Category Archives: Writing

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 ! 🙂

 

 

 

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 ?

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 !

Letter to my friends – Nov 11, 2011

Hi Everybody ! 🙂

‘she is so lovable’… ‘I asked her to marry me’.. and she said ‘that’s so sweet but let’s be frnds !!’

before u guys raise an eyebrow… this is not me proposing a girl 😛  but Siri’s response to an iphone 4S user !! 🙂 😀
guess all of u have heard abt Siri by now.. the apple 4s software to which u can talk in human language…
i was amazed and a little spooked to be honest that a non living – non brained — u know non non being cud actually reply like how human’s did !!
and wondered if in the distant future humans wud actually be buying humanoid frnds in shops since their real frnds wud be too busy !! and whether the artifical and real wud get merged !!
 
and then.. I saw an article abt Tintin, the latest Spielberg movie and a discussion abt the uncanny valley..
The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics and 3D computer animation, which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers
Orginally the term was coined by robotics professor Masahiro Mori, who also said that –  as the appearance continues to become less distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels !! completing the reverse trend of valley (V) … interesting eh ??
wat this wud mean is that human’s wud actually start associating with robots in a way they do with their real life frnds, the way they do with other humans ! and being able to communicate like humans is wat Siri seems to be providing to quiet an extent…
 
Could robots ever replace the warmth of a human frnd by their cold metal / codes and wires doesn’t seem to be plausible situation but then the article did spook me !
 
Well the weekend is coming up I hope all of us have real warm blooded frnds to hang out wit and not rely on Siri to answer the question ‘I m alone will go out with me for a cup of coffe !! 😉 😛
 
happy weekend !!!!!!! 🙂

A cyclonic experience – 25th May 2009

wat could possibly be different.. it was an ordinary Monday morning… didn’t wanna go to office .. but then like the 100 other Monday’s when i have woken up and wished it wasn’t Monday 😦 but found no alternative n had to pack myself to office… i convinced myself a day spent at office ain’t gone be so bad !! :)so away i went…
it was drizziling a little .. a welcome relief i thought some respite from the schorching heat !! :)reached office ..was happy i had gotten up early not been lazy !! it had started raining cats n dogs by the time i had secured myself inside the four walls of the office :)!!!

mother nature it seemed to have suddenly woken up n in her playful pranks probably wanted to play holi !! 🙂
i felt really happy watching through the glass window.. the sprawling salt lake behind me !! 🙂 serene and beautiful 🙂 with the wind creating the waves and ripples in the water.. the lake had put on the illusion of being a desert !! 🙂

an hour later my colleagues reached off and by then the sky had cracked open !! and the wind god had unleashed his fury!! the lake had got transformed into a ocean rather than a calm desert !! n dat is wen i overheard my colleagues discuss about AILA hitting Kolkata !! n yet i didn’t understand them fully!!

later on my roomie working in the same office called me at arnd 12 and asked if i was ready to pack the bags for home !! amazed i asked him wat for n realized as he explained the outside fury was no ordinary rain but a cyclone supposed to hit bengal !! we brave boys decided to stick on n carry on our duties !! 😉 haha !! actually we just went n had our lunch !! a big queue wit everybody in office deciding to stay inside !! nobody dared to go out !!

the cyclone had torn off the plastic roof from building and had knocked down the iron shutter at the other block !! it was scary as the debris started flying down the floor ! and the wind created a ferocious loud racket as it tried with all its might to rip off the roof !! and blow away anything that stood in its way.. post lunch it was pretty clear that everybody wanted to pack their bags and go home.. my roomie came to my desk asking to pack up for the day .. but as fades wud have it there was a critical ticket which popped up at the very moment .. so started the running arnd ! as i told my roomate to hang on for 15 mins more i got scrambling to get the job done ! we finsihed the thing and came out n for me for the first time in the day it was time for reality check !!

huge trees had comes crashing on their knees and the roads had got blocked… everywhere people were scurrying for their home.. all arnd u cud see hordes of people like ants pouring out from every direction your eyes could see.. buses where filled with people overflowing !! we cudn’t get buses at the bus stop nearest to our work place and so we decided to start walking towards the next stop to try n catch a bus… fortunes didn’t seem to change as the buses were filled with no scope of getting into them.. luckily we saw a bus with some gap n got into it…cramped to the max with people putting their elbows in my eyes, stomach, nose well u guys get the picture !! me and roomie got down at a junction near to our home..and started walking the rest of the way !!it was raining and the winds i m sure was strong enough to have blown away a skinny person !! 😉 !! the met dept guys predicted winds at arnd 90 kmph !!
completely drenched and exhausted by all the scampering arnd we made it to our home :)the rest of the guys were already there !! 🙂

the entire thing though made me think how the families living in the slums wud be spending this night 😦 if the wind and rain wud leave anything that they cud salvage something out of .. saw pictures of taxis being crushed by trees on news channels … imagined how the guys life wud have changed today .. his entire livelihood depended on this car in which he probably spent more time than in his home..read the newspaper the next day and was sad to read a story that a mother and her son 33 years old where sitting in an auto and a huge tree fell on the auto and killed the boy on spot while the mother was untouched…:(

they wudn’t have imagined wen they slept the day b4 dat mother nature wud enact such a cruel fate.. n that life for some of us wont remain the same hereafer ..mayb its just life’s way of saying… though not in the most polished way dat make the most out of today !! for 2mrw is something u never know 🙂 life is short .. so we ought to enjoy the fullest of today and not wait expecting for 2mrw 🙂

Letters to my friends – Shifting to my new room – Nov 3, 2010

Hi Guys !!

So here i m out again writing a mail to you guys! 🙂 Many of u might be pulling out winter wears by now !! gearing up for the chilly breeze, the cold mornings.. wanting to curl up into the bed under a warm blanket and not go to office.. and some of u maybe embracing the white snow when you look out of the window !!  🙂   Bangalore today is giving me a mini gangtok ka feel.. or maybe it is just my nostalgia !!! 😛

i wanted to shoot a mail yde.. it was a long weekend, with 1st Nov, monday being a holiday.. i shifted from my pg to my friend’s room last sunday.. after having shown me the doors 9 months ago… he repented and realised his mistake and begged me to come back.. 😉 😉 being the good hearted man i am ..i agreed 😉 😛

the sad thing though i had to bid farewell to my pg cockroach friends .. almost 10’s of them 😦 they were so happy to have been roaming between my luggage bags which i had kept inside my diwaan (cot which is a cuboid box, having a opening on top.. one can keep stuff inside it).. they happily roamed abt my suitcases and laid eggs and increased their brood.. i ensured not to disturb them except once in a while, when I lifted the door of the diwan to pull out my suitcases and take out necessary stuff. The roaches didn’t seem very happy at my intrustion, at these moments, it disturbed their peace and quiet and they ran hither skither towards the fading darkness, which would get tressprassed by the day light.. finally after i had pulled out my stuff, i again replaced my suitcase back inside the diwan, apologizing to my cockroach friends for my intrusion, while being careful not to put the suitcase down on a cockroach, rest i sud have killed somebody’s family and be labelled a murderer !
i also had to bid adeiu to my chipkali(lizard) friend who had made my cupboard her home sweet home.. every so often when i opened my cupboard i saw her peeping at me for an instance and before i cud say hi she disappeared ! she loved playing hide and seek.. many times she would appear on top of cupboard, quick to dive inside as soon as she saw me !
alas i cudn’t see her on the last day and bid a final good bye 😦 but with a heavy heart i cleared my stuff from the cupboard and and closed it for the one last time !

monday was a holiday this week and a bout of stomach upset took me down 😦 tuesday started on a pretty crappy note.. got up late and as i dragged my feet around the house i saw the clock and realised i was getting late for my bus. I ran outside barely trying to fit my feet inside my shoes when due to the light drizzle i realised, i had forgotten my umbrella ! i ran inside grabbed it and dashed towards the bus stop to realise that i had left my cell phone and went back again to get it.. finally with my lungs heaving heavily when i had reached the bus stop again and waited for 15 mins wit the office bus nowhere in sight i took a long walk to local transport bus stop and climed the big red packed volvo towards the office.. inside the bus i was playing chess trying to position myself right next to a guy who i thought wud get down sooner vacating a place for me to sit down rather than later ! but i think my calculation went wrong that day, guys who climbed the bus after me had people around them vacating seats for them while i kept standing the entire 90 mins journey ! 😀 now the sweet part of the story comes in the eve, when people in the office bus told me the bus was actually a half hour late and didn’t reach the pick up point near my home in the morning on time ! poppat ! 😀

well thats how went my long weekend ! 😉
hope u guys enjoyed too!!!