Monthly Archives: August 2010

Plan B

Actually it was quite a Plan A, since we’ve been hearing good things about this place for a couple of weeks now. (She insists I heard it from her first) And when pork and beef are involved, we usually have less of planning and more of execution.

Plan B is on the ground floor of the same building as Hae Kum Gang, on Castle Street. Here’s a map to help you get there. As always, remember that Castle Street is a one way, and you cannot enter it from the Brigade Road side. Parking is relatively a simple task.

Plan B has quite an attitude, and you can sense it as soon as you enter.  A lot of it is to do with the decor and those cool posters, and some of it is reflected in the nomenclature in the menu too. I was impressed enough to click a few snaps. (click to enlarge)

I thought the branding behind the bar was done on a manhole cover, but I can’t be sure. The snap, unfortunately, didn’t turn out good. The place has a buzz about it, and its got less to do with Knopfler, REM or Axl Rose and more to do with the bright ambiance, and the people.

This is the menu that ensured we got there. We were in a bit of dilemma on whether to start with pork or beef, but since pigging was the theme of the visit, Chilli Fried Pork it was. The soy sauce didn’t make its presence felt much, that was a good thing because the chillies could dominate. Excellent dish, I only wished it had been brought sizzling hot, we got it almost lukewarm.

Meanwhile, we’d also (uncharacteristically) ordered a couple of interesting drinks. D ordered a Ruddy Mary (l) and I asked for a Diesel. (r) The Ruddy Mary has tomato juice mixed with beer with a dash of lime. Diesel is a mix of lager and cola. Interesting mixes, but in both cases, we felt the beer flavor proved to be too dominant. The drinks might have had more of a distinct character if the other flavours played a stronger role. But a good experiment, nevertheless.

In the main course, beef and pork shared points, and chicken, perhaps for the first time in this blog’s history, was completely ignored. D ordered a Grilled Pepper Beef Steak, which she was quite happy with. The rice seemed buttered and different from the regular kind, and went very well with the steak. The sauce had permeated the meat, and though it acted tough with the knife, chewing wasn’t a problem. Even though it was well done, I think a steak knife was warranted. Also, the pepper sauce was a little too subtle. But despite that, the dish is worth a shot.

I asked for a ‘Pigs in a Thermal Blanket’, a cryptic crossword kind of name for cured, spicy pork in a burger bun. Spicy it was, and the mayonnaise provided with it complemented it brilliantly. Those with a thing for greasy food will love this one. I did. In both dishes, the fried potato was a stand out item. Thanks to all of the above, we were quite stuffed, and asked for the bill, declining dessert.

And then that Chocolate Mousse neon repeatedly winked at me. D promised to share, and we ended up ordering one. It was quite decent, nothing spectacular, but that’s more because of my preference for really strong chocolate than anything else.

The service is prompt and generally excellent, and the owner does the rounds, adding to the casual and pleasant ambiance. Unfortunately, when he got to our table to chat, the pig and its greasiness prevented me from even offering a handshake.

The meal cost us just less than Rs.1050, including a 5% service charge. I’d highly recommend a visit – for some awesome pork and beef, some neat experiments with beer, and a wonderful ambiance.

Plan B, #20, Castle Street, Ashok Nagar. Ph: 9739902745

Menu and photos at Plan B

Jump with a crowd

‘Jumping the shark’ is a phrase that has been jumping on to my face regularly, but something that got lost in the rigours of speed reading and processing. Thanks to Tom Fishburne’s excellent post on the subject in the context of brands, products and organisations, I got to think about it a little more. The quick definition would be (from the post), “the moment of downturn for a previously successful enterprise.” The problem with it? “The risk of jumping the shark isn’t getting eaten by the shark. It’s leaving your loyalists behind.”

I thought about it a bit, not in the context of brands or businesses, but more in terms of brand communication as a field, advertising specifically, and brands’ usage of the social web. Consumption patterns, media platforms available etc had pretty much created templates for creative agencies over a period of time. But the arrival of the web, social platforms and the democratization of media have managed to disrupt the ways of the one-way communication age. This post is a good one to read in that context, and talks about the change digital has made to campaigns, and the ‘role of the consumer’. But desperation, hype and the eagerness to get on board makes everyone concerned ‘jump the shark’. And unfortunately, the way I’ve seen many agencies and clients execute it (purely as a consumer), I’m quite inclined to agree with the author of this hilarious letter. (via PSFK)

Clipboard01

(click to enlarge)

The job of the brand manager/creative agency is obviously a more difficult one now, and is made even more so thanks to the approach – of tool strategy. Like this (old but) excellent post states, ‘the technology that underpins social media is changing fast’, but its ephemerality ‘is a feature, not a bug’. It made me wonder whether brand communication/advertising, as a process (the way we see it now) had ‘jumped the shark’, mostly because the thinking process still sees  social platforms in the same light as traditional media and has not changed to be in tune with the former’s dynamics. In other words mistaking social media marketing for social media.

Maybe they have to dig deeper, figure out the value that people are willing to pay for, and then find their ‘purpose idea + social object‘, and consistently. But that would mean a sea change in the way brands and creative agencies operate. Is adaption possible, or is complete disruption inevitable?

I juxtaposed this thought with something that Seth Godin wrote recently, about the ‘red zone‘ – the joyless part of the learning curve. His graph also has a green dot, which represents ‘someone on the other side.. rooting us on, or telling us stories of how great it is on the other side’. Perhaps if brands can find from the existing consumer crowd a few who believe enough to play the ‘green dots’, they can adopt a more holistic approach to social platforms and carry the loyalists without it seeming like ‘jumping the shark’?

until next time, safe jumping.

Collective bargain

“The way they speak about dinosaurs now, a few years later, that’s how they will talk about the mill workers”, says a character in City of Gold, a Hindi film by Mahesh Manjrekar, adapted from a play by Jayant Pawar. Its based on the Great Bombay Textile Strike. A decent movie, with some great performances and with its share of stark realty, though parts of the second half had a Bollywood melodrama hangover. I guess the response at the multiplexes (many of which are ironically what the mills gave way to) wasn’t really great either. But it was a story that had to be told.

The subject has interested me earlier too. To be precise, in 2005, my last official trip to Mumbai. The office was at Peninsula Center, and when I looked out through the windows, I could see a few chimneys. I wondered enough to come back and read up a bit. I was curious because amidst the RGV underworld flicks and the contemporary images I had of Mumbai, this seemed to be a part of history that had never figured in conversations. A legacy that seemed to be buried in the collective consciousness.

A single movie might not really be enough to cover the individual lives that were affected, though it does try to portray a microcosm. But as the line in Frost/Nixon goes “You know the first and greatest sin of the deception of television is that it simplifies; it diminishes great, complex ideas, stretches of time; whole careers become reduced to a single snapshot.”

Though it is said in a different setting, and context, the connect I sensed was legacy. How a person is perceived by a later generation. Artists have their paintings, actors/directors/crew have their movies, politicians, sportsmen/women have their auto/biography/memoirs, authors have their books, musicians have their music, they have a better chance at being remembered by a larger number of people, long after they’re gone, a better chance than us, the commons. A  collective’s legacy would be the place and time they lived in  – the larger picture, their collective actions, the people who became popular, the events that shaped the future. What happens if a collective chooses not to remember, or chooses to remember only parts? Who does it matter to then?

until next time, decadent chronicles

Oh, numb!

While I was handling the high frequency burping that signifies the completion of the meal above, my phone rang. It was an ex-colleague, but more importantly, dear friend and a fellow mallu. I picked it up, expecting a loud ‘Happy Onam’ from the other end. She was working, and wanted a person’s number. I wished her a happy onam, and without missing a breath, got a “Oh, I forgot” response.

That perhaps typifies this generation of living-outside-Kerala Malayalis. That’s a generalisation, of course, and a huge one at that, because thankfully, I know many of my fellow Keralites who religiously go home every Onam, come what may, and have a blast. But as every Onam passes, I can feel it slipping away.

Ten days of holidays – a cousin reunion, the hustle and bustle of a sadya preparation, to a day taken off from college to visit a relative’s house for the sadya, to figuring out which new movies are being shown on the telly for Onam and scanning the papers for a restaurant that serves a good sadya, obviously it wasn’t just me who grew up.

I suspect that it might not get any better, and as a statement in Malayala Manorama went,  I might even get used ‘eating a sadya in the mind’. This generation still has its (mostly office) pookkalams and the sadya. For those that come later, the sadya will perhaps just be a meal by itself.

until then, happy onam :)

PS: The legend, the Ram Gopal Varma version, and the tag.

Rendezvous

A rendezvous that took quite some time, though its just a few minutes away from home. Rendezvous Euro Restaurant is on 80ft Road, right before Barista. Here’s a map. Since there are enough side lanes around, parking is not likely to be a big problem.

Its more a friendly neighbourhood place than anything you’d come halfway across town for. But that also means that whenever I’ve passed by, I’ve seen it completely packed. We reached there a bit early, a little before 7.45. That, and the rains meant that we were among the first to arrive. But by 8.30 it was getting filled fast.

Rendezvous has a warm dimly lit ambiance, with some good retro music in the background. Nothing elaborate in terms of decor and furniture, but neat and a great place to sip a beer and watch Koramangala life passing by. The menu is mostly Continental, with some Chinese options too. You can take a look here.

The rain meant that we had to start with a soup. D and I shared a Mexican soup pot and my sis asked for a Cream of Chicken. Our soup, though described as a broth, was quite thick and creamy , and had salami, chicken and boiled vegetable with some cheese, that added a little zing to it.

We skipped the starters and the Chinese options and got busy trying to choose from a range of steaks, pastas and burgers. I asked for a Chicken Crepes, D ordered a Peppered Chicken Pasta and my sis ordered a ‘Gold and Red’ burger. The Crepes were conspicuous by their absence, but the tangy mushroom sauce, and the spicy mashed potato ensured that I wasn’t left too disappointed.

The missing component continued in D’s Peppered pasta, so D did a DIY with the pepper on the table, but apparently it still remained bland.So this turned out to be a disappointing choice.

My sis’ Gold and Red burger turned out to be a mixed bag. The Gold half, which had cheese and salami was apparently good, but the Red half, with a cold chicken salad was given a cold shoulder. She also felt that the salad may have been her age. I was the only one not complaining much. No comments on the lines of ‘you eat anything’ will be tolerated. Hmmph. I was too stuffed for dessert, though there was even a marble cake, and the others weren’t too sure what would land up on the table.

All of the above cost us just over Rs.700. The service was quite prompt. I think it serves as a good hangout joint, so this goes into a no gain, no pain category.

Rendezvous, 15/1, 80 ft Road, Koramangala 4th Block Ph: 25631177

Menu at Zomato

The path to transparency

Google Me is already showing great results, even before its launch. Maybe its the fear of whatever-it-is-going-to-be that has made Facebook release a couple of tools a few days back. ;)

Facebook Live (via), a live video streaming facility, with features like a live feed, and ‘ask a question’. More interesting is the app that will allow regular Fan Page administrators to add this to their page and the embedding on other platforms – Twitter, Google Buzz etc. But what I’d really like is for Facebook to get into proper video distribution- create an app that will replicate what the Justin.tv and Ustream apps for Facebook achieve. So brands/organisations can stream everything from say, earning calls to new store openings to special brand ambassador promos and so on. Think of the engagement possibilities.

Notes. I have never found Notes very interesting at all – maybe because I blog a lot. So, except for the occasional note, or using it to get the blog feed into Facebook, my usage has been limited. For long, I’ve been asking why Facebook doesn’t allow me to tag Pages that I need not necessarily have ‘Like’d (in the Facebook way) , but would want to still tag in a status. So I couldn’t do say, “visited the @Wrangler store” as a status unless I ‘Like’ the Wrangler Page. I still can’t, but now I can do this in Notes, and I can add photos too. As ‘Location’ looms, it’ll be interesting to see how brands deal with this.

Even as the opportunities for brands to engage increase, I can’t help but feel that its also moving them to some inevitable levels of transparency. The good part about all this for brands, though Facebook may not be the ideal way to do it, is a certain accountability that it creates for people who create content and comment on the brand, thanks to identity.

A few weeks back, Surekha, Mahendra and I had a good commenting session over ‘The Age of Transparency‘ on Reader, an article that talks about the implications of transparency on individuals, society, government, companies. While we’re still far away from a stage when transparency is a default and ubiquitous feature for people, brands and organisations, it might well be a reality in a few years. Like Surekha mentioned in her comment, it wouldn’t do any good for a brand to engage only because it can’t afford not to, but then the question is, will brands/organisations see the trends in the evolution of these tools and more importantly society in general, and be objective enough to start rewiring themselves? Or maybe the ‘forced’ presence and the opportunities that new tools provide will act as a good catalyst for the required change.

until next time, anonymous comments are fine too :)

Bonus Read: Kapil Ohri’s well researched article on Indian brands on Facebook, (and my earlier post on social media and the scale of organisations) :)

leg godt

Sapphire (toys- retail chain) opened a store in Koramangala recently, and lies on my route to practically anywhere. That means that giant Lego display and I stare at each other almost everyday now.

Lego and I go back more than a couple of decades. As always, no age jokes, okay? 1984, to be precise. Remember, I wrote about it in ‘The Foreign Object‘? Like I’d mentioned then, the loot from dad’s US stay was rationed out over a long period of time. Perhaps the only part that was exposed completely in the beginning were Lego sets.

The first set had arrived by a special package even before my Dad or the suitcase reached Indian shores. This was a trailer set, literally, and included a motorcycle too. But the real treasure was the lengthy catalog that came along with it. I quickly set about marking the ones that I wanted and sent it back to Dad.

Now, I suspect that my Dad, from whom I have inherited my skills, being the kind of shopper for whom a ‘milk and bread’ trip to the local grocery store is a mammoth effort, because of the number of choices that present itself, must’ve extrapolated my interest, seen a huge range of Lego sets, and decided that nothing served as gifts to my cousin set (both sides of the family) better, though the age bracket was anywhere from 2 months to a decade. That meant that when he returned, the suitcase had a disproportionate range of Lego sets, and I wangled, via sulks/sobs/means of affection, the right of first choice, and a cancellation of the original, carefully made, catalog choices .

In later days, I began to wonder whether it was a choice I might’ve been happy without, because each set had something I really wanted, and despite my arsenal of negotiating tactics, I wasn’t allowed to open the boxes and ‘exchange’ pieces. After various levels of filtering, I finally kept a digger-tipper combo, a medieval catapult, and a medieval castle set. My medieval set soldiers only had swords, shields and spears, and I hated missing out on the one with bows and arrows, but it was all about box sizes and number of pieces.

Though I was a stickler for not mixing up the pieces in storage, they were allowed to be social and mingle during playtime, and the four sets often gave rise to space crafts which were launched with catapults. (#2 kind of behaviour here) The magnum opus, thanks to a Star Trek/ Space Station Sigma overdose, was a space station, with motorbikes, driven by medieval soldiers, and defended with swords and shields. The tiny spears were also taken to school regularly as part of a superhero costume – they fitted between fingers nicely and could be pushed out using the palm for super-punches. Of course once the punch landed, the spear was pushed back and the palm hurt, so it was discontinued.

Much later, the Lego sets were passed on to cousins who were more than a decade younger. The stories remained, pushed back, as a life was built. And these days, when I see the Lego display, I am tempted to go in and check out the sets, maybe they have those Star Wars sets here now. Wonder how much they cost now, never had to wonder about that, back in 1984.  The price of growing up.

until next time, toys are us :)

PS: Lego owes its name’s origin to leg godt, Danish for play well

Magnolia

One of the biggest contributors to Koramangala’s food-and-mouth epidemic is the 80 ft Road, which has more than a dozen (underdone estimate) outlets that cater to all sorts of tastes and wallet sizes. This week, we decided to drop in at Magnolia, whose earlier version existed in a quaint house very near to its current location. When coming from Sony World junction towards Sarjapur Road, cross Wipro Park, and you’ll find Reliance Fresh on your right. Magnolia is on the top floor of the same building. Here’s a map. Parking shouldn’t be a problem at all. We reached by about 7.30 and in half an hour the place was almost full.

Magnolia has indoor as well as terrace/semi outdoor seating options. The latter is rather dim, but with the kind of weather Bangalore’s been having, its an awesome place to be. The only snag was that the photos turned out to be quite like those ‘paranormal activity’ photos. See. (that’s the soup!!) :( We could’ve maybe got it right with some tinkering, but since the focus was on eating and the required material was right in front of us, being photo-foppish wasn’t a priority. Magnolia serves Thai and Chinese cuisine, (menu 1, 2 – this is the last printed one, the prices are higher by about Rs.10-20 now)  These days, we devoutly devour the former cuisine, thanks to Aroy for the Thai-in.

We started with the ‘Thai Chicken & Lemon Grass Coconut soup’. Even considering the Mallu bias towards anything remotely coconut, this is a great soup. Its almost the Tom Kha soup, but slightly thinner and without the Galangal. The lemon grass flavour was just right, and not overpowering, and except for the rare chilli, not very spicy either. Definitely recommended.

Next, we resisted the dim sum call and moved on to “Leg Mai Kai”. Even Google didn’t help me figure the name out completely. The closest is Loh Mai Kai. I thought it must be the iron-rich version of our dish but it turned out to be rice based. The ‘leg mai kai’ is roasted chicken with red and green pepper and turned out to be a reasonably good choice. The red and green pepper actually complemented the tending-towards-bland chicken instead of performing their regular role as space fillers. Maybe you could try the Crispy Chicken Chilly Honey, it does sound good. :)

For the main course, Chicken Pad Thai with cashew nuts and as per their suggestion, Thai Chicken and Bamboo Shoot Red curry. The Pad Thai was quite good, though the cashews were conspicuous by their absence and the tamarind flavour was really subdued. The Red curry was awesome, mostly because the coconut overruled every other flavour that might have been there, except for the spiciness. The quantity of lemon grass was slightly overwhelming though. While it goes best with rice, this is a reasonably good combination too.

The dessert options aren’t much. The service is great, and very prompt. All of the above cost us just over Rs.700. Definitely worth a visit when you need to go beyond the regular Chinese options around Koramangala.

Magnolia, #37, above Reliance Fresh, near Wipro Park, 80 ft Road, 3rd Block Koramangala. Ph: 41102222

This review happens to be the 50th one in Koramangala. It is also the 100th restaurant review on the blog. There is a reason why we chose Magnolia. More than 7 years back, when a newly married couple made Koramangala their home, and relied on Mars Chicken Delight, Lazeez and some others like Szechuan Garden, which don’t exist anymore, for their gastro-adventures, they saw Magnolia, the big cars parked outside, and wondered how many of their dine outs would have to be sacrificed to afford a visit.

They picked up enough courage one day in June, and though were quite intimidated by the place, and the chopsticks presented to them, managed to have a good meal for about Rs.350, which they still considered costly. A lot of things have changed since then – they now have a blog that has a hundred restaurant reviews, for starters. They have changed too, as has the locality they once lived in. But its heartening to note that some things haven’t – despite many halfhearted attempts, chopsticks remain a strict no-no. :D The post is for that couple, and for the life and times then. Thanks for reading. :)

PS. A new design. Much thanks to Arun and especially Mayank for the help against cruel Microsoft ;)

‘Like’ Minded People

I read an interesting post by Dare Obasanjo titled “There will be many social graphs“. It took me back to the context of my post on Google’s social plans, where I’d mentioned the possibility of creating networks around different contexts – with not all connections being ‘friends’- a Twitter kind of asymmetric relationship, and how Facebook and Google both have an opportunity at that level. The form and kinds of data that we share – blog posts and thoughts, status updates, photos, videos, answers, people and the contexts we share them in, are many, and sometimes I wonder if one service can actually aggregate all this, while still providing user friendly privacy options.

When i read (and saw) that Facebook is replacing ‘boxes’ with tabs, and also saw that my ‘Like’s (Interests and Likes seem to be undifferentiated now!) were now displayed prominently on my profile, I wondered if Facebook could really aggregate everything. Imagine, if those Likes+ interests were differentiated – i.e. Interest was ‘Music’ and ‘Greenday’ was a Like. Now, the way I’d like it is, if I had Interests displayed on my Profile page (or a tab, if you prefer) – there could be options of ‘how many’, ‘most active’, ‘most recent’ etc, with the existing ‘who can see’ privacy option, but more finely grained for each interest. For each interest, I should be able to build a page – with third party content included – subscription to blogs on the subject (either through FB Notes or say, Networked Blogs), Facebook Questions  and Quora, it could be Facebook groups, Pages that I have liked (so the interest ‘Music’ could have every artist/band/music media brand/ label I’ve liked), Friends who share the interest, people I ‘follow’ in that interest category (will explain in a minute) and when FB plays location, include that too, and sync Events. Goes without saying that I should have micro-level privacy setting options for sharing with others. I should be able to ‘Like+follow’ an interest of a person even if I’m not his friend (assuming he’s kept his interest public),  and even recommend to my friends.  A sort of ‘Twitter list’ for each interest. Yes, of course I need to be able to import Twitter lists too. There would also be a universal ‘Interest’ page that collates data from all the Interest Pages created by individual users, and also gives suggestions on ‘Whom to Follow’ for that interest – an algorithm based not just on mass ‘Like’s, but also basis contexts like Location, sub-genres, and my previous activity. To scale even further, use (mass and personal) data from services where I’ve used some form of Facebook Connect. Of course, Facebook would then have ginormous data on me, but they have it anyway, so I’ll be optimistic and hope that they use it to ‘personalise the internet – like Hunch, than for anything evil. Of course I’m assuming I get data portability too. Then maybe the different Facebook Search options can also really have fun. The entities who want to ‘engage’ users would also find this useful. I realise that I might be being simplistic about this, but what about the direction?

And though most people are skeptical about Google’s social efforts, perhaps justifiably so (read this at GigaOm and Stowe Boyd’s “Can Google go Social“), and the Wave crash doesn’t really help perception, I don’t want to rule out  the possibility  (like I said in the earlier post) of Google getting over their privacy agony, and surprising us – imagine the ‘Interests’ as a separate service/ something around or integrated with iGoogle/Profiles/Buzz (brrr)/Chrome (browser or OS)/ Search itself.

While on interests, suggestions and discovery, Twitter’s ‘Who To Follow’ hasn’t excited me much in terms of the people it has suggested. It says that the algorithm is based on people you follow and those they follow, but for now everyone’s busy trashing it, using its own acronym – WTF. So, how about using interests (Why To Follow – work harder on the existing Interests structure?) – either ask me when when i register, you can ask me now too, the lists that include me, keywords from tweets and bio, hashtags and hopefully ‘learn’ my preferences over a period of time. Popularity by itself is really not that great a parameter – if they’re popular, chances are I already know, and there’s a reason I don’t follow, even if its ego ;)

Its not as though these are the only guys who can build a more nuanced social platforms – perhaps its possible for someone like Quora to start with questions and build more – eg. relevant posts from say Networked Blogs, and more people from Twitter Lists? Foursquare, or any of the LBS could scale too – from places to activities and consumption that happen at those places.

Meanwhile, interests, context, relevance, building authority and influence, all of these are established on identities,  but there’s a debate on whether an old friend merits a return – anonymity. :) More on that later. :)

until next time, interesting?

Moth-eaten

The Mothman Prophecies, a 2002 film (based on a 1975 book, which is supposedly based on real events!) starring Richard Gere, is about a town that has several people experiencing paranormal events. Gere tries to get to the bottom of it, and as part of his research meets an expert on the subject. There is an interesting conversation between Gere’s character – John Klein, and the expert – Alexander Leek. The snips that interested me -

Alexander Leek: If there was a car crash ten blocks away, that window washer up there could probably see it. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s God, or even smarter than we are. But from where he’s sitting, he can see a little further down the road.

………………….

Alexander Leek: In the end it all came down to just one simple question. Which was more important – having proof, or being alive? Trust me. I turned away years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

John Klein: Didn’t you need to know?

Alexander Leek: We’re not allowed to know.

…………………..

Alexander Leek: Their motivations aren’t human.

John Klein: Alright, then. What do they want?

Alexander Leek: I have no idea. What you really want is to know… why you?

…………………..

John Klein: I think we can assume that these entities are more advanced than us. Why don’t they just come right out and tell us what’s on their minds?

Alexander Leek: You’re more advanced than a cockroach, have you ever tried explaining yourself to one of them?

…………………

Now, I’m sure conversations similar in meaning to these have appeared in other movies or books, but that doesn’t make this any less interesting. Though in this context, the entity being discussed was more alien, the discussion could still apply to what we consider God, or for the sake of discussion here – a creator. (architect for Matrix fans) Humour me, and forget evolution for a while.

Leek nailed it when he said the ‘Why me’ part. The search is that – ‘what am I doing here, really’ though the question manifests itself in many other ways – meaning, purpose, secrets of the universe, life and death etc. Sometimes the argument that one is not meant to know is quite compelling. I read an article a few days back in the TOI, coincidentally, written by one Jonathan Leake. To quote

Some of the greatest mysteries of the universe may never be resolved because they are beyond human comprehension, according to Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society.
Rees suggests that the inherent intellectual limitations of humanity mean we may never resolve questions such as the existence of parallel universes, the cause of the big bang, or the nature of our own consciousness.
He even compares humanity to fish, which swim through the oceans without any idea of the properties of the water in which
they spend their lives.

I wonder if that also applies to the ‘God’ question. But when the unexplainable happens, when I sit there awed by the stars in the night sky, when I pause for a moment and try to figure about where this is all going, and the inevitability of it all, it is frustrating not to find any answers.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure how much of research has been done on the cockroach’s brain (can’t open this completely :| ). But sources on the net say that its brain is ‘spread around its body‘, and the question of whether it has emotions is unresolved. Unfortunately for us humans, it is known that we have an ego, and can’t understand why all of it can’t be explained to us. We’re the chosen ones, isn’t it? And we need closures, we’re uncomfortable otherwise. And so the search must continue, irrespective of the result.

Is it the gods who put this fire in our minds, or is it that each man’s relentless longing become a god in him?” ~ Virgil, Aeneid

until next time, roach ka lafda ;)