Thursday, February 07, 2008


all about love

because i don't write my blog post that often and at best roughly at the rate of 4 times a month which happens to be the average rate of an average malaysian having sex (if some condom maker survey is to be believed), i therefore try to cram in as many related points in one post as far as possible. 'related' here doesn't necessarily mean in a logical sense but as far as possible i try to string things of different themes in more or less coherent manner. more or less - as far as possible.

one thing that strikes me as odd and interesting is that most people generally think that scientists are very boring people. people usually visualize scientists as nerds with thick glasses , have buck teeth, lonely people lacking in fashion sense, have problem or feel unease in social gatherings and with no ability or talent to get laid for free. All this of course is only as true or untrue as saying all good writers are old or fat and ugly or all of them combined.

but one thing that i am absolutely certain is this. scientist world is by far the most interesting one that human beings can experience. and the most profound in the objective sense although an average brain addled priest or 'literary novelist' may claim theirs are too. but priests and novelists' world are merely what they think up for themselves and in many cases merely fanciful nonsense.

another reason which perhaps mainly contribute to the perception that scientists are boring and have poor sense of humour is that by and large scientists unfortunately don't know the arse from the elbow when it comes to 'arts and culture'. and unlike the bankers, accountants and lawyers which as everybody knows are the most boring and pitiful creatures on earth who make up for their seriously tedious and boring professional life with plenty of arts and culture and getting laid for free, scientists are just happy in their own fascinating scientific world poking around their labs and come back late at night to their faithful and boring wives and well mannered kids.

it may be true that most scientists never bother about arts and culture and never heard the term 'literary fiction' (which is perhaps a good thing) but to say that they don't have a fine sense of humor isn't quite right. and they even have 'serious' journals to prove this. When i was a student i came across by accident a very funny and fine journal of irreproducible results.(JIR) Another good one which now i happily discover has a very good website is null hypothesis the journal of unlikely science. go and visit these sites. You'll be introduced to a new form of humour. who would have thought graphs can be funny or there's a 'genuine' research on in artificial stupidity or you can even read things like A guide to correct barking abroad: A review ( M. Ware JIR Selected papers 1981).

that's the great thing about science and scientists. unlike say novelists who observe things and write about it in verbose and stylised manner scientists will observe, learn the hows and the whys and write in the simplest and direct manner possible , the antithesis of literary fiction as a matter of fact. and as we know all the advance in technology and the rest of human inventions and discoveries are thanks to this scientific discipline of proving things and discovering the hows and the whys. but sometimes unfortunately it takes out the romance of things.

i always thought that we laugh because we see or hear things that are 'funny' but according to science this is not the principle reason why we laugh. why, science even can show that rats too can and do 'laugh' . in most human behavior and feelings , we are now slowly discovering that these have a lot to do with chemicals and the effect on the neurons. poke a certain spot in the brain when someone say kill the bastard bush and he'll laugh as though that's the funniest thing in the world. and people say eating chocolates make girls go all swoony and romantic. it's a matter of time before scientists will be able to brew the real and potent love potion. (although to be fair we already do have a fairly potent one now. It's called MONEY. But it works some of the time only unfortunately).

and that brings me to my main point. LOVE. everybody experience 'love' at some stage of his life. if you're lucky you'll experience enduring love, but often it's unrequited and more often still it will degenerate into bland nothingness at some stage or worse still turn to hatred. and most perplexing of all is the sacrifice human will do for love. love can not be explained rationally. it's true what people say. love is blind and sometimes the worst dog can have the finest love life in the world.

i sure don't understand what love really is. there is a very old (1977) and very beautiful song from GO Too album by stomu yamashta called ' the mysteries of love' which starts with this fine lyrics love is just a game you don't understand at all but you play it all the same....

one thing is certain. it is the most profound feeling human being can ever experience. love do wonders. the greatest literature , music , arts and monuments are created as a result of this most complex of human feelings. and often too love can be tragic. some of the greatest love stories are about unrequited love like the famous and very poignant layla and majnoun or the more wellknown and equally tragic romeo and juliet . Incidentally very recently i have the good luck to see this beautiful miniature mughal painting in the New delhi National museum's very fine mughal miniature painting rooms (and one of the best in the world) of majnun in near death pining for his Layla as you can see here.

more recent examples that give personal meanings to me include books like the great gatsby and especially Ali and Nino which i have already blogged in december 2006.

and human continue to produce great works of wonders because of love . but probably nothing can ever top shah jehan's expression of love the taj mahal -the name of which incidentally is the curruption of the name of his favorite wife mumtaz mahal for whom the monument was built.

And here's my favorite photo of the taj that i took last month which by accident captured a pair of ring necked parakeets which i like to believe are the souls of the great lovers shah jehan and his mumtaz flying by.

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