Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drug Abuse and hair cuts

Nowadays I ve taken to reading a few new blogs regularly. I also visit the ones listed on the right hand side of this page... The thing about most of the blogs that are listed is that they were created at about the same time as I created this baby, and some of the authors have lost the "new and fresh blog" enthu that comes along with a new and fresh blog. Most of us have moved progressively further away from Engineering College lives... and I guess out here in the Real World there isnt as much time to while away. Not that I am one to judge - my posting record looks like Ajit Agarkar's economy rate or strike rate or batting average- dismal i.e.

heh ..some Agarkar bashing alwas turns up the sunshine a bit.

My well documented laziness comes in the way of pulling up the scary HTML code that I have to modify to make the new links appear on this blog...So I ll take the easy way out..

One of these new blogs is Scott Adams' blog. He posts with great regularity - being a millionaire who has to doodle a cartoon a day helps with the free time I suppose, and writes about the whackiest of things. India features fairly often too... our overall general whackiness provides Adams with enough fodder - and whacky Indian news is surprisingly well reported in the western press. Hm

I came across this post a few days back on his blog. The post is really about how konked off Adams is - but the part that grabbed my attention was the part about methamphetamines - a drug, not the crocin kind - the cocaine kind. I try to keep my blog fairly "modest" - but I encourage you to read through his post to find out more about the various pleasures and pitfalls of "Meth" abuse.

Then let me draw your attention toward the following pictures (Link from Adams) - they are "before" and "after" snaps of Meth abusers - you know like the mangy and then (OH my god!) hairy scalps youve seen on Dr Batra's adverts in newspapers.




Done? Go ahead..take a look..its just three clicks and back buttons away. If you are using Meth you should know where you are headed, and if you arent feel happy and shiny.
The pictures may horrify the more sensitive of you. They are clearly of unhappy people with loads of problems - and theres something about this kind of unhappiness that makes your eyes widen and throat gulp.

Hm.. so what was the first thought that went through my head when I was looking at these pictures? I ll tell ya...it was was "WHAT on Gods Green Earth is wrong with their Hair!!!". Did you notice..the three pictures I linked to each have perfect nice crew cuts and steps cuts and whatever... in the before snap - and in the after snap their hair..well looks like theyve just been treated to shock therapy. Maybe they had..who knows. Picture 8 even plumped for an "overgrown skunk caught in a dryer" hair cut - while she spent her time racked by all the serotonin or whatistshname. So is there something about drug abuse that relates to bad haircuts..a curious passerby might wander.

Now all this is not merely existential stuff...its goddamm personal (As Mike Corleone would say). The reason why my mind flew off at an enraged tangent at this gross misrepresentation of messed up hair - is that I have been a proud owner of some for most of my conscious life. Combs have always looked like instruments of torture to me, and since the time I had grown too tall for my mum to grab a handful of my hair and yank my head towards a comb (quite while back I may add) I have sworn never to get near one. And since I am experimenting with long hair, I could totally identify with the "after" snaps. I also vaguely recall noticing - though the early morning haze that surrounds me when I reach my lab around noonish - vague passersby looking at me with a certain melancholy and nodding sympathetically into their coffee. Couple of times I even recall sympathetic noises being made as I pass by. It all clicked into place in my head and of course I am devastated and bloody enraged!

Would it really have hurt the photographer to give the hair a once over - I m sure the head was within yanking distance. Or maybe take the photo after the hair had settled down after all the shock therapy.

And could it be possible that the sympathy was directed at the Graduate student who walks in groggily at noon and uses his lab key on the refrigerator door?


Saturday, October 20, 2007

When Rome was burning

...Nero played his fiddle.

Now I very much doubt if Chief Minister Narendra Modi can play the fiddle, so that was probably not what he was doing - when Gujarat burned in 2002. But I wonder what he was. Most neutral (and you know how hard it is to find one) observers seem to agree that he was playing the cheerleader performing cartwheels while hundreds of Hindus and Muslims were murdered in the state.
Now everybody hates the US, and why not? They've been screwing around with the world way too much of late. Thankfully, it is not too rarely that the liberal section of the American media calls Bush a War Criminal.
The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was let in to the US and paid a (now infamous) visit to Columbia university. Modi, on the other hand was refused a US visa. Do you think the US measured them using the same scales? I do - this is probably the closest one can get to an observation by someone "Neutral" - if anything Americans feel far more strongly about Mahmoud the Mad... and the implications are obvious.

I hear that Modi might just be the person to replace A B Vajpayee at the helm of BJP...and given his meteoric rise from a RSS backroomer to where he is right now, along with Mr. Vajpayee's obviously failing health, I fear this will not be too far in the future.

In an interview Karan Thapar, Modi listens to 4 questions related to the Godhra riots before walking out of the interview - the first time I have seen this happen. I was quite puzzled by this, let me explain why.

Karan Thapar is irritating as hell..no doubt. When interviewing politicians, he seems to come to the interview with a fixed agenda... and is unwilling to listen to the most well constructed arguments. Of course, Indian politicians rarely have the capacity to offer well constructed arguments, and he thrives on this. To see what happens when one does, look no further than his interview of P Chidambaram.. on an issue as volatile as OBC reservations no less.Thapar was made to look ridiculous... and exposed for the hard headed brawler he really is. It also pisses me off awful how Thapar schmoozes up to industrialists. In an interview of Ratan Tata, he asked not one question on the Small Car factory in Bengal.

In any case, he does a commendable job of making most politicians supremely uncomfortable with his unpretentious name calling and mud slinging.

Well, it seemed to me that Modi could not give a damn about clearing his name off the Godhra murk. He seems to be confident - almost arrogant, that people have accepted him for what he is. A very capable administrator, a Chief Minister whose state has consistently been named the best administrated and on a fast track to economic prosperity - with higher foreign investment than the more hyped Andhra Pradesh or Karnataka. And why should he not be, his blatant hindu fundamentalism has only won him admirers and votes. The Godhra riots and the US visa rejection, are no longer unwanted baggage.. I suspect - they serve as symbolic medals of honour, in his war for Hindutva.

Is this a little scary?

A man of immense personal strength who led his country to the pinnacle of its economic and military might. Who revolutionalized the administration of his country to make it the most efficient in the world. A man whose power over his people was derived from, above all, a personal and political pogrom against a certain minority peoples. I am of course, referring to dear Adolf.

Or am I.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

gin soaked boy

Some of you may have chanced across this on the world wide web...all encompassing and far reaching as its tentacles are. I did..some years ago..and was mighty impressed. So here I reproduce it in full, with the proper people credited of course...

Im the darkness in the light
Im the leftness in the right
Im the rightness in the wrong
Im the shortness in the long
Im the goodness in the bad
Im the saneness in the mad
Im the sadness in the joy
Im the gin in the gin-soaked boy

Im the ghost in the machine
Im the genius in the gene
Im the beauty in the beast
Im the sunset in the east
Im the ruby in the dust
Im the trust in the mistrust
Im the trojan horse in troy
Im the gin in the gin-soaked boy

Im the tigers empty cage
Im the mysterys final page
Im the strangers lonely glance
Im the heros only chance
Im the undiscovered land
Im the single grain of sand
Im the christmas morning toy
Im the gin in the gin-soaked boy

Im the world youll never see
Im the slave youll never free
Im the truth youll never know
Im the place youll never go
Im the sound youll never hear
Im the course youll never steer
Im the will youll not destroy
Im the gin in the gin-soaked boy

Im the half-truth in the lie
Im the why not in the why
Im the last roll of the die
Im the old school in the tie
Im the spirit in the sky
Im the catcher in the rye
Im the twinkle in her eye
Im the jeff goldblum in the fly

Who am i?

- The Divine Comedy's "Gin Soaked Boy"

Now theres so much to wonder in this. At times the words really sound too flippant to be serious. No wonder Salinger is invoked in it. Anyway, I found this poem pleasantly thought stimulating and I hope it does this for you too.

I call it a poem for a reason. I have never been more disappointed by a song. Thats right...I chanced across the words first. Do I hear murmurs of Dylan...? I respectfully disagree..I enjoy his music very much too.

The line I find the most to my taste, and would be the one Id best imagine myself to be is

" I m the hero's only chance"

Keeps you on your toes .. this one. In any case, I will not go ahead and spoil it all for you by talking too much.

AND I have made a solemn resolve to post with greater regularity, or as solemn as my dastardly laziness allows me to be...