Sunday, September 21, 2008

Its now mridul.co.in

I've moved... To a space of my own...

http://mridul.co.in

All future updates will be at mridul.co.in. This site will be a placeholder for my previous articles.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yours Disorderly

Reading Thanu's Orderly adobe made me wonder whether there are many more similar people out there. Their life should be really monotonous and boring. Did not someone show them what they are missing in their life ?

I'm talking about people who keep everything in order. This goes here and that goes there type. This blog is specially for them. Being a complete disorder (hey! its disorder, not disaster) let me help them realize what they are missing in their life.

The fun of disorder cannot be explained in a single blog. It might take a whole life documenting the pleasures. But let me provide a glimpse of this world, the world of chaos, the world of no-rules, the world of fun.

Someone once said that my room resembled a sugarcane farm that some wild elephants had just been to. Some books here, some clothes there, some more books there and more papers here. This chaos is a self sustaining environment, rearranging itself periodically to maintain its status. So I never had to do anything to maintain the status quo (unlike ordered people who have to put regular efforts to maintain order).

Imagine having to search your car keys in a room like this. Specially when you are already late for your office. I push the books, clothes and newspapers to one side. No luck. I lift the carpet, move the television, still no luck. But after 20 to 30 minutes of search I finally find my keys somewhere at the bottom of a heap of papers and clothes. Now can you feel that joy I felt when I found the keys ? If not, read on..

Have you ever experienced what i experienced when I found that all six socks that I picked from here and there in my house turned out to be all different ? I had 6 socks but not a single matching pair.

And the other day I was searching for a receipt when I stumbled upon a cheque my friend had given me weeks before. It was lying among the old newspapers and I lost track of it. Now imagine my joy when I found that 30$ cheque ? I might have thanked my friend when he gave that cheque, maybe slightly happy at that time. But now I felt tremendously happy rediscovering the cheque. The extra happiness came from being disordered. And the ordered folks out there are going to miss that.

Now don't you think you are missing something when living an ordered life ? The little pleasures of life that disorder brings with it cannot be explained, but it needs to be experienced. Try it once. Once you experience it, there will be no turning back.


P.S - "There is always order in disorder (and vice versa)"
P.S - "There are some things order can bring, for everything else there is disorder".

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Photographing the sleeping dead

Last week I was going through my albums when I noticed a photograph taken during my college days. In the photo I am sleeping, lying flat on my back unaware of anything happening around. When I am looking at it now I could feel a chill all over me. The photo had the serene feeling of a body whose soul already departed. Maybe when I am dead this is how I am going to look.

That photo had looked normal when it was taken. And I remember my friends laughing at it especially seing my sleeping posture. Years later the same photo looked disgusting. Death was hanging all around. If I were a celebrity this might be the photo that fits the front page of any newspaper reporting my death.

Now I realize why elders often ask us never to photograph the sleeping. Initially I had considered it to be yet another superstition inhabiting our country. With the photo in my hand the reason became obvious. Also consider the fact that photography matured into its current form only during 19th century and 19th century was also a period of great scientific progress. So it was very naive of me to think that superstitions as stupid as "do not photograph the sleeping" were born during this period.

So next time think twice before you photograph a sleeping person. Because years later the same photo will appear "deadly".

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Retaliating with effect

Every time India faces a terrorist attack all eyes are on the government on how it responds. People expect the nation to retaliate. Media is often obsessed by the way Israel responds to attacks on its territorry. Ultimately India gets judged as a weak state.

It is true that every time it was attacked Israel has responded fiercely. SO WHAT ??
Did it bring any change to the situation ? Did attacks on Israel stop ? Or atleast did the attacks reduce because of their response ?

Most of the Israely retaliations resulted only in adding more to the civilian casualities than anything else. The attacks on Israel continues despite their fierce responses.

Let us not be the insane person (dirty torn clothes and rubbish all around type) who spits vulgar curses and throws stones at everybody around when provoked by someone. If we react this way we are going to hit passersby while the real culprit gets away. And more the people who'll be interested in provoking us.

So before we fire missiles and bombs at our neighbours and declare ourselves insane let us look what we should really be doing. B. Raman in an article in OutlookIndia.com (Flavour of the Day) stressses on enhaced physical security in the country. Metal detectors fixed at station entrance with alert officers will make anyone think twice before attempting anything. Closed circuit televisions and surveillance cameras should be made part of the norm. Sniffer dogs for detecting explosives should be made available atleast for a group of stations and regular random checks should be performed at all the places of interest. And let us improve our internal intelligences.

Also give more power to our external intelligence agencies to chase and neutralize terror cells. Its high time they are given this power explicitly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Beautiful Nectars of life

Have you ever observed that some plants produces nectar to attract insects while others produce venom to kill ? The question is, how do these plants find out that what they are going to make turns out as nectar and not venom ?

Suppose today some of the plants decide to perform pollination using cats. If previously plants were attracting butterflies and other insects using their nectar and aroma for pollination, they now need to prepare good cat food and fragrances for attracting the cats.

Suppose I'm the person trying to prepare good cat food to attract a cat. I get some fish, some milk, some flavour, mixes it and cooks it. Now if the cat eats it, I know i made a good cat food. Instead if I boiled my leather shoes, added some spice and gave it to the cat, it might reject it. And I know I made a bad cat food and I try something different the next time. For me preparing a cat food is as easy as going to the grocery shop and picking different things and trying it out.

In the case of plants they just cannot pick the fish, milk etc from a grocery shop. They have to prepare everything from scratch, right from preparing the sugar molecules to amino acids.. They have to do all the permutations and combinations and finally come up with the end product. And above all, they have no clue as to whether the cats might like it.

The example of plants attracting cats was given to shift the time of reference to the present. Now lets go back where we started. How did the plants start producing nectar ? What did they have to start with ? How did they know that what they are going to start with is indeed what they should be starting with ? In the beginning, how did they know that what they are going to produce is going to attract insects and not repel them ? How did the plants produce something when they even didn't know what it should be like ??

It might be sheer luck, or it might be trial and error, or it might be the evolutionary intelligence that you gained. Or again, it might be that someone told them to do so. But then, thats the beauty of life.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dissecting the frog grip

The mystery of how frogs cling to surfaces - even if their feet are wet - may have been solved by scientists. The article can be found here BBC.

Ever gave a thought on the pain that went behind this finding ? I'm not talking about the scientists. For them it might have been just observing quiet a lot of frog toes under microscopes. They might have spent days and nights in their labs. But I'm not talking about them.

I'm talking about the frogs. Their toes cut off and taken out to be observed under some microscope. They might have waited inside some garbage can for their slow and agonizing death. All these for what ? For making some novel anti-slip devices that will eventually end up as good shoes that does not slip. Is it worth this suffering ?

This news took me back to my late school days when I had to dissect frogs for my biology lab. I still can hear the "cluck" sound when I cut the chest bones with a clipper. The frog was lying motionless nailed to the board, with its heart still beating. After the class, the frogs went into dust bins with their hearts still beating.

It didn't serve any purpose to me. I didn't learn anything new that I could not have learned with slides or pictures. And I ended up being an engineer who got nothing to do with frogs. All those pains went wasted.

Atleast I hope that the scientists gave them a quick death.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Aviyalism - yummy yummy ism...

Here begins my Aviyalism.
A mixture of anything and everything.. politics, religion, peace, war, terror, life, death, nature, technology.