Sunday, July 05, 2009

About Patience, Excitement and my guitar

I am a music freak. In the sense that I wouldn’t know the basic trivia about who’s the singer of that song, which decade, let alone year, that music is from or who composed the music for that movie, but get some good music on, and doesn’t matter which genre or language it is, I can’t stop tapping my fingers to the beat or shaking a leg or two. In fact during engineering, I would always keep some music on before crashing. During this time, most of my friends were learning some kind of music instrument or something. Dhokla, Kaana and Duddu were on to strumming a guitar, Bansi and GP seemed pretty excited about learning drums, Point was always great at getting the beats on our dinner table and you could daily hear Chacha in his room practicing on his violin and was by far the most dedicated among the lot. The only thing I was doing close to learning music was mixing them a bit for our Choreo competitions, or something similar. I loved the guitar, but I was never a very patient man and concluded that there was no way I would be able to sustain an interest in learning to play anything at all. Slowly, quite a few of them started giving up on learning it and I thought, atleast I didn’t waste any money on it.

That was engineering.

Today, 5 years later, I have a jhango guitar (jhango as you would probably not find in any dictionary stands for something that is so weird, funny and outward, all at the same time that you don’t really know what to call it), which is apparently not very good but I wouldn’t know the difference. I call it jhango because it seems like it was an acoustic guitar which was made by a normal guitar company, but went for finishing to a carrom board company and got that cream colored finishing on top of it and a circular design, the kind you find on the centre of a carrom board, a random music and approval sticker to signify that it is capable of making some noise and was shipped to Jamaica where it spent a vacation and getting that blue colored border around it before winding up in the shop where I bought it from.

I got this guitar at a time when I was extremely frustrated that I wasn’t spending any time on myself and decided to buy one guitar, just because I always wanted to buy one. Since that day, I have nearly daily, spent some time on it, randomly strumming or trying out some tune that I would be listening to.

It was during this time that it occurred to me that all this time, I didn’t need to be patient to learn a music instrument, all I needed and which I already had, was excitement. When you really want to try out something, if you’ve got that excitement, you don’t really need patience. Excitement obviates the need for patience.

Just imagine the time you were 10 years younger and were going to Essel World for the first time. When you were standing in line for bumping cars, was it patience that kept you there or the excitement of making sure that you got that red colored number 8 car because it was the fastest and you would easily be able to knock the bajeesis out of anyone and everyone using that machine, muhahahaha!!!

Is it excitement about playing football that keeps you on the field or patience that the ball will eventually be passed to you? (PS: I seriously suggest you quit the game if you picked the latter). It is always excitement that keeps you going.

Patience, I feel, is the quality that keeps you driving even when the excitement about the process or the end result is not sufficient to do so. But then, do you want to still continue anyway? Or maybe when there is a barrier to change, that’s again termed as patience.

That again brings me to a more fundamental question. Is patience a virtue? I have my doubts but I still continue to think of it as one. Mainly because many times it is beyond our comprehension, the eventual effect of the effort that someone is putting into anything. It is like the Connecting the Dots speech by Steve Jobs. It is only looking back that you can connect, rarely going forward.

But I guess I’ll still maintain that excitement obviates the need for patience and if you are excited about something, don’t worry about whether you are in general a patient person or not. You don’t need to be.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And more of some gyaaaaan...

Just finished up reading "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman!'

Surprisingly, by the time I reached the end of the book, it saddened me. At first I thought that it was because the book was so goddamn interesting. I mean, just one person doing all these crazy things. People have their stereotypes about professors and scientists, but from my TIFR experience I know better. They can be among the most interesting people to talk to, but still, learning to play the drums, starting to paint, learning portugesse and spanish and japanese, learning baybylonian mathematics... and all this while also receiving the Noble Prize. His adventures were truly beyond the extraordinary. And there i was initally thinking that I was missing the book.

Didnt take long to realize that it wasnt the book that I was missing.. It was the time to do things that I really wanted to try out. Like learning all the sports that I possibly could, exhausting myself until I collapsed, learning to play atleast some instrument, biking long distances, dirt driving and all that crazy stuff.

I think its an inspiring book if nothing else. One of those that just remind you of something that you already know.


I've read (and also met) people who regularly take these massages at the most fancy places to relieve themselves of all the stress they have had over the week or so. Its such a futile exercise of trying to make right of things that you yourself knowingly made wrong of. I mean, you first you spend time getting yourself into a mess, and then you spend more time trying get out of the mess that you have been building up. Its darn stupid.

This book just reminds you that you are being stupid. And even after you realize that you are being stupid, you continue to be one. I guess thats what saddened me.
Hope I soon put an end to all this stupidity.

Till then, have a great weekend. You are now gonna keep hearing more from me :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keeping Texas weird!!

I'm listening to the song Crash and Burn by Savage Garden and Coming back to life by You know who, its nearly 1:00 am at night and I have a mid-term paper that I need to work on, but as the song goes on.... the moment has arrived... but sadly it goes even faster. So, while writing this weird piece which might not really make any sense at all, at the end of it, it still feels good. It is like singing your favourite song when no one is listening, if you understand what I mean.

Keeping Texas Weird.
It was an attempt by local people to maintain the traditional Austin, the hippy culture of 60s and 70s, the local bookstore at the corner, the weirdness that keeps you more alive, the one that I now miss when I meet up with friends, the one that I remember when I go to the beach and one which is getting more and more difficult to find now.

I liked this idea. It kinda struck a cord somewhere.
Even people I knew to care less about opinion of strangers suddenly seem all to concerned about it.

... its getting dark ....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Humpty Dumpty,

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings horses, and all the kings men....

Well, the U.S treasury is trying its best with bailing out Fannie and Freddie. Now, even the Fed has come up with a packaged loan for AIG (did not know that it was even allowed to give loans to non-banking and non government entities, but I understand that they have a clause saying that they can break the rules when need be. Sounds convenient enough.)

Anyway, hope that this stops atleast one line of dominoes from falling.

Friday, October 26, 2007

An Evil Dark Lord making his "Point"

--- with permission from the Dark Lord, I present to you, the brand new, improved version of our diabolic Dark Lord resurrected back from the infernal flames into his consummate satanic regality, but this time with a fiendish cunning. Heroes beware, the bad just got evil...The Evil Dark Lord ---

Being an Evil Overlord was a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However every Evil Overlord I've read about or seen during my adolescence invariably got overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present...

The Top 17 Things I'll Do as the next Evil Overlord:

1. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

2. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

3. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

4. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

5. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

6. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."

7. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

8. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

9. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

10.I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

11.All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

12.I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

13.If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

14.When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

15.I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

16.If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.

17.My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

Muhaha (keeping it short as mentioned in point 7)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

IITM Information Brochure

-- was cleaning up the now useless piles of paper when i came across my information brochure that I had got when my admission to IITM had been confirmed. It was a welcome book informing us about the various facilities, clubs and all the oppotunities we would find there. In that book of no use to me now, I found this poem/excerpt from Shakespeare's Hamlet. These were the words of advice that Polonius gives his son Leartes as the latter leaves home --

And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!

-- I kept the book back in the closet --

Friday, May 11, 2007

Catch 22 - excerpts

-- picked up the Catch 22 Novel to read the last few pages again--

Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.

-- another --

A distant warm look entered Major Danby’s eyes. "It must be nice to live like a vegetable.", he conceded wistfully.
"It's lousy." answered Yossarian.
"No, it must be very pleasant to be free from all this doubt and pressure,” insisted Major Danby. ”I think I'd like to live like a vegetable and make no important decisions."
"What kind of vegetable, Danby?"
"A cucumber or a carrot."
"What kind of cucumber? A good one or a bad one?"
"Oh, a good one, of course."
"They'd cut you off in your prime and slice you up for a salad."
Major Danby’s face fell. "A poor one, then."
"They'd let you rot and use you for fertilizer to help the good ones grow."
“I guess I don’t want to live like a vegetable, then”, said Major Danby with a smile of sad resignation.

-- These were among the best paragraphs in the book. Lovely book. --