My Favorite Bits: A New Category

I have started categorizing the posts on this blog a bit at a time. I just added a category My Favorite Bits. One such is something which I call The Triple Point of the World at Zero Degrees Humanity. What I like about it is it rambles along and makes detours and finally reaches a conclusion that I found surprising.

As time permits I will add more to this category from the archives.

Swaggering Imbeciles

I have been reading and writing on the usenet for donkey’s years. It is a wonderful mine of information and an amazing sink of time. You could waste time like there is no tomorrow (or should that be the other way around?). Anyway, here is one gem from someone who writes under the pseudonym of Uncle Al.


Newly educated and semi-educated classes – social or intellectual – seek positions in government bureaucracies or social advocacy rather than in industry and commerce where competence is inarguably measured at the end of every business quarter. The growth of bureaucracies needed to absorb these swaggering imbeciles is precisely opposed to society’s growth and development both as direct philosophical enemy and as infinitely hungry sump to resources otherwise needed to support productive endeavors.

I like his expression swaggering imbeciles. Reminds me of the idiot politicians of India, especially the ruling dynasty.

Memory of Truths Never Known

tree silhouette

The beautiful things we shall write if we have talent are inside us, indistinct, like the memory of a melody which delights us though we are unable to recapture its outline. Those who are obsessed by this blurred memory of truths they have never known are the men who are gifted… Talent is like a sort of memory which will enable them finally to bring this indistinct music closer to them, to hear it clearly, to note it down…

Marcel Proust in Against Sainte-Beuve

Meditations on a New Education Model

Vipassana is a 2500-year old Buddhist meditation practice that claims its lineage to the Buddha himself. Various institutions carry on the tradition of teaching Vipassana and one such is led by Shri S.N.Goenka. Goenkaji, as he is known by his students, has his headquarters in Igatpuri, a small town near Nashik in Maharashtra, India. I came across Vipassana about 15 years ago in California through some American friends who are his students. Continue reading

Story: Other Worlds to Sing In

At times I despaired but I don’t think I ever fully gave up hope that one day I will get internet connectivity from home. After a month and more calls than I would like to remember to VSNL, I did get connected today. So to celebrate my new-found freedom to post from home, I am offering you a story. It is called Other Worlds to Sing in. A short little story that is sweet. But I cannot read it without a lump in my throat. Here is the story aka Information, Please.

Life is a Random Draw

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, epitomizes what I believe about life. It is a random draw. Recently I came across a commencement speech he gave at Stanford University. There is a connection between Steve — you would not believe this one — and Hare Krishna!

I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Go figure.

Export Quality

Haldiram’s is perhaps the only brand known around the world which comes from Nagpur (my home town). They make a great variety of wonderful namkeens (traditional Indian salty snacks), sweets, and other stuff which can be lumped as Indian junk food. It may be my cultural chauvinism which is speaking but I think that Indian junk food (like Indian food in general) beats any other variety of junk food hands down.
Continue reading

Fellowship for Tsunami Reporting

My friend Reuben over at ZooStation wants to spread the word about a $10,000 fellowship fellowship set up by SAJA for anyone wanting to do aTsunami aftermath story. The details are here.

This has been a Public Service Announcement brought to you by the kind folks at Zoo Station and its affiliates. Support also provided in part by Deeshaa Network which is made possible by a grant from an anonymous foundation.