Friday, September 22, 2006

On Love...

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires....

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

kahlil gibran

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Am I Ethical - Part 3

Our values are what we prize and our values system is the order in which we prize them. Because they rank our likes and dislikes, our values determine how we will behave in certain situations.The above i discussed in my last post.To make any decision or justify any decision as being ethical, we usually follow one more step. We translate values into principles.This is done subconscioulsy. This we believe helps us in guiding and motivating ethical conduct. For example, honesty is a value that governs behavior in the form of principles such as: tell the truth, don’t deceive, be candid, don’t cheat. In this way, values give rise to principles in the form of specific "dos" and "don’ts."Now, do we we relate these principles to ethics? Ethics is about putting principles into action. Consistency between what we say we value and what our actions say we value is a matter of integrity. That alone determines whether we are ethical in our thoughts and deeds. Consider the following points

  1. Not doing what you have the power to do: An act isn’t proper simply because it is permissible or you can get away with it.

  2. Not doing what you have the right to do: There is a big difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.

  3. Not doing what you want to do: In the well-worn turn of phrase, an ethical person often chooses to do more than the law requires and less than the law allows.

Ok, the biggest question we should have answered is why be ethical at all? At the end of the day what is that i achieve in this whole tiresome process?Here are some of the reasons i found convincing. You may add your own or disapprove the below. Nevertheless, i found them useful motivations for being ethical:

  1. There is inner benefit. Virtue is its own reward.

  2. There is personal advantage. It is prudent to be ethical. It’s good business.

  3. There is approval. Being ethical leads to self-esteem, the admiration of loved ones and the respect of peers.

  4. There is religion. Good behavior can please or help serve a deity.

  5. There is habit. Ethical actions can fit in with upbringing or training.

But seriously, what stops us from being ethical. Again, i found two interesting points:

  1. The ethics of self-interest.When the motivation for ethical behavior is self-interest, decision-making is reduced to risk-reward calculations. If the risks from ethical behavior are high — or the risks from unethical behavior are low and the reward is high — moral principles succumb to expediency. This is not a small problem: many people cheat on exams, lie on resumes, and distort or falsify facts at work. The real test of our ethics is whether we are willing to do the right thing even when it is not in our self-interest.

  2. The pursuit of happiness.We have often heard this idea that happiness is a basic right of free men. But is this pursuit a moral end in itself? It depends on how one defines happiness. Our values, what we prize and desire, determine what we think will make us happy. We are free to pursue material goals and physical sensations, but that alone rarely (if ever) leads to enduring happiness. It more often results in a lonely, disconnected, meaningless existence. The morally mature individual finds happiness in grander pursuits than money, status, sex and mood-altering substances. A deeper satisfaction lies in honoring universal ethical values, that is, values that people everywhere believe should inform behavior. That unity between principled belief and honorable behavior is the foundation for real happiness.

Now to answer the first question about my friend's policy of pre marital sex. In my world, i do not have any issues. But perhpas in his world, he needs to make an ethical decision and not simply rant ethical decisions tipping down from the whims and fansies of his parents or society.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Am i Ethical - Part 2

What happens when ethics collide? How to handle this? Before answering this, let me move on to a different but related concept of virtue and being virtuous. Is being virtuous mean being ethical?

Virtue is the sole good, in so far as it is, considered in itself, happiness for the man. Hence virtue should be desired as a virtue and not for the sum of pleasures which can be derived from it. Virtue is an end in itself and not a means to attaining the good. This mean, being virtuous is a conscious decsion which leads to being happy very much what being ethical tries to arrive at. On the contrary, Ethics are more stricter by definition. They do not necessarily talk about the happiness of the individual but about the happiness of environment(or more so people) surrounding the man. Being virtuous may lead to being ethical but the reverse is necessarily not true.

I have grown up in this school of thought that anything which is virtuous but not vice is evil. For instance, gaining a lot of money may give me happiness but if it is done at the cost of other's then it is not vice. Why are children then taught to be virtuous? Well, the stoic philosophy gives a good explanation for this.Atleast this explanation is something i found useful. But just what did the Stoics mean by virtue and vice? Virtue signifies living according to reason. Since reason tells us that all that happens must happen and that it happens, virtue consists not only in not desiring anything except what happens, but in accepting with eagerness anything that does happen. For the Stoic anything which cannot be reasoned represent the irrational, because they tend to turn away reason from that which indeed must happen. In this opposition vice consists. Vice, hence, is everything that tends to oppose itself to reason, every desire or emotion which opposes itself to the natural development of nature. It is in this complete domination of reason over the passions and the emotions that Stoic apathy consists. In a word, the Stoic must be like a god who, closed up in his reason, passes among men without a care for all that happens. Hence, virtue should always be directed towards a reason and not the other way around. This precisely complements my earlier arguement on the fact that virtue may lead to being ethical but not the other way around. More so, when ethics depend on "stoic irrational" concepts like passions and emotions. This also throws another view point that ethics also come by from emotional aspects which need not necessarily be reasoned. This is true for values also. This again reinstances that ethics cannot be universal and so cannot be values.

Before we understand the collision of ethics and values, let us understand what happens if our values themselves collide. How do we react to such situations. It has been found that we internally build a system of values in which different values are ranked. At any point in time, our decisions in situations as above are based on what priority or ranking we have for these values. Let me try to explain this better. Our values are what we prize and our values system is the order in which we prize them. Because they rank our likes and dislikes, our values determine how we will behave in certain situations. Yet values often conflict. For example, the desire for personal independence may run counter to our desire for intimacy. Our desire to be honest may clash with the desire to be rich, prestigious or kind to others. In such cases, we resort to our values system. The values we consistently rank higher than others are our core values, which define character and personality.

Are we in a position to answer the first question now about ethics and values colliding? Well yes, but as my friend says I would reserve that discuss
for later as i am currently tired to write more :). But the next post on this topic shall definitely answer that question.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Am i Ethical? - Part 1

Well for all those who know me would say.."of course not". Some would add things like "You and ehtics are 2 sides of the coin. You shall never face each other". And what does part 1 mean here? Jokes apart, i was faced with this question sometime back. It all started off like this:

I and my classmate were discussing about pre marital sex. He was saying, it was not ethical and i was saying "ethics is a matter of personal choice". So, he asked me "How do you say that?. Can i be ethical to myself and non ethical to others? What about the values my parents have imparted to me. We cannot afford to do such things in our culture, can we?"

This made me think...and i realized i had a lot to write. Hence i am spliting the discussion into multiple posts. This post is just a start.

Let me first understand What is ethics?

These are some of the answers i got[from friends, folks, surfing on the internet]:

  1. A set of principles of right conduct.
  2. A theory or a system of moral values: “An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain” (Gregg Easterbrook).

  3. The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.

  4. The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: e.g. Medical Ethics

What the above means is that "Ethics" refers to principles that define behavior as right/good/proper. Such principles need not always dictate a single "moral" course of action, but provide a means of evaluating and deciding among competing options. The above basically means there is nothing universal about this. I shall discuss about the universal nature of ethics later. But the question now is, are ethics and values one and the same? Well, not really.

The terms "ethics" and "values" are not the same. Ethics is concerned with how a person who has belief in some morals "should behave", whereas values are the inner judgments that determine how a person "actually behaves". Values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs about what is right and wrong. In general, values have nothing to do with ethics.

The next issue is in understaning, how universal are my ethics and values. Most people have convictions about what is right and wrong based on religious beliefs, cultural roots, family background, personal experiences, laws, organizational values, professional norms and political habits. For instance, my friend is convicted that pre marital sex is wrong.But unfortunately, these are not the best values to make ethical decisions by — not because they are unimportant, but because they are not universal. Well then, what exactly are universal ethics? Can ethics actually be universal? It seems like there are somethings which can be considered universal.

In contrast to above items which are based on consensus, concepts like trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship can be considered universal. But there is a catch. Personal and professional beliefs on the these vary over time, among cultures and among members of the same society but the basic concept remains the same. It then leads to say that all of the universal ideas on ethics like the ones above are meant for interpretation of the individual and has nothing implicit in it which makes it universal. For instance, lets take responsibility. There is nothing implicit in responsibility that makes it universal.For instance, there is always a continuous disagreement with some of the above concepts and its universality. No, i am not saying people should not have their opinion. NEVER. There is nothing wrong with having strong personal and professional moral convictions about right and wrong, but unfortunately, some people are "moral imperialists" who seek to impose their personal moral judgments on others.And the others are either forced to accept it or choose to accept it by obligation. This by itself is a contradiction to the above principles. For instance, i may argue the following: The universal ethical value of respect for others dictates honoring the dignity and autonomy of each person and cautions against self-righteousness in areas of legitimate controversy. This basically means i do respect ethics and its universality but then including notions of "respect" but then i do not respect your opinion of not accepting my convictions and believing them. This basically leads to collision..collision of ethics and values. How to handle this?...Well i am not answering that here coz thats a seperate topic in itself. I think its better i reserve it for later.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Valluvar and Tagore on Love

yaanokkum kaalai nilanokkum nokkaakkaal
thaanokki mella nagum.
thiruvalluvar ( 31 BC )
kural : 1094
adhigaram : kuripparidhal


when i look, she looks down; when i don't,
she looks and smiles timidly.

adhigaram : Describes an ontology. A semantic classification of the topics covered under this head
inbathuppaal: A collection of topics on love

find it toooooo beautiful and very similar to some lines from tagore's
"the gardener"

if it sets your heart aflutter, i will
take away my eyes from your face.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

talk with Talk

It's been nearly a year since Google launched Google Talk. Like so many of Google's non-search gizmos, it's been tagged as "beta" for an eternity. The rub here is that Google Talk hasn't really wowed the public in its infancy.

That's unusual. Google is used to being either a category killer or a silent killer. Look at the perfect simplicity of its landing page, or its AdWords and AdSense advertising programs. Look at the jaw-dropping beauty of Google Earth or Google Maps.

Google Talk? Eh. It's not exactly shabby, but it's not Google's finest hour. That's OK, though; Google doesn't have to hit them all out of the park. Perhaps Google Talk is like those alien baddies in the War of the Worlds remake, buried in the ground and lying dormant until the time comes to arise from its slumber and strike. Integrating the program with Google Checkout transactions, or tying it to AdWords' recent move toward "click-to-call" functionality, might be the elixir to make Google Talk a real monster.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The 30 min mockery

Today one of my friends got a strange email from his mgr as follows:

Please inform me if you are going to be away from your desk (office) for more than 30 min.

Your Manager

Now suddenly a thought struck me...what if i were in my friend's position and i wish to go the the toilet and also anticipate it may exceed 30 mins? What should i do? Then followed some beautiful mechanisms to tackle my problem. Here goes....

Suppose i am in toilet expecting i shall be back in 5-10 mins and it takes more than 30 mins for whatever reason and let us say i do not have my mobile or something..then what am i supposed to do? I have the following options:

1. Leave a message on YM for my mgr every time i go to the toilet.
2. On the 29th min, come out of the toilet using the following approach:

a. come 29th min and u zip back my pants and decide to flush or leave it open and come out of the toilet. If you had flushed go to step b else go to step c
b. come out after flushing, wash hands(if u need it) and come over to ur cube(waiting and praying for the arrival of the 31st min hopefully praying no meeting is being scheduled in the next 2 mins),and get back to the toilet. Now follow step d.
c. If u do not flush, come out leaving the toilet stinking hoping no one enters the same toilet u used, and follow everything in step b till you get back to the toilet. Now follow step e.
d. If u find that the toilet u used is empty and u wish to use it(inspite of the nuances you had earlier created) Use it till you are are satisfied and come back from the toilet satisfied. Make sure you also time yourself when u enter the toilet. If u exceed 29 mins, come out and go to step a. If u are done within 28 mins come out satisfied and go to step h. If u do not find the toilet empty, go to step f.
e. If u find the toilet u used and u still find it unflushed, then it could be possible that someone else had come in the meantime, used it and left it unflushed too. Or it could have been left unflushed right after you left on the 29th min too. If you are hygiene loving person, you may wanna flush it and get back to your process before the 29th min or else you may continue on the unflushed toilet itself. Once you are done, come back from the toilet satisfied. Now go to step h. If u do not find the toilet empty, go to step f.
f. While(1) {
flag = search(nearer room, same sex, free toilet) ;
if(flag == found){
go forward and continue the process you followed before u left the previous toilet .
Now go to step h.

h. You have successfully mastered the art of following guidelines when leaving for toilet. Please document this gyan so that others can use it. File a bug, mark its priority. Also in the meantime, wait for further meetings/discussions on the same. Make sure you also get it prioritized.

The above algo has obvious flaws but is somewhat very close to what i would do given i am in this situation.

3. [ I love this option. My personal favourite] Come out of the toilet and shout in the open saying i am in toilet and will take another few mins on the 29th min.

What i am interested in knowing is which one would be preferred.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Google Condoms

An interesting read on google's new innovation: Google Condoms

Friday, July 07, 2006


Like any other insane creature on this planet who has nothing else to do...i too decided to write a book. Do not ask me about what it was as that is not important. What is important is what i write in it. So i finished up my Copyrights page, Acknowledgements, Prelude and other things. The next section was Disclaimers which looks something like this:

Warnings and Disclaimers

  1. This book is a work in progress. It contains quite a few mistakes and typos. I would greatly appreciate your constructive criticism. You can reach me at :

  2. Reading this book impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery.

  3. This book has been found to cause drowsiness in laboratory animals.

  4. This book contains twenty-three times the US RDA of fiber.

  5. Caution: FLAMMABLE - Do not read while smoking or near a fire.

  6. If infection, rash, or irritation develops, discontinue use and consult a physician.

  7. Warning: For external use only. Use only as directed. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating contents can be harmful or fatal. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

  8. In the unlikely event of a water landing do not use this book as a
    otation device.

  9. The material in this text is fiction; any resemblance to real things, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  10. This is by far the most amusing section of this book....
  11. Finding the typos and mistakes in this book is left as an exercise for the reader. (Eye ewes a spelling chequer from thyme too thyme, sew their should knot bee two many misspellings. Though I ain't so sure the grammar's too good.)

  12. The techniques and methods in this text are subject to change without notice.

  13. This is a chain book. If you do not make seven copies and distribute them to your friends within ten days of obtaining this text you will suffer great misfortune and other nastiness.

  14. The surgeon general has determined that excessive studying is detrimental to your social life.

Now once you have read the above plz leave a comment as to whether i have missed out on something so that i can peacefully go ahead completing my book.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Socialist Classic

The lovers sat on the deserted riverside,the full moon above them.He held her close.Their lips met.

'Darling', she said ,'there is something on my mind'.
'Tell me honey',he said.
'Have you read Karl Marx's Das Kapital?'
'I haven't .I have been wanting to.'
He began undoing her blouse.

'Have patience',she said.'Let us read Kapital.I brought it along with me.'

He took his hand off her and said,'As you wish.' They lit a lamp by the riverside and began reading.

After many months,when they had finished the four volumes of Kapital,he resumed his petting.

'I love you',she said.The moon shone over them.


PS : Readers are requested to get hold of four volumes of Das Kapital and fill in the blanks.If they do so,this little story will become the lengthiest Socialist-realist novel in contemporary literature.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some Facts to Ponder!!

This list is awesome...

1. In an average lifetime, a woman will consume six pounds of lipstick. - San Diego Union, 4/25/06

2. Americans spent $14,300,000,000 on dog food in 2004. That's $10,000,000,000 more than on baby food the same year. - The Week Magazine, 3/10/06

3. India is racing to complete a spacecraft for moon orbit next year. Its space agency employs more people than NASA. - KTLA Los Angeles, 2/12/06

4. A Malaysian man received a $218,000,000,000,000 phone bill and was ordered to pay up within 10 days or face prosecution. - MSNBC, 4/10/06

5. 5 of the United States have more gun dealers than gas stations. - Time, 3/27/06

6. U.S. airlines last year lost about 10,000 bags a day on average. - USA Today, 2/16/06

7. Starbucks says China is their #1 growth market. At $6 a cup, the coffee costs more than the average Chinese worker earns in a day. -, 2/14/06

8. A 150 watt personal computer left on continuously for a year consumes the electricity equivalent of 100 gallons of oil. - San Diego Union, 12/28/05

9. Cell phone ringtones generate 2 billion dollars in annual income for the music industry. - Fortune Magazine, 12/12/05

10. A Santiago, Chile restaurant named "Car Crash" had to close temporarily because a car crashed into it. - Seattle Times, 7/28/05

11. An Ohio business man spent over a half million dollars opening a sports bar before realizing it is located in a district that prohibits the sale of alcohol. - 19 Action News, 12/11/05

12. Stephen Crawford recently resigned as co-President of Morgan Stanley. He was on the job for 15 weeks, and was paid $32,000,000. Assuming he worked seven days a week, sixteen hours a day, he still made $19,000 per hour. - Business Week, 7/11/05

13. If you brew your own coffee instead of purchasing a $3 latte each day, you would have $55,341 after 30 years (calculation includes interest). - Motley Fool, 6/21/05

14. A 24-hour suicide hot line in Canada will only be open between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays because of budget cuts. - Houston Chronicle, 5/27/05

15. Wal-Mart's profit in 2004 were $20,000 per minute. - New York Times, 2/27/05

16. 28% of all Medicare costs are spent in the last year of a person's life. - National Center for Policy Analysis, 8/02

17. Approximately 240,000 manhole and street drain covers were stolen in Beijing, China in 2004. - CNN, 3/15/05

18. Each and every day, Saudi Arabia receives $500,000,000 from oil-consuming nations, including almost $100,000,000 from the United States. - The Week Magazine, 3/17/06

19. Gillette will be coming out with a razor with five blades in 2006. The "Fusion" will best its own Mach 3 and Schick's Quattro. - Newsweek, 9/26/05

20. According to a recent study, birds prefer their droppings to be on white cars. - WFMY News 2, 6/29/05

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Decision Trap!

What is constant? No i am not getting into some phisophical thought about human existence and all that. But seriously...what is that one thing which is constant? Our ability to make a decision everyday. I am not talking about the correctness of the decisions we make, but simply the fact that we make decisions. Even, if we do not want to make a decision, it is a decision in itself. Looking at it another way, you may choose not to take a decision everyday, but you will be met with situations (both simple and complex) where you are expected to take a decision. We all wake up every single day knowing fully well that we will have to face such situations.After all, no one likes to be indecisive.

So how to make decisions? How do you know whether you have taken the right decision or otherwise? No, I'm not repeating Robert Frost. I read an interesting note somewhere that the human mind applies different techniques when it comes to making decisions. There are different rules when it comes to taking decisions amidst simple and complex situations. Let me explain.

If you are buying a mobile phone or a laptop (simple decisions), you will use a highly rational and researched approach. You will engage in thorough conscious deliberation before choosing.

If you are buying a new home or say, you are trying to get married (complex decisions), research has found out that a new technique called "deliberation without attention" works well for such situations. This is more of a "follow your gut" decision than any well-thought-out decision.

So when do you choose to apply "delibration without attention" and when do you take a highly researched decision? For relatively simple decisions, it is better to use a highly rational and researched approach. However, when making a complicated decision, the unconscious in each of us appears to do a better job of resolving factors and making a sound conclusion.

No, this is not a pop psychology and I'm sure many of us will not agree to the stated hypothesis. It's worth a try, nonetheless.

Now that you have taken a decision, how do you ensure that others don't judge you for your decisions. Here is a list of rationalizations you can hide behind; anyday. You can even call your decisions ethical - my favorite, of course. Here is the list. So next time, when you take a questionable decision, rationalize it by choosing one of the following.

  1. If It's Necessary, It's Ethical

  2. The False Necessity Trap (Necessity is an interpretation, not a fact)

  3. If It's Legal and Permissible, It's Proper

  4. It's Just Part of the Job

  5. It's All for a Good Cause

  6. I Was Just Doing It for You

  7. I'm Just Fighting Fire With Fire

  8. It Doesn't Hurt Anyone

  9. Everyone's Doing It

  10. It's OK if I Don't Gain Personally

  11. I Can Still Be Objective

  12. I Did It For Us

Your life will be so easy when you apply these techniques. I haven't yet. But if it works for any one of you, you know how to reach me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The other side of darkness

Ok, so we know that stuff kills. Gone are the days when you can talk about having smoked pot, popped and snorted LOTS of pills, speed, E, took some acid, shrooms, alcohol ...

So you think drugs are bad? But that is a sweeping generalization. There are recreational drugs and there are hard drugs. And of course, we also have prescription drugs. Taking any drug runs a risk of harm. Anything in excess is bad. But there are some drugs that no one should touch, like cocain, crack or heroin. Leaving these drugs apart, the world is filled with several recreational and prescription drugs which when taken in excess can leave you as a different person. Even some of the legal prescribed drugs can make you addictive and wasted. How do you know which one is more dangerous than the other?

So why are we talking about this? In this world, no amount of policing will ever stop the illegal drugs trade. It is just not possible. Worldwide, this is an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars. No matter how many arrests are made, this trade can never be stopped. The amount of money involved is too tempting for anyone. All the gatekeepers (police, customs, politicians) get bribed; no one can stand in the way of that much money. The best we can do is redirect it to a least harmful route. Legitimize it. Bring it out in the open, regulate it, license it & tax it.

In my perfect world, a lot of things would be legal, including all drugs and prostitution.

I don't think it's been mentioned, though it might've been, but legalizing all drugs, including heroin, crack, coke, ice etc. has amazing health benefits for the addicts. Right now, someone's in a dark alley somewhere shooting heroin, with a point that's been used by four different people. Right now, a heroin addict is contracting HIV because of unsanitary conditions, not to mention pumping their veins with bathtub cleaner. People die from badly cut drugs and AIDS every day.

If all drugs were legal, and doctors were able to regulate each person's drug use and how pure the drug was, things would be a lot safer.

And the harder drugs aren't the only ones being cut with unsafe chemicals. Ask any weed smoker and they will tell you that it was mixed with something. I'm sure the majority of herb smokers know that you can even request weed sprinkled in coke, or others. God only knows where the coke and pills are coming from, and whether that's what's really on the weed. Even pot isn't safe anymore, especially with the younger buyers who get ripped off more easily.

Weed sold over the counter like cigarettes wouldn't have this issue.

To me, you can't stop people from wanting to alter their consciousness, that's just the way it is. Right now, drugs are illegal and as dangerous as they've ever been, for addicts and users of all ages. And if drugs were legal, I have a feeling the amount of people addicted to harder drugs would be lowered as well.

Legalizing drugs would also take care of the "naughty" factor, and I think less number of people would get into them, but that's not a proven fact or anything.

You won't ever get rid of drugs, so the governments around the world may as well embrace and tax the living hell out of them.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Family Treasure

Hmm....last night i was sitting up late and reading a book. I have this bad habit of reading some weird stuff in the night..things like occult science, black magic,metaphysics,quasi quantum models, erotic sex...anything and everthing that is usually not meant for reading in the nights...and there i was completely into the book when my mom came across to my room and said something that kind of shocked my life...

While I was lost in my thoughts, my mom walked in. It is very unusual for my mom to walk in so late in the night and talk to me. She sat near me and put her hand on my shoulder.She said "Son, I have a family secret that I want to tell you ...".

The moment those words came out of her mouth, my whole senses became attentive. I listened. She then stood up and walked the room calmly for about couple of minutes. They looked longer to me. Then she began."For years, our family has preserved a secret. But time has come to pass on this secret to you. We have been the keepers of a major treasure. A treasure so big that big powers will go to fight each other. A treasure so valuable that one will not think twice about killing the keeper. It's time, my son. I want to pass on the treasure to you and your generations forward. ""But mom ... is this really true?""Yes, it is. Why don't you walk with me?"After a little walk, she then showed me a huge iron crest. It was truly rusted. She struggled a little bit and i helped her open it with a huge heave.I then finally managed to pull the lid up.
There it was .. the treasure I have never heard of until an hour ago. Now it belongs to me. I curiously looked into it and to my surprise saw wads and wads of currency notes, lower denominations but large number of notes. All in the currency I want. I turned around and asked my mom ..."So how much is it?""Well, my son .. it enough to take care of 5 generations.""And you
are telling me that it's all mine? " "Yes my son. I was waiting for this day. Now it rightfully belongs to you. "

"Thanks mom. Thanks for everything. "

Well, now I have all this money ... what do I do? Live it up. This year onwards, life is gonna be so different. Time to buy a few cars. May be an isolated bungalow with a jacuzzi fit right next to the bath tub. May be I should live in a different country. How about a little philanthropy? What? home loans? Mortgaging? 2%? 15%? Floating? Fixed? You kidding me?. May be I will call my
friends and find out what they want. It would be a good idea to build a township. Why not buy some property in the Moon? In Mars? Hey, may be I will produce some movies and make more money. Politics? Sure why not?
"Knock Knock"

"Who is it"

"It is 10'o clock in the morning. Wake up. Time to go to office" says my mom!

"You mean that was a dream?That Iron Crest, Those currency notes..was all that merely a dream?"

"Which currency notes?Iron Crest? By the way, there is no electricity supply from the morning. So you need to take bath in the cold water(if u wanna bath that is)."


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Friends, Best Friends and Close Friends

I often hear people calling some of their friends as close friends, best friends and all that. For instance, how many times have we called foo** is my best friend and bar** is my close friend and all that. I have always wondered how best is best and how close is close. Recently, i met with a friend of mine and we were having a conversation on this subject. Not that either of us were psychologists or cognitive science experts, but nevertheless we needed to kill time and what better way to kill time than bitching abt people and their opinions.After about an hour or so of terms like "lets take the following scenario", "consider this" and "consider that", we started summarizing about what we understood on this subject....that usually people choose to have/form friends based on their perception of what is known as their circle of trust henceforth being referred as COT here. A COT is basically a set of like minded people doing similar things. For instance, you might not wish to invite your manager for a movie with your college friends. Neither, would you invite your family members to a pub with your other friends. So the idea is a common belief(or disbelief) in doing certain things in certain ways. On the other hand, you cannot invite your college friend for a team lunch in your company. Neither can you invite ur friend to a family function dinner.

The first thing to note is that we don't have one COT. We form many. Strange as it sounds, it is true so as to support the varied activities in one's life(going to pub, watching a movie, having a team lunch, family dinner etc....). This needs to be explained. Let's understand this through an example....

My friend with whom i was conversing is 24 years. She has formed several circles of trust.How does she develop and manage so many circles? I was curious and i asked her. Her reply was spontaneous and deep. So she says, she has at least 4-6 friends in each of the circle. They are not exclusive though. Some friends are present in more than one COT while others are strictly confined to just one. The circles of trust are merely logical and none of the participants (read "friends") know that they exist. Only she knows. And she plays the circles of trust to her benefit. Then comes the obvious question. How does she differentiate once circle from another? Here lies the beauty....

Every circle of trust (COT) has a set responsibility.The responsibility is sometimes implicit while in other cases, my friend takes the responsibility of assigning the responsibility to the COT.In our case, She has pre-assigned these responsibilities to the COTs and she invokes them when the need arises. This needs to be explained again. We have simplified the functions so that it is easy to understand. Here it comes .. in her own words ...

~ So when I feel like spending an evening by having a cup of coffee, I will invoke the services of COT #1.

~ Wanna watch a movie? That would be COT #2.

~ Oh I met this wonderful guy! I want to talk about him .. The listening pleasures are reserved to COT #3.

~ I'm so drunk. I want to be dropped home. Time to call COT #4.

~ I feel like bitching and complaining the whole day. Need COT #5.

~ I'm feeling low. Feel like crap. Time for some wallowing in self-pity and more. Think I'm lost and eventually slipping into a major depression. Desperately want COT #6.

~ I'm so high today. Everything around me is upbeat. I definitely need to be with COT #7.

~ So I wake up with a strong feeling to travel to some place quite mystical .. I will choose the company of COT #8.

So you see, the whole list is *morally* ambiguous. I used the term morally coz it may not be too immoral according to my friend. The concept of friendship is very superficial and the role you play in her life through these COTs defines who you are for her. I also realized that it is from one of these COTs that the notions of best friend and close friend stem from.Some "friends" over a period of time, come to know of her grand design and they refuse to be placed in certain COTs. So they leave. She and she alone can determine who gets placed in what COTs. Really, it is a matter of what her heart tells her than any planned analysis of someone's abilities.

From all these, one can easily look around and map your "friends" into circles of trust. You are either playing someone into a COT or someone is playing you. As simple as that. So the next time someone calls you his/her best friend just try to see if which COT of his/her do ou fit it. As they say.."Life moves on"...Enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To die or to be dead!

Recently i heard this statement " I would die for u". Well not just me, am sure everybody has heard this is various movies and some probably in their real lives too. Well just a thought struck me when i heard it this time..not that i am hearing it for the first time, but somehow i was wondering what this statement could mean...

In a relationship.. when you say "i would die for u" what do you mean? Is it that if u get rejected, you would die for her/him? Or you would die for her to protect her?

There is big differance between the two types.Dying for someone you care about.. is driven by a sense of protection and is a trait to be appreciated since it has benefits for the survival of the species.killing oneself because of being deprived of someone's love is driven by a selfish sense of want, and is a trait that just tends to darwinianly reduce the gene pool

Monday, April 03, 2006

Innocence Cast away...

...memories of myself as a child
what happens to the light when i point a torch to the sky n switch it on?
what is lying ? Have i lied to anyone?
how/why do ppl forget things?
When will i get all those toys in the gift shop?
sorry mom..i pissed on my pants when i was sleeping last night. Can u please help me go to the loo properly.
can i go to the moon ?
why do i have only one b'day in a year ? Why only one sunday a week? Why are there 6 days of work/school and one holiday?
...why is there a monday and why should i go to the school?
if i dont buy the bus ticket everyday can i save enough for a saree for my granma ?
how many generations can be alive at the same time in my family?
who is eating the moon ?
Why is it so hot outside at some part of the year and so cold at the other time of the year..?
if mary had a little lamb, why doesnt my sis have one ?
..why have i never learnt multiplication tables beyond 12 when my parents could have learnt it far better?
can i mark the stars that i have counted already so i can count them correctly?
playing with water bubbles..those soap solutions i get at the beach, the blue sea, beach maanga badhai(beach raw mangoes), molagai bajji(chilly bajji),injecting water into tomatoes in the garden.., running around beating the cycle tyres, playing goli/gulli dhanda/paandy with street folks, raindrops fallin on puddles resembling pawns in chess....
burning paper by focussing sunlight with a magnifying lenstrying to cut off magnetic fields..
collecting iron filings from sand.. making them dance..*sigh*...

Why did i ever grow up...?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On jealousy

Envy consists in wanting what someone else has. Though potentially unpleasant,it’s understandable enough, as it follows naturally from a positive appreciation of the object’s value. Jealousy, by contrast, is the purely negative emotion which involves wishing that the other lacked the object of value. (I mean for these definitions to be stipulative.) Such an attitude seems quite thoroughly unreasonable, at least if the object in question is shareable. For rivalrous objects, one might want the other to lose the object solely as a means to one’s own gaining of it. Such “instrumental jealousy” lies in the service of envy, and so may inherit the latter’s reasons. But to begrudge another’s benefit, for its own sake and not for costs to oneself, seems blackly indefensible.

What, then, are we to make of romantic jealousy, i.e. the possessive desire for our partner’s exclusive attention? Is it simply unreasonable? Is the value of one’s relationship necessarily diminished in virtue of its non-exclusive character? Surely not: the value of a relationship is grounded in its deep or intrinsic character, not merely incidental or comparative aspects. (One occasionally hears homophobic rhetoric implying that one’s marriage would somehow be “devalued” if gay people were allowed to marry too. But this is absurd. Truly valuable relationships do not rest their value on such fragile foundations). What matters is your relationship, not any other one – even if the other involves your partner.

Granted, it may just be intrinsically unpleasant to imagine your partner having sex with someone else. But while we can give an evolutionary explanation of why such ‘pure jealousy’ might evolve, that doesn’t suffice to justify it. One can also give scientific explanations of violent anger, but we should resist such pernicious emotions all the same.

What of the concerns about ‘sharing’? They sound to me unreasonably possessive. Your partner’s time and attention may be taken up by any other hobbies or interests that they have, but those are not legitimate grounds for complaint (unless you are being thoroughly neglected). It isn’t clear why an interest in another person should be treated any differently, at least on those grounds.

I take it the real worry here concerns affection. Some may implicitly believe that individuals have a fixed emotional capacity, so that the more they care for someone else, the less they care for you. But when made explicit like this, such a view does not sound very plausible. Consider parental love. Surely nobody
would claim that children from large families are loved less by their parents than is an ‘only child’. But why should romantic love (or its precursors) be any different?

Perhaps we want to be “special”; but it isn’t clear why exclusivity should create added value here. As previously noted, any non-deluded evaluation of one's partner needs to be consistent with the recognition that they’re not uniquely special, i.e. special in a way that everyone else fails to be. Our ‘specialness’ needs to be consistent with other people being special too. So, as noted above, we should look to intrinsic rather than comparative values. We have value for who we are, considered in ourselves, rather than considered in comparison to other people.

That’s all well and good from an objective point of view, but we still want to have a special significance for our significant others, even if it is recognized as a merely “subjective” or agent-relative importance. But we can grant this without requiring total uniqueness. Again, the parental analogy is illustrative: a child wouldn’t want her parents to treat her no differently from all the other kids in the world. She should have a special place in her parents’ world. But she needn’t be the only person in this place; she can share it with her few siblings, without diminishing its value in any way at all. So again: why is the romantic case any different? If someone has two significant others, must they be the less significant for this?

Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, since my armchair certainly doesn’t offer the most comprehensive view of the world. But at least in light of the issues discussed so far, it seems to me that jealousy largely is irrational, so that more reasonable creatures would not get so possessive or hung up on issues of romantic exclusivity. Whether we’re capable of being more reasonable creatures is, of course, another question entirely.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I tried to escape all of my life.
Escape from whom I loved the most,
escape from the place that I lived in,
escape from the values that I grew with.
I escaped, went trough a lot of bizarre observations,
felt a lot of indescribable,
saw a lot of unspeakable.
When I reached the end of the way, Sun was setting, and I couldn’t go any further.
That was the end of the way; the red line.

I had grown with my perceptions.
I tried to remember all of the things that I saw, but nothing came to my mind,
seemed like all of it was insignificant stories.
All I could think of was when It all started;
All this chaos in me, all this homelessness.
It all started when I gazed into your eyes for the first time,
and saw the strangest meaning in them.
That made me insane, a glad insane who never lived normally again,
happily though. I escaped from you too, I had to go away.
But I traveled all this way to the end of the world by thought of your eyes.
I wanted to discover your eyes at the end of the earth, on the sun.
This is why I said to you that day, " I feel like I have the same distance with you at each point, each crucial point.”,
and you looked at me as If I was not making sense.
I died right there, right at the end of the way, right at the very moment of sunset.
The air smelled like your eyes, your crucial eyes.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Look at these new fancy things that people have picked up for sometime like attacking global terrorism, communal harmony, helping 3rd world countries in need(of course after waging a war at them and destroying them beyond roots). Interesting enough, i came across this group . Well, as a non-american, how do u react to ?
the declaration goes.. "we beleive in the best american tradition.... blah blah" and you are supposed to sign it if you support so they can get more funds. i'm not the kind of person who likes to be bound by virtual lines but i dont want to sign a declation that clearly boasts abt someone's superiority more than being a declaration calling for help and support. I would wish if they just said, we are a group trying to help people in need and hence folks please join and contribute for having a better world. But no...they had to say they were americans and they are the cleanest of people who have this broad mind of helping others and all that crap. I might be wrong and they might be doing lots of good, but what is the point in doing a favor to the world, if you still want the credit to go just to your country. If the declaration read on the lines of.. "one world.. blah blah" it would have been more credible to me as a further, the idea is to get 1% of the earnings of all americans, to distribute wealth to poor countries. it could sound easy and simple to a bono or danny glover holding millions with a silver spoon up their ass. but have they thought about the poor people in their country and how they will contribute to it ? Interestingly countries like India spend several crores on their armed forces. A recent survey i read claimed that the amount of money india spends in arms and armed forces for one single year could actually feed all the people below the poverty line in this country for a week. I am not sure of the correctness of this statement, but however believe we do spend a lot of money into arms and for what? To have a peaceful better world. Not only us, the whole world does this. How can we have a peaceful life and world surrounded by guns? I simply cannot understand this arguement. Anyway, coming back to, americans have a 60 billion debt on credit cards and imagine an additional 1% tax ripped off their hands every month. Alright so now you got the money, so you give it to the poor. but has any thought gone into why these countries are still poor ? variety of reasons, depending on the country. Religious and cultural reasons in islamic countries, and corruption (almost all countries not just true with India though India Rules the roost). Another reason is illetracy.Havent countries like india prospered even with all these shackles ? isnt it for the country itself to awake itself and grow ? and finally, wouldnt it be encouraging for all these shackles if these funds reach them ? isnt it like encouraing corruption, laziness and poor cultural barriers ? doesnt realise that these countries are poor because of the debt they owe to the west ? isnt it a better thing to do to write off these debts and help these nations grow than give them funds ? definitely fighting the cause is better than fighting the effect. I feel is a good step forward but is just a gimmick to show the superiority of americans and to make themselves feel better in the world arena.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Half Empty or Half Full?

An optimist is supposed to say half full, a pessimist is supposed to say half empty but a nerd will say...Hey that is a conical glass and vertical bisection will in fact result in two halves of equal volume so you all are wrong. Now the question is ? What am i? What are you...??? Ha ha ha ! Sorry folks, i am currently feeling nerdish, so thought will vent out some of my profound ideas and enlighten you guys!

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Box Full of Choices!

How often dyu hear people say -

"I am sorry,but I didn't mean to do it"
" I just could'nt help it"
"I so wish I could have"

Tons of such never ending remarks ... On and On ...never ever rethinking on what we say. I just began thinking on this, when i passed on such a statement to a friend of mine and then wondered overninght on what i would have done if such a statement was passed on to me by somone. I just began thinking at a larger perspective in general, of such responses from homosapiens (not that I ain't one :), nor am I an exception) consciously. Well of course, it just happened that i also saw "The Matrix" once again in this period and realized how much profound and philosophical the trilogy was than just an entertainer.Not that i am a big fan of techno movies or something, but somehow this movie is worth mentioning in this context.

In this movie, there is a lot of reference and importance to "Choice". As someone said, life is a box of choices! This, we take for granted though we go through it at a subconscious level. All of the above are conscious choices and are not a binding. Words like "Had to"/"Have to" are binding words used to express our choice of acting against that which is expected of you. This is usually done for different things,to mitigate the disappointment to the other party, to avoid confrontation, to be the nice guy, not having the courage to tell the bitter truth,diplomacy and the list goes on.

If you are subject to a bond, you choose to abide by it and not forced to. Why? Because you choose not to face the consequences of breaking it. So these binding words only indicate their choice spoken implicity in a diplomatic manner, something we learn from the society intuitively.

I usually(said usually, not always for people who know me) do not make promises that I can't keep up and would choose to jeopardize more important things just for my commitments. Some people find it too brash (when I am not being all too nice) and stupid (for giving more importance to my commitment over all else). But that again is a choice I made.

Comming back to The Matrix - The Oracle, Merovingian, The Architect and Neo make the choices and govern them. The Oracle and Merovingian belive in choice among similar lines though they interpret it differently.

The Oracle, claims that every individual does what he does because subconsciously he has made a choice to do so, even though he may not understand it at a conscious level. I call this gut feeling or human instinct?Others call it deciding by your heart instead of the mind. But there is another thing that she adds to this when she addresses to Neo (in Matix Reloaded). Our conscious mind follows a choosen path (self choosen, someome making the choice for you, someone showing you the door or telling you what you just needed to hear). But we fail to understand the path that we are taking, and end up wandering aimlessly (typical of those who believe - Ignorance is Bliss).

The Oracle guides those people who try to understand the choice and make sense of it, rather than living out a life. She helps Neo understand the subconscious choices that he has made.

The Merovingian on the contrary believes that - "Choice is an Illusion between those who have power and those who do not". He believes people who have power make the choices and other live by it. His dialogue also gives hint as to what he believes as being powerful - the "Why?" factor, the knowledge. His belief that understanding the "Why?" at a conscious level lends you the ability to make choices.

Which is exactly what the Oracle grooms people into doing but building on right from their subconscious choice. The Merovingian interprets it as Causality while the Oracle sees it as Belief. Two conflicting schools I presume. Two ways to keep the humans under control.

The Architect is an interesting side though, with visibility of choice only as far as to balance the equation at hand. And who believes and makes believe that "the systemic anomaly in an otherwise perfect harmony of mathematical precision" is given to the inalienable human nature to choose (accept/reject). Remember the dialogue by smith "The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from"?

Neo at last is the one who begins his journey by making subconscious choices driven by conscious values. He grows up to understand the repercussions of his choice, and lives by them. And his choice to survive (which the oracle phrases as - "you should have been dead, but you were not ready for that either" in Revolutions). And finally alike our "Gangai Maindhar Bheeshmar" who chooses his time of death, it is at his own choice (after understanding much) that he becomes the saviour at his own cost. Neo is more closer to the common men among us trying to find our way in life.

You might be asking, why all this crap ramblings and put my own interpretations in a post. Well, that's a choice i made to write and its a choice you made to read. But beyond this, its paramount to understand that binding statements are a facade to choices that people make. That people choose something else over commitments to you, and this is being put in a polished fashion afraid of how u'd handle the bitter truth.

What affacted me was the change in attitude I went through when I started saying "I Choose to" in place of the "had/have to"'s. In my world today, I almost choose everything consciously. I avoid the "had/have to"'s as they imply a subconscious choice. At least when I say it to myself I make sure it is a conscious choice, whilst I keep my fingeres crossed and put on the facade to others (honestly is not always welcome you see) :p.

For patient watchers, philosophers, Matrix enthusiasts and other lunatics like me who are incited into this topic - Watch the trilogy with your reception antennae tuned to the motif of Your "Choice". There is more in there than you would have imagined.