Saturday, February 16, 2008


Nice Guys Finish Last

Every person is supposed to be gifted. Some can sing exceedingly well. Sadly, I’m not one of them. My gift is slightly more unique. I observe. I analyze. I reflect. I contemplate. And then, I dish out an amazing aphorism. Posterity might hold me in higher regard than Nostradamus, for unlike him, I shall have proof of everything I say. This is one thing you learn from being a science student. Assumptions and postulates have to be backed by solid proofs. Or maybe, it’s just that I’ve just been subjected to 2 days of a harrowing TS and have had to mug a lot of postulates and assumptions. My aphorisms are made after hours to months of deep soul searching. From why “the best school in the world” started seeing its bad days to why the Indian diaspora seems to criticize the mother country at every chance presented, Lefty has all the answers. And can anyone forget the evergreen Boomerang Theory? The proof behind 42 is in the offing now, or who knows? 42 itself might be in jeopardy.

My latest aphorism is what this post is called. There are others who propound this, but few can give an example of the likes of which I am about to. Be prepared, ladies and gentlemen, this will be no joy-ride.

The beginning of this semester saw the passing-out batch of our great department reap great results. The companies came, they saw and they were conquered. Placement was the buzzword and everyone we knew got a cushy job. It was time for celebration all right. 4-2 (42 again?) they say, is the time to relive the simple pleasures of life, and how right they are. The music blared, the willow swished, the sun smiled fondly at the multitude of lazy bodies sprawled on the lush green lawns and the professors encountered one empty lecture hall after another. There was fire in the hole, there were attacks by the enemy, DOTA did the rounds and of course, the liquor flowed free. The Worthy Seniors (as they shall be henceforth referred to) were actually stymied by the task of deciding the liquor bash schedules. Weekends after all, are limited.

Now, it so happened that one of the aforementioned bashes took place last Saturday. Amidst the cacophony of sounds being mixed by the obliging DJ wannabe, I could make out, from the confined solitude of my room two stories below, that a wild party was on and was getting more and more obstreperous by the minute. As the bottles emptied and swaying walks and incoherent speech became commonplace, I appointed myself the guarantor of the inebriate’s safety. Without me, I was sure, there would be hell to pay for. Twenty or more drunk guys roaming freely around the hostel, half of which’s inmates are boring studious ugly naked guys, were sure to attract trouble.

One of the Worthy Seniors, a nice obliging chap who I’m rather fond of, managed to stumble across to my humble abode. Anxious not to let him remain out in the cold, I managed to coerce him to come inside and got him to lie down. It was only a matter of time before I had tucked him into the covers and switched off the light. One good deed at least, was done. I then continued my vigil outside to see if any other soul needed my able assistance. An hour later, I went room-hopping to find refuge for the night, as my room was now occupied by the Worthy Senior. An empty room was found, the quilt was declared warm and sng and Lefty and sleep were one once again.

The next day, as I woke up and prepared myself for the tortures that the upcoming TS preparation would inflict upon me, little did I know what awaited me. I went to my room to find that the Worthy Senior, in his inebriated state, had chosen to literally unburden himself within my four walls. The floor was full of newspapers, a feeble but good-hearted attempt to clean up the jettisoned mess. No harm done, I thought, as I spotted the sweeper making his way to our wing, reaping the rewards of the excesses of liquor. The man with the golden broom noted that G-81 was also the victim of the Second Great Liquor Bash and let his twigs do the job. He left, richer by twenty bucks and a stack of old newspapers, leaving me with a spotless room once more. It was then that I noticed that the worthy soul had even affected the guardians of my soles in his outburst. Washy wash then, and the shoes were cleaned up and left out to dry.

A couple of hours of struggling with Iron-carbon diagrams later, I went off to the canteen to reward myself with a snack and returned to find solace in my room again. And then that another bombshell was dropped, greater than the other 2. It transpired that the Worthy Senior, while snoring off the after-effects of binging, had decided to leave an indelible mark on my mattress as well. And seeing my favourite blanket innocently lying on the mattress, for a minute I was almost cataleptic. Not the beloved blanket too, I ardently prayed. My prayers were luckily heard, and a minute examination showed that Worthy Senior had thankfully been selective in his choice of blankets to pour his woes on. The lesser one showed sorry signs of being used and was immediately hanged on the clothesline, to await the onset of the Dry-cleaner. The mattress was not so lucky though, and it was with great sorrow that I unceremoniously dumped my faithful friend, my constant support for 2 years whenever I did what I’m best at- sleep, out into the corridor. Chiraunji obliged with his guest mattress, Sajal with his room, Boki with his heater and viola, a new household had been set up. That night, when I went to get a drink of water, I saw that my dear old mattress had literally gone to the dogs.

The ordeal was not over yet. Then next day, when I went to see if my shoes had dried, I was greeted by the sight of only one. Searching around a bit, I found the other in the Farmhouse’s lawn. It didn’t take an Einstein to figure out what had happened. The dogs, so wrongly called Man’s best friends, had decided to repay my generosity by playing with my right shoe and had left it in the lawn after having had their fun. A pair had just walked out of my life.

All didn’t exactly end too badly though. I spent 4 enjoyable days in the other rooms of the Farmhouse, lavishly treating myself to the heater. I got a new mattress. It’s even pink. The lesser blanket has been subjected to a thorough job by the dry cleaner. And my mother will be happy as she has been after my life to get a new pair of shoes. But most importantly, the list of Lefty’s Legendary Aphorisms got appended- Nice Guys Finish Last.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This is the End...

I’m a huge fan of The Doors. I’m not much of a rock music aficionado otherwise though. In fact, like most people, I started enjoying rock after joining college. Now, of course, I swear by Pink Floyd, but The Doors are amazing too. Riders on the Storm, LA Woman, Roadhouse Blues, Hello I love you… the list is endless. The Decayed Canine has actually got one of his Philosophism posts featuring them. Like all of his other posts, that one too is a must-read.

The End is another of the Doors’ numbers that I love. It’s depressing (Father, mother… what the hell?) but still enjoyable. One can imagine oneself to be obviated of all emotion when one sits back and enjoys that song. 11 minutes and 42(!) seconds of bliss. The message it carries is universal. There are times, when it is, the end. The End, in fact. Like all movies, like all books, like all good series. There has to be an end. Hoping for something to last forever while knowing at the back of your mind that it is going to come to an end one day is the most common aporia ever. It is also one that one can be forgiven for. Hope and knowledge are, after all, two of the main things that humans are made of. Two abstract quantities that set us apart from the lesser beings of the animal kingdom. You can put off thinking about it, you can ignore the thought, you can use mindless activities as poultices but someday, the end will stare you in the face.

Every time you watch a movie like Taare Zameen Par or Schindler’s List (both of which have posts due), which you are absolutely wrapped up in, there is a small voice inside you that says that the first-time experience has only some counted minutes left. Every time you read a book, the thinning stack of pages to your right tells you what its thickening counterpart on the left does- you are closer to the end. While it’s true that the same movie can be watched again and again and so can the same book, the fact remains that in most senses, one amazing experience has ended.

You can pickle your fruit, you can freeze your meat, you can store your medicines in a cool dry place. The question is, for how long? Preservation is not a solution, it’s more of a placebo. A way to put off what must eventually follow. School days are fun, college even more so, but it has to end.

It’s not all negative though. For better or for worse, every disease must end. No bad experience can last forever. Every pain has an expiry date attached. Every sorrow must give way to happiness.

The 11 minutes are over. The 42 seconds too. Time to get back to the other 42. Yes indeed, This is the End.

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