Monday, November 01, 2010

Sehnsucht

It’s the Longing that ultimately undoes you. When it finds you, it gnaws at your bones and tugs at your chest. It fills you up inside like rot and makes you dream dreams and it drowns you.
The Longing keeps you in bed, clutching at your sheets while the world goes on outside. It smells like old leaves and cigarette smoke, mixed with the scents of far-off places you will hear of, but never see. It’s the gloss on a lover’s lips the moment you realize you will never kiss those lips again.
It is the bittersweet, unrequited love of creation and it will break your heart again and again and again.
If you know the Longing the way I do, then these words are redundant. We understand each other perfectly, you and I.
House of Mystery #04, from Room and Boredom, by Matthew Sturges

Once again, I come to the conclusion that some words just cannot be translated into another language without a complete and ludicrous dissipation of the meaning they intend to convey.
Once again, it's a German word that gets me there.

2 Comments:

Blogger lastknight said...

Hi

Talk about coincidences: http://writhingsandramblings.blogspot.com/2009/09/longing.html

Evidently I'm not the only one who found that bit rather well written... :-) Funny thing about graphic novels; even though one would expect them to be more about the artwork than the writing, quite often some of the dialogues / narration can also be rather powerfully written.

Might have something to do with the necessity to convey more in fewer words, don't you think?

By the way, which was the first German word?

8:00 pm, November 16, 2010  
Blogger mridu said...

nice

3:22 pm, November 18, 2010  

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Aaaarghh!!

I woke up this morning, with an inexplicable, and completely overwhelming and all-consuming urge to write. It felt like a diverse and very powerful set of emotions was welling up inside me, gnawing at my innards, begging me to be given expression in the form of words, much like a bunch of seven-year-olds on a hot Delhi summer afternoon, begging their parents for five rupees to get a cola-bar. It was unbearable, and I distinctly rememeber thinking to myself that if I didn't write, I would soon be tearing out my hair, and running around the house half-naked, alternately clucking and shouting obscenities.

It was with such a bent of mind, in the complete and overpowering hold of just such a feeling, that I sat myself down to write this post.
Thankfully, it has now passed.

2 Comments:

Blogger mridu said...

happens. d next time arnd, let thr not be a time lag. its been a while since u blogged.

3:58 pm, May 05, 2010  
Blogger sidhartha said...

Enjoyed your blogs. I hope to read more from you..

4:53 pm, May 05, 2010  

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Friday, March 12, 2010

OK Go

Oh such grace, oh such beauty. So precious, suspicious, and elegant, and viscious.
Oh, Darling, you're a million ways to be cruel.

0 Comments:

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Remarkable Lives

King of Vampires: You seem very sure of yourself, you little mortal bastard, so I'll tell you what.... If you can tell me why your ordinary, piss-boring life is better than mine, you can walk out of here alive. If you can't, I'll cut your throat and drink my fill and leave you half alive forever.

John Constantine: Easy. Can you go for a walk in the park and hear the birds sing in the morning? Can you kiss a girl and know she loves you? Can you go out and get pissed with your mates? I can. And just so we're sure who's better off, why don't we sit here together and watch the sun come up in an hour or so?

Hellblazer - Issue 50, by Garth Ennis

10 Comments:

Blogger lastknight said...

nice... have you read sandman, or lucifer?

7:24 pm, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Still working on the Hellblazers, Lastknight.
Started reading Preludes and Nocturnes a couple of years ago, but didn't get far.

My life was a lot more happening back then. :P

3:34 pm, September 17, 2009  
Blogger Smudged Sensibilities said...

Changed a bit from "Are We Human?" have we?

Good stuff though, will follow if you are gonna get prolific now:)

Sarah

6:24 am, October 08, 2009  
Blogger The Hedonistaah said...

Ooh. Are you back?! More than a month since you last posted, so maybe not, but anyway, naaeees. :)

Second Minors from tomorrow. :D

1:49 pm, October 09, 2009  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Sarah, I shall try to be. I, er... promise.
TH, may The Force be with you.

7:07 pm, October 13, 2009  
Blogger The Hedonistaah said...

Bad timing. Over today. And am home already! :D

7:32 pm, October 13, 2009  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

And were they unmitigated disasters?

1:17 pm, October 14, 2009  
Blogger The Hedonistaah said...

Nah.
Mitigated ones.

Hopefully.

1:45 pm, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Novacaine said...

Looks like a Job interview to me ;) [PS: Stumbled on your blog from BSP 2007's site!]

9:06 am, November 02, 2009  
Blogger SATYAANVESHI said...

You don't post as often as you used to these days, :). I used to thoroughly enjoy your posts.:).

7:13 pm, January 30, 2010  

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And They Lived Happily Ever After... Not!

I have long nursed a grudge against people who, for reasons I can not even begin to comprehend, seek to believe that they are in complete control of their lives. For as long as I can recall, I have been confused and perplexed by the fact that people, or at least the vast majority of them, in their infinite idiocy, completely and absolutely refuse to acknowledge the forces at work in this world.
Before I begin being misunderstood, which I more often than not am, allow me to hastily clarify what I mean. It must be pointed out that I am, in now way, a subscriber to the fatalist way of life. I do not believe that man is subordinate to inevitable occurrences and experiences, or that he can not mould his own future. And I would be the first to concede that a world-view which encourages action based on the fundamental notion of all-pervasive control is, very probably, the most proactive way of looking at this less than perfect universe. Even I must, myself, plead guilty on the count of occasionally looking at the world as centered around what I do and think, as anyone who has been fortunate enough to know and interact with me on a sustained basis would know.

I do, however, in moments of somewhat muted egotism (which I admit are few and fairly infrequent), realise that while the surmise that one is wholly in control of one's life and destiny may be the most convenient way of looking at the world, it is far from being the most accurate. Man, in spite of his multiple advances, or maybe because of them, has not yet come to terms with the fact that there remain, and always will remain, forces beyond his control.
Allow me to illustrate using a completely arbitrary example. Most people seem to be, or pretend to be, I know not which one, completely oblivious to the fact that meteorological phenomenon play such an important part in our lives. To borrow from Messrs Gallagher, who, before anyone else I knew or came in contact with, made the revolutionary claim that nobody ever seems to remember that life is a game we play; Nobody ever mentions the weather can make or break your day.

It can.
And if you don't believe me, well, gather around, and I shall tell you a story.

I remember it was raining that day. If you are of an inquisitive bent of mind, as I daresay I would've been, had I been the one listening to this story, you may ask me how I remember it was raining, for it was a couple of weeks back that this (wholly fictitious) incident occurred, and rain isn't so much an event as it is the routine, in this city. My memory, like everyone else's, is far from infallible. However, I do know the answer to the question now asked. In fact, it is one of the few questions regarding this story that I have a definite answer to, and which I shall therefore entertain.
I remember it was raining that day, for it all began when she offered him her umbrella.

No, wait a minute. I must pause here, for I have a strong suspicion I am slightly wrong. It definitely did not start there. The moment which involved the umbrella in question being offered was not the moment when the story I now recount started. Quite probably, it was merely the point in time in the story, much like there is a point in time in every story, when the people involved first realised, quite suddenly and irrevocably, that there was, indeed, a story in the offing.

But I shouldn't start a story from where the people involved first knew they were in the middle of one, should I? I should start at the beginning, for otherwise I am sure to confound and bewilder.

It all started innocently enough.
It was raining, and he knew he was in a hurry. The rain was, still, far from severe, and he, a veteran of many monsoons (but not too many; about twenty or so ought to do, I think), wasn't unduly worried. He knew he was in a hurry, but if you would've accosted him then and there, and asked him why, he would have been, quite uncharacteristically, lost for words. Maybe it was because he was getting late, and he knew he had to be where he was trying to get to pretty soon, for he had traveled a while to get this far, and he didn't want to miss a thing. Or maybe it was simply because he was, even then, strangely pulled to her, attracted without knowing why he was attracted, or even that he was, in fact, attracted. He hardly knew her; she was, till then, a mere acquaintance he'd run into a couple of times. But the last three quarters of an hour had been absolutely magical, starting from the instant his eyes had met hers across the length of the crowded platform, right up to the point when they had exited the train, and started walking to wherever it was that they were going.
He was desperate not to lose sight of her dark coat as she wove her way through the crowd. She was but a few steps ahead, and he knew he could cover the distance between them whenever he chose to, if he chose to, but he was afraid of slowing down, for although it was just a little over half past five, darkness had fallen, as it is wont to at higher latitudes, and the last thing he wanted to do was to lose her in the crowd.

It was still raining. The funny thing was, and I'm sure he thought to himself the very same thing at the time, it was no longer the mild rain that he'd been subject to over the past few minutes. Almost imperceptibly until now, without him having noticed or acknowledged it, the rain had grown worse. It was no longer the ordinary, routine rain that is so common here people almost completely disregard it; not the gloomy, irritating, damp but not quite wet, particulate horizontal rain that sticks to your face and merges with the air that you inhale. What he was experiencing now was more the heavy, gushing, the Gods being upset and letting their anger be known kind of rain, tinged with a hint of sleet, and touched by a mild sense of ill tidings for the couple of hours that were to follow. I know now, with the privilege of hindsight, that the rain, which at the time seemed quite fierce, was merely a precursor to the fiercer snow storm that was to follow, but he didn't know that at the time, and I am fairly confident that she didn't either.

The rain intensified, and he buttoned his coat and turned his collar to keep out the cold. About him, people, most of whom were just as ill prepared for the rain as he was, started stopping under awnings and trees. But he merely breathed in the icy air, tried valiantly but failed to control the slight shiver that escaped him, and continued walking. Maybe because he was in a hurry. Or maybe because she continued walking.

For the next couple of minutes, as they kept walking, the crowd around them, which was quite surely headed in the same direction as they were, and therefore was just as late as them, thinned as groups of people gave up walking in the rain for the altogether more pleasant occupation of standing in the shade.
They weren't too far now, for they could hear the mass of people in the distance, the people who had already made it, and it would all start any minute now.
It was, still, raining.

She glanced heavenwards, maybe intending to make a fresh evaluation of the now substantial rain, giving her head a casual and nonchalant turn that threw back the hair that had been covering her face. It was an effortless flick, yet it served its purpose beautifully, and the elegance with which her slightly damp hair acquiesced knocked the wind out of him, and made him shiver slightly; the second time that evening.
Her inspection of the skies complete, she deemed it appropriate to take action (a tad late, some would probably argue, but that was the last thing that flitted through his thoughts at the time, being as we was, still, and would continue to be for the next few minutes, rather enamored of the way her hair had conducted itself), and thus fished into her handbag, to emerge a few long seconds later with an umbrella which, even on its good day, would have struggled to completely protect a full-grown adult from the rain. It would have probably, with a huge amount of effort, and very strategic placing, just about shielded her from the downpour, but it was most definitely not, I must stress, an umbrella that could accommodate two.

Then she looked at him, smiled, and she offered to share her umbrella, just as the first few fireworks lit up the sky.
And he knew, as you and I have for a while now, that there was a story in the offing.

He fell into step with her, and they moved ahead together, their brisk pace even more pronounced now, for maybe it seemed to them that some of the promise that the evening had held had already materialised, and they were both now eager to explore and take part in the developments that were to follow. They walked on together, as she tried to keep up with his stride, and he tried to manipulate the rather limited umbrella to maximize its effect. The fireworks rang out clearer now, and each time they did, they were closer, and the sky was brighter.

They reached the clearing just as the fireworks display reached its peak; the light and sound which for so long had been ahead of them, now directly overhead. They stopped, for the first time since they'd started walking.
And then, also for the first time since they'd started walking (and indeed, for the first time altogether) they looked at each other. His hair was wet, and her feet were cold, but for a few brief moments, those things ceased to matter. As did everything else.
They stood there, in the cold and damp, looking at each other, silhouetted against the fire in the sky, oblivious to the sound, the light, the gathering storm and the crowd around them.

They looked at each other, and he could see the fireworks reflected in her eyes. They looked at each other, and they knew they didn't want to look away.
But their eyes soon began to water, and he started to suspect that the fireworks may well be, if viewed directly, much grander compared to their rather limited representation in her eyes.

Which is when they looked up, just as it began to snow.

18 Comments:

Blogger joshua said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sharon

http://www.autoloans101.info

3:49 am, December 10, 2008  
Blogger Wanderer said...

I have an opinion that I've had for this one song of Audioslave's called 'Nothing left to say but goodbye'. It's either an allegory pointing to the guy's life, or it's the story of a stray dog. If it's the former, its probably one of the best written songs, if the latter, its the crappiest piece! So if this is pointing the way i think its pointing, job well done! :)
Good to have u writing again son, now list my damn blog!

11:58 am, December 10, 2008  
Blogger Manav said...

You're back! Remember me?

12:34 pm, December 10, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Joshua/Sharon/Autoloans101, you've left me in a bit of a quandary regarding whether that comment you left should stay or go. Oh well, you seem like a decent guy/girl/spammer. I guess it can stay.

SK, list your own damn blog! That tone shall not go far with me; especially if it's preceded by a paragraph questioning the credentials of my work.

Manav, of course I do. Are you not the one who used to write of life and lurrrve?

5:47 pm, December 11, 2008  
Blogger Wanderer said...

dude read carefully man, i said its job well done if its pointing the way i think it is, which i'm sure it is! :P
Goo'job Goo'job :D
See...change of tone

7:06 pm, December 11, 2008  
Blogger Manav said...

Used? Ahem!

4:37 am, December 12, 2008  
Blogger Phoenix said...

Worth the long twisted read, for it gives enough time to imagine between, and quite off-the-course, the long winded lines, as well as to marvel at ur thankfully unchanging writing. Good stuff.

7:31 pm, December 21, 2008  
Blogger SATYAANVESHI said...

An illustrative story :)

1:46 pm, December 22, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

SK, apologies accepted. Although I am a tad disappointed at the ease with which you gave in. Next time around, Be a Man. :P

Manav, my bad. As you can probably see, the sidebar has been suitably modified.

Taru, people don't change. :D

Satyaanveshi, not as illustrative as your rather surreal sounding moniker.

5:04 pm, February 16, 2009  
Blogger Empy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:21 pm, March 21, 2009  
Blogger Empy said...

I discovered your blog only a few days ago and i think its really gud and ive enjoyed reading it. keep up the good work!!!I am FOLLOWING(blog term not sleuthy stuff)

9:25 pm, March 21, 2009  
Blogger lastknight said...

"I should start at the beginning, for otherwise I am sure to confound and bewilder"

Oh, you didn't do that at all, what with the short, crisp sentences and the snappy narration... :P

8:35 pm, April 02, 2009  
Blogger PrettyInPink said...

Hi
I am not a crazy stalker lady. And this is a very bad opening line, but its just that I am so in awe of your writing I am pretty much intimidated, and in that haalat, I more often than talk, talk shit. So, please excuse.:)
I will be joining IITD this year, and thus, in a way, your junior, I got your blog address from the IITD publications page, and I have been reading many many of them, just to see the place where I am going to spend the next 5 years of my life, through other experienced eyes..:) Yours was the only blog I couldn't resist commenting. Again, not wanting to sound like an Over-Enthusiastic Kiddo, but your writing just completely blew me away. And I want to thank you for all the fun I've had, and everything in IIT you unintentionally introduced me to. Thanks so much :)
Love and cheers
Shuvi
PS - I would be over the moon if you could reply. *I am totally an OEK*

9:58 am, July 01, 2009  
Blogger PrettyInPink said...

PrettyInPink sounds superstoopid, just to let you know, that was a name given by my former immature self 4 years ago, and I was too lazy to change it now, don't judge me. :D


Am I over-self-conscious, or am I over-self-conscious?

10:00 am, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

I am going to have to ask you to tone it down a tad, PiP.
That said, I thank you for your gushing ebullience. It's good to know you like the way I write; almost encouraging enough for me to seriously contemplate resuming my blogging activities.

I know there's not much use in me saying this, but I'll say it nevertheless. Have fun at IIT, Kiddo.

2:09 pm, July 01, 2009  
Blogger PrettyInPink said...

"I am going to have to ask you to tone it down a tad, PiP."
Gee, yes, now out of the trance, i realise the way i was going on, the next moment I would have begged for your autograph, and then maybe passed out due to all that excitement. :P
Do resume blogging, you do write very well, a million people would have told you this before, but whatever. :)
Will it be pushing it, if I request, read plead, you to spare like 10 minutes for me, there are a few basic *kiddo* things I need to ask..! I hope its not too inconvenient, and you can tell me if it is, I really don't want to bother/disturb/pester you. :)
S
PS - A lil typo there, 'more often that NOT, talk shit'

5:28 pm, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Shuvi, drop me a mail at manu.saxena@db.com.
I'll try and call you when I have some spare time on my hands. Which happens more often that you'd think.
And you shall be devoted as much time as you like. I am, after all, not altogether above flattery. :D

9:40 am, July 02, 2009  
Blogger svm said...

You do have a way with words, a very entertaining way :)

8:43 pm, August 21, 2009  

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Are We Human?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue.
Send my condolences to good.
Give my regards to soul and romance.
They always did the best they could.
And so long to devotion.
You taught me everything I know.
Wave good bye, wish me well.

You gotta let me go.

3 Comments:

Blogger Wanderer said...

aap, main aur beer??
And knowing your skills with poetry, ye tera nahi hai :P

9:58 am, December 08, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

SK, disappointingly enough, it does seem increasingly likely that that is going to be the case.
And you are right. Yeh mera nahi hai.
It's the newest song by The Killers. Do give it a listen.

1:27 am, December 10, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

dude i almost thot it was ur own! huh... now i cant leave a comment :(

6:26 am, December 29, 2008  

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chuck Lorre Productions, #212

I believe that the voices of fear, both from without and within, can only be dispelled by trusting the voice that comes from the heart. Be still and listen to it. If it speaks of love and compassion for others, for the world itself, it just might be the voice of God -- or a reasonable facsimile. If, however, it snarls with fear of the unknown, fear of losing what you have or of not getting what you want, then it just might be the voice of Rupert Murdoch -- or a reasonable facsimile.
The last fortnight, although unusual and mildly interesting, hasn't exactly been what most would describe as scintillating, primarily because of the prodigious amounts of surplus time I suddenly seem to have on my hands. Having much time and very little to do with it, I have, as I always do in times of intense ennui, turned to sitcoms to fill the hours that otherwise hang heavy.
Consequently, all of you who are in the rather unfortunate position of still being in Delhi, and hence being riddled frequently with my otherwise delightful company, should know that the wise-cracking, TV show-quoting Manu Saxena that you witness these days is not really all that me. The next time I compare you to a Sheldon Cooper or a Steven Hyde, or crack an obscure joke and break into raucous peals of hysterical laughter, kindly forgive me, for it is merely a passing phase.

On a slightly related note, I have a small confession to make.
Of late, I've been watching Chuck Lorre sitcoms almost as much for the vanity cards that appear at the fag end of each of his shows, as for the actual humorous content in them (the shows, not the vanity cards).
You can read through all of Mr. Lorre's Vanity Cards at his Official Vanity Card Archives. They make for interesting reading, especially if you're in what can aptly be described as the dazed, disordered and tumultuous state that borders the absolute emotional pits.
That, or if you have absolutely nothing better to do.

8 Comments:

Blogger Pietro said...

My name is Pietro Joaquin and I'm the webmaster of http://pinhole-glasses-direct.com/

I wanted to know if by any chance you would be interested in doing an unbiased review of one of our products.

If you agree, we will send you a product sample so that you can try it and then write a review about it. Please note you won't have to return the product sample after publishing the review.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you

Pietro Joaquin
pietrojoaquin@gmail.com

6:39 am, July 04, 2008  
Blogger swadha said...

Free these days...so thinkin of borrowin your advice and watch chuck lorre!!

By the way, can you be kind enough to tell me how to go about comment settings so that comments appear on the same page (like yours) instead of on a different page???!!

Email: devswadha@gmail.com

4:19 pm, July 04, 2008  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Hey... thank you so much for the link to the archive. I watch a lot of Chuck Lorre too but was unable to have a look at the famous vanity cards, simply because I download them through torrents and they don't have it. :)

And you should allow anonymous comments, you know!

10:04 am, August 08, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

update update....

12:23 pm, September 20, 2008  
Blogger mohit said...

,
Just read your blog. You have got excellent comprehending and writing skills. I along with few of my friends am planning to launch a website related to engineering. For that we require some information of your institute which only a student studying there can provide and is not available on net(for ex. different hang outs, time pass, masti, hostel life etc.). If you are interested then plz contact me at (rknexus@gmail.com.) If the informtion you provide is really helpful and authentic we may acknowledge you and your blog on our website and maybe even provide you with a free membership.Please
Reply on the above email-id.

7:19 pm, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Andrew Fox said...

Hey, just read your blog post.
I found it because I wanted the quote from the end of The Big Bang Theory, i'm going to subscribe to your RSS as your blog looks interesting, cool stuff :D

Dig the Chuck Lorre Productions quotes ;)

5:52 pm, September 26, 2008  
Blogger Juliet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:32 am, October 10, 2008  
Blogger Juliet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:48 am, November 13, 2008  

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And being...

Caught in between,
All I wish for, and all I need.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Be a Man!

A couple of days back, being in a state very aptly described by the word vella, and having nothing but time on my hands, I lay sprawled across the floor in front of the television, watching, for what must surely be the 45th time, the Russell Peters stand-up routine; desperate for something cheery that would lighten up my disposition, and disperse some of the clouds of gloom that I usually find myself surrounded with these days.
Which is when I heard, for what must surely be the 45th time, Russell Peters shrilly exclaim, in a high-pitched, what he would have us believe to be a Chinese accent, "Be a Man!", and noticed, only for the first time, how indiscriminately he followed it up with, "Do the right thing."
Which set me wondering about the rather incongruous pairing. What is it exactly about men that makes people think they will do the right thing? In fact, if my limited experience is any indication, it is exactly the opposite which is true, and I myself have to grudgingly plead guilty on this count. Men, in general, and I would like to apologize on the behalf of my gender here, do not do the right thing. In fact, given a set of circumstances, and a man, it is my solemn guarantee that the man will do the wrongest possible thing there is to do. Which probably explains why there exist in this world things such as wars, traffic and Mechanical Engineering.

If there are some of you who are reading this and thinking that I am kidding, I assure you such is not the case. I wish it were, but unfortunately it is not. And, as always, I have undeniable proof.

A few years ago, as I was randomly leafing through a magazine, or browsing the Internet (I don't really remember which), I came across this rather unconventional do-it-yourself quiz, the likes of which so overwhelmingly abound on the Internet these days, which illustrates my point rather well.
I must mention, before I present the quiz in its entirety here, that I am not, in any way, stating any untruth when I say that I did indeed come across this quiz, and that someone had actually put it up on the Internet (or in a magazine, I don't really remember which) in all seriousness, and it is not in any way a figment of my imagination or an MCQ questionnaire fabricated by me to prove my argument.
The quiz, quite lucidly and uncomplicatedly, was called, "Are you a man?"

Are You A Man?

1. You are trying to hang up a painting which you've just bought on a particular stretch of wall which is perfect for it, and your friend (For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that the name of the friend in question is Prabhpal Singh Grewal, who shall, for the benefit of brevity, be henceforth referred to as Pal) is helping you in your sincere endeavors to get the rather heavy painting up on the wall. As you stand on the foot-stool and ask Pal for the nail, he hands you one which is clearly too short to serve the purpose, and the next thing you know is that you're sprawled on the floor, one hand on the bump caused by the painting colliding with a particularly sensitive part of your scalp, looking up at Pal half-grinning, half-leering down at you in a maniacally apologetic way. What do you do?
a. You tell Pal everything is fine, and that it was as much your fault as his, and you continue to behave normally, but, deep within, you know that Pal is completely responsible for the mess, and you never forgive him for it, carrying your grudge to the grave.
b. You get up, dislodge the pieces of painting glass strategically placed somewhere in and around your posterior end, reluctantly accept Pal's apology, and start thinking about how to best effectively cover up the huge patch of cement that your wall now is.
c. You punch Pal.

2. You're out with friends watching the final in which your favorite sports team is completely clobbering the sh** out of the team they're playing against. Another few minutes, and they're sure to be crowned champions. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the other team claws back into the game, and in the final moments of the match, snatches a victory from the dazed and confused hands of the team you're rooting for. What do you do?
a. Favorite sports team? I'm not sure I'm familiar with that concept.
b. You shrug it off; tell yourself that winning and losing is a part of all sport, and maybe your team will have better luck next time.
c. You punch Pal.

3. You're driving to a class you're particularly late for, and on the way, run into another car, leaving your car's front-end looking like something out of a scrap-yard sale. It's clearly the other driver's fault, and you emerge from your vehicle with the intention of giving the person who drove into you a piece of your mind. Then...
a. You notice her shoes, and Oh-My-God, are they gorgeous. You ask her where she got them, and she says she can take you to the store if you want, and you both go shop together for shoes and other assorted items constituting a wardrobe.
b. You get out, firmly tell the driver of the car that ran into yours whose fault it was, and demand compensation.
c. You drive to class. Later, when you next see him, you punch Pal.

Here's how you score the quiz. If you've got mostly a's, you're a woman. If you've got mostly c's, you're a man. The quiz thing didn't say what you were if you got mostly b's, but I've got a strong suspicion that if you've scored any b's whatsoever, you're bordering on abnormal and insane.

It's amazing, isn't it, the kind of quizzes they come up with these days? I think they're one of the banes of our DIY generation, these amazingly dense quizzes that so infest the media these days. Why would anyone in their right mind want to know which Desperate Housewife they are? Or, for that matter, which teletubby most resembles them. And, whatever be their demerits, those ones are still relatively tolerable. Some others I've run into are actually, as hard as it may be to imagine, even worse; like 'Which color is your heart/liver/spleen?', or 'Which animal best represents you/your girlfriend/your best friend/your neighbor/the random dude who spat paan out on you from the moving bus you were trying to catch two days ago?', or, for that matter, 'Which city should you be living in if you have sudden, powerful urges to overdose on heroin, get into a fight with a friend, bludgeon him/her to death with your thermodynamics textbook, nibble off his arm, and prance around with it attached to your own forehead?'

They are just amazingly absurd, some of these quizzes. I still haven't been able to figure out what justifiable function they serve in society. And why are they so completely pervading the world we inhabit? It's ridiculous, and it makes me so effing mad.
I think I'm going to go punch Pal.

9 Comments:

Blogger Phoenix said...

If it wasn't all for a good cause (punching Pal), I'd have assumed this post was written to proclaim(reassure?) your manhood, or something as shady and vella as that...;)

8:55 am, June 02, 2008  
Blogger parulbajaj said...

Nice read :).. Keep 'em coming!

9:14 am, June 02, 2008  
Blogger swadha said...

A post after ages...and all this while, I have been resoponsible for keepin your blogs-click count up seeing that I chk your blog more often than mine!!

And if you were so vella anyway, why didnt more bloggin occur to you??

P.S. Tut-Tut...Poor Pal!!C'mon Manu...Be a man!!:P

8:33 pm, June 02, 2008  
Blogger ankur kakkar said...

hey manu , nice blog dude... nice thoughts ...

2:39 pm, June 04, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Phoenix, seeing as you've already concluded that it can't be both shady and lead to Pal-punching at the same time, I'd have to say it's probably the latter.

Parul, thanks. Keep visiting. It keeps me motivated. :P

Swadha, I was vella in a lazy, sprawled on the floor in front of the television set kind of a way (weren't you reading), and not quite in an inspired, having a lot to say, spending nights in front of the computer frantically keyboarding in my thoughts kind of a way. :P
That said, I'll try to be more regular now. Maybe your frequent clicks shall bear more fruit.

Kakkar, thanks man. Where are you these days? It's been the longest time. And I strongly suggest you go through the December 2004 archives.

8:57 pm, June 04, 2008  
Blogger Wanderer said...

Shouldn't Pal also punch himself? Considering what he did to his own car!

7:36 pm, June 29, 2008  
Blogger gaurav said...

Punch Basant instead!!

8:47 pm, July 16, 2008  
Blogger SDK said...

Nce blog man! Landed up on your blog by dexterously following a chain of comments and the blogs of the commentators and this is the first one that compelled me to comment in.

2:43 am, October 11, 2008  
Blogger lastknight said...

Hahaha... Killer! :D

I know just what you mean about absurd quizzes, every time I open my facebook page, I find quiz results from friends proudly proclaiming which sex and the city character they are, or what colour their aura, is or something similarly outlandish... Makes one fear for the future of the human race... I mean, it's not hard to envision a not-so-distant future when machines do all the work and all people do is sit on the internet taking quizzes!

8:48 pm, April 02, 2009  

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I have, for as long as I can remember, been a firm believer in the deceitfulness of man. People lie. And I'm not saying that some people lie, or, for that matter, that most people lie. Being in the mood for gratuitous and sweeping generalizations, I am confidently proclaiming that all people lie.

All people lie. Deception is one of the life skills that need to be mastered by us all if we aspire to live comfortable, reasonably conflict-free social lives. It is one of life's necessities, like food, clothing, shelter, and vodka. And like food, clothing, shelter and, to a far greater degree, vodka, it is the glue that holds the world together. The force that binds us all. The set of tools we use to work our way through life. The thread that runs through the social fabric of our existence, and prevents it from getting ripped in multiple places as a result of the constant pressure from all sides, if I may put it so.

All people lie. And all people cheat. And all people, far more frequently than you would imagine, resort to duplicity, guile, treachery, and general underhanded skulduggery to obtain what they want, or what they think they want, or to prevent other people from getting what they want, or what they think they want, or any one of an entire host of other reasons, some a lot less noble and a lot more petty. How many times, if I may cite an example, have you been told by people (dentists and doctors, mostly) that this isn't going to hurt one bit. And how many times have you told people (not dentists and doctors, mostly) that this isn't going to hurt one bit.

My basic point, in case some of you are wondering, as I am sure you would be inclined to do, is that people, under normal circumstances, are not, and never can be, completely open and candid with other people. There's always a hidden agenda, a minor twisting of the facts, a proclivity to say what you believe others want to hear (or don't want to hear, depending on the degree of mutual animosity you and the aforementioned others share). Which is, and this is the crucial part, perfectly fine by me. A slight amount of deceitfulness is, as has been mentioned before, necessary and, quite ironically, almost prudent. A little bit of oompus-boompus seems, to me, a small price to pay, when we consider that its complete absence may lead to a rather altogether undesirable consequence; that of the unraveling of the social fabric that has already found a mention earlier in this post.
No wonder they call it the naked truth.

Having said that, however, I find it sensible to mention at this juncture, lest you lose interest and drift off to sleep (I would know, for I did), that this post isn't about lying.

I have, for even longer than as long as I can remember, been a leading proponent of the belief that there are ways to circumvent men's (and women's. Especially women's) dishonesty and prudence (both of them being pretty much the same thing, as I have already mentioned before, and then conclusively proved). This post is, as far as ways of circumvention (Is that even a word?) go, about one of my personal favorites; this post, or what's left of it, is about alcohol, which, now that I think about it, has also found a mention earlier.

Alcohol is, without question, one of the most pleasant, and definitely one of the most potent approaches to making men (and women. Especially women) speak the truth. People say what they really mean, and they really mean what they say, once they've got generous doses of the hard stuff inside of them. It has been my observation that some of life's maxims, life's most incontrovertible truths, emerge from one's very depths after copious amounts of alcohol have been consumed. Other things also emerge from one's very depths after copious amounts of alcohol have been consumed, but we shall do well not to concern ourselves with them now.

Having had indulged me for so long, you must allow me, at this stage, to put forth an example to substantiate my claims.

Imagine then, if you will, the organizers of the 3rd IIT Delhi Parliamentary Debate walking out of IIT Delhi's main gate after the completion of the finals of yet another satisfactorily-organized (I am tempted to use the phrase wildly successful, but the jury is still out on that one) edition of the annual parliamentary debating tournament, and making a bee-line for SDA. Imagine also, as I would like to request you to, all of them seated at a particularly crowded booth at Masala Junction (IIT Delhi's very own, in the absence of a more appropriate word to utilize here, theka; these days being promoted as a bar and lounge by an overly enthusiastic management) about an hour later, singing, dancing, arguing, smashing beer bottles on each others' heads, and generally acting like booze-addled buffoons.


Which is when Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, a strange and singularly entertaining hybrid between an IITian and a Stephanian (yes, such species do exist), with a few measures of rum and a few more pints of beer within him, in a bout of particularly severe angst, came up with the lines that made us all, in a perfect moment of clarity, see sense, albeit fleetingly. His opinions gave us pause, if you will, and compelled us to think. Singing, dancing, beer-bottle smashing, and other allied activities that go hand in hand with drunken revelry ceased, for a few brief instants, to occur, and anyone who has been waist-deep in drunken revelry before shall know how difficult it is to even momentarily suspend the above-mentioned activities in such a situation, and therefore how momentous a turn of events this was.
Everyone listened to Siddharth Krishnamoorthy.

Before I go into the specifics of his monologue, let it be known that I will be, in the interests of general decency, intentionally omitting most of the choicest swear words that SK decided to sprinkle his speech quite liberally with. Without a doubt, this purging of profanities will make his words appear a little more bland than they actually were, but I do hope that the gist will not be lost.

These were his words. Not his exact words, but slightly paraphrased words, for this is a family blog.

"Dude, what's the deal with women, man? Like, why do they have to get married? I don't get relationships, man. It's like, a choice between the deep sea and the devil. I'm 21, and every time I date a woman, and it gets slightly serious, I am expected to get married to her. Why in God's name is that?"
"And that's not the worst of it. The part that really gives me the shivers and makes me stay up nights is that If I really like a girl, I have to make my move fast, like, really fast, because dude, let's face it, if you wait long enough, dude, she might just get married."

"What kind of a sh** deal is that?"

What kind of a sh** deal indeed.

And while we're on the subject of life's most horrifying truths, there's another one I want to share. Have you ever noticed how all the new stuff you buy comes neatly packaged in a shiny box with all the polystyrene packing material and all the bubble wrap? And then you open it up, clawing at the thermocol eagerly, hardly being able to wait a moment longer before you can get your hands on what lies inside.

The thing is; and this is the part that really (for lack of a more suitable word which captures the emotion adequately well) sucks; nothing goes back into the box the same neat way it came out.
True story.

16 Comments:

Blogger Phoenix said...

I so wish I was there. But I would agree with SK...it's a sh** deal. Someday I'd tell you in person scarier things that keep girls in a is-it-getting-serious relationship awake at night. And no, it ain't about marriage.
Or maybe.

12:35 pm, March 21, 2008  
Blogger sAuRaBh sHeKhAr said...

True story, how ever i cant help noticing the change in people...

when we were 18-19.. never did the word marriage used to come suddenly we are 22 and see ur blog started talking about marriage already.
i agree or not agree i have no idea.. but i do know it is a shit deal. it was way much easier when i was a kid..

11:51 am, March 22, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

lol. i like the last bit... the polystyrene one.
the first part is of course a given... and yeah women don't need to be 21 to make u think marriage. hehe. but thats life.

4:56 pm, March 23, 2008  
Blogger Wanderer said...

since u've pretty much carried out a public character assassination, why don't you also share the "SK you're a good man, I'll make u my best man!" story or should i do the honours?!!

3:59 pm, March 25, 2008  
Blogger Wanderer said...

P.S: Must write something abt our little competition..kindly make it fictional! :D

4:01 pm, March 25, 2008  
Blogger feignman said...

It is an atrocious assumption to say that people blurt out the truth when they are drunk.
And I am hopeful you will not disregard my opinion on this, for I live on that shit they call alcohol. :)
Otherwise, nice story, like always.
Amol

12:30 pm, March 31, 2008  
Blogger SATYAANVESHI said...

lol... Nice one...

3:53 pm, April 08, 2008  
Blogger AP said...

God spoke through SK that night.

10:37 am, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Ankit Sagwal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:41 pm, April 16, 2008  
Blogger Ankit Sagwal said...

nice blog, u write very much like the way you speak........and an interesting topic, yeah

5:44 pm, April 16, 2008  
Blogger Nikunj said...

I relished your start, but only appreciate your ending. I believe , not only its a little too lengthy but it sacrifices the vitality of the strings you intend to pull.Neways nice stuff. I too got a post on similar stuff named "tyranny of morals", and would appreciate your comment on the same.

9:15 pm, April 16, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Phoenix, looking forward to that conversation. Just let me know when.

Saurabh, my blog started talking about marriage merely because some alcohol-overloaded friend of mine did. Really, don't make me out to be the culprit here.

Mridu, truth be told, I liked the polystyrene part better myself. It's less scary.

SK, all publicity is good publicity. Really, how many times must I tell you?
Oh, the competition remains offline. And for the record, I won. :P

Amol, I must clarify. My story talks about people who are relative novices at the art of alcohol consumption. Clearly, blurting out the truth while under the influence of alcohol doesn't apply to seasoned pros such as yourself.

Satyaanveshi, thanks. What in the world does your name mean, man?

AP, if he did, he chose a rather ineffectual instrument. Lucky I was there, isn't it, to let God's will be known to the masses.

Ankit, how the hell do you know how I speak?
In simpler words, who are you?

Nikunj, I tried to, but the post was a tad too long to my liking.

10:01 pm, June 01, 2008  
Blogger SATYAANVESHI said...

It means "seeker of truth".

6:28 pm, June 12, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Ah! Neat.

8:00 am, June 20, 2008  
Blogger shivamgoel said...

you know wat you shud do...Slap Pal :P

12:11 pm, June 23, 2008  
Blogger Empy said...

I just read your post now. Ya i know those boxes are a shit load of pain. its like these are manufactured around the product, so that it fits only once....

12:53 am, March 24, 2009  

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Total Recall

I would not know if you have ever had the experience, but a thing I have found in life is that it, in its infinite wisdom, tends to provide you with, on occasions more than a few, just the tools you require to worsen an already unpleasant situation.
It is on occasions such as these that occur moments which, as you jog along the road defining your existence, you recognize immediately with the naked eye as high spots. Something tells you that they are going to remain etched, if etched is the word I want, for ever on the memory and will come back to you at intervals down the years, as you are dropping off to sleep, banishing that drowsy feeling and causing you to leap off the bed like a convulsed electric eel on losing all semblance self-control.

Accumulate enough of these moments, and you can hardly ever get to sleep.
And then you're just left in the unenviable position of being awake at two in the morning, knowing not what to do, and passing the time by scribbling nonsense on your now all but obsolete blog.

May God bless this now all but obsolete blog. It may not be much, but at two on this particularly lonely morning, it serves my purpose beautifully.

6 Comments:

Blogger Phoenix said...

Life happens. It gives plenty else too. Deal with it. I'm sure you can. Or just sleep.

6:01 pm, March 14, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

rather strange how u r pretty much open with your feelings on a blog! i just somehow go n express them to all the wrong people.
at least u get random sympathizers who can connect with your angst!

and don't u worry. am sure you'll manage pretty well.

9:08 pm, March 16, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

and d fact that i am writing these comments at 3 am is testimony to the fact that you are not the only one gets bouts of pointless insomnia.

9:31 pm, March 16, 2008  
Blogger AP said...

Is this a happy post by any chance?

-Anjul

6:51 am, March 17, 2008  
Blogger swadha said...

Aint you rather comfortable now with incessant insomnia and finding respite in you blog,seeing that you seem to have done it for quite a few years now??

Also, what exactly do you mean when you refer to your blog as "now all but obsolete blog"???...

7:33 pm, March 17, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Phoenix, I can. Deal with it, that is.
Doesn't mean I can't whine about it while I do.

Mridu, I don't do this for the random sympathizers who can connect with my angst. I do this for I have nothing better to do.
That, and to whine.

Anjul, in a strange and twisted way, it is.

Swadha, I am. Comfortable with it, that is.
Refer to my reply to Phoenix.
And as far as the blog being 'now all but obsolete', I'll go into that some other day. It is a thrilling tale. I wish to do it justice.

10:16 pm, March 18, 2008  

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Sucks

Incidentally, I'm only saying this because I'm single and bitter. If I was in a relationship, I'd be all hearts-and-candy-tastic, I assure you.

Happy Thursday.

5 Comments:

Blogger Swadha said...

totally agree man...!
i myslf dnt reali undrstnd dis V-day bullcrappin much...!!but ovr d yrs...i'v been made 2 believ by those aroun' me(much-happily-in-luv!!),dat d actual reasn behind dis is more of me being pissd off at being single(wid amazin consistncy!!)...dan d day actuali being as futile n useless as i perceiv it...!!
some reali kool bloggin tho...hooked on 2 it:D
newaz...ope u had a Happy Thursday 2...;)
P.S.sorry 4 d shorthand!!:P

9:05 pm, February 16, 2008  
Blogger Saira said...

... and here i was, thinking that you're a fellow soft toy hater... but as it turns out, you're a v-day mushie. blaargh.

5:16 pm, February 27, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:04 am, March 08, 2008  
Blogger mridu said...

okay u seemed to have been stressed out when u musta written the last two posts. hope things are better now. how was the iit parliamentary? and why d hell doesn't this blogger post the comments!

9:06 am, March 08, 2008  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Mridu, the IIT Parliamentary Debate went well. Thanks for asking. Things are better now, even if only marginally. I feel very uplifted though, further proof that I am pretty much on the verge of losing it.

Saira, I am as far from being a V-Day mushie as I am from the pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow. The next time I employ sarcasm in a post, I will drop you a separate mail, detailing where and how I intend to do it.

Swadha, I don't have your email address, so you'll just have to try and get the sarcasm on your own.

8:50 pm, March 12, 2008  

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

That Sinking Feeling...

There come times in life, and I sincerely hope and pray that it is not only my life in which they so unceremoniously turn up, when an invisible limit is surpassed. When the amount of chaos around reaches a critical level. When a bar is reached, beyond which life gets messy enough to abandon all hope of deliverance. In actuality, it is an inconsequential moment, because by the time you realize that you're pretty much buggered and abandoning all hope of deliverance is the only rational thing left to do, it's already been a while since things had first gone wrong beyond repair. Psychologically, however, it is a brilliant moment, when you are suddenly made aware of the fact that you are not going to make your way out of this one by putting up a brave face and telling yourself that everything will work out fine in the end. It is a moment of clarity, when you suddenly know you've stepped off the edge; the cartoon moment when gravity waits for the coyote to realize his mistake before the plunge.
I am due to reach that moment any minute now. Which will allow me just about enough time to complete this blog post. That done, I shall run around the house naked shouting half-veiled expletives to express my extreme distaste for life.

My life is in ruins. My friends have begun avoiding me, for I take them for granted, and they resent that, and they're also slightly wary of the constant under-the-breath muttering and sly looks. My family thinks I am crazy since they last saw me running around the house naked. My minor tests were either missed by me on account of my debating (which also, I must add, continues to remain woefully substandard), or were unmitigated disasters, and my courses this semester invoke in me about the same feelings a dead rat would, only slightly worse. My B.Tech. Project has run into a dead-end that is so dead it could give an entire cemetery an inferiority complex, and my degree is very probably going to take me an entire extra year to complete. To top it all, I haven't slept properly in weeks, and everything is tinted green and sort of swimming around, like in an algae-infested pool. Also, sudden noises cause my eyes to fly out, my heart to get entangled in my front teeth, and a complete loss of control over my knees. Sleep, and therefore any hope of recovery, remains currently a non-viable course of action, because if I sleep for even a bit or otherwise waste any time whatsoever, I cannot possibly meet the deadlines for the work that I have promised to the multitudes of people I know, much of which is menial and inconsequential, and many of whom are presently actively involved in avoiding me.

Which is why I revert to this blog. I have no time, no plan of action in mind, and no chance of success. It's like the old days again. Except slightly bleaker.
And while writing about it here won't help things in any way at all, at least the crash, when it comes, will be well-chronicled.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Teachers Never Die

They live in your memory forever. They were there when you arrived, they were there when you left. Like fixtures. Once in a while they taught you something. But not that often. And, you never really knew them, any more than they knew you. Still, for awhile, you believed in them. And, if you were lucky, maybe there was one who believed in you.

3 Comments:

Blogger Espèra said...

Writing after a helluva long time, aren't you?

4:07 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Manu Saxena said...

Espèra, as always, you are absolutely correct.
I wouldn't get my hopes up, though, if I were you. My return has less to do with an irresistible urge to write again (much like the ones I was accustomed to experiencing in the days of yore), and more to do with the fact that it was Teachers' Day, I wanted to wish a couple of my old teachers (more for my own benefit than for theirs'), and I was too lazy to actually do it properly.

7:15 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Espèra said...

How about you write so that mere mortals like me can read?

7:35 pm, September 07, 2007  

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