Friday, March 26, 2004

Brightening Up

I feel after having aired my dark thoughts, some brightening up of my blog space is in order. So here are a few sayaris that have in past brought out smiles. None of these are mine but are worth recounting any way :)

This one is on omnipresence:

Idhaar bhi khuda hai,
Udhar bhi khuda hai -
Jidhar bhi dekho
Khuda hi Khuda hai

Jidhar nahin Khuda hai
Udhar Kaal Khudega

-- Courtsey Bangaluru Municpal Corp.

This one is on the will of the real man

Khud Ko Kar Buland itna
Ki Himalay Ki Choti pe Ja Pahuche
Aur Khud Khuda Tujhse Pooche --
Ab be Gaadhe aab Utrega Kaise?

And Finally this one is on undying love:

Koi Pathar se na maare Mere diwane ko
Koi Pathar se na maare Mere diwane ko -
Nuclear Power Ka Jamana Hai
Bomb-se uuda do Saale Ko.

Dark Thoughts

The Morning

Sleep was fitfull and dreamless. The thorns of the crown has dug in deep during the night. The fingers are still raw with the cuts from the thorns. I try to open my eyes, but they don't do my bidding and open only partially as I look out through streaks of congealed blood that had trickled over my closed eyes during the night. My tortured body drags itself up and I glance at my cross. I marvel an instant at the workmanship - mine. Slowly I reach down to pick it up, chain it to both my hands and place it roughly on my bruised shoulders. It is heavy and makes my body hunch as I stagger out towards the open. Towards my Golgotha.

The Journey

The bright sun assails my eyes. I want to shield them with my hands but my hands are chained. I stumble out into the streets. My cross rattles behind me, as I drag it over the cobbled stones. My progress is slow and each step takes an eternity. The heat numbs my senses. For a momemt I can't remember wherefore I go. And I forget who I was. Entirely

Is my name Jim, Jesus or Judas? I can't answer, but it doesn't matter anymore, it never did.

I fall. Heavily. The water is just out of reach of my clawing fingers. No one passes me a drink and my lips remain perched. I struggle to get up again. I search for Simon. I just see blank stares. I know no Simon shall come and the cross that I bear is mine to bear alone.

Dosh karo noi go ma, aami shokhato sholeel-e dube moree...

I mouth is dry and salty but I will my body on, for Golgotha is now in sight. My father awaits me there.

The Conclusion

Golgotha is desolate at sundown. It is moonless and even the stars have stayed home. I dig a hole for my cross and place it there, upright. I look for a familiar face, but there is no one. I mount the cross and nail myself to it, one nail at a time. Maybe he shall come now, but he doesn't. I am still alone.

A rasping whispery cry escapes my throat - "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?". No one answers. No one was there to answer. No one had come.

I know now that there shall be no Resurrection. I know I shall not wake up tomorrow. I hang my head down and I close my eyes.


Death Wish? Here's an interesting coincidence. I was thinking of this piece last night and today morning my car met with an accident, with me inside :). Premonition? Or did I will it to happen? Does someone upstairs want me?? I don't know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


The traditional form of Indian Greeting is to fold hands, bow just a little and say Namaste or Namaskar to the person being greeted. The word Namaste means - I bow to the divine within you. This is a true reflection of the Indian ethos that strives to look beyond appearances and superficiality. The Indian Philosophy holds all creation a manifestation of divinity as opposed to seeing the creator as an entity separate from the created. Thus all creation including human reflect divinity and are worthy of worship. Ergo, the Namaste.

The Namaste has other practical purposes as well, which I have just recently started to fathom. Lately many Indians have shown an increasing inclination towards shaking hands favouring it over Namaste which they considered a outdated mode of greeting. The Indian Genius has adapted the Handshake to their own local conditions and the fauna abounds with multiple species of Indian Handshakers, some of whom I introduce here:

The Chronic Shaker: This is usually a diminutive and docile creature given to the habit of shaking your hand everytime you meet him even if it is within minutes of the previous shake. Hiding hands doesn't help, because our chronic shaker thinks nothing of going behind you and shaking your hand there.

The Bone Crusher: Usually a big alpha-male who likes to leave a big impression on you and your fingers. Keep Away. We have one on the prowl in this building.

The Bombay Repeater: This species' home habitat is Aamchi Mumbai but has migrated all over. The specialty of this species is repeated short shakes after each sentence followed by a giggle-type laugh. I used to find it very disconcerting when I started my career in Bombay. This species is also given to making tasteless jokes often at the victims expense.

The Banana Peal: Sweaty Palms that envelop your hand like a Banana Peal. Ewwwww. It is often hard to resist the temptation of wiping your hand on your trousers after such an encounter.

The Palm Hoarder: This species will insist on maintaining a grip on your palm and periodically shaking it during the entire course of conversation. Extremely surreal experience.

The Flying Dutchman: Always in a hurry. Shall extend tentacle like hand from afar to touch your hand by the finger tips before scurrying away. Safe.

The Suspicious Freak: Shall inspect his hand very carefully after every shake as if expecting the lines in the hand to have changed following the encounter.

The Great Indian thinkers of yore must have considered these situations and found an effective remedy in the humble Namaste. My Namaste to them.

I wrote this blog following discussion with my friend at lunch, where an chance encounter with a Flying Dutchman set me thinking and telling her my theories. By the time I got to Banana Peal she said "Ewwww. Gross. Write it, I will read it." Hence this blog.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Bidding Goodbye to an old friend.

Got my new laptop today. P4, wide-screen, kick-ass graphics and sound cards and real slick looks. However I am a little sad about seeing my old guy go back to the pool. It has been a good friend for over three years and has brooked my torture without so much as even a whimper. Lately, however, running all the software that I have been toying with (the entire J2EE and .NET suite plus a couple of databases and a couple of web-servers thrown in for kicks) had it bursting at its seams.

I think it is a human failing to attribute human feelings to everything around himself. It makes so little sense when it is actually rare for even two people to feel the same way. Methinks that many of us come to expect a reflection of our own feelings from everything and everyone around us. Our balant narcissism makes us want the world to render unto us what we would wish them render, rather what the world feels inclined to render to us itself. This very frailty makes me wonder whether this old guy is going to miss me, would it be able to make out the difference when someone other than I plays on the keyboards or squints at it or gives a toothy smile to its screen. I know I will :(

Adios Amigo.

I bet old Mr. Spock would have raised his eyebrows at this illogical human behaviour and would have recommended Koh-li-naar for me without any further ado.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Boogeyman of The Offshore

On cold wintry nights you speak of me in hushed tones to your children as they gather around the fireplace to hear you. You tell them tales of horror about me, the distant faceless monster that has no heart and no scruples. You speak of the damage I cause and destruction that I bring. You speak, with a involuntary shudder of my home seven seas away, where I do things unspeakable. Your imagination adds wings to your tongue as you speak deep into the night as the storm rages outside. Your eyes take a glazed look and your voice breaks, just a little, as you convince the little children and yourself that I truly am the boogeyman, who's out to get you.

Have you ever wondered who is this boogeyman is in his real life? Is he really the sadistic monster that you make him out to be? Is he really sloppy at his work and closed in his thinking as you would want to believe? Have you psyched yourself so much that now you are ready to swear that he is too culturally challenged in his approach to life to do anything other seat down for hours and churn out low quality code and greet you with a heavily accented hello from the other end of a toll-free number? And know what? Evolution has adapted him to have a heavy duty bladder that he doesn't need bathroom breaks at work anymore. Rumour has it that in all the sweat shops in the dreaded land of offshore they are breaking down the bathrooms and putting-up tiny cubicles in their place.

Well pardner, you have got another thing coming - the realization that we may have been left in a muck fifty years back but we no longer live there. We have clawed our way out, neither inspite of you nor because of you, but because we had to. Yes, your way of life, where fairplay and integrity formed an inseparable part of life, did fill us with inspiration, as did our own philosophy of honesty, non-violence and truth. We have always been fascinated by your capability of out-of-box thinking and have often supplemented that with our strength of methodical industriousness. The root cause of many of the successes that we have tasted together, has been honest collaboration. It has been teamwork that has always won.

And did I get something very wrong, because I though somewhere along the way we had become friends.

After all this, don't go around showing me your paper clippings and URLs, which cry out how many jobs been eaten by the offshore boogeyman. Don't cite examples of projects messed by the boogeyman. And for heaven's sake don't kill yourself trying to reverse the wheel of time.

At the beginning of industrial revolution when machine replaced artisans that worked with their hands, you reinveted yourself into factory workers and made the machines your partner in success. When the upstart computer took over the job of the office clerk, you mastered programming it. Now that you are at another cross-road you need to figure out which way you want to go. I only know that hating me or trying to fight me won't get you there - it will just hurt us both. No one wins in this mudfest.

So stop whining, friend (I hope I can still call you that) and stop scaring yourself and your kids with old wives tales that you know are not true. Go out there and create your destiny anew.

And know this, I am rooting for you.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Kurzweil in his AI Website describes consciousness as the ability to have subjective experience. The ability of a being, animal, or entity to have self-perception and self-awareness. The ability to feel.

What Mr. Kruzweil would have us believe is that a key question in the twenty-first century is whether computers will achieve consciousness (which their human creators are considered to have).

My take on this is that even if the advances of AI eventually give birth to self-aware or spiritual machines, I am not sure they would thank us, their human creators, for having created them with feelings. Over the history of mankind while it has been human feelings that have helped man reach the highest pinnacle of spirituality, it is also the feelings that have made man do sad and sordid things. Feelings have often made us judgemental in our attitude.

Passion and fanatisim, love and possessiveness, expectations and disappointments, longing and hate have often made their appearance holding hands. Da Vinci and Hitler both have been people consumed by their feelings. Both of them left their legacy - one of inspirated creations and the other of deprived destruction: both prisoners to their own feelings.

Today, I find myself, once again, held to ransom by my own feelings, expectations and disappointments. It make me wonder if the Vulcan ritual of Koh-li-naar should really be made a mandatory part of human education. A world where logic reigns supreme would perchance be boring but maybe the neural pathways through which emotions ravage the consiousness would be rendered dry and perhaps peace of mind would finally come. I wonder if loosing out on inspirations would be worth gaining peace of mind....

Live long and Prosper.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

If I can't smoke cigars in heaven, I shall not go!

- A Deeply Philosophical Paper by JIM

I couldn't resist the Temptation of Putting my latest Philoosophy on my shiny new BLOG. I don't know whether they would let kids read this...maybe they should keep it for MBA classes and give it only to unusually bright pupils (... not students, pupils..get it?). Anyway here goes....

My cousin goes to an Engineering school. He is studying to be an IT professional. Of late he has become very active on the net and like any other teenager spends a significant part of his computer lab time forwarding humour mails to everyone whose email id he has. His jokes are the usual run-of-the-mill Internet fare, however in his signature he quotes a famous saying of Mark Twain --If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go

If one were to look closely one would find that there is a deep philosophy hidden somewhere inside this sentence. One just has to look past the veil of hilarity that this pronouncement evokes at the first glance. If perchance one were to meditate long and deep over this, one would, in all probability, come out questioning one's own belief of what is or should be the architecture specs for the Heaven.

Take, for example, the following implementation and deployment issues that would arise if we were to take Mr. Twain's statement as our requirement specs:

CASE A: Are we to conclude that when we are eventually deployed in the container called 'heaven' our currently existential bugs (which we informally terms as human strengths and weakness) would persist AND would be fulfilled without question

o If ( TRUE )

§ This means that all the components that get deployed into heaven would get to do as they please and thereby bring about a state of complete chaos in heavens as well as give rise to strife. Simply because my act of smoking cigars may impede and impair the bliss providing lifecycle processes of some of there other components that are in my close proximity in heaven (meaning we get into each other's nerves :)

§ Chaos and Strife is contrary to the commonly held technical requirement for heaven thereby defeats the definition.

§ Hence we may infer that the assertion made above is not true.

CASE B: However if the assertion made above is not true (FALSE), i.e. those components that deployed to heaven are bounded by a clause of heavenliness that makes the functionality of being able to smoke cigar's unavailable, the following results:

§ If we are bounded by rules we are not free, hence we are prisoners.

§ Lack of freedom, again, is contraindicative to the technical specifications of heaven

§ Hence Rejected Also

CASE C: In the third case if heaven were to be a exclusive place (a separate container for every component) with limited interface visibility between components (well defined public and private methods) . That would also led to a deployment scenario like the second case above where boundaries inhibit freedom and thus can't be called heaven.

So you see, the concept of heaven is bound to our capability of inhaling fumes from rolled sticks of tobacco. So when you see the likes of us standing in front of a building, inhaling smoke and having the dreamy look in our eyes, understand this - we are doing deep research and even the heavens depend on it.

Deep Huh?!

Philospohy Ends Here

I learnt a new sentence today -- Tu attha Kasa Kartha? :)

Hip-hip-hurray! I have it. I have it. I have it.

Finally my very own place on the Net to Rave and Rant. And generally ramble about things, which spoken in public would get me to a loony bin before I could say "Eh! Wassup Doc?". And when I become famous I am sure they are going to make reading my blogs mandatory for school kids :). It sure would beat reading moral science books....

BTW...I just figured out that I am a Genius. Today I forgot to collect the change from the Cafeteria guy again. This is the second day in a row. You can't be so absent minded unless you have a brain like Einstien's. See you all at Oslo.