The world of no good

wanna have a fun life, travel, and see different cultures.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I was never a poet. A sad fact of my life. Poetry requires passion, and I never had no passion for nothin'. sad as it may sound, it has never stopped me from appreciating someone else's work. And to this 'gift', I am eternally thankful to that fateful 'roll of the dice' that created me.

For a whole 8 years (mid and high school), once a week, I would mumble/say/repeat the words that echoed thru the school PA system. The words which conveyed only one thing - If you don't utter them, you are taken to the vice-princi(pal) for a talk. I never once cared to listen, never once cared to see why people appreciated them. I just did what I had to.

And then a couple of years back, I read the same words again. But this time, it wasn't a prayer. I read it for fun, while browsing. That was the first time I actually bothered to give it a chance. What I understood from it might have been only an iota of what the poet intended, yet it was thought provoking. It led me to question many things I did. It led me to some choices that may not have been the best for my career; but I still love the fact that I made them. It led me to break the mould (the unintended pun would make even Tagore proud for it visual contrast. lol).

It is one thing to appreciate the Masters because everyone does so, and another thing to realise that they are truly so.

As for Tagore, I am glad he is one of those greats (perhaps the only one) that I realised.

What more can I say, except relish it.

Where The Mind is Without Fear
by Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Just for pun!

Ok, I have seen them so many times, 'no pun inteded', 'pun intended', 'it is a metaphor for..' .... But, many people use them with only a vague (or without having the slightest, in some cases) idea of what the phrases mean.

Remember grammar classes as a kid? my teachers (like everyone else's I guess) were extremely particular about my/our understanding the terms. And this was one of them.

As the definition for a pun goes,

A pun is a variety of a usually humorous play on words involving
a. the multiple meanings of an expression, or
b. two expressions that sound similar.


your voice is bass

here, the word bass refers to the quality of the voice (low frequency). But, the word bass sounds exactly like (base which means disgusting, ignoble..). Hence, it is a pun - a double meaning word/phrase.

hope, this shall put an end to all those who err. yeah right!

For more:

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Intro to Lingo

Some claimed that hindi and urdu differ only in the alphabet used. The issue of writing systems is not a direct linguistic notion. Some linguists believe that the difference is really in vocabulary and (word order) - reference 2, while some others do believe there is not much of a difference. As far as i am concerned, I do not understand how any half decent linguist could say there is no vocabulary difference! One important thing to note is, no one (linguist) says that both are the exact same thing. Clearly there are population distributions that indicate against unifying the two. So, definitely they have to be called different dialects.

Once that is said, dating them with respect to each other should be possible. And in fact, as reference 1 shows there is a definite period of influence which brought about the creation of Urdu.

Now, for a little detour. Latin was spoken in mainland western europe during the Roman time. And over time the people in different countries slowly developed their own versions of Latin. These are called French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese.. (romance languages). What is important to note is that these languages are stil Latin, but after 2000 years!

Similarly, in India (dates are skipped - cos there is a huge controversy over it), northern India was said to be dominated (extremely roughly) by Sanskrit. Over time, different regions changed the language along different lines. So, what came out was gujarati, bengali, panjabi.. and in central and north-central India what came was the precursor to hindi (though, i would simply call it hindi).. So, basically, they became differnet dialects of Sanskrit. And after the major muslim influence during the mid 2nd millennium (2000) AD, Urdu came to life.

What is important is Sanskrit in its vedic form died (wasn't used in normal social situations) definitely before the end of the 1st millennium (1000) AD. So, if the muslim influence was in the mid 2nd millennium AD, then what was in central India and North-central India during the intervening period. It was Hindi/precursor to Hindi.

But, one important to note is that scripts aren't the important deciding factors to separate langauges (they have close to no basis). It is vocabulary, word order, pronunciations, ...

The same language/dialect can have two entirely different scripts (for example Sindhi). But, no language/dialect can have two sets of vocabulary, pronunciations (except over a very small set of words), and a single language/dialect definitely cannot have two word-orders. Such differences would force us to accept that we are dealing with two different languages/dialects.


Note: towards the end, I used the words dialect and language interchangeably, because these notions are very rough even in serious linguistic work, and no clear-cut definitions of these two ideas/words is possible.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

phir milenge, dost

The time's come for me to leave home. I return to the land of no return with a heavy heart, and a strong desire of staying back and forgoing the 'promising career' that is said to await all those who reach her shores.

These last two months have been pretty laid back. Told myself I would sort out many of my dilemmas, was sure i would come out more secure. I retained my dilemmas, but still leave most secure. simple words of an old friend

In college u were overconfident, and now u are underconfident

made me think (a bit). i realise i don't have answers yet, nor do i have plans. but, somehow, this time, i am ready to face the truth, and perhaps do something about it.

In anticipation of my future happiness, I thank all those who have borne my sob stories the last couple of months.

With those expectations, I leave muscat, which is forever enshrined in my heart as Home.

Bye home, see you soon.

Bramble territory

I am of the view that not much on recorded shows is unintended.

And recent observations of mine force me to question what's really happening in (the indian) show-business.

To more meaty matters: Last weekend, the first three of the series of KBC episodes were aired. Now, i don't care amuch about the content. But, the one thing i did notice was that Big B ended the first show with Good night, and Shubh ratri. Now, i found that surprising as soon as i heard it, cos i distinctly remembered him saying Good night, Shubh ratri, and Shabba Khair in most (if not all) of the episodes of KBC 1. What surprised me even further was the re-entry of the 'original' phrase Good night, Shubh ratri, and Shabba Khair in the second spisode of KBC 2. Now, to most people this might not seem like anything at all. But, i'd like to question the use of the urdu phrase. What is the targetted effect? Why urdu?

Some facts at this point might make good reading.
1. It couldn't have been picked cos it is the second most spoken language in india. It is the 6th most commonly spoken language (LINK1)
2. It couldn't have been cos it has a special status along with Hindi. There are a few more (21 in fact) recognised national languages! (LINK2)

Now, given the above two facts, the immediate question is, why not telugu, bengali, tamil, marathi...? (note all the listed languages have more speakers than urdu!!) The whole of india watches the show, so what warrants the selection of languages?

There is only one other logical possibility that my minds sems to be able to grasp (i leave it to the readers to guess it for themselves, if they care).

What is even more in the same spirit of events is that during the 70-90 period (maybe even now), almost all the movies had the urdu script alongwith the hindi and english ones. Now, the population that uses the urdu script is in fact much smaller than the population that speaks it (many of the urdu speakers in bihar/UP are non-muslim). The same questions follow for this fact. And as far as i can see, the same interpretation is available.

I am by no stretch of imagination a religious fanatic (i direct u to my earlier posts for verification). I am only interested in fighting irrational bias. (for my opinions on irrational bias, please see the comments in LINK3)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Du Arschloch!!

Manka (mayank) had an interesting conversation just now - found it funny. Read it.

(Note, the chat actually started this way, so u can say these were our 'hellos'. lol)

maniac12_82: du arschloch
karthikdurvasula: ur asshole too
maniac12_82: seems like ur well versed with 'imp' german words
maniac12_82: *shakes his head in disgust*
karthikdurvasula: what
karthikdurvasula: it means asshole ??
karthikdurvasula: haha
karthikdurvasula: i thought i was joking
karthikdurvasula: it just looked a lot like 'asshole'
karthikdurvasula: so i said asshole
maniac12_82: *not humoured*
maniac12_82: hmm
karthikdurvasula: *screw u*
maniac12_82: *more looks of contempt*
karthikdurvasula: wassup?
karthikdurvasula: so, tell me
karthikdurvasula: it really means asshole huh?
maniac12_82: ya
maniac12_82: arsch= ass
karthikdurvasula: hahaha
maniac12_82: loch = hole
karthikdurvasula: haha

Friday, August 12, 2005

Fun to read

Was looking for some info about Linguistics, found a travelogue (LINK) while doing so. Found it to be a lot of fun. Reminded me of the many fun trips I went on with my family as a kid. Also reminded of a most awesome trip me and a few friends from college went on 3-4 years back - touring uttaranchal.

Have fun! And for those of you (if any) who have never been to India, or on long crazy road-trips in india, a hearty welcome to a fascinating world.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Just found out something cool about India. We are world leaders in the producing the most 'unpoisonous' rice!! cool eh!

According to a recent Indian rice had the lowest arsenic content, and (predictably) U.S. rice had the highest! (LINK)

Interestingly, rice is the staple diet of about 65% of the indian population (LINK). And U.P. and West Bengal are amongst the leading producers (alongwith T.N., A.P....) (LINK). It is surprising cos I have heard many people say that rice is eaten mainly by south indians - and infact ridicule 'madrasis' for it. Guess the facts are different from what people claim.

So, that is another thing to be proud of. In fact, I just realised that we the world leaders in yet another field! We do, believe it or not, have the most indians!! Incredible isn't it!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cricket aussie style

The second Ashes test just ended (an hour back). What can i say! It was the best test, nay, the best match i ever watched.

I started watching the second test, hoping England would win it. Didn't like the '5-0 victory' that Ponting boasted about. And i told myself, 'these arrogant @!$#$@ need to be taugh a lesson'. And thru-out the test I cheered the English team, and was ecstatic when they were just 2 wickets away from victory at the close of the day's play, last night. With about a hundred runs to get, I thought the game was all but over, and to top it, i saw the result to be 'just' - for all the australian boasting!

Today, with the excitement of having two important matches to watch, i was undecided on which one to concentrate, so chose to flip-flop between the two.

I flipped the channel to Fox Sports about 20 mins after the start of play, and expected England to be rejoicing in their massive victory, and what did I see? Shane Warne blasting everything that came his way. Another 10-15 mins I saw the fall of the smasher on around 55. Then came in the 'master-batsman' Michael Kasprowicz - trust me, i was making fun of his batting skills! He and that brett lee guy hung on like nobody's business man. Granted the english bowling today was pretty patchy, even then, it was the freaking 10th and 11th man there!

The two inched towards the mark -
at 50 short of target, I laughed at the impossibility of the task;
at 40 off target, I thought, 'well they've had their fun, time to go home now';
at 30 off, I thought, 'ok enough, finish em';
at 20 off, I thought, 'whoa, these guys are good! no wonder they have so much pride (vanity??)';
at ‘t minus 15’, I didn't know who was going to win - the momentum was with the australians, but i told myself, 'come on man, this it the 10th wicket partnership! anything can happen'.
6 off, I was like 'oh my god, a 6 away!'. Then started the only 'good bowling' i saw from the english side the whole day - right outside the offstump tempting them to play. and I thought 'too late, what's the use now!'.
4 to target, 'Just a freaking 4 away!'.
2 off, 'hmmppf they did it - the aussie asses did it - but they thoroughly deserved it.'.
And then a bad bouncer, pitched on middle and leg, grazes brett lee's arm and the keeper dives to his left, takes a great catch.

'It is all over. England have won the test match!' was blaring in the background. I leapt out to party (after all i did want England to win) in fact, jumped around for a full 5 mins. And then said, 'those aussies are good, really good!'

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A pic's worth a thousand words

The grand prize will go to the person who identifies the joker in the pic.
(hey, no prizes for guessing the occasion.)

Advice: If u have a yummy choco-brown complexion, please ensure that u face the sun while having ur pic taken. otherwise, all those wonderful facial features which u may claim to have won't show up for others' appreciation. (It will be like bad chocolate, which has the look, yet has a bad after-taste).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blog with a sense of humour

Just found a blog that is weirdly funny. Thought others might like it. relax sit back, and enjoy the madness:)


Pujjle yagain

There is a very famous puzzle known as Zeno's paradox. It has remained one of my favourites thru the last few years - specially because of its simplicity. This is how it goes.


Suppose there is a guy, X, who is 10 metres in front of another guy Y. Further suppose that X and Y are running in the same direction; Y running 10 times as fast as X. Then,

when Y covers 10 metres, X will have covered one metre (so, he is one metre in front of Y). When Y covers that 1 metre, X would have moved a further 0.1 metres. When Y covers the 0.1 metres, X would have moved 0.01 metres ahead... till infinity.

If this goes on till infinity, how will Y ever catch up with X? Yet, we know thru common sense, that given the above initial conditions, Y will definitely overtake X. That too, pretty quickly!

That is the paradox:). Now, obviously, Zeno's reasoning was faulty. Where and what is the error?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

puzzle me this

Ok, I don't believe Einstein said '98%', and I don't agree with the final answer, but I did get an answer.

It is a simple GRE style puzzle, only with many more variables. have some fun with it:).

The Einstein Quiz
Einstein said that 98% of people in the world cannot solve the following puzzle. And Einstein was usually right (that's why he's Einstein.) Here is the Einstein Quiz:

1. There are 5 houses in 5 different colors.
2. In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
3. These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.
5. Hints:
a. The Brit lives in a red house.
b. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
c. The Dane drinks tea.
d. The green house is on the left of the white house.
e. The green house owner drinks coffee.
f. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
g. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
h. The man living in the house right in the centre drinks milk.
i. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
j. The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
k. The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
l. The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
m. The German smokes Prince.
n. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
o. The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

Can you determine WHO KEEPS FISH?

Can You Solve the Einstein Quiz?
It looks hard, huh? If you can't figure it out, try searching on google for the "Einstein Quiz" and see how other people have solved it.

But watch out: Einstein was right, most people can't solve the puzzle correctly. In fact, I have only seen one reference to the correct solution to the Einstein Quiz anywhere on the web.

Puzzle source:

guess, what this is!

(1) notched ring
(2) marking dot for "A" contact
(3) alphabet tyre
(4) plate contacts
(5) wire connections
(6) pin contacts
(7) spring-loaded ring adjusting lever
(8) hub
(9) finger wheel
(10) ratchet

finally, serious

For, a person who wants to help the world by making it laugh, my last few posts have been excessively serious, especially the one on religion.

having said that, i do wish to correct one mistake of mine before i move on to lighter things in life.

The post on religion got a comment from a guy (lovingly called 'titiv' which could possibly be shortened to 'tits'). The important thing to be said is that it was a serious comment about his beliefs and how he views religion (christianity more accurately). My own response to it was along serious lines. However, following a comment by yet another friend of mine (lovingly called PS (could possibly be shortened, syllabically speaking ofcourse, to 'piss'. And yes, i do have two friends!!), i wrote a silly comment which wasn't in-line with the seriousness of the situation. Especially disappointing was the fact that i belittled something that another held in high esteem when the verdict wasn't out on who was right. This i thought showed me to be quite immature, and to make amends to that act of impulse (in the name of humour), i offer my apologies to the offended (i assume) party - prithiv.

in more jovial fashion: tits, sorry daaaaaa.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

ooh-saa does it again

Boeing recently launched a complaint about the (financial) support that Airbus gets from the European countries - it is apparently illegal (i am not really sure to whom, but the guess is WTO, didn't bother 'checking up'.)

What is interesting is the ooh-saaa has a law called the Byrd Amendment which is basically an anti-free market law. Check it out for yourselves. The main promoter of free trade. yeah right!!


6:45 PM da...

Monday, August 01, 2005

VIT Life

This is a play I wrote (along with a few friends) 3 year back. It still makes me laugh a tonne. Kumar recently read it, and thought I should post it, so here goes.

All characters in this play are truly fictitious, and any resemblance to any person either living or dead is purely intentional.

Author: Karthik Durvasula
Supporting author: Aswini Kumar

Hiya buddies

Aswini’s behind me – jobless as usual. It is a job, u know? Being jobless!! Well, Aswini gets the maximum pay for it anyhow. I guess, we should ask him about it.

Karthik: So, Aswini, tell us. How do u do it?
Aswini: No da, it is actually like this…

(Rubs nose coupla times)

Karthik: there u go again, rubbing ur nose.
Aswini: let me tell u about my joblessness.
Karthik: ok, start. Tell me, how do u do it?
Aswini: well, it is like this...
Karthik: will u stop that and start explaining!!
Aswini: well, it is like… ahem ahem. Well, I am actually not
like this in reality.
Karthik: Oh no!!!
Aswini: Honest! I am different here. I have nothing to do here.
It is not that I am a do-nothing. It is just that I have
nothing to do. You on the other hand are so busy (
btw, there is no sarcasm in the voice!!)

Naveen enters...

Naveen: Hi guys. Hey aswini, I have a doubt.

(Few laughs)

Aswini: What is it?
Naveen: I will ask you later.
Aswini: You might as well ask me now.
Naveen: ok, what do you feel about me? Tell me.
Aswini: well, it’s like this...

Karthik bursts out laughing.

Doggy (aka Kumar Alagappan) enters.
Doggy: So, Aswini, I heard that you came by JP today. Is that true?
By the way, you got in to Symbiosis.
Aswini: I will not believe it till I see it on-line.
Karthik: Whoa cool!! Hope I could get in.

Anand enters, and Kumar leaves taking Thambi with him.

Anand: Duuuuuh. What happened guys? Hey, no feet on the bed!!
I will die!
Karthik: I am dying, too. Anand, what is the time?
Aswini: We are doing nothing, as usual. By the way,
the Venezuelan economy is better this month.

Prithiv enters.

Prithiv: hey, heard the latest song by Diamond Marmalade!!
It is in the German Top 5!
Aswini: Karthik, why are you quiet?
Karthik: Ahooooooooooga. Is that better?

Karthik shows upper teeth.

Still Karthik: Hey, I think I am going to learn swimming properly
once I go back.
Karthik (again): I really liked the food today. The paneer was good.
I also liked the chappathis; they tasted like nothing
I tasted before!! Honest. Really cooooool.

Adi enters.

Adi: hey guys, wanna see me butt?

Adi pulls shorts down and shows his embarrassment to everybody. Everybody stunned in to silence. Never have they seen such minusculity!! It was a small pendant near the navel.

Adi: I am mad!!
Everybody (in chorus): We know.
Adi: hey guys, I am sending my applications tomorrow.
Karthik: I am sure.
Adi: Actually, I am waiting for the final, final attestation from
the chairman. The college in northern Andaman Nicobar requires it.
Karthik: Hey, I applied there too. Cool place. They didn’t ask me for the
extra documentation. I guess I am special.
Adi: Well, I am applying to the special course in Aeronautical
Engineering with special emphasis on the Thermal aspects of
the buttular friction between the toilet seat and the human
posteriors at sub-sonic and super-sonic speeds in a non-ideal
medium with a varying (loose) motion-resistance co-efficient! I
am taking special sampling bodies from VIT. Bhund happens to be
one of them.
Karthik: Whoa. Chill out!! U are really cool, dude.

Doggy enters again.

Doggy: Karthik, how is the extinct department at Delaware. Heard that
their last recruit was in the Old Stone Age. Is that true? Is
Chomsky going to find his way out of the library? Are u going
there to help him out?
Karthik: ok, just because I am so sweet doesn’t mean that u should
insult me! I feel bad when u say things like that.
Please understand.
Aswini: yes dog, don’t speak like that.

Everybody turns towards Aswini, surprised.

Ashwin: Hey guys, does anybody have a fag?
Aswini: yeah, up my ass.
Doggy: ok, the door is open.
Karthik: good, u can leave. This is Naveen’s room

Dog sleeps on Thambi’s bed with legs up in the air at the critical angle to achieve doggy-hood.
Anand shakes himself awake.

Anand: Hey, it is 6:30.
Karthik: Man, I asked you 20 minutes back!!

Everybody laughs.
Chat goes on till late in the night.
Vikram enters

Vikram: what are u guys doing?
Aswini: we are writing a play. We will print it out and we will act it out.

Vikram reads the play – reads his own name mentioned.

Vikram: Why are you including me in the play?
Aswini: We are writing as it happens. It is a futuristic flash-back with
computerized hand pumps. This same techinique was implanted by
Shakespeare to produce “Lahore of Venice”.
Karthik: Oh no!! Stop it Aswini.
Karthik again: Ok, guys, I am going to sleep. Good night.
Aswini: Ok, does anybody have anything to read? Please, I need something
to read. Karthik, do you have something?
Karthik: No da, good night.

Everybody leaves the room.
Karthik comes back after half an hour and asks Naveen if he could sleep in the room.


Religion is tradition not doctrine.

Wish i could have written a better one than this. This one seems extremely incoherent. I believe the essence of what i wrote here, but somehow, don't think i packaged it well enough. well, for what it is worth, have fun.

Over the years, I have heard many people have some version of the following conversation:

X: Who says it is right?
Y: Well, according to our religion, it is.
X: And what about our/your religion says this?
Y: Our holy books (Vedas, Gita, Bible, Koran...)
X: So, your religion is defined by the holy books?
Y: Obviously! We follow them and their true interpretations!

The understanding i get from this is that people seriously believe that they follow the holy books.

I am of the opinion that people only believe that they are following them, but in reality they are not even close to following them.

I discuss a few examples below.

Let me start with the religion that i was born into. (sad, nowadays we are born into them, hardly anybody consciously embraces them. I mean, a hindu might say he really believes in his religion, but if he were born in a christian household, he would most probably say the same about christianity! so, it has to be that we are born into our respective religious preferences.).

Ok, let me continue, Hinduism - the religion i was born into has a set of 'holy books' like most other religions. these books are usually what make up the so-called hindu doctrine.

Now, a part of this doctrine is the fact that every(living)thing has god in it. Simple in idea. But, just look at what a common hindu does? he goes to a temple, and prays to god in the shape of an idol. Which i think is ok, he wants to channel his energy, so be it. But, let's take what i wanna call the 'spit-test' (sorry for the grossness, but it is exactly what i need to show the point). Let's say i go and spit on those idols? i have two questions now,

a. will that be sacrilege according to a hindu?
b. will that be sacrilege according to the hindu doctrine?

The answer to (a) as is very reasonable is 'Yes'. Now, the more important answer is the one to (b). If god is there in everything, then spitting on a plant is no more sacrilegious than spitting on an idol, right? so, i take it the hindu doctrine says 'It doesn't make a difference'. So, my question is, are we as hindu's following the hindu doctrine, or the tradition of praying to idols that has developed over time? In my opinion, it is clearly the second.

As usual, my aim is not to mock any one religion. To take another case, the christian doctrine sees idolatry as a sin. Yet, we see people going to churches and praying in front of a crucifix. Now, people may have many interpretations of the crucifix, but the point is simply this. will christians tolerate it if i go spit on the crucifix in the church or the church itself? if not, why? is it because they see god in them both? if so, isn't that idolatrous (which i see as the 'believed' manifestation of divine power in specific material objects)?

Again, the same question arises? does a common christian follow the christian doctrine, or what the christian tradition has bequeathed to him? My answer aligns with the latter.

If a person, claims that his religion is what is in those books, yet does things is a way that is not supported (in cases, opposed) by the holy books, then what right does he have to claim he has embraced that religion?

to end, i ask u, what sense is there anymore is referring anyone to the 'holy books' when asked about a particular religion? And more importantly, what is religion?

My own answer to the second question: religion is a cultural heritage. There is nothing divine about it. More importantly, it morphs with age, in fact a lot like language. What a language is today, is not what it will be in a few centuries.