Tuesday, March 31, 2009

conversations with god

so i was going to the library today. i wasnt a library person earlier, but i like the desk space and the natural light it throws in the basement, which brings me back day and day after to it. i digressed. anyway so i was on my way to the library and as i was walking towards it, a girl walked upto me asking me if i had time. if she could wrap it up in 5 mins., then i am all ears, said i.

which is when she started talking about jesus as the savior so on and so forth. what was amazing was she came from korea ( dunno which one), just for this! i wanted to start a discussion about the veracity of His existence, but I could see it would go nowhere due to 1. lack of time and couple of other reasons, which is why i post it here.

i have a different perspective here.

religion for me is an idea, a powerful idea, with God as the central figure. its a notion perpetuated since time imemorial.

religion was and is used as a medium to bring people together. now nobody wants to willingly go to hell, everybody wants to go to heaven (because the notion of heaven and hell is perpetuated as a good place to be and bad place to be). and if the idea is permeated that only by doing certain activities would you be granted a place in heaven, more often than not, people will do those activities. and what happens when like minded people come in contact? they live in harmony and peace.

and even though one doesnt subscribe to the above idea, here is another way to look at it. it is a fair assumption to make that at most 3 people among 10 are intelligent. the rest are sheeple ( herds) who like to be directed. so one of these "people" figured to get the "sheeple" to be productive by uniting them with a cause. and thus by introducting the notion of a super natural entity, they were more or less directed in their activities.

hence in my opinion religion and God are the most powerful ideas that man has ever come up with that has gained an unanimous acceptance in every era.

to further this argument, its the belief that characterizes God. say for example, there is a magic teapot somewhere in the universe. now some one says there is a magic teapot and its cosmic rays will benefit mankind so on and so forth. if just one guy or a small group believes in it, they are tagged as lunatics. BUT if the whole town (say) believes in the magic teapot, then it is suddenly God like, magical etc. (even though there is no such magic teapot).

devouts say if you dont accept God, you are a sinner and you go to hell. they also say that if one does good things, then one will go to heaven. so does a man, who doesnt accept God (atheist) , but does one's exemplary work for the benefit of mankind, have no chance in heaven?

i guess God exists for those who see Him as a source of hope, saviour etc, and doesnt for those who have their own sources of hope ( which may make them their Gods ;according to the reasoning above; albeit having them to accept it). so does that mean everyone needs hope to continue, to which i say a resounding, YES! after all that was only one of the positive things that came out of Pandora's box. :)

for some this post is tantamount to blasphemy and heresy but i hope it was thought provoking at least.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

its like talking to a wall

but you sometimes wonder if the wall is talking back to you,
only to realise its a wall

epiphany in a state of stupor

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

lights and camera

i have taken to photography lately. i dont think its a fad that is soon going to wane. i started with absolutely no idea on photography and whatever i have learnt is through experimentation. i have also been using a loaner camera but i have got acquainted with it. personally i love canon. i havent tried nikon but have heard its great to use. the camera i use nowadays is panasonic dmz fz 18. now dont go about wondering about panasonic being a camera company. its lens is from leica which is amazing!

so this post is dedicated to photography. my views on it ( which necessarily dont have to be true :P ).

3 components make up a photograph (assuming is auto focus).

1. amount of light on the subject.
2. amount of time that amount of light is exposed on the subject.
3. color.
4. the subject itself.

in my opinion the subject doesn't have to be majestic to make the photo spectacular. even an apple or a bottle of drinking water can be a really good subject. what matters is your perspective on the subject. people who are born with such perspectives, to capture a subject that garners most attention, go on to become professional photographers.

if you view enough photographs, you tend to form your own perspective (which although highly is dependent on the kind of photographs you have seen), but you get there eventually and with time, like wine, become better.

lets assume that you are a beginner and dont have any perspective at all. thats a reasonable assumption. but that doesnt stop from taking breath taking photographs.

what you need then is the proper values of light and amount of exposure. from here on, i will refer to amount of light as apertue, amount of exposure as shutter speed and the color value as ISO.

aperture - lower - more light is going to fall on the lens and hence the photo is going to be brighter

shutter speed - higher it is ( 1/n is more than n because we are talking about speed in time here)

iso - higher it is, more will be the noise or dirtier the picture.

modern day cameras have a metering mode that tell you how bright or dark the photograph is actually going to be depending upon the settings of the aperture and shutter speed. the metering mode is between the range of -2 to 2 in steps of 1/3.

at this point you check if the subject can do with a bright / normal / dark photograph. if you are unsure take one in -1 0 1 and then decide after the viewing the result. eventually you will understand how you want your photograph to be.

one of the challenges is to take snaps at night. an aid for you is a tripod. it helps a lot in night photography. the challenge here is that there is a dearth of light. to counter you decrease the shutter speed ( take it couple of seconds) and increase the aperture (allow more light in). decreasing the shutter speed means that more time is spent on capturing the subject and hence more color is absorbed. increasing the aperture will increase the light coming on your lens. you will be surprised to see the results of this.

one other thing that will help you in night photography is to drop your ISO. the more you drop the less picky the camera will be about the color. i have captured star constellations this way, using the normal lens and they turned out to be great.

i dont prefer to use flash, unless really really necessary, simply because it doesnt have any range but to your surroundings.

i think this about covers the basics of it. there is a whole world out there to discover.


Friday, March 20, 2009

cigarette and the flame

Driving on the freeway, Fred had an urge for a light. Perusing his pockets, he managed to find a crumpled cigarette. He reached for the lighter on the dashboard and went ahead to light the cigarette, now perched on his mouth.

Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick, Flick, Flick,Flick Flick...... not a flame, only sparks. Annoyed, he took out the car lighter and put it in front of the cigarette. But it wasn't meant to be. The car lighter was as cold as cold turkey. Cussing his rotten luck, he tried to feel the objects in the back seat of the car, hoping to find something that would light his cigarette. His eyes lit up when he felt a small rectangular box. He shook the box and sure enough he heard the rustling of matchsticks.

The box revealed to have just one matchstick. Placing his hands on the steering wheel, he took the matchbox in one hand and the stick in the other. Several tries and curses later, he managed to light the stick. As he drew the flame closer, it burnt out, leaving him in a state of distraught that he was in earlier.

Determined, Fred went off of the freeway to a store to buy a lighter. As he was getting off the freeway, he was still looking around for something that could light the still unlit cigarette. THUD !!! And in that neglect for the road, his car hit a man. Annoyed, not for hitting the person, but for one another hurdle in his quest for lighting the cigarette, he got out of the car.

The man was in shorts, running shoes and sweat bands. As Fred stood there pondering on the next course of actions, there came another THUD!!! This time, it was on the bonnet of the car. And there lay the magnificent object, that brought tears to his eyes. It was as though God had heard his prayers. The Olympic torch in all its glory was on his car, with its majestic flame, dancing with the wind. With that, he drew the flame closer and lit the cigarette. He felt elated and as with any matchstick, he blew the eternal flame OUT.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

must have on the road songs

the following are the songs but not limited to , worth having on ur iPod or whatever, when you go for a drive:

Highway Star - Deep Purple
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Sing - Travis
Let me entertain you - Robbie Williams
Road to mandalay - Robbie Williams
Sabse peeche hum khade - Silk Route
Duur - Strings
Anjane - Strings
Khudi - Junoon
Behind blue eyes - Limp Bizkit
Om shanti om - Karz
Punjab - Karunesh
Gill te guitar - Rabbi Shergill
Tere bin - Rabbi Shergill
Pyaar humein kis mod - Satte pe satta
Desert rose - Sting
Lift - Poets of the fall
I will possess your heart - Death cab for a cutie
Sorrow - Pink Floyd
O re piya - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Roobaroo - Naresh Iyer (Rang de basanti)
Yellow - Coldplay
The scientist - Coldplay
Clocks - Coldplay
Return to innocence - Enigma
Principles of lust - Enigma
Sadness - Engima
Dooba Dooba - Silk Route
Dhoom pichak dhoom - Euphoria
I get knocked down - Chumbawumba
Numb - Linkin Park
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Garaj baras - Junoon
Sar kiyae - Strings
Dum maro dum - Hare krishna hare ram
Sing - Blur
Scotty doesnt know - Eurotrip
Soul meets body - Death cab for a cutie
Open skies - Parikrama
Anjani rahoon mein - Lucky Ali
Bring me to life - Evanescence
Top gun anthem - Top Gun
Jahaan char yaar - Sharabi

i'll update as i remember the songs.


Monday, March 16, 2009

a short story

Jumping and wading across refuse and garbage, he ran towards the railway station. He knew he was late but he had a fighting chance to catch the train. Mahesh was a mill worker and lived couple of stations away from the mill. He had just got the job. The money wasn't big but enough to make ends meet. The announcement at the railway station told him that the Howrah Express had departed without him. As he was catching his breath, he realized that he could take another train leaving momentarily, change one another; which would then take him to his destination. Without hesitating, he ran towards Platform 3. Securing a seat, he ordered tea from the tea stall in front of him.

The steam effusing from the tea made it look inviting and the aroma made it irresistible. Carrying in a holder of 6 glasses brimming with tea was Raj, a typical child worker. One couldn't tell through his eyes, if he had lost his innocence. The deal with the owner was simple, the more he sells, the more he gets paid. He was new and still learning the ropes of the job. Walking across the tracks to reach other platforms is faster and a common sight in India. Raj's day had begun just fine, with nothing exciting seeming to happen.

Howrah Express had just reached the station and Raj made his way across the platforms to reach the newly arriving train. He was sold out momentarily and rushed to get more. This time in two holders, he decided. A shiny object in the middle of the tracks caught his eye. It was a coin, but not a regular coin. And not a currency but looked costly. He looked at it with utmost attention whilst waiting for the train on the other track to go by. Mesmerized by it and he was thinking of ways he could put it to his use.

The fresh breeze relaxed Mahesh. He was consoled by the fact that the train was doing good time and he could catch Howrah at the next stop. As the station drew nearer, he saw the Howrah at the other platform and got ready to disembark, although his train didn't show any signs of stopping. Panic set in.

Raj's gaze was broken by the rushing train towards him. Fear sank in and he froze like a deer in front of bright lights. The engine driver was a slob, barely competent to become the driver. He didn't care much for his job. He was the exact opposite of an epitome. Noticing the boy in midst of the tracks he reached for the brakes. He was slow, too slow for the job.

Having decided to board the Howrah Express, Mahesh reached for the emergency brake and pulled it hard. And to the drivers surprise, the train began to stop without him doing anything. Screeching and screaming the train came to a halt meters before the boy. Mahesh disembarked and ran towards the Howrah Express.

A crowd gathered near the engine. Beads of sweat made their way to the cheeks of the driver. Stream of tears ran down Raj's face. The driver heaved a sigh of relief. Raj scampered climbed up the platform and scampered in the midst of the crowd.

Mahesh caught the Howrah Express and was unaware of the result of his deed. Raj still crosses the tracks, he can't let that one incident stop him, but is more cautious now. As for the driver, he got awarded by the Railway Department with a raise in his salary, for his quick thinking.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


the answers are all there. its just that we aren't looking hard enough for them. :)

a philosophical epiphany


Monday, March 09, 2009

the way we are about sex and the way it is

i was pondering over our approach to the concept of sex, while the animals otherwise do it so freely and without any inhibitions. but then i found why, here is eddie izzard's perspective on it and its rather amusing.

and Mother Nature revealed itself to the world one day. She said, “Creatures of the world! Gather ‘round,I shall give you your methods of procreation.” All the creatures going, “Oh, cheers, Mother Nature! I’ve been dying for a shag, me!” “All right, gather round…Here’s a big clipboard here, big flipchart! Now… what’s this…?
Here we go. Dogs! How you doing, dogs?” “Okay, now dogs…we have got you down, dogs…your method of procreation will be doggy fashion! How about that?”

“Yeah, we invented it!” “I know you did! And it’s caught on big time! Okay, off you go…Be careful with the air lock! "

Now, cats… Cats, good to meet you. Now, we’ve got you down for doggy fashion! How about that? What about catty fashion? No, sorry, dogs got in there first; it’s a ‘patent pending’ situation… Anyway, you’ve got cat flaps, so what the fuck are you arguing about?”

“Next we have… sheep! We’ve got you down for doggy fashion! If you get hot, just take your coats off, right?Okay… You wearing Blakeys?

Off you go… Now giraffes! Good to see you. We’ve got you down for doggy fashion, but it’s whatever you can work out, basically. Hang off a lamppost, lean over a tree, you know… just swing about a bit; I mean, sorry, we were gonna make you like a Spaniel kind of size, but someone brought me a coffee and vooom! when I was doing design work, and there you go… Anyway, chin up!

All right…“Human beings… Well, doggy fashion, catty fashion, giraffe fashion, sheep fashion; whatever the hell you want, basically…Hang upside down like a bat, play the banjo, do it on a golf course! As long as you get guilt in there somewhere, we really don’t mind…"

“Now finally, salmon! Good… Got a bit of a surprise for you, people…What you’re gonna do is to swim upstream against a...down-flowing river until you come to a huge waterfall……and you’re going to leap, and leap, and leap, and leap up this waterfall, and you swim along, and you leap,and leap, and leap, and leap; then you get along,and you lay eggs, and you fertilize the eggs, and then you drop down dead! Ha!”

“We’re quite happy with doggy fashion…”

“No… You piss me off, you salmon!

You’re too expensive
in restaurants, that’s your trouble…”