Friday, June 26, 2009

Bye dear!

This is too early! I really wanted to see you living to be very old..

But then, now you'll be in that golden list of prodigies, geniuses who died young, when they were full of that exhilarating, inspiring energy, fully remembered, talked about, instead of being old, weak and forgotten..

I shall try to console myself thus ...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why Men Don't Have a Clue & Women Always Need More Shoes

Book title: Why Men Don't Have a Clue & Women Always Need More Shoes

Authors: Allan & Barbara Pease

ISBN: 978-0-7528-7940-6 (Orion Books-2006)

Just finished reading Why Men Don't Have a Clue & Women Always Need More Shoes. This is the book big-boobed Maisa (no, she won't be offended as having read this book, she now knows that "a man may not be able to talk about a girl without picturing her naked" :) and "a woman must try to understand and put up with this 'weird' male biology"! ) was seen poring over for days. I borrowed it from her when she was done.

The book was exhilarating right from the Introduction. Funny language interspersed with hilarious jokes and tidbits of handy information makes it an interesting read. The book is largely about traits and characteristics of the sexes and relationships and relating between them. It helps the reader to get a pretty deep insight into the complexities of the opposite sex and how to handle them for the best results. Explanations of facts are done mostly based on theories drawing heavily from fields such as Evolutionary Anthropology, and in spite of assumptions that look a bit far-fetched in places and devoid of citation of immediate references that make them appear no better than ground level hypotheses, the reader can gain a lot from this book for sure.

A funny realisation about myself that dawned on me while reading the book was that I prefer titles starting with Why to those starting with How. For instance, I may not be interested in the title How to be rich, but change the title to Why you are not rich, and I may read it :)

The authors seem to have shared chapters in the book. Eventhough they don't explicitly say which portions are handled by whom, I could sort of detect the thing from the transition in style. While the jokes and funny observations that appeared in pages I believe to have been handled by Allan were awesomely hilarious, those that appeared on pages I believe to be from Barbara failed to excite me in the least degree. But then, the book itself says that the jokes that men find delightful and love to tell are entirely different from those that elicit laughter in women, and vice versa.

If not for anything else, the book can be read just for the fun of it!

Book courtesy: Maisa

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sahih Bukhari- vol. 1

Book title: Sahih Bukhari- vol. 1
Author: Bukhari

The strongest thought that comes to mind after reading this volume is how a religion can be changed from bad to worse by lopsided interpretations based on obscurantist obstinacy and lack of common sense. What I feel after reading this is that there is enough possibility for Islam to be a better religion than what it is now. If only it could be handled a bit more sensibly. If only someone could knock some sense into the heads of the leaders who preach it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heaven & Hell

' Narrated Abu Huraira:
The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" He replied, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?" They replied, "No, O Allah's Apostle!" He said, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?" They replied in the negative. He said, "You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, 'I am Your Lord.' They will say, 'We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him. Then Allah will come to them again and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, 'You are our Lord.' Allah will call them, and As−Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, 'O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us.' There will be hooks like the thorns of Sa'dan [??] in Hell. Have you seen the thorns of Sa'dan [??]?" The people said, "Yes." He said, "These hooks will be like the thorns of Sa'dan [??] but nobody except Allah knows their greatness in size and these will entangle the people according to their deeds; some of them will fall and stay in Hell forever; others will receive punishment (torn into small pieces) and will get out of Hell, till when Allah intends mercy on whomever He likes amongst the people of Hell, He will order the angels to take out of Hell those who worshipped none but Him alone. The angels will take them out by recognizing them from the traces of prostrations, for Allah has forbidden the (Hell) fire to eat away those traces. So they will come out of the Fire, it will eat away from the whole of the human body except the marks of the prostrations. At that time they will come out of the Fire as mere skeletons. The Water of Life will be poured on them and as a result they will grow like the seeds growing on the bank of flowing water. Then when Allah had finished from the Judgments amongst his creations, one man will be left between Hell and Paradise and he will be the last man from the people of Hell to enter paradise. He will be facing Hell, and will say, 'O Allah! Turn my face from the fire as its wind has dried me and its steam has burnt me.' Allah will ask him, "Will you ask for anything more in case this favor is granted to you?' He will say, "No by Your (Honor) Power!" And he will give to his Lord (Allah) what he will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then turn his face from the Fire. When he will face Paradise and will see its charm, he will remain quiet as long as Allah will. He then will say, 'O my Lord! Let me go to the gate of Paradise.' Allah will ask him, 'Didn't you give pledges and make covenants (to the effect) that you would not ask for anything more than what you requested at first?' He will say, 'O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched amongst Your creatures.' Allah will say, 'If this request is granted, will you then ask for anything else?' He will say, 'No! By Your Power! I shall not ask for anything else.' Then he will give to his Lord what He will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then let him go to the gate of Paradise. On reaching then and seeing its life, charm, and pleasure, he will remain quiet as long as Allah wills and then will say, 'O my Lord ! Let me enter Paradise.' Allah will say, May Allah be merciful unto you, O son of Adam! How treacherous you are! Haven't you made covenants and given pledges that you will not ask for anything more that what you have been given?' He will say, 'O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched amongst Your creatures.' So Allah will laugh and allow him to enter Paradise and will ask him to request as much as he likes. He will do so till all his desires have been fulfilled . Then Allah will say, 'Request more of such and such things.' Allah will remind him and when all his desires and wishes have been fulfilled, Allah will say "All this is granted to you and a similar amount besides." '

-(Sahih Bukhari- Vol. 1, No:770)

(pic. by
Carmen Lomas Garza)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SAW May/Jun '09

Received May/Jun issue of Saudi Aramco World . Thanks SAW!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

തരൂരും തൃശൂരും

Varamozhi Editor: Text Exported for Print or Save

ഞാൻ വളരെ ബഹുമാനിക്കുന്ന ശശി തരൂറിന്റെ മുകളിൽ കാണുന്ന tweets ആണ്‌ ഈ പോസ്റ്റിനാധാരം.

പഠാണികൾ ധാരാളമുള്ളിടത്താണ്‌ എന്റെ വീട്‌. ചെറുപ്പം മുതലേ അവിടെ വളർന്നു. അവിടെ ഒരു റോഡിന്‌ പഠാൺ റോഡ്‌ എന്ന്‌ പേരുമുണ്ട്‌. മലയാളി-പഠാണികളെയാണ്‌ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത്‌, UAEയിലെ ടാക്സിയോടിക്കുന്ന ഒറിജിനൽ പഠാണിയല്ല. പക്ഷെ, 'പഠാൺ' എന്ന വാക്ക്‌ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിലെഴുതുമ്പോൾ Pathan എന്നാണ്‌ സാധാരണ എഴുതുന്നത്‌. അതുകൊണ്ട്‌ മലയാളികളിൽ പലരും അതിനെ 'പത്താൻ' എന്നുച്ചരിക്കുന്നു. കാരണം, മലയാളികൾ transliterate ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ 'th' എന്നതിനെ 'ഠ' എന്നല്ല ,'ത' എന്നാണുച്ചരിക്കുന്നത്‌. അതായത്‌, 'tha' as in 'thanks'. അതുകൊണ്ടാവണം 'തരൂർ' എന്നത്‌ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിൽ Tharoor ആയത്‌. പക്ഷെ 'th' എന്നത്‌ എല്ലാവർക്കും 'ത' അല്ല. വടക്കുള്ളവർക്ക്‌ 't' ആണ്‌ 'ത'. അതേ 't' തന്നെ 'ട' യുമാണ്‌. അപ്പോൾ അവരെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം

th = t + h = ത + ഹ = ഥ


th = t + h = ട + ഹ = ഠ


ഓരോ പ്രദേശത്തും ഓരോ coding ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നു. അല്ലെങ്കിൽ പിന്നെ മലയാളത്തിലെ 'ഴ' എന്ന ശബ്‌ദം എന്തുകണ്ടിട്ടാണ്‌ നമ്മൾ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിൽ 'zha' എന്നാക്കിയിരിക്കുന്നത്‌?

'ശശി തരൂരി'ലെ 'ശശി' എന്ന വാക്കിന്റെ കാര്യത്തിലും ഒരു ഭാഷയെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിലേക്ക്‌ transliterate ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ രംഗപ്രവേശം ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇത്തരം പ്രാദേശികനിയമങ്ങളുടെ പ്രഭാവമുണ്ട്‌. മലയാളികൾ 'ശ' എന്നതിനെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിലാക്കുമ്പോൾ 'sh' എന്നെഴുതുന്നു. അതുകൊണ്ട്‌ 'ശശി' എന്നത്‌ 'Shashi'യായി. പക്ഷെ ഒരു വടക്കേ ഇന്ത്യക്കാരന്‌ അത്‌ 'Sasi'യാണ്‌. 'Sakuntala', 'Asoka' തുടങ്ങിയ വാക്കുകളിൽ അവർ 'Sh'-നു പകരം 'S' മാത്രമുപയോഗിക്കുന്നു.

തൃശൂരിനെ 'Trichur എന്ന് എഴുതുന്നത്‌ 'accurate' ആണെന്ന്‌ ശശി തരൂർ പറയുന്നു. 'Thrissur' എന്നത്‌ sub-literate ആണെന്നും. പക്ഷെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പേരിൽ 'ത' എന്നതിന്‌ 'th' ഉപയോഗിച്ച സ്ഥിതിക്ക്‌ 'തൃശൂരി'ലും 'Th' ഉള്ളതല്ലേ കൂടുതൽ 'accurate'? മാത്രമല്ല, 'Trichur' എന്നതിലെ 'ch' എങ്ങനെയാണുച്ചരിക്കുക? 'ch'-നു ഇംഗ്ലീഷിൽ ശ/ഷ, ക, ച എന്നീ ശബ്‌ദങ്ങളുണ്ട്‌. chance-ൽ 'ച' യാണ്‌, character-ൽ 'ക'യാണ്‌. പിന്നെ അപൂർവ്വം വാക്കുകളിൽ മാത്രമാണ്‌ 'ശ/ഷ' ശബ്‌ദം വരുന്നത്‌. ഉദാ: Chevalier, Chivalry etc.

അപ്പോൾ എങ്ങനെയാണ്‌ 'Trichur' accurate ആകുന്നത്‌?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Three Wise Men..

" The story of the Three Wise Men and the birth of Christ is one of the world's most told tales. It's also one, which, for women, illustrates all of the male species' traits that frustrate them. First of all, they simply assumed the heavens revolved around them -- the star shining in the East had been put there expressly for them to follow. Secondly, they didn't arrive at the stable where Jesus was born until more than two months after the event, most probably because they refused to stop on the way and ask for directions. Thirdly, what possible use would a newborn baby and his exhausted new mother want with gifts of gold, frankincense (a resin used for fumigation) and myrrh (a strong-smelling plant oil used for embalming the dead)? And, finally, Three Wise Men? Who's ever seen such an unlikely sight?
Imagine if the story had started Three Wise Women. They would have asked directions, arrived in time to help deliver the baby and brought practical gifts, like nappies, bottles, toys and a bouquet of flowers. They would then have put the animals outside, cleaned the stables, made a casserole, stayed in touch by mail, and there would be peace on Earth for ever more.

Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years.
He wouldn't ask for directions either.

Why does it take 4 million male sperm
to find and fertilize an egg?
Not one wants to ask for directions."

- (Why Men Don't Have a Clue & Women Always Need More Shoes)