Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dude... Where's my Pluto?

    I find even the name funny. I’ve Walt Disney for company. He has a character named after it. Pluto.

    And I find the backlash against the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for demoting Pluto to being a ‘dwarf planet’ even funnier. What got me thinking about this was an article in HT about how different groups are coming out in support for Pluto’s planethood. In it was a mention of a society called “Society for Preservation of Pluto as a Planet”. I find this funniest.

    Different people, different views. It is also one of the reasons why the world is such a fascinating place to be in. I, for one, couldn’t care less about it. And the way I see it for a substantial percentage of people in the world, this hardly means anything as well. Apart from this chunk of astronomers and those students who are still in school. Even for the students, it’s just another line added to their textbooks which they’ll forget right after their next exam. Calvin was right on the money when he said that all he learnt in school was to “cynically manipulate the system.” For instance, I learnt about a figure called the Rhombus in school. I never had to recall that figure after that. It’s also unlikely, in the near future, that the Rhombus will have any material or spiritual impact in my life

    I find the Rhombus phenomenon being applied to Pluto as well. A good number of people will ask us to oppose the demotion. People will wear T-Shirts ($25) , put up bumper stickers ($4), sign online petitions, hold demonstrations, raise a catchy slogan and shout on top of their voices, “S.O.S. Save Pluto!”

    My question is: Why?

    Do these people think that IAU is conspiring against the planet? Did Pluto give these experts’ from IAU nightmares? Was Pluto pulling their ties and taking down their pants in conferences? Was Pluto bewitching the families of these experts’? Is there a hidden agenda in the demotion? If the answer to any of these questions is “Aye”, I stand up for Pluto. Else, I’m already bidding my friend a warm goodbye.

    I think in all of it, there’s a lesson. All of us have a problem when something is taken away from us. We might not need it, yet we want it. We won’t even know what to do with it when it’s with us, but we would want it.

    The way I look at it, sometimes it’s just nice to let go off things with a smile.

    P.S. : If I actually get a nice Pluto T-Shirt, I’ll buy it.
    Paradox, you say? Well, I think it’s funny!
    And if it’s there, I’ll just want it!

Post Title

Dude... Where's my Pluto?


Post URL

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Poetess

    “Hi… waiting for someone?”

    “Yeah, you too?”

    “Yep. Same here. It's funny. Some people just can’t be on time!”

    “True. It’s weird. My friend even stays close-by while I traveled quite a distance to get here, yet I was on time.”

    “And who wants to go for a movie, half an hour late? I’m actually thinking about chucking this movie now. You wanna take a walk?

    “Yeah, but I can’t go far. My friend would expect me to be here.”

    “Ah… that’s okay. You study or work?”

    “I work for a small company in South Delhi. What about you?”

    “I’m working too. Work for Hindustan Times. Just down the road…”

    “So… You an engineer?”

    “Naa… Graduate in Arts.”

    “Hmm... Which college?”

    “Correspondence actually… And what do you work as?”

    “I just joined the Radio Division’s Marketing Team. What’s your name?”

    “Kaavya. And you are? ”

    “Issac… I-Double-S-A-C”

    “Hmm... does it mean something?”

    “Yeah… something like a smile in the Hebrew language.”

    “You know, it’s interesting how names come about. In India a lot of names are derived from day-to-day words of Hindi and Sanskrit while in Western countries I’m not sure if that’s the case…”

    “True, very true. Now that you said this … Ah... here comes my friend… (How I’d love to continue talking with you! Sigh!!!). Will see you some time then.”

    “Yeah, nice talking. See you!”

    There’re all kinds of people in this world. Some happen to be just so simple to talk with.

    In a city of 14 million people, what are the chances that I’ll meet her again?

    None. :-)

Post Title

The Poetess


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2006/08/poetess.html


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Mr. and Mrs. Arora

    Mr. Arora wouldn’t mince words when reminded of his childhood days.
    “Yeh poora Nehru pariwaar kameeno se bhara hain…”

    He was born months after Partition and could relive those days like yesterday. And every time Mrs. Arora would listen like never before. She must’ve heard this story a hundred times yet wouldn’t fail to take her place on the sofa when her husband would recount those instances all over again.

    This time, Mr. Arora was narrating the story to his newly moved in South-Indian neighbor, Mr. Swamy. This was a Sunday morning and they’d invited the Swamys for a breakfast. Ms. Arora’s culinary skills were legendary. The last time she’d invited her relatives for dinner, food kept flying into the plates till 2 in the morning.

    Nevertheless, to return to Mr. Arora's story, he was born in September, 1947. And at the height of the rioting in Noakhali and Punjab, his father was trying to get in touch with his mother. His father owned a flourishing cycle business. Flourishing, because the British actually bought and paid for these cycles. Mr. Arora’s father wouldn’t have been able to take care of his wife and hence sent her to Gujranwala to her relatives during her pregnancy, thinking that at the time of her delivery he’ll call her back to Delhi.

    She was said to deliver in September and all throughout August, her husband tried in every manner possible to get his wife back to India. He sent her air tickets and got it announced on AIR. Back there in Gujranwala, Ms. Arora was shielded by a close set of relatives. They would massacre her if those goons on the streets found out she was a Hindu. Mr. Arora’s father sent a trusted aide on train to Gujranwala to bring his wife back. He never returned. He was a Hindu.

    “Forget the fact that she was pregnant, it was getting suicidal by the minute to stay back in Pakistan for any Hindu”, Mr. Arora recounted with pride.

    “All this because of Nehru, that bastard…” Mr. Arora roared. “He wouldn’t let Jinnah become the PM and because Gandhiji trusted Nehru blindly, he could get away with it.”

    “Jinnah was fine with Patel becoming the PM as well but Nehru would have none of it. Being the Congress President himself at that time, Nehru did command considerable clout. The country was plunged into the agony of partition, all because of him. While my mother was trying to save her and my life, that bastard celebrated his post of Prime Ministership sipping a glass of champagne with the Mountbattens. Countless, such stories lie untold… ”, Mr. Arora paused for a while.

    “Finally, on a train that had men and women perched everywhere from the toilet to the roof, she came with her brother to New Delhi on 21st August, 1947. It was a Thursday. The train was late and my father had slept off on the platform waiting for her. He woke up with the commotion at the station. It was impossible to sight her amidst a sea of humanity. My father’s residence was also burnt down so unless he met my mother she wouldn’t know where to meet my father. Those were the days without pagers and mobile phones…”, he said this with a smile.

    “They kept looking for each other for quite some time and couldn’t find each other. Utter chaos held sway over the platform. It must’ve been difficult. They called Dad a number of times from the station too but no one picked up. How could anyone? My Dad was also on the station naa…”

    “My uncle suggested to my Mom, that they leave for Bhiwani, another relative’s place. It was important that my Mom went to a place devoid of riots. Delhi just didn’t seem right. And my uncle said they would call Dad later and ask him also to come to Bhiwani.

    Mr. Swamy was listening with rapt attention.

    “So my uncle took my mother to Bhiwani. And thankfully this time around, things went to plan. My Dad joined us a few days and I was born finally. The troubles my Dad and Mom went over, for my birth. And to think of it, countless, such stories lie untold. At least, my Dad was rich and we had caring relatives. What about others…?”

    Mr. Swamy nodded and looked around the house. He didn’t quite know how to respond. He saw a picture on the wall, that of a young lady.
    He asked Mr. Arora, “Is that your daughter?”

    Mr. Arora replied softly, “She was. In ’84, on the streets of Karol Bagh, she was burnt alive by cronies of that bastard family because she was seen with a group of her Sikh friends.

    His voice choked.

    “Saala poora Nehru pariwaar kameeno se bhara hain…”

Post Title

Mr. and Mrs. Arora


Post URL

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