Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ramparts of 2010

Nothing excites me more than the ability to envision the change I want to be in the coming year!

-- In Ooty; on 27/12/2010

At the beginning or rather at the envisioning of the beginning, every year is thought to be similar to the one that passed by. But living through the expanse of that limited time, one comes to understand that only the count of 365 days is similar and that the similarity ends just there! In truth, it is the differences that are a plenty, if anything!

This year too hasn't been any different from the feeling and understanding of that reality! For me, this past year has been very eventful having taken me places and made me feel so much more closer to the purpose of learning that I have always so inherently imposed by belief upon! Nothing, you'd agree, could be more rewarding the ability to learn and learn well, of the realities that exist and how therefore the person would have to comprehend and come to terms with that on an ongoing basis.

For starters, a relocation to Chennai, cloistered well into the Southern face of India, has helped me sort of begin an innings that someday I hope to title as well-rounded in experience. This move has been very exciting and the multitudes of learning thereafter have been a gift that many would never know of, let alone be able to envision and understand! For that purpose, life has been kind, though challenges have been at the door front like ominous signboards screaming apprehensions! But perhaps, if I were to answer the question of what that singularly moving learning lesson was, I would lose little time in being emphatic at the fact that it the test of one's character to be able to remain composed in the face of all adversity while maintaining stoic disposition of what one truly wishes to become as against what one could be forced into exhibiting in temperament, considering circumstances!

Moving to the blog part - It couldn't have been more rewarding this year, particularly for being able to manage it as desired, despite all the hectic schedules. A while ago, someone on Facebook echoed loudly of how much free time I had in possession to which my response has been that "despite however much busy I would be today or in the coming times, I will be sure of never ever being so busy to forgo my passion."

Although, I haven't been able to remain as engaging as I wished to be, on the blog front, I'm very happy to note that Redefining Oblivion has long surpassed the 100 countries readership mark. This year alone, there have been 15,466 page views, 5137 visits and 2787 visitors. I can't thank all of you folks for this priceless support and patronage that makes me feel absolutely wonderful! On the blogger meet front, I have been very fortunate to be able to meet 3 of the finest people in the blog world, an association with whom I will cherish for all time to come.

This coming year, I imagine will be much more structured, in being able to define what it is that we need as against what it is that we are prepared for work for, strictly in the sense of wanting to be a part of a journey of excellence and good that we have always envisioned ourselves to be an integral part of. Let there be no doubt that our journeys are deeply intertwined and purposeful and so also the importance to be true, realistic and always oriented to a culture of excellence, more from within than to be able to see it outside of the self!

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead, one that will most certainly bring you the very best, yet! It is also my prayer that you be blessed with the rationale of being able to be wise, steady, firm and confident in all that you endeavour to do, supported unconditionally by a great deal of courage and conviction, while also believing always that excellence is an ongoing journey and not a destination to arrive at!

Most importantly, may you be blessed with unending measures of happiness and health!

God Bless you and thank you for bringing the light in my life!


The Ramparts of 2009

Opening Statements - 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

100th post this year

It gives me immense pleasure to be able to pen my 100th this year and more so of a pleasure to be able to do it from home in Ooty, where I am presently vacationing, watching over the coming days that will herald the turn of this year!

Stark contrasts in almost everything, Chennai and Ooty are poles apart. I guess I will never be acclimatized to the weather here in Ooty despite how many ever years that I have been here or will continue to do so! But I must say I love this peace and quiet, something of a luxury of sorts, to be able to unwind in the calm expanse of nothingness really!

This year has been very special, purposeful and quite meaningful too, having spent sometime doing that I was expected to do and then furthered onto something that I have always wanted to do! There is a sense of excitement and goodness, one that I am reasonably sure will prevail for a long time to come.

But this post is different, in the sense of arriving at a count for the year, since, unlike 2009, this is not the last this year! At 101, please standby for 'the Ramparts of 2010.'

Do have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A sleighing song tonight!

O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way,
Bells on bob tails ring, making spirits bright,
What fun it is to laugh and sing,
A sleighing song tonight!

Redefining Oblivion wishes you and folks a merry Christmas!

Do have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Socially networked!

Technology, and it's ability to be all pervasive, never ceases to amaze me, despite however many times I've been a direct user!

Time zones, boundaries, cultures, mindsets and a whole lot of other barriers later, there is one thing that makes me feel awed beyond words - about the feeling of togetherness, even in distance!

To imagine the ability to connect to a loved one and share the workings of life thus far, and listen to the amazingly wonderful bygones of the not so very distant past seems blissful, and what makes it more appealing, is that there is no challenge of time and other supposed significants involved!

I'm not professing that technology replace the good old warm hearted togetherness of face to face, but certainly where that cannot happen, this can be a quick-fix facilitator?

Perhaps, it was wrong, after all, for me to have titled this post the way I left it to be, as opposed to actually naming it more aptly to be the exercise of living together in the world of the handheld! ;-)

This blog, for instance, only one among the many! :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Messages from the masters

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens. 

-- Woody Allen

A wonderful message that landed into my inbox! Thought it worth sharing as we head into the weekend and spend some quality time with ourselves.

"In deep sleep you have no world for you. But you are there in that world. You also feel very comfortable. Only after awakening from sleep do you feel lost for comfort. During waking hours, this sense of identification with body and mind prevails.

This is something new to you. In your sleep there is no ego.

The birth of your individuality with your ego is considered as your birth.

When that individuality of the mind is eliminated what remains is only that of true self.

And, that is the eternal bliss!"

Do have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Beautiful Boy

13 December 2010
Chennai, India

Dear David

I never will possibly understand what you could have been through over the years, often battling overwhelming odds to ardently shelter your loved one from a destructive force that is almost always all permeating in the mind and the body!

I began reading your account 'Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction' this past weekend and I must tell you how touched I am. One cannot readily imagine the situation of a parent, or a child, who is faced with a situation such as yours, except wonder how telling it would be on the strength of the family to pull through another day, as if that were perhaps the most arduous of tasks ever.

Besides, dealing with a feeling of guilt while maintaining stoic disposition of wanting to control the situation, and yet being unable to successfully chance upon a measure of cure, someone in such a situation must, I believe, be terribly caught in a quandary over being so utterly powerless in the very first place.

Perhaps, the biggest and most commendably courageous step forward, apart from of course, being the person that you were during those telling times, was your remarkable ability in speaking to the world what it was to be who you were, the family included.

Surely, today, all of you are much stronger with the realization that there have been many lessons learnt with the passage of time and I take this opportunity to greatly appreciate the person you are for the unimaginable commitment and courage that you have so characteristically displayed, without a moment of doubt, specifically at a time when all of that would have been so easily impossible!

I'm touched, beyond words and cannot possibly describe how it feels!

Very sincerely,

V. Rakesh


Beautiful Boy is about a very moving account of a boy and his addiction to Methamphetamine, narrated in first person by his father.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Operation Rolodex

Life is almost always motivated, for many, by achievements, both in the realm of professional and personal domains! Therefore, also, a great deal of focus and efforts are directed towards achieving that very objective in what can become a terribly ongoing process that never really comes to an end!

But then, to think apart, and to take a few steps backward really, one must pause and every so often subject the self to a meaningful exercise of introspection.

Coming to do just that, I find it is about time that I kicked in 'Operation Rolodex' to my life. Derived from the words 'rolling index' this term is an indicative of a 'rotating file device used to store business contact information.' Now, if that makes you wonder why I chose to use such a quintessentially ubiquitous accessory of work to title my post and the exercise I choose to detail, please be assured that the words, or rather meaning of 'rolling index' is what appealed to me while I thought about the process itself.

Anyhow, summary descriptions apart, the Rolodex of my world is very simple; it is a mission to build a credible and lasting happiness index, or quotient, that ensures, more aptly, that the feeling itself comes from within and lasts for much longer than anything supplemented by an external object or entity! I hope to therefore build a huge positive emotional bank balance as part of my asset capital to last me for a lifetime, which in turn will help me, among other things, also, to build very equitable and positive relationships!

Some inclusions, surely are, including but not limited to, Blogging, Blogger Meets, Calvin & Hobbes, Easy Sunday Mornings, Music, Reading, all of which are aimed to generate the high-fix! :-)

And, what's more? Rolodex is open forum! No Anti-Trust engineering really!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chennai today

Very rarely do I miss my Monday morning post! So one can imagine the sequence of events that unfolded yesterday, here in Chennai, owing to the rains that were nothing short of being inundating. The sheer spell and the unrelenting barrage took me by surprise! And for someone who is affected by the slightest change of weather, literally, one can imagine how that feels!

Anyhow, that has come to pass and there is a certain state of tranquility that prevails presently. But surely, the episode itself echoes very deep realizations of how minuscule a force we are in the face of an adverse natural circumstance that comes to be!

And then, as Terri Guillemets, wisely stated, 'weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.' I couldn't agree more!

Friday, December 03, 2010

The all time favourites - Movies

Fellow blogger Destination Infinity tagged me a few days ago, in his post titled "My top three movies of all time." Jumping at the chance, especially for the kind of a complete movie buff I am, I was delighted, primarily for being able to make a post of the many wonderful treats I've richly enjoyed so far! Nothing perhaps is more of a pleasure than to catch up on an epic over a quiet Sunday morning, in perfect solitude! So here goes my list, one that is more than the required three, a liberty I've taken owing to the pleasure accorded! :-)

Gandhi - This 1982 biopic, starring Ben Kingsley, picturing the life of a timeless icon is certainly a must watch for the manner in which the story is portrayed. Three words that can at best describe the after-watch feeling; powerful, lasting and evoking! Certainly a collector's item and a timeless classic!

Shawshank Redemption - It is one thing that Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption forms the basis of this epic, and yet quite another of how well the impressive star-cast brought about more than just life on the celluloid. Quite the description of how Tim Robbins and hope are synonymous now, if anything at all. And there is no doubt about the fact that hope drives a man insane!

Schindler's List - If Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's Ark made waves in the literary world, it's marvelous adaptation on screen by Steven Spielberg created nothing short of history! I'm sure many of us who watched the movie were transported into the somber and grizzly world of the Płaszów concentration camp. One man's marvelous tribute "in memory of the more than six million Jews murdered." Couldn't say more!

The Great Escape - Staying with Nazi Germany but viewing the unfolding of events from a very different vantage point, this 1963 epic starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough, among others, is an on-screen adaptation of a book by Paul Brickhill which details the true account of a mass escape from Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp, in Żagań, Poland. Vivid, picturesque in setting and thoroughly well coordinated in the effort of portraying the series of events that took place in exact detail, this creation is an absolutely must watch for any history enthusiast!

The Jungle Book - None but Rudyard Kipling could have told us the tale of the Indian jungle in the way it was done. So, if the names of Mowgli and Sher Khan have become household, it is surely because of the legacy of one man who envisioned the wonders of the Indian outbacks and made efforts to portray its wonders in vivid imagination and detail that would never have been possible by another!

Great Expectations - The story of one man and his love for a woman, and the sequence of events that unfold! All of this wants me so much to read the work of Dickens. I see a great deal of childhood in this and for some reason many a thing so vivid in the mind, yet those that I could never come to terms with. Expectations and them being great are just about two very different things I suppose!

Godfather - The iconic reference to an offer that could never be refused and the kick-thrill to envision a strong rebellious parallel, powerful and discrete, all permeating and inimitably marked in mannerism of a thought, this movie is more than just a tale of a few people and their doings. It perhaps is the mindset of a system that longs to establish a lasting presence in the very ecosystem that democracy has come to roost!

An Unfinished Life - Robert Redford and movie super stardom of supreme excellence are synonymous in more than just many ways of semblance. Iconic, impressive and lasting in the manner of portrayal, I could not settle for one or any, in particular, to be descriptive of that excellence I spoke about. Perhaps, the best way to convey my intent is to make a mention of this super drama that prevails like no other!

Legends of the Fall - Adapted from a novel by Jim Harrison, only Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn, among others could have fitted best into this super epic detailing the pre-world war I times set in western United States. There are all the elements of togetherness and otherwise detailed in there, of coming together and separation, life and death and a sense of reckoning that is richly unique in the manner portrayed. I guess there could be nothing more powerful and captivating, for the mind and the heart, than the feeling of glossing over bygones that seem so long long ago!

Braveheart - Little can I do in my efforts of trying to separate the identities of Mel Gibson and Sir William Wallace especially for the manner in which the portrayal was made in quest of a purpose that was insanely difficult at the face of mounting adversity. But energy, passion, persistence and perseverance add a great deal of zeal in winning over even the most toughened enemy as is seen, and 'freedom' comes at a rich price 'purified by pain' and often suffered at the hands of betrayal and treachery!

I could go on for miles on just the names, without any of my illustration or interpretation, especially for the fact that there are so many more of these that are iconic and truly characteristic of creative excellence. But I must conclude here, for now, with the understanding that there exists much more in everything than what can actually be told!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrating Calvin & Hobbes

To describe childhood as having been magical is an understatement. In truth, there can be no possible description of childhood! And for those of us who have been fortunate, thanks to a bankable familial structure that remains even now intricately woven around us providing unending comfort and security, yesteryears are moments that are cherished for all time to come!

This post in particular is an articulation of celebrating childhood, or rather the child in us that we eventually come suppress as a result of a failed recognition of what we need to be, as opposed to what it is that we truly need to be, the answer being happy!

So for me, childhood stands singularly apart for one very good and big reason, apart from, of course, the many other wonderful things that went into making it. That one factor, or if I may say avenue, of unending happiness and joy came from William Boyd "Bill" Watterson's epic creation of Calvin & Hobbes, which has to my soul, by far, been the most appealing piece of pictorial literature bearing supreme levels of intellectual excellence, yet so elementary and cheerful. That feeling of bliss, I'm sure you understand, is timeless and shall continue forever! And as this momentously fabulous creation has come to turn 25 (though having ceased to be renewed in 1995), I thought it apt to make a mention of how my childhood has been a celebration of times, thanks to this timeless wonder!

Boy, I cannot tell you how much I admire anthropomorphism, in the way it should be - Just like how it has been depicted as in the case of Hobbes! But just before I close this post, I'll leave you some splendid lines from the mannerisms of an avant-garde post-modern icon, Calvin! :-)

I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

Pretty convenient how every time I build character, Dad saves a couple hundred dollars

Are you suggesting that this appliance didn't aggravate me with malice aforethought?

Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.

If warped values are the price of a vicarious thrill, so be it!

I try to make everyone's day a little more surreal.

People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world

These are interesting times. We don't trust the government, we don't trust the legal system, we don't trust the media, and we don't trust each other! We've undermined all authority, and with it, the basis for replacing it! It's like a six-year-old's dream come true!

If it was completely different, school would be great.

Leave it to a girl to take the fun out of sex discrimination.

Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?

As a math atheist, I should be excused from this.

This one's tricky. You have to use imaginary numbers, like eleventeen ..

I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know.

In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.

That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!

To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible.Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.

I like maxims that don't encourage behavior modification.

I wanted to be a neo-deconstructivist but Mom wouldn't let me

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A kiss to build a dream on

Introspection is fantastic! It tells you what the mind had envisioned as against that what the heart wanted versus what actually happened. But before you are about to embark upon that quest, make certain what it is that you'd want to be stronger, the head or the heart! And imagination, mind you, can take you far further than comprehended!

A very long time ago, something changed in a manner that I cannot possibly explain! Days seemed as normal as they could be, but the elements were strong, and I found myself whimsically wondering of how I would contend with the wrangling forces hard hitting within the head, as a result of what happened outside of it. And then, there were dreams that the mind persisted for some reason. Walking almost always alone, thankfully, in the expanses of vivid natural picturesque, every moment meant something, something that bore a strange connection to something that I knew nothing of! Heck, must have been surely something!

Curiosity can sometimes get the better of you and unaided, you find yourself going deeper into realms unknown! Time passes by, no doubt, but there is a complete void that it leaves behind, akin to the feeling of work incomplete at the end of every day!

As the evening unfolds, and sweet solitude dawns, there is a heightened perception of what is and not, against what should and not be. Math, I'm sure is easier. But, such is life too! Debates rage, on how and why, often throwing up more questions than answers! And I set to wonder what difference would have been, if I had the moment, for a moment, to make the moment, or something of that sort!

Today, some three decades have come to pass and I cannot term what it is that connection or the lack of it can be termed as. But I do know very strongly that it is not a figment of the imagination. Maybe it all just happened, as it happened, but no denying that it changed a great deal of what life is! There was some kind of gradual gradient like fill-in that I did come to terms with, but the battle is ongoing and pauses are not longer than the need for catching a short breath and exhaling a sigh! Whatever do I call this? Learning? Experience? Or chance?

Surely, no end to efforts in fitting a square into a circle!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rendezvous with the Realist

It is uncommon to meet someone who has a very realistic perspective of life that is commendable, and therefore to have spent some quality time with such a person is truly a memorable experience, one that will surely be lasting in impression!

Issam Siddique is not your next door guy, nor is he one who can be considered to exhibit a characteristic mentality of the herd! This perhaps is his greatest strength, of course, combined by his ability to articulate perspectives very very well. In him, there lies a person of purpose, of clarity and persistence which is remarkably appreciable.

Therefore, not surprisingly, we got along extremely well, thanks to a chemistry that was nothing short of being electric! During the relatively short time that we spent together, we spoke about businesses, excellence, inspiration, mindsets, passion, books and people - all of which found commonalities and agreements among us with surprising ease. One can imagine then, the amount of delight when given a chance to meet someone so similar in thoughts and perspectives, despite very different backgrounds and conditioning!

Perhaps, the one thing that I would appreciate Issam the most would be for his remarkable ability to be cognizant of the world around without ever losing sight of the most trivial detail that many would consider insignificant.

It is not often that you meet someone who reflects truly what is within, but that when you do, you surely will know!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beyond Rangoon

There couldn't possibly have been better news emanating earlier this week from the wires than that of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. I hope this is the beginning of many marked steps towards political reform in a troubled nation, long embattled by strife, war, a worrying social apparatus and most importantly - a people bordering on hope and despair on an extremely thin margin!

I thought it worthy to share excerpts from her 'Freedom from Fear' speech made in the year 1990, which is most inspiring, conveying a sense of hope to the despaired and promising a future to those who have appear to have none!

"The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature."

Today, in seeing a glimmer of hope, Redefining Oblivion pays tribute to this icon and prays for the well-being of the people of Myanmar, who have long been subjected to unspeakable oppression, in the hope that they may soon be able to live in freedom and dignity, removed from the fear of systematic and socially supported mistreatment and exploitation!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheerio Master Blaster

It was on this day in the year 1989 that Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as an international cricketer!

To witness someone so consistent in performance, to be able to achieve excellence over excellence, and much more, with unfaltering pace and poise, is a rarity, and truly a matter of immense pleasure, something that will stand unparalleled.

I don't quite see the need to wax over his momentous achievements in this post - somethings simply need no elucidation whatsoever! East is east, spoken of, or otherwise! And do remember, this is coming from someone who has not even the slightest inclination to understand cricket!

Next on my list of books to buy; Sachin: The Story of the World's Greatest Batsman by Gulu Ezekiel

Folks, I'm confused really; there are 5 biographies published about this icon! Which one/s do I pick off the shelf? Any thoughts?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A and I

A and I first met in the year 1997! Firm shake of hands, round of introductions and exchange of pleasantries later, we realized instantly that there was a great deal in common, especially in the manner in which we thought, and that set about the beginning of what was to be a very warm relationship, that was truly one of a kind.

The passage of time brought us closer to one another, earning us the title of being 'brothers-in-arms!' In the offing was a friendship that was being built on very strong foundations of trust, admiration and respect. Eventually, it wasn't too surprising to have found an unspoken level of understanding developing among us. It was as if there was a great deal of inherent trust that has been in existence from much long before. Surprisingly, we were very different from one another and I'd like to believe that the strength of being complementary in togetherness was what brought us together and so definitively closer. A had off-the-shelf solutions to almost everything and viewed situations in a very pragmatic manner, much like how a mathematician would study equations with utmost focus on accuracy and logic!

But there are no perfect endings to wonderful beginnings! What began so brilliantly well was eventually brought to ruin owing to my immaturity and insensitivity, and we parted ways, almost in the likelihood of never being able to come face to face again! Years passed, places changed, perspectives altered and yet bygones remained in the mind with an impassable sense of guilt that the past could have been better scripted.

But that was until now! As is always the norm after a rainy squall, the glorious sun comes up to accentuate the life cycle. Clouds part and there is light, there is a new glimmer of hope and a promise of a brighter future. The storm withers and the beaten path begins to take shape again!

Today, some 13 years after, I couldn't ask for more than our momentous coming together that is historic! Having shed away the bygones, I find myself being welcomed with more than just open arms. My sense of elation cannot be described. There is only so much that I can conjure up in words to tell you how I feel - to be able to relive those wonderful moments once again knowing fully well that this 'homecoming' is a path charted out by destiny rather than by chance!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Rendezvous with the Spider

How someone so wonderful as Vimal (aka Vimmuuu), of the V-Lokam fame became the spider can be read about here and here! But that is beyond the point and not withstanding!

It thrills me beyond words to tell you about a truly wonderful meetup with a fellow blogger, something which was much like the coming together of old friends who have known each other and their ways, comfortably, for a very long time!

Vimmuuu is one of those people who is remarkably composed and characteristic of his display of tranquil poise, something that will win over even the most toughened heart! His ability to be grounded and yet remarkably eloquent is an attribute of charm and character that is rarely seen! Now, add a great deal of affability to the equation and who you meet is someone very warm, cognizant of the many multitudes of life's prevail and most importantly as real as reality itself, without any prejudices whatsoever!

Over some truly heartening southern fare, we found instant bonding that grew in proportions during the terribly short rendezvous that turned out to be a very momentous occasion for me! I can at best describe this as akin to meeting a childhood friend who carried with him a wealth of goodwill and warm gestures that made me feel happy and prized beyond expression!

Truly, it is destiny and not chance that brings people together!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Wishes on Deepavali

Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation! 

-- James Turrell 

Redefining Oblivion wishes you and folks a very happy Deepavali. Please accept my hearty wishes on the occasion, with prayers for good health, well being and prosperity! May the goodness of light and wisdom prevail in our lives enabling us to be better people, always!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Madras Central

Chennai, (erstwhile Madras), is a confluence of many cultures and ideologies, thronging from regional politics of the Tamil Dravidian kind to almost insanely iconic references to Rajinikanth! Being the idl-vada-sambhar capital of the world, it, perhaps, can be accorded as being the titular abode of the quintessential south Indian who oscillates from between Tanjore and Tennessee! So, when the winds of change directed my sails to head to Chennai, a little something spoke from within, in a mix of ecstatic enthusiasm and cautious optimism, and here I am, in a place unknown, calling it home for an indefinite period of time!

At 371 years of youthfulness, this bustling beacon of the South is a behemoth that never sleeps, allowing it's perpetually milling-around denizens to constantly make routine journeys within and outside it's confines that would put cross-country marathon men to shame! It is in this bustling metropolis that I have come to realize how nomadic we have become in the quest for a purpose, an exercise - every once so often, almost always invoked by destiny! One gets a mix of reactions upon landing here, some of which evoke old time charm and yet others that propel in the mind an urge to immediately be part of an expansive stream of professionals living hi-speed lives in a never ending quest for sustenance and success! Visiting Chennai, one immediately feels that there is an ample measure of tradition co-existing with modernity, which is among the many elements that make up a place, as well as the many definitely vivid and stark dichotomies echoed by the dualities of life! Rapidly coming to terms with a vast and ever-changing assemblage of people and prospects, diluted with multitudes of culture and customs, one attempts, in a very personal yet imitable manner, to seep in and become part of the flow that is surely overwhelming in scale.

But there is much more to this place, than just being India's second largest exporter of IT enabled services or being known for culinary delights that appeal to the inside or being an important host of Indian classical and carnatic music! And that is unique, something that is arrived upon differently, purely aided by perspectives and understanding, on a very personalized and individual basis. During the course of my stay here, it is that differentiating factor to myself, that I hope to understand through rich measures of experience and happenstances in my life, along with the many peculiarities that my eyes will so meticulously feed to the mind in order to make a definitive comprehension!

I look forward to very refreshing times, and most importantly to the prospect of being able to meet some very dear fellow-bloggers, here in Chennai, with whom I've shared such a wonderful equation! Suddenly, it appears that there is a whole lot to do, at the mercy of such less time, probably an overcoming feeling that is as a result of the effect of change! This is certainly the beginning of a new era, one of new promises, new challenges and hopefully new avenues of happiness!

So, Chennai, here I am, or must I rather say Vanakkam?

Friday, October 29, 2010

For the love of the game

I haven't had the least bit of passion for cricket, and possibly never will, but surely understand the electrifying thrill that a game generates, enthusing millions alike - quite the something that I derive from watching football!

But, it is certainly disconcerting to see Indian cricket embroiled in controversy and a legal mess, that could well have been avoided! As if Lalit Modi hadn't done enough, recent developments concerning the Kochi IPL team have added an all together new level of reality to the scene.

With growing concerns over issues surrounding ownership, equity, bids, loans and ventures, I'm wondering what it is that really makes these 'enterprises' ambassadors of sports, than just being front-ends of shady deals smartly orchestrated as being sport! So much for the game!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beginning and end - The philosophy

What we all call the beginning, is often the end!

Life has many ways of brining learning to those in the quest! It simply depends upon one's frame of mind and receptiveness to accept it! With each passing moment, curiosity is addressed with plentiful instances of  the purpose and therefore to remain shut off from happenstances takes a great deal of effort no matter however foolish that may seem to be!

This one time, I was blessed to have someone shape my perspective of what it is that we want and how it is that we set to achieve it. And the underlying theme of simplicity was not lost in the process, one bit! Every once a while, we are faced with a circumstance that tests our character to the very end and the winner often is the one who has emerged learned in the process and systematically internalizes the needful.

So then, when I came face to face with the beginning, a wise visitor lost no time in taking me to the end and making me question my mind as to what really it was that I wanted. Having produced a clear affirmation, I was asked to work backwards into the process of how that something would have to be constructed. The exercise made me summarily list a number of aspects that I viewed as being absolutely necessary to achieve the end and also elucidate the means of achieving each one of them. When the conversation was complete, I was left overwhelmed at the simplicity of thought that had been behind this guiding principle!

Truly, now I am convinced that it is the end that defines the beginning while also justifying the means to achieve that envisaged state. Come to think of it, birth and death are really one and the same, in terms of the purpose for which we are all created, because despite the beginning it is always the end that is in the quest, don't you think?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Surprises galore

Hold on to your thoughts! Do not let your imagination get the better of you! And most importantly, do not let the title of this post mislead you! Surprises are not always meant to be nice and they have a way of arriving unannounced, thereafter, creating a complete shakeup in the manner in which one's thought process is structured, questioning the very assumptions made to help understand life and its ongoings in a better manner.

In a world where the principles of excellence and efficiency are nothing short of driving forces, one naturally expects entities to be wiser with experience, if not always by education or an innate sense, but it seems clearly that such an expectation is utopian and far-fetched, for you'd be rudely jolted at the fact that there is nothing short of a whole populace that can at best be described as miserably foolish and intellectually challenged, surely beyond the possibility of repair! And, as if that wasn't already worse enough, these elements are comfortably ensconced, or rather embedded, at the very helm of affairs!

I'm wondering if it is a fundamental problem associated with the Indian mindset that sets it to emphatically, and at most times arrogantly, rest in the belief that competence and excellence are apart from what is normal! Perhaps one could attribute it to faulty genetic inheritance, en masse? But there remains no doubt for me to be assertive and complete in my belief that within the realm of space and time, here, now and forever, there will continue to be us and them - co-existing in agony! That should set a lot of them thinking more than just once if ignorance really is a state of bliss, while I sincerely hope that my sarcasm is seen as illustratively educative.

Come to think of it, life never really ceases to surprise me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

From the wishlist

It is difficult not to be charmed by the expansive wonders of the Masai Mara or the Serengeti. And the more I watch them being showcased on television, the more the urge, or rather the calling, to visit these absolute wonderlands. Truly, there perhaps is nothing more appealing to the inside than the nature. It makes me wonder, at length, how intricately perfect the system is, for being so thorough, sustaining to itself and its occupants, and yet being so absolutely flawless, all of which is governed by rules so innate, yet so simple!

To be able to traverse the wild country, swathed by the evergreen grasslands, home to a host of beings so rare and majestic, and to experience at first hand the beauty of a setting that is so much in contrast to any other on Earth, must be a certain something to reckon with!

But more importantly, such a place, I'm reasonably sure, will do a great deal to shape one's perspective of life altogether, and be able to understand life better, even though displayed at length and in characteristic of a very raw and sometimes gruesome nature, which makes me recount the mystical words of Abe Gubegna, to whom it was recited that "Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Viva Shera

Truly, alls well that ends well!

New Delhi can heave a huge sigh of relief after a near picture-perfect completion of the XIX Commonwealth Games, which began amidst controversy and blood baying, largely clouded by questions of India's capability to host an event of such magnitude and splendour!

While some sections within the media have dubbed the event as a treat for the senses, and yet some others continuing to harp about how the Scottish bagpipers wove an inimitable spell during the finale, the fact remains that the nation can toast to its successful conduct of the games and retire on a very memorable note.

Having said that one needs to also really look beyond just people, culture, heritage, customs, pomp and all, in an effort to build and strengthen capability!

Could the Olympics be far ahead then?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Destiny calling

I find myself traversing uncharted waters, into realms that I've not been into before. Naturally excited, I pace with enthusiasm and yet find myself cautiously optimistic of the journey and the path that I am to embark upon. A mix of emotions overwhelm me and I restrain the heart from overpowering the instincts of the head, in an effort to be rational. But, the more I try to be methodical, I find myself fraught with instances that I have not witnessed before. Such perhaps is the way of life, often nudging the traveller to undertake a course that will enrich learning in ways that cannot be fathomed!

With all the seemingly picture-perfect planning and meticulous detail that we drown ourselves into, it is very important to always provide a substantial margin of space for the unforeseen change, thereby creating a very strong buffer, purely for the purpose of being able to adapt to situations as and when they unravel.

Despite all of that we do or choose not to, there are some things that happen or do not. One may call that plain chance or an incident of destiny! That decision, with all of its decisiveness, lies purely at the behest of the experienced!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Eight below

It'd have been much easier for me to talk about Paul Walker and his furry buddies in the 2006 American adventure film, if you go by the title of this post, that is!

But that is hardly the case when it comes to talking about one's life and the varied influences that govern it's every pace, however insignificant it may appear to be. And this is about one such influence that has plagued me for what I could easily term as a millennium! Curiously, it is not a force, nor a person or for that matter neither a factor that can be easily noticed. It is merely a number!

The number 8 has played roles in my life, almost always, in ways and means I cannot really describe in words, and it still puzzles me of how seemingly random incidents, occurrences or references could bear the ominous influence of this now hairy-tentacled, omnipresent monster that I have come to view with a great deal of emotion that could largely border on a sense of being overwhelmed!

For starters, I was born on an 8th! All of the places I took in school, inclusive of my roll numbers, positions, patterns, scoring and a whole lot more bore the hallmarks of 8. I would automatically be assigned an 8 number whereever I presented myself! As if all of that wasn't already enough, my secondary school leaving examination identity had 8 written all over it! And just when I thought I had this eerie demonic influence outside of my life for good, I came to grapple with the fact that it was only the prelude that played so far and the beginning was really yet to begin! Thereafter, every number associated with me had extensive elements of 8 white-washed all over, ranging from employee IDs, access codes, plastic currency cards and seating patterns, just to name a minimal few!

Years later, now, upon looking back, I find 8 ruled instances in my life, larger in number than the stars in the sky and the grains of all of Earth's sandy shores put together! Just what determines this unsettling coincidence is still a matter of sheer intrigue!

But theres so much more to life, I understand! And live well I will, even if means to be under the shadows and spheres of the 8.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Remembering the Mahatma

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real, must be unaffected by outside circumstances. -- Mahatama Gandhi


Image Courtesy: Google 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Messy games!

Inputs from New Delhi about the upcoming Common Wealth Games are worrying. With barely a few days left to witness the commencement of what ideally should be a matter national pride, the current situation can at best be described as being 'unhealthy, uncommon and certainly unbecoming,' a very sad reflection of the undercurrents in the theme of what is a very prestigious event, that, if managed well, could give India the thrust to position itself as a nation capable of showcasing prowess and excellence, for the world to see!

This post is not written to rant about stray dogs defecating in accommodation meant for visiting athletes, unsafe electrical systems in the games village, disgusting sanitation facilities in the complex, collapsing bridges and ceilings, inaction of the Indian Prime Minister's Office or the very recent sordid tales of racism - all of which are being periodically reported by the media with a great deal of enthusiasm, coupled with the views of delegations that are preparing to arrive or, now refraining from doing so!

I'm highly bemused and also grievingly saddened by the fact that such a colossal effort manned by supposedly professional people has gone awfully wrong, merely because of the lack of a well laid out project management plan! Isn't it time that the honourable government entrusted such momentous projects to professionally managed organizations?

I'm not sure how many people up there realize that this is actually history in the making!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Net

Today, the Internet is seen as just another tool for exchange of ideas, communication, social networking and a whole lot of other cutting-edge applications such as tele-medicine, banking & financial services, remote sensing and so on!

It was on this day in 1979 that the Internet first acquired commercial viability, thanks to the efforts of CompuServe, thereby enabling and supporting what is today a robust and staggering user base, that is now an estimated 1,966,514,816 strong!

Perhaps, even more enormous is the social impact brought about by the Internet! One cannot help but concede that this is indeed a revolution of sorts, quietly, yet surely, changing the lives of people in ways that cannot quite be fathomed!


Internet users account for 28% of the world's population.

Source: Wikipedia - List of countries by number of Internet users

Monday, September 20, 2010

What do I write about?

What do you do when you don't have something, substantial or significant, to write about?

I gather, it still makes sense to create a post - about the fact that you don't have anything to write about, doesn't it? At least, it helps you overcome that supposedly maniacal syndrome called writer's block, which I guess, hits every one of us at some point of time. I don't exactly know what causes it, and surely, I understand, that varies from person to person. But, here and now, in my case I can attribute it to some clutter, a suddenly fast-paced activity that has momentarily thrown me out of my personal schedules, that I am so zealously known to follow! But, having said that, I know that it is imperative to accept change and retain the gusto!

Writing, I've realized can be about anything, so long as it is simple, entertaining, enriching and appealing! So then, when I hit a road-block, I decided to use that as fodder for my post! No harm in making the best of any situation, don't you think? :-)

The intrepid traveller, I continue to be!

Have a wonderful day folks, and a great week ahead!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Maestro Jayaraman

The magic of carnatic violin melody and Lalgudi Jayaraman Iyer are synonymous to the point of being absolutely complementary of one another, safely to be concluded as a fact where one is known for the other! The maestro's contribution to South-Indian music has enriched the sagara of carnatic music like no other. His compositions hold rich meaning and pattern that are evidently reflective of the culture of a people that is best known for tradition, knowledge and character!

Happy Birthday Maestro! May you strum more into the heart of humanity!


Official Website - Lalgudi Jayaraman

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Mustaine

David Scott "Dave" Mustaine needs no introduction! Absolutely iconic for his association with heavy metal bands Metallica and later Megadeath, his influence has stirred the world of metal music in ways that truly are incomprehensible! From Set The World Afire, The Four Horsemen and Kill 'Em All, to name a few that is, his creations awaken a spirit from the inside that, fuelled by an obsessive enthusiasm, knows no bounds in transcending the many boundaries of the self, aided by a musically beaten path!

Now we know, for whom the bell tolls! Happy Birthday Mustaine!


Official Website - Megadeth

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Ritchie

Today is the birthday of British filmmaker and screenwriter Guy Stuart Ritchie. Known for his ultra non-commercial and unconventional manner of film making, he has certainly attained a very coveted position in the world of showbiz! Intensely deep while depicting events from various perspectives, his films are rich in their portrayal of characters in a very iconic and imposing fashion, often leaving lasting impressions in the minds of the audience!

Which leads me to wonder of what he smokes while making movies! :-) Or is it the dyslexia at play? But surely, theres no doubting the genius he us!


Image Courtesy: Google Images

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

30's Club

Feels elegant to be part of the 30's club and to still be young! Joyfully turning 31 today!

Monday, September 06, 2010

The big question

Stephen Hawking's thoughts in his latest book The Grand Design about God not necessarily being the initiator of creation evokes mixed reactions in me. That part of me, which believes in rationality urges my mind to rest on the belief that creation was just an event among other things in what is a continuous process, but the other side of mine that anchors upon faith refuses to come to terms with a belief that the existence of my person, and the many other prominent facts such as the perfect Earth-Sun distance, the just-about-right solar mass and most astonishingly, the optimum time of day and night among other things, are not merely as a result of coincidence or accident!

I'd like to believe that while the process of creation has been strongly aided by scientific mechanism, it has been also stalwartly processed and furthered by a force that remains to be reckoned! More importantly, I'd like to believe that I, like all of us human beings, co-creations here on Earth and within the many realms outside of our own planet are indeed part of an elaborately grand design, and could not have come to being from nothingness or chaos merely because some laws of physics govern the manner in which the universe and it's contents come to be!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Happy Birthday King

Today is the birthday of Freddie King, the legendary king of blues and funk music, and in time the man who redefined the blues culture not only in the United States, but largely across the world!

Best known for his hit singles Have you ever loved a women and Hide Away, King continues to remain a Godly inspiration for modern day blues musicians who adapt his style and elegance in an attempt to etch themselves a name in the genre.

Following a proclamation in 1993 by the Governor of Texas, September 3rd has been declared as Freddie King Day! King passed away on December 28, 1976 in Dallas, Texas at age 42.


Official Website - Feddie King

Image Courtesy: The Official Freddie King Site

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Oakenfold

Today is the birthday of the British disc jockey and king of trance music, Paul Oakenfold.

For those of who know and follow this legend, his musical creations are a world apart, invoking within oneself a different realm that allows one to smell red, see ecstasy and feel the electric sense of an upbeat mood, without the assistance of any hallucinogenic substance, but merely as a result of wonderful conceptualized music!

So, facelifter, bunkka man, and popkiller, as you continue to rock the world with likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Redefining Oblivion wishes you a very happy birthday! May you continue to find the inspiration to chart interstellar journeys for millions of us who trip and travel unaided, fuelled only by the stunning doses of your magnificent composition!

Go on, make us the sound of tomorrow!


Official Website - Paul Oakenfold

Image courtesy: Google Images

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Others

Very quietly, my other blogs, the photoblog - Imaging Oblivion © ® and the Geo-political space - Thoughts of a Geo-political Observer © ®, are coming of age. They are now 20 and 15 months old respectively and are striving to shirk off their fledgling state while showcasing some unique and interesting depictions and points of view!

For me, nothing seems to be more rewarding than to see my creative actions being well appreciated and received in the right spirit. There, perhaps, is no equal to a feeling that evokes a sense of elation when one witnesses his own conception take wings! More importantly, these exercises continue to help me advance a long cherished dream, one that involves furthering one's passion above all else, in an attempt to remain happy at all times, and to be able to understand the world around!

It is a very content and happy feeling to be able to connect with people far and wide and to gain an understanding of different perspectives, and attempt to comprehend the driving forces behind every creative action, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be. In doing so, I believe, one broadens the scope of one's own horizon, allowing much to be seen and understood, in a rather equitable state of being!

As always, thank you for your kind patronage!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wishes on Onam

Today is Onam, the most celebrated festival of Kerala, marking the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali, during whose benevolent rule Kerala enjoyed a golden era, one of peace, prosperity and general well-being, which is believed to be unmatched to this day!

The following words of Mahabali hold immense significance even today and should well be considered as a model code for existence, "Prana (life) and Maana (honour) are like the two eyes of a person. Even if life goes, honour should be protected. Knowing that the person that has come now is the Lord Himself, I should be the most fortunate one as the Lord, who gives everything to mankind, is seeking something from me."

On this joyous occasion, I extend my wishes for a very happy and peaceful life, with prayers for a healthy and prosperous being, one that is constantly driven by purpose and goodwill.

God bless!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Self subjective

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are!

-- Confucius 

Just how important is faith? Or, how realistically resilient should one be? Better still, how pertinent is patience in the face of continuing adversity? Difficult questions? Or means for renewed introspection, I wonder!

Every facet of life is something that presents a unique opportunity to understand oneself more than anything or anyone else, for the entity called the self is really the only variable, though seemingly constant, with other things being merely subjective influences - Cēterīs paribus, in better known terms! So, if assumptions are really characteristic only to the basis of incurred instances, the most fundamental supposition should be based upon the premise that every occurrence is as similar as another! Yet we know well that such is hardly the case. So, could this be termed as a paradox? Of what, understanding or the lack of it?

Now, everything that falls into the element of being subjective is time-bound! Yet, why do the effects of such subjective influences outlast the catalysts themselves? Is it possibly because of dependent variables being mired into the equation at a fundamental level and furthered by a larger cause of pursuit? Come to think of it, some events, themselves, may not be as prolonging in their happening when compared to the effects of their consequences, such as for instance the nuclear weapons detonated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both of which actions though confined only to a few moments, their resultant fallout having lasted for decades!

So, the questions really are how much, how long, how far, how high, how more or less? Subjective? Well, why do I get the feeling that the beginning is as important as the proceeding!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beyond Independence

I dream, of a place where prosperity and peace reign supreme in the hearts and minds of all people alike, where hatred and prejudice find not so much as even a mention. I envision a land where poverty and strife are unknown, where harmony and love prevail unending, where people flourish joyfully, owing to the bounties of nature and self-created wonders of good living, where education and wisdom are at large, for everyone's partaking rather than limited to a select few! I dream of a people free from divisions and discrimination, insulated from disease, misery and maleficence!

I dream, that such a place be known to the world as India and it's people as Indians!

I have a dream!

Monday, August 09, 2010

250 posts later

Since May 2006, until now, 250 posts have come to be on this space. Though relatively small in number, the exercise has undoubtedly blessed me with rich measures of interaction with fellow-bloggers from far and wide, in an attempt to understand people, cultures and mannerisms! Many worthy friendships have been formed and I now feel as if part of a large, yet closely knit family of intellectuals, who continually offer an insight into life in a manner that is certainly unparalleled.

I've often been asked how one can, so closely, relate to a world that can at best be visualized in a very individualistic perspective, far away from one that has a definite structure, hierarchy and system. My answer has always been a simple one, emphasizing upon the need to understand this tapestry of a network as an extension of one's existing life than view it in isolation and resultant colourlessness - best perhaps, to be seen as being among the many facets that make up our very existence!

Not oddly enough, readings and experiences here, have accentuated, among other things, my level of spirituality, a passion for literature and an undying need to go out and see the remarkable wide world! Perhaps, I may not be able to chart a dream journey of sorts or pause enough to read every epic that has ever been written, but through you and your respective spaces, and your valued perspectives, I will continue to see the world and remain immensely comforted at the thought of being able to be connected in such short bursts of time, while so far apart, yet so definitively!

This is a world of leaders, those of creative excellence fueled with a very deep sense of passion and thus being able to bring out from within creations that are timeless and certainly unique, every single one of which holds immense significance and meaning that appeals to the deepest insides of the human spirit! For the same reason, I consider it a matter of pleasure and privilege extraordinaire to be part of this wonderful world and most importantly to be associated so closely with every one of you!

Friday, August 06, 2010


To dream is to be able to see reality, a setting that exists within the walls of the mind and therefore real in being experienced, seen and lived and yet unreal in the waking state purely because any attempt of it's recreation is most certainly futile. Ever wondered why it is so really difficult to recollect a dream long after it's been played in the mind? Now, that is only the beginning of things, in a way that we know of it, or perhaps not!

It is nearly always impossible to remember the start of a dream, in the element in which it begins to occur. One can at best find oneself deep in the process of the event even as it unfolds in a seemingly random and untraceable state of succession! There may be intermittent parallels to reality in the sense of how the memory contributes it's feed as a direct bearing of having seen and experienced matter in the real world. Such parallels, although appearing to be limitless are confined to a certain pattern, only to the extent of being able to be replicated in the same sense of how reality has contorted the innards of the mind, never free to envision a path anew or afresh! To that extent parallels are only a minute part of the entire configuration and not the pattern itself.

But parallels are not the only things that make up the matter that constitute the process of apparitions that are generated by the subconscious mind. There is the imaginative state that exceeds perhaps even the best of creativity, in giving birth to realms of possibilities that appear so real that one is utterly perplexed at the detail with which they occur, often casting the mind into a spasmodically fearful state. And what one does not understand and comprehend, one can and will only fear!

Then, there are stages that convolute in an endless quagmire, occurring and recurring as if generated by the electrical activity within the brain, combined with an imaginative process that can at most times be colourful yet appear in a sepia like tone! One often struggles to lock away those menacingly replicating states, but finds oneself at the mercy of the subconscious for not being able to do just that. Then the battle to create situations arises, where one would create a prison to carefully shut away those repetitions and assign a characteristic attribute to them all, in a serious effort to calm the conscious state against the tedious and taunting proceedings of the subconscious!

The worst kind of a dream is perhaps one in which the entity sees itself in a surrounding which appears to be undergoing a terrible state of degeneration, such as structures falling apart and streets splitting wide open, where despite every effort, the overwhelming succession of events provide no opportunity to gain control over the situation, to be able to attempt to reverse it! One feels as if transcending not just places and time but also realms outside of the Earth, far away and deep inside space! Escape, or liberation as some may prefer to call it, comes from well within, through what are mental projections generated at speeds faster than light in order to create a situation, binding upon which the entity will then further. These projections could by far create an unending network of places and people which seem real right down to the experience of emotion or the familiarity of the place, despite not ever having been there before! Laws of physics do not matter or hold importance of this realm, and can best be used to deduce the state which one is in!

There cannot possibly be any explanation for the realities that exist and happen in such remarkable detail within our minds. They could be as a result of the past, present or maybe even the future, and we have no means of knowing that ever! Momentarily gaining control during the whole process, the conscious stage attempts to offer comfort or courage as the case maybe, and then again allows it's counterpart to chart another course that although appearing remarkably familiar, may well be one that cannot ever be connected to, despite the need to decipher and understood, as if perhaps bearing the very elixir of life!

Sunlight, and another form of reality appears, and for that matter, every dream is only half remembered!


As you may have guessed, this post was created immediately after I watched Christopher Nolan's epic Inception. Dreams and their occurrences have fascinated me more than I can ever explain and hence I found this movie remarkably well made despite the radical storyline it was based upon. The scene related to the beach landing of the protagonist and an accompanying character, where massive edifices at the waterfront appear to be crumbling down, was eerily familiar to me, having seen the exact setting in a dream a very long time ago, yet so well etched in my mind!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Remembering Dr. Oppenheimer

Very few have, perhaps, endured the dichotomies of life as has J. Robert Oppenheimer, going from an absolutely iconic state to tragic infamy, in a succession of events that can at best be described as unfortunate and fateful!

Presently reading the biography of who is best known as the father of the American atom bomb, I'm given an opportunity to understand the mind of Dr. Oppenheimer, famously known for its complexities, as baffling as mathematical convolutions or the laws governing thermodynamics in physics! But the remarkably articulate and factual work of Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, free from any form of prejudice, or opinionated distortions, usually adopted by many a narrator, is a true classic, having arrived upon after a great deal of painstaking research compiled with immense meticulousness and detail for the reader to assimilate.

Titled American Prometheus - The triumph and tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, this booker prize winning work not only details, in outstanding simplicity, the life and times of Dr. Oppenheimer but also introduces the reader to a socio-political mindset, prevalent during what was perhaps the beginning of divisions in the world, as blocs, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, created purely on an ideological basis - a state of alignment that would last for decades, culminating into the Cold War.

Reading this book is quite like living a situation that is not very uncommon in today's world of speed success that dictates entities to plot against one another in a feverish attempt to 'climb the ladder,' of which, here, the protagonist falls victim to! I can safely say that this book is more than just an account of a person and his actions, or inactions as many historians would like to remark! To me, it is nothing short of an almanac of history, one that unmistakably outlines very many facts about how history was shaped and thereafter written and hence recognizable in the form that we know today!


It was on this day in 1932 that the American physicist Carl David Anderson announced the discovery of the Positron, a fact earlier theorized by Dr. Oppenheimer in his paper titled "On the theory of electrons and protons."

Also on this day in 1939, scientists Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd wrote to then US President Franklin Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon. Dr. Oppenheimer would later serve as scientific director of the project.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Spidabutt

He who is not with me is against me!

-- Matthew 12:30 & Luke 11:23 -- The Holy Bible

The blogosphere has been known to enjoy a sense of calm, a lot of peace among it's inhabitants while being relatively incident free and contributing to the coming together of many wonderful minds individually and collectively responsible for some of the finest creative expressions known to the world! However, that very fabric upon which it has been diligently woven together, with multitudes of cultural interchanges and the warm bonhomie among it's co-creators is being gravely threatened!

Of late, two conflicting ideologues, one of evil and the other of it's opposer, have been fast engulfing this hitherto serene world and escalating in a very dangerous proportion, unprecedented in this sphere! Imminently about to create violent divisions, and factions, each sworn in their belief stronger than the other, this vast vestige of human intervention is surely coming to see the likes of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War, which one sincerely hopes does not manifest into a full scale war of epic proportions!

The person responsible for this is none other than Vimal Vijayan, popularly known to his friends, fellow-bloggers, family members and associates as Vimmuuu, and the contention is his ill-placed belief of Spiderman being the true superhero of the universe, which, as many of you know, is based on fallacies, lies and fantasies at best! So technically, here is someone who is ardently propagating what is malicious and false, knowing fully well that his claims are refutable and baseless. Worse still, over a series of exchanges, he has had the audacity to deride Superman in ways that would put the worst Indian politicians to shame! :) As a truly peace loving citizen of the  blogosphere, I offered him many chances to redeem himself and come clean, thereby accepting his monumental blunder and make amends by pledging his allegiance to Superman, something which he has sternly refused to do, even as I write this post!

Therefore, knowing fully well that a battle is at hand, I now call upon fellow bloggers to seriously contemplate and opine about the sides they are about to take, or, in the course of time, be forced into! Ask yourselves, if your true purpose lies in upholding the good or partaking with the evil? :) To think of it, there cannot be a web-spinning, creepy jerk of a joke that can be worthy of being recognized as a hero! Would you want to cast your fate at the hands of a spider? Or rather, the legs of it? (Spiders don't have hands, do they?) One that has no lineage of excellence and virtue but simply driven (madly) by impulses created as a result of a chemical reaction, that it has no control over? Would you want your children to be known as impudent beings, won over by the influence of malevolence? Remember what Edmund Burke said about evil that "all that is necessary for it's triumph is that good men do nothing?"

So, when the time comes, who would you find yourself being aligned with? I'm asking this to your respective states of conscious, as true keepers of justice and integrity! Responsible citizens with a clean slate, you don't have to be seen thinking hard on this, for the choice is simple! Is it not easy enough to support the just, and join the cause to exterminate the evil web-spinning horror and grant the world a measure of peace that we all so much owe it, as part of our duty? So then, come up without dither, doubt or fear and be part of Operation Spidabutt - mankind's singularly most concerted effort to rid the universe of iniquity!

Finally, I'd like you to be reminded that "he who is not with me is against me." :)

Monday, July 26, 2010


What did you think? Time?

Now, there are somethings I'd so want to do, rather need to do, before I die! Call them wanton pleasures of a wishful man, but since they are on my list they become absolute must do's, speaking for myself that is.

1.Travel the world over and meet fellow bloggers, every single one of them I'm connected with, Moscow to British Columbia, Toruń included!
2. Visit the poles; Nothing beats tranquility and the massive white expanse, does it?
3. Para-drop from 30,000 feet; I want to do the helicopter spin! Sweetheart Samby, where are you?
4. Fly over the Everest; I'm guess I'm too incompetent to climb it, or even think of it!
5. Visit the headquarters of the United Nations and NATO! Even diplomacy needs some working understanding, I suppose, geo-politically speaking that is!
6. Scuba dive in the Mauritian waters; Maybe that's where I can be underwater and still get a tan! Talk about attitude, huh?
7. Donate, donate and donate! I learn't that from my parents! Ted Turner and Warren Buffet are textbook examples, at best!
8. Fly into space; Can you imagine how powerful and overwhelming a feeling it would be to be able to see the Earth when you are not on it?
9. Not get married, but have children; Sorry folks, no explanations here - no clarifications either! Haven't you heard that happily-married is just another oxymoron?
10. Meet Stephen Hawking! What can I possibly say about the father of time?
11. Go on a pilgrimage! Om Namah Shivaya! In case you don't already know, salvation is more than just a quest to embark upon, more potential than stepping out on a search for the Holy Grail, I presume!
12. Die young! Better to be a force to reckon with, than be a spent force!


The human mind, it is said, is fickle and hence this list automatically becomes far from exhaustive! No sarcasms here, only realistic assumptions, conditions notwithstanding that is! Forgive me for appearing to be convenient.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Life 2.0

Gadgetry has perhaps changed our lives in ways we cannot possibly imagine. I'm not talking about the numerous benefits of being connected and to be able to hear and see each other, despite the distance! I'm reasonably sure user literatures have educated almost all of us enough to the point of being able to smartly distinguish one offering from another!

Whatever happened to the handwritten letter culture and periodical courtesy visits that were routine exercises during childhood? Quite like languages, cultures and people, these pleasurable aspects of life seem to be dying down at a pace that cannot quite be understood! There is a serious sense of individualistic realm that seems to have encroached upon our minds today, taking us far and further apart from one another, making us so aloof that we have begun to forget how we were together!

I'm not about to elucidate the wrongs and rights of such an upcoming trend. I'd rather leave the statisticians and the psychiatrists to publish their well learned facts over time. But, I'm surely concerned, if not always alarmed, about how perilously distant and single we have become, often seeking companionship in snazzy gadgets that allow us to view the world through a seemingly magnified perspective, not knowing that we are being robbed off the human element and most importantly a sense of forbearance, which was once so very abundant!

Little wonder, some enlightened soul once remarked that one telephone is necessity, two is luxury, three is opulence while none is paradise! I couldn't agree more!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Defining a paradox

Life is so full of paradoxes! Efforts do not always lead to desired results. Ends hardly justify the means. Right doesn't always mean being right and wrongs, are like what they say, almost always subjective! Even time and nature hold paradoxes. Things may seem ordained in a certain manner but they are rife with contradictions. Questions relating to life, poverty, results, mannerisms and so on do not have definitive answers and yet linger in us at all times, not very unlike the passage of water in a brook, unfamiliar of where it would end up over the course of time, or merely keep flowing on!

What really are these paradoxes and their purpose, I wonder! Are they stumbling blocks purported to arise and exist in order to contribute to our evolution which happens over a period of time? Do they actually serve as a measure of understanding oneself? Maybe they are randomly occurring variables coming to being as a result of a certain course of action? But having said that, one wonders why there is a compulsion to embark upon a certain path that leads to an action that results in a paradox!

I'm not sure if I'd be able to chart a path forward! I'm often riddled with possibilities and yet really unsure of how to walk! There is a reassuring voice inside, but I'm not too sure if it is bias that is being vocal in an effort to nudge me forward! Unbeknown to me, there probably is a story unfolding in time, or so I'd like to believe, one that will bring about some sense of clarity!

Not a day passes without the thought of what it is that I'm really waiting for! And the more I think, there are only questions, hideous and painful ones, all too far from the answers!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hello, Mr. Hawking

Just the other day I was intently watching a feature of Stephen Hawking on TV and couldn't help admiring the man for his profoundness in passion and the ability to dream outside permissible limits, such as for instance, time travel! He has always fascinated me, and that began several years ago, when I first read his very articulate account of the universe, space and time, titled 'A brief history of time,' which, most certainly, is a very authoritative text on the four dimensions that we surround our existence in!

It amazes me beyond imagination how someone so severely disabled, (by motor neurone disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS), continues to delve into the nuances of space and time with a sense of ease and passion like that employed by a child during it's course of play.

What is certainly commendable about him is his ability to transcend boundaries despite his massive incapacity! Sometime in early 2007, he became the first paralytic to undertake a zero gravity flight as a precursor to his sub-orbital flight in space, which I'm not sure has happened yet.

Perhaps, the two things I absolutely like about him are, among others, one, his belief that alien life does exist in other parts of the universe, and two, his answer to the question of 'What came before the Big Bang?' which he asserted was meaningless, when he compared it to asking 'What lies north of the North Pole?'

Monday, July 12, 2010

Simply complex?

What do you like yourself to be seen as? Complicated, unknown, mysterious and unpredictable? Hold on, you aren't alone and that supposedly individualistic feeling of being unique in thinking or saying so is not so uncommon after all! Have you realized that it is a fad now, for people to say that they are complicated and not too easy to understand? I'm wondering if all of that jabber is as a result of serious insecurities from within, after all!

With relationships and their durations going bonkers with each passing day, it seems to be more of a statement, or an in thing for one to declare about oneself being complicated in the mind, and tough to understand, often failing to realize that such a statement almost always betrays one's fragile and utterly weak state of being, rather than appearing to sound uber-cool or chic!

Undoubtedly, the most appreciable state is that of simplicity, which if displayed from the outside wins admiration and if reflected from within, wins devotion. Simply, how difficult is that to understand? It's absolutely strange of how people, these days, don't want to be understood, when in reality that is exactly the biggest quest each one of us undertakes on a very continual basis, with or without realization!

Psychologically, perhaps, the ones who claim to be difficult to understand surely find themselves at loggerheads with their own personalities, coupled with a delusional understanding of the self that often borders on a very deranged sense of being from within!

Thank God for simplicity now!

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Russell–Einstein Manifesto

55 years ago, on this day, in London, a note was issued, urging world leaders to recognize and understand the threat of nuclear weapons in the hope of nuclear disarmament. It was signed by, among others, as the name itself suggests, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell.

Today, the cold war is history, but if estimations are to believed, there exist about 23000 active nuclear weapons, in the form of either missiles that can be launched within a matter of minutes, or strategic weapons placed in different nations. One can seek consolation from the fact that their numbers have fallen from the total of 65000 active such weapons known to have existed in the year 1985.

Reduction in the number of weapons of mass destruction simply isn't a solution, for the threat nevertheless looms large. For instance, a gun with 3 rounds poses just about the same threat to life as another fully loaded one. Treaties such as START, SALT and the NPT, among others seek the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, however, they are not without flaws and bias!

The last time the world came dangerously close a nuclear conflict was in October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, nations and people have come to work closely with one another thanks very much to the politics of diplomacy. Yet, the threat of a dirty bomb is ever present, thanks to a rabid proliferation network established by the likes of A. Q. Khan with the complicity of intelligence services of China and Pakistan, to name a few that is!

Therefore, E. L. Doctorow couldn't have been more right when, at the thick of the cold war, he wrote, that "it was first our weaponry and then our diplomacy, and now it is our economy! How can we suppose that something so monstrously powerful would not, after forty years, compose our identity?"


Full text of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto

Monday, July 05, 2010

Goodbye my Lord! So long!

I have known them since 1986, and very intimately at that! To me, they have been iconic, and a very significant and powerful representation of timeless existence of courage, charm, strength and endurance.

They have been more than just a landmark and have known to have existed for over 80 years! Towering well over the tallest of man made structures here, they have been a symbol of nature's unconditionally everlasting process of creation to make this a wonderful place to live in. One cannot, therefore, possibly imagine the legacy, and void, that they leave behind in the minds and hearts of all those who have loved them and opened their eyes to them every single morning - me included!

On the morning of the 30th, sometime last week, as I was leaving for work, I heard an electrostatic hum of some machine. Stopping to gauge it's source, I realized that the culprit was a battery powered chainsaw being put to use to bring down two magnificent Eucalyptus trees in the neighbourhood!

What I could say about those wonderful trees, even in the most descriptively flowery language, will not make up for what they truly are, rather were, now since they have been consigned to history and exist only in the depths of our minds!

The last one fell yesterday, painfully, amidst a nasty persisting drizzle and the sweeping cold. I stood still, numbed by what was unfolding, ashamed at containing a beast-like rage and not being able to do a thing about it!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Charity does begin at home

That charity begins at home is perhaps the most compassionate statements one would hear universally! Nothing can outshine it in intent, good will and most importantly in being humane and cognizant of another person’s condition and the effort to constantly work towards remedial measures which are so much of a dire need in today’s circumstances.

Speaking only for India, I've made a compilation of the following facts and figures which are absolute shockers!

The World Bank estimates that 456 million Indians (41.6 % of the total Indian population) now live under the global poverty line of $1.25 per day. This means that a third of the global poor now reside in India.

A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 77% of Indians, or 836 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day, with most working in "informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty." However, a new report from the UN disputes this, finding that the number of people living on $1.25 a day is expected to go down from 435 million or 51.3 percent in 1990 to 295 million or 23.6 percent by 2015 and 268 million or 20.3 percent by 2020.

India is home to the world’s largest population of street children, estimated at 57 million. The Republic of India is the seventh largest and second most populous country in the world. With acceleration in economic growth, India has become one of the fastest growing developing countries. This has created a rift between poor and rich; 22 percent of the population lives below the income poverty line. Owing to unemployment, increasing rural-urban migration, attraction of city life and a lack of political will, India now has one of the largest number of child laborers in the world.

Street children are subject to malnutrition, hunger, health problems, substance abuse, theft, commercial sexual exploitation of children, harassment by the city police and railway authorities, as well as physical and sexual abuse, although the Government of India has taken some corrective measures and declared child labor illegal.

So, when on the morning of 30th June, Elizabeth Sholtys, Co-founder and Chief Executive of an non-profit organization called the Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC), wrote me an email introducing herself and her organization and what they do, along with a request to show support for their efforts, I decided to feature them on my blog, knowing fully well that such a noble cause requires marathon effort, courage, persistence and above all a sense of dedication that cannot for once be compromised.

The Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC) is dedicated to improving the lives and shaping the futures of vulnerable children in Pune, India by advancing educational opportunities, nurturing holistic development and building healthy, empowered communities.

AIC is in the running for $250,000 through the Chase Community Giving contest via Facebook. AIC is currently #12 in the list of more than 500,000 organizations, and is trying to secure more votes to move up to be within the top 5. Each organization within the top 200 will receive $20,000, but if AIC can make it to the top 5, they will receive $100,000 when the contest ends on July 12th. Only American organizations are eligible to compete, so there are very few other organizations that work in India participating in the contest (AIC is the only organization working in India that has been placed in the top 40 list).

Quoting Elizabeth Sholtys herself –

Even $20,000 goes a long way for AIC - for example, it pays for ALL of the school-related expenses for ALL 200 street kids and slum children in our Education Outreach Program. This includes school tuition fees for both public and private schools, exam fees, uniforms, underwear, shoes, sweaters, hair ribbons, lunch boxes, textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, art supplies, backpacks, external tutoring fees for our oldest students who attend a year-long prep course to help get them ready for the 10th standard board exams, and many other things.

You can help make a huge difference in the lives of 200 extremely needy children, just by voting. And in honor of our 5 year anniversary, please spread the word to at least 5 (or more!) friends and family members and convince them to support our cause.

Thank you so much!”

Folks, take a few moments to visit the following link and caste a vote to ensure that this effort is sustained.

AIC’s campaign on Chase Community Giving contest on Facebook


Statistical facts and figures, as per reports and publications, given hereunder.

Poverty in India 
Street children in India 
India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 

Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC) on Facebook and Twitter

The official AIC video

CBC documentaries on AIC
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obscured by clouds

There is no bigger surprise than the one that involves surprising yourself with the ability of doing something that you thought you'd never be able to do!

-- Told to a friend during a conversation on Saturday, 26 June 2010

There are times I don't want to be me, but something monumentally different! I wonder where that thought comes from really. Is it as a result of a certain degree of understanding the self? I'm not proclaiming that I have reached the pinnacle of self-realization, I've hardly scraped the surface. Knowing the self all to well itself is an act of liberation I'm told, something that leads to bliss! And I can assure that there is no sense of self-loathing, despite any number of regrets!

But then what is it really that is making me think about being that something that is not me? I wonder! It has nothing to do with fear of any kind. Maybe it is the impulse of wanting to undo everything that was done in a manner that was done. Now, even if that were to happen, I realize very well that I cannot stop from being me or having been me before!

How does one alter the course of life? Is it supposedly easy to just walk away and change skins? What is the measure of achieving a radical shift? Hop, skip and jump, or just change gears?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Monsoon mania

Diplomacy can at best be described as an act of throwing your wife out of the window and singing love is in the air!

-- Anonymous / Writing on the wall

Now that the monsoons are here, I've got a lot of complaining to do!

It's not like I'm staying in a sweltering place where temperatures are a sorely killing issue! What begins to be a bright sunny day soon turns out to be a squall, which results in the momentary euphoria of the mind to fast become a damp squib!

At first there's warm welcoming sunshine with a mild caressing breeze. As the hours speed by, there's a looming clump of menacing cloud that multiplies faster than perhaps rabbits can reproduce! Then the mass turns dark gray as if to announce a sudden onslaught of it's new-found might! And lo, pour the rains throwing life into a tizzy! What continues is a rotten steady drizzle that wouldn't quench even the thirst of finger-sized bird, let alone a parched field!

And to make matters absolutely worse, there's the maddening echo of this someone whose orgasmic type yells, of "ah, what wonderful weather, what delicious mud, ooooh," puncture the innards of my ear to no end! Sickening to the gut!

So much for the number of weather widgets on my computer and two smart-phones! All I can do is seek solace in the adage that "the trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it!"