The Writer’s Devil

I wanted to be a fire-fighter when I was a child. I always wanted to do my part for the world. I would imagine the satisfaction I would receive when I saved a child from inside an inferno and handed her over to the parents.

But it did not turn out to be this way. He had some other plans for me. Plan to be his devil.

Every story requires a villain. A person to put all the blame on. A way to hide the wrong doings of the ‘good folks’. A scheme to make the protagonist a hero. So I became the bad guy the book needed. With nothing better to do than to scheme useless plots for the protagonist to foil. Within the confines of the pages, I was what he wanted me to be. And beyond that: it doesn’t matter any more.

That which is not expressed practically doesn’t exist.

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The potion of eternal bliss

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy he said.

***
He searched for it in the stars of the night sky. In the chirruping of birds. On the mountain tops. In the cold waterfalls.

He wandered. He travelled. He met new people. He learned new cultures. He tasted new wines. He tried new dishes. He made friends. He fell in love. He got married.

Was he happy? Yes.
Did he know he was happy? No.

***
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy he said.

What do you mean by happiness?

It means never being sad.

****

So he continued on his quest. This time his wife joined. Soon they had a dog. In no time their daughter. They went to places they had never been before. To frozen lakes. To sandy beaches. To abandoned churches. To dark caves.

Life happened.

The magic potion of happiness still eluded him.

In one of his travels to a monastery in the snow clad mountains, he came to know of the magic potion. The potion of eternal bliss. He followed the map onto a perilous journey. He found the potion. He opened the bottle. He gulped down the fluid. Or so one would have imagined.

But he did not. He realized he was wrong all the time. It was not happiness that he wanted, or rather the definition of it which he had in his mind. It was life he wanted. The one that he cherished. With its ups and downs. Its boring chores and passionate kisses. Its unbreathable laughter and unstoppable tears.

He finally found happiness.

Free Forever

Suddenly I realized I couldn’t recognize the streets. I was lost. Lost in a place that was not in my town, not even in my country. It was a place I often imagined while reading the novels of Azar Nafizi or Khalid Hosseini.

And I panicked!

Not because I was in an unknown place. Not because I had no idea how I got there. But because I had a lot of pending work to do, bills to pay, forms to fill and mails to send. I was under the impression that a lot in the world depended upon me.

It soon dawned upon me that it was all irrelevant. The world will carry on fine without me. I had no dues to pay. It was all a big hoax that I had created to make myself feel important.

And finally I was free! Forever!

The Ultimate Truth

I always had the eyes to appreciate the pulchritude of the elegant solutions that mathematics proposes, but unfortunately I never had enough wits and patience(and ofcourse courage) to explore the infinite landscape it offers. Sometimes I wish I had a sherpa who would guide me in negotiating these terrains while I appreciate the beautiful view at those heights. Although I never hoped to get such a guide, but serendipity is what one might call it when I discovered this book “The Music of Primes” by Marcus Du Sautoy at a book fair.

The book describes the quest of mankind for understanding the mysteries of primes, their penchant for finding patterns in them which still eludes them after centuries of hardwork. But the side effects of such a quest(which I am sure will succeed one day) have been tremendous which on one side account for the deeper understanding of the abstract concept of the nature itself while on the other side has geared the tremendous pace of technology.

I have known and appreciated the concepts of mathematics manifesting itself into the beauty of nature, the most striking being the fibonacci series, but I could never fathom that the distribution of primes would have a resemblance to the energy level of electrons within an atom. And both these patterns are truely random, a lot like tossing a coin or rolling a dice.

There is a lot more to this universe than we have observed or could observe before we kill each other. The whole universe is based on some beautiful set of equations, simple enough for soundness and complex enough to elude the understandings of the greatest of our kinds. The numbers and equations are not a figment of our imagination, they do not depend on our existence, but they do exist irrespective of whether we exist or not, and they will keep governing the phenomena of the universe. A prime number will always be indivisible in any number system that the various civilizations across the universe have developed in their own home planets. This is something we can call an absolute truth.

Maybe this is true even for our lives, since we too are an integral part of this universe. Maybe the events of our life are governed by some random distribution generated by a set of equations. Some distributions lead a person to greatness, while  most of the others plunge him into the abyss of anonymity. I am a great believer that in life our choices do govern whether we reach to greatness or not, but maybe even our choices are governed by these same distributions. Ofcourse, we might never find out if this is indeed true, alteast not in our lifetimes.

The Good, The Bad and The Grey

Long long ago, during the earliest days of mankind, there were two important rival clans: The good and the bad. Each having their leaders and each having their followers. They would fight over each deed, to brand it as good or to brand it as bad. This went on for a while till both the clans were tired of the bloodshed. Both of them wished for a middle way. Both wished for something called “grey”.

But such an arrangement could only be possible if one of the clan leader were to initiate it and hence risk appearing weak. And losing respect of their followers is on no leader’s agenda. So then again both of them wished for a middle way to bring forth the middle way.

Now was it pure chance, or a well thought plan; none could comprehend, but once while fighting over a deed, a small child, the age of 7 proposed a solution to both the leaders. And in those ages, children were treated as sons of gods; the truth teller; the innocent, uncorrupted souls and were treated with respect. So the child was lent the ear he required. And the solution was precisely what the leaders wished for: THE GREY AREA. If a deed could not be easily won over by either side, it would be kept in the no-man’s land, the neutral zone, the grey area.

And as the time progressed, more and more deeds kept falling into the grey area. Even the ones which once had a stronghold in either of the clans.

Since then the good and the bad lived happily ever after, while the humans were struggling to define the term morality!

Hello World!

So someone just created me by some calculated strokes on the buttons of his keyboard triggering a phenomenon which in itself is marvelous in nature and far too overwhelming for someone to understand the exact specifics.

I am just a figment of imagination and I exist just because there are people who have attributed some significance to me. I am just an idea which gets transferred from one person’s head to another’s. I don’t have any form, I don’t occupy any space, yet I can make people love each other or kill each other. I will lose my meaning once they cease to exist. And without meaning, a sentence is just gibberish, just a few waves of sound lost in oblivion in a fraction of second.

Isn’t it wonderful that at any particular moment I exist to only a fraction of people while for the rest I have no existence at all? Now that you have read me I exist in your world, but go ask your neighbours and I am quite sure they would be ignorant to my presence.

Enjoy Life! Keep Creating!

Regards,

One of the random ideas of a computer engineer located somewhere in India.

The 7 Legged Spider

One of the problems of having 8 eyes is that we are not sure as to how to wink. With 4 eyes on each side of the face there are 15 possible ways. Each clan has its own signature winking style(In this globalised world, clans are analogous to what you call as cultures, I am not using the world culture as the number of different practises we have can be counted on fingertips). In our clan, we wink by closing the top, the second and the bottom one.

The art of eye-contact also varies with clans, and is more strictly followed. As we are essentially clothless, looking anywhere but the eyes might lead to troubles, you know what I mean. 😀 The problem of eye contact is more complicated than that of winking. You people have only 1 set of eyes and so you dont appreciate the sophistications involved. Imagine you are being photographed by a number of cameras simultaneously. Now when you look at the pictures, you will notice that in one and only one picture, your eyes are looking at the camera, in all others you will be looking somewhere else. That is the problem that we have to face, if the spider you are talking to and you do not look at each other simultaneously, you both are at a loss.

Now let me tell you how eye contact works out in our specie. There are three phases in the process 1) Initialisation, 2) Synchronisation and 3) Execution. Whenever two spiders or a group of spider meet, one of them, usually the host announces that he is about to initialise. You see with 4 set of eyes, we have a nibble. The top pair is the MSB of the nibble and the bottom one is the LSB. Opening an eye is 0(default state) and closing is 1(excited state). So in the initialisation phase, the host signals a 16 bit code by opening and closing some pairs of eyes to signal a code, and signalling 4 such codes at the intervals of 2 seconds. So this 16 bit code indicates which type of eye contact mechanism is to be used. Now that every spider knows which mechanism is to be used, the host conveys an 8-bit synchronisation code(01100000), every spider tries to synchronise to the host’s eyes using this synchronisatin code. And once all of them are synchronised host conveys a 4-bit all one code(1111) and then starts the execution phase in which the eye-contact mechanism decided in the initialisation phase is put into actual execution. Now one might wonder why such a complicated mechanism? The reason is that in the dark ages, when different clans were isolated, each of them generated their own mechanism, but as the world got smaller, and as no one was willing to drop their identity and adopt others’, such a mechanism had to be created.

However, we have one benefit over your specie. A handicapped spider like me is not stigmatised as in your case. Now you might think what difference a lost leg would make, when 7 others are working fine. This is where you underestimate the world around you.

Let me give you an idea of the intricate art involved in weaving the spider net. Its similar to a painter painting on a canvas sheet. We both have to select a canvas(a suitable place to weave the net), we both have to have brushes(legs in our case, imagine the trouble a painter encounters when he has to paint with one of his brush missing), and for both of us the first stroke matters the most. Both our livelihoods depends on how perfect the painting is made, in my case its an even direct relation. And both of us have to keep aside the thoughts of livelihoods when creating our arts to generate our best masterpieces.

Everything is an art, even the engineering which you are so proud of.