Thursday, February 24, 2005

When haircuts occupy primetime....

Day before yesterday, LA Times ran a frontpage article about the plight of barbers in Iraq. They are getting killed by the droves by the insurgents because they don't want people to shave their beards or cut their hair. What those insurgents hope to achieve through killing poor barbers is more than I can imagine. I don't see how long it is going to take people to take a scissor and chop off their own hair! Anyways, I didn't start out to blog about this...
Regardless of how ridiculous it seems now, I believe there's a reason why shaving was prohibited. Sardars in India don't cut their hair or shave their beards. Sardars are a martial clan. Shaving causes a weakening of the nerve cells and contributes to a drain of energy. So to prevent even a miniscule drain of strength, Sardars were prohibited from shaving or cutting their hair. I suppose the same logic could be applied to the Arab nations where Islam was born. The territory is hostile, harsh and unforgiving. And wars among the nomadic clans there, I suppose, must have been quite frequent. Maybe, that's why the men folk were asked not to shave???!! Over the years, I guess the original reason was obscured and it became a matter of faith to follow the injunctions.
I don't know. But whatever be the reason, I don't think it is strong enough to warrant killing of another human being.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Digital Fortress

I finished reading Digital Fortress over the weekend. I think perhaps that Dan Brown should be read just once. All his books start out the same: with a gory murder. Then follows a 24-hour marathon of mystery, assassins, powerful enemies, a cross-country dash that's almost always in Europe and finally the uncovering of an insider. With The da Vinci Code, the story was quite believable and the plot interesting. With Angels and Demons, the plot seemed a bit contrived. Digital Fortress didn't appeal to me that much. Deception Point was the worst amongst all, I think. Anyways, I am through with the Dan Brown series.
Planning on reading Anna Karenina and War and Peace sometime soon.
Other than that, life's been too busy to experiment with anything new. My car hunting woes seem to be finally over. Hopefully, I am going to have sometime to myself in the coming week...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I wonder why they call finding new things as research. I was sitting in a tele-conference today at work and there was this lady who pronounced this word rather emphatically (reee-search as opposed to ri-search). If we are only re-searching, then why do we apply that term to discovering new things? I read in "The Road Less Traveled" (Scott Peck) that all knowledge in this universe is latent within us, submerged in our subconscious. And when we learn something new, our conscious mind is re-discovering what our unconscious already knows. Perhaps, that's why they call it re-search as in searching for something that we already know but don't realize..

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The magical dance of the pixels

I work with computers all the time. I am supposed to love, revere and praise the computer and its myriad uses sky high. I do that to a certain extent. But sometimes, the observer in me steps outside myself and tries to take an objective view of what everyone does. And I find that we sit in front of a machine all day and live, communicate and work to create a virtual web of illusion. We create software and see the result on our screens. We laugh, applaud and take pride in what we have done. What is it, after all? Just a web woven by the magical dance of millions of pixels. Take away the electrical power cord and there goes your creation right in front of your eyes! Of course, it can reappear again on some other machine or whatever. But still the fact remains that it is just an ephemeral creation, nothing solid or concrete. And what annoys me is that we get so carried away by the technology that we neglect our voiceboxes as the primary means of communication with our fellow human beings. We ping them on instant messenger, e-mail them incessantly, page, what a sorry way to live!
I love my work. But I just think that techies should step away from their work sometimes and see it for what it is and not get thoroughly carried away by it! "The future lies in technology..." is the corniest phrase of all time. The future is always in the hands of the kind of people who write that technology and always will be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

All Great Ideas...

I get all these ideas for interesting things to blog about when I am busy doing something else. That too, I get all these brainwaves when I absolutely have a lot of work in my office. Then, in the evening when am really free, I can't think of anything off the top of my head. I finally got some of the pictures I took in India onto this blog...
Anyways, I mean no offense but just a whimsical observation: why do fat men tend to be over garrulous and boring? It is a mega-bore to listen to them wax eloquent on the most trivial things you happen to mention. For some reason, even the most humorous things you happen to say become points of deep introspection and advice. I don't know whether their general nature seems to be a consequence of their weight or perhaps vice versa.



Thiruvanaikkaval Gopuram

Thiruvanaikka Theppakulam

Across the Cauvery...