Sunday, December 20, 2009

Love lives on - A story of a Brahmin girl who loved a Non-Brahmin guy

This forward was sent to me by a dear friend. Don't know whether the story is true or fictional. However, I was deeply touched and thought of sharing with you all.


It's a story of a Brahmin gal who loved a non-Brahmin and due to father's compulsion married a Brahmin guy and leading a perfect life with little happiness!!


Letter - 1:

Dearest Appa,

27th Jan'1965

Hope this letter finds you, Amma, Raji and Seenu in good health. The weather here in New York City is icy cold. But Avar sollraar- I have missed this winter's biting cold. I still wish I had seen the snow... But then, I still wish I had not left Trichy at all. I do miss Trichy, Appa. You, Amma, Raji, Seenu, pakkatthaathu Rama, Vikatan, Ucchi Pillaiyaar Koil, filter coffee, Holy Cross College, the Physics Department and of course Sakthi. I know you wish I hadn't brought his name in this letter.But not to worry Appa, I understand that you got me married to Visu because you thought it was best for your daughter. I still remember Amma wiping her silent tears with her madisaar thalappu and you shouting at me the day I told you about Sakthi.

Later, when the initial shock wore off you patiently listed umpteen reasons why I should not marry Sakthi. I agree Appa, that 20 is too young to decide, that Raji and Seenu would have been affected greatly by my 'mistake', the Agrahaaram would have scoffed at you... a meat eater was not a good match for someone who had never even tasted onion and garlic. The reasons were innumerous. I knew you'd still have objected and offered other reasons even if he had become aDhigambara monk. Visu on the other hand, wore a poonal, he is the son of Neelakanta Sastri, an Engineer and he researched about computers which is what made you jump for this alliance. Am not complaining
Appa, Visu is a nice man.

Tell Amma that I could not try her kozhakkattai recipe this Pongal because coconuts were too expensive and Avar nenacchar that it was ridiculous. Anyway, we went out on Sankaranthi day and dined out. He
thought it would be a good idea to invite the Chatterjees also. But I didn't speak Bengali and Mrs.Chatterjee spoke English in an accent that comes with living years in America. Hence I made myself busy with the menu card. They ordered various species of fish,shrimp and a lot more of items I had never seen in my life. I ordered orange juice and a sandwich. The other diners thought it was queer coming to a seafood restaurant and settling for a sandwich. That day, I learnt that Avar prefer pannradhu beef, pork, bacon and seafood. Do you know, Appa... Sakthi gave up meat because of me? I didn't ask, he just did. But then, Sakthi is not Neelakanta Sastri's son and that made it imposible for Subramania Iyer's daughter Kalyani to marry him.

I will keep you posted on what happens here. I don't think I can make it to Seenu's Upanayanam. Tell Amma not to get me a pattu podavai for the poonal, I don't use them here. I wore it once and felt like a
clown here.

Your loving daughter,



Letter - 2:
Dearest Appa,
20th Oct'1968

We are fine here. Gautam is speaking his first words and I swear they sounded like 'Dosai'. But Visu claims it's just gibberish. From your previous letter, I gather that pakkathatthu Rama is married and settled in Jamshedpur. Nice to know that. Please find out her address from Saarada maami and write it to me. I want to keep in touch with her. I hope Raji is happy with her husband in Madras. I spoke to her  last month, great to know that she has a phone. Do tell Seenu to study well and prepare for his school final exams. Raji also told me that Sakthi is married now. I wish him good luck, but I could not convey the message to him. Raji refused to be the messenger and I know you have severed ties with Sakthi's father, your long term friend Sankaravel, thanks to me. I hear his wife is his cousin... He must have succumbed to his mother's wishes.

How did Avani Avittam go? Visu's mother gave me a bunch of new poonals for Avani Avittam but Visu was in Boston that day. He wouldn't have used it anyway, I haven't seen him wear one in the last three years. Gautam is now playing with the spool of thread- mere thread it is, what else can I call it? Gautam will not even know what it signifies, I guess. Visu is making sure Gautam grows up listening to English only. He says it will make his life easier. But I do read out passages from Ponniyin Selvan and Bharathiyaar's poetry when I am alone with him. It's more of reading to myself, I guess. I actually got that poetry book as a present from Sakthi, it still has his scrawling signature in the first page.

By the way, Visu saw that book and asked me about Sakthi, I told him. Hold your breath Appa, he didn't throw me out of the house. He is a good man, no question. He said it is okay and that he doesn't mind.  And then he told me of his American girlfriend whom he was once in love with, when he first reached America- Amy, a fellow Researcher who was in a brief relationship with Visu when she was in New York. They lived together for 3 months and decided against marriage, somehow. Amy once dropped home when she was in New York. Nice lady, she was.

Ask Amma to send me Sambar Podi for this whole year. My friend Sudha is coming to Madras next week. Ask Seenu to catch the Rockfort Express and give it to her. I will collect it from her here.

Your loving daughter,



Letter -3 :
Dearest Appa,
3rd June'1974

We have arrived here safely. After two months in India, I find it hard to adjust back to normal life here. Gautam and Ranjana demand vadai,paayasam and vaazhai ilai here. Visu's relieved to be back in America. I left a set of my books there. If it's not in Trichy it must be in Visu's parents' place. If you find them, safeguard them until my next trip. They mean a lot to me since they were gifts from Sakthi.
By the way, Appa, I found out Sakthi's present address in Madras from Rama and Saarada maami. I wrote to him. I am extremely proud to know that Dr.Sakthivel is a cardiologist much in demand there in Madras. He was thrilled to hear from me after so long. You know what he has named his daughters? Kalyani and Raagamaalika.He called me. You know what, he's still a practising vegetarian, Appa. He didn't revert back just because he lost me... He asked me if I still sang and whether Gautam and Ranjana could sing. I could see a proud father in him, when he claimed his daughters could sing upto Ra ra Venu Gopala. That's when I remembered that I was once a good singer. I wonder why I stopped singing, wonder why I never exposed the kids to Music and Dance. But then, I realize that I had buried all that deep inside me when I left Trichy; after bidding farewell to my best Rasika, actually. Sakthi. After the call, I tried singing 'Kurai Onrum Illai'. I could not rquite reach Charanam, because of the lack of practice and more importantly because of the tears that filmed my eyes and the constriction in my throat. I sang to Visu and the kids one of these days. Though Gautam was impressed, father and
daughter could not just wait for me to finish!

By the way, next time some friend comes to India, send me a Sruthi Box. I would like to start singing again.

Your loving daughter,



Letter -4:
Dearest Appa,
14th Aug 1978

Just back after our tour to California. Find our photos, picture postcards attached herewith. After you are done with showing all family members,relatives, friends and neighbours, pass them to Visu's parents. It was a welcome break for the four of us. But I missed my paattu class students all along and was happy to resume the classes again last evening. Did I mention in my previous letter, before we left on the tour - I finally got my driving license here. I sent a few photos to Sakthi too. He has sent me quite a few records and cassettes. I loved it! I'm reminded of AIR, almost! I'm circulating them among my friends too. And of course, playing them for my students too. They are picking up beautifully. Funny news is, I, a Tamilian, is teaching Telugu and Sanskrit kritis to a cross section of Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada,Telugu, Marathi, Bengali students in an English speaking nation.The music sessions have resulted in a reborn Kalyani, Appa.

Thanks to Sakthi, really. I would have never taken it up had it not been for his reminder. I am now thinking of what life would have been like if I had indeed married him. I would have of course lost you and Amma. But right now, with this life in America, Visu and these monthly letters to you, Rama, Raji and Seenu what have i gained? I don't find an answer, Appa. Neither do I think I ever will. Again, as I have always reiterated, Visu is a good man, no complaints there. He is every bit the son in law you wanted. Researcher, American Post Graduate Degree holder, a dutiful husband and father,earning a comfortable income. I know it is too much to ask for anything else. That is a fantasy I left midway in my life... Once upon a time in Trichy with someone else.

Your loving daughter,



Letter - 5:
Dearest Appa,
14th Apr'1984

Met Dr.Sakthivel after 19 years... He had come to New York for business purposes and paid me a visit. Visu and the kids welcomed him home with great pleasure. And they liked him too. In fact, they did most of the talking initially. And of course, he got me a whole load of books, cassettes, Mysore Paak and lots more.

Your loving daughter,


------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------

Letter -6:
Dearest Appa,
20th Jan' 1990

I just went through all these letters lying in my closet draw for years together. These are letters I started writing to you and then decided not to post. For obvious reasons. I could not mention Sakthi to you even though I was itching to. Not because I was afraid to invite your wrath. I just did not have the heart to hurt you, I know these letters would have hurt you. Because deep inside, I know you were disturbed- you knew Sakthi was a good man, you knew he was a man of substance, yet you didn't want to go further. Society, I know. Family... I know... And all these letters would have only wounded you more. Today, 2 years after your death, and 6 months after Dr.Sakthivel's untimely death in a road accident, I somehow felt like re-reading all these letters. To me, all these unstamped, unposted letters mean a life that could have been.

Kalyani Viswanathan.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Prime Minister of India

To the Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi, India.

Dear Sir,

I know, you are visiting Climate summit at Copenhagen just because President of America had written you a letter to attend. I also know, back at home, your government has given a word to the people of India that your government would not legally abide to any emission cuts. For a developing nation that contributes only 5% of world's total emission of greenhouse gases, your stand is absolutely correct and I appreciate the courage shown by your government without bowing down to pressure from rich nations.

As you are well aware, the last five days at Copenhagen have been game changing. Those rich nations, who were initially pressurizing India to agree to their terms have been boycotted by the rest of the under-developed and developing nations. The verdict from the world is clear, nations who have already contributed to green-house effect need to accept their responsibility. They cannot escape by shifting the responsibility on developing nations. Now, what matters most is, what stand does India take. We can of course, diplomatically escape from this situation in order to retain our economic ties with rich nations. Or we can take a stand. A stand for the better world, a better future. It's up to you Mr. Prime Minister. History has given you this opportunity. You have to take a decision.

But before you deliver that all important speech, let me tell you, its been years since India has played any major role in progress of humanity. From last thousand years or so, we have nothing much to claim about our contributions to the world apart from principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Deep inside our hearts, we know the truth, we (Indians) never considered ourselves as a major power in this world. If we don't take ourselves seriously now, history would laugh at us.
Sir, you stand at Climate summit can either be futuristic or cowardice. Either ways, it will go down in history. Our hopes are with you and we are confident that you won't disappoint us.

Mohd Abubakr
Indian Citizen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cool Biometric recognition systems - Did you know?

clip_image002[4]Similar to biometric recognition techniques such as  fingerprint, IRIS and face recognition, everyone's tongue print can be used for biometric recognition!



While reading the above papers, I thought, How about lips? Then, I came across this paper. Though, I am not sure it is proved that every lip print is unique.


And then I thought, how about nose? Then I came across this paper which uses nose pores as biometric recognition system.

Check this for more details.


After reading about the above biometric recognition system, I was wondering… what has stopped researchers from exploring the biometric possibilities for other parts of human body. Just then, I came across this Wikipedia article which says…

It is possible to understand if a human characteristic can be used for biometrics in terms of the following parameters:

  1. Universality – each person should have the characteristic.
  2. Uniqueness – is how well the biometric separates individuals from another.
  3. Permanence – measures how well a biometric resists aging and other variance over time.
  4. Collectability – ease of acquisition for measurement.
  5. Performance – accuracy, speed, and robustness of technology used.
  6. Acceptability – degree of approval of a technology.
  7. Circumvention – ease of use of a substitute”

Acceptability –  Well, that might be the reason stopping researchers from some out-of-box ideas.  My only regret is that, wish I knew pattern recognition algorithms…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My first video recording

From last two years, I have been gathering courage to record a documentary on science. I believe a good documentary on importance of science to our lives and development would inspire millions of Indian Students to dream to be Einstein or Newton. There is a desperate need for science revolution in India, something on the lines of ‘Renaissance’ for Europe. I hope my little documentary on science can contribute to such revolution. Before producing the documentary, I wanted to get some hands-on experience before camera.

Yesterday, with the help of my sister, I recorded a video in which I shared some of my thoughts on my research paper ‘Discrete energy bands in FLRW cosmology’. Since this paper is written in Hindi, the recording is done in Hindi language. Those of you know Hindi can view the below video.

Honestly, it wasn’t as easy as I considered it to be. Facing camera is exciting but at the same time, challenging too. As soon as the camera started rolling, I used to go completely blank. The words just don’t form sentences. I noticed that I shake my hands a lot while trying to make gestures, I raise my head often than keeping it straight, I fumble with the words, I keep saying ‘aaa’ when I don’t find an appropriate word, I sometimes mispronounce the words (once I pronounced, ‘parikalpana’ as ‘palikalpana’) and so on.

Overall, I got to learn lot of stuff. Somewhere, I knew that, when you are so bad at first time, either you will never do it again or you will improve. I think, I can only improve from here. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of my presence on YouTube and lot to follow in future.

Feel free to pass on your comments and feedback about the above video at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Understanding life and the power of God

Often, we misunderstand that life is totally under our control and our actions control the future. And then, we face circumstances in life that teaches that, certain things are beyond our control. Even though, I had been into this situation earlier, I didn’t actually learn a lesson resulting in a false belief that my actions decide my future. The story goes something like this. Until the final semister of my engineering, I never paid attention to my future goals. I did what I found exciting. Wrote papers, visited colleges, conferences and symposiums. And whenever, somebody asked, I had the offer from TCS to say. During the final semister, I found myself a bit out of place when compared to rest of my friends. Joining TCS was my last option but I had no other options in hand. I thought of joining some research institute as junior researcher. The salary offered for junior researchers in India ranges from Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 per year ($2000 – $2,500). I knew, this was way too less for a researcher but that’s how it is in India. People here don’t think research as profession here. But I wanted to be a researcher because I can be one.

Just when all these thoughts were going on in my mind, one of my very dear friend, Kiran Natoo, asked his Uncle to refer me at Microsoft. I was called for a written test, followed by couple of interviews… I joined Microsoft on March 5th 2007 as an Intern. It’s been over two years since I joined Microsoft as full-time employee but I haven’t yet met Kiran’s Uncle. I just had one email intereaction with him, in which I wrote that, I will meet him when I earn a ‘name’ in Microsoft. Life totally changed after I joined Microsoft. I had the liberty of waking up 1 PM in the afternoon and staying late in the office till 3 AM, that’s exactly the type of work enviroment I wanted. When all this was happening in my life, I didn’t learn the lesson that life isn’t in our control. Think about the sequence of events that happened, Kiran was in search of a sample resume to prepare his resume, I sent him my resume as sample, he shows it to his Uncle, his uncle feels I am good enough to be at Microsoft so he refers me, I get a call from Microsoft to attend a written test and I subsequently join Microsoft. This whole sequence of events were purely out of my control but yet, they happened. But I never learnt the there was something ‘God’ who was deciding on all the events that were happening beyond my control.

Then, after joining Microsoft, I started talking with a girl on Yahoo Messenger. Soon, we started liking each other and I fell in love with her. We met couple of times and I proposed her. Now, the situation is that, the girl just likes me and isn’t ready to take it further. Of course, there are other issues like she being Shia Muslim and my parents being Sunni Muslims which played a major role in her decision. Again, when all these were happening, I was under an impression that, I can control things and life will proceed as I want it to. Given my nature, I kept creating tasks for myself, that I need to do in. And everytime I heard a ‘no’ from her or about any other guy talking to her, I was hurting myself. There were silent tears and unspoken moments. And sometimes, I used to get really angry. By the way, I really need to do something about my anger management (will post about this on my blog soon).

From a month or so, I started getting a realisation that, I am being impracticle about life. There are things beyond my control and unless those things fall in place, there isn’t a way that her decision will change. Even if I manage all the circumstances to the best of my abilities, if it isn’t meant to happen, then it won’t happen. That is one of the most profound realizations I ever had. I think, this is where your faith in ‘God’ comes into picture. Would you leave the biggest decision of your life in the hands of God?

Abu bakr

And the answer I got was ‘Yes’. If God wants this to happen, it will happen by all means and she would marry me. And if God had decided something else for me, then that will happen for sure.

I think, everyone among us learns this lesson in life sooner or later. We don’t fully control our lives, our major decisions are influenced by the power of God. All we can do is, give our best shot and if it works out, then God is with us and if it doesn’t then God is testing our faith. At the moment, all I can say is, I love her and I want to marry her. But there are lot of unanswered questions. Will she accept? Will the circumstances lead to our marriage? Will she be with me the rest of my life? I have no answers to these questions and I will not make any attempt to answer. I have left it to God to decide on what he wants in my life.

I am immensely thankful to God for sending her in my life for all these years. She has had a great impact on my life and my way of thinking. May be, within few months she might get married to someone else, may be, she will get busy with her life and forget me, may be, I will have no place in her memories… or may be… it can just be the opposite! Allah shall decide the future…

Friday, November 13, 2009

Burt Munro – We remember you!

Yesterday night, I watched an inspiring movie called “World’s fastest Indian”. It’s based on the life of Burt Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins. Burt Munro is a motorcyclist from New Zealand who spent 47 years in modifying a 1920 motorcycle model and eventually set the world record for reaching the highest speed for under 1000cc category at the age of 68 in 1967. His world record still holds good.

I was in tears while watching the movie. Munro purchased a motorcycle in 1920, whose maximum speed was 54 miles per hour. While working as a motorcycle salesman, Munro saved every possible penny to modify his motorcycle into a racing bike. After 18 years of relentless effort, Munro set the record for maximum speed clocked for New Zealand and Australia. His will power, enthusiasm and belief that his techniques can work deserve respect. He then spent next 20 years saving money further modify his motorcycle and participate in annual race at Bonneville, US. His journey of life was full of hardship and lack of money but he always believed that he could set the record. Imagine a 67 year old man with a 1920 motorcycle, participating in a race in 1967 and setting the world record!

After the movie got over, I stood in front of the mirror for about 30 minutes while interviewing myself. I wanted to see the inner me answering the most difficult questions. I wanted to see the light in my eyes if there is any, I wanted to see the expression over my face while feeling the pain of failure and pleasure of success. I asked myself,

· Will I be remembered by people long after I am gone?

· Do I have the passion and dedication that would lead to success?

· What distinguishes me from the rest of the crowd?

I heard myself giving answers to myself. I know, this is a strange exercise - however, it gives strong results. It will let you know what you are and where your life is heading. It will help you understand what success means to you.

While giving the answer, I felt that I wasn’t honest about my passion and dedication towards my goal. Right now, there are too many things going on in my brain. It’s crazy sometimes. You just don’t know what to do. I am going through something which I could like to call as ‘quantum vacuum fluctuations”. Right now, there is so much of vacuum in my life and its fluctuating like crazy. I am in love with a girl who thinks it will not work-out, nobody reads my research papers and then I get distracted by Kristen Stewart! I am just kidding about Kristen, though she is amazingly beautiful. I think she resembles the girl that I am madly in love with. Somebody told me that, if you are in love, you see her in every girl. I don’t know how far that’s true in this case.

Anyhow, jokes apart, I seriously feel, I need to rethink about my passion and dedication towards science. Time is passing by at a rapid pace and I have a long distance to cover. Alright, so I have decided to maintain a timesheet on where I am spending my time. Let me see, how accountable I am to myself.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A New Beginning and a New Hope

I wanted to share with you a story…

An 11 year kid was challenged by a new mathematics teacher to solve a congruent triangles problem in front of the class. Without hesitation he picked up the chalk and solved the problem on the black board. When he turned around, he saw all the students and the teacher were laughing at him. He was convinced that he has solved the problem correctly but yet no one bothered to look at the solution. All he wanted from the teacher was to read at his solution before laughing at it, because he knew after reading the solution, the teacher won’t laugh at him.

12 years later, the very same kid decides to publish his research ideas in cosmological sciences in a top journal. Unfortunately, not even a single journal was ready to accept his work. Disappointed, he decides to submit to pre-print archive ( Even there, the moderators reject his work. There is nothing more hurting for a researcher than his work being rejected even before being read once. And when, he was going through all the rejections, there were those people, again laughing and pulling him down. All he wanted from people was to read his paper before laughing at it, because he knew after reading the paper, people won’t laugh at him.

Do you know why I told you the above story? That kid was me. Do you know why that teacher and students were laughing at me? I was using Hindi alphabets to represent the angles and sides instead of Greek mathematical symbols. My use of Hindi alphabets didn’t have any effect on the solution but yet, the teacher and the students felt it’s hilarious to use Hindi alphabets. And do you know why my paper got rejected everywhere? That’s because I wrote it in Hindi. Yes, I wrote a full-fledged cosmological sciences paper entirely in Hindi.

When ArXiv moderators rejected my paper, I felt bad at them. ArXiv has over half a million research papers but there never has been a paper written in Hindi. And when a paper written in Hindi was submitted, the moderators had no clue what it is. But you know what hurt me most? There are over 410 million people who speak in Hindi across the world and yet we don’t have even a single science journal that publishes papers written in Hindi. For that matter it’s not just Hindi, we don’t have a research journal in any of the native languages of India. It is as if, we Indians have given up that a native language speaking person can ever do research. That seriously hurts me. A language should never become a barrier for research and scientific ideas.

One fine day, I came across this website called that helps the researchers to post papers on internet without any moderation. Of course, the no moderation policy has attracted lot of junk papers on and my well-wishers suggested not to post the paper on I waited for while and it was hurting. Eventually, I decided to post the paper on In science, if something is correct, it will stand on its own and research should not depend on the reputation of journal but rather on its merit.

The paper is titled ‘फ़्रीडमन-लेमैट्रे-रोबर्टसन-वाकर ब्रह्माण्ड विज्ञान में असतत उर्जा की परतें’, which translates in English to ‘Discrete energy bands in Friedman-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker Cosmology’. You can download the PDF file of the paper from the below link

The below link contains the English abstract of the same paper.

The actual Hindi abstract of the paper is given below for your quick reference

अज्ञात उर्जा (dark energy) और अज्ञात तत्व (dark matter) की संरचना और स्वभाव आधुनिक ब्रह्माण्ड विज्ञान (modern cosmology) के महत्वपूर्ण समस्याओं में से एक है। फ़्रीडमन-लेमैट्रे-रोबर्टसन-वाकर (Friedman-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker) ब्रह्माण्डीय सिध्दांत के दायरे मे, अज्ञात उर्जा और अज्ञात तत्व की व्याख्या करने के लिए कई संशोधित प्रस्तावो (modified proposals) की रचना की गई है, तथापि सम्पुर्ण समस्या का समाधान प्राप्त नही हुआ है। इस खोज्-पत्र मे, साधारण तत्व, अज्ञात तत्व और अज्ञात ऊर्जा युक्त असतत ऊर्जा परतो (discrete energy bands) की परिकल्पना (hypothesis) की गई है। बलो को सार्वभौमिक (global) तथा सीमित (local) बलो मे वर्गीकरण किया गया है जिसके आधार से, ब्रह्माण्ड में ऊर्जा के असतत परतो की परिकल्पना की गई हैं । अवलोकनीय साक्ष्य (Observational evidence) द्वारा हम असतत ऊर्जा परत की परिकल्पना प्रमाणित करते है ।

Now that the paper is there on internet, I want it to be read by all those who know Hindi. Believe me, you will understand it. Science isn’t that complex that it can’t be understood. In fact, it is beautiful. Trust me and give a read, you will enjoy it.

A lot of friends have asked me, why am I doing it when I can publish the same paper in English? Yes, I can easily publish the paper in English because I know English. But what about the 500 million odd people in India who don’t know English? What if the next Newton or Einstein is born among those 500 million people and just because he doesn’t know English, the world will not be able to recognize his/her research talent. I am afraid, by now we might have lost few such intelligent minds. There is a strong need to have research journals in our native languages. Scientific Research isn’t an alien thing that can only be done by developed nations. Some kid from a remote area of Bihar or Jharkhand who doesn’t know a bit of English can also come up with a spectacular scientific idea. And just because, we don’t have a forum, we will are losing such talent. And my intension behind writing this paper is to set an example that research can be done in our native languages and soon we will have scientific journals in our native languages. Insha’Allah.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yeh Dooriyan…

Last thirty days have been the loneliest days of my life and I have no idea how long this would continue. It isn’t that I have never been lonely earlier but it wasn’t as painful as it is now. Every hour, every minute and every second, the waves of time make me feel the isolation. The roads which once enjoyed passing through today have become unappealing. The discussions in which I participated fail to attract me anymore. The songs that once made me happy seem like piece of noise. The coins and stamps which I collected passionately don’t give me happiness anymore. The stars and galaxies which I loved looking at through my telescope appear to be nothing but few dots in the empty space. Everything around appears so lifeless and disinteresting.

And then I hear her voice. It reminds me of the promises I have made, to myself, to her and to God. Yes, the promises. Every time she talked with me, it was not the ‘Abubakr’ that I am she was talking to, it was the ‘Abubakr’ that I wanted to be. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between ‘Abubakr’ that he is and ‘Abubakr’ that he wants to be. For some reason, I was confident that someday I would be the ‘Abubakr’ that I wanted to be. But given my current state, I am failing miserably. Now, I feel like I have betrayed her and the rest of the people around me. I have failed to keep my promises.

This is my fight with myself. I don’t know why, I always believed that I can be a big scientist who unravels the deepest secrets of universe, experiments the craziest ideas and spreads around his intelligence. But somewhere, the life was not going in the correct direction. I was just living the life of a normal Indian, who spends his day working hard for his livelihood and returns home exhausted. There was nothing extra-ordinary, there was nothing intelligent and there was nothing special about me. And all the while, I was in some sort of identity crisis.

I would have never come out of that identify crisis had I not met her for those two days. I was there, in front on her and there was nothing special about me. I was just another guy, who has often spoken highly of himself but done nothing to prove it. And when that moment hit me, I was devastated. There I was, woken out of dream, facing reality. All I could say was… Will there be light in life?

And from last thirty days, I am searching every corner of my life, which led into that identity crisis. My heart still says, it wasn’t any identity crisis - it is actually what I am. May be, I have lost my way in between, but I shall soon be there. But then, if it was that easy, everyone around would have been a superhero.

Until I keep those promises, I am just living on the dead planet under isolation. And I promise, I shall keep those promise. I shall win her love and I shall win the respect.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gaddafi, UN and NPT

I read about his heroics when I was a little child. A group of military officers led by a 27 year old Muammar al-Gaddafi, overthrew a pro-western government ruled by King Idris in Libya through a bloodless coup in 1969. Unlike, the military dictators, Gaddafi was neither the commander-in-chief of the army nor ruled the nation as a dictator. He handed over the nation to the people and established democracy. He didn’t hold any official post in the government but does remain as a de facto leader of Libya.

After 40 years of the revolution in Libya, on 23th September 2009, Gaddafi delivered a speed at UN. While I don’t fully agree with all the things he spoke, but I do share some views common. It is well known that UN has become a puppet in the hands of veto-powered nations. It is courageous of Gaddafi to speak in UN about it and yes, the history will remember that someone finally spoke about it in public. The first 10 minutes of his speech were full of fireworks… he spoke about the reasons on establishment of UN, how the veto-powered nations are holding UN for ransom and why UN failed to prevent 65 wars that took place after the formation of UN.

According to UN charter, ‘all nations are equal irrespective of their economy and size’ and yet there are five nations that hold veto power. When UN was formed, the five victorious nations of World War II considered themselves superior than others and framed a constitution of UN that gave them an upper hand than rest of the countries. These five nations include United States of America, France, United Kingdom, Russia and China. These nations are permanent members of UN Security council and hold a veto power on all resolutions made within UN. The responsibility of the Security Council is to uphold peace and security in the world.

But the fact remains is, the permanent members of Security council itself are the ones creating non-violent situation in the world. Almost every conflict or the threat to the world has been created by these five nations. I can’t imagine, the President of the world’ most powerful country lies to the rest of the world that a tiny nation has so called ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and goes on for the war that killed thousands of innocent people.

Another discriminatory resolution passed by veto powered nations is “Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty” (NPT), which allows only the five veto-powered nations to have nuclear capabilities and rest of nations, should disarm and not test nuclear weapons. In the recent UN Council meeting, Obama called out India to sign NPT. India has outright rejected the proposal.

The question before all of us is, why do we have something called United Nations that cannot serve its purpose? Why can’t there be actual democracy in United Nations and no-veto powered nations? Why can’t all the nations be treated equally?

I guess… only the power and economy dictates the world. The nations that have power and economy do as they like and the nations like India, whose economies are dependent on these veto-powered nations, just keep silent. It’s the weaker nations like Libya raise their voices…but those voice just remain unheard.

We (Indians) need to say our next generations to stand on their own feet than being dependent on some nations whose foundational policies towards other nations are discriminatory.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9/11 Twin tower attacks and its impact to our lives – The History will ask questions

"I remember that day, it was 12th September 2001 and I was at my college as usual. None of students who were sitting in the front row talked with me for the first three hours of the day. At about 12:45, during the lunch break, I was questioned by a second-bench guy ‘are you a Muslim?’ I replied to him ‘yes’ politely. The guy who sat next to me, questioned, ‘do you know those terrorists?’ I asked him, ‘which terrorists?’ He and few others went on abuse Muslims, while the rest supported him. I wish I had punched him on his face, breaking his front teeth but I couldn’t. I was the lone Muslim in the class (Section JI-1, Gowtham Junior College, Ameerpet, Hyderabad) and I had no support in my favor whatsoever.

When I went back home, I was told by my mother that there has been a massive terrorist attack in New York and over 4000 people are believed to be dead. Soon, I realized why those guys were abusing me and my religion. For the next few days, I was constantly provoked by abuses and nick-names. Eventually I decided to vacate the first bench. Generally, in India, the most intelligent students of the class sit in first bench while the dull students sit at last rows. There was never a time in my life where I had sat at last bench until that day. Sitting alone in the last bench was not just psychologically damaging but had a worse impact on my studies. While, the rest of my classmates scored over 96% marks in intermediate first year, I obtained merely 90% marks. And the worst was yet to come, after intermediate second year, I failed in IIT Junior entrance exam.

8 years have passed by since 9/11 Twin tower attacks and even today people find still some way or the other to abuse Muslims in general as perpetrators of those attacks. And in all these 8 years, whenever I thought of 9/11 attacks, I always asked a question at myself, does Al-Qaeda have enough intelligence to carry out the most sophisticated attack that ever happened on this planet? Whenever, I saw about Al-Qaeda on news channels, the images of illiterate fanatic people were shown, who only knew of street fighting with guns. They never appeared in any sense to be capable of designing such a sophisticated attack. The answer that I always got, Al-Qaeda was only physically involved in the attacks, the brain behind the attacks is someone else because Al-Qaeda simply doesn’t have the intellectual talent to design such sophisticated attacks.

Until, yesterday, I believed that Americans were convinced that Al-Qaeda is intellectually and physically involved attacks but that changed after I came across Charlie Sheen’s video message to President Obama. There are Americans who think, there is more to 9/11 Twin tower attacks than we know. My life might not have as affected by 9/11 Twin tower attacks as those who have directly suffered the pain of losing their loved ones but as a Muslim, whose life is not same as it was prior to September 11th 2001, I demand the United States Government to do a honest reinvestigation of 9/11 Twin Tower attacks. And when I say this, I have no hope. "

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My heart wants the dream to continue…

I had felt walking along with her in my dreams, but I never looked at her. We talked and we talked, and we probably walked all along the earth. The hills and the mountains, the valleys and the trenches, we crossed them all. We saw the darkness of the day and the brightness of the night. Every dream brought me closer to her. I spoke to her about my life, my science, my confusions, my weaknesses and my feelings towards her. She heard every word of mine with patience and dignity. There was never a time when she made me feel uncomfortable. She too spoke about herself, her thoughts, her understandings, about her life and about all. And my heart was touched every moment. I considered her as ‘Gift’ of God.

Before I could realize, the dream had taken a shape in reality. The feelings were exact, the talks were similar and my heart was touched every moment. She was simple, pure, clean, confused and amazingly interesting. I never understood what was so interesting in her that always attracted me. And as the dreams were, I never made an attempt to see her. I waited from the dawn to dusk, just to talk few words with her. This was the time when I was going through the transforming phase of my life. While, everyone around me marched towards their destinations, I was standing there, not understanding what life is. I didn’t understand, if there is life, what it should be like. And when I spoke with her, I saw what life could be.

During all those endless talks, I didn’t realize, I had turned 21 years old. Before the reality could kick hard at my face, God showered mercy on me. I secured a decent job for living. And the talks continued. Every day, I did my best to finish the office work as soon as possible and waited for her to come online. And then we talked until we got exhausted. The discussions were just like what I had seen in the dreams. The life was appearing beautiful. The discussions were on in reality and in dreams. I didn’t realize it was just ‘talks’ and there is more to life than just sharing a talk.

I told about her to my parents. I told that I want to marry her. It was then I was asked the hardest question of my life, ‘have you seen her?’ I didn’t know what to answer to that question.

About a year later, we met. It was just for few minutes. She was in hurry and I was tensed. Frankly, I never wanted to meet her. I just wanted those talks to continue forever. When I was about 12 or so, I realized that I have no charm unless I speak about science. Probably, God created me that way to avoid distractions in life. But most of the times, it left me hurt. And when I met her, the only thing that was going on in my mind was, what if, she finds me ugly… will she not talk with me again?

But she continued talking and I never dared to ask, what she thought of me. I can’t describe in words how happy I was then and how much I wanted to thank God. She was more beautiful than I imagined her to be. And the talks continued. Even today, I fail to understand, the mysterious force behind those talks. Probably, the most special thing about those talks was the genuineness. There was never a moment I felt taken back to express even the darkest secrets of my life. There was never a moment where I felt, I had to impress her or try to be a hero. I talked to her as I am.

As the talks proceeded, my heart was in its own world of happiness. Sometimes, I asked my heart to regain control, sometimes, I couldn’t help letting it go. I deeply fell in love with her. I can’t explain what it meant, what I wanted to achieve, all I knew was, I love her. When I said her about it, she was very polite. Sometimes she said, our beliefs are different and sometimes, she said things will not work out. We believed in same God and same Prophet, the difference in belief is man-made and I didn’t care about it. Probably, she didn’t want to break my heart, so she put it that way. Or maybe, it was something else, my heart never made an attempt to understand.

Another year passed by, the talks still continued. The heart was in love even more than ever. It was hard to imagine life in her absence. That’s when the cruel reality hit me. Her parents had found few potential candidates for her and those guys were in talks with her. The very thought of losing her, almost killed me. She tried consoling me, making me understand that it is not as simple as I believe it to be, but my heart found no reason to believe. Then came a moment, where things appeared to get serious. I feared that I would never see her again. I feared that I would never talk with her again. I feared that my dream would remain incomplete.

I travelled over thousand miles to meet her. And when I saw her, I was thunderstruck. The simple girl I have seen about a year back has turned into the stunningly beautiful lady I have ever seen. Of course, she was the God’s gift and it’s supposed to be beautiful, but didn’t know God’s been so kind. I couldn’t help asking myself, is she the girl who talked with me all these years? Is she the one for whom my heart is going mad? Is she the one for me?

As usual, she was very polite and dignified. There were hints of change in her but somewhere she was just the same. But yes, I wasn’t talking to a 19 year old girl but rather a 22 year old determined lady, who was living independently on her own. She was aware of her future and she was confident about what she is doing. We talked and we talked… and the day passed by. That night, I don’t know why, I woke up at middle of that night and I started crying loudly like a little kid. I didn’t know what was happening… I don’t know why it happened… but it was worse. I felt so helpless, so lonely, so isolated, so devastated, so destroyed and all I could do is, look up for God to help.

I think my brain had calculated that she would get married to someone else. She would no longer be the part of my dream. Someday, she would get busy with her life and would never talk with me. I prayed for a miracle… I prayed with my soul and heart.

The next day, I met her again. She looked more beautiful and elegant than ever. I have no words to describe, all I can say is, she is justified being my God’s gift. I had no words to say her. I just walked alongside her as silent as never. I wanted the time to stop, I wanted to turn and look into her eyes… I wanted to say her …. but I never realized that the day has come to an end. As a testimonial to the truth in my heart, I gave her the book of God. I don’t know, whether I will see her again. I don’t know whether she will be able to understand my unconditional love towards her. I will pray for her safety, for her happiness and for peace in her life.

Still my heart doesn’t understand all this worldly logistics, love is eternal.

Last night, I slept on my mother’s lap with tears rolling from my eyes. And I spoke non-sense of me being incapable, useless, physically challenged, idiot who doesn’t understand the reality, mentally disabled and what not. For a mother to listen such words about her son from her own son is a shattering experience. Deep in my heart, I knew, I was hurting her. I sincerely apologize for my words. And I want to say her that her son isn’t incapable. His name shall rise among the good. Insha’Allah.

And as far as my dream girl is concerned, my heart wants the dream to continue… maybe not on this planet but I am already in process of negotiating a deal with God for her hand in afterlife. And in return, I would do some great discoveries to take humanity ahead.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Being chased by death…

Every now and then, I keep thinking about the meaning of my life. Sometimes, I find an answer that convinces me and sometimes it hurts me deeply. Each one of us comes with different characters, aims, feelings and destinations but there is one thing common to all, the ‘death’. I would be untruthful if I say, ‘I don’t fear from death’. Yesterday, in my dream I saw my death. It was just like another dream, it wasn’t terrifying but the content of the dream shook me.

I was there, motionless looking at the people who have gathered to look at my dead body. I was there, helpless, unable to understand what would happen to me. I was there, powerless, lost in the jungle of memories. I could see a life, a selfish life, where every day and every night, I worked for myself, my ego and my pleasure. I could find no deed which I can say proudly to God. For that matter, the whole life appeared to be vague.

There I was… asking the question, what’s the meaning of life?

When I woke up, I realized that it was just a dream but a message to wake up. In pursuit of our selfish motives, we forget that our stay on this planet is temporary. Death is chasing us every moment and you never know when that moment will arrive. This deep uncertainty of life calls for rethinking on how we are living our lives.

I am convinced that there is life beyond death in some other form- else it makes no sense to define a short life compared to astronomical scales. But the knowledge that one can gain in this short span is critical for the success in the next phase. All of us are born with certain capabilities but there remains one capability common to all of us… the capability to love. Few days back, I read about the life story of an astronomer who dedicated his whole life in understanding a distant asteroid. My first thought was “whole life to study a single asteroid”? Then I realized, it’s the power of love.

Imagine, how happy God might have felt knowing that one person millions of miles away, made an attempt to understand a part of creation, which no one believed to be significant. There are millions of such unexplored objects in this universe, which are waiting to be loved and understood. For God, all of those objects are significant and He wouldn’t have made them if they weren’t. There is a reason why they exist.

Having said all that, the key idea I want you to take away is that, before the death reaches you, love the creation of God so much that even the death respects your love.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud believed dead: Obama’s strategy works!

It was one of the biggest risks that Obama had taken since his arrival at Oval office and if the latest reports are to be believed, it appears to have paid off. In February, 2009 Pakistan’s Government announced a peace treaty with Taliban and imposed Sharia Law in Swat Valley. While, the rest of the world feared that such peace treaty would have dire consequences to common people in Pakistan as well to the rest of the world, there was one man who was thinking otherwise. Barack Obama, instead of opposing the peace treaty, welcomed it. As we shall see, this was the biggest political gamble that a President of America could have taken.

As expected by all, the so called ‘peace treaty’ allowed Taliban to come out in open to propagate their agendas. The agenda was simple, be under the constant fear of death and follow as they say, whether it is Islamic or un-Islamic. By the end of April 2009, demographics of the Swat Valley had changed. Taliban was threatening to take over Islamabad and the Nuclear Weapons of Pakistan. The offences done by Taliban to common people were all over media. For once, the citizens of Pakistan started realizing that Taliban isn’t what they expected it to be. The negative opinion about Taliban gained momentum and people wanted the Pakistan’s Government to react.

Prior to peace treaty between Taliban and Pakistan’s Government, the Oval office was running out of ideas in combating Taliban. Though an ally, Islamabad was never too sure in going head to head with Taliban. Taliban had huge influence over local tribes in Pakistan and the common people shared positive sentiments about Taliban, resulting in a deadlock between Pakistan and US in combating policies against Taliban. When Obama took over Oval office, he had to do something to break the deadlock. It was a daring move which could have easily backfired. Allowing Pakistan, an ally of US, to do a peace treaty with Taliban had suicidal consequences, but at the same time it offered a game plan for US. The game plan was simple and it was based on the assumption that Taliban won’t be satisfied with just Swat valley. Let Taliban take over streets of Swat, let Taliban spread the fear among local tribes, let Taliban spread its control beyond Swat valley and let Taliban threaten to take over Islamabad. All this will only result in bringing the Pakistan’s Government to their knees to fight against Taliban with the support of US. And that’s exactly what happened.

In early, May 2009, Pakistan’s Military with the support of US government went into combat with Taliban fighters in Swat Valley. Over two hundred thousand people fled the war zone, resulting in a huge humanitarian crisis. By June 2009, about two hundred Taliban’s fighters were killed and the Swat Valley was brought back under Pakistan’s Military control. While the US shared their intelligence with Pakistan’s Army in regaining Swat valley, it also helped Pentagon to get vital information from Pakistan Intelligence agencies on whereabouts of prominent leaders of Taliban.

On 7th August 2009, Biatullah Mehsud, the leader of Taliban operations in Pakistan, was believed to be killed in CIA Missile strikes.

(Submitted to International Herald Tribune as Op-Ed article on 7th August 2009)

Friday, July 24, 2009

International Congress of Mathematicians at Hyderabad - 2010

* Zürich (1897)     * Paris (1900)     * Heidelberg (1904)    * Roma (1908)    * Cambridge, U.K. (1912)    * Strasbourg (1920)    * Toronto (1924)     *Bologna (1928)     * Zürich (1932)    * Oslo (1936)    * Cambridge, USA (1950)    * Amsterdam (1954)    * Edinburgh (1958)    * Stockholm (1962)    * Moskva (1966)    * Nice (1970)    * Vancouver (1974)    * Helsinki (1978)    * Warszawa (1982, held in 1983)    * Berkeley (1986)    * Kyoto (1990)     * Zürich (1994)    * Berlin (1998)    * Beijing (2002) * Madrid (2006)

Every time I read about International Congress of Mathematicians and Fields Medal… I wondered when will the extraordinary league of mathematicians come down to India?… and finally my wait seems to be over… the biggest conference in the field of Mathematics ..the

International Congress of Mathematicians” will be held at Hyderabad in August 2010. The conference will include awarding Fields Medals to the mathematicians (under 40 years age) who have done significant contributions in enhancing different fields of mathematics. It is the highest honor in field of mathematics, often referred as ‘Nobel Prize for Mathematics’.  It will also include over 150 lectures in various sub-fields within mathematics.

I don’t know who would get the Fields Medal this time around but certainly it will be one of the most memorable moments of my life to witness some of the greatest mathematicians on this planet receiving the highest honor.  I might end up in tears of joy watching that moment… 

My only wish, Grigori Perelman comes down to Hyderabad to give a lecture on Poincare Conjecture!


The biggest challenge before me now is to solve a significant problem, write a paper and get it accepted for this conference.  Anyone interested to collaborate, please email me at We will have a brainstorming session on choosing the problem statement and let’s see whether we can get it solved and published in the conference.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do you look back at your life?

There are times when you want to look back at your life and think about how the life has been all these years. Often, people do this at a very old age, scanning over the joys and tears that life has given them. I have known few people who want to go back in their past to change certain incidents… I have known people who have lost their love because they didn’t take a decision at right time… I have known people who missed out saying ‘sorry’ to people before it was too late… and so on. Life goes on fast… really fast. We meet people, we make relationships, we break traditions, we create new boundaries and suddenly one day we leave everything to ahead towards an unknown destination called “death”.

In this entire journey, there are occasions when people have helped us. When I look back at life, I find myself incredibly indebt to lot of people. I don’t know where they are now, I wish I could tell them that I miss them but the cruel life doesn’t give a damn opportunity.

Sometimes, a little favor from an unexpected person makes deep impact on your life. Long back, during my college days, along with my friends, I went to an excursion to Kerala. I got little over-excited looking at the water fall and fell into it. For a moment I thought I am going to sink into the water but by God’s grace, there was a large stone under water and I landed up on that. I was stood on that stone helplessly, with water almost till my neck until a friend of mine called Adinarayana helped me come out of water. It was very generous of him to run down there to save me. Once I came out of that freezing water, the next big challenge was finding dry clothes. My clothes were at hotel and no one had any extra clothes. It was early December with 3 degree centigrade temperature and there was no way I could be on wet clothes till we reach hotel. Then came the second unexpected help… the bus driver offered me his pant to wear, though it was little loose for me. I changed into his pant and borrowed couple of jackets from my friends. By the time, we reached the hotel for dinner, I was shivering with cold and had high fever. We reached a tiny restaurant somewhere in Munnar, Kerala for dinner. All my friends were busy scanning the menu and irritating the waiter with their stupid jokes. After couple of minutes, I don’t know how, a friend of mine called Srinivasulu, got a bowl of hot corn soup for me from the restaurant’s kitchen. I don’t know how he did it… it was one of the nicest gestures shown by any of my friends.

After almost three years, when I look back at these incidences, it still appears very fresh and very kind of them. I wish… I could give them a hug and thank them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Australian Modern 50 cent coins

Heads (Common for both Regular and Commemorative coins):


Tails - Commemorative Coins: 










Regular Design - Tails:


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cause of Seasons – Learnt something new!

During my schooling, I was taught that summer and winter are caused due to earth getting either closer or far away from the sun respectively during its orbit to the sun. For years, I believed that this is true. Today, while on my way to the office, I tried to gaze towards the burning sun and suddenly a thought stuck to my mind. I recollected the discussion we had in a conference call couple of days back about the temperature at Hyderabad, India and Redmond, USA. Surprisingly, Redmond was having spring season whereas Hyderabad is having summer season. If what I was taught at school was correct, the earth should have same season irrespective of whether it’s India or USA. I tried to push my memory a little further to recollect, what are the time lines when earth is closest and farthest to sun. Earth happens to be closest to sun during January and farthest during July. For some reason, it appears that what I was taught at school doesn’t fit the equation!

A little research on the published articles revealed, that theory that says seasons are caused due to distance of earth from is sun is indeed false. The actual truth is something else. Apparently, the major factor that causes the seasons is tilted axis of Earth to the orbital plane. The earth’s axis is not perpendicular to the orbital plane and it actually 23.5° titled.


Here’s where the things get little complicated, probably one of the reasons why my teachers opted for a wrong but easy explanation instead of deep analysis. The tilt in the axis produces two important effects

1. Depending on the duration of the year, the North Pole and South Pole are either pointed towards the sun or away from the sun. Note that if the North pole is pointing towards the sun, the South pole is away from the sun. This is the cause for seasons on Northern and Southern Hemispheres of earth to be opposite.

2. Due to the tilt in the angle and the curved surface of earth, the angle of incidence of sun rays changes during the course of year causing the change in seasons. Note that, if the angle of incidence of sun rays is perpendicular to earth’s surface, the earth’s surface absorbs the maximum heat.


This figure taken from Jack William's The USA Today Weather Book gives a remarkable good representation of length of days at different seasons.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Two Rupee Commemorative coins issued in India

These two rupee commemorative coins are part of my collection, however there are few more coins that have been issued by Indian mints which I haven’t able to add to my collection.