Saturday, October 29, 2011

Invalidations over the weekend

  • Nike says my right foot is flawed - being shorter than my left.
  • The dentist says my chewing is flawed.
  • Pa says I'm not as aggressive as he was 'back in his days'.
  • Ma says I'm eating too much.
  • Gramma says I'm eating too little.

The Facebook Song

Stuck at Rohtang Pass in a minitruck for 6 hours, on the return leg to the Hamta Pass Trek, this 4-minute gem made my memory of those hours spent cycling through a thousand Punjabi songs that were on the truck driver's USB drive (attached to his truck stereo).
Ended up with a briefing about the song, as well some insight into the trucker's personal life, his gmail ID, his facebook life, and how his girlfriend who had recently broken up with him deleted him from his facebook and had changed her own password.

Some observations:
- The singer endorses Apple (Mac, iPhone); maybe Apple is subliminally trying to enter Indian market.
- The hot girl owns a Compaq. He will never date her once he knows she uses a Compaq.
- The guy could be a data hacker @ facebook. The girl doesn't pose in any corporate environment.
- The girl cycles through a dozen wardrobe options along the video. The guy changes into just one other shirt, and one suit.
- The girl spends time eating strawberries, applying skinpacks, manicuring, and cooking food (sauted vegetables, if I can guess correctly), besides using the laptop. The guy is only seen drinking coffee, and sharing a benign smile with his lifeless laptop; also dancing alone in a facebook cubicle.
- The guy's fb album (look at 2:39) hint he's a pro photographer.
- The guy's house has better light fixtures. The girl's got a better kitchen.

random takes

ಪುಷ್ಪಕಣಿವೆ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಉದ್ಯಾನದ ಹಾದಿಯ ಸುಂದರ ನೋಟ *

An excursion to the airport yesterday. What an offensive affair - I've seen better railway platforms. You could find me sitting and staring offensively at: BMI > 40 crowd, poor taste in dressing, people infected with i-will-play-bad-music-on-my-phone-speakers disease, mismanagement, 'paan' spits, pariah dogs, 'sarkari' muscle, sad games the children invent, and parking spaces, among the other stuff that made it outrageous to have 5 sensory inputs (visual, auditory, tactile, haptic, olfactory) at disposal. Confirms why I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

कर्मवाच्य देशभक्तों के नायक अन्ना अब मौन व्रत पर हैं - कुछ भी नहीं कहेंगे | और फिर टी.वी. बोलता है की "अन्ना ने कहा है की वोह अपना मौन व्रत ३ दिन और कायम रखेंगे "| अन्ना कुछ कहे बिना सब कुछ अपने ब्लॉग पर कह रहे हैं| यह धोखे के बराबर है| शब्दों का लेन-देन वैसे भी आजकल ऑनलाइन होता है - मैं खुद कितने ऐसे दिन गिन सकता हूँ जब वाणी का प्रयोग न के बराबर रहा - तो फिर अन्ना के व्रत का क्या महत्व रहा? मौनी होने का अर्थ क्या अपने विचारों को समूचे समाज पर थोपना होता है? जहाँ तक मेरी समझ थी, मौनी तो अपने मौन से दूसरों को खुद अर्थ ढूँढने को उत्साहित करता है|
As for another aspect of keeping a resolve of muteness, I would contend that this entire nation sits in a state of muteness, anyways. When was the last you saw somebody heckle a policeman on the streets for accepting bribes, or stage a (non-politically-motivated) agitation outside a politician's for fooling an entire nation, or rescue a child labourer at construction site or hotel, or kill a misinformed conversation among their friends? Anna is just making us realize how impotent we'e been all our lives, and people hail him for glorifying the impotency?

* This is the link on wikipedia tamil page for Valley of Flowers to my 2006 travelogue. Bot translation on Google Translate gives "Puspakanive National Park and the beautiful view of the path" - [Puspa = flower] - can somebody help with a more accurate translation?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kickass Rangoli streak

All moi.
And oh, Happy Diwali, world.

To append to the day, was a dream where I had forgot where my office was, and was walking while suspiciously eyeing an office complex. Eyes met with a svelte girl walking next to me, who was welcome to our exchange. She felt stupid why we were walking this way. Then she made for the exit of that complex, and sure thing, I stayed with her. Now she felt weird about herself, firstly coz it was her first day back in the office after some time abroad, and secondly coz her actions and eyes and movement were a mirror to mine. I assured her that there was nothing weird about it. She turned out to have a tounge-twisting South Indian name. I asked her to go out with me, and she replied in affirmative.

Enfield trip now online

Double whew, my Enfield trip's image gallery was finally uploaded and curated. Right before the festive spirit of Diwali. Now I don't have excuses to stay indoors.
This is only the first set of images, however, and my second leg of Delhi-Nainital solo still remains to be uploaded. I will need to break open the codebox and relearn some PHP/JS to make that possible.

Hamta Pass Trek now online

Whew, my Hamta Pass trek's image gallery was finally uploaded.

Bhrigu Tal now online

Phew, I can take a breather now that my image gallery for the Bhrigu Tal Trek, from Oct of last year, is finally online. It took a whole year in curating, ahem.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meme Weekend

Things should start with a homage to Mike "Buffalaxed" Sutton whose youtube account was killed earlier this year. Benny Lava was sensational and would be fondly remembered (I still ask people "who put the goat in there?"). But not to worry, the phenomenon of 'soramimi' continues elsewhere on the tube.
UPDATE: Buffalaxed got back on youtube; Benny Lava is back, too.

For LP this weekend, I have 10-hour marathon looped videos lined up
- Trololo
- Tunak Tunak Tun (a new found appreciation. these, and these guys also do it nice.)
- Badger

Here's an epic priest battle in AoE that saturated my nostalgia core. Knowing that my ancestors had priesthood for a profession, I got great kicks out of it.

Age of Empire acknowledgement phrases:
darwin, omus, eurin, dadadee, alauren, rogan, ibultar, zumantaa, digimous

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Notes on the 200km Brevet this Sunday

My (excess) gear, the starting venue in Gurgaon (Haryana), about 30km into the day, beginning of Nuh Ghati climb, first Control at Nuh, resting midway with fellow strangers, curious children at second Control at CCD

Eunuchs and Baba

Writing just to fight off sleep, which always grips me somewhere between these hours and hampers productivity. I’m not very productive anyways, at least not towards the role I’m supposed to be playing in the office, but being a pseudo-manager of this place, and expecting eunuchs* to raid the office anytime for a Diwali ‘chanda’ and aim for my ball-sac if I’m seen snoring, I’d rather be on alert.

Yes, eunuchs drive my days this week. They were here last Saturday, when I was partway-sleepy partway-high (on Bhang), and we had a really incoherent communication, with me trying to explain there is no ‘Boss’ in the office, and offering them Rs. 10 to make peace, which they mocked, and left with threats to visit the coming week. They expect at least a few hundred, I assume (I was off-mark in my assumption, as explained below).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

cycling 200km

have to leave in a flash. gonna be with dinosaurs of the delhi ncr cycling circuit. for 13 and a 1/2 hrs... yikes!
4 in the morning. i have managed to misplace a glove. curses. have to be out, anyways. for 13 and a 1/2 hrs...
always told my parents i'm not in the right company.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

three things

First thing:

Diwali's near, and the cacophony of human joy occasionally explodes in my ear.
Fireworks generate three very noticeable forms of energy: a tremendous release of sound, bright light, and heat. I hate all of these. Anything 'tremendous' shuts my Pyloric Valve.
For the next few days it would feel like a warzone. [well, if it were a real warzone, i'd have some advantage thanks to the towering feature of the cellular tower on my rooftop. ]
Noxious smells of several compounds (a permutation among - upto - 20 chemicals) will linger in my nostrils, and remind me why i gave up on fireworks. Ears will maintain that lingering rattle through my evenings, forewarning me that I'm to evacuate approximately 0.03s before a carelessly-fired rocket explodes on my balcony.
The eyes won't be particularly bothered, unless out there on the streets where prepubescent idiots plant atom bombs on the road... the only way to read into such a misfortune is to be on the look for kids cupping their ears in a mix of fear and excitement, or people staring at the road as if they are collectively high.

Two more things:

I just concocted "Lacto Bhang" drink (weed milk).
I presume this would be what the Indian bride serves to the bridegroom on their wedding night, to initiate a few hours of reckless rumpty.

My cottage cheese preparation of the previous week seems to have evolved into a fungus pod.
I'll give it some more time in the name of science.

gurl stops meking out

Dopamine overload !!!!11

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Mocha-Bhang Coffee

Might I, my good Sir, propose to you the latest in coffee: the Mocha-Bhang. Its two of mankind's favorite 'C' ingredients collaborating together: coffee and cannabis. sweetened.

In India, this variant of cannabis is called 'Bhang', that is traditionally had with cold milk on days of religious ecstasy or as a date-rape drug. Bhang is like a log strike on the head - it thumps, and then completely stuns you for the next few hours. Those who never thought life could trip find that very encouraging, which owes to its popularity.

Bhang is found, sadly, in select places. Jaipur and Bikaner have theirs documented well over the internet. But what the foreign travelers miss to report on due to its tourism-unfriendly ways, and the local travelers miss due to it having too much of the character of India, is Lucknow, and that how Bhang is sold on the street in the main old market area. Since I now own the knowledge of its coordinates, I have been prompt to fetch some; first agenda out in this city.

Now I seem to have too much of it, and after my experiments on successive nights of mixing Bhang with: mango juice, apple juice, rhododendron extract, banana shake, oranges, and mouthwash; I have come across this deadly combo of caffeine and the 'golis'. The texture of the coffee, mixed with Bhang, feels thicker, and it goes down as a smooth sensation. The slight bitterness of Bhang is compensated for by the sweetness of the sugar in the coffee. A foamy top cover on the coffee ensures more gentle communion with the Bhang. Being hot, the fat molecules in the milk help squeeze out the THC from the Bhang. It all goes down well and slow.
I'll give it 5 Stars!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

chapter two

What does it take for one to return to civilization? Or 'how long' - what the TV audiences ask - to calculate their commitment to watching it on the television.

This game show exists in HIS world.

People are left in a forest - any random people chosen by lottery - stripped of all their 'posession', literally naked. They then find their way back into civilization, and establishing themselves back into our cultured society, and we get to see their lives through hidden cameras.

sboJ evetS

And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do, I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it — you've got to go sometime
This goes out in the name of all those who sobbed over Steve Jobs and flooded the pipes with tributes, all reflecting a common agreed perception of this individual. Sadly that is because everybody seems to like him from his Wikipedia page - the latest fad for lazy people who need to write or express the least of social propriety. I won't wonder if half of them earlier believed that he was that creator of Facebook in that movie last year. Its ironic because the guy they mourn was himself someone who had an evolved view on death, and saw it only as a simple transition, as silent as he did it in his sleep; the energy should be freed of empty bodies and see a more violent flow through some other individual. We should already be chasing him where he left us off, moving technology (and the zen) faster than before, and into reflecting the austere mind and vision of this God.

A consequence of him being so popular, I have seen a lot of wannabeists out there. I hope there's another of him - someone original - that doesn't even know about such a visionary, and hasn't grown feeding on his images.

हर रात सुहाग रात

presently stable, aware. no fatigue, no palpitations, no creeping sleep, finally, at 1100AM. 
i don't appear so dazed and distracted now, which was first owing to the Bhang last night, and then owing to the run this morning.
3 big days of nothing lie ahead.

definitely will refuse going out for any movie with cousins (as I have given up on Bollywood, and rarely does any good Hollywood stuff get screened in the 'plexes here). as a matter of fact, walking along Anand/Shubham film halls in the dense old part of the city, and seeing the sad state of affairs they were in, I could only dream of taking over one of those for regularly screening art-house movies, and the real good B-grade stuff (unlike the "हर रात सुहाग रात" - loosely translated to "Every night honeymoon night" - types shit presently showing at Shubham, the film hall where I remember seeing Spielberg's Jurassic Park with my family in 1994 and confused at what the scientists exactly did there).

Friday, October 07, 2011


कोड़ा कुत्ता कब्ज़ा 
रोती रेत 
खेत खून खुमार 
सौंधी सर्पाकार सलिल समूची 
प्रकृति पृथ्वी पारदर्शी पतंगा 
लहरों लोहा लचकती लालची 
चोटिल चमकीली चादर चमेली चोली
बोली बादल बरसते बाशिंदे बदलते 
दस्तक दशा दुरुस्त द्रव्य द्वापर 
शिखर शरारती शौक शतरंज
नस नवीन नसली नफ़ासत नतमस्तक |

Gorakhdham Express

Being slim(mer) - not as paunch-ridden as the average humanity - brings its own advantages to travel. Firstly, I can (figuratively) lounge on my modest berth, with all my paraphernalia in the vicinity - to stand a testimony to that is this present moment of me scribbling away on my upper berth in the train at 1240 AM under the dim glow of berth locator lamplight that peeks through the curtained wall (yes, some elite philosophy, this, to have curtains in all A/C coaches). Let me not get into my inability to catch sleep either coz of a creeping insomnia (as of late) or due to a light stomach.

Much of the past couple of hours of sleepless restlessness have gone into imagining shallow-DoF scenes of me doing random awesomeness, and of Grecian love tragedies.

Am involuntarily exercising my olfactory senses into identifying several puzzling and a few right unpleasant human smells in this A/C coach - unclean railway linen, stomachs stuffed with aloo-gobhi-bhindi-palak-roti about me, and my own need of a bath, round up the possible causes. Aurally, there's the occasional muffle of my own head scratching against the railways-provided towelette that makes something like a beatbox effect, ruffle of some surrounding passenger's sheets, a tinkle of bangles as some married woman twists in her un-husbanded sleep, whirring of overhead fan 2ft from my head, rattling of panes, hooks, and bottle holders. There's also the great metal fatigue of the rolling trains that we have adapted to relegating as background noise. Gorakhdham Express shivers through the night and often breaks to stop dead in its track to allow me this moment of cursive writing.

Now things smell of Hydrogen Sulphate. Nostrils hurt.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Nonconformist head lead to insomnia

So much for an attempt to coerce myself into sleep; I'm still up at 0320. The conditions ideal to a proper sleep - darkness, A/C, a double layer of mattress, and a glass of milk a short while back - all failed, owing to the head that doesn't agree to send the body into a state of paralysis.
Says Mr. Lee: "Nonconformist head lead to insomnia very soon."
Hence here I am at my chair again, with a spinal column unhappy working extra hours, trying to hate this aspect of me, and also to scoop out all thoughts, process them into words for consumption in leisure time along with a cup of coffee.

Deep musings into the following events:
Kissed by a prostitute. Evading charging elephants. Held hostage by militants. Slapped by a prostitute. Making a movie. Mt. Everest. Bhutan.
Fucken neurons had to start right when I was at the crucial junction of sleep; return flight to reality. Will somebody please compensate for my missed hours of sleep?

From the deductive process of a nerd: Life is nothing but a robust API. Its all about having suitable Event handlers in place, preferably as compiled code rather than interpreted code.

Look, some black squares!

This, yes, this, was how you'd have found me through half of my day. Doesn't look particularly appealing or productive, does it? The couple of guys besides me at the office would be thinking I'm having some denial phase, or performing some pre-Dussehra ritual to bring fortune and prosperity to my home. What I was upto, in fact, was a cyclic moment of nerdiness, that cycle having long come under arrest and taken to rust, and only now seeing some labored movement, owing to the demands of my employer and the resulting diversionary delving into AR (that black square thing being a marker that can make parallel universes sprout from your palm).
Slow creepy day, in retrospect, spent in a half-dazed resulting from yesterday's dash to Nzm to bid a second farewell to Shiv, and then return late in the night - a night that also involved the prostitute chronicles. Hard to hate humanity when the social circles involuntarily narrow down to a few beaten-down faces between the hours of employment that hold no common thread to debate upon, and are as adventure-less as our moms.

Another anthropological observation made today, that despite having an entire population of jerks, the men still find reasons to invalidate the opposite gender and find their arguments and expectations frustrating, particularly after experiencing the things that trend in a housewife's head. This would be due to a difference in perception of the necessary security devices. Indoor worlds, ideal worlds. If we take "society" or "culture" as an accumulation of security devices, this brings to a conclusion that the women in a household are truly the beholder of our culture - a culture of always-expanding hyperbole of security devices.

Day flows into the next, and I'm still awake. Somebody save my eyes and my head.
Wonder if she wakes me up this morn, as I've been hoping she would.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Delhi prostitutes

UPDATE: Prostitute at my doorstep.

Funny condensation filaments - that seemingly jut out from the fields along the R. Yamuna to my left - make a convex shield-sorts above me. I occasionally gaze up to collect and make whatever i can of this fascinating sight that reminds of aerodynamic flow, and pedal along, and eat some more of the road. Surprises to the common man returning home tired, as a cyclist zips by, whistling to signal his approach.

Surprises to this cyclist, as his eyes steal a scene from the city's underbelly: a couple of prostitutes (ugly and man-like, as be the norm), sticking out from the dense grassy growth along the road, not far from Akshardham (to think that religion and sex don't mix, hah!), seemingly fixing their rates with a couple of freight-auto-wallahs, one of whom looks a boy of mere 12 (but at least somebody's compensating for me by starting out early; 'maintaining the balance', as we say).

Insert King Crimson's choral verse to "Ladies of the Road" here:
All of you know that the girls of the road
Are like apples we stole in our youth.
All of you know that the girls of the road
Been around but are versed in the truth

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Rough cuts: Innovation and Education in India

Post-Brahma, India has had no creators. Only slaves. Production en-masse.
Watching The Social Network for the third time - second time in the same day - I couldn't help but wonder if innovation needs anthropological studies, to see how culture and the culture of innovation go hand-in-hand. D and I agreed to a common envy for Mark Zuckerburg, and also cursed our low-key college days at NIEC that now makes us feel kinda losers. But I bet that even the IIT-ans feel the same way. After all, India is a huge sweatshop: we dont invent, we replicate. (really cheap, too!) All the 'young talent' that graduates in this country, is a bunch of jerks. We don't have any Angel Investors here, because nobody wants to invest in a bunch of jerks.

Education-wise India is in a stalemate. Every education in India has a political context.
Take an example of PhDs: that the way PhDs are done is an insult to the academic process. Most people who enroll for a PhD do have their PhDs successfully finished, but it isn't because they end up learning on what they started their research on, but because they end up learning the exact science of 'successfully finishing a PhD in India'. Yes, 'Successfully finishing a PhD in India' needs inclusion as an official course in our Universities, since most will actually end up with that for majors, going through the same curriculum of:
- bending over to superiors,
- false co-authorship of papers,
- twisting outcomes,
- adjusting to external expectations,
- and basically just "doing as they're told".
We make friggin' Nobel Laureates of such people! Hah!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

balcony sleep

So many of my posts lately been including some aspect of my sleep. Well, then, this one goes no different. Its weird that the most talk-worthy moments in my urban living are when I'm just a motionless bag, an example of mere respiratory processes, of hibernation, of out-of-consciousness existence. But sleep does become a quest, at times, like yesterday when I had to manage a midnight basecamp shift to my balcony, owing to a really long power outage that not only had me restless and fringe-perspiring in the bed, but got worse when even the inverter backup turned cold after some hours.