Image If there is one aspect that can particularly unite a vast proportion of the university populace, it is fecklessness. In recent times, it seems that students seem to take great pleasure in not only “going with the flow” (for the use of a better term), but making sure that everyone else knows just how nonchalant we are. Whether you indulge in the occasional round of procrastination or the odd boredom shower (A shower, it seems, is an excellent and respectable way of not studying!) or not, people have a glorious capacity for doing things that they know are objectively a bit silly. Why? How? Well let us do a little armchair psychoanalysis…

Humanity (or at least a part of it) seems to be particularly susceptible to knowing that something is stupid and then doing it anyway. Let us take smoking for instance. Smoking and excessive drinking is known to be the cause of various cancers in the lungs, throat, mouth, heart, stomach, liver and larynx blah blah, but hey I am sure most people think they might be giving off a Fight Club – esque vibe when they light up and scull that can of beer, so yeah you know what, and I’ll have a pack of Marlboro Reds too please. While we are at the subject of smoking, let us be honest, no one plans on filling their lungs with tar and nicotine and if it was as simple as wearing a patch to cure you of the urge to smoke, then well the world would be free of smokers wouldn’t it?

Debt is not helpful, but we do legitimately need to buy an inflatable pool, swizz army knife and oh yeah someone in the country is selling a karaoke machine from 1993 online which I strongly believe would be a prudent investment, so let’s hit up that overdraft, yo.

I know that I am certainly guilty of all of these, and while I’m sure some who read this won’t be, I am comfortable in the knowledge that I am not alone. In fact, I am part of a community. A community of the stupid. In many ways humanity’s collective capacity for being unsensible is the most impressive thing about it.

What bugs me is the lack of a better explanation of why is it that sometimes people sometimes perform heroic feats of athleticism and why others can happily spend a weekday in bed researching the Cuban missile crisis, drinking a plunger of coffee every half-hour and eating an entire pizza alone whilst watching Walking Dead.

Laziness, lethargy?? Laziness is an accepted psychological phenomenon; it just isn’t terribly well understood. Of course, the intersection between being indolent and being bored is slightly confusing. Psychologists are interested in laziness, but seemingly only in ways that makes us feel deep shame about our continued existence. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note the absence of academic literature surrounding laziness. Brings me back to the crux or should I say the introduction of this piece. Going with the flow. I wish someone had told me at a very young age regarding the demerits of going with the flow/laziness/ lethargy and the sorts. We have to learn NOT to go with the flow, stop the flow, go against it, make your own flow but seriously life is kinda too short to just go with the flow ya know. It may ruffle a few feathers, but some people are in desperate need of getting their of getting their feathers ruffled.

In all honesty, the lifestyle depicted here thus far is barely functional. Nobody is quite this uniformly terrible at getting by. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, though: we do like to complain with barely restrained glee about how terrible we are. Maybe if we just snipped that bit out we’d all do a lot better?

Apologies if this article is so trite and dull that your eyeballs have turned to soup and are mournfully running down your cheeks, but hey I would be interested in knowing why. Hop to it, psychology. As Mohammed Ali once said, “The one who views the world at 50 the same as they did when they were 20, has wasted 30 years of their life”

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The England fast bowler, Mr Stuart Broad, nicked a ball off Ashton Agar to the first slip, Michael Clarke, on day 3 of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The ball was cleanly caught and the entire Australian team celebrated. However, unfathomably and unfortunately for the touring side, the ball umpire decided against giving Broad out. Course, the now distraught Australians remonstrated but to no avail. Mr. Broad? Well a bemused Mr Broad could hardly believe his luck. He stayed at the wicket and did not “walk” to the pavilion (and thereby concede to the umpire that he had hit the ball and was thus was duly dismissed). The England team prospered and Broad was eventually dismissed next day for 65. The debate on whether batsmen should walk is a perennial one in sports circles these days. Many say no, the batsman should stay. The onus is on the umpire to give the player out and if he or she makes a mistake in your favour, so be it. Nonetheless, anyone who has played the sport knows that the general rule of thumb is that for every right decision the umpire makes in our favour, there will an equal number of dud calls that go against us – It’s simple as that really. More importantly, it is just hypocritical of the Australians (especially the Aussies!!) to complain because let us be honest, if the boot had been on the other foot, an Australian batsman would not have walked either.

There is something rotten about the Broad saga and, at the risk of drawing a very long bow, I reckon it is symptomatic of the decline of the perception that cricket is a gentleman’s game. Once upon a time, cricket and fair play were synonymous. Cricket’s ethics were a reflection of Ethics generally. Period. That venerable saying now has to be confined to the dustbin – for the foreseeable future. Perhaps it is the nature of the beast – professional sport in the 21st century?  Realistically, sport is like life you know. We must look after number one and our own interests. The greater good, the spirit of the Game, doing the right thing, these are quaint, sentimental relics of another age. Perhaps historians may look back one day and see a significant cultural marker in cricket. Something was irrevocably different, we were no longer the same. . . the day when batsmen no longer walked.

It has to be argued that in this era why isn’t our experience of ethical self-policing becoming an archtypical experience – where we all can unite ethically by recognizing and abiding the societal norms from an ehtical viewpoint, without the need for some higher authority to guide us?? Or, to put it more bluntly, why is Stuart Broad the poster boy for “the way we live now”, So are the examples we choose really forced upon us by the way the world is, or is it simply that we choose the examples that show us what we want to see?

 So the question is whether failing to “walk” in cricket symptomatic of a more prevalent issue? Or is it merely just the way the game is now played and I am just guilty of having a good ‘ol rant?

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Who discovered fire? No, really, think about it for a second. The anthropological answer would be the quintessentially masculine Stone Age Man. But what if it’s inaccurate? More so, what if it’s false altogether? What if it’s just another myopic (if not misogynist) propaganda? And what if it was a woman who discovered fire? Because the conventional theory states that someone with testicles thought it’d be a great idea to rub flint stones together and see what happens. This particular scenario drives us to believe that fire was an accident even though it wasn’t one. Even the history book illustrations and all the ancient scripts out there have told us that there are two hairy guys hanging out with flint stones dangerously close to their nuts. Besides, how do we know for sure it wasn’t a chortle of hairy girls who patented the art of setting the house on fire? The fact is our society has always been a male-dominated one and for reasons that are abysmally biased. Literally, this is what we call the Evolution of Man as if women did not evolve? One doesn’t have to be a feminist to glance into the very sexist structure of the way we look at our past—both imagined as well as real. Going back to the fire, it’s hard to believe that a guy discovers fire and then asks his live-in girlfriend (since marriage wasn’t in vogue then! ) to not only handle it but also go ahead and cook food. It’s like giving away your greatest discovery to someone else just because you’re a good ‘ol friendly chap and an affable bum who doesn’t like to patent stuff. Promethean ideology be damned, something must have happened, it’s just a shame that we are never really going to know.

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Two hours and 45 minutes seems like a reasonably short time to spend at sea – and it really is.

My first time sailing (well more like sitting in a yatch while the skipper briefed us about potential keel issues and what not) has got me proper hooked. We departed Auckland (New Zealand) in light northerly winds which stayed around 10 knots for the majority of the trip – making for beautiful, fast but blissfully easy sailing. Upon motor sailing through to Westhaven marina where we dropped anchor just after 6:30 pm and spent a good hour or so having baked salmon, courgette puree and some surprisingly refreshing citrus salad. That coupled with a pint (or two!) of Monteiths lager and a great companion – made it quite a spectacular evening. The end of this mini “cruise” per se came rather quickly. This almost instantaneous love affair with the recreational aspects of sailing hopefully stays with me – for a while.

One cannot help but marvel at the skill and bravery of some of those professional seafarers as it is without doubt that each perilous voyage gone through in the past contributed to the safe and sophisticated vessels we enjoy today.

Have you ever been asked the question “Why do you want to write?”

That question always catches me off guard and I do the best I can – gape with a patented awkward look and mutter something indiscernible. (Not that I get asked that question a lot, mind you!)

So why would someone want to write? I mean, for a start I am neither mundane nor skillfull. This reality is probably attested my by absolute disregard towards learning something as basic as replacing an empty gas cylinder with a filled one. Or learning how to cook. Or actually trying to do anything worthy – for that matter.  Yep it goes without saying that I am darn lazy but then hey who really isn’t?

Imagine a conversation about being a writer..

A: “I want to be a writer.”

B: “You mean you want to die of hunger/poverty/deprivation?”

C:”Is that even a real job?”

A: “Nope. I want to be a writer.”

Mostly, people have to usually wait for that “break”. Actors need their lucky break, or IT professionals, or accountants or a myriad of occupations for that matter. Nonetheless, what the majority of us seem to be forgetting is that we all had our first break with education. We are lucky enough to grow up as literates and be given the opportunity to get educated. The fact of the matter is that there are still millions, if not billions who do not receive the kind of exposure to knowledge and education the way we did.

Having said that, not everyone can write. Everyone has a story, yes. But not everyone can write.There are zillions of thoughts enveloped in an idea but very few are able to draw em down to alphabets and let it flow on a page or a screen.

I wonder what it is that thwarts us from being writers and authors? Is it the money? I would not mind being a writer but yes while I am at it, I wish to get paid, not really keen on being broke. You know that awkward moment when you and the ATM screen engage in a staring contest and you always end up blinking first. Yeah, that.

I suppose the dichotomy of having a love for writing vs getting paid can be conceptualized in a simple enough philosophy – don’t bother whether you are right or wrong, Simply write whatever you have left. In this not-so-ideal world, a simple writer would be the pauper who writes on his own, without having anything to own. Harsh? Compared to a mere writer, an author is not someone who writes but someone who gets paid for doing so.

Fair enough.

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Everyday, the same crowd, the same proclivity towards being part of the proverbial bandwagon, constantly elbowing our way to the nearest available fad. Maybe, this was how it was meant to be. Perhaps, someday we’ll realize how foolish we were to be left stranded in a crowd. This is inevitable I suppose, I mean even our greatest leaders throughout history have purported the view of undoing industrial revolution, or at least curtailing it by some extent. Once upon a time, our ancestors must have been absolutely terrified when they realized that fire and fear cannot survive together – so they handled the fire and left the fear behind. In retrospection, that was a brave decision, we did overcome mammoths and the whole podium of the animal kingdom eventually. Today? Today, we are unwittingly getting denied by ourselves – a viral self-deception. As a human race, we seem to be missing the very fire that ignited renaissance or revolution. It seems like the norm is to suppress our thoughts, lest we may be mocked for our travesty. Yes this is incredulously crude not to mention obvious but perhaps we just need to redeem our existence & think.  Are we doing what we really want or are we simply gushing with the flow?

A new step – a new dynamic.

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

After a year and a half of being anonymous on the web, I guess its time, almost inevitable I suppose. All good things must come to an end, including the anonymity of a said blog. But here I am. Born in India, bought up in New Zealand – the land of hakas, sweeping sandy beaches, rolling green pastures and majestic mountains. Male. Pseudo-funny. That’s all I shall say for now.