Rohit's Realm - Introspection

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October 08, 2002

So Much to Do (in Life)

Right now I'm feeling as if there are so many different things, whether they be classes, or jobs, or experiences, or whatever, that I want to try out and participate in, but not enough time to even begin to accomplish them all. I only have 3 years here at Berkeley left, and already I have packed my schedule nearly to brim in each of these semesters and summers following this one, until I graduate. I hate knowing that as a sophomore, I have my entire undergraduate future planned out, because, if something really cool comes along in the future, I won't be able to participate because I'm already at max capacity. I'm working on trying to manage everything, but the lack of room for addition is what is rather annoying...oh well, too bad there aren't more hours in a day, huh??

November 13, 2002

Call Timeout, Dammit!

Why don't I have a remote control that will allow me to pause life for a bit, while I catch my breath and take some rest? Like seriously. I need to stop everything I'm doing and just do nothing for a while. Maybe read a book (not for school). Or maybe watch a movie (first time in seven months). Or perhaps just sit and chat on AIM without feeling like I will fail if I continue to talk. If only I lived in a Saved By The Bell world, where calling timeout really worked. I could sure as hell use one.

February 04, 2003

OChem Till You Puke

I did OChem for 9.5 hours today. Yes, that's nine and a half hours. 1.5 hours of lecture, 4 hours of lab, 2 hours of study group, and 2 hours spent doing problem sets. Yes. I feel like puking at this point. My brain is clouded with the thoughts of random organic reactions, and I can barely think about anything else at all. However, while at the library, working on problem set #2 today, I spaced out for a moment because one of my favorite songs came on, and my usual (library) tradition when this song comes on is to just listen to it, and not do anything.

February 26, 2003

Engineered Implosion

Two things happened today that got me thinking a lot more about myself. First, I finally got around to writing my outline for my First Year Experience for CalSO, considering it was due today. As I tried to summarize the happenings of an entire year into a 3 page outline (15 minute speech), I realized how much I had changed in the last two years. Looking at where I am now, on a personal level, I seriously began to wonder whether people I went to high school with would even recognize me anymore, were I to be introduced to them today. Everything, from my personality, to my demeanor, to my attitude, to my outlook on life has significantly changed since my senior year in high school. In retrospect, I cannot attribute this change to any specific, pivotal event in the last two years. And considering that it just dawned on me today, it certainly was a slow transition, one which I can readily say is yet very incomplete.

March 15, 2003

How Much Wick Is Left?

All my life, as long as I can remember back, I've had a tendency to burn both ends of the candle. Well, I suppose this phrase doesn't apply to my pre-high school days as directly, but definitely in the last six years, it seems like each year, I sleep less, work more, and have less time to do anything but what I'm already committed to. This trend has become especially significant since I began college because I fear I may be approaching maximum capacity.

April 25, 2003


My grandfather passed away yesterday. He was 84 years old. I got a phone call last night around 10 p.m. My dad broke the news to me immediately. I couldn't say anything for a moment. I didn't really know how to respond. I was definitely not expecting anything like that. I didn't even know he was sick. I guess being out here in Berkeley really cuts me out of the loop on a lot of stuff. My dad was speaking very calmly—too calmly. I didn't know how to respond to that either. The conversation was filled with long bouts of silence.

October 04, 2003

A Quarter-Life Crisis

I just turned 20 today. Or yesterday. Or whatever. You know what they say... your birthday is not over until you go to bed, right? So, technically, I am writing this entry on my birthday, even though it will show up as October 4th. The more important factor here is that number: 20... twenty... two decades.

December 23, 2003

Biggest WTFs of 2003

It's the holiday season again. Jingle bells are ringing, are you listening? Shit. I don't hear any bells. Just the pitter-patter of light rain gently beating the roof of my house, but I am feeling the spirit. Being at home for the last few days has been really fun. I haven't done much but eat, sleep, watch episodes of The West Wing from the first season, and hang out with Uni people. It feels great to be home—my first time in almost eight months. In addition to the shitty weather and the horrendous traffic, another way you can tell that it's the holiday season is by the invariable top ten/twenty/hundred/million lists that come out during this time documenting the year that has just about past. Well, in keeping with my desire to be super trendy, I too decided to publish a list of my own. As I have nothing really to speak about other than myself, this list will be about the most unexpected things that happened to me this year, aptly called: Rohit's Biggest WTFs of 2003.

April 21, 2004

Visions of Life

By far, one of my favorite expressions in the English language is shit hitting the fan. It is just so descriptive. I believe in this expression so much, in fact, that I would go as far as to say that it can describe Life as a whole. (Who really needs philosophers when you have idiots like me making all these preposterous claims?) First, let me warn you: if you take offense to the word shit, you are not going to like the rest of my post. Second, if you are grossed out by shit, you probably will not like the rest of my post either. Having dispensed with the disclaimers, ready, set, let's go!

February 27, 2005

Life on the Run

I suppose the relative infrequency of posts this month should suggest to you how extraordinarily busy I've been. I mean, even in worst of times, I've always managed to pump out at least 3–4 posts a month. Nevertheless, to whine about all the bullshit in my life would be unbecoming of Rohit's Realm, not to mention degrading myself to level of all those pathetic low lives with nothing better to post. Instead, I'll talk about a recent epiphany I experienced as a result of all the craziness of the past month.

September 19, 2006

The Principles of Discontentment

I was recently asked what, in retrospect, may possibly be the single most poignant question one can ask another human being: What in this life do you live for? Put another way—a way that is more appropriate for an article on rohitsrealm.comwhy is it that you have not yet killed yourself and put everyone out of their collective miseries?

September 25, 2006

The Curse of an Overly Analytical Mind

Have you ever engaged in an experience with the full knowledge that it would be the last time you ever experience it? How did that change that experience? Is there a fundamental duality between engaging in an experience—physically, mentally, emotionally—and garnering an understanding of the implications of that experience? Does a Heisenberg-esque Uncertainty Principle exist in social interactions as much as it does in quantum mechanics?

February 26, 2007

Wallowing in Existential Angst

Given many of the entries I have written over the past year, it may seem to many of you that I have turned into one of those wretched waxing-philosophic hipster assholes who has drank one too many cans of PBR and now, just will not shut the fuck up. All things considered, you would not be all that wrong. Who is this despicable new Rohit and what has happened to the incorrigible cynic that specialized in spewing venomous hatred upon ultimately irrelevant trivialities?

April 01, 2007

Le Mot de L'Énigme

In a particularly suicidal entry last month, I posed a question with seemingly no compelling answer (in the absence of unwavering commitment to religion): why do we (you, me, people in general) continue to wake up each morning? More bluntly, what keeps us from expediting our reunion with our savior (or decay and decomposition, again depending on your commitment to religion) each day? It was only recently that I discovered le mot de l'énigme, or as we say in American, the key to the puzzle.

May 02, 2007

An Economic Analysis of Interpersonal Relations

As long time readers will, no doubt, recall, more than three years ago, I presented a now infamous (and copiously referenced) analysis of interpersonal relationships, asserting that all such relations can be defined solely on the basis of convenience, exploitation, and self-aggrandizement. In essence, I was taking a sociological perspective on relationships, which I further expanded on with my manifesto on Facebook friends, or more generally, relationships on social networks, one year later. Today, I would like to take a different, more rigorous approach to the same problem, i.e., how do we taxonomically distribute the various interpersonal relationships in our lives? Considering this is an economic analysis, there can be only one criterion (as I am sure most of you can guess): value.

May 15, 2007

Musings on the Meaning of Life

I realize that it is very uncharacteristic of me to post an entry twice in as many days (if I wrote about existential angst every day, I would have long ago killed myself), but a poignant article I read today demanded I once again wade into the dark abyss sometimes referred to as my mind and answer a rather unseemly question: when did I first become so cynical and nihilistic?

May 24, 2007

Perfect Strangers

When I originally began this post, some 12 hours ago, sitting in an uncomfortable chair in Omaha's Eppley Airfield (it isn't even big enough to be considered an airport, I suppose), I had intended to discuss all the memorable events in my three day venture to what has to be the most bucolic and mind-numbingly nondescript city in vast, abysmal expanse known as Middle America. However, upon further reflection, I realize that besides arriving on a plane in which I was literally one of four people under 200 lbs. (the other three were the female flight attendants—enough said), nothing about this trip was worth remember beyond a week (or even a day)—that is, until my flight from Denver to San Francisco, when I met what in another time and place might have very well been my soulmate.

June 18, 2007

The Black Venom

Rohit, Halloween 2005

Rohit, Halloween 2005

In my never-ending bid to be more like Seth Cohen of The O.C. fame, I decided to compensate for a childhood (regrettably) spent without reading nary a single comic book, by entitling my latest entry after an extraterrestrial symbiont in Spider-Man, that, when bonded with a human host, exaggerates certain characteristics of the host, and most importantly, causes the host to begin wearing eyeliner and dressing in all black. However, considering that I have never really needed an excuse to wear eyeliner or dress in all black (see nearby picture), I might as well have entitled this entry The Languorous Lethargy. Perhaps this might explain how three months ago, I found myself sitting in a dimly lit room, with weeks of Wall Street Journals and months of Economists by my bedside, lying in a pile of both clean and dirty laundry, mindlessly watching my fifth hour of The O.C. while eating pizza from a week ago—on a weeknight. Truly, I had been consumed by the Black Venom—of laziness.

July 02, 2007

The More Things Change

As dedicated readers (with entirely too much time on their hands) will readily attest to, the last six months have been a period of intense introspection for me, often times bordering on clinical depression. In general, this period of self-analysis is unrivaled in my life, except perhaps for a brief episode during the spring of 2003. What most people likely do not know is that concurrent to my battle with existential angst has been a nostalgic romp through memory lane, as I have been trying to edit, update, and categorize my entries from yesteryear following the upgrade to v2. All of this soul-searching has led me to conclude one thing about myself: plus ça change, plus c'est pareil, or as we say in American, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

July 24, 2007

Success and Anonymity or Failure and Posterity

Jon's recent articles about the impact we have with our lives, and subsequent discussions, as well as a rather involved conversation tonight about existentialism with my sister (who considers herself a fatalist) reminded me of a philosophical thought question I have been posing recently to friends at bars: Would you rather (1) live a long and materially successful life, having achieved all that you set out to, but perish in anonymity with nary an accomplishment worthy of the history books; or (2) live a miserable, wanton life filled with sorrow and failure, but produce a great work (of literature, art, whatever) that posthumously guarantees you a place in the pantheon of human thought alongside the great thinkers of yesteryear?

October 03, 2007

Age and Accomplishment

There are exactly two days each year upon which one is urged—nay, forced—to reflect upon one's perceived accomplishments of the year that has past: one is New Year's Eve, the other, one's day of birth; unsurprisingly, most people choose to ring in both through dangerous amounts of intoxication. What might begin as mere consumption for the purposes of celebration quickly gives way to imbibition (or some variant thereof, depending on your intoxicant of choice) simply for the sake of inebriation—and escape, no matter how fleeting or futile it may prove to be in the proverbial grand scheme of things.

Why is our desire to avoid such reflection so potent? Certainly one could attribute it to some subconscious desire to avoid regretting past decisions, as I suggested earlier (in a different context), but I suspect the actual reason is far more insidious. Perhaps we wish to supplant introspection with intoxication precisely because we know implicitly—if not explicitly—that such retrospective analysis can only lead to one conclusion: that our past year has seen us accomplish nothing at all, and that the next year will likely be no different. Without doubt, this is a position in which I find myself today. [...]

October 16, 2007

Et tu, E-$? (Part 1)

As I likely need not remind you, dear readers, it's been a pretty bad week—or month/year/lifetime, depending on your perspective. What with Cal's heartbreaking loss last week, I thought—nay, prayed—that perhaps I had hit rock bottom (for the time being, of course—misery in a lifetime clearly knows no bounds). As per usual, I was wrong: It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black. (If that expression appeals to you, check out this Demotivator®.)

What, curious readers might be wondering, could possibly be worse than a failure that nearly brought me to tears? Betrayal. That's what. [...]

November 24, 2007

30 Seconds of Bliss (in an Otherwise Meaningless Existence)

'Tis the season of giving thanks, or at least the time for decadent consumption and mindless consumerism, so to counteract—I mean, commemorate—this joyous period of the year, I thought I would add my own (necessarily worthless) two cents to the loud din of Thanksgiving-related postings permeating the so-called blogosphere. Now, as we all know, I am nothing if not the stereotypical bourgeoisie ingrate, and as such, rarely find much of anything to be thankful about. And yet, this year, in stark contrast to my usual persuasion, I recognize that I have much to be appreciative of, not the least of which is my status as an impoverished graduate student. [...]

January 16, 2008

In Pursuit of Nothingness

Given my penchant in the past couple years for alternating between nonsensical discussions of soul-crushing existential angst and inexplicable idolatry of quixotic lawlessness, intrepid readers might be left wondering why I have not yet collapsed in heap of self-induced moral turpitude and cognitive dissonance. Is my consummate inadequacy and general worthlessness of such a prolific magnitude that, having wandered aimlessly onto a path of self-destruction many years ago, I cannot even seem to muster the talent or skill required to properly follow that path to its natural conclusion? Am I really so impotent as to be incapable of fulfilling as trivial a task as ruining my (necessarily futile) existence? Perhaps, as readers enamored by (foolish) notions of love and happiness have observed, I have simply not yet met the proverbial right woman. I am skeptical, however. The way I see it, ruination, like contentment, cannot be effected from without; it must be wrought from within. [...]

March 11, 2008

Deleveraging the Personal Brand

Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Perhaps it is because I am within a day of finals again (damn quarter system!), but for that, or some other reasons not worth indulging in as public a forum as this, I have been thinking a lot about expectations lately—our own, those of others, and those of society—especially, the relationship of such expectations vis-à-vis the (patent) meaninglessness of life. In particular, how do we (in the royal sense) reconcile the lofty—and very likely, unattainable—expectations that we and others set with the certain and blinding futility of life? In a dense and meandering article last year, I suggested that the way to resolve this paradox was essentially to ignore it, letting hope and (daily) contemplations of suicide coexist uneasily, mentally disquieting though that approach may be. Today, I propose an alternative solution: deleveraging one's personal brand (as we say in contemporary parlance).

March 20, 2008

La Persistencia de la Memoria

The Persistence of Memory

Salvador Dalí
La Persistencia de la Memoria

With the first week of Spring Break nearly over, and my (triumphant) return to California, in particular the Bay Area, drawing to an unavoidable close, I cannot help but succumb to the memories of a bygone era that this trip has evoked with such puissance as to shock the senses—good ones and bad, those that stir laughter, and those that conjure tears (insofar as I am capable of such emotions). The memories that hardly seemed indelible even a month ago have demonstrated themselves to be just that in the course of less than a week. To say that the past few days have been surreal would be grossly unjust; a waking dream is perhaps the closest I can come to describing it.

May 17, 2008

The Past Will Tear Us Apart

The ability of the human mind to conjure potent and extraordinarily vivid memories from tangential sights and sounds never ceases to amaze me. Perhaps it should: at some level, it is these very mental non sequitors that form the basis of our collective experience in this (necessarily futile) existence. And yet, when the memory evoked is of particular poignancy or significance, the almost narcotic effect that follows is one for which I am never fully prepared.

October 03, 2008

Quarter Century

With the passing of this day, the third of October in the year of our Lord, two thousand and eight, comes a momentously irrelevant occasion. It is the day that marks my attainment of the much-coveted (and frequently obtained) quarter century status. On a dark day, twenty-five years ago, I arrived upon this planet, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Luckily for you, dear readers, I would not retain that sunshiny disposition for long, quickly trading in smiles for frowns and happiness for despair. For twenty-five long (and consummately miserable years), I have disgraced my family, my friends, myself, and society at large. With this post, I hope to continue in that storied tradition.

Last year, I chose to dedicate my post to introspection; today, I will dedicate it to circumspection.

February 14, 2009

Doom and Gloom: The Existential, the Principal, and the Asinine

The length of time that has elapsed since I last posted an entry might have led some of you to fear (or rejoice?) that this blog had met its earthly demise with a whimper of disaffection, disinterest, and apathy (much as its owner will soon meet his own mortal demise, no doubt). But fear (or rejoice) not, naysayers and haters, for it is not death but dormancy that encumbers the Realm in these dark, despondent days of wintry cold and ever accelerating economic decline. The subject which rouses me from my somnolence, moreover, is not likely to provide any solace to those among the downtrodden or defeated, for today is St. Valentine's Day, and I see it as my duty in life to neutralize the misplaced feelings of love or happiness that are likely today to pervade (and pollute!) a world decidedly lacking in neither.

Considering, however, that I have made it a habit of posting biennially on this most critical of holidays (for more, see entries from 2005 and 2007), I do not concern myself today with dead plants or (the inevitable failure of) relationships. Indeed, my purpose in this post is greater than both the worthless assholes wallowing in self-pity over Single's Awareness Day and this worthless asshole (yours truly) perennially wallowing in existential angst (and, of course, cheap beer and perfume).

The doom and gloom of the past few months has started to wear on me, as I suspect it has for many, and in ways different than those I have known in the past. What explains this difference? The key, I think, is the distinction between the existential, the principal, and the asinine, and I explore each in turn below.

March 27, 2009

Go Big or Go Home

Greetings from Ocean Springs, Miss., where I am wrapping up a week of Spring Break of Service, working for the Mississippi Center for Justice. I will have more to say about this trip in a future post, but I thought I would take this entry to address my extended absence.

October 03, 2009

Dark Clouds Brewing


Exactly one year ago, I lamented the passing of my youth, lost forever down a (plastic) bottle of substandard alcohol. Not much has changed since then. And though today I am certainly a year older, and most likely, one dumber as well, the subject of my (much regretted) appearance on this planet is not one that is on my mind today. Instead, even as the continuing farce that is my existence barrels on towards ultimate obscurity and irrelevance, I did see a last this week that carries some significance—at least as much significance as is possible in a life so completely devoid of intrinsic meaning.

This past week was very likely my last first day of school ever. Absent a catastrophic failure (of the academic variety—the rest, I assure you dear readers, are certain to occur), I will finish up law school in approximately nine months, and once again be thrown into the dark abyss of reality from which I have been gleefully hiding the past two odd years. I know I should be feeling something—after all, much of my life for approaching three decades has been dedicated to education. But the emotions such an event should conjure in my mind—excitement, nostalgia, a hint of sadness—none of these is what I feel today. Instead, it is a unsettling combination of weariness, disbelief, boredom, and liminal anxiety that consumes me on this breezy autumn morning.

December 19, 2009

Forgotten Memories

Eiffel Tower at Night

The Eiffel Tower at Night
January 2007

Having just finished another grueling quarter of law school (my third to last!), I once again found myself this week at my parents' home in OC with time on my hands to turn attention to the shattered remains of my personal life. High on my list of things to do was uploading photographs from my trip to Japan this summer—a necessary, but tedious job by any account.

Though I love shooting photos as I travel, I am notoriously bad at ever processing those photos once I have shot them. The set from the Japan trip was looming especially large on the horizon in terms of tedium as I had shot the entire trip in RAW mode (after I tried it a year or so back, I haven't been able to go back!), meaning an additional step in my work flow of processing each individual photograph for white balance, contrast, and the like. Doing that for some two hundred photos shot over six days would be no joke.

But what's the point of shooting photographs if they are destined to lie in some musty temporary directory on my fileserver forever, right? So, I steadied myself and logged on: traversing through that temp directory filled with random photos and other images, I made a horrifying discovery:

January 02, 2010

Reflections on Being Homeless

A slightly disconcerting realization struck me today as I dressed to emerge into the sunny but frigid Chicago morning (5° F, which for those in countries who use a sensible temperature system, is -15° C)—I had lived in Chicago for over two years. Longer, indeed, than my time in San Francisco. It hardly felt true. Had it really been that long? And as I put on accessory after accessory intended to repel the bone-chilling cold and eventually wandered outside, an even more unsettling sensation set in—I felt no attachment whatsoever to this city, neither where I live now (Gold Coast) nor where I lived before (loathsome Hyde Park—don't get me started).

March 22, 2010

Law School Casualties (and a Chance at Redemption)

As my law school career winds to a close—I am eight-ninths of the way through as of last week—I finally have a moment to survey the carnage that has been wrought in my life over the past three years. It's not a pretty sight.

At the top of the list is, of course, this website—the once illustrious Realm, now a mere shadow of its former self. As I observed last year, where it has gone and whether it will return remain open questions even today. But the body count does not stop with a profoundly silly website, its decidedly useless content, or its consummately worthless author; the death toll has been far greater.

May 07, 2010

On the Recent and Unhappy Turn to Seriousness in Life

Last night, I was sitting around at home (alone, in the dark, and on the ground, obviously) contemplating the utter futility of human existence instead of out being a forlorn degenerate when a singularly peculiar thought crossed my mind: somewhere along the way, people around me started getting rather serious with their lives. Like, really fucking serious. I am talking about marriage, mortgages, white picket fences, and babies. What? Ew. This observation, moreover, is not merely limited to my friends in Chicago (or those in law school, even); every month these days, it seems, I hear of a new engagement, marriage, baby, or some other colossally momentous life event from all corners of my social network and all across the world. And if my brilliant predictions of yesteryear turn out correct, the onslaught of first divorces and second marriages is, no doubt, only a precious few years away.

When did this happen? When did everyone around me apparently become an adult? When did formerly reviled notions of commitment and family replace the futile pursuits of drinking and debauchery? And why the fuck am I still sitting at home, alone, in the dark, and on the ground contemplating the futility of my (and your) existence? Is it time I turned on the light and bought a chair, so to speak? (Perish the thought!)

October 03, 2010

Late Twenties Liminality

Late twenties. The term to me evokes an image of relative age without the gravitas that usually accompanies it. Far too old to go unchallenged for the general buffoonery that may have come to pass in years past (and in my case, certainly did—on a regular basis), one is simultaneously still too young to be taken seriously by anyone who matters.1 A kid to all the adults and an adult to all the kids, where does that leave those of us who find ourselves in this hapless state? In a wretched sort of liminality, I suppose, and more importantly, with a decision to make.

March 16, 2011

Melancholy Meditations

The venerable Wall Street Journal yesterday had an interesting article that very much captured what I have long asserted on this most dreary of sites: happiness is totally overrated! Why be happy and content, awash in warmth and love, when one can be miserable and disgruntled, drinking alone in the dark while sitting on the ground, right? But aside from providing yet another point of validation for my enlightened theories (of which, there have been many over the years, I assure you), it also brought to the forefront a certain feeling of aimlessness that has set in rather strongly over the past few weeks.

May 08, 2011

Into the Heart of Despair

Those who know me well (and by that, I mean long-time readers of this wretched exercise in self-defeat) most likely realize that I spend much of my waking life consumed by low level despondency and existential despair. Generally, that's not a problem: over the years, I have grown quite adept at pursuing success—money, cash, hoes, that is—even while the increasingly irate voice in my head continues to question why I have chosen to go on that particular day (the answer, by the way, is usually a pernicious combination of hope and complacence). Most days, therefore, the competing virtues of meaningless materialistic pursuits and suicidal impulses can coexist in a peaceful harmony that manifests in the particularly acrid self-loathing that is part and parcel of my existence (such as it is).

But some days, that peaceful harmony of self-loathing that allows me to remain a semi-functional member of society is disrupted. Perhaps the petty joys of senseless materialism overwhelm the existential despair for long enough for me to feel a brief, effervescent sensation of happiness—for me to hate others more than I hate myself, in other words. Or more likely, the ultimate futility of existence and the sense of meaninglessness rise to such a fever pitch as to destroy the delicate balance. Nipping at the heels of the tidal wave of all-consuming self-loathing is usually what I years ago dubbed the black venom: soul-crushing, debilitating despair from which recovery is never assured.

Debilitation, of course, existential or otherwise is not an option. All theorizing about suicide aside, I will almost certainly end it all before I am relegated to the status of failed human being. But what to do when a debilitating bout of despair is on the horizon? Engage it, that's what.