Sunday, May 7, 2017

New Life - New Role

According to Vedas and Puranas, a Jeeva or Soul is born through below process:

First the Jeeva - who is "anaadinitya" (eternal) - descends from worlds above to Earth and is seeded in clouds. Through rain, that jeeva descends to soil on earth and is consumed by plants. Thus, jeeva sits in plants until it is consumed by the father directly or indirectly through food. Only in males, will this jeeva transform from food to semen and float around. It is then transferred to mother's womb where it is nourished for 9 months and is born in this physical world.

To a certain extent this sounds so true. Actual semen in men is made up of water, proteins, fructose and sperm cells. Mostly, it contains fluids that are synthesized from food. Sperm cells are also impacted by what a man eats to a great extent. Now that much is clear. Whether the sperm cells or jeevanu transcend from heavenly worlds to food or not, is a matter of personal belief. I am not neglecting the fusion with egg and how vital egg produced by mother is to creation of life. In fact, scientifically it is impossible for man to produce any life on his own but a woman can! (Parthenogenesis) Although it rarely ever occurs in nature. I mean seriously rarely! Like just one partial recorded case in all human history.

Why is this coming all out of the blue?

Let me explain. I always found the process of birth fascinating! In all its grandeur it is a perfectly well-oiled mechanism that creates "something" with life. Nobody or nothing else can do this. I mean nobody can create life. That has to happen by itself. It is a blackbox for us! All we can do is to make sure a sperm and egg unite and watch the show reveal itself. Of course, I am talking about a human child-birth specifically as I know there are organisms that reproduce asexually. As we have come to understand the basic concept of reproduction is very simple. But in complex multi-cellular mammals like humans the process has zillions of combinations possible, only thinking about which exhausts my mind. And yet we see the impeccable accuracy with which life repeats itself producing unique beings every single time!! Think about it! It is mind-boggling.

When I became a proud father a month ago and took my boy in my lap for the first time, I just kept staring at him. Here he was: New Life! Of course my joy was limitless but my awe was transcending it by a fair margin. It is truly a novel experience to realize you have created a piece of yourself on this Earth. It is something that no other life experience can substitute.

I bowed down to God - for I believe no matter what we try, we will never be able to create something so genuine by ourselves.

Keep commenting!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Would you like to live in a future created by humans? - Part Two

Approximately three fortnights ago, we parted with a question - 


Would you be proud to be part of such a future? I would love to know. At least, I wouldn't. Why? - That's for the next blog post.

As promised, here is my opinion:

I would not like to live in a future that's lost human touch. Honestly, can anyone imagine a life without human touch? What is life anyway?

Recently, my brother graduated from Medicine and is now a Doctor. I am darn proud of that. More so are our parents. On the occasion of graduation ceremony there was a provision to share thoughts and feelings for parents and siblings of graduating doctors. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of time I could not share what I wanted to. But it is no less relevant to this post. I didn't really prepare it. But quintessentially, here is what I wanted to say:

Life. It is everything isn't it? The sum total of all human progress can only be attributed directly the improving quality of life over the past century. Nobody remembers the name of a doctor who might have treated great minds like that of Newton, Einstein or Turing when they might have caught a disease that - if unattended - would have stopped them from pursuing their quests. What worth would they be without their health? I often wonder, what Niels Henrik Abel and William Kingdon Clifford would have accomplished had they not succumbed to TB? What marvels of mathematics could Srinivasan Ramanujam discovered had he not been hit by Hepatic Amoebasis? Heinrich Hertz - died of Granulomatosis - would have positively accelerated our understanding of physics. It's not only about scientists but prevalent everywhere. Ada Lovelace - first programmer - died at a young age of 36 of cancer. Nicolas LĂ©onard Sadi Carnot - of the famous Carnot engine - also died at 36 of cholera. I could go on.

And look at the brighter side - Stephen Hawking! With early onset of ALS he was given a life expectancy of approximately 23 years! He had not even begun his great explorations into the origin of the Universe then! But there came a 'comma', where doctors predicted a 'period'. With an undaunting spirit and excellent quality of healthcare Stephen Hawking went onto to become the greatest minds since Albert Einstein.

What is fundamental to all this? Life. Living. If you live, you can do something. Not everyone needs to have an exceptional life like all the people I talked of above. Every life counts. It contributes in someway. And doctors are entrusted with just that - the responsibility to sustain life.

Now back to our question - What human touch does is simple: it proves that no life is perfect. That, the very concept of perfection is a mirage always meant to be chased. The imperfection that is a product of humans, has accomplished great things! The very same imperfection lets us enjoy the light that kills the darkness. I often think: What would I do in a perfect world? No quest. No journey.

No thanks! I wouldn't want to be part of it.

Enjoy life! Keep commenting.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Would you like to live in a future created by humans? - Part One

Hello Folks,

My mother had came over to my home recently and it was one of the occasions we talk about our life as it was in good old days. When we step out of our lives occasionally and look at it, it zips past us! It seems the days and the night are moving so fast more than ever! Our work week is so well-defined and our weekends are also programmed to a great extent. We have lost spontaneity and in fact we think an undeclared visit by a relative or friend is a show of indiscipline and insensitivity. Well, at least most of us do or most of the time I have experienced it. I don't know if it's good or bad; that will come later. But look at what's governing us. All that technological revolution was to save our time, so that we can invest in something more creative and worthwhile. Have we?

It is true to a great extent. The pace of innovation and inventions in the nineteenth century was faster than ever before. Today, we are creating and consuming these inventions at the same time. We have gained everything. The only thing we have lost is human touch.

May be we don't care about it anymore. May be that is the way forward. We will be self-dependent to the extent that we wouldn't need human contact at all. What will such a future be like? No one talks with each other. We would have artificial robots customized to our behavior and tuned to respond in appropriate manner by reading our moods and expectations. No helps each other. There will be an emergency and SoS button on all devices and automated signalling and smart bots will ensure law and order. I am not afraid of this scenario at all. Perhaps it is for good. The reason for that, is we as a society have become undependable. "Human touch was a strong force at some point in time.", the history writers will write in future. "Then, it became the root of all problems. Technology replaced it and humans soon became obsolete as a species". We won't be needed. The robots will have everything we have, minus the problems created by the genuine imperfection that's our signature. 

May be it is for good, who knows. One day we will see. Perhaps technology and automation will solve most of our dire problems. But will they introduce new ones?

Who longs for human touch now? What is it anyways? Nowadays if there is a something that you want to talk about - especially on the internet - you need to attach a wikipedia reference to it. Everything is expected to be clearly defined. In some contexts this expectation makes perfect sense. In others, it is absent. But can we define what is a human touch? I can't. Experience is holistic and cannot be framed in some equation. Even if we create bots that, attempt to do that, the very notion that we know the genesis of experience or idea renders it in-genuine or inhuman. Perhaps this is how the world will evolve and species go extinct. We can say that the difference is that, the nature kills some and to some others (like us) - it only provides the capability to self-destruct.

So imagine a world that is perfect! No problems in any country at all! Or even better there is no one country at all. All the world is one place, one home. We have fine-tuned everything. Even ourselves. Our emotional responses are classified and categorized. No surprises. No regrets. Picture perfect.

Would you be proud to be part of such a future? I would love to know. At least, I wouldn't. Why? - That's for the next blog post.

Keep commenting!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Parents - We owe them

Hello Folks,

Today I want to talk about our parents. I recently met a lot of parents as part of one of the programs in the school that I volunteer at. This evoked a lot of thoughts in me about parents and parenting.

We think of our parents from various perspectives during various phases in our lives. Up until we reach the age of maturity - whenever that is - they are our idols. Our understanding is mostly shaped by them and their behavior. Our idea of right or wrong is shaped by their words regarding the same. And this generally is the happiest time of our life.

Maturity is a controversial subject. It is not simple knowledge gain over others. It is holistic. Every generation cannot compare the generation before itself and the one to come in terms of how mature they are. Circumstances differ wildly, especially in the times we live in. When you think about it deeply you realize that people are a product of the environment they grew in and their social conditioning at that time. There is nothing right or wrong about someone's behavior. Everyone is what they are as a result of their social conditioning and the environment they grew in. Parents are not an exception.

But we don't see our parents like this up until very late in our life. There will be a moment of realization in everyone's life where it hits them in their head to see their parents as mere people - normal people - like us who evolved through a set of circumstances and did the best for us. I mean the best. Sometimes we don't understand them correctly enough because we don't understand their social conditioning. Frankly, it is a very painful and laborious process. So no one takes the trouble of understanding where our parents' each behavioral aspect came from. But they deserve it. They deserve it because they did what normal humans should not have done according to evolutionary paradigm. They put our lives ahead of theirs and that's not trivial especially when they were in thick of action. They were soldiers, teachers and doctors for us.

All the people you meet in your life always have an agenda to your well-being. Your boss wants you to be well otherwise it affects his team goals of productivity. Your friends want you to be well because of some reason such as you're funny or you have lots of money etc. Your colleagues, relatives no matter how close they are all want you to be well because there is a certain aspect of you that they like and they want you because of that. Not your parents. You parents want you to be well, because they want you to be well. At least the parents that I have seen are like so. I can't dispute an opinion that there may be "bad" parents. But they are an exception to an otherwise highly prevalent rule.

I have seen many people get angry at their parents for some flimsy reason and hurt them. There is nothing that cannot be solved by talking through and those who are too weak to talk, use anger. In my opinion, anger against your parents - both father and mother - is a felony. No matter how "wrong" they are, they always have your best interest at heart and no matter what's the problem, it can be sorted out by just talking about it in a smooth, non-agitated way. I have employed this in my life and I dare say it works.

Lastly, I wanted to say this: Someday, all of us will become parents or rather should become parents. You will then realize what is it that your parents went through to make you what you are. Perhaps, they made mistakes. But when you become a parent try and see if you can raise your child without any mistakes? If you can, call me. I will take down this article and my blog with it.

Thank you Appa and Amma!!
Keep commenting!

- Badari.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Blood Boils!

Blood boils!

Blood boils when people - if you can call them that - rest in the cushions of safety and security and rant about philosophical shit, speculative arguments or what if scenarios out of their wild, wicked and completely selfish selves!

I am a sensitive person. But not emotional. Yet, even I had tears come to my eyes when I saw the news today. I asked myself how can someone doubt our army? Had these people just uttered "tava shubha name jaage" and not really realized what it meant? Have these people no patriotism? Love for the country!? That which unites us despite all our diversity! That to which we are eternally bound and call our "Mother"! 

Blood boils!

Blood boils when people say that artists or others who are in a defunct sense not "common" are entitled to a view that their countrymen don't share. A view that no patriotic Indian would share. I don't care shit about a movie if they don't care about my country. Anybody want to call that narrow, be my guest.

Blood really boils!

People like the Delhi Chief Minister, Om Puri, Sanjay Nirupam, The Congress, P. Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh and others who I don't know yet make me think what stuff are they made of? What's clear to me, is that these very people will laugh at me if I ask them to call my country, my "Mother"! Privately, if not publicly.

I will not apologize to the great parents and relatives of the martyrs for I am not one of those people who brought shame by doubting my army. I am eternally indebted to the army; to my soldier brothers who responsibly guard our borders while we plan our days and nights. I only wish I was as brave as they are! So, I want to tell them that we are here for you! Whomever you leave behind - and I hope you don't - we will take care of them. We want you to have a better life than we do for what you are doing cannot be compared to what we do. Ignore these people who embarrass you. We are there. 

Blood boils!

When I see us - fellow Indian - take sides on everything. Matters of National interest and National security are not an exception. Why? I am proud of being an Indian and I don't want to take any side because I don't think there is another side than being proud of our army and our motherland!


"Janani Janma Bhoomischa Swargadapi Gareeyasi"

Jai Hind!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nationalism

Hello Folks!

There is big debate about nationalism in our country nowadays. I had refrained from writing anything on it because I thought that the whole debate is an invented one. However, there is a need to come clear and ensure sanctity of the idea.

Nationalism is pretty simple: You love your nation. There are no shades to it as people have been discussing recently. I read The Hindu newspaper and usually I find two articles on nationalism nowadays on an average every week. They are full page opinion posts. Most articles come from professors of JNU and are always similar in tone and tenor. Those articles always talk about hyper-nationalism. That I find very irritating. Because the way hyper-nationalism is defined is from the actions of those who do something in the name of nationalism that is "extreme" in the author's sense of understanding. That's a lot of assumptions! First of all, what a person does in the name of nationalism talks more about the person than about nationalism. It would be preposterous to conclude a person's actions as being stemming from the very concept itself. Secondly, the sample size is too small. In a country of over billion people if some thousands talk of extreme nationalism (if there is such a thing!), it is not proof enough that such an extreme nationalism exists.

It's a definition problem. It is also very difficult to solve. You see if you're selling potatoes to me and I am buying them, we can talk about the cost and bargain once we both agree that they are potatoes. If, however, I challenge your definition of potatoes then, we will enter into an endless debate of what exactly should be called a potato. That sort of discussion has the potential for being inconclusive and that's why television news debates rake them up.

Nationalism's definition is more easily comprehensible if you experience it. Today is our 70th independence day. Today, when we sing our national anthem or Vande Maataram or Saare jahan se accha  and see the tricolor fly high, we know what nationalism is. When we hear about our great soldiers and the way they save us and our country's sovereignty by constantly fighting against enemies, we know what nationalism is. Doubting its definition is the luxury of those who have a lot of time and motivation to over-think and none to internalize and experience.

Finally, nationalism encompasses humanism. It is absurd to even think of being or not being a nationalist without being human first. If someone acts extreme or against humanity it is because they are not human; it has got nothing to do with nationalism.

Jai Hind!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Is blogging about life on a Sunday necessary?

I will take you to the answer. But the genesis of the answer is more important than the answer itself. So please, read on.

After I came to realize the true potential of human worth, I felt aghast about people and organizations that manipulated humans to gain some short-term benefit. Livelihood, I can understand. Sometimes life makes you do things you don't really believe in doing and not a lot of people are exception to that. But what is happening now is not some people working to sustain their life and inadvertently manipulating others. Deceit has become an industry. Specifically in two major fields: Education and Entertainment.

Education

The other day when I was passing by a road in Bangalore, I saw a board on a complex - "Complete Childhood Solutions". What does that even mean? What solutions are being offered during childhood? This is the most filthy industry, I think. When my cousin went to a prospective school to get his son's admission form - which costs 200/ regardless of admission confirmation - he was told that there would be an interview. Seriously!? An interview? For two year old? My cousin obviously asked as to what is the objective of this interview and he was told, "to assess the accomplishments of the child". I was at a loss on my response. I did not whether to laugh or to feel disgusted. What could possibly a two year old accomplish? Heck, the two year olds don't even know the spelling of accomplishment and most adults cannot spell it correctly either without support from spellcheck. Schools like the ones that my cousin went to create a placeholder where "Childhood Solutions" come into picture.

Entertainment

You can clearly notice this element being so highly abused. The problem with entertainment is that it has no limits. It is most direct form of luxury and luxury has no limit. Most - if not all - advertisement philosophies are based on one single paradigm - Be more. Do more. Deserve more. Own more. You see, after all you are an awesome creation and you deserve more than you think. Notice how innately there is a paradigm of high ambition here. This ambition transcends when you reach it. You keep spending on this and the avenues for this are virtually limitless. Travel, Food, Outings, Resorts, Picnics, Pubs, Restaurants, Movies, Drinks, Comfort and so on. There is no end. In the end, you always deserve more. A decade ago there was always a question of affordability. Now, it is seen as an insult. Limits are only in human mind. True. But there is a fine line between self-transcendence and greed. Being more is not the same as owning more. Somewhere down the line we got them confused.

To be truthful, we are the first culprit in all of this. Standard of living. We have abused it so much that we have created a society that believes in insane stuff offhand. Self-ratified procedures and manners taken off from the internet insensitive to the context of our lives and the society that we live in. This problem was augmented by us not identifying and understanding our time-tested cultural principles. The chineese have a proverb roughly translated to - "He who gets up before the sun rises and works till he sets will not fail to make his family rich in one year". No matter what they did they stuck to their native principles that were time-tested. Their implementation of work might have got upgraded with the latest of technology but their guiding light has remained the same.

What happened to us? We had everything. We respected women. We had the greatest universities in the World. We produced Kalidasa, Banabhatta, Bendre, Rabindranath Tagore and so many other greats that the list isn't comprehensive if it goes on with thousands. Since when did Childhood Solutions became a necessity? Since when did we forget that the real happiness is in sharing and not in wealth accumulation? Since when did we run short of great treatise and different art forms and are reduced to consume anything that a bunch of rich illiterates throw at us in the form of blockbusters? Where did our depth go?

When exactly did we loose sight of our guiding principles?

I am not sure. But we have. We are marching ahead without knowing where this mechanization and consumerism would take us. That is why I always make it a point. To stop and think about how life is going. It' a cumbersome exercise when you compare it to watching movies. But it yields results that have a resounding impact on your life. I ask all people whenever and wherever I meet them - to pause and think about any materialistic celebration they are having. To see really how this idea of owning more is culminating in selfishness.

That's also the reason why I write a blog on Sunday afternoon when I could have done anything! It's another great way of introspecting your life. It's called "Simhavalokanam"

To all those who take the trouble of reading this far - I would like to thank you and would encourage you to please go through the video below in its full. I am sure you won't be disappointed. It would help you realize - if you haven't so far - that my concerns are not unrealistic.

Sir Ken Robinson's talk on how schools kill creativity:

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?language=en

Sir Ken Robinson's talk on learning revolution:

https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution?language=en