Don’t let a school stand in your way of education

We thank our teachers in September. September also has days for engineers, daughters etc. So basically a month filled with thankless roles in our life. Apparently, it also has translation day, language day and so on. Overall, it’s a dull month. Thank God, it is over now. 

BTW What’s the relation of sin with cos? Answer: they are identical twins, but cos was born 90 min too early 🙂 [My grandma told always start with a joke when you blog, so there’s that.]

Okay, back to the topic. Teachers. Of course, We should cordially thank them. We are what we are because of them, and this goes without saying. It’s a tough and thankless job.

Once a year, we should all remember the best teacher we had and, post an internet generated greeting on WhatsApp status. Then we conveniently assume our teacher will read it and will have a better sleep that night. (Sarcasm intended, for those who skipped class on the day that was taught )

Unsure who the creator is, happy to give to credit if someone points at right IP owner.

But always remember, there is yang for yin. Once in awhile, we need to remember yang not just yin.

I am sure you would’ve had experience with bad teachers who suffocated your enthusiasm, killed your courage and left you with broken confidence? When do we remember them?

I had a fair share of such teachers. And you guessed it right, I have few stories to share.

Many many years ago I’d enrolled in a college which is prerequisite for University education. For these obvious reasons, the college designed and configured to be a conveyer belt to dispatch heads with only two stamps – either a doctor or engineer. With a few exceptions, these colleges generally do not tolerate seeking knowledge and education in general.

Day 1. Chemistry. The topic was petroleum, and the question was posed in the general direction “what can you tell about Petroleum”. I knew a thing or two and started off with my’ opnion’. The word petroleum comes from Latin petroleum, which comes from Latin petra, “rock” and Latin oleum, “oil”. Before even I could reach to the point where I explain processes, and products teacher went bonkers. She said I should shut up and if I want to learn history or etymology, I should go join an art class and become a clerk in my career.

Week 1: Physics. Topic radio waves, who invented it? I said Jagadis Chandra Bose, she said: “Nope. Marconi”. I argued that I had read about it recently. And I still remember this “Stop reading everything you are reading and read my notes alone” And also “shut up, join commerce class, become a clerk” etc.

…. and finally, she said the most astonishing colonial hangover statement “Nobody from India invented anything interesting ever. ” !!! (I am paraphrasing)

We do have adequate and definitive information on the Internet now.  I can still look up that specific lecturer and share this info abundantly registered currently. But I know what she will say. “Stop reading everything you are reading and read my notes alone, and nothing else”.

Bose conducted experiments that would lead him to almost invent the radio – something for which his contemporaries Guglielmo Marconi (1874 – 1937) and Karl Ferdinand Braun (1850 – 1918) won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909. Neither Marconi nor Braun mentioned Bose in their Nobel Lectures; despite the fact that Bose’s invention of a specific coherer, which turned out to be a crucial component for wireless telegraphy, predated Marconi’s experiments by 21 months.

Meanwhile, Marconi had less scruples. On 12 December 1901, Marconi used Bose’s 1899 improved version of the coherer to receive the first transatlantic wireless signal. Marconi also applied for a British patent on the device that was not his, in which he did not even mention Bose’s name. Marconi deliberately muddied the waters when presenting “his” invention at a lecture at the Royal Institution on 13 June 1902. As Probir K Bondyopadhyay writes: “By the time Marconi gave his lecture at the Royal Institution, he was already under attack by his own countryman, and Marconi, through his careful choice of words, caused deliberated confusions and, using clear diversionary tactics, shifted attention to works of Hughes, who was already dead at that time”. – Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose: The man who (almost) invented the radio

This continued for two years. Only thing I could manage to learn was to shut up.

  • Calculus: the most beautiful calculus was taught as “Delta by Delta and when Delta tends to zero, and repeat it thousand times”. My God. Say it already, it’s a formula for slope/trend. I doubt he knew what it is.
  • Trigonometry. This was taught as religious chants. Students literally oscillate while learning this by-heart. 100% class did not know how the beautiful sine wave looks like and one practical usage of these formulae.

It was a great consolation that, baring that school, I had a fantastic set of teachers. 99% of the teachers of them either brilliant or gave us the freedom to be brilliant.

But there is still this 1% of those who left a scar and stood in the way of education. We should celebrate them too.. Thoughts?

There is nothing wrong with the planet!

This is George Carlin on “Saving the Planet”, I couldn’t resist sharing it. What a wonderful philosophy ! Never happened to see “Saving the Planet” from this angle until I saw this guy on You tube. Since then, I am accountable for nearly half of total 3 million views 🙂

Here, the video and complete transcript (©George Carlin himself)

You got people like this around you? Country is full of them now! People walking around all day long, every minute of the day — worried about everything! Worried about the air, worried about the water, worried about the soil. Worried about insecticides, pesticides, food additives, carcinogens; worried about radon gas, worried about asbestos. Worried about saving endangered species.

Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control Nature! It’s arrogant meddling! It’s what got us into trouble in the first place! Doesn’t anybody understand that? Interfering with Nature! Over 90 percent.. over… way over 90 percent of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, on this planet are gone. Whissssshht! They are extinct!

We didn’t kill them all.

They just… disappeared! That’s what Nature does! They disappear these days at the rate of 25 a day, and I mean regardless of our behavior. Irrespective of how we act on this planet, 25 species that were here today, will be gone tomorrow! Let them go… gracefully! Leave Nature alone! Haven’t we done enough?

We’re so self-important. So self-important! Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees; save the bees; save the whales; save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all, “Save the planet.” What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?

I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. Tired! I’m tired of fucking Earth Day! I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists; these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are fucked. Difference. Difference! The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what? A hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the conceit to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles; hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors; worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages… And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet… the planet… the planet isn’t going anywhere. we are!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet will be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet is doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, “How the planet’s doing?” You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long — long— time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself; it will cleanse itself, because that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover; the earth will be renewed; and, if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the Earth plus plastic! The Earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the Earth. The Earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the Earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question, “Why are we here?” “Plastic! Assholes.”

So! So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that it has already started already, don’t you? I think, to be fair, the planet probably sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And I am sure the planet will defend itself in the manner of a large organism, like a beehive or an ant colony, and muster a defense. I am sure the planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet trying to defend against this pesky, troublesome species? “Let’s see… What might… Hmm.. Viruses! Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh…viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.”

Well, that’s a poetic note. And it’s a start. And I can dream, can’t I? See I don’t worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we’re part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron.” The Big Electron…whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn’t punish; it doesn’t reward; it doesn’t judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while.

Thanks for being here with me for a little while tonight!

Changing my religion

I am changing my religion, again. I am joining one of those intellectuals who chose to become religious for gaining access to lucrative heaven and avoid horrendous hellfire. I thank all my friends who continuously warned me and predicted “One day you will give up all Godless concepts, and start believing”. Well here I am, please applaud. I found a right religion for me – Pastafarianism.


Before I discuss further on this religion let me apprise you with my background. I’ve been a “devote” atheist my entire life. Well, not exactly “entire”. First few years of my life I was part of a religion which was inherited. Luckily, I was exposed to rational Ideas of Atheism through well-wishers, who I thank till date. Atheism came as good news to me; with this I dint have to follow all the rituals, rules and fears prescribed. It looked very logical and obvious.

<Satire>back on<Satire>

Then came a day a good friend of mine asked a million dollar question. “If there is no God, then who is David Gilmore?” I was speechless! I dint have an answer to it ever since. All my study of Holy Scriptures (Dawkins etc) went total waste. That day I realised there few things even atheism cannot answer, there is certainly something beyond these moral less, bloodthirsty atheism. So I had to look for new religion to follow, and I found this.

Pastafarianism is similar to all the religion we have around. It has a prophet, God, commandments, holy book, holidays and rituals. What’s missing here? If you find anything missing, just let them know they’ll create it for you. (See, it’s that flexible).

Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) came into existence (revelation) during dark ages of America when few of the religions try to invade the education system claiming their beliefs to be taught in science classes. Idea was to introduce intelligent design (previously creationism) along with evolution. This would also mean, eventual introduction of Alchemy with Chemistry, Astrology with Astronomy etc. Suddenly FSM came out of Chinese take-away box and instructed prophet on why he is created in first place, and asked him to spread the message.


Touched by His Noodly Appendage - Flying Spaghetti Monster
Touched by His Noodly Appendage – image via wikipedia

Then it all started a new religion. A simple open letter to school board of education has become a global phenomena and a new religion with all mandatory features. To provide an idea on vision of Bob (in turn FSM) I am pasting one of his statements here:

I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country. And eventually the world; One third of the time for Intelligent design one third of time to Flying Spaghetti monster, and one third of time for the logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence. – Bobby Henderson

Please read more about it in open letter, at least in Wikipedia.

Below, I am trying to list down some major features, to provide you an overall picture.

Name of the religion: Pastafarianism.

Deity: Flying Spaghetti Monster, referred as FSM hereafter. FSM consists of a portion of noodles with meatballs in it. Vegetarians can worship noodles with Veg Manchurian, I am pretty sure FSM won’t mind.

It’s a bizarre deity, but hey, no-one proved the FSM doesn’t look so.

First Prophet:  Bob Henderson. Physics graduate. Please don’t raise your eye-brows here!

First commandment: An open letter to Kansas Education board.

Holy books:  The Gospel of Flying spaghetti monster. The holy book of the church of Flying spaghetti monster

I am the Flying spaghetti Monster, Thou shalt have no other Monster before me (afterwards is OK; just use protection.) The only Monster who deservers capitalisation is me. Other monsters are false monsters, undeserving capitalisation. – Suggestions 1:1

Heaven: Beer Volcano with stripper factory

Hell: Beer Volcano with stripper factory (beer is stale, strippers have std)

Major belief: Global Warming is inversely proportional to the number of pirates in the world. Over the period of time pirates are extinct, increasing the greenhouse gases, thus increasing global warming. For example, if you look at Somalia which has most number of pirates, but minimum amount of per capita greenhouse gasses are emitted.  How true!

relationship between pirates and global temperature
relationship between pirates and global temperature – image via wikipedia

Plant philosophy!

Cotton has designed (itself) in such a way, when it matures on the tree, it explodes to spread its seeds as far as possible. It relies on the wind to ensure its off-springs glided their way to far location than the original tree. With this it achieves two (or may be more) laws of nature. One being, the new plants grown out of those seeds don’t have to fight with its siblings, for nutritions. Other, it helps a particular species to overproduce, optimally, since it is spread across wider geography.

Thanks for my high school teacher for that philosophy, for the questions. I still don’t know the answers. How can a plant think!? How can flower can design itself so beautiful that (plus some honey) it can attract bees to achieve selfish goal? How can coconut trees (wild) get their selves grown near water, so that fallen coconuts are made to flow somewhere else, to spread family? How cotton and few other seeds are designed to glide in air? How plants have understanding on the help it can take from wind, water, insects, birds and animals.

Well, two paragraphs!!, I call it “all the Botany I know” :-). Well, people did not accept my above philosophy as answer to few questions in Biology exams 🙂 . They were looking for some Angiosperm and Gymnosperms. So I decided not to by-heart them any further, I am biology illiterate. 🙂

Any ways, below is one of those plants I believe. When matured they are going to explode those seeds at least a meter afar. That’s my guess, any one with more Botany knowledge are free to dispute, which I believe all of you.

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How great were Mughals?

I have lot of doubts on accuracy of history, of India, about all kings – about all kingdoms! Something does not seem right to me, except British Raj! During their time they had press running in the country, which made things bit transparent. Apart from that there were other secret publications run by freedom fighters. With all these records we have a clear idea of bloodthirsty rulers of British East India.

History of Older kingdoms, on the other hand, was mostly based on travelogues of a few visitors and other delicate records. Travellers certainly had the pleasure of King’s hospitality, then, would definitely write something neat on him. Stone encryptions, again, are commissioned by royals. There are also palm leaf scriptures (in Pali, Sanskrit etc) which were written by the elite (educated) crowd of King’s court. Obviously, their education (and living) was funded by king himself. Now why wouldn’t we expect plain old asslicking praise on king and his kingdom? If these go on making history, how accurate is our history?

Talking about history and its accuracy, I would like mention about a post I came across on desicritics by beingCynical. It was about Aurangzeb and his misdeeds, especially his intolerance. This post presents a beautiful argument on this Mughal emperor, and claims that history is inaccurate about his rule. I am pasting a Para from that post:

What drives us to be so judgemental and conclusive without knowing the facts? Is it the bad and wrong history that been taught via the millions of government supplied history books, where truth is far fetched as history is fabricated to support someones ego and wants? The fact is good history is rarely about good guys and bad guys but unfortunately we follow this simplistic logic while going over our history, resulting in putting on a perception pair of glasses while engrossing it. I believe that history should be presented as it is, no biasing, no fabrication or no forced conclusion and the readers should be left to decide the good or the bad for themselves. I was sure that our text books are being pathetically modified, God knows for what and whom, so I always had a fascination for all those controversial & bad characters or so being pictured in books.

This part is 100% true; we certainly have omitted a large portion of history for our convenience (or likings). It could be due to several reasons, most probably to make our history look good, simple “tidy up”.

Anyways, my claim here is that our kings were not great, tolerant and merciful, Continue reading “How great were Mughals?”