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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why do I write blogs ?

In this advanced age of computers and the internet, millions people especially those who are born in the computer age, write their thoughts on what is now known as 'blog sites' in the internet parlour, an acronym derived from the two words,  web and logs.

In my childhood days computers were just beginning to make an impact in this world. When I was an engineering student way back in the early seventies of the last century, we had to do a lot of engineering calculations. In those days we had no other options other than to use printed logarithmic tables to do tedious calculations involving multiplications, divisions and power functions. This method was very cumbersome and boring.

To ease our calculation efforts later on those days we were allowed to use a cute instrument in the form a measuring scale with the sliding scale fitted inside called the 'slide rule' to find the results of lengthy calculations involving multiplications, divisions and roots. This precision sliding mechanical device used to get imported from Germany and was expensive too in India- the cost being half a month's salary of my middle class dad who worked as a high school teacher. Besides, the results it produced were only approximations and not the exact numerical!

Imagine our great joy and surprise when this electronic gadget called the pocket digital calculator got invented and was brought to our college to the first time by some fortunate colleague whose parents had access in the foreign markets. It had red light LEDs and it gave out all those calculation results accurately just at the press of a small button! In fact we were seeing this wonderful light emitting diodes for the first time!

The electronic revolution began and invaded quite fast that within a few months these cute gadgets were in the hands of most of us. Though it used to cost a fortune, the cost was comparable to the slide rule. In no time the slide rule manufacturing companies located in Germany might have closed down or ventured into other business opportunities!

Then during my higher studies, I had the opportunity to work with the big size computers of the 2nd generation and the third generation such as the IBM 370, DEC 2050 etc. There were a few centralized computer centres set up in national level educational and research institutions in India at that time costing millions of rupees. I considered it a great opportunity  to get privately associated with a computer hardware engineer who came to install and commission the 4th generation DEC computer in the computer centre built up at University of Roorkee in those years where I was a PG student of chemical engineering. 

I remember secretly admiring my hardware computer engineer friend for his vast knowledge in the wonder area of computers. At the same time I remember him telling me about his admiration of me having knowledge in the field of chemical technology on which he had little idea! That was an incident making me realize the importance of having mutual respect between each and every individual. Because every other person knows some thing that I do not know!

Now back to the subject. Why do I blog?

Why did I write the above ? Is it that I want to become famous which other wise I cannot have achieved? But what shall I be going to achieve by simply becoming known to some strangers here and there?

Here a story which I used to hear when I was a kid comes to my mind. 

It is about a poor wood cutter. This poor chap was not able to afford rice and  most often he and his family had to eat rice bran which was available as a cheap cattle feed. But at the same time this cheap rice bran with a little mixing with coconut flakes and cheaply available country made molasses could transform itself as a tasty and rich food for him. The only problem was that this food was labelled as a cattle feed by those who could afford eating rice always!

So this poor chap was always cursing his situation which he considered as pathetic as compared to those rich fellows around him who survived on rice making him to rely upon rice bran that the rich fellows discarded as cattle-feed.

But quite by chance, on an occasion when he was called for some manual work in the local king's palace, he was taken aback by the accidental site of the king eating the same rice bran food that was supposedly food for the cows and people like him.  It was a shocking sight for him- the king relishing on this cattle feed ! Then the king saw him. The king warned him of dire consequences if ever he told this incident to any one ! Obviously, the king too feared the negative publicity that such an incident could create!

Our poor wood cutter was now in a dilemma. 

He wanted to tell his wife and his children about what he had seen. He wanted to tell all about it. That the king too ate the same cheap food that they were eating !

But if he did that perhaps the king would punish him. The little knowledge that this fellow had in his mind boiled. He had to tell every one. But there was no opportunity for that.

Then one day while he was alone in the deep forest for cutting bamboo poles, this fellow released the secret that was contained in his little brain for all these days by shouting with all his might to the bamboo forest : 

" Oh! the king too ate cattle feed !'

The story further continues with what happened later. A bamboo piece from the same forest became part of a musical instrument  and the wood cutter became scared of the music that came out of it. The music appeared to him as resembling what he yelled out secretly in the forest!

Perhaps that could be the reason. I have many such secret thoughts in my mind which I fear telling the folks around me. They could ridicule me or reprimand me for telling things that they do not like to hear in public . I might get the ire of the present day kings!

But I have to vent out the thoughts that fill my mind and I have no safe place to vent it out other than this bamboo forest of the 21st century- the vast  internet bamboo forest of the blog sites !

You now know the secret behind my writing these blogs.


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