Year: 2008

Hong Kong!

The Asian hub of lights and color, Hong Kong, welcomed my most spontaneous trip thus far. I was in India for less than 3 days when I was asked to fly out to HK for an assessment centre! Adventure in disguise. A colorful mix of India and Singapore, Hong Kong charmed me with its mountaineous landscape and windy winter. A refreshing blend of corporate city life and nature. After a day and a half of rigorous testing, I let my hair down and became a tourist. I stayed with some distant family at the palatial Park View Apartments, up in Hong Kong island, which is home to some incredible hiking trails. I ventured on one with a couple of friends who frequent such trails. Our aim was to conquer Mount Parker. After a relatively simple stretch of 45 minutes, we reached the base of the mountain. I had anticipated adventure, but not exactly the kind with a narrow, undefined, uphill climb amid rocks, mud and bushes. Did I mention deadly?! It struck me midway that …

December is here

After a semester of randomness, fluctuating beliefs and occasional spontaneity, I am finally heading home to India for a (hopefully) predictable December. A winter of cold weather, chilly rose fragrance, warm blankets and hot samosas. The perfect time to lie couched at the foot of the Himalayan expanse and gaze at the infinite greens and blues, sprawl under the warm winter sun, read delectable stories of another land, breathe in the aroma of home-cooked food, befriend temptation. It’s finally snowing on my blog; a happy start to my late December. Violet hill, Coldplay, is the song of the hour. Winter tidings to all ūüėÄ

To believe or not to believe

Never in my 20 years did I imagine joining the¬†agnostic¬†school of thought. I am not sure how it happened, but it was a progressive change and I saw its advent over the last few months. The last and final trigger was our recent tryst with evil. The omnipresence, the omniscience and the omnipotence surely must define an upper limit to “bad”, but we have ventured into the territory of no return. Justice is as far removed from the picture as the earth from pluto. Free will is a plausible argument, but only so far. ¬† My friend speculates that as people get better, they also get worse, to keep the balance. However, I doubt that¬†good is really keeping pace with evil. Can there be a stronger entity that lures evil? Well, that would defeat the purpose anyway.¬† Pascal’s Wager Remember Blaise Pascal from Pascal’s triangle (math) and Pascal’s law (physics)? He devised a game theoretic approach to belief in a higher entity, with happiness and reason as the ultimate decision units. He trashed the ability …

Up Above

Somewhere up above Beyond the clouds, the stars, the skies Somewhere up above A magnificient creation lies All-knowing, all-powerful, forgiving and fair In the human mind The darkness is protected by the blue With infinite imagination.

Post Secret

For years now, I have been following the Post Secret blog, started by Frank Warren in 2005. An ingenious idea, the blog is a collection of real secrets mailed anonymously by real people. Whoever you are, whatever it is that you are hiding, Post Secret ensures that you are not alone. The world is stranger than we think, and somewhere in it, we all find a place to belong.  One of my favorite songs, Dirty Little Secret, by The All American Rejects, is based on Post Secret:

While we were sleeping…

They came, they captured, they killed. Fear and frustration mark the days. I pray for those who became victims of the terror attacks in Bombay, those who lost loved ones, those whose lives have changed forever. A prayer for the grieving; a prayer for strength. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), life goes on. We continue to live our little lives in our little worlds. It hit me when I was following the coverage on CNN and they switched from the Bombay shoot-outs to another story in another part of the world, as though the former had moved nothing in their hearts. I know it sounds silly, but it still surprises me how we can just move on with our own lives.¬† We, as a country, have a very long way to go. And yet, most of us are happy doing what we do, criticizing what is, mocking what will be, never once asking what we could do. Even after all these years of our struggle for freedom, I really believe that we are genetically coded to be …

Now isn’t the time, is it?

It’s been a really long time since I blogged. I blame it on the unending projects, end-of-college celebrations and upcoming exams. I can’t delve into the details of any. Yawn. Anyway, it’s that time of the year again, when I can think of so many brilliant things to do, except that right now, there is no time to explore them. I am supposed to shut all doors of imagination, silence all inspiring voices, confine myself to a bunch of textbooks, and study for them dreadful exams. Oh, the pain that the human mind can be inflicted with.¬† However, when next week gets over, all creative juices will freeze, and all motivation will die. Boredom will take over and haunt me. The story of my life, and perhaps yours. My friend suggests that the conscious acceptance of this phenomenon might just be the next Murphy’s law.¬† In any case, here’s the list of things I can think of doing now, instead of studying game theory and international economics: Watch the imdb top 250 movies¬†and the top …

the ‘un’feeling

We live our lives in phases. At the end of each phase, we pack our bags, gather our memories and move on. Just like that. So, this is my last week in college. 3 classes to go, 1 presentation, 2 exams. That’s it. The end of college, the¬†end of student life for me. I’m moving on. And the gravity of it is not hitting me. There is no nostalgia, not yet anyway. I don’t feel a sense of discontinuity that the future promises to bring. The next few years are going to be radically different from the last 20. I know that, and yet, somewhere within, I can’t seem to acknowledge it. I guess it will come with time. Right now, I could equate myself with some cold-hearted soul who is ready to trash the last 3.5 years and never look back. It’s my last week in college and I don’t feel anything.¬† I wonder sometimes if things could’ve been different. If I had studied in Delhi (paid 6000 Rs a year, oh my dear …

Wish upon a shooting star

Shooting stars make a spectacular sight in the night sky. I saw one last week, when I was out star-gazing with a couple of friends. None of us seemed to be able to trace the history behind shooting stars and wishing upon them, so I thought I owe this post to my blog. For starters, shooting stars are misnomers. These streaks of light are actually broken little pieces of rock and dust, which, when close to the Earth, enter its atmosphere at blinding speeds, and heat up, glow and burn down. Apparently, on any given night, a shooting star should be visible every 10-15 minutes. This holds especially at the time just before dawn, when we face the direction in which the Earth moves.¬†The frequency of shooting stars increases at certain times of the year, when the Earth passes through a region particularly crowded with dust and rocks (Meteor shower). Legend has it that wishing upon a shooting star makes the wish come true. It is believed to have originated in Europe, when¬†Greek astronomer Ptolemy, …

No more evil

Randy Pausch wrote in The Last Lecture, “Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out… Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.” ¬† It never struck a chord with me, until now. The negativity in me had set my default mode to ‘don’t trust’, ‘the world is bad’ and ‘people are guilty’, until proven otherwise. Small gestures, strangers, life, does change the way we look at things, and sometimes for the better. I’ve realized that the world is not all bad and not all evil, but we have to believe that before we start to see it. I think I’m starting to believe it. It’s the beginning of a new phase for me, one that I hope will outlast all the hatred. Evil really lies in the eyes of the beholder. It’s a nice world from hereon.