Being Useless

Someone found my previous post about ‘some page’ absurd, abuse of blogging, murder of humor and ‘useless’. I was thrilled, excited, and felt an immense feeling of achievement. πŸ˜€

That someone, is a nice and close friend, and well, is quite dumb. Usually it is hard to find intelligent people who are nice and close. So, I guess it is quite nice to be dumb, as long as you are nice. πŸ™‚ And finding that post (and my blog in general) useless, is one of the lesser dumb things demonstrated by this friend. In fact, it is a pretty worthwhile observation that my blog is useless.

So, I decided to write about ‘being useless’.

Being useless, is probably, the highest form of existence one can think about. I know that people would not quite appreciate finding philosophical imports on a useless blog, of course, except those who find philosophy useless. πŸ˜€ So, I decided to quote someone else. And this quote is about someone who never liked to be quoted – Lao Tzu. So, here’s something indicating his views about being useless:

Lao Tzu was traveling with his disciples and they came to a forest where hundreds of woodcutters were cutting the trees. The whole forest had been cut except for one big tree with thousands of branches. It was so big that 10,000 persons could sit in its shade.

Lao Tzu asked his disciples to go and inquire why this tree had not been cut. They went and asked the woodcutter and they said, “This tree is absolutely useless. You cannot make anything out of it because every branch has so many knots in it – nothing is straight. You cannot use it as fuel because the smoke is dangerous to the eyes. This tree is absolutely useless, that’s why we haven’t cut it.”

The disciples came back and told Lao Tzu. He laughed said, “Be like this tree. If you are useful you will be cut and you will become furniture in somebody’s house. If you are beautiful you will be sold in the market, you will become a commodity. Be like this tree, absolutely useless, and then you will grow big and vast and thousands of people will find shade under you.”

I thought about it, and realized, that the tree is not useless. It is useful – you can find shade under it. But the point is – it is just not ‘trying’ to be useful.

Hmmm… for the lack of a good title

I have neglected this blog. And have neglected it for long, probably longer than an average television soap opera duration, and probably more that how much an average television soap opera screenplay writer neglects common sense. Anyways, I’m here again. I don’t know for how long, but at least for the next fifteen minutes. It’s a break. Break from work, which is probably going to see tomorrow’s (or is it today’s?) sunrise.

So then, why the hell am I blogging? I should be working. Yes, yes, you are right. And I’m wrong. But then, I just decided to be wrong today. πŸ™‚

So here I am, for the next thirteen minutes and thirty seconds. So I decided to write about the one single most important thing that has happened in my life in this time. And it is the fact that no single important thing has happened all this while.


More than one, and much more than just one important thing, has happened. Things as important to me, as probably a Baghdad bombing is to the next journalist going to question Tony Blair. Ya ya, that’s old news, I should have said the Iran Hostage Drama. Oh even that has gone stale, may be.. the new Fatwa from the Islamabad’s Lal Masjid against Bakhtiyar Madam. But hey stop, we were not supposed to talk news here, I was discussing the single most important thing in my recent life!!

So, just because of shear lack of time, I restrict my self to this small incident – I woke up one morning (was it really morning? May be afternoon) to find my door being knocked at with quite huge knocks. They were knocks of being hurried or excited, like may be someone is being chased by armed dacoits and is desperate to get in, or may be someone has just being stared at by the girl living next door and is excited to tell me how she might be interested (That girl is humble, quite, and nice, she only stares at the local cats, but then who cares), or may be just that someone is eager to give me some news. Yes that precisely was the case, there was an old friend standing there, who has come to give me some good news, in the traditional Indian way, with a dabba of mithai in his hand. He stood there for a while, smiled blissfully and said – dude, I’m engaged!!

And you know, how the times have been for me, so I replied, with even more blissful smile – “to what?”

All, the bliss on both our faces, and in our lives, suddenly got wiped out by that sharp noise, which could easily have been mistaken for the sound of a missile hitting the factory behind by apartment. I made from the aftershocks of the sharp noise, which left my ear drum vibrating for a while, that it was him shouting at me saying – “what do you mean, to what?” By this time, I had realized my mistake, and before I could say a sorry for this realization to the fact that he has actually got engaged (as in to get married in a while), a second realization struck me – “Oh my god, this guy is engaged!!” – yes, yes this was a “second” and a “different” realization. It was followed by an “oh my god”.

OKay, time up!! sorry, the rest of the story some other day.






Importance of being earnest

Noticeable things don’t happen. You just notice things and conclude that they were noticeable.

However, sometimes you are supposed to do noticeable things. Typical in national politics or in corporate environments. Let’s say when you are giving a presentation, or a public speech, or when you want to highlight a point in a strategy meeting, or in job interviews. And peculiarly, you cannot afford others knowing it that you deliberately made something noticeable. Basically, you have to make the deliberateness of noticeability non-noticeable, deliberately. πŸ™‚

Its tough. Its a skill. I hate it.

I just heard from a friend, application of this skill in his love life. I’ve heard hiding something from your beloved before. I’ve also heard pretending, and over-expression of affection. But making things noticeable unnoticeably. Bit too much for me. Gets too complicated to handle. And grows anxiety in me. But the friend seemed enjoying it. So I enquired – ‘Has it got any purpose, or is it just for the kicks?’. He suddenly felt ‘noticed’, and changed to topic. And I get away with my anxiety unnoticed. πŸ™‚

Too much of a mind game. Worth blogging. I hope Machiavelli might have written a book called The Princess. πŸ™‚

BTW, introducing a new blogger, who also likes filling empty spaces with Urdu poetry, Appul.

Monday Mornings

Its not at all like a Monday morning. It’s almost 7:00 in the morning and I’m kind of half awake. Something mysteriously wrong with my stomach is not letting my sleep to be sound. Not that I made my best attempts to make it sound either. Rather, to lend the mysterious ailment a helping hand, I made myself watch a movie. A movie pending on the not-to-be-missed list for a long while now – Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi.

BTW there is an equally mysterious creature standing or rather limping besides me. He just now gazed at the monitor and in utterly disgusted (and half asleep) fashion uttered – “what the hell is Zarquon”. And with an equally disgusted tone, I corrected “What nahi WHO the hell is Zarquon”.

Sorry for the digression, it was Mritunjai. Never mind.

We’re talking about Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi. Ya… Everything about it was amazing. But I can not write a review. After a long time a movie had managed to affect me. No I don’t want to spoil it by writing a review. I’ll just mention what all it managed to affect me with. Everything that in any manner portrays the Delhi of the 70s affects me. I’ve heard the stories of how it used to be in Delhi in those days of Emergency from both of my parents. My parents were (then newly wed) living on the then outskirts of Delhi – Hauj Khas. And took the 26 no. bus to the Regal at CP (oh sorry the then CP :)) to watch movies. The movie sort of gave images to what I just happened to know. BTW its not the first movie to give that vivid images of Delhi of the 70s. Chasm-e-baddoor was another one.

I may be sounding a jerk to not mention the theme of the movie and talk about this, probably unnoticed aspect of the movie. But then, somebody must notice the unnoticed. For the regular review I’ve given you the link above, haven’t I?? πŸ™‚

Another thing that affected me, was probably the fact that all characters were sort of doing there own stuff, and said dialogues in-between as if they were naturally speaking to one another. Unlike some other (offbeat) movies where u can distinctly observe people standing and talking to each other. Even the ones like Ijaazat and Zakhm and Arth and Ardhasatya misses this level of naturalness. Oh forget it!! I’ve started to write a review… comparing… even worse than that…

Oh BTW, I didn’t write the above stuff in one go. Mritun managed to pull me out for cup of tea at the stall outside the campus (I’m on the campus BTW). And on the way back it started raining, and that jerk made a strange remark…. “You know there is nothing else like rain”. Being half-asleep I agreed with him… and took some 20 seconds to remind myself that there is nothing else like anything else.

Okay… did you notices too much of “jerks” and “disgust” in my post… pardon me…I’m reading Joseph Heller nowdays. And I’m a bigger jerk than Mritun at times.

The wowbagger

Has to title the blog this way, because its about Sandy.

Since last few days Sandy has become paranoid (affected by a psychological disorder characterized by delusions of persecution or grandeur). And the cause is not a girl (Of course… Sandy !! forget it)…. oh by the way its not the lack of girls even… he is too experienced (5 years -DD) an IITian for that. So what’s it that is making this “really amazingly together guy” (frood) go insane. Its a combination of two things….

a lot of time… and…

the ultimate hitchikers guide to the galaxy

The guide is known to affect people historically. The one thing that a person ceases to have after reading it, is the sense of proportion.

Anyways, after loosing the sense of proportion, Sandy had a lot of time (being in 5th year) and he quite happily wastes it in relating every odd thing in life (universe and everything) to The Guide…. Things like: his underwears, his glasses, his exams, his guide (the DDP guide not the hitchhiker’s for a change). Not excluding his towel of course.

I have to relate this paranoid state of Sandy to The Guide. So I coined a word – the wowbagger syndrome.

Rock, Colaba, IP and Puke!!

Yesterday was a strange day. Sumit, an old friend from Gurgaon, has shifted to Mumbai. I went to meet him in Colaba. That’s where he lives now. And he has got a mansion!! Yes I was captivated by that house. A different colour combo for each room. The drawing room walls painted in off white, strangely contrasting with velvet green curtains and mustard yellow sofas. There were all sorts of amazing stuff hanging/hooked/fixed to the walls. There was this three-tier glass shelf with two spot lights fitted over it, pointing down, creating an amazig kaleidoscope of white-light refractions. Mirrors was another phenomenon present in the setup. The refelections adding to the effect of contrast. Then there was this painting of some dingy cave haning just above the resting stand of a huge bed. That somehow created a feeling of sleeping below a hill, especially when I was high.

Yes I was high!! Because I went to my favourite place in Mumbai with Sumit…. Cafe Mondegar. I guess the only place where I could find Floyd, Nirvana, Doors, REM, GnR, Mettalica playing back-to-back. Now that’s enough reason to get high. The beer added severly to it. This is a bad definition. Anyways, the severity, was multiplied by the other ingridients of the night… discussions!!

Starting with tasteless stupid things like growing IP markets in India… the discussion went colourful with the history of The Doors… and then blended into the rock craze on campus… still furthered into listing of ‘cult’ places in Mumbai…. went off-track into discussing Irani Cafes… to finally end-up with how stoned are the eyes of an amazing girl in yellow, sitting with an all-girls group on the adjecent table.

It was fun!!

But somehow it had to end with a Puke. And it did.

masti ka aalam …

hum deevaano ki kya hasti,
hai aaj yaahan kal wahaan chale,
masti ka aalam saath chale,
hum dhool udaate jahaan chale.

kis aor chale yeh mat poochho,
chalana hai bas isliye chale,
jag ko apanaa kucch diye chale,
jag se uska kuchh liye chale.

(By Bhagwaticharan Verma)
(Image – from a party in my hostel room – dont ask me who’s that guy)