Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fight Club Revisted

Last night must have been the nth time I was watching Fight Club and it is probably not the last time either. There is something about the movie, the characters, the plot and underneath all of it the desperation of Edward Norton.

The movie is immensely likable though it flies in the face of conventional wisdom; it preaches chaos and the less trodden path. There might be something wrong about me but when in the last scene Edward Norton tells Marla Singer (Helene)” You met me in a very strange time of my life” with buildings collapsing all around and the music in the background, it was way more romantic than it seems.

Not to mention the one liners that the movie has and the alternate philosophy that it propagates, pure work of awesomeness.

Just to make it clear, the following lines by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt)

“Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off”

Some more that really makes sense

“You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

If people really adopt this line of thinking it would be a marketing manager/brand manager’s worst nightmare come true.

And the way the narrator keeps personifying himself as individual part of Jack’s life:

“I am Jack's inflamed sense of rejection”

“I am Jack's wasted life”.

The tone that the movie takes against consumerism and getting knee deep in dark territory as against movies that shoots in breathtaking locales and keep serving the old wine in new bottle is both refreshing and entertaining.

So if you have seen the movie, you can see it once again and if you have not what are you waiting for? This should be the next thing you do today.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

IT Employee Day @ Work

This is how I roll, I roll like this.(Ever since I heard this song I wanted to use it)

A typical day starts for me at around 8 when I open my eyes say a loud hello to sick and bloody world that is getting worse with every passing day. People say I am optimistic well I cannot disagree, I am optimistic!!.

I reach office quite early say by around 10 am (Think its late? you need to get a life). My day starts with a proper workout,its imperative for me to be healthy or I will be taking sick leaves, so I go for gym.

I love going to gym, I however hate working out. Why pay so much effort lifting weights? I feel pity on those souls trying to lift weights to get that bulging biceps to impress girls, just earn cash bloke, different means to the same end!!.

Nonetheless I go to gym to run sometimes,other times its a cool place to hang out, music blaring, people struggling to lift weights and seeing all those contorted faces when they try to complete the last repetition, people cheating on barbell curls to lift more weights. Oh vanity!! what have you done to these normal looking people.

After I take stock of gym, I have a post workout snack (lol). Post workout meal is very important for muscles to recover. I do not want my muscles to be sore and all tired while I put in effort for the work. I need to be fit for working.

I come back to my desk, there is almost everyday a meeting scheduled. I love meetings, every body pretend to do something(they have not done shit, myself included), ideas flow thick and fast and there is a monologue from the manager while an ass kisser (there is one present everytime. I bet he was an ass kisser in college too) would vigorously agree with the manager.

After a boring and tedious meeting, it is now time for lunch which I take rather luxuriously(no compromise on eating habits).

Post lunch is the nap session, a habit forced into me during college days (well boring lectures after lunch and hence no option but to sleep).

By the time I wake up it is already three. So for one hour before the snacks start I check my emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog and what not. If I am not feeling like having snacks courtesy heavy lunch, I participate eagerly in team building exercises. I therefore play foosball with all other employees.

I have my snacks, return to my cubicle and continue the work which I have been doing throughout the day, I read about how to work effectively, getting more done in less time and then Times of India for my daily dose of entertainment. (Some sites are blocked:)).When all this is done I start packing my stuff and rest for some time. It has been quite a busy day and I am dead tired. If only the work load is reduced, I could put in much more creativity. Bloody Long Hours of Work, I say and sign off.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Ramdev Episode!!

Can I please not take a side this time around? I want to see from the sidelines how one of the most hilarious drama plays out.

The drama involves two main protaganist and rest of the cast is immaterial or rather I would not concentrate on them. The lead character is a Baba variously described as 'Thug Baba' or the 'Yoga Guru' and in some parlance as 'The Saviour'. Well I would not know which is his true colour nor do I intend to find out.

The second character or characters is the state of India or Govt of India or PM of India or Gandhi Family heirloom.

The drama deals with Baba's quest to find relevance in the political space. After creating ripples with famous yoga asanas and acquiring tonnes of followers, Baba wants to change the landscape of politics in India. Well who could blame him. I want to change the landscape too. The current govt behaves like a bunch of headless chickens running around, PM and Sonia Gandhi it seems have taken a vow of silence in all matters concerning the country. Govt provides for ample of opportunities to attack it and sadly the opposition keeps letting the opportunities go be it rise of petrol price, scams after scams and then some more and finally the black money plank. The opposition sadly slept through it all. This is when the saviour decided to take up the issue himself after a Gandhian's successful agitation against the govt.

The govt was mightily confused as in how to deal with a Baba. They laid out a red carpet welcome for him and when the demand list of Baba did not disappear, the Empire struck back, pelted him and his followers with tear gas. This will inevitably be followed by IT Dept raids which behaves like black operations arm of government and if this does not help then, CBI of course.

This altercation as it turns out enhanced the credibility of baba who according to sources can cure homosexuality. What started out as a drama soon started to draw comparisons with Jallianwala Bagh and the Emergency.

Hounded by the security forces, the Baba fled in the garb of women and finally went to Haridwar to continue protesting against the state. He is paid visits by none other than sadhvi herself and other prominent politicians. All this at a time when I thought that Indian politics has been at its lowest now and can only go up from here. Something tells me that drama is going to continue for couple more days before the curtains are drawn. I so desperately wish that sadhvi stops visiting Baba for political advice for he was about to start armed rebellion of sorts by voicing call for arms.

Meanwhile Baba tries his best to save his face with the help of another Baba on whose request he decided to take food again. Thus the curtains were drawn.If I may venture,historians should call this part of Indian Politics as “Baba's Rising” for something tells me we have not seen the last of him.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mother and Child.

It was my summer vacation and for a change I visited my brother for it has been long and I wanted to see my niece.It was only ten days holiday before I go for my job, so staying at brother's seemed like a good idea.

My niece is only 6 months now and she does not do much except may be smile once in a while and most of the time she is crying. My sister in law is in charge of home and brother goes to his shop..

After only two days I realised my sister in law has changed much, she looks haggard, tired and sometimes cranky too. I cannot blame her, there is home to take care of, make food and then take care of baby. The baby by the way seems very smart to me, as soon as she realises mum is not around she would holler bringing sister in law to drop everything and tend to her. The niece would do that everytime sister in law is having food, cooking food and almost certainly when she is sleeping. If she does not get the requisite attention, she would vomit, excrete and what not.

My niece biological has not set in so far and so she would wake up in the middle of night crying. Even I was awake by her shrieking even though I am considered a sound sleeper, imagine the plight of near ones. All through this and my sister in law never complained. She would get extra concerned if the baby is not eating or not sleeping or anything out of the ordinary. The ordinary being rampant crying and disturbing her.

Frankly speaking I found it more troublesome and tedious than tending to the business and she never got the due credit. In those ten days, I have seen my sister in law talking about her baby all time, till it was little annoying for me, worrying almost about everything concerned with her and getting no more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep. No wonder she was haggard, tired and cranky.

Then one day the niece did something new, something she had never done before, she rolled over and then she did the usual, she started crying. My sister in law appeared like Flash in a moment and asked me,

“Did you do this?”

“Do what?” I asked back. Frankly I was little scared for sis in law is not rational when it comes to her kid.

“Did you rolled her?”

“Nopes, she did it on her own account.” I said relieved. Am off the hook.



And from that moment on, she was on cloud nine, the niece just rolled over. She could not wait to tell everyone, the first call went to the hubby dear, then to her mother and then to everyone willing to lend her an ear. She was ecstatic..
In that moment I realised what unconditional love is about. How can a person keep on giving and expecting nothing in return and how one can endure all the sleepless nights and yet enjoy the process.Even though my sister in law is aware of the fact that in few years the niece will give her hard time, not listen to her and forget all the effort that she put in to bring her up, yet she continue to shower her with love and care.

That according to me was the display of real beauty, not the size zero perfect model, not the feat of engineering that is bugati veyron, nothing came close to describe the bond between the dependent child and the unconditional mother and that I believe is the real beauty.

I have written this post for Yahoo! India and Dove "I Believe in Real Beauty" under the topic "What does real beauty mean to me?"
Don't forget to visit:
Dove Real Beauty on Yahoo! India

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adversity Called Exams

The one memory that has always remained with me of the school days and beyond has been the exam times. I have,like a good student,always hated nah despised the exams and the name itself was enough to put a frown on my face and still does.

But of late my hatred has subsided and in fact I have began increasingly liking the exams, well not the exams so much as the exams time. The first time the realization dawned on me, I was embarrassed and petrified. This should be mistake I thought. Why me God? I complained. What would my friends say? Have I lost the mental balance finally?How will I ever show my face to student community?

After a long period of soul searching and trying to find to find a reason for my erratic behaviour I have come to certain conclusions. This is not to be misconstrued as signs of insanity and under no circumstances as signs of emotional maturity but there are certain plausible reasons to why I have warmed to exam times.So before the student community ostracizes me and disowns me let me present my case.

The following are the reasons:

-Ideas flow thick and fast during exam times, it is almost like the mind is working on the overdrive and it focuses on everything but on the task at hand. Who can blame the brain, the task at hand are thick and heavy books which probably were used to crush skulls in the medieval times. Needless to say, some of the best ideas have come to me during the exams.

-Since the exams are so dreadfully dull, everything else seems to be more exciting. I found Golmaal 2 hilarious and dare I say slightly logical including the climax of the movie just because the alternative was so bad.

-We often descend into fits of laughter for no apparent reason other than the fact that we are getting screwed tomorrow. The fits of laughter could be unprovoked and have lasted as long as half an hour.

-The breaks that we take between study sessions extend from 5 minutes to well beyond 5 minutes and this is the time when we talk about politics, girls, literature, movies and everything else under the sun. Politics being politics and everyone being an expert (including me that is), we end up solving country's all problem and that includes poverty, starvation and unemployment too. Also imagine five men trying to figure out the deal with women, we never made any progress till date. We had better chance of cracking Bermuda Triangle's mystery.

-A major chunk of time is spent to discuss how the 'World Class Professors' could have taught us better. Never minding the fact that we should try listening for a change.

-A word about sleep, ordinarily you may sleep around 5/6 hours and yet sustain but in exams you need 8 hours minimum and thats the best sleep you are ever going to get.So if nothing else appreciate the exams for it acts like a sleeping pill.

-If you are someone like me, then you have completed only half of the syllabus. So in the exam, I am waiting to see the paper with all my senses heightened, it is similar to having sex blindfolded(not that I will know what that feels like but have read enough).

-In case the paper screws us, I would look stupidly at my friend who in turn would be grinning from ear to ear knowing fully well that we have been severely screwed and that we have to study this subject better for the next minors or majors as the case may be.

-In the intervening two hours, my neck would crane at impossible angles just to have a look at what the other chap is writing. In case the teacher warns me I would defiantly say “he does not know anything either” and try to look at his paper again just in case:).

-After every exam we make a promise, from next semester we are going to be regular and like true Indian Politicians we have never kept our words.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of World Class and Shakers

After the recent attacks on the Pakistan's naval base the debate is back on in the international and the national media whether Pakistan can really secure their nuclear assets. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is busy giving advice to Pakistan how to go about it but I decided not to jump the bandwagon. The reason is simple, I am not an expert on he issue and I have already advised them on what not to do in my previous post.

This post is more about our swashbuckling Environment Minister who tends to court one controversy after another. Not that I am complaining, I am instead planning to ask him if I can write his biography. I have already planned for it and it will be written in three volumes. The first will be called 'The man who kicked Posco's Ass', the second will be called 'The man who redefined WORLD CLASS' and the third's title is still to be decided for I feel he will kick hornet's nest sooner rather than later. And as soon as that happens the third volume's title will be a no brainer.

Though the issue of World Class may have been hijacked now by the politicians and the debate on it went on it like it does on every other topic in India. Congress people call BJP people third class and not qualified to talk on it (as if they are first class themselves!!) while BJP demanded for World Class Ministers from Congress(like BJP have produced World Class Leaders!!). While the political parties who were vying for the limelight stole the debate, the real voices that of teachers and students that should be heard is lost in the clatter. Read more

Seriously is it just me or you also feel that politicians just do not debate anymore but they bitch about each other like they are in some saas bahu serial. I blame Ekta Kapoor for the rot and demand that she be imprisoned or at least her shows are banned(no reason I just have personal vendetta against her)

While the politicians were busy redefining World Class, Pakistan yet again matched India. Remember how Pakistan plays catch up with India. India wins the World Cup in '83 they do it in '92. India tests the Nuclear bomb they do it too. This time when India sent them the 'Most Wanted Lists' with many of the most wanted fugitives sitting comfortably in India or dead, they gave a fitting reply. They have named Sania Mirza as among the top women personalities of Pakistan though she is still an Indian citizen and lives in Dubai. What the heck, if India can claim that Most wanted terrorist live in Pakistan while he was in Thane they can certainly lay claim on Sania Mirza. Eye for an eye.:)

While so much is going on I read that Ramesh Sahab is batting for elephants in 'Elephants 8'. Have i found the title to my third volume already.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Abbotabad, Osama and lessons for Pakistan.

An age old and true saying goes “As you sow so shall you reap”, something which have been taught to us in schools and something which we are expected to remember.

But people have short memory not like 'Memento' short term but short term enough to forget the lesson in the later stages of life. History is a potent teacher but who reads history anyway? It is about dates and of bygone era who nobody cares about,least of all politicians and not just in India but World over.

A case in point is the recent attack on the Mehran Naval Base in Pakistan. The Pakistan franchise of Taliban attacked and destroyed about one third of their maritime capability. Funny, for the P3-C's were never meant for terrorism but were acquired to blunt India's naval edge over Pakistan. Having done that,now the Pakistan Taliban will be hoping that Osama is reading news in heaven and not participating in an orgy and drunk out of his wits,for the attack was to revenge the martyr,whose martyrdom by the way would be used for further recruits.

The military leadership of Pakistan comprises of smart people and smart people are known to do dumb things. What, don't believe me, the recession, Satyam , Enron and the list goes on and on. The Pakistani leadership in the smart move cultivated strategic assets (not the silicone kind) but dangerous looking, trigger happy assets which have come back to bite at their ass and by the looks of it they are biting huge chunks of it. They would have done better if they just saw around the world that strategic assets never really remain just that.

They did not have to see far for they could have learned from their ever friendly neighbour India (friendly despite Kargil, Parliament Attacks, Mumbai attacks, pardon me if I have forgotten some more but there are so many of it now). Remember the nurturing of Khalistan rebels by Indira Gandhi as a strategic asset and how did it end up? Assassination of Indira Gandhi, decades of insurgency in Punjab and thousands of deaths later, the status quo achieved. The status quo being no Greater Punjab and no separate Sikh state.

The same was the case with LTTE. The Indian Peace Keeping Force had to bite dust, the Indian Government's dream of being a regional power shattered and it resulted in the assassination of another of our Prime Minister.

But why would Pakistan learn anything from India, we are the sworn enemy, the arch rival, the cause for every one of their problems. Well it's fine, dont learn from us, learn from your biggest donor. Ask Uncle Sam, they ought to know a thing or two about cultivating strategic assets for they were the one who encouraged Osama to take on Soviet Union. And how did that end for Uncle Sam, 9/11 and a decade of war against terrorism during the course of which they befriended and supplied military aid to the epicentre of terrorism.

But may be the Pak military does not need to hear it from their donor too for they must have heard the account first hand from Osama during his stay in Abbotabad. What? You think the military was unawares of his presence? I think, the military sat with Osama, laughed about how they are fleecing America and the World and how they are the smartest until one day of course they were paid a visit by SEAL's.

Sooner or later the strategic assets created to disturb the neighbouring country comes back to bite your ass and they do it really bad. So there may still be time for Pakistan to stop considering Taliban as their strategic asset in Afghanistan for going by this rate, there may not be a Pakistan in the future.

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