I've been fairly lucky my whole life. I've managed to do well in school, got into a good college, did fairly well there. I've had almost everything I've needed. Not really been in want of anything. I have the most perfect girlfriend, someone who understands me so well. I've great parents and very caring sister. I've got good friends, good job, enough money. But as I'm getting ready to leave home and go out to the big bad world, I've a deep sense of apprehension. An uneasiness of the soul if you will. I don't know how long this luck will hold out.

I haven't really ever worried about getting killed in a plane crash or a train accident or by some lunatic on the street. I mean, the thought has crossed my mind, but that's all that it was, a fleeting reflection, something that was to be accepted if it did happen and the chances of it happening were so remote that it didn't really deserve the squandering of precious energy and time. But now that I'm with someone, someone who I care about deeply, I'm scared of dying. I don't want to. I'm afraid of growing old. I'm afraid of stepping out one day and never coming back. What happens to her? Who will take care of her? Love her? I want to grow old with her. I want to see our children grow up. I want to be able to sit with her and reminisce over our years spent together.

What if something happens to her? How will I go on? What would life have to offer me? The thought of not being there with her everyday, not being able to see her ever again really, really terrifies me. And its not something I can do anything about. The sense of helplessness is overwhelming at times. I can't protect her or my family against nature's cataclysms. I can't keep them safe from raving maniacs toting firearms on the street. I can't protect them from mishaps on modes of transportation. All I can do is see them off everyday and hope we'll meet again for dinner.

I kinda understand now how our parents must feel. And I'm a little ashamed to say that I don't feel that way about them. Or my sister. I do, but its not as powerful a feeling. Maybe its because deep down I think that they'll always be around. Always there to help me out, pull me through the rough patches. But as I see them growing older and more tired, I get pangs of alarms as I realise that we don't have that much longer together. They're not going to be there forever. I'm not going to be there for eternity. I'm beginning to be aware of my mortality and of those that I care so much about. There is this sense of incompletion, a sense of having achieved nothing, no satisfaction of accomplishment.

I'm not sure how I will do in life. I don't know if I'll be able to make enough money to support my family, to do things I want to do, be healthy enough, be good enough. I don't know if I have time enough to enjoy life with my love. I'm spending the best years of my life struggling and studying and trying to make a solid foundation for the later years of my life that I may not be able to reap the benefits of. I've got to make choices where nothing really seems to be right. Do I study and work in a first class country where I'll always be a second class citizen? Or do I stay where I belong but where there is corruption, no infrastructure, pathetic service, incompetent officials, stuff bureaucracy? Will I be able to raise my children well? Instill in them the same qualities that my parents gave me? How will I control what they're exposed to, who they're exposed to?

I know we're supposed to keep the faith and enjoy what we have rather than worry about what might happen. But like my friend said the other day 'Life has a way of working out'. Then she added, 'Hopefully'.

The End of the World?

I've been noticing that lately that seem to be lots of things going wrong with the world. Every day there are bombings and killings. People seem not to value human life any more than they would insects (not that we shouldn't value insects, they form pretty much 90% of all animal species and over 20% of all the biomass in the animal kingdom!) Car bombs, mines, suicide it just me or does it seem to be increasing? Along with this, corruption seems to be on the rise. Coupled with rudeness and uncaring attitudes, it kinda makes me not be with all these people. Sure there are nice people around but they're such a minority that they seem to be a rounding error in the population count.

Add to this all the natural disasters going around. The Earth seems to be rebelling against us. Floods everywhere, incessant rains, earthquakes, hurricanes, rising temperatures. Power cuts seem to be more frequent. All this technology that we have and are (fatally?) dependant on will be worthless once we run out of power generating options. Train crashes, plane crashes, mishaps on the freeways, human errors, material failure, shoddy manufacturing, pollution, unacceptable quality assurance. Where is it all leadin?

Though I'm not sure if its actually the time for the Apocalypse or if its just better connectivity and coverage. News channels are on 24 hours a day. They cover everything all the time. So is it just that everything gets air time now? Because of the 'Global Village' phenomenon, we know exactly whats happening in Bangalore, India as well as we do Bangor, Maine? Or are all these problems really increasing? Are we heading for Armageddon earlier than we planned? I think its the latter. And I'm not even a pessimist!

I just watched 'The Day After Tomorrow' the day before yesterday (irony? :D) And it seemed like a very appropriate warning. We may be running out of time faster than we can imagine.

TV Movie Phenomenon

Have you ever noticed that if you miss the premiere of a movie that on TV that you wanted to watch you'll end up never actually watching it?

It works like this. The first time its shown, you miss it. You were working, there was no power, no cable, guests, your dog was depressed, whatever. You miss it. The next time you put on the telly, guess what you see? Yes, the same movie, a quarter of the way through. So what do you do? You start watching. But of course, you hadn't set aside time for a full feature length celluloid show so you can't finish it. There'll be things to do, calls to make, places to go. So you once again miss most of it. You may or mayn't catch the ending. More probable is that you'll get to watch the last of the credits scroll up off your screen.

Fast forward a week or so later. Once again they're screening that film. Once again you happen to catch it by chance. This time, a few minutes before or after the part you've already seen. Once again you can't finish it. So you go away, replete with the knowledge that you can make a little more sense of the story.

This continues for some more time, each time you may get to view hitherto unseen footage. At the end of it, you vow in frustration, to catch the movie the next time they screen. Of course they promptly schedule in the middle of the night or conveniently in the middle of your doctor's appointment, so that you miss it once again.

Finally, months later (perhaps when the channel decides to rebroadcast the movie as a wednesday night 'premiere'), the timing is perfect, you are free, and you can sit down to watch it comfortably in peace. But after the first 10 minutes, you reach a part you've seen umpteen times before already (during your earlier futile attempts to watch) and so you change channels, just for 5 minutes, you tell yourself. And of course, when you do remember to come back, you've missed some important part of the story and the scenes are leading towards an alarmingly similar point in the plot, one that you've seen before. With great frustration you realise that you've missed the part you hadn't seen to return to one that you had. Once again you change the channel vowing to return in time and once again you don't. This is where most people, including I, give up. As a result, the list of partially watched, but never completed Hollywood features is incremented by one. cntUnwatchedList++ anyone?

This is kinda like downloading a torrent where the seeding stops and all the peers and uploading the same stuff and you end up not having the complete file and ultimately you abandon all hope and cancel the download in despair.

Yes, this is a disturbing phenomenon. For viewers and channels alike. People end up having a fragmented memory of various stories, that seem to bleed into one and you really can't fathom the reasons for most of the paths the tales go along. And for channels who now not only have people changing channels during ads but also during the main programmed itself!

Something must be done. And for those of us that can't afford TiVo, BitTorrent is the answer! :D

What's With Our teeth?

So whats the deal with our teeth anyway? After years of evolution, you'd think we'd have something better and less prone to cavities and stuff than this. Enamel is the hardest tissue in our body. Why does it get so messed up with those little bacteria? I mean, come on! It couldn't have been harder? I'm not talking indestructible, but just a little more? So that we don't get cavities?

And why do we have nerves in them? Whats the point? I'm not going not going to feel my food and guess what I'm eating. All they do is make it worse when you're at the dentist's!

Why can't we have been like elephants and regrow our teeth? Or atleast some of them? Root canal? Tooth extraction? No problem? I'll grow a new one soon! Or maybe like sharks? Layers and layers of teeth to replace all that you lose.

Yes, I hate going to the dentist. I hate the sound of the drill. It just sends shivers down my spine and sets my teeth tingling! And then there's that weird tingling pain when its drilling around a nerve. Eee! And lets not forget the suction that keeps making horrible sucking noises and the assistant keeps sticking it into sensitive corners of your mouth, adding to the overall pain level! Despite all this brutality, I've never actually heard anyone scream at a dentist's. Is that something that they only do in the movies?

And flossing is such a pain! You've gotta take that little piece of floss, make sure its long enough, then stick it into your mouth and jam it in between your teeth. The wisdom teeth are the hardest to get to. And there are so many times when you end up slicing through your gums. Oh, will this pain never end?

All in all, I hate having to worry about dental hygine just because our ancestors couldn't be bothered to take the right turns along the evolutionary path of human life.

My First Ever Blog

Well, I'm here. My very first blog.

Why do people blog anyway? Is it an inherent need to be heard? A secret desire to be a writer? An irrational urge to pound away at the keyboard and at the consciousness of those that happen to read your rant's?

Well? What? Hey, don't look at me. I just post the questions here. You gimme the answers. The best I can do is 42. Yeah, you heard me right, 42. Go read some Douglas Adams, you'll get it. Don't you just hate it when people leave arcane hints lying around the meaning to which you wanna find out but know you will never get around to? I do. Because the moment I step away, I've forgotten what was going on. Kinda like a goldfish. For those of you that don't know about goldfish memories, this is your second (in case you didn't get the 42 hint) arcane hint for the day! :D

So this is blogging huh? Just pour out random thoughts onto a glowing array of phosphor? Cool. I can do this. Don't know for how long though!