal, but couldnt lay a finger on why that was the case) talked about different things. Things that they could touch were easy, apple, phone, book they were able to learn remember and appreciate, but things like countries, universe, physics (why would anyone want to learn what goes beneath what you can see?) etc... and culture. There was the culture of her world were things were imagined and there was this culture of the normal world thats all there was to it right? Her world views were simple and sufficient: If you can see things how can you misunderstand?

    Medical technology has made amazing strides in the recent years. They had found a new way of treating people like her and they were going to try the new method on her, her dad told her. The operation was successful and she needed about a week to open her eyes. Slowly she came to terms with the new world, everyday was a new experience in what she could see. She understood that they were not that well to do and Dad had spent a fortune on her, she saw that countries had boundaries which people did not really understand, she understood physics to be the challenge of understaning movement she understood that culture was what each person sees and hence the misunderstanding, she understood that universe was expanding for no particular reason than that it was. What she did not understand that there seemed to be no one like her, she could not connect with anyone. No, one would talk about everything under the earth freely, giving shape to what they have heard and seen and coming to terms with the perceptions of each other. She seemed to hit a wall with people. Almost as if people decide that at some point they cannot allow someone to see further inside. Initially she was the hightlight of everyplace she went.

    The person who had begun to see recently, everybody wanted to talk to her, to know how the world appeared to her, but soon she realized that it was just a novelty factor and most people were not really interested in what she saw or thought. Even those who were interested, interpreted what she tought of things in some theory that they saw fit. Men especially, their understanding was so narrow she thought, she could lead their thought process anywhere and they would follow. Women understood her better, so she spent a lot of time talking to women. About men, about dressing, aoout their lives and struggles everything, but at some point she always hit a wall.

    The more she saw, the more lonely she felt. The soothing nature of her voice was gone and she felt a strong attack of self-pity. It was better in the normal world.

    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    State of Affairs

    Bbcworld wanted to do a story on the issues of food and education in
    india. So they decided to ask each of the political parties for a
    view. The reporter was quite new to this part of the world actually, so he decided to start at the ground level, the party worker:

    Congress worker: We will go as per the diktat of the party high command.

    Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati (no one else could be found as they were busy
    building statues): Hum jo bhi karenge bahujan samaj ke hith mein

    Samajwadi Party (SP): Its a conspiracy against minorities. Amitabh and Amar
    are behind this. We will continue to fight this oppression.

    Communists: We will tell you after reading arundhati s (roy) views in outlook. And do you say you want to speak to workers? We are Indian communists. Btw, while we wait for Arundhati to write, you can always refer to the notes of Chairman Mao on this.

    Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK): what did the edhar kachi (other party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)) say? Bottles, stones, riots.

    Bjp: we are waiting for our next national committee to convene a "different" response to this problem. Its on our agenda. We have run through 4 party presidents to get to this point. The future is ours. Btw you guys did a story on our rise, can you share it we me? We need to train those rss fellows.

    Finally, manmohan singh: "it is a grave problem and will take difficult decisions".

    And bbcworld reports: india is shining away in the 21st century. There is increasing political resolve to solve the age old problems of food and education.

    The correspondent: My boss told me India is an important market and I love my job.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    Organization building

    1) How soon does it take to put up blinds on a window ? : 6 months

    2) HR figures that the actual working hours are next only to France on this planet and hence proposes a siesta time which would be added to daily working hours

    3) There are value systems, value coaches, value huddles and other things that would increase value

    4) Firmwide HR responsible for a business does not know what the people in that business do

    5) A million dollars and more on executive training

    6) Everything is stuck between the nth meeting and the n+1th meeting

    welcome to the growth organization. god bless.