Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Joys of Living Alone

So this is what it feels like -

Finally, I am alone at home.
And yes,
I was looking forward to it.

They say,
Change is good,
And that's what I want out of this,
- this solitary, home-alone phase of mine.

Phone lines are open.
And for once,
so are chat lines.
But these are not habits of mine.
Time to form new habits, eh?

The pen beckons
and this is created...
but this,
- it lacks the joy,
the frustration,
the repetition,
the spontaneity,
the reality and
the all-sense-pervading feeling
of dealing with a person in real-life.

Is it just me
that I feel like this?

Or maybe I am just too impatient with the pen.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tribute to a Fellow Blogger

DD started blogging sometime after I started my blog. I have been following his blog ever since. Being a musician, he writes about music on several occasions. Frankly I do not enjoy those posts much.

But sometimes, DD writes candidly about his life, his feelings and his emotions. In many of those, I have found that he has voiced sentiments similar to mine. I however, have never gone on to voice my feelings so openly on my blog. Maybe that's why I identify so much with his writings.

Keep writing DD... Salutations to you.

Here are some excerpts from posts that really "struck a chord".

... grad school matures oneself at least by a decade. May be a decade is an exaggeration, but it does transform you. With thoughts only concentrating on problems, especially algorithms and learning problems in our case, our minds are pure, getting purer.

February 2008
"My life has suddenly become empty for a few reasons. Since at times the void is getting unbearable, I am trying to spend most of my time at work, with friends or at least near people. I never estimated that living alone can get this painful"....
"Think much before you decide to do a PhD friends, it is a huge sacrifice to make for the prime years of your youth." ... "Not many can endure these long years of excruciating pain. You either do it for yourself, for someone else or pretend that you are doing it for someone else. For me, it has now become the first, and it is becoming harder every day."

But the best part is the discussion held through the comments. At the end of a dialogue between people who faced similar problems, some solutions come out.

"I was up till morning struggling on my bed, turning from one side to another praying to the gods to bless me with some sleep. Because my prayers come in most selfish occasions, they don't pay me any heed...."

A Few Good Movies

Over the past few months, I got the chance to watch a few good movies. In these movies, some particular scenes were particularly memorable. I'll relate a few of them here.

#1. Shall We Dance

The small monologue by Susan Sarandon (Mrs Clark) about "witness to our lives" towards the end of the following conversation appealed to me, as it did to others. For sake of putting context to the conversation, you may assume that this is a conversation between two friends - a man and a woman, where both of them are facing crises in their married/romantic lives, and where none have known each other for too long. Also, I shall have to concede that reading the script is nowhere near Sarandon speaking those lines in the movie.

I got the transcript of the conversation at this website, albeit after much Google searching.

Mrs Clark : are u a married man, Mr. Devine?

Mr. Devine : i was

Mrs Clark : oh what happened?

Mr. Devine : unfaithful

Mrs Clark : she hired a detective?

Mr. Devine : no no no ... when she found out. i was too far gone, so..

Mrs Clark : you are on a strange journey to redemption, Mr. Devine

Mr. Devine : and a very long one, Mrs Clark

Mrs Clark : all the promises that we make and we break
why is it, do you think, that people get married?

Mr. Devine : passion

Mrs Clark : no

Mr. Devine : that's interesting. because i would've taken you for a romantic...
why, then?

Mrs Clark : because we need a witness to our lives. there's a billion people on the
planet. i mean, what does any one life really mean? but in a marriage,
you are promising to care about everything. the good things, the bad
things the terrible things, the mundane things.. all of it, all the time,every day.

you're saying, "your life will not go unnoticed, because i will notice it."
"your life will not go unwitnessed, because i will be your witness."

you can quote me on that, if you like.

Mr. Devine : sure, i will.

#2. A Few Good Men

A military drill at the beginning of the movie was awesome. You can watch it below. Overall, the movie is great and served as a source of inspiration to me when I was badly needing it.

#3. Dead Man Walking

No particular scene from the movie. But I have to give it to them for handling such a depressing subject (portraying the feelings and fears of a man on death row), and still being able to show a ray of hope at the end.

Later, when I remembered another favourite movie of mine (Shawshank Redemption), I was forced to draw some parallels between the two movies.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Life is Unfair

It's unfair how well i cook sometimes.

The other day, i was studying for my exams at home. I decided that I should cook something for lunch. Now I had recently improvised a very easy-to-cook recipe for rajma. So that's what I decided to prepare.

As it happened, when the time to eat it came, I was the only one hungry. So I decided to dig in alone. Initial tasting showed that the fare needed additional spicing. Sergeant pepper always comes in handy at these moments. And then I added something which proved to be the magic ingredient - Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato Sauce.

After that... Well, I have no words to describe the moments that ensued.


On a previous occasion, while eating burgers, P had mentioned that eating is best enjoyed when the mouth is completely full. According to him, the feeling of having all of one's taste buds activated simultaneously leads to pure gastronomic bliss.

On the day of the world's best rajma, I too tried this method of ingestion. I have to concur that P was correct.


That day, at the end of the meal, I had a feeling that usually occurred on the rare occasions of having good food in the hostel mess. On those good-food days, I kept thinking how great it would be if I could eat like a camel. That way, I would be able to eat unlimited portions of food and stock up so as to avoid the "detestable" fare dished out on other days.

But alas! Life was unfair then.

And so it is till now.



PS: The recipe for rajma is originally from here. However, there are few major modifications that I use:-
  • Instead of taking uncooked rajma, soaking it overnight and boiling it, I buy tinned "Kidney Beans" which are immmediately ready for use. Also since the rajma is almost pre-boiled, no need to use the pressure cooker.
  • Instead of taking the trouble of chopping onions, I add a whole packet of frozen "Onions and Peppers Mix". The peppers (of the green pepper kind) also add to the taste and crunch of the dish.
  • ... continuing in the same tradition, tinned "Diced Tomatoes" instead of tomato puree.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A day of Song and Video

My lab-mate A introduced me to the following song, which I promptly fell in love with. I have been listening to it for some time now.

So I searched it's video on YouTube to see whether the video was as good as the song. Which it was not. However YouTube threw up the following parody of the song, which I thought was absolutely fantastic. Enjoy:

Then again, while searching on YouTube, I found some videos which were as good as their songs. So enjoy them too.
  1. Closer by Travis. (unfortunately this does not allow embedding of the video)
  2. New Shoes by Paolo Nutini