Friday, November 26, 2010


The sea of life washes all into her
A concoction of the good, the bad and the dirty,
And as I watch in astonishment and impenetrable sorrow,
My precious little pearl floats with the gutter rat's carcass
Ah, for the rat she has great mercy maybe,
To me, she has but little justice!!

P.S: No reason why I wrote this in the middle of the day, when i was busy thinking about loads of other things... Maybe, life washes poetry into graphics tests as well!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is a poem that is intended to be both generic and symbolic of Raavan. This is what I had thought someone who wants to portray Raavan's character would say, but of course, Mani failed that in Raavan to a large extent. So narrating the part of the story that was left unsaid...

She was a princess, I, ruler of the world,
I, the first to break the laws of love, I, unjustifiably villainized.
I, cursed from the beginning of time, for I, would be blinded by her delicate beauty.
A beauty- so fragile and yet so strong from within
a beauty that compelled her into the cruel jungle with him.
Lady, my heart cries, if I had to take you to the jungle, I would rather die.
Isn't love such a heartless thing, princess,
that you like the man who would banish you, and walk you into fire;
and, I, a woman who doesn't respect me even as grass*
And yet, that hopeless love unites us
for the heart always desires what the hand cannot touch
and desire is the seed of the illogical in the mind.
So let the world laugh at me, woman,
For I know, no man will remain unswept by the passion that washed us away
For I know, you love me, by loving him without repay.

*This line is based on the beautiful explanation Vishaka Hari gave for the event where Sita tells Raavan she doesn't even respect him lesser than she does a blade of grass!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Ok. This is not really an Enthiran review, though I do have a few things to say about Enthiran. I saw it a while ago, and it was ok. But what made me write today is, as usual, reading something. As can be expected, this time it is Asimov. For a real Asimov reader, I had been scoring low, because I hadn't read any of his novels till today. Of course, I have read MOST of his short stories (primarily thanks to Padmini, whose collections lured me out of studying before cycle tests in 1st year!! :) ) Anyway, today's reading brought me back to this whole debate (which explains the length of this post :D). And I am keeping the Enthiran review at the end- so you can read it only if you really want to know my take on it :)

Anyway, one thing good about Enthiran is that it brought some really important debates to the masses (and gave me something to start with)- what would happen if we had a robot that could act as an independent entity? Can we be sure it won't turn against us? Can we make it understand human emotions? Will the robot become the same emotional, sentimental failure that men sometimes become? Or will it show some yet unknown characteristic or emotion?! Will it end up having psychological disorders? Will the randomness that is so part of life on Earth, play a role in robotic development as well?

These are the questions Asimov asked in his stories, and they are as relevant today as then. While we are building bigger and better computers and Japan is speeding with artificial intelligence- someone should ask the question- Do we really understand what we are doing? Do we know enough of the human brain and human emotions to understand what an object equipped with a similar (if not better) brain is capable of doing? I am not trying to be pessimistic here. I am a big fan of technology alright, but these questions are a little inevitable.

Humans believe in a lot of abstract things like spirituality, justice and ethics. Do these laws that seem to apply to us, apply to the objects that we create as well? (Aside, as a reverse question, I wonder if the laws that apply to us, apply to God- it is tricky because if they do- then it means the laws are supreme and not God himself. And if they don't, it means we have an unfair God in our hands! :D) Will the factors that motivate us motivate our robots? Or will they be motivated by things that we shall never understand?

Even further, we have observed that with knowledge competency and talent comes the desire to be independent (it comes even without, but at least some amount of submission is possible in an ignorant man)- will a computer with almost infinite knowledge be able to choose to be independent? Will it choose to prove to us that it is better? And the question that was lurking behind all along- will we become slaves of the robot? Or will we be simply destroyed eventually?

I know you are saying the day is far off when we will leave the computer with such a choice. I know we are not there yet today. But aren't many of us really living our lives for the sake of the computer- spending our lives designing it, testing it, feeding it, enhancing it- or maybe I should say breeding it?! If half the world can be addicted to facebook today, and a piece of code called Farmville can create an extraordinary experiment on living neurons- with just today's compute power- what might happen when we really have humanoids?

It probably sounds a little overstated. And anyway, I am digressing.The point is do we know the impact of our machines on us? Or whether thinking machines will obey us at all?

An even more interesting question is- do we really have a say in this? I know Steven Rose says each creature has its say in evolution- he is possibly right in the fact that we have a choice. But we have constraints limitations on our choices. And we don't have complete knowledge of the consequences of each choice. Maybe, maybe like Asimov postulates in his story, we shall never have a say and ultimately machines shall rule us. Or maybe they won't. Or maybe the question just needs a positronic brain to find the answer... And until then we just have the cliché- "Only time can tell"....

(Click read more for Enthiran review)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The evening’s promise

Sometimes, the sky is an irresistible blue,
and the breeze, a tempting embrace.
The silent noises from far away,
calling me to a long walk, a respite after a long day
The cool air, the sights and sounds- a beginning, a promise.
They promise me something, I don't know what,
but the red pump in me gains life from their unsaid words.
Maybe it is the promise of a sight unseen,
Or of a song, unequalled.
Maybe it is a person who I shall meet at the turn of a long road-
who shall change, with a magic sweep of his wand, the world for me.
A flower, a river, a breathtaking hour-
anything to fill this emptiness that swamps me.
Sometimes, I give in and walk and walk
but nothing but the orange sun would be.
Fairy tales promise well, but they were tales you see!
And the next time, when the evening invites me,
I give in again and embark in a quest for that hidden delight,
even when knowing what evening conjured for me was only a tantalizing dream.
Yet, I continue to hope
Some day, I will meet evening's prize
And maybe,
maybe, then, everything will be alright!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I had to write a review on inception. I had to, because, it is among the BEST movies I have ever seen. Even though it does not fall in my usual definitions of best. I could say I had to do this, even though I am very much stuck for time, because, it is a movie that makes me take my "hat off and bow and kneel before and say 'that was great!'" But the real reason is what "lightning strikes everyday" says on his blog- "It is a movie that treats the audience with intellectual respect"
It is a movie that is not only intelligent, but demands an equal intelligence from the audience (not equal maybe, but at least approximately so) to appreciate it. (Of course that doesn't include people who read Wikipedia explanations or fake an understanding of the movie.) But each person individually would know how much he understood of the movie, and also that that indicates a lot about his intelligence, which was in itself a great feat!*

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In one word...

I discovered something today morning, Nothing like gravity or relativity. Just a small observation.

That every person has a basic flavor. Or essence (as Jonathan Stroud would have it). By this I mean each person can essentially be described by one word. Just one word. To describe all actions, thoughts, principles- literally everything- about the person.

I had tried to do this long ago- just to see if I hit upon anything- tried to describe each person I know in a single word. A word to describe what impression I had of that person. I wasn't all that successful at that time, but today's task, I think, should be possible. The difference here is that this one word should not be what that person reminds you of. It should be a word that explains his complete nature. 

For example, I know someone whose nature, in all its totality,  can be described as "Argument". This person would not listen to half a sentence of yours without arguing. In fact, even when he is talking, or writing a program, or any other such thing, you would see how his mind falls back to "argument" in every step.

Another person I know can be described by "I-don't-want-to-be-blamed".* This person, while having a lot of attributes, is always trying to ensure he is not wrong in anybody's eyes. I am not saying he tries to portray himself as good etc, he really is a good person as far as I know, but even while simply talking, or maybe even thinking his mind always goes back to this precept. Any stand he takes on any issue and any example he might give can be derived from, or at least, traced back to this.

I have a lot more examples- but the last I will mention here is someone I talked to yesterday. And I must mention this person because yesterday's conversation was what triggered my discovery itself. His word was "Action". Whatever you spoke to him, his mind would automatically go to what could be "done" about it. You could talk to him abstract philosophy and still his mind was continuously asking "anything to be done here?" However much u tried to divert it to concepts or theories, it always leaped back to action.

So, what do you think? Can all attributes of a person be described in one word? Try thinking of someone close to you... Or someone you know very well... And try to describe them in one word... You might discover a lot about their nature. And maybe even yours!!

*I know that's not really a single word... Writers' license u see ;)

P.S- Someone just asked me what word best describes me. I have found the word, but I don't think I ought to reveal it. Like they say, some mysteries of the world are better left unsolved! ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Link of the day...

It is on Tamil Nadu politics and tweeted by krishashok. I have a lot to say on the topic myself, but most of it has already been said in this article. 
(Especially on how the current government tries to appreciate only certain aspects of Tamil literature and ignore everything else! Thiruvalluvar being the epitome of this policy. I admit Valluvar's writings were very good, but he was not the only good writer of Tamil Nadu.)
Plus I like the style of writing- Point Blank. No beating around the bush. I wish our journalists wrote this way...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Team work- mankind’s prehistoric secret?

So continuing on that one about evolution....Well... There are all these theories about how man evolved. However, what is more interesting is not "how did man evolve", but "why". There are billions of creatures on planet Earth and some of them with really interesting features (like the ciliates, about which I started a post and never published!) and yet, none of them achieved what man did! (Or maybe they did, but that is a premise I don't want to talk about today).

WHY did man become the most powerful creature? What in him that wasn't there in other creatures made him invent computers and visualize robots, and make artificial cell cultures?

Friday, May 21, 2010


An awesome video (based on an abstruse goose comic, but still very good!) - Something I am always amazed by - evolution, life, biodiversity!!! Wow....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A hope against hope hopen....

Aha! How flies time! Before I know it a month is gone! (I wanted to put some awesome Shakespeare line, which talks about time stealing away from him, but I don't remember the exact words! Will be grateful to anyone who can point that out...)

And before I move on to the post- link of the day-  An extract from "At home" by Bill Bryson.... VERY interesting...

So the update goes thus-- I am back from my vacation. And am into the normal mode- work, eat, sleep, read novels, etc. Was reading Jonathan Stroud. Expect a review on that one. And that apart, I have been reading online.  Lot of random stuff. Mostly... It even surprises me that there are so many things to write about in this world!

And having mentioned Shakespeare and writing, I should quite automatically slide into .... grammar. Most people who have argued with me, would have been horribly irritated by my constant correction of grammatical errors. (Like when you are explaining the most irrefutable point you have got to make, I go "It's not with, it is by!" I know it kinda gets on your nerves, but I have some sorta automatic grammar sensor in my head  which goes beeping [and which sometimes turns off, if the speaker has an absolute lack of grammar-- some things are beyond repair!] In any case, I have mostly been particular... 

So then it surprised me when a quest across OUP blog, visual thesaurus, etc. made me find a very obvious (but not so obvious till then) grammatical mistake I tend to make. And quite often.

It was the use of the word hopefully. I have often used it (but luckily, not on this blog) to mean "I hope" e.g. "Hopefully,  I will write more on this topic". However, the actually meaning of the word "hopefully" is "full of hope". So in the previous sentence while I intended to say "I hope I will write more on this topic", I ended up saying "I will write more on this topic full of hope" (which was OK, if I had been talking about the recession etc :D) In any case, this discovery led me to discover a class of words said to be skunked (no, not the animal). But more on that one 2 weeks from now (Thinking of doing a regular grammar update every alternate week. But don't know if that will materialize...) Anyway, will at least get back on skunked words soon... Hopefully... (Ahem!)

P.S. - Aha! The title, (X CBSE students of 2003 batch and earlier might remember) is from Ogden Nash's dentist poem "This is going to hurt just a little bit". While the poem wasn't great, I had liked this particular line, and also the part about the vicious circle....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why facebook is bad for blogging...

Uh oh!
I didn't want to do this ever again. Ever. This whole ordeal of I will post more regularly etc.
But you see, last month I was playing a lot (actually, any time  I could get out of office!)
On facebook, I mean. Farmville and Cafe World. 
I kinda wanted to be the first person to reach level 50 or something. (I had thought I will reach that and stop). Which isn't all that tough if you play after giving it a little thought. I sure reached level 20 odd in both, and quite quickly at that. And then somehow my mind wasn't into it at all. Last Saturday, when I was really free (I wanted to work too, but was too lazy to go to office), and I was just sitting at home in the heat, and amid many power cuts, which was really very ripe time for me to be playing, I simply didn't play. I guess I got too bored of it.
And by the time it was Monday, I wasn't even opening facebook. I don't know if I have mentioned, but before I began playing, I used to login to fb once in 6 months or so. Now you know why I didn't approve your friend request, huh? :P
Well, I observed a few things about the way these games were designed, about, about facebook itself, and of course, as always, about the human psyche. Will put them up in a later post maybe. Off home for a week, so until then wouldn't be around... So long...
(Hmmm. Good. Confession done :) Got over quickly enough :) )

P.S- In case you thought I'd do a serious post related to the title, well, sorry for disappointing you... Some other time, I promise :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Immigration and India

Ok. This is a little of Intel and a little of India.
Intel had this science contest in the US (which I had read about briefly on the LAN). Of course, just another science contest (though probably a big BIG one). And without going into details I can let you assume all that you know about science contests. What was interesting, (as I had already noticed in our LAN article) was the list of winners-
Linda Zhou, Alice Wei Zhao, Lori Ying, Angela Yu-Yun Yeung, Lynnelle Lin Ye, Kevin Young Xu, Benjamin Chang Sun, Jane Yoonhae Suh, Katheryn Cheng Shi, Sunanda Sharma, Sarine Gayaneh Shahmirian, Arjun Ranganath Puranik, Raman Venkat Nelakant, Akhil Mathew, Paul Masih Das, David Chienyun Liu, Elisa Bisi Lin, Yifan Li, Lanair Amaad Lett, Ruoyi Jiang, Otana Agape Jakpor, Peter Danming Hu, Yale Wang Fan, Yuval Yaacov Calev, Levent Alpoge, John Vincenzo Capodilupo and Namrata Anand.
What a diverse group! Ummm… not really! What an Indian-Chinese group! Same as what Friedman has mentioned in his column. (List is from the column) But while Friedman is concerned about US' policy on immigrants, I am thinking more about it in generic terms.

  (By the way, before I forget, I have noticed how Intel US has a good number of Indians (and in key positions -- actually they actively encourage diversity) though I am sure that would be true of most companies. I know we were supposed to know it, but sometimes it gets at you! Ok. No more company propaganda.)

So what I am thinking is - Is allowing immigrants good for a country? Yes. Obviously. And not only because new ideas, new mixture of people and all that blah. But because the guys who are ready to move on are precisely the kind of guys who can spur improvement. And I think we should ponder a little more about that one.

That being said, is allowing people to immigrate good for us? Obviously not. Like I said, we would be left with a lot that is mostly complacent (though of course there might some folks genuinely interested in development).Besides, we would be losing a good number of resources, as is usually claimed.

Point is that it is high time we thought about valuing our brainforce and giving them a healthy environment. Correction. It is high time we started respecting people who know more than us and I mean this as individuals. The problem with India is not only money. It is the environment, the politics, narrow-mindedness and lack of sensible, objective, mutual respect. I could have ended this post with the first line of this paragraph. But I think the issue here is not that India needs x or y. Issue is how many Indians, as individuals, really practice what they claim India lacks. The day, that bridge vanishes, we would have an age of rationalism in India.

And I am waiting eagerly for it ….

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


While the buzz of #nithyananda slowly spirals down, here is a quick link on an interesting blog about him. (Rather, against him).

Very good for fiction. A little obvious when you realize it's real, but good work by those guys. And I like the writing style :)

While I do not consider him a topic worthy enough to dedicate a blog to, I will try to get back on "The God Market", as it goes today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Another poem.... Seems to be my non-sonnet week!

When I was about 4 years old,
and the world stretched in front of my curious eye,
Innocent, amazing and simple- reassuring as the pale blue sky.
I stood at my balcony,
still struggling my little hand the edges to reach
and watching day in and day out
The march of the red ants, their silent screech,
to a little anthill they had carved in the wall,
A refuge for winter, and the two week fall.
They walked all day collecting morsels of dead insects
and anything they could find-
collecting and cherishing as connoisseurs do wine;
years of patience and solid determination,
desire, motivation, focused hard work, deliberation
modeling all those values self-help books instill, and innately
sure formulae for success, and fame, stately
One day, as they marched along towards their "success",
I pulled them all out with a thin brown stick
and dissolved their long stored food into a little yellow mug,
Then poured it down the drain-
A four year boy rendering years of work futile -
years sewn from millions of impatient minutes
with the thread of hope and perseverance, undying enthusiasm-
all in vain now!
And years later, as I see you today,
I feel like the ants once did
Unable to get my shattered dreams rid.
Unable to remain. Frigid.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Swan Song

(A poem, after a long time!!! That too, a non-sonnet!!)

As I crawl out of one minute into another,
Time squeezing me into a shapeless jelly
On this endless day,
Each squeeze painting images afresh in my mind,
Of all the joys we had, of the sunny days,
I think of the lone phrase that had always dwelt in my mind
Its existence real, to me alone,
That popped yesterday in a moment of impulse,
Now reborn in this crowded world of thoughts,
Finding its joy, and slashing mine across.
I know I was wrong, I know you didn't deserve it.
And the confession was long due.
Yet sometimes the past is a ghost,
That haunts you long after you tried to bury it,
Long after you forgot.
You think 'it was just a mistake'-
And yet there can be nothing just about a mistake!
As time paints my world in black and white, draining all the color,
I can only erase myself out of existence, now
And give birth to the vacuum that has long consumed me.
And while in the vacuum labor, I hold at my tongue
the word I had always hated, knowing its innate iniquity,
But in the spasm that my vacuum was born,
In the moment of extreme pain, and shame,
Sinking in the shrouds of death, I say,
with a furious hope, and fear and qualm
"Forgive me! Give me a chance again!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Huh, it's only 10 days! It seemed like aeons since I posted. (Wrote this on Feb 26th).
Anyway, I watched another movie. MNIK. So much of noise about the movie. Though one should know better than to expect Shah Rukh Khan to make a convincing "different" movie. (Long ago, he made one Asoka, and we all know how conwinceing that was!)
But you see I was torn by confusion. On the one hand, I know Shah Rukh. And on the other, I know that Sena most often opposes good works (except for M F Hussain), whatever the stated reason. Anyway I somehow made myself watch the movie, at least for curiosity value.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In the name of education - an update

This is a continuation of a previous article linking to the Careers 360 article on IIPM. They have an update.

It is a must-check ...
Also worthwhile is the link given in the letter pointing to the Belgium education authorities particularly the questions about diploma mills .
I don't think I need to say anything more about this. 

Sometimes, truth is so self evident. If only it weren't as disgusting...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bus day

Yesterday (Feb 4th) was Bus Day in Bangalore.

We were supposed to use public transport and I had been flooded with mails/forwards/pamphlets about Bus day. So much that I thought it would go pretty well and maybe there would be lesser traffic on the roads (if not cleaner, less pollluted air etc, as the pamphlets had suggested!).

Morning came, and I went to office as usual (in company bus, which I thought was public transport enough) and we were stuck in Airport Road for the same number of minutes that we are stuck every morning (if not a few more). We nearly hit (but never really hit) the same number of vehicles and pedestrians who were callously crossing the road few cms in front of our vehicle. 

And did I see crowded buses? Nah! If you have stood at Adyar Depot at 8.30-9 in the morning (Aside: Why is it that we Indians can never tell the time accurately? I have never heard anyone say 4PM, only 4-4.30!), and tried to squeeze yourself into the lopsided 21H, you would know what a crowded bus is. But even by Bangalore standards, I don't think buses were any more crowded than usual. Not noticably.

Which makes me conclude the Bus day wasn't a success at all.

And why?
We know that, don't we? Lack of direct buses, infrequency, and of course, the fares. In Chennai, I can go pretty far (as in more than just walkable distances) on 5 bucks. Here, it takes me 5 from just Bhima Nagar to CMH (which I sometimes walk). Plus the conductors never know where to go. I have some infamous experiences of landing in the wrong places (and being late for office) because of misguiding conductors. And after 8.30 PM or so, the bus frequency drops to 40%, I think (I have waited for long long long times to get buses on otherwise popular routes!), which makes it necessary to take an auto.

Besides, there was no incentive as such to take the bus on Bus Day (unless you wanted to prove to your friends you were environment-friendly or something, which I don't think is all that motivating). BMTC could have subsidized rates for the day. Or increased frequency of buses. (I would prefer them to give a toffee to every passenger, but that is not economically feasible :( )

I don't know if BMTC is listening, though they have this survey. Since govt organization surveys are pretty much treated equal to kadalai-madikkara-paper, I guess not. But if they are, I hope they change Bangalore bus services at least slightly, so that Bus day is not just an over-hyped ineffective fiasco, but a real Bus Day.

And I do wish they start a follow-traffic-rules day! My heart is really exhausted with the BP shoots every time we are about to dash into a scooter gone mad on the roads.

Too much to ask for, I guess ....

Check this link...  I am surprised!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Are you significant? -Part 2

Before I begin- link of the day. Makes me nauseate and I don't know what else :( (Got it from Shruthi's blog)

(Continued from Part-1)
So yes, I am back after quite a few months with that same nagging question- Are you significant?

Monday, January 18, 2010

On Blogging and Grammar....

I read this on Laugh it Out :) and LOL ever since...

The original post is here!

The Auric-models-of-the-Earth and the cinema-of-rebirth

Is this the season of screwed up awards?!

Maybe the end of the world is really nearing, so people thought they could just give away awards to whoever they please. (Or wish to please).

Obama getting the Nobel was one thing, and now Avatar getting the Golden Globe! Whatever happened to the days when a movie had to be "good" to win an award? Or a person was expected to really "do" something before getting the Nobel?
Maybe 6 months down, we can get degrees without even being a student of the college (or being a Tamil politician!). Imagine how good it would be to chuck the whole coaching-entrance-counselling routine! Or to get jobs without the written-GD-PI process! (Maybe you would suggest one gets married without the muster your courage-propose-date routine, but that is already there in the Indian system!)

But hey, you tell me, the Avatar guys made a movie after all! And they earned a lot of money with it! Ya, they pleased the masses. And ya, they had good graphics. But since when have we started calling technological advancement as artistic greatness?! Then I guess we should start awarding the Googles and TIs (and Intels ;) ) and Microsofts of the world the Oscars for Best Motion picture, Best OST etc. And the Sunfeasts and Tru-Nices the Olympic medals for weight-lifting and archery! (No. They have no connection AT ALL with sports!) Or Sania the Wimbledon! (Don't tell me she shouldn't be awarded, because she really plays tennis!). Or how about "Two States" for the Man Booker? …

Ok. Enough of that. But seriously, after you see a movie like "The Lives of Others", how can you even imagine Avatar is good?! (No, I am not going to tell you how beautiful TLO was, or how they had narrated an utterly simple story so well!) And after you read this perfect description of Avatar's story, how can you even call it 'good' cinema, let alone 'great'?!

Well, well, I only hope the world doesn't get stuck in this award-anybody-anything mode!!

Epilogue ...


"Hello… Ya, speaking… What? Did you say you want to award ME "The Best Trasher Award"? MEEE??? :) :) :) Instead of Sudish Kamath (THE HINDU) and The Vigil Idiot? But… of course… I truly deserve it, don't I? Ya, ya, thank you…. And ya, the Nobel guys were right… and so were the golden globbies… oh come on, who cares about TLO………"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another idiot review

3 idiots.

Much has been told about this movie already, if not too much. And yet, when I saw the movie, there was at least one minute when it touched my heart. And for the fact that most movies don't do that these days- the movie was awesome! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Two links I stumbled upon and wasn't happy with just tweeting-
Amit Varma's awesome article on pasta ;)  and this video on the three idiots hassle.

I don't think they need any further commenting really.

And as for my resolution, I had wanted to write on the whole 3 idiots blah, maybe by EOD...