Archive Page 3

10
Apr
10

Suffocated (Random Posts IV)

– Governments. They become an embodiment of the very Powers they once tried to overthrow. Their words are empty, their promises weak. In the desert, they lead you to the water, then make you fetch it to quench their thirst, while watching you slowly wither away in the scorching heat.

– Sometimes, the easiest way to lose something is to want it too badly.

– The summer heat is getting to my head. Promises of rain with the humidity, yet none, not even a drizzle.

– Is being religious the same as being spiritual? Cos’ I don’t know the difference anymore. How can the Church justify eagerly accepting the Black Money in their overflowing coffers from corrupt officials everyone knows so well, yet are too scared to speak out against lest they be stigmatized! How does it justify supporting Missionaries with the same money used to deprive the poor of their daily bread? Does not that make us as un-Godly as the mass we are trying to convert? What gives us the right to be this self-righteous?

– If sex is so taboo, why are there so many unwed mothers, teen pregnancies and Tv.Pathlawis in Mizoram? Why is the cost of a “bastard” (NOI) still 30rs, when cellphones don’t come cheaper than 1000rs? Are we still clinging to the medieval perception that women are still below men? Sure, you have examples of women failing their duties as wives, but don’t you have more examples of men failing to be the MAN they are supposed to be? Yet your woman would stand behind you no matter what! Would you do the same for her?

– Music Videos. Why does every Tommy, Dicky and Harrietta think they sing better on video than on LIVE! It’s sad. Advice: If you don’t sound nice LIVE, you don’t sound good at all. Trust me,  cos’ I didn’t make a Music Video, did I? And if you think showing some skin on video is gonna help, well, you’re so goddamn wrong. I mean, It’s Mizoram for Chrissake, the more you show, the less you’re seen. Sure, some desperate souls may be callin’ the number over and over after dark, but there’s more of day than night back home! Get over it, esp. that chick with the nose-ring, who poses a lot in her video, in mini’s, don’t remember the song, but who does, right!!

– And unless you’re comfortable with your relation with the Almighty, don’t dare sing Gospel songs. My generation has seen an example in Amy Grant, who went on to sing love songs after being famous for singing Gospel.

Blackestred: How did that work for you, Amy?

Amy: Not so great, no self-respecting Christian would buy my album.

Blaclkestred: How does that affect your career as a musician?

Amy: Well, majority of my audiences were Christians.. blahblahblah!

Blackestred: Well, Amy, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We love our heroes, but we love more to see them fall!

(End of imaginary interview with Amy!)

– Lastly, Sis is getting married on 30th April. Going home for the same. I’ve been on a diet for the past few weeks and I’d give anything for deep fried alu, damn! I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist (Didn’t think there’d be that much to lose anyway!)  Bought me a suit which fitted fine on the top, but had to increase the waist on the bottom. NOT embarrassing at the store! Hopefully next is my turn.. hehehe… unless li’l sis elopes with some Emo guy, which, hopefully, is a remote possibility!

– Cheers to all my readers!

PS:

“Call me superstitious but…” I just saw this again today, and it reminded me how far I’ve come. Thanks again to all who take this detour on their quest for Virtual Hilarity and Dis-enlightenment!



Advertisements
23
Mar
10

Environmentally Unfriendly

Lately I’ve been a little concerned about the environment, well, little may be an exagerration since I haven’t made any resolutions or taken any steps towards making my contibution, but I do use CFL’s. 😛 I know that it all boils down to each individual to try and make a change, but how do we know how much difference we do make? The impact would be as little as dropping a grain of sugar in the ocean trying to make it sweet.
There was a movie documenting underwater life called “The Blue Planet”. It showed whole ecosystems underwater living off the warmth and minerals and chemicals spewed out by underwater geysers. We know more about outerspace than we do our oceans and the life under them. I was surprised to know that there was an underwater beach! Well, technically it wasn’t a beach per se, sure, there’s sand and water, but you’d need the sun for a beach. At the ocean floor, there was a lake-type formation, and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, probably next to a picture of the milky way.
Sometimes, its discouraging to see that no matter how much effort you (try to) make to reduce your carbon footprint, there are so many others who just do not give a flying rat’s ass. I don’t think its ignorance anymore, its just plain irresponsibility. Our gift of free will is easily misused.
I’ve searched for dustbins so many times in vain, while out in the city streets holding stuff I need to dispose. I think the Govt. can get people to co-operate better if they install trashcans in every corner of each city, instead of hoarding boards urging people to “THINK” about their environment. I don’t think any self-respecting person would throw crap wherever it fits if they see a garbage bin nearby, I know I wouldn’t.
Take for instance, the Paan. Indians are known for eating Paan, but then again, betelnut is not even exclusive to India. Its the 2nd largest cash-crop in Taiwan! After Rice! (http://blog.asiahotels.com/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-betel-nut-culture/) I’ve once watched a piece on the Travel and Living channel, and they eat the same way we do. But you don’t see lime smears on their city walls and poles, layered thick enough it makes you wonder whether people actually put it on or take if off from such surfaces.
It sure makes a great excuse, too. The story where the govt. installed images of Hindu dieties to discourage people from spitting on walls, only to find the same people making an effort to get the job done on the areas where its blank, is well known. It gives a whole new meaning to the term “Painting the town red!” 😛
And that’s just the garbage part. There’s so many other things that makes the fight for the planet so futile. In “The Eleventh Hour”, there was an Environmentalist (Don’t remember his name) who said that the Industrial Revolution was based on the belief that our planet has endless resources to fuel our growing need for commodities, produced by carbon emitting, resource guzzling machines we have created.
But now we know better, and that is why we need to rethink the way we design things from scratch. The beautiful part is that that is a revolution in itself. Imagine a world where we live in Harmony with nature, where each decision is made with the effect on nature added to the equation. Sure, it may not be possible to create something that has simply no negative consequences to the environment, but the try is worth every bit.
Although we have advanced in leaps and bounds in the fields of Science and Technology, would we be willing to take a step backward, even one step, for the environment? Or would we be willing to put the advancement on hold and focus on making it better and more efficient? In “Jarhead”, there was a scene where the Marines marched through the burning Oil-Fields of Iraq, (Supposedly set afire by Saddam) and someone said that it was the earth bleeding. I guess it was.
The population of our Earth is increasing rapidly, and people are living longer each day (No offense meant, tho’), water is getting scarce, food is not getting any easier to obtain, and the cost of living is sky-rocketing. Pretty soon, what is inevitable only in Apocalyptic movies may soon become reality. I guess the only saving grace may be that the newer generations in more developed countries are becoming aware of this madness, and are trying to make a change, while others in the third-world are glad just to be alive.
13
Mar
10

Chains

I am bounded in chains, dying to break free, yet sacred if I might.

These chains are what defines who I am and where I am going.

Some chains are bounded to my body, restricting movement in the physical dimension.

Others are bounded to my heart, tearing down my guilt each time I make a wrong move.

Still yet, others are bounded with those around me, we move as one, or we don’t move at all.

These chains don’t break easy, and cause hurt when they are broken.

Some hurt more, and some hurt less, some heal over time, and some never does.

Some makes you wish you’d want to die, while some are pleasant in a painful way. (or painful in a pleasant way!)

The chains that bind my heart is weak, but hurts much more when I tend to falter ,

Which makes it that much harder to break, even if the want is grave.

I hate these chains, yet I am nothing without them, an uncivilized being,

I yearn for freedom, but the chains would question me “What, indeed, is freedom?

Isn’t Free Choice the ultimate freedom? Don’t you have Free Speech to voice your heart?”

“Yet Free Action is in the hands of the Powerful!” I retorted, “Shouldn’t that be the Ultimate Freedom?”

And I could feel the pain pulsating, at every interval the blood rushes through my veins.

I braved the pain, I ripped the chains off my body, screaming silently in excruciating agony,

I tore off the ones that cradled my heart, a tattered bloody organ was what’s left,

Carefully removing the last few chains that had confined me to my world, lest I cause others discomfort,

I finally broke free from the chains, but now shunned away, for I was unlike any other,

Is this the price of freedom? Pain before and solitude after? I looked back in history… and wondered..

25
Feb
10

Gangs of the world

Life is about gangs. From all the ages of history there have been gangs. Sure, “gang” may be a crude slang for it, but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, that’s just exactly what they are. Imagine this, Set Theory. We are all a part of the biggest set called Earth, of which the continents are the sub-sets. Then comes countries, regions and religion. Sometimes, the graph is a little complicated, but the bottomline is that we are all sub-sets of bigger sets that envelope us.
It started out violently in the past, gangs fight each other for various reasons, but mostly about territory, the lands and natural resources that come with it, the perks if you may.
There was a lot of plotting and planning, and of course recruitments. Hitler may well be one of the most influential and able gang-leaders of the Modern World, although his visions were not enthusiastically shared by the rest of the world. He was an excellent recruiter, a convincing orator and was able to bring the whole of Aryan-Germany together, in the supposed “fight” for “survival” against a “common enemy”. I don’t think any present-day politician could’ve united their own people so strongly, even for a more nobler cause.
The world wars were Global Gang fights. Anyone affiliated to a certain gang was expected to fight for his country, but it wasn’t the country that was under attack, the gangs made it seem like so. It was simply an ego-quarrel between the leaders, which brought the death of thousands, if not millions, innocent people brainwashed into thinking that they were the victims, having to fight for their lives.
But as life went on and people became more civilized, it became odd to be mean all the time. Feelings were suppressed, anger was contained, but it is just temporary, kinda like the cold-war, which was the one time when all “Gangstas” collectively agreed that any more violence with the new, sophisticated and nucleo-destructive weaponry may end us all. So, they retired to their cozy offices to discreetly plot and came up with something almost as destructive and more sinister, espionage!
Spies everywhere, spies spying on countries, other spies and their own spies. These are the gangs of spies, a subset of the Defense dept. of each country, although the set of countries do not need to exclusively belong to the set of continents, remember WWII when Japan joined forces with  Germany! No offense meant there tho’, the Japanese are the most honorable people I know.  Respect!
But gangs get easily dissolved when they don’t have a meaning, an aim, a common goal, and sometimes, its the common goal that makes the gang. That’s the beauty of gangs, and the reason why some of them are unstoppable, because their need is greater than the risk involved.
Man needs a society no matter how much he hates and cribs about the one he belongs to. He knows he can’t leave it to start his own in a new place, cos’ every other place is already taken. Yet one day, a new gang will rise from the ashes of others. A gang different from the rest, cos’ they will hate them all, and WILL be hated by all, because their aim is to change, not others, not people, but the world.
30
Jan
10

We are..

We are but..

Just a face in the crowd,
A grain of sand in the desert,
A drop of rain in the Amazon,
A note in a Symphony.

One ode in an epic,
One delimiter in an OS source code,
One transistor in a processor,
One blog in the blogosphere

..yet we are.

09
Jan
10

Surfing with the phishes

Social Engineering

Defined as “the clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust”, especially when the “thing” in question is so friggin’ tempting and all it takes is one click of a mouse button. Wiki describes it a bit more elaborately as “the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.” Either way, it’s still one of the biggest threats people face while being online.

Long before internet came to Mizoram, there were instances of “primitive” social engineering in the form of snail mail. I remember my late Gramps following up on Reader’s Digests’ assurance of winning some Lakhs if he regularly renews his subscription. It was not such a bad deal, the magazine made a good read, and he didn’t really mind renewing, but unknowingly he was prey to the Magazine’s cleverly concocted scheme to keep their customers’ loyalty. Sure, he didn’t win the huge pile of cash, but I don’t think anybody did, and the disappointment of not winning was forgotten with time. The good ‘ol days… *sigh!

Now the landscape has changed, with most of the educated self-respecting population being net-savvy, access to the internet is fast and easily available, be it from the local cybercafes, home connections, GPRS, piggy-backing on random WLANs, etc. But it also brings evil-doers closer to home, and net users can no longer be ignorant about the looming threats anymore. It is, as has always been, the survival of the fittest.

Phishing

The time I created my first email account, it was exciting to receive emails, didn’t really mattered who’d sent it or where it came from. Each email was read carefully from top to bottom, even if it didn’t mean anything. More than 10 years on and I’m still using the same email address. I get more spams than readable emails, its like looking for primes in a sea of odd numbers, more so because of my earlier rampant browsing habits (Mostly involves clicking anything that moves and providing information to any form that asks for it!). I guess my old ways are finally catching up with me!

Phishers use cleverly designed emails to lure users into their traps. The first thing they need to establish is your Trust, which is usually done by displaying a valid company logo, your name in the Subject, sending it from a valid First and Last name, etc. Here are 2 such examples, one taken from the internet and the latter from my inbox:

Another way to lure unsuspecting victims is by exploiting something which we all know too well. Money and Porn. The two things that makes us human deep down, no matter how much we may hide behind our carefully crafted facade. We may have been tamed by civilization, but we are still animals, social or not. Enough non-tech for now! The following examples are a clear indication that there are no boundaries, morals or shameful, no stone left unturned by malicious-users to get what they want:

So the next time you open your email, even from a well known friend requesting you to view his/her video, pic, etc or someone offers you money online, check and double-check the link you are about to click. When viruses/spywares/trojans etc. get on the computer, users usually deny ever having attached an infected pen drive, clicking on pop-ups, browsing Porn, etc, but that is history. What kind of a Virus-coder would I be if my creations are easily detected. The moment you plug-in your USB drive, or even when you click on you C:/D: etc, there is an Autorun file which always gets executed in the background, unless you Disable Autorun ! And that is just one of the zillion ways you get infected.

Mum always said that life is all about the choices we make, and that is what makes us who we are. We have the power of Freewill, but it is of no use without knowledge. But now we can have all the information we need, so whenever you are in doubt, don’t bing it, Google!

List of pictures used without permission:

19
Dec
09

Confused and lost (Random Posts III)

– Lately I’ve been confused.. thats about it.

– I like Homer, how he hates his job, his boss, how he wants to be a better person, become more successful, try his hand at other fields which always backfires. Little does he know that he always has Marge to back him up, even when he’s stuck in the deepest and darkest of pits. I guess it teaches us that even though we may not always have the best of everything, things can always be worse off. 😛 As long as you have someone who love you,  you are better off than a lot of people.

– My dreams are my reality, my nightmares, my perception.

– If everyone lives a noose around their necks, would you pull yours or others’ first?

– I wonder if life was as colorless back then as it was in movies and photographs? cos’ I can’t remember how it was, can’t picture what color they would be when I look at them now.

– Can’t wait to get back home for holidays, to the quietness of the hills, to the peaceful life, slow and serene. Sometimes the city noise drowns my thoughts, clouds my vision and shows me only what I want to see, what I want to hear, what I want to feel. It makes me numb to the rest of the world and only see where I want to go. I need a break from the madness that has become me.

– Maybe the reason sports is so attractive is because theres only winners and losers, no consolation prizes, no sympathy for the fallen, only glory for the victor.

– If I’d said the things I’d left unsaid, and did the things I’d left undone….

– Everyone wears tattoos, not necessarily on their skin. A badge, an insignia, an affiliation to a group they feel safe behind, a club, a gang.. an endless list of insecurities.

– I’ve heard that the Earth has all the time in the world, but we humans don’t. We may destroy each other, cause WWIII and global warming, deplete the natural resources, hasten 2012 and make scarce everything left alive. But life is IN the planet, and it will generate another specie, whether they be humans or otherwise, who will start anew the whole process all over again. And cockroaches? they’d probably still survive!

– If math is the universal language, music would be the universal truth!

– Sometimes love requires more patience than passion, more misunderstandings than agreements, more pains than pleasures, more tears than laughters, but in the end, love is the only thing that matters.

– I thought I’d make a happy “last one before going home” post, but something I saw this morning totally changed my mood. I stepped out to take a breath of the fresh, chilly december morning air when I saw this little girl carrying a plastic bag where neighbours had poured their left-over dal from the night before, following her mother door-to-door, collecting rice and chapatis, collecting their meal for the day. When I saw how happily the girl tagged along her mother, my heart held back a tear. I haven’t seen anything so heart-wrenching in a long time, and it made me feel human again. I’ve so many things to add to my list of “Sights that make me wanna tear my heart out”, but this would be one of the top in the list.

– I realized how selfish I’ve become, thinking about what I’d do when I get back home, hoping to make the most of my 2 week holiday. I had planned not to let anything in my way  to spending a fun-filled vacation, a “long deserved break”, or so I’d convinced myself. Lately my life has always been about me, and that is all the pronoun I remember. I’ve been on my own for so long that I’ve forgotten how to trust anyone else but myself. I live by the words “If you wanna get something done, do it yourself”. Sometimes it’s easier that way, cos’ if something goes wrong, I’ve only myself to blame, and I can live with that.

-In the big city, we get lost in our own world, our worries and troubles, our joys and happiness, forgetting the pain and suffering that surrounds us. We are just so busy with our lives, trying to achieve so much, but forgetting how to enjoy the simple moments that life provides. We do everything for a reason, a reason that requires more doing, which is done for a reason, a vicious circle indeed, but sometimes we need to do other things for no reason at all, to break free, to feel alive again.

-With all the technology in the world and we still can’t get rid of poverty. The rich-poor divide widens more and more each day, and no one has the time to care, to spare a brief moment to stop and stare. We let the flow of life take us where it does, and we are happy cos’ we become a part of something, well, that is just what we become.. a “part” of something. We don’t need to travel the world to see this divide, it’s right outside everyone’s doorstep, its real too, yet we chose to ignore it.

-We choose our leaders and fear their rule, isn’t democracy supposed to be the other way round? On their high horse they embrace all things good with one hand, while they shake the hand of evil with the other. If these are the leaders we so chose, I fear for the people who chose them….. lets not get into politics now..

-Sometimes I feel suffocate figuring out answers to questions like.. are we making the best of ourselves? Are we making any difference to make the world a better place? Does “Random acts of kindness” really work? How do I help the helpless, give food to the needy, cos’ praying for them hasn’t changed much really? Is it right to worry about my future when there are millions who have none? If Christmas is the season to give, why do we get so much more? Am I a good person if I look the other way when beggars approach? Is it so hard to be religious and be a good citizen at the same time?

– Having said all that, I know that this year end will roll away once again, and I will spend my holidays like every other year, caring but not making any effort to bring happiness to others, but rather scavenging it for my own self, looking on a new year filled with hope at first, but being bogged down so much by things to do and things that need to be done, that it would soon be over again too early. The whole year will be spent, once again, pursuing happiness, but at the end of the year, realizing that I had brought myself no more, if not none, closer to my goal, and yet life will go on..

– Happy holidays to the handful who frequent this space, sorry if I’d bummed you out by the end. Peace!