Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Philosophy.. maya's and mine :D

In Devi Bhagwata Purana, it is mentioned that once Narada asked Vishnu about the secret nature of Maya (Illusion).

“What is Maya?” asked Narada.

“The world is my Maya. He who accepts this, realizes me,” said Vishnu.

“Before I explain, will you fetch me some water?” requested the Lord pointing to a river.

Narada did as he was told. But on his way back, he saw a beautiful woman. Smitten by her beauty, he begged the woman to marry him. She agreed.

Narada built a house for his wife on the banks of the river. She bore him many children. Loved by his wife, adored by his sons and daughters, Narada forgot all about his mission to fetch water for Vishnu.

In time, Narada’s children had children of their own. Surrounded by his grandchildren, Narada felt happy and secure. Nothing could go wrong.

Suddenly, dark clouds enveloped the sky. There was thunder, lightning, and rain. The river overflowed, broke its banks and washed away Narada’s house, drowning everyone he loved, everything he possessed. Narada himself was swept away by the river.

“Help, help. Somebody please help me,” he cried. Vishnu immediately stretched out his hand and pulled Narada out of the water.

Back in Vaikuntha, Vishnu asked, “Where is my water?”

“How can you be so remorseless? How can you ask me for water when I have lost my entire family?”

Vishnu smiled. “Calm down, Narada. Tell me, where did your family come from? From Me. I am the only reality, the only entity in the cosmos that is eternal and unchanging. Everything else is an illusion – a mirage, constantly slipping out of one’s grasp.”

“You, my greatest devotee, knew that. Yet, enchanted by the pleasures of worldly life, you forgot all about me. You deluded yourself into believing that your world and your life were all that mattered and nothing else was of any consequence. As per your perspective, the material world was infallible, invulnerable, perfect. That is Maya.”

And inspired by Henry, I am coming up with my own pearls of wisdom :P

The wisdom of the optimist #1:

Neither are all good guys always good;
Nor are all bad guys always bad.

Simple though it might seem, on second thoughts, it might reveal something more. Every guy’s actions, some of which contradict their nature, might be unintentional. And then there are instances when they are intentional but that is just an exception. Be it Dharmaraja lying during the battle of Kurukshetra or I being pessimistic on the eve of exams. We just can't help it. :P How many times have you misjudged someone? Think.. think.. think.. :D

Quote of the day:

All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.

- Dorothea Brande

PS: I have been trying to motivate myself to start my end-semester exams preparations. My exams start from first week of April :-ss. Wish me luck. But I’ll be posting regularly.. I think :-s. And India won the first ODI.. awesome bowling by Bhajji..

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Once upon a time there lived a giant...

My cousin from Hyderabad had come over to our place. And she got her 3 year old son with her who was NOW a very well-behaved but cute kid. (He was one of the kids, who carried out the arduous task of climbing me. For more details, read this post.) So after having spent some time listening to him recite rhymes, I decided that an afternoon nap of 3 hours is an afternoon well spent; especially if it were to be a Saturday afternoon. So as I trudged along to my room after a delicious meal of vattha kuzhambu and pappad, hoping to spend 3 delightful hours sleeping on my cozy bed, I was stopped by mom.

Fearing the worst, I turned around and yes!! My fears had come true! There stood my cousin with a helpless expression on her face which told me to take care of the kid when they would be busy discussing about some “important” stuff. And it turns out that I am quite good at reading expressions. They had to discuss about some marriage proposals for another far-off cousin of mine.. talk about rotten luck.

So after 5 minutes, there I was.. with a kid who didn’t want to become Irfan Pathan or Mahendra Singh Dhoni.. he wanted to become Andrew Flintoff! He was the kind of kid who had little interest in Cartoon Network and neither liked the thirsty crow story nor the greedy dog story because he didn’t like animals involved in stories. Frankly when I was a child, apart from the mythological stories, the above mentioned ones were narrated to me quite frequently. But THIS kid did not want to hear them. Now I was in a tight spot and I could see signs of him launching another expedition of climbing Mt Everest. So it was time to take some serious action. I decided to cook up a story. So as he sat with his eyes focused on me, I started off in a typical way.

Me: Once upon a time there lived a giant.
Him: Giant? What’s a giant?
Me: hmm.. giants are tall, huge creatures.
Him: Tall? Taller than you?
Me: Yeah.. much taller than me. *stands on his toes and gestures a taller person*
Him: How can anyone be taller than you? Even my dad is not as tall as you are.
Me: *shows signs of losing patience but regains composure in time* Well, he was a complan giant.
Him: Complan giant? Hmm.. Are you also a complan giant?
Me: I am not a giant. But I did drink complan when I was your age.
*I still drink complan occasionally ;) Although I hope not to grow any taller*
Him: Will I grow as tall as you, if I drank complan?
Me: *seeing that it was time to imbibe some morals in the kid :P* Yes, complan is very good for health and you can grow taller than me if you were to drink complan regularly.

His eyes bulged with excitement. He ran to the kitchen and demanded a glass of complan. My cousin was rather surprised. But she did give complan.. to ME!! And she asked me to give it to him, because it was too hot for him to handle. So the next 10 minutes were spent running behind him, cajoling him and trying to give him the complan. Once I was done, we had to shift back to the story.

Me: He was a very cruel and ugly giant. *makes a scary face* He hated kids but he lived in a beautiful palace in the giant-land. The kids wanted to play in his gardens but they were surrounded by tall trees, much taller than me and a huge compound wall.
Him: Did he have slides and see-saws in the gardens?
Me: :| Yeah yeah.. and they had swings as well.
Him: Where is this giant-land?
Me: err.. It is in Hyderabad. Near Joganpally. You know Joganpally?

Him: Joganpally? *thinks for some time* No.. :(

Me: *neither do I :P* When I was your age, your mom and I used to go to giant-land and play for hours and hours together.

And then I did not know how to continue my story. And I used to think I was decently creative. So anyways as expected, the uncomfortable silence prevailed. I could see his eyes lurking my tall frame and I had almost given up. I knew it had to come.. the climb but I just wanted to delay the inevitable. As I prepared myself for the assault, he pointed at the clock.

Him: It’s time for Tom ‘n Jerry. SEE! It’s already 3:30.

Phew!! I thanked my lucky stars. And so as we both sat together and watched Tom ‘n Jerry, I felt nostalgic of the times I used to watch the same show with my elder cousin brothers. Of course they were only 11 and 12, but then I guess Tom ‘n Jerry is one thing that binds us all together :D

As far as the kid is concerned, I abandoned all notions of him being well-behaved. After all kids aren't supposed to be well-behaved, right? 2 days later, my cousin called me up asking me the way to giant land. =)) Now, no one messes with Gokul and gets away with it, right? >:)

Quote of the day:

Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us forty years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
-Golda Meir

P.S1: England managed to draw level the test series. How? It was a lethal combination of 2 things.. England's best performance and India's worst.
PS2: My bio presentation was awful. And as they say, all horrible things must come to an end and so did mine. I somehow managed to save some of my dignity, by cracking a joke or two at the end of the presentation. But overall, a very ordinary week.
PS3: Amalgam got cancelled.. AGAIN! Talk of deja vu..
PS4: The events and some of the characters depicted in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, dead or alive, is purely co-incidental :D


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cultural Night.. blah

Disclaimer: The author is no expert in dancing and hence his comments on the topic mentioned above are as good as George Bush’s on Sachin’s batting, although he has made none. Some of the comments are made out of sarcasm as well and the reader is advised not to take any offence.

March 14th. It was a beautiful night with clear skies and almost a full moon. In all there were 147 stars. Yes, I counted them all! This act of mine, in itself speaks volumes about what happened on this uneventful night. I was so darn bored that I in fact started counting the stars.

To begin with, we had some kinda concert from a certain Mr Ghosh who is a Hindustani classical singer. I, not being a fan of this genre of music, decided to go to the library. Yeah, the library :( And was back just in time for the dance competitions.

Classical solo: I was shocked at the kind of dismal fare that was being dished out. How in the name of holy god, did the house captains agree to have the participants dance like that in the classical category? No graceful moves, only jhatkas.. that too in the classical category. Of course, the only contestant who actually did perform a classical dance, won the event, irrespective of whether she was good or bad.

Classical group: The first group looked promising but they lost their way in the middle. But I felt they deserved the first prize instead of Vayu (I’m in Vayu) who put up a farce act in the name of folk dance. Their rendition of Chinnamma Chilakkamma hardly looked folk-like.

Western Solo: The winner danced to Main Aisa.. from Lakshya. The steps were not executed to perfection but he seemed to be the best when compared to the others.. or so the judges thought. Aditya’s song was quite catchy but he turned up looking like a blind man because of the “goggle effect” (not google). Amidst shouts of “errabalu” echoing all around the open air theatre, he gave an “ok” performance. All the other performances were extremely ordinary and believe me, I am being generous here. The lesser I talk about em, the better.

Western Group: The Aakash house lead did perform some breathtaking steps, but the Agni house entry looked more professional. The Prithvi group’s performance surprisingly, was also quite good with some catchy and mass numbers. No comments on the Vayu house’s performance, although I heard they practiced quite a lot. Kudos to them.

Stand up comic(s): This was followed by a very humorous version of “My Heart will go on” performed by 2 ug1 guys. And in my view, that was the best performance of the evening. Quite hilarious, I must say.

Insomnia: So our college band did perform, but only to a handful of the audience who stayed back to watch them perform. Their rendition of Cant Stop was quite good, but some background chorus would have made it better. The White Rabbit song was also sung well. But then, I decided to take a break and play CS. And the rest of da night was spent in playing CS :D.

Overall I appreciate the steps taken by the cultural council to involve us (layman) in all cultural activities. But I must say, I was not impressed by the show put up by the participants. But we can always improve, which was the main motive behind holding such competitions. Hopefully we are treated to a better performance during the amalgam on March 25th. Peace.
And the quote of the day (for the cultural council :D)

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

- Francis of Assisi

P.S (Approved by ASR.. with the ASR-9002 certificate) Changed the song from comfortably numb to this one. The recent SE presentations have been quite comical with roleplays where a certain Mr. A overacted a lot. But it was one of those presentations, when you as part of the audience feel awkward for the presenters. In the last class, the MS guy looked helpless, sleepy and was waiting for the presentations to finish.

P.S2: I have not YET cleaned my room. Although I did clear some of the junk. And India DID win the 2nd test match, but the 3rd one is slowly slipping out of their hands.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

taital numbar wun.. ek arbid post ki katha

April 1st, 2003. That was the day when my dad was informed that he was going to be transferred again, and this time it was from Chennai to Hyderabad. It took me quite some time to realize that he was not trying to fool me. He came home late that night with a book in his hand “Who moved my cheese?” Somehow the cover of the book never appealed to me and the only sentiment that this news evinced, hovered somewhere between fear and frustration.. fear of living in a city which had way too many communal tensions (or that is what I was told by some of my relatives in Chennai.. thank god we at least get to pick our own friends) and frustration of leaving your friends behind.. again.

You see I never ever have had a permanent set of friends. All you guys must be having childhood friends, best buddies or even pen pals. But I, on the other hand, had just a handful of friends who thought of me as the excessively-tall, squeaky guy who used tobe the class-topper, a teacher’s pet and the best class-jester in the lightweight category. Ok ok.. I confess, I was never the teacher’s pet.. :( But the thing is my dad used to get transferred so often, that it used to be quite depressing to start making friends from the scratch every 3-5 years.

Every transfer was followed by the worst part.. a period of loneliness and solitude. But I recently realized that feeling lonely is a universal feeling. Everyone in this world at some point or the other feels lonely. But the real solace for me had been that this phase passed quickly as I grew up. And the brighter side is, by now, I have started cherishing all kinds of friendships. It has helped me to be thankful and grateful to the special ones and I have developed unbelievable patience and tolerance towards the not-so-special ones :) So I guess life IS fair ;)

And finally to wrap it up, the quote of the day

It is one of the blessings of good friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

P.S: I guess the quote explains this post quite well.
People have been coming up with CS blogs and so I’m planning to start one.
Suddenly truck loads of work has come and I am buried neck deep with work.
My sixth sense tells me that trouble is brewing somewhere nearby :-s.
Please leave some topics that I could blog about in the comments section along with suggestions for titles :( I’m part of the placement committee and Manish is the secretary. I’m raring to get started :P And SCRUBS rocks!! :D
P.S2: Please read the title as Title number 1, if you misunderstood it to be Japanese or Mandarin. Didnt find a suitable title. And am working on a better post, but will take time though. Will be watching Rang de Basanti tomorrow for the second time coz they're screening it in the college :D Real Madrid is out of UEFA and Barca defeated Chelsea as well.. <:-p What could go wrong with this year's competition..