Sunday, July 30, 2006

is duniya mein 2 kism ke shabd hote hain...

There's two kinds of words. Outside words and Inside words. Outside words come out, Inside words stay in.
This blog is Outside words staying out, keeping Inside words in.

There are things I talk about, that I have no problems telling the world. There are things that will remain forever unsaid.
Things I should have said, but it's too late now. I could never talk when I got hurt, when I got pissed off... maybe I should have. Things might have been different.
But it's too late now.

Things might have been better... or worse. But there was a time to talk, and that time is gone. Talking now is just going to hurt, and nothing more.

And sometimes, hard as it may be, knowing how much it's going to hurt, you have to stay silent.

Sorry... something's wrong with me today. I need to stop now

Friday, July 28, 2006

Rock-bottom Rediff

The shortage of entertainment news finally reaches rock bottom.
Rediff's latest homepage story - asks viewers to decide which bikini Priyanka chopra should wear, complete with 3 demos using a superimposed page.
Guys, you left out the most important option. I believe that bikinis are anti Indian culture and reek of western decadence and moral putrefaction. I don't think she should wear a bikini.
Can we please have a morphed one of that, as well?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

but it's the world that's mad, not me!

This post has been bubbling under for a long time...
I wonder sometimes if it's me who's schizo or everything else. Look at this city, for instance; there's been floods, rains, riots, and bombs. And then there's been the same commute, the heat and the traffic... the whole country is like that. Shake it up and it settles down again instantly. Roads are dug up, drains clog, lights go, traffic snarls, taps dry... and work happens, people carry on. Everything works, slightly twistedly, like a car bouncing between divider and wall, scattering sparks and pedestrians alike, but keeps on going.
The world around me is crowded, sweaty, dirty, infested, loud... and barely an hour's drive out, it's dead silence and emptiness. The people you do see will offer you tea, a place to sleep...
People will rip off the rubber coating around car windows for fun, and scratch a scar into the side with a key... and people will carry injured commuters to hospital in the only sheet they have.

I hate this city, this country, and I can't imagine life without it.
The years are amazing, but the actual minutes are hell. (Sorry, Douglas Adams)

And I don't think it's me that's nuts. It's India. Nothing works, but everything carries on.

I wish I could understand how it can all be one complete functioning thing. Organism. Alive.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The GoI IS blocking blog sites!

Confirmed - my cable operator (7Star) is also serving up an ‘Operation timed out while attempting to connect to’
This is one more in a list that includes Spectranet, MTNL, Reliance, Airtel and Sify.

Was ok in office, though; will check again tomorrow.

There's a 22-page list which has been sent from the DoT to MTNL, a list of sites to be blocked. What are they? Nobody knows (or wants to tell) because it's confidential.
That I understand. The HNLC became really popular only after it was blocked. They don't want to repeat that. But somewhere, someone has implemented this so hamfistedly, either in creating that list or the block instructions, or simply tried to take a shortcut to blocking, that has resulted in a violation of a constitutional fundamental right.
Did someone say, "I see a lot of sites with content that I don't like. Block them all!"
Or did someone else say, "This list has a lot of sites. Poora blogspot hi block kar, paanch minit ka kaam hai, phir chai maarte hain"

This is very, very worrying, whichever way you look at it; either as a deliberate act or as a careless mistake. The Government of India either does not understand or care about something called fundamental rights; we don’t have the right to equality, educational and cultural rights, and now we don’t have the right to freedom of speech and expression.

And what does the government say to that?
CERT-IN's Director, Dr Gulshan Rai, said he was unaware of the problem and would not be able to respond "off-hand". In a telephone interview, he told this reporter, "Somebody must have blocked some sites. What is your problem?"

See the story here.
See the entire event chain here.
Register your protest

Template Crash

Something weird happened to blogger, and I don't mean censorship. It was more like a kind of panic attack; my entire template apparently decided to take a long, long holiday and never came back.
I went through the gamut of blog crash emoting-
Confusion: Where is it? why can't I see my sidebar? Ctrl-F5, Ctrl-F5...
Denial: It can't be gone. It's here somewhere. I just have to find it. Please. It's here. I know. I can smell it.
Anguish: Auuuuuuuuggh
Manic Panic: if-i-save-my-blog-from-cache-ill-get-my-links-and-rebuild
Depression: Ahh, what's the point of it all anyway?
Pissed off: Why is God / Blogger / the net picking on me?
Rebirth: I will survive! I shall rebuild! Like a Phoenix, my Template shall arise anew from the ashes of... wherever it was
Zombie mode: code-check-lookup-refer-code-check-lookup-refer
Relief: It's back! And even better than before! Shiny! New! Polished to a mirror gleam! Engine purring! Complete with facial, tooth whitening and boob job!
Picking at scabs: Why isn't the desiblogs image showing... hmm...
I'm treating it with kid gloves now, though. That's an hour and a half of my life gone in just re-creation that I'm not getting back.
Don't you wish everything else that breaks is this easy to fix? That's why I love the net - everything is code. Get the code right, and you have everything. Exactly the way you want.
Drat. I was born to be a Matrix agent... born a century too early.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Morning After

Last night, the roads were jammed with traffic; additional buses, cabs, autos, and most of all people on foot trudging home. I went out for a while, and the first thing that struck me was how quiet it was. No horns. No engine sounds. Nobody swearing on the roads. There was just an expectant silence, people standing or walking sombrely in groups.
The panic is... gone. I wasn't here in 1993, but I don't see this going out of control like then. It's calm, but it's a directed calm. People are waiting for a response from the administration.
The trains are running again; the Western line was back in action from late night (partially) to completely by the morning. Traffic looks normal; the Harbour side is ok, Central was slightly crowded around Sion hospital and Western looks all right as well; I guess a lot of people are choosing to stay at home. But there's still a very healthy number of people out, on the roads, in offices, at work.
There's a sense of connect. Every time I see someone I know or recognize, I get an SMS... it's one more thing we share. We Survived Bombay. Again.
Just like there's a different sense of any IMs or mails coming from out of Bombay; a sense of you-out-there, compared to the us-in-here feeling I get from Bombayites.
That's it for now, let's see how the day develops. I'm putting in a couple of links in case someone comes across them searching...
Mumbai / Bombay blasts - Some links
The above links come from the Mumbai Help Wiki; I haven't been able to verify all of them, but it's being updated fairly regularly, and if you find something that's incorrect, go ahead and edit it. You'll be helping out a lot of people.

God bless Yahoo Messenger, man.

That's all I say.
When the phone lines went down, I managed to reach one friend who was online, told her what numbers to call, and rested easy. Conveyed a couple of other messages as well.
Makes you realize simultaneously how fragile - and how resilient - an environment we live in. We can get cut off so easily, and we can stay in touch in so many ways.
Talking of staying in touch, here's a list of Mumbai helplines. You can also post your SMS on Rediff by SMSing SOS to 7333.
One by one, people have started coming online, and everyone has the same question - where were you when 7/11 happened? And where are you now?
It's like 26/7 all over again, but there's a darker, more frightened undertone. They caught 40 kilos of RDX a while back. How much didn't they catch? How much is still out there?
Last year, people walked home through rains, through water, through dark flooded roads, but this is different. People are afraid.
The death toll has crossed a hundred now, and it's started raining. Things are not going to get better anytime soon. Rescue operations are getting stuck because of the rains; lights have gone off in a couple of places. And wherever there are camera crews, the visuals are... grisly. Body parts. Unidentifiable shapes that shockingly jump into recognition.
They've declared a state of high emergency; patrolling, extra police. The Central line is now up and running; Additional BEST buses on the Western side are being called up, while they check the trains. As long as people can get home, things should be okay.
And get home we will. Last year, we walked through neck deep water for six hours. Tonight, we're going to walk again. And we're going to get home.

Bombay blasts - update 1

There's been 7 now. Bandra and Matunga as well. All Western line, all first class. This has been a completely planned, targeted act.
20 have been declared dead, and over 50 injured... so far. The toll will really start going up once people start reaching the hospitals.
All the trains have been stopped. The Railways are saying they will not be starting the trains till everything's been declared safe; Platforms are being cleared of onlookers. Road traffic is still okay, but that's not going to last.
The helpline numbers have come up; 022 - 22005388, and you can SMS AT to 2424 to give your status on Aaj Tak. SMSs are beginning to come through now; most people have started seeing and reacting.
The mood is very tense now; people are stranded on stations, not knowing how they will go home (definitely not on the trains!) and anyway stations are also being cleared; roads will be too dangerous. Tempers are rising mostly because people are cut off since the phone networks are down; sense of disconnect.
And man, are people pissed with the administration.

Didn't expect to start the serious blog so fast.
There've been 5 bomb blasts in Bombay. Mahim, Khar, Jogeshwari, Borivli, and Bhayander. No death toll so far but serious injuries; the toll is going to be high later.
The Khar station roof has apparently been blown off, and the compartments have been ripped open; all the blasts were in first-class compartments. Maximum packed ones, at this time.
There's a kind of undercurrent of panic right now; as soon as the explosions happened, all the lines jammed with people trying to call to find out if people are ok. SMS's are going very slowly, there's no telling when it'll reach; a better option, if you want to get a message out, is to find anyone in some other city on messenger and ask them to deliver the message for you.
Not going home anytime soon; let's see what happens. watch this space. Next update in 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Looking at this blog, I see two things happening to it.
One, it's turning into a chicklit special from the amount of quizzes, tests, and other assorted pop psychology that seems to be infesting it like crabgrass. I don't want to create something like this; that's why blogthings exists!
Two, it's also filling up with a massive chunk of blogtech codes, snippets, widgets, links, and whatnot. I don't even know how useful some of these are; but somehow, I keep adding them.
I guess it's something to do with an affirmation of identity, of existence. It's not enough that I blog, therefore I am; there's also a need to tell the world about it. I want to scream my existence out into technorati tags, google crawlers, RSS feeds, social networks, directories, automated mailings of posts, egroups... and I proclaim the success of this effort with sitemeters, visitor counts, page statistics, pageranks, feed subscriptions, even what organism my blog is in the TTLB ecosystem.
It's definitely narcissistic, but I'm wondering is there something beyond.
Why this need to be noticed and tell the world that I exist, with x visitor counts to prove it? Are all blogger narcissists, or existentially insecure?
Or both?
Must be an awful experience... believing that you're the most important thing in the world and at the same time, not being able to believe that you actually do exist.

more hellish quizzes

This blog is turning into a complete encyclopaedia of quizzes, but I couldn't resist this one... I promise it's gonna be the last.

Gluttony:Very High

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Your sin has been measured. You have committed many sins, but Gluttony is the mortal sin that has done you in.

Fascinating. Not only am I extremely gluttonous, but also wrathful, greedy, lustful, and proud of it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

...and here's how insane I am

A few weeks ago, I was told by The Net that I was going to Hell. Specifically, The City Of Dis, a special Hell For Heretics.
Slightly taken aback, I wondered why heresy was considered to be my favourite sin, rather than gluttony or lust. "Tell me," I asked, "Does this mean that nobody, and like
nobody, agrees with what I have to say?"

The Net took a while to answer (it's pretty slow in some ways, especially in these type of direct one-to-one occult engagements) but answer it did.

And here's the answer.

Schizoid:Very High

-- Personality Disorder Test --
-- Personality Disorder Information --

I am insane. And the above is how insane I am.
Are you insane?
Yeah, right.
But just in case, do you want to know what kind of insane you are? Huh? Huh?

It's kinda cool, that way. I'm not dependent, or have any bad feelings about being me. And I'm pretty much a confirmed loner, which is something I've known since I started going to school. All in all, I'm seeing myself as being exactly the kind of person who'll walk out of the smoking ruins of a smashed civilization after a Solanum outbreak with a chaingun, a necklace of zombie teeth and a huge when-can-we-do-this-again smile.