March 29, 2002

Take Flight

Love evokes a strange kind of response in most of us. Everyone [including myself] is scared of their own capacity to love and care for others.

We hold it captive in different prisons of judgement, expectation and definitions.

Most intelligent men look down on the rest, knowingly or unknowingly, as incapable of such a higher/purer form of thought/feeling and build more sophisticated walls around themselves.

Fear of hurt is what drives it. We all are scared.

Too scared to even realise that the fear of losing what we have in this moment in the next moment takes even the present moment away from you.

Losing hurts. It cannot be justified at all.

But, you move on.

The stakes are much higher, now that you know what it feels like to lose.

Then why play at all?

Having had to let go of the person who showed me what I really am, just because of the values that made me myself, the irony and the hurt is cruel.

Still, I am running headfirst into more ironies, realising fully the consequences.

But, when I fly with these newly acquired wings of mine, I am invincible.

A while later the same wings shall fail me.

But, the flight is maddening, an addiction incomparable; The inevitable fall follows soon.

One day it will all be terminal.

Why all these risks then?

I'd rather live just a few years, flying higher and falling harder each time, than to spend a lifetime on the ground too scared to fly.

If you excuse me, I see a strong head wind coming my way.

Perfect conditions to fly.

March 28, 2002

Collabrative Blogging ctd..

Okay, I tried my best to get the gist of the comments that have been flowing in the post regarding the collaborative blog idea and failed miserably so I am putting up the truncated version of the comments before I post my thoughts.

Atul: I am interested in discussing and refining it further. My idea of a collaborative blog would be something like metafilter or something like sulekha hopper with more focus on links to other stuff and commentary/discussion by the community. But then I would like everyone else to contribute ideas and change, refine and find out how we can make it more interesting and sustainable.

Anand: My idea was not something like www.metafilter.com .. You need a PHP/ASP backend for running sites of that kind. Mine was a much more simpler idea. Something more like a magazine or a collection.

Since all seem to agree more or less, can we now discuss how it should look like ? If we can come to some conclusion before the weekend, maybe I can design a site during the weekend.

Few of the things he has suggested are given below:

• Name: What should it be called?
• archive
• tabbed with a single tab for each of us. having links to the best articles on our site.
• magazine.
• monthly if possible.
• one *new* article per person on the same topic.
• editorial.
• newsblog.
• poll.
• monthly polls.
• links to all Indian bloggers : both inside and outside India.
• discussion board like in metafilter.com, only to be used when the preferred method making a new post is not possible due to various constraints.

Anita: good idea. i think we can do something like the blogtank idea, but on a smaller scale. i think we should stick to one post per person per month, which we can all discuss collectively and come up with some sort of story. we won't be able to use a comments system, but something more sustainable. can you check out blogtank.radiopossibility.com. we should keep it small to begin with since all of us have limited time, but i think it will be a good way to get all of us Indian bloggers together. someone who is good with the tech stuff can look into the design, hosting etc.

She responds to Anand's suggestions in the following manner:

• Name: let?s ask everyone to come up with 3 ?4 suggestions, make a list and then vote on the best
• Archive: Yes
• The articles should be reproduced in full [that should also take care of linkrot, but will take more space on the host - CL]
• Magazine: I don?t think we force anyone, but one should be okay for everyone. Who decides a topic? Or do we all write on different topics? Also same topic might not be required if we have threads following our posts. We should all write on different topics. Where do these get archived? Who archives these articles?
• All members should be allowed powers to post, edit, but I think there should be one overall in charge of content and one in charge of tech issues, else it will get out of control
• newsblog/poll/monthly polls: I don?t think so as we do a lot of this on our own sites? what do the others think?
• links: a members page and have links to our individual sites from there
• discussion board: Not required, if no 2 can be implemented

floatingcreeper: I really like the idea of a magazine.. or probably more of a newsletter. It will also involve a good out-of-the-electronic-box activity, which we hardly have these days. what say ?

Could we crystallize our intention into a name, to begin with ? How is "Thought Marquee" for it ? { I would have loved it for a blog name! }

FC's pointers:

• We have been doing the web-stuff always.. why don't we try the magazine/newsletter stuff itself ?
• We could take turns on who does a particular issue and he will be the in-charge of that issue. Let us mail copies to subscribers (ha! sounds great na? funds?)
• Should we have this thread in e-mail ?




So the gist of it is a resounding yes from everyone. The only issue is what is it going to be and how do we go about it.

If you ask me, let us forget two issues for the time being, one being money and the second being the name. I firmly believe that so long as you can define what you are doing and what is being done is worth the effort and everyone's time the money should not be an issue. But before that is done it is pointless in talking money. First the basic framework needs to be worked out then the name can be figured out, after all what is a name without something to go with it?

All of this is done on borrowed time. That being the case, we should move ahead only taking in the minimum common sustainable denominator as the index and gradually moving it a notch up a time, unless if we can find a person who can devote a majority of his/her time to running/maintaining the show. With that in mind, I think the best way to start is to make an experimental mailing list and see how far we get. That should be a good test as far as the longevity of enthusiasm is concerned.

One thing to remember is to avoid bringing on the pressures of compulsion into the enterprise. The whole blogging experience is beautiful just because of the lack of compulsions. Bring it under any constraints and you take all of that away along with the quality of the discourse and writing.

Why not this thread in e-mail? Mm.... The main reason is that all this is way beyond my league. I honestly feel that the best way I can contribute is to pool in with my suggestions than to lead from the front at least as far as this is concerned. Anyone who can take care of all this idea in a better manner please feel free to do so.

I know I might be coming across as a tad unenthusiastic, but that is just me :-)

Bring it on folks.

March 27, 2002

Riddle

You refine it further and further till it becomes nothing � a state where any given thing is at its purest.
The joy of collaborative blogging!

Anand has been corresponding with me via e-mail for a while now on a nice idea that he came up with.

This is what he had to say:

“Why don't we start a central archival site specific to Indian bloggers as such, where we put the best of our previous articles ? In addition to that, maybe we can bring out a monthly magazine whereby all of us can write on a particular topic. One article in a month may not be an overload on your current workload and it will be interesting to see how you, Syl, Nidhi, Ashok, Anita, Charvaaka, Prabu etc etc tackle the same problem from different angles. It might lead to interesting and active debates and end up driving more visitors to the personal sites to get more of the same.”

“.....one article a month may not be much of an overload .. Normal magazines have the problem of design, layout and all the additional programming required .. In ours, content is the only thing that matters. Come to think of it, even a *new* article is not required. Every month each of one of us can pick at least one of his/her best blogs ( at the most three ) and put that up for greater focus, readership and debates ... I am not thinking of archiving every post.. I am thinking of archiving the best posts.”


I guess he deserves more than the half-hearted retorts that I have been sending back to him. What do you all think about the idea?

March 24, 2002

Insomnia

My Forbidden Face - A Bit old considering the fact that even the escape from Kabul by the Taliban is history by now. But the old story of the time when they took over Kabul, said form the viewpoint of a young girl, makes for some moving reading. There is no politics or ideology here, just the account of someone losing her right to live freely as what she is.

I know all of you love me dearly, so please please please buy this book, The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962, and send it to me. Good lord I am on my knees begging and pleading, put and end to my misery please.

Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is.

That is an extract from the book. It is lovely right? Does it not tempt the life out of anyone to get a copy for me!

And yes, I am definitely hooked to Guardian's book site. Bah, sue me!

March 22, 2002

Professional Blogs: Heh!

Reasons why I will not pay for Andy Sullivan's blog [on second thoughts I think I can say I will not read too]

• Someone ought to tell him about what a paragraph break means and how it can be used to make reading a bit better.
• He does not know where to stop it seems. Maybe his lack of para tags also represent his thought stream
• I the catholic, me the Catholic and Myself the Catholic
• Presumes that Dubya has something similar to what most humans can claim to possess as intelligence
• Hustler.com, cheap and instant thrills sans the pretension of being conscientious

Andrew Sullivan recently claimed to have broken even with his 'begging bowl' [to borrow his expression] weblog. Among other holier than thou posts he is also responsible for the blogger manifesto.

March 21, 2002

I told you so

Not a nice way to start the day. First up in my mailbox as soon as I get to work is a mail from Yahoo! containing the following:

Effective April 24, 2002, Yahoo! Mail will no longer provide free POP3 Access or Auto Mail Forwarding to Yahoo! Delivers subscribers.

I have been using the free POP3 access from them for a couple of years now and will sorely miss it. I had speculated on this a while back in an earlier post and I am not very happy about the fact that I have been proven right.

The move, I guess, is part of the radical restructuring that the new CEO Terry Semel has started out on, to turn the company around. From the looks of it he is getting somewhere, if reports like this are to be believed.

Yahoo! has a very unique problem on its hands. It enjoys excellent credibility and popularity among its loyal users, but it simply has no idea how to turn all that goodwill into a sustainable and sizeable revenue stream.

Still, the way the company is going about it does not look very convincing to me. It smacks of someone trying to cash in on the trust that it has made over all these years. Something on the lines of "now that we have done all the hard work, it is time to fleece".

The advertised rate of of $29.99 per year just for getting POP3 access is just plain ridiculous. For that much money you can decent hosting with at least 5 e-mail ids at a more than average hosting company.

Right now Mr Semel's problems are hardly of any consequence to me. All I know is most people use my Yahoo address to contact me and it is going to be at least another six months before I plan to get my own hosting and domain.

So gotta go now folks. I have a few people to notify of my mail address change and yes it is time to empty all my folders at Yahoo.

I have a feeling before long we shall see them exiting the free service arena in its entirety.
To the Blogsisters

I have a feeling this is going to be the next bombshell on the blog scene and it is not going to be pretty the way it is going to end. The basic issue has been acted out countless times in various channels of communication like IRC and other forms of chat before. Yessir I am talking about the Blogsisters [BS].

Maybe it is the lack of coherence in what is being said about itself or maybe it is because a lot of the time is spent in trying to say what it is supposed to be about that is creating all the problems. A classic case of the message itself making for most of the noise, oops!! there goes the signal drown the drain with all the noise, to borrow some communication theory jargon.

This point is proven by the bare fact that most of the posts on the page defend themselves for what they are standing up for or are responding to flamers on other blogs. There are so many different variety of "what we are" on the blog that one could almost rename it as what_i_think_blogsisters_is.blogspot.com.

I guess the whole problem is with branding it as a women thingie. Going through the blog once one can make out that it means different things to different people.

The most original and genuine of the statements that I can agree with on what it is all about has been made by Christine Eliese in this way [the complete post]:

I?m not a writer; I?m a visual artist.

I?m not a feminist; in fact, I heartily disagree with much of what contemporary feminism stands for.
I?m not a techie; I barely know enough HTML to keep from screwing up my own weblog on a daily basis.
I?m not politically correct or on the cutting edge, I?ve tried to be and it just isn?t me.


Most of the issues she has cited in the against bit is very honest and true and as far as I can see the place simply is finding it tough to live up to what she wants it to be.

Below are a few pointers on what I feel have gone wrong:

The sister bit could have been easily avoided and the same applies for the "Where men can link but can't touch" bit. This has resulted in a gung-ho attitude, which I guess is totally unintended leading to some real unwanted attention. The result being the rebuttals that has made it look like a forum for responding to the flames that have been posted elsewhere. My point being why all the attitude if it is not about that and where does the fun bit go once it becomes such a forum?

What does the place really stand for?. Anita, has tried her best to group all that is being said about BS and again one opinion varies from another. I think the best way to solve the whole issue is to put up some kind of manifesto or an agenda to what it stands for by one of the founders and they story should not be carried on any further.

Jeneane Sessum says that the reason for the existence of the blog is that women are overlooked in most blogs when it comes to link exchange and witty comments. As far as I can see, this reflects the way the world exists.

BS, I can assure you, will not change that.

In fact, it will achieve the straight opposite effect of making an informal rule that women bloggers cannot hold their own anywhere else. I agree it is not easy, in fact this has been discussed to great lengths before on Kuro5hin [Damn good read]. But I have a feeling this is not the way to go about it.

A blog does not change the world, only real people acting as individuals [or humans should I say] not held back by the constraints of caste or sex or race with a real urge to make things better for themselves can achieve that. Anything short of that is just pretence or I shall use my favourite word -- a delusion.

Anyway, I do not think being gutsy in a safe corner does not speak loads about being independent and equal if that is what BS is all about. According to Merriam Webster the word equal means: : Like in quality, nature, or status, like for each member of a group, class, or society.

By that definition, feminism as defined by the BS concept fails. You have to fight it out in a common group to be an equal in the first place. The moment you segregate yourself to a comfortable corner you are immediately discriminating against yourself. At the end of the day the male dominated blogs are still there doing their thing, all you are doing is to sprout another discriminatory system.

The other reason of having a good time together is more understandable. But it would look a great deal more convincing if the women's liberation thingie is left alone.

If that is the case all I can say to the blogsisters is that ignore the flamers, go out and do your thing. And please do not make it a flame back forum for all the criticism that it has received and will keep on receiving. It is a good damn good idea if that is what it is, but do not let some gung ho message drown the basic idea with which it was started -- to have fun!

All the best

March 20, 2002

Fear

One really scary thought: What if I were to run out of time to learn/read as much as I want?

The problem is that even if I were to live a million years and read all the 24 hours in every single day of that time, I would still be very pissed with death for not taking his time in turning up at my doorstep.

Very scary and irritating.
Imposter

Till date I held this strong belief that people who make anonymous comments anywhere on the Net as the worst kinds of wimps out there. But yesterday that opinion changed and now I know there is a worse segment of people out there who comment in another person's name.

The comment in question was made on a post on Syl's blog. I was online for a while on Sunday, the time when the imposter had made the post and had browsed the blog on that day. But I distinctly remember not being able to come up with anything [not even the regular inane stuff] and just left without commenting.

On Monday when I went back there, I was surprised to see a new comment made in my name and was flabbergasted to say the least. Instead of ranting my head off in response to that comment, I mailed Syl explaining the situation to her and asked if she could log into Yaccs and send me the IP address of the imposter, which she graciously did.

This is what the whois results on the IP address looks like:

whois -h whois.apnic.net 203.199.74.32


inetnum: 203.199.74.0 - 203.199.74.127
netname: JASUBHAIMMI
descr: ISP link in Mumbai -- JASUBHAI
country: IN
admin-c: IA15-AP
tech-c: VT43-AP
mnt-by: MAINT-VSNL-AP
changed: ip-admin@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in 20010613
source: APNIC


As the results show, the IP block is owned by Jasubhai Multi Media in Mumbai and unless if someone has hacked into their proxy server/intranet, the person who made the comment did so knowingly. How can I be sure? All the commenting systems use cookies to remember the details of the last comment made[name, e-mail etc]. Since the IP address shows that the person who made the comment was in Mumbai [where I was not at that time] and in an office where I have never been, it would mean that he/she had to copy-paste the details.

I do not know what the intention of this person was and I frankly cannot understand why would someone bother so much. There is no way to stop this and other than for the person who owns the blog, there is no way for anyone else to figure out if a comment is from a person whom he/she claims to be. All I can hope is that this is all just a mistake.

UPDATE [Wed, Mar 20]: Whoever the loser that has been upto the nasty business of masquerading as me has been at it again with this sicko comment on Syl's blog.

This leaves me with just one option: To stop making any comments there. It is sad, but that is the only way I can stop being mistaken for someone who does not have the guts to make comments in his own name. So, any more comments that you see on her blog from now on will be not made by me if it carries my name, e-mail and so on. At least until I carry another update here telling you that it is indeed me.

Have some shame whoever you are.

March 19, 2002

Reflection

Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at anything


This is how Casca is described in Julius Caesar

There was a time when I used to identify myself with the above lines when I was in school. Now I cannot help but laugh at myself and the idea, what a piece of juvenile waste! How life changes, how you change. Can't you hear the hollowness in my laughter?

March 16, 2002

For Wackkky

First of all let me say thanks to this wonderful woman, Wackkky, whom I know only by her chat handle, for caring enough to keep a very little promise that she had made to me a long time back. The odds of her stumbling on this thanks is almost as good as zero, still no matter how small it was, it is a gesture that means a lot to me. So thanks again.

I ran into her on one of those wild days when I was spending extraordinarily long hours at work and had taken to chat as a way to keep my sanity intact. She was not even a novice on chat, just a curious passerby who had lots on her hands already. Her lack of chat etiquette made for an interesting start and as the nightly conversations started becoming a regular feature, I discovered the same madness in her that often secludes me in a remote unreachable corner even at times when I am with the best of my friends.

I know scant little about her. All I knew was that she worked for some kind of an NGO jet setting between cities on weekends lugging along her laptop from Raipur to Rome, was based in the same city as I am and she loved all the places I love here. I do not know her name or where she exactly she stays or what exactly she does for a living. In fact I do not even have her e-mail id nor do I have her on the MSN or Yahoo messengers. The only common thread was the madness, the same fascination for the places that we have both been to and the power of dreams.

I loved talking away to glory and so did she. We yapped nights away about our favourite joints in JNU, talked like little children about the simple beauty of starry nights, recollected the same mushy old songs that we liked, all the wild places which I dream about where she has been to countless times. And we also fought royally over things as weird as to how contemporary economics was a pure waste of time [for the record: she was against that line of thought]. We were two hopeless romantics out of sync with time and space, caught in stream of red coloured letters dealing in dreams, some that had bloomed others that had gone sour, on an unsigned Java applet window.

It all came to an end sometime in late September 2001. She just disappeared. In the process, she violated the only deal that we had. It was not a promise to reveal who she was or even meet for real, even though being in the same city we might have passed each other a thousand times and still not recognised [life is strange indeed!] each other. The deal was that eventually when we got bored of each other or get caught up in something else that would not leave either of us enough time to talk like we used to, we would say a proper goodbye before disappearing. What happened was precisely the opposite of that.

Having been on the chat scene for long enough I know that these things hardly matter. It is a make believe world, you can be anyone from the ghost of Indira Gandhi to JFK reborn so long as you can talk smart and talk fast. Anyone can look up a map of Paris, read about it in Expedia and fib about it on a grand scale and of course there is nothing that Google cannot tell you about. But somehow I always held it that she was not one of those kinds.

Since then I have almost become totally de-addicted of chat. I hardly ever go in there other than for old time's sake. But every time I have done so there has always been this nagging thought of what became of her. There was always this half expectation that she would pop up one day and say "Sorry that I disappeared like that".

Yes, I was worried a bit, it was so unlike her to not keep a promise and disappear like that. But then it could also have been a grand dream that I had. No one else knew her, I had no other contact with her. The fickle promise of a final goodbye to a total stranger does nott carry much accountability with it, right?

In the past few months I had almost completely given up on her. After all how long can one hold on to frail memories red coloured words and sentences? Infrequent was an understatement as far my chat visits were concerned and gradually I filed her memory under some vague category labelled as "Unresolved", with lots of other trinkets I had collected over the years.

A few days back I was having a lean day and was in no condition to blog or read [my two favourite activities now]. So I decided to take a peek in the old chatroom. The Java client took a while to fire up and in the regular room there was just one or two familiar faces. The usual hi, hello deal ensued.

Suddenly, someone with a nick I have never seen before private messages me asking if I was the same person who used to talk to someone called Wackkky. At that moment I almost had tears in my eyes for someone kept a simple promise, one that means precious little to the world, but a whole lot to me. More importantly, she did not let down the trust I had in her. You can call me mad for expecting so much from a stranger, but then that is what I am.

As it transpired, the person who messaged me was a real world friend of her's, whom she had entrusted to dig me out and let me know what happened to her. As I was off chat by then he had spent a good 3 months looking like an idiot asking around every night if they knew someone by the nickname I held.

What had happened was that Wackkky lost her father, almost at the same time that I had talked to her last, and became a totally changed person. From him I got to know that she had lost most of her cheerfulness and her mad optimism, which was almost magical. Sometime later, she ran away to Rwanda where she was rediscovering herself among the starving children and the refugees, presumably with some NGO, I was told.

So, this is for you, the woman I knew as Wackkky. That goodbye meant a lot to me and wherever you are, I hope that you are at peace with yourself and happy at your heart.
rip.off.yahoo.com?

As we all know Yahoo! provides some of the most excellent services on the Net and that too for free [won't say that about their messenger which has been having horrible problems staying connected behind proxies socks, http or whatever else]. So, when they offer you a paid solution, you cannot be faulted for expecting the world and more from them. But sadly that is not the case as it seems.

Sometime last month, like so many others who host their sites for free at Geocities I too got an e-mail from Yahoo! explaining that they are shutting down FTP access for the free sites at Geocities. Fine, that is very much understandable. Anything free is a privilege and not a right as far as the user is concerned, if you want cribbing rights PAY UP!!

As I read on I stumbled upon something interesting. When you take up the paid services option, the best Yahoo! offers you is a $19.50 pm package with a one time set up fee of $25. So, you pay approximately $500 in a year for a shitty list of features: Single domain, 100 MB of space, PHP, .htaccess, 25Gb of monthly bandwidth and a few more knickknacks.

Compare this with someone like Cornerhost [Ev's home]. Agreed, it is something of a mom and pop operation. Still $20 pm offers you a much better list of features that include: 250 MB disk space, 3GB monthly bandwidth, CGI/PHP, 2 MYSQL databases, and unlimited domain hosting. The story get even better if you decide to host with someone like Pugmarks who for Rs 20, 000 per year offers you 100 MB disk space, 1 GB of traffic, unlimited FTP data transfer, MYSQL, PHP, and other bells and whistles.

Most of Geocities sites are hosted at the Santa Clara facility of Exodus, which is where Pugmarks is also hosted. Even if you assume that Geocities have co-located boxes at Exodus, the chances are that the support that one is going to get from a firm who is primarily not a hosting company is going to be not very good. Besides they are serviced by the same support personnel who have physical access to the server.

No, I am not making the case for Pugmarks or anyone else here. What I am getting at is that when Yahoo! could have provided such a world class free hosting service, why should it be slack in the case of a service where the customers actually pay? What it looks like to me in the end is that Yahoo! is trying to cash in on the good name that its free services have been known for and in its place we are being offered less than mediocre paid services. If this is the direction that their mail and other services are going to take, then it is high time that I go looking for my own hosting and domain.

Off topic links

Ten things I hate about flash by Wendy Grossman
Journalism and Information Filters

March 14, 2002

Strange

This is really funny, but most of the people whose blogs I have come across are Web designers. Scan through most sites/blogs and you will end up with a line that says somewhere "I design web sites for a living". I am not a web designer [I do design a bit, but that is not how I earn my living] even though my work involves a fair bit of html hacking. Another funny observation, most of these 'designer' sites are paranoid of using a bit of colour. It is pure white all over and yes! the dotted/dashed border [pot calling kettle black eh? ;-)]

On a related note, I really really hate those blogs which have just a tiny textarea like window to show their content. These people do not seem to realise that most of the readers will not come back again and again to ogle at the beauty of the design.

It is the content that matters and so long as you do not give it the display that it deserves it is really shooting yourself in the foot. Besides CSS/Layers are a sticky issue as far as browsers are concerned with different implementations in different versions of the same product. So if your content gets mucked up by the CSS you are in a lose lose situation. So use CSS, but in non mission-critical areas ;-)

When am I ever going to get paid for extreme self indulgence such as this? This, also from the SXSWBlog site reminded me of the old BBS with a nice touch of a sense of humour.

I am hovering somewhere in the region of extreme mental/physical exhaustion, which is the reason why there are not many updates here. Situation is not expected to get better in the near future. Will have to make/find time for this in some other way. Well it is 6:50 am, I have been sitting for 11 hrs straight now. Have to head out for home and catch some shut eye. Some other time.

ps: Doors - Come on baby light my fire on telly. Nice way to end my day, and yep need some lighting too badly, I am really outta fire now :-)

March 10, 2002

Linkraking

Was surfing around on the Net wildly, being Sunday and my day off there was no work pressure to spoil the show. So I indulged a bit and came upon a few of my favourite writers.

It has been a long time since I had read anything on Hanif Kureishi. He is gulity of being extraordinarily gross with some of his works that falls into the pulp genere. But I have to admit some of his works like My son the fanatic has a touch of class to it. Even his grossness can be seen as surrealism put in a crude way. Here is Guardian's take on him.

There's something anodyne about even his best work; it has the cerebral coldness of a crossword or mathematical puzzle. This is the way the Guardian chooses to describe Julian Barnes. And I cannot agree more. Barnes essentially is someone like Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame, both having the common thread of extreme self indulgence producing real quality material.

After Black Hawk Down and countless other jingoistic crap in the shadow of 9/11 this was just waiting to happen. Yes, according to Hollywood and Mel Gibson Vietnam [We Were Soldiers] was a just war and poor yanks were proudly dying for their country. Blargh!

Fifteen Sexual Spaces Recalled Good take :-)
Goodnight

Was just about to leave for home at 6:00 am after work when [V] happened to play one of my all time favourite songs.

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you built within
Come tumbling down, and a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You're safe from the pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of illusion, can you realize
Your dream's alive, you can be the guide but...

I will be watching over you
I am gonna help to see it through
I will protect you in the night
I am smiling next to you....in Silent Lucidity


From Silent Lucidity by Queensryche

March 08, 2002

Hope

After all the depressing stories of the madness that has been going on for the past few days, this one, brings a smile back on my face and hope too.

March 07, 2002

Train#2626

I can never escape this urge to pack everything and run. The feeling always persists that you are just a guest wherever you are, at any given moment in time. You always belong elsewhere than where you are at that time. Where is that elsewhere? I have no clue, maybe I shall never know.

It is never consistent as to why this urge is there. At times it comes with an escapist tinge, but most times it originates from the boredom of life being predictable. There is a wanton worthlessness that accompanies it.

The only consistent thing in it is the return to the place where you started, which is the feeling. Once there, there remains no point to be proven. No one to be made proud of. No individual pursuits. But you are always there, which means there is no point in it anyway.

All that remains is me the traveller with my only baggage of a bunch of questions. The only answer that one ever gets to is that, there is no answer.

In those moments I feel like a lonely ghost talking to himself.

Ever since I was a child I had this great fascination for train journeys. Even now, one of my most favourite series ever is Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys of the World. Somehow trains have always been special for me.

India is a beautiful experience as far as train journeys are concerned. But other than the beauty aspect of it, I feel that most people who love trains have a commitment problem. It is a strange explanation but is one that holds true, at least for myself. You are a certain kind of an escapist if you love train journeys.

There is a strange guarantee about it. Even on the longest journeys there is the assurance that you do not have to put up with anyone for more than a maximum of three or four days. Staring out of the window I can catch a glimpse of countless lives that are in progress, while they cannot even feel my existence. In a funny way this amounts to a total lack of responsibility.

Once at the destination, armed with the pleasing knowledge that you will most probably never meet them again in your whole life, you part ways with the cosy acquaintances that have been made. I have a stolen a glimpse of their lives from them, while nothing has been given by me. In short, a brilliant deal.

Back in the city every time you happen to glimpse a train the urge comes running back to you. It is a certain high that cannot be explained.

Before you know it you are back at the station, it is another day, another journey, another set of people to make friends with and part again.

You know the destination, the route and the journey. The overwhelming sense of deja vu one gets then is almost cruel. Again, monotony catches up on you in spite of all the efforts you made.

Does it not sound a lot like life? One lonely ride punctuated with people who occupy a certain amount of restricted space and time and then they move on, leaving behind just a whiff of reminiscences.

Maybe I do not want even that to whiff to remain with me, which is why I refuse to talk to fellow passengers these days.

With a sudden jerk the we move forward, a few tears are shed, hands wave final goodbyes in a mad frenzy.

No, I do not have anyone to say goodbye to.

With a soft sigh I sink down into my seat, everyone else is getting to know each other.

Pretending to be an introvert, I stare out of the window with an aimless gaze. The rag pickers and the shanties fly by first, followed by the villages and the vast open plains for my prying eyes to feast on.

The system takes over. Within hours my resilience is broken. I submit to the rigours of the journey. Suddenly the beauty in it vanishes and I realise my bunk is too close to the loo, needless to say it is stinking.

With another violent pull from the engine we are almost up to full speed.

Three days of boredom lies ahead of me.

Wanderlust



Big black cloud, On a yellow plane

Sure enough it, Looks like rain

Packin' up all our, Faith and trust

Me and the wanderlust



Empty bed and chair, Who's that callin'

Ain't nobody there, I look behind me

And I see there's just, Me and the wanderlust



Dead of night, I had a dream

Sky was bright yes and the, Fields were green

I was down the road, In the clouded dust

Me and the wanderlust



And I'm on the edge, Of an endless fall

Sure enough, He's come to call

Got to go now, Get on that bus

Me and the wanderlust



I hate Mark Knopfler for writing/composing this song. It paints a precise picture of what I make of my life. The song is Wanderlust from the Sailing to Philadelphia [if you do not have a copy yet, I will highly reccomend you get one soon] album. Now that he came out first with these thoughts first, I can never say they were mine.

March 06, 2002

Urm

Looks like I am finally tired of blogging too. Somehow it fails to surprise me.

March 05, 2002

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday AB.
Forced separation

Yet another dawn breaks
Time tears us apart
The curtain falls, the play is over
Come night we shall meet again

Oops: Was using the new Blogger-API based client called as bloggar to post and managed to overwrite one of the old posts unknowingly. Have copy-pasted all of it back on from the archives.

Prabu: Taking advantage of the situation I have reinstated your comment to its rightful post ;)

March 01, 2002

Choice

If there passed a moment which would make you happy way beyond anything you have known till now in life, would you want it all to end there?

How would you like to be remembered after you die?

Would you want a million mourners to cry over your memories?

Or would you want to be buried by a nice quiet hillock never to be looked at or remembered again?

The last one entices me to no end.

My bones cringe for solitude.

The hillock to haunt is a bonus for the soul.