23 June 2009

Fun of Breaking

I have to start with a bit of rant. I don’t like the smell of cigarette / tobacco on my clothes. The ban on smoking inside buildings just didn’t work out and people are smoking in buildings.

I don’t smoke, but I don’t have a big problem if there is some smell of cigarette in the air.

But it gets on to your clothes. Now, tonight, my pullover, T-shirt and even my vest stinks of it.

The very same thing happened 12 days ago as well. That time I was in a car.

And if I didn’t mention it earlier, I hate it when parents of small kids smoke. There was a mom who made me really angry by smoking when she had her kid in her hand.

Now to the topic: A couple of months ago, I took an old cup and decided that it was time for it to be broken. I held it up in the air, in very strategic position and dropped it. It just broke into a million little pieces. And from my habit of breaking glasses/cups/etc., I had learned to enjoy the sight!

On Saturday, I took the nice place which I had, which had a small 3mm diameter discoloration on one edge. I just wanted to see if I was strong enough to break it by bending. Yes, I was! And I just broke a plate.

(what is with me and breaking porcelain stuff?)

Signing off,

PS: I am sleepy and there could be many mistakes in the post. No proof reading.

16 June 2009

Without Ceremony


I am perhaps a man of very less original ideas, perhaps no original ideas at all. But as I have written earlier, ideas are somethings which very much attract me. Despite the fact that I am a bit stubborn and resist changes (like others), I am open to new ideas and in fact would embrace them the very moment I am convinced.

It is easy to influence me if you start with some fact/logic based argument and do it irrefutably.

Of course it would take a while before my disposition would be changed. (Let’s call it muscular memory or habit or addiction or anything – which needs constant and consistent care to get accustomed to the new idea)

The Matter

It seems to me that, during my battle against theism, I had bought too much stock on ‘evolution’, that I had started confusing ‘codes of evolution’ and ‘codes of morality’.

No one needs an explanation about why sexism and racism are bad. Aren’t the gender inequality and racist thoughts the products of evolution? Does that make them moral? I don’t think so.

I know/knew that everything which is a product of evolution is not necessarily good. But I found it hard to find the trade-off between moral values and the system on which it applies – both being the products of the same process.

Finally, I have figured out that the same values which say sexism and racism are bad, are telling that speciesism is bad too. Shouldn’t all species be considered equal if we say all humans be considered equal, despite their inequalities? I guess yes.

(Hard to explain in simple words here, but you do get the gist. Don’t you?)

My first thought about ‘speciesism’ was while reading the selfish gene. I hadn’t taken it so seriously. And I had be fluctuating between the moral values based on logic and actions based on utilitarianism for quite some time. Finally I got some ‘food for thought’ which nailed down the confusion.

As a result, I have come to accept that “all animals are to be considered equal”. To be considered equal doesn’t want dogs be given voting rights, or cows be given education. It is mainly about avoiding unnecessarily induced pain. A long discussion is not in the scope of this entry.

From “all Indians are my brothers and sisters”, I was educated to the single world concept – by my dad and my Malayalam teacher of 7th grade. Now after a long time, I just decided to widen my view of world. Simple!

So, what is my point?

My point is that I have become a vegetarian. (Technically, a Lacto-ovo-vegetarian : who eats no flesh, but consumes dairy and egg products).

It is regrettable that it took me so long to even start thinking in this direction. But again it is good that it is never too late.

Thanks to the ones helped me. Thanks to all the food for thought. Thanks to the milestones which showed the way for my train of thoughts.

Signing off, Sands.

7 June 2009

Roots, Burning Ship and a Classic.

I wasn’t reading any book for the past few weeks. I cannot pinpoint and say why, but for various reasons. Perhaps I had been reading one or two small things in blogs or Wikipedia, to keep myself updated with some stuff. Anyway, after having not read any book for a couple of weeks, I wasn’t feeling good.

And I picked up that Malayalam book which I had wanted to read but never managed to – “Verukal” (means Roots). It was read totally in a journey (half in train and the rest in a car).

There wasn’t anything which I didn’t/couldn’t expect in that book. Even the final decision of the protagonist was so obvious. Still it made a very good read – with a bit of comedy here and there; also striking the chords of some serious emotions; and of course the strengths and weaknesses of relationships. And anyway, I like his books (Except for a single one I couldn’t stand for more than 25 pages)P1000788

And then it was my attempt to finish “Predictably irrational” – of course a good book, in the similar lines of Freakonomics. And that is the very vice of it. So many case studies and examples and anecdotes and etc. etc. Pretty good, but sometimes a bit like beating around the bush.

Haven’t you had the feeling in classes that, even after you have totally understood the point, the lecturer/teacher would go on explaining it for the benefit of others and then you lose the connection and get lost in something else (eg. doodling). That is what is happening with this book. 

(The simile in the above paragraph is actually my ORIGINAL idea from years ago, even though I heard the very same ‘lecturer-beats-around-the-bush, I-get-bored’ thing from one of my readers recently and smiled – about similarity of thoughts.)

And I am still at page 125.

Finally, I picked “The Great Gatsby” yesterday and finished it. Even though I cannot put it in the group of my top books, I say I liked it. There is something which I want to put here for the benefit of my readers. (One could totally avoid to read the excerpts. But they are very good).

"He smiled understandingly--much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

I very much liked this very passage. Another small thing I very much loved was this:

Everyone suspects himself/herself* of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people I know.

Later in the book, the following conversation makes the above mentioned sentence more beautiful.

She: I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride.

He: I’m thirty, I am five years too old to lie to myself and call it an honour.

Well, I am twenty seven; two years too old to lie to myself and call it an honour. :)

So, that’s all for today’s post. The burning ship would take a whole post and wait for that one. :)

Signing off, Sands.

* : Added herself for political correctness and for clarity! :)

4 June 2009

Geek Week

Since the last post, I wanted to update the blog with new entries and always had topics in mind, but never had enough time.

Once when I had time (waiting for the train), I even wrote down a post, but it was a bit too personal to publish.

And, now, when I finally have some time, I am confused with topics. :)

“Life if beautiful”, “The art of saying NO”, etc. are the topics I have in mind. But none goes well with my mood (sleepy after a less slept night; and after a heavy lunch) ;)

So, here comes a simple picture post. The ones who know about my love for keyboards and prime numbers shouldn’t be surprised.

I had been yearning to have a keyboard with no keys printed on it. Finally, I had to get to it by painting the keys myself. Pluck-the-keys, sand-paper-the-keys, spray-paint-the-keys and finally put them back and look at the beautiful, sexy keyboard and smile. And let the satisfaction flow out your mind.

P1000785P1000786 P1000784

As icing to the cake; as the cherry in the fruit-salad; as the topping of a pizza, I had the extra satisfaction when another keyboard too did go through the same, because of my influence.

Well, the influence took a 180 degree turn, and I found myself printing Malayalam tongue twister on my newly bought white canvas shoes. I had no white shoes, after listening to that little story of a man who wore white shoes, which my dad said long time ago. I never had a pair of canvas shoes after school.

The idea of having something written on the shoes was kind of novel to me. After thinking for a long time, as to what to write on the shoes (other than tongue twisters), prime numbers looked like very good candidates to me. So, now I can tell you random prime numbers even if I am in the middle of a street.


To make things interesting, there are 3-4 non-primes on the shoes and the ones who find them get a drink from me. :)

Signing off, Sands.