If the Ramayan were on Facebook

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When I first thought of this idea, I intended to write the Mahabharat this way. Then I thought of writing World War II, then Indian Independence struggle and finally Jaswant Singh’s political fiasco with BJP. But then the plots are SO LONG! The Ramayan has a much more manageable plot, in comparison. And hence I have before you, if the Ramayan were to have an event update like Facebook, how would it be like! It’s a lot of work, doing it with the appropriate icons and the appropriate style. I tried to do it in the original Facebook template – but it was getting really difficult, thanks to my limited knowledge in coding. I hope you like it! 🙂 If you wanted to distribute this document, I would be grateful if you did it with a link to this post. Thank you!

This is an embedded PDF document, using Scribd which is a very versatile tool. You can view this document by zooming in and out, scrolling and even toggle full screen mode. Look for these icons on the top! If you are reading this through your reader or a non-native place, the embedded document may not be visible, in which case you might want to read the original post.

Edited to add – This post has become popular beyond what I could ever ever imagine. I thank every one for forwarding this around via Facebook, Twitter and emails! Thank you, and I am glad this article made you laugh, or at least smile. Krish Ashok of “Doing Jalsa and Showing Jilpa” fame did the Facebook Mahabharatha over a year ago. And that looks exactly like the Facebook format, and is outright hilarious!

Disclaimer: I have received a comment or two where people have found it a HUGE MISTAKE not to include the story of Kaikeyi and Dasarath and the two other wives. Here’s an addition from my side: I also did not include the story of Hanuman carrying Mt Gandhamadhana which had the flower Sanjivani to cure Lakshman of his coma during battle, either. I covered it all up in “Show 43 similar posts”
I decided to drop out the story behind Ram’s exile and the details of the war simply because this story is long as such, and I didn’t want my story to be longer so as to lose my reader. Referring to other comments, this is not to be taken as factually accurate, nor should it be considered to be educational. I wrote it for fun, just for generating a laugh or two. I do/did not intend to make mirth of the religious text of Ramayan. This article does not intend to portray any sort of disrespect towards religious sentiments. I hope you enjoy this article as a humorous piece, more than anything. Please read this in a light vein.

Spring broke

I wrote this song when I was trying to get some real work done. I am suffering from “researcher’s block”.
This song has been written on the tunes of Jingle Bells. So sing along that tune as you read this song! Need to jog your memory?

The Spring 2009 Jingle (Recession Edition)

Let’s not spend any more
We’ve got to save this way
That’s all you get to hear
On TV channels today!

Wall street screwed us all
Said the bull wouldn’t sway
Now everyone is in debt
And the bear has found its way!

Spring has come, spring has come
This is not a joke!
Mend your spend right now
The economy got a stroke!

Companies at a loss
They don’t need your stay
You are given a toss
To get you out of the way

Now that you’ve got married
Being jobless could be sad
Grad school could be an option
That doesn’t sound so bad!

Spring has come, spring has come
The world is about to choke!
‘Recession sale’ is a sarcasm
Cause we all are plain broke!

People photography

Catching people’s faces on film when they are doing anything but looking at the camera – this is one of my favorite forms of photography. And among people, I love taking photographs of strangers. Not people I know.
In the bus. The restaurant, talking animatedly to the one opposite them. The laugh at the end of a joke. Lost in thoughts. Browsing through clothes. Books. Smiling to oneself. Leaning on something. Holding hands. Swinging legs. Playing with their hair. Smiling at a text message.
And the liberal use of zoom.
But taking the photograph is not the toughest part. It’s the fact that you need the permission of the person before capturing the shot (or they can sue you or get you arrested for breach of privacy). Catching them at an exhibition or carnival or any public place is the easiest, because photographers are expected there. But other places it’s difficult. Also because of the fact that it’s a stranger tall guy who has taken a ‘liking’ to their kid and wants to take a picture. Ow. Or if it’s a girl whose picture I want to take. That’s the toughest – I break into a sweat and my tongue goes vaguely involuntary.

I had asked a friend – “How do you manage to take photographs of people you don’t know?”
“Well, you smile at them, and just hold up the camera. They smile back and continue what they were doing.”

Well, may be you have a cute smile. I don’t. 🙂 Cause when I smile, for most of them, it’s “Uh oh, strange brown man is taking my photograph.
Or “Uh oh, strange brown man has weird smile. Oh dear God he has a camera!!!

Here is an embed of shots I had taken when people didn’t know about it. Please don’t sue me, I am just a photography hobbyist.

The challenge to live

The two of my most favorite (and heartbreakingly touching) awareness ads for cancer make me feel strangely heavy. I really hope that the cure for cancer comes along soon. Real soon.

Peruvian Cancer Foundation – The magic of giving (1:29)

Ninos con Cancer – Gesto de Amor (0:50)

Both these ads made it big at the Cannes Film festival. Turn on your speakers, the accompanying music is superb.


YouTube Video, 1:34 min

A post doc candidate from my lab showed me this advertisement – more like a public awareness ad about how inconsiderate we often are about the physically challenged people. Since I know no Portuguese whatsoever, I have tried my best to provide all the information regarding the relevance of this advertisement.
The car you see here has been parked right on the sidewalk providing a huge obstacle for anyone on a wheelchair/crutch etc. It has been (implicitly) extrapolated to buildings and other places which have little or no regard for handicap access.
This advertisement seems very relevant to Lisbon and Portugal in general, but we do know it is true for many places around the world, India included.
The repartee in the ad is what I like the best – (translated roughly; subject to correction)

Thanks to all the obstacles, we will be in shape for Beijing 2008

Special Olympics 2008, watch out for Portugal.

The ad agency behind this wonderfully multi-layered message is Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO), one of the best and most awarded advertising agencies in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

I can see why.

This is another of their good advertisements (GreenPeace): Save the Amazon.


Now he can walk! It’s more like kicking and walking at the same time. He has started recognizing his house. On the way back after the short walk he takes in the evenings with his parents, he figures out that he is nearing home.
He turns around and walks in the other direction, hoping that his parents won’t notice. He kicks and runs at the same time, hoping that his parents will let him play a little more.
He loves being outside. He loves to run behind chipmunks scurrying about. He loves to chase cats. Pigeons. Leaves that fly at the mercy of the wind.
He loves being in water. He will eat anything on the floor except the floor. He has the most hilarious change-my-diaper face. He is a cartoon. He loves playing peek-a-boo.
He is Jishnu. He is my year-old nephew.


Came across this advertisement on Anorexia. It blew my mind!

Google Video (39 sec)
Anorexia Bulimia Contact | Mirror
Creative Director: Martin Stadhammar, Grey, Stockholm, Sweden
Client Service Director: Sigrun Yngvadottir, TCB, Stockholm, Sweden
Director: Oskar BÃ¥rd, Hobbyfilm

Related post: Perception of beauty

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