Sunday, January 31, 2010

life aaj kal

My ears continue to pain even as I type this. I have little idea of how many decibels were actually pounding against my ears last night.
Had gone to Chaos :)
Chaos is the name of the annual cultural festival of IIM-A, the most coveted B-School of India. By just stepping inside the institute one can actually feel the brainwaves pervading the air. The people in there must be oh-so-smart. Indeed, that's why my attention kept drifting to the dozen insti students standing lazily at the upper hallways of the buildings surrounding the famed Louis Kahn Plaza, than the huge crowd that was thronging the LKP.
I just love the Joie de Vivre of concerts. It unites people. People who don't even know each other. And the best part is that you don't have to know the other people for bonding with them. You need not know their identities. Not before, not after, not even during celebrating music. When hundreds of people are cheering and clapping for the same music, swaying to rhythm of the same music and when the same source is making all of them euphoric, then at that moment a magical string ties them together in a way that is next to impossible in the real life domain(now see, how similar it sounds to real time domain..but never mind that now.) But it's beautiful, isn't it? We're all strangers, there comes a moment when suddenly we're not, and when the moment's over we again go on to be strangers.
Music is magic. Magic is might.
And yet music remains to be the most underestimated power. How sad.
Now because Sonu Nigam (What's with this Niigaam-numerology anyway?) was performing-obviously Uttara had to mail Sonuji to say how miserable she felt that she was not in a'bad and obviously he had to reply to his biggest fan alive. And obviously she decided to listen to his voice on phone because she was obviously more excited than the entire crowd put together. So obviously she called.And obviously stayed on phone till we were there. And obviously I had to use 'obviously' an obscene number of times to make it obvious that-hey, it's Uttara we're talking about. It's passion at it's best with no destructive obsession-obviously!

The final semester has begun in full swing. And this one is so different from the ones we had till now. Because it's not the regular college sem. It's a project centered sem. I'm doing my project faaar away from college-that makes me happy. And it happens to be verrry close to home-that makes me happier. But what makes me happiest is the fact that I'm doing it in a place that will ensure tremendous exposure in terms of knowledge and learning. For those who're interested in instruments and electronics Space Applications Centre , Dept of space, ISRO is the finest place in the country to be in. I had always heard that as a kid, when mummy-papa log used to talk. But some things can be understood well only by experiencing. Plus walking by the lush sloping gardens makes me so nostalgic. I remember the days when we'd play and roll on these grass slopes on Kaumi Ekta Diwas (Communal Integration Day) while waiting for the results of the Drawing Competition :).Vikram Sarabhai hall was where the presentation ceremony and quiz session took place. That too, comes in the way of the department I do my project in.
And the fact that I have my friends around is like an icing on the cake! Since all of our respective projects are at incipient stages, we can afford to wander about a little as of now. Breathe some fresh air, amble to each others' departments, stare at the lovely peacocks, eat in the cafeteria, share our experiences. Of course, we get just one hour to do all of this-but that's OK, for we make the most of whatever we get! But this carefree life isn't going to last for long. A few days into feb and we'll see a sea change..(*gets tensed*)

Republic day went fine. Saw President Pratibha Devisingh Patil hoist the national flag at 10:18 A.M on Doordarshan. It's extremely shameful that most of the Indians don't know the exact time at which it should be hoisted and the significance of this time. After the school got over, I never sang the National Anthem everyday. Just two days per year. Despite this 'Jan gan man..' never fails to instill a feeling of immense pride in me. I don't understand why people refrain from watching this ceremony. Some think it's boring. Well, of course watching the brave soldiers being felicitated and decorated with Ashok Chakra is boring! Why don't these people combat the terrorists/naxalites on their own then? That would be pretty exciting.Huh! Shameless ingrates.
We don't do anything for our country as such. The least a person can do is heartily applaud the people who do. Went down to the Vikki garden next,where Republic Day is a big event-rightly and rightfully so.

Apart from this, the only new news is- I got a haircut :)
Mother wasn't too pleased. God knows why! It's not even that noticeable. I and mamma have always been at loggerheads regarding my hairstyle since my childhood days. As a girl, I always wanted to have long hair like her, like Kajol in the second half of Kuch kuch hota hain, like Hema ma'am, like Divya Rangarajan, like Divya Nair, like the ladies who advertised for hair oils (*dabur aamlaa kesh tel, resham sa ehsaas lage, chehra kitna khaas lage, dabur aamlaa kesh tel*), but inspite of my severe pangs of desire to grow it long my mother would firmly tell the barber "Rasna cut" or at the most "Baby cut". In rasna cut I would have fringes covering the front of my forehead like the little girl in the ad of rasna ('I love you rasna'), in baby cut I won't. But in either cuts my hair would not reach beyond my ears. My mother's reason for having my beautiful hair chopped off? (yes, in those days my hair was actually beautiful. Jet black and dense) Well..according to her there was not one reason but many.A) Aunties have long hair B) Little girls look good in short hair C) Divya Rangarajan, Divya Nair and the other girls in your class have a horrible infestation of lices, and if you get it from them, it is easier to use an anti-lice shampoo on short hair. D) Look at the brighter prospect, you don't have to tie your hair like other girls in school. You can always keep it untied.
Reason D) was the only reason I used to agree to the brutal hair-shortening session. All others had to tie theirs into ponytails and plaits..haha..and I would look different and stylish in my untied, embellished-with- cute-clips hair. Plus they can't punish me. I'll just say- "Ma'am, it's too short to be tied up" :D
But it's a total opinion reversal now. The thing is when I came to college I started growing my hair against my mother's wish...and she started liking it! So much so, that she frowns even before I speak 'Haircut'. Now her reasons are A) You're a big girl now. B) Big girls should have long hair
C) There's no Divya Rangarajan or Divya Nair in your class now, who carry generations of lices on their heads. D) Hair of appreciable length looks good with almost everything.
Option D) always appeals. It's my secret manipulative plan cum mission to tell her the best way of instant hair lengthening-hair straightening ;) Oh, she'll agree sooner or later.

Only if one could type at the same speed one thought.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Anecdotes of some great scientists

I absolutely love compiling such stuff. These are a few personal favorites:-

Who's the creator?

The story is told of an atheist scientist, a friend of Sir Isaac Newton, who knocked on the door and came in after he had just finished making his solar system machine(i.e one of the machines like one in the science museum where you crank the handle and the planets and the moon moves round). The man saw the machine and said "how wonderful" and went over to it and started cranking the handle and the planets moved round. As he was doing this he asked, "Who made this?"
Sir Isaac stopped writing and said "nobody did". Then he carried on writing.
The man said "You didn't hear me. Who made the machine?"
Newton replied, "I told you. Nobody did".
He stopped to cranking and turned to Isaac, "Now listen Isaac, this marvelous machine must have been made by somebody-don't keep saying that nobody made it".
At which point Isaac Newton stopped writing and got up. He looked at him and said, "Now isn't it amazing. I tell you that nobody made a simple toy like that and you don't believe me. Yet you gaze out into the solar system-the intricate marvelous machine that is around you-and you dare say to me that none made that. I don't believe it".
As far as the record goes the atheist went away and he was no longer an atheist. He was suddenly converted to the idea that God was behind the laws that were found in the creation.

It's 'relatively' easy

Here's a story about how Albert Einstein was travelling to universities in a chauffer-driven car delivering lectures on his theory of relativity. One day while in transit, the chauffer remarked: "Dr. Einstein, I've heard you deliver that lecture 30 times. I know it by heart and give it myself."
"Well, I'll give you a chance", said Einstein. "They don't know me at the next college, so when we go there I'll put your cap and you introduce yourself as me and give the lecture."
The chauffer delivered Einstein's lecture flawlessly. When he finished, he started to leave, but one of the professors stopped him and asked a complex question filled with mathematical equations and formulae. The chauffer thought fast. "The solution to that problem is so simple," he said, "I'm surprised that you have to ask me. In fact, to show you how simple it is, I'm going to ask my chauffer to come up here and answer your question."

Srinivasa Ramanujam:1729

Srinivasa Ramanujam was a mathematical prodigy. "I remember once going to see him when he was lying ill at Putney," the mathematician G.H. Hardy once remarked. "I had ridden in a taxicab number 1729, and remarked that the number seemed to me a rather dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavourable omen."
"No, ' he replied, 'it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."
[" Every positive integer," Hardy later remarked, "was one of his personal friends." Despite receiving little formal education, Ramanujam was discovered by Hardy, to whom he sent some of his first papers. Hardy later gave Ramanujam a rating of 100 on his own scale of "pure talent". Hardy's own rating? 25.]

Beating the drum

In 1996 the famed Nobel Prize winning physisist Richard Feynman, a passionate drummer, was asked by a Swedish encyclopedia publisher to supply a photograph of hiself "beating the drum to give a human approach to a presentation of the difficult matter that theoretical physics represents."
Feynman's reply?
Dear sir,
The fact that I beat a drum has nothing to do with the fact that I do theoretical physics. Theoretical physics is a human endeavor, one of the higher developments of human beings, and the perpetual desire to prove that people who do it are human by showing that they do other things that a few other humans do (like playing bongo drums) is insulting to me. I am human enough to tell you to go to hell.
Yours, RPF.

I have loads to write on life these days, but my old foe, one of the seven sins-sloth-is preventing me to type any further.
Peace out!
PS: The blog looks much better after adding a couple of fun gadgets. The fish pond is the best :)
PPS: That's precisely why blogging at blogspot is better than doing the same at wordpress, bigadda etc :) :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A fresh new beginning
A fresh new place
A fresh new atmoshpere
A fresh new experience
A fresh new post, and
A fresh new template!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

aam chori, chappal chori! :D :D :D

A silly childhood game..just like that :D

Aam chori
(clap! clap! clap!)
Chappal chori
(clap! clap! clap!)
Garam masala
(clap! clap! clap!)
(clap! clap! clap!)

Aam chori, chappal chori
Garam masala, paani-poori
Dus patte tode,
Ek patta kaccha,
Hiran ka baccha,
Hiran gaya paani mein,
Pakda uski naani ne,
Nani ko bulaaenge,
Ras-malaai khaaenge,
Ras-malaai khatti,
Nani ki humse katti,
Naani gai jain mein,
Hum gaye rail mein,
Rail mein khaya biscuit,
Biscuit thi achhi,
Humne khaai machhi,
Machhi mein nikla kaanta,
Naani ne maaraa chaanta,
Chaante se niklaa khoon,
jaldi karo telephoon,
Telephone mein taar nahi,
Hum tumhaare yaar nahi,
Hum ne ladaye panje,
Tum ho gaye (with a tap on the other player's skull) ganje!

Whoever taps first wins!! :) :) :)
Zihaal-e-masti maqun ba ranjish bahaal-e-hijra bechaaraa dil hain,
sunaai deti hain jiski dhadkan, tumhaaraa dil ya humaaraa dil hain.

In Hindi:
Is gareeb ke dil ko itni ranjish (gusse) se na dekho
Yeh bechara abhi bhi (mehboob ki) judaai se behaal hai.

In English:
Don't look at my heart with such hatred and anger, My heart is poor soul who is still in agony and pain because my beloved has departed.

Verbatim nearly kills the beauty of the original verse, but without it we would never know that it was beautiful to begin with!

baah..just a random song that crossed my mind, googled it for no reason, posting it for no reason.

I have noticed how excessively I use the word 'random'!
Mamma got me a new 2010 diary. It is a handsome large diary!! The blog's got some competition now. I'll name it soon. Maybe I'll call it Nirvana like the previous one. For various reasons. I like the band ,I like sanskrit (was my elective at school), I'm fascinated by Buddhism and I LOVE the meaning- liberation from unhappiness, illumination, the ideal condition of rest, joy, stability, peace, harmony. It's beautiful! I wish I could have this name instead of the stupid name I have :x
But then, I can also call it kimaya. Dunno. Shall see.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

title-less :D

The limitless vastness of my terrace sky,
a morning sky suffused with blue.
The wisp of clouds scudding by,
greeting the cheerful kites that flew.

Up goes my lucky orange kite,
cast into the sky with a beginner's care.
encouraged by the wind and the radiant sunlight,
glides buoyantly, proudly, in the mellow air.

Soon it ascents like a poetry in motion,
to it's own realm, to where it belongs.
And kisses high heaven with a lover's emotion,
with the gushing air singing reuniting songs.

Does the coloured kite soar like a happy heart?
Or the happy heart soars like a coloured kite?
How should I describe the romance of sky and kite?
Should I play the melodic music of Mozart?
or simply cantillate a silly poem that I write!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The god of small things

There are books that are unputdownable. Books that are enjoyable. Books you wish you were in.
And then there are books that you don't particularly relate to and yet these are so evocative.

I don't relate to this one even remotely, and yet I'm finding it extremely redolent. It's bringing back memories, recollections of things I thought I'd forgotten. Justifiably forgotten. But maybe it's not just because of the book. Maybe it's because I posted a greeting card yesterday. Usually mother posts it. But yesterday, I bought the ten-rupee stamp, I scribbled the address, I slipped it down the red metal box. Yes, that can be a contributing factor.Yes.

It could be argued that it actually began thousands of years ago. Long before the Marxists came. Long before the British took Malabar, before Dutch Ascendancy, before Vasco da Gama arrived, before Zamorin's conquest of Calicut. Before Christianity arrived in a boat and seeped into Kerala like tea from teabag.That it really began in the days when Love Laws were made. The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.

Who should be loved, and how. And how much.
Convincing, yet debatable.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

random flashes

apple juice
amul cheese cubes
lady bird
chunnilal ramnarayan
thick black frames
cotton dhoti
chicken pakodas
jhaal mudi
republic day '96
phulkopi aaloo'r torkaari
mountains of chilli powder somewhere in maharashtra
bright smiley erasers
pair of earrings @ Rs 30, souveneir of fear, token of servility
banana trees, pine trees, fat jackfruits
steep, narrow, red mud road
paalika bazaar-new delhi
neelanjana-the newspaper
sand paper greeting cards
timeless tales-cartoon network
garlic pickle
'deserved' golden shoes
essel world
tea estates
time machine @ science city
secret mission,secret names, secret villains, secret lift, finger guns
ncert-stnadard 4-bal bharti-chapter 9-haathi
red ribbons, white ribbons, black ribbons
black and white printed frock
sleeper coach
swimming lessons
five star
the lost uncle
1 kg= 1000 grams
samantha, tabitha, harriette, angela, kelly,phillips
allarippu, jatisvaram
fresh cow dung
plain copper colored saree
shantiniketan bags
sarojini naidu
a petrified bhaarat maataa
chinese rice
a cancelled tour
humaaraa sankalp
lice infested hair
green tiles
stolen scarf
smelly minal
"hum jeeeeeet gaye..tum haaaaaar gaye". "hum haaaaaar gaye...tum jeeeeeet gaye"
mere haathon mein nau nau chudiyaan hain
ruffle lays
meemee, baapi
mars bars
caged parrot
bobby, mahesh
"hands fold, lips fold.."
kalupur fish market
kajol-the ten year old runaway maid
rakhi, rakesh
hand held shower

Thursday, January 7, 2010

idiot alright

Phew! what a day!
First I don't study anything for my vivas, then I get up late.I'm already running 20 mins late than the scheduled time and yet spend ten precious minutes in finding the damn dupatta (I hate this entire concept of wearing 'indian' formals for the vivas). I hurriedly reach my friend's place and because she has forgotten the helmet we make a detour to get it. And here comes the gaffe extraordinaire, after covering more than three-fourths of the distance I casually mention something about the file and remember- "Holy mother of Lord, I FORGOT THE CERTIFICATE!!" :o :o
My friend says it is too risky to go back now." You're the first roll number" :o But somehow I decide to go against my friend's pragmatic suggestion of first sitting for the vivas, explaining it to the prof and then getting it. So, I take an auto and ask the guy to rush like mad(which btw he doesn't :x), make a dozen phone calls to mum, ask her to rummage through my stuff, get home, grab the pesky piece of paper and rush back. Being a rash driver helps sometimes. Although I should be grateful to the all but one green signals I got in the way .It has been my observation that if you get a green signal in the first signal, the probability of getting more green signals increase. Although it is a function of a lot many parameters, so nothing can be statistically generalized. Maybe it was because I had just two turnings and maintained a near constant speed.
Anyway, I reached just in time. Literally, just in time.
I sort of like this ass-on-fire, dramatic life- BUT only in retrospect. :D

Watched 3 idiots yesterday, with my fellow 2 idiots :D.
Almost a week ago I fished a certain book out of my father's bookshelf-Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman! It's an unputdownable book, if you ask me. How strange I didn't even notice it all these years when it laid there accumulating dust all over it. And the combined effect of both the movie and the book is a little unnerving.

I often wonder, ponder about this. Sometimes in a shallow way and sometimes deeply.Deeply,while yeilding to the rote system, but usually in a shallow way. But then, when I watch or read something like this, the thoughts resurface and I get restless, reckless, frustrated but mostly lost..

What is all this? This was not suppose to turn out like this. College was not suppose to be like this. The head should feel fuller after almost four years of education, not emptier.I don't remember when was the last time I asked a question, or ruminated on a problem. I no longer ask myself (let alone the profs) what is the immediate use of having to learn something.I seldom wonder why I still remember the basics of gravity learnt in school almost eight years ago but am blank about ripple counter that I learnt two years ago. I've been cramming like mad for almost a month now for the uni exams. It's insane! My way of preparation has undergone drastic changes. I hate it. It's so hard to do something that you disapprove of, but the fact that nothing else can fit the bill in this system makes it worse.This feels like a total discharge process. I was not like this before. What the hell happened? :( Something is wrong, something is terribly wrong. I wish I knew how to fix it. Maybe I do know, but I just don't know that I know.

I wish I had someone like Feynman around who'd first amuse me by showing his 'discovery' that no matter how I position my french curve the lowest point would always be parallel to the x-axis, and then amuse me more by telling that's because the derivative of any function at it's minimum value is always zero-basic calculus which we apply in complex problems and yet are unable to identify in cases like this. Or perhaps an unconventional Rancho who'd apply the elementary knowledge of soft water being a conductor of electricity to do something..ermm..well..something reeeeally fun :P
The point is I have sort of stopped exercising my brain. I'm just studying, not learning. There's a lot to learn and a lot more to well..yeah..unlearn. Unlearing is very important. Useless stuff, destructive stuff should be done away with. Now that the problem has been clearly identified, I hope the solution is somewhere around. I hope all will be well.
There's something about this 'all is well' phrase. JKR ended the series with. 'All was well', refuting the rumors that the last word was 'scar'. I like this phrase. It's more comforting than it sounds, in a rather uncanny way. I had a first hand experience of this today.

PS: In my school days some idiot must've been so pissed of being called an idiot that he/she made it an acronym for I Do Ishq Only Tumse!
PPS: How idiotic! :D