Immortality and Other Fantasies

One of those mornings, Indranil A. was in good mood.

He looked up at the ceiling of the hostel and asked, “What is life?”

No help came from above.

He waited for a second and looked at me.

I was in no mood to help either.

He closed his eyes and said, “Life is…(a brilliant pause)

…till we die.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Last night Fermat came into my dream.

I was wrestling with John Nash’s paper on ‘Non-cooperative Games’.

My intelligence couldn’t decipher it. My vanity couldn’t leave it.

“Too late to understand these things”, I mumbled.

“I see”, Fermat nodded his big head.

“Don’t quit though. There’s something there that just doesn’t perish”, he was still nodding.

[Non-cooperative Games, Dissertation, John Nash, May 1950]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying.”

Thus spake Woody Allen. He figured it out.

A few cell biologists, bio-engineers and robotic engineers are joining the fray. Or so I heard.

Should I wait for them to succeed? Or should I go a way that has an equal promise?

 [TED talk by Juan Enriquez on ‘The next species of human’]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe,

Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam,

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan,

Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat ll

Aum ! We worship and adore you, O three-eyed one, Shiva! You are the fragrance of life, one who nourishes us, restores our health, and causes us to thrive. Please free us from attachment and death, and do not withhold immortality.

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A Clumsy Parable

Billy Bainthal was a strange man.
Every night when he went to sleep in his 6’x3′ bed, his dead mother came to sleep beside him.
“This is crazy, Billy,” I said, “Your mother is alive!”
He gleamed in his melancholic eyes and shrugged.
As if to say, “Now you know the problem.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Seenthi loved prisms.
When the colors emerged out of one like magic, she kept mumbling, “7, 13, 29, 67, 91, 4, 48….”
And when the colors got together again to make a brilliant white, she multiplied silently and quickly.
“You are missing the point, Seenthi,” I said, nervously.
“Not a bit.” she whispered, “It’s 3089276736.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Gaya could see himself, all the time.
He could see himself running, thinking, buying vegetables, dusting books, making love…
“Something like out of the body experience, eh?” I proposed heartily!
“Nah. It’s more like renting a cab. It goes wherever you want it to.”
He looked happy.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The other world beaconed.
As we were trying to make something out of ourselves…
Higher, bigger, happier…

And if the other world beacons…
Have no fear.
It’s one world.
We only lived in a cell.


The Coin Story

I flipped a coin. It showed ‘Head’.

I flipped it again. It showed…umm… ‘Tail’.

Amused, I asked the coin, “Did you remember the last toss?”.

The coin shrugged.
“I am pretty independent that way”, it said.

“Then, how come, if I toss you one hundred thousand times, you will show your head approximately 50% of times, if you don’t remember anything?”

The coin said, “I may or may not. If I don’t, you won’t call me a fair coin, will you?”

I pretended deep thought.

It continued, “May be, you should toss me 100 million times, you know, one hundred thousand sets of 1000 tosses and see for yourself, whether I behave NORMALLY.”

“I don’t have time”, I said.
“But, can you behave normally, if you don’t remember anything about your previous tosses?”, I was curious.

The coin grinned a little, like a wise man. “If I give you all the answers, will you listen to your professors anymore?”

From that day, I stopped talking to a coin and started betting on horses.