Thursday, April 05, 2012

We can make the world stop.

It's been a while since I was here.

Things have changed - I doubt I'll ever be as emo (I cringe every time I read some of my older posts) as I was when I wrote some of the things written earlier on this blog. The more I spend time contemplating it, the more I realise that certain things were just meant to be. There is no fate, no decider of things; but there are patterns that can be perceived in the formation and evolution of human relationships, and sometimes it's a lot better to listen to the gut call than to hope, blindly, that all shall be well.

Stand still, pause clocks -
We can make the world stop.

I wish I knew why writing has become to hard these days. There used to be a time when there was a constant flow of words, that would come whenever bidden. That river seems to have run dry - though I can still coax a weak couplet or two when the occasion asks of it. Perhaps I have forgotten what it meant to need to put pen to paper, or hands to keyboards - the need to write something out. Mostly, I feel a need to clam up, and let the emotions run riot far away, and in feebler minds.

But this is a good stepping stone - and is good for practicing my sense of the dramatic. Taking over the world cannot be done through emotions - not your own emotions, at least.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


So I've studied a little, and have miles to go before I sleep. Yet, I feel the yearning to write. As always I do, when I ought to be studying. It's a strangely vicious cycle.

"Tied up and twisted the way I like to be -
For you, for me;
Come crash into me."

- Dave Mathews Band, Crash Into Me.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rage Against the Machine.

We depend so utterly upon the machines in our life - how would be manage life without cellphones, laptops, the internet, or any of the other ubiquitous technologies that define life in our current age? But this post isn't about that - it's about something that's much grander, and far more important.

This post is about my skills in chess - more specifically, how I'm managing against my computer. So I've only ever played chess against my brother, other than a (very) few random matches here and there - occasions where I mostly had my ass handed to me, because when you only play chess against one person - you refuse to think that people can pull moves that he can't.

The game has always fascinated me, but I don't possess the patience to look two moves ahead, let alone the 15 or so required to be a truly good player. But I've been trying really hard to make some headway against the Chess thoughtfully provided in Windows 7. After running through levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 - I finally have a win-loss ratio on level 6 of 3:1. I'm quite kicked about this, even though it seems minor as I write about it now.

A painful combination of projects, work on various things, deadlines whooshing by and loads of stress has a regular response from me - indulging in music, my competitive spirit on trifles, and chatting with all and sundry. And clearly, writing Blog posts.

But this comes from a time where I was atleast trying - and it's damned fucking good to be back there. And yeah, it kicks ass to be able to beat the bastard computer at chess. Take that, programming. I'm not going to be predictable, I'm not going to be anticipated. I am human, and I'm going to do things my way.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Times of India has lowered quality, says committee

Just 4-6 articles sans spelling mistakes a week, rising instances of sensationalism,alleged sex and drinking amongst journalists, and indifference to journalists sucking up to the Radias in the world seems to suggest a serious decline in the standards of journalism.

This is the dismal state of affairs at the Times of India, one of India's premier news and media agencies, as painted by the many commenters that assessed the 168 year old group .

Observing that ToI has moved away from the phase of 'journalism and honesty' to 'sensationalism and yellow journalism', the commenters noted the drastic dilution injournalistic standards. "I think its time we filed a complaint with the Press Council of India. Its time these journos are taken to task. Fancy, printing such lies about a law school!", said commenter Darth Vader, on the ToI website, perhaps when noticing that certain portions added as comments to a Times of India article on the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, were unattributed to any specific person or document.

The committee of students from the National Law School reviewing this media agency were quick to point out that the reporter in question was unable to even discern whether the body appointed to review the functioning of NLSIU was a committee or a commission, both of which are decidedly different entities.

The committee of students are posting their report and opinions of the agency in real time, pointing out that this is in direct contrast to the ToI publicising a report that was made about two years ago. They also feel that exclusive access be damned, they want people to know that the reporters at ToI are in the crossfires for not figuring out how to report properly and making such absurd statements as there being only 4-6 hours of classes a week - something which the students often feel they'd very much like to have. Or stating that teachers never turn up, which they often do (again, often against the wishes of the students).

The report states that ToI reporters are often ignorant of and most indifferent to the concept of 'context' and knowing how to read dates and know when it would be of relevance, when it comes to news reports submitted by staff reporters. Also, clearly editors don't love their job or are just plain terrible at them. Further, appointment of 4 year olds (of lowered intellectual ability and no journalistic experience) to handle reporting (journalists) and absence of a formal way to get them to check their facts before going to press has drawn flak.

PS: - 1. Based on the ToI article here -

2. For excellent reasons to IGNORE the above article, see the amazing Legal Poet -

3. This is obviously completely tongue in cheek. I mean, it seems obvious to me that ToI's standards are falling/fallen, but that's my opinion. And I'm expressing it. And yes, I know things are probably not perfect at NLSIU - but where are they perfect? And if someone has to point out the flaws, perhaps they wouldn't do it quite so stupidly next time?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rant of the Month - Ep.1

I've decided to have a rant of the month, mostly because I love to rant and also because I love to poke fun at people. This is an idea that I've had for a while (taken from here) that I discussed with Sharmila as well; hopefully, we can rant about something together for the next one.

So, this one's for September.


As with most offensive things, it's a good idea to start with a caveat or two.

I don't have a problem with all Americans. And when I say Americans, I mean citizens of the United States of America, not all those belonging to the American continents (North or South). If you're friends of mine, if you view this blog (or are seeing this on Facebook and are on my friends list) you're probably not the people I'm ranting about. Probably.

Also, if you can't take this as constructive and funny criticism, fuck off.

The United States of America and its creation (like they'll ever let anyone forget) was a milestone in world history. It spawned the creation of what is today a superpower that straddles the Earth and covers it not only politically, but culturally as well - you'll find some aspect of Americana in nearly every nation of this world. They have come to symbolise a fuck-load of shiite, and most of it is negative.

To be fair, the American ideology is something that does inspire. Everyone, come to America and be an American citizen. Live the good life, be accepted and work hard, and all will be well. Your rights are important to us, we believe in free speech, expression, liberty and the right to work, and all that jazz.

Unless you're, today -
a) A muslim - we care if your President is Muslim so much that we create gargantuan amounts of buzz about it.
b) A homosexual - yeah, we're not going to let you marry. We don't like you. Parts of our country are slowly taking away rights and freedoms you used to have.
c) A mexican/asian/puerto rican/whatever - stop taking away our jobs, you lazy people who work way harder than us! Off with you. Sure, our country was built on your asses. Sure, we're probably immigrants from another generation. But we're America. So fuck off.
d) A European - you're probably a crazy sex fiend. Or worse, a pinko liberal.
e) Anything not Christian - you're free to choose your religion, as long as you pick Jesus - so help me, God.
f) Pro-environment - don't you lecture us on that. We love our SUVs, and we love burning shiite up. The great American outdoors was built so that we could make a mess of it and the preservation of wildlife.

And what is accepted as American? The idea of consumerism - rampant and destructive. The idea that Reality TV and mind-numbing nonsense that gets broadcast to you every day and every second is your only source of entertainment. The concept that the lives of celebrities and their latest scandals are the coolest things around.

What is really horrendously annoying to me, of course, is that the USA can take perfectly hard-working and healthy people from a continent, and through the traumatic process of making them slaves and then fighting a war to free them, you've turned the lot into crazy people who go around calling people 'hos and spelling their names in ludicrous (pertinent example here would be Ludacris) fashions, and consider blowing caps in people's asses (trust American culture to be so messed up that masculinity and being dominating on screen has homoerotic references).

Then, there is what Americans have done to sport. No one, anywhere, can conceivably understand why they should call running around with an oblong in your hands while attempting to run over people as they try to bash your brains out counts as 'football'. What in the world does it have to do with your foot?!


But let's be serious for a bit, now. Perhaps the greatest problem that America faces is in the way it conceives of itself against the world, and how it pictures its own identity. What Americans can certainly be lauded for is their strong lip-service to the American identity, and what it means to them. The fact that people today desire American citizenship so fervently can be seen as a tribute to that idea and what it means to people. But that being said, you can't define yourselves unless you know something about yourselves and the rest of the world.

The American education system at the graduate and post-graduate level continues to set standards for excellence in education, and institutions such as Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Yale and the like are beacons and trademarks of a quality of education that has not yet been successfully seen elsewhere. The sort of academic rigour, coupled with vast amounts of academic freedom have led to American University education being incredibly sought after - mostly by non-Americans. This is because at the primary and secondary levels, education in the USA continues to suffer from a strange amount of ... well, for lack of a better word, shiite.

American schools are currently identified and portrayed across the board as centres wherein children are obsessed with all the wrong things, where classes and children are often out of control and out of their depths in a strange combination of pop-culture and education that has vandalised a system that had much to offer as a role model in terms of letting children teach themselves while being guided. If this wasn't enough, educators have also decided that making strange demands of the education system (such as teaching Intelligent Design) are ways of teaching children in a manner that will 'subscribe to American values', but fail to spot the obvious problem of it-is-all-bullshit.

Healthcare in America is a touchy issue, and rightly so. Costs for the average American have increased, both in terms of medicines as well as the cost of testing and surgeries. The old safety net of health insurance has often failed due to unreasonable policies used by insurers, including those which rule out certain procedures which might save the lives of patients. Insurers and hospitals often have linkages, leading to patients in dire straits being forced to move at the moment of being stable to another hospital. All patently ridiculous.


Okay, I'm tiring out now. More later.

PS - Heck, yeah. I know. India's probably worse off. Most countries are worse off. But that does not take away from me my ability to complain and point out crap. Not to mention, Americans were doing better before - but are not doing so well now, so this might be construed to be a critique based on relativism.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And Here I Dreamt I was an Architect - The Decemberists

And here I dreamt I was a soldier
And I marched the streets of Birkenau
And I recall in spring
The perfume that the air would bring
To the indolent town
Where the barkers call the moon down
The carnival was ringing loudly now
And just to lay with you
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
Save lay my rifle down

And try one, and try two
Guess it always comes down to
All right, it's okay, guess it's better to turn this way

And I am nothing of a builder
But here I dreamt I was an architect
And I built this balustrade
To keep you home, to keep you safe
From the outside world
But the angles and the corners
Even though my work is unparalleled
They never seemed to meet
This structure fell about our feet
And we were free to go

And try one, and try two
Guess it always comes down to
All right, okay, guess it's better to turn this way

And here in Spain I am a Spaniard
I will be buried with my marionettes
Countess and courtesan
Have fallen 'neath my tender hand
When their husbands were not around
But you, my soiled teenage girlfriend
And how you are furrowed like a lioness
And we are vagabonds
We travel without seatbelts on
We live this close to death

And try one, and try two
Guess it always comes down to
All right, okay, guess it's better to turn this
But I won, so you lose
Guess it always comes down to
Alright, it's okay, guess it's better to turn this way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Beautiful Game

I was barely 11 years old when I got my first taste of football. My father made a wager on the German team at the 1998 World Cup in France. I remember I got a t-shirt which had Footix (the mascot) on it. It was quite an experience, sitting up and watching the tournament with my family. I remember worshipping Jurgen Klinsmann, being overawed by Davor Suker, and falling in love with Ariel Ortega. I remember flashes of Baggio's play, Zidane's magic, and Peter Schmeichel. To put it simply, I fell in love with the game.

Since then, I've always tried to be clued into all that's happening with international football. And my father's earlier faith in Germany is something that has carried through. My love for Del Piero and Roberto Baggio encouraged my support for Italy. Inspite of my absolute admiration for players such as Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Edmilson and the like, I've never been able to make myself like Brazil. They play the 'beautiful game', but I like supporting underdogs. They're usually not the underdogs, in any World Cup they enter.

This year, however, I'm a bit disconnected. I feel like it might not be happening at all. What's most worrying, of course, is that I'm apparently not missing much. All the plays seem to be defensive, the big teams are disappointing, and while Germany is being Germany and destroying the opposition in their first game itself, I think we're all aware that Germany has a tendency to not win World Cups - at least, it hasn't in my lifetime.

I shall be done with examinations soon, and I shall be free to watch this game that is the closest thing to a sporting passion I have. That being said - I hope the bloody tournament shapes up before then. Because if it doesn't, I'm going to find the closest thing I can to something to blame, and shove a vuvuzela or a Venezuela or whatever those crazy things are so far down someone's throat that if I blow it, it'll seem like they're breaking wind.