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Saturday, December 10, 2011

People of the songs

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When you hear a song, what who do you think of? Of course, it doesn’t happen with most, but some songs are engraved in my memory by their association to key people and events. It’s a good thing, in a way, because whenever I hear that song, those people and those times always pop up in my memory. Of course, for this to happen, one must like the song (unless we are talking about sad memory or event associated with the song). So which songs have associations for me?

When I first met my then fiancé Radhika, we went to Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani as our first movie. Kaise Batayein song from that movie has in effect become anthem of our relationship.

One of the most beautiful romantic song from movie Mohra is Na Kajre Ki Dhar. Even though this movie came out in 1997, I was unaware of this song till 2009. Since then, it always reminds me of my friend Hemant Dujari who first introduced it to me.

When I was little, I would tease my two younger brothers with संदर्भ सहित व्याख्या (expostulation with context) of this sweet song from Kaajal (1965). Although Mere Bhaiya Mere Chanda is addressed to a brother from his sister, my repeated annoying description really didn’t dwell into meaning much. Now that those years have passed since then, song always drags me to those nights when getting me to shut up would have been on top priority of my two younger brothers.

It was in Gwalior, sometime in 1993, when we bought our first big size audio cassette player and recorder. Since then cassette player, CD player, MP3 player and iPod have come and gone. This deck is still sitting somewhere in the house, though hardly never used these days. Very first cassette we purchase for this was of Roja. It was then I found out that Chhoti Si Aasha is my dad’s the favourite song.

On occasion of Sangeet ceremony during my marriage, my mother danced on this Banna Banni song from Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi. There were many dances that day, naturally, but her face and eyes betrayed the joy which has burned an image on my mind. Such pure joy, such true love, from a mother towards first wedding of the family, has only increased my respect for her.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You can’t deny

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There are certain allegations that just cannot be denied. By very design, any denial supports the accusations. I can recollect two now:
  • You are too defensive
  • You always have to be correct
Consequently, any such accusation is conversation stopper. What does that say about accuser? What more can you think of?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are four billion years not enough?

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Concept of evolution of specie is really as complex to truly understand as easy it appears to understand. No wonders myths abound. I didn’t know, for example, that evolution doesn’t favour survival of the fittest specie but of the fittest gene. Or that, evolution neither guarantees nor ensures improvement in quality of life or quality of specie. Evolution doesn’t necessarily mean increase in complexity as well, despite what appears to be the case as we human see ourselves at bottom of tree of biological evolution. Evolutionary outcomes are also not necessarily global optima for its members. In language of Prisoner's Dilemma, while best strategy to ‘cooperate’ for both, evolutionary stable strategy would be to ‘defect’ for both.

Yet, theory of evolution is invoked many a times in explaining natural behaviour of any animal. Why do giraffes have long neck? Why do turtles have hard shell? Why did birds learn to fly? Why are human omnivore? Strange markings on the fish? Sounds of whale? Speed of tiger? And so on. You can think of, might have heard about, or can imagine evolutionary reason behind all this. Sometimes theory to so stretched so as to appear force-fitted. But most of the times, experts will confidently claim that the reasons giraffes have long necks is that, by chance of genetic mutation, those who ended up with longer necks had advantage in foraging leaves from tall trees, and hence could survive longer, and are able to pass on their genes ([1],[2],[3]). Such explanation is offered for any and every type of behaviour. I wonder, naturally.

Given enough time, if theory of evolution in current form is correct, any tiniest of difference can provide one gene higher survival than other, to the extent that other gene is no longer part of genetic pool of that specie. Given enough time, then, it seems natural that there should ultimately be only very-very few species that would prevail. If human have genetic advantage over gorilla, over time, only homo-sapiens should remain surviving specie. That’s how we are explained non-existent of pink tiger i.e. reason tiger have stripes. Yet, number and variety of species in existence has only been growing with time.

Does this mean that it’s merely matter of time? That four billion years of life on earth is insufficient for evolution of THE ONE specie? Perhaps. But what’s more important to understand if we are even moving in that direction? I don’t think so. Where lies my misunderstanding of evolution?

Edit 02/09/2011: Please read comments for discussion/clarification.

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