To know or not to…

Hello there! I am slightly browner than when we last spoke, due to the fact they now have this amazing thing going on called summer. The sun shines, it’s warm, golf is the best pastime ever and the sea isn’t as cold as a vain woman’s heart. Last evening, I even ran into my neighbor and her puppy I spoke about a few weeks ago and the fuzzy thing in the picture is him. His name is Cleo and without any exaggeration at all, he’s the cutest, most bubbly dog in the entire world.

Moving on, I’m sure we all have plenty to get to this weekend. It was my birthday earlier this month and I spent it with family in Chicago. I visited this place called Devon Street which seems to be a haven for every Indian person in the city. I was stopped by this guy who handed me flyer and said I should visit this Hindu temple down the street and “find God”!

You know, I’m not a man who believes too much in religion. Now, I can concord with the idea of the divine and I definitely don’t think we’re an accident of the universe and space dust and what have you, because there is a ridiculous yet small part of me that might think we could be part of some hilarious game to a watcher in the sky who moves us about like chess pieces for personal amusement.

I stopped for a second to think about it, about God. The idea of just finding faith seemed very far-fetched. Do I want to go? I do not know. We do not know.

Words which you rarely hear when talking about religion because somebody always claims to know. Even if they don’t know, they know. The not knowing provides them with knowledge based simply on the fact that they don’t know. Ignorance is information.

So this morning and the next, you’ll have people who know one thing about God and his plans. And another person who will know something entirely different. All based on the same nothing that all of us know. Which is fair enough. You can look at a situation and make some assumptions, but the only thing we know is that we don’t know. We can guess, of course, but that’s just gambling in your mind for no real reward so I don’t see the point.

My point is … well … we’ll come back to that later sometime. What’s clear, however, is that not knowing is like a mild, shared psychosis which is only going to get worse the longer we don’t know. Unless we accept that we don’t know and, you know, maybe just make up our minds when we do. I know, it’s a crazy thought and we should perhaps hold onto the idea of punching Justin Bieber in the face to give us some comfort during the dark and difficult times, but we still don’t know.

In the meantime, let us have a mojito and lie on the grass, or the beach and wear flip-flops and cook huge chunks of meat over fire. In short, enjoy the summer which according to some, is the best season we have.

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Glories of Writing

It was bowling night with some friends last night at Kelley’s bowl down the road. We eventually moved to the pool tables and I think I lost every game some time at around 1.30am to an unmerciful bearded poolshark, which probably wasn’t such a bad thing considering for a while now, through and after college, I have been of an age where I take a Vampiric approach to nighttime – I’m quite a delight once it’s dark but screwed if I let daylight hit me. Sadly, it was time to leave soon, them and a rapidly emptying bottle of Jack Daniels.

But today,  it’s a brand new weekend and plenty to be getting on with. It’s funny how writing takes you down roads you never imagined traveling. When I began writing this blog, I had what I thought were several sophisticated themes worth delving into. One dealt with a theory in quantum physics that an act of merely observing a phenomenon might affect the phenomenon itself and change the consequences of it. Another explored how the people might react if the world’s problems were suddenly and mysteriously solved, well, I’m inclined to believe we might just go and obsessively create more problems for ourselves. And still a third theme, which discussed popular ideas of engineering and why they almost always turn out to be nothing more than whimsical fantasies. My premise here was that these sorts of ideas are inherently flawed and potentially destructive in that they deal with the best intentions of the individual and his invention as something that is definitely going to be used for the good of the world. But in the end I managed to abandon all my heady themes the minute I realized how the sky is a nice shade of blue here, there’s this odd warm and yellow thing in it too, so I might just go out and see what it feels like in a little while.

I do enjoy writing though, more so now than when I was younger. Which is ironic considering all those English and writing classes I took. Tedious lessons about how a pen is mightier than a steak knife, or a bejeweled dagger or something like that. But why did the guy that said it compare two very diverse objects? Perhaps he was challenged to a duel with a glove-slap like they did in ancient times when you courted another gent’s wench. Maybe he didn’t have any armor or an arsenal of mass destroying weaponry. Too bad, he  came before James Bond, could have borrowed a deadly pen or two had they been friends.

Speaking of duels, I was engaged in a spirited internet debate on twitter the other day. I had the perfect argument that could potentially lay all discourse on the subject to rest. A combination of words so eloquently writ that my digital allies’ hearts would swell with insurmountable pride, and acceptance of me as the world’s newest hope, while tears of shame and regret stain the faces of my opponents for ever having been presumptuous enough to have the audacity to challenge me. My username would be passed down through the generations as the pinnacle of achievement in the burgeoning field of internet debate! Would you like to read the complex dialogue that transpired?

Some dude: “Beiber’s da best artist of our generation!”

Me: ” U r gay bro.”

That’s yer lot for today folks, have a good one.

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Embracing Change

Wow, to think it’s been three months since I last came up with one of these. Over this time, yours truly has fortunately found employment, thus saving the world from a regular barrage of unfunny and ultimately useless blog posts. But alas, the good times have to end eventually, don’t they, and today seems as good a day as any to be the unlucky one, for I am now back to the blogosphere once again. This time for good, you ask? Only time will tell.

One thing fun about unemployment is that there isn’t any legitimate need to get out of bed for anything at all, the world is your oyster….when your bed is actually your world. All that I needed was my laptop and my day was golden. Now though, I have a routine. How very unexciting and uncool! Every morning when I’m at home I get up, make coffee and go downstairs to walk around the block ( the motivation being a very attractive neighbor girl who graciously lets me play with her bouncy little mastiff pup) and then I head off to work. Today I dared to be different. Instead of making coffee, I made some tea and went out for a run.

A change is as good as a rest, they say. That said, a rest would be most welcome as I was forced out of the house last night by a nefarious acquaintance who needed the goodness of alcohol to help him get over some strenuous physical activity he undertook for a summer event. Most people, when they take part in such events do this weird thing called ‘training’. They practice running and stuff. However, the acquaintance, being one of life’s great thinkers, took it upon himself to try out a different way of preparing that might open up such sporting endeavors to the masses such as me (pun intended). Instead of ‘training’, he went ‘drinking’ believing the power of booze to be strong enough to motivate and more importantly, propel him.

It’s safe to say that the traditionalists were right. This ‘training’ lark seems to be the only way around this. But you have to admire a man who tries something new, something disparate. It was in his honor, his finishing the cycling/running feat as among the last of all people honor, that I went out for a run this morning. That we ended up overcompensating at the bar a little bit is irrelevant in the cold light light of day.

I also wanted to lay a much debated character trait of mine to rest. I had always suspected it, and now I know. I am a winter boy. I like the snow and the cold, crisp winter air. I like the sun setting by 5 p.m. Sometimes, I contemplate moving to northern Canada. Apparently, I’m a polar bear disguised as a human. So you can imagine how disappointed I am that the past winter in Michigan had been, well, spring. But worse disappointments loom, least of which is the struggle to be efficiently productive daily. But that is a discussion we best leave for another day. Until then folks, that’s yer lot.

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Sport(y) Lessons

It seems like it is pretty much a case of as you were, I return from a few days of not blogging. It is a funny time this, one of anticipation and one of not knowing what lies ahead. The days of being just a student and not having a care in the world are right behind you.

While most people you know are out living the college life, you are at home reading about it on your computer. Right clicking on friends’ links, trying to get snippets of info about what your buddies are up to, anything that’s almost everything but a desperate attempt to cling on to that now absent feeling of ‘bro-dom’ and camaraderie from your time in college. Sure, there are people on your friend list that you haven’t talked to in months, who would probably consider you a stalker for still keeping them there, but that doesn’t stop you from reading away their statuses…every day. It’s a funny time this…

Over the past weekend, a couple of games in the sporting world threw up a few pleasant surprises. It never ceases to amaze me – quite why, given I have been watching most sports for the best part of my years – how the smallest things can tip a game on its head.

A game can appear to be so fundamentally lost but before you can blink, it is suddenly winnable. Blink again and it’s won. Sometimes the seeds of turnaround can be sown with something as simple as reminding yourself that you are here for a reason, and I choose to believe that the reason is that you are good enough. The psychology of it all, I’m sure, is fascinating, and I’d go on merrily about it for days on end if only I knew the first thing about it.

So it was on Sunday. Two different games and one very similar outcome. A football team were all but crushed at half time and despite a few chances, there seemed to be a mammoth mountain to climb. two great tennis players were fighting for every point against each other and were equally determined to not give the opponent an inch, they fought fatigue and more importantly against the will to give in. It was a champion effort from the sportsmen on show, the footballers and the tennis players. What turned it around for them, what could have been the catalyst which turned the game? Was it a rousing speech by their respective coaches, was it that they hated losing, or was it that they simply believed that they were good enough? Perhaps it was all three things combined that built up the unstoppable head of steam.

Who cares though, 45 glorious minutes of football followed 6 most amazing hours of tennis when sport shed all inhibitions, players previously misfiring suddenly burst into song and sport won, pure and untainted. The unease lifted, and here I am again hoping that this could be something that I can look back upon and pinpoint as to what inspired everything in me – but we won’t know that for a while yet and if the history tells us anything, it’s that life is not quite as reliable as that. It would be nice if it was a defining lesson though, wouldn’t it?

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Choices

While we waited for our food at a local Mexican restaurant this evening, having just ordered dinner, I was informed that the place is a pretty popular eatery in town. Despite a strong suspicion that it is the cuisine that is well known, rather than the place, I resisted the urge to engage my friend in a debate. But yes, Mexican food is seemingly very well known in the United States for obvious reasons, the taste and the price, and also sometimes for the bizarre fact that Mexican food seems to travel from your mouth to your backside faster than you can say Guadalajara. Ask my friends Charlie and Jared.

With my choice of the highly enjoyable food tonight, I knew I wasn’t doing my digestive system any favours. I knew a salad was the right way to go, instinctively. The way we all know, without exceptions, not just about salads. We always know what is right and what’s not and we almost always choose the tastiest way out which is never usually the salad. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘me’.

I’m sure this “do the right thing” lesson/advice has been hammered into everybody from very young but it makes me wonder if the right thing is all it’s hyped up to be. Why does doing the right thing always have to be the only choice that is good for you? Can’t it be that sometimes you could consider the consequences and do something that is totally against every instinctive reaction you have? Can you take an informed wrong decision? Is it possible that variety in your choices be something you can look back on and not cringe? Why does “that little voice” in your head always have to be correct?

I’m just an Indian kid in America living his dreams. The opportunities I have gotten in life, I am thankful for, to my mom and dad. The opportunity to be able to go to school and I am not preaching, India is not a country where you can bank on any school to give you a decent education, so I am thankful to have the opportunity to have had teachers who were actually educated enough to teach, the opportunity to have a decent chance at a higher education and the opportunity to be able to call myself a educated person, the opportunities that are not afforded to a significant part of the world’s populace. But most of these opportunities, I’d like to think were a direct consequence of my choices. They weren’t always right, I probably wasn’t always meant to be in a different country, maybe not be an engineer, my two best friends are as unlike me as possible, but I’m proud of those choices. Wouldn’t be me without them.

Let’s be practical, we all have had instances where we might have not listened to our instinct made choices other than the one we were asked to by the conscience, and have been quite okay with the fact that we did actually. Considering this, when I read back, there is a feeling that maybe this probably was a pointless discussion, but I’m glad I made the choice to have it. Until next time, folks!

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Insignificance

…and just like that, after five days of obscurity, we’re back! I am trying to be a good blogger, really, but getting rid of this phenomenon called the writer’s block is really a pain in my backside. It’s been a busy few days, and not really. It would suffice to say that my brain has been busy. Joblessness has a funny way of getting to a recent graduate and it did to me. Lots of emotions, lots of stuff, lots of people asking the same rhetorical questions leading to the same answers over and over again, leading to lots of thoughts. Maybe there is a need to step back and recoup.

When you think about it, the amount of thoughts we have each day boggles the mind. Countless. Some very strange and yet useless, some worth remembering and some from conversations that have left an impression on your mind. This biased blogger, yours truly, had a similar conversation with his roommate-biased on a topic that mama-biased and papa-biased have had with him a fair few times.

We spoke about the merits of Indian culture. We Indians are a proud people. We’re a land of very limited sporting achievements but intellectuals, we’ve given the world a few. We believe in treating our guests like Gods and that’s what got us into trouble with the British, heh! I still don’t get what the big deal is cos every time our culture is mentioned the conversation invariably drifts towards religion.

I don’t understand religion.

Not only do I not understand my religion, I don’t get any of them out there. I’m not a Godless person but my perception of God is a discussion best left for another day. Religion though is fair game today.

It is estimated that there are around a few hundred billion galaxies in the universe. Our galaxy, the Milky Way has about 50 billion planets of which at least 500 million could be in a habitable zone around their parent star. Earth is just ONE of those planets housing about 8 billion people. There are 20 major religious faiths in the world today which break down into tens of thousands of denominations and sub faiths.

….and yet, A person who is just one of the 8 billion people, on a planet that is one of 50 billion, in a galaxy that is one of 200 billion, will say with absolute certainty….

“My religion is the ONLY true religion, acknowledging the rest is blasphemous…”

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Hello world! Erm…quite literally

I’ve been playing with the idea of “blogging” for quite a while now. Putting off stuff, which seems to have become a recent favorite pastime of mine, made me start this blog in march, I got back to it in september, finally decided to work on it in december and here we are on the 14th of January, almost a year on. This must change, procrastination has a place in your life when you can afford it, which is during college. The after-graduation-rut has had its run, but it’s time. Time to shape-up and actually do work.

I should thank Katie, a good friend of mine in college who started to blog recently and I found my inspiration. She’s great and I wish her luck in her challenge.

I’ve always wanted to write, but who would want to read me? Would my dad? Maybe my friends? Would I want to read myself? I probably would, but the others, I can’t say. With such amazing confidence, “the biasedunbiased” is born today amidst a total absence of any pomp or fanfare, a total of zero calls for me to pen my thoughts and a rippling of no applause whatsoever. Not sure what way this is going to go, it has no plan, no direction, no aim, no purpose – simply a tool for me to ramble on about some stuff and maybe some other stuff. Anyway, I shall crack on.

There may be a post or two about my favorite football team, or soccer depending on where you are reading this. Arsenal is a team that competes in the English Premier League, perennially as the under-dog. I’m sure you will enjoy reading about them sometime.

That’s your lot for today, until later!

Give me a follow on twitter: @pramey_wmu for more Arsenal related ramblings.

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