To Whomsoever It May Concern

This is to inform the readers (if any) of this blog that none of the posts on it are about any individual.

If you have been reading this blog, you would know that the one thing it is about is the individual’s place in and relation with the society. And the stand on this topic that comes up again and again in the posts on this blog (never literally, except here, but otherwise in all ways) is the individual’s right to be left in peace if that individual is not doing anything atrocious against the society or other individuals. Note that I don’t mean even this seemingly clear statement of the stand to be taken very literally. But you can understand it if you want to.

I simply don’t write about individuals, except if they are public figures and even then only about their public statements and actions.

But I do write about the society, the institution (the general, abstract institution) and the system. And, of course, there are people who are parts of these (as I am too). In that sense I do write about the individual in his or her role as a member of one of these.

Also, this is a literary (and occasionally academic) blog, not a blog about, say, my daily activities. There are essays and poems on this blog. Even one story. So I would be offended if you insist on calling them mere posts, as would be any person who writes (literary) poems.

A poem is a poem is a poem, even if it appears on a blog, technically as a post. So is an essay. So is a story.

How good they are may be a matter of debate.

Yes, my personal experiences may act as catalysts for my writings, but isn’t that true of every writer worth his salt?

झगड़ा नको

चलो बहुत हो गया
कसाई और बकरे का झगड़ा
अब हाथ मिला लेते हैं
आज से हमारी-तुम्हारी दुश्मनी खत्म

आगे वही बढ़ते हैं
जो साथ मिल के चलते हैं
अब से हम-तुम भी साथ-साथ चलेंगे
मिल-जुल के सफ़र करेंगे

बहुत से हैं दुनिया में
जो झिक-झिक में वक़्त ज़ाया करते हैं
या फिर बड़ी-बड़ी बातें किया करते हैं
जहाँ भाई-चारे से काम चल सकता है
वहाँ बेकार की बहस में लगे रहते हैं

हमने भी यह ग़लती की अब तक
चलो आज से इसे सुधार लेते हैं
एक-दूसरे से कड़वी बातें नहीं कहेंगे
प्यार-मुहब्बत से ज़िंदगी भर रहेंगे

न तुम हमें काटो
न हम तुम्हें काटेंगे
ये एक-दूसरे को काटना खत्म
एक नये युग की शुरुआत करेंगे

दुनिया है और दुनिया में ज़िंदगी है
तो कटना-काटना तो होता ही रहेगा
पर अब मिल-जुल कर काटा करेंगे

कभी बकरा मिलेगा तो कभी कसाई मिलेगा
पर एकता की ताक़त के सामने कौन टिकेगा?

Birds with Wings on the Front

I like to watch birds
But I watch different kinds of birds
Those who have wings
Which remain folded and rest on the front
Like rounded conical inverted cups
Like very small puffed umbrella tops
I don’t know what these birds do with them
But I for one can fly on them
Just by the act of looking at them
Or may be even without that
As in just by the memory of them

There is much more to these birds
Than their folded inverted cup like wings
But let’s not go astray and dilute the topic
Like someone else, as was shown In his biopic
With regard to this, I am a real connoisseur
You might make the same claim, monsieur
But I insist that I am one of the best
Alas, unfortunately, I fail one big test
These birds don’t seem to like me much

What a pity!
What a shame!
Because for me
These birds are
Not just fair game

Accepted, but not Published

Academicians or researchers list their publications prominently on their home pages. After all, it is supposed to represent the best of their work. They also quite often (especially those who have a large number of publications) categorize them according to some criteria like the venue (workshop, conference, journal or book: in the reverse order of prominence) or peer review (unrefereed and refereed).

In this post we propose that there should be a new category of publications. This category is needed because a lot of researchers (for good or for bad) now come from underprivileged countries. For most of these researchers, traveling abroad to attend a conference, even if their paper has been accepted, is something very hard to do. In some sense even more than getting a paper accepted, which is relatively harder too, given the lack of certain privileges — whether you like the word or not — generous research grants, infrastructure, language resources etc., combined with the prejudice (it is there: I am not inventing it, whoever might be blamed for it). To these problems can be added the problem of compulsory attendance at a conference or a workshop. It is partly these conditions which have prompted suggestions from certain quarters that researchers from these countries should concentrate on journal papers (never mind the delay and difficulties involved or the unfairness of the proposition, even though it has some practical justification).

But you can never be sure while submitting that you certainly won’t be able to attend. Also, hope is said to be a good thing. Therefore, the event of a researcher submitting a paper and hoping to attend but not being able to attend cannot be ruled out.

This bring us to the proposal mentioned earlier. One solution to this problem is that there should be another category of papers: accepted but not published, because the author couldn’t afford to attend the conference or the workshop. (By the way, workshops are the most happening places nowadays: more on that later).

The author of this post must know because he has authored more than one such publications.

Of course, the condition will be that if and when such a paper is resubmitted (with or without modifications, but without any substantial new work), accepted again and finally published, the entry marked as ‘accepted’ should be removed and replaced by an entry marked as ‘published’.

After all, if we are serious about research, then the work (which has been peer reviewed and accepted) should be given somewhat more importance than some pages printed in some proceedings (or attendance in a conference for that matter).

This, of course, doesn’t mean that you can get basically the same thing published (or accepted) in more than one places.

(Sorry for the Gory Details)

P.S.: May be there is no need for the above apology as the depiction of the Gory Details of the Indian Reality is now getting multiple Oscars (The Academy Awards: the keyword is Academy). But may be there is because some researchers have a more (metaphorically) delicate constitution which can be hurt by the Gory Details.

Queen’s P.S.: Off with his head!

You are not my friend, but you could be

I hear that some of you
Refer to me as your friend
Please don’t do that
Because it’s not true

I have relatives and parents
I have acquaintances and colleagues
I even have seniors and juniors
But I don’t have friends

If you want to call me your friend
You will first have to be my friend
And I will have to be your friend too
Till that happens
(If it does)
Please stop calling me your friend

Those who anyway don’t
And certainly won’t
Can please ignore

They will
Won’t they?

Watch the Experiment

The movie to watch now is Das Experiment, which is based on two real social experiments.

There are many such experiments going on right now.

In most cases with involuntary participation.

Not really in labs.

And on a much larger scale.

And not so benign either.

Sooner or later the results are going to be visible.

Even if neither the participants nor the perpetrators want them to be.

They have a habit of moving out of control.


P.S.: The documentation says no violence (whatever that means) allowed.

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