A time to think

Review on 20-20cricket: it is for those who find short stories too long. Hey, this is 21st century, except for me and some of the other jobless,……..sorry did I say ‘other’, …..some of the jobless people around me and of course, the person reading the blog, the universe has no time to waste. With the entropy probably reaching its maximal limit, and every law of physic being broken by yet another physicist, I can’t help but wonder, ‘are we ever going to look back’?

I am just back from watching a Stanley Kupric movie, killing kiss. Trust me, that was awfully slow. It was just an hour long, yet I couldn’t wait to get out of the hall. A year ago, hostel was so much fun. After LAN and Internet arrived, time seems scares.

Let’s assume that the damn 4th dimension didn’t exits. It would be awkward, wouldn’t it? There would have been no time, and that’s why we would still strive hard to finish thing ‘in’ time. Time or no time, mathematicians would have ‘assumed’ its existence anyway. That’s the beauty of mathematics; it can make a fool out of anybody!

I know quite a lot of friends who are up all night, trying to set the balance right between academics and 24 hrs. Some smoothen the edges out through periodic night outs, some others have already burnt out. Quite frankly, ‘fun’ part in lost in the wilderness of time or the lack of it.

My day began at 10:30 am, up half the night thinking on what to blog the next day. Alarm rang at about 7:30, and surprise!!! I had time. When I woke up I realized it was a bit too less to crash for 3 more hrs. Anyway, I ran to the bathroom with a brush in one had and tooth paste in the other. I found monkeys had all the ‘time’ in the world to ravage my washed cloths…again, the same set of cloths which I had washed second time. As my mind wandered around thinking of strangling the monkeys, I realized I had no time even to think of that, let alone chocking them.

Then, in my humanities class, a video was shown on Indian govt., which in the name of conservation is snatching the very livelihood of tribes in northern Karnataka. The video was 52 min long, all of us were restless to get back to hostel even as the clock was striking 11:50, the scheduled lunch break. Would it hurt any one of us to stay back for 5 minutes?

The Byrds sang, ‘a time for this, a time for that….. n things…’. Are they kidding? A time for everything would mean a segmentation fault.
Tip: Those who do not know about the segmentation fault, google for it.
Whoever named it ‘the time magazine’ is a genius? Obviously, when we don’t have any, why not buy the magazine, serves as moral support anyway.

Then came my ‘Dynamics of machinery’ class. I would say he is the only prof in the institute who would say that he has enough time to cover the syllabus. What an eternal optimist! He left us in about 30 mins, 20 mins ahead of actual finish. I was working on my previous blog when my neighbour, Boxer, knocked, asking for an hour on my computer to do an assignment. I asked him to come back after 2 hrs as it wasn’t extremely important. Half an hour later when I offered him the computer, he said he had already completed the work in Animesh’s comp. Reason: he did not have time to wait.

Why do we have time zones? Probably cause its so precious. It is allocated to every country. Einstein claimed time was relative. Get real, it’s absolute, nobody has any of it. Finally I thank my readers for the time they spent on this blog. Please don’t ask yourself, “was it worth it?” or “was it worth the time?”

Assimilative Indian culture

This was an article i wrote about a year ago, will be published in the next issue of Bharati (IITMadras), I don’t see any signs of the magazine hitting the hostals, i decided to make it my blog. Upon the suggestion from the editor, the title ‘composite culture in india’ was changed to ‘assimilative indian culture’

Assimilative Indian culture
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Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India’s. Stretching back in an
unbroken sweep over 5000 years, Indian culture, down the ages, has developed in to a highly composite culture which has been enriched by waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life. The assimilative culture has manifested itself into a strong force. This manifestation is the result of co-existance of so many different cultures that were fused into ours in the course of time. As a result out culture became enriched.

The source of different elements of the Indian culture is not unique. The dynasties like that of Aryans, Mugals etc. have infused diversity in our culture. The roots of Indian civilization stretch back in time to pre-recorded history.

Indus valley civilization is one of the earliest knows civilizations in India. The prosperity of this civilization is well known. Even in the 4th or 3rd millennium BC, the urban developement, that had taken place was phenomenal. Roads were built perpendicularly, vast granaries, brick built houses were very common. Though it was mainly an agrarian society, its advancement in urban planning is undisputed. Recent excavations have shown remarkable similarities between the current indian culture and the indus valley civilization. Recent historians and research suggest the the Aryan (vadic) civilization and Indus vally civilization are one and the same.

Our culture is, to large extent, influenced by the aryans. They intermingled with the people, and gradually associated themselves with the social framework. They were the ones who developed the language of sanskrit, which even today is considered to be the most organised language. They composed the hymns of the four vedas, which are the fundamental base of hinduism. Hinduism constitutes eighty percent of today’s population. Earlier, vedas were written on the banks of saraswati and then on the gangetic plains owing to a natural shift that dried saraswati river. Ramayana and Mahabharata is thought is have been written during this period.

6th century BC saw the rise of the two significant religions in the country, jainism and buddhism. Their popularity spread owing to their message of non violence and practicality. In the Third century BC, it was the turn of the Mauryan empire to hold the rule in the country. They extended their empire over the entire sub-continent. The greatest king of this empire, Ashoka, converted to Buddhism later in life and spread the message through a script called Brahmi.

In 326 BC, Greeks tried and succeed in invading India. Through the passages of time and wars, Greek established their supremecy. The interaction between the two cultures resulted in a change in art form. Sculptures made during that era mark a Greek influence. After Ashoka’s death, the Mauryan empire perished.

4th century AD saw the Gupta empire rule the nation. Hindism consolidated its position. This era saw the emergence of the classical art forms and development of various facets of Indian culture. This age registered considerable progress in literature and science, particularly in astronomy and mathematics. Aryabhatta, who lived during this age, was the first Indian who made a significant contribution to astronomy.

Meanwhile, South india remained largly unaffected by the changes in the northern part of the country. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism established themselves comfortably. The great dynastyies here were the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Chalukyas and Pallavas. The dravidian Architecture flourished during this period. This region was propelled by the trade links with the African nations. New sea routes were discovered for the development of trade. Arab traders permanently settled down in Kerala. They were allowed to practice their religion. This further led to the enrichment of the ‘Indian Culture’. St. Thomas brought christianity into the country during this period.

The impact of mugal reign in India is phenomenal. Our life style changed in every walk of life including the cloths we wear, the language we speak, architecture, of which Taj Mahal is the best example. This was not just one sided. Even the Islamic culture was influenced by us. Urdu, for instance, began to written in the devanagri script. Islamic Sufi cult and hindu bhakthi cult made their presence felt. Followers of Guru Nanak, who founded the Sikh religion, soon became popular. The co-existence of hindus and muslims brought more glory to the Indian culture. The mightiest king of Mugal empire, Akbar himself set an example by getting married to a hindu princess. Marathas played a significant role in shaping the Indian culture. Though their kingdom did not grow in size, they had a considerable hold over their region.

Final intruder into India were the Britishers. French, Dutch and portuguese had their eyes on India, but succumbed to the power of Englishmen. The effect of British on the nation need not be told. However, it is important to mention that foundation of industrialization and commercialization was laid by them.

The need for public awareness on the independence triggered the wave of social reforms. This brought major changes the social outlook of the country. Festivals were used to campaign for the Public outcry against British. For instance, Bal Gangadhar Tilak popularised Ganesha festival in Maharastra. Even to this day it is celebrated in a large scale in that region. Social reforms in society took place during that period.

Our culture did not decay as a result of wars, battles or invasions. The influx of their culture preserved our culture and helped it grow. To this day the people are fascinated by the composite culture of ours. Emerging sceanario of our composite culture is tough to predict. The growth of our culture is unparalleled. Truely our culture symbolizes unity in diversity.

The sound of music

I love listening to music, my friends would know. Infact, most of our friends define being ‘cool’ to be directly related to the amout of music one listens to. Talking about my g-g-generation, the genre of metal and heavy metal are by far the most popular ones, anything else is way too kiddish. What I don’t seem to understand is the fact that in the effort for being popular among the friends, many of us miss out on so many flavours of music. I should say with a heavy heart that, most of the ‘pseud’ people i know refuse to even explore the other genres of music. There is always an attitude against ‘settling’ for pop or rock. What happened to jazz, what happened to raggae, or country?

I live in the campus of iit madras, hostal zone is the most happening place around. As expected, one would find noises of all kind, no pun intended, through the corridors of the hostal. Among them are the rythm of handful songs which are echoed in almost every room. To name a few, ‘for whom the bell tolls’, ‘nothing else matters’, ‘master of puppets’ from metallica, ‘parnoid’ from ossy, ‘trouper’, fear of the dark’ from maiden and finally ‘november rain’ and ‘sweet child’ from gnr. Though gnr is rock, it is still cool, no questions asked. Why doesn’t our taste of music grow beyond this?

Our culfest, saarang, is the time when all the geeks of the institute just freak out. The rock show is the most ‘looked forward to’ event. I was among the crowd too. 😉 I was disheartened to observe that the ‘fans’ were interested only in metallica, iron maiden or megadeath. No doubt they are great bands, i like them too, but there are plenty of other good stuff that one can listen to. Why are we Indians so reluctant to accept any change? The change which i am refering to is not just with respect to music, but also, for instance, infuence of western culture.

I recall an avid music lover and a metallica fan telling me that the symphony orschestra actually screwed up the S &M concert. What??? I am under that opinion that symphony had made the music only richer. First time i heard the album, i was amazed at how a talented musician can blend two entirely different spectrums of music.

French band called matamatah performed a set of rock numbers during saarang. The songs were of the eagles kind. The crowd absolutely loved them. Yet again, i was shocked to hear ‘chicken s**t’ as a comment from one of the ‘true’ metal fans.

Several people have told me about their liking for one perticular group, floyd or maiden for example. They have gone on to say that they can’t get enough of them, they listen “ONLY” to them. People, get a life!!!