THE JOURNEY OF SURVIVORS

70,000-year history of Indian sub-continent

REDISCOVERING INDIA

Unraveling the mystery of our roots to understand the present and predict the future.

WOMEN, SEX AND PREJUDICE

Do we have it in us to give the fairer sex the place they deserve?.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Change of world order. Religious Terrorism. Where are we heading?.

INCREDIBLE INDIA

Wanderlust Hodophiles.

Welcome to KHOJ: The search to know our roots and understand the meaning of our existence.

Prejudice is the biggest problem in the society. It can be it in terms of religion, cast, sex, skin-colour, status etc. Prejudice can also be in form of the feeling that human beings are the greatest creation, or even patriotism about artificially created borders. The motto of KHOJ is to gain knowledge and break that prejudice. But there is a word of caution for the readers. To break the prejudice KHOJ might throw upon you the concepts it believes in. If the reader believes on KHOJ’s perception without question, then KHOJ itself might incept a prejudice in the readers mind thus failing in it own motto. KHOJ is trying to break its own world of prejudice, but at times that prejudice might get reflected in its writing. Please do challenge them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Candy Balls....Or are they?

In the middle of a hot desert, few hungry gold miners stumbled upon some naturally growing candies. When they licked it they tasted sweet. The miners started eating the sweet candy-like things until they felt nauseated. Soon, to their horror, they realised what they just ate.

This story of gold miners is from mid-19th century Nevada.

Those sweet candy-like things were actually packrat middens!




Now let me explain what that means.

Packrats are large rodents that constructs ball-shaped debris piles called middens. Middens are used to built their den. They consists of plant fragments, small rocks, dungs, bones, food remains and their own feces.

But why sweet candies?

This is the interesting part. The naughty rodents urinate on their own den. The sugars, along with other things, crystallize from the urine on the top of the middens, making it sweet. The hard sugar coating also helps in binding the middens and preserve the materials inside.

Midden is derived from the word 'mess'. They did mess with the poor gold miners. Packrat poop and urine for dinner! Yummy!



The middens are actually important pieces of mess. Under right (dry) conditions they can can be preserved for ~50,000 years. Geologists, palaeontologists to be precise, love them. They are like libraries that preserve the climate information, flora and fauna of the past. Important shit these.



REF#
1] Collapse by Jared Diamond, Penguin India, 2011
2] Wiki

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Drunk Couple



Aihole (Karnataka) is a small little village that once was the cradle of South Indian temple architecture. Young architects came here to learn. They let their imaginations loose to create the beautiful sculptures that are seen in the 125 stone temples built by the Chalukyas.

The life of locals inspired them. In the sculptures you will find couples of 5th-century romancing, flirting, teasing, and even fighting with each other. This particular sculpture is called the drunk couple. Our guide told us that the two attendants are bartenders. The lady is too drunk to stand, or even hold on to her clothes. He further explained with lots of excitement that she had vomited and the dog was eating it. Even as she struggled to stand, one can see the love she has for her caring lover. She wraps one arm around his shoulder and looks affectionately into his eyes. Let there be love…let there be peace. Cheers!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Right and Left!

Obama says that it is not cool to not know what you are talking about. Now I know where he is coming from. Cool is a verb that means ‘make less hot’. The ‘not-so-racist (?)’ Ben Garrison’s cartoon on first lady clearly shows that Trump’s speeches has not made Melania Trump a fraction of degree less hotter. Which proves that his speeches are definitely not cool. Since Trump’s ‘un-cool’ [read ‘not knowing what he is talking about’] speeches have made him popular, I am going to make this post ‘un-cool’. Being ‘un-cool’ is a sure road to success. If you don’t believe me, listen to any speech given by the Royal Bengal Didi and think about today's results.


With Right coming to power in a not so right democracy of India, and Trump’s increasing popularity in the self-proclaimed idol of democracy, the debate between Right and Left has heated up. I see many of my friends in social media post long ‘un-cool’ messages on why the other side is not right. Since some are shouting ‘Right’ while others shouting ‘Left’, the debate is confused about the direction it should head. So I thought of writing a post on the ideologies of ‘Left’ and ’Right’, especially because I do not know what I am going to write about. Which is going to make this post ‘un-cool’ and thus popular. Well, I wrote an entire book without knowing what I was writing about, and this is just a mere post. Below is the out-of-place, shameless and self-promoting advertisement of my book.

The word ‘right’ itself is so cool because it sounds so ‘right’! So people who think they are right, and has the right to make everything right, by doing whatever righteous acts they can, belong to ‘Right’ ideology. The word ‘left’ on the other hand sounds so un-cool. It sounds like ‘left-overs’, ‘left-out’…etc. So people who think they are Left has left-out the old ideologies and are trying to make a new one with whatever is left of their world.


The terms ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ were born pretty much accidentally. It has nothing to do with ideologies, and everything to do with the order in which few French rested their bum, way back in 1789! During the French Revolution the members of National Assembly was divided into two groups. Those that supported the king and the established order sat on the right, and the revolutionaries who wanted to get rid of the king sat on the left. That’s how the two ideologies got its name.

The Left has created an interesting problem for the Right. Left is against established order and wants rapid change that will give power to ordinary people like farmers and labors. That is bad for both businessmen and religious bodies. Though religion is business for priests and business in religion for businessmen, the two does not go hand in hand. Ideologically business is materialism and religion is salvation. Business requires science, technology, and people taking risk instead of believing in destiny. However, the problem of Left has created an unlikely ally as both of them support the Right. Established order also includes culture, history, political border, flags, national anthems, and thus nationalism. The aggressive nationalists thus tend to be Right. So when they want to chop off heads of persons who won’t say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, they are ‘Right’. When they kill because someone was suspected of eating beef, they are ‘Right’.

The Left, on the other hand, is against the monopoly of industries or temples/churches.  They want everybody to be equal, even if it means everyone is equally poor. They are atheists who claim to fight for human equality, liberty, socialism, and of-course ‘aazadi’. To Left, all the problems in the society are because of the people with money and power, as long as those people are not leaders of left. Social equality takes precedence over economic growth. The ‘haves’ are taxed to give subsidy to the ‘have nots’. So when they want to kill judges who punished terrorists, in the name of equality, they are Left. When they want freedom from who-ever is ruling, they are Left. When they want oppression by anyone, other than fascists’, to end they are Left.

Now most people are not extreme, they fall somewhere in-between. One can classify them like below:

or 



Ideal Right wants to hold on to the past- past is good, change is bad. They will fight and kill to protect the golden past, the traditions and culture. Ideal Left wants to break free of the past- past is bad and oppressive, and change is good. They will fight and kill to destroy the rotten past. So, when someone call themselves Left or Right, they basically are people who follow rules and don't use their brains. Once someone starts thinking he or she would realize that ideologies change with situations and through time. Thinkers are a risk to political ideologies and thus politicians. Coming to think of it, the terms Right and Left are misnomers. They should be called ‘Heads’ and ‘Tails’ instead, because they are two sides of the same coin. But then again...I don't know what I am talking about.