Friday, January 28, 2005

I am a Nobody

For us to function as human beings it is necessary for us to have a conception of a self, it is the idea that there is something more to us as individuals than simply our biological and psychological processes. Something much more fundamental and intrinisic must explain us, or more accurately our consciousness. All living things from plants to humans all possess some level of consciousness. In fact, it is how we determine the existence of life, if a thing possesses some level of consciousness then it must be alive. A plant is alive because it responds to stimuli, if you poke it, it bleeds sap. If you don't give it water, it will wither away and die. In the evolutionary ladder of consciousness, it is the human being that possesses the highest level of consciousness, we are self-aware. To some level, it is very difficult almost impossible to determine whether other comparable animals possess self-awareness to the extant we do because we cannot with any real means communicate with other animals.

Human beings need the self, which is thought of as both the same yet different from the body, mind, consciousness and other components which make us who we are. In fact, it is the self who we truly are. In Christian tradition (of which there are few, but i will primarily deal with the main ones), the body and soul together constitute a human being. A human being, or the individual self, is composed of both material substance and spiritual substance. Hence, the burying of the dead because it is believe that on Judgment Day, Christ's Second Coming, that all bodies will be resurrected with their souls installed back into the body to be judge for their actions. This is similarily held by the Muslims, in their theology. Hindus on the other hand have a different view. The self is the soul, the body is a mere shell which is necessary for the soul in order to interact with the material world. Hence, the cremation of the bodies so as to prevent the soul from lingering around the body.

Now, as human beings, we have a need for the self. Primarily because it helps us face the idea of total annihilation. If we had no idea of the self then our death will really be the end, period. No heaven, no hell, no bliss, no light, just darkness and nothingness. It would in essence render our very existence pointless. Our long term actions wouldn't matter because who cares what happens after I die. So we develop a second need, a need for Universal Justice, God. God is our attempt to give order and structure to a universe we don't totally understand. God is our way to make sure that our actions do have consequences on us.

Siddartha Gautama, also known as Sakyamuni or more popularly as the Buddha (from the sanskrit root of budh, which means to know in the sense of wisdom) taught a very radical doctrine, the idea of Anatta or Anatman (which means no-self; prefix An means no or non and atman is soul/self/Universal self). There is no self in any real sense, the self we speak of is only in a conventional sense, it only exists so that people may interact and communicate, it has no real existence. This self, we all think of is nothing more than an aggregate of five things (panca-skanda). The five things are matter, senses, perceptions, mental states then finally consciousness. These things are always in constant flux and are never the same, so in other words there is no enduring or continuing self, every second "you" are being born and dying. Nothing in the universe is permanent or enduring except change but even that ultimately is false. Now, the implications of this idea of the no-self are staggering. It is not a denial of the self but a statement that the self never ever existed but is a mental creation by us to give us a sense of meaning and continuity to aleve our fears of obvilion. What does Buddha give us instead? Oddly it is the void, emptiness or Shunya. What exactly is Shunya? Well it means different things to different schools of buddhism. For simplicity's sake I will adopt the Mahayana position, Shunya is true understanding of the world as being constant flux, it is seeing the emptiness in all, that all things have no real existence nor foundation. It is a house of cards built up a cushion of air, which at any moment will dissipate. Shunya is Nirvana, it is having the veil lifted and entering the world with correct knowledge and vision. We are our own salvation and we are our own burden. A fascinating and revolutionary response to the idea of self.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Mukunda Likes boys or is it men?

Every semester I play basketball on a intramural basketball team comprised of all students, my team not the league itself cause we all know law students and lawyers are all lazy and fat, and according to my roommate so am I, he shall remain unnamed until he returns to Guam. This semester is no different, I again have chosen a team of my own choosing, after all the other teams were decided beforehand.

The mighty captain of our team, the man known only as manimals and rarely as Girish, decided that our team name would be Mukunda Likes Boys. His plan was to put that on our t-shirts and then have each of our names on the back of the shirts. So obviously everyone else would have like their respective name: Mitch, Girish, Salem and so on but then I would have Mukunda. So basically imagine this, on the front of all our shirts it says Mukunda Likes Boys and then on the back of my shirt it says Mukunda. Well they decided that Mukunda Likes Boys might be offensive because people might think that i like little boys, but i'm not a catholic priest so thats kinda out of the question. So instead, they found a less offensiveful team name Mukunda Likes Men, which was oked by the intramural people. Yay......

Many of you might be wondering, how Mukunda Likes Boys came about given that I am a straight man. Well, cue flashback imagery and music ###### Last year, a group of us had joined the law school softball teams to play in the University of Virginia Law School Softball Tournament. So, we were all driving down to UofV. On the way down I was sitting next to Lucia, better known as Dang. Dang and I were talking and she happened to randomly mention her fingers and her hand (meaning, she asks "Do you think my hands are big" or some really pointless yet conversation stimulating question). I tell her that her hands aren't big and are small and quickly say that I have skinny fingers. Suddenly I hear both Leevin and Mike (also known as Johnny Law School, Big Ticket, Black McCoy or simply Gates) almost simultaneously reason out their thought, essentially a sylloggism. "Mukunda has skinny fingers, Mukunda has girl hands, Mukunda is a girl, Mukunda Likes Boys" That was the genius inferences made by both Leevin the Guamian and Gates the Black McCoy. I was stunned at the sheer idiocy of it but before i could utter a single word, they start to chant it on the bus then as they say the rest is history. It become their chant for anything i did. I mack on a girl suddenly out pops one of the two dudes and "Mukunda Likes Boys" is chanted. So automatically everyone who hears it assumes i'm gay, which i'm not (as if i have to even state it, its apparent when you first meet me). Its like i've regressed back to high school and the "gay guy" appeall (meaning that girls like to talk to me cause they view me as a gay guyfriend). Man, it took me years of therapy to get over it and now its back. Lovely aint it, god bless good friends.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Love thy fellow citizen?

Kaizer Family Foundation found that: "Forty-five percent would be willing to pay more in taxes or insurance premiums to help expand coverage to the uninsured. Fifty-one percent would be unwilling to do so."

We love to bring democracy to the peoples around the world because democracy is the most fundamental necessity in life, right? I guess i was just taught incorrectly that maybe health is the most fundamental necessity in life. The poll above, despite not being necessarily the view of the entire country and all its peoples, does give us insight into how American's view their own citizens and the principles we hold dear. It is truly sad that we care so much more for abstract ideals such as democracy, liberty and freedom than we do about our own brothers and sisters in this country. We have tens of millions of people without any healthcare in this country, which means that most of these people cannot get care for the most basic health needs in their lives. In 2001, 41.2 million people in this country had no medical insurance. This includes millions of children and elderly men and women. The Drug and Insurance Companies are making billions off of this.

We talk about life as if life means anything without good health. Good health shouldn't be a privelege which depends upon the economic status of individuals, it is a right, a right that is just as, actually much more, necessary than liberty or freedom. Does money really mean more to us than individual lives? How can we ever speak of being a civilized society or country when we don't care enough about our own fellow citizens? When we say that your health isn't a real worry for the government to care about, it isn't as important to us as is the war for "democracy" in Iraq. Thousands of Americans will die not from gunshots or being killed but because we didn't care enough to provide them the means to receiving the care that they needed. Love thy neighbor, indeed.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Its been a couple weeks since i've posted on this and i've received a few requests to do so, mainly girish, so this one is for you man. So basically school has been back in full effect for like 2 weeks. I had a big interview at Manhattan District Attorney's office on Jan. 14th, it was a long interview about 40 min or so. It was a panel interview, 3 people and me. Normally, I'm a pretty good interviewee and thats because i can read people pretty well and react accordingly but for so reason I had a really hard time figuring out these interviewers, I think it was because i was a bit nervous, this is like the job that I really want. I don't know how i did, I really hope i didn't mess up my interview but who knows. I was gonna stay in NYC for the night but since a lot of my friends weren't there, i decided to come back to boston and went to a house party when i got back.

So I think i've decided to take the NY Bar after graduation. On a more positive note, I just bought a 250 gigabyte external harddrive and i have most of it full of carnatic music. Its freaking amazing, i'm like a little kid in a candy store, every day is a brand spanking new experience for me because of the vast amount of quality music that i can now listen to. This past weekend I was sick due to the sudden weather changes basically from cold to nut sack turning blue cold. I just sat at home and watching 19 hour marathon of Fresh Price of Bel Air and then Spiderman 2 and then Shankarabaranam, one of the greatest movies ever. That movie captures my love of music and how music is viewed in traditional indian culture, music is divine and perfect, it is definite must see for anyone who even claims to have a love of music, which almost everyone does but sadly not many of these people know any music beyond what they hear on the radio and claim that to be good music. Yes it is fun to listen to and dance to and yes it possesses some aesthetic beauty but a lot of it is superficial. I can go on for hours about this but not right now, ask me later or in person if you want or better watch shankarabaranam with me and you'll understand.

This coming weekend a huge group of us are going up to the mountains for some ski trip but i won't be skiing or snowboarding, i'll just be relaxing and chilling, prolly bring up some music and my ps2 with some games to chill. The following weekend I think we are going to NYC, or so I'm trying to make happen, i think it would be awesome.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I can't believe I'm about to say this but I can't wait till I get back to boston, yes I know, as a brown man these words should never exit my mouth. Boston, for a being such a big city and liberal, happens to be one of the most prejudiced and racist cities I've been to. Although I must admit I have yet to transverse across the Mason-Dixon Line and for some weird reason I think there might be a bit of racism down there but its just a hunch. I've had a few racial comments hurled at me while I've been in Boston in the past 2 1/2 years, probably as many as I have had hurled at me while living in Southern California for 21 years.

Regardless, I am once again going off on a tangent, I have essentially for the past 2 1/2 years dreaded returning to boston, primarily because its not the life that I was used to. But now, its my life, i come back to Southern California and for the most part its as if I've never left. Most of my best friends are married, or engaged or in relationships that are gonna end up in marriage. They essentially live a very routine and static life, not that that is a bad thing, just not something I'm entirely ready for. I spend all day listening to music and catching up on tv and movies and I can't stand it.

The highlight of my vacation has been my dog surya, a 150 lb alaskan malamute-artic wolf hybrid. It has been raining steadily for like 2 weeks here and Surya loves it. Normally he is a very nice and gentle dog, for a 150 lb dog. Once that water falls from the sky, a evil sparkle twinkles in his eye and immediately he runs out into the rain and proceeds to jump into the biggest hole that he has dug, which at this point is filling up with water, muddy brown water. He then continues to dig until his normally white and black coat is covered in brown wet mud. Then he waits till I have to come out to pet, feed or give him water then proceeds to shake all the mud on to me and then jump on me. Picture a dog who when standing up on his hind legs is about 6'1 or 6'2 and now picture him on me. Usually we let him in the house for a few hours a day but given his current state of being muddy for the past 2 weeks, he has remained in the garage in his place. Damn you Zeus, God of the Sky and damn your rain.

I can deal with a couple of days of doing nothing but an entire 3 weeks, goddamn. Going back to Boston, is not the happy part, it is actually going back to my life, going back to a "place" in which my day and life is much more random and much more dynamic, especailly this semester, which will be our last in law school and hopefully the most memorable, or in otherwords I'll be making a lot of ass and ensuring that everyone has something to talk about. God bless alcohol and me when i'm full of it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Well its been a few weeks since i've written here but i've been a bit busy with finals and finally coming home for winter break. Home is great but it is also not. It has become more apparent to me that I can't live at home again, I can stay at home for a bit but not live there. Its my comfort zone, the place where I am secure and thereby lazy. It is the place I just simply accept and go along with rather than take any real intiative. I've been home for over a week now and honestly, its a bit boring. I don't have much to do.

The Christmas weekend was pretty interesting, I must say. The pressure of marriage and all that comes with it, is clearly growing, not for me but for all the girls who are of marriagable age, which is slowly including both my sisters. We went to three family-friend related parties this weekend and each of them devolved or snowballed into "Oh my god, what are we going to do about getting our girls married." I tend to free float between the parents and the kids, meaning I tend to hang out with each of them.

The way these parties work is that the parents take one side of the house and the kids the other. The parents further divide themselves up into all the husbands on one side and the wives on the other, it is like a grade school dance. I tend to just move about from one group to the next, so i hear all the various conversations that are going on. The kids, who of course range from 20-30 are all talking gossip or playing some card game. The fathers just pretty much sit around and talk about news or politics or the next non-personal thing that comes to their minds and the mothers all talk about marriage and how tough their kids are to deal with.

It is rather weird to see how much the cultural and religious issues affect our parents and how much more real it gets as time passes by. The more I have listened to it and thought about it, the more it becomes apparent to me that the indian mind and cultural ethos is so very different from the western ethos and mind. I spent the better part of the weekend listening and talking to the parents, not just mine but our family friends, about these things. I was trying to explain to them what it means to be an indo-american of our generation in this country and society, how tough it is for us to try and balance our two very different cultures.

Indian culture places vital importance on the wishes of the parents and this leads to us trying to live our lives in a manner to make our parents happy and live up to their expectations. Essentially, in our parent's happiness lies our own happiness. To a large part, I think I have come to understand this and even accept this, in these past few years. At the same time, we living in this country and being raised with many american and western values, become conflicted. American culture places strong ideas of independence, individuality and self-happiness. Meaning, we should do what makes us happy as an individual. Furthermore, we are informally taught that marriage begins with love and romance but in the indian culture marriage fosters love and romance. Western = love first then marriage; Indian = Marriage then love. Clearly, the dilemma for us can be seen. The weekend was spent me explaining this in much more detail to the parents. It was rather interesting and helped me to see much more clearly where I stand, which in this case is a amalgam of both cultures. I know for the most part now, that my happiness lies in my parents happiness and now that lets me have a foundation on how to proceed with the more confusing areas of my life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Right now, my entire life is in limbo. I'm not sure where i'm gonna go or where i want to go or need to go. I'm not just referring to my career or where i will be next year, i'm talking about life in general. I'm trying to figure what the next chaper of my life needs to be. So it suffices to say i'm in some state of confusion. Man, since I started law school the confusion has gotten more and more intense and kinda hitting the ultima soon. The past few years have taken me down a path that i don't think i would have saw myself following 7 years ago. I'm not entirely sure that I like who I had become and so I'm trying to change myself.

I've lost sight of who I was raised to be, I know I have to become my own person but its not entirely that simple. Yes I do have to become my own person but the debts I owe to my parents must also be repaid. I've done things that maybe they wouldn't be so proud of and feel its about to make some changes. This weekend put some things into perspective for me. Maybe I don't know people that well, and maybe i expect too much from people, especially those close to me. In other respects, this weekend helped me to figure out somethings about myself and what i want in the long term.

I've come full circle in many respects. I'm trying to reach back to my roots and trying to find my spiritual grounding again. Its tough, given that the past few years have taken its toll on my beliefs and some ways made me a skeptic. Music has really helped me change this, i'm attempting to get past the technical aspect of it and back into the devotion and emotions of it. Writing is also my other outlet and its helped me a lot too to trace my thoughts over the past few years. Maybe i'll put some of it up here but we'll see.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

This weekend i was in New York City, the Big Apple, still for the life of me don't know why its called that. It was a good weekend, my sister came up to NYC to visit her friends and so i decided to go hang out with her, that was lets say a fun and even more frustrating experience but live and learn. I also met up with some other people and I had a really good time there.

It just dawned on me recently, that i'm at a crossroads in my life. My law school experience is drawing to a close in May and then i have to enter into the real world, whatever that is, i guess the life i've been living now is fake and imaginary. I'm not entirely sure where i'm going to be or what i'll be doing, right now i'm trying to figure out between nyc, dc, la or sf.

NYC seems like the most fun and best overall experience, DC is the heart of this country and that would be interesting but i don't know that many people over there and not sure if i wanna start off from scratch again, LA is too close to home right now and i need a few more years before I head there and settle, SF seems like a great place its not too far from home and yet its far enough and a big city. So i'm not sure what I want or need to be.

A really sad event transpired yesterday. On December 11, 2004 the world and especially Carnatic Music World lost a great person, M.S. Subbhalakshmi, one of the greatest musicians of our or any time. She was the first female to break down all the gender and caste barriers in Carnatic Classical Music. Her voice is famous all over the world to all Hindus, hers is the voice of the suprabatham in the morning. Temples all over india play her music in the morning to awaken the deities and usher in the new sunrise. She was an humanatarian who has donated millions of dollars to charities through her concerts. The love and devotion in her voice could bring any person to their knees in tears, music was just music for her, it was her very life breath, her soul and her soul touched all those who have heard her.

I remember her voice as a young kid, she was the first voice i heard almost every morning as my parents played her songs after they took a shower and begun to pray. She taught me the vishnu sahasaranamam and shankaraacharya's bhaja govindam and she revived my love for music in the song ranga puravihara. The bhava (emotion) and bhakti (devotion) in her live and voice will never be matched. Her soul now has merged into the Universal Being and found the bliss that she has sung so often about.
Sunday, November 28, 2004

Marriage!!!! Wow, it is such a daunting thing. I just came back home for the thanksgiving day week for one of my closest friend's wedding. I met Nitin in college, in my senior year, to be honest, he was just another pretty boy to me, well it happened to be the third time i was wrong about a person. The other two times also lead to my two other best friends Mike and Simms. Eh, what can I say, I'm allowed a few mistakes in my life and that includes that one time at band camp....

Well, to make a long story short I only made a few close friends in college and Nitin is one of them. Oddly, he is also a day younger than me but thats neither here nor there. He has been basically dating his fiance/wife for about 5 years, crazy, the only commitment i've made for that long is college and even that involved me transferring. It is rather awkward for me because he is my age and he is already set in life. I mean, he has a job, which he will stay with for most of his life, he knows what his life will be like in the next 5 years and now he is solidifying all that with marrying his fiance. I have no idea what I will be doing 6 months from now let alone 5 years. Its funny how life works out, about 2 1/2 years ago as we were all finishing college, i had life figured out and had some idea of where i was going but now, not so much. C'est la vie....

Monday, November 22, 2004

There is an age old philosophical or more specifically metaphysical debate about the nature of reality. There are two main positions which are debated, the school of monism and the school of dualism. Monism, best understood in the West by Immanueal Kant and in the East in Shankaraacharya, posits that the universe, individuals and God are One, no differentiation between them in the ultimate view. There is no world, no individual soul but there only is Being or Brahman, pure and undifferentiated. Dualism, on the other hand is best understood in teh west by many of the theological philosophers but more so in Rene Descartes and in the East in Madhvaacharya. Dualism holds that the world, individuals and God are ultimately distinct entities, they cannot be the same because the difference is due to their very essences.

The implications of both of these theories leads to very different world views. For the Monist, all things are ultimately the same and the world we see before us isn't the ultimate nor is it even representing the actual state of things, in fact it is not even truly real. The realm of ordinary experience is seen as only useful in some base sense since it is based on the "illusory" world. In some respects the world before us is negated and our very existence as individuals is deemed false.

Dualism does the opposite. The world is seen as distinct from individuals and God, so distinct that it cannot seen as equal to the individual, just as the individual is seen as in a inferior position to God. God is seen as ultimately unrelatable to the individual and sooo beyond the individual that the individual has no hope of understanding God. The world and the experiences in the world are held to be paramount because they are real.

Our experiences in this world show that both view points have some truth to them. We clearly experience distinction between ourselves and everything around us but at the same level we have experiences that things around us are some how connected to us. But the exact relationship we share with the world is very difficult to describe in words. Same goes for the Divine. The Divine has been experience throughout human history ane experience in soo many different ways, that it is almost impossible to discern what is the exact position of the Divine and its relationship to everything. Just something to think about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

If math is the ultimate and universal language then music is the universal form of expression. Music has the ability to uplift and liberate the most downtrodden mind and soul to heights of esctacy and joy. In the same vein it has the power to drag the soul to the depths of depression and pain. Music is pure and perfect, nothing can compare to it and nothing can detract from it. It is our connection to something deeper and greater than us, the Divine, and it is also our connection to the baser parts of ourselves, our emotions.

The Power of Music is beyond comprehension, it allows us to tap into that part of ourselves that is untouched and hidden in the inner reaches of our soul. The musician who is enthralled and possessed by music, draws those expressions out of themselves and conveys them to the listener and the listener sharing in that state of musical esctacy feels the beauty and power of the music in a way so inarticuble that it brings tears to the eyes. The music connects all those who truly participate in it with the Divine. Music is a spiritual endeavor and it is the medium in which the soul expresses itself. The mind expresses itself through thought and speech but the soul expresses itself through music. Music is creativity unbound. The musicians of yore, used music to express their relationship with the Divine and to communicate with the Divine, who responded through that same music.

The 17th century composer Thyagaraja, wrote "what good is music and musical knowledge without devotion" and I think that holds true even today. Does music connect you to the universal? Does it fill you and touch you in a way that is beyond explanation? Does it cause your eyes to well up with tears for no explainable reason except the pure beauty and grandeur of it? Does its power overwhelm you? If it does all that, then you have experience but a portion of the essence of Music, a limitless and infinite well.

First and foremost, gotta give it up to my buddy Malik-G aka Geeta Malik aka the Basher (she is a violent girl and has injured many of men in her time, plus she is trained in like karate), check this out Aunty G's its her first short film and pretty funny. Rock on, Malik and remember I'm still your go to hero and villian. :)

Have you ever wondered why you turned out the way you have? I have and i'm rather confused. People think i'm complex for some reason, but I'm not so sure. I mean the fact i was dropped on my head a lot as a child explains a lot of things about me, for example my frequent and rampant assmaking (i once asked out a girl at a bar, on a bet, by saying "yo gimme your number") . I was raised in a somewhat orthodox yet liberal Hindu family, its a bit of an oxymoron and a contradiction but thats my family from the outside perspective but i think we are really openminded even though we sometimes afflilate ourselves with orthodoxy. My dad and mom raised me with strong religious and moral values and i think to a large part i still hold those values albeit in a more skeptical manner.

My childhood friends are not the friends people would think i had and have. Most of them have been to jail and prison for various crimes and honestly i think most of society would condemn them and say that they are a blight on society but nothing could be farther from the truth. These are guys that have been raised by a single mother who gave them everything that she could, they were good kids but got caught up in something beyond them and paid the price. that being said, these guys are the guys i would call my brothers and infact my parents have essential treated them like they do myself. We've been through a lot together and i wouldn't want anyone else in my life or at my side.

Here is the weird part, my parents, the people who have never cussed in their lives, when I say "what the hell", my father gets mad at me and says "Don't say hell, say what the heaven". I'm not allowed to say idiot to my sister when i'm home, but if you know my respect for rules u'd know that rule is never followed . My parents have totally accepted my friends even after they went to jail and all, and have never pronounced judgment on them. Not very many people would do that. See, my parents are geniunely good people, wait great people, prolly few of the best in the world, and i would say that to anyone and I have examples from their lives to back it up, not just in regards to their kids but to people in the world they've helped.

See here is the part that confuses me, they are such great people yet they have a son like me. My only redeeming qualities i clearly get from my parents but the rest its all me. I mean, i'm a jackass, they are sweet and caring, i'm much more judgmental than they are. They are genuinely good people and I'm not, i've been an ass to people which i know my parents have never been. If you got insight into this, let me know.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The past few weeks have been a bit hectic, just a lot of school and law stuff going on and been draining me, suffices to say not a fun time. I have spent the past day "studying" for the MPRE, the professional responsibility test for lawyers, aka the one thing we will never use or had, ethics. Lawyers as attested to by millions of people are the scum sucking monsters of the world, we have no ethics or morals, and for the most part, they are right. So a group of like 6 of us went to Waltham, the greatest city in the world, ok fine its not a city more of a village and fine not even great, more of blah but whatever.

So myself, girish, amudha, robin, sejal and sean basically waited from 11 am to 2 pm in a ridiculously long line cause the peopel who administered this test were dropped on their heads as children and are morons and incompetent. When we were sitting at the testing center, we saw this cute girl, or so i was told. We being the 5th graders that we are decide that we are bored so lets have some fun. Girish, Robin, Amudha and I decide that I will try and get her number, why me, because i'm the only single dude in the group. First we talked about my normal ass making line, "yo gimme your number", and no thats never really worked and never expect it to. So we spent another few minutes going over my various tactics, basically me trying to come up ridiculous lines just for comedic effect. Then Robin and Girish came upon an epiphany, what if we write her a "love" note. So we did just that, Girish wrote a note that goes like this:
"Hi, i am writing this note on behalf of my friend in the grey sweater (Me). He thinks you are really pretty and wants to know if you are interested? please check one of the following.
_ Yes
_ No
_ I'm thinking about it"

Girish also proceeded to put my email on that note. Amudha hads her the letter and points to me and says its from him. So i'm giggling like a lil school girl, cause i can just imagine her face upon getting this note. We were all trying to not to laugh. She responds and says thanks but i'm engaged. We all bust out laughing, not because of the response but because we are all jackasses and while everyone else in the room is stressed about the test, we are writing love notes to girls like we were in the 5th grade and scared to talk to women. Whats the point of this story? Well first is that I'm still a 5th grader and second is that I'm the king of all jackasses and assmakers.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004

My little guamian house monkey, aka my roommate leevin, brought up an interesting topic on his own blog. My mother was and is clueless about a lot of things that happen to her kids. When I have attempted to explain to her in the past that I was dating someone, yes as hard as it is to believe but I did/do date, she would completely ignore me. "Amma, what would you say if i was dating a white girl..." and yes that was my way of trying to break the ice and let my mom know that i was dating outside the indian "race". "No, mukunda, i know you and you wouldn't do something like that. don't think about girls and all that nonsense, focus on your studies." and with that she would promptly turn her back and walk away no matter what i was saying.

I still don't think my mom knows anything about my or my sisters dating lives. My sister was dating some white guy, who i can't mention cause she will literally kill me, so I asked my mom "Amma, do you know that Maad and "blank" are dating?"
My Mom: "No they are just friends."
Me: "Ma, they go out alone and he stays over at her place sometimes."
Mom: "No, mukunda they are just really good friends, maadhavi is just helping him out. He needs some friends."
Me: "Ma, but.."
Mom: "No, they are just friends"
Then my mom will go about her business like nothing has happened.

My dad on the other hand is oblivous to the entire world and his version of parenting is something like this:
Mom: "Can't you say something to the kids, they are not listening to me."
Dad: "Kids, listen to your amma."
Or when he wanted to tell us something and we were all in the room he would turn to my mom and say:
Dad: "tell the kids that tomorrow morning they have to get up early and pray."
Me: "Appa, we are right here, you can tell us."
Dad: "Seshi (my dad's nickname for my mom), tell them to get up early."

Now my dad's newest thing is to tell me that drinking doesn't suit me or isn't in my character. My license recently expired on my 25th birthday and my parents had recieved my renewed license at home.
Me: "Ma, has my license come in yet?"
Mom: "Yes, i have it, it came in three weeks ago."
Me: "Why didnt you send it to me?"
Mom: "Your appa and I felt that this way you can't go to a bar and drink leequor. Drinking is bad for you."
Dad (in the background): Tell him that drinking isn't in his nature and it doesn't suit him
Mom: Appa says that drinking doesn't suit you and isnt' in your nature

Indian parents...go figure.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

One of my friends said that I was wrong about the United States being a
democracy, and he (who shall remain nameless) said that the US is a
republic. What is a republic? Websters says that: A state in which the
sovereign power resides in the whole body of the people, and is
exercised by representatives elected by them; a commonwealth. A
Democracy is thus defined:
1.Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by the people.

2.Government by popular representation; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but is indirectly exercised through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed; a constitutional representative government; a republic.

3.Collectively, the people, regarded as the source of government.

4.The principles and policy of the Democratic party, so called.

If one were to look at Definition 2 of Democracy, it is clear that a republic is subsumed under democracy. A republic is a form of democracy. In my previous post i was using democracy as meaning rule of the mass, a participatory democracy. A republic by its very definition is a representative democracy but a democracy nonetheless. The United States is a mix between participatory democracy and republic. The very notion of popular vote shows leaning towards participatory democracy and that is balanced with the electoral college which have very representative democracy/republic nature to it. The founding fathers saw the need for both types of governance and the USA is an experiment to see how to go about creating a balance between participatory and representative democracy. It was the best that they could do given their time, situation and knowledge.
Nonetheless, it still doesn't detract from my previous point that to an individual does it really matter that they are being told how to lead their lives by either a single monarch or a majority? My only reason for bringing this up is that we have lost this from realm of debate or thinking, our world is focused on the idea that democracy (using this term in a generic sense now) is not ideal form of government but it is the best of the worst. I just don't know if thats the case and i think we need to seriously discuss this idea.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A question has often arisen in my mind, the question of whether democractic government's are necessary the best form of governance. In this day and age, every single nation that seeks any sort of legitimacy in the world arena attempts to shout loudly that they are a democractic government. Why is that good? Because the "people" are represented or have a vote? Really does that matter? Is a democractic government that much better than a monarchy when the sovereign has the interests of the people at heart? I'm not sure where I fall in terms of this question. It seems to me a monarchy in which the ruler has the interest of the people at heart is just as good as a representative democracy (given that no nation on this planet right now has anything close to a participatory democracy).
For example, in the American system of representative democracy or republic (there are arguments, which are valid, in which the USA is more of a republic than democracy because the notion is that democracy is the will of the majority and republic is a rule of the law but this is rather debatable). Just because people can vote does not mean that the vote really counts. In our electoral college, the ideal is that your representative will vote in occurdence with what the majority of the state votes but this is not always the reality, because representatives can vote as they wish in the electoral college. So the popular vote can possible obsolete. This echoes John Stuart Mill when he said that everyone should have a voice but not all voices should be equal. On a similar note, Mill also approved of a Monarchy but it must be representative.
In Europe during the Middle Ages there was the idea of Divine Right of Kings, which basically postulated that the King was essentially God's representative on earth and therefore was supreme. Both India and China had some what similar sounding ideas. The Mandate of Heaven as it was known in China, said something similar but the King was not absolute and if he acted in a manner that was not virutuous then he loses that mandate and is brought lower than the low. In India, the idea is that King is subservient to the law or Dharma, if he acts in a way that contradicts dharma, which includes protection of the citizens/subjects and welfare state then the people have the right to revolt. In otherwords, the King had a duty to the people, in the Indian context it was a tacit social contract that required that the King act in the best interests of all his subjects, especially to prevent Matsyayana or the Law of the Bigger Fish eating the Smaller fish. Basically the king's duty was to protect the lower strata of society from the power and coercion of the upper strata. Kautilya, the first political realist in the world, wrote in 400 B.C. that "it is in the people's happiness that lies the king's happiness".
Is that necessarily the case with democracy? or is it what Mill feared of democracy, the idea of the tyranny of the majority? The idea that state legistilature can regulate almost any part of our lives goes to show that it is infact the tyranny of the majority that rules. Why can't homosexuals get married? simple, tyranny of the majority? Why was abortion illegal for so long? tyranny of the majority Why is euthanasia illegal? tyranny of the majority. The majority, mostly the "moral" majority, is dictating to the rest of the people how they should lead their lives. So maybe the question here is more of whats better to be ruled by a single monarch or a majority acting as a monarch?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Superman passed away yesterday. Christopher Reeve was THE one and only Superman to an entire generation of people. I remember the first time i saw that movie when I was like 3 years old, i watched it with my father. It is probably one of the first memories I have. I remember that feeling when I saw Superman first take to the skies, it was breathtaking and they fulfilled their promise I did believe that a man can fly. That man was Christopher Reeve. That character and as portrayed by Christopher Reeve is one of the reasons I am the person I am today. Superman meant more to many of us that just a simple comic book or movie hero, he was an ideal, something to aspire to, to emulate, a mythic figure to whom we would find some sense of morality and justice.

Superman is someone we wished we had in this world, a person who would stand up for something more than just what we see. The protector of the weak and defender of the defenseless. A god in the midsts of humans and yet more human than them. A being who could destroy the planet and rule it but with a thought, yet instead he stands among us as an equal and friend. Christopher Reeve brought that character and idea to life for us. He made us feel like that person does exist and can exist, and he did this all after his accident. I remember in 1995 when he got into the accident and was paralyzed, I was at football practice and I remember taking to one of my coaches about it. Without a doubt, we all said he was a true Superman. Many people would have forsaken life and devolved but Christopher Reeve showed otherwise. He, like the character he played, never gave up and took up a new neverending battle against the fate he was given, he would not give up and fought valiantly to try and overcome his condition.

Men of Steel aren't only born but are made by the decision they make. Christopher Reeve was one of those men of steel. He made us understand that even though the flesh is weak, the mind is strong, it can do the impossible and make the impossible happen. He defied all the diagnosis of the doctors and begin to slowly recover feeling and movement in his extremeties. Thank you Christopher Reeve for making this kid believe that we can fly, you inspired me as a child to fight the good fight and do the right thing. May your soul gain the enlightenment and bliss that it deserves. is the one of the most incredible yet heinous action taken by human beings. War is always justified by the individuals engaging in it. For the warriors who fight on the field of battle it is the field of honor and glory. For the rulers who command it, it is a field in which their power and goals are achieved. For the civilans, who are caught up in it, it is either something that they support or hate with every fiber of their being. Its interesting how something that causes so much death and destruction is justified. Lives are snuffed out without as much as a blink of an eye. We post numbers of casualties and for the most part we ignore what that means in relation to the human effect by justifying their deaths as given for liberty, justice, freedom or recently, democracy.

For the most part, warriors chose to enter the field of battle and there is an blatant assumption that the warriors assume: war kills and warriors die for their war. Civilians don't assume such a risk and their deaths are called collateral damage or accidents. I just saw this movie called the Fog of War, it is documentary and is narrated by Robert McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense for President Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam War. He made a very important statement "Why aren't there rules of war", I am paraphasing. This is a very poignant statement. People play sports and their are rules for sports, which applies to both winners and losers but in War, which is the most destructive and gigantic action or "game" that can be engaged in, has no rules. There is almost nothing that cannot be done to win a war and if the war is won then the victor is never penalized or held to answer for those acts committed in the time of war. Does war necessarily mean that the rules of morality are to be suspended? Does not the Torah and Bible teach "thou shalt not kill" (there is some argument that it actually says murder pre-King James Version but I'm dont have knowledge of Hebrew but the greek word used is phoneuseis which comes from phoneuw which means kill) and doesn't Jesus say that "thou shalt not kill any living thing for life is given to all by God and what God gives no man shalt taketh away" ? Many people have argued that this doesn't apply to war or justified killings. Why? Killing is killing, however its done its consequences are the same and the act is the same. Granted there are gradations of killing, some more heinous than others but justified killing doesn't absolve one of any wrong doing.

What makes war any more special? We are now fighting a "war on terrorism" but not a single person in the general media or of any political influence has brought out the point that, much of this terrorism is a direct product of colonialism, globalism and post WWII actions. Most of these terrorist countries or "creator" of terrorists are very poor and generally uneducated. Afghanistan is case and point, it was a very poor country and in the 70's under the "heel" of the then USSR and we liberated them and gave them weapons to fight the Soviets and essentially left them to their own mechanisms afterwards and that created the Taliban, we know of today. In no way, shape or form am i condoning or even supporting the terrorists, they deserved to be caught and imprisoned but this war on terror is fundamentally going to fail because its not attacking the root of the problem, which is education and respect. Americans on a general level don't respect other nations, or specifically third world nations, that term alone "third world" shows that lack of respect. We don't have the respect enough to understand the history of a nation before "engaging" with them. History is a very key and fundamental part of a nation's situation, its also my firm belief that in history is where the solution arises. We don't respect the nations to make decisions for themselves and we attempt to assert our influence over them, much like we try to do with our own citizens, we don't believe that people can make good decisions for themselves. We fight to open up free trade and peddle in globalization, granted it has a lot of benefits like in the long term, a higher chance of higher standard living, economic growth and so on. But why can't these companies that come to the "third world" countries have to abide by our standards in the country they have relocated to? simple, we don't care if these companies destroy the countries they are in as long as we get a benefit here, eg: higher profits. Then a few years later, we tell those nations to comply with our "international" standards and chastise them for not doing so. The way to win this war on terrorism is to stop trying to be the neo-colonizer and show more respect and help to the up and coming nations.
Sunday, October 10, 2004

I went out last night to this club called Sanctuary, its a decently nice place with three floors but you can primarily dance on the bottom floor. Needless to say I was a bit plastered. So I danced for a good portion of the night but after a while I took a break and stood at the side and just watched people. I watched as people drunken tried to hit on each other and grab each other. I thought is this how I am when i get drunk and go out. I am that guy who can barely hold a coherent conversation and is falling all over the place and trying to hit on anything that remotely resembles a woman? Is this the person that my parents raised? Is this the person i want to be or who I am? Yes it leads to fun and interesting stories of how much of an idiot i am and can be but how important is that?

I watched as guys moved from one girl to another in a quest to find their newest conquest to satisfy their sensual desires. I know at some level that the girls know that this is what the guys are looking for and maybe that is why many of them are on the defensive. I usually try to avoid this situation and being like any other guy that tries to play the numbers/probability game, you know who moves from girl to girl getting shot down until he finds either one who is interested, desperate or drunk enough to hook up with him. If you really considered this "game", it is really quite ridiculous and somewhat disgusting. Essentially, it is based on the idea that any girl is substitutable for another as long as they are "willing" to hook up. It essentially changes a woman into an object or a means to achieve an end. Granted if a girl is interested in the guy, it changes things a little but it still doesn't hit the heart of the matter, which is the mentality of the guy who choses this method of getting women, which is that in his mind all girls are the same as long as they will hook up.

Oddly or sadly, this method is much more effective than being a nice guy. The idiom "nice guys finish last" is quite the truth. Maybe its because nice guys give off the impression that they aren't: confident, tough, passionate, untameble and so on. Now, let me just clarify, i've never been considered a nice guy until people get to know me before that point I'm usually and universally thought of as being a jackass, or just a pompous know it all jerk, i prefer the former, doesn't sound as bad as pompous know it all jerk. Generally, nice guys aren't the ones who play this numbers game because they have a bit more respect for themselves and the woman or maybe they don't have audacity or the self-confidence to do this. For the nice guy, he thinks that its through friendship and hanging around the girl that the girl will eventually see him for him and then will like him, sometimes this works but more often than not it doesn't. Well, the reason that they finish last is that they are taken for granted, much too often. The girl knows that the nice guy will never leave her hanging and will be there for her. I only know of a few guys who are genuinely nice and have gotten the girl that they want, suffices to say it doesn't happen often. I'm case and point, when i'm nice things don't work out but when i'm a jackass it works out, insofar as women are concerned. I sometimes think i want to be that nice guy but seeing the reality of the world, it makes me pull away from that because "nice guys do finish last".

Friday, October 08, 2004

These last few months have been a bit heated due to the coming elections. Politics is the center of everything now. We turn on the news and all we see is political campaigning and pandering, to the point were we have no clue as to what this election is about. Law school is apparently one of the places where one may receive key and insightful perspectives into politics, because as we know law and politics are so intricately intertwined. Sadly this idea of gaining an unique insight into Politics is a wrong one. Law school isn't about thinking critically about an issue but learning "black letter law". We read cases to try and figure what a judge has said and why they said that. We don't look at the presuppositions that are present in their view and what implications that has. Law has had philosophy ripped from its core, it is an empty shell. Just as Politics has had philosophy ripped from its soul. Both of these fields have ceased to be about a calling and have become purely only professions or careers.

Law is about making money ( I must qualify this statement and say that for many if not most lawyers) and is not about trying to provide justice or social upliftment and choice. The same goes for politicals but substitute power for money (although it can be argued and successfully that money equals power). Maybe I am naive and idealistic, and there never exist a time in which this wasn't true. I watched both the Presidental and Vice-Presidental debates with this in mind. Although I tend to agree with the Kerry/Edwards position a bit more than the Bush/Cheney position, i still wonder how much of that they truly believe or even care about it. Is it all rhetoric? I'm not sure. We talk about democracy in this country like its the word of the day. How many times has each side espoused that term? much too many to count.

Democracy is a system of bottom up power. It is a system in which power comes from the people and their own personal sovereignty (this is my own personal thought and i have yet to read it in any political, legal or philosophical work but if you read it before let me know). In a monarchy, the power stems from the King and through him it is filtered down into his cabinet and administration, meaning this..the King is the reservoir of all political power and even if you combine the power of all the individuals in society it cannot equal or be superior to the King's power, this even goes for laws, a king is not bound to obey the law because the law derives its power from him but nonetheless he may obey the law as an example or any other reason. In a Democracy, the individual is the sovereign and it is in pooling their individual sovereignty together that creates the power of the State. In otherwords, the State cannot possess more sovereignty or power than the entirity of its individual citizens. Individuals must possess some remainder of sovereignty after they transfer a portion to the State otherwise they cease to be participating in any democracy and it reverts to some other form of governance such as a monarchy, oligarchy or such. It is that remainder that becomes "rights" such as right to life, liberty, happiness, privacy and so on. It is that realm that the government cannot (ideally) regulate or control. The portion of power that was appropriated to the State is that which relates to our actions as a community and in relation to each other, the individual's agency was not transferred to the State (if they did so then any act they did could not be ascribed to them). Nor was the individual's control over themselves transferred, for it had been then again their actions cannot be ascribed to them nor could you even say that "they" as individuals acted. The state cannot tell individuals how to live their own lives or what they can or can't do to their own bodies or lives. It's powers must be relegated to the realm of unconsented interaction between individuals.

What does this all have to do with my point about politics been without a soul any more? Well, simply this We as a society and even our leaders do not address any of these issues. We leave it to "academics". What rationale is given for no-abortion aside from "state's interest" that is secular in nature? None...What about homosexual marriage or relations? None.... What about drug use? None.... What about euthanasia? None....Prostitution? None...(although there is a valid Feminist argument against allowing prostitution but i think that more applies to society than to a State) Our politicians make references to taxes all the time but they never talk about why one should raise or lower taxes. Why don't our leaders debate on what they think the function of a State is? Is the state required to provide basic needs to those of its citizens that don't have it? Should a State have vested interests outside of its citizens? I think this is the heart of Politics as understood by the great thinkers and the ancient world, it is a view that we have widely departed from and I'm not sure if it is possible to return to that, at least in America.

Universe is either in order or in chaos, depending on how you view the nature of your life. Order necessarily springs from the belief that there is purpose and rational for all things. Chaos is pure randomness and spontaniety, it is creativeness at its peak. Life is either a coincidence or it is fate. In some respects they are mutually exclusive. If you are fated for a specific thing then it can't be pure randomness that it occurs. This is a question that has perplexed people from the dawn of history, what governs us our free will, which would imply chaos insofar it is random and utterly dependant on our choices or does destiny control?
What is very deeply linked to this question is the idea of justice. Justice implicitly requires order. In Greek, the word Dike means Justice but not the same sort of justice we understand today but it aligns itself with more of natural or ultimate justice or order. This is very much like the word in sanskrit Dharma, which has many meanings but primarily refers to natural order/justice, its precursor is the word Rta (pronounced Ritha). The idea of Justice is that of making these right or as they should be. A individual has been wrong and it must be corrected and set back on its original path. This is the basis of the "Scales of Justice" which is held by both the Goddesses Dike and Themis (who was relegated to the realm of mortals, not divine justice). Similarly, the Egyptian Goddess Ma'at was also depicted carring a sword but no scale and the Roman Goddess Jusitia carried both the sword and scales. The scales symbolize the balancing of all the forces until they are balanced evenly and thereby the natural order is restored. When a wrong is committed, the scales tip in one direction and it is required for the scales to balance so an equal action must occur in order for the scales to be restored to the balanced stage
Now if the universe is truly random then how does justice fit in? I'm not entirely sure but it seems that it can't, or at least justice as understood as a restoration as natural order. A universe cannot have any true justice, it can have events that occur in which it seems like justice occurred but that only occurs because of pure probability.

The theory of Karma attempts to give a some-what rational explanation ( I say somewhat rational because it presupposes many things such as ordered universe, divine force, reincarnation, actions have some "value", immortality of the soul, division between the soul and body and so on) The theory of Karma goes like this: this universe is filled with sentient beings and each of these beings possess free will to act. These actions are on their face are neutral and possess no value judgment attached to it (e.g. good and bad). Actions taken by sentient beings can only occur with intent to act (another presuppostion), it is this intent that determines the value of the act. Accordingly every action has either good or bad value to it. The actions committed with good intentions will later come to fruitation for the being just as bad actions but the caveat is that the fruits cannot impede or remove free will. So, the fruits become either obstructions in the being's life (this life or any future life) or they help the being to overcome these obstruction. The fruits also determine the various key factors of the individuals birth (i.e: what family, any genetic problems, level of intelligence, and so on). This is how Karma attempts to explain why good things happen to bad people and how bad things happen to good people, or why an infant is born with so many problems or a person is going through a troublesome time or such a easy life. It paints a very structured and ordered picture of reality. It doesn't necessarily require the existence of a God or higher being, as attested to by the Buddhists and Jains.

It seems that order and chaos are necessary for each other. How can their be order if there is no chaos? Meaning, order must arise from something and order cannot arise from itself because if it does there is no way to differentiate between order and the successive order. When order arises it does not dispel chaos but relegates it to the realm of consciousness, in us. The universe is perfectly ordered but we are on the other hand the perfect chaos. Our minds allow us to take nearly any action and we can concieve of anything, we continually create order in our minds because of the chaos that exists there. Free will makes us disorder and chaos in this universe. Chaos isn't a bad thing, it is necessary and gives us that unique creative spark, it fuels our imagination and allows us to dream. It is the untamed part of the universe and it exists within us.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Human beings need a sense of belonging, a sense that they are not alone in thought or feeling. Is it natural to feel like an outsider despite being in the center of things? Maybe, i'm alone in this but somehow i truly doubt it. In high school, i was that outsider, the one who stood out, it was hard for me not to. I was about a 120 lbs and about 5'8, i was a stick. Not to mention i went to a Catholic School with primarily white affluent kids, many of them driving new cars and top of the line ones at that. I like most teenagers wanted to fit in and be one of the cool kids so I did what many others before me did, i joined the football team. To be honest, I knew nothing about football, i had probably watched only 2 or 3 football games and knew less than the average person knows about the game. Football at my high school was the crown jewel of sports. You were solid gold if you played it. Mater Dei, the high school i went to, was the top rated football program in the country, it had just won the national championship. I joined for two reasons, to prove that to myself that I belonged and two that I could do what people told me I would never be able to do.
To make a long story short, I made some great friends there, well only 2, both of them still my best friends and I learnt a lot about life. I learnt that people are self serving and are drawn to the hype. Meaning that they don't see whats in before their face they see what everyone wants them to see or tells them to see. One thing i strongly understood is that I don't belong, i'm a wanderer. College was similar, i made a lot friends, mostly indian, because hanging out with indians was a totally new experience for me, i didn't have any indian friends really, while growing up. I made my 6th closest friend in college but even through all that i tried to belong and again at the end of that I learnt i don't belong, i'm a drifter. The relationships that everyone in that Indian circle had with each other, i never had or didn't feel to that level except for the close friend i made there.
Now Law School, i think its here that i've really come to grips with this. I look around and think to myself, "what am I doing here?" I started to drink my senior in college, I was 22, thats odd given our social and cultural milieu. It was then that I developed my party animal personality, but is that who i am? I'm not sure. I interact with everyone but I'm not sure if anyone knows me, in any real sense. They know that i'm a moral and centered person, for the most part but aside from that? I feel like an person in the center of the storm yet unconnected to it.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Ahhh...its been about a week and half since my last blog. I'm back in da Bean (aka Boston) for my last year of law school. I got in on August 22nd morning and ever since have pretty much been partying like an animal.

We had orientation this past week. Monday was Minority Orientation and that was a good event. I had to give a speech about SAALSA (South Asian American Law School Association or something) , you'd think we'd at least make it more desi and call it CURRY or MASAALA (Magnificient Awesome South Asian American Law Association) but i guess not. Anyways i make my speech and talk about Unity among the various minority groups and yes i happened to mention drinking once or twice but clearly for comedic effect and to lax the tension the 1L's might feel.

The first thing I notice is my guamian roommate Leevin pulls his hat over his head and slinks into his chair, in what I assume is shame, so that inspired me more, the more shame I can bring to Leevin the better so I continued on my alcohol train of thought and finished my speech. A few of the professors came by after the speech and said I did a good job but thats neither here nor there.

Then for the rest of the week we pretty much got drunk and helped 1L's, we helped the guys and hit on the girls, I mean come on, why else do you think all the single guys in law school volunteer for the White orientation festivities (in contrast to minority orienation the rest of the week is White Orientation). Its not the beautiful law tower nor the amazing BU beach also known as the grass next to the tower. Clearly its the incoming women. All the guys know this is the time to make your initial move, why because these girls are at a vulnerable time simply because its a new place, with new people and a new life. Plus law school is a daunting idea which happens to be rapidly becoming a reality for these people. What better time to move in and offer "help".

I'm not saying we provide no help but for some reason the help is more for the girls. I actually made friends with a few LLM students because I totally understand what it is like to come to a new country and so I from deep, deep, deep down decided to be nice. Niceness doesn't come naturally to me, I've been referred to as the Lord of Darkness and Lies, the Devil, Despised One but generally Asshole or Jackass covers it.

I got ridiculously hammered on friday night. We went to SBA social on the 1st floor, free beers so i had like 13 and i was feeling good then. Then we went to An Tua Nua's and I had 2 shots of yagermeister and a cranberry vodka, so suffice to say I was plastered. It was a fun night.

Sat was chill, helped Vanessa and Sloan move into their new place but Sloan was in Athens for the Olympics. She got to pray to Poseidon, that angers me, cause I wanna pray to Poseidon and the rest of the Greek deities in Greece. They are very similar to Vedic Deities and so I feel a certain philosophical and cultural connection to ancient Hellenic civilizations. I'm tired more later.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Here I am again attempting to entertain all 2 of my readers. To you two, i say many thanks for sticking with me and to the rest of you, smart move. I know most of you are eager to discover what new adventurous scenario and circumstances I have recently gotten myself into so i will regale you with my stories and antecdotes. Lets see where I last left you all i had watched Harold and Kumar.

Well, this past week was relatively uneventful except for the weekend which was mildly interesting. On Friday after working in the lab at Appa's office i headed to the beach this was around maybe 5ish. It was a friend's birthday celebration and so thats what we did. We played some football and volleyball, in the course of which i sublexed my left shoulder, meaning it popped out and instantly popped back in. I sat out for the rest of volleyball and let the pain subside. Then, the guys mentioned my They wanted to play and I being the big macho former high school football player, who once almost scored 4 touchdowns in one game (people, please tell you me you get that is another clue Polk High School, shoe salesman......come on...the greatest American folk hero Al Bundy).

Anyways, so I end up playing that and dominating might I add. Threw one touchdown and scored another. Well after the beach we all headed to Josh Shlokams, a bar owned by the universally handsome Dennis Rodman aka the Worm. He was at the bar hanging with his fellas. It was a chill night nothing special.

Saturday was another story, Suman, our close family friend was having her birthday party at her house, and made it a pool party. I got ridiculously drunk there, i mean ridiculously. Every other word out of my mouth was a four letter word usually starting with f. I essentially was drinking from 2pm to 1am. I was the only person swimming might I add and i was drunk out of my mind, i did like 25 laps. We went to this party for this dude named Ashwin, supposedly M Night Shyamalan's cousin. What a freaking tool, he walked around as if he was Usher and he was the king of the bar. What he needed was a strong kick in the gonads but i was too drunk and hanging out with my friends to do that.

That essentially was my weekend. I had a freaking root canal today and that shit is bumping. I will try and make my next post more thought provoking than this one.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

This weekend was extremely busy and eventful. Friday night was a night in heaven for me. I went to this Bolivian party, bolivia not bulgaria, which is in eastern europe. Bolivia for those of you without much geographic knowledge is a South American country. Well, you might be asking how did I an Indian guy go to this Bolivian event, and even if you aren't asking that question, which you should be, i will answer it. My best friends are bolivian. Oscar and Erick Quinones, the brothers two. Let me just say wow, that event was amazing. The cultural program was really entertaining, traditional dances and music. The costumes were elaborate and awesome.

But the greatest cultural event there was the ladies. Let me just say, these women were beautiful. I met a whole lot of them but most of them had boyfriends and guess what those boyfriends were white. I have nothing against white guys (anytime you hear a sentence prefaced with "i have nothing against blah blah blah", you know that clearly they do have something against the blah blah blah) but come on, all the hot brown women are taken by the white dudes. Fine, not all but a lot. Like i met this really hot woman there, but she was with a white dude. Oscar tells me that the white dude is cool and funny as hell but not so much a winner, meaning he was a jobless hobo. So out of respect for the dude i didn't hit on his gf, who again was amazingly hot. So anyways i end up dancing the night away from like 11 to 2 am straight with a group of bolivian women. They had a lot bolivian band from Bolivia named Kachas, they had a good tune about them. Suffice to say it was a lot of fun.

Saturday was a long day, had to go to a job site for my dad and spend 8 hours there gathering soil samples, drilling wells and testing the water level and stuff like that. It was like 93 degrees too, it killed. I had got like 4 hours of sleep because of the night of dancing and bolivizing. I came home konked out for a few hours then go up and went to yardhouse and downed a yard and half of beer. It was a friend's post-engagement drunk fest so i just decided to partake in that. It was cool.

Sunday I helped one of my best friend Simms' girlfriend move her stuff into a new place and then hung out with Simms all day. We went swimming, remembered high school and all the stupid shit we did and caused other people to do, we were at our childish and uncivilized best that day. Furthermore to show how far we had regressed back into our teens we went and watched Harold and Kumar go to white castle, which was funny, in a high schoolized kinda way. Crude humor, you can never go wrong with that, thats our philosophy, if you can't be witty be crude. I got like 2 weeks before i head back to the Bean, which i'm kinda looking forward to, last year of schlong, i mean law school and all.

Law school is the quintissential dick measuring contest but its for all genders. It is essentially a way for people to judge each other based on grades and job placement. The guy or girl in the big firm has the 12 incher while the dude in the midfirm and government work has like the 7 incher and the individual in the small or public interest is the mighty 3 incher. I mean just like cock size people don't wanna talk about jobs, not so much as not to offend the other but just so that they don't look like a dick, pun intended. I mean the dude who has his wang out all the time would get his ass kicked so much like that the law student will keep his shit under wraps as not to get his/her ass kicked or hated. Aside from that, this year is gonna be fun, a lot of drinking and partying.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

This weekend was somewhat uneventful. Went to this place in hollywood on Sat. night called White Lotus, it was fun. The food and drinks were ridiculously expensive. I had a good time just talking and dancing with some friends. We left around 1 am and outside while we were waiting for our car to be unvaleted (yah its not a real word, get over it), we noticed this semi-cute girl talking to her friends.

She was keeping it "real" and telling them that she worked with Snoop Dogg (the epitome of class) and his "cats". Snoop Dogg has cats? Whats the world coming to? Anyways, she goes on talking and i'm like practically laughing then she points to my friends (the girls) and says that "they don't have what it takes to be around snoop dogg". I was a bit taken aback and so knowing she was drunk and a bitch i decide to egg her on. "Preach on, sister" I say and so she does. She explains how she is telling it how it is. So i tell her "Yo, no one really cares that you hang with snoop dogg." She responds "He is making his return and coming out with a new clothing line". I retort "Yes thats what i'm really looking forward to wearing, Snoop Dogg's clothing line. It exactly what i want to wear to court or work. A flannel half button shirt, my pants with only one full leg and the other leg rolled up."

She says "Oh you will care when it comes out if you are into fashion and wanna look good." I respond "I'm sure Snoop's line will redefine fashion" At this point her car comes up and she heads towards it, her really cute friend comes up to me and repeatly apolgizes to me saying she is really sorry for her friend and just met her today and stuff.

I gotta say that girl is the perfect example why stupid idiots should never know any "famous" or "rich" people. They will act as if the entire world revolves around them and everyone else is below them but on the flipside those people are very easy to mess with and make feel stupid.

Oh ya, on thursday night i went to watch this one man play performed by Bernard White, the indian guy in matrix revolutions at the train station who talks to neo for a while, on the first 3 chapters of teh Bhagavad Gita. It was really interesting and well done. My cousin-in-law Ravi Kapor, the indian guy on Crossing Jordan, was really into it, he said it gave him a deeper interest in the message and meaning of the Gita, which he had only a brief acquictance with. Other than that nothing very interesting occurred recently.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

If you haven't seen Spiderman 2, you better. Its one of the best movies of the year. Yeah yah , i know i'm a comic book geek and my opinion is clearly biased but wow, that movie stunned me, enough that i've seen it twice and am contemplating a third time. Those of you that know me, know thats pretty crazy, i don't like to spend my federally bestowed money quite so easily. I felt like a little kid again when i watched that movie and being the evil and malicious law student that i am, it was a good return of innocence of sorts. Man, do i wish i had superpowers....

Anyways, i went to this club on Saturday Night a few weeks ago, yes it was the club in newport beach with pure silicone and faux blonde hair, not that i'm complaining. I came with a bunch of Indians, and we rolled in like 20 deep. We were the only brown people for the most part in that entire club and ironically the club was called Sutra, an Indian name which means String in Sanskrit. Tidbit: Kama Sutra means String of Desire. So anyways, i'm working on getting plastered, and damn this evil summer because now i'm a lightweight, a lush if you will, 4 drinks and i'm buzzing like a honey crazed bumblebee, but i think of myself more as a african killer bee, grrrrr.

So everyone at this club is either flithy loaded or is dating/married/screwing someone that is, except us. Most of the single girls at this club would never even give me the time of day because i'm still accepting food stamps from the federal government, which i used to buy alcohol. So i do what any red blooded man does, i lied. Well not so much a lie as a half truth. I convinently found a VIP table, which happened to be empty and sat down at it. Lo and behold like moths to a flame, a couple of girls, amply filled with silicone, dart on over to the table.

I'm my ever suave and composed self tell the ladies to sit down. They comply and start talking to me. Within the first 2 minutes they ask me what my job is. Yes i know sometimes its a technique to foster conversation but clearly in this case it was a technique to gauge my ability to contribute to their monetary needs. So I tell them I'm a lawyer and work for a firm in Los Angeles and that i'm 28. In reality i'm a law student, see both have the word law in it, and i'm 24, soon to be 25. I continue to talk to them a few minutes more and then proceed to go dance with them. After a lil while, i think they wanted me to buy them like a bottle of wine or some shit, but no way was i gonna do that, I totally would if i had money to spare like that but my ass was broke, so i kinda left them and went and hung out with my friends.

The moral of this story is: Lie to get rich, fake blonde, silicone boobied chicks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

For the past year or so I've had a bit of crisis of faith, or so to say. I've just been questioning faith. Its really difficult to believe in God. I mean God evades all our senses, we can't see, touch, smell, taste or hear God. Even our thought process can't fully comprend what exactly God is, yet we are expected to accept God's existence. To be fully honest, I really want to believe in God whole heartily but don't know how to do that without foregoing any sort of questioning. I think of myself as a realist and maybe even a inquistive person, who needs to discover things on my own but it seems this is one question I haven't made any real headway into. So i'm trying to get a few my thoughts on this out. Hopefully People can help me figure it out.

Hindu thought says that all this around us is God. We infact do touch, see, smell, hear and taste God in everything because God is present in all things. Its a very uplifting concept but poses the question, is God all this alone or something more, something greater?

According to Hegel, God is love and even the Maharasthrian Saint Jnaneshwar says the same thing. If God is Love then why is there Hate? One possible answer is Hate isn't seperate from Love but is only the absence thereof, therefore if God is Love and Hate is the absence of Love then Hate is the absence of God. But how is it possible for anything to exist in the absence of God, if God is infact the foundation for all existence or being. Another answer is that both Love and Hate are encompassed in God, insofar as God as the foundation of all being but God is untouched by Hate because God is beyond all such duality. Good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness and all other dualities do not affect God because it would limit God and God by definition is beyond all restraints. But isn't a definition itself a restraint?

A definition confines something by saying what it is or is not. Is God confined in such a manner? According to Upanishads, neti neti or "not only this" "not only this". Meaning that any such attempt to define or qualify God isn't exhaustive, but if anything are only approximations made by the human mind. Much like any description or definition of anything cannot fully reveal its true nature to the one who is recieving such an definition, so is any description of God by nature only a mark or indicator of what God is. Describe the color red? You can't describe it in any positive manner but you can describe it through negatives, by saying what it is not. Red is not black, nor white, nor blue. Much like that God can be defined through negatives. God isn't Hate, Evil, Pain, Death and so on.

More later...
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I'm listening to this really great classical piece by this south indian classical singer named Seshagopalan. It is a totally different experience from listening to mainstream music. If music is expression of the soul then i must say that modern/mainstream musicians are without depth or consciousness. Music is supposed to fill you up and sustain you, touch the very core of you and leave an impression. It is spiritually uplifting and conveys an emotion, not in the lyrics as any person can do that but just through the sound.

Maybe I'm an elitist when it comes to music, i can only listen to mainstream music for so long regardless of genre. Take hip-hop, the rappers aren't so much musicians as they are lyricists or poets. They do not need much in the way of musical talent or skill as they do in being able to flow with the beat. Contrast this with an Indian classical musician, who truly epitimozes what a musician should be. They are able to create music on the spot, the music conveys an emotion and opens up the musician for all to read and listen to. For those who disagree with my treatment of rappers as lyricists and not musicians, well my first question is have you listen to Indian or even Western Classical music? If not listen to that first then compare.

Music in mainstream has ceased to be about music and more about spectacle and making money. Everyone wants to copyright their lyrics, music and beats. If music is truly from the soul then why does that need to be copyrighted? Does the soul need protection? need money? No, lets be honest, music isn't what we listen to nowadays but we listen to entertainment, something fleeting that sounds good for the time being until something new comes along.

Classical Indian Music, which isn't dead by any means, the composers of music and lyricists allowed all to sing and use music, even their own works, without permission. Music from over 500 years ago is still sung today by anyone and everyone, even at concerts. The names of the composers are remembered and praised. This is because for them Music wasn't merely entertainment it was divine, it was the source of creation and it was spiritual. Music for them wasn't a spectacle but was meant to touch everyone at all levels. The Musician didn't create music but was the medium in which music expressed itself and became manifest. The emphasis is music not the musician, in this day and age we have lost touch with that. Music takes second place to the musician. The divinity of music has been lost, i hope that one day it will return... or maybe those days are over.

This is my first web blog ever, quite interesting. I've been thinking quite a bit recently. My thoughts much like my life are random, sometimes they make sense and other times i want to bang my head against a wall. Before we get to all that, i just want to say i love southern california, well specficially newport beach.

Where else can you see enough plastic and silicone in a person and not be thinking about what kinda of person would do that to themselves because you are too engrossed on where they put that plastic and silicone. Apparently everyone in Newport Beach is from Sweden or somewhere in the Nordic region, i've never seen soo many blonde women, even the lovely brown, yellow and black women all had blonde hair, man they must have some dominant blonde hair genes. Black hair and brown hair aren't good enough anymore, we need to have blonde streaks running through them as if to give us some sort of unique new look, which oddly most high school and college kids seem to have. Whenever i see people with streaks in their hair, i assume they are having some sort of identity crisis, am i that far off base? I mean it seems that they want to be different from how they are naturally but what do i know i'm just a clueless indian-american lad.

What's with this ethnic group-american thing? It seems that saying I"m Indian is no longer acceptable, i have to say i'm indian-american. Yes i'm an american citizen, and yes Indian women i am willing to marry so that you can get your green card and live in the USA. Its a bit difficult for Indians to just accept their americanhood. Our lives are sooo heavily ingrained with our indian culture and language, that many of us if not most of us find ourselves affliating with our indian side much more. How can we not? We for the most part learnt english as a second language, we speak our mother tongue at home and are expected to live according to our indian moral standards, which differs in some respects from American moral standards. Maybe its just me but sometimes being American equates to being white? We don't hear white-american or causasian-american (ironically, indians are causasian), i mean if you really think about it most "americans" are european-americans but that europeanness has been dropped and only american is left. How long will it be before Indian-american's stop being Indians and are only Americans? Or how about any other ethnicities?