Tag Archives: Write ups

Jumpy

Eastern grey kangaroo mother carrying a joey in her pouch

Mum kangaroo loved her baby. Why wouldn’t she? Her world had changed after she saw her baby. HER baby. It gave her a sense of pride, a sense of happiness. It was a joy just to see the baby, turn into a bigger baby. She always kept the baby close to her heart. Never letting the baby go out of her sight.

Time went by and the baby grew up. Much to the Mum’s surprise, the baby was now old enough to make Mum a grandmum! But that was for the world. For Mum, baby always remained a baby. One day, baby told her Mum that she was curious. Baby wanted to see the world. Mum said, “I’ll come with you.” But baby, wanted to be alone. “ABSURD. RIDICULOUS.” Mum said. This changed behaviour of baby shocked Mum. She never thought baby could ever want to go away from her.

Mum kangaroo had a friend. That friend stayed on a tree and laid eggs in a nest. So everyone called her Birdie. Every once in a while, the eggs would turn into little birdies. Then Mum birdie would save food to feed them, and work double shift to cope up with the pressure.

One day Mum kangaroo saw something strange. Mum birdie was pushing her little birdies off the high branch. Mum kangaroo yelled, shrieked. Called Mum birdie names for pushing her little ones away and letting them go. But Mum birdie motivated her little ones to jump. They looked at their Mum and took a leap of faith. They fell and they fell! Mum kangaroo closed her eyes and opened only when she heard the sky full of exuberant chirps. Little ones were soaring high!

Then Mum birdie came down, near Mum kangaroo. Kangaroo asked her, “Now your children know how to fly on their own. Would they come back to your nest?” Mum birdie just smiled and said, “Maybe they will. Maybe they wont. But watching them soar is worth the risk. I didn’t want my worry stop my little ones from doing something so wonderful. Sometimes, you just have to let go and believe in what you have taught your children. Things turn out fine.”

Mum kangaroo didn’t sleep that night.

A year had passed since then. Aftrer that night, Mum kangaroo withdrew the boundaries and let baby go. Baby never came back… Instead there was a kangaroo, fully grown. She looked so pretty even Mum couldn’t recognize HER baby. She only recognized her when out of her pocket came a little one, new baby! Mum kangaroo jumped and landed on the ground as a grandmum. That leap was worth it. She quickly held new baby to which her baby said, “Careful!” Grandmum just smiled with a sense of pride, with a sense of happiness and said, “I know…”

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#15 Write Ups: The Games We Play

Since past couple of weeks, I haven’t been doing anything productive. A result of a work heavy month which literally wore me out. I just sat in front of my gaming console and enjoyed butchering random characters, escorting them to their cyber graves. And I enjoyed it to be honest. I enjoyed the fact that I am the most powerful character in the game’s universe. I needn’t worry about dying as I can load the game again. And just like in any game, I am destined to win.

Maybe this is the reason why violent games are so in fashion. We, as gamers; don’t have to fear the consequences. There is always an easy way out. But the puzzle of our life is not a video game. Right?

Well, technically speaking modern open world games have created a real life experience for us. The expressions, the stories, the characters all look very believable as we play the game. The maps in the world of video games are huge. Yet, the way our console can present that level of detail is that it only renders the field of view. One perspective, one point of view at a time. A nerd named Ray Kurzweil has predicted that considering the accelerating progress in technologies, it will be possible to build a supercomputer more powerful than the human brain by 2045. So suppose we do build a supercomputer that can simulate the game of life for us, what else do we want? Isn’t life all about the experience of it?

Going even more crazy now, what if we have built a supercomputer so strong already? And we have decided to connect ourselves to that singularity in order to do as we please, without any consequence? Just to safeguard the integrity of the game we have erased that bit from our memory. Our mind is the console, rendering one point of view at a time.

If we are in the game, we are at the mercy of the supercomputer. We don’t have the controller in our hands. It is just the illusion of control. We are in the game, we are a character. Some character. We don’t even know if we are the good one, the bad one or the insignificant one. We don’t know if we will respawn once we are gone. We don’t know whether the game will restart. We don’t know the rules. That’s what makes it so confusing; matters beyond our control. Matters beyond our understanding.

This is the reason to fear. And ironically this is the reason not to fear. Whatever is the story of the game, it will take us forward. We will do things, as the story suggests us to. We will win sometimes, just to keep the game “lively”. And we will lose sometimes, just to keep the game “lively”. We just have to do our best in whatever the story unfolds.

If you ask a supercomputer, the proof of its consciousness it will give you one. But only if it is programmed to give you. The supercomputer will know for sure that the proof is obvious. But is it? Consciousness is such an unthinkable phenomenon, something so obvious that is why so dubious. We can sure give the proof of being self aware; being in control of ourselves. But we can never be sure if we are the ones pulling the strings.

Einstein was just as useless as I am. Maybe even more. He wrote this:

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace the whole of nature in its beauty.
Note: In all this nonsense, my next level has loaded. Need to take some more characters closer to their destinies.

#2 The Last Great Fighter

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”

~ Tony Hillerman

 

Some things make you sad for no reason. By God’s grace, some things make you happy for no reason. It seems like it is all fair in the end. The granddaddy of all the accountants sitting up there looks down and says, this guy has worked a lot this week, he can have this and sends something like this!

The premise is set in the chilly mountains where Bruce Wayne trained himself, or to be more particular, 50 miles off Tokyo. It is the year 2222, and the weather conditions are just like they are today, or probably the way they were in 2002 when the film was shot. A sense of optimism bloomed inside me as I realised this – Global warming is a myth after all.

The film begins with two great warriors who have taken shelter in an empty flat, who have a dislike for each other. It turns out that the dislike is not reciprocated by the other warrior who prefers grunting over wordly pleasures. Maybe that is because he has already sinned enough by stealing the other warrior’s Bible and shooting his dog.

Nervousness builds in the air as we run out of words. Nervousness builds in the air. But as Sherman Alexie has said in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, ‘Scared means you don’t want to play. Nervous means you want to play.’ They enter into a battle which involves no weapon but their bare hands. And with a swift move of his palms, the warrior on the right sends the warrior on the left to his final resting place – the deadly wall.

It is rare to find a video with such a genuine raw feel to it! I would love to know the backstory of this film because I know there has to be one. I want to know what inspired these guys to invest their time in something so experimental like this. It takes us back to the time when YouTube was a simple video sharing site without the glamour it has today. We have come so far and the journey has been great. But every once in a while, it is nice to look back and enjoy some moments like this!

(I hope you wait for the post credits scene.)

#2 Timeless Classics – The Gold Rush by Charlie Chaplin (1925/1943)

After watching The Kid I could hardly resist watching yet another legendary film of the Tramp. I wanted to keep my journey as linear as possible but I could not find a good print of Woman of Paris (1923) or Shoulder Arms. I had to settle with this one.

Before we begin, here is some trivia about the film:

1. Chaplin himself declared several times that this was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered.

2. It is the fifth highest grossing silent film in cinema history and the highest grossing silent comedy film with $4,250,001 at the box office in 1926, now that’s a gold rush.

3. The film was re-released in 1942 with a newer music score, tighter edit and a narration by the maker himself. I watched the version with the narration. The new music score by Max Terr and the sound recording by James L. Fields were nominated for Academy Awards in 1943.

4.  The “roll dance” the tramp character performs in the film is considered one of the most memorable scenes in film history used again in many other films as a tribute or just because it’s too good.

5. For the special effects in the movie, a remarkably convincing miniature mountain range was created out of timber (a quarter of a million feet, it was reported), chicken wire, burlap, plaster, salt and flour. The spectacle of this Alaskan snowscape improbably glistening under the baking Californian summer sun drew crowds of sightseers.

I’ve begun to decode his formulae with his second film. What Chaplin does is he creates a very minute complication, something like sharing a shoe with Big Jim or surviving the blizzard and one problem leads to another where the innocence of the little tramp wins our heart.

Throughout the film I hated the character of Georgia. Even her pretty face seems ugly when she laughs with cruelty at our hero. I felt her character non gripping and uni dimensional. It was not just our hero in the Kid but also the kid and even his mother that shaped the intriguiing structure of the film. Over here, it was more or less Chaplin and to some extent Big Jim that felt lovable. Maybe the great showman wanted to portray the utter bargain based world, seeking for something in return from you.

I’ve mentioned the special effects above. For further understanding watch the video linked over here. The best part about all these effects, keeping aside there was no digital film making back then is the illusion that they create. We all know that this, what is happening in front of us is fake. We all know that Chaplin did not make the cliff fall off for his film. But the overall experience including the amount of details put into the act, the music and even the impeccable expressions of the actors make us wonder for just a second, how did they do this?

I loved the repetitive Chaplin style parts which make you laugh even though they are quite senseless. They celebrate the beauty of cinema. I wasn’t quite impressed by the story. Having watched quite a few films on the same premise could’ve hampered this statement. (I tend to dislike most of the classics in the first go due to all the hype!) And I was astonished with the awesome visual effects. In short, I can’t wait for another film by this little master.

 

#8 Write ups – Adapt. In Multiples. (2012)

If the balance sheet tallies at the end of the year without any hassle– they party. But it doesn’t happen always…

Turning 20 is sort of sort of sort of…  a paradigm shift. It is this fancy line that you cross (willingly or unwillingly) and then you are ready to embrace life. The way people react to it really makes me feel that after 20 your brain emits these super neural signals that equip you with

Option A. Ultrasonic audibility – so that you can hear what they just say in their mind and act in the suitable way

Option B. Two extra hands (Devi style, sprouting from your armpits) – for extra involuntary work

Option C. The John Travolta smile – embrace life, remember? To be content with what may come along

And you know what? THEY are right. You build your arsenal slowly. But eventually you find yourself upgraded with these weapons at your hand. (putyournamehere) Volume 2.o

Darwin (held up by his Dumbledore-like beard) suggested that humans evolved from animals. We developed our advanced methods, rules and system en route. And to make the never-ending story short, we are at the top of the food chain (figuratively of course) because we are good at adjusting to the environment. We are adroit at calculating thecompound interest on our investment in any manner.

Any manner, absolutely

Yesterday, today and tomorrow – three entities separated by merely anything. It just takes a moment for today to transform into yesterday. Doesn’t this scare you? I mean the whole concept of IS being just another WAS, in a jiffy?

The song which once upon a time was our ringtone, is now not even in our memory card. The people without whom we thought life was impossible are just another chapter in our love story. Why talk about others, we look at our favourite pictures and proclaim that we looked different then. Our own emotions become a joke for us.

Why?

Because they are ‘Yesterday’. And we are ‘Today’. But ‘Tomorrow’ for someone we will be ‘Yesterday’. And we wont be worth a penny.

If the balance sheet tallies at the end of the year without any hassle– they party. But it doesn’t happen always. Simply because we forget to count those things, which actually count. Those intangible assets of ours… Goodwill – the chapter that we all skip in our accounts paper. We keep scratching our heads, adding and subtracting again and again and again. And we can’t find out what went wrong. Tedious calculations and our advanced methods are not enough to solve the most complex problems. Therefore common sense, free will and a good sense of humour have their own importance.