Say what?

Source: The Hindu, dated 13th April, 2006. Newscape section (that appears at the top of the page)

Found, at last

The police in California recovered a motorcycle 35 years after it was stolen, as it was being shipped to an unsuspecting person in Finland who bought it on online auction eBay. It was a year-old Yamaha 360.

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Cool

Define cool. C’mon, humor me – define cool (in the context of a person, not temperature!). Do you immediately get this image of a hip girl (or guy) in jeans and t-shirt with a funky hair cut/color (4 Cs – cut, color, curls, combed), nose ring, toe ring, ear ring, orange tinted Oakley, a generous splash of Gap..you know what I’m talkin’ about, right? So does that define cool? My question in short: Does attire define cool? Even if you say No, I know deep down you know it’s not true. Even I’ve been ingrained like that – jeans is cool, salwar-kameez is not. Saree? Getouttahere!

My rant arises from a conversation I had some time back. X and I were having lunch and at the table nearby there was a girl with jasmine flowers in her hair (gajra in Hindi, malligai poo in Tamil, malli poo in Malayalam and malle poovulu in Telugu). The fragrance was awesome. If you live anywhere in Tamil Nadu, it’s no big deal – agreed. But if you live in Hyderabad, then ‘seeing’ white jasmine flowers is a miracle in itself – what you find will generally be in varying shades of brown (flower wearers would know brown means dried!). So getting back..X and I saw that and I was really missing my college times when I used to keep those flowers every single day. I love them.

X immediately said, ‘Wow what a fragrance! Should tie that on my wrist and walk around!’. Maybe now would be the time to mention that X was a girl (and not a malluveti minor – that’s Tamil for a guy who wears a pink silk kurta, white silk dhoti with a gold chain around his neck that ends in a pendant shaped like two cornucopias stuck at the heads..with gajra tied to his wrist..get the picture? A bit like Shakti Kapoor with gajra in his hand..).

I hid my shock. Instead, I said, ‘Yeah..reminds me of college times. I used to wear that every day’.

X actually doubled over in amazement. She went, ‘What? Eww!’.

Two words are enough actually to understand what she meant. You’re sooo not cool! You wore flowers like that? Were do you live, Keezhakalkandarkovil?! (That’s a cute little railway station on the way from Trichy to Chennai..hee hee) What a pattikaadu! (Tamil for a plain village girl). I didn’t say anything on the topic after that. We went our respective ways to our desks.

But this conversation (if you can call it that) kind of got me thinking as to why people think it’s not the IN thing to be what you always were. It’s no big deal for me to cover up my ‘un-cool’ habit of keeping flowers by saying ‘Yeah, I used to be that dumb!’ – but why should I? Who defined cool like that?

I say it’s not your attire but your attitude that shows if you’re cool or not. I don’t think it’s un-cool to go to a 5-star hotel and order Masala Dosa when everyone around you is ordering Bouillabaisse and Beef Stroganoff. I don’t think it’s un-cool to go to the most happening multiplex or shopping complex wearing your favorite cotton churidhar – with your hair braided instead of left open. Wearing a pair of jeans (torn at the knee caps, mind you) doesn’t make you cool – people would always find that out the moment you open your mouth.

LOOKING cool is easy – any Ann, Mary and Jane can do it. But BEING cool – well, that’s something you gotto work on. That’s something you cannot take from your wardrobe and just wear.

A person who is ‘cool’ will not think it’s un-cool to wear jasmine flowers in your hair. Yeah, that’s the way it works.

X – if you’re reading this (by some freak of nature, ofcourse): Yeah, I used to keep jasmine flowers in my hair when I was in college. And guess what? I would do it even now if only I could get fresh jasmine flowers. If that makes me un-cool, then yeah – I am un-cool. And I’m not going to change.

The Song of the Sorting Hat


“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffis are true And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!”

Source: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K.Rowling

Image Source

Love Story

It didn’t hurt anymore. She’d gotten used to it. The screams just died in her throat these days. All that remained was this constant ache in the heart. And a sense of betrayal that refused to die down no matter how much her mind thought otherwise. He had loved her. She was conscious of the past tense every time that sentence came up. Had loved her. She doubted if there was any left now. She had always believed that a heart that loved cannot hate. If hate comes in, love tiptoes away. Unheard, unseen, but felt by the heart. But she stayed on because she still loved him. Inspite of everything, she did. And she was not going to give up. She also believed that love conquers all. She was also conscious of the foreboding in her heart that something was to go wrong. Very wrong.

He hated himself. Not her, but himself. He hated his dependence on alcohol. He hated himself everytime he hurt her. Physically or otherwise. He longed for those wonderful times they had spent with each other when he was not the monster he was now. The laughs, the long never ending sweet nothings…her smile! He could not remember the last time he had seen her smile. He had loved that smile above all. Now all he found were tears. And fear. There was always a fear in her eyes. He sometimes wished she wouldn’t take all that he did and just leave. But she never let go. He loved her more for that. But somehow, that could never stop him from having that one last drink.

They found their bodies the next morning. She lay crumpled at the foot of the bed, the bedstead streaked crimson – crimson like the floor beneath her. His body was hanging from a rope tied to the fan – looking down at her, asking for her forgiveness and loving her more than ever.

God’s Debris


It’s a bit on the longer side, but I’m yet to read a book that made me think so much..an excerpt…

Source: God’s Debris, by Scott Adams

Do you believe in God?” the old man asked, as if we had known each other forever but had somehow neglected to discuss that one topic. I assumed he wanted reassurance that his departure from this life would be the beginning of something better. I gave a kind answer.

“There has to be a God,” I said. “Otherwise, none of us would be here.” It wasn’t much of a reason, but I figured he didn’t need more.

“Do you believe God is omnipotent and that people have free will?” he asked.

“That’s standard stuff for God. So, yeah.”

“If God is omnipotent, wouldn’t he know the future?”

“Sure.”

“If God knows what the future holds, then all our choices are already made, aren’t they? Free will must be an illusion.”

He was clever, but I wasn’t going to fall for that trap.
“God lets us determine the future ourselves, using our free will,” I explained.

“Then you believe God doesn’t know the future?”

“I guess not,” I admitted. “But he must prefer not knowing.”

“So you agree that it would be impossible for God to know the future and grant humans free will?”

“I hadn’t thought about it before, but I guess that’s right. He must want us to find our own way, so he intentionally tries not to see the future.”

“For whose benefit does God withhold his power to determine the future?” he asked.

“Well, it must be for his own benefit, and ours, too,” I reasoned. “He wouldn’t have to settle for less.”

The old man pressed on. “Couldn’t God give humans the illusion of free will? We’d be just as happy as if we had actual free will, and God would retain his ability to see the future. Isn’t that a better solution for God than the one you suggested?”

“Why would God want to mislead us?”

“If God exists, his motives are certainly unfathomable. No one knows why he grants free will, or why he cares about human souls, or why pain and suffering are necessary parts of life.”

“The one thing I know about God’s motives is that he must love us, right?” I wasn’t convinced of this myself, given all the problems in the world, but I was curious about how he would respond.

“Love? Do you mean love in the way you understand it as a human?”

“Well, not exactly, but basically the same thing. I mean, love is love.”

“A brain surgeon would tell you that a specific part of the brain controls the ability to love. If it’s damaged, people are incapable of love, incapable of caring about others.”

“So?”

“So, isn’t it arrogant to think that the love generated by our little brains is the same thing that an omnipotent being experiences? If you were omnipotent, why would you limit yourself to something that could be reproduced by a littleclump of neurons?”

I shifted my opinion to better defend it. “We must feel something similar to God’s type of love, but not the same way God feels it.”

“What does it mean to feel something similar to the way God feels? Is that like saying a pebble is similar to the sun because both are round?” he responded.

“Maybe God designed our brains to feel love the same way he feels it. He could do that if he wanted to.”

“So you believe God wants things. And he loves things, similar to the way humans do. Do you also believe God experiences anger and forgiveness?”

“That’s part of the package,” I said, committing further to my side of the debate.

“So God has a personality, according to you, and it is similar to what humans experience?”

“I guess so.”

“What sort of arrogance assumes God is like people?” he asked.

“Okay, I can accept the idea that God doesn’t have a personality exactly like people. Maybe we just assume God has a personality because it’s easier to talk about it that way. But the important point is that something had to create reality. It’s too well-designed to be an accident.”
“Are you saying you believe in God because there are no other explanations?” he asked.

“That’s a big part of it.”

“If a stage magician makes a tiger disappear and you don’t know how the trick could be done without real magic, does that make it real magic?”

“That’s different. The magician knows how it’s done and other magicians know how it’s done. Even the magician’s assistant knows how it’s done. As long as someone knows how it’s done, I can feel confident that it isn’t real magic. I don’t personally need to know how it’s done,” I said.

“If someone very wise knew how the world was designed without God’s hand, could that person convince you that God wasn’t involved?”

“In theory, yes. But a person with that much knowledge doesn’t exist.”

“To be fair, you can only be sure that you don’t know whether that person exists or not.”

Image Source

A letter from Santa


Found C n H treasure on the internet. Not going to divulge it to anyone. MUAHAHAHA!!!

Source: Internet (but, ofcourse!)

Note: Don’t ruin your eyesight (or what’s left of it) trying to read from the image – that’s just namesake (uppuku chappani types). All the text in the image is given below. You’re welcome. 😉

A letter from Santa

My hands were all shaky,
My face had gone pale.
A letter from Santa
Just arrived in the mail!

It was hand-written
In old-fashioned ink pen.
It was handsomely printed
And dated twelve ten.

“Dear Calvin,” it said,
“I’m writing because
This year I’ve repealed
My ‘Naughty/Nice’ laws.”

“So now, I urge you:
Be vulgar and crude!
I LIKE it when children
Are boorish and rude!”

“Burp at the table!
Gargle your peas!
Never say ‘thank you’,
‘you’re welcome’ or ‘please’.”

“Talk back to your mother!
Don’t do as you’re told!
Stick your tongue out
At your dad if he scolds!”

“Drive everyone crazy,
I really don’t care!
Act like a jerk,
Anytime, anywhere!”

“I’m changing the rules!
The BAD girls and boys
Will be, from now on,
The ones who get toys!”

“Good little kids make
Me sick, it’s no joke.
Sincerely, signed Santa.”.
..And then I awoke.

I hate being good
(or trying to fake it).
Six days until Christmas!
I don’t think I’ll make it.