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what if: the ‘big bang’ was a firecracker of the Gods

do you wonder, how large is this Universe?

do we really know?
is it only as far as our most powerful telescopes can see?
is there an end? a margin? a boundary?

is there a beyond?
if yes, what is beyond?
does the ‘beyond’ itself have an end?
or is it never ending?

the god(damn) particle!

the last few days,
I have been on a spinning roller coaster of a “what if …”
since the report of the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particles

after a hunt spanning five decades,
we have almost found the elusive ‘goddamn particle’.

Q&A: The Higgs boson

The Higgs mechanism proposes that there is a field permeating the Universe – the Higgs field – that allows particles to obtain their mass. Interactions with the field – with the Higgs bosons that come from it – are purported to give particles mass.

from BBC Science and Environment

is this Higgs field confined within the presumed boundaries of ‘our universe’?
does this Higgs field have to be a result of the ‘big bang’, so confined within the boundaries of our universe?
what if,
the Higg’s field has been eternally present as a wider vastness of unknown matter and/or energy?

were these ‘god(damn) particle’ created only as a result of the big bang?
what if,
these particles eternally existed in that undefined and a limitless vastness of an incomprehensible reality?

what if,
the big bang happened within that vastness of ‘dark matter and dark energy’
like a heavenly firecracker.

not unlike exploding smoke and ash in the darkness,
dispersing the new matter of quarks and leptons and the gauge bosons
initially massless, hurtling at the speed of light in all directions and dimensions…
inevitably colliding with the goddamn particles; that weighed them down and finally bound them together …

creating this universe we know.

if yes, was the big bang
simply an accident in a celestial laboratory?
or was it one of many venomous mushroom clouds in a wider war of demons?

or do the ‘gods’ occasionally indulge in colossal shows of heavenly fireworks?

and why only the one?
why not many big bangs; backwhen and now, still exploding?
one, two, three … ten … hundreds … thousands?
millions … trillions … sexdecillion?
maybe centillions?

will then every big bang create a different ‘universe’?
the multiverse?

and will them big bangs, all be identical?
will they / do they give rise to the same particles …
that form the same hadrons and leptons … same atoms and molecules …
clumping together to form identical stars and galaxies as we now find in our own universe?

will they have the same forces binding the particulate matter?
will they all have the same spectrum of electromagnetic radiation?
will they all have the same ‘light’, tied down to the same finite speed?

can we ever know, everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy?
can we ever claim to know what will always remain beyond our reach?

what ifs?

are the results of an idle mind drifting laterally
from and along the thoughts and beliefs of the norm, cannot be proved, cannot be disproved either – littleindian

backwhen – coffee and biscuits were for a song

the song

the british folk rock quartet, Magna Carta were touring India
and they played unplugged to a full house at Kala Mandir in Kolkata.

it was a longway back in the when,
we were four fresh faced singers and guitar players,
trying out our nascent skills in a band of our own.

we were one of the first ones to queue up to buy tickets,
sitting as close to the stage as we could afford,
for a couple of hours we sat awestruck
listening to the singing
the harmonising
and the amazing guitar playing

we were mesmerized.

there was one song, we had to learn.

MAGNACARTA at Myspace Music

and having spent hours and hours listening to the track
and swapping chords and tabs with friends we learnt to play it fairly well.

the coffee and biscuits

sometime later,
with three trekking friends of mine, I was walking in the Himalayan foothills.

we were walking towards Khecheopalri lake in Western Sikkim.
and stopped at a tiny village called Thingling.

there were no shops
we were desperate to buy some food and a hot drink,
a couple of school teachers invited us to their house and made us coffee and offered us biscuits.

in the corner of the tiny room stood a guitar.
one of them was trying to learn how to play;
he asked if we played.

I was the guitar player in the bunch,
I picked it up and started playing and singing this song
my other three friends sang and hummed along.
the two teachers nodded and tapped a table in rhythm.

we had many miles to go,
soon it was time for the leaving,
we got up and brought out our wallets to pay for the biscuits and coffee.

smilingly our hosts declined,
they said the song was more than enough in exchange.

many years after

today, like a stuck jukebox,
I wonder why the song has been playing on and on in my mind …


for the crying and singing of a guitar


Backwhen in Calcutta during my college days, I happened to be in a band.
We were a humble three guitars and a drummer ensemble and a singer;
we went by the name of The Doc’Yard.

We broke many college norms to delve into western music;
when it was considered bad culture by the traditional puritans.
Singing and playing the usual Beatles hits
with a sprinkling of the Dead, Stones and many others;
before turning our hands at writing some of our own music.

I was happy drumming for the initial months and many a few gigs,
but then turned to playing the lead guitar to fill a void.

It was a time when I, as a college student, didn’t have much money to splash around.
I had a worse for wear Rs 100 ($10) guitar; a locally made solitary pickup job,
I had it rejuvenated by the professionals with a brand new pickup
and fresh lick of cream paint and a black fingerboard,
I was ready.

But my money had run out.
I needed an amplifier. I had to settle for a borrowed little contraption of unknown origin.
It sported four chunky valves, but the sound it produced at its loudest
could only be described as

Like Mr Knopfler’s “George”, I knew all them fancy chords,
but unlike him, I also wanted to make my guitar cry and sing.

Undaunted, I spent hours trying to get the sounds of my guitar heroes; the likes of
George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour and Eric Clapton.
I had no pedals, no fancy knobs, no whammy bars.

I turned my fingertips raw till they almost bled,
bending the strings to get them to sing and cry.
I did try,
it was hard work, the strings were stiff and stubborn
and the amplifier refused to cry; it would only sing its own tune.

A day came when I completed my final exams and moved onto
a different phase of my life. Career and job took a priority,
and sadly, after five years, it was time to hang up my trusted guitar.

Now, after many years
and thousands of miles away from where I started,
I can indulge in my purchases; I am now a proud owner of a
Music Man 112 RP Sixty-Five.

Now I can sit and bend the strings
and hear my guitar crying and singing
so easily, so effortlessly, getting the sounds of the guitar legends of backwhen.

A Music Man amplifier: 112 RP Sixty-five

Today, I got out the cleaning rags and set about to dust its inner
and in the process I found, by the numbers on its parts,
this amplifier had been assembled in November 1979.

I am just sitting and thinking;

when I was tearing my fingertips out for the want of a good amplifier,
little did I know, that by then, an amplifier had been designed by Mr Leo Fender
and already built by technicians somewhere in Anaheim, California
that would one day heal my finger tips.


in memory of Alex McIntyre

few days ago,
I stumbled upon this webpage about
Alex McIntyre
I am shocked to hear he died in an accident on Annapurna in 1982.

Long ago, with my friends, I was an avid walker –
every holiday I saved up for, had to be spent in the Himalayas.

In post monsoon 1982, we had trekked to the Annapurna Base Camp.
It was our last day when we met Mr Alex McIntyre;
with him, if I remember right, was Mr John Porter.
They arrived with their team of porters.

There was no one else at the base camp except a couple of local shepherds.

We invited them to our tent and and being our team cook,
I made them some sweet indian tea while their porters went on ahead
to find a site for their camp.

We sat and chatted for a bit.
Their third team member had become unwell
and had stayed back in one of the hotels enroute.

We were, well leastways I was, awed to have met ‘real’ mountaneers.
We shook hands and wished them luck, success and good weather.

They went up and pitched camp, we struck ours.

Nearly thirty years on, I somehow still remember him,
that wicked smile
and a wicked wicked sense of humour.
Alex McIntyre
His hair was shorter than in the photograph.

It was a small meeting; I find I had it filed away in my memory.
This bit of news and his photograph brought it all back.

We might have been the last people,
other than their porters, he met before starting on their climb.
Which is why this news leaves me today with an empty feeling,

Alex McIntyre:
cruelly struck down in his prime by a single stone which hit him square on the head…
– Link to: Mountain Heritage Trust

a sense of loss for a person I so little knew.

I have long lost contact with my walking mates.
I would so like to, but am unable to share the memory with them.

I write this just in case anyone reading this too may have known him.
To share in his memory.


what happened to morality in sport?

the goalkeeper here MUST have seen the ball bouncing way inside the goalline.
it was not just a few inches this way or that
it was in by almost half a yard!

Manuel Neuer beaten

it was so obvious
why could he not admit that he had been beaten?

all he had to do was
pick up the ball and place it behind the line to confirm the goal.

i ask,
if he had done it,
would he have been a fool?
would anyone ever mocked him for it?
more importantly, if they had eventually lost,
would any of his countrymen ever blamed him for being honest?

now in his mind he must know he was truly beaten
perhaps he admits it to his conscience too.

had the goal been allowed, it could have changed the outcome of the match.
that is the only doubt that will remain for ever
for no one can ever doubt it was a goal

do we really need more technology in sport
if the players themselves can be honest and admit their mistakes or having been beaten?

where is then the morality in sport?
where is fair play?