Wherever there is a border, there are disputes, politically fueled and absurdly acted upon by madmen. Be this a state border or the one between countries. Take the current instance of Kannada/ Marathi idiots fighting for nothing and disrupting everything within, while India is fighting a bigger problem of terrorism by almost preparing for war. What kind of people are these who think that their languages are superior, they have done more for the land, etc? Its quite simple. You don't improvize things around you for the state. You don't setup businesses in a particular area to someday fight over the area and insist it to be a part of one state or another. You improvize the area for your own selfish interest of better living. Language is not an indication of it to be a part of any state/ country, neither is religion. Moreover, don't people realize how it destabilizes the area in terms of everything that matters, including people's lives?

I personally don't consider myself a Kannadiga or Marathi or whatever. Both the languages are close to heart and I'm not going to let that be an issue to attack anyone ever, be it physically or verbally. People who think they love their language and state and think that others are invading their space in some way haven't learnt the first chapter of Indian culture. They are the first and foremost candidates to be fanatics and yes, they do pose a threat for humanity around them.

I'm an Indian at heart and that too is slowly dying into a bigger perspective of vasudhaiva kuTumbakam.

vande mAtaram, jai hind!

Hyperlinked living

My life, as I understand now, has been lived in a dictionary lookup fashion, which in computer jargon would mean hyperlinked. When you look up a word in the dictionary, many times you end up reading more words before the one you're looking at. When I look up a dictionary, however, there's a good chance that I may forget the original word that I'm looking for and end up referencing many others unintended and forget their synonyms and meanings too! Let that be.

In life, when I get interested to do something, I start off on the right foot to do it, stepping in the right direction as I understand. Meanwhile something else would happen that would forcibly gather my attention and I get onto newer unrelated task that suck up life. During the time, I'd pick up some things intentionally as well to make this particular deviation interesting. Those, I'd presume, keep me falling deeper into the abyss and would be easier to quit all at once when the moment to switch back to original track has arrived. This is broadly how I've been living my life in the past few years. That said, I want to add on how I came about this thoughtful, but completely useless, conclusion tonight, much like my blog! :)

I'd been looking up blogs or some known people, reading them, while increasing my weblog activity. I ended up looking Raghav's mostlytechie and saw OpenMoko's Neo on it. Rag had shown me Neo when I last went to Bangalore. It was a beautiful piece of hardware, running what else but Linux. There was some hacking that they were discussing doing, all excited from FOSS they'd returned from. So the look of Neo on mostlytechie brought back the look and touch (not feel, Neo's touchscreen I mean) alive. Next obvious act for me was to find whats latest on OpenMoko: specs, Qtopia, stuff like where its sold, at what price, and the like. Having gone through those, I looked up special offers for Linux fans who would be willing to test Android for Neo. Ah, Android. Next chain reaction took me to whats new on Android and devices that run or might run Android. Although OpenMoko is currently offering discounts for people willing to beta Android on Neo, more than a year back, individuals had hacked to try and run Android on Neo 1973! More surprises, it was not just trying to compile and port, but plug the kernel to run instructions that Neo's ARM4 CPU arch. didn't support and Android's ARM5 arch. needed!

I realized towards the end of that last link that one out of two things will happen now: either I'll pity myself for missing C programming the past few years or I'll get tempted back into Linux world, neck deep in technology. Instead, a 3rd option unfolded: this blog happened! :P

Kasargod to Gokarna, dawn to dusk

There's a trip I took a couple of weeks back (8th Jan 2009, Thursday) I'd been planning for over 2 years now. It was planned to be a bike ride initially and so it got postponed through the rains into winter, which turns out to be good biking season. However, I'd company and went by car instead. I totally forgot to blog it due to the fallen habit of procrastination. Now, I'm not sure if I'm interested to write details at this hour; I may paint it out in another weblog later on some day, but here's what it is in short:
  • Darshana of six Ganesha temples between dawn to dusk on one single day, one in Kerala, the other five in Karnataka.
  • This is known as the Ganesha coast, also known as the Parashurama kshetra.
  • Drive to Kasargod in Kerala (We were at Honnavara in Karnataka).
  • Night stay at Kasargod.
  • Start from Kasargod early morning having darshana at six Ganesha temples, first at Kasargod, sixth at Gokarna (also known as dakshiNa kAshi).
  • Six devasthanas are: Madhur Ganapati at Kasargod, Sharavu Ganapati at Mangalore, Aanegudde Ganapati at Kundapura, Hattiangadi Ganapati at Kundapura, Idagunji Ganapati at Honnavara and Gokarna Ganapati.
  • The total distance is around 330 kms. To and fro clocked 630 kms on my car though.
We added another kuladevata Moodaganapati darshana to it after dusk. We had the first darshana at 0545 and started driving at 0630. While at Gokarna, we dropped by at Brahmarshi Devarata ashram since the Gokarna temple was closed to open at 1630; we were there with comfortable driving and breaks, at 1530.


While closing the earlier weblog on missing school, I scribbled some nonsense that seemed to get a little spiritual for me. So here it is as an entry separate from the earlier one. :)

Why learn now, when there's no need?
There's a want and that needs a feed.
When there are no riddles for one to solve
And the one unsolved riddle of life puzzles all
Why not cook up things of various notions?
Trying to break them open with more solutions?
Everyone else has unknowingly been around fooling
Why not knowingly fool yourself and go back to schooling?

Missing school

On one fine day during my tenth standard, way back in 1990, Mr. Bhor came to the classroom to give us some “tips” in life! He was a middle-aged to elderly chap and mind you, he was a PT (Physical Training) teacher! Due to his great English skills, he was a common character in all the jokes on English. Anyhoo, Bhor sir, as he was addressed back then, continued to encourage us about studying, putting in efforts, etc, with phrases such as “all can learn”, “some take longer to understand”, “one can understand in one reading, someone else might take 3-4 readings”, etc. He also went on to say something to the effect that “you are going to miss school. Till now, you have people taking care of you, telling you what to do. Out of school, you'll have no guidance in terms of what to do or not to do. You'll even miss such restrictions.”

Well, the old man was right, even though not for the reasons that he mentioned. I particularly miss school for reasons that I don't think anyone else does... at least not from my point of view. Most of us miss school because of the innocence, the pranks that we at times had no control over but playing them as a necessity, the joy of new friends; but isn't it all about childhood itself than school? Of course, it may seem school now, because most of what we may remember learning in life or childhood life in totality are school days. Hmm, I'm going off-topic on this once again... well, I miss school because I'd have liked to learn!!! Hah! Didn't I get you with that one? But its true! Really.

I don't quite remember any subject that interested me. In all languages- English, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit- I left grammar as optional! In fact, I picked up Marathi+Sanskrit as my third language paper because grammar is difficult and I could ease my way out of school by skipping grammar in both! Now I know without grammar there is no language. How dumb could I've been back then? :) Its not that I did not know grammatically correct English, Marathi or Hindi. I sure did. (Ah, but Sanskrit was different: no one spoke it and you know the rest, how it may have been). Not only could I speak and read decently well, but write too. The issue was remembering vocabulary, classification of things into categories such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and sentences and clauses and past participles and a bunch of all sounding too-much-to-remember stuff. Only some of the stories in English Prose such as “Burning the candle at both ends” or “The never never nest” and quotes such as “Muft ka chandan ghis mere nandan” from Hindi Prose stuck on with me. There was another- “Travel not with a fool”- which I now forget whether was prose or poetic. Rapid Reading a Tale of Two Cities or William Wordsworth's worthy poems may have kept me wondering on wonders of school learning. Science was okay, Physics sure was somewhat interesting for a while; Chemistry had me all over the place with formulae dealing with K, Na, H2O and what not; I'd no clue why we were studying frogs, butterflies and caterpillars in Biology; Maths was a total zero since I hated it for simple reasons: what in the world is any formula? Who made it? Why am I concerned with it without knowing where he started from to reach that conclusion? What practical use is it for me? Chucking Algebra aside, I did pick up a decent amount of Geometry for a bit though, trigonometry mostly, which made some sense practically. Moving on, History/ Civics also known as Social Science was the most boring subject ever. The only thing I learnt in the whole rotten subject is that “Rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin”. Oh, are they? Here in India? How so? (Note, the school History textbook lots are filled with lies and more lies.) Geography was interesting in bits and pieces, but I'd trouble with it too... just too much unwanted information of plateaus and valleys or so I thought! Now National Geographic channel catches me once in a while or BBC's Planet Earth series seems to be something to watch over and over again! :)

Was I good in sports then? Nah. A big, bold, 72-size, italic, uppercase NO. I'd a very funny metabolism for a long time: eating lots but the body remaining thin, if not frail. I did some running, but mostly from home to bus stop and bus stop to school, starting late and reaching on time. I was fast, but I think only with that intention of making it on time. :) That was all the exercise I got through the day. There were not many outdoor games that I played, except for some badminton and, er, kite flying. Chess and some card games were my indoor sports. Cards were a vacation time fun game, but yes, chess sure was, I remember how Prashant (my elder brother) and I turned chess game into physical fights! :) Interestingly, I dared once to appear for a NCC cadet entrance test! You may have guessed the result: they sent me home in the first round. I don't know for what reason I thought I had any chance at all! :)

Wasn't there anything that I was comfortable with? There used to be some Drawing I did and for a while I did think that thats where my career would be. Of course, that was till I failed Elementary Drawing exam. I was pathetic with memory drawing and my dad, an artist by the way, wanted me to stop copying R.K.Laxman cartoons and draw real people and scenes from memory instead. I think even back then I'd no memory. :) He really must have thought I was good in drawing since he encouraged me to no end. He actually sent me out to an expensive tuition for drawing aspiring me to be a Commercial Artist (CA). The drawing school said that if I'd flunked Elementary Drawing, there's hardly a chance that I can go on to become a CA, since even class A passouts have trouble getting through at JJ School of Arts. In any case, my dad had his hopes high and enrolled me to the drawing school, I appeared for Intermediate Drawing directly through it and passed with a grade C. Not bad, er, but not good either! :)

During one History-Civics final exam (maybe 8th std), I still vividly remember, I finished the paper and knew that I would fall short of some 2-4 marks to pass through. There was a girl sitting in front of me. I was tempted to ask her for maybe just one answer... but then, neither did I believe in copying nor did I've the guts to do so. Moreover, asking for an answer would mean “talking to a girl”, which I didn't think I was capable of! :) But I was in deep misery at the moment and I'd lot of time on hands, since I'd finished the paper having not much to write. I was shuttling between that thought and another: a request straight to the examiner to give me passing marks. Back then, I didn't know if there were grace marks and based on what criterion they were given. But I knew for sure that I'd qualify for it if I put in a line “Please give me passing marks”. I didn't. Out of shyness and shame, I could neither copy nor beg for marks. Instead, I walked out of the classroom teary eyed and with a heavy heart. I didn't go to collect my results, my dad did. We'd guests over at home the same day and this aunt was a school teacher! The report read pass with decent first class in other subjects with a red pen marking under history-civics, meaning passed with grace... I recall them to be 2 marks. Gladly, that red mark was history after that.

I passed out my tenth with around 71%, and that was good (really!) considering that almost everyone else went for all kinds of tuitions while I studied at home. But it was all a marks-oriented study pattern for me back in school. My uncle had told me prior to exams that I need to get 70%, I did. I committed to it, and somehow did it. Its not that I studied a lot or anything. It was a normal amount of study for me that I'd have done even without committing. But what is important is that I didn't learn much in school since I didn't do it with interest. I didn't appreciate the value of learning, value of studying with interest. We didn't have a practical learning approach. I don't know if it exists even now at many places. Its just that you study things by heart (what terminology! not to mean *with your heart*) and somehow figure out all those pieces of information from memory, put them in the right order when needed and *make sense* of them. I'm not sure if thats how it really worked for others. For me, I know I learned things on need-to-know basis, at the time I needed. Sometimes, it was too late, but at most, God was kind. I learned. Today, when I look back, I think I'd have liked to have learned as much as possible back then in school with the keen interest that I developed later in various, totally unrelated, fields. I still do. But the enthusiasm of childhood isn't there any more. Its a wavering interest in many things, sometimes all at once, at other times, none!

PS: You may also be wondering, that is, if you've reached thus far in the weblog: what kind of school did I go to? :) Don't wonder. It was one of the best schools in Mumbai during the time: IES (Indian Education Society), aka, King George's school. My parents I know for sure took pains to get me into it, that too when I was one year younger than others getting in. No, it wasn't a convent... thank God for small mercies. :D


Up until now, I'd seen documentaries made like movies, but not a movie made like a documentary. Interestingly enough, Death of a President is one such movie; funnily enough, I didn't know it before watching it or even during the movie. It seemed like a documentary of events I'd missed in newspapers, except of course, the actual death of the US President! :) Then I went online and searched out what the fakeumentary was all about and so I found that it was meant to be a proper movie with a mix of events that happened another time with totally different set of people, sequenced in with special effects, to give it a feel of documentary. The story line was gripping enough but perhaps, more so in the second half. The only flaw I find in it is FBI disclosing the right assassin. There's no point to them in losing a battle already won by crooked means. Just because Bush and Blair went out to Iraq against the alleged WMDs and found none after destroying the country and its populace, confessed that “it was a mistake” and stated “we bluffed”, it doesn't mean that they won't do it again! They did it with 9/11, they did it with Afghanistan. Anything gone wrong in the US needs to necessarily fall in line with previously blamed people/ organizations to justify already fought wars!

(... while I was writing this, I lost taste of even writing on these things... I was losing focus of the title. So I'll just lighten up by using a quote from Seinfeld on War and Peace...

War: what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!)


I don't hide my feelings
I let them out
I don't talk of things
I don't know about
I don't know much
I keep silent as such
Not many like me so
Far away I'd rather go

Distance yourself

Spiritual seeking and society don't mix because the latter generates traps of the delusive world for the seeker due to which he may lose the goal. This is a well-known reason for the seeker to distance himself from the social order. However, there are other reasons why a seeker makes society worse by his involvement in the society; mind you, I'm not saying presence but involvement, which essentially means being in the social order and applying spiritual rules to it. Even if a person applies spiritual rules to the world and lives by it, its not as much an issue as long as it concerns only himself; but as soon as it enters the arena where others picture in his spiritual frame, its a problem. The spiritual glass through which he sees things are not what the world perceives, so they don't see the harm that he brings along. The worldly harm from the spiritual assessment of worldly things is a free piggyback on the seeker. More so, when its politics that the spiritual weighing scale weighs. To the seeker, the dead and alive mean the same thing, the good and the bad both, whether its killing of a person or distributing gold, neither outweighs the other. A war is as good as peace then. Now you see the problem. He's at peace within a warzone. His peaceful decisions will definitely harm the world at large. So its best that the seeker distances himself from the entire society and withdraws to his sole goal; that way he can reach it earlier.

Phasing out

The year's new
Options are few
Aging every day
Got nothing to say
Dreaming till death
Having lost faith
Life of bout
Off 'n phasing out