Sunday, August 17, 2008

Life in Mumbai Lifeline

What is the fastest way of inculcating the habit of 'not giving up easily'? Readers may have their own opinions but I can bet my bottom dollar that it has to be the experience of traveling in the lifeline of Mumbai, the local train during office hours on weekdays along the traffic (towards Churchgate in the morning and towards Borivalli in the evening) in 2nd class compartment. More than 350 people stuffed into a compartment of capacity say 100. At times, it takes more than 5 minutes to go to the gate on the other side of the train. Having said so, it is not difficult to understand the logic behind the second statement of this post. :D
Not only that, you also learn several other important attributes like ‘fight to survive', 'struggle', ' make your own way'...and the list goes on and on. Recently yours truly also had the experience of traveling in such a 'learning environment' daily. Fortunately, yours truly is a fast learner and gets accustomed to new things very soon :P
On weekdays, even the first class compartment offers you little solace. No doubt, there is always lesser crowd in it. But the two most important advantages are:

1. The probability of finding your wallet at its suitable place is more as compared to 2nd class compartment and

2. At the end of your journey, your olfactory system feels lesser burden.
And take it from me- the last advantage is the biggest of them all. :P
But then this is only one side of the coin. Locals in Mumbai are not only cheap; they also save a lot of time. If you need to travel say 50 kms, local may save up to say 2 hours on any working day. Also, locals seldom get delayed by more than 5 minutes.
In a city like Mumbai, where nothing comes easy and where it takes hell lot of struggle for most of the people to keep the wolf at door, traveling in local is almost a necessity. To people like me, it not only gives a chance to witness different colors of life (and appreciate God for such a wonderful life I have been blessed with) but also a confidence to deal with not so good situations with a smile on my face. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reading the Instincts

Understanding human psyche is quite a difficult job. But instincts can give us a fair idea of the behaviour and personality that these psychic forces govern. By instincts here, I mean the impulsive reactions or response to some external stimulus.


I have been undergoing training in Kolkata for more than a month now. About two weeks ago, the company asked for our preferences regarding the locations of our final postings. I had given mine as Mumbai. But after having spent almost a month with other trainees, I made friends with a few of them and for once I thought of changing my preference to Gurgaon. However, on second thought, I decided not to. But before this final decision, I discussed this issue with a few others and asked their opinion about changing my preference. The two extreme instincts were:

1. "Yaar...there are limited vacancies in Gurgaon and if you too opt for it, then probably I won't get Gurgaon."

2. "Good yaar...tu bhi aaja, masti karenge!" (If you also come to Gurgaon, we'll enjoy!)


These reactions gave me some insight into the thought process of these two individuals.


Some people lie and fake so very often and with such a great expertise that others just can't help being fooled by them. But instincts, being their response to external stimulus before application of any thought process to it, are their natural and true response and reflect their true character. And though the instincts are not always conclusive, they certainly help us understand others better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Veil

Very often the appearances are deceptive and it takes quite some time to find out the naked truth behind the veil that many people cover their faces with.
What I wrote just before, is not meant to send out negative connotations only. There are people who look quite intimidating from outside but are just the opposite from inside. At the same time, there are people who look innocent like a lamb turn out to be a fox when examined closely.
Most of the times, some of our past actions cause a particular image to be associated with us. And though this image may be positive or negative, the motives behind those actions carry far more significance and are sometimes not easy to decipher.
Recently a girl proposed one of my friends but my friend declined her. When the girl persisted on, he had to use bitter (but decent) words just because he did not want her to suffer for himself.
To many people, who did not know him well, he appeared to be a rude and emotionless person. However the truth is quite the opposite.
And though it may not be easy to unveil the motive behind someone's actions, it is always worth the time and effort to try to decipher it. Who knows, you might be missing a trustworthy and loyal friend just because you did not try to look beyond what everyone else looks at.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ego versus Self Respect

In my previous post, I wrote about a fine distinction between Ego and Self Respect. I''ll elaborate it here.
Ego is something you throw on others, usually to satisfy your desire to exert power or authority on them or to show them your worth. Self respect on the other hand is quite essantial to your existence as a person of honour and diginity in your own eyes.
You need others to satisfy your ego, which is not the case with self respect. You can be a person of high self respect without forming a coterie around you.
When your ego shatters, you usually have three mutually exclusive and exhaustive feelings :
1. You may experience extreme anger and it usually gives rise to a flame of revenge in your heart which in no time becomes an uncontrollable fire.
2. You become helpless because you can't do anything about it. You are too powerless to do any harm to the person who was the reason for bringing down your ego.
3. You start to analyze the situation rationally and bury your arrogance and then you are able to see the logic and the reason.
On the other hand, when you lose self respect, your anger is directed more towards yourself than towards anyone else. You start questioning the very reasons for your own existence. A person who doesn't value himself/herself can't expect others to value him/her. Self respect is one of the central tenets of the life of a rational human being.
When ego shatters, it is usually the result of loss of your command or authority over others. Loss of self respect on the other hand is always the consequence of guilt, a feeling that you did something wrong in the past or that you could have done something in somewhat different manner.
And now that you, the brave reader, has read so far, I'll give you some food for thought : There are times when ego is shattered into pieces and is accompanied by loss of self respect too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When is it time to let it go?

In relationships, it is not uncommon to see people sacrificing their ego. And most of the times, it is quite important in order to sustain the relationship. And it is not wrong either. But if it comes to sacrificing your self respect, it is the final checkpoint. You may go ahead or you can still come back. And if you decide to go ahead, whatever be the outcome, one thing is definite-there would be no way back to be the same person that you once were. And you may find yourself wondering if it was all worth it.
The key is to understand the fine boundary between ego and self respect.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Mystery of Floating Stones

It is mentioned in the epic Ramayana that Ram Setu was built by the son of Lord Vishwakarma when Lord Rama needed to cross the sea to reach Lanka. The bridge known as Adam's Bridge is said to be built of floating stones. The epic mentions that whenever the name of Lord Rama was written over any stone, it started to float in the sea water.
Some such stones are said to be scattered at Rameswaram during the Tsunami and one of them was brought to Patna to prove the evidence of Rama and the bridge. The proof was given in the form of this video :
Even after watching this video many people won't believe it. And I can understand it. It defies logic and reason. But is it actually so? How can this mystery be explained?
About 4 years back, I was in Rameswaram and in one of the several hundreds of temples, I saw not one, but 12 such stones! They were of various shapes and sizes.
Here is a possible explanation : Before I start, I mention it very clearly that the following explanation, though not verified through thorough experiments, is supported by some of the observations that can be made by watching the video itself and some other experiments I did myself.
Any object when immersed in a liquid would displace some part of the liquid. This is so because when it is immersed in the liquid, it would occupy some of the volume that was earlier occupied by the liquid.
Any object floats in any liquid when the weight of the liquid, displaced by the fraction of the object immersed in the liquid, is equal to the entire weight of the object itself. Thus the fraction of the object immersed in the liquid depends on the relative densities of object and the liquid. For example when ice floats in water, approximately 90% of the volume of ice is immersed in water and only 10% remains outside water.
These stones might be special in the sense that they might be hollow from inside. They may have some air cavities inside them, so that the weight of the water displaced by them is more than their own weight. These air cavities need not be uniformly located inside these stones.
Logic behind the explanation :
I'll mention about the two surfaces of the stone. First surface ( which I'll denote by surface A ) has "Ram Setu Shila" written over it in Hindi in red. The other surface is opposite to this surface ( I'll denote it by surface B).
If we watch the video carefully, we'll notice that the weight of a stone of the size as shown in the video would be definitely more than 15 Kgs. A stone of this size would weigh not less than 30 Kgs. (Assuming the normal density that we observe in most of the commonly found stones). It is highly improbable that the density of the stone material would be lesser than that of water. Another observation that supports this explanation is that the stone shown in the video always floats with surface A exposed to the viewer and the surface B totally immersed in water. This suggests that the stone is not uniformly built and that the stone has higher average density near surface B as compared to the average density near surface A. If it were not so, then the stone would float even with surface A immersed. But it automatically realigns itself so that when it floats, surface B is immersed and surface A is exposed to viewer. ( This conclusion is drawn on the basis of the fact that according to Physics, stone would always float in such a position/configuartion where its potential energy is minimum.)
I did this experiment myself with stones in Rameswaram. All the stones there would also float with one particular surface always immersed in water and the other one always exposed to the viewer.
Thus we can say with reasonable level of confidence that the stones don't have uniform density and that more air cavities must be located near the surface which is exposed to the viewer when the stone floats (surface A in the case of stone of the video.)
I could have verified this theory myself by breaking one of the stones that I found in Rameswaram and looking for air cavities inside the stone. But had I attempted to do so, the temple priests would have broken my head :P

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Everyone was looking around!

Some facts about IIT JEE - 2004 Mathematics Paper :

Duration of paper : 120 minutes
Total number of questions : 20
Maximum marks : 60 ( 10x2 + 10x4)
Cut-off : Less than or equal to 09. ( IITs don't release cut-offs. However I came across a guy who scored 9 marks in mathematics paper and still made it through)

It was one of the most gruelling papers in the history of IIT JEE. Needless to say that candidates were tormented all through the paper.

A friend of mine, Animesh was one of the fortunate few who cleared JEE 2004.
This is what he said about the Mathematics paper of JEE 2004 and his secret of success.

"I looked at the first question for a long time. And after a Herculean effort, I solved it but my gut feeling told me that the answer was not correct."
"I looked at the second question. I couldn't do it."
"I tried the third one. It tore through my gray cells without producing any useful result."
"The familiar story repeated itself in the fourth question."
"Then I looked at the 20th question. Forget about solving, I couldn't understand the question either."
"19th question. And I thought to myself if I had seen anything remotely related to it ever before!"
"I was petrified. I turned the pages of 40 page question paper cum answer booklet back and forth, trying my level best to find one question I could dare to solve. There wasn't any!!!"
"Then I closed my eyes and thought that JEE-2004 was over for me."
"But what happened next, diffused all the tension out of my mind."

"I looked around the examination hall. Everyone was looking around!"
"And I smiled to myself - the game was on."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Appearances can be deceptive


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Their comments, My reactions

Whenever I write a new post, I usually take Orkut's help to make people read it. And I expect people to comment on it, criticize it and at times appreciate it as well. But then it seldom happens as you plan it to be. Some innocent people don't understand that they are supposed to comment on the blog and not in the forum messages. Also many a times people don't even comment when they are supposed to. But I find those people much better than the ones whose comments are something like this:
1. Hey you write very well. Keep posting.
You fool! It was the photograph that I wanted you to comment on. And whatever I wrote in that post was about the place where I took that photograph, the camera I used etc.
2. Man, I have already commented on this post of yours. But this deserves another comment. Nice post! Keep blogging.
You lazy ass! There are 15 other posts on my blog. When the hell did I say that you have to comment on the same post?
3. What a blog! Excellent man. Keep blogging. :)
When you commented last time on some other post, your comment was : Excellent man. What a blog! Very nice. Keep blogging :)
If you were in front of me, I would have made sure that you don't remain capable of putting that :) ever again at the end of your comments. :X
4. That was good inspiring post.
I never doubted your intellectual incapability. Forget about the post itself, had you read even the labels for that post, you would have understood that it was intended to be a humorous post and not an inspiring one. :X

PS: Genuine comments and criticisms are always welcome :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Anatomy of Love - I

So much has been written about this word that I am not sure whether I'll put something new or not. Everyone might have his/her own views about it, but here I put some of my own views about love. And I don't say that whatever I write here is absolute. These are just my views. They might be correct; they might not be.
The first question that comes to my mind is whether love should be conditional or unconditional. And my answer might amaze you or even confuse you. I say it should be both.
Love should be conditional when it comes to the selection of person(s) whom we love. Love in its absolute sense is too precious to be given to each and everyone. Love, in a way, is response to the values in the persona of other person.
We come across many kinds of people in our lives. We like or love some; we don't like or love others. And at times we detest even the presence of some people. Why is it so? It is because we don't like their certain habits. Or in other words, certain aspects of their personality.
The list of habits or qualities that one admires or detests may vary from person to person and also with age and certain other circumstances for a particular person. When it comes to marriages in India, many people give preference to physical beauty much more than education. It is exactly the opposite with many others. Similarly, five years ago, I used to detest smokers. And no smoker could be my friend then. Though I still don't approve of smoking but at the same time I don't detest smokers or smoking now. And when I say that the list of such habits that we like or dislike may change, it doesn't mean that it would necessarily change. I didn't like lazy people five years back; I still don't like them.
When I say love, it could be for anyone. I love my parents so much. Most of the people do. But when I talked to a deserted child in an orphanage his views were not the same. The way he talked about his parents suggested a sense of disgust even at the mention of the word 'parents'. Why is there a difference in his and my response to the same question of love for parents? It is because his parents did not set an example of love and care that was expected of them. The values that were expected in their behaviour towards their child were completely missing or else they would not have deserted him in the first place.
Our habits together form our way of life and thus, shape our character. These values are reflected in almost all the works we do. And thus the values inherent in someone's character are the reason why we love someone and hate others. And thus when it comes to selection of people we love, love is absolutely conditional.
Here I should emphasize that I am not writing about the regular crushes that some people might have on actors/actresses and so on, though even in that case it is their physical beauty that is the reason for crush.
And when should love be unconditional? I'll explore this question some other time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

IITian for you

Look at the pic is of the answer sheet for mid term examination. The total marks for the exam were 25. The guy didn't know even the name of the subject and still scored 24 marks... ain't it incredible? :P :D ;P :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

The so called 'Cool Gals'

Mid semester break just got over. But very few fellas have returned so far.
But thanks to my short attendance in elective course, I had to be back on time. And since there was no one to talk to and it was utterly boring to be alone, I logged onto my Orkut account and started visiting the profiles of gals with ‘cool’ profile pics.
The stuff in their profiles is very entertaining. I find ‘about me’ and ‘ideal match’ sections to be the most hilarious ones. And here is what some of those ‘cool gals’ had mentioned in these two sections in their respective profiles.

Cool Gal 1 : Ideal match – An IIM graduate.
Why don’t you marry an ATM?

Cool gal 2 : About me – I am fun loving gal. Rest you can know after going thru my testes.
Just don't wanna go through your eeehhhh...What I know already about you has killed every bit of reason and desire to know anything more about you!

Cool Gal 3: About me - hey i m too talkative. i'll eat yr head.
Others haven’t left any.

Cool Gal 4: Ideal match: ummmm.. ma doggie n me!.. lolz.. i don wanna pair maself wid guys atleast 4 timebeing!.. confident of yourself? Ask a few guys too...May be after reading this joke of yours, even they would prefer a b**** over you!

Cool Gal 5 :Ideal match - A P J Abdul Kalam, ha ha ha, aur koi naam sujha nahi.
Apne Vajpayeeji ko kaise bhool gayi aap? Vo bhi kuware hi hain. Ha ha ha

Cool gal 6 : About me - i'm a good looking guy, simple natur,music lover,good in studies.....aur kya bataun.
Vaise bhi iske baad ab batane ko kuch bach bhi nahi sakta.

Cool Gal 7 : About me- my self is kanika & i think that is enough for me...wat abt u.

Ideal match - me & him.

Had you mentioned the name of the guy, I would have written entire post on him. Even you would have been spared :P

In my bedroom you will find: offcource me ...that's it....& nothin to show on orkut .its pesonal.
When did they ask to ‘show’ anything ‘pesonal’ ?

Well some 'hot guys' are also fast catching up with the cool gals. This one is from the profile of a hot guy from IIT.

Ideal Match - JIGAR hona chahiye usme....
That is why the outsiders say that IITians are different. :D :D :D

PS: The names mentioned in the post are changed ones.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Love is in the air!!!

Apart from the two penguins that you will definitely notice, I want you to observe the other pair as well.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Shots from Lisbon Oceanarium - III

Shots from Lisbon Oceanarium - II

Quite difficult to distinguish this fish from the vegetation in the background...camouflage at its very best.

Shots from Lisbon Oceanarium - I

"And the world is their oyster."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

V for Victory

"You Indians are crying foul after Sydney loss, but this Perth pitch is going to scare shit out of you"- an Australian supporter before the start of Perth match."

That was too much of swashbuckling...but this Indian team has made them eat their words.

It was a great performance by our boys...especially under those trying circumstances after Sydney loss. And what is really great to watch is a team-performance. Usually 2 or 3 guys rise to the occasion whenever India wins. But not this time round. Whole team made a great effort and this was very much required if you are to beat a team like Australia which has such a terrific record at WACA(which is considered as one of the world's fastest and bounciest pitches and Australia went into the match with 4 fast bowlers) so far. And with this came to halt the winning streak of 16 test matches...yet again at the Indian hands. Last time it happened was when India won the famous test match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata when Steve Waugh's Invincibles succmbed to the heroics of Laxman and Dravid.

But what was impressive about the Austrlian team was their approach to the game. Come what may, they would not leave their aggresive way of playing and dealing with pressure situations. Even in this test match when Clarke and Johnson were going hammer and tongs, the match was still not over, even though Indians were clearly leading the edge. But this is the way the Australians play and that is why they are considered the best team of our times.

But clearly the match and the day belonged to Indians and they deserve the full credit for their hardwrok. We, the Indian supporters, hope that you guys level the series in the next match at Adelaide. And if you guys level the series officially there, we will take it as 3-1 victory over Australia in their own backyard considering the acrimonious turn of events in Sydney. Best of luck Team India. For now, it's celebration time. PARTY HARD. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The man with the golden arm

It was in the summer of 2002 at Antigua Recreation Ground that a man with bandaged jaw was trying his best to break the ongoing West Indian partnership. He had been earlier hit on the jaw by a rising delivery from paceman Mervyn Dillon. And he got his victim...Carl Hooper...but alas! It was a no-ball.

Still determined, despite doctor's advice to rest, this man continued to bowl...and there it came...the prized wicket of dangerous looking Brian Lara.

Who can forget that splendid effort by Jumbo? Having bowled 14 overs with a fractured jaw, he ran a great risk. But such is his dedication to his team.

And today, Anil Kumble became the first Indian bowler and the third in the world to reach the milestone of 600 wickets on day two of the third Test against Australia in Perth. Kumble achieved the record just after the tea break when he had Andrew Symonds caught by Rahul Dravid at first slip.

In India where the batsmen usually steal the limelight, this man has done a wonderful job in a glorious career spanning over 18 years. Congratulations to him for achieveing this unique feat.

Kumble is a man of great character. He has delivered everytime the critics doubted him, whether it be Australian tour of 2003-04 when critics questioned his selection in the team (where he claimed 24 wickets in 3 tests and helped India draw the test series against mighty Australians in their own backyard) or his ability to bowl on Carribean pitches ( where he claimed 6-78 in the second innings of the final Test in Sabina Park, Jamaica(2006 series), and bowled India to a historic series victory; it had been 35 years since a similar series victory.)

His fighting spirit was well drafted when he bowled 88.5 overs in a test match against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground during 2003-04 tour and though the match ended in a draw, he returned triumphantly with 12 wicket haul in the match.

He has won a number of awards and national honours ( Arjuna Award and Padam Shri). He already has a number of records to his credit(including 10 wicket haul in one inning) and at 37, though the age is not on his side, he still has a lot to offer. Way to go Jumbo!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

मेरी कलम से

This is something I wrote a long back...26th December, 2006 to be precise. And because I don't write anymore, this is my last one unless I start writing again sometime in future.


शिकवा भी नहीं साँसों के सिलसिले से,
तन्हाइयों में जीने की अब तो आदत है मेरी...
दिल उनका लाख पत्थर ही सही,
ये इंतज़ार तो अब इबादत है मेरी...