Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Last Post...and why I miss hostel life

Yeah, you read it right. This is, in effect, the last post of my rather short lived, but prolific blogging career... for February. For those of you breathing a sigh of relief, at not having to put up with my absurd fecundity, calling a stud(short for studious) a nihilist... and odd wordplay(odd in the same way a three headed dragon sitting on Hans Stoehr road would be called odd...) and the general load of bullshit I so effortlessly drop. And yes, come March, I will take up the cudgels once again, and resume with my curmudgeonly blogs. And of course, for those who steadfastly ignore my writing, I have only this to say, good for you. Now... getting on with it..

The thing about this post is... it's an ode to you, patient reader. And since, I am writing this for a second time, yes the first post was deleted due to, what lawyers would call force majeur, and what I call fucked up google shit(I know I wouldn't make a good lawyer...) I will attempt to keep it brief. So, anyway, I just got to thinking, how much I miss my hostel. And of course, there would be many of you who share the same sentiment. So, without further ado... presenting the five things I miss about my hostel... tara ra tat taraaaa...

1.The BATHROOMS. Yeah, my hostel has unparalleled loos. What sets them apart... is the stink emanating from their dark recesses, simply has no equal. And I even experimented with dead lizards at home. Believe me, the bathrooms are simply inimitable.

2.The ROOMS. Nice, warm and cosy. After all, it's hard to imagine anything cosier that a 4ft*8ft room... inhabited by 2 people, and sometimes, by a whole dozen.. Not even DLF could come up with a similar architectural marvel

3.The ROOM-MATE. Serves as a nice prelude to married life of course...and steels us against the possibility that our wives maight be... Himesh fans, homicidal maniacs, or just plain old quirky.

4.The INTERNET. Blazingly fast of course, and provides a wide range of sites... like google, google news, and the front page of wikipedia. And of course, certain minor problems cause it to crash, for the better part of a week, but those are jsut minor problems, totally inconsequential.

5.The FOOD. The variety is mindboggling. From chili potato to fried potato to potato chips, we have it all. And of course, for proteins, assorted insects and maggots. The mess people believe in a complete balanced diet. And we thank them for their thoughtfulness.

And after reading this, if you can't wait to get back to your hostels(and I share that sentiment) then I would suggest you don't. Yeah, run away from home, back to your beloved hostel. After all, you know what they say... home is where the hostel is..

Monday, 22 February 2010

The beautiful game...and the Indian Connection

"The English Premier League...is the Greatest Show on Earth"
-Sky Sports Broadcasting

The total amount of money that flows into football annually is mindboggling. No other sport in the world could even compare with the sort of pecuniary success that the beautiful game can call its own. The basic assumption is that when a game is as universal, and as appealing as football, it becomes more than just a global phenomenon, it becomes a cash cow. Even America, which has three of the richest leagues of sport in the world, the NFL, the MLB and the NBA, has proselytised itself to the sport. And while SAU-ker still occupies second place in the hearts of many Americans, it still occupies a large space of the revenue.

Now, the bastion of the beautiful game today is the EPL, the Premier League, the Barclays ... you get the point. The top flight of English football is now the top flight of world football, so to speak. And this blog is about the richest league in the world. However, even the richest football league in the world, can't match up to the American juggernauts that I have mentioned before. Yes, this is the league which generates billions of dollars in revenue, where the wages paid to players exceed 1 billion dollars annually. But it is still not close to the top American sports of baseball, football (yes, the American version) or basketball. And while this blog isn't about the dominance of the American dollar over the Euro, or over the whole world for that matter, it is interesting to note that the revenues generated by the American version of football (no, not SAU-ker) were double those of the English counterpart. Yes, that goes for the attendance too, EPL clubs have an average of 35,000, which fyi is the best in Europe, no laughing matter. American NFL clubs, on the other hand, have in excess of 65000 people thronging their stadia for every game.

But where football really comes into its own is the worldwide appeal. And, of course the worldwide nature of the EPL is no exception. Half the players playing in the team are non English. For bigger clubs like Arsenal or Chelsea, on any given matchday, the English population of their squad would be a dismal minority, 1, maybe 2 players at most. However, the really disturbing fact lies not in the nationality of the players, but that of the owners. The English are now facing a unique situation. They have effectively outsourced their league. The only thing English about it anymore are the stadia. Oh yes, the Emirates Stadium… just about says it all.

So, what happens when the money runs out? Now for some clubs, Chelsea(Abramovich $7bn), Man City(Sheikh Mansour something or other $17 bn), that isnt a possibility. However, for smaller clubs, like Portsmouth... that would be a disaster. Most of the bigger clubs are in a lot of debt, too. Off the top of my head, Man U are 500 mil. approx., Liverpool are 250 mil. and Arsenal are around 400 mil. for their stadium construction. But the worst hit would be the smaller clubs... Portsmouth, and of course the ignoble Gaydamak, is my best example. Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, relegation and ruin.

However, what's really irritating, IMHO, is the Indian interest in football clubs. Yes, Mukesh Ambani's love affair with Liverpool. Rather than develop football in their own country, they would offer generous sops to clubs abroad, hoping to gain popularity, and brand value. Yes, and the precedent with Queen's Park Rangers is exemplary. When Lakshmi Mittal, multi-billionaire bought out nearly 50% of the club, people expected this small West London club to be the next Chelsea.However, a year on, and they are still exactly where they are. Zero Investment. Just goes to show that Indian Tycoons, aren't really motivated by the green of the pitch, but by the green of the dollar.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Vaudeville Patois and Autorickshawallah Billingsgate

So, what's worse than an auto driver who can't drive straight? A DESPO auto- driver who can't drive straight. Oh, yes, I had just such an experience with exactly the sort of auto driver from your nightmares. WHAT?! You don't have nightmares about auto-drivers?? Well, after reading this post, you most certainly shall.

So, it was an ordinary morning, and an ordinary trip by rickshaw to the university main gate. Now, this rickshaw wasn't the motorized kind, but the sort that made the human being a beast of burden, and is specifically meant to show the world, and all the trade analysts in their London offices that India is NOT destined to be a superpower, err, not even a sidekick power, the sort that allows you to shoot lightning bolts from your navel. Anyway, and I do have a tendency to deviate from the point, the point was. This auto driver drove past us like a lightning bolt from the navel(pardon the expression, really), turned his head around, and reversed his auto(yes, it does reverse, just like a train reverses...and yes, i HAVE seen them reversing...). So he yells at us,"CANTT?". And of course, due to a lack of advanced precognition faculties, so highly developed in flies and the advertising industry, we say,"HAAN BHAIYA, CANTT."

So, this guy now has his hapless, unsuspecting victims safely ensconced in the rather clean backseat of a shiny new auto. And, as if to confirm this fact, he proceeds to demonstrate his shiny new horn to us, by blowing it as LOUD as possible. And on a completely deserted road. After 10 minutes, I realise I cant stand much more of this shit, lean forward and shout,"BAS KARO YAAR...GAI BHAINS ko suna rahe ho kya?" To which he flashes a magnificent smile. Oh yes, point proved. I have a new auto. Congratulate me, will you? And he proceeds to drive at a breakneck speed, despite my insistence that we are NOT late for the train(in fact we were an hour early) he continued to attempt to break the land speed record.

That is, until something strange happened. The brake was pressed. For the first time in 2 km. , the brake was pressed!! I turned my head, and we saw a pretty girl headed towards us. The auto was deathly silenced, till someone went GULP. I realised that our James Bond of an auto driver was a sucker for a pretty face. Who would have guessed?

So this girl proceeds to sit down next to me, determined to ignore everything in the world, except for her rather well worn Samsung mobile phone. And the auto-wallah proceeds, with his eyes firmly on the rearview mirror, instead of the road ahead. Te girl was texting like her life depended on it, most probably something like,HELP!!! or I don't want to DIE!! not with ENGINEERING students. We held on to the rod, the handlebar, the seat cover, our hair, plastic straps, and curtains in order to counter the centrifugal forces built up in the auto, and just barely succeeded in overcoming the highly obstinate force of gravity.

And finally we were there. And we were safe. And nobody got killed, except for that cute little black puppy, just kidding. The girl ended up paying 2 rs extra, service charge i supposed,to get ogled. She got the worse end of the deal, but took it in good humour, smiling all the way. The autowallah proceeded to smile at her, and stared longingly at her ass the moment she turned around and made her way to the station. I would have loved to put my foot through his face, but at that very moment, he turned and said, " LADKI, MAST THI NAA...MAINE ISLIYE TO ROKA THA" with the sort of enthu I reserve for free scotch and mass bunks. We,had to agree, paid the fare, minus a good 10 bucks, and walk to the station, shaking our heads vigourously, and grinning like buffoons.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Das Auto Greener

"Ford: Didn't you think it was strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?
Arthur: I assumed you were drunk.
Ford: I thought cars were the dominant lifeform. I was trying to introduce myself."
-The Hitch Hiker's Guide to The Galaxy

From Henry Ford and Rudolf Diesel to Enzo Ferrari and Kiichiro Toyoda, there are people who have pioneered motoring, there are people whose prodigious proclivity towards automobile technology revolutionized our lives, and those of our friendly neighbourhood endemic endangered species. But this blog is not about the environmental or financial detriment of cars. Yes we could save the environment tons of harm by just not driving cars, but that would not be very, uh, progressive now would it? And we could save tons of money by just deciding to walk. But then again, these ideas used to be radical in the 90's, the era of Kyoto Protocols and EnviroCons in Rio. Now they are just plain stupid.

So, any self respecting sentient being from another planet(that's alien to you and me, never heard of SETI??) would genuinely not have a moments doubt in deciding who the primary life form on this planet is. CARS. Yes, they feed at gas stations, congregate at parking lots, take care of their personal hygeine at car washes. And have enslaved a whole race of squishy organic creatures, called human beings to take care of them, clean them, and feed them. Oh yes, they are the masters of our destiny. From the time we desire one, fall in love with one, then watch in sadness as the model is recalled for unnatural brake wear, then fall in love again, then actually save up enough to buy one, and live happily ever after until we crash one into a tree and die. The cars rule our lives like no other dictator ever has(unless you're an 80 year old German-Jew).

Now a company conceptualized by the very same dictator, and developed by a certain Ferdinand Porsche, called Volkswagen was supposed to be the creator of the first people's car, or a low cost family car. It was supposed to be available at a discounted rate of 990 ReichsMarks. Which at that time was equal to an average family's yearly income. Which meant that every family could afford one, some maybe even two. Eventually over 360,000 customers actually signed up for their initial offering. And we might have all been driving Volkswagens had the Germans not been unlucky enough to lose the second world war.

Sound familiar. The Tata Nano, is really supposed to be the Indian people's car. And though it isn't promoted by some strong arm tactician, or ignoble dictator, it is still one of the least advertised cars in the market today. This car spells the end for almost all other types of low cost transport there might exist in the world. And with typical Tata flair, this car is available for nearly double the price in Europe. Now, this is something they have tried before with their Indica range. And it has backfired spectacularly. The English aren't dumb, despite outward appearances, and demand to know why they pay double for a car which is half of what they are used to.

The highest revenue earning car making company Toyota, continues to make prototypes of fuel cell cars. However, it must surely be kicking itself for not coming up with an idea akin to the Nano. A 200 billion dollars in revenue makes Toyota a bigwig in the car producer arena, however, what with the Prius cornering the hybrid market completely.

However, we have still to see something concrete by way of the environmentally sound policies that such companies are so quick to publicize. It's still a long route ahead for the zero emissions car to become a commercial reality. And given the perishability of such giants as GM, most car making companies would decide to reuse, rather than recycle.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Fun starts with an F

Now the use of the F word has become very proliferous, and quite necessary, in the modern usage of english in these times. Yes, you can only express your feelings properly in a sentence if that sentence conatins a generous helping of fuck, shit, crap, and what not... A simply said fuck, could signify such a wide range of emotions that it is simply indispensable in a sentence, and I haven't even got to the adverbs yet, fucking, fuckable, fucked up, fugly, foobar, among others. AS a result you would find some people who double the length of their sentences( or even triple them simply by the use of the word fuck), not recommended for essays and doctoral theses writing however. And this brings me, quite conveniently on to the topic for today's post( no more of that devious circumlocuting I'm afraid :P).

What DO you do when you are faced with a rather scary possibility? Company. Or more accurately, FEMALE company. Or even more accurately, female who thinks you are a jerk company. Hitherto, the usage of fuck in your sentences was a rather acceptable social quirk, in some circles, even a norm. However your plebian language would result in aforesaid female company calling you a jerk to your face, throwing a glass of that really expensive whisky on your face, and in general, a LOT of embarassment to you(understatement). Well, if you are reading this blog hoping I have an irrefutable solution, read on...if not, fuck off. Err...sorry...F OFF. Anyway, here are my solutions:

1.Fish. Yes, the primary ingredient of sushi, and the mainstay of Greenpeace, would of course be first to serve your literary needs. Classy, yet arrogant, an OH FISH, says it all.
Not Recommended for direct abuse, viz. Fish off, doesn't really have the same gusto, does it.

2.Frog. Those disgusting reptiles can make a pretty good derogatory term as well. Oh yes, the next time you say flying frog, put a bit of twang into it, and they'll know exactly what you meant.

3.Fudge. The delicious dessert, makes for an excellent expletive, (and alliteration as a literary gimmick is reserved for another blog).

4.FCUK. The t-shirt emblazoned word is for all purposes, the most thinly disguised. Also, don't use this on a retard, you know, the kind that would ask you, "How is that pronounced?"

5.Fun. Get lucky time, isn't it. Naughty America has every idea of what they're talking about when they tell you to have fun!!

So, i guess I'll be on my way then. And you can thank me for saving you from public humiliation and degradation a bit later. And the next time you eavesdrop on someone saying they had fun, make sure to shoot them a dirty look, that says Fudge off, fcuker. Happy Reading!!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

100 reads, and the commercialization of blogs...

"I never thought I'd get this far."

I am now at the threshold of a 100 reads. 10 articles. You didn't clear the JEE to do this sort of math... but yeah, it is an average of 10 reads an article. Now, most of those have come from me holding a gun to people's heads(only figuratively of course) and telling them to read my blog... but there are some who are actually interested in the sort of crap that spews out of my head at the most inopportune times.

To those, I extend my heartiest thanks(wtf is a hearty thanks anyway?!) and am deeply indebted to you for your support. I am also going to attempt to commercialise my blog a bit. Now before you run around in front of me with a banner saying SELLOUT... I would like to clarify. I am going to use tags to identify my post to some search engines, which would in turn enable more people to read my blogs.

The only sort of advertising that I have recourse to is word of mouth of course. Which is not a bad thing because it puts me in such exalted company as Google...and of course Lehman Brothers... I am also going to use SEO's which stands for Search Engine Optimization technology. Yes, that does mean a few blue lines here and there...akin to Wikipedia...and like wikipedia, completely non-profit. Oh, yeah, please don't compare this to wikipedia.

I am also toying with the idea of introducing a few gimmicks on the site. Like polls. Or images...some sort of multimedia at least(NO..that does NOT include redtube..ffs). Maybe the first poll will be about whether to include multimedia, or not, or should it be about whether to have a poll in the first place. And of course..you can now access this blog at an easy URL:

Happy Reading.

1411...

"Tiger Tiger burning bright. In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" -William Blake

After being criticised about writing blogs that are waaay too long...waaay too wordy(see Dumb: http://between-classes.blogspot.com/2010/02/dumb.html) , and being asked to write about myself, and tigers... yes, in that order... I've decided to get on with it. For starters, I'm keeping the blog long and wordy, see Dumb for further details/abuse. And I am going to write about tigers, and myself, in that order...

Tigers aren't really those man-eating, savage beasts that look for merely the slightest opportunity to go on a rampage killing and eating stuff. No, that would be Godzilla... Now, tigers aren't really the nicest breed of cat there is. No, tom-cat, or lynx for you there. However, just the amount of money that Tigers have generated through revenue from reference in popular culture is unbelievable.I mean, these animals have created a xenophobia. How will you eat yours?

Support the tiger. If only you have ever laughed at Tigger, if you think Sheroo was a hot idea(seriously??). From 20000 to 1411 is a fall rivalling that of the biggest banks and corporate audit companies(Lehman Brothers anyone?). Visit: http://projecttiger.nic.in/
Increase your awareness. And that of others. Spread the word. Tigers are an Indian icon. Don't let them become a legend.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The easiest topic to write on V-DAY, an essay against it...

"Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." -Saint Augustine

This is probably the easiest piece to write on the eve of Valentine's Day, the day after the banning of all things red in Saudi Arabia. In fact, it is just so easy to write a disparaging piece about the so called moral police in the gulf nations, the way that people aren't allowed to have sex with their clothes off( where do I come up with this stuff?! read on...) and of course, the rose growers of Kenya... the who, you ask? Shame on you.

So I have decided NOT to write it. Yes, no angry piece about the upholders of the supreme Indian virtues. No epistles to the moral police of our country. No angry rant about the hitherto dormant political party uprising to quash the extremely immoral Western celebration of carnality which is Valentines Day. No, for once I would like to take the side of the conservative, rather than contemporary. Oh, yes I am one of the saffron brigade, one of the bastions of morality of this country, the paradigm of chastity.So let's begin.

For starters, Valentines day is a western(very bad)tradition. Oh yes, those corrupt western people, want to only fill our mind with filth, dirtiness and incongruous thought about devious lechery. Western people are really baad... just in the same way that a Jew during his train ride to Nuremberg would call a German- really bad... And Valentines day is just another disgusting habit that we Indians have picked up from these western people, just like dustbins and toilet paper. We should get rid of it immediately. And in order to expedite the process, I suggest beating young girls as they exit pubs. Yes in order to make society a better place you sometimes have to break laws. And obviously, violence is the best answer to everything that exudes non-conformity. After all, wasn't it Mao who said, true power comes from the barrel of a gun. Him, and Gandhi are the two greatest national leaders of this century.

Also, I am a firm believer in the fact that couples can ONLY get together during valentines day. After all, wouldn't their parents strongly police them and curfew their movements. After all, isn't right to freedom one of our fundamental constitutional rights?! The freedom to stop perfectly sane adults from meeting, or WORSE, getting caught in "compromising positions"... Hmm, yes, I totally believe in the moral policing of society by the general public. After all, we do need SOME members of the public to stand up, and stop this western(really evil) menace haunting our country.

And of course, once such couples are caught, it only makes sense for them to be married, or declared brother and sister. After all, isn't the love for a boyfriend, or a girlfriend similar to that of a sibling? I ask you, don't people who hang out in malls together deserve to spend the rest of their lives with each other?!!

NO? Well then, I am afraid you are a western(the worst sort of bad) Sympathiser. I should just rip your eyes out, and pour molten lead in your ears. Oh, yes and you are a really evil person, a worshiper of Satan, and an adulterer, promiscuous and vile. SCREW YOU devil worshiper. You western(I've had it with this SHIT) pig!! I will NEVER celebrate the vile Valentines day, because I am a TRUE hindu. Oh yeah, also, I couldn't find a date. If you're a girl could you please call me?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Dumb

"I'm not like them, that can pretend..." - Kurt Cobain, Nirvana

Now this is a response to a comment on facebook that urged me to write blogs in SIMPLE english, and accused me of having the Cambridge Dictionary open in front of me while i wrote my thoughts. So I have decided to dumb down my blogs, for the sake of the (really) average reader. Yes no more of the supercilious language that has characterised my blogs in the past. No more of the ostentatious show of prose that has always been my hallmark. Hell, no more supercilious, or ostentatious or any other fucked up, Cambridge dictionary scanned words in my blogs. Yes, from now on, I will keep it simple, keep it (really) stupid. Simple, cause and effect sentences. "Maharashtra is a state. Trying to be a country. Country bad. India good."

NO more flimsy adjectives to clarify my position either. Oh yes, from now on, every thing is either good, or bad, or confusing...not ostensible or rotund.

And of course my topics would get simpler as well. Like the rain. "I love the rain. I love it because it is so wet,and rainy... and did I mention it has water, falling from the sky." And of course, no more sarcasm. Which means that you would not get to read such sentences as the ones before you. And I would write poetry. Simple rhymes. Following a simple ABAB meter. No more Haiku for you, buddy. And no more...

And as someone once said, when faced with the conquest of China, the advent of nuclear holocaust, and the death of his pet rat... FUCK THIS SHIT. Yes I will continue to write about broad ranging topics. Yes I will continue to write sesquipedalian blogs( that means I would use words like sesquipedalian). And I will continue to use a LOT of fucked up sarcasm in my blogs. So yeah, fuck this shit. And fuck my target audience(that includes you). If you can't understand any of these words, I suggest you open the Cambridge dictionary and look that fucking shit up. Oh and last but not least, let me mention, in the most amicable and unequivocal manner, that i would like you to...shut the fuck up...and read on. Happy Reading.

Visa to Maharashtra....

"Let's make it a separate country...wait for 6 months...then invade and kill all of these so called revolutionaries" -Ankit Singi

"One man's freedom fighter..is another man's terrorist" -Nicolas Cage,Lord of War

If all the states in our country had their way, we might be a Union. Like the European Union, only with infinitely disparate incomes and no social support. Now, the reason why we are still a country is the secularity and tolerance of our forefathers. Gandhi is a name dropped easily in our country. Very few people still follow his ideals, and cult tributes to his name are just for commercial entertainment(Think Munnabhai). Jawaharlal Nehru once wrote an article about the unity of India, stating that what was most perplexing about it was the American viewpoint.

You see, the Americans, at that time wondered if India would not be pulled apart in a thousand different directions, what with all the separate, individual and distinct elements in the country. 60 years on, and things haven't changed much. Gorkhas want Gorkhaland, Telengis want Telengana... everybody wants a piece of the country. Why do they want it? That's a bit more complex. To simplify it however, lets look at the two parameters that make up motivation, money and power. Power is what motivates the Thackerays of our generation. Now I would leave it up to you to decide who the money motivates..

Why don't people realise that it just isn't productive in the long run to alienate an entire group of people based on their ethnicity, language, or religion? Whatever the short term benefits. The world always tends to an equilibrium. The oppressed always get their due. Divisive politics can only win votes for a short while. The end result would surely be a destruction of the very foundations that hold our country together.

Now I don't much like to write about politics. On the grounds that it is not a topic to be written unilaterally on. None of the opinions I express will translate into the opinion of any majority, irrespective of the side that they are on. While the conclusion to Maharastra will only be seen at the turn of this decade, it wouldn't surprise me much if things settle down only after the matter turns sour.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Prodigiously Perfidious.... and the use of meaningless verbosity in blogs..

Okay, well, this is to help me help you somehow contrive not to be one of THOSE blogs. THOSE being a collective noun for ranty, useless, jam-packed with prose that no one cares about blogs. Now there are a lot of guides on the web about how to be a good writer, a prolific blogger, a really good person....President of The United States, or a qualified neuro-surgeon. But i think i might not be exaggerating if I tell you that my advice would be a bit more... realistic. Okay enough with the bullshit. Onto the list I say...(fanfare, and twenty nubile maidens doing cartwheels in my head right now)

1.Don't write about yourself... Now unless you are a neurotic narcissist you shouldn't have a problem with that. Your blog should not be something like... I woke up this morning...god I'm hairy...I ate some stale pizza last night... You get the picture. Unless of course you are a sexy girl with photos to back it up. Then EVERYONE wants you to write about yourself.

2.Take a shit. It's a known fact that most ideas that have been fermenting inside your cranium take concrete shape inside the bathroom. Whether oyu are bathing, or disposing of last night's stale pizza, chances are you will get hit by that stupendous thunderbolt you had been waiting for all week.
Also, I would not recommend this for when you are shaving...any part of your body. It might result in a few razor nicks... or infinitely worse...

3.SEX. Yes, write about your sex life. Only if it exists/is moderately interesting. And well, you will attract the tens of thousands of perverts out there in the world. Which is certainly not a bad thing when you are looking for eyeballs. Oh and make sure to disable commenting... And if you are dumb enough to give your contact details in the blog...

4.Diversify. No one wants to hear the same shit over and over and over again. Yes, not even if you are a hot girl. Trust me on this.

5.Keep it short. Yes, that means you don't start off with,"since brevity is the soul of wit..." and proceed to write a 1500 word essay on brevity. Keep it short, keep it simple and keep it stupid. It will surprise you to know how relevant this is...and about how short an attention span most people have.

Yes, these are the five points that should help you on your way to becoming the prolific blogger that you always imagined yourself to be. Or not. Either way, I say with utmost confidence that this is the definitive treatise on blogging anywhere out in the web today. Or not. Then again, perfidy isn't exactly a detraction from anyone's blog, if you've read between the lines, you'll know exactly what I mean.. ;)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

About the world's oldest profession

“Lots of women tell me I'm their idol.” -Jenna Jameson

People see The Girl Next Door and tell me I am going to be a pornstar. I tell them to do that, as long as I sell their videos.

Lots of people get their first real taste of hardcore pornography after entering college. Its one of the many new things that they are exposed to. Yes, and the expressions on their faces are wide eyed looks of amazement and wonder. And they go like, "So THIS is IT?!!". A fast LAN, a fast internet connection, and an extremely biased sex ratio doesn't really help the moral police out either. We all like watching it. Some are fascinated by it, some are jsut curious, some study it. And of course, for those who are lucky enough at ragging, they get to do a commentary on their choice of porn. Which is hilarious. I mean imagine a cricket match, only with a different sort of wicket...and no balls are not an option! Engineering students don't really help their stereotype when they get addicted to it... and well, in hostels overflowing with testosterone, you can't blame them either.

But there is another side to porn. One that doesn't involve horny engineering students in a morally decadent college. Now prostitution is the OLDEST profession in the world, but porn has been slow to catch up. Eventually, it has turned out to be a huge industry, 57 billion dollars worth of revenue generated in a year. Thats a lot of money when you consider that Microsoft generates about that much, from ALL of its products and advertising. And I am sure most people switch on their computers to work on Microsoft Office, and not to watch porn...err, maybe not...
But anyway, porn has generated many sleeper millionaires if you will...every pun intended of course... Jenna Jameson is a prime example. From selling videos out at a few dollars apiece, she now makes more than 30 mill a year.

The great American dream seems now to be becoming a pornstar. Money,fame, and sex, what else would you want from life?! LA should upgrade its bus service and start buses from all over the country direct to Vivid Entertainment's doorstep.

Well, if you ask me, the smartest people are those who shoot the videos, tell the stars they've done a great job, and then proceed to sell every part of their privacy on the internet...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

3,2,10 and the demise of the Deadline, Engineering, and Promises

"To learn is good, to teach is god" -Modified proverb

Its worrisome that most of my blogs take birth in between classes. It means that I have way too much time to myself... and this, by definition is a bad thing. After all, you know what they say about an idle mind being the devil's workshop. Conversely, this is an indicator of how late the teacher arrived today. However, this is not about the profs who don't turn up for class. I have a great amount of respect for such profs, and most of my favourite profs are those who take a 10 minute lecture in the whole week. I can also say, unequivocally, that I have learnt more from such profs than from those who take 5 hours a week in a course with 3 credits and 3 contact hours a week. However(this is fast becoming 1 of my favourite words, however), this blog is not about such profs as well. This blog is as much about the demise of choice and freedom of expression as it is an eulogy of our venerable education system.

This train of thought started when I met an Israeli man at the station while waiting for my train. The poor soul had turned up 2 hours early for a train that was 3 hours late, and facing a 5 hour wait at the station he turned to a couple of college students going home for the vacations. The train timetable in India will be the subject of another blog though. What struck me as impressive was his knowledge about the country, not about our railways. He asked us what we our major was, and ruefully added, Engineering, right? Now the status of our country as an engineer making factory is not unknown to us Indians, but to hear it from an Israeli?? Israel!! I mean the only things they are in the news for is the Dead Sea and suicide bombings, which is 1 more than India of course. But this started me thinking.

The major institutions of our country are all engineering colleges. The majority of the students of our country are all engineering students. Hell, every second person you bump into on the street is an engineer. India does not get by on its quality of education, the brilliance of its students or the superb course structure and funding of the IITs. No, India gets by, as it has always got by, on sheer volume. When you produce 500,000 engineers each year, its a given that 5 of them will go on and change the world. This would not be a problem. No in fact it is this miniature army of engineers that has given India its current position of...snigger...snigger..Economic Superpower. Yes, India is well expected to overtake the US Economy by 2040. And Indians have the highest IQs. And so on and so forth. To put things into perspective for you, and demolish propaganda, the endowment of Yale, is around 17 billion dollars.And they are, of course second to Harvard, which, if memory serves, has an endowment of 36 bill. The existing annual budget for any IIT, on average, Google tells me, is 222 crore. Thats 2.2 billion rupees. 50 million dollars. Look closely at any government provided stat, fictional or otherwise, and you will see that we are not even close to becoming what projections say we will become by 2050.

So, as it is in our nature, to follow the money, people who have not the first idea of engineering wil continue to teach it. People who have no desire to learn will continue to learn it. All in the hopes of getting a job. Earning, and earning well. And of course, the ubiquitous MBA degree beckons those who are dissatisfied with their current engineering degree. As such, we have created a billion dollar industry, specializing in disillusioning all sorts of people, and creating, to quote Aravind Adiga, a generation of half-baked Indians. 3/2/10 is just a reminder that the countdown to all those promises starting with,"by 2010", is over. We have achieved almost NOTHING of what was projected. And as long as a paradigm shift in attitude and mindset does not occur, which will NOT I am sure, we never will achieve "by 2050", "2100" or whatever number the stats in the newspaper say.

Save Water. Drink Oil.

"Competition is a sin." -John D. Rockefeller

"..and every year we dump a large block of ice into the ocean...except every year the block gets larger...and that's how the problem is solved...forever..." -An Inconvenient Truth

This is a topic that came up this morning. Now I do not know how surprised I should be, conversely how shocked, that I actually managed to find the time to talk about this sort of stuff. But anyway, the only good that came out of the long, protracted discussion was that I managed to get my interest piqued. A cursory flip through wikipedia revealed some information that I had already known the gist of. However, the specifics were overwhelming.

I found it very disturbing. Very Very disturbing. Purely in terms of statistics, the three top Oil and Gas producing companies have a combined revenue that would overcome the GDP of India. And India is the 12th largest country in terms of GDP. These oil producing and processing companies would in fact surpass the economies of many smaller countries, and purely on paper, of course, could buy any of the countries that produce less than Iceland. Iceland!!! Now that's a developed country, rated at no. 3 on the HDI.

Now put that into perspective. Oil is the easiest form of energy known to man. And at the rate at which developing nations are creating industry, and selling automobiles, we aren't getting over our Oil addiction anytime soon. Now I haven't watched the countless number of "green" films that keep getting released every year. I have no patience for that sort of stuff. No that's not strictly true. I have watched An Inconvenient Truth... So the Earth will warm up a bit in 2020. Why the hell should that bother me?? So the Maldives will cease to exist in another 30 years. Big Deal. I'm not much of a beach person anyway. The thing with human nature is that we refuse to allow ourselves to be shaken by anything that might be slightly inconvenient for our brains to process. Wheels that move forward at a very high speed are interpreted by our brains as to be moving backwards very slowly.

So, 7 of the top 10 corporations by revenue generated are oil corporations. Now given the sort of demand, I do not think that this should change anytime soon. Given the sort of business punditry that this blog is certainly NOT, I wont hazard any opinions either way. Except for the one thing that worries me immensely.

Now this might be over-simplified. But I believe that the motivation for everything, that has a large scale implication, is money. If you agree with me, then ask yourself 1 question... If the oil companies make the money, where is the motivation to switch to renewable energy sources. And this would not be such a big deal. I mean, oil companies employ millions of people all over the world. They pay well. I do not begrudge them any of their accreted wealth. However, the only problem is a thermodynamic one. Entropy. And according to Rudolf Clausius, what he said was in German, but the English translation is something like this, "The entropy of the world always increases." This is true, as much as saying something like, the sun shines in the day. And the only exemption to this, the proverbial eclipse if you will, is a reversible process. Burning of oil sure as hell ain't reversible. So I conjecture that any and all damage done, can only get worse. And in the absence of any motivation for us to get our asses off our chairs and mitigate the consumption of oil, the damage will get worse. However useful petroleum and petroleum products might be to us, we are yet to be able to distil water from petrol for our purposes. And since this is the shortage we face in coming times, one of the many I suppose, we should all be prepared to save water, if not to stop guzzling oil.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Nihilists and the Plot to take over the world

An interesting phenomenon that I observed recently is when I bothered to take note of the characteristics of a few of the "bright" students of our esteemed institution. I'm sure many of you will agree, that these "bright" people have the most attitude. Now I wonder if their grades are like a pedestal for their high-nose behaviour, but I believe this may only be a skin deep problem. The real issue is much deeper.

Now for most of us folks, classes are nothing but a sinecure, however pedantic. An excuse to waste time, meet friends, sit next to that girl you like, chat about movies. But the importance of this so called social communion is totaly lost on these so called "bright" ones. Nerds who keep writing every little word that the teacher may let slip, however carelessly. Now I must confess to being a habitual notariser myself, but not in the crazy obsessed manner that these nerds manage to be. One word of class, and they're off like a bullet. One breath of assignments and they're on it before you've reached the -gn part of it. I am sure you must have encountered this species in your classroom as well. The one sticking up for class, when all the rest so desperately want to "mass bunk" in order to play the latest game, or catch up on their sleep.

Now, to be fair, it is important to be sincere in studies...no, that wasn't a joke... it is. And to be fair to nerds, the college couldn't survive if it wasn't for them. Hell, the profs might just decide to hang themselves if the class suddenly found itself devoid of such nerds. However, sil vous plais, why the attitude, monsieur?

When all you have got to your credit is an impressive grade sheet, and hours of sitting at your computer each day, is it wise to be the hero with the oh so suave demeanour, and oh so rude bearing to any and every topic you have not come across on your countless hours of trawling through your laptop?

Its okay to be a nihilist and everything, but would you take over the world armed with your trusty laptop and wielding your mighty Grade Card?

The first step

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" -Chinese Proverb

"A journey to class begins with curses and fruitless hunting for socks" -Modified Chinese Proverb

It seems weird that I would be writing this blog at such an inopportune time. Or that you would be wasting your precious time reading this crap. However, since you have started, and as I have begun, I will sincerely endeavour not to waste your time with meaningless ramblings and instead try and waste your time in a more productive manner. By informing you about the things you never knew or even if you did, never had the curiosity to delve into.

First off, to those who expect a high quality of prose from me, and I am sure your number must be in the high...twos or threes, I must apologise. A keyboard does not suit me as much as a pen, and the computer monitor gives me a headache. Also Blogspot don't seem to hav their spell check working, and so I don't have that leeway either.

Now I have read very few blogs in my short time on the blog sphere. I usually don't have time for such bullshit. But those that I have read have filled me with an intense pejorative feeling for the author's evident narcissism. To cut the crap, I don't like it when people write about themselves in their blog. That's why they made twitter, ffs. Anyway, since I have decided not to write about myself, I must write about something else. And this is where a college life comes in handy. There isn't any dearth of topics to write anything on. Hell, I could start off on the tree outside my room, and go on for hours on the percentage of leaves shed, or the number of squirrels inhabiting it. That's where my second rule comes in: No Bullshit. Not even the sesquipedalian kind.

Those are my only two rules. As the old Occam's razor principle goes, Keep it Simple, keep it stupid. All right. Let's start...