Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Academia Here I Come !

This made it here.


“I of all people can’t be normal. You think I should be ‘normal’? Myself? I need to sit and work in the rules of the setup... its really tough…”

So said a Calvin prototype who I look up to when it comes to such rare sense and sensibilities. On such occasions I end up giving him lengthy advices [most of us are good at it ;-) ], some practical and some very idealistic. At times I wonder if I can follow everything of what I suggest him!

When we want to do something new we begin with soaring spirits. We have ideas, plans, expectations and our own way of doing things. Everything appears perfect and colourful, what we actually see is the tip of the iceberg ;-) As time passes we realize that the system is sophisticated, the truth is every system is, was and always will be! There are assignments, projects, deadlines and submissions always on our mind no matter what our area of study or work is or how interested we are in them. There are rules meant to be followed although we laugh them away by saying they are meant to be broken. There are important people above, below and at the level of our hierarchy to be handled. There are countless limitations that will stop us. There are just too many things that we slowly and tactfully need to get aware of. It is a process precisely and to be good at it is a skill. All this comes with time, patience and experience. 

The joy of learning and living comes with a lot of pain. It is really okay to complain, crib and whine occasionally, pretty human thing ;-) If you are in a mess seek for help, ask for some more time or just take a break and do something you really do not mind doing anytime! And of course do get back to what you are supposed to do actually ;-) If nothing of this is possible, just face it! Monotony and dilemmas hit all of us now and then, but it is up to us whether we make it synonymous with our routine or decide to separate them.

Quite a wisdom to take right? Did not I tell you most of us are good at something, well I belong to the most! Over here it has been two months of masters in Microbiology right now. I have thirty four more and the rest of life left ;-) And it never ever before had occurred to me that I can be busy doing this all day too! I am finding it strangely nice. I managed to write this while I was making my dissertation protocol right now, break time you see ;-). Because writing is something what I feel like doing anytime, so here I am giving some free advice on my blog. No better place than this, what say you my kind reader? :-)
The legend always inspires me...

I am back to work, protocol calling...
Academia here I come! :-)
  
-R.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Sm'ART' 'NO'


Random soul: Will you do this for me???
You,me,him or her: Err…hmm…okay….yes.


Image courtesy

If we have to make a choice between the two, many a times it is more difficult to choose the second one isn’t it? This does depend on the reason and the manner of request though,unless it is very impossible or impolite. Most of us have this problem,saying a ‘NO’ makes everything seem like hell.I am talking about those obligative souls amongst us who can sometimes let go their personal commitments and dreams at the cost of somebody else’s.Such people do exist and I am weirdly proud to say that I am one of this kind.The ‘YES’ just comes out of my mouth without any second thought. It is later that I wonder what made me say it!

But of late I am getting this feeling that I have had enough of being so, because today’s world for many reasons is hostile and thankless to all the little niceness that can exist.Ain’t any angel but I hope you get my point. I feel that each one of us is too busy to truly care or acknowledge what the other has to give. It is during such instances that I cannot help but think”Oh like it matters if I care!” which is not good but sometimes very necessary.

Image courtesy

 “Learn to say ‘no.’ It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin”
-Charles H Spurgeon-

Saying ‘NO’ in the right place for the right person at the right time is an art is what my mother tells me, and I desperately need to master it. The difficult task is to draw the line between what we call parasitism and symbiosis[I have been reading a lot of microbes these days, germs and pests I tell you!].It is easier to follow the former. But tell me is it right being the bird all the time, how many of us do not mind being the worm occasionally? Or does life work like how this song goes ‘meant to be’.I love this one for its subtle sense.Listen,enjoy and let me know if you were the bird or the worm today;-)

video


Its a rainy night here,a good night to you over there:-)

-R.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Burn Me Bright




The lone sun drowns slowly in the oceans deep
While I stand on the shore with a heart to pray
For hope, peace and strength in this dark night


The million stars bring no love or trust to keep
While those tides hit hard and thrust me away
And the skin of my feet trembles like their light


The white of the moon is just too fickle to seep
While solitude strikes I wish to hold just a ray
For that will let me stay still with all my might


The fire within for long is in a unkindled sleep
While I wish for a beacon to hold me if I stray
And all I need is your spark to burn me bright.

-R-

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In The Pensieve

Image Courtesy


Some stories are heard while some are read. But there are some exceptions, the ones which belong the third category-stories which are heard, read, discussed, debated, loved, admired and cherished. All you Harry Potter fans out there will know what I am taking about. Like how Eagan said”Never judge a book by its movie”, I have always criticized and compared the Harry Potter movies with their respective books. The movies have never matched my expectations but I do have fond memories of times spent watching them with my friends. Today I am off with the same gang to watch the last one :-)

Everything about Harry Potter is special to me not because it was the most popular of the lot during childhood. I hardly knew of Rowling and the book when I was in school though many classmates of mine were well aware of it. Almost everyone around me used to say” Read it, you will definitely like it”. After a lot of suggestions and persuasions I started reading. And yes like I did, in fact loved it! I happened to become a fan by chance and I shall remain one by choice.

The beauty of these stories is that we can identify ourselves with them irrespective of what age group we belong to. Every time I pick up a book in the series and start reading I feel like am in a completely out of the world kind of skit. I then wish my school be Hogwarts, I wish my principal be Dumbledore, I wish my friends be Harry, Ron, Hermione, Sirius, James or Lily. The list is just endless! There is so much that I have learnt and bettered as a person reading every story. Each line feels like a powerful spell when I read them even today. 

The situations and characters with their virtues and vices are perfectly etched, touching and upsetting at the same time!I still remember how eager we were to know who the Half Blood Prince was and how dead it made us feel when we came to know that Dumbledore is no more!Call this addiction or obsession-the pre orders for books, the talks which turned into fights,the run for movies and the countless telecasts back to back on Pogo during weekends,all this gave a different high ;-)

Anti Potters who chose to follow the other way and believe otherwise let me tell you Harry Potter is more than a product of fantasy or a figment of imagination.Life’s important lessons are more between the lines and you will get that only if you read it.You will learn that living becomes beautiful with school, teachers, family, friends,enemies,work,challenges, games,gain,loss,love and laughter,not because of potions or spells.Rowling with her words teaches you this in every book.The movies have tried to make it lighter, easier and have partly succeeded. I know there are intellectuals who think anything to do with Potter is juvenile stuff and that this is a crazy fan writing a crazier blog post. All I have to tell them is that “You have no idea what you are missing!”

Life is magic and much more than that.One needs to have a fine taste of imagination for enjoying it.Nobody can imagine for us and like us,except us.What say witches and wizards?So how many of you entered the Pensieve and watched the movie this time?Let me know how it made you feel.I am in a very nostalgic mood today,very...bittersweet!

Image Courtesy

"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already...we have the power to imagine better"

-J K Rowling-



-R.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On The Fence- A Fear Or A Fault?


Image courtesy
The other day I was talking with a close friend of mine who is currently residing outside India and since then I am with this big bug in my head. It was the usual questions and answers ‘How-are-you-I-am-fine’ kinds, but there was something else that we discussed which is now bothering me a lot. This is a dilemma to every Indian of today’s times I guess, especially the youth. Many among us are right now pretending to be unaffected and unaware about this issue, inside as well as outside India. For us life goes on, no matter what the country is going through!

When someone is off from India for higher studies, work or reasons whatsoever their folks and friends back home have this habit of asking “So when are you back?” and I did that with this friend of mine, well it’s been months I met him in person and therefore it was an obvious question from my side. And more obvious was his reply! I am not complaining about him, but the factors that have brought this change in his ideologies and perspectives, also of many Indians here and elsewhere about India are of grave concern.

From corruption to politicians, scams to hunger strikes, donations to price hikes and bribes to bad roads we blamed and cursed them all. And like every time and in ever case the talk ended right there with a ‘Nothing-Can-Be-Done-About-It’ sort of common opinion. My friend told me that he plans to work outside India after his studies, which means he shall be away from home for a few more years with a few visits to the country now and then probably. An ideal and a brave but not a very pleasing decision for everyone, not because of the lack or excess of patriotism or anything else. There is much more to loving our motherland and living with our fellow countrymen is what I believe. I know he can do that, no second thoughts.

But right now he has his reasons, and all of them are genuine. There is nothing that I find to support my point. I just had to nod in agreement for I felt he was right in a way. We are the kind of friends who usually joke about things for hours together which the rest of the world remotely finds funny, this one was not even amongst that. In fact I still have not found an answer to one of his questions, during the middle of this serious conversation he asked me” Do you see a future for your kids in India?” and for a second I realized that we are growing up in a frightening place! There are now going to be a hundred national, social, professional, financial, ethical, emotional, personal [in whatever order one may like :-) !] duties and responsibilities for all of us soon. The very thought of managing everything sends a shiver down my spine. Will we be able to?

Can someone help us? *Pratibha Patil? Manmohan Singh? Anna Hazare? Baba Ramdev? Sonia Gandhi? Suresh Kalmadi? Kanimozhi? A Raja? Rahul Gandhi? Jayalalitha? Mukesh Ambani? Yedyurappa? Mamatha Bannerjee? Karunanidhi? Arundathi Roy? Bal Thackeray? Mayawati? Narendra Modi? JRD Tata? Rakhi Sawant? ;-) Any other popular public figure for any reason good or bad we can think of? Lets try asking them if they can help us in paying the petrol price for a day at the least or in getting our friends back home at the most!

All of us speak a lot about this like how I am blogging right now. After reading this one may think about it for a  few minutes and finally get back to his or her routine. But give it a thought, why are we stuck at square one when it comes to equality in progress? The poor get poorer, the rich get richer and then there are the average folks sandwiched in between making ends meet. Is this what we call unity in diversity? Today the common denominator does seem far from reality. These unbearable compromises are definitely demoralizing. Better is possible and all we lack is the willingness to try. Let us not forget that what we cannot risk losing in the first and the last place is our human resource and by now we already have let go gems in majority.
  
Years down the lane what if we repent that we did nothing about this matter but rely on someone else just because we think that it is not directly affecting our lives, someday it definitely will in a huge magnitude, actually it already is! Why do we leave everything on our so called leaders more than doing something ourselves? Why are we letting this happen? Why are we running away? What is that we can do individually and collectively? What does it take in the present to value our past and build a better future? I am so confused and I am not really glad that I have company,most of us  really are!!!

By the way all I could tell my friend was” Looking at the current situation I will surely think a hundred times before having one;-)!”

Does a tree lose its roots while fanning out its branches in the sky, then why do we? Here is a beautiful poem and some advice from a tree for all of us to follow.Nature always has a way to teach us everything about life, its just that we refuse to walk that way.


Advice from a Tree 

Dear Friend,

Stand Tall and Proud 
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth 
Reflect the light of a greater source 
Think long term 
Go out on a limb 
Remember your place among all living beings 
Embrace with joy the changing seasons 
For each yields its own abundance 
The Energy and Birth of Spring 
The Growth and Contentment of Summer 
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall 
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun 
And delight in their presence 
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you 
And the mystery of the stars at night. 
Seek nourishment from the good things in life 
Simple pleasures 
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty 
Drink plenty of water 
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes 
Be flexible 
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

-Ilan Shamir-


*Random sample of names, no offence or defense meant. Any omissions regretted!


-R.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Best Friend

Few days back I had mentioned an very famous essay ‘Umbrella Morals’ in one of my blog posts and now I am back again with an another tale. This time it is completely mine. These days I prefer to call my umbrella as my best friend because the showers here are as eerie as the folks of this town. The actions and reactions are lifelessly slow and silent, nevertheless sweet. So are the rains, beautiful yet troubling! I am not yet used to any of this. And an umbrella is the only thing that can safeguard me from some perish is what I feel.

Last evening not very surprisingly the fragile black one of mine happened to give up all its efforts to save me and decided to deceive me during my hard times. It turned upside down breaking here and there beyond repair, thanks to the winds and rains this place is blessed with. I had actually made a bad choice when I bought it for I was new to this place and I did not know what works here, rather what does not! And a day without an umbrella here is like living in a desert without an oasis! So today I was forced to go on a  umbrella hunt in the Hampanakatta market where I found this:



Liked it? Blue and yellow are my favourite colours. Very floral I know but for some strange reasons umbrellas are a fashion statement in Mangalore. These long kinds are in fact known as ‘Ajjana Kode’ [Grandfather’s Umbrella!] but times now have changed and every other girl here owns it. It is strong and sturdy and therefore serves as a protection weapon maybe, enough to bash up a gang! Meanwhile I am wondering how long it shall last in these grieving months of ill weather, I am just hoping that at least this one wishes to stay as my best friend!

And this is what my bona fide best friend whom I fondly call Calvin had to say after looking at the picture I mailed him:

“Ayyo too girly! I won’t be able to use it if I ever come to Mangalore!”




 Calvin says 
'True friends are hard to come by'



And all this Hobbes has to say is 
'Best friends are harder to please !!!'

-R.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Moss On The Wall


I was in one of those clouded moods of mine today, the kind of times when I am difficult to please or handle. Wonder if it was the weather or the sheer monotony and indecisiveness of life that I am feeling these days. Surprisingly someone who I hardly know happened to notice this and say something to me. They were one of the most beautiful and meaningful words which I have heard recently. I am glad that he told them to me when I needed it the most.

I and a new friend of mine were walking down the street near my home after work. The thoughtful frown on my face was very evident which made him ask if anything went wrong during the day. When I told him that things are really difficult and I am just not able to decide who to befriend and trust in this new place, he looked at the sides of the road and said this:


“Do you notice these walls here? Once upon a time they were as clean as a slate, and then there were the rains of confusion and discomfort which gradually turned them weak and wet. The green mosses started growing on them almost everywhere. Nothing stopped them, not even the wall. There are a lot of these dirty kinds in this world, don’t let them grow on you. Stop them, fight them or do whatever you can.There is nothing wrong in drawing a line and not obliging to someone beyond your limits. Grow a flower if you want to, you will look pretty but remember it takes a lot to be a clean wall, a lot! You definitely can be one...only if you wish!”

I walked with a smile and a sensible advice after days.

-R.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From Your Heart



Lights of love,where do they wish to glow
From your heart to mine or I thought so
Tides of love,where do they wish to flow
From your heart to mine or I thought so
Winds of love,where do they wish to go
From your heart to mine or I thought so
Bonds of love,where do you wish to throw
From your heart to nether I now think so.


-R-