Sunday, December 28, 2008

There is Something I Don't Like About the LOTR Trilogy

I just watched all three Lord of the Rings movies for the second time [this week], and I found two things I don't like about them.

One, Frodo. Yes, he's the main character, the "saviour of the day" and all that. But what does he really do? First movie, when the Fellowship is stuck in the Mines of Moria, and they get attacked by orcs and trolls at Bali's tomb, Frodo gets hit by a spear that would have (in the words or Aragorn), "skewered a boar". Except he doesn't actually get skewered. His coat of Mithril saves him, and he's barely scratched. But what does Frodo do?* Instead of pushing the spear away and showing he's unhurt, he promptly falls on the floor (as if dead) and then plays dead while the others get rid of the orcs. I mean, I know most of the drama of him falling, and the sound effects, were probably to scare people watching the movie, but it just seemed so silly!

Throughout the trilogy, we keep seeing examples of Frodo not really being able to do anything at all. He puts the Ring on on at least two ocassions that I can think of that really could have gotten him (and everyone else) killed, he sent Sam away in the third movie when Sam was actually the only reason why he actually got as far as he did, and then, to top it off, he refused to throw the Ring into the fire at the end! Yes, I know that the Ring is evil. It has the power to influence people, to capture their minds, but it all makes Frodo seem so weak. I generally tend to forward the parts of the DVD that feature him.

The second thing I really didn't like was the Arwen-Aragorn-Eowyn love triangle. More specifically, it's solution. I'm all for the love triangle. It's very understandable that both women would fall for Aragorn. But why would he choose Arwen? The only time she actually showed some spirit was in the first movie, when she took Frodo to Rivendell. Otherwise, she doesn't really seem to do anything.

Eowyn, on the other hand, has all my admiration. She does her "duty" for the first two movies; she leads the women and children to Helm's Deep when orcs attack the people of Rohan, she stays with them in the caves during the battle of Helm's Deep. But we can see her yearning to fight, to do something to help! Finally, in the third movie, she not only dresses as a man to go to war, but takes Merry with her. And she brings down an elephant on her own, and kills the Nazgul and it's rider (whom no man can kill) by herself. Seriously, what is cooler than her dialogue, "I am no man!"??

Aragorn is my favourite character, but I would love him so much more if he'd fallen in love with Eowyn.

*I haven't finished reading the books yet, so I don't know if all this is just a dramatisation in the movie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

See? Graphs Can Be Fun

My Maths prof sent us this link today. In his words: "In case you get bored/tired with exam prep, here's a fun way to waste your time relax". He also sent us the link to the webpage he uses to get "fun-facts" about brilliant [and dead] mathematicians, which he then shares with us in every class as "The Dead Person of The Week". See why I love this class?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thoughts on College (1)

I used to live in Kanpur. I had a big group of friends, many of whom I've now known for nearly 18 years. Then I moved to Delhi and made new friends. I remained in touch with most of my Kanpur friends; I visited them in Kanpur, they visited me in Delhi. Then, I came to Singapore for college. Again, new friends, new life. This time, it was harder to stay in touch with everyone. I talk to three my best friends regularly, but I lost touch with the fourth. And with many of my friends whom I wasn't so close with but still liked a lot.

Facebook shows me bits and pieces of the lives that my friends are now leading. Of the people they live with, of their new friends and their colleges. And I just realised how weird it is that I'm not in any of those pictures. It's almost freaky how different our lives are now. We live in different countries, we hang out with different people.

I have good friends here in Singapore, but honestly, I've known them for too short a time for me to be really important in their lives. And maybe they're not as important in my life as I think they are either.

In three weeks, my holidays start. All of us go back to our separate lives in different cities. And while I'm very excited about meeting my old friends, and going back home, I'm afraid of losing touch with my new friends. It's been my experience that half your life can seem very unreal at times. For example, when I used to visit Kanpur, my life in Delhi would seem very unreal. So, when we all go home, meet our family and old friends, Singapore may seem unreal. And that may mean that we lose touch with each other for a month. And I don't want that to happen.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, What Do You Want To Be?

One of the first questions I remember being asked is what I want to do when I grow up. I was asked this when I was a little kid, and my answer was always different. I went through the author phase, the doctor phase, the social worker phase (interestingly, I don't ever remember saying I want to be a teacher or an engineer). I was asked the same question as I grew older, after class 10, in class 11 and 12.

But while I always had an answer when I was a kid, I don't have one now. When I graduated from school, the questions became more persistent and serious. People asked me what career I'm planning to pursue, and "I don't know" was never accepted as a real answer. "Kuch to idea hoga na, beta." You always have to have some idea. When I chose to come to Singapore and study Economics, I was told that it's a smart choice... "Economics mein to bahut potential hai".

I didn't really have a reason for choosing Economics. After class 10, one thing I knew was that I didn't want to continue Science. So I chose Humanities. After class 12, I chose Economics because the little that I had seen of it, I liked. But still, I have no "plans" for my future. I don't even know which courses I want to take next semester, which co-curricular activities I want to join. The rest of my life is too far away for me to plan. I don't know whether this is good or bad... all my friends here and in India seem to have answers to what they want to do when they grow up. Some want to be engineers, one wants to be a designer, some want to start their own businesses. I'm hoping that after four years here in Singapore, I'll have some answer for "what I want to be when I grow up".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This is Not A Good Week

It started with me crying my eyes out, and that too in front of a friend, which just makes me feel very stupid and pathetic. The crying led to me missing my two best friends, since they always let me be all pathetic around them and didn't judge me for it, and knew exactly what to say to make me feel better. And I don't know when (or if) I'll see one of them again.

Then there was a boring class followed by a very boring meeting. Then another very long, quite boring Statistics meeting, where again I felt stupid since I'm not any good at stats.

There is an important decision I have to make soon, and I'm sure I'll pick the wrong choice and everything will be screwed up. So now I have a this sinking feeling. A very bad feeling. This is definitely not a good week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Would Have Hated the 1950s

Was it really this bad back then?

What Can I Say?!

I've lived in IIT all my life, first in Kanpur, then in Delhi. My father is an alumnus and a professor. So, I tend to take comments and discussions about IIT a little defensively, even though I'm not actually part of the instituion. But this is un-defendable. I came across it yesterday, and it I'm very glad to see that it's had a quite an impact.... there are many blogs talking [ranting] about it.

I don't have anything new or highly creative to say about this, so read this and this and this. They say everything I want to. I'm just glad I was in class when I first came saw the link, because I would have definitely shouted at someone if I didn't have time to cool down first.

PANIIT did change the programme a little bit. But, as Abi says, small mercies indeed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

There And Back Again

I went home to Delhi last week, and I returned to Singapore today afternoon. Neither going home, nor coming back have been as I had thought they would.

Home was a little exhausting. My mother and I are close: I was at home for most of this year, since my school gave us study leave in January, and I spent all of that time with my mum. My mother is a very emotional person. So, talks of me leaving home and how much she misses me happen frequently. And they make me uncomfortable. Although I do think I'm a fairly emotional person, I don't display it very much. I prefer to cry alone than on the shoulder of a friend, I prefer to write about things that bother me than to talk about them. So, home was a little exhausting.

Besides, last week, I had a lot of idle time to think. And I finally accepted to myself that what I'm doing in college is not what I want to be doing. I'm not studying (at all), I'm being very, very lazy, and I'm breaking all the promises I made to myself before I started college. I'm a very lazy person, and I hate that about myself. I stopped singing simply because I didn't like my teacher and was too lazy to find a new one, and now, I've lost most of the skills and talent that I had. In school, I didn't participate in many activities, promising myself that I would be more outgoing and active in college, but here again, I'm making excuses for myself to not go for the clubs I joined. I promised myself that I would do very well academically, another thing I didn't do in school, but again, I'm trying to get out of project meetings, not listening in class, behaving very irresponsibly. Not only am I not working, I'm even constantly badgering my friends who are working. And all this introspection, healthy though it may be, makes me panic, which is very exhausting.

Coming back to Singapore was just a little bit of an anti-climax, I guess. I was looking forward to coming back, and I know I tend to build things up in my head, imagine situations, what I would say, what my friends would say, so I should have expected this. I know I was only gone for a week; nothing amazing is supposed to happen when I come back. I just wanted it to.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things I Want to be Able to do..

...even if I choose not to exercise that ability.
  1. Study for 18 hours at a stretch to finish an assignment
  2. Be a fantastic writer!
  3. Play the guitar really well
  4. Sing along with the guitar
  5. Come up with interesting things to blog/write about
  6. Draw
  7. Not get jealous so easily
  8. Be close with all the people I like without offending any of them
  9. Get along with complete strangers (and by "get along", I mean being able to carry on a simple conversation without any long ankward pauses)
  10. Be one of those rare few students who manage to maintain a 3.8 GPA without cutting off their social life

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stupid Balancing Act

Before I started college here in Singapore, many people told me about the importance of balancing my studies and my social life. It's a problem everyone faces, right? Well, I did expect it, I just didn't expect the balancing to be so hard. I always managed just fine in school; I assumed it would be the same in college. But it's a lot harder to say no to hanging out when I'm living in the same hostel as my friends.

I don't know how to choose studying over hanging out with my friends. So far, I've been lucky; I don't have much work anyway. But the assignments and the tests will soon start, and I will have to start staying up late to study instead of staying up late to talk. And I don't want to limit my social life.

College is full of decisions, isn't it?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What is this Blog?

I've recently started thinking about what I want this blog to be. The easiest is, of course, things I notice in my personal life and want to talk about. But I don't see how that can ever interest anyone except the people I know. And I don't want my blog to be something visited only by my friends, or a way of getting a message across to them that I would be uncomfortable actually saying in person. And (I shamelessly confess) I want comments. Lots and lots of comments. So, my posts have to be something that make strangers want to comment, not just my friends. (In fact, I don't even like giving my friends the link to my blog. Knowing that people I know are reading my posts inevitably affects what I write and the way I write it.)

What I really want my blog to be is like this one. A funny, witty, interesting blog that makes people have to visit everyday and comment. But I'm not that good or creative a writer.

So, what do I do? Should I just write about whatever I feel like and not worry about comments and responses? Or should I wait until inspiration strikes and then try to be witty?

Monday, September 8, 2008

All Mine!!

Is possessiveness bad? I'm very possessive about my friends. And jealousy comes along with possessiveness, I guess. I don't like it when any of the friends I consider close (or really like), are very close to people I don't know or don't like. One of my closest friends in Singapore is very good friends with another girl whom I don't really know, and I don't like that. Another of my friends has recently found someone else he prefers to hang out with, and I don't like that either.

People always assume that I "like like" a guy if I'm possessive about him. But I think it's more natural to be possessive about friends rather than crushes. I may not like the fact that my crush likes someone else more than he likes me, but it hurts more when a friend prefers someone else to me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stupid Cupid

Isn't it amazing how people always seem to find girlfriends/boyfriends so easily? More specifically, isn't it amazing how they find someone they like so easily? I have been in college in Singapore for two weeks; the other Indians have been here for a little over a month. And yet, in our group of about 15 people (6 girls, 9 guys), there are already three couples. What are the chances that out of 9 guys, you'll find one you want to go out with? (I am assuming that Indians have an easier time falling for other Indians, which I do believe is true). Isn't that probability quite low?

I have only ever really liked one guy. Who didn't like me back. And who decided to completely cut me off for no apparent reason after being one of my best friends for a year. I'm not saying that my friends who are dating don't like each other. I just think it's strange (and very lucky) that they find someone they like so easily and in such little time, and who (again very luckily) happened to like them back.

Contradictory thought: After thinking a bit, I realised that it's actually not all that hard to have a "crush" on someone. Assuming that the crush is just that and nothing serious at all. I have those one-day (or somewhat longer) crushes; I have one now. So, I guess it's quite normal to find someone so quickly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Making Friends

I had no idea making friends would be this hard. Somehow, even though I know I'm not friendliest of people, nor the easiest to get along with, I've never faced the problem of not having friends that I like, or of not being friends with someone I like. And I had thought it would be the same in Singapore. In fact, I was more worried about moving to Delhi two years ago than I was about studying in Singapore. I figured that since there would only be so many Indians here, we'd hang out a lot, and I would make friends easily enough (as bitchy as this sounds, I do have a harder time getting along with "foreigners" than with Indians).

Well, there are many Indians at my hostel, and we do hang out a lot. And I do have friends that I like a lot. It's just that a couple of people I really would like to be friends with (surprisingly, all guys- Vishal, Varun and others) don't seem to be very interested. And I'm too shy and awkward to be forward and friendly and make them like me. sigh.....

I know I've only been here ten days, while Nikhita (the girl everyone loves and therefore, the girl I am occasionally very jealous of) has been here for at least a month. But I suspect that I'm going to have a much harder time making friends than she did. Talking freely with virtual strangers does not come naturally to me. :(

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Next month, I will be starting college in Singapore Management University. I considered many different things before finally deciding to go, listed several reasons to stay. Recently, I realised that one thing I will miss out on in Singapore is the discomfort of Indian hostel life. My hostel in Singapore is air-conditioned, as are the classrooms and all the other college buildings. I have to share a bathroom with only two other girls; the 'hostel' is actually an apartment building, so I will have a fridge and a microwave in my apartment (that I will be sharing with five other girls). I won't learn to live on crappy food, live in the heat without an AC, to share a bathroom with an entire floorful of girls.

This is, of course, a theoretical statement. Practically, I love the air-conditioning, the bathrooms and electricity, the wi-fi enabled campus, the comfort. :) Also, I do realise that I've made a very broad generalisation about Indian hostels... not having lived in any, or having talked about hostel life with anyone who has, I have relied completely on the general cliches people mention when discussing college and hostels.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Are The Cute Guys?

Two of my friends from Kanpur visited yesterday. Roaming around in Vasant Vihar, they remarked on something that I (and my Delhi friends) have been moaning about for months- the remarkable absence of cute guys in Delhi. There are enough cute girls around to force me to whack my guy friends for staring, but no cute guys for me to stare at. Very unfair.

Also somewhat related: who can you see on TV other than actors and sportsman? My friend Anuja has made me notice all the hot actors on TV- Patrick Dempsey, Hugh Laurie, Jesse Spencer, Shahid Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor etc. But this post (the last bracketed line of para 1) on Aishwarya's blog made me realise that I don't know where else to find hot guys. There seems to be a big lack of them in real life, and reel life seems to offer only sportsmen (which doesn't help me, since I watch no sports) and actors.

Where are all the cute guys?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

(Lack Of) Creativity

I have come to believe that out of all the qualities a person can possess, creativity is the most important. Primarily because it can prevent one from getting bored. And right now, boredom seems to be the worst thing that can hit one. Even if it does last just a few days and does not kill you. It does, however, force me to turn to TV, and I'm sure long hours of House MD, Bones and Scrubs are harming parts of me other than my eyes.

My school has ended, but college has not yet begun. Results come out tomorrow, but forms on the 2nd of June. So, for the next ten days, I have nothing (not even the filling out of forms) to entertain me. I have spent the last few days of my vacation being utterly bored, and looks like I'll be spending the next few days the same way.

I lack creativity. I don't know what to do, I can't invent anything to entertain myself with, and thus, end up spending 8 hours a day watching the 160GB worth of TV shows I've downloaded. Even old hobbies do not seem enticing.

I am at a loss.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Woes of Fatness

The world of female shopaholics is divided very firmly into two categories- fat girls, and not-fat girls. I unfortunately belong to the former.

My main issue with my fatness (I say "fatness" because "obesity" sounds so much fatter) is not that I can almost never look good. Or that my powers of attracting guys are next to nil. Or that I'm so heavy that my future boyfriend can definitely never sweep me off my feet. My problem is clothes. I can't buy many of the shirts that I really like. Anything that is "pretty" is not available in my size, which is generally two sizes larger than XL. I can't shop at Sarojini Nagar for cheap clothes because many of them turn out to be too tight later when I try them on. And for me, finding clothes is even more traumatic because I happen to have big breasts. So the clothes that may actually be big enough to house my stomach are too tight at my chest. Most shops here apparently don't believe in making nice clothes for fat people!

I even have large feet! My foot-size is one size larger than the largest size available in markets. I can't buy wedges or pumps (which are terms I learnt recently), so I'm forced to wear the chappals that are open at the back so that my heel can stick out a little.

I am currently forced to satisfy the shopaholic in me by shopping for my friends (all of whom happen to be thin with regular-sized feet).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stupid, stupid months

God, I hate these two months (Feb and March). The not-so-dreaded class 12 board exams are approaching, and this apparently means that I am expected to be confined to the... confines of my room all day, speak in hushed and serious tones (preferaby about the 'progress of my studies'), and look exhausted and over-worked. The facts that I am not stressed at all, still try to enjoy small pleasures such as watching TV, and actually spend at least an hour a day on the phone are constant sources of astonishment, and, occasionally, awe.

But what I hate most about these months is not studying the same bloody chapters and the same bloody subjects again and again, or the fact that spending two hours on the phone everyday constitutes what I call my personal life, or the weekly calls of one of my more studious friends, explaining in great detail what she's studied over the past few days and what she's planning to study over the next few days, and actually believing that I'm interested, or the fact that my history teacher actually tripped over nothing when I told her I still have eight chapters of the syllabus to finish (this was in the first wek of February), or all my teachers asking me how many hours a day I'm studying, and telling me in appropriately dramatic tones that they are relying on me to get about 95 in each subject, or the fact that my last meeting with any of my friends was a week ago.

No, what I hate most about these months is that everytime I step out of my room, and start doing anything else, my parents immediately say "Yeh hum kar lenge, tum apne kaam karo" (We'll do this, you do your work). And saying, when I take it to be an indication that they think I should be studying, that "work" does not necessarily mean study ("you have to, of course, take breaks"). All they want, apparently, is that I not burden myself mentally with anything other than my approaching exams.

It's not that my parents pressure me. In fact, I'm better off than many of my other classmates. They don't even directly tell me study. It's just that I know that even I do something as simple as make reservations for them at a restaurant for Valentine's, they think it is unnecessary. These months, even if I don't study much, my 'mental focus' has to be on my studies.

I do realise that since I chose not to take up Science/engineering, my board results will, effectively and unfortunately, decided which college I study in, and which subject I study. But I am just so tired of the assumption that just because my life-determining exams are near, my life should consist of nothing but studying. That is not going to happen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Show Me The Funny

Since I have finally figured out how to post a video on my blog, here's Russell Peters. There were a couple more I really liked, but I can't find them now. If you like him, there are many, mny more videos on Youtube.


Beating Your Kids

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I want to be open minded. And I think I am. But I don't truly understand what being 'open-minded' or liberal means. I don't even know whether the two terms are the same. Yes, they will definitely mean different things to different people, but I don't know what they mean to me.

I am very open minded about sex and religion. I believe in freedom of speech. I accept the fact that people have different beliefs, but I do sometimes face difficulties in respecting beliefs which I think are so wrong. Does my not being able to accept the fact that a boy and a girl, if sitting together, are going to be shooed away from the Rose Garden make me less open minded than I think I am? Or my indignation show that I am open minded?

I just read a piece by Dilip D'Souza about being liberal in India, and very honestly, I didn't understand all of it. Yes, I agree that "one of the things about being liberal is that you live your life as you want and leave others to their lives." I'd like to believe I do that, and I think I actually do do that. I don't completely understand the distinctions he's made between conservatives and liberals, and I don't know which 'camp' I belong to.

And since I don't know what exactly open-mindedness or liberalism means to me, I don't know why I want to be part of that camp.