Linguistic Overtures - In Tamizh

Hell I've been in Chennai for the past 7 odd months, and now this fine thought blitzed past, in my root language (funny expression, I tell you) -
நரகம் - Meaning, well, hell
நகரம் - City
A geographical possibility, it means to me.


Seen today - 1

09 Dec 2009
A 20 seater mini bus passes me by and I happened to notice the company's name painted over in dark blue font -
Enterprising Enterprises

Sure the founders are very "punny"


Heard somewhere - 1

"Abe gyaan mat de" roared one of the guys, seemingly referring to a plausible conversation building up in the air. And soon after this happened -
"Sir you will have wait for an hour as I am busy on another call" and continued to blow up whiffs of cigarette smoke with this group of office buddies.
Such are the ways ...


A sudden night in Zephyr's life

Dear diary,
There is no greater experience in this world, not even love, but the feeling of that good old catharsis. However ineffable it might be, there is a certain elation associated while being liberated in the catharsis zone that is unmatched. Somehow that is why I think, fighting vehemently, staying away and then making up is this world's most underrated yet most significant bunch of emotions. Being a witness to such an event at close quarters is the only thing that probably can take you ever so closer to experiencing catharsis. As a person equally involved with the fighting parties, as a person who both of them feel one of them like a close confidante, as a person being able to say things that otherwise might be rejected as being "none of your business". This is what is catharsis, and I experienced it today. The elation and the smile that fills you up and suddenly revs up certain dead parts inside your existence is what it is. The thing with feeling so is that it also wells up inside feelings of being privileged, that inner smile that so often seems so rare in this world. That is what I experienced today. Seeing people handle themselves in a manner befitting much older, wiser and being able to say things to the same people and who take it with the real gusto of a well deserving human being is what is privilege, is what is catharsis.
I am feeling unusually happy and it seems that my elated heart is up there showing its entire countenance in my teeth and my brain, is something I have never seen, done before. So they say distance makes us appreciate those close to us, so does going away and coming back also achieves the same effect but the emotion build up is all the more stronger and all the more inhuman to witness if handled by such people.
Privilege! Catharsis! Amen!
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Which comes first - conflict or cooperation ?

Inner ConflictsImage by Delphien Experiences via Flickr

Today has marked a day of twin importance - me crossing 100 posts and the other one, the more important one, having a long discussion with semi-drunks on Richard Dawkins, Selfish Gene, History, Into the wild and much more.
Of course its more of a given that the selfish gene operates at every level of human activity known till now. Its cause is more complicated by the most fundamental arguments of biology (and evolution) that the human end result (not death, though) is attributable to nature or nurture. So our discussion went on when we actually stumbled upon the problem of conflict versus cooperation. I am extremely aware of the fact that such topics of discussion laden with the nature versus nurture conflict raises a lot of pertinent points but the question that really stuck was that of primality.
Which comes first conflict or cooperation?
As I often experience, history and culture are the victims of causality. All sorts of improper causal relations have been sought to explain human character. So I thought whether such a causal relation exists between conflict and cooperation.
At the level of basic thought process, cooperation is fundamentally a more involving mental thought than conflict which is more of a natural process. Therefore, as plotted against the chart of evolution, the idea (here I mean even the basic notion of these two ideas) of conflict and cooperation require different kind of mental acumen. Cooperation, by its nature, requires two or more parties in a state of agreement that requires a mental and verbal (often) interchange of the tenets of working together. Cooperation bases itself on the recognition of the power imbalance and an effort to ameliorate that imbalance while conflict is only an exposure to this imbalance. As a primeval organism, cooperation must have evolved much after the first experience of conflict.
Furthermore its only after experiencing a conflict that the idea of cooperation must occur to any living and mental (not the exclusionary one) organism. Its just goes on to prove (again the influence of causality) that cooperation as a thought is not natural and a post facto concept. A real question to be asked here is that the existence of conflict (or even the visualisation of conflict) is necessary for the formulation of cooperation among such thinking animals. Prima facie a causal link exists on the basis of -
  1. Complexity of thought of the idea of cooperation as against conflict which is readily experience-able
  2. Experiential (imaginary) coexistence of conflict
  3. Requirement of a developed mental faculty
What do I think? Conflict comes first and then comes cooperation, a weak link exists. Am I right?

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Linguistic overtures

Day 57 - On the Nature of LanguageImage by margolove via Flickr

D.H.Lawrence once said "trust the tale - not the teller". Well what can be more perfect because anyways all the great fiction writers in essence are magnanimous LIARS. Anyways coming back to the theme of this post of linguistic overtures, I ask you to look at the following very closely
Now why these are so powerful so much so that people say "words once spoken can't be taken back" because in them they contain the proverbial
On that note consider these words about writing which so mirror the feeling one gets while writing -
"Sitting alone in a room for hours while essentially talking in your head about people you made up earlier and then writing it down for no one you know does have many aspects which are not inherently fulfilling." - A.L.Kennedy
"Another reason is the professionalisation of the vocation so that the novelist is supposed to produce novels as naturally, automatically, and regularly as a cow gives milk." - Amit Chaudhuri
"Writing a novel is largely an exercise in psychological discipline – trying to balance your project on your chin while negotiating a minefield of depression and freak-out. Beginning is daunting; being in the middle makes you feel like Sisyphus; ending sometimes comes with the disappointment that this finite collection of words is all that remains of your infinitely rich idea." - Hari Kunzru
"Civilisation's greatest single invention is the sentence. In it, we can say anything." - John Banville

Do read this entirely for at least the writing pleasure
PS - 100th post calls for a celebration. I have evolved so would I like to claim, but no I still remain the same and raring to reach 200. This blog still remains largely a self-documentation project which I hope to continue. With that I wish "18 till I die" sine die.

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A dominant sign of human achievement -
Only in today's world could memories could mean two things


Linguistic Overtures

macroImage by Μя.Ćăv㣣ǐ ™ via Flickr

The burden of
is the fear and anxiety of


Linguistic overtures

What characterises the oppressive regimes of the world?
Try to
but you will be


Even OUP makes mistakes

I just got to read a book long due - Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. I was browsing the table of contents and I saw a word - Foreward, a word that according to the best of my knowledge relates to a van.
I was immediately turned off, how could they do it. Foreward instead of Foreword. Such an insult, OUP. Coming from Oxford, not expected. Nevertheless I will read the book.

So I thought only us normal people make typos. Shame!!


Linguistic overtures

I think I will keep this simple - Freudian Mistake -

Diss ID dent "versus" Diss ent

Dissent just missed an "ID" to become a dissident.


A day in the life of Zephyr

Zephyr was the man of his own quirky theories and assumptions about the world around him which he carefully and patiently constructed like the way the parents want to see their image in their child or hell, even how God was once seen in the image of man himself. Zephyr proclaimed not to written the last few words after "hell". If Zep was ever to see this, he would have a smile on his face that extended from the outer vicinity of his mouth to the closest inches of his ears.
Does that resemble a creature, this writer, asks - and Zep would have said with a proud grin of his face "Dr. Seuss" you fool.
These were the entries from his diary dated January 13th (year unknown) -
6:30 A.M. (On the way to the day's first bout of tea intake) - Saw a fairly large man riding on a bicycle today. There was a close striking feature about him that almost gave him away. This man, lets call him Mousty, had a bushy moustache and an underbelly that only a married man of 40 years would not be proud of. But this wasn't it. It was rather the feisty cheeks and stretched chin with a jaw that coalesced with the shoulders that gave him away. He was a "Bhaiya" finally Zep deciphered. Mousty had a self confident smile plastered on his face while he was gently combing his moustache with one hand and the other ruddering the bicycle.

"Life almost felt like the morning cold, waiting to be set free by the first rays of sunlight."

12:30 A.M - (in a rather interesting lecture) - I should have two heads atleast. One to monitor what the professor was saying and other perpetually involved in an effort to turn right and catch Zikka unaware without being caught in a reciprocation. Alas I have only one and the other one even if it existed would be involved in a useless exercise. Suddenly Zikka got up and went out and there she goes. Aah she comes back again, phew and craftfully nudges a book in front of me towards my resting palm.
"Is there something called telepathy? Lord Krsna said "don't wait to see the results of your actions", did I do anything or was it an accident? Shup up you fool and believe that it was neither and feel lucky"

7:30 P.M. (On the way to the day's second last bout of tea intake) - Saw a harmless couple walking down the busy road which was trisected by railroad construction which left to fend for itself would take atleast a million years to complete. There was something really carefree about them. The hubby (with a soon coming belly just falling out of his khakis) had comfortably placed his hand around her supported by the envelope of her hand. All this while he was placing a grain of peanuts softly on her lips and criss crossing the enveloping traffic like an experienced gymnast.
"Live in my own shell, self sufficient and deftly avoiding the glare of the surrounding world"

1:30 A.M. (The last tea of the day but this was special) - Every city ought to be judged not by its roads, infrastructure but by its tea vendors. Sample the city at two times - 6 A.M. in the morning and 1 A.M. and count the number of tea vendors that populate the scanty roads at these times. This could give out the actual nature of city pretty well. Walking down the road after seeing a damp squib of movie I stopped for tea at this guy who sells authentic south Indian dishes at 1:30 A.M. in the morning. Of course, it felt like being back in the toddler years, the first nibble of the soft Idli smelling like sweet rice mixed with the sensibilities of a coconut only laden chutney attacking the previous memories of any wheat or any spice that remained after dinner. Anyways on the way back I could see atleast 2 tea vendors punctutating the space between two signals which is a standard distance of 1.5 Kms. All college students coming out for late night snack with the holy smoke. See this thing also applies in the morning as well. The 6:30 tea vendor actually starts out at 5:00 A.M. (must try out at this time as well).

So as per Zep's tea breaks his city or atleast his neighbourhood was devoid of tea only for a brief period of 2 hours. However that spoke volumes about the economy of the city and the entrepreneurship of his city. His city, Zep was really confused. He was undecided between the comfort of tea and comfort of home. He knew the difference but the experience of a late night tea and an early morning tea was something that could never be understood at home. It's different, he concluded concurring with an old ketchup advertisement. He thought all this time bewildered by the industry of the inhabitants of this city. They exploited every services available and offered services wherever there was any opportunity to serve a hidden demand. That is why he kept on reiterating that the true nature of a city is in the pulse of its tea vendors. Therefore a place where you cannot see a tea vendor open shop before 8 A.M. meant that it was a sleepy city, and Zep's experiences seemed to concur.
So after a long day Zep went to sleep silently rehearsing these words in his head "Don't walk away when the world is burning, don't walk away when the heart is yearning" for tomorrow's bathroom performance which had been a consistent spectacle on the 7th floor of his hostel faithfully attended and recorded by the inhabitants of the floor. "Poets of the fall" were the writers of these words, Zep remembered.
Earlier Zephyr posts - (1)


An idea to write about

A crazy thought if you will (I might try this with Zephyr's character soon) -
  1. What am I talking about - a character in a movie or a book (I prefer the latter)
  2. "Shoot" - Architect a character that ages in the usual way but matures in the opposite. In other words, imagine you born with the mental wit and wisdom of your grandpa - at age 0.
  3. "The suspense" - As you grow only one of the thing increases - your age. Your mental wit and wisdom goes down just like the way in normal life our mental wit increases, supposedly, with age and experience.
  4. "The consequence" - This has always been my favourite part - you will be aged 70 but will behave like a baby and that is what is needed in this mad mad world.
  5. Disclaimer - This does not intend "anterograde amnesiatic" effects to be incorporated.