Empty Vessels are filled with Ghosts

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.

There are ghosts all around. One ghost which frequents me is the one that says, “What will people think of you?” as in, “Hey, you are going to eat with your hands?? Oh, the typical Indian that you are! What will people think of you? They will be grossed out and think that you lack the basic table manners!” Yeah, right! Talk of table manners when you are dining in India among a group of 200 people.

Oh, there are other ghosts too. Like this one, which appears every once in a while and says, “Do you really wanna do that now?” as in, “Oh, your boss has asked you to fill out a report about this year’s metrics on procrastination index of employees? Do you really wanna do that now? Come on, it is midday, you just had lunch and it is a perrrfect time for a siesta!” How can ever deny that!

There is another one. It is the law of induction ghost. “If p(x) is true for all x that you have see so far, then p(you) is true too!” This one is inherited from the typical Indian in me. “Oh, Mr. Sharma’s son studied in College ABC and he got placed in company XYZ!! What a lucky man! Son settled and all! Now, my Son will also study in College ABC. He is also a bright student. He’ll also crack it into companies like XYZ, without. any. problem!!”

Mr. Italo Calvino could not have been truer about the line that he said above. The more of the world we see, the more stereotypical we are becoming, and that breeds a lot of ghosts.

Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

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A Small Break

Mind and Body, Heart and Soul.

Sounds like a vaguely familiar ad-song right? Yes it is. But I brought this out because its been a roller coaster ride for me in all the above aspects. I was happy just less than 4 months ago, that the final semester of Engineering is gonna be a leisure period for me. What with only 16 legal hours of classes to attend per week, and the innumerable bunking sessions that threaten to reduce 16 to around 12 (or less,) it was supposed to be a nice and breezy affair.

But what conspired was totally different, except for the attending classes part. In spite of reduced efforts to sit in the four walled large cubicle at almost 21 yrs of age, 4 months turned out to be the most busiest time, exciting nevertheless. Exciting and taxing on all the four fronts I’d mentioned.

Mind and Body went hand in hand throughout the time for the sake of working on the project, its two seminars, another seminar on a technical topic, the literature survey for these and blah blah blah. Come on! I was a newbie to all this! 😛 After around 10 weeks of toil, confusion, survey, study, understanding, trials, errors, smoke, and a small blast, I’m done with my project. The report, however, is yet to be done. U see, its natural to expect this ‘small’ delay from me at the end. 😀

Oh yes! My heart’s been waiting to hog the limelight. There was this junior gal from a different department in my college. She was slim, cute and had sexy hair. Every time she walks, I get confused if she’s putting any effort at all. It  seems that the earth doesn’t want her feet to pain and that it is letting only her to hover in air. 🙂  I asked her out for a date. Poor creature, she was taken totally off guard and she refused after several hundred microseconds of practiced confusion 😀 . My poor Heart was on a roller coaster ride for this small reason.

Amidst all these exciting happenings, what can my bored Soul do? So, its just sitting back and seeing the play going on in my life, like a jobless person in a theatre. Now its intermission, as the project work is over. The second half of this play means a lot to its success. Exams. This movie continues till late  June and u can see a post in my blog if any more generous breaks are offered. 😛

Wish me luck folks. 🙂

7th Semester Nostalgia!

The 7th semester exams have started from today. What better way to pass time between the dozing study-schedules and flipping pages, than to recall and live in the moments enjoyed in college! Here I am, relaxed after giving my first paper for this sem, and tension-free because I’ve 4 more days between today and next paper 😛 . To give a you a one line summary, I’d say that this sem has been the most exciting part of my Life.

To start with, I, along with a handful others, organised a Robotics Workshop in my college, where propaganda, fee collection, enlightening minds, speaking a lot, working a lot too, and conducting the workshop while actually participating in it, will pass down my memory with all glitter, and especially the night when we packed all gadgets and materials into individual packages without sleeping for a second, and working for the whole of next day at the college.

Just after this, it was Internal assessment time. I was summoned by the HOD for having shortage of attendance (49%). I signed some green paper stating I was aware of it and resumed my bunking spree 😀 .

So, wassup next? It was the trip to Chennai! 3 ppl including me, went to IIT, Chennai. Not just to take part in Shaastra ’08 – their tech fest, but to feel what it’d be like, to be an IITian. It was an exhilarating experience. 6 days passed out in a jiffy and Chennai was a fun place to be, except for the scorching heat. ‘Memorable’ would be too small to describe the times we spent roaming around the campus at midnight, dining at a restaurant inside the campus at 2am, and lying on the lawn till the dew on the grass tickled me and drove us away, at 3am.

Sunset at Mahabalipuram beach, midnight ice-cream party, night walk at the Marina beach, dining at ‘Velu Military Hotel’ and ‘Anjappar’ were a glossy set of add-ons to the blessed getaway! All thanks to Pavan’s bro, for accomodating us and more importantly, being there for us. 🙂

Again, Internals time and again the same attendance procedure. But this time, the HOD had done some magic and provided me with a relief. The shortage margin was reduced even if my ass wasn’t there in the class! 😛 .

As if this wasn’t enough, our juniors went on a one day trip and triggerred a rage in me for not being able to do so. This sparked off the aggressive souls in my classmates as well, and what started as a mere jealousy culminated as the longest class trip in the 8yrs of our college history! 😀 . As many of you know already about the trip, I’ll refrain myself from talking further about this, even though I’d love to go through the memories again! (Those who haven’t seen the posts already, you can have a virtual trip yourself. Presenting to you : The Trip Series! 🙂 )

After coming back from the trip, the class was never the same as before. Almost everyone greeted eachother with a lot more glee in their eyes, thereafter. Whatta way to end the semester. The attendance dwindled after that and the last days of partying in the semester continued (for me) till yesterday, before I sat with the books. Signing off for now, feeling sick about the next two weeks – Exam Time! 😦 😉

Artificial Life

I may have cheated you into this article by giving the topic. I have to say that it will not deal with making artificial, life-like organs inside top secret laboratories, but with the frustration arising from social, personal and academic pressures forced upon people struggling to make a beautiful life in future.

We were born free, but then started priorities, with the first of them being made by our parents. These set up a social character by developing a lifestyle. Today these lifestyles restrict the possibilities of exploring life and unfortunately there are prominent phenomenon helping the cause.

By teaching a child, a few rhymes, the alphabet, counting numbers, etc., within the four walls of dimly lit classrooms and few grown-ups interacting with them, a preset of life is being created. These hinder a child’s natural learning ability by experiencing things. Practical learning is not to be seen and by the end of schooling, he finds a set of formulae and a few futile experiments with the equipment as the experience gained in the better part of his learning stage. This underlines the fact that the current educationist methods create closed minds and restricted lifestyles. This continues in the college, graduation and in life.

Here learning takes place only through mugged up notes and indicates your ability to reproduce them in examinations and to happily and comfortably forget them thereafter. Sometime later, you get a scorecard to show how much you have forgotten, instead of showing how much you have learnt. This is happening in local universities, pre-universities, schools and the like. Even as students are provided with learning equipment, well qualified faculty, a disciplined, dynamic and a dedicated leader such as a principal pr a dean, the effort goes into making a set of pre-programmed bots who can hardly find interest in wonderful things in nature. Here the main assets of humanity, such as creativity and imagination are stabbed. This can explain to a certain extent that earlier, discoveries or inventions were accredited to a sole person, or two. Whereas now, a group of individuals combine their reduced abilities and patent their product to a company. This apparently creates human-waste that goes not into sanitation, but into society.

It should be clear enough now, that academic pressures build up in an individual from the tender age itself, much before he starts to make an independent living. The joy in learning things by experimentation is snatched and the heavy competition from similar individuals adds to the pressure, agitating him further.

There are things which can be done only during the age when you have the zeal and the time to do something interesting. These pressures, starting from academic, leading to social and resulting in personal, hinder us from enjoying subtle things in life which form sweet memories and help you stay young at heart forever. And finally when you are seemingly well settled in life with a sloggy job, unhappy family, poor health, unsatisfactory lifestyle, etc., you either are too old to change these things in spite of your hefty bank-balances, or you do not have the brave young heart to flip your life and enjoy the other side.