Friday, November 14, 2008

_ ____ ____ ___ __________ ...

Meandering slowly through the cluttering with eyes wide open and an observant mind, I tread carefully to make sure I don't damage some fatally important finer detail. The triviality of some things amaze, while the sheer carefreeness of a few others frighten. I see paths leading off , off to no particular destination, in no specific terms of creation and the purpose of them all, defeats me. Even as I hope the one direction I am in holds good, a bigger way takes over in a new sense, a new sense of direction. A maze like none others.

Obstruse obstacles and blasphemous booby traps become common sight. The fights through the barricades and the frustrations of a few dead ends too, become routine.You start thinking of yourself,at most times, in the second or third person.I do.Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you know you are close to something of significance, but the mere complexity makes sure that's the closest you'll get to it. Sometimes you'd wish you had a nuclear bomb to blow it all up. And yet, at other times, it'll all seem so lovely that you'll wish it remain exactly as it always has been. Clouds make you conveniently not-see a few mountain tops, around which there never would be a way. But again, a few earthquakes might, for all you know make sure you'll never see the mountain at all. Confusion over your journey, but you never stop. Frankly, my dear, you can't.

You'll be aghast to see specific sights on the journey, while a sense of sweet deja vu, too, is possible. You'll see your own creations, and fight with them to survive. Maybe, a few will be on your side too, but you don't really know. Atleast not until the battle is over. But then again, when does it get over? Do you get to know? How do you get to know?Is there some way to know? Any way to know? Do you find the answers written on the wall or would you rather take it from the mirrors?

The mirrors. Oh, the mirrors would try all they can. To make you more confused. If that is possible in the first place, that is. Confusion through deception. Or other ways. You'll get more confused by thinking you aren't. Each of them telling you a story. The same, sometimes. Different each, at others. Of how it used to, how it is and how it will be. Of how it could be, how it should be, and how it would be. And how it is, again. And what you will do about it. What do you do? Do you do anything at all? Say something? But isn't silence supposed to be golden? Do I walk away? Which way, then? Left,right or into the sunset? The choice will be yours, but only if you are brave enough to make it. Keep making them. There is no gaurantee, really, that your first one would be correct, after all.

And so you make them. Sometime or the other, you have to;the path will make sure of it. All your choices seem to be a result of chance. You felt one to be better, left the others, realized a few roads down that it wasn't, tried to turn back, were successful;weren't, tried again, gave up, took a new turn all over again and continued on.On and on and on.

There is no signboard saying "The End", with classical music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart playing in the background, but you know. It is. The End. You turn back and you can see all your journey.The paths you took and the paths you didn't. You try to ask the question, "Why them?". Even before you finish the question you know. There is no answer. That's who you are. Retrospection comes into play. You may even become smug, you never know.A self-professedly scientific chap, you, are even reminded of the butterfly effect. One small right turn down a seemingly harmless gully somewhere and I would have ended up a few light years away.

And this little walk down the conscience might have got dumped into the bay.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Into The Wild - full throttle cult

Christopher McCandless : "I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth."

Awesome Movie. Nothing but the truth.

Go watch it.

Monday, September 8, 2008


There is freedom in having nothing. There is also freedom in losing everything.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Close to my heart - Madras

Read something which I've been feeling a lot.Felt couldn't put it better myself, so here it is,


"We don’t want any of those integrated townships. We don’t need no DLF. Nor a Mantri. Nor a Hiranandani. One thing that all these new age builders coming into the city has done is made this beautiful city of Madras completely unlivable. Land prices have shot up the roof. Rs. 4500 per sq. ft. in Siruseri. Rs. 10,000 per sq. ft in T Nagar. Come of it. This is Madras and the beauty of the city lied in its quaint colonies and the mada streets. Where are those now. Today when I drive past CIT colony in Mylapore it is difficult to see a single independent house. Only apartments. It is really sad. Look at SS Vasan’s House on Radhakrishnan Salai. It is a piece of disaster today. An ugly looking building which calls itself Acropolis. To people living in the city like me since birth we are quite happy to be wear the conservative hat. Of being a city with enduring values and new age thinking. Of being a city with a higher state of mind. I clearly see Madras going the Bangalore route and it is time to wake up."

I found it on Metblogs, a very interesting site.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

India After Gandhi - Axes Of Conflict

In his book, India After Gandhi , Ramachandra Guha broadly speaks about four axes of conflicts which are pre-eminent in India.
He further says,his book is nothing but "a story,above all, of social conflicts, of how these arise, how they are expressed, and how their resolution is sought." .

First up, there is the issue of caste - whom we fight,whom we fight against,whom we vote for and a whole array of other decisions are often taken based on caste in our society. Caste conflates into two Indian words: jati, the endogamous group one is born into, and varna, the place that group occupies in the system of social stratification mandated by Hindu scripture. There are four original varnas, with the former 'Untouchables' constituting the fifth and the lowest strata. Into these varnas fit the 3,000 and more jatis, each challenging those in the same region,that are ranked above it, and being in turn challenged by those below.

Second comes language. The Constitution of India recognizes twenty-two languages as 'official'. The most important of these is Hindi, which in one form or another is spoken by upwards of 400 million people.Naturally, national unity and linguistic diversity have not always been seen to be compatible. Indians speaking one tongue have often fought with Indians who speak another and the practice continues to exist.

Then there is religion. Though the vast majority is Hindus, India also has the second largest population of Muslims in the world(about 140 million; only Indonesia has more). Substantial communities of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains exist too and it should hardly be a surprise that Indians of one religion have many a times quarreled with Indians worshipping another God.

The fourth and final major axis of conflict is class. India is a land of massive economic polarization.While a sizable number of the world's billionaires are Indians, fully 26 per cent of our population, about 300 million individuals, are said to live below the official poverty line. While the disparity is in the form of landholding in the countryside, huge gaps between incomes is a common sight in the cities.And of course, these asymmetries have fuelled many a movement of opposition.

P.S. A minor axis of conflict to be noted, I feel, is sex. With growing protests on gender equality and any expression of male domination coming under national scrutiny, sex might turn out to become the fifth major axis of conflict someday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

India After Gandhi

The most interesting,intriguing,inspiring,exasperating,shocking,stunning,-and a whole lot of other adjectives-,diverse,difficult country.
The one and only India .

Everyone says they've read about the history of India,in the process completely forgetting that an India came into existence only on 15th August 1947. What they do know is about the pre-independence struggles over-glorified in our pathetic history text-books, peppered with a hundred and one misconceptions and more.For all practical purposes (and a few not so practical) , history has become synonymous with one date : 15th August 1947. History ended for most people on this day with a few exceptions, the Gandhian fanatics , for whom the date was extended to Jan 30, 1948 .

To know about the history of Independent India (India after Gandhi??) , read India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha .

200 pages into the book , and after many a revelation came to light, I felt it would be a good exercise to jot down some stuff here,and sincerely hope I manage to do so without falling into the pitfalls of procrastination.

I shall speak on specific topics later on, while this post shall serve as a general one.This series of posts will contain quotes, taken from Guha's epic work .

Ever since I started reading this book, one constant feeling which has been growing in my mind is awe. Of two different subjects- the author , who must have gone through tons of reading material , literally speaking ; and of the fact that 60 odd years after Independence , India is still existing as a single entity.

Alongside, an exponentially growing fear also came into existence - how long is it going to be before India breaks up due to internal strife ???

"There was no Indian nation or country in the past;nor would there be one in the future"

"Unlike France,or Germany or Italy, there was here no national essence,no glue to bind the people and take them purposively forward."

I look around myself-

  • the mumbai-marathi problem
  • the hindu-muslim problem
  • the sikh nation (khalistan) problem
  • the communist problems
  • the anti-hindi and likewise , anti-regional languages problem
  • northie vs southie issue
  • naxalites and internal terrorism
  • blah blah blah ....

"The heart hoped that India would survive,but the head worried that it wouldn't."

Saturday, July 12, 2008


What if
The weather's never been better
breakfast wasn't ever tastier
every single thing
going just the way
you want it to

time's at your command
problems a thing of the past
misery merely a myth
and on your face ,
the smile a perennial sign .

You are so happy
so , so happy
that you feel like
you're gonna go bust.

And what if
all this pleasure
were sucked inside out
an unfathomable void ...

even that ,
wouldn't come close
to losing a dear friend.

An Ode

Sitting in my seat , long before
the professor arrives to spread his wisdom.
For once , in all of four months
I ain't dying with boredom .

I can't wait to take down notes.
My pen races across the paper
without missing a single word .
And for once , I ain't
looking at my watch every five minutes .

Because I know that
when the bell eventually rings
The professor , the lecture hall,
the subject , and it's mystery
will all be history ,
that I won't care about .

The last lecture of the semester
Is truly a great experience to remember .

Friday, June 27, 2008

This Weather Bleddy Well deserves a post !!!

What's common to

  • A tornado at a speed greater than 100km/hour and

  • A blizzard , like the ones they got up at the north pole , harassing all those poor eskimos ?
If you said they are two extreme weather conditions , you would only be partially right .The more specific answer would be - these are the only two weather conditions Kanpur hasn't seen in the past two years .

Yeah , I know , it's a great opening for a blog post , but the credit ain't mine . It's been blatantly copied from this amazing review of Dasavatharam . Thanks , Mr.Jalsa-and-Jilpa .

Anyways,back to our topic - the weather .
A month and a half back , we had a sandstorm here in Kanpur . I saw people praying like it was the end of the world and yet others close their mouths only when they realized it was full of mud.At two o' clock in the afternoon , it become night here . An everlasting one for few - a coupla dozen poor souls lost their lives on that day .
It was C-R-A-Z-Y .

One month back , it was scorching hot and it was highly humid as well . For one week , it was like hell incarnate.Everything was hot .My notebooks , my shoes , my laptop , my bedsheet even . Sweating like crazy in prickling hot sunlight .
Whoever invented prickly heat powder is God . Really .
And then , it rained . And rained. And rained .

After two days of rains , for close to two weeks , we had what was definitively the best weather in Kanpur I've seen . So much it led my friend to go and blog about it .
And then , suddenly one day , I got up early in the morning , at 7 or so and opened the door to find summer staring at me in my face . It was so hot , I couldn't see without squinting my eyes .

For one day .

The next day it rained . A bit . But not much .

The next day was H-U-M-I-D . I had sweat written all over me .
But thankfully , it was not too hot .

And then , it was bleddy dry for two , the past two days . And it was that way till today afternoon . When it started raining . I look down from my room now and it's pretty much impossible to find a square metre of visible ground . Forget dry ground , that ain't here . It's been raining for 7 hrs on a trot , and heavily at that and shows no signs of slowing down .
Tomorrow , it is expected to snow here.Not a blizzard,most probably, but they say it's a possibility .
Well , just kidding , but I wouldn't be surprised if it did .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dost , Nanban , snehithudu , Friend - College .

Sigma mnu into alpha delta will give the percentage of the faulty pieces in the output.
Sigma mnu into alpha delta.
Sigma mnu into alpha delta .

I was nervous and I had reason to be . In five minutes time , I had to give my presentation, and my head was swimming with greek alphabets I had no interest in. It doesn't really matter here . Your interest . What matters is the grade you get. Copy karo , bheek mango , fraud maaro , bas accha grade la do bas . Kaam Katham .

I was trembling as I took the mike and spoke first about the basics of the course and then this new innovative assembly line idea I had come up with. I had taken huge pains to learn all the coursework and had come up with something new that I thought would work out well .
But as I spoke with shivering notes in my hand and a trembling voice , I realized my thoughts had no relevance to the grading .My ideas fell upon deaf ears and my interests had no takers . I was a misfit here.

Frustrated I was. Anger swelled up in me as I returned to my hostel .
That fucken professor should be dismissed .
Chalo yaar , chai piyo , mast jiyo . Kai ke liye itna tension le rao ?? Chill mar bhai !!
As always ,Dhiresh was there to make life easier . And a few others .

Kya ? Fukka kaa liya ? Tik hai yaar ... agle baar dekh lete hain . Kya dikkhat hai ? ...

Chod diya ? Tumko chod diya ? Arey baap re ... Pagal hogi wo ladki . Tu chinta mat kar , usse sau guna zyaada mast bandi milegi tumko . Tumhari to kismat hi waisa hai ...

Rest le . Tu rest le pehle . Padai wadai sab bandh . Doctor ne rest lene bola hai aur wo hi karega tu . Chup Chaap juice piyo aur so jau . Chicken pox hai bhai , koi mazaak nahi ho rai idhar .

Cricket team mein select nahin hua , to kya ? Aur koi sport hi nahin hai kya ? cricket ke alava koi jeevan hi nahi hai kya ? Lite le lo yaar . . . Ek kaam kar , tu mere saath guitar seekhne aa jao , ek hi saal mein naya band form kar lete hain ...

Akele chal rahe ho ?Bahut door hai yaar service center . Bore ho jaoge . Ruk , mein bi aata hoon .

College mein dosti hoti hai .
Dosti mein masti hoti hai .
Aur padai bi usi mein hoti hai .

College main dosti bindaaz
to baaki sab bakwaas

Well , almost .

College has , is , and will always be about the friends and their friendships . It's them who shape your personality , views and character . IITK is no exception . The technical demographics , the grades , cpi , spi , resumes , project reports , assignments , etc . will remain as pure details and nothing more .

The above post is part fiction and part non-fiction . The line between the two , is also , merely a part of the details .

I tribute this post to Dhiresh,Pratik,Pranay,Adarsh,Vinay,Sai and Sukrit . These guys have made my life at IITK memorable . Thank you chaps .

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

It was a sad thing to do
loved her more than his own self
but it had to be done
for it was the right thing to do

he had sacrificed a lot
for the few moments spent with her
memories of a lifetime
and grief for many more
but he still had to do it

it sure was not the happiest thing to do
but it was the right thing to do

it was a tough job
before , during and after
her blood would make his skin crawl
suck his soul right out of him
but it had to be done

though it was not the easiest thing to do
it definitely was the right thing to do

many souls , one plight
betrayal of love and trust
the worst crime of all
unknown brothers would thank him
while he would sink into sadness
but he still had to do it

it was not the most practical thing to do
but it was the right thing to do

one single thought kept nagging his mind
many a men she slept with
making each think he was the one
what if , I really was THE one ?
or was this how she had lived on ?
making everyone think they were ...

No more second thoughts
He would do it
for it was the right thing to do
and it had to be done .


He shot me down
Bang Bang
I hit the ground
Bang Bang
that awful sound
Bang Bang
My baby shot me down
Bang Bang

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Swivelling Layers of Condescension

I was born into this world hale and hearty
It was decided early on I was a smarty
And was written off to write the J E E
though elsewhere lay the interests of yours truly

With heart set to break tradition
I went into film and action
a hundred people had a hundred things to say
and made my family's view on me sway

this field became unworthy of my family's attention
they had to take care of their lofty reputation
My family withheld it's supple support and
I was left to find my own life transport

A few hardships for me and pity in my family stirred
All I had to do was shake my head and nod
I could become half my family business' head
and Prove to the world I was still of sterling breed

I did indeed , after a lengthy monologue , shake my head
A strong no it was and doors were forever shut
I was left alone , amidst confused love and tension
sinking , in the swivelling layers of condescension

The title and inspiration was a podcast I heard , by Suresh ......tamilians , do check out his podcasts...they are amazing .

P.S. This poem is not some self-reflecting poem or anything . I chose to write the JEE of my own stupidity .

Friday, April 4, 2008


My name is Sanjay Ramaswamy. Though there will be millions of people who would have never heard of me, I am sure there will be thousands of people who know a lot about me and at least a few hundreds who are inspired by me. I was after all, one of the richest men on the face of this planet.

I am a success, in every conventional connotation of the word. It has been that way ever since my very birth. My dad used to tell me how I was one of the healthiest babies the doctor had ever seen. Born into an upper class aristocratic family, I never had to undergo any sort of failure in my childhood. The best schools , the best colleges , branded clothes , custom made footwear and of course , the silver spoon were all part of daily life for me . I did my schooling in a very posh boarding school atop a hill station and my family used to fly down to meet me every month. A truckload of goodies were normal expectations on these visitations. A protected childhood it was .As soon as my schooling was over, I was packed off to Britain for my graduation, and then, the States for my post graduation. I was my dad's lifetime achievement, his showcase trophy and heir to his kingdom, Sanjay Industries Private Limited.

I spent two years learning the ropes, patiently waiting for my chance on the throne, which I knew would come to me. With a business degree from the Sloan school, I was all set to take over the company on my 25th birthday, when my dad signed over everything to me. All 3.2 billion dollars worth of property. For those who are weak on exchange rates, it converts to approximately 12800 crore Indian rupees. Ours was the only company in the Indian top 10 richest companies which was completely privately held. And it was not too far away when it would become the richest in India and break into the world's top 10. India was the perfect setting for me. Cheap labor, gullible people and a corrupt political system. I went from strength to strength and as I foresaw, I soon became a household name in India. I was the employer of close to 900,000 people and contributed graciously to the campaign chests of almost all the political parties. I traveled in custom built limos and pricey private jets. Vacations were spent on private islands, with preposterous yachts to play with. But I was not happy. As with most stories, this one too, involves love .

Akhila. Akhila Yadav. The one and only woman I ever really loved. I've had numerous flings with ravishing females, but most of them were behind my money and the strings attached to it. Akhila was the one who slapped me in front of a thousand people for flirting openly with her. The only one who told me exactly what she thought of me .The one I lost my heart to, and the one I never tried getting it back from . I couldn’t. She was Rakesh Yadav's wife. Married to a dynamic IAS officer meant she could get away with saying most things to most people. Rakesh being the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's only son only added to her liberties. But the most people did not include me. I could have destroyed both her and her husband, and her dear father-in-law couldn't have done a thing about it .But even as I was watching into her angelic green eyes, I knew that I would have destroyed myself in the process. That's when I knew nothing would ever be the same again. But I refused to believe it. I couldn't stop myself for a woman, after all. I was Sanjay Ramaswamy, India's richest business man, and still in my thirties. I drove myself harder and harder after that, never leaving sight of Akhila along the way. I knew where she went, what she ate, what she bought, even her perfume labels. But the one fact that she was not mine and never would be served as a bed of thorns on which my life was being spent. For the first time in my life, I prayed to God. Sitting alone in my ridiculously large office praying, I cried.

All the crying and the numerous gods were of no immediate help for my quagmire. Slowly, though, the wheel of time took over and I all but forgot about Akhila. The boardrooms and bank accounts took over, but I was not the same happy go businessman I once was. The company was now worth ten times what it was when I took over. Newspapers flashed my name every day. I became tabloid news; even page 3 stuff .I was linked with n number of pretty damsels. Some affairs were true, but most were non-existent. The relationships were mostly physical and expensive gifts and silent threats made sure none of my private secrets were spilled out. Life moved on. I bought more companies, made more money, got into and out of politics. Every move of mine resulted in success. But I was not happy.

I knew I wouldn't find happiness in the rat-eat-rat world of business and politics. I had to get out. Only, no one cared to show me the exit. I waited patiently, knowing I would find it someday, somehow. And I got ready for it. Exactly four years back, Sanjay Industries went public. The IPO was a historic keynote in Indian business and a blazing success. I sold all my shares but one and stepped out of the organization with around 40 billion dollars. And nothing to do.

I started traveling, going from anywhere to anywhere with no fixed schedules. I started off with jet hopping from one country to another, but none of the infinite luxuries money could buy brought me satisfaction. It was not until I saw a show of Kalari-Payattu in Kerala did it hit me how little I knew about my own country's cultural heritage. So, next came all those exotic places in India. Cottages which came at one lakh rupees a day to local bachelor mansions at thirty rupees a night, ridiculously expensive massage treatments to one rupee shoe shines, exquisite escorts in historic palaces to cheap prostitutes in road side pubs -India sure was an eye-opener, and knowing about my homeland bought me some sort of consolation. But I still was not happy.

She was buying an ice candy for another kid. The kid was wearing only a pair of dirt-streaked shorts and no shirt to protect him from the scathing sun. Rough hair, bare feet, bruises all over the body and a million watt smile on his face, I felt jealous looking at the kid. For the first time in my life, I looked at another human with envy in my heart. My glare moved from the kid to the girl and I realized the kid was actually in a better physical condition than the girl. She couldn't have been older than thirteen or fourteen. Somehow, I knew for a fact that the ice candy stole away all of her pocket money. But she had a grin brighter than the kid's and was happy, while I was not .The traffic signal turned green , and my driver revved the Audi away ,but the scene I saw at the signal near the Dharavi slum in Mumbai etched itself onto my mind . Like an i-pod on repeat mode, I kept rewinding and forwarding it until I got frustrated of my own unhappiness. In this dark hour of utter desolation, the truth of it hit me like a tsunami. And I knew what I had to do to become happy.

That was the birth of Operation India Tomorrow. Forty billion dollars was a lot of money to give away and my precious education came back to help me in using the money properly. I put all my expertise, connections, political clout and the media to aid my efforts at educating the under-privileged kids of my country. In three years since then, we have come a long way. More than a thousand schools, close to a hundred colleges, not to mention the extensive Student Placement Network in place to make sure the kids don't join the unemployed. Being unmarried and no big family to boast of, I put all my self into the project and received back more from it. Seeing each kid smile in my schools made my heart flutter. Their parents bowing to me in respect made me feel real self-importance. We have taken more than a tenth of India's uneducated children away from the list. More than a third of the orphaned babies nowadays find their way into some or the other of my orphanages. I have managed to inspire enough people to join the organization, and spread their love among the less fortunate. I have raised India's hopes of become a truly prosperous country. But more importantly, for once, I am happy.

Throughout my journey of life, with mostly ups on a constant down, I have realized that only one thing matters. Your Happiness. Money, women, power may bring you happiness. But it's very much possible that they may not bring you happiness as well. That small girl buying an ice candy with all her money for another kid turned my life. From darkness to light, from listlessness to sanctity. She didn't realize it, but she was buying education for all her fellow faceless children living under poverty across our country. The world even, if by God's grace we can do it. And I am happy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home - The Comfort Of Familiarity

The same old creaking sound of the gate greets me and looking down the pathway on which I've done a thousand and one things and more brings an ear-to-ear grin to my face . Seeing my mom stand at the door sends the fatigue of the journey flying . My heart does a little somersault and gives itself a high five as I go in and notice all the minute changes since I've last been here . More importantly , I take comfort from all those familiar unchanged objects , in their same old places , all those tiny nooks and corners , embracing in their intimacy . The same old teddy staring from atop the television . Mr.Laughing Buddha smiling at me from the bookshelf . Lord Venketeshwara keeping an eye on me from the walls of my bedroom . The unkempt garden at the back of the house . My brother , sister , grandpa and last but not the least , Mr.Sols , my pseudo-brother . Even as I unpack my luggage , strong coffee smell wafts into the room , the familiar red nescafe cup in my mom's hands . I settle comfortably into the sofa and spread out The Hindu , M S Subbalakshmi's voice singing the Suprabatham in the background .
Ah , finally , back home again .

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


(this was my entry for the green themed contest on IAW on orkut)

The moment I think of the word 'green' , NATURE pops up in my mind . Trees , more specifically leaves . Bright , lively green comes first before I think of the deep,mysterious woods of Enid Blyton novels and the green in my mind goes dull and dark . Then I think of pictures of green seas , where the water appears to be more like some kind of a giant martini of green color . And it is at this exact progression that Karla enters into my thought process . The infinitely mysterious Karla . Each and every person who has read Shantaram will know exactly what I mean . The green eyes , the green skirt , the leaves with that precise shade of green that Linbaba sees in Mauritius ( is it Mauritius only or have I forgotten? ) . I keep thinking about Karla for a long time before I realize I have a post to finish . And then , I think of BRUT , the deodorant . A striking metallic green . Various other objects come into my mind - mountain dew , lord of the rings movies , my guitar case , the od old car I used to see near my school . But I keep coming back to Karla . For this shade of green that is the green that I can't think of in my mind . The one green I would love to see the most but something I know I can't ever .

Monday, March 10, 2008


If you've seen this very popular tsunami video , the water recedes back quite a bit and then this huge,HUGE wave comes crashing out ,out of the blue . Similarly , there are times in life when you are going through a dark phase but the thought of something better , something you cherish , something so special you can't even describe it properly just makes you swell up with a gigantic wave of happiness . The very thought of it makes you burst out in a hopeless grin . In shawshank redemption , Red says that hope can drive a man insane , but I feel , in reality , hope is what drives the world . Hope , that you are gonna be part of a brighter future , a happier scene , a satisfied moment , at peace with the world with all the faults in it . This single hope pushes back all the other seemingly inconsequential issues into the dark . You start counting the weeks , the days , then you fervently tick off the minutes . Your mind tingles in anticipation . You blush for no reason , you are that happy .
I am .
Come Friday , I'll be leaving for home .

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Loneliness - Rewritten

I live amidst thousands of people on campus . Five thousand odd students . Another 5000+ campus residents . Apart from thousands of others going to and coming from the notorious Nankari region . There are innumerable forums to voice our views , most notably the internet . The counseling service sole purpose of existence is to make sure I don't feel too depressed .
There are 'bhais' and 'wingies' to have discussions on anything I want to . There is a 'baap' to ensure I get properly oriented to this place . So many clubs , so many groups , all to make sure none of my hidden talents go wasted . So many people , so many activities .
Night -long brainstorming sessions followed by relaxing tea breaks at MT , and then to sleep , to big,big dreams , revolutionary ideas , path breaking innovations . So many people , so many ideas , so many discussions , so many activities . So much I've done ; so much I am doing ; so much I've yet got to do .
Stop .
Why in fucken hell then am I feeling so lonely here ?
Long,long pause .
Am I lonely or do I see myself as being lonely ? I definitely am not lonely in a physical sense . But even speaking of the mental plane , am I really lonely ? Or am I just convincing myself that I am lonely ? The latter seems more convincing for the moment . Yes , I am just fooling around with myself . Heck, I am NOT lonely . Atleast do not feel that way right now .
So long till I feel lonely enough to sit down and write such crap as I have just written .
Ha Ha Ha Ha .


Of whatever I can remember of my short life so far , I've always been defending one culture or the other . Sometimes at the cost of another dear one even . It was telugu films , telugu culture while I was in school . Not a week used to pass without an argument over whether telugu heroes were more ridiculous or tamil heroes were more ridiculous . Once I moved to Hyderabad , it was exactly the same argument , only I was arguing for the tamil heroes this time around . I should have been happy with what I had and realized there was worse to come . Now in Kanpur , i have it upon myself to defend both Tamil and Telugu films apart from the occasional argument for Mallu films as well . Whats more , it's not just films anymore . The boundaries have been pushed back to include language , food , dressing styles , religion , marriage and what not . Each and every facet of our way of living has been argued over , always with two sides at the least ,mostly North and South .
Even as I struggle to break out of these societal bindings , I wonder what IS my culture ? What am I ? Chennai-ite? IITian ? Golti ? Indian ? Or should I restrict myself to a South Indian ? Or am I a global citizen ? Decide on one and arguments pop up for the others .
It's not just me either . Most students here are trying to come up with a fixed identity for themselves . And once they do , they start closing their mind for other suggestions , other options and stand steadfast by their identities , irrespective of whether their identities are justified or not . A self-professed fan of SRK is never gonna(mostly) accept that SRK is no better than Rajni , while a strictly Rajni fan might not be able to come to peace with the fact that Rajni is no longer the amazing performer he once was . You might be wondering...is this all part of one's identity ? Do our fave heroes , our food habits form a part of our identity ? Definitely . People fucken die for Rajni man .
Lets get back to the topic . Identity . Can anyone have a fixed identity which isn't ever gonna change ? Say , you have never tasted coffee but strictly believe you won't like it . One day , your girlfriend forces you to drink some coffee she made and you realize you actually like it . Love it infact . More than your girlfriend even . Does this change your identity?? You bet it does . From a dumb , idiotic,ignorant moron , you become a coffee loving,dumb,idiotic,ignorant moron .
Again, so what constitutes an Identity ? Or can we even say X , Y and Z form part of your identity while A,B and C don't ? Heck, first break out of the narrow confines of your mind and come to terms with the fact that a person can't ever have a fixed Identity . Yes, you do have an identity but it keeps changing . Continuously . Perennially .
So, what am I now ? I am just Pavan Madhini . What you make of me is your problem and not mine . I am happy the way I am - a continually changing , confused, confident , cool chap who is a Chennai-ite at heart . As of now .

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


My first really long poem . Comments are specially requested , irrespective of how you feel the poem is .

Amidst thousands of people on campus ,
With dozens of Clubs and groups around
Various forums to voice our views
Counseling service to listen to our woes
Bhais and wingies to share our happiness
academic batchmates to crack problems together
Security gaurds to provide what else , security
and an administration making sure you become a success

Going to classes together ,
Eating our meals in huge companionship
Spending night-outs in brain-storming sessions
Going to MT for relaxing the mind
and coming back for a sleep to dream big dreams
waking up again
going to classes together

So many people
So many activities
So much I've done
So much I am doing
And So much there is to be done
But I pause for a moment
and reflect on how lonely I really am .

Further I reflect , further I feel
Am I really lonely ?
Or is it just that I like feeling that way ?
I like things the way they are
I like speaking to my friends
I just love the brain storming sessions
Lonely , I definitely am not
So i asked , What is it ?
Suddenly , feeling lonely was not feeling so good .
And I stopped feeling lonely altogether .
After all , it's all in the mind
And the mind is what matters.
And I am a happy person on the go again .


Anger . Love . Valentines . Girls . SinCity . Blood . Anukokunda Oka Roju . Charmy . Manchester United . Liverpool , Arsenal . Ferrari . Schumi . Mrunal . My name is RED . Blood again . Zimbabwe . Coca-Cola . Redheads . Archie . Lipstick . Communists . Karl Marx . Sauce . Chicken Tikka . My back pack . Blood again . And again . I know , I am psychotic . Ducati 999 . My fake Nike tee . Trying to think of more "RED" stuff . Blank . Still Blank . End of lecture . End of post .

Thursday, February 28, 2008


There are many a time zone
In each , soo different humans alone
Even in the humans alone
We don't have yet a perfect clone

Some fat , Some frail
Among the frail ,
some short , some tall
Amidst the tall ,
some dark , some fair
And among the fair ,
some arrogant , some intelligent
And even in the intelligent ,
We might have one lame ,
but no two ever the same .

All in all, just humans we are
And so many more beings there are
Take into account each and every creature
And you'll realize , Inequality is the law of nature .

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heroes/ Veetukku Oru Barathi

He was highly handsome
slick in speed , lithely built
fought anyone and anything
after all, he knew everything

Till one day when he was terse
came something out of this universe
every throat was crying sore
For there was no hero anymore

God came around and offered one more
and asked for but one family's heir
Everyone had a recall ,
no hero is immortal .

everyone wanted a hero some
but never one from their own home .

Sicko ! Yup, Thats Me

Some people call me Sick
A few others , psychotic
Still others consider me a dick
But they never ever get the trick .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The sky is blue
And Roses are red
So many sights
so many colors
But any human, on any day
Is always a shade of gray

Self Proclaimed Arm Chair Experts

Taller than tall
was how tall it was called
And bigger than the biggest
was how its ego was set
Tall and slender ,
High above the rest
Shouting down from the tree-tops
That it was the best .

And so it was, till one fine day,
There came a sudden gust of wind
made ze hero billow real sore
And then , there was no tallest tree any more
It doesnt really matter , does it all?
To be so highly one-dimensional .

Lost In The ClassRoom

In the depths of the darkened room
my cynical skewed thoughts roam
Physically present , mentally absent.
Gone to place , where.....
I can have all my rant .

Far-off voices call me back .
Even though I want to do
nothing else but hit the sack
tired of thought ; dark , deep thought
which I wish I really hadnt bought

The truth of it all hits me in the face
Inequality is the rule of the human race
Justice is a myth , Ignorance is a virtue
And I dont have anywhere else to run to

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee

Say frisbee and u've got images of kids throwing a disc around . The sport I am talking of , Ultimate , also known as Ultimate frisbee is COMPLETELY different ; though the basic play is same - catch,throw,run .
Ultimate is distinguished by its spirit of the game —the principles of fair play, sportmanship , and the joy of play.{wiki}
I started playing this great sport on the Elliots Beach in Chennai . Though my stay was short and my number of playing sessions didn't even cross into double digits ; I was hooked .
And so it was that I landed in Kanpur with a disc in hand . Surprise , Surprise...we have one more enthusiast of the frisbee but he hasn't played Ultimate though .
Since, it has seen a slow but steady increase in participation here at IITK . Starting in the Hall 2 quad , we have now moved to the hockey field to have our Ultimate matches .
Every weekend , both saturdays and sundays , you can catch us playing Ultimate at 1400 hrs at the Hockey Field this semester .
Needless to say , EVERYONE'S INVITED !!! ....And no prior experience is needed .

For a sample of this spectacular sport , check these videos :

You can also join the IITK ultimate yahoo group :

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Education in India

Jawaharlal Nehru had a vision in setting up the IITs . He wanted them to be colleges where the brightest of the bright students of India could study in a productive environment . Ok, so how do you know who is the brightest of the lot ? Well, that's what we got the IITJEE for .
The IITJEE is meant to separate those gifted few who are more intelligent than the others . The select few who are expected to become world leaders in their respective fields . The guys who can change our nation through their innovation and intelligence .
Not any more .
Till now, the grading system has been such that students are selected only if they clear individual cutoffs in all three- Math , Physics and Chemistry . With this year , this sytem has been changed . As of now, there exists only a total cutoff , i.e. even if u are not good in math , you can slog like an ass for a couple of years and score high enough in your chemistry section to get through to IIT . Well, what will happen IN IIT is altogether a different matter (for starters , 98 students failed in MTH101 , the most basic course in math taught at IIT Kanpur , among the most recent batch) .
The IITs have made mistakes before and still managed to keep going at the top of the race . But this one forces people to wonder if this kind of a downward trend continues , will the IITs be held in the same esteem as now by the recruiting companies ??
Apart from this , we have the usual corruption cases on some of our faculty here ; absurd amount of stupidity in handling sensitive issues like mental stress and suicides ; extra-ordinary emphasis on academics (yeah , I know....this is a technical institute) , etc. , etc. .
Our Board here had the bright idea of making our 18 week semester into a 17 week semester in order to reduce stress levels among students . Yes, you got that right ....and just that....no decrease in no. of exams or the syllabus ....this directly implies that we have more to study in lesser time ; but this somehow seems to have passed through certain thick skulls without affecting their thought process .
On a higher note for education in India though , we have our first B school in the world top 100 and no, it's not any of the IIMs . Infact , ISB (Indian School of Business) has been ranked way,way ahead of the next Indian B school , IIM Ahmedabad . ISB stands tall at #20 , while IIMA is at around the 140's mark on the world front .

On the other hand , we have a mega university coming up in Orissa , the Vedanta University . The university, which would be entirely a not for profit venture has been gifted with an endowment of US $ 1 billion from Anil Agarwal , an Indian businessman, who heads the London based Vedanta Resources corporation . With a campus size of more than 6000 acres and an estimated campus population of 500,000 at its full strength , this will be a small town in ti's own right. Chk their site for more details .

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Train of Thought

Have I any purpose ; extreme frustration .
Where am I going ; total oblivion .
You are the dirt of the world , said someone .
Or is that a foregone conclusion .

They feel the warmth of the sunlight .
And are lost in the moment's heat .
In the process, discount the future fate .
Winters in store ; stooped in defeat .

Am I to take bliss in their ignorance
be proud of my own so-called enlightenment .
Is anyone better at all than the other .
Am still sitting in silent wonder .

What do I feel? What do I say ?
I wait until the feeling goes away .

Saturday, January 26, 2008


If you think the title is weird, listen to the song here with this name first .
Band : Pink Floyd
Album: UmmaGumma

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Phone and Photography - Black n White

Black and white photography has got me quite hooked nowadays . I go around thinking how a specific place/thing is gonna look in a photo ; and if it will be better in B/W or colour . And sometimes , I took out my phone to verify my thoughts . Some of the better photos I clicked -

This thing I am holding in my hand is a souvenir Pranay got for me from , obviously , New York . I first tried shooting it by holding it directly against the tubelight , but it didn't work out well .

This is the view from outside my room . Found the almost parellal shadows interesting .

This is a painting on a wall at the Student's Activity Center ( it looks more like a booth bungalow than anything else ) . Though i could have cropped this foto so that the eye becomes the center , I liked this one as it is .

The last one of this post is one of those pics which you first think of in your mind and then shoot to see if it's gonna work out . I asked these two fellows to stand in the doorway in the afternoon and shot this photo , which came out exactly as it was meant to .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Phone and Photography - Skyscapes

I was playing cricket at the Marina beach on the lawns beside the lighthouse when i noticed the interesting lighting in the sky . Out came the phone , and it performed as good as ever . Though the contrast adjustment in the phone didn't allow me to get a silhouette then and there , a bit of tweaking with Picasa did the job .

This one was really weird . What you are seeing is exactly as how I saw the sky that . I went a bit early to Besant Nagar beach , in my over-enthusiasm to play frisbee and got treated to this beautiful sky . Of course, everyone around were clicking pics too . This was one time I wished I had a better camera .

Again, I had to tweak this foto and then crop it appropriately to get it to it's present state .

This was a photo I shot in Ksheera-Samudram , my native village . Surprisingly, i managed to get the silhouette effect without the help of any editing software .

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My first attempt at Poetry

A couple of days , the sun shone bright
our bodies glowed , from the golden sunlight
The grounds were busy with all kinda sport
it was but , alack , short lived hope .

It came back with a vengeance
like a dark lord , back from his penance .
It is really, really cold again , here .
Damn this fucken blasted weather .

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Heroes - Worshtu

Heroes is this television series that everyone here at IITK is talking about . The first season attracted an average of 14.3 million viewers in the United States and received the highest rating for any NBC drama premiere in five years.
Today , I decided to see what it was all about and started the first episode of season one . About three minutes into it , the serial shifts to a scene in " Madras, India " and goes on to become one of the worst depictions of India I have ever seen . From blazer-wearing twenty-something prof teaching genetics to a class which definitely looks elder than the prof himself , to totally accentuated english from everyone , it is so,so UN-Indian....that I wonder why the director chose India as a location for one of his heroes if he was so ignorant about the place .
We also have a guy roaming the streets wearing a coat and a.....believe it or not.....a bow-tie . And lest I forget, the streets were cobbled too....
I am now dying to see what the rest of the series has in store for me .