The ThinkTank Chronicles.

This is my journey from the deeply mysterious to the outrageously silly and mundace happenings of my life. the lows and highs, the ups and downs. And maybe a Simple Harmonic Motion to an exponential curve. Mathematical, Scientific, Theistic, Philosophical, Logical,Social, every conceivable idea.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

In a bubble

"Hey, do you remember the time we all went trekking? V~ even came in his full gear...?"

"What about that case when we were playing cricket and suddenly we were caught by madam..?"

"Oh how we practised for cricket, and in the last minute all our efforts go in waste"

"Aaaah...how i feared the stick then. I almost peeed in my pants"

"Those wonderful evenings. Badminton, water, laughing..."

"Early morning tuitions and all the stuff. All sitting together and we used to pull each others legs. Horror stories and we scared them all."

"Those afternoons of cricket...How D~ used to wax eloquently about his exploits."

Each one keeps adding his own story, another anecdote, another leaf in a tree. I keep watching. I keep listening. I stay mute.

And then they sense me. Sense that I have been silent all along. Not having contributed any words to their sentences. That I never once figure in any of the exploits they had. I never once even for a blur, am part of their halcyon moments.

And they ask "Hey P~, where were you? What were you doing then?"

And i say with a shrug "I was observing you all". ( as i am doing now)

Its a blur to me. Actually a gaussian blur averaged over a stretch of a decade of my most active years. Whenever my friends meet, particularly the schoolies, there is a tizzy that everyone goes into. Its a non stop verbal hammering till everyone drops that they keep reminiscing the events, those glorious halcyon days and all.

The days when carefree and full of life, I was living my life, quite content with what i did; quite very content with what i do. My own world prism through which I saw, I learnt, I lived. Somehow neither the need arose then, nor now. That doesnt place me in the lazy bugs, if thats what it might be interpreted as. Its just that, I was always there, but silent. In a huge world, which was to be discovered. Couldnt take things just for granted. The moments, the thoughts nor the people.

Its a very simple philosophy. Playing my part and getting out. Just a been there, done that. Not a had been there, had done that.

If i had to linger, it was through my actions in their minds. All my past is inconsequential to me. The present presents itself to me. In its myriad possibilities of the future. I grab each one of them; live, see and then forget. And then move on.

Or failing memory is it? Signs of my impending senility? :)
|| KoPoS, 5:45:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

ladiez sez

we create and you people know only to destroy
|| KoPoS, 7:40:00 PM || link || (6) comments |

Irony? Selective Amnesia?

Im stepping into dangerous territories here...

Why is it that newspapers and the media cry out loud the gross inhumanity in animal sacrifices during any of the hindu festivals but refrains from as even a whimper in the case of the same during bakrid?

Why is it that no one even talks the godhra that happened but is vocal enough about the riots in Ahmedabad?

Why is the bursting of crackers during diwali is made a case in point but no one makes but a whimper at the number of vehicles prying on the roads increasing exponentially?

Why is US concerned about the oil line for Iran, India and Pakistan and the rising nuclear tensions between neighbors?

F16s to Pak and F18s to India. Feeding the capitalist economy?
[more on the american hegemony later]

Why is it that Germany remains a center of holocaust and the gross inequities committed on humanity when something similar on the same lines/worse was taking place in US over captured Japanese PoW?

As i heard in the Page3
"Jiski chalti hai,
uski g***d pe mombatti jalti hai"


I sometimes think of selective amnesia that goes around in the media or in the world history. My history of the Indian culture blurs before 1600's unless that history was written by some British scholar. Not that im accusing the British of playing up a different version of our history then. But as i say this, Im having a hard time recalling the times that have gone between the Ramayana writing Valmiki to the more recent 1900's with the caste systems. What changes have they gone through? Later to one point, its just a blur.

Its the same thing that goes on in other aspects too like that of a US view of the world war II where any aspects of violence by the country is completely obliterated :O

Is this an observation or is it true? The seemingly outright meddling of history by the victor countries... The powers that emerge victorious after a war, seem to take care to show every action in the positive light only and any flaws are deleted.

Its dangerous you know, when you want to venture out and you know there is going to be only one path and it has a green light, everything appears green. Why? Because that was the way it was intended to appear. Green.
|| KoPoS, 12:31:00 PM || link || (7) comments |

Monday, March 28, 2005

Faith of the Faithless

pradakshinaa: one full revolution of the temple.

On a rather chilly early morning of a Friday morning, I accompanied my friend, his mom and his sister on a visit to the Chilukur Balaji Temple. {Every knowledgeable citizen of Hyderabad should have known about this.}

The presiding deity at this temple is Lord Venkateshwara(Balaji). This god is also known as the 'Veesaala Devudu'(God of Visas). Actually he became famous by this sobriquet and it still sticks to him. No wonder you get to see young college graduates and parents of would-be graduates at the temple asking for boons, for their or their children's visas to get accepted.

Gods become famous not by what they are; but by what they can give to you. And since as ubiquitous as the shrewd business sense of people can be, no wonder, god was never left to rest in peace.

And this is how it works: this business association between the god and the devotee.

Phase 1. Submit the application form .
First,ask a desire of yours. That is by doing 11 pradakshinaas of the temple.

Phase 2. Processing
Now wait for your desire to get fulfilled.

Phase 3. Post Processing
In case it does,you do 108 pradakshinaas of the temple.
In case it doesnt, you dont.

This is what I knew/learnt about the temple, during my numerous inquiries before and during the journey.

But what I saw there left me confused, laughing and thoroughly amused.

It was 4:30am and there were already people flocking the temple which was not yet opened. And as soon as it got opened, they rushed in.Since i had never been inside this temple, i decided to go have a dekko after half an hour.

And there was the sea of humanity. Arms reaching out at the next corner to help move fast. Eyes darting feverishly searching for the gap in the front to squeeze in. Lips moving continuously not involved in chanting but counting the number of pradakshinaas they did. And the legs doing their bit by running around.

All minds are involved in one single motive. To complete the 108 rounds. Neither a lip goes chanting; nor the eyes close in Bhakti. The rat-race is alive. Very much alive. In a temple!

Im a believer[I want to be a believer]; but for all my beliefs/observations; Ill always be an athiest.
|| KoPoS, 3:00:00 PM || link || (5) comments |

Thursday, March 24, 2005

another of those tests.

My Inner Hero - Warrior!



I'm a Warrior!


I'm courageous, straightforward, and charismatic. I'm a born leader, but I'm also not afraid to face danger on my own. Nothing stands between me and victory... nothing that lives to tell the tale, anyway. If you need someone to charge into battle for you, call on me.



How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.
|| KoPoS, 1:09:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

New Books

India - A Wounded Civilization

The Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
Great collection. The first and the last one are really good.

Ramayana by Valmiki [English translation] {ongoing...}
I miss the sanskrit lines.
|| KoPoS, 9:56:00 AM || link || (0) comments |

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Alien in my City

a: "Hey, how do i go to Imliban Bus Station?"
b: "Thats simple. Just go straight, Take a right, blah blah blah"

a: "Hey what route should I take to go to Golconda"
b: "Hmm...ok. Go to toli chowki en route Mehdipatnam...again blah blah"

a: "Which area is this?"
c: "MasjidBanda"

a: "Oh I must plan this time to see the zoo, museum, etc..."

a: "Are you free tomorrow?"
b: "Yeah, why?"
a: "Ive got to go to a place blaaah"
b: "Oh thats just like 15 mins of travel. Why do need me for that?"
a: *sheepish smile* "I dont know the place, you know..."

Generally these are the set of questions asked by a new comer to any new city. But as general as it can't be, these are the questions that I often ask to newcomers to my city, Hyderabad.

Reason 1.
They are forced to explore all of the city

Reason 2.
They are excited enough to scan the city completely.

Reason 3.
Its because its a lazy me. What best a tribute to my city than to imbibe the sab kuch chaltha hai attitude of this place?

Reason 4.
Never felt the need to :)

But as you grow, the needs grow. Who was that who said "Necessity is the mother of direction..."?

Its funny that being a Hyderabadi i proclaim to be, never once in my cognizant memory did i see the "monuments" of this place, Golconda, Zoo Park, Salar Jung Museum, Kuli Kutub Shahi Tombs, Charminar...

As old a monument of zero interest Im, a novice to the city, Im still discovering things that I should have(as most of my friends complain!) aeons ago.

If I were to be measured on these metrics im sure Ill fall way back behind even a 10 month old. But then what makes me or for that sakes anyone a Hyderabadi?

Is it the one who knows it bones to bones, like the back of my hand? Or is the one, who can never get over it, slowly learning about it, sip by sip, relishing every drop?
|| KoPoS, 6:05:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

Monday, March 21, 2005

Payback

It was the time of our EAMCET. For the people unaware of this, its the Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test[i guess im right] for admission into the engineering colleges of AP.

As we always are picky and pricky and complaining about the gross injustice meted out to the OCs boys like us who always get a rotten deal. with no reservations to back on, we always are at the mercy of the system, inspite of our merit.

'Why do they(the BCs) have to get the reservation at all? They dont read, they have no talent, they have no merit and yet they get the seats reserved for them. Why is it? why?' I was a pretty pissed of teen then.

Mom too added her own experiences at her workplace talking of the way less talented individuals get promoted inspite of lack of any knowledge and just because they belong to the SCs and STs.

"Do you ever understand how tough it is for a person and especially a child to clean the excrements of the higher caste people? Have you ever wondered the power of insult, how badly it can hurt the heart the tender innocent heart of a small kid who goes to school and other kids just prejudice him? Have you ever even thought the sort of deep stigmas it can leave on a small impressionable mind?"

"And even when you people talk about you guys getting a raw deal, you still dont talk about the 33% pc for women? So many girls wont even whimper about the reservations they get, but are vocal enough to talk about the reservations to these people?"

That was my dad speaking...as an answer to mine and mom's questions.

All my questions just disappeared. What other way could we pay for the pain, that was perperated on them only because they were not born here in our place? Its unjust to us now, but what was done then was nothing less than barbaric.

That was the time that made me think of the gross inequities in the system that existed then [and exist even now, we havent evolved yet] and then the gross inequities that have perperated into the system when it has tried to set right, by an overzealous attitude of paying back.

--as in the words of RL--
Vision, commitment, strategising.

--now mine, continued--
When the constitution was drafted, im sure all these three had been in abundance and was right for the time. But then what went wrong? Isnt the Constitution, the holy ramayana of the indian democracy need change, to change according to times? Have we still not learnt that change is permanent and its the spirit that is to be carried forward and not the rule?
|| KoPoS, 3:54:00 PM || link || (8) comments |

Fear

As i was talking with my friends over things as varied as the curses of the eunuchs feared by many many of the people ive met; to the legend of snake memory...I was sitting there thinking
about trying to figure out a common link.

Sometimes i just think about the amount of stigma that is associated with eunuchs.This fear of their curse sometimes protects them from us human animals that we are.

Fear has been such an important tool of control in the Indian upbringing that we start using it from the time a kid is able to comprehend fear and till the end of the journey on his deathbed.

Mothers at the early age, feeding the kid morsels of food, tell all kinds of stories of beggars who would come and take them away stuffing them in some gunny bag; it they dont eat their food.Or shouting them not to go too far away as someone at the corner of the road would definitely take them away.

And then there are the classics that are about the amazing memory of a hurted snake. And the
more painful legend of the power of the eunuch's curse. Why is here fear used here as a method to regulate our actions? The simple reason, i get is, the simplest emotion any animal(yes, we are animals) can understand is fear.

And that has been used effectively as a tool to regulate us. Or with the stigma that the eunuchs already undergo, would the people let them live(not live in peace, this they never had), if this fear factor was not involved.

And with the snakes, which are already feared for their uncommon shape, fear of them would have already put them alongside the dinos.

How sad we still have to use such a low-level emotion [a hallmark of animals] to regulate the actions of ours; how sad. The question i get is Have we really evolved?

That takes me on another tangential:
EGO is the fountainhead of all creativity
FEAR is the sinkbed of all control
|| KoPoS, 1:22:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

My Friend

This was a poem i wrote long ago, but lost it somewhere in the archives. So just reposting it here...

"My Friend"

Alone and frightened, I shall come searching for you,
My friend,
Blind and hungry, I'll come knocking at your doors,
My friend.

When the merciless world has shirked itself away from me,
Sons that left me alone in the raging fire,
Of forgotten vows that traitored me alone at the end,
And of friends selfish that wont spare a smile,
And a lonely self that just lies helpless...

When all that remains is an urn of ash,
When the body has lost all its sense of mortal existence,
In the end when all that remains of life is a misled hope.
Stripped of the riches and the earthly ties,
When all the thoughts and acts are only a memory.

In those times, dark and unnerving,
I shall come in search of a true friend,
Who promised to walk with me all along,
Into a new life that started lifeless.

With a cosmic blaze so dazzling with life,
Shall engulf me into an immortal embrace.
Like a mother that tends carefully to its hurted child,
As a true lover that stays by me all along.

In the last odyssey of my life,
When all the friends and foes are the same,
And with a promise to be my only succour,
In this shameless world that left me lifeless.

As a man of honor stay true to it, my friend,
Keep up the bargain and let me stay,
Promise this to me and I promise, I'll welcome you when,
When you come knocking, searching for me,

Death, my friend...

--Copyright © "20th May, 2004" by "Poorna Shashank K" --

|| KoPoS, 10:02:00 AM || link || (1) comments |

Friday, March 18, 2005

You Know You're Addicted to Coding When...

-- Edited that more definitely happens to me--
/* flicked from the original at http://www.blogthings.com/Coding.html */

You laugh at movies that show programmers at work. {Hackers} {but swordfish was def. diff}

You get withdrawal symptoms if you're away from a computer for more than 3 hours

You're pressing CTRL+S every 5 minutes, in every application..

Whenever somebody asks you to do something, you try to think of a way to write a program that would help you.

When you take a break from programming, and program.

You are the only one who knows what the difference is between a coder and a programmer.

You watch a tv sitcom and think "I could write an algorithm that writes the scripts for these things"

You sit stuck at traffic lights and work out a more efficient algorithm for them, based on road orientation, sensor placement, time of year, time of day, weather and local sporting events, in your head.

The people you respect most you have never physically seen or spoken to, but you always bow to their knowledge.


Instead of using MS Word, you type your essay for school in HTML using NotePad.

You walk outside and wonder why the sun doesn't make a lens-flare in your eye....

You end each line you type with ";", even plain english ones;

You code your own support software for the digital camera you just bought

Console opens on startup.

You have 2 bookshelves filled with programming books in your room... because the 5 shelves in the living room are full.

You know the following sequence by heart: 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16384 32768 65536 131072

When you can say with a great level of confidance that you have written more lines of code than english.

You wake up in the middle of the night with the solution to your coding problem.

You get drunk\high\otherwise intoxicated just for a different coding experience.

Sunshine genuinely hurts your eyes.

You actually feel like crap from getting 8 hours of sleep, that just so unnatural

You can't help but squeeze math and research topics in while sweet-talking to a girl.

When you die you want "Hello world" carved into your headstone

You keep old computers around and boot them up every once in awhile for the nostalgia.

You would like to have an Aibo to see if you can run Linux on it.

You look at your old code and cringe

You got a D in Computer Programming class because you where coding a plasma effect instead of a "Hello World!" program

You read books on quantum physics and time-travel to relax.

When someone asks you your favorite color, you give the RGB code.

No one else can ever use your computer, as it is tweaked so much only you know how to use it.

The first time you use another person's computer it takes you less than 30 seconds to completely disable all useless programs from running at boot and uninstalling all the ad-ware the fools had on the system.
|| KoPoS, 4:21:00 PM || link || (3) comments |

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Marvel

I remember the most standard topic for debate we used to have since my pre-secondary days to my +2 days 'Technology: Boon or Bane'. And since its such a vast topic in itself, it was never a problem for us to debate for/against it.

Yesterday, though it was a good time to just relish in the boons of technology. Ravi, my cousin who's in Australia now sent a HandyCam for us. Now that was a really good gift. As everyone knows, any MS or PhD in a distant land has two sides to it, freedom and the invisibility to the loved ones.

It seems he sent a video of himself alongwith the handycam so that we could all see him.Anyways, so my mom, dad and his mom wanted to see him. And after we fidgetted a lil with the cam, we were able to see the video connected directly to the TV.

Just the visuals in them, and all the elders were highly elated. Laughing. Smiling. And relishing the moments. And there i was just relishing in the fun that meaningful technology brings with it.

There he was in the video miles away, showing off his goatie and talking and laughing with his friends. And here the elders were happily having fun seeing him. Oh! did i see a tear falling? The world is such a small place afterall!

Of course, there is nothing like the physical presence but in cases not, this seems to be the best alternative. But a techie I am, true boundaries can only be removed when its realtime.

More on the philosophical side to it soon.
|| KoPoS, 1:03:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

Friday, March 11, 2005

Life goes on...

Two of my teammates left today. I have been working with them for the last 9(!?) months. It was a tough time seeing them off. What pained me more was the relative anonymity we share. I mean we know well enough, but nt well enough. I dont rue for their moving away, as much as i do for not knowing them well enough, to tell them how important they are to me.

Hardworking, sincere, modest, at times funny and technically loud [technically sound - technically good. so loud is more sound, right?], thats Venky for you.

Cool, simple demeanor, intelligent, thats Madhur for you.

Both of them are just couple of year(s) senior to me; so i could say was it a brotherly bond to me? I would definitely risk a yes there. That is what a prick would definitely diagonise me for.

Its tough to even describe what special feeling i had for them. Just the same, they were my comfort zone. It was the coolest place to be and to work, just because of all these three guys.

There were no simple special moments i shared with them. Or i fondly remember. It was just the most natural thing for me, to be with them, be in the office and say 'hi' the first thing to do in the morning. As i said, they were my comfort zone.

And the toughness of seeing them off was something i couldnt bear to handle. First time when i could feel the pain, the selfish pain of your own loneliness to deal with. And the pain of fear of not having the cool comfort of not seeing them the first thing tomorrow at office. For sometime or forever.

But, Venky & Madhur if you ever read this, just know, you mean to me more than you can imagine. A Very Sincere Thank you.

Its tough, but as i always say to others, and to myself for the first time life moves on...
|| KoPoS, 6:57:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

Latest reads

Life of Pi

At the end of the novel, the novel said me I would belive in god. But for me, at the end, i only believed in human perseverance. Neither could i find any religious touches to it nor any of the other godly moments. It was a survival tale, a tale of grit and determination and how far it can take you. I'll brand it disturbing.

The monk who sold his Ferrari

Sat. Lied down. Walked around. Stood up. Even a reading desk and my favorite music on my PC. Nothing helped me read the book in hand.However hard i tried, i could never read more than 50 - 60 pages of this book. Im not sure if it was only 60 pages I read.

However effort i put in to complete the book, i couldnt. And im not sure why Robin Sharma's book made it to the bestseller list...! I tried giving it a second read, but I dont have enough courage to do so. Not even Tommyknockers with its gigantic 1020 pages troubled me as much. Thats a different story ill compile later.

The Alchemist

Not sure again why this made to the best seller list. 'soul of the world', 'omens', 'follow your dreams'...neither could i connect to them nor feel it. I mean it was good read, but not something i would brand as a must read.

I found myself as much lost amidst them as im in discussions reg. abstract modern art.
|| KoPoS, 10:59:00 AM || link || (1) comments |

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My Matrix Persona

This was something i created long ago for my ryze page.

My Matrix Persona...


Agent Smith-


Agent Smith, from "The Matrix."

No one would ever want to run into me in a
dark alley. Cold as steel, tough as a rock,
things are my way or the highway.
|| KoPoS, 4:14:00 PM || link || (0) comments |

Monday, March 07, 2005

Daulity. Premise.

Premise. I never tried to think of the importance of this word until i started reading 'Atlas Shrugged'. And then it just came, hit me actually, with the realization that it was one word that was to be the panacea for all the thinking i did based on, the one word to explain the basis, the root.

The premise that i choose to muse, think, debate or decide.

All the factors affected by or affecting a single point of discussion were important in that. Delete one of the factors and we are already creating a lopsided view of the point. Accepted, putting all the factors in place would not be a feasible idea, but deleting any one major factor, is a methodology we cant accept as a method of debate.

As in duality, this was something that i learnt about couple of months ago, about god and stuff. Our conditioning [i would use this to mean education] teaches us that there exists dualities and conveniently deletes any existence of grey areas. Deletion of grey areas comfortably makes us see in black and white and all the hues are lost.

I still remember distinctly when we had a debate in our class regarding biological cloning, suddenly the professor springs about the issues with 'educational cloning'. We all went 'huh?'.

Same is happening all around. I mean look at us. What are we, but more like clones with the thought processes to be more in conformance with some abstraction called society, something which is constituted of someone as close as my mom and dad to some stranger 300 kms away, whom ill never meet all my life.

Isnt this cloning aimed towards a balance? Whats it that suppresses the individual rebellion? Whats it that evokes this struggle/violence? Is the balance we see set of carefully crafted rules to suppress rebellion?

I was going thru DC[Disc. Ch. not the mind-retarding Deccan Chronicle] a week ago and saw someone talking. The current civilization is made to craft food in such a way[esp packaged meat, etc] such that any sign of violence is carefully suppressed to the end consumer.

Similarly, is the balance we see, just a ongoing struggle? A superficial calm of the sea devoid of any traces of the underlying violent currents?

On the eve of WWD, there was a program on TV regarding women and such. And you have feminists talk about the destruction of patriarchy. But if patriarchy is destroyed would it be matriarchy? Suddenly, i was reminded of the reviews on 'the vagina chronicles' and alyqee padamsee joking about writing 'the penis chronicles'. I guess women have been conditioned to play below men, but what i want to know is, if its not patriarchy, would it be matriarchy?

Yes, women have been mistreated and have been wronged for many decades. They need to be given that respect that they have to. I guess the answer is in women to assert their positions. But I wonder, i dont know, will women stop using their sexuality and men their physicality?

Im confused now.
|| KoPoS, 7:19:00 PM || link || (8) comments |

Rust

First.Apologies.
Next. Thanks.
Third. Beware.
All these for the reading the rather loooong post.

With all the thinking thats currently going into judging the epics regarding the infallibility of the characters[very true] in the epics[not true] and evidences of male domination[very true], Ill just try to muse more deeply on this.

I.
When Manu intially talked about the chaturvarna system, the four varnas, viz.
brahmins [the intellectuals],
kshatriyas [warriors],
vaishyas [traders],
shudras [worker]
they were classified based on their capabilities, and not by their birth.When they were even categorised by birth, they still could change to other class structures by basis of their capabilities.

II.
Why did ppl have different systems of dead disposal system for their dead? Why is it that the Hindu system predominantly uses the cremation[by fire] while the other systems use burial?

The areas dominated by Indians[Hindus] were primarily areas of fertile soils, as is the India peninsula, mostly. And using any land to bury them would only mean that such land would go waste. But with the areas mostly occupied by the non-Hindus were areas with abundance of availability of infertile soil, the need for burial.

III.
Why were women not allowed into practising brahminism?

Mainly pysiologically not suitable. In the early gurukula system practised during those times, where the students had to live with the guru and the gurupatni and learn their vidyas, considering the physical changes that affect them during puberty and the amount of care needed, women were generally advised not to practise them. And practise of such rigorous schedule to learn the vedas by heart, involves quite an amount of physical endurance which was/is not a particular hallmark of women.

Any of the roles played by the individuals are a direct result of their own capabilities. Some of the roles of women were fixed mainly due to their own physical capabilities and hence their non-entry into being warriors.

Its definitely acknowledged fact that india is a male dominated society. I guess theres no need for any discussion here...

Ill always stand by the pieces of literature that have been given to us, through the years. These pieces of literature, are notably the vedas[shruti] and upanishads[smriti], epics, sanskrit and other major pieces of literature that have gone in. Religion in India has been multifaceted which has mostly concentrated on the being rather than believing. And religion is an integral part of an identity of an individual.

But somewhere down the line has India stopped thinking? In my belief yes. And that is where comes up the rigidity of the class structures. Rigidity of the roles of ppl. Rigidity in thought processes.

Im searching for the letter, that Shri Aurobindo wrote to his brother lamenting the same. I will be happy if anyone can direct me to that link. I would love to mirror it in my blog.

Prolly this is the rust that we are talking about. The rusting where nothing was questioned. And accepted without question.

Many things have changed since the ages. But what were there then were a result of the practises prevalent at that time. Take for instance, prostituion, polygamy, polyandry were more socially acceptable practises then. But things arent the same now! But that doesnt mean its crap. Isnt it?

Im not trying to be judgemental here. Im just trying to find out why things are the way they are...

If anyone has the patience, do answer me this.

Why is a married woman expected to move to her husband's place?
A couple are supposed to start life anew. And since the joint family system was very much part of the family system earlier, that holds place. But what im not able to fathom still is why is it that its the woman that is expected to move out?

I guess not everything starts out as a malice as the intention. Im sure there was something other intention. What?
|| KoPoS, 1:43:00 PM || link || (5) comments |

"She Lived"

At one time i used to wonder why was Sush Miss Universe in spite of her sharp features, while Ash was the Miss World.

But the way Sush has shaped herself up and shaped her life has just has me going gaga over her. And Sush is definitely the deserving one.

An instance:
(trans/mis)quoted from Q&A on Koffee With Karan(on the rerun on Saturday 3:30 am)

Karan: What would you like your epitaph to read?
Sush : "She Lived"

I couldnt stop myself from applauding her for that answer in the middle of the night!

I never was a fan of any hero and definitely not a heroine for that matter[no pro-masculine rhetoric here]. I like Kamal Hassan, Aamir Khan, Rahul Bose,Al Pacino, Robert de Niro. But recently, Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma have made it to my wishlist. Im not a fan of any one else in the limited definition that i dont mind giving my share of brickbats for the things done wrong.

What strikes me is the reverence i have for Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen Sharma...Seems like i have a soft corner for thinkers.

Revathi as a director has come on top of my lists[Mitr & Phir Milenge]. :P to the media hyped female movie directors.

Same with Madhur Bhandarkar.

Their sense and sensibility shows in their work.
|| KoPoS, 11:32:00 AM || link || (0) comments |

Friday, March 04, 2005

The 4-year holiday called engineering

flicked this from one of the mails in our mailing list. original author do come forward, if this is yrs... :)

The 4-year holiday called engineering

20 things common to all engg colleges:
1). The lecturers dont teach.The students dont study.The only guy who benefits is the one who owns the 'dhaba' next to the college.
2).Rules are made to be broken.
3).Promises are made to be broken.
4).Deadlines are made to be extended...ALWAYS!
5).Guys always think the chics in the college next lane are more beautiful.
5).The geeks are the most pampered lot during the internal exams.
6).The lab assistants are the most respected people(during the lab exams i.e)
7).The watchmen are the people most bribed.
8).The HOD is the! person most respected(heights of sycophancy here).
9).The principal is the person most abused and insulted(behind the back i.e)
10).Dropping subjects is 'cool'.(arre yaar..drop the idea of dropping subjects plzz).
11).There is always a lecturer in the college who cant speak proper 'english'.
12).Night-out is the second most important tool to ace the exams.
13).The most important tool..the bhramastra..is the 'chit' in which the words can be understood only by the person who wrote them(in most of the cases i.e)
14).The freshers are the most sought after..be it in the canteen,the 'free' periods or for completing the records,assignments.
15).The second-years are the ones with the 'I am the don-of-the-college' feeling.
16).The third years are the ones with the 'so-many-backlogs' feeling and the poor
souls get down to studying after bossing around in the college for so long.but the fun still continues.(I gave 22 exams last year!!).
17).The fourth years have no connectio! n with the college whatsoever...with no interest in ragging,pulling each other`s legs,the bday parties,the bday bums et al which they enjoyed so much till now.All they want is a good placement and a '1st-class' tag attached
to their memo.
19).The first three years are spent in cursing the college,the people there, the system et al.
20).But towards the end of the fourth year,people tend to feel
nostalgic abt the pure unadulterated fun they have had for 4 years.Now
the very system they disliked,the very canteen they cursed,the time
that they spent there,the bday bums they suffered..all these seem like
heaven to them.
|| KoPoS, 7:08:00 PM || link || (2) comments |

Thursday, March 03, 2005

answers

Here im compiling a list of answers in response to some valid question posted here.
Ill answer as many as possible as per the time and as i get to research more and more on this topic. So please bear with me. Also please bear with the order of points. Ill rearrange them after i have all of the consolidated list.

1.
Technically, the person who becomes the king is the one most capable, physically for taking on that role. In the most general case, it becomes the eldest son that takes this up. But since Dhrithraashtra was blind, the throne went to Paandu.

The whole of the Kurukshetra war was based on the single question of who was the rightful heir to the throne of Hastinapura. Is it Suyodhana because he was the eldest son of the eldest of the three brothers(D, P and Vidura) or is it Yudhishtira, for he being born the first among all the sons. [We cannot consider Karna here.He was never a prince or recognised or not known to be of royal lineage]

2.
Well, yes, you can say so...Pandavas aren't technically sons of Pandu. They are sons of Kunti and Madri. See, in the most of the cases, the progeny need not always be related by blood relationship.

Janaki, Sita was the daughter of Janaka, born from earth[Vasudha/Vasundhara]
Karna, Radheya, son of Radha.

You can get many many such instances where the father's name was part of the progeny's name.
(Dasaratha-Daasarathi:Rama)

And you have instances of Ganga, as Bhaagirathi, because she was brought to the land from the sky to ground by Bhagiratha.

6. I cant say much about this. But how come polygamy is fine but not polyandry? I dont see the similar question being raised when a man has 5+ wives...Is that not problem? How does it affect the sensibilities there?

7.
He has no right and no commends him for that action. And thats why gambling is given as an example of things not-to-do.

8.
Just because they havent been shown or talked about, doesnt mean hr/she doesnt exist. Abhimanyu was son of Subhadra. There were also five sons of Pandavas[borne by Draupadi] slayed by Ashvatthama at night[which is why his mani was taken by Krishna]. Anonymity doesnt negate their total existence, does it? And these characters werent given due importance, because they didnt add much to the story.

10.
According to the standard texts, Gandhari wanted a hundred sons, and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. She became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a hunderd and pieces, and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl.

The other version is where on hearing Kunti having her first son Yudhishtira, Gandhari gets jealous and breaks her womb, which breaks into a 101 pieces. Vyasa is then said to have put each of them in a pot each, out of which children are born.

-- This is sometimes cited as the first instance of a test-tube baby in the whole of the history of ancient literature. Also, these need not be pots but just a figurative noun used for a surrogate womb. --

updated 3:54pm 4th feb.2005

3. & 4.
At the end, while on their ascent to heaven, Yudhistira spurs the offer to ascend to heaven without the faithful dog [inspite of the pain of having lost all his brothers and wife].

Yudhishtira's character was for never telling a lie. I guess after searching the Mahabharata, you can get many such instances.

5. For this the generic answer is 'All is fair in love and war'. But give me time to answer each one individually.

9.
At the end of the epic, the Pandavas are distraught at the destruction only that is left after the war. None of the next generation is left on either Pandavas side or Kauravas side. It is then that they give up their weapons and all and leave for aranya-vaasa[it is swargaarohana].

I dont exactly remember any instance where they becoming powerless is given. It was voluntary.

11.
'Maatru devobhava, Pitru devobhava, Guru devobhava' When they were [considered]gods, guess giving boons doesnt appear so surprising. Of course, the character of the god is another matter. Devavrata is granted the boon of 'death at will' and not of infinite life.

This definitely clashes with the view that any of the Rakshasas could have asked for that...Quite interesting. Guess they were stupid to not to ask so.

Or consider their character. Death at will is a big issue. Any slang usage and gods might pounce at that very issue. Such a colloquial issue and he might just utter 'i want to die'.

'Oh my head is aching, its splittting.I want to die' Lo! and Behold! Dead.
'Its such a lousy day. I want to die' Oops :)

Seriously, the intention/premise of living forever is to be also considered. For Rakshasas is for their own self, to spread their tyrannical empire. Bhishma, for the loyalty of the kingdom.

12.
Again as in (11), the reasons in both cases are different.Drona acted like Kshatriya for money. Parashurama had to act like a Kshatriya for killing the Kshatriyas.[Had to avenge the murder of his family]. And that was where his act like a Kshatriya ended. Thereafter he left for penance on Mount Mahesha.

-- The premise/intention is as important as the means and the end --

13.
If Yudhistara did anything about it, his own identity would have come out and they would have to go into exile for another 12 years. Thats why all that was done in stealth.

14.
It is this misplaced loyalty/feeling of dharma that was the cause of the Kurukshetra war. Bhishma's unfettering loyalty to the Kaurava dynasty inspite of all their acts; Krupacharya, Drona's loyalty to the king that employed them;Karna's misplaced loyalty to a friend even though he was doing wrong... their misconception of their own dharmas caused the war. And it was because of this the Kurukshetra war was called the 'Dharma Yuddha' , not for as much for the fight between evil and good as much as it was for the redefinition of 'Dharma'. Thats why Krishna's Gitopadesha achieves cult status here.
|| KoPoS, 5:50:00 PM || link || (4) comments |

turbulence

"A powerful mind feels strong resistance from within when, at the time of accepting new truth, it has to change its former convictions."

Im seeking solace from the words above. Why am i saying this? My convictions and beliefs have been challenged. Being an agnostic, for me the epic heroes have been my personal heroes. Gods, maybe for they have been better humans than others.

Of a purushottama,Rama an idol. Visages of Rama conjure up images of struggle with himself and with the outside world. Im fighting myself, churning and crunching any possible data i get that will give me a direction. Search the truth. Without any opinion of it. And not looking for hints that dont exist. And looking for lessons that need be learnt.

For my myself, Rama is always a hero of epic proportios. The question im asking myself is why?

Im in a situation where i need to get as much knowledge as possible, learn, interact, think and filter.

Im not sure what my decisions/opinions on this will be over a period of time. But one thing im sure, ill emerge more wiser than i am now.
|| KoPoS, 5:16:00 PM || link || (4) comments |

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Re: Epi(c)logue

RL,

Im not sure ill be able to tackle all the points that you've put forward in your post. Im trying to erect my standpoint on this view.

I completely agree with your view that Hinduism is in need of a change. But not with your definition of its perception and its age-long cliched methods to answer questions, by abstaining to answer them through highly non-common sensical jargon of higher truths and unquestionable axioms.

I definitely take the stand against viewing Hinduism as a religion which it definitely is not. Its a way of life, as is stressed regularly. Lets not get into the talk propogated by the right-wing fundamentalists regarding the corruption of the culture and tradition; as adapting to changes and assimilation of changes into itself has been one of the strong points of Hinduism.

Viewing epics as religious text is also something i wouldn't ascribe to. As told, epics are a human-centric pieces of literature handed down over the centuries. They are legends which may or might not be true. As for all the human characters in these epics that of Rama, Sita, Krishna,Yudhishtira etc are mired with their own faults and greatnesses.

Definitely as times change many parameters change on which we are looking or even percieving their characters.We dont look at the world at not what it actually is, but by actually what we are. Every one of us looks at the world through his own personal prism. Isnt it? So dont the epics make sense when seen in the context that they were written.

As for Yudhistira, when he utters the cry 'Aswatthaama Hathaha...[Kunjaraha]', his chariot falls to the ground [till then it moves a good one feet above the ground, placing him at a pedestal], as a punishment for having uttered a lie. And Yudhistira, goes to Hell after his death, for that one lie he spoke. I still dont know, but all the characters had their faults and negatives and were treated accordingly as normal humans. The reason in telling the epics was to take the positives. To conduct a life and learn from their mistakes.

Well, im not in an ability to comment on the character of Rama to send his pregnant wife to the jungle. As is the case of karma, many forces come into play here which would make the analysis of an episode a simple alienated method to do so.

As for the sympathising with the victimiser, lets get into more details, shall we? Who was the one to want to have the golden deer? Who was the one to cross the line, inspite of being asked not to? Prolly, my idea of professionalism have gone a step too far to equate both the cases. Yes, i do accept the point that maybe Rama going to jungle would have been a more noble gesture...but can a king forget his duty to his people for more personal reasons?

I still dont understand the episodic view that you say needs to be taken for the epic. How can a window shape your own world? Isnt it like shutting down one of your senses and understanding that all the perceptions that would be felt by that sense dont exist? For a blind, colors dont exist, if an episodic quality is the way to percieve the epics.

Every event that happens isnt just an episodic cause-and-effect relationship, isnt it? The riots of 1984 against Sikhs were in effect in retaliation to the assassination of Mrs.Gandhi by her bodyguards. But why was that? Because she had desanctified their Holy Shrine when Sant Bhindranwala and his consorts were killed during 'Operation Bluestar'. And why was that? Wasnt she the one who actually gave oil to the fire to the movement begun by Bhindranwala as a method to subjugate against Sant Longowal and Mr Parkash Singh Badal?

History or epics are not disconnected pieces of literature. They are lessons that need to be learnt from them.This is where the essense has been lost.
|| KoPoS, 11:35:00 AM || link || (4) comments |

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