Monday, December 31, 2007

Irresolute

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past." -Henry Ward Beecher

Since 2007 is ending for me in a matter of an hour, its time for one of those "irresolute" posts.(Because Resolution isnt meant for people like me)
(-1) I refuse to start my year with a hangover

(0) I am still trying to wrap my arms around a technology suite thats currently 25 years old (switch happened exactly on January1,1983) and I am amazed to see it is robust and what more: I am making a living out of its existence

(1) So far in my life I knew how to make a living, but from now I shall definitely look forward "to live" now and paint my life red

(2) I shall change my mind without being worried about being consistent (used to think integrity meant stickin to it no matter what happens but then the truth lies much in the vein of the Keynes' quip When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? )

(3) Since nothing worth knowing can be taught and since there is (no need)/(not possible) to teach those who question, I dedicate the next year to questioning and experience to learn rather than yearn to be admitted to one of those grad. schools.

(4) I shall try to chuck my "relativsitic notions" and pursue the "absolute" as the wonderful book "Human Accomplishment" states that the highest accomplishments occur only in cultures that believe in absolute truth and beauty (the relativstic notion only produces ugliness among other pointless artifacts)

(5) By corollary to the above 4 points (dont ask!) I need to be back in California,so should be eagerly looking at sayin good bye to Boston (hopefully early in the) . Yay! I Cant wait to be back where I belong..
(6) I quit believing in Democracy as being representative form of government for any nation (thinking hard for the but I need to read a lot of history before democracy to see what exactly were people upto before such a concept was commonplace)
(7) Finally, I expect to be hitched in the year of 2008 which can only be phenomenal.
While every "new" year promises something novel, I always think there is something unchanging as well. Take for example the well known Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem; In layman's terms it says that if you were to take a coffee in a cup and stir it vigorously anyway you like without spilling a drop then there is one particle/point inside the cup that has returned to its original position (in other words it hasnt moved despite all your effort). Something like that happens to us where we think we are slowly aging with time, break our molds and what not, there is one single unique essence of a person that simply never changes despite all the flux. I wonder what would that be..

Sunday, December 30, 2007

In Service of the Ring!

Quite a while back,I posted this dispatch without actually knowing the history behind it. Now I know that it was written in 1907 and Kipling used it as part of the iron ring ceremony. (As a bonus I got to re-read the verse by my erstwhile roomie on that as well...those were the times when verses pored out extempore)

The gist still is valid: How many of us pay no attention to those who work long and hard behind the scenes with little recognition, let alone thanks?. Think about them the next time that someone nearly invisible keeps the machinery around you working. Anyways,the most controversial line by kipling in that happens to be this methinks:

They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and —

the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Histories of the Other Side

First off its pretty pathetic to see Ms. Benazir Bhutto killed. I didnt know why I felt a little sad but I did when I was reading the news. People around my cube said that she didnt have the right approach and that she was risking it.Risking what? Whats her alternative; sit at home and do nothing while ensconced in the security wrapper. That would do no good. Then someone said, why would someone from India bother? Why bother at all? I retorted: "Because we have to watch out for own own.."

The words rang in my mind as I came home.."Our own". How is it these guys are our own notwithstanding the parition and the likes. Why cant Pakistan have peace and economic progress like its sister countries? Then, suddenly there emerges this theory that nations which forget their cultural histories and try to enforce a new identity created of thin air have this peculiar probem of confusion.Then I rift apart trying to unravel the threads. For that, we need to go back a few centuries.

Take a look at Arab Conquest of the land to begin with. Before the conquest of Sind, the only other civilization which had a prior cultural history was that of Persia. The first expedition to capture Sind was started in 38 A.H (Anno Hegirae ) and they were beaten back. It took 7 expeditions after that to succesfully conquer Sind in the year 73 A.H by Qasim. I have just finished reading the authoritatve work on the history of Sindh called Chach Nama (the story of chach)and later works heavily reference this which gives us a valuable picture of life and times of those folks.

The key point to note from the work is the fact that Buddhists and Hindus were happily co-existing with each other before the advent of the Arabs. Shramanis(A community following buddhism much like priests) and Brahmans were equally influential in the local government. Now contrast it to modern day government where the party which wins in Punjab (Nawaz Sharif currently is the lead here) ends up being the ruling party at the centre. Also the work notes that whenever central policies are crafted carefully to not go against the local sensibilities. These days Waziristan and NWFP regularly throw out the current administrations' presence out of their regions. The Chach Nama also throws light on the fact that various institutions were present to check and balance (BTW Chach initially was well recognized for his penmanship) in stark contrast to the Army being the only enduring institution that the modern day nation.

Of course, the Arabs referred to the subcontinent as Sind and Hind (Kashmir marking the eastern border and Kutch marking the southern border) somehow emphasizing a difference of nations there which later was unified by later conquests which are well known.The second time the partition happened was when the British carved away Sind from the Bombay Presidency in 1935 which kinda foreshadowed the partition (but given the way Jinnah was treated, I wouldnt blame him for not having anything to do with some morons in the Congress who refused to eat with him and other petty religious isolational things). So, whenever something happens in Sind, it usually had implications for the rest of the country. The Bhuttos are the modern day leaders of Sind (sindhis always loved her)and now I wonder what this event portends for the rest of the country.

Jiye ..Jiye..Jiye Bhutto Benazir (That 1993 campaign song was very popular in Hyderabad Deccan as much as it was in the other Hyderabad)
But if I were to choose the appropriate lyrics for the rage inside pakistan it would be best expressed via Red Hot Chilli Peppers:

How long
how long will I slide
Separate my side
I don't
I don't
believe it's bad
Slittin my throat
It's all I ever ...


I heard your voice
through a photograph
I thought it up and brought up the past
Once you've know you can never go back
I've got to take it on the otherside ..
Centuries are what it meant to me
A cemetery where I marry the sea
Stranger things could never change my mind
I've got to take it on the otherside
Take it on the otherside..

Pour my life into a paper cup
The ashtrays full and I'm spillin' my guts
She wants to know am I still a slut
I've got to take it on the other side

Scarlet starlet and she's in my bed
A candidate for a soul mate bled
Push the trigger and pull the thread
I've got to take it on the otherside
Take it on...


Turn me on take me for a hard ride
Burn me out leave me on the otherside
I yell and tell it that
It's not a friend
I tear it down
And then it's born again
I don't
I don't believe
it's bad
Slittin my throat
It's all I ever

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lists of the Year 2007

The following are what I consider as my best list for this year

Single : Waiting on the world to change/John Mayer
Album: Magic/ Springsteen
Fiction: Another Roadside Attraction
Non-Fiction: Enigma
News Article: Subprime Mess Produces Unqualified Victims
Blog: Stevey's Rants

Tech Article: The Man who wants to control the internet
PhD Thesis: Scalable TCP Congestion Control
Paper: BellKor Solution

Of Piers and Quays


Last year was a 'wharf' year in the sense I was firmly landed.When I opened the year, I thought this year would be a 'bridge' year in the sense it would probably would have connected to something more significant but in the end I would classify it as a 'pier'.Neither land nor water. Its an escape route that leaves one with few choices.The closest way I know I can walk on water.An escape from the land but still tied to it by the planks should I want to do a U-turn.Watching the land's end from the pier gives a different perspective and still disorienting to think of the waves calling you out with a message to be more explorative.

"Cubitt sat down chilled in a glass shelter and stared out towards the sea. The tide was low and the mist hid it: it was just a sliding and a sibilation. He lit a cigarette: the match warmed for a moment the cupped hands..Hack!Hack!Hack: the vocal chords dry as straw.Somewhere out at sea a violin began to play:it was like a sea beast mourning and stretching towards the shore...

Cubitt looked back towards the shore and saw above the mist the high lights of the Cosmopolitan, and they daunted him.He wasnt used to that sort of company. He went down the iron companionway to the gents and drained the whisky out of him into the movement under the piles and came up on to the deck lonelier than ever. He took a penny out of his pocket and slipped it into an automatic machine: a robot face behind which an electric buld revolved, iron hands for Cubitt to grip. A little blue card shot out at him: `Your Character Delineated.'Cubitt read: 'You are mainly influenced by your surroundings and inclined to be capricious and changeful. Your affections are more intense than enduring. You have a free,easy, and genial nature. You make the best of whatever you undertake. A share of the good things can always be yours. Your lack of initiative is counter-balanced by your good common sense, and you will succeed where others fail."

--Graham Greene in Brighton Pier

There. That was spot on as to how my year has been.I dont know the end but maybe I can find a quay at the end of the pier that's loading up people for the the other coast again. This time, I wont ask questions and simply get on with it to explore more fares that the sea's got to offer.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Season of Giving

Its holiday season and I totally love the air around me filled with gaiety and color. As it is a season of giving , I would like to make a special mention of a web service called Kiva. Its a swahili word meaning "concord" (Any thingy named in Swahili seems to be good, Ubuntu for example, or Hakuna Matata..)

Back to the topic, the above site isnt about charity but all about microfinance distribution around the world. Instead of charity, you get your money back here (no interest though, cmon do something in the name of philanthropy) in a vein similar to that of loaning out your friend in need (I myself bootstrapped with the help of my dear friends). So its an instrument to elevate people out of their poverty and more importantly the Interney enables to break the lock of local feudal honchos who charge exorbitant interest for such endeavors. These kinds of endeavors always struck me as the ending line in the novel

“…because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth”


But now I see Kiva as providing a second chance to those (and within a short while on Jupiter as well).

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Best Christmas Movie of a Century

I am going off to CA to attend a Christmas party on the other coast. I think it is important to make a point that the best movie for this season ever to be made is the movie called "Its a Wonderful Life". If you havent watched it already please watch one during this month.Call me "old School" but the movie does define some essential characteristics of a good human...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Thought

In the end unlike what my mom says (you are what you eat), You are defined by what you chase.
So choose wisely.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Social Disturbances causes Economic Progress

Except US and Canada (who celebrate it on a different day), I dont think Thanksgiving as a holiday is celebrated anywhere else.Never knew it in India except through Dennis the Menace comics. Whats more, Lincoln proclaimed it to be last thursday of November which FDR amended to be the 4th Thursday of November. Cool. The power to contrive a holiday for convenience is so great (I aint complaining..more power to the philosophy of convenience)

Its a nice holiday weekend for travel but come to think of its origins its just a Harvest festival much like Sankranti/Pongal/Baisakhi/Lori/etc., except that instead of copying our so-called "pagan" roots it was re-created by so-called "pilgrims" and hence very legitimate. Now, that I am in the state where it all started its kind of fun to look back at it. The very first account was written by one Mr. Winslow around December 1621 stating the following:

"Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

There you go, the very first thanksgiving expression from the new colony. There's also a nice urban myth that the first thanksgiving meal was poisoned thus killing the local indians (now that the colonists want profits from private property instead of communal sharing) who were invited to the feast. While Colonists poisioning Indians is true of some accounts (also deliberately inducing small pox to eliminate the natives) , I am not sure if it is true of Thanksgiving. But then, Who decides what is a true source of knowledge and which one isnt??

For myself, I just celebrate by having popcorn rather than the conformal turkey..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Few Things in Life

..can be as pleasing as pure piano played in a mellow tone with lots of space between the notes allowing one to sink in the G-Flats and F-Sharps almost like singing a lullaby (speaking of which ages since I heard a "proper" one)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Endings!

Just watched Om Shanti Om for Diwali.Nice entertainment. Really good show and the movie made people stick to their seats till the last credit was displayed (must give kudos to whoever came up with the out of box way of credit display and I was particularly impressed with the spot buy and finance team"). Coming to the movie, what struck me as insistent was the focus on a "happy ending". If it isnt happy then the movie apparently hasnt ended as per OSO(thus making any bollywood movie end only one way).

Since the movie is Retro, if you are reading this, please go and borrow this movie called "The Third Man" which is from 1949 but an yeggastradinary movie to watch for any buff.This movie will have different endings based on your geographical location. American DVDs have a different ending whereas British distribution of original has a different one and there is one which compromises between both approached. Reason was that Graham Greene wanted to have a Shah Rukh like happy ending whereas Selznick (Speaking of Selznick, OSO had this wonderful SRK line of "I dont give a damn,dear" which is cool adaptation) knew his market was not going to the movies for such assurances and begged differ.

I watched both endings and must agree with Selznick in that his adapation of the ending is far better in pleasing my aesthetic sense than the Greene one of make up at the end. The correct word to describe the selznick ending would be "tantalising the senses" rather than soothing. So there, one reason for not always having happy endings.


"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

- Orson Welles' contribution to the script of The Third Man

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Telelogy

I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why...


-Dick Feynman
Have you ever wondered when you asked someone the question "Why" and they answer the "How" part or "When" part coupled with "Where" part. I dont intend to follow teleology but generally was curious as to why people answer a different question than what is asked and especially relevant in rhetoric and sales arguments. Lawyers and programmers are very good at persisting with the question whereas the normal layman usually accepts the answer and willing to be digressed into other territories.

I recently found the answer to be that human brain tries to answer the simplest abstraction of the question being asked. In other words, if the brain is not equipped with an exact answer it tries to give you an approximate answer in the neighboring region of the question rather than like a computer which simply answers "it doesnt know". Its neither good or bad but understanding such phenomenon helps navigate some turbulent waters especially when radical issues are being discussed.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Strotra of Terminalia Chebula in the Hand

When Sankara, was traveling in the western parts of India and overcoming in debate the
expounders of the various schools of thought, he once came to a village known as Srivali (near Gokarna in modern Karnataka). When an inhabitant of the village named Prabhakara heard about his arrival he went to him with his thirteen year old son. He prostrated before Sankara and made his son also prostrate. He then explained that the boy had been dumb from his childhood, that he had no likes and dislikes, nor a sense of honour and dishonour,and that he was completely inactive. The Guru then raised the boy up and asked him as follows in a cheerful tone:


1. `Who are you? Whose child are you? Whither are you
bound? What is your name? Whence have you come? Oh
Child! I should like to hear your reply to these questions.'

Thus spoke Sri Shankaracharya to the boy, and Hastamalaka replied as follows.

2. I am neither man, God, yaksha, brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmachari, householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi; but I am pure awareness alone.

3. Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I -- the ever-present, conscious Self -- cause the mind to be active and the senses to function. Again, just as the ether is all-pervading, yet devoid of any specific qualities, so am I free from all qualities.

4. I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as heat is always associated with fire. I am that eternal, undifferentiated,unshaken Consciousness, on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.

5. I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent as the image in a mirror is not independent of the object reflected.

6. I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of buddhi, just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.

7. I am eternal Consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses. I am the mind of the mind, the eye of the eye, ear of the ear and so on. I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.

8. I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surface ofvarious sheets of water.

9. I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously illumines all eyes sothat they perceive objects.

10. Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others. The source from which the sun derives its power is myself.

11. Just as the reflection of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognizable in agitated intellects though I clearly shine in those which are calm.

12. Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do people think that the ever-free Self is bound.

13. Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious Self pervade everything without being affected in anyway. I am that Self.

14. Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces
appears agitated, so is it with you, the all-pervading God.

As this stotra reveals the Self as clearly as the amalaka fruit placed on the palm of the hand (hasta), it received the name Hastamalaka Strotra. Moreover, the boy, eminent in jnana , came to be praised by all people of this world as Hastamalaka.

The father of the boy was speechless with wonder at those words. But the Acharya said to him: `He has become your son because of his incomplete austerities. This is your good fortune. He will not be of any use to you in this world. Let him stay with me.' He bade him go back and, taking the boy with him, proceeded on his way. The disciples then asked him: `How did this boy attain the state of Brahman without hearing, etc.?' The Guru replied: `His mother left her twoyear old child in the care of a great and highly accomplished yogi who was practising austerities on the bank of the Yamuna while she went to bathe in the river with some women. The child toddled towards the water and was drowned. Out of his compassion for the disconsolate mother the sadhu forsook his body and entered that of the child. That is why this boyhas attained this high state.'


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is my response that I couldnt formulate upon a session I attended by a filmmaker on Indian Untouchability where he documents a large cross section of the population including the the current holder of the "paramacharya" where half articulated answers about the caste system didnt quite hit the nail for me. The usual stuff was dished out about how bad the current situation is (discrimination just went high tech in urban areas and still the same old sense in rural populace). There were arguments either side moving onto affirmative action, social justice and such. Whats more, quotes exclusively from ManuSmriti (which is quite an embarassment to all of us there) were leveraged to show what had befallen us. My post here is to simply prove a point that you can never talk about India or Hinduism or any of its culture in singular. It always has to be plural and then one wonders about the meaning of such expressions such as these (one way of interpreting that can be social equality or polytheism or any plural attribute claiming equality)

a = b = c = d = e =f = ....

As a mathematics student that tells me simply nothing unless the last part of equality is some "k" (or any other symbol you prefer) but the point is its gotta end in a constant or else it doesnt mean anything. I have myself convinced of that constant to be embedded in the above stotra and hence a nice point to mark it as one to remind myself later whenever such debates enter, this is where they kind of end...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Roadside Attraction

Once in a while you get to read books that are unputdownable (yeah! wanna read them straight for 6 hours). I always thought that Still Life with Woodpecker was amazingly brilliant but I just realised that "Another Roadside Attraction" has the same bearing on it that Atlas Shrugged has on The Fountainhead. I have never before seen so many ideas compacted in one book. Phew! It was such a trip reading this one that I might consider doing it again in a month or so.

If you dont have clue of what I am talking about, here; savor some thoughts from the book (approximately represent only a 10-15% of the lines of thought in the entire book, so you know what the original contains). If these dont whet your appetite, no need to worry about reading the book ( its written with a certain style to attract only certain minds)

A zen buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor in the park and says: “Make me one with everything"

The most important thing in life is style. That is, the style of one's existence - the characteristic mode of one's actions - is basically, ultimately what matters. For if man defines himself by doing, then style is doubly definitive because style describes the doing..

And it rained a fever.And it rained a silence. And it rained a sacrifice.And it rained a miracle.And it rained sorceriesand saturnine eyes of the totem


Happiness is a learned condition. And since it is learned and self-generating, it does not depend upon external circumstances for its perpetuation…


I'm only interested in three states of consciousness. I'm interested in amnesia, euphoria and ecstasy. Amnesia is when you don't know who you are and desperately want to know. Euphoria is when you don't know who you are and don't care. Ecstasy is when you know exactly who you are and still don't care.


It is content, or rather the consciousness of content, that fills the void. But the mere presence of content is not enough. It is style that gives content the capacity to absorb us, to move us; it is style that makes us care.


Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics, in that it involves selective breeding. The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such, and the latter breeds (assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future; the historian uses his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit

Laws are the most obvious example. Laws are abstractions. Laws symbolized ethical arts, proper behaviour towards other human animals. Laws have no moral content, they merely symbolize conduct that does. These symbol junkies are always yelling about how we've got to respect the law, but you never hear one of them say anything about respecting fellow beings. If we respected each other, if we respected animals and if we respected the land, than we could dispense with laws and cut the middleman out of morality. Here in Washington State the government has a slogan, you may have noticed it, 'Drive Legally'. If this were a concrete, realistic (as opposed to a civilized) society, the bumper stickers would not say 'Drive Legally' but 'Drive
Lovingly'."


The whole universe is a complex of rhythms. We each of us feel a need to identify our bodily rhythms with those of the cosmos. The sea is the grand agency of rhythm. The grain tops in the wind, the atoms in orbit are rhythmic. The uterus, which is a strong muscular organ, contacts with the birth of the baby-the rhythmic contractions, in fact, are the important motivations for the baby to emerge into the world. Rhythm is how it all begins

And it rained a sickness.And it rained a fear. And it rained an odor.And it rained a murder. And it rained dangers and pale eggs of the beast....And it rained an omen.And it rained a poison.And it rained a pigment.And it rained a seizure.

Science is an active response to the world.Mysticism accepts the world.Mystics scurry abouttrying to get in harmony with nature.Scientists turn nature into issues which "we" define.Science is resistance than acceptance..

From a scientific point of view, we can make no distinction between the man who eats little and sees heaven and the man who drinks much and sees snakes. Each is in an abnormal physical condition, and therefore has abnormal perceptions. "—Bertrand Russell (1935)

The difference is that one of them sees Heaven and one sees snakes -Amanda Ziller

Monday, October 22, 2007

Perfection!

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away

When Antoine de Saint Exupéry said that I am not sure what he had in Mind but I have this terrible feeling of connection to that exact thingummy he was talking about. I just finished building something and I know this is baked "just right". Looking on at designs is one thing and creating your own is a completely different experience. Unless you do it, you wouldnt unlock the joy of creation. Muahhahahahahahaah! After all this frenchie has also quipped

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wearing my <3 on a sleeve

Someone made that statement. Couldnt think of a response then but then I laugh in my solitude when I think this would have been a most appropriate response:

Two penguins are standing afloat on an iceberg. The first penguin says, you look like you're wearing a tuxedo. The second penguin says, what makes you think I'm not?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Dussehra!

Apprently India would be very festive now, looking forward to Diwali and celebrating Dussehra. I feel envious sometimes not being able to celebrate festivals at the rate we do back home. Anyhow, today is Durgashtami and here're the fundoo lyrics for an awesome song which always woke me up during the 8th day of the 9-day celebration Just the sheer beauty of alliteration woven with some complex sanskrit compunds..

1. ayi girinandini nanditamedini visvavinodini nandinute |
girivaravindhya shirodhinivasini vishnuvilasini jisnunute |
bhagavati he shitikanthakutumbini bhoorikutumbini bhoorikrute |
jaya jaya he mahishasuramardhini ramyakapardini shailasute ||

2. suravaravarshini durdharadharshini durmukhamarshini harsharate |
tribhuvanaposhini sha.nkaratoshini kilbishamoshini ghosharate |
danujaniroshini ditisutaroshini durmadashoshini sindhusute |
jaya jaya he ... ||

3. ayi jagadamba madamba kadambavanapriyavasini hasarate |
shikharishiromani tungahimalaya shringanijalaya madhyagate |
madhumadhure madhukaitabhaganjini kaitabhabhanjini rasarate |
jaya jaya he ...||

4. ayi shatakhanda vikhanditarunda vitunditashunda gajadhipate |
ripugajaganda vidaranachanda parakramashunda mrigadhipate |
nijabhujadanda nipatitakhanda vipatitamunda bhatadhipate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

5. ayi ranadurmadashatruvadhodita durdharanirjara shaktibhrute |
chaturavicharadhurinamahasiva dutakrita pramathadhipate |
duritadurihadurashayadurmati danavaduta krutantamate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

6. ayi sharanagata vairivadhuvara viravarabhayadayakare |
tribhuvanamastaka shulavirodhishirodhikritamala shulakare |
dumidumitamara dundubhinada mahomukharikrita tigmakare |
jaya jaya he ... ||

7. ayi nijahunkriti matranirakrita dhumravilochana dhumrashate |
samravishoshita shonitabeeja samudbhavashonita bijalate |
shivashivashumbhani shumbhamahahavatarpita bhutapishacharate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

8. dhanuranusangaranakshanasanga parishphuradanga natatkatake |
kanakapishanga prishatkanishanga rasadbhatasringa hatabatuke |
krutachaturanga balakshitiranga ghatadbahuranga ratadbatuke |
jaya jaya he ... ||

9. jaya jaya japyajaye jayashabda parastutitatatpara vishvanute |
jhana jhana jhinjhimijhinkritanoopura sinjitamohita bhootapate |
natita natardhanatinatanayaka natitanatyasuganarate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

10. ayi sumanah sumanah sumanah sumanoharakantiyute |
shrita rajani rajani rajani rajani rajanikaravakravrute |
sunayanavibhra marabhra marabhra marabhra marabhra maradhipate|
jaya jaya he ... ||

11. sahitamahahava mallamatallika mallitarallaka mallarate |
virachitavallika pallikamallika shrillikabhillika vargavrute |
sita kruta phullisamullasitakruntallaja pallavasallalite |
jaya jaya he ... ||

12. aviralaganda galanmadamedura mattamatangajarajapate |
tribhuvana bhooshana bhootakalanidhi roopapayonidhirajasute |
ayi sudatijanalalasamanasa mohanamanmatharajasute |
jaya jaya he ... ||

13. kamaladalamalakomala kantikalakalitamala bhalatale |
sakalavilasakalanilayakrama kelichalatkala hamsakule |
alikulasankula kuvalayamandala maulimiladbakulalikule |
jaya jaya he ... ||

14. karamuralirava vijita koojita lajjita kokila manjumate |
militapulinda manoharagunjita ranjitashailanikunjagate |
nijagunabhoota mahashabarigana sadgunasambhruta kelitale |
jaya jaya he ... ||

15. katitatapitadukoolavichitra mayookhatiraskrita chandraruche|
pranatasurasura maulimanisphuradamshulasannakha chandraruche|
jitakanakachala maulipadorjita nirbharakunjara kumbhakuche |
jaya jaya he ... ||

16. vijitasahasra karaikasahasra karaikasahasra karaikanute |
krutasurataraka sangarataraka sangarataraka soonusute |
surathasamadhi samanasamadhi samadhi samadhi sujatarate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

17. padakamalam karunanilaye varivasyati yonudinam sashive |
ayi kamale kamalanilaye kamalanilayah sakatham na bhavet |
tava padameva param padamityanushilayato mama kim na shive |
jaya jaya he ... ||

18. kanakalasatkala sindhujalairanusinchinute gunarangabhuvam |
bhajati sa kim na sachikuchakumbha tatiparirambha sukhanubhavam |
tava charanam sharanam karavani natamaravani nivasisivam |
jaya jaya he ... ||

19. tava vimalendukulam vadanendum alam sakalam nanu koolayate |
kimu puruhoota purindumukhisumukhibhirasau vimukhikriyate |
mama tu matam sivanamadhane bhavati kripaya kimuta kriyate |
jaya jaya he ... ||

20. ayi mayi dinadayalutaya krupayaiva tvaya bhavitavyamume |
ayi jagato janani krupayasi yathasi tathanumitasitare |
yaduchitamatra bhavatyurarikrutadurutapa mapakrurute |
jaya jaya he ... ||

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Conversation

I: Howdy? Do you remember me?
S: How can I not? I told you, I shall always remember you no matter what.
Well, one cant be presumtous these days, you see..
You can be with me and thats the way I like it
How are you?
Sometimes good, sometimes not so good and sometimes worse
Well, that captures everything,doesnt it?
I was meaning to give you the essence you are looking for..
Gee...
So, Are you hitched yet?
No..
Shouldnt surprise me ;-) You must know I have a 18 month old boy.
Wow! Great! Howz it being a mommy?
Nothing different from what I know
Its Good to catch up with you. Sorry, I was out of the social circuit for a while. I am not that young anymore, you see.
So, tell me, how many hearts have you broken since I last met you?
I: I aint Tom Petty to begin with and I was more wishing that you ask how many times I have been broken rather than the other way around
Well, thats never a problem. You always find a way. You'll prevail like you just always did
:) (with a poignant look that so much water has flown under the bridge but her hope is still flying high up the mast instead of 0.33-mast)
Dont avoid meeting me or anything like that. I was furious to note the last time you came and didnt make an effort to meet our family
As I said, I have my phases of being anti-social and that does last some years..

You always have some words albeit you dont mean them..Just like old days. Your brain and your mouth live in two different worlds
These days the count has increased to three and I hope they dont proliferate like amoeba
Shut Up!
Hmmm..


Sunny came home to her favorite room
Sunny sat down in the kitchen
She opened a book and a box of tools
Sunny came home with a mission


She says days go by I'm hypnotized
I'm walking on a wire
I close my eyes and fly out of my mind
Into the fire


Sunny came home with a list of names
She didn't believe in transcendence
It's time for a few small repairs she said
Sunny came home with a vengeance


She says days go by I don't know why
I'm walking on a wire I close my eyes

....
Get the kids
and bring a sweater
Dry is good and wind is better
Count the years, you always knew it
Strike a match, go on and do it


Days go by I'm hypnotized
I'm walking on a wire
I close my eyes and fly out of my mind
Into the fire
Light the sky and hold on tight
The world is burning down
She's out there on her own and she's alright
Sunny came home
Sunny came home...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Y

We all know human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes.Now, when a new cell is created by fertilisation of the egg cell and sperm cell each of them donate the full complement of the chromosomal footprint. generally speaking, you get a pair of genes that have similar functionality. Say, for example one certain gene dictates the color of your eyes. Also further assume one of the genes is defective, then the body uses the backup gene and gives it the color of the eye dictated by it. Either way, the idea is that one can fail, the other contributes (if both are defective, then it is a manufacturing problem that we cannot attend to albeit the complexity of the cell biology does try to make up for it as best as it can but this happens rarely where both genes fail)

The critical part is in the 23rd chromosome as the above logic cleanly applies to 22 pairs as the 23rd one is a li'l bit different. As you know men have XY chromosome pair and women have XX pair as the 23rd one.The Y chromosome is special in that it does not contain any genes, it is simply a stub (most programmers do understand stubs versus full bodied functions). A stub is like an empty container that can be filled in as the structure of the container permits. This means that male sperm cells are gonna be a wee bit lighter than female egg cells (two Xs for 1 X and small stub..this also means there's slightly greater than 50% chance that the offspring would be male than female because Y gets to the other female X faster than the normal male X).

Since Y doesnt have a gene, there's no chance of any defect happening, so the only case that can go wrong here is the X chromosme's gene. Assuming the defective X is fertilized by a Y which results in a boy (for XY means it has to be a boy) who would be defective in some characterstic.Note this point.

On the other hand, you might have the defective X fertilized by normal X which means you have a girl who has a 50-50 chance that she will have a defect. This means that if you have 4 dauthers all 4 of them will have a defect or none of them will (thats why 50-50 in the manifestation sense and not neccesarily 2 girls having the defective gene and 2 girls not). What happens to such a girl? Since one X is defective the other X would take care and nothing happens really for the defect to be expressed in her lifetime and everything would be normal for her. However, she is a "carrier".

Well, from all this if you conclude that a mother who has no defects can produce daughters where all of them have this defect or none of them and only sons seem to be affected, you are not to blame (I thought the same).

However, the lesson is subtle which can be summarized thus: In such 23rd pair interactions, a male may show a defect but will not have defective children whereas a female who doesnt show a defect can have defective children. Females are carriers and Males terminators.Chew on that.

In future, based on much more complicated analyses than this example,I expect a system of genetic matches (much like our current day horoscope matches) before anybody gets into wedlock. After all, your childrens' future can be greatly influenced by deciding whom you marry

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Seventh Mandarin

'The person who patiently awaits a sign from the clouds for many years, and yet fails to notice the earthquake at his feet, is devoid of intellect.'
Quentin Tantino should make a movie of this story

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

When the Tigers Broke Free...

If I were way younger than I was I would have been writing "Once in an year there comes a day thats yours and yours alone.." and all that jazz which is a sign of a fertile young imagination not tempered by shall-we-say "dose of reality". Not anymore. Recently we had Yom Kippur passing on us. Even people who arent orthodox do celebrate this one festival where they are supposed to brood over the actions of the last year and make atonements as appropriately deemed by your thoughts. I totally loved the concept. Today is the day I declare my Yom Kippur, you can as well do the same on any day you choose. Nope, it's got nothing to do with Gandhi albeit the relation seems well defined that way as well.

Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me.I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come.Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each "I",every one of us,contains a similar multitude.

-Salman Rusdhie, Midnights Children


Now for the part of my atonement. Before atonement, a reflection is needed and for that a little introspection is needed which basically needs examination of your reality from a third party perspective. I told you this was heady stuff.I apologize to all those who have been offended by me in the last one year for a start.(the last I knew this count was zero but anyhow why take chances?)

I used to like things, now I just get used to them. I used to crave for a rush; have been there done it way too many times. Used to feel good about an ego boost: but when you are the company and the company is you (much in the vein of "Indira is India, India is Indira") you suddenly realize it isnt worth that much (of course this is only known once you are over the hill not when you are climbing it, at which point it looks tantalisingly attractive like an aphrodisiac). At one point I used to think Socialism was an organized way of partying, but now I grow weary of both ideas. Have been a ardent believer of beer and now I skip to wine. Used to smoke Marlboros and now I just choose a Montecristos if I really wanna have a good time (please add a glass of cognac to savor the taste). Felt that Investment Banking was cool, now I realise they are a bunch of paper pushing airheads.Technology stuff used to be the cutting edge and now I think they are merely a support function that serves a larger objective. Also believed in Free Will and currently I completely forsake that idea's existence. Can go on like this, but you get the idea or should I say the flaver (with a coromandel accent)?

Before you mistake my earlier statements as resignation, let me tell you that this is good thing. Having a zen-like attitude to things makes day-to-day issues far more chilled out than otherwise.I believe this is what they call something like "wise" or "mature" or one of those things where you have a sense of discretion (which I lacked before).

On a different note, Thank Goodness for a lot of things. People with humble origins like mine have a lot to be thankful for (mostly for the opportunities not neccesarily the outcomes). Things can be far worse than they are right now but I am grateful for all the people who have been there (C'mon, you know who you are:). Its been a great year and given the current scenario I must say the future looks rosy for another year till another day of atonement. I have apologized to those I should and people who wanted to rejoice with me already called. What more can one ask from life.Amen!

Speaking of which, its my tradition every year to read one story where a person triumphs death (last year was Savitri,before last year was Dhruva) and this year it is the legendary Nachiketas

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What Do Men Went?

I can quote tons of literature where the question of "What do Women Want?" is the key and none of them can agree upon the answer and is supposed to be one of those mysteries even beyond divination of gods and what not..

My problem is this: Does that mean Men have already figured out what they want? Is it a solved problem and the answer is known and it is so boring that no one wants to deal with it by insulting us in literary forms and stuff? Dont know. Cant seem to find too many people agonizing over the details. I am most certain that the answer is "Women" and hence so much attention to what women want (if they wanted men the problem would have been resolved but apparently they dont and if they do only when a blue moon occurs on the seventh tide of an island in pacific thats intersecting both Indian and atlantic oceans while submerging occassionally).

Damn! That hurts..(It hurts because Ignorance does not count as a point of view) and I cannot do anything about it.Probably just roll with the punches.

Sneak Peek at eBay Checkout



A very few places these days where you can find a product thats better than Google's offering and this is one. I am posting it because I know the PM personally and this makes a great video for some of the folks reading this as they know this person as well..Rock On Vamsee!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Reunion

A while ago I wrote about how I missed re-reading my fave poem of Toru Dutt's. Now I got it.
Read it for yourself and see what you think of it..

Three happy children in a darkened room!
What do they gaze on with wide open eyes?
A dense,dense forest,where no sunbeam pries,
And in its centre a cleared spot. - There bloom
Gigantic flowers on creepers that embrace
Tall trees;there,in a quiet lucid lake
The white swans glide;
There, "whirring from the brake," the peacock springs;
There,herds of wild deer race;
There,patches gleam with yellow waving grain;
There,blue smoke from strange altar rises light,
there,dwells in peace, the poet-anchorite.
But who is this fair lady? Not in vain
She weeps,--for lo! at every tear she sheds
Tears from three pairs of young eyes fall
amain,
And bowed in sorrow are the three young heads,
It is an old,old story and the lay
Which has evoked sad Sita from the past
Is by a mother sung....'Tis hushed at last
And melts the picture from their sight away,
Yet shall they dream of it until the day!
When shall those children by their mother's side
Gather,ah me! as erst at
eventide?

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Beautiful Short Story

This one is a quick witty but very nicely done short story

Hers was a remarkably plain face, and it appeared quite somber most of the time, but during the party he saw her smile twice and frown once; at those moments, her entire countenance assumed the expression as if it had never known another. Carl had been caught by surprise: he could recognize a face that smiled regularly, or a face that frowned regularly, even if it were unlined. He was curious as to how her face had developed such a close familiarity with so many expressions, and yet normally revealed nothing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Arrow

Gentlemen seeking stripes should know where to draw the line...

does the 'gita' tell them where to draw the line??

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Brilliant Essay by PG

Its an old one but perfectly strikes the chord. I just came across it today and would like to preserve it
--------------------------

What Drives Bloggers? by Paul Graham on 19 Apr 2006
In a comment on the last post, brlewis wrote

Your blogging experiment is not going to work anyway. Aside from the conspicuous absence of a cat, your problem is that a "normal" blogger's experience is a struggle to gain celebrity....

Is that really what drives bloggers? I'd guess not. I think what most bloggers are doing is thinking out loud. It's a little misleading to talk of "putting things into words," because that implies the ideas come first. In fact, expressing thoughts creates them. And especially expressing thoughts to other people, even people you don't know. So I think the reason many people like blogging is that they like the thinking it causes.

The alternative is to have the days fly by in a blur. I hate that feeling. Who wouldn't? Next stop: death.

Plato quotes Socrates as saying "the unexamined life is not worth living." What he meant was that the proper role of humans is to think, just as the proper role of anteaters is to poke their noses into anthills. In modern terms, it's what we're adapted for.A lot of ancient philosophy had that quality: the quality-- and I don't
mean this in an insulting way-- of the kind of conversations freshmen have late
at night in common rooms:

Here we are. So what is our purpose here? Well, we humans are as conspicuously different from other animals as the anteater. In our case the distinguishing feature is the ability to reason. So obviously that is what we should be doing, and a human who doesn't is doing a bad job of being human-- is no better than an animal.

Now we'd give a different answer. At least, someone Socrates's age would. We'd ask why we even suppose we have a "purpose" in life. We may have some things we're adapted for and others we're not; we may be happier doing things we're adapted to; but why assume purpose?


The history of ideas since people first started writing them down is a history of gradually discarding the assumption that it's all about us. No, it turns, out, the earth is not the center of the universe-- not even the center of the solar system. No, it turns out, humans are not created by God in his own image; they're just one species among many, descended not merely from apes, but from microorganisms. Even the concept of "me" turns out to be fuzzy around the edges if you examine it closely. The idea that we're the center of things is difficult to discard. So difficult that there is probably room to discard more.


Richard Dawkins made another step in that direction only in the last several
decades, with the idea of the
selfish gene. No, it turns out, we are not even the protagonists: we are just the latest model vehicle our genes have constructed to travel around in. And having kids is our genes heading for the lifeboats. Reading that book snapped my brain out of its previous way of thinking the way Darwin's must have when it first appeared.
(Few people can experience now what Darwin's contemporaries did when The Origin of Species was first published, because everyone now is raised either to take evolution for granted, or to regard it as a heresy. No one encounters the idea of natural selection for the first time as an adult.)

So if you want to discover things that have been overlooked till now, one really good place to look is in our blind spot: in our natural, naive belief that it's all about us. And expect to encounter ferocious opposition if you do.Conversely, if you have to choose between two theories, prefer the one that doesn't center on you.This principle isn't only for big ideas. It works in everyday life, too. For example, suppose you're saving a piece of cake in the fridge, and you come home one day to find your housemate has eaten it. Two possible theories:
a) Your housemate did it deliberately to upset you. He knew you were saving that piece of cake.
b) Your housemate was hungry.
I say pick b. No one knows who said "never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence," but it is a powerful idea. Its more general version
is our answer to the Greeks:

Don't see purpose where there isn't.

Or better still, the positive version:

See randomness.

But we've got into deeper waters than I intended. Believe it or not, this is where the first version of this post went (starting over at "thinking out loud"):I just looked at Kottke's site to see what he writes about, and his last post was, of all things, about what he had for lunch.I think the problem is more that I'm not going to be able to master the light touch required for blogging. Everything with me turns into speculations about how the world works, and that sort of thing is not good when it's dashed off quickly.

Thats an awesome metapost, I think.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tech Food

Today I met a foodie at lunch and it was a nice one too. When I come home I crave for something like the following posts by an exceptionally creative plus technically gifted programmer

Appetizer
Main Course

Its like having your favorite dish whose recipe was lost when your grandmother dies and suddenly rediscovering that someone else also knows to serve the same with much higher class. Thats exactly what I felt reading those 2 posts. Now if you excuse me I need to find betel nuts and the likes to finish this lovely appetite of the evening

Friday, September 07, 2007

Aim of a Vacation

is to have a nice time, go to nice places and meet nice people.Thats what a vacation is all about.Period.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cali..

Sometimes I wonder how much the character of a city has got to do with forging relationships. Some cities are very conducive and some less so. I grew up in a city where it was all possible to bond with varied sections of the society with much thanks to the democratic nature of an irani tea shops which served as a brooding ground for many of my generation. First ingredient for a city to make possible is to give a standard fixture distributed throughout the place where one can more importantly sit and chat rather than simply with the aim of having tea/coffee and leave.

In better words of Sahir here's what Hyderabad equally stands for (%s/Lucknow/Hyderabad and %s/Avadh/Deccan to get what I mean)

Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen ...
Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen
Ye Rang-roop Ka Chaman
Ye Husn-o-ishq Ka Vatan
Yahi To Vo Muqaam Hai
Jahaan Avadh Ki Shaam Hai
Javaan-javaan Haseen-haseen
Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen

Shabaab-o-sher Ka Ye Ghar
Ye Ahl-e-ilm Ka Nagar
Hai Manzilon Ki God Mein
Yahaan Har Ek Rah-guzar
Ye Shahar Laaladaar Hai
Yahaan Dilon Mein Pyaar Hai
Jidhar Nazar Uthaaiye
Bahaar Hi Bahaar Hai
Kali-kali Hai Naazaneen
Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen

Yahaan Ki Sab Ravaayaten
Adab Ki Shaahakaar Hain
Ameer Ahl-e-dil Yahaan
Gareeb Jaan-nisaar Hain
Har Ek Shaak Par Yahaan
Hain Bulbulon Ki Chah-chahen
Gali-gali Mein Zindagi
Kadam-kadam Pe Kah-kahen
Har Ik Nazaara Hai Dilnasheen
Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen
Ye Laknau Ki Sar-zameen ...

Nibhaayi Apani Aan Bhi
Badhaayi Dil Ki Shaan Bhi
Hain Aise Maharabaan Bhi

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happiness

A very good pal of mine just got married on August 31 thus leaving me all alone as the only single guy in our group. While I wanted to visit India for this and all that jazz, things happened in a way that I wasnt expecting. Here's something written by Lamartine that should echo in your heart.

On these white pages,
where my verses unfold
May oft a souvenir,
perchance your heart recall
Your life also only pure white pages behold
With one word,happiness,
I would cover them all
But the book of life is a volume all sublime
That we cannot open, or close just at our time
On the page where one loves,
one would wish to linger
Yet the page where one dies,
hides beneath the finger


All the Best Murali! You know what I wish...More on that later

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bumper Sticker

I read a funny bumper sticker today : You think Education is expensive! Try Ignorance.

Thinking about Ignorance, some economic events always had my fancy. Out of school 10 years back was the south east asian currency meltdown and currently it is the hedgies watching a standard deviation of 25 from the normal. Here's an excellent article talking about what we dont know and how you can make money off it

Friday, August 24, 2007

Discovery

A time is envisioned when the world was not existent,only a watery chaos (the dark, "indistinguishable sea") and a warm cosmic breath, which could give an impetus of life.

Notice how thought gives rise to desire (when something is thought of it can then be desired) and desire links non-being to being (we desire what is not but then try to bring it about that it is). Yet the whole process is shrouded in mystery.

Where do the gods fit in this creation scheme?

The non-existent was not;the existent was not at that time.

The atmosphere was not nor the heavens which are beyond.

What was concealed? Where? In whose protection? Was it water? An unfathomable abyss?

There was neither death nor immortality then. There was not distinction of day or night. That alone breathed windless by its own power. Other than that there was not anything else.

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning. All this was an indistinguishable sea. That which becomes, that which was enveloped by the void, that alone was born through the power of heat.

Upon that desire arose in the beginning. This was the first discharge of thought. Sages discovered this link of the existent to the nonexistent, having searched in the heart with wisdom.

Their line [of vision] was extended across; what was below, what was above? There were impregnators, there were powers: inherent power below, impulses above.

Who knows truly? Who here will declare whence it arose, whence this creation? The gods are subsequent to the creation of this. Who, then, knows whence it has come into being?

Whence this creation has come into being; whether it was made or not; he in the highest heaven is its surveyor. Surely he knows, or perhaps he knows not.

-rik (creation hymns)

I was forced to refer to this today as I was desperately trying to force an experiment to fit what my vision wanted. Then I realized the fundamental difference between things which was founded on belief versus doubt.

There you see the difference between open and closed. If I really am delusional (or what Calvin calls about being selective about reality) I would choose only those results that agree with my idee fix and I would discard the rest (I did this in the past but to no escape). If I really doubted then I would weight each incoming evidence in favor or against each of the view thus preserving my mind from insanity. Yes Sir, my very religion is based in doubt and not faith.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thoughts about Zero

I was wondering about empires in general and was grazing around images as if I were to submit a slideshow of the the last millenium. First the Arabs & some splinter cell south east asian empires later followed by the great khan (albeit its hard to think of Mongolia today can be the home of the biggest empire of asia in this millenium) with the final curtain of the Ottomans.

Enter city-state-nation federations warring with each other. Spain pioneered this approach and took most of known world only for about 120 years before the Napoleonic wars started and we had France at the helm for around another 110 odd years. Meanwhile our friends across the channel got their navy together and set to conquer the world for around 150-160 years (till the liberation of India I would say) with a great boost from the Industrial Revolution

And then enter Pax Americana with its strides post WW2 and information revolution. Going by the above Math, it seems like the energy for an empire seems be wound and set in motion much like a spring in the watc. There's only so much of it. Initially all is good and later the spring over extends itself this coming to a slow but sure halt. This means around 2060-2080 timeframe will be the time for another asian episode. Not sure if I wanna learn mandarin and settle in china but a cosy and comfortable living back in India would be nice. Yeah! Thats what I would do..Return home and retire just around 2030.

As they say Asymptotically everything would approach zero in this life. You, me, the nations and the universe itself.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

All That Dependence & Stuff

Happy Independence Day! After all, even if we were in heaven, without freedom, you really cant enjoy much, can you? So here's to it..

As a general tradition I listen to this anthem in addition to the usual ones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Accidents At Home

May be he was at the wrong time at the wrong place or who knows, may be "right" in some other sense. Something hit him at 60 kmph and knocked him off the bike hurling into the distance. He hits the road 3 times somersaulting and rolling. The helmet broken into a hundred pieces. Blood all over. His right leg came off its holding place in the hip, multiple fractures, bleeding internally.

Thank Goodness for a millisecond here or there would have cracked his spine and would be dead on the spot. Who know some other angle he might be equally dead die to some other reason. The key thing to take away he is alive. For this, I thank goodness as profusely as I can. It was not his fault,nor can I be furious at the other fellow who hit him given the traffic on bombay roads. The more I thought of it, the more depressing it was but ,one must not let those alternatives to brood and must focus on what can be done next (one can never take anything for granted after such events) but still..

One must also be grateful to his coworkers and friends for making sure the right things were done (blood clotting inside the bone marrow can be real nasty if it takes too long for medical attention) in the time. None of his family were there till he went into the operation theater and I sit here powerless, just consuming the news as it comes by. Six hours of multiple rounds of operation is what it took to control the damage done in thirty seconds. Finally, I hear everything is well. Phew! Never been so relieved.As I always, said, pain is nothing unless it is personal and this is as close as it can get to me.

At the end of the day, all I think is that this bugger might have needed a near-death experience in some frickin karmic way that I cannot fathom

Friday, August 10, 2007

Who's minding the store?

First, the subprime mortgage mess..then the rating agencies scandal about AAAA ratings for not-so-credit worthy securities. As if that aint fun, we have a bunch of hedge funds writhing in pain (bear stearns' fund collapse , goldmans sachs' rumble ,bnp paribas' groans and bunch of other suboptimal returns from other hedgies)

Aa clear article showing that free markets arent that free (echoes with that song Nashville) which is kind of sad because we never fathom what "true" free market would return..

It don’t worry me, it don’t worry me. You may say that I ain’t free, but it don’t worry me.

Now, inflation is gonna take a li'l hike thanks to the extra liquidity.Meanwhile, european banks previously said they werent exposed to the american mortgage securities as much (oh! yeah what the heck was BNP's pinching all about then with a bunch of other people groaning a bit).

There's the other fun angle of all the quants wincing at the markets from August 3. This was one week of rumble tumble that upset almost all the models out there(not enough history was incorporated, you see, :-) . These Phds built closely guarded economic models and firms automatically tie their long poles relative to the expectation of the model outcome. This last one week showed that the epsilon (things which happens once in 100 years, also called black-swan incidents) has everyone scratching their you-know-what and worrying that tragedy of commons wont happen with investors..

Lets take a look at the last free-market, currencies. The swiss franc and yen-carry over trade are decent but as you know highly leveraged also means multplicative losses there should some fundamentals change (like yen increasing the interest rate or swiss guys buckling up a bit and add a spice of margin calls by those above banks). Trouble seems looming but thankfully the almighty-dollar is holding its ground despite the tremors in the stock and financial markets.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Kandisa...

A soul twitches and utters
synthesizing thats was never spoken
being carried across the waves of the ocean

I watch the setting sun
with air around it slivering like molten glass
And see the reflection of a flame over the waters

Your thought arrives
sound like the roar of an ocean
when heard through a conch
unreal,distant and deep

The sound trellises with the wind blowing
before I could grasp it
Probably this is what they call
Smoke 'n the Water
Fire 'n the Sky

Friday, August 03, 2007

Brahma

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.


-Ralph Waldo Emerson (He was from Boston)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Missing..

When you are alone rather than a roomie you tend to be more responsible about day-to-day things and also more introspective. In recent days I just came to the following realization:

I dont miss anybody as bad as my mom. I dont know why the more I think about it the more I miss her after staying like 8 years away from her..

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ashore

Sometimes you see a sailor and you know he will never be left to anchor but sometimes one is proved wrong. I wrote long back about this person and felt the chasm too much to be carried by his own wings. Land he did and safely ashore is the sailor. I can only say I want to cross to the other side just to catch a glimpse of his happiness. The rare smiles that his wife always says happens only with me is now hers.

Rest now, my dear fellow and sleep well. You have come a long way without panting and always looking ahead. Drink from the cup of life and relax in the shade of a tree. I dont k now if this is not nice what else could be nice to you. Many a battle we have fought and a few minor ones lie ahead but take note:your legacy shall be continued in every single battle I fight ahead. Peace out

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Math of Marriage

I went with a solution for a particular problem using this technique and the people responded they solved the problem using this technique. I did look at the algorithm in all its glory. Its optimal but my question was does it guarantee happiness.

Oh! I forgot to tell, replace the world male with server and female with client in the problem which is what we were solving for and not the other real problems out of cyberspace.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dear Toru

I was abruptly thinking of poetry today and how much I missed reading/savoring one. Inevitably I ran through a mental list of poets of whom I have grown with and enjoyed.
However there is one poet who in my mind ranks far greater than Emily Dickinson and this happens only when I rummage through the coarse remains of my mind. I am not sure how many of you are aware of Toru Dutt, who in my opinion the greatest poetess ever produced by India in the last few centuries. That meter & rhyme, that texture, those complex narratives laid bare almost in a kaleidoscopal fashion and all you needed was to turn the kaleidoscope enough times to gauge the beauty and finally those hauntiny lyrics. Havent left me in the last 14 years. Without much ado, please sample the following snippet and tell me what caliber of poet is needed to pull it off (Keats is the answer methinks)

Still barred thy doors! The far East glows,
The morning wind blows fresh and free.
Should not the hour that wakes the rose
Awaken also thee?
All look for thee, Love, Light, and Song,
Light in the sky deep red above,
Song, in the lark of pinions strong,
And in my heart, true Love.
Apart we miss our nature's goal,
Why strive to cheat our destinies?
Was not my love made for thy soul?
Thy beauty for mine eyes?
No longer sleep,
Oh, listen now!
I wait and weep,
But where art thou?

On the onset of her illness at age 21, she wrote the following to a friend:

"My constitution is not strong; I contracted an obstinate cough, there is more than two years, which does not leave me. However I hope to put the hand at work soon. I cannot say, Miss, how much your affection-because like them to you, your book and your letter testify some enough-for my compatriots and my country touches me; and I am proud of being able the statement which heroines of our large are worthy of any honor and any love. Is there more touching heroine, more pleasant than Sîta? I do not believe it. When I intend my mére to sing, the evening, the old songs of our country, I almost always cry. The complaint of Sîta, when, banished for the second time, she wanders in the vast forest, only, despair and fear in the heart, is so pathetic that there is nobody, I believe, who can hear it without pouring tears. I am sending under this fold two small translations of Sanskrit, this beautiful ancient language. Unfortunately I was obliged to put an end to my translations of Sanskrit, six months ago. My health does not enable me to continue them"

-Forgive the loss of meaning through the translation from the original french.
If I have any luck in any of my lives spent, one of it would be that of being a faint and a very mellow concordant echo in that mind of hers' when she does her wordsmithing on the poem "Sita" (my favoritest poem). If you would like to read more of her please peruse Ancient Ballads And Legends Of Hindustan...

Friday, July 20, 2007

The World According to Erastothenes



The data for this map happened to primarily from Alexanders' tours. I personally like beta (a.k.a Erastothenes) and as you can see all the countries that mattered in antiquity are presented here. Anyone not here is a kid country..

On Politics

Fundamentally politics is a framework (more like a scaffolding) in my sense of the definition rather than a process or accepted system. I kept hearing this word many times in the last 1-2 weeks and that everytime the utterance was implicating a negative context rather than a neutral or positive one. The more I thought of of it, the more I see the concept hijacked by the word these days (much like the word "hacker") to mean a maligned instinct.

Why the bad connotation? I dont get it. I thought it was meant to be in place when a society acquires scale and there has to be a way to for people to get along well whilst serving something that they might not always be aware of. In general its more like a statistical goodness for overall population rather than profiting a single individual but some decisions like promoting an individual due to his merit (so that he can serve greater good of the entity) are inerpreted as being politics at play by those who couldnt vest the same power.

"Power" has many definitions like imposing your will in the face of all other but to me it might be an effect.I think Power is a function of information and the fellow who knows the most about something/someone rather than anyone else about something/someone is the most powerful. So I know more about you and the organization/product than you knowing about me+organization+product means that there is a power imbalance between us. (its a different issue if I act on the information or not, so you might wanna rephrase my argument as a requiem for power than raw power itself)If we share the same page then thats excellent as we become peers. ( Thats why move to p2p systems as we know more about systems than the client-server..cheeky one, I know)

Anyhow its fun to listen to people when they have grapevine. Says so much about themselves and I quite amuse myself listening to all versions of each (you have to be neutral to get such an opinion or else you'll be told what you wanted to hear) . I am really glad to be wherever I am..

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Cute Code


An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God". ----Ramanujan
So yesterday night, I wondered what would have he come up as a plausible explanation if I gave him the above identity. I came up with the oft quoted
popularly known as "ekam sat bipra bahuda vadanti" (rik: chapter 1/hymn 164/verse 46) which basically says "there is but one truth known to many in different ways" .Now, there's something I hope our friend Srinivasa would agree upon :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vodka Lounging...

Friends from cali. were her for the whole week that after every days' work we catch grub and do the pub crawling thats so....us..But the best night out was lounging in this place which had a very eclectic selection of vodkas all around the world. They serve you chilled with pickle. We drank tons of russian vodkas but the special one of mention is the "russian standard" with "Zyr" coming a close second. The last one worthy of mention is Youri Dolgoruki

The best part of such experiences is that they carefully place you in a twilight zone much like a professional golfer delivering the ball to a cozy spot. Now, I have realized thats what you drink for..not for getting drunk..We shall see, I am about to entertain another friend next wednesday.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Finally trying to settle down after the "moving" experience of relocation. Its painful as you grow old as you gotta do all the stuff yourself. I have never lived by myself all these years and this is the first time I am coming to terms with the meaning of "alone" (mind you, not to be confused lonely) and suddenly realized that I was a spoilt li'l brat whom the world has indulged with more than his fair share of people. Now, all those movies when looked at a certain vantage point make sense. Cleaning up the apartment and headed out in the city, I suddenly feel like robinson crusoe marking his points on the island. A rental car shop there, barber close by, three good bars in the vicinity, desi grocery shopping is proximate, taxicabs everywhere and subway station nearby. Bus stop at the door. A bunch of churches around right from mary of the anunciation to that of greek orthodox (albeit the episcopal one rings every hour)

I am writing this post after buying Internet access at a local cafe. Have to live without the net for the next one week (gasp!) as the cable fellow takes his own sweet time to install for me. No free WiFi like in Mountain View. Only medium then happens to be print as net/cable is out of the door. Caught up on reading like hell. Oh! before I forget, I made a nice list of biographies for major scientific luminaries

Galileo : "The Stargazer" (translation from Hungarian by some Tanyi/Paul Tabori)
Oppenheimer: "Oppenheimer" by Abraham Pais
Kepler: "The Watershed" by Arthur Koestler
Gauss: Carl Frederich (translated from swedish original of albert froderberg)

I am yet to read one of Newton's and then a certain chain would be complete. Good for me. Back to the chores, like washing dishes (no more dishwasher for me). Its almost like cleaning my soul and preparing it for a new sense of freedom. Happy 4th of July to all you folks..

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mile Sur ..

In honor of the diversity found at this place..enzoi :)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I love Cambridge!






I think that I shall never see
A graph more lovely than a tree.

A tree whose crucial property
Is loop-free connectivity.

A tree which must be sure to span
So packets can reach every LAN.

First the Root must be selected.
By ID it is elected.

Least cost paths from Root are traced.
In the tree these paths are placed.

A mesh is made by folks like me.
Then bridges find a spanning tree.

-Radia Perlman

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Green is My Valley

Do you bury me when I'm gone
Do you teach me while I'm here
Just as soon as I belong
Then it's time I disappear
--- Metallica in "I Disappear".
Its time for me to say adieu to California in general, but the valley in particular. I am moving to the New England area for a new gig out there in corporate :)

However, the last one week, a constant question has been "Why?". Honestly, I dont know. I usually dont know why I do some things but what I know is that some things feel neccesary to be done and that necessity doesnt follow logic. Probably a better apology for an answer can be on the lines of this post. As the author says there, it is necessary to move in order keep the central nervous system on its toes

I shall miss many a people here,who were my support system (my new place has none), and its been a great fun ride coming here and doing my thing.The valley is sprucing up green again, with more venture money pouring into local companies, people are very hard to find for staffing needs and other indicators showing a healthy return to those heady days of the boom. If so, I shall miss it when that wave rises..Till then Ciao!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Past Time

I always imagined Golf to be a "leisure class" sport.Now, I realize its got more to offer in terms of challenge that most other sports. I am an addict to the game as I play 9 holes on wednesday morning and a full blown 18 hole on saturday evenings. The more you practice it, the better you are but still far from being consistently good. Keyword in golf is consistency.

Thanks to playing the game, now I understand some of the subtelities the master has incorporated in his works like "The Heart of a Goof". Switching gears here, please go watch Cheeni Kum as its one of the most mature romances filmed in Bollywood. Totally loved it and in particular the interaction between Amitabh and Tabu.(Has some non-sequiturs cleverly intertwined with fallacious logic just to make a point).

[begin random rambling]

In India, we are used to the concept of power-cut or better a scheduled power cut like every day between 7pm-8pm in a given geography. Now, this was a time of cable televisions were on the ascendant and people sorely missed television. But, there is an upshot to all of this: No other event built communities the way these power-cuts did. Mom, used to schedule cutting the veggies while chatting with neighboring aunty who was making the atta/rolling them chappatis..
I used to simply go out an dplay with the rest of the beighboring kids. Our pressure of the power-cut was to be creative in our games (since batteries can last only so long) like those depending on your voice. Young teenagers goofed away to do whatever they did at that time. Middle aged fellows listened to their favorite radio stations and occasionally we sung at the top of our lungs to compete with those songs. Older women simply started reciting verses and stories..Sometimes, I wish for a power-cut to better know the community I am living in..

[end random rambling]

Now, instead of TV, my latest time is spent playing the challenge at WorldGolfTour

Friday, June 08, 2007

Quote of the Day!

The disillusionment is always proportional in strength to the original illusion;it is the most faithful who are always the most upset -Michael Lewis in The Money Culture

(No Offence Rob, we all know this too well)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A New Wave

Back in the day, with enough randomization in their process, I was interviewing for an admission to a major B-school admission located in Bangalore.After the GD and before the interview they asked us to answer a few questions (perhaps used for a psychograph of candidates). It went like this:

(a) Six adjectives to describe yourself
.
.

.
.
(g) Who is your role model?

For this I was kind of stumped. Never had to think of one till then but then my thoughts raced to determine two closely contested people. One personal and One whom I really admired. Then I was wondering should I tell them what they wanna hear (more like they cannot contest his other facets because he would be my cousin) or should I stick to my guns and tell them of this famous (atleast to certain demographic) fellow and expose myself to varied dissections of his personality (or worse, maybe I would project something I didnt have...)

Anyhow finally I answered Marc Andreessen. A few folks can claim to have written software that changed people's lives. Now, he is started a spanking new blog and I am excited to read his dispatches.(his article on personal productivity is great and the one on hiring is brilliant). Hope some of you might relate to this.