Saturday, April 28, 2007

Realpolitik on Campus

So how far are you willing to go to ensure you get the choicest wing and the wingies of your choice? How far are you willing to go to make sure you have the necessary numbers to stake claim for the new wing, or the back wing, or the front wing, or whatever? How far are you willing to ensure a wing in which there are people from your discipline only and no one else (whatever happened to inter-disciplinary interaction that BITS is famous for?)

Well, it is these questions and a few more that I've found (and am still finding) answers to over the past two days in BITS, that is ever since the hostel allotments have been announced. Wings have been made, they have been broken - sometimes by the members themselves and sometimes, by others. There have been numerous ego clashes as well - God knows why such an issue as who to include and who to exclude and which of the numerous groups offered to choose, holds such a burden of responsibility!

Having said that, maybe it is one of the instances of realpolitik that we must face in the real world. Realpolitik as in practical politics - politics that is based not on any ideology or moral but on the basic human tendency to fulfill one's need and nothing else. This has been my first real big encounter with realpolitik - the first in which I was involved in the mix (as were 800 other students alongside me.) And I did not like it one bit.

Give me a good book to read...give me good music to listen...give me an idea to write upon...give me a hard code to crack...give me anything except for this...

I do not like negotiations - they are a waste of time. I do not wish to spend my time in boardrooms or anywhere else, trying to iron out agreements and consensus. I wish to be able to say 'Sod off' to everyone and do my own thing. Maybe, that's the biggest benefit I got from the past few days - a wing devoid of people trying to play realpolitik - a wing thinking practically and rationally (Credit to others who didn't mess about, and went quietly about grouping and choosing - I think Andy's wing, the C6 group, and Dushyant's wing are among them)

And for all those non-BITSIAN readers who could make neither head or tail of this post, I think it's better if you do not try to figure out what's written. It would be nigh impossible.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Random Thoughts - I

What does a maestro feel after the completion of his musical masterpiece? What thoughts race through his mind when the last big flourish of the conductor's baton signals the end of his rendition?

What does an author feel when his book - the one which he has toiled and sweat over for months together attains completion and appears on the bookshelves?

What does a director feel when a film which he has seen from its infantile state to the completed, is screened for the first time before his eyes?

Is there a sense of fulfillment or loss? Is there a sense of pleasure or grief?

Think about it...

When a book attains completion, when a musical piece is perfected, when a film is canned, the efforts of the creators are all condensed into one, final end product. There's no going back from what form it attains - all the memories, all the hours of labour - everything ends with completion.

I suppose whenever you create something, it is something you are fashioning out of your own mind, your thoughts, your hands - in short, that something is a part of your own soul. Maybe that is the joy of creation - to watch something that you conceived gather roots and shoot up into the sky - growing and flourishing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Ever heard of the statement- 'When you set out on a journey, the whole world conspires to help you on your path'? Well the last few days have been like the whole world has conspired to do anything but help me tread on my path...

Let's start at the beginning shall we?

  1. Chigoor 2k7, which is BITS Pilani Maharashtra Mandal's cultural night (and in which I was going to perform in a play) was to be held on the night of the 18th. Unfortunately, the only unseasonal storm in my time at Pilani put paid to the best laid plans. The audi was swathed in darkness, as was the rest of BITS for a while and the night had to be postpone
  2. My laptop apparently has its motherboard fu**ed up, which means that I would have to shell out 35,000 bucks to replace it. Pathetic really when you consider that the laptop is not even 14 months old. I mean, if SONY and a product worth 100,000 bucks can't give you reliability, God knows what will! Whatever, SONY is now officially off my radar as I try to salvage the situation somehow (ironically, a situation in which I neither had control nor responsibility)

Aside from that, the compres are coming and with that, exam fever is starting to occupy minds and souls.

But there's also the silver lining to these dark clouds that approach...

18th might have seen our labours for Chigoor get washed away in the storm but it also showed me a perfect specimen of nature's harmony with man's creation. The wind that was howling and blowing at the rate of knots was strong enough to almost blow us off our feet. It was fun trying to resist it...It almost made me feel like a child again.

But the real treat was watching the Saraswati temple in the storm. As I stood on the porch in front of the Audi and looked out towards the temple, all I could see was gloom - the dark of the night. And then out of nowhere, lightning came, accompanied by thunder and everything was illuminated for that instant. The temple was now visible in its full splendour, the pure white of lightning being reflected in the dazzling white of its marble. A single sighting of this kind would have been enough to leave its imprint on my mind forever; I count myself fortunate to have seen the same thing many times over that night.

Maybe that is the way this world is built...You lose something, but you also gain something else from that loss...Had the rain not happened, had the storm not come, had we performed in Chigoor as per our intended plans, I would not have experienced this divinity that night...

Hopefully, something brilliant will also come out of this laptop fiasco. Have already sent a letter to SONY regarding this matter...

P.S. Did I mention the fact that United play AC Milan tonight in the Champions' League semifinal with the most patched-up back four you'll ever find in football? Am really worried about whether they are going to get anything out of this game, and possibly out of these semifinals at all...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sense and Sensibility

Was just sitting here in the common room watching Harshad chat with one of his old friends in Marathi and talking to Goonjan...and then a thought suddenly struck me (which I subsequently voiced out to an incredulously sarcastic reception by Goonjan - even now he's commenting what I'm can hear his Goonj here)...

Anyways, the thought runs something like this...Words are nothing but gibberish...For a person who doesn't know a particular language, sentences spoken in any foreign/alien language sounds nothing better than monkeys' chatter coming from the mouths of humans. But when he knows the language, that same mindless, senseless chatter is transformed into something meaningful - whereby every sound has a purpose, every word a meaning and every sentence some sense attached with it.

For me, this is the power of language...this power lies in the ability to transform the meaningless into the meaningful...the alien into our very own...

As they say, 'Nuff said!' (Enough said, that is!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dynamism and Permanence

Here are two terms and their definitions as shown by

  1. dynamism: great energy, force, or power; vigour
  2. permanence: perpetual or continued existence

So, why do I need to look up these words all of a sudden?

To be honest, it was just a thought that entered my mind. Don't we often associate the dynamism of someone with the will to change and the ability to influence the course of events and occurrences as they occur in our daily life? Don't we often treat dynamism and permanence as mutually antagonistic things - one of which cannot be achieved in presence of the other?

It's another paradox - one of many that I've discovered over the years. To say I'm dynamic doesn't mean that I wish to change anything and everything around me. It might only mean that I wish to channel all my vigour, all my energy, all my faculties towards ensuring that the right things remain permanent and the things that are going wrong, the things that can be improved, change. So there you go, dynamism and permanence aren't antagonistic, are they?

Let's see it the other way around...Let's say I crave permanence. But it surely doesn't mean that I do not wish for things to be as they are - the good, the not so good and the bad. It only means that I wish for something in my life which is going to be a constant...which is not going to change over the years as I wish to make my life better...

So, is this an unwanted stereotype I'm talking about? Am I right? I do not know...but I guess the balance between dynamism and permanence is one of the most important balances in our lives...and it's one's individual decision whether he/she wants more of the former or more of the latter...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Winds of Change

Having been the subject of an enforced sabbatical from the world of blogging, I'm back to haunt the few readers of this column with my writing...Well, only kidding...

As the title of this post suggests, there have been changes in the world around me over the past two weeks when I've not blogged:

1. Change No. 1: My laptop's gone for repairs with God knows what problem. Hence the break from blogging.

2. Change No. 2: Blogging in IPC is a very big pain in the a**e. The formatting toolbar is absent, hence the pathetic unaligned look.

3. Change No. 3: The Chief Warden requires us to sign our attendance in the hostel during 2300-2330 hrs everyday. The reason for this nonsensical time is beyond me. What if I'm tired someday and sleep too early, or what if I'm in IPC till midnight?

4. Change No. 4: The semester (and the academic year) is coming to a close, so all sorts of farewells are being organized for the psenti students (those who're gonna pass out). Also, the hierarchy of clubs and departments at BITS is undergoing a change. Ramya's going to be the EPC secretary next year, taking over from Aparna.

Anyways, with so much changing, probably nothing will actually change, will it? (Quite the paradox, ain't it?) BITS will still remain BITS; I'll still mull over all the activities here which can improve my self but for which I have no time; I'll still shudder at the extremes in weather Pilani sees and suffer through all the classes (even though most of them are quite good)...I'll still have the same zeal and passion for writing and blogging such that I can't resist to be away for too long from the same...I'll still have the low days, when I'll wonder if I'm good enough to be here and brave enough to face upto all that my ambitions require of me...

The only thing that will probably change is that mind will contain a bit more knowledge, my time remaining at BITS will have another day, then another week, then another month and then another semester reduced, and I'll grow ever closer to the day when I shall really be able to fly into the sky, borne on these winds of change...