Miscellaneous

Monsoon 2014

Monsoon clouds hanging over without rain in Jharkhand. Photo by Mou Mishra

Monsoon clouds devoid of rain in Jharkhand. Photo by Mou Mishra

Crying out the earth for a drop that is hanging over its mouth, alluring but, not falling over it. Intrigued? Well this year is not a good year at least from the point of views of millions of farmers and a billion dependent on them for their food supply in India. National cumulative average of rainfall for the month of June is 42% deficient making it as one of twelve rare instances in past 113 years when national cumulative average for rainfall has gone deficit by more than 30% for the month of June in India. Situation is worse in arid states like Rajasthan and Gujarat where average rainfall for the month of June is deficit by more than 80%. The only relief that one can expect right now is the forecast that predicts revival of rain after 5th July but, till then it seems to be all clouds shooting fire instead of rain.

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Liebster Award

liebster-award1

Summer is high^high^high here and amid so much heat there is no stop to sharing and blogging. A few days ago, I was nominated for Liebster award by Malaika. Thank you very much Malaika for nominating me to the Liebster award. Your spiritual blog spreads messages in a very unique and creative way, I like your videos, instructions and opinions on yoga.

Here are a few rules to participate in it:

1. Thank the nominating blogger.

2. Answer the question(s) that he/she asks.

3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers, preferably with less than 500 followers.

4. Ask question(s) to these bloggers.

5. Let the bloggers know that they got nominated.

My reply to Malaika’s question, at the end of your life, what would you like others to know about you? how would you like to be remembered?

Well, to be honest I don’t want to be known or remembered and I’m indifferent to the way others would like to remember me because I don’t want anyone lingered on a personality that no more exists.

Now, my questions to the bloggers whom I’m going to nominate:

1. Are you a tea or coffee person?

2. Who’s a better companion: a cat or a dog?

3. Which one you like more: Ice Lolly or Ice Cream?

4. What is your favourite season?

5. Who is your favourite author?

6. Which is the creepiest insect that you’ve encountered?

7. Which one you like more: a flowering or a non-flowering plant?

8. Which is more convenient to you: typing or writing?

9. Which one would you prefer: beach or mountains?

10. What would you prefer on your vacation: rainfall or snowfall?

11. In your opinion, what is the greatest wealth in this world and why?

Although my blog is 4 months old, I shifted to Word Press on 31st March 2014 from blogspot. My list is short but, my nominees are fabulous, here we go:

1. Jillian @ http://thelatejillian.wordpress.com/

2. Alaknanda Mookherjee @ http://coldclips.wordpress.com/

3. Timitude @ http://timitude.com/

4. Linty @ http://lintyr.wordpress.com/

5. Vikas Reddy @ http://vikasreddy03.wordpress.com/

6. Kuheli @ http://mystickuheli.wordpress.com/

 

Swinging Amid Mights

Life goes on, as meant to be driven by forces known-unknown to our illusionary senses. We think of might and we think of might! A might we respect and a might we suspect, we swing in between these two. My strategy in life has always been to co-operate with the power to create a system that is more powerful rather than going against to weaken it, although it might have appeared as the later. I’m like an anonymous ant, working hard over whatever I have got, I might have appeared to fight against the gravity of this world but, in the end I live with the might of this world.

The system that runs our Universe, has maintained harmony at very nook and corners of it. It is too vast, it is too broad, it may create occasional mights but, nothing is above its might that sustains itself. For a moment, we can conceive ourselves pitting against a system but, the fact is that being a part of system we ourselves are a system so, a self fighting self would destroy the self. It would be just like any of our organ fighting against our brain in order to defeat it but, who would be the ultimate loser? Our body or in other words, the whole system.

Fighting is not a solution but, co-operating is definitely a key. Fighting may give us a victory for short-term but, in long term only co-operation would work. Now, the question arises, what if the system itself is bad? To this I would say, a system in its wholeness can neither be good nor bad, certain aspects or organs of it may not be working properly or even harming it, to these we need to co-operate in order to sort them out instead of fighting or creating chaos which could prove destructive for the whole system.

Note: Inspired by the daily prompt

Night View

Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet.

~Suggested by Krista in Daily Prompt

What we see is not only the sight we see but, also the time frame through which we see. Right now, it is night over here, some cloud flakes are floating in sky but, not enough to hide the moon and its light. I take my eyes just at the back of my home, I can see green grasses which are appearing grey under moonlight, a lime painted one storey house, a few men discussing politics there in their gangster like voices. By the side of lime painted house, there is another house with garden. I can see Banana and Guava trees, in spite of this being a night time, partly because I am aware of their existence at that location and partly because of shadowy shapes formed by the night light. We are having a nice breeze here, leaves are moving, beyond trees stands a big pyramidal Kali temple with a flag on its sikhar or top.

At the back of temple, there is a Hindu crematorium. The crematorium is silent right now but, during day time fuming dead bodies are not rare to see. There is a Banyan tree in the crematorium, some people worship that tree, many folk legends of spirits are connected with Banyan trees and its presence in crematorium could be quite scary in cases where one is a believer but, since I am an agnostic tending more towards atheism so, these things are not scary to me. If I move my vision slightly leftwards from crematorium then I can see an old well partially covered with wild bushes. There was a time when jackals used to howl there and kids would shudder during nights in homes but, these days one cannot listen howling jackals.

Now, I take my vision towards right side, I can see a few cascading asbestos roof tops put on pillars in hut-style, that is the market place which is crowded and quite noisy during the day time. Beyond the market place, further right, main street runs. On the other side of main street, there are rows of small buildings with square shaped doors. On ground floor of those buildings, there are several general stores while on the top of those buildings people reside. Some of the balconies of those buildings are poor imitation of Mughal style balcony, obviously created with cement and mortar. A few shrubs can be seen arising from the walls, layers of algae and washed out paints are also common sight.

After an interval of every few minutes, cars and motor cycles are running, although they make a queue and create nasty interferences during day time. Night sight is full of lull and sounds of infrequent vehicles are quite interesting. Sometimes, when in room, I try to guess the type of vehicle that passes through the main street only by listening to their sounds. All right, I descend to my room as cats are always roaming here during night times, those cats are not pet cat and are known for notorious attacks.

Bunny and Bunny!!!

Bunny and Bunny are two best friends, Bunny is my neighbour who has a pet rabbit by the same name. The little boy owes a lot to his pet. There is a story behind why Bunny and Bunny are together.

A few months ago, when Bunny lost his first milk tooth then he was terrified. A tooth in his hand with gums oozing blood gave him a big shock, he thought that he would soon lose all his teeth like grandpa. He was in tears, Daddy told him a tale. On moon, there lives a Bunny who crawl down to earth through clouds every night. Daddy showed him a distant place on a ground, the horizon, where sky meets earth, that is the place from where Bunny gets down on earth. Bunny takes care of every child, he would check whether every kid is smiling or not. If a kid smiles and Bunny notices a missing tooth then Bunny endows his own tooth to the kid. What more? Bunny is a kid’s best friend, always asking kids to smile and play games with him, he can’t bear tears of a child. If a kid gets sad then Bunny goes down into the earth through a tunnel made by him called burrow. Daddy asked him to smile so that Bunny could see Bunny’s missing tooth and endow him a new one. Bunny smiled, next morning he could feel hardening on his gums, he checked in mirror, there was something white, his tooth was coming back, Bunny gave him his own tooth. Bunny was excited, that night before sleeping, he wrote a letter to Bunny, thanking him for the tooth and telling him his story of despair in detail but, Bunny didn’t know the address of Bunny from moon so, he wrapped up the letter in a stone and threw it towards moon. Hilariously, the letter fell upon my terrace, I read everything. Next day, I talked to his father and we decided to gift him a Bunny from moon on his birthday.

A portrait of a dwarf rabbit named Butterscotch by Grace Castellano

A portrait of a dwarf rabbit named Butterscotch by Grace Castellano

Every morning, when I go upstairs in my terrace then I could see Bunny playing with Bunny in their verandah. Freshly giggles and robust runs of Bunnies brighten my each day. I still look at that stone and think, technology can give kids the alternatives of entertainment in the form of cartoons, video games etc. But, it cannot replace the special bond that a child shares with mother nature. Deep within we still love and crave for a bonding from nature. Our lifestyles may try to alienate us from our origin in nature but, our hearts can never accept this separation and it would get an excuse or another to bring nature by the side of it through tales, dreams or even in the name of cause, we will always search and find excuses to return to our abode in nature because from deep within ourselves, we know what we really are!

Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion

Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

~Asked by Krista in Daily Prompt

 

Everybody has their personal likes and dislikes that in no way mean that those likes or dislikes should be considered universal. A thing or concept disliked by me could be very well liked by someone else so, whatever I am writing in this post are just my personal opinions and those are not universally applicable to everybody as to each his/her own. I loved every subjects of mine in school except two subjects: Civics and Organic Chemistry.

Civics: I disliked Civics because the topics mentioned in it were tasteless, at least to my buds. I disliked remembering things like criteria of becoming supreme court judge or member of parliament. I felt those information to be forced upon myself and I seldom read them by heart. That subject could have meant a lot for students who liked it but, for me it was there just as a course that was compulsory to study in order to pass exams. Another reason for my distaste of this subject was the difference between theory and real life situations. Civics mentioned things in a very idealistic way which is far from reality at least in my country. It was not mentioned in any chapter of Civics that “sweets” mean bribes to local administrative people. It mentioned, you have this right and that right but, on ground seldom a right meant anything as everything is sellable in my country. I may sound pessimist but, I am not really pessimist as I see things in a very objective way. My problem is that why not things like bribes or sellable rights or duties mentioned in the subject at least to little students for whom those information could really be helpful in real life rather than colour tinted idealistic information? Civics is about teaching citizens, the things that can make them a better (a subjective term) citizen. So, can an idealistic citizen be a better citizen in a system full of corruption? I would say no so, the subject could become more interesting if some non-idealistic way of becoming a better citizen would have been mentioned.

Organic Chemistry: I disliked all the structures and big names, I am not fond of big names, although rules in organic chemistry made it easier to remember those gross names, I still disliked them. To me all -ol, -al, -ic, -oic etc. were really uncomfortable to remember. Sorry, I know some people like or have liked this subject very much but, it was cumbersome to my little mind. Apart from this, I had no problem from organic chemistry so, I think if it had no big cumbersome names then I might have liked this subject.

Nothing is perfect in this world, neither I nor the subjects or anything we read so, on my part I have accepted to accept even the things that were/are distasteful to me, by compulsion or consent, it is life and not all things in it are going to be as one wishes, that’s the truth, good or bad.

 

Daily Prompt: I Walk The Line

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

                   ~Asked by Krista in Daily Prompt

 

Code I live by? I believe, all of us are born with some genetic codes that dictate how we move forward in our lives. Jokes apart, we are born with some inherent nature that along with our surroundings set our choices and decisions in life. Like us, our codes or set of preferences keep on evolving all through our lives. It is very difficult to find something with certainty when it is on an undefined voyage of a constant change, a change that never ends. I have certain codes or preferences now, which were not in past and perhaps won’t remain so in future, I cannot call my preferences or codes as something that I found now or ever.

Male gatekeeper butterfly (also known as Hedge Brown), photographed in Oxfordshire by Charlesjsharp

Male gatekeeper butterfly (also known as Hedge Brown), photographed in Oxfordshire by Charlesjsharp

 

Talking about principles, yes, I do have certain principles right now, those are results of my past experiences. I live in present, I seldom have any plan. I live as the day comes and then fall asleep by the end of it. My inspiration is nature, when I see birds, animals and trees around me then I feel myself like one of them. I see pleasure and carelessness on every face of nature. A butterfly is careless even when it is very near to a cob web, a moth finds pleasure in flames. One may argue that they are like that because they lack intelligence like humans. But, my question is: can humans perceive things beyond their senses, the senses that define human knowledge and intelligence are themselves flawed so, how can we label their pleasures as dumbness?

I take people as they are rather than as I want them to be, why? Because I believe, each of us have some merits clinging to our flaws and I try to see both in every living being or even in abstract ideas in least biased way possible for me, although I do agree that I tend to get biased on certain points that seem correct to my logic.

Apart from these two principles, I don’t have any for the moment.

Looking Back Into Writing

Writing is a symbolic or graphical representation of any language, it developed independently in many early civilizations. Real writing system is preceded by proto-writing systems which often involve simple pictures or symbols representing objects or concepts directly. Numbers started to be written a lot earlier than languages. One of the earliest known real system of writing is cuneiform, developed in Sumer in between 3400BC-3200BC.

 

Stages of development in a writing system

There are various stages through which a writing system undergoes before being developed into a full fledged system of writing, these stages are discussed below:
 

1. Picture Writing System: In this stage, simple images called glyphs are used to depict certain objects or concepts, this stage can be further divided into three sub-stages

SVG version of Image:Jiahu writing.gif using Inkscape. Examples of the script found at the Jiahu archaeological site
 
*Mnemonic: In this sub-stage, glyphs are used as reminders.
*Pictographic: In this sub-stage, glyphs directly represent objects or concepts
*Ideographic: In this sub-stage, abstract symbols called graphemes are used directly to depict ideas or concepts.
 

2. Transitional System: In this stage, graphemes represent names along with ideas or concepts.

 

3. Phonetic System: In this stage, graphemes are used to represent certain sounds and meaning of graphemes are no longer dependent upon its form. This stage is further divided into three stages:

Cursive hieroglyphs from Papyrus of Ani, an example of the Egyptian Book of the Dead by Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.
*Verbal: In this sub-stage, full words are represented by graphemes.
*Syllabic: In this sub-stage, syllables are represented by graphemes.
*Alphabetic: In this sub-stage, elementary sounds are represented by graphemes.
 
Writing in Mesoamerica

 

An inscription in Maya hieroglyphics from the site of Naranjo, (now in Peten,Guatemala) Stela 10, relating to the reign of king Itzamnaaj K’awil, 784-810.
Photo by Teoberto Maler
 
Writing in Mesoamerica developed independent of writing systems prevalent in old world, Mesoamerican scripts are often combination of logographs and syllables. The pattern of Mesoamerican scripts are superficially similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Many scripts have been documented from Mesoamerica but, the one that has been deciphered best and most well known is Mayan Script.

Empathy: Broadening The World

2.5 pairs of snuggling clothes pegs, close-up. by User:Kalan
Many of us feel bad to see others suffering, a sad picture could pave a way for an ugly day while the opposite of it is also true. We laugh when others laugh even in cases where we may not be knowing the reason behind laugh. Why? Because we can relate with others, when we see someone in any condition, we suddenly start experiencing those situations within us.

Empathy broadens our definition of self

Research has proven that we react the same way to our own problems as we react to the problems of some of our very close people, for example, if a very close friend of a man is in trouble then that person would see the trouble as if it has fallen upon him that is, his reaction would have been similar in case the problem had fallen upon him instead of his very close friend. It is empathy that makes us to associate ourselves with certain ethnicity, nation or world at large. Empathy can make human experiences brighter and richer as an empathetic individual could experience many lives in a single life. Empathy can change the meaning and definition of happiness for individuals.


Are animals empathetic?


Yes, birds and animals can have empathy too, though certain birds and animals are more empathetic than others. Some birds or animals can form long term relations like that found in human society, showing that they too can relate and empathise with each other. The more social birds or animals are, the more empathetic they are.


Can Empathy make world a better place?


If by better we mean common good for more lives then yes, because the more empathetic an individual is, the more broader his/her experiences get, the more definition of self expands, the more one thinks at larger level or for common good.


Some interesting quotes on Empathy


“seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” by Alfred Adler


What is the empathy deficit?” The inability of people to stand in other folks shoes. .. It’s hard to empathize with people who have different values than you” by Barack Obama


writing is a sustained act of empathy.” byAndre Dubois


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” byEdith Wharton


“Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act.” byEric Zorn 

 

The Living Mirage

 

A life is to live and a mirage is to dream, when dreams are life then it is a living mirage. The abstraction of mirage is a distraction for us to perceive its reality but, the real itself is not beyond our perception. What if a mirage is as real as the harsh reality of the desert or if a desert is as abstract as our flowery dream?