Friday, December 21, 2007

Hangover Cures

What is it we are all going to be trying to make next Tuesday? New Year's Resolutions, if we are halfway sane.

In fact - if i may digress for a moment - it turns out that there may be a very good reason why we fail to keep our New Year's Resolutions other than the obvious abject feebleness of will. It's this. We can't remember what they are. Simple. And if we actually wrote them down, then we can't remember where we put the piece of paper, either. Oddly enough, the piece of paper has known to turn up again again exactly a year later when you're casting around for something on which to write the next year's abortive attempts to pull your life into some kind of shape. This is not, it turns out, a coincidence.
Incidentally, am I alone in finding the expression "it turns out" to be incredibly useful? It allows you to make swift, succinct, and authoritative connections between otherwise randomly unconnected statements without the trouble of explaining what your source or authority actual is. It's great. It's hugely better than its predecessors "I read somewhere that..." or the craven "they say that..." because it not only suggests that whatever flimsy bit of urban mythology you are passing on is actually based on brand new, ground breaking research, but that it is research in which you yourself were intimately involved. But again, with no actual authority anywhere in sight. Anyway, where was I?

It seems that the brain is affected by alcohol. Well, we know that, of course. and those who don't yet are about to find out. But there are different gradations to the effect, and herein lies the crux. The brain organises its memories like a kind of hologram (it turns out). To retrieve an image, you have to re-create the exact conditions in which it was captured. In the case of the hologram, it's the lighting, in case of the brain it is, or can be (it turns out), the amount of alcohol sloshing around in it. Things that happen to you or, frighteningly enough, that you yourself say or do while under the influence of alcohol will only be recalled to your memory when you are under the influence of that exact quantity of alcohol again. these memories are completely beyond the reach of your normal, sober mind. Which is why, after some ill-advised evening out, you will be the only person who is completely unaware of some barkingly stupid remark you made to someone whose feelings you care about deeply, or even just a bit. It is only weeks, months, or in the case of New Year's Eve, exactly a year later, that the occasion suddenly returns to your consciousness with a sickening whump and you realise why people have been avoiding you or meeting your eye with a glassy stare for so long. This often result in your saying "good grief" to yourself in a loud voice and reaching for a stiff drink. which leads you up to the next level of inebriation, where of course fresh shocks await your pleasure.

And the same is true on the way back down. There are certain memories that will only be registered by revisiting exactly the same state of dehydration as the one in which the original events occurred. Hence the New Year's Resolutions problem, which is that you never actually remember the resolution you made, or even wrote them down, until the exact same moment the following year, when you are horribly reminded of your complete failure to stick by them for more than seven minutes.

So what is the answer to this terrible, self-discipline. A monastic adherence to a regime of steamed vegetables, plain water, long walks, regular workouts, early nights, early mornings, and probably some kind of fragrant oils or something. but seriously, the thing we are most going to want on New Year's Day, and be desperately trying to remember how to make, is a good hangover cure, and especially one that doesn't involve diving through ice in the Arctic. The trouble is, we can never remember them when we want them, or even know where to find them. And the reason why we can never remember them when we want them is that when we heard about them we didn't actually need them, which isn't any help, for the reasons outlined above. Nauseating images involving egg yolks and Tabasco sauce swill through your brain but you are not really in any fit state to organise your thoughts. Which is why we need, urgently, to organise them now while there is still time. So this is an appeal for good, effective methods of freshening up the brain on the New Year's Day that don't involve actual cranial surgery.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Indian School Of Mines

The Indian School of Mines is another name for ISM, which is the acronym for Indian school of matiyaos. This institute of national importance was set up by the British in Dhanbad, a town famous for clean environment, fantabulous infrastructure and the only international airpot in the state. It was the mastermind of The Indian National Congress to reduce the average intelligence of Indians. Just like Zion in Matrix, where 3% of the people who do not accept the Matrix are gathered together to prevent dissent as a whole, ISMU was formed by the Government of India to gather at one place the 2% of the intelligentsia of the country, and dumb them down.


The geeks and nerds of India start preparing for IIT-JEE just after 10th standard of schooling. A very effective test of whether a guy is fit for clearing JEE is asking a very simple question: "Do you have a girlfriend?" A guy who says anything else other than "What's a girl?" would not get through the test. Girls are considered unfit to get into ISM, though some girls manage to get the application forms as they look like guys. To make sure no girl gets through the system by bribing to get the application forms, the applicants are required to specify their gender and affix a photograph in the application form. Those faces that resemble anything girly are not selected.

The entrance exam, IIT-JEE, is an extremely selective undergrad admission process (accepting less than 2% of their applicants). As they say, if the input is right, the output is automatically right. The six-hour Joint Entrance Exam held, as the name suggests, jointly conducted by IITs, ISMU and ITBHU, consists only of questions on Physics, Chemistry and Maths and not on other exotic details like booze, drugs, crime PrOn etc. which severely affect the quality of the incoming students. Since the Indians are well known for cramming up loads of information, questions in JEE are never repeated.


The ISM curricula are carefully decided so that there is no scope of learning anything. The students, then, take up alternate learning routes, most common being Pr0n. The ISMU alumni on knowing the tremendous potential of internet, provided all hostel rooms with free and unlimited internet connection. The ISMites are also forced to eat mess food that prepares them for the worst they can ever face in their life.

The guys also learn how to make 50 palladins in 25 minutes and get three terrorists per shot. Some of the creative minds also make a quick buck by selling MMS clips online. Since there are assignments to be submitted every now and then, the guys also learn how to use Google adeptly. Photocopying centres are provided for every 100 metres of road so that time wasted in photocopying assignments is minimized. Lecture classes are held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. IST (Indian Stretchable Time). It has been established by years of testing that the time can be stretched to as much as 30 minutes beyond provided it is backed by a cardinal excuse.

Life and culture (or lack thereof)

When entering the ISMU, a guy has two options. The first is to take up the common learning route described above. Since IIT-JEE makes sure a lot of mavericks are selected, many of them also end up being happy among them. The girls in ISMU, usually refered to as Non-Males and measured as parts of girl per million parts of guy, have to struggle keeping their identity as girl secret throughout their stay in ISMU. Sometimes they are forced to tell the truth, like when a gay ISMite proposes mistaking them for a guy.


The alumni of these institutes have been very sucessful across the world (more in USA than in India). Most of them either get frustrated or leave technical education to study management at IIMs, or start a company of their own totally unrelated to their major discipline. There are also a select few who develop a fetish for studies and end up in institutes like Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Quotes on ISMites

These guys are total studs. Just like me.

~ Oscar Wilde on ISMites

I love those guys.

~ Oscar Wilde on ISMites

Shhh....Meet me at the Mining dept. later tonight

~ ISMite on Oscar Wilde

ISM is t3h 133t

God on ISM

We are 'GAWDS'.

~ ISMites on themselves


A girl on seeing the IIT-JEE question paper

DISCO? Fuck!

~ An ISMite on DISCO

You think getting into ISMU is difficult? Try getting out, bitch!

~ disguntled ISMite on ISMU

Monday, October 01, 2007


It was one of those nights when you wish you were asleep, keeping in mind that you have a lecture to attend the next morning, which you cannot miss as you had already done so a lot of times in the past. But my body didn’t want the sleep, what with the Sunday I slept through. So here I am sting at my desk, sipping at a hot mug of black coffee, and occasionally glancing through the window looking at the dawn breaking. I shall soon go out and enjoy the cool morning freshness. It is not something new to me. But it’s definitely a rare event in college. I am one of those guys who sleep early enough to wake up for the lectures the next day.
I watched Anatomy of a Murder.
Preminger shows a willingness to shake up the status quo with this trial drama – it feels bracingly realistic. Packed with astonishing dialog and bristly performances, this is essential cinema.
Paul Biegler (Stewart) is a small-town Michigan lawyer who agrees to defend a young soldier, Manion (Gazzara), who killed the man who raped his wife (Remick). The trial pits Biegler against a shrewd big-city DA (Scott) and a visiting judge (McCarthy hearing lawyer Welch) who's both smart and witty. Surprise witnesses, back-hallway dealings, unexpected flirtations, outrageous revelations--they're all here, although the truth always seems just out of reach.
This is expert filmmaking--beautifully shot and brilliantly written with a complexity and a sense of detail that we rarely see anymore. Yes, it's a very long film, but it's so compelling that we hardly feel the time passing. Characters are all layered and fascinating, with dark shadings and hilarious asides. Even the side roles have a life of their own. And the entire cast is flawless. Stewart’s was an intriguing character, and Remick's flirtatious minx is unforgettable (Jodie Foster's Oscar-winning role in The Accused, 30 years later, is a direct copy). And of course, one cannot ignore Duke Ellington's gorgeous jazz soundtrack.
In addition to technical and artistic excellence, the plot itself is utterly engaging. Sexual tension gurgles everywhere, along with a constant threat of violence and a gnawing dread that the truth will never emerge, regardless of what the jury decides. Preminger brings an assured gravitas to the screen as he explores the complexity of humanity – no one is all good or all bad. He intriguingly avoids the lawyer's opening and closing arguments and only shows the string of witnesses – just the facts, as it were – while quietly turning the screw tighter and tighter until the final subtle surprise. Perfection.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Stumbling back to wakefulness the dream already fading into nothing, just fragments, like shapes seen through thick mist; eyes blear and head and body feeling the muzzy numb that comes from over sleeping. I had dreamed of a house that was, in some way a poem, written by a poet who had killed herself for love, long ago. The coffee in the percolator is stone-cold. I pour myself a cup-full of dregs anyway, put it in the microwave and set the LED for 70 seconds. As the coffee goes round in the little metal box, I realize that the poem in my dream was both beautiful and true, and that it was genuinely important. I feel sleepily proud of myself. I add cream. The house was the poem. I remember hovering disembodied about the house's exterior, while the sonorous words licked around me in marvelous mellifluous cadences. The coffee is foully bitter, but it serves to drag me further into the waking world. Transitions. I was about to find a pen and scribe the poem down, when it occurs to me that I’ve lost the words. I don't even know what it was about. Oh well, easy come, easy go. I don't know why Sam Coleridge bitched so much about his man from parlock: he got 55 killer lines on paper before he got distracted, didn't he? And the stuff you bring back from the dreaming is free. "And wide this tumult Kubla heard from far ancestral voices prophesying war..." later I was unable to categorize the events that followed. Certainly I smelled gas. But by the time I smelled the gas I was already running through the bedroom, towards the fire escape. a sudden feeling of sheer disbelief as I realized that I had grabbed my wallet from the table, and that I was already shielding my face with my arms, as I jumped...a shattering of glass. I landed on the fire escape, my face stinging, my right arm wet with blood (the pain would come later), and over the side, hang down as far as i could...and then let go. Smash down jarred and shaken, to solid ground, bones aching, skin all scraped, bleeding and just run for dear life, and just run...just. Shit. That was too close...adrenaline-giddy, i stumble into the supermarket. Clothes first. Then shoes. Then out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Relationship Blues

There’s a new fashion in my college, definitely in my batch. A sudden spurt of blogs talking about a mature and sensitive topic like a girl boy relationship can be seen, so much so that it would seem to an outsider reading them that nothing less than a full fledged war is being waged within the boundaries of one of the most prestigious institutes of the country where students are reckoned mature enough to understand the complexities of life.
Let me begin by defining the term ‘girlfriend’ (the definition of boyfriend will follow). Is it merely a girl who is your friend? It is not. She would then merely be a ‘friend’. There is a certain amount of lust, eros, involved, which is not so with a friend (of course, it is a different matter if you have a feeling of lust towards your lady friend but are afraid to confess it, or if that is one sided). By lust here I don’t mean lust alone, in most cases love too is involved, but that love is predominantly erotic, as against agape, love that a friend feels towards another, a mother towards child and so on.
Now let us come to the point under consideration, the whole issue of girlfriends and boyfriends. Is keeping a girlfriend in fashion? A status symbol? More often than not it is, especially at present when teens are committing suicides for the sake of love not knowing what love is. However, let us not foil the genuine love between a man and a woman by saying that all lovers are following in a trend. Did Romeo think of impressing Mercutio when he fell in love with Juliet? Or was it Krishna trying to show off his Casanova skills to Balram when paying suit to Radha?
No one says anything when a boy talks with a boy, but then why do we hear Chinese whispers when he talks with a girl? Maybe because it is a taboo to talk with the members of opposite sex. Maybe because most children from the very childhood are taught that a friendship between a girl and a boy is not healthy. But is the discrimination justified? I don’t think so. On the contrary, I believe that a friendship between a man and a woman is one of the most beautiful one. They complement each other. I personally feel that women are emotionally more mature than men, and I go to them when in any crisis, be it a friend, my sister, or my mother. Similarly, I’ve heard from many a friend that men make better friends than women. Not every friendship is based on lust. There are numerous cases of platonic relationships, but somehow the society can’t comprehend it, and it brands them as ‘affairs’. Ridiculous! But the multitude can be pardoned for their anachronistic beliefs, but what do you do when a bunch of young intellectuals behave in a similar fashion? It is nothing short of blasphemy!
Now the question remains: is a physical relationship between a man and a woman wrong? No, it is not, given that the parties are legally sanctioned to indulge in such an activity. Sex is one of the basic needs, and lust one of the basic instincts of the animal kingdom. Indeed, Freud placed sex, along with food and shelter, at the bottom of the pyramid of success. Without them, no person can achieve contentment, and emotional security, unless of course he or she is a saint. Only recently a young lady belonging to this institute was found in a compromising position with a few male friends of hers in a hotel room. A lot of resentment was shown, and the institution decided to expel the lady in question. It is not only ethically, but legally wrong to do so. Ethically because an institution has no right to moral police consenting adults, legally because the act was done outside the premises of the institute with the permission of an adult person. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that threesome is illegal! What point am I driving at? Simply this: whether a man shows off his trophy, whether a man is in a relationship only to satiate his carnal desires, or whether a man is in it for emotional and intellectual support, as long as he is not harming his friend it should be no one else’s concern but his. The same goes for a woman. As for relationships, no one can define what a good relationship is, for if you get down to it, you’ll have to come up with a billion definitions, for every person has a different need which he seeks to satisfy from it. Of course the ones that are most readily shattered are the ones based on ‘trophy love’. But that doesn’t mean that it is bad, for there is no good and bad when it comes to relationships.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nature and Us

You desire to live "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves indifference as a power - how could you live in accordance with such indifference? To live – is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature," means actually the same as "living according to life” – how could you do differently? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa," and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature falsely, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise – and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the hope that because you are able to tyrannize over yourselves – Stoicism is self-tyranny – Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a part of Nature? . . . But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to the prime cause.

tum tada tum and other hyms

Friday, July 13, 2007


Icy wind of night be gone this is not your domain
In the sky a bird was heard to cry.
Misty morning whisperings and gentle stirring sounds
Belied the deathly silence that lay all around.
Hear the lark and hearken to the barking of the dog fox Gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer
Making for the sea.
In the lazy water meadow I lay me down.
All around me golden sun flakes settle on the ground.
Basking in the sunshine of a bygone afternoon
Bringing sounds of yesterday into this city room.
Hear the lark hearken to the barking of the dark fox
Gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.

And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees.

In the lazy water meadow I lay me down.
All around me golden sun flakes covering the ground.
Basking in the sunshine of a bygone afternoon
Bringing sounds of yesterday into this city room.
Hear the lark hearken to the barking of the dark fox Gone to ground.
See the splashing of the kingfisher flashing to the water.
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees,
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer making for the sea.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen, the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives, I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, "Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves."

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, "He is a madman." I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks."

Thus I became a madman.

And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness. The freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

On Pleasure

Pleasure is the only reason behind anything a man does. Either that or the absence of displeasure. Pleasure is the only thing which is good. This is not to be taken in the narrow sense of the word. Good food and good wine is all very pleasurable, but not good. What is implied here is the long term pleasure. You study hard for a test, which is good. How is that possible as you did not find that pleasurable at all, but on the contrary? The pain that you endured was short termed, but it ensured that you get good grades and thus a good report at your graduation. This would ensure you a prosperous career, hence a long lasting pleasure. On the other hand, eating a gourmet meal will give you pleasure at the moment of consumption, but no doubt a serious gastronomic illness will result as a consequence, which will be painful. Even the saints and the monks are driven by pleasure. They endure pain in their lifetime, only in the hope of attaining nirvana or heaven, which is nothing but an eternal pleasure. Thus seeking pleasure is the only thing worth seeking. It is the only way to happiness, and makes our lives so much simpler! Epicurus should be given more respect for his philosophy. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘epicure’ does him no justice, and has misled people into believing that he was the preacher of pleasure in the very narrow sense of the word. In fact, he was very temperate.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

bilateral maxillary sinusitis

I had a headache. And it wasn’t a sort of headache you get when you hear the ranting of an agony aunt. I had it for the past 2 years. A mild heaviness that I suffered 24/7, until 3 days ago when I realised that it isn’t normal to have this inconvenience for this long. So I underwent a lot of tests – x-rays, MRIs , eye checkups, even a session with a psychiatrist! And when the x-ray result came out, it turns out that I have ‘bilateral maxillary sinusitis’ – pus had accumulated in my left antrum, in a layman tongue. My mom was amazed, so was my doc, as to how I managed to suffer as long as I did and not realise that it wasn’t normal! She even joked that had I told her earlier, I’d have done better in IIT-JEE. Well! So I had an appointment today – I was going to be ‘operated’ on, at least this is what I was led to believe. So I took my toddy to the clinic where I was injected with a local anesthesia in my nostril. And notwithstanding the pain of the needle prick, it was awesome. Better than any marijuana! And as I was contemplating the state of moksha I was ushered into the OT where the doctor stretched my nostrils apart, shoved a pipe up the left one, and squirted some liquid through it and voila! Down came the yellow gel mixed with the white liquid and blood. I’m sure Calvin would have loved it, and packed it in a plastic bag for his show and tell. After repeating the process with the right nostril, I was done – it was all over in 5 minutes. So you see it wasn’t really an operation. and how light headed I feel!

By the way, ward elections are on in Patna. As a result of which we are forced to hear the loud speakers chanting the patriotic songs and the election propaganda of the candidates, which are really the same for every party, with very subtle differences.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Simple Joys

Without getting into preliminaries, i'll just state what comes to my mind...feel free to make additions:

1. smell of rain on dry ground
2. morning coffee while listening to shiv kumar sharma
3. long, leisurely walk with your friends after dinner
4. sitting by a river, lake, or a sea
5. reading sunday newspapers
6. lying in arms of your mother
7. pink floyd
8. walking bare feet on dew covered grass
9. looking at the stars on a clear night

10. Looking at the gulmohar trees in spring
11. Sleeping on the cool country grass in summer under the stars
12. Running the senior cross country with your best friend
13. Standing on a peak and taking in the panoramic view
14. Getting wet in the rain
15. Taking a walk in a zephyr
16. Buntiks and house drinks after boxing workouts


The evening was beautiful. As I stood at my balcony gazing at the gulmohar tree across the street while sipping at my tea, I couldn’t help but notice a pair of squirrels playfully jumping the branches and chasing one another through the flaming red flowers, when an eagle scooped away one of them. The survivour was perplexed for sometime, but presently it was joined by another, and they continued with their play.


It is all very poetic to dream of utopia – a world that knows only happiness and no sorrow. But is it practical? Certainly not! Duality is the basis of the universe. Without light there is no meaning of darkness. Without love there can be no hatred. Lies exist because there are truths, sorrow because there is happiness. Black can only be contrasted with white, violence with peace. Death makes life meaningful. Even God needed Lucifer to make Himself complete.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Whoever leads a lonely life and yet now and then wants to attach himself somewhere, where according to the changes in the time of the day, the weather, the state of his business and the like, suddenly wishes to see any arm at all to which he might cling – he will not be able to manage for long without a window looking on to the street. And if he is in the mood of not desiring anything and only goes to his window still a tired man, with eyes turning from his public to heaven and back again, not wanting to look out and having thrown his head up a little, even then the cars below will draw him down into their convoy and tumult, and so cast him into the human harmony.


Her eyes are grey

Her hair is straggly and wet

Her fingers are stubby

The nails are chewed and broken

Her teeth are crooked, jagged things

There is a vacancy in her gaze,

A feeling of absence when you are

Near her that is impossible

To put down into words

Her sigil is the broken ring

Loneliness of a long distance runner

There is this sudden emptiness surrounding me. I can’t express it in words. Then again, one word is sufficient to explain it – nostalgia.

The school has been my home for six years. In those six years I have cried, laughed, made friends, and made a few enemies. Had moments that I never wanted to end, had those I wish never happened. I won, I lost. I discovered, and I learnt. Life can never be the same again.

How short it is! I realized that when I crossed the finish line of the 68th inter-house cross-country competition. With that I crossed the finish line of my school life. No longer will I be part of the school. No longer will I be responsible to the HM or the HSM. I’m a nobody to them – a person who just eats, and sleeps there. And occasionally writes a paper or to which is mandatory. A luggage.

How relevant it is to have this ‘crossie comp’ right at the end of the year. For me it was doubly significant. It not only marked the end of the race and the year, but my tenure. And now that I look back and reflect on the last six years, and the competition, I can’t help but find the similarities between the two.

When you start the run, you jump into the battlefield with the typical ‘josh’ and enthusiasm of someone starting on a new adventure. Doon was an adventure. But soon the josh wanes, and in its place comes pain, agony, breathlessness – temptation to give up. Many do. Many fight pain with pain. Their will is strong.

And soon the pain is forgotten. Your limbs take you forward effortlessly. You start enjoying the run. You take notice of your surroundings – the trees, the road, the bikes whizzing past and the lazy cyclist, the people running behind you and those in the front. Though we started together, half way through we are on our own. No two persons have the same will power, speed or stamina. So we run alone, towards the common end. Most have only one aim – to beat the person ahead of him. That is a strong motivation, but not good enough, because then you’re running someone else’s race. I run for the sake of running. I enjoy it. My aim is to beat myself. To conquer my mind and body with my will.

Running alone has an advantage. It gives you time for some introspection. I have always been a loner. I am happy to be one. It is a choice that I have made.

However, you can’t run the entire race alone. A few catch up with you, while you do the same with others. You run with them for sometime, then either you leave them or are left behind. There are those who help others on the way to the finish line. A few words of encouragement, a gentle pat on the back. Life isn’t about winning only. It’s about sharing. It’s about human bonding.

You approach the finish line. You remember the pain and agony you endured throughout the race. Once you cross that line, it’ll be an end to all. This anticipation sends a sudden rush of adrenalin through your blood. You act as if in a frenzy. You increase your pace. You fly in the air. You feel light, almost weightless. And it’s all over. The race is over. So is the most memorable phase of your life, yet. Now what?

Now what? This is the question that bothers me. Chase other dreams, achieve different goals? Your entire life is ahead of you, beckoning you. But what do you do after you have fulfilled those fleeting dreams as well?

Puneet Verma
Ex 400-OA

Thursday, April 26, 2007

too bad

I was invited to a birthday bash tonight, so I went. When I arrived, they were in the middle of giving the ritualistic bumps and notwithstanding the fact that I barely knew the birthday boy (a mutual friend invited me) I joined in the fun. But to my horror, their attention somehow turned to me – I think owing to the fact that I was the only person there from the other wing, and that I arrived late – and they proceed to do what they had been doing to the unlucky kid. Besides, they even tossed me! And being light as I am, I almost crashed my skull into the ceiling, what with a dozen hyper buggers tossing me as if their life depended on it. And that was not it. My friend had a brilliant idea of bathing me in beer. Of course I didn’t mind that…I only resented the loss of a good bottle (it turned out, though, that they weren’t short on booze) I fail to understand why me! And that too when the exams are going to start on Monday and no one’s prepared! I’ll let it pass as a result of many sleepless nights spent in books. I need my coffee, and I need to start with ‘C’…wait. What is the syllabus?

Saturday, March 31, 2007


It's three in the morning. You've been in the pub since lunchtime. You just spent five minutes trying to unlock your front door before you realised you were using your car keys. You finally stumble in, reeking of 100 pipers. You know you should drink some water, then go straight to bed. But you're hungry.

Time to hit the kitchen!


Tip: Silicone rolling pins are more hygienic, easier to clean and longer lasting that wooden ones. They also hurt a lot less.Remember: with cooking, the most important thing is hygiene. So before you begin, stumble into the bathroom. Then pick up a bar of soap and stare at it for about thirty seconds while rocking backwards and forwards. Try to remember why the fuck you are in your bathroom holding a bar of soap. Leave bathroom.

Enter the Kitchen

You now need to find the kitchen. Think hard, you must have left it around here somewhere. Stumble in its general direction, placing your hand against the wall. This will help support you and maybe if you're lucky you'll find a lightswitch as well. Light could help at this point. If things are rotating, try rotating in the opposite direction to make them stay still. After entering the kitchen, turn on the light and stare blankly. After a minute or two, realize that this is not the kitchen, unless you recently put a bed in the middle of your kitchen. A bed which seems to be occupied. By a woman. If you can call that a woman. Man, whoever dragged that skank home at closing time is going to be seriously traumatized when he rolls over and sees her tomorrow morning.

Keep stumbling from room to room until you find the kitchen.

Care in the Kitchen

If you are single, you can skip this. If you are married, you need to remember that loud noises in the kitchen could wake your spouse, and you're in no condition to try to win an argument with anyone sober. So it's important to move with exaggerated caution whilst inadvertently making loud noises anyway, in order to preserve the precarious delusion that you're being considerate.

Now you're ready to begin.

Soy cheese on Burnt Toast
Get some bread. Uh-oh, someone bought unsliced bread. Try to find bread knife. Fail. Find electric carving knife. Wrap knife in tea towel to muffle it. Cut two rough slices of bread, approx 2mm thick at one end, four centimeters at the other. Put bread in toaster. Try harder. Shit. Well maybe if you put the thin end in first. Yeah, that did it.

While the bread is toasting, get some cheese from the fridge. Fuck. None there. Never mind, there's that soy cheese that your spouse's irritating vegan cousin brought along to the picnic that time, but no one ate it. Find cheese knife. Well, just use the foil-cutter on your bottle-opener. Slice soy cheese. Is soy cheese the same as tofu? I mean what can the difference be? Does it even melt? Never mind - you smell burning, so the toast must be done.

Place unevenly burnt toast on griller (or broiler, for Americans) then place soy cheese on top. Melt soy cheese, assuming soy cheese actually melts. Drop grill (or broiler) on floor, waking your spouse. Suffer consequences.

Huge Sandwich
Open fridge, and lean on door while contemplating contents. Continue for up to ten minutes. Decide that you'd like a huge sandwich like Scooby-Doo or Dagwood Bumstead always has. Look for baguette, fail to find one. Use frozen garlic loaf instead. Cut length ways. Look in horror as bits of frozen garlic bread go everywhere. Painstakingly reassemble bits using toothpicks. Now we're in business!

Assemble filling - some lettuce leaves, some pastrami, some hot sauce, some pickles, some tomato slices... uh oh. Is that red stuff on the chopping board tomato juice, or did you cut yourself? You don't feel any pain, but you're pretty well anesthetized... never mind, if you get some blood on your sandwich it's just extra protein, isn't it? Or vitamin D or whatever blood is made of. Where were you? Oh, yeah, cold chicken, mayo, bok choy, hoummus... wow, everything looks kind of funny... mango salsa, salami... like kind of monochrome, you know, all black and white and your ears are ringing and...


Cheap instant cake (drunk chef's impression)Preheat oven to whatever seems appropriate. Get packet of cake mix. Try to focus on instructions on packet of cake mix. Hold a hand over one eye, so you stop seeing double. Ah! There you go. Gather ingredients. Realize that you don't have butter, decide that mashed potatoes has similar consistency. Realize that you have no milk, use beer. Realize you have no eggs, improvise egg substitute from weet-bix soaked in milk. Shit. Looks like you did have milk, after all. Too late now. Attempt to grease a 30cm (12 in.) cake tin. Remember that you have no butter. Grease tin with garlic flavored stir-fry spray. Mix ingredients in what you hope is a bowl, then pour batter into tin. Cook until bored. Eat immediately, regret soon after.

Two Types of Leftovers
Right, you've learned from your mistakes. No more complicated meals. Just have that leftover pizza. Or maybe that Chinese takeaway. The pizza looks kind of inviting... but it's just plain cheese, and you want something spicier... hey, wait a minute, why not, like, put the chow mien on top of the pizza, and put it in the microwave?

Mmm... not bad, but it needs a little something... got it! Potato salad! But wait, the potato salad is cold. You could put it on top of the pizza-mien and microwave it, but then the chow mein will be too hot and the pizza base will go soggy. You'd better fry the potato salad separately. Crap, where's the fry pan? Oh, well, you can always use that pressure cooker you got as a wedding present and never used.

Place potato salad in pressure cooker and place on high heat. Get bored, and finally forget about the potatoes. Finish chow mein pizza, which is now cold. Go to bed. Awake early next morning to sounds of spousal screaming coming from kitchen. Hide under pillows. Await inevitable.

Cheese and Mushroom Omelet

Omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, omelet, mushroom, mushroom. Break three eggs into mixing bowl, miraculously not getting any eggshell in the mix. Add a dash of milk, pepper and herbs to taste. Do not add salt to uncooked eggs, as this can make them tough. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Slice 4-5 medium mushrooms. Heat a tablespoon of butter or margarine in a frypan or skillet, then fry mushrooms until brown. Remove mushrooms from butter.

Turn down heat and add egg mixture, occasionally lifting edges with a spatula. When nearly cooked through, place mushrooms and cheese on top. Put under a hot grill, until cheese has melted. When cooked, fold over and turn onto a plate. Marvel at how well the omelette has turned out, even though you're hammered. Take omelet to TV room and sit down in favorite chair. Remember that you left your drink in the kitchen. Balance plate on armrest of chair while you get your drink. Return with drink, and sit down, overturning the omelete into the chair. Contemplate hot cheese congealing on your best trousers. Sob uncontrollably.

Two minute noodles and Tomato Sauce

Add hot water from the hot water tap to a medium-sized pot.
Bring to boil.
Add noodles and flavour sachet from two packets of Maggi Two-minute Noodles.
[optional] crush a clove of garlic or two and add a pinch of salt
Boil until noodles are soft.
Strain. Put noodles back in pot.
Add Tomato Sauce.
Add fat - butter is best, margarine acceptable, or a little olive oil.
Eat out of the saucepan.
[Optional] Cry.

Cleaning Up

Don't. It will just make matters worse. Just make a note to buy flowers on your way home from work tomorrow hope that your spouse... HOLY SHIT! WORK! You're due at the office in three hours! WAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mid-sem Blues II

It’s funny how the world appears to you, the way you are feeling at any given time. Right now the world is a hard, cold place. Nothing is right. I failed. Again. Agreed that nearly everyone did badly in the mid-sems, but that’s hardly an excuse for me not doing well. There’s something wrong, and I know what that is – I have stopped caring, and stopped working. This is a very bad sign. To think that only till last semester if there was one thing that never gave me trouble was academics! Never mind. I shall not go on cribbing about how everything around me is unpleasant. It is not. The problem lies within me, and I shall solve it myself.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Comfortably Numb

It always happens. Whenever I watch the recording of pulse, a shiver runs through my spine. I actually feel I was there at the Earl’s Court, present at the time Gilmour was strumming away at his Fender Stratocaster amidst the dazzling lasers. I become completely oblivious of the fact that my friends are raising hell in the corridor, or that I’ve got to take my dinner before the mess closes. Imagine what those thousands would have felt who was actually there. It is a bit of a cliché to say that it’s once-in-a-lifetime-experience. But it is true. Agreed I’m slightly inebriated right now, but that is no excuse. PULSE was the greatest rock concert by the greatest band ever. I am falling in love with Pink Floyd over and over again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

mid-sem blues

i have mechanics today. and i don't know which paper i have tomorrow or the day after for that matter. i spent the entire sunday playing counter-strike, looking for ways to bypass the proxy server of our college, discussing the best speaker systems, downloading music and killing my roommate (this is roughly what everyone else did, with slight variations). guys are giving someone birthday bumps in the next wing, and in mine they're simply screaming. apparently a game of cs just got over and the terrorists are fighting the counter-terrorists in real life. it's 2 in the morning. no one that i know even pretended to study. engineering college is fun!

Friday, March 02, 2007

of human bondage (i'm not very imaginitive when it comes to titles)

Finally finished reading ‘of human bondage’, and what a huge volume it is! I quite enjoyed it in the middle, especially the parts in which Philip was leading a wretched life as an aspiring painter and his relationship with Mildred. My heart went out to him. It became monotonous towards the end though. I could almost predict its end (he finally settled down with Sally, which was the only diversion). Of course it has depicted the human psychology very well. It is very realistic, but of late I don’t care much for realism. We’ve got too much of that in our lives in any case. It was not poetic as a Shakespearean tragedy (I don’t like happy endings), nor was it fantastic like a Wilde or a Kafka. But I must also confess that I agree with Maugham’s philosophy in general, in most of the cases. All said and done, it has all the ingredients of a Hollywood drama (I’m sure there’s already a film made on this novel!).

ps: i had posted a quote by oscar wilde a while ago. it's queer that maugham should mention him in this book and also agree with that particular quote of his. the quote's still there if you look for it

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Diaries

Einstein had precisely defined relativity: when you are sitting with a charming lady, hours seem like a minute. And when you are sitting on a hot stove, a minute seems like hours. This is exactly what I feel during the lectures. I feel I’m in an oven, and I impatiently glance at my watch to know when the eternal hour will pass. And here I am in my room. I just watched this movie (Motorcycle Diaries) and didn’t know when it was time for dinner. The movie is captivating! It’s a biographical of Che Guevera, the famous Argentine doctor who became the icon of revolution in South America. The movie is not so much about the life he led as a revolutionary. Rather it is about the road that led him there, and is based on the diary he kept during his journey through South America with a friend on a motorcycle (he called his notes ‘the motorcycle diaries’).

The movie has brilliantly portrayed the life of Che. But more importantly, it is beautiful even as a stand alone. I had watched a part of it with my mum (had to leave half way against my will as I was getting late for my train). My mum didn’t know who Che was. Nor did she know Spanish (we had to rely on subtitles), yet she appreciated it. This is a proof enough of how impressive the movie was! Be it the frozen roads through which they dragged their broken down Norton, or the fling Che had with the mechanic’s wife; the poverty of the common folks and the coolness with which the rich pick out a handful of miners out of hundreds of aspirants; Che’s asthma attacks and their treks through the Andes; or their conduct at the missionary where they cured the lepers – every incident is an art piece. It was a pleasant change from a Hollywood thrash. Then again, I have taken to liking foreign movies. Of course art knows no language. Of course I rely on subtitles.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The next village

My grandfather used to say: “life is astoundingly short. To me, looking back over it, life seems so foreshortened that I scarcely understand, for instance, how a young man can decide to ride over to the next village without being afraid that – not to mention the accidents – even the span of a normal happy life may fall far short of the time needed for such a journey.”

More headbanging

This was even better. Booze and rock all night long. Literally. There were college bands competing in the last round of ‘the rockers’, but they were nothing less than any pro. I forgot all my pain when they started playing numbers by iron maiden and ac-dc, and of course metallica. And what a place I chose for myself to stand – beside the speakers! I was leaning on them! And I could feel the music – the beats and the bass. It was an unbelievable experience. The single best part of the cultural/tech fest that we had over the last three days. And I am looking forward to more concerts next year, but before that I hope to make it to the ‘rendezvous’ – the IIT Delhi cultural festival. I LOVE ROCK!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


My neck is broken. So are my arms and legs. My voice is gone. My eardrums are damaged. I’m totally dehydrated and sweating like a pig in this cold. I have no energy left in me…still I never felt more alive thus far in my college! This is what Parikrama can do to a person who worships rock. I had a ball of a time screaming, jumping, dancing and head-banging right in front of the speakers which were blasting away classics like purple haze, another brick in the wall, comfortably numb, highway to hell…it was awesome! And tomorrow there’s another band playing…

Monday, February 12, 2007

String Theory

[this is what I do when i get bored waiting for a train at a railway station]

The string theory was proposed in an attempt to unite all the laws of the universe to give ‘the theory of everything’. It simply states that the visible matter is nothing but the energy produced by the vibrations of ‘strings’, which are very much like that of a violin, or a guitar, but are very small (of the order of 10-33 cm or Planck length). If the atom were the size of the solar system, strings would be the size of an atom. Just as vibrations at different frequencies produce different notes in a guitar, vibrations of different strings give different matter.

Two main kinds of strings were theorized – open and looped. Both satisfied the mathematical equations. So far so good, but then the physicists encountered a problem. They came up with five different variations of the theory. This was a major problem – how can different theories explain the same universe? And if there are five, there can be more.

Then Edward Witten, the scientist/physicist from the institute of advanced science, came along and proposed that these theories are just images of a single theory (people believed him because he is said to have the highest IQ of all living humans). He went on to propose his own version of the theory called M-theory. According to this, the strings are not one dimensional, but three dimensional, and can be stretched like a membrane (simply called ‘branes’), few of them vast enough to cover the entire universe!

He also said that all the strings are open looped and are attached to this mega brane. But gravitons (the particles responsible for gravity) are closed looped and can roam around freely. They can also leave our universe and enter another and vice-versa.

If the above theory is true, then it may be able to explain the phenomenon of ‘Dark Matter’, which has puzzled the physicists for a while now. May be the extra gravitational force that the astronomers are detecting is not being exerted by some dark matter from our universe, but from the gravitons that escaped from a neighbouring universe and entered ours! In that case, there would be no need to look for dark matter, but other universes.

Scientists at CERN are conducting experiments to detect the gravitons that escape our universe in the particle accelerator. They crash two atoms at very high speed and detect new particles produced. If gravitons do have aforesaid property, then it will show it by its absence, i.e., experiments won’t be able to detect its presence.

Then three things will happen – it will be the first experimental proof of the M-theory; dark matter puzzle will be solved; and presence of multiverses will be confirmed. We live in interesting times indeed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Trees

For we are like tree trunks in the snow. In appearance they lie sleekly and a light push should be enough to set them rolling. No, it can’t be done, for they are firmly wedded to the ground. But see, even that is only appearance.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I hate my college. I hate the shallowness that prevails here, all the chatter about fraternity, love, respect, honour, dignity. I hate the seniors the most, who don’t know how to treat a human being, let alone knowing the meaning of these words. They are still ragging us (understatement) – and it’s been six months since we’ve joined the college. Name me a college in India where this happens. You know (ruch, dax, richa di, or whoever is reading this post) you are better off than I am. And dax thank your stars that you didn’t qualify in jee and land up in this asylum, instead you got into Miranda. Studies ain’t that great here. In any case, what they teach in an engineering college in India is a junk (profs claim that). So what really matter are the experiences you earn, opportunities you make use of, friends you make and people you interact with. And if these be the stuff one goes to college for, then all of you are at an advantage. Remember the names of your batchmates and seniors. Report to the senior hostels at their whim. Attend all the junk events that take place everyday (almost) Why? Because that is what makes ISM alumni association so strong; it grooms your personality. To hell with that! I was never made to memorise the names of the Doscos (I don’t think anyone was). Is it just remembering a few thousand names that makes one old boy society strong and the other weak? But for a handful of friends, I’d sure have considered it a hell. But I didn’t know these people before I came here. So it really wouldn’t have mattered had I gone somewhere else. I know one thing for sure – I wouldn’t send my son here, and I wouldn’t have anything to do with this godforsaken place once I graduate.

Ps: I just wanted to cool down a bit. I’m not depressed. I’m not on drugs. I’m angry, thats all.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I had a very interesting weekend. And I don’t know where to start. Should I begin with our train journey to kolkata in which we had to bribe the TT to get a berth? Or the onward journey to khadagpur in a local train, which the ladies of our group made miserable by their constant chatter? (thank god I’m not dating anyone of them). But I think the best start would be to begin at the moment I reached khadagpur – I fell in love with the town! It’s green, clean, and quite with almost no human activity. And IIT KGP (that’s what IIT khadagpur is called) reflected that quality (it’s huge), except it was buzzing with students from all over the country and abroad who had come there to take part in the ongoing tech fest organized by them.

Our team had made a robot which broke after qualifying the prelims. We were of course mighty upset, but I for one was cheered up by the lecture I attended by a Nobel laureate Kevin Warwick. He gave a talk on cyborgs. It was both enjoyable (somehow these physicists have a good sense of humour) and informative. They also distributed a DVD free of cost. It was of a soon to be aired Discovery Channel documentary on future living. Then we attended a musical show performed by some American band. It was a disaster. I’d rather listen to Parikrama.

Anyway, since we had nothing better to do, and the accommodation was hard to get, we decided to go to kolkata and spend the night there. So we did – in a dingy three bed hotel room which had ancient fittings (the hotel itself was located on the 4th floor of a shady looking building). Someone had suggested we go there. He even booked the place for us.

The next day we went to ‘aquatica’. For those who don’t know cal, it’s a water park. And we did what you do in such a park – had fun! We bathed in various slides and wave pools for almost four hours and then we decided we had had enough of that to last a year. So we went back to the station. But the earliest train would not leave before until 5 hours. So I decided to kill the time in Park Street, where I had awesome beef steak and a much needed draught of beer. That was the last thing I did in cal before boarding the train back to Dhanbad. And the return journey was no less interesting. We traveled in a general compartment where there was literally no place to stand straight! I kept my sanity only because I had my music plugged to my ears. I actually managed to sway my body to the beats even though my lower half was numb with pain (it’s a 5 hour journey and the train was an hour late). The other passengers could not believe I could be so cheerful - they were all fighting over place to sit/stand. Thus I (and my friends) journeyed to Dhanbad. we reached there at 2 in the morning and to our luck found a dhaba there. And we hogged like starved pigs on butter chicken and tandoori roti before going back to college and collapsing on our respective bed.

What an experience!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My recent works

The father, the sun and the holy ghost (oil on canvas)

lady in white (water colours)

Nymph (water colours)

it's my first all black painting, which led me to do more experiments with that particular shade!

untitled (water colour)

it's my first 'coloured' painting after a long time. i had been experimenting with black for a while

Monday, January 01, 2007

Yet another new year (...i'm bored already)

Click On The Thumbnails to See The Bigger Image

Yet another year passes by, and we are here again welcoming a new year....we have new resolves, new determinations......though i have this uncanny feeling that this year will be the same as the one before. it always happens. the problem with the future is that it keeps turning into past. so make no resolutions (you know they will be broken before you know it) and party away! cheers.