Monday, November 28, 2011

My Kinda Meditation

It seldom happens that while reading one of the numerous books that you will read in your life, you come across something profound that totally resonates with you. One of those moments happened to me while while reading Mark Frauenfelder's book "Made by Hand" (Amazon | Flipkart) . He is the editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine & co-founder of bOING bOING magazine. In his book he quotes few lines by a cartoonist called Seth from his article in The Walrus Magazine:

But drawing and inking are different. They use different parts of the brain. I often find that when I’m drawing, only half my mind is on the work — watching proportions, balancing compositions, eliminating unnecessary details. 
The other half is free to wander. Usually, it’s off in a reverie, visiting the past, picking over old hurts, or recalling that sense of being somewhere specific — at a lake during childhood, or in a nightclub years ago. These reveries are extremely important to the work, and they often find their way into whatever strip I’m working on at the time. Sometimes I wander off so far I surprise myself and laugh out loud. Once or twice, I’ve become so sad that I actually broke down and cried right there at the drawing table. So I tell those young artists that if they want to be cartoonists, the most important relationship they are going to have in their lives is with themselves. 

to that Mark adds:

I wonder if one of the main reasons people garden, or knit, or retire to their garages and basements to tinker, is because they enjoy this unusual state of consciousness. Some people might be able to achieve it by meditating, but using your hands seems to do the trick, too.

Seth and Mark have given words to the feeling that most marker and storytellers can relate to. Maybe we should get our moms and wives and sisters to read this, perhaps then they'll understand what goes through our heads when we spend lengthy periods of time locked in to a particular activity which to them seems to be pointless or getting us nowhere. They would probably appreciate the emotions that run through us "boys" at those times. I am sure they can relate to these things too.

Come to think of it, there's a particular expression that appears on a person's face when he/she has achieved that level. Having experienced being in such a state many times, I think it would be easy for me to recognize one is currently in it. So now, I will wait till I find my mom in such a state - probably when she is busy with her embroidery. Then I will make her read this... :)

TEDxGateway 2011 @ Mumbai

Here is a list of speakers who gave talks at the event today (2011-11-27). The event was held at NCPA - JBT, Mumbai. The list includes links to their websites:
  1. Anu Sridharan | Grass Roots Entrepreneur |
  2. Kranthi Kiran Vistakula | Innovator | CEO Dhama Innovations - ClimaCon |
  3. Mallika Dutt | Human Rights Activist | CEO of Breakthrough |
  4. Jo Johnson| Member of Parliament Orpington (UK Parliament constituency) |
  5. Julia Silverman | Innovator - Soccer Ball Generator | Uncharted Play, Inc. |
  6. Raghava KK | Artist |
  7. Prof. Ramesh Raskar | Innovator - MIT Media Lab | EyeNetra | |
  8. Illac Diaz | Grass Roots Entrepreneur | A Liter of Light |
  9. Dr. M R Madhavan | Reformer - co-founder PRS Legislative Research |
  10. Narayanan Krishnan | Protecting the powerless - Madurai |
  11. Ryan Lobo | Filmmaker and Photographer |
  12. Michael Pritchard | Inventor - LIFESAVER |
  13. Suneet Singh Tuli | Entrepreneur - $35 Tablet PC |
  14. Shankar Tucker | Musician |
  15. Stalin K. | Media and Human rights activist |
  16. Sofia Jannok | Voice of Sweden | Swedish Sami singer from Gällivare | 
  17. Vicky Roy | Photographer |

... they left the audience with enough food for thought for many days to come
Event Website:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spirituality vs. Science

To all Spiritualists: Guys and gals please stop misusing words like "Energy", "Evolution", "Universe", "Knowledge", "Elements" etc. in your literature/justifications. These words have specific and precise technical meanings in science and us scientists and engineers are not going to pay heed to anything you say until you stop manipulating the meanings of those words in whatever you are trying to say. Invent your own words to express the various concepts you have come up with. There are a lot of sweet sounding permutations and combinations of alphabets still left out for your use.

To all Scientists: Stop looking for a precise definition of the word "Consciousness", "Mind", "Soul" etc. Let Spiritualists use them and define them. Stop encroaching on the words belonging to their domain. Do unto others like you want them to do to you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Paintings on the Wall

Watched Class of '84 at Sophia College Auditorium today.
Followed by a walk along Peddar road and dinner at Cafe Mondegar.
Discovered this on the Juhu Aerodrome Walls today on the way back
Seems to have been done today itself - Sunday, 13th November 2011 - by school kids.
Some of these are really awesome. Proud of you Mumbai kiddos!!!

(Was in an auto returning home when I first saw these, reached home, got my cousin to drive me back there and captured the pics with his Canon 550 - returned home at 2:00AM 14 November 2011 - was crazy enough to capture them fresh!!)

Slide Show and link to all the 44 photos.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life's Calculus

All emotions are beautiful. But what seems to make life less boring and more exciting are not the emotions themselves, but the rate of change of emotions. The impulse & step functions which cause sudden changes in emotions - "surprises" for example - are the best of them all; they spew harmonics all around and over!!!