IITx diaries. Episode-1

smoochHe and she were sitting adjacent, actually more proximate, well frankly smothered into the other, on the rear-most step of the Open air theatre in-campus late at night. Let’s step back a moment. Well we do literally need to so as to give them some privacy. Now literal-qualms aside, metaphorically taking a step back to ponder a deep philosophical injunction, why need it be a he and a she?

No, now don’t get all creative and start imagining plural forms of either or both pronoun. Did you know mélange a trios used to be an accepted, or rather still is, a form of social co-habitation in Europe? I want to go Europe. To see the Eiffel tower ofcourse! What were you thinking? Back to business with the he and the she, why need there be this gender duality in a relationship-duo. Given we are liberals in the 21st century, we take no issue if it were a he and a he, smooching the life out of the other! Did that scene where the Dementor sucks the life out of Harry’s luscious lips flash in your head? Did I spoil Harry Potter for you forever? Let’s hope not. Or it could as well be a she and a she (giggles!). What? I am no intolerant bigot! Isn’t humor an inexplicable thing? People find humor in death. Well, some do. Crimes-against-humanity did not sell-out for no reason. A she with a she can’t be more ominous than mortis can it?

2000px-sexual_orientation_-_4_symbols-svgNow having established it could just as well have been a he with a he, or a she with a she, let’s just contend with the fact that on that particular fateful night, fateful as because we voyeurs trained our telescopes upon them, the them, or grammatically speaking, they, chanced to be a he and a she. And we shall not judge them for sticking, quite cloyingly, to conventional gender duality of the most populous binary relationship-type in society. So what where they doing? They were smooching (giggles!).

They were at it, for quite a while now, and one could almost see that despite the flushed face and bated breath, their lips pressed against were drained of blood and deathly pale. The guy actually wanted to just hold hands and peer into her eyes, the gateway to her soul (sigh, clichéd, I know!), but the girl wouldn’t hear of it. She was a progressive she said, whatever it meant, and she wanted this thing, which for reasons of propriety and censorship shall not be juicily detailed. But it suffices to say that it involved lips, tongue, and human saliva- a slightly alkaline fluid of pH-7.4, that aids in deglutition (fancy term for swallowing) and got amylase (an enzyme aka biocatalyst) that initiates digestion of starch. But she wanted it, she was bossy and a feminist, both traits totally unrelated, and he being a gentleman listened and complied with shocking readiness.

The pale lips in due course got numb, not unsurprisingly as anyone with experience would know (do I smell pride? Envy? Disgust? hey, its fiction remember). And with numbness comes an irking lack of satisfaction and that concomitant veil of boredom. The guy wants to go back to his room now. He got to study electron wave function for the quantum electrodynamics test the next day. But he can’t tell her that. She was too cool, and above all, was a girl. He knew given his brilliant track-record with people who carried two X chromosomes, the probability of he getting within two feet of another women in his lifetime was slim at best, and non-existent on a more conservative estimate. Does this make him desperate? Aren’t we all desperate for love (emphatic pause for effect!)?

wave-equation(After an unnecessary split of paragraph to exacerbate the pause!) He wondered what if she was the one, that it was meant to be. Just then the girl does something unexpected. Why, because the narrative required something dramatic to happen. It had gotten into a slog for a while now. The dramatic thing, yes, the girl does it. She picks up her phone, takes a pic, and sends him a copy. She doesn’t upload it with a string of cheesy cheery charming smiley’s on the social media, which is enormously unexpected and a tad dramatic. Less significantly, she says, remember me, and she disappears in a blink.

Too dramatic? Well, who’s to say. What, you? Give it a break. What happened of creative freedom, free speech, tolerance at least? Let’s stick with the fact. And the fact was, as we now shall believe, she disappears. Poof! And the guy blinks. Well, the girl disappears in a blink too. Whether she blinked at that precise moment she disappeared stands to reason. Given it isn’t of any importance, her blink, as much as the guy’s blink, let’s let it slide. (Disclaimer- No, we are not giving any less importance to the girl’s blink because she is a woman. She just was so super-awesome-adroit-quick-skilled in blinking that we couldn’t record if she blinked.)

Guy blinks, girl disappears. Let’s replay, the guy blinks, he notices a stern rap on his shoulder. No, it’s not parallel universes. We abhor the multiverse hypothesis. The two needn’t necessarily be mutually-exclusive in the same universe (pardon the double negative, I know it’s a crime. I should be hanged! maybe after am dead)- he blinks, she disappears, and he notices a stern rap on his shoulder. The next moment, he’s up, wiping the copious drool from the corner of his mouth, the left cheek, in fact his entire face, and from the notebook with the half-scribbled quantum wave equation, staring back at him in dreadful disarray.

No, he wasn’t dreaming. We shall not have an anticlimactic clichéd end. It wasn’t a dream. She was real, she disappeared, and as he blinked, he was teleported through time-and-space into the quantum electrodynamics exam next day. You doubt it? Think it’s too convenient? Consider this. For the sake of sanity, he checks his phone and there she is, with him beside, in the pic she had shared. Convinced? At least he was, and a foolish smug smile lights up on his face. He looks at the test paper again. Matter is a particle and a wave. The pitiful Schrodinger’s cat is dead, and is alive. The probability distribution for an electron at all points outside nucleus is non-zero, even for large distances, though howsoever infinitesimally small the probability gets. Disappearing, poof, in a blink, while unheard-of, could be extant. As could teleportation, with no device or wand or Dumbledore’s watch. Beyond all, there is a non-zero probability, howsoever close to zero on the numberline, of him having a girl who would walk along by his side, be-it-may by chance, for at least the measure of a good long 2 feet. Having said that, he could totally nail the smooch. The pic proves that he did.  The bell rings. Exams over. The probability of him flunking the test is 1 (definitive!). He strides to the door, gets out the hall, and blinks at the bright sunlight, just as a hand appears, linking its fingers with his, and the body attached to that hand is the girl in the pic. Sure thing, quantum doesn’t make sense. And here is why, it needn’t!



On Reading Books and Going Nuts!

In response to the IndiSpire,

‘Reading books has reduced dramatically in today’s youth. Kids who read books are treated as socially incapable nerds. What is your take on this topic?’


read-booksNope. No no no no no! Hope the too many no’s add mileage to my argument as when I quip, no (again!!), we young men and fellow women do read!

Time for a quick survey, ‘if you are in the honorable age-group of teen’s and twenties’, poke ur mom n dad, and get a number for the books they read back then’.  You are well advised to poke them separately, for we don’t want to pique in them a burly competition. As when I did, the numbers soared as at auction!

Now let’s put on our poker face and get objective. There are three cute-little red-ribboned reasons I base my claim upon.

One, we got more avenue. Reading books in my Kindle counts!! I got a library in my hand. And I don’t need subject self to the misery of going to the end of a poorly written book just cos I bought it or took that horrendous ride to the city library in noon traffic. I can also always jump books and read one I find relish in. Allows one to experiment with genres, authors and literary styles. Plus, downloading is cheap. Believe me. I know one needs calories to lift the index-finger and click on the ‘download’ icon. But potatoes are cheap too. And potatoes give calories.

Two, more books around, courtesy the many IIT and IIM pass-outs so bent on telling us their heartaches, breaks, and baked-cakes, adding to the already burgeoning freelance writers. We all need thank Microsoft for MS Word, for making it possible, and charming. Fountain pens and typewriters sure got their antique appeal and romantic feel, but believe me, its easy doing spell-check on Word. And flipcart gets me a book written by an author on the other side of the globe in no time. Actually 5 days. But thanks to Tim Berners, WWW can shrink the 5 days to 5 seconds of transaction and I start reading my book on my dimmed flat screen right away.

Quite very truly, IT has made more books possible, and in retrospect, it would be wrong that people would publish as avidly as they do today, if there was no readership! Reduction ad absurdum!! Thus our initial assumption that readership among youth (majority population, except for in Japan) is taking a plunge is incorrect. Also, that would be all latin I know!

And third, Global Warming! I hate to go play in heat and even for going out, my girlfriend is ever bothered of her complexion. So we sit home and read. Honest!

Switching to the part about socially incapable nerds, well, I want to collapse that part of the topic in wordplay. Yummy! Now nerd by definition, from a dictionary which conveniently gave the definition I was looking for, is ‘someone dedicated to non-social pursuit’. So by definition, thankfully, their focus is on things other than improving their social capability and getting dates! But the definition (again!) sure doesn’t mean that they need be socially awkward.

I think its just the pop-culture and macho-bro-code sensationalized in television, where they think digging into a book makes you socially sick. Let’s get real! Ask any girl, she will always pick a well-read guy to one born-and-bred in a gym. And well if she doesn’t, then don’t bother asking her out. She probably belongs to the clan who feel ‘Earth is the best planet in the world’. Skip! Pass! Run!

images (26)I just don’t think one becomes boring from reading. I think the pop-culture reference came about as because those who are socially withdrawn retreat into books. And this may have got caught up and glamourised. Thus, social ineptness and books relate in being the other way than as stated. Being bookish aint gona make you socially awkward. But, chances are that if you are socially awkward, you will go on an extended holiday into your world of books. And frankly, I think that’s okay.

Thanks reading. Do finish the survey. And lets join hands to plant trees (actually plant saplings which then may grow into trees!!), not cut down more and make this place less warm. But then that will bring down readership of books! Who cares! I will get to go out and play in a greener cooler earth. Plus, there will be girls out too taking walks in their giggly girlie gangs! Which is, kind of, cute!