Sidharth Vardhan

Robots with an existential crisis – a review of ‘Machines Like Me’

(A review of ‘Machines Like Me’A novel by Ian McEwanReview first written on May 20, 2019) “there are tears in the nature of things.” Virgil Turing Test Alan Turing, one of biggest names in field of artificial intelligence world, devised a test known as Turing test. To pass the test, the machine will have to fool a human (who won’t know whether he or she is talking to human or machine) into believing that he or she is talking to a human being. This mechanical art of talking or acting like humans is only a simulation, the machine might act like humans but it is still not motivated by the same forces. This genius was accused of “gross indecency” because of his homosexuality and committed suicide at around 42 years of age. In the book, a few events of his last days are changed and he survives to bring forth an alternative history in which first Androids hit the market in the 1970s which is when the events of the book happen. A good part of the book goes to developing the alternative history – of robotics, politics and social. The plot itself is rather simple. In ‘Do androids dream

Don’t Die

(A song first written onMay 3, 2019) Don’t die Please don’t die Please hear me cry Please don’t dieNot nowNot already I can’t deal with another loss With the rest of the world, I am already cross. I can’t handle another death You are my gem, precious wealth So please don’t die Can you still hear me cry Please don’t die You alone were my friend You suffered when I suffered But now this shared time too will end Everyone must leave or die That is my life’s trend But not you Please not you Please don’t die Shower water saw me cry Please please don’t die We used to play together in rains But no tears nor rains willEver wash these strains I never ever deserved you Lesser still your pains Yet I beg don’t die Please don’t die All I know is to cry Please, please don’t die If you must suffer to the bitter end Better it be now my friend I will miss youWilll forever want to kiss you Yet can’t anymore hear you sigh If that is only way out, please die. Or no, no, don’t die Can’t help but cryPlease don’t die Please please

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – a review

(A review by Sidharth Vardhanof ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ –  a novel by Nobel laureate  Gabriel García Márquez) ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is a journalistic account of a murder, and not at all detective-like at that. In very first pages both the murderers and the murdered are revealed. It is only the writing style of Gabriel Marquez that makes this average story so enjoyable. , Gabriel put the Santigo’s flip side in the very beginning and then goes on to reveal the motive of murder which makes you believe that the murder may have some justification. Slowly though we realize he probably didn’t do the thing he was murdered for. The character gets more humane in later half; still, his behavior, especially in those last moments is strange. The chronicle shows you the hollow nature of society. A really, really expensive marriage wouldn’t survive a day. Angela Vicaro’s writing letters to her husband for seventeen years is something so weird that you won’t believe it to be real if you didn’t know otherwise – especially because she didn’t want to be married to him in the first place. Then there is the fact that only hours before the murder,

Of Dying – a review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’

(A review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ a novel by Leo Tolstoy First reviewed on February 27, 2015) “Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) How do you define an interesting life? Ivan has seen it all one can normally expect to see in a life – he has loved, he has married, has have children, has seen ups and downs in his professional life – yet the moment death shows its face, he comes to conclusion that his life was futile – everything is so ordinary including the very cause of his death. He comes to wonder at the meaninglessness of everything he has done: “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” suddenly came into his head. “But how not so, when I’ve done everything as it should be done?” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) With each successive chapter, his health declines and death becomes more and more real, initially he is fully focused on saving his life. His family and friends, it seems to him, are not taking his disease with enough attention. “but that what was

Diary of a Cynical Suicide

(A short fictionFirst written on April 3, 2019Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here ) 251. Today I know of the greatest frustration of all. My mind explodes with ideas and I am starved of paper to put them on, having run out of pages in my diary. If only it was possible to die of starvation of paper! I live in darkness devoid of electricity during nights…How bad it has to get until I realise that this is the time to end it? 252. Yeats once said that a thing of beauty of joy forever. In as much there is nothing beautiful as no joy lasts – that much I think I have talked about earlier. But the statement is ridiculous in another way. Even what goes down as things of beauty do not necessarily fill ‘normal’ people with joy. Normal people quickly reach out to pluck out the flower they find beautiful and thus starting it on its death, hill stations that were once seen as beautiful are now cluttered with garbage and pollution by those who find them beautiful and go there for trips or to live out of love for their beauty. A man

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 10

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan February 19, 2019) 226.I subscribe to Joker’s words, “I am an idea, a state of mind.” to explain how I do not always think of suicide. If these notes give such impression, it is because they are written in that very state of mind in which I am thinking of killing myself. No, the notes written here are not by Sidharth Vardhan, there is no Sidharth Vardhan, he is a mere amalgamation of different ideas, states of mind – that often contradict each other, whose mutually envious existence fills the Sidharth Vardhan with more and more of anguish. I,.myself, who write these notes, and call himself, a cynical suicide, is a state of mind. And thus no one should judge the one that goes by name of ‘Sidharth Vardhan’ through this state of mind – on second thoughts I don’t care if you judge him. But you must realize that this is not the only the state of mind he is in. 227.People who like arguing are fools. We don’t believe in something because it is rational. We do so because a belief has an appeal to us. Philosophers do not come with new

Death of a Salesman : Review

(A review of ‘The Death of a Salesman’ (1949)a Pulitzer Prize Winning Playby Arthur Miller) “I simply asked him if he was making any money. Is that a criticism?” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman I don’t know if Miller intended it as such but it might as well be a criticism of capitalism. Just look at what Willy has to say to his boss upon being fired: “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman r but this criticism is more existional: “After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman or “Work a lifetime to pay off a house — You finally own it and there’s nobody to live in it.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman or “Nothing’s Planted, I don’t have a thing in the ground.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman Unless you are rich, money is a very strong determinant of your self-worth. Willy and Biff struggle with the realty of fact that they haven’t made much. The desire

Fighting Like An Old Couple

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on November 6, 2018) “we fight and it passes the time.” – Ernest Hemingway 8 p.m. Major Baldev Singh, the fifty-eight old advocate, returns home. He had been playing chess with his friend ‘Sharma’ for the whole day. He returns home to find it locked and curses the whole universe in general and his wife, Simran Kaur in particular. Why can’t this woman stay at home? He kicks the door. He hates it – not finding her home, waiting for him with cooked food. He waits for her sitting on the stool just outside their main door and he doesn’t have to wait for long, though it seemed long to him, for she is here in five minutes. She has whitening hair like her husband. While his legs, one of which had once received a bullet, are giving in; his body is still muscular. She on other hand can still run around like a girl of twenty but has a pot belly. He secretly hates her for going fat just she openly calls him lame when they are in arguing. “Where were you?” He lets his anger show in his voice. “I

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 7

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 151. Pain Letters – 5Why did you hurt me? You knowingly, repeatedly hurt me. Most of the times it was redundant. At others time in doing something that could be done in a better way. You are not a bad person, are you? I don’t think so though I can’t be sure. I want to keep asking you this same question repeatedly knowing no answer that you might give will satisfy me. I want the ability to hurt you so that you should know how much you have been hurting me. Perhaps that is why I was so rude, so rough to you – was a sadist in that little illusion you left me with. You will never understand and I have stopped trying to show… At least I have stopped trying to show you. I hope this time my effort won’t fail. 152.I am not a very easy approachable person – well, more like I am not a very attractive person. Neither looks nor personality. If I have a few friends, then that is because everyone seems to believe that I am a perfect patience stone. I have to admit that I

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 6

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 126.Shakespeare is right, ignorance is bliss. It is true the other way around too. Bliss is ignorance. Unfortunately, ignorance can’t be regrown from where it is once unrooted by the weeds of wisdom. And thus happiness too once lost, can’t be regained. 127.I don’t think of youStopped it when you cut the callIn anger but no, Nah,You didn’t even feel thatNothing that is what you feelI don’t think of youBecause you don’t think of me.I don’t need you, I need nothingI don’t feel anything for you, I feel nothingI write this song try to pass that timeWhen, no, not, nahwhen I can’t help thinking about youIt is not thatI don’t know what it isBut it is not thatI don’t think about youIn fact, I don’t remember who you are 128.I am no romantic and do not hold any fancy ideas about my misery – it is a terrible thing and must be cured for sure if such a cure was possible. But I am alive and I am afraid of those mind doctors and other well-wishers who wish to reduce my misery to a chemical imbalance in my mind or a bad

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