Wednesday, December 20, 2006

and he waits...

There’s a boy in a room.
And a girl in a city.
Living each other’s dreams
Treading their paths. Living life.

When the world sleeps, they talk.
Share their days.
They talk about love.
About happiness. About life.

He loves her. She knows he does.
She likes him.
Doesn’t tell.
And he waits.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A compliment?

Today I was talking to one of my friends about (who else?) myself when he said this about me vis-à-vis another common friend of ours.

"People like you are meant to change the world, but people like him were made to survive in it"


I really don't know if I should take it as a compliment or a judgement. Any ways, it was quite thought-provoking. So much merges into what I am into these days, self realisation (/mockery /denial /discovery /pity) All things self, though.

Know Thyself...

Somehow, this poem makes so much sense to me right now...
Know Thyself
by Alexander Pope
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast,
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such
Whether he thinks too little or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused, or disabused;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
The Riddle of the World...sometimes it becomes too puzzling for me.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Going as per rationality, the Murphy's Law must apply to all the phenomena of this universe, including those dictated by the Murphy's Laws themselves, no?

Keep thinking ;)

Saturday, November 25, 2006


This post for a very selfish reason.

Today was a bad day. And I am writing this so that I remember everytime I see it, that how bad it was. Maybe I will look back at it someday and have reassurance that it wasn't THAT pathetic, or at least something good came out of it all.

In the end, its every man for himself, and it's never too late to work towards a better life. Maybe this is it.

The feeling of remorse for letting down a close friend shall always pinch. I'll have to do something about it.

I am sorry, Sumeet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


As I push the door, it opens with a creek, almost poetically. As I enter, I can distinctly smell the smoke of a freshly stubbed out cigarette. Strange, because it has been quite some time since anyone has been here. The tinge frolicks around with my nostrils for a few moments before they get used to it. Is it really the smell, I ponder, or my mind playing around with the memories I have of this room, his room.

The room is dark and gloomy, still I can make out the faint outlines of the furniture inside. There isn't much of what can be accommodated in a hostel room, but still, his room has quite a lot of stuff, all randomly placed inside. Because of the darkness, I cannot see it, but it is there, I can feel the obstacles. Almost like they have an aura around them, his aura.

As I flick up the button of the bulb, the room is immediately filled up with soft gloomy yellowness, pushing the darkness to the corners, making it hide in the shadows. There is a chair immediately in front of me, a cluttered workdesk to my right, a pile of unlaundered clothes on the bed, a couple of suitcases unwelcoming me into their owner's domain, a wheezy typewriter stashed away in a corner, tons and tons of paper everywhere: class notes, correspondence, his "idea" pages, the "festival material"; all strewn about. Everything looking back at me just like I am looking at them. Without passion or emotion, devoid of energy, just us gazing at each other. A feeling of statis grips me. It seems nothing has been touched since then.

A crunch beneath my feet. A used up matchstick. A box of matches on the desk. Depressing amounts of cigarette stubs in the waste bin. Stubbing-out marks on the desk drawer. An empty box of cigarettes.

Then I see it.

On a small bedside table I see a stubbed out cigarette. Perfectly left untouched. The ashes are there, the insignia of the brand intact, as he used to keep it. The filter a bit crooked with the pressure applied on the top and still standing in the little pile of ash. Beside it is a letter pad, with the impressions still there of the note written on the page that must have been above it, the page that must have been hastily torn apart by him. A page that he was carrying with him when he was found.

A suicide note. In my dead friend's pocket.

I can feel my eyes getting moist. I must go away now. I give one parting look at my friend's last smoke, and close the door behind me.


Psst ... Pratyush doesn't know I wrote this story in his name. :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I am nobody.
I live in all of us.
Come to think of it, almost everybody is a nobody at some point of their life, and I am one right now.
Why? I don’t know, but I have this feeling that I am slowly pushing myself back into the darkness. While the world around me is bubbling and thriving, I am getting more and more secluded, an outsider, a lonely onlooker to the party.
This too, shall pass.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Clock Turns Back...

It may not make much of a read. (Reading the footnote would hopefully help.)
An hour is what the papers say
The clock turns the backward way
Oh I wish time did so too
It should turn back, for me, for you.

Let's go back to the same ol' days
And write down everything anew
Let's sit down and set it straight
A different script, for me, for you.

On although a second thought,
Maybe, just maybe we should not.
This is more real, this is more true
Having just enough of magic, for me, for you.

The clock, however does turn back
One more degree of separation
Let's see if the magic still works
For this man, is it hope, or jubilation?
This poem comes after a completion of a marathon run of "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" at my very local theatre that I fondly refer to as Klysh. (It means that I watched these wonderful movies on my comp :p)
Now, "Before Sunrise" was a stunning story, a fairy tale as well as an almost real time movie. The actors were impeccably true to their characters, which in turn were breathtakingly so lovable (for the lack of a better word) It is a fairytale happening to two people in real life. Sends you in a trance. "Before Sunset", the sequel, couldn't have been more apt. It is, in every sense of the word, a breathtaking production. I did not even realise that the movie was through till I saw the credits rolling in. It was so encompassing. And then, this poem. Don't get waylaid by the one hour thing, it IS important but let's just say it's a thing that started it all, and hence I chose to keep it in the composition. Whatever, not getting into THAT. Just watch the movies and maybe then the poem might make some sense.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Strange Case of the Birthday Card...

Well, just read this.
(Information : Certain parts of this presentation are inspired from real life.)

Once I sent a birthday card
for a lady extraordinaire
’twas a plain and simple electronic card
"To show that you love and care"TM

After googling for a hour or so
Oh! Finalising it was so hard
For a special lady on a special day
A cute-ish birthday card

The forgetful that I am, I knew
It might happen, with fate,
That I forget to send the card to her
On the correct d-date!

So I thought up a little plan
And set up the card thus
To be delivered to her on the right date
No worries and no fuss!

There was an option on the card
to tick on the place that said,
Tell me when this card is sent,
And also when it’s read

So I put a tick mark each
And press the button to send
The card that wished a happy day
From a very happy friend

I should’ve avoided the ticks, I feel
should've sent an unmarked card instead
'coz I got a message saying the card was sent
But never got one saying that it was read

So boys and men, and all such fellas
Keep this in mind I hark
Either do not send a greeting card
Or send one without a mark.

These days, my literary standards have taken a plummet from their erstwhile summits. (Mt. Everest? No, more like the top of Faculty Building, heh heh!) Anyways, I am trying out a new way of writing that is impromptu, thoroughly unrevised, one go, straight-from-the-gut-through-my-fingers-and-on-the-screen kind of writing. I'll stick to this for the time being till the "literary standards" hit a Mariana Trench. Then maybe I'll contemplate on a new way to tease the world.

Till then. Smiles.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Suicide Note : It starts all over again...

Life, they say comes a-round-a-full circle.

This semester is no better than the previous. Same story, pre registration time, full of enthusiasm in choosing courses, courses that seem interesting (in the long run, they DO turn out to be!), courses with the best facutly teaching them, courses that would require me to think and learn. But these are courses which would also need me to attend classes.

Why I do not attend a lot of classes, I cannot figure out. Maybe I have lost that trait somewhere. I don't attend classes, lose out on the course, finally end up either passing with a poor grade or flunking (Yes have done it a couple of times yeah!) Is this life? Is this the way things should be? Is this what I wanted to be?


The worse part is ... I scripted it myself. I am becoming exactly the same kind of person I loathed when I entered the institute gates for the first time. You know the one, Mr. Seem-to-know-it-all, Mr. Blabber-mouth, Mr. I'm-an-IITian-so-I-must-be-bright, those types. What it actually means, is that I haven't learnt ANYTHING after my JEE preparations got over. The trouble is, I haven't tried to, as well.

I was never a fighter. When it becomes too much, I just lie back and leave it. unfortunately that is not what works. I postpone/procastinate/or just ignore everything till it becomes too much to handle, at which point I just shirk it off. But but but, I am in a system that doesn't appreciate it, and it shouldn't either. I end up being more miserable.

I am thinking right now, that I would start studying this particular course (the mid-sem preparation for which triggered this post) after my midsems get over. But i have too much on my hands to make this commitment. As such I am going to have a hell lot of work in the next two weeks, there is also the CAT exam on 19th november after which we have, lo! the End sems. When does Saumya study? Saumya doesn't, gets an F, grinds his teeth harder, becomes a bigger sore loser, starts complaining around and then again goes into depression, something only a very few close friends can prevent as well as cure me out of.

Had it not been for them, I'd have been a major wreck already, not that I aint, but a bigger mess would have existed in the space currently allotted to Saumya Jain on this planet. If you know you are one of them, I should also let you know that I value your presence in my life and would always remember you people as my saviours. be continued, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


P(re) S(cript) : Written under the effect of a night spent peering at a blank computer screen and reflecting on why I do what I do, maybe some gentleman by the name of Freud deserves some credit as well.

[Warning] Gossip mongers and nosy pokers take note please, there's nothing in here you might be interested if THAT is why you're reading this, kindly make a hasty exit. Else, if you do have a little taste in life, read on...

She maybe a girl far away, or someone living just round the corner. She may be a person living, or lived, or yet to be born. She may not even exist at all, or maybe existing for eternity for me. She may not be a person I know, not a person I have met yet, she might just be a concept. She maybe a sister, a mother, a friend or no one at all, her existence maybe just a mere figment of my silly imagination.

But she lives through me...she lives in me.

She inspires, she creates, she loves, she nourishes, she brings out the best in me. She whispers love in my ears as I fall asleep, she dives into my dreams, and wakes me up gently from the sweet slumber each morning. I live with her aura all around me, protecting, caring and nurturing as ever. I work for her, write for her, create for her, think for her, live for her.

Maybe you do, too.

I love her. Absolutely. Madly.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Umm...Did I fool so many of 'em?

You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
These were the words of the great Abe Lincoln. What do I say to it?

Had I been asked this, let's say an year ago, my views would have been "oh yeah!" "absolutely!" "way to go, abe!" or something very much along those lines. However, since then, life has been a roller coaster.

The current post has been seeded by a small revelation. I got up yesterday morning to see my Orkut fan list gone up to complete a century!!! Now that's 100 people who really think that Saumya Jain is fannable material. Oh! And Abby Baby said I can't fool so many people!

Wonder what they find so "fan"ciful in me? In any case, the feeling is just "fan"tastic.


Saturday, July 08, 2006


[Rant Advisory : Today I am in a real rant mood.]

Why is it like this?
Why can I not sit down to study?
Why do people not do what they oughta do?
Why can't they look at the bigger picture?
Why can they not give up a little bit of selfishness to see a smile on another face?
Why do I end up doing things I didn't even think of? And not-doing the ones I dreamt of?
Why does my work keep piling up and me still keep accepting more?
Why are there so many whys in my mind right now?
Why can I not find any answers to these whys?
Why do I always end up with a feeling of something left to be improved?
Why do I not see the other half of the moon?
Why do I want to see the other half?
Why can I not think of anyhting else to type now?

There, feeling much much better now!



Just say yes, and I shall wait.
Just say yes, write my fate.
Just say yes, I want you to.
Just say yes, and say it true.

I shall wait, and wait for you.
I shall wait, till you're through.
I shall wait, from now to ever.
I shall wait, and hope forever.

Completed Saturday, July 08 2006, 05:27 A.M.

Write my fate...Just say yes.

Me in suuuuuper romantic mode these days. This poem was an old one but incomplete. Today I got down to complete it and published it here just to add to the whole romance.

Did something happen? I dunno.
Did someone say something? I dunno.
Did I think that someone said something? I dunno.

Man, romance kills reason! But whaddaheck, its soooo goooooood!!!

No Comments. :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Street-side revelation...

Scene : IITK Main Road, 5:00 in the evening

Players : A sick, nauseatic Rakshit Kachhal and a sicker Saumya Jain moving towards IITK Gate to buy some medicines for the ever-so-puke-happy Kachhal.

Saumya : Yaar aaj tune kuchh ajeeb notice kiya? [Did thee notice something astrange today, my friend?]
Rakshit : Nahin toh, kya? Koi baat hai? Bol? [I am afraid not. Pray tell me what it is.]
Saumya : Yaar yeh aaj saari chhoriyaan laal kapde kyun pehne hain? [Cannot continue translating this text in chaste english, it will lose its fun. Get in touch with a Hindi speaking Indian to know what's going on here. End of translation]
Rakshit : Hain?
Saumya : Arre main keh raha hoon aaj jitni bhi ladkiyaan dikh rahi hain, mostly sabhi ne laal kapde pehne hue hain. Yeh achhee baat nahi hai. Inko pata hona chahiye ki laal kapdon se chhoron ko kuchh kuchh hota hai.
Rakshit : Hota hai kya?
Saumya : Aur kya, nahin hota?
Rakshit : Haan yaar, hota to hai.
Saumya : Hain na? Waise main soch raha tha, laal hi kyun?
Rakshit : ...
Saumya : ...
Rakshit : Abey woh issliye kyunki apun jaise saand type ladkon par laal rang ka hi asar hota hai!
Saumya : mmmmppphhhh!!!
Rakshit : muahahahahaa!!!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Long live the Cold War...

Have a look at this...

When Sputnik burst onto the national scene, there was a rapid and sustained whir of public opinion condemning the Eisenhower administration for neglecting the American space program. The Sputnik crisis reinforced for many [xix] people the popular conception that Eisenhower was a smiling incompetent; it was another instance of a "do-nothing," golf-playing president mismanaging events. G. Mennen Williams, the Democratic governor of Michigan, even wrote a poem about it:

Oh little Sputnik, flying high
With made-in-Moscow beep,
You tell the world it's a Commie sky
and Uncle Sam's asleep.

You say on fairway and on rough
The Kremlin knows it all,
We hope our golfer knows enough
To get us on the ball.

It was a shock, creating the illusion of a technological gap and providing the impetus for a variety of remedial actions.
My two cents...The Commies and Yanks battle it out, Indians take the best of both worlds by keeping Non-Aligned!!!

Long live the Cold War, long live NAM!!!

Working, Shirking...

The title of the post is inspired by a book named "Fasting, feasting" by Anita Desai, not that I have read the book, but yes the title seemed interesting, and I shamelessly lifted the idea in this post of mine.

Life's been tough, to use a cliché, I've been working like hell lately. On second thoughts, though, have I?

Sometimes...(no, all the time infact!) I have around 10 things to be done which I write down on a little chit of paper so that I don't forget that these have to be done. But then guess what? I forget to look at that chit. It sits conveniently in my shirt pocket, and is doomed to be washed by the washerman with the laundry!

Coming on a more serious note...does a lot of effort mean a lot of work? Personally, I think it is not the case. For me, a BIGTIME procrastinator, work is a headache, which unfortunately I have incorporated in my lifestyle. So the headache is always there. I love having the tension at the back of my mind that there's a lot to do, when actually the case is, that I can do all that I have to do in a matter of hours, if I set down to do them.

For example, the room that I live in is crying out to be cleaned, even the spiders have become sick of the old cobwebs. They are waiting for me to provide them with fresh new ground to house themselves. Hardly a couple of hours' job, but being postponed to "tomorrow" for almost 4 months now. Am still waiting for the tomorrow. The bad thing is, I am convincing myself against taking up new activities because _my room is not clean_ so it pretty much amounts to shirking responsibility on the pretext of completing another pending one, which eventually shall not be done.

I don't really know what's gotten into me, I have always been lazy, but the irresponsibility I have been showing lately is phenomenol even by my standards! Vinod advises me to "suit up", which is just the thing I need to do, but then...
I have to clean my room before that!!!

God save my lazy soul.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Suicide Note # 1 : Dear Family...

Hello Mom, Dad, KJ...

Probably you miss me, probably mamma goes to sleep with a heavy heart, probably papa utters a deep sigh whenever he thinks of me, probably a tear trickles down KJ's lovely little eyes at times when she is reminded of her brother.

I want to tell you, I might not have been a good son and a good brother, but I've always tried to be one, and it is so because I have been around such good people as yourselves. Mom, Dad, thank you for making me who I am, for showing me the world as best as it could have been shown ever. KJ, thank you for being my cute little doll for 19 wonderful years. I am not that bad you know, I always want you to have the best, I might be a little tough and rude, but most of the time it is for your own good, beta.

Papa, I was a bad boy when I smoked and took to drinking without telling you all. I wanted to, but that would be too embarrassing for me to say out aloud. It would hurt you. It would hurt me to know that I have not kept the faith you showed in me. I did not want to tell you because I did not want you to feel that your kid has gone astray. I had, papa. I had.
I know you have great dreams for me, and I really suck at not being working towards them. I could have been a little more responsible and a little more "myself" and acheived what I truly deserved. I didn't. Neither did I become my true inner self, nor could I acheive what I could have. I love you for still wanting me to.

Mummy, you are my responsibility. Or I always thought so. If I want a didi in my future births, I would want you to be the one. Maybe even in this life you are just like an elder sister to me. I remember a very young and tiny Saumya sitting on the dressing table, trying out Mummy's bindis and lipstick. I remember a toddler running around avoiding a bath, I remember you holding my chin and combing my hair, readying me up for school, playing with me around the house, bringing food and water right down at my study table, pushing me out of the house for fresh air, making halwa at times when I needed it the most :)
No. I cannot recall how much you have done for me. I don't want to. I cannot even say thanks. I don't want to. I love you ma.

KJ, I told you, you have been my little dolly all along. I just cannot forget the little gudiya calling out "aiyya" because she was so little she couldn't even pronounce "bhaiyya" properly. I'll probably cherish that sound till my final moments. I remember the cat and dog fights we used to have and took the whole houselhold as hostage. I remember finishing up my ice-cream/chocolate/biscuit quickly and then pestering you to part with yours. I remember distributing cold drinks in glasses ever so finely equally balanced as though they had been measured, and still managing to get more for myself. I remember cheating you on every little occasion I could, not because I was smarter, but because I knew that you trusted me blindly enough and that even if you found out, you wouldn't mind. I knew you wouldn't mind. Despite all the show of "I really don't think I should believe you" that you keep giving me, I know that you really love me a lot and take me very seriously whenever I have something to say. I would just say, no daughter of mine could give me more affection than you have showered me with as a chhoti sister. Just remain the same sweet self that you are, and don't forget to call out for "aiyya" in case things don't turn out your way. I'll be there.

See you all, bye.

A String of Suicide Notes...

As per an old agreement with Vinod, I am writing a series of possible suicide notes hence on...

By the way, it should be unnecessary to say this, but for the more concerned lot of you, "I am not contemplating wilful cessation of my life"... Its just that I (rather, we) thought of this to be a nice idea to spew our guts about what we think about certain things.

This series of suicide notes would sometimes be reflective, sometimes comic, sometimes wise, sometimes otherwise.

Bear with me please, oh and while I am thinking up something to write in my opening note, you can have a look at Vinod's suicide note here.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Profile Pic...

The one that was voted out

Guess it is high time that I changed my Profile Picture.
Two reasons.

One -> There have been at least 2 (two) confirmed cases of this pic being rated as a psychotic killer out on the loose, which, undoubtedly, I am not, thus the pic is essentially not Saumya-esque in attitude, hence needs to make an exit.

AND Two -> Some people have also expressed the opinion that the picture is unlike myself in form as well. "It doesn't look like you, Saumya"

A change of image is always nice, especially if it's for the better image, eh?

So here it is, boys n gals, the all new and improved me!!!

Folks, we have a new contender!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Really Crap Post...

Well, there comes a time on every blog page when the author loses the interest [slash] time [slash] energy [slash] inclination [slash] incentive to post new material on the blog.

Having said that, I must say, I haven't !!!

So I come up with an absolute crap post like this to bugger all of you (umm...that makes me wonder if "all of you" isn't a bit of exaggeration, I mean, how many from the homo sapiens clan would actually read my blog, by the way?)

Also, since I have set down to "blog", then why not me talk about something interesting. How about an advice post. Or maybe a DIY post. Hmm, DIY is good (you see I am making this all up as I am typing, and I have made a promise to myself that I will not step back and delete anything that I have typed, so all this, folks is impromptu typing that you are reading all along!)

So where were we? Yes, the DIY post.

SO that raises a very pertinent question, what is it that the whole world might need a DIY for, especially coming from me? Thinking of what, I get a perfect idea. So here it is people, the DO IT YOURSELF for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, commonly known as DIYAEWWW. (Not a very pleasing acronym no? Well they say that appearances are deceptive, read the theory that follows now)

So, DIYAEWWW. Here it is.

Step 1. Think it.
Step 2. Do it.
Step 3. Forget it.

That is all about it. In those 6 words I have summarised all my knowledge gathered so far from anything that I have learned. Am open to dicussion on this. Really. Call me up, chat up with me, drop me a message, a comment. I'll make sure you get the theory.

This post started out as a crap post, but now I am wondering, if it really is ending as one. I have ACTUALLY compressed everything I knew in those 3 steps. And I am not trying to be funny here.

Give it a thought, it might strike you sometime. If it doesn't, I am there to hit you with the reality. Try me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Friendship, Love, Marriage...

I dunno what made me write this, but then I AM writing this.

**If I love you, then it doesn't really mean that I expect you to love me. I know this.

**If you don't love me as of now, I'll wait till either (a) you begin to love me, or (b) you marry someone else. I will wait.

**If you love me as well, then too, we may still not end up marrying. I realise this.

**(By some strange whim of mine,) I would want to marry you, but it is too early to finalise anything. I accept this.

**If we end up marrying, we are supposed to be happy. I am not promising this, but honestly, I know, we will try, IF we end up marrying that is.

**There are a lot of "if"s here, but I do know one thing is certain...I would love you no matter what...It is the way I am made, and I really can not do anything about it, and frankly speaking, I don't WANT to do anything about it.

Confused?...Well, here's a hint. This message is for a very special person (SP), and you see this blog is one way to reach out to her. If you are not that SP, RELAX! You are fortunate that I ain't after you. (Trust me, if SP could testify, you would consider yourself lucky!)

Most of the rational people in this world would agree to this chronological order of Friendship turning into Love which moves on to Marriage. Unfortunately, Love Corrupts Rationality and thus I am of the view that SP caused me to think about marriage to her, which drew me close to see if we could be friends. Love is another issue altogether.

Atul tells me (and probably the only meaningful thing I have learnt from him) is that professing your love to the object of one's affection is something one should do at the earliest, but expecting the same in return is just not good. Love grows if it aint there, but it needs space to grow, and still it may not grow with a particular set of individuals. So should that mean that I don't befriend SP? Or that our friendship is of no consequence? No, aint so. We are friends, and we remain so, no matter what happens. Getting married to SP could be the most wonderful thing that would have happened to me, but then it is only a wish. (As a child I "wished" to become a Truck Driver! Thankfully my father got the better of me and I ended up in engineering) It is a wish that I will cherish and nurture as long as I can hope. But the bond of friendship shall remain, through thick and thin, just like all my buddies.

See ya!

On Orkut...

So dear ardent reader of, today I shall be ranting about a social network portal called Orkut. [psst...basically the motive of this post is to list down my Orkut Communities on my Blog, but I can't just do that, that would be too selfish you see, hence I have to pitch in some lines before the list and after the list as well ;)...]

Anyhow, those of you who have been reading my blogs earnestly would know that at one point of time I was not too confident, nor too optimistic about this particular platform. However, lately, I have been using Orkut to my advantage and I must confess that despite all its problems Orkut is still a good way to find people you've missed for a long long time. I have been contacted and have myself hunted down school mates, old pals and random people from my memory through Orkut, not to mention made some new friends as well.

One thing that I find to be my moral responsibility is to make it clear to anyone who reads my blog and uses Orkut is the correct pronounciation of Orkut. It's pronounced as "Aur-Cut" (Rhyming with "shut" and not "foot")

'Nother thing that comes to my mind is that people should also know that it was started by a person called Orkut Buyokkokten who is a God level computer guy studying at Stanford (I believe) who thought up this concept and programmed it as well. Look up his profile at Orkut if you are a member of this wonderful concept.

Back to business. Actually Orkut has this profile of me, in which I write about myself and other people can read it and come to know about me. There is also a system of Communities where people sign up and then they can post on that community's notice board as well as send messages to all the members of that community. Now as of today, my community count is 57, and I wonder what that means, because I really aint active (posting wise or message wise) on any of these communities, but somehow or the other I really identify myself with these communities. Here's a list to make this post worthwhile, and also to indicate the things I am interested in. Now potential employers, future spouse's parents or anybody who wants to do a background check on me is welcome to ask me about any or all of these communities, in fact even if you don't, I assume that a reading up of this list would pretty much make up yuor mind about the "type" of person I am...

Here goes the list (in no particular order)
01. Photography
02. Procrastination
03. IIT Kanpur
04. Puzzles
05. Tintin
06. Calvin n Hobbes
07. IQ
08. Brain Teasers
09. People Watchers
10. Malgudi Days
11. Women who wear skirts [Clarification : Now don't start thinking up weird things, I joined this coz I love such women]
12. Paradoxes
13. Capricorn
14. Amitabh Bachchan
15. Corleone
16. Gulzaar
17. Hall 3 IIT Kanpur
18. Abhishek Bachchan Fans
19. IIT
20. Most Sensual/Exciting Pictures
21. IITK ke Aero Waale [Translation : The Aerospace people of IITK]
22. Ham Club@IITK
23. Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar
24. Aerospace IITK
25. Jainism
26. IITK Counselling Service
27. I Dream of Jeannie [The sitcom]
28. Y3 IITK
29. Dexter's Laboratory
30. KVPY Scholars
31. Indian Institute of Technology
32. Old Doordarshan Serials
33. Full House
34. Irfan Khan
35. Small Wonder
36. The Poetry Ring
37. EBooks Sharing
38. Born in 1985
39. Apeejay School Noida
40. Class Bunnkers [Ironic, it comes just after my School's community :P]
41. Fans of Byomkesh Bakshi
42. The Common Man - By R.K.Laxman
43. Middle of the Road Movies
44. MT
45. Ambidextrous
46. Sarkar [The Bollywood Movie]
47. Surabhi [A Television Program that used to be aired at the National TV Network]
48. I love JIA [A character from the STAR Plus sitcom "Shararat"]
49. IIT Lingo
50. Non Stop Nonsense
51. Aeromodelling Club, IIT Kanpur
52. Ham Club @ IIT Kanpur
53. U.P-Jains
54. BRiCS [_B_uild _R_obots _C_reate _S_cience, a group at IITK aiming to popularise Robotics as a hobby]
55. My Experiments with Truth
56. Abby se peedit log [Translation : People pissed off by Abby, a guy around]
57. I joined too many Communities [This community DOES exist, no kidding!]

Now my friend Mudit Bali from Apeejay School writes in his Orkut profile - "Let my communities speak for me...", I say ditto.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

How Nerdy/Geeky/Dorky Am I?

Now normally I don't take these kinds of tests, but then I did use the word "normally" back there.

Pure Nerd
69 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 13% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork."


Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.



So there, am an official NERD now.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Most Hilarious Ice Breaker...

(courtesy Ballia)

Ballia to XYZ female on her Orkut Scrapbook : Hi! Pehchaana?
XYZ female to Ballia on his Orkut Scrapbook : Nahin :(
Ballia to XYZ female on her Orkut Scrapbook : Pehchaanogi bhi kaise? Abhi aaj hi toh pehli baar mile hain!!!

When Ballia told me this incident, I was laughing for at least 5 minutes. Not only the situation and the dialogue, but also the way he speaks and recalls it...absolutely wonderful!

Coming Soon...Who IS Ballia?

An Ode To Myself...

I found this poem on the net. It is by a gentleman who goes (actually "went" would be more apt here) by the name of Isaac Watts (1674-1748) . I found it almost like an ode written for me. Hence I reproduce it as it was found.

The Sluggard

'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain,
'You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again.'
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
Turns his sides and his shoulders and his heavy head.

'A little more sleep, and a little more slumber;'
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number,
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.

I pass'd by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle grow broader and higher;
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes thill he starves or he begs.

I made him a visit, still hoping to find
That he took better care for improving his mind;
He told me his dreams, talked of eating and drinking;
But he scarce reads his Bible and never loves thinking.

Said I then to my heart, 'Here's a lesson for me,
This man's but a picture of what I might be;
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading.'

...and yes, for regular readers of this blog, you would be glad to know that Vinod Khare turned 21 today, which he claims is going to remain his static age for the rest of his life. He is of the opinion that one stops growing beyond 21. Well, I differ. We don't stop growing, but we certainly have cemented our personalities by this age. We can say we cease to be that impressionable kid we used to be, and face the world with our own set of opinions and ideas ("idiosyncrasies", for the lack of a better word!)

So anyways, here's wishing Vinod a very happy birthday, and congratulations to him on adding to the list of Eligible Bachelors (he turned 21!) of this institute. [smiles]

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An Ironic IM Conversation...

[He] : Hi!
[She]: Hello.
[He] : Fine?
[She]: Fine.
[He] : Fine!
[She]: O.K.
[He] : Bye?
[She]: Yes.
[He] : Yes?
[She]: Yes.
[He] : Fine.
[She]: Yes.
[He] : Fine?
[She]: Yes, bye.
[He] : Awww shucks, bye.
[She]: What happened?
[He] : Nothing...
[She]: Why the "Awww shucks"?
[He] : Nothing.
[She]: Tell me, tellme tellme tellme.
[He] : Its nothing...
[She]: No, there definitely is something, you are hiding something from me.
[He] : No, my dear, I am not.
[She]: No I get it, you don't want to talk. Look you don't even respond properly to my messages!
[He] : Is it so?
[She]: Now don't play funny, you are definitely avoiding me (sniff,sob!)
[He] : :|

At this point "He" disconnects and gets back to watching cricket on Television, while "She" rushes to a friend seeking advice on how to tackle a difficult boyfriend.

Ladies are a strange lot.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Do-Nothingers!

(inspired by a heavy discussion and an internet chat session that followed it)

The Do-Nothingers (I invented this name) is a group of 6 very very vehla (unbusy) IITians forced by a cruel turn of fate to end up enrolling at IIT Kanpur for getting their Bachelor's Degree. Here's one way to market this concept...

They are not people whom you would generally see around in a place like this. They are the real McCoys. They are real people. They are amidst you. They've got great camouflage skills, they can merge into a group as if they are an integral part of the regular heave and grind of this institute.


When these six people, again by a twist of fate, happen to come together in a hostel room, they become the most volatile entity that mankind has ever known. An event happened in the early hours of April 23, starting from the previous midnight itself, and went on till 3:00 in the morning, but within those three hours, the destiny of the world was changed forever.

Heh heh heh heh, do you believe all this? Let me try again

The Do-Nothingers are actually 6 people who are extremely gifted by nature with a strange power that drives them to a bulla (incessant chit chat) session, no matter what the time and whatever the occassion (it being an end semester examination the next day, in the present case). As the name suggests, we actually DO nothing (with a special emphasis on DO). We just go on bullshitting and whiling away our time. It's an assortment across various engineering departments, and across various hobbies. However, all the Do-Nothingers are great intellectuals in their own right. They meet and discuss very very pertinent and important issues related to the future of society. AND they have the wisdom to realise that these issues are much much MUCH more important than the small petty things like classes, quizzes, exams, grades etc. As I said, REAL INTELLECTUALS.

Before we proceed further, I think we should get acquainted with them (in alphabetical order)

  • Akshay Mathur (Materials and Metallurgical Engineering) : A MAJOR geek, living off Linux Flavours and Star Trek. Was the Computer Room Secretary of our Hall of Residence, wherein he realised the true noble pleasure of helping others out despite your own problems, complicated his life and simplified his grades since then. These days is still found loitering around blabbering about PHP Scripting, Web Designing, Programming and the latest Star Trek Season. It would be inappropriate to mention here that he has to be pushed by his wingmates to take a bath every fortnight. (But lo, I did mention it!) Fresh out of the bathroom, he is cute and huggable.

  • Ankit Rohatgi (Chemical Engineering) : The real inventive engineer. The most versatile guy I have ever known. The God of Small Important Stuff. I mean, who thinks up of a mobile lighting unit for an amateur movie using UPSs? Or Microphone booms for the same movie using bamboos? Or cutting your toothpaste box into half and using it as a pen stand? Or experimenting with life, universe and everything? That is Ankit. We call him Huggy. Statutory warning : Interaction time for normal human beings limited to before midnight. After midnight, you talk to Huggy at your own risk. This guy is most productive at that time of the day, as well as most ruthless! And yes, he too drinks Linux for breakfast. Before you make up your mind about this guy, I should tell you, as a Chemical Engineer, he is always on the lookout for blowing a plant, spreading a vicious chemical onto a sleepy town or something like that. (I borrowed my first copy of the "Anarchist's Cookbook" from him!)

  • Atul Jain (Civil Engineering) : The quintessential journalist. He could convince you of anything that he says, and I for once had even gotten into believing his advertised philosophy of "sirf hungaama khada karna mera maksad nahin, main chaahta hoon ki yeh tasveer badlalni chahiye" [Only raising an uproar is not what I seek, I want that the situation should change] Inspiring words na? Yes, that is the beauty of it all. He inspired me. But then, once we became friends, through more deep conversations, I've realised that what he actually meant was "Tasveer ki aisi ki taisi, keval hungaama khada karna hi mera maksad hai" [To hell with the situation, I revel in chaos and pandemonium!] There has not been a single major incident/uprising in which Atul Jain was not involved as an opinion. Be it the Hall 5 election issue, the Eve Teasing thread or the Aircraft Crash video in which even I was involved. It was a small RC airplane that had crashed during an airshow, and we covered it like a news team does, adding spice and masala, involving the Prime Minister as well as "the foreign hand". Basically, a determined person with an opinion on anything, and generally that opinion is against the general opinion, but man! he is so convincing.

  • Rakshit Kachhal (Mechanical Engineering) : Kachhal is the typical nice, hardworking boy next door. But he aint that average when it comes to his passion and dedication. An excellent PR expert, knows everybody around, can talk people into getting things done. He is a person of a kind I haven't met anywhere else, nor do I believe I will. He is not only unique in his own identity, but even in his whole "type". Iss type ke log nahin milte, hote hi nahin hain. [People of his type are not easy to find, coz they don't exist!] Loves music, all kinds, loves dancing, loves life. He lives a grand life. Enjoys each and every bit of it. At the long and short of it, he's a Do-Nothinger. He really has had his share of doing things. He has already done a major thing in life. He is the "Kholu" of Mechanical Department of our batch. (meaning, he's the best JEE ranker who opted for Mech at IITK) That speaks it all.

  • Vinod Khare (Civil Engineering) : He's the author. The shy, reclusive, pessimistic, sadistic, pervert who churns out excellent stuff (mostly Sci-Fi). He is an authority on Science Fiction. A very very deep thinker and philosopher. The shades of grey in his hair lend him the name Daddu. His department people call him an endsem specialist, coz he rocked a course in the 5th semester by scoring almost full marks in the end sem, when most of the class was lingering at 50%! A man without desires, or atleast an expression of desires. Content with whatever he has. And one more thing, really drools for eye candy on his desktop. The most weirdest of small widgets are available with him, as well the choiciest of wallpapers. Reads like a lawnmower, always found reading some crappy sci-fi story, if not writing one. You should look at him becoming pessimistic. Its almost infective. But its kindof cute.

  • Saumya Jain (Aerospace Engineering) : He is the sanest, coolest and THE most modest person of this group (broke the alphabetical order to put my name in the end!) Also, the most far removed from institutional things like exams and all. (I have an exam in less than 24 hours from now, and I started typing this post when I had 25, heh heh! A genuine Do-Nothinger) He is popular in the batch as the "Kholu" of Aerospace. Now unlike the kholu of Mechanical Engineering, who is reverred for his decision to take up Mechanical when he could have opted for Electrical, or even Computer Science (HOT streams, I dunno why), the kholu of Aerospace Engineering is branded as an unfortunate fool, driven by passion alone. The kholu of Aerospace forgoes a bright career in Mechanical Engineering and chooses Aerospace, ignited by watching flying Aircraft or Rockets taking off. People here tell him, yeh tumne kya kar diya dost, apne hi paer par kulhaadi maar li ? [What have you done friend, scripted your own doom?] I say BOO to them. They don't know what fun it is to handle only 4 courses in a sem when the poor "mechanical" people have to take 6! More so, these people don't realise that we need Aerospace Engineers more than Mechanical ones, what with the Indian Space Programme taking off by the end of this decade. Anyways, that was not the topic of discussion. So Saumya what do I say about myself? Just that my role in the Do-Nothinger meetings is that of a moderator. Am slightly political, so I can actually take the meeting on one direction in return of a favour. Everyone knows this, so they don't give me favours, and hence the meetings remain indecisive. I guess that is enough.

So these were the six people that make up the Do-Nothingers. About what we discuss, I'll cover that in the next post. I guess I really should set myself down to study some Gas Dynamics, before it is too late.

Inviting "her" to Orkut

Now this is a dilemma many of us would have faced.

Suppose then, that you have a close friend who, unfortunately for you, is a girl. Now, upon the issue that she wants to discover the "fundoo network of orkut", its left upto you to defend yourself, as to why you don't wanna invite her over to this "fundoo network".

My reasons...
  1. Orkut is not a social network. It is a highly unsocial (anti social, if you may) gang of equally highly unsocial (anti social, if you may again) people. It thus is a forum for those kind of people to join hands who either (a) have no work to do at all except "orkutting" or (b) are definitely involved in some seditious act of overthrowing their respective governments.

  2. Orkuteers, the one falling in the category described in 1(a) are essentially people who are on the internet almost whole of their awake part of the day. That counts in IITians, by far the most obnoxious female-hunters in the human species that I have come across. They would lap up, and add, and scrap, and view any profile that is even remotely "female". Even my profile gets hit now and then with people taking me to be a girl, by virtue of my name. Now would I want one of my friends to enter a community of SeFIs (Sexually frustrated IITians?) Hmm...maybe no.

  3. Also, for the non-SeFIs, it is quite a curious thing to land up on Saumyä Jain's profile, look at a particular girl in the friend's list and ask..."Oye Saumya, yeh kaun hai?" [Hey Saumya, who's her?] Now again, if I say, "She's a friend", then would these nosy pokers stop at that? ... maybe no. And till the time she is a friend, I wouldn't want any @$$40l3 nosy neighbourhood BBC (Bahut Bada Chaman) to invent stories about us and spread it around.

So I let it be at that. 3 reasons are good enough not to invite her to this absolutely wonderful way to meet new friends and find old ones, Orkut.

You don't get an invite from me, dear lady.

Monday, March 13, 2006

...On Why I'll Never Drink Again

Typical day today...

Woke up at 11:00 a.m. and cursed myself the second thing (the first being noticing the time) of the day. With THAT fantastic start, went on to watch a few videos and whiled away my time upto the afternoon.

Entertained visitors and ended up with a pocket lighter by 50 bucks, had to give a "friend" some money for "some urgent work".

Celebrated Holi in the Hostel with whatever 50-60 guys who are here staying back, ended up not recognising myself in the mirror, amidst the shades of red, blue, green and yellow!!!
Had a tought time getting cleaned up and thereafter caught up with Dubey (old friend, for the uninitiated).

Now here's where the masala (spice) begins.
Dubey and I are very very impulsive people, espcially when it comes to partying and having fun. So we 'decided' that we should just spend the evening at "Dominoes" (a pizza place, for the uninitiated, heh heh). So there I was, shelling out 303 bucks for 2 pizzas that would have costed the lala (owner) of dominoes not more than 50 rupees to produce. Call it high society luxury, or call it extravagance, or call it...wait, let's keep THAT for a later post.

...Anyways, WE found out (and I found out for the second time) that two medium sized pizas are waay too much for two people to devour. So, we kind-of finished the pizza (and made the rest of it look like unedible, before throwing it away) and started back home.

IIT Kanpur (my college) has its main gate opening to the GT Road, a major highway of North India. So basically, the tempo that we catch from the city (yeah we call it that, a "city", we love to say that our college is in a "city", a big "almost-metro-like city"...sigh!...hey i am not good at this!!!), so anyways, the tempo that we take from the city stop to IIT spends most of its time on the GT road.

Now a kilometer before the IIT Gate, we both have a devilish thought, we both think about getting drunk. Now I had spent money on drinks once but had failed miserably at attempted binging, so I was not quite much into the idea of getting drunk. But Dubey, my friend, is a good friend, he won't let me accept defeat so easily. He gave me another chance.

So two minutes and 130 bucks later, we were the proud owners of a Romanov 375 ml. bottle. Hey...wait a minute, this is turning out to be a Drinking 101 case study...anyhow who cares the fuck about that? there we were, all equipped with Romanov, Sprite and two glasses.

Dubey poured me the first peg and told me to take it easy. Meanwhile Shukla (don't just yell out "Shukla Who?" right on and you'll come to know...) told me to try a neat one. I gulped a neat one in a bottle cap. It burnt my insides. I felt strange. Sick actually. Not because of anything else, but the taste and the smell reminded me of Cough Syrups. and that made me sick. With a bottle-capful of Vodka inside, I overheard Dubey telling Shukla, "Yaar vodka toh shots mein hi peeni chahiye" ("Buddy, vodka is best enjoyed in shots, not as a drink") and I was inspired.

Gulped down the first peg. and the second. and the third.
By that time, we were at Dubey's room listening to racy numbers courtesy Shukla, and yes before I forget, Shukla was there to take care of us, in case either of us lost it. Now the bottle was only one-third full. (take inspiration, i could also have said, two thirds does that show something about my personality, or does it?) So the fourth peg was almost a full glass, especially after Dubey had mixed it with the Soft Drink.

There we were, all pegged up ;) and waiting for something to happen.

And then, Nothing happened.


Zook, zeroh, zilch.

I started fiddling with Photoshop, worked on a picture of a girl, a very beautiful girl, adding some Glow and Focus, so as to make it look like "one of those" pictures (heck I even wrote, "A (that's her name), Say yes...please", but I am not gonna tell you that) However, that was not a part of being drunk. We sat down to watch a movie. And it had to be "Jerry Maguire". It had to be romance. It had to be Zellweger and Cruise. Oh Shit! just couldn't handle all that mush. Dubey was conspicuously silent after the round of drinks. Anyways, I watched the movie, bid adieu to Dubey and started off for my room.

Vodka does something to you, I do feel that. My hands and legs stop responding in their usual way and my eyes droop a bit. But that's all that is there. If I am alive and mentally fit after 4 proper pegs, I guess somebody up there really hates me, I guess THAT SOMEBODY does not want me to get drunk, does not want me to lose it. Shukla is out of business when I drink. And I hate it.

...P.S. : After I came to my room, I chatted up with an old friend in B'lore and then wrote this post. This Post. THIS POST THAT NEVER FELT LIKE IT HAD BEEN WRITTEN BY A DRUNK GUY. God I want to lose myself. God I don't want to spend all that money and end up literally drinking Sprites and 7 Ups only. God have some mercy. Till then, God, I'll never drink again.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Fi.L.L.Ex", or, "Musings before an exam"

I sit down to write this on the "eve" (if you may deem it so, its 2:30 a.m. actually!) of my Flight Mechanics Mid Term it's gonna be short and snappy.

The First Law of the Last Exam (Fi.L.L.Ex) :
The last examination of any series of exams has the inherent property that deems it doomed the day it is announced.

Fi.L.L.Ex. for Dummies :
(Read "For the Mathematically Uninitiated")
In a string of examinations, like the Mid Semesters, the End Semesters or whatevathehell, the subject whose examination is scheduled on the last slot of 'em all, is bound to be fudged up by the incumbent(look it up!) examinee.

Proof :
This proof is going to be chiefly theoretical in nature, and investigations shall be made so as to cover all the possible outcomes, of which only the said event is designated to occur, as we shall soon see.

Now supposing you have N exams in M days.

The Nth exam is scheduled on the Mth day, which is the last slot of your examinations.

Now let us denote your Average Performance Satisfaction (APS -> Your self-evaluation for the N-1 exams) by a value amidst the following :-

APS -> Interpretation
0...Whoops! Exams? Shit! Uh-Oh!!! (Seriously fudged 'em up)
1...Hmm, Exams? Yeah, had 'em, gave 'em. (I don't care)
2...Well, well, well, Exams? Yeaaah! (Yaay! I'm gonna top this time!)

So, once we have decided upon your APS, we can correlate the APS with the performance in the final exam.

Case APS==0 : Now since you have really not performed well in the other exams, you don't have any motivation/self-confidence/desire to perform well in this one as well. Basically we are talking about "Oh I am so much deep in this, I just can't get any deeper, so what the hell! I just can't study!" kind of a feeling.

Case APS==1 : Hey you are one guy/gal who doesn't care about the exam. How can the exam care about you? Case closed. Getting screwed up is the result.

Case APS==2 :I bet you are already so so SO elated at cracking the other exams, you'll be puffed up with confidence, and eventually will not study for the final one. Classic case of "I am the king of the world" syndrome.

Thus, it is seen that the examination, unfortunately will be screwed up.

Corollary 1 to Fi.L.L.Ex :
Although the APS value seemingly has an inductive effect on the performance in the last paper, however, by virtue of the argument stated in proving Fi.L.L.Ex above, has absolutely no implication on the result thereof.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The AboutMe Post

Now the first post announcing my arrival to the blog-o-sphere done, I sit down to write my first "meaningful" post.

What could count as a meaningful post? I mean, what do I blog about?

Do I blog about myself?
Do I write about things in my life?
About things going on around?
About things that "should be" going on around?
Do I write poems/stories/articles and post here?
Do I vomit out anything about anything that comes to my mind?
Or do I just see what happens and let things flow?

I really don't know.

Well, for starters, I can talk about myself. That is one thing I do well. If you know me personally you'll know what I am talking about. But then even if you don't, I guess you WILL at the end of this post.

Let's make it more interesting. Let me frame it like a FAQ...

Q. Who is Saumya Jain?

A. Saumya Jain is...

  • ...male, Indian, b. Jan 7 1985
  • ...a student of Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  • ...a very vehla(adj. "someone who has all the time in the world to do all the nonsense under the sun, or the moon, if you rather!") person
  • ...available for gup-shup(v. "chatting") anytime you want
  • ...a difficult-to-handle friend (ask my friends, the close ones)
  • ...relatively easy to be overawed by anybody. Sometimes even a two year old can put me into self-contemplation
  • ...definitely a non-conformist, ego-ecccentric, sadistic, procastinating, burnt-out genius
  • ...a blatantly honest and blunt mouth

  • And before I forget,
  • ...hopelessly in love with someone :)

Guess that does it for today.

More FAQs next time, promise.

~Enjoy the little things, for one day you might look back and realise that they were the big things~

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Figure o' Eight

A Story that I'll call "The Figure of Eight".

Once there was a boy who lived near the sea. Everyday he would run up to the sea and watch the ships as they docked and undocked from the port. He would do it regularly without fail, rising at daybreakwith the foghorn, rushing up to the dyke and observe the giant vessels coming in and going by. And he used to think of the places they had been to, and then he wished that one day he would be going exploring the world on one of these ships.

The boy's name was Sumer, and his father was a great seafarer of his time, and as any good father, he wanted his son to follow his footsteps in becoming a sailor. He had stocked a good amount of money for the boy's future, but he hadn't told the boy this, because he wanted the boy to try it out in the world on his own. The boy had been enrolled in the best school of the city that had produced the best of the sailors, ship captains, navy admirals even! "This boy is going to make it big someday" the father reflected to himself whenever he saw the boy looking eagerly at the blue blue sea and the mighty ships.

Sumer had always wanted to explore the world on his own. He did not like the things they taught him at school. "All they teach me are stupid things, like reading maps and making knots. Who'll need a map when one is going into uncharted territory?" he would think, "and why do I need to learn how to tie knots?" He knew his father wanted him to be a sailor, but he had always wanted to be an explorer instead. He'd heard about the new continent that had just been discovered just beyond the southern end of the sea. He had heard from people in taverns about the large desert there, and the ferocious animals around, and he was fascinated by these stories, he wished that someday he would sit around in an old inn with dozens of people crowding around him as he told stories of his daring.

He wanted to see new places, but a sailor's life is not what he wanted. It was a thin line that separated what his father wanted him to do and what he wanted himself, sailors and explorers are not THAT far apart as professions you see, but then to him it meant his life, and so he sometimes worried about it, hoping to tell his father someday. Yes, someday he'll tell his old man that he's just going to go out on one of these ships, and not as a sailor, but as an explorer bravely edging his way across the new continent.

The knots were what bothered him, he was never good at knots. His father said, "Son, knots are life savers, a sailor must know how to tie knots." And he could not knot. He was very bad at it. Whenever he saw someone tying a knot, he would feel sorry for himself, then think, maybe they are good at this, but they cannot read the directions from the stars as well as I do. Maybe they won't survive in the desert because they don't know about the harsh life and the scarce water. Yes, he knew what he wanted to do, yes he knew all about it, he knew he had to go on someday exploring the new continent, and he was preparing himself for it.

But he just could not tie knots.

Not that he could not because he lacked the ability to, but he did lack the motivation. He thought it useless for an explorer to tie knots the way they taught him at school. He knew to tie the "Double Stopper" which was a good strong knot and very very versatile knot as well. He thought it was eough for an explorer to know one knot, just in case, and he knew that one knot well.

He knew that one knot, the "Double Stopper" well.

That day at school, they had the knot test, and all his friends had memorised all the 50 odd knots that were there in their course. The teacher arrived and gave each one of them a pair of ropes. Now Sumer had spent the day before reading up a traveller's account of the Desert, so by the time he'd finished with the diary, it was already dark. He did not want to stay up late, so he went to his room, practised his one good knot and said his prayers before snuggling into bed.

The teacher came upto him, "Figure o' Eight" he said, and Sumer didn't know what that meant. He just looked at the teacher. An old, wrinkly man. Had been a very strict teacher. Sumer stood there with the rope in hand, and meekly said, "Sir, I know only the Double Stopper, and I can make that well." The teacher did not seem to like the idea. He repeated, "are you showing me the Figure o' Eight or not?" Sumer wasn't one of those who would just try and guess, so he said, "Sorry Sir, I don't know the Figure o' Eight. I guess I should fail the test and learn it sometime." The teacher was understanding this time. He said, "Okay Sumer, I'll meet you tomorrow by which time you should be able to learn the Figure o' Eight. Now go."

And Sumer returned that day, thinking about the "Figure o' Eight"

That was the longest night of his life. He kept thinking, kept admonishing himself, kept wondering what the Figure o' Eight would be. He was ashamed to ask anybody, to him this Figure o' Eight had suddenly become a self evaluation test. He wanted to see if he could really make himself perform that feat. He wanted to show to the teacher that he was a good student, a good learner. A simple knot had suddenly rose to becoming a means to tell himself that he would do good in life, whatever he would do, and it was not necessarily becoming a sailor or an explorer, but doing things well. But it all depended on the Figure o' Eight.

Alas! Where should he find out what the knot means. To him all the knots looked same. It was a Double Stopper that he had tied on his practice rope right now and he was fiddling with it, when it suddenly dawned on him. He looked carefully at the knot now, slightly loosened up so that the contours of the knot were clearly visible. He could make out a distinct shape, a distinct figure.

It was a Figure of the number 8!!!

Sumer couldn't believe his eyes. It was the Figure o' Eight knot. He had had it all along with him, thinking that it was something else, he had just not realised that the "Double Stopper" could also have another name, another stupid silly name like the "Figure o' Eight". He realised he was smiling to himself now, no actually laughing. How in a minute all his self doubts had melted away. How a few moments ago, this stupid silly knot was an all-out bechmark for his success or failure in life, and how in a second, it had ben reduced to a mere "Double Stopper"!

But he had learnt something.

He had seen that the Figure o' Eight was not a prize. It was him who had made it as one. It was just a stupid silly knot. And it was something that he already had with him, he already knew how to reach that "Figure o' Eight". Only he had not realised that he knew. Just knowing that he knew made all the difference. Given a situation, he would have tied the very same knot as a Double Stopper, and the teacher would have judged it as the Figure o' Eight.

He realised, that sometimes you have to give the world what it wants in its own terms, not yours.

He realised that it is important to know, but it is also important to know that you know, and to know that you know it well.

He realised that if you don't know something, its maybe something that you have not discovered yet, but that is no reason you should muse about it and raise it to the importance a performance marker.

Sumer had realised this, smiled to himself and made a "Double Stopper" again. "This is my Figure o' Eight," he said, and slowly fell into a quiet peaceful slumber, thinking of the teacher and the test the next day.

In the misty ocean, the foghorn sounded, and a ship had found its way home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The First 'un

Hellow, dear fellow !

This is practically the first one in a long long time, and as they all say...


System checked. OK.

Watch this space. More to come.