Each one of us carries within ourselves a number of identities. Some identities, like our lineages, are inherited. Others are acquired and can be shuffled around like credit cards in a wallet. Because we use languages to communicate, our linguistic identities– whether they arise purely by accident or as a result of conscious choices– are … Continue reading On languages and identities
The group stage of the FIFA World Cup is over. Here are 10 random observations from me about the sport known as football or soccer: 1. The best goals are the ones that almost get scored. 2. The outcome, like life, is seldom fair. You can attack well for 1 minute out of 90 and … Continue reading 10 observations from the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
If you are reading this, then chances are you know me well enough to know that I lead a godless life, by which I mean that I do not believe in the assumed power of gods and goddesses (either in the singular or plural) to exert any control over anyone’s life. The perceivable world is … Continue reading A godless life
Two. I love the way you say it as you rattle off numbers from one to ten. The number itself does not mean anything to you yet, just as your birthday carries no special significance in your mind. For us though, the passing of another year of your life is a cause for celebration. Your … Continue reading On your second birthday
Earlier today I saw the following tweet sent by the account of one of India's preeminent newspapers: The fact that 1 in 4 people in the world's most technologically advanced country had no knowledge of one of the primary tenets of science came as a shock to me, as it did to everyone else reading … Continue reading Why context is important
Most scientists will tell you that the fashionable field of philosophy of science has failed spectacularly to influence how practicing scientists work or to provide any clues to the operation of any part of the universe. Nowhere has the clash been as obvious as on the battlegrounds of epistemology, which is concerned with the nature … Continue reading Is objectivity in science possible?
I was not feeling well. In a feverish delirium, and for no apparent reason, I began to recall a house I often visited in my childhood. I remembered that when I last visited this house, it seemed greatly in need of repairs. The family that lived there had fallen on hard times. It seemed that … Continue reading Perceptions are landscapes. Memories are works of art.
I’m staring out the window at the grey sky and the leafless trees. I take a sip of tea to soothe my raspy throat. I have been congested for the past week, but it is just as well that I can steal a few moments before I head into another marathon meeting at work. This … Continue reading On missing my favorite holiday
– Can you tell me a scary story today, baba? –Do you want to hear about demons? Perhaps, villainous creatures that lurk in the night? – No, those are all boring. Can you tell me something that is really horrifying? – Yes, I think I can. –Does this story have ghosts? – No, this story … Continue reading A horror story
The sky and the water were two different shades of mud. The distant bank where the Rupnarayan River met the Hooghly distributary of the Ganges River was a thin sliver. Walking along the road that hugged the side of the Hooghly, we noticed more silt and the carcasses of various rusting ships that had been … Continue reading Of shifting rivers, shipwrecked colonialists, and Calcutta