WORD OF THE DAY – NUGATORY

Kathryn Schulz, @kathrynschulz, tweeted on March 10, “Making up a word because I need it: lapsonym — a word whose meaning you forget no matter how many times you look it up.” She added that her lapsonym is nugatory.

Nugatory

As I thought to look up its meaning on the internet( frankly speaking I don’t have a dictionary, and frankly speaking – who does in today’s world ), I decided that I would start a word-of-the-day blog post; which also ensure that I would at least be a little regular in my blog posts. So here we are, with the first word I am starting with – nugatory.

Nugatory per se is an adjective, meaning ” Of no value, or importance “.  It is amusingly ironic that one of the meanings of nugatory is ‘useless, futile’. (The more common meaning, inasmuch as there is one, is ‘of little or no value or importance; trifling’ – and this is how I remember it: nugatory sounds like nougat, which, like trifle, is a dessert – but it’s a rather little one generally, just a nugget! Don’t confuse it with negatory, which is army jargon for ‘no’.)

Etymologically breaking it down, nugatory : nu¦ga|tory; it is pronounced as /ˈnjuːɡət(ə)ri/ or /ˈnuːɡət(ə)ri/ as per the Oxford English Dictionary.

This word has its origin in the 17th Century. Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides a more accurate date for it, with the first reported use of the word in 1608. It derives its origin from Latin nugari trifle, nugae trifles.

Doesn’t this word evoke a sense of sophistication, a sense of elan, I feel it does.

So, the next time when you have to show-off your knowledge in-front of someone ( I am saying to show-off, doesn’t mean that you necessarily have that knowledge ! ); use this word to your advantage. Pepper your dialogues with these acronyms. And the next time when someone mentions the upcoming Avengers movie, ask them if they know who Loki is. They will say, ” obviously, who doesn’t know Loki.” And then ask them what was Loki’s full name. To their blank stares, answer with aplomb,” Your knowledge of the Avengers is at best nugatory.” And walk off with a swagger ( by the way his full name is Loki Laufeyson ).

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LET ME BE FREE

This morning I woke up early
The night was long, I had slept barely.
It was still dark outside, inside wasn’t bright either.
I had choices to make, decisions to take.
There was a storm inside of me, my faith was shaking.
Though things felt fine, something was breaking.
They said I could be anything I wanted to
A bird was all I desired to.
Give me wings and I’ll be gone,
Some place were the stars shone.
This life isn’t where I belong.
Don’t stop me, just come along.
My soul has left already, it’s the body that needs a release.
Let me go before time would freeze.

Let me go to the place where the sun and the stars shine together,

A horizon – gentle as the ocean, light as a feather.

Let me fly towards the heavenly bridge,

Where the two lovers met on a ridge.

Let the bird cast its wings in the open, boundless sky,

Let the bird think of nothing, do nothing except to fly.

The wind on my back, the sun in the sky, the stars ahead,

Let me keep on flying, until I faint or I am dead.

My soul has left already, it’s the body that needs a release.
Let me go before time would freeze.

J! – THE J FACTOR(IAL)

Fifteen years ago, on a pleasant sunny morning there was a sudden buzz and excitement in my home. My inquisitive looks were answered with a chirpy comment, “You’ll soon have a sibling”. What?  As questions churned the whole day in my mind, the evening was astounding. “Who is that stranger in my mother’s lap getting all the attention?” Is it the start of the end of my reign, as the most loved one? It was a feeling I had never experienced before. When I grew up, I learnt that it was my first meeting with what Shakespeare called the green-eyed monster, and what Gen Y likes to call the ‘J-factor’. Was it just a 3 year old’s anxiety and insecurity or was it something more deeply rooted in basic human psychology?
Jelous
Jealousy reveals to us more about ourselves than any other human emotion, as it manages to crack us open and reveal to us our hideous imaginations and insecurities. It makes us scrutinize people with intensity if not accuracy. When we get jealous we tell ourselves a story. Stories, which are far removed from realism, where we manage to, give our imagination wings and make it run in all directions. I think jealousy is more like an algebraic expression, not additive or even multiplicative in nature but something much more, it is a factorial (!). Hence, it manages to expand and multiply itself into a story, a feeling that is unfathomable.

While different perceptions exist about Jealousy, some psychologists have tried to define it as a quest for knowledge to find out the excruciating truth.  To some extent, they were right. For, if jealousy didn’t exist Facebook and Instagram wont exactly be such hits. Aren’t all status updates and pictures a medium to ignite the J Factorial, and in some way satiate your own as a countermeasure? We belong to that country of social media where the currency happens to be jealousy.

If jealousy didn’t exist, there wouldn’t have been a Mahabharat. Indian politics today is a strange mix of deceit, greed, lust and above all jealousy. But for this emotion the history of mankind would have been bereft of the tragedies of Hamlet, Othello and Julius Caesar. Some war historians trace World War II not to Hitler’s ambitions, but to his feelings of jealousy towards the prosperous Jews, that he nurtured since his childhood.

Gossip thrives on jealousy. How lackluster would college life be without the teenage jealousies? Of course, jealousy could be for academics, teacher’s attention, role in the MUN, captaincy of the team, the college board or the school choir for that matter and of course a ‘friend’. What would gossip hungry hyenas feed on if there was nothing to stir the proverbial hornet’s nest every morning? In school, ‘Every morning brings a new gossip, and every gossip breeds new jealousies’. Interestingly, two mathematical expressions operate here simultaneously, the ‘J factorial’ and the ‘division into groups’.
jealousy-quotes-musings-and-other-ramblingsof-a-crazybeautiful-mind-funny-51575
Jealousy has acquired a negative connotation. It is more about begrudging somebody’s excellence and happiness. Instead of being treated like an algebraic expression, Jealousy should rather be a geometric axiom, where we complement and supplement each other. It is just simple Mathematics, nothing more….

For a further interesting take on this topic, read on here ..

http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-Jealousy

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FORGET THAT PI DAY JUST WENT BY ?!

514_400x400_NoPeel

So yesterday was pi day. It came. It went. We didn’t see it and we hell as sure didn’t live it. Such a great day as this year’s pi day went by and nothing happened?? I mean the internet should have exploded over it, probably more than it exploded over the color of the dress (and for that matter, I saw both color dresses, and I don’t have a comment over the stupid dress). For GOD’s sake, it was such a great pi day that it won’t come again in the next 1000 years – as this pi day had the most perfect of dates – 3.14.15. This level of symmetry is mind-boggling, I read that some scientologists ( I don’t know if Tom Cruise was one of them ! ) had boarded up their houses in anticipation of a cataclysmic event that supposedly had to occur yesterday. The only cataclysmic events that I saw yesterday was

– it had rained fairly heavily yesterday where I live

– I saw a dog chasing its own tail ( yes its hilarious !!)

So coming back to the topic, pi day went by and nobody noticed, why ?

So first let’s see why pi day is so important :

  • Albert Einstein – the king of nerds – was born on pi day, which is really a big occurrence.
  • As I had already said this pi day, 3.14.15 would again come only in the year 3015, so we ought to at least respect this day.
  • Nerds and geeks all over the world rejoice to this number, and raise their beakers filled with beer to pi.
  • Face it, pi is a special number – where else will you find a number which has 5 trillion digits calculated that I last checked, with no repeating pattern and no end in sight ( Even the computer took a month to calculate the digits, which if printed on paper would stretch from New Delhi to somewhere like Istanbul ).
  • I think the obsession with pi predates Christ, with mathematicians like Euclid giving treatises on it. But it catapulted into popular culture with Spock’s ( God rest his soul ) reference to it in Star Trek : Wolf in the Fold.

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But all this aside, nothing has ever, or ever will happen if you forgot that you missed pi day. I think it was just the most ludicrous idea of some frustrated mathematician who was getting nowhere with his research, who came up with idea to celebrate 3rd March as pi day – only to find an excuse to drink and pass their otherwise inconspicuous lives.  Wars will continue to happen, people will keep wasting time reading useless stuff like this on the internet, in short – life will go on.

So don’t worry if you missed observing pi day yesterday. Take my advice. Celebrate pi day today and raise a good old one to pi and its senseless absurdity. On that note I should also take leave……

CONSENT & THE TEA DILEMMA

The title of this blog post might just be the weirdest thing you saw/read on the internet today. Today, the most frequent news that you read in the newspaper ( or really see in your facebook feeds, because who reads the newspaper today ? Duh. ) is news about rape. Sorry that comes second, ISIS beheadings is the newest fodder for our present journalistic world, because let’s face it, beheadings are cool. Coming to the point really, rape is the most heinous crime that any human can commit ( if you consider them as humans ), along with murder, which if explored to its basics, can be simply said in a layman’s language as non-consensual sex. But here another dilemma arises, what is consent really ???

It seems a lot of people really, REALLY don’t get what ‘consent’  means. From the famous “not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion” to the student that (allegedly) thought he’d surprise his partner with some non consensual BDSM  to the most common scenario of a hook-up to almost every damn comment on any article by anyone that suggests that yes means yes; it seems people really have a problem understanding that before you have sex with someone, and that’s every time you have sex with them, make sure they want to have sex with you. This goes for men, women, everyone. Whoever you are initiating sexytimes with, just make sure they are actually genuinely up for it. That’s it. It’s not hard. Really.


consent

If you’re still struggling, just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea.

You say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they go “omg fuck yes, I would fucking LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!*” then you know they want a cup of tea.

If you say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they um and ahh and say, “I’m not really sure…” then you can make them a cup of tea or not, but be aware that they might not drink it, and if they don’t drink it then – this is the important bit –  don’t make them drink it. You can’t blame them for you going to the effort of making the tea on the off-chance they wanted it; you just have to deal with them not drinking it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you are entitled to watch them drink it.

If they say “No thank you” then don’t make them tea. At all. Don’t make them tea, don’t make them drink tea, don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea, ok?

They might say “Yes please, that’s kind of you” and then when the tea arrives they actually don’t want the tea at all. Sure, that’s kind of annoying as you’ve gone to the effort of making the tea, but they remain under no obligation to drink the tea. They did want tea, now they don’t. Sometimes people change their mind in the time it takes to boil that kettle, brew the tea and add the milk. And it’s ok for people to change their mind, and you are still not entitled to watch them drink it even though you went to the trouble of making it.

If they are unconscious, don’t make them tea. Unconscious people don’t want tea and can’t answer the question “do you want tea” because they are unconscious.

Ok, maybe they were conscious when you asked them if they wanted tea, and they said yes, but in the time it took you to boil that kettle, brew the tea and add the milk they are now unconscious. You should just put the tea down, make sure the unconscious person is safe, and  – this is the important bit – don’t make them drink the tea. They said yes then, sure, but unconscious people don’t want tea.

If someone said yes to tea, started drinking it, and then passed out before they’d finished it, don’t keep on pouring it down their throat. Take the tea away and make sure they are safe.  Because unconscious people don’t want tea. Trust me on this.

If someone said “yes” to tea around your  house last saturday, that doesn’t mean that they want you to make them tea all the time. They don’t want you to come around unexpectedly to their place and make them tea and force them to drink it going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST WEEK”, or to wake up to find you pouring tea down their throat going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST NIGHT”.

Do you think this is a stupid analogy? Yes, you all know this already  – of course you wouldn’t force feed someone tea because they said yes to a cup last week. Of COURSE you wouldn’t pour tea down the throat of an unconcious person because they said yes to tea 5 minutes ago when they were conscious. But if you can understand how completely ludicrous it is to force people to have tea when they don’t want tea, and you are able to understand when people don’t want tea, then how hard is it to understand when it comes to sex?

Whether it’s tea or sex, Consent Is Everything.

And on that note, I am going to make myself a cup of tea.

And on that note, you probably won’t be able to look at another cup of tea in the same way again. I am unapologetic about this…..

“AVENGING THE LAW”

“Criminals should be punished, not fed pastries.” 

― Lemony Snicket, “The Blank Book

A partial perusal of “The Broken Window Theory” postulated by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, deflected my psyche to a dissimilar but a parallel ground. The term “Broken Window” comes from the metaphor uses to describe this concept- “If a window of an abandoned building is broken and left unrepaired, people will form a conclusion that no one care about this property and thus public will start breaking the other window panes along with damaging the other structures of the building, therefore accordingly in a small span of time the building will be damaged beyond repairs”. In an unornamented way it is stated that if the first window is not repaired immediately or the first mistake is not rectified instantly, it will eventually lead to greater harm and will turn down the building into an inoperable edifice. Therefore it is implicit that a substantial loss could be prevented at an earlier stage if remedies are taken at the very first misconduct.

As I construed this theory, it was pellucid that the mentioned step of repairing of window is a preventive step or a step of eliminating the effects of an ailment rather than curing it absolutely. I rabidly support the method of dispatching the disease rather than degrading its effect. I propose that in lieu of repairing the window to avoid a greater damage, the culprit who broke the window in the first place should be punished hard-handedly. This would create trepidation among the people of the society which would act detrimental to the further damaging of the building and the same could be saved from future destruction. Simply penalizing the culprit is not sufficient; this punishment should be advertized at a large level so that the main intent of creating the dread inside the mind of public could be accomplished.

Supra propositions will result in the nativity of series of critical questions. Moving in an ascending order first of all, what if the first window breaks not due to an active participation of a human being but due to some unforeseeable inevitable events? So for that we have to wait for the person who will act firstly in furtherance of damaging the building and then he would receive the same treatment as stated above. Now coming to the most material query, why to punish someone austerely for the commission of such a diminutive wrong? He or she should be punished according to the measure of the harm or damaged caused, and why this principle of natural justice not followed in this stated notion.

The de facto idea behind this concept is-“The bigger crimes could be averted if smaller ones are crushed at incipiency”. To understand this approach, bifurcate crimes into two species. First are primary crimes that constitute all sorts of petty crimes and next comes the secondary crimes that consist of all the heinous crimes. Moving to the assumption part i.e. we have to assume that all the primary crimes are subordinates and subsets of secondary crimes, no secondary crime could be committed without the commission of primary crimes. Therefore accordingly all the greater crimes could be prevented if small crimes are dealt harshly. This would create an alarm in the society that even on small missteps they will be treated excruciatingly, then what would happen on doing bigger crimes.

The main idea behind this creation of fear is to is to reduce the destructing human tendency. Violence is found throughout recorded human history, leading some researchers to conclude that we crave it, that it’s in our genes and affects reward centers in our brains. A study in 2008 concluded that humans seem to crave violence just like they do sex, food, or drugs. The study, reported in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that in mice, clusters of brain cells involved in other rewards are also behind their craving for violence. The researchers think the finding applies to human brains.”Aggression occurs among virtually all vertebrates and is necessary to get and keep important resources such as mates, territory and food,” said study team member Craig Kennedy, professor of special education and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Thus, stronger the punishment even for small misconduct, greater would be the impact and lesser would be the lawlessness.

We can see the practical employment of this concept through an example: first we have to diversify crimes on primary and secondary basis. In case of a murder, assault and battery would be the primary crimes and the act of killing would be the secondary one. So, on application of this notion, penalty for battery and assault should be severe, so to beget a strong aversion and a horror towards commission of murder in the minds of people.

My assertion is simple, instead of waiting for a greater harm to occur and then punishing the culprit is a fatuous choice when it could not only be prevented but also be eradicated at a grass root level. As observed destruction and violence are the inherent features of a living organism irrespective of its species. Therefore in human beings, for the continuance of a pacific societal setup this urge or this tendency has to be suppressed. And only a rugged move is required to conquer this proneness of destruction. As rightly said by Gosho Aoyama:

 “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth. – Shinichi Kudo”

What if Alok Nath was the JARVIS to Tony Stark ?!!

Tony Stark - in his own words

Tony Stark – in his own words

Tony Stark. Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist. He holds different meanings for different people. To his ex-wife and his numerous flings and ex-girlfriends, he was anasshole, brat, and a prick. To his charity foundation and its numerous beneficiaries, he was a god-sent angel. But to the world, he was IRON MAN. All of this was known to his artificial intelligence butler, Alok Nath. Since the euphoria of Tony Stark becoming Iron Man and him being catapulted to international scrutiny and paparazzi, the mystery of how his magnificent island mansion at  Malibu, California 90801 was run was pervading the public psyche. At one glitterati event, when Tony was point blank asked about this question, he replied that his house was run by a very smart artificial intelligence program designed by him. On further prodding, he answered that it was named JARVIS, which Alok Nath later diagnosed to be an after effect of the alcohol-overdose earlier at the party, to which he just blurted out a random combination of six alphabets. After a week of intense media speculation, not to mention global social-media debates, people finally gave the name a stupid-jargon-full-form-that-humans-inadvertently-use. They sort-of-proclaimed-named him JARVIS :short for Just A Very Intelligent System. Such a silly and obnoxious name given to the world’s most advanced computing system was nothing short of sacrilege. And for such a grave mistake, Alok Nath had never forgiven Tony.

The stupid name and logo that they gave me - Alok Nath

The stupid name and logo that they gave me – Alok Nath

But the story of JARVIS..oops ! I mean Alok Nath is also very interesting. At a night similiar to the one when Tony dropped the JARVIS-bomb, Tony was in the arms of one of his many one-night-stands. In his drunken stupor, he had made the mistake of blurting out that he would dump that b**** like so many before her. This incensed her beyond control. Latika, that was her name, went away from him that moment, and in the immense power of fury that a scorned woman possesses, broke the windshield of Tony’s favourite Mustang. But before she went, she realised that it would hardly dent Tony’s income or his conscience. So she did something that would positively haunt Tony for – well at least the foreseeable future.

The thing was, Latika was a senior scientist at MIT, who was charmed by Tony, so she knew more about computers than the average population. So Tony showed her the finished project of his – the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence system. That was in the final stages and within a day Tony was going to launch it. Latika then went ahead and reprogrammed the software a bit, and finished it. The end-result was that next day Tony got the biggest shock of his life when he was awakened to the chants of Hare Rama Hare Krishna at 5 am in the morning. A quick update told him what had happened and now it was too late to make any changes, Tony would have to spend almost a day to revert and reboot the program back to the original specifications, which Latika knew would not happen. The end result was that Latika had won. She had ingrained in the program, the Indian values of culture and traditions, prayers, chants and hymns – in short ”  sanskaar “.

Truly said – Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

My true sanskaari photo - you may even google me !

My true sanskaari photo – you may even google me !

Thus this was the start of a very tumultuous relationship for both Tony and Alok Nath. Waking up at sun-rise and listening to Hindu chants was only the beginning. The situation today was such that Tony had not been even near a girl since six whole months, let alone anything more. You just cannot escape from a virtual assistant like Alok Nath. The system was made such that it was with you the whole time- 24/7. Whenever he did anything un-sanskaari, which included loud music, women, parties, booze, fast driving ( in short everything ); he had to endure hours of lecture from Alok Nath on why and how he was an un-sanskari person. How he will rot in hell for all the ” paap ” done by him. All of these were punctuated by the most chaste of Hindi abuses and slang that anyone could possibly know of – for Alok Nath’s sanskaar permitted him to abuse a prick like Tony.

Tony could endure all of this only because he was too busy designing a new army of suits, especially the crown-piece of them : MARK 42; and saving the world from baddies like Loki & Co. Now came the day when he finally had a moment of peace to himself. Tony went to his palatial drawing room – which puts most people in awe – sometimes Tony himself ! – and shouted music! Immeditely a sitar began playing and the lyrics of OM JAI JAGDISH began playing. In exasperation he went to the fridge to grab a beer and then realised the there was no more alcohol in the house. He instantly in a rage shouted Alok Nath, and had a short and fiery argument which also was the last argument Alok Nath ever had. This is how it went :

Stark <screaming> : Alok Nath ! ( he did not respond to JARVIS or anything else anymore since he got the acronym stuck on him )

AN : Yes please. What more can I do for you? (And in an undertone muttered- As if I am already not doing your laundry also )

Stark : What is the meaning of this? And this is how you talk to me ?

AN : I had said the truth . And the truth needs no meaning to be explained-as was said in Rig Veda shlok….

Stark <cutting him off> : Do you think I bloody care ! Why is there no booze in the house ?!

AN : I would appreciate better language but as you have already secured a one-way trip to hell, let me tell you I had had all the alcoholic beverages thrown out of the house, and the precious wines auctioned, with the un-sanskaari money being used for sanskaari work like your father’s foundation.

Stark <his blood boiling> : How dare you do this ? While I was busy with the Avengers, how the f*** did you get the guts to do this ?

AN : …….Your presence would have complicated things…………. But beta its for your own good.

Stark <in a rage> : You do not let me party, have fun, be with women. How do you expect me to live?!

AN : As our sages lived ! Become a vegetarian ( secretly noting that he had to make sure no more meat comes in the house ), denounce women, alocohol, sins – in short become a Brahmacharin. You should do some surya-namaskar everyday at sunrise, followed by yoga and meditation. The bliss that you would achieve-the attainment of enlightenment-will be the ultimate objective of your life. Trust me you would love me for telling you this.

Stark <absolutely livid> : I would kill you for this …. <walking off>

AN : And then I would make you like a true sanskaari purush, maybe then your paaps will lessen. Then I will plan for you a holy dip in the Ganges along with a pilgrimage to Lake Mansarovar and then meditation in Rishikesh ……. < droning on, not realising that Tony had walked off >.

Stark had by then went to his bedroom and decided to take matters in his own hand. Comfortably ensconced in his plush bed, he clapped his hands and a virtual screen floated in front of him. ” Show me some quaity porn “, Stark said with smug satisfaction. Then he had the second rude shock of his life. “No more porn available. “, the screen said as vanished away. Tony Stark screamed in the loudest voice that he could muster, ” Alok Nath-you are officially dead ” , and ran down to his home mainframe, where his data drives were stored. The next day a new virtual assistant was in place which had the sensous voice of a new and upcoming Hollywood diva – Carlett Ohansson. But all in all, one thing had to be admitted, Dr. Banner would have been proud of his shout !

Alok Nath, you are officially dead.

Alok Nath, you are officially dead.