on schooling

Initially I thought this would be a long entry, but the more I think about it the less I have to say. Maybe because I’ve already said it, or maybe this will be a long entry. These are only the first few sentences. Also, these are again random thoughts in disarray.

What is it about school that bothers me? Do I need to be bothered about it? I think if I wasn’t bothered, I’d be insane. Or maybe I’m insane because I’m bothered.

In our “Leadership and Thinking Skills” course, I enjoyed the content but I think that there was a gap or a disconnect in the way it was being taught by the professors and how it was being absorbed by the students. I find that the students don’t speak up when they disagree with something. They are afraid of something. Maybe they’re afraid of looking foolish in front of the rest of the class? Afraid of disagreeing with the professors? Afraid of being wrong? I’m not sure what it is exactly, but the schooling environment does very little to discourage this fear. This is how you produce “yes men” or “yes women”. People who will walk out into the work force and say “yes boss” because it makes them look good and leads to that promotion, instead of considering the proper consequences of saying “yes boss”. I don’t want to be a “yes man” unless I agree.

But this isn’t a problem that is related to this specific course, it’s a larger issue about the state of education. I don’t pretend to know any solutions, I can just state what I find problematic.

I would like to think that it’s not just me who sees certain absurdities. I know it’s not. It’s foolish and self-righteous/holier-then-thou to assume that we are unique in what we go through. We are not unique.

There was this one point in class where I called out a professor on this concept of using metaphors and how well they apply in certain situations. Whether I was right or wrong is irrelevant, the point is that I brought it up, and in the end the professor gave us a cop out answer. Which is a shame. But during the break, a bunch of students came up to me and told me they were thinking the exact same thing and were glad that I spoke up. I’d like it if they spoke up as well.

If people speak up more, it allows the professors to realize that students don’t understand what they’re saying. It allows the professors to rethink what they’re saying, and perhaps present it in a different manner, or reiterate and correct what the students are thinking. This way we don’t have education based on assumptions. Students don’t have to cry and complain only after they get their marks back (because, you know, that matters so much). If you disagree with something conceptually, please bloody hell say it! I don’t say things because I like hearing the sound of my fucking voice, I actually give a damn and a half.

It’s easy not to say things and I understand. There’s a flow and we’re all part of it. It’s uncomfortable to go against the grain. I get it. You put your head down, slug through your courses, get your degree and you’re out. It’s done. You needn’t be bothered.

I choose to be bothered while I’m in the system. I don’t want to play this grading game. I’m not part of any competition. I’m not aiming for any prizes. There is no grand design and there is no cheering crowd at the finish line. There should be more to school than resume padding.

Maybe I’m mistaken in my interpretation of things. Maybe I have it all wrong. I know there’s still ways to go before I get a broader understanding of things. But I expect better, from myself and from the university.

But I am also a problem to myself. I don’t have myself figured out enough. My thoughts aren’t fleshed out properly. I’m stuck somewhere and I’m not sure where. My mindset is not that of a working person and is not that of a student. And even if I’m able to adopt either or both, I’m still not sure if I can solve the problem that I am to myself.

If time has taught me anything it is that I lack discipline. If I am to accomplish anything, in school or at work or in “life”, I need to regain a certain sense of discipline and focus. I don’t have this right now. Even with work and school, with this exhaustion and with this supposed “lack of time”, I’m not as good as I can be. Sometimes it is, but other times good enough simply isn’t.

So I’ll try and start the new semester with renewed focus and see how long it takes me to tumble down.

No, I didn’t say everything I wanted to say, and this entry is not as long as I thought it would be. Consider yourself spared.

donnie darko

From 2003:

Name: Donnie Darko
Directed By: Richard Kelly
Written By: Richard Kelly
Type: Drama, Science Fiction
Year: 2001
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, James Duval

I won’t even begin explaining anything about this movie.
Jake Gyllenhaal was brilliant. The story makes you think.
One of the best of 2001.

When you’re done watching this movie your mind will say “whao”, out loud.
And if it doesn’t, then I’ll give you your money back or you are stupid.

Rating: 8.5/10
If you liked Jake’s acting, pick up “October Sky”

ek chalis ki last local

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007)

I saw this when I was in Mumbai last year. This movie goes along the vein of the Pulp Fiction/Snatch type films but it’s not a rip off, it’s inspired by those films. I liked it.

The characters were off the top and the situations absurd; making for one crazy movie.

I don’t get people, what’s with all the Abhay Deol hating? He did fine in this movie, and so did Neha Dhupia. Good on them for choosing to do the movie.


no country for old men

No Country For Old Men (2008)

I liked this movie, I liked the performances. Brolin and Bardem were great. It wasn’t the best thing since toasted subs, but it was good.

The scene at the gas station store was just plain creepy/freaky, much like Chigurh himself. I don’t need all my movies to have some form of redemption, I’m okay with a movie telling a story from point A to point B.

I didn’t mind the slowness or the lack of music (see Gerry). And what’s with all this talk about the ending? The ending was fine.

  • The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.

  • Point bein’, even in the contest between man and steer the issue is not certain.



Hunger (2008)

The first thing in the film that stands out is the use of sound. There is no music, none that I noticed. Every sound bit seemed to have been heightened. Shoe steps, doors closing, and everything else. It reminded me of Gerry.

I didn’t know much about the IRA or Bobby Sands before watching this film, and I can’t say I know much now. I’ll have to read up a bit on that.

Visceral, that is how I could described most of the scenes in the movie. That is how I’d describe most of the movie. There is very little dialogue and the pace is very slow (again, reminding me of Gerry), but the imagery is very powerful in most instances.

The conversation scene between Sands and the priest was very well placed, clocking in at about 18 minutes in a single take. It did take me a while to adjust to the accent and certain words I missed out completely.

I don’t know much about the story, so I can’t comment on that. The film has its flaws but is very well made.


whale rider

From 2003:

Name: Whale Rider
Directed By: Niki Caro
Written By: Witi Ihimaera (novel), Niki Caro (screenplay)
Type: Drama
Year: 2002
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton

Set in New Zealand, Whale Rider is about Paikea Apirana (Castle-Hughes) who has to overcome certain aspects of the Maori culture. She also strives to gain the respect and recognition of her grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene).

Yaser dragged me along to watch this movie, and I’m glad I went. The overall theme might be cliche but the movie itself was anything but; a very real movie with great performances. Keisha Castle-Hughes’ performance has to be one of the best child performances ever; she does a great job to capture the complexities of Paikea’s character. Definitely worthy of an Oscar. I wonder how she will adapt to the characters in her future movies.

Don’t miss this movie. If you are the emotional type then bring along your handkerchief or tissue papers because you’ll shed a couple of tears. Yaser alone cried enough to fill up a medium Sprite glass (please don’t try and confirm this with Yaser). I didn’t shed a tear however, but an emotional movie nonetheless and a very emotional performance by the cast.



Did my fingers slip during that shuffle? Is their card where I want it?

People are still chattering all around us and the music is still playing loud. I had moved these sounds into my periphery, but now I’ve moved them beyond that. There is nothing but uncertainty in this moment, this moment is as silent as stone.

So I’m supposed to show them a card that isn’t their chosen card? But what if I turn it over and it is their chosen card?

“No! That’s not the card!!!”

So far so good. Now I have to make their card appear. Will it appear?

“Well, if this isn’t your card, then what’s the one on the table?”, I point to the card on that table. Everyone turns their heads to look at it. It has been sitting there a while. I keep pointing to the card. Indicating that someone should turn it over.

Someone does.

Well? Is this it? Is this your card? Please be the card. Please be the card.

A few seconds of silence. I could hold out my hand and feel the silence coming down. I can’t do anything to change it. It’s falling on my hand, but it is not in my hands.

Then, suddenly, an eruption of wonder.


“Wow! How is that possible? That was amazing!”

Yes it was. It was as much a miracle for me as it was for you.


Was this a trick? Could have fooled me.

2008: year of the blog

Actually, it was year of the rat.

But as far as I’m concerned, all I did this year was blog. Which is somewhat kind of sad. I blogged more this year than I did from 2003 to 2007 inclusive. That’s insane.

And if in 2007 you’d tell me that I would do that. I would tell you that you’re crazy. And the content I’ve posted, if you told me that’s the content I’d post, I’d tell you you were crazy-insane.

But blogging isn’t an accomplishment. Mind you, I am fairly pleased with some of the content on the blog. It ain’t all good, or even close, but hell I put it up. But that isn’t an accomplishment of any kind. Like learning how to play the guitar, that would be an accomplishment. And I’ve been wanting to learn how to do that for years. I even blogged about it in this cringe-worthy post.

2008 has been a good year though, along with all the ups and downs it comes with, it’s been a good year. It’s interesting because I can look back over the years and sort of follow myself and see how each year has either made a difference or affirmed something in me/about me. But life really turned interested that way since I turned 21, before that it’s all a blur. Hah.

Oh yeah, I switched jobs and started part-time school and host of other things. But none of that really stands out, I don’t even remember that stuff. All there is, is the blog. =/. Clearly I need to actually do something.

Would I have done anything differently this year? Yes, I would have. I would have bought a large flat big screen television. Not that I’d watch it or anything, I’m content downloading television and watching it on the macbook, I just want something to hang on the wall.


hum kaun hai?
tum kaun ho?
mein kaun hoon?

nahin humare jaise hazaroon?
kya tum aik hi ho?
kya mein aik hi hoon?

phir kya farkh?
tum mein aur uss mein?
mujh mein aur uss mein?

phir kyun yeh sab?
tum kyun ho?
mein kyun hoon?