Showing posts from February, 2007

From machines with love

There are some moments which make you realize the power of perspective in how we see the world and these moment catch you at most unexpected of times. A new computer science campus in under construction on campus. It is right next to the Newell Simon hall where my dept is situated currently. At the ground floor, there is a huge window which looks down upon the ditch where the new building is coming up. Few days ago, I decided to eat my lunch sitting right next to the huge window looking at the beautiful scene outside what with all the snow covering almost everything. There were some big machines working in at the site. From where I was sitting, I could only see their front part and not the main cabin where the driver sits. They were moving soil and filling up some part of the ditch. I looked at them for some time and after few minutes it was so easy to believe that they are some huge odd looking autonomous things working on their own. I have read a lot of science fiction in which machi

The B'day cake

I am not sure if there exists any soul on this earth who actually enjoys having a cake all over his/her face on his/her b'day. Still year after year the trend goes on as is evident by the mandatory presence of a "caked face" snap in all the photo albums on Orkut and elsewhere. If nobody likes it (as was indicated by a quick survey I conducted on some of my friends and found only one supporter), then the question is why does it go on? Well I have some theories as always :-) 1. It is encouraged by those who don't like cake. So this way they can bring out all their hidden contempt for cake and do the worst that they can do to it i.e. waste it. 2. A slightly less skeptic view says that people are trying to take revenge for what happens to them on their b'days. So it is a vicious cycle in which we are loosing both fun and cake. 3. A more rational explanation by my sister. She says that people do not like to have it on their own face but they really enjoy putting it

Social Networks and patterns

No more poetry, I promise. For sometime at least :-). I have spend at least a dozen hours in last one week going around orkut randomly. Well, not randomly, there are so many interesting games you can make out of randomness. Like you visit the top most friend of the person you are visiting now and see if you come back to familiar circle or not. If you do, you find out a new way of connections that you didn't know existed before. Or you can surf going only through girls/boys profiles which at time can hit a road block. While doing all this, I see patterns, very vague ones and in almost all the cases, false ones owing to the nature of human brain which does a selecting strengthening of evidence. But they are interesting anyway. One of those observations is that a good looking person also seems to have on average, good looking (or photogenic if you want to be technically correct) friends. Another one is that often people who have not put up their own picture in profile , will have more


नये जौहरी नयी अदा वाले, तौल कर भाव बताने वाले। सब मिले हैं हमे ज़माने मे, यार अहसान जताने वाले। दिल खुदा का है यार का मेरे, और अंदाज़ ज़माने वाले। दिल की कालिख है आंख का काजल, वो हैं आंखों से पिलाने वाले। नाम कहने को है अभागा पर, हैं सब अंदाज़ दिवानों वाले।

Language Digest - 5 (Articles/Editorials)

This is the long promised article only edition. This one comes from Pakistan, lamenting the bad condition of Madarsa education . Pakistan again, this time a view in favor of the recent step of making English compulsory . Sounds very much like the recent argument of Prasad about English for Dalits. Continuing on the common thread of Urdu, condition of Urdu press in India is not something to brag about. There is hardly a Urdu news paper that commands a voice at national level or even in a sufficiently big region. Moreover, it works both ways. While Urdu papers carry mostly Muslim centric perspective of problems, Hindi press lacks it to a large extent. Here is an attempt to start a Hindi paper with a Muslim perspective . Not sure why this article is called " Hegemony of Hindi " and it is not even well written but it notes an interesting point about mother tongue reporting in census data. Read with a grain of salt. Marathi or Kokani ? As the article says ; India is home to extra

डरते हैं

डरते हैं ना साकी को हम दिलदार बना लें, मय को ना ग़म-ए-दिल का चारागार बना लें। बस्ती से जो गुज़रा तो मुसाफ़िर ने की हसरत, हम भी ठहर के अपना एक घरबार बना लें। है चुक गया इंसान के दिल से खुदा का नूर, कहने को रहे बुत चलो दो चार बना ले । दे दो सभी के हाथों मे कलमें-ओ-किताबें, जुल्म-ओ-सितम से लडने का हथियार बना लें। ता उम्र बावफ़ा रहीं हैं हमसे अभागा, मायूसियों को ही न क्यों हम यार बना लें ।