Friday, November 26, 2010

Lonely Ness

Nessiteras Rhombopetryx (scientific name of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, most probably conferred by the same biologists that doubt its existence) must lead a sad and lonely life given it is considered to be the lone prehistoric creature. That must be compounded by the fact that it's existence has not been proven yet, even though people have started gathering in large numbers at a village nearby for the Rock Ness festival, to celebrate it's existence or non-existence. The Loch Ness, whose sole claim to fame is the widespread conjecture about Nessie, risks quick descension into oblivion if the non-existence of Nessie is proven once and for all.

These feelings are easily attributable to our day-to-day life, where we are lonely in some way or the other despite the sea of humanity around us. We have become islands, and detached communication (email, IM, Facebook), while keeping us in touch with people and even helping find old friends, has become a proxy for physical proximity and has its roots in convenience and general Seinfeld-like discomfort with letting people come too close. Additionally, the world is focusing on categorizing things, making every process repeatable and less human-reliant, and to assign a tag to every individual so that they are searchable via some common, pre-defined criteria. We are fast becoming redundant, and might already be fictional like Nessie, living in a dream-world akin to the Matrix where the only thing that exists is an illusion of being in control.

Musical Credits: Bass: Pankaj Kanth, Rhythm Guitar (on Bass): Pankaj Kanth, Lead Guitar (on Bass): Pankaj Kanth, Drums: Pragya Bhushan (1st Half), Preset Rhythm (2nd Half)

The Big Endian

On Thanksgiving day, I am very thankful for the fact that I am the other kind of Indian. No reservations (pun intended)!

Though I am not native, I am naturalized; though I am not red, I am red fading to black (read 'brown'); though I don't welcome pilgrims, I intend to go on pilgrimage (hopefully it's the other kind of pilgrimage, to offer 'No Prayer for the Dying'); though I am not a Cherokee, I have driven a Cherokee (the grand one); though I have no reservations, I am typically reserved; and though I am not called Running Deer, I might very well be called Pun Case Can.

Please excuse any or all political incorrectness (there is a lot of redundancy in this phrase - what is political is typically incorrect, no?) in this article, and obtain enjoyment by leveraging that desensitized part of your brain which was very curious about the Daniel Pearl video (it's irrelevant whether you watched it or not).

If you are wondering whether I mis-spelled Indian in the title of this article, I didn't. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Succinct, Apocalyptic Story

As narrated by Patrick to SpongeBob:

Once there was an ugly barnacle. It was so ugly that everyone died.

The End!

If only all grand-scale, epic, apocalyptic stories could be narrated like this:
  • Mahabharat - 5 vs 100. Score - 5 alive, 100 dead. Fertilization gone awry, gods fooling around, arrow-bed, blind and yellow fellows. Krishna mistaken for deer. Laloo a distant descendant.
  • Ramayan - 2 heads against 10 heads (on one 'deca'dent Lankan) and a hibernating giant. Score - 2 heads. Line crossed, significant monkeying, floating stones, and low fidelity. Sita happened before Gita. 
  • Gita - Apocalypse covered in Mahabharat itself, but still mention-worthy. How to slay your relatives without feeling guilty about your actions and not having to worry about results.
  • Bible - Jesus Christ! Sweet Moses! Several species of furry animals gathered together in an ark and dealing with a flood. Red Cross, Red Sea, and crossing of the red sea.
  • Koran - This is a private blog but still not taking risks. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


Epiphany is a funny, contradictory term - simply put, it means ‘moment of clarity’, but suffers from both inappropriate usage and overuse, possibly because attempts to explain its meaning itself appear to be muddled at worst and incomprehensive at best, implying lack of clarity in the mind of whoever invented this word. It is elusive by definition (‘moment’ of clarity), and ranges from the utterly mundane (but quite interestingly non-intuitive, e.g., the realization that tilting the bowl away from self to scoop up the last remains of soup avoids risk of spillage on clothes) to the thoroughly profound (the realization that there is a ‘God’ particle that gives matter its mass, and building a 17-mile long $10 billion tunnel to help prove that notion).

It has a mysterious context to it, possibly implying divine intervention, input from a universal collective consciousness, or simply a conclusion reached by the brain after numerous hours of background processing (unbeknownst to the active mind) since the problem/questions is first posed. No dictionary definition covers this – context of the word is left to conjecture, use (or mis-use) of the word is open/subject to interpretation, and impact of the word is lost if everyone has an epiphany on a regular basis. All this begs the question – is it a phony word?

Musical Credits: Kartik Kapil on Guitar, Dennis William on Drums, and Pankaj Kanth on Bass