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 (, 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?

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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