Sunday, October 19, 2008

Communifaking, Right Or Wrong?

In the new age of instant communication one thing that is very popular is cell phones. I don't think a single reader of this post doesn't have a cell phone. Since the time it was invented, we have made it a habit to use cell phones on the go and that is not the limitation. We found out a lot many things associated with cell phones - sms, games, diary, calendar, clock, calculator etc are some of the additions that have been there from almost the start of this revolution. As time passed and technology grew we had many more things - internet surfing, email, music, videos, feed readers etc and now even instant messengers.

Apart from so many applications we also discovered some hidden usage (in fact sms was also discovered by chance). We also had some significant changes in our lifestyle some good some bad, like dependence on "always on" communication, lieing where we are etc. One particular lifestyle change that is the center of discussion in this post is COMMUNIFAKING.

Communifaking is the term we have assigned for a behaviour by cell phone users according to which they "fake" a communication. To put it simply when a person pretends to "talk" on cellphone, he/she is communifaking. According to a recent survey, the number of cellphone users who communifake outnumbers those that don't. The research by British mobile operator 3 has found out that 74% of people from 18 to 24 age group admitted to communifaking. The reasons mostly told by communifakers are either they want to avoid someone nearby or they find it useful when waiting for someone.

The psychologists have more reasons though. According to Patricia Wallace, a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, following are important reasons :

Demonstrating Connections: If we are sitting lonely at a place like a pub, we communifake in order to show we are not alone.
Show off: Many of us show off our handsets just to impress others. Mostly boys do this to impress girls.

In my personal experience, I saw few cases when someone communifaking was caught red faced when in the middle of "conversation" actual bell rang and exposed the communifake. Even I have communifaked few times and I admit sometimes it was just the feeling of insecurity. I remember an occasion when I had to "do" it just because I had nothing else to do and it was a place full of strangers.

If you are one of those who communifake or feel the need for it, there is nothing wrong as long as you don't use it for show off. Communifaking when you are waiting can be an innocent behaviour and you should not feel guilty if you do it for this reason. However, I would like to utilize "any" spare time like waiting to do something creative.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Giving Away To Others

We humans are thought to be an intelligent species which has the best of brain enabling us to perceive things like none other. Gradually through evolution we have developed sense of "giving" something to our loved ones. And, we do not stop there, we not only have this "give away something" for our loved ones but also many of us are philanthropic and give away to unknowns.

Charity, donations are good part of modern day world despite the inter-human competition getting bigger. I do not mean it is "only a modern" phenomenon but I mean even in today's world of cut-throat competition, there are good stories of people donating their money and resources to the needy. Its our relationship of a very different kind, where a feeling of pleasure emerges from inside and directs us to help others who we don't even know.

A person ready to sacrifice his / her life for the cause of his / her society is understandable but there can be incidents where someone does this for totally unknowns. However, such incidents are rare and general attitude of a common person is being selfish.

Even a terrorist who has been brainwashed into doing "anything" for a "cause" might get into the act of laying his life. He may be doing a foolish act which is in fact against civilization but in his understanding he does it for "his" people's cause.

The sacrifice for the cause of one's own people is not limited to humans and their are examples from animal world which tell us that this characteristic is prevalent in as mundane a species as an aunt! The Brazilian ant Forelius pusillus is one of that kind. The ants need to seal off the entrances of their nest with sand after sunset and in order to do that, some of them have to remain outside to complete the job. Scientists have found out that they do this willingly. They sacrifice their lives for their society !

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Long Live Gandhiji

The 2nd October, Great Gandhiji's Birthday. I know people may ask the relevance of Gandhiji in today's world but then he wasn't relevant in his contemporary times either, if such a logic is considered. But if sanity is to prevail, Gandhiji was relevant and is still relevant today.

Gandhiji, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was a person who defied general logic of armed confrontation and revolts and put forward the concept of NON-VIOLENCE. He not only proved it was right, he also proved it could be effective and much more than violent means. Gandhiji was a leader above leaders. When he used to walk on street, people would just come behind and follow him. Millions of people who followed him were ready to face bullets all without any weapon. He was in a sense above humanity, a person who left all luxury and lived life of a "poor Indian" all his life. He belonged to rich family and could chose to remain a lawyer which was his profession before he jumped into freedom struggle. A person who could afford to live in luxury spent all his life wearing only a dhoti, just because he once saw poor farmers wearing only a dhoti in a south India rally and then pledged to remain in one piece of cloth till the time all Indians afford to have cloths.

There have been great leaders but Gandhiji was greatest, beyond comparison. He might have lapsed in some policies as many argue, but no one can be perfect.

Let me recite following lines which are from an Indian movie song, in his memory:

De di humen aazadi bina khadga bina dhaal,
Saabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal,
Aandhi me bhi jalti rahi Gandhi teri mashal,
Saabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal.

(you brought us freedom without using any weapon,
The Saint of Saabarmati - you
did magic!,
your torch had fire even in storm,
The Saint of Saabarmati - you did magic!)

Gandhiji Amar rahen (Long Live Gandhiji)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What we want from the one we have a realtionship with

When I say - what we want from the one we have a relation with, I sound somewhat selfish. Isn't it a common characteristic of us that we "want" something from our relations? Selfishness is a common trait that we all share. All. The difference is quantity and quality of selfishness. This is not to say there are only selfish people on the planet, in fact, the word itself is little too strong.

There is this phrase "returning favour" which in itself is based on some sort of selfish attitude. Just look at the structure of a relationship and you will find there is always a kind of reciprocal element in most of them. The relations that are mutual in nature are also in some ways dependent on this "reciprocal" element. Consider a mother-child relationship, which I think is one of the strongest relations we have. A mother cares for her child no matter what the child does. Some call it divine and others call it natural (essentially both lead to same thing). Even if the relation is divine, their are certain expectations the two have from one another. A child "wants" his/her mother to feed him/her, which if not done may change the equation of their relation. What did you say? this is not selfishness? well, I agree. This is not the kind of selfishness we generally know, but it certainly is one of its kind.

My post is not about proving we all are selfish people. Not at all. What I want to say is there are some expectations from relations and this understanding is very helpful in managing our relations. Expectations are there even if there appear to be no relation at all. For example, my friend Jaunesk posted "Questions are The Answers" on his blog, in which he highlights how a salesman needs to be a good listener. I put that in this way - the relationship of a sales person and his potential customer is dependent on how good the sales person fulfils what the customer "wants" and the better listener the sales person is, the better he satisfies the requirement of this relationship.

If we focus on what the other person in our relationship wants, we are not serving the God of Selfishness but just managing our relation. They say expectations are the root of our sorrows. They are right. But, the fact is we just can't be machines and if we are humans, we got to have some expectations. So do the ones who have a relationship with us. Like anything else, too much of it can be as bad as the lack of it. It has to be balanced - both the expectations as well as our desire to fulfil them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Who You Chose to be Your Partner

When it comes to the choice of choosing our partner for love and life we look at a lot of options ranging from looks to physique to skills etc. Most people will agree there is not one final formula of attraction and it varies from person to person. Some people want good communication skills in their potential partners while others are just satisfied by the looks. Some like well built and physically sound partners while others would not even look at these factors.

We human beings though a lot different than other species still have the natural forces at work and there is always a lot more to choosing our partners than to what meets the eyes. The theory of natural selection and its supplementary - theory of sexual selection have most of the answers when we research into the issue and these theories have some general criteria like - the partner should be healthy, attractive and dominant in the group. Also, for women the one must quality they look in their potential partners is - caring. When it comes to natural and sexual selection, at the core of all conditions is need for healthy and survival genes. A symmetric face, for example, implies a healthy individual who has better genes. The original motive behind all this is to have offspring that can survive.

Oddly enough but there is a new finding by scientists that says a woman is attracted to those men who resemble her father !!! Same for a man but here mother replaces father. How unbelievable that sounds ! Well, a woman likes someone whose face is similar to that of her father, whose body odor smells like her father's and many more things. This is also probably related to our choice of seeking better genes. For more details about this, visit the following link where you will find full text of the story:

As we humans are different than other species, we have more options that are somewhat different than the purely biological ones. I told about memes in my past post and this has to with it. Yes, being an intelligent species we need to look beyond genes and then memes come into picture. As evolutionary biologists put it memes are the memory elements as genes are genetic elements. So how do they work? Well, when we are impressed with the wit of a person and are attracted, its our memes at work. The recognition of intelligence is a function of memes however, as a matter of fact, the evolution of memes is itself from genes as by the time we evolved into a "thinking" kind of species we are said to have started having memes. Unlike genes, memes don't have a physical presence and are more an intangible aspect of our personality and bio.

Reading this you can ask this question - what if a woman's father has unhealthy body or if he is not intelligent enough to be attractive in consideration by memes? Well, my answer is - again its a battle between various considerations and the one that is stronger should win. For example, such a woman would go for a person who has the best of combination required by both her genes and memes.

If you have your arguments on the topic, kindly leave your comments by clicking on the comments link.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Why Men Cheat

For long it has been said that men pathologically promiscuous and most are always ready for extramarital relationships. Well, this may not be entirely true for all men but many of the male sex are promiscuous - it is said. There are a lot of theories on this and a lot of research is being carried out on the issue by psychologists and biologists.

Biologists, yes, if it is pathological then biologists have better chance of decoding it and they have found one clue ! Scientists have recently found a gene - AVPR1a, which governs a receptor that regulates the production of a hormone called vasopressin produced by brain and this hormone contributes to attachment behaviour with mates and offspring.

My source of the above is which has the following article. I express my thanks to the scientists who have found out this research and the people of to publish it. You can find the article with complete text here:

Please read the entire article as it shows good insight into the matter.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Relationship - Make It Simple

In our daily life there are so many things to do, to think, to understand and take note of. We have to deal with so many situations that sometimes we get so puzzled and ask this question – is there any end to our problems? Very simple things look like mountains of trouble if we fail to understand the concept of keeping things simple. Same happens with our relations. If we understand the fact that relations need to be strong and not complex then we can enjoy life to the fullest.

A friend is someone with whom we can have good time, chat, share, enjoy and cry if we are sad. A friend can be anyone – a classmate, colleague, room partner, family member, anyone. Friendship is a relation which can be there along with another relation. For example, a father and son can be friends along with their father-son relationship. It’s the understanding of relations that has to be there, simpler we keep it, better we handle it. A father has to be father when the situation demands it. If his son is in bad company and having trouble then he needs to act like a father and do his best to see that son doesn’t get into trouble. But if he messes up the two relations there can be chaos and more importantly he might not be able to convey his message to his son. This understanding of keeping the sanctity of relations intact is not that complex – we just need to act simple, respect the boundaries and do not mess up two relations.

Another example is of a relation of a teacher and student who are otherwise friends. I deliberately emphasize “otherwise” as the two relations do have the potential to mess up with each other if not handled properly. The teacher’s act as a teacher sometimes requires that the friendship between them doesn’t act as an obstacle.

These are simple things but still people manage to understand the basics and fall into totally unnecessary mess up. Keep your relations simple and understand the boundaries and you will enjoy them to the fullest.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Relationship Sans Trust

First my disclosure about the incident I am going to tell here - My intention is not to tell a story and not to laugh at what happened. I post it here so that I could express the importance of trust in a relationship.

Last week my neighbor's daughter eloped with a boy living just few houses apart taking all the jewelery and some good cash along. The interesting thing is both families were good friends and had the girl told about her relation to her family, they would be just happy to marry the man of her choice. In fact, the boy's family was very happy on the "decision" and were rejoiced. The girl's father was not and consumed poison on hearing the news, later he recovered and next day - yes, the very next day shifted to some unknown place ! Before leaving he told all of us one thing - you did not stand with me. His lament was why the girl chose to elope? when it could have been a happy story.

Well, do not think I am narrating some story here. This is a true and fresh incident. What I want is to demonstrate few things for the purpose of thinking for all my readers.

When both families were friends and there would be no opposition to their marriage, why they chose to do this? One possibility is the girl "knew" something that we neighbors don't know - perhaps her father did not like the boy despite being family friends. OR, the boy would have thought for some reasons her father will oppose it. The third possibility is the boy would have thought he wouldn't get a good gift from her father if they married with their consent.

Whatever be the reason, one thing is certain - the weakness of their relations. Despite their very good family relations the trust was simply not there. The girl did not trust her parents, the two families did not trust each other, the boy did not trust the girl's parents. I am myself eye witness to the "warm relations" of the two families and could not believe eyes and ears on seeing and hearing the incidents. It made me focus on relations again - trust is the basis of a relationship and if it is lacking then even the biggest empire of relationship can not stand and will collapse one day. This happened in my neighborhood and can happen anywhere where there is relationship without trust.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Relationship is Important

When a friend calls and we see the number flashing on our phones we have a different gesture on our faces - depending on who is the friend, what is our mood and how good our relations are with the friend (caller). Imagine you are thinking about the latest assignment you have from your work and a million calculations and computations are going through your mind, and, suddenly a good friend calls, even before you pick it up, you forget the assignment and for few moments all the stress is gone ! It may be for a few moments but it refreshes you - the power of relationship works here in the positive way.

The emphasis of the above imagined situation is on the ability of a good relationship doing something that even costliest drugs and therapies are unable to do. A good relationship is a huge positive for not only an individual but for the society as a whole.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Essence of Relationship - Part 2

The issue of my last post was to tell a thing or two about how as human beings we have a far bigger and vital importance of relationship in our lives than other living beings. A person's relationship with others is a deciding factor to his/her success in life. One's relations with their parents, family, friends are important for the quality and amount of happiness one can possess in the life.

In my posts I will throw light on the various aspects of relationship, problems in relations and simple and effective solutions. I hope my readers will immensely benefit from my work and share their experiences with others in order to achieve the larger goal of a "Happy World" (सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Essence of Relationship

Homo Sapiens. This is what biologists call us, the animal that evolved from Homo Erectus (not all agree though), the animal who could walk upright. When we talk about an animal of Homo Sapiens type, we say Human Beings. Yes, we are human beings - an animal that differs from animals. When someone utters words like these many get angry and annoyed - they just don't want to be called animals, whatever reason or context may be. They think we are not "animals" we are "humans" and a superior race !

Well, my post is not to debate what some or others think or dislike. Whether you think we are a superior species or you think we are superior "animals" the point is same for me - We are vey different than other species all grouped together. Yes, we think and have intelligence and communicate and so on... We relate. We relate with each other, with others, with things and what you say. This is one trait we have as well developed as communication/language, bipedalism, thoughts and other things that make us a superior species.

Relationship is not limited to our race, in fact, any living thing is in some or other relationship with its own species or its surroundings, but its certainly a well evolved, utilized and powerfull trait which is vital for our existence as human beings. The evolutionary bilogists tell us that its the genes (genetic elements) of a species that keep on evolving with time but the difference between us and other species is we have also developed "memes" (memory elements) and these memes are also evolving - that's why we are developing constantly despite the limitations of genetical evolution. Our memes have taken us to what we call today's modern and civilized society as a whole.