Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Truth Regarding India's National Anthem

There's an email forward going around telling that India's national anthem was composed praising King George and his queen. I don't want to thrash this view. I just want you to hear all the facts behind it, and then decide how wonderful a poet Rabindranath Tagore is...

The email forward says these things:

To begin with, India's national anthem, Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919. To honour their visit Pandit Motilal Nehru had the five stanzas included, which are in praise of the King and Queen.
 Well this IS right... But you have to read this after hearing what Rabindranath Tagore himself said about this:
"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."
 And just that clarification is enough for anyone to understand what Tagore really meant.

But the email continues:
In the original Bengali verses only those provinces that were under British rule, i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha etc. were mentioned. None of the princely states were recognized which are integral parts of India now Kashmir, Rajasthan, Andhra, Mysore or Kerala. Neither the Indian Ocean nor the Arabian Sea was
included, since they were directly under Portuguese rule at that time.
Well, he mentioned "Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha, Dravida and Orissa and Benga." What more would you except from a poet who was writing a poem, all the states of India? (and their capitals too?) Hey! When did Kerala come into existence?

And then the mail continues to give some snippets of translation from all the stanzas of the whole Jana Gana Mana

The intention of that article is clear. And that explains why only parts of the following stanzas were translated, and not the complete translation [well, if you haven't read that article yet, go here and read it, I don't want to disgrace my blog copy pasting the thing here]

Click here to read the real and complete translation of all the five stanzas of Jana Gana Mana

When you read that you can find these phrases:
Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!
 The way of life is somber as it moves through ups and downs.
But we, the pilgrims, have followed through ages.
Oh! Eternal Charioteer, the wheels of your chariot
echo day and night in the path

Oh! You who guide the people through tortuous path!
Through nightmares and fears
You protected us on Your lap
Oh Loving Mother.

 By the halo of Your compassion
India that was asleep is now waking
Now tell me, was Tagore referring to King George or mother India? He got Nobel Prize not for nothing.

Be proud to be an Indian
(I hereby permit to make this an email forward provided that the whole text remains including this link to the blog Blissful Life @ http://asdofindia.blogspot.com)


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Friday, December 18, 2009

Type in Indic, Greek, Arabic Anywhere, Anytime With Google IME

Google's transliteration feature has been of great help to Indian's looking to type in their own languages. But to use it one had to be connected internet.

But our dear Google (G capital for God and Google) has again come for our help. They're providing an IME tool which when installed works as a new language in your windows system (yeah that language bar you tried so many times to hide, you're gonna need that)
You can just type in the language you choose even in notepad.

Google Transliteration IME is currently available for 14 different languages - Arabic, Bengali, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

First you'll have to download the language pack you need from this page.

And don't cut the internet connection

Then when you run the file it will download the files it need, install itself and disappear into nothingness.

Then when you're clueless about what to do, go to the Google Transliteration IME help page Google Transliteration Input Method (IME) Help there. (You can't find that link by searching, they show some Chinese pages, so rather save it now)

There, they will tell you to enable the language bar (by right clicking on taskbar, pointing to toolbars, selecting language bar) and then to select your language to see the Google IME.

Rest is explained nicely with pictures over here:
Google Transliteration Input Method (IME) Help

Just go there, start typing without pain...


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Monday, December 14, 2009

3 Questions to Define What is Productive and What is Not

Time management is about knowing what is productive and what isn't as much as Bhagavad Gita is about self improvement. When you are able to conceive the difference between productive and unproductive work, time management is just a matter of avoiding the unproductive one and doing the productive one. But how do we distinguish between the two?

Any work doing which we are bound to benefit in the future can be termed as productive. (But only when you are doing it as efficiently as possible and have nothing more important to do, as I will explain below)
Learning anything new, exercising, helping someone else, ...

And any work doing which we may get benefit in the future are unproductive.
Watching a film (about which a question may be asked in the Who wants to be a millionaire? program which I'm planning to participate in 20 years from now), playing farmville in facebook (thus showing my friends my skill in farming?), chatting endlessly with friends (do you think that the amount of time you spend with your friend strengthens the bond of friendship between you?) ...

Your mind may sometimes trick you into believing that you're being productive when you're actually less than 10% of what you can be, as is clearly demonstrated when someone gets addicted to anything I said above (social networks, tv shows, etc)

Let us analyze them one by one

Social networks:
Facebook, orkut, and all others of the genre are truly great sites when it comes to keeping in touch with friends, sharing photos, videos, clearing doubts in an online forum and so on, and I personally have a profile in each one of them. But they become evil when we start forgetting why they are there. They are meant for strengthening interpersonal relationships. But you could spend a whole day in any one of them, and still end the day gaining nothing more than what you could achieve in 10 minutes. Think of how you could post updates every 15 minutes throughout a day and 2 of your greatest friends who log in at the night sees just the last 2 of your updates and comment on them. Think of how you could post a very clever, very attractive single update a day and still have almost half a dozen people liking and commenting on your update.
Think of how you can get back your time from these sites. Think how you can compress your activities to bare minimum.

TV:
The #1 time killer in most house holds even after the advent of the internet is television. Because while internet soon becomes boring especially when you don't know more than 3 sites by their URL, TV + remote ensures that you find something or the other every time you switch the thing on. And unlike internet you needn't even know what you want to waste time on TV.

Time for some entertainment... Aha I've my favourite program in Nat Geo (well Nat Geo is after all educational)... Oh it's commercials time, let's see what HBO is showing. Is it Rush-Hour 3? My Goodness! Never got a chance to watch it. And it has just begun... [2 hours later]... my gosh, my eyes are paining. I think I need some rest. [Power off]
Tell me how many of us haven't gone through these exact routine. You get a chance holiday and think that you would finish all your pending works on that day. But at the end of the day you would find yourself just a bit further than where you started.

Because you forget what you should have been doing. You think you are being productive when you aren't actually.

So the next time you are in a doubt whether or not you're doing the right thing, just ask yourself these questions.
#1, Is what I'm trying to do my absolute priority?
This is another way of asking yourself whether you have a task to be completed with its deadline tomorrow, or whether you have a critical examination tomorrow. (Most people think of doing some exercise, or learning javascript at such critical eleventh hours) Just ask yourself whether there's anything very important. Even if you are trying to exercise or learn a new language, right now it is unproductive, if you have a deadline tomorrow.

If I don't have anything absolutely necessary to do
#2, Is what I'm trying to do going to be of any help for me in the future?
Am I learning? Am I building my muscles? Am I doing something new? Am I building up on my relationships? Am I really having fun? Am I being adventurous? Am I doing something, the fruit of which I can proudly display in front of others?

And if I'm doing something useful
#3, Can I do what I'm doing more efficiently?
Am I utilizing what I'm doing to the maximum? This last question can have great effects. You will soon find yourself chatting with friends just enough, such that you don't find both of you talking about how bad your favourite actress performed in her last movie (unless you are a movie critic).
And don't think you will be termed as a kill-joy, or a silent person. Talk to your friends enough. But just enough. Don't let gossips be your topic of discussion. And don't fear that you will turn out to be an uninteresting person. How about talking about a picnic or a group work. Find topics that are productive, interesting and relationship strengthening, all at the same time.

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.
- Charles Richards


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Billy - Media Players Can't Get Lighter

Just 4 days ago I told you about Quintessential Media Player.
But the day I started using QMP I had also installed another media player called Billy. It was very small a program that I didn't try to run it that day. I thought it wouldn't be having any features I wanted.
But wait! This 665 KB (with setup and 357 KB without setup) media player can do anything including managing playlists, playing shuffled, have a tiny mode, calculate total playlist time, have sleep timer, rename multiple items, jump to playing file, a softmute (30 % of volume) and every one of those functions have a keyboard shortcut too. Even seek can be done with cursor keys. And there is a tiny visualisation too. Moreover under the seek bar it shows you the total time, elapsed time and remaining time all at once. And in the status bar it shows you the properties of the file, the number of files in the playlist, play mode, etc. What not, there is a find option which can be used to search any file in the playlist (and it can search within track information too)

And the most thrilling part is it uses only under 1 MB of resources while running for itself (+ the size of the song)

My God!
At last I have found the truly lightest media player... It's Billy...

Download Billy Here

Additional Info: (from Billy site)

Features
Freeware (no adware)
Runs on Win 95/98/NT/Me/2000/XP/2003
No skins, no mp3 tags, no equalizer, no nonsense - pure audio
Supported formats: MP3, WAV, OGG
High quality sound engine, by Un4seen Bass
Extremely fast, loads 1000 mp3 files in a second
Gapless trackchange of mp3 files
Directory based or playlist based
Filenames renamer to organize your music albums
Calibrated dB level meter
100% controllable by keyboard
Low memory and cpu usage
Queueing your next songs
Find a specific song quickly
Sleep timer
Drag & drop


Info
Billy is an audio player that allows you to quickly play an entire directory of MP3 files. It can usually load files 2 to 8 times faster than winamp or media player. Billy plays music albums without any gaps between tracks, so an overlapping applause or beat will continue. The player is 100% controllable by keyboard and its easy finder and special rename functions help you to find and organize your files quickly.

Download Billy right now... here


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quintessential Media Player - The Best Light Media Player

I have been on the look out of a light media player which can perform all the tasks I want to do (all those shuffling, playlist organizing, etc. etc.), and I always thought that after media player classic, there's nothing light that can do those. But ever since I started using Quintessential Media Player I have been in love with it. It supports plugins, it can shuffle playlists, it has many skins, there's a shade mode, shows remaining time for a track and above all it runs very very light on resources.

So what are you waiting for just go to Quintessential Player website, and get it.



Update: I discovered Billy later which is as light as it can get, and as good as everything else.

Related Posts:
Billy - Media Players Can't Get Lighter


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Friday, December 4, 2009

Google Dictionary !!!

Google is taking over the internet... It released its own DNS service and I thought that was the news for the day, but wait... Google has rolled out its dictionary, and unlike when it rolls out other services this came in silently. And so, there is a great chance that you may miss this. But I won't let you do so. For, looking up words is one thing I've always used google for. Gone are the days when I had to type define:compere and then get a single line on something.
Today onwards I will just have to key in the word like I do with any other search term... (Ctrl - K, then "chamois") and see on the top right along with those big numbers a blue link [definition]



And clicking on it I will be with the meaning...



As you can see in the picture, there is easy starring of words (learn new words), pronunciation, synonym, categories, other languages having the same word, web links (what you would normally get with a "define:" tag. And finally there are dictionaries for almost every language. Even malayalam!!!!!

Just go check it out Google dictionary

And have happy days learning words...


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

26/11 and The Colour of Life

The true colour of life can only be appreciated when we get out of the frame and just stay as a witness.
This, I understood when I was flipping through all the channels in my television, tonight on 26/11.

Let me first of all salute all those heroes who died. I wish I have a death like theirs.
It requires a lot of courage to know that you are going to die and still stand up to a terrorist. I wish to include all of them by name. But doing that would mean they have become our history. They haven't. They are the martyrs of our reality. They are very much alive in our discussions today.

All the channels have been airing special bulletins on 26/11 today. With a tinge of sorrow everyone reported about the deaths. And then they showed how life has came back. In NDTV, they had showed the gunshots, the burning Taj, the press lying on the floor, the firemen trying to curb the fire. And then they showed the today of the Taj Hotel. Pigeons flying. Men feeding them. Tourists taking snaps. And a small child crawling on its knees through the pigeons, happiness on her face. It was beautiful. And that is what I wish to call the Colour of Life.

Life is so very beautiful because it is multi-centred. There is no absolute one thing that everybody wish to do. There is variety. There is diversity. There is colour.

Just go to a city in the night. You will feel that. There will be lights everywhere. Blue, yellow, neon, sodium. There will be the fruit seller with his orange, blue, black, yellow, red. There will be the flower seller. There will be the stationary shop. There will be the rice shop. There will be restaurants, cafes. There will be the mobile coupon centres, Xeroxing stations, the cycle shop, bars, the hardware shop. There will be the hospital. And not to mention the vehicles on the road - cars, buses, rickshaws, motor cycles. And there would be the trees on the sides which we simply fail to notice in the dark, but when we reach near them we feel an eerie sense of fear of the ghost hiding above it.

Or just flip the channels of your television set.
There will be mourning prayers for the dead at some place. Debates about the same at some other place. And then there will be that cricket star who took 5+ wickets in his come back match. And then discussion on how he performed. Then there will be the unexpected 0-1 loss of a soccer club. And their manager's explanation. There will be prime time movies. There will be soaps. And there will be reality shows. And there will be fashion shows. And there will be a lonely preacher talking about religion. Then there will be some ads. (These ads are the most contrasting colours. They will be so funny sometimes. Like after the interview with the NSG chief about how they finished the terrorists there was the docomo ad where a car hits another and the man who was driving the first car get down to see what happened, suddenly police surround them from all directions, and this man would be holding his hands up "Hands up". But the police men catch some terrorists from the other car, gives a pat on his back and leaves).

And there will be people. There will be a fisherman who talks in impure Hindi about how he saw the terrorists getting down from the rubber dingy they used to travel. And there will be a debate where different experts tell their own views about how the world should work. One foreigner telling India should unite with Pakistan. And an angry Indian saying how Pakistan hurt the "people of India", and how they want nothing but a war. And the anchor who does not let emotion come into the debate, but still pours in questions which can be answered only through emotions. There will be sports stars, analysts, super sexy models, actors (including actresses), yoga masters, commentators, extras, junior artists, real artists, judges, showmen, and the animal planet man who goes after the largest otters. And there will be another debate, where a victim describes very emotionally about how he was terrified as well as all others when they heard gun shots, and how the hotel authorities helped them to escape, and how they comforted each other, and how the NSGs gave them cover and took them to safety under the local police. And then about how there was some report which joked at the victims who suffered. How the government was doing nothing. How Ajmal Kasab has more security than any other man in Mumbai. And he asks the minister P Chidambaram "What have you done?"
And the minister says calmly "If you were I what would you have done. That's the answer to that question." (This is when I came to understand that all our politicians are not fools running after power)

And there is this whole sense of joy, sorrow, humour, love, trust, respect, motivation, failure, desperation, solitude, business, confidence, seduction, success, hope, affection, envy, hatred, warmth,...This is called the colour of life. The way things go on. The way people come and go. The way topics come and go. But life goes on, for ever and ever.

Just get out of the painting called life and view it as a whole. It's so colourful. When we are inside it, seeing only our neighbouring pixel, we can't see the true colour of life.


Let life go on...


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Memento - The Simplest Desktop Notes Application

You ask this:

I want an application that can be used to attach sticky notes or to do lists or just some notes on my desktop.
It should run with almost no memory requirement.
Don't make me download higher than 1 MB. (I mean download must be less than 1 MB)
It should be easy to use.
It must be free.
and you search the whole internet, you won't find this:
Memento. Your tool. Just download it, install it, enjoy making to do lists, (like the pen and pad to do lists) and simplify your life.

Here's the site:
Memento - Guys with Towels

------
Related Posts:
How a pen and a pad can save you a lot


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Monday, November 9, 2009

Achieving God

The success of experiencing what I did and am trying to share with you through this post will depend on how detached you are from your mind. (In doubt? Read the post The Secret to (Infinite) Happiness)
Earlier I told you about the happiness you get out of the realisation that you are neither your body, nor your mind, and that how your body or mind feels is not how you feel. There we talked about detaching your mind from yourself, and not letting your mind influence you.
But today we are advancing to the next step. Controlling your mind

We often find ourselves indulging in pleasures (what saintly people call worldly pleasures). And most often we find that something in us does not want us to do that. Let it be watching television on the day before your exams, or having a deadline closing in and still finding time for everything else but the project, or knowing that you have to exercise for a healthy life, but still in the bed every morning; the times when you say "I couldn't resist"

What was it that you couldn't resist on those occasions? The desire in your mind.

Until you learn how to control your mind, true happiness can never be achieved.

And this ability, the ability to control your mind is very difficult to acquire, unless you are willing to train it for hours and hours. (In saintly terms, prayer or meditation)

But I just found a short-cut.

Let's start it straight away. (Works well if there is anything you have been postponing)
Find a disgusting task, completing assignments, learning, reading, exercising (these will turn to be fun later, as I will show you).
Try to do it now.
Your mind is telling you not to do it.
Try to do it. Mind fighting. You try. Mind. You. Mind. >><< egh... dishyum... dishyum... ><
Don't let mind take over you. Control your mind. Teach it that you are the master and it your slave.
Make it do what you want.
Now, the first task is the only difficult task. If you can do this by brute force over your mind, you are successful. Everything else is easier.

The moment you finish the first task something in you starts working. You feel a lot satisfied, confident,...
These are the symptoms that mind has accepted you as its master.

If nothing happened it is because you did the task through compromise with your mind. You told your mind to remain silent for a few minutes, while you finish the task. Mind will step aside, and, after you finish the task, take over again. That is not the way. Tell the mind first hand that you decide what to do, and that mind can only accept what you decide. Then do the task. And even after the task, you will remain the master.

Now, the satisfaction, the pleasure you just had, remember it. Just remember how happy you feel when you are in control of yourself (and not your mind). Don't forget that ever.

(If you can, read the rest of this post only later. Though nothing is going to happen even if you read it now, it helps you better to take the control of your mind, if you read it later.)
_______________________________________________________

If you are like me, your mind will regain its authority within 2 hours of completing the first task.
It will hold a diplomatic conversation with you. Mind: "Hey! I accept defeat, you are my master. Will you please let me enjoy for an hour?" It will humbly request you. And you will let it. But the moment you do that mind will be back in power. So, what to do now?

Actually you shouldn't have allowed the mind even a moment. The more freedom you give your mind, the more it will take control of you. But still, you got trapped. Now how do you bounce back? Simple. Remember the pleasure you had when you had mind under your control? Yes, that pleasure of satisfaction and the feel of control (far better than even OP :D). Remember it. Savour its sweetness. So you have two pleasures waiting for you, one silly, fragile pleasure and the other everlasting, supreme pleasure.

Remember it and fight your mind. Lo! Your control is back with you. And don't lose it to mind ever again.

Just go in full control of your mind for a day or two.
And when you are pretty sure that you have your mind under your control, let it have some fun, still under your control. Some controlled entertainment. For an hour or so. And every otherwise gruelling thing you do, command the mind to treat that it is fun.

The mind is a great servant but a horrible master

And when letting your mind have fun be cautious. Our mind is so tricky that sometimes it will make us think that we are in control while actually it is in control. This can be called pseudo control. But you can easily identify whether you are having pseudo control or actual control. Just command your mind to do something, if it obeys you are in control, and if it doesn't you'll have to start taming it again.

So, once you have tamed your mind, like a good pet dog, it will obey whatever you say. And may be if our mind does have some secret potentials like the saints say, then some day we will be able to bend spoons.

And when you are in complete control of your mind, then you are in control, you are God, the Almighty.
Enjoy the bliss.


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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Some Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Probably Didn't Know Of

I found out some shortcuts recently which I didn't know of.

  • Ctrl + Tab will switch through the tabs in a tabbed window like that of Firefox
  • Alt + Enter will open up the properties of a file or folder when it is selected (while enter opens it)
  • F2 can rename an item
  • Win Key (start) + Tab will cycle through items on the taskbar, without opening them (then, pressing Enter will open them)
While dragging an item for copying or moving
  • Ctrl while dragging a file will cause it to be copied
  • Shift while dragging a file will cause it to be moved
  • Alt while dragging a file will cause a shortcut to be placed in the destination folder
While exploring in windows explorer
  • Left and Right Arrows will collapse and expand folders (so will + and - in the number pad)
  • * (in the number pad) will expand all folders below the current selection
  • F6 will switch panes
While viewing folders (like in My Computer
  • Backspace will let you go to the upper level folder
  • Alt + Right or Left Arrow will go forward or backward
While editing text
  • Ctrl + Backspace will erase a whole word.
  • Ctrl + Left or Right Arrow will go one word left or right
  • Ctrl + Home or End will go to the first or last position
  • Shift + Any movement selects text. (Shift + Ctrl + Home will select from first to the point where you are, Shift + Home will select the line up to where you are, like wise)
Some of these have been filtered from worldstart.com

Get time to enjoy life


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Friday, November 6, 2009

When You Look Back At The End...

Life whizzes past you so quickly that you forget to do or get what you really want to.
You go school for years and finally there will be a day of farewell and you suddenly feel you missed to do something. You spend your youth, your winged days and finally when you start slowing down you find that you could have did even more when you were younger. And when you finish bringing up your family, you think you could have did it better. You retire, and you find that you did nothing more than anyone would have done. Finally you are ready to breath your last, and while you look back at your life, you feel like you have messed it up. Wasted a whole life.

Why is it such that it strikes us only at the end, when we have got little time left, that we are doing things the wrong way? Is there no way to get an advance notice?

Fortunately, there is. And it's really simple.

Just think of the flashback that's going to happen at the end. What scenes would you want to see. Make them happen now, right now.

There's nothing you can't do that you would wish you had done. Our only fault is that we procrastinate. We take life as it comes and do nothing to make it as we think it should be. We lack the courage to take the initiative to make things happen.

We think that there is always a tomorrow.
But we forget that there isn't always.

We think that nothing will happen if we don't do it now.
But we forget that later we may wish we had done it.

We think that we will end up losing.
But what have we got to lose?

We think that life takes us to where we will reach.
But we forget that we decide where life should take us.

And that's why I'm saying:  

Live the best life you can, so that in the future no one can point at your life and say "Hey! You missed the point"


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is An Amoeba Conscious Of Its Existence?

Just think of living things and non-living things.
We know that we are conscious of ourselves. But what is this consciousness? Where does it come from?

Think in terms of atoms. There are atoms and molecules in our body. They are certainly not conscious.
We have many carbon, oxygen, etc. combined to form proteins, carbohydrates, etc. They too aren't aware.

Now we have these things interacting to form cytoplasm and cells.
Is it in these little corners of our body where we begin to realize our existence?
Why does the DNA replicate? Why does it control the cell? Why are mitochondria synthesising energy? Why does the cell grow, divide? Why?

So, the question:
Is an amoeba conscious of itself??? 

We are not amoebae. So we do not know it directly.

But let us think of our own selves.
We are made up of cells. But we are not aware of our cells. (Otherwise there would have been many many people talking in your head right now)
So let us assume that cells aren't conscious of themselves.

Now, the next question:
Then who is conscious?
Take a single cell and you don't get consciousness. But bring them all together you get people discovering relativity theory and nuclear fission.
Where is this consciousness originating from?
Is it from the cells itself? Are the cells actually self aware?
If yes, then what is this awareness?
We know that a cell is made of nothing but proteins and similar stuffs. What is it that makes an artificial protein different from a natural one. Why can we make an artificial heart, artificial eye, but not an artificial life?

Now, if it is not the cells that are conscious, but the agglomeration; How does the neurons form mind? Or how do we think? What happens between the two moments when we are fast asleep and when we've just awaken? What is thinking through my mind right now? What is reading this post in your mind right now? Who are you?

Why is artificial intelligence impossible? Why can we make powerful cranes and trains but not a clever robot?

What is the difference between life and death? What is the electricity that runs through our bodies and make us move, talk, think? What is consciousness? What is life?

Are we just runners in a relay passing the baton of life from our predecessors to successors? Are we even authorised to know why this fire called life burns?
-----

(Though I don't believe a God exists) Oh God! Please let me know !!! Please!!! (saints say that you should do this very thing to attain realisation, so what I'm doing right now is practically online meditation, or online praying or praying through blogging. Well God must be having an internet connection too, hope that he's using a search engine far more powerful than google, and finds me)


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Who Must Start Blogging? - People Like Nishan

Anyone can start a blog. But some people must start a blog. If you are any one of the following and haven't started a blog yet, you should immediately start one, for the sake of the blogosphere.

  1. Travelers:
    If you travel. Be it anywhere. Your own city, foreign countries. Any time, any number of times. Be you young, be you old. Doesn't matter whether you travel a lot or have just gone for one single summer trip this month. If you travel, you must blog. It is not for you, it is for others. Others who like to travel, who like places, who like to know cultures.
    So the next time you travel, make sure that you start a travel blog and post detailed stories about how you made the trip, how you felt, what you saw. And add a lot of pictures and stuffs.
  2. Professionals:
    Do you work? You should blog about the special moments you had while doing what you do. If you're a doctor write about patients, and special cases, and miracles. If you're a teacher blog about children. If you're an engineer blog about your next assignment and how you're going to do it.
  3. Innovators:
    Do you often get ideas that come out of nowhere and seem just fantastic? You are an innovator like in the IBM ad. If others don't notice your ideas, then you should blog them because there could be people whom you don't know desperately in need of those ideas. And if others do notice your ideas, then you should blog them too because there will be people who you don't know who will benefit from those ideas.
  4. People who always finds something interesting (the born bloggers):
    People think there's nothing else to talk but you find something else, always. You are the kind of blogger who just fills his blog with all types of interesting things ranging from sports to movies, politics to philosophy, anything and everything.
  5. Writers:
    You noticed a name in the title and didn't understand what I meant? Nishan Ansari is the literary secretary of my school. He writes fantastic essays, poems, stories, book reviews, anything you can imagine of. But we must wait for the next edition of our school magazine to read him. Is this anywhere near fair? Such beautiful words must immediately reach readers. What he and others like him must do is this : immediately start a blog and let the creative juice flow. Don't wait for others to pick you up or think that nobody will read you, when you have it in you, and you decide to do it, you will automatically ascend the stairs of popularity.
Well this list is just a beginning. Anyone who feels like blogging must try it. Because blogging is awesome fun. And fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life, won't you wanna say you got into blogging long back in the 2000's?

So you've agreed about it and trying a hand. Here are some basics. You are reading this and you know what a blog is. Blogs can be self-hosted like other websites, or hosted at free providers like google, wordpress, etc. Blogger.com is the blogging platform I'm using and I recommend it to you too. But wordpress is also a good try. Once you go to these sites, they are designed in such a way that any layman can start blogging. (It's just the motivation part, which I've given)

And when you start blogging and become successful bloggers (which I'm sure you will), don't forget to link to me and get me some reputation and traffic. Wish you all the best in your blogging adventure.

Don't forget to check out my other posts about blogging.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Imagining Nothing


What if there was nothing?
No me, no you, no blogs, no people, no life, no planets, no stars, no universe, no nothing.
It is beyond imagination. Imagine nothing. (What? Imagine OK but nothing? How do I imagine nothing?) Of course you can imagine the lifeless planets. But you will have to remove them from the frame too. And then you will have to remove the frame from the frame. There is nothing. And there is no one to know that there is nothing.
You can try to imagine because you exist. But what if you never existed? What if no one ever existed? Who would witness the universe? And what if even the universe never existed? There is nothing to witness and there is no one to witness. But what is that? Nothing? What is nothing?

Quite incomprehensible? Thinking about nothing is an excellent way to pass time. But the real fun is after it. Once you think about nothing, everything you think about later in life will start seeming "nothing" to you.
The whole universe would have been meaningless unless someone ever existed to witness it. And you? You are one of those who have been privileged to witness the universe. You are the meaning of this universe.
Everything that happens between these privileged people is meaningless compared to how meaningless it would be if there was no one to witness this universe.
The fact that you exist is the most important thing. There is nothing more important than it. No problem, no war, no question, no answer, nothing is even equally important.

You are here. And nothing else matters.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What if the PM directly orders the District Collectors? (and technology assists them)

I just found a solution for corrupt politics. If I can get one great Prime Minister, I have made a plan to rescue India. Consider:
There are only around 600 districts in India. Assuming that all of them have one and only district collector we will have around 600 district collectors. All of them are highly educated, highly qualified IAS officers and therefore most probably sincere to their professions too. A district is quite a manageable area for a single person to administer efficiently. So, District Collectors can efficiently look after their respective districts. But what they lack is sometimes the power to make laws and sometimes the support of a minister concerned with what he's trying to do (that is what we mean by a corrupted government)
Now assume that we have one great Prime Minister. And around 50 % good collectors (i.e. 300 of them). Let all others be corrupted. All the ministers, all other executives. We just need 301 people on our side.

The PM after being elected conducts a grand conference. On day 1 he talks to district collectors from one state, about the problems the state is facing and about what they can do. He asks them about the hurdles they are facing in nation development. He lends them complete support for anything that they are undertaking (provided all the collectors from that state agree). He promises to help them out of any complications that are being imposed on them by state ministers or other central ministers. He gives them high class security.
And he gives them an email id and a phone number. Any collector can at any moment contact him directly and talk to him and ask his permission and if needed ask his help in dealing with a troublesome minister or such.

This is done with every other state. And within a month every collector in the country is connected to the Prime Minister. And the collectors can do reforms that were previously impossible due to interventions by others.

What I mean is virtually a parallel government. But this one is legal.
Instead of the Members of Parliament (We do have MPs, but they are not acting in between the PM and Collectors), we have District Collectors. It is not true democracy, but it seems like it is better than democracy as it is in India now. The PM acts directly through the Collectors. So there is no time lag. There is no efficiency drain. Corrupt politicians are no more a problem.

One great Prime Minister and India will never be the same again.


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Friday, October 2, 2009

Gandhiji Best Expressed

I am really really busy today, but I have to make a post to mark this very special day too. So I thought rather than telling about Gandhi, I will tell what Gandhi told. Here are my favourites among His quotes:

  • A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
  • A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
  • Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. 
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.  
  • A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
  • God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.
  • Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.
  • An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
  • An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. 
  •  Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. 
  • Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.  
  • Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies. 
  • Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion. 
  • I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.  
  • It is any day better to stand erect with a broken and bandaged head then to crawl on one's belly, in order to be able to save one's head. 
  • It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.  
  • My life is my message.
  • Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment. 
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. 
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
  • Fear has its use but cowardice has none. 
  • You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
  • True brahmacharya is this: one who, by constant-attendance upon God, has become capable of lying naked with naked women, however beautiful they may be, without being in any manner whatsoever sexually excited.
  • Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
I was thinking about how easy life becomes when we practice truth. How we are justified no matter what we tell or do. How people start believing you. How people hear you. How you can talk anything without any preparation. How you don't need to remember what you told. How you can finish conversations very quickly. How people understand your behaviour. How you can explain things easily.
Its a whole lot easier than when you dwell on false prepositions.

Try it. Tell the truth. And feel the difference.


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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pale Blue Dot


Can you see a tiny little dot in the above picture. That is our good old earth. Just that it was photographed 3.7 billion miles away from the home of anyone reading this. And the famous Carl Sagan gave the following words relating to that little speck:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
There's nothing more I can add to what Sagan said. Just see that picture once again and take a few breaths.


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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dare to Think Beyond just Google, Gmail, Facebook, Youtube and Wikipedia

The internet is the best thing that human beings have invented (at least until 8 pm tonight). But still, millions of internet users all over the world do not visit more than 5 websites on an average day. (Those being google, gmail, facebook/orkut, youtube and rarely wikipedia too). Considering the fact that there is probably more than 182,226,259 sites out there, this is a pretty small number though certainly not negligible, because most people get whatever they need from those few sites.
If you are someone who love to break out of the pack and venture into the internet, here's what to do.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Golden Rule in Social Life

The best thing about being a kid is that you can be frank in your opinions, blurt anything out to anyone and live a carefree life. But the moment you break out of the childhood shell, you gather a lot of cobwebs.
Then you can no longer talk like you talked when you were a kid. You will have to consider and reconsider every word before you let it out. You will have to think twice before you talk.

And since I learned it the hard way, I believe I'm experienced enough to share that golden rule of social life and communication.

And that most unwelcome, most painful, most disgusting rule of life which everyone should remember before even thinking about talking is... [with bated breath]


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Monday, September 14, 2009

It is not about your age, it is about your inclination

Fun and Fun Only sent me a thought provoking mail yesterday.


3 stupid stages of life
We have 3 stupid stages of life………..
Teen age: Have Time + Energy …but No Money
Working Age: Have Money + Energy …but No Time
Old age: Have Time + Money …but no Energy

This is an accurate description of the lives of the billions of people who took birth on this earth and left it without disturbing a leaf. They pass their childhood thinking about things they would do when they grow up. And when they grow up they have their jobs and family to take care of and they even forget what their dreams were. And after they have grown old, they remember their childhood dreams but they declare themselves unfit to pursue them and retire to a solitary life waiting death.

While we could be just doing it (like Nike says), we waste time finding excuses for why we can't be doing it. Is there nothing on this earth that a kid can do without money? Can't time be bought and used if you have money and energy? Does the fact that you are weak prove a handicap?

It is all about whether you want to do it or not? Whether you can do it or not is not a meaningful question, because you can do anything, but only if you will.

So, some practical ways to make things happen, at all ages.


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Glimpse Into What's Been Keeping Me Busy

This post comes after a really long break (almost 17 days. That's huge!). And during these days blogger rolled out many new features, Onam was celebrated by Malayalis all over the world, and Federer reached the semi-final of US Open. Still I couldn't make any post. Why?
I had decided that I wouldn't post until


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Have A Rocking Browsing Experience (for Firefox users)

If you are a firefox user, which most probably you are (and if you're not you should download and install it before reading the rest of this post) you already have a rocking browser. And after you read this post you will know how to make the impossible happen out of it.


See the screenshots below to get an idea of what I'm talking about.


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ClearType Tuner : If You Are Using Windows XP and an LCD monitor

The above pic is a comparison between text as it is seen on most computers, and text as it could be seen on those same computers.

ClearType is a technology by which microsoft has made it possible to view texts more clearly in LCD monitors. But by default it is turned off in all computers. So, most people do not get the best out of their LCD monitors (which I understood when I went to my cousin's home last week and found it extremely hard to read a thing)

It gets more interesting when you know that it is very simple to turn it on if you have cleartype in your system,


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

If by Rudyard Kipling - A Poem that Tells It All

This poem by Rudyard Kipling has all the secrets to a wonderful life. Just read it and get inspired.
I also have included this poem as a wallpaper. Feel free to download it and set it as your wallpaper.


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

God As The Cosmic Consciousness

 The reason why there are a lot of atheists in the world is that nobody could provide people with a rational definition of God.
Some people praised God as the great soul who created and controls the universe. And others knew this couldn't happen.
Some defined God as the beat of one's heart or the thoughts of one mind. And others knew that such a thing wouldn't possess any powers that a useful God would have.

But, though unheard by a vast majority, there are excellent definitions of God and everything hidden inside many of our ancient text books like the upanishads. Only some people, lucky to have both access to Sanksrit and access to those literary gems, or lucky to have a great guru, happened to know the actual and rational definition of God, as proposed in the upanishads.

This definition, I have been reading again and again from Swami Vivekananda and Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda. It is not just rational, it absolutely gives today's theists a hope and at the same time do not hurt atheists in any way too.

So let us begin.

When we go on dividing atoms we get subatomic particles. But though we can't, as physicists, divide anymore, there is an even finer particle inside every atom. Let us call this fine particles.
So the whole universe is made up of these fine particles. (A lot like string theory)

Now, these particles can be controlled by human mind. Our mind can produce certain sensation / vibration / energy / wave or anything which can control the arrangement of these fine particles. Just like in nanotechnology we rearrange particles and get new things, when these fine particles are rearranged we can create things from thin air, etc... (yeah, you said it, miracles)

But not everybody's mind can do it. Only a properly trained, well-experienced mind can do that. (So, you just can't go about and do it)

(read this chapter from An Autobiography of a Yogi for more details. I know it is slightly different from what i just told. But i just fine tuned the theory to make it more rational. So, this is how miracles work.)

And God? God is superconsciousness. Just like you are conscious of yourself, there is a larger consciousness which is the sum total of every one's consciousness. (Compare it to the world wide web, no one is the core, everyone is a part and yet as a whole it is a marvel). So, everyone's consciousness is interconnected and this extreme collaboration of consciousnesses is called superconsciousness. Ordinary people (untrained, inexperienced people) can not experience this superconsciousness (like if you don't have the password you can't enter the database). But those who meditate daily and do other things that helps in improving the ability of mind (these are the things that is taught in yoga) they can access this superconsciousness as they wish.
(Read this from Swami Vivekananda's complete works)
And they can manipulate others thoughts, rearrange fine particles, heal diseases, materialise at another half of the world, and so on.

Such a God is scientific, enviable and believable.

I know it's a lot like a fairy tale.
But when you do get time feed from these two online resources

They will surely give you a lifetime worth ideas. (By the way, my next plan is to hack the password of the superconsciousness)


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Friday, August 21, 2009

How to Get Rid of Obsessions

[update on 2011/02/11: This is by far, the most read post on this blog. And this is also one of the oldest articles of this blog. And I think this article hasn't been well-written. But, I won't edit my articles (except for grammar/spelling mistakes) and I don't want to lose my readers from this article. So I'm doing some gimmick here]

Added on Feb 11, 2011:

The bad news is that there is NO 'ONE surely working way' to get rid of an obsession.
But the good news is that there are several ways you could try to get rid of an obsession.

For example, if you're addicted to the internet, you could try the crazy tip given in How to Get Rid of Addiction to Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Twitter, Other Social Networking Sites, Internet or Computer in General

And usually addictions set in when you are not a happy person. So, try reading The Secret to (Infinite) Happiness (which tells you how to control your mind and be happy)

You may also find 3 Questions to Define What is Productive and What is Not interesting too

And if you want to hear a largely biology oriented view about obsessions, read on the original article below


If you find yourself watching endless hours of tv, or jumping from site to site without noticing the clock on your desk running away, you probably know what an obsession is.


obsession - an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will

While what you think is an obsessive behaviour of yours may be anything ranging from obsessive compulsive disorder to humane laziness, it is best to avoid them. It takes away most of your time. It shifts your focus away from things you need to really concentrate upon. It makes you feel less confident. So, we reach our topic of discussion. How do we get rid of obsessions? Of course some obsessions may be biological in origin and may need medication. But, let us try with our mind.

GET RID OF IT


The first thing we need to know to get out of a problem is to know that we are in a problem.
So let us tell ourselves that we are going to fight it. That we will master our mind and direct it to do what we want and not what it thinks.

And when we are ready, we are almost there.

" You are free the moment you think you are."

So, what next? To get to the next step let us think why we developed the obsession at the first place. We are back home in the night. We have got nothing to do. We switch on...

Why? We've nothing else to do, we do something we normally don't do. And this continues even when we have something else to do. Thus the behaviour is established. And our focus is destroyed. Now our bodies start loving the behaviour and it automatically repeats appearing in our daily life.
And that brings us to the next step in getting rid of obsessions - breaking old habits. It's really easy to break your obsession if you know the right technique to it. If you observe your obsession for a few days you will see that it usually comes right after something else in our daily schedule. Sometimes you might be coming straight from work and getting into your obsession. Sometimes it would be after having tea. Or sometimes right after waking up in the morning. But it always comes just after something. Find that something. That thing which switches on your obsession. That thing which invariably precedes your obsession. And when you've found that, things are simple.
Eliminate the predecessor . The successor will lose its way.
Yeah. If you come home and get carried away, come home doing something, or reading something and continue that even after you've reached home. If you wake up to your pc, meditate from your bed itself.
Just don't give a chance for the obsession to start.
Thus you have shaken the base of the obsession.

Now exploit the chance. The obsession is losing ground. And if we launch our attack right now, the obsession will sure fail. And our weapon?

Our only weapon against an undesirable behaviour is a desirable behaviour. Take a sapling from the desirable behaviour and plant it where the undesirable used to stay. So, we need a new behaviour as a substitute. Anything from reading to exercising will do. And it need not be static. You can exercise one day, read another day, cook one day, blog another day, but there should be a substitute ready to enter the playing field.

Now cement your victory by watering the new plant everyday. Never go back to the obsessive behaviour. Whenever you feel like just get away from the thing that lures you (physically, away). And start doing the other thing.
Now there will be a voice from our mind talking about why the obsessive behaviour is probably not bad for you. But just don't listen to it. If you try to argue, almost always only that voice will win. (It has biological reasons: There is a neurotransmitter called dopamine in our brain which is related with the pleasure system. It is designed in such a way that whenever we get a pleasure, it is released, and whenever it is released we desire to have pleasure. Read more)

Due to this dopamine effect, the obsessions that have already been with you for a long time cannot be uprooted with anything I have discussed above.

But fortunately I have found a cure for dopamine.
Just like any other hormone, the effects of dopamine don't last more than a few minutes. So, the moment you feel like doing something you don't want yourself to do, tell yourself that you are ready for the obsessive behaviour (Am I telling the opposite? no! wait, read it completely). Then borrow a little time from your obsession. Think of how dopamine is working. Think of why you feel like doing that. And just sit in silence for a few minutes. And by that time dopamine will have failed to affect. You will slowly be thinking more impartially. And you will at last decide not to sway towards the obsession.

Bear in mind that fighting dopamine is difficult. But it is not impossible. And once you win this battle, you will certainly be rewarded by a stronger will.


Tell me whether this has worked for you after trying out.


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Make Resolutions and Keep Them

We make a lot of resolutions. And we break all of them.
Can you tell out loud at least one resolution that you've kept (If yes, the comments section is open and waiting for you )
By the time you rack your brains to find one such resolution, I bet you'll have found out ten resolutions you haven't kept.

Why do we make resolutions and break them?

The reason is that we don't make proper resolutions. When you make a resolution properly not only does you keep it, you will most probably end up building on the resolution. What makes a proper resolution different from an improper one?

  • Proper resolutions are made when they are least required.  Most people resolve to do things better just after doing the worst. If you're a student you will decide to start learning daily only when you do your examinations very bad.
    But if you make that resolution during holidays, then it's a proper resolution.
  • Proper resolutions come from your heart, not from someone else's. That is why most new year resolutions fail. On the new year eve, everyone is making resolutions. So, you too does and not because you want it from your heart.
    Proper resolutions are made during moments of solitude, when no one is around, and you are talking with yourself. You ask yourself who you are and who you want to be. Then you resolve to be that soul which you always wanted to be.
  • Proper resolutions are not postponed for the next day. Most probably you would have done this. You resolve to stop watching TV, not from today, but from tomorrow. Today is the last day and you go on breaking resolution today thinking that you will keep it tomorrow. The rest I need not tell.
    But when you make a proper resolution, you begin this moment. The moment you resolve you begin realising the resolution. You do not postpone it for another hour.
  • Proper resolutions are well planned.
    You just resolve to do something. You will fail.
    But you plan it in detail, how to do, what to do, when to do, for how long, where to do... A proper resolution is so well planned that the person who makes it knows exactly what he means to do.
  • Proper resolutions are properly motivated. 
 Think like you want to make a new resolution, right now? One which you have been making and breaking. Let us start together.

  1. What is it?
    Think of it. Think of why you need to do it. Think of how you can do it.
    Now clear some time in your daily schedule, and keep a time for your new habit. (If you had resolved to lose a bad habit then fill the time you used for it earlier, for something else. Read my post on getting rid of obsessions)
    Of course when you decide to do something new you will have to devote lesser time to something else. For example if you decide to exercise, you will naturally need 30 minutes to warm-up, exercise, and cool down. Your day can't go as long as 24 hours and 30 minutes. The only thing you can do is to cut short something you do daily by 30 minutes. Be it sleeping. Be it blogging. Be it chatting. You'll have to cut something short.

  2. Get going
    You've decided. Now start doing. If you can do it now, do it right now. (Of course after finished reading the next few tips). If you need a prop, get one as quickly as possible.
    But that is not enough. As I told, you need to be motivated so as to keep the momentum. So, how do you get motivated?
    Here is the most important thing to remember
    The motivation that you create by yourself won't last long. It will run out as soon as you meet the first obstacle. So, we need a never ending source of motivation. For this, I've found two extremely useful sources.
    1. The opposite sex:
      If you're a boy, think of impressing girls through what you have resolved to do. If you have started exercising, think of how having an attractive body can help you in winning their hearts.
      Not only that, have a crush on the best girl around you. By the best girl I mean the girl whom everybody wants to be a friend of. Now how can you make her feel for you? Keep those resolutions. Cultivate those enviable qualities, like an attractive body, or sharp intelligence, or sweet voice. Just exhibit those when you get a chance.
    2. Lie:
      Lie to your friends that you have already achieved your resolution. Not to go straight to him and tell "I have done this", but during conversations distantly related to your resolution, just put in your resolution and 'how you achieved it'. If you lie to someone, and if you are not a big fat liar, you would probably want to make that lie a truth. And you will actually keep the resolution. Got me?
    3. Just tell others:
      Now if you don't want to lie, you can just tell people that you've made such and such resolution. Only that it would be a little less effective. Still, when you tell others about your resolution make sure that you tell them in a tone of confidence or over-confidence. Tell them that you are going to do it and you are going to show them the results. Otherwise you will slip back.

  3. Keep the momentum
    So, you are properly motivated, and strictly keeping your resolution. Now after a week or a month, just do a review. See how much your muscles have grown, how good you can sing, how good you are with people,...
    If you are on the right track, the results will possibly be what you expected. And those results will in turn motivate you to keep doing things.
    Don't worry if you don't find any results. Think of what you could have missed, where you could have gone wrong. Rectify those errors. And start from step 1.
If these steps do not work for you, there is one last resort I would recommend you - similar minded people. Find online groups doing what you intend to do. Hear from people who have already done it.  And you will probably know why you've been failing.

So, happy resolving. (OK! It's over, now you can start from step 1, what is it?)


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2 Freeware Tools to Monitor Your Network Traffic

Here are two tools which I've personally used and found extremely useful in calculating how much data i've downloaded/uploaded through my internet connection.

Anyone using a minimum pay internet connection will sooner or later need either of these tools.

The first one is a very small single file application called Network Traffic Monitor. This thing allows you to find the amount of data downloaded or uploaded in that particular session and also the speed of downloading or uploading. This comes useful when you have low memory or is just checking out how much downloding does browsing actually cause.
Direct Download Network Traffic Monitor (zip file, about 0.5 MB)

The next tool is a larger software, which always runs in the background - NetLimiter Monitor provides details and exportable daily/monthly statistics. It can be used to find the amount of data sent or received by individual applications. It also keeps a track of all the statistics. So, it can be used to find the total amount of upload and download in a month.
Direct download NetLimiter Monitor (exe file, about 2.5 MB)

Take control of your network life...


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Monday, August 17, 2009

The Secret to (Infinite) Happiness

Everyone knows how to be happy when it's party time. But how to be happy when s*it is happening to you?

Being happy always, in everything that's happening in your life, even when tears are rolling down your cheeks, even when you're wilting with pain, even when you've failed at the most important tasks... Yes, that's possible, and that is what I call infinite happiness (This is not infinite bliss that is supposed to be coming after God realization)

You needn't be successful for being happy. Because unlike success happiness is within you. You decide whether you are happy or not. There is no external condition necessary for happiness. When it comes to being happy you're the boss. No matter what the world showers upon you, your state of mind is what you decide. If you decide to be unhappy even when you are having everything that an average man needs to be happy, then you will be unhappy. And if you decide to be happy when all the odds are against you, if you decide to smile at your enemies, if you decide to laugh out loud when the worst is happening to you, you will be happy. Happy or not, you decide.

The first step for being so is to know the mechanism of happiness.
What brings about happiness?


As Will Smith says in The Pursuit of Happyness (or as he should have said) "When you are pursuing happiness, you will never be happy. To be happy you must leave worrying about being happy and start enjoying life.

Did you say enjoying life?
Yes. Enjoy life. Enjoy failure. Enjoy success. Enjoy doing nothing. Enjoy doing things. Enjoy eating. Enjoy sleeping. Enjoy exercising. Enjoy reading. Enjoy life.
And how?

The courtesy of the following idea goes to ancient Indian philosophy.
Who are you? Are you your hands or legs? or your heart or brain? or your body? Or are you your mind? Are you any of these? If you think you are your body or your mind, then you will be unhappy when there is some sorrow to any of these - your mind or your body. And it's easy for your body and mind to get hurt. Now, here's where it gets interesting. Think of yourselves as someone else, a consciousness that controls your mind and body. Think of you as someone who sits at the back of your head and monitors the thoughts in your mind and the movements of your limbs. Don't associate yourself with your mind or body. Dissociate yourself from them. Just be a witness. A witness of your actions. Of your thoughts.
When you are reading, it is not YOU that is reading, it is your mind that is reading with the help of your eyes.
When you are getting angry, YOU are not getting angry, it is your mind that is getting angry.
When you are exercising, YOU are not exercising, it is your body that is exercising.


Keep yourself out of everything. Let your body and mind do things. They are your servants. You are their master, sitting happily in a chair and enjoying the little mistakes that your servants - body and mind - do.

And when you are not your body or mind, nothing in this world can hurt you. Am I right? Things in this world can only hurt either your mind or your body or both. But they can never touch you. Because you are not your body or mind.

So, watch your thoughts. Watch your actions. Watch how your actions affect others. Watch how your actions affecting others in turn affect your thoughts. Watch how your actions affect their thoughts. Watch how they react. Watch how you fail. Watch how you succeed. Watch how you eat. Watch how you wash. Watch how life goes on. Be a witness to everything. Don't involve yourself in anything (Now, your body and mind can involve in anything, but YOU won't be invoved, you know how.)

And then you will reach a state where you can manipulate your mind and body as you wish. You tell the mind to be happy and it will be happy. You tell the body to be strong and it will be strong. You decide how your mind and body must be. This state of mind:

This state where you actively screen yourself, see your thoughts, and feel your actions; this state which is sometimes called "living in the present" or "being present minded"; this state where you feel no excitement and no worry but just a serene calmness; this state is the secret to infinite happiness.

Now go, be happy, and spread beauty in the world. Just remember "you are beyond your body and mind"

_________________
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let Us Ask Ourselves On This Independence Day...

...we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunityfor our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim...

US President Barack Obama asked Americans this question on the day of his victory. "What change?"
And he is on the path of answering that question.

Not very long ago, an Indian invoked in the Indians a similar vision.

"A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up - and succeed."

That is what Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said Indians through his book in 1998.

We are halfway there in terms of years (2020-2009=11, 2009-1998=11)
But have we made even a sway towards the dream in terms of progress?

Halfway through we still have poverty, corruption, crime, violence, ...

Why? We are a billion strong, we have huge amount of human resource, we are intelligent, 34% of NASA employees are Indians, Americans are amazed at the quality of education in India, ... and yet we can't perfect ourselves? Why are we succesful in everything else but nation development?

We lack proactive citizens.

We have citizens who are ready to act when asked to. We have citizens who get goose bumps on hearing the National Anthem. We have citizens who speak/blog against injustices. (Well, I am not eligible to vote right now)

We have people willing to do when they must. We have active citizens.
But we don't have people doing when they need not. We lack proactive citizens.

We need practive citizens.
Citizens who start movements against injustices.
Citizens who start charity organisations to help the poor.
Citizens who march in protest in order to protect the environment.
Citizens who start health clubs, libraries, schools (or tutorials), industries, businesses, super-markets, search engines,...
Citizens who create their own political party and strive to be a good minister.
Citizens who adopt poor orphans or sponser their education.
Citizens who take an accident victim to the hospital.
Citizens who complain about a crime to the police, or be a witness to something they've witnessed.
Citizens who read and make others able to read.
Citizens who are healthy and make others healthy.
Citizens who submit engineering projects to the government.

Citizens who rise themselves and raise others.
Citizens who organize.
Ctizens who create opportunities out of thin air.

Creative citizens. Proactive citizens.

Don't ASK what you can do for your country. Just DO something for your country.
And the rest is assured.

Jai Hind.

Wish all Indians a Happy Independence Day


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recommendation: Indian Current Affairs [blog]

I just found an excellent blog - Indian Current Affairs, which has been keeping a note of everything happening in India, day by day. It can be of great help to IAS aspirants.
Indian Current Affairs

Go there and see it for yourself.

It must be read along with
Discover It
which is a compilation of essays about particular items.

Also, don't forget to check out
Resources for Preparation and
Glossary


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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Creating an Offline Home Page

Most people have google as their home page. And it's cool if you are a guy who just makes a google search about that thing which he needs to buy, checks his emails once in a while, and checks scraps at orkut.
But what if you are a person who has multiple blogs, twitter accounts, facebook, myspace and hi5 profiles; and you need to check your earnings at adsense or adbrite, the statistics of your blog at analytics, your broadband usage, your email account at hotmail, your unread feeds in google reader, the latest cricket scores, and your girlfriend's scrapbook to see whom she is chatting with?
And you don't want to forget doing any of these?

Do you know that I do all that without ever having to type a letter in the address bar, and not even an extra click in the Bookmarks folder.

That is what an offline home page has done to me. It has worked as a to-do list as well as a bookmarks folder, at the same time helping me saving a lot of time ease-wise.

Want to try one? Here's help.

The first step is knowing a bit of html.
hyperlinks work with a simple html tag "<a>...</a>". The page to which it is linked is shown by "href". And the text which should be shown in blue is written in between the "<a>" and "</a>".
That is, if you want to link to Change, the html tag will be "<a href="http://asdofindia.blogspot.com">go to Change</a>
and it will show up like this:
go to Change
Learn more about linking here, and practice linking here.

Now, that is all the background information you need. (Actually you need not even that. But when it gets messy with underlines getting under every wrong word, you will actually need those.)

Now, you need to create an HTML file with all the links you have. For this you can use Notepad, or MS Word or anything that suits the purpose.
In Notepad, you will have to type out the html tags one by one and it will soon turn out to be a cumbersome task. So, it is better to use MS Word or such softwares that has features which allow easy linking.

And to make things even simpler, you can use gmail or blogger too. If you are a blogger, create a new post (which you can discard later). Or in gmail, compose a new mail. Now copy those links you need. When copying take note of one thing you can actually select a linked text and press Ctrl + C and then paste it into your mail, post or MS Word document and the text will be pasted with the hyperlink remaining intact. That is, when you copy Change and paste it, it will automatically be linked.

To make the best of this feature I am giving a few links applicable to anyone, which you can just copy and save time.

Myspace Facebook Hi5 Blogger Orkut Twitter
Google Yahoo! Torrentz
Gmail Hotmail
Flickr Youtube
eBay Amazon
Wikipedia Wikibooks
adsense adbrite
Cricinfo live cricket score
Blank Page
(Now, a part of that, I took from the start page of Green Browser, which is an excellent online alternative to this offline home page)

Now, if you use orkut
Orkut Scrapbook Communities
Now don't forget to add to that the scrapbooks of your dearest friends, or the forums of your favourite communities

And if facebook,
Facebook Profile Inbox

If you have many blogs, add similar links to new post, edit posts, edit layout, view blog, etc.
Similarly add links to all those pages you visit once a week at least.

Now is the bit tricky part. If you used MS Word for creating this you can just save it and set it as your home page. But what if you used Gmail, or Blogger? Of course you can copy from them again and paste it to MS word and save it. But a far better alternative is to use the "Save Frame As..." option found in the file menu of Mozilla Firefox. (Oh, aren't you using Firefox, then switch to it immediately). By saving the frame, you save only the text box in which you typed in the links. And thus you get exactly what you want.

Now, don't forget to add Change to your offline home page

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How to Make Sure That You Blog Daily or Regularly


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How to Make Sure That You Blog Daily or Regularly

So, you've set up a blog. And you've had some nice posts, and a decent amount of followers. Everything is going nice except for one thing. Once in a while you forget about blogging. You are so immersed in twitter or facebook or orkut that you forget to check out new comments in your blog.
You know you love to blog, but you forget to love. How do we start loving our blogs again, daily?

The solution to this is setting up your browser or PC to help you blog easily. When you need to go to your blogger dashboard to create a new post, that is an extra step and you're most probably not going to do that every time.

So, let me introduce some tips that can make blogging easy for you.

  • Add the blogger gadget to your igoogle page, (and make it your home page). This simple gadget allows easy posting from your home page itself, and that too to any of your multiple blogs.

  • If you have an offline home page like me, add a link to the new post page of your blog.

  • If you're using MS Office 2007, use the create blog post feature in it.

  • Use Ping.fm which allows you to post to your blog (and/or even twitter, facebook...) using your chat client. Actually Ping.fm is a tool that allows you to update your account in multiple websites like facebook and twitter simultaneously from a central hub. And when the chat feature is set up you can even send the status update to it as a chat blurb. But using @bl command you can use it to update only your blog. I use it to write my daily diary in my private blog.

  • Set up e-mail posting in your blog, using the mail to post feature.

  • Add the blogger posting gadget to your gmail account. This is done by enabling adding gadgets by URL in labs, and then giving the URL in the special tab that comes up in gmail settings.

  • Try scheduled posts. Go to blogger in draft, create a new post, just before clicking publish, change the post date and time in post options to scheduled at and give a future date and time. Now publish the post. Sit back and relax for your holidays. This is particularly useful if you're the kind of a person who gets a lot of ideas on one day and gets nothing worth publishing on another day. Schedule as much posts as you can for the future when you feel like. Then just relax for a few days until you get fresh ideas. But for the readers, you will be publishing daily.

That's it from my side. What other ways do you have to make blogging a piece of cake?


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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Life Actually is "Trying to Perfect the World Around"


Wherever you live, whatever you are, you're never living in a perfect world. One or the other, there will be defects in the system of which you are a part of.

If you're a doctor think of uninspired staff, inadequate facilities...
If you're a teacher think of lazy children, poor environment...
If you're a student think of crazy teachers, small school, small playground...
If you're working in an office think of office politics, gossips...
If you're a politician think of dirty colleagues, baseless allegations...

Yeah, in whichever field I choose, I can find imperfections, because after all, the world can never be perfect.

So, how do we define life in this imperfect world. Life is nothing but constantly trying to perfect the world around us.
Try and fail. Try and win. Try and half win, half lose. But try. Try to change your world, and you will gradually learn the art of living happily and peacefully.

How?

You are going to perfect the system. You can't do it alone. So you ask for help. You organize. You team up with people. You get to know about their feelings. You understand the way others think. You may get enemies, but more importantly you will get friends (and if you don't get any, there is something wrong with you or your asking). Convince people to be a part of your team.

And when you have a team ready?
Start the revolution. Change the ways. The old ways were made by your predecessors, as THEY like. You are a different generation, a different group. Your thoughts and emotions and world have changed. And the ways too need to change. You needn't change yourself to suit the old ways, you can change the ways to suit the new you.

So, you and your team change the world around you. And you strive for perfection. Constantly you do so. Until at last you will call it a day one day. And on that day you will know that you LIVED your life.

"There is nothing in this world that a small group of inspired men cannot do"


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