Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Your invited to reed this artical

From my younger days, I vividly remember my father and my late grandfather scanning over the newspaper and circling articles with typographical errors, spelling mistakes and grammatical as well. It had become a sort of a religious exercise to discover mistakes in the daily edition. However, it must be said that it was quite a challenge in those days since there were proof readers and copy editors to catch most of the mistakes before they went out in print. I remember being challenged by them to find out the mistake in a given article. I would find one and stop at that. They would help me to discover a half dozen more.

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However, nothing compared to finding mistakes in wedding invitations. Forget the abstruse grammatical mistakes, I can clearly remember mistakes ranging from simple spelling mistakes to glaring errors such as addressing the parents as "Mr and Mr" or printing the wrong day of the wedding (with the right date of course!). What used to strike me was that people who would spend lakhs of rupees and 3-6 months on a wedding could not spend 10 minutes to proof read what was going to be read by hundreds of well wishers, not to mention sending out erroneous information. But the same people who enjoyed being pointed out errors in newspapers became angry when mistakes were pointed out on their wedding cards. Was it anger, displeasure, shame or just ill tempered when cornered with their mistake? So I had to be extra careful to be secretive with these invitation cards and not show them to others for the fear of being labeled overly critical and querulous! But we sure did have some rather funny moments at home with these cards.

Fast forward 15 years. Today, with all the latest technology such as online dictionaries, thesauruses, word correction algorithms embedded into email and word, people are making more grammatical and other mistakes than ever. And what is ridiculous is that now they just hide behind the excuse "pardon the typo", typo being short for typographical error. But a typographical error according to Wikipedia is
"...a mistake made in, originally, the manual type-setting (typography) of printed material, or more recently, the typing process. The term includes errors due to mechanical failure or slips of the hand or finger,but usually excludes errors of ignorance, such as spelling errors"!
I really cannot imagine how the online authors and computer users are able to commit a 'typographical error'!

Websites and news articles nowadays hardly have any editorial process in place. Writers do not even read the paragraph once it is typed, before posting it online for mass circulation. But if you really want to have fun, visit any online newspaper and read through the online-only articles. They provide more fun that the stupid news that they report.

[Note: Any 'typographical errors' in this piece are intentional. Please do not point them out to me!

Also, this piece was inspired by reading this article by Joseph Epstein]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


ವನಸುಮ - ಡಿ. ವಿ. ಜಿ

ವನಸುಮದೊಳೆನ್ನ ಜೀವನವು
ಮನವನನುಗೊಳಿಸು ಗುರುವೇ, ಹೇ ದೇವ ||

ಕಾನನದಿ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆಯು,
ಮೌನದಿಂ ಬಿರಿದು ನಿಜ-
ಸೌರಭವ ಸೂಸಿ ನಲವಿಂ
ತಾನ್ ಎಲೆಯ ಪಿಂತಿರ್ದು
ದೀನತೆಯ ತೋರಿ ಅಭಿಮಾನವನು ತೊರೆದು
ಕೃತಕೃತ್ಯತೆಯ ಪಡೆವಂತೆ
ಮನವನನುಗೊಳಿಸು ಗುರುವೇ, ಹೇ ದೇವ ||

ಉಪಕಾರಿ ನಾನು ಎನ್-
ಉಪಕೃತಿಯು ಜಗಕೆಂಬ
ವಿಪರೀತ ಮತಿಯನುಳಿದು
ಸುಫಲ ಸುಮಭರಿತ ಪಾದಪದಂತೆ
ನೈಜಮಾದೊಲ್ಪಿನಿಂ ಬಾಲ್ವವೊಲು
ಮನವನನುಗೊಳಿಸು ಗುರುವೇ, ಹೇ ದೇವ ||

Monday, March 07, 2011


I happened to read an interesting article in last Sunday's issue of the Los Angeles Times. It was by Pico Iyer on libraries titled 'Sanctuary amid the Stacks'. I am a huge fan of the US public library system and frequent the local libraries borrowing books as if there is no tomorrow. The Orange County Public Library system has 33 branches and allows you to borrow books from any of its branches for free. Even the Auburn Public Library had a really good collection I think I used to the fullest extent possible. Other public libraries I have frequented include the City Central Library (South End Circle, Bangalore) and the Indian Institute of World Culture in Bangalore. In the LATimes article, the author laments the demise of several public libraries here in America. He says:

Saving money by reducing library services is like trying to save a bleeding man by taking out his heart.
But if the library disappears, then we're really in trouble. A library is much more than a collection of books; it is a sanctuary, a symbol and both a model for community and its encouragement. Even those who make their living by nonverbal means know, as Keith Richards once declared, that "when you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is the great equalizer."

A library is not just a place where many have lost themselves (as it's hard to do in the increasing clamor of a bookstore); it's where countless souls — and surely a good percentage of students — slowly find themselves.

The only alternative to a public library is the personal library, a sanctuary to which you can retreat to on any day, irrespective of the time of day and not worry about a laptop or kindle to read the book wherever you want to. It has been my dream to build a personal library of books that can last a generation, books that you can read again and again and still learn something new every time you read them, books that can educate you, guide you and enlighten you.

Reading this article compounded the grief of my recent loss of over a hundred of my invaluable books, a loss which, according to me, can be equated to possibly very few other sorrows. I lost my entire collection of Kannada books that were shipped here. Aside from the monetary value, there were books that were close to my heart; among others a few Vedic/Upanishadic texts, works by Bhyrappa, Kuvempu and over a dozen works by DVG, a Sandhyavandane book given by a very very close relative during my upanayanam, an anthology of Kannada poems autographed by the author over 40 years ago! Moreover, I had spent several trips to India to get those books to the US hiding them between clothes to prevent my parents from looking at them, lest they force me to exchange them for saarina puDi (ಸಾರಿನ ಪುಡಿ), huLi puDi (ಹುಳಿ ಪುಡಿ), eatables, etc. Also, I lost 3 boxes of technical/miscellaneous books purchased in second hand bookstores, library sales, etc over a period of 5 years.

Life makes you start over again and again when you think you are getting somewhere.