Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Lit club

This morning it feels kinda surreal.

That is one sentence that sums it up. Now, contrary to your expectations (or lack of them, dear reader) I shall not launch into a series of senti speeches about so and so members of the Literary club and the profound impact they have had on my life. Indeed, the impact that they might have had on my life, or conversely I might have had on theirs is miniscule. The only reason why this is significant is because I have always been able to have the outsiders view on this club all the time. And judgemental and parochial as I am( or as most people would have me be), I have formed certain opinions about them.

The first, and easiest observation to make is the abundance of talent within this community. Parenthetical interruptions aside, these people are some of the most talented people that I have ever known. These guys are GOOD. I have known most of them to set such lofty targets for themselves so as to be considered beyond the reach of the average mortal, and then manage to achieve them without breaking into sweat. Some of them are underrated, and some underestimated, but each one is a creative tour de force. We need such people to lead our country into the birght future that our newspapers cannot seem to stop talking about, but mostly, we need such people to remind ourselves of the sort of potential that we have in our engineering colleges and in our country.

Anyway, reverting to BHUspeak (as opposed to BHUkamp, which is really not that great an idea) enough of the fatte. The lit club is home to some of the biggest bakchods in the college, and you know it's you I'm talking about. Yes YOU. Whether we're being pedantic, stupid or lugubriously disinteresting we can go on and on about absolutely nothing. As a result, we at the Lit club pride ourselves on being the most high quality bakchods out there. While other, more mundane people may talk about girls and gadgets, we talk about girls and much better English, and in much more refined terms (no maal or londiya in our vocabulary). The Lit club also seems to have a lot of entertainment poking genteel (as opposed to gentle) fun at other people. A hazardous occupation at the best of times it has to be said, but we always seem to get away with it.

As brevity seems to be the soul of wit, I shall not stretch your patience any longer, dear reader. I have not been able to pay fitting tribute to the Lit Club, nor will I ever be able to. I can just thank all of you for having me along for the journey, and say honestly that I have loved these five years with you people. Some of the best, most creatively engrossing, most intelligent and most talented people are present in this little niche that we have managed to create for ourselves, and I can promise you that most of the names written on my Coffee Mug will be marquees in the years to come.

And about the coffee mug, it might probably be the most lasting impression of IT-BHU that I will have. Thank you for it, and I shall treasure it always.

It feels even more surreal after writing this, but I guess I have yet to come to grips with the fact that I am leaving this place. Good luck, everybody, and thanks for all the memories, and as Arnold Schwarznegger never said...

I hope I'm back..

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Ides of March

Well, it's only the second post for this month, and pretty much the last post I am going to make (yes, I seem to have gone from prolific, to rather useless in the short span of a few years). Anyway, when you write a blog post in March, about the post apocalyptic decline of a certain political party that you hated in the first place, the title seems, rather apropos. It was probably around the time that Kapil Sibal said that the JEE was about to go (right along the lines of the Class X board exam and Freedom of Speech) that most of the kids around India decided to sit up and say,"This shit's got to go."

And it has gone. Imploded in fact, to such an extent that cars are being set afire in UP by the people who have actually won the elections. Presumably they are happy. Most likely they are frustrated, or were, at least until recently. Anyway, it is now news that the Congress party has been shot in the foot, mouth, and private parts. But to what avail, would be a good question to be asked by the people of India. For you see, most people in India would be wise to be a little bit circumspect about the entire issue. The Congress party was not the root of all evil plaguing our country, it was merely the face of it. And Kapil Sibal was its rather moronic pinata. Sadly, this country has a long way to go before anything will change for the better, and UP has absolutely nowhere to go, it won't change at all.

But, hey, let us not ignore the power of positive thinking on this one. Yeah, there are so many reasons to rejoice, not least if you are a member of the Samajwadi Party, bhaiya..

1. At least we don't have Vladimir Putin in our country. At least we are ruled by Sonia Gandhi, the Italians always were a bit generous. And they won the war, or did they??

2. Most likely, and this is a big big leap of faith, the education system in our country will be restored to (kindof) normal, and Kapil Sibal will be shot.

3. This one is indubitable, we will not have any more elephant statues in the countryside, not that they weren't pretty of course.

4. The corruption in our country will occur in a manner so as not to be made daily news of, we won't get to know about it at all, which is a BIG relief

5. Facebook will FINALLY be free of all those idiotic Manmohan-Sonia jokes and whatnot, as a result we might actually be able to focus on our studies..or stalk girls..

But hey, what difference does it make. We'd still be the picture of a happy, prosperous, educated India, till some Samajwadi Party hooligan shoots us in the head at least.

Baba Black Sheep

While this curiously titled post may have something to do with black sheep, Harley Davidsons or even Rudyard Kipling, I’m sorry to disappoint you, dear reader, by saying that I will focus on neither of the above. In fact, as I am sure the literary geniuses (and aren’t there many these days) among you must have figured out already, this post is in fact about another species of sheep, humans. Let’s face it, Plato was correct when he said most humans are stupid. We tend to ignore this basic fact about ourselves, but we are, in fact, very very stupid. All of us need to take a long hard look at ourselves, and if possible, slap each other twice on each cheek before gibbering like orangutans.

But that is beside the point.

The point being, that since humans are so stupid, they need other humans to tell them what to do. So in your school, you had your principal and in your college, you had your dean and in your job you had your boss, and at your home you had a succession of parents, spouse and kids, in that order. But that is not significant either. Because all of those have been obligations, and ones you could not safely ignore. I mean, very few people have the guts or the brains to tell their parents to simply leave them alone. In that case, it isn’t so much about free will being the victim as it is about common sense being replaced by that unctuous sense of responsibility.

What is avoidable, what makes a victim out of free will, is the now ubiquitous baba. And these are the people who can now don saffron and presume to tell you what exactly you should do with your life. They have all sorts of popular names, some even portmanteau names that can lead to many sorts of acrostic permutations. Irrespective of all of this, the one uniting factor among all of them, is that they are presumptuous enough to tell you exactly what it is you should do with your life. In order to lend their opinions- and, let’s face it, the biggest certificate they have is the testimonials of their millions of followers- any credence they must convince you of their greatness.

And this is where methods vary, often spectacularly, some resort to vile calumny while others prefer common sense advice and deep breathing to induce some sort of placebo effect. But where things get interesting is when they use scientific/ quasi scientific methods in order to convince you that there are in fact things such as impurities in the blood and little green gremlins inside the head. And let’s face it, Indians more than anyone are susceptible to all sorts of subterfuge. We are a people of extreme optimism and very limited rationalism, and if anyone asks us to do what Krishna would do, we would go ahead and do it without even pausing to consider exactly which Krishna did what.

In the end, it is the faith and belief of a billion people that blinds them to the consequences of their actions. But then again, who are we to question them or their beliefs. The only reason I can think of doing so is because one day all of this might prove tremendously dangerous, just as blind faith usually does. Sadly though, none of the people so blinded by faith would ever realize how dangerous it might eventually prove for them. So we end up with a non sequitur and a lasting regret on the failure of rationalism to actually change anything.

Oh well, might as well get some chanting done.