February 10, 2007

Cloud Nine

How does it feel like when u r traveling in a car without anything to do? U don’t have anything to say to the driver and ur co passengers are asleep. This is what hpnd with me 2 weeks back when I was traveling back to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. I did not know wht to do, how do to spend the 1.5 hrs trip. I have seen the Sheikh Zayed Road (the one which connects Dubai to Abu Dhabi) hundred times and nothing much to c expect for the sand dunes and barren lands!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its while staring outside that day I noticed the sky. I have never noticed the beauty of the clouds. Ever since I have purchased my digital camera (one of my favorite things) I was always trying to shoot landscapes, mountains and other beauties of nature. I wonder how I missed this nature’s wonder. That day there were clouds of different kinds and shapes. The one which I liked the most was one where the rays of the setting sun were filtered through the cloud and was forming a channel of light. How I wished I had my camera that time. However I was fortunate enough to get another photo of a very similar cloud formation. It’s this photo that I have uploaded in this post.

For those people who think I am being a little cranky by writing this post, here is a shocker. I put a word search in google with “clouds” and what I found was that, there is a society of cloud spotters and appreciators. It came as a surprise to me as, before I saw this, I myself was thinking that I was going overboard with this cloud thing. This society has a website of it own and boasts of over 7400 members. Those who r interested can visit their site http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org/ and find a lot of information on clouds.

Well for me this lonely car ride has given a new avenue for photography and it features as one the ingredients in making good outdoor photo.

February 05, 2007

Namaskar, Namaskaram, Namaste, Hello, Vanakam, Namaskara!!!!!!!!!!!

Has anyone wondered how many different languages we speak in a day? If I take my example, in a day I use words from as many as 6 different languages i.e. Konkani, Malayalam, Hindi, English, few Tamil words and one question in Kannada to my colleague asking him whether he is leaving for the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been really interested in studying new languages, though I have not succeeded so far in learning anything new since the ones I studied from my school days!!!! The question now arises is what is a language? The explanation given by Wikipedia is

“A language is a system, used to communicate, comprising a set of arbitrary symbols and a set of rules (or grammar) by which the manipulation of these symbols is governed. These symbols can be combined productively to convey new information, distinguishing languages from other forms of communication.”

Too confusing, isn’t it. Well language is a means of communication. It need not necessarily be spoken. Even signs or symbols can be a language if they can communicate information. There are about an estimated 4000 to 6000 languages in this world. Each language made up of different words, sounds and even symbols.

Then can we say that small infants have their own language. Last weekend I had visited my friend’s house and we were playing with his son. His son’s is less than a year old and was making some sounds which I mimicked. To my amazement I saw the child responding to this mimicking as if it was understanding and replying. Now whether he understood something or not only he and god will be able to say, but I felt that there is certainly some communication effort from him. I don’t know how many of u hav tried communicating with babies through sounds!!!!! May be people can try that. Who knows it may be the start of a research on a totally new language!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming back to grown ups speaking different languages, in earlier times, we would not have imagined speaking more than 2 or 3 languages. Why this change? Is it that instead of cities becoming metropolitan/cosmopolitan, the world has become one big city? People are learning more and more languages. I know a colleague who is proficient in 8 languages!!! We have been working with people from different cultures and languages. By constantly interacting with them we tend to share our languages and cultures.

All this makes me think whether we are witnessing the /contributing to the birth of a new language which combines all the languages of the world? Well do tell me if it so.