Monday, December 21, 2009
I am writing this post because I want to share something that really pains me to see everyday. On the walk from the bus stop to my home I see several old ladies sitting on the sidewalks begging or eating left over food given to them.
And I wearing expensive stuff and enough money in my wallet to feed them for several days walking by without even glancing at them.
I do not glance at them not because I don't care for them but because the mere sight of them really pains me a lot.
Once for 3-4 days I even gave small change to one lady who used to beg there and I could see the happiness that lit her face when I used to walk by because she knew me. It made me happy too to help her in my own small way. Then one day she wasnt there and I was wondering what happened to her. And till now I always think of her when I pass by the spot where she used to sit.
But it does bring out the question of whether India really cares about its older generations.
The stories and incidents of children leaving their parents in old age homes,living separately or just chucking them out of their own residence are on the rise all the time. Is that the India that we were taught about?
Indians have always been proud of being a "family-oriented" country where family ties still hold effect even now there is a natural tendency to keep the family together at all cost.
Then why is it that we see so many elderly people begging and at others mercy for survival? Where is the dignity that used to be the prerogative of the elders in our society? Do not they deserve the same respect and dignity that our elders have?
Just because their family has forsaken them or they don't have families, isn't it our duty and their right to see to their well-being?
To know how a country is, people look at how the young generations treat their younger and older generations. Is this the image that India wants to project?
We have billions to spend on the national defense budgets but none to spend on the well being on old people on streets? We have billions to spend on Olympic athletes and none to spend on poor? We have billions to spend on Metro Rail and none for this cause?
There are several NGO's working in India for this cause as well as many individuals doing yeomen service.
But is that all? do our efforts extend just to that? What about the rest of us? There are 2 billion people in India. Why should our efforts be limited to just a few people?
If we are willing to adopt orphans why cannot we adopt these elders?
We have to remember that they were once like us and we would be one day like them too. Is that the kind of life we envision for ourself?
At that stage of life we usually live for the small joys of life. We have already spend our life and done what all we could. Why cant we give simple pleasures to them?
Cant we spend some time with them talking?
Cant we spend some money to get them things they always wanted?
Cant we give them the joys only a family life can give?
Cant we banish their isolation just by being with them?
Cant we give them something to look forward to the next day when they go to sleep?
Cant we give them a dignified end to life?
Cant we be more Indian that we are?
I always have and always will say " Treat others and you want to be treated".
Don't loose the old face of India...They are what made India as it is Today. They have given us a dignified life and a country to be proud of. So why cant we give them a dignified life in return?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
First a not so good Regular Report. Then a tremendously bad dry eye and then the insurmountable task of reducing 3 kg in 2 weeks. With the holiday season on,I dont think its fair to ask that :(
But its been a great week otherwise. Why?
1) Because my Fruit Cake was a big success ( I brought, washed, chopped, cooked and baked the cake all alone)
2) My French carols were great
3) By getting 9.5 gpa :)
On a more serious note and on a more related topic to the title of this Post I want to share my thoughts on the year that was and what might be.
This year has been eventful for me.
Right from people leaving my life, to new people joining in
From breaking old ties and making new ones
From forgetting bad memories to still holding onto cherished ones
Fighting with people to making up
Laughing with friends to crying alone
Understanding a mystery of life to getting stumped by the most mundane questions
From hating college to hating holidays even more
From being as lethargic as a sloth to being as busy as a bee
From week long voyages to weeks holed up to study
From talking to one person for hours to waiting for a call for days
And I could go on and on.
En bref, It has been a good year (relatively)
It was also an year of poems.. and those who know me would know thats not a good thing. It was an year sans CHOCOLATE. I miss it and all things and people related to it very much. It was an year of failed employments opportunities and a year in which you really started thinking for the future.
The Year That Is To Come
I cannot but surmise what the new year would bring. Sorrow, Joy, Sadness, Happiness. Those are all passing things. You cannot have one until you have known the other. What I am really interested in is what events will make those feelings come into my Life.
As detached as I want to be from this materialistic world, It is but a mortal attribute to predict, prophesize, speculate and surmise.
Which company would I join?
Where will I work?
Will I like the work?
Will I go abroad?
Will I reconcile with my old acquaintances?
Will I eat chocolate again?
Would I have learnt how to play violin?
Would I speak good French?
There are so many questions that I would give anything to have answered right now. But as Count of Monte Cristo said "Life is but .... Hope and Wait"
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The anger, hurt and pain that you have are like sandbags on your shoulders. Forgive everything, drop those bags and feel lighter and happier"
Since my initiation into this world, I have been destined to live a different life, in more ways than one. I never did have a normal life and the normal problems. I was always burdened with problems that few people face in life and that was beyond my understanding. And it all still continues
Through this I have become what I am today but it had taken its toll on me. I have become frustrated, depressed and angry a lot and hold grudges that have ruined many a good relations. I have loved solitude, calm, and generally loved to be by myself.
And lately, it seems like I am fighting the entire world. Expectations are the worst relationship breakers. You expect someone to do this and when they don't you get angry and sad and sulk. It took me this long, a lot of broken relationships, broken friendships, lots of crying and and some more crying, heart aches, depressions, writing poems, sleepless nights, constant thinkings and all the stuff that comes with it all...
But at last after a torturous path, I arrived at a bend in the road and I realized that I just cannot go ahead with all this weight on me. I wana be free of my shackles and start a new road in a new way.
I wana leave my past behind and I want to fix the past and move on into the future.
And the best way to fix is to FORGIVE. As the quote and picture aptly says... forgiveness too is a selfish thing. So to achieve my selfish ends I have 3 sentences to say to all.
I FORGIVE YOU
So that all being said, I want to make a few things clear, forgiving doesnt mean you go back to what you were before, but moving on as the person you are now.
I have changed over time and that process will continue. Some things leave permanent marks on you and you cannot erase them. Apart from that, I am removed all enmities I had with everyone that is related to my past.
I may have been a fool in the past, but I am much wiser ( a wise fool). I cannot say I wont make mistakes again, but atleast I am better prepared than before.
BBye for now.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The Age of Generation X is over. We can now say with 100% surety what the value of the unknown variable X is. And that is Screaming.
Yes, the age of the The Generation S has come. In this generation, the youth have opened up and are shouting from the top of the buildings, at the top of their voices only one thing " I AM HERE. SEE ME."
In this age of communication and technology, its a matter of a few clicks to present your idea to a large number of people. And everything they do is done in a loud way. Even the music they like is loud, even the games they play are loud, even the weapons they use are loud. Everything about them, done by them and for them is made to be as loud, visible and conspicuous as possible.
The Top Social Sites like Facebook, MySpace, Tagged, Interpals are examples for this. With just a few clicks you can send a message about the most mundane, frivolous, mundane and dumb thing to millions of people and show off your talents, achievements and what not.
The well known site Twitters is too a good example. I do not deny that it is used for good purposes too, but the posts like " I am in NY.Eating a Hotdog" do not help in anyway to anyone.
In this age, we have a lot of talker, screamers and blabber-ers and very few listeners. I am not against talking out but CAMPAIGNING for yourself using technology as a mean was never meant to be. Much more good would be done if people do useful work and let their work speak for them. Rather than say " I am a supporter of Climate Change" and put it on your resume, why don't people people actually do something to help the climate for a change?
Whats more, even the preference of today's youth is all about screaming.
Take the Music: Rock, Metal, Heavy Metal, Pop.... every song is accompanied by ear-splitting so called noise that is now called Music.. What happened to Indian Classical, Oldies, and Country Music?
Take Games: Games filled with violence, gore and lots of high-definition screams, cries and noises are the way to enjoy.
Take Clothes: They are silent shouters( sorry for the oxymoron). They never make a noise but they still make people take notice of you, stare at you and look at you with a quizzical eye. Weird Slogans, Ripped clothes, mismatched clothes, gaudy clothes are all shouting for attention. What happened to the good old sense of dressing where a person's attire used to speak(and not shout) about the person?
In earlier days, we used to say " If he/she is good at shouting, make him/her a politician". Is it that we all are now a self-campaigning Politician?
Where have the more silent things in life gone? Where is the time when people were happy with doing their own work and living their life in peace and quiet. The loudest noise they ever heard was the crying of a baby.
Where is the time when people used to sit around and discuss matter and LISTEN to each others idea rather than professing their own ideas?
Where is the time when music was supposed to be Nectar for our ears and did not involve a deafness later on.
Where is the time when games were fun to play and pleasing too, rather than been given a doze of blood, gore and horrific cries all the time?
Is it that all this has disappeared? Or is it that they cannot be heard over all the SHOUTS OF THIS GENERATION?
Slow down, take a break from shouting, drink a glass of water, and for a while, try to be a listener rather than a Shouter.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Before reading the post, I would like you to read this Joke:
In this day, where is a time to sit back, relax, reflect, retrospect and enjoy the endangered phenomenon- Solitude.
Why is it that we always equate a good day to be a busy day?
Why do we equate a hectic life to be a good life?
By being busy what are we achieving? What are we trying to prove to ourselves or others? All we are achieving is losing touch with ourselves, losing touch with our friends, having no time for friend, family or foe.
The first thing in the morning you leave home, and get back in the evening, get holed up in your room for studies or for some work, shutting out all connections and preparing for another similar day.
Why don't we KISS life? Why don't we enjoy a simple day, where you do your work, relax, talk with others and go to sleep with nothing but a smile on your face?
Why can't all of us live life such that at the end we can say like Don Corleone(the Godfather) "Life is Good"
For me, Life is just 3 things: Peace, Purpose and Love.
To have a purpose in life is one of the requirements to live. Without purpose you’re just a shell without life in it.
Love: It is a feeling that is strengthened with time, made sweeter with the sweet memories of life and is everlasting.
If you have the above two, i guarantee you that you will have peace with life.
As a child we had a carefree day, we played, laughed, loved and in general life was simple.
As an elder, we sit back, relax, retrospect, love and in general life is simple again.
Then why is it that in the middle of this, we get so off the track and lose our happiness, peace and power to love to something called "A Busy Life"? Why are we always battling with Time? At what stage did we forget the KISS life and started this Busy Life?
Monday, October 12, 2009
We Indians have always been proud of our culture and traditions. We think that following our 5000 years old traditions shows that we are a civilized, developed and culturally rich race. But have we ever wondered why these traditions were made in the first place? What I mean is that there should have been some reason why something was done or followed even in the ancient ages. Common sense demands that. Those things and rituals that were a part of the life of the ancients are now what we call as traditions. Therefore a term "New Tradition" is a huge OXYMORON.
I was pondering over it for a while. In case you do not know me, I am a person who doesn't take anything on the face value. Especially when it comes to traditions, customs, rituals and ceremonies. I do not follow the rituals and traditions without knowing why we are doing it in the first place. Let me give you some examples:
1) The tradition of Karwa Chauth: where a wife ( or a would-be-wife) keeps a fast for long life of her husband and doesn't eat anything all day. I asked my mom, why do you do it? and she explained to me the story behind it and how it all got started etc. I said "Yeah am aware of that. But don't you think that this ritual is a bit outdated? I mean... in ancient days Men were the only working people in a home and women used to stay at home and their well being depended on their husband's health and life. So , in that context having a fast and praying for a long life was valid."
But in this modern day where the gender distinction is dissolving and men are no longer the sole income earner of the house, why is it that the ladies alone observe the fast, shouldnt the men too observe one for their wives? (Maybe not for their long life :P) but maybe as a symbol of Love and Respect for them?
It so happened that there was a fast that my Mom kept for me. Presumably for my well-being and happiness. That day I too kept a fast for my Mom and we both broke the fast together. :)
To me the reason behind the tradition matters as much as the ritual. I wont do anything unless I know the significance of it. But it is now dawning on me that most people have forgot what these traditions were all about and just do it because "Its Tradition".
2) Another example, speaking of fasts, in the Hindu Calendar, there are some marked dates on which some fasts are to be kept( Don't ask me the dates or the reason, I do not know). These fasts were meant to be kept for some reason. Overtly, it was for well-being of loved ones or some Goddess, or for some ritual. But if you think about it, keeping fast is a good way to Detoxify your body and in general maintain good health. By not eating anything solid, or only taking liquid stuff and fruits etc, the body was purified and thus this resulted in well being of the person itself.
This knowledge really makes one see the traditions in a new light. Many of the traditions that are followed all around the world have been scientifically proven to increase the well-being of a person in some way. But most of them were encapsulated as a ritual to God so that at least the Fear Of Divine Wrath will help keep the people in check and observe such rituals.
3) The upcoming festival of Divali: Now there is a tradition that on Divali, some item of gold, silver or anything worthy of mention needs to be brought into the house( The day of Dhanteras). If you ponder over it you would realize that doing so made the family financial safe with the gold and silver acting as a safety guard in tough times. Maybe it was also a way to save for the marriages and other occasions when such items are exchanged. By wrapping this as a ritual , the ancients ensured that the people were financially secure and saved some for a rainy day.
I could go on and on about the rituals... and DONT get me started on the rituals in Marriage. They are so many and so diverse in reasons that I could write on and on about it.
Well I think I will end this post here....
The idea that I wanted to present here is that:
Traditions, Cultures, Rituals, Festivals are all good as a Society. But we should know why we are doing them. Just because it has been so for 5000 years doesn't mean it is correct. Always remember, Traditions were not always traditions. They were a way of life. Only the passage of time has made them the much beloved Traditions of our Culture. Let us not lose the meaning behind the traditions, others we are no more than blind ants following a blind leader.
Signing off for now. Adieu, Ciao, Bye, Au Revoir, Sayonara, Alvida.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It was nice. It was different. It was good. Say Cheese :D
Being a student of French and not having a passion for wine tasting and cheese is like owning a car and not knowing about the engine or wheels.
So when I got wind of the wine and cheese evening at Rhapsody, Courtyard Marriott I eagerly awaited the evening. And it wasn't a let down at all. It was actually a great evening.
Now, this being my first such formal social evening event I do not have a frame of reference but anyway let me write what I think about it.
Lets start with the ambiance. Rhapsody is basically a bar and pub so you have muted lightings ,leather chairs, polished tables, smart waiters, background music that wasn't very intrusive and all the things you may want. I didn't find any problem with it.
Next, the event: I don't have any negative points about it. The event was well organized (although it started late). Wine and cheese evenings are a new culture Alliance Francaise of Madras is trying to start in Chennai. This event was part of a series of events hosted by AF as part of its Club Degustation events. The cheese were organised by Daniel Dubosclard, the owner of La Fromagerie from Bangalore. The wine was sponsored by Four Seasons by UB Spirits. These wines are new additions to the porfolio of UB and it was like a promotional campaign by them. There were 5 kinds of cheese Brie de Brie, Fourme d'Ambert, Buche de chevre, Morbier and Cantal. As for the wine there was a selection of 5 wines, 3 white wines and 2 red wines(Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Blush Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz). The people at the party were mostly foreigners and they talked in fluent french :(
The cheese: Now I do not know the C of Cheese but I can tell you one thing. If you have grown up on only processed cheese (Amul, Britannia etc) your in for a big and surprise treat. When I tasted the cheese I could really see the difference between what Indians call Cheese and what cheese can actually be. From the subtlest flavour to the most prominent and aggressive ones.
the wines also have distinct taste. From sweet tasting Blush Red to the strong Souvignon Blanc. But then you need to acquire a taste for the wines so I couldnt really understand the good from the bad.
On the whole it was a good evening, a new experience for me and it was something to remember.
Au revoir :) A bientot.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I STOOD WITH TRUTH
BUT NOT JUSTICE
I STOOD WITH A LIE
THEN IS IT JUSTICE?
I WANTED WHITE
BUT GOT BLACK
MURPHY’S LAW IS
KEEP FRIENDS CLOSE BUT ENEMIES CLOSER
YOU MAY BE STABBED WHEN U DOZE OFF
LIFE LONG BOND WAS NOT IN MY MIND
IT WAS JUST A WISH I HAD TO BIND
ALL I GOT WAS LIES AND PAIN
YEARS FRIENDSHIP DOWN THE DRAIN
TRUST IS LIKE A HOUSE OF CARDS
BE THE FORCE LIGHT OR HARD
A BRUSH OF WIND CAN TEAR IT APART
NOT TO MENTION HOW HARD IT IS TO START
IT IS TRUE OR IS IT?
PEOPLE ARE AS PEOPLE DO IT
DO OTHERS CARE ABOUT OTHERS A BIT
AND IS FRIENDSHIP JUST A PACK OF SHIT?
BEING EXASPERATED IS NOTHING NEW FOR ME
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER ITS FOUR OR THREE
EVEN TWO WOULD BE ENOUGH FOR ME
NOW ITS ONLY YOU AND ME
I TOOK A CHANCE
SEE WHAT HAPPENED
MY HEART WAS BROKEN
AND MY SPIRIT DAMPENED
IT TAKES A WHILE TO ACCEPT SOMETHINGS
IT TAKES A WHILE TO BELIEVE SOMETHINGS
IT TAKES A WHILE TO FORGET SOMETHINGS
BUT IT TAKES A LIFE TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE
IS THIS LIFE OR IS IT?
ITS DEFINATELY NOT A BED OF ROSES
ITS DEFINITELY NOT AS BAD AS SAID
ITS DEFINITELY NOT AS GOOD AS MADE
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Now this was one book I had been eagerly been waiting for. I had even visited his website and played the pre-release game and won the prize which was a message from Dan Brown saying that if I was able to decipher the code in the cover page and send it to him, he will send me a signed copy of the book. This was applicable on the first 33 people.
So I eagerly went to Landmark, purchased the book at the discounted prize which ironically still was expensive(Rs 599) only to realize that there was no code in the front cover.
Only then did I realize that as with the HP 7 book, the actual cover was not published in India and it was an Indian cover altogether. So much for my hopes of cracking the code.
Coming to the book itself, It is written in classical Dan brown style with lots of fact and fiction mixed together in such a way that you wont know where one ends and another begins. You see things you do and see in a entirely different perspective. It makes you wonder what had made you so blind so as not to see all that. It arouses you imagination, challenges you existing beliefs and makes you aware there is something more to things that what you see.
Overall the book is a good read. But I did not find it worth the exorbitant amount I paid to have it or the hours of study time I wasted to read it.
You may ask Why? ...
Well first of all, the story has nothing new to offer in term on a baseline.
As a engineer I would say Dan Brown has created a Class of story and all his novels are Objects of this same class.
As a cook I might say, he has used the same old recipe again and again.
As a fan I would say "Dude, don't you get tired of writing the same old shit"
1 ) Same plot as used in Da vinci and A&D. One hero...(no prizes there... its Robert again still doing 50 laps in the pool).
2 ) Same concept of signs hidden in buildings. ( London and Paris, Rome etc) This time its W D.C.
3 )Secret cult/brotherhood(Illuminati, Priori of Sion, etc) protecting ancient secrets that have the potential to change world.
4 )Advancement in Science that opposes the ideas of the secret.(actually here it was collaborating with that of the ancients.)
5 )One evil demonic figure(Silas et all) hell bent on bringing the secret in the open.
6 )One map(The path of Illumination, The Cryptex, The single digit code et all) that tries and tests whether you deserve to know the secret or not
7 ) The map this time is not very long and it has very things to offer. Not much for cryptographers mind here.
8 ) Misunderstanding between Langdon and Government officials. Langdon escaping, chased by police.
and everything in between. Ppl getting killed. blasts, etc.
The only thing that changes is the way the signs are decoded and the underlying history behind it. The etymology of frequently used words and why we use certain phrases (I found the one about giving the 3rd degree a good one).
Overall I think it was a big let down after months of anticipation and waiting.
Overall: Typical Dan Brown but fast getting boring. I swear if I get the same plot next time,I'm throwing the book out of the window with its price label still attached.
Originality of Story: 2
Facts and information: 10
Suspense and Thriller: 8 (yes it has its good edges and U turns)
Price: 6 (you really should wait for the paperback cheaper ones)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
One day someone asked me: " Tell me who you really are". And what was I supposed to say?
Philosophers say :"Each person is unique"
Science says:" All person are 99% same and 1% different".
But take a look at the following pics and then truthfully answer me: Are you one person? Can you honestly say you behave the same way all the time with everyone?
In the short span of my life ( am 21 FYI)... I have met many people but if you ask me how many people I have met I would say "Uncountable" .
Why? Because each person is a melange of many faces and personalities , all hidden one behind the other or which surfaces at different time in different places. No I'm not talking about Multiple Personality Disorder(MPD) but about how the same people behave differently at different times.
Consider my own example..
Previously, I used to behave differently in college and at home. I was extrovert at times and introvert at times. Why you may ask? The answer is somewhat the one written in the blog mentioned above... that is :
We try to be what others want us to be.
We wear a mask ,a false face, a substitute face over our real self so that we may "fit in" with the other people around us.
We wear faces and change faces just like an actor in a play where there are a lot of roles but fewer actors. He has to juggle a lot of personalities and faces simultaneous taking care never to switch one for the other.
We for the most part are all such actors in life. We wear a smiling face with one person, a loving with another, a hateful with third, a pitiful with fourth, an angry with 5th, an aloof one with 6th, a stranger with a 7th and the list goes on.
Why cannot we be ourselves? But then "Who are we really?"
Acting as we have for a long time, we forget who we really are. We create the strings of parallel lives within ourselves and then we get entangles in them ourselves. Like a quagmire you yourself created and then got stuck in it yourself. And most of the time we cannot get ourselves out of it all.
Most of the time, the cause for such faces is not oneself but the people with whom one associates himself. By taking note of what people say about a person, the person starts to believe in it himself. Something like "if you call a donkey a goat 1000 times he will believe he is a goat". Tell a person a 1000 times " this is the truth. It should be like this" and he will throw away his ideas and accept that as the truth.
I have met people whom I think are good at heart, but was surprised to see the dark side of theirs when the situation arose. I want to say I have made many friends but truth be told I have simply made a lot of "acquaintance" ... why? you may ask....
because when you say " He/she is my friend" you mean that you understand the person for who he/she really is. The best example of friendship I can give you is of the series called F.R.I.E.N.D.S on star world
But what I have experienced is nothing but bits and pieces of faces and personalities people keep in front while hiding behind the mask. It has given me some rude shocks and some of my friends have had a similar experience with me too.
The point I am trying to make is... People see us as one. Then why is it that we have so many faces?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Everyone of us has read the story about the hare and the tortoise and concluded that "Slow and Steady wins the race"
I read a poster posted outside one of my professor's door and its idea and meaning is what I am essaying to reproduce here.
There are several questions that we can ask in the story.
1) What if the hare hadn't slept?
Would he have won the race and we would have a new moral called " Run as fast as you can,don't look back and you will surely win" ?
2) What if the tortoise on seeing the sleeping hare had woken him up and said " hey, we are in a race. how can you be sleeping?"
This would still ended in the hare winning the race maybe. But there is a world of a difference in the above 2 ways.
One makes you achieve Performance. The other makes you achieve Progress.
In the current world, the hectic life that we are all subject to is nothing but the fruition of our being focused on performance rather than progress. In performance, you alone move forward leaving others behind. Therefore you can run faster and go a longer way. But then what? you wait for others to catch up?or you again start running even further ahead?
Does performance really matter in the world? I have heard a lot of people saying "Dont stop running else the tide will overtake you". But how long do you run? Forever? You live your life "on the run" metaphorically?I ask you a simple question.....
With whom would you enjoy your performance if you consider everyone else a competition?
What would you say if the hare takes the tortoise on his back and both finish ?
Progress is moving forward as a whole team/group/society or even nation as a whole. Where we involve others in our working and strive together to achieve the cliched "Tryst with Destiny". Where one complements the other and pulls everyone else along so that the progress may be slow , but is much more sweet, steady and in general, a progress in the real sense. You may perform all your life, but can you call that progress?
What is the use of a society which doesn't progress?
"That which doesn't change, doesn't grow. That which doesn't grow, dies"
Thus, I would like to wind up by saying that, do perform, but don't forget to progress also.
Adieu. hasta luego.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Many have had a college education associated with a prestigious university but few of us have had the good fortune of attending a prestigious university... But have we ever asked ourselves why it was named a university and not something else? Something like “Teacademia” or maybe more obscure as “Nerdtown”?
In my opinion, university stands for many things, some of the more etymological ones are:
1) Universal City
2) Universe In The Youth
3) And one of my favorite –Unity in Diversity.
University is the place where you become who you really are. It is where you realize your potential and your power. It is the place where no mater from where you are, from what background you come, what language you speak , what religion you follow, what is your ideology…., everything melts away and merges with the common thread .. the thread of pursuit of knowledge and in the unwinding of that thread possibly to understand oneself better.
Where nothing matters but your prowess. Your passion for excelling in your chosen field of pursuit, for fulfilling the many dreams that you have woven and strike every second of every day to achieve. An ideal university is a place where everything and everyone however diverse are united as one.
I have had a good fortune of being in such a university.
I have met people with whom I do not see eye to eye with, professors whom I would like nothing better but misfortune to fall, situations I would rather not put myself into, deadlines that none can meet, languages that many can’t understand, incidents that you wish shouldn’t have occurred., decisions that seem very unfair....
But I have also met people whom I know I would remember all my life, people who are so like me that you don’t need to speak for them to understand, people who have become an essential part of your existence and maybe someone for whom you have become a reason to live. Professors who have the divine power of instilling in you, the same lust, thirst, passion, and fury that made them pursue the same course, situations that I have waited all my life to come to fruitition, incidents that have changed the course of your life, your beliefs and shattered your rose colored glasses, and making decisions which you never regret in your life.
But that’s life. You have your own good and bad days. But that’s what makes us realize who we really are in positive or in adverse situation.
In one sense, university is a place which makes you united .. with yourself and with others. You enter it as a person who has many ideas about what to do and what not to do, you have diverse ideologies and thinking, you really don’t understand who you really are, something like water being spread over the ground. It goes where it finds least resistance.
But the alma mater has the task of collecting that water and turning it into an icicle. That will stand tall and firm.
I have had many regrets in the years I have been here. But I don’t have any regrets about feeling those regrets. Because I am what I am because of that.
I pay my tribute, homage and obeisance to the place where I found myself.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So hi again.... its been a while since I got my hands dipped in ink or rather on the dirty keyboard.
Things have been moving around more swiftly than usual and also have slowed down in a way. So didnt have a chance to come and keep this one updated. But I guess now that am here and have things on my mind let me add another strand of memory and thought to my pensieve.
I recently turned 21 and it suddenly dawned on me that "Hey, you can drink now. You can marry now. You can stand in elections and you can have a proper job."
And I was like "Wow, are we there ?" Has time played its usual trick and made my life fast forward? or have I been sleeping like the Hare while Time(the turtle) passed me by?
Have we come to that stage that we only used to see as a distant scenario... never realizing that we were on a heads-on collision path with it? My.... what a collision it has been.
I still remember the days when we used to make jokes about marriages, drinking, office humours and political puns. And in many ways we still are stuck with many such jokes and still take pleasure in them.
But the bigger question might be " Now that we are here, where do we go? what do we do? "
We always say "Life is a journey" . I agree with that. But even a journey has some stop in the middle where you pause and revitalize yourself. The places where you sit and decide your next stop and the best route to take and the things you would require etc..
Maybe the sudden realizations that you no longer the "cool teenager" but a "responsible young adult" are the catalysts that force you to pause and collect yourself for the next stage of the journey?
Like for example, I still remember when we were more concerned about getting the best softwares for free from the net and used a lot of services which we took for granted. We thought of computers as a mode of having fun and staying in touch with one another.
But suddenly, its the same you , you who are trying to get a job at the same company whose software fills your computer. You, who now see the computer as a world in itself and are given the task of exploring new vistas , and untapped , undiscovered areas. Its the same you, who now has to make the games for others, the same which you used to enjoy. Now your the person who would be offering the service for others to use.
These changes are so subtle and discrete, that you wouldnt know the shifting priorities till it came from behind you and hollered into you ears "BOOOO". And then you really open your eyes and look back and see how long you have come and how it is time now to don a new mantle, a new hat and a new goal.
But then most of us are so ensconed, cuddled and cocooned in our lives that we hardly pause for a breathe of fresh air when walking by a garden on our way to office.
Well... I had a frightful awakening this time..and now we have to go again on the new path till another pause comes. Would I be awake and waiting by the finish line for it? Or would I be still sleeping and again be woken by a loud "BOOOO", that only Time can tell. But then how can you trust time when its your opponent :)
Well.. all I know at the moment is "I am Here and Now". And thats all the matters.
P.S This post was inspired by a somewhat similar post by a colleague of mine Vijitha called "Bedlam broke loose - Right inside my head".
This is a short description on how idiosyncratic the English language it. I havent written it. I just found it on the web and wanted to share it. So here goes :
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?
Why does night fall but never break and day break but never fall?
Why is it that when we transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when we transport something by ship, it's called cargo?
Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists?
In what other language do thay call the third hand on the clock the second hand?
Why is it called a TV set when you get only one?
Why - in our crazy language - can your nose run and your feet smell?
Sometimes you have to believe that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane:
If olive oil is made of olives, what do they make baby oil from?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume?
A writer is someone who writes, and a stinger is something that stings.
But fingers don't fing and grocers don't groce.
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
If the teacher taught, why isn't it also true that the preacher praught?
If harmless actions are the opposite of harmful actions, why are shameless and shameful behavior the same?
English is a language in which you can turn a light on and you can turn a light off and you can turn a light out, but you can't turn a light in;
In which the sun comes up and goes down, but prices go up and come down.
In which your nose can simultaneously burn up and burn down and your car can slow up and slow down, in which you can fill in a form by filling out a form and in which your alarm clock goes off by going on.
English is a crazy language. What is it that when the sun or the moon or the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible?; and why when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I shall end it?
Friday, June 26, 2009
So hello again.. its been almost a month since my last post but hey... who told that I will be regular.
So I just love travelling and it so happened that I was able to take an impromptu trip to another city by flight. Now normally being on a flight is an exciting thing in itself but what made this one special was that it invoked thoughts in me about how much we could learn from the way flying works. The crux of this blog is "Life is a long flight. So board it, fly in it, enjoy it and land it ... all by yourself."
If you have been following my blog then I would like you to recollect my thoughts in "The Blind Observers" where I talk about how even simple and everyday thing teach us a lot if we are willing to look at them from a perspective.
So coming to the main course...I was sitting in this cramped ,confined place they called an economy seat ,reading a book by David Baldacci called " Absolute Power" when I looked out of the window and saw clouds and more clouds and yet more clouds and then the clear sky and then land... stretching till the horizon, ribbons, squares, rectangles and circles and some wierd geometric shapes that cannot be algebraically described ,blending into one another and changing as suddenly as a bolt out of the blue .
And this got me thinking on the life aspect ,of how things change in life, how the landscape, our views and our height in life changes just like its being in a flight.
You sit in the plane when your born... but whether you sit in a Aurora II or a Beachcraft or a LearJet or a Boeing 7xx its not something you can help... but what you do with that is whats up to you. Initially you would not know what to do, where to go,how to go or which path to take... but help will come your way in one form or another. And then the initial push will be given to you to take this lane(1,2 or any other) and then you see a road straight ahead as if it was laid there to guide you for a short time before you learnt to fly on your own.
and then you fasten your seat belts, roar up, speed along as much as you can and voila.... your airborne... your a free bird.. going places wherever you whims and fancies might take you. From then on whatever you do is up to you . To guide your own path in life, to make the way to the final destination taking any route you want .. anything and everything is up to you. Its something like drawing your own route in the infinite space and sky.
So now your on you way of Life, going to some destination you may know or do not know , the height at which you travel, the speed with which you go and how much load you carry if up to you, if you ambitious go high but you load will pull you down,so its better not to have any baggage from the past, no shackles and no limitations. The window in the cockpit tells a lot too.. it only has windows in the front and nothing in the back of the plane.. which tells that Future is more important than Past and past is what should be forgotten. It had windows in the sides too and that can be taken as a fragment of the past thats never constant but ever changing as you move forward.
Life's troubles can be compared to changing weathers and you have to face them, come rain or shine, lightening or snow, its your plane and your in charge of it. You will have setbacks and the plane will rock you and the weather try to beat you down, but if you manage to go through it, you will find the sun shining and somehow you will see it more beautiful than before.
Time is something thats difficult to fathom from way high up, so its good if you see the changing lands below since they tell that you moving ahead and how far you have come. Thats why they say, "Even with your head in the clouds, you eyes should be on the ground".
And then slowly the realization emerges that nothing is right or wrong in life, there is no right path and no wrong turn. Which is the root and which is the shoot of the plant depends on whether your standing straight up or on your head. The only thing is Choices. Its the choices that we make is what defines us and its what makes us who we are. You have nothing called Right Choice. You only have My Choice.
And then when you have had enough of life, grow tired, old and just feel the sky losing its attraction ,you long for the Earth, the passage of time, the sturdy and solid land which you feel has more to offer than the fickle skies. And so you land your plane, where ,when and how is up to you (sometimes not). And once you keep your feet back onto ground after the long flight, you feel as if you have come Home after a long day.
Now its time for someone else to fly.... others are waiting to put their imprint of the route in the sky.
And now I got to fly too.....going out for dinner :)... have a nice day :)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
but it is so that i find
we all have a mind
that we always bind
with some thoughts
that we all have got
but what happens when the mind goes blank
not bright and lively but cold and dank
like a swift flowing river
hitting a solid bank
Our thoughts refuse to stay inside
we try to think of thoughts that we kept aside
but nothing comes
you try hard to think
to occupy your mind
but seems a difficult axe to grind
we get agitated as to what is wrong
we may even try to think up a song
but our stubborn mind refuses to concentrate
the more we try to think the more we degenerate
from wildest thoughts to most subtle nuances
from impossibilities to things with probably chances
our mind screams "I am not used to it"
so is it that it is so?
is this what we call thinking nothing?
Is it that we have lost the connection?
or is it that we made made a Detection?
Losing connection with the outside world
Fast, dynamic, boring and in whorls
Forver thinking, ceaselessly, all the time
never stopping for a moment to see the sublime
is our sublime self the Detection?
Made my the Power to near perfection
That we so easily seemed to have forgotten
in this mad, crazy world, ugly and rotten?
Is nothingness a way to see ourself?
Is nothingness something?
or its .... nothing?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
So yeah here I am .. again . :)
This post explores the education around us on a more philosophical plane.( Might be because I have started reading Paulo Coelho books recently. Although I dont think much of them).
So yeah.. here it goes.
I often think why people say "Experience comes with time and not with learning." Is it necessary that we grow old learning new things when we cant/wont be able to make use of them but rather just pass it on to the next generation who will disregard them and "experience" stuff themselves? Do we really make use of the experience of the elders?
But thats a difference topic altogether. What I was coming at was that.. Do we really pay attention to what others have to tell us?DO we listen to other people, observe the going ons around us or even take lessons from animals and inanimate objects? Or are we always so independent that we think we can do better than them all?
Even simple inanimate objects and animals have so much to tell us.
Trees tell us to always keep growing. TO give back fruits, shade, wood and leaves to the people who have nurtured you and looked after you. In short you should always give what you have and help selflessly.
The birds tell us that its a way of life to leave ur nest and go around in search of your true self. You should wander and see things and find urself and be free.In short it tells us to venture out of the safety of our warm cocoons and to face the world alone.
A simple chair tells us that unless the foundations on which you sit is strong and the pillars of support are all there , there is no way you can sit still.In short it tells us that we should never progress on the basis of lies and deceit and never to underestimate the people who supported you to bring you there.Because they have the power to pull you down too.( same problem with the coalition government)
A pen tells us that nothing is done on its own. It needs some force behind it to make everything work. Therefore we should always pursue something we want to have rather than sit and hope that the pen would write by itself.
Water tells us that we should be flexible enough to adapt to any environment that we get and to shape ourselves according to that situation.
Sand and hence desert tells us that although each individual may be not that powerful but a collection of individuals can overcome any obstacle or make a challenging obstacle.
A shadow tells us that although we may be in the dark there is light somewhere. That is we shouldnt loose hope but keep exploring for the ray of light
And so on... but do we take heed of these lessons? Or are we so enamoured by our hectic lives that we dont have a moment to stop in fear that others would overtake us. Why cannot we stop for a while.. after all life is meaningless without pauses the same way as a sentence is meaningless with spaces.(This line is taken from the Witch Of Portebello). Shouldnt we stop and analyse ourselves sometimes and see where we are going rather than just rushing and hoping we would end up at our destination or that the sentences would make sense without the spaces?
We see but do not observe? We have eyes but no vision? We understand but do not contemplate?
Are we the so called Blind Observers?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
So yeah.. hello again.
And this is my 4th article here. As you have probably guessed the meaning of the title its about our web presence(Virtual + Reality=Virtuality)
I have often wondered what this whole era of Web Presence and social networking sites and online profiles and avatars have done to the sense of oneself.
Has it made us more open about our feelings, longings, attitude, virtues and changed an introvert to an extrovert?
NOTE: I am not saying all people are like that. Only that such people exists is quite a large number.
A sulking figure having no friends no a figure having 300+ friends on a site?
When I think about it, I dont get the same answer as above but what nags my mind is something more obscure...I feel that....
We like the Anonymity the web provides.
A whole new person. A person that you have made yourself rather than one you are in your real life. Everyone likes to play GOD. We love to create things. Then how can we not but give in to the temptation of creating ourselves as we would have liked ourselves?
Its not a shock to hear that many people have fake profiles of themselves. Writing about themselves as a person they are not in their real life by a long shot.
A person who cant sing would portray himself/herself as a rock star.
A person cant dance to save his/her life will show themselves as a dancer etc..
They do this so live a life they would have liked to live. And the Web gives them the platform to achieve it . This is as close as they would get to their ideal life .
Is this a good thing? or a Bad thing?
I dont really know. I am not here to condemn it or support it. I just got thinking on it and wanted to share it.
One one hand it gives us moments of pleasure to live a life we have created for ourselves
On the other it is a misleading life we are leading.
We always have a tendency to do something that we enjoying doing. Playing games, reading, living....
Which life would we enjoy? One given to us? or one we have tailored for ourselves? definately the custom made one right?
So that means that we spend more and more time living our lives on the net rather than in real life. In many cases we forget who we really are and the life we Really live to the life we Virtually live. And this has caused a lot of problem.
I donot have to prove my point since the same topic was raised many places before here. In newspapers, online forums and all..The fact is that we are more and more dependent on the web. Somuchso that we forget we live in a real world. People often spend as much as 17 hrs on the net. That means living a whole day on it???
Where is this taking us? Already many of us have forgotten the line where we exist as a person and where we exist as an avatar.
So are we all having MPD(multiple personality disorder)???
Where should the line between real and imaginary life should be drawn?
Where do we exist and where do we cease to exist?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Well being a Computer Science student I have always wondered if the science that we are creating/exploring/inventing will someday be our downfall that has been so widely publicized in movies and books.
Before I go forward with put this sliver of thought into the pensieve, I would like the readers to go and see these videos and they would help you to relate better with what I have to say.
So now lets classify the technologies into 2 kinds.
One that would help us->Centurions
One that would replace us->Cyborgs/Robots/AI etc
My questions/musings/thoughts on this is that are we able to differentiate the science and technology that we are creating into the above catergory? or are we just mining into the depth of science and then making it a product?
Are we having a disciplines approach to science or is that science itself is an unknown area?
Assuming you have seen the above videos, which kind of technology would u prefer? the sixth sense kind or the I, Robot kind?
I am not saying that AI will not have its uses...it most certainly will... But how can we be sure that developing such technology would only be used or good or can be controlled?
There are enough unemployed humans on the planet that could be employed in place of computers itself?
Isnt it like hitting our own foot with an axe we ourselves are holding? We know that the technologies that we are creating could replace humans? then why are we still pursuing them? I know people who are really in AI and computer/machine learning. I ask myself? Whats the use? what would we gain by giving machines power to think?
Then what would be the difference between a man and a machine?
The Sixth Sense Technologies and the Surface Technology are the kinds of technologies that we require. They help us make ourselves powerful. They help us become centurions. They in themselves are useless. They require humans to use them.Would you rather have these technologies at ur disposal than have a robot that can think for itself? Whom would u trust?
The very defination of machine is "Something that makes the work of the man easier"
there is no mention of replacing him. Why then are we pursuing the technologies like the one displayed in the Matrix, I Robot, and other movies?
Has the quest for knowledge blinded us? Have we become so dependent on machine rather than our own facilities that helped us create these machine? I too like them. But only when they help me. Not overshadow me.
You may retaliate that thats just science fiction I am basing my ideas on.
Assuming you have retaliated like that......
Wasnt computers a science fiction? wasnt space travel a science fiction? wasnt LHC a science fiction? Yet they have come into the real world and are much in hype.
The fact that these ideas have come to the human mind is enough to guarantee that something like this will be developed in the future?
Would you support these sciences?
Would you rather rely on your own mental power that created machine? or would you become a slave of your very own creation?
Well ...here is my first serious blog that has been on my mind for some time now.
In this globalised world, what do you think would happen to the inherent uniqueness of the humans? All humans are unique and thats what make them different and the world a place of adventure, differences and exploration.
Can we for one moment imagine what the world would have been had it not been for this sense of individuality? What if all people wore the same clothes, ate the same food, thought the same thoughts and lived life in the same way as every other person on Earth? Boring.. right.?
But it seems that thats where we are heading in real life. Education system in my country bases more importance of written text rather than practical learning. I like to call Experience the teachings of the World and at the end of the day thats what would matter anyway.
Why are we made to learn books when the only thing we require is to understand the concepts. Why are we made to learn the sentences, definations and answers when we have our own mind that can think. We just need to understand. Then why is it that even for vernacular subjects , the teachers give us pre-defined answers to write and get Marks? Is marks more important that our own thinking?
Are we trying to Kill Individuality By Overshadowing it with Mass Mentality?
Right from school onwards and till graduation, I experienced the guiding force of the teachers? But then why did I feel as if i was being dragged along the same trodden path and not allowed to choose one myself? Is it necessary that we have to go along with the Flow? Is it necessary that we should blindly follow the leader? It is not in my opinion. But what would be the consequences of treading a path few have travelled?
We talk of brain drain of the indian minds in the west.But what about the same think closer to home? Right from the beginning we have been told what to do and many times how to do it? Then from where do we develop our own reasoning skills? In school? In College? From where? Everywhere I turn a find a set of rules and regulations, that must be adhered to or you will be termed an outcast. Is being an outcast really a bad thing if it gets you thinking for yourself and not being dictated what to do by someone else the whole life?
There incidents in my life where I wanted to do certain things one way which was as good as the one that had traditionally been followed. But I was told to stick to the traditions as that would see me through the test? Is the idea of the present generation just to pass tests? Get good marks? Get a good Job? Is that it? Or is it worth to be something different? SOmeone who can rely on his own instincts and can take failure ans success in his stride? Is living a protected life all thats matters to most people? Or is the fact that one is not afraid to take a bold step not knowing if its a failure or success what matters?
Has the present generation accepted to be one among the thousand tomdickandharry?
And there are times when your individuality dies because you are a lone voice among a sea of people who have a mob mentality? Shouldnt those lone voices be taken heed of??
You like to take some new topic for something,something different, something radical, something not yet tested or something difficult? But the people around you decide thats too much of a risk and decide to go on the well trodden path laid down by the predecessors. Where do you go then? You have nowhere to go but to follow them? Is this what one is destined to do in one's life?
Is this Life as you term it? Would you rather live life thats dictated to you by others( by that i mean the Mass Mentaility) or would you rather be an Individual?
Well ppl.. I am new to blogging and dont know the nuances of blogging at all.. So i will start it in my own way and continue as i learn the ropes of it...
Someone told me blogging was like putting ur hand in a bucket of water and when u lift it up the beads of water that flow from the fingers ... let them be ur thoughts and the way u blog them...
So i guess i will follow the person's advice and continue on that.. My first blog is more of a poetic one where i want to share with u a poem i have written and i like it a lot. i hope to get ur comments on it. good or bad ... both are equally welcome...
so here it is...LIFE----------------->
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FLOWING DOWN THE STREAM
SOMETIMES GLITTERING IN THE LIGHT
SOMETIMES NOT A LIGHT IN SIGHT
SOMETIMES CALM AND SEDENTARY
SOMETIMES CHARGING LIKE A CAVALRY
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FLOWING DOWN THE STREAM
THERE ARE UPS AND DOWNS
THERE ARE TWISTS AND TURNS
THERE ARE SMILES AND FROWNS
AND EVERY POINT, A POINT OF NO RETURN
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FLOWING DOWN THE STREAM
THERE IS NO TURNING BACK
THERE IS BUT FORWARD
THERE ARE A FEW STOPS SCATTERED BY
TO OFFLOAD COWARDS
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FLOWING DOWN THE STREAM
BUT HE WHO HAD TRAVELLED IT ALL
WHO HAD BEEN THORUGH FLOOD AND CALM
WHO JOURNEYED AHEAD WHILE OTHERS DROPPED BY
HE IS THE ONE WHO HAS REALLY LIVED A LIFE
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM
FLOWING DOWN THE STREAM