31 December, 2011

Metamorphosing out of 2011

Every year, the year that breezes by feels like the most eventful year of my life, and this year ain't no exception: Better, this has been the best ever in my life! Metamorphosis or rediscovery I am not sure of, but the feeling right now is right and great!

The first half of this year was the time when I made some serious structural changes in my life, in all dimensions and have tried fitting myself into a long aspiring role, which has allowed me to rediscover, reinvent,reinvigorate myself and to some extent inspire others.

Long term consequences of these changes although will be unfolding in the numeric change awaiting tomorrow, I will be looking forward to it, as usual.

I have also transcended into the next level of my commitment towards the change I want to see coming around, and will work more effectively come 'new year'.

I am also playing a mind game of sorts with myself: If I want to endorse "unfettered freedom", or "get bottled up", or strike an "unlikely balance". While one of the contender seems to be tipping off the balance big time, I will wait until I bring it to reality.

The biggest surprise I bestowed on myself has been the whole bunch of people I am getting to know.
Am i not surprised!
In this regard I was turning into a cynic. Glad now, that people of all nature and kinds, some real close, some working at deeper layers of thought, some resonating with all the action, and some outlawed from my field of interaction are all available, and if not in plenty but in adequacy.
Discovering new wells of resonance, ideating and implementing the collective vision have all had a good start, and within my constraints will sustain them.

If one thing I have grown disappointed with myself is my time utilisation. My efficacy of performing within time has been getting better, wheras the efficacy of allocating time itself has deteriorated. Will consciously improve this time timing time!  

It might not be an exaggeration if I could claim that I have gotten more confident of my writing skills. Not because I get to write technical articles for a newspaper, or I am asked to write for various fora, but because I am these days, more than ever before, able to vent out all of my thoughts, as effectively as the language permits, well within my nascent writing. 
Words, are becoming my closest companions, and there's nothing more to complain about. Will allow it to grow as far and wide it can.

2011- The most read year, as yet! My book collection is taking shape into a precious library. Reading has hit a peak after my metamorphosis, and the rate of reading and the extent of assimilation I am able to do are better. I have acquired an ability to be able to discern literature and have an opinion about it. It is not about the opinion, but the mind that is able to make sensible criticism on ideas presented in the works and sometimes even the quality of the work itself. That certainly feeds fuel to the aspiring writer in me.

Bouncing off the efforts of the 365 days of this year, I am looking forward to the challenges and the camaraderie at all strata.

PS: Well, yes it is just a number, still serves as the right time to self evaluate :) 

27 December, 2011

Dr.Mulugeta: Inspiration beyond Physics

"I was in prison for seven years, and the first four years of imprisonment, there were 45 of us in 4m x 4m room in the central prison in Ethiopia", reminisces Dr. Mulugeta Bekele from Ethiopia, not with remorse, but with a tinge of sadness of the time spent then, and a subtle nationalistic pride.
Dr. Mulugeta is an associate Professor Physics at Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia. He completed his Ph. D in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, India in the year 1997 and now he's back at his alma matter for a month. It has been a deeply inspiring experience to have interacted with him, firstly to know the Physicist he is, and with subsequent interactions, I have known other nuances of this humble science and math enthusiast from Ethiopia with a life long of struggle.

Dr. Mulugeta was the only Physics major student at Haile Sellasie University, and he pursued his passion Mathematics via Physics during late 1960's, as a lone student during his under-graduate days.

After the monarchy in Ethiopia was overthrown by a military regime - socialist for name sake; although it did nationalise banks, industry and land, it was far from being the encapsulation of people's aspirations. As Dr.Mulugeta says, "The monarchical hierarchy under which Ethiopia was ruled until the 1974, using military had just lost its head - the monarch alone was gone, and there was a total military oligarchy. With zero representation of the people's voices, the new military regime had to suppress numerous popular people's struggles".

The people's struggles which were taken up in the form of student movements, workers unions, and other representation of the common man in Ethiopia ended up in a ghastly phase of Ethiopian history. During this time, Dr.Mulugeta was teaching at AAU and did participate in the revolutions during the monarchical oligarchy, and post that against the military oligarchy.

The military regime was ruthless and suppressed all forms of uprisings, and in doing so killed hundreds of youth and imprisoned thousands of them even without a trial.
The Physics teacher from AAU that Dr.Mulugeta was during the people's uprisings against the military regime did participate in all the youth movements. “As the educated section of the society, all young students and teachers were actively participating in the demonstrations, and it was natural for me to join in those struggles”, he says. 
The ruthless regime in order to curtail such people's struggles killed hundreds of the young students and put a whole lot of them into prison. Dr. Mulugeta was put into a prison during one such retaliation by the military. He speaks of the uncertainty about the term they would be serving, or even the future of all the captured people, for, there was reckless genocide going on.

"We weren't given a trial or anything; Directly dumped into the prison and we did not even know for long....And when one of my other physicist got a trial and was sentenced seven years in prison, we started thinking of the same luck for each of us. We did not know how long could seven years in prison be. The first year is Sunday, second year was Monday, third year was Tuesday and so on, like the seven days of the week, each year was to become a really long day for each of us...”, recollects Dr. Mulugeta from his prison experience.

Describing the inhumane conditions of the prison cells and the tortures they had to endure he says that the cell in which he spent his first four years of term was 4m x 4m, and 45 people had to live in that! With very little time when they were allowed to go out from the cell, it must have been really hard. Although he does not talk of his own difficulties at any point of time, he says that before he could be put into that cell, previously there were 88 prisoners in the same 4m x 4m cell!

Apart from the imprisonment, severe torture on the prisoners was common, where they used to be chained, beaten, broken and several severed to death.

After four years in the central prison, where he was moved to a larger main prison where each prisoner the space alloted to each prisoner is more or less similar to the central prison, but the solace was that they could walk around the prison compounding walls.

When Dr. Mulugeta was released in 1985 at the age of 39, after spending seven years in jail he went back to AAU and in 1991 he comes to India to pursue his Ph. D at the Indian Institute of Science. Today he is one of the most respected Physicists from his region and in recognition to his efforts in contributing to Physics and his struggles he is being awarded the Andrel Sakharov prize by the American Physical Society, about which he says,” My Ethiopian students in the USA recommened me for this and I am happy about it”.

A simple, humble, erudite physicist with a life story which moves and inspires the young, not only of his own country but well beyond.

21 December, 2011

The inverse nature of aesthetics and ratification

Well, in this post I try to give shape to an ongoing discussion about the essence of aesthetics and ratification.

Before I present my views, let me make it clear that although I can be in awe and savour the aesthetics of reasoning (which actually is more gratifying), I am delving into the other realm of aesthetics which is primarily dominated by senses and the 'gray areas of the gray matter'!

Casually many a times in my interactions I put forth a point,
"To sustain interest, intrigue is mandatory; Absolute comprehension is ruthlessly disconnecting!", or something on these lines, correlating the amount of comprehension with the interest on subject.
Take a minute, dwell on this idea, and read on :)

Irrespective of you being convinced or not, the point I am trying to convey here is that aesthetic sense (previously interest) needs a dose of obscurity to attain the 'tending to irrationality' sensations it renders, for its grandest impact. I am not contradicting my previous discourses about reasoning and logic; if so, let it seem so, for now!

Analysing art and photography should give us a good test case, and it shall be a very personal outlook of the debate and I do not intend to take it beyond; nonetheless if one feels coherent - feel free - tag along!

Art as in creative painting is what I mean in this context.
Painting is purely creative. Everything on canvas flows from the mind of the artist, even if inspired from reality - I as an observer has not seen the reality, and I am more than glad to look through the artist's prism. While being immersed in savouring a 'good'(by my perception) painting, the sea of emotions unleashed by the painting could be varying from anything that is euphoric to morose; personally, these experiences would have little explanations, or rather I wouldn't want to pursue it, because it would burst out the bubble of that profound sensation!
I'd rather leave the comprehension away in this case, and let myself be lost in the sensations of aesthetics.

Talking of photography, yes, photography is art. But the amount of impact it would have is lesser than that via artisitc painting. The 'obscurity gradient' inherently is lesser here! In a photograph 'the moment' has been frozen - it is quite remarkable and all. But my mind knows that it existed as it is there, and it is only  the perspective that has been altered. Reality is never all that exciting to the aesthetics- it needs something beyond reality - fantasy, something beyond the realms of common sense and that is what is aethetically pleasing to the mind!

And painting, or music churn out things which weren't already there! They create and render the influence of the artists persona and that confluence is what makes all the difference. Surreal!

Take for example that Picasso one above, and imagine a deeply saddening picture of a malnourished kid in African countries (which have been more than adequately photographed). Both make me sad. But I know the reason for the latter - there's a logical chain my mind is already thinking on - famine -govt apathy - policies -exploitation -.... I can explain my sadness here - empathy.

But, the painting I don't know why! It is still inexplicable to me.

The post is not about disregarding the mind boggling skill that photography is,but only analyze in relation to artistic painting. Even in photographs, the perspective offered by the photographer conveys beyond what the reality is.

For instance in this one by me (not a great pic, but the purpose seems to have been conveyed)

It is my perspective and not the reality itself. You would still be seeing it through my perspective, but I haven't created the reality there - it somehow lessens the thrill is my argument.

Both art and photography quench the lacunae of daily life by filling us with inspiration, joy, agony, awareness, love and beauty; No ratification can balance out the emotions, it can only mellow down some of the impact.

17 December, 2011

ITEC Movie Club scores from Offside!

ITEC's long standing aspiration of getting a movie club running finally and in a special manner was realized today. The purpose of this club is to watch and discuss progressive movies which would sensitize and increase awareness about issues which many a times go unnoticed.

The first movie screened today was the Iranian brilliance "Offside" by Jaffer Panahi. This being the first screening, the team had hoped to rope in a famous cinema person for the inaugural show.

Prakash Belawadi who obliged to be part of the first screening was the most apt person; with his cinema experience and critique on the IT culture was impeccable for the occasion.

Prakash Belawadi made a couple of interesting remarks about the IT work force and their ethos, which I think is in fact a less propagated reality of the IT culture. "Stuck in crowded work places, reaching via congested roads, slogging more than adequately- having a hellish lifestyle" was his perception of the IT community. Also, the corporate social responsibilty mask under which the euphemistic social endeavours are taken up by the IT diaspora was also retorted by him. IT community, the small community that it is has run away from the realities of the society in India, and without defining which society their social responsibility would be catering to, there would be little sense to their 'responsibility execution' was his straight forward view.

Talking about the need for movie clubs, and apprecating the efforts of ITEC he mentioned that benefits of watching a movie in an audience when compared to watching it in on DVD - the interaction and the commune emotions that are churned out are the things which are not to be missed.

Jaffer Panahi's Offside

Islamic Republic of Iran's oppressive regime and the nature of state controlled media with almost zero freedom are quite well known. Working in such an environment, Jaffer Panahi, has tried to bring out certain important issues via his movies. Currently, Jaffer Panahi is serving a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country. All this for making progressive movies in a severely constrained society.

Offside is a heart touching story of a bunch of adolescent girls who disguise themselves as boys, so that they get to watch the World cup football semifinal match in Iran, which the Iranian women are not allowed to! A simple tale, captured on film in a documentary style with some exceptional performances by the cast renders Offside as one of the best movies of recent times. As Jaffer Panahi is known to be a neorealist film maker, Offside is a remarkable piece of work which more importanlty portays a retrogressive social practice persisting in a regressive social structure, in the most appealing manner, with subtle and sarcastic mock at the system, while projecting the aspirations of the female protagonists in various dimensions.

Although the direct idea might seem disconnected to our circumstances, it is a symbolic questioning of all the discrepancies of gender inequalities. The suppression imposed on the female population in many of the countries even today is of deep concern and the discussions which followed the movie did show that there is a lot that could be done! In India although with all the freedom we boast of, excpet for in urban scenario the condition and treatment of women is certainly not at par with men.

Prof Chatterjee from Indian Institute of Astrophysics, who was part of the audience discerned India and Iran based on his experiences: India is a country although with advanced consitution of law, women have a regressive mentality, as a whole; whereas, Iran although has a rudimentary consititution, women there have a lot more progressive mentality.

These are the kinds of debates and dicussions ITEC is looking forward to instigate by making the Movie Club consistent.

Offside is a must watch to everyone, and if interested to know more about the Movie club, the movie itself or about ITEC do visit the website http://www.itecentre.co.in/

13 December, 2011

Day dreaming in dreamy days

Without getting into the specific time as to when, although many of you might well be able to guess it, last few days have been really conducive for this gratifying, involuntary creative act - Day Dreaming!

There is something unique about day dreams, in that they are not in entirety based on the subconscious and hence most entirely implausible. These are perfect confluence of subconscious' aspirations substantiated by the ratification and planning of the conscious mind,yielding these wondrous mental states.

Deepest longings emanating from the core of the self, take shape and present themselves as realistic and hopeful projections of the mind, seeking whatever it really craves for!

Another important trait is that one does not forget what transpires in these dreams unlike their subconscious counterparts, which many a times need Freudian analysis to recollect and decipher!

While I cherish reminiscing and hoping for these day dreams to see their day, you try working on yours :)

09 December, 2011

Gullible vulnerabilities of a wobbling mind

My tending towards arrogance brag sessions about rationality and the import I give to logic and reasoning might already have established a projection of me in your perceptions; if it hasn't I'm glad.

This post is one of those periodic singularities in my blog, where my usual flow of ideas and opinions are obstructed to make way for something more trivial - my own personal commotion from within.

The grand title I have engraved to this post might have led some of you to expect, and I don't know what, but all I am serving in this post is confusion from within.

Ratification is gratification, being my mantra, a couple of minds around have been questioning if this is an absolute principle and would I be able to adhere to it eternally. Even before I could formulate my defense and present it, I introspect to find anomalies and inconsistencies in my proclamation of ratification.

I am so hopelessly irrational many a times, that I know it for sure that I am the most irrational rational around.

What instigates these objective experiences in me is not important, for I am not principled well enough to remain non-subjective. When I call these experiences, responses and expectations irrational, they are more than simple irrationality, these reach zeniths of ludicrousness, at least when probed from the point of the other me I aspire to grow into!

I am gullible most of the time, and this trait isn't about others deceiving me, but more on the lines of self deception. A delusion, that I for always have resented to get away from.

Vulnerable because, I am weak. Weak in the sense that not the strongest as I want to be. There must be some vents through which my strong persona leaks out, leaving me vulnerable.

The responsiveness in me that makes me look like a pathetic simpleton and the impulsive nature of reacting projecting me to be a loose cannon have a deep rooted inconsistency about my mental framework. Impulsiveness and spontaneity in reactions, not even responses have been the devil riding on my back for quite sometime, and I have not off loaded them. Even after pushing myself into super ridiculous and extraordinarily embarrassing situations I oscillate and rest back to abnormality.

The abstraction here is directed back at me, for I know no one but myself can alleviate this sensation of mine.

07 December, 2011

Hurting my non-religious sentiments!

/Me is a non-religious person, a proud atheist, and this post might well encapsulate in a frivolous sense the subtle 'trauma' our diaspora is being conditioned to.

Well, here are some of my genuinely exaggerated confessions:P

If you thought non-religious people did not have sentiments, yes you were almost right that we don't have unreasonable ones, like quarreling for a piece of supposedly 'holy' land, or a wall, or adulating each ones idols, or seeking supremacy in relic books. But we do have sentiments, that usually go unnoticed, and I assure you these are more personal, yet sensible stuff!

It hurts my sentiments when I'm asked to write my religion in the religion field  of every application form and that 'atheism' is not a recognized entry! Although my recent hack  “born hindu” seems to convey a gist of what I feel, that does still hurt my non-religious sentiments!

It hurts my sentiments, when I see that we are non-existent to the Government and media, and they don't want to give heed to this our swelling diaspora. This community, with obviously higher IQ is ignored, for we understand and endorse Darwinism and not the 'magic wand bang creationism'!

It hurts my sentiments, when the religious fanatics' 'hurt and trampled' bleating gets all the unnecessary importance, when there's a whole world full of more important things to be done!

It does not hurt, but only amuses me when an atheist is treated as a traitor or an embodiment of evil, instead of looking at the evidence and reason behind our natural vanity.

It hurts my rational sentiments (oxymoron, I get it), when instead of facing my arguments some of you dodge and hide behind a facade of sentimentalism.

It hurts my sentiments, when they perceive me uncultured, when the truth is that I'm more sanely cultured than even the most religious fanatic, for I have undone the rituals and superstitions and celebrate only the humanness!

It hurts my sentiments, when everyone talks of only sentiments and not of the intellect! How can you run a world by pleasing unreasonable sentiments, blocking all of rationality?

It gravely hurts my non-religious sentiments, when you threaten me of not allowing to have the delicacies for each of the religious celebration, and that alone of all I have mentioned has the most serious impact on me, sometimes making me rethink my stand as an athiest!:P

All said and not done, I feel hurt to see many of you still loosely stuck to your religious webs and pose helpless, while I cherish the bliss of cognizance, that builds through every moment, every day.

04 December, 2011

Sliding down the memory lane

After a really long time, I was there,
at those very places,
and I was soaked, really wet in reminiscence.
While childhood memories are nostalgic,
I seldom dwell on my own for some alien reasons.

And today, accidentally when I happened to be there,
and was free and decided to go strolling all the places,
It was, I say gratifying and deeply so.

All of it looks smaller, because I have grown twice taller! 
The distances I used to cover running ten paces are two hops now;
The garden beyond the walls I used to climb into, is now accessible via just a peek;

The big trunk trees that we used to climb upon,
They are almost the same, only look much taller;
Remembered the flowers, and it reminded me of their fragrance;

None of the buildings resemble what I remember
Colours have changed, structure tweaked
The place looks concise and all of it looks as if stuffed together.

The games we used to play,
running and hiding and seeking one another;
Felt a hint of pain to see the spot
where I had slid and grazed myself.

Aroma of the legendary Warrier bakery
and vydehi uddina vade,
Made a point to quench my taste buds this time
Finishing with the classic filter coffee;

Resting at the steps of the temple
after the triple conduits of the deity,
Wanted to do it, felt free to have it my way;

Went past school,
twelve years where I learned and unlearned,
Met a pal, who yelled "debian"
Facebook it seems, proclaims more than what I am.
buddy chat, catching up on jobs,past and future.
Between the two no girls to talk about,
Boring it was obviously.

Surprised myself
allowing this sweet sensation of reminiscence
I relish every moment of it,
I relish every moment of it,
Sliding down the memory lane.  

PS: The first twelve years of my life, approximately half my life I lived in and within the proximity of Rajajinagar. With twelve years of schooling from the very vicinity, all the memories I remember start with the places there: the streets, trees, buildings, eateries, temples, school! Saving it for myself here :)

30 November, 2011

Religion: That which relies upon relics

Another installment of the Godly religion debate makes an appearance on my blog, and this time based on a series of discussions with an entourage of a different kind. Without delving into the nature of the entourage, let me dive directly into the arguments.

Religion: That which retrospects relying upon relics
Science: That which refines itself based on skepticism

Science and religion coexising? Impossible!
The aforementioned snippets of wisdom, that I have come to arrive at, based on all the incessant, intense and invigorating discussions on religion and science, kind of encapsulate the two ideologies and place them in a clear scale for dialectical analysis.

If you have been one of those fortunate persons to still have a deep religious faith system and have been part of a debate with me, you would realize your big, bold, blind spot. The dead end one would eventually bump into while sliding down the the tunnel of religion is that religion does not evolve in principle, and I make no mistake in leading you to that point of revelation. It relies on relics, and is never looking into the future. It is simply retroactive.

Like anything that stagnates - goes stale - ends up being perilous to the system, religion with all the centuries of stagnation and more of deterioration has of course hampered the system in a deep and cancerous manner. The pros and cons of this flaw in the society have been elaborately presented in my previous posts. I will only try to talk about the obstinacy that comes inherent to the religious avatars.

Living by a set of principles is any sane and civilized person's natural tendency. If the society feels it necessary to impose these principles based out of unverifiable texts, each boasting to be more antique than the other, onto a system which is dynamically changing on a daily basis - Could it get more ridiculous? Although most of the teachings or rules presented in these texts might be deemed as eternal and universally applicable, I doubt the veracity of this claim, as would many of you.

My problem has never been religion, but the imposition, propaganda and obstinacy that comes inseparably attached to it. Like Kamal Hassan says, “Your religious beliefs must be personal like your sex life, without going gaga in public about it!”.

Now, let us take up the counterpart of this debate – Science.

Science: That which refines itself based on skepticism

Skepticism is inbuilt in the modes of thoughts perpetrated by Science. It is designed to scrutinize itself and to evolve better. This alone has been the common trait through the millenia of science that has happened. Science scrutinizes itself ruthlessly unlike any other ideologies. It is honest, humble and rational. Science too depends upon relics, but of different kinds – fossils they are called and play their part in reasoning, to prove the concept of Darwinian evolution by Natural Selection.

Further, to the minds endorsing scientific thought, it only teaches one to learn and get better. When one endorses the scientific perception, an air of arrogance seemingly would surface up; It is nothing more than a vent out of frustration, for having to look at the world as it is today entangled in multitudes of religious fangs.

In all, the debate of religion and science could go on forever, they can never be coexistent as many claim to synthesize.

Science is when you've realized what religion is, given that in this process you've used your brain.

26 November, 2011

Industry-education: Connected via a disconnect

ITEC's convention on bringing in awareness about frauding IT companies brought out some interesting paradigms, to look at a seemingly straightforward problem of frauds and cheats.

Of all the reasons discussed on the lines of labour-capital friction, to the lawlessness one other important and at the same time profound cause that surfaced up through the discussions was the role that professional education has been playing.

Bangalore, is tirelessly addressed as the knowledge capital, and adding to this tag today it is also the IT capital of India. While this entire new diaspora of IT'ians, and all the changes ushered in using them as the vents are remarkable, in terms of the impact and the pace at which it has coalesced into what it is today. A whole gamut of structural changes have been impinged on to the society, and the population has responded by altering a lot of itself. As in changes in the culture, politics, policies, priorities of people, etc... are substantial enough.

One of the most important things that has had a slow,subtle, yet huge impact is the education sector.

First and foremost, the notion of education becoming a "sector" of business can be attributed to the rise of big businesses via the IT revolution India has witnessed. Who else, other than Bangalore could be a better contendor to serve as an analysis point?
A full hundred engineering colleges, churning out the work force in a production line model, without being concerned about the quality of its throughput is a sight observable in Bangalore with ubiquity. This throughput supposedly is to cater to the plethora of IT MNC's based in Bangalore, while that sector itself has one perennial complaint about the 'employability' of these products from the higher education machinery.

As the discussions conveyed: A connected disconnect!

What is the purpose of education?

This question itself needs a whole dedicated discussion. Nonetheless, in the current context of Industry and education, would it not be outrageous to percieve education, even the so called 'professional courses' working at narrowing down the learnability of students to a small cone of technologies, which translate into a smaller window of career opportunities? Is this the role of education?
To educate a young mind in a system is to prepare him/her to become agile and glide through the alleys of life, and not to chain down in one spot, which would grow worse by the day.

Role of corporates in education

Now, Mr. Narayanmurthy of Infosys, is the new mascot of gleaming India, looking into the future of the world, carrying the young generations to advancement; or at least that is what the media is portraying him to be. He's credibly being accused of nosing into too many domains, certainly beyond his realms of expertise. Recently, in an ironic interview in NDTV he was being questioned about the growth of India in the last two decades, to celebrate 20 years of Neoliberalism in India, beyond the License permit raj. Now, why is it ironic?
Like in Chaplin's The Kid movie, if a window glass is shattered, it certainly is beneficial to the window tile seller! Allowing you readers to ponder further on this, let me delve into the corporate influence on education.

Mr.NRN represents to all our vivid imagination the 'big business doing, good samaratins'. These good samaratins are obviously doing good, but not to the general public but their own vested interests.

The education sector is being modulated to the tune of the market forces. Specialization in education is being performed to accommodate the skills necessary for the industries being set up, and that is deeply influenced by the current trend of businesses thriving. "Education system is dancing to the songs of market forces", as Sridhar, Senior Editor from the Hindu said.

Higher education system, at least the engineering colleges are offloaded IT company training institutes; preparing the workforce as they perceive the industry would want, and becasue the industry is always ahead in terms of technology the efforts by the education system are deemed inadequate!

Higher education should allow people to specialize in their interests, not what the market is interested in. The higher education climate in the last decade at least in Bangalore has been : get hold of an engineer's tag and get into an IT company, lead a happy life! Each portion of which is a hoax of nth order!

While there are bigger and immediate problems to be addressed about the IT sector and its perilous impact on the society, in the long run undoing to education what IT revolution has done would be of highest import, to make the society a balanced one.

25 November, 2011

ಹಾಗೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ

ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಲಾಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿರುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕನ್ನಡ ಲೇಖನಗಳೂ ಯಾವುದಾದರೊಂದು ತೀವ್ರತೆಯ ಸಂಗತಿಯ  ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇದ್ದಿವೆ. ಈ ಲೇಖನದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಂತಹ ಯಾವುದೂ ತೀವ್ರ ವಿಷಯವನ್ನು ಮುಟ್ಟದೆ , ಹಾಗೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಬರೆಯುವುದಾಗಿ ನಿರ್ಣಯಿಸಿದ್ದೇನೆ, ಹೇಗೆ ಮುಂದುವರಿಯುವುದು ಎಂದು ನೋಡೋಣ.

ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆ ಯಾವುದೆಂದು ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ, ನನಗೆ ಎನು ಉತ್ತರ ಹೇಳುವುದೆಂದು ಇತ್ತೀಚಿಗೆ ಗೊಂದಲವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಮೊದಲು ಮಾತೃ ಭಾಷೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಏನು ಎಂಬ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟನೆಯ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆ ಇದೆ!

ನನ್ನ ತಾಯಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುವ ಭಾಷೆ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯೆ?
ನಾನು ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಆಡುಭಾಷೆ ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯೆ?
ಅಥವಾ, ನನ್ನ ಮೆದುಳು ಆಲೋಚನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡುವ ಭಾಷೆ ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯೆ?

ಈ ಗೊಂದಲದಿಂದ ಹೊರಬಾರದೆ, ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯಾವುದೆಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸುವುದು ಅಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ ಹೌದು. ಮೇಲಿನ ಮೂರೂ ವಿವರಣೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕುರಿತು ನಾನು ಒಂದು ಭಿನ್ನವಾದ ಉತ್ತರವನ್ನು ನೀಡಬಲ್ಲೆನು.

ನನ್ನ ತಾಯಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುವ ಭಾಷೆ ತಮಿಳು. ಈ ಕಾರಣ ತಮಿಳು ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವುದು ಸುಲಭವಲ್ಲ. ನನಗೆ ತಮಿಳು ಓದಲು, ಬರೆಯಲು ಬರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ - ಈಗ ಕಲಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿದ್ದೆನೆ!

ನಾನು ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಆಡುಭಾಷೆ ಕನ್ನಡ. ೧೨ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಕಾಲ ವ್ಯಾಸಂಗ ನಡೆಸಿ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ, ಆ ಮೂಲಕ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಇತಿಹಾಸದ ತುಣುಕುಗಳನ್ನು ಮೆಲುಕು ಹಾಕಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಈ ಕಾರಣ ಕನ್ನಡ ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವುದು ಅತಿ ತಕ್ಕದಾದ ಉತ್ತರವಾದರೆ,

ನನ್ನ ಮೆದುಳು ನಡೆಸುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಆಲೋಚನೆಗಳು, ವಿಚಾರ-ವಿಮರ್ಷೆಗಳು, ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಆಂಗ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿಯೆ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಚಿಂತಾಜನಕವಾದ ಸಂಗತಿ! ಈ ಕಾರಣ ಆಂಗ್ಲ ನನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯಾಗಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೆ?

ಆಲೋಚಿಸಬೇಕಾದ ವಿಷಯ ಹೌದು!

ಹಾಗೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಎಂದು ಹೊರಟು, ಒಂದು ಕಷ್ಟಕರ ಸುಳಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಲುಕಿಕೊಂದಿರುವಂತಿದೆ. ಆದರೂ, ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ನಡೆಯಲಿ, ಹಾಗೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ!

24 November, 2011

Journalism, contorted

I was at a book release function of a senior journalist MS Prabhakara, and some lessons on journalism were there to be absorbed. Journalism our generation knows is entirely different from the work that the people in that hall have lived through.

Nupur Basu, raised a concern asking a question; she apprehended, "Where have our generation of journalists gone wrong, that the best practices we adopted have not been carried forward to the contemporary journalists?"
Although the question itself was deemed beyond the scope of the discussions there, it made a mark on me.

The aforementioned apprehension about journalism having gone out of the ethical and passionate ways of reporting events and honestly communicating to the people is of grave concern.

I am a severe critic of the paparazzi mouth pieces of the day, which spew junks of futile brouhaha, brands propaganda and rarely some news which is either "paid", or extensively contorted. A newspaper which fits this description is the largest and pompously read English daily in most of the metros.

P Sainath in one of his talks mentions that the success of this trendsetting newspaper under discussion is that, it was successful in creating an audience of its own - a mirage of Westernization backed by the globalized market bouncing off the neoliberal policy framework. Treading in its path, even today, people read this particular newspaper to feel "urbanized"! Pity.

Influencing public opinion by whatever means is the most important political tool that could be devised. Print media, although mellowing down has substantial impact even today with all the tens of "news channels" (a term that annoys and antagonizes me simultaneously). Reporting honest news and ethical journalism are confined to few publishers, who in the Page3 world not fashionable enough for the gullible population to read.

Although with the intervention of internet, there is not much of polarization in terms of opinions, the perilous impact of bad news in bad form is out there to be seen - Most of the bad newspaper reading readers feel good about the goodness of emulating other populations, without analyzing the good or bad of bad and good of what is served to them! 

22 November, 2011

Disassembling Logic

Well out of the lot many things running in my head competing to get out onto my blog, the following post has made it first and for reasons evident in the following paragraphs.

The question of thoughts, ideas, imagination, rationalization, reality and materialism are eternal queries which keep haunting the small gray web that's built within our heads.

Imagine a discourse, in which someone is trying to put forth these very ideas in the most simplistic manner, and you're wondering "No, this can't be real!", as if transported into The Matrix.

Distinguishing thoughts from reality, although is a natural skill each one is designed with, the exercise of documenting this design as an outsider is super cumbersome. Cumbersome because, as all simple things in life, this notion is easy to experience but sophisticated to express. The essence of expressing obscure concepts is to clarify, but when one sets on a goal to express intuition, or common logic is where the pinnacles of obscurity reside.

The very fact that something is simple, and it comes coded in our genes makes it a part of us, like thoughts for example. Now, if one wants to analyze these thoughts as an outsider, it requires immense expenditure of efforts and a great level of associated detachment from oneself and the community around to treat the self as the subject of study. These are the very processes which seem counter intuitive and end up creating the most scintillating works of research, philosophy and literature.

For instance, Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud, with all the criticism to Psychoanalysis taken into account, is still a marvelous piece of literature which talks about the subject of dreams; here, it is the analysis on the subject and not the subject itself that is expanding into realms of disbelief! Now, one would ask what value is the analysis of, if in the first place there were no subject to analyze! It is precisely on these lines that my current reading is going on :)

In the book Dialectical Logic, one of the best confluence of philosophy, rationality and literature I have ever dealt with, the concepts in it tackle simplest of our notions like thoughts, ideas, rationalization etc.. And the initial flow by itself has taken me aback. I am reading it all along in disbelief. By the time I end up reading this assimilated masterpiece I hope to have fathomed the Dialectics of Logic!

A grand extrapolation to the theory of Coexistence of conflicting opposites.

18 November, 2011

Gabriel Marquez's The General in His Labyrinth

Reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez (GGM) most known for his book One Hundred Years of solitude (I'm yet to read), is an acquired taste I'd say when it comes to this book of his General in His Labyrinth.

After Oscar Wilde's wit in writing, for the style I would certainly endorse GGM's mannerisms of writing. Even the simplest of the observations are presented in a form that is hard to ignore. Metaphors, similes and verbal decorum are plentiful in his verbiage and keeps the readers entertained.

Talking about the content of this book, an interesting topic to write about - The last days of Simon Bolivar. The dusking life of one of the greatest Generals of Latin America is the protagonist of the book. It is not even Simon Bolivar, but all the nuanced insults, regressions and declines he faces towards the end of his life are unsympathetically, as if in a mode of enjoyment are described by GGM through the book.

Personally, for me the content in the book was super negative, and I for obvious reasons do not enjoy such literature. The main savior for the reader like me to savor this book is GGM's style of presentation as mentioned before.

A couple of pages where GGM describes Simon Bolivar's romantic interests, from the perspective of one of the ladies and Simon Bolivar are the most enjoyable. If it was congruence with my own volatile state of mind, or the pleasure of reading some wonderful writing I might not want to probe into, but those are the pages which stand out, and I might want to quote a couple of lines from memory!

He would leave her on any pretext in a foolhardy effect to escape the servitude of formalized love.
I'll never fall in love again.It's like having two souls at the same time.
He went back, knowing he would sink in her quick sands....

And a whole gamut of zeniths of imagination through the book shaping up as pinnacles of verbal creativity:

Dignified decorum of nostalgia
Lost in the lucidity of advanced levels of insomnia
He had buried her at the bottom of a water-tight oblivion as a brutal means of living without her.
He had the patience of a drowned man..

It is things such as these which kept me afloat through the book, and certainly not the hundreds of Latin American names and places which one is expected to correlate to when incidents are narrated.
Now, I for sure know that Geography of places, and History with names and dates are never going to be my domains of expertise!

In all, looking forward to read One Hundred Years of Solitude sometime soon. And GGM will of course be on my list of favorite writers.
When it is pure genius, it shows!

15 November, 2011

Crazy and poetry

I lay here, unaware of the intricacies,
Intertwined with unfathomable intimacies;
While I thought it was, it was you,
You come out as something really new;

Not that I claim I already fully knew,
Did only know better than the other few.
Are you the one I thought you still were,
Or have you juggled yet again like her!

Well, was that a tinge of gleam,
Or am I the oneiric still in my dream?
Why know not, still not know why
Want you here, and do stay by.

If to lose me is to find you dear,
Shed all that you know it as fear.
I am lost, well lost am I?
Confessed I have like the open sky.

Started a rogue, reached here have I
Didn't know the path, nor the reason why.
This way seems not the road too easy,
Ain't it why I'm known to be this crazy!

It's you, and you is all I seek,
You would know it, give my mind a peek.
You're the one, only one you are
Reach me well, before I get too far.

13 November, 2011

Staying inspired!

Inspiration is another of those neural obscurities, directly impacting our daily lives and in the long run shaping up our core principles and our personalities.

Deriving inspiration from multiplicity of sources influences our take on life and molds us into the projections of the images of various of these inspirations.

Nature is the grandest of the sources of inspiration. She has been perpetually inspiring some of the greatest minds to accomplish what ever they were to do. Both in the form of art and science, nature gives boundless inspirations, clues, troubles and joy driving our efforts bidirectionally - within us so that our passion gets deep rooted into us, and beyond us to engulf the world with our passion.

Apart from nature, deriving inspiration from ideas is the next and the best way to keep oneself motivated. Ideas are the most tangible of human attributes, which although not quantifiable by themselves have shaped up our history and have constant influence on our future. Identifying oneself with some of the eternal ideas which weave humanity together is necessary to put ourselves into the context of the journey that we have all embarked upon. When we identify and align our ideologies with a school of thought is when it becomes conducive for us to ideate based on this school of thought, or dissent and influence the rest of the world with our ideas, radically.

Nature and ideas are, to put it in a way inexhaustible sources of inspiration. Nature and ideas have a small disconnect of being abstract to some extent.

But, if a person were to derive inspiration from another human being, the inspiration comes with all the gamut of human potentials and flaws, and emulating them helps one correlate well to the pragmaticity of life.

Again, people and inspiration can be of two variants: One from the lives of people who have been immortalized in the pages of history, for the lives they had. Seeking inspiration by reminiscing such great minds is still an indirect but excellent way to position ourselves in relation to their lives.
Galileo, Newton, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, Einstein,Che Guevara, Feynman, Ramanujan, and the list goes on. Deriving inspiration from these great minds also has the benefit of making abstraction associated with ideas to correlate to real people.

The other category are from our contemporaries and peers. Knowing someone in person and wanting to emulate some portions of that person is in fact the most effective source of inspiration. For, when we know someone in flesh and blood, the efforts that goes into making their lives worth looking up to are visible to us; To know the amount of dedication one needs to put in is something we lose out when seeking inspiration from other abstract means. Sheer luck, or coincidence never can create sources of inspiration in people.

I have been lucky in this regard to have known in person a handful of real inspiring people, and to look up to them - trying to emulate them and in the process knowing that I have grown, is bliss of the highest order.

Staying inspired is the only way of life forward :)

11 November, 2011

Indulging in wordplay

I'm not sure if this is a personal fancy, or if many of you have this trend of favorite words: Some word which occupies your mind, conversations and writings either due to its phonetics, or simply its implications. I regularly have these whimsies, and in most cases end up overwhelmingly using these words in my conversations and writing, with surplus utterances and occurrences!

Indulgence is the first of the words which I remember being obsessed about. There is something to the sound of it and more importantly the essence of it. It still is really special - Just to say it slowly, and passionately!

Other words in my favorite list:
cliche :used it until it became what it means. Now stick to using it when necessary only

highfalutin: I remember the first time I read this was in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. And ever since then, if none of the other fascist ideas,I have been using this word quite effectively.

diaspora: Well the current Diaspora* which I keep talking about did not introduce me to the term :) I think because it is a favorite word that I got hooked on to Diaspora* as well.

jargon: It is more to do with the phonetics of the word. To say it gives a nice sensation in the mouth (no, I'm not crazy, just try it out!)

commandante: Spanish word, from a farewell song to Che Guevara. Admire the the man, love the song, and hence the word

chauvinism : Certainly for phonetic reasons only!

There must be tens more. For now, the current word is phantasmagoria . Although very poor sounding phonetically, like sapiosexual it is an experience revelatory term. So just love it.

06 November, 2011

Mental lethargy: A societal peril

A recent observation which has been groping me in frustration is the mental lethargy as I call it, observed in many of the minds around me. Now, if all of this is a late revelation, or is there an alteration in the perception in people - I know not. What I know is that, it is a deep problem, with profound ramifications.

Firstly, let me articulate the problem as I perceive it:
Mobilizing people for a common cause, without the paparazzi hype and  corporate media incentives, for genuine purposes is one of the most arduous tasks in the ironically 'social network'- ed world. Even if one succeeds in projecting an incentive for the audience, and gets them together at a place, now surfaces a deeper problem : reluctance of the herd to open up their minds.

Without making it abstract, I shall try to convey the fact which is so commonly observed amongst many of us. A sense of reluctance, seemingly emanating out of a tinge of disinterest is gripping a majority around us.
This I would argue is no reluctance or disinterest - it all boils down to an aversion of sorts towards "thinking". Aversion directly based on laziness!

Aversion to think and laziness?
Does it strike as unusual. Well, please shelve the exclamation, for majority of us in reality are lazy, contrary to the third person criticism each one would want to spew out.

While the occasional sense of laziness in physical toil is common and pardonable (in a restricted and relative sense), for not always does one wants to expend physical efforts burning calories and breaking sweat;

But, there is another perilous laziness; This in many cases is permanent and ineradicable: Laziness associated with the mind - An inhibition to think!

While, I do see this as a serious problem, the usual causes which are attributed to it like upbringing, systemic constraints, genetics, etc are superfluous, and serve the least but as an inadequate explanation.

Thinking requires conscious efforts, and focused thinking leaves you with headaches (and me with my migraine attacks!). But, when it is ready made  solution that many of us seek, in most cases endorsing them even without questioning the proposals offered, where is the question of 'thinking' at all here? And this precisely is the demon haunting the "public".

We end up absorbing injudiciously all the views perpetrated by media and the ones in power, we seek a revolution with the least intent of self change, we want solutions without understanding the problems! These regressions that have become not so uncommon today are results of a simple, yet cancerous symptom of "laziness to think!".

Now if I were to be asked what is the solution I have thought of to this problem, I'd invoke Morpheus' line,

I can only show you the door; You're the one that has to walk through it!

It is proactive change that can set a mind free from its shackles of lethargy. If one cannot be inspired to attain this change, as History stands as a witness, man made calamities (fascism & racism) do instigate people to think!

29 October, 2011

The emerging mind, and the overwhelming awe

The ability to be able to do Science is the grandest gift that has been bestowed upon us Homo sapiens, during the course of evolution, while we were trying to 'survive'.

To be able to understand the intricate patterns of the Universe, decipher the codes of the nature, reason out the fallacies in our presumptions and to inch closer to rationality: Are we not gifted enough?
Why do we need any more miracles?

My latest read, that has increased my inquisition about neuroscience is the book, The Emerging Mind - a long pending read I must admit, and it comes in at the right time - when I'm all engrossed in an involuntary and obsessive spree of revelation after revelation. Written by one of the brightest of the neuroscientists - Vilayanur Ramachandran, the book is a must read to all Science afficiondos.

A somewhat gratifying compliment while reading the book is the presumption of the author that his readers are all Darwinians (which I so am), and would make zero sense in case you are a creationist or the "magic wand-life happening" believers!

The book has lot of medical jargon. It was quite a homecoming of sorts, after a gap of few years since my pre-university Biology and the little gyaan I assimilated there!

Knowing about the least known thing - The Human Brain, is an excellent appraisal of realizing where we stand today in terms of understanding everything. Although, this book by itself is highly speculative at certain claims, mostly it is convincing and I must add that the book is a lovely read, overall. Interestingly, the book has an equal number of pages dedicated to Notes , which are interesting case studies.

Another important aspect of the many of the arguments presented are that, they are efficient in disproving some of the exaggerated Freudian ideas and approaches using the physiology (if there's anything of that sort) of the human brain.

So, I am lesser a Freudian, and more in awe of the chronicles and adventures of the human brain after having read this book.

As Feynman puts it, "Wondering at the wonder of wondering" - Isn't the idea of being able to ideate, and to be able to contemplate the process of ideation itself something unbelievable.

The awe I have developed about the wonders of nature, and that is growing exponentially on a daily basis now has another element added to it.The human brain is equally diverse and obscure as the Universe itself. It is not just the awe about the human brain, but one step ahead, the ability of these jellies of neurons to contemplate and dig into the secrets of the universe, and almost as a recursion be able to stand out as a separate entity and wonder at itself! Wow, what an exercise!

Aren't we the miracles, we keep looking for in fables and gospels, stories and fantasies!

27 October, 2011

Advertising genes? LOL!

The incentive for humans to do all that, that is humanely possible to do, has had lots of people speculating in various dimensions. There have been social, economic, philanthropic and biological justifications.

The most entertaining of these, and that is the most convincing as well is the evolutionary perspective.

Organisms, given their conditioning to the law of natural selection, want to transmit the best of the genes  to better the process of evolution and hence playing their part in perpetuating the highest quality genes.

The usual example of peahens being attracted towards peacocks with large, vibrant tails, or giraffes with the longest necks etc... are just the tip of the iceberg of the evidence that's out there in front of us.

Talking about ourselves, the evolutionary gift bestowed on us is the ability to think, imagine and create : Our Intellectual abilities. So, the incentive as directed from the evolutionary force, for each of us to be able to be doing what we do, is to advertise our genes!

This has neuroscientific elucidation; There are certain portions of the modular brain that we are bestowed with abilities to enact the trait of advertising the genes for evolutionary purposes, which end up being subsconscious many a times.

I am so resonating with this idea, that I might concur entirely with this argument ;-)

This makes so much sense, at least to me, or the ones like me: I recently discovered that my saga of amorous infatuations (at least the majority of them), have had a categorization! I wholly belong to a genre of people, coded with a sexual orientation called as "sapiosexual" ( a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others)!

And because I see myself as a sapiosexual, the notion of me advertising my genes (although it sounds ludicrous), seems justifiable ;)

PS: Suggested reads - works of Wilayanur Ramachandran, and of course Charles Darwin.

25 October, 2011

Socially necessary value of oneself

An interesting observation by a fellow rationale was reported to me, about me having a broad network with wide range of people in it (not on Facebook!), but the real people network. Well, even if I was quite aware of this, another aspect of the reporting was about the recognition/id'ing I end up having in this diverse diaspora. As in, the way I value the people in my network, they too I presume value me for some worth in me.

After encountering this idea, I started wondering what is it that makes someone in my network to give heed to my words, observe my actions, and eventually at least pretend that I bear some value to them.

Using a derived idea, I call this "The Socially necessary value of oneself".

Every sect of this network has a commonality between their interests and mine. As long as I am able to cater to the interests of this particular sect, and if I also happen to maintain a gradient, or at least camouflage obscurity as a gradient, the interactions happen in a mutually respectful and responsive manner. The efforts I invest in catering to each of these sects is what I call as the "socially necessary value". This is not me trying to cater to someone else consciously, although that ends up being a ramification. It is more of an exercise of expanding the self.

Now, it might not be a generalization, but based on my interactions for quite a substantial period of time, what I have come to realize is that a gradient helps in getting people to give heed to you. And the more diverse one's realms of gradients are, broader will the diaspora grow into.

The incessant efforts I put in, to keep pace with these other sects conversely are building up my skills and that's not something I might want to complain about.

23 October, 2011

Top 10 songs in the last 50 days

The last  couple of months have washed away all the music famine, a music afficionado like me was facing. I must admit that for quite sometime, before that there was no music whatsoever,that was even audio palatable! And am I not glad now!

Well, there has been AR Rahman, Coldplay, RHCP, Maroon5, some new bands and even a kannada song as well! Here I just am in a playful mood to index these tracks in a seasonal, personal favorite countdown.

10. Days are forgotten from Kasabian's Velociraptor

Wow! This is one of those songs which hook on the very first few seconds you are into it. I haven't been aware of this decade old band-Kasabian;nonetheless now I'm glad. With this song I am going a little retrospective into their discography and pick out all their best. For now, this song is going to be on my playlist for sometime now. The aaaannn-nnnnaaaaaa-aaaa hum is super haunting, and adding to it is a cool video. Days are forgotten!

9. Kathlalli karadige from Yograj Bhat's Paramatma

Well this witty of a kannada track from the movie Paramatma, has all ingredients except the picturisation to become a memorable one (irony is that I had stopped listening to it after seeing the video!). Nonetheless, the song by itself is full of sarcasm, mockery and unheard kannada slang - I just love it!

8. I don't mind from Superheavy's Superheavy

An awesome duet by Mick Jagger and Joss stone with some deep lyric. I can almost visualize AR Rahman playing the keyboard for this one. A haunting bass goes through the song and is one of the most effective songs in recent times. A great venture by the team of Superheavy to mix cultures and give us some vibrant music. Superheavy the album itself is a great listen. And Joss Stone in this song sounds like Dido in the Eminem version of Stan, while Damien Marley sounds the most comprehensible in this track :P

7. Munandhi saaral ni from Harris Jayaraj's 7am Arivu

First and only Tamil song which has been exceptional in the recent months comes from Harris Jayaraj in this tamil biggie. Karthick, one of my favourite singers renders a magical touch to this deeply romantic track picturised on the gorgeous Shruthi Hassan. Looking forward to the entire video, this time!

6. Satyameva jayate from Superheavy's Superheavy

Second of the tracks and first direct one from AR Rahman is this amazing track titled Satyameva Jayate, and gets on to become a peppy number. The main chorus with all the artists singing to an awesome guitar piece sticks to one's head.

5. Moves like Jagger by Maroon5 and Christina Aguilera

Mick Jagger's third time already :D
Although in this one, he's the protagonist, and not the artist. In a tribute to Mick Jagger, Maroon5 collaborates with Christina Aguilera for this hilariously shot video and a great number, it starts with a funky whistle apt to feature Mick Jagger's clones! Although, Christina's vocal contribution to the song ain't much, I'm not unhappy that she's featured in the video ;-)

4. Sada Haq from AR Rahman's Rockstar

Okay! If this comes as a surprise, as in not to have made it to the top - I guess, then there is something better than this awesome track. One of the best guitar leads for an Indian song, from Michael Jackson's lead guitarist Orianthi Panagaris. The lyrics are just ground breaking and I love the way this track catches its tempo - Keeps ascending through the song. Another masterpiece by the genius. It would be apt to mention another track from Rockstar "Naadan parindey" deserves to be somewhere on the list, and most apt would be along with Sada haq. AR at his best in both the tracks.

3. Paradise from Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto

Audience can be led into the closest sensation of musical meditation in contemporary music only by Coldplay. Is Chris Martin's voice magic? I might agree! Chris Martin singing "para para paradise, everytime she closed her eyes" is as magical as something could get. An amazing song, no one but Colplay can do something like this. A great album overall, better than their previous Viva la Vida, and the track Paradise is my favorite in this album.

2. The adventures of rain dance maggie from Red Hot Chilli Peppers' I'm With You

Talk of groove, funk and jump, there's RHCP for you. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie has an impeccable groove through the song and the teasy lyric of RHCP in this song catches on from the very first moment. Further, the classic "Heyyyy noooow" by Anthony is as good as it could get. The casual video on the beaches of California is also something pleasant to watch!

1. Jo bhi main from AR Rahman's Rockstar

Well, if you have not heard this song yet. You might be surprised to listen to it. This is not one of those impulsive songs which you start liking the very first time. This is a classic AR Rahman track which grows onto you, each and everytime you listen to it. Mohit Chauhan's best ever, and a great track in this amazing album. The song gets better with every piece of instrumentation, carried all over really well by Mohit. The song has some profound lyric yet again! This is one of the tracks which will stand the test of time!

20 October, 2011

Revisiting the JanLokpal debate

For some organizational purposes, friends and myself from ITEC visited Justice Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta and a core committee member in the "Team Anna", and I was looking forward to meet him in person after all the initial genuine work he did, and the intrigue grew subsequently after the media portrayed him as the lone anti-corruption crusader.

Warm, humble and sensible are the words adequate to define him.

During the course of our discussion, as I was hoping, the discussion did get routed into the Janlokpal debate.

If some of you have been closely watching the Janlokpal (the debate about the bill, not the TV drama!), the points of contention were about who would be brought into the ambit of the bill. And the media was chewing the cud over and over again about the PM being brought into the ambit of the bill. While more saner heads around were asking everyone else to look at the obvious miscreants, and pull the corporates and now the latest threats NGO's into the bill.

But, the media and NGO's both are run by the Corporatocracy, as is most of the Government itself. And the media has hushed up about these two aspects.

While I was certainly endorsing the idea of bringing the corporates and NGO's into the ambit of the bill, I had presumed that Mr.Santosh Hegde would have adhered only to bringing the PM into the bill (my ignorance), and making it 'stronger'. While we were more on making it 'stronger' and 'sharper'.

It came as a surprise today: The first thing he spoke about while discussing the Janlokpal bill was the fraudulence associated with majority of the NGO's, and how myopic the bill was without bringing in the Corporates into the bill.

His frustration about the NGO's and their parasitic nature of thriving on the misery of others was a lot more sensible than whatever TV appearances he's been making. The venting out against the Corporates with all the work that he's been doing is something that few people have given heed to.

It is intriguing to see how we are all made to believe that the real villain is our saviour.  That is, talking about the role of corporates, who are pretending to be
the nice guys, and acting as if they were the ones who could abolish
poverty (ex, recently the Coca Cola -NDTV school campaign!)...
Irony in the first place is that, it is because of such profit seeking monopolies, that the disparity globe across has grown to this extent.

Bottomline: Corporates need to be brought into the Janlokpal bill, if ever it is going to be implemented.

17 October, 2011

ಯರೂ ಕಾಣದ ಆಪಲ್ ಕಂಡ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್

ಗಣಕಗಳನ್ನು  ಜನಸಾಮನ್ಯರು ಬಳಸಲು ಅನುಕೂಲವಾಗುವಂತೆ ತಯಾರಿಸುವುದಾಗಿ ಹೊರಟ ಆಪಲ್ ಕಂಪನಿಯು, ಗಣಕ ಮತ್ತು ತನ್ನ ಇನಿತ್ತರ ಉತ್ಪನ್ನಗಳ ಸ್ವರೂಪಕ್ಕೆ  ಅತಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಪ್ರಾಮುಖ್ಯತೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟರು. ಈ ಕಾರಣ ಆಪಲ್  ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಿದ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನವು  ಗ್ರಾಹಕರಿಗೆ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರತೆ ಇಲ್ಲದಿರುವ , ಅತಿ ದುಬಾರಿಯಾದ ಉತ್ಪಾದನೆಗಳನ್ನು ತಯಾರಿಸಿ, ಗ್ರಾಹಕರಿಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಚಟದಂತೆ ಬೆಳೆದ ಆಪಲ್ ಕಂಪನಿಯ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾಪಕರಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಖ್ಯರಾದ  ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್  ,ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ನಿಧನರಾದರು.

ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್  ನಿಧನರಾದಂತೆ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಅವರ ಕೀರ್ತನೆಯು ನದಿಯಂತೆ ಹರಿಯಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿತು. ಈ ವರದಿಗಳನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ನಂಬುವುದಾದರೆ ,ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್  ೨೧ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದ ನ್ಯೂಟನ್,  ಐನ್ ಸ್ಟೈನ್, ಎಡಿಸನ್ ಎಂದು ಹೋಲಿಸಿ ಹೊಗಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅದೇ ಸಮಯ ಹಲವಾರು ಬುಧ್ದಿ ಜೀವಿಗಳು ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರ ಕೆಲಸ ವ್ಯೆಖರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ಅವರ ಸೃಜನಶೀಲತೆಯನ್ನು ತೀಕ್ಷ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಟೀಕಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ .

ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರನ್ನು  ಹೊಗಳುವುದೇ, ಅಥವಾ ಟೀಕಿಸುವುದೇ?

ಅವರ ಜೇವನ ಮತ್ತು ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಿದರೆ , ಈ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗೆ ಉತ್ತರ ಸುಲಭವಾಗಿ ಅರಿವಾಗುವುದು. ಒಬ್ಬ ಗಣಕ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನಿಯಿಂದ ಆಪಲ್ ಮತ್ತು ಪಿಕ್ಸರ್ ನಂತಹ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಾಕಾರದ ಕಂಪನಿಗಳನ್ನು  ಬೆಳೆಸಿರುವುದು ಒಂದು ದೃಷ್ಟಿಕೋಣದಲ್ಲಿ  ದೊಡ್ಡ ಸಾಧನೆಯಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಿದರೆ. ಕ್ಯಾನ್ಸರ್ ನಂತಹ ರೋಗದಲ್ಲಿ ನರಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗಲೂ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋರಾಡಿ ಜನಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರಗಿ ಒಂದು ಸ್ಪೂರ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಒದಗಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಆದರೆ , ಅವರು ಈ ಸಾಧನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ಹೇಗೆ, ಎಂಬ ವಿಷಯವನ್ನು ಯಾವ ಮಾದ್ಯಮಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಚರ್ಚಿಗೊಳಗಾಗುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ.

ಕ್ರಿಯಾಶೀಲತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸೃಜನೆಶೀಲತೆಯು ಬೇರೆಯವರಿಂದ ಅನುಕರಣೆ ಮಾಡುವುದೇ ಅವರ ಕಂಪನಿಯ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣವೆಂದು ಒಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರು ,ಅವರ ಕಂಪನಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಉತ್ಪಾದನೆಗೊಂಡ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಉತ್ಪನ್ನವೂ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ತಂತ್ರಾಂಶವು ಗ್ರಾಹಕರಿಗೆ ಕಡಿವಾಣ ಹಾಕಿದಂತೆ ಇವೆ. ಅವರು ಮಾಡಿದ ಅನುಕರಣೆ ಹಾಗು ಅದರಿಂದ ಪಡೆದ ಲಾಭವನ್ನು, ತಮ್ಮ ಗ್ರಾಹಕರು ಪಡೆದು, ಬೆಳೆಯದಂತೆ ಒಂದು ಕಾರಾಗೃಹವನ್ನೆ ನಿರ್ಮಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ತಂತ್ರಾಂಷ ಆಂದೋಲನದ , ರಿಚರ್ಡ್ ಸ್ಟಾಲಮನ್ ರವರು ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರನ್ನು  ಕುರಿತು "ಗಣಕವನ್ನು ಕಾರಾಗೃಹ ಮಾಡಿದ ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರು ನಿಧನರಾದ ಮೇಲಾದರೂ ಅವರ ಕಂಪನಿ ತಾಂತ್ರಿಕ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರತೆಯನ್ನು  ತನ್ನ ಗ್ರಾಹಕರಿಗೆ ಒದಗಿಸಲಿ ಎಂದು ಅಶಿಸೋಣ " ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಗ್ರಾಹಕರ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇಂಚಿತ್ತೂ ಆಲೋಚಿಸದೆ , ಲಾಭವೇ ತನ್ನ  ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಗುರಿ ಎಂದು ಗಗನಾಂತರ ಬೆಳೆಯುತ್ತಿರುವ ಆಪಲ್ ಕಂಪನಿಯಂತಹ  ದ್ಯೆತ್ಯವನ್ನು  ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಿರುವ ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರನ್ನು , ಬಂಡವಾಳಶಾಹಿ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮವು ತನಗೆ  ಬೇಕಾದಂತೆಯೇ ಒಬ್ಬ ನಾಯಕನನ್ನು ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡು, ಪ್ರಚಾರ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದೆ.

ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್ ರವರು ವಯಕ್ತಿಕವಾಗಿ ಹೋರಾಡಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಲವಾರು ಸಾಧನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿದರು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿವುದಾದರೂ, ಆ ಸಾಧನೆಗಳ ಮೂಲ ಆಧಾರ ಎನು? ಎಂಬುದು ಆಲೋಚಿಸ ಬೇಕಾದ ವಿಷಯ.ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದಲ್ಲಿ  ಅಸ್ವತಂತ್ರತೆಯನ್ನು  ಸೇರಿಸಿ ಕಲುಷಿತಗೊಳಿಸಿದ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನಿ ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಜಾಬ್ಸ್, ಎಂದು  ಸಮಾಜದ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಾಳಜಿಯಿರುವ ಇರುವವರೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಒಪ್ಪುವರು.

ಹಿನ್ನುಡಿ: ಜನಶಕ್ತಿ ವಾರಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗೆ ನಾನು ಬರೆದ ಲೆಖನ 

13 October, 2011

Mistrust and Marketing

The notion across the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries, and more so amongst the consuming end-users is that Marketing in essence is the pinnacle of product development; And that without this piece of gimmickry there would be not much of value that could be associated to the technology itself; This is I must argue the most flawed of the perceptions that is around. This perception, of course has been perpetrated by the current modes of economic models in business.

Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development (wikipedia).

Because it is from Wikipedia, it gives the average accepted definition of marketing. Nonetheless, the point is how far have we taken this strategy? What are the ethics it is based on?

Putting this question on hold for sometime, let us also analyse a close associate, or a jargon sometimes interchangeably used with marketing : "Advertising".

This facet of product market, which actually is an interface between the industry and consumers has lost its original purpose;

Advertising was supposed to be simply a means of propaganda; While the necessity of propaganda itself is quite debatable, I am on the YES side  of the debate. It would merely, but importantly serve as a means of spreading awareness in its original form. When the market is flooded with products, simple advertising gives consumers a choice. Presuming that there is no fraudulence associated with this information, it presents itself as the entropy using which people make their choices.

Getting back to the question of Marketing, the tricks it engages in are directly oriented at manipulating these very choices, by altering the nature of information entropy, propagated via advertising!
Marketing in today's global markets has gained a definition something on the lines of "verbiage deception, accomplished euphemistically".

If the reader has already noticed there is extensive cynicism that has been exhibited on this post about marketing. The root of this cynicism is something psychological, and only is a special case of mistrust.

When relations involve money, the chances that mistrust creeps in are higher. It is natural for the human psyche to perceive it that way.
A talk by Lawrence Lessig on these lines would substantiate my claims better. 

The unwritten rule of marketing in the current context is to hide flaws and maximize profits. And it is such trickery that has appended this extent of cynicism to the act of marketing!

Over this discourse, an impression of me being highly prejudiced against marketing must have surfaced. This is in no manner a prejudice alone. First hand experience and some rudimentary understanding of the system has what enabled me to argue on these lines.

To see what some of us see, you will need to look through a different paradigm. A paradigm where people come first, and not commodities or profits.

11 October, 2011

ಸೂರ್ಪಣಂಗು : ಒಂದು ಪ್ರಭಾವಶಾಲಿ ನಾಟಕ

ಹಲವಾರು ದಿನಗಳ ನಂತರ, ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು ಬರೆಯುತ್ತಿರುವೆನು. ಈ ಲೇಖನವು ಒಂದು ತಮಿಳು ನಾಟಕದ ಕುರಿತು ಎಂಬುದು ವಿಶೇಷ. ಸೂರ್ಪಣಂಗು ಎಂಬ ತಮಿಳು ನಾಟಕ ಇತ್ತೀಚಿಗೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ರವೀಂದ್ರ ಕಲಾಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಲಾಯಿತು.

ನನಗೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಹೊಸದಾದ ವಿಚಾರಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಮಹತ್ವದ ದ್ರಿಷ್ಟಿಕೋನಗಳು ಈ ನಾಟಕ ಹಾಗು ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರಿದ್ದ ಜನರಿಂದ ಅರಿವಾಯಿತು.

ಸಮಾನತೆ ಎಂಬುದು, ಬರಿಯ ಪಠ್ಯ ಸೀಮಿತ ವಿಚಾರವಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಹಲವಾರು ವರ್ಗದ ಜನರು ತಮ್ಮ ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಹೋರಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಒಂದು ವರ್ಗದ ಹೋರಾಟದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಈ ನಾಟಕದ ಆಯೋಜಕರ ಮೂಲಕ ತಿಳಿದು ಕೊಂಡೆನು.

ಲೈಂಗಿಕ ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರು ಮತ್ತು ಅವರುಗಳ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ತೊಂದರೆ, ಕಷ್ಟಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಹೋರಾಟಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಒಂದು ಇಣುಕು ದೊರಕಿತು. ಅಕ್ಕೈ ಪದ್ಮಶಾಲಿ ಅವರು ಲೈಂಗಿಕ ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರಲ್ಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬರಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಅವರ  ಅಂಗೀಕಾರ, ಹಕ್ಕು, ಮತ್ತು ಸಮಾನತೆಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಸಂಗಾತಿಯರೊಂದಿಗೆ ನಡೆಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಜನಾಗೃತಿ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯು ಅರಿವಾಯಿತು. ಇಂತಹ ಅಸಮಾನತೆಗಳ ಗೂಡಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆದಿರುವ ನಮ್ಮ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಪಾತ್ರವೇನು ಎಂದು ಆಲೋಚಿಸುವ ಅವಕಾಶವಾಗಿ ಈ ಅನುಭವ ಒದಗಿತು.

ಸೂರ್ಪಣಂಗು ನಾಟಕವು ಕನ್ನಡ ರಂಭೂಮಿಯೊಳಗೆ ತಮಿಳು ರಂಗಕ್ರಿಯೆಯ ಅನುಸಂಧಾನವೆಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಿ, ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತಿಸಿದರು . ನಾಟಕ ಗ್ರಾಮೇಣ ಮತ್ತು ಶುದ್ಢ ತಮಿಳಿನಲ್ಲಿದುದರಿಂದ, ನನಗೆ ವಚನ, ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆಗಳು ಅರ್ಥವಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಮಾತೃ ಭಾಷೆಯಾದರೂ ಇಂತಹ ಅವಸ್ಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನನ್ನ ತಮಿಳು :-)

ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗದಿದ್ದರೂ ನಟರ ಅಭಿನಯವು ಯಥಾರ್ಥವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಗ್ರಾಮೇಣ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಬ್ಬಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ಹಸಿವು, ಕ್ಷಾಮ, ಬರ ಮತ್ತು ಜೇವನದ ದೈನಂದಿನ ಹೋರಾಟಗಳನ್ನು  ಅತಿ ಪ್ರಭಾವಶಾಲಿಯಾಗಿ ಅಭಿನಯಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಆ ಪ್ರಭಾವವು ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕರಾದ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ತೇವ್ರತೆಯಿಂದ ಬಿಗಿ ಹಾಕಿತ್ತು. ಹಲವಾರು ದೃಶ್ಯಗಳು ನೋಡುಗರನ್ನು ತಳಮಳಗೊಳಿಸಿತು. ಹೆಂಗಸರಿನ ಮೇಲಿನ ದೌರ್ಜನ್ಯ, ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ಅತ್ಯಾಚಾರ ಇಂತಹ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳು ನಿಜವಾಗಿದ್ದರು ಅದನ್ನು ಒಂದು ಪ್ರಭಾವಶಾಲಿ ನಾಟಕದ ಮೂಲಕ ಕಾಣುವುದು ಬಹಳ ಕಷ್ಟಕರವೆನಿಸಿತು ನನಗೆ.
ಸುಮಾರು ಎರಡು ಗಂಟೆಗಳ ಕಾಲ ಗಾಢವಾದ ಪರಿಶ್ರಮ  ಮತ್ತು ಉತ್ತಮ್ಮ ಪ್ರತಿಭೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಿದ ನಟರು ಮತ್ತು ಅವರ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನವು ಮನದಾಳದಲ್ಲಿ ನೆಲೆಸಿದೆ. ನಾಟಕಕಾರರು ಪಡುವ ಪರಿಶ್ರಮವನ್ನು ನಾವು ಉತ್ತೇಜಿಸಿ ಬೆಂಬಲಿಸಬೇಕು. ಹಾಗು, ಇಂತಹ ನಾಟಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಲ್ಪಡುವ ಸಂಗತಿಯನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಜೇವನದಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು ಸಂಧರ್ಭ ಬಂದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಳವಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು, ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಧಾರಣೆಯನ್ನು ತರಲು ನಮ್ಮಿಂದಾಗುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನವನ್ನು ಪಡಬೇಕು.

05 October, 2011

And down grounds the ego...

While it all seems like a frictionless glide, allowing the ego to swell to the fullest and the momentum to go full throttle, there comes a necessary prick. A prick which deflates everything that's swollen and grounds the now helium filled ego down to an equilibrium point. It hits like an unseen obstacle on the forehead; RSVP's a serendipitous encounter with the ever humble, unfaking, simple revelation: The Reality.

When unchecked, the chances of losing oneself in his/her own oneiric world, detached from the roots of reality are extremely high. Such a state is not only temporary, it also erodes the quality of the time to come.

The constant cognizance of the fact that we are nothing but deep voids,and no amount of straw filling can even begin filling up these voids must be borne always. The scale of learning, growing and disseminating each one engages in is miniscule, when compared to all that is yet to be sought.

Vanity in relative superiority is perilous, and there should be only the aspect of pride when appraised with oneself. The metric should always be ourselves; never should we delve into relative comparison. By saying this I don't imply to endorse 'hypocrisy with a tinge of humility', but only the realization of the cliched fact that "Known is a drop, and unknown is an ocean".

Relative comparison either puts one in a deludingly superior position, or a depressingly inferior position; Both of these are unnecessary when one thrives to increase and make positive the rate of growth of the self at this instant, when compared to some recent point in time in the past.

02 October, 2011

Information gradient

Asymmetric Polarization has been a certain trait of society, as far as all the documented history of human race have revealed. This conscious polarization of the society into one small advantageous section, and a large suppressed section has been true since the times of patriarchal settlements to the current civilized democracies.

Creating a gradient in the society using various manipulable parameters, with an ultimate motive of facilitating oppression has been the unwritten rule throughout. The parameters, which have been manipulated at various epochs of History have been different: Class, Caste, Gender, Land, industries, and today we are at a point where Information is this gradient causing agent.

Controlled knowledge as misinformation, and suppressed information in the form of secrets have become the weapons of 'mass' destruction in today's Information society. While there is information mining on certain type of information using all means possible; there is also an astronomical way of suppressing another kind of information.

Stuck in the middle of this Information Revolution, most of us are the ignorant technologists paradoxically driving the motors of this oppression regime. Like I usually end up saying,
The problem often is not arriving at the solution, but in many cases realizing the existence of the problem itself!

Even in this case, the lack of cognizance amongst us about the perils of the information gradient, that we are very much a part of, is of more concern than even the contemplation on the solution to this threat.

As instances of whistleblowing, RTI's and WikiLeaks in general have shown the ever increasing risks involved with the just attempts of declassifying high level classified information should put us at alert, and we must begin to analyze the inertness of ourselves and the hyperactivity of the suppressors who would in turn manipulate and try disabling us!

We help build the gradient which is favourable to them, while ironically is perilous to ourselves.

30 September, 2011

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Is Oscar Wilde one of the greatest writers ever?
Certainly, yes!

The first of his work  which I have read is the uncommon fiction The Picture of Dorian Gray, which serves more as a critique on the etiquette of the 19th century English society, which is more relevant today than even when it was written.

This is an extraordinarily written story about a naive, young man and his tryst with narcissism, which turns him into a devil from within, while still retaining his physical appearance. Narcissism, and the consequences of mad obsession of one's own physical appearance and addiction to pleasure without gauging the rights and wrongs are the rest of the book, ingeniously written.

Apart from the exceptional plot, the consistent wit associated with every parable puts the reader at awe, incessantly. Especially the philosophical discourse, a character Lord Henry spills throughout are unbelievably witty, although the morals of the same could be severely debated.

This work by Oscar Wilde is a tribute to youth of people, as was his entire life. The vanity, curiosity and hypocrisy of the protagonist, which the narration elucidates are the manifestations of the life and personality that Oscar Wilde was.

Oscar Widle, as an author, to have written and to have endorsed this work in the 1890 is something of a great achievement by itself.

A personal favorite passage towards the end of the book; It stands out while reminiscing the book.

Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play--
I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend. Browning writes about that somewhere; but our own senses will imagine them for us.....
The world has cried out against us both, but it has always worshipped you. It always will worship you. You are the type of what the age is searching for, and what it is afraid it has found. I am so glad that you have never done anything, never carved a statue, or painted a picture, or produced anything outside of yourself! Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets

25 September, 2011

Stop. Look. Proceed

An apprehension that has been perpetually haunting me, from the time I remember my own conscious thoughts is the sensation of having done so little, while there's so much more to do be done. Even in some previous posts I must have expressed this private concern. The apprehension is neither exaggeratedly confined at the macroscopic level, or simply at introspective level. It is a boundary less visualization of everything, including the task of realizing my own potentials to the fullest.

I do not look at this as a question of  accomplishments or unquenched goals. These are voids which I know I can fill with with my efforts. For some inexplicable reasons I feel as if I am running late - Sometimes, as if I have started late!

Today for reasons symbolic only, the day is an epochal one to me. And although symbols are mere symbols, they serve to highlight some specialty associated with their endorsements; It is such symbols which serve the purpose of revealing aspects of ourselves to us.

Will this remembrance serve as a wake up call to some extent? Not sure. But, I would certainly strive to get better, in all regards.

23 September, 2011

Comprehending fear

Over a casual discussion with a friend, which as usual ended up being vibrantly philosophical, the question of fear and the sources of fear surfaced up. A consistent definition used by me, did fit the context well: Ignorance.

Ignorance, adding to its list of accomplished human vulnerabilities also is the certain root cause of fear.

While obscurity and lack of clarity can be attributed to natural curiosity and inquisition, ignorance and misinterpretation can conveniently be attributed to fear.

And this aspect of ignorance when left to grow, will mature (or can i say immature!) as fear, to become one of the most efficient instruments of exploitation at our disposal.

Oppression in the name of classes, castes, race, color have all been possible because institutionalization of fear emanating out of  ignorance has been transformed into reality. Inequality coupled with ignorance can be used to force a reign of fear upon people, as History stands to testify.

Conquering ignorance, and invading into the exciting realms of reasoning is the scientific penance each one must consciously be engaged in. Enlightenment is not an spasmodic transformation, it is a gradual revelation!


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