Wednesday, July 25, 2007


in NY, meeting a lot of the self named 'desi's...', a term i have come to hate, because it is so self deprecating, and also oxymoronic. why, well indians who are here, and else where (australia, UK) have a lot of attitude, and see India as a third world country, and are pretty proud of being out of their crowded, dirty desh, but still call them selves desi's, which like other terms give to other communities (blacks, afros etc) is used in a very self deprecating way.
its amazing how much people start cursing india after living out for only two years, and still don't forget the same habits they curse indians for!!! a girl, asking me not to go to a particular pub because its more of a pick up joint for 'horny indian software professionls' doesn't refrain from borrowing a cig every oppurtunity she gets,

and yes, we are indians everywhere, we still get everywhere late, we still litter and we still are not courteous just because its a how you should be, and most of us are still very cheap n stingy,

and there are so many of us everywhere, we rule tech everywhere.

take care.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

military training

a friend was telling me about his NCC experiences, how they all used to wash up in the open taking water from tanks made out of tyres, of how dirty it used to be and how, in a seven day course, after resisting for four days, he ultimately took bath with that same water, wondering if his body would get cleaner or dirtier with that water.
of how, having been assigned to a tent where he knew no one, after four days of fighting they went on to become a team and competed for the inter tent competition as one, ultimately fighting with his friends during it...
and it has brought back an idea i have had for a long time now, why not make military style training compulsory. by military style i don't mean weapons, but yes, at least physical training, along with studies, carried out at a boarding camp.
first how i envision it working and then its benefits.
so what could happen is that in every state we could have four or five camps, with capacities running in to thousands maybe, where in the 8th and 9th standard, students live and go through all kinds of activities. the students are assigned on no particular basis, absolutely randomly, so u end up with a totally heterogeneous group, coming from all diverse backgrounds. the training should be compulsory for everyone, rich or poor, literate or illiterate, everyone at that age has to go to this training. the training will have two parts, one is the common curricula, which is standardised throughout the country, and another is the camp specific curricula, where for example, camps in forest areas can have treks as the physical activity. the curricula would be macro, acads will be a small part, but life skills a major part, can teach about the country, about values, and it should foster debate(which as a generation we have forgotten) of course the entire camp is tailored on military camp lines, just not as intense. so getting up at 5 is a rule. and also wearing the same stuff, having the same belongings is a rule.
how will it help, well...
will integrate the country, all kids at that very very clayey age will come in contact with different cultures, and learn to be accepting and understanding, the north south divide should end, the country will be more aware of the east, the west will be more aware of the country. will also create a bonding across barriers because no barriers are allowed here.
mental toughness gets developed, kids learn to adapt to the different, living at the worst prepares the kids for life and anything that it throws at 'em. also they start recognising the inner core of others instead of judging them by the external skins, as the external skins over a two years are peeled off.
kids get an opportunity to explore, as they are in a different environment, where they get a chance to see the new and different. they get to explore all different activities available.
staying away from parents and the comfort and security of the home,
creates a fraternity kind of an environment, which means kids start feeling proud and passionate about something, they learn what is self respect, and respect, they get over the chalta hai cavalier attitude, they build teams, leaders are born.
they learn to integrate with nature, live off the earth or close to it.
our vast country can be explored, imagine someone coming from green kerala in dry rajasthan,
well there are many more, and some negatives as well, but i guess this should happen.
why it might not, or is difficult, well economics need to be worked out, who is gonna conduct it...? well my vote is for the paramilitary forces or even the armed forces. it is a vast programme, which at least at the start will eat up the resources of the country, but the long term benefits as a country, it is, i believe worth the money.
take care

Friday, July 13, 2007

second chance!!!

i have always believed that life gives you a second chance at everything, opprtunity knocks twice. but over the last five years, with the events happening in 'mine and others very close to me' lives, i started doubting it. and was kind of scared.
but over the past few days, i have seen them come again, and people grabbing them.
so be hopeful of life, it might take long, but it does come back, u do get a second chance. have the patience to go through the in between period, which might be really tought.
'umeed par zindagi kayam hai'

i was talking to someones about punishments and retribution, and realised that if on doing something wrong, u realise it in your heart, and u are really sorry about it, some how life understands that and doesn't hit you that hard, the punishments are less intense, sometimes not there. so if you do something wrong, own up to it, to others but more so to ur heart, helps.

or could be that if u realise ur wrongdoing, u accept the punishment and go through it without feeling cheated. what ever the case, own up to it, be true in your heart.

take care.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

my school of life...

college really, but we called it school, and i was there today, back to the campus i spent five very short years, which taught me more about life, which has shaped me more into what i am today, or rather which let me shape myself, all the while teaching me nothing helpful for my present career academically, a career which is poles apart from what i was trained for in those five years.

i can't describe my school to anyone who has not been there, simply because they could never imagine what i did there. a campus where 24 hours for five years used to seem like one unending short day, we never partied in college, not the kind of parties i go to now, but it truly was the best club i went to. it was an oasis in the center of the city, where even though being one of the best campuses in the country, it had managed to stay so distant from the rest of the city, no one outside would even know we existed. there were stories about the campus floating around, and many true, but no one could ever imagine to what extent. the campus didn't have a fence surrounding it till very recently, but no one even noticed such a huge area of land right in the center of the city.

a campus where the parking lot has never been empty for many years, even for a single minute, where music and smoke and energy hovers even in mid summer breaks, where the old and new merge seamlessly, where an architecture school was designed to have no washrooms!!
a campus which u entered as 'i' but within the first month, u were changed to a ceptian, a campus where there were no seniors after the first month, everyone was given the freedom to be themselves, where beautiful works of art, made with amazing amount of hard work and effort and zeal, were made with the knowledge that they won't survive till the end of the semester, will be replaced by something new.
where the lingo was so built in to everyday language, where 'launch ho gaya', 'death aa gaayi' and 'fuck amazing' described everyday happenings like nothing else, a place where people were known more by the wierdest of nick names, all throughout their lives.

a campus where even the basic infra was all wrong, we had peon steel stools to sit on, after the initial week butts used to pain, stool which were put horizontally on the floor to seat two. where drafting tables were well, simply huge tables which had to be covered by thick sheets of paper to draw anything, a campus where no one blinked on seeing anything out of the blue, the colors all mixed in so well, weird n different was the only excepted way.
a campus where creativity flowed from the most traditional, most orthodox, where doped and smoked people performed garba in the most traditional of way, followed by an arti at 4 in the night, attended and done by people wearing shorts and kurtas, and almost all bare footed.
where i could walk bare foot all daylong, attend lectures dripping wet, sit on the floor in the studio, hell sit on the floor anywhere, be there to open the studios before the peons (i knew where the keys were...)
where u could sit and chat and do all kinds of stuff in the deans cabin, enter the lib long after it was closed (and own up to it without being thrown out too...)

where u found all kinds of animals, dogs (with collars and names -'gotu, still alive' and over dog lovers and haters used to actually fight), fearless squirrels, a monster of a goat, monkeys, a cow once and even pigs, but never cats, and all kinds of humans, long haired, no hair, no eyebrows, clothes, semi nude and sometimes indescribable,
a campus which had a parallel economy, with our canteen coupons accepted as currency even outside the campus.
where proffs were friends, where there was no official way of doing stuff, where there were no after hours.

CEPT was life, and and it taught me how to live life. it taught me how to be open, accepting n be different. how to get respect out of top people in any organisation, and respect the least of a person. how to handle dead bodies, how to walk 40 ks a day, and drive more then 100ks sometimes and still be back to the campus, no one ever went home
it taught me nothing about what i am doing today, but gave me and everyone an opportunity to do something different, have the guts to go out and explore, and make a life out of it. i never would know how to thank my school,

someone told me before i joined college, these will be the best years of ur life, till now they were, and also it doesn't really matter what u graduate in, all u need is life skills, thanks to CEPT i got those.

for all u people confused about what to do after 12th, u would not know till u have done ur grads, u cannot discover urself so early, so just go ahead and go to a great campus which teaches u life and the art of exploration, and make ur life then.

and by the way, i still do not have my passing out degree from CEPT uni, but then i have myself to show for to prove that i went there.

take care.

PS: if interested to learn life...

Friday, July 06, 2007


back home after a long time, three months actually, but this time, even three months seem long. maybe because i lived quite a life in these last three months, enjoyed life after a long time. lived every day, every moment. maybe because nothing is really calling me back to where i came from. so i get time to enjoy the moment.

back home, and nothing is changed, nothings changed about how i feel about my home, the familiarity, the sense of belonging, the sense of owning. there are small cosmetic changes, but its still home.
am at peace here, no where else. i have told this countless times to countless friends, after work, i really don't feel relaxed coming to my room, after the days over at office, i wonder what to do, try to find things to do which will delay my inevitable return to my room, because there is no one waiting for me there. its just an empty lifeless room, nothing i can call mine. but here i have people waiting, dogs waiting, my entire setup (comp and TV side by side) waiting. there are midnight snacks waiting, cold water in the fridge, the floor is waiting for me to walk around, the view from my balcony is waiting.

and the city is waiting, i love this city, ahmedabad, my abode, well on and off abode for last 11 odd years, waiting, ahmedabad is different from any other city i have seen, its huge, bursting at it seems, its quite well developed, malls and stuff, and u'd expect it to be very fast, but there is this laziness about the pace of this city, it never seems rushed. there are no hassels here, everyone is happy in doing what they do, i love this city, or may be i am just too familiar with it.

home also brings back memories, the city brings back memories, of times spent together, loving or fighting, but spent together. memories which i thouht had faded, but they lurk around right around the corner. and the problem with memories is that they always make life seem incomplete, because life was kinda complete when i was living those memories.

for sometime almost exactly an year ago, i found home in someone, the presence made me feel at home, the touch made me relax, forget the day and come to peace. home is nothing but familiarity, security and trush, and by that definition, i have many varying degrees of home. home is not a place, its people, its touch, its the warmth u feel.

take care.