Friday, June 27, 2008


Reservation for students was not enough, so the government has issued directives to implement reservation quota in the faculty positions as well. Seems like the name IIT should be changed to RIT (Reserved Institute of Technology). At least the government has been considerate enough in allowing IITs to dereserve the posts after a year, if they do not get filled "despite all efforts".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blah Blah

If there is one thing that I can relate with Americans, it is their infinite capacity to talk. What amazes me is that most of them are capable of creating an entire conversation out of a question as simple as "Watsup?". Sometimes I feel that they teach this art in the primary schools, so that when the children grow up they can talk to their heart's content. Take for example this conversation I had with this hair-stylist/barber lady. Note that I never meant this to go beyond a one line answer to my simple question.

BL=Barber Lady

Me: So till what time are you guys open?
BL: Well we open at 10 in the morning and close at 7 in the evening, because the owner of the shop wants both me and Kim (her co-worker) to leave together. And although Kim can go on till 8pm or maybe even later than that , I need to leave exactly at 7 as I have to pick up my baby at 7:30. So you see I have a nine month old baby and a friend of mine looks after him. Now this friend of mine has two babies of her own, and she can't afford a baby-sitter which makes her stay at home. This works out very well for me as I trust her completely with my baby.
Do you have a baby?
Me (startled) : What baby,!! no baby..
BL: When you have one you will understand. Even on weekends I do not go out with my girlfriends when they ask me to join them for a beer. You see I get so little time together with my husband. Its his job and my job and then the baby on the weekdays, so we try and be together on the weekends..........blah, blah, blah, get the drift!

And so it went on for another 20 minutes leaving me intellectually exhausted and emotionally drained :-).

PS: I read this amusing post on one of the Gulzar communities, which said that even if Gulzar wrote something that was utter crap, people would still derive some meaning out of it. For example, if he wrote something like:

"Baar baar bujh jaati hai meri cigarette,
Kya chaand ne bhi kabhi scooter dekha hoga !"

Some people would assign a deep deep meaning to it :). If a common man writes something vague its supposed to be meaningless, but if Gulzar writes some such stuff, its assumed to have some hidden crux.
Not that I don't like Gulzar. I am a big fan, just that I liked the humor in this little post.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer = free time = good, happy time

No this post has got nothing to do with the title. That was just to convey how much I like the summers here. Have been reading some Dawkins starting with The God Delusion. Since I have nothing better to say, here is a little Bertrand Russell quote from the book that I like:

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

And another one by my favorite author Douglas Adams:

Religion...........has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? — because you're not!' If somebody votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it, but on the other hand if somebody says 'I mustn't move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'Fine, I respect that'.

Why should it be that it's perfectly legitimate to support the Labour party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows, but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe, no, that's holy? What does that mean? Why do we ring-fence that for any other reason other than that we've just got used to doing so? There's no other reason at all, it's just one of those things that crept into being and once that loop gets going it's very, very powerful. So, we are used to not challenging religious ideas but it's very interesting how much of a furore Richard (Dawkins) creates when he does it! Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you're not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.

And on a totally unrelated note and because this does not deserve a separate post, whats the deal with little kids on plane? I mean seriously, is it like they act super good the day before flights to earn bonus crying hours to be used on the flight, because most of the parents do not even try to put them to sleep or at least stop the crying. And I have been the sleep deprived victim on all of my last four flights now. Reading this or something similar and acting accordingly should be made mandatory for all parents.