Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What to blog about ? and other deep questions...

i come back to my blog after a loooooong time.. i guess 3 months later. I had tried my hand at blogging i marathi using the transliteration button on blogger but it is a pain to get the algorithm to get the words right. so back to the stupidly incomplete english language with only 5 vowels...
The question is this.... what to blog about ?
I just did not know what to write and it would be extremely silly just to write everyday non-sense into a blog as if someone would actually be interested in it.
now after a hiatus the creative/arguementative/judicial/rationalising engines are running again so i guess now there is going to be some noise on this webspace.
what to blog about is a very difficult choice for me. I am not a net freak who likes to be online and read about anything and do just about anything. i mean i cannot blog what is on my breakfast plate everyday (that is a popular past time apparently) and some issues are just to personal, some issues are talked about so much that one person's opinion hardly matters.... Some things i just don't care to think of ( gossips columns and page 3 comes to mind )
Some issues are composed of just cynicism and would not make a good impression on the readers. Despite the name i still try to keep the posts intersting/intelligent/creative/insightful... (all this being subjective and subject to the reader only ), the bottom line being not the rubbish i see online. It turns out that there is not much to blog about if all these criteria are imposed. Makes one wonder about the inconsequentiality of all/most of the thoughts one has. Not a very good place to be, so the ego kicks in the creative juices and concepts/stories/theories are born. They are tested against the harsh demands of the blog and if passed are printed. the paucity of blogs maybe a reflection of creative ability but again if one has to stick to principles... :D
But i guess if allowed some of the things in the world around are worth talking about. Whether i protest them, whether i adore them, some of them do make a difference to my life and i will try to think about that a little more. It is very easy to become a machine fixed to a static routine and just ignore all that. What is hard is to accept all that and still try to get all that work done. One would ask ' why go the hard way then ?' anyway you would get your work done in time and do something worthwhile. I do not have an answer to that and have been trying to get one for the past 16 odd years. There is only one possible flaw which comes to my mind and that is.. suppose one has to break the routine to make a big adjustment in life, it won't be possible to incorporate this change by not giving it 100% attention . If anything else is attempted it would be foolish. I will explain this sometime later but i would like to see if someone else feels the same about their life. so comments expected on later posts..

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

net(lab)work blues..

finally !! configured my laptop to run the net in the university !! the net is crappy anyway... gmail banned and stuff like that.. but now at least i can surf in style and security as the laptop runs Linux. The university network is verily a breeding ground for worms and viruses and we as the department of zoology take pride in generating the worst of the lot. Of course none of them can touch a Linux OS, which is what i keep telling the 'learned' people here but well.. who listens to a person who does not fit in ? :)
there is usually a long queue for the use of the single PC that we have and share among 13 students. but now all that is behind me.. i am damned because i did not think about this earlier.. I guess everyone stagnates once in a while.. and in our department especially in the labs here.. people help each other stagnate in more and more creative ways everyday !! one wonders where does all this creativity go when it comes to experiments but that is a thing for many more and detailed blog entries. The only worry is.. that now the laptop should be able to access the net from home!!! i use ADSL there so no worries about configuring it.. now the trouble is switching from a configured state to another..but i guess that just setting it in FireFox should solve the issue.
There the first ever personal blog entry about mundane things in my life. I never thought i would get around to touch my blog again hence this is just to get me reacquainted with the blog. And to cover the fact that i am in the lab but not in the mood to do anything much. :D

Friday, March 23, 2007

another poem...

The title for this poem was inspired by a conversation with 'd' see comment below.. 'd' figured out what the poem was all about and gave this comment hence the title..
this was born out of frustration at making the same mistakes again and again...
The Silent Struggle

A maelstrom of colour
a riot of thought
no semblance of peace
but a judgement wrought

I seek within me
I seek the seeker
but I speak within me
and can't quell the speaker

My mind denies
what my desires crave
my quest wanders...
is this foolish or brave ?

My mind judges
believing it's right
to judge every moment
as dark or light

I walk the path
but am afraid to step
I question the reason
I chose it instead

I fear my inability
to see the light
I see others achieve
How long can I fight ?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The nessecity to depict evil..

I know this one is going to sound too philosopical but could not help coming to this conclusion. I have seen a lot of english movies involving paranormal events.. like Constatine etc. The lastest in this 'series' is the movie Ghost Rider. The movie is fantastic with amazing special effects and stuff. The plot is absolutely shit. A total dharmendra movie. The common point in all such movies and indeed many action movies is to show the presence of evil. And in the end evil is the one side which has to loose. Take Ghost Rider.. the rider in this case is shown to be a horrific creature ( a flaming skull is hardly attractive ) but still fights on the side of 'good' does all the things a hero does.. you know, save the innocents and stuff like that. Since these movies come from the west I guess they are based mostly on the christian philosophy. Evil is always personified as an external agent. It is powerful and can only be overcome by:Love, Self-Sacrifice,Faith and other such qualities. To me this is an extremely elaborate way of refusing to accept the fact that whatever one calls 'evil' is extremely subjective and that oneself is responsible for it. Come to think of it greed, lust, survival etc. are all natrual tendencies, but are termed as evil. I am not saying they should not be, all i am saying is 'good' is transcending these qualities which occur natrually due to instinct. Then the question is why is it so hard to accept that we are responsible for our actions and that good and evil cannot be defined objectively ? Good and evil are just opposites of each other whatever they may contain and they are not external agents. Just saying keeping faith will destroy evil is utter stupidity.. since there is no evil out there trying to get you. If there is no evil out there, keeping the faith in the opposite of evil which is also out there is meaningless !! Faith is a wonderful thing don't get me wrong, but faith should be kept for better reasons than defeating evil !!
If one can accept that good and evil are not two absolutes but are both inside the human head.. then one can be a much more rational person who can appreciate life. This does not need a lot intellect, it just needs common sense and honesty enough to test this hypothesis.
So i say it is nessecary to depict evil and to show that it loses because of this inability of the western people. In the hindu yogic tradition there is no such thing as evil. In the indian religon(s) evil is not personified. Of course we have demons and ghosts an ghouls, but they are not the equivalent of satan. They are other beings just like humans and gods. None of them rules existence. The whole point of this regligion is to get one to transcend one's mind and not to play around with games like who has more souls.. god or the devil.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A transition state

We had the cultural event for the 'Darwin's Court', a students activity hosted by all the life science departments at the university yesterday. There were people from all the respective departments to cheer on their colleagues and if possible to hoot at the others.. What i realised was this... 3 years ago I was exactly like them.. especially the younger ones who joined an institute called the IBB after passing their juior college ( junior high to those who don't know the Indian education system ). There was no worry in the world, there was not fear of starting a career and definitely no weight of responsibility on my shoulder. Not that anything like that is there now but starting a PhD was like starting an elaborate and excruciating mutation on oneself. This is a very tricky place to be in. If u look at it one way a PhD student is what is says there 'a student', but if you look at the actual work load and things we are supposed to do, it is no different from any job in a semi-corporate situation. So we are neither students nor are we full fledged professionals. My personal experience is being a student is the best possible place to be anytime.. but the way things are, I would have to give it up and start doing mundane things with an english accent which would earn me money but would be absolutely redundant and boring after a few years. I wonder how people do their jobs for years together. Don't get me wrong.. a PhD is not boring, it is rather fun.. what is irritating is the difference in the point of view it forces upon me. Earlier I was never bothered about what my immediate future would be, what would my next lecture or exam be like. That was when everything was planned and I just had to go through that system. A PhD is different. I have to think about where my next experiment is going and taking me with it. There are no supports. Our advisors and seniors says it is not that big a deal. I believe otherwise. A student is taken from the lap of a planned activity schedule and thrown into total randomness...
So a phd is rather like a transition state. Where one stops being a carefree student and is expected to 'grow up' but one is neither given the rights of a grown up and is still expected to be like a student. A transition state with a paradox !!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Snake and the Rat...

I work in the department of zoology for my phd... But to be honest I have had not much to do with animals in the course of my short academic career. I do not need to touch, handle or even look at live animal specimens for my work except the ONE rabbit I use in my experiments.This rabbit also is bred in captivity so is hardly worth the trouble of getting excited about in the first place. One tends to forget where one is if this goes on for a while. Yesterday, while I was feeding the aforementioned rabbit and was getting water for it from the adjeacent animal house, I heard a distinct sound of something sliding or slipping across the floor. I turned around and was not surprised to see a 7 foot long rat snake trying desperately get away from me on a hard linoleum floor with no grip. There have been reports of a snake in our animal housing facility ( goes to show the times we live in... :D). The snake was a beautiful specimen and really powerful and agile. One of my labmates knows how to handle snakes so i called him and we both tried to catch it. It evaded us beautifully and vacated the premises immediately. But this was the first time in my life when a real live snake has slithered within a foot of me, so naturally i made the most of it. Snakes are so beautiful.. there is elegance and grace in their motion itself. I cannot imagine moving without limbs, but to move so beautifully... one would have thought it to be impossible.
The amazing part of this thing is... in the morning i was talking about how we should go somewhere to see snakes and i was told " you need luck for that " and in the same afternoon i see a beautiful snake !! right at my doorstep.. i don't need to go anywhere to see them. they seem to come to me !! Now if this is not luck, I don't know what this is..
The corollary to the snake :
Our lab is housed exactly on the top of the animal housing facility. Mostly mice in there. harmless little creatures who at the most might bite your finger. There entered a huge black rat into the washing area of our lab on the same afternoon. Maybe because it was afraid of the snake below, who can tell. After 3 of us tried to either catch it or kill it, it jumped out of the window. I have never seen anything jump like that. This rat jumped 3 times its length to reach the open window. I am not saying that is great.. there are animals who can do more than that. This is great because it was on the same day and reminds me harshly of the fact that i work in the 'Zoology' department of this university. So far i had only seen dead and preserved animals in this department ( except for the rabbit and the mice ie.) but two intruders, one so beautiful and one so persistant, tells a lot about shutting ourselves in an ivory tower of phd doesn't it ?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A paragraph on graphology...

I got my hand-writing analysed. A friend of mine in the lab does it. He told me to write something and then he proceeded to tell me what the hand-written script reflects about my psyche. To be honest.. in the beginning I was a little skeptical, I do not believe that all this is gospel truth but to be fair it has given me some insight into what my sub-conscious is really like. I know one would ask that why of all the things to do in the lab we choose graphology, but well, once curiosity takes hold of me I find it hard to stem it. The thing is whatever he said about my hand-writing and it's connection or dependence on my thoughts or way of thinking or behaving is shockingly accurate in some cases. In some cases it is nothing to do with what I am like or at least what I think I am like. But things like one's innermost pathways of the mind. The way I work out things without knowing that I do it this particular way, or whatever I give importance to and whatever I don't did reflect in that script. I do not know how good or bad my friend is at this or how good anyone can be at this. I just realised that the way anyone writes has to be dependent on something more than just the way the person is thinking when he/she is writing it. I don't know the success rate for this '-logy' but the degree of accuracy was unexpected. I think it rests on psychological excercises, the way the responses are measured to stimuli but I don't have the time or inclination to go into more detail of this. Graphology - I would say a possible tool to evaluate an individual's psychological makeup, but I would not say how good a tool it can be. If one has to analyse an illeterate person any such creative action should be capable of being analysed, like singing or walking or painting or anything. Afterall, they all will stem from what that person is...

About Me

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just your regular guy who dreams too much. i read a lot don't remember it all though.. swim, trek, yoga.. think and read more.. that about sums it up..