Thursday, November 29, 2007
And the dead leaves lying on the cracked ground,
Brush against each other, blowing the purity away;
I walk along the leaf corpses, enshrouded by memories,
Their silent crackling voicing my wordless sorrow,
My yesterday, my tomorrow!
A million voices cry in my mind, all strangled by me,
And only their muffled noise reaches the tearless world,
The graveyard that left me alone!
I had been only the wind yesterday, (ne’er the rose,)
And the flute must have enchanted me.
But, maybe I was no wind, and maybe, there was no flute!
Illusion or not, what cares have I,
While I walk along the beautiful autumnal listeners!!!
Monday, November 26, 2007
(Disclaimer: The author is in no way responsible for any damage to anyone's brain as a result of reading this post!!!)
Its a vague memory now.. of one saturday morning wen "The Hindu Young World" taught me the English custom of making knots in handkerchiefs.... (Readin my posts shud ve told u by now tat im one ardent Hindu reader. Tho, personally, I find the Express a better paper, The Hindu is one I ve grown wid. N the Young World used to b a sorta addiction a long time ago) I don think anybody in Indian homes does that, but apparently it ws d commonest custom abroad, I mean that of keeping knot reminders...
Neway, it led me to ponder on how a person could remembr what they made the knot for.. ( Bein a very forgetful person myself, the fact that the kerchief knottin cant help me much, struck me badly, i guess!! ) Anyway, that was my first tryst with knotting. N after that, I completely forgot the significance or existence of knots, (except for occasional reminders by the Indian cinema of the "importance"(??!) of "the three knots", n ill refrain from commentin upon that!), til a few days ago wen i stumbled upon dis awesum theory of knots...
"THEORY of knots????", I went flabbergasted. Why shud anyone write a theory on knots???? I mean, on somethin as simple as knots?!!!
But, then, a little browsing opened my eyes to the romance of the world of knots....
Wikipedia says, even simple activities such as running a load from the hardware store to home can result in disaster if a clumsy twist in a cord passes for a knot. (lolz....) They are also "crucial" accessories(?) for truckers, sailors, netting, fabric-makers etc.. (I ll leave that part for u to read in wiki.. since im not a gr8 believer of ctrl+c ctrl+v s...). Wel, jokes apart, apparently, knots re so useful tat they are used even in genetics. N wat follows is my interpretation n comments on the knot theories i leafed thru..
Mathematical knots are defined as embeddings of circles in 3- dimensional euclidean space... meaning that, it is as if different circles wer superposed in 3 dim... (a very fundoo way of explainin)... N there are difrnt types of mathematical knots.. the diferent knots are described by a parameter that they cal the knot invariant...
There are also knot equivalents (meanin different knots tat can be reduced to d same type of knots) n knot diagrams (to show knots projected onto a single dimension) n some sorta moves (t s actually some mathematician's name, bt too unpronouncabl, so i leave it to overinterested ppl to find out!) that can be usd to find if 2 knots are equivalent or not.... n d list goes on.. der are knot polynomials (as u mite ve guessed, polynomials to describe knots) , n knot sums(!!!) n wat knot!!!! ;)
The weird thing is that math ppl ve done so much research on knots, n.........
O, i forgot.. there is also the "UNKNOT", which is thread wid ends joined together at both ends, that doesn form a knot!!!!
Neway, the point is that our mathematicians ve actually done so much of work on knots, n propounded such interestin theories on em.... N wat started wid d gordion knot, has now come a looooooooong way...
Kudos to mathematicians!!! (as long as thes theories don enter our textbooks! ;) )
N ya, hope they find sumthin for us knotheads to keep reminders in, better than handkerchiefs!!! (now, don reply cellphones!!!)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Anyway, gettn back to track, two scientists (I dint bother remembring their nationalities) have come up wid this theory that by observing the universe, we mite actually be decreasin its age!!!
Wel, the theory goes dis way... The universe, as it is now, is in a state of precarious equilibrium. (Now, who isn't? :) ) After the "Big Bang", the forces of expansion and gravitation had to come to a correct balance, so that the universe doesn't explode (causing another big bang!) or collapse under its own gravity (like the intriguing black holes). Right now, they are very much at peace with each other, so we survive. However, as the universe continues to expand, we mite reach a date, wen one of the two forces may go outta control, (I mean, out of the other's control) and then chaos shall follow.... The thankful thing is that, there is a lotttttttttttttttttt of time left for that day to arrive, so in a manner of speaking, we mite say, "not in a million years", and stil safely expect to be true!!
We are stil at a point, where we don't really have to worry about the end(?) of the universe, or at least that is what astronomers across the globe kept telling us..... til a few days ago, wen a pair of scientists, (again, i don happen to remembr their names, but i ll put tat up mayb as a post script) have brewed this theory, based on the renowned quantum theory n its effect on relativity. These have already taught us, (or so they say), that whenever v observe a celestial object, v reset its time (or internal clock)!!! (Dis theory has apparently been around for quite some time now) The scientists now say, based on this theory, that, maybe, since v reset an object's clock by observin it, we shall probably reset the universe's clock too. A lot of laborious calculation goes on to show that, wen v observ the universe, we set its clock faster, n hence, it s closer to its deathday!!
Wel, doesn really send chills down one's spine, bt den.. a very curious fact it is.. tat by observin somethin v mite sorta kill it, and eventually ourselves too!!!
No wonder they said curiosity kills d cat....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Now, jumping rite into the topic (u can hear the thud, cant u?) ....
"Deccan Chronicle" featured an interesting article, right on page 1 yesterday.. It was about this schoolboy who was punished for...
No, not an MMS scandal, or not submitting homework, or a pass at his teacher, but.....
for wearing "mehndi" to school!!! (Strictly against school rules, apparently! Considerin that some schools ask students not to wear "vibhuthi" (sacred ash), "kumkum" etc to school, maybe this was indeed a great sin! )
(Note that, a lot of boys in the south, do this, i mean wearin mehndi, wen they go to shabarimala or some other puja, tho mehndi is considered strictly a female affair in oder parts of India..)
Now, u d think im makin a mountain outta no molehill, but, did i say punishd? I dint say how, did I?
He was not standing on his bench or running around the playground or kneeling down, or beaten by the ruthless wooden ruler on his poor knuckles, (which are the worst examples of punishments, i can recall, frm my own schooldays), but was made to stand for an hour in the hot sun, waitng for the "head"mistress ( who must ve had a really swollen head, considerin what i shall say next!) to come forth n issue judgement on his criminal breach of discipline... N wen she did condescend to judge, she decided to suspend him for 10 days... This apart from a fine of 500 rupees....
Ya, u read it right.. SUSPENDED.. and F-I-V-E H-U-N-D-R-E-D goddamn bucks... Man, aren't we really a developed nation, if v make students pay FIVE HUNDRED for wearing mehndi!!!
Obviously, I ws shockd wen i read dis. I mean, to say that u ve no discipline if u wear mehndi is sheer insanity. And to say that, u r disciplined if u don wear bindis or nailpolish or mehndi, is worse than insanity, it sounds more like a cosmic joke!! But that is exactly wat the school officials cited wen they replied to the boy's parents! I do not understand, maybe im naive, but what exactly is discipline? Isn't it more an issue of behaviour than dress code/sense? Isn't wearing mehndi etc strictly a matter of faith? Where does discipline come in the picture at all?? Is discipline, following a foreign faith just because it happens to be the most popular?? We Indians, who have only our culture to be proud of, why do we strive so hard at every opportunity to wipe it out?
And besides, why should a school fine a child? I mean, what can the boy posibly feel if he pays 100 or 500? If anyone feels bad about it, it would be his parents. And if the punishment does not make the boy repent for his supposed "mistake" and "indiscipline", what was it given for??? Suffice it to say that the suspension is another really stupid punishment, as most students enjoy not going to school neway, and that a suspension during exam time would probably ve made the boy rejoice more than ever!!
But then, shouldn't some sort of action be taken agaist such schools? Luckily, the boy's parents are both lawyers n well-off, n he got media attention. But what about the umpteen number of such cases which go unheard, and parents who would rather remain silent on this issue... And the lot of schools which make easy money this way??? Why does no intelligent youth/person of the so-called educated middle class do nethin abt it?
I JUS DON GET IT!!!
Friday, September 14, 2007
The caption translates to "A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven [the sense here is 'sky'] and Earth meet..."
Saturday, August 18, 2007
jus for a day, or maybe two...
Not completely real, but like in a drem,
soft and inconsequent, but enjoyable...
not changing the tide of life as i go on,
but jus a ripple here, a ripple der,
a mild soothing dawn...
We can never go back to wat v wer, im sure,
nor start again wat has now become sour...
Yet in passing moments,
lost in loneliness, when time stands still,
I wonder if v could be together,
n not let time, our happiness, kill,
But tomorrow shud start with us alone and separate,
lest the remnant of love in my heart decay into hate..
Love can bloom twice, my frnd, but die only once,
n v can savour the memories of the dead,
not resurrect em...
No, not resurrect em...
Saturday, August 11, 2007
At every turn, a sudden splurge, a sudden upward jolt,
Yet never to recover, Yet nobody's fault!
Deeper, deeper, deeper down the ravine, as I travel,
blacker, blacker, blacker becomes the vacuum that consumes me....
Blurred images of a joyful past flash across my mind,
blotches of colour, against solemn black,
Green lawns, sun-bathed days,
and long legs chasing butterflies...
The present journey may be irrevocable now,
But it was a beautiful past,
only, like a piece of art, to be left untouched!
And I think,
Where has all the laughter gone?
(O, When did I lose it?)
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Away from al the sad realities of life, the sorrows, the jealousies, the push-u-downs , the pull-me-ups, the stinking slums, the city-reflectin mirrors of IT parks , the mathematical equations, the humungous astronomical theories n d minute quarkisms, the greeting cards, poems , paintings, the complexities of economic policies, the elections, n den again the drear monotony of day to day ablutions, from which the waves are a welcome turnover...
Anyway, disgressions apart, as i was lost in these contemplations n the church bell struck to announce 6 am ,i started walkin back, stil in my own world, least bothered abt d sea of ppl , engrossed in their self-conscious stroll, as a hand thrusts a bag of chips into mine!!!
I look at her, thinkin she has probably found d wrong person, or worse stil, does she xpect me to pay?? (I must confess i don carry any sorta money, even miniscule change wen i go in d mornin) I blink at her, but by den, v re surrounded by cameras, n i realise I'm on air!!! It s a tv show!!! As she holds the mike forward, I blabber answers to her questions, still in a sorta trance, n walk away speedily. (for readers who re unfamiliar with the Bessy Beach, ther re radio shows n tv programs, that give u complimentary gifts, n take interviews, conduct quizzes, etc!)
N at d end of the road s, of course, the guy who shoves "The Deccan Chronicle" into ur hands. Jus tat I ve got used to him. (This with a sticker on the paper, announcin the name of his company or hotel or shop or watever!)
Furtherin my musings, i think, "Publicity alright! Bt publicity at the cost of human peace? Have v become so depraved as to use every minute of our lives in a self-centred business endeavour? (Im not anti- technology, i only wanna protect the despoilin of beauty, wherever t may lie!)
In the future, shant v have nethin to stop n stare?????
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
The move in British schools to have a more “patriotic” rendering of the subject, tho, on a personal note, I do not see how, doing away with Churchill frm textbooks can help achieve a British touch!!
Anyway, it does reiterate that history, tho unjustly neglected, is a major tool to propogate national sentiments n patriotism. N thus, a more impt conclusion: the study of history s as impt as any oder subject. More so, in today’s tense world of terrorism n nuclear weapons , wher one wrong notion abt racism, can trigger major calamities.
The importance of bringing in coherence and continuity to the study of history: Most ppl develop a hatred for d subject cos they c t as a string of unconnected events, dates n happenings. Of course, t s mostly dependent on how d teacher handles the subject. More often than not, v only learn some set of wars n measures by the govt n conquests n revolutions……. Never re v told hw one lead to d oder. Life, as I c t, s a continuous process, n no event happens independently. Therefore, even an anti climax of a revolution or struggle can be properly co-related, in light of the knowledge of y t failed!
Talkin abt d continuity aspect of life, brings me to the third observation that some reader of d articl mailed me: THE TIME FACTOR. By this, he meant d fact dat al future (n oresent) s dependent on d past, n v cant simply erase d impact of d past outta our lives. “Every second s a daughter of d previous”, as I-really-don-remebr-who said! But tat implies history s a continuous influene on d present, or rather, evy second is a sum of the past plus something new (sounds mathematical(?)). In better words, it s an xtension of d past.
Wel, continuing further ll only make the content al d more abstruse, so lets leave d rest for the lazy afternoons, wen one gets bored enuf to think abt d abstract nature of d universe…
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wel, as my profile proclaims, im an engg student n I wavd finis-in-toto to the study of history post-high school. However, I find history keeps comin back to me. Frm the kinda food v eat to the kinda ceremonies v attend to the gods v pray to, evythin v do has a reason in the past. And nobody can refute dat.
The first argument dat most ppl (including the author I mentiond) put fwd s- “y shud I bother studying wat sumbody who livd 100s of yrs ago did?”
I agree dat I need not kno who I ve descended frm (tho dat s sposd to b the commonest ans for the qn). I agree wid Raja Raja Chola I on dat – “ I ve no right to carry the names of my ancestors on my head cos im in no way responsibl for their gr8ness or faults. Whether dey wer gr8 or unruly , I cant make em the source of my pride. I can only learn frm em.” I too think v must learn frm mankind’s mistakes n prove the ‘history repeats itself’ adage wrong.
The only justification for the study of history can b dat t can enrich our lives. As a scientific person, I think v must ask y v do the things the way v do em instead of following rules blindly n most of the answers to dese qns lie in the past. For instance, a historian recently publishd a paper to the effect dat temples contain statues cos wen dey wer first made, ppl tot dey wer real! They went to temples cos dey tot the gods livd in temples, dis was y sculptors tried to make their statues as realistic as possibl. He argues on to say dat, in fact, dis was also y they tried o xaggerate human characteristics so as to show the man as an xtra strong person more wel-built than normal men can ever b!! (He also says dat, wen ppl understood later dat the statues weren real, dey went on to say dat the gods had left earth n also created a concept of omnipresence of god!) This triggers the qn:- Mayb der s a god, bt does he really live(?) in temples???
(Note 1:Wel, for real hard core theists, im a theist myself n des re nt meant to hurt neone’s sentiments. Dey re only presentd as the arguments put fwd by an eminent greek historian.
2: If u ve read Erich von Daniken, u ll notice dat he also uses the study of history to prove his theory ,tho I must admit his theory sounds a lil too far-fetched. Bt t proves the point dat leafin thru history can lead us to qn some of our basic beliefs.)
I only wish to reiterate dat some of our practices mite b meaningless n v can , im sure, prevent a lot of gory riots f v xamine our bliefs one shade more closely in the light of our knowledge of history n discover their roots!
The second argument dat most ppl offer s dat “all history s someone’s guess or sumone else’s wish.” Historians xaggerate more than novelists do. N its always one side of the story dat s presented. The victorious re justified while the faults of the defeated re highlightd. So,wat v get to c is never the real picture.
It is true dat historians apparently xaggerrate or xtrapolate history to a gr8 extent. But the soln is only to dig further n find the truth rather than shut the doors of history the past. In fact, even frm history, as t s presented today, v ve so many valuable lessons to learn, dat f v probe further, v do not kno wat treasures v mite find. But certainly, givin up the study s the most illogical thing to do. Our ancestors may not ve been perfect, bt surely, v can learn wat lil dey knew, n improvise on t, rather than lose al the knowledge.
Another argument dat most ppl temme s dat- u learn history f u want. Y force t on oders? Rather y shud I learn al those dates n years n conquests?
Well, dat s a good one indeed! I agree dat this pts to a rather impt hole in our system of education n not the subject as such.It may not b necessary to learn al the dates , or the extent of the gr8 empires, or the list of al battles Alexander fought. Bt t wud be useful to know wat caused the war n wat wer its consequences. By understandin the follies of the emperors, their lands, many a nuclear war may b avoided.
History gives us a good insight into the mysteries of the human mind n many an olden strategy may b ado(a)pted today.
Well, enuf of dis blah….
I only wannat to say dat history s sumthin lik a tool in our hands. U can use t wel, or u can use to kill, or u can let t rust! I don think v need a return to the past. Bt only to learn frm t.
N for sum of us it s fun to learn neway!
As a side-note, t does feel proud to inherit a gr8 past, doesn t? ;)
(Note: This article appeared in "The Hindu -Open Page" dated July 22, under the title "Present actions have roots in the past" (in a more readable form, of course .. :) ))
Saturday, July 7, 2007
I hardly kno hw to give an intro to dis page of poetry on very assorted topics. I can only remind d readers tat d beauty of al poetry lies in d variety of thoughts t triggers, n the success of d words in capturing d abstract ideas of d poet. Honestly, I don believe in d kinda poetry tat rhymes or tat conforms to rigid standards in a sorta military manner. Poetry must b free xpression of thought, n d function of a poet s not tat of an addin machine tat counts syllables. As to d function of d reader, t s to view d piece in an unprejudiced manner n to enjoy t as he likes. N t s for this reason tat I don wanna publish my own interpretations of my somewhat vague poems.
Well, enuf of prefaces… now for d poems…
OF COBWEBS AND COCOONS
As I walk in this mosaic of colors
catching the abstract, time and again,
and packing it into letters, words, numbers and equations;
Like a spider, weaving the abstract into beautiful webs
However beautiful, they are cobwebs, you see!
I wonder why I don’t pack it all up
(The more I find, the more there is)
So that life unravels
new dimensions each day
Makes me feel I am entangled in life’s master cocoon
But lo and behold,I emerge a wise butterfly!
A volcano erupts from the Earth’s umbrella,
droplets of fire glistening towards the ground
Hundreds of flaming altars springing from the river of tar
and the smoke arises to the echo of thundering mantras
splashing a supernova offering…
As their solar-eyed protector still wavers among the waves,
selecting a form that would displease no one;
The sparks of her furnace ooze, poisoning villages
and the cries and moans cloud their burnt bruises…
Fiery images of unhealed pain flash across my dampened mind
I float in a pot of boiling guilt-
‘Why the inequalities? Why the evil?’
The thunder silences me again…
I only smile, silenced by my one-year-old’s “w-a-tuh”!!
As thin needles of water fall from the sky
As if to sew my tearsInto a garment of grief
I look around to see
If there is just one person to understand my grief
Not pity, not offer empty words of consolation
But understandAnd hold my hand
Giving me reassurance, comfort, solace
The heartbreak of the sky seems melancholic
Yet not so much out of sorrow
As the inability to share it
And I think, it is not hard to bear a heartbreak
But it is hard to bear it alone…
It was a tiny lavender blossom
Insignificant among the creme-de-la-creme of floral beauties
Innocently finding its unpopularity, difficult to comprehend;
It longed not to be the cynosure of eyes that passed by
But it wondered why nobody was quixotic enough to like it
When all the buds of the same plant were looked at in awe;
It waited and waited for the soft touch of fingers
The awaited day dawned in glory,
A group of maidens with a penchant for blooms
Crowded the plant like butterflies
Plucked and trampled, admired and shunned-
All but one sylph with a genial, radiant smile, angelic!
She took the flower in her hand, took it to her lips,
Quiver! Pink labial touch!
But while it was still floatin in the heavens-
her soft palms,She left it in the foliage of a bush,
“You look better there, in your home”
Alas! I had better been an atrophy!
As I observe life, I, a detached onlooker,
try to catch myself at the not-so-crucial crossroads
discovering those moments that make life
a worthy opponent, a delightful journey!
Moments that leap out, like commas in a sentence!
While flipping through the pages of a book
waiting for the host,
While nodding to a piece of symphony
with notes that strangle your shy thoughts out,
While looking at the darkening sky
that leaves bright orange traces on your window,
While waking in the early hours of dawn,
silent and uninhabited!
Moments that grip you
clutching your naked soul in all its loneliness,
Moments that hug you in a fatal embrace of joy
choking you with all of life’s happiness,
Moments that catch you unawares
when your unbridled mind is about to leap from one thought to another!
Not the ostentatious instants of triumph
or total despair,
Not instants of fiery inspiration
lascivious passion or exuberant ecstasy,
Not instants of pomp and fame and rush and people,
the so-called full stops of life,
Not the coquettish instants of emotion
that leave you no time to feel,
But calm, silent lonely moments,
too many to list,
too beautiful to describe!
Moments that leap out, like commas in a sentence!
For words murder the thoughts
that arise in solitary peace,
Their corpses lying in solace, buried in the commas!
As I am absorbed, minute by minute, into this vacuum,
I vanish into nowhere:
Nowhere, the land of emptiness, that is filled by me!
I create the space as I move along
Filling it with bright cheer
But as I move, the vacuum drinks it all!
It shreds my joy like fabric-glimmer
And captures it like mosquito-nets do the sunlight;
Then I comprehend the infinity of this vacuum
That cannot spread its emptiness, or radiate darkness
Or radiate its freezing cold
Yes, I comprehend the sad, sad infinity of this vacuum
Unable to tell you when I became the wind,
And you the sand-dune
I always wanted it to last forever,
Then the togetherness, now the separation;
But being the wind, one must realize
Nothing flies with you too long
They go sooner, the closer they came along,
May be my life shall never have a love song
All those memories get muddled in my head,
Like sand in a slush, not leaves in a storm!
It is difficult to tell you I’m leaving you behind
And difficult to watch you trying to find
Why it isn’t the same as before
I love you, but not anymore!!
P.S. Some of des ve been publishd in oder websites of Indian poets under d same titles!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
(not bad, huh? i ve arredy started filling pages of total nonsense!! looks like d prospects of me bcomin a successful blogger re really high.. :D )