YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER

“Logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will get you everywhere” – with these words by Albert Einstein in mind, let us endeavour into understanding the power of new worlds we create in our dream and day dreams.

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Every moment when our eyes are open, we are in the pursuit of knowledge, we seek and we devour on every piece of information we perceive around us. Sometimes it is an active hunt for facts and at other times, we learn by doing. The world is so vast that no one can know everything, a person is bound to feel inferior every second of his life, intimidated by the wonders of the cosmos. It is easy to give up then and rely on an ‘imagined godly presence’ to decide our fate.

There will be no difference between man and beast, sans imagination.

Humans have an ability to imagine things not visible to the eye – the reason we are called beings of intelligence. Without a keen sense of abstract concepts, we would be Pavlov’s dogs, surviving on classical conditioning. A higher level of existence is created by our ability to dream and then try to relate it to reality. The incredible human mind has taken it to a level where they can perceive multiple dimensions, the physical existence of which is impossible to grasp without the perceptual maps visualised by software and futuristic technology we have created. We have been able to control natural elements to work in our favour, formed complex interrelationships with each other, developed art, music and culture – without which our current lifestyles would be unimaginable.

Everything we can imagine is true, concepts of reality exist only in the domain of our thoughts. In his book ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’, Immanuel Kant argues that our mind limits our knowledge to the empirical realm of space and time – by actively constituting the features of our experience and senses. All knowledge is based on the premise that an a priori, mind-independent world existed. This is the world we observe in our very limited scope of understanding. The world is huge and we can only understand by letting go of our biases, our constraints and our reason.

If we dare to dream, maybe we will know something.

 

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Tale As Old As Time

It is so easy to be brought back into touch with your core when out of nowhere you are thrown into an encounter with something so closely embedded in your childhood. It is so easy to travel to new places just through art.

It is easy to dismiss usually, but this rapture is something I am trying to hold on to

And then someone enters my room and the charm is broken.

Just brilliant. Talk mundane things.

I need a place of my own 😦

There must be more than this provincial life!

SUGAR

 

Sugar
Artist: Maroon 5
Album: V
Release: 2014
Genre: Pop


This song is full of sexual innuendos. Perhaps we can’t even call them innuendos because they are plain in sight! Just replace love-words with vagina, and there you are. I hope I didn’t spoil the song for you. Sugar is a euphemism for sex. Such a cute song if you don’t make this connection every time you hear it.

Apparently, the melody was created first and the lyrics were then plugged into the song. Basically, the preview contained the music with gibberish all over it and then sent to the lyricist to make something useful out of. I don’t know how that works but sounds like a task for both the parties!

These facts, though interesting are not why I felt compelled to write this. The video is what did the trick. If you haven’t seen it yet and are cursing me for spoiling the song for you, just watch it and everything will be good again.

Imagine Adam Levine breaking into your wedding and performing this song! If I ever make the mistake of getting married, this would be why I do it.

Listen and enjoy. You will start swinging as soon as the falsetto begins *enter dancing lady emoji* (because that is how I picture myself swinging when I am listening to this song in public)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Mohsin Hamid
Penguin Random House, 2007
Style: Dramatic Monologue
Pages: 184

Just finished reading a reluctant fundamentalist and I assure you I will not sleep peacefully for a long time. Firstly, the rush of completing a book in one sitting has been entirely absent from my life and feeling it again today makes me feel more alive than I have in quite some time.
 
Secondly, I cannot decide what I feel about the book. There might be spoilers ahead so I insist you stop reading this post. I do not understand how to feel about it. The way India-Pakistan relationship has been described from Pakistan’s perspective is slightly moving. I do have friends in the country but I must admit all of us are too shy to directly broach this topic. We take our solace in promising each other our friendship and inviting each other over for kheer and biryani is one of the thing we bond over. Surprisingly even our discussion about cricket are muted. This book gave me a look into their heads and the proposition is scary. The book just brushes over the topic but it is too poignant for me to ignore. Does America win, and we both lose?
 
Thirdly I wonder about the title. Fundamentalism has formed part of multiple contexts in the book. Beginning with his job where Changez is asked to concentrate on finances and not worry about the layoffs and the lives that are attached to his cold analysis. About how the corporation expects that one distance themselves from everything else. I like how the street violence against Muslim’s after 9/11 has been downplayed in the book, how September has been related to new beginnings. How his entire story, so breezy at first develops into a character one would not quite like. A character one would begin to distrust. From obsessing over his brains, mannerisms and appearance to doubting his motives behind everything. To being convinced that he is politically motivated and a fundamentalist of the highest order, blinded and brainwashed.
 
The most interesting concept is that of his comparison with Janissaries – Christians who were raised by the Ottomans to destroy the own civilisation and thus develop a loyalty out of not having any alternative. Isn’t this the same image we get when we think of the ISIS? We imagine kids being raised for war and suicide. We see us, Asians, being so intimately linked with the Americans that we justify their dominance and their need in our homes. Our homes of history and grandeur that they are far from comprehending. That we might begin to forget if we fall prey into the the alternate kind of fundamentalism.
 
The ending of the book does not tell us who won. It gives us a choice. Which world order so we wish to subscribe to? The answer will split us, will make us angry. It will make us the reluctant fundamentalist.
 
PS: I checked out the image results for the movie and it does zero justice to how beautifully I had pictured everything.

NO MORE HEROES

“Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won’t be. But there is grace in their failings” – Hiral Arora opines about killer robots, wars and humanity, reporting from the United Nations Security Council, SRM MUN 2016.

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Imagine one pet peeve you have and all the dark dead-baby jokes you have heard all your life. Now set your feet in the shoes of a veteran. See from his eyes, how casual causalities are. They are used to blood and pain. They are used to rotting bodies and scavengers.

‘Few beers down and I am ready to work again.’ This routine, this cold heartedness makes a human impervious to brutality. But then you see a dying friend, a dying lover, a dying child, under a pile of debris and you are to live with that image forever. You blame yourself for living through the massacre. You, who thought PTSD is pretentious and you are above it all, you cannot sleep.

You are also the guy who saw a 15 year old child about to shoot you, but was too nervous and kept closing his eyes, his hand shaking and sweaty over the trigger.

You say, ‘Do what you have to goddammit!’

The child trembles and drops the gun and follows it to the floor. You ask him how old he is. You hear out his story, of how we was forced into this war, how his family is being held captive or one of those stories from the pool of background stories of why people are forced into warfare. No one really likes war.

You set him free. You promise to help him. You get him out of danger and make sure he survives, atleast for now.

Second chances. Mercy. Sparing a life.

These are not possible when this decision is made in nano-seconds by a machine which has no option but to follow a set of instructions you feed into it. You feed the entire Humanitarian Law literature into the machine, and still it wouldn’t know.

How heartless.

The lines and lines of code we put, to create a robot in the image of mankind, thinking of ourselves as pseudo gods. Atheism is the reason, one could say, and science is the new religion. Everyone wants to be more powerful than the rest, god resides in all of us, giving us a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

But transferring that sense in the form of laws? The humanity of humans is intangible. We do not understand it perfectly ourselves, look at all our romances, look at all our contradictions.

There needs to be a way to stop wars. Making robots fight instead is not one of them. Call it my pet peeve.