Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back Again

After a very long hiatus, I'm back again. I'm not sure if there are still any readers left but I come here once in while just to write down whats going on in my head. Recently completed reading a fantastic book on evolution, the greatest show on earth by Richard Dawkins. The topics are all laid out with that combination of clarity and verve. The author has left no stone unturned in explaining evolution. After reading this book I realized, even thou the so called homosapians are evolved (at least intellectually) they still exhibit animal like behavior frequently. They are hard wired to do certain things the old way. To name a few, we still have borders, draw a line across the country and fight for the territory. Just like an alpha lion, successful people have multiple affairs. They just want to plant their seeds every where. Clinton can always say "Blame the evolution, we are still not evolved". This may be obvious traits but there are more subtle things that goes unnoticed and we should be extremely careful about. 

Do you know about the new alpha lion that defeated the aging lion to take control of an heard, The first thing that it does is to kill the cubs that were born to the ex alpha male. Similarly you cant expect your children to be treated equally under some one else supervision. Sub consciously the care taker will consider the kids as a threat to there blood line. Either because of jealously or they would prefer to increase the chances of there offspring. They even consume the resources you supply to better the chances of there family. The intentions of sending the children out may be good but the out come will always be bad. I feel religion is a good attempt in keeping people in line but it does not work with every one. Parents alone can ensure proper grooming of kids and no one else. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Compromises

There is a reason for why they call generation gap. It exist, that too in a very big way. Parents have strange way of deciding things on behalf of there children. They take decisions with all good intention and impose it on there children to accept the decisions that they take. Personally, if the decision they take would directly impact us, they should inform us before doing something that cannot be reversed. Why cant they trust us, why cant they understand that we can do a better job in bringing more value for the same amount of money that is being spent.

There are few things that I have learnt lately. There is nothing called as "good value for money". You get what you pay for. Always assign a job to a person who is always busy, you have increased your chances of the busy person to match your expectation. Never assign a job to a friend or a relative just because you know him, you cant fight with him if they end up doing a crappy job. Also you have taken away your chances of a good bargain. Always do your research even if there is delay in initiating the work.

I spend hours at a stretch just to decide a color that I want use for the websites that I design. But my parents wont ask my suggestion before a paint job is initiated to paint my room. I have NO say on this as it is there house and they have all rights to decide what they want to do with it. My reason for frustration is entirely different from what i have discussed above. But I'm helpless. I just wish, that all parents trust there children and allow them to make there own mistakes. Such a simple philosophy but so difficult to follow. But this leads to a different topic that I want to discuss at a later time, and that is "Indian have strange ways to complicate simple things in life and make there life miserable".

Friday, November 02, 2012

I Know it all


Once upon time, in college, I knew a person who knew everything. He always had an opinion on every topic under the sun. Though irritable, we used to put up with him and listen to every possible, plausible trivia he told about every thing we discussed.Only when he took me to his home I realized that he had access to most news papers, various magazine and a cable connection. He had cousins in US who were telling him on what was trending. Initially I were in an impression that he was the smartest person in our college, but by the end of term he became the most obnoxious person in our college. This was one thing that he never knew.


I always marvel  internet and how democratic it is. Thanks to it that we now have the new breed of "I KNOW IT ALL" people around us. I'm meeting many such people every day who are just like that. You tell them some thing and  next thing they say is, I know it. They can even explain why the inflation is so high, or how Mallaya duped the banks, or even talk about quantum teleportation. Few days back I saw a beautiful Egyptian Vulture flying and pointed that to a friend, next thing he did was to Google and verify if I was right. He was such a dumbo, i was trying to appreciate the way it was flying and i was not on a fact checking nature audit. He was trying to experience something that was in front of his eyes through an LCD monitor. It does not stop at that, we google the details of drugs prescribed by a doctor and verify if the doctor is competent. Watch a movie based on review written by an unknown person. Not that it is wrong, but it will be very wrong if we do not use the information we have access to in the RIGHT context.


I have even coined a term for such people and call them "NETHERENT".  They are such people who use you tube to solve a Rubik cube. Convincing such persons to make a decision is very easy. Write a nice detailed review on net, use some clever tricks to increase the page rank, time it and publish your(anonymous virtual expert on that topic) opinions, they will stumble upon that link and will in turn call us back and explain about the same review as if it was there own. As I said, borrowed opinion is such a dangerous thing and many don't realize that they are becoming that obnoxious person I was referring to. As they say, the smartest person today is not the one who can solve a problem but the one who can control the flow of information. 


Take such people on a long trek to a mountain that has no connectivity, when they are completely tired with no electronic gadgets with them and are sitting all by themselves you will hear them say, "This Sunset is soo beautiful"  instead of  "Do you know why the sun is red ?








 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Sound of Silence

Silence is not necessarily something without noise, you can find it amidst chaos. Have you ever noticed that there are pockets of silence amidst a busy mall, or a crowded convection hall or your office that is always full of activity. Its a about finding that perfect place where you can stand without being disturbed, a vantage point where you can see/feel the chaos around you but you are invisible to others. This isolated pockets gives you a strange feeling of being in peace. I have noticed this after a hectic day on a out station business trip standing in the balcony of my room watching the traffic move. After a busy day organizing a event. Its about finding that place where you cannot be disturbed and for this to work, you should be tired. It soothes the soul, quiets the inner beast, brings out the goodness in you, allows you to hear yourself. Having a moment of stillness in your life is wonderful.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bridging the Gaps

Was listening to a very old song "Everybody is free to wear Sunscreen" . The lyrics goes something like this:

Understand that friends come and go,
But a precious few, who should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people
You knew when you were young


I have listened to this song a hundred times and had never thought about those lines. No matter how easy it is to communicate with friends over internet, it cannot replace the actual touch or the actual interaction. It is very much necessary to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle. We should be in a position to go to the place where they are and meet them. Now I understand why my grand mom always gets exited when our relatives drop in from the village where she grew up. I'm sure we will not understand the importance of meeting old friends until we grow old.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How good is your memory ?

Your memory isn’t as good as you think. When you remember an event in the past, your brain uses a very similar technique to imagining the future. The process is less like “replaying a video” than “putting on a play from a script.” If the script is wrong for whatever reason, you can have a false memory that is just as vivid as a true one. Eyewitness testimony, it turns out, is one of the least reliable forms of evidence allowed into courtrooms.

A lifespan is a billion heartbeats

I had a very interesting discussion about this topic with a scientist at NFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute). Complex organisms die. Sad though it is in individual cases, it’s a necessary part of the bigger picture; life pushes out the old to make way for the new. Remarkably, there exist simple scaling laws relating animal metabolism to body mass. Larger animals live longer; but they also metabolize slower, as manifested in slower heart rates. These effects cancel out, so that animals from shrews to blue whales have lifespans with just about equal number of heartbeats — about one and a half billion, if you simply must be precise. In that very real sense, all animal species experience “the same amount of time.” At least, until we become immortal.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Change is good

It’s O.K. to change your plans.Turn about face.Pivot. Take a 180.

We live in a world which punishes those who take actions to correct a mistake or a course. Wishy-washy, we call them. Flip-floppers. Unstable. Irresponsible. Lazy. Whimsical. A whole host of terms with negative connotations for people who take abrupt action to change their course, especially when that course may have been a recent decision. I’ve been thinking a lot about “consciousness” in your life’s direction – and “flexibility” in how you structure your life. Part of this is realizing is about when things need to be reversed.

  1. It’s o.k. to sell your house for less than you paid for it – if you realize that freedom is worth more than the loss.
  2. It’s o.k. to sell something you just bought – if you realize you no longer need it (or never needed it).
  3. It’s o.k. to spend money on things that bring joy, purpose, or value into your life – even if you are paying off debt.
  4. It’s o.k. to quit your job – and go backpacking around the world
  5. It’s o.k. to shut down the business you recently launched and take a corporate job – if that’s what you are being called to do.
  6. It’s o.k. to quit your new promising career and pave your own path – if you know deep down you’ll do what it take to make it a reality.
  7. It's o.k to get drenched in rain or talk to yourself
*****

Realizing you’ve started down the wrong path – and correcting course – is admirable. It’s a trait that’s far too uncommon these days. It’s a principle that should be praised, not ridiculed. Staying with a condition in your life that you no longer believe in – just because you picked that path earlier is insane. People will challenge you. Most will criticize out of fear. They’re afraid of what similar changes might mean for their own life. If you take advice from people who are scared – don’t be surprised when you end up trapped in fear yourself.

Go ahead and flip-flop. It’ll be o.k.

Source: Man vs Debt Blog

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Android Experience

Its almost 4 months since I brought this shiny new gadget running Android 2.1. My old Nokia had dead pixels all over the screen and Nokia service was pathetic. There i was holding Samsung Galaxy and was hesitant to touch and smear it with my finger prints. But I dived in right away, entered my gmail & Facebook password and viola it came into life. I did not think much about it. A friend of mine called me up and the screen displayed his name & indicated his birthday was today. WTF, it had downloaded my address book, knew my friends number, name and his birthday. I was surprised and was annoyed and I felt my privacy was suddenly intruded. Within in few minutes my phone knew more about me then I knew about my self. My mails were imported and there were few notifications displayed reminding me of few appointments I had saved in my calendar. On my way back home I was trying to figure out how to selectively password protect my mail and realized there was none. The android was exclusively designed keeping single user operation in perspective which is not the case in India. Is'nt it scary that Google seems to know who we care about, and who cares about us

I activated the main password and was impressed by the way we had to connect the dots. The unlock method is awesome. I tried to message and was not able to insert numbers, later I figured out that the numbers had to be saved under mobile category for them to appear in message screen.

I was regularly using record function in my Nokia and was replaying them when required. Lack of this feature surprised me as I thought that to be the most basic feature on any phone. Single handed operation is time consuming in touch screens and to make &recei ve calls a basic Nokia is clear winner. I was able to make calls riding my bike and with android I just cant do that yet. Suddenly my inclination to blog reduced and my tweet count increased. I was getting news much faster and was being interrupted more frequently. GPS is too good to be true and helped me getting around Chennai during my visits. Four square started showing places around and my pockets started getting lighter. I never knew taco bells was opposite to my office nor knew sky walk was the the nearest mall to my room at Chennai. Now my phone keeps count of the amount of calories I burn and even annoys me to finish the to do list. Expenses are being documented but in no way helping in reducing the expenditure. I had enough battery charge to do all the other stuff but most of the times battery was low when I wanted to make calls.

Instead of being a productive tool it will be more of a procrastination tool. Hence I have made a list of few things you need to do if you buy a smart phone.

  1. Get yourself a dummy email account to activate the handset. It defeats the purpose of smart phone but I'm sure you can check your personal mails on HTML browser when required
  2. Switch off the Wifi and internet connection, it really does not matter if you don't get updated every few seconds.
  3. Facebook is a clear no no, don't you dare think of installing the app. It takes away most of your time. It does not matter who poked you or tagged you on FB.
  4. Twitter is good, use it only when necessary
  5. News papers are not there yet, I prefer hard copies over internet version.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Perception

Back in 90's when I used to see male & female sculptures on temple walls or idols of women goddess, i felt they were cool and very artistic. Now I don't find them attractive enough. Well our perception of how a human body looks like is constantly changing. It might be due to ads portraying people with 6 pack or woman with just the right proportion which is far from truth. As a result there is an increased pressure for people to look good and at the same time I see people having confused with the concept of looking healthy and looking good. I feel a good doze of exercise that can help you run a 2 km stretch without gasping for breath is all that is required for a person to look attractive. It really does not make any sense if you have six pack and unable to climb a set a 10 story stairs.

I wonder how small kids will cope with looking good peer pressure as every one of them wants be like a Barbie doll. Here's a link on how Barbie dolls of 90's and 00's look like & how unrealistic there body proportions are.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Inception, Ending Explained

Yes finally saw inception and here is my take on the ending. SPOILER ALERT, If you haven't seen the movie then please don't read any further.
This is the most logical explanation that I can think of and is a very convincing analogy. Before I start, let us assume few things which is very vital to arrive at my analogy. Initially, I felt that the entire movie was Cobb's dream and the characters were Cobb's projections. I felt his subconscious was helping him with a plot to escape limbo that he was already in. Well this would defeat the purpose of the movie itself. Hence lets assume that Cobb was in a mission to plant an idea. And on succeeding he would end up meeting his children as Saito promised.
We are not sure if the Totem topples at the end. Also his children does not appear to have aged and are wearing the exact same clothes that they were wearing when he saw them in his dreams which is very unlikely in reality. There are more reasons to say that the ending scene is a dream and not reality. After credits people have heard the totem fall but is not shown and hence we have to assume that the totem is still rotating.
Now here's my take. Cobb goes into limbo and will bring himself and Saito back to reality. With the help of Ariadne during the entire process of inception he is successful at convincing himself that he can no longer think about Mal as she is dead. The plane scene at the end and the immigration scene is very much real. Later Cobb meets his children and this is not shown in the movie.
You might have noticed that a group of old people regularly visit Chemists place to experience shared dreams. Also Cobb regularly hooks himself to sedative to dream alone. This clearly explains that dreaming is addictive and necessary for any person who is into shared dreaming
The final scene happens after Cobb meets his children(which is not shown in the movie). He might have started dreaming and since he has met his children he is able to see there faces clearly. And of-course as explained earlier, Mal is no longer there in his dream. This way we can logically conclude that it was an happy ending after all
Please share your thoughts in comments :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Massage, anyone ?

The last couple of weeks were spent in a state of confusion and I desperately needed a break. After a series of failed trek plans I ended up doing nothing apart from sitting alone in my room. My latest plan to trek in coorg did not materialize. Was not really in a mood for group activity or going out with friends. This is pretty much the case from past couple of months. I chose the one activity that involved the least amount of exertion, and the least amount of company – a massage. Well I always wanted to get one from many years. From my sole experience of this relaxing activity, a massage has three essential components: 80% is excruciating torture, 10% is serious concentration at not sleeping, and 10% of feeling taken care of that almost makes up for the remaining 90% of un-fun-ness. I suppose I could’ve told masseuse that he was hurting me, but am always confused about whether it’s OK protest. And there’s also the “it’s good for you” sort of pain – the idea that present agony is going to save you untold future agony… all hogwash, if you ask me – because all they’re saying is that you’ll be in pain no matter what. At the end of the hour, I emerged, feeling and looking like an oily rag. The masseuse commented on how relaxed I looked. I was too tired to protest. I nodded along and let it be known that I felt wonderful. Now it was not just my metal state, I was physically drained as well.

It was not long before I realized, u should be mentally relaxed to truly enjoy a relaxing activity. Isn't it funny when I got a massage something that i craved to get from many years could not help lift my spirits up. Thankfully the massage had so tired me out that I fell asleep for at least 6 Hrs at a stretch, something I haven’t done from past few months, if not longer. From all this I saw so much truth in a phrase that I came across lately "HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN IT IS SHARED". When you are trying to fight a war within yourself, no matter what you do to be happy it just wont help you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Over-analysis

I learnt this the hard way

"Our hyper-consciousness often separates us from our surroundings. It erects a barrier that severs the pleasure and immediacy of visceral experience. Imagine the bird watcher who spots a rare woodpecker and immediately buries his nose in his bird ID handbook to confirm the find. The bird flies away. He gets to add a bird to his logbook, but he missed out on seeing a rare animal peck for grubs, stretch its glorious wings, and take flight in search of the next tree. Does a checkmark in a bird logbook compare to the memory of a majestic feathered beast? Ever take a literature course that was so chock full of analysis and essays that you were never able to actually enjoy the great books you were reading? Ever go to the movies with that guy who simply cannot suspend an ounce of disbelief and won’t shut up about the admittedly glaring plot hole the entire ride home? Seeking a deeper understanding of a fascinating and important subject is one thing; over-analysis is another entirely, and it can remove us from the enjoyment of a pleasurable pastime."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Decisions

If I could do it all over again I would, needless to say I would change something’s while leaving others the way they turned out. If I only had to worry about getting up in the morning, going to school, hanging out with friends, doing a few chores then homework and bed, that would be paradise right now. But we cannot stop growing up and as you grow up you would realize there are so many things to take care of and its not just ourselves. There are so many choices in life; we all make them, some good, others bad… Once you make them you can’t go back but you hope that you made the right one not just for us but for the people involved in our lives and if you didn’t you can learn from the bad choices and go on.

Life is a matter of happiness and sufferings. I didn't know whats happening in me and kept moving on in life without even realizing who I was last time. Am I changing? Lately, I've always look at the sky and gaze at the stars when night falls. Questions filled my mind. Life is definitely tough.

Making a decision to do something new usually involves giving up something else. That's what makes it hard—there's a loss to deal with as well as the uncertainly of the future. Our choices make us who we are. For me, many of the choices that I made were not easy and came at a cost. Some choices in my life didn’t work out as well as I thought. Some really hurt especially when it was done instinctively.

Life boils down to just one simple thing….Choices. Yet I always know that when tomorrow comes I will have the ability to do that one simple thing: make choices.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Preservation of Arecanut

Lately I'm working on a project for which we require fresh arecanut(Beetle-nut). As arecanut is seasonal we are working on how to preserve it for a period of 3 months. As there are no known techniques we are working on preservation from scratch. The best part about this R&D is meeting various people in the same field and documenting each and every method that is being tried. I'm just enjoying every part of it.

Recently I had a very interesting discussion with Prof. Maache of CFTRI pertaining to respiratory behavior of perishable fruits. A very interesting method used to preserve fruits is by restricting the rate of respiration which would eventually slow down the ripening process. Also it helps by storing the fruits at very low temperature which slows down the chemical reactions. Its very much similar to hibernation in animals. Prof explained that the same technique is being used by sadhus in Himalaya who just learn to control their breathing in very cold temperatures which helps them to live a little longer. Slower an animal breaths, longer it lives. This in fact helped me relate to few things and incidents that are mentioned in a book "Living with the Himalayan Masters" by Swami Rama that I'm reading. All of a sudden the content and the authors experiences made so much sense.

Still working on various technique to preserve the last harvest of the season. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the nuts will last a little longer then the previous batch.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ettina bhuja

After a very long gap went for a trek near Dharmastala. Its a beautiful hill called ettina bhuja and just loved the experience

There is so much to write about the trek. Every thing was just right and a swim in crystal clear river Kapila at the foothills was out of the world experience. Will be back with more.