Thursday, October 6, 2011

Be Hungry,Be Foolish


I have often pondered why Indians lack that spirit of inventive ingenuity in engineering technology (NOT mathematics, fundamental sciences) .......the unprecedented, the avant-garde, the original !
Sure we have Vinod Dham, Arun Netravalli, Amar Bose and several more who are superlative achievers in their niche fields of technology, both in management and R& D, but nearly all of them actualized their potential and burgeoned while away from India. And NOT all fundamental technology!
I wondered aloud at 3 different occasions in the recent past and here are the reactions..............

A middle aged Electrical Engineer from BITS who exhibited potential during school years with several prizes for science & innovation and who now "markets" million dollar engineering solutions (not in India any longer) ...he blamed it on the dead weight of several years of subjugation by colonists (and others) which was a blow to our self esteem and a confidence buster. ..........the pity mode!

A 30 something graduate in automobile engineering from a premier REC down south, born into a family running a successful auto ancillary enterprise, who trained for 2 years in a car giant manufacturing facility in Europe, worked for some years in an Indian automobile company and now has ventured into setting up of a design services company branched all over India........................he almost verbally pummeled me (after several beers) for even suggesting that Indians lagged/lacked in modern technical accomplishment with arguments which were not too compelling via the rich history of scientific, mathematical, architectural achievement route ............the belligerent patriotism mode!

A bright spark ambitious engineer from IIT, hand picked by a global commercial aircraft manufacturer to intern in their US plant, who picked up a pilot license en route, and after a stint with another European manufacturer is currently on deputation in India with a commercial airline in their route planning, test flying et al division ........he sort of agreed with me, no justifications-no rationalization. My query about what percentage of the IIT alumni since its inception in the 60's had made successful/path breaking contributions in the field of technology was met with a sullen "no idea, check with the IIT website" which could be attributable to his turning 30 that very day :-) .............unapologetic yet NOT apathetic mode!

So I am yet ambivalent......perhaps there is a paucity of that gene of pugnacious innovatory enterprise or perhaps the climate of nurture/enquiry via education or opportunities is absent or perhaps as Sudhir Mishra pointed out in a TV program in another context ...we celebrate too soon (and for too little, we get complacent with small glories) or perhaps we need to prodigiously BE HUNGRY, BE FOOLISH as summed up in a simple yet brilliant speech by Steve Jobs at the Stanford commencement speech in 2005.
I leave you with this inspirational food for thought in 1 ,2 , 3 , 4 , 5 parts, delivered by Bill Gates at Harvard in 2007.

Friday, September 2, 2011

finding of the day

my pre tween daughter
has taken the mantle 
of an 
"argumentative indian"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Annathem for some, 
Annathema for some others,
the rest Annaligned.....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

is wondering what would it feel if mind is wiped clean of ALL its memories.
is suffering from avian schizophrenia... a night owl or a morning lark??
am coming to the conclusion that desire for utopia on earth is just a figment of chimerical aspirations. Humanity thrives on chaos!!!
is feeling a disconnect...feels that she is watching the world from an extraterrestrial vantage point!!
Its takes more than wings and amphetamines to make you fly!!
Whats in seriously,why do we have names? We chew over it and we stew over it ! Identification? Symbolization?(Hoping that the lovely literal attributes of our given name stick) Affection? Personalization? Individualization?
wants to go on a longgg sleeping vacation and return back to exactly the same time space where she "took off". Yeah yeah I know...Einsteins theory of Relativity et al!!!
New Word Coinage (inadvertently) : coincidentently= intently coincident = alter ego. Other meanings vividly come to mind, but I will stick to this one! :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If I had to chose between a black hole and vacuum for my mind, I would probably chose a black hole....but what a waste!!
reminiscence, rambles,racket,repartee,resurgence, reality checks, rains and rajma
"Powertoni,the M word, Number Two after Scotland Yard,Black Collar Workers, Vadapav-Eaters' City, A City in Heat, Distilleries of Pleasure, Memory Mines, Sone ki Chidiya......." Danny Boyle and Maximum City ???!!! More likely Bombay Lost and NOT Found!
Cartoon of a "cartoon" is NOT half funny!!
Rule of thumb: Twiddling your thumbs for too long will render you all thumbs!
I very recently heard a quip that we Indians are a nation full of people who just love their "shortcuts" (a method, procedure, policy, etc., that reduces the time or energy needed to accomplish something. so are we just improving our individual efficacy/productivity when we jump traffic signals,break queues,pay bribes etc etc?????
" Sim az mabud wa zarb az Nand Ram."
If osmosis is a gradual, often unconscious process of assimilation or absorption, then can reverse osmosis fix degenerate minds???
Today it finally dawned upon me after so many years....a fine print rider which accompanies every Indian drivers licence and every Indian motor registration: "You are entitled to stop your vehicle in the middle of any 2 way narrow road for upwards of 5 minutes and have your private conversation with any citizen of India who may be a pedestrian or a fellow motorist".
Bumper sticker of the day..on a Bombay registered car on a Poona street:" Nice Person,Wrong Planet !!"
In dog years I am 301 years old! No wonder I feel dog tired at times!!
India is a democratic country in its truest sense.....we allow mercs,beemers,porshes,nanos, marutis ,2 wheelers,3 wheelers, 2 legged mammals, bullock carts, cows,goats,sheep,buffaloes,dogs, statues,mini shrines......equal space on tjhe roads. Apologies if I have missed out any category.

A paraprosdokian....

A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate." — Henry J. Tillman
"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." — Will Rogers
"She got her good looks from her father, he's a plastic surgeon." — Groucho Marx
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." — Groucho Marx
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know." — Groucho Marx
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx
"When I was 10 I beat up the school bully. His arms were in casts. That's what gave me the courage." — Emo Philips
"If I could say a few words, I would be a better public speaker." — Homer Simpson
"If I am reading this graph correctly, I would be very surprised." — Stephen Colbert
"Mark my words. No, Mark, I really need my words." — Stephen Colbert
"I show up at the party, bear with me. That's it. I get there and I have a bear with me." — Little Britain
"If all the girls at Vassar were laid end to end, I wouldn't be surprised." — Dorothy Parker
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out." — Bill Hicks
"frugal – meaning the sparing use of the things one has – derives from the Latin word frugi, meaning the proper profit or value from something." wonder how "proper profit" transitioned to "sparing"/ abstemious?
“Munafa utna hi ho jitna khane mein namak”....
Psychologist William James has written that whenever 2 people meet there are really 6 people present. There is each as (s)he sees (her)himself,each as other person sees (her)him and each as (s)he really is. So when I am speaking with someone, who is speaking with whom?
"A little beyond perception's reach, I sometimes believe that life is two locked boxes, each containing the others key"..a Gruk by Piet Hein
"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. "...Steven Wright
staring out at the dusk waning light and in relative quiet i am being treated to a symphony of wind chimes swaying gently + call of a crazed drongo flitting back an forth from a tree branch + domestic hum + distant periodic honk of a vehicle ruined by a volley of sneezes..... music of life!
A group of 40 years old buddies discussed where they should meet for dinner.

Finally it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the waitress's there had low cut blouses and were very young.

10 years later at 50 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet atthe Ocean View restaurant because the food there was very good and the wine selection was good also.

10 years later at 60 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they could eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.

10 years later, at 70 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the restaurant was wheel chair accessible and they even had an elevator.

10 years later, at 80 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before !!!!!!!!!!!! !
it is not the lack/deficiency of any of the 5 senses nor of the 6th sense (if it exists) BUT the lack of COMMON SENSE which impairs our perceptions about the world/her people!
so why can't we have a "laugh" break instead of a coffee,tea,smoke break and a "laugh" bar where we can buy and indulge in our fave kind of humor (and perhaps get drunk silly) ??
what if we all had nine lives and a vivid memory of each of our past lives?
in a few cases distance does not make the heart grow fonder, it bring unfathomable relief!
why does creativity actively seek an audience? ...or not? intrinsic value remains unchanged inspite,no?
"stonewalled" an adamant and errant 4 wheel driver on the wrong side of a one way street into reversing all the way back! gave me a weird sense of satisfaction!! :-)

Minor Observation of the Moment....

Laughing so hard that your stomach hurts and your face aches is the most cathartic / rejuvenating activity ever! 
To quote Stephen Chbosky, "Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons."
there is this bird i can hear every morning which calls out "o twit o twit o twit".
keeps me well grounded!! :-)
when dusk does dawn....
day dusks into night.
dawn dares the night...
its but a rhythmic flight!

dream pun:

A guy goes to a psychiatrist. 
"Doc, I keep having these alternating recurring dreams.

First I'm a teepee, then I'm a wigwam,
then I'm a teepee, then I'm a wigwam. 
It's driving me crazy. 
What's wrong with me?"

The doctor replies, 
"It's very simple. 
You're two tents (too tense)."
time for "dreamathlon" therapy. realism overload alert.
"Google turned 12 yesterday. So this is the last year you can ask Google anything. Next year it's going to be a teenager so you won't get a straight answer."
September 29, 2010
kiddo's early morn question of the day:" when do dreams end?".
am still mulling over a suitable response.......
an acrostic by my daughter on her hand made birthday card to me...:-))))

M ama is my best friend..
A nd she loves me and me her too...
M agnificent mama,i'm so lucky....
A ma, ama, my mama!

actvity of the day....

saw a civet (its shiny button eyes mostly) up a tall tree (thanks to our neighbours) and then remembered the movie the bucket list and kopi luwak , one of the most expensive coffees of the world and how the coffee is prepared from the partially digested berries defecated by the civet.

more wisdom for the day

"You know your children have grown up, when they stop asking where they came from, and refuse to tell you where they are going."

wisdom for the day

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
—Anais Nin

a twist

Descartes walks into a bar 
and the bartender says, 
“Hey, Descartes! Can I get you a drink?” 
And Descartes says, “I think not,” 
and disappears.

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Liners....

There is (a) 
between a 
Twit and a Wit....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Abstract from Abstraction.....

The history of this abstract of colors ...the CAT brand of pointillisms if I may :-) about 6 years old. 

Fine art is not a subject hubby dearest likes to gush about, BUT Van Gogh is one artist he is truly impressed with, both his life and his work. Irises happens to be his favorite Van Gogh . Come July six  years ago, hubby's birthday on the 25th and I was as usual wondering what to gift him...something that he would not buy himself AND what I could afford to buy!! Arriving at the dead end of my wits, I asked.. nay pestered him to suggest suitable options. At the end of a weary day of questioning (for him) out popped a "copy of Irises"..rational being that he loves it and I would be putting in more energy than I would have in a couple of hours of gift shopping venture. So brimming with enthusiasm I go shopping for the supplies and there I was, all set to produce my version of the masterpiece!

To cut a 6 year old story short, come 25th, the painting was at stage 2.5 of 10 of completion and hubby was presented an incomplete CAT masterpiece. And the easel with the incomplete canvas stood witness to every birthday thereafter and as a ritual every July since,  I readied my painting supplies for some sliver of inspiration to complete the painting be packed back for an annual hibernation. Until last week!!

Way past midnight, sleep had evaded me and birthday gift hunting restlessness created some sort of force field around the canvas and I found myself with brush and paint and some avatar of the Muse! 

And there she lies ready, nothing like intended and finally complete! My birthday gift to hubby. He approved!! :-)

p.s.: Being an equal if not bigger fan of Irises, I will eventual paint a copy....that is a promise to myself.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

my thought for the day!

Somehow the image of that toy attached with a spring to a surface comes to mind when I think of Bombay today and of so many of us.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just like that

"People get a sore throat when they talk too much, I get a sore throat when I don't talk !", said my teary 8 year old when she was admonished for her chatter....... the most spontaneous and original defense ever!! :-))

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Van Gogh's Irises

blues-arching away!
orange glory serenades white bloom....
is vincent's story?

copyright CAT

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random musings--yet again!

Is it only me but I find it strange that my 8 year old daughter chooses to actively, nay vehemently, believe in the existence of God even though there is one parent who openly expresses agnostic views about the very concept!

I cannot pin this down to a lack of an inquiring spirit because, for the most, her innate nature compels her to question every phenomena she encounters till she finds assuage in form of a reasonable and logical explanation. So either to her nascent mind "God" intuitively seems too involuted and omnipotent a subject to hazard skepticism or the faith comes naturally to children and over time they may chose to believe otherwise or perhaps children have this overwhelming need to trust any entity that according to popular world view "protects" and "takes care of them" just like they do of parents......

In any case my hope is that her beliefs , whatever they be, will reinforce her moorings and propel her towards a fulfilled existence!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Cinnamon, Coffee, Amber, Hazel, Chestnut.....of Sepia Delights

                                                            copyright CAT

Monday, February 14, 2011