Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reserved Statements

Just when I thought I was finally out of all the reservation mess, when I thought that post graduation would finally be the place where I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my hard-earned merit seat to some one who barely managed to clear the entrance exam and just when the trauma of being born in an “Upper Class” family was passing and I was licking my wounds, our Honorable Prime Minister announced a bill which would ensure that the ordeal continues for a lifetime or at least as long as I live in my dear motherland.

It’s not just me, but thousands of other “Upper Class” guys have faced the same torment sometime in their lives. It’s not only the students that suffer even the working people are often sidelined at their work place to create an opportunity for a person who does not deserve it.

Now I’m not being a casteist or racialist, I have no qualms with studying or working next to a person deemed to be of a lower caste or race. Nor do I feel that they should not get a fair chance. But what bothers me is that due to the reservations intellectually lower class get in places where they are not needed. Imagine a doctor or an architect who cannot score well in a relatively simple entrance exam yet getting in due to reservations, then scraping through the course only to land a fine job which someone else deserved. Now won’t such a doctor be more of a health hazard to the patients who willingly give the reins of their lives in his hands? Or would Mr. Singh dare to live in a house designed by an architect who has trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler?

Can a person be creative because he gets in some institute on reservations only and not on talent? Or can a scientist be created out of an idiot who had difficulty passing the 6th standard science paper? For those of you who are stupid enough to not be able to answer this, the answer is NO! I have seen people, my own classmates who got in on reservations, going through the tricky subjects of biotechnology without understanding a word, cheating in the exams and landing a fine government job without much sweat. The others, me included, managed to get a report card worth framing but are still looking for a decent seat in a post graduation school or wondering how much longer will we have to roam around with the unemployed tag.

“Life is not about getting opportunities, it’s about being worthy of them.”

-Varun (2006)

I agree India has a long history of oppressions against the “lower castes”. When India became independent, we needed the reservations as opportunities for these people were almost non existent and they needed the exposure. But now 60 years later do we still need them? In today’s cut throat competition, is it really fair that completely useless people get education and jobs that they don’t deserve?

(i know it seems a bit late to publish this but i like working at my own pace ok?)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Feedback required

In my efforts to revive this (unfortunately) dying blog, i have as you must have noticed, begun by changing the look and deleting some crappy posts.

Please give me a feed back...

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

This I mine, mine, all MINE!!!

A visit to the Barista in Koregaon Park yesterday with a few ‘old’ friends proved to be more than just catching up. Returning home that night, I could not help falling prey to all the nostalgia aroused me that evening. This one was a bit different than the usual nostalgia attacks. This one really ‘attacked’!

Though we spent the evening discussing the happy moments, I somehow could not help thinking about the other ‘sad’ events. These fortunately included only my own creations over time. The times when I acted really silly, stupid et al., the times when I said sorry to someone (and really meant it). If any of ‘those’ people are reading this then I only want to clarify that though I was really sorry for the trouble caused by me to them, I was and still am NOT at all sorry for the actual event. The crimes like lying, stupidity, stalking, hacking, impersonation, idiotic birthday cards and thoughtless emails which ever I sent etc. are after all my own faults. And like any other creation of mine, I am very much possessive of them. I don’t think ill ever want to undo any of it if given a change to manipulate time.

The only things that bother me is the fallout of these follies- Ex-Friends who fail to show any recognition, best friends who went back to being just acquaintances and others with whom a have simply lost touch. These are the things I would like to undo.

Since time manipulation is a far away concept, I would like to now start, at this very moment to get these ‘friends’ back. Not that I have a lack of good friends (its really a miracle, how many well wishers I still have!) its just that I have finally realized that there can NEVER be enough of them! Every one of them, no matter how bad or boring is precious.

So once more to all my friends, present and past, I appeal; Let us unite once more just the way we were in the days of yore!

(btw sorry for the stupid wording… it’s just one of my ‘I just couldn’t help it’ things)

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Atheism (Part 1) : Why we Bother…

Why active atheism? Why go out into the world proclaiming a lack of belief for all ears to hear? What difference does it make if people know I am an atheist or not? If I'm not trying to convert people (I'm not), why bother mentioning it? Why frequent atheist posts? Why join and form organizations? Why read books about atheism? For that matter, why are there books about atheism? Why try to explain about atheism to people who just cannot share my view? Why not just sit down, shut up, and let the world roll along?

There are many questions there, but they all really boil down to the same one. Why do I work for atheism? I'm not making any money. I'm probably not going to change the world. But like many others I persist in doing it anyway.

There is one very simple reason for this. I believe in myself. I believe in the ability of the human race to change. I believe that knowledge and acceptance are the keys to the future of the Indian society. For that matter, I believe those things are the future of human society in general. Knowledge and acceptance of what, you might ask. It is that which is different which most frightens people. That which is different, and therefore easily vilified, diminished, and derided.

Atheism is different. Although it has existed for centuries, it is little known and understood by the majority of today's people. So misunderstood is this philosophical stand, in fact, that many people associate atheism solely with communism and cannot envision the two separately. Those in the know realize that communism may have used atheism, but atheism is not ideologically dependent on communism. The Communists did not invent atheism; they just borrowed it.

One of the best reasons for atheist activism, especially the educational brand, is the public perception and understanding of atheism. Some people believe that atheists are wicked, immoral, or ignorant. Others believe that atheists are devil-worshippers, or that we are against society and the religious. A good part of the duty of the atheist activist is what can rightly be considered public relations. It is necessary for our acceptance, as a part of society that people be aware of who and what we are.

Atheists also have a duty to each other. What people of a religious persuasion get in church, atheists must give each other. We deserve a sense of community. Likewise, we need a sense of companionship with those of a like mind. This is part of the purpose of forming and joining atheist organizations. This is also a good portion of the reason that we have web sites, message boards, and mailing lists. They allow us to exchange thoughts and ideas with atheists all across the nation and the world. Through this we can know that we are not alone. Through this we can share our trials, and comfort others who go through the same.

So we see that it is not possible for atheists to simply sit down and shut up. In fact, it is necessary for our place in society, and as people, to stand up and speak out. Without this presence in the world, no one can know us. No one would be able to understand us. And we would be unable to influence the world around us.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Religious Brainwash (Part III)

Today I would like to ask all the believers one question. Is God one? If yes ill skip to the next question: Has he (God) created every bit of the universe? again if you answer yes, then i ask you, how come we still have religious wars? what the hell is this jihad? why were the crusades fought? and what the hell does VHP and RSS like groups keep preaching? If all humans are created by your god and if you agree there is no one else, doesnt it mean all humans are alike? and all the gods they pray to are alike too? then why do we have all this communal voilence? why do people try to convert one another? why do people resist conversion? because either way they are going to end up praying to the same god, right? And Finally why is the Almighty just watching over his little creations as they kill each other? Are they his pawns for enjoyment or is it just a "Test"!!


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Religious Brainwash (Part II)

Recently a friend sent me a cd containing an hour long video of a certain psychic, who used his powers to perform 'surgeries' patients. these surgeries are performed on stage in front of hundreds of witnesses using bare hands. It goes on something like this. The 'healer' asks the patient to lie down. his assistant the exposes the patient's belly and washes it with something I feel is an antiseptic. after that the 'healer' concentrates and using his bare hands inserts his fingers into the stomach. Immediately 'blood' begins to ooze out, which the assistant continually keeps wiping off. after a few minutes of groping around, the healer removes some blackish jelly like mass (reminds me of a fragment of chicken intestine) with one hand while keeping the other hand pressed inside the patient. The black mass
is labelled as 'negative energy' and is discarded by the assistant. meanwhile the 'healer' continues to grope around and then removes his hands. The assistant then wipes off the bloody belly with a rag and the patient is ready to go. there is no scar, no sign of any injury. The patient immediately feels good and the crowd cheers.

Now all this can be explained as follows:

1) Psychic never actually inserts his hands inside. Its a trick just like any other trick used by stage magicians. careful observation of some of the videos shows his fingers folded.

2) The blood is stage blood contained in capsules, which he breaks open while 'groping inside'. One of the video clearly shows him breaking something in his fingers seconds before the blood flows out.

3) the patient, who is clearly a believer in the system, believes that she is cured and feels good.just like a placebo- where a doctor sometimes gives pills with no medicinal value to patients.

Anyway anyone who would like to see the video for themselves, can contact me. The real reason for this post is that i hurts me when people blindly go after these false 'cures'. By the way if you are thinking- "Who would be stupid enough to believe this" , then i got news for you. this psychic (and many others like him) have thousands of followers. thousands of people will travel all the way to Indonesia and pay millions of rupees as donations, to get the 'treatment'. My sincere appeal to everyone is- Please do not patronise such f****** cheats.

More on this later...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Religious Brainwash (Part I)

Ok so everyone who knows me well knows that even though studying myths and
religions is my favourite pastime, I am a non-believer and totally anti
religion. I feel religion is the refuge of the weak minded who feel
comfortable to 'know' that there exists someone higher who will take care of
them all the time. naturally this 'almighty' has a favourite pastime of
'testing' his followers once in a while- Convenient excuse for the mind. I
ask you, when is any test carried out? when you don't know something and
want to find out. like a teacher tests students to find out how well they
have understood; a chemist will test his chemicals to find out what it
contains etc. So why does God have to test us? isn't he supposed to already
know it all? I feel its just a way of reassuring ourselves, when we are
troubled, that god is there for us all the time except now because it is a
'TEST'. Gross Hogwash, I say...

All religions, be it Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or any other, have always
suppressed the basic sense and instincts of people to actually fairly judge
for themselves what is right and wrong. Basically all religions teach us the
difference between right and wrong. Every religion has some kind of 'God'
and 'Satan', Some kind of 'Heaven' and 'Hell'. These concepts are purely
human made to influence the people's judgements. Tell them what is right and
scare them from doing the 'wrong'. Who chooses right and wrong? why should
someone else tell me what is right and wrong? Did the people, before the
religions came up, choose wrong paths only? Do the animals do only wrong?

Thats all for now, there will be more on this subject later... Keep reading.
Feedback will be appreciated.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

“I am SORRY”

I guess probably the most difficult words to pronounce are ‘I am Sorry’. Actually its just the ‘Sorry’ part. The orther 2 are very easy to use and most often the overuse of them causes a situation where one has to apologise to someone. Coming back to the difficult word, let me analyse it. Sorry- spelt S-O-R-R-Y and pronounced as (sor’ē) according to linguists is one of the so called Magic Words- words which will mend anything. Isn’t that what we all learnt in nursery school? We were told to say sorry for any damned thing we do. Soon it becomes so much a part of our daily speech that people use it just like they use ‘shit’ or ‘damn’ or ‘fuck’. I got a cousin who will say sorry at least every third sentence. So much is it a part of her parlance that she hardly realises when she says it. I took her example but she is not the only one. People like her take the ‘magic’ out of the word and give the word the same value as ‘shit’ or ’damn’ or ’fuck’. Recently I was playing for a football academy for almost 2 years. The coach made us utter the word sorry for every mistake made on the field. Soon it was so much a part of the game that we would say sorry (to no one in particular) for anything ranging from mistakes like misjudging the ball, hitting someone with the ball or something else too hard (intentionally and unintentionally), scoring an own goal to even not cutting our nails. Since 99.99% or these sorrys came only from habit and not from the heart, it was difficult to tell whether the other guy means it or not. Actually it was even difficult to guess if we ourselves meant it or not!! In anycase the habit stuck on and until recently when I caught myself saying sorry to the wall for hurting my knee on it, I would say the silly word for any thing closely reeking of a mistake.

The other kind of ‘straight-from-the heart’ SORRY that I mentioned earlier, is very difficult. Today I want to seize this opportunity to say it to all the people whom I owe atleast one serious apology. I say it again ‘I AM SORRY FOR ALMOST ALL THE WRONG THINGS I HAVE DONE TO YOU, PLEASE FORGIVE ME’

There done. I doubt ill ever be able to say it once again.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Practical Education

What do you study?, How much did you score in your last exam? When you open a book and study it do you do it to get marks only or to learn something?  Can you really use your knowledge in your daily life?

            Although the answers to the above questions will vary with each reader, the most common (honest) answers to the last question are ‘not really’ and ‘I don’t really know’. So then what is the best way to ‘know’? There can be many ways but there is only one that I preach and have always put into practice (with good results!). Sceptics may say I am destructive and nasty but hey I have never indulged into sabotage and arson. My method does not need Practical use but only Practical thinking.

            I say the best way to check if you really know is to apply it. More often than not this application, if for destructive purpose, proves to be the best teacher. After all what are hackers, professional saboteurs, and spies? These are men with deep knowledge of their subject. These are the best computer programmers, chemists, engineers, psychologists and skilled craftsmen. These are men who use their knowledge to the fullest because they are working against the best. They cant afford to make mistakes as this would not only lead to failure of their mission, but will also lead to exposure, jail, and even execution. These are no extraordinary men. Extraordinary men aren’t born in such large numbers, so frequently. Instead these are everyday people whose best skill is their planning. They take care of every detail of execution. Each possibility and impossibility is thought of and escape routes are charted out. But then ofcourse to accomplish such a mammoth task the knowledge of a polymath is essential.

            Now lets see how we can apply this in our minds. Here I assume that none of us is of the ‘destructive’ types, so how does the knowledge of sabotage help us ‘peaceful’ varieties? Key lies in planning. I say only planning and NOT actual execution. Strong imagination helps, or shall I say- is a pre-requisite for this task. Let me illustrate with an example-

            Imagine you see a car. What do you observe? Its brand, power and accessories? Well that too but think deeper. Think of different ways you can damage the car. Yes, one way is to take a club and beat it to junk. But why not be a tad more creative? Go deeper, say how do you do it undetected? How do you ensure that both the car and the driver gets junked? Lets just take one example of what I mean. Of course there are thousands of possibilities but I’ll just give one example. How about cutting off the brake cable? But wait wont the driver realise that the brakes are limp? To do the damage high speed must be attained. So now what if we cut the cable halfway? How many times can the brake be deployed before it finally snaps? Here’s where your polymath capacity has to kick in. Engineers and physicists with knowledge of the strength of materials can do this. Come on apply your knowledge. Again use your mind to judge how many time your victim will have to deploy the brakes before he reaches a part when he can gain enough speed. Use your traffic sense. You don’t need to be a student of psychology to know that women drivers use the brakes more often and also use it harder. Ok ill stop here but just remember that the possibilities are endless. You just have to explore them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The power of comments:

How to instil a thought in someone’s mind secretly? Very easy- using the power of commenting. Many of us have this usually unknown quality in us and others can easily develop it with a bit of practice.
Now what do I actually mean? How will this help us?

Well I mean exactly what I said. Nothing hidden in this one buddy! And then coming to its usefulness…read on!
How many times did you feel that someone should think about/ regret/ or just realise something that you know is right? Or ever felt the need to change a person’s thoughts? I am sure everyone did, at some point of their lives. Speaking for myself…I use it all the time. This way I get people to think what I want them to think, get some idea while believing it was their own idea all the time or sometimes (rarely I swear!!) to get people to believe that what was originally their idea is actually mine. ;)

Now coming to the actual process…Its very simple. Just make a simple sounding statement which the other person will hear or read and then wait or a moment for it to sink in. the moment a counter point is introduced, break it off by introducing a silly everyday topic. Continue doing so for a little time. Then leave. Just before leaving say something that will sound a little weird but related to your target topic. After this leave immediately. Do not say anything more than goodbye. Let the poor guy mull over it for a long time later.

One obvious point here…make sure the victim is going to be free for some time after the meeting. Also it is advisable to refrain from doing it just before an important event or it will be forgotten. A word of caution: This works only once per subject. If you fail once, no point in trying. The victim gets the idea that you are up to it and then it never works.

Disclaimer: Use with extreme caution. Known side effects can be a serious break up, long lasting bad impression and end of confidence.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

The Art of getting nasty

People generally say to me, ‘That was rude you shouldn’t have said this to him/her’ or ‘why were you behaving like that?’ This is generally or rather always after I have been sarcastic about someone.
Since childhood, all the books on behaviour I read or all the people who tried to teach me something (some of them actually managed to get something through the tough screening process in my ears) all said that sarcasm is good as long as it doesn’t hurt the other person. But then I asked myself, how does it matter that people get hurt by what I say? I always advice everyone to speak their mind without worrying about the consequences. Whats the most that can happen? The other guy will stay away from you. So what? There are lots of other people. Now the question arises that what if you want the other guy around badly? In that case, depending on how important he is to you, you can tone down for that person or else ask yourself-‘do I really need this person who lacks any evidence of humour inside?’. If the answer is yes then it either means that you are a loser or you really, really need the other guy.
I too have come to this stage where I had to make a judgement call. Usually I just let the person go his way but sometimes I have to make exceptions for these unblessed people. Luckily for me I think my judgement usually is good. For I am proud to say that I have never faced a shortage of good fun loving people in my life. Thanks all of you guys for being there for me and bearing my comments with a smile. Love you all…!!

Monday, July 5, 2004

'myth'anogen (Part 2)

In reply to Salil’s comment to the previous post I decided to shift the current focus from comparing gods etc to going in to discuss the possible reason for the parallel nature.
According to one theory of the origin of man, man evolved in a land now located somewhere in the dark continent. (was it the inspiration for ‘It began in Africa’-Chemical Brothers?) then man began to travel and travelled all over the available landmass. (which was still very much united). The continents shifted and man kept evolving to adapt to the changing environments. The people who were somewhere in present middle east seem to have split up into groups going into mongolia- forming the mongolid race, into europe to form the causasians and into India-Aryans, where they met up with the Dravidians who were very slowly advancing north from south india. Dravidians were probably just another branch of people to enter India during the ‘Pangea’ directly from Africa. Any case, the Aryans powerful, probably because of their vast expierence after so much travel, pushed back the Dravidians and established India. Which explains why the north indians are quiet tall and fair while the south indians resemble their african cousins.
Meanwhile the Europeans established themselves all over europe.Ill refer to these as greeks as they seem to be the first colony in europe of this tribe. This leads us to a conclusion that the greeks and indians followed the culture they had built up before they separated in the middle east. Egypt could very well have been the region where it all developed. Traces of common culture can be seen in the egyptian mythology too. We will get to that later.
Now the question arises that why was it that while the Indians and Greeks kept their cultures, the Mongols who originated form the same tribe did not. Geography of the mongolian plains makes it clear that the conditions were very harsh. The extreme climate made survival the utmost priority and in these conditions cultures do not survive. Several generations of struggle made them forget their existing cultures and much later when the settlement was complete new culture began to slowly develop. But this had no relation to the original. Since these people were hardly heard of untill the time of Genghis Khan. And do not really pertain to our discussion, I opt to leave them out altogether.

Meanwhile I watched ‘Troy’ a few days back and I thinks it sucks if you compare it with the original story. The object of this movie seemed more, to get close ups of Brad Pitt’s Computer enhanced body (remember Lara Croft?). No wonder all the girls gave better Rating for the movie than the guys.
Coming to the Euro Finals, The Greeks won. And became the only team I supported this tournament to actually win after England and Italy Crashed out early.

Saturday, July 3, 2004

'myth'anogen (Part 1)

“God hath no face” - Holy Koran

For years historians and geologists have racked their brains and came up with the conclusion that a long time ago all land was united and then it slowly shifted away. This leads us to the theory of common origin of life. Darwin himself proposed this theory. Now I am trying to support it by looking for parallels between the mythologies of the various far away cultures of the ancient earth. Looking at the cultures of some of the earliest known civilisations like the Mayans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and the Indians we find some striking similarities. Best among those are between the Bible, the Greeks and Indians. Here I will include the romans with the greeks owing to the grossly similar myths and lifestyles.
Firstly lets look at the Gods. Both the greeks and the hindus believe in the existence of over a thousand different gods and demi-gods. Both have their share of heros who were born out of liaisons between Gods and mortals.

The behaviour of the gods were also quite similar, though I must say that the greek Supremes were far greatly misbehaved… Appolo and Surya the respective gods of the Sun are not only described similarly in appearance but even their nature (proud and wrathful but just and fair) one. And if that was not enough…then both drive a very hot pair of wheels (which incidentally is said to look similar).

{Yawn} Ok that’s it for now…More later…

Thursday, July 1, 2004

first day first blog

For those who dont know what 'effluo sententia' means..

To my best knowledge it stands for 'leaky thoughts' in latin.
I think it does so no arguements.