Monday, 31 December 2007

British and American English

Baba Gyani Triviani says:

"Shun American, and you'll learn to speak proper English"

English -a fantastic language given to the world by Great Britain. However now there are variants - British English, American English, Indian English and so on. But of all these British and American are the two most widely used types. What I don't understand is - Why use American English?

Some people argue that American English is a simplified version of British English, and thus they are making lives of people easy by elimination of redundant letters. Yeah right! Let's face it. The Americans want to standardise their own units. Although the world has its own units, the Americans are stubborn and refuse to use the units used by the rest of the world. And what's sad is that the might and power of the USA is compelling other countries to go the American way. We use the kilometres, and they use miles. We express in litres what they express in gallons. Not that we don't know what that means. But our standard units and theirs are so much different.

American English according to me is a sham. That's because although they claim to make colour as color - removing the redundant u, what I don't quite follow is why not make the spelling of cat ALSO as "kat". This way, both spellings become acceptable - now THAT's simplification. Current currant, curant kurrant, kurrent - they all sound the same and thus, we seem to have a redundant letter - eliminate k or c. So in American English, we can reduce a letter. Or allow both.

Likewise - Circus, sircus; cell sell - let's remove another. Either of v or w also needs to go - velcome, welcome. And this way, we can reduce the difficulty of many people who have bad spellings. Spell checks also can be removed from programs which renders coding simpler. They also keep altering spellings. There's always this confusion of - is it an s or a z?

Bah! Stupid logic. I say stick to the British English. It's the original one, it's the correct one. It may be a little longer - a letter or two extra won't kill you. We have all survived with British Englih so long that we don't feel affected by these two "redundant" letters in our words. I suggest we all oppose the American idea of trying to push their ideas onto us. I don't want to get AmericaniSed for the heck of it.

In fact, just to piss them off, I think I should call it - Amerikan English

I am proud to be an Indian, proud to be driving on the left side of the road and using the right words.

A recent update on facebook resulted in the following thread

Nikhil Baliga It's a pity when people write "realiZe", "optimiZe" in SOPs. Sheesh! Suck ups to the Americans!

Bharath Srivatsa, Nina Booth, Nagamohan Vt and 3 others like this.

Sreedevi Prasad: do u by any chance screen SOPs? or ppl approach you for proof reading? :)

Nikhil Baliga: ‎:P Yup! Clearly I don't screen SOPs :P

Karthik Rangarajan: As far as I remember, I used z's and s's interchangeably all of my life. I don't think I was sucking up to anyone. :) Also, if you they see S instead of Z, they'll think you don't know your spelling, so boom, you lose a couple of brownie points there. Don't blame people even if they're sucking up. :)
2 people like this

Nikhil Baliga: Yeah :P that's what I am saying... fear of losing brownie points and using Zs is a pity man. The Americans do everything using their own standards just to show that they don't conform to the established standards. Like, they drive on the right side (or wrong side :P) of the road, just to show they don't follow the British. And don't even get me started on metrics. It's sad we follow these incorrect spellings. :P
2 people like this

Karthik Rangarajan: Technically, the Americans are conforming to standards when they drive on the right side of the road: 66% of the world does. Yes, they rebel and set their own standards. But doesn't everyone do that? Do we follow standards on our own roads?... Hell, we don't even have standards in a lot of things.

As they say, when you are in Rome, you need to be Roman. Every country has their own way of doing things, and if you're going to that country, you need to be like them. If I come back from the US, and try to stick to my lane, and do lane changes only when necessary, its not going to work, is it?

Nikhil Baliga: :P I am not saying drive on the other side man... What I am saying is - We are taking them to be the de facto Romans. If there are meetings and calls, Indians are awake at American timings. I know loads of people working at 2AM (Not call c...entre employees). When I already have Kgs, litres and Kilometres, why are they again talking in terms of pounds, gallons and miles?

If I am being reviewed by a bunch of people who don't know that "realiSe" and "optimiSe" and Indian/British English spellings and take it as wrong spellings, I wouldn't think much about them. It's common sense. Why should I write spellings to appease someone else? I don't see Americans writing it as realiSe when they mail Indians... They care two hoots for it.

Prashanth Harshangi: Why should you write in english to appease someone else?

Nikhil Baliga: That's my question Prashanth :P and yet people write...

Chiranth Ashok: The problem is people don't WRITE..... They type or copy paste... I am pretty sure a majority of us don't change the spell check utility in MS Office to follow the proper English.. The default settings would give a red line for an S and you would simply change the spelling to make the red line go away... if there are red and green lines when somebody opens a document it simply doesn't look good and that's it..

Nikhil Baliga: Ha :-) I actually point out every time I see - and the people said "They are Americans" (As Karthik above says - When in Rome, be a Roman) and so, that's why, they intentionally keep American spellings.

Personally, I see this to be a servile... attitude. You will never see Americans spell it for you because YOU spell it that way. But there is a general tendency among Indians to spell it like them. Again, it is not the spelling per se, but the attitude that I have a problem with.
2 people like this

Sriranga Chidambara: They tend to spell it nearest to however it is pronounced and it is not to just rebel against the British. You won't find Americans spelling "supervize", do you?

Chiranth Ashok: Now that i think about it again, i feel a majority of Americans were/are not very bright... they just write whatever it sounds like... and it simply has become a standard thing.........

Nikhil Baliga: ‎@Ranga - I was expecting this... Here is a post to an age old post of mine where I discuss letter redundancy - See if you agree or disagree.

Kavya Sampath Kumar: When the SOP itself is an attempt to go to an 'American university', why is a 'Z' in place of an 'S' a big deal? When you are spending x number of dollars filling out their applications, and y amount of time in going through the process,... it only makes sense not to let some stupid spelling let all your money and time go down a drain. In any case, variants of spellings for a word are a matter of convenience (when you are trying to express your ideas and they are not being judged/graded). There's no point losing sleep over it.See more

Nikhil Baliga: So you are basically saying that "I am spending money and time to go there. Let me spell like this, so that they take me because they don't see/care about my merits/money/time/ability but my SPELLINGS?"

Kavya Sampath Kumar: ‎^ They care about merits,money,time,ability and SPELLINGS.

Nikhil Baliga: Yeah, that's what I said earlier... If they are a bunch of people who are going to say that Z is correct and S is wrong, I consider them as ignorant for not knowing the existence of two types of possible spellings.

Clearly your mindset is t...o make it easier for the Americans to understand and not for you to put YOUR individual styles across. This either means that you have a servile attitude or a condescending one - Either you think they are too good and don't want them to break a sweat trying to figure out why S is used or that you think they are so stupid that they can't differentiate and so you make it easier for them this way.See more

Kavya Sampath Kumar: It's probably neither of those attitudes. It's just indifference.

Nikhil Baliga: Insistence of american spellings can't be indifference. Using interchangeably is indifference

Lakshman Gs: Ultimately the Americans must understand that by typing the words "realise, optimise and colour" they can convey the point. They also must "realise" or understand that a message should be conveyed in the Language of english and not in the "AMERICAN WAY of Speaking"
1 person likes this

Sunday, 30 December 2007

India... On the top

The Three Swamis Chant:

"Blessed are they, to be born in India, blessed are they who this they seek;
As for the rest, Oh dear God, grant them their wish, forgive their cheek"

Great country India - I am not saying this for the sole reason of being an Indian. India is a large country with a diversity in everything - I always find it very hard to believe how such a large country that has a bit of everything - it houses every religion you can think of: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Parsees, Jews, Paganism, Animism and everything else you know. Every state of India, is like a country of Europe - they speak different languages like Europeans do, and their sizes are comparable too. Our growth rate is higher than all countries in the world - fastest growing economy, next to China... We have everything we need - the size, the power, the young energetic working population, the wealth, history, culture, the resources (all inclusive), the technology, nuclear armament (to keep enemies at bay - it's necessary) and everything else. Home of the oldest civilization, oldest classics and epics, original languages, and now, urban and modern world co-exist in the same land.

India is known not only for all these, but also for being a land that is highly spiritual. People from all over the world come here for it. For Yoga, Dharma, Karma which now is the buzz word, etc. We have several problems, no doubt, poverty, bad roads, corruption, terrorists bothering us and others. In spite of all these, India continues to grow, just imagine the growth we would be having if it wasn't for all these problems. Phenomenal. Just thinking about all this makes my adrenaline rush. If you think I am being a little hyper, why don't you have a look at this video. It's an unbiased view from an American news channel -

India has several advantages, we have a large coastline, great friends (Russia who has always been loyal, Israel with whom relations need to be strengthened), some of the best medical facilities in the world which is also very cheap compared to other countries like the USA - which is why they fly down here to get their hearts operated upon... very patriotic people, and a powerful military force. Actually right now, I am not getting the proper mindset to write a lot because of my exams being close. So, you know what? Here's the complete thing what I wanted to put across -

Read the content of this:
Wikipedia Content

Visit this discussion board [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]:

Friday, 28 December 2007

What goes around, comes around

Swami Baba Gyani Triviani believes in:

"What goes around comes around"

Benazir Bhutto; Charismatic Pakistani leader - Daughter of the East... and now a martyr. It's indeed sad that she faced such a tragic end. However, it only shows that terrorism is something that is beyond the control of Pakistan. At least from what has happened.

It's indeed a shame that a country that has been mothering and supporting terrorists against India so long has now fallen victim to the very thing that they nurtured so tenderly and lovingly with affection. It has led Pakistan to slip into a state of anarchy and confusion - Pakistanis are killing themselves (protest in Karachi) - And so are the terrorists (suicide attacks), in the process taking away innocent lives. If only Pakistan had been peaceful, like India is and has always urged her neighbour to do the same, terror would never have become this deep rooted in the country which lost her daughter. Now Pakistan is sinking slowly, gradually into the quicksand - the trap that they themselves created; which seems to have boomeranged.

What goes around, comes around - if we wish ill for others, the same might befall us. What's done cannot now be undone - only plans can be made for the future. May her soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Conversion and Evangelism

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Life's like a doughnut, go and take a poll;
if one sees the halo, the other sees the hole"

India is indeed a great country - a country that is secular, and preaches tolerance in everything. But we see a lot of problems that would naturally exist in such a large population. Religious intolerance. Well, now how would you define religious intolerance? If a person from one religion hates a person from another religion just because of that, then you can call it as intolerance. But is this really prevalent in India (or elsewhere) ?

I am a tolerant person, I am a Hindu. I have some friends who are Christians and Muslims... But when we are all together, we are just friends - we really don't care if a person belongs to this or that; what's more important is that we are all friends, we are all together. But this is not the case with Evangelists and Christian Conversion monks. Hinduism is a very tolerant religion; one which tells you what is what, but has never asked anyone to go and get non-Hindus to the fold. This apparently doesn't seem to be the case with Christianity, (I don't mean to blame or accuse the entire religion, however it's true) which believes that people should all be converted to Christianity...

Note before you continue reading:
a) I found this web site to be really fantastic Please do pay this web site a visit.
b) Orkut community opposing Evangelism

There are many tricks and gimmicks used by missionaries to convert people to Christianity. I was talking to someone the other day, w
ho told me that the easiest target for conversion, are the poor and the tribals. They are given money, food, clothing and other "material" things, and then are "led" towards their spiritual goals. They are given the Bible and are constantly told Jesus is EVERYTHING, and the rest is fake; that they should embrace Him... Why? If you are so concerned about the health and quality of life of these poor people, just give them what you give them, without introducing religion into the picture. It's obvious where they are being led.

Here's an example of a simple conversion of tribals, who know not what a truck is. They are asked to push the truck by shouting the name of their God. Inside the driver has kept his foot on the brake pedal. The truck doesn't move. Now the evangelist asks the tribal to shout the name of Jesus... And Lo, the truck moves [You guessed it, the foot isn't on the brake pedal !!!] Simple, yet efficient. The conclusion made to draw is that Jesus is all powerful, convert and live powerfully.

I was thinking - this kind of trickery would work on a tribal who knows nothing about the modern world. But you can't royally fool an educated person like this, or at least a person who is aware of the whatnots of the urban world. Casteism is one problem that exists in the Hindu community, and a recent article in the newspaper very clearly showed casteism exists in the Christian community too. Converts especially - a low caste Hindu, converted to a Christian, is a low caste Christian - draw your own points.

I once again reiterate what I started with - Be religious tolerant, but force not your beliefs upon another; to each his own - and for "Christ's sake" please don't use gimmicks like the trucks et al. People, get a life, be true or beat it.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Swami Nikhilaananda once heard:

"Opinion is like an a*** h***; everyone has one"

And now I really am beginning to believe in this quote. My friend once stood up in class and in the middle of a debate loudly said - "Opinion is like an arse hole, everybody has one" While this may sound inappropriate in a class, a debate or in any public podium (such as this too) it definitely has a point to drive across.

I usually have medium long hair and a moustache. The moustache gets trimmed often, and the hair gets trimmed often, but seldom do they coincide. I had been getting suggestions to remove my moustache completely; I thought one fine day, that day, when I had really too long hair to manage, that I need a hair cut badly, and after the hair cut that I returned home and I decided to get rid of my moustache. Fine...

Next day in class, there was a large number of pointing and laughing. Why? Short hair and no moustache at the same time means that people saw a relatively large difference from the previous days long hair and moustache and beard... Now came the important part, the comments and feedback.

The girls in front of me said - Hair looks good, face looks bad (no moustache, that's why). Guys sitting on either side of me said - face looks good, hair looks bad. Some said you look really good, and others said I looked really bad. the "logical" people said - We are not accustomed to seeing you like this, perhaps that's why you look weird. Whatever it was, this session was followed by tips and suggestions. I learnt one thing from this. Some liked what others didn't.

In general, some like something that others don't. And this of course is obvious. Some like moustache, or people with it, and others dislike it. Or anything else in general. So it's impossible to keep someone happy without making someone else unhappy in life. To gain some, you lose some, so don't bother who thinks what, look the way and do what makes you happy - Not what makes someone else happy...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Fundamental Rites

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"The world is a stage, and you are the actors... So act; Be not a puppet"

How many of us do what we know, do what we understand, and do what we don't understand but yet know. We know many things, how to do what we do, but not all of s understand what exactly is the reason behind it. And the typical example I would like to quote for this is the rites of Brahmins, the practices of Hindus...

Many people denounce the things done by the people of yore, our ancestors, saying they used to believe in superstitions, blind belief, etc. That they used to do things without understanding. That's not true, and I strongly disagree with it. The people who originally started out with the customs, traditions and practices were not fools, were not idiots - Au contraire, they were brilliant, people of superior intelligence, and the people who denounce it without understanding it are the morons. Let's see a couple of examples.

The early Hindus used to wake up before sunrise and they used to mix cow dung with water and spread the slurry in front of their houses. This was done everyday, and a layman, any common person might think this is a stupid idea, why would you want to spread smelly stuff in front of your house, it stinks. Well, here's the actual scientific reason. The cow dung when mixed with water and spread in front of houses, splits in formaldehyde and on dissolving with water becomes formalin, due to the action of sun light - This is because the ultra violet rays in the sun's rays early morning is of higher magnitude and this causes this reaction. Formalin as you might already know is an antiseptic, kills germs. And this is used in hospitals extensively. This was the reason behind this practice. Not so strange now, is it? But people don't understand this, they either spread it after sun rise, which has no effect, or simply shun it. They are the real fools.

Similarly, the other customs too, such as taking a little bit of water and spreading it around your plate (or banana leaf as is the popular custom) twice, and only then beginning your meal. The reason for this is to avoid ants and other insects from getting into your food. Now, this is not really required, but however it's quite logical. Cows are considered holy in India, because in the past, the entire economy depended on cows, milk, ploughing, leather (after their death) and a lot more. The reason is very clear, what gives you a lot without asking anything in return, is truly great, is God.

I had been to a pooja (rite) recently, and when the food was being served, I found some people muttering some mantras, and only then they started with their food. I was wondering how many of them actually understood complex mantras and Sanskrit. I was sure 90% of them didn't know what they just uttered, whether they were invoking God, asking for world peace, or just a car - And I felt this was wrong, because even I, a Brahmin, is supposed to do all this - And I don't... The only reason for this is my ignorance of the meaning, and what I don't understand, I don't do. I shouldn't do. You might feel this to be wrong or weird, today you do this, tomorrow you might be asked to handle nuclear missiles - Awww come on, if you can say mantras today without understanding it, why can't you control nuclear missiles? Almost the same, except mantras don't kill people (unless you have a very bad voice). So if I also have to utter the holy verses, I should first learn them, the meanings, the reason, I mean, not only the mantras, but also the rites, customs and traditions from the logical point of view, from the practical points, as were originally meant, not just for the heck of it... Like the puppet as Swami has mentioned above. Don't believe and accept something just like that, try to find out the meaning of it...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Handwriting Analysis

Baba Gyani Triviani claimed:

"If thy future can be read;
If tomorrow can be said
I shudder to think about the predictions of morrow
If today thou just lay here dead"

Do you believe in future being read? Or personality analysis... Crystal balls, handwriting, tea leaves, palmistry, face reading, solar and lunar charts, DOB, etc. A fantastic concept. If this science was actually true, and was perfected, then there would have been a large number of advantages. You could predict terror attacks, disaster due to tsunami and other natural calamities could be avoided (in terms of life I mean), disease, death, financial future, academic (for students) etc. But I suppose this is not perfected as of now. Even if done, is known only to a very select few, the elite... whoever they are.

I recently took a handwriting test online (on web tickle - you can find this site by running a Google search). Anyway, their test was the standard handwriting analysis... since it is an online test and I can't write anything, they have done it well, by showing varied samples of handwriting, asking us which fits most, best or closest, and then asks how we write, alignment of characters, words, lines, indentation, size, gap between text and margin etc.

The analysis was ok, I mean, I was able to understand why the conclusion was what they concluded. Like for example, a really fancy way of writing a letter has been concluded as a "cunning, dishonest, deceitful person" Alright, whether or not this is true, we can logically conclude this from the fact that a very elaborate style has been used to write a simple letter. My capital letters [upper case] has always been fancy, fancier than the lower case at least. So, this program says, I am dishonest after seeing my normal style of writing lower case, it claims I am honest and straightforward, I write English letters the way I was taught, the conventional British style of writing... And this program kept on insisting, stressing, that I was dishonest and honest, deceitful and straightforward on every alternate line. And this was ridiculous.

The handwriting analysis might not be exactly accurate. The logic he has used is simple and fancy words such as "Graphologists, analysts" etc. are just gibberish, or the more formal term would be technical jargon. Proper spacing of characters from the margins indicates that I am orderly (I follow it for the neatness) and this conclusion is correct. If someone writes haphazardly then, he isn't orderly. Again, this doesn't need an "analyst" or "graphologist" to predict or conclude. Even commoners like thyself and I can say this. A person puts a lot of pressure means he's full of energy and a person who writes lightly lacks energy. I really didn't find anything so wonderful about all the fuss and hype about handwriting analysis. And frankly, I myself keep changing my style of writing, depends on my mood. The style of "g, o, m, n, k, b" and other letters keep varying, not even dependent on my mood, arbitrarily. Now this program would keep concluding differently, and end up making me a "multiple split personality disorder suffering person" because it keeps concluding contradicting this about me. Do you think handwriting analysis is true or accurate?

Idle Threats...

Swami Gulagulaananda propounded:

"There's no difference between an idle threat and a barking dog - both make noise, and neither hurts"

We had a wonderful occasion in our college where those who got First Class Distinction are honoured with awards - Rs. 500 worth book coupon and it's a really good incentive in a way. But here is a rather funny incident that took place. Before they actually give us the book coupons, we have to listen to speeches - That's right, plural. Now listening to a crisp speech that has a lot of stuff in it is definitely a pleasure to listen to; it's over soon, and you are enlightened too. However, after the crisp speech, we were supposed to leave because subsequent speeches weren't going to be as good plus we had to urgently leave. Here, by we, I mean, my friends and I...

So, we, who were seated in the first floor balcony of our auditorium decided to move out, and when we reached the door, someone suddenly slammed the door shut from inside [Don't ask me how that can be done...] And locked the door and ran into a small room to adjust mike volume. We requested him to open the door and he bluntly refused. I told him, we have to leave really urgently, please open the door and he again flatly says no... This made me wild. What does he mean. "No?" I said, "what's that? I want to leave, I have some urgent work, what do you mean no?" He said - I can't let you go. He was an attender and obviously didn't have much hold on us. Suddenly a teacher standing on the side gruffly jumps in between and rudely said "Go back and sit where you came from, you can't leave."

He may be our teacher, but still, we deserve respect. You just can't talk to us like we have come asking for favours or begging for money. I said I want to leave rather urgently and he says you can't. If you leave, people will leave after you and there'll be nobody to listen to the speech. I was shocked. What a quaint way to maintain audience. I thought it would be better to make the speech interesting which would make people to sit than forcefully asking them to sit.

When I insisted, he jumps again and points and tells me - which department are you from and what's your name. I told him - Nikhil Baliga from Electronics. He said ok, go! We all came out. Ten minutes later, my friend also named "Nikhil" also from electronics department also had a similar problem. Now I am sure he'll be wondering how electronics department is generating so many rebellious nikhils... One thing is very clear from all this. He was wrong and we were right in asking to be let out - when we have to urgently go somewhere why are we being subjected to something we don't want, being forced into something that makes it all so absurd. He took our names, yes, but it'll be fun when I prove it in front of others [if that day comes...] how he was wrong and I was right. His threat made no sense - seriously, how dumb.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Murphy's Law

Swami Gulagulaananda believes in:

"MunDe maduvegey noorenTu viGnagaLu"

For those who don't know the language Kannada, it literally translates to "There are 108 obstacles for the marriage of a widow" Now people, don't go directly into the meaning of what the quote says. It only means that when you are doing something, you come across problems. Sure, it is but natural. But have you ever done something where the problems never stopped coming and have been present all through the journey? Sure you would have, at least at some point of time.

The one that I remember most is the most recent of them all, and that is our robotics project for Shaastra, the IIT Madras fest. We had problems right from the start till the end, and the array of problems is really random and miscellaneous. Unbelievable - And the number of things we learn in the process was also quite decent, and so we didn't mind it (well, now I can say it - the ordeal is over )

When I had to write a program, the compiler softwares given to me by our teacher refused to open for installation. Gave some random error, and that was a trivial error alright, because I could download it later... The Shaastra site wouldn't open in college library where all of our team mates were present. My computer got a dozen viruses from my team mates computer which had a dozen viruses (Also his neighbour and our classmates computers - So virtually all our computers had viruses; the same viruses) And this virus was very annoying, because it hit only the DOS mode, and that was where our C compilers worked... The Windows mode C compilers worked fine, but those compilers didn't have the things we needed.

We all got virus attacks (ok, here I mean flu, but it definitely makes it more dramatic hehe) and worked with our noses blocked or leaking; The micro-controller that we were using was unknown to the entire faculty of our college (Surprisingly... not a single one knew) and what was interesting was that was the same micro-controller used by our seniors and theirs... So, we had them to guide, but to a certain extent. They had also forgotten the exact procedure.

The modules that were being created by my team mates was rather behaving erratically. When one worked another didn't. And then mysteriously worked again. God knows why - They had meticulously done everything. In Chennai we didn't get proper accommodation and 6 of us slept in the same room [meant for ONE IITian]

Then we faced the biggest of all our problems - Our code for the robot was ready, we only had to transfer it... And my computer didn't recognize the micro-controller and was unable to transfer it. Neither did my friends, nor did the college labs or my teachers.... And we were working day in and day out trying to figure out the fault; We looked up the internet, and asked people who specialized in micro-controllers. None of them was able to help us out successfully, although we got many suggestions, we had done the exact right thing that needed to be done. Then we were introduced to another senior in our college who was rather an expert in micro-controllers, and he said that he used a different one from the one that we used. We again went to the shop to buy it, returned and went to his house. He followed the same procedure that we had followed, and Lo! He transferred it, just like that... We were surprised (definitely not pleasantly, I had tried for five days and nights with the same procedure) We thanked him and came back...

It's a different thing, that when we tried the same procedure again at my friends place, once again it was not recognized. It was hectic that day, two of them packing stuff to leave for Chennai, my friend and I carrying my luggage went to his house again, got the code transferred, and then went to the railway station - things were happening so fast. In Chennai, when we had to revise the code, the IIT computers were administrator controlled and I couldn't do it. I then went all the way to my cousin's house. His friend's computer was there for use. However it was not properly earthed, and I was 'shocked' many times and then when I was done with all the connections - *BOOM* again, not recognized. Frustration man, because this was on the day of the competition. However, the existing one worked somehow... When we were supposed to leave for Bangalore, there's no means of transport for us to get out of the large IIT campus to the city from where we were to go to the railway station. Then finally managed to get some taxis. We were just on time at the railway station and what do you know? The ordeal still isn't over. Our seats were still not reserved and was on waiting list.

Somehow we are back, and am now peacefully sitting on my chair (all mine, needn't wait) the robot worked and we are happy. However when things start getting jinxed, there's no stopping till either you quit, or successfully finish it... Life's like that, and people who don't believe in fate, explain this to me

Of Stature and Suck-ups

Baba Gyani Triviani proclaimed:
"Fire and wind, elements of nature

The moral of this quote makes you mature
People big and small, value only stature
When fire is small, the wind puts it out
When fire is a blaze, its growth hasn't a curvature"

Sure, the stanza above doesn't rhyme, nor is its construct proper - but the message is still really valuable. And this is something that most people have noticed around you - If you are a small fish, well, nobody really notices you. And if you are a big hotshot, *Boom*, suddenly people appear out of nowhere shaking your hands, offering you their seats, and doing out-of-the-way favours for you.

And "the" people know how to move and push their weight around, whom to mingle with and with whom 'connections' are to be maintained. Frankly speaking, I have always felt this to be a big sham. Now don't go about passing comments - "Hey this guy must be one of those who gets pushed around, or maybe might be one of those guys who keeps saying 'Anything else I can do for you Sir?' - the suck-up type" Well, not at all, for, I am speaking now, not as a concerned party, but as a mere spectator, or maybe a bystander would be a better word.

What's the big deal? People who have the power will always have people following them, not because the people are valued a lot, but only because the power that they carry is instead. I always love the term "Chairman". The chairman is the most respected person. Understand the beauty of the word - It's the man on the chair; whoever he is, not the man, the man IN the chair.

Today he's Mr. X and tomorrow might be Mr. Z (Don't ask me now what happened to Mr. Y) But in any case, when the chairman retires he suddenly reduces to a common man; me you and him together then sit and talk about the new chairman....

What's important here is the fact that, the chairman or whoever the big fish might be, is a common man when he has no power, people push him around like any other guy - the same people salute him when he's on the top, and the same people continue to push him around (Resuming where they had stopped previously) when he has no power again. So, in conclusion, it's the authority and power. You should see the difference in people's way of talking to people with and without power... I am sure it's a sight to see and if you are no exclaiming "Geezzzz " then there's no doubt you are the type who also salutes along with the other suck-ups.

Remember people, it's the person who's important, people at high positions should think of tomorrow, and people who are under others should remember to maintain self respect rather than being chronic suck-ups... Have a great weekend.

IIT versus Rest of us; the Commoners

Swami Gulagulaananda says:

"As you sow, so shalt you reap; But the farmer should be blamed for the crop so cheap"

[Cheap here means low quality, not low price]

I had been to IIT Madras recently to attend their technical fest "Shaastra". I had heard a lot about IITs, but this was the first time I was visiting one. The IIT campus is really large - well, the campus is three kilometres from the main gate of IIT; there are deer on the campus freely roaming around along with students; and they use electric buses to move from one place to another.

I was really flabbergasted - that's the only word I can use here, because of the stark contrast between the IIT and my college which ranks number two (some say one) in my state - my college campus is smaller than the boys hostel area of IIT Madras !!! That's right, you read it correctly... I was just standing there looking at the hostel buildings, each one looks like the multi-storeyed apartments in Bangalore city. And there are multiples of such buildings.

The IIT style of life is something remarkable, as of what I saw, and is totally different from the boring ordinary lives of the rest of us, the commoners. They live in a small city of their own that has everything you can think of - except maybe an amusement park . They have gym with loud music open twenty four hours; go ahead and ask who would go to the gym past midnight? Well, if you'd seen what I did, you wouldn't ask that question. I was walking on the campus with my friends at 3 am discussing about our project, and I see the IITians casually cycling there. 2 am next day - still cycling or walking or relaxing on lawns or talking with friends. 4 am still the same... I really couldn't understand - All through the night, their lights on, and I mean the lights of the whole hostel block. They are active at night and active in the morning (Although I am pretty much sure they aren't the same lot hehehe but still....)

Apparently their labs are open 24 hours, and then we started comparing our college with IIT and saw the large gap that existed. Our lab attender cribs and yells at us all the time when we ask for working for one and a half hours after normal classes, and sends us home; or even worse, switches off main power and says - "No power, come tomorrow". Their hostel mess food is really good, as compared to our college mess food. Our library spans across one full floor, IIT has a large building with multiple floors...

Our college director made it very clear to all of us that we have deserved what we have got and vice versa; saying that if we were better we should have been in the IIT. I strongly disagree with that, because it appears he is limiting our growth by saying that. Tomorrow, we and the mighty IITians will be fighting the battles on the same grounds, and our director is making sure we all get old and rusty weapons as against cutting edge technology as LASER weapons of the IITians who'll melt us before we even realize who's standing where.

Our project was a robotics one, and in the process, the amount of things that we learnt was far higher and more useful than what I seem to have learnt in two years of college. Our university limits us to only theory - we had a wonderful subject called Field theory; What's wonderful about it? The teacher doesn't know it, the students don't know it, students still continue to ace in the exams and don't realize what they have been calculating and scoring 90% marks, and why? That's because none of us know the applications, we can't see it, we can't feel it, we can't visualize it. So that's all... God save the subject.

I strongly feel that unless you do something practically, you won't have the proper grasp of the subject, no matter how much theory you have mastered. And if we have to fight the IITians and give them a run for their money, then we have to embark on journeys beyond our "syllabus". The so called toppers of our college are worse than the failures of IIT looking at the number of things that they do - Not because our toppers lack brains, but because we lack the proper guidance and setup. The system needs to be changed. We should be given more space to expand. Our HOD refused to even let us take an equipment although we were doing something really nice - something out of syllabus - That shows why we are bound and limited, our wings clipped before we even check if they are okay to be spread.

Thus, with this small comparison, I am confident I have convinced you why IITians are what they are, why they are valued so much (because they are given a chance to pursue what they want to, and are improvised on their interests and strong points) and why we are still - THE COMMONERS

Instead of focusing on the important aspects, our college decides to waste time by making silly "legislations" which are non existent in IIT - no wearing round neck T-shirts, compulsory wearing ID cards, and having security guards everywhere to drive us around like sheep...

It's refreshing to be writing again . People, gear up, it's time for a revolution

Community Development Programme (CDP)

Baba Gyani Triviani believes in the following:
"The brightness of a lamp does not diminish by lighting another "

One day, a teacher in our college comes to our class and we all suddenly become silent - we recognised the teacher, she was the one who had asked us many difficult questions in our viva voce in the previous semester, and we were wondering why she had come to our class. Then she started speaking, "There are a large number of schools that do not have the facilities to teach their students properly and make them understand, and most of these schools are government schools. Here, the students come from a poor background, and since the standard of education in these schools is also low, they end up suffering. So, our college is taking an initiative to teach students of such schools the basics and fundamentals of science, which may seem trivial to us now, but something that they are struggling to understand. So, we have started something known as 'Community Development Programme' where we teach these students whatever they want to know, and what they have to know."

We were all interested, most of us have always nurtured this desire to do something for the poor and needy, and this seemed to be a great opportunity and portal for us to put out our abilities. We immediately registered for it. And thus started our journey, a journey where the end result was neither money nor name or fame, but immense satisfaction. At the end, we were all so very happy looking at the smiles on their faces, that itself was more precious to us that vaults of money.

The challenging part of the programme was their inability to follow English, and our inability to speak Kannada so fluently and at the same time incorporate all technical words too! However some of our friends were very well versed in Kannada and thus, a list of all words and their equivalent translations was made and copies were distributed amongst us. We made presentations, models, and organised it very well. But the main backbone of the whole operation was that teacher who we used to think was very strict - She was so sweet and warm, and she managed everything so efficiently, that our respect for her increased hundred times. We hadn't known her before (except at the viva voce...)

The kids were very innocent, they were much brighter than what we had expected, and it was really nice to see their astonished faces when they saw chemicals changing colours, or lights glowing. Something elementary for us, something really amazing for them. One of my friends asked a boy, "What are the different types of salt?" And he innocently replied, "kallu uppu and pudi uppu (Rock salt and powdered salt used for cooking)" And then he was told about calcium carbonate, chloride, barium salts etc.....

So, next time you get a chance to do something like this, don't let go of it. It'll take a little time of your very busy life, but in the end, it'll be definitely worth it

Three Blind Mice

Swami Gulagulaananda says:

"Some things change not, take for example these mice; They are household pests, blind or otherwise"

Some felt it was funny, to be frank, it did not tickle my funny bone. I'd been to a function organised by aunt where a large number of people had gathered... And some person walks up to my aunt and asked her about me and if I was ready to get married - Ok... Now for those who don't know me yet, I am still a student, and definitely not one who looks like someone ready to get married. I just laughed when my aunt told me this. Well, don't say -Aww come on, mistake do happen.

But the very same thing happened two years back, Aarrghhh.... I was two years younger, and people are probably unable to distinguish. I told this to my best friend, and she said - You know, I think when they look at you, they get impressed because you look well behaved(Me: ), and as an added advantage you are house-trained (Me: ) ok ok, she was kidding alright but I definitely felt like kicking some ass... What's wrong with these people? Ask me not, I am a mere saint.

The Reunion

Baba Gyani Triviani says:

"If someone WANTS to make time for something, they'll somehow manage it - and if someone does not want to, then they'll find themselves very busy and occupied always"

And how true is that? Well, you might have noticed this everywhere. A kid has to do his homework when asked to run an errand, but till be free when his favourite programme is showing on TV.

A reunion of all seventh standard classmates was organised yesterday, and mind you - I really appreciate the effort... The class got shuffled in the transition from seventh to 8th. And then people got scattered after leaving school for a pre-university college and again got lost when we joined our degree colleges. And it was definitely a mammoth task to gather all these people on one day. It was very well managed and organised by the three muskteers (Anil, Athrey and Shubha) but what was wonderful is that people did come to meet up. But then again, we managed to invite just twenty five, that's half of our total strength of our class then. The rest of them were beyond our reach or contact reaches. And although many people could have come, some of them gave lame excuses saying they were busy for some trivial reasons. Those who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the rest did miss a lot.

It's really great to meet all these people after seven whole years and then talk about the different things that we had missed out about one another in these years. We spent quite a lot of time there, and it did end on a great note. I sincerely pray to God to keep all these people happy all their lives, I don't know when I am going to meet them again, but yesterday was definitely one day I don't want to erase from my memory. They were all really nice - I didn't see much difference in most of them. Some of them reminded me instantly of the moments we had spent together in school...

Well, different people, different paths, different lives, God knows when we bump into one another... But when we bump, let's stick together longer than we hoped to. God bless all

Shun thy ego, free thy soul

Swami Nikhilaananda says:

"Shun thy ego, free thy soul... Before your conscience pays a heavy toll"

This is something I experienced myself. I'd a friend in my Pre-university college, and we stopped speaking for some small petty trivial reason. Both of us had an ego-problem, both waiting for the other to come up and speak... And this never happened. And this is how we both stopped speaking to each other, and we left our college and went ahead to our own engineering colleges. I had thought many times about the good times we had had together, the things we used to speak etc. But still, it was the ego that was preventing anything good from happening. And after one and a half years, I as speaking to my guardian angel (now don't ask me who that is...) and she says - "If your friend means that much to you, then why are you being so egoistic? Go ahead and call her..." I listened to her, but did not pay much heed to it, neither did I pan to put it into action.

But yesterday I thought - "Ok, what the heck? Why should I be so chidish?" And I called her up. After a little more than two whole years...Her mom answered the phone and later she was at the phone. She asked who was at the phone. I asked her to guess. She made five incorrect guesses.

I said - "Don't think you'll get it." And thensuddenly she exclaimed -"Nikhil??? Oh my God, I can't believe my ears. What a pleasant surprise..." And after that, I yapped on the phone for some forty minutes. And why didn't she? Well, I asked her why she was quiet andshesaid that she was speechless with joy. I was feeling really happy for two reasons. First that I gave up my ego (Cool huh?) and secondly, I made someone really happy.

So friends, you might have received so many forwards saying - "If you love someone tell them now." The same applies to everything. Even if you have to call old friends, or if you have stopped speaking to some people and it's your large EGO that's preventing your taking the first step, then heed to Swami Nikhilaananda and his golden words.

It hurts to be in love... Valentine's Day Special

Swami Nikhilaananda says:

"Love is in the air, love is everywhere; But unless everything is fine, you'll always lose your hair"

Have you been in love? Oh, now don't tell me you love your parents, siblings and friends - I do mean the romantic kind. How many of you feel it's really worth to be in a relationship. I know a coupe of people who believe that it's really great to be in love. And then again, I know some who feel that being in a relationship is a big waste of time - that it's a block and hindrance in your career...

One thing I love about me, is the large number of people I know - that too, the variety. I know nerds to punks, hopeless romantics to stone hearted analysts, and a couple of confused people.

I just took a random poll, and asked people what they feel about relationships and love. I got marvelous answers, and here are some of them...

  • I am marrying only because it's a part of the rules of the society
  • I am marrying because my family name should continue (basically to legalise having kids)
  • I am marrying because the number of girls in my community is fast dwindling. (Community service is what I love)
  • I want to marry the girl f my dreams - I love her so much, I cant live happily without her.
  • Relationship is a major time waste - ok, maybe love is cool, but marriage is for losers, those who want to be bound to chauvinist pigs who want to dominate their lives... Instead they would prefer to be single and live every moment of their life.
  • et al... and many more
As far as I am concerned, I believe in falling in love with that girl who you feel is perfect, and who you think will make your life all flowery and wonderful. Someone with whom you would love to spend every moment of your life with, someone who would love to spend every moment of their life with you. Ah Love! You might feel it's great and harmless - Wait till you have encountered a breakup...

Have you been in a relationship that ends like this:
  • Hmmm, our views don't match
  • Hmmm, let's just be friends for now.
  • Hmmmm........

Or relationships going on the rocks like this:
  • I don't care... I don't think you have any rights telling me with whom I should speak and with whom I should not.
  • Hey, I am busy now.
  • I don't think our views actually match.
  • We don't have anything in common.
  • I don't believe in love or marriage. You are simply wasting your time.
  • Fuck off.... (Ok, that's heights... )

The basic idea is simple - Like each other, trust each other, give each other chances, and please let romance be something warm, and not some pain in the you-know-where, such that you'll be dying to get out of it asap. I wish all you love birds a wonderful relationship, those who have had recent break-ups - brace yourself guys, it's not the end of the world.

I dedicate this entry to that one wonderful girl who changed the way I was to what I am, and I am proud to be what I now... Love you loads honey

Lots of Love

The wheel of time spins

Swami Gulagulaananda preached:

"The wheel of time spinneth for sure, control your speech, action be sound;
or glue the tables or nail them to the floor before they just turn around"

How many of you have experienced this? You see someone in some kind of mess, or you try to show off - and some time later.... Bang! You are in that situation yourself! Well, some may compare this to "Pride goes before a fall." Somewhat similar...

I had been to Jog Falls some time back with my friends, and when we descended to the bottom, we found that our trip till then was nothing much but a little energy sapping, and that our journey was not complete till we reached the tip of the rocks just below the falling water, and that all the stepping stones till there were nothing more than algae and moss covered slippery rocks... One of my friends slipped on the rock, and fell down on the ground, when suddenly an old man came and started passing comments, and said that we ought to be more careful , and the next step he fell down.

Some call this as the wheel of time spins, some say pride goes before a fall, some may say - it's just fate, but the bottom line is still the same - "When someone is low, it's our duty to help them out, rather than ridiculing them. It's only by this way that you get the same hands that you had once helped out, and some of those who are very close to you to bail you out. Lest there are going to be plenty of hands to just point at you"

Uhh Hi, uhh whatcha doing here?

Swami Nikhilaananda says:

"It's better to keep your mouth shut, than to open it and project your ignorance and foolishness"

I had been to the Air show recently with my friend Aditya Padaki and his family. I was just walking around the ground there, checking out some stationary crafts and their details, when I jeard my name being called out - "Nikhil!!" I turned around, and saw a tall guy looking at me standing there with his friend. I looked at him, but was unable to recognise him. He introduced himself as Karthik, and I was still looking at him - Then he said, "Karry?" And then all bells rung at once... It was Karthik "Karry" Iyengar, the famous guy... Well, I have spoken to him many times on Orkut, but had never met him personally, well, he had come to my college once, and I had recognised him then... Maybe now, after the marvellous airplanes and their stunts, my brain was numb.

Anyway, I started my conversation, but I was still numb, and the first question that I felt like asking him was - "What are you doing here?" And then I realised that it was one of the dumbest questions I could ask him. In fact, I myself laugh out loud when people ask me such questions. When I am coming out of a restaurant, theatre or toilet, and I bump into old acquaintances, and they also probably give a weak smile and don't know what to say - and ask me, "Nik! What are you doing here?" "Uhhh....." I say, "Care to take a wild guess??"

I think when we suddenly bump into old friends, and when we mumble words, it starts getting uncomfortable suddenly if you don't know what to speak, well, I have seen some guys who go all red in their ears when they meet a girl, and don't know what to say, and I know, they want to speak, but they can't. Karry calls this - "Lack of tact.

But you know, it's really great, if you are really comfortable speaking to the other guy, and when you watch the helpless kid, trying hard to make conversation, well atleast sensible conversation, and is just blurting and mumbling some words which neither can understand, and when you try to control your laughter.... The entire situation itself is very hilarious, as long as you are not the one spluttering.

And Karry? If you are reading this, better don't smile, I assure you it was the airplanes...

Well, this is one blog entry where I think I wrote some daily experience for the first time.... Hmmm, I think I better call it - "Dear Diary"

Work Hard, Work Smart

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"Talent Without Hard Work Is Spiked Success"

Swami Nikhilaananda said:

"Consistency, and not inspiration nor perspiration, is the true mark of success"

Are you a person who believes success can be achieved by hard work, who belives - success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration? Or are you the person who believes attitude is the path to success (a+t+t+i+t+u+d+e=100)? Or if you believe that it's the inherent talent in you that leads you to success, then you are not alone.

There are different kinds of people around you, different people believe in different things. I, for one, used to work at the last moment, while my friends used to slog it out, while we had to write exams. Some used to study a week before, and some like me, used to study a day before the exam. We considered ourselves to be the smart workers... Ultimately, we all got comparable marks - but this trend did not last long. When we crossed school, and entered pre university college, we found that though we still continued to work in our respective ways, that though the marks were still comparable, the difference in marks increased appreciably... But we still were complacent, we believed that "You slog throughout a week, while I read one day before the exam, and yet, we still have nearly equal marks... Now that's talent." But this trend went from bad to worse.... for us.

When we entered our engineering college, we found that our pattern of studying proved to have several flaws - that by studying a week before, they were able to read and cover the portions without much stress or ado. We, on the other hand, found a lot of portions had accumulated and we either had to skip parts of material, or we had to slog overtime, the former being risky, and the latter being strenuous... And this time, the difference in our marks had remarkably increased. Now, notice that we are far more talented than the hard workers, that if we combine our talent with their hard work, we can increase the results or output incredibly... But till we do that, we will remain second to them

So, what is the moral of the story? Hard work requires a lot of time, talent does not require much time. Here's the typical ranking...
1) Talented hard workers
2) Hard workers
3) Talented but Lazy
4) Lazy and not talented

Being talented is mostly a gift, and not within our control. Working, on the other hand, is... Therefore, shun laziness - Drops and drops fill the ocean. A little bit of work everyday can achieve wondrous results. If you are immensely talented and you just show sparks of success here and there, you won't go very far, because you need to remember that your ranking is third. The first two will overtake you. You need to be consistent. Then you can show the world, that you are not a fluke, that you are actually capable. For, however talented you might be, the world just sees the results, and does not care about the reasons of failure, be it less work input, or nil...

So, no matter how you achieve success - hard work, less work, smart work, no work, attitude, perspiration, inspiration, talent.... Just remember, Consistency is the key to success

Strike Back

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Barking dogs seldom bite, but a cornered dog shalt surely"

Have you ever chased a small dog? When you run after the dog, the dog puts its tail between its hind legs, and runs. Runs fast anywhere it finds space. But have you ever driven a small dog into a closed enclosure? Somewhere where it can't escape or run any further... Where it can see walls on three sides, and you on the fourth. Well, don't try doing it. When the dog realises that it does not have anywhere else to go, then the dog will turn around and gnash its teeth and make a threatening growling sound. If you don't let it go away freely, then getting 16 injections will be the next in your agenda.

I don't think I need to say more about this. When you push a person, although very meek, to a state where he does not have any place to go, he won't wait there and stay till you squish him. He'll strike back with whatever he's got. And that ought to be remembered. Even the softest and meekest of people do incredible things - things that you might never even expect from bravehearts, when they are pushed over the edge... Very radical things - and all you can do then, is just sit and watch them bite. Never take anyone for granted; if you want to, make sure you are strong enough to strike back when they strike, and win. Something like having a tranquillizer gun ready when the dog rushes to bite you.

Life sucks

One fine morning I stood in a line,
Strong man cut in and said it's fine,
I said it isn't, I raised my tone,
He held my collar and broke my every bone.

I learnt my lesson, I learnt self defence,
Strong man cut in, and said no offence,
I held his collar, it's now or never,
And that's the very last thing I remember.

I learnt my lesson, and this's another time,
Strong man cut in, I stood like a mime,
He turned around his biceps overgrown,
Punched me hard, and broke my every bone.

I learnt my lesson the moral is straight,
Life's a bitch and you are its bait
Winner is he, who decides to chuck,
The moral is though, that life does suck.
- Baba Gyani Triviani

Wretched Life, Wretched Wife

Another set of verses, may not make much sense at the outset, try to follow the words and let your brain to wander and reach the deepest of thoughts... It means a lot if you try to understand it from your heart - especially if your wife's cheating on you Image

Wretched Life, Wretched Wife
Glimpses of joy, a mere mirage
An illusion hovered beyond my reach;
The titillating, the dream, the vision et al
Made me bend, beg, bow, beseech...

Heart of diamond, pure and precious
Valued far beyond all worth;
But though so pure, I am so sure
Diamond's the hardest found on earth...

The couple of verses above speak volumes
Think what it means to you;
Act right, for the gold to hold you might be lost
Leaving in your hand, the fake, the new...

Ignorant is he, who knows not the value of what he has
Runs after something new;
But old is gold, and few is new
And soon he joins the foolish crew...

Wretched life, wretched fate
Don't go looking for some hate;
For, your soul mate may be great
But your action may make him irate...

Three to five, just fillers now
Read again one and two;
Life's wretched and fie on you
If you don't stick to me like glue...

Wretched life, sucking life
Burns the pain, like heated knife;
Pierced my heart, pierced my soul
Al thanks to my dearest wife.

Dedicated to my sweet loving wife
- Swami Gulagulaananda

Prudence or Raw Guts

The Speeding Train

Walking along a railway line were two pals
One was Clark and the other was Charles;
Approaches a stranger, gives them a dare
Stand in front of a speeding train without a care...

Says Charles to him, you ought to be insane
The train would kill me, the stander is inane;
For I believe in prudence and not raw guts my dear
And I have found that I live longer this way no fear...

Ah so you are scared, why didn't you say so before
snide was the remark, the stranger laughed with a roar;
If you call fear as prudence then you are the one at fault
If standeth anyone there, I'll clear away my vault.

That was enough for Mr Clark, he jumped, and thought no more
Approached a speeding train from front, the stranger impressed to the core;
The train rammed into Clark, but Clark moved not an inch
And at that moment did the stranger at once in his belly feel the pinch...

Giving him a million pounds the stranger walked his way
Charles turned to Clark and said, today's your lucky day;
For prudence earned me nothing raw guts paid off;
At this says Clark to Charles his smile not so wan
Prudence is the way my friend, for you're not Superman...

- Baba Gyani Triviani


Swami Nikhilaananda recollected an old byword:

"I cried for shoes, till I saw a man with no feet"

Most of you might have heard this famous adage... Why am I mentioning it here? Well, it's most relevant because, my friend had asked me to read an entry from a blog - the title being "Can you make a difference?" And the entry is similar to a story which I would have written to strengthen a proverb. Do read it. And continue after completing reading that article.

But I have got something more to say about it myself. A lot of us suddenly realise things, truth dawns upon us... A bulb glows above our head when we see real life incidents.
But as Gyani Triviani always said - "Realisation is only half the journey". How many of us have realised, and then made grand plans for the future... But till now not achieved anything? How many of you, after reading this are muttering - "You just wait, give me time. I'll show you that I can make a difference..." and thinking of firing mild invectives at me? To feel is half of it - I am not denying that realisation is important. But after realisation, doing something is very important.

Allusion to the famous e-mail now, would be very apt. A large number of you guys would have received an email - a mail which shows a picture of a dying young child, a baby... dying due to starvation, and a vulture waiting for this to happen sitting behind the child. The mail says that the photographer won a Pulitzer prize, and that the photographer committed suicide due to depression. It also says - noone knows what happened to the child after that.............. Now, here's the sad story - the man did realise; but he did not do anything about it. The child obviously died. He could have atleast saved the child by taking him to a hospital and then committed suicide if he wanted to... (May the man's soul rest in peace!)

I feel that, things need to be done, and they need to be done continuously, not by one or two... But by everyone. If you cannot do very big things, start out small - Giving away bread to urchins is a great deed. Many feel that forming of NGOs is going to sort problems. NGOs, though the concept sounds great, I feel, is not as hunky-dory as it is made out to be. There are a large number of cases where money keeps getting siphoned off, the poor remaining poorer, someone else, undeserving, getting richer, and state of affairs remaining as they are. Things in reality, practically speaking are a lot more different than it seems to the young, the "new gen" people who think radically and have this desire to change stuff... Stuff has remained miserable from a long time. To change it, we need a large scale awakening, (like Rang De Basnti, something radical should be done to awaken people - and I don't mean killing someone to drive home the point...) and people, like my friend above are doing a great job by creating awareness. But remember, not only creating awareness, but also taking steps is essential.

We hope that together, all of us stick together and make the world a better place to live in, rather than cowering and fleeing scenes of horror like our photographer friend did.

Gyani Triviani believes in this:
" A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds"

But a word of caution from the ancient oracle of wisdom, Swami Gulagulaananda - If you are interested in something, do it - ask your friends or others to join you, but force none. Don't be over-enthusiastic and prevent someone from upgrading his car from a 3 lakh vehicle to a 10 lakh vehicle, by saying that there are millions of people dying of hunger - why do you need luxury? If you feel that way, then you don't upgrade your car. Everyone has his/her own way of thinking - you can advice them, not impose yourself on them. If they feel your way, they'll join you. Else, leave it at that. The three Swamis bless all of you!!!

Sarve janaaha sukhino bhavanthu (May all the people live happily)


Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Words are like arrows - once fired, cannot be retrieved"

Another great quote by the legendary Saint. Often in rage, we tend to say a lot of things which we regret after the effect goes off. You tend to insult and humiliate your best friend, say a lot of harsh words - and then when you think about your actions, you feel embarrassed and then you repent. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Anger clouds minds - even the best among all. And the words at that moment must be controlled. We should never blurt out things - often many secrets are revealed, you might have seen instances like these in courtroom dramas, or books or even witnessed such things in reality. People also tend to debase others - calling insulting names to handicapped or passing remarks and comments. Often the overly sensitive people don't forgive... Here's a wonderful story, a story I received by email which I would like to share with you.
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You
have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

Don't let the scars remain. Don't cause scars. Don't blow your top.

Of Being Elite And Complacency

Swami Gulagulaananda advised:
"Think not thou art elite, for thy head is below His feet"

In the spiritual or religious sense, it says that you might achieve wonders - But you won't be able to match your glory with that of God.

Here's the practical explanation. Everyone thinks he's the best. But in life, you might have seen that everytime you see someone good, someone better turns up... Sooner or later. If you see a student has scored 96%, someone else has scored 98%, and someone else 100%. But if you think the student with 100% is the best, then you find that he's the topper in his school/college/university. There are thousands of such universities, and someone better might be there; somewhere else. So, we need to remember in life that whatever we achieve is not the ultimate destination - Someone might, if not surely, beat us. So, when we know this to be a fact, being overly proud or vain or haughty serves no purpose. We can also understand the veracity of this statement from "Guinness Book Of World Records" where people keep setting records and someone else is surely going to beat it sooner or later.

Learn to be humble. To have a positive approach is essential. Shun vanity, shun excessive pride, but don't shun pride. Learn to love and respect your achievements.

Marriage Trends

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"Marriage is not difficult, if one of the two shalt kneel and apologise for mistake of either"

Here's a small set of verses; Not intellectual in construct or wordings - But definitely sends across a message. Read, smile and understand Image The following is an original by Baba Gyani Triviani - Although he regards to his own work as "tripe" in the verse, he recommends a reading, an understanding...

Marriage Trends
Oh If thy spouse,
Shalt all day grouse...
Pack thy bags,
And leave thy house;
If the roof is thine,
Say the house is mine...
Chuck the spouse out,
And thy life shalt shine;

If both are soft,
The bond'll soar aloft...
It'll survive even if
Thou shalt work in a croft;
If neither'll bend,
As lately is the trend...
A breakup it'll lead to;
For themselves they'll fend;

Now thou might laugh,
Make fun, Or ridicule...
Whilst thou undergo this
Thou shalt feel like a mule
Or an ass even, a donkey or a fool
Ends like trash, which started with a drool

Oh Hark at my words, Oh listen to me,
Understand the message
I beg of thee...
Don't waste thy time reading such tripe
Better be single, Better be Free.

- Baba Gyani Triviani

Notions in an argument

Swami Nikhilaananda said:

"Words for the biased mind, is like straightening the curved tail of a dog... A waste of time till you cut it off to end the ordeal"

A great quote to be remembered for all eternity. Have you ever given advice to a person who refuses to even let you speak? Have you ever argued with a person who does not even listen to you, or even if he/she does, refuses to accept it as true - or even consider it true for a moment, with the sole viewpoint that they are right and that the probability of you being right even remotely, is simply zilch... Instead, they keep talking about their points, and don't pay attention to you.

I have seen many such people, people with just mouths and no ears - they just speak, and seldom, mostly never, listen. I happened to speak to a friend of mine recently, and arose a topic where we had a difference of opinion. I was trying to explain my viewpoint to him. Unfortunately he had an opinion already formed, a pre-formed notion, and did not even listen to me - Instead, he just snubbed me, saying what I was speaking was incorrect. It was later proved that I was right afterall, but that's a whole different story.

When an opinion is already formed, rarely can a person suppress it for sometime, and look at the whole situation from an entirely different angle or viewpoint - meaning, most people have biased notions. This also introduces us to "out of the box" thinking. Why has "out of the box" thinking gained so much importance lately? Everyone is nowadays trained to think in a particular way. And once the training is complete, your thinking will be tuned to particular way only. Given a problem, your approach to it will be based on a pre-defined protocol. You won't be able to see the same problem from a different angle.

This becomes tiresome and frustrating in an argument... One usually tends to give up explaining, ending sentences with - "Do what you want..." When discussing, all view points and opinions need to be considered, correctly weighed, taking all consequences into account, pros and cons, and should come to an unbiased clear result. Never advice a person who's a mouth, not a ear.

Self Importance

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Don't be the rooster who thought he caused the sun to rise"

Well, simple is the quote, and simple is the moral... "Self importance" is a quality which all of us possess. But it's wise to know how good you really are. Everyone thinks he/she is the greatest person in the world - nothing wrong in it. But you should also know your strengths and weaknesses. Everybody cannot be perfect in everything. So, in case you are in a group, and you feel that the group will not function without you, then you are wrong. A small fable, quite old, is here:

"An old woman had a rooster which crowed every morning. All the villagers used to tell the old woman - 'If it was not for your rooster which wakes us up, we would still be sleeping lazily and would have wasted a lot of precious time.' Now after some time, the old woman had developed a strange feeling, she thought that the entire village can function normally and smoothly only because her rooster wakes everyone up. She felt powerful, and she thought of demonstraing her powers... She killed the rooster, for she wanted to see the entire village frozen, the people continuing to sleep through the day. The next morning, she woke up and saw that all villagers were up as usual, and were performing their daily chores. Alas! The old woman had lost her rooster for nought."

Everyone is important, some more important than others in some field(s) - But nobody is so very important that people will leave or give up their ego and start licking your boots. You can see this not-so-pretty scene when kids play cricket - when the hotshot batsman becomes out, he says, "Not out!" And when others start fighting, he says - "Fine, then I'll go home taking my bat and ball." Kind of blackmail, many might relent to prevent the ending of the game prematurely. But this trick cannot be pulled on till eternity. After some time, the other boys will get frustrated and will ask the hotshot dude to walk home...

You should know exactly how important you are - I am not saying don't pull this trick at all, pull it as and when you need it - being careful not to stretch it beyond limits. Or you too will be asked to go home. Self importance and vanity are different. One should have self importance, but not to the extent of being egocentric or vanity. If you don't possess this uality, you'll end up being a door mat, on which everyone will rub their shoes.


Gyani Triviani propounded:

"What use is the flame, whilst the candle lies dead..."

I often marvel at the fact that there are people who still claim that people now are selfish, that people care mainly for themselves and don't care about the society or anyone outside their circles, themselves and their family being the centre of the care... I was just talking to my friends, and then some other people - I asked them one simple question: "Assume two people are marooned on an island, your friend being one of them, and the other being a stranger. Given that you can save only one between the two, whom would you choose to save?"

The question is quite straight forward, but the answers are quite mixed. Most of them, I don't know if it was because of their feelings that they were being judged or otherwise, told me that they would rather save the stranger, instead of their friend - And why? That's because they are selfless, that they put their own selfish desires behind them, and would choose to select the stranger... Some said they would save the stranger and come back to save this friend, or die with him/her. Well, I surely would not like to be this marooned friend. I don't know if these people are truly so selfless. So, I made it a little more interesting, and asked them - "What if one was your mother/father/sibling and other stranger?" This time the answers were pretty much different. Most of them chose to pick their family.

If you look at the whole exercise more realistically, practically and logically, most of them in real life would choose to save their friend, even in the first case - Because of the sense of belonging. It's not that a person is being selfish by doing that... It's only human - and people want to show they are above normal humans by saving the stranger. It's always better to be honest than to show yourself to be a selfless martyr. It's always natural for someone to secure his/her position before helping someone else. Gone are the days when you give up something for someone else, suffering - Although there's still hope, not all peopple are selfish, but in today's world, where people dig at the softest place, there are a large number who would take undue advantage of your sweet nature. If you give up yourself for some principle, one thing you need to remember is that you won't be there to help others out. So, only if you NEED to become a martyr, go ahead...

Always try to obtain win-win situations. Only in the worst case scenario should you choose to do the unthinkable.

Proving Points

Says Swami Gulagulaananda:

"To prove a point is like spitting vertically upwards, or throwing a stone into slush.... The spit will land on thy face, and the slush shalt splash on thou"

"I am right and you are wrong." "Naa, you are wrong. I am right...." If this has happened to you, then it's normal. Well, a lot of people try to prove points. But one thing we need to remeber, what are we actually going to gain at the end? Here's an interesting incident...

Today, I was in the lab to see my friends completing an unfinished experiment. And then, suddenly a small commotion arises behind me. I turned around to see one of my friends arguing with the teacher. What was the arguement about? It's small and insignificant. The teacher had given him and his friend the same marks (1/5) for answering viva - his point is that he answered the question while the other did not, and if that's true, then how did both get the same score? Well, very valid.

The arguement was heated. Finally, the teacher replies - "Neither of you answered. I only told you. You need to learn how to talk to a teacher. If you want marks, I'll give you five for every viva round for the whole semester. Don't beg for marks like this" Says my friend, "It's not for the marks, it's just for the principle." She fumed and left, he fumed and sat down.

What did she gain from this? Just lost her peace of mind, and it looked bad in front of others when she was fighting with a student. What did he gain from this? Embarrassment and a bad impression. He colud have avoided all this, because at the end his marks did not increase at all. When she said no, he should have just come back - There's no telling what a superior can do to you, be it your boss, teacher or anyone else. When you prove a point, they might take it personally and hold a grudge against you and later forget ethics and morality and stoop to every level possible to teach you a lesson - failing you, holding promotions... what not.

Rather than arguing, see what can you gain. Appropriate steps should later be taken depending on how bad the situation is, proving points is worthless.

Planning for the future

Baba Gyani Triviani says:
"Aim for the stars... You might reach the moon. But make sure you don't crash into a tree while taking off"

A lot of people think they are foresighted and therefore they make plans. Especially students, who would like to be systematic - they plan, make a brilliant time table for studying, and that's all. How many of us make time tables and actually stick to it? Well, I don't. And when I realised I could not adhere to time tables, I stopped making them... This might seem pathetic, but this is true with all of us, atleast most of us.

How exactly do we make plans? Plans can be divided into three categories - short term, medium and long term. Long term being something really far away, and short term being almost immediate. Medium of course lies between these two. Whatever be the plans, one thing we should bear in mind - "Always make sure the goals are realistic and achievable" A short term goal such as beating Gates overnight is realistic though not achievable, and flying like superman is unrealistic and not achievable. When you make plans, you should always keep a certain amount of cushion (term which means more or less....), and also keep some backup ready, so that if your primary plan fails, you should be in a position to immediately switch over to plan B, while at the same time you should be able to analyse where you went wrong in the first one - see if it can be corrected and then resume if required or possible. And make sure your future plans don't have this short coming.

If you don't have a backup, and you rely only on your primary plan, it's as good as doing what the old adage asks us not to do - "Putting all your eggs in one basket" The basket falls and all your eggs are just a squished gooey yellow stinking mass, worthless.... a waste. That is something you would definitely not want to happen to your dreams. When you set high goals and fail to even go close to it, it leads to disappointment and on the longer run - frustration.

Setting goals is not enough, one must put in sufficient effort. What's the use of a Ferrari if you are going to keep it in your garage. Use it, drive... You might get a couple of scratches here and there, a couple of dents - but that's nothing compared to the pleasure of driving. One must always look at the larger picture. Make a couple of sacrifices to get more and better things.

Prioritising is very essential. If you don't do this right, you might end up losing everything that you have and gain nothing extra.

Grammar is the grave of language

Swami Nikhilaananda says:
"Unsolicited advice seldom carries value, though is gold, is discarded by the fools"

"Grammar is the grave of language" - This line was thrown on my face by my friend about two years back because I had this "nauseating" (nauseating for the ignorant) habit of correcting grammatical errors of people.

Well, I for one believe in speaking a language as clearly as possible, by following every grammatical rule which exists - There is only one reason for this, and that is because the rule exists. We follow rules because they are made. You might feel "I am a rebel, I love to break rules... Atleast I don't." So, if I used to come across people using incorrect words or words in wrong places, I used to correct them as soon as possible. Now when I say people I mean very close friends only. And many of them feel offended if they are corrected. To err is human, to forgive divine, but to correct them is hellish. Here are some incidents - Don't tell me you would not feel tempted to correct them.

I am going with my friend in a bus at 10 am and we get caught in a traffic jam. He turns around and tells me "Man, I can't believe there are so many people in the wee hours of the day. " Mind you, it's ten. I told him about wee, and of course he felt offended.

And yeah, not to forget one of the biggest errors committed by people, which I am almost sure even you would commit - The opposite of postpone is advance and NOT prepone. I tried to correct most of my friends even asked them to check for its existence in the dictionary, but then all I got in return was - "Hey man, I am not a Brit like you", or "who cares" or "Grammar is the grave of language, we use language just to put across information - So I will still use it"

I still don't understand why you have to impress someone by using big words - Like someone told me, the objective of language is effective communication, it has to be concise, precise rather than elaborate and too flowery.

You don't have to put up a fake accent to show you know good english or use heavy words either. A lot of people use certain words over and over again (cliches) and beyond a certain level, they become intolerable. It's better to speak using simple english clearly than speaking with accents and using words in wrong places without knowing the meanings. Be clear while speaking, remember it's the idea which matters and how you put it across, not the accent (unless you are working in a BPO) Some people think of words which mean something similar to to be a synonym and usage of such words will just project your ignorance.

Finally I learnt my lesson - it's better to correct myself silently. Now I just nod along even when someone says - "I spoke to the Mr. Ganesh" because I know I am not here to correct the world. I do tell people if I am asked, but then someone whispers the sentence "Grammar is the grave of language" into my ear, and I just smile.


Hello all,

This is a blog which I wanted to write from a very long time, but every time I sat to write, I just used to run out of topics. Not run out of, actually, not a single topic would actually come to my mind. I was thinking of making my blog more like something which has a theme - initally I thought of making it technical, then ran out of techie stuff to write. Then came education, morality, relationship, language etc.

Well, after a lot of thinking, I realised some day I would run out of topics if I picked any one topic. So, I thought of doing what Jerry Seinfeld did for jokes - talk about everything. So, just in case you come across a joke in something grave, fret not, it's normal.

Three Saints were created by me - Swami Nikhilaananda, the modern saint who propounds the ancient wisdom and knowledge of Swami Gulagulaananda, the second Swami, known for his deep intellect and usage of wacky poetic verses to put across his ideas. The third is Baba Gyani triviani, the saint who speaks about everything - and most of it, is trivia...

I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

Nikhil Baliga