Saturday, November 21, 2015

सारा कुनबा

अकेले कहाँ टूटते हैं?
चरमराते हैं उनके साथ 
कल के सपने 
बहुत से अरमान 
मन की आस 
अपनों पर विश्वास। 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Harappa Valley Civilisation and the Aryans: 4 new theories

These theories have been on my desktop for at least a year. The more I explore them, the more I believe in them.

For what they are worth, sharing them here.

Theory 1: The Vedic people were not ruthless attackers. They were colonisers rather than sudden attackers. They were nomads with a strong military knowhow, who came to the largely mercantile Harappan society and , much like the European model in the middle ages, explained the importance of security. They then took up the “job” of security – more likely in some parts more than the others, and went on, just like the British, to rule. The story of the frog king who hired a snake to fight off rival frog princes, and was eventually eaten up by the snake. Probably, the Harappans did gather some military resources and strategy lessons as time passed, but in the end, they were not victorious.

Theory 2: The Harappan script is not a literary script. The seals are again, mercantile rather than literary. A mercantile script is a method of codification – communicating the most information in the least possible symbols. So each line on the seal is important, but just like the modern Mumbai dabbavalaas, it is a code, and not a script by itself.

The seals were used to denote trade transactions and not literary content. It was not a method of writing stories. At the very least, this means that the script had:

  1. Issued under the authority of
  2. Nature of goods
  3. Quality
  4. Quantity/ weight/value/ other measurement.
  5. Trading / manufacturing unit who uses that seal.
The fact that the seals were designed for multiple times use indicates very strongly that the Harappan people had, in fact, standardized SKUs( Stock Keeping Units) – a very advanced feature of trade economies which we believe was brought to India by the MNCs.

Theory 3: This builds upon my earlier work that the structure of the Harappan script is more native to India than any Western influence. But when we look at the structure of the script, we realize that it is not for a written script, but for a society where the accuracy of oral rendition is of utmost importance.  Not only are the vowels and consonants separated, but within that, the consonants are arranged by the parts of the mouth that are used. If a child learns this structure, they are very likely to be able to make no mistake in the language itself when they use it. Furthermore, to arrive at this scientific gradation requires in depth study of sounds and their physiological source, which is not possible without there being a formal program for research and a significant sponsorship for the adoption of this method. The hypothesis is that the Harappans used this structure to teach “language” to their children, and the Aryans, having found that this is a much better way to understand sounds than their own structure, adopted it gradually and then claimed it as their own. They probably gave written symbols to the structure already being used, but they did not create that phonetics based structure.
Theory 4: Were the Harappans the modern Tamils  or Dravidians?

I base my hypothesis on 2 things:

First, the geographical location of the Sindhu valley – as early as 4500 BC, the Sindhu valley did not have a known presence of the Negroid people. That region is more suited to the presence of a race more capable of withstanding the cold temperatures of the region. As part of the evolutionary process, any people living there, would have had to have light skin, to absorb more sunlight. The high melanin content, a trait of the Negroid race, would have been a significant evolutionary hurdle in that geographical location. Just as the Aryans and the Caucasians share the same ancestry, yet the Caucasian race calls the Aryans “brown”, the Aryans probably found the native people darker than their own skin, but that alone should not lead us to believe that these people had the pigmentation of the Negroid race.

Two, Assuming that there was a mass attack or a colonization. Now, if you were a mercantile civilization, with already established links, you were more likely to travel in a direction that you know, than in a direction that you do not know. Which means that the Harappan people, assuming that they had to move, would have been more likely to approach their mercantile contacts in the West, rather than move to the jungles on the East and travel through them all the way to the South. The chance of survival was greater where there is a trade and you know how to make money. The jungles, on the other hand, need survival skills that were not the strong area of the Harappans, though the Aryans would have been completely at ease with the idea of exploring virgin terrains.

So, I believe that the Harappans were connected, to a limited extent, with the other cultures of Hindoostan only to the extent that their river systems interacted and depended on each other. But they did not move through India to eventually settle at the edge of the peninsula.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Toddler Dictionary

So, someone on facebook put up a "Toddler Dictionary" .. which was a little like tearing the seams of my motherly heart.

I added to her list generously.

  • This is what the following terms actually mean to parents of toddlers:
  • The Perfect Storm: Toddler in front of visiting la-di-dah guests.
  • The Merchant of Venice: Toddler trying to get a toy that you promised him/her 2 weeks ago.
  • The Greek Tragedy: Toddler denied their basic human right to pull your nose while you are trying to change a diaper in a crowded airport rest room after a 12 hour flight.
  • Illiad and Odyssey: The Stories of our motherly lives.
  • The Secret Garden: That place in your house where all your clips, pens and other assorted items vanish, but which you will never ever discover until the movers arrive.
  • What Katy Did: What your child will NEVER do.
  • Five on a Secret Mission: Toddler with Grandparents
  • Mahabharata: Two toddlers who want the same toy.
  • Mission Impossible: An unharried toddler parent
  • The Avengers: Toddlers whose TV time has been taken from them by "Angry Parents"
  • Slumdog Millionaire: Toddler's world view of his parents.
  • The Godfather: Toddler's worldview of self.
  • Gone with the Wind: Toddler's look when you ask, "Where is X?" X can be anything from their pyjamas to your diamond ring.
  • It Happened One Night: 
  • Ithaca: The parent's worldview of when a child will reach adulthood.
  • Life is Beautiful: That moment when, at night, the child puts their tiny arms around your neck.

What's your list?