Friday, December 10, 2010

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
- Willu Tauji aka William Shakespeare .

Shakespeare, in a fit of venereal rage dropped the appellative bomb. Little did he know that years after his death, an epithet could turn into social epitaph. Denominative misadventures could lead to character assassination.

Wondering why the fuss about the name? In a country like India, the name is more than word that people use to call you. Name speaks about the person's cultural identity. Name works like a GPS co-ordinate pointing the geographical entity where one hails from. Name tells you which demographic subset you belong to. The magnitude of the impact that a name has is often underestimated by many. I, for one, have a misleading name, which unfortunately is the antithesis of the real me.

Some names are so long that Obi-Wan Kenobi could travel from Coruscant to Tatooine, back and forth, before you finish spelling these name. Whats the big deal with lengthy name, you might ask. Russian women's tennis players have long names, don't they? Well, they are Russians and the tennis players are hot. Ever heard of a Russian called Phil Mayer or Maggie Cole? No? Neither did I. It is natural in Russia to have a name more potent than Absolut vodka.

If you think its uber cool to have 20 lettered name containing 14 syllables... Ah, well, you are a dumb ass! Do you think a Rangarajan Ramasamy or Chandramohan Suryanarayanan would stand a chance against Raj Malhotra or Aman Sharma in the brutally Darwinian social arena? Do you think a Muthulaxmi could compete with Nehas and Ritus. I don't think the people who appreciate such cruel naming conventions are capable of understanding the equations at work behind the modern societal framework. The old guard often cling to the past. To them, the world hasn't changed after Indian independence.

A name has to be presentable. The Chinese have discovered this long back. Mr.Yang Zhiyuan would rechristen himself as Jerry Yang once he lands on the west coast of USA. How long will it take for the Indians back at home to realize that you go extinct unless you adapt and evolve? Its more than just a name. Its about how the kids are brought up. We need to raise our children so their personality blends well with the world and not disjoint from it.

Let me walk you through the time line:

Year 1985
Meet Sundareshwaran Vaikuntanathan Thangasamy. (that's one name) Sundara for his parents, conveniently called SVS by his peers. Yes, SVS sounds like the name of a transport company. Our beloved Sundara has no option, but to suffer in silence. Sundara earned his bachelors from an IIT and masters from Stanford. He works for a MNC in Mumbai which pays him handsomely. In-spite of Sundara's success, the much coveted "In a relationship" status on Facebook has evaded him. Enter some random dude called Arjun Khurana, a new intern in the PR department. Arjun can't figure out the cube root of 8 even with the help of a scientific calculator but he still manages to walk away with all the pretty females.

Year 2010
Our Sundareshwaran and Arjun are married and have kids. Sundareshwaran's daughter Shashirekha thumps her thighs singing the Carnatic ragas. She has enrolled for the Bharathnatyam classes too. Sundareshwaran's son Shashikumaran is preparing for JEE. Meanwhile Arjun's daughter Anya is back from the beauty parlor. She is learning jive and listens to Lady Gaga(who does not have affiliation to any raga). His elder son Arnav has never managed to get an 'A' in acads, but he's taking his 'n'th girlfriend to a rave party nonetheless.
And the cycle continues.....

As I wait for the dawn of Rohan Namboothiripads and Neetu Iyengars, the senior Padmanabhans and the Chandramoulis are probably angry and cursing me for writing this. Demeaning writeup they'd say this is. Totally obnoxious! Well, sir, I didn't mean to offend you. Good for you and your kids if you are happy with their names. What I intend to convey is that names are no good if they serve as social contraceptives. Are you willing to sacrifice your stubbornness so that your children and their children don't end up being social misfits?


P.S. Don't even think of going anal over this post unless you are Pubus Dicksworth from Crotchington.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ghanta Inception!

Christopher "Memento" Nolan is back. Well, he is back with a bang. With blessings (read $100 million for advertising) from Warner Brothers, he presents his latest offering, Inception. With all the hype and hoopla surrounding the movie, I was quite upbeat. Batman Begins was nothing less than an Easter for the Batman franchise. Now with Batman resurrected, Mr.Nolan gave us Dark Night, which was superlative, thanks to Heath Ledger's legendary performance. Inception was not neither hair-rising nor did it make me think. To sum it up, I did not get a kick out of the movie. Was I was expecting too much out of the movie? Maybe.

Inception to me was fairly decent movie. I'd say mediocre among the good. It had time tested actors. It had a director who delivered 2008's highest grossing movie. But it was nowhere close to the "Baap" of mind bedding movies: The Matrix. The 1999 offspring would beat the crap out of Deception, oh sorry, Inception. In a war between Wachowski Brothers and Warner Brothers, Wachowskis would win hands down.

The psycho-triller started with a nascent plot revolving around Reality vs Dreams. Then came the brave hero who was hired to perfect "impossible" crime. A few motivational talks which probably were picked from Dr.Freud's dairy or Jung's notes and BAM! U have the 8/10 rated Inception. Oh, I forgot... there were dreams, more dreams, and dreams within dreams, and dreams within dreams within dreams. Like program to print the pyramid made out of asterisk with 3 levels of for-loop. (No, not the right angled pyramid)

I'd prefer Scorsese's Shutter Island anytime. It was neat, provoking, mind penetrating and above all, the anti-climax scared the shit out of me. The whole movie was unraveled like a twisted puzzle, which was put together piece by piece. Truly a treat for anyone who has affinity towards psychology.

The movie was about planting an idea in the human brain and the director, and the Hollywood studio succeeded. They planted an idea, a resilient parasite as they call it the movie... and that idea spread like an endemic. They convinced people that this is great movie, the would-be-legendary-cult-following silver screen epic. USP: "Its a movie for the intellectuals". Wow! The general crowd whose allegiance lies with the mindless chick flicks thronged the theaters simply because they could feel intelligent after watching it. This was like a short cut, so that one would be counted among the elite intelligentsia. Redemption through Inception. All u need to do is watch the movie, praise it and spread the word. (Extra points if you paste an Inception quote on Facebook) Bravo Mortals! Post movie, I am pretty sure a very large chunk of the people will be incapable of explaining the "fundas" of Inception. I pity the people... victims of the very concept they liked/want to like/pretended to like.

Movies remind me of my good friend Comet. This is what he had to say after watching Requiem for a Dream: "Oh man ..watched requim for a dream yesterday....abso-fuckin-lutely awwsome ....!!! but the sad part is i watched it with a bunch of ignorants... you know the 'jab we met' ..'love stories are so cool' types... while one guy just dozed off...another 2 kept asking me what the 'concept' was ? who is she man ? is she high ? on what ??.. horrible experience i say... i am never watching movies with friends again... and this one guy asked me if Jennifer Conelly was a guy or a girl .... which completely wrecked the 'ass-to-ass' scene for me ! had to use all the self control i had to not to punch him in the nose... bye man .. will watch it again."

The Firelord Ozais of the Hollywood-land who attack the world with their cunning strategies and marketing blitz better know this; TheChaosMonger, The Last Mindbender is still here. (Yay me!) Better luck next time Mr.Nolan. Muhuhahahahahaaaaaa!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lament of Chaosmonger - 3

The jinxed 90's generation of India. Ahh! Intellectually deprived and so full of shit. Visit your nearest mall if you have not seen a specimen of this species I am taklin about. I recently noticed that a good friend on mine had joined a community on FB, "I was BORN between 1980 and 1989!!! The last SANE generation!!"... sounds so true to me.

16 years of age and you already have a boy/girl friend... I know its the age where the raging hormones are hard to suppress and the biological process of having babies would generate more interest than anything else, but c'mon! Earn a living first. You are practically living off your parents. Jesus!

I was told recently that the car is not a luxury anymore. It is a necessity now. You can pity my general awareness, which you might think is squalid at best. Teens detest they very thought of using the public transport. To them, buses are the means of transport which is reserved for 2nd grade citizens. The next best thing they can think of after a car and bike is an auto. Oh yes, the auto. When a spoilt bitch waves her delicate manicured hands and yells, "Auto!" and all she intends to do is travel to a place which is less than 500 meters away, we then know that something is wrong with them for sure. Whom am I kidding now? I can't point my fingers at the FB generation alone. Clearly, the parents will have to share the blame. A 14 year old urban upstart gal owns more number of sandals than the number of hair you can find on the scrotum of a 14 year old chap from the 3rd world.

Wait, there is more. I've noticed this strange way of wearing T-shirts among the teens. They fold the sleeves up to shoulder level. What so cool about folded sleeves? First I thought it was a just a vulgar display of non-existent biceps. I later realized that it was a "style" that was spreading like an epidemic. Look people, it is absolutely normal to wear a T-shirt the conventional way. If you want to display the recent butterfly tattoo that you got on your shoulder or you want to show off you protein-shake biceps, then please go buy yourselves a sleeveless top.

For the benefit of mentally impoverished, I've prepared an illustration.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Lament of Chaosmonger - 2

And Incessant whining continues....
Warning: Digressive post.

"We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people."
- Arthur Schopenhauer.

Well, if I already know that change is inevitable and stopping it is impossible, why then do I write this post? Heck. I don't know. We all get pissed off when things around us change. Especially when we have already adapted to our surroundings. Nobody likes to get out of their comfort zones. Not all changes are for the good. Again, "good" is subjective... (Am I getting eccentric or what?)

Most Indians are chauvinistic idiots who still dwell in the past and like to feel proud about themselves by constantly reminding everyone about how great their tradition, culture and values are. Dumb witted morons have not achieved anything significant ever since the invention of zero and in spite of all the obvious and visible failures we don't give up chest beating. Exploited and used in the past, present and the future.

I dare not say that we are intellectually incapacitated race. I am not getting into this "Nature Vs Nurture" debate but I can predict with certainty that nature does matter. I know a Honda City cant do a 0-60 in 3 seconds. What surprises me is that we lost the race when we had plenty of Veyrons, Zondas and McLarens among us(Heck! even the cars are not Desi). I am just making a modest attempt at trying and understanding the reason for our collective failure. The first answer that my brain threw at me was "our great tradition, culture and values ". People still think non-compliance with religious rules/guidelines is unhealthy for the society and can lead to the individual's banishment to the fiery Hell. So you can either get fried in hell or score virgins in heaven (or whatever fantasy you chose to believe).

Stagnation is bad but change sometimes can be worse . Evolution is the key to survival and success but carving out a whole new sub species within a matter of 6-7 years is bad. The Yahoo-Google generation is gone. It is now the dawn of the Facebook-Twitter generation who know the meaning of "F" word right when they are in 4th grade. The mindset of urban India is comparable to any western society. As Santana says, "See as the rich is getting richer, The poor is getting poorer". The upma and batata poha have now been replaced with pancakes and orange juice. Its Mediterranean cuisine for the Sunday brunch and Italian for the dinner.

You know what haunts me more? Its the growing indifference in me. I don't like to do anything these days. I don't get "me time". No, its not "my time". Its "me time". Its the time where I can read, learn, imitate, improvise... play mind games n wrestle with my own brain. My learning curve has taken a plunge and is about to hit the x-axis. I never wanted to be this guy. Probably you'd be wondering whats keeping me so busy that I don't get time for myself. I know I am not a investment banker who has to slog 100+ hours every week. I somehow feel that my brain is becoming sterile now.

Is this is best what India's sunshine sector can offer? I feel they are creating brain-dead zombies out perfectly healthy and intelligent people. Putting a vacuum pump into peoples' head and sucking their brains out. Lobotomizing the youth and teaching them how to wear a tie in return. (yea, like we already didn't know) Its so bad that I've started to suck at the most trivial tasks. Sometimes I cant face myself. I don't want to be one of those intellectually handicapped teenager who is fooled into believes he is doing white collared work. It suffocating sometimes. The private sector, IT especially, once applauded for its governance have now wholeheartedly accepted the inherent corporate red tape and the cheap politics.

Remembered a joke, indulge me if you can.
Phases of a project:
1 -- Exultation
2 -- Disenchantment
3 -- Search for the Guilty
4 -- Punishment of the Innocent
5 -- Praise for the Uninvolved
(Yes, you can LOL.....and mock)

Mixed feelings people, mixed feelings. Jinxed! I feel the whole nation needs psychotherapy. Any volunteers who can help these fools unlearn the bullshit taught over 2 millennia?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Misadventures at the Deccan Rock Fest

Hola Phantom-Readers,

Had been to Bangalore/luru 2 weeks back to watch the Vikings play at Palace Grounds.... so here goes the story.

I'd decided that I'll be going to watch Amon Amarth when the rumors were making rounds that they'd coming to India. My friend Mastermind Maddy was an accomplice in this act. The show was organized by some an event management company which I believe is quite new to the gig scene. Now these organizers are not good at what they do. Why? Coz when I reached the venue at 3:30 there was no place where drinking water was available. Sitting in an open ground with scorching sun over my head, there was little what I could do. Friends to the rescue... :)

Things started moving on the stage but the sound checks and the arrangement/re-arrangement plagued the concert. Just to put a disclaimer, I am not a big fan of Death Metal/Black Metal and their sister concerns. No offence to the fans, but to me its just a bunch people gargling on the stage with their constipated voices. You might be wondering WTF was I doin there, right? Its the melody that draws me... and some of the bands played amazing numbers that made my trip worthwhile.

Eccentric Pendulum, winners of the deccan rock competition, started the concert. Honestly, they were good. I couldn't connect with Undying Inc and Bhayanak Maut. Yeah, they fell into the constipated sounding bands category. I loved Inner Sanctum. Kryptos was amazing. Although there were booed by the crowd (and me) for carrying the Liverpool scarf, they dint dissapoint. Demonic Resurrection was superb. Their funeral groove left me banging my head like crazy.

I was separated from the pack when a mosh pit went really wild... I got pushed a few feet back.

(Enter a cute girl with her videshi friend.....)

I was busy headbanging. Yeah, this time it was the windmill style.... And this girl comes to me and asks my name, phone number and email id...

(Voice in my head: Is this happening for real? I know I am not drunk.... guess my bad days are over)

Then she hands me a pamphlet which read "Save the climate, Act now! Greenpeace".... I was supposed to write my name, phone number and email id on the pamphlet. Such a let down! Damn!

After making an ass out of myself, got back to the business... It was the turn of Textures to take the stage. I dont want to make a judgement call about the band... maybe some people do like them, but I did not. Its plain monotonic sound with little variation did not leave me impressed.

It was time for the Nordic Gods to take the stage. I was gasping for breath by then... the dance of death I'd performed for Demonic Resurrection's numbers drained my energy. Johan comes and surprises me with his voice... Man! Is he a human or what? One hellova growl! The Vikings played Free Will Sacrifice, Death In Fire, Asator (which drove me nuts), Live for the Kill, Guardians of Asgard n others... Amazing show. It was 10:30 pm and the police made sure that the organizers wrapped up. The metalheads however were starving for more... Wish the Vikings had played some of their signature numbers. It was a good show nonetheless.

We knew that the transport system turns ugly after 10:30... I along with 2 other friends had to rush to Murugeshpalya to avoid getting fleeced by auto drivers. We managed to get a bus. My chuddy-buddy Sandy and other kindred spirits generously offered me VIP suite at their place. May Thee be touched by His Noodly Appendage! Y'all rock!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Algorithms and Data Structures

The ultimate sophistication, they say, is the virtue of simplicity. After the Calculus and Convolution theories I give you a great resource on Algorithms and Data Structures. A very simple yet appealing approach. Make the best use of it.

[ Due credits inside the pdf ]

Stephen "Sandaime" Vadakkan (simply Sandaime to me) has always been a mentor to many. A new path he has decided to take. A new road to tread. I'd tell my usual line "May the Force be with you" to convey my wishes but in his case I'll have to crank it. Sensei, "You are the Force". Continue to ignite the souls and enlighten the minds.

A line dedicated to you:

"Whenever someone thinks of you, that's where home is"
- Jiraiya, The Gallant.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quote of the Month

"Some people lose their faith because heaven shows them too little, but how many people lose their faith because heaven shows them too much?"
- Thomas.

Line is from the movie Prophecy(1995). Christopher Walken as archangel Gabriel delivers one of his best performances.

P.S. I don't and I never will believe in heaven, hell, leprechauns or god/gods. :)