Thursday, June 9, 2011

Incomplete Brownian


Rainy season is here. Someone left a polystyrene cup out under the tree. There are no stains in it – tea was not its occupant. Vodka seems more like it. A droplet of water slides over the waxy leaves of the tree and falls into it making a plop sound. The water in it seems clear. I think of the restless atoms and molecules that make up the liquid confined by the walls of the cup. Small groups of balls strung together, bouncing off each other, jostling around. Each one alike, yet separate – Kind of like the thoughts in my head. I imagine my brain to be made of water (70% of it must be anyway) contained by my skull - which is also white in colour like the cup.
A dust particle – probably a string of dead human cells - falls into the cup. I look closer as the particle moves over the membrane-like surface of water. Brownian motion. The particle reminds me of a Pinball machine – with the particle’s motion likened to the motion of the ball hitting various invisible thumper bumpers on the playfield held up by the surface tension of water.
Fickle and Non-Linear. Like the thoughts in my heads. I go upstairs to my rented apartments. As I unlock my door and remove my shoes, I decide to allocate some of the processing power of my brain to a sentry task which observes what the rest of my mind is thinking. I have been working on an RTOS/Microcontroller all day long. I will pretend to be a microcontroller running an RTOS with one of the tasks spying on what the other tasks are doing. No wonder that the rest of the world think IT guys are mental – you work on microprocessors day in and day out and sooner or later you start acting like one!
But this time I don’t care. No one is there to observe and taunt me. Sure I am going to blog about this, but that’s another thing. Moving on.
So now it was like there were two of me in my head – the “real me” and the “observing me” – or rather “the experiencing self” and “the remembering self” (Daniel Kahneman@TED).
I let my mind wander. Invariably it lands on the thoughts of my friends. Friends and family – stuff that fuels the engine that is Anurag Chugh. I imagine a huge engine churning. People go in, create memories and come out the other end intact. I remember my first day at L & T – soft skills training session. The instructor from Hero MindMine asked us to speak about an object we relate to. I already knew my icon - The Sun. Source of all life on Earth. All Life. My mom says my life is my friends (and now that I am in touch with them – my extended family or as my mom calls it “my biradar” – sounds ghaati J). Of the various important roles that friends play in one’s life, I fixate on the most important one (atleast to me) and look for a metaphor to describe them. I soon find one in Birbal’s Khichri. I remember the poor man in the story who is denied the prize because the warmth from the earthen lamp (diya) kept him warm as he spent the night with his body submerged in the cold waters of the river. Life is like a cold river with all of us floating in it, moving with the flow – our friends are like diyas which spread the light and warmth around us as we make our way thru the calm water as well as the rough rapids. They need not be with us all the time to inspire us, energize us. Some may be thousands of miles away and yet their presence would inspire us as if they were right there next to us. I can recall numerous times when after racking my brains at a problem at office, I decide to take a break from frustration and remember my friends and what they would be doing at the moment. I would crack my knuckles, stretch back on my chair and think of them. Ranjit probably sleeping in his bed with arm under the pillow. Sneha sleeping too, or waking up yawning.  Nupur staring at her screen working on a report. Upasna using arrow keys to navigate through thru the excel sheet full of numbers describing the valuation of some company.  Ankit calling / facebooking our other friends while travelling back home in his cab after a long flight. Ruchir waiting for the signal to turn green so that he could rev up his Cedia and hit 160kmph for 5 seconds on Western Express Highway. Aastha and Sapan chatting over Sametime planning to go for a swim after office. My dad still wearing his boiler suit, while unloading the photos from his camera for insertion into his weekly report. Juhi finishing off yet another article for the local news website. Deeksha sitting the consulting room at HERI thinking of the idea for next week’s P-TAPs as a burkha clad lady patient calls on her. These thought of these and other people around whom my life revolves brings a smile to my face. It gives me sense of “all’s well with the world”. I exchange messages with a few and maybe call one or two and a few minutes later I am recharged and I can return back to work. As we float together through life, like real diyas, sometimes our own light begins to flicker in the winds. That’s when the light and warmth from the surrounding diyas rekindles our own flame and keeps it alive. 

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