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Category Archives: NALSAR

Things happen. Of a faecal nature.

Not one of my sob story blogs. Also not a reference to recent non-existent or existent sexcapades. For those who wonder, as humans are wont to – I lie a lot when I drink. Largely by omission, but also by being willfully unclear with my declarations.

But this is actually in reference to certain decisions I have come to regarding this blog, and more importantly, my life. Things are not as settled as I would like them to be, but I doubt that will ever happen. But to a large extent, I have considered my options and have settled on what I would do depending on how things pan out. Am I being cryptic? Yes, but it gets better. Slightly. For those of you interested in what I think about my life and Delhi, this will be passable. For other more normal folk, hopefully the writing won’t suck.

I had a conversation with a friend recently concerning people who read my blog. To begin with, this particular aspect of the conversation concerned was brought up and sustained entirely by me. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that my friends are at all interested in theories about the mental state of the four people who read this. We were already talking about the blog and I mentioned that at some level, I don’t trust the… affection? regard? Whatever it is that you have for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love that people like what I write about and presumably, the manner in which I write it. I have naught but respect for your good taste. Tee hee. What I don’t trust is your ability to like me after you meet me. I would hate to meet one of my favorite authors and realize they were mean or bigoted or unfriendly or worst of all, boring. Something I told an old friend a long time ago comes to mind – I think people who know and like me from minimal and limited interactions expect an eternal fountain of wit and knowledge. Once they get to know me a bit more I’m afraid they’ll find out that I already used up my best material – those were all the cards I held.

But that’s largely my self esteem talking. I’m sure that in real life, I must be just a treasure to have around twenty-four-seven. But all of this brings me home – literally and figuratively. I was in Goa when S, N and I got to talking about Delhi. We were wondering where we would live our lives before eventually retiring in Goa, and I was the only one who said Delhi. It’s not a very popular city and it probably never will be. And I tried to explain my reasons orally, but as usual, failed. Its a lesson I have learned over time and it bears repeating – if I have anything more complex that “I want that” to convey, I should write it down first. Talking is not my forte. So let me try again.

I told S and N that as far as I’m concerned, Delhi is the best place for writers in India. Which started off an argument that sort of derailed the conversation. So I will elaborate. The Indian writers I like and the ones who inspire me tend to settle in Delhi. Admittedly, there is no great number of Indian writers that I’m a fan of but of those ones, the majority live in Delhi. And I’m not just talking about fiction writers.

That of course is not enough reason to want to live in Delhi, certainly. But I think the reason it appeals to me as an aspiring writer is that it is rich with people. The most unfriendly, unhygienic, unhelpful and lecherous people you’ll have the dubious honor/ misfortune of meeting. And you see, that is the stuff of legends.

I hate to admit my dad was right about anything, but living amongst Delhi-ites makes my writing better. There is nothing better to write about in the world than people who don’t realize they could be written about. Or people who don’t realize exactly why they could be written about. People in Delhi are the least meta people I have met. They live up to their stereotype as much as people in any other city, but their stereotype is more colorful, more grotesque and brash and fun and real. Interacting with people in Delhi is like interacting with caricatures – entirely human, complex and utterly heartbreaking caricatures.

Spending a day around Delhi for me usually meant writing at the speed of… Boleros in Delhi after twelve – in a notepad that I had to keep beside me at all times. People very rarely see me do that in college. In college, inspiration comes slowly – through books and movies. Sometimes, through incidents, and very rarely through sheer people-osity. In Delhi, even as I hated parts of my Court internships, I would literally write while walking from one courtroom to the next. Once you get used to the people, you also begin to understand them. And as far as I can see, understanding is the key. Truth reveals itself through conflict, and there is no conflict unless my perceptions are challenged. Which is why I go about clinically asking questions like, “So how do you reconcile your faith with conflicting knowledge of science, or philosophy if that’s your thing?”; or “What exactly do you guys do for Ugadi? Do you do anything?”; or “Explain to me your thought process when you purposely hurt someone you love?”; or “what do you mean its five bucks more?!”; or “Who’s that? And why are we talking about them?”; or “Do you want to go get jiggy with it?” – that last one was a lie-joke. I stopped propositioning people like that after I turned 12.

I have a lot of questions, and if they’re answered well, I remember the answers. If they’re not answered well, I get a bit internally angry. When someone doesn’t answer honestly when they said they would, I tend to feel like I’m being patronized. Most of my angry posts stem from not getting answers that satisfy me.

So coming back on point – I plan to stay in Delhi unless inconceivably good opportunities from other cities present themselves. That they are inconceivable should indicate the probability of their actual happening in real terms. It may not be the best, happiest version of life, but I don’t really want the happiest version of my life right now. Later, probably when it’s too late to have , I’ll want it, but for now I want the life version – where I make mistakes and feel unhappy sometimes, where I fight with friends and laugh at TV shows, and possibly cry in the shower after a shitty day in at a job I don’t like. And I plan to write. And write better for living in Delhi. And for getting out of college.

Which sort of brings me to my long ass absence from this space. Many things have contributed to this – I went to Goa a few weeks ago and as amazingly splendiferous as it was, I came back without a functioning power cord for my laptop – which due to the obscurity of the laptop company has been a major set back. After Goa I was busy with college fest stuff, which was a surprisingly fun thing to do. After that I got wicked wasted at the Farewell thrown by juniors and said some stuff (very little of which is actually what happened, sadly) which is apparently one of the various talks of the town, if the town were an unbelievably pseudo bunch of five hundred people. After that I got roped in to “decorate” at Southie Fest, which like all Fests was pointless, as far as I can see. And right now, there is project submissions. And the looming threat of yet another drunken episode.

But more importantly than all of the above shenanigans, the main reason for aforementioned long ass absence is ennui. I have not been feeling good about what I have written over the past few weeks. As previously elaborated, I think being too happy is not good for my writing, which ultimately is not good for my mental state. I don’t plan to be depressed or heartbroken or to use hard drugs, but I think a reality check in the form of Delhi, outside of college will be a good thing. Everything I have written in the last few weeks and even before that, including posts I have actually published sort of seems … meh. I don’t think they mattered, least of all to me. I wasn’t enthusiastic while writing them and I wasn’t looking forward to or happy with the results once I did.

I think it may be because as someone mentioned to me recently, when you know you’re writing for an audience, and even worse, when you know who that audience is, you’re less honest. Not in terms of revealing details about your life, but in terms of what you do decide to write about and how you write it. I have been writing keeping college in mind. Knowing that people see me here every day. That they’ll see me and who I interact with and how I behave and will come to their own conclusions. And I think at some level, my last few posts have been about trying to mold those conclusions. Not consciously, but at some level, my writing has degenerated to commentary on what people in college are already seeing or experiencing.

To be clear – I don’t hate my writing. I just know it could be better. And less… conventional. So I have conclaved with myself and come to the conclusion that I will not be posting here after college ends. It’s time I made a few changes – I’ve been in limbo for too long. I’ll put up a couple more posts – probably one about the incident with the media at our farewell party, and another about leaving NALSAR. After that – new blog. It’ll still be me writing about stuff that I come across, but hopefully, a little less self-consciously. I’ll still put it up on Facebook when I do write, and I’ll drop in a link to the new blog here. But yes, I’m leaving college after five years – I need to work the atrophy out of my system; and maybe a new start, with fewer WordPress notifications of how many posts I have, and far fewer badly written posts about inane crap would help. If not, I reserve the right to come back to this blog, and live in the past for the rest of my life.

Okbai.

– Billy

 
 

Vignettes or What I Think About YOU!!

ME from the future: Billy, you will probably not publish this. I would like to tell you that its because you have low self esteem, but let’s be honest, its because you don’t know what this post is going to be about. Except now, you have this idea of writing vignettes of people you’re incapable of understanding [*cough* judging *cough*] right now. And here’s the fun bit – some of them may or may not be from college, though they are largely composites of a number of people. You will probably regret this, you coward of a writer, but if Lizzie could post the utter and complete rejection of Darcy, I could do this much, right?

Also, yes. You are doing this entirely because someone on Facebook said they miss your posts. And no, its not because it reminded you that you have to post, or it gave you confidence. It’s because you are entirely driven by your ego and narcissism. Your juvenile need for approval is exposed, Billy. Kindly adjust your clothing. None of us want to see that nasty business.

The Girl Who Will Always Be Boring And Doesn’t Know It

She’s always had it all. Her hair falls like Rachel’s; her butt to waist ratio is practically perfect; she can understand complex theories and concepts almost before she encounters them; her boobs are only just short of Jennifer Lawrence, which is as close to perfection as normal people get; Her legs are probably longer than my entire body; she probably has 2 percent body fat; she has the aesthetically pleasing back dimples, the skinny arms that Liz Lemon had nightmares about and no armpit cleavage. In the Photoshop enabled world of today, she may just have gone unfiltered. Probably not, but there was potential. Her face was ok.

But perfection comes for a price. The price in this case, was NOT her ability to know interesting stories or people. She always had something to add to gossip or a non-boring story to tell. She had that. What she didn’t have was the ability to tell any story without making me think of sour milk and cleaning my room. She could bitch about people well enough, but it fell short of entertaining by a mile and skipped right to unnecessarily mean. And mean in a sneaky way. As if she was thinking of ways to be mean without letting people know.

She could run into midgets having sex with a bunch of zebras one day and want to talk about it, and I would still be…

Bored! Sherlock

Her inability to interest me does not end there. She will spoil things. She can kill a conversation in the least creative manner – by saying something lame that sadly enunciates two things – her inability to understand the point of a conversation and her inability to say anything interesting. It also does not help that she’s quite the raging dog of a female persuasion – about practically everything but herself. She is…. the least interesting conversant in the world. She doesn’t often drink beer. But when she does, she’ll take shots, because that’s what’s awesome.

Conclusion: Nobody can have it all.

They’re Not Greek Gods

Some people have it made. They are practically gods. They have everything most people would be comfortable and even satisfied with. They are as close to gods as life could get in all its dreariness and its uncertainty for mere mortals. They are the gods. I don’t really know how.

But then of course, there are Greek gods. Not Hrithik Roshan or Paul Newman. Zeus and Hades. The Greek gods were very human. In fact, they were sub-human and super-human in their abilities to be utterly human. They could feel passion that made them and the objects of their passion slaves of their loins (and on occasion, their hearts; but mostly, their loins). They could be ascetics beyond what blood flow and biology allows and they could love beyond what poetry tries, although that isn’t very hard. They could be Caligula for all their love of humans – they could call upon whomever they wanted to make the hours go by faster, to make themselves more human. They were not usually refused. If they were, they normally responded by transforming people into trees, like Apollo did to Daphne. Often, even when they weren’t refused, the mortals were transformed into other kinds of objects once they came in contact with the gods. Like Zeus and Callisto, who was transformed into a bear first and into a constellation next. That’s not exactly an object but it is a thing, if nothing else.

Of course, the Greek gods were never condemned for their behavior. It was expected of them. What else are gods supposed to do, if not have their pick of people; and of standards of decency; and of scrutiny? All of which could be molded to suit them. They were gods, and people were supposed to worship them, love them and do anything at all to get in their good books.

And of course, the Greek gods were not real. God itself is not real. And if they were, humans could never pretend to be gods. They could try, but it inevitably meant Tartarus or the continuous eating of one’s innards by an eagle whilst chained atop a mountain over centuries. Which in the real world would mean that if people acted like Greek gods, especially to their friends, they’d usually get a very clear and unmitigated –

With all due respect, go to hell.

Conclusion: Remember girls and boys, David Copperfield thought his school senior Steerforth was magnificent and the epitome of everything golden that could be said of humanity. He really, really wasn’t. He was actually less awesome than most people in the book. He was shitty to his friends, shitty to his girlfriends and died young, fulfilling tenets of poetic justice. That’s not a good sign. He was very human. But not a very good human. And not really worth debasing yourselves over.

Too much? I did inform some of the concerned people that this was coming. Let’s face it, I informed the people in the second one. First one is just a fun composite of a number of people I’ve met. Or is it? You’ll never know

Maniacal Laughter

Also, I wanted to write a bit more but I haven’t had a very good day. I am very, very pissed. I have literally never been this angry in my life. I can’t even begin to express… And since I refuse to write about why I’m angry because fuck you, that’s why, I can’t really be judgy or sufficiently pissed about anything else.

But just to beat a bunch of haters to the punch (in case there are any out there), here’s a little one talking about a few of my faults.

The Girl Who Is Writing This

I always think I’m right. I very rarely am. I’m often cruelly honest to my friends. I have a very high opinion of myself despite having very few parts of my life settled. One of the parts that are not settled – jobs and future plans. Despite this, I am almost always pleased with myself, which I combine with an inane self-loathing that no doubt drives my friends crazy. I have no feelings when it comes to romance. But I care excessively about the friendships I have and try practically everything to preserve them, no matter how much it flat-lines. And I pretend I don’t. My good opinion once lost, is lost for a long fucking time. I am very lazy, and I am never sure if I have enough brain to compensate for that – I very likely don’t. I always analyze and categorize people and inform them of it, while never bothering to do it to myself. People are rightfully pissed about this. I see things from several perspectives and I sit on the fence for most things because they’re not interesting enough to have an opinion about, according to me. As if the shit I do care about is that important – they’re not.

That’s all I can think of now. I don’t want to be too self-involved.

On a different note – The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I have no idea how they made a tongueless kiss that hot, but FUCK ME. Literally, Daniel Vincent Gordh, I request fucking by you. To me. In my private parts.

Ok bye.

– Billy

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Bakchodi, NALSAR, Random, Rant

 

Whimsies at the Courts and Other BS

I feel I should write. Maybe there’s something in the air late Saturday nights when I should really be sleeping seeing as I have things to do the next day. Things like get up at 7 am and jog. Things like meeting college friends for the first time in the holidays. Things like buy stuff. More on these trivial details later. I have important things to get to. To the whimsy-creator machine, Batman! I approve of the fact that MS Word recognizes Batman as a noun.

I have recently started interning under a lawyer who practices, among other things (debauchery, witchcraft, just kidding) criminal law. This is the second time I’m interning with a criminal lawyer in the lower courts, which is where in my expert opinion, any law is just a little bit more exciting. The first time was about 2 years ago and she was pretty awesome, but very different from this guy. He’s very… Alan Shore? No. More like Denny Crane in his court-room manners and style. He’s not like either of them in the looks department, before any of those who know my liking for older men start thinking all inappropriate like. But yeah, here’s what happened today. The opposing counsel got a bit defensive over a witness the as-of-now boss was crossing. The counsel said something mildly, very mildly, threatening to the boss. Not really threatening, just something along the lines of “I’ll teach you to be aggressive”. The following paragraph is the boss’ reply, with expletives that I took poetic to add. I took the license from Bill FTW Shakespeare. You can check.

“You don’t fucking threaten me, you motherfucking piece of shit. You know who I fucking am, asshole? I’ve faced down pansy-ass threats all up in my face! I fucking defended the *insert famous criminal case here* guy despite getting threats! I’ll fucking show you aggressive, you wait and see motherfucker. I know people you ain’t even thought of.”

I stood there, leaning against the witness stand (literally. Real Indian courts involve everyone crowded into one corner of the courtroom leaning against whatever they find) with no expression on my face whilst getting my mind blown. I figured that at that moment in time, the only skill I could contribute was a stellar poker face. And apparently, the whole shouting match thing is something the boss does often just to distract from the issue and get his way, especially during cross-examinations.

And the strange thing is, unlike most of the cases where men in Delhi say “Tu jaanta nahi hai main kisko jaanta hoon”, he wasn’t exaggerating. He has defended above-not-really-mentioned murderer despite getting threats. He has also defended serial killers. Rather prolific ones. I Googled that shit up. Yeah.

Two years ago, I would have asked this guy to be my Yoda. Imagine that. Deserves a defense, even a cold-blooded non-psychotic serial killer does. And today, the only reason I don’t want to be Luke is that I’m not that passionate about law any more. If I do regain said passion, this will very likely not be my style. I suspect I will be more of the dissecting every detail in a precise and clear manner in as calm a manner as I can summon kind of shark.

However, this difference in disposition does not take away from the awe. Its all awe up in here.

Incidentally, this is the one thing that law school inadvertently gives one that I really appreciate. The ability to reason in a particular manner even in every day discussions. I find it impossible to speak about any issue without knowing enough about it. Coffee table conversations are no longer my cup of tea (hehe) unless I have to refute a blatantly incorrect statement. And what most lawyers (at least the competent ones), including this boss, really do is make assertions after knowing all the facts. Apart from friends and the general good times, this is why I am glad for law school.

In the Narcotics Court, we have some bail matters to present. As we enter, I note that some of the policemen are rather movie police-men-y. And by that I mean, they don’t look like the policeman from Wasseypur. They look like the policeman you’ll get if Policeman Abhay Deol’s jattness was more obvious. Some of them are actually kind of really cute. They’re not Chulbul Pandey, and thank god for that. They don’t have gynecomastia (the medical term for man boobs) parading as pecs. They don’t have bulges all over the place. They’re fit in a lean kind of way. So that, ladies, is the appeal in the Jatt. I finally get it. They are the Jayne Cobb of India, except not as big.

Further into the Court room, I am afraid we have accidentally been transported via portal to one of the North-Eastern states. There are entirely too many… err… people from the North-East there. I mean every third accused hails from the North-East. I like to call them chinky, but that would be racist. Just like saying ‘them’ in the previous sentence is racist. I clearly need some time with the guidance counselor. Damn you, PC-culture-especially-prevelant-these-days-due-to-shitty-incidents! *shakes fist at non-existent god* So lets just say… East Indians? Though the damage is already done, and I refuse to edit it.

Seriously, there were a lot of East Indians (for the record, I really think saying ‘chinky’ is better than saying East Indians the way I’m saying it in my head. Its time the word got reclaimed) in the Narc courts. Their lawyers were also mostly East Indians.

Man they have really shitty facial hair. Its like wisps of the stuff. I could grow a better moustache if I let myself – just saying. Despite some lies I may have had to concoct a while ago, I suspect I will not be feeling amorous towards Oriental/Mongoloid men in the near future because of this. I went all forensic anthropological over there. The shit I do for you racist assholes.

Also, there is a lot of mention of Nigerian defendants, none of whom are present in court. Apparently, they have a tendency of absconding once you give them bail. Said the judge, not me. Sometimes I hate how stereotypes (like that of African drug dealers) have a smidgeon of fact as the basis.

Next, there’s an interesting discussion about how one medically determines the age a person may be. I shall be asking Hank Green about that some time in the future. They mention some test, the name of which was exceptionally medical sounding.

In the middle of this, the judge mentions how the extensive facial hair on the accused would generally be considered a sign of a certain age, but this may not always be the case. At which point, the accused is brought into the court. Because of the whole no-handcuffs-except-in-extreme-cases scene, the policeman bringing him in has locked hands with him. In another setting, this would be an “aww” moment. The guy is a Muslim (or a Jew. Which is more likely in India is anybody’s guess) with quite a load of facial hair.

The judge discusses whether Mohammedans could be inclined to have more facial hair than most people at a younger age. True story. The Doctor clarifies that it depends on genetics, which at this point, has no connection to the guy being a Mohammedan. You can imagine my outrage at such callous and bigoted statements coming from a Judge. How dare she try to say that men with facial hair cannot claim to be under 18? Why would any decent petty criminal grow a beard if this logic is applied? And then where will I turn to for my guilty pleasure of taking petty criminals with facial hair for the ride of their lives? Whores.

Sitting in the Narc Court and then the CBI court, I also get to wondering about men from my father’s generation as I see so many of the lawyers are of that demographic. Most of them are very unappealing to look at, and being quite the detective (one of my oldest childhood career choices) I set out to find out why.

I noticed that most North Indian men have this weird profile that does them no favors.

This is a drawing I put some effort into, so appreciate it. Note the prominent overbite coupled with the utterly scrunched up yet weak chin. No wonder so many of them have moustaches. I think once someone has a moustache, that is the only detail of their face that you remember. This is true of both men and women.

With women, this is not to their advantage because while it draws attention, it unflatteringly accentuates the areas of their face which in conventional terms, most determine feminine beauty, i.e. the lips and the nose. With men its different, because once its thick enough, the moustache completely overshadows said parts of the face, thus effectively obliterating any evidence of their terrible bone structure.

Which brings me back to the North-East men. Perhaps the reason their facial hair is so terrible is because it does to their faces what facial hair does to women’s faces. We can only speculate since very little research has been done on the subject.

ME: This is what you signed up for, people who subscribe to this blog. A study of ugly faces. I look forward to your Unsubscribe.

In other news, I finished Moab is My Washpot. It was awesome. Line – “Sex without smiling is as sickly and base as vodka and tonic without ice.”

Also finished The Fifth Elephant – “Sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination – but at the end of the day they’d settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.”

Also finished The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Aged 13 ¾ – “I am a committed radical. I am against nearly everything.”

Also from Adrian Mole – “Us intellectuals keep anti-social hours. It does us good.”

I will be proceeding to A Brave New World. I hope its not one of the dull good books. I hate it when that happens. I will also be re-reading Romeo and Juliet because John Green will be discussing that in the next Crash Course and the last time I read it was at least 7 years ago.

I have successfully jogged 5 days this past week as promised in previous post. I skipped the morning after Diwali, using my lungs and their safety as the excuse. I also skipped the day after that because I felt like skipping another day. I will hopefully not skip this week.

I am seriously looking forward to Talaash, Chakravyuh and Lincoln. Especially Lincoln because I read Team of Rivals last semester and it proved to me that sometimes people are believably amazing. Also, Daniel Day Lewis is hot. Really. Once you watch The Unbearable Lightness of Being (I confess I have not read a single Kundera), Daniel Day Lewis will never again be pictured as the guy from Gangs of New York in your mind’s photo album.

 

That’s all.

–        Billy


 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Bakchodi, Legal, NALSAR

 

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Trying to make ragging funny – and failing

I try to be funny. Maybe I can manage it here, but I don’t know.

When is the right time to say something about what you believe in? What you think is right and wrong? And in my case, as small and insignificant as the wrong you see is, is there a right time or a wrong time?

I’m not trying to demonize anyone. There is zeitgeist for every time. The zeitgeist, the general consensus, what is agreed upon as the barometer to decide what is right and wrong, currently, is in favor of the practice we call ragging. And I don’t think anyone who does it is an asshole. Or deserves to be shamed, or anything of the sort.

As a person possibly engaging in some form of debate in order to reach a manner of consensus, I know I should perhaps bring down my point of view to something that is feasible to most people. I should probably say something like “I don’t have a problem with it, per se” or something along those lines. And if you look at it from one perspective, maybe I don’t. I don’t have a problem with seniors talking to juniors. Asking them about their opinions, explaining things like which teacher spits, and politely asking them if they would get you a glass of water. Even being rude. Rudeness is apparently a way of life in NALSAR, so no reason to be especially nice to new kids.

I have a problem with anybody having to do anything deferring to someone whom they have no reason to believe, deserves that respect. I can attest to the fact that the only reason I behaved ‘respectful’ to any seniors in my first year was because I was afraid of what they would do otherwise. Which was nothing. They couldn’t have done anything. I’m a girl, and as much as NALSAR resembles prison for some people, it’s not. If someone had made me believe that, I would have flipped off anyone who was being rude to me. It’s what I would do to any other stranger being rude to me.

If I could tell off priests for trying to tell me what to think (one of the better moments me and my sister shared before we could stand each other), I had nothing stopping me from telling off people that were being rude for no reason other than a misplaced sense of entitlement. And I really don’t like priests, but the ones I met obviously did more studying than even 4 years, in a field more boring than law, all the time presumably retaining their virginity and never jacking off. Why the fuck would I respect some punk ass bitch who thinks they know shit, now that they spent a few years in a protected walled city, working their ass off for something they’re probably not too sure of themselves? I would respect them because they’re human beings, sure. Because they have brains with neurons, through which the number of ways messages travel are more than stars in the universe, and I would respect them because they are nice people. I would have no reason to respect them if they were scaring me or making me do stupid things to amuse themselves.

Caveat – again, this is an argument against ragging. Not against the people who rag, no matter how close to home it hits most people. Ragging is not an atrocity, not the way it exists in NALSAR. It can be characterized as a weakness. One that a lot of people have, including me and even the first years. I think if I were to go around picking out only those people who do not rag to be the people I like and to be friends with, I would actually be asocial. And stupid.

And I hate having a fundamental disagreement with my friends, and not in the sense that I want to change their minds. I just hate that there is ever anything that brings on an awkward pause in an otherwise lovely conversation; and it happens to be because of something I brought up and something that is important to me.

With that, I come to more meta problems with me writing about this. My friends may be right in saying that sometimes/ most of the times I am too opinionated. And I don’t shut up about it. I agree, I shouldn’t comment as much in movie theatres. It is impairing other people’s right to enjoy it. Today was the first time S put it in that way, and I’m sorry I didn’t understand that without someone blatantly telling me about it. That is being callous with what other people like.

But I really cant see how far that argument extends to ragging. People who rag presumably like it, and enjoy it. But unlike watching a movie, they are enjoying at the expense of someone else. And unless it is someone laughing at a movie like Kya Kool Hai Hum (that is enjoying at the expense of my belief in humanity and at the expense of anyone who ever got raped), watching a movie is not at someone else’s expense.

And again, for a lot of people, it is not a big deal to be ragged. You expect it when you go to college. You expect that you may be treated like shit. That you would be asked to do things that you otherwise wouldn’t for complete strangers. It is the zeitgeist. It is what it is. And I am not a pioneer. I have no misconceptions about being the Frederick Douglas of Ragging.

But am I incorrect in thinking there is something wrong with a system that allows people to scare others and make them do things they otherwise wouldn’t? Lock them in cupboards and coolers? Hurt them and humiliate them?

Be as rude as you want. You are in control of what comes out of your mouth. Say whatever you want. But you should not have control over what anybody else does or doesn’t do with their body. You should have no say in that. How is that ok? How is that a manner in which a presumably decent society functions?

Maybe friendships start this way. But again, I have to ask, is that a healthy system to have? To have friendships that started off with one person being mean to the other? Sure, that may be how friendships start in KG, when the only way your child brain lets you interact with someone is by taking their water bottle and dousing them with the contents. But it definitely isn’t how I made friends in college, or how most people make friends in college. There is a reason psychologists have labeled it a form of Stockholm’s Syndrome.

And looking at this from the perspective of people who say I shouldn’t write this or say this or interfere when I think I should, I am genuinely perplexed. When is the time in my life when I should stop someone from doing something to another person that they don’t want? When should I tell off people on the street when they heckle women? When should I have an argument with a TC in a train about hassling a woman with a baby for not having a confirmed ticket when he was ok with a man in the next compartment not having one, simply because the latter ‘knew somebody’(One of those times that my dad set an example for me)?

Is 21 the right age? Will 22 be the right age? Do I have to do something other than have opposable thumbs and a working brain? Do I have to get better grades before I stop someone from ordering someone to do something for their amusement? Do I need to write a long blog post?

And maybe I should talk about it more. Be the wet blanket on people’s every day conversations when they’re not ragging or talking about it, bore them, and then watch them rag someone the next day. And please, please don’t tell me that it is simply my opinion that its wrong. Anyone who can remember being in first year and was made to do something even mildly humiliating cannot honestly say it felt ‘right.’ And if you don’t define ‘wrong’ as telling other people what to do (to wit – making them do jazz hands, pole dance, dry hump, stay in confined spaces, talk in toddler language, talk to a wall, basically anything that you would consider humiliating), or scaring them shitless, then I really want to know what your definition of wrong is.

What is the point from which I can become a responsible adult and stop something, or at the least openly say that I don’t agree with something? I apparently can’t do it now. And by extension I’m assuming I shouldn’t do it at the time when I ask someone to give me a job. And I definitely shouldn’t do it when I am working. So when is the right time?

I want to write. And I have realized I like my writing more when I’m honest. And the reason for that is because writing is on record. And I find that when I write something on the record that is honest, I am more proud of that than anything else. If for no other reason, (which would in my mind include common decency) than for what little self respect I have, is this not as good a time as any? Michael Moore said he regretted not saying anything when some ass authority at his high school graduation threw a student out for wearing the wrong tie.

Which is not to say I want to be Michael Moore. He’s a bit much. And I’m not saying I’m going to start a watch-dog group. Or go about policing people. That is a dumb idea if for no other reason than its lack of feasibility. I would however, like a better reason not to stop someone other than “everyone thinks its ok”. I have a problem with the fact that everyone thinks its ok. And if I haven’t explained why it’s a problem through this long, long post, then go ahead and ask me to explain further. I have infinite patience with this. But either give me a good reason why it is ok, one that negates what I have to say; or give me a better reason not to stop someone (even if in front of a junior) than “everyone thinks its ok”. Its not a passive act. Its active. And you are doing it to someone else. I think I have the right to say something, if not do something.

Again, I have to ask and tell the people closest to me – I can shut up around you. I will. Because despite my righteous indignation (and you know I say that sarcastically, right?) I care way too much about what you guys think than I should as an acclaimed asocial person. But I cant shut up in general, around others. Sue me, I have no batch loyalty for idiotic entitlement issues. Friend loyalty, yes; but not for an entire batch. I have no problems with people even screaming at juniors. To scream at people is something you cant take away from a person. But if I see something in my vicinity I don’t agree with, I will say something, more so if its from my batch, because really, I would have more say there. They are technically more my peers than anyone else. And I would genuinely like to know the politest way I can say what I want at that point of time.

–          Billy

ME: That wasn’t at all funny. If you’d been more hateful, it could have been funny, but noooo, you have to be nice and polite.

me: There is no point in screaming at people. And what do you mean more hateful. I wasn’t hateful. I made it very clear I wasn’t calling anyone an asshole. I was just saying the system that exists is shitty.

ME: And by extenion, everyone who takes part in it is….?

me: normal people. It is normal for people to behave per the times. It may not be ballsy, but its normal. It’s very likely I do something on a regular basis that is part of the zeitgeist that if i think about, I wouldn’t like much.

ME: This I would like to know. What does Miss PC do that she’s not proud of?

me: My instinctive reaction when i see blatant cleavage on a woman is that she should put the girls in a proper T-shirt. But I know that’s wrong because I have no right to shame someone else’s body. If man boobs can go about in public, there shouldn’t ideally be a problem with lady boobs. But I instinctively subscribe to the zeitgeist. And I think I recall a not too distant past when I found ragging stories from the Boys Hostel funny. And I might still find them funny. And so does everyone else. And I’m not proud of it.

ME: Fine, we’re not perfect. So what are you gonna do? Go about shouting at people in your batch when they do something dumb around you?

me: I don’t think so. Considering the fact that I really wont mind if most of them hate me, I think I would just point out that what they’re doing is stupid. If its someone I really dislike, I may add that they don’t really deserve much respect from toddlers, let alone first years.

ME: Really?! *Projecting Mr. Burns-ish anticipation*

me: No, I won’t do the last part. I would really like to know the nicest way to do this other than do nothing at all.

ME: So your stand on ragging is….?

me: *sigh* assuming I have the guts to follow through, I would say its wrong to people from my batch who are not my friends if and when they do it in front of me. And I may walk off in a huff/ run away before they can give me the evil eye or say something back to me….

ME: ……….

me: *shrug* Maybe I’ll say something more if I’m particularly ballsalicious that day.

ME: And you say you’re not a pioneering revolutionary?

me: ………….. *shrug* Maybe I’ll be better some day.

ME: ………….. Yeah I hope so. I couldn’t live an entire lifetime with your pussy self.

me: *nods*.

 

P.S. – on a lighter note, here’s something cool I found on tumblr.

 

Typewriters of famous writers.

 

 

And the palettes of famous artists

 

Van Gogh’s

 

 

Gauguin’s

 

 

Renoir’s

 

 

Monet’s

 

That Stuff

I don’t know in which class it was though I think it was 9th or 10th. One of our teachers told us about a workshop she went to where they were asked to do the funeral thing. Basically, write down what you think your funeral should look like. I thought it was interesting and wrote down my own version. I don’t have a copy or anything, but I do remember the gist – I looked shiny in the coffin, everyone I knew was there, and everyone cried. Also, the few guys I had had crushes on felt heartbroken cause they never got to tell me how they secretly fancied the pants off me.

Now there are a few variations. It’s more along the lines of the wake they give Gerard Butler in P.S. I Love You (It was the one good part of the movie). But yes, all the people I know are there. Also, anyone who knows me I guess.

I think that’s the important part. I wouldn’t want someone at my funeral who didn’t know me. I guess it would be ok to have a few strangers who came to support those who are actually grieving, but nobody else. I always felt it would be insulting to go to someone’s funeral whom I didn’t even know of and who didn’t know of me. It’s insulting to the dead and it’s insulting to the people that actually knew him/her and are genuinely grieving.

It’s always upsetting to know someone passed away before their time, and I guess it’s hard not to think about it. But it’s not my place to declare it. If I can pray lying down in bed without folding my hands or closing my eyes, I can have respect for human life and its passing without any such trappings.

Not that I think everyone should feel as I feel and do as I do. It’s just the way I think, and I don’t see anything wrong in it. I don’t ask anyone to follow my lead.

So, to whatever spirit/soul/nothing that managed to live through this shit – salut and adieu. You are obviously remembered and missed by many, and no doubt, with good reason. That is the most I am entitled to say.

– Billy

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in NALSAR, Public statement

 

Friends

Am very sleepy so forgive any grammatical, spelling errors. Got a worm to write right now.

The other day, I was with some of my friends, randomly talking, and out of god only knows where, I had this amazing feeling. I knew, somehow, that here was where I had nothing to prove, nobody to please. I lucked out, finally. I have friends. I have more than 3 people in my life who are not related to me but whom I trust to stick around come what may. After 20 technical years, and about 11 conscious ones on this planet, I realize that is something I really have to be thankful for.

Finally, something in my life is like how they are in the movies, and that is the most spectacular revelation I have ever had.

I guess that’s another reason for not being able to hate NALSAR. And if we’re coming right down to it, I guess Bluebells, but I really like that place anyway. So there, College was useful in some ways after all.

That’s all – sharing my discovery with the cosmos 🙂

– Billy

P.S. – and also, this is not a method of deterring the ultimatum/time bar I’ve been given for getting some guts for certain stuff. I keep striving for courage there….

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in NALSAR, Public statement, Random

 

The Reason I couldn’t care less

So once next semester starts, everyone in college will be talking about the big E. Elections. Now having been schooled in Delhi, I can comprehend why they would be a big deal in a place like DU. If you want to become a politician, a career in politics while in DU would be a good way to start.

Another reason t get involved in college politics – you actually care about making a difference. You know, work for people, make the problems go away, etc. etc. In a way, that would be an admirable aim. I sincerely doubt many of us here have those intentions. Or even, intentions to get into politics.

I asked myself this very question sometime last semester. Why do I care about it? I couldn’t really come up with an answer. And being of a rational bent of mind, I think that must have been the moment I STOPPED caring.

I don’t want to be a politician, or even remotely involved in anything like politics. Despite belonging to the snake-pit we call law school, I have no love for power, money, subterfuge, influence or any of the shebang. And I really don’t care so much about moots, debates, hostels or the joke that is “culture” in here. At least not enough to make me want to actively do something about bettering them. The most I want out of the elections would be an Acad Rep who would get us extensions, and help us in case someone needs it. It would be an added bonus if I got to see certain people fall on their asses and cry like little girls, but again, even that wouldn’t encourage me to actively do anything.

As to why other people give a damn, I can only guess. Having lived with people here for more than 2 years I can conclude that at least those who run for elections and get themselves involved in it, don’t really care about anything or anybody, so that couldn’t be a reason. As for entering politics later, while people here definitely have the slimy thing going for them, I think by the time we’re 30, they would be too involved in living their jaded dreams to spare time to try and win elections. Of course, there are some who aim to get into politics later in life, and while I’m not into politics and don’t see any good in that career, this is one reason to get involved in NALSAR politics that I can see a modicum of sense in.

So why do so many people care? I have a guess as an amateur shrink – megalomania! It runs rampant and wild in this secluded community of 500. And in this secluded community of 500, becoming important enough to those 500 people becomes paramount. So we get involved, we stratergize, we wonder what the others one floor above us, and the ones three rooms across from us are talking about. And then, come election day, we all go to class seemingly cheerful, but with full knowledge that everyone is watching everyone. And then, people get elected. Then the Exec gets elected. Then the President gets elected.

And then, we all go on for a whole year in which nothing seems very different from last year.

But we can all be happy. Those who got elected can rejoice in the fact that they became important people in a community of 500, and the rest of us can go to bed happy feeling that we were a part of something big – again, in a community of 500 people generally closed off from the rest of the world for 8 months a year.

So why did the 2nd Year Revolution happen? Many reasons, most important of which would be that it needed to happen at some point. Personally, it was fun. Maybe some people are still sore about it, but for me, even as it did have repurcussions; looking back, it seems like the height of self-importance that any of us made such a big deal out of it as to get hurt, and that includes me.

So here’s the big question, and yes, it is rhetorical. As a friend of mine asked a few days ago ( in a sort of different context) – “Why are you prostituting yourself for THIS??”

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Bakchodi, Fun!, NALSAR