The End...

This is the final post in this blog. Nearly five years ago, I started this blog from an Internet Cafe. 5 years on, the blog has probably chronicled my state of being. The triumphs, losses, disappointments et al. All this while, I have been experimenting with lot of things and even tried to switch the blog multiple times. This time the switch is for real.

I want a fresh start without the baggage. You could even say I am a little inspired by Up in the Air. I don't really have an ETA for a new blog. I could start posting today, tomorrow, or never. Go to: Idle thoughts and update your references. See you out there!

Signing off with these words from Jim Morrison:

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land...

Should know when to keep my foul mouth shut and not pass snarky comments. Feels like shit. "You despicable idiot!", screams my inner voice. Sad!

Lesson: Consistency is the key in being a good human being. A deliberate slip, however tiny means the good work is undone. 


My last night at home for what has been a really long sick leave. Visited a friend and her baby today. Its only when she teased that I realised I had a break nearly equivalent to a maternity leave! Though I was dying to get back, now I am not so sure! May be its because the departure is mere hours away. Two months of being pampered by your parents and not doing any chores whatsoever! It would have been heaven if I knew I didn't have any terminal disease! From day after tomorrow I can look forward to a call from my mother thrice a day reminding me to have my medicine. Mothers!

In the last 2-3 weeks I have been hanging around with little kids. Such a joy to be with them! Sample snippet of conversation between me and a 5 year cousin.
Premise: A temple. Really good one at that. Very peaceful. Lots of space. Best part: Lots of sand!
She: Which God is this?
We were near the Lord Sastha shrine.
Me: Shastha. (It was written Shastha there and she didn't see that.)
She: Who is that?
(Apparently she is not familiar with the name.)
Me: Also called Ayyappan. You know Ayyappan!
She: Yes! (Very happy and prays.)
Me: Ayyappan's school name is Shastha, just like you are Bhagya at school.
She: No way!
Me: Really! He studied in Sabarigiri Public School. His full name is Shastha Sivan.
She: Really? (starting to believe)
Me: Of course!
She promptly goes and proudly exhibits her new found mythological knowledge to my mother and aunts.
Angry glares follow!
Another one.
My 2.5 year old cousin is very naughty. Runs around and screams in the temple. I catch hold of him and threaten him about a demon nearby. Suddenly a cracker bursts. An offering at the temple.
He: Bhootham? (A little shaken by the sound and wide eyed!)
Me: Yes. A biiig one. Did you hear that sound now? That's the sound of him opening one eye after hearing you make a racket!
He: (nearly in tears) Tell him not to come!
Me: Don't make any noise and he wont come!
Bhagya is listening intently to all this.
She: Is there really a Bhootham?
Me: Of course!
Me: Look! There is his portrait. (I point to a scary figure in the tower)
She: Scary!
The little one hides behind me and is the most well behaved kid in the world for the next half an hour!

Would miss them all and the lavish life at home. Back to going through the motions everyday for the next couple of months. Brightest prospect for next week is having some bacon from Stones sans the beer! The sans part dims the prospect considerably. I have to accept the fact I will be the sober throughout day and night for the next one year!
Ciao people! Drink your daily milk!
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I do it on my terms

Back after watching 3 idiots. Not deserving of the rave reviews imho. Too much melodrama. Very far-fetched. Nearly sickening. I loved the central theme though. Live your life the way you want. Be what you want. Stop putting your kids through the stencil you made in your dreams. Fairly accurate for the current setup where the parents decide what their child wants to be based on the existing market forces and media hype.

I have seen a very good friend of mine wasted because he had to join an Engineering College thanks to an easy entry owing to reservation. He never had aptitude or attitude to be an engineer. Believe me! There is something like that. Almost all engineers do not realise this fact. He was not interested in Engineering and he had to join because his folks thought he should. He is a good artist, used to be good in poetry, and writing in Malayalam. Excellent PR guy and a good dancer. When it came to engineering, he just couldn't make it. He was neither good in mugging up stuff and belching them out in exam paper nor he could grasp the intricacies. Result? Supplies after supplies. After a short while the backlog list was too overwhelming and he gave up all hopes for graduation. He is working in a BPO. He says its alright. But I still wonder what would have happened had he gone for a fine arts course or mass communication. My gut feeling says he would have done really well. He can still make it big in life. I sincerely hope he will.

2010 has begun. This evening, a friend and I were wondering at how quickly time has gone by. Nearly 4 years since we graduated. I did a quick evaluation on my current status. Several veiled rebukes were made by multiple friends over this period of being an underachiever. Did I do justice to myself? At the end of long and winding thoughts, the answer is yes with a grain of salt.

I had a free reign over the choices I made in my life. Very free in comparison to my friend. My parents never enforced their will on me and I was free to choose my future. Not having a lot of choice thanks to my perpetual hatred towards our educational system resulting to lower marks also helped a lot! I ended up in my current profession which gave me the best of two worlds I really love. Technology and creativity, primarily writing. I am fortunate to be working on some cool technologies that make me go, "This is fucking good!", every single day. I can exercise my right brain with a lot of word play and my left brain with a lot of analysis with smattering of programming. The money is not too bad and load is not too high.

Yes, I should be happy. I wouldn't be contended though. Shouldn't be. There is always room for more. There is a long way to go. One thing that has to be kept in mind: I do it on my terms.

Happy New Year everybody! Do the best things this year! But do it on your terms!

Steaming In...

One of the positives I looked forward from my forced sabbatical was some savings. At the fag end of it, I don't see any in my account! Its as bare as it usually is. I thought at least my credit card bill would come down. Maxed out and overdrawn to the limits! If the lack of savings can be attributed to the assortment of lab tests and high cost medicines, the credit card fiasco is the sole responsibility of Valve. More specifically, Steam.

Steam is a digital game delivery platform. The best in existence. You buy a game, download the Steam client, download the game, and play. Simple enough. What makes this extra special is the fact that suppose you have a PC crash, you can redownload the game free of charge! Also, if you have multiple computers, you can download the games all of them and play! Some games also provide you with the facility of syncing the save games! Totally awesome stuff! The sad part is you will go broke from buying games.

I had never bought a legitimate game (apart from a couple of games I bought for a pittance from Big Bazaar which never worked) in my life before I joined Steam. All started on a fateful day. A typical lazy Sunday. I was going through Reddit and a thread caught my attention. Hearts of Iron II for $3.49. My interest piqued. Redditors were raving about the game. Its a grand strategy/war game were you take control of a real life nation in the Second World War and fictional era after the World War. A very complex game. Seeing the price, I decided to buy it. Sadly, the game was too complex and I didnt have enough time to invest at that point of time. Time went by and I got stuck in TVM with my laptop and nothing to keep me busy except for books. Steam struck once again!

I got enamored by Cricket Revolution and decided to buy it. $9.99. Very tough. Haven't got the heart to sit and learn it. Money not so well spent. Steam struck, yet again!

This time the game was Torchlight. Reddit as usual is the guilty party. I bought the game for $9.99. Never regretted. Its worth much more. Totally awesome Diablo like action-role playing game. I finished the main quests and now doing the sub quests. Steam struck...oh nevermind.

The holiday sales began. Amazing, amazing offers. I ended up buying Audiosurf, Indigo Prophecy, and Rome: Total War. All three together for yet another $9.99. Mercifully, my credit card maxed out. Else I would have gone for the Popcap package, Id Super Pack, Orange Box and Unreal package. Sweet deals though! In a way its good that I didn't get any high end games. My PC has apparently croaked and I can assess the damage only after returning to Bangalore.

A word on the Audiosurf. This is one of the most original and amazing games I have played in my life. Its available at an absolute steal right now. Just $2.50. In this game, you give any song as the input. The game comes packaged with tracks from Valve games like Halflife and Team Fortress 2. The game analyses the song and creates a racing track sort of thing with coloured cubes and all. The track dynamics varies with the music. You have several modes with which you have to accomplish certain things. Its very hard to describe. The game is an absolute treat to play with Motherjane songs. They are very challenging and extremely fun, even more than Lep Zepellin and Eric Clapton! A religious musical experience! Best part is its playable on most computers! Watch the following video with Bring Me to Life by Evanescence.

Little Stars

Damn you little brats from Star Singer junior! My reputation of being a tough ass cookie who listens exclusively to metal songs filled with throaty growls have been shattered! To clarify, the image was purported by folks who saw me headbang to Metallica and watch metal videos in Jukebox and Rosebowl. Fascination to black tees, unkempt hair, and torn jeans further added fuel to the fire. The image was held up by yours truly for God know what!

Not so any more!The little ones in the reality show Munch Star Singer junior have shattered that mythical me. Now my parents and my family knows that I enjoy melodious music as much as any other. Boohoo! So much for the bloody exclusivity! I have been turning up for dinner at exactly the same time as the show and does not even demand the remote to watch Cricket during the show! (Good time to be a cricket fan. A riveting South Africa-England contest, Aussies raping our Padosis...yummy time!) Later on, I am searching YouTube for the song videos and searching for the MP3. To play the song over and over again! Caught red handed multiple times! So much for the tough guy shit.

Todays show featured two excellent renditions. Anuraga lola gathri by a lad called Vishnu (the bigger one, the other small Vishnu is the best singer on TV right now!) supported by Swetha (Sujatha's daughter). Amazing song, beautifully sung. Only Yesudas could have done better than him!

The song is from the movie Dhwani, which happens to be the final movie of the great Prem Nazir. The other songs of the movie are as good, if not better than this song. My favourite is Rathi Suga Saare.

The second song was by a slightly older girl (I forgot the name), Vaasanthapanchami naalil from Bhargavi Nilayam. Once again, beautifully sang and as Sujatha commented, it would be impossible to surpass this live rendition by anyone.

Bhargavi Nilayam features some of the best songs including one of my all time favourites, Thaamasamenthe Varuvaan.
To be frank, I don't rate most of the participants in the flagship show, Idea Star Singer (or any other show for that matter!). There are some really good singers. But none of them can really give the established singers a run for their money. These kids on the other hand are truly exceptional and way more fun to watch. Just a sincere wish that none of these kids become fucked up like Britney Spears and a multitude of stars who became successful as little kids.

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2 months...Its been nearly two months since I got locked up with whatever-this-bloody-thing. No immediate sight of respite as well. Tests followed by tests, medicines by the shit load, work life hitting rock bottom...have I seen the floor yet? The whole ordeal has started show the effect on me. Suddenly feel like a teenager all over again! Flaring up at every single syllable of my parents. Utter disdain for every body I see. The sheer helplessness of the time being wasted away with no clarity. The worse thing. More test results are forthcoming and I think there will be more tests after that! When I wanted to be a test player, I didn't mean this!

The only respite is reading. Need to call up my roomie to fetch my books from Bangalore. I have burning money on new books when several dozen sitting unread back there in my shelf! Another welcome diversion has been the game Torchlight. Got it for 10 bucks in Steam and the best purchase I ever made! Totally awesome game. Diablo like game! Major fun and crack addictive!

My voyages through the interwebs ended up on some poetry. Mushy romantic ones at that! I liked this one...despite having no idea how I can relate to it! May be the fact that there is nobody worrying about me apart from the ones of blood!

I Worry
I worry about you-
So long since we spoke.
Love, are you downhearted,
Dispirited, broke?

I worry about you.
I can't sleep at night.
Are you sad? Are you lonely?
Or are you all right?

They say that men suffer
As badly, as long.
I worry, I worry,
In case they are wrong.
Light but devilishly dark!
More poems from Wendy Cope are available here. Pretty good ones!

Back to work! I am restricted to doing heavy hauling at nights since my Reliance broadband connection has a paltry 2GB limit during the day. I exceeded the limit last month. A kingly 7 GB instead of the 2GB. Poorer by a country mile this new year!