The Atlas will Shrug and there will be trouble…

I was on a flight from Phledelphia to Atlanta when the story of widespread corruption at CWG first broke out.I was reading the in flight copy of Wall street journal which carried the story of horrendous misadventure of Kalmadi and sons.Needless to say I was aghast at the contents of the story but what was more disturbing was the fact that I felt as If all passengers in the flight were sneering at me and saying ” India is a super power and a developing country.Ha! Ha ! Ha!

I really felt ashamed for being an Indian for an act of sheer betrayal committed by my fellow beings.India has failed as a state long time before the CWG happened.This is just a symptom , the cancer has already eaten half the country.Today India is divided very clearly into the have’s and have not’s.The Have’s are the ones who have showed to the government that it is not required and they will continue to flourish with or without it.They have private electricity, private water, private security, private Schools, Foreign holidays, Private places of worship and basically live like aliens in India.Just like you pay ‘hafta’ to the local mafia they shell out the 30 % Tax once in a year so the government and its dogs stay away.They are so agnostic and indifferent that 90 % of them do not even bother to vote.

The trouble is with the ‘other’ India which is supposed to be taken care of by the largess from their rich half brothers.The loot begins as soon as the moolah is in staring at the top of the pyramid.By the time it reaches the bottom just 10 % is left out as per statistics conjured up by none other than Prince Rahul Gandhi.

The Naxalite movement which has spread in half of the country is nothing but a struggle to reclaim natural resources from the Government which has snatched away the right to live ‘naturally’ and has given nothing back. The Naxals with their own organizational issues are widely supported by the people as they represent a cause – why should we bother about the government, its rules and policies when the Government has not bothered about about since freedom.The officials only come back when they are given order to plunder and almost never to keep the promises of their masters.One half of the country on the North east to the south is on the verge of anarchy.

It will be disastrous if the other half from north west to south realizes that we fund our own existence anyways after paying a third to a government that is non existent. Why should we do that ?? Why not upgrade from private security to a private army and break loose from the Indian State.It is not going to happen so easily only because the ‘richer’ half has larger personal stakes but it’s only a matter of time when a ‘messiah’ like me shows them the way.Like so many identities being exploited in India of 21st Century – Hindu, Muslim,Kashmiri, Marathi, Telugu, Bodo and so on being ‘affluent’ too is an idea which can bring people together and unite them for a cause.What will give this group an edge will be its superior thought process, stronger networks and access to resources to gather strength in the form of men and machines which will come easily with money.They have build a nation within a nation already….

The Altlas will shrug and there will be trouble.

Bar girls bar bar on TOI

To day was the third time when The Bangalore Mirror screamed in boldest possible headlines about the Bar girls as if it was the most important matter to be aware of by the people of Karnataka.Mr. Yedurappa was also made to look like a ‘partner in crime’ who is not letting the honorable police commissioner do his job of eradicating the menace of Bar girls from Bangalore.

On all three Occasion though I could not make out why the hell it is such an important thing for all educated people in this IT mecca to do a wardrobe analysis of someone who they have nothing to do with.

I have written time and again that all birdbrained undereducated voyeurs have become journalist and the Times of India has reaffirmed my belief once more. If there is anyone running naked on the streets in this country it is the media.Shameless fools !

Coming back to the the subject of bar girls and their dress sense I remember a couplet often quoted by chote bhaiyya Amar Sing ji :

हम आह भी भरते हैं तो  हो  जाते  हैं  बद्नाम ,वो  क़त्ल भी करते हैं तो  चर्चा नही होता

To connect you quickly to the context I will share with you some amazing lines of creativity being hyped by the same slimy media which is perhaps paid to promote Indian culture in its own twisted format.The lines are from the ‘hot’ number from Dabang :

मुन्नी  बद्नाम  हुई डार्लिंग  तेरे लिये ,मैं झंडू  बाम हुई डर्लिंग  तेरे लिये

After the Invocation of Lord Shiva by Goswami Tulsidas at the beginning of Ramayana this the most pious assortment of words and sounds put together in recent history.If you hear it in solace and meditate upon the oomph that the singer one Ms.Mamta has managed you will certainly be able to find the Aum in it somewhere.if not you can call your local RJ’s who have been promoting this song as  the Gospel from St.Peters.

Let’s have a look at the utterly decent attire worn by the epitome of Indian tradition Ms Malaika Arora too.She has been setting new and higher standards for the generations to come with each passing day.No wonder family after family is paying visit to the Holy shrines at PVR Kala Mandir, Masjid e I max and so on.What hypocrites we are !!

There was one comment by a ‘harassed’ resident of Eijpura ( where the Nuisance has raised its ugly head – pun intended) that was particularly interesting . It said something like this ” I am not trying to be Moral Police but when ever I come out I am disturbed by these girls boarding their transport in revealing clothes” I wanted to ask the guy How come your timings match and you are some how out in the balcony making sure that you get disturbed every morning or evening.I have not seen my next door neighbor since the last one month.

On a serious note I have some Questions :

1.If we are OK with women wearing scintillating clothes while performing in reality show events, cine award functions , on the screen and even for Garbha and Durga Puja events why do we maintain double standards for someone trying to make living by entertaining in a legal bar that allows women the right to work there.They are not running naked as far as I can make out from the pictures.

2.Why the Police commisioner instead of promising safety and security to these ‘legal’ workers keeps pushing for somehow getting them marginalised.

3.Has the Government, social organizations and media ever thought about alternate employment opportunities being created so the poor girls do not have to indulge in activities which are not exactly above board.

4.If the US can have Hooters and other restaurant formats where even families come and have a good time why can’t we look at a business model that uses the entertainment quotient of the Bar girls as the USP.

5.I am sure that not only the Bar girls but even the staff members of these Bars would be frustrated at constantly being looked down upon by the society and they are not doing what they are doing out of choice but out of some compulsion. It could be anything ailing parents to be supported , Kids school fee and food or even getting that patch of land out of the clutches of the village money lender.Who knows ?

कुछ तो मजबूरियां रही होंगी , यूं   कोई  बेवफा  नहीं होता

When hunger strikes one cannot but pick up the crumbs of food thrown in the dust bin.We are lucky to have been given an opportunity by God to be working in so called decent and respectable professions but end of the day – हम सब अपना फन  बज़ार में बेच रहे हैं और दूर है  अपने मासूम बचपन से  जहां  बाप का साया रोटी की गारंटी था और मां के आंचल में छुप कर परियां  सपनों मे आती  थीं. We deal with the same insecurities albeit in a different shade and environment.

Have a heart folks. It’s very easy to condemn someone and label them as the scum of society but it takes a heart of gold to stand by them and make sure that they get their share of human dignity which all of us deserve and crave for.

My advice to Times of India : Please stop sensationalizing someone else’s life if you cannot keep up to your promise of being the fourth pillar of Democracy and report something useful and worthy.

मैं वक़्त पे घर क्यूं नहीं जाता..

बेनाम सा ये दर्द ठहर क्यूं  नहीं जाता

जो बीत  गया है वो गुज़र  क्यूं  नहीं जाता

देखता हूं मैं उलझी  हुई  राहों  का तमाशा

जाते  है जिधर  सब  मैं उधर क्यूं  नहीं जाता

वो एक  ही  चेहरा  तो  नहीं है जहां  में

जो दूर  है वो दिल  से उतर  क्यूं  नहीं जाता

वो नाम ना जाने कब से, ना चेहरा ना बदन है

वो ख्वाब अगर है तो बिखर क्युं नहीं जाता

सब कुछ तो है  क्या ढूंढती  रहती है निगाहें

क्या बात है मैं वक़्त पे  घर  क्यूं  नहीं जाता ..

Does God play dice ??

Its a long weekend so I picked up the Original text of ” special and general theory of relativity” which had been pushed back in the Que of “to read” on my table because each time I picked it up I found the contents too abstruse for my tired and drained out mind to comprehend.

I grappled with the text trying to read it from beginning to the end and vice versa.Then I picked up the chapters randomly but the only thing that I could understand was that the concept of time and space and space time has to be clear to understand the general and special theory of relativity to a certain degree.

Also I admit that I was intrigued more by time than by space so I began to read more about how human consciousness has dealt with this invisible fourth dimension that’s just an a priori concept etched deep within our minds or even in our DNA as Robert Persig says in his classic ‘ Zen and the Art of motor cycle maintainence.

In terms of defining time I sifted through numerous statements and the one that best explains the idea comes from science Fiction writer Ray Cummings  :

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

This is a very pertinent definition and explains a lot of stuff about time from spiritual, religious,philosophical as well as scientific standpoint.Newtonian concept of linear time assumes that  events happen in a sequence so that the ones that are observed first are ‘past’ and the ones that will be observed later are ‘ future’  taking the observers current position as present.Time travel is therefore a possibility.

Opposed to this view are Leibniz and Immanuel Kant who propose time to be part of our intellectual perception framework  just like space, numbers etc within which we organize and sequence our thoughts so it cannot be measured or traveled for that matter.

In the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant describes time as an intuition that allows us (together with the other intuition,space) to comprehend sense experience.

We think of time as an absolute,flowing and measurable entity because of the inherent notion that ‘our’ time is limited and we exist only between our beginning and end.Just as we don’t say ‘ your space is running out’ we would not say ‘ your time is running out’ if we stop thinking of it as something exaustible with a unidirectional and irreversible flow.

While Christianity believes in Linear time with the beginning at the start of creation by God the other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism etc state that time is cyclical with the wheel of time turns for each individual between birth and extinction.According to the Vedas the universe goes through repeated cycles of creation, sustainance ,destruction and rebirth called the yugas Treta , Dvapar, kaliyug and satyug.Each complete cycle lasts for 4320000 years.

The Concept of Time in Physics :

We have already read Newton’s definition so let’s jump to Einstein.

Einstein, postulated the constancy and finiteness of the speed of light for all observers in his special theory of relativity. He proved that distances appear shorter and time interval appears longer  for events associated with objects in motion relative to an inertial observer.

Einstein showed that if time and space is measured using electromagnetic phenomena (like light bouncing between mirrors) then due to the constancy of the speed of light, time and space become mathematically entangled in the Minkowski space where time is added as the fourth dimension.

This in turn results in Lorentz transformation , which explains how, according to the theory of special relativity, two observers’ varying measurements of space and time can be converted into each other’s frames of reference. It reflects the surprising fact that observers moving at different velocities may measure different distances, time inetrvals, and even different ordering of events.

In the late nineteenth century, physicists encountered problems with the classical understanding of time, in connection with the behaviour of electricity and magnetism. Einstein resolved these problems by invoking a method of synchronizing clocks using the constant, finite speed of light as the maximum signal velocity. This led directly to the result that observers in motion relative to one another will measure different elapsed times for the same event.

According to Einstein, the concept of time depends on the spatial reference frame of the observer, and the human perception as well as the measurement by instruments such as clocks are different for observers in relative motion. The past is the set of events that can send light signals to the observer, the future is the set of events to which the observer can send light signals.

Einstein notes  : “Two  events taking place at the points A and B of a system K are simultaneous if they appear at the same instant when observed from the middle point, M, of the interval AB. Time is then defined as the ensemble of the indications of similar clocks, at rest relatively to K, which register the same simultaneously.”

In Chapter 9 he adds that simultaneity is also relative, i.e., two events that appear simultaneous to an observer in a particular inertial reference frame need not be judged as simultaneous by a second observer in a different inertial frame of reference.

Schrodinger’s Cat paradox :

Quantum physics presents a complex view of the universe. Erwin Schrödinger criticized the theory by posing one of the most famous thought experiments in modern physics.

The quantum model of reality explains particles in terms of probability using wave equations. Instead of a particle being a bouncy ball, it is a described in terms of a superposition of waves that represent its probable states. Erwin Schrödinger complained in his 1935 paper that “the classical concept of state becomes lost,” citing the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle. To highlight this problem, he posed his now legendary “cat paradox.”

Schrödinger’s Cat

Schrödinger purposed to put a fictional, but no doubt loveable, cat into a box shielded from any outside interference. Inside the box, he also places a radioactive substance, “so small,” says Schrödinger, “that perhaps in the course of an hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none.” Finally, he inserts a mechanism consisting of a Geiger counter connected to a bottle of poison. If the counter detects the radioactive decay of the atom, the mechanism breaks the flask of poison and poor kitty dies. If the counter does not detect the decay, then the cat lives.

What is the point of this experiment? As Schrödinger explains, the quantum function describing the state of the system would “express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.”

Most Physicists resolve the Schrodinger’s Cat paradox by making distinction between microscopic phenomena which are described as a strange mixture of atomic states as regards to their position in time ( Hiesenberg’s  Uncertainty Principle), and macroscopic objects, in this case a cat.The standard resolution of the paradox assumes that the crucial difference between microscopic events ( collision of atomic particles) and macroscopic events spreading of smoke in a room is that microscopic events are reversible in time , while  macroscopic events are not.While a film of two atoms colliding looks normal whether it runs forward or backward in time , a film of smoke coming out of an incense stick will makes sense only if the smoke is spreading out not collapsing back into the incense.Thus , macroscopic events fix “the arrow of time” in a direction that increases disorder.Physicists say that the entropy of macroscopic events ( the measure of disorder) fixes the direction of time and also makes the distinction between reversible microscopic events and irreversible macroscopic events.

It is important to understand that Consciousness is not the essential feature of making an observation.The transfer of information which implies an increase in entropy and irreversibly of time is the basis of observation.The irreversible transfer of information can be in the form of memory cells in our brain or photographic film.

But how do we remember the sequence of events in our consciousness is a mystery as unlike the Photo film the brain cells are again like atomic particles and follow random motion where time can be reversed or it certainly does not have the arrow of time associated with the macroscopic systems ???

There are other paradox which exist with respect to our interface with time apart from the effect of psychotropic substances such as the kappa effect wherein the journey that covers more distance will appear to take longer than the journey covering less distance, even though they take an equal amount of time. Practically speaking, a faster journey over more distance will still appear more time-consuming than a slower journey over less distance.

It is a known phenomenon that long periods of time appear to pass faster as people grow older. Stephen Hawking, suggests that the judgement of time is a function of age, according to a ratio – Unit of Time : Time Lived.

For example, one day to an eleven-year-old person would be approximately 1/4,000 of their life, while one day to a 55-year-old would be approximately 1/20,000 of their life. According to such an interpretation, a day would appear much longer to a young child than to an adult, even though the measure of time is the same.

Time Travel,Temporal Paradox and Parallel Universe’s :

Time travel is the concept of moving backwards and/or forwards to different points in time,just as we do in space, and different from the normal “flow” of time to an observer on earth. It hypothesizes that all points in time – in past and in future “persist” in some way. Time travel at different rates into the future, known as time dilation, as predicted by the theory of relativity, and has been experimentally verified for small amounts of time. Travelling forward for larger amounts of time is, so far, physically difficult, requiring large amounts of energy. Travelling backwards in time has never been verified, presents many theoretic problems, and may be an impossibility.

A central problem with time travel to the past is the violation of causality , should an effect precede its cause, it would give rise to the possibility of temporal paradox.Also known as time paradox , it presents a paradoxical situation in which a time traveler causes, through actions in the past, the exclusion of the possibility of the time travel that allowed those actions to be taken.

The typical example is that of the grandfather paradox, wherein a time traveler goes back in time and kills his grandfather before his mother or father is conceived. It is a paradox because if this occurs, he will never be born, and therefore never be able to travel back in time to kill his grandfather, thus allowing himself to be born.

One hypothesis is that there are an infinite number of universes, one for each possibility. Here, should the time traveller kill his grandfather, one universe would have a live grandfather, and another universe would have a dead one. Failing that, the universe would annihilate itself, for such a paradox would defy its laws.

I think it’s time for me to go get a drink and alter my perception of time – slow or fast , past or future I shall let you know once I come back to consciousness.

Fortune at the top of the Pyramid…

A few months back I had a chance to meet up with a friend after a long long time.We decided to catch up somewhere convenient and since New Delhi can be a nightmare during peak hours I checked if my friend could make it to my hotel.”  I was parked at a 5 star courtesy my company but was it a good idea to pay through the neck for the drinks which would probably cost 5 times less at home.After all we just have to get sloshed.

My mind started racing at the options – ask my friend to buy a bottle on the way, go and fetch a bottle myself and ask for room service for the glasses and ice.I could probably afford soda from the mini bar.

As I checked the guest services folio I found something-  a gift coupon which announced that the hotel had a buy one get one policy for house guests during happy hours from 6-8 PM. So that’s half the price already and I get to show ff the  free thing as a smart move from a regular.Both of us drank like fish did not occur to me and the ‘free’ part will probably bring out the animal in us even more.Anyways there was hardly any time..

My phone rang.It was Ashwin my friend – the NRI venture capitalist.I directed  him to the hotel’s pub ” wellington”.

As soon as we were seated Ashwin waved to the steward and before the poor guy could offer any greetings he ordered – two Glenfiddich large please.we resumed our conversation thereafter which basically went around good old days…

The steward returned and I was surprised to see that he had just got two drinks.

” where are the free ones??” I asked.

” of I am so sorry sir.That offer is only for the weekdays and today it’s a saturday” He answered.

I picked up my drink  and put in a bunch of ice cubes eager to taste my favorite drink just the way I liked it.Ashwin did the same. We were bottle buddies.

We had a good time and after 4 – 5 large Glenfiddich’s when we could barely stand up we asked for the check.It was some 8 thousand rupees including the snacks.Both of us offered to pay and finally after a lot of argument I managed to snatch the folio from Ashwin and shoved my credit card in.At that point I did not even register what the bill amount was.I did not even want to show off or proove anything to my partner.We had grown up together and wouldn’t have cared if either one of us had bought over the hotel at that point in time.We went to the parking singing a Jagjit Singh loudly and promised to meet again soon.We knew “soon’ would be a couple of years.

Next morning when I woke up there was a nagging feeling apart from the hangover.I could nail it down to ‘why the hell did I spend so much money?When I could not get it off my mind I decided to analyse my behavior :

1.I had decided to host Ashwin at the hotel bar because I wanted to do it or because of the free drink offer ?

2.If I was sure so sure I could not afford 8000 bucks I should have let Ashwin pay. It was just a couple of hundred dollars for him after all.

3. Did I really bother that I had spend all that money.The fact was that even I was making enough to do this once in a while if not everyday.

4.Did I have a good time and was it worth ?

So what was it that was bothering me ?

As I recalled the events of last evening I got stuck with a line from the Ghazal we were singing last night :

हमने माना कि कुछ नहीं गालिब ,मुफ्त  हाथ आए  तो बुरा क्या है …

I know for sure that Ghalib is worthless, but what’s the harm if I can have him for free.

That was where my answer lay.I was feeling cheated !! No it was not the hotel but I was feeling cheated that something that was rightfully mine for free had been taken away by putting up technical barriers.How the hell it mattered if it was a Friday or a Saturday – I was entitled for a FREE drink which I did not get.I was lured into the trap by careful fine print.It was a privilege that was taken away unjustifiably.You don’t get to drink single malt at a five star for free all the time.It was foul play and nothing else.

Should I stay back till Monday and take revenge ?? I laughed at myself but a big lesson in pricing had been learnt :

1. Not having to pay up for a product or service is something etched deep inside our psyche.It is a measure of our “privilege Quotient” and our smartness.

2.While the service provider wants to get paid X , the customer wants to pay nothing for it.

3.Nothing is worthless as long as it is free.

4.We are as much gullible as our greed and we will see what we want to see not what we should see.

5.The “want” for freebies has nothing to do with our economic or social status.When it comes to paying as close to nothing as possible we are all the same.

6.There is no price for anything , only cost. You can sell anything for any price staring from zilch and taking it upwards with the customer’s aspiration or need.

These tenets do not simply follow the laws of supply and demand as has been proved by the sultan of Retail Sam Walton.He had mastered the art of creating exponential demand with the least drop in prices, keeping the supply angle out of picture for his customers.More than keeping the products at Wal Mart cheap, it is their ability to keep their customers feeling that they are cheaper everyday as compared to their competition that makes them the world’s largest and most successful retailer.

CK Prahlad proposed that there is a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.In terms of increased accessibility due to a low cost of acquisition it might be true.A company can therefore make money by profiting not so much on per transaction basis but on a bulk of transactions which are undifferentiated , with the low cost of delivery and last mile.

I have been thinking – Is there a fortune at the top of the pyramid too ???