Savandurga Trek

Savandurga is one of the largest monoliths in Asia. I had been waiting to do this trek since more than a year. Whenever I travelled towards Mysore, I would look on my right and keep admiring this single rock beauty. I also had the perfect day in mind to climb it. It should be a full moon day and the next day should be a holiday. So finally, the opportune moment presented itself. Thursday the 17th was a holiday in view of the Great Indian General Elections and 16th was almost a full moon day. Harsha, Nikhil and I decided to climb on the evening of 16th . Nikhil was in-charge of the food,  me in-charge of the tents and equipment and Harsha in-charge of firewood. Nikhil and I did our duties. Harsha thought I wasn’t serious when I mentioned that he needs to get firewood. He hadn’t even arranged for some fuel. He was banking on Nikhil’s vodka bottle. We set off from Harsha’s home at about 3:30PM in the afternoon. Our hope was to cover a good distance while there is light and spend as much time as possible in one place at night. The view en-route was enjoyable too. Typical idyllic life. After about an hour’s drive, we lost track and wandered about for 20 minutes before getting back on track. Although the hill was visible all the time, we were just going round and round. We finally managed to get to the temple at the foothills. Parked our car and started off at about 5:00PM. Looks daunting, doesn’t it? Anyway, this is not where we started. We had to go around and find a more gradual slope. After about 20 mins of climb, we took a small break. We also noticed that a dog had been following us. It would later dawn upon us that it was not following, it was leading!  Thats Nikhil trying to catch up. Can you spot him? As per Pole (Harsha) the lizards’ way up. The view after another short climb of 10 mins. That’s pole. Nikhil slowly fading in. After more than an hour’s climb, we were still not anywhere near the top and it was getting dark already. Nevertheless, it was already beautiful up here. The water body is the Manchanabele reservoir. After one more quick climb of about 20 mins. We decided to camp for some time and wait for the moonrise. That’s Bangalore. The moon wasn’t showing up and we had no work to do. So we thought we will shoot a few ghosts. In the excitement, we forgot about the moonrise and the moon was already smiling upon us before we realized. Thats the Manchanbele reservoir gleeming in the moonlight. HDR-Moon-HighresFinally! The moonshot I was hoping to get when I thought of getting up on this hill. It is a combination of two photos. One with a 30 second exposure to get the city lights and another with a 1 second exposure to get the moon. We started our climb again. This time, with the dog leading us from the front. Reached the top in another one hour’s climb. It was quite windy and cold on the top. We were definitely under-prepared. We found one rock shelter and quickly finished our meals. We need all the energy to prepare the tent for the night. After a lot of struggle with the wind, we managed it!! We were not sure if it will stand the test all night. Nikhil dozed off. Pole the firewood in-charge finally got to work. Thankfully, he had got some matchsticks and camphor.Things weren’t looking up. We needed some dry grass to start the fire. The wind made it all the more hard. We were running out of camphor and matchsticks. Finally!! Got some warmth for about 20 minutes after 1 hour’s struggle. That’s our tent with the Nandi in the background. The moon was now almost at the zenith bathing everything in milky white light. You can see a faint Jupiter in the background. The night was crazy!! We saw some torch-lights at a distance. While Nikhil was sleeping peacefully, Pole and I got worried. It is not uncommon to get robbed in this area. So Pole and I were standing guard all night. And our weapons? Just a thick Lathi and a small knife. We had hid all the valuables(including my DSLR) behind a big boulder and were ready to give off the rest of the possession in the worst case. Finally at about 4:00AM, some of the strangers came close enough so that we could call out and converse. We then realized that it was just another group of trekkers. We then happily went off to sleep. The Nandi looking over the hills. It was morning and all our belongings outside the tent were still there. We started our descent as Nikhil wanted to be among the first ones to vote. The climb in the night in this part of the stretch with all that gear wasn’t easy at all That’s actually the sun! It was so cloudy. Managed to reach the city at about 9:00 AM. Dropped all the gear at home and went directly to the polling booth. Voted for Modi, came back home and dropped dead.

Music 101 : Why am I writing this series?

By usual standards, I started learning music quite late. I was already 20 when I first started toying around with a keyboard and a flute. Like me, I guess there are a lot of ppl who start out late either because the environment they were brought up in did not offer such avenues or simply because there were other priorities earlier in life.

Learning music does get harder with age. First of all, neural connections are more hardwired in an adult brain. Secondly, it is widely believed that unused connections are broken and the neurons are repurposed for other tasks.

With the limited time available for pursuing this hobby, I have experimented for 9 yrs now. I would have spent an average of 1-2hrs per week.I usually dont like to train under someone as I believe that the training will prejudice me. Also, ppl tend to teach adults in the same manner as kids. That hardly works.

After all these years, I have realized that if I had discovered the right techniques, I could have learnt as much in less than 1 year with the same effort. Unfortunately, I could not find such material online. Most sites start of with some instrument. Learn piano.. learn the flute… they teach you all the musical notations and so on…. But true music is hardly about the instrument or the notations. Its is about the ears and the brain.

Through this series, I am hoping that someone else will benefit. I am not trying to teach directly, as that would mean that I will end up prejudicing some one else. I am just trying to elucidate some techniques of learning. The actual learning is a process of self discovery that one has to walk on his/her own. Each person has his/her own style of learning and should stick to it for best results.

Other posts in this series

  1. Music 101 : Why am I writing this series? (2014-April-13)
  2. Music 101 : The Math (2014-June-14)
  3. Music 101 : The Practical Challenges (2014-June-29)

Huliyurdurga Trek

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Huliyurdurga (translates to The fort of the tiger’s town) is not particularly well known. I guess Pole (Harsha) and I were among the handful that got on top of the hill this year. Infact, most people we met in the town were not aware of the trek path. As it is with a lot of other things, the less explored path is also likely to be the more adventurous and interesting one.

We started off from Pole’s home at about 6:00AM in the morning. Reached the village in about 1 hour. We had a hard time finding the scalable side. Our first effort went in vain and we had to climb down after a point. Luckily, we caught sight of a bird hunting a lizard live. The bird was generous enough to pose for a full video till the lizard gave up.

Finally, after going around a bit, we found a temple and the trail. For the convenience of others, I have put a local map below with the red path showing the path to the starting point of the trek-Huliyurdurga-route

Some helpful trekkers had marked a few rocks. The start of the climb was quite steep. Harsha went first.IMG_3243 IMG_3242IMG_3247 IMG_3251

There were some more interesting stretches.IMG_3259 IMG_3257

We were on the top in less than 45 minutes.  IMG_3263 IMG_3264

As soon as we reached the top and looked around, we found a Pelican flying at about the same altitude. Interestingly, we could not spot a big water body around. Must have been an adventurous pelican.IMG_3269IMG_3282

The Brahminy kite seemed to be staring right back at us.IMG_3310IMG_3317IMG_3319IMG_3320

Not to forget the common kites..IMG_3342 IMG_3331

The old temple as seen from top..  IMG_3417

The panaroma –IMG_3355

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The remains of the fort were pretty disappointing..IMG_3358IMG_3448IMG_3415IMG_3402

We left our mark on a tree –IMG_3374

“Kadu Mallige” (Wild Jasmine) was growing in plenty on the top.IMG_3370IMG_3372IMG_3387

Spent about 2 hours on the top and started our descent.IMG_3456

View of the hill from the old temple…IMG_3463

The toughest part was yet to come.. I had to drive for 3 hrs straight through the traffic jams of Bangalore.

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Collaring effort in Dubare

It was May, 2008. Exciting times. We had just completed the final testing of our first set of collar electronics, got the servers and the website ready. We felt a great sense of accomplishment that we had completed our final year MTech project successfully! We could not have been more wrong about the completion part. Infact, the project had just begun. We did not do our project just to earn grades and let it rust in the archive cupboards once we were out of the university. We did it so that it will have a significant impact on the lives of atleast some real people (or animals).

Once the electronics was done, our professor (Dr. Andre Pittet) started looking for some serious customers. In the meantime, we kept the collars running and tested them rigorously. They were fitted in our cars and tested under all weather. The packaging wasn’t trivial. We needed something that will withstand the elephants’ ways of life. To get an idea of the wear and tear involved, one should see the elephants rub their bodies against a tree. The collars also had to be water proof (Elephants are excellent swimmers. Infact, they even swim 1-2m under the water).

In May 2011 we heard from a team that showed some real interest. The Aanemane foundation in Dubare maintains semi-wild elephants and they needed to track the elephants’ daily movements. The collar would also be helpful in locating the elephants when the semi-wild elephants wouldn’t return to base for a long stretch and they had to be brought back by the mahouts.

Finally, on July 8th, we headed to the forest with two collars. We set off quite early in the morning as it wasn’t going to be a long day in the forest and it gets very dark very early.  We were four of us.. Our project guide Dr.Andre Pittet with his wife , Radhika (my project partner and wife) and myself in a Black Scorpio. The journey till the forest was quite uneventful. We got into the forest at about 3:00 PM in the afternoon. It had rained recently and some of the stretches were quite tricky even for the Scorpio.  Finally, we got stalled at a point very near to the Aanemane camp.

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Our Prof trying to get the car out of the muck
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Grass was out and there was no friction to make use of

We had to finally crank the car out.

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Me helping Prajna with the crank

We made it after about an hour’s struggle. The view was totally worth it. A beautiful wooden home in the middle of nowhere.DSC04535We explored a bit of the surroundings, rested, had food and dozed off quite early for the day. The night was quite eventful. Prajna had already warned us about the rats. But what I did not expect the rats to do was to lick my pinky toe in the middle of the night. I woke up with a loud thud and spent the rest of the night in a semi-sleep state.

The morning was delightful for more many reasons. We had kept one of the collars for testing and for the first time it was working in actual jungle conditions.

Collar kept for testing
Collar kept for testing

We were getting our other collar ready. The electronics packaged in an aluminium housing is shown below. The square patch antenna is the GPS antenna. The smaller antenna on the left is the GSM/GPRS antenna. The top of the package (not shown in the image) was a durable plastic.

The radio collar which will be put on the elephants
The electronics packaged inside an aluminium box.

We did some last minute testing with the debug module.

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Prajna’s daughter Ojus Curiously looking on..
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Getting packaged along with the collar belt.
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The mahouts arrive with Kunti and Dharma
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First some feeding before anything else
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Dharma was temporarily chained
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Kunti’s collaring
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Here comes Kalpana

The elephants took the collars well. They did not seem to mind the extra 2Kgs. They were looking pretty!

 

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Kunti Collared
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Kalpana Collared
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Trial run
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Radhika posing with Kunti
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Kunti allowed me to take a ride
Happy Tracking !!
The elephant tracking family!!

We were done by about 4:00 PM in the afternoon and started back to Bangalore before it got dark. During the testing, the collars have worked for more than 6 months at a stretch with 24 fixes and 12 transmissions per day. It has been more than a month now and the collars are still ticking. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

Catch up on Aanemane news here

phew!! done with a sem at IISc

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

My friend Ayan had called me up the other day. He was asking me if I was free. I replied,”Ya I am free, done with my projects and assignments finally,tomorrow have an exam”. Thats the extent of freedom I have had in the last 4 months. Exams infact are a big break. With such good profs. who needs to study?Infact it was during the exams that we decided to freak out and watch a few movies. Watched Dhoom-2 right in the thick oftension.Kinda pleasure to do the craziest thing when u r in deep ***t.

IISc seems a lot different now. We are no longer those enthu freshers now. We are worn out veterans. A month back the only way I cud solace myself was by saying,”If u can get thru this, u can get thru anything else in the world.” When a 5000 odd transistor ckt suddenly stops working the whole world seems like plotting ur suicide. I m sure ppl would have a climbed the dept. building and given a thought about taking a jump.

But finally, here comes vacation.Infact the last till may 2008!!!. 15 days of nothing. By nothing I mean absolutely nothing.. I sleep for 16hrs a day and still crave for more. probably recovered all the sleep lost in the last 4 months. alrite, I m feeling sleepy again..

May come with a decent post before May 2008.

Dharwad IT Investors’ meet – May 18th

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

My day started at 7:00. Caught a bus to Hubli in hope of meeting the NASSCOM chief, Kiran Karnik. Frankly it was NIkhil’s enthu that motivated me. Given a choice I would have slept peacefully throughout the day, But I finally made up my mind started a wonderful journey. Was recieved by Nikhil and was taken to his Uncle’s place. As usual the pessimist in me was still telling me that we were dreaming too far. Had our food and then moved over to our destination -Hotel Naveen. We had reached a little late and by that time the CM was already in. So we were kept out by the security. They let every Tom Dick and Harry MLA into the meeting but wouldnt let us in. Most MLAs rushing in seemed to be only capitulating on a chance to meet the CM. We gave a hundred explanations, but the police would just not give in. Then we stood there in the hot sun(even though there was tree shade just a step away) as a mark of our silent protest. I was suggesting some impractical things like jumping across the wall,and for a moment Nikhil took me seriously and was looking at the side pockets of the police checking if they had guns to gun us down if we did that. Then we talked of the bad shape of Indian bureaucracy,Babudom and stuff. But we made sure that we staring straight into that policeman’s eyes. It did begin to seem that he was cracking. Infact once he walked upto us and said “What can I do? I am just following the orders”. we sympathised with him.

Finally seemingly from nowhere an angel walked upto us. She was Ms.Sucharita,The regional director of NASSCOM. And surprisingly even she was not being let in. Now that is heights. Perhaps she is more important than the CM himself for this meeting. She was trying to find out the contact numbers of certain important ppl involved in arranging the whole meet, And coincidently we had them. So we gave her the numbers, she gave us the entry. Infact whats more during the whole waiting process we conveyed to her about our Braillereader project and she was so interested that she promised a meeting with Kiran Karnik himself. So after 2 enduring hrs in the hot sun we did get what we wanted. And probably we wouldnt have managed it if we had a got an easy passage to begin with. Life is seriously an exam!

Once we were in, we realised that we havent missed anything at all. Infact till then the meeting was all about some MLAs and CM speaking something irrelevant stuff anyway. And now they were all breaking for lunch. The CM left and so did the nasty security. Kiran Karnik had been already informed about two young students who had come all the way from surat just to meet him and so in his modest self walked upto us and said “I will be having my lunch now,do u mind talking to me about ur plans while I am eating?”. gr8!!!!! would we mind?? Then we talked to him about our endeavour to help blind ppl learn braille through the software that I designed. I should say we got a wonderful response from him and some other dignitaries present there. He also asked us about our future plans. I told him about my IISc and Nikhil about Planetread. NIkhil was introducing Planetread to him when he intervened and said “that Brij Kothari right?” then he ofcourse dint need any more intro.He was happy that young ppl like us are thinking on such lines instead of a software job and other non challenging stuff like that.

After that encouraging talk with him we went back to the Auditorium where various concerned ppl talked about the feasibility etc. about IT investments in Hubli. Would like to specially mention about Manivannan (The DC of hubli/dharwad) here. His presentation was awesome. What an organised man. The rest were somewhat boring. Later in the evening we were taken to the IT park there. Its been lying unused for years now. But it was definitely impressive. What it lacks is only ppl who have the guts and brains to invest there. The rest will be fine automaticalIy fine.

I almost forgot to mention the other side of the whole exp. We got a T-Shirt, some merchandise having some notepads I believe. Also it was a gr8 lunch. NIkhil dint inhibit himself from having ice cream an N number of times (I m only sure that N>4).And also the evening snacks that we had, where we met some more ppl doing interesting stuff.We also met the event co-ordinator who was also an young fella(Cant really remember his name). So that was a gr8 trip.All thanks to NIkhil. Returned the same day back to Davangere with loads of stuff in mind to tell my mom.Andyes I had one more T-Shirt.

The first fortnight at IISc

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

This is one is coming pretty late but given the schedule here I think the delay is self-explained.I definitely dont consider myself knowlegable enough to write confidently about IISc in general;but I think I can atleast tell as to why this place is this best place that I could have been in.

IISc Campus:

Its the most beatiful one I have seen.Its a 550 acres campus and I think if we patch together all the land that recieves direct sunlight even at noon it will come to 2-3 acres.That doesnt mean that its a jungle out here.Everything is so well maintained.And the fact that I have not had too many blood sucking mosquitoes bothering me testifies it.I now know why most ppl here get addicted to IISc.Already I am worried that I will have leave this place in just 2 yrs.Most of us freshers are still confused about some places here.The space has been utilised so well that it adds to the confusions.Its really easy for a visitor to get lost.The one building that I liked the most is the main buidling.Standing in front of that majestic building we go through a whirpool of thoughts.Really inspiring place to be at.No matter how many times I pass that building I still have a good look at it.The Amenities here are cool too.Never have to leave the campus for anything.I have been out for something like 5 times tillnow.The mess is wonderful in every way(ya I mean it,I m not being sarcastic)and is highly subsidised.So I dont need to visit the canteens too.Anyway the canteens are far enough to give a second thought about visiting them.

IISc life:

As anyone can guess,life here is too dedicated to Science and Tech. that very little of anything else goes on here.But again it being a campus having more than 2000 students does have people having diverse hobbies and interests.So although the ratio of ppl of a particular interest would be small,in effect the numbers would still considerable.Forexample on August 15th we had the Freedom Run(a Cross Country of 5KMs)>I surprised to see that more than 200 ppl in all ran and the quality of atleast the top few timings was indeed very good.Again we have a music club that boasts of lots of good singers and instrumentalists ranging from Piano to Saraangi to Flute to Violin to Ghatak to Guitar.Wehave decent hockey team,volleyball team etc.The Gymkhana facilities are excellent but as far as my observation goes it remains largely unutilised.

Personal Experience:

Let me introduce my course first.I am doing an MTech in EDT(Electronics design and technology).My Dept. is CEDT.(Center for EDT).Its mother branch is ECE.But it has been seperated from it since 1997.Its main aim is to prepare Electronics Engineers who will Entrepreneur in future.And to some extent to do pure research too.So it is one of the most practically oriented courses in IISc with around 2/3rds being practical.Thats the main reason I liked the course.

My days here started with glitches as usual as it has been throughout my life when I get into a new place.I was supposed to pick a chit for the hostels and I managed to get one of the worst hostels(not that it isbad.But I get jealous when I look at the newer ones,But considering the fact that we are at our rooms only to sleep it hardly matters).Then the same day the officials here told me that they cant admit me coz I had no proof of course completion or even the final sem marks card.So i had to get them faxed the same day and finally I became the last person to be admitted this year.

The next day began quietly as we had lots of introductory sessions,a briefing about our course and its aims,A tour of the labs in our Dept.Mostof were finding all the explanations flying off the top of our heads and I began to realise that 2 yrs in MTech is not even enough to explore our own dept. properly,let alone the whole IISc.Our department like most here has lots of collaborations with companies and so gives the real feel of the latest technological challenges that the indusrty faces.

On a lighter side I have been playing chess and listening to music like a mad here.Most of my life is in the labs so have transferred my music to a comp in the dept itself.So its FM+ hard disk Music + the Music we face from the assignments.My day starts at 7:30 and ends at 1:30 in the night almost daily including the sundays.(Did I say on a lighter side???).Made quiet a few friends here.Some becos of chess and some becos of music club here.But mainly there are only two ways to be friends here.Either u share the Dept. or the Mess.In my case there are only few that match both criteria.One of my good friends here is a girl(surprised??even I was. There are only 2 in our MTech batch.) She claims to be a cold blooded(even I dint believe but it seems like its true)and is also a stock market freak. Also she is basically a Gujju who doesnt know Gujju(just complimentary to me)Then there is this Pradeep who is fast turning out be the night out partner here in labs. He is generally the last one to get out of the lab.The third one who matches the above mentioned criteria is a localite and has a Honda Dio. So cant really say much about her coz she always speeds away from us cyclists.
So thats it friends. Dont really hope to blog regularly from now on.Infact even to write this small post I took 5 days.So its been a fortnight + 5 daysalready.Here I go on an endless hunt for knowledge.

Parva,The Mahabharata that I never knew

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

Recently I read a novel in kannada by one of the well known writers,S.L.Bhairappa,Parva. At times, I used to feel that I am forgetting my mother tongue. Even more so, when I mostly found myself thinking in English. So actually started reading the novel coz i thought it would get me back in touch with Kannada. It was tough time in the initial few pages as I even had trouble pronouncing a few words properly. Slowly picked up and by the 50th page I was back to my original speed. Anyway, lets leave the trivial details at that.

The novel has a completely different perspective of looking at the great war that defines Indian culture, the rights and wrongs, literature and almost all walks of life. All the people in the epic have been brought down from mythical status and are just ordinary human beings. There are no extraordinary arrows of Arjuna that split into a thousand arrows and shower upon the ordinary mortals. Everything has been just analysed the way it should be. There is great stress on values of those times and how the war was an inflection point from where the Indian ethos changed. The ending leaves you with a kind of mixed feelings. All though its again defined as a victory of good over bad, this book manages to convince that it meant victory to none. Superb way to end the tale. Won’t try to compare this with the Vyasa-Mahabharata or any of the numerous versions but would definitely say that it gives a very fresh look at things.

According to the book,Here are some wonderful things that I never knew………

Ones relating to the main story:

If you remember the Tele-Serial, Dharamaraja and co. the Pandavas were young handsome hunks.Analysis says they were between the ages of 50-60 at the time of the war. Bhishma was an astounding 124 years old. He was hardly able to command his Battalion let alone the whole war. And his soft corner for the sons of Kunti was a big reason why half the Battalions of Kauravas get wiped under him.

Bhima killing Jarasandha was quite pre-decided as Bhima was 24 and Jarasandha was 72 when they wrestle. Drona is also a 100+ old aged man. Drushtadyumna again obviously had not trouble killing him. Again Krishna finishing off Kuansa is also not surprising as everybody around had considered him to be born for the very purpose and that was a such a big confidence boost against the already wary and scared Kaunsa. The author writes that Kaunsa died even before Krishna touches him(poor feeble heart I believe).Krishna has been bereaved of his powerful Chakra but the novel substantially justifies his triumph everywhere given his razor-sharp wit. Krishna’s strategies throughout will convince you that he was a genius. One would realise from a practical and realistic view as to why the Kauravas had to lose.

In Vyasa-Mahabharata Jayadratha is killed by Arjuna when Krishna darkens the skies by blocking the sun. In Parva the situation is something like this- Arjuna is desperate to kill him before sunset,they break the formation planned by Drona and almost reach Jayadratha, But by then sun has almost started to set,at that moment Krishna asks Arjuna to order his troops to withdraw.Hearing Arjuna shout, Duryodhana Shouts back,”See here is Jayadratha live and kicking,Should we ready the pyre for u?”and that small moment becomes good enough for Arjuna’s arrow to get the undefended and unexpecting Jayadratha’s throat.And then Krishna shouts back,”See the sun has not set yet”.Duryodhana gets confused in the first place because of some elephants in the formation that block his view.

Most of us believe that the Pancha Pandavas were such good brothers and hardly had any differences.But this book refers in detail to the lots of quarrels they had. Sometimes so serious that they were about to kill each other.Specially Bhima’s fury against Dharmaraja. At one point he scolds Dharmaraja,”Dont mask ur cowardice by Dharma, I wish I cut those hands that gambled and brought us to this pathetic condition”.

 Social Practrices:

Unlike the present day society most ppl did not consider pre-marital sex as a taboo.But we can definitely see that it is during this period that morals like the one above began to change.Specially in the name of Arya Dharma which began to take various definitions in the hands of inexperienced court pundits.For example in Madra Desha(somewhere near present day Afghanistan ) it was considered good to marry a woman with children as it would be a confirmation of her fertility. And the one who marries her has to accept her children as his too.But at the same time Kunti giving birth to Karna before marriage was considered unacceptable. There were so many matriarch tribes too.The Devaloka(Present day Tibet) had completely surprising customes. There were 32 Tribes among them, and all men and women of one tribe were spouses to each other in any case other than being close relatives such as brother-sister mother-son and so on.But the children would always belong to the mother. Most customs were such because of the war like situation that they always had. It was almost considered a sin to waste the Ovum produced by a woman. So most women were pregnant all through there potent life.

There were practices like Niyog which allowed having children through a potent man in case of Husband’s Impotency,to continue the lineage of a family. Kunti had her children thus. Even Pandu and Dritarashtra were born the same way. Even Nakula and Sahdeva through Madri. I think we have a lot to learn from the broadminded culture then.

Ok, guess I have written enough, if I continue I think I will be betraying the many surprises in the book.To anyone who can get hands on the book,I say,its a must read.

I m mortal,going to be immortal? (cntd….)

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

After seeing the technological aspects of immortality whether or not one wants it, I feel it is surely is coming. Luckily or otherwise we may be the last generation to die!!! But now lets take a look at the catastrophic repercussions of the same.(Most problems dealt here do not hold true to all kinds of technologies listed in the previous article, reader’s discretion necessary)

Social Factors Just a few days before one of the greatest events that repeats every four years.. FIFA World Cup came to an end and with it came the end of greats like Zidane, Carlos, Ronaldo, Totti, Kahn and the list goes on.. If we had immortality at hand,that would never be the case. Football would soon be a boring stuff that the same Ronaldinhos and Messis keep juggling with for centuries. You would never see a new face. Ofcourse so many years of experience would make the players far more perfect, but one needs change of faces too.

One would have to definitely choose between immortality or having children. Otherwise population explosion would literally be explosion. So, what would one do? Initially one may choose immortality, but as years pass by and there are no children left, it will be one big hell deprived of innocent beautiful faces. A time will come when atleast a fraction of people when people will begin to choose death.

Death will be death like never before. People will start to be extremely cautious about accidents, wars, diseases etc. Imagine what a crime homicide would be. Lots of philosophies of different religions will take a beating too. Almost all religions glorify deaths in battlefield or some great sacrifice and talk of heaven or some promise of wonderful afterlife. Will people risk it then? People in India have the habit of blessing with a Sou saal jiyo(may u live for hundred years) after somebody sneezes, would it be a curse then?

What about life partners? Would the bonds stay that long? Would multiple partners become acceptable? What about capital punishment?The list doesn’t seem to end.Would there be new laws for all these matters?

Economic factors The first thing that comes to mind is insurance. Would anyone give a life insurance? What about lifetime warranty?Economy in general will have a huge revolution the moment immortality becomes available. Lets say the technology is too costly to begin with.Rich people start living forever while the poor working class will keep shifting. And because the rich get immortal,they will continue to get richer and the poor will remain poor. Disparity will increase and then some day poor people may start to revolt. What will happen then? Right to immortality bill will be introduced?This is one way to look at things.In the other case,Immortals may after all loose interest in wealth because they have had too much of it for too long a time and they will become philanthropists??!!

At this point i took a long break and decided that I should quit thinking about the Socio-Economic factors. I think it is something that needs a research for years to completely understand the consequences. So I will try to cover the whole topic in another post. I seriously wonder why this topic hasn’t been brought to thought seriously till now.The technology is not far. But are we ready for it?

I m mortal,going to be immortal?

Originally posted here on my ancient blog site.

Technology has taken its fastest strides in last century. We have already started playing god in so many fields. But one thing at last undoes all that we do throughout our lives, our death. Its the ultimate end, the eternal and most peaceful sleep. Over the years, definitions of death have also changed. It used to be the last breath,then last pulse, then the last neuro signal and so on. But ultimately it seems like the last irreversible damage after which a being can no longer have any motivated action on its surroundings. That means that we can as well stretch it through some means to eternity!!!!

Lets define Immortality first. Rene Descartes very wisely put life’s definition as ITTIAM, and it holds to this day. So the main challenge is to make our thoughts live.i.e. Our brain or some artificial equivalent of brain has to live eternally. The rest of the body may be changed or made durable. At present, the most promising steps taken in the direction of immortality are in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Genetics , Stem Cell Research, Nanotechnology.

Artificial Intelligence– we might in future have machines that are capable of human behaviour and have the gigantic memory that we have.(even the lowest estimates put it to arnd 2-3 TeraBytes which is about a 20 harddisks of a present day computer.The highest is unimaginably high). Apart from that we have the densest network in the known universe in the space between our two temples. And Brain’s compression algorithms beat all the algorithms man has ever designed for storing data neurons down 🙂. Despite all this complexity, in 30yrs or so,we might after all start to make artificial brains. Nano technology may make ckts smaller by a factor of 1000.And Artificial Neural networks would have come close to their natural counterparts.With both these put together its definitely possible. But now comes a huge question. How do we transfer all that our brain has?? First of all even now, very little is known about the way brain stores huge chunks of data. Once we know that, we need to have non-Intrusive scanners that will scan all that our brain has in it. One can’t imagine the data rates at which it will have to do the transfer. Otherwise it might take a year or more considering the huge memory(The poor fellow in the scanner would have died of inactivity by then ;)).

Okkkkkk!!!!, Once all this is done our artificial brain can be plugged to an artificial world where it will live for ever like a software till someone pulls the plug.Yeah!! the same thing in the famous Sci-fi movie Matrix. Ofcourse it will never feel that its not in a real world. In-fact that world can be filled with all kinds of real things minus the so called bad ones like AIDS virus,Mosquitoes,Rodents.etc.Seems like heaven isn’t it? We might have another more real solution too. Clones. We would have perfected the art of preservation of bodies by then. So make ur clone, put it in a freeze till age of 20, by then u will be say, 50, and then put ur brain’s info in the 20 yr old. U r back to youth again!!But be sure u do that with ur spouse too 😉.

Coming to Genetics.We already have a little idea of the genes that cause ageing. What this means is that till now we were programmed by nature to die. And we were also programmed such that we lose all interest to live before we die. That’s why we wear off as we grow old, lose teeth, lose all senses and so on. We might as well modify these genes to suit our needs.The big trick is to modify them so that we age till age of 25 and then stop ageing. Otherwise, we might have eternally living stupid babies only. And one more thing, if u r already even a zygote, this technology even if discovered cannot be of any use to you. So I wonder about trauma the scientist who discovers it will go through. He will die happy if he thinks the Jesus way.

Speaking of the Nano-Technology and Stemcell research, this seems like the most possible solution and most the desirable one too. Stem cells have the capability to convert themselves into any kind of cell.We have already had one scientist,Mr.Hwang Woo Suk, Having made false claims about Human Stem Cells and got his due for that. Lets leave it at that. These cells can be made to grow a complete human body and then go the AI way or can be made to grow parts of human body and then replace the original parts one by one. So our body after every few years will go through a servicing period where in all worn out parts get replaced. The big trick here will be do to do it with neurons. Future may throw some light on that too.The role of Nanotechnology is to help repair body parts using tiny robots that identify ageing parts and repair them. They will be infused in our bloodstream where in they will do all the work. I wonder if they can get small enough to pass through the ever vigilant filter,Kidney. Otherwise they’ll Piss Off everyone, literally!!!. So we will need to program the robots to identify damaged parts,which will be another headache.

So can we or should we hope that all these speculations will be a reality before we pass out of our youth??

Coming soon… One more article on immortality dealing with the effects that it can have on society and individuals and more.