Innocence

"Oh, he/she is so innocent"

Have you heard this statement quite often? At least I have. And "so" becomes "soooo" or "choo" depending on the gender of the statement maker. If you know me, you would have very rarely, if ever, heard me making such a statement. I have always had this confusion as to what innocence means. I seriously did not know the exact difference between innocence and ignorance. You always call a child as innocent, and not ignorant. If somebody has not committed a crime or has no knowledge of the crime, he is called innocent. But, if a person does not know about lets say anthropology, he is said to be ignorant about the subject. Definitely not innocent!

So, I started this little research on the word "innocence". People mostly use the word "innocence" to define people who are trustworthy, dependable, not cheating and a whole lot of "good" qualities (including, not being aware of bad qualities). Innocence means "Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil" (Reference: answers.com). So, if lack of knowledge of evil is what constitutes innocence, is it right to glorify that quality as something great? I seriously dont think that innocence is a good quality. And as I saw that definition from answers.com, I realized why I dont often make such a statement.

If you call a child as innocent, there is no guarantee that the child will not grow to be evil. It is the lack of knowledge of evil, at that point of time, that is making him innocent. So, the good quality is not because of awareness or conscious choice, but because of ignorance towards evil. Now, you cannot expect a child to be "aware", so its okay for a child to be innocent. But, why give a compliment to a grown up as "innocent"? Assume that there is a villager, who has stayed all his life in his village, where all the people are very honest. So, this villager "is" very honest. Now, if he moves out of his village to some other city, where he witnesses that there is something called as dishonesty, he might become a dishonest person. So, the honesty he had till now was not because of a conscious decision, but because of lack of choices! But, if another person lives in an environment where he knows what dishonesty is, but still has taken a conscious decision to remain honest, he is to me, a really honest person. Going by the same logic, can you really judge a person who never had any temptation, the same way as someone who never yielded to a temptation? If you can judge both the same way, I would call Glen Mcgrath a great batsman, because he was dismissed only 30 times in his entire ODI career!

Am I making sense? Do you still feel you are giving a compliment when you call someone as "innocent"? Or is awareness a better option than innocence?

Ringtones

Why is it that most people don't keep their mobiles in silent mode, in general and particularly in meetings, movie halls, theaters and concerts?
Why is it that people who hate silent mode, don't ever use "Increasing ring" feature?
Why do such people use very loud ring tones?
Why is it that most people use a very common ring tone and it takes them eternity to pick calls? (Yes, they don't even realize that its their mobile that is ringing!)
Why is it that people with the most irritating ring tones are the ones who get calls very regularly?
Why is it that most of the ring tones are monotonic? (Don't you think polyphonic ring tones are so less irritating on the ears?)
Why is it that people so frequently use the default Nokia monotonic ring tone or a badly played version of Malgudi Days? Why have I never heard a nice polyphonic ring tone of Hotel California or Pulp Fiction theme or something?

Why?

Template Changed

Its been almost an year and a half since I started this blog. I always felt that writing as such is a difficult job. I was wrong. Getting the right template for the blog is THE toughest job!

Many of my friends had told me that they did not like the black template I had on my blog. Nobody had explicitly told me that they liked it. So, I would assume that a majority did not like it. Well, first of all, I had failed to get THE template for my blog. Most of them were too dull or too pinkish or too jazzy for my comfort. And some fonts and some layouts just did not appeal to me. The black had seemed the most acceptable at that time. One, not many people used black, so it gave a sense of uniqueness to my blog ;) Two, since I browse late at nights with lights off, a page with a dark background was less strenuous to the eyes (I used to do a Ctrl-A to highlight any word document before reading!)

I have been thinking of changing the template from quite some time. Yesterday, I succeeded in fighting off my laziness and doing it! Though the settings page in blogger is much advanced now, I had as much difficulty in finding the right template again. Pinks and greens were ruled out. Some templates had the posts on the right and profile information on the left. No, I cant be 'left', I am always 'right' - I said to myself and ignored those templates. I would have loved the have the stretched page layouts (My posts are often accused to be too long. So, I had thought that wide posts would be welcome for a change!) But, again the color, font, layout combination was too difficult to get. Well, finally I settled for this "Rounders 2" template. I think I am settling with this for sometime, till Google comes up with real good templates. And for anyone using Google Reader to read blogs, well, the world does not change.

Humor And Women

Quite recently, I was having this discussion with a cousin of mine. The question that popped out of that discussion was - Why are there no female mimicry artists? I thought about it for sometime and realized that there are very very few "mimickable" women. This is not just restricted to India but its almost an international phenomenon (I have not yet seen a female mimicry artist, so my assumption is that the number is very small if not zero, but please correct me if I am wrong) And "mimickable" people should exist in order to mimic them. Now, let me give a few examples of "mimickable".

George Bush is very mimickable. So are Robert De Niro, Amitabh Bachchan, Sharukh Khan, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Vajpayee. Now, Sunil Dutt is not very mimickable. Neither are Bobby Deol, Rahul Bose or George Fernandes. And some people can be "mimickable" by their natural style (like Laloo or Robert De Niro) or may be in a specific performance in a movie (like Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction or Amjad Khan in Sholay) Got what I am saying?

Yes, the unique style or mannerisms that makes a person much different from others is what qualifies for "mimickable". Now, I again have the same question - why are there so very few mimickable women? If you take Hindi cinema, I can only think of the nasal Hema Malini as Basanti who is somewhat mimickable. Other than that, I cannot think of a second example. Same case with international cinema, I guess. Now, not mimickable does not mean any insult - there are lots and lots of beautiful women in movies, many of them "stylish" in a very unique way and extremely talented actresses, but not mimickable in terms of mannerisms or voice or body language. I am amazed by the huge ratio difference in this "mimickable" section. And this is not an area (like may be car racing) which can be argued as typically "male" thing and does not naturally suit women.

So, do you have any idea why women are not "mimickable" in general and hence so very few female mimicry artists? Taking it to a broader perspective, why are there so very few female stand up performers (In that reality show called 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge', I dont remember seeing even one female participant!) and comedians in general? Or in general, is humor a very "non-female" thing?

P.S: This post is in no way to mean any disrespect to women or to show them as inferior. But, this is an honest attempt to know the answers to a few questions thats been bothering me from a very long time. So, anybody commenting, please refrain from using derogatory or demeaning statements.

Pens

Lately I am remembering lot of things about my childhood. Am I getting too old? Is it a premature midlife crisis? Or is it just the outcome of subconscious self psychosis? I dont know!

We were supposed to write using pencil till 4th standard. In the summer holidays that year, we had gone to Bangalore and my dad had got me a couple of reynolds pens. Yes, the same Reynolds 045 Fine Carbure! Getting an opportunity to use pens was a great feeling - it was one way of declaring that we were no longer kids (though this feeling was not as satisfying as wearing pants in high school!) And most of the kids in 5th standard were using Reynolds pen. It was a very simple looking pen, mostly white with a blue cap. The pen was very good, but the cap was so badly designed that keeping the pen in the pocket was so difficult. And we had a group of highly creative minds who would play around with the words on the pen to give new meanings. One of them was like this. In "REYNOLDS 045 FINE CARBURE", they used to erase the last stroke in R to make it look like P. Then erase Y and O. Erase the second stroke in D to look like I. Erase 045. Erase CARBURE. It would look like 'PEN IS FINE'. It took us a couple more years to realize that our creativity had much more meaning than we had originally thought!

By the end of the year, my pen craze was at its peak. 045 had been replaced with its cousin called Reynolds 040 Bold. I loved this more. Somehow, my handwriting was far better with the blunt nib of 040 than the sharp nib of 045. I had inherited a "foreign" pen from my father's collection. It was a grey metallic pen, that had a small electronic watch near its rear. I dont ever remember writing using this pen, but it made for a nice collection. Another was the very sleek Paper Mate, which did not qualify for regular writing, even though it suited my style of writing. How can I forget that beauty called Luxor? It was not a dot pen, it was not an ink pen. It was a micro tip pen! That was a 'wow' at that time. Of course, there were a few ordinary pens also. One of them had push buttons at the back. It was called "takaa tikki" pen, because of the sound it made. Other was a big sized pen that had 4 refills - of blue, black, red and green. It was also kind of fancy takaa tikki pen, that had very little utility value.

By 7th standard, we had shifted to ink pens. Getting an ink pen as a birthday gift was a very popular phenomenon during the early 90s. I had a huge collection of pens stored in my pen box, having a picture of "Dennis the Menace" sleeping and the quote reading "Do not disturb, great mind at work!". I was very particular when it came to inks. I never used Bril - it was the kind of ink people filled their pens with at the Kaaka angdi. I did not like the round bottled Camel either. Chelpark was my brand. And the color was turquoise blue! Till I Was convinced by my parents that turquoise blue was not allowed in public exams and I had to shift to Chelpark blue. I could never write well with ink pens though, till...

Hero pens! That was one of the best phases of my pen craze period. Every hero pen that my father or uncle used to get would be part of my collection in no time. I had a couple of black ones, a brown and a green one. Hero pens were very royal, with their golden caps and a nib that appears so small and the ink filler very different from the other ink pens. During my high school days, a classmate had borrowed one of my Hero pens and the nib had bent when the pen fell from his hand. I was so fond of that pen and I did not want to change the nib, that I had changed my pen holding style for the next three years!

There were another set of ordinary ink pens, whose nibs we used to cut at an angle using scissors and used them for calligraphy. There was a huge community of calligraphy writers in my high school days and I was one of the unsuccessful triers of that art.

Slowly by college time, my pen craze was diminishing and I had stuck to Reynolds Jettor. Reynolds Jettor Black! The nib of black was not as good as blue. By the time the refill was half empty, the nib would be "worn out" and the pen used to write darkly. So I used to pull out the old nibs and use them with new refills. I had a collection of 5-6 such nibs. It used to vomit a lot of ink, but my hand writing was at its best when I wrote with this. I was loyal to it for around 6 years.

Now, I own a maximum of 2 pens. And I ask my brother to get me "any" decent black pen. I hardly write. I am very dependent on Verdana. I miss those days very much!

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