Wednesday, March 30, 2005

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Online

If you think that this has anything to do with any link/URL from where you can freely download FRIENDS episodes, then I think I just was successful in tricking ya into getting some interest in my post. *Things ppl do to get noticed*

I have started to patronise this series in POGO called 'Noah and Saskia' ['You got mail' for aussie/brit preteens and teens] about two 14yr olds who have a internet based 'friendship' across the oceans and hemispheres which as any intelligent viewer would know will get complicated into 'something more deeper' by the season finale. Although the latter deeping part is the stuff that sells cheap, trashy books and movies, I am here to talk about the first part- making friends with some person online.

1]You've never seen the person
Ok so some ppl may argue with two basic points; You can always share photos if it comes to that and Looks are not important in a friendship. Fair Enough. Anything in this world can be twisted out of its inherent goodness. I could send a photo of Bips and say its me to some guy from Poland. As for looks not being important, the first judgement you make of a person, initial impression has to do with the physical aspect only [unless you had your third eye activated after intensive tantric and yogic pratices in the outer reaches of the Himalayas]. So in this scenario, You are taking a shot in the dark while committing to something as sacred as friendship and the implicit trust and dependance that comes with it.

2]You scratch the surface of the lies to find more lies, exaggerations, stretches and some truth
Why do we not present a proper picture of ourselves when we are sure the person can't know the reality? two-fold mainly- one is that if we reveal to them the truth about themselves, we make ourselves vulnerable and instinct screams against it; and the next is the more common factor- we are not happy with what we are and will employ some stretches of half-truths or plainly resort to lies and project ourselves as those we might consider ideal or perfect.
There is always that 3rd possibility, I will explain briefly as the next heading

3]The ol friend(s) could be creeps, pervs and in general anti-social elements
Not something I need to dwell upon, all will know of the horror stories associated with this. All they do is lie. Their intention is to harm. They will be the most perfect ol friends and earn your trust before they utterly ruin a life cheerfully.

4] You are too shy/ have problems making regular friends
So ol friends become the escape route? Nothing can replace a flesh-and-blood tangible friend in real-life. More well-adjusted people swear on this. This factor might lead to a normal, if a little shy, person turning into the creatures discussed in #3.

Opens up your mind
With the global boundaries disappearing in the cyber world one realises that there are just some people distributed geographically or more accessible ol who share common interests.

Its funny how people not connected can have eerily similar tastes and ideas. Or even better when people connect and complement each other's theories and concepts.
They might introduce one to newer topics, rehash old ideas and in general be good friends in that regard. I don't know 90% of the people in my blogroll, but I visit their blogs daily and feel admiration or kinship for their ideas and work. Same goes for people who meet in regulated specialised Forums (I didnt say chat rooms). There is an occasional creep to handle but mostly its ok.

They are available
Starting from tips to cracking CAT to the review of the latest movie, ol friends are just a IM or post away. Your offline friends might not be this easily available for you.

Conclusion is
Dont lie. If you dont want to reveal, say 'I'm not comfortable giving this info out. Sorry'
Stay sharp and aware
Set limits and boundaries and stick to them
Maintain healthy intentions and ensure the same from the other
Continue to nurture and expand your offline friends circle. Nothing can replace them.
Look for intellectual company and not love [that would put you in desparate category unless You are Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan.]
Move away when it gets weird. RUN.

Now you can enjoy the virtual company of some of the great minds, who think the same as you!!
Ciao Friends,

Monday, March 28, 2005

A whole lot of nothing

I've had nothing to say for a very long time now. Its been nearly 2 weeks. There are many people who could have had normal BP and sanity levels if this had been my usual behavior.
But its not.
Have I been too busy?
Yes. But that has not silenced me ever before, so why now?
Is it that I dont have any contribution to the universe?
very true. I dont believe anything I write here will change the world (for the better).
Have I taken up other activites?
If you count 3 days & nights spanning 10 movies, Yes.
Have I lost interest in blogging?

I believe that I should write standard stuff, not cater to timetables. So only and if imagination strikes me, creativity flows out and passion stirs up bright ideas; I shall post. Otherwise, I just read others blogs and comment on them.

BTW, its gotten way too hot lately. And its only March.
Brinda, HAPPY RETURNS OF YESTERDAY. *small internet calamity at home.plz dont mind*

Wishing herself in a very cool place,

Saturday, March 19, 2005

On Automation

I am a child of the popular culture; my essays are supplemented by quotes from songs rather than long dead greek philosophers, I believe in anything that is incredible, I live more at home with machinery than the organic lifestyle that I know is good for me.

Crichton has a great profile: he is a MD, a research biologist, a science fiction writer and movie screen player writer. He brought real-live dinosaurs into our 20th century fantasy-less lives. In 1972, he wrote ‘The Terminal Man’. Maybe in the distant future our descendants might consider his writing to be ‘prophetic’ like we do with H.G.Wells or Jules Verne. And if we want only rosy futures for our children to be, we will hope he is hopelessly wrong.

Animax is a view into the very warped Japanese popular culture, obsessed with the AI, robots and the next step that humanity will take. ‘Ghost in the shell: Stand Alone Complex’ is one example program, who’s protagonist is a disturbing mix of human and machine parts. She is capable of driving on the roads, physically and parallely participating in an online discussion from her mind. She receives instructions as data from her boss and peers, has add-ons that can make her invisible and she enjoys an occasional fine wine. She can’t be called android or humanoid. In fact the tagline of this program is ‘in the future, when the distinction between the digital and the physical is blurred’. It’s a popular show, as are many others of the same genre.

Which brings me to the point I am pondering on;
are we as an entire species being desensitized enough to ignore our alarming dependence on independent machinery?
Are we like the starving people of under-developed countries who sweat out in production of Nike shoes that they will never use?
Are we contributing to the creation of this massive intelligence that will eventually take over?
A move we’ll not notice as we live out our lab rat like life where we get food for all our senses on time and therefore don’t notice ‘reality’.

Automation is the key word in my profession. Like digging deep pits for our measurements, we are being paid and maintained to make the systems that will work with minimum human interference. Like Neumann would have dismissed the almost instantaneous growth that has lead to micro computers as fiction, we are quite at ease watching AI run rampant in our television screens and gaming consoles as we feel they would be functional and a threat to someone else in the future, not now, not us.
What if the future is now?
Is it wise to give autonomy to systems and let them control us at our most intimate level?
Banking and money transfer is completely automated now. And the various systems that operated are all interconnected. If one fine day we don’t have out ATMs working and the bank records are not retrievable, all hell will break loose.
Rich are so proud of their state-of the art security systems that keep the intruders out, to see it from the other way, they are just building fancy jails for themselves, from where they’ll need machine acceptance to come out of.
Medicine and surgery is now completely dependant on monitoring systems and stat charts, without these, our doctors can only give out bandages and hand out morphine; the very stage medicine was at during the American civil war.

What is most disturbing is the automation in people; we lead robotic lives. Our movements, eating, sleeping, thinking and behavior are all regulated. We crave for expensive under wear which is like any other normally priced version, except that it sports the words ‘calvin klein’ in it. Why not use a marker and get your kicks cheaper?
Women world-wide cultivate bulimia in order to look ‘right’ which is synonymous with-emaciation, simultaneously scarring their psyche forever; men pump their body with steroids to get the ‘strong’ look, while they get weaker and more dependant on chemicals.

Any deviance is termed abnormal and is abhorred and mitigated. Our education weeds out freethinkers as ‘problem-children’ and lateral processing as ‘idling away’ and encourages those who have been mind-controlled best by their parents, society and the trends. If all the early men had gone about hunting and gathering and dying in the cold, we wouldn’t have come about, but for that one abnormal guy who wanted to rub two sticks together while the others laughed at him.

Evolution is occurring in present tense, as it has been from the start of life on this planet.
We will change into the beings of the future, but they shouldn’t be part mechanical. Our minds should evolve, enlarge, integrate and our evolution should be spiritual.

I don’t pretend to have the solutions. I just think there are some problems that have not been recognized.

Let ‘Dystopian’ not describe our futures,

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Perils Of The Published Poet

Swetha gave it a two thumbs up and even went as far as recommending it to her husband as a way of introducing me and he seemed to take it pretty well too. Raj gave it a one thumb up another thumb down. I admit its not my best, but given the one evening I had (and wiled away) and the 15 minutes of the next day morning I spent on this (hastily summoning all muses),I should say its not lets not sit around twiddling thumbs,all ye stout hearted lads and lassies, lets get with the poem:

A Journey in a Life…

Like the first colonists in a new world at bay,
We stepped onto the campus one fateful day.

In just a little less than half a decade, we emerged,
as seeds, from the tree, with greatness in us, preserved.

Our journey here was by no means smooth or easy, as it shouldn't, you see,
for each of us is now a skillful sailor, we set out to be.

Life here taught us to be humble and proud,
to learn and teach, alternatively and loud.

To fight best when pushed the hardest, a measure;
Diamonds are the coal that performed under pressure.

Sometimes it was as normal as college life would get,
and sometimes quite the antithesis of standards that were set.

We lived and laughed, till there came a time to go,
Things will move on, that would always be so.

Deep in the distant future, when great many things would end and begin,
some things would always have to remain- our source, our origin.

Plz take time to throw some praise/brickbats my way.
When times comes, you know I'll do the same for you :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I am Poet and I know it…

Sometimes its difficult to choose in life; which is more humiliating- the pathetic attempt at poetry which was generated at the last minute from the moral obligation one feels for her alma mater even though that fine institution does not give the person a convocation, or being questioned by the Manager that leaves him and the rest of the team laughing with quite a lot of unintended amusement at the ‘answers’.
Which brings us to the main point- I am a published poet.
An unwilling one at that, nevertheless, a published one.
My fling with poetry started, funnily enough, with my tendency to come late especially on Mondays when the first period, which would be in full swing when I land, was English.
My Teacher Mrs.Rani Jeyasanker has a sense of humor that can perhaps be described, even if a little understatedly as, ironic. She would usually let me stay outside until her class concluded, not producing any effect on me other than the increase of Vitamin D in my skin and circulation of fresh air in my lungs.
Our little arrangement suited me fine. It let me cool off from the hectic cycling I did to get to school anyway. I guess if anything is too good for you, it will not last long, so it wasn’t very surprising when our keen teacher caught a whiff of the fact that her ‘outstanding’ student was actually enjoying her punishment, which was, in a nutshell the antithesis of the very purpose of punishment.
So she set about making a very devious plan to make me squirm and also made sure it would give her an idea as to why this student(me) had the feeling that she was supposed to report at school at 9 while the others correctly knew that the time was actually 8.40 am.
One fine Monday (if ever there is such a thing), I landed at my class, late, happy, perspiring and oblivious to my impending doom, in the same order. Rani ma’am didn’t look up for my
”Excuse me, Ma’am” bleat, instead she responded while her eyes still kept their vigil over a precious attendance book.
“Yes, Remya (me). Come in.”
The class was stunned. It was one of those ‘tension in the air could’ve been cut with a knife’ sort of circumstances. My eyes as wide as really wide and spherical objects, I came in with faltering steps that betrayed my surprise and took my seat at the backbench (predictably).
Having finished her intensive work with the above-mentioned book, Rani Ma’am walked up to the center of the class from where she usually tries her level best to stop us from saying ‘yaar’ as the suffix of every sentence and other such fruitless pursuits.
Raditating from the unblinking stare from each of the souls that haunted the class, she said, “I want you to bring tomorrow, without fail, a poem on why you always come late”.
My fate as the laughing stock of the class was sealed when she innocuously mentioned ‘without’ and ‘fail’ consecutively. Only suicidal people would dare to challenge those softly spoken words.

The long and short of it was I did write one and Shalini, who was wandering around with her senses alive and looking for kill from her position as editor of the girls school magazine, pounced on it as ‘a certified hoot’ and published it, causing most of my alma mater to always remember me as ‘the-girl-who-wrote-that-latecoming-poem’. Hardly a compliment for a serious poetess, but for me it was Olympic praise.

Today I wrote another poem describing my college life, which I sent not only to my HOD, for who’s eyes alone it was strictly intended, but to the entire ex-class from college (big mistake), hereby ensuring that they will each be having moments of mirth at my expense or will shudder at the very though that they were ever acquainted to me and how best they can bury that ignominy. Maybe both in any order.
I stay… infamous.
PS: would I ever want it any other way??

Monday, March 07, 2005

Pendulum Strikes

I have a tendency to be affected by books. Some people cry at the movies, I get depressed after reading depressing books. If that alone was not enough, a small failure relating to my standing in office and the sudden disappearance of my wallet contributed to the foul shade of my blues last weekend.
But predominantly it was ‘Focault’s Pendulum’

Three guys go about taking in and processing and spewing out the million-gazillion useless facts on the broad and connected subjects of Templars, Masons, Rosicruxians, Celtic Black Virgins, Illuminati, Assasins, Comte St. Germain, William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Hitler, you-name-the-crap-and-its-there.
Then one dies of Cancer, one is killed by people who think he knows something but does not and the third narrates everything and waits for the killers to finish him off.
There, I said it in 2 sentences, Eco (the author) decides to drag the reader (me) through sulphur and hell-fire baiting me with the carrot hung from a stick ( a crude pendulum, don’t you think? *drools* ) only to push the person into a sewer that says, everything they postulated was false but the deranged occult maniacs believe it and are trying to kill the protagonists in a pathetic attempt to know more about their ‘secret club’.
Sad, sad, sad story of nothing. It promised me the heaven and earth and dunked my head under a tap of lukewarm water.
So all that came to the forefront from all those pages was not the wonder and mystery of cabbala that turned Madonna into Esther, it was just the very pathetic vein that humans have to know about the happenings of the exclusive ‘cool kids club’ that will not accept them.

So the legends say about this ultimate secret society that exists where only world famous scientists, writers and artists can join. Why wont they accept common folk? Obviously, because they are planning something big, like changing the world. Also they don’t want you to know that we live in the subterranean earth and that there is a level above us and there is one below. They don’t want you to know that Shakespeare was the Virgin Queen’s illegitimate child.
One major doubt, why is it that virgins can only be women. By default, do we have to assume all men are born corrupted?
Just a point I am pondering on…

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

*frustration alert*

The yearly audit of just how far you have come in life in that all-important first year of your entry into the real world (“Buckle up, Dorothy, cos Kansas is going bye-bye”)
from the selfishly young life on college campus comes when you receive a mail that goes:
Dear student,
We are pleased to invite you for the convocation on so-and-so date at such-and-such time….blah blah blah

It’s a fit tough case for young Lamentine because my set of the cursed 42 souls that spent 4 and change frustrating years at so ungrateful an institution on which we showered our money and work (the million meetings and functions I was MOC for and organized, swept the halls, arranged prizes, designed invitations, ran around for…all meaningless) have not been considered important enough to be given a ceremonial convocation and handing over of our degrees.
Instead, the first ever convocation of our fledgling department that we, with our combined grit and work brought up to the formidable stand it is in today, will start from our Juniors’ batch. Thus we have been overstepped entirely.
As far as anyone is concerned, we don’t exist.
I rant from my blog, perhaps the only impractical hoot from the entire class to feel angry that I am not being made to drop a day’s work to trudge through the impossibly long way to that very end of the universe where college stands and wear the gauchiest, brightest, yellowest, unwashed, sars-infected set of rental robes that ever made its way from the telugu film industry wardrobe; to be forced to listen to some droning eminent personality who is thinking why he got himself into this sitch…
But it still doesn’t change the fact that we were not invited and given our convocation.
We faced all the horrors of being raw in a campus without the protective shadow of seniors or department staff in our very first year. We lived through it and fought all the way to be taken seriously and that process was filled with any cuts, scratches and bruises for us.
Don’t even want a medal for the courageous feats we performed while being trodden by each and every person on campus, they could’ve just treated us normally.
Its one thing to say that we might’ve been too busy make it or that we simply didn’t want to go back there when all our friends are across the Atlantic, because it makes it our choice to not go. There simply was no scope for even a trace of choice here.
I am feeling mad as hell. *in case this subtle point has escaped anyone’s notice*

PS: here is something that I wanted to read out on our Farewell Day, but since I was too wet…(another sordid tale) here it is now. Dedicated to the first batch of IT 99-03, a bunch of mixed nuts.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99...

Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experienceI will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years youll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you cant grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.You're not as fat as you imagine.

Dont worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Dont be reckless with other peoples hearts, dont put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Dont waste your time on jealousy; sometimes youre ahead, sometimes youre behind the race is long, and in the end, its only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Dont feel guilty if you dont know what you want to do with your life the most interesting people I know didnt know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still dont.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, youll miss them when theyre gone.

Maybe youll marry, maybe you wont, maybe youll have children, maybe you wont, maybe youll divorce at 40, maybe youll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary what ever you do, dont congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can, dont be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, its the greatest instrument youll ever own..

Dance even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you dont follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when theyll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do youll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Dont expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Dont mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...