Thursday, November 29, 2007

The funeral of togetherness...

Oft, when the breeze flows silently past,
And the dead leaves lying on the cracked ground,
Brush against each other, blowing the purity away;
I walk along the leaf corpses, enshrouded by memories,
Their silent crackling voicing my wordless sorrow,
My yesterday, my tomorrow!
A million voices cry in my mind, all strangled by me,
And only their muffled noise reaches the tearless world,
The graveyard that left me alone!
I had been only the wind yesterday, (ne’er the rose,)
And the flute must have enchanted me.
But, maybe I was no wind, and maybe, there was no flute!
Illusion or not, what cares have I,
While I walk along the beautiful autumnal listeners!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007


(Statutory warning: This page may contain material enuf to send anyone nuts.. fulla theory, so ppl who hate math, pls save urselves!!!)

(Disclaimer: The author is in no way responsible for any damage to anyone's brain as a result of reading this post!!!)

Its a vague memory now.. of one saturday morning wen "The Hindu Young World" taught me the English custom of making knots in handkerchiefs.... (Readin my posts shud ve told u by now tat im one ardent Hindu reader. Tho, personally, I find the Express a better paper, The Hindu is one I ve grown wid. N the Young World used to b a sorta addiction a long time ago) I don think anybody in Indian homes does that, but apparently it ws d commonest custom abroad, I mean that of keeping knot reminders...

Neway, it led me to ponder on how a person could remembr what they made the knot for.. ( Bein a very forgetful person myself, the fact that the kerchief knottin cant help me much, struck me badly, i guess!! ) Anyway, that was my first tryst with knotting. N after that, I completely forgot the significance or existence of knots, (except for occasional reminders by the Indian cinema of the "importance"(??!) of "the three knots", n ill refrain from commentin upon that!), til a few days ago wen i stumbled upon dis awesum theory of knots...

"THEORY of knots????", I went flabbergasted. Why shud anyone write a theory on knots???? I mean, on somethin as simple as knots?!!!

But, then, a little browsing opened my eyes to the romance of the world of knots....

Wikipedia says, even simple activities such as running a load from the hardware store to home can result in disaster if a clumsy twist in a cord passes for a knot. (lolz....) They are also "crucial" accessories(?) for truckers, sailors, netting, fabric-makers etc.. (I ll leave that part for u to read in wiki.. since im not a gr8 believer of ctrl+c ctrl+v s...). Wel, jokes apart, apparently, knots re so useful tat they are used even in genetics. N wat follows is my interpretation n comments on the knot theories i leafed thru..

Mathematical knots are defined as embeddings of circles in 3- dimensional euclidean space... meaning that, it is as if different circles wer superposed in 3 dim... (a very fundoo way of explainin)... N there are difrnt types of mathematical knots.. the diferent knots are described by a parameter that they cal the knot invariant...

There are also knot equivalents (meanin different knots tat can be reduced to d same type of knots) n knot diagrams (to show knots projected onto a single dimension) n some sorta moves (t s actually some mathematician's name, bt too unpronouncabl, so i leave it to overinterested ppl to find out!) that can be usd to find if 2 knots are equivalent or not.... n d list goes on.. der are knot polynomials (as u mite ve guessed, polynomials to describe knots) , n knot sums(!!!) n wat knot!!!! ;)

The weird thing is that math ppl ve done so much research on knots, n.........

O, i forgot.. there is also the "UNKNOT", which is thread wid ends joined together at both ends, that doesn form a knot!!!!

Neway, the point is that our mathematicians ve actually done so much of work on knots, n propounded such interestin theories on em.... N wat started wid d gordion knot, has now come a looooooooong way...

Kudos to mathematicians!!! (as long as thes theories don enter our textbooks! ;) )

N ya, hope they find sumthin for us knotheads to keep reminders in, better than handkerchiefs!!! (now, don reply cellphones!!!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Alas, Universe! Ur days are numbered!!!

There has been this recent finding about the age of the universe.... Well, before I start off, I must tell u tat d universe simply fascinates me. To think that we live in a tiny planet that we call the Earth and that there are a million other celestial bodies with their heads reeling (literally!) n that dey re so humungous n im jus one tiny mass of carbon compounds is so............................................................................................................. wel, is so "i-dunno-wat-it makes-me-feel-but-it-is-so-nice" that i plunge myself in a sea of astonishment for long dreamy hours fantasizing on the intricacies of the universe!!! N i spend longer hours trying to translate into human language all that crazy stuff Stephen Hawking happens to pen....

Anyway, gettn back to track, two scientists (I dint bother remembring their nationalities) have come up wid this theory that by observing the universe, we mite actually be decreasin its age!!!


Wel, the theory goes dis way... The universe, as it is now, is in a state of precarious equilibrium. (Now, who isn't? :) ) After the "Big Bang", the forces of expansion and gravitation had to come to a correct balance, so that the universe doesn't explode (causing another big bang!) or collapse under its own gravity (like the intriguing black holes). Right now, they are very much at peace with each other, so we survive. However, as the universe continues to expand, we mite reach a date, wen one of the two forces may go outta control, (I mean, out of the other's control) and then chaos shall follow.... The thankful thing is that, there is a lotttttttttttttttttt of time left for that day to arrive, so in a manner of speaking, we mite say, "not in a million years", and stil safely expect to be true!!
We are stil at a point, where we don't really have to worry about the end(?) of the universe, or at least that is what astronomers across the globe kept telling us..... til a few days ago, wen a pair of scientists, (again, i don happen to remembr their names, but i ll put tat up mayb as a post script) have brewed this theory, based on the renowned quantum theory n its effect on relativity. These have already taught us, (or so they say), that whenever v observe a celestial object, v reset its time (or internal clock)!!! (Dis theory has apparently been around for quite some time now) The scientists now say, based on this theory, that, maybe, since v reset an object's clock by observin it, we shall probably reset the universe's clock too. A lot of laborious calculation goes on to show that, wen v observ the universe, we set its clock faster, n hence, it s closer to its deathday!!

Wel, doesn really send chills down one's spine, bt den.. a very curious fact it is.. tat by observin somethin v mite sorta kill it, and eventually ourselves too!!!

No wonder they said curiosity kills d cat....

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Wel, actually, Im surprised that I dint write before.. Especially since I had so much to say....
Now, jumping rite into the topic (u can hear the thud, cant u?) ....

"Deccan Chronicle" featured an interesting article, right on page 1 yesterday.. It was about this schoolboy who was punished for...
No, not an MMS scandal, or not submitting homework, or a pass at his teacher, but.....
for wearing "mehndi" to school!!! (Strictly against school rules, apparently! Considerin that some schools ask students not to wear "vibhuthi" (sacred ash), "kumkum" etc to school, maybe this was indeed a great sin! )

(Note that, a lot of boys in the south, do this, i mean wearin mehndi, wen they go to shabarimala or some other puja, tho mehndi is considered strictly a female affair in oder parts of India..)

Now, u d think im makin a mountain outta no molehill, but, did i say punishd? I dint say how, did I?

He was not standing on his bench or running around the playground or kneeling down, or beaten by the ruthless wooden ruler on his poor knuckles, (which are the worst examples of punishments, i can recall, frm my own schooldays), but was made to stand for an hour in the hot sun, waitng for the "head"mistress ( who must ve had a really swollen head, considerin what i shall say next!) to come forth n issue judgement on his criminal breach of discipline... N wen she did condescend to judge, she decided to suspend him for 10 days... This apart from a fine of 500 rupees....

Ya, u read it right.. SUSPENDED.. and F-I-V-E H-U-N-D-R-E-D goddamn bucks... Man, aren't we really a developed nation, if v make students pay FIVE HUNDRED for wearing mehndi!!!

Obviously, I ws shockd wen i read dis. I mean, to say that u ve no discipline if u wear mehndi is sheer insanity. And to say that, u r disciplined if u don wear bindis or nailpolish or mehndi, is worse than insanity, it sounds more like a cosmic joke!! But that is exactly wat the school officials cited wen they replied to the boy's parents! I do not understand, maybe im naive, but what exactly is discipline? Isn't it more an issue of behaviour than dress code/sense? Isn't wearing mehndi etc strictly a matter of faith? Where does discipline come in the picture at all?? Is discipline, following a foreign faith just because it happens to be the most popular?? We Indians, who have only our culture to be proud of, why do we strive so hard at every opportunity to wipe it out?

And besides, why should a school fine a child? I mean, what can the boy posibly feel if he pays 100 or 500? If anyone feels bad about it, it would be his parents. And if the punishment does not make the boy repent for his supposed "mistake" and "indiscipline", what was it given for??? Suffice it to say that the suspension is another really stupid punishment, as most students enjoy not going to school neway, and that a suspension during exam time would probably ve made the boy rejoice more than ever!!

But then, shouldn't some sort of action be taken agaist such schools? Luckily, the boy's parents are both lawyers n well-off, n he got media attention. But what about the umpteen number of such cases which go unheard, and parents who would rather remain silent on this issue... And the lot of schools which make easy money this way??? Why does no intelligent youth/person of the so-called educated middle class do nethin abt it?

Wel, been a long time... really.. To get caught with the gruelling academic world is not a great excuse for staying away from blogdom, but then, now really back with great vigour... Or at least i hope so, this time.. :) :)