Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

The all-singing all-dancing crap of the world!

We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. We are all part of the same compost heap.

Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt)in
Fight Club(1999)

Perhaps the most philosophical question ever asked would be, “What is the meaning of life?”. No one has a ready-made answer to the question. It makes you think, think and think until you get totally pissed-off and mad at yourself for thinking so much! The loquacious may talk for hours on end on how we live just to multiply and multiply until Mother Earth becomes suffocated enough to destroy humanity with a momentous catastrophe. Douglas Adams speaks of how humanity and the Earth is an organic supercomputer to calculate the question of ‘Life, Universe and Everything’ in ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘!! (Who knows, it may even be true!)

Believe in whatever philosophy you may. Essentially, the purpose of any human being’s life; at least in a skewed perspective, would be to live with maximum luxury and comfort. Every single person craves for materialistic goods/services that ‘enhance’ the ‘standard of living’. Human want is the singular phenomenon that drives the entire global economy. We all splurge the little money we have buying fancy mobiles, laptops, cars, bikes, jewelery; even ‘fairness creams’ and hair gels; all of them obnoxiously-overpriced. The biggest potential, human resource, is squandered for all the luxuries! We swear by all the crap we see in television and internet. We work ultra-long hours to buy ‘branded’ stuff we really don’t need! And in the end, to quote Tyler again: “The goods you own end up owning you.”

Don’t believe me? Check this out. You just bought a hip Nokia N82 handset. It burned a huge hole in your pocket; it ate up your salary for a month. But you’re content. You click hot chicks at the workplace in 5 megapixels. You blare:“It’s my life!” at top-volume waking up your neighbours during the Power cut. You download porn at breakneck speeds using AirTel GPRS all day and all night. But one fine morning while showing your handset off in the bus-stop, one kid grabs it off your hand and bolts. You run your lungs out trying to follow him, but the kid’s a pro. Your 86 kilo frame tugs you down, and you fall on the footpath tired. Then you call the AirTel office: “Hey smartass!! I f**ing lost my mobile! Better block the sim or I’m goanna blow your bloody balls off!”. The customer service executive puts your line on mute, swears worse expletives back, unmutes, and replies sweetly on what to do. (He too needs that 15k badly!) You waste days at the police station filing your complaint, you get a new sim for Rs 112. You file your IMEI number to the vigilance. And you wait, and wait and wait. You lose your sleep over your girlfriend whom you haven’t called… you don’t feel hungry.

You feel like your very existence is skewed. It doesn’t end there… You haven’t paid your rent of 7k. The electricity bill of 2k. You haven’t filed your Tax returns either! There’s not a pie in your account. You blew it all on the 82! You ask ‘friends’ but they too haven’t got a buck either; they either splurged all their money or are unwilling to lent money considering your ‘debt’ record or both. You get kicked out of your flat. You’re reprimanded by your boss for missing a day’s work, you’re dumped by your girlfriend for not calling her up on time, and you don’t have a place to stay. You’re broke. Your N82 ended up owning your life!

But hey, what if every bloody human in God’s big Earth stops spending?! Crisis!! And the R-word everyone’s trying to fend off with bated breath: RECESSION!! How did America, self-proclaimed-World-police, inch closer to recession? Simple, again. Americans splurged borrowed money like hell. The banks who lent them money went broke, and now they have no where to borrow. So they simply cannot spend! That means companies can’t sell their stuff. And that translates to plummeting incomes. Which again means pink-slips by the thousands. And the cycle goes on from bad to worse to worst. *Poof!* dies the American dream!!

Now, let me share some details about me: I’m among the shabbiest, uncoolest guys in my college. My wardrobe’s far from chic. My mobile’s centuries old. I don’t even own a pair of clean shoes. I don’t own a bike, I’m a perennial bus-commuter. Rarely do I comb my hair and/or shave. My academics aren’t respectable either. But I’m reasonably content. I have a horde of guys and gals; some of the best human beings on Planet Earth (<-citation needed!) as my close friends. I have a blog with at least 10 unique readers a day. And yeah, I even have a neat bank balance. I have a reason to live and a quarter life crisis to survive! I’m happy!

Let me end this post with a few quotes from Fight Club:


Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war…our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

And btw, watch ‘Fight Club‘ if you haven’t. It’s one of the greatest movies ever made! See it three times, and you’ll agree with me. Period.

[There won’t be any posts in this blog for some time since my exams start on the 29th of July and I have a LOT to learn! But please keep visiting and commenting… I’ll try to reply to all the comments in-between.]

12 Comments

  1. ~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~

    Nice to see that someone’s been influenced with only the right things in Fight Club, instead of following Tyler to the book and creating a fight club in your college or starting to volunteer for Project Mayhem, you took the good points! 🙂

    Kudos!

    I wonder when the world will truly agree with Durden when he said

    Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war…our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

  2. Hari Shanker

    @ Abhi:
    Thanks for acquainting me with ‘Fight Club’, bro…

    I loved the movie not for Project Mayhem; I loved it for its philosophy, the strong tirade against consumerism! 😀 Guess what, I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a long long time! The movie helped me voice my thoughts.

    And thanks for that quote. I thought the ‘Lou’s Tavern’ one would be better and that’s why I included it first. But reading through this one, I thought otherwise.

    I’ve added this one now. Check it out! 🙂

    Thanks once again for Fight Club! 😀

  3. Hari Vishnu

    @hari
    truly, fight clubs a greeat movie.weird but serious philosophy

    wrt to ur blog, fellow-hari, the world is always about the consuming-satisfying-wishingformore-consuming circle, or abt just being content, which certainly is impossibly hard, even for a fairly simple-living (as u suggested) person like u.. its always hard to make out when and when not u have fallen into the consumer’s circle of buying and wnting to buy more.. shop-addiction, so to speak..sometimes i think a saints life is all that is possible to escape this.. and even a saint would have to earn money to eat wouldnt he?

    hmm, uve set me thinking anyways..

  4. Syam Nath .S.

    Running outta themes kya?
    going onto the purpose of life n stuff :D:D

    but as usual i like urway of writing
    cuda used a lot more humour 🙂
    essense of life…

    have to see that movie.. il some day
    pardon for the short comment
    outline story ?
    just too busy

  5. Hari Shanker

    @ hari vishnu:
    You’ve summed it up rightly, man. It’s impossible to escape it. Even if every one of us deny consumerism per se; the result will be total chaos! Let’s face it, consumerism is a double edged sword. All we need to do is to make sure we don’t overstep our limit. That’s all! 🙂

    And yes, this thing’s left me thinking for more than a week and this post is a culmination of that thought-process!

    @ anon:
    Thanks for dropping by! A 11th reader won’t hurt. If only I could know who you are… But the choice is yours, entirely! 🙂

    @ Syam Nath:
    Not at all, buddy… It’s not lack of topics that made me write this; I’m dying with a multitude of choices and I specifically chose this one. Obviously, you haven’t read through the entire post! 😀

    There’s a tidbit of humour (not even close to your standard) in case you haven’t noticed! 😀

    Will give you a copy of the movie asap. See for yourself. Or search the wiki if you wanna spoil the ‘experience’! 😀

  6. Sriram

    It’s been sometime since I read a serious post anywhere… u did a good job man! Your N82 para was reality…
    Does this serve as a warning for ppl like me (I turn 18 this Sept 21st!) 😉

  7. insatiablyfunny

    Wonderful post! Haevn’t read a post which made so much sense in a long time. 🙂

    And yes, I love Fight Club too! 🙂

  8. Hari Shanker

    @ sriram:
    Thanks, man. I felt so strongly about this after watching the movie some 4-5 times! 😮 That’s why I wrote this…

    insatiablyfunny
    Thanks! Fight club is indeed one of the best movies ever made! 🙂

  9. Anonymous

    They weren’t promoting project mayhem in fight club, the whole point was that a guy got killed, Durden’s alter ego did a lot of things he really regretted (things he thought he wanted but then realised he didn’t, thus the destroying Durden near the end), and it turned out that all the space monkeys weren’t smart individuals following an alternative cause, they were just sheep, tired of being mainstream, but still falling back into sheepdom with the whole ‘his name was robert paulson’ thing

  10. HCG Diet

    That is very intriguing. It presented me a number of ideas and I'll be placing them on my blog eventually. I'm bookmarking your website and I'll be back. Thank you again!

  11. Payohtee

    Nice rant, son, very nice! I *like* it! Not sure why, but probably just because it resonates with the soul. You are rich, son, RICH! How few realize their lives are their own prisons, of their own makings; they are destitute. But not you. I wish you all happiness and peace.

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