Monday, 16 September 2013

Requiescat in Pace

A man lives in a cruel world. He lives in constant fear of failure and the even larger fear of social rejection. He wants to conform to the expectations of his peers but he cries when he's alone. The worst off are those of us who are misplaced by harsh strokes of fortune - it is impossible to set yourself right in the ocean of humanity. Some people are born to suffer. Others suffer when they take steps to come closer to the ones they love. For some, you can hardly say where they went wrong.

You may claim to need only some money, you may say you wish to study for eternity or that you have the luxury to do what you like. How many of us can say that there isn't a repressed dream buried under a mountain of denial and a fair sprinkling of "success"? How many of us have the courage to face a truly horrid reality - that we have lost almost all what we once desired?

Some people, then, are set in the right direction. The others paddle frantically to catch the right current. God bless them all.

I always wondered when I'd get to use the posh sounding Latinized version of RIP. I didn't know life could be so cruel. I wasn't intending to write an eulogy but today I found myself feeling something which Prateek told me about.

There are others far more qualified to speak of Prateek. There were his department batch mates, his quizzing partners, several boisterous personalities and surely many more outside the realms of Roorkee.

Prateek was a friend. He wore a smile on his face at all times. He had a garb of contentment and satisfaction. He was a great quizzer. That's all I know. And that's what I'll ever know.

But more than that, today I could feel that suffocation - that panic at facing an ugly maze of uncertainty and helplessness. And then, that dark and depressing reality of life - time moves on and all you can do is flail at the dreams which were most alluring. Which were lovely to contemplate and which were soothing to the senses. Those which brought a cool and calming breeze to an overloaded forehead. And then they were gone forever.

Imagine being prisoner to this damning indictment of life.

The last chat I had with Prateek was when he contacted me on Whatsapp. Here's a transcript,

19:47, 6 Dec 2012 - ‪+91 84 39 695120‬: You too frust with work ?
21:15, 6 Dec 2012 - *: Yeah man. A lot of times
21:38, 6 Dec 2012 - ‪+91 84 39 695120‬: I can understand . Life is short man. Do what you want yo
21:38, 6 Dec 2012 - ‪+91 84 39 695120‬: To*

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Haaris' Weekly Round-up 10

I hate Sundays. They're the little fiends who make you realize you've got nothing going in your life. They're the insouciant critters who make you sleep a little more than usual and give you body pain and arrested movement in return. And Sundays are responsible for making Mondays so unbearable; lulled into a false sense of freedom you are pushed back into the workhouses.

Nothing has changed

This week's HWR has some tennis (the US Open is on) and some other random links:
  1. A brooding article on the inevitable decline in Roger Federer's tennis. Great read.
  2. On the more positive side, here's an attempt to mentally simulate a match between Federer and Sampras (both at their respective peaks). You may also read a very old post on Federer written by yours truly.
  3. Sinkholes are rare occurrences in India because people don't recognize them for what they are. I once recall an elderly couple beaming with happiness when their puja was disrupted by a sinkhole that developed in front of their eyes. Their explanation? "Dharti maa phat gayi!" [Mother Earth has, err, blown up]. Read this great article on National Geographic explaining what conditions lead to the formation of sinkholes and do look at this mind blowing picture of a sinkhole in Guatemala.
  4. Recommendations on non-mainstream sci-fi shows on TV. And, if you've missed it, my take on science fiction as art.
  5. Elon Musk's transportation panacea is predated by more than a century of development on pneumatic transport. The history in a nutshell.
Sleep is a great drug. Use it well. Happy Sunday!