Sunday, December 24, 2006


Ennui, White noise, Thahraav

Am not used to living like this.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"If" for the Beat Generation

I don't know whether you have heard this one before:

"A Boy Named Sue"

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' How do you do!
Now your gonna die!!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."

He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sue.'"

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!

-Johnny Cash

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What's the Aim of Life?

With a title such as this, I don't have a lot of content to add. However I'll attempt to try to find how we can achieve our (or, is it the same for everyone) life's aim. Let me try to analyze this:

Aim in Life: Happiness

Task: Maximizing happiness in life

Happiness composed of: joy (fun + excitement) X satisfaction (security + contentment)

Activities that give you joy: irrational activities x constant1
Activities that give you satisfaction: rational activities X constant2
(i.e. as one increases, the other decreases)

Total happiness: (irrational X rational ) activities

Thus, to maximize this,

(1) we need to balance them in a manner (depending upon the constant) that maximizes the product. The problem arises that the entire actual process is a trial and error (we don't know the constant) and we don't really get a second chance.

(2) raise the constants to such a level that the product becomes less sensitive to our activities, I mean become less sensitive to what is happening around you, however it makes you equally less sensitive to increase in happiness or decrease in it.

So, the idea is to try and do both at various points of time in one's life.

And I also think I have a fair idea of what the maximum product is: "42".

There, I have just identified the question to "the ultimate question of life, universe and everything" :).

Monday, December 18, 2006

1 Argument, 1 Analogy

Yesterday, I was thinking a lot about an argument used very often by people who prefer to take the chill route to life, "if you are a part of the rat race, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, you are still a rat". I used to counter this saying, better a winning rat than a losing lion/dog/sheep whatever. But increasingly, I have begun thinking that the argument has some logic. At some point in time you have to decide whether you keep wanting to run (and risk becoming a losing rat which is like the bottom left-hand corner of self-respect), or say, "I am cool" and watch the action from the sidelines.

Trying to get a girl is akin to playing fast bowling on a bouncy pitch. Your aim is to score runs while avoiding getting caught behind. There'll be a few deliveries you know you can't handle which need to be left for the wicketkeeper. Getting rejected is like having a shy but missing it altogether. However, even thought it dents your confidence, it keeps you alive for the next ball. If you get caught behind, it is akin to getting dumped, and you go back to pavilion taking your time before you can face the bowling again. Even here, the recommendation is "if slash, slash hard" immortalized by what my senior once told me "yaar, bandi patani hai to jaat-types hona padega" a la Virender Sehwag.

Plus, whoever it is who sent the comment, thanks. Most of what I write is very mood-dependent, so there is not much substance in it. I don't take myself very seriously and don't expect anybody else to either.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Stream of Incoherence

It has been a lot of time since I have posted anything here, and I was beginning to wonder whether I would ever. But then a wintry afternoon is probably the best time to think, rationalize and write thoughts lazily, and as happens to me so many times, I started thinking about my life, what sort of a person I am and all the same old jazz.

When I was in campus, I was very fortunate to have good friends, who listened to me, when I would incoherently blabber on about my life, and the "problems" facing it. Several Friday nights, we would go out for dinner (on some pretext of treat or the other), play AOE late in the night and then taking a walk in the cool air, talk about "meri life mein kya fite hai?"

Sometimes when nostalgia hits me and I start thinking about those nights, tears well up in my eyes and I am transported back in my mind to those days when the biggest problem one could have was the possibility of a bad grade, that one could lose a quiz since one's teammate was not there, the likes. And none of these were ever actual problems, it was fun talking about them, and at the end of it all, one was always happy, satisfied and slept late in the morning without any thought.

It's not as if I am not happy today but there is a clear lack of an outlet for my emotions, I am not being able to talk freely (the person I talked to the most freely is somewhere in the backwaters of USA), and that is why probably I have started to drink so much. And that's when the ambiguity of the purpose of my existence starts crowding out my enthusiasm for work, motivation for moving ahead (?) in life and general will to do something. I suddenly don't have much to live for.

Life has been a series of battles, one after the other, with no end of war in sight. I have become so afraid of losing, the fear keeps me on the edge all the time, as somebody pointed out yesterday, I look energetic and nervous all the time. I don't take defeats very well, I become a sad, mean man and thankfully I have been winning for long. However, the thought is increasingly suffocating me, someday I am gonna be on the losing side, someday I gonna just break down and give in and turn into one of those stars which just burned out and faded.

However, the only comfort I have is that the realisation is with me, I understand something needs to change. I just hope it does before things start going wrong.

"Hazaaron khwahishein aisi ki har khwahish pe dum nikle
Bade nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle"