Saturday, October 01, 2011


in case anyone is still expecting a post here -
I have moved (and gotten more serious and grown up :P)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An open letter to The BITS Family (Students, Faculty , Alumni , Non academic staff)

Dear Ma’am/Sir/Friend.

I write today to talk about a quaint little quirk which has entered our fledgling campus a while ago. The absence of a second x chromosome and a y chromosome in its place has been taken as the deciding factor to determine the freedom of an individual post 11:30pm at night. To understand the particular appeal of this little trait in determining to a large extent the life of a human, we need to go back a little in evolutionary time. Since I am targeting a largely Indian audience, I do not expect a load of creationist trash in counter argument here. I do love India.

I am a layperson when it comes to evolutionary biology however I will layout the bare essentials in non technical terms. Organisms were quite capable of reproducing asexually. Copies of the DNA were made and two individuals produced, a few mutations may have occurred in the copying process. In the evolutionary tree, sexual reproduction provided a clear advantage, genetic variation could be promoted and new genotypes could arrive by intermixing of genes. Thus the two sexes arrived on the scene, one of these capable of carrying a new human being into this world right from the stage of fertilization to almost full development. It is this sex that we choose to discriminate against.

Why? Well the ‘cost’ – read as energy cost of carrying the entire female reproductive system , mammary glands, and the ‘cost’ of pregnancy etc meant that the female body had to compensate by being physically smaller, less muscular, more vulnerable to attacks.

Everytime humans smirk at the other species, destroy them indiscriminately and give the superior grin and air of arrogance of having reached the highest brain to body mass ratio, they should be reminded. They are just evolutionarily programmed beings who still treat the ‘weaker sex’ the sex that protects and brings them all to the world by sacrificing its own physical capabilities, pretty damn bad.

The rule was introduced citing probably the lapses in security which would occur if the extra x chromosome is found loitering after our friendly neighborhood star is no longer visible. Certain males of our species have been known to have a tendency to make ‘mating’ advances with no consent of the female. Ah the thoughts for the arrogant human on the top of the animal world – they keep increasing. Or is it tradition, the real reason. It happened in Pilani, so why not here in Goa? Isn’t tradition the ugly reason we give with its highly euphemized name for copying mistakes of the past and spreading them into the future until someone opens our collective eyes? Without the early reformers sati would be a jolly little tradition today, wouldn’t it?

So why do I write now? Why not when the rule was introduced? Let me be honest to my errors first, I was busy and yes I somehow did not bother. I put up with it, maybe because I myself wasn’t on campus, I offer no excuses for my unforgivable apathy. I shall however come to what triggered the outburst right now.

I hope everyone has heard of Sandpaper, The international alumni magazine, lately they seem to share the same twisted sense of humor as my friends on campus.

Kindly give the above link a glance. My friend exalts at his new found freedom after 11:30 and rightly so. It was achieved with hard work from student representatives. Its these little words that caught my eye

“Dancing, screaming, and jeering outside the girls’ hostels, all directing their glee at the hapless girls. They tried feigning disdain and indifference but had to do so inside their hostels! Well, the girls wistfully watched us guys revel in our new found freedom.”

Well, what can I say? Maybe if such people were present during the holocaust, they’d walk up to a gas chamber and yell “ha ha ha – I’m not a Jew, F*** You!”

Probably before the women got the vote, they burst crackers after every election to celebrate the mind numbing ‘brilliance’ of their species in the ill-treatment of half the population for the reasons mentioned above. Anyhow let me not get too bitter, I have nothing against this fellow BITSian, neither is the article the main issue of the letter. It is a general mindset and the mistakes are mine too for keeping quite for so long.

I would just like to ask a few questions here.

To the administration – Do you admit that you cannot treat your male and female students equally and provide them equal rights? Do you admit that the female students pay equal fee and face the same competitive entrance but are denied freedom on the basis of their gender? If this is because of an inability to protect them how do you plan to compensate to this meager BITsian representation of half of the world’s population? Or is compensation not required because it is the weaker half?

To the students (including myself) – Is it only Maggi that can get you moving? Note that I am not advocating the mentioned behavior in anyway. I am asking for questions to be raised and clear answers given, and at least be honest enough to accept blatant sexism occurring in a reputable educational institute. Is watching and gleefully reveling at the woes of fellow students as long as it is not you the attitude adopted by the student body? Or is it because the paltry votes of a few females won’t affect the results of a CSA election, Mr None of the above doesn’t require the help of his female friends I guess.

To the girls in particular (again including myself) – How long will you tolerate? You do know that our ancestors willingly tolerated Sati and the ill treatment of widows are we following their footsteps? We still as a society barely whimper at the numerous cases of female infanticide. Discrimination, large or small is born of the same evil seed. Even the mildest form of it has to end for the most vulgar of them to be crushed.

To the alumni – With all due respect, There have been numerous occasions of alumni intervention to get things right on campus. What happened this time? A mistake replicated across campuses was just highlighted extremely distastefully in your esteemed magazine. Did you all just enjoy the ‘joke’?

Thanking You

Yours Sincerely

Just another BITSian

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why hate Richard Dawkins ?

Hello , People me blogging from office , and im not really supposed to do tht :P .
However, I found an answer to an interesting question I had been asking myself .
Why do so many religious people hate Richard Dawkins ?
The answer may seem apparent , he doesnt agree with them , but he doesn't stop there, by questioning their faith, he seems to offend them. Well yeah , as he says the religious can take offence at just about anything.
However, I dont think they hate him cos he doesn't respect religion , they don't hate him for 'slander' . Why they really hate him ?
Cos he's the little boy in the street yelling out that the emperor has no clothes. While all along , the perception of clothes on the emperor has been the driving force of their entire lives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The vestigial brain

Ok , im not a psychologist but its increasingly apparent that certain statements which would make absolutely no sense to a sentient adult brain at full maturity if presented in an objective manner, makes perfect sense to a mind moulded by convictions of the previous generations and wide sections of the current population (tradition and culture , notice the two dangerous words exceedingly romanticised at great dangers to the society). I shall therefore try to rephrase some of them here, in an attempt to bring in some objectivity. Some of this has been much better done by great minds of the past and I shall borrow from them, cos I am sure I can no better.


There's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! - George Carlin
If I might add - Mister invisible man has a morbid obsession with one of the life processes of one of the millions of mammals on this tiny planet. He doesnt like it when homo sapiens attempt to reproduce before they walk around a fire in front of a large audience or exchange flattened rings of metal in front of a comically dressed man. Now that pisses him off real bad and he promptly sends the invisible steamy substance in these mammals (which he calls a soul) to hell , and watches them burn there. Or maybe he'll make sure the mammals are born as slugs next time.

If I'm born in a piece of land within imaginary boundaries , then that piece of land is superior to all others. I shall die for that imaginary boundary and I'll get goosebumps when people talk about men dying for protecting my imaginarily bounded piece of land. Instead of sighing at the ultimate foolishness of war, Ill feel glorious

(mistake not , its very important to defend ourselves and those who did defend us are great martyrs. We jus need to go beyond blind patriotism and see the root cause of all war , greed and misunderstanding. Instead of jus glorifying martyrs, shouldnt we work towards eliminating their need)
The possession of testicles has great bearing on whether acts by a human are acceptable or not. If you don't have testicles , the old invisible man probably wouldn't approve of you consuming ethanol. Oh yeah , he has an eye for these details . Especially with our species. Doesn't seem too very concerned about what the other life forms are doing , after all we are the ones burning holes through his well crafted ozone layer. So we should be blamed for some stuff, true true...
At a certain time in your twenties , you are obliged to perform a funny ceremony with someone from the opposite sex with a hell lot of distant relatives who u'll never recognize watching. Its important for the female to have a large mass of Au (gold) displayed on her self during this weird ceremony. Both the male and female shall not have fun or choose to customize any part of this ceremony. Invisible father above is still watching. It would be highly desirable if the male and female don't decide to choose each other , cos after this ceremony they are obliged to copulate , populate and coinhabit for the rest of their lives.
This insane list could go on forever. Im tired though now .. think i'll go sleep :P

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Smart Goans

Hello Everyone , Gow's no longer in Goa physically but as long as my carefree spirit is still found on Goa's serene beaches , this blog needn't change.
It has been two months into Practice School 2, by far the toughest course at BITS .Probably the greatest amount of learning through any formal course happens in PS2 .
Some people get to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, others exactly what they want to stay away from. The latter category is more heavily populated.
Anyway guys , this wasn't supposed to be a post groaning about the drudgery of PS2 , there are plenty of those and most readers would be acquainted with these facts already.
What I want to talk about is a culture that envelopes humanity in which life is vestigial, to be caught up with on a rare weekend. The week spent discussing complex jargon of businesses barely understood by self professed experts. People impeccably dressed with polished accents and suave mannerisms sitting at desks sounding pompous , knowledgeable and sometime arrogant. CVs stacking work experience and educational qualifications into towers of glory. The snide remarks and subtle innuendos targeted at subordinates , the false smile and blatant sycophancy piled on superiors , a sigh hiding the chagrin while being slighted by a senior , avarice barely hinted in a momentary grimace on hearing about a colleagues promotion (promptly replaced by the veil of a smile). The racing heart and the beads of sweat in a well air conditioned room , at the sound of a deadline that comes roaring on , the dry eyes and the aching necks it is all a part of corporate culture.
Of course it's not all bad , there's the glitz and glamor at the higher levels, there are lunches and dinners with teams even for the fresher.
In the end though , it's all just a part of eking out a living. I wonder how many of these experts would give a damn about their job if they were gifted a million dollars. Ultimately people work to earn a living they have no time to live.
The mind as usual wanders off to Goa , the sands , the seas , the small town folk their fish and fenny, large number of holidays and feasts , shops that happily close down at 6 , never open before 10. The general lazy air . Not to say that Goans are lazy imbeciles , but there is a laid back air around them, maybe its their surroundings. I can't help but feel that they are the smartest people in the world . When people want to commercialize their beaches and turn them into corporate nightmares , there is nothing laidback about Goans anymore , they are up and about protesting and cancelling New Year, right until the dellusioned politician resigns. The Goans have everything that the rest of the world is hunting for, but has no time to find. Fish , fenny , music , churches , the rivers and waterfalls , the seas , a land of bounty and a people at peace. Development to them is not a megalomanic urge to construct sky scrapers. Even mining, which is creating a big issue , has caught all the Goans attention, the corporates know that their days of indiscriminate pillage are numbered.
Rock On Goa !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blast from the recent past

Hello all , Im back . This time with a post I wrote just before leaving campus , publishing it now.
I'll return sooner I hope.

So , that's all folk ! , My 4 years in BITS , the Goa campus finally drawing to an end. I thought this would be the day I'd look forward to, free to do what I want , no longer constrained to the BITS system. Never knew it could feel so bad. I cant stop to reminiscence, the onslaught of memories is just too rapid , four years are lost in a blur. Its still not sinking in , there was too much taken for granted, the fresh air and the open spaces not the least among them. John's , Bogmalo will never again be a stone's throw away. The freedom I had here despite all of the restrictions imposed by BITS , that freedom is something I'll never find at home. Wonder where my PS is going to be. The uncertainity is killing me.
Goa made me who I am , brought me up from an insecure seventeen year old who cried when her parents left , to someone who is now ready to face anything thats in store be it the recession or ramans grading.
I have stopped identifying with my cast or regional community , When people tell me i am a malayali nair , it means nothing to me, you might as well tell me that I dropped in from Mars. Being with this colorful mixture of India has erased the boundaries in me. My perspectives have changed. Its in places like these that Tagore's "narrow domestic walls" are indeed broken.
As I step out into the real world again I wonder, If I'll be able to retain the core values that I acquired in BITS, leave aside my prejudices, not just about people but also about social norms, tradition , moral rights and wrongs.
I have learnt that tradition sometimes is just a fake sense of pride and ill deserved honor bestowed to a mistake made many times, over generations, repeated by the young cos it was done by the old. Innovation is needed just as much in the social sphere as in the scientific. The resistance is just much greater when it comes to the social.
While I havent lost my belief in God , I have come to appreciate atheism. Learnt that faith opposes reason. Learnt the hard way , to be myself , to be who I am , irrespective of what is thought by those still rooted in ancient social conditioning.
I have acquired interests in particular fields , a desire to build a career in business analytics.
My love for the written word has also intensified . Journalism , another love acquired in BITS.
About the people I met , the friends i've made , I can go on endlessly. Mainly though , strong friendships can be maintained only with adequate personal space and mutual respect for certain boundaries, four years on the same campus with the same folk has taught me that.
How many of the beliefs will I carry with me ? How much of the knowledge will I build on ? How many of my friends will I retain? I'll have to wait and watch.
Right now , I need to step out, Its Goa calling !! :)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Robbed of the magic

I remember visiting magic shows as a lil kid, maybe 4-5, too young to understand that illusions are just smoke and mirrors. I dint have to know enough of the laws of nature to know that something here was defying them. The wide eyed, wide mouthed wonder while watching a carpet fly, a sawed up lady spring back to life and a rabbit popping out of a hat, the gasp, the silent movement of the lips shaping a barely audible how, all markers of an unending thirst to know more and a willingness to go to great lenghts to find out the answer.
Let us now imagine a scenario where instead of a magician in vivid colors pushing the limits of reality, an old grim looking man in a dusty room , equiped with a black board and a chalk teaches a child exaclty how each of these tricks work. The only difference here, is that the child has never really seen these tricks being performed.
While there's a high probability of the first child learning the technique behind the illusions by taking great pains teacher or not, It would take a miracle to even faintly interest the second one. The poor thing is wondering why in the world he should know how to make a furry animal quite similar to a rat jump out of apparel used to cover the head of balding men.

Let us now take the case of men in the years bygone undertaking long and perilous journeys to discover the secrets of life, to measure the world and the skies. Their constant urge to know constantly drawing the best out of them, with scant regard to their own lives, let alone luxury and comfort. Juxtapose this with our unwillingness to walk till a lecture theater a few hundred meters away to learn sometimes these very facts to the unearthing of which lifetimes were dedicated. Centuries of knowledge maybe packed into 50 minutes. How many times do we feel its worth the effort ?

Curiosity and wonder is inherent in every child. It would take a lot to kill it. Maybe 12 + 4 is exaclty what it takes.