Saturday, September 21, 2002

Okay, so what is the stupidest bet that you have ever placed? Mine was a bet that the loser should eat an ant! No not those tiny ants that go marching in single file but the big black ones that kinda pop up during rainy season. And just as my luck goes, I lost and ‘bham’ my cousin slapped at a passing ant and he gave it to me. I hesitated a moment and then I… well ate it. To be honest, it tastes quite nice sort of bitter sweet. No wonder in certain places of Tamil Nadu they regularly cook ants.

Since we are on the topic of ants, did you know that ants have been on this planet for more than 100 million years? Did you also know that ants are the most civilised creatures on the planet after humans and they are the only species on this planet that still practice slavery? [just shows how humans define civilisation!]. Should humans go extinct for some reason, then ants are the next rulers. [first dinosaurs, then humans, then ants … think of the ratio in size] And to top it, the total weight of all the ants in this planet far exceeds the total weight of the humans [so imagine how large the ant population is]. Interesting uh?

Friday, September 20, 2002

If you search for 'Maltesh' on Google, the first one on the search results is my Avatar's :-)

***** I have this huge smile on me *****
The real history of the world.

God created the world roughly 5000 years back. Ya ya just the same way as it says in the Bible. He created it in 6 days and decided to rest on the 7th day. But you all know how it is - its so damn hard to spend a Sunday afternoon without doing something. So there was God, wondering what to do and all... and so He decides to play a prank. He creates these huge bones and decides to bury them a few feet under the earth. He also creates these fossils and things that look like wild creatures and buries them too. He makes the soil around it look like as if it is millions of years old.

Thousands of years pass and one day God suddenly remembers that He had buried all those bones and fossils. And so He sends this guy called Charles Darwin to confuse the hell out of us by coming up with this thing called 'Theory of Evolution'. Ever since, half the worlds people have been confused as to the truth behind the creation of this world and the other half are not bothered.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

If my memory serves me right, this is an incident that happened when I was in 10th. I studied in a Christian residential school and every Wednesday night all the students would assemble for one hour of group games. On one such night our pastor huddled a group of us together in a huge hall and said this game would teach us about getting our priorites straight in life (maybe because he sensed that us teenagers had no priorities at all).

He asked any one of us to volunteer. A pretty girl, a year younger to me, stepped forward. The pastor had a large dark blanket in his hand. He led her to the center of the hall and asked her to sit down. After she had squatted on the floor he spread the blanket on top of her so that it covered her fully. The rest of us encircled her to watch the pastors' game.

At this point the pastor told her: "Imagine that you are in the middle of a large desert and you are all alone. You have to travel a long distance to find the nearest civilisation. Hence you will have to travel light. So remove one thing that you don't need and give it to me. Don't lift the blanket, but just slip it out slowly".

The girl under the blanket thought for a while and we could see that under the blanket she was taking something off to give away to the pastor. The first thing she slipped something from under the blanket was the sweater. The pastor nodded and said that it was a reasonably good choice but not the best choice. So he asked her to give another thing. A bit more ruffling under the blanket and this time she slipped her woolen cap. Still not the best choice and pastor asked her to give one more thing. And so this went on until, the girl kept giving all that she had - shoes, socks, scarf, ear-rings, watch etc. She finally reached a point when all she had under the blanket was her bare clothes.

The next time the pastor asked her, there was a long wait, and finally her t-shirt came out under the blanket (obviously all the boys were whistling - but none could see because the blanket fully covered her). Pastor sighed and said give me one more thing. Another long wait, and this time her jeans slipped out. Another round of whistles from guys. Then her undergarments came out. And boys were making all sorts of ludicrous comments and the rest of our girl classmates were quite shocked. Since she didn't have anything left the pastor slipped all her stuff under the blanket and asked her to dress up.

"Did anyone learn anything from this game?" the pastor asked all of us. Everyone was quite stunned to respond. After a while the pastor said "This girl was sitting under a blanket in a large desert. I asked her to remove one thing that she didn't need. I think any prudent person, who has got his priorities right, will remove the blanket first."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Why do shoes bite? The worst is we can't bite them back. The same holds true for mosquitoes, bees and other bugs that bite us even when we don't provoke them. Sometimes I wonder if there were much bigger animals walking around us, if we would go and bite them.
Every morning when I walk to work in this cold wet weather, there is one thing that always catches my attention - slugs, snails and a variety of other bugs. Ok, not 'one thing' but a variety of things. I head to work around 6:30 in the morning, half hour before the market opens and as such there are relatively few people out and about. The cold and wet weather brings these tiny fellas out and they are all merrily roaming about on the footpath and I try my best not to step on any of them (slugs can be quite slippery and I kinda feel guilty when I hear the 'crunch' after stepping on a snail).

Yesterday morning I saw a butterly pupa hanging by the edge of the leaf. I don't get to see such things often and so I stopped to have a closer look at it. I have seen silk cocoons back in my village and so I could tell this pupa was about to produce the offspring and re-do one of natures' wonders where an ugly caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. .

In the evening, as I walked back home, I was eager to see at what stage the pupa was now. To my dismay the pupa had already burst and the butterfly had gone. I plucked the pupa and probed the inside a bit and just as I was about to turn away something else caught my attention. A strong, relatively big spider web. Probing a bit, I could see there were scores of spiderwebs all around. A few feet away from the leaf where the pupa had been hanging, tiny butterflies wings were fluttering in the wind; the innards having already been consumed by the spider.

Nature has its own sense of humour uh?

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Does anyone know if the laptop will get heavier if we keep adding data to the hard disk? I mean atleast by even the slightest measurable amount? This thought has been bugging me. I can't find an answer for this on the net either. Maybe this weekend I will go to some college and use their labs to see what happens. Its nice to have an inquisitive but a wholly unscientific mind :-)
Found this on the net and I thought I will share it with you all.

If we could shrink the population of the earth to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:

There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 Western Hemisphere people (both North & South Americans), and 8 Africans. Seventy persons would be non-white, 30 would be white, 70 would be non-Christian, and 30 would be Christian.

Fifty percent of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people, and these 6 would all be citizens of the United States. Seventy would be unable to read. Fifty would suffer from malnutrition, 80 would live in substandard housing, and only one would have a university education.

When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent. Don't you think so?

Monday, September 16, 2002

Have you ever wondered that the person in the mirror is real, and you are just a reflection of him / her? I mean, we are the non-real guys who walk around in the surreal world only to appear in front of the mirror when the 'other' person appears on the opposite side of the mirror, or the puddle, or all those other reflections that we see.
Yesterday, being bored, I went for a walk along the river. Somehow the river takes away the boredom and gets your thoughts running on a variety of issues. I sat there by a bench looking at the tiny waves hitting the dikes and little kids throwing in pebbles and giggling. From a distance I could see an Indian couple walking by the river and from the look of it - cameras hanging around their necks - I could tell they were tourists. A few minutes later they were walking just behind my bench and I could hear them speaking in Kannada, the language that I speak. I was hearing this after a few months gap and naturally my ears all perked up. Instantly I turned around and asked them (in Kannada) where they were from, what they were doing here, how long they were here for and etc...

A few minutes later I bid them farewell after giving them tips about visiting different spots and sat back looking at the river. As I sat there, I asked myself, why is it that in this strange land when I meet someone whom I have never known in my life I take comfort to help them out just because they speak my lingo. But if I was back in Karnataka, if a fellow tourist should ask me to guide him, I would probably have shrugged my shoulders and lied 'sorry, I really don't know much to help you out' and slide away. What is it that transforms me (and probably others too) into a more helpful, thoughtful, humble person when I am separated from all that I took for granted? Why is it that I have unknown + unwanted arrogance and pride when I am back home? Will I continue to be the same person when I eventually return? Well I guess only time will tell.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Well it's a late blog-post for the day but I was kind of muffed on certain thoughts. Today actually I wanted to take the avatar of a fly and then that of a wicket. Two entirely different things but certain confusions stopped me from taking those avatars.

Firstly, does anyone know how a fly lands on the roof? I mean, it is very easy to imagine how a fly lands on top of a table or even inside the costliest soup that you order when you go on a date. But how in the world does it land on the roof? I used to see them crawl all over the roof when I was in my village but I never really stopped to have a good look at how they land on top of the roof. Do they turn around at the last moment just before they hit the roof? Or do they turn around half way in the journey and then fly upside down till they reach the roof? This topic has been bugging me and before I turn myself into a fly, Im gonna find out how they do that. Thats the sad part of London - little things like flies and mosquitoes can't be found easily.

After that, I decided to take some other form. So I thought of cricket (as in the bug) which eventually made me think of cricket (the sport). I was wondering why not take the form of stumps. Yes, the three sticks behind the batsman. Imagine standing there when rock-hard balls whiz past you at mega speeds. While thinking of writing about this, I got stuck again. The question this time was - what is a hat-trick? Yeah, I know its three wickets in three consecutive balls but what does the term stand for? How did it originate? What does 'hat' and 'trick' have to do with the whole thing anyway?

So thats where I am stuck now. I will take an avatar soon, but my first task is to go find answers for these two things that are eating my head on a peaceful Sunday afternoon.
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