Nil Sine Pokemon

I confess that I haven’t been able to tend to this blog as much as I would’ve liked. It’s not about time (or the lack of it), it’s just laziness. Well, a lot of stuff has happened this month (and a lot of pics have been taken), which I simply can’t do justice to by putting it in words.

I suppose, I’ve found a new love as well, some people are going to hate this…


…well actually it’s not a new love, this dates back to 2004, so I’ll narrate my history with this incredible video-game.

Back in 2004 when I was only 6 years-old, I was everything one could describe as a Pokemon fan. I used to watch the anime a lot, watched all the released movies, and even had Pokemon drawing and colouring books. In 2005, I was introduced to the world of Pokemon video-games, which I never knew existed. I remember how popular Pokemon used to be in my apartment complex, it was as if a GameBoy Advance and a Pokemon cartridge was like a piece of clothing, which you could not not have when going outside. The rage was infectious, and I soon caught on. I got my first Pokemon game as a birthday gift - Pokemon Sapphire.

So, with great exuberance, I got my first Gym badge, saved my game and went to bed. The next day when I woke up, and loaded the game, I was greeted with this message:


Serious disappointment. I tried saving again, but got the same message. I thought my Pokemaster career had come to a standstill, which it actually had. So, for the next few months, all I could do was gaze in envy at my friends’ games which actually saved. Why only for a few months? Because, in February 2006, I got an original FireRed. With the same anxiousness, I tried saving, and obviously (but to my surprise), it actually worked! Joy. What followed was me getting an original Emerald as well, so I knew my career was well on its way. It was a lot of fun, when we were allowed to bring our GameBoys to school, and see whose Level 100 Mewtwo was better. I must clocked at least a total of 600 hours on both games, but in the middle of 2007, I was hit by a GameBoy ban, which didn’t end till summer 2008. By then, I totally lost interest, and the GameBoy took its place as being a convenient paperweight and dust collector. Never touched it again for three years.

Then, in 2011, some of my friends came over with their GameBoys to ask me some Pokemon questions and how to get to Navel Rock without a GameShark. Of course, I had lost most of my expertise on the subject, and we never got to Navel Rock. But then, it brought back to me the fond memories of playing Pokemon, and thinking “Hey, this is fun!”. The very next day, I downloaded an emulator and Emerald ROM, just to relive those moments.

It was brilliant, playing Pokemon on that queer low-resolution and basic pseudo-2.5D models. I couldn’t care less about the life-like graphics in other games. This was for me. I frantically hunted for my FireRed and Emerald cartridges, but both of them were lost. Lost forever. It was a heart-breaking moment.

Soon after, I began trawling sites like Bulbapedia and Serebii, to catch up on what I missed.

It was an awful lot. But, looking closer, I saw a very sharp competitive edge to the game. I was amazed, and soon after, I swallowed the concept of EVs, IVs, and natures.

I downloaded Pokemon Platinum and DS emulator for fun. I never thought I would actually play it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I played the whole game and beat the Battle Frontier with all my newly-gained knowledge.

But soon, I realised, there’s no way of playing with a real person like this. So, I (nervously) asked my parents for a DS + Pokemon Black (I would’ve never asked, if I hadn’t got scholarship). But that was easily the best things I could ever buy. A Cosmo Black 3DS and Pokemon Black. All I could’ve ever wanted. I’ve played around 70 Wi-Fi battles, and won like 30 of them. I turned to sites like Smogon. It was incredible, a whole community of smart, competitive Pokemon players. It was just the place for me. A few months ago, I became a member, and my Pokemon journey continues to advance.

That’s my story. Hope you guys liked it. No Poke-Haters please!

Photography: Volume 2

Pulling out my camera, adjusting the exposure, quietly waiting for the perfect shot, I present to you, my viewers, my new photography album. The old collection can be found here.

Note: not all my photos here are “new, new” photos. Some of them are exceptional shots I took before publishing my last post, but I didn’t want to post two pics of the same thing.

Moving on….(click to enlarge)


A really neat pose of that squirrel. I didn’t expect the sunlight and the ground to merge so well together.


Looks like it’s been pulled out of a rainforest. The truth is, i found these little birds in my backyard. I love the way the birds sit linearly, almost like a family picture.


This was a bit of an experiment, with very impressive results. Shot it under low lighting with flash at a certain angle, so you can see all the layers of petals in the flower.


Slimy snail; and although the picture doesn’t exhibit too many photography techniques, it looks pretty decent.


The grasshopper/mantis (I’m no entomologist) strikes an excellent pose for this photo. The raised forearms and the spread out legs give it a great stance.


A really simple pic, but that’s what makes it look detailed and elegant.


Cute little birdie. That sounds really stupid. Anyway, I like the perching position of the bird, and the contrast of its black head to its yellow body (sorry if that sounds racist). Birds and insects seem to love posing for me.


Wow, this picture was an absolute stunner for me. I heard the cat screeching in pain before I found it (probably “cat”fighting). The way its body is silhouetted and the light gleaming off the feline’s eyes make it an amazing and thoughtful picture.


Kind of a filler pic. The flower looks pretty, and I can’t say much about this.


Perfect pose + perfect clarity + cool insect = awesomeness. The macro worked exceptionally well here.


An example of good timing, this picture was taken early in the morning. The bees seemed to be rising with me and the sharpness in front and the blurred out background, make it another sweet shot.


I don’t have enough words to describe how much I love this one. At a first glance, you might not see much, but look at the thing looming over the moth’s (yes it is a moth) body. Do you count four legs a side? Yup, a spider was ingesting its prey in this one, and seeing it in real life was eerie. Although I can’t bring out all the life or death in this photo, I hope you get the message.

I know you’ll enjoy these photos, no need to hope.

Comment, criticize and praise as you wish.

Rantings: Indian Education

The Indian education system has been one with many ups and downs. Viewing from not an expert’s position, not from a parent’s position, not from a teacher’s position, but from a high school, bored student’s perspective, this post is just a rant about our muddled education system.

CCE: This was supposed to be the next big thing to do away with exams. However, the government’s magic wand failed to do much on these counts, and instead of doing away with exams, it succeeded to give us a cornucopia of projects and assignments, to keep us busy in our already syncopated free time. It probably could’ve done a lot more if they had revised their assessment, but…..

Emphasis on exams: What the education board has largely taught the majority of Indian students is that failure in exams is tantamount to failure in life. It screams to say that exams are the most important thing that could have happened since the Big Bang, and that failing could just as well result in the destruction of the universe itself. It would be an understatement to say that “10th graders in India suicide”, because the existence threatening virus has got to almost all age groups. For the sake of lives, try to change these stereotypes, CBSE.

Lack of thinking problems: OK, I know what my fellow students are thinking on these counts in math (no pun intended), but problems like these are reserved for “higher classes”. It’s like slowly walking on a long path and then being forced to run a marathon. Yeah, these problems can’t be left out early for the benefit of the “average student”. Sure, it is tough going early, but it will pay off in the end. The bar of the “average student” needs to be raised a notch higher on the metaphoric ladder.

If you want more evidence, just look at India’s IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad) rating of 72nd out of 73 countries. An average South Korea’s 3rd grader is astonishingly just as good as an average Indian 8th grader at mathematical/mental ability.

Hindi: As if the subject wasn’t terrifying enough, some wise guy decided to give kids 15 chapters of boredom and then ask arbitrary questions in exams. With themes ranging from dirt, mud and random biographies, the Hindi syllabus clearly wasn’t reviewed by a person brought up in a ubiquitous English community. If CBSE can reduce the bar so nonchalantly for sciences, why was this treatment skipped for Hindi?

Uniformed board: This probably saves a lot of confusion, but it means that it needs to cater to all types of society for what the board considers “relevant”. Things like forestry and agriculture are hardly needed in urban areas, but then again, this is according to me, not them.

Policies: Read plural of policy and not law enforcing officers. RTE plans to give education to everyone, which sounds like a nice idea, but in reality is far-fetched. With most 3rd graders failing to pass basic English reading tests (94% to be exact), something seems to be wrong. Even if they somehow do get everyone educated, not everyone can get a job in this country, leaving lots of wasted talent.

On a more positive note, literacy rates have jumped by over 12% since 2001’s census. Great news, but these shortcomings give one some food for thought.

Comment, criticise and praise at your own will.

7 Billion

Today the world has reached a new milestone, which has compelled me to change the very name of this blog itself. Yes, we reached the population landmark of 7,000,000,000 or seven billion according to a UN estimate. According to me population growth is not a good trend and achieving it has some serious implications. The world is already ridden with poverty, AIDS and a host of problems with which the majority of the population can not keep up with. Sure, we have more people and man-force. But that doesn’t help the fact that unlike population, resources do not reproduce by themselves. Providing for seven billion odd people is more than what the earth can give.

Here’s a breakdown of the world’s population growth.

This is positive information. The world has only added one billion people in 13 years since the last milestone of six billion. More people would probably mean higher growth rates. It’s not happened in this case due to successful campaigns from the Chinese - 400 million less births. However, even with the current growth rate, it will not be sustainable to have more people on this planet in a few decades.

Food for thought. Comment and express your opinions.

Photography: Volume 1

Hi guys, its been a long time since I’ve updated this. Got a few photos with my awesome Canon SX1-IS cam. (click to enlarge)


A pity, because I always found that a rather attractive flower. But a great photo opportunity as well!


Why thee vile insect, must consume min winsome flower? (old English, just for the heck of it)


I love this photo. Super macro, so the spider was almost touching the lens of the cam. Came out really well though.


Not much to say, but like the colours of this.


Timing is the essence of photography. Looks good as well.


One of my favorite bugs; the millipede. The revolting insect was dangling from a twig when I captured it (sounds like pokemon there).


Could have put a bit more emphasis on the bird, but the flowers gave the picture a nice setting,


A pretty good shot to get it in that pose. Over-exposed (+2) I think, but that puts the bird in the spotlight.

Hope you like the photos. Review and comment.