Monday, December 5, 2011

Crucible of thoughts

Thoughts of loss and achievement,
Hope and despair;
Fear and freedom,
Love and loss.

I know not what I think,
I know not what I fear,
I know not what I want,
As it struggles to come out.

Memories of the past
Interweave with the visions for the future.
A momentary feeling of achievement
Followed by a prolonged hollowness.

Words only pollute it;
Pollute the joyous moments from the past,
Or the painful memories lost
Amidst the desire to carry on.

Only if I could share my thoughts,
Let you in my head.
Only if I could let everyone know,
And bring an end to this pain.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Giving up

All throughout school, and life, we are taught to 'try and try until you succeed'. Failure is not when you don't achieve a goal, but when you stop trying. Some people, like me, are willing to give things 'yet another' shot imagining a world where each attempts gets you closer to the dream; hence, that 'yet another' shot might be the last required. I can't help but quote Thomas Edison,

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they give up

But how correct is it to not give up ? Some are of the opinion of spending a life time on something you consider worth it. But is it appropriate to lose sight of all the other opportunities that might go by you? They say, when one door closes, another opens; but if you are too busy staring at the closed door, trying to find a way to break it down, wouldn't you miss the opened door ? Many a lives have been spent pursuing dreams that are not just 'hard' but impossible. Imagine such a person's life. How many times would he have felt utter despair, all hopes dying, yet he struggled. Somethings, some ideas, might have looked tempting but the pursuit would have led him to no better place.

Or is the success not as important as the pursuit itself ? Can one die satisfied just knowing that he's worked day in and day out pursuing a dream to his fullest potential, but yet couldn't achieve the dream, maybe because what he has dreamed of is impossible ? Or is success the single most important important thing ?

Now consider a case where the more attempts you make, the more you might push the goal away; but there's always that slight possibility of attaining it. Would you still make the attempt ? One way to look at it is that you never had it; hence pushing it away can make it no worse. Another perspective to is to realize that its important to not lose sight of the goal. Pushing it away might make all future attempts go in vain and now you can neither have it nor see it.

What would you do ? 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This is something that I had written earlier this year.

I see the dream drifting away from reach
And there is no one to blame but me.
The path that I walk is not the one that I planned
But, alas, there is no going back.

Still somewhere, deep within, a flame denies to go out.
The same voice that led me here, assures me;
"The paths will meet at least one more time
And offer a chance I deserve."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Waiting for someone to change my mind

How many of you have been in a situation where a part of you wants to stay but you must leave a place. All you want is someone to call out from the back and suggest an alternative or offer you to stay. What do you do ? How long do you wait for someone to call out ? What if no one does ? What if someone does call out but yet the reason/excuse they offer is not convincing to you ?

Now picturize yourself making a very important decision of your life. You have set your mind on something; it is not the convention but it was what you think your heart desires. At the same time, you want someone to come by and show you the mistake you are making. Observe, I don't use the word 'tell' you about the mistake, instead they should be able to convince you. Why is that you can't make up your mind yourself ? Don't you know what you want ? Or is that you want the decision to be in else's hands so that later in life if things go wrong, or you mess up, you can point that indicting finger towards him/her and curse him for the rest of your life ? Is having a fall-back guilty guy more important than doing what might be the most important thing in your life ?

Brain does work in mysterious ways, doesn't it ? In an attempt to avoid guilt (which might never be faced) , one is ready to ruin his life ; life that cannot be lived twice.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond me !

There are times when you want something, have wanted it for quite sometime and have always imagined what it would feel like to finally have it. Then, comes a time, when there's an opportunity ; an opportunity to go out and get it; an opportunity to fulfill your dream. Having learnt from a lot of your mistakes in the past, you overcome your fears and leap forward. As you inch closer, its seems more and more plausible that soon the dream would turn into a reality. But then, out of nowhere, something comes in the way; a barrier, a hindrance. You can't get across it without breaking some rules, principles, hearts. But you want it badly, really badly. If only breaking others' hearts was easier than letting that opportunity slip away ; letting the dream remain as such for quite some time , maybe forever.

Through various experiences in life, I have come to know that somethings are beyond my control. People call it fate, I call it the "cumulative effect of others' activities on my life" . Whatever it is, I HATE IT , most of the times !!! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Addicted !!

Recently, I came across a very generic definition of addiction. According to the definition, a person could be called addicted to an activity if these traits could be associated with it :-

  • The lack of the activity causes stress/discomfort/uneasiness.
  • The activity (especially if done after long) causes the feeling of 'relief'.
Another slightly feeble, but important, trait associated with addiction, is the 'denial' of such a dependence on the activity.

Its easy to deduce from the characteristics above (and a little bit of introspection) that I am addicted to the most popular social networking site of our generation, Facebook. I am sure that none of you needs to click on the link of the site to know where it leads. And I am also sure that if anyone of you clicked it, it'll be a while (or worse, never) before you read this line and the ones that follow.

The same discussion which gave me the above definition also highlighted that each addiction has a cause. So what is causing this 'facebook' addiction for us  ( I say 'us', because I know I am not the only one suffering) ?  Looking from a broader perspective, it is in fact an addiction to the 'internet' as a whole, rather than just Facebook (although, that stands out ).

Introspection tells me that one of the major causes of my addiction to Facebook, is the fact that I don't have very good 'conversation' skills. I prefer the delay in 'chats' over the internet excused by false claims of absence, business or ignorance over the silence that prevails once you run out of topics to discuss in a face-to-face interaction. It might be a lousy excuse, but it surely is a valid one. Besides, Facebook lets me overcome that 'lack' of skill and still stay in touch with friends ( some I haven't met in ages ).  What do you think ? What can be other causes for such an addiction ? If you are addicted to 'anything', what do you think is your excuse ?

Now the question is, if I know that I am addicted and also have a probable cause of the addiction, can I overcome it ? Can you ?  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sensitivity vs Sensibility

Almost six months ago, a simple statement in a chat stirred up a thought that has taught me a lot about myself. Discussing about something with a friend, she somehow said that I was "sensitive". First response was to deny it. It was like an allegation; a sin, that I just couldn't merely accept to have commited.

Then came the realizatiion phase, when I realized that there might be some truth in those words. Although, at first I thought it was just the way she (and maybe others) perceived me and had nothing to do with the 'real' me. But then came a fear. What if it were true ?

Some, at this point, some would wonder " why the fear ? " So did I. On the one hand, I knew that the friend had said that in good-will, meaning no insult or harm, but I could see it as nothing but a finger pointed at a weakness; a characteristic which meant my defences were low.

Why 'weakness'? Emotions have a huge affect on any person; and the 'sensitive' ones are even more vulnerable. Among these emotions, the one that I have come to fear the most is that of 'guilt'. It is one of the most powerful tools to ruin a man's life. It can make one insane. For the lack of examples from my own life, I relate to a great director's work. Christopher Nolan's movie "The Memento" is nothing but an example, as how a man is ready to lead himself to a life full of confusion and a false hope and target instead of realizing the truth that he himself caused the death of his wife. A similar idea is observed in the movie 'Shutter Island'.

Those two examples might not seem apt as they are both fictional and also revolve around extreme guilt (after all its about killing fellow human). But I wish to potray the power of 'guilt' from these examples. Having been a victim of this 'utterly powerful' emotion, I have to come fear it, and 'respect' it at the same time. At times, I realize that my actions are driven by the need to 'avoid' guilt at a later stage in life.

Coming back to how being sensitive could be weakness; it is quite possible in this 'wild world' that people (whom I call the wolves) realize these 'sensitive wounds' and exploit us. Another reason for fearing this 'trait' is that someone might unintentionally say or do something that might have lasting impact on you. These emotions turn out to be 'consuming'. These emotions can, in simple words, make you incapable of thinking logically and not just take a lot of time, but also worsen the situation by 'over-thinking'.

The one thing I fear the most is to develop, what I call it as, 'the fear of attachment' (maybe a milder version of this is what I have in mind ) . To this date, I have come to realize that nothing inspires more than the 'attachment'; be it with a person ; or an inanimate object (like my laptop ;-) ). This attachment, oftenly translated to love, has inspired many before us and will continue to do so. This feeling makes people strive for something. Now, 'the fear of attachment' is the term I use for the fear of creating such an attachment because of instances in the past. A person may suffer and may fear to be attached to anyone or anything if he has been betrayed, let down, denied by someone he was attached to. And if I am 'sensitive', then I am vulnerable to this.

Now, some might thoughtlessly say that a solution to this would be to be 'emotionless' and 'insensitive'. Not considering the effort in making such a transition, I would not want to be on that side of the fence either. Emotional response to 'anything' make it real. For example, success won't be as important or effective if we could not be 'exhilarated' by achieving it; failure wouldn't be feared if it doesn't cause me the pain. If there's nothing that makes me 'feel' happier, there would be nothing I'd do to obtain it. Life would be dull and boring, and ironically, I won't even know it is.

PS : Now some posts (like "Accept or Deny") would make more sense. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Second Anniversary

Its something about this 'date' that just doesn't let me let it go without a blog-post. It is second the anniversary of IIT-JEE'09, the version of IIT-JEE that I'm familiar with; the one that I relate to; the one that I call My JEE.

Anyways, this post is not about the exam nor is it about the preparation or the value gained out of it. That is what was done last year. Now, the 'date' enforces up on me retrospection of what has happened in the last year;  not the year that ended on 31st December 2010, but the year marked in my life by this very day, 12th April. Today, one ends and a new one begins; and it is only customary to look at the year gone by, cherish the joyful moments and learn from those which brought tears.

The year has been a very dramatic one. Things have been learnt in unforeseen ways; in ways I could never imagine. Starting with my involvement in Techniche, which benefited me in more ways than I could have thought of; opening in front of me the world of the Free and/or Open Source Softwares (FOSS), getting me closer to computers and helping me know more about myself and those around me. Next, a difficult experience, was the experience of loss(es); loss in terms of 'a friend', 'a life' and 'a relationship'; losses that cannot be reverted, mistakes that cannot be corrected and their impact that cannot be forgotten.

In hindsight, these very things have taught me a lot about my own personality, my expectations out of life and out of people around me. I've learnt the hard way, that life might not be as long as we think, so make the most of it. This idea, itself, has brought about over a dozen changes in me. My attitudinal shift has left me a little more capable of observing those around and learning more about the intriguing human brain. I've learnt to accept various ideas and thoughts, not adopt but accept them as something 'understandable'.

In short, I feel far more mature and experienced than I was last year, and that is the way it should be. Progressing towards a better understanding of the humans and using the same knowledge to protect personal goals and help the society has 'now' become a priority. I use the word protect because this year has brought in front of me my vulnerabilities and weaknesses; somethings that I need to keep away from those who would intentionally (or unintentionally) try to dissuade me from my path.

I guess that is enough retrospection for now.
Happy 'IIT-JEE-09' anniversary to all. Happy New Year.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stranger to a Friend

Life and friends; both are incomplete without each other. I have written about friends earlier, here and here, and I'm sure that will be the topic of discussion in many more posts to come. I owe a lot to my friends and I really can't imagine a life without them. But at the same time, I'm intrigued by the realisation that each one of them was once just another stranger to me and now, life without them, is unimaginable

The beginning of a friendship is something that always amazes me. It could be something as inconspicuous as ending up as room-mates or as neighbours; ending up as lab-partners; studying in the same class. It could begin at a discussion about common interests, common problems, "GIRLS" (yes,both boys and girls talk about 'girls' in different perspective though ;-) ) or even 'parents' . The possibilities are limitless.

And before you know it, the person you had just met, is now an integral part of your life. The same people whom you were shy/scared to talk to are now the people who know most about you; the same people whom you'd call by name, are now referred to by a variety of nick-names ( and the real name is even forgotten ); the same people you won't cry in front of, have already helped you through your worst times; the same people you called 'silent' are the one's that talk to you the most; the same people you cribbed about to your 'parents' or old-friends, are the one's you choose over parents to discuss a problem at hand.

All these words come out of mere retrospection of how I met my great friends, but I am sure there are many things about this 'unique' relation that I have missed out here. Feel free to share them with me ( in other words .. leave a comment .. ;-) )

Friday, March 4, 2011

Technology makes me lazy

My last post was about laziness and it was after posting it that I started realising how laziness affects each and every aspect of my life. It makes me who I am and makes the way I am. Some may like it, some may not. In fact, it explains my infatuation for computers and programs. I had once read an interesting quote
World's best programmers are lazy
And programming being a skill I'd like to excel at, the lazier I get, the happier I feel. (Recently, a similar lazy attitude led me to write an elegant script that has been documented here ).

Technology and laziness go hand in hand, in fact as explained in the last post, its a cycle. Laziness inspires some technological breakthrough and the use of such things leads to a further lazy life. My friend, in his blog, explores how we are so depended on technology. He goes on to question the future of such a dependence, bring into light the biggest fears of mankind with respect to the technological boom, control by machines.

Many before us have pondered over this reaching a variety of conclusions. Some deduce that such a scenario would never arise, some make references to science-fiction movies like Matrix to show how it might not be just a possibility.

But are we not 'already' controlled by machines? Be it the alarm clock, the i-pod, the laptop, the air-conditioner, the motor-vehicles or the cell-phone. Right from the moment we get up to the moment we get back to sleep, we constantly interact with different forms of technology. Now the real question; can we live without them?

Imagine your life without any 'one' of the things that you own and value. Do you think it would be the same? So, aren't we already under the control of the 'army of gadgets'? If one thing breaks down, our life comes to a halt. Now, if we were to assume that the gadgets were little more intelligent, can't we conclude that they do it on purpose ? This reminds me of the Murphy's law
If anything can go wrong, it will
Coming back to the real scenario, it would be worth considering our dependence on technology around us.Imagine a day without your favourite tools and gadgets around you, and share with us how it would be?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why we can(not) change the world ?

All of us have had those sudden ideas that could revolutionize how we live; could significantly change how we live, but how many of us have actually got a head start on that idea.

Every morning I (and I'm sure many of the readers) plan to get up 3 hours prior to their first appointment, hoping to get done with a lot of pending tasks and give the day a great start. But everyday, I hit the snooze button until its just 5 minutes to the first thing that I must do; long story short, laziness and procrastination prevent me from becoming the NEXT BIG THING in this universe.

But isn't that true for everyone or for that matter, isn't 'laziness' the cause of half the problems of the world we live in? Disagree? Lets take some examples. Each one of us would like to save water, coal, electricity and what not, but what prevents us? Laziness; laziness to get up and switch off the lights; laziness to turn off the tap that is flowing gallons of water; laziness to walk to the market instead of driving till there. And these are just the most conspicuous effects of the greatest possible sin of mankind. Think of that assignment you have been procrastinating for weeks or the backlog on the mails or that cooking class we all intend to join or that exercise schedule that you postpone by one day 'each' morning. Some call it lack of will, I call it laziness; and I doubt there's much of a difference between the two.

But lets not deny the virtues of 'laziness'. This can be aptly summarized by the following quote
All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.
The above words by Mark Kennedy explain why its not all that bad to be lazy at times. Also, in the words of the famous author Agatha Christie
I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble.
So after all, laziness is like a double-edged sword, the moment you lose control over it, you risk your own life. And that is as true as it gets.

So with that lesson learnt, go grab a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer) and then lets get cracking. Talking about procrastination won't help (neither you nor me), so I thought I could share some links that might help to counter it : -
PS : This post itself came out after a lot of procrastination; and finally it was idleness (or avoiding other more important tasks on the to-do list) that got me working on this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A computer as my brain !!!

All through my life, I've understood brain as nothing more than a 'super-duper' computer. But as things happen and life gets more complicated, the 'basic' understanding seems so wrong.

How I wish the brain was a computer? Why do I think so, following are the reasons :-

1. It would be possible to 'clearly' enunciate all the thoughts in the mind (in technical jargon, all the processes running) and pick out the ones you would like to eliminate.
2. Your brain would be rendered incapable of playing tricks on your while you were sleeping by introducing thoughts and ideas that only use the 'processor' power and yield no outcome at all.
3. There would be an option to 'erase' memories; you could erase that you dislike or that cause a conflict with other 'memories' and thoughts.
4. Thoughts/memories once erased need not POP-UP and it would be impossible to relate to something you don't want, no matter how much one forces you to.
5. One could achieve a more 'emotionless' state and not get attached to every other thing or person in this life, making things so much more simpler and making life all about survival WITHOUT PURPOSE.
6. One would feel no pain, physical or psychological.
7. It would be easier for anyone else to look into a person and understand his state, and hence would resolve a lot of communication gaps.

Well, most of the 'advantages' listed above could easily be overpowered by something like a virus, but here I'm talking about more secure systems, preferably GNU/Linux based systems. ;-)
In any case, such a situation is entirely a DREAM, which itself is a concept of the mind, and would be absent from something that resembles a computer. Dream, a concept which can be as lethal as it is beautiful.

As can be seen in the small discussion above, this brain of mine just doesn't know what it wants and that is the 'worst' and the 'best' part of this exceptional piece of work. What do you guys think would be the advantages or disadvantages of having a computer instead of a brain ?


Each night I go to bed cursing you;
But wake up in the morning with hopes anew,
With desire and expectations of seeing you.
However, I end the day feeling ignored by you.

I'vent said anything, and neither have you
But I've always thought that there was no need to
Now, I've but one thing to say
" Please leave me alone and find another heart to stay. "

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Accept or Deny ?

Denial is one of the most common responses of human to prevent himself from facing or accepting a harsh truth. It allows the person to accept what he wants and live life accordingly and make appropriate changes to his ideology. Escaping from reality is something that humans try often; some succeed, some don't. 

Is that what I'm doing? Denying ; denying that I'm falling into it; denying that I can't keep her outside my head. Am I trying to escape confessing the truth; the truth that I too can be shaken by someone, shaken to the core, shaken and left to ask for more. Am I 'running away' and more importantly, 'can' I run away from this?

When someONE demands more space in your head but part of you wants to deny the mere existence of such an idea, you are headed into a war; a war not fought with guns or swords, but with tools more powerful; tools that can render the brain temporarily useless. But surprisingly, whichever side wins, YOU, and no one else, are the loser. 

So, denial or acceptance, which shall it be then ?