Monday, December 15, 2008



We have been bombarded with TV shows recently which make winners out of ordinary people. You have an audition, sing well, dance well and keep on surviving the eliminations through SMSes and become a winner. The whole nation takes notice of you and you become a household name.

In my opinion these are not the real winners.

The real winners are around us, but we fail to see them because of our social blindness. This is not strange considering the fact that even though we keep in touch with people living on the other side of the earth through internet, we do not know who stays in our neighbourhood.

To see the winners we must look beyond the smoke of glamourous world created by television and other medias.

Everyone travelling in Mumbai's local train in rush hour is a winner. The autorickshaw driver who works twelve hours a day is a winner. The traffic constable who does his duty on a hot afternoon even though his hands pain is a winner. The youth who stays away from alcohol and drugs is a winner. The parents who sacrifice their whole life for the sake of their children are winners. The student who burns the midnight oil studying instead of visiting rave parties is a winner. The mother who delivers a baby is a winner. The man who works out harder in a gym instead of taking steroids is a winner. The office boy who cleans my office every hour is a winner. The doctors and nurses who tend patients day and night continously are winners. The child who prefers losing a cricket match on ground than winning a Worldcup on his computer game is a winner. The vegetable seller who pushes his cart in 40*C is a winner. The newspaper boys, dabawaalas, milkmen etc. who keep on pedalling their bicycles whether its snow, rain or sun are winners. The list can go on and on....

For me these are the real winners and I rate them higher than the contestants who win huge amounts of prize money in realty shows. Those guys must be fighting with fellow contestants but my winners are fighting with fate!


(just wrote this piece for the sake of writing something)


The world was in dark ages before "circularity" was discovered. Wheel was created and it made a revolution (pun intended). I tried to imagine how the world would look like minus circularity. Every morning we will welcome a square sun. People will go to work on their pogo sticks. Kids won’t play any ball games. There would be no cars, no watches, no elevators (it runs on circular pulleys if you don’t know), and no circles in geometry.

I would really love if we could get away from circles in geometry. All the shapes have such simple formulae for areas and perimeter; but circle brings pain. One has to consider a vague constant called “pi”. It always made my calculations troublesome. While I was in school I was made to understand that the value of “pi” is 22/7 or 3.14 as a good approximation. As I got older I realized this was a lie and no one knows the exact value of “pi”. In my engineering days I used a ten decimal value of “pi” which came as a standard function in my scientific calculator. Our life would have been so simple if the value of “pi” was a whole number. Not only circle but formulae of spheres, cones, cylinders, ellipses etc. would have been so simple. I won’t be surprised to know that many people hated geometry only because of “pi”.

I don’t know how our national flag would look like with a square Ashoka Chakra. How different would the flags of Japan and Bangladesh look minus the circularity?

Charity begins at home. So let me test this “un-circularity” in my room. How neat would my room look without the circles? All the square bottles could be arranged close to each other without wastage of space (remember Japan recently made square watermelons to save space). Then again my imagination stops when I think about square bottle caps! How will they operate, definitely not by rotating? I will never strain my back because things will never roll and hide themselves in the deepest corners of my bed. I see a round pizza in a square box lying on my table. I see wastage of space in the corners. If there were square pizzas these spaces would have been filled. I just calculated that a six inch square pizza will have more to eat than a six inch round pizza!

One more question I wonder at times is whether wheel was “invented” or “discovered”. Some say it was invented because it was not present and some highly motivated stone man made a wheel out of stone. I tend to disagree. Wheel was always present. Sun and moon were always round. Eye-balls were always eyeballs and never eye-cubes. Later some middle age scientists also told much against the wishes of the church that earth was round. All planets orbit in circular. If they had no problem in accepting a round sun and moon why did they object to a round earth!

It is hard to live without circularity. I can’t imagine going to office on a pogo stick. The wheels of my bike are good enough even though they puncture every month on Mumbai roads. Looking in square eyes of a girl would be unimaginable. Life without cricket, football, golf etc. would not be worth living! We should be thankful that we live in a circular universe instead of a square one!

Looks like God gave his angels a circular to make this world on a round table conference (another intended pun)! Why didn’t he give us two wheels instead of legs then?