Rise of the planet of the COWS

Mammadika’s Anecdote

This article is about mammad ikka. Mammad or Mammadikka as he prefers to be known is a well-known face to a major part of alleppey’s population. Though a butcher by profession, he has none of the cliché crude rough look usually associated to his fellow butchers. He has been serving beef and mutton to generations of families.

It was on the eve of first day of Ramadan that the circular banning cattle slaughter came into effect. He blatantly admits how worried he was. The old government and its schemes never reached him but then he was left in peace to earn his bread, but now the circumstances posed a threat to the only one profession he knew. His logic is simple
We both have a cow each, you can worship your cow and all the same I should have the same freedom to act according to my whim. As long as I don’t pose a problem with your actions you can’t deny me my beef.“He knew changes were happening for quite some time, that all across India human rights were being violated for the sake of cow rights but he never expected a nation wide official intervention.  Instances of people being harassed and even slaughtered, from different parts of the subcontinent added to his worries.

Two weeks into the slaughter ban his life hasn’t been much affected. All thanks to him being in Kerala. It’s true that procurement has become a little difficult but ironically demand for beef has seen a boost among his customers. It’s with a sly smile that he remarks that the customers want to have their fill of beef before a more encompassing ban is effected. With different courts of justice spread across the country pronouncing different and often contradicting justices the whole picture is nothing less than a mayhem. Despite all this he is optimistic. He is sure that all the chaos happening all across the country is not going to barge in to Kerala.

It is not the state govt’s denial of central notification or the order of the high courts that supplement his optimism, it is his belief in Keralites. Separatists and fascist forces have time and again tried to create unrest here and failed desperately. It’s the majority he appreciates, for all credit is due to them for not being narrow-minded enough to put cows before humans. This is the reason behind the wry smile playing on his lips.

 

PS – When an individual  is unwilling to give up his beef it’s just not his taste buds he is succumbing to, it’s his freedom of choice he is upholding. Call the Keralites Somalians, Pakistani’s or whatever but at least a human life weighs more than that of a cows over here. And meanwhile instances like these should bother you more than a plate of beef.
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Newbie at the gym !

“Nobody can stop you from being the best version of yourself”. “First you need to grant yourself permission to achieve  things you have always wanted”. “When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen”. So much optimism, so much motivation and encouragement. That’s exactly why he ended up at the gym with 3 months of vacation to while away.  It was all perfect, couldn’t have got better. The evening timing suited his late morning sleep cycle for after all 8’o clock classes at college had already suppressed his sleep more than enough all through the year. Pretty optimistic were the expectations he had at a transformation.

The first week was literally synonymous to pain in the neck. All those body muscles hardly overworked for over 19 years found it unreasonable that they had to suddenly flex and lift weights and do seemingly weird exercises. To top it all the first leg day made him realize how difficult the stairs actually are. But over time the pain passed , but what was to dawn was even harder. Daily presence of the beefed up toned people around him motivated him and he felt happy to be at the right place, but it hurt him a bit too much the day he  came to know the duration of time(years )they spend for toning. Overjoyed was he when one of the most built guy in the gym suggested steroids to him, but then knowing chances of infertility if not done properly made him hesitant.

Over time the pain passed but there was no visible rip’s appearing. But then he was getting healthier inside out, he felt stronger. The toned people in the gym were no longer strangers to him, there company and lifestyle inspired him. He realized being healthy was not just about the appearance,that the effort and duration were actually worth it. Things weren’t easy, vacation passed but by now the gym was already a part of his daily routine. He had to endure pain, he had to sacrifice other joys to spend time at the gym. He got mocked at for the slow progress that he was making but he remained perseverant. One day a newly admitted guy at the gym wanted to know how he had developed his body, that day he ceased to be the newbie he once was. After all you earn your body.

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the ‘Player’ the ‘Kozhi'(stalker) & the ‘Ladies-man’

3 very similar words, used in very similar contexts but instills a varied notion. While one degrades the image, another is just a reference and yet another ends up being an appreciation. We have proud “player’s” , those secretive “kozhi’s” who wish from there hearts for their actions to go unnoticed  and them “ladies-men”.To be honest these guys aren’t very different in  there actions its more or less all about circumstances. Maybe the same guy who happens to be one chicks crush is a pain in the neck to another chick.

Undoubtedly the best is ‘a one girl guy’ , but to not appreciate a player is nothing less than ridiculous. But if you look at it closely a player is none other than a kozhi who upped his game and owns a very high success rate. Its ironical indeed , cause everyone looks up-to a player but ‘kozhi’ is a dig at another’s self esteem. Then there are the whole hoards of charming, innocent friend-zoned guys who actually can listen to all the blabbering’s and gossips of girls for hours together. “Striking similarity to a person admiring a plastic fruit basket”, aint it 😉 . Talking about kozhi’s(stalkers) I can;t help but quote from a meme “If he is handsome he is a secret admirer, if not he is a stalker“. Of late things have become very messed up.

That guy pursuing his single love is called a kozhi, the friend-zoned guy is called a kozhi,  the player who actually gets laid is called a kozhi, the stalker is called a kozhi, the molester is also called a kozhi. Everyone is called  a kozhi. Even the introverted lad who talked to a girl about his major project is called a kozhi. SAD. From a movie scene in which kozhi was used to depict extreme form of stalking , the term has grown to envelope nearly all kinds of female interactions. The other day, I heard- a nerd who repeatedly had doubts to be cleared from a young teacher being called a kozhi. This trend is here to stay and will unless until something even more degrading comes by. The seniors stopped you from striking a conversation with that crush of yours in first year, don’t let the fear of being ‘kozhi’ shamed stop you now.  Make your subtle proceedings and let them kozhi calls be nothing but your romance’s BGM. 😀

Engineers: most versatile and best multitaskers

#Malabar_hub_meet_2016

Powerful indeed is the empire of habit & that is what empowers us engineers. We are all nothing but an outcome of what we repeatedly do or are made to do. After having done with the high school all those chubby, innocent kids with prompt legacy of high scoring grades join with aims of nothing less than to top. Alas! They couldn’t have been more wrong, caught in the frenzy, procrastination rings all around.   Screenshot_2016-06-29-21-21-10

The sheer amount of workload on those pre-exam nights to be covered in the minimal time at hand brings about new avenues of one-selves that the undergraduate himself might never have been aware. Over time he himself transforms to be more efficient and a multi tasker in its true essence. It’s never an exaggeration when trolls come around about them being experts in a subject overnight. One even comes across overnight 9 pointers, not the best of ways but a method worth its perks. As John Dryden rightly saidWe first make our habits, and then our habits make us “. 50 subjects , accompanying practicals,  lab sessions, vivas, assignments, and projects to fill in your 8 sems and all you have got is 4 years.One just doesn’t learn the course here, its life that you get prepared to face. Respect. 

Numerous courses all around! Ever wondered what gives the edge to b tech, when it comes to getting placed? In addition to the scores of engineering related opportunities, engineers thrive in other sectors too. Because they tend to fulfill employee desirability qualities. While the course enhances their problem solving  & innovating nature. The sheer workload that they successfully juggled through vouches for their flexibility and versatile multi tasking. To sum it up engineers make a good versatile employee and a versatile employee is a valuable employee. Employee resistant to change will soon be an out of work employee. Most of the contemporary day studies proclaim multitasking as a mental version of apocalypse. But many closer scrutinies have revealed existence of harmful multitasking as well as a beneficial multitasking. If not done properly it does affect physical and mental health and daily productivity, but in right doses it helps one to amply
save time
save money
increase productivity.

From the era of moleskin wearers to this era of rockets and smartphones mankind sure saw an incredible journey of innovations. It won’t be exaggerating to say we owe most of it to the remarkable engineers of the world. We have developed as a species thanks to the toil & brains of successful engineers of both past and present. From Gustave Eiffel to Karl Benz to Neil Armstrong to Larry Page , engineers have led with example. They have traversed successfully routes both engineering related & otherwise. The amount of work accomplished in their respective fields point to the versatility & efficiency each one of them possessed.  Not very different are the abilities and responsibilities possessed and dealt with by engineers who as coders, designers, builders, developers, administrators etc throng the job industry of today. The society at large prefers convenience. Work needs to be got done with, as compactly as possible. May it be a feature that enables one hand operation in an android or a self driving mode in a car, the public looks up to its engineers- the designers & builders for innovations. Thus the “versatility” in addition to being a performance boost, is also a responsibility as far as engineers are concerned.

 

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“That which is born in fire, will not be affected by a hot Sun.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we turning dumber when devices are turning smarter?

#Malabar_hub_meet 

It was just another conversation with a ‘pothead’ acquaintance of mine, I was taken aback when amidst his tall claims about how much good it was doing to him, he asserted that I was a fool to believe in studies that say it negatively impacted the brain. Says he “The documented fact about the chief ingredient cannabinol activating the dedicated cannabinol receptors in brain interfering profoundly with memory and our ability to concentrate on several things at once have less cognitive loss than cognitive loss from multitasking that smart phones and smart devices introduced me to”. Sadly, required googling proved him right.Smart devices have become a Swiss army knife like appliance that include dictionary, calculator, web browser, fitness checker, flashlight to what not. Indeed more powerful and more potentially equipped than super computers at IBM 30 years ago. They are taking over, one can’t help but muse at what Einstein said decades ago- “I fear the day when technologywill surpass our human interaction. We will have a generation of idiots.”

Superficially there are numerous ways in which change has been effected.

  • We no longer remember phone numbers.( crippling us at adverse gadget’less situations)
  • Primary school goers cites autocorrect as there excuse for inept spelling capability.
  • We share too much info and fail to live in and soak the moment.(chances are pretty high even a meteor strike to be welcomed by selfie camera’s in this obsessed age.)
  • Socially STUPID (Ouch! That does hurt. 4 friends at a restaurant looking into 4 devices while waiting ain’t an uncommon site these days. Hey presto! You guys are humans you could talk.)
  • A very ltd vocabulary. Instead of using sophisticated words like sophisticated cool and cheesy gets there way.
  • Lose sleep.

The big question is, in addition to these superficial effects are we being affected on a more deeper complex lasting manner?Well , biologists say the effects does last. Each new technology strengthens a certain neural pathway and weakens others. These cellular level alterations continue to reshape the way we think even long after we have switched off or devices.

But then, one may say, every medium develops a skill at the expense of another.”Aren’t our ability to do jobs that involve keeping track of simultaneous signals at once(air traffic for instance) improving? Aren’t we being more efficient at multiple fronts?”Sadly numerous studies have revealed that, it’s only in our fool’s paradise that we are elegant air ball jugglers, plummeting into reality we are mere plate shifters. The smart world never encourages us to slow down, keeping us in a perpetual mental locomotion. What we have sacrificed is our capacity to engage in quieter attentive modes of THOUGHT that underpin contemplation, reflection and introspection. We are increasingly cramping in our free times- may it be at the restaurant, in the KSRTC bus, or in a registration queue.

Ideally we delegate responsibility for mental tasks to the devices inorder to free ourselves to more meaningful work. But we turn over the tasks of life to technology in order to free ourselves to push in that extra round of mini militia, scrabble or whatever is trending. These constant distractions and interruptions are turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers. We are becoming mere signal processing units shepherding disjointed bits of information in and out of short term memory. One hopes “The ability to think will not go the tail way!

To sum it all up, the gadgets play to the tune of our brain whose innate bias is to be distracted. Great thinkers have time and again called brain a lazy worker for it tries to finish the job at hand on the easiest way possible. It’s no less than frightening since as  Senecca, the Roman philosopher rightly said “To be everywhere is nowhere”.

Faraway from this train of thought all this arguments can be successfully contradicted. The way human researches are progressing, prove that these modern devices haven’t had a bad effect on development invention or critical thought. What’s interpreted as distraction could be drawn out as an opportunity to expand knowledge, the state of distractedness inferred as a chance for varied concentration. Usage and application highlighted at the expense of thought process.

In a world where even the written word was viewed with suspicion centuries past, these arguments against the smart’ening could be easily brushed aside as useless. The smart world could be viewed as another link to advancement not decay of human mind and spirit.

 

Clearly there can never be an absolute conclusion. Time will be the sole judge. Things like QAMA calculator, the ones that doesn’t give you exact answer until your answer is atleast approximately accurate does point to new avenues where smart and intelligent can be in harmony. Trails less traveled are after all waiting 🙂 .

When youth goes the Green way

Plant_for_Planet_Challenge

Climate change is happening & the most saddening fact is we the humans are causing it. It’s high time that we resolve to make a difference, however small or insignificant the step may seem.
The rules are lucid. Grab a sapling, get it planted in your surrounding, say cheese to your selfie with the sapling in the frame & when you share challenge 5 more people to do the same. Lo & behold! In addition to taking a green step yourself. you just began a cycle that could maybe lead to a whole legion of new green steps, after all one could never predict. Seems conspicuously similar to ‘Ice bucket Challenge’? well no denials! things that worked are best when not left alone, doesn’t hurt at all especially as it is for your own nature. At the end of the day it does serve more purpose than overturning buckets of chilled water.

We at NIT Calicut as part of Tathva has begun the initiative. Indisputably, more the number of green steps the better it gets. So get hold of your shovel and do the needful if you happen to come across #plant_for_planet_challenge and we have mayors across districts giving you company in this UNEP recognised drive.

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