Thursday, December 07, 2006

Exams over! :)

Now that I have some time to myself I shall write on a topic which deserves a lot more attention than it currently gets... SHRUTI'S CHEEKS!

Inherited from her father, they can be used to accurately gauge her mood at any point of time.

Colour key-
Red: Embarrassed
Crimson: Angry
Pink: Happy
White: No idea, never seen them that way
Black: Her mascara's running!
Green: She's a martian!
Yellow: Probably jaundice

Extremely pullable(Dunno if thats a word) too....


Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's that time of the decade again.. my home is invaded by a motley crew of painters, carpenters, masons, "thekedaars" etc. so as to completely renovate the place..

As my end sems are on, the constant screeching reverberating through my household shall do wonders for my grades..


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hate is what I feel for you,
And I want you to know that I want you dead.
You're late for the execution...
If you're not here soon, I'll kill your friend instead.

All the pain I feel
Couldn't start to heal
Although I would like it to

I hate you and your apathy.
You can leave, you can leave, I don't want you here.
I'm playing this pantomime,
But I don't see you showing any signs of fear.

All the pain I feel
Couldn't start to heal
Although I would like it to
This time I'm for real
My pain can not heal
You will be dead when I'm through


Pain and execution
Put your hands in the air
Put your hands in the air
The air... yeah

I am, I am Israel's son
Israel's son I am
Put your hands in the air
Put your hands in the air

Always loved this song by silverchair... the lyrics might not be the best in the world but its the way those kids have sung it....


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tis been a while... the idle component of my life has been lost... temporarily I hope.

Anyway, was having an interesting chat with a friend today.

People at JNU keep howling about worker's rights and the dictums of Marx. Now Marx chronicled history on the basis of class struggles. Each class would try to raise itself above the others in an effort to appropriate a larger share of the pie. Thus, the members of each class would band together and try to further their common cause.
Herein lies the problem, a majority of intellectuals expousing Marx's beliefs here could be characterized as bourgeoisie or atleast petty landowners.. by fighting for the cause of the proletariat they are ignoring their own class..
If a person doesnt work to better the status of his own class but fights for the rights of other classes the fundamental basis of Marx ceases to hold!


Monday, October 09, 2006

1. I wasnt referring to himani's comment

2. This space was meant for healthy discussion and debate. The fact that you use it to try and provoke and irritate me by your insolent remarks just goes to show how 'insecure' YOU are.

3. Your post hardly describes what makes you believe I'm insecure. Just stating the fact and exemplifying it with a practically meaningless example is only weakening your case.

4. I am just itching to write about all your characteristics beginning with the way you dress, talk and act in public which blatantly prove how insecure and superficial you are. I shall however refrain.

Lets not make this a game of mud-slinging. You are very intimidated by me. I am aware. It is usually the case with men who cant handle the fact that there are smarter women out there. Don't try to find solace in the fact that perhaps even I feel insecure and am concocting some sort of defense mechanism. Wake up and smell the coffee...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ahh.. the nebulous shruti...
The capricious lady with a truckload of gray matter...
I agree with h****i, you seem to be insecure and intimidating at the same time... scare others.. scared yourself..

It would be interesting to see if we could provide an insecure person with assurance without actually acknowledging the fact that the person is insecure...
Example: Talentless versace had been doing it for years.. dress up women like high class hookers and charge them the moon... however he has had to use his clothes to garb the actual service.

Is it possible to assuage a person's percieved/actual shortcomings without selling him/her any commodities at all?

A business model to die for..

Sunday, October 01, 2006

what does it mean when soemone tells you that you are insecure about the way other people perceive you? i wonder what behavioral traits, gestures could lead people to believe that.

sometimes a nebulous stageis the best to be in. u're not in a senseless 'i'm out to prove that i'm capable of this...' mode...its just a time to rediscover, change direction and play a new role...


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Next morning Fidel Castro wakes up worried from a nightmare wherein Cuba was heavily mismanaged by sibling Raul. He wonders why there arent any more Guevaras or Santinos who could carry on the legacy that would die with his ailing body...he just sighs as he looks around to find desperate attempts by students littered sparsely across the globe trying to wage his battle on idle all thats left is the handshaking with ministers from countries that could have made a difference...

Maybe Pink Floyd will make a newer version of "another brick in the wall" as the United States doesnot give up on trying to educate what it considers its 'lesser' neighbours...perhaps another Vietnam in Latin America..a few more cries...a few more protests...another woodstock...catharsis for a few, pretense for most...

and we'll wake up to yet another examination that will ask us define pareto optimality and prove the correctness of all its ridiculous assumptions...and Dikshant Chopra will jump at this opportunity to tag me leftist and with a newly found contentment will get back to gaming and online socializing...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

One fine morning Adam Smith on his way to the great annual mela held in Kabul was accosted by a group of crips led by Snoop Dog.
Afganistan was quite a lawless place then, not the model of good governance it is now.
Knowing that the situation was grim as he was a prominent memeber of the Bloods, Adam Smith switched on the emergency GPS beacon in his utility belt. The French plutocrats, sworn enemies of all non-productive beings picked up the signal.
Seeing this as an apportunity to strike at the very core of the Crips and take out the one man they were very jealous of, quickly called in an airstrike. However, the French pilots were out on strike to protest against the alleged hike in work hours... "2 hours of work a day is akin to slavery", said the Les' velas.
In sheer desperation they turned to the yankees who readily agreed as they had tons of explosives but no one to bomb.

However, as the french use the metric system while the americans dont, there was a mixup and they bombed Somalia instead...

The people at JNU protested against US hegemony and took out a dozen candlelight marches..

The IMF imposed sanctions on Iran as they believed it was the erstwhile Turkish empire's fault... they shouldve conquered the world and imposed a uniform system of measurement..

Life as usual...


Friday, September 22, 2006

Had an econometrics exam today.. screwed it up... :(


Monday, September 11, 2006

dearest jerboa! i have so much to thank him for...sometimes i wonder whether almost a year of knowing me has helped him understand me better at all...all he seeks is confirmation of his notions and has never removed that filter from his eyes...

not once have i mentioned that i want a corporate job ( i hate doing this defending thingi waise...weakens my stand actually) further studies plan is still on...i'm just convinced its not going to be hard core quantitaive economics.

if u're convinced about my greed there's nothing much i can do and i shall not try too hard either...

and oh...a very happy birthday to you d. and for all the avid readers of this blog...idle-lives completes half a century of posts!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

First of all, for dear chowdhary's benefit, I shall use the words "food" and "blonde" atleast a couple of times in this post.


I have turned 22, a doddering old man on whom the vagaries of time have wrecked great havoc. Most people respond with the same old platitude, "Ure as old as u think u are... life starts at 21...etc."
However, come what may, growing old is a scary thought for me..

Moving on, read shruti's last post... my endearing beacon of hope, the sole guiding light cum role model for me when it came to further studies seems to be reconsidering her priorities... the desire for a Phd has been replaced by the yearning for a corporate job..
The filthy bourgeoisie have taken another one of proletariat's most cherished...


Although she has placed the blame on the increasing permeation of mathematics into economics the truth cannot be obfuscated.. "greed" of the original sins.. the ecumenical world holds its breath.. will lucifer be victorious or will St. Peter bring her back..
Stay tuned!



Thursday, September 07, 2006

Been lazing around for the last coupla days.. and before that too.

All this idle time has allowed me to examine various schools of thought.

Simple hedonism is too crass...
Nihilism is uninspiring..
The world already has too many sadists..
Aethism might get me into trouble posthumously..

Various beliefs tend to overlap.

Existentialism does hold some appeal... need to gain a better understanding of it though..

If metaphysics was my forte I wouldve chucked my masters and become a philosopher..
Unfortunately, it was just not to be...


Monday, August 21, 2006

Feel jaded..

Tempted to take up something else now.. call me an apostate but psychology has begun to look a lot more attractive..

For the neophytes, heres a heretical Economics 101...

Compared to economists, tarot card readers are a cheaper alternative with a similar success rate..

There probably isint a single law in economics which can be considered unassailable or is accepted by all..

Remember that thing.. if a thousand monkeys bang away at pianos for a thousand years one of them will come up with the complete works of mozart? Well.. thats how economics works...

Since no controlled environment exists, any 'expert' can get away by placing the blame on exogenous variables..

Good economics doesnt mean a healthier life.. or a happier world.. infact im pretty sure no one knows what it really means!

However, it is one of the few subjects where even the most ludicrous of things can be proven to be correct.. in a paticular context that is... so whatever you do you cant be wrong...


Saturday, August 19, 2006

IMPORTANT: EPL has restarted!!

Now.. moving on to less important things...

JNUSU has been the domain of SFI and AISA(both leftie parties) for a long time.
The other two... ABVP and NSUI barely win anything...
Their election planks almost exclusively pertain to international issues.. the Iraq war.. Palestine.. China..etc.
Infact, there is no way to discern between them on the basis of intra-JNU issues!

Sure.. everybody should have an opinion.. but how on earth does the iraq war feature as the primary issue in a local election!?

We've got enough problems of our own.. solve those first!

Note to union walas/walis: For the love of god stop putting up little posters for the most trivial of things.. it serves no purpose... just litters up the campus!

Monday, August 07, 2006

At the behest of sid, I finally read 'Paradise Lost'.
It's probably the first time Ive read a poem which hasnt been prescribed in a syllabus..

His critical interpretation of god's actions lead me to an interesting question...

If absolute power corrupts... so how can we be sure that god is pure?
Infact, come to think of it, how would we even define pure?

Would he be pure if all his decisions were altruistic in nature?
Would he be pure if he followed a certain code of pre-established ethics?

What if we characterize something as pure only if it is in line with god's will? Is that the answer?


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Twas a rainy day.. my ankle was shot... my sibling had 'accidently' deleted all my games... left with little to do and the crazy prospect of actually having to study to ward of boredom as being advocated by my parents, I began to read a book relegated to the innermost recesses of my bookshelf.

'The Communist Manifesto".

To be honest I didnt even know I had it, must have bought it in a spate of puerile whim when I joined JNU...

I was very impressed.

All the arguments had a stable intellectual bedrock. No effort was made to obfuscate their motives and the bourgeoisie were clearly potrayed as the enemy. The premises were perfectly apposite to the arguments..

I cant say I agree with them but I have to admit that it is a work to behold.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Shruti has gone off to bhopal.... Im up to my neck in excel sheets..... the precious little time saved for introspection along with all that other deep philosophical shit has been lost to football..

'Work' I realised is just a collection of deadlines thrown at you one after the other.... the more you can take the more will be thrown at you... the last one standing after all this gets a promotion.

Now doesnt that sound like fun...
My life is idle no more..... :(

Monday, July 03, 2006

the level of desperation of men in the city of bhopal is apalling...walk out alone and you could be the victim of a fair amount of catcalling, jobless men on their flashy bikes "wanna riding" you, invitations to buy you a cup of coffee and offers to show you around the city...its a woman's nigtmare...!

some might argue that it is the paternal instinct so typical of Indian men to want to take care of what they percieve as the weaker sex. it could be the level of desperation the men in a conservative setup are driven to. i can't help but draw reasons from culturally biased arguments...somehting that my latest read "identity and violence" has forbidden me to do. I'd just like to tell my favorite economist that the generalization has been made on the basis of a substantially large sample size and there isn't any other reason besides the above that occur to me in order to explain such imposing behavior. its just an example of another city perpetuating the Indian male stereotype...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The world cup is playing out beaauuuuttiiiiffuuullllyyyy!

Ive dropped out of an internship to watch it, my compatriots think im crazy...BUT ITS FOOTBALL!!!
Feel bad for the africans, play so well but always loose out....

The french and the english as always have their own little competition going... which team can play more unimaginative football... the torpid french vs the insipid english.

Argentina and Spain have been living up to their reputations(to my delight I might add as spain's one of my favourite teams).

Anyone out there wanna bet?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Huge row being going on about reservations these days... my university's union supports it... but if seen on a pan-India scale i'd say they are a minority.

Anyway, people with a lot more to say and a lot more at stake have said a lot so I'll let this be for a while.

Thought for the day: Should rewards be based on effort or results?

Efficiency theorists would probably put results on a pedestal... nothing succeeds like success.
You tried hard, im proud of you.... but you failed so f**k off...

Is that fair?

Many an accomplishment have been achieved on the basis of dumb luck(Shruts hates that term!!)... you pinned the tail on the donkey so you get the prize...

A level playing field is a myth, if someone has an advantage he/she will use it.

Eventually, someone will draw the line, rewards will be based on an amalgamation of results and effort.

I just hope luck isint ruthlessly stamped out..... my education has been heavily dependant upon it...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Delhi's burning.... and it aint even june yet!!

I remember reading an interesting report a few months ago, it said that the world did not have the requisite resources so as to allow the developing countries to enjoy the consumption levels seen in developed countries.

Well then... whadda we do!?

If this holds out to be true we will all be fighting for a relatively smaller pie.
Thus, to equalise levels either we need to witness substantial efficiency increases or see a decrease in consumption levels in developed countries....

Sounds like a recipe for war...


Monday, May 15, 2006

Things ive learnt about italy in general and italians in paticular. I apoligise for my shockingly narrow vision regarding the environmnet around me:

-They love talking! Ask them a question and they'll give you a billion answers.

-Crazy drivers, all of them!! From the bus wallahs to the scooters... all of them drive like there's no tomorrow.... at the speeds theyre going there will be no tomorrow.

-People grow progressively shorter as you move south.

-Their pizzas are a class apart!! A crude description... like roomali rotis with tomatoes and cheese...
P.S. Pizzas are sold according to weight.


-Sunglasses are a national obsession, you can see people wearing them at night!!

- They make crappy cars are beeeeaaauuuutttiiffuuul bikes.

- Venice is something like a flooded version of chandni chowk without the requisite number of people we are used to seeing here... closely resembles an urban ghetto... However there's something about it... its beauty gets to you in a subtle sorta way... id have to say it was easily the best this country had to offer.

-The copious amounts of cheese they eat!!! Everything has loads of it!! Its a wonder they dont drop dead of heart attacks.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's been eons since I put up my last post, blame it on our educational system which forces me to study.
Luckily passing in jnu requires relatively rudimentary preparation.

Unlike me, many of my clasmmates dont seem to relish the prospect of three whole months of absolute rest... no exams, no term papers, no classes etc.
Just one of those things I presume, we always want what we cant get.

Although times like these are as close to perfection as current dilemma would be regarding internships.
Had tried my hand at it in december, the results werent too pleasant!
Inexplicable assignments, a professional status lower than a newt, demanding bosses... the works!

Aint too keen on it this summer....


Saturday, April 22, 2006

I hate studying.....


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spent a large part of today thinking about the next 'big' thing...

Everyone who's anyone has earnt his/her rightful place under the sun by doing or developing something new....

This definitely holds true for the economics.

In my opinion, the current setup of economics will provide us with rapidly decreasing gains with every ensuing generation.... by focusing almost solely on mathematics it is rapidly reaching a level of extreme abstraction.

Thus, a new basis or field of research would be needed to progress any further.

I do have an idea though...

An element of human psychology should be introduced into the curriculum... the mother of all assumptions..."The consumer is rational"... should be relaxed... atleast to a small degree.
The mantra could be appended to..." the consumer is fallible".

This development would divert some of our attention from the 'core' but I do believe some interesting real world applications would come out of this.

I wonder if I'm the first one to think of this.......


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

One of the many grouses I have with our current setup for economics is its inability to impress upon us the fact that the zero sum game doesnt always work in the real world.

Most people see a gain by one lead to a corresponding loss for another....

Mercantilism.. a popular school of thought in the 17th century with variants being the mainstay of current national policies worldwide based its entire foundation on this.

Most dont realise that a gain by one may generate gains for another through secondary linkages. These gains would be further dispersed through tertiary linkages and so on.

Infact, as pointed out by many, a global symmetry is seen regarding economic booms and contractions... growth rates across the board are directly proportional to each other.

Altruism is an investment after all....


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Its been a month since ive tasted chicken...... i feel deprived...

Chicks I can live without but the absence of chicken......... that just plain hurts!

I do feel sorry for the goats too... its their carcasses which hang on the butcher's window a lot more regularly.

I wonder if killing all the chickens is a morally acceptable solution to PETA, havent seen them try any stunts this time around.

My family... all of them vegetarian are oblivious of my misery..... i need a shoulder to cry upon... or atleast a little portion of succulent chicken tikka....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dikshant has been suffering from a host of illusions lately...the biggest one is that of prof. cpc being centrist! hah! what a joke!

also i find it strange that he was surprised at what papers have to say about capital account convertibility...did he expect anything different??? people who make sense are always up against a tide...

let capital account convertibility be for the time being...i've had an overdose of it already...

a lot of issues have been eatin right into my brain...infact i've been so consumed by them that i no longer notice the split ends in my unweildy hair, my burgeoning waistline and my very snappy attitude ( forgive me...those who have been victimized).

to begin with it has been made evident to me that i'm not such a sensational singer after all(sigh). after all those years of singin along with morrisette, ethridge, joplin, the non-blondes ( whats up is the song for the moment), seger, rem, oasis, hetfield (yes believe it or not), morrissey, morrisson; and hundreds of stage performances enacted in front of the glittering hopes have been broken into unrecognizable little pieces *holds back her tears*....
i have also realized that i will never find the time with a course like mine to learn bharatnatyam or any other form of serious dance...

22 is a scary age. all those dreams you thought u had time for suddenly become out of reach. and to top it all they are brutally replaced by the worrisome thoughts of responsibilities you are to be burdened with and the fact that you will soon have to earn your living...

but this is not the end. the abovementioned are just a few dreams that have been striked off a long list on which the remaining 'things to be done' sound slightly less ambitious. i hope that in future i find the time and the means to paint ( like van gogh may i add), pursue photography, do a little bit of theatre (was going to be striked off but then i thought i could make it a small way perhaps), master a sport, do a lot of trekking, rafting, climbing and camping...

maybe i shall break this inertia and find the time, maybe i shall continue letting go of my little dreams as years go by. i have just realized that the latter is more painful and that should provide the stimulus to stop daydreaming and start living...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Had a pretty interesting discussion in class today... capital account convertibility being the topic.

The professor, affectionately called chandu by many is someone I admire. A relatively centrist outlook, a polite disposition and an everready smile are his hallmark.

Although seemingly unrelated, my inference from this class discussion was regarding the power of information.
Public opinion, fickle as ever, is rarely moulded by what is actually good for them... most tend to behave like sheep, follow the herd.

The integrity of most newspapers is severely compromised.... Times Of India being the worst.
I have never seen such blatant forms of monetary induced promotions anywhere else...

By the insertion of a few biased articles in popular mouthpieces the whole nation can be brought about to support just about anything.

Capital account convertibility, a possible path right down Argentina's alley is being touted by most as the greatest thing since the '91 reforms....
Im not taking the lefties side on this one.... im just trying to say that we are being shown a very biased viewpoint.
I havent read anything showcasing the possible adverse effects of such a move.

The south Asian crisis of the late 90's and the perennial Latin Aerican crisises could be seen as an indirect fallout of the introduction of capital account convertibility.
Why hasnt anyone told us that?


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ive been wondering what to do with my life.....

Should I choose to follow the well treaded path, I can:
a)Get a job.
b)Pursue higher studies.

I enjoy the applied portion of economics, real world applications to theories. The arcane, labelled fascinating by many, rarely excites me.
If grades are an indicator of excellence, then the incompetence I display in the statistical portions is legendary.

Maybe I will try to get a job, that is, if anyone is willing to hire me. If I get bored I will come back into the fold of academics.

I admire shruti for that much... she has set herself a goal... and im pretty sure she is gonna get there. A Phd she wants, and god help any poor soul who gets in her way.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Guess who's back, back again, shruti's back, tell a friend...

Quoting an eminem song isint what I initially had in mind but it fits so beautifully..

The beauty has awoken from her slumber, whether a wayward prince or something to help fish out the poisoned apple... that only the mirror can tell.... tried the dwarfs but they werent too helpful.... think they are on strike these days.
Snow 'shruti' white's leftist outlook has influenced them all, they have their own union, their wages are indexed (tried asking them about the consumer price index applicable to a forest but they werent concerned with such trivialities), and theyve put up posters of Marx all over the woods.
The queen had been killed by George Bush cause the apple was considered a weapon of mass destruction, the nation was in a state of civil war....

Hopefully the prince, also the general secretary of the UN will bring about some sort of peace...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dikshant's been doing an excellent job at keeping this blog alive and kicking...which is the cause of much discouragement for this poor little blogger...this post is yet another desperate attempt at making my presence felt.

since the blog is meant to be argumentative in nature i shall try and comment on a few things that have been talked about...

On my favorite teacher:

i guess dikshant feels a little uncomfortable at her passing references to our 'colonized minds' (plassey! - a joke meant for the house), but it is my opinion that all she is doing is shaking us out of our slumber without sounding apologetic about her intense dislike for those who victimized us and are also the cause of the viscous circles we are stuck in...

she probably hits where it hurts most and pseudo coating her words is not exactly her style- its just the bitter medicine we need after living in denial for so long...

On morality:

i shall speak for myself- i feel that although societal norms may determine our notion of what is right or wrong to some extent, it is a subjective analysis which is internal to each person that plays a dominant role. the dynamics of such a process of finding inner approval is completely different from that of conforming to what is acceptable by society and each affects the other in the most profound ways. here i would like to disagree with sidharth when he says that an external stimulus is required to bring about a change in accepted social norms, i believe the stimulus is internal to the system which allows for its constant evolution ( this argument finds its inspiration in the theories of dialectics propounded by Hegel).

On attractiveness:

nothing can really define attractiveness. its a magnetic quality which manifests itself in physical features, attitudes, conduct, thoughts, beliefs etc. i would have certainly not derided dikshant if he felt that physical characteristics play an important role. only that the feature should not only be striking but should be able to inspire somehting depeer than itself. beauty that is external cannot be brushed aside. but there is a certain concreteness about attractiveness that stems from beauty of conduct, of nature , of thoughts and emotion; perhaps because these aspects donot fade away with time and are a truer representation of what a person really is. such attractiveness has the ability to take one into fathomless depths and is thus a more powerful magnet.

On Taxi 9211:

why on earth did u pick that movie??? i know your life is rather idle...but taxi 9211??!

On 'pragmatism' and 'anti-Bush protests':

We are students of a university and not diplomats for heavens' sake! the onus is on us to defend the truth in its essence and keep the fire alive! its not about being pragmatic but being sincere...

i also believe that the rise of the EU may play an important role in undermining the hegemonistic status the US has so far enjoyed and India could be a very strong partner...the nuclear alliance however has turned things around...

On your sense of humour:

Sarcastic or not...your sense of humour is lame! u poor delusional child...

On Dr. Strangelove...

havent seen the movie...catch 22 is a fantastic war satire though! wonder if u'd consider it belonging to the same leauge...

whew! (forgive me for this obscenely longgg one...just got a little carried away...)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First of all....HAPPY HOLI!

As many of friends were just beginning to stir from their bhaang induced sleep, I began to watch my newly acquired DVD, 'Dr. Strangelove:How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' .
Made in 1964, it is a satirical look at the Cold War.
The movie is about a General gone cuckoo who orders a nuclear strike on USSR because he fears a conspiracy by the communists to "pollute his precious bodily fluids".
The world ultimately goes up in nuclear armegeddon as the aftermath possibilities painted by a crazy nazi scientist sound very appealing to the generals...
Sounds crazy... well it is.
Its a black and white movie.... but its the shades of grey which really stand out....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My favourite form of humour has and always will be sarcasm.
My only grouse with it is that its subtle variations are often lost within the confines of the written word.
A verbal duel, with sarcasm at the forefront, often the scene at everyday marital fights is a scene to behold.

The hallmark of a true master is when the true meaning dawns upon everyone except the very person the taunt was aimed at.... that too without the usage of imperfectly distributed information.

A straight face, a tone which never betrays its owner...... stuff legends are made of.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My exams are over!
Now it's time to start my research paper!
Isint life a big barrel of monkeys!

Have been staring out of the window for a while, cant seem to come up with something insightful to plug in my paper.

Anyway, the latest avenue for protest in jnu has been the Bush visit. Endless protests, dharnas, eyecatching placards, emotional speeches, ive witnessed it all. Although on a one front I wholeheartedly agree with the point the protestors are trying to make im not sure whether hostility towards Bush is a very bright idea. In my scheme of things, pragmatism always come out tops.
All throughout history we see that the man with the bigger gun is always right, no one is ever found alive who tried to prove otherwise.
India had consistently followed a policy of non-alignment till the late 60's, much to the dismay of the US. Post 60's, India veered to Soviet bloc.... some say because of huge secret transfers into Congress party accounts.... some see it as a natural counterbalance to USA's support to Pakistan.

Fast foward to the 90's, the Soviet Union has collapsed, the world has now become unipolar.

USA now has the bigger gun,
Dear Saddam is on the run,
Oil barons are having all the fun,
What about us..!?

Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm back!
Had an exam today... didnt go too badly... but not too well either.
All in all I'll pass.....barely.
Wouldve helped to have subrato's(A super-brilliant chap in our class) intellect though.

Went to see a movie after that, Taxi no.9211, a bollywood production 'inspired' by Changing Lanes. It was based on the premise that some among many might go to great lengths to nurse their ego.... that too a fragile one.
Both the primary characters raise hell for each other even though a simple compromise, even a word of apology wouldve sorted things out between them.
Sid raised an interesting point in our post movie discussion, whenever a person backs out of a confrontation, especially a needless one, we deride him.... we never acknowledge the fact that the person actually did quite a sensible thing.
In some situations, we dont even mind hurting our own interests if we can exact our revenge.

Do listen to D12's 'fight music'.... it perfectly encapsulates my point.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Karl Marx would have been proud of me today... I 'struggled' through every 'class'. Was weighed down by a combination of sheer boredom and lack of sleep.... late night champions league games do take their toll.

Topic for today:
What would deem a person as attractive? Dearest shruti, quite an attractive lady herself would deride me if I stated physical parameters.... so lets ignore the obvious and move to the more subtle points.
Would you be attracted to someone who is a mirror image of yourself or would it be a person you have nothing in common with?
Maybe the environment and state of mind in which you happen to meet that person plays an important role.... being drunk can be a major factor.....but since that only lasts for a while so id think something more tangible would be the basis for a relatively longer term attraction.
Power is supposed to be a magnet...the same could probably be said for intelligence.
Could be an undiscovered code written in our genes.
I would probably put it down to a confluence of the factors ive stated above along with millions of others which havent even occured to me.

Junk food for thought.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Its been a while since ive updated our blog... dearest shruti refuses to utilize her enormous talent anymore... I suspect some kind of writers block....

Been wondering what defines right or wrong. All of morality is based on the principles which define these. Since our notion of right and wrong is based on the current societal norms, by being right we are just conforming to those.
Is that fair?
Do we have the right to occupy a moral high ground just because we agree with the majority?
This leads me to the conclusion that no one is in the truest sense ever 'right'.
All we can lay claim to is the fact that we followed the well trodden path.
Have we unknowingly become a bunch of sycophants........


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Attended a class of shruti's favourite teacher yesterday... an intellectual giant who takes the term 'shock and awe' to a new high.
Although I agree with shruti on the fact that she is an excellent teacher who knows her subject inside out, I disagree with her methodology.
In an effort to 'free' our minds and make us see what really happened in colonial India she seeks to tear down any theory even vaguely supportive of British rule.
Some of the reasons she gives border on the ridiculous...
Cant see she, by trying to adopt a blanket approach she is ruining her own credibility.
To win a true convert she needs to show us the light not push us to it...


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A friend asked me a very pertinent question yesterday....... why have we created this blog?
Is it a mouthpiece to propagate an agenda?
Is it a diary?
Has god gifted us with a huge cache of spare time?

Thought about it...

Maybe its our little way of letting the world know what we think about.
Maybe its an attempt to leave something behind to be remembered by.
Maybe shruti and me just like to fight and this is as good a platform as any.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

congratulations on your hostel. an achievement indeed, especially considering the fact that the ones in line were those who have to travel thrice the distance you do in order to attend university.

isnt it strange, we wish people on imporatnt occassions, are polite to them only when they have a purpose to serve. a transaction. u couldn't have put it in a more ludicrous manner.

inherrent also is the assumption that simple labour or an ordinary existence lacks importance and does not command any respect. so by being polite and respectful u obliged the poor guy...left him with no choice but to ensure that your work gets done.

perhaps Dikshant has just toned down what was actually fawning, obsequious beahvior...the subtler bribes we fail to see...


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Praise the lord ive been alloted a hostel!
I slipped past the web of 'red' tape with little difficulty....... the great dean of students 'welfare' office, with many alleged victims credited to its apathy was helpful and actually assisted me in my endavour!

How did I do it?
Simple... I wished the dean clerk on every concievable festival, credited him with an intellect a paper pusher isint likely to possess, praised him and was very very very polite.
Polishing the apple isint my favourite pastime, but it works.
Maybe we could see it as a transaction, I gave him the respect and importance he craves for in his ever so ordinary existence while he processed my application rather quickly in return.
And for this I wish him godspeed.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Although the virtues of democracy are well documented and constantly fed to us by the great propaganda machine of our government the idea of a benevolent and omnipotent dictator has been the fodder for countless discussions, especially among our armchair intellegentsia.

I acknowledge the huge risk of reposing all our faith in one man and agree to the fact that absolute power corrupts.... but the idea of an irresistible guiding force leading our country to development always catches my fancy.

I know that the risks outweigh the benifits and we have countless examples to drive home the point..... but then why this fascination?
Is this one of those eccentricities we can never explain but universally agree to or is there some deep lying reason?
Has thousands of years of monarchy embedded this in our genes?
Or....... is it the fact that our belief in the supreme being finds an unlikely outlet? Does the dictator give us a persona which we subconciously identify with god?
Love to hear what others think about this..........


Sunday, January 29, 2006

the very idea of capitalism, in all its 'purity', is one which is based on exploitative realtions. it distinguishes between 'classes' of people...those who have rights of ownership to property, and those who are bereft of any such claim on property and have to offer services of labor in order to earn their livelihood...

if a system, in its very conception is based on unequal, almost parasitic relations, how can any form its implementation do away with elements that constitute the very essence of its existence? what we see today is no "bastard child' of capitalism, but capitalism in its quintessentially purest form...likely to develop into a monster that will consume all that is left of those already languishing in its trail....


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Pure..... An often misused term due to it's positive connontations and the power of associative recall...

Most ideas in their purest and originally envisaged form are quite noble... however its some mutant form of theirs which finally comes to being.
The same thing would apply to the currently prevalent form of capitalism which is a cause of great heartburn for my fellow clueless comrade.
Originally, production relations in capitalism put workers on a equal footing. It could be seen as a mutually symbiotic relationship where the worker got a fixed wage and wasnt affected by the inherent instability of profits. The classic risk return tradeoff. Financial intermediataries could allow anyone with an innovative idea to raise capital and start his own venture.
However, things went horribly wrong somewhere along the way and we are currently saddled with the bastard child of capitalism and sadism.

However, this cant be seen as an argument for socialism as this tendency to mutate might inflict it as well.
Should we try to fix capitalism or usher in a new form of economic organisation?

we are but small pieces of colored glass....each giving a tint of its own to the light that passes through us...and its together that we are beautiful...a kaliedoscope.

and the day we forget that we have a certain color, a certain quality distinct from those around us, we are reduced to lifeless shards...waiting to be picked up, glued to some other enitity so we may borrow from of its significance....


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Man is known to be a social animal... some are more 'social' than others but complete isolation is rarely seen.

We conform to societal norms and try to blend in.. all for the sake of being 'accepted' by our peers. This straitjacketing is something which we are made to accustom to from a very early age, our guardians being the primary conduit.
However, as we grow older we try to differentiate ourselves from the crowd, try to find our own place under the sun.Inspite of this we take care never to move beyond the limits set by society.
Thus, all our attempts at the abovementioned endavour are restricted to say the very least.

I wonder why.... Is homogenity encouraged because we are terrified of anything which doesnt conform to our way of life? Instead of assimilating a whole new set of ideas why do we try to stamp them out and replace them with our own?

What stops us from being truly at peace with ourself and others?

Hmm..seems like the ghost of Ayn Rand has possesed you...

I'm not talking about a society that gets rid of inequalities. I'm talking of one that does away with EXPLOITATIVE relations. Like I said, an incentive based system is necessary for inducing people to work. But the system should be such that every one gets equal OPPORTUNITIES. I'm not talking about equity in terms of money or status, but equal access to opportunities (i've come accross the most horrific arguments such as those who are poor, are poor because they deserve to be so...they just haven't worked hard enough. Wonder what a child who is born into a poor family has done to deserve a life of satrvation. And i wonder how many opportunities and incentives your capitalist system provides to help him find work so that he may escape his fate).

There are a lot of things that are not evident. I hope Prof. Utsa Patnaik's lectures will help us, so we may begin to "see".....


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One of the more noble pursuits of modern society has been to create a society without inequalities. Infact the primary thrust of socialism was due to the gross inequalities perpetrated by capitalism.
In an utopian socialist society there would be no inequalities.
Although I agree that any inequality based on creed, sex, race and all the other usual suspects is morally unacceptable, creating a society with no differentials will present its own set of problems.

By having an economic differential within a populace, we give induviduals something to strive for, some sort of incentive to work hard and think differently, out of the box so to speak. In most socialist models this incentive is lost. If we encourage such an incentive within a socialist framework, over a period of time an economic differential will appear. Thus, we are back to where we started.

Our conundrum might be resolved by taxing away the noveau rich but this, however, would then be seen as a punishment for working hard therby pushing society towards mediocrity.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

thats my point dearest...

we need to give socialism another chance...this time with an incentive based system..

capitalism has been around for much too has only resulted in increasing number of farmers committing suicides, underpaid workers etc etc etc...its not difficult to see that capitalism is based on highly exploitative production relations and no varaint of it will ever do away with them...because if it does..then the system will cease to exist...

like i said dikshant...THINK about it...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ah! The cute little argumentative Indian of our class.. see her in all her glory!

I have never said that the leftist way is incorrect... infact I believe that they seem to have gotten it right, atleast on the ideological front.

The problem isint with their theories but the inherent fallacy in every system.... MAN!

The whole socialist concept is based on the premise that people will be willing to sacrifice their own pleasure for the good of others. It seems to subscribe to the belief that the altruistic side of man will always shine through.
By basing itself on something which in my personal opinion is not one of the core instincts of man, I believe it destined to fail.

I am not saying that man is this 'evil' and selfish being, what I would like to point out is that man will only help others after his own needs are satisfied to a certain degree.

Thus, a variant of socialism will eventually take precedence but we will need capitalism to bring man up to the level where materialistic needs are satisfied and non-tangibles such as pride and altruism seem to hold centrestage.

The percieved failure of socialism in India can be attributed to the attempt to bypass capitalism by our leaders, a noble attempt but doomed from the very beginning...

In response to Dikshant's views about the 'left' of economics (which, he thinks is being forced down his throat):

1. the economics we have been taught so far is certainly not 'leftist'. In macroeconomics usually the Keynesian prescription was emphasized, thus building a case for intervenion and not anti-capitalism. In the theory of international trade the exploitative nature of trade treaties and unfair practices in various trade regimes was brought to the forefront( i fail to see how ideological biases could creep into mathematical methods and statistics). Whatever has been taught so far has been substantiated with strong arguments and evidence and atleast i have found that most arguments are indeed convincing.

2. when any system becomes institutionalized and perpetuates itself for long periods of time, those who benefit from such systems never really question its institution. infact, over time the very basis of production relations become obscured from everyone's view. it is for us to unearth these truths and find out where exactly what went wrong.

3. our policies so far have failed to provide development for the masses and the "leftist talk" might just get us somewhere in terms of including the masses on the growth trajectory and in helping us realize that "growth without employment" is infact the most ridiculous way of going about it.

4. don't worry about the job jerboa...there is enough demand for economists out there. coupled with this is the fact that there aren't as many institutes providing good post graduate courses (remember the tough time we had trying to make it here). so eventually leftist or not you will get a decent job with a package that will more than just fulfil your basic needs. but if a fat pay cheque and heavy bonuses was the sole reason you joined this university, then you have indeed come to the wrong place. i guess this is the place for peole who want to bring about a change and well, have more simple needs( in terms of materialistic gains).

about the failure of the "great experiment"...don't u think its a little unfair that we draw conclusions about the success of a system on the basis of a few examples when we compare it with another that has been around for a few hundred years?...just think about it...

Friday, January 20, 2006

A little bit of money goes a long way in JNU.....

Our fees per semester is about Rs200...
Our daily hostel fees is about Rs10( Including food).
U cant get anything above Rs15 in any canteen.

People can get used to these kind of prices pretty quickly.

Thus jnuites(god bless their souls) have a pretty warped view of life outside the campus, especially when considering monetary transactions.

Although most would frown at such blatant subsidisation, by pricing everything at such ridiculously low levels, every commodity available on campus is within reach of every student.

This has resulted in the creation of an egalitarian society on campus.
Wonder if JNU could be seen as a microcosm for the whole world...
Well..i know Dikshant thinks that i'm a freak..but i shall not hesitate in saying that i'm thoroughly enjoying the lectures these days! Especially 'problems of the Indian economy' and 'theories of growth and accumulation'! its all bout strategies kiddo...i thought u'd love em!

Its strange how economics is being reduced to econometrics and is becoming a highly isolated discipline in most universities. I'm glad we do a lot more than applying intimidating forlmulae to various data sets.

But yes, i do wonder at times why we are being taken back into the paleolithic and neolithic ages...but then..questioning the significance of everything isn't always the smartest thing to as we are being told about the improvements in stone implements and the developments in agricultural production, i turn my head around to catch a glimpse of dear jerboa...such a striking resemblance to Neanderthal man...i'm glad...i dont have to use my imagination!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Have been trying to think of a better way to put it...havent been too successful though..... IM BORED!!

Classes have started.... new subjects... new teachers... but just cant get myself to study.

Shruti would doubt my sincerity and probably accuse me of being lazy (Something im quite accustomed to now) but I claim innocence.

The problem isint with me but with our subjects. 3 out of 4 papers are predominantly theoretical, arcane theories to say the least and the last one is microeconomics(Praise the lord for small favours!)

Hate being all whiny but why o why o why are we subjected to three papers with extremely doubtful real-world applications!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Life is full of choices.........

Studying at jnu we've been exposed to a lot of literature which brings into focus the evil underbelly of 'the corporate'....... a profit grabbing, selfish entity with only it's stakeholders interest in mind.
Although I have always believed in the capitalist way of life all this has made me wonder whether Ive been supporting the wrong camp.
Coupled with the above is the fact that I do have to earn my own bread in life and all this leftist talk isint going to get me anywhere....
Maybe the lefties do have a claim to a moral high ground but the fact is that their policies rarely work..... the great experiment has undoubtedly failed.
At times like this I wonder.... what should I do....

Friday, January 13, 2006

second day of the second sem...lecturers pacing up and down ...nail bititng, head scratching, consoling yourself (take a look around, everyone's adrift...) , writing inane poems with dear jerboa (such a sport!)...

my dear life is being taken apart again..."meaning, meaning, where's the meaning?"..the head teases my complacent existence..

answers are not found in classrooms stupid!! "in chatty conversations then??"

who needs answers? i'm just like everyone else..trying to have good time! i could do a very good job at it you know! "now now love.."

silence..shall delay the turmoil for later..."meet you when you unwind in your little corner then...keep up the act!"

sigh...i should be proud...i'm doing a course that makes me think...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This is the blog of two students pursuing a masters in economics from jnu, India. Although good friends we rarely agree on anything.
The primary purpose of this blog would be to provide an insight to life in our university, one of india's few left bastions...
Two different opinions to essentially similar issues.