Category Archives: Humor

And what is funny Phaedrus, and what is not funnyneed we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Why Have Kids?

At some point in their life, most parents of teenage children would have asked a question very similar to the one Cypher asked in Matrix, “Why, oh, why didn’t I take the blue pill?” Did I really have to have these kids? Don’t get me wrong, I have no particular beef with my children, they are both very nice kids. Besides, I am not at all a demanding parent, which makes everything work out quite nicely. But this general question still remains: Why do people feel the need to have children?

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2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the iconic movies that figures in all the must-see and best movies lists. I watched it in 1981 because a friend of mine recommended it . It turned that this friend was pulling a fast one on me, and I was the only person in the whole movie theater. So I sat alone at the center of the hall to enjoy the movie. I could barely follow spoken English then, especially when spoken with a non-Indian accent. (Or, I should say, when spoken without an Indian accent). The lack of English didn’t matter in the beginning part of the movie, of course. But then I got progressively and completely baffled by the dancing colors and stuff.

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A Humbling Experience?

I keep hearing this phrase in all those acceptance speeches and interviews. When somebody achieves something remarkable that they can truly and rightfully be proud of, they invariably say it is a humbling experience. What in the world does it really mean? Do they feel more humble than before because they achieved something splendid? Do they feel as though they got something that they didn’t quite deserve? Is it a promise that they will not be proud or arrogant? Or is it just something magnanimous to say now that people are finally listening to them?

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Driving in India

I have had the pleasure of driving in many parts of the world. Being fairly observant and having a tendency to theorize about everything, I have come to form a general theory about driving habits as well.

You see, each place has a set of driving norms, a grammar or a dialect of driving, if you will. In Marseille, France, for instance, if you switch on your turn signal on a multilane street, people will immediately let you in. It’s not because they are polite and considerate drivers (quite the contrary, in fact), but a turn signal indicates the drivers’ intention to change lanes, not a request to let them. They are not seeking permission; they are merely letting you know. You’d better let them in unless you want a collision. In Geneva (Switzerland), on the other hand, the turn signal is really a request, which is usually denied.

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If you learn a new language as an adult, or if you learn it as a child from non-native speakers, you will have an accent. There is a scientifically proven reason behind this. Each language has phonemes (basic sound units) specific to it. You can discern only those phonemes that you are exposed to as a baby. By the time you are about eight months old, it is already too late for your brain to pick up new phonemes. Without the complete set of phonemes of a language, an accent, however slight, is unavoidable.

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Three Parrots

Once upon a time in India, there were three parrots. They were for sale. A prospective buyer was interested.

“How much is that parrot?” asked he, pointing to the first one.

“3000 rupees.”

“That’s pretty steep. What’s so special about it?”

“Well, it can speak Hindi.”

ممکنہ خریدار متاثر ہوا,,en,لیکن ایک بہتر معاہدہ کرنا چاہتا تھا,,en,تو اس نے تحقیقات کی,,en,دوسرے کے لئے کتنا؟,,en,کیا,,en,کیوں؟,,en,مذاق,,en,فوری واٹر ہیٹر,,en,میری بنیادی ڈگری الیکٹرانک / الیکٹرانکس کی مختلف اقسام کی انجینئرنگ میں ہے,,en,یہی وجہ ہے کہ میں کر سکتا ہوں,,en,ایل ای ڈی لائٹس کو ٹھیک کریں,,en,ہیلوجن کو ایل ای ڈی سے بدلیں,,en,مجھے شبہ ہے کہ انجینئرنگ کی ڈگری آپ کو عملی علم کے بجائے نظریاتی تفہیم کی بہتات دیتی ہے,,en,میرا مطلب ہے,,en,میں کوئی الیکٹریشن نہیں ہوں,,en,کبھی کبھار,,en,میں ایسے منصوبوں کا آغاز کرتا ہوں جہاں مجھے الیکٹرکین کال کرنے کا بہتر مشورہ دیا گیا ہو,,en,حال ہی میں,,en,ہماری نوکرانی کا فوری واٹر ہیٹر فوت ہوگیا,,en,اور میری طرف سے کچھ کارروائی کا اشارہ کیا گیا تھا,,en,اگرچہ ایک انجینئر,,en,میں کافی عرصے سے کارپوریٹ منظر میں رہا ہوں یہ جاننے کے لئے کہ کسی میٹنگ کے دوران کسی بھی کارروائی کی شے کا صحیح جواب ہے,,en,اگلے منگل تک ہوسکتا ہے۔,,en, but wanted a better deal. So he probed, “How much for the second one?”

“5000 rupees.”

“What? Why?”

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Instant Water Heater

My primary degree is in engineering of the electric/electronics variety, which is why I can fix LED lights, for instance. I suspect an engineering degree gives you more of a theoretical understanding rather than practical knowledge. I mean, I’m no electrician. At times, I take on projects where I may have been better advised to call an electrician.

Recently, our maid’s instant water heater died, and some action on my part was indicated. Though an engineer, I have been in the corporate scene long enough to know that the right response to any action item during a meeting is, “May be by next Tuesday.” لہذا میں نے نوکرانی سے کہا کہ وہ اپنی ساس کا باتھ روم استعمال کریں,,en,یہ سوچ کر کہ میں اس مسئلے کو آئندہ منگل میں سے کسی ایک پر ملتوی کر سکتا ہوں,,en,لیکن نوکرانی,,en,شاید اس کے پیشے کے کچھ مقدس اخلاقی معاہدوں کا پابند ہوں,,en,ایسا کرنے سے انکار کردیا,,en,اس موقع پر,,en,مجھے الیکٹریشن کو فون کرنا چاہئے تھا,,en,لیکن میں نے بے وقوفانہ طور پر اس بات کا فیصلہ کیا کہ اس نے پہلا ثبوت پیش کیا ہے,,en,سوئچ ٹھیک لگ رہا تھا,,en,اس کے اشارے پر روشنی کی امید کے مطابق,,en,لیکن واٹر ہیٹر اجنبی ہی رہا,,en,الیکٹریشن,,en,کاہلی,,en,ای میل فلوسام,,en,گرین سیاہی سے سرخ لکیریں بنائیں,,en,جب بات کاروباری ترقی کی ہو,,en,برانڈنگ وغیرہ,,en,آپ کو تضادات کی تلاش کرنی ہوگی,,en,محدود دائرے سے باہر نکل کر سوچیں,,en,اور روایت سے رکاوٹ نہ بنے,,en,جیومیٹری,,en,آپٹکس وغیرہ,,en,شفاف سبز سیاہی کا استعمال کرتے ہوئے سات کھڑے سرخ لکیریں بنائیں,,en,غیر لکیری سوچ کے عمل کو استعمال کرنا,,en,جوان سے اداکاری کا طریقہ,,en,مارچ,,en, thinking that I could postpone this issue to one of the future Tuesdays. But the maid, probably bound by some sacred ethical covenants of her profession, refused to do that. At that point, I should have called the electrician. But I foolishly decided to take a look at the prima facie evidence. The switch looked fine, with its indicator light coming on as expected, but the water heater remained intransigent.

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Sad Movies

I found something weird. People seem to like sad moviestear-jerkers. But nobody likes to be sad. I mean, you watch great tragedies with genuine sadness, and then go around saying, “What a great movie!” If whatever happened in the movie really happened to you or somebody you knew, you wouldn’t say, “Wow, great!” Why is that?

I think a good answer is that such depictions in movies let you experience the emotional intensity with no immediate physical (or even emotional) danger. If you were actually on the Titanic, you would at least have taken a cold dip even if you survived. But watching Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio battle for their lives probably lets you experience their fear and pain from the comfort of your armchair, with popcorn and soda to intensify the feeling.

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