Tuesday, June 8, 2010

learning, understanding and accepting

There is this book which I read a few days back - 1984 by George Orwell. It's a book about how bad a society becomes when the body serving its interests becomes all too powerful. In the book, society is a country and the the body is the government of that country. Though I never write book reviews, this book is different because there are tons of similarities when I look around. Even today, independent thoughts are being curbed, ideologies being forced, people made to work with little gratification, etc, etc. Anyways, if you haven't read the book and you are planning to do so, then you might not want to read the rest as what follows might be a spoiler.

My most favorite character in the book is this guy called OBrien who serves the government and plays a very crucial role in the book. It was really horrifying to read what he did to the protagonist. How he was able to use fear and hatred to brainwash him. The reason why I was really taken by that aspect was because it happens all too frequently these days. A place where the governing body has too tight a control, where decisions are taken unilaterally and a person finds himself really helpless. In such a place, a person has very little choice but to surrender his thoughts and work like a comrade. Where the governing body passes its agendas (and ideologies) without the consent of normal people. And as they portray in the book, in the end, the human spirit is weakened and crushed. People forget what it is stand up and fight for their own rights. Partly because they have never seen anyone do that. Why? Because people who were their superiors never did that either.

And faithful to the back page summary of the book, there is something there for people with original thoughts - Room 101. As oBrien aptly put it, the USP of their torture was "Learning, Understanding and Accepting"

> The first part is learning where they learn that they should have shut their head long back. Exercising head and thinking is dangerous. Where they learn that they do should what they have been asked (blindly without questioning) and leave the thinking to the governing body.

> Second step is understanding where they understand that they have to pay a heavy price for not shutting their heads. They understand that they are insane and that they are wrong in believing that sanity is not statistical. They begin to understand that they are insane to even think that they could have done something or changed something.

> and then comes the third part - acceptance. The person believes it's his fault and that he should have been punished long ago for his insanity. Eventually he is. This is the phase that the governing body wants because it doesn't want martyrs. It doesn't want people to follow the footsteps of that person. And in doing so, makes sure no one again rises against the system.

Actually the book got me thinking in many ways. I imagined myself in the protagonist's shoes asking myself what would I have done and unfortunately there was little one could really do. One can do little against a governing body that changes itself like a chameleon and comes out all powerful and not ready to budge from its policies and ideologies. Actually the two biggest things in the book were a) doublethink and b) Room 101. Doublethink made sure the party spread ignorance, lies and deceit while keeping itself pure and safe. Room 101 for purging people who questioned the body. Like OBrien constantly said, "What happens here is for ever." The change that takes over you in Room 101 is for ever. You are never the same. Your fears are unleashed to an extent where you love (fear) the all powerful body and don't see any other way other than heeding to their demands. And it's not submitting yourself unwillingly. You submit yourself willingly and beg for wrongdoing.

Kind of a digression but it sort of reminded me of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When asked how did he preserve his sanity in Azkaban, he said he made sure he clung to one happy thought and didn't allow the dementors to take it away. hmmm... makes me think what would he have done in Room 101 because in both cases, the dementors and the governing body used fear and misery as their weapon in crushing an individual.

If I had to pick my favorite quote or sentence, it would OBrien's - "Obedience is not enough. Unless he [person in question] is suffering, how can you be sure he is obeying your will and not his own?"

In summary, an awesome book, a timeless classic which i might pick up again because the place where I am in, it reminds me of the world painted in this book.


Friday, June 4, 2010

wrong side of skinny jeans

I was reminded of this incident which happened a few weeks ago. Really funny it is. I was standing outside this place - Dahr-e-mehr in secunderabad to catch an auto. For folks closer home, it's this place which is in front of Chermas in MG Road. Curious like a cat, I wanted to see what was there in that place. More interesting was this guy who stepped out of that place. Really fair, tall, long hair, wearing skinny jeans like those in Jonas Brothers and those long pointed sort of shoes which again Jonas Brothers sorta popularized. Hmmm... strange but good to see metrosexuality out there on road showing hand, stopping vehicles and crossing road. But I'd not want to be caught on the wrong side of it, staring at it, ogling at it as that guy were a girl...

Anyways what happened was I landed at the same place a few days later and I was still interested to find what that place was. One thing I was sure about was that it was some Parsi place (the name, looks of that guy, etc.) So I gave a what-the-hell-let-us-check-it-out expression and went in. I walked in checked that place out. Turns out it was a fire temple and a few small houses in the back (populated by some Parsis) There was a library too. I don't know what was I thinking but started walking towards it that a guy (wearing that typical parsi cap) claps his hand and asked me where was I going. I told him I checking the place out. He said the place was a private property and not for random people to "check" out. And then like in those daily soaps, he pointed towards the gate and told me rudely to get out :( Not that I felt really pissed but I felt like giving a piece of my mind to that security guy. First of all he doesn't stop me when I enter the place and then when I'm getting out, he starts asking why did you go in (o.0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

some time back

and here i am with yet another post on music. But this time it's about the stuff I used to listen to when I was in school days. Like all good stories, everything starts out good. For me it all started in early 1998 when we got a new TV. The crappy old BPL that we had before that had only 8 channels and there were no channels like cartoon network or CNN or MTV :( So when the new TV came, I almost became a couch potato trying out channels, watching new stuff, etc. Add to it, our school later shifted from a 6 day to a 5day school with saturday becoming "activity" day. I mostly used to bunk that "activity" day and watch TV. There were so many incentives you see. Baywatch used to come on saturdays when my mom used to be out and it was an important part of a typical saturday for me. It was at this same time that I started to watch many english songs and their videos. During those days our cable operator was hathway and it was considered a huge thing. They used to run this channel ITV where you call the system and through IVRS select a song. Mannn!!! people used to sit all afternoon trying to get the number. It was always engaged! The stupid thing is today ITV is not there anymore :( Instead we have Hi! TV which is filled with loadsa punjabi and hindi music. No problem with that but there were very few english songs and if I wanted to listen to hindi songs, I could've gone to B4U or ETC during those days.

Anyways the point of this post is not to talk about the music channels. This post is about the really nice music I used to listen to during those days. It was different. There was always this thing of songs looping over and over again in ITV and also music channels like MTV and Channel V. It was always possible to watch a song atleast three or four times everyday until you got bored and I used to listen to so much of stuff that I was able to spend almost entire day on TV just like that. I used to listen to backstreet boys and britney spears and westlife too but there was a lot of other stuff too and sadly today hardly people know these songs :( So this is a list of all those songs which seem to have gone off people's minds.

Artist - Moby. This was one video I loved watching! People know how I keep listening to a song over and over again and this was definitely one of them. I used to just listen to this song. Again and again and if possible again. :)

Pop Duo - Paola e Chiara. This is one song (and the other was ek pal ka jeena from kaho na pyaar hai) which were *instrumental* in changing my hairstyle from a side partition to somewhere in the middle partition. There is this guy with black shades looking from somewhere in back. Man, His hairstyle was so awesome during those days :)

Artist - Kimkay. Yes! I used to listen to whatever was there. This song was weird but had a really hummable tuney. I used to catch this song on ITV atleast two or three times everyday and god only knows how many times it used to come. :D I tried searching for the original video but seems like it's not there on youtube. But the most saddening part is that the singer of this song - Kimkay is suffering from some cancer and chances of her coming out ok are quite bleak :((

Artist - Chemical Brothers. Again a dance mix. I'm not much of a dancer but I like such electronica and dance stuff a lot. Even Moby's Lift Me Up was something of that sort.

Artist - Las Ketchup. Another song I loved! Even the girls were/are hot. My mom never approved me of watching this video. She used to give me the sort of looks. :O

Artist - Michelle Branch. At that time I might not have realized it but this may have been my first ever tryst with alt. rock. I loved the eeriness of the video and the way she looks at the camera. Today in this post avatar world of graphics, CG and VFX, the video seems a bit old and flawed but I still love it!

ok, I'll post some more such videos as and when I remember them!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a shift in music genre

The past few months have been really great. Great in the sense that I explored classic rock in a better way. Ofcourse, with generous help from Himank in this department. :) If classic rock was a 5xxx course in iiit, my course project on Allman Brothers, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and the Beatles would have got me acing the subject. But as I always say it's time to explore other things(genres) too.

It all started when I found that classic rock was the only thing I had in my nokia music express. Though great and all, you feel a tad bit frustrated when you listen to classic rock while jogging or something. And it's easy to lose motivation while doing stuff like jogging and all. So decided to change the genre to trance and trip-hop. It's been sometime since I've listened to the likes of Tiesto, Paul Okenfield, Housexy and Hed Kandi. Now my mobile has a lot of trance and lounge stuff. And it's pretty good for a morning with some running around or something.

Personally I've always seen trance as very synthetic. Rock, specially the 60-70s kind of rock is much more organic. We listen to both to pass time. While rock mellows us down, trance and lounge music makes us alert and makes us wanna go shake some booty or something :P

And that's where I realized something. Weed, which tends to mellow us down goes well with classic rock. That's why I say weed is organic stuff. On the other hand, we have stuff like cocaine, heroin, etc. going with trance and all. The real drugs. The synthetic stuff. Stuff which make you lose your mind. Makes you needlessly alert, fidgety. A person you might not wanna become. Ok, I don't even know why I'm writing all this. Frankly speaking, writing all this to see how long a post can I write. Specially with all my recent posts being small and all. :D


Friday, December 18, 2009

Vicky and Cristina in Barcelona

by god, kya movie hai yaar! and here I thought Woody Allen had lost that charm of his :X Just watch this movie. It's really good in a different way.

Plus points of the movie
a. Scarlett Johannson, Penelope Cruz.
b. Shot in Spain giving it an exotic, european kinda look.

Juan has a lot of talent and he knows he has it. The way he totally changes when talking to Cristina and then to Vicky is something I should maybe learn someday. But deep within, both were falling for him for the same precise reason.The narration kind of reminded me of "Annie Hall" and "When Harry met Sally" Great movie, nice timepass of two hours, which you won't regret.

But what stuck me most was the girl-girl love making thing. It's as if people in US are doing all they can to bring this phenomenon out of closet (not that I'm complaining!) If you've seen FRIENDS season 1, you might remember what chandler's mom says when she hears about Ross's wife (that she was a lesbo) One thing that is for sure is that It's almost every guy's fantasy but what about gals? Do they think about it too. I mean gal with gal. Look at Katy Perry's video, the lyrics of the song are meaningless but they do send some signals. I guess it has to do with gals coming from Venus and being totally different from guys. That's why I say I'm a totally worried person whenever some news comes that stem cell research is achieving new breakthroughs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

mid day timepass

so I went to NBH mess sometime near two in the afternoon for my lunch. I filled my plate with stuff and sat on one table. I was relishing the taste of cauliflower that I saw this girl. Black top. Straight hair and sunglasses adjusted above her forehead. I never saw her here in the campus before and I'm telling you she's not from IIIT-H. So I was like ogling at her all the while. She completed her lunch and went to wash her plates. Just then some friend of mine came by and said hi... I said hi. We exchanged some pleasantries and then he went away.

That's when she came out, she was waiting near the place where plates are stacked(not inside but outside where they usually keep milk and tea) and while she was waiting, she caught me looking at her. Damn it! I tried to look away but it was too late. She saw me! A moment later I tried to again look at her and she caught me again! fuck! what happened to my technique? Where did I lose it!! Anyways, I decided to keep ogling at her and did so. She must have like taken pity on me and may have allowed me to stare at her. Dude! I wasn't staring at her just for the heck of it. I was staring at her to give enough material for this post here :D So I was like telling myself that this is so totally my type of gal - tall, wearing dark ash colored jeans, sunglasses and all. That's when I saw her sandals. They were like an inch and a half high heels. It's rare to find chicks in campus wearing such high heels. So, she was like waiting for someone... maybe her brother (why spoil my day by thinking it was her boyfriend??) and started walking towards the door. I knew she was giving me this cold look. So what did I do? I... well I... did the best thing possible. I put my tongue as if making a :P expression!! :P

I felt bad that this saga came to end here. But I knew it couldn't have. It can't. So I looked outside and there she was walking slowly (with her brother :P)on that road towards the library. In a flash I got up, dumped all the stuff in my plate, washed my plate so fast... Man I think I may have even beaten sharat in this :P and came out. By this time, she had pretty much come close to that barricade but I didn't lose hope. My strides were huge and covered distance pretty fast. I had almost crossed 3/4th of the football ground that I saw her entering the library block. Like that sprinter who puts his everything in the last few meters, I too put everything and made even larger strides. She was gone. I checked the library, checked CDE and also prof. B I's office :D No sir! she wasn't anywhere to be seen...

I was feeling hungry all over again. But then I didn't go to coffee shop. I instead opened my blog and here I'm writing all this as a post.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

big ass and other irrelevant stuff

People often say I'm thin, but trust me I'm not. The other day, I was looking at myself and got a feeling that I'm getting a bulge. Yea.. you are right, the perennial problem of secondary growth, which is also called growing horizontally. I gave a goodbye kiss to vertical growth a few years back but that doesn't mean I'll let this h. growth stay here. NO! I shall not. So coming back to the topic - So I was looking at myself and realized that all the chocolates have started affecting me. My ass has started bulging! Gawd!!! If I don't stop it, I'll become a male version of Kim Kardashian... DUDE!! I can't even picture it. GROSS!!!

Two weeks ago, I used to spend atleast 25 rupees daily on chocolates. There was a time when I ate 6 Munch(es) - those chocolate wafer sorta thing in one hour. That is huge you know. It's not like I'm boasting of some record. It's bad. REAL BAD. Everyone has to pay a price for the stuff he/she does and my big ass is just a testament of that fact. I could've easily fallen prey to chocolate and made my life a sad story of chocolate addiction - the kind of life that could be documented and shown to children to stop chocolate addiction.

But that was two weeks ago and I've cut down on a lot of stuff. I'm eating healthy you know. There was a severe withdrawal problem as far as chocolates are concerned. Slowly reducing it, I've totally cut down on chocolates. Today I can proudly say that it will be the third day since I have not eaten any chocolate. I don't feel anything happening either. I ofcourse have the OBH shopkeeper offering me kit kat, perk and munch but now I moved onto a higher plane by refusing to fall for the greed. You may ask how? Well it's simple. I collected all these gross images of malnourished African children dying of hunger and all. I now have them in my mind and picture them everytime I seem to fall for chocolates. Believe me, it works! It's a sad, stupid, maybe hideous way of controlling stuff, but then that is what things have come to.

leaving on a good note, I should also tell how happy I'm on seeing my blog again on blogroll. The past few months which have seen my blog posts always without comments were bad as far as my blogging career is concerned. Hopefully things will now change.