Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Madness - 1

He lay without motion, his eyes staring at the empty space ahead. The wind howled, the windows clattered. A paper under his arm flapped vigorously trying to fly out. On it was a story that was struggling to be told ...

I was past impatient and reaching levels of extreme irritability. What started of as a beautiful friday was now slowly in my mind, turning into a gloomy sunday evening. The status screen read

IC634 Chennai 16:45 20:45 Delayed.

Already four hours behind schedule. It was going to be a long night !

Vizag's airport was newly built yet it radiated most of the old. Shiny locks adorned the colorful suitcases of passengers, just like necklaces did women; then there were the 101 teary relatives who seemed to cry and smile at the same time; the yawning guard who with extreme non-chalance kept the barrel of his rifle pointing at his own face; And of course the new white floor and wall tiles that exhibited the famous irreproducible patterns of maroon and brown, giving the casual observer an indication of the spitting force and chemical breakdown of the nation's favorite condiment.

I was hungry. There was no sign of the promised free meal or any of airline staff who made that promise. My stomach was rumbling, my head seemed to be exploding ....

Then she came ... with those large expressive eyes , with a small sticker pottu that seemed to have been etched out of her forehead, with a face that expressed a thousand emotions .....It felt like a wave of fresh rain on a humid day.

The negative train that ran circles in my head, changed track!

The first time she saw me, I was staring. It was an awkward moment and I felt like one of those dozen cheapos in Elliots beach who had nothing better to do than ogle at the ladies. Our eyes met again ... this time she was staring too. I felt naked. Darn I thought ... should have bought that newspaper after all ...

I cudn't help but look at her again. She was approaching me now .. Oh god! Was she going to create a scene now?

"Excuse me! "
uhmm.. yes ...
"If ur not too busy ... could you help me find my bag"

Ahaa.. her bag was missing... whew!

She din't have to say a thing more, I was already up looking for them... with her tagging behind me answering all my sherlock style (read dumb ass) questions...

the bag was ultimately found ... my imaginary conversations turned into a real one and a pair of ears began listening to my ordeal.

"What time you think you will get home?" ... she asked
Well lets see here. For every half hour since 4 pm they have been delaying my flight for an hour..... I think this will have to be home.

Just then, came the announcement

Passengers travelling to Chennai via Indian Flight IC634, your flight has been canceled. We regret the inconvenience caused.

The next flight out was early the next day. I swore.


I still don't know if she really meant it or if she asked me as a formality but I quickly accepted the offer to stay the night at her place. I was attracted to her. She was classy and I seemed to have gotten comfy with her. She wasn't one of those hot babes nor one of those face that could kill million types that I typically drooled over yet there was something about her ... .For a totally rational guy like me, love at first sight was more of a case of bad hormones.. but those science classes started to get fuzzy as we walked out for dinner. We talked, finished dinner, talked, walked home, talked and talked and kept talking... even the street dogs seemed to call it a night.

She seemed happy. I was on cloud number nine.
Then the sine wave began its free fall.

"I am not feeling too well "
What's wrong ?
"My stomach's hurting real bad ... "
Uh oh !

It must have been the mushrooms she ordered because she started puking them and in half hour was exhibiting classic signs of food poisoning( more and more puke ). At the hospital the on duty doc said stuff like "Low pulse ..oxygen, syringe, emergency room" ...

My ears saw things .... my eyes heard things....


The color was back on her face.

It was about 4 am. We got back to her place. There she was, a complete unknown I had just met and yet felt a strange and strong connection for. My eyes hurt yet i couldn't close them, i kept worrying about her ... I sat by her bedside keeping tabs.

She woke up.

Are you feeling better now?
She nodded weakly. "Were you awake all night. Didn't you sleep? Did you miss your flight?"
I held her hand ...Im sorry.. this wouldn't have happened if i hadn't shown up .. i mean the dinner thing.. the emergency .. i feel bad.
She looked at me, her eyes moist, her voice deep ... "Thank you for being here"
I couldn't catch my flight, I dint feel like leaving your side
She held my hand tighter "Ill be ok."
No you dont understand ... I dont feel like leaving your side .. ever

It just came out.


(To be continued .. )

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Large Hadron Collider

Below is an simple explanation of what the Large Hadron Collider is really about .... Picked off a comment from Slashdot about the LHC ...

" It always kinda amuses me to remember that 7 TeV is equal to ~1 microJoule. So this incredibly massive and complicated machine is required just to reach energies that are a million times less than what I can get by flicking my pinky finger. Though they do put all that energy into a single subatomic particle and carefully guide them into hitting each other right in front of their detectors, while every time I try to flick a proton with my finger I end up hitting a ton of them and they go flying off every which way, so I guess we still need the LHC "

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Dream - Part 2 ( contd from Part 1 )

He arrived at his desk rather nervous. It was a monday morning yet it wasn't the blues or the fact that he was now in a new role that got him itsy.... he was concerned about an email that he had sent out on friday. It was to the Chairman.

'Survival of the Fittest'

Charles Darwin's principle on the evolution of life applied quite early in his life. Some would call that bad fortune, but not Chandu... he knew how valuable that early exposure was. The streets of Mumbai were his religion, his way of life. He was rarely short of money... they were easy: the shirt tucked-in, gunny back touting middle aged men walking on the crowded train platforms. Those rush hours... he loved them.

Fate did turn for the better. Street children support groups caught up with the youngster and under the mentoring of one of the reformers, Chandu's life underwent drastic changes. The once thieving lad was now using his fingers to do math and puzzles. His talent did not go unnoticed. He was adopted.

He was adopted as Veeru Ambarish.

It was an unusual day at the Raman household, the weirdo Raman was turning into a madman.. so thought Kalyani.

The incident with Air France 447 had got him thinking in as many different angles... how could it be? Was it a conincidence? Was he seeing things ? Was it another sign of bad luck ?

Then he noticed an advertisement ... an ad that joined together the dots needed for those 447 angles to take shape, like a shapeless amoeba, an amoeba in his head. It read ..

' Scorpus Ltd Initial Public Offering '

Scorpsus International was established as a limited company in 2002. For 4 years, it manufactured induction motors and generators until it was served a notice to green up. The company already barely surviving, couldn't afford to replace its factories.

It was going to have to shut down.

Veeru couldn't help overhear the conversation at the next table. He was a usual at the Nair tea stall, but today he wasn't enjoying his tea. The gentlemen nearby were talking about chemical processes and an invention, an invention that lined chimneys with a catalyst that absorbed and converted, sulphurous and nitrous gases to organic compounds .. an invention that could save Scorpsus and potentially change the world.

Veeru did not know that but something in his gut told him that there was a possibility.

It was his winning lottery ticket, the sixer of the last ball, the lightning strike that missed him and instead charged the cellphone in his pocket.... he knew it .. he believed it... it had to be. God had shown him the way atlast.

He had to invest... he had to buy as much of the stock as possible. No one would understand, not even kalyani, but he had to.

From: "Veeru Ambarish"
To: "The Chairman"


I am glad you have been able to bring this company out of the many challenges it has faced. However these are different and exciting times. In our hands is technology that the world needs, a technology that would eliminate most forms of industrial and automobile pollution, a technology that would make this company a global force. I believe we should be focusing on this technology and continue to research and develop this further. The current green energy revolution cannot compete with the existing fossil fuel dependent nature of the world economy.

Moving to solar and wind energy research is not in our best interest.

As a major stock holder of the company, I request you consider this proposal with utmost importance. This will be one of my prerogatives in the board meeting coming up.

Veeru Ambarish

She and Raman were walking hand in hand. It was a nice breezy evening and marine drive was bustling with traffic. Kalyani was never more happier. All their wealth was now in paper but their happiness had returned. Raman had got that smile back on his face ... he was now working with a big bank bringing in that monthly pay check, taking with him that afternoon lunch, stealing those evening kisses ..

The IPO was a success. Scorpus was now a public limited company.

It was 41% owned by a private equity firm called Kalyani Investments.
It was 43% owned by a private equity firm called Ambarish Holdings.
The remaining stock was held by a few others including the CEO.

He wondered about that day 30 years back.... that July day in the glorious summer of 2009 .. what if he.. Veeru Ambarish hadn't taken control.... what if Scorpsus continued on its agenda of renewable energy development? Renewable energy was a joke .. it had gone nowhere and because he chose what he did, the people of earth were still breathing clean air...

He looked at the big solar system picture adorning his office wall ... Could it be possible that an alternative universe existed.. a universe with a world where there was no Scorpsus... a world of chaos and destruction... maybe he thought, maybe..

Raman looked at the mirror, smiled at himself .. how foolish he had been. That dream of his seemed so real, the incidents around it so convincing .. yet 30 years later Scorpus Ltd was no more. Its stock wasn't high on Dalal Street, it wasn't even listed anymore. He had lost a lot of money, a lot of savings ... yet he wasn't poor, he was happy.

He remembered that day, July 14th 2009 .. he along with the then CEO of Scorpsus had combined their market share of the company to prevent a spirited take over by a virtual outsider ....he still remembered Veeru Ambarish.. the look on his face. With Ambarish aside, Scorpsus continued on a path of green tech R&D .. yet it couldn't compete and failed. The significance of his dream escaped him, puzzled him. Yet he was glad, his dream had given him hope. He went outside for a walk. The air smelt real good; Rays of the sun bounced off his neighbours solar panels and into his eyes.

His world had changed.

The Dream - Part 1

The skies seemed a stretch of pale blue for miles and miles.. his eyes still picked up the small patch of smog, barely visible and hovering around at a distance. His gaze was so intense, the sun seemed to push for cover

The board outside his office read "Chairman and CEO" ... just like it did, the last 30 years.

Scorpsus international was one of the biggest corporations in the world. It built retrofitted chimneys, exhaust pipes and incinerators .. technology that allowed the world to sustain itself inspite of a prolonged use of high and low grade fossil fuels. At its helm was a visionary who had single handedly driven its growth.

The board outside his office also read "Veeru Ambarish".

Wheeeeeeee ...

The sound of the pressure cooker's whistle woke him up. This was unusual for his high standards... he was usually the first up ... reading the paper, screaming at kalyani for his coffee and work clothes ...

Raman was a top ranked IIM grad and an independent financial analyst. His career began with a bang. An investment in a little known company seemed to be more than beginners luck when it struck oil off the coast of Ghana... it further turned out that the company was a holding company of British Petroleum. The investment grew more than 300%. However just as his aura was building, the oil platform exploded and the company's license was cancelled. Raman did not suffer financially, he had sold his shares just a few day earlier to invest in a new venture.. however his clients lost heavily and they noticed the unfairness.

When oil prices started to rise, Raman saw an opportunity that many missed. There were these small fuel transportation companies who were doubling their profits criss-crossing the globe. He staked what remained of his reputation and convinced many to invest as he bought a front office shipping company and leased a rusting tanker to transport underpriced crude from Iran into the United States. He bypassed import restrictions by exploiting weak regulations and by cleverly rerouting the tanker through Qatar. He wasn't a safe strategist he thought to himself, he knew the market better than most people, he could take the risk .... it would work ... It worked until pirates struck and the entire operation was swept under the carpet to save himself from counting bars ...

Being jinxed wasn't a very favourable title for someone who primarily dealt with other people's money. The recession added to his woes.

Kalyani married Raman, in the summer of 2006 .... he was just the sort of person she wanted, caring, loving, intelligent.... but by the end of 2008, the Raman she knew had disappeared. Stung by his lack of success at work, Raman started believing in acute forms of astrology, divine intervention and soon enough began forming equations that took into consideration the position of the stars, planets and dalal street. Kalyani understood why her husband had changed but she wanted him back. Her desperation took her to the feet of her kuladeivam (god) where she cried day and night... all she wanted was a happy life with Raman, not the money .. just those happy days.

Raman felt his head hurt slightly .. he saw the time ... it was past 9 am. He strode into the bathroom, washed his face and looked at himself in the mirror. He then blurted out a set of unconnected words that seemed to be stuck in his head - "Fortune 500", "Scorpsus or Scorpion International", "France" "Clean air", "plane crash". He began remembering a dream.. a dream that saw the planets and the stars aligned, a dream that saw god providing him something, a solution to his problems. He thought to himself "Rama all this is nonsense... your dreams never come true"

He went out ... got his cup of coffee and the paper from Kalyani who though surprised at her husband's deviation from protocol , did not risk questioning him and withdrew herself to the kitchen.

The headlines screamed "Air France jet crashes over the Atlantic - over 200 feared killed"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Free Will excerpts - I

(She takes her phone out excitedly and speed dials)
> Hello ... i just got out (catches her breath) ... it went sooo well..
>> waait ... what are you talking about??
> My interview today ... you forgot about it did you ?
>> oh yeah .. i mean no i dint forget abt it .... you aced it ... awesome ..tell me all about it..
> ennoda interview marundhatey illey .. so ippo naan solla pora kadhaium marandhudu... (u forgot my interview .. so now forget what i'm about to tell you as well)
(he laughs)

He hangs up ... then looks outside his window..
He had forgotten.. he always did ... now she was going away ....
He then remembered ... he had put sandhya on hold to take this call ..

Damn ..

She had disconnected ..
he took a deep breath and redialled

> Sorry love.. it was ...
>> Was her wasn't it . what did she want?
> She just finished her interview and was telling me abt it..
>> Yeah and I was talking to you about something important as well until u decided to put me on hold ...
> She doesnt call me too often.. i thot it was important.. besides she is going away...
>> You just haven't figured out your priorities yet .. remember when we ...

As sandhya spoke .. he looked outside his window again ... there she was ....
Seemed like she was standing there calling out for him just like she used to ....
he now remembered ... he remembered everything about her ....
he suddenly missed her in ways he could not imagine ...

Free will is a paradox

Man is the most blessed of all living things on this planet for he has the ability to think and put his thoughts into action. He has the ability to choose ... right or wrong .. truth or lies .. fact or fiction...

But this profound feeling of free will is a paradox hidden within abstractions of space, time, knowledge ...

You are living in a free country but you must follow the laws of the land ...
You are free to choose .... but you are not free to decide or observe the consequences of your choice ....
You have this second to make a move, but that second speeds past and is no longer there as you assimilate that fact ....

Free will in its current form is about joining the system, adhering to it ..... it is a hallucination.. one that is required to sustain oneself .... the wars of the world are about people who are chasing this dream called free will ...

Kadhaigal .... kanavugal ... welcome to my blog !
I am writing after years .. would love any comments and feedback.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

I can picture in my mind,
a world without war, a world without hate.
And I can picture us attacking that world,
because they'd never expect it.

More quotes from Jack Handey at

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Religiously holding on

We are a nation of a billion people, spiritually forward (debatable), technologically catching up and religiously glued.

People of the world in the vast majority believe in the power above. Me too. But lakhs of us thronging temples far away, spending many hours in front of a deity, etc have made some (many) of us weak. Weak as a person. Weak as a world contributor.

The question is : Are we believing too much in god than in our own abilities? Are we overdoing our prayers?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Remembering us ...

Conversations with her;
will i ever remember
but for that feeling of June in December.

Some moments, we'd give anything to remember.
It might be possible though!

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy under normal conditions cannot be created or destroyed, simply transformed from one form to another.

The conversations of history are all around us, hidden as potential, heat, wind .... It may be reconstructable !

Down in the dumps !

The first week's been bad.

Its a drain on certain vital emotions when your career seems to drive ur life, to decide where you have to be and what you need to do.