October 3, 2006


Time has dulled the pain,
Of your absence.
I have made me live the life,
I thought I would never live.

Nightmares of moments
Spent in your company,
Dreams of moments
That you held me in your arms.

Those moments are just a memory
Of a time long gone by
A time I was younger
A time when I was happier

Now that I realize you are gone,
Never to return to my side,
I walk on into the darkness
Without a hope of finding light


It has been long since I have had the time to sit and talk about things that make me think. Last week, I was browsing for information regarding some college assignment, when I happened upon a website of one Mr. Bryan Caplan. He is an economic professor at GMU and has an amazing website. One of the pages that I read talked about power.

Every man has four things that he works for, money, love, sex, and power. And the most elusive of these is the most sought after one, by simple Law of Supply and Demand, Power. Those who do not have it want it and those who have it cannot seem to get enough of it. Thus, life is simply a struggle to see who can have the most power. Every war fought, in the battlefields, the courtrooms or in every household was over power.

There is an eternal struggle in a man’s life to be more powerful than someone who controls him. The car driver one day wants to be the one on the back seat; the secretary wants to be in the boss’s seat someday. This is given. However, the thought that arises, is humankind made for power, for control?

The quintessential feature of every man is the desire for individualism. This is what drives him, is the fuel for his ego, something to give him a reason to live. Under every man, here is a small voice telling him that no matter what, he is one of the best examples of human beings made. The main target for a power wielder is this voice. As long as one has this voice in him, he refuses to be ruled.

The power wielder and the target of the power are locked in an eternal struggle, with both not winning. The only thing that remains is feelings of ill and desolation. For a normal human being, even when he controls another being, his conscience will not allow him a moments rest. The case for the target is simple; as long he is a subordinate, he will not be satisfied. Every revolution, every fight for independence has stemmed from this.

What happens when a man is broken? When he loses that spark, that fire, that ego? He becomes no more than a robot, no more a part of the human clan. Percy Shelly immortalizes these thoughts.

'Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;
The subject, not the citizen; for kings
And subjects, mutual foes, forever play
A losing game into each other's hands,
Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man
Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.
--Percy Shelley, Queen Mab

Is there a solution? Not as far as I can see. As long as there are people whose egos are insatiable, and as long as there is envy and jealousy over the influence wielded, there will be power struggles and that will make life miserable for the rest of the world.


In the last year, a new craze has caught fervor among the students. There are more people following what is going on in that then there are people following class. Every break, no matter how small, every class no matter how important, every system no matter the owner is plugged into this forum. It is called Orkut. All those who were on the forum will differ saying that they were there long before the craze caught on. The time of joining does not matter. What matters is what people do in that. What matters what is each persons take away from that.

I used to be a member once. Then in a fit of, for lack of better adjective, stupidity, I deleted the account. The second stint has been very rewarding. As far as I am concerned what people have taken away are:

  • People that you talked to once upon a time, people that went to the same class as you did, people that lived in the same apartments as you did, people that you knew by name long time back are there, just a click away. You may never know when you have an urge to talk to someone that shared a joke with you when you were in your unddies. It is then that this forum comes on its own.
  • When there is no time to call up and talk, when there is no time to send a detailed mail regarding the state of affairs on your side, but you desperately want the other person to either share the agony or the joy, all you need to do is to send a scrap. And they are intimated of the matter. On the other hand, so are the millions of others that are frequent visitors to that person’s scrapbook.
  • If you are a lonely soul and want to find that perfect life partner, the man/woman of your dreams, that elusive personality, chances are that you may find them. I have an instance where a girl talked to a person for six months at the end of which she was convinced that he was the one that she would spend the rest of her life, so much so that, she told him. What happened then is an altogether different story.
  • The fierce competition to get more friends, more scraps, and more testimonials than the roommate of yours. Every nigh is spent checking how many new friends you have added and how many he has. Every single minute supposed to be working is spent trying to create a one sided conversation that ensures that your buddy get to a milestone of scraps, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and so on.
  • The community where you get to discuss thing from what you had for dinner last night (not that I want to know), to the performance of the cricket team (not that I am bothered), to the nuances of science and technology (now we are warming up), to religion (talk on buddy) and to what one can do for the world at large, this is the true soul of Orkut. This is when you realize that you can be the part of something big.
  • The down side is when people abuse the faith you have bestowed upon the world, where they take your identity using the photos that you have uploaded, call you names, call your girl friend names, and make your life a living hell. It is at times like this that you question the forum. One of my friends told me the reason that he was not so active on the forum when I was at the peak (2500 scraps, 66 fans, 475 friends all in a period of 3 months) that he felt odd that what he told me was being read by others, that what he says to me is to be between us. I told him that there was messaging. His reply that he can call me and talk, rather than this, was true.

You have to realize that the forum was meant to bring together people sharing a common past, people that want to share a present and are looking to meet new people. It is for people that are looking for people that want to talk, people that are willing to debate on things that they believe in, people that are networking, people that are not able to keep in touch for reasons unknown. In short, Orkut is a way of life these days, a religion. Hail Orkut.