Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ageless Mind

When I met my schoolmates during third week of June it was beginning of monsoon in 2011. This meeting was after 10 long years. We had been longing for this moment since years. When all of them shot their first look on each one of us, everyone was quite observant on each other's features. Most of them said to each other "Look at you! What has become of you! My God! You have changed completely! I couldn't recognize at first! How could you change so much?"

Of course there were few of my friends, including me ;), who didn't seem to have changed considerably by looks. So, despite some trivial changes, some guys said, "You haven't changed a bit! You are still the same as I saw you 10 years ago back in school!" But no one can deny the fact that people can't change at all. It is just the face that remains as the identity of a person.

Look at the other side of this subject. You have brothers and sisters. You grow along with them. Even after some years, when people say that your brother or sister has changed, you don't agree at once! Because you have seen them grow all along with you. Their images get updated everyday in your mind as you have been seeing them till date since your birth. So, you hardly notice any change in them. You will realize the truth only when you look back to see those old family albums or old family videos you made during family gatherings, parties, etc.

Before I met my schoolmates, my mind had images of them which were 10 years old. And now, suddenly when I saw them, my mind was reluctant to accept current images of my friends. It accepted only couple of minutes later during which it analysed their new or updated features - his nose is elongated, her eyes are geared with specs, she was apparently taller, but she is now short, he has put on weight, he also has a double chin now, etc and updates its photo store.

All humans have ageless minds. If you update your mind regularly, its well and good. You say that everything is going fine and you are moving on nicely. But, when you meet your friends or anyone who was close to you, after a long time, you notice that there is something out of the ordinary, because you want to see them the same way as they were long ago! Yes, it sounds very funny but I think it is the bare fact. Just imagine when you don't meet your old friends at all or when you don't think about them, there will be some kind of twitching in your mind saying "Nothing much or major has changed." Mind is a constant learner. It always wants put new things into itself. I think it is very young to learn many things; and how does it learn? By means of our five senses and by thought processes involved in experiences of our day-to-day lives!

I understand that I should have described how happy I was when I met my friends, the nostalgic moments cherished; funny instances, quarrels, punishments for behaving badly or for not doing homework, gossip about teachers, etc. All these priceless moments are to be experienced at that very moment and are to be remembered forever. If I start writing, I suppose there will never be an end if I elaborate these memorable things. Moreover, we spent the entire day enjoying ourselves. So, it does not qualify to be a blog post which describes everything about that very special day.

Dedicated to all my schoolmates
Class of  2001
MR Sakhare English Medium School, Hubli

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Switching Languages

Well, it's not the first time to happen to me, but many times. I feel it is very strange. Sometimes, I also feel that people are strange. I don't really have an answer for this. But, I am never concerned about it. I just accept it as a joke on my part :)

First time it happened to me in my college during my first year of engineering. It was a mechanical lab session where all the students where are asked to solder some pieces metal together in order to form a required shape. I went to the lab assistant asking for more pieces of lead. You know, we had to melt those pieces, using a soldering gun, on the joints. I said, "Sir, box khaali aagide, Lead pieces illa. Nanage innu swalpa beku." in Kannada (The box is empty. There are no Lead pieces. I need some more). He stared at me with a great surprise. His eyes were bigger than they were. Now, I was surprised to see him taken aback wondering what made him to be surprised. I knew something went wrong. But what was it? He cleared his throat and finally he said "Hmm, tum  ek-do minute ke liye wait karo, mein leke aatha hoon." in Hindi (Wait for couple of minutes, I'll get them). This time, I was surprised to see him reply in a different language. I was about to say "OK sir, thank you" in Hindi when I started stammering because my tongue finds its difficult to switch languages quickly. I managed to say "", then tried very hard to stop talking and  managed to mute my voice. Later, I kept wondering - I think he understands Kannada, but he is unable to speak it or did he think I didn't know Kannada? What makes him think so? After a short while, I thought latter was true when he was talking to his colleagues in Kannada.

Later today a similar thing happened when I was waiting at a bus stop. It was quite late. I was doubtful whether I could catch a bus this time around. I asked a man who was standing close to me, "Sanjay Nagar ge hoguva bus sigabahude, eega?" in Kannada (Can I get a bus which goes to Sanjay Nagar by any chance now?). His quick reply was in English, "I am waiting for the same bus. We will be lucky if we get one. Time is already up. We might have missed it, but I am still waiting for it hoping that I did not miss it!". I nodded approvingly. This time I made sure my mouth is shut not to speak out anything! I was little surprised. It reminded of the situation which happened during my engineering. Again, after a while, I saw that man talking to a fellow passenger in Kannada.

These are the instances I can remember now. There are many more if I recall. There must be something about me that makes some people decide that I am a non Kannadiga. Am I so different by looks to some people that they fail to recognize me as a native Kannadiga? What's on me? I don't know. I just let it go. As long as it's not bothering me, I enjoy these moments and laugh about it. On a final note, beat this tongue twister:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Platform #23

June 9, 2011, 10:00 PM at Majestic (KBS) Bangalore - platform #23. I was stressed out because of work, very tired, impatiently waiting for the bus to take me home. An incident took place that lasted for less than ten minutes.

I saw an old woman - probably between 75-80 years of age, grey hair, wearing thick specs, old cotton saree - stretched out her arm in front of a young man. She was given one or two rupee coin. She thanked him and started approaching me. I generally don't entertain beggars of any kind, because I have the feeling that the money I give them is not being used constructively; most of them end up in spending money on bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc and most of all these people are ill mannered.

As she came limping towards me, I observed her features; she was very fragile. By her looks I could make out that she was not a beggar herself (I don't know how I deduced that). She stretched out her arm. I saw extreme emotional pain in her face so vividly that tears filled my eyes almost instantly. I am typically a man who doesn't lose control over my emotions in situations of this kind. I really don't know why I was so much occupied by her appearance. Thoughts like "She might have been dismissed by her family. She does not have anything to feed herself" flashed my mind. I observed that her thumb was twisted. I opened my wallet, and placed a 10 rupee note in her palm. She waved her hand with gesture that said “Thank you & God bless you" and she left. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I looked around. I was almost on the verge of crying. "How could Rs. 10 help?! Its nothing! How is that old woman leading her life? Why is the world so cruel? Why is God troubling such people in a bitter way? Why is life so unfair? Why, Why, Why?" - all these questions struck my mind like thunder bolts. At this time, my fatigue was gone. I was very much disturbed and extremely moved by her condition. "Do something to help her! Do something! What do I do? OK. I will give her another 100 rupees!" She was moving away toward another platform. I ran behind her, caught hold of her, held her hand and I placed money in her palm. When I returned, unanswerable questions struck me:  "Will that money really help her? Will it be sufficient? I mean, does it serve her food to satisfy her hunger for days? If yes, for how long? May be for maximum of two days. And what will happen to her after that? How does she spend rest of the days left in her life?" I got lost in these stabbing thoughts for some time.

The bus I was waiting for finally arrived. It took sometime to pull myself all together. I still had some kind of guilt feeling that I did not help her much. Extreme thoughts like - "I should take care of her. I must do something for her betterment. Life is really cruel. We die for eating junk food and buying trendy clothes, but just look at her. She is not having another pair of clothes to wear or money to feed herself. Is God here to help her?" - passed through my mind even after the bus started its journey couple of minutes later. All these feelings came directly from my heart. I could feel the difference! I pity her.

Honestly, I really don't know what turned me so much. I wrote this post as fast as I could not to miss out anything that had happened and to read it again and again just to remind myself "Be happy with whatever you have" and "keep helping people as much as possible".
*    *    *
Next morning, I was getting ready for work. I stood in front of the mirror. I asked myself "Was that really you last night? I don't think so... with those tears in your eyes... I can hardly believe it! I mean, I don't know." I discussed with my sister-in-law. She said "It's a good thing what you did by helping her! I have done it myself couple of times. I completely understand your situation. But, some people don't agree and think that we are crazy. It's really hard to watch people in such conditions. Now, let it go.”

Sunday, June 5, 2011

До свидания

What else can be a better occasion when Federer is playing Nadal in Men's Final of Roland Garos 2011. Nadal is leading the way till now: 7-5, 5-4. 

Meanwhile, I am putting down my tenth post here and I want it to be special. While my sister-in-law is busy preparing dinner, she scolds my niece furiously because of her carelessness, my nephew slid down the smooth floor, hurt his head and gave a shrieking cry of pain. Oh no! What's this? It started raining at the French Open now :( Play stopped! When will it resume?

What should I pen down here? Now, the highlights of the game. Cool, I missed watching the first set. Wait a minute! What else is remaining now? - The IP datagram header, the routing protocols, etc, then the transport layer; I wonder how long will that take? Man! I got so much to study. When will I complete this? Wow! How cool is that drop shot! Federer is always good in this. Now then, where was I? Hey, who's that blonde? Its a tie breaker for the second set.

Let it take time. I will still be getting the better of it. It will always good to learn these things whether its fruitful or not. Play resumed. An engineering graduate should know the network stack. Well, better stop writing this useless post; either watch the game or go back and study. Federer lost the second set. :( That's it! I will sign off. I will better watch the match. Hoping that he will make a comeback! I wonder whether that blonde went. Will the cameraman focus her face again?
*    *    *
That was all that was running in my mind for an hour. Are you people wondering what could be the meaning of the title of this post? Or you might be lost in guessing the language of it :) Its a Russian phrase for "Good bye", pronounced as Dus-vidaniaya. I thought about it from the Bollywood movie by the same name. In the movie, it somewhat relates to the meaning: "10 things to be done before you die". Mind you, its no good bye from me so early. I am sure there is lot ahead. By the way, Nadal won; 7-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-1. It was a good fight though! And this is a good movie to watch. This is rumbling of thoughts in my mind when its not in a place this time around.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Movies with a "Difference"

INCEPTION. One of the most intelligent movies in recent times; with its out of the blue concept and confusing screenplay makes the movie more remarkable and wonderful. I consider it as one of the masterpieces of modern cinema. But, most of the Indian audiences didn't understand this movie.  May be because, they expect the screenplay to start at one point and end at another point, linear format. If you jumble few scenes here and there - non linear format - they lose track of the movie.
"Hollywood movie Inception, with its mind-boggling train of events culminating in an open-ended climax that many failed to comprehend, has not only become the topic of discussion on social networking sites, but has also spurred online sales of the movie's script, besides spurring people to watch the movie again. Several sites have also spawned on the Internet trying to explain the movie's complex plot." - The Hindu Business Line, Bangalore. Read more
Adding to this, guess what's worse? If they fail to understand the movie, there are theories by columnists about various interpretations of the movie. I believe, when you accept the plot where the movie is set, then it requires little more concentration to listen to the dialogue and some memory of yours to remember the scenes which are already gone past. Trust me, the story is very plain & simple. Here are some theories: Click this (P.S. If you haven't watched the movie, then don't read this, it will mislead you!) I am sure you will find many other theories related to this movie.

The obvious question arises to common man is why movies are made which are difficult to understand? I, being a movie buff and a Christopher Nolan fan, hate watching a movie which is nowhere different than any other movie. The director, apart from entertaining people, expects us to understand the intelligence involved and the efforts put by the entire crew (actors, editors, cinematographers, etc)  to make the movie successful.

I am very glad to say movies like Memento, The Prestige, Inception are not made in India. Otherwise, these movies would have failed to run even for a week - a disaster at the box office! Who says India does not have good directors? There is Vishal Bharadwaj, who made movies like Omkara and Kaminey and Guru Dutt who made Kaagaz Ke Phool. Just watch these movies, you will certainly love them. The screenplay is unique and this makes these movies different. The performance of these movies were average at the box office.
"The theme and tone on this movie were ages ahead of the Indian audience of the 50s who were used to simpler plots and storylines. The underlying tones of the film were complex and the story was controversial for the time." - Wikipedia on Kaagaz Ke Phool. Read more
What most of the Indian audiences want is a bunch of romantic movies with stories that end in tragedy with a happy start or vice-versa and screenplay as told in fairy tales or in bedtime stories. People! make an earnest attempt to accept change, have new ideas and most important - Evolve! Then, there will be new things in your life. Finally, I would like you guys to take a leap of faith and leave you with this interview clipping.

This post is dedicated to Christopher Nolan & all his movies!