Category Archives: Life and Death

Of celebrating life, even in deaththis category contains some of my more personal posts.

Binding Books

When I was about 15, oh so long ago now, I had this crazy hobby of book binding, which is like the process of turning a paperback into a hardcover, or adding a hardcover to an exercise book. With the mild OCD that I have, I do get a bit carried away with such things, and no books around me or in my dad’s collection were spared. I collaborated with a local printing press to access their cutting machine and local stationery stores to research on various techniques and acquire supplies. My crowning moment was when I did a “full-calico” binding on a rather useless book that my dad had recently purchased.
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When my mother gave birth to me, it was a touch-and-go sitiuation. I was created with an abnormally huge head, which I would like to insist is filled with a brain the size of a small planet. Whether because of the head or some other medical reason, my mother had to undergo an emergency c-section. Remember, this was more than half a century ago in a remote hill station near Munnar in Kerala.
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Childhood Friend

When I was a child, I had a friend in the neighborhood. A smart (and slightly nerdy) kid, not unlike myself. ہم باہر گھومتے تھے,,en,بیڈمنٹن کھیلو اور طبیعیات کے تجربات کرو,,en,اس وقت تک جب ہم نوعمر تھے,,en,ہم طرح سے الگ ہوگئے,,en,جب ہماری راہیں موڑ گئیں,,en,بعد میں,,en,میں IIT- USA گیا,,en,عالمی شہری راستہ اور سنگاپور میں ختم ہوا,,en,وہ,,en,زیادہ معمولی عزائم کی,,en,واپس گھر پر رہا,,en,اور تقریبا a اسی طرح کی نوکری مل گئی جیسے میرے والد کرتے تھے,,en,میں اس کی باتیں سنتا رہا,,en,اگرچہ میں واقعتا اس میں کبھی نہیں بھاگا,,en,اس کی شادی ہوگئی,,en,شاید بچوں کے ایک جوڑے تھے,,en,اور سب کچھ آسانی سے چل رہا ہوگا,,en,یہاں تک کہ تھوڑا سا dully,,en,لیکن کچھ سال پہلے وہ اچانک لیوکیمیا کی وجہ سے فوت ہوگیا,,en,دوستی,,en,خوبصورت پارکس,,no,امریکی اسکول کی شوٹنگ,,en,ایک اور دن,,en,ایک اور امریکی اسکول کی شوٹنگ,,en,پیش گوئی کے بعد ہوگا,,en,خیالات اور دعائیں,,en,حالانکہ شکوک و شبہات کی موجودہ آب و ہوا کی وجہ سے لوگ اب مختلف الفاظ استعمال کرتے ہیں,,en,بندوق کے قوانین پر ایک اور بے معنی بحث,,en, play badminton and do physics experiments. By the time we were teenagers, we kind of drifted apart, as our paths diverged. Later on, I went the IIT-USA, global-citizen-route and ended up in Singapore. He, of more modest ambitions, stayed back at home, and got a job roughly similar to what my father used to do. I kept hearing of him, although I never really ran into him. He got married, probably had a couple of kids, and everything must have been going smoothly, even a bit dully. But a couple of years ago he suddenly died of leukemia.

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American School Shooting

Another day, another American school shooting. The predictable aftermath will be “thoughts and prayers” (although people use different words now because of the current climate of skepticism), another pointless debate over gun laws, اور کچھ "پھر کبھی نہیں" اور "کبھی نہیں فراموش کرتے ہیں",,en,بیکار میں ان مشقوں کی بجائے,,en,میں نے سوچا تھا کہ میں بندوق کے ساتھ امریکہ کے مہلک رومانوی کے کچھ اور پرجوش پہلوؤں کے بارے میں لکھوں گا,,en,گن لابی,,en,بندوق تشدد,,en,بڑے پیمانے پر شوٹنگ,,en,والدین,,en,جب آپ کا بچہ آپ جتنا بڑا ہو,,en,میری ماں کہا کرتی تھی جب آپ کا بچہ آپ جتنا بڑا ہو,,en,آپ کو ان کے ساتھ عزت کے ساتھ سلوک کرنا ہے,,en,اصل میں اس نے جو کہا وہ یہ تھا کہ آپ کو ان کی ایک عزت والی شکل کا استعمال کرتے ہوئے خطاب کرنا تھا,,en,تم,,en,جو انگریزی میں کوئی معنی نہیں رکھتا ہے,,en,لیکن ہندی یا فرانسیسی زبان میں کام کرسکتا ہے,,en,اس نے ملیالم میں شاعرانہ انداز میں عمدہ کام کیا,,en,مجھے حال ہی میں اس زچگی کے موتی کی یاد آگئی جب میں اپنے بیٹے کے ساتھ فلم دیکھ رہا تھا,,en,تضادات,,en,زندگی تضادات سے بھری پڑی ہے,,en. Instead of those exercises in futility, I thought I would write about some other curious aspects of America’s deadly romance with guns.

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Life is full of contradictions.

میں خوبصورت میں ذہن سازی اور غور و فکر کے طریقوں سے متعلق تحقیقی اعتکاف میں شریک ہوں,,en,گیریژن انسٹی ٹیوٹ,,en,میں بہت ساری دلچسپ چیزیں سیکھ رہا ہوں,,en,اور بہت سے مل رہے ہیں,,en,ہم خیال اور بہترین لوگ,,en,ایسے لوگوں کے ساتھ جن سے میں حقیقت کی غیر حقیقی نوعیت کے بارے میں گہری گفتگو کرسکتا تھا,,en,جب میں قدرے غیر حقیقی ہوں تو دوسرے شعبہ ہائے زندگی سے تعلق رکھنے والے زیادہ تر افراد شائستگی اور تدبیر کے ساتھ خود کو معاف کردیں گے,,en,موت,,en,مراقبہ,,en,ایک تعلیمی تجربہ,,en,میں نے ابھی سنگاپور مینجمنٹ یونیورسٹی میں بطور پروفیسر اپنی پہلی میعاد ختم کی,,en,میں نے ایک انڈرگریجویٹ کورس سکھایا جسے بطور تجزیہ آلہ کمپیوٹر کہا جاتا ہے,,en,جو کاروباری ماڈلنگ اور ڈیٹا سے چلنے والے فیصلے کی حمایت پر ہے,,en,میرے بارے میں تھا,,en,طلباء,,en,ہر ہفتے تین کلاس روم کے تین حصوں میں,,en Garrison Institute. I am learning a lot of interesting things, and meeting a lot of like-minded and excellent people – the kind of people with whom I could have deep conversation about the unreal nature of reality, unlike most people from other walks of life would politely and tactfully excuse themselves when I get a bit unreal.

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Twilight Years

At some point in our life, we come to accept the fact we are closer to death than life. What lies ahead is definitely less significant than what is left behind. These are the twilight years, and I have come to accept them. With darkness descending over the horizons, and the long shadows of misspent years and evaded human conditions slithering all around me, I peer into the void, into an eternity of silence and dreamlessness. It is almost time.

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Bhagavad Gita

Among the religious texts of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita is the most revered one. Literally presented as the word of God, the Bhagavad Gita enjoys a stature similar to the Bible or the Koran. Like all scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita also can be read, not merely as an act of devotion, but as a philosophical discourse as well. It presents a philosophical stance in understanding the world, which forms (for those from India) the basic and fundamental assumptions in dealing with life, and the unknowable reality around them. In fact, it is more than just assumptions and hypotheses; it is the basis of commonsense handed down from generation to generation. It is the foundations of intellect, which form the instinctive and emotional understanding of reality that is assimilated before logic and cannot be touched or analyzed with rationality. They are the mythos that trump logos every time.

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Aging Mind

I used to have a pretty sharp mind, particularly when it came to simple arithmetic. I think age has begun to dull it. Case in point: recently I had to check a friend’s pulse rate. So I felt his pulse for 15 seconds and got 17 beats. At that point, I wanted to call out the heart beats per minute. And at that point, my mind suddenly went blank. It started going through this chain, “Ok, I got 17 for 15 seconds. So what is it for a minute? It should be, what, 60 seconds over 15 times 17. Hold it, where is my iPhone? I need a calculator. No wait, it is 17 for a quarter of a minute. So 17 times 4. Where is my calculator, dammit?!” Granted, it was a slightly stressful situation. But this is not at all the way my mind used to work.

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Income Inequality

I read on BBC yesterday that the richest 62 people in the world now earn as much as the poorest half, which would be about 3.5 billion people! Although there is some confusion about the methodology, it is clear that the wealth and income have been getting more and more polarized. The rich are certainly getting richer. Income inequality is more acute than ever.

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