Wallpapers and Chocolate

The new city is bustling with activity everywhere. It has been a few weeks since I moved here; twelve or thirteen I cant seem to agree on a number. I’ve been away from the place I call home for nine years now, a significant fraction of my life considering I’m just twenty-seven years old. Twenty-seven years old, single, with a moderately successful career ahead of me. I sat down on my mattress, which was spread out on the floor, a queen size mattress, just for me. It was a regular day at work, with some regular people, had very regular conversation, and went through lunch with the exact same machinations of the old clock that used to stand in the living room of my home nine years ago. Grandfather clock we used to call it. With a pearl white dial showing huge Roman numerals, the black wooden clock stood four feet tall from the ground and was almost a foot wide. The pendulum was almost two feet tall and made the perfect arc as it moved side-to-side, tic-tock-tic-tock.

I sat staring at the wall listening to the rhythmic noise of the clock, which was many years and many kilometers away. In that intense stare-down with the wall, I failed to notice the new wallpapers and posters I’d put on the week before, when I moved into my new room. As I came back to the city from my trance, the room came back into focus. It was quite a spacious room, a perfect square with each side equaling ten feet. A huge window with a slider lie to my right, covered by red curtains of two kinds, one with a very simple sinusoidal pattern, whereas the other had some kind of floral pattern which I could not comprehend. A large wardrobe stood right next to the space on the wall I was staring at, it was a wooden wardrobe of a strange orange tinted material with the nodes and notches on the wood following regular patterns; clearly artificial, I thought to myself. The space in front of me had a poster, fifteen inches tall and eight inches wide, carrying a very popular quote from a very popular personality. The purpose of the poster was to keep me reminded that only those who set out to change the world actually have a chance at doing it. To my left was a map of the world with a few flight trajectories on it. I’d been to a neighboring country a few months back, my first major tour, and lived out of a backpack for ten days and loved it. I thought the travel bug had bitten me and I was destined to travel the whole world. Not that I believed in destiny, or God or the Invisible Hand. I was wrong. I was destined to sit under a wallpaper of a tree and a few butterflies floating over my head, nibbling on one square inch tablets of homemade chocolate. I wonder which ones I like more, milk or dark. Milk, definitely, I think most of the times, but I keep coming back to dark for some mysterious reason that lies in the bunch of nerve endings in my tongue called taste buds. I finally tear my eyes off the space in front off me and focus them on the front page of the book in my hands.

From the Holy Mountain spoke about a lot of things; countries, wars, rebellions, religion and history, but what captured me the most was Turkey with its wars, the rebellions, religions and the history.

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Turkish Delights and Hot air balloons

We lay in our bed. Anjana and I had known each other for a few years now, but she’d never spoken about her childhood or about her family before. She’d been with other men before me, that I knew, but nothing about the circumstances of her childhood, and nothing about the members of her family. I do not know what it was that got her talking today, the cool daylight of a lazy Sunday morning, the sound of footsteps and the noise of carts making their way through the narrow cobblestone path below, I could not figure out which of these prodded her to open up. The noises were just beginning to grow as the clock struck seven.

She was 23 years old, many years younger than I. She was one of the most sensible women I’ve known. She was generally calm, but would stand up for the things she felt were important like a tigress would, for her cubs. ‘Beautiful’ was not the word that would describe her and I imagine that is not something she’d prefer too. She was graceful in her motions like a trained dancer, but clumsy with pencils, which only made her more human. I’d always wanted to know what kind of circumstances gave raise to such character in someone so young. As far as I knew, she was from a very well to do family and had stayed abroad for a few years as a child. But, that was all I knew, everything else had been like a puzzle, with a thousand pieces, of which only half were with me. I was standing at the door and to my surprise five men walked in carrying oversized gift-wrapped boxes, each a perfect cube with sides equaling two feet. From their faces, I could tell that each of them weighed approximately fifteen kilograms. Surprised as I was, I let them place it on the ground, in a two by two matrix with the fifth one sitting on top. The men left without a word. Anjana was already there, opening the box on top. As she tore open the cover, the floor around the box was filled with Turkish Delights of assorted kinds. There were pistachios, almonds and the plain colored ones, orange, pink, yellow and brown. A few seconds later the other four boxes burst open under the weight of the Turkish Delights and soon the room was filled with them. Thousands of Turkish Delights of all the colors one could find on a shade card. Anjana and I grabbed a few and went at them like kids in a toy store. The green one, then the orange one, then the ones with the almonds, and all them sailed through our throats like branches being carried by a stream.

The room shook violently with such noise that all the sounds from the streets below were drained out and all I could hear was tic-tock-tic-tock. I just stared in disbelief as the walls were ripped apart and the floor was lifted off from below where I stood, and all I could do was marvel at the beauty of Istanbul and my Anjana who stood in the foreground smiling serenely waving her hands as if to say good-bye. I looked around to find myself amongst hundreds of colorful hot air balloons floating towards the sky. When I looked below again, all I could see was a deep gaping canyon and then it went dark.

Reason, Cause, Occam’s Razor and why investment bankers are better Humans than scientists

Aamir Khan starrer ‘PK’ has taken Bollywood by storm and quite literally boxed out other, more creative movies like Ugly out of theatres and the box office. (30 shows in a day in one multiplex in Chandigarh, com’mon man!)

Interestingly the movie is supposed to be the common man’s beacon of reason, the nun-chuk against religious superstition and all that. But surprisingly apart from being very unoriginal in thoughts and being just a compendium of religion based jokes already on the internet, the concept of the movie, the concept behind the character PK is as outrageous as the concept behind religion itself and both seem to stem from the same fundamental root. I hope I’ve got your attention now because this is going to be a long post connecting some dots which are not even in the same galaxy.

PK starts with a monologue where Anushka Sharma basically talks about something called the Fermi Paradox. The scientific (or not?) axiom that asks the question ‘Where is everybody else?’ This question pertains to E.Ts, who according to Fermi and a set of assumptions concerning the age of the sun, the universe and the size of it, should have found a way to reach us by now, or we should have found a way to contact them by now. This paradox stands as the backbone to all interplanetary communication and ET contact research activity going on out there. But this line of thinking could be flawed. Very flawed. We can look into one very famous philosophical theory to try and prove this.

Friedrich Nietzsche was one really sick philosopher who lived every person’s dream of retiring in their 30s and continued to write sick stuff for the rest of his life. He came up with something called the will to power in his book called Gay Science. The will to power, according to him is the ONLY drive in humans and all emotions are a by-product of this primitive drive. Power here does not mean political / electrical / physical power, what it means is our will to make ourselves happy with all the faculties/resources at our disposal. He distilled all emotions to two primitive drives, the will to power and the emotion of fear, but eventually chucked out fear stating fear was just the absence of power. Also, according to him, and I agree, when we speak of THE TRUTH, and finding THE TRUTH being the ultimate aim of one’s life, what we mean is the will to truth that drives humans to live. Actually, our will to power walks in the feet of our will to truth.

Fermi’s Paradox, the concept of E.T AND the concept of religion exist because of our will to truth. We are constantly fascinated and fixated with the meaning of life, when there never was, isn’t and never will be any meaning to it. People who believe in the Fermi Paradox and E.T should have, in the deepest of their minds, the notion that the Universe is like a machine, a newspaper printing machine, that prints in a certain fashion, in certain patterns and it should have printed another Earth with another race of living beings sometime before. It sounds ridiculous put this way, doesn’t it? But these people have made it their life’s mission to find out this pattern, this TRUTH that doesn’t exist. Those who believe in God, on the other hand, have the notion that the Universe is like an organism, each part of the organism has a purpose, a God-given purpose, whatever it may be. The Universe is neither, it doesn’t follow patterns and definitely has no purpose. It is impervious to everything. Calling it an ‘it’ also does some injustice. Both God and E.T are purely manifestations of our will to truth and both do not exist.

What I just gave you is another empirical scientific axiom called ‘Occam’s Razor’. Occam’s Razor is also the title of one of the episodes of HOUSE M.D S01 🙂 Occam’s Razor says when there are multiple hypotheses for the same thing, then generally the one with the least assumptions will be the right one. 3 hypotheses, Machine Vs Organism Vs Nothing, the last hypothesis has no assumptions making it a clear winner.

Occam’s Razor is more scientific than Fermi Paradox because the former is empirical and exists because numerous cases can be found where it holds and none can be found in the case of the latter. (Which is why it is a paradox actually)

Rejecting the other two hypotheses gives rise to another pressing question, what about causality then!? Causality is our means to reason with the things happening around us, our means to ascertain what causes what and reason to find out how. If everything was as chaotic as I say, then reasoning becomes a futile exercise. Understanding this makes us sensible and humble human beings.

Scientists try to reason with natural phenomenon around us, and in their endeavour always strive to search for the truth and find the meaning of life. They strive to make simple theories around observable natural phenomenon to try and understand nature better, even though nature knows no theories and our perception of the Universe is bound only to the causalities, theories and formulae that we have set up.

Investment bankers on the other hand, understand the chaotic nature of the things they work with and infinite multitude of variables when it comes to how billions of people act and react. They don’t strive to find out the truth and meaning of life, working 20 hours a day and partying for 4 hours has left their lives with little meaning anyway. They speculate about things they have no idea about, while putting it somewhere in fine print that they may be absolutely wrong. They do their best to show us how chaotic things truly are. This makes them more sensible and humble than the scientists. They’re largely misunderstood by the rest of us people who portray them as well-dressed, cocky shamans.

Tying it all up, we are all just products of an accident, and accidents don’t occur based on any particular pattern, unless, you are watching the TV series Numb3rs. Numb3rs is probably the best fiction ever written in the truest sense of the word ‘fiction’. Assigning causality is just our planetary hobby and both E.T and God are by-products of this hobby, in a very twisted way.

Sorry my scientist and IB friends.

How the Hindi language is actually like THE ONE RING

I know a lot of people who have either been part of this debate / debunking of the myth that is ‘Hindi is the National language of India’. Most of us respond by throwing facts / court judgements and internet links that debunk this myth and show how the Indian Constitution begs to differ with the myth. Also, few of my friends who are a little more pissed off than the others, go a bit further and quote a rhetoric from one of the Dravidian leaders during the Dravidian Agitations of the 40s-60s (yeah, one of the little black dudes from the place where they don’t burn Raavan and don’t go crazy on Diwali) that goes ‘If Hindi is to be made the National language just because it’s spoken by the largest population, then by the same logic the crow should be the National bird, the rat / dog should be the National animal’ etc., etc. So basically we tell everyone what Hindi isn’t; it IS NOT THE National language. But we fail to tell what it IS, and yes, if India was Middle-Earth and THE ONE RING could choose to be a language, it would be Hindi. I’ll tell you why.

Nineteen rings were made by the elven-smiths of Eregion, led by Celebrimbor. These were grouped into three rings for the Elves, seven rings for the Dwarves, and nine rings for men. One additional ring, The One Ring, was forged by Sauron himself at Mount Doom.” – Cate Blanchett. (Lady Galadriel really)

So let me attach some Indian characteristics to these races and another race which was sadly ignored.

3 rings were given to the Kannadigas who were the fairest of them all (them here means the southerners). They give Middle-Earth some powerful characters who make stupid decisions when the lives of practically all of Middle-Earth is at stake. Elrond just stood aside and let Isildur wreak havoc at Mount Doom and Aishwarya Rai chose to be Aishwarya Rai Bachchan of her own accord. Generations of Tolkien fans have argued over this and generations of Aishwarya fans shall continue to argue without really reaching any remotely sane scenario where these can be justified.

7 rings to the Tamilians who were miners and love their gold and are generally disliked by our neighbours because we are too proud for some reason.

Proof: the 1995 extravaganza wedding of Sudhakaran, JJ’s foster son (one golden Gopuram doth not a spectacle make, we ‘Litt’ up the whole city brother!) The small incident where we leased one whole bloody dam for 999 years in exchange for peanuts, some rice and poultry. We go to war over water with all our neighbours on a fortnightly basis, but we’d never hurt anyone man, I swear.

9 rings to the Telugu folk who were numerous and fought among themselves and lived in chaos.

Proof: We don’t need the British or Jinnah to partition our country anymore man! We can do it ourselves and confuse property worth millions and uproot and relocate Govt. servants. God! They even speak the same language / dialects of the same language.

0 rings and F@#s given to the north-eastern brethren (the hobbits) who collectively don’t mean shit in the functioning of the Middle-Earth but some very powerful and pivotal characters in the plot come from here. (I mean, ignore them, kick them and abuse them at your homes until there comes a time when you realize you really need them to do your job because you are not man enough to do it)

The Malayalis have not been mentioned here because…… Because it’s ‘God’s Own Country’ brother! They are from Valinor which is a peninsula slightly to the west of Middle Earth (read UAE and Oman) and they’re really here only on vacation. Really!

And now THE ONE RING to rule them all which was forged in the dark, in the Black Gates of Delhi much later (like at least some 700 years after all the above languages came into existence) by the Mughals who literally (forgive moi for using ‘literally’ while this whole post is figurative in nature), literally, forged the language from Sanskrit and Persian, killing both the parent languages right at birth. The state of Sanskrit is bleak. Only a few clans of isolated elves actually converse in this ancient tongue as rumours go.

So to all the minions of Sauron who want THE ONE RING to rule them all and go around arguing how it would be awesomatic if we just bent over and let you do your job, bad luck people. We’ve been fighting you here in the south for 50 years and many gave up their lives to stop you from officially being named THE ONE RING in the annals of the Constitution of Middle-Earth.

Edit 1: So I came to know that all of India’s Tiger population comes from the three Southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Also Tigers are coming back to India, much like how the Riders of Rohan came back at the end of Two Towers! So… basically.. Tiger is our national animal and if they spoke a language, that’d become our national language logically raiightt!? You see where this is going?

Disclaimer: All of what has been said is purely satire and the factual accuracy and political correctness could have been compromised for artistic success (;P) I do not mean to hurt the sentiments of any Hindi speaking community or ANY community for that matter. All resemblances to any state Actual, Dead or Bifurcated is purely coincidental and is in no way intended, so forgive the frivolousness of this post. I mean, yeah! I do not want ANY language to be THE National language and this is written to mean that and only that. Do ! search for logic + grammatical errors in this post

for (there = many, there++) 

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