Saturday, February 24, 2007

Is Absence of Evidence, the Evidence of Absence ?

Sunita was relating to me an incident that happened in her native village. Few kids were scared to sleep alone at night, due to fear of ghosts. Sunita, being a woman of science, told them that ghosts were a figment of our imagination, an illusion created by a few, which is now deeply rooted in the minds of the rest. When the kids weren't convinced, she tried telling them, that since they have never seen a ghost, they should not believe that it exists. The kids immediately retorted "Have you ever seen God? Then why do you believe that He exists? Is He, too, not a figment of imagination? " She told me that she was rendered speechless, and asked me what I would answer.

I want to pass on this question to anyone who's reading this post. Do you believe in God? If you do, what is the support for your belief? Is evidence necessary? Can the lack of any evidence be taken to be the evidence for the absence of the phenomenon, as we try to do in case of Ghosts?

My own answers to these questions, I ll post in a couple of days. Till then, I ll await your responses :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Exam "fever" :D

I have noticed that I get most of my creative outbusrts when my exams are just around the corner. One year , it was this amazing idea for a birthday card for my cousin, another year, it was a photo-collage [that I still have, stuck inside my bookshelf back home]. Now, it is this uncontrollable urge to blog. These "ideas" not only take root in my mind, they sort of overpower all other thought processes and become a kind of irrepressible urge, that doesn't let me think or rest till I have given in to it.

I guess, it is because I finally allow my brain to work during the exams? :P Or, maybe, I tend to relax during exams, which allows my brain to indulge in creative pursuits. Well, maybe relax is not the word, more like 'lax'. :D

I remember the good-old-school-days, where each class test was one of utmost importance, and a difference of a single mark would make an earth-shattering difference. During my high school days, I was an ultimately sincere kid. I would wake up at - hold-your-breath- at 05:45 AM and sit down for studies by 06:00 :D In the evening , upon return from school, I would allow myself a maximum of half-hour's rest, and I would be back to studies! And, mind you, to my parents' pleasure, this time-table was self set! But, then, I got out of school, into NCB for the glorious PU days, and, akal thikaane aagayi :D

Now, my routine consists of several interesting things to do during the regualr days :D Come exams, then, I take a break from the routine, and this is when I have these creative outbursts . Once i am finished with these activites, then, I get down to study [Finally!] . Then, the realisation dawns - that the syllabus is voluminous, time is miniscule- and some amount of this precious time goes into contemplating that
my brain is aging and its grasping power has reduced and I should be reducing such incidences of last minute study! After jerking myself out of such reveries, I finally study - albeit, in an exam oriented manner - and dash off a prayer to the Almighty before dashing off to the Hall.

My prayers with the Almighty have also changed with time. During early instances of 'last minute study' , I use to apologise to the Almighty for failing in my duty, and used to request Him ki "Is baar naiyya paar lagado" . Nowadays, I guess even He would have memorised whatever I have to say! So, I tell Him " You very well know what my situation is and what I am going to ask, So, I am not going to repeat the same old stuff and bore both of us. Please understand and do the needful" ! So far He has been merciful enough and has obliged each time.

Yesterday, was truly an extreme case of such procastination. I had a day and a half for preparing for my statistics course, which was an audit. I, stubborn headedly, refused to prepare on tuesday, 'cause I felt that an audit course did not deserve so much of my 'precious' time! And, when I finally sat down to study, I could have kicked myself for the previous day's stupidity!! Thankfully, the paper went well, much better than I had expected.

After each such instance, I resolve not to repeat it again, but, once the exam is over, the daily routine begins. Classes, lab, French, cult activities and ofcourse- masti, keep me so busy, that I do not study regularly. Then, comes exam time, with such "creative urges" to complicate matters, and the vicious cycle continues.

Hoped to kick the habit this time, but the very fact I am writing this post indicates that I have given in to an urge. Got an exam tomorrow. Will go study now!! :D

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Have we become insensitive to terrorism ?

The Samjhauta was blown up. Who are the real terrorists? Those who plant the bomb ? Or, those who instigate them to? Or those who agree to skip security check of luggages for this high priority train, for a petty bribe of Rs 50 ? Is it the laid-back attitude of the Indian governement [Just contrst the "deep condolence" regularly offered by our govt, to the prompt measures taken by the British when the London subway blasts occured] Or we, for whom the blast in a train is just another cover story in the newspaper?

57 innocents died. Will this never stop ? :(

Monday, February 19, 2007

These are a few of my favourite things............

  1. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
  2. The sun's rays entering my room, as I draw the curtain in the morning. Even love the sun on my face, waking me up in the morning, as it used to be at home.
  3. The feel of the cold wind against my face while jogging in the morning.
  4. Listening to music while working. [Not reading, but other work]. Esp. like having the radio on while at home & the suspense of which song is going to be played next :)
  5. Lying down with my head in another's lap. Have fond memories of it..
  6. Reading the newspaper at the breakfast table.
  7. Cartoons!!! Esp., Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and now, Dilbert and PHD Love to watch the Mask and Tom n Jerry :)
  8. Driving. Limited to two wheelers now, but plan to learn a four-wheeler soon.
  9. Chocolates
  10. Weird funky earrings. Definitely non-gold!
  11. Getting Mehendi put on my hands.
  12. Curling up in my favourite armchair, with my cat purring contentedly in my lap - Bliss!!
  13. Being greeted by a dog.
  14. Laying down on the grass and star gazing.
  15. The river water sparkling in the morning sun rays .
  16. Dinner time gupshup with my friends in hostel
  17. Perfume
  18. The smell of rain on the baked earth.
  19. Sleeping in the Maali [loft] with cousins in Kundapur, talking late into the night, till we dropped off.
  20. Swings - not the modern kinds, but those old simple ones, where you could swing till you felt you could touch the sky!
  21. Red wine.
  22. Long walks with akka, in Gandhi bazaar, filled with loads of girly talk.
  23. Watching movies with akka.
  24. Chats - the spicier, the better!!
  25. Pineapple fresh cream pastries :)
  26. A hot water bath at the end of a grimy train journey.
  27. Relaxing in the shade of a tree on a hot summer afternoon.
  28. An afternoon siesta.
  29. Charmbura upkari at annayya's.
  30. The sea
  31. Cycling - has its own charm, that isn't replaced by the scooty!
  32. Playing cards, esp, Gaddava, esp if Vasu is around :)
  33. Rebuses.
  34. Mangoes and Oranges
  35. Mum's cooking. Btw, I like cooking too :)
  36. Temple bells.
  37. Singing , esp while taking a bath :D
  38. My Wodehouse and Agatha Christie collection.
  39. Midnight sinful indulgences of icecream with akka and Sume.
  40. Blogging !!! :D

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Love may hurt, still it is the most beautiful emotion ever.....

A really beautiful song, that does deserve a place on my blog .

Comes the Dawn

After awhile you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes wide open.
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in midflight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Veronica A. Shoffstall

And, a beautiful poem, too, that I fully agree with -

Love's Trinity

Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name,
Are not in love divisible and distinct,
But each with each inseparably link'd.
One is not honour, and the other shame,
But burn as closely fused as fuel, heat, and flame.

They do not love who give the body and keep
The heart ungiven; nor they who yield the soul,
And guard the body. Love doth give the whole;
Its range being high as heaven, as ocean deep,
Wide as the realms of air or planet's curving sweep

Alfred Austin

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day ki shubh kaamnaayein!

Valentine's day has come and gone, the thought of it still lingers... [Akka, remember a limerick along these lines? :D]. With the Shiv Sena threatening to marry off couples engaged in 'obscenity' (link), and two women's groups threatening to oppose the Shiv Sena (link); I was expecting that the press would have a fun time interviewing the 'newly-married's, the marriage mongers and the spoil-sports :D, and , we would have some welcome (?) change from the Bachhan-Rai saga to read about. Sadly, this year's Valentine's day was quite uneventful . Infact, as Ram commented, Clever people would have taken advantage of the Shiv Sena threat and made sure that they were found in all the prominent khopchas, thus, availing of a Shiv Sena sponsored wedding.

But, imagine the following situation -

Javaid and Jennifer want to marry, but face stiff opposition at home. Being Clever people, they decide to take advantage of the V-day.

(Feb 14th, In a kopcha near Bandstand)
Javaid - " Shiv Sena is coming , chalo let us make them notice us "
[Couple indulge in "obscenity" (translates into PDA).
Shiv Sena activists - "Hey raaam! Yeh kya kar rahen hain. Chalo, inki shaadi karate hain"
Javaid and Jennifer dociely follow them, man mein laddoo phooting.
Women's activists, close on the heels on the Shiv Sena - "Nahin, aap in par yeh zulm nahin kar sakte. What is wrong with PDA?? This is a free country. We'll call the police if you continue with such atrocities!"
J &J dismal!!!
Shiv Sena - "Hum yeh shaadi karaake rahenge"
J & J hopeful.
Police dont turn up on time [Atleast, you have one thing you can be sure of, in these unreliable times]
Shiv Sena wins battle :D

Scene cuts to temple.
Pandit ji waiting.
Procession proceeds to mandap - Shiv Sena people, with J & J ; Women's activists behind, screaming themselves hoarse; Press reporters, cameras and pens poised.
Panditji - to the groom and bride " Apna naam batayiye"
J & J tell their names blushingly. Immediately, Hell and its aunt break loose at the mandap.
Shivsena - "Panditji, yeh shaadi rok deejiye"
J & J agasht - "Par kyun?"
Shivsena - "This service is provided only for Hindu couples . Sorry, we cant extend it to you". J & J walk away, sadly; the Pandit again begins preparation for the next couple, whom the Shivsena goes on to find, women's activists and the Press in tow.

So, the bottom line is -"Best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley" :D Happy Valentine's day !!! :D

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not my slice of pie !

Just read in the paper today, that a Russian, Ivan Dimitrov, divorced Irene, his wife of 18 years because she fed him pumpkin [hindi = kaddu] pie for six months, and told him it was courgette [also called 'zuchhini', hindi = laukhi] pie instead. He discovered this hideous truth upon seeing the pumpkin rinds in his garbage bin. To quote his words , "She knows I absolutely hate pumpkins and she lied to me for months about it just because the pumpkins were cheap.What else has she been lying about? What man could trust a woman who fed him pumpkins for half a year?" !!

Well, for everyone's information, cougette is just another gourd, which the Maker , getting bored of spheres, decided to design like a bowling pin. Irene who had learnt her Shakespere well, thought "What's in a name? A rose by any other name smells just as sweet." But, sadly, Ivan had slept through his literature classes, and was ignorant of this beautiful philosophy of life!

Or, maybe Ivan was a super stingy guy, who expected his wife to turn out banquets in the meagre money he doled out to her. So, since "pumpkins were cheap", Irene might have used them, and, thinking that 'ignorance is bliss', she might have not wanted to break the happy spell her husband was living in.

Then again, Irene might be this lady who is a "Jane of few trades, master of one" and the one trade she had mastered was making pumpkin pies. Maybe her pumkin pies were regaled in and around her home, during her spinster days. After marriage, I can imagine Ivan telling her, "Btw, honey, I forgot to tell you, I totally detest pumkin , especially pumpkin pies" . After 18 years of marriage, Ivan was possessed with an over-powering urge to eat courgette pies. But, sadly, making courgette pies was not a trade that Irene had mastered. So, as all females think, she thought she would rather do something she was good at, and, given the attention Ivan pays to her cooking [considering it's been 18 years since marriage], he would hardly notice the difference! The tactic would have well-worked, had she not forgotten to dispose the pumkin rind far-away from home. Or had she not pestered him to take out the garbage on that eventful day.

So, all said and done, the bottom line is that never go by what Shakespeare says, especially if your husband doesnt remember his high-school literature. And, no matter what sin you commit, never substitute pumpkin for courgette!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I am Gifted :))

Took an IQ test today. Just to check out - and either get elated or depressed :D - and got a score of 139 ! :D Gave the online test at They say that theirs is a test developed by research scholars and scientists, and is one of the most authentic ones available today.

The statistics read -

40 - 54 Severely challenged (Less than 1% of test takers)
55 - 69 Challenged (2.3% of test takers)
70 - 84 Below average
85 - 114 Average (68% of test takers)
115 - 129 Above average
130 - 144 Gifted (2.3% of test takers)
145 - 159 Genius (Less than 1% of test takers)
160 - 175 Extraordinary genius

So, what is "Intelligence"?? As the site itself quotes - "Is intelligence one general ability or several independent systems of abilities? Is intelligence a property of the brain, a characteristic of behavior, or a set of knowledge and skills?" The most comprehensive definition I got is - "general adaptability to new problems in life; ability to engage in abstract thinking; adjustment to the environment; capacity for knowledge and knowledge possessed; general capacity for independence, originality, and productiveness in thinking; capacity to acquire capacity; apprehension of relevant relationships; ability to judge, to understand, and to reason; deduction of relationships; and innate, general cognitive ability." Anyone interested can check out It is an interesting read.

Coming back to my score - I m not a genuis.. Well, dint come as much of a surprise, as I have never been supremely confident about my "Intelligence" so to say, but, "genius" is something that I would have loved to be identified as :D But well, the site does say I am "gifted" :D

Sometimes, it takes another person to hammer home the fact that you are truly blessed or 'gifted" as in this case. I was going through a low, thinking, that my math is weak, I dont remember most of the chemistry that I learnt, Physics was never strong, and I'm struggling to understand the working of a complex physics-based software for my work, and am being unable to trouble shoot. Several other things such as the fact that I dont know to play any sport, or that my dancing is just average, and even the fact that I want to do so many things here, but am running out of time.. all were making me feel blue. So, feeling thus, I was working in lab some day, when Sunita asked me to sing , as she was feeling bored too. Now, music is something I truly enjoy, and though, I do have some "stage" fear, I have no problems singing while among friends. So I sang. It felt so good to just forget about all simulations and stuff for a while and just lose yourself in the song. After I finished, she said - "You really sing so well!! Infact, you are good at so many things - I feel when God was making you, He decided to put all good things into you - He has given you so much!". At that point I cracked some stupid joke about "God was putting so much in, so, He had to choose a Big body :P" But , later on, I was pondering about what she said. Though exaggerated, there was truth in what she'd said. I am blessed , and instead of looking at what I have, I was looking at stuff that I dint, and was feeling blue. I am blessed with a very loving family, and great parents, an extremely supportive sister with whom I share an excellent bond, a lovely childhood - filled with amazing cousins, a rambling ancestral home, lots of moments of masti and madness, which will always remain cherished - childhood moments like those that you read in books and always long to have; great friends - somehow, so far, God has blessed me with great friends in every walk of life . He's given me Music - which has been a passion ever since I can remember [Music deserves a separate post by itself - more later :)] , He gave me an opportunity to come to a great place like this - where I have done so many things that I'd never have thought I could do! Well, when , I come to think of it, there are really few regrets that I have :) So, must say I am "gifted", in more ways than one :)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Generations, Cauvery and Mobs.

Generations done!! I dint do much this time.. dint attend a single GBM . Infact, I find myself totally agreeing with - If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings." :D But during the last few days, my consience, whom I had managed to smother, started droning away, and , I felt compelled to go and do my half-penny worth for our dept event. Went just some 4 - 5 days all in all, in which I managed to accumulate sufficient sleep debt! Finally stayed up entire nite on saturday, with the help of umpteen cups of chai, n ended up with bad acidity today! Bunked all classes, n slept the whole day. Now no more sick, but feeling weak.. God! There was a time when I could put in night-outs with ease.. infact, the whole of last year's spring sem, I cant think of a day where I slept more than 5 hrs, and my average was 4 hrs per day! Now, a single week of nite-outs had me down! Either I have lost practice, or I'm growing old! I prefer to attribute this to the former reason than the latter, as, I am "Gonna be 18 till I die ! " :D

Got bored of the old look for the blog, so, here's a revamped blog - new look, new font , new content - but, same old writer! Sorry folks, but there is a limit to what can be changed :D

Heard from Bangalore that the Cauvery verdict is finally out, after 7 long years, and, is in favour of TN. Now, riots are going to begin again in Banaglore. I think , the only thing more scary than a psychotic killer, is a mob. Once in a mob, no one is human anymore. The entire mob is a pulsating, dynamic creature. It is like a time-bomb ticking away. You never know what might trigger it, and once it has been triggered, there is no imagining as to what it might do. And it is the same all over.. the mob kills people in Gujrat based on religion, burns buses in Mumbai and forces a train to reverse tracks, because someone defiled a statue in Kanpur, and cuts off a person's tongue in Banaglore just because he doesn't know to sing the Late Rajkumar's songs. It is sickening to think, that we humans, as a collective force, can contribute only towards violence, than towards something constructive. And, to date, I havent been able to understand how burning buses helps to solve the cause for which the mob is agitating.
I shudder to think what might happen at Bangalore in the coming few days.