Clause 10

I was
having some problems recently with my Nokia headset, so I went to their service
shop to deposit it for fixing. They handed me a job sheet, on which particulars
of my repair were printed. On the reverse of this was a long list of Terms and
Conditions. I was reading them lying on the sofa under the fan, cooling off
after returning home. It was a string of the usual unfriendly, intimidating
talk you usually find on any Terms and Conditions, but when I came to clause
10, I stopped for a while. This is what was written:

10. RT (Ramdev Telecom, the service shop) is not liable for any
delays, non-performance, failure or non delivery of the products due to
contingencies arising from any force majeure such as acts of God, storm,
earthquake, accident, strikes, lockout, industrial dispute, labour trouble,
transportation embargo, imminence or the existence of any state emergency, war,
civil-commotion, riot, in ability to obtain any material refusal of license,
approval imposition of sanctions or any measure taken by government which
renders it impossible or impractical for RT to perform, supply service or
deliver the product to the customer.

 

What act of God, I ask, might be directly inflicted to hinder the
repair of my Nokia headset? What the fuck are they talking about? And then I try
to imagine the storm and earthquake bit, and the war,…

1Life.

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Success and Failure

You
humankind, you put too much weight on success. It’s not your fault entirely,
that’s how you’re wired. You need to eat, live, have a shelter and make a few
babies. And if possible, degrees, a phone, a car, a vacation… of course you
need to believe in success and set much store by it. Worship it. Not that you
shouldn’t, but you have found one of the wrong ways to approach it. I think so.

You know what I think the problem is?  I think you take success as a certificate
that you worked hard. That’s not a problem, but sometimes, you know, it isn’t
so. There are sometimes dirty little hidden stories behind success. These are
not much of a bother, though. What is, is another connotation that is
intermingled with this notion. That bit does bother me.

And it is that failure is often taken as a certificate that you
didn’t work hard.

That’s wrong.

I really don’t want to be talking that cliché, believe me. I have
something else to say.

What I think is that in any particular pursuit or effort, success
as I would like to think of it, or failure for that matter, is accomplished a
little distance before the end of the effort, or the announcement of the
result, or whatever is usually taken as verdict as to whether one has succeeded
or failed. It is accomplished while you’re still on the job, and you’re knee
deep in the middle of it, or just clutching your way out of it and seeing light
at the end of the tunnel. That’s when it happens. You either succeed or you
fail. And yes, you feel it. You know it. But you humankind, you pathetic flock,
you push that feeling away, feeling that it’s not important. What’s important
is that certificate at the end, issued — and this is funniest — by someone else, someone who had no hand in that
effort, someone who didn’t get in there and get their hands dirty and doesn’t
really know what they’re talking about, someone who entered the scene only
conveniently late in the proceedings, and on a high chair of some sort from
which they do all their surveying. Now, let’s not be unfair, not always is this
other person like this, but it doesn’t matter what they are like.

What matters is when in the middle of your job you suddenly get
that good feeling that yes, you’ve been doing something worthwhile, and you can
do it, and you have worked your pants off for it. And you’ve succeeded then.
Even if you don’t win the competition or whatever. And if in the middle of it
the job seems too easy, and you aren’t so serious, or you are, but your plan
failed to materialize the way you would’ve wanted, you have failed right there,
even if you get the first prize.

The pity is that it doesn’t seem to work this way for you, humans.
You don’t like it this way. You always feel the need to appoint an external
factor to decide the verdict (this part always makes me feel a little tickling
at the base of my stomach), and maybe that’s not so bad or you’d have problems
of all sorts, but hey, keep that guy for administrative purposes. You just put
too much weight on what he says. Success and failure of the kind I talked about
can’t be decided by him. He’s just not in the equation.

Anyway, that’s your way and it can’t be changed. You’ve all just
settled down this way and no one ever really thought of changing this and even
if someone did it’d be an alien concept and wouldn’t shake down too well. But
when you don’t succeed, you start thinking along these lines, don’t you, that
perhaps the effort should have had a greater say in the matter than the
ultimate verdict? Perhaps success or failure is decided a little earlier?
Internally? And then you vocalize these things, in your different words,
sitting down in front of your neighbour over a cup of coffee and telling her
how your son didn’t get the scholarship doesn’t mean he didn’t work hard. And
while you’re telling her of all the ways your son worked hard, you start to
wonder whether the words that are coming out of your lips are starting to sound
like excuses, maybe?…

And the more weight you give to success, the less, obviously, is
the chance of succeeding. It follows logically, see, when you invert that
sentence. So you see, the more you worship success, the greater will be the
number of failures. And you, humankind, will be forced to glorify failure every
once in a while and in small conversations, put in a little word here and there
about the effort.

That is your punishment.

1Life.

 

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The Relic I Will Be

At the
heart of everything is that

I don’t
know exactly what, or why I bother to speak

And I
feel no urge to change the topic now

You will
never know who I was, nor do I want that fact to spread

When you
lift this out of the dark mouth of this dreamy abyss,

Shake
loose the dirt of centuries over the plaque

And hold
it to the amazing sunlight I have already forgotten

I shall
not rise again through my writing

For I
wish not to be disturbed

But a
veritable treasure this will be, I am sure,

A relic,
of historic value, but the personal little strains that

I write
this for, now,

Will be
suppressed and forgotten

That is
how you are

A myopic
generation, refusing to see what’s right in front of you

because it’s
right in front of you

And no
one ever taught you how to see such things.

Fine, I
shall remain a relic, and though I quiver at the thought of being hung for the
public display,

I shall
be long gone by then, that is my only consolation.

Come
find me out, after a thousand years, pull me out of this cave

And do
with me whatever you wish to,

I don’t
care, for this will not be me any more when you pluck it

I am
taking the train tonight.

1Life.

Two of Us #14

Day 628

 

L Day 628, man.

N So we stuck through, did we?

L No, N. that doesn’t imply we
stuck through. But it looks like — touch wood — we’re having fair weather.

N Well, happiness is what
matters. When the sun shines, you kind of strangely forget about what it’s like
when it doesn’t. And it’s not good when it doesn’t. So we don’t want that.

L Right. N?

N Yeah?

L We been out of touch.

N Why?

L Dunno, maybe because I didn’t
need you, maybe never did? It’s easier saying those things now, you know.

N You mean you are happier?

L Strangely, N, I’m not sure.
It’s like TV. Everything’s TV. Nothing matters too much.

N That’s bad, I guess.

L Yeah, but I ain’t feeling any
urgency or any direct discomfort because of it. It’s just a sense that this
shouldn’t be right that makes me worry about it. Not too much, though.

N It’s time you got another.

L You think so?

N I think so.

L N, you told me to not give up
hope.

N L, we both know that doesn’t matter any more. We turned out fools.
And we didn’t really have it in our hands.

L That’s why, N, I’m not feeling
motivated to go into all this again, where you are always at risk of turning
out stupid, and paying a lot in damages. It’s just that I invest so much… And
besides,…

N Besides?

L Besides, I don’t feel an urgency
like that. If a situation comes by, I’ll judge it and decide.

N But who’ll turn off the TV
meanwhile?

L I guess college will.

N Man, college. That sounds so…
so new.

L Yeah. Me. In college. Time
slips by, man, irreversibly. Not all of that is good.

N You, the eternal moaner.

L I see reason.

N I see reason to not talk about
it now.

L Right, me too. You know, it’s a
hard job keeping up with all your friends.

N Count the good ones.

L Can’t. Not here. Bad idea, N.

N Some you will shed.

L Funny, isn’t it, how at one
time I wouldn’t be convinced that I’d ever get over it?

N You’ll do the same thing if it
happens again.

L Dragon-shit, man. Don’t you
wish it.

N I think you’ll be careful.

L Will be, but I don’t know how
effective that will be. You don’t get to know how you’ll turn out in a
situation till you are in that situation.

N It’s a museum into yourself,
isn’t it?

L Not quite as glamorous as all
that.

N Hmm.

L How ’bout we put up the graphs?

N Who’ll know what they are?

L They don’t have to. It’s my
blog, I do what I like.

N Okay.

L In alphabetical order.

N That’s the way they are,
anyway.

Photobucket

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L/N.

A12090605
/ 140515.

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EXE’s From My Past

When I
used to be in class VIII or so, we had Visual Basic in our Computer Practical
syllabus. I eventually took a strong liking to it and even brought home
monster-size books on VB. During this time, I created a number of applications
on VB. The best of them, a fully customizable multi-step calculator, was lost
in a disk crash. However, today I opened an old backup CD to look for WinRAR
Archiver and stumbled upon a few such applications I had stored away on the CD.
It was all very nostalgic.

The first is a puzzle game I had created, the type where you have
to move tiles around a grid to form a picture, only I used numbers, so that
there are many formations you can try to make. This is the link to that
application:

http://cid-a5c48e3a27cedbb5.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/Public/VisualBasicApps/Arrange.exe


The second is the first version of the calculator. The history
behind it is that we already had a calculator on our syllabus, a really stupid
one whose code we simply had to copy from our textbook. It could do just the
four primary functions, and without a great deal of accuracy (it used only a
few decimal points). I improved upon it a little, and brought out my version,
which you can download here:

http://cid-a5c48e3a27cedbb5.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/Public/VisualBasicApps/CALCULATOR.exe

 

Then I worked a hell lot
more on it, and produced something that no man has ever set his mortal eyes on,
but, as I said, it’s lost now.

I remember I cried the night it happened.

1Life.

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