Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Saw this 'plea' stuck to a tree near my house...

Innocence. That's all comes to my mind. I guess not a single person hasn't been without wondering.. "How I wish I still was a child, ignorant of all the complexities of real life!" :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Attack of the Instant Messengers

(wrote this article about two and a half years back, and had been mysteriously sitting in my desktop since then. I can assure you, its really interesting to read what you have written years back. Life!)

Just now, I ended up speaking with a friend on telephone for over half an hour. Ended the call, and gave a quick thought on when was the last time I had done this. It surely came as a surprise for me that my cognitive setup had timed out after a couple of minutes in the attempt to provide a reasonable estimate. Perhaps years, I thought to myself. Why this hit me hard was that it was this same R. Ramkumar, who had once upon a time engaged in meaningless banter for even three hours on the telephone. Three hours. The lifetime of the Indian movie hero on the screen. One complete innings of a cricket match. One end-semester examination paper of my Physics III in the fifth semester, which caught me in a horrible time dilation with my mind vacillating between breaking free from the lecture hall and not losing hope with perhaps just one correct answer on paper. Three hours. It's still perhaps not a long duration for time. It was not long before that perhaps the same amount of time passed off in a jiffy with my friends on the Besant Nagar beach or the famed Gurunath in IIT, which has this mystical charm - perhaps emanating from the bright broad umbrellas beneath which we sat - of making friends get together and go yap, yap and yap. Yes, face to face chats, or "fart sessions", as an IITian would put it across, still is on firm ground. But while the older generation goes on and awn and yawn over how letters have been relegated to the background, it may not be long before speaking on the telephone might be the next casuality.

I never had too much sympathy for letters. Perhaps due to absence of any romantic endeavors in college, I guess my last personal letters were posted way back in Bhilai, more than ten years back, to one of my aunts who was almost a second mother to me. But nevertheless, letters were too slow and painstaking, and it seemed to me that the natural course of technological evolution is bound to wipe out this means of personal communication. But telephones never had such drawbacks. They were convenient, almost instantaeneous and perhaps the most efficient in terms of information conveyed. The fact that my life has been overshadowed by other means of communication like E-Mails, Instant Messengers, Online Services and SMS's looks as intriguing to me as I was once, in my second year, when I learnt that the de facto standard for local networking, namely the Ethernet, was only 30% efficient and perhaps less than many other protocols. It was one more time when I was facing the fact that it's not always that the most efficient solution gets through.

Perhaps it was the cost. None of the other techniques I use today incur any cost for me, as even Internet is provided free of cost in the campus. Free SMS's have been a revelation amongst college-goers. But the issue was perhaps deeper than this monetary issue. Perhaps I realised that talking defeats the purpose of having a chat, which essentially was to spend free time. Perhaps because chatting face to face involves pauses, and in many cases, there are more than two people to contribute to the discussion. Perhaps. Perhaps I would never know why the means of communication which Internet provides have caught on like a wild fire.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Legend of the Sporting family

(Had once upon a time during my IITM days submitted this for a limerick competition. The first paragraph was given and was asked to continue from there. What carries this format is the quintessential silliness it potrays!)

Adi-dasa the ever-ambitious sadhoo,
Burnt his feet walking the fire-bed through,
So the next time, he ran on the coals,
With hidden padding on his soles,
And invented the first ever sports shoe.

Made of fish from the best of the clan,
With scales dried spick and span,
The shoes took him to many a race,
Where all his rivals just couldn't keep up pace,
And in no time became a popular man.

However deeper analysis made experts think,
Theory of shoes insulating had a chink,
Photos of Dasa running revealed,
Reason behind the magic on the field,
What pushed back the rivals was the stink.

Whatever the theory, Eer-kob was aghast,
His supremacy was now a thing of the past,
Thought he, Adi's image he had to marr,
So he proclaimed him a poli saamiyaar
As having used fish, he must be an outcast.

With stony followers fled our hero Dasa,
Lest he be made into batter for dosa,
One such follower got under his shoe,
And with greater speed he flew,
Roller skaters! He got the funda.

With similar fate met Kai-nee,
For once when playing with glee,
"Duck off", she alerted, noticing bees at the edge,
Only to be misheard as the game's first sledge,
The disgusted populace threw her out for free.

The two soon came into contact,
Similar interests had them attract,
A nuptial knot soon became clear,
And they soon had Adi-doosa, their junior,
But still with the town, they needed a pact.

The family roamed around the jungle,
Thinking over undoing their bungle,
One such day in a forest rot,
Munching leaves as food for thought,
The junior felt that something had him tingle.

Soon a lion chased him down the slope,
And Doosa ran like an antelope,
To his father's town, safe and sound,
But with no skaters or shoes around,
For now you know who discovered dope.


poli saamiyaar: [Tamil] A deceiving (rogue) sage - poli - false, saamiyaar - sage

A farewell poem

(And so, here is one more attempt to revive my blog.. I thought I could at least start with what I have written already, with a vague hope that this perhaps would help me blog more regularly! :) )

This was a poem, letter or whatever you feel it is, I once wrote for a friend...

Life today comes with so many bells and whistles,
and still you disregard them all and remain simple.
Can't think of anything more befitting, therefore,
than me replacing a fancy decorated coloured card,
with a sheet of white paper drenched in thoughts.

I will never mind that I am repeating it here also,
that sadly the world has gone too much ahead,
where calculation and sophistication rules the day.
But there is humaneness which still peeps through,
and it is through the kid in a few people like you.

If at all there's anything our friendship has taught,
let it be that whenever you sport or bring a smile,
you remember it is because you had been positive,
and that if you be your caring self throughout life,
everything will some day bend over to cushion you.

Nothing will stand forever in the test of time,
Neither you, nor me, nor this frail piece of paper,
But you still treasure ourselves and our friendship,
and maybe these words as well, with utmost happiness,
See how care puts in a smile, amidst imminent doom.

The world will pose itself to be as happy for you,
As your faith makes you think it has actually been.
Forever troubles will come, unknown and threatening,
but hope will step in and stand tall besides you,
tossing them off like footballs on the playground.

Whenever you face an important crossroad in life,
friends and relatives will surely come to help you,
but what finally decides is your attitude and belief,
and a realisation that there is nothing to fear,
but for your conscience which looks from within.

If fate kept us from being friends for a long while,
it also chose the time which made us very good ones.
Mind you, life can never be an optimization problem,
where the best possible options keep you the happiest,
the winner always turns out to be a contented heart.

Even if destiny cruelly decides to erase all memories,
and your will fights out to restore one back to you,
I wish it is that a person known to your name and heart,
will ever be ready to come when you call out for help,
and make you march confidently through the path ahead.