Sunday, December 28, 2008

The evolution of an aspiring writer

No marks for guessing that the aspiring writer is me. I am not a sensation or a rage, but if I dont write about my evolution in my blog, poor me, who will?

'Romance' is twice removed from reality. Not sure who owns the patent for that, but the one who told me was my English teacher in 8th grade. I realize that better as I start seeing grey hairs in my side burns.

My first attempt at poem, that I recall, was a political satire (trust me :)) and it was about Harshad Metha when I was in 5th or 6th grade.

Harshad Metha
ஒரு தாத்தா
அவருக்கு இவ்வளவு பெரிய சொத்தா?

I followed that up with a variety of 'angry young man' poems. Most of them were short and digged at the evils of the society - though I didnt even have the maturity to comprehend them.

Some of them were advisory ones with themes like 'stay united'.

I remember that my first attempt at a nature poem was in 10th or 11th grade. It was a conscious effort to write a nature described a misty morning scene and ended indicating that it was a dream. I intentionally made some practical mistakes since it was a dream (how intelligent and how evolved?!!).

Then came Mr.Orator who needed short punch lines. But then, I had a serious of failure attempts at competitions and did not get my well-written 2 page long poem published in the school magazine. When I look back, I admit that it was not good, but not as pathetic as the ones that emptily sang the school's praise and made it to the magazine.

Then the romance bug bit me. I really got better at love poems with the help of androgens and adrenalin, inspired by John Keats, Khalil Gibran and ofcourse a pretty face in the class(the last time I heard, the girl was to marry a doctor. Hearty wishes!!). The angry young man used to show up now and then (mostly to support Mr.Orator) , inspired by Abdul Rahman, Vairamuthu and the numerous communist writers in "Thamarai" magazine. (Pause - my first inspiration to write poems is my cousin Siva).

I got better after reading some quality books. I started crafting my poems rather than just writing them. They became crisper. College life was successful, compensating for the school experience. I won competitions, I think mainly because there were only few who could write better....and most of the time they were in the panel of judges. Got lucky. And college, obvioulsy was the most romantic period too. Angry young man - still there.

Chennai - early days in Cognizant was the golden period for love poems. Numerous forwards, and many stereo type forwarded "poems(!)", lured me towards non-fiction. I was fairly successful with both, earning some admirers. In this phase, both nature and technology played a vital role in promoting my poems. Nature - Chennai Beach. Technology - Free SMS.

Did not take long for reality to show its grave face....that with may be the taste of money, slowly saw the angry young man off...atleast in poems. Then came the quarter life crisis (which, by the way, still continues). Higher studies? Shift in job? Technical/management? Business? Too many decisions to make and Mr.Romance became a overburden. That was a real difficult have decided to concentrate on career and to give up the longest lasting 'object of desire(shortly, OOD)' (it became easier later for a different reason). By this time, most of the 'admirers network', got transferred to the western world. Gentle Men - please welcome 'dry period'.

One thing I am proud about though is that, there has been only one sad poem till now....and that too was before I got inspired by Bharathi (Seems, he did not write a single sad poem in his life).

Incomes a renewed college friendship, enquiring about my poems. Well....fresh inspiration. No OOD, Angry Y man is lost and had grown out of the "heart-throb" shell.....all doors for 'removing reality twice' closed. This stage in my life is called : "Becoming wordsworth - the nature poet". The withering of leaf, branching rain drops on bus window, street lights on highway, smell of idli from next compartment, chennai traffic, stagnated rain water - everything had a poem in it. This was a greater step in the evolution process. There was no personal or social influence.

Then came the career move, that brought me to the other side of the prime meridian and there has not been much inspiration.....and I have begun to appreciate reality too much that, it doesnt even please the ego when admired, unless the appreciation comes from a very close friend.

That pretty much brings us to Dec 27th, 2008. This could be the most meaningful stage in life.I received an email from Geetha this morning that, my writing has become more beautiful now. That may be means, she is becoming old too :). She has been audience to my writing since post-school days.....well, that email is the inspiration for this post.

Prince, curse and the poem

Thought of posting a poem and since I havent written one recently, here is an old one written by me somewhere in 2004 or 2005. This requires some back ground.

One morning when we were still transitioning between college and corporate world, in came a forward which goes as below (I have shortened it):

Handsome prince - cursed by a witch - can speak only one word a year - can save the word every year, so that, for example, after 4 years of silence, can speak 5 words in the fifth year - meets a lovely princess - waits for 2 years to say 'my darling' - in the second year, decides to wait few more - 9th year, walks to her and says '"My darling, I love you! Will you marry me?" - and guess what the damsel said - "Pardon?".

That's a cruel comedy for the romantic minds. Anyway, here is what I wrote on it:

பல திங்கள் மெளனித்து
வார்த்தை வார்த்தையாய் சேமித்த காதலை
ஒரே வார்த்தையில் சிதறடித்தாள் -


(I havent used the exact words here...I am not sure what I wrote originally). is a transliteration(**) which I made up just now:

"Months of silence

And pounds of love

Gathered in his heart -

When the words were uttered

She spelled a bitter curse -


** Post Script added on (1/4/2009): The usage of 'transliteration' is wrong here. A better word would be 'Translation'.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why the name?

"alpha-beta-blogma" is not short or not even cool for a blog name. When I decided to create my blog, I thought of a few names, I myslef assumed that most of them would have been taken. The names were mostly something external to the usual band - for example - "7th sense", "Outside the spectrum", "Thoutosphere". I somehow wanted to convey that, when I write, I am not my usual self and that I operate in an abnormal state of mind. When I had not yet been slaved by the evil of laziness, I used to go to meditation classes where I learnt that the brain operated in different frequencies 'alpha', 'beta','delta' and 'theta'. I thought of using this theory for the blog's name.

As explained at this link:,
beta - is the state of mind when we do things consciously, like debugging a code, solving puzzles, arguing, etc
alpha - is the state of a calm mind, like when taking a short break, filling timesheet, taking a deep breath...
theta - is the next sate of calmness. This is when we do things unconscioulsy, like taking bath, whistling a known song, filling water in a jug......after 10 minutes, if I ask, 'which part did you apply soap first while taking bath', you wont know, because you just follow some routine which you never cared to be conscious about.
delta - dreamless sleep, heavy meditation, coma.

It is said that, in the 'theta' state, the brain can do marvellous things. That state is supposed to be the best for creative mental activity.

When I write, I generally am very much absorbed into the writing. Most often, after writing a few lines, I suddenly feel as if I was just pulled out of the matrix by Morphius. I seemed to go into the low alpha state or may be the margin of theta state.

Ideally the name should have been 'alpha-beta-blogta'....that sounded like German. Blogma rhymed with gamma and hence went for alpha-beta-blogma.
Oh....Thanks Morphius.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 top 10

Ha....I never thought I would write a second I am!!! Cool.

It helps that we are nearing the end of 2008. I get to write a topic that is neither too serious nor stupid. Here are 10 best things that I did or happened to me in 2008. They are just 10 best things and the order has no significance.

1. Visit to Niagara. This was my second time.
2. Trip to Nordic mountains. The trip gave me new friends.
3. The long chat (may be the longest in my life) with one of my recent good friends. Later, I proposed to her - "Will you be my sister"? :)
4. Las Vegas trip. I am still Gandhi....hope u know what I mean.
5. Dared to take additional responsibility at work. It has been tough, but I guess what is important is the exposure. Would you please read the last word within double quotes?
6. Won Dumb C and set up a decent crossy....2 things I have carried into Cognizant from college.
7. Wrote testimonials in orkut to many friends and gave feed back about co-workers, to their supervisors. It helped to express my love and appreciation, because, in real-time, I pathetically fail when it comes to expressing my feelings
8. The unexpected testimonial, that I got from my college junior Pradeep
9. Celebrated my birthday with my long time friends (Cognizant batchmates) at Indianapolis
9(b) As usual, Anu's call on my birthday.
10. Ended my long runnig battle with my father about buying a house. I sent him all the money I had and said, I dont have money to buy a house :)
11. The decision to stop with top '10'.

I am able to recollect only one useful thing I have done this year - donated money for the Bihar there goes another year without making any contribution for the betterment of the community.

I will end this post with one worst thing that happened with me in 2008. I had repeated hostile conversations with a friend whom I cared very much for. The atmosphere is not the same anymore. Though we didnt explicitly state it, I think, we agreed to stay a little away from each other.

Blogman begins


Months after creating this blog space, on this Christams night, I finally decided to write something and leave my bit or may be some bytes in the cyber world. Incidentally, it happens to be the birthday of one of my best friends (yeah...he too is, but I am not talking about Christ here), who has in a way, inspired me to start blogging. So, thanks to Ramprabu alias Rampi.

It's been 26 years and 3 months since I started my insignificant existence in this world and about 6 years since I heard about the concept of blogging. So, let me start with why I have chosen the night of December 25th......

1. It is holiday season and my friends have all flown to Florida
2. I have a lot of work which I better start tomorrow morning and I wanted to do something as a filler till I fall asleep
3. I have watched 3 movies since last night and not in a mood for one more now
4. I had my immune system tested recently and got to sleep a lot because of tiredness and medication with a lot of mixed and badly edited confusing dreams......which has nothing to do with the 'Why Dec 25' list....but I thought of anyway putting that point, so that some people will enquire about that if not about my first blog post
5. Most importantly, there's a lot of people, writing a lot ranging from 'my camera is the best' till 'how to make bread omlette'. So, I dont want someone to tell me after a year, 'What!!! you dont have a blog? In which world are you?'....something like that happened in circa 1998 AD when someone said "What!! You dont have an email id?".

hold on guys, let me first click on the "publish post" button, before it becomes Dec 26th. I will be back.