Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Koffee Dabba

Students are often enthused by the word "holiday" no matter what they are studying , nor what age group they belong to. But such joys come rarely when one is into a course called "B.Tech". Here the greatest joys are derived when one hears the word "class canceled." Such an occasion presented itself during the third hour of the morning session on a gloomy Wednesday. None of us were in a mood to go back to the rooms, as we had a class at 11.00am.

"Let's go out and eat something"  , said our KantryPande.

We acquiesced to this order rather reluctantly. Our lazy bums took about fifteen minutes to raise from the benches. As we reached the main door of the "Mech-Mall" we had to face the perennial confusion that every man has faced.

"Left or Right?"(Left would take us to the Fresh & Honest coffee dabba and right to the Nandini Milk Parlour)

The group understood that it had an hour to kill. So, we trudged slowly towards the Koffee Dabba.This was my first visit to this much talked about place. I was still wondering about the joys of "bird-watching" while sipping a strong coffee during the busier hours of the day.

I've wondered what earthly troubles mankind suffers from on a daily basis, and why people have to deliver  this endless harangue over a coffee. Some marketing genius figured out a way to coerce people to drink coffee over a conversation and developed the phrase "A lot can happen over coffee" .
 This phrase has instilled boundless optimism among the boys , who think that they can win a girl over a coffee conversation. Nevertheless, the coffee addicted  knows that such myths conveniently serve their own well-being.

Coming back to the topic of this post, I must confess that this particular coffee dabba is one of the few strategically placed coffee shops in the history of mankind. I regretted my inability to reap the advantages of this place as I witnessed the most boring conversation in such an interesting place in the campus.



Our Gunda confirmed his love for mechanical engineering when he declared that he drank " screw-driver " to celebrate his research paper presentation at IISc. Jain macchi was quick to notice this fact and laughed to his heart content over thin IJ (Intellectual Joke). People then started to talk about "Passport Blues" and various methods to get the same. KantryPande kept on laughing throughout the outing (without reason) while the "Suri & Shanda" duo were busy with their marital discord all the time. I managed to remain as the mute spectator to these gory happenings and consoled myself that I too can have a coffee with a more "interesting" company sometime during my NITK life.

 Nobody can recall the exact course of a random conversation. Just like all the mortals , I fall into the same category called "nobody". I conclude by informing the reader that "A lot of things" have happened over a coffee near this coffee dabba, and a lot of "things" will keep happening throughout the history of NITK.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Farewell



The classroom had been converted into a nostalgic party room. The tables and chairs were conveniently set aside against the colourfull walls. The books and pens were replaced with plates and spoons. The teachers stood back and smiled at their kids. It must’ve been a proud sight. They had spent countless hours with them. They knew that it was their “contribution” to society. All of them huddled into one inseparable family.

The blackboard was now converted into a mere background. They put on a big smile for the camera while cutting the cake. The good looking smiling faces were in the front. The class clown decided to stuff his classmate's mouth with the cake, much to the joy of the rest of the group

Two indifferent and arrogant kids were standing at the back, leaning against the board, searching for a reason to feel happy and trying hard to look normal. It was difficult to dig down the magazine of feelings and pull out an appropriate mask to wear. It was not easy to say that 10 years of schooling had taken us too far away from having an independent opinion about the world. Now that all were too confused and lost, the only alternative was to smile and accept a shiny well-laid path to “success.”
The bunch of kids who were a year away from a similar fate were the ones hosting the farewell party. A familiar face requested the two idiots to come to the front in vain.

The juggernaut was then led to the open stage where more things were about to happen. Humorous plays, a Bharatanatyam performance, a poem about the outgoing batch of pupils and other ingredients of entertainment were put across in an organised way. The female individuals of all age groups made sure that they were in their best outfits/appearances. There were smiles all around. The whole place was drowning in unfounded gratitude. The seemingly unstoppable era of entertainment was destined to end in a peak.

The two bastards who decorated the last row threw their backs on the ground and watched the countless stars. It was their ultimate source of excitement. Swift orders from the top rung made sure that these two buggers fell back in line again. Bollywood music and dance was the essential spice of the evening. It was now "perfect".
Rasgulla, ice-cream, tasty north- Indian dishes were finished in a hurry. It was 10.30 pm. The kids had to reach home. It was all over.

For the two bastards it was just the beginning. The final journey back home was the only meaningful one.

Attempts to unravel the meaning of all the journeys we had made to this place in one final journey were not made. In fact it was not advisable. The conversations were brimming with memories. It had to be extended and pulled as hard as possible to extract a fine farewell conversation. The souvenirs had to be treasured. The photos framed and hung in an elegant showcase. Yes, the purpose of it all had to be erased, stamped and buried.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Last Club Interview



I was a second semester student at National Institute of Technology Karnataka just an year and a half ago. I would've almost forgotten about this if I had postponed the birth of this post. Yeah I'm talking about the club recruitment s at NITK( National Institute of Technology Karnataka)'s elusive clubs. There a dozen clubs at my college I guess (Robotics, Chess, CSI, IEEE, Music, Films, etc). One of them turns out to be the stargazing club (better known as the SGC). As many of you have already guessed this post would never have been written if I had made it to the club. But I consider you as a wise person if you've realised that I had an experience too.

There was this huge crowd gathered in the MSH (Main Seminar Hall) that evening. All of them were chit-chatting about random stuff. The boys wanted to see the girls.. And the girls wanted to be seen. And it was just another excuse to come out of the rooms in a cool outfit and find some purpose for still hanging around in NITK campus. I don't remember who was sitting beside me. Neither did I care about who sat behind me. My mind was filled with school memories coupled with vague sounds about club recruitment process.

 I considered myself a novice as far as Astronomy was concerned.
I thought, "Hey I can get into this stuff. Let me try."
Stargazing was not totally new to me. We had star gazing nights at our school during winter.
 We would stay up all night and watch the movement of various constellations (like Gemini, Orion's Belt,etc)  as the night passed. We tried hard not to sleep and wandered in the campus packed in monkey caps and full-sleeved woollen sweaters. I loved that stuff thoroughly. Surprisingly the resource person was the guy whom I used to teach Sanskrit in the Sanskrit classes (I’ve Forgotten the name of that course). I was his favourite guy during star gazing nights. All such memories started to flood my mind and that distracted me from checking out the girls in MSH. Suddenly I recalled that I was in NITK. The standards must be much higher, I thought. So you may now understand why I called myself a novice.

There was a recruitment test and I kind of passed. There was an interview. I went there on time with my friend (as if it was a job interview). I had read up some Wikipedia articles though I frequently veered off to Facebook. After thirty minutes of waiting I was called in. I was a baccha (or a kid). I had never realised that 30 minutes late was not an exception but a standard at NITK. They asked me about my interests, some cool questions about astronomy. They enquired whether I had read Stephen Hawking (my reply was no). They also asked whether I had a blog.
I didn't even know what a blog was!
"Sorry, come again", was my reply.
Somehow I had convinced them that I had some interest in SGC and astronomy. I googled the word "blog" as soon as I returned to my room that day!





Then came the second and final round of interview. I did some more reading for that. I was fidgeting while I was standing outside the interview room. There were five people sitting. Two of them were girls. They didn't look as friendly as the seniors I had met in first round. Their questions were like bouncers, in-swingers, reverse swing deliveries, doosras, teesras, googlies and finally I was clean bowled ( the center stump of my pride was pulled out of the ground ). I threw a stone at the moon as I walked back to my room. I knew so less.

That summer (during vacations), I read Carl Sagn's "Cosmos" ; Hawking's "A brief History of Time" , Feynman's "QED:A Strange Theory of  Light and Matter ."I started this blog (Just to know what a blog is). I did a lot of writing .Finally I felt, that single bad evening did so much good to me. Of course that was the last club interview I ever attended at NITK.



The Third Hand


The theory of evolution by natural selection was proposed by Charles Darwin. The man abandoned his medical education to find out  about the origin of life.
His efforts didn't go down the  drain. The Athiests had found something to CLING on to. The religious authorities had found something to ATTACK .

Darwin gave them an excuse to strike a apparently scientific & logical argument. The common man was confused . People were forced  to think that God only knew about his existence!
Both camps succeeded in reaching the dead end (which seems to be so convenient). So, it stays that way.

I would prefer to come back to the central issue of this writeup at this point.
Imagine a day when humans start growing a third hand. Why would anyone try to imagine such a wacky situation ? Some would say -"Its like fixing a third wheel to a motorcycle." Others label the thought as CRAP.
But you  & i are ready to evolve . At least people in my hometown Tumkur need a third hand to defend themselves from the mosquitoes! Many residents from Tumkur would agree with me.
How could people use the third hand?

.Let me save your time. I'll put down few possible things you could do with a third hand.
1. You can sip coffee while you are busy typing  or reading a newspaper (with both your hands).
2. You can text your boss while you are dancing with your partner.
3. You can pay the bartender or a cashier of self -service hotel when your both hands are busy.
4. The soldiers can carry an extra weapon.
5. The children can do more homework!
6. You can hitchhike while carrying luggage with both your hands.
7. Spies can shoot at their rivals without loosing control of their cars.
8. Pilots can operate all those  hundreds of buttons faster.
9.The bank personnel could count money as they enter data into the computer.

I  could just go on. If u can think of other  uses please put it as comment.
Yes. Two hand are not enough. The time has arrived for us to have a third hand.
Evolution must force humans to grow a third hand .

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The World Is a Colorful Shadow




Everybody would remember the good old days when we used to play with shadows on the wall during a power cut. We as kids used to create images of dogs, deer, birds and camels on the wall using our hands. .




I've always been amazed by shadows. The tall shadows on the road made me feel proud. I would try to re-position myself to make it look bigger. That's what people do isn't it? You have to either control the streetlight or re- position yourself. If you don't like either of those you must stop looking at it.

Shadows are the dark outline of everything and everybody. Sans colour, sans expression; it is brings in a kind of equality among everything. Just outlines, just black flickering objects all under the control of light. You can be taller and thinner. You can be fatter of shorter than your actual self. All you need to do is just control the light.

However this physical phenomenon also has a philosophical twist. Our identities, perceptions and opinions are all shadows; and mind you , they are powerful ones. Our perception of ourselves is a shadow often controlled by the external world. A truly great individual has always seen himself as an image and not a shadow.

The whole world is a colourful shadow if I may say so. The great controlling force is and has always been playing with this shadow. This great force is playing with the source of light all the time. And no mortal has never see the complete truth. We can only have glimpses of this great truth. We can only guess the mood of the light through this shadow. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

(Un)Conditional



I saw this on the Facebook profile of one of my friends. And then I made the mistake of writing this article.

Love, they say is a powerful emotion. I think that anything that's powerful must me handled by reason. Nevertheless people contend that love is beyond reason. Love, they say is unconditional and selfless.
Perhaps that's the reason why  "The Hitchhiker's Guide" to the Galaxy  says : "Avoid (love), if at all possible."  (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), film based on the novel by Douglas Adams").

Almost every person would have experienced  love from the very beginning of his/her life. The care and pampering one receives during one's childhood is by far the most natural form of love. As one grows the meaning of this four letter word keeps on changing.

Many adolescents are pulled into the powerful torrent of madness usually associated with beauty, adrenaline and ecstasy in their their college days . My condolences are with these innocent individuals who misunderstood love or fiddled too much with it. But this "first love" is often memorable and can be called a "learning experience".

 Some witty bloke named Woodrow Wyatt told something  about how people fall in love.

"A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears."
 I feel that this remark is correct in many cases.

Once the self perpetrated disaster called marriage happens, love is no longer a choice, but often becomes an obligation. If one has to avoid that, the person must must be careful about his/her choice.


An intelligent lady named Ayn Rand offered bold and idealistic description of love.
She said "Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love."

I admire these lines very much. But ideal thoughts are often admired but not followed by a large majority. That's the reason for calling something "ideal".

One can safely say that nobody on earth knows what it means, but everyone would have experienced /felt this emotion.Discussion regarding the nature of love often resembles an endless tunnel. It has to be given to  and taken from very special individuals whom one trusts and respects.

If anybody felt that I've been stupid or too smart in this article, please forgive me.





The Dancing Flame



A compromise had to be struck between the number of people in the audience and the delay of the concert. There were two kinds of people in the SJA (Silver Jubilee Auditorium) at NITK, Surathkal that evening. You could find people with a musical background as well as the novices in the audience. Nevertheless all of them had the potential to appreciate and enjoy any art form provided the performers were brilliant. It was the first Bharatanatyam experience as far as I was concerned. 

  The supporting artists were seated to the left of the audience. Mrs. Gayathri Balagurunathan entered from the right side of the stage. She first stunned us with her beauty and then with her voice. She began by introducing herself and her team. She has the wonderful ability to explain the content of her rendition without intriguing the audience with technical stuff, yet not losing the essence of the performance.

 Mrs. Gayathri Balagurunathan is the daughter of famed Bharatanatyam dancer Krishnaveni Lakshmanan and the wife of V.Balagurunathan (who is also a well known Bharatanatyam artist). She has been trained by her mother from the tender age of five. She has completed her training in Bharatanatyam and Veena from the Kalakshetra (started by the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale) with distinction. She has performed in India and abroad. The danseuse has also received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award in recognition of her achievements in Bharatanatyam. She has taught Bharatanatyam in India and New Zealand. Critiques believe that shades of the late Krishnaveni Lakshmanan are more than evident in daughter Gayathri Balagurunathan’s Bharatanatyam performances.


.
  Bharatanatyam is considered to be a 'fire dance' — the mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human body. The movements of an authentic Bharatanatyam dancer resemble the movements of dancing flame. Bharatanatyam is one of the classical arts where an extraordinary co-ordination among a group of artists is very important. The dancer has to perform in sync with the vocalist. The dramatic aspect essential for narrating the storyline (Abhinaya), and the rhythmic dance movements (Nritta), are to be fused into interpretive dance, using facial expressions, hand gestures, and body movements to portray emotions and express themes (Nritya), in a Bharatanatyam repertoire. Such complex interconnectedness when perfected offers a glimpse of the zenith of human creativity to an attentive eye. That is exactly what spectators were offered on that eventful evening

The first performance of a Bharatanatyam concert is often a crisp Nritta item i.e., Abstract dance movements with rhythm, but without expression of a theme or emotion. A Stuti (prayer) praising lord Ganesh was sung in the beginning. The second piece was in appreciation of the various extraordinary deeds done by lord Krishna to bring down evil in the universe.  The depictions of Vamanavatara, Kurmavatara were elegant and convincing.

The next performance was the Varnam or the main piece of the concert. It was a storyline wherein a devotee prays for the blessings and mercy of Lord Shiva. The second part of the Varnam involved a story where Lord Shiva dances with his right leg on the floor upon the request of a King at the great temple of Tanjore. Swift changes from the masculine and feminine characters of the storyline were made effortlessly by the artist.

 The subsequent piece was the audience’s favourite one. The song was “Tumak Chalat Ram Chandra” a bhajan composed by Tulsidas. It was a lullaby sung to Lord Shriram by his mother Kausalya. The imagination of Tulsidas’ poetic mind was well matched by the passionate involvement of Ms.Gayathri during the performance. The exquisite feminine expressions struck a chord with all individuals in the audience. Many of us were forced to imagine that an Infant Lord Ram was walking around the stage during the performance.

The final offering or the Tillana was again a piece on Lord Shiva. The Tandava or the cosmic dance of Shiva was well depicted. The energetic steps coupled with fantastic Netrabhinaya (exquisite eye movements representing emotions) enthused the audience.

This was followed by an interaction with the audience. We came to know about her knowledge about the Natyashastra as well as storylines from scriptures. That had enabled her to innovate and improvise over the traditional conventions. The artist and her team were felicitated by the convenor of SPICMACAY Mangalore chapter Mr. Manikandan S G. The program ended with a group photo of the troupe with SPICMACAY volunteers.
It was a truly “classical” evening for the connoisseurs of dance at NITK.

Atheism and Bhagat Singh




Bhagat Singh (28 September 1907– 23 March 1931) was an Indian nationalist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the word Shaheed meaning "martyr" in a number of Indian languages. This is one of his brilliant articles explaining the rationale behind atheism. He puts up one of the most sensible arguments for atheism.A must read for all believers as well as non-believers.

Essentials
Written: October 5–6, 1930
Source/Translated: Converted from the original Gurmukhi (Punjabi) to Urdu/Persian script by Maqsood Saqib;
translated from Urdu to English by Hasan for marxists.org, 2006;
HTML/Proofread: Andy Blunden and Mike Bessler;


Why I Am An Atheist?
by Bhagat Singh
A new question has cropped up. Is it due to vanity that I do not believe in the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God?

I had never imagined that I would ever have to confront such a question. But conversation with some friends has given me, a hint that certain of my friends, if I am not claiming too much in thinking them to be so-are inclined to conclude from the brief contact they have had with me, that it was too much on my part to deny the existence of God and that there was a certain amount of vanity that actuated my disbelief.

Well, the problem is a serious one.

I do not boast to be quite above these human traits. I am a man and nothing more. None can claim to be more. I also have this weakness in me. Vanity does form a part of my nature. Amongst my comrades I was called an autocrat. Even my friend Mr. B.K. Dutt sometimes called me so. On certain occasions I was decried as a despot. Some friends do complain and very seriously too that I involuntarily thrust my opinions upon others and get my proposals accepted. That this is true up to a certain extent, I do not deny. This may amount to egotism. There is vanity in me in as much as our cult as opposed to other popular creeds is concerned. But that is not personal. It may be, it is only legitimate pride in our cult and does not amount to vanity. Vanity or to be more precise "Ahankar" is the excess of undue pride in one's self. Whether it is such an undue pride that has led me to atheism or whether it is after very careful study of the subject and after much consideration that I have come to disbelieve in God, is a question that I, intend to discuss here. Let me first make it clear that egotism and vanity are two different things.

In the first place, I have altogether failed to comprehend as to how undue pride or vain-gloriousness could ever stand in the way of a man in believing in God. I can refuse to recognize the greatness of a really great man provided I have also achieved a certain amount of popularity without deserving it or without having possessed the qualities really essential or indispensable for the same purpose. That much is conceivable. But in what way can a man believing in God cease believing due to his personal vanity?

There are only two Ways.
The man should either begin to think himself a rival of God
or he may begin to believe himself to be God.

In neither case can he become a genuine atheist. In the first case he does not even deny the existence of his rival. In the second case as well he admits the existence of a conscious being behind the screen guiding all the movements of nature. It is of no importance to us whether he thinks himself to be that supreme being or whether he thinks the supreme conscious being to be somebody apart from himself. The fundamental is there. His belief is there. He is by no means an atheist. Well, here I am I neither belong to the first category nor to the second.

I deny the very existence of that Almighty Supreme being. Why I deny it shall be dealt with later on. Here I want to clear one thing, that it is not vanity that has actuated me to adopt the doctrines of atheism. I am neither a rival nor an incarnation nor the Supreme Being Himself. One point is decided, that it is not vanity that has led me to this mode of thinking. Let me examine the facts to disprove this allegation. According to these friends of mine I have grown vain-glorious perhaps due to the undue popularity gained during the trials-both Delhi Bomb and Lahore conspiracy cases. Well, let us see if their premises are correct. My atheism is not of so recent origin. I had stopped believing in God when I was an obscure young man, of whose existence my above mentioned friends were not even aware. At least a college student cannot cherish any short of undue pride which may lead him to atheism. Though a favorite with some professors and disliked by certain others, I was never an industrious or a studious boy. I could not get any chance of indulging in such feelings as vanity. I was rather a boy with a very shy nature, who had certain pessimistic dispositions about the future career. And in those days, I was not a perfect atheist. My grand-father under whose influence I was brought up is an orthodox Arya Samajist. An Arya Samajist is anything but an atheist. After finishing my primary education I joined the DAV. School of Lahore and stayed in its Boarding House for full one year. There, apart from morning and evening prayers, I used to recite "Gayatri Mantra" for hours and hours. I was a perfect devotee in those days. Later on I began to live with my father. He is a liberal in as much as the orthodoxy of religions is concerned. It was through his teachings that I aspired to devote my life to the cause of freedom. But he is not an atheist. He is a firm believer. He used to encourage me for offering prayers daily. So, this is how I was brought up. In the Non-Co-operation days I joined the National College. it was there that I began to think liberally and discuss and criticize all the religious problems, even about God. But still I was a devout believer. By that time I had begun to preserve the unshorn and unclipped long hair but I could never believe in the mythology and doctrines of Sikhism or, any other religion. But I had a firm faith in God's existence.

Later on I joined the revolutionary party. The first leader with whom I came in contact, though not convinced, could not dare to deny the existence of God. On my persistent inquiries about God, he used to say, "Pray whenever you want to". Now this is atheism less courage required for the adoption of that creed. The second leader with whom I came in contact was a firm believer. Let me mention his name-respected comrade Sachindra Nath Sanyal, now undergoing life transportation in connexion with the Karachi conspiracy case. From the every first page of his famous and only book, "Bandi Jivan" (or Incarcerated Life), the Glory of God is sung vehemently. In the last page of the second part of that beautiful book his mystic-because of Vedantism ' praises showered upon God form a very conspicuous part of his thoughts.

"The Revolutionary leaflet" distributed throughout India on January 28th, 1925, was according to the prosecution story the result of his intellectual labor, Now, as is inevitable in the secret work the prominent leader expresses his own views, which are very dear to his person and the rest of the workers have to acquiesce in them-in spite of differences, which they might have. In that leaflet one full paragraph was devoted to praise the Almighty and His rejoicings and doing. That is all mysticism. What I wanted to point out was that the idea of disbelief had not even germinated in the revolutionary party. The famous Kakori martyrs - all four of them-passed their last day in prayers. Ram Prasad Bismil was an orthodox Arya Samajist. Despite his wide studies in the field of Socialism and Communism, Rajen Lahiri could not suppress his desire, of reciting hymns of the Upanishads and the Gita. I saw only one man amongst them, who never prayed and used to say, "Philosophy is the outcome of human weakness or limitation of knowledge". He is also undergoing a sentence of transportation for life. But he also never dared to deny the existence of God.

UP to that period I was only a romantic idealist revolutionary. Uptil then we were to follow. Now came the time to shoulder the whole responsibility. Due to the inevitable reaction for some time the very existence of the Party seemed impossible. Enthusiastic comrades - nay leaders - began to jeer at us. For some time I was afraid that some day I also might not be convinced of the futility of our own program. That was a turning point in my revolutionary career. "Study" was the cry that reverberated in the corridors of my mind. Study to enable yourself to face the arguments advanced by opposition. Study to arm yourself with arguments in favor of your cult. I began to study. My previous faith and convictions underwent a remarkable modification. The Romance of the violent methods alone which was so prominent amongst our predecessors, was replaced by serious ideas. No more mysticism, no more blind faith. Realism became our cult. Use of force justifiable when resorted to as a matter of terrible necessity: non-violence as policy indispensable for all mass movements. So much about methods.

The most important thing was the clear conception of the ideal for which we were to fight, As there were no important activities in the field of action I got ample opportunity to study various ideals of the world revolution. I studied Bakunin, the Anarchist leader, something of Marx the father of Communism and much of Lenin, Trotsky and others the men who had successfully carried out a revolution in their country. They were all atheists. Bakunin's "God and State", though only fragmentary, is an interesting study of the subject. Later still I came across a book entitled 'Common Sense' by Nirlamba Swami. It was only a sort of mystic atheism. This subject became of utmost interest to me. By the end of 1926 I had been convinced as to the baselessness of the theory of existence of an almighty supreme being who created, guided and controlled the universe. I had given out this disbelief of mine. I began discussion on the subjects with my friends. I had become a pronounced atheist. But, what it meant will presently be discussed.

In May 1927 I was arrested at Lahore. The arrest was a surprise. I was quite unaware of (he fact that the police wanted me. All of a sudden while passing through a garden I found myself surrounded by police. To my own surprise, I was very calm at that time. I did not feel any sensation, neither did I experience any excitement. I was taken into police custody. Next day I was taken to the Railway Police lock-up where I was to pass full one month. After many day's conversation with the Police officials I guessed that they had some information regarding my connexion with the Kakori Party and my other activities in connexion with the revolutionary movement. They told me that I had been to Lucknow while the trial was going on there, that I had negotiated a certain scheme about their rescue, that after obtaining their approval, we had procured some bombs, that by way of test one of the bombs was thrown in the crowd on the occasion of Dussehra 1926. They further informed me, in my interest, that if I could give any statement throwing some light on the activities of the revolutionary party, I was not to be imprisoned but on the contrary set free and rewarded even without being produced as an approver in the Court. I laughed at the proposal. It was all humbug.



People holding ideas like ours do not throw bombs on their own innocent people. One fine morning Mr. Newman, the then Senior Superintendent of CID., came to me. And after much sympathetic talk with me imparted-to him-the extremely sad news that if I did not give any statement as demanded by them, they would be forced to send me up for trial for conspiracy to wage war in connexion with Kakori Case and for brutal murders in connexion with Dussehra Bomb outrage. And he further informed me that they had evidence enough to get me convicted and hanged.

In those days I believed - though I was quite innocent - the police could do it if they desired. That very day certain police officials began to persuade me to offer my prayers to God regularly both the times. Now I was an atheist. I wanted to settle for myself whether it was in the days of peace and enjoyment alone that I could boast of being an atheist or whether during such hard times as well I could stick to those principles of mine. After great consideration I decided that I could not lead myself to believe in and pray to God. No, I never did. That was the real test and I came, out successful. Never for a moment did I desire to save my neck at the cost of certain other things. So I was a staunch disbeliever : and have ever since been. It was not an easy job to stand that test.

'Belief' softens the hardships, even can make them pleasant. In God man can find very strong consolation and support. Without Him, the man has to depend upon himself. To stand upon one's own legs amid storms and hurricanes is not a child's play. At such testing moments, vanity, if any, evaporates, and man cannot dare to defy the general beliefs, if he does, then we must conclude that he has got certain other strength than mere vanity. This is exactly the situation now. Judgment is already too well known. Within a week it is to be pronounced. What is the consolation with the exception of the idea that I am going to sacrifice my life for a cause ? A God-believing Hindu might be expecting to be reborn as a king, a Muslim or a Christian might dream of the luxuries to be- enjoyed in paradise and the reward he is to get for his sufferings and sacrifices. But what am I to expect? I know the moment the rope is fitted round my neck and rafters removed, from under my feet. That will be the final moment, that will be the last moment. I, or to be more precise, my soul, as interpreted in the metaphysical terminology, shall all be finished there. Nothing further.

A short life of struggle with no such magnificent end, shall in itself be the reward if I have the courage to take it in that light. That is all. With no selfish motive, or desire to be awarded here or hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to the cause of independence, because I could not do otherwise. The day we find a great number of men and women with this psychology who cannot devote themselves to anything else than the service of mankind and emancipation of the suffering humanity; that day shall inaugurate the era of liberty.

Not to become a king, nor to gain any other rewards here, or in the next birth or after death in paradise, shall they be inspired to challenge the oppressors, exploiters, and tyrants, but to cast off the yoke of serfdom from the neck of humanity and to establish liberty and peace shall they tread this-to their individual selves perilous and to their noble selves the only glorious imaginable-path. Is the pride in their noble cause to be ' misinterpreted as vanity? Who dares to utter such an abominable epithet? To him, I say either he is a fool or a knave. Let us forgive him for he can not realize the depth, the emotion, the sentiment and the noble feelings that surge in that heart. His heart is dead as a mere lump of flesh, his eyes are-weak, the evils of other interests having been cast over them. Self-reliance is always liable to be interpreted as vanity. It is sad and miserable but there is no help.

You go and oppose the prevailing faith, you go and criticize a hero, a great man, who is generally believed to be above criticism because he is thought to be infallible, the strength of your argument shall force the multitude to decry you as vainglorious. This is due to the mental stagnation, Criticism and independent thinking are the two indispensable qualities of a revolutionary. Because Mahatamaji is great, therefore none should criticize him. Because he has risen above, therefore everything he says-may be in the field of Politics or Religion, Economics or Ethics-is right. Whether you are convinced or not you must say, "Yes, that's true". This mentality does not lead towards progress. It is rather too obviously, reactionary.

Because our forefathers had set up a faith in some supreme, being ' the Almighty God ' therefore any man who dares to challenge the validity of that faith, or the very existence of that supreme being, he shall have to be called an apostate, a renegade. If his arguments are too sound to be refuted by counter-arguments and spirit too strong to be cowed down by the threat of misfortunes that may befall him by the wrath of the Almighty, he shall be decried as vainglorious, his spirit to be denominated as vanity. Then why to waste time in this vain discussion? Why try to argue out the whole thing? This question is coming before the public for the first time, and is being handled in this matter of fact way for the first time, hence this lengthy discussion.

As for the first question, I think I have cleared that it is not vanity that has led me to atheism. My way of argument has proved to be convincing or not, that is to be judged by my readers, not me. I know in the present, circumstances my faith in God would have made my life easier, my burden lighter and my disbelief in Him has turned all the circumstances too dry and the situation may assume too harsh a shape. A little bit of mysticism can make it poetical. But I, do not want the help of any intoxication to meet my fate. I am a realist. I have been trying to overpower the instinct in me by the help of reason. I have not always been successful in achieving this end. But man's duty is to try and endeavor, success depends upon chance and environments.

As for the second question that if it was not vanity, then there ought to be some reason to disbelieve the old and still prevailing faith of the existence of God. Yes; I come to that now Reason there is. According to. me, any man who has got some reasoning power at his command always tries to reason out his environments. Where direct proofs are lacking philosophy occupies the important place. As I have already stated, a certain revolutionary friend used to say that Philosophy is the outcome of human weakness. When our ancestors had leisure enough to try to solve out the mystery of this world, its past, present and the future, its whys and wherefores, they having been terribly short of direct proofs, everybody tried to solve the problem in his own way. Hence we find the wide differences in the fundamentals of various religious creeds, which some times assume very antagonistic and conflicting shapes. Not only the Oriental and Occidental philosophies differ, there are differences even amongst various schools of thoughts in each hemisphere.

Amongst Oriental religions, the Moslem faith is not at all compatible with Hindu faith. In India alone Buddhism and Jainism are sometimes quite separate from Brahmanism, in which there are again conflicting faiths as Arya Samaj and Sanatan Dharma. Charwak is still another independent thinker of the past ages. He challenged the authority of God in the old times. All these creeds differ from each other on the fundamental question., and everybody considers himself to be on the right. There lies the misfortune. Instead of using the experiments and expressions of the ancient Savants and thinkers as a basis for our future struggle against ignorance and to try to find out a solution to this mysterious problem, we - lethargical as we have proved to be - raise the hue and cry of faith, unflinching and unwavering faith to their versions and thus are guilty of stagnation in human progress.

Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith. Item by item he has to reason out every nook and corner of the prevailing faith. If after considerable reasoning one is led to believe in any theory or philosophy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can be mistaken, wrong, misled and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain, and makes a man reactionary.

A man who claims to be a realist has to challenge the whole of the ancient faith. If it does not stand the onslaught of reason it crumbles down. Then the first thing for him is to shatter the whole down and clear a space for the erection of a new philosophy. This is the negative side. After it begins the positive work in which sometimes some material of the old faith may be used for the purpose of reconstruction. As far as I am concerned, let me admit at the very outset that I have not been able to study much on this point. I had a great desire to study the Oriental Philosophy but I could not get any chance or opportunity to do the same. But so far as the negative study is under discussion, I think I am convinced to the extent of questioning the soundness of the old faith. I have been convinced as to non-existence of a conscious supreme being who is guiding and directing the movements of nature. We believe in nature and the whole progressive movement aims at the domination of man over nature for his service. There is no conscious power behind it to direct. This is what our philosophy is.

As for the negative side,
We ask a few questions from the 'believers'.

If, as you believe, there is an almighty, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God-who created the earth or world, please let me know why did he create it ? This world of woes and miseries, a veritable, eternal combination of numberless tragedies: Not a single soul being perfectly satisfied.

Pray, don't say that it is His Law: If he is bound by any law, he is not omnipotent. He is another slave like ourselves. Please don't say that it is his enjoyment. Nero burnt one Rome. He killed a very limited number of people. He created very few tragedies, all to his perfect enjoyment. And what is his place in History? By what names do the historians mention him? All the venomous epithets are showered upon him. Pages are blackened with invective diatribes condemning Nero, the tyrant, the heartless, the wicked.

One Changezkhan sacrificed a few thousand lives to seek pleasure in it and we hate the very name. Then how are you going to justify your almighty, eternal Nero, who has been, and is still causing numberless tragedies every day, every hour and every minute? How do you think to support his misdoings which surpass those of Changez every single moment? I say why did he create this world - a veritable hell, a place of constant and bitter unrest? Why did the Almighty create man when he had the power not to do it? What is the justification for all this ? Do you say to award the innocent sufferers hereafter and to punish the wrong-doers as well? Well, well: How far shall you justify a man who may dare to inflict wounds upon your body to apply a very soft and soothing liniment upon it afterwards? How far the supporters and organizers of the Gladiator Institution were justified in throwing men before the half starved furious lions to be cared for and well looked after if they could survive and could manage to escape death by the wild beasts? That is why I ask, 'Why did the conscious supreme being created this world and man in it? To seek pleasure? Where then is the difference between him and Nero'?

You Mohammadens and Christians : Hindu Philosophy shall still linger on to offer another argument. I ask you what is your answer to the above-mentioned question? You don't believe in previous birth. Like Hindus you cannot advance the argument of previous misdoings of the apparently quite innocent sufferers? I ask you why did the omnipotent labor for six days to create the world through word and each day to say that all was well. Call him today. Show him the past history. Make him study the present situation. Let us see if he dares to say, "All is well".

From the dungeons of prisons, from the stores of starvation consuming millions upon millions of human beings in slums and huts, from the exploited laborers, patiently or say apathetically watching the procedure of their blood being sucked by the Capitalist vampires, and the wastage of human energy that will make a man with the least common sense shiver with horror, and from the preference of throwing the surplus of production in oceans rather than to distribute amongst the needy producers - to the palaces of kings built upon the foundation laid with human bones.... let him see all this and let him say "All is well".

Why and wherefore? That is my question. You are silent.

All right then, I proceed. Well, you Hindus, you say all the present sufferers belong to the class of sinners of the previous births. Good. You say the present oppressors were saintly people in their previous births, hence they enjoy power. Let me admit that your ancestors were very shrewd people, they tried to find out theories strong enough to hammer down all the efforts of reason and disbelief. But let us analyze how far this argument can really stand.

From the point of view of the most famous jurists punishment can be justified only from three or four ends to meet which it is inflicted upon the wrongdoer. They are retributive, reformative and deterrent. The retributive theory is now being condemned by all the advanced thinkers. Deterrent theory is also following the same fate. Reformative theory is the only one which is essential, and indispensable for human progress. It aims at returning the offender as a most competent and a peace-loving citizen to the society. But what is the nature of punishment inflicted by God upon men even if we suppose them to be offenders. You say he sends them to be born as a cow, a cat, a tree, a herb or a best. You enumerate these punishments to be 84 lakhs. I ask you what is its reformative effect upon man? How many men have met you who say that they were born as a donkey in previous birth for having committed any sin? None. Don't quote your Puranas. I have no scope to touch your mythologies. Moreover do you know that the greatest sin in this world is to be poor. Poverty is a sin, it is a punishment.

I ask you how far would you appreciate a criminologist, a jurist or a legislator who proposes such measures of punishment which shall inevitably force man to commit more offences? Had not your God thought of this or he also had to learn these things by experience, but at the cost of untold sufferings to be borne by humanity? What do you think shall be the fate of a man who has been born in a poor and illiterate family of say a chamar or a sweeper. He is poor, hence he cannot study. He is hated and shunned by his fellow human beings who think themselves to be his superiors having been born in say a higher caste. His ignorance, his poverty and the treatment meted out to him shall harden his heart towards society. Suppose he commits a sin, who shall bear the consequences? God, he or the learned ones of, the society? What about the punishment of those people who were deliberately kept ignorant by the haughty and egotist Brahmans and who had to pay the penalty by bearing the stream of being led (not lead) in their ears for having heard a few sentences of your Sacred Books of learning-the Vedas? If they committed any offence-who was to be responsible for them and who was to bear the brunt? My dear friends: These theories are the inventions of the privileged ones: They justify their usurped power, riches and superiority by the help of these theories. Yes: It was perhaps Upton Sinclair, that wrote at some place, that just make a man a believer in immortality and then rob him of all his riches, and possessions. He shall help you even in that ungrudgingly. The coalition amongst the religious preachers and possessors of power brought forth jails, gallows, knouts and these theories.

I ask why your omnipotent God, does not stop every man when he is committing any sin or offence? He can do it quite easily. Why did he not kill war lords or kill the fury of war in them and thus avoid the catastrophe hurled down on the head of humanity by the Great War? Why does he not just produce a certain sentiment in the mind of the British people to liberate India? Why does he not infuse the altruistic enthusiasm in the hearts of all capitalists to forgo their rights of personal possessions of means of production and thus redeem the whole laboring community - nay the whole human society from the bondage of Capitalism. You want to reason out the practicability of socialist theory, I leave it for your almighty to enforce it.

People recognize the merits of socialism in as much as the general welfare is concerned. They oppose it under the pretext of its being impracticable. Let the Almighty step in and arrange everything in an orderly fashion. Now don't try to advance round about arguments, they are out of order. Let me tell you, British rule is here not because God wills it but because they possess power and we do not dare to oppose them. Not that it is with the help of God that they are keeping us under their subjection but it is with the help of guns and rifles, bomb and bullets, police and millitia and our apathy that they are successfully committing the most deplorable sin against society- the outrageous exploitation of one nation by another.

Where is God ? What is he doing?

Is he enjoying all I these woes of human race ? A Nero; A Changez : Down with him.

Do you ask me how I explain the origin of this world and origin of man? Alright I tell you. Charles Darwin has tried to throw some light on the subject. Study him. Read Soham Swami's "Commonsense". It shall answer your question to some extent. This is a phenomenon of nature. The accidental mixture of different substances in the shape of nebulae produced this earth. When? Consult history. The same process produced animals and in the long run man. Read Darwin's 'Origin of Species'. And all the later progress is due to man's constant conflict with nature and his efforts to override it. This is the briefest possible explanation of this phenomenon.

Your other argument may be just to ask why a child is born blind or lame if not due to his deeds committed in the previous birth? This problem has been explained away by biologists as a more biological phenomenon. According to them the whole burden rests upon the shoulders of the parents who may be conscious or ignorant of their own deeds led to mutilation of the child previous to its birth.

Naturally you may ask another question though it is quite childish in essence. If no God existed, how did the people come to believe in him? My answer is clear and brief. As they came to believe in ghosts, and evil spirits; the only difference is that belief in God is almost universal and the philosophy well developed. Unlike certain of the radicals I would not attribute its origin to the ingenuity of the exploiters who wanted to keep the people under their subjection by preaching the existence of a supreme being and then claiming an authority and sanction from him for their privileged positions. Though I do not differ with them on the essential point that all faiths, religions, creeds and such other institutions became in turn the mere supporters of the tyrannical and exploiting institutions, men and classes. Rebellion against king is always a sin according to every religion.

As regards the origin of God my own idea is that having realized the limitations of man, his weaknesses and shortcoming having been taken into consideration, God was brought into imaginary existence to encourage man to face boldly all the trying circumstances, to meet all dangers manfully and to check and restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God both with his private laws and parental generosity was imagined and painted in greater details. He was to serve as a deterrent factor when his fury and private laws were discussed so that man may not become a danger to society. He was to serve as a father, mother, sister and brother, friend and helpers when his parental qualifications were to be explained. So that when man be in great distress having been betrayed and deserted by all friends he may find consolation in the idea that an ever true friend was still there to help him, to support him and that He was almighty and could do anything. Really that was useful to the society in the primitive age.

The idea of God is helpful to man in distress.

Society has to fight out this belief as well as was fought the idol worship and the narrow conception of religion. Similarly, when man tries to stand on his own legs, and become a realist he shall have to throw the faith aside, and to face manfully all the distress, trouble, in which the circumstances may throw him. That is exactly my state of affairs. It is not my vanity, my friends. It is my mode of thinking that has made me an atheist. I don't know whether in my case belief in God and offering of daily prayers which I consider to be most selfish and degraded act on the part of man, whether these prayers can prove to be helpful or they shall make my case worse still. I have read of atheists facing all troubles quite boldly, so am I trying to stand like a man with an erect head to the last; even on the gallows.

Let us see how I carry on : one friend asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, "During your last days you will begin to believe". I said, No, dear Sir, it shall not be. I will think that to be an act of degradation and demoralization on my part. For selfish motives I am not going to pray. Readers and friends, "Is this vanity"? If it is, I stand for it.

The Anamoly


Simple words become complex and complex words become simple as you grow up.



Let me tell you about the words that became simpler.
1.Life: The only thing you need not worry about.
2.Government : A business house
3.Corruption: Bloodstains on everybody's mind/hands/both.
4.Education:   A celebrated facade.
5.College : Place to do everything that you will miss out after you get a job.
6.Money: Over-rated pieces of paper.
7.Protest: Noise for a cause
8.Love: Leave it undefined to get the most out of it.
9.Friends: Less said the better ..!
10.Memories: It is easier to forget the unforgettable ones.


What about the difficult parts?
1.Smile: A marketing  strategy.
2.Lie: A worthy substitute for truth.
3.Respect : A one-way road !
4.Invitation : I invite you , but stay at home.
5.Happiness : Something that others decide for you.
6.Interests : Things on which you spend less time/none.
7.Birthday : You're closer to death!
8. I'm busy : An excuse for intellectuals.
9.Thank you : The forgotten word
10.Achievement : The art of striking at nothing.

Now that's what i call an anomaly. 
So,that's what i felt. Don't murder me if i've gone wrong.
Think again. What's happening to those words ? Do they really mean what they mean?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Hair Dressers



One might wonder if I'm talking about the Hair Dressers a Olympic games. Sorry to disappoint you, I am talking about a well known saloon in Tumkur. What could have been the story behind its nomenclature? Why not Sree Siddaganga Hair Saloon? ( Haha ) Were these guys sports lovers? Was it a random name? The thought still bothers me. 

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I was trying to count the images that were in front of me.
Snap Snap Snap

I could listen to the sound of the scissors, but I was curious. I could count up to 53 but, everything appeared somewhat unclear after that. I was sure that there were more. Just as I was wondering as to how this shit was possible, somebody pushed my head downwards. I rebelled moments later to catch a glimpse of the mirror image of the TV program. I was a restless guy waiting to get out. Ten minutes later the guy removed the cloth draped on me and declared my freedom.

I jumped out of the seat, walked to the counter, stood on my toes and pushed two ten rupee notes on the table. I could barely see the photo of the proprietor's snap with the famous actress Soundarya. A couple of years later that brilliant actress died while campaigning for a constitutionally legitimate criminal agency a.k.a political party. How sad.
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That was ten years ago. I was a kid , and my hair style was decided by my mom and explained to he hair dresser without my consent. I was one of those innocent kids who didn't understand why people felt slightly ashamed to open the femina  magazines and peek in the world of hot chicks. ( I found it hard to figure out the reason for their presence, though I've seen better stuff later in life). I settled for the magazines with bikes and cars at that time ( a healthy habit that  I have retained ).

Now things have changed. I understand that two mirrors when held parallel to each other can produce infinite images and I will never finish my count. The hair dresser charges forty bucks for the same decent hair cut. He calls me sir (I'm seriously unhappy with that) instead of Mari (Kid). My brother is more popular than me among the staff of Olympic Hair Dressers simply because he opts for spikes rather than formals. The owner's son has taken up the reins of this saloon. The experienced hands have moved to their new AC saloon. Newbies have replaced them in the common man's section. They're not bad either.

I have come to realise that cutting the hairs of a nearly bald rich man is one of the greatest challenges to a barber. It takes a lot of skill, but you can make a lot of money through tips ( dunno what they call it in saloons ) if you satisfy these customers. I hope that I can tip these guys after I get my job and maybe check out the AC section sometime.

I can't go there as often as I used to go , because I'm studying in Suratkal right now. I am reminded of this saloon filled with infinite images, childhood memories, nice and friendly barbers whenever I  go for a hair cut in NITK.That's a compliment that any saloon would love to get.