Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holy Horror

"...a survey by the think-tank Policy Exchange, for instance, revealed that 36 per cent of young (British) Muslims believe that those who leave Islam should be killed."

If the result of the above survey reported in 2007, is to be believed, the height of religious fanaticism and irrational cruelty, worry even someone as apathetic as me.

It should be borne in mind while interpreting it, that Britain is one of the more open-minded and rational societies in the World, as far as rational questioning and tolerance for religious plurality are concerned, probably, much more than the US.

And if someone is inclined to point out the positive aspect of the survey that a significant majority - 64 per cent would not kill ex-Muslims, then, I must confess, for me to summon that much positivity in my outlook is not possible.

Let me try to explain. Cruelty and intolerance - both are not countable attitudes, as in 'present' or 'absent', but rather, can be best represented as a spectrum. If 36 per cent want religious apostates killed, it also indicates that possibly, the rest prescribe less severe penalities upon leaving Islam. But the fact remains, they might support such penalties.

In essence, the message sent out is - "if you are born a Muslim, you must die a Muslim; no looking 'here and there'."

In light of this conclusion, it seems, at least, as far as the subjects of the said survey are concerned, 'religious' and 'tolerance', are at best oxymorons, and 'religion' and 'peace' too might get similarly mutually related in the near future.

The reports of the quoted survey and related analyses could be found in the following news pieces:

Muslim apostates threatened over Christianity - Telegraph (click)

Young, British Muslims 'getting more radical' - Telegraph (click)

Lastly, I have noticed that many readers despite reading my posts, do not comment on such 'sensitive' issues. For the first time, I request, if you read this, kindly, if not your opinion, at least leave "I read" in the comments' section. Thanks!

Monday, December 28, 2009


"His large eyes are just like mine. You can't doubt he's got all his cuteness genes from me! You're jealous!" He teased her trying to keep his voice straight suppressing a chuckle.

"Oh yeah, and who's he got his cute lips from?" She asked sharply, knowing it was only his provocation and yet falling for it.

"Alright, to be fair, his 5% cutitude does come from you. His runny nose is your genetic gift?" He could no longer suppress the grin as his hand covered it, but the mischief still overflowed from his eyes.

"Ranjit!" She rolled up the newspaper and hit it on his head.

"Domestic violence! Stooop!" He shouted. "So now you want me to get physical, huh!" He puffed up in mock anger.

The blow was harder than intended. "Sorry..."

"What sorry! You remember, the last time we'd got physical this way, we ended up getting so wild, I'd to call my office telling them Diarrhea God was preventing me from attending? Too bad, boss has turned atheist as far as Diarrhea God is concerned."

"Ranjit! Stop!" She blushed and laughed. "You're funniest. And the cuuuutest. 100% of his cuteness comes from you! Happy?"

"Hey no, it's unfair. I was just joking. I want a fight, not compliment. Just like the last time, I wanna get physical! I'm feeling horn..."

"Shh... I can't fight you. That's your punishment for being sooo adorable." She placed a finger on his lip as she kissed him on the cheek...

She felt the same warmth in her cheeks today that she had 13 years ago. She smiled as she looked at young Ronit's large eyes peering from the photo in her hand and remembered their mock fight.

She wondered how strange memories were. She had never imagined she could muster enough courage to revisit them after their divorce. But here she was, revisiting those very memories, and yet they filled her with a glow. She wondered if Ranjit still remembered her. If he still looked at the old photos and smiled.

She decided the question was redundant. Memories were shared, but happiness was hers alone. After all, he was the one who had abandoned her. Happiness borrowed from memories was no less real, she realized today.

With fears now dissolved, she decided not to warn Ronit of pains of love. She smiled looking at his silly grin, lost in his own fantasies, and wondered how to ask him about his first crush who caused that grin, as he turned 14 today.

Yes, love was worth it. She decided as she shut the photo album.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Missing Marble's Mystery

A box labeled - "MARBLE THE GREAT INSIDE" is examined. There was no sound on shaking it. It was opened - no marble could be seen.


1.1. That the box exists attests to the fact that Marble created it, so there must be Marble inside as declared by the label.

1.2. Ears are not reliable. There must be Marble inside.

1.3. Eyes are not reliable. There must be Marble inside.

1.4. Why would someone lie about Marble? I might find it, if I search "properly". There must be Marble inside.

1.5. If I don't say Marble is great or eat chocolates now, Marble might eat me after killing me. Why take chance?

1.6. If I say, Marble is great, it might give me chocolates after killing me. Why not take chance?

1.7. Marble is Great!

...This was Marbleism.


2.1. There is no sound on shaking the box. There is no marble inside.

2.2. I couldn't see a marble on opening the box. There is no marble inside.

2.3. It's possible to write anything on the label. If I want, I can erase and write "SPOON THE GREAT INSIDE". It doesn't mean there has to be a spoon inside.

2.4. What's written on the label is false.

2.5. I'll try to grow chocolates and eat them to my heart's content before I die.

2.6. To find anything, I use exactly the same method to as I used to find the marble.

2.7. While it is possible for a marble, or for that matter even a spoon to be inside a box, there is no marble in the box given to me.

...This was Amarbleism.


3.1. Absence of sound on shaking the box doesn't totally rule out the possibility that there could be Marble inside.

3.2. Not being able to see the Marble despite being able to see the box doesn't rule out the possibility that there could be Marble inside.

3.3. People can write things on a label - they can either be true or false.

3.4. Had the label talked of a spoon inside the box, I wouldn't have taken any time to conclude that it was false. But Marble is to be accorded special status.

3.5. I'm not sure if there is Marble inside or not.

3.6. Not sure if Marble will get angry if I grow and eat chocolates while alive. :(

...This was Agnosticism.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jokers are Mortal; Jokes, Eternal. But Jokers can reincarnate! ;)

LOL @ Rangnath Commission recommends 10% quota for Muslims (click)

ROFL @ "It added that in case of non-availability of Muslims to fill the 10% earmarked seats, these may be made available to other minorities but in "no case" shall any seat within the recommended 15% shall be given to anybody from the majority community."

An exclusive bout of laughter specially @ "majority community". Wow! How lovely and loving the whole thing sounds!! I'm simply mesmerized by the love flowing for me, in the hearts of those running this nation.

ROFLMAO @ "Unity in diversity"

I wish our secular and guardian-of-equality government did not come up with these kind of jokes that make me laugh so uncontrollably. You know, so much laughing can hurt sometimes.

Ouch! I forgot, these are 'practical' jokes, and not meant for laughing. But then, WTF! LOL!

Another Blog

Hello readers!

Yesterday I started another parallel blog called Conflusions (click), where I will be mainly noting down some of the conclusions drawn about life. In contrast with the current blog, thoughts there will be most succinct, and not written in an explanatory tone.

You are invited to take a look.


Monday, December 14, 2009

These are not Diwali Firecrackers, please!

What are these people even trying to do?!!

Click and Click.

It's both puzzling and unnerving.

Even if it is assumed that whatever Sathnam says is indeed true, then what does it imply? Just that whatever decision the government will reach regarding CTBT will be for personal gains of those running it, as they would be paid (bribes) by the private firms wishing to sell their products/expertise to India by further ending India's nuclear isolation. That's all! And that's an accepted package in democracy!!

But what do we mean by "further ending"? India's nuclear isolation is already ended. The US has already entered into deals. Russia has just recently so, and France was (if media reports are to be believed) wooing India last year to sign deals!

But most important point is: nuclear tests are not firecrackers to discuss their fizzle v/s bang in public!

One of the purposes of possessing nuclear weapons is not exactly to threaten others: "we will kill you", but to let the hostile neighbors with proven track record of disturbing our peace, unprovoked, know that "be careful before messing around with us".

What is Sathnam doing? Why disturb the enemies' restraint earned owing to India's image of a formidable target?

What is Sathnam trying to do by calling into question the success of those tests?

Kilotons of TNT is huge amount of destructive energy - capable of killing lakhs of people. 45 or 25 of it doesn't make much difference for an enemy to fear it!! Plus, the fission-based tests were totally successful!

More important, why are India's nuclear secrets being discussed so openly?

Why is Sathnam being given so much media-coverage?

But of course, all this comes into play only if we are to ASSUME what Sathnam says is true. We'll have to still take it on that flimsy thing called 'trust'. And how do we establish that? My suggestion is: the leading dailies coming out with a 'Pokhran-special', reporting in detail, EVERYTHING. Then we'll have a truly 'open' democracy.

This is another clear case of irresponsible, misguiding, sensationalist and propagandist approach of the Indian media.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So many inconsistencies in news reporting of "two lady doctors killing a rape victim's baby in Raigad"!

...continued from previous post(click), where I had provided links, wherein two news agencies, viz., PTI and IANS (former published by DNA and the latter by many publications, including The Times of India) had reported the SAME incident, with conflicting versions.

Also, considering the circumstances, and being a doctor, many elements of the reports did not make any sense to me.

Let us first establish the motive behind the two doctors' act. It can only be earning easy money. Other very slim possibilities are: (1) both doctors suffering from psychiatric disorders, driving them to cruelty; (2) their trying to chastise the girl; or (3) the rapist was their kith or kin.

(1) is unlikely, otherwise they would not be still practicing, that too with a staff!

(2) is unlikely because then the girl's family would have interfered.

(3) is unlikely because otherwise the police would have 'discovered' and mentioned that fact.

So assuming earning money was their motive, someone must have PAID them. Who was that 'somebody'? It had to be either girl's relatives or the rapist. So, why were any of the two not incriminated after TWO days of 'investigation'? Whoever paid the money becomes, if not as much, at least significantly guilty of the crime committed.

The IANS report mentions the rapist's name simply as 'Raju', which is very strange (and not to mention sounds too generic), since if the two doctors' complete names were reported, then, the person who (possibly) paid the doctors and also raped the girl in the first place, also definitely deserves to have his complete official name mentioned. One more surprising fact is that the PTI report, which came a complete day later does not mention this significant fact!!!

Now coming to the MODE of killing: The doctors knew that they were committing a risky crime. Then why would they allow the baby to survive for 3 days? It is very easy to kill a newborn. Moreover, IANS mentions that the doctor had asked her driver to dispose the baby off in a septic tank 40 km away. Why?

If they let the baby live for 3 days despite risking suspicion of their staff and patients, then they were definitely daredevil risk takers! In that case, why would they ask their driver to go 40 km away, ONLY to dump a dead baby? As it is she was running a nursing home, and newborns dying in there would not be really extraordinary! So they could have simply disposed the baby by same method they employ for other dead babies.

Or if they asked the driver to dispose the baby 40 km away to avoid inviting suspicion, then their keeping the baby alive for 3 days makes no sense! As I mentioned earlier, killing a newborn is no big deal!

So basically, the two facts that the doctors starved the baby and asked the driver to dump it at a faraway nursing home are not at all logically compatible with each other. Significantly, only IANS mentions these two mutually conflicting facts. PTI report (despite coming a day later) makes no mention of starving the baby, and it clearly states that it was dumped in the biogas plant of the SAME hospital where it was delivered.

One of the commentators on the ToI web site has pointed out, that as reported, if it was an "alert citizen" witnessing the driver dump the baby, that led to the discovery of the whole occurrence, then where was the question of the driver's absconding?!! The PTI on the other hand clearly states that it was the girl who had lodged the complaint.

One important medical issue here is - how likely is a premature baby to survive 3 days without support and food?

Even term (mature - born at 40 weeks) babies without milk and water are unlikely to survive for 3 days. A premature baby has very little stored form of glucose (glycogen) in the liver. In addition, their lungs are not developed to inflate properly. So (28 weeks' gestation) premature babies without aggressive medical support are highly unlikely to survive.

Plus the sensationalist police statement, "It (baby) was not even shown to the young mother..." has no legal relevance! Why mention it despite skipping other details?

Where were the girl/family for SEVEN months?

Most appalling are the 45 passionately ranting readers, mostly who had missed all these glitches! What is the quality of reporting and readership?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fine balance between lack of creativity and its excess. [Please ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY click on the links given in the post BEFORE COMMENTING!!]

I had always felt that our education does not promote original thinking, which is very detrimental to nation's progress, as without it research can never be carried out!

A very simple reason so many students fail exams is because they copy their neighboring candidate's answers verbatim. If teachers would only teach adequate language skills, then at least the students would alter sporadic words in their answers and the examiners would not be able to suspect copying and fail them.

This lack of language skills and original thinking have led to high dropout rates from high school, and can lead to further problems in the future when these students enter their active careers.

Read this newspiece:

Mass media: masses of money? (click)

Is it not high time we promote original thinking through education?

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, we have students brimming with so much creativity and originality, and their answers would be so widely disparate, that examiners are left confused if the students were answering the same question!

Compare the two 'stories':

1. Two women doctors arrested for killing rape victim's newborn - dnaindia.com (click)

2. Women doctors in Raigad force rape victim to deliver, kill infant - The Times of India (click)

So, what we need as a nation to become a 'super power' is a fine balance between lack of creativity and its excess!

On a seriously serious note - imagine, possibly this kind of news-reporting passes off as journalism, based on which we build our outlook, and elect our governments; decide if a particular technology is good; and even, what to eat! Anywhere you see, and there are news and opinions.

Do you mind paying higher price for the delivered news, if their reliability is ensured through higher profit margins for the news agency, so that they would not be tempted into unethical practices?

continued here (click)...

PS: Thanks Sudhir Kumar and WDM for the links!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Life - Just this and that

A dash of mad passion

And its occasional suppression

A blind leap into the air; drop to the abyss

And a wait for the doom; return to the surface

A speck of apprehension

And its usual suspension

A seasoned flight of fancy, in search of ecstasy

And the crashing culmination in reasoned apostasy

An entanglement of questions

And a chain of comprehension

A mutilation through stabs; tearing away by tensions

And a sudden release into nothingness, without anticipation

That's all that life is

Or maybe a bit more

I'm not yet sure

And so I explore...


[One of the very spontaneous (and unambiguous) poems that I have written. Written in less than 20 min. So there would be 'logical' flaws, indeed. :)

Another impulsive poem by me, which I would like to share is One Moment of Clarity (click)

Title of this poem was inspired by the name of a fellow blogger's blog (click), whose poetry I greatly admire.]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It had to happen. It happened yesterday. After three years!

Yesterday as I was climbing down stairs, engrossed in thoughts, suddenly I heard an enthusiastic "Namaskaar"(a salutation in Hindi). It was one of the sweepers, an older employee of the hostel. I had vaguely registered something to be new on seeing him, but the stream of thoughts in my head, had not allowed me to quite place it.

I smiled back and asked him, "kaheen gaye huae thae kya aap?" [You had been gone somewhere?].

My first instinctive response was to say back namastey (synonymous with namaskaar, but less formal), and ask how he was. But then something held me back.

He replied back, "Apne gaaon gaye thae; ek mahine ke liye." [Had gone to my native village; for one month].

"Haan yehi soch rahaa tha ki aap dikh nahin rahe thae bahut dinon se. Chaliye achchhaa hai, aap apne ghar ho aaye! Chaliye, chalta hoon" [That's what I was thinking. Had not seen you for many days. Good, you paid visit to your home! Bye for now] I smiled and moved on.

I was very pleasantly suprised that he had remembered me, and made it a point to greet. I could distinctly make out his happiness to see me.

He is much older than me, and I had always been quite courteous towards him.

But what had kept me hesitant to greet him with as much warmth as I actually felt?

It was the fear of developing such a strong rapport that I would not be able to say 'no', if he someday asked for money.

But I wondered, was my fear rational? What was the point if it was keeping me from feeling a fellow human's warmth?

I thought again. Why was he so happy to see me? By then, I had already entertained the possibility of his projected warmth to be insincere. Or maybe my courteous behavior could have actually drawn him to me.

But all of a sudden I realized I was not liking these arguments in my head. I was feeling guilty for thinking all this about him. I felt tired of fighting against the happiness I wanted to feel.

Because of past experiences, I have become suspicious of people and always think of their ulterior motives to guard myself against deceit and hurt. But this guard had brought with it a latent fatigue, and yesterday, after three years, it showed.

With a new spring in my step, I smiled at the situation, at my foolishness, and eventally, also at the Hostel in charge, who I think of as cunning and do not usually talk to.

He was suprised. Pleasantly! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I just like all THIS. So I post all this just like THAT!

Take a look at the two new widgets at the top of my left sidebar.

Thanks! Not for looking, but your comments!

Of course, I am not entirely convinced by the numbers shown. Especially, TUIB's low 'score'! ;)

Whenever I look at my blog, I feel satisfied by at least one thing--comments have largely been sincere.

There have been numerous arguments and disagreements, but honestly, they have only reassured me that those thus commenting had not simply glossed over ideas presented in my posts. That those ideas had been able to stir something in the reader to induce them to engage them with at least some thoughtfulness. Of course sometimes, those very dissenting/different thoughts have given me something new to think about, and made me see the World in an altered way.

There have also been posts with comments full of frivolity. And am glad, they were expected to be like that! :)

Some might ask me, do I care for comments? Yes, I do.

I am not one of those inclined to instantaneously put pen to paper (even if so in the 'virtual' maze of electrons being thrashed around) owing to a spontaneous outpouring of my passions. This could probably be because of a high 'turnover rate' of my emotions! Meaning, new emotions keep on displacing the older ones very quickly, which would not allow any single emotion to exert sufficient influence on my ego (click; second meaning) to make me write about it! Okay, bad theory! Though some posts, to my own suprise, have been emotional outbursts as well!

So, I do not write in isolation. I do expect that my ideas find readers--not (necessarily) with same ideas as mine, but those who would have thought on the very same issues, if not before, at least after reading!

Yes, I do look forward to comments on my posts!

To end this post, I would only say that my blog has become a very integral part of my life, which I had never imagined when publishing my first few posts.

And very suprisingly, it has brought me in contact with a few people, who I could safely call my 'friends'! A few wonderful people who I truly value today for reasons more than one, and who I would have not known, had it not been for this medium. I am overwhelmed, and to them I could only say, though it would sound cliched on my blog:

Thanks for existing! And also for letting me know that you did. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

iBubble. The Perfect Sphere. The Perfect Hollow.

Sometimes I understand others in terms of how they are similar to me. Other times I understand them in terms of how they are different from me. There is no other way to understand others. Comparisons are imminent.

If I understand myself, still I might not understand someone else correctly, for some contamination of data would distort my perception.

But, if I do not understand myself, there is no chance I can understand others.

The key to understanding others is to understand myself, first.

I am the common denominator in how the World is. If not for me, nothing would ever make sense in this World.

But understanding myself is an ongoing process. Partly because I am complex. Partly because I keep on changing. I cannot suspend the process of understanding others in the meantime.

After all, life has to go on, if it is to stop some other day.

And hence, everything I do, every thought I think has a purpose.


Simple! Isn't it? ;)


iBubble had burst?


I burst Bubble?

...Would depend upon if you are a prick just like me, or if you are not a prick unlike me.

Told you, comparisons are imminent! ;)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

God, Religion, Atheism, Morality and a few Links

The Moral Contrariety of Christ and State (click) is a nice write-up, which attempts to reconcile rationality with religion-based, authoritative morality (irrespective of what the title seems to suggest). Although, I do not agree with everything in it, I thought it is a good starting point for all religious theists and atheists alike, to start thinking of the bases of morality, if they have not done that before in earnest.

More important, the article points out that 'think'ing in context of morality is not bad at all, but rather is necessary, and how immutable morality sourced only in authority, can easily be manipulated to serve one's ulterior motives, which could be at odds with the Society's larger good.

There is a forum on which I landed, which to me seemed very funny, since a few dogmatic trolls had hijacked it, and could not see any good in anything beyond their own religion:

Morality and Atheism (click)

This is what happens when one gets blinded by arrogance of their own religion, only because they start equating the perceived worth of their collective identity (religion) with their personal self-worth. This is what according to me is one of the components of Communalism (click--a blog post on my blog).

I had reached the linked article and the forum through search results for 'Morality before Christ', which had led someone else to my blog. But only on removing a few external trappings, one would realize that the same fundamental issues should confront not just the Christians, but those following any other religion, or even those following none. For, morality is very fundamental to coexistence (not just in time, but even in space) with fellow humans, the future generations, and other sentient living beings. Hope, the readers will enjoy the links, as well as, be forced to think something new.

My oversimplifed views on these issues could be found here:

1. My morality (click).

2. A few responses to criticism of Atheism (click).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My flirtation with Wikipedia

While I have been keeping very busy, and am unlikely to post anything substantial for some time, I thought, I would provide link to my Wikipedia user page (click) that I had developed after lot of effort without any real knowledge of HTML. Of course back then, I had been able to develop it only by analyzing a lot of others' users pages, and tweaking them through trial and error.

Also, almost unknown to many of you, I had been a very avid contributor (click) to Wikipedia articles. But had to tear away myself from that web site, especially editing it, only since it was so very addictive and hampering my studies (not unlike blogging ;) ).

There is an article I had created and brought to its current status almost entirely on my own, including making several diagrams. On searching for 'polyclonal response' on major search engines, that article is the first result one gets. Here (click). It enjoys the status of a 'Good article' on Wikipedia, which means by quality and reliability as judged by a stringent peer review, it is 1 among every 403 articles.

Also, I had singlehandedly created an article on a very important topic called 'lymph', which a year back used to get almost 700 to 1000 hits in a day, or more! Same with articles on 'B cell' and 'lymphatic system', to which I had made significant contributions.

It has been more than a year I have made any significant edits to Wikipedia, and was feeling nostalgic. And not to forget, once a Wikipedian is always a Wikipedian. :) So, I wanted to share these things with a few readers who visit my blog. Somehow though contributing to Wikipedia has not brought me any glory or provided with career boost, I feel very content to have added something to the World's knowledge-base. I have used Wikipedia extensively, and have always felt deeply indebted to those anonymous contributors who have been enriching my life through their knowledge and writings, with no material rewards in return, except for the satisfaction of sharing their knowledge systematically.

If any of you feel you are an expert/well read person in anything under the Sun (and beyond), please do share your knowledge through Wikipedia. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Monkey who sold his Fur, and became an entrepreneur <--- [rhyme alert]!

I stumbled upon a very detailed transcript of interview of Madhu Koda (click), the just 38 year-old, multi-millionaire entrepreneur, who has added unheard of dimensions to the art of portfolio management.

Those of you (unlike me), who have had some experience at wealth-generation, would know that one needs to first have a sufficiently bulky portfolio to have to manage it through innovative techniques!

But do not worry, as you get to learn from the man himself who had begun from a financial scratch, and worked himself up to a position, from where he can afford to scratch out his financial itch as and when he wants. Be mesmerized as he discusses his successful business strategies, and future plans for his 10 year-old business venture standing firmly at Rs. 4000 crore, and not at all staggering.

Since risk incurred is always proportionate to market premium, no doubt, some of you must have experienced trepidation at investing your vital noncapital assets, e.g., time expended in early days of your startup (poetically also known as 'youthful days') in risk-fraught activities. But again, Mr. Koda comes to your rescue, as he teaches a few of his imminently successful risk mitigation techniques.

Needless to say, such an inspiring and helpful manual to individual wealth-generation cannot be made available to the general public.

It is at a very *secret* place on the World Wide Web.

Basically, here (click). ;)

As the profits would be sourced in actual market events (which Mr. Koda enthusiastically explains), rather than mere speculations of future money flow, the TV interview had been aptly named as

Non Derivatives Trade Ventures' Profit

As you would learn from the interview transcript, democracy and greater autonomy in portfolio mismanagement of nation's GDP by entrepreneurs like Mr. Koda need to be promoted in a big way, if you are to employ same techniques as him and derive benefit from them, you have to promote democracy.

In my previous post, I had proposed a novel technique to do so. But if you find it tedious, you could simply take a look at the top of this page's left sidebar. ;)

Hope, you will not disappoint the well wisher in yours truly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Direct Democracy in India: a Possibility?

While in one of my recent posts (click), I had questioned the validity of this subconscious idea that "consensus by majority is the best way to reach decisions for a huge heterogeneous community, like the Indian population", no other method that could replace populist decision-making seems plausible. So, democracy is here to stay.

But the biggest flaw in (at least) India's democractic process, is that it is of the representative kind. Meaning, the people only get to choose who will make laws and policies for the next five years, but not what they would be. It is assumed that the political parties which contribute to the formation of a government will keep their pre-election assurances. This assumption, apparently, rides on immense faith in the integrity of those thus elected, and to put it mildly, has proved unfounded. Also, there is a common perception that immense financial expenditure and covert affiliation with shady elements of the society, that winning these elections require, has largely kept out of the electoral 'race', those with genuinely good intentions for the country/constituency. I have not yet had the courage to verify for myself if this perception matches the reality.

An idea that has been doing rounds is to issue a unique electronic ID to every citizen.

Though, creating an electronic database for the entire population would take time, the extent to which the information technology (IT) has progressed, should accelerate the process, if the idea is pursued sincerely. And in my opinion, it should not take much longer than an average census (2-3 years) takes.

This, apart from improving security situation in the country, will enable us to start thinking of an almost unheard of thing in Indian political circles--DIRECT DEMOCRACY.

We, after 6 decades of representative democracy have got so obsessed with it, that it surprises me, how direct democracy is talked so little of, which was actually what democracy was supposed to mean!

Some might point out that Panchayati system, with provisions for informal consultation with all the villagers represents the very same idea. True, it does, but somehow, it has not shown results.

But an informal 'consultation' does not ever make it binding on the actual village heads to implement the popular decision. Also, I am unsure if the resources that are allocated to such bodies are sufficient to make a real difference.

An idea had occurred to me years back, as to why not have automated teller machine-kind of kiosks to effect direct democracy! Simply meaning that the common man gets to vote on the individual issues, rather than only who would decide on those issues.

This, according to me would have several benefits:

1. Individual policies would be based on majority's decision. This is the most obvious benefit. For instance, the junta would get to decide if the limited resources that are available should be used for widening a road, or adding a new wing to a hospital, or to open an orphanage, or to say, build statues to beautify a town. Likewise, analogous issues could be presented to the rural population.

2. Enhanced accountability on part of administrators. This would be a very important benefit, but not immediately apparent. The legislators would be obliged to come up with issues on which they would like people's votes! This itself would ensure that they do some work.

For instance, this degree of audacity has not yet permeated our country's polity that a politician would truly confess, "Sorry folks! I was busy vacationing with my extended family in Hawaii, so no issues for you to vote on this month!".

3. End-of-the-term assessment. When a term ends, political parties, the Election Commission, as well as the junta would get a report card on the incumbent legislator's performance. For instance, how many popular mandates did they overrule, and how many did they respect. This would automatically tell if their incumbent legislator still retains prior popularity.

4. Continuous assessment. If the common people get to decide on given issues, they also get to rate their leader! More importantly, on a continuous basis, say, every half-yearly. This would serve both as incentive and coercion for the legislators to keep the electorate satisfied.

How could direct democracy be implemented?

Of course, I am no expert on political sciences, or art of administration, or legal issues, etc, and needless to say, there would be many loop holes in my ideas, here.

But here, I will try to address a few of foreseeable issues.

1. Who will vote?

Everyone! Of course, those who are eligible to vote in general and local elections. What will allow this is a unique national electronic identity. This will prevent illegitimate voting, as well as prevent duplication of voting.

2. Where would one be able to vote?

The kiosks for voting could be built just like the ATMs, and kept at similar locations. So, could be placed at railway stations, important bus stops, outside public hospitals, even along with ATMs! For villages, they could be placed near the village dairy or post office, etc.

3. What issues would be open to voting?

Issues could be anything--right from if a city should be renamed, to where should (limited) funds be allocated to? Of course, junta cannot be consulted on all issues, but at the end of the term, when a 'report card' would be framed, none of the political parties would like to look stupid by having changing names, building statues and demolishing illegal constructions as their only achievements to brag about!

4. What would be the frequency to vote on a new issue?

This portion of the process will have to gradually evolve. I think for starters, one issue per month should be good enough. Gradually as the entire process would become smoothened, voting concurrently on multiple issues could be enabled.

Also, the same kiosk could enable voting at multiple levels--say, voting on a national issue, state level, or even local level.

5. How will the required information on the issue be disseminated?

Of course, to vote on an issue, voters need to be informed about the issue. This could be done through dedicated advertisements on TV channels, FM radio, internet, large screens installed in kiosks, etc.

6. Will it be binding on legislators to 'obey' the results?

Initially, it need not be binding. But as explained earlier, it will give a direction for new policies, and also ensure a certain basal level accountability from the legislators.

Also with progress of time, the continued rating system could make it binding on political parties to field better candidates.

It could be so provided that if an elected candidate is ejected from his seat because of abysmally low ratings, he cannot seek re-election, for say, next ten years.

7. How much financial investment would be required?

This is a question I can totally not answer! But it should only suffice to say, that whatever the investment, it would be largely one-time, save the operational costs. Of course, with some shrewdness those operational costs could be recovered through advertising at the kiosks, where, no doubt a large number of aware citizens (with good 'purchasing capacity') would throng!

Flaws of the proposed system.

In my limited assessment, fundamentally, this system would have no additional functional flaw that the current representative democracy is not suffering from.

Also, I am not suggesting that this system supplant the 'normal' representative democracy, but it can certainly supplement it.

Why was such a system never implemented?

Obviously owing to the technological limitations imposed at the time of drafting of the Constitution.

So, would such a system ever be implemented?

I doubt it. For two reasons. I am not sure if the implementation of this idea would constitute altering the fundamental structure of the Constitution.

Second one is more obvious! I am no genius, much less, well versed to any degree with ideas on politics, administration, etc. It would be conceited to think none of the able civil servants and seasoned politicians would have thought about this before. But if they implement this idea, they will actually have to work for the public's benefit! And no doubt, be clean and efficient! So, will they ever pass such a bill, that too with two-third majority? What a joke!

Wikipedia article on direct democracy (click).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A resolve to become a better quacktor

For those of you wondering, why do I keep on coming up with nonsensically dark posts (click) with even more nonsensical brutality, I tried very hard to introspect (my using this term with such high-frequency repetition used to be just another torture technique [;)]), and realized I always aspired to be one of these famous ten quacksdoctors (click).

But despite my repeated attempts at quackery, and of course, writing quack medical manuals (insinuated as 'dark posts' into my blog), I have not been able to achieve even one-tenth the notorietyfame as this famous doctor (click).

So, here on I have decided, I will not write stories, which could serve as templates and bad influence for other budding writers to kill off the characters in their stories in exemplarily psychotic manner. ;)

It has dawned on me that it is better to be one among nine doctors that agree with each other, rather than one among ten doctors with whom every other doctor disagrees (for further elaboration, you have to click on the last of the above three links [:)]).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


When I'd first seen, YOU were a tall wall I wanted to scale.

YOU were too tall, too formidable.

Since long, YOU had been accumulating soot and dust, and what was contained within became invisible to the eye.

Beauty does not always inspire open eyed gawking. I became curious. I explored. I might have tickled YOU, scratched YOU, palpated YOU. YOU might have liked it, found it funny, or irritating, or plain ridiculous,

I saw, YOU were not just a wall, but had a most honest heart, and a most beautiful mind, somewhere hiding within.

And YOU stopped being a wall, though YOU look like one. And want to look like one.

People might have laughed with you, laughed at you, been bad to you, but they could never understand YOU.

My conceit tells me, maybe, just maybe, had I discovered YOU earlier, I would've dusted off all the dirt, not allowed that soot to settle heavily on YOU. Not allowed your heart and mind to go into a hiding. Not allowed YOU to start loving that soot. Not allowed YOU to just become another facade.

But still I was blind. I could see YOU were formidable. Formidable to me. But not formidable to all the things wrong with this World.

YOU are not just a wall, but the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Something, I had dreamed of finding. Something, I had wanted everything to be. YOU are THAT beautiful.

I don't know how come this happens. This badness that happened to YOU.

YOU showed me YOU had developed cracks. YOU told me it was alright if YOU collapse.

YOU are tearing into those cracks. Trying to deepen them lengthen them, only so that YOU could crumble?

Why? Why? Why?

I know, I've not seen every side of YOU, yet. How your foundation was laid, and if it still hurts YOU there, where I can never reach. I don't even know how many more sides YOU have!

I can't give you reasons to live, to be happy. Happiness is maybe an end in itself. And to be happy, one needs to LIVE.

Life had never promised us, that all our dreams would come true. Nor even if a single one would.

YOU are much taller than me, and can see farther. YOU know, happiness is about small-small things, and they never cease.

YOU may on reading this decide to cover yourself with yet another blanket of soot.

Or YOU may well not even read!

And the biggest lie I will tell myself is, well YOU are just a 3"x2" phone screen.

My first poem that does not rhyme. YOU made me write it. :(

PS: YOU will know who YOU is.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Majority's are the amplified views of the select, influential (manipulative) few.

Probably, that is why most of the views on any issue could be clubbed into few categories (corresponding to the number of factions pushing a particular view).

Of course, another reason could be the limited number of opinions that could be formed on any issue. For instance, response to 2 + 2? would be unique, i.e., 4. But, it is a fact, and not 'view'.

But responses to "Do you like vanilla ice cream?", fall in three main categories--'yes', 'no', and 'neutral'. Again, this is an individual taste, and one's choice would not have a significant impact on our society. Importantly, the choice does not come bundled with an 'ought' or 'ought not' ('O/ON').

But there are issues, where O/ON does get typically involved, and fall in the domains of law and judiciary, public policy, resource allocation especially when limited, etc.

Simple examples of passionate polarization of opinions would be. Should we allow:

1. Sale of alcohol?

2. Research on and sale of genetically modified food?

The 'most accepted' benchmark to reach a decision is: the fraction of all people having one view v/s other contending views. We call the largest fraction 'majority'.

The idea seems appealing. Since childhood, we are told of virtues of a majority's decision, and the power it wields.

When a child does something wrong, and if the explanation is 'he also did the same', our common retort is 'if he jumps in a well, would you also jump?' Good argument. But when the defense is 'everyone does it', we do not ask, 'if everyone jumps into the well, would you jump?'. This is owing to a deep seated prejudice that majority is always right.

Majority would be right, especially in issues of public interest, if it would:

1. Have access to adequate information to base opinion on.

2. Be ethical to place justice above personal gains.

3. Not be blinded by communal affiliations--religion, region, gender, etc,

4. Have sufficient wisdom to understand all the factors, and weigh them accordingly.

5. Be immune to influence by propaganda.

How often are all the criteria met?

I am unable to propose an alternative way to reach decisions in matters of O/ON, but we should stop considering decisions reverentially, only because they would have been reached by a majority.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tales of Bruno and Galileo: The art of saying semi-sorry after thinking for REALLY, REALLY LONG! Like, 359 years!

Here is an article dealing with related issues of psychology, some history, arguments for existence of god(s), and their refutation :)

Why Atheism? (click)

It is easy to understand, devoid of rigorous philosophical jargon, but very lengthy.

One horrifying thing was the manner in which Giordano Bruno was executed in 1600 (click) for holding ideas that were contrary to the Church's.

Having read of many such executions, I was not affected much. What suprised me in the Wikipedia article, however, was that like modern 'professionals'--reality show judges, there used to be inquisitors! While, the former decide if a contestant deserves to win, largely based on their whims, the inquisitors would, if a person deserved to live, and if not, what kind of exemplary murder would be suitable. But, totally based on whims!

All this to what end? To shield the humanity from truth.

Truths like, Jupiter's moons orbited it, that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa!

Galileo in 1633, when 70, was made to retract his verification of Bruno's ideas that went against Aristotle's two millenia old 'truths', which the Church had adjudicated to be, well, 'absolute truths'. Of course, citing the precedent they had set of Bruno's 'fate' only helped further.

But the reason I write is the fact that I would never lay down my life thus. I would rather take the easy path and give in to arbitrary coercion. I feel somewhat ashamed to be that way, but more importantly, dwarfed by the likes of Bruno who had in them to give up to that end, the only thing a man ever truly owns--his life, with nothing to gain in return.

Through this post I just wish to remind that each time we discard naturalism in favor of supernaturalism, what a great sacrifice we frown upon despite continuing to hypocritically savor former's fruits, e.g., reading this post! Okay I concede, some might now precisely curse Bruno for that!

Thankfully, because of God we have some humor (click)! ;)

EXACTLY 17 years back (click), the Church realized Galileo had been right all along!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A divorce... that could not last.

They had been married ever since they could remember--more than 20 years now. They did not even remember if it was out of love, or was it arranged. They were so young, it was called an infant marriage! It was thaaaat long.

They always viewed things from different perspectives, yet somehow always managed to focus on where their views overlapped.

Wherever one went, the other had to go. They even woke up together. And no doubt, slept together. But, sleeping together never brought any excitement. :( They had grown sick of the other. Totally sick.

You go your way. I'll go mine.

[Angrily, without a thought] As you wish. And don't you dare follow me. Huh!

So for the first time ever, they went their own separate ways and darted in opposite directions. But they felt intensely dizzy (click). They could not stand it, they had to unite. They realized, their fate to stay together was sealed, not by something flimsy as love, but PPRF!


Okay sorry folks for this crap, which I am sure even medicos would find crappy!

It is on simple eyes that mammals possess. Meaning, they always manage to look at the same object of focus, but from different angles. Yet, the brain fuses the two images into one. PPRF is one of centers involved in controlling horizontal eye movements.

Eyes show many types of involuntary and voluntary movements for proper functioning.

Saccades are jerky movements generated mainly in response to changes in visual field (what the brain 'sees'), e.g., a moving target or sudden appearance of something new in the field--a fly falling in your soup! ;) They bring the 'pursued' object just about to the center of visual focus.

Smooth pursuit movements perform the same function as saccades, but are better coordinated, with constant adjustments in direction and velocity of eye movements based on feedback from muscles moving the eyes as well as the images formed by the retinae.

The fast phase of a nystagmus is brain's attempt to keep eyes still with regard to axis of the head when eyes get 'distracted' (the slow phase of nystagmus), say following head movement, saccades or sudden pursuit movements. So nystagmus could be normal, but occurs whenever eyes try to simultaneously look at different things! ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Google God, this is not fair! :(

See, how Google God is misguiding my prospective-readers-and-even-more-prospectively-about-to-turn-followers into believing that my blog is not about what they want to find on the World wide Web! :(


No wonder, I keep on finding excuses to try to popularize my blog through shrewd, but inefficient means. And all it manages to do, is remain a Neglected Serendipity (click)

And since my wishes do not get fulfilled, I find excuses to turn and remain an atheist, by emotionally blackmailing myriad of purportedly True and Supreme Gods.

Aargh some angels I worshipped, also did not help me in my NobelNoble endeavor! :(

But this once, yet again I hope, the newly suprematized Google God would take notice that this marginalized blogger is perverseperseveres, and show mercy upon his deviantdivine blog, showering it with readers and their illogicaleulogical comments.

So here goes a piece of sycophancysick-o'-fancy-verbiage, hence short prayer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

States of Matter. State that matters - An Explanation. And a joke!

This is the explanation for my previous post which could be found here (click)

I do not believe in writing ambiguous posts, especially as part of the reason I write is to know how others and I view the same things differently. I believe, if not most, some people do have reasons for what they become/what they choose to become. And when the same things are viewed differently, it gives all the parties involved a chance to review what their belief systems are, and what are they based on. At the 'end' of the discussion, one may emerge more confident of the views held priorly, or less so. One may also feel insecure of new ideas if they threaten to upset the equilibrium of their life, which usually is very difficult to achieve, and this is probably also what contributes to the inertia we experience in reviewing and imbibing new ideas, apart of course, from the fact that whatever we currently know/think would be outcomes of numerous experiences, mistakes and rewards, which consolidate our confidence in our 'own' ideas. So with this short preface I seek to establish that on my blog, I wish to be understood precisely, and to understand the contributors equally precisely, though it will only rarely so happen that I change someone's views, or someone, mine.

The only reason I had not included this explanation was the constraint of length of 18 SMSes. Also I did not want to dilute the spontaneity of my ideas by inserting technical explanations for abstract analogies, for it is ever so rare that I come out with posts, which I feel rather than think. I had planned to clarify the analogies as a part of my replies to comments, but I realized, I needed to also come up with a detailed explanation of what I meant through each analogy.


Fluid. By 'fluid' I did not mean weak or flexible. For one talks of flexibility only when there is a shape one could identify with.

By gradients of availability, I meant rushing in for things only because they are available. An avarice for things without pausing to think if we want/need them or possessing them would make us any happier.

A simplistic, but illustrative example is weddings, where so many times people take so much ice cream that they cannot finish it. Mind you, I am not talking here of etiquette, or health hazards of gluttony, or wastage of food, which are separate issues in themselves, but of a weird kind of opportunism. An opportunism that does not even serve our interest! But the sheer pleasure of enjoying something unearned, and probably undeserved (which is contentious, though), but worst of it all, undesired and unrequired! If that ice cream would be required or desired, not so much of it would be found wasted in the plates at the end of the parties!

By falling into next empty space, I was talking of the same opportunism, but manifesting itself differently. Flattery, imitation and insincere agreement. Others' needs for praise and approval are like empty spaces, and on spotting an opportunity (availability) they can be filled! They can be filled instantly and effortlessly, only because this fluid is guided by a gradient. It does not have its own ideas or opinions (no shape), or probably does not value them enough. Does not have any attachments or committed loyalties (no place), and hence has nothing to lose when it goes and occupies the next available space.

This fluid comes in contact with a vast expanse of surfaces, always leaving a trace of wetness (good impression). But it itself never knew what it stood for or against. Its attraction for things (gravitation) was its only guiding force.

The structure called self is a composite of ideals, desires, opinions, tastes, distastes, preferences, and a conscience but most important, a recognition and subsequent acknowledgment of all of these. By surrendering them to the 'demands' of opportunity and availability, this structure collapses, and that is what I had meant by to fall, in fact the collapse of an identity called 'self' is so profound that all shapes and senses of location and direction are lost, whereas as a person grows, it is expected that they accumulate more ideas, ideals, opinions, loyalties and attachments (climbing).

By evaporation, I did not mean destruction or death, but a total loss of identity of the 'self'.

Passively plastic. A passively plastic person also lets their ideas and opinions get shaped according to external forces. There is nothing wrong with allowing external ideas to shape one's opinions, in fact, without the action of external forces, not many ideas can be formed. But when one holds them only to fit into a collective/communal identity, then they lose their own ideas and aspirations. The identity of the individual is supplanted by the perceived identity of a community (mold). The driving force here is the willful assumption of a preformed, assembly-line-manufactured identity, even at the cost of losing one's 'real' native identity, without a sense of remorse.

How is this deformation allowed, or rather sought?

Probably because the original shape was not loved enough? It did not receive assent from coexistence with a number larger than zero, that is, owing to being unique ('one')?

This can extend right from "a feminist needs to defend everything a female does" to "secular people have to side with the 'minorities'"; from "doctors 'should' be dressed in formals" to "'hip' people 'need' to wear low-waist jeans"; from "you need to agree with everyone if you are broadminded" to "learn to say 'whatevah' if you are above the rest of petty people, and close to attaining 'nirvana' to firmly establish you do not care about their existence or their opinions"

Reactively plastic. This simply implies trying to be different from others. It does not matter if what I end up is different even from my 'real' self. The only priority is a need to stand out. To be a 'trend-setter', fully forgetting that trend would also be followed only by opportunists and those seeking the shelter of a collective, without ever respecting the very same shelter.

Rigid. This is what I need to personally guard myself against the most. I know what I want. I know what I like. But I also know, the world is not going to act according to my wishes. I will not the get the kind of education system I want. I will not get as friends, people as honest as I would want. I will not work at places whose ethics would be in alignment with mine.

Because all these systems are too rigid to yield. Whether they are more correct, or I, is a different matter. What matters is that their walls and my contours are incongruent.

And if I barge into these systems brazenly, unprepared, it will be me that would be hurt. Both physically and emotionally. Gradually, I will start giving up. What were originally my aspirations would no more remain so. What I used to find pleasurable, would turn into pain.

As an example, I find it extremely immoral to simply memorize some fact and write/mark that as an answer in exams, without understanding its cause or significance. It, according to me is nothing short of copying. What is the difference? How is not knowing and copying wrong, but not knowing and pretending to know, right?

But I need to survive. I cannot change the exam system according to my wishes. In its confines, memorizing, without understanding is alright, or maybe, also admirable.

That brings me to elasticity. Elasticity is not absolute deformability, which is actually plasticity, but an ability to return to its original shape. A rubber band is elastic not because it can be stretched, but because it can recoil back. So possibly, elasticity lies somewhere between two extremes of plasticity and rigidity.

Deformability would entail that I will need to compromise on occasions. To fit in, to survive, to make life fulfilling. But same time listening to my conscience, to let it pinch, to not silence it, which will remind me that I had betrayed the 'self'--my ideals, original aspirations, which I had loved. All this because the circumstances (edges and corners) had forced me to change. But also to remember that choice of fitting in and compromising were both mine, and mine alone.

Important is to not drown my conscience in "It's okay!". To remember to not compromise the next time out of force of habit, or simply knowing that a simpler route exists.

So yes, elasticity is indeed deformable rigidity, and thus by default a moderate property between the two.

Self-love. This is the trickiest to define. To love the self, first, it is important to recognize the 'self'. Self is the innermost desires, doubts, the knowledge of what I like, what I hate, what I want to do. And if possible, also 'why'? But this assessment needs to be most honest. Most of what constitutes 'self', calls for some action or reaction, be it, lazing late till afternoon on a holiday or 'fighting the system'. To understand that it is alright for those actions to be directed by the desires, but within such a framework that very same actions will not bring 'me' shame in my own eyes.

Ultimately all actions have to serve the upkeep of self-image. If I love my 'self', I will make a most honest assessment of it. If not, I will try to shield it from my own scrutiny, or to distort it. The moment I try to distort it, I know, there is something that I do not like. Either I try to change it, or accept it as my limitation/deficiency.

Loving the self does not amount to serve primal-most self-interest to the exclusion of anything that entails sacrifice for the good of someone else, which if seems 'right', and not doing so, 'wrong', then it is indeed congruent with my desire to somewhere make a change outside of 'me'.

This might seem too mechanical way of living--the loving-the-self-part, but actually it still is the most spontaneous expression of the 'self', just that it passes from under a screen of introspection. :)


A sinister, sadistic, half-asleep-from-previous-night's-binge-examiner eyes neatly dressed, frightened, semi-prepared students of final year MBBS exam, standing before him in mock respect, but genuine awe, and thinks: WTF?

Neatly dressed, frightened, semi-prepared students of final year MBBS exam, standing in mock respect, but genuine awe, eye a sinister, sadistic, half-asleep-from-previous-night's-binge-examiner, and think: WTF!

Examiner's WTF? = Who to flunk? | Student's WTF! = WTF!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

States of Matter. State that matters--1

Do not be so fluid. So fluid that you fall into the next empty space. No shape. No place. Existence defined only by gradients of availability. Never able to climb; only fall. You will spread yourself wide. You will spread yourself thin. And before you know it, you will evaporate into nothingness.

Do not be so passively plastic. So plastic that you always fit in and forget your own shape. Always wanting the rigid confines to define the contours of your being. You will fit in. You will not remain you.

Do not be so reactively plastic. Yes, plastic again. So plastic that you change shape the moment you see a mould. Only to not fit in. Letting the confines define the contours of your being--this time staying out. Before you know it, you will become the next unshapely thing. You might become the next mould. Only fluids and plastics will occupy you. You will forget your shape.

Do not be so rigid. So rigid that you want the confines to yield, to replicate the contours of your being. You might wish, but you will not succeed. Before you know it, the edges and corners will scrape off chunks of your own being. You will lose them forever. You will not remain you. If you wait for that perfect mould--the one made for you, it will never be made. You will always remain outside. Outside is only for lodging. Outside, you will not live.

Be elastic. Mostly fitting in. Sometimes comfortably. Sometimes uncomfortably. Fitting in, yet feeling where it hurts. Knowing where the edges poke the contours of your being. Remembering what shape you were the last time. Springing back into your shape, each time you come out. Choose the best mould, but it will not fit perfectly. It will hurt. Be prepared for that. If a mould is too convoluted, too constricting, remember, it is best to lodge outside. For inside, painful poking will overwhelm your senses. You might remain you. Life will not remain life.

That elasticity is self-love. Love yourself, and life will become the simplest it could. You will remain you. Life will remain life.

1. This is simply a summary of a lesson on how to live that I have learned. What you have learned could be different. If so, consensus need not be reached.

...continued (click)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Up against "What's up?"; please help! :(

Long back my parents would ask me to be more graceful in dealing with relatives, e.g., to ask them "tamey kem chho" [Gujarati for "How're you"?], though it literally means not "how", but "why are you?"! Isn't that offending, or at least a deeply existential query?

Plus, I used to find it pointless. I'd ask, "if someone's in a bad mood, would they actually say so? So what's the point?" And no, it wasn't me trying hyperrationalism! I truly used to feel that, and also find it insincere to ask. On top of it all, the expected reply would also be weird! "(badhuj) saaru chhe" = "(everything) is fine" [in response to "how are YOU?", and not "how is 'everything'?"!]. The problem is, to answer in terms of "I'm fine/good" is difficult due to weird connotations some words have come to take: "Hoon saaro chhun" = "I'm good", but it would be taken to mean "I'm a good person"! "Hoon barabar chhun" though translating as "I'm alright", sounds like "I'm correct"! "Hoon theek chhun" = "I'm alright", but comes off as dejected (not sufficiently ecstatic!), and hence, not apt.

But someone clever, recognizing the problem with greeting thus, added a leading question to "Kem chho?", viz., "Majaa maan?" = "Enjoying life?". Now, who has the balls to say, "What fun! Am effin preparing for PG entrance exams!" So you see, it's not only for effin that balls are required, but also to say effin!

I used to have same predicament asking "How are you?" and its Hindi version "Aap kaise hain?" See how the question's open ended, and could be as well grammatically correctly answered as "I'm like a lizard*" or "main chhipkali jaise hoon" [*my grammatically flawed attempt to get Stupidosaur to comment!].

But the most formidable mutant among the species of redundant questions is "What's up, dude?". I mean, on being asked the first time I was totally stumped! I was obviously not expected to answer if I felt "fine"! The question means "what's new in life?", and I'd say "nothing special, man. You only tell!" See, how I'd cleverly shift the onus of answering such philosophical questions to the tormentor (interrogator)! Though, my dirty mind could also think "whatever is *up*, shouldn't stay so if I've to keep up focus on studies!"

But honestly, I still don't know how to answer "what's up" aptly. :( Someone please help me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Extraordinarily Ordinary Post: stretching a 'dabba' phone to its limits!

This might be an ordinary-looking post, and the more ordinary it looks, the more extraordinary, in fact it is!

I use a simple Java-based phone (click) for web access to e.g., publish many blog-posts and comment on blogs.

Today however, I wanted to try Mail2blogger (click), a Blogger-service which enables users to simply email a blog-post to a specific address to get it published.

The whole affair is very simple till this point! But my complications begin now! Not a single browser on my phone fully supports Java script or flash (I hope I am getting the terminology right!) required to effect Rich text formatting (RTF) (click) to make characters, bold-faced or italicized, for example. So, the emails I send render only in plain text. Not just that, even submitting clickable links (click, what else!) would not be possible! The only email accounts I had been using were of Yahoo! and Gmail. Previously Yahoo! used to support viewing HTML source while editing, but that feature probably stands discontinued.

I use three mobile browsers--two versions (4.2 and 5.0 beta) of Opera mini (click), and Bolt (click) of late. Opera gives away the identity of my device as a phone, and thus Yahoo! by default allows me access only to their mobile service called Yahoo! Go, which does not support RTF. Whereas, Bolt supports the web-version of Yahoo! Mail, but not RTF! :(

So I had to find an email service allowing me to input plain text with HTML markup, and yet rendering it in RTF. I found my savior in Rediff! :)

Also, I'd downloaded the .xml file of this template to upload it for another experimental blog (click) I just started. Also for the first time, I used blog-import and export features.

So finally, this post would be simultaneously published at the other blog also without my actually accessing Blogger--all from an ordinary phone! I just hope both the posts turn out ordinary enough!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rambling, as if in dreams!

I have no idea if any of the readers go through the sidebars of my blog, but there is a lot to explore there, probably more than my posts also, and much more interesting, too! ;)

On the bottom left, you will find a link to a web site that comes up with a daily miscellaneous list of ten things (usually).

Today's list is 10 More Amazing Facts about Dreams (click). It in turn, as expected, links to another original list of equally amazing facts about dreams.

I have yet not gone through the latest list, but while going through the original one, I was quite amazed by how the observations made by Sigmund Freud (click) about nine decades ago, have still held true. I have had the fortune of reading initial parts of the English translation of The Interpretation of Dreams, and the first time I had read it, I was dumb struck by the intelligence of that person. And on reading about his ground-breaking ideas (apart from those on dreams) of psychoanalysis (click), ego-defense mechanisms (click) and psychosexual development (click), I was totally floored! Each time I read about him, I only wonder, how could a person feel, observe, analyze, document, and subject to verification so much in one lifetime! No wonder, I was not surprised in the least when I came to know through some obscure web site (of questionable reliablity) that his IQ was tagged at 160!

And from the very same web site: Einstein--165, Newton--175, Darwin--180, Kasparov--180, and well the most intelligent public figures were Sharon Stone--150, Hillary Clinton--140, and Madonna--140 ;)

Here (click) is a list of IQs of famous people with figures quite different from what I have quoted in this post, but interesting (and equally dubious) nonetheless.

Those are HUGE numbers! In all likelihood, the most intelligent grown up you would have ever personally known would have it less than 160!

As you could see I have rambled a lot, leaping from one idea to the next remotely connected one. But then I had to justify post's title, also! ;)

Friday, October 9, 2009

nOBAlAMA P*ss Prize! Please help me! Or, laugh with me...

I used to read about great people, mostly scientists, but still people who'd had significant and positive IMPACT on the World. The likes of Einstein, Neils Bohr,
Schrödinger, Francis Aston, Har Gobind Khorana, and well the list could NOT go on... In ALL cases, I'd first read about their WORKS, and they'd invariably filled me with awe, and somehow inspired me. Then I would read they were all Nobel laureates! My respect had risen for the Nobel and other laureates that I didn't even know!

My list mostly has physicists/chemists and not Medicine workers despite being a medico. It's silly, but I used to nurse a desire to gain sufficient knowledge, to strive to become like them, and to win the Nobel. But NO MORE. The common reason is my reading about them BEFORE realizing this:

Behind any public recognition there are ugly factors. Factors--I don't like to utter aloud, maybe whisper in the silent alleys of my frightened heart, which get drowned by the thundering applause that emanates from somewhere faraway where the heart cannot make itself go.

Last year reading about him, I'd found the contributions of Paul Ehrlich absolutely stunning, BUT poor guy, he'd managed to win a Nobel! And this time around to my own shock, I started seeing his contributions skeptically.

I'd to become apathetic to save myself. I couldn't afford to care. But today, Obama's won the Nobel Peace Prize!

Don't get me wrong, I'd heard his most wonderful speech, which had changeD my heart, well almost, and I shouldn't be harsh on him. His term's just started, and he might end up a wonderful World-leader WHEN THE RESULTS SHOW. And that's precisely the point! Has the quality of oratory become the yardstick for winning the Peace Nobel? My angst is at the Nobel Committee, not Him. Today, you've slapped all those scientists I'd respected, and all that I'd held dear in them.

Oh but wait, if you're trying to say, "the World's become so very bereft of those who ACTUALLY do some work of positive impact, and hence we'd to scale down our criterion to just POTENTIAL for greatness", then I agree. Wholeheartedly, and heartlessly.

Ah but, we still have humor (click)!


What did World say to Obama on being asked for change?

Aagey badh; chhutta nahin hai! Par yeh rakh Nobel sikka.

[Move on; ain't got change, but keep this Nobel medal]

Too bad, it's just a joke. :(

Thursday, October 8, 2009

BJP's Rally against Price Rise Makes Dent - on Twitter!

Tweaked from #PriceRiseRally tweets:

1. Bhishma Pitamah at #PriceRiseRally: Khud ka pet nahin paal sakta, biwi-bachchon ka kya hoga! Main brahmacharya ki shapath leta hoon

2. Buffalo at #PriceRiseRally eats up dice thrown by Shakuni after wrongly hearing "chaar" as "chaara". Denies its name is Lalu

3. Ms. Roy at #PriceRiseRally scratches private parts vigorously. Thinks of lice in Dantewada jungle: "Bloody *internal* security threats!"

4. Duhshasan indecisive at #PriceRiseRally as Draupadi didn't wear saree as a cost-cutting measure

5. Ahmadinejad bans #PriceRiseRally, then retracts on learning the rally is being held in India (via @bharkadatta)

6. Ahmadinejad while parting from #PriceRiseRally: Holocaust & price rise are same things & they never really happened

7. Ahmadinejad rephrases #PriceRiseRally statement: HollowCost & price rise are same things & they never really happened

8. Michelangelo plans sequel to 'Fall of Man' - 'Rise of Price'; joins #PriceRiseRally for inspiration. Promises to show Katie Price & protestors fully clothed

9. Voyeuristic Katie Price fans at #PriceRiseRally hope to have some upskirt fun when Price is raised

10. MMS in face of #PriceRiseRally didn't let Katie Price sleep the whole night citing "Early to bed, early to rise". Doesn't reveal how he kept her awake

11. Media stays away from #PriceRiseRally. "We only cover matters of *gravity*. Nothing that 'rises' is important"

12. Protestor 'Tara Singh' faints in the #PriceRiseRally. Aamir to make a movie - Tara Zameen Par

13. Sheila Dixit points to south Indian movie artists in #PriceRiseRally in Delhi: See, those are nonstate actors!

14. Pickpockets join #PriceRiseRally. On further query, holding wallets in their hand just say, "SurPrice!"

15. AnDy Tiwari joins #PriceRiseRally to pep up his sex life. Reveals he renamed his Rambo to 'Price'

16. Mulayam at #PriceRiseRally whistles at ladies from decent families. Defends: I was just being a whistle blower

17. Pak president Zardari joins #PriceRiseRally, says he has nothing much to do back home (via @bharkadatta)

18. Mayawati at #PriceRiseRally: My cash garland isn't worth much now, thanks to inflation. Hence joined the protests (via @bharkadatta)

19. Genelia D'souza at #PriceRiseRally says she's here to try out her new sunscreen lotion! (via @bharkadatta)

Yay, I got rich! :) Virtually :(

Read the notice, above? Now don't think my resolve is weak. Except for bank balance, my nothing is weak, get it? Oh okay, maybe other balances also--mental, emotional, spiritual, se... oh no, let's not get there, please?

But what happened totally warrants blogging.

I'd turned fairly cynical, not believing in the goodness of mankind or the existence of God, but just as the header above says, life had ways of telling me I was wrong--this time through email. But, the stubborn me kept on deleting all those mails. You see, I paid for it, or rather, did not get paid! :(

Those Burkinabès from Burkina Faso, the kindest souls to exist (yess, essouls exist!), had been sending me money, with God only knows how many zeros (couldn't count them). And all I thought was "Puny humans! Think I'm a fool?"

But on getting a mail, which wasn't from Burkina Faso, I instantly knew it was a God send! So what if the sender had 'harm' in its ID? Trust (Vishwas) is all that's required. O:-)


ATM CARD payment center
Mon 14 Sep 2009 00:06 IST

A sum of (700,000 thousand
USD) have been credited to your
Address by ATM CARD payment
center Congrats...Confirm this
receipt by
contacting Mr Victor Harmfield.
+2348072237106 on

DECLARATION: I ________, hereby declare that the
information given above
is correct to the best of my
The message was scanned
for viruses and
dangerous content added by
OpenProtect (www.openprotect.com), and is
believed to be cleansing.


I'd promptly sent my details including bank account's (otherwise how does anyone transfer money, huh?). Knowing money attracts money, to ensure they sent heaps of it, I deposited 20 k more rupees. But my balance hasn't increased a single cent, yet :(

Readers might think, my outlook is too 'negative' but now I think it was just an 'electron'ic mail, after all :(

Moral of the story: God/God's email account do not existElectrons are negatively charged :(

PS: Was is it you, Vishwas?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kya jaanoon sajan?...

I have incidentally never discussed music on my blog, and apart from this one, I do have a few other posts in my mind, which I might publish subject to availability of time!

Through this post, I want to express my unsurpassed admiration for one song--'Kya janoon sajan'. Apart from having a most hauntingly painful melody, what I like the best about this song is its sensitive, yet teasing lyrics. This song has my favorite lyrics of all the Bollywood songs that I know of.

So, I'll be largely discussing the lyrics of this song, and my interpretation of them. I'll be giving a very literal English translation of the song, so no wonder, the lyrics will sound weird! ;) Also, since I've heard more often the newer version of the song from the movie--"Dil vil Pyaar vyaar", so would be discussing here the verses in the same sequence as in the newer version, in which the order of stanzas has been changed.

क्या जानूं सजन | Kyaa jaanoon saja | What do I know
होती है क्या ग़म की श्याम |Hoti hai kya gham ki shyaam | What is a dusk of despair
जल उठे सौ दिए | jal uthe sau diye | A hundred lamps got lit up
जब लिया तेरा नाम... | jab liya tera naam... | When I uttered your name...

I believe the above stanza is quite self-explanatory!

जब से मिली नज़र | Jab se milee nazar | Since when we had exchanged glances
माथे पे बन गए | maathe pe ban gaye | have become on my forehead
बिंदिया नयन तेरे | Bindiya nayan tere | Bindi (click) your eyes
देखो सजाना | Dekho sajana | Oh see, my dear!

Since, your eyes have fallen on me, your love has become a constant presence in my conscious, and just like a Bindi can be made out by any onlooker!

धर ली जो प्यार से | Dhar li jo pyaar se | When you had held with love
मेरी कलाइयां | Meri kalaaiyaan | My wrists
पिया, तेरी उंगलियाँ | Piya, teri ungaliyaan | Dear, your fingers
हो गई कंगना | Ho gaee kanganaa | Have become bracelet

Beloved, since when you had held my hand, I can constantly feel your presence in everything I do, though not restraining me in any way.

Kya janoon sajan...


काँटों में मैं खड़ी | Kaanton mein main khadi | Standing in thorns
नैनों के द्वार पे | Nainon ke dwaar pe | At the threshold of my eyes
निसदिन बहार के | Nis din bahaar ke | Every day, of spring
देखूं सपने | Dekhoon sapne | Do I watch dreams

Standing in a barren land (that is, without anyone's love), among thorns (eyelashes?), I dream of spring (your love) with utmost eagerness (at the threshold of eyes--indicating the eagerness of wait?)

The following lines are most ambiguous and difficult to interpret because of a very unusual kind of inversion:

चेहरे की धूल क्या | Chehre ki dhool kya | The dust on my face [1]
चंदा की चांदनी | Chanda ki chaandni | The radiance of Moon [2]
उतरी तो रह गई | Utari to reh gayi | Persisted, when dropped off [3]
मुख पे अपनी | Mukh pe apni | On my face [4]

The ambiguity arises because line 3 can be associated with either 1 or 2.

Clubbing 3 with 1 gives:

The moment the dust on my face dropped off, the radiance of Moon was left on my face. This can be interpreted to mean, that " O' beloved, the moment I stopped looking at my barren surroundings and thought about you, my entire being had become a reflection of, and my face reflected your radiance."

Clubbing 3 and 2 gives:

"O' beloved, the moment I stopped mooning over you, I realized my stark reality, and my entire being was covered in the thirst that the desert around has come to represent--the dust that settled on my face."

By the way, another blogger had done a post on her interpretation of this song here (click).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sequel to My Post 'Do I deserve pink chaddis?'--Guest post by Sioneve

This is actually a guest post by Sioneve. We had a small blanter (blog+banter) here (click)

She had promised to do a small story on how my conversation with my kids would turn out if one of them ended up like the girl in my post--'Do I deserve pink chaddis?' (click).

So well, here goes the imaginary conversation:


Ketan speaking to SON about Pink Chaddis, over breakfast…the expected converstaion:

Son: [sing-song voice] Good morning dad! What a lovely day! Do you like the new outfit I designed in fashion school?? Isn’t it FABULOUS. It is supposed to capture the freshness of Spring – you see the side vents gape to allow fresh air to get in and circulate around inside my clothes and also freshen up my chaddis at the same time!! No pools of sweat building up!! And the chaddis have to be pink because I think that is the freshest colour in Spring!!

K: [thinks: AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!] Hmmmm. Son, as I havwe said many times, I respect your fashion design capabilities greatly. However, I think that if you go out dressed like that, people may not respect you and I would be very sad if you lost respect.

Son: Oh Dad! Don’t be so square! I am an ARTIST! I do not care WHAT people think. All artists are avante garde! We have to be because we are at the cutting edge! We decide what happens, BEFORE it happens! Get hip Dad!

K: No Son – realy – I care about you very deeply and am trying to give you my best advice. It is painful to be laughed at! Plus I have seen fashion designers like Giorgio Armani – he always dresses respectfully in navy shirts and slacks – you never see his chaddis sticking out like yours – pools of sweat or not!!

Son: But Dad – all my friends dress like this! Its who we are! Armani is SO yesterday! We are the voice of tomorrow!

K: Okay. I have tried to reason with you but you will not listen. So I have no choice but to tell you to march right back into your room and reconsider your dressing choices! While you live under my roof, you follow some codes of decorum!

Son: Awww DAD!!! It’s not fair!! [Pouts and marches off to room. Slams door].


NOW…This is how such a thing should be handled…(purely facetious)…

Son: [sing-song voice] Good morning dad! What a lovely day! Do you like the new outfit I designed in fashion school?? Isn’t it FABULOUS. It is supposed to capture the freshness of Spring – you see the side vents gape to allow fresh air to get in and circulate around inside my clothes and also freshen up my chaddis at the same time!! No pools of sweat building up!! And the chaddis have to be pink because I think that is the freshest colour in Spring!!

K: [thinks, if you can't beat them, then join them and beat them at their own game!!!] What a DIVINE outfit (high pitched squeal). I was just thinking son, we don’t do enough things together! I would like to join you in your fashion….may I borrow one of your outfits and we can go out together!!

Son: [thinks, ARRRRGGGHHHH!!] Oh, Dad no! I was thinking that you look so elegant in your Armani suit! Why change a classic??

K: No, seriously – because I want to hang out with you and be cool and properly aerated!!

Son: Okay Dad! You are right! We should do more together! Why don’t I wear my Armani suit and join YOU!!

K: Oh son…you would do that for me?? Isn’t it asking too much for you to give up your FABULOUS fashion??

Son: No! No! I want to make a new fashion statement – conservative is back!!!

K: [smiles sweetly!]


Thanks, Sioneve a lot! This was truly a lovely post! Thanks for giving me such premature tips on parenting! I'll follow them as soon as I suffer from ventriculomegaly, or broadmindedness, in other words! Or till, I have a son, whichever is later!

Disclaimer to my SON wherever he be: See, it's only my decorum that's keeping me from stating the obvious truth here that I won't be half as broadminded as portrayed in even the first version of our conversation! Say hello! to Sioneve auntie! Okay, now if you want such ventilatory chaddis, just see how broadminded I am (click)!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Favorite Blogs-II: Updated on 14th September, 2009

I had been thinking of updating this post since long, but unfortunately, could not find sufficient time. I'm retaining all the original blogs, and would be highlighting the newly added ones with bold and underlined numbering. But what worries me is that almost all the blogs, except one that I had included in my list the last time have become dormant! I hope that does not happen with the current crop of blogs. Though this list might seem pretty large, actually the number of blogs I'm enlisting is very small, because I'm sure I must have not gone through less than 1000 blogs in this much time. So, well my selection ratio still stands at more stringent than 1 in 50! There a few blogs I do not even go through, if I find their bloggers' comments too frivolous, shallow and insincere very frequently. So, am I trying to imply that I'm some sort of master judge of blogs and their bloggers, and that is is a privilege for some blogger to find their blog on this list? No, just that this post and the above statistics are my way of letting them know, that as far as my blog-life goes (which has incidentally become a very important portion of my 'real life'), I value them a lot. Rest of what follows is my old post and the updates.

Also, I am sure, I cannot do justice to what the individual blogs and bloggers stand for. Each blog is an amalgamation of ideas, words and emotions that go into evolution of any blog. And no doubt, they also stand for the person that the blogger is. Best way to read this post, of course, is to click on the links that I provide. :)


As time passes, a few more might be added to the list.

Except for the first one, sequence in which I mention blogs bear no relation with the degree to which I admire them/their blog.

1. GS' Beats by G. Saimikundhan. I had come across this blog when I was experiencing a weird kind of low. A low I can't completely explain. A low of how the world is full of people I can't remotely respect, and could easily hold in contempt. Totally bereft of people I could look up to. And in midst of such low, did I come across this blog. I had felt an instant connection. As if I would never need to explain myself. And everything I speak would be taken exactly as what was meant to be conveyed. The posts are products of such honesty, such clarity, intelligence and boldness, that I had actually thought, how this person fit my criteria for worship (click) when I had ironically declared how it might be impossible that I ever come across such a person!

When I'd finished my post on worship, I felt, the simplest thing I'd tell to one I worship would be "Wow! You exist!". And that's what I'd even today like to tell Saimukundhan. Thanks for being there!

With a few more exchanges, I found a few differences in our opinion and outlook, which have something to do with my being (maybe) more cynical, and I felt Saimukundhan has maybe something to learn about this world (which I've already learned!), and well he was dropped from that mental pedestal, but not far below, just ever so slightly. Some might feel, I admired him only till his views were identical to mine, but no that's not the case. I have admired him, and still do, for providing me with a few answers that I did not have.

But that's not all. Every post will make you think. And if you're in no mood to think, he also has some of the whackiest posts for you.

2. A Mother's A Musings... by Newbie Mommy. A blog that had just awed me, especially my writing nonskills(!) Replete with emotions--all true and genuine, wisdom, humor, wit, regrets, hopes. It was like meeting a person and not merely reading a blog. Again, I felt an instant connection. Things like needless modesty and circuitous explanations had become total nonissues. Though I wish Newbie Mommy would deliver more often :) I mean the posts. ;)

3. Mad Medicine: A Dr's dose of mayhem by Dr. S. Dr. S is a community doctor in South Africa. She has a very witty style of writing--mostly dealing with experiences at her extremely busy and taxing community practice. Her blogs span a very wide spectrum of human emotions, from witty, sarcastic, insane to most poignantly emotionally wrecking that have left me speechless. How she maintains her commitment to her practice, and preserves sympathy for her patients are matters of wonder. And I truly admire her for that

4. Frustration is just the beginning of medicine by deluded. A blog by a medical student who can easily surprise you by putting a most insanely intelligently humorous blog one day, and insanely emotional, the next.

5. Life - Just this and that by Just Me. This blog was a total surprise. Discovering it was nothing less than discovering a treasure; neglected treasure, if I may, and nothing less than a serendipity. I might end up doing injustice to her ability to write in various forms by venturing to state that her specialty is poetry. But then, that's what had impressed me the most about her blog. Poetry. She writes effortless poetry. The effort of juggling words around is never visible, maybe she doesn't need to juggle around. All the aspects--construct, poetic effects, meaning and content--come together to form nothing less than poetic monuments.

6. I loved three men called Pablo. by Tangled up in blue.... A blog I discovered very recently, and yet am including it in this list must be sufficient to convey how impressed I am with her writing. Oh yes, by the way, Tangled up in blue... is a medical student. Her blog has it all--poetry, stories, diary-like entries(!) and analytical posts touching upon issues of philosophical, political and social importance. Not to mention, her rich vocabulary, making me seek assistance of dictionary not too infrequently ;)

7. On The River Bank by Manu Sebastian. Manu is a law student! This blog is a collection of short stories. And, at an age of just 20, Manu has learned so much about people, the human nature, their interactions, their dreams, aspirations, their predicaments, their foolish confident convictions. And these wonderful characters, apart from existing in his stories, interact in mundane to most unusual circumstances. I see signs of a great writer in making. Or shall I say, a writer well made, and not recognized for many reasons, not in the least, one being distraction by his studies!


8. A Monk In Hot Water by Bullshee. Bullshee's posts are one of the most hilarious I've read on the blogosphere. The adeptness with which he moves from the philosophical to the outrightly nonsensical is totally awe-inspiring. Also, his English is one of the finest I've seen among Indian bloggers. But, if you will take enough effort to go through his most of the posts, you'll realize, behind that frivolous facade resides a mind that has been enriched by a wide variety of experiences, and inundated by most honest doubts about people and life. And he, also has answers to few of them!

9. ANONYMOUS LIFE by Sioneve. This is a blog I'd discovered just about two weeks back. Sioneve largely chronicles her life as an immigrant child staying in Australia. Her posts (or snapshots as she calls them) describe the events that have stayed with her into her adulthood. The various struggles of trying to fit in the new society, and the pressures exerted by her parents to make her conform to their idea of a 'good girl' are truly evocative. I love the fact that she does not try to force emotions into her experiences, not trying to extract sympathy. The 12 year-old-girl that she is now on her blog is most endearing. You can actually feel you're growing up with a girl withstanding her intelligence, and the painful understanding about the world that it brings with it, serving as catalyst for her growing up too fast.

10. Blessed Be This Nightmare by Kapila Pande. Kapila is not very active in blogging these days. Her specialty according to me is irreverent sarcasm and ridiculing of things she does not like. But there's one more thing that had totally impressed me--her poetry. The vivid imagery, and the symbolism she is able to incorporate in it!

One of her linguistic experiments that had showed really striking results was to combine urban lingua franca with archaic words. Well, no doubt, my analysis cannot do justice to the wonder that her writing is! So, enjoy!

11. Blogus Innominata by mgeek. Mgeek is a very intelligent blogger coming up with many ideas that would fall in the domain of lateral thinking. When I use this term lateral thinking, it is not with an intent of ridicule, but rather indicates a certain comfort that clarity of one's perceptions of the concerned phenomena gives rise to. Without this comfort, no one can come up with coherent ideas not thought before by others. And he does that with some regularity. Again, constrained by his busy life, his blog-life is not very active. But I would recommend the readers to try to go through a list of blogs labeled 'Good Ones' in his blog's sidebar.

12. Short fiction and long opinion by John Matthew. John's blog consists largely of Short Memorable Stories (SMS), and some essays outlining his take on various aspects of life, people and India.

His stories fall in that genre of mystical. They are abrupt, totally unpredictable, and follow their own system of logic. But a logic, indeed they follow. His essays are very perspicuous, reflecting five decades of having lived in this world, and silently observing everything.

13. Located in Dubai but Heart in India by Rakesh. Rakesh, as the title of his blog states, is still rooted in India, and this his posts clearly show. In some ways, he is more connected to India that even me! Most of his posts deal with the small, funny, smile-inducing things in his life and family. Occasionally though, he does come up with his peeves on how India is turning out. But the most interesting aspect of his blog is his replies that follow.

14. Narcissist by Sowmya. This is one of the most fiercely individualistic blogs that I've found on the blgosphere. By which I mean, of all the posts that I have gone through, not a single fellow human being from her life finds a mention! Sowmya has this amazing ability to transform sights, sounds, and everything that goes into making a shower of sensations an experience, into words and pictures. Her posts make you feel you're taking a walk on a winding path along with her thoughts!

She is very well-read, and some of her posts are reviews of books and lyrics she had liked.

15. RAIN by Rohith Ramdas. Rohith is the finest fiction writer I have seen on the entire blogosphere. He is just six posts old as I write this, and yet, I'm totally mesmerized by his writing!

He has a total way with words. His vast vocabulary is awe-inspiring. But more important, the characters in his fiction can be any random person--you or me! Well, that's only about recognizing the traces of common people we find all around in what he writes. The way he injects reality into his characters makes the reader wonder if it is fiction they are reading or some of their own experience they are recalling! His honest commentary on the state of the world masquerading as symbolism is most elegant.

16. [Insert a new name every fortnight] :P by [Insert another new name every fortnight, but one week out of phase with the 'other' fortnight] :P But for simplicity, you could call her Garima Dipti :P. Garima is really good at dissecting complex human actions into the individual emotions that drive them. And what impresses me in her posts is the detailed imagery. What is commendable about her weave of words is that they try to capture the domain of fantasy. Things that do not exist in 'our' world, and yet, she makes them sound believable.

Occasionally, of course, she comes up with ramblings of her own (entertaining-for-the-reader-but-not-so-much-for-herself) life!

17. The Little Ranting Reptile and Other Stories.... by Stupidosaur. Stupidosaur is easily the most intelligent person (lizard??) I've known in my entire life--both online and offline. I will not be exaggerating if I state that I feel lucky to have got to interact with him to whatever little degree I could through his posts, and his comments on mine.

It seems weird to say this so prematurely, but again to whatever degree I know him, he is only the second blogger I know who comes close to my idea of worship (click) because he fulfills some of the criteria there!

Okay, let me not ramble about what I think about him. His blog consists of small observations of everyday events in his life. What makes his posts wonderful is the clarity with which he makes those observations, and ease with which he twists words, logic, and churns out conclusions that are irresistibly delicious to smile at. Sometimes, of course, he makes very keen and surprisingly accurate observations about us, human beings!

The thoroughness with which he resolves phenomena into component driving forces has left me agape on too many occasions.

Of course, many readers would not be able to make out that some of his posts and comments make slanted references to our own lives, but even for them, his play with words would be most entertaining.

18. The Quirky Indian by Quirky Indian. A blog with some of the funniest observations about Indians. Just like how he has stated on his blog, his being dispassionate as against blindly nationalist, makes him observe things about India with utmost honesty, which have resulted in some of the most thought-provoking posts as to where does India stand as a nation and is headed. Mind you, if my description makes his blog seem uninviting, that's entirely my inability of conveying how wonderful his blog is. It's most entertaining, guaranteed!

19. Tumultuous Suspension by Tumultuous Suspension. Tumultuous Suspension is an astute observer of life and people. Her posts are a culmination of her emotions and wisdom working in concert.

Her blog has a variety of posts--poetry, memoirs, and observations in her own life, and the lessons she learned from them dressed really well as funny, nonsensical musings.

Rationalist/Analytical Blogs.

Some of the above bloggers are atheist/skeptics, but am including the following blogs as a separate category for one simple reason that they deal almost exclusively with issues integrally connected to religion, dogma and rationalism. Wonderful writers, no doubt these bloggers are, but by neglecting to touch upon their own personal lives or other aspects, the scope of their blogs becomes somewhat narrow for those interested in merely lighter topics. Though, I truly wish they start writing on other lines, too.

1. Atheism: Proving The Negative by Matt McCormick. This blog is a very systematic compilation of almost all the possible arguments for and against theism. Posts also deal with social, political and economic implications of religiosity. The reader will also find some interesting experiments related largely to human psychology. He is a Professor of Philosophy.

2. Nitwit Nastik by Nitwit Nastik. A good compilation of articles related to atheism, religious extremism, superstition. Basically, everything rationalist. Some articles will also increase the reader's general knowledge, in particular, popular science.

3. The Man on the Couch by The Couch Clown. This is a budding blog, with lot of potential. The blogger, a law student has a very incisive writing style and meticulous dissection of complex issues who has up till now largely dealt with issues relevant to irrationality in India. Hope to see more frequent posts from him.

Last updated on: 24th June, 2009 (click)

Updates from my new Blog

If you want to comment...

As you might know, I have shifted my blog to Wordpress - here (click).

All the blog posts I had published before shifting have been transferred there, so if you want to comment on any of the blog posts on this blog, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THE INDIVIDUAL POSTS.

Thank you!


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