Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Endpoint of Electronics City

People think, probably rightly, that Electronics City is a special economic zone(SEZ) or something. Then, how come we stay in Electronics City? They keep asking. After all, an SEZ isn't supposed to have residential complexes in it, isn't it? I don't know the answer. I write Electronics City in my residential address. I have probably expected a couple of mails or parcels at my residential address so far. They have all reached me. And my guests have never lost their way too. So, colloquially, our residence is indeed within the Electronics City limits. But formally, probably not.

Where is the formal boundary of Electronics City? I don't know who could give me the precise answer. But a bit of looking around gives me a hint. I guess, the answer is: Wipro Gate.

I clicked a few photographs this afternoon while on my way to office after lunch. The sudden contrast in the scenery seems to be a reliable enough indicator. I am quoting some of the photos in this post. For a few more, you are welcome to visit the album.

That's before Wipro Gate
Red Carpet welcome and Guard of Honour right on crossing Wipro Gate

A lake bang in the middle of the road

Glimpse of the hell

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To Avoid Gross Generalisations

Here's a list of the kind of generalisations I am talking about:

  • Muslims are terrorists.
  • Men are sex-maniacs.
  • Women are poor in mathematics.
  • Wearing short dresses increases your risk of being raped.
  • Intellectuals are socially impaired.
We live with many such generalisations, most of them are true bullshit. But we often have to tolerate them. People all around us throw at us such nonsense everyday. Opposing each and everyone of them would throw you out from fashionable gatherings in no time. So, there's often no other way but to keep quiet.

But we must protect ourselves at all costs from one thing: making such generalisations ourselves.

Here's one simple trick.

Almost all these generalisations are of the form: "G is/are C." where G is a group of people, and C is a characteristic.

Now, before you admit to any generalisation of the above form, check also if the following are true:
  1. not G is C.
  2. G is not C.
  3. not G is not C.
The first, not G is C, means that people not belonging to the group G have the characteristic C. If so, the generalisation probably doesn't hold.

The second, G is not C, means that there are people belonging to the group G who don't have the characteristic C. If so, this too weakens the case for your generalisation.

The third and the last one, not G is not C, means that people not belonging to the group G are found not to have the characteristic C.

Only after you have examined your hypothesis from all the above angles is there is any significant probability that the hypothesis is well-founded. Otherwise, it's merely a thought, a stereotyping, a gross generalisation.

You may find the above little trick useful to work your way through any unpleasant argument that you may unfortunately get into with someone making an intolerable generalisation. But, without fail, make sure you put it to good use against getting trapped yourself making any such generalisation.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Fall of The Hero

Yesterday, when our housemaid was about to leave after finishing her work, her umbrella broke. I tried to see if I could fix it. I fiddled around with the rods, and buttons and springs and the linkages and the unwieldy cloth on top for a while. Eventually, I found the matter to be more complex than I could handle, and meekly surrendered.

All this action had an audience in my son Vigyan who watched with rapt attention, repeatedly coming dangerously close to all the poky things coming out the broken umbrella and had to be shooed away. He was watching his dad try fixing an umbrella!

Eventually, I handed over the separate pieces to our housemaid begging her pardon and asking her to take them to an umbrella-maker. She left. And we were about get back to our own respective chores and forget all about the little incident when Vigyan did something that made sure that this little incident would stay forever etched in my mind.

I felt a pull on my shirt, and I saw an almost teary-eyed Vigyan looking up at me. I took him in my arms when he asked: 'Baba! I know you are very strong? Then why couldn't you fix the umbrella?'

It was just a matter of time. It had to happen. This painful experience is the destiny of every son and daughter to realise that his father is not the strongest person in the world but an ordinary mortal. That the father too fails and falters like everyone else.

While I hailed him with kisses and hugs, I told him that even strong people can't do everything. My own eyes welled up to imagine how many times Vigyan will be subjected to the excruciating experience of witnessing his father's weaknesses!


Vigyan's Points of View