Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Genesis and Metamorphosis

Diary Entry for Saturday, 25 February, 2006

       Many people write books. Many people read books. Any kind of books. Authors spend time thinking and re thinking everything that goes into it. They take utmost care into what goes into it. They think 10 times before putting down a single sentence. Hence there is always something artificial about books. The thought process has been adapted to be very lucid for the reader to follow. But what if we write about the birth of an idea from its inception (when it takes birth in a human mind), and follow it as it matures in the mind of the same human.
       I endeavor to do that here. It might not be just one idea. It might be many ideas. You can call this a diary entry. If you ask me why I didn’t blog this out? Well I just don’t care that’s why. Its just a piece of document, which I felt would be a nice way to record all the emotions that my heart and mind experienced as I make this journey thru life. I am not going to care about grammar here. Spell check is the maximum. I wont be editing any sentence that I put down before any of the last few sentences. I might not even read them again ever. Not unless scrolling down affords me a few glimpses of the same.
       I write this for the people who know me well. People who have seen me grow.Grow: in terms of understanding the world better. A few handful of friends belong to this category. They would be the only people who would understand what I feel while I write some of the things here. Maybe some day I would do some thing great. Or something impulsive. Some thing good. I wouldn’t care if the whole world knows that I did something worth dying for. The goodness of what I would have done would depend on only what these few of my friends think. They have touched my life in ways more than one. They are a part of me. Whatever I do or would have done , they all have played a part in it. They have been with me long enough to leave some part of themselves in me. If I do something good, they would probably be proud of themselves for accompanying me thru a few walks in life. They would believe more in themselves to have done something right in being a friend of mine. I would be the happiest then!
       Like Richard Feynmann said : life is like gods playing chess and we are just observers who don’t know the rules. We observe their game and try to figure out the rules and just when we are about declare the completeness of the rules we have thus far formulated, one of the players does “castling” and its back to the drawing board for us. A new phenomenon requires a new theory to explain it.
       Why cant we just record such phenomenon as exceptions to the existing theory and move on?... probably because man hates uncertainty, or better still, because we feel the need to do something about them (the exceptions)!.. scientists wont like to be jobless either.
       So lets begin at the beginning… I would like to pick up a point in my life so as to spilt in a sort of A.D. and B.C. kind of fashion… The best ..probably the best.. would be to mark the completion of my reading of “the fountain head” as that origin point. Lets split my life into BFH and AFH then…
       There are many thought that come to peoples mind. People form religious groups, orkut societies, discussion forums, blogs, news paper columns, TV shows etc etc.. to try to discuss various ideas on a single or varied topics in an attempt to “understand” it better… I believe that the word understand is a misnomer.. all that these people are trying to do is to look at a given topic with as many viewpoint as possible… if that’s what is called understanding then its good… but no one told me or confirmed with me on this before so I am just assuming it.. .. Its like you formulate as many theory as you can about a regular event. All these theories will have some exceptions some where… ie they wont be able to explain everything about that one thing… so when you discuss, you exchange theories and when the time comes we use the theory which suits the best..
       Sneha calls me a pessimist.. maybe I am. Would like to die a slow painful death someday. I wouldn’t want another human to be the cause of my death and I wouldn’t want my body punctured in anyway… the kind of death that I love best would be the one caused by trying to stand up against nature itself. It would happen while I am in a forest like the amazon or on one of the poles or something like that. The situation would test my physical and hence mental endurance to the max. I would be just one man against nature. There would be only two ways out.. either I endure long enough till nature takes pity on me and spares me only to get me at some later time.. or if my time has come and my body fails me and nature overwhelms me.. I think of death often. I remember Shomika often too..
       I could go on forever and ever before I pen down my current thought.. after all there has to be the seed somewhere.. what’s the point preparing the ground if you aren’t going to sow the seed .. I watched Rang de basanti with Sneha… She and I were the only one in my class who hadn’t seen the movie. She was the best friend I could have watched the movie with. Not sure what makes me say that but given a chance I wouldn’t have watched it with anyone else.
       Immediately after we watched the movie we weren’t that much impressed by the movie. We both like it but couldn’t understand the fuss about it. We thought it wasn’t worth watching twice. Sneha and me still think it isn’t worth watching twice. But after thinking about it more and more… I have increased my liking for it. I had been waiting for some instrument of inspiration like this for quite sometime now. “The fountainhead” came close but it wasn’t powerful enough to be it by itself. RDB adds to its force. Both things.. the book and the movie, are unrelated, but they teach you recognize what’s probably the right from the wrong and do something about the wrong. I still am not sure how exactly to define right or wrong .. maybe anything which helps us to flourish (read reproduce to increase our population and still at the same time be peaceful).. for example: kill corruption to kill poverty to enhance the lives of the poor so they can too can reproduce fruitfully (healthy progeny with lower mortality rate.. due to lesser diseases.. etc etc)… long chain seemingly leading to lesser chaos but actually leading to more randomness when looked at it from the “whole universe “ point of view. What’s the logic? simple: more humans means more entropy creators and …..
"An important law of physics, the second law of thermodynamics, states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value; and so, by implication, the entropy of the universe as a whole (i.e. the system and its surroundings) tends to increase."

       As I think about it (RDB) more and more everyday, I find better ways to understand life.. (formulate more theories although each will have some exceptions).
       Thanks to my mummy, Smita and Sriram , I now have at least a nice understanding of the meaning behind the phrase “Rang De Basanti” .. Basanti refers to the saffron colour in Hindi. Saffron is one of the colors of our national flag. It stands for sacrifice. Hence the name of the movie. In Hindi basant ritu means spring season.. spring comes after autumn .. autumn is the time when old leaves fall from the tree onto the ground and turn brownish (saffron!) and decay. The decayed leaves serve as manure for the trees both old and new.. they make way for newer green leaves in the spring time.. they sacrifice themselves for a newer generation to take over them…Maybe this is how the saffron colour came to be associated with sacrifice…
       I don’t know how far this is true but I don’t really care if its true or not.. this explanation brings out the emotion associated with the above phrase in the most complete manner .. “Expression Completed” is what I would say to Deepti while explaining this to her.
       In the fountainhead, we see that Ayn Rand has divided the world into different kinds of people…. Each of them have some single distinguishing feature in their personality. In real life, people in general can be (maybe?) described as a weighted sum of these basic components of human nature… In the fountainhead, Ayn Rand has split the human nature into its basic constituents .. in a way a prism splits sun light into its basic colors..
       Coming to sun light, I often wonder what true worship means?.. is it just people traveling to places called pilgrimages to just do some predefined set of acts which their parents taught them ? or maybe it’s what people do when they go to a temple when they are sad ? do they do it just because they have to ? do they actually feel good when they do it? DO THEY ACTUALLY DO THE ACT WITH ALL THEIR HEART? On one of the Elecrama days… while coming back from Bombay Exhibition Centre, the bugging auto driver asked me which god I believed in.. I said none before he went on to explain why we should have faith in some form of god.. I thought I wasn’t listening to him.. but now I have realized that there should be something we should have faith in .. and I found that idols and temples are just the symbol of that faith.. faith in life.. that tomorrow will be a new day.. Its when I realized that it was really important to choose a symbol for your faith in the “Future”. I had already chosen my symbol long back and that to without realizing it. It was the “Sun”. Everyday while going to school or college.. I saw and still see the sun rise.. I see it spreading its light over the earth .. in summers and winters. It fuels life. Everyday looking at suns from the window of the bus makes me feel that yes everything is alright. I feel grateful. I feel proud to be alive. I feel the physical warmth being converted into a different kind of warmth. The kind that touches your heart. I look at the sun straight on and in my mind I bow to it. I feel all this with all my heart.. In winters and summer.. even when the sun burns me as I walk along the streets of my city.. I think is what is the true meaning of worshipping something.. something which is immensely more powerful than you are… I still don’t believe in the concept of God. I don’t even understand it.. But I really don’t care anymore.. If anyone asks I would say: “The Sun is my God, I worship the Sun”. I don’t get to see the Sun on days when I am supposed to be sitting at home studying for the exams.. I don’t feel good on these days.. Maybe this is one of the reasons.. why I hate sitting at home trying to study for exams.. If I was a marine on a sub marine.. I would be probably be dead sick by now without the sun…
       After I saw the movie (RDB) Saurabh asked me how I liked it and what was the message I got from it/ what I thought about it. I said that I have a very high probability of doing something like that too.. but he said that’s what we shouldn’t be doing.. ie we should not be impulsive.. Is it really so? Another thought entered my stack for background processing.
       As I traveled to college the next day, I felt the sun making things clearer for me.. Just night before, after talking to Saurabh, I had also spent time chatting with Deepti. I felt that the company which we wanted to start needed something special.. it need a special kind of “weapon” to get thru to people.. I remembered Ellsworth Toohey from The Fountainhead.. he was the well read guy who had spent time reading philosophy and making himself powerful by telling people what they wanted to hear and when they wanted to hear it.. he wanted people to live for others and hence cut out all innovative thoughts and reduce human life to a dull boring mundane thing. He tried to gain power over people by using a particular approach.. Gail Wynand, Ellsworth , Keating and Roark.. all had some successful times in their life.. what if one of each of these kinds of people came together to fight against a single cause (Roark once said to Gail :” I would die for you but I wouldn’t live for you… in such a case since their aims would be the same, they would also live for each other..). The single cause would be to clean the world of all the corruption and allow the innovators to come up.. we would help them to do so.. Sriram liked the idea about what our company would do.. he liked that the different personalities which we (Saurabh, me, Sriram, gautam and nandu) had would help the company to persuade people to help us help them. I realized that all of us were different really when we all had interpreted RDB in a different manner. Saurabh thought that the movie warned us against impulsive thinking (this thought was still in y brain ka stack) .. I was more touched by the trust and friendship which were unbreakable among the friends. Such bonding and trust would allow them to achieve whatever they wanted to.. I longed for friends like those.. maybe Saurabh Sriram and Mithil could be cone of them? I expressed this in the only way I could.. I printed and give them on copy of:
Very closely associated with the beauty of the mountains are some special emotions which the highest and wildest peaks provoke. I feel a special excitement when I look out over thousands of square, miles of untouched country. I feel it again when I walk where only a handful of men have walked in, the history of the world, when I explore some hidden ridge or crag, or when I make the first track across a great unbroken snow field. Again I feel a special excitement to be alone in the high silent places of the world tucked close under the sky. Such things are worth a little insecurity and sacrifice.
Speaking of aloneness, this brings up two other important values which I find in mountain climbing solitude and companionship. Paradoxically the mountains provide both.
The companionship provided by climbing together is almost universally valued by mountaineers. The friendships established are lasting and irreplaceable. When you have walked the feather edge of danger with someone, when you have held his life at the end of a rope in your hand, and he has later held yours, you have an almost impregnable foundation for a friendship. For the deepest friendships spring from sharing failure as well as success, danger as well as safety. There is really no substitute.
Indeed, this is one of the regrettable trends in our present civilization. Real friendship is increasingly - difficult. _How often do we see even our best friends? Once a week? Less than that? If we hardly see them, how can we really share joy and tragedy with them? I think men are made for a deeper sort of friendship. If they miss it, they miss something very important in life. Men are made for the close warmth of a friendship tested in danger and adversity.

        I hope they understood what I wanted to say.. I knew they would.. There are too many things I want to do before Death comes.. But I don’t feel like doing it alone. Maybe I wasn’t made to do anything alone. Maybe I haven’t yet like above. Only the time can test such bonding between two people and when it does test , it would probably be a time when one of them lost something .. something important..

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

       Last night while trying to persuade Ranjit to watch RDB (he doesn’t believe there can be such friendship between two people), we came to talk about the physical damages which we had inflicted on people.. of course unknowingly.. he had cause a hand fracture in some one.. and I had cause a split upper lip I Ritesh Mehta.. Ritesh Mehta - a guy who was always prone to getting hurt.. his face is all covered with scars left by cuts and bruises.. Ranjit tried to explain that by saying that some people just don’t have the basic body defense mechanisms in them..
       The next morning it made me think that if the body’s defenses are anything important.. it would probably prevent people from doing things which might hurt them.. things which seemed right on impulse but after spending a long time thinking on it seemed to be a bad idea.. A fire which if started needs fuel.. just like a impulsive thought in a man to do something about some wrong done to him.. even though he might perish trying to fight against such injustice. If prevented from being impulsive, he would have more time to think about the consequences of his actions and his body’s self defense might render him to not carry out his plan once he is released. This would douse the flame which burnt in him initially. It had no fuel to burn on anymore and hence it died out. That’s what spending time in jail did to revolutionaries (“political prisoners “). But Azad and his friends kept chanting slogans and hymns of victory against injustice and that kept their fire burning brighter and stronger than ever… it allowed them to sacrifice themselves without hesitation for a cause which was greater than themselves. Maybe to achieve something larger than life you needed to be willing and able to give up life itself.. If it wasn’t for impulse, no kind of revolution could have ever happened. Impulsive action (shooting the archbishop) started the World War I (??) and has also caused may people to commit suicide and do other bad things.. but impulsive ness is also necessary to bring about a change for the good…
       Coming to one last thought today.. before I make Deepti read this.. she is the only one online now who would understand all this..
Gandhiji once said “ why doesn’t man feel good to see another man?”.. well we should flourish peacefully and so this is probably the right question to ask.. but having seen just too many star trek episodes.. I think the better question to ask would be “Why aren’t we proud enough to be alive?.. why don’t we just feel good to be alive?” forget being an Indian; forget being an Asian; forget being a human even !Just be happy to be alive…
       One last thing that came to my mind is what Mr B Shailendra Said to Saurabh today: “ Degree (as a proof of capability) is something only those people want who don’t want to work.. people who want to don’t care about it“ This is exactly my philosophy … just amazed to hear it coming from seemingly the most improbable person to say that.. maybe I didn’t understand this guy well enough.. He said something which is comparable to another piece of wisdom which I think of as the greatest and the best guiding advice ever:

“What a man can be, He must be!”

A highly non-linear rainbow day

Friday, 09 March, 2006

March 9 was a weird day. It rained on this day like it never rained before. I use that hyperbole because march is supposed to summer time!.
It started raining since morning.. and off course cool breeze was blowin’ too. This the best climate I like.. few showers after long long dry spells. The smells generated when rain first contacts with ground is the best smell ever. All this put me in a really really nice mood. I messaged Deepti about it. On the way to college I could see in a distance that there was a hole in the cloud cover through which the sunlight came through. And as it did, the sunlight was scattered by the clouds or the rain drops and the whole scene was like a halo over the Gilbert Hill. It was mesmerizing. In college all the “Elektorama” people and “Roboticon” people had to assemble in the newly created “Development Lab” . We spent the morning stuffing the stuff from their cardboard boxes into the cupboards. We threw the extra tables and empty boxes outside. All this time Kirti’s job was just to take out things and then put it back.. heheh. As for me, I like arranging things in a neat efficient order. We had proper sections in the lab for soldering, practicing for Robocon, mechanical work, cupboards for storage, computers, displaying certificates and off course displaying out projects!. We had a “Dabba” break in the science college’s canteen. It was fun. Chinmay Barve had bought rajma. I had bought same old same old parathas. After this break we continued arranging and cleaning the new lab. Then for sometime we had to go outside the lab as the staff had to cleaning it up.. sweeping and mopping happened. All this time we were sitting in the easy revolving chairs outside the lab. It was fun. We played truth and “truth” and bugged lots of people. Kirti was the “thing” which was rotated to point to the next victim. This was fun. After truth and truth we went to the canteen. We meaning me , Kirti, Sneha, Smita, Sanket, Barve.. We had lots of stuff to eat: dosa and dosa and masala dosa, fried rice, cholle bhature and noodles and etc etc. It was nice because after so so long Kirti and me actually had a chance to spend some good time together. We couldn’t stop pulling each others legs.. After canteen we went back to the lab.. The usual faltugiri followed. Me and Kirti went to library to find out the next shows timing at Cinemax Sion. It was 9 2 11 at 1615 hrs.. but the sneha, smita and hase spoilsport incorporated ne hamre idea pe paani pher diya…so we returned to work.. Then kirti and sneha started cribbing about shweta and charuta and richa etc not being there when the they themselves were working on getting the project to run..
Waise merui gaalis ka ko asar shweta and company pe hota to nahin but still kirti and sneha feel the need to come and crib about those people every now and then which is okay.. atleast for a change it is someone else (and not me ) who is complaining and cursing kuttegiri and gang.
Then Prerna came and I had to help her solder a new relay PCB.. Relays are the best!!. Mr Santosh Ramani had made such a complicated circuit for her to solder.. it was really sad.. why do you need capacitors to drive a relay?.. Tea break followed.. uske bad me and sneha went to “keval arts and crafts” shop… we had to make our way thru the mucky and narrow paths of konkan nagar.. We rarely looked up, there was much too many dangers to look for on the ground.. the wet dirty roads were really a disaster waiting to happen. At the shop we bought oil paints and stickers and sparkle glue for Snehas slam book. When we returned to college we saw everyone standing outside the college.. looking at A nice big Rainbow. It was the best site ever, we took fotos. It was the largest rainbow ever.. We could even see the second maxima clearly. It was really a breathtaking site. It felt as if our sole purpose of life was full filled. And then the rainbow faded out and we went inside. We got a tub and poured water in it. And then used oil and oil paints to try to make that marble paper which didn’t turn out so good but at least Sneha got the idea how to do it! Maybe she could do a better job than me! suddenly there was a commotion outside and when we came outside, we found out tat Kshirsagar sir had met with and accident. Our college had hired 3 cars for accreditation work and kshirsagar sir was in one of them. They had a really bad accident on a bridge. The car was really crushed and kshirsagar sir was really in pain. One of the other cars had bought him back to college from where he took a taxi to home. Two of the staff accompanied him to his house ..After that we tried decorating a few more paper using sparkle glue .. it was fun!! Then we used the ubiquitous hot air soldering iron the make a few more pages of her slam book by burning patterns in paper. During this time parag and barve were trying to get the central machine … parag tripped over it twice.. looked like the machine was still cursed! After are faltugiri was over we went to tastings in Sajjits car where we encountered a Nepalese waiter boy who had tough time remembering our order.. So our dinner was a bit delayed .. but we had lotrs of fun.. and all this time my mummy, brother and mama mami and cousins were having fun at Inorbit mall! After our visit to tastings, me and kirti took and auto.. kirti dropped me at the bus stop.. it took me 50 mins to get home.. it was cold and the wind flowing into the bus was making it even worse.. I don’t mind the cold but the thing is that you cant sleep in the bus if its cold.
Over all 9th march was really a weird day.. mostly because it rained when it shouldn’t have and we saw the rainbow too.. Like Kirti said .. it was a special day only for me and her.. I will allow her to punch in a few words here and there to make this more complete.. Life is beautiful!

Kirti’s account

Well well well……….it really was quite a special day for me as I had the pleasure to have all of anurag’s attention for a change……….and instead of me hitting on him, he seemed meherbaan on me…………guess the 2 aurat’s influence is waning finally.

The reason I am adding on to anur’s already long account is becoz he seems embarrassed to write all the very romantic things that he said……for eg,

He said “tu icecream kha le kirti, main samjhoonga ke maine hi icecream kha li”

Thnen another bouncer, “the 2 of us will go for a movie , baki log nahi aaye to chalega”
Phir who mera haat pakadta hai aur kehta hai ki yaar ab main haath nahi chodoonga.

Finally he wrote out “kirti” on a sticker and said he would stick it on his t shirt near his dil………talk about mushy……….

So yes it was an unconventional day becoz for a change, I was getting wooed and to confess, it felt rather good.

But then I do know that anur’s attention is going to be rather shortlived and his new found affection for me will soon wane ………… becoz I really think I wont b able to match the 2 auratein……………..

Yet I will cherish my only romantic evening with anurag…………kya pata …….kal aisi khushi mile na mile.