Saturday, 10 December 2011

Aryabhatta and the Zero!

Since quite a while, I've been receiving an sms on why Aryabhatta actually invented the number zero. Supposedly that's because he'd been checking answer-sheets! But that couldn't be the only reason now, could it? I tell you, he time-travelled and came to today's age. He found some interesting questions that couldn't be answered without a zero. So he went back in time, and did what he did! Wanna know why he actually invented zero? Read on.

1)  He saw someone trying to count the number of hair on Vinod Kambli's head !

2) So that they could keep Santa Singh's brain on display in the museum. You see, they couldn't measure it's weight!

3)  So that you could tell the exact number of Ekta Kapoor's daily soaps that weren't stupid and irritating!

4) So that both the BMC and TMC could promise to have zero potholes every year!

5) Because the number of things that Rajini Can't was not zero!

6) So that you could name the exact number of movies in which Fardeen Khan actually tried to act !

7) So that Anu Malik and Pritam could confidently say that the number of their compositions which are blatant rip-offs are zero !

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What The Educationalists Don't Know About Education!

The call for educational reforms has grown a lot recently. But beyond the system-bashing and criticism, precious little has been said about what these reforms should be. I will present my view, in the form of a few fables that drive home my point.

I'll start with a story of a monkey named Hoop-hoop. When he was a kid...oh sorry I changed the animal, a baby, he was caught and taken to a zoo. A bad zoo it was, he hated it. They gave him food, taught him to dance and what not ! After a few years, the animal rights guys came and set him free in a jungle. Initially he was happy, till he realised he didn't know how to climb and jump between trees! He didn't know anything about the one thing he would be dealing with, the rest of his life!
I am talking about money management. Frankly, you deal with money more than you shit in your life! And if you are not taught about it, education is bullshit! Monkey-poop if you may, but poop all the same!

You must be knowing, that cuckoos drop their eggs in crows' nests. The crows raise them like their own until they realise and then drive away the young cuckoo. I knew about this dumb crow, as dumb as our educationalists, who never realised that the cuckoo wasn't like him. He kept on raising it. The cuckoo actually learned to crow a bit ! But it was a poor crow after all.
Arts. These are the things which make you human. They define you. If you teach the kids to disregard them, they will. And you will keep producing one crow after another. No cuckoos, or nightingales, or sparrows!

I met a Lion after I had seen him in a circus. "Hey! Next time I'll come back to see more tricks from you!", I said. "More tricks?", he shot back, "that was all I can do!". Shocked, I asked, "But you are a Lion!". "Exactly!", he said, "I am a Lion.". A Lion is the king of the jungle. His majesty, his power and his ruthlessness make you tremble in awe. But a Lion's a poor clown!
People often don't realise that sports are as important as, or even as difficult as academics, especially in India. If we did, we wouldn't probably be wondering about why countries small enough to be flooded by all of India's pee win more medals than us at the Olympics.

I was walking by the road when I came across a calf eating plastic bags off the perennially-overflowing dustbins. When I warned her against it, she said, "My momma didn't tell me anything about it!". Then I went to her momma, and she said the same! None of the cattle seemed to know that it was real bad for them to be eating plastic!
Health. The one thing everyone should not only know about, but be taught to give importance to.

Before ending with one last tale, I'll list the few objectives that education must achieve if we are to call it as education:
1) To develop logical and analytical thinking.
2) To imbibe good values and morals.
3) To teach kids important life-skills.
4) To make them aware of all worldly skills, help them understand their liking and support their growth within it.

One last tale before I sign off for some time again:
There lived a weapons-scholar in the border town of the kingdom of a great king. He knew so much about them that people revered him. One day the neighbouring empire attacked the town. The scholar jumped in the battle, but all it took to kill him was one swipe of the sword. The reason? He had never fought with a sword in his entire life. Is it really so difficult to understand that theoretical, and not practical education should be supplementary?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Apple. Bitten.

He was a seed. A seed unlike others, full of genius, ideas and vision. An Apple seed. On the ground when he started, he sowed himself, immersed himself and slowly became the Apple.

The Apple grew as it would, but destiny had other plans for him. There came the drought, and the winds of change. For better or worse, but change all the same. The seed was knocked off his rightful place.

Being the toughie that he was, you shouldn't be thinking that he remained down. He sowed himself, immersed himself, challenged the winds and became a whole new Apple. An Apple, bigger and better.

But again destiny had other plans for him. Maybe Heaven too needed such seeds. Though the Apple lies now, bitten, that one seed has inspired innumerable others around the world. You may soon see Apple farms all around... not because they are his babies, but because they hold him in their hearts. I bid farewell to that one seed, Steve Jobs... Rest in peace, for your legacy lives on!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Useful Potholes

Oh my Mumbai, full of potholes,
Come On! You needn't get rid of those!
Turn around every weakness, I was taught,
Don't be afraid, nor distraught.

For all those who love to swim,
Unplanned as ever, just on a whim,
And for those who care not if it's cool,
Rejoice! You have a ready-made swimming pool !

You know how India fares in many sports
Mostly for want of training and support.
But now they have a reason to be cheery,
For, Long and Triple jump can be practised here,
for free!

I heard that I.S.R.O.'S planning a moon mission
As high on expenses it is, as on ambition
On training here, the might save quite a few,
After all, we have huge craters too!

Oh my Mumbai, full of potholes,
Come On! You needn't get rid of those!
They make us revise our old jokes, these potholes...
Even the old deep-thinking Sardar,
 is now sitting n one of those!

Monday, 20 June 2011

What it is not

Hellboy's true name was Anung Un Rama. Eragon's sword's true name is Brisingr. And the true name of a water-bottle is... well, WATER-BOTTLE ! But we don't call it that...we call it Bisleri ! Not that calling it with its 'true name' will 'unleash it's power', but still, we gotta mould our tongues.
With some effort, I've put together a list of our most common jumble-ups, some unsynonyms which you cannot simply pin on our Indian lingo!

Which are obviously not, but you end up equating them anyway:
Sports & Cricket (a lot of people will curse me for this, but this is what happens)
Foreign countries & western countries (the common Indian thinking)

Which you know are not, but you equate them anyway:
Notebook, textbook & long book
Suit, coat & a blazer ( HIMYM fans will love this!)
CD & DVD (Yawnnn!)
Pant, trouser & jeans
Wallet, purse & pouch (ask the guys! they hate when you call a wallet a purse or a pouch!)
Raincoat, blazer & jerkin (you dare not use a jerkin as a raincoat!)
Shirt and t-shirt

Which are actually brands, and you equate it whether you know it or not:

Casio, keyboard & piano (I've been screaming hoarse on this one since long!)
Water-bottle & Bisleri
Xerox & photocopy ( hope you aren't surprised !)
Cadbury, chocolate & toffees ( and not now either!)
Milkybar and milk chocolate & white chocolate ( I didn't know the last one until recently either!)
PC, desktop & laptop

Which you don't know, and so you equate them:
Curd & yoghurt ( dahi is yoghurt and paneer is a type of curd!)
Ketchup & sauce (now that's a spicy one!)
Racquet & bat (out of words!)

And some are plain ridiculous!!! :
Pokemon and pokemAn (you don't know how common that is!)
Cartoon and carton ( it would be boring to watch a carton now, won't it?)
Kelvin & degree-kelvin (TDEE= that doesn't even exist!!!)

P.S. most probably you have googled some of things I mentioned, and after you have read the whole post, I am getting immense satisfaction to remind you that I had a google search bar right below my blog title! Sure u missed it ! >:)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Top Five

Taking a cue from the 'Top Five' column appearing in Mumbai Mirror, I thought about writing one myself. But since I am very excited about the new Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, I thought about writing Top Five with a filmy twist!

Hot and latest leaked facts about the upcoming Hollywood copies in Bollywood:

  1. Raja, Raju, Kalmadi, Hasan Ali (and a LOT of others) are going to do the leads in all films of the series 'Pirates of the Arabian'.
  2. A scene showing Obama declaring 'War against terror' is to be used in the film 'Curse of the Black Bald Pearl'.
  3. Osama's treasure trove of hard drives features as the real chest in the film 'Dead Man's Chest'.
  4. 'The Stranger Sides' is going to be based on Pak and China who are increasingly being stranger and untrustworthy.
  5. A film on the common man is aptly going to be titled 'At Wit's End'.

Friday, 6 May 2011

'K' The story (sorry... I had to start with 'k' ! )

(Long stupid music)...
The story starts with the portrayal of an influential but estranged couple... Amrika and Rasika (aka. Russika). Both of them hated each other, but did not officially file for divorce. Suddenly the story shifts to some big hunk called Afghanika. All was going well till Rasika claimed that he was her naajayaj aulaad. Amrika didn't like this. Being a hunk that he was, he had a lot of lovers... one of them being a certain Osaka, son of Arabika. Osaka married Afghanika. As always, the bahu started having a raaj in the house and eventually, with the support of Amrika, drove out Rasika.

Twist in the tale...

Osaka didn't like Amrika either. So when Momma Arabika started having flings with Amrika, she became the haddi in the kebab. So Momma Amrika banished her from the family. Osaka then began flirting with a guy named Sudanika. But the affair got sour and she finally came back to Afghanika.

Back to square one!

The angry girl that she was, she began meddling with everyone, including Amrika. She even slapped him once and ran away. Pappaji was not amused... so he started hunting for her...CID style. The hunt lasted for 10 years (minimum duration of a 'K' story!).

Finally, now Amrika claims Osaka's dead but he has no proof. And as always, there are a lot of mysteries surrounding the incident, if it did happen, that is! No one knows the truth except Ekta (that's a Marathi word!) Amrika.

Who knows, probably the secrets will be revealed in the next season of the serial... or maybe Osaka will come back from the dead with a plastic surgery! Keep watching!!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Remain Unworthy

What will I ever truly learn
If all goes right, all goes well
Everything working like a clockwork bell?
None of the values for which I yearn!

Look at the teachers, not just mine
Some don't know, some can't teach
Working actually to make institutions rich
Independence, I learnt from ways thine!

In offices, counters and windows some,
Where, frankly, you are not welcome
Takes hard work just to make the guy look
Tremendous patience, I was taught, was all it took

The oft-caught-scamming political herd
Sells paise for lakhs, and crores for free
Makes money by methods yet unheard
True entrepreneurship, I saw in thee!

Remain unworthy, Oh sons of the Divine
Or else, how would you teach these morals
to my kids and thine?