Genius and Madness

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do, Steve Jobs said. Crazy, well, it can have more than one definition and accordingly the “change” that takes over the world will differ. There is the good change and the disaster, there is Genius and there is Madness. There is a fine line between the two and sometimes extreme levels of intelligence sophisticatedly chose to be ignorant of other varied perspectives leading the decision thus taken to be considered a catastrophe. Two such examples of such intelligence gone high on the Madness scale are Adolf Hitler and Mohammad Bin Tughluq.

They were extremely intelligent people who cannot be compared owing to the different timelines of their existence but, underwent the same course on the History text books and have become synonymous with sadism and stupidity respectively. Their ideas and ideologies were in some ways and in those times actually well thought of but poorly executed.

In case of Adolf Hitler, he is a man the world loves to hate. He killed thousands of Jews, he had the worst estimate of his opponents, and he committed suicide in the end when his men needed him. Look at it from another perspective, he is a man with his own idea of an ideal world, he is a man who believed in his mind completely, and that is a ray of sunshine at a time when everyone was filled with self-doubt and lacked confidence. He rose to power and woke up an entire nation, a sleeping nation, and gave them, in his words, “A faith to live by and a cause to die for”. How many such leaders can you find today, who for starters, have an ideal world to believe in and then, commit to it completely. He knew how the country thought, he hit them hard with sentiment and belief not knowledge or reason, and it worked better in that route; he united them by a common hatred and it did wonders. He knew the end he wanted to see, the resources that were required and the words to use, the flaws were huge yet, he is a leader who needs to be admired for his clarity of thought, command over human psychology an oratory abilities.

Mohammad Bin Tughluq, the wisest fool as some would call him, was a man well ahead of his times, always on the lookout for fresh new ideas. Today, we call that being creative and innovative. He was the first person to think of the concept of coins way back in the 14th century. He also came up with the idea of keeping record of all the state expenditure and income. Though he never went further ahead after recording the expenditure (reason for its failure) the idea is today, one of the most important means through which we recognize flaws in the system. He waagain, a man who considered himself to be above all, and to be the sole possessor of the powers to change and make laws of the State.

Two leaders, who have been under the microscope for quite some time for their weird genius and well known madness. This just implies that a man cannot be admired or despised completely, there is always that streak of intellect and charisma that is waiting to be admired, and you just have to choose to see it.

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Evil as chaos

Evil is good’s foe, and insanity, or chaos is opponent to order and stability. But at some point of time in our past, the two have gained the same pedestal of fame, or better termed, revulsion. We see anything that threatens the usual order of things as a contender, a nemesis who must be vary of. We hear the terms, when not used for political correctness, used interchangeably; As we observe from most modern horror movies, where ghosts, ghouls, isolated and paranoid humans or oppressive alien races are evil, and insane. From history, we call Hitler, Stalin, Nero and other characters evil AND insane. Now the million dollar question arises: What’s the difference between evil and insanity?

To resolve this dilemma, I call upon two of the world’s most renowned antagonists: The Joker from the batman series and Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. Both of them are portrayed as evil. Both do things the hero tries to prevent. Both look hideous, Joker’s ‘extended’ smile equaled by Voldemort’s lack of a nose. Neither fear justice, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Their goals: Now that’s where things change.
Joker’s acts of villainy are as twisted and manipulative as Voldemort’s. He turns Harvey to the side of chaos by tearing apart all that he believes in, just as Voldemort tries to do. However, the Joker isn’t doing it for personal gain. He does not want money, global  domination or fame. He desires to break people, and make them realize that order is as temporary as chaos. He is unpredictable and incomprehensible. He is insane, because he sees the world differently from the rest, and acts upon his whims.

The Joker

Voldemort

 

Voldemort on the other hand wanted to rule the world. He killed, looted and pilliaged so that people would bow down to him. He manipulated from the shadows, and only made himself apparent to the world when he could best take advantage of it’s ignorance. His moves are predictable, his strategies apparent. He is evil, because he sees the world as most do, but refuse to give in to its imposed ‘rules’.

To be insane is not the same as being evil. To see an alternate world from one’s peers is a double edged sword. Thus the insane are gifted visionaries, but what they do with their talents is guided by how the world acts with them. It can create a Lincoln, and at the same time, a Hitler.

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A Chicken Story: The connotation: 1

A dramatic story where a brave and curious chicken questions the blind faith of society and hence saves it from ignorance and exploitation. True, that certainly would be the summary of the articles formerly presented. But within lies an analysis of what we call in modern years, religion. Here I dismantle the story down to its essence.

The creation of religion by beings developing an understanding of their surroundings: Just as the ‘prophet’ came up with an explanation for not stopping when you’re crossing the street, once upon a time people, human beings, did not understand their surroundings. When lightning flashed or thunder sounded, they did not know the cause, a virtue called ignorance. When people murdered,pillaged or raped, they knew instinctively deep inside that something was wrong, but not why. Again, the cause is ignorance, since people did not understand psychology, that morals are written into our genes. Not so much that  we hold others before our needs, but not so less that we completely disregard them.

One more factor was laws. At the time, countries were small and unstable. The laws of one ruler today may not be the same tomorrow. If people were told to stop fighting, they saw no cause. This was the same case with countries: Peace would be an impossibility in such unstable times.Rulers and advisers knew this. They needed something to hold the people together, something that no one would question. They needed something similar to discipline in the military: Something that would prevent the thought of mutiny from even forming in their minds.

The first two factors can be made into one: Ignorance, or better put, cognital dissonance. People cannot easily handle uncertainty. If a doubt forms in their minds, it must be cleared soon or forgotten. The latter would not be possible in most cases like in science and morals, and security. One had to know who one’s tribe was, and who was his enemy. It was vital to survival.

So, when science lacked the answers, the people had to find a new source: Religion. The idea of an almighty who judges you based on your behavior, holds you fast to your moral code, defines tribe hierarchy, and ALSO affects the universe through the mediums we were yet to understand proved quite convenient. People would now obey laws, have a social hierarchy, and have an ‘understanding’ of the universe, logically flawed though it may be. Often, the fundamental laws of a religion, and its ‘explanation’ of the universe would be based on the state of society during the time of its birth. Examples, you ask?

Consider these three properties of proper, undiluted Christianity.

The idea of requiring biblical study to be eligible for marriage.

The idea that children must be raised to never question their parents.

The idea that marriage should stay within the subgroup.

What is common between them? They ensure that Christianity would be passed on generation to generation, and would never be questioned. The hierarchy of royalty above land lords above peasants and so on would be maintained This was important to the Roman empire, because spread of Christianity would ensure their hold on conquered people.

Move on to Islam. Consider these:

The rule that a husband may have up to five wives as long as they consent. This rule came up during the Arab wars. It was a time when men went off to war, and women were widowed in the thousands. Since women had few (Or no) avenues of employment at the time (Again due to religion), men were required to consent to looking after more than one woman, leading to polygamy.

Another rule forbids Islamic women from marrying men of other religions, while permitting Islamic men to do so. The underlying logic being that, in that day and age, male dominance would ensure the man’s views would guide the family.

These are political traits, meant to ensure survival of a religion. Now move on to preventing cognital dissonance.

The view that the world is the centre of the universe, or rather the solar system since that was the extent of the known universe at the time, is a good example.

The view that the universe was created by ‘God’ Shiva through his celestial dance in Hinduism is another example.

Both of these claims have been refuted by science so far, but their purpose is evident. For a man to believe and follow laws made by another may be difficult. But what if the laws were said to be created by a supreme all-knowing, kind but vengeful, loving but torturous being who could reduce all you stand for to nothing?

Obvious, really.

The chickens made their God for hierarchy, a farce of knowledge and to justify morals. Well, so did we.

 

 

 

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Women’s Cocoon

Kanchipuram  pattupavadai(saree in Tamil )- It is pretty strange how the places and the goods get linked almost like  Siamese twins. Also known as the silk sari, the kanchipuram saris are known world-wide for their design, purity of silk and the money value of the saris to its customers. These saris are woven using man power on simple looms and hence they range lavishly between Rs 2,500 and Rs 1,00,000.

Legend says that the weavers of kanchipuram are the descendants of Markanda – the mythological God who is the master of weaving. He was known to have crafted a tissue from a lotus fibre. Being a religiously bustling and sensitive area, they also believe that silk is lord Vishnu’s ( the creator’s ) favourite, while cotton being Shiva’s ( the destroyer).

The method of weaving is rather interesting to note.

skill of hands

The highly skilled weavers use three shuttles to the left. While the weavers work on the right, his aide works on the left side of the shuttle. They actively use different designs for the borders and the main body of the sari. The pallu ( the hanging portion of the sari) is woven separately and then loosely attached to the body of the sari. The pallu is given a different shade for distinguishing it from the rest. The part where the body and the pallu meet is decorated with a zig-zag pattern.

Over the years, the kanchipuram saris have evolved with the taste of the people, be it colour, design or length of material. The commonly adopted design patterns are peacock, mango, sun, moon, chariot, parrots , coins, etc. One of the famous line designs include Thandavalam where parallel lines run across the sari’s body. Its also interesting to note that sometimes, a set of weavers are also hired  to customize and incorporate gold into this masterpiece.

In 2005, these sari’s began rolling out with a geographical indication label , thus certifying their origin.  No wonder one cannot resist adding kanchipuram before spelling the word sari.

PS: The benefit of wearing these magnificently contrived saris is strictly for women or to bring out the woman in anybody.

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Living now.

If

I die

Today, Would a

leaf  Fall to earth?

Would my soul have touched,

A single life, a

Memory for a

Single tear

Drop?

Is

Life so

Dramatic, theatrical, fantastic

To place in me

A soul of any worth?

A grand creator upon

A mighty throne

Truly feels

This?

An

Animal of

Today perhaps gone

Tomorrow for all eternity

Am I to wait

For this

End?

To

Wait for

A better now

Than Now?

I

Was that

Instant,

Gone.

 

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The topper

The topper sat at his table, eyes fixed upon the sagely man attempting to teach them for the umpteenth time that semester. As usual he could hear the sounds of chatter, gasps as chalk missiles hit their mark and the odd ringtone buzzing across the class. He paid them no heed, turning once in a while to clear his bench mate’s doubts. He knew he was having less of their version of ‘fun’. He nodded his head in understanding as the teacher turned to them.
He knew that they probably mocked him for the way he acted, for how he studied, for the passion he had for his studies. Truth was, he didn’t mind. He sympathized with them. This was the age, after all, when one considers oneself the hero of his own story, a person who would bravely face the world in their own way and one day gain a pile of gold, a beautiful mate and a chariot with ‘Happily ever after’ engraved on it.
Standing up, he clears the doubt that formed in his mind.
It wasn’t naivety, its the age playing on their mind. The truth would come later. The world is filled with hardships, but they hide in the shadows of a child’s eye.
They considers him a villain, one who brings the GPA of the entire class down, a selfish being. Yet they never remember the countless times he has cleared their doubts, the exam mornings where he would patiently explain things to a friend who didn’t bother studying. The countless assignments he had done in advance so that they could copy and submit as well.
The teacher asks the class to quiet down. No response. He notes down the formula the teacher just gave.
They couldn’t understand that he had different interests; That solving sums and reading up and understanding concepts filled him with joy along with knowledge.
The teacher turns around, glowers at the class and asks a question, menace in his voice.
But that was OK, because it’s the age for innocence, and he would not fight that.
Desperation fills the teacher’s eyes, and the class has finally fell silent. He can feel their gazes searching around for someone with an answer, a listener, a savior.
He stands up, and speaks the words that have long been playing at his lips. The teacher calms down, and returns to the board. All is usual.
Whether they wanted him or not, they needed him. For them, he would remain the forgotten hero, the hidden savior.
He would be…

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Unheard stories and Unseen perceptions

Do you see the larger picture?

All of us know the stories of Bhima and Duryodhana, Arjuna and Karna, David and Goliath. One thing common in all these historic face offs is that they are considered to be Good versus Evil, White against black, Super hero against the super villains. After decades of these stories going unquestioned, years of these tales forming our basic and fundamental values it’s time we look back and read the fine print. Figure out with what we pride to have today, logic and reason, who is black and why is it bad by default?

Let us look at the other similarities between these stories, all of the heroes were considered underdogs compared to the villain, weaker in strength yet, righteous in nature and thus they walk away on the winning side, winning the battle, millions of hearts and histories’ crown of fame. Are they really underdogs? Were they denied a fair chance?

Bhima and Duryodhana, they were among the five equally powerful princes in their times and history said, the five will perish in each other’s hands alone. Duryodhana performed a penance to attain the strength and energy, Bhima had Krishna on his side. Both of them were equally equipped I must say, except, Duryodhana had a weakness Bhima did not. The portion above his thighs is the most vulnerable region of his body. Not a problem, because ethics of warfare don’t allow the opponent to target that area. History has always made exceptions to ensure the victory of its heroes, Bhima never adhered to these rules and he was hinted to do so by none other than Krishna, I’m sorry LORD Krishna.

David and Goliath, well, it’s not a similar case. They were not equally equipped, one was stronger the other, weaker. One had a mightier weapon the other, less powerful one, one played by the books while the other did not. The question you have to answer again is who is that one person? Goliath. David carried a sling, a weapon considered most accurate with the ability to out beat infantry; the latter being Goliath’s strength. Goliath challenged David “Come to me”. This sentence only means he was throwing a challenge for a face off. Not an unexpected random attack. Goliath was as recent scientific research says, suffering with a tumor in his head which was the reason he was a giant, the reason he had blurred vision. “Why are you coming to me with sticks” he says, while in reality David was carrying just one stick. The call for a fair battle was unheeded to by the so called underdog, if you still believe he was one.

 

Arjuna and Karna had a similar situation.  Karna was on his feet trying to pull out his chariot from the

Employing deceitful methods in face of a strong enemy, breaking the ethics of warfare which in those times were considered sin and to top it all doing this in the name of righteousness; I present to you, our super heroes. ground when he was killed.

There is evil in everyone, it is just situational that the evil never sees the light of day. Just because there are black spots on the sheet, you cannot choose to ignore the white bits or give the one with a pure white sheet an exception in the name of “greater good”. Think.Percieve.There is a lot more behind the scenes.

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It’s About YOU!

What is Youtube? The question brings a spontaneous answer from anyone who has visited the website – the third largest on the internet. It is a video sharing website, on which users can upload, view and share videos. This definition is a rather modest way to talk about something as powerful as Youtube, which has commanded a ground-breaking change in the face of mass media.

Youtube was created by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in early 2005. They were formerly employees of PayPal. Youtube has been owned by Google since late 2006. The story of how it began is a peculiar one. One night Hurley, Chen and Karim were frustrated at having difficulties in sharing a video which they took at a party, with their friends. On that weary night, the three of them realized that the world was short of a place where people could share videos with ease. But the real inspiration for the website came from the rather frivolous rating and dating site called hotornot.com. What fascinated them the most about this site was the fact that the website ran purely on the user’s terms. The users submitted pictures for other users and rated pictures posted by other users. In a conventional website, the developers would have to regularly update the website with content that their users could relate to. But this website was different – the users generated their own content, and the developers were brought down to mere onlookers.

Founders of Youtube

The trio found the concept to be divine. It challenged a certain status quo in the internet world. It shifted the purpose of a web entity from being a user-developer interaction to a user-user interaction. Interestingly it was a similar concept that inspired Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook.

Youtube was born when the three friends decided to pool in their resources to create a website that solved their problem and satisfied their ego. It allowed people to share videos easily and at the same time, it made the user the centre of the website. The results were surreal.

Over the years, Youtube’s stronghold has been the way it has effortlessly connected itself with all kinds of audience. It a literal sense, Youtube has a place for everyone. The developers would consider it a success to have had their website withdraw itself from the convention of displaying movie trailers and music videos, and instead, branch out to various other precincts in the world of visual entertainment – some of the more famous and yet common ones being fun videos and podcasts. Padilla and Hexcox’s experiment with Smosh is a good case in point. The college duo used the name Smosh to upload video content related to their day to day activities. The popularity of these videos grew to a point where they became viral. Today, although Smosh’s Youtube Channel has just 323 videos, it has amassed an affluent 13 million subscribers. It makes Smosh more popular than traditional bands, film studios and music group channels. Such is the potency of Youtube – it has broken tradition barriers and quite literally imposed a certain freedom of expression, in the form of videos. Anyone can be a creator.

But the strength of Youtube, as of today, cannot be merely accredited to the diversity of videos it displays. The brand Youtube stands for much more. As the tagline puts it, Youtube urges you to “Broadcast Yourself”. The brand intends to be a place where people can broadcast and express themselves. The user centric identity of the website which inspired the PayPal trio a decade ago has been an essential part of Youtube’s strategy to ascertain its dominance ever since. That aspect of the user being in control of the viral trends in video expression is an uncompromising factor for the Youtube developers. It makes the brand stand a cut above the rest.

Although Youtube does face a few problems like censorship and streaming issues, no other website in the world had displayed such potency in excavating user involvement in their website. More than anything else, Youtube is a tool which can be used to better the lives of potentially millions. And it all starts with You!

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A chicken Story II

Going back to doodles, we find he’s in a difficult situation. He knows what’s happening is wrong, that the holy egg wouldn’t want to harm poor coodles, who’s never hurt anyone. But he looks around, and he sees everyone else who believes, and he decides all of them can’t be wrong. Right before his eyes, they burn coodles to death.

As years pass, more and more chickens believe in the holy egg and his love, and how he taught his followers to follow the one path across the street. In the mean time, roodles has become a leader among the chickens, and goes place to place preaching, and living in luxury because he’s the chosen voice of the holy egg. He tells people that if someone doesn’t believe in the holy egg, they were created by the evil cat Beelzebub to destroy Egg’s goodness. He also tells them that the Cat’s favourite pastime is stewing his own followers, and that the sins of believers will be forgotten no matter how heinous, if they pray hard enough.

While they cross this large street, sometimes a car would run over a chicken, or a chicken would find a bag of feed lying on the ground. Roodles tells them that it’s the will of God, that anyone who angers Him will get run over, and those who love him will get bags of feed or other goodies.

Doodles doesn’t like this either. Why would Egg run over the poor chickens when they hadn’t crossed the street yet? What if a good chicken got run over? Why did Egg not let him cross the street? So one day, he gets on with his pals and puts up cameras at different points along the street. When they check the videos, they find that it was humans and some other creatures who put up the feed and killed the chickens. When noodles tried to find out whether humans did work for Egg, he finds that they don’t know about him and really don’t care.

Now doodles is confused. A lot of the stuff roodles said was proved wrong, and he could explain why Egg wasn’t behind the feed or the cars.

The story doesn’t end here. So wait for the sequel, and be ready for it!

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Turn the leaf , Flip the coin

After much thought and debate I really fail to understand one thing. There have been many unacceptable crimes in the past like the Delhi rape incident. The leaders like Anna Hazare who tried bringing about political change by mobilizing crowd or the similar protest and candle lighting ceremonies during Jessica Lal’s murder case or the 26/11 attack, have they made any difference. ??? The thrill and the support for Anna Hazare has vanished to trenches now and the justice for 26/11 attacks hasn’t brought about any difference as Mumbai and even India still remain prone to terrorists attacks !

HOW LONG ARE WE JUST GOING TO KEEP GATHERING LIKE THIS?? MAY BE FOR A DAY?? AND THEN? FORGET ABOUT IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES?? We are a democratic nation but not as democratic as the USA. Raise your voices and you will be thrown behind bars in India. Do you all believe a pen is mightier than a sword?! .The wise have stated this for a reason!. Instead of gathering like this and assuming that women empowerment and protection will be in immediate effect, pen down an article, a very aggressive one, without taking any political sides or become the CJ for CCN IBN and they will submit it to the home minister! The blood may ruffle seeing the injustice around us. Please realize the cause of such crime rates is due to raunchy stuff in cinemas and the explicit content in Porn websites that leave men excited in the society.

Follow an unbeaten path.! Prove that this generation is different from the previous! Realize that such campaigns are making no difference! Don’t waste your time and energy! Please don’t misunderstand me. I am also a citizen after all who is outraged by such incidents. But I prefer finding solace in the pen than a sword. For all you know the written complaints might even make such campaigns stronger! To conclude, I feel that we (guys) have a right to talk about women protection and participate in these campaigns only if you haven’t succumbed to porn and thought ill about women even once in your life. First be ashamed of yourself and then criticize others. Wake up people!

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