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Success OR The Middle-Class Muddle-Class

I am going to branch out and digress a lot. So bear with me non-existent readers.


Why do we live? What is success? Is it having loads of money? Is it having loads of beautiful women love you? Is it fame? Or maybe making love to loads of beautiful women ON a bed of cash AND getting watched by the entire world? I don't think many will agree to any of the above as a definition of 'success' (although the last one comes pretty close!).


I have a theory. SUCCESS IS FINDING YOUR PLACE IN LIFE. Easy as it was to say that, it raises a whole host of questions by itself. What is your place in life? Now, I'm a layman. So I'll discuss this in layman's terms, for other laypeople (have to be gender-unbiased these days).

Life is defined by three core, dominant qualities: aptitude, attitude and environment. The first cannot be changed, the second is prone to regular change and the third is somewhere in between those two. Let's break them up. Aptitude is what defines a person…

The One We Fear

You should only fear one thing and one person. Yourself. Because only you can destroy yourself. And by destroy or damage, I mean in the mind. All real damage is in the mind. This is because damage is not a cause. It is an effect. Even in the case of physical damage, sure the pain is 'real' and tangible. But it heals. Or not. But the actual damage is done mentally. Take cancer or a broken leg. In both the cases, it is the mind which leads. We often come across phrases like "...struggled bravely against cancer before he succumbed..." etc. If the mind gives up, the body cannot endure. The mind has to continue to fight, even in the case of this most grossly debilitating disease.

Now onto a broken leg. It is a minor ailment seen from a larger perspective. But try telling that to the person whose leg is broken. To him, it may appear to be unending misery. A complete upheaval or his routine and destruction of his personal freedom. For a seemingly endless period. The mind l…

Value and money

While reading a magazine I came across an ad that said: "Win an ____ watch worth $449! Hurry!". I don't know why but it felt really odd. As if the value of the thing was merely monetary. It seemed out of place especially because it was a specially customized item, that usable and useful to a niche audience who would be aware of the value of the item. For example: as a biking enthusiast, I know that the chance to win a K&N filter goes far beyond it's price. This is because it's my interest in the sport and the utility of the thing in question that gives it (to me) a value that cannot be quantified by the mere monetary worth of it.

We live in a world where even time is broken down into money. And oddly enough, that does little to increase any concept of the value of time.

Basslines

There is something about a good bassline. Now I don't want to go into all the technical mumbo-jumbo of how it keeps the entire band 'tight' and the melody in rhythm and all that. If interested, just look it up on google. No. What I mean is, a good bassline will keep you tapped into the song right from the beginning and until the end. Since the bass sound is deeper, it resonates more inside. I really don't know the technical details as to how and what frequencies produce vibrations etc. I'm just trying to put down what I feel when I hear a brilliant bassline. I'm listening to Strip the Soul (In Absentia) by Porcupine Tree and it has a beautiful one. Even before the melody began, it had me hooked. The melodic arrangement just needs to fill in the gaps and it becomes a good song even if it's just passable. Here it's great so it's a good song to listen to. Electronica like that by Daft Punk is also noted for it's lovely basslines as is Deadmau5. Hmm…

Mind Fucks

What if a right-handed person, who is a virgin, masturbates with his left hand? Is that infidelity? And if he can masturbate with both at the same time, does that constitute a threesome?

Hangovers and the end of times

Hangovers are not just related to alcohol. The worst hangovers are related to good times. We've all experienced that feeling. The day after Diwali for some. When the debris from crackers litters the streets next morning. And it's a cool crisp morning with the sun shining. School starts the next day. Oh the pain! The buildup to an event, the anticipation, the rush is often as thrilling if not more, than the event itself. And consequently, the fall after the event is over is hard. It's tough. The mind refuses to leave such a happy event behind. It dwells endlessly (at least at first) to the days leading to the event, the event itself. One relives the good day(s) thousands of times. And life after seems drab in comparison. Then next time, we attempt to recreate the magic of last time. However, our expectations have increased. We want more. The same won't be enough anymore. And it never is the same. We work hard to set ourselves up for disappointment. The best of plans fal…

Remembrance of times gone by...

I had to visit my college a few days ago. Something about getting my last two marksheets etc. I went there with Saboo, one of my three best friends from college (along with Saumya and Shantnu). After all the office-work had been concluded, we decided to eat in the college cafeteria or the 'Mech Canteen' as we call it or called it in our heyday.

I did know that it was going to be a nostalgic experience what with going back to college again and especially since it's been just a few months after we'd passed out and all. But the sheer weight of memories that hit me once we drove into college (indeed just as soon as we passed the familiar streets leading to it) was staggering! I am usually prone to over-analyzing my thoughts and I usually try and quantify what and why I am feeling so that I can understand it better. However, this time I just let myself go.

As we drove through the streets of Rohini, past metro walk, I remembered the many, many times I had been to that mall. …

Train Theory and What Not

I've been cheating. I've not been writing as regularly as I promised myself to write. Missed out days. It's more like a chore than anything else. Yet it may be the only worthwhile thing that I'm doing. At least these few months.

I used to avidly recommend Train Theory to all and sundry. It is what saved me from going insane out of grief after my breakup (c. Dec-Mar 2011). Yet Train Theory has a catch. A very critical catch. It's more of a question of balance than anything else. But before all this confuses you, let me give a very basic outline of Train Theory.

Train Theory


When one travels in a train, one may observe a large building in view. The building may be huge in size and appear never ending. However, large as the building might appear to be, if one merely looks away from the window for a few moments, one will see that the building has receded into the distance and is considerably diminished in appearance. Soon after, the building disappears from all but memor…

Another Day Passes Away

I wish my days were packed. The last two days passed away in a blur. Or so it seemed... Maybe it's because I don't remember them. Maybe because I wished to forget. They were the worst kind of days because I didn't have to make any effort to forget them. Because they were born to be obscure and insignificant.

Oscar Wilde has rightly said, that boredom is the only true death.

Confused ramblings

What are the giant wheels that move the purpose of mankind as a whole? Has anybody seen them? What is it that motivates every man to get up everyday and work? Whatever be the work, each man has some sense of duty, responsibility, some scope of joy and pleasure in his everyday existence. What is the truth behind the toil? What are we all working towards? Or is it something that we are working against? Or are they just two sides of the same coin?

In writing, I have found that my adherence to the rules, tones and customs of the written form of the language has resulted in my prose being; in general; ponderous and prosaic in nature. What do I do to remove this crushing stereotype? For some reason my mind revolts against writing in such a manner so as to make the sound of my voice resound in the head of the speaker. My very instinct is repelled by contemplation of employing such a means in writing.

Yet I believe I shall soon have to resort to such devices to make my blog more readable.

The Assault of Memories

The odd thing about being sick is that it makes you forget how you were when you were hale and hearty. In other words you feel as if you've been sick all your life. Which is why the flashbacks were weird. They were flashbacks of happiness. Now what was strange about these flashbacks was that they made me feel worse. Now I believe I have been obsessing quite extensively on the topic of memories and how they provide a room to escape into, a shield of sorts etc. These memories on the other hand had quite the opposite effect.

I have been having them for quite sometime now and they come upon me very suddenly. If I can compare it to visual sensation: normally flashbacks are triggered by something. It's more of a sudden plunge into the pool of reminiscence or a vivid flight of sorts, for a few moments that may or may not seem long. Then one comes out of that pool affected by the images/sensation that one might have felt and thereby changed by them one moves on and soon forgets them. …

Bubble Theory

This is one I am still developing. Here it is as I think of it now.

Assumption:

Each individual lives in a bubble. This bubble is our individuality. It is built up of whatever experiences we have lived through and whatever conclusions we have drawn in our years of life. Out of our weltanschauung as it were. These all comprise the material of the bubble, it's appearance, it's texture. The bubble can expand, contract, attain new dimensions and/or shapes. I believe that in most cases a gradual hardening occurs as a person gets older.

The probable nature of change of the bubble will occur according to a particular logic. This is the 'nature' of the person involved. Or 'character'. If the logic of change is consistently traceable, then person is referred to as being of constant character. In most cases, interaction with other bubbles will cause a modification of the attributes.

Hypothesis: 

I believe that this is why no one person can truly look at the world through an…

Time theory

We are all slaves of time. So much for stating the obvious. But really, I've been in a brooding mood for the past couple of weeks. I've had little to do and much to think about so even the tiniest of ideas begins fermenting inside my head. 'Fermenting' because wine is made of grapes, but grape juice is nothing like wine. Alright, enough about cliches too.

Now, back to the topic. Slaves of time. Time controls our every move, etc etc. Yet we are all under the illusion that we are 'in control' of time. I noticed the other day (one might say rather late and too elementary after living for 21 years) that something that happened a second ago, a joke, a funny moment, a moment of understanding etc. is akin to something that happened ages ago in that nothing can really bring either of those moments back. Both are equally lost in time and confined to the vaults of memory. Forever. Now again, forgive me for stating the obvious, but it has a rather flattening effect on all…

An Excercise In Pointlessness

A friend told me that writing is a lot like assembly line production. You need to force yourself to write so that, by the time you actually have something to write about, you write it really nicely. Anyway, here begins my (hopefully sustained) sojourn into the world of assembly line writing.

I'm listening to Yanni. Something symphonic. Yet it's more contemporary. The old masters are brilliant, but distant. Yanni is more relatable. Somehow. I wonder if music can have a generation gap... Scientists have discoveredhow 'pop' music is made: apparently a combination of certain frequencies can stimulate areas of the brain so that they 'light up' with activity. It's the same for a large percentage of the people and theoretically no one is immune to it. Maybe it has something to do with the evolution of human sensibilities as it were. Throughout millions of years, many of our tertiary sensibilities have evolved from things that were completely relevant 50,000 years …

Poetry

Is it easier to be poetic in a mundane setting due to the escape it offers from surroundings or does it flourish in a like environment? So in this context the debate is whether poetry is an escape from reality or a reaction to observation of the same.

Or are there two paths as it were to reach the state of transcendence? Because enhanced creativity while on substances is properly an 'escape' while extreme disillusionment is a state of extreme observation.

I welcome debate on this.

Catharsis?

It is getting dark. S stands on the porch of the tea-stall where he is idly swirling the last dregs of his cup. His cigarette smokes away by itself in his other hand. He flicks it away. The lit tobacco detaches from the filter and falls to the ground still smoking. Idly he observes that the butt looks oddly headless. The ash is still smoking. Like the last breaths of a dying man. A headless man. Shaking his head he walks away.

The road is bleak and has little sign of life. It is a chilly winter evening. The dogs are shivering, even curled up in their cozy nooks. His breath steams out in front of him. He remembers blowing it out like a cigarette as a child. To feel like he was smoking. It was a short term pleasure. Oddly like smoking. Every child does that. He blows out to see a stream of his breath fogging over. It gives him some satisfaction. He lights another cigarette. Why substitute when one can have the original, he wonders, his thoughts wandering.

Smoking is oddly cathartic. One…

Artificial Intelligence, Grand Unification Will Lead to Atheism

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely my personal opinions and deductions, I do not mean to offend the sentiments of the members of any religious community.

Let me first examine the premise: religion. What is religion? Let's go back to the basics, the How. Religion began when cave men saw the Sun. A magnificent ball of fire that gave warmth and if too hot, killed. Also they saw that the plants that grew where sunlight reached and the barren patches where it didn't. All early religions worshipped the Sun and in turn the earth whom they venerated as a Mother. Later these primary forms developed and expanded and consequently, more complex representations evolved. Having an initial monotheistic origin i.e the Sun or the Earth, later evolving to polytheism and finally back to monotheism (i.e Judaism, Christianity, Islam) religion traced a full circle.

Now the Why. Humans are evolutionarily adapted towards information. This can be confirmed by examining two of humanities g…