Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Of Chance and Revivial...

a: something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause
b: the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings
c: the fortuitous or incalculable element in existence

a: to restore to consciousness or life
b: to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state : bring back
c: to renew in the mind or memory

(Merriam-Webster Online)

While I am sure that there has been reams and reams written (those poor trees that were felled to do so...) about chance, I am nonetheless surprised at just how much it affects us all. Why this came back to the top my mind is the recent revival of at least a couple of my friends' blogs, in addition to mine. Seems like, once one started, we picked up. Now, where exactly does chance come in?

These are friends of mine from college, more specifically, from my hostel. This group of people thrown together in the same hostel - same wing - by complete random chance develops into a great band of friends. So much so that, it is slightly scary (to me, at least) to be imagining how life would have been if one of us (again, the paranoia strikes, what if it had been me?!) had been assigned to another hostel, or been granted admission in another college... Chance.... aahhh!

Now, there would be many who would say "Yes, even given that these people are thrown together by chance, they still chose to be one another's friends, didn't they?" Well, could it not have been pure chance (again) that threw such similar-minded people in such close proximity? I guess we could go around in circles on that one...

Then there would be those who call it Destiny. I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. But then, having seen at least one strong example of a purely random exchange leading to a life-long bond of love, I am open to fatalistic arguments now... anyone game?

Whatever, chance, choice or destiny, I am grateful. For a few things in life... actually, as I am slowly beginning to realize, for a lot of things in life... most of them results of apparent chance...

Isn't this post a bit early for Thanksgiving?

PS: The blog revivals referred to are of Anurag's and Anil's. Check them out, if you are anyone other than those two. If you are one of those two, check the other's blog, dufus!

PPS: Oh yeah! Happy Halloween! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lost Opportunities

That would practically sum up most of the (almost) quarter of a century of my existence.

I have always been a rather-disinterested-in-life kind of a guy with regards to most stuff. Scratch that; I was different once. So what happened?

While I was in college, it took me a good part of three years to realize that I have been missing out on quite a lot of stuff that I could have been doing. I can only blame the misdirected cynicism that one develops at IITs for this. And, I am not talking about academic stuff - that would take a whole different and lengthy rant. I slogged my ass off for two years to get into those hallowed portals. Now what? I looked for some rest, and got quite a bit of it - time that might have been spent doing something, getting involved in something was effectively lost. You know what this leads to? One slowly starts losing interest in everything - and it sneaks up on one. That's a pretty gloomy place to be in, believe me. I did have time to make amends, and I did do that to an extent. At the end, given that those were still the best days of my life, I left with the feeling that I should have done more.

Change scene to OSU. Same story. Of course, it was sooner that I realized I am not making full use of all the opportunities that I have available here in the USA as a 'temporary alien'. I think this has been a more productive time in my life than IIT was. But still, that nagging sense that there's something more I could be doing... There's this line from Fight Club. Brad Pitt's character asks "if you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?", and Ed Norton's character replies "I don't know[...]". Yeah, me neither...

A friend of mine recently said: "Updates from you, it's like watching The Bold and The Beautiful. I tune in after three months, and I haven't missed much." So true, and pretty sad, I guess. I guess I know what I feel about my life right now. Even if others feel it's like some stupid soap opera that no one cares about, I shouldn't feel the same way about my own life...

They say that life is the best teacher there is. What if I am a bad student? Well, at least now I am just a slow learner instead of being a bad student...

Post-Script: This post was typed up after a week that saw four night-outs, three of which were consecutive. Please do not read too much into this, or how reflective this might be of my general state of mind. I just feel tired, but that's just for now.

Friday, August 31, 2007


From July 21 to August 21:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling
2. The Lord Of The Rings - JRR Tolkein (yes, all three books, being counted here as one)
3. The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkein
4. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials - 1) - Philip Pullman
5. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials - 2) - Philip Pullman
6. The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials - 3) - Philip Pullman
7. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams
8. The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul - Douglas Adams
9. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

I agree this was 'a bit' heavy on fantasy, but hell, the thing started off with HP 7 after all! And to top this off, I even got some good work done on my research alongside! Good summer, overall...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome Advaith!

May 15, 2007, 1:28 p.m. Pacific Time.

I am an uncle all over again!!! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, How Long Has It Been?

I don't even remember the last time I wrote anything here - yes, I know, I could check the "Edit Posts" section and know exactly when and what I wrote last time! I, however, choose not to do it. This keeps it more spontaneous.

Anyway, seems like no one missed me - again, especially before Anurag says it, I know that most of you would not have noticed it, or long since stopped caring. What strikes me as interesting is, most of my friends from hostel who also write seem to have dropped off writing around the same time as I did, give or take a month. Did all of us get really busy around the same time? Weird, isn't it? Anyway, a lot has happened - none of it in my life though. My life stays the same old boring way...

Anurag's gone ahead and gotten married! I'm very very happy for him, though I firmly believe that he's the luckier of the two (I am sure he'd agree too). Another of my closest friends is getting married in late-April. Are we all really as old as that to be getting married already? Who knows...

Continuing on marriages, a cousin of mine (maternal uncle's son) got married in January. I really would have loved to have attended all these weddings, but seems like life gets in the way. Anyway, why I am mentioning my cousin's marriage in its own paragraph is because I am the only one among the cousins on my mom's side that did not attend the marriage. Apart from the fact that I missed a lot of fun, this fact is important because of another apparent significance my cousins see. The cousin who got married just now was the only one who did not attend my sister's marriage way back in 2002 - and he's the first one to get married since (probably because he's the eldest one of us all left). So now, my cousins have come up with this "family tradition" that whoever misses the last wedding would be the next to get married. Add to it the fact that I am now the eldest of us left, they seem to be making plans of my wedding already.

So this is what I have to say to my cousins: One, a one-off incident does not a tradition make. Two, even if I were to be the next to get married, in keeping with the tradition, maybe you all would have to wait another 4.5 years for that to happen. Ready for the wait, everyone? Or, would someone beat me to it? I think so...

So, apart from all the marriages, what else has been going on? The human influence on global warming finally got scientific endorsement early in February - two or three weeks after which we had a huge cold wave, experiencing some of the coldest weeks in quite some time. Some places in New York (the state) got around 10-12 FEET of snow!!! And this, in February! Global warming with intense local cooling, it seems like. For the record, the past two, three days have been just perfect - Spring weather already. I just am sad that we're supposed to be having 39-43 F (3 - 6 Celsius) days over the weekend.

Well, what else... enough I guess... won't make any promises, but I do hope to be able to put something in here more often.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This should have been posted yesterday night, but then I was too lazy / tired to actually get down to typing it. Another post with random bits thrown together...

The trip - to Chicago - was awesome. It was Anurag's birthday for which I was trying desperately to make it by midnight. Anyway, so, some of us from our hostel met up, seeing as it was Anurag's 25th birthday and also that we all had now a place to stay for free in Chicago. It's a really nice place, that city is. Roamed around some, just sat and talked absolute nonsense most of the time. It's wonderful how time passes when you are with old friends. It was almost like those days at Mandak (that's my hostel, btw) - only we are a bit older, not much wiser for it of course. I had a great time! :) And oh yeah, Anurag made me run (well, jog actually) around 3 miles - 1.5 miles, rest some, 1.5 miles. I never ran (OK, jogged!) so much in my life... felt good!

I made aalu mutter yesterday - after a long time... tiring job actually - peel all those potatoes, cut them... well, too much work... that is why I have been sticking to much simpler dishes for a long time now. It came out good - afterall, I am a good cook! :D I think I will start making some decent food once again, and stop always making something from frozen veggies, which require no effort at all... I am beginning to enjoy cooking once again, after being bored with it for quite some time.

I had been thinking about multilingualism somewhat lately. The reason being that I am spending a good amount of time on Wikipedia nowadays, just browsing through articles and jumping from link to link. It's a damn good way to kill time if you are in that particular kind of murderous mood. So I landed on this page about multilingualism... and been thinking of writing something on it... guess sometime soon... on that same note, I guess I have a few other things to write about - thanks to Wikipedia.

As always when I write such random ramblings on here, I can't help but understand that most people would be bored by all this. People want something remotely interesting to read about. I've seen many lament that the blogosphere has been inundated by people writing meaningless stuff that should never have left the confines of a personal diary. These are mostly from people who take blogging / writing rather seriously - like a professional responsibility - and expect everyone to be the same. But hey, I guess its to each his/her own (can't forget political correctness, can we?). Whatever... I am really rambling now...

Oh yeah, before I stop, I'd like to say - Go read The Five People You Meet In Heaven, if you haven't already done so. Awesome book... Now I need to buy myself a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie. Well, I guess that's it for today...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Waiting... ... ...

Prologue: What follows was written when I was waiting at the airport for my delayed flight to Chicago. It is as boring as how I felt then. But what the hell, this is my space and I will put whatever b/s I want to…

Is there anything more boring than waiting at the gate for a delayed flight? When you don’t even have a book to kill the time – when you realize that you’re already through the security check-point and there is no bookshop in sight, unless you are willing to go out and come back in again… Actually I think there are more boring circumstances – for example waiting ON the plane waiting for them to fix some technical problem they discover five minutes before scheduled push-off from the gate. I am sure there are other more boring times, but for now, I’ll just say this is it for me – for now!

Well, seems like my flight travels haven’t been uneventful in a while. The last time I flew – to California visiting my sister – I missed the original flight both times! Yes, BOTH times! So this time I decide to get to the airport before time, thinking to myself that I’d rather sit at the gate than hurry at the last minute cursing the weekend traffic. So, I come early, check-in, pass through the security, get to the gate, and just out of curiosity look at the screens – to find that the flight is delayed, a good 45 minutes! DAMN!

Looks like Southwest Airlines is running all flights late today. As I am typing this, an announcement saying “Folks going to Baltimore, you flight is here – finally!” And there is a spontaneous burst of applause – don’t know for how long they’ve been waiting! For those who don’t know, I am waiting for the flight to Chicago – I still got about 40 more minutes to go – I hope it’s not longer. I need to land in Chicago atleast one and half hours before midnight strikes – after all, when I am going for a friend’s birthday, what good is it if I miss the midnight mark? The one and half hours, you ask? Well, I do need some time to get to his place by train, don’t I?

It’s been really long since I posted something on my blog, and I certainly would have liked the new post to be something other than just a random rant at having to wait at the airport. There are other things that piss me off much more, things both in my control and out of it. Guess trying to remember some of them is not really what I want to do right now – later maybe. **Unrelated aside – I am surprised Word hasn’t yet scolded me for wrong spellings and wrong grammar; apart from the auto-corrects it does – not bad Sai!**

What else can I write about right now? Wow! It’s already a long enough (first typo not auto-corrected by Word – typed ‘w’ instead of ‘e’ for enough) post. Well, I guess I will stop here now. I want to write something more like a creative writing piece sometime soon. I can’t say how soon, or how late I will be finally posting it, but I sure do hope it isn’t long in coming! For now, I guess I’ll just stop this and call someone to kill the time…

Epilogue: I finally did miss the midnight mark – the flight turned out to be about 1.5 hours late! I reached his home around 12:20am – damn the airlines! More on the trip shall follow soon…

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Part of an email from a friend after the suicide attack which killed the Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Sri Lankan army.

The violence started out in the north, the most sensitive area in the country. Within the span of a few months it moved its way up to Colombo... the land of the elite and the moderates... people who don't want war, but are too used to its threat to run away from it. People who love their land more than they love themselves, their children, friends, lovers, homes. People who are reluctant to accept the possibility of being destroyed completely and to prepare for it.

I wonder what makes people live and be the way they are. War is a terrible thing and yet most of us who say so know nothing of it. We don't and hopefully never will understand the full ramification of the word, the process. We can only sit behind television screens or crumpled sheets of newsprint and imagine the permanence of its misery. War is a terrible thing, and yet... nobody seems to really know it. But what is certain is the fact that the human race is cursed to kill itself, if not by war then by the lingering persistence of its pain.

Pessimistic? I don't think so. Sounds closer to the truth to me...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!

It's finally here! Missed out on the first day of play - bloody work! :((((
Catching up now... so that's it for the next one month... not much chance at all for any other news... enjoy the World Cup all of you...

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Am at Tampa now. We went on a drive to the Florida Keys... went to Key west... did a lot of stuff... had a greaaattttttt time. This post is just to beat Anurag to the post. A more detailed post shall come once I reach Columbus. :)