Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Valentine!!

In the heyday of the Roman Empire, the Lupercian Festival was held every February to honor the god of fertility. It was a passionate month in which young men would choose their marriage mates. The Emperor Claudius, fearing men would abandon their military duty to pursue their passions, outlawed marriage.

The Catholic Bishop Valentine, who had untapped passions of his own, began to secretly marry young couples in love. Claudius arrested him and sentenced him to be beheaded. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. On the day of his execution, he wrote her one last note and signed it: “from your Valentine.” He literally lost his head over love.

You don’t have to lose your head for love. But you do need to find your passion. I’m not referring to that kind of passion. You need to discover your passion for life, for yourself, for the world around you.

Of course, I didn't write that, a friend did.  You can read the rest of his post here.  But till then, be my valentine, just like I am yours, and rock on!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Wizard of Menlo Park

I have had a few superhero kind of people in my life all through, like gods or knights, ravana and miles davis kind of stuff, and if I look at my real early years, maybe 7 to 12, one of the people whose life and work I dreamt of being half able to emulate was Edison.

Thomas Alva Edison is the man who invented the stock ticker, the electronic voting machine, the car battery, electricity and the use of electrical power, recorded music and the motion pictures among a host (2000ish) of other things.  

Almost all of his life reads like a story, but his getting his first job and going on to understand and bring about a revolution in telecommunications is a classic one.  Google it.

After his first landmark creation, the phonograph or methods of accurately and completely recording and reproducing sound or music, he went on to walk on down the hall.

He “invented” the electric light bulb, building on the work of many others who were trying to do the same thing, but outsmarting them in the three challenge areas of material, vacuum creation, and delivery of power (this was before you could plug into the wall to turn something on) the last of which he solved by using a higher resistance making it easier to draw power from source, something all others had not thought of, since their focus was on the product itself.

These were exciting times, everybody was doing something, be it something as herculean as crossing the seas from Europe to America, or giving birth to dots and dashes.  Jazz hung like thick smoke at the ports and at railroad construction sites.  The alpha male from the heartlands of the savannah was tasting french food cooked in Louisiana moonshine.  The spirits, benign and vampirish, of New Orleans danced with those of native Indians and sad slavegirls, and created multicultural ghosts that Anne Rice would make a living off many years later.

Along with the pathbreaking work of closer bodhisattvas like Satyen Bose (an example only, I am much closer to other spirits from other fields than I am to stats and maths) who opened the doors of particle physics and particle statistics along with Einstein, the life and work of Edison set an example of what can be accomlished by application of the mind to solve and rise above problems and limitations.  Happy Birthday, Menlowiz!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How does one take care?

When you are on the internet like you are now, you must take care, like you must take care anywhere else.

Do check out this quick quiz on what you should already be knowing.  Thanks to Tipukaka for the link.

And this is an update a couple of days later, since we were able to find some other really good places to learn more about internet safety and personal security.

This one is great fun for adults:



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hills and Valleys (Letters to Parth - 8)

My Dear Kryptonite, All of my Devils, my Starshine!

I know that you will learn and are learning about things quickly and not getting hurt or stung or bruised or burnt. But if you do get burnt, build a burn unit.

If you experience need, give.  

However, this time I thought I would write to you about mountains.  I last sat to write to you in November.  And have been climbing mountains ever since.  Now it looks like I am somewhere halfway up maybe.  

Your Dadu and Thammi spent the best years of their lives in Darjeeling.  When Dadu had his bypass in 2006, he was ruled out for heights and was generally asked to be careful.  The fact that he got the shock of his life shortly after his surgery and then the years after that is another matter altogether. Darjeeling is an average of about 7000 feet.  Thammi too has travels poorly, but travels and travels.  But the devil that she is, and the wheels that she got for feet when she was a kid like you, keeps her rolling, puking, coughing, sweating, getting the mountain belly and short of breath, but you try and get her to agree to sit down!!!  

Everything has a reason, it is just that we don't always get a preview or even a view of it till his designs are all laid forth. Don't miss the butterfly on Thammi's shoulder.  You can click on the pic to see it larger.

They wrote my song.  It is just that I am a poor singer.

Busy getting ready to be able to meet you, much as I have been busy getting ready these last so many days, weeks, months and years; some will scoff, but we will get by. This time it feels so good that its got to be illegal. Spent some time at the end of the year traveling with Dadu and Thammi and then spending the year end with Mia and Tipu and Chandreyee. Came back to a lot of work, and fell ill. Have gotten better, and what more, have started doing things to get a grip on other things too. You and I are lucky to have been together all through in more senses than one!! We will look back and smile at this day some day.

Asterix the GaulDcu All-Star Superman (Single-Disc Edition)ABBA The Movie

Was able to send you Asterix the Gaul, a t-shirt with an older picture of you on it, and something to play with that Mona sent.  Mona is Grainne didi’s mom, an old witch.  She loves you too.  Thammi’s kurta set is with me cuz you have kind of grown too big for it, I hear.

Trust you enjoyed this winter like no winter ever before.  Lion cub, never forget that the winter that tests one’s resilience is the very same winter that is the time to forage and to mend walls.  I was pretty excited that you still don’t write well enough to get into school!  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am and how proud I am of whatever else you do, skate, bike, shriek, fife, pee, whatever!!  I have a feeling that if I were to try and get into any of the schools now, my writing would probably be my Waterloo.  Life is the best teacher about valleys.

Do remember and stay cool in the months ahead, not just from the fun of being together in “the real world” but also to stay protected from the heat, as we enter a period of our planet’s lifetime and our civilization’s lifetime when being hyper about things will be the most cherished value as we scramble to solve climate change and geopolitical resource ownership changes.  I figure a 20-25% bargain on branded oral rehydration preps is a good idea.  Buy half a truckload for the summer, you might even get 30% off.  You must read my post on hydration in my earlier letters.
Thammi and Dadu, Mia and her oldies, and both of us are eagerly waiting to be with you in the flesh.  More about mountains then.

Much love as always,


PS -That means post script, not police station. It is such fun writing to you, cuz I get to write like I think. As a writer, I often have to write keeping in mind how other people think writing should be, and you can find me wearing that mask over at Subho's Jejune Diet. 


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