A very educational video

August 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Good video. Nice message. Don’t know if the Mediator would approve though I don't know smile

Names

August 17, 2010 § 6 Comments

Names are a peculiar human trait. We build our lives around our name. A name which is given to us without our assent. A name which we are aware could make or break our social life. Ever heard of a guy name Muthuswamy rocking the party scene? No, right? But with a name like Vikram or Vicky, the same guy could be a party hopper with multiple girlfriends instead of the computer programmer/geologist/nuclear scientist he is today.

Names also lend themselves to much disintegration during childhood. For example Muthuswamy will never be treated with respect by the school bullies (usually named Vikram, Vicky, Vijay or one of the more ‘hip’ names). Muthuswamy’s name will be dissected and much fun will happen at his expense. Muthuswamy’s friends will call him Muthu. The bullies will call him a shorter name which will leave poor Muthuswamy scarred for life. (True story: There was a guy in my school whose name was such. 6-7 years of that torture and he decided to have his name legally changed. He was renamed Kaushik. The bullies responded by calling him Cowshit.)

Now, let us do an imagining exercise. Right. Close your eyes. But then, how will you read this? Right then, don’t close your eyes. Your eyes are important to this blog. Imagine if you will, Muthuswamy. What is the image that comes to your mind? I know. Fat, dark guy with snot in his nose and oil in his hair. Right? Absolutely. It wont matter if the kid is thin, fair as milk and his nose is clean as a whistle. All that matters is that people who hear that name think of the fat, dark kid. Now imagine Vikram. Tall, strapping young guy with a close up smile, right? Won’t matter if he’s a short, fat guy with a smile that can break mirrors. People who hear that name will think of the former. The power of names. Quite something, right?

Muthuswamy will also face the curse of the funny name while in college. The college studs will ridicule his name in order to impress the girls. To the girls, Muthuswamy might as well not exist and they will remember Muthuswamy only when there are notes to be had. Muthuswamy will not be boyfriend material because of his name* but he will be friend material because of his class notes.

Muthuswamy will also be  unlucky in lowu. The girl he finally proposes to will say no. Not because of any inherent problem with Muthuswamy. Its just that being called Muthuswamy’s girlfriend is not exactly cool. Muthuswamy will finally settle down with some girl his parents choose for him.

But its not all bad for Muthuswamy. Due to his name, Muthuswamy is most likely to go on to top his school, college and university. His name might cause him to be ridiculed on the social circuit, but it is pure gold on the education circuit. He is most likely to get a plum job, a house, a car and most likely to become a millionaire fastest among than his peers. Muthuswamy will not have to endure the perils of relationships, because his name predisposes him to an arranged marriage. Vikram/Vicky is most likely to become a struggling model/actor/BPO guy or star on Emotional Atyachaar and have a string of relationships. Marry divorce, remarry, divorce etc. His name predisposes him to such things. Such is the power of names.

So, parents or would be parents will do well to know this. Naming your kid is a very important event. What name you give them will decide what direction their future goes. Not really. All this is my theory. Which like my other theories, may or may not be true. But try not to name your kid Muthuswamy or Rameshwaram Murthy or Perunambiar. It will save many counselling sessions.

*not always true. A girl named Lakshmipriya might find his name charming.

The video which planted the seeds of this post:

Dinku Baby

Satyam-eva Jayete

January 8, 2009 § 5 Comments

Yes I know, its a pun used lots of times already, but I couldn’t resist 😀 . By now, everybody must know about the gigantic 7000 crore fraud perpetrated by B. Ramalinga Raju, family and cronies. You can read all about it in your friendly neighborhood serious kind of newspaper (or if you prefer, Mumbai Mirror where you get entertaining distorted facts 😛 )  But this post isn’t about that. I have been inspired by B. Ramalinga Raju. Not by the embezzling or fraud, mind you, but by the confession. I have something to confess, and today, I shall confess. The Truth. The Satya-m.

The short story: It was junior college,we had to plot a graph of V vs I, with a resistor thingy. I finished the experiment as instucted and took all the readings. I then presented my report to the lab prof. He took a look at the readings and the graph and commented that I had performed the experiment exceedingly well to get those readings. And he gave me and my lab partner a pat on the back. This is what the graph looked like: the dots represent readings, the actual graph line is normalized.

mygraphs  

The real story: I had fudged the readings. I drew the straight line and manipulated readings accordingly. This is what the actual graph should have looked like:

mygraphs1 

Yes I know. I should have drawn straight lines. But then the graph wouldn’t look corny enough 😀

As it happens, one graph-lie led to another and in wanting to protect my reputation, I fudged almost all the experiment readings in that year of college, just to get that perfect graph. It was like riding a tiger, never knowing when to get off, without being eaten. Most famous of all was the one for the pendulum experiment, which when reverse tabulated revealed that if the readings were true then the earth had the same gravitational pull as that of the moon. Which, by the way, for those not from a science background, is an absurd statement to make 😛

With this, my soul is now free of the burden it has been carrying since college. If only I could say the same for B. R. Raju.

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