Impressions 'n Expressions

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Usual Day at Unusual School

Sometimes we don't think we have enough information to solve a problem, but in reality we do. We can use logical analysis to pin down information which, although not explicitly stated, can be inferred from what we know. Students perform a play which takes place in a school where some of the students always lie and the rest always tell the truth. Terry, the protagonist, is trying to find out which students are which, but at the beginning, there is no way of knowing whom to believe.

Read the play

At first it seems like there is never enough information, but in each case, it is possible for Terry figure out more about the students that might have seemed possible.

Zeno's paradoxes, Hotel Infinity and more...

Ever heard of Zeno's paradoxes?

Zeno's paradoxes are a set of paradoxes devised by Zeno of Elea to support a doctrine that "all is one" and that contrary to the evidence of our senses, the belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion.

Several of Zeno's eight surviving paradoxes are essentially equivalent to one another; and most of them were regarded, even in ancient times, as very easy to refute. Three of the strongest and most famous—that of Achilles and the tortoise, the Dichotomy argument, and that of an arrow in flight have given rise to lots of theorists to prove and disprove....

When turn-of-the-century mathematician Georg Cantor approached the subject of infinity with mathematical rigor, he encountered many paradoxes.

At the Hotel Infinity, these paradoxes come to life. The paradox told as a humorous narrative, featuring a hotel owner and a building contractor based on the feuding 19th-century mathematicians Georg Cantor and Leopold Kronecker.

Hotel Infinity, No Vacancy

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

They are made out of meat

A beautiful short story..check it out. This is supposed to be the most posted short story in internet history.

Read it here

Are we alone in the universe...are we..

helloooooooooo..anyone out there..

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

I had read about this really wonderful book by Douglas R. Hofstadter 'Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' or GEB as it is better known and have been trying to get hold of a copy. I asked a couple of my friends in the US but it didnt work out and it was not available in any of those bookshops that I asked. The other day as I was browsing thru a bookshop - as I usually do - I saw this book sitting there waiting for me and I had no hesitation in purchasing it.

I wouldnt want to go into what this book is all about, but it is a work on physics, mathematics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, computing, genetics and more (I got this from the preface of the latest edition). I am sure this is not an easy book as it deals with a lot (abstract stuff and philosophies that I may not be able to comprehend at first reading)..but am sure it is definetly worthy of the time I am going to spent on it, I am sure.

Each chapter begins with a dialogue between imaginary characters. This I guess makes it easier for lay readers like myself to get acquainted with the book before delving deeper into finding the real meaning of what the author is trying to postulate.

Here below is an imaginary conversation between a tortoise and Achilles. [It will make more sense if you can imagine pointing a camera to a TV screen and the image is displayed on the screen as a never ending system of TV screens that fall into itself... :) hehe now you are more confused than where you were]

Crab Canon by Douglas Hofstadter

Achilles and the Tortoise happen upon each other in the park one day while strolling.

TORTOISE: Good day, Mr. A.
ACHILLES: Why, same to you.
TORTOISE: So nice to run into you.
ACHILLES: That echoes my thoughts.
TORTOISE: And it's a perfect day for a walk. I think I'll be walking home soon.
ACHILLES: Oh really? I guess there's nothing better for you than walking.
TORTOISE: Incidentally, you're looking in very fine fettle these days, I must say.
ACHILLES: Thank you very much.
TORTOISE: Not at all. Here, care for one of my cigars?
ACHILLES: Oh, you are such a philistine. In this area, the Dutch contributions are of markedly inferior taste, don't you think?
TORTOISE: I disagree, in this case. But speaking of taste, I finally saw that Crab Canon by your favorite artist, M. C. Escher, in a gallery the other day, and I fully appreciate the beauty and ingenuity with which he made one single theme mesh with itself going both backwards and forwards. But I am afraid that I will always feel Bach is superior to Escher.
ACHILLES: I don't know. But one thing for certain is that I don't worry about arguments of taste. De gustibus non est disputandum.
TORTOISE: Tell me, what's it like to be your age? Is it true that one has no worries at all?
ACHILLES: To be precise, one has no frets.
TORTOISE: Oh, well, it's all the same to me.
ACHILLES: Fiddle. It makes a big difference, you know.
TORTOISE: Say, don't you play the guitar?
ACHILLES: That's my friend. He often plays, the fool. But I myself wouldn't touch a guitar with a ten-foot pole!

(Suddenly, the Crab, appearing from out of nowhere, wanders up excitedly, pointing to a rather prominent black eye.)

CRAB: Hallo! Hulloo! What's up? What's new? You see this bump, this lump? Given to me by a grump. Ho! And on such a fine day. You see, I was just idly loafing about the park when up lumbers this giant fellow from Warsaw — a colossal bear of a man — playing a lute. He was three meters tall, if I'm a day. I mosey on up to the chap, reach skyward and manage to tap him on the knee, saying, "Pardon me, sir, but you are Pole-luting our park with your mazurkas." But WOW! he had no sense of humor — not a bit, not a wit — and POW! — he lets loose and belts me one, smack in the eye! Were it in my nature, I would crab up a storm, but in the time-honored tradition of my species, I backed off. After all, when we walk forwards, we move backwards. It's in our genes, you know, turning round and round. That reminds me — I've always wondered, "Which came first — the Crab, or the Gene?" That is to say, "Which came last — the Gene or the Crab?" I'm always turning things round and round, you know. It's in our genes, after all. When we walk backwards, we move forwards. Ah me, oh my! I must lope along on my merry way — so off I go on such a fine day. Sing "ho!" for the life of a Crab! TATA! ¡Olé!

(And he disappears as suddenly as he arrived.)

TORTOISE: That's my good friend. He often plays the fool. But I myself wouldn't touch a ten-foot Pole with a guitar!
ACHILLES: Say, don't you play the guitar?
TORTOISE: Fiddle. It makes a big difference, you know.
ACHILLES: Oh, well, it's all the same to me.
TORTOISE: To be precise, one has no frets.
ACHILLES: Tell me, what's it like to be your age? Is it true that one has no worries at all?
TORTOISE: I don't know, but one thing for certain is that I don't worry about arguments of taste. Disputandum non est de gustibus.
ACHILLES: I disagree, in this case. But speaking of taste, I finally heard that Crab Canon by your favorite composer, J.S. Bach, in a concert the other day, and I fully appreciate the beauty and ingenuity with which he made one single theme mesh with itself going both backwards and forwards. But I'm afraid I will always feel Escher is superior to Bach.
TORTOISE: Oh, you are such a philistine. In this area, the Dutch contributions are of markedly inferior taste, don't you think?
ACHILLES: Not at all. Here, care for one of my cigars?
TORTOISE: Thank you very much.
ACHILLES: Incidentally, you're looking in very fine fettle these days, I must say.
TORTOISE: Oh really? I guess there's nothing better for you than walking.
ACHILLES: And it's a perfect day for a walk. I think I'll be walking home soon.
TORTOISE: That echoes my thoughs.
ACHILLES: So nice to run into you.
TORTOISE: Why, same to you.
ACHILLES: Good day, Mr. T.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Format War is On

HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray.

Microsoft and Intel besides a few others versur Sony and most of the Hollywood studios.

Xbox 360 versus PlayStation 3.

Last week the Microsoft-backed underdog, HD-DVD, landed a few blows on its rival Blu-ray, which had looked the favourite, backed by Sony and most of the Hollywood studios. First Microsoft announced it would offer an HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360. Then Toshiba America said it would ship its first two HD-DVD players in March at $499 and $799. By contrast, the first Blu-ray player, a Pioneer Elite model, is expected this summer at $1 800, along with a Samsung player at about $1 000.

HD-DVD suddenly looks within the reach of most HDTV owners, and Blu-ray doesn't.

There's more.

Blu-ray drives are expensive, and Merrill Lynch Japan has projected this will lead to Sony losing ¥30-billion in the first year of the PS3's release. And if Microsoft cuts the price of its Xbox 360 console when the PS3 appears, this could bring "an additional loss of ¥80-billion in its second year and ¥50-billion in its third year," according to Gamespot.

The battle to decide the next-generation disc is about technological breakthroughs and consumer benefits, of course. But it's also about vast money streams from sales of players, PCs, consoles and phones, the content that makes them useful, plus all the royalties and patent fees. Companies are going to fight for those, even if consumers suffer.The difference here, though, is that we can ignore the fight -- and stick with our DVDs. That won't hurt Bill Gates. But it will hurt Sony.

Read the complete article here

Friday, January 13, 2006

Covergence and Smartphone

This is one SMART phone...Palm Treo 700w Smartphone, runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 software. No wonder Bill Gates uses it :)

Read on for a more detailed review of this smart lil gadget which finally got rivals Palm and Microsoft to converge.

If it is good enough for the Gates...
The trio of Palm, Microsoft and Verizon have created a winner in the Treo Smartphone.
Review by Peter Lewis, FORTUNE senior editor

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Of reading, music and...

These days the reading habit has almost come down to nothing more than just a few pages a day. I dont really know the reason but I gez it must be the routine that has set in and somehow am too tired to do any real reading. I have a few books that I am looking to enjoy...among them are Tolkein's 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' as well as Umberto Eco's 'Name of the Rose' as well as 'Foucalt's Pendulum'. The only real time I get to read is when am in the confines of the loo and then it is usually the newspapers or some magazines.

My life has taken on a new meaning now and I am worried I might get caught in an existence that borders on routine...I need to do something about it. I also need to inculcate some kind of discipline wherein I should be able to give time to what I really want to be doing and even I know that there is so much that I have to sort out..dont we all.

These past few months music has taken on a new meaning in my life and I am constantly listening to different kinds of them. I kinda got re-introduced to reggae, country, trance, radio edits and the like. Its a whole new world out there. I have taken a fancy to various mixes and currently my fav is DJ Tiesto - Live at Duplex Prague 2005. Did Carl Cox and some Steve Lawler the other was a trip.

More later..

CNet 2005 Tech Car Winner is...

For those inclined to the latest in cars, the 2005 Acura RL wins CNET's first annual Tech Car of the Year award. To read more click here .

These days cars come up with the latest in technologies and offer almost the same comfort that you get in a plushed up living room or maybe more..

The other 10 tech car nominees were,
2005 Audi A4 Avant
2006 Audi S4
2006 BMW 330i
2006 BMW 750Li
2005 Cadillac CTS
2006 Infiniti M35x
2005 Land Rover LR3 HSE
2006 Lexus RX 400h
2006 Mercedes-Benz E350

I guess even I should be looking at owning one of the above. Though the sensex is on a bull run, the economy in my realm is looking really pathetic, so probably I will look out for one of those run down second or third hand Maruti 800 :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Time slowed down..considerably.

You could feel it...the music was taking you to places where only your mind could conjure. I felt I was falling down...accelerating till I could take it no more. I waited for the impact...that never came. I realised that if there was no obstruction I could keep falling till eternity and a day more. Falling had no meaning. The definition of direction altered, coz if you are travelling towards eternity at a high speed..the direction doesnt matter coz you keep on travelling.

It suddenly leapt to my mind why we are afraid of falling. It has nothing to do with the act of was scary only in the realisation that soon that fall is going to end and it could be painful or it could be an end to life as I know it. I wondered if i was travelling up towards the sky at the same speed I would be falling to the ground..I wouldnt be scared of the impact and it will be an exhilirating ride until I realise that my ride now is not going to end in any conventional way I know..but it could go on the immensity of our known universe is so far beyond our comprehension and it could be a long while before I go crash into some piece of rock or any of those objects that populate our universe.

Which is more scary..knowing that u r life is going to end as u hurtle down towards earth at increasing speeds or the probability that you will keep on travelling forvever in which ever direction you choose without any end in sight.

My eyes opened to the fact that at high speeds and if you are not stopped, direction and time hold no meaning. There will not be forward and up or yesterdays and no tomorrows.

I know this might sound crazy and it should to anybody who is sane...but then I never claimed to be sane :)

Ok, here it taking this even further.

What is time?

What is speed?

Wouldnt time slow down if we grow bigger. When I mean bigger, I dont mean just a few feet or a few meters..I mean really huge. Lets say we keep growing till we are almost as tall as..the earth. Wouldnt then the concept of minutes and hours have changed. I mean now we are as big as the earth and now we can feel or see the earth rotating and revolving [We are that huge. I gather the earth is spinning at very high speeds now and we cant see it or feel it directly. We see it reflected in 'day and night' and 'seasons' or other indicators]. Now dont you think we will measure time on a different scale...and if the basic unit now is seconds, dont you think we will change our unit. To illustrate it in our minds we need to mark a point of reference, so here lets suggest that one second is our point of reference..but at very high speeds and at very large time frame our units change. Simply put..we measure very large distance in light years. Similarly I just figured or thought about it last evening and wondered that all that we know now is based on our limited understanding and that also holds for basic units like time, speed and distance. But we dont know whats out there. When we look at an insect or study a bacteria with an electron microscope and wonder how short thier life span is, we are using our knowledge as a point of reference. But is it inconcievable that we may be that self same bacteria and some life form that is so huge is studying us now...and is it inconcievable that what we consider a full life of 100 years may be just an instant in thier universe.

Can we be absolutely certain that we are not living under controlled conditions in some tissue culture lab...

Isnt time and speed and distance relative to what we know...

Sometimes I can go really crazy up there..but then arent we all in our own crazy worlds..:)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Movie Quotes...

Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?
--------DIRTY HARRY--------
Col. Nathan Jessup: "Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."
-----------A FEW GOOD MEN-----------

Wanda: To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I've known sheep who could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs, but you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape? Otto: Apes don't read philosophy. Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it!
----------A FISH CALLED WANDA-----------

Vinny Gambini: I'm here to collect.
J.T.: How 'bout I just kick your ass.
Vinny Gambini: Oh a counter offer. That's what we lawyers, I'm a lawyer... we call that a counter offer. This is a tough decision you give me here. Get my ass kicked or collect two hundred dollars. I could use a good ass-kickin', I'll be perfectly honest with you... no I think I'll just go with the two hundred.
J.T.: Over my dead body.
Vinny Gambini: You like to renegotiate as you go along. Well here's my counter offer... do I have to kill you? What if I were just to kick the ever loving shit out of you?
J.T.: In your dreams.
Vinny Gambini: Oh no no... in reality. If I kick the shit out of you, do I get the money?
------------MY COUSIN VINNY------------

Lisa: Imagine you're a deer. You're prancing around. You get thirsty. You spot a little brook. You put your little deer lips down to the clear water - BAM! A fuckin' bullet rips off part of your head! Your brains are lying on the ground in little bloody pieces. Now I ask you, do you give a fuck what kind of pants the son-of-a-bitch who shot you was wearing?!
-----------MY COUSIN VINNY-------------

John Keating: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse." That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
-----------DEAD POETS SOCIETY-----------

Harry: I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
------------WHEN HARRY MET SALLY-----------

Jess: Marriages don't break up on account of infidelity. It's just a symptom that something else is wrong.
Harry: Oh really? Well, that "symptom" is f***ing my wife.
------------WHEN HARRY MET SALLY------------

Leonardo da Vinci: You cannot leave everything to Fate, boy. She's got a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand
Things will happen in your life that you can't stop. But that's no reason to shut out the world.
My Dearest Allie.
I couldn't sleep last night because I know that it's over between us. I'm not bitter any more, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I'll smile at you with joy and remember how we spent the summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever. I love you. I'll be seeing you.
I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.
Summer romances begin for all kinds of reasons, but when all is said and done, they have one thing in common. They're shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash they're gone.
-------------THE NOTEBOOK-------------

Temper's the one thing you can't get rid of, by losing it
Austin - "Oh, there you are."
Stranger - "Do I know you?"
Austin - "No, but you're there!"
-------------AUSTIN POWERS------------

[Noticing Dr. Evil's spaceship on radar] Radar Operator: Colonel, you better have a look at this radar.
Colonel: What is it, son?
Radar Operator: I don't know, sir, but it looks like a giant--
Jet Pilot: Dick! Dick, take a look out of starboard.
Co-Pilot: Oh my God, it looks like a huge--
Bird-Watching Woman: Pecker!
Bird-Watching Man: [raising binoculars] Where?
Bird-Watching Woman: Over there. What sort of bird is that? Oh goodness, it's not a bird, it's--
Army Sergeant: Privates! We have reports of an Unidentified Flying Object. It has a long, smooth shaft, complete with--
Baseball Umpire: Two balls! [looking up from game] What is that? It looks just like an enormous--
Colonel: Johnson!
Radar Operator: Yes, sir?
Colonel: Get on the horn to British Intelligence and let them know about this.
Woman: Oh my god, look at that! It looks just like my husband's--
Carnival Worker: ONE-EYED MONSTER! Come see the One-eyed Monster!
One Eyed Monster: Oh my god, it's a giant--
Chinese Teacher: Wang! pay attention!
Wang: Sorry, sir I was distracted by that giant flying--
Fan: Woody! Woody Harrelson! Could I have your autograph?
-------------AUSTIN POWERS--------------

Austin Powers: [About her skintight clothes.] How do you get into those pants?
Felicity Shagwell: Well you can start by buying me a drink.
Felicity Shagwell: Felicity Shagwell. Shagwell by name, shag-very-wel
l by reputation.
-------------AUSTIN POWERS---------------

Ivana: Do you know how we keep warm in Russia?
Austin: I can guess, baby.
Ivana: We play chess. Austin: I guessed wrong.
-------------AUSTIN POWERS--------------

Number Two: Dr. Evil, wouldn't it be easier to use your knowledge of the future to play the stock market? We could literally make trillions!
Dr. Evil: Why make trillions when we could make... billions?
-------------AUSTIN POWERS--------------

President: C'mon, let me nuke that bastard.
Commander Gilmour: You want to blow up the moon?
President: Would you really miss it that much?
-----------AUSTIN POWERS------------

Alotta Fagina: In Japan, men come first and women come second.
Austin: Or sometimes not at all.
--------------AUSTIN POWERS--------------
Rick Blaine: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Maggie Rice: When they ask me what I liked best, I'll say it was you.
Topper Harley: These men have a supreme vow of celibacy, like their fathers, and their fathers before them...
--------------HOT SHOTS-------------

Tess: You're a thief and a liar.
Danny: I only lied about being a thief, and I don't do that anymore.
Tess: Steal?
Danny: Lie.

-----------------------------------------------OCEAN'S ELEVEN------------------------------------------------

True pleasure..

True pleasure lies in desire, not satiety

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Guess who is coming to Dinner?

This is a wonderful piece of monologue from 'Guess whose coming to dinner'. It's a movie about interracial romance, which is a bit on the melodramatic side starring Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier. Here Spencer Tracy's character is telling Sidney Poitier why he is not against his daughter marrying a coloured person. This movie created a sensation when it was first released in the turbulent times when racism was a searing and burning issue in the land of opportunities. Sidney Poitier was very good... Read on and enjoy...

"Now Mr. Prentice, clearly a most reasonable man, says he has no wish to offend me but wants to know if I'm some kind of a *nut*. And Mrs. Prentice says that like her husband I'm a burned-out old shell of a man who cannot even remember what it's like to love a woman the way her son loves my daughter. And strange as it seems, that's the first statement made to me all day with which I am prepared to take issue... cause I think you're wrong, you're as wrong as you can be. I admit that I hadn't considered it, hadn't even thought about it, but I know exactly how he feels about her and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you son feels for my daughter that I didn't feel for Christina. Old- yes. Burned-out- certainly, but I can tell you the memories are still there- clear, intact, indestructible, and they'll be there if I live to be 110. Where John made his mistake I think was in attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think... because in the final analysis it doesn't matter a damn what we think. The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it's half of what we felt- that's everything. As for you two and the problems you're going to have, they seem almost unimaginable, but you'll have no problem with me, and I think when Christina and I and your mother have some time to work on him you'll have no problem with your father, John. But you do know, I'm sure you know, what you're up against. There'll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say "screw all those people"! Anybody could make a case, a hell of a good case, against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happened to have a pigmentation problem, and I think that now, no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be if - knowing what you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feel- you didn't get married. Well, Tillie, when the hell are we gonna get some dinner?"

Where is God's perfection?

[Just this for the first time about 5 years ago and it still reads...if you know what I mean]

Thought For Life In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school devoted to teaching disabled children

Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be main-streamed into conventional schools.

At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection? The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child."

He then told the following story about his son Shaya:

One afternoon, Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya's father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."

Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short centre field. In the bottom of the eight inning, Shaya's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya's team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base. Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya's team-mates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shaya, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled.

By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the rightfielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the Third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, Shaya run home." Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grand slam" and won the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."

Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of morality is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what I think of me.

The Prophet - On Love

[An extract from Khalil Gibran's 'The Prophet']

Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love."

And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God."

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

What if all of this is a dream?

"I'm afraid I've got more in common with who I was than who I am becoming."
On a very abstract and real sense dont you think we can identify with the quote given below.
"Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Tzu. Suddenly I awoke, and there was I, visibly Tzu. I do not know whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Tzu."
Chuang Tzu
What if all of this is a dream.
What if we are in a 'Matrix' programmed to be alive and feel the senses...does it make any difference?
Another quote that makes sense and kind of takes of from the above,
"The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality.
The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality"
So what if we are dreaming, does it make living any more different. But isnt it true that we have all in many ways surrendered to the reality of existence and become conformists.
Why does conformism have a negative connotation? Is conformism necessarily bad?
But then right from our formative years we are exhorted, cajoled and pushed to conform to existing rules of societal living. We are lead to look up at and idolize the very path that pushes us to stop being individualistic. We talk about individualism and freedom and liberty and dreams. But when is it we stop that pursuit?
Or is individualism just the pursuit of the very few...
I , myself am struck here in a rut...but why do I not feel that?
I wonder...

I just carry hope in my heart

Anything I say is my opinion and true for me. That doesn't mean it's true for anyone else. I only bother saying what I say because it gives other a chance to observe their own reaction to my opinion. It doesn'tmatter whether they agree with me or not. Truth is only absolute forthe individual.

The answer, maybe, is going out and doing rather than waiting. If you wait, life will probably pass you by. But if you go out and do the things you want to, take the risks you fear, you may just find that everything slots into place.

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us onthe basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long toreturn.
Leonard da Vinci

I am not an optimist, because I am not sure that everything ends well.
Nor am I a pessimist, because I am not sure that everything ends badly.
I just carry hope in my heart.
Hope is the feeling that life and work have a meaning. You either have it or you don't, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you.
Life without hope is an empty, boring, and useless life. I cannot imagine that I could strive for something if I did not carry hope in me.
I am thankful to God for this gift. It is as big as life itself.
Vaclav Havel

Mysteries unexplained - I

Easter Island
Not only is it one of the most isolated places on Earth - it also has hundreds of spectacular and mysterious stone statues that guard over it. Read on

Nazca Lines
Huge geometric patterns and spirals, animal figures and thousands of perfectly straight lines that go on for kilometres. The Nazca lines - one of the most baffling enigmas of archeology. Read on

Great Pyramid of Giza
A total of over 2,300,000 blocks of limestone and granite were used in its construction with the average block weighing 2.5 tons and none weighing less than 2 tons. The large blocks used in the ceiling of the King's Chamber weigh as much as 9 tons. Read on

Kailasa Temple
The Kailasa temple is an illustration of one of those rare occasions when men's minds, hearts, and hands work in unison towards the consummation of a supreme ideal. Read on

The links given are just meant to build on your curiosity and you could probably use the Internet to know more...

Happy reading..

Mysteries unexplained - Stonehenge

Ever wondered about the mysteries from the past. Though we have a fair understanding about them now, there is still so much unexplained. I have tried to jot down a few here and if you are interested you could pursue them at your lesiure...

Consisting of 162 stones and is 35 paces across, Stonehenge is one of the most famous and mysterious ruins in the world today. It has fascinated scientists and us and after hundreds of years of theories and research, scientists believe that Stonehenge was built for both astrological and ceremonial purposes over a period of more than five hundred years. But is do we know? Read on...

Stonehenge: unearthing a mystery

Stonehenge I and II

Mystery of Stonehenge points to the heavens

How much ever study is done, one cannnot at least now ever know the true purposes behind the building of these massive stone structures. It will remain as one of those unexplained mysteries at least for some more time..thus giving it the aura it so deserves, having stood for over 5000 years standing vigil to so many changes that happened around it...

Movie reviews - Check out Reelviews

James Berardinelli is one of the best reviewer of movies that I have come across. He hosts a non-commercial site and though I may not agree with some of his opinion, I find him to be articulate and very well informed on american as well as world cinema.

For those interested in good in-depth reviews you can check him out at,

Since he is an independent reviewer, he doesnt have to tow the lines of those syndicated reviewers whose views can/could be influenced by big studios when they plug their latest movies at special screenings followed by sumptous and lavish cocktails...and as we all know invoking bacchus and going bacchanalian usually doesnt add upto unbiased criticism. I dont hold that anybody is unbiased. I believe that each one of us is always biased in our opinions and views. We are always influenced by a lot of concious and subconcious stimuli...but a truly good writer should be able to present his case in a logical and articulate manner.

Oh, of course Mr. Berardinelli also doesnt think a certain Tom Cruise is going to be oscar worthy material, more reason why I like him ;)

I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it - Voltaire

Monday, January 02, 2006

Wonderful movies..

So another year goes by. It seems that the days are passing by faster..or probably thats just a perception when caught up in the midst of a work routine that doesnt allow you the sensibility or the sensitivity to see each day for what it is and make the most of the moment.

I really watched some good movies over the past one year..on DVD's mostly and I was trying to catch up on some of those movies that I had wanted to and couldnt as India and Hyderabad in particular is not a place where one can actually cater to ones desire of watching those international movies.

Here goes a compilation of some of the better movies that I watched and the movies that I would recommend if anyone is interested... I will keep adding on to the list as I remember them.

1. Memento
2. Requiem for a Dream
3. Me and You and Everyone we know
4. 40 year old virgin
5. Batman Begins
6. Dead Again
7. Rashomon
8. 2046
9. In the mood for love
10. Citizen Kane
11. King Kong
12. Solaris

There were two beautiful malayalam movies that I liked Blessy's Mammooty starrer "Kazhcha" a haunting tale of love and loss set in the idyllic and water logged kuttanadu in central Kerala. Then there was the adaptation of Tennessee Williams play 'The Glass Menangeri', 'Akele' by Shyamaprasad. Geethu Mohandas' performance as the autistic protagonist was arguably one of the best peformance by a female artist in 2005 in any indian language cinema.

I am trying to get hold of the uncut version of Kenneth Branagh's 'Hamlet'. The DVD has not yet come out, so i gez I will have to settle for the VCD, if I can get my hand on one ;)

Two other movies that I want to watch are Steven Spielberg's Munich and the Stephen Gaghan's Syriana...