xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:og="http://ogp.me/ns#" Goes the Distance: 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Make or Break

Well...Here we are again...that time of the year...
Looking back and wondering...was that crazy or what???!
Looking forward with lessons learnt...plans and promises made.
....mostly to ourselves....but made nonetheless.
2009 has been a rollercoaster ride and I'm all charged up for another one.

There's an Optimist inside me thats smiling at the Sceptic.
Strange as it seems......I plan to play safe and take risks at the same time.
To keep pushing myself while making sure that I stay focused in the right direction.
With my cynical illusions fading to give way to positive possibilities.

Realizing the difference between knowledge and it's illusions.
That thinking that we "know" something is a greater ignorance than not knowing something.
That Respect goes a long way in getting things done.
That letting go...is sometimes the best way to to hold on to something.
That hard work and sincerity are a combination that seldom fails......
..........whether or not you are a genius.

I realized that I can love someone without expecting something in return.
I learnt that my perspective can affect peoples' lives.....not just my own.
I learnt that pushing yourself to excel......adds more value and endurance than success itself.....
Funny I should feel this way..but I've learnt quite a lot by watching our film and TV Stars and their amusing antics......2009 has had quite a few of them.

Resolutions made....Resolutions broken.....all said and done.....and a year well spent...  :-).
As we walk through towards a New Year and a New Decade...I pray that we put our lessons learnt to good use and work not just for ourselves but for all that is sustained and is a consequence of our actions and inactions.

Hi Sneha.. :-)
I pray for you and  hope you get all that You wish for......in this year and the years to come.
You mean more to me with each passing day.....You are the strongest reason for me to be.
Bless You....Have a Rocking Year !
Arthur :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wishful Thinking....

Merry Christmas to one and all !

May the festive season Ring in Joy,Celebration and Peace :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

EcoSystem Vs EcoSystem

The first being the system that we all have been learning about since we were 7 years old.The second being the Economic system that gets the last word in everything.COP 15 is more a summit of economies than a summit of nations that are concerned about the future of our planet.Following the conference,one can clearly sense the air of  heated political debate in the place of diplomacy or consensus.With everything in question....from the right of  developed nations to direct the developing ones.....to the issue of climate change data being compromised,the Climate Change Summit has dark clouds looming all over it.

Greenpeace has been a whistle blower for years about the effects of global warming and climate experts have busted the "myth" that it's just speculation.Its ironic that "An Inconvenient Truth" took home an Oscar for best documentary,while the very message that it delivered was left in the loom.While we find it  shocking to see polar bears cannibalize each other in the north pole,it still doesn't ring the bell for most of us.The oceans'  ability to hold GH gases has waned,while the clouds of smoke over cities get thicker every 6 months.Brazil is doing what it can to control illegal logging of its priceless rain forests but it's population needs somewhere to go and needs farmland to feed it's hordes.With all the bells ringing, a compromise on climate changing (read industrial and progressive) activity is a huge political and economic challenge.Leaders must make difficult decisions keeping in mind the interests of their own people for whom they are most directly responsible.

One has to admit, reduction in the carbon footprint has direct implications on the economies that bring them about.To put a cap on green house gas emissions would mean that a government would have to enforce new regulations on emission, reduce or halt the construction of new plants and pump more money into clean energy and public transport.The effects of these measures would radically affect  developing countries like ours and the Chinese.Thermal Power(Coal Based)  generators still stand as the primary energy infrastructure in these two countries.Not to mention the sizable population that is employed in coal mines and Thermal Plants. Enforcing regulations on these plants would naturally have a domino effect on the productive capacity of virtually all industries which again will affect prices without a proportional inflow of funds(unless our "friends" who are already recuperating from a financial collapse decide to play Santa).

Watching activists getting batoned and arrested is an unpleasant sight.But is trivial compared to the sights that we will have to see if the issue of climate change remains unaddressed.It's about time we stepped up and did something while we have a chance and while it's still a lot less expensive than it will be should we fail.
A collapse of the summit would put all nations and their economies in a situation where everyone would be right and yet, every one would lose.

Monday, December 7, 2009

City Interrupted

It's been 10 days since the TRS stir began.
With it's leader going off and on like a flickering city light....
A strange world shows itself in flashes...
A world with a helpless system....doing just enough to show all it's citizens that it still exists.

Not knowing enough about the sentiment that drives it's activists,
makes many like me, a curious bystander watching from the sidelines.
For their earnest...the movement paints a picture of their new world dawning.
...while for the larger madness...its the same as a dog chasing cars...
not knowing what to do even if it caught one.

For me...time seems to have come alive....
Whispering the words that I failed to listen while they were being screamed.
It has passed through the prism of the mind and shown it's manifold.
It's priceless and yet slips by your fingers...with nothing but memories to hold on to.

We have everything but time....

I'm glad that my work's still going on schedule.
It's a little risky....having to drive through a rally almost everyday,
...but the work draws me towards it.
Understanding the insides of FaceBook is something that totally works for me.
The best thing about it are not it's technical intricacies....
but the simple yet strong social values that that are implemented through them.

A lot has happened this week that has worked both for and against my plans.
From my exams being postponed....
...to a greedy graphics firm trying to charge in Pounds instead of Rupees.
Made some deals...dropped some.....but learned a ton and that is never a loss.

With so much having come to a stand still....
I have a long awaited opportunity to get organized
and bring a system into the way I do things.....
Will wrap some things up and head for Kurnool...
....where the need of the hour is a lot more clear.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mayhem's 11

Gave my first exam yesterday..was pretty good.
Nov 27th to Dec 8th are a crucial and testing set of 11 days.
My schedule is packed with a dozen things..
and I keep working them as they come..
Had just 3 hours of sleep yesterday....gonna Crash after this Post !

Working day in and day out to ensure that both the project and my revision are on schedule is hard.
But there's a certain satisfaction in the feeling that it's being done in spite of everything.

It would have been a lot easier if a Certain Someone I adore...
....hadn't chosen to go underground . :-)
But I guess it's Okay...Priorities do take Precedence.
I of all people.....am pretty aware of that.

Started the FB project a day before the exams.....it's Awesome !
Both as a Project and an Experience.
It's a little intimidating to work among people who created things that I use everyday.
I have to be twice as good as I thought I was..if I have to meet even half of their expectations.
Not to mention I have another 10 days of exams.
It's also pretty humbling to see people with brains like theirs just being 'people'.

It opens me up to a whole new dimension and perspective on how things really work.
Smart and Bright and all that I thought I was.....I realize that it means nothing.
The world cares about Results and that's all there is to it.
"It's not who we are...but what we do that defines us..."..a line I remember from a movie that I can't remember.
But that's my new driving line.

There are people on that floor who have already done the things that I consider the big goals of my life
and to them..it's just the start.
Chris runs two companies in London and  an orphanage in Guntur...The man is down to earth and balanced in attitude.
He's put a lesson in place that I hope I never forget no matter where I am.
A lesson that I learnt a little late...but not too late.

It's gonna be an enriching experience to work with these people and I pray.....
That by the time we're done....by the time I'm done...
I'll be taking home something that will last me a lifetime.
The values and perspective are all that matter.
More than the ephemeral ecstasy of a material existence.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chewing Hard.....

I've done it before....risked a lot and barely pulled through.
I told(swore to) myself that I wouldn't mess around again....
The last time was fun and paid well too...
but it put me in a spot where my academics were on the edge.
There were mixed feelings of accomplishment and nervousness.
Nevertheless I pulled through......

Funny thing about the the way my life turns out ...
Is that the best opportunities always come when my hands are already full.
But I've piled them on and never regretted it.
A Development Project during my Pre-Finals.... a trip to Goa in between my Finals.
A Set of Mid-Sems just after a College festival or a Theater Workshop during my Finals.

They never come with a warning and they're always too precious to let go.
So when Chris Evans told me he had a Facebook Project for me......It was Deja Vu and a lot more.

I've got a couple of things on my list that I need to get done.
Running my own company and my very own NGO are two of the most important.
But it takes a lot more than a 'wish' to run a company and a lot more than 'good intentions' to run an NGO.
So this opportunity is some what of a Big Fish and a step in the direction that I know I had always been looking for.

The tricky part is ...I got my exams all of this month and the next ....they are my last set in the course.
They are not something a night-out can cater to..
and FaceBook is not something that hits you early one Morning.
So I gotta take the plunge and keep my fingers crossed....Gotta Go the Distance and keep it from going sideways.

I've done it before and it did pay off...but I've never put so much at stake.
I got exams to pull through and a client to impress...I mess up one and it tolls my focus on the other.
To anyone but moi.....the saying "Bitten more than one can Chew" would be an apt title for this post.
Could weather this gracefully or fail miserably...either way I'll still have my sense of humor !

But come to think of it.......the less I 'think' about the mess I'm in........the better my chances of gettin through it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perpetuate in Your Own Direction

When You've realized that there's more than one side to something....or everything....
It means You get the Bigger Picture of things......
and also means......that you have the ability paint the Bigger Picture.

You mean the World to Someone.....and when the time comes.... you will mean more than just 'Someone' to the World.

Realize that the world is your canvass.....
and now that you know...how bout you paint us something amazing ?? :-)

Looking forward to the Beautiful Things that will stem from this Realization....:-)

.....and God Bless all those who give us amazing Blogs ! :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Expectives and Perspectation

Pretty much been my own Boss all my life.
Did the things I've wanted to do...been the things I've wanted to be....
When I look back....I cherish some of the decisions I've made while regretting a few..

A lot of things that I am and am not are a consequence of my own doing.
As smart as I thought I was...I now realize that I never knew any better....
that what I know and who I am...would only deserve some credit....
in admitting how much more I have to know and how much more I have to be.

Despite having done so much in my life...I realize that in one frame of thought it means everything while meaning nothing in the other.Where I stand and look at myself in the mirror of my mind...
I stand wearing the hat of a fool who's believes he's accomplished something
...... by having proven his worth to a bunch of others.

The others...who will forget..the others...who will detest and the others who will not matter.
I've always known that It'll take a lot for me to figure out who I am.....
Which is why I find it hard to hold on to my heroes,they just don't mean much after a while.
An old friend once suggested the 'The Fountainhead' to put some direction and perspective.
Been resisting it for years...maybe I'll turn it's pages sometime....I don't know.

There are certain things in life that keep me going...
...a sense of ambition..a need to prove myself ( here we go again ! )
...being driven and kept sane by the presence of someone...
whom I've been drawn to since the day I saw her...
the reason I believe in these things so much....
is that they don't disappear and are a part of me in every way.

They transcend time and distance....survive the best and the worst...and continue to lead the way.

The important thing in life is to keep moving.
Stop when you need to figure out directions but don't stop for good.
There's so much out there....it'll shape you in ways you can't imagine.
And if I know any better...you'll never regret it.

I put these words in place to fill the emptiness that I feel right now.
The knowledge that my world as I know it is coming to an Elegant End.
I look back at the years spent in college...
They make me smile with a sense of ownership and accomplishment.

But I look forward and all of that means zilch....
...there's a whole new world that I have to build and I've no clue where to start.

The years before were Bliss !

So what now ?...what do we do ?..I've got things to learn and places to be.
I plan to get to the border but before that...will be going to Kurnool to rebuild some of it.

There's people who are gonna teach me with or without their knowledge....what to do and what not to.

There's a whole world out there that I have to see and will do so....come what may.
There's someone that I want to be and will be ......so come what may...
and in the the process also figure out who I want to be. :-)

Will put myself through the thick and thin of it all and see you on the other side.
There's somewhere I need to start....can't put my finger on it...but who knows....maybe I've started already.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ode to Ye :-)

I'm Happy for You...will always be,
You got tons to do and loads to see.
So make the most of the ride you're on,
And Young Critic...do go easy on the Pop Corn ! :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Old Family

7.26 pm ..Oct23....
The phone rings and gets handed to me...
"Hello ?"
"Hi Baap !"....sounds deadly familiar...Holy Mother of God !
Turn down that song and say again,"Haalo!!!???"
"Milega Kya ?".........
"You bet !"

"Be at your place in 30min"...Click.

Got dressed in a hurry dashed for my garage.
....She was there in 20 mins...
The same old blue Nova..same worn out jacket that we picked up in college.
I hadn't changed much either..same old orange and blue jacket
..hadn't gained an ounce of weight...and still had the lamest sense of humor.
Same old...Same old.

She pulled off her helmet and I gave her a little slap...the way I always did.
Two and a half years had made no difference...
Felt like we had met just yesterday.

Nicky,Arjun and Me had been friends since Bhavan's.
Arjun and Me from BasketBall Practice....Nicky and Me from French Class.
We'd been together for 5 years and had pulled through thick and thin.
Meeting her after 2 and a half years had brought back
memories that had made and shaped me.

We spilt in 2007 after things had gotten too complicated for me to deal with....
Was going through a rough patch and didn't know how else to handle things.

But she was here now and I knew what to do next....
Dialled Arjun's number...

"Hello ?"
"Your caller tune's still the same.."
"@#$%^*....you still exist..."
"Come on over...Nicky's here too."
"Can't....maybe tomorrow."
Would take another 4 days before we could get him.

Anyway...we got on her Nova and drove around...went to the old places.
Spoke of the old days and what was goin on...
She spoke of life in Ahmedabad...
I spoke of college....and how it's comin to an end.
Still clueless as always...yet somehow...things fall in place.

Finally got Arjun over for dinner....had a blast and clicked a few pics.
It's been so long and we've not even spoke to...let alone seen each other.
The funny thing is...it doen't feel like it's been that long.

I've know today that there are certain ties that can't be broken.
and no matter how long or far it's been...some things still feel like yesterday.
When I'm with these guys...My life changing over these 3 years seems to never have happened.
But it speaks for the equation we have and how we're connected...beyond time and distance.

To put things in perspective...
The newer bonds and affections that have grown on me....
I would want them to stand the test of time and distance..like this one right here.
One already has.....it's ironic that I barely know anything...
My best knowledge being.....the amazing pictures taken and a love for hot chocolate.

Told these guys bout the trips I'd taken and we decided to take the next one together.

So...my exams start tomorrow..and I've got butterflies in my stomach...
Got to make some coffee....
If I pull through with the colors I wish for....I'll be backpackin again..
Hell I'll be backpackin anyway....maybe in between papers like I did last time !

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not Out...Just Down...

When you're set back a few steps..
Look up !.....figure your falls.... rework your moves.........give it another shot.......
It usually works out....and if it doesn't....realize this...
.....That you're meant for bigger and better things... ! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fait Accompli

Made it....still no idea how !
...we look back and wonder what force of nature kept us going.
TECH SUMMIT 2009 was applauded by participants and sceptics alike.
and we still feel we almost screwed it up.

When it started 30 mins past the schedule...(no thanks to the keyboard player),
I had a sinking feeling bout whatever was to come.
700+ in the audience and we were about to look like morons.
Said my own little prayer and we started off.

The inaugural went smoothly without glitches.
HOD was called on stage to flag it off....
and in her thick Guntur accent...TECH SUMMIT was declared VOPEN.

Started the Expert workshops...speakers from Microsoft,Adobe,Cognizant, and Convergys.
The sessions went well....a little too well and too long...we lost two hours and had to hit NOS on the contest prelims.
More than a hundred teams per contest...way more than we were prepared to handle.
Got more rooms and volunteers.....kept moving with fingers crossed.
The evaluation team had to work in overdrive to make sure the results were done right and posted on time.
Took a little longer than planned but didn't get any complaints.
Day One was a storm well wethered....and we set a plan in motion for day two.

But things did take their crazy turns...
One of the speakers of the second day had not recieved his invitation letter and was pretty upset....add to that...the Microsoft speaker left her laptop charger in our college and could not follow up without it.

Printed the invite again and drove 35km to GachiBowli to hand it over.
Luckily, he was quite cool and took his time with me...guess he liked the concept of our meet and agreed to be there. Thank You Sir..
Next stop Microsoft.....handed the charger over and drove back to college.
Made sure everything was set for the next day and fired the keyboard guy.

Day 2 started early....speaker showed up way before time and we had to wait for our HOD to show up before he could start.
Started well.....ended well....Dukaan Bundh....Competitions Shuru.
Poster making...LAN Gaming...Web Designing...Research Presentations...
Sprinted between venues and made sure things were going right.

Last event....QUEST...IT quiz...
Was hosting that myself.
We were seriously running short of time and had to wrap it up...couldn't use the next day...DIWALI.
Wrapped the quiz up in a hurry...and raced to the valedictory.
Thanked every one from VP to the Lab Incharge and closed with a little dance gig.

So that was that...we made it and did so without looking too stupid.
I didn't believe that we did well until I heard the participants' feedback.
VP called us for a little party...he told us that he was amazed by the level of organization and effort we put in and still couldn't believe that we pulled it off without the support of our faculty.

We can't either.
We had a blast till late and it was our very own moment in time.
We owned it and we knew we had earned it...
Now when I think about it..it still feels the same as it did when Fr.StaniSlaus addressed us.
It still brings a silly smile to our faces and will be something we will always cherish.

From sponsorships to Speakers...
from negotiations to wars of words..it was all there.
We wethered a lot and pulled through...I know I did.
There were very few but very strong presences that kept me from throwing the towel in.
Two of them being Fr.StaniSlaus's faith in us ....and a certain someone that I adore.

Bless you...I will always look back and be thankful that I was made aware of you.
By the way...there's goodies and Vouchers worth Lacs still lying in our inventory...
Wondering what do with it...maybe keep it in store for TECH SUMMIT 2010
(dont mean to blow my own trumpet...but I thought up the name.... :-) )

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nail Biter's Eve

It's 14th of October, the Eve of TECH SUMMIT'2009...
The Tech Festival hosted by the staff and students of my department.
We've put more into these 10 days of preparation than we did in an entire year of college.
And all I wanted to do this semester was to get through it with little burden and make peace (if I could) with certain demons(within and out there).
As it turns out...life has other plans.

My juniors had been pestering me and my pals to put together an IT meet for quite sometime.
Didn't happen last semester cause our HOD was serving her last month in college and didn't want the baggage.
Well she's gone....we have a new HOD who's clueless and treats us like we are too....
There was no way we could pull this together with her in charge...or so I thought.

We have a new Vice-Principal, Rev Fr.Stani Slaus,who's been quite an inspiration to all of us.
An MBA from XLRI, a towering personality and calm as they come.
We knew from the time he took over that if this meet was to happen,only he could make it so.

But we needed a solid concept in place before we could put it on his table.
Spoke to the HOD...and in her usual condescending and get-away-from-me style she shook her head.
So I let it go..I had my own plans to take care of.
But the idea stayed at back of our heads for a few weeks.

So one evening, all of my KAAMCHOR & CO got round to brainstorming this whole idea.
Thought up the name TECH SUMMIT 2009.....didn't know enough Sanskrit (or French or Greek ) to come up with anything aesthetic.
Put up some of the events that it could have......Contests..Workshops...Gigs...the usual.
Broke it down into smaller bits and conceptualized the whole thing.

Hemanth's pretty good with PhotoShop...so we sat and designed what could be our poster.
We loved what we saw and decided that this meet was gonna happen..... come what may !
We put each event on the table and worked it out from scratch.
Took us bout a week...we had a full inter-college festival......on paper.
So what next ?....how do we get the green light ?.

Needed a proper mission statement and draft if we were to convince the management that we had something solid.
Did it overnight...showed it to the guys and they loved it.
Showed it to Little Red Riding HOD and she hated it.
Green Light??? ....Ha!
We needed to jump the signal for this one.

Went to VP's office that evening and he warmed up to it.
But sent us back to the HOD to get her to push it.
It took him a while to see how disinterested she was and how good our meet could be.
After a lot was said and done....we were in his office the next evening and after a few phone calls he told us to get on with it.
Here's the catch...The meet could only be scheduled for the 15th and 16th....
it was on the 1st of Oct that we got the GO.

So we worked......and worked some more.
Split up into committees.
Overlapped duties and pulled the sponsors together.
Traveled far and wide to get the IT bosses to take up the workshops.

Finished the Prelim Preparations.Made all the PPTs.
Shot a music video....(file's huge...will encode and put it up sometime.)
Pulled a dance gig together.Organized a Hardware Expo.
Catering,schedules,trophies,dresses,sound stage,Lab Installations.......aaaahhh!
All this .....and a still indifferent staff.
Hope they don't mess it up....if don't want to support it.

Had a total showdown with HOD yesterday.....it was bad....let's just say I'm glad that this semester is over.

I'm glad that we have Fr.Stanislaus guiding us and pray that we move things as planned.
I've grown in this fortnight and find myself adoring and appreciating our team more than anything in the world right now.
As General Co-Coordinator of the Festival, I'm skating on pretty thin ice and have to watch my moves.

24hrs and we'll be moving...
What do we do till then ?
Might I suggest chewing our nails???!!!

Elizabeth,Grace,Juelle,Ragavi,DTP Boys.
and the other TECH SUMMIT guys I've missed out...


and Sneha...you've done a lot for me without even knowing it...this one's for you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Take a Look Around....

"Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer is my current favorite track.
While sounding incredibly melodious and soothing....
it carries a message that has me hooked on to it.
It's a song for young people and is about the power we have as a generation
to influence our own lives and times.
and that we fail to embrace that power....
We know that times will change and we wait for that....
but we fail to see that we are the ones who bring that about.....
by our actions.....or our inactions.

We live in a country that's a social and political phenomenon.
A billion contradictions and we don't seem to mind.
Try to figure that out and you realize you can't.
"We are like this only !"......and we love it.

But look from the perspective of an educated individual,
who sees the potential of our nation,
and is frustrated by the way and the pace with which things are going.
Whose fault is that ?
We say....the 'Leadership'.
So what do I chose to do bout it ?
I voted,that's it.....what more do I do ?...what more can I do ?

I got you a book called "History Makers"....I need you to look into it with me and tell me what you see..... what you really see.

Mahatma Gandhi
The political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement.
The pioneer of Satyagraha : resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience,
Firmly followed Ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired
movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
He is officially regarded as the Father of the Nation.

Martin Luther King
Activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement.
Secured progress on civil rights in the United States.
Referenced as a human rights icon today.
Raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the
greatest orators in history.

Che Guevara
Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, military theorist,
international statesman and major figure of the Cuban Revolution.
Since his death, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous counter-cultural symbol and global
insignia within popular culture.

Abraham Lincoln
16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.
Successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War,
Introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his the much celebrated Emancipation Proclamation

All of these men had one thing in common, they forever changed the way we saw and did things.
They believed in the change that they wanted....
And changed themselves to bring that about.
So should we all have to change ourselves and take to the same things that they they did ?
Not all of us would have the same level of charisma or powers of oration that made them shine.
But there is one thing we need to realize.....
the change that our leaders brought about .........was through people like us.

I've always been a keen observer of human nature and have wondered....
What drives people as a race,as a society,as a community, as a nation ?
What makes people worship a man ?
How does a lawyer with a promising practice in Pretoria pick up a stick and free a nation ?
Why does Mumbai shut down when one man in a simple saffron robe tells it to?
How did one man with a little mouche succeed in razing Europe and incinerating 4 million scattered people ?

Looked at the same question in a different way....
Why the hell do people listen to and follow what that one woman or man has to say ?
What drives them ?
Force ?....Not really...our freedom struggle had inspired but never forced it's participants.
Love ?...would like to think so but it's just one factor.
Necessity ? ....close,but they are willing to sacrifice their needs.
Ambition ?....not if they are ready to die for their beliefs.
So what is it about people that makes them act as a sole consciousness ?
My guess is...a sense of 'Identity'.

People who are driven by a common purpose,see their ideals, their values...themselves...in their
Their heroes bring to the fore, everything that they want to be.
All powerful men and women bring people together by defining and exalting their Identity.
They represent and manifest what people see in themselves.
To know who you are...what you are...and to be proud of it...brings you fulfillment like no other.
Give that to a man and he will worship you for it.

All said and done....Our parents and the generations before them were not so different from us...
they all had dreams of how things around them would be
and did their part in building our world for us....
It's our turn now and we have to make sure that we don't let slip it by us.

We are the real strength of the leaders we believe in...
Every appearance at a rally,every E-Mail and every letter counts.
Every issue that they take up and work for..,
are things that affect us, whether we like to admit it or not.
There's never a wrong time to express our solidarity with the bearers of our cause and make sure that
we get represented the right way.

Speaking of empowering our leaders......
We must realize that the force of power is felt most by those who don't have it.
And by letting chances pass us by..we serve ourselves on a platter to those who may pretend or at least initially take up our cause to accumulate power.
As a line from 'The Matrix' goes..."Choice is an illusion created by those with Power".
Let's not get fooled into taking pseudo options.
They're created divert our attention from the bigger picture.
...a free TV set for a vote ?....are you kidding me ?

Realize that power and position are what make,shape and break the world around us.
For most of us,society dictates directly or tries to pinch our pride...
So that we spend the rest of our days in the accumulation of things that we believe will matter
when we are too old to do it anymore.
The affections and concerns that we have have for our loved ones are all addressed in the material benefits that we leave behind.
Believe me......what you really leave behind and what will really matter after you're gone are the
values that you built and the effort you put in to sustain them.

As we grow into adults....we realize that political seats of power and their occupants
affect our lives in ways that we are almost always forced to accept.
It's ironic that with all the education and foundations laid for us..
We still give in to gimmicks and masquerades and then blame the system for things that aren't

Take your time...you know good from bad..
and as overused as as this line is...
Please...."Do the right thing".
The way I see it, there probably is no single "right way" of seeing or doing things.
Anything we say or do is directed by our ideological and social values.
But that's the beauty of it...we can live with contradictions and still move forward.

It's a pretty tricky task to talk about power and politics without sounding biased.
What I'm talking about would make perfect sense to the "free" world.
But my blog would probably get blocked in any country where power is "absolute" and media is
Ironically......we are taught to believe that only a free world can move forward
But I now know that things will move forward by the forces and laws of nature...
whether free or not.

So what's the point of everything ?.....why do we still have to do our part if we know all that ?
Simple...because we can !
Because it's been done before and we wanna do it again.
Cause we were brought up with that promise...and we made that promise to ourselves.
and when we see something that makes us happy and proud....
It's an awesome feeling to know....We made that happen !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where you want it to be......

Putting up a video on your blog is a piece'o'cake.
It's called Embedding and doesn't need much work.

Let's say you want a YouTube video to be placed between the following two blocks of blah.

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

---------- Video Here ------------

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

The first thing you need to do is go to your video page on YouTube
and copy the code in the "Embed" box on the right hand side....

Quite simple...just click there..it get's selected..now copy.
Paste this code in "Notepad" or whatever text editor you have on your Mac....just to hold it temporarily.
This is the "Embed" code that fetches your video from YouTube and plays it on your blog.

Now you create your new post....you type all the text(blahs) in the "Compose" tab that looks like this.
Once you done typing your text....you have to click on the "Edit Html" tab beside "Compose".

You'll get a box that looks pretty much the same but with slightly different looking text in the typing area.
Click on the spot between the text where you want your video to be placed
(in this case..between the two "blah" blocks).

Paste the copied "Embed" code at the spot....that takes care of the code part.
Now simply hit "PUBLISH POST" and
Viola !....Your blog's hosting your video.

You can use the same steps to add videos to existing posts..
just add the "Embed" code wherever you want in the post.
Positioning the video frame exactly where you want it is a "trial and error" thing.
Doesn't take much time.


*** Been doin some thinking on the cause and effects of power *** will put it up on my next post....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When all else fails.....

You're having a crazy day....life not making sense or it's making sense in a way you find hard to accept.
You're upset,you're worked up.you're a train on the verge of derail.....you take a moment...you pull out our iPod or your phone.
You twist your fingers on the wheel or scroll to the right station and 'click'.The healing begins.
A river starts to flow in your head and you're flowing with it.Your body's suspended...your blood pressure returns to normal.You're heart's stopped screaming and your hands stop trembling.You're getin fixed...and will be fixed...by the time this track is over.

Since you were a little kid..you remember your favourite tunes...they still make you happy.
No matter how old you get or how much you rise or fall,you've kept your music.
It carries you,It bring's you to your knees.....It reminds you who you really are and you're feet are back on the ground.

I remember playing playing "Black or White" endlessly on my tape deck till it drove my Mom nuts.
I remember my first Roger Waters concert and wishing they'd invented a time machine.
My Mom and Dad marking the times of their lives with the music that was a rage back then.
My family and friends,we all have something called "our song".

There's something bout music that has worked while all else has failed.
If you're watching the footage of a music festival..you wouldn't be able to deny that this is what brings people together.
It has been the strongest and most universally accepted form of expression ever known.
Music is clay that can be whatever you want it to be.....motivation,pleasure,inspiration....even therapy.

Through the times, music has conquered all mind sets and crossed barriers more than anything else.
Over the centuries...correction,millinnea....music has has been our best friend more that any other science or art.
We have laughed,cried,held hands,danced,thought,stopped thinking,hummmed and swayed....all to the tune of music.
Why ? Why has this worked while all else has failed ?
Why are Jackson,Frank Sinatra and Presley worshiped as Gods ?
What did they have that made us want to listen to them over and over again ?.

So what is it about music that has worked where all else has failed?
...it's the Sincerity.
Sincerity that resonates with your soul.
No one can make true music without being true to themselves.
Ask the greatest musicians what keeps them going and the answers are simple.."We love to do it".
It's this sincerity that works.The sincerity that makes expression simple and powerful.

We have expressed the lives and times through our music.
From war to peace...from destruction to harmony ...from diversity to unity.
The essence of the Universe has been summed up in "OM".
Slokas are chanted to a tune.Prayers are sung in harmony.
Music flows from alpha to omega...and yet we never jade ourselves of it.
No age of art or science has prevailed over the age of music.

There have been moments in music that are icons of history.
From Elvis making pretty women scream to Louis Armstrong motivating the troops in Vietnam.
From Stephen Tyler making the fans go wild to Lata Mangeshakar making our Prime Minister cry.
From Pink Floyd's psychedelic artwork to Aerosmith's raw energy.
From Wartime protests like Woodstock to Peacetime rallies like LiveEarth.
They have done for mankind what no system or philosophy could ever accomplish.

I've been a music junkie all my life.
My tastes in music have evloved over the years and I still want more.
Anyone one who says he doesn't listen to music is not listening to life.
Take a moment...step aside from the "you" that is defined by others and by the system.
Go soul searching and you'll find yourself in a tune that will put everything else in place.

Find what works for you,borrow a CD from a friend..attend a concert..attend a music festival or watch it on TV and you'll know what I'm talking about.Take a step away from your 9 to 5,stop asking yourself questions, put those earplugs on and your life will make more sense.

Is music an art or is it a science ?
Science or Art....Art or Science...is one better than the other?
When war breaks out...will technology change the minds of the belligerents?
When a plague breaks out...will a visit to the Art gallery cure me ?
To know when art and science are different and when they come together,to see one in the other....to know how one can help the other and when one can preserve the other.....is the sign of and educated and evolved mind.
Ask again...Science or Art....Art or Science...is one better than the other ?
Are my hands better or my feet ?...Would I choose one over the other ?
It's a question that find a answer in contradiction.just like many facts of life that really matter.
Art and Science are balancing elements and to think that one is better over the other means that you need to think a lot harder.
Music transcends art and science to culminate both into...well music.

If you think that's all there is...I'm tellin you it is'nt.
Not until to see for youself....Ahem ! Listen for your self.
Make music your mantra in life.
Try that and you'll never regret a moment.

Tap your feet to Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea".
Jump to Elvis's "Blue Suede Shoes".
Laugh and Cry to Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World"
Leave the planet on the Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".
Celebrate life in Mika's "Grace Kelly"
Find poetry in "Kabhie Kabhie".
Worship one God through AR Rahaman's "Khwaja mere Khwaja".
Learn the horror of war in Metallica's "One"
Learn the value of peace in Micheal Jackson's "Heal the World".

Music has it all....music is all.It's food,it's water,it's the air we breathe.
If anyone of you has found a way to live without music..Don't tell me how.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's still Home....

Been a year since I last backpacked.
The last time was in Himachal with a few friends.
Had visted the Dalai Lama's Monastery and went mountain climbing near the BhagasuNag Village.
It was nothing like the India I've known.
This was'nt the first time I had been there.
My family had come here when I was three years old.
I was a restless little figit and my mom tells me that I ran upto the Dalai Lama's throne and squatted on it like it was a sofa at home.
We had to leave in a hurry but not before a few tourists got my picture.
So that's that.

I've travelled to quite a few places in the North and South of India.
Seen interesting things and met even more interesting people.
I've always been pretty interested in people's mindsets
and always jumped at a chance to strike up a conversation with locals and tourists alike.

My latest trip was a little different in that I had experienced things that altered my outlook on life a little bit.
I got on a bus for Pune on Sunday evening and reached the little city of Mapusa in 30 mins.
In comes this tall,slim but strong looking dude and takes the seat next to me.
Didn't say a word..just but his backpack in the loft and tucked himself in.
The bus wouldn't be leaving for another 15 mins.
I saw a store selling pistas and badams and thought I'd pick up some for home.
Got out,stretched...flexed,put on my haggler's face and headed for the store.
Ater 5 mins of hostage negotiations,the shopkeeper released two 1kg packs of Pista and Badam into my custody.
The terms of the surrender, I will not discuss.....they make me look really cheap !

Got back into the bus,put the stuff in bag.
"I see you signed you name as Menezes in the Roster" says my neighbour.
"Yah,Hi ! I'm Arthur...you are ?"
"Wasid,Hi !"
"You from Goa ?"
"No,I'm from Kabul...I'm an Afgan".
I think to myself,"this will be interesting..."
"I'm from Hyderabad,came to Goa for a vacation."
"By yourself ?"
"Yup ! My friends are in college attending classes.I have an exam the day after and here I am."
"Where were you staying ?"
"Rego's in Panjim."

Wasid had just finished his BBM in Goa and had been accepted for an MA at the University of Pune.
He had been in India for the past four years and had travelled quite a bit.
It surprised me that he was an engineering student in Kabul and had to drop it because of the instability.
"Governments and systems never last in Afghanistan.",he says.
I told him bout my course at Loyola and bout the places I visited.
He gave me a lot of useful info bout Goa that I will definitely use the next time I go there.

We discussed a lot of things.I didn't ask him bout the fighting although I wanted to.I felt it would be awkward.
"You know what's going on in Afganisthan don't you ?", he asks.
"I guess the whole world does.Tell me....how is it for you in Kabul?"
He says that his neighbourhood is one of the safer places but outside,people die every day.
Bombs,bullets and Jeeps are the order of the day.
I asked him if he was in support or against the fighting.
"I understand the fighting...but then here I am."

Wasid had a brother who worked with the WHO and his father was a well to do Horticulturist.
He told me that the fruits I just bought came from Kabul via Karachi.
"America can't win that easily and the fighters have a lot of local support."
"I'm sure",I said.
I said that the U.S can't enforce their system on a country that does'nt know it.
But then without them...a lot more kids would be dead.

Anyways,I asked him how he felt after four years in India.
"It's been amazing,The people have been very friendly and I plan to stay a lot longer."
"So you planning to work here or return to Kabul after this ?"
"I have some ideas that might click back home"
"Tell me"
"All the stuff in Afghanisthan comes from India via Pakistan....soaps,shampoos,matchboxes...you name it.
The middlemen take their cut and that makes the stuff pretty expensive.I'm gonna get a dealership and be a direct sole distributor in Kabul."
"That sounds like it might work."
"Just need to get some capital and need to pay off the officials."

We stop at a resthouse..grab a coffee and continue.
We spoke a bit about history,I can't remember why.
Discussed the Mughal invasion.
"We ruled your country for 350 years",he says jokingly.
"And then the British came and ended your line", I replied.
"In fact Bahadur Shah Zafar didn't even get a tomb.Too Bad !"

We dicussed the war and the Aryan settlements and how the Nazis used the "Aryan Superiority" ideal to screw the World.
"Funny thing actually.Afganisthan is the true home of the Aryans.The Nazi's got it all wrong."
"Really !"
"Our land was known as Aryana."
"That's something new to me"
"Believe it."

We spoke for another two hours and dozed off.
Reached Pune at bout 6.30 in the morning.
He asked if I wanted to go to the University with him and grab a bite later on.
I had to take a connecting bus back home.
Had an exam the next morning and could'nt stay.
Gave me his email ID,told me to contact him the next time I was in Pune.
Will do !

This journey and conversation is something that will stay with me for a while.
Because I learnt something that has altered my perspective on things.
The things he told bout his homeland and when I think of this intelligent and well mannered guy,I find it hard to believe he comes from such a place.
The fact that he chooses to go back and start over fills me with admiration for his spirit.
I also realized that you can't change poeple unless thay want to change.

Friday, August 14, 2009

You Who ?

Exam results were out last week...
Thought I'd screwed up for sure this time.
As I waited for the damn results page to load,I had fingers on both hands crossed.
Got through....Phew...Not bad !
Had really negelected my studies,working on a few development projects.
My eyes were reeling like a jackpot machine when I saw the figures on the cheque leaves.

I had really put myself into work and had negelected my books.
This was a close shave and I swore I would'nt take such a risk again.
Not while still in college.

Anyway..I'm in my final semester now and have reached a point where I need to call some real shots.
I worked with a multinational before and know all bout the 8hr shifts,the 5 days a week,the coporate parties,work culture and assembly line of executives and TLs...that's why I got out in the first place.
The way I see it,all that is good if you are someone who plays safe and likes things to have a secure and certain pattern.
That's something I am not and can never be.

Always been a guy with varied interests and a creative streak.
Been a bit of a computer geek,an actor,a singer,a dancer,an explorer and an entrepreneur(thats a recent development).
I'm what they call a "late bloomer" and Man !.... I surprise myself at times.

When I got into Loyola,all I had in mind was to get done with my course with no ideas for the future.
All I knew is that I had a knack for algorithms and that all things with a screen and keyboard seemed to like me for some reason.
But little did I know that there were other things that mattered a lot more than just my IT skills.

I've done many different things over these two years and these are things that I never knew were in me.
From being my class representative to bigger and heavier things like organizing rallies and building expensive projects from scratch.
From building and maintaining my department's website to helping some friends in shooting their short films.
Participating in research paper contests and winning awards at prestigious institutions.
Helping my mom in organizing and hosting charity meets and running off on holidays by myself when I needed to take a break.

I've done whatever I could to learn as much as I can and I can safely say I'm a brighter,smarter guy than I was two years ago....not to mention..mentally...I'm as tough as nails.
I have big dreams of building and owning my own company one day.Backpacking Western Europe,Scandanavia and Egypt,building a bike or car from scratch,earning a doctorate,runnning a charitable foundation that does'nt just give money but gets down and works at root level,holding a political office(far fetched but Yah! I wanna do that).....these are a few of the other things on the list that I pray I can realize.

At this junction where I have just a couple of months left over,I know that looking back at all the things I've done,
I realize how much I need to figure myself out and how hard I need to work to get where I want to be.
I know I have the drive but the direction is the real challenge.I'm glad that I've accomplished many of the things that were important to me back in the day...I've seen all the movies I've always wanted to....although some of them were a pain to find but were worth it.I've read all the books that I've always wanted to.I've backpacked the length of our country(the breadth is waiting for this summer)....trekked,skied,climbed and jumped.Met and learned things from amazing people.

At this point I realize how much I need to get back into myself,put myself in the chair
and ask...where do you wanna be ?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mixing Panic with Pleasure......

Calangut is an incredible beach.
Awesome beach,soft white sand
and stretches as far as the eye can see.
I met some decent folks who went to Goa every year.
They were kind enough to let me tag along.

The good thing bout Goa is that
a lot of places to visit are really close by.
So you can get around without gettin exhausted.
So I did just that...

Spent the morning at Calangut.
Dined and relaxed.

Visited the Church of St.Xavier next.
Visited a few more beaches.
And spent the evening on the Cruise.

Had fun....time to go..got an exam the day after.
Got back to Panjim and found a bus for Hyd that was leavin in bout 10 mins.
Rushed to an ATM and drew some cash.
Sprinted for the bus stand.

Had a feelin something was wrong...did I miss something ?
Pause...rewind....pause...did I take my card out of the ATM Machine ?
No I did'nt ! Screw the bus...
Run back and get it before someone finds it
and decides to extend his/her vacation in Goa.

Ran back..no card..just a grinning security guard.
Asked him bout the card...He said that the machine destroys
it if it is'nt pulled out in time.
Arthur Menezes..you missed a bus for home on a Saturday....It's 10:30pm.
All the banks are closed...and you got an exam on Monday.
Welcome to 'Screwed'ville.

Back to the hotel..
Mr.Rego at the reception is happy to see me.
I cant say the same for myself.
Had a heavy Goan meal for dinner.
and almost cried myself to sleep.

Woke late the next morning and blocked my card.
Drew some more cash and booked a seat for 7.00pm
.....the earliest one I could get.
Spent most of the day in Panjim,
and got on the bus in the evening.

Had an Afgan national seated next to me.
Had a really good converstion with the guy.
He was a student doin an MA in Eco from Pune.
It was great to hear his views and about his background.
Progressive and yet grounded and realistic.....
Spoke bout India,Indians,Afganisthan,Afgans,Business,Politics,Terrorrism and Goa.

Reaced Hyd at 7.00 in the mornin.
Reached home and crashed.
Spent the early Monday morning preppin for the exam.
Went really well..thank God.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time to Kill (lots of it......)

Spent most of the morning around the gateway and another hour on the ferry.
Did'nt have my CybeShot with me,so used the cam on my phone.
Had lunch at at a Barista(if club sandwiches and a Pina Colada qualify....)
Had loads of time, so decided to walk back to CST.
Stopped by the Jewish Synagogue and took a few pics.
Circled the Stock exchange and took a few more.

Spent bout an hour at the Jehangir Gallery.
Stared at some pretty interesting stuff.
Counted the bubbles and squares on other "not so intersting" stuff.
I find a piece a lot more interesting if I know a bit about the artist.

Did a bit more roaming around and still had time left over.
Bought a Miles Davis CD at Rhythm House.
Saw Angels and Demons...
Need to kill time somehow.

Walked over to Kayani's and had a snack.
Chatted with an interesting Parsi guy.
Got some useful info bout Panjim...thanks Rusky.

7:00pm finally...
Got on a bus filled with Goans
and one very annoying lady who had taken my seat and
I think was surgically attached to her cellphone.
Jabbered on till 11...I had to tell her to let me sleep.

Other than that...the drive was awesome....the view was incredible
the air was fresh and almost fragrant.
Reached Panjim at bout 6.30...
Looked beautiful from a distance and I got happier as we arrived.
Me go for now...will tell you about a minor disaster in the next post.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Had way too many holidays before my practicals.
Needed a break or my head would explode.
Always wanted to go to Goa but plans would get postponed for some reason or the other.
This time I decided I would go no matter what...
Checked with a few of my pals..
Most had just come back from a vacation,so they coul'nt make it.
So decided to backpack by myself..I really needed to let off some steam.

Went to Mumbai first..would take a connecting bus to Panjim from there.
It costed a lot less...considering I had no sponsors for this trip :-)
Reached ChurchGate on a Sunday morning..found a place and freshened up.
Went to Church near VT and booked a ticket for Panjim...departure at 7 in the evening.
Would spend the rest of the day roaming around Mumbai..the city I most sincerely hated.

My last two trips to Mumbai were nothing short of misery.
The congestion...the humid weather.
and the need to hide your precious belongings in the most uncomfortable of places.
But the last two trips were with relatives and I was a kid then.
And since I was on my own now..I had a fresh pair of eyes to view they city with.

I must admit that I also have had my presumptions about Mumbai
as a city that is not very kind to outsiders and Hindi speakers(blame the news for that....)
So I kept in mind that I could end up being really frustrated in the next 10 hours..

Started with places that were close by...Marine Drive.
Walked it's length and found a good Vada Pav place.
Man this stuff should go global...will beat a McVeggie any day.

Took a Taxi to the GateWay and spent most of the morning there.
There was a concert in front of the Taj with DJs mixing Marathi with House.
Had a ball..firangs dont look very good trying to dance to local beats but it's fun watching them.
Stared at the Taj and pictured the smoking top floors of the hotel.
Made me sad to think that something so beautiful was at the receiveing end of a corrupted ideaology.

There's a lot more I have to put up.....gotta go for now...will be back soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Boredom's not a burden any one should bear.....

Gave my last exams on the 28th...
Worst set of exams ever....
So we done ?..
A long vacation to Pondicherry or Goa ?
I don't think so...
Still got practicals left over.... three weeks from now..
So what do we do in the mean time...
we can still take that trip....
In June ? everyone one's gone and returned...
So what do we do ?
We sit at home.......staring out the balcony sometimes...eating at VAC's and wathcing re-re-re-runs of Friends...
This is killing me SOS...
Boredom is a burden and I have to bear it...
lets hope I have a few days after my exams before the next semester starts...
Hell ! who cares I'm goin any way !

What really matters.....

Been months since my semester wound up...
Was'nt the best....but I learnt a great deal.
Made loads of cash.....by sweat,luck and gallons of coffee.
But my academics went downhill !!!
Hard to keep things in balance when you're in the race...
All of my life I've been a pretty lazy guy and was used to getting what I wanted too easily.
I never cared to put an effort into things and never valued them enough.
There are things that I have learnt in the past few months that I know will stay with me for a life time......

I've always felt that money and position were all that really mattered ..
and although I feel that they still matter a lot I realised that they are only the "shine of the jewel "and not the "jewel" itself....what really matters is being happy with who you are and what you are doing with yourself and the people you care about.....

Now when I see things.....friends, family and everything else around me...I feel that I may or may not be able to change things...but what I know for certain is that I can do my part and be glad that I did what I could.....

I am and always will be an ambitious guy who will do what it takes to make my place this world....but it takes more than just ambition to be happy in life...it's the the ongoing pursuit that really adds value to it.

First Post...

Could'nt think of anything....
Just saw the place and thought.....maybe will try....
There is a lot you can bring out of you if you dont think too hard...
and the best things that come out of you,you never know were there..