Wednesday, December 26, 2007

US up-bringing

This is a response to Aparna's blog about values in life to which I couldn't have agreed more. In fact, I always have realized that the kids here in US have several qualities that are almost non-existent in kids back in India.

1. They grow up to be more self-responsible due to the social structure of self-reliance after 18 years of age. Most of them start working and earning something by the end of their teens. I am impressed by the concept of trying to fund one's own undergraduate education with one's own penny; even though it often involves taking student loans- still it makes them self-responsible.

2. They don't suffer from the "I am a rich parents' kid" syndrome: dignity of labor is utmost. Most of my American friends I have seen, started working in some Mc Donald's or Subway: not because their parents did not have enough money; but because the joy of earning one's own dollar is marvellous!

3. I also have seen them cherish the ability to respect independent and variegated career decisions. I have often seen them to respect a History major person even if he or she is doing Physics.

I would always want my kids to grow up in US: despite the common desi notion that kids here lack parental attachment. I disagree, because kids in India often get entangled into parents' never-terminating pamper, which I think is not a great idea for development of the kid's personality. Hunting and accruing one's own identity, being able to take one's own decisions and the realization of the necessity to be self-dependent is very important. And then, after all, values begin at home: if I am able to impart the right education to kids about moral values, the topographical coordinates on Earth just wouldn't matter any more!

Nevertheless, there are always light and shades to both sides of the coin! Upbringing of kids in US has also its short-comings: the vulnerability to get into bad habits (e.g. smoking, drinking at an inappropriate age, doping etc) and more. But what I have learned looking at the manner I was brought up and several other friends and acquaintances of mine both in India and US, that culturing the right set of values begins at home. Being parents whether in US or in India is never an easier task! Yet, the first and the last education begin at home...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I have often known and heard of women who would at their own will or under so-called cultural norms or family customs change their lastnames to the one of her husband's family. It is no doubt a personal choice: but one question always comes to my mind- why is this required?

On one hand, we have always tried to stick to the philosophy "Live and let live"; and on the other, we know that at the end of the day, all of us are, in some manner or the other, bound to societal ethics, established practices and notions. There is definitely a trade-off, and the reason the human civilization has been able to traverse a journey this far is because our ancestors had been able to strike a balance between the two poles. Then why is it so, that for women, the second proposition holds and not the first? I am not implying the loads of social injustice done to women: probably they are persistent amidst the folk of illiterate people in remote areas; but this is a more grave issue. I have known so many educated women from well-off and socially reputed families changing their lastnames.

The reason behind this is unknown to me: and that is the reason I find this to be illogical. I believe, when a man marries a woman, it is the beginning of a journey together- and not the women losing her previous identity. I believe, a marriage involves two different families, and therefore both the families would have equal representation and respect for each other. Then why should the daughter of one family lose her original identity?

It this beyond a typical feminist issue. It is about something our civilization had branded as 'morals'. I find it extremely objectionable that the women has to give up her lastname (and in certain situations her first name as well). As human beings, man or woman, we grow as a individuals and often the ultimate goal in our life is to build our own identity. How does it feel to lose it one fine morning you wake up?

I would not protest against the practice being following at a time forty or fifty years back from today. For, then, women were less educated, and therefore their sole identity was their husbands' identity. But the woman of twenty first century has broken free those shackles. Amidst all odds, she has earned her self-identity.

I strongly detest customs and practices that compel one party to sacrifice an abstract feeling close to their heart. Neither men nor women should be a victim to this. It is not about disobeying culture: culture is a set of norms that characterizes a society for the good on a road which can take it far towards prosperity, happiness and bliss.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Nothing ever has befuddled me more than the cliched tendency of all couples and love stories to consider Romeo-Juliet's as the archetype of all times! Just listen to your conscience: do you want your own or your loved ones' love stories to end in a tragedy as theirs? I am sure you will not; and herein lands the irony! The never-ending perplexed human being you are, you roam around the world and shout 'you' are the architect of your own destiny; and still at dusk, you avert the dark starry sky relying on acts which you do not really approve of! You do not want your love story to be tragic; and yet you go about idolizing Romeo and Juliet: and you say you are the most reasonable being ever on Earth - where is the contradiction, inside you or in the rest of the universe?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Answer of the 'Rebel'

Many of my friends and acquaintances, especially the ones from my undergrad college back in India ask me,
Tu abhee bhi padh rahi hai?
Aur kitna padhegi?
Kitna research karegi?
PhD kyun?
Kitna time hai tujhe graduate hone mein?
Tu bore nahee hoti padhai se?

The translation being,
You still in school!
How much more you want to study?
How much more research do you want to do?
Why PhD?
How many more years to go to graduate?
Don't you get bored of it?"

These folks are the ones who are quite 'settled' in life right now: earning a decently fat salary, with or without an MBA from somewhere in India. Now they are desperately looking for some pretty and hot girl whom they can date for sometime and then marry. Dwelling in the Fool's paradise that they have achieved almost everything in life, they loathe the very idea of continuing an academic career. To them, probably, being in school at 25 is so uncool! To the girls, the time is ripe to find Mr. Perfect, a guy who is reasonably handsome, earns a fat salary, owns his own flat and/or a car in India, or lives in US or been to US for considerable time and has reasonable bank balance so that he can buy her a diamond necklace every year on her birthday.

I am not being mean describing them this way: some of them are people with whom I have spend quality time in the past and I like them. Also, I totally respect their decision to feel complete with a bachelors degree. It is after all, a personal matter of choice and everyone has his or her liberty to take decisions for themselves in life.

The conflict occurs when the personal decision accrues the shape of a generic judgment which they seamlessly attempt to fit into one and all. And that is what flows out from these questions that they have been uttering all this while.

Joining the PhD program and the decision to go for research has been one of the best decisions in my life. I have forever been a risk-taker, right since I was 16 years old: I loved to do things which no one else would do; I loved the joy in doing those things and marking myself as different from the commonplace crowd. But just the desire to be different was not about it. As far as my mature conscious takes me back, I remember I liked pure sciences, I loved to question things around me and think crazy if any of the established truths weren't true today. When I was in 4th grade, I came to know about something called a 'scientist'. I participated in a painting competition and came out first rank holder when the organizers gave me an interesting prize: a biographical account of several renowned scientists in the world. I would read that book for long, discuss those scientists with Dad and then feel so happy that certain people can rise against appartently impossible odds and still be so much successful! I also wanted to be a scientist from then onwards, and make a mark in the sands of time by thinking the world from an altogether different facet!

Half of my dream has come true the day I joined the PhD program! While this feels so placated to me several times, I know each new day brings up a new vista of challenges to me. In an academic program spanning over at least five years, you are answerable to several people and several questions: ranging from these friends, to parents, to relatives and to professors and the advisor. Nevertheless, therein lies the real charm of life!

Research has taught me several things larger than academics and sometimes larger than life. It is no longer the pre-conceived notion that those friends possess about studies: research transcends studies. It connects you directly to your soul: a means to think beyond the constrained realms of mundane world. It teaches you perseverance, teaches you tenacity; above all, teaches you there is something beyond earning a fat salary and marrying a pretty girl or a handsome guy, and so called living happily ever after. The meaning of life has more to it: and research reveals this truth to you.

After all, life is not an algorithm where you execute certain steps and finally terminate into a stable state. It is stranger than fiction, as you know. And research and PhD just add a new degree of zest to it: you learn life, beyond books, alcohol or credit cards. Research is the tool of the rebel of today...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Metaphor of Hypothesis Proving

Seldom did it happen that a bad weather outside your window made you morose and pensive to the extent that you were pushed to reflect on the life you have been leading. And ironical, how certain days turn out to be so difficult than some others!
One of all of us seem to running after some goal or the other in life: we fight, we strive, we sweat our brows day in and day out. Nevertheless, it is on those gloomy days when all your colossal efforts sever making much sense: the journey seems to have got lost in the meandering terrains of the zest to excel and 'achieve' the goal.
Where do we stand now? It is the 21st century: a life adorned with all the technology, intelligent-wares streamlining every work in our homes, work places, restaurants, gardens etc. A life with all the grandeur, if you have the cents to be the spend-thrift! A laptop, a modem, a DVD and a Heineken: you are all set to spend a wonderful exhilarating weekend, a drive away from the immensely bone-weary work.
But, wait a minute: are we missing something in this marathon of running after these mundane goals?
I feel I have lost the actual meaning of life somewhere. I had it once upon a time; but lost it as of now and as I stand today here at this juncture of my life, I only see myself running after some goals which probably will not make a difference to another person than me tomorrow. Because I am trying to spend my life doing something which probably I might not be good at; however much efforts I put, they are never enough for excellence. I am still running after that excellence which probably might be too far a land to swim to!
But the next moment, it dawns on my mind: I loathe being the ship without the rudder, running toward the excellence is necessary for getting the best out of ourselves, after all!
Life just seems to be a contradiction: we begin with a hypothesis; but ironically, move forward in life with all the evidences to disprove that initial hypothesis! What happens next? Only time will tell.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Story of the 'Inside'

Perplexed I was the entire gloomy afternoon,
Though an overcast day with the breeze swaying the skin so cool;
But nothing was as beautiful to me as it actually was,
A morose soul amidst the aphotic bleaky ambience of virtual wars.

A leap I took to look beyond the pensive tyranny of dingy daylight soon after,
Not a sense of withdrawal could further stop me thereafter,
Deep forest, monstrous ocean, mammoth mountain: none could put a bar towards that 'pasture',
The hunt: the search for the ultimate source of ecstasy and laughter.

Variegated folks did I all encounter,
In that voyage of the key to fun and banter;
But none could endow me with a terse answer,
I was depressed: only more eager to uncover the mysterious universe of all wonder.

Days passed, years dwindled, without a ray of hope,
The hope for the key to the sweetest of my dream that round the clock I wanted to grope,
Soon after, did dawn a 'sun' into my mind's realm,
Where is the hunt: where in the universe is happiness as it might seem?

I knew then, that all these years, I was wrong,
After all, happiness was just another habit which you adorn inside, not in some special throne,
I knew, the storm was 'within',
And I geared up with all new vigor to cull out the zealous, without giving in!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The world you live in, is an APPROXIMATION!

The physical world we live in is highly approximate. Consider the definition of a point in space: "a point is a physical entity which has no length, breadth and height but has existence only".

Can a point have a fourth dimension, like time? may be. But how do we justify this? Will a point travel in time? No it cannot. Since it does not have length, breadth or height, it cannot have physical properties that characterize other things, e.g. can point characterize temperature? No. So point is just an existential quantity in space, not time.

Consider the definition of a physical object:
"an entity that can be perceived by human beings in one or more of their visual or auditory senses".
This means a physical object will have existence as well as stability or volatility across space and time.

Now the connection between a point and a physical object which hints at the subtle but highly approximate definition of the physical world. This theory of approximation is demonstrated by the fact that physical objects can be considered an assembly of points and point does not have any dimensions: no length, breadth and height, only existence; then how do physical objects have dimentions? This is a contradiction which can only be supported by the fact that the objects themselves are approximations and points do have dimensions. Because, if it was not true, then, the following will always be true:
0+ 0+ 0+ 0 = 0 always. No physical object that we see around us can have dimensions.
Hence the universe and its contained physical objects are merely approximation of a bigger assumption that dimensions are inherent to entities around us.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What are your plans for Christmas? :P

Here are some interesting vacation spots for you this winter (okay for me; I want to go to these places some winter). Enjoy!

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona: Beyond its fame as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, its beauty is multiplied in the snow covered gorges, mountains, semi-frozen waters of the Colorado river and the vegetation.

2. New York City, New York: The real USA: it has always been Hollywood's and Bollywood's favorite shooting place in winters. PS: Karan Johar's favorite site for shoots :P. While on one hand it brings out the harsh life in the depressing sun-less mornings, the flaky snow and driving through snow covered terrains is altogether a different adventure.

3. Hawaii: The hot honeymoon- perfect place for many people! Winter is a great time there to enjoy the warmth of the Central Pacific. Just checked farecast, great ticket prices to Honolulu.

4. Kerala, India: One of the most interesting adobes of natural sea-side beauty in India. Be ready for some interesting coconutty food!

5. Istanbul, Turkey: Istanbul is a great cultural and financial center in eastern Europe. Wikitravel says, "Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul truly bridges Asia and Europe both literally and figuratively." Winter is a great time to visit this cultural hub. The palaces, mosques and cisterns are a wonderful relax out of the din and bustle of the cities in US.

6. Mexico: Of course you cannot leave this out! Wikitravel says, "Mexico has nice and warm people, unique food, art and archeology, pyramids, museums, Haciendas, 6,000 miles of shores, superb architecture and cities, weather from snow mountains in the Sierras, to rainy jungles in the Southeast and desert in the Northwest, more than 50 golf courses, excellent fishing, world top destinations like Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Patzcuaro, among others amenities. Mexico is ranked 8th major destination for foreigner visitors, according to WTO." And how can you forget the most authentic Margaritas!

7. Canary Islands, Spain: The Canary Islands are an Atlantic territory of Spain on the west coast of Africa, near Morocco, Cape Verde and the archipelagos of the Azores Islands and Madeira Islands, both Portuguese territories. Abounded with wonderful honeymoon-like vacation resorts!

8. Fiji: Fiji is characterized by the combination of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters. Its majestic and ever-varied coral reefs today draw tourists from around the world. Very close from US west coast and Hawaii.

9. Taiwan: One of the greatest tourist destinations in eastern Asia. It is amazing to see tradition, culture and westernization all in the same vista! Don't forget about the semi-American and Chinese-Japanese fusion of a variety of classic foods!

10. Miami, Florida: Check out some of the most soothing warm climates in US! Proximity to Cuban culture as well as the great sea coasts of the Atlantic make the vacation more than just enthralling and enchanting. Miami has the largest Latin American population outside of Latin America itself with nearly 65% of its populace either from Latin America or of Latin American ancestry. There are also some great Spanish monasteries and meseums and gardens.

Do you have any more suggestions? :P
Photos: Courtesy, Flickr

Monday, November 26, 2007

Om Shanti Om

I would make a very honest statement: I really liked Om Shanti Om. And I mean it. Reasons are numerous: please get rid of your self-notion imagination that it is because the King Khan is there. Of course I am a big fan of him; but I believe there are reasons beyond this liking that makes this movie a nice watch (without any sort of cursing) to me.

If you would hunt for logic behind the happening of the movie, I am sorry: you make a bad pick. Probably a movie like "The Pursuit of Happyness" would suit you more. Well, let me clarify: I am not comparing the two movies at all. Just pointing out a contrast in movie taste: the former a true fiction, the latter bringing you face to face to the hard reality.

It is the story of an aspiring actor who falls for a big star. And how his failure in that birth leads to his reincarnation to fulfil his dreams, one and all. I personally don't believe in rebirth and the genre. But I really liked the movie. Reasons:

1. The movie is a complete fiction: a drive away from reality. It is not just reincarnation, but also things like a commonplace guy coming into the notice of a superstar, and the girl coming out to spend an evening with the guy. These things are far away from reality. But what makes this movie beautiful is the intricacy with which these fictional events have been rendered.

2. The actors do their jobs. SRK gives 'life' to the character so much so that you yourself feel that something should happen even if out of the blue to fulfil his dreams! And that's what happens: when it comes, it is no surprise to you!

3. Deepika is not just another new comer with a great deal of item numbers and skin show. Her acting skills, if not the great ones, are appreciable with her experience in the acting arena. Shreyas and Kiron Kher are good as ever.

I strongly feel why this fiction succeeds and why others (like No Smoking) fails. Om Shanti Om does not attempt to make a connection with the reality. For those three and a half hours you are transported to a surreal world. And the credit probably goes to the director Farah and of course the producer SRK.

Bollywood really needs to understand that a movie success doesn't necessary happen because of:
1. focusing on just classy and expensive sets (e.g. Saawariya).
2. characters have a great role to play. They need to be true to themselves in rendering their job. Kudos, OSO does it very nicely!

Consider any fiction movie in Hollywood: from "being John Malcovich" to "Matrix" to "Jurassic Park", all were fictions. But they came out a great movies. The reason being: they did their best jobs 'inside' their realm of the fiction!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Relativity= Compromised Perfection?

I was reading a research paper the other day when I ran into this really strong statement and eventually provoked me to think: Is relativity a compromised perfection? The author was trying to press upon the implicit relative success of several methods in a certain research topic (Human Computer Interaction) and was trying to brain storm on newer ideas. But his approach was interesting. He was telling that the reason these methods have been successful so far is because we have not been able to devise better ones. Ironical, but agreed: this is true. Certain things around us seem to be pseudo-successful or nicer simply because there are no similar better things around!

There is a very famous quote made by Churchill when he lost the elections in 1946-47 after the war. He says, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947)

It is not just about democracy. We often seem to be happy with what we have. We live and die to 'maintain' this so-called implicit perfect world. But is it really perfect? Isn't this sense of relativity: the fact that we don't have nicer things just dwindling into a hollow sense of compromised perfection?

Although there is of course a thin line between being ever-greedy for better things and being a little non-complacent with the current state of things. While the former is definitely not advisable nor is meant in this blog, yet I believe the latter is the key to a race's ever-lasting journey towards a more prosperous civilization.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are you growing old?

Since quite sometime, I have been feeling a soothing placidness inside me: as if I can see the implicit signs of aging in me! Some of the signs I could decipher: may be you want to check them out for yourself!
1. I am enjoying tragic movies more these days compared to my ever-favorite: Sci-Fi. I somehow get this intuition I will like watching Saawariya although the movie is a commercial disaster. Hope I do that soon. Probably the bluish-greenish surreal ambience will match my state of mind (age?).
2. I am more into softer romantic songs now: for example, Hindi: Jab We Met's Tum Se Hi. Days are gone for the Hip Hop numbers of Dus or Bluffmaster's Talk To Me.
3. No more Rap or Hip Hop in English genre. I feel suffocated in the sweaty congested environment of dance floors in clubs playing loud Hip Hop. Jazz takes me away; especially of The Kenny G. kind. I only log on to 95.5 FM smooth Jazz or 107.9 FM KMLE Country radio in my car stereo as well while driving.
4. I kind of have shrugged the desire for alcohol. No hard stuff other than beer sometimes, very very rarely.
5. I have also grown increasing fondness for cats.
6. My finickiness for cleanliness is ever on an exponential increasing note.
7. Art always captivated me: but I find tremendous match with my sometimes' pensive mood in appreciating art pieces anywhere around Tempe. The USPS building puts up the current exhibits of fine artwork in the city.
8. I want to attend Jazz concerts, pretty often on Sundays in Phoenix.
9. And yeah, I am not going to miss the next Broadway Musical that is going to be played in the Gammage at ASU next time!
10. And last but not the least, I am developing a much mature insight into my research. After all, I have started to believe, that is how I can contribute to the progress of the human civilization!

I am only (?) 25 though: what do you think? Is it too late? Is it too early?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"What is Intelligence?": Food for the AI Folks...

Wikipedia describes intelligence to be: a property of mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.
And this is simply not what wikipedia thinks; some of the great talks by renowned computer scientists I have ever attended (including Turing Award winners like Fran Allen) talk alike. Nevertheless the question is, it is really sufficient to describe intelligence by these skills? Haven't most of the work traditionally in AI starting from propositional planning to combinatorial logic always strived to inculcate one or more of these traits in the computers? If yes, then why are we so much away from even a 10% intelligent (compared to humans) computer today?
I am not sure if there is any precise answer, or actually if we ever will have the ability to actually answer this and make it happen in the future. But there are two things, I believe, which are typically very characteristic of humans and which the AI community hasn't probably thought of to instill in their endeavor for a super-smart computer!
These are: intuition and adaptation.
Intuition: It is the ability to take decisions or do things without being goaded by a standard reasoning process. I guess it is very typical of human beings and acts as a sophisticated ability to make judgments where reasoning cannot be applied. Unfortunately, while lot of work has been done about how to make computer reason about things, little has been said about taking decisions (under certain circumstances) when no reasoning can be applied. So here is a new direction, although the problem is difficult!
Adaptation: It is typically a positive characteristic of an organism that has been favored by natural selection. Is it not interesting to think of building systems that can actually evolve over time? Agreed, there has been some work in this regard. But the problem is more profound than judged. Adaptation is something which should enable a system to evolve in the sense can it can get rid of some characteristics, generate some, inherit some other others as well as mould and modify them to its own needs. The second food for thought!
Let's see what the next 40 years of AI research has in store for us! I will come back to this blog to compare my perceptions then...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Four Questions...

The Grace Hopper 2007 is more than another Computer Science conference for me. What struck me most were these four pretty cliched, but ever-thought-arousing questions I heard (or re-iterated in my ears) today.
1. What is computable?
2. What is intelligence?
3. What is information?
4. Can we build complex systems simply?
I am trying to figure out these answers. Of course it is not easy: even many of the Turing Award winners have met many stumbling blocks on the way. But I will strike a take on it! As rightly said, "I Invent the Future" :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Life just moves on, whatever happens, however unfavorable circumstances might be. It is amazing how much patience and reticence to one's self-conscience one might have that we still hold on to something as the 'center' of our lives despite all odds shattering our dreams which once used to leave us mesmerized. Everything comes and goes in the flick of a moment...
The key and the biggest learning of life is how you want to hold on to the real passion in your life in order to make life more meaningful. After all, none is born without an inherent meaning! The clue is how we or if we ever happen to unlock that mysterious 'bolt' of real meaning amidst numerous 'keys' all scrambled around us...
Life is greater than what we think of it to be. It is a long journey towards eternity: the destination of 'meaning'. And all our lives groom around just different facets of some consistent meaning. Like the rainbow is hidden all the time, lest the times when light is reflected from the clouds in some specific manner. What is that 'light' which can bring out the rainbow of our lives?
I guess it is a never-ending quest: a quest of truth. The 'meaning' of life...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Reasons why you should cook at home!

So here comes a blog which can all over again motivate you to start cooking and eating at home! A few good reasons:
1. Value-for-money (the cost factor): Home made food is far less expensive compared to the same thing you order at a restaurant. This is because the ingredients (the raw materials) that you would use for cooking is decently cheap at any local grocery store. For example, a box of brownies comes for about $5 in a standard grocery store. You probably need a $1 to buy brownie mix and bake them at home! Another good example, ice creams in waffle cone would cost you like $8 at any Cold Stone store. If you buy a huge box of ice cream and a few cones, it won't come more than $2 per ice cream!
2. Quality: You are your own chef, so you are at liberty to go for quality ingredients, especially about spices, cooking oil, butter, eggs, milk and cheese.
PS: though disputed, yet beware of buying specifically these stuff cheap, they have been known to cause deadly diseases like breast cancer. The second threat are the preservatives in all the cooked frozen food and ready-to-eat stuff.
3. Variety: And of course you have the freedom to go ahead and delve into cooking some really innovative meal! Try any possible fusion, like Chinese-American, Indian-Thai, Indian-Ethiopian or Mexican-Cuban!
PS: these are pretty standard fusions, but you can always introduce some variations!
4. Taste: Last but not the least, cooking is a passion! If you enjoy cooking, you can master the art of culinary skills and be the chef of numerous delicious recipes for your friends, family and loved ones. If you are a woman, then you know the saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach". While if you are a man, then you know the best chefs in the world are all men, an opportunity to be a better husband to your sweetheart!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

... every little moment I live...

Of late, I have realized that life is simply about living everyday! It is all about those little petty things we do that make us happy and sad. Nothing is pre-defined before. Every moment is a surprise and living is about happily embracing all those moments...
I can see myself sitting in trance by the sea shore and watching those moments come and go by. Sometimes I would see a distant sail making its way through the unruly waves, thrashing water behind; till it finally makes it to the harbor.
Sometimes I see a homeless person downstairs in the downtown with his dog which reminds me how beautiful world is still now: some assets turn into lives themselves and no one could part them however pathetic life could be.
Sometimes I would see my fellow Asian colleagues at work, day in and day out with utmost devotion, re-iterating the fact that you don't need a God to believe in, for, work is worship.
Sometimes I would burst into laughter for no good reason at something which is far from being humorous.
Sometimes I would run after a few pebbles of happiness brought down by the rolling waves on the shore.
Sometimes I would knit my own fabric of day dreams with my joys and woes.
Sometimes I would be worried, sometimes placid, sometimes elated, sometimes pensive even though I would be clueless about the answer to the biggest questions in my life.
Life is all about what we see, learn, feel, visualize and cull out with our experiences of such numerous petty moments. It is about living every moment which caters to delivering an essence to life and its continual learning. My wish, "let me breathe in the fresh air of every moment that sweeps me by, let me drab it in, let me feel and let me live..."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

'One Love'

Despite all the grandeurs of technology streamlining every segment of our daily life, if you ask me, the most common unsolved mystery that we still have not been able to solve is probably the question, "What gives me the ultimate happiness?" Do we really have a precise answer to this?
The mundane earthly life is a perennial sequence of unending desires: desire to acquire more and more; and that is what keeps us away from reaching our ultimate goal:to become happy. Imagine, every act we indulge in, right from dawn to dusk, has a lone common goal, how it can, in some manner, yield something towards our happiness. We work, we inculcate our passions, cherish our hobbies: all with one single goal. But the hunt for happiness seems never-ending!
I believe life is all about possessing 'one single thing'. And that possession 'does' it all: leads us to our ultimate goal of happiness. It is that thing which accrues the center of our life: diverges as a vivid facet to every aspect of our life. It lets us survive amidst all the odds and evens. To some, that one thing is their loved one, to some their pet, to others their passions.
I recall a few lines from the song 'One Love' from BLUE. I find it very apt how we need just 'one love' to live. It takes care of everything: paves the road to achieving happiness...

Yeah, alright

It's kinda funny
How life can change
Can flip 180
In a matta of days

Sometimes love works in
Mystertious ways
One day you wake up
Gone without a trace

I refuse to give up
I refuse to give in
You're my everything
I don't wanna give up
I don't wanna give in
So everybody sing

One love for the mothers prider
One love for the times we cried
One love gotta stay alive
I will survive

We only need to hunt for that 'one love' in life!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Along the waves of 'transitory' flow...

They are right when they say, "Life is stranger than fiction". I have always been amazed by the manner our thought process is involved with the sequence of actions and happennings in life. We are morose and taken aback when we see our hopes getting shattered; we drive up to ecstasy with the hint of a positive happenning around us.
I believe wherefrom our lives accrue meaning is the way we build magnificent domes and architectures of hopes, dreams and expectations around us. But on the rolling sands of time and life everything seems transitory. Hopes and dreams come and go, and we either watch them blooming into physical existence, or we see them being run down by the thrashing unruly waves of circumstances.
Nevertheless, life is so strange! Time and again, we would build those deck of cards for our hopes and dreams. Even when we know they have been shattered to pieces before. We never learn!
The inherent truth is, life itself is transitory. We are a petty existence of a sequence of happennings in the course of space and time. We dwindle away, and still try to groom again, with our energies. Needless to say, this perseverance to achieve what one wants in life, is what drives life. And an icing on the cake, the root to all woes in the world!
Along such never ending waves of continual transitory flow of life, when will we really grow up above these mundane hopes and dreams?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Innovative Recipes: Cooking Simplified!

I have always been a great connoisseur of food and cooking and have been always been excited about trying to cook variegated recipes with little innovations. But then cooking became a challenge when I came to US. An altogether different set of food items, new food habits coupled with the busy life of a Ph.D student made to venture into cooking in a way that the food came out tasty, while it would eat less time! Here go a few of my hand-crafted recipes. To the best of my knowledge and experience, they have come out to be nice and tasty, as well as serving to be labeled as a quick meal!

Recipe 1: Scrambled Fish (time needed: 20-25 minutes)
Ingredients: Coby Fish (any fillets would do, e.g. salmon etc), finely chopped onions, lime juice, minced garlic, green chillies, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, corn oil, paprika (optional).
Method: If the fish is frozen, keep it outside for a few hours and let it thaw. Then heat some oil in a cooking pan. Add cumin seeds and the green chillies. Once these start boiling, sim the stove and add the fish pieces slowly. Let them fry till they turn brown and the softness reduces. Add the onions along with the salt, tumeric and garlic. Let it cook till the onions turn translucent and the spices look well blended in. Then using a sharp spatula, scramble the fish to small pieces and mix everything very well. It will come out as a nice blended in mixture of fish and onions. Touch up with lime juice and red paprika (optional). Serve hot with warm plain rice or fried rice.

Recipe 2: Thai Chholle (time needed: 15-20 minutes)
Ingredients: One can of garbanzo beans, one can of coconut milk, chopped onions, red chilly paste, salt, turmeric, chaat masala, corn oil, cilantro to garnish.
Method: Heat oil in a cooking pan and add the onions. Let it cook till onions turn translucent. Add salt and add the garbanzo beans (strained and cleaned from the can). Let it cook for 2-3 minutes and then add turmeric. Mix well and after about 5 more minutes, add the coconut milk. Mix everything very well and let it cook for sometime. Then add the chilly paste and the chaat masala. Blend well and chholle is ready. Serve hot over rice.

More to come... keep waiting!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I had a pretty weird dream yesterday night: weird to the extent that I can even now visualize some strange creature I saw in the dream, in front of my eyes. Precisely, I would describe it as some land-dwelling sharks, because of the ability of the usual sharks to thrive on land with human-like mobility!
I dreamt that my lab (AME) is (re-)located by some really beautiful beach (most probably it depicted UC Santa Barbara or UC Irvine!). Just out of the blinds in the coridoor where now I plainly see a bunch of cars stuck on the road in Tempe downtown, the view in the dream was very spectacular: a placid beautiful beach with lush green foliage, blue waters and golden sand. It was very captivating till one fine day we see two sharks coming out of the ocean and walking up through the land till they disappear in the wild by the beach! We were among the first to notice the sharks coming out of water and it was great fun to watch them, but just for fraction of a second. In seconds, our ecstacy turned into horror of what is going to happen to us given these strange dangerous animals in the city. We called '911' and tell them of all what had happenned so that they take necessary precautions to save the residents of the city from these animals. And then I quickly called one of my very good friends asking him to move to a safe place before these animals start any kind of devastation. I depict to him all that I had witnessed: the sharks coming out of the water and then disappearing in nowhere. But as unfortunate it could be, this account from my end did not fright him the slightest and he was out with his camera to capture these rare sealife! Tension only crawled up and I could feel fear tickling down by blood every moment I was inside the lab: the only assumption to me being, it is safe inside a five storied building. But soon the cops declared a crisis situation as they reported the sharks started hurting people. We were asked to evacuate the lab building. But before they put me into some safe place, I thought I will figure out whats up with the friend. I called him and made some arrangements so that we meet. But every moment I knew it was a tricky situation: photographing the sharks meant facing them and that in turn meant being a victim. I could see risk so close at hand...
The dream was long and very abrupt. But it made me think over many things. First, why did I have such a dream. Is it because I am watching too many movies which is taking me away from reality? Or is it because I fear natural disasters? Or is it a threatening to the human-kind of a changing world and changing environment? Or it is about my concern for some people whom I care about?
I don't the answer. But it is one of the dreams I would always remember. May be a reminder that the way and the rate we are degrading the environment, probably time of not far when the Nature would take on us...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Merging 'Physicality' and 'Virtuality'...

Needless to say, the primary aspect that distinguishes human beings from other living creatures on the planet is their ability to communicate in a manner which cultures semantic sense. Today's research direction in Computer Science is moving more and more towards identifying means to make our lives more conducive to our ambiance: merging 'physicality' and 'virtuality'. Nevertheless, while theory has its own beauty in itself, developing another algorithm which can solve the Travelling Salesman problem in polynomial time with an accepted error bound is not going to answer the question raised by the design of a conducive human environment. While this suggests, human beings are central to the next generation research, it is imperative to inculcate in the research the complexity of the manner in which we decipher semantics around us.
For the sake of generality in the systems perspective, let us consider the 'human machine' to be a flip-flop black box with standard input and output: we receive and collect information from the outside world via our five senses, perceive them in some manner under a personalized context, and then output them via some media in the form of an action. And the inherent media for us to interact with the outside world is communication, precisely the semantics we decipher. Such interaction via some media is always accompanied by a observable action. Consider this example. The blog I am writing today to communicate my thoughts: writing a blog post is an action here. However, beyond media and action, we encounter further hidden observables. This blog makes me mirthful and I reflect that in my email to my Mom. We accrue sentiments.
There are several dimensions to address for a unified framework that attempts to generate a conducive environment to human beings amidst the physical world and the virtualism of computers. Media, action and associated sentiments are just one of the facets. A more comprehensive analysis of deciphering the complex human semantics is what conjures up the next step of technical and research challenge.

Friday, August 31, 2007

...awakes the 'poet'...

After a long time, awakes the 'poet' in me! Though among my worse days today, I am happy it bloomed the poetic niche somewhere deep down in me! Here it goes...

An Earnest Desire
A myriad waves and a thousand stars,
The joys and the woes of life, all down my nerves;
I decorate them, day and night, so meticulous,
In some corner round those waves and stars, when I am so ponderous.

Small I might be down those gargantuan walls,
Still those little happy moments are like life's only alms;
For, life is not led in the days you count,
But those little mountains of happiness you mount.

An earnest desire: I don't pray I live too long,
But just enough to overcount the woes with some mundane placid joyful song.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Uncanny

Last weekend was another of the lazy times I have been spending this summer. That is why thought of grabbing the hold of keeping me updated on the 'Bollywood' front! Actually, to reveal the truth, have been craving for hindi movies and music for a while (reasons too personal to be disclosed). So the idea came a big relief. The next thing I could gather patience for was Cheeni Kum, after a headache with Aap Ka Surroor (sorry could not find an IMDB link to this!)...
The movie started for me with a depressing note. I was accompanied in the watch with a friend; but unfortunately his headache of watching AB in such a role was too heavy to let down the throat. He left. I was left to face another so-called 'piece of crap' from Bollywood!
Nevertheless, the depressing note of expectations from a Bollywood movie actually helps sometimes. I could not help finding it good as the movie went on. Finally writing about it now, I feel good I watched it. A nice romantic comedy, though quite off-beat track from the regular lines of the seated Indian tradition and customs.
Both AB and Tabu are accomplished actors. But the movie somehow had something more than good acting, good direction, good story and whatsoever. Neither I am going to write a review for the movie here. What it did was, it made me thoughtful... Talking on a practical note, it does not seem very likely that a 34 year old woman is going to date a 64 year old man! But the beauty lies in the uncanny nature of the relationship: makes me feel Bollywood is stepping ahead of films with the actors and actresses running around trees singing songs!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Technology Tomorrow?

I was talking to a friend the other day about the next generation technologies that our kids are going to see. Interesting as it is, probably the two most interesting fields which are going to see grave accomplishments are the space technology and of course, computer science. But then the obvious question arises: are we going to have a fun trip to a different solar system? Will we be able to find life on a different planet than Earth? Will we be able to build the ultimate intelligent robot? Will we have the perfect intelligent home where we don't have to do anything by ourselves?
Questions like this are beyond doubt, very exciting. Nevertheless, as cliched as it can be, these questions are not something bolt from the blue. They have been around forever and have always been a perrennial source of figurative imagination to us all.
We have climbed novel heights today and so cliched it is to ask a question where we just laugh into thin air that "yeah, there cannot be an ultimate super human-being like intelligent robot..." But can we still answer these questions above?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Identity of a PhD Student...

Last week was probably one of the most interesting weeks since I came to the US! It was more the ‘American way’, and much less the ‘PhD way’. So while these may sound as some weird buzzwords, let me clarify the two. Before that, let us justify the ‘meaning’ of life in the US as to me. Life can be described by two words: work and party. In the two years of my stay, I have not been able to explore other majorly engrossing avenues of passing time than these two! The ‘American way’ means in short, living for partying and for fun. Day starts with party and ends with party again. No big headaches with work, no panic, no tensions with deadlines to meet, just a chill way to lead life. Work is only done to an extent as needed and as and when the necessity arises. It is believe me, extremely alluring! The ‘PhD way’ I am sure you would say, something abnormal; more because people hold the PhD students to be something not earthly! So here comes the ‘PhD way’, of course heading to be judged the same! The ‘PhD way’ means in short, living for work and papers. There is little scope for fun, especially with too many deadlines to meet when you have a few courses to do too. The only fun is the fun at work. Although few of you would agree, but research can actually be fun!

I was mostly leading the latter life, though occasionally the former too, but strictly in the weekends. This week due to an extended deadline for a paper, got to explore the ‘American way’. So partying on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I was very much excited to see how this works. It started off very well, but by Saturday got bored. But the contrast in my thoughts is worth interesting enough to discuss here!

I was sick of the stereotype life. Working on weekdays and then probably sometimes going out on weekends or cooking food at home. That used to be mostly my weekend activities. This weekend was a wonderful break, a much awaited change from a monotonous life! But food for thought: will you like such a life always? Probably no! They say, “You know happiness because you know sorrow…” There it goes…

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Two Slides of the Coin....

I have always been overwhelmed at the inability of certain people to acknowledge other people's accomplishments. Undoubtedly, healthy criticism is important to the progress of any developing society. Nevertheless, I have noticed this excessive tendency of some people to constantly criticize and demean the achievements of others. And surprisingly enough, people do not even let go individuals whom the mankind is so much indebted to all the time. Einstein for example. They say he did not deserve the Nobel Prize since the greater contribution came from people like Planck and all.
This might be true. But Einstein should be acknowledged for what he did. I hate to look at the darker side of the coin as they do. There is a brighter aspect to everything. And experience says that many a times, looking at the jovial side gives us pleasure and makes us optimistic which are extremely essential for having a healthy mental outlook.
Yet, somehow these genre of people derive profuse satisfaction doing so. Or probably some of them love being different. Or may be they like blurting out some kind of a different look out towards something so widely accepted and acknolwedged!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

'Time is the best healer!'

Whenever in the course of time I had been upset, the vigor was down or the days had turned to be too difficult, I have always fallen back to one and only learning that has never proved to be wrong: that, time heals it all. This might sound a bit philosophical, but it is one universal four-word line that fits in all those moments when you feel upset, lonely and insecure with the life and world around you.

Honestly, I have been through this phase time and again. And probably I await one soon. Nevertheless, unlike the other times earlier, this is I am not waiting for the last moment to come; rather, from now itself, I am trying to gear myself up to face the things upfront right away. In short, it is about making an attempt to be ‘bold’ precisely.

I have always been a woman who did not believe in the ingrained customs that women are weak, insecure, helpless and so on. One of my primary things of notice was that I was always strong enough to withstand any situation that come forth. But being bold actually is not just writing a blog on it. It is actually the toughest thing of all. Despite being through this time and again, unfortunately I have not been able to be bold enough to tackle the situation in the best manner. I just hope this time it is changed for good and I happily avert the scope to write a blog like this in the future!

Ironically, the best and worst part of human beings is that they can ‘think’. And along with that, comes the very fact that we happen to remember certain gone-by things in life more than some other things. While some of them give us pleasure and stir ourselves to ecstasy, some others drive us into moods of being unhappy or sometimes depression. And it is at those times that the above four-word liner comes to be really the best teacher, best guide and best ‘healer’. The ‘Yaadein’ lyrics play in my mind and still I try hard to get over the mood recalling that, time is the best healer!

Nagme hain, shikwe hain
Kisse hain, baatein hain 
Baatein bhool jaati hain
Yaadein yaad aati hain
Yeh yaadein kisi dil-o-jaanam ke
Chal jaane ke baad aati hain
Yaadein, yaadein, yaadein
Yeh jeevan dil jaani, dariya ka hai paani
Paani to beh jaaye, baaqi kya reh jaaye
Yaadein, yaadein, yaadein
Duniya mein yun aana, duniya se yun jaana
Aao to le aana, jaao to de jaana
Yaadein, yaadein, yaadein
I have been swinging to and fro like a free pendulum and trying to face life in the best possible way. While I on one hand feel that this is going to be the break point in the swinging of the pendulum, I try to cling to recalling the liner and keep up the faith in the philosophy of life that, Munmun, this is just the beginning!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My Philosophy of Research...

Time immemorial has witnessed that man is not a lone entity. He is continually affected, influenced and maneuvered by the existence of other physical (or virtual) entities around himself. As a result, he develops and enhances his understanding of the world with time: meanings are structured, refined and relinquished or turn into a practice.

I am interested in learning and deciphering these semantics inherent in our daily lives. These are the semantics that emerge from our interactions parallelly with the physical and virtual world. The modern twenty-first century computing today has moved ahead from a parochial outlook of considering the physical and the virtual world as orthogonal entities towards a framework where both can be embedded, situated or visualized transparently as integral part of how, where, when and why our lives are what they are and how they move on.

This presents several grave challenges: the most obvious of which is that, the semantics are now a function of the affect of both the physical and the virtual world. For example, consider my predictions of rain tonight. How do I do that: the weather channel; a friend; whether it rained yesterday, or merely looking at the clouds in the sky? The second issue is that, the traditional computing community has almost disregarded that these semantics can actually be drawn back to some effect from the physical world. To take an example, consider the communication patterns of a person. With our existent knowledge of conventional computing, can we address why I react differently while talking to my mother and while talking to my colleague? I guess we cannot.

My goal is to focus on modeling and analyzing how these semantics which might be called hybrid semantics emerge and evolve in our daily lives and how they can enable the design of better computing systems as well as provide insights to abridging the gap that exists in merging the physical and virtual world. I foresee this might construct a feedback loop through which we might have a better understanding of the semantics of the world around us.

In order to address the two challenges addressed above, as well as to cater towards my goal, we see there is a key construct central to both. That is the context. My predictions of rain tonight are contingent upon my knowledge of whether it rained yesterday (situational context). It is also indirectly dependent on my trust of the friend about weather matters (social context). My communication patterns with my mother and colleague differ because the social relationships differ (social context, again).

I conjecture that an absolute understanding of semantics is not possible unless we have knowledge about the context of the physical and virtual world around us. But addressing context can be complex and at times ambiguous if we rely solely on traditional computing methodologies. We cannot address my trust on my friend unless we know the hidden relationship implicit in our historical interactions. My mother and my colleague are different persons; a fact which is at the core of variability in social semantics at my end.

I, therefore, intend to go beyond these limitations and peripheries of conventional computing. I want to delve into the implications of the sociological ties, exploit the several facets of cognitive implications and perception of entities, as well as explore the confluence of the understanding of the natural sciences and computing. Because, I believe, man is central to any research endeavor, but his ambient surroundings reap the harvest of rendering a clearer understanding of the semantics of the world we see today.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I Think I Am Different: A List Of What Makes It All...

Do you think your friends, your family, your acquiantances should be judged by their believing in, or not believing in the same set of principles you follow or the set of beliefs you have been holding through your life? I am not sure how you think or probably the society at large thinks. Actually this ignorance is a bliss to me. Because I think my beliefs are not biased by the world around me. Life in itself has taught me to think independently and cling to a set of beliefs which I find logical for my life.
As ironical the consequence might be, I now know that many of the things I believe are actually more like a social outcast! Nevertheless, this has never made me being judgmental about people on the grounds whether or not the person before me believes in my set of thoughts. I think as long as the person finds his beliefs to be logical to his life, reflective of his actions and not forcibly affecting to the society, things ought to be relaxed.
I am a very liberal person; but pretty confirm about what I think and believe in. I learn from experience and mould my thoughts. This makes my beliefs and principles pretty simple when I try to reflect them in my actions. Yet, time to time, I judge myself. I look back and see if my actions have been consequences of my beliefs. If yes, I carry it forward. If not, then I mould either my future actions or my set of beliefs.
But I know, each one of us are different. My set of beliefs will not hold for 'n' other persons around me. Probably, not even for my parents. Not for my boyfriend (if any) either. Not to talk of others. I don't therefore like, love or hate people based on this criteria, which answers the question in the first line of the blog.
Some of the examples (not necessarily good or acceptible to you may be) are:
1. I am an atheist. But I will not say, "there is no God". Because I don't have a proof for that. But if I say I don't believe in God, it is because certain intuitions have led me to believe this. And I find this theory reflective in my actions.
2. People say, bad times make us pray to God. If I have not done this ever, it is not because I have not faced any ill-shaped situation. Actually looking at my peers, I think I have more than many. But never looked up to pray: always believed in myself. And it worked!
3. I don't want my partner or spouse to think alike as me. Because I know it is difficult. Probably because my thinking is rare. Probably I am too radical. I think my partner should know to think logically and that should be reflective in his life.
4. I don't look back on the past and panic. I only learn from experiences. I think that has been my biggest mentor and influence in life.
5. I am straight-forward. I speak my mind. If I know my speaking might be a bad shape, I don't.
6. I don't try to put images when I meet people for the first time. I am 'Munmun'. Know me the way I am.
7. I don't recall my life as a set of ill happennings. Rather I always look through and see all the good things that have happenned to me. And so many times, I have seen that even the not-so-good events have been blissful in the course of time!
And the list can go on! I am sure you too have your list of such examples. This is natural! But I think the listing of this kind has helped me judge and rectify myself time to time...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

About Human Computability...

Going back to childhood, and before landing into the "land of opportunities" I always had (or probably was an inherited) pre-conceived notion that, Indians are good at computability. While in history books we used to take pride in our Aryabhattas and Bhaskaracharyas, I never got a scope to explore the notion or cull it into a practically validated fact in reality till today.
Nevertheless, today morning came as a surprise: a proof of this deep-and-old seated notion that even if agreed Indians' computation capability is better, how is it so? How is the degree of that? Or is it something else? Well, I am not a racist or an overtly patriotic individual, but beleive me I was taken aback when I got a 'parametric' view of the difference in computability between the folks from the East and the West!
Somehow, in a class of mine where there are undergraduates too, a topic cropped up: how long did you learn arithmetic tables? Basically the professor was casually asking us, what is the highest number of whose table you had memorized in primary school. He said, "Probably 12, right?" Then someone(one undergraduate) interrupted, "No! more for me! I learnt till 15!" Then there was a big "wow"! I was sitting quiet and smiling to myself. Then I thought, okay, let me give them the shock of their lives. I said, "I learnt till25!"
And then the situation in the class: don't ask me what happenned!
Well, generally, they were telling me later, that even for 13*5 they would use a calculator! I don't know if this degree of technology dependency is good or bad, but I am sure, this is destroying the natural computability of humans. I will not talk of Asia and The West separately. Because I believe, computability is not intelligence: it can be acquired by any. And when they say, they carry a scientific calculator/PDA with them all the time which they specifically use for the four basic mathematical operations: add, subtract, multiply, divide, I can only arrive at two conclusions.
One, this is a direct affect of too much technology dependence which is interfering with people's computational growth. Or the second, am I too out-dated, old-fashioned, obsolete looking at today's undergraduates, despite the fact that I myself was an undergraduate only 2 years ago? The answer is a question to me!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Every Tear Of Mine...

This might sound ironic, but it is true, that tears are the biggest assets of life! They are your strengths when the world turns back to you with a blind eye; they are the sources of placation when the wound in your heart is too deep to be healed ever. I know, my tears are going to stay with me whatever would happen in my life!
I find my tears the sole source of sustenance when I would need my emotions to ventilate, when it becomes rather very difficult to address the unsaid, deliver the unknown and understand the unheard. And probably that is why every tear of mine is very precious to me: though selfish it is to get captivated in the labyrinths of one's own problems, yet, tears are a bliss for which I would be grateful to the Almighty, if He is there. Tears make me heal my woulds, tears vent my feelings, tears show me the way to proceed in life as it comes.
I am not being pessimist, but just wondering how difficult it would be, unless our eyes were wet or our cheeks red. My tears bear all the secrets of my life, my tears though lost, would revert back to me everytime would I be alone in life. If you are upset, you know, you have your tears to stoop by you all the time; should you be lost in the wandering roads of life, you know, for every mistake you do in life, you have at least one tear to take you back to the 'origin' point of life from where you can always dream to return. And when you know, your belief in something has itself belied on you in the course of time, you still know that your tear is never going to belie on you ever!
I know we always talk of tears when we are through the rough times of life: when we see our tear as the lone silent spectator of feeling of loss, isolation or confusion. We cry inside, hide from the world to put a cover to the 'black' in our life. Yet, is not this a wonderful yet astounding yet mystic facet of everyone of us?
This reminds me of the poem by Heather Loughton called 'Silent Tears'.

A thunderous silence
breaks through my thoughts.
What was once many great ideas
is now a triumph, lost.

Baffling words tumble through my mind.
Reflections of darkness hover.
A disturbing peacefulness beckons to me,
and inside myself, I take cover.

What would it be like to stay there forever?
To be lost in all my cares?
From the inside, looking out -
I cry silent tears.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Perfect Or The Survivor of The Fittest?

They have left the mundane Earth in quest of 'nirvana'; they have embraced the humanity at large to benefit the greater interest of 'world peace'; they have clung to their aisle of their own principles to revolutionize their ideologies; and they have disregarded all forces to delcare themselves as the 'architects' of their own destiny. These are the genre of people whom we would label as 'mavericks': the people, who, they say, are the real heroes of the world till date. These are the folks who are counted in the category of 'The Perfect.'
Then we have the genre of folks like you and me: folks who are entangled in the pros and cons, nook and corner, the pettiest intricacies of a commonplace humane life. This genre is probably not perfect, or more commonly, never ever deems towards perfection. We are just so busy with our own little lives. We are born, live to our variegated responsibilties and reach a unheard funeral. And amidst such uneventful lives of ours, we succeed and we fail, we grow and we wither away, we rise and we fall. If not perfect, the only goal we strive for is the goal for a comfortable life. Should we be successful in doing so, we are probably what Darwin had coined eons ago: 'The Survivor of The Fittest.' Not that the Survivor concept is true for our biological evolution, it is equally true for the evolution of the mankind as a whole.
Now, ask you about the biggest irony on Earth? What is an ideal goal? The Perfect? Or The Survivor of The Fittest? Neither me nor you are sure of the right answer. Or, is there really a right answer to it?
Things look blurred and bleak. Nevertheless, what we can declare in black and blue is that The Perfect is probably hardly The Survivor of The Fittest! We are human beings and not Superman! What would sound more logical to a mundanely successful life is therefore, probably, The Survivor of The Fittest and not The Perfect! Somewhere in our lives, always, we reach a point where we have these two roads to pick from. And then we would advise ourselves to stick to our ideologies and strive towards being The Perfect. But is that something we would dictate for a decent living in our little realms? Probably not!
The reason is, experience teaches us to live not for our ideologies, but for a reason to live. And that reason to live makes The Survivor of The Fittest, the winner at the very end. Now what is this reason to live? A reason to live can be as petty and mundane as my pet cat which I want to take care of forever. Or it might be a very small accomplishment as in earning 100 bucks, but, all with the sweat of my brow, day in and day out. To someone the reason might be to live for their loved ones and their kith and kin. But however small it is, it accrues a great shape when we make it 'a reason to live': the secret of strength The Survivor of The Fittest.
I believe, the biggest surge of life has to be, not the quest of the key to perfection, but the quest for a reason to live. Because a reason is the dormant storehouse of inexhaustible energies which would never part our mighty soul. A reason to live is something which would guide us through the labirynths of thick and thin, would enable us come upfront with the reality and make us bold enough to tackle it. Therein lies The Survivor of The Fittest. And the one who would always find a new reason to live, should the earlier one disappear in thin air, is the one whom our Mother Nature would select for a blissful life for ever and ever...

Friday, January 12, 2007

WHY TO LOVE.......?

The blue sky preparing to look azure,
While the rain drop accruing the shape of a pearl,
The running water of the brook sounding all mellifluous,
Every nook and corner ready to echo the love in air!

Nature as though to sing the way heart sways,
And none in the world appearing to respond against,
Impressed is then the impression of a total conquer,
With one and all of Nature ready to become a martyr!
This is the feeling of being in love,
The feeling, which drives the world behind around,

Love is most beautiful a bliss,
Which turns a simple smile into a little kiss,
To brighten up one's own day,
And to let others imbue with all gay.

Love; but not to be the victor of the conquered,
But to see how pretty the world is,
That world which springs up at a mere passionate smile,
That world which dooms itself in darkness,
Should one carry a loveless face's fascimile.