Category Archives: Non Fiction

review/opinion

Why a God?

This post is just an argumentative write up, may not be coherent or present a sound rationale. This post doesn’t and will not argue about the existence of a God. Rather it’s just a musing as to why the existence of God is probably a good idea.

So here goes..

Humanity in my opinion as a whole can be generalized to be seeking the following –

  • Happiness – Duh! No points for guessing. Everybody wants to be happy. Each one is seeking happiness in their own way. For somebody it might be making a lot of money, for others playing and wining a game on xbox, for a scientist it might be about finding a cure for cancer and for a child maybe eating that bowl of ice cream or sugar candy would suffice.
  • Somebody to share it with – Barring a few maybe none of us want to be happy in silos. We would rather share that happiness with others. Whether with friends, family members or that loved one.
  • To feel loved – One of the innate urge of humanity is to want to be loved unconditionally, to be loved for what one is, as is, to be taken care of by someone.
  • The happily ever after – Weaved into the urge for happiness, the wish to be loved and the wish to share it, is the desire for it to continue endlessly. Countless fairytale stories and movies have been spun on the theme of happily ever after. A lot of those have more or less appealed to a wide range of audience, reflecting the deep cravings of humanity.

If we were to ponder on these points then we would come to some conclusion. Happiness that humanity seeks changes constantly. Meaning as a child one is happy just playing with some toys, dancing and running around mindlessly, as a child grows up the definition of what makes it happy changes as well. As we grow up there is an urge to find a soul mate, a wish to live surrounded by our loved ones happily onto eternity.

From a rational and practical point of view, human existence being mortal in nature means that these desires can never be fulfilled.

This is where the existence of an immortal God and an idea that all humans beings having a soul seems to not only be a good idea but a need that would satisfy these desires. In the existence of God is the possibility of eternal happiness and a loved one to share that happiness with.

Taming the buhh-faa-looo ! :)

I had gone for lunch last weekend with my bro and a friend. Talks turned around some incidents during the childhood and engineering days. As we spoke about the cats and dogs at my native. I rembered this incident that occured during my engineering days.

It must have been a weekend or a study holiday and I was staying at my home town. I had finished my breakfast and was sitting on the veranda. My uncle murmmerd something about the buffalo being unwell and the vet refusing to come down and that he was now gonna have to take the buffalo out to the vet.

As I sat soaking the fresh air, my uncle turned up holding the buffalo’s horns with his bare hands ! The buffalo tried to get away from him but he had an iron clad grip on it ! As I tried to digest the irony… he asked me to hold the buffalo for him as he went to get something else ! Before I could grasp what he was asking me to do… the buffalo sensing its freedom ,leaped over the compound wall and ran off merrily down the road. I was stunned and ran behind it.. not knowing how to catch hold of it !

As the buffalo ran amok, a school boy was coming along the opposite direction of the road. I was half worried about the big buffalo running him down, but to my surprise he got down from his bicycle and using it as a shield stood firm against the buffalo ! The buffalo stopped as soon at it reached the blockade, it tried to get past him by passing him off from the left and the right, but the boy stood his ground and blocked the buffalo using his bicycle ! After some 2 – 3 mins of this rubgy match the buffalo gave up and the boy won.

I was amused that a school boy had outwitted me in the methods of taming the buffaaalooo ! 🙂

 

 

 

Motivational Monday !

The other day I was talking with my colleague at work. In the course of the conversation, I said I am going to walk up to so and so person everyday, until such a time when finally he gives me what I want, just so that he can shut me up.

My colleague laughed and said I was talking like Les Brown. I hadn’t heard about this person before. So my colleague pulled over the video in youtube and played the part where Les talked about his attempts at becoming a disc jockey.

Click on the link — Watch the portion from 28:12 to 33:00.

I found his thoughts inspiring and checked some of his other video out over the weekend.

One thing which he said that stuck a chord with me was along the lines that… “Making 1 million dollars was the easiest thing to do. Beliving that it could happen to me was the toughest”.

I think that’s really the toughest thing to do. To belive that one’s destiny or fate is not jinxed, to not procastinate or come up with excuses  and to get up and continue everytime one fall’s down. Simply put I guess one fails only when one decides to give up. Of course writing these words, preaching others is much easier than practising :).

But I hope that some of you reading this will find it inspiring.

Another story show casing human will/mind over body was of Janine Shepherd. To know more on how she dispproved medical science and overcame crippling disability, click on the link below.

Watch her story by clicking the link.

Thank You Facebook !

I am writing this post after a long long hiatus. In fact I had to reset my password to get access to my blog.

The title of the post needs no introduction at least among Gen Y. Having a facebook account has become a  way of life of sorts. As Facebook turned a decade old I remembered my humble beginings with it. I had an account with Orkut but never bothered much about Facebook. I got a couple of request back then to join Facebook but  laziness or otherwise I never felt interested.

I was not into the whole facebook thing up until the time one of my good friends went to US for higher studies. When this friend put up pictures and sent a invite and that’s when I opened an account to check those pics. But soon enough I was hooked to all the lik ‘ing and comment’ ing.

Now, a day doesn’t go by without me checking out my facebook page. Of course I must say I am not an addict. I rarely spend more than 5 mins a day. I just scroll down the page reading the updates, liking the photos and commenting where I feel like and that’s it ! I often wonder how people spend hours go up and down the wall page 😉 :).

My best friend and myself have argued over the merits and demerits of it. At times we felt the most intimates moments meant to be private were put up for display, we argued whether keeping in touch over fb at all gave a continuum to the relationship/friendship and at times we just laughed at the ludicrous updates we saw coming up on our page. All in all the topic definetly gave us something to chat over ! 🙂

The other day when I accepted a friend request,  I clicked through some of the fb movie links that were shared, some of them had come out really well, potraying the life time of friends and family members. I went through the photos that I had put up, the photos that my friends had tagged me in and it put a smile on my face. It transported me to the wonderful moments spent with family members and friends in my life. Recollection of incidents long forgotten, buried deep in the subconscious re surfaced. Some of the friendly banter on status updates and pics of a by gone era were fun to re read and it made me feel that the medium had indeed connected people and allowed for true friendship’s to continue surpassing the barriers of geographies and time zones. Of course our friend list might run in 100’s, maybe some in 1000’s or 10000’s. Do we really know each of them well enough one might ask ? But that’s not the point. Ultimately what matters, is it allows us to keep in touch with those who matter :).

Of course true friendship can span across all barriers for such relationships are formed unconditionally. Best buddies may not be able to connect for months at a time but the very next time they pick up the call it feels as if the void of time and space never existed. I am sure many would agree to having experienced this in the their own life :). Friendship is one of those blessed things in life that money can’t buy. It can’t be forcefully accquired, it can be given of its own accord.

So as Facebook turns a decade old I guess I have to thank it for helping me keep in touch with those whom I care about but are now seperated by the barrier of time and space. 🙂

Lady, Hunter, Tiger !

“Ladyyy, Hunterrrr… Tigerrrrr!”. I woke up to the scream, realizing it was a small girl who had just climbed into the bus. Her mom was definitely not amused, her eyes swelled to twice its eyes signalling to her daughter to keep it low. A few minutes passed by in silence and my eye lids drooped. “Ladyyy, Hunterrrr.. Tigerrr” roared the little girl again jolting me out of my slumber! This time another kid had hopped into the bus. Both the kids hit it off like a bus on fire and let run a riot. Amid giggles and laughter the kids shouted and roared lady, hunter, tiger ! The bus was mostly empty and those on the bus didn’t mind the racket. Everybody had a curious look on their face trying to figure out what the two little girls were up to.

After keen observation ;), I figured it to be a new variation of rock-paper-scissors. A ladyyy was signified by crossing hands across the chest (still not able to figure out the symbolism here), a hunterrrr by shaping a pistol out of the palm while the tiger by shaping both the palms like a claw and raising them above the shoulders, in level with the ears while the face expressing a growl! The kids would scream lady, hunter, tiger and pick one of the 3 characters and depending on the choice each made the stronger of the two characters would win the round. The irony of this arrangement meant that the might beast would devour the lady in a jiffy, but against the hunter’s pistol it stood no chance. While the hunter would be overwhelmed by the lady’s charm!

The kids strangers a while ago, oblivious to the surroundings, lost in their own happy world, roared out in laughter as I stepped out of the bus. A simple ladyy, hunterrr and tigerrr was enough to strike the bond of friendship. Makes we wonder why the adults can’t get along as well ?

WordPress for Dummies !

When I decided to start this blog, I ran into a few issues and had to search around to learn about the features. It hit upon me that all new bloggers might run into the same issue. Therefore in this post I plan to consolidate all the links to some of the articles which helped me get started, hoping it saves time for the newbies !

How does one gets a blog on wordpress ?

Two options

a.) Get a free blog on wordpress.com like this one. How ? Easy, go to wordpress.com sign up and start posting !

b.) Download the software from wordpress.org and create a blog and get it hosted. This option would cost money for hosting.

To know the difference between a wordpress.com and wordpress.org head to this link

The material that follows is for those who decided to go with wordpress.com.

*********
Alright once you signed up and created a blog what next ?

Customize your blog

a.) Choose a Theme – How ? Follow this link

b.) Set up a Custom Background – Make your blog attractive with a custom background. Click here

Posting

Of course you need to post. How? Head here

Classify your post under appropriate Categories and Tags this helps people with similar interest to find your post

How to get the word out? Use Publicize to share your posts

Tips

Setting up Sharing buttons for your readers

Setting up f like & f share button under each of the posts at the same time

Check this link to learn how to format your posts

Setting up Custom Menu – These are helpful to create tabs like structure as on top of my blog (Fiction, Non Fiction etc)

Need inspiration to write ? You can join one of these writing challenges

Friday Fictioneers – a weekly challenge to write a 100 word story based on a photo prompt. I myself participate in this and am enjoying it.

Trifecta – again a writing challenge. Check out the site for more information.

WordPress Host a daily photo, weekly & daily writing challenges. Click here to find out more

Finally here is the wordpress.com support link which can be very useful !

Hope this information was useful? Please share your comments below. Also if there is some other useful information that can be added in this post share in the comments and I will update it in this post !

New users of wordpress can ask questions in the comment section and I will try to help out if I can 🙂

Tangled !

Animated movies especially the ones from the Hollywood closet have been my favorite even after growing up into an adult ;)! Switching through the tv channels on a lazy sunday afternoon I stopped when my eyes caught Tangled playing. Tangled is an animated movie based on the fairy tale on Rapunzel. I enjoyed this movie based on the character of the princess with very long golden hair having magical powers. The backdrop of the story is set with the princess being kidnapped by a woman who comes to know about the princess magical healing power. As in most fairy tales the princess lives high up in a secluded tower assuming the woman to be her mother. The woman convinces Rapunzel, its best that she not leave the tower as the world is filled with evil people wanting to take advantage of her magical healing hair. On her 18th birthday Rapunzel makes a request to be allowed to go see the floating lanterns which seem to come up only on her birthday but is again refused. Here we get introduced to the handsome thief who finds his way to the tower while making his escape after stealing the royal tiara. So Rapunzel bashes him with a frying pan and then bully’s him into taking her to see the floating lanterns! Well it doesn’t exactly happens that way.. ;). Anyway from here on the movie embarks on Rapunzel’s adventure with Fiyn Ryder (the thief). Of course the movie ends with them falling in love, marrying each other and Rapunzel finding out that she is actually the lost princess!

However what I liked about the movie was it was fast paced, with several twist and turns ;), generously sprinkled humorous moments all through the movie and the adventure ride ! 😉

Here are the reasons why I like an animated movie even though I realise it isn’t meant for adults!!

Continue reading Tangled !

Life of 3.14, a book review

“Tiger training in the midst of the pacific !” I replied in return to a friends sms, asking me what I was up to on a sunday afternoon ?

 I was reading ‘Life of Pi’ written by Yan Martel, a book which according to Wiki won the Man bookers prize for fiction. I am not an avid reader, but I do hook on to the odd book now and then.

This story revolves around the Life of the protagonist, ‘Piscine Molitor Patel’ a.k.a Pi, who is from Pondicherry, India. The story starts in Pi’s childhood, the son of a zoo owner and  his experiments with practicing various religions and his faith in god. Pi loses his family in a ship wreck on its journey to Canada. Soon Pi finds himself to be the sole human survivor aboard  a lifeboat with a Royal Bengal Tiger as his companion. The tale then turns to castaway Pi’s life aboard his lifeboat and his wit to keep himself alive from being eaten by his companion, till such time as he can be rescued.With resolute faith in God Pi is determined to survive and survive he does ! Pi’s effort to survive on the Pacific has its tinge of gruesomeness, but it’s only so if one sees it in the context of ordinary human life. Seen from the point of view of a desperate castaway the gruesomeness turns into a milder understanding and compassion.

Continue reading Life of 3.14, a book review

Life’s Lessons from the Bansuri

Bansuri or the Indian flute is one of the simplest music instrument, a piece of bamboo a few holes and lo we have a musical instrument. What could be more simpler ? It was a big surprise then this deceptively spartan instrument thought me many a valuable life’s lesson !

The Bansuri belongs to the Stealer of the hearts – Lord Krishna, ancient lore describes how the gopis of Vrindavan forgot all their task mezmerised by the sound of Krishna’s flute. My introduction with the bansuri was some what similar if not as dramatic, I heard the bansuri being played by a flutist on the day of Anantha Chaturdashi. The serene melodious voice flowing through made it a “love at first sight – sound rather” 😉 🙂

Next few days went about reading/listening/watching videos on the web and familiarizing myself about the bansuri. After which I felt the time was ripe to purchase a bansuri and start playing !

.. and so I went to the shopkeeper and asked for a ‘E’ scale bansuri which is a professional 30 inch flute. Then started the wrestling match try as hard as I did to blow through the bansuri, it refused to budge, except for the sound of hissing air there was none of the serenity I expected ! Determined I made a mightier effort, after 2 – 3 mins, my lungs begged for some respite and my head felt giddy. As I stood vanquished the shopkeeper played the bansuri with ease and sprang forth the melody I had tried to produce in vain !

and hence I learnt

#Lesson 1 – Never underestimate !

The shopkeeper gave me a smaller flute and asked me to start with it. I took it home and wrestled with it for 2 days, day and night until finally, I was able to produce the first note ‘Sa’ !

and with that I learnt

#Lesson 2 – The first attempt needn’t be the last, try try until you succeedInstances of life might be disappointing but never be discouraged, keep trying !


A couple of more weeks and I was able to get all the 7 notes (more or less) on the bansuri, my room mates will strictly vouch to have heard nothing except cacophony ! 😉 Soon I reaslised the need for a teacher and started a search. The search yielded nothing for a few weeks as bansuri teacher’s seemed to be a rare breed and none seemed to be around my home ! The cause seemed hopeless and just as I made up my mind to commute for hours if needed to learn, miraculously I found an excellent teacher residing just a few minutes away from my home.

and with that I learnt

# Lesson 3 – if there is a will there is a way 😉 don’t give up on a worthy cause !

My room mate too succumbed to the charm of bansuri and both of us enrolled for bansuri classes together and thus began our journey. The early days I had the urge of wanting to play film songs and other popular tunes like Airtel dhun, I got the notes of these songs/dhun online and felt happy if I got my roomies and others to recognise what I was playing ! However my music teacher wouldn’t at all bother what songs I could play, all he bothered about was the perfection of each note that I played. He just kept on making me practise the 7 basic notes ! As time passed and my ear started contrasting the difference between what I and my teacher played, I realised the fundamentals he was stressing was more important and that my eagerness was becoming my own death knell of music learning !

and I learnt
# Lesson 4 – ‘have the objective in mind, else one would waste time in action’ – as I did practising playing songs rather than the basics


# Lesson 5 – ‘get the fundamentals right and rest would follow’ – as I obeyed my teacher and curbed my eagerness to play film songs and dhun, I actually realised I got play the songs and dhun’s better !

In the inital days I compared my bansuri with that of my roomie, I felt his bansuri sounded better, looked better and there was this certain dissatifaction that my bansuri probably wasn’t as good as his ! However as time went by, with practise and guidance of my teacher I was able to get better sound from my bansuri.

and understood that

# Lesson 6 – pratise maketh a man perfect
# Lesson 7 – ‘Grass looks greener on the other side but it needn’t be !’ – Initially I did feel that my roomie’s bansuri sounded better and indeed the Indian flute made from natural bamboo varies, each piece of bamboo is unique and might sound a little different even if sourced from the same origin. However the better I got at playing the bansuri,the better it sounded. My bansuri had thinner walls and produced a more hollow ringing sound, my roomies had a slightly thicker wall and gave a more deeper voice, as time progressed I liked each for its own !

In life too circumstances vary, more often than not one wishes they ought to have been on the other side. However by making oneself better chances are we will be able to make our own seemingly barren fields lush green ! This was the most important thing I felt my bansuri conveyed to me! 😀

The instrument belonging to the Stealer of the Heart, stole my heart and with it thought me a few lessons of life ! My bansuri training is still a long long way to go

but I am enjoying the ride ! 😀 🙂

Interested in Knowing about Indian Flute/Bansuri – check the sites below

Bansuriflute

KnowurRaga

Site by a disciple of Hairprasad Chaurasia

 

The story of 7%

Since two years I have been hearing numerous discussion and reading innumerable articles about India’s GDP growing at 7% and wondered why the fuss about a measly 7%.  I remember all the punters, economists & so called respected mutual fund manager claiming at the begining of Year 2011 that it was a great time to buy into Indian stocks and that we were growing at 7% and possibly will touch 7.5 % etc. They gave a number of stocks to put on the buy list and some even dared to predict, come end of Dec 2011 Sensex would touch 22k ! 🙂

Jump through to Dec 2011 – Sensex stands at 15K, many a buy calls especially those belonging to the airline industries stocks have fallen flat, airline companies stand on a huge pile of accumulated losses if not at the door step of bankruptcy. The magic 7% seems to be fading to 6.5 % or so and a kg of bananas has been costing me Re 2 more week on week ! The shopkeeper seemed stunned on my questioning him about raising prices when the PM had said inflation was supposed to wane ! 😉 Btw I have a high regard for Mr. Manmoham Singh, personally I feel he is the best brain available to fix the situation we are in, if only people wud let him run the country.

 Coming back to the magic 7% I never understood the fuss about it. Yes, it meant that India was supposed to prosper but what was it with this 7% that grabbed so much attention ?? The revelation came when I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Mohandas Pai , former HR Head of Infosys, speak at an award function that my dad and his other colleagues had won. Mr Pai spoke about a lot of things and it really impressed me, but what caught my ear was this 7% that he spoke about. He said that this 7% growth meant that India would double its economy in the coming decade and that would mean, India growing as much in the coming decade as it did in the past six decades or so !

On hearing him, lo ! to my surprise, it stuck in my head that it all boiled down to simple 5th – 7th standard airthmetic, Compound Interest !

the calculation would go as forth, assume India grows at 7% for the coming decade, India today is a 1 trillion economy

Principal P = 1 trillion  — Rate of Growth G = 7%  —- Time period T = 10 years

Simple compund interest formula =>

A (Indian Economy after a decade from now) = P*(1 + G/100)^T

                                                                               = 1 trillion * ( 1 + 7/100)^10

                                                                               = 1 trillion * 1.96

       India after 10 years hence = 1.96 trillion ~ 2 trillion !!! or rather twice the current size !

Just imagine the tremendous pace of growth this implies, all the past six decade growth squeezed into the coming decade ! Seems like we are in for an exciting times ahead !

To put the figures into perspective,

US stands at 14 trillion mark currently

 Japan at 5 trillion

China at 4 trillion

France, United Kingdom, Italy at approximately 2 trillion each

The question though is will the 7% story continue for another decade ? Will growth be inclusive for all section of the society and not the servant of a fortunate few. Corruption & petty politcs will of course be the villans in the story.

Will the 7% story still be victorious in face of all odds is something we will need to wait and watch !