Friday, March 14, 2008

Not a Christian. But more catholic than the pope.

I understand that we all do futile things. Jack off on psuedo-intellectual stuff that add no value to our lives. I do that. Pretty much every blogger does that. I also selectively hate other people who do that. Self-contradiction is my life-style. There is a reason why disclaimer 16 exists for this blog. This post, like many in the past, is a rant. In the spirit of disclaimer # 6 and # 20 that I put up long ago with great vision bla bla bla - let me tell you this: there is futility that is fun and then there is futility that is understandable and then there is futility that I despise. Let us focus on the third category. Maybe because this category exhibits the least self-awareness. But mainly because this category has inflicted most pain on me. The category of -

Desi students in America on F-1 visa who talk incessantly about US politics.

This category is 10 levels worse than jobless tea kadai vettis talking about Indian politics. You know the people who'd attend every panchayath meeting just for the gossip. 50,000 levels worse than people who idolize cinema stars. Because the other categories know that they are vetti. These US politics analyzing F-1 desis ( I am willing to excuse all other categories) think they are doing some super intellectual stuff. They constantly are on my face advising me that I will get 'Jenma Sabulyam' by knowing US Politics. If Gaundamani met these folks he would have said "vote illatha naaye. Unakke ivalavu pecha. Mudittu poda". Its like a Rajinikanth fan telling me that its my national duty to watch first-day-first-show. For people who are trying to impress a fellow desi, a fellow desi with no US vote, the importance of US politics - Just Shut up. You don't have a vote, I don't have one, what you are saying is not funny or entertaining. Its certainly not useful to me. Politics is boring. So - Just Shut up.

Let me level-set my knowledge here. I don't know what 'left' and 'right is in politics. Someone spoke to me for 30 minutes trashing the 'right' 'wingers'. He had gone on with such gusto and such seriousness that I felt sad, when I interrupted and asked him if he was a 'left-handed batsman'. His voice faltered and he got a little unsure and said he meant the political-left. I asked him "what the hell is that?" and he didn't know. He said CPI(M) and something about Russia, world map but he didn't know. I didn't know. So what were we talking about? I told him "Look! I buy 'The Hindu' for the Sports Page and to know which cinema was running where. I have never read the first page". That was it. As soon as I said that - I was regarded as a person with no depth. What depth? Why are these 'paaltics' makkal so obsessed with converting others into political analysts? Reminds me of boring kazha-bolt old people who would never switch off news and let me watch something fun.
Apparently there is something called Primaries going on in Amrikka. If US Presidential elections were a International Cricket Match, this Primary thing is like some Ranji Trophy game. No. Make that a County game. Less important but twice as boring. And people come and talk for hours together on this. I don't even know what a 'primary' is. Primary school? Yes. Primary Election? No. Certainly wasn't aware that something of that nature was going on. I don't watch news channels. Don't even know the channel number of CNN. I completely don't care. Worst of all these people get upset when I say " I don't think its important". I seriously don't think a person's life will be any worse than it already is if he lived a 100 years and ended it knowing nothing about politics. Cows will still put dung. Sun will still rise. In fact At least in one person's case - life might have been better. I am not making a 'politics is a sewer' statement. I just don't find it that interesting. It is simply boring. You watch. Knock yourself out. Just don't bore me with the gory details.

Very many years ago, I was finishing up on grad school, was doing the thesis thing, was sick of student life and was generally looking forward to joining the work force. There were bums in my batch who talked about things like 'American Vs Indian culture' and 'why dating is bad'. They started talking about it in the International Student Orientation as soon as they landed. They didn't stop even when their house in the desi ghetto was quarantined by a health inspector. They would constantly have these strong opinions and on what everybody from Rashtrapathi Bhavan to Saravana Bhavan should be doing. They'd give advise to US President, NSA and all those people on what should America do about this issue, what should India do about that issue. They'd actually give advise to someone who is trying to become the president of a country.
They'd say stuff like - 'You should have done this' or 'you should have used words like this'. Sometimes their sentences would almost (but not quite) be in first person - like "We should first stop this", "the first thing you must do is this", "I'll first fire xyz person, then create abc, and then do 123 - like right tomorrow dude". Reminds me of my 'ole' cousin who would lie and do 'peela' about how many chics he 'did' every week. He'd say "I did a threesome", "I did models" and "I did Kanaka "(yeah! Kanaka!) and all that jazzy stuff. These 'paaltics' makkal are the same. I am thinking - What are you talking about???!!!? You can't do anything. Even in India you can only talk. Here, you are a non-resident alien with no vote. You are unimportant. Nobody cares about you. Shoo! Here are students on F-1 visa with no vote who said they wanted to to DSP in their SOP and end up doing Power Engineering thesis just because they were offered an RA. Such students use first person language. Those presidential candidates have an army of political experts helping them out. Even with that the candidates, American Presidents, VP, JCS wouldn't be using such strong language. But avar student boy would say all this during the day, go home in the evening, do his cooking turn, watch porn, spend 30 minutes on yahoo adult chat, shag and sleep. This is what the students really do. They don't make national policies. Don't influence them. Don't impact them. They are a non-entity.

One such student was my favorite. He was an idiot much like our Sabnis fellow but slightly more coherent. He would accost hapless white folks (some were just white not even US Citizens) and ask them "why did the US do this policy?" and bore them to death with politics. He would assume a single US guy represented the entire country of America, the country's politicians, its policies and argue with that fellow on all the dimensions. He would also assume he represented India as a whole, whenever he got into arguments with the white man, and use the "we" word 50,000 times ("etho India'la ellarum ivane kettu senja mathiri") - like "we implemented this policy strategically" or "we thought long and hard about SEZ". Apparently 'we' refers to India and he is talking on behalf of the country. Who would have guessed that? I initially thought he joined with his worn-out non-stick tava, his porn-filled second hand PC, and Jasmine rice bag to form his own country. But No. He was referring to a larger country with actual people and stuff. The truth is nobody except his aaya and school principal knows him in India. The lab mates would run away from him and for next 10 days they'd be watching out for him and avoiding him. They'd phone me and ask if he was around before coming to the lab.
My thesis defense was happening right around the controversial Bush Vs Gore Election. I sort knew that a US election was imminent because my Professor had to vote and I couldn't schedule a meeting with him on that date. But wasn't aware of the whole controversy saga. Our man was, as usual, much too aware. He even fought with other voting type people on Internet forums etc. There was a moment, and I'll never forget this, where he was arguing with some US citizen lab mate, he said "let them do this xyz-thingie * I will consider * their case after they do that". The other guy he was talking to finally got pissed off and said "dude! what will you consider? you don't even have a vote. What are you so worked up about? You are in my project team and never contribute to the team project. Consider that!"

P.S: Dear disgruntled Sabnis blog readers. Food for thought. He has called people not interested in Primaries as "jackasses". I suspect 99% of you folks who read him aren't interested in the said Primaries. Are you jackasses? :-).


Anonymous said...

Yeppa, Romba athangapattu ezhuthitta... vudu vudu... etho F1 passanga time passuku pannitu poranga... atha poi seriosa ethuthukittu...


Senthil said...

i am happy that you are really s c rewing the crap out of sabnis. man! is he an idiot. deserves it.

Ram said...

Bharath... NOO... don't give Sabnis any more blog-time, please! It is nauseating to see that guy's name in a holy grail such as this.

Anonymous said...

"vote illatha naaye. Unakke ivalavu pecha. Mudittu poda".

super touch...

Anonymous said...

totally agree with the "vote illaadha naaye " bit.

so called pot-lucksla ellaam start pannuvaanga, " so what do you think about the elections?" not my country, not my problemnu sonna, but then it will affect your life. does me worrying over it change anything? NO.

time passku perula time waste. instead sam anderson videos paatthunde irukkalam

sundar said...

f1/desis talking abt US politics.. verum noise.. so filter it..;) and churn hilarious posts like this out of it....verry naaice.

Anonymous said...

Yar inda so cald vantage point?Ipadi potu vara?
Edo asai padran eludinu povudu vidu pa

Arun Sundar said...

You need to do u'r blog-homam again I reckon! Though I dint personally like you taking against ppl like this, this post was a good read - esp the goundamani part and the last line of u'r post!

Anonymous said...

I see the point you make but i think that the F-1 student talks about or keeps track of US politics for the following reasons
1) H-1 Visa, he wants to know which party supports increase in number of H-1 visas and hope that they win.
2) If the economy is close to recession the F-1 student is worried about his job prospects and would want to know which party is better placed to handle the situation and make the right decisions.
3) If the F-1 student socializes with other "vote illada naayiis" then he is fine but if he wishes to socialize with "vote irrukara naayis" the conversation most times turns to current affairs and its nice to be aware of whats happening so that he is able to carry on the conversation.

Maha said...

This is what happens when you have the luxury of sunTV and dishnet at home - we in NJ usually have to shell out that kind'a money for rent! and hence, political awareness and goings on creep in! the reason given by anony2 seems to make sense too

Anonymous said...

ennakku cricket, politics rendumey bore..

Anonymous said...

Last I Heard, u were not playing for indian cricket team either.

Unakku oru NaanSense passion na, avanku onnu.

Everyone is allowed their set of naansense passion, I say.

And of all the ppl,u comment about other's passion for frivololus things. Your disclaimer totally does not count.


Hawkeye said...


no athangam.




summa 'thottukka'.


all goundamanikku samarpanam.


US polictics in Potluck is just mean.


i am using this to find a way out of writing cricket stuff.


namakka time pass aganume.

arun sundar,

the effect of homam is unpredictable.


1 & 2 futile. look at curdrice's comment. namma paakarthunaala enna use. we dont even have 1 vote to change anything.

on 3. the f-1 is boring vote illadha dogs like me with US politics. ithu konjam over. both are orey kuttaila vizhuntha mattai.


dont have dishnetwork/dirct tv. dont watch sun or jaya. gym'ku poi oda sollanum f-1 people.


dont watch them. u will do better in life.


you will get 0/100 in logic. neither do i advise dhoni on what he should do ( or tendulkar on the cricket shots he should play for every ball) nor do i say that you will get 'jenma sabulyam' only if you watch cricket. if you are okay with being called a jackass if you dont watch cricket/politics i pity your lack of 'gaurav'am.

Hawkeye said...

and disclaimer counts. its infact everything.

sundar said...

you mentioned once that you got many requests to stop writing about cricket. on the contrary, I like the way you write about the game- mainly because of the lucidity in what you say. I should say that I am keen to read about the "2 pointed things you'd like to say" ;). now you have atleast one request on the opposite side.

Nilu said...

I am not here to give you an executive summary of what I want to say. You are no executive. Even if you are, I don't really care. I don't write to give you a brief synopsis or a succinct post. Just because you are retarded and can't digest anything longer than 4 sentences, does not give you the right to blame the author.

You still have not deleted that?

anonymi said...

But avar student boy would say all this during the day, go home in the evening, do his cooking turn, watch porn, spend 30 minutes on yahoo adult chat, shag and sleep. This is what the students really do.

Nauseating insight on the crummy student life that you had. I pity your failed, cynical existence.

Anonymous said...

I accept the overall arc of your point. But I do not like the other extreme end of the spectrum, which is what results if ppl follow your logic to its extreme: I live in an American mid-west city. I know deshis who have lived here for 10+ years, but do not know that we have a MLB baseball team in our town. Now that is pretty sad- note that I am not saying that you should follow the game. But to not know of the existence of such a team in your town shows you up as a shallow clueless character leading an existence that revolves around watching only Sun/Zee TV and cricket over the Net. I guess these F-1 guys are trying to break that mold, but in the process, going to the other extreme. In due course, they will find a balance.

Anonymous said...

what do you have against poor Sabnis?
not sure if he deserves this attention from you.
i am a long time admirer of your writing.


Pradhan Mantri said...

Amazing blog. Impressive.

Anuradha said...

Amaidhi! Amaidhi!


anantha said...

Niruthanum! Indha sandai. Sacharavu. Ratha veri. Podhum. Ellathayum niruthanum!


Anonymous said...

tilo, nilu apparum nee. edhu thevaiya ellatha akka-por.

Tu eech shivaji, theri chaddhi badi-nnu solittu andha naaya vittudu...

Anonymous said...

"if you are okay with being called a jackass if you dont watch cricket/politics i pity your lack of 'gaurav'am."
1. F-1 students discussing their politics - is their non-sense and their right.
2. calling names if you are not interested in somebody else's nonsense topics - is ofcourse dumb.

Since, you seem to mix arg #1 & #2, you might fit in well with Tamil politics.

Ps: Why not write a satirical post against Gaurav or just write one of humorous posts, miss your "were on vada, poda basis with Rama" posts?

Hawkeye said...


did you really not understand or are you pretending to not understand?

there is a difference between me saying 'i (hawkeye) will talk about x' and saying 'if you (kavitha) don't talk about x. you are not world aware'.

this distinction is easy to understand. why are you struggling with it?

maxdavinci said...

the gaundamani reference makes perfect sense! Staying abreast with the news is one thing and trying to analyze and discuss the trends is another.

Some people go way to far in being roman in rome.


PS: the gaundamani reference, sooper pa!

pps: the sabnis guy is gettin a lot of traffic, thnx to you!

Hawkeye said...


my lack of self-control is so low right now that the post will slip out soon.




yes. except your husband everybody else led this life. only he is perfect. we are all degenerates.

anon who spoke about MLB,

Well if you ask that person-who-is-ignorant-about-MLB he will say that the only claim to 'world awareness' is knowing the stock index, economy, fed rates and oil crisis stuff. He will discredit MLB's importance.

Where does it stop? who draws the line? What is the criteria for 'world awareness'? Holding others to some arbitrary standards (on some other country's pre-election rituals) means one is trying to show-off. nothing wrong with it. but i'd like to point it out.


that he is an unworthy target is correct. but he helps me illustrate gaps in society.

pradhan manthriji,





vendaam. this is fun.


ellam time-pass'kke


imagine some irish guy, visiting bombay for a week, talking to you about the strategies that palayamkottai MLA must employ to succeed in TN.

Raja said...

1. his comeback posts in his blogs are so weak and lame.

2. he is already very sensitive and self-conscious.

3.he has tried hard to google your real name, which is already very well known.

poor sabnis!

Thanks to your wallopping he will sound even more phony when he writes about politics.

Anonymous said...

Your namesake gave an award winning performance playing the part of a very liberal, elderly republican candidate in the last 2 seasons of the West wing. And there's a minority unknown candidate as the democrat. You shud watch that if you want to get to know the primaries, and the process, etc. Just in case u get to vote someday !

anonymi said...

And about students switching research areas to get funded, that is completely rational behavior. Not everyone comes to school with a clear master plan. Good for you if you did but not everybody is as lucky as you. Sometimes research interests change genuinely, sometimes they change out of circumstance. Mocking at someones predicament doesn't prove anything nor does it reflect very well on you.

All this to labour a point, that international students (potential immigrants!) can't really be interested in American politics? You have some sense of reasoning!

Hawkeye said...


/* And about students switching research areas to get funded, that is completely rational behavior */

yes. very rational. the steady-mindedness, ***long-term thinking *** and mastery/control over their destiny almost over-qualifies them to become political advisors that enables them to steer other people's political careers in a foreign country.

Aslan said...


Anonymous said...

All this to labour a point, that international students (potential immigrants!) can't really be interested in American politics? You have some sense of reasoning!

Do people really not u/stand? Is it so tough? sigh!

Go campaign for the candidates if you want, just don't stuff it on others. People do irrelevant stuff anyway.

- Ashok

Hawkeye said...


Alan Alda is a good actor. I used to watch every little TV/movie thing he did and have read all his books. Now I've had too much of him. I have spent close to 15 years researching him and his thoughts. I am on a break :-)




bingo! same thoughts. i dunno about these people man! when some one writes a post they unfortunately have some expectations on where the comments discussion will flow. Here one is reduced to explaining basic things until 'dhaavu theendhufies'

Anonymous said...

hwkku, master stroke. Take on Gaurav Sabnis and you look like a master of reason and logic in front of him. iru kodugal logic. pullarikudhuupa!.

Even I can surely agree that you are better(ie) more logical, sensible, and unpretentious, than the Sabnis fellow. However, as you know, that is not saying much

Karthik said...

You don't care about it or find it interesting. So it's not important?

But you care about it enough to rant about it.

Hawkeye said...


refer to ashok's comment above.

this post is written in simple english. if you cant understand this post. you must be stupid. You should stop with reading your leader's blog.

Anonymous said...

hawkku, enakkellaam badhil kidayadhapa?

Karthik said...

whoa. Now I'm stupid because I don't agree with you? Okee.

OTOH I'll try and improve my english. That might make me smart enough to understand your blog.

Hawkeye said...


you are stupid because you arent even disagreeing with anything i said. one should be able to comprehend simple things well enough to disagree.

you shouldn't improve english. you should learn it.

TTM said...

I did Kanaka "(yeah! Kanaka!)

Good Lord, Haakai, I never knew you were related to Pasunesan.

JK...this post is pure Gold Sir!