Wednesday, September 05, 2012

How to prepare for an accidental time travel in the past

Of course, the useful of all this depends on the time where (when ?) one ends up landing in.

Helpful skills:

  • ·         Excellent physical fitness
  • ·         Ability to run quickly, jump without hesitation and climb rocks and trees
  • ·         Immunity good enough to survive without soap/ disinfectant
  • ·         Basic knowledge of hand to hand combat
  • ·         Enough common sense to build basic tools and weapons
  • ·         Idea of what plants/roots/seeds/fruits are edible
  • ·         Some basic skill that you can use for mingling in a community, like pottery, sewing, farming, accountancy etc. (providing that you encounter any human colonies at all)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There's a rainbow in my sky

And I love it...

Let me take this opportunity to officially welcome monsoon too ( I am a little late though. It has been raining since last week). But then who doesn't like a welcome, or welcome a welcome..

So anyways, the rains have succeeded in prettifying everything in sight, specially the trees.. oh oh and the sky too.

Hmm and now its time for random updates..

I have moved up in the corporate ladder.. Figuratively at least. :P I now work at the top most floor at my office.. And my new desk has a view to kill for. 

And I have had the privilege of crossing out another item from my "Must visit in this life" list. Yes, the valley of flowers.. It was everything I had imagined and more.. Oh so beautiful. *sigh*

Oh and another first.. I slipped and fell on a glacier.

Monday, June 04, 2012

arid versus sultry

If i had a choice, i would always, always choose sultry.

Now that that's settled, lets move on to more realistic topics.

This 6th of june is the last chance for us (and i mean all of us, unless they are planning to live forever) to see venus passing by the sun. Dont miss it.

Human beings like to be in contact. We are happy when we know everything about everybody. In my opinion the fourth ego state in addition to the Parent, Adult and Child, is the Stalker. Dormant in most, but very much there. (yeah go ahead, deny it. You know its true).

What is the optimum sanity level to keep one happy forever? When does sanity start bordering boring? How does one keep tab of it? Has there been a study seeking correlation between incredibly sane and extremely boring?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

In praise of romantic idleness

As I have always maintained, I regard Gulzaar as one of the finest artists that God ever blessed us with. In addition to producing some timeless gems, he has also touched upon works of previous maestros and somehow made them more beautiful. Let us delve in two such examples:

Amir Khusro, is regarded as THE pioneer poet of khadi boli. Every kid, at least in the northern part of India, is familiar with his timeless riddle, “ek thaal moti se bhara…”. His series of “kyon sakhi saajan, nahi ____” riddles are a fine example of utilizing the internal syllabic rhythm of language to highlight the playfulness of the two protagonists in these riddles. But that is for another post.
It turns out that Khusro was much more than a Hindi (khadi boli) poet.  Behold an excerpt from one of his poems:

Zehal-e miskin makun taghaful, duraye naina banaye batiyan;
ki taab-e hijran nadaram ay jaan, na leho kaahe lagaye chhatiyan.

This is a masterpiece in its own accord. Apart from the obvious beauty of rhyme, the true brilliance of this poem is that it has been composed in two different languages. The first half of each line is Persian, or Faarsi, while the second half has been composed in Braj bhasha.

Taking the initial phrase out this poem of Khusro’s, Gulzaar has created a different couplet, somehow preserving the original idea of interweaving two languages as well as the emotion of romantic anguish. Here it is:

zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish,
bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai
(A song from movie Ghulaami)

Now this is called inspiration. It’s like a true artist paying homage to another true artist. Legend saluting legend. Brilliant.

Let’s look at another such example. This ghazal composed by Ghalib is in praise of romantic idleness..

jee dhoondhtaa hai phir wohee fursat,
ke raat din baithe rahein tasavvur-e-jaanaa kiye huye
Gulzar borrowed the ghazal, re-punctuated and changed the meaning a little and added some more lines beautifully illustrating his idea.

Dil dhoondta hai, phir wohi fursat ke raat din,
Baithe rahein tasavvur-e-jaanaa kiye huye…
Jaadon ki narm dhoop aur aangan mein let kar
Aankhon pe kheench kar tere daaman ke saaye ko
Aundhe pade rahe kabhi karwat liye hue…

Gulzar somehow made the verse more romantic, by singing about the times of enjoying the elation arising out of oblivion, being satisfied with the nothingness and cherishing every moment of it, being aware of your surroundings but not bothering to notice anything in particular…

(Disclaimer: I am no expert on ghazals or any form of poetry. I can barely recollect a couple of them. I am just a common admirer. And this is only admiration.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In search of a starry night

I have very vivid memories of surreal summers spent in my quaint old village. We spend thousands of rupees now to recreate that same charm, to look at green fields which spread from your feet to the horizon, to get to eat some fresh fruit right from the tree, to breath in that pure air, to experience the silence, and the deep peace that creeps in inadvertently in such surroundings. But the one things i have been craving for quite some time now and haven't been able to get is that of being able to look at the stars. Now dont get me wrong, we have stars here. But its just not the same. In this bright city lights, many souls get lost, let alone these stars.
A starry night is the closest us normal mortals can get to experiencing the vast infinitude of the universe. Looking at the night sky, figuring out the stars from the elusive planets, trying to spot a shooting star or even a satellite slowly orbiting across the sky, waking up at the middle of the night to the delight to spotting the milky way and then staying awake just to look at the wonders above, is the most humbling and profound experience.
Makes one laugh at those skeptics who doubt the existence of God.

Over the years it has the single most toughest challenge for me to even try to comprehend the vastness of universe, the endless space, the nothingness and things beyond that. How come there are bodies which are not yet seen but have since ceased to exist and are certain to effect us in a distant distant future. What does one have to do to cultivate an understanding of such mind boggling theories.

Well, as i said, its humbling.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Surely monkeys will laugh at it

Solid statistics collected for over two decades, validate the observation that I must belong to the top 95 percentile of population when it comes to the ability to come up with good jokes. (And I figure somewhere in the 50 percentile range on the parameter of modesty)

Anyways, so the thing is, my jokes usually get at least three laughs on an average. That is the usual trend. However, my last joke was not very appreciated. In fact, Ksh proceeded to laugh at it, instead of laughing because of its high humor quotient. It was obvious that I feel offended. So the thing goes like this:

It has been said that given sufficient amount of time, an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters can reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare (Infinite Monkey Theorem). So the question is – this theorem is in violation of which law of physics?
The answer is – The second law of Thermodynamics.
Let me explain. A monkey on a typewriter punching random keys will produce garbage. Garbage has a tendency to remain garbage even if its constituents are reassembled. Hence, it has high randomness and thus high entropy. On the contrary, any piece of work by Shakespeare is very unique in its specifications. Any changes shall result in ruining the entire thing. So it has no randomness at all and thus very low entropy. Now, the second law implies that over time, systems tend to go from low entropy to high. Hence, the law kind of says that contrary to the infinite monkey theorem, given sufficient amount of time, a number of Shakespeare clones will produce large amounts of garbage. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

citrus glow

My first ever trial in the art of candle making - the humble orange peel candle. Inspired from pinterest.

The steps are really simple.

Step 1: Find an orange.

Step 2: Cut it neatly along its diameter. Take out the pulp. It comes out really easily.

Step 3: Level out the bottom of one of the halves, so that it stands steadily. This would be your base.

Step 4: Hollow the roof of the other half. Save the disc that comes out.

Step 5: Make a small incision in the center of the disc. Push the wick through it so that it will hold. Place the disc in the center of the base half. Now the wick shall stay in place.

Step 6: Pour molten wax in the bottom half. Be careful.

Step 7: To add some extra zing, you may add tiny bits of orange peel in the wax.

Step 8: Wait for the wax to set. Have some orange juice :). And viola, your candle is ready.

Step 9 : Light the candle and place the roof on the bottom half.

Step 10: Enjoy a lovely aromatic evening.

Note: Alternatively, you could also just put one of those small candles inside a hollowed out oranges. But its just not so much fun.

Warning: People with an aversion to my weird sense of humour should stop reading after the beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeep.....
An alternate name of this candle could be "the somewhat democratic orange" since it is "orange, in the orange, for the orange". (Ok fine, thats absurd. In my defense, i did give a warning.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

knocking down walls

Recently they broke a wall near the driveway at my office. As usual, the work took about two days. Imagine two days of having to drive through rubble and dust. And that too to work !! It was natural that I grumbled :|

The work got finished today. They replaced the wall with a pretty low fence kind of thing. And suddenly I was able to see a rose garden. It is sooooo beautiful. Especially at this time of the year. All this time, it was hidden behind that stupid white wall. 
Roses as big as my face. In every colour imaginable. 

Ha.. Finally an incentive to come to work everyday..

For a change, I could also marvel at another meaning of this episode. All these years I had been looking at that wall almost everyday. And never really wondered what was behind it. That stupid wall was not really significant for me in any way. It was a part of my everyday just by the virtue of being there.
And yet, it bothered me when they started breaking it. I got perturbed by the dust and rubble. Unable to imagine that this change could bring anything good.
And this is what keeps happening with us in life. We get attached to useless things just because they have been there for so long. We grumble when we to adjust to the slightest of discomfort brought about in the course of change. 

And more often than not, after all the rubble and dust has settled, we find a beautiful rose garden.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

to beautiful happy days

yesterday, today and tomorrow

to beautiful and (possibly) drunk ants

to beautiful sunsets and pretty starry nights

 to cheerful cheer spreading birds

and life in general

Monday, January 30, 2012

post vacation lows

Are among the best kind of lows among all. A close second is finishing up on an awesome dinner. The sad thing about vacations is that they almost always come to an end. And leave you with this lost disoriented feeling.
One of the remedies that is actually effective for this is planning your next trip. And then waiting for it.