Thursday, December 30, 2010

Doubt to Freedom


Ubi dubium ibi libertas: Where there is doubt, there is freedom.

- Latin proverb

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Enslaved in Pride


There was a most revealing rule: slaves were to remain illiterate. In the antebellum South, whites who taught a slave to read were severely punished. '[To] make a contented slave,' Bailey later wrote, 'it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.' This is why the slaveholders must control what slaves hear and see and think. This is why reading and critical thinking are dangerous, indeed subversive, in an unjust society.

Source: The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Human History


The entire human history is about demonification of losers and glorification of the winners.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Faith in Authority


Faith in human authorities is more dangerous compared to faith in non-existent god.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vellarimala Trek - November 2010


Vellarimala Trek
Location: India>Kerala>Kozhikode District>Thiruvambady
Trek Date: November 27-28, 2010
Trek Organizer: Balaji Seshan
Trek Participants: Ajay, Hari, Karthik, Kali, Naveen, Neelima, Ravi, Uday, Vetri, Vinod.
Details of the trek: Trekwiki
GPX File: Vellarimala Trek

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sakleshpur Railway Track Trek - November 2010


Sakleshpur Railway Track Trek aka Green Route Trek
Trek Date: November 19-20, 2010
Trek Organizer: Aditya Kambhampati
Trek Participants: Aditya, Ananth, Anala, Aswin, Hema, Mohan, Ratnakar, Ravi, Sandeep, Tathagata.
Details of the trek: Trekwiki
GPX File: Green Route (Sakleshpur Railway Track Trek)

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Patriotism is the antonym of freedom and synonym of slavery.

Thursday, November 25, 2010



To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, is like administering medicine to the dead.

Thomas Paine

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Identity of Fear - Why you must name your children as numerals


Courtesy: Behance Network
A body lied on the road, damaged beyond recognition, blood washed the entire width of the road. The mood was tense in the gathering. A motorist passed by, was immediately recognized as having allegiance to the community of the killer. The mob went astray chasing the innocent motorist. Sensing danger, he turned the throttle and speeded ahead. But the road was not to tolerate this speed, no sympathy it had with him or his community. He lost balance, skidded sideways going straight under the giant tires of a truck in the next lane.

Another carcase lied silently, peacefully. Death was faster than he would have ever imagined. The color of blood and the darkness of night were indistinguishable. There was silence all around, within the dead victim, among the assailants.

The group of dogs, who were furious till now, backed away calmly. Were they shocked by the death of their victim? Were they now contemplating the consequences of their act? Was the anger within the dogs overpowered by the fear of revenge, the anger that arose after one of them was run down by a motorist?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Myth of Deception

A Myth - Lying and cheating are immoral.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deception of Knowledge

There are things we know, things we know we don't know, and things we don't know we don't know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Stupid Song

Courtesy: Niquimania

A Stupid Song
Even if, the freewill was free, or, the freedom grew on tree,
There still, won't be enough, not enough, for you and me.

The world was always messed up, and, it shall always be.
Peace is nowhere on horizon, no matter, how far you see.

Conflict is a constant, constant like the change,
Everything is relative, just that its a wide range,
For one what is normal, to another will be strange.

Today what seems right, tomorrow will be wrong,
Thats all it conveys, its a stupid song.

- Maharishi Shivi

Source: 2nd thoughts------and 3rd too

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Irrational Rationality


Reason is, and ought to be, only the slave of the passions.
- David Hume

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Of The People, By The Cozener, For The Elite - Corporate takeover of the Indian democracy


"If terrorism is uncontrolled, if Left Wing extremism continues to flourish in important parts of our country which have tremendous natural resources of minerals and other precious things, that will certainly affect the climate for investment."

No, it was not Vedanta head referring to Niyamgiri Hills. Nor was it Sudono Salim talking of Nandigram. This was a statement by our honorable and sensible Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in June 2009. It may be a slip of tongue or it may be the deep-rooted belief of the ruling party. If you can read Gornamental English, then well and good. If not, let me translate it for you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Patriotic Peace


You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
- George Bernard Shaw

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prejudiced You - How to test your biases


We hate apartheid. We hate racism. We hate slavery. Or do we? We have laws in the books categorizing such behavior as illegal. This may ensure eradication of biased behavior from the social scene. However, if the seeds of discrimination are stored in our thoughts, they may grow the poisonous fruits as the rain of hatred pours.

We, the pseudo-intellectual, the so-called liberals, more often than not claim to have surpassed the boundaries of discrimination, discrimination based on gender, race, color, caste, or even nationality. We say not to have preferred one over the other under the influence of our irrational biases. It feels good to know oneself as unbiased, rational, free of prejudice. But that's the description of a super-human and very unlike us. A beautiful self deception.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On The Safe Side Of Wild - How to ensure safety on a trek


The loving, caring image of mother nature and its intoxicating beauty conceals the dangers that lie in its lap. "Dangers" may not be the right word here because nature is not in conflict with humans, its merely indifferent to our feelings. Wilderness is as unconcerned to our pleasures as it is to our miseries. On one side lies the fragrance of life, on the other entrapments of death. Painting nature in dark and bright is purely subjective depending on where we stand in comparison to other constituents. Death of an organism may be horrifying for it, but life saving for other starving organisms. Perplexed in its attraction, our mind often ignore this indifference towards us and if we do not watch our steps, we might fall prey to the traps that lie in darkness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cause of Misery

The cause of all misery in human life is that it asks for answers where there exists none. Optimistically, it provides lucrative opportunity for those in the business manufacturing answers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Be Wolf


Make a sheep of yourself and you will soon find a wolf nearby.
- Old Russian proverb.

Friday, October 22, 2010



Quotes on the walls, cars, t-shirts, provoke my mind to respond. Few such responses are worth sharing.

Quotation: Jesus Loves You.
Response: No, thanks. I ain't no gay.

Quotation: Jesus died for you.
Response: I never asked him to do that. Why blame me now?

PS: I don't wear Khaki shorts. I didn't demolish any mosque.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Unlucky Luck


Superstitions are unlucky for me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Financial Ad(VICE)


Received a call from Wellwisher Broking, my stockbroker. A sweet voice emanated from the other side.

Caller: Hello, am I speaking to Ravi Ghosh?
Me: Yes, who is that?
Caller: Sir, I'm calling from Wellwisher Broking.
Me: Okay.
Caller: Sir, we have received a recommendation for Boombust India Pvt. Ltd.
Me: Thanks, but I don't want to go for anything now.
Caller: Sir, 100% it will be up sir.
Me: Aaaa (after a look at the watch and my tea cup, some time left for wasteful use). Is it a buy recommendation or a sell?
Caller: Buy sir.
Me: Humm...
Caller: Sir, it is trading at Rs 364 now and the prediction is within a month, it will go above Rs 450.
Me: Thanks (tea over by now, time to move), but I'm not interested in buying anything now.
Caller: Sir, would you like to buy after the market crash?
Me: Yep sure, but first let it crash (with a grin).
Caller: Sir, the market is going to crash soon.
Me: Are you sure?
Caller: Yes sir. We have received report from our head office. Crash is imminent.
Me: Then why are you giving buy recommendation for Boombust now?
Caller: Aaa... Umm... (some confusion in voice). Sir, we have got "strong buy recommendation" for that.
Me: But if the market falls, it will also go down, right?
Caller: No sir. It will be above to Rs 450 within one month sir. Do you want to buy sir?
Me: Thanks a lot for the advice. I'm don't want to buy it right now.
Caller: Sir, you have Rs X idle in your account. Do you want buy some other scrip?

I was speechless, wondering what a dumb decision it would be not to buy Boombust Pvt. Ltd.

Related Post: Is the Uptrend Over?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Feeding The Fucklings


Amongst the glitter of Commonwealth Games, a piece of news that received media attention was India's 67th rank on Global Hunger Index. In its atypical ways, the media, be it print or electronic, dedicated most of its time and energy on finding where India stands compared to its peer. "India ranks below Pak, China on hunger index" dictated Times of India. Catchy headlines are not the complete information. We got to dig deeper to unearth the truth.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fuck Off BSNL


While rambling on BSNL website, I found two words quite interesting. They were "fuck off." Someone seemed to have sneaked into BSNL website. With a shaky hand, unsure what the link "Details" had in store for me, I clicked on the link. And here it was a message of frustration and something that would instill fear among the security paranoids. Was it a virus? Was it a Trojan?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ram Must Leave - Who owns Babri Masjid and why


How far should we travel in the past to deliver justice? To what extent the injustice of the history can be undone? That was the root question of the conflict, the conflict of Babri Masjid. Unfortunately, no court could answer it.

The Logic: The claim of Ram Lalla Virajman, the Hindu group representing Lord Ram (!), over the Babri Masjid land is based on the fact that there existed a temple where the mosque stood now. They claimed the temple was devoted to Ram, which is also supposedly the birthplace of Ram, was destroyed by Mir Baki Khan around 1525 CE and a mosque was constructed on its ruins. Archeological Survey of India has testified their claim to be true to the extent that the mosque was built on ruins of a temple. However, it had no means to confirm whether it was Ram's birthplace or not (no evidence of delivery room was found nor any surgical equipment).

I dispute not their claim about the existence of the temple or Babur's attempt to promote Islam. But can this fact be enough to annihilate what is standing and revive the old structure?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How To Be A Rich Nation - Ways to eradicate hunger and poverty effectively


"Poverty-stricken hungry people of the motherland should look at the Forbes List of Richest and be proud of the 49 Bhindians out there, whose personal wealth account for 31% of Bhindia's GDP."

The "would be" Prime Minister of Bhindia took a long pause with a grin and then continued further. "They should feel proud that the motherland has produced such riches. The pride would suppress their hunger. The pride would turn their skin tolerant to the rain drops dripping through the torn tarpaulin. The pride would come as divine knowledge for their pot-bellied, malnourished children, even in the absence of primary education."

Another long pause and then he concluded, "Eradication of the hungry and poor, is the motto of our party." Roaring claps by hired men (for a packet of biryani) reverberated the sky, clouds of dust covered the midday sun as the men rush to collect their biryani packets.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Benefits of Crime


It pays to be a criminal in a state where justice takes a lifetime to come.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wronger Than Wrong


When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

Isaac Asimov in The Relativity of Wrong

Friday, September 17, 2010

Freedom For The Soul - fighting mind control

Courtesy: Ram Morrison 

13th August 2010 - I see a herd of children, innocent minds, as blank as the sheet of paper waiting to be written on, as blank as the white shirts on their shoulders, with blue shorts, with ties tied unkempt. Their steps mimicking each others, falling on the drumbeats; left, right, left, right, round, round around the ground. Some took the liberty to look at the moving traffic or the crow perched atop the fence. Some sought the pleasure of scratching their itchy scalp. The middle-aged teachers, adorned in sari and cane, were quick enough to obedient the wandering souls to fall in line, to look straight, to mimic the robotic movements choreographed to the beat of the drum.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Proud to be Slave

The punchline of Puducherry Tourism Department's advertisement says "The closest you'll get to visiting the French without a passport." It seems they cherish the French culture the colonist left behind more than their own. To me, it smells of proud feelings of being ruled by French, of being enslaved.

It is not just Puducherry, but the whole of Indian subcontinent which not only refuses to get rid of colonial heritage but is boastful of it. We love our foreign connections even if they are slavish in nature. We sing of kings who ruled the land though they were totalitarian and often barbaric. To be slave of a great master is better than being independent. We trade self independence with the egoistic feeling of being associated (rather oppressed) with prodigious lords.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Monuments of Ego


I see not the magnificence of architecture of bygone era, of temples, of forts, of mausoleum, of monuments, but the enormous human effort and lives lost to pamper the egos of the emperors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Variation of Values - A study of behavioral psychology


Health of Language


Courtesy Times of India, August 23, 2010 
On August 23, 2010, the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Govt of Karnataka, published an advertisement for dengue and chikungunya awareness. However, it turned out to be an advertisement of the state of health of English language in the state of Karnataka.

Some phrases that could not be digested even with antacids:
1. Prevention of mosquitoes... - Do you prevent diseases or disease causing agents. Thankfully, they did not go a step further to say "prevention of rain."
2. The first three stages of 7 days are egg, larvae and pupa -  What a structure of the sentence!
2. Severe head ache - isn't headache one word?
3. Treatment: Contact any government hospital... - as if private hospitals don't have the license to treat these diseases.
4. Please co-operate with the mosquito control measures undertaken by the Health Department - Shouldn't it be ...cooperate with the health department for mosquito...
5. Don't allow water to stagnant - Never knew that stagnant was a verb.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sri Venkateswara National Park (DOA3) - June 2009


This was probably the best trek I've ever done, never had as much life ever after.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010-08-08 Jayamangali Blackbuck Sanctuary


Details about Jayamangali Blackbuck Sanctuary can be found in TrekWiki.

Friday, August 6, 2010

YOU by Maharishi Shivi


Another nonsensical composition by Maharishi Shivi smelling of Arabian sea. May you, the reader, be blessed with dyslexia before reading any further because reading it all the way would lead to corneal collapse and understanding it would cause to cerebral hemorrhoid.

You are the Greedy and The Kind
You are the Hunter and The Hunted
The Slayer and the Slain.
You have known Joy and the Pain.

You are the Boundless and The Bound
The silence and The Sound
You have known both peace and Fury
You are The Victim,The criminal,

The Judge and the Jury.

May you hear The Judge's Verdict Loud and clear.
You are all of this and you are None.
You are everywhere far and near
and in everything Under the Sun.
May you Find yourself
Discover the road and the Destination

May you hear the judge's verdict loud and clear
and recognise its your own voice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010-07-Kolli Hills Trek (5)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Symbol of Contention


They say "it would contribute to India's economic growth internationally." I know not how it would do so, but I know that "it would also contribute to India's social divide nationally."

Falling in line with all the other big economic power houses, India adopts a symbol for Indian Rupee after a publisized competition to design it. The design is inspired by the letter "Ra" of Devanagari script. In fact, it IS the letter "Ra" with a horizontal line added up. But why not get inspired by a letter from Tamil or Malayalam or ...

In my view, the choice of a Devanagari letter to represent the national currency depicts the central government's well-known favoritism of Hindi over other language/scripts. I find no reason for the non-Hindi-speaking states to bear this cultural onslaught and lingual monopoly of Hindi. The news papers are full with opinions that this symbol symbolizes Indian's multicultural ethos. If a single thought was given for it, then an element of Dravidian script should have been included. Alas, it is Hindi from which the New Delhi derives pride and not from the mythological animal called multiculturalism. Hindi has always been given a special status while other languages get step-motherly treatment. And the Hindi-speaking babus and sahebs in the capital have no idea that good and evil, beauty and ugly have different meaning in different parts of this humongous nation.

Selection of this symbol for Indian currency just increases the symbolic divide between north and south India. In a country like ours where pride of a region is shame for another, it is wise to not to invoke the feelings of pride of some if you risk hurting the egos of others. Being neutral is the way to protect egos on both sides. However, it is not the way to protect votes.

Confession and Conclusion: Hindi is the language close to my heart, speaking which I grew up, reading which I felt home. Now I'm swimming in the sambhar cup of Bangalore, "aste." I do not have any hard feelings for Hindi. What I object to is not Hindi, but the favoritism of Hindi over other languages. To generalize, I object to the notion of supremacy of one language over another.

Edit: Some readers found it difficult to understand why a non-person like me would have a problem with such symbol if the creator, Udaya Kumarhimself is an Tamilian. If the designer himself had risen above the languages, who am I to question his integrity. Indeed the designer is broad minded. However, my dear readers could not comprehend the fine divide between the integrity of an individual and the integrity of a government. I'm not criticizing the designer, but the selector.

Being the ruler of a multicultural country like ours, the government should have the sensibility to gauge the prevailing sentiments across the country and act accordingly. When they know that selecting a language specific symbol might give rise to resentments in some parts of the country, then why go ahead with it. Shouldn't we expect the government to take the responsibility of creating a harmonious environment in the society. Unfortunately, thats the last thing our political parties wish.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Preferences of Sexes


Men whose gaze do not stop at the breasts of women either suffer from hormonal dysfunction or mental imbalance. Same can be said about women who are not inquisitive about men's wallet.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Peeping CM


What Mr Chief Minister is doing sitting at the far corner of a cinema poster?

While roaming in Tamil Nadu, I came across the cinema posters which had Chief Minister peeping from an inset. Is he peeping in the life of romancing hero and heroine? Or is he blessing them (and the producers) for success of their love (and at box office)?

By the same analogy, we must have Manmohan Singh in Bollywood and Barack Obama in Hollywood posters. Mayawati runs out of luck here as there aren't many movies produced in Uttar Pradesh and so do Sibu Soren.

Edit (Self Correction): Upon seeing CM's image on a film poster, the first thought that went through was that it was to gain patronage of the ruling party. Including the faces of poster boys of the politics does have an additional advantage. However, I soon realized that I was wrong. Some of my Tamil-literate friends educated me that the Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi , is a renowned script writer and this film was scripted by him. All my logic fell face down. It was too early for me to jump on a conclusion without seeking further facts.

However, I would keep this inquiry open as I had seen more than few such posters. Also, I have never seen a movie poster which adorns script writer's image. May be this script writer is too special to ignore.

Conclusion: More often than not we are fooled by our pre-(and mis)-conceptions.