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Monday, September 22, 2008


Since around 20 days, my home looks like a terrorist bomb site. My whole terrace has been laid with marble. Which when was about to get finished my landlord thought of doing more beautifications.

Anyway, I have a nice rapport with the workers.

Yesterday we ordered a bucket of chicken masala. Which was enormous, and we could'nt even finish a quarter of it. Now S had this good idea of giving rest of the chicken to the workers. So today morning I asked them.
You guys do have chicken, right?
Haan bhaiyya we do have chicken, but we only have the halaal kind.

Now I was slightly pissed off. Then I wondered should I be? I personally have eaten non-veg in my muslim friends'. And they have eaten in mine. Should the religious rules be followed rigidly or should they be considered as guidelines which when the context demands can be broken?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First instance of Egalitarianism?

I have started reading "Ka". :), my namesake, it means "what" in sanskrit.

The first chapter begins the story of Garuda. He hatched out of its egg after 500 years. His mother Vinata looked over and protected the egg all these 500 years. When he hatched, his mother told him her story, and gave him his first mission. The mission which would end Vinata's slavery to her sister. Garuda listened and absorbed everything.

Garuda was all set for the mission, only for the fact, that he was hungry. Hungry for 500 years. His mother told him to go to a nearby island, and that he could eat all the nishadas he could. But only thing he had to keep in mind that he should never eat a Brahman. Now Garuda has no clue what a brahman is or what a nishada is. He has just seen his mother, his aunt and his cousins which are snakes. Anyway he hopes when the time comes he will know and flies away.

He comes to the island and picks of hundreds of nishadas with his beak. The nishadas fell down into the endless well that is his empty stomach. Suddenly he feels something stuck in his throat, and an immense pain. He realized that he must have accidently swallowed a brahmin. He tells the brahmin to please come out of his throat, and that he is really sorry. The brahmin is holding onto a nishada woman and says that he won't come out without her. Garuda says whatever, just please come out. When he sees the woman, he thinks she looks just like his mother. And realizes that the thousands he had swallowed must be similar to her. He is overcome with guilt and flies away hungry.

He does get to eat later, an elephant and a turtle. But the main thing which comes out of this episode are these:
1. Brahmins where obviously considered top and even devas could'nt harm them.(pain in his throat)
2. Nishadas were considered lowly so that they could be eaten. (Vinata tells garuda that he can eat all the nishadas he wants)
3. When Garuda sees the similarity between the nishada woman and his mother, he feels guilty. (why does he? what is the point of this in the story? )
4. A brahmin has a nishada woman as his mate and is ready to die with her (how come this cross caste bond)

The only plausible reason is, even in that age some people obviously had egalitarianism on their minds.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

kwippy feed

The black box on the sidebar, are my and my friends latest kwips.
kwips = my IM status + web kwips
We launched rss a few days back. Right now i am using a feedflash widget, will make something better soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Delhi Noir

So this week the chasingframes thing has changed a little. Earlier we used to pick a creative commons picture from flickr and wrote a short story based on it. This time however we write a story and then either shoot or pick a picture which suits it. And the theme of the story was "Your city". And if you have been following the delhi newspapers I am very much influenced by the recent ongoings.

Delhi Noir

I was listening to the phone. For the past few months this was my pass time. The way I spend my lonely evening hours. The phone I was hearing was a MTNL phone, which I had taken so that I could get a good internet connection. And why do i keep saying "hearing the phone" as it was the radio. Coz it acted like a radio for me. A radio which had romance, soap operas, thrillers as well.

I discovered this when the phone rang. around 2 months ago. I was surprised because I had not given this number to anybody, thought it must be a wrong number. I picked it up and heard,
"..jee aaj mohan ne bhindi banaai hai. mainey usey hazaar baar mana kiya hai bhindi kisi ko nahi bhati ghar pe. Idiot hamesha bhool jata hai."

Before I could speak anything or show any semblance of understanding what this lady meant and why was she telling all this to me. I heard another lady's voice,

"jee ye naukar toh sare gadhe hote hain. ek hamara kisan. kal hi hum uske kamre mein gandi magazine dekhe. humne toh inko bata diya. chhat pe le jake inhone apni belt se khoob maara. Ab batayiye ji ghar mein baby bhi toh hai. Bus ek mauka diye hain usey agar fir kuch harkat kari usne toh bhej denge vaapas chhapra."
"baap re bade dil vale hain aap log toh. agar hamara mohan aisa kuch karta toh usi vaqt nikaal dete. chaliye jee fir baat karte hain"

Man my phone had a misconnection. It was fabulous. Every half an hour the phone rang at least once. And I found myself going towards it away from the numerous chatrooms I trolled. Here are a couple of more interesting calls,
"yo girl...wasssup? you been to college lately?"
"not for the past 4 days... hey listen ..that bitch karuna mam is doing sharma sir..."
"could you even expect...and that Sharma the old bastard :) ..he must really be a playboy getting that cold and frosty karuna"
"ya i know..and watsup with you and Shanky, no hanky panky hunh ...giggles..."
"he's a really nice guy ya...not like we thought...he's helping me with the computer project. I think one of these days when mom and dad go out for a party or something I'll invite him...mohan ek cold coffee le aao jaldi"
"hey naughty naughty....don't have that cold coffee, keep up the heat LOL...."

So here I was listening to these conversations, just being a voyeur made all of them interesting. Of the old lady's menopause problems and the young girls love problems. And often I could hear as a subscript these people ordering mohan or kisan around. It was more of a "noise" for me, which broke the flow of the conversations. So it came as a surprise when mohan took a more central stage in one of the calls.

"hey listen ... something bad happened today. .."
"kyon kya hua?...nothing with shanky right?"
"no ya..I thought I was alone in the house, and I came out of the bathroom after a shower. Thank god I had wrapped a towel."
"what happened..? you were obviously in your room only right?"
"ya,.. but my room door was open and out there stood mohan gawking. I gave him a good thrashing. what the hell he was doing standing there in front of my room. Have told him I will complain to dad. He was crying and all..saying he would do anything if I kept quiet. Maybe I won't tell only..i could use him on my side .. i could invite shanky more often"

Man this was getting hotter by the day. Hotter than I could handle.
So when I picked up the phone today I was surprised when I heard,
"police is that police...i need help fast...is somebody there..."
i waited for the police to respond, but no one seem to be there.
"god damn ...koi hai ...mujhe madad chahiye...vo mujhe maarna chahta hai...WTF koi kuch toh bolo"

I banged the phone down. If I kept quiet I wasn't there. That's how a voyeur works. I couldn't watch the telephone. I put a newspaper over it. It began ringing again. I took it off the handle. And ran outside. Climbed up the iron stairs to the roof.

I have been standing here on the roof for the past half an hour. I know what happened must be somewhere near. Should I be ashamed of myself? Should I be afraid that the police will track me? but what wrong did I do? What are people upto under all these roofs?


Friday, June 06, 2008

The world's most simple language

This is part of chasing frames.
Hi, I am Michael Souza, a linguist researching on languages which do not use recursion. It has long been held by Chomsky and his followers that the human child has an inherent instinct for languages. Teach him a few rules and he will use recursion to make more sentences and phrases. But since Everett discovered the Piraha, I have been fascinated by the other paradigm. That language is cultural. Piraha language has the lowest number of phonemes in the world. Just 3 vowels and 9 consonants. I think I have discovered the Misaka tribe has even lesser, 2 vowels and 6 cosnonants.

I was there in the middle of the amazon, for two months. Was dropped here by canoes, this area being so far out not even float planes come this way. And the worst part is we don't have a common language we both understand. So the going is really tough. I used to grab hold of a object, say a root of tapioca and then try to find out what it is called. Just before I came back to UK I had a vocabulary of 12 words.

Now when I came back the Misaka had become famous. Printed throughout the world, and shown in news channels. I remember the episode. I plane had passed at quite a low altitude over the settlement.
I really laughed my head off when I saw the accompanying article. The entire article was based on guesswork but written like a science paper. It was absurd. For me even though I was there, I could hardly make sense of what went. I'll try to describe the event in detail.

It was morning and I had just had my breakfast of pig liver roasted over fire. Chingwa was cleaning the lama wool he had just shorn off. He had just rubbed in the red blood of the lama they had hunted. Whenever they killed the animal they would rub their blood all over their body to get their spirit's power. A while later the village witch would come to bless them so that the animals spirit really gets one with him.

When the plane came in the witch was blessing them. I'll try to note down whatever I heard with what I understood inside brackets.
"ooe te pee koou. pee tuu GRRRRRR ooooo maaaa keeee" Then she went silent.
From their expression they seemed to know what to do. It was really rehearsed. I later realized that the 2 propeller plane lying across the marsh was their "hunt".

Other than big flying objects they were quiet friendly towards others. I will go back to the Misakas in a week.

More stories - by supreet, dipankar, , amit, forced ambitions

updated on jun 27 2008 - read this report on NGC on which an anthropologist Robert L. Carneiro says:
"The point is that, because we've never contacted them, we just don't know anything about them," he said. "So anything anyone says about them has to be treated as speculation."

read the full report here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080619-uncontacted-tribe_2.html


Monday, June 02, 2008

Yellow journalism

Do you read newspapers or watch news channels? Do you get entertained or informed?
Since last few years I have lost all faith in media ..about all. The way they unleash their creativity they should change careers and become fiction writers. And the news channel guys should make soap operas. You could read vir sanghvi's take on this phenomenon.

I still had faith in some agencies. BBC for instance. But after I read the article about the lost tribes of Brazil, even that has faded. Below is the image and a part of the article.

The white blob in the photograph could well be cotton, and the beige area next to it is probably a basket. The cotton would either be cultivated by the tribe, or gathered in the wild. It would be woven by the women, into the kind of short skirt worn by the black figure. Cotton would also be used to make hammocks....read more here

Now what on hell does this statement 'The cotton would either be cultivated by the tribe, or gathered in the wild.' convey. Is there any other way the cotton could be there. Maybe the cotton in that forest self detaches from the tree and comes floating to the basket. I am not sure what IQ level this article is aimed at.

So I, Supreet and Forced Ambition have decided to use this image for the weekly photo story. We also invite anyone interested to write a story based on this picture. If you write about it kindly put a link in the comment. We plan to publish the story on 6th jun (friday). I would suggest you do the same so that nobody gets influenced by the other stories. So happy writing or shall I say happy journalism.

updated on jun 27 2008 - read this report on NGC on which an anthropologist Robert L. Carneiro says:
"The point is that, because we've never contacted them, we just don't know anything about them," he said. "So anything anyone says about them has to be treated as speculation."

read the full report here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080619-uncontacted-tribe_2.html


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mas que Nada

via smaran


Do check out the new site: