Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Short Piece: Mom I love Science!

There’s this kid, who has just returned home from school. His eyes show the excitement of what he has learnt today. He throws off his bag and rushes to his mother. “Mom! I can’t wait it to be night! I want to watch the twinkling stars and the round, big as football- planets!” Mom laughs, flipping the omlette she was making. “Oh dear, nights come every day, you are not going to miss the stars anyway! Come on now, have your lunch.” His smile broadens as his mother looks at him and does the same. He eagerly waits for the night that day.
That night he watched the stars, glittering. His eyes showed the reflection. As he grew big, he had become a frequent star-gazer. He loved physics; relativity, about which he had read somewhere. He wondered what filled that empty space up there in the sky. One day, he was with his mother. He couldn’t hold up to himself what he had read in a book. “Mom, do you know what this book says?” His voice was clearly showing the amount of attention he demanded for. “If we travel at a speed near to that of light, time will slow down for us!” His complete body showed how amazing it was for him. “OMG! That’s unbelievable! Mom I love science!”  His mother had been listening to him throughout and smiled and startled at times. He was very happy. The long held words had come out that day.
Later, he overheard his mom telling his dad, “Our son loves science, space and stuff like that, he says.” “Oh! I knew it very well! I believe he’ll opt for science after his class 10!”, his dad replied.  It was a shocking but awesome news for him. All life he was going to study physics, science; most importantly the stuff he loved. Time had slowed down for him that day.
Do I remind you, by this, of something which you experienced in the past? If yes, then you would clearly know what the future would have been. Look at yourself! Did you ever tell your parents you love science? What did you actually love? Physics? Or chemistry in certain? In India, it’s a general concept that if you love science, and hate biology, you ought to do engineering. So there are many among us who didn’t want to be engineers but fell prey to this tradition of our country. A few lines by an IISER graduate:
“Life after Death. Our degree is still hanging in balance. We are not sure when we will have our convocation… Before you join IISER, I would suggest you to think hundred times (not twice), as there isn’t money in this field, and you have to do a PhD later, so another 10 years of efforts after your 12th standard.”
This shows how bad the condition of research and pure sciences sector in India is. I feel jealous when I watch Dr. Sheldon Cooper. He’s a physicist. Why can’t a person in India be a successful physicist and still be a respected person in the society? (Sheldon’s not the example here) Our tradition. That boy loved science. He meant physics. But science here is usually engineering. Why don’t we get to do things which we love? I remember my math teacher scolding us, “Do you even know that parents in the US stop giving funds to their children right from the age of 14! And you idiots! Come to an engineering college and spend life enjoying!” Oh sir, I wanted to reply there and then, do we have an education system like they do? Do we encourage what actually a child loves? We expect our child to follow the same ‘path to success’, which has been opted by infinite in the past. We fail to try something new, and the environment prevents us from doing that.
What we need is open mindedness. Why does India lack in research or innovation? Why don’t we have superfast computers that can even compete with other s in the world? We only produce skilled workers. Pure science requires support in our country. We, at least must try not to suppress anyone who likes science. And the generality about science being engineering must be erased. Engineering is science, but not the vice versa. The boy, who dreamed of space, stars, should continue exploring! At last it was what he really loved…Peace.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In the State of the People..

I had been to UAE for almost a month. The best thing about the country is that you get to enjoy almost all democratic leisure, which is basically required, and still remain ‘peacefully’. The climate is very hot, but you rarely get time to face it. Your homes have air conditioners pre-installed. When you have to move out you either book a taxi or go by bus. Both of them have ACs or coolers. When you enter a shop, where the taxi drops you, it is air conditioned. Buy stuff, hire a taxi and back home! The sun only get’s a chance to burn you when you get out of your house for a taxi. Maybe that’s why it burns even more. o.O.Well, everything’s good for you to have a peaceful life there. But one crucial thing hurts. Everything’s very peaceful. Silent. You miss the liveliness of India. And I missed it!

When I first entered India, I loved the noise of horns, vehicles, traffic! We always criticize traffic jams and noise on roads. But I loved it them. It was steaming hot and the ‘taxi’ I booked was a yellow-black Omni. No AC but a small fan on the front deck. In UAE, you hesitate to open the window, the ‘AC effect' might die off. I had my window wide open in the Omni, one arm on the side. It even got tanned. But I loved the feel. Even when the humidity around was trying hard not to evaporate my sweat, I let it flow free. I hadn’t sweat for a month! Back home, there was no electricity. But I had FM which did not play all belly-dance-seeming songs. In the evening, I switched on my TV. I had missed it! News. And I saw this. It just came in as a blue screen error in pc. All crashed. ‘A new hardware or software change might have caused the says…

Democracy surprises me most of the time. One day, during a debate with my friend, I went on claiming the advantages of democracy. And he of monarchy. He had a stupid idea of killing everyone who commits a crime. I was always speaking of it being illogical. But now UAE was a live example. The punishment there is very strict. Now I have no point against him! Only the aggression which comes to our mind, when we think of killing people, never comes while living there! Why? Because crimes have reduced in number! In India, our constitution gives equal rights to the ‘accused’. The person has the right to plead for guilty. Okay, coming to the point. Democracy is very open to say. Very open.

“Two girls were gang-raped and left hanging from a tree, dead.” The news flashed. The happiness of returning to India became hazy. (Well I had my personal reasons to be happy.) The situation was still the same. The incident which occurred two years back in Delhi had moved the country. Huge protests and uprisings were seen during the period. Seemed like the ‘warranty period’ of noble thoughts had finished. Rather therenewal had expired. I feel helpless sometimes, watching around what is happening. What goes on in the minds of people?! So much of desperation? By the way, it won’t be wrong to say that we all are rapists. Just because we have a society to live in and ‘relationships’ to maintain, we fear. Respect towards an individual is rare. It’s just the gratitude; external very often. And there is no use in talking psychology. Humans made psychology to study themselves. Sorry, it should be said with ‘WE’.

What good has democracy done for India. A question? What has it?! It saved India from going into some wrong hands at the time of Independence. It brought up people, out of atrocities, made equality a fundamental right. Democracy, it is a path of struggles, but a travel bearing sweet fruits. We have failed to attain this. Frankly speaking, India has failed to implement the model of democracy. People, we, so much think of ourselvesthat nothing is left for the country! And thanks to these anti-social elements! Their anti-social acts encourage societies to be together. Only then people realize how much wrong is going onaround in the country. In schools, we are ‘taught’ social science, made to mug up fundamental rights and duties! What do you think, teachers, mugging up and bringing top results for the schools was the reason educationists like Maulana Abul KalamAzad, RadhakrishnanTilak fight for India?! So much of irony that we teach about equality, and then come home, watch some terrorism news and say, “Ye log aise hi hote he. Ye dharmhamesha aakrosh aur hinsa paida karta he!” A few days back, I read about some disturbing posts on Facebook which led to violent reactions in Pune. The posts were really disturbing, and action was required to be taken. But some group men came out on the streets and attacked the buses?! What the fuck? What did the poor buses have to do with the post? They aren’t even humans to be on Facebook.

The anger isn’t only on the protestors, but the culprit too. I don’t know how did he generate such high level of hatred towards a religion, but I knew he was wavered. Maniac. Or controlled. We, responsible people, should act accordingly right? If we go on doing things similar to such people, we would require others to control us! And then the real matter goes to hell! I don’t know what people find in creating an issue. It is a tendency to get famous. Becoming famous has only one reason in India, votes. If you are famous among people then you have their votes, and eventually you have the power. People, yes you, are too gullible. We prevent thinking before following an idea or an opinion. We follow the flock! And these people in greed of power, if have an additional capability to influence, then only Barack Obama can stop them from getting into power, I don’t know how. This problem of the Indian community has led to several problems. "My son will do Engineering! Yay!! Mine too! Here’s mine take him too! Delhi gang-rape was bad! We must have stricter laws and regulations! Girls aren’t safe anymore!."...........Guys, laws will only punish the criminal, or in some case prevent him/her from doing such crimes. What about the crime! They still tend to happen! Why? Because we are stupid! Our life is like twitter! Thoughts come to us like the tweets and there’s a ‘trending list’.Which keeps on updating regularly. We forget the importance of severe matters and just pull down the page to refresh…

Now, I bet half of the Indian population does not come into the ‘flock’ I talked about! Yeah, it doesn’t. It’s nothing to be proud of. It is only because half of us simply don’t care! We neitherknow about the sheep nor about the flock! We are the lonely lions, leading our own life. Take up any student from class 11 or 12. Let him be a topper or one who performs exceptionally well in competitive exams. Does he even care about what is happening around? He might. But what would he choose, a practice test or election results? A dilemma. Talk to people who are striving hard throughout their college life just for a job outside India. In the US or Europe. I have no offence against you guys. But please, think a bit about the country too. Has living a good, luxurious life overtaken the feeling of national devotion? Way back! A very simple answer.

You might think about the relation between the gang-rapes and people flying to the US. It’s all about not thinking about the social environment, it’s all about selfishness, greed! The only difference being that those flying away think only about themselves being on the top, while the other want all to be under them.

Know about what reaction Mr. Chief Minister of UP gave? When asked by media about the incident, he replied, “You look after yourself, we’ll take care of the state. At least you are safe now!” Really? This was all, rather only this was what you had to say Mr. Akhilesh? The people made you the CM with hopes that you would complete the promise you gave, ‘After 6 months of leadership, UP will be free of crimes’. Huh, the irony. And still the golden words come out, “We are trying our best to improve the condition”. Don’t you think people you believed so much in him? Smart gullible we. These leaders have so much fun due to this specialty we possess! Guys, wake up.

Even after 2 years post the Delhi incident, if te situation is still the same, waste were those candle marches, those protests, those angry faces, those posts, which were against the rape. Democracy is funny. It gives you gifts about which you never know! Relish these gift people! Only then you can proudly vote, only then you would have deserving names on the voting machine, oly then these rapes and incidents like these would stop. Know yourself first, because those in power are very hazy, you can be used anyway for their benefits. Realise the power of democracy! Realise the fun of it, you would start living the life of a real Indian then. Scoring high marks, getting a highly paid job, was never the aim of our educational system, neither was rave parties, or these rapes. The most sarcastic thing here is that the highly ‘educated’ leave the place, and the most lowly, come into the power. Huh, educated people. Decide yourself, what education is, what living in a democracy is, the rapes might not stop, but you would get ready to fight against them for sure. Our country is of the people, neither can a king rule it nor it can ever be ruled by someone; it lives because of it's people, us. Refresh yourself, the country would be refreshed then..

Monday, June 10, 2013

Realisation vs Imposition

It was evening time. The family sat together having tea, the kids- milk. It was rare that they all met at one place. Father remained out for work regularly, mom taught Senior Secondary students at a private school. The elder of the children was Roshni, in her 20s. Rohan, the younger one, was twelve years old. The television was on, a reality show being broadcasted. The father was happy; he was spending leisure time with his family after almost 3 months. Lately he had been to West Bengal to visit a factory there. He had audited thousands of companies before and was an expert in the work. Now he was on a long holiday, so there wasn’t any hurry and thus a lot of time for the family. He was worried that his children did not lose critical parental teachings. Both parents remaining out of home, he had always thought of the kids.  That day he smiled within, watching his children happy.

Mother had a similar concern. She had been teaching at school for seven years now. Children grew up into adults within two years, but she hadn’t got the chance to watch her own going through that phase. Rohan was yet young, but Roshni, she had successfully crossed the transition, she thought. That day she was joyfull, seeing the family together. Sipping the tea, she asked Roshni, “So when’s the next Sem Exams?” Roshni, who hadn’t yet left milk when others of her age had hopped on to vodkas and beer, gestured that they were in the next month. It wasn’t that Roshni was not modern or dynamic, she was very much both. But she had been very careful about addictions. None knew whether it was the independence she had, which she respected a lot, or the nerve-bending story of her uncle, who had died of drugs. Difficult story it was. For now, the story had been off their minds, the grief had gone.

The advertisements were taking a lot of time now. Father lost his patience. He tuned into another channel. News. This was yet another thing he had missed since his appointment as an auditor. Yes, mobile phones gave an alternative, but the excitement and spicy nature of television news kept it a step behind, for the father at least. The breaking news then was of the popular IPL Spot Fixing. One small incident had led to huge secrets being unearthed. Many big names were now being linked to the fixings. The father finished his tea; mother was already into the kitchen. He picked up the mugs, dishes and moved to the kitchen. Roshni had got a phone call and was in the balcony with her coffee. It was beautiful out there in the balcony with cool breeze. Rohan, as usual was still with his mug full of milk, staring at the yelling news reporter. Tea time was over.

The father was done with arranging dishes in the rack, one more pleasure he had missed for long, with his wife. They both had made up a very good couple and the marriage was very successful. He moved out of the kitchen to remind Rohan to empty his cup faster or else he would remain glued to the television. But he knew he had left the news on, nothing interesting for the little Rohan. He entered the living room and to his surprise or shock, the news had changed. IPL Spot Fixing was done and news, rather an awareness program was being shown, one which made the Father feel awkward. The line flashed in red on white- ‘Should Porn be Banned in India?’ He remained frozen between the little space which joined the kitchen and the living room. His mind stuck between yet smaller one. What should he do now, was the only question moving in his mind. Rohan continued watching the show, sipping his milk.

The situation was ‘critical’. Dilemma; a huge one for the father. Several thoughts were now brushing past his mind. He had two options: either he could call Rohan and ask him to finish the milk faster and switch off the TV, pretending there was so much work to do, or he could ask him, talk to him about the thing he was watching. The first one was easy enough, he could just walk past Rohan to the switch board and turn off the TV, and tell him to hurry up and that he had his homework to do. Topic finished! The second option was much more difficult. He had to gather courage and sit beside his son and tell him what he was watching about. He had ‘feared’ that this situation would come sometime for him, but he hadn’t prepared for it. How would he face it, he had either driven the thought off or had thought of how to drive away the situation. While he was stuck in the little space, the mother entered. Same reaction. She tapped her husband on the shoulder, and in the language of the eyes, asked him to do something. He was too involved into doubts that nothing came to his mind but just one word to his vocals; “Rohan!” It was a strange call in terms of the pitch and tone. Never had he called him like that. Actually he hadn’t this time too, it had just come out. Rohan turned to his dad, expecting him to say something more. Surely, he knew nothing about the ‘word’. Or else he would have jumped out of surprise knowing his dad had been watching (something which wasn’t wrong). Father knew nothing ahead. He walked towards him and asked whether the mug was empty. Rohan, like any other child, gave a witty smile and stuck his mug to his mouth pretending to drink the milk. His cuteness hit the father really hard. How more can anyone be innocent? He was worrying worthlessly. It was rare; children getting to know about porn through things which were meant to stop it. But rare did happen that day.

The situation hadn’t passed yet. The father had sat beside Rohan, the TV remote now meters away from him. He sat watching helplessly. Atlast he decided to take up a step. Words blurted out of mouth, “So do you know what you are watching about?” Rohan looked up at him and nodded in refusal. “Dad what is P-O-R-N?”, he could not pronounce the word. Father took a pause, organized his words and said, “Son, you know how a lotus grows?” It was a strange reply. Rohan gathered interest now, as his dad had replied indirectly. “No! How does it dad?”, he asked. “It’s very interesting fact, you know! Lotus is a beautiful flower, but it only grows in mud. If you lift a pink beautiful lotus, you’ll find a huge muddy net of its roots. It’s natural miracle that such a beautiful flower grows out of mud and turmoil.” Rohan stared at his father; the real explanation was yet to come. “So now consider a person who lives underwater, okay? And another one living above it. What will the man underwater see when he looks at the lotus?” “Roots, mud!”, Rohan exclaimed. “Perfect!”, the father smiled. “And what would the man looking from above? What would he see?”  “The flower! Pink!” “Yes, you are right again my boy! So now if the man living underwater remains there for long time, he’ll have a permanent notion about the flower, rather the thing he sees, that it is muddy, tangled. On the contrast, the man above will have a beautiful impression of lotus!” “Hmm”, Rohan was so much into listening that only this came out. “So why did I tell you this? Because, P-O-R-N, ‘porn’, is a thing visible to us when we see a ‘lotus’ from below, the mud, the dirt. And what is the lotus here? Love, intimacy, relations, human reproduction.” “Human reproduction?” “Yes. You’ll soon have a chapter in science on it. Come to me when your teacher starts it.” Rohan nodded. “It’s all about how you see it, my son. Look from the above, you find beautiful things such as love, and look from the below, you find this dirt.” Rohan had understood it well what his father had been telling. Mother smiled, who had been constantly watching the episode. A child was saved from being introduced to sex through porn.

It’s common now that children aged 11-12 years are being introduced to sex and sexual matters through media like porn. This medium is not only creating a bad impression of a beautiful thing, but also inviting an addiction. What we need is a good conversation. The awkwardness in discussing sexual matters must be removed, and charity always begins at home. Curiosity is the biggest teacher, both in a positive and negative way. If Rohan would have been imposed upon that porn was bad, a curious mind would have surely led him to find a way to it. That’s the difference between imposition and realization. If rapes and sexual harassments have to be stopped, such crucial steps must be taken. So stopping major social problems is into our hands, open up your mind and save the world or shut it up and help it rot.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Brain sticks down, when Heart flies in the Air

They nurtured, taught me the right values,
Made me a man out of a boy,
Rose up high, out of the shallows
Of deep down-trodden scum.
Thoughts were carved on the mind so bold,
Now when heart tries to fly,
Brain sticks down, still old…

Books said these were the best of all,
The morals you learn will save you from a fall,
Stepping out into this very real world,
Shy are the books, for every single word.

My mind’s engaged in sorting out things,
Brain-- still way within,
Yet the heart feels no worry in moving ahead,
Ideals are bondage to it,
And all that’s already said.

The Delhi case; the prime reason.
Heart: enraged, mind: conscious and the Brain stubborn.
Blood was pumped to redden my face,
My heart strongly showed signs of its increased pace
Books, ranks, and money after all
Were flashed by the brain to give the heart a stall!

So much confused are we,
Talk of idealness when we lack real.
Sitting in a train, watching people flow,
Looking how busy could life be,
Contrast to the reel life show,
Mind takes a philosophical stance
Packs up the heart’s rage and the brain’s wants,
Like a tooth-fairy it picks up wrong,
Leaves in return a healed wound;
The scar wouldn’t last long...

Your mind matters...

Face whitens, not of death.
Wants diminish, not the passion.
The reason requires conscience,
Rather than anger,
‘Ideals in a real world’… can’t be stranger!
Reach out for the perfect, while living through the real,
Heart would fly up, and brain stick down,
Situations may grab you, confuse you,
Yet… the Brilliant Mind would never let you down…