Saturday, October 15, 2016

No need of drugs.. when there's MuSiC - 7

Yet another October month's annual post. In case you are not caught up with my previous articles, you are free to navigate to them and get a hint of my taste in music:


So this year was Bollywood dominated (more of Arijit Singh dominated, I would say). However, my top 10 songs below include some very beautiful English ones as well. So sit back, relax and enjoy with me :)
  • "Schism" by Tool
  • "Agar tum sath ho" by Alka Yagnik
  • "Man of Steel" by Hans Zimmer


  • "Chull" by Badshah


  • "Bolna" by Arijit Singh
  • "Phir le aaya dil" by Arijit Singh
  • "Jaane do" by Vaibhav Bandhoo
  • "We don't talk anymore" by Charlie Puth
  • "Shaam" from Aisha
  • 'Phir Kabhi' by Arijit Singh

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Calvin and Hobbes

Comic strip I like the most. Recently I bought a book (out of $25 gift card I was rewarded for solving a fairly simple problem at office!). Sharing few strips from the book I like the most:


#1


#2



#3



#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10 


#11 


#12 


#13


#14 


#15 


#16 




Love Calvin :)

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

नज़्म



नज़्म उलझी हुई है सीने में 
मिसरे अटके हुए हैं होठों पर 
उड़ते-फिरते हैं तितलियों की तरह 
लफ़्ज़ काग़ज़ पे बैठते ही नहीं 
कब से बैठा हुआ हूँ मैं जानम 
सादे काग़ज़ पे लिखके नाम तेरा
बस तेरा नाम ही मुकम्मल है 
इससे बेहतर भी नज़्म क्या होगी

- Gulzar

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Forgotten anniversary (yet again!!)


Is it that phase of my life when men start to forget important dates like anniversaries and birthdays? If this phase has arrived now, when I am not even married, I clearly see my future, when things will go only worse, getting sucked into a black hole.

Or is it just that I am dumb? 

Whatever!

Yes, correct, right !! Yet another forgotten "blog" anniversary!

It started way back in 2009 (January 23rd to be precise and to let you know that I am not late by a day or two but by one whole fucking week!) when I wrote my first post. And since then I have written 97 posts (98 if you count this one.. err.. in fact 100 if you also count the ones I deleted :-|.. Which in a way makes this my centenary post ! Whatever !), and still counting. It has been seven years now, a great accomplishment.. IMHO.

In the end, (also because I can't think of anything else to write *O MY FANTABULOUS WRITING SKILLS*) I would end by saying CHEERS TO WRITING AND CHEERS TO THIS BLOG !!

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Friday, October 23, 2015

No need of drugs.. when there's MuSiC - 6

In case you are unfamiliar with this yearly post of mine, you are highly recommended to go through the links below:
So here, I am back with list of top 10 songs I am listening now-a-days. I have been suggested to slowly move towards EDM which I will definitely give a try. But for now, following are the songs rocking my playlist:

  • "Dream On" by Aerosmith
  • "Pain" by Three Days Grace
  • "Jeena Jeena" by Atif Aslam
  • "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
  • "Royals" by Lorde
  • "No woman no cry" by Bob Marley
  • "Time" by Pink Floyd
  • M a motherf***ing beast (for gym motivation :P)

And now some party music ;)
  • "Banno" from Tanu weds Manu

And finally the party anthem of the year ! :P
  • "DJ Waale Babu" by Badshah


Okay so after around a week I figured out I have left out two more melodious songs. Here they are:
  • "Lag Ja Gale" by Sanam
  • "Saibo" from Shor


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The white tiger"ish"


Hello Pranab Sir,

At first, I thought of writing a letter to Mr. Modi, but then reality hit me. Every goddamn blogger does the same! Either, they shower him with praises of what he is doing, or curse him for not bringing the so-called "achche din". However, I don't want this letter to be just a drop in that ocean because my letter has a completely different course. It is not a drop but, in fact, a river of thoughts which, before reaching the ocean, will create a delta of ideas (philosopher level 999 breached!). Hence, I chose you, your excellence!

Now when you know the "WHYs", I would like to discuss the "WHATs". Recently, I read a book "The White Tiger" written by Aravinda Adiga. You might have heard about it. In fact if you've read it too, do reply me on twitter - handle : @sat_kela (don't go by the name, I am perfectly sane :-|) - and tell me whether you liked it or not. Lol! The conversation would definitely seem like a rich customer talking to a rooster about to be chopped.

Sir, you might now be thinking where did this “rooster“ thing come from. I will come to that later. But for now, let us not digress from the topic. So where was I? Arrggh! Short-term memory loss, you know. This IT industry is taking a toll on me.

Oh yes, the book!

The book is actually a letter written to Chinese excellence, which showcases before him all the dark details of India. Aravinda covers nearly all the topics ranging from poverty, corruption, caste system to globalization and freedom. The story reveals how a poor man escapes from "what-he-should-do" phase to a "what-he-wishes-to-do" one.

Book is so inspiring and so engrossing that it took over my writing style as well. Yes, I am copying author's swag! But sir, just his writing style, not the content. Sounds like a musician saying, "I've only copied the music but not the lyrics". Hu hu!

So let me break the ice now. I nearly gave away the topic when I referred you as a "rich customer" and myself a "rooster". If you have read the book, you might have already figured it out by now. I am here to discuss about a thought that Aravinda coins in the book - "Rooster Coop".

Explanation that Aravinda gives about Rooster Coop is quite vivid. He claims rooster coop to be a situation in which all Indian servants are trapped. Just like a rooster who is watching his fellow brothers being chopped and goes with the flow, Indian servants are also watching their brothers' dreams being chopped off by their masters and let theirs die the same death. They just can't do anything else because they are trapped in that coop. Unless someone realizes his potential, grows wings, breaks free and fly away from the dark, the roosters will keep getting chopped and servants will remain servants for life. Hope I got the idea correct sir! If not, I have interpreted it my way. That is the power of books!

But, now since Aravinda has already given such a "philosopher -level-1000" description, why am I writing this letter? Obviously, I will not waste your time by writing a book review, which you might have already read. I am writing this letter to support Aravind's thought and expand the target audience. Aravinda targeted only "servants". I want to talk about the "new-age servants". I want to talk about us, the "IT servants".

Most of our IT companies provide services to other firms (mostly the ones based in US or EU). They hire loads of fresh engineers (us!) from colleges at some puny wages and push them in a black hole of projects, deadlines, ETAs and 12 hours of continuous run. This black hole pulls in and destroys any ray of hope that passes by. We start to live our lives on weekends and slowly get trapped in what we call as the "rat race".

Further, society makes rules for us. In four years, there has to be a car, then comes time to get married. Post that comes an expensive honeymoon and getting settled in a metropolitan area. And finally, babies! We see our lives from one end, slowly being lived by someone else, someone very different from who we actually are.

Don't people realise that we, fresh engineers, are like that boiling pot of ideas which when handled correctly can even transform into an engine pulling the whole nation towards glory? We are the fresh pair of eyes looking everything in a different angle. We are unaware about the operational burdens, we don't care about failures, we don't have a taste of managerial politics. Aren’t we just pure?

I know that our parents’ answer to this is, "what else can you do?". After all, we are a nation where a single mistake can push us back to poverty. Parents are also correct in their position but sir, this moment where you have to pitch in.

The aforementioned thought is what you need to eradicate from every goddamn mind. Sir, in my humble opinion, you have to empower our whole Indian society and not just a few sections. You need to tell us to chuck this thought and "give it a try" because you are with us. You need to tell us to find where our interest lies, to find our wings and just fly away. In short sir, you have to be our nation's teacher, you have to be like APJ :)

Although I have written a lot against Rooster Coop but I confess I am a trapped rooster too. I still can't find my wings. I don't know where my interest lies. But I assure you that one day I will find them. Until then, I will keep working and keep growing strong. The least what I can do right now is try and let others realize the coop they are trapped in. Hence, the letter!

I will end my letter here Sir. Apologies if I have written anything in your disrespect. It was never my intention. And yes, please do not forget about the twitter conversation sir, I was serious about it.

Ha !

Yours truly,

A, "for now", trapped rooster

Monday, August 10, 2015

DELETE


You come, you stay,
You dance till your heart pops out.
With that calculated smile on face,
And boozed out head you shout..

Life is like a party,
Life is like a fucking party !!

Friends, foes and fans,
Gather around and compel you to feast.

Life is like a party,
Life is like a fucking party for you!!

But realize O pathetic flock of sheep,
M no revelry, m a fucking beast..

Life is no party for me,
Life is a war.
War that I will fight
glory that I will restore.

Delete it
Delete it
Delete it

* * * * *

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Big Bang and Big Crunch



I have just completed devouring "The brief history of time" and, hence, continued with my campaign of non-stop book reading this year. After "God Delusion", "Outliers" and "Open" this becomes my fourth book this year. To boost the campaign further, I have now started reading "Scion of Ikshvaku" by Amish which might be followed by "Jaya Mahabharata". I hope my campaign's fuel doesn't exhaust and I complete around 10 books by year end. Reading is fun, writing is cool too. See, just two seconds before while thinking what to write I have just set a year-end target for myself ;)

The book, brief history of time, is full of information, right from beginning of universe till its end. The entire book is focussed on searching principals of a grand unified theory which combines the philosophy of Quantum Mechanics and General Theory of Relativity. I am dead sure this book provides todays scientists a clean target to aim at.

However, this post is not a book review. I am too puny to review a book written by a person as great as Stephen Hawking. This post is about the seed of a story plot that sprouted in my mind while reading the book. It happened when I was in the last chapter "Arrow of time" and was reading about days during Big Crunch.

We all know that a Big Bang happened billions of years ago which is how our universe came into being. It was so big ass explosion that universe is expanding since then. However, Mr. Hawking explains that it won't keep on expanding forever. There might come a time when the speed of expansion becomes zero and then becomes negative, that is, universe starts to collapse. It may be that universe collapses back to the same infinite density state which exploded in the beginning. We call that process as Big Crunch. With all this information, it appears that the infinite density universe will explode again and all this keeps on repeating.

Now, since one part of the background is set, I’ll move onto the other. The second part of the background is the theory of multiverse. Our universe is not just the only one. There are multiple other universe that exist in parallel with our universe. Hence, multiverse! All these universes experience their own Big Bang and Big Crunch now and then.

Now let us move on to the plot. The story revolves around two people - a scientist and an archaeologist. The archaeologist, while carrying out an excavation near Kurukshetra, finds few ancient things which belong to Mahabharata era and submits them to the scientist's lab. However, the objects are so pre historic that even carbon dating doesn't work on them. It appears as if they existed even before time began! Scientist hence combines all the theories and come to a conclusion that Mahabharata happened in our universe during some other Big Bang and Big Crunch phase. With this evidence, the scientist discovers both of the aforementioned phenomenon (multiverse and big bang-big crunch repetitive cycles) and, in addition to that, he also invents a machine that can travel to other universes.

Scientist tries to convince the archaeologist but all efforts go in vain. Hence, as a final effort, he decides to travel with the archaeologist in a universe which is undergoing a Big Crunch phase.

Upon reaching the other universe they find that everything is just the replica of our universe. It is sort of a parallel universe but just quite ahead of us. They also learn that Big Bang and Big Crunch repetitions can be saved by people with a special DNA. However, whole of their race was killed lots of years ago during a war, guess what, Mahabharata! Yes, the people who could save that cycle of Big Bang and Big Crunch were Kauravas.

Hence, now archaeologist and scientist both travel to a universe where the period of Mahabharata is going on. Later after lots of tactics, fights and education, they happen to save the war. Race of Kauravas in that universe, hence, live up to Big Crunch phase and devise a mechanism with help of their DNA which saves Big Bang and Big Crunch cycle. Multiverse breaks and one universe gets formed which lives forever.

Please don’t call me another Chetan Bhagat in making! The story, as already stated, is just like a recently sprouted seed. I accept that parts of it seem laughable and childish and some parts seem irrelevant. However, the idea of combining science and mythology should make a great story if refined properly. That is, give this freshly sprouted seed a little water, a little sun and find a full grown tree with huge canopy in no time ;) Cheers !

* * * * *

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Outliers, Open and Overlapping Philosophies


"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

I bought "Outliers" along with "God Delusion" a year back. God Delusion, however, absorbed so much of my time that I could only start reading Outliers this April. But this time I gave up procrastination and finally completed the book in a month. Pheww ! Learned it the hard way that philosophy isn't my cuppa tea!

There are certain books which have capability to change your point of view, your perception about a topic and outliers is one such novel. It has changed the way I see success and successful people. It says, and also remarkably proves by providing insights into past lives of successful people, that success is not all about intelligence. It is not all about just being an outlier. To be successful you don't have to be highly intellectual, but just enough. In fact if you look into the past lives of successful people they stop appearing to be an outlier and it feels like success was bound to happen to them.

According to Malcolm, success equals an amalgam of lots and lots of factors other than intelligence like 10,000 hours of practice, ability to clearly convey your thoughts and to communicate well with others, to have a focus towards your goal and cease opportunities whenever they come your way, your family, friends, environment and most importantly the year of your birth and the demography. 

Apart from all this there is one more conclusion I have drawn from the book. I have tried to explore the other side of the coin by thinking about the people who have failed in their lives or could not achieve what they wished for. You cannot simply label them as lesser intellectuals. They may be geniuses, they may be more intelligent and focused than anyone else, who just didn't get enough opportunities or may be who just chose to live a life beyond the horizon of their skills. Hence, NEVER JUDGE !

It also feels amazing to read how far Malcolm knows about his family line. If you ask me, let alone the family line, I hardly know much about my grand father! Malcolm, however, mentions about his grand grand grand parents in the last chapters who happened to live during early 1800s! He not only writes about their occupation but also how his grandparents met and under which circumstances they got married. No wonder if his family maintains a book about their stories!

In short, a must read book.



"Open" - Autobiography Andre Agassi

Once while stalking @doctoratlarge on twitter I found him claiming Agassi's autobiography as the best. Even better than that of God's (Sachin.. ofcourse)! And I took no time ordering the book, after all Agassi is also one of my favorites. Hence, post Outliers it was "Open". 

Don't be surprised that I completed the book in just 16 days. Pace with which you complete a book clearly shows your interest. Tennis! Yeah! Philosophy.. neah !! 

However, let me give credit to Agassi too. He has got such an interesting life that it seemed as if I am watching a movie. Sentences so clear, paragraphs so lucid, humour sprinkled everywhere and insights into the thought process that Agassi describes in the book really makes it worth reading. I have hardly read any autobiographies before but I won't shy away giving this one a 5 star.


Overlapping Philosophies

While I was reading Open I discovered a new change in me. I have begun correlating philosophies across books. I have identified an overlapping philosophy between both these books. This is the reason why I wrote one long post instead of two separate ones.

In Open, I learned that Agassi was a prodigy. He began playing tennis and winning junior matches at very early age. He even once faced Pete who couldn't give him any challenge whatsoever. However, it was Pete who went on to win more slams than Agassi, in fact, more slams than anyone in the history of tennis. Head to head, Pete was a clear winner. Of course, Agassi has his set of achievements too, however, Pete clearly makes a mark when it comes to being a legend. 

But Agassi was a child prodigy. He had everything from environment to money to plenty of opportunities lined up to be grabbed. But he couldn't go past Pete. This is because of the WILL. Agassi was directed by his strict father throughout his childhood which made him a rebel as he grew up. He wanted more attention and made choices in his life which took his focus away from the game. This can also be proven by the fact that when Agassi came out of that "Brooke obsession phase" of his life, became stable and started dating Steffi, he found a new force within him. He won slams being the oldest player in the lot. So Agassi was a clear cut genius but it was Pete who by passed him by his sheer will and focus.

I am eager to read more books and check if this overlapping of philosophies keeps on happening or is it just one co incidence ;)

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins


I admit that after reading numerous Chetan Bhagat's and Dan Brown's, Richard Dawkin's seemed so abstruse that it took me a year to complete! But finally after lots of procrastination I completed reading "The God Delusion". Intention behind perusing this book was never to convert to atheism but to come across their view point. Like, if not God, who exactly do they think is controlling this whole big-ass universe. After completing the book I can quite confidently say that their points are quite convincing.

I would not say that I am completely an atheist now, but yes this book changed me from being an agnostic theist to an agnostic atheist. However, this in no way signifies that I cannot live with people who worship deities. After all, I have been raised in a family with deep religious roots. It just means that my belief has evolved over time and I don't want to impose that on anyone else as opposed to most of our religious leaders.

The book is a masterpiece. It more or less conveys that simply saying "God created universe" is just an easy escape from comprehending a much bigger force that actually did it. The logic behind why we presume some acts as miracle and how religion as a concept came into the world are very well complemented with a scientific outlook and accurate data points. Personally, I liked "God of gaps" hypothesis a lot. Reminds me of Niel De Grasse Tyson's comment, "God is the receding pocket of scientific ignorance". 

I also liked many other quotes in the book, listing some of them below:

"The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next - Ralph Waldo Emerson"

"Any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligence, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion; and, as later chapters will show, a pernicious delusion"

"Can omniscient God, who
knows the future, find
the omnipotence to
change His future mind? - Karen Owens"

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish"

"What if God is a scientist who regards honest seeking after the truth as the supreme virtue? Indeed, wouldn't the designer of the universe have to be a scientist? Bertrand Russel was asked what he would say if he dies and found himself confronted by God, demanding to know why Russell had not believed him. "Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence', was Rusell's reply. Mightn't God respect Russell for his courageous scepticism far more than he would respect Pascal for his cowardly bet-hedging? .. Would you bet on God's valuing dishonestly faked belief (or even honest belief) over honest scepticism?"

"Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it."

"Those people who leap from personal bafflement at a natural phenomenon that straight to a hasty invocation of the supernatural are no better than the fools who see a conjurer bend a spoon and leap to the conclusion that it is 'paranormal'."

"God and country are unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed - Luis Bunuel"

“Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.”

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