Monday, October 12

No, we can't..

I am getting really astonished these days.. Barrack Obama getting Nobel peace award, Oracle giving joining date, and the most important thing.. my blog not getting people's attention.. I dunno if google has stopped concentrating on google analytics or what, but my blog's google analytics hasn't recorded a single page visit since the last 9 days !! But you see, the page visit counter on the blog page is still being incremented.. that's why I'm doubting google analytics..

Coming to the point, one of my friends commented in my blog saying that I need to post some funny posts so that many people might get bored reading my history stuff (see how much self-centric people are.. they generalize everything  they think as a public/unanimous opinion.. may be that's why geo-centric theory has evolved first).. seems he is correct.. in any case, I myself am fed up posting this history stuff.. so giving it a break, I wanna post some funny posts (see how self-centric I am.. if I feel something 'funny', it doesn't necessarily mean everyone would find it the same way.. seems I too belong to the 'typical human nature' sect.. at least I'm human.. see again.. I can't help being self-centric)

Coming to 'self-centrism', we find many instances where people say they are not self-centric and at the same time quote self-centric examples to prove themselves as 'non-self-centric' (now I'm inventing a new word like Bush invented 'misunderestimate'.. even the blogger proofing tool is showing red line when I'm typing it.. ha ha).. If Barrack Obama also invents some words (not the phrases like 'yes, we can'), I can be sure that I am eligible to contest for US senate (what to do.. I can't contest for presidency.. I need to be born in US for that.. but for Nobel peace prize, there's no such rule)

See how self-centric I am.. I even went to the heights of getting a Nobel prize while proving that I am non-self-centric.. again.. I had created a word and I am using it now.. I really am self-centric.. Let's see the self-centrism of general public.. We hear people saying very commonly that "Our times were golden times.. lifestyle has degraded of late, people are learning their lesson and are following yesteryear's lifestyle now.. earth is round and the past lifestyle comes again".. if we don't agree that this is the peak of self-centrism, we can safely assume that we don't have a head with hair on a neck..

Now let's see what they say.. "The earth is round".. so their lifestyle will come into the picture again.. so they think that their generation's lifestyle is the starting point.. isn't it.. they don't know that their yesteryear generation used to comment on them in the same way.. and now they are commenting on us like this.. and even we will comment like that in the near future.. some of us are commenting now itself.. Oh my God !! whats up with the world and self-centrism?? Is that a bond like 'fevikwik'? (Seriously, I haven't seen any other adhesive like fevikwik.. once I wanted to test it and glued my thumb and forefinger like in the way they used to show in the ad.. what happened next I don't think needs to be mentioned.. I don't wanna recall those moments)

I shall start posting funny posts from now until people get fed up with fun and want to shift to history stuff.. If you think this post is funny, lets try not to be self-centric from now onwards.. can we do it??

Yes, we can.. (I request the Nobel award committee to consider me for the next year in the 'literature' category.. I wanna write awesome literature in the future and I think giving this statement is sufficient for a 'Nobel'.. well.. for a 'Nobel', I think I need to tell this to some 300 million people and a couple of universities in the middle-east)

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Wednesday, September 30

What if?? St.Constantine - Pagan or Saint? (Part 1 of 2)

#2. What if Saint Constantine the Great had lost the battle of the Milvian Bridge?

 It is amazing to know that many eccentric historical accounts of some Emperors have resulted in the propagation, governance and strengthening of certain religions in the world. And it is really surprising to find out that even the ritual structure of some of these religions has been changed in accordance to the Emperor's interests. The funniest part I observed is that in spite of knowing all these things, the 'created and modified rituals' that were formed by priests from the command of some Emperor are still being followed by people today as culture and tradition attaching to them a tag line of 'sanctity'.

Coming to the story of Constantine I the Great, one can understand why I started off this post mentioning eccentric historical accounts. Actually, Constantine I is being regarded as 'Saint' only by some Eastern Orthodox Churches. For the remaining Christian community that accept sainthood of mortal people, he is considered as 'The Great' for his contribution to the religion of Christianity.

Before discussing the history that led me to ask the above question, I think we need to discuss the administration of the Roman Empire. Before Diocletion established Tetrarchy in the Roman Empire, there was dictatorship by the emperor and the emperors were considered as incarnations of the Roman pagan Gods. We all know that the Roman empire was founded by Romulus and Remus who were the sons of the Roman mythological war God, Mars. Also, the Roman pagan Gods are related to one another and so the Emperors used to have their own lineage from the Gods. Hence, it was the Emperors, not the Gods, that used to be crazy !!

This establishment of a Godly lineage was much regarded by the Roman emperors as well as the public. Why we need to stress on this is that Constantine was the son of Flavius Constantius with Helena, whom Constantius did not marry. Hence, there had always been an illegitimate lineage associated with Constantine and he had done many things in his life to mask it. The magnitude of his eccentricity is so much that he changed his lineage from the Roman pagan Gods twice in his life to mask this illegitimacy. Well, the controversy and confusion in his personality comes when one considers the time line in which he did all these things.

We all know that Constantine abolished Tetrarchial administration, established monarchy and Christianity in the Roman Empire and hence became the founder of the Holy Roman Empire and orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity. He summoned the first council of Nicaea and his efforts were also spent on bringing out the 340 Bibles for the Constantinople church. It is not at all a controversial statement when it is said that these early 340 Bible versions are the basis for the present day Holy Bible versions, let it be the orthodox Catholic Bibles or the popular King James version of the Holy Bible that we see today.

What makes Constantine, the very founder of the Holy Roman Empire, who established Sunday as the sabbath day for orthodox Christianity, elevated the Cross, convened the Christian councils that formed the ritual structure of Christianity (that are even followed today), an eccentric and controversial person is his Paganism itself!! I am mentioning a couple of them in this post. He declared himself as a Christian at the age of forty but he was baptized on his death bed!! He had kept his lineage of the Roman Pagan Gods even after the establishment of Holy Roman Empire!! 

I shall be discussing the historical events in the necessary detail that led Constantine establish the Holy Roman Empire in the part 2 of this post. We shall also try to look at the controversial personality of St.Constantine in the next post.

When one tries to understand the motives behind all the things Constantine had done to Christianity, one really wonders at the hard and bitter form of truth that history carries with itself even though a label of 'sanctity' is associated to many of these things today. Honestly speaking, I am not criticizing the rituals or the doctrine of any religion here. As I have stated in the "What if?? Prologue" post, I was rather amazed by the contrasting historical accounts that led to the propagation and acclaim of different religions and wanted to share them in my blog. Moreover, I am of an opinion that no person in this world is eligible to criticize  the Doctrine, Rituals and Revelations of any religion. It is similar to criticizing the path of one's life and hence should be strictly forbidden.

Any contradicting comments?

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Sunday, September 20

What if?? Asoka and Buddhism

#1. What if the empire of Asoka the Great had not expanded from Iran to Assam on one extreme and from Tajikistan to the peninsula of Tamil Nadu on another extreme before he waged the Kalinga war?

The history of Buddhism in the world is really fascinating. May be it is the one of the few religions in the world that had been propagated without the means of persecution, crusades, violence and bloodshed. And the most important thing in Buddhist kingdoms is the parliamentary democratic social system employed by the rulers. It is not at all a biased statement when it is stated that "Asoka is definitely comparable to Alexander, Augustus Caesar, Genghis Khan, Timur and Napoleon I except that Asoka was not extra ambitious and did not employ persecution and crusades". Any way, we need to study the both sides of Asoka- his life before the Kalinga war and after the war.

Asoka had several elder brothers and was always envied of his valor and impeccable warrior general qualities. He, in fact, was blood thirsty and successfully ended many military uprisings within the vast kingdom of the Mauryan dynasty. After the suppression of military revolt in Taxsila (East Pakistan), he was sent into exile by his father for the fear of Asoka's murder by his brothers. He was later summoned to handle the uprising at Ujjain. During this battle in which he won, he was badly injured and was treated in hiding in a Buddhist monastery. It was the first time when he was exposed to Buddhist teachings and principles by Buddhist monks and nuns. He had even married a Buddhist woman during his hiding.

Due to his marriage to a Buddhist which was unacceptable that time, Asoka was sent away from Pataliputra  and was made the governor of Ujjain. One of his brothers tried to murder his new born son at Ujjain but in vain. In a fit of rage, Asoka attacked Pataliputra where his brother was hiding and executed him. He became the emperor of Mauryan empire. He later went to Kalinga where his another brother who was also involved in the murder plan was hiding and tried to capture him. Due to the resistance offered by the king of Kalinga, Asoka waged a historical battle against Kalinga and took his vengeance. In this Kalinga war, some 11 hundred thousand people were killed and Asoka repented for this bloodshed caused by him and adopted Buddhism.

Before waging the Kalinga war, Emperor Asoka expanded his kingdom from Iran to Assam on one extreme and Tajikistan to Tamil Nadu on another extreme waging many wars. After adopting Buddhism, he stopped violence and sent many monks to China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Egypt and the Middle East to spread Buddhism. One thing we need to consider here is that the neighboring kingdoms of the Mauryan Empire were no match to the Mauryan warfare tactics and were afraid of the bloody history of Asoka and hence did not dare to wage wars even after his adoption of Buddhism. Moreover, it is evident that Mauryan empire was too vast an empire to conquer in a swiftly timed war.

Now what if the empire of Asoka the Great had not expanded from Iran to Assam on one extreme and from Tajikistan to the peninsula of Tamil Nadu on another extreme before he waged the Kalinga war? Many wars would had been waged by the neighboring kings and the Mauryan empire would be destroyed. Then there would not be Teravada Buddhism and its other derivatives in China, Tibet, Cambodia, Sri Lanka. There would not be Taoism from whose principles many martial arts like Kung fu, Ninjutsu, etc., are evolved. There would not be the 24 spoke Asoka Chakra on the Indian flag !!

So, has Buddhism sustained in the world today only due to the vast empire and bloody history of an emperor who ruled some 2300 years back? One thing here, the only reason Buddhism is not predominant in the world today is that the Buddhist emperors did not resort to persecution, crusades, holocausts and bloodshed for its propagation.

Any contradicting comments??

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Saturday, September 5

YSR.. the visionary??

Well.. I m not stopping the 'What if??' series.. I shall continue it by providing discussions to the posted questions..

As we all know, it was a major tragedy for the AP state Congress yesterday. YSR has been missing since Wednesday. After 24 hrs his track on air was lost, the chopper was traced and his body was recovered. By that time, a long night in the jungle along with a deal of rainfall sufficiently heavy to decompose the burnt body has happened and the body was eventually wrapped up in clothes for display.

I've been rather bewildered at the media's (all regional news channels) remarks about YSR for the last 3 days, to be honest. First of all, they started off with quotes like 'The visionary leader missing', 'Our beloved CM missing', etc., As time progressed by and finally when his death was declared at the crash site, the quotes were changed to 'The greatest visionary leader', 'Apara bhagiratha', 'The best CM till date', etc., Keeping this aside, even after 9 hrs have passed after the chopper had gone missing and search operations were going on, they were still debating during the night on the reasons why "YSR has not communicated yet".

This shows how much ignorant the media (regional news channels) are about chopper crashes. First of all, its not the duty of the 'Visionary CM' to communicate if there has been an emergency landing. It is the protocol of the pilot when an emergency landing really happens and he will definitely stick to it. Secondly, when a chopper has gone missing without any 'distress signal', after some time of no communication from pilot, it can be safely assumed that it is not good news. Of all the TV channels that did an exclusive coverage on this search mission, only CNN-IBN was pointing to these really significant points. In contrast to this, the regional channels were simply encouraging the innocent average viewer to pray to God that YSR would return safe and continues to hold the office !!

In addition to this, the very news channels, that discussed about the failures of YSR's last term and stuff a week before he died, started regarding him as 'The greatest visionary CM', 'Apara bhagiratha', etc., Now I ask this question, "Does a person really become a hero after he has died?" It is not any kind of rule that we need to regard people by false praises when they die. A person's deeds, whether they are good or bad, will always remain the same even if he dies. No one needs to mask either the good things or the bad things. It would be sheer 'unintelligent hypocrisy' if one does so.

Talking about YSR in particular, many people who offered their condolences on-screen regarded him as 'The greatest visionary leader'. I could not understand how he was visionary. It is true that YSR did not care about creating wealth in the state in his term of 5 years. He simply distributed and increased freebies like Pensions, Fee reimbursements, Houses and the highly regarded Arogyasri, etc., Its a hard fact that he did not even bother about losing huge projects like Volkswagon and Tata Nano which would increase the productivity of the state, boost the economy of AP and create some lakhs of jobs. Lets not forget how much passive he has been in the KG basin issue recently.

Coming to the aspect of agricultural focus which, according to YSR, was given the highest priority in the last term, we have seen a complete U turn. Even the much awaited 'Polavaram project' has seen nothing more than a foundation stone that was laid some 4 years back. In spite of the good rainfall for the last 5 years, the agricultural productivity has not increased much. The price of rice has got tripled now and no comments on the price of Red gram (its around 120 INR per kg in AP presently). And YSR recently  in an assembly session advised the people of Andhra to take 'sturdy rice' and 'mattar' instead of the above foods !!

In this way 'The multi-faceted YSR' has also become a nutritional expert  giving senseless diet charts to people instead of giving a subsidy on food items in the recently proposed state budget. Even the state budget was ridiculous. Only 26 crores of capital expenditure were allocated for Energy and industries whereas 15,361 crores were for agriculture and  irrigation. 532 crores were allocated to health, uplift of scheduled castes and housing. Only God knows how many crores in these 15361+532 would be misused in the single year of 2009.

I did not mean that increasing pensions, giving fee reimbursements and freebies is wrong. But at the same time, much focus needs to be given on the 'wealth creating schemes'. The Government cannot simply allocate its annual budget to distribute freebies. The tax money needs to be used for these welfare activities. Increasing employment opportunities creates wealth and increases the number of tax payers. This in turn needs to be allocated for the freebies and stuff. Simply ignoring these things and running the state will definitely increase the 'vote-bank' for the party. But it would simply destroy the state's economy somewhere in the near future.

YSR was definitely 'The greatest visionary' in the perspective of AP congress party. But he is 'One of the worst Administrators' in the perspective of AP state welfare. One thing here, he does not become a 'great leader' when he gets elected for the second term by means of freebies. Even if common people embrace him, the facts speak for themselves and it would be totally the stupidity of someone who ignores these things.

I thank myself for not presenting the scandals in which YSR faced several allegations in this post. Its ironic that YSR is finally buried at 'Idupulapaya' which has become the biggest land scandal in the beginning of his previous term.

May his soul rest in the very magnitude of peace that he created in the state !! I think this is a fair statement.

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Monday, August 24

What if?? Some questions

So now I am back with some questions regarding some social and political events in the world history which had dramatically changed the fate of certain religions in the later period. The impact of some of these events can be seen even in this modern times. I am presenting only a few questions right now. I feel that getting to know in detail about the circumstances that may lead to the answers of these handful of questions itself changes our perception of many things.. for e.g., I myself have seen my opinions change about politics, wars, society and religions, while reading all the stuff that I am going to discuss in the subsequent posts related to the questions. Since the discussion will be based on objective historical evidence, it is worth giving a try.

The questions I am going to present are simple and plain. Some questions have an answer while in the case of others, the answer-seeking process goes into a study of the corresponding history and the final answer might turn out to be subjective. Even though the questions sound childlike, let us all recall the fact that a better learning and understanding of things always comes from the answers of simple questions. We all have been learning everything since our birth in the same way.

Now without wasting time anymore, let us get acquainted with the questions. The questions are being presented below in chronological order

#1. What if the empire of Ashoka the Great had not expanded from Iran to Assam on one extreme and from Tajikistan to the peninsula of Tamil Nadu on another extreme before he waged the Kalinga war? (264 BC)

#2. What if Saint Constantine the Great had lost the battle of the Milvian Bridge? (312 AD)

#3. What if Salman the Persian had not converted to Islam before the battle of the Trench? (627 AD)

#4. What if the Pala Dynasty (8th-12th Century AD) had not ruled India for 4 centuries?

#5. What if India has not seen the three remarkable philosophers Adi Shankara (8th Century AD), Ramanujacharya (11th Century AD) and Madhvacharya (13th Century AD)?

From a careful look at the questions, you can understand that all the above questions are related to one another in the order of presentation and also that 3 questions are related to wars. Well, these are not just some wars off the record. They have a significance in the world history and which I shall be discussing whenever needed. Any way, war is a clash of civilizations and the one which wins / dominates would be the civilization / culture that gets established / propagated later.

Before signing off, I want to mention one thing here. The above questions discuss the early strengthening of certain religions. Their social and cultural impacts may or may not be felt in the present society. I shall come up with more questions later regarding some events that shaped the society we see now.

We shall be discussing the questions one by one and try to seek the answers in the subsequent posts.

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Saturday, August 15

What if?? Prologue

From this very Independence day onwards I want to fetch myself some answers (not like Woody Allen character in 'Hannah and her Sisters'). The answers are not religious / spiritual but regarding the social circumstances leading to the uprise / downfall of various religions. I shall be discussing some arguments in the subsequent posts leading to the answers for the questions.

These days (from the last 2 months) I am spending most of my time reading extensively about (in alphabetical order) Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and some aboriginal religions. My curiosity in Christianity has led me to read The Bible. I have also read Srimad Bhagavatam and I am reading Mahabharata and Qur'an in parallel now.

Now the questions I mentioned about previously popped into my mind. Well, going through the canonical scriptures, I found that I was drifting in a different direction in which I might not get my answers. So I started reading the historical accounts of each religion (not regarding the 'historical existence' of the founders of religions) and I think I am in the right path of finding my answers.

My questions do not seek answers regarding the philosophical consciousness / spiritual depth / historical validity or any metaphysical explanations of a religion. I think that seeking such answers would lead us to nowhere since I have an opinion that a practice of any religion needs the following

#1. The commitment towards the Myths presented in the canon
(I think 'belief' is more of a scientific term. So I used 'commitment')

#2. Accepting the Doctrine presented in the canon into our way of life

. Following the rituals presented in the canon with a commitment that certain revelations occur by following the prescribed rituals
(This is not emphasized in some religions for e.g., some divisions of Christianity in which you need to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and is not necessary to get baptized in a Church)

So I feel that the concept of commitment towards a religion is highly subjective depending on the above factors and discussing the historical validity of any religion is of no use since it leads to the primary question about the existence of God/The Creator from where the discussion becomes subjective again. And moreover it is universally accepted that the Doctrine oriented religions (e.g., Buddhism, Christianity, Islam) and Ritual oriented religions (e.g., Hinduism, Judaism) cannot be discussed on a single platform. So the questions do not deal with any metaphysical or spiritual elements.

I should say that I was rather amazed by the social circumstances and events in the history which transformed the magnitude of propagation and the governance of these religions that are being followed by millions of people in the world today. Many of these interesting events happened in India itself. The role of Individuals, Emperors, Kings and Governments in those events has got elements of intrigue and surprise actually.

Hmm.. this post has become lengthier than I expected (and still I don't think I've written completely what I wanted to express). I shall be presenting the questions in my next post. This is not any Zeitgeist kinda conspiratorial documentary stuff and is not at all controversial, I assure you.


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Sunday, August 2

23-12-2012.. the Armageddon???

Updatin my blog on Friendship day is givin me mixed feelings.. as a matter of fact, dese days i m not gettin bothered abt days of the week.. evryday has been a sunday for me for the last 3 months.. so i m welcomin August, the 4th month of complete holidays for me.. hopin dis is the last month for my vacation..
Hail Augustus Caesar (Emperor, Roman Empire) and Larry Ellison (CEO, Oracle Corporation)!!

Speakin abt calendar n frens reminds me an incident happened 2 days back.. i attended one of my school fren's b'day party along with some old frens from my colony.. discussion went on as usual abt everythin (wat not?? we all r enjoyin our looong graduation vacation).. one of my frens mentioned this 23-12-2012 doomsday.. well.. he was neutral on his belief in dis armageddon but my another old fren was supportin dis doomsday as if hez "Nostradamus reloaded" (maybe dese guys watch "Rahasyam (Secret)" in tv9.. the ultimate crappy pseudo-documentary show.. every documentary in dis show is like some RGV horror movie)

My neutral fren's allegation is dat on da above doomsday Earth is gonna collide with Sun(???).. he also said dat the Indian Vedic calendar was designed only upto year 2012 as our ancestors had knew already dat it wud be "doomsyear" (he dared to coin a new word)..

U know abt me.. i explained to him Vedic astronomical calendar- the Ahoratris, Yugas, Manvantaras, Brahma varshas in it.. n told him therz no possible doomsday threat in da near future acc to it (he got too much of info at one time n ordered more booze).. i was surprised n asked from where he came to know abt all dis "2012 doomsday" stuff.. he was puzzled by dis (with a "wat da hell r u doin sittin at home u stupid?" kinda look on his face) n told me dat dis is the hot-topic doin rounds everywhere (is this really true.. coz i m followin only the political, financial n weather news dese days.. not worryn abt trivia stuff, armageddons in particular)

Well.. he mentioned the wrong calendar (Vedic calendar).. its actually Meso-American Long Count Calendar (Mayan calendar in short) gettin refreshed on 23-12-2012.. n reg the other allegations i collected info from web.. i ll give u a summary of all the allegations for the "2012 doomsday"..

#1. Meso-American Long Count Calendar prediction
 This Mayan calendar keeps time in units of 20. Acc to it 20 days make a uinal, 18 uinals, or 360 days, make a tun, 20 tuns make a katun, and 20 katuns, or 144,000 days, make up a baktun. After 13 baktuns, the numbers reset and the count ll be moved to a higher order. On 23-12-2012, 13 baktuns ll be finished n the Mayan calendar date becomes 13-0-0-0-0. So dis calendar gets refreshed dat day n acc to Mayans, an armageddon comes n takes all the creation in the world with it.

I ll leave it to ur understading the rational validity of dis allegation.. its really a good thing dat in our Vedic calendar the life span of Brahma is 100 Brahma varshas (dat is 311 Trillion yrs.. upto now 155.52 Trillion yrs have passed acc to Vedas).. or else even our Vedic calendar might have predicted a doomsday in the near future..

#2. Galactic alignment
My fren was referrin dis as "earth goin into sun".. well.. we all know abt the "Ecliptic" (the plane of Sun n orbits of the nine planets.. all of dem share roughly da same plane). From our perspective on earth, the Zodiacal constellations move along or near the ecliptic, and over time, appear to recede counterclockwise by 1 degree every 72 years. This is due to the slight wobble or the 'precession' we know in the Earth's axis as it spins.

As a result, approximately for every 2160 years, the constellation visible on the early morning of the spring equinox changes. Every year for the last 2000 years or so, on the winter solstice, the Earth, Sun and the galactic equator come into alignment, and every year, precession pushes the Sun's position a little way further through the Milky way's band.

So its not "Earth goin into Sun" in 2012 but its actually the Sun gettin pushed slightly into the Milky way every year.. hence dis allegation is a simply a hill of rubble..

#3. Intersection of the ecliptic with the 'Black Road'
Now according to the Meso-American calendar mentioned above, the ecliptic intersects with the "Black Road" (the band of black dust clouds in the Milky way) precisely in the year 2012.. n predicted a significant spiritual change for the Earth.. one thing.. its concrete evident dat the Mayans had no idea abt precession..

We know how "Astrology" (my fav topic u know) predicts / attributes celebration of "Astronomical" conjunctions to changes in the contemporary society (for eg., in Hindu Mythology every "yugantha" i.e., a change of equinox constellation in astronomy, is characterized by an avatar of Vishnu removin 'Adharma' n restorin 'Yuga Dharma' on the Earth)..

These attributions / predictions r due to the fact dat our ancestors believed dat the heavenly bodies influence the life / behavior of people on earth (well.. the "Astronomical" calculations r very perfect n the changes in positions of stars r calculated very precisely.. but the validity of 'effect of those events on human behavior' is quite obscure)

So the rational validity of dis allegation depends on how much commitment we have towards Mayan "Astrological" predictions..

The reason i collected info on dis "Doomsday Conspiracy" is dat my other fren ("Nostradamus Reloaded" guy) told me dat one of his neighbors came to know abt the 2012 doomsday (how?? Courtesy might be some rubbish program in a crappy tv channel) n dat he started smokin n boozin like hell.. he said this neighbour fellow is even sellin his assets (dis i don't believe.. r ppl dat stupid?? may be my fren made dis up)

But one thing.. i m sure dat i ll wish dis "Nostradamus Reloaded" fren of mine on his b'day 25-12-2012.. well.. if there really comes the doomsday, i shall wish Jesus Christ a happy b'day on the same day.. Howzzatt !!

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Thursday, July 16

The d'ash'ing illusionist without 'The Prestige'

Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows us something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows us this object. Perhaps he asks us to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now we're looking for the secret... but we won't find it, because of course we're not really looking.. we don't really want to know.. we want to be fooled. But we wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough.. he has to bring it back. This third act, the hardest part, is called "The Prestige".

Well.. we had an illusionist at our college. I ll tell u his pledge, turn n the prestige..

The Pledge: He ll be showin himself lying down on his bed covered with a blanket, facing a wall n watchin comedy/action series in his laptop. We can see dat hez perfectly normal n natural at dis stage. But wat we dont see is dat hez scannin everything behind him
The Turn: I cant tell u abt the turn coz i havent watched it for myself.. well some ppl in our coll claim dat dey saw his 'turn' but it was still a conspiracy.. but one thing.. after "The Turn" some stuff in the room/others' rooms were found to be missing
The Prestige: Hey.. c'mon.. u might've guessed by now.. therz no 'Prestige'.. he doesn't bring back the missing stuff.. well the stuff returns.. but its ownership changes.. so its not "The Prestige" by rule

I once saw a video clip spoofin David Blaine's street magic.. it was really funny.. 2 guys spoof the audience n dey scream like idiots "How did ye do dat!!" after they see the 'turn'..

I ll give u reactions of some of the victims of our d'ash'ing illusionist (the victims were not idoits.. some were one of the best brains in our coll)

Sudheer: How did u do dat!! (for his 400 bucks from his bank a/c)
Sudheer: How.. How did u do dat!! (for his trimmer #1)
Sudheer: How the hell did you do dat!! (for his trimmer #2)
Sudheer: Arey mama.. how did he do dat?? (for his USB HDD)
(Well.. he was frustated coz he became the multiple-victim for our kleptomaniac)
Abhiram: Rey saami.. how did u do dat!! (for his class notes)
Nagendran: How did u do dat!! (for his i-pod)
Shravan: Oh Jesus.. how did u do dat!! (the above ipod was with him wen "The Turn" happened)
Ajit: How did u do dat maadi!! (for his pen-drive)
Sandeep(babai): How did u do dat!! (keeper of the above pen-drive durin "The Turn")
Nagarjuna: Rey jaffa.. how did u do dat!! (for his digital camera)

Our d'ash'ing illusionist has his own style of "The Prestige".. the stuff comes back after some days (it depends on da skill n risk in "The Turn" n also its post-investigations).. but eventually it comes back.. by dat time dis kleptomaniac has a nice story (typically "arey.. my sister gave dis ra") to declare his ownership over the stuff..

Well..on a fateful day in our third year his "Treasury" was searched n some stuff whose ownership was yet to be changed was recovered.. we were really amazed to see some things in his treasury which were not thought to be flicked by him.. the illusionist was rewarded properly.. but he was back to form in the final year with nag's cam

I ll sign off tellin u one thing off the record.. i used to borrow pen-drive from our d'ash'ing illusionist often (hez a definite n reliable source for pen-drives.. hez an "Electronics freak".. very loyal to his branch ece).. i m not makin dis up but he used to give me different pen-drives each time.. so finally wenever i cudn't get a pen-drive to use, i started to ask him.. once he asked me to wait (may be he dint have one dat time) n after some 10 minutes appeared with one.. God knows wat he did in those 10 minutes!!

Somebody at home is missing nitw pen-drives n hdds now!!

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Wednesday, July 1

The 'stars' must be crazy!!

Two days back i attended a function at one of my relative's place.. durin da usual chit-chat on politics(i wud rather call it crap-chat) one of my uncles (hez a distant relative) said dat in dec'08, he read in a news paper an article published by an astrologer predictin da outcome of AP state elections goin to be conducted in march'09.. my uncle said dat da columnist predicted YSR as the cm, and tdp, prp n da others wont give significant contribution to da outcome of election.. well dis was predicted based on da individual "kundali" of the respective political party leaders.. dis column was published in dec'08..

Then i happened to recall a tv show hosted in 'i news' channel on da night b4 the declaration of AP election results.. dis was after the elections in da second week of may'09.. the guests were some 6 famous astrologers in the state.. well although dey differed individually on da num of seats each party wud get (i bet all my future earnings dat the num of seats cannot be predicted in ne astrological means by examining the kundali of individual party leaders).. all dese famous astrologers agreed to one point.. dat Chiranjeevi wud either become a "King" or a "King Maker".. well he became a clown in the king's court (assembly) n is presently cheerin the crowd..

So now we can easily tell y da outcome was in favour of YSR in da former case n y it had become in favour of Chiru in da latter case.. even dese astrologers get carried away by the media-hype, election speculations, exit polls n want to make predictions dat wud be the most likely outcome to happen.. not based on astrology or kundali or watever crap for which dey r famous in the first place but by the speculations in media and decidin on their own intuition which is done by every average tv viewer..

So how can dese astrologers
#1. Who really dont believe in the stuff in which they were "allegedly expert" in (predicting human behavior n future by kundali)

#2. Who believe in their mere human intuition (even animals do dis.. animals have the power of intuition over logic whereas mankind has the power of logical analysis over intuition.. dis is a trade-off)

#3. Who dont believe in themselves
be relied upon for predictin the human behaviour n even deciding the compatibility of couples b4 marriage advising dem not to marry the astro'logically' incompatible couples??

We all know dat 'kundali' is made based on da time n place of birth of an individual.. consider dis realistic (not hypothetical) scenario.. I was born on 17th june 1988 at 10:07 AM in Rajahmundry (now dont ask me accordin to whose watch.. coz da question is perfectly logical n hence shud not be appreciated).. some 50 children might have born on the same day at the very same time in rjy (in rjy dere were some 25 well practising obstetricains dat time.. i m considering a fair possible case)

So the kundali of all dese 50 children ll be da exact same (same date, time n place) n hence the influence of da stars/planets/galaxies/pulsar stars/black holes (even artificial satellites may come into dis list in future) will be the same thoughout their lives.. but its obvious dat the behavior, personality, abilities, areas of interest, way of life, degree of success (what not?) are quite different for dese 50 people.. some may be "Kings" now, some may be "King Makers" now n some may be sittin idle at home now writing blogs like me..

I ll tell u how different people think abt dis astrology n their mode of belief in it..

#1. The first kind of people believe it with their heart irrespective of their education (educated people shud be at least sensible.. keep aside rational).. i've seen dis guy near the labor room in a hospital.. his wife in labor (critical situation) was in operation theater n dis guy was shoutin at his in-laws for gettin the operation started in "astrologically inauspicious" time of the day.. well eventually both the lady n the child were saved.. the punch of dis hunch was dat he is a postgraduate!!

#2. The second kind of people give importance to astrology wen the time/reason/risk permits.. dese people criticize behaving in da above manner for da above situation.. but believe in "auspicious times" wen time permits (for eg. startin a business), consult astrologers for marriage compatibility, etc.,.. i feel dat dis is worse dan the above case.. in the above scenario the person believes in himself although havin the logical ability in da magnitude of a tea-spoon.. but in dis case the guy thinks hez an "ideal,educated, smart intellectual".. but in fact he doesnt believe his head, his heart, the astrologer, even himself..

#3. The third kind of people think astrology is bullshit (include me in dis category) n tell people the way dey think abt astrology (like wat i m doin now).. well i don't wanna criticize myself in my blog.. so feel free to comment upon dis kind of people..

I ll conclude dis post by givin a piece of advice to people who believe in astrology/kundali/horoscope (i generally don't advise.. but u know.. pathetic people badly need help)

So here's the advice.. from now onwards whenever u r hiring someone, don't ask for their resume, ask for their kundali instead n hire dem accordingly.. coz u cant know by lookin at his resume how ur stars/planets/black holes might get influenced after u hire him.. moreover da planets may cast an angry spell on u if u ignore dem in da hiring process.. also to add fuel to da fire, dis is a recession time boss.. the 'stars' must be crazy!!

Predict my future astro'logically'.. i dont believe in myself!!!

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Wednesday, June 24

Kismat Kumar @ ECE Dept, NITW

"Om Guruham Namaamyaham" --CBR, during the felicitation of Prof. JSR on da occasion of the latter's VRS

"I call my Ph.D guide on Sept 5 every year ma.. u guys dont have the courtesy to even wish ur teachers on Teacher's day" --KK (Dr.T.Kishore Kumar aka Kismat Kumar), on numerous occasions

Hmm.. dese guys really shud have deep respect n gratitude for their mentors coz.. hey c'mon i wont tell u dis time too.. dishonestly speaking, i really feel very bad to write such things on my Dept n my Coll (well.. if i really have dat 'college patriotism' i wont start writin dis stuff in the very first place).. So it really gives me loads of satisfaction to write abt dese ppl.. I used to think faculty at colleges like nitw ll be very motivated, intellectual, empowering, dexterous n.. (hey get a thesaurus n write da words for urself.. i m sick of usin dis Word Web software)

I wanna tell u some trivia.. u know how our proj guides r allotted.. first our ex-HOD Sarma allotted numbers to da proj batches n one of the students picked up a batch num by chits.. one of the guys in the correspondin batch wud come n pick up their proj guides name by chits again.. I picked up "Pappu's" students batch.. we escaped.. well KK was allotted to us n we cudn't know wheter to feel happy or sad or indifferent..

Frankly speakin i thought KK had some idea on Speech Processing which he claims as his area of interest n states dat he worked on speech processing wen he worked as a spy (ha ha.. i really doubt dis.. dis James Bond worked as a spy?? may be if he comes to know abt CIA he wud claim dat he worked for CIA) in PM's Cabinet Office in Telephone Dept.. but he doesnt even know why quantization is done (i m not makin dis up)

I thought not to give my opinions n speculations abt KK.. so here are some memorable excerpts from our batch (gunta, myself, jissin, u know who da other one is) meetings with KK.. dont try to get to opinions n speculations abt KK.. he wud be still far below ur "worst" opinion(not at all kiddin.. i have experienced dis)

#1. We had put a pen drive into KK's PC ( he has 400 MB free space in C drive and 3.5 GB free space in D drive.. dats da way he knows how to maintain a PC.. his desktop is flooded with ppts, folders, etc.. i dont think he knows dat files can be saved elsewhere other dan on desktop).. He put a virus scan on da pen drive(i wanna know who told him abt 'viruses' n 'antivirus').. well.. some trojan warning popped up as usual
KK: wat is dis ma.. u bring viruses into my pc.. see some Tarzan is comin
(dis is true.. he said 'Tarzan')
Another trojan warning popped up
KK: See ma.. another Tarzan..

#2. He asked us to collect some ppts on some Radar clutter n applications.. we dint wanna do dat work for him.. so we were askin how we wud get da ppts
KK: See ma.. u can get dem on the net.. i got dem thru Googly search
(i dont know if hez a hardcore fan of Anil Kumble or Shane Warne.. but he said 'googly')

#3. He was leavin for France (dats y we call him Kismat Kumar) n he wants to buy a laptop in Dubai airport (someone told dis cheap fellow dat laptops r cheaper in Dubai).. to get him more excited Jissin told him to ask the shop guy not to put genuine XP as it costs him a few more bucks..
Me: Sir, if u dont load OS den ask the shop guy for Drivers
(Now dont look at me like dat.. well its true dat ne one maintainin a pc will have the minimum common sense for gettin a driver cd.. read the next lines)
KK: Drivers for wat ma..?
If KV Sridar had been there he wud have said (read it as 'shouted') "Are u a fool to talk like dat?"
(The scene is not finished...) 

Me: (got shocked.. as u have got now) Well.. if u dont ask for XP while buying, u need to format it in the plane sir..
(dat poor sense of inference of my words is a result of dat shock.. ne way he ll stay in Dubai airport only for 2 hrs.. so i told him in dat way)
KK: (in "is it so?" kinda innocent way) Wat ma.. will dey ask me to format my laptop wen i get into the plane..?

The above place was intentionally left blank.. i could not get wat to write in it.. ne suggestions?? plz comment

Well.. though KK is exceptionally stupid technically, he has got lots of timing for jokes.. one good one i always liked.. this was in the DSP class (3rd year).. instead of 2nd minor he asked us to give seminar in batches of 2-3, our classmate Sridar (not da 'Shouting Star' one.. dis one is a student) hasn't got ne batchmate
KK: (to Sridar) why haven't u submitted a topic for da seminar ma..?
Sridar: (I dunno y he said dis) Sir, I m single..
(Well.. he meant dat he hasn't got ne batchmate.. now see how KK reacts)
KK: I m not askin ur personal problems ma..
( We all were in splits.. i bullied Sridar callin him 'Single Sridar' for some days)

I ll conclude tellin u how lucky our 'Kismat Kumar' is.. he toured Germany n Czech Republic last year on da credit of one of his student's paper.. he toured France for 2 months (is he not lucky?) on behalf of Tequip.. he told us he wud go to France again next year..

He is really 'Kismat Kumar'.. isnt he..?

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Saturday, June 20

The Reality show without SMS requests

So i m continuing the discussion of our seminars.. read the prev post if u havent read it.. coz dis is a continuation..

In our Indian movies durin mid '80-'90s (n even some now) b4 presentin the star hero, directors used to show his diff body parts.. in the order of appearance are.. shoes, legs, thighs (i still wonder y they show his thighs), the bottoms (dont think i m sick n disgustin.. i m not fakin.. see old movies once again), chest, shoulders (waste showin dese.. many heroes dint used to work out those times), neck.. n finally the face... (well now heroines r being presented like dat.. may be gettin equality for women with men takes a little time nywhere)

Now i m gonna give u Our "Shouting Star" K.V.Sridhar's 'trademark' openings b4 he talks.. (in the order of freq of his usage n I m capitalizing where he shouts)

(dis is true.. he shouts at every word wen he opens with dis line.. dis opening means dat the person standin b4 him is goin to be... well u might have guessed by now..)

(in dis line also he shouts at every word.. the meanin of dis opening line is da same as prev one)

#3. There are VARIETY of applications..
(well dis is a softer one.. shoutin on only 1 word.. dis opening means dat hez not havin even the slightest idea on the topic hez talkin abt)

#4. Are you SATISFIED with his ANSWER?
(shoutin on 2 words, dis is really a tricky question.. dis ll be posed to the person who asked a question in the seminar.. the outcome may be the items 1,2 or 3 listed above dependin on how he answered the above ques)

u know how 'reality dance shows' n 'reality singing competitions' are like.. the shivering contestant performs n the spice of da show follows.. the judges 'bang' him n stop it only after the victim starts cryin.. n the pathetic victim requests for SMSs from the viewers with tears in his eyes.. our seminars were the same except for the SMS part which is replaced by "Questionaire for the audience by the alleged victim".. (u might have seen in da movie 'Saw' how da psychopath killer influences n trains others to become his successors.. dis 'questionaire' to bang the audience is in the similar lines)

the other judge for our 'reality seminar shows' was Dr.T.Kishore Kumar (hey.. hez also my 'proj guide' man.. i ll tell abt him in the later posts.. plz feel free to comment upon him in dis page).. well KK was the quiet one n the 'Shouting star' was keepin on his stardom.. the seminar classes were 1 per week acc to dept schedule but our star used to take 2 per week (omg.. dats 6 hammerin hours per week.. dis is really an atrocity!!)

Our Shouting star was so busy with his schedule dat he took 2 seminar classes after the lab end exams failin to comlplete within the given time even after takin 2 classes per week (wat to do.. hez a busy star).. He thinks hez a King Lear in the subject (dont ask which subject.. item no #3 above comes den).. but hez not even a King Kong in da subject.. he even kept a 'Surprise slip test' on the seminar topics in a class..

I ll conclude this post by quotin Vennam Ravi Kumar's (topper of the batch, soft spoken guy) comment on our judges after this 'Surprise slip test' (i m not makin dis thing up.. he really said dis)

We all came out after the seminar class.. dat day it was conducted in META seminar hall..
Me: (addressin no one.. actually it was to everyone) Arey.. will dese fellows really evaluate this test papers?
Vennam: (to my surprise he replied) Well these guys don't even know what the answers are.. keep aside the evaluation..

The credit for gettin a comment from Vennam on the faculty of ece dept for the first time in 4 yrs (he never criticized in dis level ne lecturer in ece dept) goes to the "Shouting Star" K.V.Sridhar..

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Friday, June 19

...from The Big Bang to Black Holes

A brief history of Time from the big bang to black holes by Stephen Hawking.. dis influential book gave me an interesting memory for me in the final semester of my graduation..

U know how the final semesters are like.. full busy with proj work, seminars n gettin prepared mentally to leave the college (to avoid "oh my dear!! I am going to leave my coll!! boo-hoo noooo.. I can't leave dis beeaauutifuuul place" kinda feelings).. well my final semseter was the same except for the first n last items listed above.. yes it was only the SEMINARS dat occupied most of my final sem time.. the stupid 1 credit seminar schedule was so hectic dat i had to bunk 3 credit classes for the relief from the seminars (for all those guys who never knew the joy u get from bunkin classes.... go to hell... u r psychopathic geeks)

Comin to da schedule of our seminars, the credit shud be given to Prof.C.B.Rama Rao (dis is the first name other dan myself i m quotin in my blog) who took the charge of seminars initially n Mr.K.V.Sridhar (dis is the second name other dan myself i m quotin in my blog) who was his successor takin the charge after CBR became HOD.. (well i dont wanna tell u y i qouted dese 2 persons coz u may start lecturin me how n y teachers r supposed to be regarded high).. i think u got my point.. dese 2 guys dont belong to the regardin sect..

The seminars started off.. not one student even the ones givin the ppt standin on the dais r concerned, interested n even bothered abt the seminar.. but CBR wanted to give such a show off to 'his' seminars that the college should think (to be honest) dat he is capable of atleast takin charge of seminars ( dat was how the entire nitw thot of CBR.. i want to see the guy who gave CBR a PhD n ask him under wat kind of psychological condition he was in wen he did dat)

So i too was among the rest of da class who rnt interested in the seminars n one fine day i took dis amazin book "A brief history of Time" to da seminar class to read there.. well dis book is a non-fiction one n is very interseting.. as usual i was deeply immersed in the book wen CBR saw me.. he shouted at me.. he became 'the fast and the furious'.. no one (even myself) saw him gettin angry to dat level in the last 7 sems.. (might be its my day).. after makin a note of my roll num he shouted at me to bring my father (Dis is really funny!! he has the student himself in front of him with whom he can do nything n hez askin for his father.. thinks we r school pupils to get afraid of dat).. finally he took the book n threw me out of the seminar hall..

Durin the tea break, i thought to butter him n went to him.. he was in the seminar hall n the rest of class except for a few were havin tea outside the hall.. our exact conversation..

Me: Sir, I am really sorry for wat happened but i was preparin for my seminar topic..
(He gave me a look of surprise)
Me: The book has a topic on black holes sir n i am readin it..
CBR: Wats ur seminar topic? (He thought dat was the question to check if i was butterin him or not.. well dat was an obvious ques to expect.. isnt it)
Me: Region detectors for image analysis sir.. particularly space applications.. i was readin this book for detection of black holes from the photographs of galaxies..
(Well there was sense is dat answer.. but ne one who had some idea on black holes might detect the missing threads in the ans.. ne way i had confidence on the talent of CBR n took a shot)
CBR: (pleased) but u shudnt read it in the class na.. plz sit in the class n follow the seminars..

Wat did jus happen?? Watz dat "plz"?? dats wasnt my talent exactly.. it was CBRs 'talent'.. we all have always 'heard" of his talent but never "realized" it..

since everyone in the class dint watch dis live n exclusive, dey were surprised to see me in the hall after tea break (may be dey thot i ll get my slash from him).. n later many asked me wat happened n found out dat instead i got a pat on my back

I ll tell u how the seminars were conducted by K.V.Sridhar in my next post

With Sridhar, the seminars were like "Reality Talent Shows".. along with another judge... (details in next post)

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Thursday, June 18

The "Script" that was well scripted but never screened

Cheers to Sarath Teja Somina.. whoz in the exact middle of success n failure.. (dis may not be kiddin).. opening the second post wid the closin lines of my prev post reminds me of the short film script we developed last sem (its an original one.. not some lift-off like our "nandi" telugu films)

Springspree '09.. i cant exactly recall this year's caption.. but wen i was in second year it was "Rendezvous with Nirvana" (i want to know who coined dis one.. may be he/she is a lover of mafia films.. wazup with this 'rendezvous'.. cant dey find another cool word??)..
Yeah.. i remember now.. it was simply sort of "The golden jubilee Springspree.. Return to innocence"..

Well why i drifted off to springspree was dat for a short movie screenin competition last sem in springspree we made dat script.. well we had our bounds for makin dis.. the concept needs to be child labor (wait.. wait.. dis is not a docu type or a senti type the one we made!!).. n another thing is dat people shud be able to watch it.. its shudn't be like a preachin dat we see daily at 6 AM in our idiot box.. (well i think the person who referred the TV as an 'idiot box' watched it at 6 AM n coined the name)..

So we made a script with 2 tracks going parallel in the movie.. in the middle of the movie ther ll be a discussion/debate on child labor (thnx to "Doubt boy" for his involvement in the debate part of da movie.. the points r really fresh n i havent seen a discussion on dis side of child labor).. the script came out really well n even we finished the casting (hee hee.. the cast members were our classmates.. but the real 'screen actress' of our class wasn't involved).. well we couldn't shoot the film coz.. hee hee i m embarrassed to say dis.. coz.. WE COULDN'T GET A GOOD RESOLUTION VIDEO CAMERA (now dont laugh at us.. like everyone in our class.. prove dat u r different from the typical human being)

I recall a joke from Russell Peter's comedy.. he tells abt the cheapness of Indians n how the number '0' (zero) was invented.. well the joke is good wen it is performed

An Indian goes to a shop n sees the prices list consisting of 1,2,3... 9
Indian: (Gettin surprised) "There isnt one price I wanna pay"
He writes a big '0' on the prices list
Another guy: "Wats dat?"
Indian: (shakin his hand) "Nothing"
Another guy: "Wat is its value?"
Indian: (shakin his hand) "Nothin" ( he starts to cry n wipes his eyes) "But it is beautiful"

The conversation between the script writers n the rest of our class was the same except for the first 3 lines..

Yes.. It is beautiful.. (not the zero stupid.. our script)

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Wednesday, June 17

Return of the King on his B'day

Ahh... finally exams were finished.. well dat was 50 days back.. celebratin the 50th day of my completion of graduation... the coinicidence.. TODAY IS MY B'DAY!!! To be honest... I almost forgot dis blog until I saw one of my fren's blog n thought to revive my blog.. u can think it as my bday resolution to update the blog daily..

I got my provisional certificate (I need to call it a "certificate" even though it was a print out from computer.. zero cheers to the recession in NITW!!) some 1 month back.. I am seeing it daily to remind myself I finished my graduation (jus kiddin).. none of my frens is here.. at rjy.. all got regrets from the cos they were placed in.. some went for gate, cat (watever) coachin.. n some r in the Silicon city n Biryani city searchin for jobs.. only I am left here in the Godavari city..

Yeaterday it was 46.5 C here (not kiddin.. i m dam serious) we all r literally gettin baked here (dis is definitely kiddin).. k... k.. figuratively we r like tandoori human roast.. (for all the cannibals over dere.. welcome to rjy.. food is really famous here).. today i dunno wat was the temp.. but hotter dan yesterday..

Finally I m signin off for today with a toast for myself!! (wat to do? no frens here to have a bday party)... Cheers to Sarath Teja Somina.. whoz in the exact middle of success n failure.. (dis may not be kiddin)

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