Why do we feel the need to invent a supernatural, all-powerful, all-seeing figure to guide us through life? Why do we need something to worship? Something to pray to, to provide for us? People say we need God to help reinforce moral values. The thought of someone watching your every move and rewarding or punishing you accordingly helps keep you in check. This may be true, in fact, I know it is, I've often stopped and thought twice about what I was about to do.

But I've just realized something. As we grow older, we move to college, move out of home, get jobs, get a life, have a family...we distance ourselves from our parents. And for 20 odd years they've always been there. Ready to bail you out of every problem. They were all powerful, no problem was insurmountable. If things got out of hand, you knew all you had to do was tell your parents and they'd figure out a way. But now, living away from them, carrying out with your life, you can't do that anymore. They can't do that anymore. And we feel the need for a parent, someone to protect us from the unfairness of life, the problems that surround us. And so we invent God, someone whom we can depend to take care of 'his children' and reward them for being good. When things spin out of control, we leave them to Him to deal with as He sees fit.

This is the reason why I think we really need God. And as my life seems to be going all wrong, I let my arms fall to my sides, look up at the sky, and wish for Him to fix it all. I need Him. I need my parents.

Happiness And Hope

Happiness is such a relative emotion. Like someone said, it isn't what you've got that makes you happy; it's what others haven't. I've guilty of this most of the time. But I feel that it’s justified, to a certain extent, too. After all, what's the point of getting 60% if everyone has 70+?

You should enjoy whatever makes you happy, as soon as you can, because you never know when it'll go away. I'd won a trip to Bangkok, from MTV. And I was happy. I told all my friends and I made plans for it. It never happened. But for those few days, I was happy. I had something to look forward to. And that made me happier than the trip could have.

It's important to have hope. Without hope, there's nothing to live for. If you don't have dreams, if you don't have anywhere to reach, no goals, then you're wasting your life. You will never be happy, never satisfied with anything. In fact, one of the defining characteristics of the middle class, anywhere in the world, is that they have hope (as observed by Thomas L. Friedman in his excellent book, The World Is Flat). Hope to better their lives and those of their children. They have something to work for, to look forward to.

I have my moments of happiness too, despite how morbid and depressed my blogs might seem. But in light of all that seems to be going wrong with my life, all the hassles, all the unfairness, they seem to be overlooked. So here's something that's keeping me happy for the time being, my new laptop.

HP Pavilion dv1000 series : 1301ap
  • Intel Centrino Mobile 1.86GHz
  • Intel Alviso-G i915GM/910GML Chipset
  • 14" BrightView Screen
  • 1GB DDR SDRAM (400 MHz)
  • 80GB SATA-HDD (4200 RPM)
  • TSST Corp. CD/DVD Writer
  • Wireless LAN Card
  • Bluetooth Module
  • Modem
  • LAN Card
  • S-Video Out
  • Card Reader
  • Expansion Port
  • QuickPlay Buttons
  • IR Remote


Reading the word ‘nostalgia’ fills you up with a warm feeling; a glow; a sense of happy and good times. It seems to be such a nice emotion. But its not. Have you ever felt nostalgia? It’s a terrible feeling to have!

It brings to mind times gone by. Happier times, yes. But now past, never to come again. The longing for those days to come back, for that glad time to take you out of this rut that you’re stuck in. But it’ll never happen.

When I get nostalgic, I can see vivid images of times and places that I’ve loved. I can feel the warm breeze of the evenings, smell the place, sense the presence of all my friends. I see my college auditorium, just before we went onstage to perform. I see evenings spent out with my friends after exams. I see the time spent with my family, sitting on the terrace on cool summer evenings. I see relaxed hours spent during the preparation for annual days at school and the rushed hours during the final performance. The thrill of receiving an award. The tension before the results. The relief at the end of the exams. The ecstasy at an unexpected free class. Relaxed, contented afternoon siestas. I miss the waking up in the mornings in the hostel to Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit blaring out at full volume from the room next door. I miss the final days of college; the guppa parties; the graffiti; the final farewell; the goodbyes to all those you’ve known for four years, and may never see again. And most of all, I miss the hours spent with my girlfriend, talking about everything under the sun, our future, our plans together. The carefree days that will never come back now.

Of course, our minds do have this certain unneeded quality of embellishing memories of days past to make them seem like the golden days of our lives; the best times that we’ve ever had. Which isn’t completely true. There will be good times ahead. There will be bad times ahead. What’s important is that there is time ahead and how you use it. After all, with life, the journey is definitely much more important than the destination.

So True

Calvin and Hobbes, 1989 (c) Bill Waterson

Mobile Phone Etiquette

Most people don’t seem to know what to do with a mobile phone. All the nouveau riche apparently buy them just to flash around and show off their wealth. A course in mobile phone etiquette should be made compulsory for everyone who buys a cell phone.

Most people seem to think that since the phone is wireless, it requires them to power the device by means of lung power. They shout into the handset as if that’ll help transmit their voice further and clearer!

And there are those who want to let everyone know that they’ve got the latest ring tone or mp3 enabled phone (with speaker) by letting their phones ring on at full volume without displaying any intentions of answering the call. I sometimes suspect that they have another phone secreted away somewhere on their person and are using that to call themselves. It’s possible.

Then, as with all these new devices, there are those who are completely lost with the new fangled handsets. They have no idea which button does what and every time they get a call, they fumble around trying to recall if it’s the green button you press to pick up or the red button. They also seem to be unaware that there is a discreet and silent mode that they could avail of. Especially in theaters and in trains. Why they get calls in the middle of the night on a journey through the remotest area’s of Madhya Pradesh, I can’t fathom. Most people (including yours truly, until my very intelligent girlfriend informed me about it) also aren’t aware of there being an option to silence the phone, without rejecting of answering the call, thereby providing yourself an opportunity to hear yourself think and conclude whether to answer or not without being egged on infuriatingly by the phone’s incessant ringing. At least, Nokia phones have offer this option.

Which brings me to the fact that I find Nokia phones very appealing. They have the right blend of functionality, appearance and extras that is required. I’ve seen phones that have very attractive displays and menus but they run so slow, you are almost overcome by the urge to toss them into the nearest dustbin. A lot of them skip on features like an alarm clock, let me rephrase that, a decent alarm clock, a calculator etc. I also especially like the fact that you can use all the chargers interchangeably as well as the pretty much standard menu system. It makes for a very gradual learning curve. I also am a regular user of the Nokia PC Suite for copying my messages and downloaded images and ring tones, though I have been plagued with lots of bugs in the software which at various times have deleted all the recent messages from my inbox, failed to delete messages from my inbox, duplicated recent messages in my inbox, and the like.

In fact, I’ve made a couple of little programs that I use for helping me with my saved messages. Why don’t you check them out at http://nogoodatcoding.googlepages/smspage?

Culture Shock

I’ve just moved to Delhi and the cultural shock has got me depressed, stunned and totally lost. Everything is so different. The people are different. The nuances of language are so diverse. The weather is uncomfortably extreme. Not a familiar face around. Not even a familiar street or house. The trees seem to have been transplanted from another planet. The soil. I don’t even want to call it that. Its just sand! How does anything grow in it?

And this is just in the same country! How would it feel to go to another country where everything is poles apart? The language, the customs, the clothes, everything. But you know what? I’d probably be more comfortable moving there than I am here. With all the exposure to Hollywood and the American way of life, I’d be more at ease with their ways.

There’s a couple of Irish guys training with my batch at my company. Nice guys. But the culture shock is pretty evident. They can barely comprehend the pronunciation of most of the names leave alone addressing anyone. I saw one of the guys writing down the names of people in our group; the way he spelt them was so off the mark! The way he heard and interpreted them was completely different.

And the traditions too seem to have got them stumped. Not using toilet paper was a particularly incomprehensible tradition. One of the guys asked why there was hose next to the toilet. Its use perplexed him to no end!

Though with the increasing extent of globalization, most things aren’t so different in cosmopolitan cities anymore. You’ll find the same McDonald’s, the same Pizza Hut, everything. Eating at one of these places almost feels like home. But it’s those little things that are missing that make your country your own.